Tami Parker Other Duties as Assigned

Rambles & Brambles



Insert Sad Trombone Sound Here

So … this isn’t working.

I have the next chapter ready to go, but the act of going back and editing is draining every drop of joy that I found in doing the original writing.

That’s no bueno.

I tried this method because it is what has historically worked for me in the past — prep the chapters for posting, keep to a schedule, and bam! Accountability + reader excitement = wordcount.


Chapter 4: Sweetwater


Reflexively, Akela pushed herself away from the rock as though it had scalded her. Pirates, here at Koapuo? Sacrilege.

Her fingers twisted themselves in a prayer to ward off evil, and her mouth set in a grim line. Whatever they were here for, they weren’t going to get it.

Her heart thudded inside her chest as she kicked, sending herself back to where she’d found the rope. Swiftly, her fingers traced what she could find of it, eyes straining in the dim to help her understand its purpose. It encircled the “beak” of the cave mouth, tied off with clever knots that she didn’t recognize.


Chapter Delayed (ugh)


It pains me to post this, since I have it 3/4 of the way written already, but this cold is just murdering my ability to focus. (On top of the lingering cough I’ve had since November, I have a head cold now as well — complete with sneezing and mouth-breathing. It’s very attractive.)

It IS a good chapter and I’m excited for you guys to read it, but I can’t even play video games right now and there’s zero chance I’m going to get it finished and edited in time to go out tomorrow.

Words are cheap, but this sort of on-again off-again posting schedule is not intended to be the norm.

I really appreciate your understanding and promise to repay it with a more solid schedule as soon as I reasonably can promise to do so, lol.

Chapter 3: An Unexpected Find


Salty water closed over the back of Akela’s head and she fought back a gasp, saving as much air as she could.

Falling in the ocean while wearing her nicest festival outfit ranked up there with some of the dumber things she’d ever done in her life, and she was glad her sister wasn’t here to see it. 

Her finery was ruined no matter what she did at this point, but the flower chain was so very close. Caught in a gentle current, it drifted out of reach like a feather on the breeze. It would be the work of a few seconds to catch it. She secured her lungful of air and thrust forward, swiping at the twined blossoms.

The current pulled it just out of reach, the delicate orchid petals giving the faintest of teasing brushes against her fingertips. 


No Post Today …


I know, I know. Right on the heels of my declaring Friday to be an official Story Day.

BUT. It’s because I had A Better Idea(tm) for how the chapter should go, and I think it’s well worth exploring. There WILL be a chapter next week (and hopefully it’ll be a good’un)

In other news, it looks like my area’s due for a bit of a snow-pocalypse. Hanging out with my cats and getting in some quality cuddle time sounds just about perfect. Hope you’re all well!

Chapter 2: The Dead God


Akela knelt on a stony outcropping only a little larger than herself, a solitary fang jutting from an ocean painted crimson and mango by the setting sun. 

In her lap, a worn travelsack gaped open to spill a riot of delicate blossoms against the rough wool of her trousers. Reverently, she lifted her favorite wreath from her lap — rare yellow orchids with speckled pink hearts against a background of deep magenta freesia. She and Dancer had spent all week gathering the blooms, and the previous day had been lost to weaving unruly stems together. 

It was a fitting gift.

She lifted the wreath over the jagged tip of the outcropping’s highest point, looming just above her head while she knelt. As the flowers drifted down to encircle the stone, the wind picked up the clean scent of the blossoms and swirled it around her.

Quietly, Akela began to sing.


Apologies, Intents, and Understandings


I’m sorry last week’s chapter didn’t go out. I had company and plans every day except Monday, which is the day I wrote the first draft. I need at least a little distance to give it a rough once-over before posting it, so today’s the first day it can go out.

Secondly, I am NOT getting emailed when comments happen that are auto-approved. My settings are such that I should be, but … *shrug*

I will respond to comments when I see them, but until I get that fixed, I can’t promise anything remotely resembling swiftness.

It is my intent to post a chapter every Thursday night (so late that it will feel like Friday to everyone and should go out in the email on Friday morning so folks can all kind of read it at about the same time.)

Writing being what it is, I definitely won’t be able to stick to that 100% of the time, but if I tell YOU what I plan to do, then maybe I’ll be more likely to stick to it, lol.

Expect posts on Fridays.

Last up, I’m rusty as an abandoned well pump as a writer and I know it. Because I’m forcing myself to write weekly, I’ll be putting out stuff that does not meet my normal writing standards, and I would say these two opening chapters meet that description.

I HAVE to push forward, though. Most writers end up rewriting their beginnings when they start a revision, and I expect this will fall in that bucket. It’s got too much exposition, not enough character, dialogue, or action, etc etc.

I know. But I hope they’re still fun to read even with their flaws. <3

Chapter 1: A Bad Idea


This is a bad idea.

Scowling, Akela spread her arms, golden sunlight gleaming against her cocoa skin. “You have a better one?”

Dancer lowered her head and opened her beak, crestfeathers pinned to the back of her head. No, but that fails to change the fact that this is an incredibly bad idea.

Akela rolled her eyes. “You say that about all of my ideas.”

The gryphon gave a low creeling sound and rolled her shoulders, clacking her beak together sharply. I shall stop saying it when it ceases to be true and the sun forgets to shine, sister-of-my-heart.

Based on expression and posture, gryphon language was punctuated by sounds rather than composed of them. There was no real equivalent for the word “sister.” The idea of family-female-sibling would always be accompanied by a quirk of the head or a particular crestfeather angle which could completely change the flavor of its meaning. 


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?

Tami Parker Other Duties as Assigned