Monthly Archives: September 2012

Any News is Good News.

So I’ve finished another story and I’m back on the editing track. I just can’t escape it, it seems. πŸ™‚ Why can’t I just wave a magic wand and – POOF! It’s done and ready for posting. Alas, real life isn’t like Harry Potter. And because it’s not, most of my time is being spent now editing my recently completed work. I’m trying to focus my energy on that, then I can post it. Though I am still on the fence about posting this one. It’s in a genre no one would ever have expected me to write and I’m honestly not sure how well it’s turned out. I’ll decide in the next couple of weeks, and you may or may not see it on my Lit page.

In other news, I’m still working on completing the last Christian and Maggie story, and eventually I’ll get back to editing and revising the third in my TAITS series. I’m also toying with a non-human story I started a little while ago and I have a new Ice story that I’ll get back to one day. πŸ™‚ I’ve barely started that one so we’ll see how well I progress with any of my work over the next few weeks. I am going on a holiday starting next weekend and I’m not sure if I’ll post anything but I won’t be without internet so I may be able to update with something next week. Maybe about the joys of traveling and lengthy layovers. πŸ™‚

Nothing much else to report. I really just want to get back to writing or editing something while I have the energy. I may pause to get something to eat or make a pot of tea. The air outside is crisp and I have my window open to enjoy the last of the fall air before it snows later this week. Yeah! I said it.

All right, until next time, take care and happy reading.

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The Long and Short Of It.

Ask any writer and they will tell you that writing a short story is different from writing something novel-length. The basic rules still apply, as I’d once explained in this blog entry. Of course, when writing a short story, you have to include all that and do it faster.

I don’t usually set out to write a story intending to make it short or not. When I write something, I go from point A to point B. In between, what happens might take a long time to explain, or it might not. I suppose the only time I write with the intention of keeping it short is with the Ice stories, and even with those, I’ve branched out. Look at how long Drew and Mina’s story turned out. I definitely didn’t know when I started it that it would be that long. Once I got somewhat into the story, I realized theirs couldn’t be a short one. I definitely can’t write a short TAITS story, unless it was a Christmas special or something. πŸ™‚ But what about when I attempt new things?

For “Body of Water”, I didn’t know what the hell I was doing with that story, I just knew how each part was going to play out. It ended up falling somewhere between a short story and something more significant. This new story I’m writing, I thought I’d be wrapping it up around 40k words but it’s going past that. Of course, that’s just the first draft and going back to edit will likely shorten it some, so it might still come out to where I wanted it in the first place.

How do you make a short story just as exciting and engaging as something longer? Well, things like the chemistry between characters needs to be established more quickly. The initial incident and rising action is more compacted and the climax (!) is reached faster. How does all that become just as satisfying as something novel-length? I can’t say for sure. I suppose it depends on the strength of the story and the quality of the writing.

There are also plenty of short stories out there that maybe don’t follow the story formula as closely. For instance, my Christian and Maggie stories aren’t really stories at all. They don’t have any plot to speak of, and there’s not a real conclusion to any of them. Sure, they talk, they’re in love and the written portion ends but there’s none of the traditional story stuff in there. Does that make those stories less interesting than something with a murder and quick investigation? Or a story where the vampire or werewolf claims its mate before the end? Only the reader can say for sure.

I like to think either way I write a story, I’m doing something right. I like to think that no matter the length of what I’ve written, I’m somehow reaching a reader and giving them what they want to or felt like reading that day.

On that note, I hope whatever you’re reading these days, short or long, is just as satisfying as you hoped it would be. I’m going to get back to writing something now. Have a nice afternoon!

Take care and happy reading.

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Opposites Attract

There’s a saying about finding love – well, there are many but we’ll focus on just this one today – about how opposites attract. The princess can love the criminal. The staid businessman can love the flighty artist. The rock star can love the accountant. Maybe they can but how often do those differences become the very reason a couple can’t stay together?

