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Tammy Lyn Carbol

Writing is the be​st way to talk without being interrupted

A Little Bit of TLC


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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 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 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.

New Year and Clear in My Thoughts

Posted on January 9, 2012 at 4:36 PM Comments comments (0)
Well, 'tis 2012 and my 2011 didn't exactly end how I wanted (writing-wise) - personally it was pretty darn good!  Husband and I went on FABULOUS Christmas cruise and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly.
(Rog and I on Christmas Day 2012)
I didn't finish my 50,000 words for Nanowrimo, I know. I know.  I should be tarred and feathered and hung out to dry.  Bad writer, bad.
But as my bud The Tragic Spinster pointed out, I'm not killing myself over it.  I DID get a lot more done in my story, but something just seemed...I don't know...missing???
Have you ever had a weird, nagging "something" in the back of your head when writing that things are different? Things have changed? That the Universe tilted a bit and you didn't notice? There is nothing really showing outwardly, but yet you just KNOW something's up, you just can't figure out what it is? Then all at once a possible solution will hit you and you go " THAT would explain so many things!". 
I had that moment.  Oprah would be so proud if I called it my "ah ha" moment, but it wasn't an "ah ha" moment, it was just a moment. It came, I took it in, and I moved on.
And you know what? It was good for me.  It somehow seemed to get rid of my writer's block-laziness-procrastination which has plagued me in getting on with this particular story I've been working on FOREVER.  I feel now I can sit my ass down and actually finish it as I know how it ends. 
(I wanted to take a ride on THIS ship!)
I added more to my story today and somehow don't feel any more pressure, any tightness in my heart squeezing it to "get this manuscript finished or the world will end".  I know it will be finished.  I know I WILL finish it.  I promise to no longer feel the pressure of NanoWrimo.  To be honest, I work full time in one job, part time in another, am with several various "groups" which all have meetings, I dance, I rehearse, I just can't put that pressure on myself to do a book in one month.  I can't.  If I didn't work full time - hell yeah, I would give it a go - but pushing myself to be creative when my mind and body is completely full just wasn't feasible.
(Every cloud has a silver lining)
So...thank you Universe.  Thank you for releasing me from the questions plaguing my mind and freeing me to start writing again.  Thank you for giving me the I just need to fill in the middle of the story.
I was feeling so cocky about it, I started looking up publishers and printing out their submission information.  This may be a good thing.

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!!!  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.

Oh we go...NanoWrimo time.

Posted on November 3, 2011 at 6:44 PM Comments comments (0)
Well, it's that time of year again. NanoWrimo time!  I tried it last year, and failed spectacularly, if I do say so myself!!!  Well, that's a lie - I came close.  However, since I didn't finish, I call it a fail.  I just had far to much going on in my life (which yes, I AM aware is a huge excuse) but seriously...I did.

If you are interested in NanoWrimo, the website is - even if you are starting late - you have all of November!!

Samhain has just recently passed and of course, since my ARWA meeting was on October 27th, I went in costume.  Yes, before you wonder - I WAS the only person who came in costume - not a biggie :-)

Egyptian Queen Costume
(big shock, I

Our speaker was Mahrie Glab, who gave a talk on "Plan To Write".  Fantastic timing Mahrie! It was about taking an old manuscript or a new story, and creating a First Draft in 30 Days.  Well, how damn handy was that?!  Since NanoWrimo is about writing a novel in one month - it seemed like the Universe was telling me to give it another try.  This is what I'm going to do. Wish me luck!

And in between all this, I will be giving the talk to ARWA on November 12, 2011 on "Using the Social Media, Part 2" in regard to having a blog or website, whether you need one as a writer and if so, where the hell do you start?!

Since I have a blog, website, Twitter, Facebook and Four Square account, I guess I'm into the social media, now let's see if I can help others decide if they wish to be involved and whether it's right for them.

Speaking of social media, I saw this cartoon and split a gut laughing, seeing as a few friends and I are users of Four Square - where, basically, you can spy on where all your friends were!!

I'm hoping starting from scratch with my book and changing the plot will help me get through NanoWrimo this year.  Since I'm busy every night this week and all weekend (workshop and show of course), I intend on using all my spare time after that in November  on getting the necessary words done per day in order to finish.  To be honest I think I'm already a bit behind, but vow to catch up. 

Well, not ALL my spare time, I still have to rehearse, belly dance, Zumba, clean my house, etc. But I AM using all my lunch hours in November so far to write.  Yay me!

So, there you have my update and plans for November - NanoWrimo and giving a workshop to my writers group. I hope very much to give an informative talk, and, failing that, at least I'll be damn entertaining. 

Please feel free to bring me chocolate!!! I KNOW I'll be bringing my coffee.


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.

The Summer of Goals Not Quite Achieved...

Posted on September 18, 2011 at 3:01 PM Comments comments (0)
So...been awhile since I updated my blog.  It was an interesting August to be sure. First two weeks were spent on vacation - no writing, no dancing...just being.  It felt wonderful!  Came back to reality and had to deal with some health issues with my dad (I can happily report he is now doing MUCH better and it getting stronger every day).

