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Tammy Lyn Carbol

Writing is the best way to talk without being interrupted

A Little Bit of TLC

Blog

'Tis Spring and the Universe is changing...

Posted on March 24, 2018 at 6:00 PM Comments comments (0)
Well, February was a bit of a rough month. Needless to say it felt like I lost a month and a half of being productive as I had to rest and heal. That being said, I'm feeling better and things are looking up! WOOT! 

February and the beginning of March were also what we were calling "Snowmaggedon" around here, and our Saturday February workshop by MJ Colette on Writing Erotica (to go with our Valentine Social) actually had to be cancelled because of the weather and roads. The ARWA board doesn't take those decisions lightly, but we felt it was best for our members. On the plus side, she agreed to do not only the cancelled workshop, but also her "The Organized Creative" workshop on our Saturday, March 10th workshop - both were fantastic!  She's such a fun speaker to listen to - I got a lot out of both of the workshops - even started my "Project/Process Journal" - thanks MJ!



















Though I couldn't dance or write much for the last while, I have gotten a lot of information to work on and move forward so now that I'm feeling better I am SO excited about it! Our February Thursday night ARWA meeting, we had a quick change as our speaker had to cancel due to a family emergency but Jenny Hops was able to jump in and give us a fantastic talk on Audiobooks. Our Thursday night March meeting, Sarah Sades (www.sarahkades.com) gave a fabulous talk on Camp NanoWrimo and getting ready for it. 

I'm pumped! I'm researching and figuring out what story I'm going to write and intend to hit the ground running on April 1st. That being said, life may get in the way and it may go horribly horribly wrong - but if it DOES, I don't intend to beat myself up about it. I will promise to do my best and if thing go sideways, I promise NOT to feel like a failure, because that accomplishes nothing.

By the way, have you SEEN the new cover for Adam Dreece's new book coming out in June - The King's Horse? It's amazeballs! You can pre-order it on Amazon. He also re-released Snappy & Dashing with a new cover (comes in between The Yellow Hoods Books 2 and 3) and it's fabulous as well! If you haven't discovered this amazing author - do so. It's not just because I'm his Assistant, it's because he's a great writer.

I will find out in April if the presentation I want to do at WWC gets put on the programming, and then I'll tell you all about it. I have a fabulous friend who is pushing me get up my VA website (gears towards writers/authors) and that is exciting for me. She wants to help me do it as she believes in me (awwwhhhh). I'm looking forward to the next few months as I am on the mend and feeling more myself. 

It's Spring, the weather is getting better, I'm feeling more myself, and thinking more positively. Looking forward to what's to come...

Write on...

2018 Is Looking Fantastic!

Posted on January 30, 2018 at 9:59 PM Comments comments (0)
Have been getting quite a bit done lately - and I'm fairly pleased with myself! During our ARWA Saturday workshop this month, we had Dwayne Clayden in to speak with us about Poisons.  It was incredibly interesting! The best was he had to say "so if you are looking to poison someone...IN YOUR WRITING"...<snicker>

We looked at poison through the ages and it was truly very interesting with what and how they would poison folks. He was an entertaining speaker and we left with a LOT of information...for our writing, of course.

During ARWA's Thursday night meeting, the fabulous Sarah Kades was in to discuss Building Your Author (or Editor) Website. Many of us either have websites that need updating (completely!) or none at all, so the information was helpful.

So, I was a good student and updated pictures and also some of my writing in my website. Thought about updating the template, but I kind of love my typewriter, so it stays. Also going to make sure I keep blogging at least once a month (hey, considering I sometimes go months or a year without updating, I think that's a healthy goal).


My website for my hardtobeagoddess.com domain I purchased last summer (at the urging of my ARWA tribe)now has a plan. I believe after Sarah's discussion, I now know what it will be for. Planning to get it done before end of February.

Doing some Virtual Assistant work for Adam Dreece and Katherine Dell, two local Calgary authors who are fabulous people who write great books! Loving it and looking forward to helping them both with some of their administrative needs. I love beta reading and editing Adam's books and audiobooks as well - it's a great deal of fun! Also helping an up-and-coming author get their non-fiction book put together - and I look forward to her publishing it this year.

Have also offered to beta read a friend's Western - which I had no idea they even wrote! He said it was just something he had done, so I told him to send it over.

