Tami Parker Fantasy Author & Other Duties as Assigned

CategoryBlogging

To “Read More” or not to “Read More”

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I’ve been waffling about adding “read more” breakpoints in my longer blog posts.

When I’m READING a blog post, I hate them. They require another click to finish the content and they’re not always user-friendly.

However, when I’m scanning a blog to try and find a previous blog post, these super long ramble-fests of mine get REALLY tedious.

Do YOU, oh-readers, have opinions on them? Do you care, do you not care, and why?

If I don’t get a “please do not do this thing” from at least one person, I’ll be adding them, so … fair warning. 😉

What is this Blog?

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The History of My Blogging

I find myself at a conundrum.

I’ve had a blog ever since college. (Livejournal peeps in the hoooouuuuuse)

I used that original blog for some randomness … but mostly for posting Blue Moon serially.

I had a blog for my weight loss way back when, and nixed the blog once I hit my goal weight. (No, I won’t give you a link, and yes, it was hilarious to re-read younger me’s writing voice)

I had Egotistical Priest for a long time, which focused on World of Warcraft … a game I no longer dedicate that sort of time and effort to.

There was Choose, which was for posting another story. And TavenMoore, which focused rather strongly on the writing craft.

The Present Tense of My Blogging

Now, I’ve been struggling with what to post.

I’ve never been a slice of life blogger, and it feels weird to even consider a blog based solely on what’s going on in my life right now. I never like that sort of spotlight anyway. Even my facebook is primarily cat photos (though I’m down to checking it maybe once a week, so even that is a waning endeavor).

When I think about the sorts of things I would blog about with a focus on slice of life … it rings hollow. False, like a bell made of plastic.

The writing prompts that I posted for much of last year honestly didn’t generate much commentary — I don’t really know that anyone was reading or enjoying them (which is totally fine, so please don’t rush to their defense in the comments). They weren’t serious writing for me anyway, more like rough sketches to keep my writing from completely atrophying.

Book reviews also — I enjoy sharing the books that impact me, but I’m not sure any of the readers here really care to have an alternate stream of reading suggestions and I don’t want to start posting negative reviews just because they’re more entertaining. Positivity, yes. Negativity, no thank you.

Thinking Thunky Thoughts

So I’ve been doing some thinking. I do like having a blog. I like the link to the readers, most of whom I have no other real contact with. I get to check in on YOUR lives a little every time you comment, and it makes me happy.

But I don’t want to blog JUST to blog, either. I want to have some kind of content that makes ME feel fulfilled and that I hope you would enjoy reading.

I don’t feel comfortable posting my next work in progress here. I am itching to throw my hat in the traditional publishing ring, even if just to see whether I get any bites. That means no early chapters posted anywhere. Plus, it allows me the luxury of crappy writing that can be edited later … and also for purely selfish reasons allows me to keep you (my pool of alpha and beta readers) unsullied by previous knowledge when I beg you to read it later.

So what’s a Tami to do?

Learning is My Bag, Baby

Well, I’ve evaluated my history and I think that I am happiest when I am sharing things that I have learned.

Whether it’s a new recipe, a video game trick, or a writing technique — that’s when I’m happiest as a blogger.

So that’s what I’m going to try. And if that doesn’t work … well, I can always convert it to a static site if I need to.

So on that note, I hope you’re all SUPER interested to learn about Hawaii, because my next book takes place on a volcanic island and I have PAGES of hand-drawn notes to transcribe.

In Which I Find Myself At Odds

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Befuzzlement

I’m honestly not entirely sure what to blog about.

When I wrote Egotistical Priest, I had a clear theme.

When I worked on Choose, that also had a very clear focus … and being so very entrenched in writing also gave my personal blog a focus.

Now, though? Now, I feel singularly ill equipped for posting writing advice. Not the least of which is because the internet fairly bristles with resources willing to tell you exactly how to solve your creative woes.

YOU

The thing is, those of you who follow me here? You’re not here because of a particular video game. You’re not waiting for the writing advice that will change your life. You’re not even here for cute cat pictures.

