Friday, February 25, 2011

Happy Friday All!

In honor of The Cameron Chronicles appearing on my website now (click on the title of today's blog to go there) and some of the pics of Moon Over Manhattan being up (go to the Who's Who section to see the first ones) I am going to give you the updated 1st Chapter to The Cameron Chronicles. It may still have some type-o's and some bad grammar but it's still fun.

ENJOY! And have a wonderful weekend all!
The *NEW* Chapter One for CLANDESTINE; Book One of the Cameron Chronicles

I’m an assassin.
It’s a job. Whatever.
It’s what I kill that makes me different.
My purpose is unwavering.
Kill them all—learn what I can.
Until I find her.

Chapter One

Sean could see his next victim through the smoke of the club as Siouxsie and the Banshees wailed out Cities of Dust over the speakers. As he took a drink, his honey-hazel eyes never wavered from his target’s every move. Yet it didn’t notice Sean. Of course, why would it notice him? Who was Sean to it? Nobody and nothing. Well, correction, his target might see Sean as dinner for all he knew. But from where he sat Sean was pretty sure his target didn’t even consider him worthy of that. He was too busy cozying up to some blonde.

Blonde. Like Cassandra. Like Page.

Sean swirled the ice about in his tumbler of Scotch. Every time he looked at the pretty girl his target was making the moves on, with her young cherub face surrounded by blonde curls, his stomach swirled like his drink. He downed the rest of his alcohol and ditched the glass. He wanted another. It’d have to wait.

He ran his hand through his hair, moving his wide, dark curls out of his eyes, thinking, “Who is this target to me? Would he hold answers to finding Flora?” Maybe. Either way this creature was truly nothing and no one. Hell, it wasn’t even human so it ranked right up there with criminals and drug dealers on the street.

Worse, this fiend was a murderer. Sean had watched it kill. Now he would wait for the creature to take its prey home and then, he’d return the favor—by killing him, it, whatever. But, for right now, they were both just two anonymous individuals, dressed in black, lounging about in one of the city’s less popular Goth/Industrial clubs. It was a new genre of music that was really taking off as of late with groups like Nine Inch Nails, The Cure, Skinny Puppy and so on.

Sliding on his black leather biker jacket Sean decided to move closer to the target. As he approached, the creature tucked some of the girl’s blonde hair behind her ear and leaned in to whisper to her. Sean cracked his knuckles absentmindedly.

He’d been tracking the “guy” with the slicked back dark hair for weeks. To be honest, Sean didn’t like to think of them as male or female, more like “hosts-of-evil.” Yeah, it sounded stupid but it made his job easier. Leaning on the bar Sean saw the target take out a pack of smokes. The girl nodded. It took her hand.


Sean immediately turned and headed for the main entrance of the club. As he exited one glance at the bouncer told him that he was too occupied see notice Sean, who slipped out into the cool night air without being noticed. Now he’d wait.

How could this girl be so stupid? Maybe it was just Sean, but seeing as you can smoke inside here in good ol’ NYC, if someone asks you to “step outside” for a smoke when it’s cold out, maybe, just maybe you should use your smarts and see that for what it is—a neon sign like in Times Square that says “DANGER.”

But oh no, not this girl. Damn damn damn.

This put Sean in a bad spot. If the target tried to kill the girl here and now he’d
be stuck having to kill him first. In public. In front of the girl. This was not good.

Sean lit a smoke and leaned against the building to wait. They didn’t take long. As the “couple” stepped out the door the creature didn’t even glance at him. Instead it pretended to try and light a cigarette, claiming it was the breeze thwarting its efforts, in order to lure her to follow him to the side of the building—into an alley.

Sean sighed. It was so typical. Not even an original ruse. This thing needed to get a new playbook. Too bad it wouldn’t be around long enough to bother.

Let me dry a tear for him…oh wait, I don’t have one.

With one last drag on his cig he stamped it out, opened the door to the bar and shut it. Silently he crept to the corner of the building and pulled out a small compact mirror from his pocket and used it to see around the corner, into the alley. Sean could see the creature in the mirror, which was strange since most of the time he couldn’t see their reflection. The reason for this anomaly was unclear but to be honest, he’d never cared enough to figure out why—nor did he have time to think about that right now, he needed to act. Or she’d be dead.

Save the girl, then think. Ha, now there’s some irony. FOCUS Sean!