During all of this, I actually got some time to do a BIT of writing (I've started writing by hand again as I feel it just flows better when I do that and not when I'm typing a story into a computer). This approach seems to be working, so I'll continue finding time to get some writing in each day, even if just for 15 minutes. Getting to work on scrapbooking as well, which I'm finding very relaxing to do and I enjoy putting what I want into it.

Overall, January has been a frustrating, yet fulfilling month and I look forward to what February has to bring. I'm enjoying all the ARWA workshops and meetings we've been having and the information I've been getting from them - it's great! I seriously love my writer tribe, both in ARWA and outside of it. We have a tremendously supportive writing community in Calgary, and I'm extremely thankful for that.

Write On...



2017. Let's Get 'Er Done

Posted on January 13, 2017 at 9:38 PM Comments comments (0)
2017. 

Shit.

Looking at my blog I note I haven't blogged since Dad passed, and that was far to long ago. I honestly had no heart to do it, and my writing was not up to par either.

2017!! 

Time to change. New website design, new writer business cards, new determination to finish the few stories I DO have on the go right now. 

Seriously, the last few years I have not been writing nearly as much as I wanted to be. Call it writers block, call it laziness, I just had no desire. 

Although I have had a fantastic time both sitting on panels at When Words Collide here in Calgary and attending the fabulous workshops both at WWC and at our monthly ARWA meetings and Saturday workshops, I just couldn't get motivated to write. Nothing much anyway.

A few months ago, one of the members from ARWA said "why don't you try a different genre for now? It might get you started again".

Brilliant. I started again. I actually started on two separate stories (of course). One of which makes me  giggle-snort at times. It came about by some of the ARWA members making a comment in one of our workshops and we went from there. COMPLETELY outside my normal genre of writing. I normally write paranormal romance or if I'm in a different mood, erotica.

It is a mystery with some humour in it (okay, A LOT of humour in it). I'm enjoying writing it. I didn't think I would be able to get back into writing, but changing genres to try something outside my comfort zone is working. I will be putting an excerpt up before end of January. I figure if I declare and state things in print, I will be held accountable.

ARWA had a workshop on Scrivner last Fall and I have started using this writing tool. I am finding it extremely easy and useful and that makes me happy.

It feels like perhaps 2017 may be the year I get my writing mojo back. Switching genres seems to have helped, I don't understand why as yet and want to finish my "Angel" book, as well as "Rope, Saddle & Ride", but I will finish "Write Club" first.

Also working on a story situated on Guernsey, which is also a mystery (without humour)and the hero is a much older man - something new.

Looking forward to (and already registered) to When Words Collide this coming August. Amazing local and international speakers, writers, authors, publishers - it's a fabulous conference to go to. 

I met Diana Gabaldon in 2015 there (and became BEST SISTER EVER to my twin when I got Diana to sign a book to her). 

She is my twin's absolutely, hands-down, favourite author.  I found to her to be an amazingly adorable person and really entertaining speaker.

I had of course read Outlander and a number of the series after that (given to me by my sister, of course).

After meeting her and speaking with her, I had a desire to read even more of her books - and I'm very much enjoying them. I like her writing - I really really like her writing. The amount of research she does makes me feel SUPER lazy, so I have actually been researching the Isle of Guernsey while I have been writing the story. Unbelievable history! WOW! Research can actually be fun! Didn't realize that LOL.

Now that I've revamped my website and been working on some writing, I'm getting more and more confident. It's been a long time since I've felt not only happy writing, but confident in my writing.

I feel 2017 is my year. My year to prove TO MYSELF what I can do and what I can accomplish. No offense, but I am not doing this for anyone other than myself.

My friend is giving me a Passion Planner to try out - I intend on filling it with A LOT of goals, especially writing goals.

I intend on posting excerpts now and then on what I'm writing to keep me accountable and forward-moving.

I intend on MAKING the time for myself (I love my son but Mommy DOES need some writing time for herself). He is almost 4 1/2 so he knows how to occupy himself playing while Mommy writes. I just need to keep an eye on him and an ear out for when it gets silent.

My new "sign out" this year will be...

Write On...

My Big Fat Excuse...

Posted on September 10, 2013 at 6:08 PM Comments comments (0)
<exhale>  Well, crap...
 
So, being a brand spankin' new mom totally interferred with my grand dream of sitting down and writing during the day on my maternity leave, giving me loads of time of course to complete and submit a marvelous manuscript, which of course, would be instantly chosen by a publisher to print...or at least that is the excuse I will use.  But seriously, can you deny this face attention?
David at the Rockyview visiting Grandpa...
 
