In It to WIN It—Preparing for NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month)

Anyway, whoever chose November as National Novel Writing Month was seriously brilliant, because Halloween is like Mardi Gras for writers. If you are smart, use trick-or-treating to your advantage.

Source: In It to WIN It—Preparing for NANOWRIMO (National Novel Writing Month)


My New Book Release! The Writer’s Creativity Journal

Hi everyone,

I’m so excited to share my new book with you! I went looking for a writing journal and couldn’t find what I wanted, so I created one.

Cover for The Writer's Creativity Journal

Cover for The Writer’s Creativity Journal

This journal was designed for those who just want one place to write their stories or ideas, a place to let your imagination flow free on the pages. Experiment with a genre you’ve always wanted to write in, or maybe a non-fiction topic that’s grabbed your attention. Of course, you can always use this as you would any other journal.

One of the ways my journal is different is the amount of pages available for creating: over 300 pages. This was one of the areas I didn’t like – not enough pages.

At the beginning of the book you’ll find a small section on brainstorming, mind-mapping, clustering as well as ideas for writing prompts. Sometimes the imagination needs a small nudge to get going. If you’re ready to create, skip first 12 pages or so and write.

You can purchase the book at Amazon:  The Writer’s Creativity Journal

Thank you for letting me share my good news with you. I’ve worked hard to make this book useful and ignite your creativity.

All the best! Tambra

Living With Celiac

Living With Celiac

Are you a foodie? I am. When my health allows, I love to cook.

Food is such an important part of life. Families and friends gathered around the table sharing a meal, laughter and company. Holidays, special occasions from large to small.

For years I’ve had intestinal issues but attributed it to the extreme stress I was under. Later on I learned about some of my family background. In 2014 I was diagnosed with Celiac. This answered some of the problems.

You can’t make positive changes unless you know what the problem is. For those of you who may not know, Celiac is not a mild allergy. If it isn’t diagnosed and you aren’t on a gluten free diet, you can die. If enough of the villi in the small intestine break off, you will starve to death. So please, be respectful to people who have Celiac and are gluten sensitive.

I’m mostly Scottish and English with Irish and Welsh tossed in for good measure. So, I have the right ancestry. For those interested in the type of test used, this information comes from Tissue Transglutaminase Antibodies (tTG-IgA) – The tTG-IgA test will be positive in about 98% of patients with celiac disease who are on a gluten-containing diet. Before you have the test done the doctor will have you eat gluten for a week, then the test is done and sent off to a lab. At least here in the United States that’s how it’s done.

People who are gluten sensitive can have similar symptoms as those with Celiac. This explanation comes from Gluten Free Living “Scientists from the Center for Celiac Research have also found that gluten sensitivity is a bona fide condition, distinct from celiac disease, with its own intestinal response to gluten. Although gluten-sensitive patients have the diarrhea, abdominal pain and other symptoms suffered by those with celiac disease, they do not have the intestinal inflammation, flattening of the absorbing villi or long-term damage to small intestine that characterizes untreated celiac disease.

Researchers found differences between celiac disease and gluten sensitivity in intestinal permeability and genes regulating the immune response in the gut. (Intestinal permeability is the ability of the mucosal layer of the digestive tract to prevent bacteria, antigens, and undigested food proteins from seeping through the gastro-intestinal barrier. Those who have celiac disease often have a high degree of permeability, sometimes called a leaky gut, but the study found that was not the case in those who are gluten sensitive.)”

Another issue has reared up.

I don’t know if this problem comes with having Celiac or if my body is a quirky mess.

I used to be able to eat chicken and turkey, or the occasional piece of beef. Beef was the worst as far as digestion goes. It felt like a brick in my stomach and it made my stomach hurt while bringing nausea along for the ride.

From what I’ve figured out, it seems it takes too much energy for my body to digest meat. I’ve gone back to ovo-lacto vegetarianism. My stomach and intestines appear happier with this decision.


For a time I was studying the Paleo diet, but with this no meat development it won’t work going all Paleo. All isn’t lost though; there are a number of recipes which are gluten free and adaptable. Yay! This makes me happy. A foodie needs choices. If you’re on Pinterest, stop by and check out my boards on Gluten Free, Paleo, DIY projects and my books. Pinterest has lots of places for a foodie to roam.

I know I’m not the only one who deals with more than one chronic health issue. Having the energy to make something from scratch doesn’t happen often. Even using a box mix can be more than my body can handle.

Some days it’s a major victory to open a can of soup and heat it up. The bad days consist of peanut butter (peanut paste across the pond) spread on a piece of bread. When you have a horrid day you don’t eat at all. This isn’t a statement for drama purposes. This is a reality many deal with more frequently than anyone knows.

Depression can wiggle in and make itself at home. Don’t let it become comfortable. You do the best you can where you are health-wise. Use what you have to work with.

Look for the blessings.


What’s a foodie to do with all these dietary restrictions? Get creative! Think outside the box and do some research. Choose to have a positive attitude. Experiment if you can and keep the joy cooking alive.

God Bless the companies offering quality bread, crackers, pasta and cookies giving us more possibilities and options.

Remember when cooking no one is perfect and not every recipe will turn out either. Sometimes we stumble upon something we deem a mistake and it isn’t. Also, it isn’t the end of the world because a dish didn’t turn out. Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you’re new to cooking give yourself a chance to learn.