He reached into his inside jacket pocket and pulled his weapon. Slipping the mirror back into his pocket he leaned his back against the building trying to stay calm. Killing in public was risky. He’d only done it once before and that had been a mistake. But could he let the girl die? She looked so much like one of his sisters.

His dead sisters.

Gripping the weapon tighter he heard the girl scream. That was his cue; it was now or never. Sean came around the corner and while the vampire started to feed on
its prey, its focus wrapped up in bloodlust, Sean shoved the wooden stake through the back of the creature. It pierced the heart causing the creature to wail for a brief moment before it died; the bones and flesh disintegrating into dust, leaving just the clothes behind.

The pretty blond collapsed to the ground, unconscious. With a quick look around him to verify no one was watching Sean knelt next to her to check her pulse.

She’s alive, thank God.

Quickly he picked up some of the vampire dust and sprinkled it into the wound on her neck. It quickly absorbed the blood and as Sean watched, it also began to heal the wounds. By tomorrow there’d be no mark at all.

Sean yanked his stake out from the vamp’s clothing it was stuck in and put it away. Then he looked for the vamp’s pants, pulled out the wallet and stuffed it into his jeans pocket. His heart was racing, fear of being noticed making him nervous. Even in this part of town being found with a pretty girl unconscious outside a bar would be bad; sparking police questions he didn’t want to have to answer, again.

Quickly he grabbed her small purse, found her wallet and I.D. He pulled two twenties out and memorized the address before putting the wallet back in her handbag. Gently he scooped her up into his arms and carried her to the street to hail a cab. As he carried the blonde, her eyes fluttered open slightly.

“Jessie? What happened? I feel woozy.”

Sean guessed this must’ve been the name of the vampire and she was confused. Yeah, Sean had dark hair but that was about where the similarities ended between
him and the newly deceased. But he decided to play along anyways.

“You passed out. Did you eat enough today?”

He watched as a crease between her eyebrows appeared, eyes still closed. Finally she shook her head weakly. “Not enough for how much I’ve had to drink.”

“Let’s get you home, shall we?” Sean suggested.

She nodded and he waited for a cab to come by, which, in this part of town, was a bitch, to say the least. When one finally arrived Sean held her up as he opened the door. After he poured her into the cab he slipped the cabbie the two bills he’d taken from her wallet and gave him her address.

“Call me tomorrow,” she said.

“Of course,” he lied and shut the cab door.

As it sped away he thought that she’d very likely remember nothing except a cute boy who didn’t call her back. That was so common she’d not even think twice about what happened to poor ol’ Jessie.

The thought of the vamp compelled Sean to pull out the wallet. It had a couple hundred inside as well as a few business cards. One of which said, “Sodom and Gomorra” and nothing else. No address. No number.


He pocketed the cards and cash, tossed the wallet and headed back into the club. Normally he’d have stayed outside but it was a bit chilly. Besides, the neighborhood wasn’t great. The Lower East Side had become quite overrun with drugs. Crack in particular was an epidemic there in Alphabet City. He should know, he spent most of his time down there—and not just for the music.

But it wasn’t for the drugs either; smoking and alcohol were his only vices of
note. However, business was good down there, for him. Simply put, no one thought twice of a dead junkie or a dead girl or boy in the junkie territory. It was a vampire’s prime hunting ground—so it had become his as well, for the past year.

Sean passed the bouncer, flashing his hand with the club stamp on it while keeping his head down. The bouncer barely glanced at him and Sean headed to the bar. It was time to start hunting for a new target—no better time than the present.

His watch said that it was almost one in the morning. If he was lucky he’d find another vamp to investigate tonight. Chances were slim though. Friday night most of the scene was at a club called “The Building,” not here at this small little club. In fact, Sean wouldn’t even have been here tonight either if he’d not been tracking “Jessie.”

Sean sat on a bar stool, ordered another scotch on the rocks and lit a cigarette. He felt like all eyes were on him but he knew that was his paranoia for killing in public playing with his mind. As far as he knew, he never drew attention. He wasn’t a tall pretty boy with overly styled 80’s hair like many in the scene.

At a glance Sean was just a small guy who looked young for his age, just barely over five foot eight, whose clothes hid how built he was. As an accomplished martial artist he was strong but not brawny. The only thing he found interesting about himself was the long, thin scar that ran down the left side of his face from temple to jaw.

He spun on the stool to lean his back against the bar so he could watch the crowd as they danced in a wave of motion to a song by Sisters of Mercy. He loved this music and the majority of the people who hung out in these clubs as well; which was good considering his prey seemed to flock here as well. It made perfect sense.

