“Lap Danced by the Muse” and beyond…

First thing I want you to know is that Terrie Leigh Relf’s writing career began with a Lap Dance! And, I’m not even sure where to go with this because all my brain can do now is go in circles and say, “Who’d a’ Thunk it?”

Now, I’ve groveled and begged and kowtowed and kissed a significant number of butts and made promises to agents and publishers that would make a sinner blush, but I never thought of straddling them and…  Well, I’m not gonna go there. Dang, if Granny knew I’d ever had those kind of thoughts there’s no tellin’ what she’d a’done to me. So, that being said, I want you to hear in Terrie’s own words how it began with ‘A Lap Dance by the Muse’.

How I Met David Boyne and Became a Columnist

by Terrie Leigh Relf

First of all, you probably don’t know that in my younger days, I was an executive secretary and known as Eagle Eye in the proofreading department. Secondly, you probably don’t know that I have suffered from insomnia most of my life, and that it really does mess with your brain. Thirdly, you probably don’t know that I’m not really a multi-tasker, even though I wish I were.

This brings me to the fateful day when I met David Boyne, by accident, and got my very first online columnist gig at the then, newly launched, San Diego Writer’s Monthly site.

So, there I was with my new computer, something called e-mail, and a few minutes of time to search the web. My daughter was napping, my resume was updated, and I was determined to increase my publishing credits!

A friend had given me the name of an editor who might be interested in my work. So I composed a cover letter, plugged in the email, attached my resume, and hit send.

You can probably imagine my confusion when someone else responded to my email. Who is this David Boyne character? I wondered, I didn’t email him. . .

Well, apparently I had. By accident. But guess what? He actually said that he wished I’d been intending to contact him! So, after chatting with him a bit, feeling mortified that I had made such an egregious error (which, I might add, he also teased me about, and for those of you who know David, you know his wicked sense-of-humor!), I realized that there are no accidents!

Since David was still interested in my poetry and articles after talking with me, I assured him that other editor could find himself someone else, and promised to send him some work.

And that is how the Poet’s Workshop column was born.

I worked for David at Writersmonthly.us, and then WORD/San Diego from 2002-2004. He also published my very first poetry collection, Lap Danced by the Muse, during this time.

 Then he fired me. Okay, maybe he didn’t exactly fire me, but he did encourage me to move on as it was time to explore my talents or some such adage, as the articles I was writing for WORD/San Diego didn’t resonate with the same energy as my other work.

But now I’m getting to an even better part. . .All those articles I wrote for David became quite popular, and I had invitations to reprint them, or write new ones, for various sites such as Absolutewrite.com, Writeronline.com and others. Then, I was invited to move my column to MindFire Renewed and the FireWeed Literary Newsletter. The only thing that changed was column’s title, and then, only slightly:  “From the Pyre” Poet’s Workshop.”

And then Tyree Campbell, the (former) managing editor for Sam’s Dot Publishing, said something like, “Hey, let’s publish some of your articles into a book. It became Poet’s Workshop—and Beyond, which was re-released in 2012 with additional articles.

So, while you may not be rolling around on the floor laughing with this little tale, which is true, by the way, I can’t help wondering where I’d be today if I hadn’t accidently contacted David Boyne.

Thank you, David! And Tyree, too!

The End


21 thoughts on ““Lap Danced by the Muse” and beyond…

  1. tlrelf says:

    You don’t need to leave town, Gary! I had a whee of a time reading your introduction. It’s better than my story. . .For those of you who would like a copy, I might have a few left. Hey, maybe Thorn wants to re-release it with additional poems. Or, hey, maybe we should have an anthology with that name and I’ll keep a few of the poems, add a few more, then open it up to the group! What do you all think about that?
    Thank you, Gary, for inspiring me yet again.

    P.S. My system crashed years ago, but when I locate a print copy, I’ll type up the title poem and send it in. . .

        • tlrelf says:

          LOL! I didn’t mean this piece; I meant the contest sub for Julie’s prompt. I’m still waiting for it to be posted when Capt. Thornberry returns to his castle office. Sorry I wasn’t more clear.
          Then again, do tell me about your magic mirror. . .What does it say about my finishing Walks-with-two-Spirits by the first of April? What does it say about my getting it published? What does it say about. . .

  2. Diane Cresswell says:

    There is no such thing as an accident. Right?? This is super cool Lap girl. Me too, I would love to read the poems. Loved this.

    • tlrelf says:

      I agree. It seems my life is straddled with them. I mean riddled. Something like that. Here’s to all of us having auspicious coincidences! I’ll look to see if I can’t find a copy. . .

  3. Stars Fall On My Heart says:

    Terrie, don’t feel bad; the first time Thorn e-mailed me, I asked myself “Huh? Who is this Sully chick???”

    • tlrelf says:

      Thank you, Sal! You’re in my contest flash piece, too! Here’s to the universe righting itself despite our efforts to the contrary. . .Drive carefully!

  4. KYLE Katz says:

    Terrie,I was really expecting a story about you in another time forbidden. Nice how we have those divine interventions thru-out our lives. Thanks for sharing your story on how you became such a prolific writer and lover of words.

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