Ask Me Anything, and I Hope You Will

When I can’t write, I turn to you.

When I can’t write, I turn to ME. I look at old writing, with new perspectives. I step away to find a different way. If it’s not working, I can’t force it. And in 30+ years of life, since I first put pen to paper, I’ve never truly had writer’s block. I was born with the ability to know that the words will always come. For my whole life, I’ve let them come, and maybe had to coax them a bit only when I had a deadline. They always come, but sometimes they make me sweat first. Only sometimes.

When I can't write, what do I do? What do YOU do? This Finish the Sentence Friday #WritingPrompt will get you going! Ask me anything! Really! #FTSF #writing

Remember when I used to host Ask Away Friday? Ten questions to ask and answer?

I never knew what I would be asked. I never knew how I’d answer. It’s how I process life through writing. I crowdsourced on Facebook to have my friends ask me TEN QUESTIONS and I’m here to answer them for you. Thank you for these questions!

“The Words Crawl In,
The Words Crawl Out,
Into your stomach,
And out your mouth”

You put them on auto-pilot and send them out into the abyss, and see what they boomerang back to you with.

1 – (Question from my friend, AnnMarie) Where did your love of photography come from?

Maybe she’s born with it – maybe it’s Maybelline?? I remember collecting cameras as early as age seven. It first occurred to me on the school bus. I was in 6th grade, huddled against the cool window pane as the bus went up the winding mountain road. I was a mountain kid. My neighbor’s stop was coming up and he was standing in the aisle, facing the back of the bus. The sun was peeking through the window and lighting his eyelashes. It was a moment of ordinary/extraordinary beauty.

I thought, “I could write about this moment but is that enough to take with me? Is that enough to show other people what I saw?” It wasn’t. In high school, I was accepted into an art show and started to wonder if I had the eye. I didn’t know how to translate it, though. I just loved it. I never thought of myself as a photographer until I saw what developed.

Ask Me Anything

2 – (Question also from AnnMarie) You grew up in a big family, any plans on adding to your own?

I would LOVE a third baby, but I have been hesitating. Despite a history of healthy pregnancies, I fear being pregnant so if you know any surrogates who will do it for cheap, call me! I am also afraid of going backwards since life is smoothing out with two kids headed to full-time school and both out of diapers, etc. I wonder if I’d be alone, and barely hanging on.

The heart wants what the heart wants, though. We’ll see if I make that call to the doctor to remove birth control? I haven’t.

3 – (Question also from AnnMarie) Now that Des will be starting Kindergarten what will change in your daily routine?

Des had an option for extended day in preschool and I used that option a lot. I think that having two kids at the SAME school will be a bit mindblowing. It will save a good hour or two than doing two drop-offs and two pick-ups a day. I think I will continue to work the way I do – like a dog – but with more breaks. Funny, because I would have thought I’d have said that I’d work MORE, but I already work ALL THE TIME while balancing family life. I see this as an improvement in my routine!

4 – (Question from my friend, Lana) Who would play you in a movie about your life?

Anne Hathaway, I hope! I’m not sure of her current hair status, but I feel like we are hair/big smile twins. Not much else!

5 – (Question also from Lana) If you could be someone else for a day, who would it be?

I think I would be Cassidy. It would be fascinating to spend a day as a tall man with a booming voice, and to see what it would be like to live without constant anxiety, self doubt, and even some self-loathing thrown in there too.

(Also this wolf looks like he might not love Cassidy the way many do?)

6 – (Question also from Lana) Dream vacation, if money was no object?

It used to be Alaska and then I went to Alaska, and it’s still Alaska. I can’t help myself. That’s more of a big adventure than a vacation, though. I’ve always wanted to visit Aruba and lie around in a bikini doing virtually nothing for days.

7 – (Question from my friend, Kenya) – Do you or will you color your hair when it’s starts to gray?

Sort of, and yes. I’ve had gray hair since college, but it’s underneath so you can’t see it. My hair is colorful! When I go fully gray one day, I will probably color it, although it grows so fast that I would need root touchups all the time. Not sure I’m down with that? I have glazed my hair. It’s not permanent dye. It washes out, and fast in my opinion. I can go ages without doing it, but I also really like having all my hair one color! It’s translucent so you can still see all the natural highlights.

Ask Me Anything

8 – (Question from my friend, Sharon) What’s the most significant change (positive or negative) in your life since you started sharing your writing consistently?

Oh boy. Positive. I have found, everything. I have strengthened my writing, my photography, my editing, my friendships, my self-confidence, and my self-worth. I have also found that the career I have ALWAYS been searching for exists.

ask me anything

9 – (Question from my friend, Matt) If you could go back in time just to observe one event (let’s assume you’re invisible), when would you go?

I was too stumped by this one so I cheated and asked my mom. She said, “My birth so I could see that I’m really an alien.”

Ask Me Anything

10 – (Question from my friend, Jimmy) What is your favorite unexpected part of being a parent?

I like that. It’s so simple. I knew my heart and world and self-actualization would expand rapidly, but I didn’t realize how it would happen. I didn’t know I’d fall so far, only to get to soaring heights when I picked myself up again. I didn’t expect all the healing I would experience from my own childhood trauma, to see such whole children. And I like that childhood, especially early childhood, is filled with contained worlds of safety, comfort, and structure. Routines and rhythms.