Many of the kids in this scene were into the fantasy genre, be it Star Trek, Star Wars or live action role playing games that revolved around vampires and werewolves. What better place for real vampires to hide than with those who try to pose as them? Thing is, Sean knew the difference.

As much as vampires try to blend in with human’s they don’t. To the untrained eye these creatures seem no different than humans. They could stand next to you or even talk to you and you’d never know the difference. But Sean had spent years learning, watching and training. Though many probably wished he hadn’t.

Simply put, it was their movements that gave them away. Their walk was smoother; their actions more deliberate as if controlled. This was because they had to concentrate on all they did so as to move at a human speed. Not that it took a lot of concentration for those who’d been doing it for years—but he still could tell.

The glass of scotch was delivered and he paid for it. Taking a healthy sized swig of the drink he swallowed it, the bite of alcohol burning his throat. A feeling Sean needed to help settle his nerves. He was very lucky no one had seen him dust Jessie. That could’ve gone wrong on many levels. He took another drink using it to help diminish the thrill of the kill—which affected him in both positive and negative ways.

He began to let his eyes scan across the pale faces of the club. Who was just that much paler? Who moved just that much more smoothly? Who stood out? Subtleties were hard to see sometimes. Hell, the guy he’d just dusted in the alley took him a week to find and verify. Last thing you want to do is put a wooden stake in a human. Scumbag or not, you needed to make sure that particular scumbag would go ‘poof’ and leave no evidence.

After about fifteen minutes Sean thought he’d found his next victim—a woman. She had spiky dark hair with the tips dyed pink. She wasn’t as pale as the rest but she moved with fluidity that humans just don’t have. He took another sip of his scotch and began to watch her more intently. In fact, he was so engrossed in studying her that he didn’t detect that someone sat down next to him. So when she spoke to him he had to fight from choking on his drink.

“She’s not your type,” the woman said smoothly, a definite British accent permeating her words.

Sean turned to look at the woman next to him and pulled out a cigarette. She was pale but her cheeks were flush so either she was a vamp who’d just eaten or just a human. She didn’t smell like the usual vamps he killed so he hoped this pretty lady was human. And she was stunning; tall and elegant with long blond hair and blue eyes like the ocean water after a storm.

Yeah yeah, it sounds cliché but it was the truth.

Sean lit his cigarette and said, “Excuse me?”

She nodded towards the girl with the pink tipped hair. “I’ve seen you around. She’s not what you’re looking for.”

Maybe it was the words or possibly her tone but that sentence gave him pause. Did she know the real reason he was there? Did she know what he was, what he was looking for? He felt his heart thump in his chest heavily as his breath caught in his throat. He took a drag from his smoke to give his heart a moment to calm down. Finally he forced a smile and turned to her, blowing the smoke just over her head. “And what is that supposed to mean?”

“Let’s not play coy, shall we?” She said as she turned to him, her face a bit more serious as her eyes met his, “Leave her alone.”

He laughed. “Uh huh. Okay darlin’. Whatever you say.”

She got off the stool and just as it seemed like she was going to slink away into the crowd she did the opposite. She moved in close to Sean, took his cigarette, put it out on the floor and leaned into his ear. “I know who you are…what you do. She’s not one of them, take my word for it. Focus your attention elsewhere.” She backed away from him, her eyes stern and powerful as they met his.

Sean knew he needed to throw her off course so he smiled at her in a friendly manner and said, “I have no idea what you’re talking about sweetheart.”

A tiny smile touched her beautiful face—so flawless yet flushed with color, her teeth perfect and her eyes gleaming. “Oh really? So tell me, in what instance is it that three walk out of a bar and only one walks back in?”

“Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke.” He pulled his pack out.

The tall blond snatched it away from him and slammed it on the bar.

“Aw come on, those are expensive, lady.” She just glared at him. “What?” Now he was in a panic. “Look, I stepped out for a cig. That’s it.”

“So did the little blond and the man she was with.”

“They left in a cab.”

“I’m sure she did.”

“What are you insinuating?”

“Nothing. I’m just here to warn you that you’re starting to make a name for yourself and that you need to be careful—need to make sure you don’t kill the good ones, or your fate will match theirs, I can promise you that.”

“Good ones? What the—”

“Remember that, Mr. Cameron.”

