Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Day Two in the Attack of the Gremlins

My garage carpet flooded today from a mysterious leak that persists in its mystery. And so the water continues being cut off and my landlord continues cutting into walls.

 Best of luck to all of us. 

 Bad days often come in pairs. Or threes. Also quads. Or any number of their choosing. The best you can do is laugh, if possible. Cry, if necessary. Chant "oh no, oh no, oh please no," which is my personal favorite. Then keep moving forward.

 These aren't my favorite kind of days, but they have their purpose. It's a great reminder that our strength easy dissipates, but God's does not. If we truly believe that, then we can confidently face tomorrow because, let's be real here, we have no idea what the Gremlins have planned for Day Three.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Dear criminal class of miscreants...

... who broke into my Jeep and stole my purse this morning,
You targeted me for victimization, but, alas, you have failed. I’m just not in the mood. I’m feeling waspy today. Never target me when I’m feeling waspy.
Taking my purse is inconvenient. But now you’ve given me a reason to buy a new one. Without guilt.
You didn’t think this through. You took my favorite Burt’s Bees lip gloss, but the joke is on you. I was ready to switch to a new shade.
You just can’t win for losing.

As for breaking my window, you chose the wrong curly-headed chick. My hair always looks windblown anyway. Another epic fail!
You broke into my vehicle while I was at the gym. While you were being recorded on security tapes racking up charges at Lowes, Walmart, Target, and Walgreens, I was building muscle. Now you’re a wanted criminal and I have the core strength to kick your arse.
Who made the better decision today, hmm?

And then, the worst mistake of all, you took my purse but left behind a signed copy of my first book, Not Another Superhero. Have you any idea how valuable that will eventually be? You’re only playing the short game here.
Plus, I’ve been praying for you since the moment I saw your handy work. Do you know what that means? Coals. Heaps of them on your pitiful head. If you get singed by falling brimstone, you only have yourself to blame.
Lastly, I’d like to leave you with a bit of advice.
First, your smash and grab technique needs work. Eventually, you’re going to develop tennis elbow.
Second, never mess with a writer. We’ll spend years hunting you down simply for the fodder.
Your Coming Tribulation

Friday, August 19, 2016

It's funny the things you miss

There was never a clean scrap of paper in the house. Not the front of paper. Not the back of paper. Not the inside of envelopes. Often, not even the toilet paper.

To my brother, the world was a canvas. And if he couldn't find a canvas, well...your journal will do.

That was life growing up with an artist. They must create. He was a doodling furnace that consumed every writeable surface in the house. Have you ever seen an alien battle depicted on an empty paper towel holder?

I have.

A few of them.

Space travel is a bloody business.

I've always admired his talent. More than admired. Coveted. I do well to print my name legibly. He could recreate the minute details of a Boeing 747 within six minutes or less of it flying overhead. Being in the same house with talent like that makes everything you do look like...well...child's play.

Because it is.

Mostly, however, what drove me crazy was never having a piece of paper to myself. As a writer pre-personal computer age, this was like dropping a swimmer in the desert and telling them to practice their laps.

"Mom! He drew all over my notebook again!"

My parents should have bought paper by the bale and ink by the bucket.

Even my homework got in on the action. My assignments were often spruced up with bold but odd doodles in the corner, on the cover, on the back, inside the notepad. You name it. Those doodles were sneaky creatures. They could wiggle into nearly any open space.

Frequently, my teachers would inform me doodling was not allowed in math. Or science. On my English papers or along the spine of my social studies homework. When they'd ask me to explain it, I'd just shrug.

"I left my notebook unguarded last night and Brendon found it."

As a kid, you have certain fantasies of what life will be like as an adult. You dream of all the dessert you'll eat. The late nights where you skip sleep. The freedom to do anything. And the endless supply of paper and pencils always available.

Okay, that last one might have only been me.

My brother and I haven't shared bathrooms, dinner tables, backseats, or notepads for nearly 20 years now. Recently, however, I was combing through my supply of clean notebooks and found a remnant left over. There, as if conjured straight out of a childhood memory, was a notebook with scribbles all over it.

I'm guessing he left it at my place at some point during the last two decades. I honestly hope I haven't kept notebooks around from high school. If so, it's time to sit myself down and have a chat about hoarding.

The funny or odd or ironic thing about that notepad is that I'm never going to let it go. I'll trash all the empty ones first. And, even then, good luck getting this sucker out of my hands. I have an intense grip.

After all those years of wanting to dump his head in a vat of black ink and watch bubbles float to the top, I missed those doodles. Really missed them.

Even though I was often frustrated beyond a healthy blood pressure level, I still had to admire the talent. And the journey. On every page there was a character waiting. Or a scene. Or an impression that left me realizing some creative minds think in more dimensions than the rest of us.

Now, as an adult, I want the doodles back. But my brother has far better things to do.

Next month, he and his wife will welcome their first son. He's already an active critter, my sister-in-law tells me. I'm not a bit surprised. If I had to guess, he's running out of wall space in there to draw on.

Or maybe he'll be more like me. The boring, reading one.

But I rather hope not. I hope, like his father, he is a fount of endless ideas. I hope he dreams of alien battles and draws them everywhere. I hope his curiosity gets him into trouble. And adventure. I hope he recreates creatures from his head into the corner of every piece of Botany homework his older sisters turn-in. And I hope they have to explain it to their teachers. Over and over again.

I hope he's alive with imagination. And I hope, when I leave my notepad lying around, he draws all over it.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The must-have piece for this summer's wardrobe.