Here are a couple of the books on my cooking bookshelf you might find helpful:

Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise G. Roberts

The Gradual Vegetarian by Lisa Tracy

The Vegetarian Epicure by Anna Thomas (not sure if this one is still in print, hope so!)

The internet (blogs, Pinterest, websites), the bookstore and Food Networks are all places to discover great vegetarian, gluten free, vegan and Paleo recipes. It’s all about eating good food that feeds your body and soul.

Some of these people you may recognize and others who may be new to you. Check out what they have to offer. I’m inspired by Jamie Oliver. I love his recipes and his approach to food. Jamie Oliver

Miyoko Schinner is amazing! I can’t wait to try her brown rice-mushroom burgers. Miyoko says they freeze well, too. She also creates vegan cheese that taste as good as dairy cheese. Miyoko’s Kitchen

Nicole Hunn of Gluten Free on a Shoestring has quickly become a favorite place of mine. Her books are on my to-be-bought-list. Gluten Free on a Shoestring

If you haven’t tried Uncle Jerry’s Kitchen, go and see all the lovely recipes he has on his site. There’s a mixture of recipes containing gluten and some gluten free like Jamie’s, but there’s always something good. Uncle Jerry’s Kitchen

I hope this post offers some insight on living with Celiac as well as giving you some exciting places to explore. Having a disease like Celiac means you have to adjust to what your normal is and fearlessly create what works for you. As a foodie living with Celiac, life is good. Very good.

If you’re a foodie living with health issues, what have you done to adjust? I’m looking forward to hearing your solutions.

All the best to you!

Tambra Nicole

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.

Hello, I’m Tambra and I Have a Pinterest Addiction

I love Pinterest and can easily burn an hour or two there. If you go my spot you’ll quickly learn: I love Doctor Who, cooking, art crafts, Cairn Terriers, Fantasy/Steampunk and Vintage clothing and DIY stuff. I’m making boards for my books with how I see my characters or anything related to my stories, and that’s been something I’ve never done before.My Pinterest spot:

I have Celiac, so I’m always open to good and easy gluten free recipes. There are some really nice recipes. In the future I’l love to try out some of them. I need to narrow the category down and choose.

I’ve found some Etsy vendors and bought some products.

I need to make a folder on my computer for all the information I want to keep on DIY natural cosmetics and household tips. Some form of organization to store all of this luscious knowledge. How do y’all manage your Pinterest goodies ? I’d love to hear what works for you!

All the best! Tambra



Vanilla Cake

When my husband and I go to San Antonio we stay at Chicken Paradise Bed and Breakfast. We learned about The Little Aussie Bakery from the owners Anne and Joe. Having Celiac can make things difficult at times. Chicken Paradise is the only gluten free B&B in the state of Texas (that I know of.) Our first trip to Little Aussie Bakery and I spied this beauty in the case. The next time we’re in San Antonio and at the bakery, I want a slice. I can tell you The Little Aussie Bakery has amazing pizza. The lemon cookies and the Anzac Bikkies are melt-in-your-mouth. I stock up on the cookies. Little Aussie Bakery also ships most of their items so take a look at their website. Don’t forget, if you’re in San Antonio to stop on by. My husband doesn’t have Celiac and he enjoys the Little Aussie Bakery, too.

The Little Aussie Bakery & Cafe

A classic. THE classic! Free of gluten, dairy, soy, corn, and fructose, this version is au natural and oh so delicious.

Cup Cake 2

Makes 24 cupcakes or one 2-layer cake

To prepare:

1. PREHEAT oven to 350ºF.

2. GREASE two 9” round cake pans or line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.

3. In a large mixing bowl, CREAM to a fluffy mixture that’s pale in color:
-1 ½ Cups Sugar
-1 Cup + 2 Tbsp Butter (we use EarthBalance Soy-Free)

ADD to this mixture, one at a time, beating well after each addition:
-6 eggs

4. In a separate bowl, blend together:
-3 Cups All-Purpose GF flour (Little Aussie Bakery Brand)
-1 tsp Guar Gum
-1 tsp Salt
-3 tsp Baking Powder

5. ADD half this flour mixture to the egg mixture, BEAT until incorporated fully. Then BEAT in:
-½ Cup Milk (we use coconut milk to be…

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A Country in Crisis—How Pop Culture is Devaluing Men AND Women

I love Kristen Lamb’s blog and I hope you will, too. This is such a wonderful, thought provoking post.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Meet the "Facelessbook Friends" Age and Invisibility

Back when I was in sales, we had a saying, “Say it once. Say it twice. Say it three times. Say it four times. Say it five times and they will believe.” Traditional marketing has hinged on this tenet for generations. The more people see product, an idea, etc. the better chance it will become “sticky” and meld into the collective consciousness.

This is also the foundation of any dictatorship, a concept those of us in political science called a “Cult of personality.” Propaganda is powerful.

Last post, I blogged about how seemingly innocent ads and blogs are anything but. Yes, I agree, some 20-something telling women over thirty they shouldn’t wear sparkles or eyeshadow shouldn’t affect how I feel about myself and frankly? It doesn’t.

She can go pound sand.

The problem is when an idea or attitude becomes SO pervasive that it translates into a…

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