Sunday, March 27, 2016

This is a test

Howdy. Just checking to see if the schedule feature of Blogger works. Last time I tried to use it, it failed.

And here's our new baby: Dove! She's a five-month ball of energy, purrs, and an eating machine. She also likes to roll on her back for tummy rubs. (Maybe she was a dog in a past life?)

Monday, March 21, 2016

A to Z Challenge Theme Reveal!

Good Day, Y'all! Are you ready for some serious slogging, dogging, and jogging through all the blogging? Don't go hogging (those comments). Share 'til it hurts.

Last year I lost my mind decided to blog about mathematics, and believe it or not, it was actually a hoot and a half. So this year I'm going to branch out to some of the other realms of systematically organized bodies of knowledge. That's right, rabbits. It's time for science, but not just any old facts and formulae, I'm talking weird science. Black holes, cryptozoology, and exoplanets, oh my!

Why science? This is the spring of alternate history and parallel universes as I, along with nine other speculative authors, prepare to debut the ISWG anthology: Parallels, Felix Was Here on May 3. (And I'll be joining these authors at the book blog, Parallels, Felix Was Here, as it goes into more depth on the stories and other topics throughout the A to Z challenge.)

So, I hope you'll come back and visit. Have tea with a yeti, discuss your demise if you get sucked into a black hole, and discover what come out of the Oort cloud. 

I'll also be rocking the challenge as one of Stormy's Sidekicks! (See sidebar.) Go, Heather!

Are you joining the A to Z acrobats of this year's blogging zoo? What's your theme?

Monday, March 7, 2016

Question of the Month with Michael D'Agostino

This month Michael asks:

Have you ever met an idol/influence/someone you really admire? How did it go?”

Yes I did, actually. A couple of years ago, RIT hosted a lecture series featuring Margaret Atwood. When I was in high school, The Handmaid's Tale was required reading and I loved it. When I read the book years later as a writer, I loved it even more. The voice of the protagonist is masterful. If you are a fan of The Hunger Games or The Divergent Series, this is quite a different type of dystopian tale, but I highly recommend it.

One thing that really stuck with me about Atwood's talk was her advice to writers trying to break into the publishing business: "Don't whine about it." That got a big laugh. 

After the talk, there was a reception and book signing. I picked up a few books including The Year of the Flood and The Blind Assassin. When I got up to the front of the line, she asked me my name and said, "Tamara? A romantic name."

So that's it. I'd say it went pretty well. 

This is a blog hop, so please join us. Here where you can sign up. 

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Insecure Writers Support Group - March 2016

Good snowy morning, everyone! Today I sent my kids off to the bus stop in snow with a wind chill of 1 degree. Yep, one. Degree. Brrr. I just checked the weather on Mt. Everest and it is currently -10 degrees Fahrenheit. (But I bet the wind chill there is much, much worse.)

So that brings me to today's topic: mini-obsessions. A few months ago I read Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air about the 1996 tragedy on Everest and it blew me away. I was so bummed when I missed seeing Everest in the theaters last summer. I did rent it last week and it was so-so compared to Krakauer's book. 

But the drama of these high mountain expeditions have consumed my attention for the past several days. In 2008, there was a similar tragedy on K2 which you could watch on YouTube in various documentaries. In 2002, several climbers fell into a crevasse on Mt. Hood and one of the rescue helicopters crashed trying to help the wounded. (Documentary also on YouTube.)

What is it about these stories that is so compelling? Nobody needs to climb mountains (except the Sherpas to earn a living). It's not good for the environment. (Although trash pickup on Everest is going well.) And if a climber gets into trouble near the top of these behemoths, there isn't much the other climbers can do. 

Anyway, I need to step back and focus on my two main jobs for March. First, I'm rereading and editing several short stories to rerelease them on Amazon. So formatting is a big part of that chore, not to mention redoing the covers. Then I've got to compose my posts for the A to Z challenge for both my blog and the Parallels: Felix Was Here blog.

So long Everest, it's time to get back to scaling my mountain of stuff.

Have you ever gotten hooked on a topic unrelated to your writing? If so, what was it? Are you doing the A to Z challenge this year? Do you write all of your posts beforehand? 

Thanks again, to Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh and this month's cohosts: co-hosts today are Lauren Hennessy, Lisa Buie-Collard, Lidy,Christine Rains, and Mary Aalgaard.