I was reminded (nagged) by my best friend today I have not written on my writer's blog since the end of July, so I am giving a quick update.

(my twin and I being mature on our 41st birthday)

Still have not posted snippets of stories but should have some up by end of September.  Must edit them a bit before posting and be prepared for commentary.  Fair warning I will not be posting the "really juicy" bits, as I frankly don't want to post those online quite mother reads my website...LOL

Have only continued writing RS&R a few times as I haven't been in the mood to write as much as I truly should.  I have two shows to dance in next week, plus woke up the day before my 41st birthday with a WICKED cold and I've been attempting to drug it into submission.  This is truly NOT the week I can afford to be sick.  Working full time, two shows to perform in, a workshop, an ARWA meeting, 3 classes to teach, AND a cold...urgh.

I know I will again get my writing bug back this coming Thursday, as it will be our first Alberta Romance Writers meeting of the year and I always get more passionate about my writing after being in a roomful of like-minded women who have a desire to write as strong as mine.  I missed them over the summer and though I did indeed get some of my "summer writing commitments" accomplished, I didn't get them all done.  Maybe next year I'll pick just ONE goal.  Doesn't sound like something I'd do though LOL...I seem to like stress.

So plan for this week...drug stupid cold into submission and do best to ignore it.  Be FABULOUS dancing in the two shows I'm in this week, enjoy my ARWA writers meeting and then after the flurry of this week is over, GET OFF MY ASS and continue writing.

I need to complete RS&R and get my best friend, K-A, to edit it.  She's honest in her opinion (which I really do appreciate) and a damn good editor - so now I'm going to use her for that. I am going to pay her for her services as I believe she should be an editor as a profession. She's just that good - I just need to convince her of it.



Posted on July 30, 2011 at 11:46 AM Comments comments (0)
As you might recall, I had written down the following goals to be completed by July 31, 2011:

  • Create a page on my website for my poetry (or more than one page) and post them
  • Create a page on my website to showcase snippets of my story writing, and post them
  • Continue on my current manuscript (Rope, Saddle & Ride) and post "some" snippets of it (it's got some...ummm...questionable scenes, so not sure I'll be posting those).  I truly wish to finish this manuscript by end of August 2011 and send it off to a publisher - but again, that will be for my August goals.  Let's be reasonable people! 
  • Finish my "Angel" manuscript I have been working on (on and off) for about 10 years.  Yes, seriously...10 years.

Well, I accomplished creating the page for my poetry (more than one) and DID begin posting some.

I haven't posted a page yet for snippets of my stories, but it's because I'm nervous about putting it out there...I just need to get over that fear.

I HAVE been continuing to work on my current manuscript (though no postings yet) and have till August 2011 to complete it. Not sure if that will happen or not but I'll do my best.

Sad to admit I haven't even touched my Angel manuscript.  Bad

On the plus side, we just started holidays and will be spending part of it at the lake, and both taking our computers.  So at night, when we are done basking in the sunshine and playing in the water all day, I can get off my butt and continuing writing. 

That is my desire anyway...I will promise to do my best to get some more writing up in the next two weeks and continue with Rope, Saddle and Ride.  I have decided to put Angel to the side until I complete RSR, it just makes more sense as both are so very different.

Overall, not TO disappointed in myself as I did get some things done on my goal list.  


Ahhh...the memories...

Posted on July 13, 2011 at 3:25 PM Comments comments (93)
Well, I'm slowly continuing on with my goal of adding past writing to this website. Just added some poems to the "Moons, Fairies, Nature" page.  I mean, I KNOW I love moons, fairies, forests and nature - but WOW, I must have been on some kind of "Nature Bender" in 2000 to have written so many poems about it!!  Not all of my poems from that year were of that topic, but it seems a vast number of them were, so felt the need to cull it down a bit. There's only so many poems on fairies and tree people can take.

Though it HAS been rather cool to go back and read some of my stuff from 11 years ago.  Some of them I'm reading and thinking "OMG seriously? I sound like a hippie" or "good
grief what the hell was I thinking!?" - but others I'm reading and I still like them.  

I smile while re-reading some of them as some were written about specific people, and I'm the only person who knows who they are truly about.  (Those poems aren't up yet, so don't go leaving the blog to rush to a page to try to figure out who they are. LOL) It's just interesting to capture a moment in time in writing and be able to remember it so vividly.  Pretty cool.  It's times like those I'm happy I am a writer, and also wanting to kick myself in the ass for not writing MORE than I currently do. Though this will change as it's one of my goals this year -" get off ass, write more".

This may not matter to anyone else, but I love the fact the majority of my poetry has a rhythm to it...and that I usually rhyme them.  I like to read them aloud sometimes for the sheer sound of it, it's almost lyrical sometimes.  How groovy...

I don't intentionally rhyme my writing, it just kind of happens...*poof*.  I've always done that, even when small and writing I did that - comes naturally. 

I remember one day thinking 'I'm going to write one of those damn EPIC poems that goes on and on and on"...and I know I tried, but think I gave up as by the third page it was getting rather annoying to myself.

Well, just noticed my lunch hour is over and I should get back to work.  Will continue more writing later...