Books compliment every outfit. You can't even say that about scarves. Get a copy of Not Another Superhero, your universal accessory, today at Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Day of Book Research

The sequel to Not Another Superhero is currently underway. Stay tuned!

Until then, here's a glimpse into a day of researching a particular scene. How does a salvage yard fit into the mystery of Samantha Addison's life? Great question. Let me ask her and I'll get back to you.

A photo posted by @taralynnthompson on

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

It's a truth universally known.

Join all the action...and sarcasm...the sarcastic action?... Join Samantha in Not Another Superhero by ordering your copy today. Every order comes with a complimentary stack of wooden crates. (It doesn't, actually. That'd be a shipping nightmare.) Place your order today at Amazon or Barnes&Noble and you could be pulling out splinters by the weekend.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

8 Never Trump Reasons That Don't Work

A photo posted by @taralynnthompson on

Not voting for or voting for Trump has entered into the righteous stance stage. And I get it. I am it. Politics can extrovert an introvert and impassion a stoic. It's potent stuff, these ideals. As it should be. So I don't apologize for my opinions (nor should you), nor am I offended by any that disagree.

And I usually disagree passionately. So don't be offended.

Thankfully, we live in a society where conflicting ideas are welcome. And legal. If, as Benjamin Franklin challenged, we can keep it.

Stay tuned.

Lately, in our passionate expression, I keep hearing a few repeated phrases from those unhappy with the Republican ticket. And, since that's my side of the aisle, I want to address them. This isn't about defending Trump. He can do that himself. Or educating anyone about him. Anyone can do that for themselves.

This is more of an observation of the current mindset. I would start this by saying I'm no expert, but what follows is actually my opinion about these phrases. So I am the only expert.

Roll tape:

1. "I must stand up for my principles."

Here, here! I'm always for standing up for your principles. So, that's awesome.
My confusion is how Christians/Conservatives are using this in relation to not voting for Trump. I get he's not your ideal candidate, nor mine. But is Hillary? So you're standing up for your principles against someone who doesn't represent your principles by electing someone who doesn't represent your principles.
Do I have that about right?

2. "It's time to send a message."

This message sounds important. What is it? Who will be receiving it? How will they receive it? And, if you've already been trying to get this person to listen, what will make them listen now?
If we're going to gamble the future stability of western civilization on this message, let's make it clear. And, let's make sure it will reap the intended results. Otherwise, it sounds about as potent as a celebrity hashtag campaign.

3. "I could never support someone who (fill in the blank with whatever you dislike about Trump)."

It's vitally important to know who and what we are supporting. Absolutely. But don't stop there. Principles don't end at the ballot box. Who else shouldn't be receiving your support? Do you know about the players in your favorite team? The actors in your favorite movie? The principles that are being promoted in your favorite binge TV series?
Entertainers aren't politicians - true. They're worse.
They've been given national and international platforms with no vetting whatsoever. We support them because they entertain us. That's all. Yet they sway the culture. Then the culture sways the legislator. And we're paying them to do so.
If you can't support a person because of (fill in the blank), then make sure you aren't. Be consistent. Be principled. If you're willing to risk the future of a nation, make sure you're also willing to risk missing that playoff game.

4. "I shouldn't have to choose between the lesser of two evils."

Ah, sure you should. You do it all the time.
- That hateful thought you didn't share? Well, you shouldn't have even thought it.
- That exaggeration your boss pitched during the client meeting? Let's call that what it is: a lie. And you let it stand.
- That bill you couldn't pay this month? That didn't mean you didn't owe it.
Life is filled with making the tough decisions. Some we get right. Some we get wrong. But we still have to make them. That's life. And it won't be changing the rules before November.

5. "My vote against Trump is not a vote for Hillary."

Then who is the vote for?
Your "fill in the blank" candidate has no chance of winning because, ps, they aren't even on the ballot. And any third party candidate who is running has exactly the same chance as your fill in. Just like all modern day Presidential elections since forever, no third party candidate has ever won the Presidency. Even Theodore Roosevelt, although he came close, didn't pull that off.
So, like all other US Presidential elections since we've held them, this is between two candidates. If you want Trump to lose so you can "make a statement," stand on your principles and be honest. Vote for Hillary. Anything else is a denial of what you're really doing.

6. "This is only one election."

This statement is often used with "we're better off losing the Presidency and focusing on our Congressional races." Because that tactic has worked beautifully for nearly eight long years now.
The fact this is one election is freaking scary. So much at stake. One election. Not good.
Somewhere a myth has been created that elections don't have consequences. That's a bold statement. Can someone, anyone, please give me an example of an election where there weren't consequences? One will do.

7. "I don't see any difference between Trump and Hillary." 

My head hurts.

8. "Voting for Trump just to vote against Hillary isn't good enough." 

You're so right. It isn't. If you're a conservative, there are several areas where you can find common ground with Trump and Pence. If, that is, you want to find it.

Verbally contentious election years don't bother me. Because, at present, our political fight at home for liberty and freedom still only involves words.


So let's keep all of this discussion and disagreement in perspective. As civilians, our fight doesn't require us to leave our families, our homes, or start every work day wondering if we'll end it with both arms, legs, and eyes. And that's the survivors. For this nation, we still have the freedom, liberty, and blessing to fight our political wars with words.

But one day soon, if we treat elections as throwaways, the cost could get far, far greater.

Doing everything I can to stop that from happening? That's the principle I'm standing on.