Tuesday, April 11, 2017

New On-line Home

If you haven't already heard, I'm moving to a new site. I will be blogging at tammypatton.com now.  I have series in the works. These books will fall into the mystery, thriller, suspense category. Nothing too dark though. I still like a bit of humor in my stories. More fun that way. 

In celebration of my big move, both of my books are free until Saturday, April 15.

I plan to leave this blog as it is, at least for awhile, so feel free to look around and read old posts. The Life in the Express Lane, ones are most popular. 

Adios! (I learned something on my cruise to Mexico!)

Monday, February 27, 2017

Happy Birthday!

New glasses, new haircut, new decade--- look out AARP, I'm ready to rock the fifties! The Fearless Fifties! The Fabulous Fifties! The time in a woman's life when she finally learns to stop giving a Flying F---- what the other people think of her! (Because she's figured out that no one is thinking about her--- they're too busy worrying about what other people think of them.) As of this moment, I'm done with all of that! I'm setting myself free!   

Now, has anyone seen my tweezers? That damned chin hair is back…

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Life in the Express Lane: Dumb Question of the Day

"Is this lane only open for people in wheelchairs?"
I was asked this question by two different customers an hour apart. Because I am nice and polite and professional at all times---it is what they pay me for---I managed to keep the Are you an idiot? look off my face. Okay, I tried to keep that look off my face. I may have failed in this case, but I swear I was only smiling for the sake of being friendly. Really. I was. I politely told them both that the wheelchair accessible sign is on all the lanes, to let customers know that their chairs will fit.

Because I am a professional and I have incredible self-control I did not say what I was really thinking:  "Yes, this is an exclusive lane, only intended for the ten customers a day who use wheelchairs or riding carts. Now scurry off to Lane 3 so I can stand here and write notes for the next chapter in my book."

Nope, didn't say it. So proud.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Writing Cliche's and Ping -Pong

It takes a lot for a book to get and keep my interest. Yesterday, I started reading a woman's fiction novel good enough that I thought I might want to keep reading beyond the sample pages. (You know actually buy it.) And then I got to the description of the main character's husband. I could handle him being a very attractive doctor who golfs. I could forgive that, even though I don't think that the protagonist admitting her life is a cliche makes it any less so. Still, I was into it, until she tells us that he was also the captain of the football team in high school. It wasn't enough that he was a doctor, he had to be an athlete too. And he couldn't just play football. Noooo, that wouldn't have been good enough. He had to be THE CAPTAIN. Pleeeaase...

Do you know how many times I've read the sentence "he was the captain of the football team?" Neither do I, but it's a lot. It's kind of a trigger for me. It means instant death. As in, the author and her/his book are now dead to me. I mean seriously, if the author needed this character to be a star athlete why couldn't she have been a bit more creative? He could have played hockey, for instance. Or ran cross -country. Or thrown a javelin. Hell, why not make the guy a world -class ping-pong player? It worked for Forrest Gump, didn't it? Oh wait, that's why it wouldn't work. Ping-pong is so not sexy! No offense to Tom Hanks, who looked pretty good playing the game. Still, there's only one game COOL enough, and MANLY enough to say, This man had it all. He was a stud.

So I ask you, is it really necessary to measure a man's masculinity by his ability to play a game that requires a helmet to prevent his brain from being bashed in?

(No, I'm not a football fan. I know it's unamerican, but there it is.)

Oh, and don't even get me started on the other writing cliche that makes me crazy. You all know this one. You've read it dozens of times. (Unless you don't read fiction, in which case your are dead to me. Kidding, just kidding!) I'm talking about first person stories where the main character stands in front of her bathroom mirror giving the reader a detailed description of her appearance, including such details, as 'unruly' curls, or 'flowing locks,'. If you're going to throw us right into a character's mind and thoughts, at least try to make it a place we want to visit. Appearance- obsessed people are boring in real life, and more so in fiction. Please, author friends, have your characters back away from the mirror and do something! Or, better yet, give the character an original thought. That would draw me in.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Happy April Fool's Day!

I'm thinking about starting a movement to change the calendar. January is a lousy time to start a new year. We're all fat and broke and exhausted from enduring the other holidays. We're cold and damp, and a little depressed by short dark days. Some of us want nothing more than to curl up on the sofa with a fuzzy blanket, hot cocoa, and a good book. Who has the energy to pursue life- changing goals? Not me.

I'd like to propose starting the New Year on April 1st. Spring is the perfect time to make resolutions. The days are longer, the sun is out---at least part of the time---and some of us are waking up from a long hibernation. It's also April Fool's day. So when we give up on our goals a week later, we can say it was all a joke anyway!

Anyone with me on this?

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Life in the Express Lane: Holiday Hell

Ah, the holidays...that joyful time of year when all retail workers everywhere are asking themselves why. Why am I still doing this job? Wasn't my New Years resolution to be free by November of this year? What happened to my 'rob a bank' scheme? Just think, I could, at this very moment, be wearing an orange jumpsuit, collecting trash on the side of the freeway.

I could definitely be doing something easier, and more pleasant. Like working at the zoo, shoveling the elephant poo. I do like elephants. Beautiful, majestic, beasts. I bet they don't talk much either. None of that, "Are you ready for Christmas?" B.S. which inevitably starts the day after Thanksgiving. No, "It's getting slick out there, bad night to be driving." Then why are you here? Oh, wait, I know the answer to that. Two inches of snow in Portland equals, snow-apocalypse. All out panic, in the stores and on the highways. Better stock up, in case you're snowed in for a month. I mean, it could happen. Really, it could. You've seen The Day After Tomorrow, right?

So, at the first mention of snow, before a single flake has fallen, everyone head to the grocery store, stand in long, long lines, and then, when the clerk is finished with your $487.67 cart full of groceries, ask her/him to find you the one item you came for and must have. And don't forget to inform the clerk that it's cold out. And the roads are icy. And you really hope she doesn't have far to go because she's probably going to end up stranded on the side of the highway, where she'll be kidnapped by the abominable snowman and dragged into the Himalayas to become his love slave. Or, maybe, do to tell the clerk that last one, because she's tired, and sore, and bored out of her mind, and could use a laugh. But please, don't point into your full cart, say "Would you believe I only came in for a loaf of bread?" and laugh as if this is the most hilarious thing she/he has ever heard. It isn't. Trust me, it isn't.

On that note, Happy Holidays Everyone!


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Quotes for the Day

 Bruce Almighty:

"The whole world's gone mad." Jack Baylor.

"Smite me, oh mighty smiter." Bruce Nolan.

"There were so many, I just gave them all what they wanted." Bruce Almighty.

"And since when does anyone have a clue what they want?" God.

"Thanks, God for the Grand Canyon, and good luck with the Apocolypse..."

"And that's the way the cookie crumbles." Bruce Nolan.

Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure:

"Be Excellent to each other."

Forrest Gump:

"And that's all I have to say about that."