Bright colors and fun foods. I love it all.

I’m going to go over 10 here, and I got other great questions! I will save them for another post!

*Bonus questions. (These are all from my friend, Tammi) What does Siri call you? How long has it been since you ate Talenti gelato e sorbetto? Do you know you got me hooked on Lime Outshine bars? Did you and Cassidy already kiss today? What are you going to do with all those strawberries?

I asked Siri what she calls me. She said, “You’re Master. But since we’re friends, I get to call you ‘Tamara.'” She doesn’t pronounce it like camera, though! I ate Talenti Cookie Dough yesterday (no sorbet), I believe! I’m happy about the Outshine, but didn’t know! I cheated and read this question early and then told Cassidy about it, and then we kissed so that the answer would be “yes.” Otherwise.. shame shame. Those strawberries? We’re just gifting them to people! Or snacking!

*Bonus #2. (This is from cousin-in-law, Juan) What’s your relationship with Darth Vader?

It’s complicated.

This is me linking up, as one of my favorite things to do, with Finish The Sentence Friday or #FTSF. This week’s topic is “When I can’t write…” And there’s still time to write yours. Come link up with your spin on the matter: HERE.

Feeling brave? Pick one question to answer in the comments!

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  1. Aw this was SO MUCH FUN TO READ!! My favorite answer?

    “I have found, everything. I have strengthened my writing, my photography, my editing, my friendships, my self-confidence, and my self-worth. I have also found that the career I have ALWAYS been searching for exists.”

    Why Tamara (like camera), why yes you have.

  2. Aw, loved that you resurrected this and I saw your Facebook post and was going to add a question, but then well life got in the way with the kids last week of school here. We have one hour of school today, yes 1 whole stinking hour and then summer vacation begins. But will say that I think you know the answers to the baby question for me and twins for sure on that. Also, think you know though I always enjoy learning more about you here – always !! <3

  3. I miss Ask Away Friday! This was a lot ofof fun reading your answers. As for the baby question…I’m about 90% sure I’m done. I’m scared to get pregnant again. Like you I’ve had two healthy pregnancies, but I was younger and less anxious then. I would worry, stress, and Google too much of I got pregnant now. Plus, I’m loving this post diaper phase of parenting.

  4. I can totally see Ann Hathaway playing you – great choice! I have no idea who would play me. I don’t really have the “hollywood look,” so I can’t think of any actresses who would fit the part. I wish I had big hair – I love it, love it, love it, but just can’t seem to make it happen.

  5. That was fun! I’ve always liked cameras! I have one so tiny that 4 of them would almost fit in the palm of your hand! It works too. I once had one that had a place to put your three initials. I was unsure what to use, and then D, R, J. came to me. I suppose my old guitar has been my best old friend, but cameras come close.

  6. OMG – you can teach Siri to say your name the way you want. I’m excited to be the one to tell you this. When she/he says your name press the home button to talk back and say, “That’s not how you say my name.” It would be funny is Siri asked why you are just now telling her this. LOL!

    Thanks for answering my question 😉 You have beautiful hair. And I saw Anne Hathaway immediately in that smile.

  7. HAHAH to “it’s complicated” with Darth. Have the third baby, maybe? There was a time when I was going to really try for a sibling for Tucker but then I panicked. I regret that, a little bit… xo

  8. I just love all the questions and answers. We just got to learn a little bit more about you as well. BTW, I’m glad you were on that bus with the light hitting just right. You’re an amazing photographer and baby #3 would benefit greatly from your skills. *hint* 😀

  9. Great questions, I love reading your writing! LOL on the kiss and your mom is funny! I would love to see my life back as a kid for a day.

  10. This is a fantastic post, Tamara. Your answers are all so insightful and I feel as though I know you even better. #9 answer was hilarious! I love that you thought of cameras at such a young age and the story of you on the school bus noticing the detail in your neighbor’s eyes. It’s exceptional. There’s no doubt that you were meant to be a photographer. Lovely post!!

  11. I read your post with a big smile on my face. I love what you said about writing and it flowing so easily for you. This is your gift to the world, as is your photography. Thank you for blessing us with your immense gifts, Tamara. And I can so see Anne Hathaway playing you!

  12. Lime outshine bars are amazing!! Let’s see I do not have a relationship with Darth Vader, but now I’m wondering if I should!

  13. I loved visiting Aruba, but Alaska is still on my list as a dream vacation. I am a huge fan of Cherry Outshine Bars…I could literally eat the whole box by myself.

  14. Yay for answering my questions! I’m honored. I love these posts because it’s so fun to learn more about you. And I totally agree about Anne Hathaway.

  15. You are incredibly lucky to rarely have writer’s block or not feel like writing. I wish that were me. I absolutely love your photos. So glad I found your blog on Finish the sentence Friday!

  16. I wanted to ask a question,but you know life… I wonder who I would be if I could swap for a day? Right now I would try and take someone elses’ pain, not life, because I am a mom.

    I watched a video this week about making rainbow sprinkles. That is crazy cool. It made me think of you 🙂

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