And with that she turned and disappeared into the crowd, leaving Sean sitting there stunned, his mouth gapping open and his drink forgotten.

© Copyright 2011 Tamsin L. Silver

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Last night I decided to read my new Chapter One of The Cameron Chrinicles outloud to my besty, Lauren. I reach into my purse, to grab my thumb drive...

It's missing.

---Insert mini panic---

I take a deep breath and I start digging. I remember explicitly putting it into my purse. (Sometimes I leave it plugged into my work computer) It has to be there. I remember it hitting the material of the purse with a thump.

I don't see it.

---Insert medium level panic---

I dump the purse (of course).

It's not there.

---Insert major panic---

You may ask, "Why the panic?".

Oh...cause I'm a douchbag and I wrote a whole new chapter two on Wednesday and saved it to the thumb drive w/o emailing it to myself or saving it to my work computer system.


I try not to cry. I open my email to see how much of chapter two I'd mailed myself the other day. Luckily 5 pages of the 11. Hence, only 6 pages are gone.

Gone gone gone.

But that's not the worst part. I think to myself..."Where could it have fallen out?" I then realized that maybe when I'd ka-thunked it into my bag I'd accidently put it in the front pocket where my wallet sits...the one I pull out to get my Metro-Card.

Now my thoughts are. "Sweet baby Jesus, all my books, on a thumb the subway." Lauren asks me how many are "officially" copyrighted. I start to count how much it will cost to copyright all those that aren't...just in case someone finds my stuff and gets evil. (The likelyhood is slim but who really wants to fuck with that chance, right?)

I calm myself by pulling up the 1st new chapter that WAS emailed to myself earlier this week. I read it outloud to Lauren. And for the first time, I hear something I like. It sounds more descriptive, but w/o rambling, than I've ever been. It sounds deeper emotionally (with concern to my main character) than I've been able to do before. It is smooth and for the first time as I read it outloud I don't trip on it. I've read my shit outloud before and I stumble here and there...but not this time.

It's the thing that shut up the "holy shit I lost my books on a thumbdrive in the subway system like a jackass and didn't back up my work from today fuck fuck fuck" rant in my head.

I went to bed.

I woke up and when I reached the subway stop near my work I look around on the ground, trying to remember where I pulled out that blasted wallet. I've found lost things more random before so I was having a wee bit o' faith. Hell, if my roommate can loose his keys in a huge thing of snow and find them a month later when it melts...maybe I will just "see" it laying there agaist the wall in the subway where someone had kicked it in their hurry.

Nothing. I did see something that turned out to be a battery...(small hopes hurt don't they?)

I go pick up my favorite water (It's the Orange flavor called "Rise" of Vitamin Water case you ever wanna butter me up) and a huge bag of Welch's Mixed Fruit Fruit Snacks to cheer me up and go to work.

As I walk in my eyes scan my desk. I see no little black thumb drive and my last, lingering threat of hope dies. I pick up papers and move things about...nothing.

I feel wretched.

I pull off my coat telling myself its nothing really. I'll just do the poor man's copyright and re-write those pages. It's not the end of the world. I can remember what I wrote know, the day I was inspired. Fuck.

I turn around and laying on the counter of my desk. Just where I'd been and seen nothing.....

You guessed it...

The bloody thumb drive.

I had just been standing there...and nothing. I turn around...turn back...and its there? How? What?!

It feels like magic.

It's all I consider at this point.

It's either that or in the alternate universe I pulled a "Bill and Ted" and came back in a millisecond and placed it there before the me in this reality turned around.

Yeah...magic sounds much more feasible.

***like the big ol' goober that I am, my eyes start to water...out of relief. Maybe I'm PMS-ing?***

Obviously I've saved that chapter in three places now. I'll not be slack and ever forget again.

Lesson learned.

Magic experienced.

How was YOUR Wednesday night/Thursday morning?

Tamsin :)

P.S. In all purse musta tipped and it fell out on my desk and I didn't see it when I stared at empty desk because...uh...yeah, I got nothing. I'm still gonna go with magic. ;)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Positive out of the Negative

I thought I'd update you all on how the "negative" V-day "bad luck" shit turned out. I mean, I did go on and on about it...