That, and well, my "only summer off with my son" didn't quite go as planned.  Around June 20th we had a mightly big flood here in Calgary!! On June 24th, my sister had to get the police to break into my father's house to get him.  Long story short - he had a stroke, then a heart attack.  They told us twice the first week he wasn't going to make it as his kidneys were shutting down, he had an infection in his leg, and he got double pnemonia in his lungs.  Needless to say from June 24th onward I was at the hospital every single day with David to be with my Dad. (and my sister - we REALLY got to know staff at the Rockyview and Carewest - David was a big hit there!)
 
He DID recover by the way, AND after 2-days shy of 2 months, dad got to go home.  He is now receiving Home Care, and realizing he will never work again and must retire early.  On the plus side, he IS alive - good thing he's a stubborn man. 
 
So as you can see, I have numerous things to use as excuses for not writing.  To be honest, I just wasn't in the mood.
 
The very scary incident with Dad did allow me to spend a great deal of time with my sister (she's on the left in purple, I'm on the right), so we would spend mornings at the hospital and try to find something to do with our kids in the afternoons.  Sometimes it worked out, sometimes not so much - but we tried!
 
David started his daycare and I came off maternity leave and have been back at work since September 3rd.  To be honest, since June 24th I haven't thought of much other than Dad and family.  Little Fish belly dance classes are starting up, and this Friday, I start teaching my belly dance classes again - life is going back to "normal" (as much as my life can be normal). 
 
I printed off the ARWA newsletter today and saw a reminder for annual dues and thought "OMG! It's really September already!!!" so I immediately went and renewed my membership.  All the while feeling hugely guilty for not writing a damn thing in a very, very long time. <sigh>
 
Then do you know what I did? I am quite proud of myself actually.  I called my mother and asked her to babysit for the Thursday night September meeting later this month!  I will actually be able to attend the meeting without trying to chase down my 1-year old (he turned one on September 5th!) as he is crawling QUICKLY and almost trying to walk - it's just too much to try to attend a meeting and chase him down - I can't focus on what I'm there for. 
 
I've just been so focused on being a Mom and being there for my Dad that it feels like I haven't been there for myself.  I know it is wrong, and I know I need to take better care of myself (David and I currently have bronchitis - yay for daycare...). 
 
Baby steps (no pun intended).  I need to take baby steps.  The whole "I'm going to write a manuscript no problem while on maternity leave" thing didn't pan out.  So I will take baby steps.  Getting a babysitter so I can attend our first ARWA Thursday night meeting (AND pay attention) in September is a start. 
David and Mommy on his 1st birthday
Isn't his morning face adorable?
 
Maybe being back at work and in an office environment will give me the desire to begin writing again.  Maybe not.  Either way I need to get off my ass and start writing again - I need to find that desire, that spark again. 
 
Hmmmm....maybe I'll think about it over cake and coffee...
 
 

Writing, Pooping, Feeding and Writing...

Posted on October 25, 2012 at 12:09 AM Comments comments (0)
Well okay world...here he is:
May I introduce David Alexander - he came "a la Superman flying pose" on September 5th and changed our lives!
 
Seriously, to those ladies who go on and on about "oh, you forget about the pain because it's soooo worth it once you look at them".  Well, screw you. <grin>
 
It WAS worth it, however, I don't know what kind of amnesia you are suffering from, but I most certainly did not forget, nor will I ever forget that pain.  HOLY MOLEY people!  Good grief! I have a high pain threshold but COME ON!!!
 
I have been very on and off with writing since my last posting earlier this year - and yes, I know it's not an excuse. Some days I FELT like writing, and some days I was just feeling too icky to do so. 
 
Since David's appearance, I have actually found some time to write, but not as much as I want, and I know that means I need to start scheduling time (preferably when he's sleeping obviously) however, lately when he is sleeping I try to catch a quick nap myself.
 
One thing I'm excited about is his nursery (which is almost completed) - but since he is sleeping in our room for awhile I still have some time.  I got some pictures taking during my 7th month of pregnancy of me (and David) dressed as a fairy that I will be putting in his room - which is based on the Lord of the Rings - The Shire (no, no I will NOT be putting the Eye of Saron above his crib or anything like that - think trees, nature, etc.)
 