Maybe this is also just an oversimplification of what we all tend to view as ‘our type.’ You know, the woman says she loves the bad boys and dates only those guys. The guy says he prefers blonds and limits the women he asks out to only women with yellow hair. I think there are some more specific things you might look for in a partner as well, like career choice, movie preferences, height, age. Do you have a ‘type’? Did you marry that ‘type’?

For my part, I don’t have a long, checkered dating history. I haven’t had an opportunity to even think about what my preferred type of partner would be, never mind limit myself to dating only within a certain personality bracket. πŸ™‚ I’ve always been open to going out with any type of guy. I’ve been set up on blind dates and sometimes it went beyond one date, sometimes it didn’t. I would never have wanted to turn down an opportunity and realize later that the guy I refused one day could have been The One. Of course, I don’t need to worry about it now. πŸ™‚ One of those chances I took turned out to be the best decision of my life.

In writing, I sometimes try to match a certain personality type with their opposite. I do it in a way that on the surface meets that ‘opposites attract’ rule but when I delve deeper into their personalities, I like to give them more commonalities that had been apparent at first. In my TAITS series, the best example of this is Grimm and Jack. She’s a type-A control freak personality and he’s – up to that point – been painted as a fun-loving playboy. They are forced to work alone together, a situation that causes more friction at first than anything. As the story progresses though, they warm up to each other and begin to work as a single cohesive unit, a result that saves their lives. A couple of times.

I don’t do it so often in the Ice stories, except for maybe Vanessa being the erotica writer and not minding that fans love and revisit her stories, and Sean being the more uptight, private individual. Somehow, they found common ground. πŸ˜‰

So let’s say you have a type. It’s the complete opposite of yourself. You’re an organized, career-oriented, clean freak. The people you date are flighty, can’t make plans much less keep them, and can’t hold a steady job. Do you keep holding out hope that one day, one of those types are going to surprise you and turn serious, career-driven and punctual? I hate to break it to you, but it’s unlikely. That’s not to say that people can’t change but you can’t go through life dating people with one set of personality traits only to hope that you can change the way they are. Maybe the problem isn’t the people you’re dating. Maybe the problem is that you’re dating them. Does that make sense? πŸ˜‰

Back to my original topic though. Opposites attract. Do they? Maybe at first but I think sometimes you need to have some if not a lot of common interests in order to make it work. That’s not to say you go everywhere and do everything as one unit. But if you’re going to be with that person for the rest of your life, shouldn’t you have more in common than an address and a last name?

For instance, if you prefer to unwind with music and a glass of wine, but your partner unwinds with a jog around the block, does that mean you won’t last? Not necessarily. If your partner only chooses activities for date night that involve copious amounts of safety gear and training (eg. sky-diving or rock climbing) but you enjoy going to the movies or taking walks in the park, how do you find middle ground? And not just for one night, but every night for the rest of your life?

Now that I think back on it, I didn’t write a whole lot of date night scenarios for my characters. On the other hand, I didn’t write them long enough to have regular date nights. Maybe that’s a clue for me. Perhaps I should write a sequel to something… give them some date nights.

I’ve always been more of a home body, finding more enjoyment in reading or writing, or watching a favourite movie. Except for when I was first able to, I haven’t cared much about going to night clubs or drinking. I don’t care so much about going out to all the street festivals in town but I wouldn’t mind taking in the occasional live play or musical. I love to travel, when I can afford it, and I’d love to travel with my guy. Lucky for me, my guy also enjoys most of those same things. So even when I’m doing something that’s pretty much a solitary activity, like reading, I’m still spending time with him. That’s not to say we don’t ever go out with our friends, whether together or apart, but I love being able to do what I love and have it be the same thing that he loves. And he’s also my biggest fan so he loves sitting with me while I’m writing. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, what’s so wrong with wanting to spend the majority of your time with your significant other? I hear the advice so often about how you need to spend time apart from your SO, you need your own interests. You save your time together for once a week or something like that. Well, no, that wouldn’t work for me. Of course, I realize I’m only giving you my preferences. Everyone’s relationship is different and you all make your own rules for what works for you. What works for me and my SO may seem ridiculous to you, and your favorite activities might seem too wild and crazy for me.