You’re here to hang out with me and each other, and I am an amalgam of all those hobbies and more.

I have several friends with personal blogs who I follow because I like hearing them talk, not necessarily because I feel what they have to say will shake me to my foundations. I love when they post about things that I personally care more about, but I also enjoy their random life posts.

I have no expectations on what they do, I am just happy they are doing it.

Hodge-Podge Permission

So I’m giving myself permission to have a random, hodge-podge sort of blog here. I am unhitching myself from my own skewed vision of Other’s Expectations.

And I’m going to do it for my writing as well as my blogging. It’s no surprise that one of the things halting my progress is worry (no, not even that. Absolute Certainty) that I will not produce writing up to my old standards.

How could I? I’m a different person than I was back then.

But the looming spectre of disappointing you refuses to budge, even though I know it’s ridiculous.

It’s ridiculous and it’s keeping me from blogging because I don’t want to bore you with totally random topics.

It’s ridiculous and it’s keeping me from writing because I worry that I’ll be letting you down.

In both cases, I’m letting not just you but also MYSELF down. Which is just silly.

*Cue the Disney Music*

So here’s my equally silly announcement to my readers — be prepared for … anything, really.

Both in blogging and in writing. <3

Email Subscriptions

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Fingers crossed! I have a new email subscription form in the sidebar (or menu if you’re mobile). This one is through MailChimp and should be based on my rss feed — no permissions weirdness and no emails being sent from my host.

I signed up and I got a confirmation message. Hopefully I get a new post notification tomorrow morning!

Subscribe Via Email

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At Bre’s (excellent) suggestion, I enabled email subscription to the blog!

If you’re not a feed-reader person, I recommend taking a peek at that left sidebar (or behind the hamburger menu if you’re mobile) and signing up. You’ll get an email a minute or so after something posts and you can follow up at your leisure.

The only thing I’d recommend is waiting a few days to check on the writing prompts, because Perry noodles in when he has time and you really don’t want to miss his responses. <3

 

Books as Experiences

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Re-Reading

I find it fascinating to re-read an old book.

My expectation is always that it will be like revisiting an old friend I haven’t seen in a while. We’ve both changed in the interim, but in general we know what to expect from each other.

After all, when I was a kid, that’s exactly what it was like re-reading my worn old companions.

Everything Changes

These days, it’s totally different.

It’s probably due to the longer time between readings — but also in large part due to the changes in myself as a reader and the writing world as a whole.

I notice things that never used to bother me. Cliches. Misogyny. Tropes. Awkward wordings or weak plots.

Storytelling Changes

Also, even in the relatively short time since becoming an avid reader, styles themselves have changed.

Books now demand a tighter plot with immediate action. Page One Line One had better grip the reader immediately, Or Else.

Passive characters used to be acceptable. Books that once were happily described as “The Adventures of So and So” are now laughably dated.

Change is Good

This isn’t a complaint, by the way.

These are all objectively improvements upon the older storytelling systems and I find I have little to no patience for stories that insist upon an antiquated system.

Not only do I not have time to read as much as I once did, I just … don’t enjoy it any more. Sure, every once in a while one is worth the effort of wading through but in general they end as muddy and unfocused as they begin.

Past Me

The only “problem” lies in my inability to reread an old favorite and enjoy it the same way that I did when I was younger.

Young me didn’t just read those books. She LIVED them. Loved them. Cherished them.

These days, I hesitate to crack open those pages because I don’t want to tarnish that glowing, ruby-lensed memory of them.

A Book is an Experience

“How good the book is” is tangled up with memory and history and beribboned by that one moment in time.

Which means that the books I’m reading now? The ones I enjoy today? They’re only as good (or bad) as they are for ME right NOW.

A book isn’t just a story about a character.

It’s a story about the reader, too. And a time and a place.

And that, my good friends? That is true magic.

Yay New WordPress Blog

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Thank you to all of my wonderful friends who were willing to jump through blogger hoops to leave a comment … but hopefully those days are behind you.

This theme will change when I find something that pleases me. For now, my biggest complaint is the giant image you have to scroll past before finding content.