Part One
Instead of having a singular "date" for my friend's show, I had FIVE! Five wonderful ladies, that is! My "writing pack" came with me to see the show and we had drinks, dinner, good laughs, great entertainment, and then a fun desert after (at another location). Probably the best Valentine's "date" I ever had. :)

Part Two
Remember how I prayed about finding a roommate. Never. Underestimate. Prayer. ...or God's will. Just don't. I was told on Feb. 14th that one of my favorite roommates was leaving Feb. 18th I had found my new roommate. No joke. And, I'll be honest...he's the only email that caught my eye or that I bothered to respond to because I just "knew" he was the one. Strange. Especially since I usually email a bunch of people back...AND...I'd said, "It needs to be a gay man or girl." My new roommate is neither. That's God slapping me on the the back of the head, huh? My new roommate-to-be currently lives in Colorado...Denver to be exact (sound familiar? No...well, my mom lives there so that's how it got my attention at first). We emailed back and forth...chatted on the phone...have texted. He's pretty awesome and if Joe hadn't moved this poor guy, who has a job starting on March 8th with the IRC, would've been up a creek w/o a paddle. Why? Because just like me, those renting rooms normaly won't choose to live with someone unless we meet them first...face to face. Or in my case; not until my dog meets them and I see his reaction to them. ---Keziah is an amazing judge of character!--- But I made an exception this time.

This could come back to bite me in the ass...but I'm chosing to believe it won't. Trying to will my luck into the positive variety!

Speaking of "luck"...

Let's look at all that negative "bad luck" from didn't turn out so bad after all huh? Though, you have to's just creepy that it always tends to happen to me around that date. I blame my first boyfriend, David, he started the ball rolling with that when I was 16.

We could start a website...BlameDavid.Com LOL!

Okay...I gotta get back to "work".

Hope if you had bad luck on V-Day that it all worked out well in the end.


Tamsin :)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

My FIRST Writers Group Workshop of my work. (AKA Emotional Trauma 101)

I selected this pic because A)It's wicked cool, no? B)It's sorta how I felt when they finished with the "review" of my work.

Don't misunderstand...they gave me all kinds of great ideas and found the loop-holes I wanted them to and I have A LOT of work to do...but...


Oh...and it was emotionally EXHAUSTING. Both a creative and emotional overload and as my creativity is directly connected to me emotionally...I was quite brain dead by the time we finished and feeling a wee bit trampled on. But what miiight have had something to do with that was how long we were at it.


No joke. Three hours where we go around a looong table and allow each person to be "candid" about what they think of the sample chapters I gave out of the first book of The Cameron Chronicles.

Holy Bajesus!

Not sure I can put it into words but I'm going to try. Mainly because I recommended that fellow writers join one of these groups...AND I STICK BY I want you to know what can happen when you get "reviewed."

Before I go any further though...I want to profess my love for these people. They have the best in their heart for me and want my work to improve and because of that, I lived through this. They are great people.<3 <3 <3

I also learned something interesting about how these things work. Something I was more informed on AFTER my soul was filleted. Something I'd have liked to have understood before hand. I want to share it with you but I want you to know that not all groups work the same so don't read too much into it. Okay?

Large groups with lots of things to contribute = something they believe in...something that can be fixed and made better...something that has potential. It's when they look at you with nothing to say it's possibly because they don't have anything to say to save your work and don't know how to say to you that it should die. ----or as one person in the group was told once, a while ago, "Your characters should all die a firey death." Ouch.

Now, something that's great about my group is that they don't all read Fantasy. So you get great questions that make you think outside the box a bit. I highly recommend that the group you get to read things read books that aren't just in YOUR genre. Think of it this way, you want more than just the typical readers to love you, right? I mean, I write Fantasy but I would love it if I were to capture those who read other stuff too.


13 people, 14 if you count me, showed up with notes in hand and at 3:30pm we began (finishing at 6:30pm with a drastic need for an alcoholic beverage!). I brought my laptop with me so as to take notes on the "bad stuff" so as to fix it. One of my biggest questions was should the prologue jump off a cliff or stay alive and well.

Unanimously it was told to jump off the cliff.

Good to know. Consider the prologue gone GONE GONE!

Moving on.

Some of the issues addressed were things I already knew about myself with concern to "1st drafts". First, I tend to need to be hit with a "correct grammar" stick badly (which my answer is usually, "That's why you get an editor.") AND secondly, I tend to drop large chunks of info/description which disrupts the flow of the read. It's a first draft...whatever. I want the info stuck in my head to get out of it, so I tend to vomit a bit (metaphorically speaking of course) onto the page with info. It happens. I'm aware. I'm working on it.

