Mind Over Matter with Tami Lund

Participated in my first 5k marathon this past weekend. No, no I didn’t run—don’t be silly. I did walk fast, though, and that counts for something, right?

It was the annual Mind Over Matter Marathon, or better known as “MOM.” It’s been around for a while, twelve years, actually. The goal is to raise funds and awareness for the prevention of, and to erase the stigma surrounding mental illness and suicide. A cause that’s pretty near and dear to my heart, as you know.

unnamed-3

I did it. The race is over and I crossed the finish line.

unnamed-2

But I didn’t participate in any of the activities they had planned for afterward, didn’t stay to listen to the live band or enter to win any of the raffle drawings for some really cool prizes. I didn’t pick up one of the colored bracelets—each one signifying exactly how your life has been touched by suicide—either. Didn’t write my son’s name on any of the banners or the big paper hearts people were carrying around. Didn’t write a note and stick it to the giant M-O-M set up near the registration booth. I didn’t tell anyone my story; no one knew why I was there, other than to support a worthy cause.

I couldn’t. For one thing, I don’t want a badge that proclaims me as the mother of a suicide victim. I don’t want strangers to talk to me about it, even if they have had the same experience. Not because of the stigma, but because I don’t want to.

I don’t want to deal with that reality. I can’t stand the fact that other mothers have gone through what I went through—am going through. It makes my heart hurt knowing there are so many people suffering in this world.

I also can’t talk about it. I’m not there yet. Hell, I spend half my sessions with my therapist dancing around the subject because I hate it. I hate talking about it because that makes it even more real, brings it to the surface, forces me to acknowledge it. And acknowledging it generally makes me cry, and I don’t like crying and certainly not in public.

And ultimately, talking about it makes me wish for something I can’t have: My son.

Despite all this, I’m glad I participated. There’s a definite sense of accomplishment to completing a 5k, even if you’re a walker. And this organization promotes a worthy cause. Maybe, just maybe, the work they do will save a life or a few. Maybe another family will be made aware early enough, and someone else’s son will live out his life the way he’s supposed to. Maybe. I hope so.

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author, wine drinker, award winner, and now, apparently, marathon walker. She also believes in supporting worthy causes because if they can save even one life, it’s worth it.

Check out her website for other stuff she writes. You know, like books: http://tamilund.com

Happy Release Day, Caroline Warfield!

Today, I’m using my blog post to highlight an author friend and her latest release. Why? Well, because every now and then, a page-turning historical romance is just what the doctor ordered.

Okay, maybe not the doctor, but certainly the romantic in all of us.

So I give you Caroline Warfield, and her latest release, The Reluctant Wife. (Even historical romance titles are awesome). Read all the way through, because there are a couple of giveaways tucked away in this post. Now, carry on…

It’s Launch Day!

Caroline Warfield is over the moon to finally be able to release The Reluctant Wife into the wild.

This sweeping story carries readers from the edge of Bengal to Calcutta to the Suez and across the desert, to rural England while two people stumble into love in spite of themselves. The hero, a clueless male with more honor than sense, never stops trying to do the right thing. Imagine his shock when he realizes people actually depend on him! The heroine is a courageous wounded duck with more love bottled up than she finds comfortable. Along the way it features a meteor shower, a tragic asassination, colonial officials, steamboats, narrow minded officers’ wives, herbal remedies, a desert bivouac, a court martial, interfering relatives, a horrific fire, and camels. The self important villain, rotten to the core, makes the hero miserable in both India and England, until the hero brings him down—with a little help from family—in the end. And last but not least, it features two charming children, one a precocius little girl who pushes the hero to do what is right even when he is confused about what that is. Caroline Warfield Reluctant Wife

The author dedicts this one to her father, the constant soldier, who understood duty and loyalty as few people do.

Thank you for joining the celebration. Tell us about your favorite story elements. Caroline will give a kindle copy of The Renegade Wife, Book 1 in the series, to one person who comments.

