State of the TAM - 7 July

2020 gets nothing from me!

What’s Up

Look, I’m taking a mulligan on 2020. So this year I’m gonna have an UNbirthday, because this garbage year doesn’t deserve acknowledgement. So I’m having a UNbirthday sale as well.

July 10-14 Get TA Moore eBooks 40% Off for an Unbirthday Sale

Weekly Pupdate

He regrets nothing! Honestly, I have no idea how he got his choppers on the toilet roll. I THINK he snaffled it earlier and then brought it out to destroy once I was distracted. For a little white dog, he’s very sleekit!

I have friends who should DEFINITELY try this and take video for me!

Must Read of the Week

I would absolutely love to be the sort of person who would just take off on a road trip in a campervan, with nothing but my pupper and googlemaps. I am absolutely not that person. I get stressed out trying to find parking in Derry when I’ve not been there for a while.

The closest to adventure I’ve ever got? Ok, one time in Spain I slept in my car in a rest stop. I spent the whole night anxiously sweating what Stephen King horrors were in the dark around me.

Oh, and once I was driving back from Manchester at 1am and ended up having to pull off and find a hotel. It was so grubby I slept in my clothes and then went home the next morning to scrub myself down with artisan soap*.

*It was very REFRESHING soap, in that it turned out to have little bits of pumice in it. Never scrubs tender bits with pumice soap.

Still, imagine just following these roads? It would be so cool.

America’s Loneliest Roads, Mapped

An interactive map highlights the least traveled routes in the country—and some of the most scenic.


Among road-trip enthusiasts, the Alaska Highway is a favorite. It runs more than 1,300 miles, dazzling travelers with tundras and sightings of eagles, caribou, and the like.

But if you want to take the road less traveled, a study by the GPS-company Geotab suggests you should go north to the James W. Dalton Highway, Alaska’s hidden gem. It runs 414 miles from Fairbanks to Deadhorse, and sees mostly ice road truckers, with few service stations and small towns in between. You would, however, be greeted by majestic snow-covered mountains and glimpses of the Yukon River.

Read Now

This is just beautiful.

Eeep! So cute!

I quite enjoyed this (watched a few episodes last year), but it never really clicked somehow. Maybe give it a go again once it comes out over here/or is available to buy.

State of the TAM-30 June

Six months down, six months to go

So, right out the gate, we all know it’s been a weird year. Even the people who think Bill Gates created the ‘Rona will agree with that. It is just really weird here at the minute. It’s nearly the 1st July and the bonfires aren’t stacked, there aren’t that many flags, and the Orange Order has announced that this year the 12th is going to be online.

Probably someone will pull some sort of stupid stunt on the Twelfth, but right now everyone is being very reasonable.

In work news I am just INUNDATED with edits at the moment :D. Which is weird. I mean, at this point I’m sorta used to editing (I don’t think I’ll ever be a writer who savors the process) but it is strange to shift between editorial voices on multiple projects. It won’t be long now before I can start to run some news up the flag pole though!

It probably won’t be at GRL, though. At least not in person. I have held out as long as I could, but I can’t see any way to get to GRL. Never mind keep my already crappy lungs free from the ‘Rona. I would like to do something special to mark the occasion though. It would have been my third GRL and I’m really bummed I can’t make it.

Pupdate of the Week

As you can see Jax has recovered well from his surgery, and has a lot of pearly white gnashers!

Honestly? Green Arrow was always my least favorite DC superhero. The TV show helped some, but only because they pretty much made him Green-ish Batman. Everyone was out there calling him The Hood, because they didn’t realise green was his thing for a long time.

Of course, my favorite superhero of all time is Namor. Who’s only a few steps above comic-Aquaman. We’re not counting Momoa Aquaman in this, OK? He has an unfair Momoa advantage and kind of ends the discussion.

Must Read of the Week

I might write detective novels, but I can assure you that I do not have the constitution to be even a petty criminal. For a start, I would feel bad. More importantly, I’d get caught. I know it, you know it, the people I was petty criming would know it. Oh, and when I got caught? There would be no dignity.

When I was seventeen I got caught bunking off school (it wasn’t even a lesson, I bunked off study hall because I was a nerd) with some friends. We literally walked into one of our teachers, and I looked that woman in the eye and then—as the adrenaline hit—turned 90 degrees and power walked away to go and hide behind a carousel.

…one of my friends followed me. I think it was panic.

If anyone is wondering? That move is useless. You will definitely still get into trouble, and will also have to explain what you thought you were going to accomplish.

Still, I do love reading about people who’re just shameless.

The Banana Trick and Other Acts of Self-Checkout Thievery

“Anyone who pays for more than half of their stuff in self checkout is a total moron.”