I guess the secret is to find what works for you, be honest with yourself about it, and find someone who complements you and your personality. Anyone you’re choosing to spend your life with should be willing to give you your space or want to spend as much time as possible with you, so long as it’s what you want as well.

Well, I’m off to do some writing and see what I can get accomplished today. A reminder to anyone interested, that you can still contact me if you’d like to take part in my on-line book club.

Until next time, take care and happy reading.


Filed under Writing

Book Club

Hello all. I’ve decided to do something a little different this week. I’ve mentioned in the past that I belonged to a book club. It disbanded a few months ago though. It just became harder and harder to get together, what with babies and job changes, moving to new cities, relationships, renovations, etc. I still see the ladies on occasion but we haven’t gathered for a book since February or March, I think. I miss it. I miss seeing the ladies but we can get together any time and ninety percent of the time, we got together for book club and spent ten minutes out of four hours talking about the book. However, you all know how big a reader I am and how I love to share what I’m reading.

So, instead of occasionally making a blog entry out of what I’m reading or what I’ve just read, I’ve decided to see if anyone would be interested in joining a book club. πŸ™‚

I tend to go through a book in about a week, usually. Less time if it’s really interesting or short. More, if I’m busy. But now that I’m back to working only one job, I have more time to do what I enjoy. I think if those interested can manage it, we’ll ‘gather’ once a month and discuss the book selection. After that, I’ll draw a name for the one who can pick the next month’s book selection. There are no limits on the books to be selected. It can be from any genre, fiction, non-fiction, best-seller, something less popular. The only thing to keep in mind is how available it would be. It can’t be something that no one can get their hands on, either through book stores, on-line or in libraries.

I was also thinking we wouldn’t need to limit it to books. Maybe some of you aren’t as big a reader as I am, although since you’re hear reading my blog and are familiar with my novels or on-line stories, you must enjoy reading somewhat. In any case, there was one lady in my book club who never read a book, or selected one. She definitely was just in it for the visits and the snacks. πŸ˜‰ Remembering that made me think that maybe once in a while, we could pick and discuss movies. I think it might even be fun to have a book/movie month, where we select a book that is also a movie. For example, I just finished reading The Help, by Kathryn Stockett and I’d seen the movie some time ago. Those who choose to could read the book, or you could watch the movie, or do both. I’ll tell you now, the movie adaptation for that one was one of the best I’ve ever seen. It followed the book details very closely, while only changing up the chronological order in a few spots. Also, that was a hugely popular book and movie and would be readily available in all areas so no one would miss out on reading or watching it.

I haven’t quite figured out exactly how the discussions will work but I’m checking on a few different options. For now, if you’re interested, please send me a private email/message using the Contact Tamara tab here on my blog, at the top. In the next week or so, I’ll email everyone back with the first selection and the date for a first book club meeting.

I’m not looking to get crazy here, or make any statements about book reading preferences. I’m not Oprah and I read everything. I would hope that everyone who’s interested and involved will have an open mind as well. I will make some rules about behaviour and language during our discussions because, above all, I want this to be a fun activity for everyone involved.

So I’ll leave you now to think about whether you’d like to join in or not. Once I get started, I won’t stop anyone else from joining either. You can come and go as you please and if there’s no longer any interest – or any interest to start with! – then I won’t bother with it. I’ll continue to throw in mentions of my reading material in future blogs and wait to hear from you. πŸ˜‰

Until next time, take care and happy reading.


Filed under Book Club

Unexciting News

I’d started writing a different blog entry just a little while ago. However, I realized what I was writing about was something I’d already written about before. Maybe a couple of times. Hey, it’s bound to happen, right? You write a blog for over a year, you’re bound to touch on a subject more than once. I think I’ve done all right with taking each week’s entry in a new direction, even if I do touch on something I’ve already discussed. However, I’m finding it difficult this week to come up with something completely original.