She is also sponsoring a grand prize in celebration of her release. You can enter it here: http://www.carolinewarfield.com/2017blogtourpackage/   The prequel to this series, A Dangerous Nativity, is always **FREE**. You can get a copy here: http://www.carolinewarfield.com/bookshelf/a-dangerous-nativity-1815/

The Reluctant Wife

Children of Empire, Book 2

Genre: Pre Victorian, Historical Romance

Heat rating: 3

Pub date: April 26, 2017 (today!)

Children of Empire

Three cousins, torn apart by lies and deceit and driven to the far reaches of the empire, struggle to find their way home.

Book 2

When all else fails, love succeeds…

Captain Fred Wheatly’s comfortable life on the fringes of Bengal comes crashing down around him when his mistress dies, leaving him with two children he never expected to have to raise. When he chooses justice over army regulations, he’s forced to resign his position, leaving him with no way to support his unexpected family. He’s already had enough failures in his life. The last thing he needs is an attractive, interfering woman bedeviling his steps, reminding him of his duties.

All widowed Clare Armbruster needs is her brother’s signature on a legal document to be free of her past. After a failed marriage, and still mourning the loss of a child, she’s had it up to her ears with the assumptions she doesn’t know how to take care of herself, that what she needs is a husband. She certainly doesn’t need a great lout of a captain who can’t figure out what to do with his daughters. If only the frightened little girls didn’t need her help so badly.

Clare has made mistakes in the past. Can she trust Fred now? Can she trust herself? Captain Wheatly isn’t ashamed of his aristocratic heritage, but he doesn’t need his family and they’ve certainly never needed him. But with no more military career and two half-caste daughters to support, Fred must turn once more—as a failure—to the family he let down so often in the past. Can two hearts rise above past failures to forge a future together?

Find it here: https://smile.amazon.com/Reluctant-Wife-Children-Empire-Book-ebook/dp/B06XYRRR1R/

 

Caroline Warfield PhotoAbout Caroline Warfield

Traveler, poet, librarian, technology manager—Caroline Warfield has been many things (even a nun), but above all she is a romantic. Having retired to the urban wilds of eastern Pennsylvania, she reckons she is on at least her third act, happily working in an office surrounded by windows while she lets her characters lead her to adventures in England and the far-flung corners of the British Empire. She nudges them to explore the riskiest territory of all, the human heart.

Caroline is a RONE award winner with five star reviews from Readers’ Favorite, Night Owl Reviews, and InD’Tale and an Amazon best-seller. She is also a member of the writers’ co-operative, the Bluestocking Belles. With partners she manages and regularly writes for both The Teatime Tattler and History Imagined.

Website http://www.carolinewarfield.com/

Amazon Author http://www.amazon.com/Caroline-Warfield/e/B00N9PZZZS/

Goodreads http://bit.ly/1C5blTm

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/carolinewarfield7

Twitter @CaroWarfield

Email warfieldcaro@gmail.com

Want more?

Caroline Warfield Reluctant WifeExcerpt

The ballroom at Government House, Calcutta, 1835

Clare had stopped listening. A prickle of awareness drew her gaze to the entrance where another man entered. He stood well above average height, he radiated coiled strength, and her eyes found his auburn hair unerringly. Captain Wheatly had come. The rapid acceleration of her heart took her off guard. Why should I care that he’s here?

“Clare? The lieutenant asked you a question.”

Lieutenant? Clare blinked to clear her head, only to see Mrs. Davis’s icy glare turned on Captain Wheatly. “Is that your strange captain from the black neighborhood?” she demanded in a faux whisper.

The lieutenant’s avid curiosity added to Clare’s discomfort. “Is that Wheatly in a captain’s uniform? I thought they might demote him after the business with Cornell,” he volunteered.

Clare forced herself to turn to the lieutenant. “Cornell?” she asked to deflect Mrs. Davis’s questions.

“Collector at Dehrapur. Wheatly assaulted the man. Unprovoked, I heard,” the lieutenant answered.

She looked back, unable to stop herself. Merciful angels, he’s seen me. She watched the captain start toward them. At least Gleason could make introductions.

