Tami Parker

Fantasy Author & Other Duties as Assigned

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Random Update + Gambling


1) The past week and a half has seen me harboring a cold that (while not epic) is definitely not fun. We will not go into details, mmkay?

Since half my team caught something at the same exact time, we’re all kind of assuming it came from the team outing we had volunteering at Second Harvest Food Bank. That, or the Jamaican buffet we ate at the same day for lunch.

Volunteering was rather a lot of fun when doing it with friends. We sorted meats.

Lots. And LOTS. Of meats.

As in, several pallets of ~10lb hams that didn’t sell for Thanksgiving. An alarming number of “chicken paws” packages (yes, it is what you think it is. No, I don’t know why it’s labeled paws when chickens have no such thing). One giant tub of “pork chitterlings”. Several boxes of exploded clams (voted “worst smell of the day” without any competition whatsoever).

Meat. Meats for days, you guys. (And some really gorgeous fish options as well. Most of the meat we sorted was really lovely, but that doesn’t make for a very entertaining anecdote).

2) I have the start of my story!

I have the first line. I have the first chapter. I even have the start of the second chapter.

We’re in good shape. I just need to not feel like exploded clams before I get started. (well, WANT. I want to not feel like exploded clams. One could easily argue that a kleenex box on my writing table would help with the physical symptoms, but the body exhaustion ain’t fun.)

3) Random brain noodle of the day.

“The Devil Went Down to Georgia” is a popular country song that most of you are probably familiar with. Johnny fiddled his country little heart out and beat the devil in a bet of his soul against a golden fiddle.

Nice, right? Little guy sticking it to the big bad?

WRONG. I posit that this story would be encouraged by any half-wit devil on the receiving end of it. Sure, there’s a bit of an ego-jab, but how could that compare to the hundreds or thousands of people who listen to the song and think “hey, maybe -I- could win a bet against the devil”.

BOOM. Soul-harvesting statistics surely climbed as a result of this song.

And that? That is why I think maybe I should wait for my thoughts to settle into normal thinking patterns before I start writing.

Just sayin’.

Character Meandering


I’m still here. I’ve got a surprising amount of groundwork done on some things, but the one thing that usually comes first for me is proving elusive.

My main character.

Since her personality and skillsets will drive the story, she is the most important piece for the way I personally write stories, and she just …

… she’s hiding from me.

I have her best friend (a gryphon).

I have a villain, a mentor, a family.

I think she’s angry. I think she is strong-willed and scrappy. She’s observant and clever.

I wanted her to be book-smart (taking Hermione out of her undeserved secondary character status) but I think that might be the piece I just keep jamming in the wrong spot for her. I was trying to avoid making her a jock – the equivalent of a football hero – but maybe that fits her too well for me to avoid.

Just because I identify strongly with Twilight doesn’t mean Dash doesn’t deserve her stories told, too.


There you have it. That kind of thing right there? That’s why I haven’t been doing as many polls as anticipated. By the time I articulate what the poll might be, I already know how I want the voting to go.

As a parting note, I leave you with the following:

Why does “The Princess Bride” seem all well and good, but the moment you say “The Prince Husband” it looks just about as horrible as a title could possibly be?

One Step


What does one step forward look like to you?

When your goals aren’t simple and your dreams aren’t straightforward, it can be so easy to get hung up on parts of your journey you have yet to take.

But from right here, where you are standing now, what does a single step forward look like?

It doesn’t matter what your goal is. Doesn’t matter if you’re trying to clean your kitchen or start a family or write a book.

Because every journey is a collection of steps. Even if some of them are sideways, backwards, or straight into a pit trap — failure is another step on that journey.

For YOU. For YOUR dreams and YOUR journey … what does one step forward look like?

Once upon a time, there lived a young prince who loved cinnamon tea so much that they refused to go to sleep without a steaming mug. Their family despaired, for the kingdom was at war and cinnamon more precious than saffron.

Once upon a time, there lived a dragon who collected books instead of gold, and who cried herself to sleep at night because she herself could not read. A learned wizard stole her favorite book (so dubbed because it contained a great many beautiful illustrations) and in terrible retribution, she set fire to the countryside at regular intervals, decimating the cinnamon farmers nearby.

Once upon a time, there lived a wizard.

Once upon a time.

Poll 2: Of Bats and Wolves


Let’s hammer out a few worldbuilding elements.

I want to preface here that I use the terms “vampire” and “werewolf” sparingly — I may or may not choose to incorporate some very obvious references to either, but I will NOT be rehashing the same old werewolf and vampire power tropes that are commonly available.