So these are the two pictures taken by Paul White at Studio White Photography here in Calgary - and I am so incredibly happy about them!! It was tremendously fun to dress up with the wings and go walking through the park so Paul could take my picture. You KNOW it got my creative juices flowing!!! Becoming a pregnant fairy and traisping around the park will do that to a person.
 
 
Tomorrow night, I will be going to my first ARWA meeting of the year (missed September meeting - was still getting used to being a mom). The girls have said they don't mindDavid attending with me - and since for the most part he is a very laid back kid - hopefully he behaves himself. Looking forward to seeing my writing friends and getting that desire back.
I need to finish my current manuscript - I need to. Not for anyone else other than me, but yes, I need to finish it and damnit it - submit it.
 
Life HAS changed, absolutely it has - though not as much as I thought it would.  I'm starting to get those writing vibes back in my brain and starting to move the story along in my mind.  Now to just sit my ass down for an hour without having to get up, change, feed, pump, sing, rock to sleep, catch a nap, run to the doctors, clean, cook, organize, do laundry or visit.
 
I need to start working a schedule where I do have at least 30 minutes to one hour of writing a day.  But since David isn't currently one to "go along with a sched", I am kind of winging it as to when I have time.  Frankly, sometimes when I DO have time, I just think "ahhhh...what's on Judge Judy today?"
 
I think this black and white photo pretty much sums up my blissful feeling lately, only now he's out, not in.
 
Since this is the first time ever I have not worked since I was 18, it's a little difficult to get used to this new "timeframe".
 
All that said, looking forward to getting into my writing again and finding TIME (make that MAKING time) to write and complete my manuscript.  I know going to my monthly ARWA meetings is a big step toward that - being in the same room with such a bunch of creative and downright fun women will do that to a writer!
 
Writing is important to me, and so is my family, and finding a healthy balance between the two (well, three as I have to add belly dancing) will be what I aim for.

Life-Altering Moments

Posted on March 14, 2012 at 2:06 PM Comments comments (0)
Well now...it has been VERY difficult to not post on my blog for the past three months, which I purposely did just in case I was tempted to spill the beans.
 
The second week in January, after being relaxed and getting back into the work-groove from our fabulous Christmas Cruise, my husband and I had a life-altering moment.  A lot of women know this moment, it's the "pee on a stick and run out of the room for 3 minutes" moment.
 
Realizing I was late (thanks to my handy-dandy period tracker app - yes, they pretty much have an app for everything!), I thought "oh, my schedule was screwed up when we came back from Egypt too, so that's it"...after the "you are 7 days late" app notification I thought "hmmm..maybe I'm going through early menopause - I am the right age".
 
After the "you are 10 days late" app notification, I knew I had to pee on a stick. Then check it with a clinic.  Then double check it with my doctor.  Yes, I verified it many times, seeing as I haven't been able to get pregnant in 21 years - yeah - bit of a shocker.  So yes, my husband and I will be welcoming a child into our lives in September. I'm terrified, but I'll get over it.
 
(am I going to hell because I find this hilarious?)
 
So, for the past 3 months I have done absolutely no writing as frankly, I was exhausted and tired and sleeping a lot.  Apparently, that's normal, even though I felt like the worlds laziest tit. 
 
Hmmm...(stepping on soap box) I would like it noted I really really dislike that doctors kept making me feel terrified because I'm "HIGH RISK"...yes, I'm 41...big deal.  I'm also a belly dancer and in better physical shape than many people much younger than me. <sticking tongue out>
 
On the plus side, now that we have FINALLY been able to blab the news as we are past the 12-week mark, and got a "thumbs up" on the tests I had to go through, I feel a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders, and I began writing again during my lunch hours.  A few times the thought of "are pregnant women allowed to write naughty romance novels?" goes through my head, but I kill it with coffee and a truffle or two.
 
(cross your fingers our cat, Otaa, feels protective too)
 
I have a lot to prepare for before September, but we have a fantastic support network of friends and family behind us, so I know everything will be okay.  I have also stuck a deadline in my head now to complete my current manuscript, as I won't be having a lot of time for the first while in September - so I best get off my ass and continue writing.
 
 
 
 

Didn't Hurt As Much As I Thought!

Posted on November 22, 2011 at 4:17 PM Comments comments (0)
Well, so far November hasn't hurt as much as I thought it would! 
 
So...NanoWrimo.  Yes, it IS NanoWrimo month and believe it or not - I HAVE been writing during lunch!!! On the plus side, I'm surprised at how well it's coming along.  On the down side, I realize I've been too busy to update my "word count" on my NanoWrimo writers page.  Whoops. My bad. 
 