The lieutenant went on as though he had her full attention. “He was in line for promotion, the one that went to your brother instead. Philip posted over there right after it happened.”

Clare found it impossible to look away. The captain gave an ironic smile when he saw her watching. Mrs. Davis gave a sharp intake of breath when she realized Wheatly’s intent. “He’s coming here? Clare, I think I should warn you that a man who has been passed over as this one was—”

Before she could finish, Colonel Davis, who had been coming from the other direction, met the captain and greeted him with a smile. Clare couldn’t hear the words, but Captain Wheatly’s self-deprecating grin seemed to indicate at least a modicum of respect. The two men approached together.

“Captain Frederick Wheatly, may I present my wife, Mrs. Davis.” The captain bowed properly, and the colonel went on, “And our house guest, Miss Armbruster.”

This time the captain’s eyes held a distinct twinkle. “Miss Armbruster and I are acquainted. I met her when she visited her brother in Dehrapur.”

“Of course, of course! I should have remembered,” the colonel said jovially. He leaned toward Clare and winked. “He’s a catch, this one. Doesn’t like to boast of his connections, but earls and dukes lurk in his pedigree. His cousin stepped down from Under-Secretary for War and the Colonies just last year!”

Captain Wheatly looked discomfited by that revelation.

Gleason looked skeptical. “The Duke of Murnane?” he gasped.

Before anyone could answer, the small orchestra hired for the occasion began to play, and the captain cocked an eyebrow as if to ask a question.

“I think the captain wants a dance, Miss Armbruster. It’s your patriotic duty to see to the morale of the troops,” the colonel said coyly.

Captain Wheatly put out a gloved hand, and she put her equally gloved hand in his. Walking away from Gleason and the Davises, she admitted two things to herself. She was glad he came, and she planned to enjoy the dance.

Are you as ready as I am to keep reading? Grab it here: https://smile.amazon.com/Reluctant-Wife-Children-Empire-Book-ebook/dp/B06XYRRR1R/

Carolyn Warfield Release Day Promo

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author, wine drinker, award winner, and supporter of her fellow authors. You should support them, too! Especially Caroline Warfield, because her books are wonderful and she’s a pretty cool person, too.

Vote For Tami Lund’s Novella, MIRROR, MIRROR!

Guess what? My novella, MIRROR, MIRROR, is in the first round of voting for the Rone Awards! How did that happen? Well…

  1. One of the reviewers at InD’Tale Magazine really liked it. Here’s what she had to say:

What a fun, light-hearted quickie of a romance! Coming in at only 128 pages, it surprisingly doesn’t feel incomplete! The set-up is perfect for a novella-length story and the pacing is superbly executed to allow the story to be complete without short-changing the understanding behind the characters. The Grandma/ghost aspect was a bit confusing and the bawdy humor seemed forced at times but overall, it was a thoroughly enjoyable escape that will delight anyone in need of a giggle and a sigh after a long, hard day!

  1. She liked it so much, she recommended it be added to the Rone Award competition.
  2. Now, readers get to choose which books go on to the final round. Final round is reviewers again, and they have to select one winner, which will be announced in October at the InD’Scribe Conference.
  3. This is where you come in. I need your vote, so I can move on to the final round! Voting ends TOMORROW (April 23) so hurry!!

Here’s what you do:

  1. Go here: IND’TALE WEBSITE
  2. Register, if you haven’t already. It’s easy and there’s no obligation (although they do have a pretty cool monthly e-magazine, if you’re interested.)
  3. Go to week 1 of the 2017 Rone Awards. (upper right corner of the website)
  4. Go to the ‘Novella’ category. (first category)
  5. It’s alphabetical by book title – so scroll down to M – there’s Mirror, Mirror by Tami Lund
  6. Vote!
  7. P.S. – since this category is so big, you can vote for two books, so if you see another on the list you like, go ahead and do it!
  8. Receive my eternal gratitude!

Want to know what you’re voting for?