Beneath the bland veneer of supermarket automation lurks an ugly truth: There’s a lot of shoplifting going on in the self-scanning checkout lane. But don’t call it shoplifting. The guys in loss prevention prefer “external shrinkage.”

Self-checkout theft has become so widespread that a whole lingo has sprung up to describe its tactics. Ringing up a T-bone ($13.99/lb) with a code for a cheap ($0.49/lb) variety of produce is “the banana trick.”

Read Now

There are some AMAZING statues here, and I would love to talk to their artists about their inspiration for them. I imagine really disturbing dreams would feature.

It would be the last one. I’m a sucker for a hidden entrance.

Despite a deep, albeit baseless, dislike for Will Ferrell I kinda want to see this?

Come on, how can you resist that doggo?

State of the TAMM - June 23

Would you mind Tuesday?

What’s Up?

So would you guys mind me changing my newsletter day to Tuesday? I am trying to actually have weekends off, or at least only work-lite, and so far that means that Mondays are a bit of a catch-up frenzy. I always mean to sit up in bed and finish my newsletter, but apparently I have lost the ability to stay awake.

Age sabotages us all, I guess! Although not sure my general body and health would agree, since they probably benefit from not pulling all-nighters and running on a sleep-debt that over-shadows the national debt.

Writing wise? I currently have two edits to get finished with this week, two covers to finalize, one fellow author to pester until they agree to do what I want. Well, they might not. That’s the plan, though!

I’m also working on a new project that I am kinda really into! You’ll hear about it soon.


The Weekly Pupdate

Jax is doing great. He’s got back the weight he lost when he was sick and a bit more, although he’s still all muscle and sass. It’s been a great week for him. He’s been to a couple of dog parks and played his little heart out with other dogs. It turns out that he’s really good with old dogs and little dogs too, very careful about not running into them and giving them space it rest. He really is the best-natured wee dote.

As you can see he is now 100% stitch and cone free, as well as very, very spoiled and allowed to sleep in the bed even though that was big role.

After a hot day being a wee rascal, Jax enjoys a well-deserved treat. #writingstaffie #staffiesofinstagram #cooldog
June 20, 2020

Book Recommendation of the Week

A fun short from the fantabulous C.S. Poe. No-one tell her I said a nice thing about her, she’ll be unbearable!

I wish I had an excuse to get one of these :D

Must Read of the Week

Lucid dreaming always intrigues me, but it scares me too. One too many Nightmare on Elm Street movies, maybe? To be honest, I feel like dream-me is probably better equipped to deal with some weird stuff than conscious-me is. I have a recurring dream where I’m responsible for hundreds of boneless hamsters, and it’s a very stressful but I cope. Conscious-me would definitely be hysterical if I had to deal with losing hamsters down drains (has happened, dream-me might cope but they aren’t well-suited to hamster husbandry and I think whoever gave me all those hamsters bears most of the responsibility.

Dr. Keith Hearne, a psychologist, defines lucid dreaming as becoming “fully aware of being in a dream.” This realization is instantly transformative: Rather than a dream being something that simply happens to you, suddenly you can influence the dream’s content and direction.

Aristotle documented the phenomenon, as did the Buddha Shakyamuni. Depictions of lucid dreaming appear in Egyptian hieroglyphics and in the oral traditions of Australian aborigines. In a conceit shared by many modern practitioners, the Upanishads from the sixth century B.C. equate lucid dreaming with godhood. “Up and down in his dream, the god makes manifold shapes for himself, either rejoicing together with women, or laughing, or seeing terrible sights.”

Among scientists, the concept was widely considered a myth until Hearne proved otherwise. At 8:07 a.m. on April 12, 1975, research subject Alan Worsley sent a message to Hearne from within a lucid dream. Our bodies are paralyzed during REM sleep, except our unseeing eyes, which still flit around behind sealed lids, like captive butterflies. While an EEG confirmed that Worsley slept, the dreamer performed a series of choreographed eye movements, akin to Morse code. “The signals were coming from another world—the world of dreams,” Hearne wrote, “and they were as exciting as if they were coming from another solar system.”

Read Now

Blast from the past! Don’t ASK what made me think of this :D

Oh man, I would lose my entire mind. I get antsy enough if a spider moves in, an entire strange man would leave me in hysterics.

State of the TAM-16 June

A week late and a dollar short...

I don’t know why that seems so funny.

Anyhow, I’m really sorry I slacked off on the newsletter this month. There’s the general state of, well, everything at the moment. Plus my puppy, the writing staffie, has been really sick. He wouldn’t eat or drink anything and he was being sick everywhere. The vet thought originally that he’d eaten a sock, which wouldn’t turn up on the X-Ray, so they opened him up. Surprisingly, considering what a sock thief he is, he hadn’t. At the moment the vet thinks it was maybe giardia or a virus. A couple of my neighbour’s dogs have been really sick too, so it was just something going around and my wee man was hit hard.