Now, the big thing that hit me was that they had problem with the "voice" of it. I've written Sean for years so to hear that was confusing. Even my friend Alexis, who has red LDG, said Sean didn't sound the same. I mean, he's younger in this but he should still sound the same so it got me to thinking. I'd tried writing it in 3rd person before and it had given me pause, many times, but that is probably the problem; it's written in 1st person and I understand Sean in a 3rd person setting. It's how he's written in LDG so...ya know those 50K words I've completed on the book?

Say it with me....REEEEE-DO! (into 3rd person)

Damn damn damn damn damn. *sigh*

There were other notes that got my attention as well...small things that had never occurred to me before and now they are on my list to "fix". I'm super grateful for being pointed out to me! Then there were notes that I felt were, well...less valid. I jotted them down though in case I change my mind.

Be aware of a few things before you get critiqued.

A) It's YOUR book. In the end, the information they give you is just that. Use it as you see fit. You will never make everyone happy.

B) They will contradict themselves. Some will ask for more of "Item A", some will ask for less of "Item A", some will want one thing while others think it's not needed. Listen for the majority.

C) Remember to have a sense of humor. Unless you're perfect, and you're one is, you've made mistakes and some of them will trigger laughter. Be able to laugh with it. It helped me tremendously when I would see from "their eyes" vs. my own.

D) Rein in your anger. Someone could very likely trigger something in you that makes you upset. Let's face it, you are already sitting there with your soul bared ---that thick skin pulled away so as to really hear what they have to say--- hence, you are vulnerable. It's easier for someone to bump a nerve. Hence, I recommend that you take a few deep breaths and rein it in. Now, if you're still upset about something 24hrs later, talk to someone about it. Either the person who upset you, or someone who knows them better than you. I did and I feel much better about the whole thing.

E) Bring a laptop or note pad with you to take notes on the good, the bad and the ugly. You may feel that you'll never forget those things they said that caused emotional trauma, burning things into your brain. But you will. Plus, it'll be easier to look through it all and find the things everyone agreed on easier.

A week later, I have now reworked the first chapter (after dumping aforementioned prologue) and it honestly is a better book, a better character, with less loop-holes and a more solid basis for the top of a novel. Once it is proofed a bit more I'll post it so you can see the difference. But for now, know that this "ripping of my soul" was totally worth it.

Many thanks to those in my group. I'll be a better writer because of you all.

Tamsin :)

P.S. At one point we got on this tangent about bloodwine. Don't ask. Anyway...someone Googled it and shared this with me (Yay Clarice!). BLOODWINE RECIPE That's right folks...there is a recipe for it! And on the mobile verson (which is what this link is) you'll note it falls under "Diet and Weightloss". LMAO!!! Enjoy!

Note: If clicking on the word doesn't take you there, cut and paste this into your browser window.

Sad. Sucky. V-day luck blows.

I hate Valentine's Day.

I know I've talked on this but I thought I'd update you to what ELSE went "wrong".

My awesome roommate, Joe (the one with the dog who helps me with my dog AND likes to do the dishes...ah yes, one of a kind) is moving out.

See, he has a friend who has to move to Miami (For work? For a man? To escape the Feds? Who knows, he didn't say.)and he's going to take over her lease on her place in Brooklyn...and as he's going to be working in Brooklyn this probably is best.

For him.

Not for me.


So I put an ad on Craigslist yesterday.

I lifted up a prayer this morning.

I usually find the "right" person...but let's ALL pray I find him/her again.

I'll be over in the corner moping...if you need me.

Tamsin :(

Friday, February 11, 2011

And so the Valentine's Day Curse lives on...

When I was sixteen I had my first boyfriend.

He broke up with me the week of (if not like 2 days before) Valentine's Day.

Every since, Valentine's Day has been a disaster for me. EVERYTHING goes wrong for me that week or at least for anything on that day or the days leading up to it.

I started making it a pact to wear all black (yes, like a funeral) on V-Day in mourning of my bad luck. I swore I'd not deviate.

But...when I was a student teacher my students convinced me that all the theatre kids were going to wear black, white and red on V-Day and I should to. So I did.

I got in a bad car accident on the way to teach that morning.

So I never deviate any more. But does that stop my bad luck? Sometimes. For that one day at least. But leading up to it? Alas, no.

One of my best friends who is a lyricist writes amazing songs and he and his writing partner are doing a night of their work on Sunday night...cabaret style...with Broadway performers. I asked a few friends to go and made reservations.

I should've known better.