Cinderella

Okay, here’s the deal: Adelle was jilted at the altar, so she’s sworn off love. While at a friend’s wedding, she ends up visiting an old gypsy woman who claims Adelle can see her future husband in an enchanted mirror.

Yeah, right. Adelle doesn’t believe in hocus pocus, nor does she believe her hottie best friend, Ben, is anything but a platonic roommate. Even if she did see his image in the mirror. Even if she can’t stop thinking about the old lady’s words–or her bestie in a highly inappropriate way.

Here’s a sampling of what Vivienne, the old Gypsy woman, is like:

…The woman who, by Adelle’s judgment, looked to be approximately a thousand years old. Her face was heavily lined, her cheeks sagged, her nose was crooked. She wore a brightly colored scarf on her head, wispy gray hairs sticking out from under the silky material. Her body was covered with the same type of peasant shirt and billowing skirt that Adelle wore, except it was uncomfortably obvious she wasn’t wearing a cleavage-enhancing bra, because her breasts hung somewhere in the vicinity of her knees.

“Quit staring at me, girl. You’ll look like this someday, too, if you’re lucky.”

Lucky?

“Lucky,” the woman said, as if Adelle had repeated the word out loud. “You wanna know how many hunks I had in my day? There’s a reason I look so worn out.”

 

As kooky and cranky as Vivienne is, she’s damned perceptive, too:

 

“W-what do you want?” she asked, hating the way her voice cracked with her nervousness.

“Peace, love, and happiness,” the woman retorted. “But I’d settle for a romp with your date. He’s single, isn’t he?”

“Ben?” Adelle said in surprise. “No offense, but I don’t think you’re his type.”

“Why do people start offensive phrases with the words ‘no offense’?”

“Er…”

The old woman waved a veined, wrinkled hand over the candle flame. The rings she wore on every finger and her thumb glittered in the light, gold bangle bracelets clinking gently on her arm.

“Well, who do you think is his type?” the woman asked.

Adelle furrowed her brow, confused by the woman’s question.

“What’s so damn difficult about my question, girl? You know him, don’t you? He’s your best friend, so you say. If that’s the case, then you ought to know what he likes in a woman. You’ve known him for ten years. That’s almost a third of your lifetime. Answer me,” she snapped.

“I, uh, I…” Adelle stuttered over an answer. How did this obnoxious old woman know anything at all about her and Ben’s friendship? Nicole must have filled her in while she was getting her own fortune read.

Taking a deep breath, she said, “He likes good-looking girls. Blondes, it seems.”

The old woman cocked her head to the side and gave her a considering look. “Well, that puts me out of the running, I suppose. Although a box of ‘golden platinum’ could remedy that easily enough. What else? That boy can’t be so superficial that looks alone would win his heart.”

 

Yes, this novella is full of humor, a few sexy moments, and a heartwarming happily ever after. It’s the perfect read for a rainy afternoon or anytime, really. And if you vote, it just might become an award winning book!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund writes romance novels, drinks wine, and sometimes wins awards. But only if you vote! Check out the rest of her books here: www.tamilund.com

Tami Lund Talks Sexy Bad Co-Writing

It’s official. I love this co-writing gig.

My latest release, Sexy Bad Neighbor, was co-written with fellow (fabulous) author, Misti Murphy. It’s about an uptight woman and a laid back guy and a prank war that turns into a steamy affair. Oh yeah, and somewhere in the middle a goat wanders into their relationship, ensuring reviewers like this one add GIFs of adorable, bouncing, er, kids to their blogs.

Now, we’re writing the climax and subsequent happy ending to Sexy Bad Daddy, the second in the Sexy Bad Series. The dramatic ending (okay, our joking about the ending) has led us to brainstorm the beginning to book three, which we’ve dubbed Sexy Bad Boss. Unable to resist once we start talking about it, we’ve already started writing that one, too.