Not at 50,000 words as yet, though I still have 8 days in the month to write.  If I write more than my hour at lunch, I may be able to do it.  I realized when I DON'T update my word count, I don't feel pressure, and I'm able to write more. Interesting.
 
Although I tell you, sometimes writing through my lunch hour makes me rather tired...
 
Truly there is so much going on this month, both as a writer, and the other list of things I do on a regular basis, I'm surprised I HAVE been able to write at least an hour during each day (okay, to be honest, sometimes it's 15 minutes here, 15 minutes there - but overall during the day - I have made sure it's at least one full hour).
 
My workshop on Social Media on November 12th to the Alberta Romance Writers Association seemed to go fairly well.  We had about 14-16 people in attendance and I spoke from 10 till noon, brief 30 minute lunch, then continued from 12:30 till 2:30 pm. So it was a full day workshop, and I was very proud of myself that I did it.  It was my very first workshop but ssshhh...don't tell them that!
 
All in all I felt it went quite well.  There was a lot of group participation, which was fantastic, AND I found out one of our writers (who I think is pretty frickin' cool) writes one of THE most sarcastic and hilarious blogs I have ever read. I wrote her name here, then realized she might not want it known to the whopping 5 people who read my blog, so I deleted her name.  If you haven't read The Tragic Spinster yet - please read it!!! http://tragicspinster.wordpress.com/.  She  can also be found on Facebook and Twitter!!
 
Eight days left of this month to see if I can complete my NanoWrimo. Although this year I'm not going to put the pressure on myself like I did last year.  NOT telling people how I'm doing with it has actually felt good.  I'm not trying to rush my writing or meet anyone's expectations other than my own.  All I've asked of myself is I write "for one hour a day" during this month - usually on my lunchhour - and so far (except weekends), I have been doing just that. 
 
If I complete my book in the next 8 days - yay for me.  If I don't, that's alright with me as well, because I will almost be completed.  Then it will be up to me to get that first draft edited into a second draft.
 
I have numerous writing plans going through my head, but I think for now I will keep them to myself, as amazingly, it seems to keep the pressure off me and allows me to simply do what I love to do.  To write. To create. To dream.
 
TLC
 
 
 
 

A Motivational Speaker....

Posted on September 27, 2011 at 11:33 PM Comments comments (0)
On September 22, 2011, we had our first Alberta Romance Writers meeting of the year at our new location at the St. Mark's Lodge.  As my husband is a Mason, I have been to the lodge before, but was pleased to see so many of our members come out who I haven't seen in a very long time.  I believe changing our venue for the first time in 18 years helped.  It was a more residential area and didn't have scary drunks wandering around outside.
 
Our speaker for the night was Tamara Wickwire, who in all honesty, when she walked in I thought she was a young new member! Oops...
 
She gave us a talk on "strategies for success and motivation/inspiration", and by the end, I really liked her! It put into my mind a lot of fantastic things that I KNEW, but we all forget every once in awhile.. Such as:
 
Preparation + Positive Thinking = Confidence
 
That is one thing I realized I don't have in regard to my short story or novel writing.  I have no problem with the confidence I can write it, it's letting others read it where my confidence wanes.
 
I know I love to write, and I know in some ways I have confidence in my writing, but it's the "what will people THINK of this?" which stops me from sending manuscripts in, stops me posting snippets on my wall.
 
She spoke to us about "forming your vision" of where you want to be, to begin with the end in mind.  You don't have to have your vision perfectly formed and you don't have to know HOW to get there, you just have to have a vision.
 
She reminded us that everything we do, we do for a reason - whether internal or external.  I write because I HAVE to, not because I am going to make money out of it - as that is plainly obvious (though might be helpful if I submitted things huh?).
 
I DO have a vision.  I need to set my goals to get me there, and I need to follow through with them.  She said we needed to make our goals SMART:
 
  • Specific (not general)
  • Measurable (how will you know you when achieved it?)
  • Attainable (can they be achieved?)
  • Realistic for You (time restraints, etc.)
  • Timely (deadlines - when accomplished by, etc.)
 
So I shall be working on following through with my writing goals, and being SMART about them.  I truly enjoyed her talk and found her to be a motivating speaker.  It got my writing juices flowing again and I intend on getting off my butt and finishing some things.
 
TLC