I’m sure you’re all used to me randomly tweaking stuff as I tinker so this will not come as a surprise.

Yay new blog! Yay no more blogger nonsense!

The Nature of the Beast

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I missed blogging.

I didn’t miss the endless battles against random attackers on my custom wordpress install, but I missed this.

I missed YOU.

So … I pouted. And I shuffled my feet in the dirt. And I hemmed and I hawed and I blew my procrastination down.

So here I am, back out there. A little older, not much wiser, and a little bit sassier. Whether you knew me as Tami, Taven, Whiskerwing, or even Egostistical Priest (hi there, old friends!) I’m still the same me.

It feels SUPER weird not having control over my fonts and layouts but at the same time it’s a little freeing. I mean, that’s one less thing for me to spend my oh-so-precious free time on, right? What’s that, compared to a few red links? (seriously, RED link text? What’s that all about? This theme may not get to stay ….

Since I’ve Been Gone

I own a house now.

Weird, right? Does it feel weird to hear it, because it totally feels weird to SAY it.

A house. I own it. With a grown-up mortgage and a lawn mower and everything.

I mean, it’s MY house. So the lawn mower is a fiskars motor-free jobby and there’s a gnome waving cheerfully from the ornamental cherry tree in the front lawn and I have a tiny room called the Hobbit Hole … but it’s still a house.

Adults have houses. The last movie I saw in theaters was Sing and it was SUPER fun and I still cried during it. I don’t FEEL very adult.

I could probably be persuaded to do a fun post with pics of the house after spring, when the trees all have leaves and I can do some landscaping (read: prettypretty flowers).

But yeah. It’s even got a guest bedroom. WITH A BED. Because adults sometimes have other people stay over at their place without making them sleep on the couch.

Mind-boggling, friends.

Anywhoozle, that’s one of the doozies.

Katzenkinder

The second and third doozies are both fluffy, purrful, sassifrassian kittencats. Most of you probably already know about them from Facebook, where they are purt-near the only thing I post about. For those who DON’T know about them, prepare to have your mind bing-dong-diddly-blown.

They’re semi-longhaired purebred Siberians. They are hypoallergenic (thus the purebred instead of shelter-rescue status, as I am very VERY allergic) and they are loving, sweet, noisy, hilarious, goofy, and gorgeous.

They are pure fluffy heaven and they keep my life interesting whether I want it or not.

Ollie is the Adventure Cat of the two. Nothing makes him happier than the sound of the velcro on his kitty holster indicating we’re going to go outside for a walk. Ollie is a brown tabby with high white.

Tiny, despite being a year younger than Ollie, is the larger of the two (naturally). He likes being warm. Fires in the fireplace (did I mention we have a fireplace now?), heated blankets, cuddles, the feet of random strangers … if it’s warm, he loves it. And he loves it LOUDLY with the squeakiest, most hilariously rumbling purr ever. Tiny is a (very white) cream-point. He looks like a toasted marshmallow.

View Their Extensive Flickr Album Here

Writing

Writing has been nearly null since last we spoke.

Not entirely null, but null enough. Life has been its usual change-loving self and I’ll honestly report that I was not as prepared for it as I thought I was.

Baby steps, though. No kicking, no recriminations for time lost.

All we have is what’s before us, and I hope to be stronger now than I was then. One of the things a blog did for me was provide structure, expectation, and an audience.

It seems although I am willing to construct stories just for myself, writing them down is something I don’t do for ME.

I do it for friends and family and loved ones, and strangers-like-me.

So we’ll see if a blog makes a difference. If nothing else, it’ll certainly help me get the rust of the old wordsmithery juicebox.

Other Details

I’m sure there will be plenty of other stuff to talk about, but it’ll just have to come about organically because honestly, nothing’s going to top the cats.

Seriously. You should click that link. They aren’t even totes adorbz. They’re ridonk adorbz. And I know I’m biased, but everyone who meets them inadvertently squees, so I feel confident in the scientific nature of my assessment.

Tami Parker Fantasy Author & Other Duties as Assigned

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