The part I like best about co-writing is that each chapter is a surprise, and usually spurs new ideas, which often take the storyline to a level we hadn’t expected going into it. I’ll finish a chapter and have an idea in my head of where I think we’ll go next. Then Misti will finish the next chapter and I’ll read it and think, oh yeah, this is even better than I planned. And then the book ends up involving a goat, and possibly… a duck. (Stay tuned for that one…)

While I love it, I will say, it isn’t necessarily easy. There’s definitely angst built into the process, and plenty of guilt. Misti and I live on opposite ends of the world, literally. She’s in Australia, I’m in the US. There’s an eighteen-hour time difference between us. Luckily, she’s a late-night writer and I’m an early-morning writer, so we manage to carve time for plenty of conversation as we go along on this journey. But I work a fulltime non-writing job as well, which is frustrating for both of us when we set deadlines for ourselves and something happens at the day job that keeps me from getting to my next chapter for a week at a time.

You also have to (in my opinion) either both be pansters or both be plotters. Misti and I are both pansters, although she’s probably more in the middle. I’m pretty sure there’s some sort of vague outline saved somewhere in our shared Dropbox folders. Not that I’ve ever looked at it. See my comment above about loving how the book ends up taking on a new life with each subsequent chapter. No outlines in my world, thank you very much.

You also should know your co-writer’s style and personality, before you commit to something like this. Yeah, yeah, this is a business deal, but if you can’t get along with your partner, the business is probably going to fizzle pretty quickly.

Misti and I met through our writing. I’ve read every single one of her books, and I’m pretty sure she’s read all of mine. She’s beta read for me; I edit for her. I have a healthy respect for her as an author, and as a person. I believe she deserves to be, and will be, a best selling author some day. Her books are that good.

Since I knew her style so well, I knew I could write along with it. So when she threw the idea of co-writing out to an online group we both belong to, I immediately raised my hand. I knew I could do it, knew we could do it together. Knew it would be a damn good book. Had no idea it would turn into a brand, and plans for a bunch more damn good books.

But hey, that’s okay. Because I love it. And it’s working. And it’s fun. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, head on over to our Sexy Bad Lounge to have a look!

Oh yeah, and if you want to check out Sexy Bad Neighbor, here’s the Amazon link (it’s a KU title, if you’re a member): SEXY BAD NEIGHBOR.

Sexy couple

Tami Lund drinks wine, wins awards, and writes sexy bad romance. She also writes paranormal romance, even occasionally achieving ‘best seller’ status. Check out her website here: TAMI LUND

Tami Lund’s Shifters & Lightbearers

I am Xander Wulf, and I am a shapeshifter. This means I have the ability to change forms at will. And not just one form, either, like werebears or werepanthers. I can shift into a hawk to fly over a tall, steep cliff; or I can become a cheetah to quickly get across country. I can even shift into the bear or panther I mentioned.

Or a lion. It’s good to be king.

Yes, shifters are king. We are the most powerful of the magical community. We are also the only ones who share this world with the humans. Everyone else has their own world in which to live. Well, almost everyone.

There are also the Lightbearers. Those elusive magical creatures with their golden blonde good looks and magic they get from the sun. It regenerates each and every day, as well. They can deplete their stores entirely, go sit in a shaft of sunlight, and a few hours later, the magic is back. Damned impressive.

And I want it. I want that feeling, that ability. Changing forms is not enough. My magic manifests itself only in that way. I’ve witnessed Lightbearers create light, make food, build structures—and summon weapons. They can even heal one another, all with magic.

Sometimes I wonder how shifters were able to claim the position of king, when our magic feels so … limited. But then I see how the Lightbearers scurry away, run and hide when they sense a shifter in their midst. Like lambs and wolves. They are afraid; shifters rarely feel fear.

They are afraid because my kind believes we must kill them to inherit their magic. When a Lightbearer dies, there is a great flash of light as their magic or spirit or whatever is released. Some shifter at some point along the line convinced himself that meant if he were the one doing the killing, that magic would go to him, instead of release into the air.

True confession: I’m not so sure of that. Plenty of Lightbearers have been killed by shifters. I’ve killed my fair share. And not a one of us has inherited a lick of Lightbearer magic. We convince ourselves it’s our fault; the way we kill them, the position we stood in when it happened, the fact it was nighttime instead of daytime. Whatever it took, we’ve been full of excuses for decades.

