Shameless Story Plug

Looking for something short but sort of festive to read? Do you like fiction? How about overworked civil servants that deal with keeping the paranormal under wraps while maintaining the ignorance of the general population?  I’ve got just the thing and it is available for download on Amazon for only $0.99!

Bite Of The Sugar Plum FairiesChristmas is coming and the officers of the Arcane Investigations Division are finding the holiday season to be a busy one. Everyone has been working extra hours but Paul and Mike have been promised two precious days off if they can just manage this last case without major incident. All they have to do is break into an occupied house and round up a bunch of angry fairies without waking the owners or exposing the existence of the supernatural. Easy right?

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Christmas Cards

cards-2052053_1920Today I filled out 18 Christmas cards. My hand hates me.  I don’t usually do that much writing by hand. I type because it is easier on the joints. I am proud of those 18 cards. I filled out addresses and applied stamps and everything. The next step is to actually get them mailed. It only took me two and a half weeks to get this far, maybe I manage to get the cards out in time for Chrismas.

Though my hand is complaining about filling out 18 cards I am certainly glad it wasn’t 18 letters. About a hundred and seventy-five years ago, Christmas letters were what you sent instead of cards. It is all thanks to one guy in England that really didn’t feel like writing a ton of letters to all his kith and kin, that we have Christmas cards at all. This enterprising fellow instead had an artist draw a festive season sketch with the words Merry Christmas and Happy New Year already written on it. Then he had the thing copied and sent those out instead of the traditional Christmas letter.  It took a while before they caught on and someone realized there was money to be made.goblet-3564507_1920

Now, Christmas cards are a tradition that many embrace, though sending a card through the mail has become a bit old fashioned, much like Christmas letters. Now we send a Merry Christmas text message or a mass greeting on facebook. However, I like to still send cards when I can.

I think when you take time to sit down and actually scribble out a sentence or two, or even just “Merry Christmas” in a card and then actually mail it to a person it shows that the person you sent the card to matters to you. It is certainly easier and cheaper to text or email. Stamps are ten dollars for a book of twenty and the cards cost money too. Then there is the time spent digging up actual mailing addresses and trying to produce writing that is legible enough that another human can read it. Christmas cards take effort. If you put forth effort for something like that it is because you care for the person receiving it. It’s like sending a long distance hug.

Maybe other people don’t see it like that. Maybe that is just my point of view. However, I am still thrilled by every card I receive and I hang them on the back of the front door where I can easily see them. I hope that people that receive cards from me feel the love I shove into the envelope along with the brightly pictured piece of cardboard.

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Happy Thanksgiving

I am listing to pleasant instrumental music as I sit here. The turkey is in the oven and the pumpkin pie is cooling. In another couple of hours, I will sit down with my children at the table and enjoy the feast.

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My brother should be at my mom’s soon with my sister-in-law and his friend Bud in tow. I love whenever he brings Bud over. Bud is an elderly gentleman in his 90’s. He fought in WWII and often shares his memories of that time as well as how things were when he was growing up. This first-hand look at the past through the eyes of someone who has lived it is always a blessing.

Normally I would have baked a couple of pies and headed over to my mom’s by now too. However, my mother reminded me that kids grow fast. She said that sometimes it is important to slow down and savor these holiday moments while I have them. I am of course welcome to join her, my dad, and the rest. I may even stop by later just to visit but I am also taking her advice.

Often we get caught up in obligation and rushing from one place to the next that we don’t get to enjoy the holiday. We get wound up and stressed out from travel logistics and traffic. This is a time for reflection. It is a time to count your blessings. Yes, it is a time for families to come together as well but love doesn’t care about miles. It is there between people if they live in the same house or in another state. Love stretches great distances.

My love for my family is always there. So while I might not be part of the busy bustle at my mom’s table in person, my heart is there with everyone and it is also here at my home with my children. That’s another thing about love, it can be in multiple places at once. It’s not limited to Thanksgiving dinner.  And that is something to be thankful for.

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Writing in November

dream timeLife is weird. Life is also busy. It is now November. I have two sick kids who are on the mend and I really just want to take a nap right now. I slept well last night, aside from strange dreams, but I feel like I need an extra thirty-minute nap or something to reach fully recharged. I think these days that is a permanent feeling. I am always a nap away from not being tired but I never actually get the nap.

November is National Novel Writing Month. Three days ago NanoWriMo kicked off and thousands of people out there are furiously writing away at what will hopefully be a 50,000 word novel by the end of the month. My friend Lori is giving it a shot. I have competed against time and life to write that 50,000-word novel in a month before too. I am considering doing it again. Only this time I think I will give myself a break. I mean I did just finish a book. Not quite a 50,000-word novel, but a book none the less.