My like-a-sister friend got scheduled to work and had to cancel...her boyfriend got scheduled for 6am work on Monday so he has to go to be early so he canceled...but at least one of my new guy friends (who I truly enjoy spending time with) gave me the green light earlier this week that he could go and I was elated!

I should've known better.

I just got a text that a meeting of his was moved to 5:30pm and now he must cancel on me.

Of course.

Just proving that the Valentine's Day Curse that looms over me is still alive and well.



P.S. I have to go to this event....would anyone like to go with me? It's only $10. Starts at 7pm and goes until 8:30pm. There is a $15 min inside for drinks/food as per all cabaret houses in NYC....let me know!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Blessings you didn't expect...ROCK!

Every now and again I get a wave of giddy bubbling that resonates in my chest and touches my soul. I had one today...and it's the same reason I had one the other day. Hence, I should blog about it...yes?

Back in October I met a girl named Anastasia at the NYC Comic Con when I was hanging out with my friend Georges Jeanty (for those of you who do not know who he is...Google him or just click on his name). She lives in Wales and is just one fantabulous chick! She works in publishing and is Wiccan and since I write and use Wicca in my books we got to chatting...and exchanged info...became fast Twitter pals and so on.

When National Novel Writing Month came around she was tweeting about it. I'd never heard of it. So I asked her "What the hell is NaNoWriMo?" So she told me about it and I quickly questioned my friend who also was my editor for LDG. She put me in touch with a girl who is involved with the NYC chapter of NaNo and I went to the "kick off" party.

But, what rocked was showing up at one of the "write-ins" on Sunday at the Whole Foods in Chelsea. Here I got to know a bunch of amazing women...and some men...but mainly women. Now, for those of you who've known me for a long time you know that until I moved to NYC I could count my list of female friends on one hand. So when I came to NYC and found cool gals to be friends with I was shocked.

Well...I've been blessed again. The girls in this group are just fantastic. AND...they have the same passion for writing as I do and THAT is just wonderful. Writers spend so much time alone, working on their craft, that to find others who have that same passion to spend time it writing or talking about writing or helping with editing as you munch on cookies and tea in their apartment or watching the Superbowl is exhilerating, to say the least. It fills a void. A void you probably didn't know you had.

I adore these girls; their passion for writing, their humor, their dreams, their support, and how they want nothing more than to grow in their craft (be it baking and knitting as well as writing:) ... I am very blessed to have met them and to have had them welcome me into this group of theirs. They make me giggle on Twitter and in person all the time and give me a sense of solid ground as a writer to stand on. Maybe its because, as a theatre kid, I'm used to many being involved with me and my craft...and writing has been a wee bit lonely...and they've taken that away and also given me so much more.

To other writers out there...if you're working alone...get out and find a writers group and get involved. It will complete a part of you that you didn't know was missing.

Tamsin :) xoxo

Thursday, February 3, 2011


I'm going to cry as I write this post...but they're happy tears be it. :)

As those of you who know me personally know, I love my dog. He's been my rock for years. Living in NYC with no family near, as a single female, chasing an artistic dream in a city this big is rough. And when I got this fuzzy little ball of fluff there was no way I could know how important he'd become to my mental health as I reached my late 30's...mainly because at the time I had no idea I'd be moving to NYC...but life changes, right?

Anyhoo...I feel like telling his story today because...well...because he deserves it after the year he's had. :) SO here goes...

One day each weekend my boyfriend at the time, JJ, and I were in the habit of looking at puppies. We'd been together for just about two years and now that I wasn't teaching I had time for a dog. So, one summer weekend we went in the adopt-a-pet in Rock Hill, SC and there in the middle of the room was this baby's play-pen full of this litter of fuzzy black things bouncing about. I remember I reached in and picked one up. He was small enough to cradle in my arms and he had a little white fur spot in the center of his chest and between the pads of his front paws.

As the story goes, I picked him up and carried him about on his back like a baby--rubbing his belly and looking at other dogs. I even said the name "Keziah" to him and his ears picked up and he looked at me knowingly. But, cause I have always loved huskies I put this little black ball of fuzz back in his pen for a bit and went to go hold the husky puppy. But it wasn't the same. No connection. I put him back in his cage and went back to the baby play-pen and looked for the one with the white between his toes.

There were about eight or so of these things bouncing about the pen like crazy children on meth...except one. One who knew he no longer needed to impress who knew his "mum" had already picked who was relaxed in the corner laying on his back all stretched out with white fur between his toes.