In particular, alpha werewolves and irresistibly creepy vampires shall NOT feature.

However, I do like some aspects of both mythos.

Moreso than the poll, I am inviting you to verbalize your hesitations about the use of either trope in the comments — so if you think I might do something akin to “vampire” but you’re so sick of X, Y, and Z aspects of vampire stories, please please please comment and tell me. That way, even if I decide to go “vampire”, I can be a better writer and avoid those things that invoke a facepalming gag reflex in my readers. <3

I like my stories to have ...

  • Both! Both is good. (71%, 5 Votes)
  • A Power/Source relationship. Not entirely unlike vampire, but definitely not your normal emo blood vampire. (14%, 1 Votes)
  • Neither. (14%, 1 Votes)
  • An internal Power relationship. Not entirely unlike werewolves, but definitely not your normal alpha uncontrollable beast werewolves. (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 7

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Poll 1: The Protagonist’s Experience


Today’s poll will tell us a little about our new protagonist.

Our Protagonist Should Be ...

  • Born and raised within a world totally unlike our own. Familiar with some things and yet still surprised by things both unexpected and strange. (75%, 6 Votes)
  • A fish out of water. Dragged from this world into a wholly new one filled with heretofore unimagined wonders. (25%, 2 Votes)

Total Voters: 8

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I’ve got an idea that lends itself to either, but I REALLY want to know if you, as a reader, are so incredibly tired of “modern human finds herself in an unfamiliar setting” style stories, or if maybe you love that trope and want to see more of it.

I haven’t yet decided on the unfamiliar setting itself (stay tuned for upcoming posts!) but I definitely want to know if I’m aiming at someone dragged from our world into another or if you’d rather read about someone already familiar with this “other” world.

I have a way I’m leeeaaaning towards writing, but I’d like to see what your collective thoughts are.


The REAL Question


The end result of all that mental wrangling from the last few posts is this:

I am strongly considering reviving my most successful long writing projects to date (Blue Moon for those who’ve known me a VERY long time, or Choose for more recent friends).

I don’t enjoy writing in a vacuum.

And my youthful enthusiasm towards Getting Discovered And Becoming An Author has dimmed.

It’s hardly as if I dislike my job, after all, so dreams which would have me not doing it tend to feel a little hollow. (But what if I make it BIG, I always ask myself. And yes, if I become the next J.K. Rowling, then sure. But the odds of that are so catastrophically out of my favor that I might as well start buying lotto tickets). (more…)

Lean UX – Applied to Writing


Finished a new work-related book called Lean UX.

A trimmed-down version of the Amazon description is as follows:

Lean UX has become the preferred approach to interaction design, tailor-made for today’s agile teams. […] how product teams can easily incorporate design, experimentation, iteration, and continuous learning from real users into their Agile process.

A bit dry, I know. And some of you may be thinking, “Okay, Tami. Just because YOU work on a Scrum team using Agile developmental principles that is striving to incorporate a more lean user experience methodology, that doesn’t mean -I- need to care about this book.”

Right you are, my bizarrely-buzzword-knowing friend. However … if you’re a writer, you may find some of these very problems, principles, and solutions to be eerily similar.

Diving right in …. (more…)

Writing Development – The Scrum Method



Hello and welcome again to Tami’s Teachery!

Tami’s Too-Long Tangential Teachery.

Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls

When last we met, I regaled you with the definition of the Waterfall method of project planning. In this style of planning, most (if not all) of the requirements and details of a project are determined up-front before being handed off to actual development.

I likened this to the Plotting method of writing, wherein an entire novel (for example) is exhaustively planned before writing begins. The theory is that this will help the writer stay on task, minimize revision time, and work out plot bugs before they happen.

To be fair, they aren’t 100% similar. I would say most of the Waterfall projects I’ve been on have gone WAY beyond a basic outline when it comes to pre-planning projects. It would be more akin to handing a writer a heavy outline, character sheets, world building notes, conflict details for every scene, and …

Okay, nevermind. They’re pretty gosh-darned similar.

MOVING ON. (more…)

Writing Development – The Waterfall Method


What do software development principles have to do with writing?

Rather a lot, actually! I’m finding the parallels fascinating, and I thought I’d bring you along on this learning journey.

(Bear with me here. I started a different post about how Lean UX principles and ideas can be applied to writing … and then I went off on a TamiTangent and my very first vocabulary word is long enough for its own blog post.) (more…)

Tami Parker Fantasy Author & Other Duties as Assigned

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