I think I will write a book of short stories. There are hundreds of writing prompts you_fail_only_if_you_stop_writingfloating around out there so I can just pick one or two a day and write a bunch of short fictional narrations that will eventually add up to the necessary word count.  That is the tentative plan. I also have another book idea but I have so many writing irons in the fire I really don’t want to chase after another long project right now.

If anyone out there wants to hop on board the National Novel Writing Month train, I have provided links to the website. It is fun and challenging, especially if you have never done it before. I am just giving it a shot for fun. I know I can write a novel in a month if I need to so I am not as worried about if  I can. I am just writing to support my friend in her endeavors as she runs the race and to enjoy writing just for writing’s sake. Who knows, maybe I can churn out something useful by the end.

A Run of Bad Luck and a New Book

A couple of weeks ago I expressed the wish that the universe not take my post as a challenge. It did. The past week has been rough. My son was down with a stomach virus all week, he gave it to me, and my car died. We both are feeling better but I am still without transportation.

My brother has tried to fix something for me to drive just to get back and forth to work and school, but so far we haven’t had any luck. My mom is spending the night so I can use her car to take Toby to school and then she will drop me off at work later. Thank God for family.

I did manage to get a short book finished in time for Halloween. I’ve been working on it for a few months. If anyone is interested it is available on Amazon.

Historic Horrors:: True Tales Of Real Monsters by [Miller, Tammi A.]

https://www.amazon.com/Historic-Horrors-True-Tales-Monsters-ebook/dp/B07JK9NHMM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1540170091&sr=1-1&keywords=historic+horrors&dpID=41RlU0S4I8L&preST=_SY445_QL70_&dpSrc=srch

Writing Pain

tacks-1726654_1920This morning I stepped on a tack in the kitchen while feeding my cats. It hurt of course, but it also lead me to start a new short story after I had my wound properly disinfected and bandaged. I am a writer. That’s how things happen. I am also easily distracted which is how shortly after 300+ words on the new story I suddenly found myself sewing our shivering Chihuahua a shirt out of a bit of leftover fleece.

Anyway, I am now currently researching superstitions to help with the new story because stepping on a tack sounds like something that should be involved with a superstition. I don’t really know what the story is about completely. I have a general idea and it will have the feeling of cool October days to it, I hope. Sort of a seasonal type story or something. I’m still working on it.desk-3231118_1920

 

I really should have a degree in folklore rather than science, with a focus on history and literature. I certainly research folklore enough.

Taking Punches

road-sign-940644_1280Someone said something to me a few weeks ago and I haven’t been able to get it out of my mind. It just pops up every now and then. I can hear the voice and everything.

I was sitting at my desk at the beginning of a long shift at work when one of my co-workers, several desks down, looked up and said: “I want to be Tammi.” I remember my surprise and the way I replayed her words to make sure I heard what I thought I heard. My clever reply, of course, was “What?”

So she said it again. “I want to be Tammi. Nothing ever seems to bother you.”

I blinked for a moment as all of my current struggles flashed before my mind’s eye. “No, you don’t. You really really don’t.”

Looking back I am still surprised at her words. I don’t know if I will ever get over the surprise. It isn’t that I have a bad life. I am actually pretty blessed. However, it is not all roses and sunshine. This person knows this. She has been there to see when life sucker punched me over and over. It has taken a while but I think I understand what she meant now. I guess I have rolled with those punches and gotten back up. That is what she was expressing envy for.

I still don’t think it is that big of a deal. I think I do a crappy job at this whole existing as a responsible adult thing. It is hard. Every day is hard. It feels like life is just one big constant fight.

I fight to wake up in the morning. I fight to get Toby to school on time. I fight to get to boxing-415394_1920.jpgwork. I fight the school when they can’t understand Toby’s Autism. I fight to pay bills, to write, to have groceries, to walk the dog, to feed the cats, to wash the laundry and the dishes…every single day is pushing against the wind. It may not seem like it on the outside. Many of these are things everyone has to do.

Simple things take so much energy. I am tired all the time. Which is why I guess I don’t react as much as others when life throws me those sucker punches. I am already fighting. It doesn’t make sense to stop just because I got decked with a harder blow than normal. That doesn’t mean I like it and that doesn’t mean I don’t loudly express my exasperation and frustration. Sometimes I throw myself a toddler style fit until I cry and have to take a nap. I am not unaffected by life’s punches. I just don’t know how to stay down for the count. I don’t wish those punches on anyone else either, because I know how much they hurt. boxing-984174_1920

(I am honestly a little afraid to post this because the universe might see it as a challenge. Please Universe, don’t see my words as a challenge. Life punches hard enough already.)