I could discuss sports, as there seems to be a lot going on this weekend. Or not a lot, depending on what sports you follow. Baseball is still going on, though I could care less about that. American football has started, which is exciting. I’ve always been a football fan. The CFL season is about half-way done now and this November will see the 100th playing of the Grey Cup Championship. That’ll be exciting, even if it is being played in Toronto, where all they bloody well care about is the Maple Leafs.

Then of course, there’s all the NHL-NHLPA discussions going on. I’m afraid there probably won’t be an NHL season this year. In my opinion, that might just be the beginning of the end for several NHL teams in the US, if that’s the case. It’s hard enough getting people to care about hockey in Phoenix, Miami or Tampa. Or even Columbus, where last season saw the record low for game attendance one night. I suppose I understand that both sides want more money. At the same time, how much more do you want to do something you supposedly love, something you supposedly can’t live without? Hmm. Seems to me that it is just about the money and saying you can’t not play a whole season is a load of crap. Otherwise, you’d accept the deal from the NHL and play the damn game. Of course, I don’t know all the details and legalities so what can I say. It’s also sad that no one is worried about the minimum-wage workers at every arena and sporting goods shop. The employees who will be missing out on all those shifts this year because the millionaires and billionaires can’t decide who ‘deserves’ more money.

Moving on…

I could talk about movies or books but I haven’t seen or read anything terribly interesting lately. Wait, that’s a lie. I already told you about the latest Linda Holeman book I’d read and I still recommend her novels to you. Also, I just finished “The Poet Prince” by Kathleen McGowan, the third in her series “The Magdalene Line.” I’ve quite enjoyed that series and the last one was a real page-turner, more so than the first two. They follow the life and discoveries of a woman named Maureen who researches a centuries old tale of the life and marriage – yes, marriage – of Jesus Christ. I’m always fascinated by fictional accounts of Christian history. I’m not terribly religious myself but I can appreciate the belief structures and history behind those beliefs. So I love to read novels like these, or Dan Brown’s and other similar tales.

As for movies, I also recently went to the theatre to see “The Bourne Legacy.” That movie blew me away. I enjoyed the original three Bourne movies but by the third I was getting tired of the memory-loss angle. This one was new, different and just as action-packed. I enjoyed it very much and I’m looking forward to more Bourne movies with this new angle.

Let’s see, what else is going on. Oh, I’m very close to finishing a new story. It’ll be four Lit chapters when it’s all said and done. I’ll warn you now, though I’ll put a disclaimer on the story when I post it as well, it’s in a new genre, it’s a completely different story and subject that I’ve never done, and I guarantee some of you will not read it. πŸ˜‰ It’ll be outside of a lot of people’s comfort zones. I won’t be offended if you don’t read it but it’s been a wonderfully refreshing change to write something so totally different. I started it as a response to a challenge from my SO. First of all, he is my biggest fan and, I’m not kidding, he remembers more about my stories than I do and quotes them to me often. πŸ™‚ But he did say one night when we were talking that he’d love to see if I could write something like this new story. So far, he loves it. Or maybe he just loves the free previews. πŸ˜‰ Either way, it’ll be interesting to find out everyone else’s view on it.

All right, now I really have nothing else to report. Oh wait. I’m done working two jobs for the summer, back down to just one, which should leave me more time for writing and getting my stuff back on Amazon Kindle. I’ll be going on vacation early in October and I have a lengthy layover in one airport. Does anyone want to meet me for a coffee to pass the time? LOL

And now, I’m really done for this week. I want to get back to writing and see what I can get accomplished for the rest of the long weekend. I hope you’re all enjoying your weekends and the last long weekend of summer.

Take care and happy reading.


Filed under Book Reviews, Movie Reviews, Writing