Here is my interview with Tambra Nicole Kendall

Here is my interview with the lovely, Fiona Mcvie!


Name Tambra Nicole Kendall

Age Almost 51

Where are you from Pasadena, Texas

A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc  

I live in a small Texas town with my husband and our two furbabies. I love how quiet it is here and the wildlife. But not the snakes. I hate snakes. And spiders. In the two-and-a-half years I’ve lived here I’ve seen: deer, possum, raccoon, armadillo, coyotes (I love to hear them howl!), owls.  A negative of living in the country: Late last year I had my first snake encounter. I was bringing stuff in from the car and I couldn’t make this in one trip. This wasn’t an issue until I got close to the front porch. A bucket was turned on its side and there it was coiled up and watching. *full body shiver* I made it into the house and thought I…

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Subplots and Sugar Wafer Cookies

I got you at sugar wafer cookie didn’t I? They come in vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. It came to mind these little treats are similar to subplots. Delicate sugar enhances the flavor of the thin layers of crunchy shell. When writing a subplot you want it to build up, relate to and add to the main plot.


Subplots have their own story questions just as the main story does and its own arc as well. They add complications to the main story line but not detract from it. Without subplots you don’t have a novel. If you have trouble understanding subplots think of it this way:  they’re like the thin delicate layers of a sugar wafer cookie. Every layer is a subplot, all working together to bring you that sweet, melt-in-your-mouth crunch. Wait a minute, I mean the subplots are carefully and seamlessly woven through the story.

Each of the subplots relate to the main characters, tell a parallel love story of secondary characters, foreshadowing or can be used as a flashback. A word of warning about flashbacks – use flashbacks with caution, they jerk the reader out of the story and slow the pacing to a crawl.

You can’t just stick any story thread in anywhere. Like when you test spaghetti, throwing it at the wall to see whether or not it adheres. Planning is needed for subplots as much for the main plot. The subplots also serve another important purpose: they keep you from having a sagging middle. Remember though, not all subplots run the entire length of the book. Some end, others pick up where another left off and a few stay until the end. Hopefully, the visual of the cookies can help when you’re crafting subplots.

James Scott Bell, kindly gave me permission to use this information on the number of subplots in a novel.

James Scott Bell

A subplot is not merely a plot “complication.” A subplot has its own reason for being, and weaves in and out of (or back and forth with) the main plot.

That being so, here is my formula for the maximum number of subplots, by word count, you can have in your novel (a novel being a minimum of 60,000 words).
60k words: 1 subplot (e.g., in a category romance, you might have the female Lead plotline, and the love interest plotline, which intersect)

80k: 2-3

100k: 3-4

Over 100 k: 5

There is no 6. Six subplots is too many for any length, unless your name is Stephen King.

I think if you have more subplots than suggested number mentioned above, they will either overwhelm or detract from the main plot. I hope this blog post has helped you understand what subplots do and how they’re used in novels.

Thank you for stopping by!

All my best, Tambra Nicole Kendall

The Magic Pattern Book Giveaway from Chronically Vintage

My vintage loving friend, Jessica Cangiano is having another giveaway on her blog. I know some of you out there sew like I do. I can do basic stuff and a bit of upcycling/refashioning as well.

Through Jessica, I learned about Amy Barickman who is a wonderful author and fabric designer. I would love to add this book to my sewing nook!

Anyway, here’s the scoop from the lovely Jessica:

March 12, 2015

GIVEAWAY: Win a copy of The Magic Pattern Book by Amy Barickman

Earlier this year I had the great pleasure of reviewing and giving away a copy of the book Vintage Notions by author, entrepreneur, and esteemed sewer, Amy Barickman and today’s I’m delighted to be teaming up with Amy’s publisher again for another exciting book giveaway.In connection with Vintage Notions, I was sent a copy of The Magic Pattern Book, which was also written by Amy. Not being a sewer myself, I will admit, a wave of panic washed over my soul when I heard that this book was en route. How, I wondered, would I explain or properly access the integrity and merit of a book about sewing, when it’s an art that I only know the very basics (think high school home ec level) of myself?

Thankfully, all it took was flipping through the pages of this lovely hard cove book to instantly put my mind at easy. Much as how Ms. Barickman centered Vintage Notions around the work of famed home economics leader Mary Brooks Picken, so too did she turn to the Women’s Institute for inspiration with this book. Even the title itself comes from the term “magic patterns” that was coined by the Institutive in the early 20th century (so-called be it was nearly magical how one pattern could create so many different garments when altered a touch or done up in a different fabric). Though it should be noted that patterns contained within, which are of a fairly beginner level and thus ideal for sewers with a wide range of skill levels, are not vintage themselves nor intended to create vintage style fashions.

Chalked full of clear, beautiful photographs and illustrations, this helpful, well laid book presents readers with a series of six different sewing patterns (in sizes small to XXL) as well as six different variations and six assorted fabric suggestions for each (the patterns come on a CD that is included with the book, but can also be downloaded from the web, if desired). Thus The Magic Pattern Book, which was released in 2014, aims to provide readers with the ability to make a whole wardrobe thanks to the fact that between all these options, one can, in theory create 216 or more different garments.

Though that may be a bit of a stretch (being a complete wardrobe, I mean), particularly depending on your personal style, it does unquestionably provide readers with a wealth of different, straightforward, engaging sewing patterns and variations on all of them that could easily help just about anyone enhance and grow their wardrobe and skills at the same time.

While I don’t foresee making any of the lovely modern – but generally quite classic – fashions or accessories in this excellent book anytime soon (again, I’m not a sewer), I was still able to enjoy it cover to cover, learning more about both sewing and garment construction in the process. As a passionate fashionista and more recently as an Etsy vintage shop owner, I find these points to be invaluable and loved the take away lessons I picked up from The Magic Pattern Book for this and many other reasons.

I know that scores of you are sewers and that is a huge part of the reason why I agreed to read, review, and giveaway this wonderful book. I love being able to provide one lucky reader the chance to win a copy of The Magic Pattern Book, and if you’d like to try to be that person, please read on for the details of this giveaway.

How to enter

Definitely free to do as many of the following seven things as you’d like to gain entry in this giveaway. I just ask that please ensure that you leave a separate comment for each method that you enter with, so as to increase your odds of winning.

1. Leave a comment on this post letting me know what you might like to sew first from the book (the options are a dress, a tank top, a cardigan, an accessory such as a hat, a skirt, and a coat), if you win.

2. Blog about this giveaway on your own site, linking back to this post.

3. Like Amy Barickman on Facebook and post about the giveaway on your own Facebook page.

4. Follow Amy on Twitter and tweet about this giveaway, including the hashtag #TheMagicPatternBook in your tweet.

5. Sign up to follow Amy’s blog by email (you can do so at the top of the right hand sidebar).

6. Follow, or be an existing follower, of Chronically Vintage on Instagram.

7. Like, or be an existing follower, Chronically Vintage on Bloglovin’.

Giveaway details

This giveaway is for one copy of The Magic Pattern Book by Amy Barickman. It is open to readers from Canada and America, at the request of the publisher (apologies to my wonderful international readers), and will run from today (March 12, 2015) until Friday March 20, 2015.

Once the giveaway has wrapped up, I will select a winner using a random number generator and announce that person’s name on Facebook and/or Twitter shortly thereafter. If doing so is possible, I will also try to contact the winner directly by email or Facebook private message to let them know that they won and to obtain their address, which I’ll pass along to the publisher who will send your prize to you directly.