It was scary, but he’s back home now and almost back in fighting form. He was certainly the match for this poor Kong gator who he chewed a hole in.

Despite its cunning camouflage the mossigator is no match for Jax’s radar! It is captured, brought to justice, and soundly shaken. #writingstaffie #rescuedogsofinstagram #staffielove
June 12, 2020

So. Writing!

The end of the Wolf Winter trilogy is in sight! Second edit is in the bag and I’m working on the cover design now. I’m really excited to get the whole trilogy out there. Dog Days was the first book I published with Dreamspinner and it feels significant to have the full trilogy completed. On the other hand I feel weirdly reluctant too! I’ll miss these guys.

I have also have two, count ‘em!, edits in my inbox. One is for a novel and one for a novella. It IS a novella! Just a little bit longer than it was meant to be. They are both SORTA part of the SOOPER SEKRIT PROJECT so there will be a big reveal in the days to come.

One thing I can share now is that the novel cover will—assuming nothing goes awry—be the second cover I do myself. So either ‘Whoot!’ or ‘Oh, Tamm’. We’ll see!

Happy Birthday Snitchy Poe-Poe :D

Also check out The Mystery of the Moving Image by some writer bird :D It’s up on Audible now. It’s awright :) (It’s good, but we don’t want Poe getting a big head).

C.S. Poe @cs_poe
The Mystery of the Moving Image AUDIO is live!… 💀Narrated by Wyatt Baker - @OyobiWSTH 💀Grumpy antique dealer 💀NYPD detective boyfriend 💀Century-old murder mystery caught on film

The lovely Z. Allora has a new book out today. Check it out!

Bent Not Broken

Stefano Rossi longs for the mystical—and so far unattainable—peace of reaching subspace. But can he accept that the person who can take him there is a man?

Riku Tao has given up on finding a sub who complements him. He’ll stick with doing demonstrations at the BDSM club the Edge. He certainly doesn’t have time for a closeted Catholic guy with internalized biphobia… and yet he cannot help but want to protect Stefano and give him what he needs. A history of physical and sexual abuse makes it impossible for Stefano to come out of the closet, and Riku certainly isn’t going back in.

Perhaps an arrangement of six months to explore their desires will be enough to satisfy them both.

Or it might break their hearts.

To take hold of his future with the man he’s coming to love, Stefano will need to move beyond the pain of his past, and he won’t be able to do it alone.

Cover Artist: Tiferet Design

Buy Now

These are so cool! Check the artist out.

State of the TAM- June 1


Look, my social media is almost exclusively professional. You can tell by the lack of swearing and gifs from my fandom obsessions. So it always feels a bit trite to make uncontroversial political statements, as if I’m only saying them for sales and public approval.

Except apparently ‘I hate racists’ is a more controversial statement than I previously thought, so… I don’t know who cares about my opinion. I’m not black, I’m not American, and I’m only reasonably informed about what is going on at the moment. On the off chance that anyone will be swayed by the opinion of some Northern Irish writer?

I hate racists. I hate racism. Black Lives Matter, and they should matter a lot more than they apparently do to the powers-that-be. If you don’t approve of the looting, that’s fair enough. But don’t pretend that a couple of burned out Targets make the protesters the equal to the police officer who pinned a man to the ground and choked the life out of him for nearly ten minutes.

Don’t ask me to condemn the protesters either. I don’t cheer on violence or property damage, and I regret the losses suffered by people, but I’m from NI. The last twenty some years of more-or-less peace here is down to activists leveraging the potential of violence, and its cessation, to achieve political ends.

Peaceful protest would be ideal, but it’s not an ideal world. Agitators get involved and escalate situations, people are so disenfranchised that they feel no citizenship of the streets they stand in, and sometimes change can only be achieved by pointing out the consequences.

At the end of the day, George Floyd is dead—along with a list that is tragically long of other murdered people of color, trans people of color, children, and vulnerable adults—and I don’t believe any representative of the state has the right to do that and get away without consequences.

If you want to help support the protesters by donating to bail funds, then Act Blue has put together a secure donation site that helps you find organizations to fund.

Donate Now

If you are concerned about the communities impacted by the current unrest then these groups could do some good if you support them.

minnehaha food shelfcalvary church food shelfare both centered in the south minneapolis area where the riots started. the grocery stores in the area have been decimated, so food shelves and food insecurity charities need a lot of love right now.

northside funders group is a philanthropic group in the twin cities that’s using all its funds right now for helping local businesses

migiziis a native american media/history nonprofit whose office was destroyed in the riots

we love lake street is devoting funds specifically towards rebuilding the lake street area in south minneapolis

Waveridden and Calmholland on Tumblr provided the above information. You can also find more information on various organizations here.

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