"I want that one," I told the lady. "But I don't get paid until Friday." It wasn't the $35 fee for him I couldn't swing, it was the vet visit he'd need that same weekend that I was needing to pay for that caused my need for a week long wait.

Thankfully she said, "No problem," and went to get a collar.

I reached down and picked up the lazy boy and when his eyes opened up and looked at me that jaw opened and he smiled like, "I knew you'd be back."

The woman put a pink collar on him (poor guy) and said she'd hold him until Saturday. I spent the next week at my poorly paying temp job ($10 an hour at the time if I remember correctly) studying about Border Collies...cause that's what they told me he was...and a week later, excited to own my first dog, I went and got him. I remember him licking me when we got in the car and I said, "His tongue is so soft!" I'd only had cats before so hence my ignorance.

I was doing a play at the time...Shakespeare in the Park...and took him to the show. He peed center stage as we got notes. Yep...that's my boy! But what was interesting was that someone saw him running about and said, "Oh, you got a lab puppy!" And that's when I realized WHY he was jet black and not black and white and WHY his ears were down. He was PART Border Collie and part Black Lab (even called to confirm it with the place I got him). I panicked. How big was he going to get? He could end up over 100 lbs!

Alas, I got a trainer. We called him Safari Bob...though his name was Dave. He earned this nickname because he always had on a Bermuda shirt, khaki shorts and a safari hat. :) The company was called, "Dog Training In Your Home" and they were amazing! They don't train your dog, they teach you to train your dog. It's brilliant. It's a much more effective way than classes where they can get distracted and get confused on who exactly is alpha.

Keziah was already proving to be wicked smart and he learned quickly...except the whole concept of shitting outside...THAT took him a bit. I think I threatened to turn him into a piñata ...ANYHOO, he finally learned and grew up to only be 60 lbs. But that training made him not just the sweet dog he already was, but an obediant dog as well. My roommate Carol got a black kitten at the same he grew up loving cats; too bad they don't feel the same way about him though. LOL!

Now, he was always healthy. I mean, other than getting worms once as a puppy and then the flu when he was one, he was a really healthy dog. So when he reached the age of two and started to have these fits where he'd slam the ground with his paws and seem aggitated, we were worried. Turned out he was epileptic...which tends to set in at the age of two, if they're going to get it. It runs in the lab side of his genes. But after that he was healthy healthy healthy for the next NINE years! I've been told that's astounding, btw.

This year has been rough on my poor boy though...and my bank account. He's survived cancer, had his manhood taken away, been diagnosed with Hypo-Thyroid Disorder and now he has a horrible prostate infection (which triggered a bloody UTI) we only were able to diagnose with an ultrasound yesterday. But, he's eleven (in dog years that's 77) and in May he'll be 12 (aka 84) so it's to be expected he start having issues. Good news is that his bloodwork says he's in fantastic shape and his ultrasound shows he is (you know, if you don't count that pesky prostate infection that needs 6 weeks of expensive meds...*sigh*). My vet is amazed at what great shape he's in for his age.

Now his tummy is bare (due to getting the ultrasound they had to shave it) and he is accutely aware of it (seeming embarrased if you touch it and more more eager to come inside from the cold) but he's still my happy dog...prostate infection and all. LOL!

So today I tell this story because I'm thankful...thankful he's okay (that they didn't find a tumor...which is what I was expecting), thankful I get more time with him, and thankful for being there to hug when I get home from whatever kind of day I've had in a city where you need a hug a lot of the time. That may sound odd but if you're a single woman in NYC with a pet (be it dog or cat) you know what I mean. That poor furry baby picks up the slack when you need that hug and there's no significant other there to do give you one. :( Honestly, my day can can be utter shite but when I come home he's happy to see me, loves me, hugs me, licks my tears away if I'm upset, and seems to understand waaaay too much english. :)

A big thank you to the Man Upstairs for giving me more time with him and for giving him to me in the first place. I don't know how long he'll live, but he's been one of the best blessings of my life. Sounds silly to those who don't own a pet they're close to, I'm sure...but it is what it is folks.

I opened with a picture of him now...looking all regal and older...but I'll finish with a pic my friend took of him as he smiled while looking at me in our backyard in SC just before I moved to NYC...he probably had just turned two in this pic.

If you have a special pet, be it dog or cat or chinchilla or whatever...hug them today. They love you as much as you love them.

Tamsin :)