I’m all out of excuses. I still believe I can gain their magic, but perhaps killing isn’t the way. Maybe there’s another way. And maybe that feisty Lightbearer with the unruly blonde curls knows how. Hell, maybe it’s her magic I can inherit. Considering the last thing I want to do is kill her, I’m now officially convinced.

There’s another way.

Read the F*R*E*E prequel to the Lightbearer series to find out if Xander gets what he wants from the Lightbearers: FIRST LIGHT

(PS – Xander’s story continues in BROKEN LIGHT, the prequel part two, which is part of an anthology called CLAIMING MY VALENTINE. It’s fourteen shifter love stories for only 99 cents, all of which goes to charity. So why not give it a try, too?)

Lovely Woman Posing With a Wolf       Claiming My Valentine Antho Cover

 

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund is an author, a wine drinker, and occasionally a channeler of characters from her books. If you want more, take a look at her website: TAMI LUND

Today’s the Anniversary by Tami Lund

It’s an anniversary today. One year ago, my son died, and my life was turned upside, forever altered in a way I could never have imagined, not even in the deepest, darkest part of my overactive imagination.

This date has been hanging over our heads since March first, a depressing sort of anticipation building as each square on the calendar was crossed off. I’ve dreaded it for two reasons: 1) because, well, it’s The Day and this date will suck for the rest of my life; and 2) because this means beginning tomorrow we will enter Year Two of Life Without My Son, this new reality I neither wanted nor expected to be forced to live.

So what does one do on the first anniversary of one’s son’s death?

Well, my husband and I both took the day off work. I did because I wanted to have the inevitable emotional breakdown in the privacy of my own home (or at his graveside, as it were) and not in front of my co-workers, even as supportive as they all have been. My husband did it because he feels this overwhelming need to be there for me.

As I drove my daughter to school this morning, I asked if she wanted to visit her brother’s grave with us. She looked at me and said, “Why are you visiting today?”

“Well, it’s the day this all happened, so it seems appropriate.”

“It is? Huh. I thought it was later in the month.” She paused and said, “Is that why you and Dad both took the day off work?”

“Yes.”

“Awe, how come I don’t get to take the day off school?”

“You didn’t even know what day it was. How can I justify you taking a day off?”

We both chuckled, a nice deviation from the usual half-awake state she’s normally in each morning as we head toward school.

I spent the morning writing. If you’re a fan of Sexy Bad Neighbor, you’ll be pleased to know we’re up to chapter nine of Sexy Bad Daddy (and hoping to release it in June). My husband, I don’t know what he did. I was too busy getting lost in a reality in which I know without a single doubt there will be a happy ending.

I took the dog for a walk. The poor thing hadn’t had one in two days, thanks to crazy weather and my emotional breakdown last night.

We checked up on the grandparents, made sure they were making it through this horrible day.

And then, around noon, we headed out to run errands, including an amusing stop at the drug store to buy the necessary supplies to prepare for a colonoscopy (not me—him, although I’m sure the experience will be part of a future blog post—never fear).

And then we headed out to the cemetery, to visit my son. The temperature was in the twenties, with a bitter wind that made it feel more like single digits. The sun was shining, and there were sandhill cranes slowly wandering about, which my husband informed me are the ‘filet mignon of the sky’ and whoever manages that sort of thing is considering allowing people to legally hunt them. Yes, this was a conversation we had while standing over my son’s grave.

And then we talked about depression and mental health and the frustrations we have as the ones who were left behind; the ones who didn’t know anything was wrong until it was too late. The state of mind neither of us can imagine, that leads someone to convince themselves death is the optimal solution to making the demons in their head stop screaming.

We talked about my daughter, my sadness over the fact that she doesn’t have a brother anymore, that her future children won’t know their Uncle Brady; that she now goes to a Catholic school and that it’s entirely likely she’s the only kid there without a sibling. We gratefully acknowledged that she is generally happy, a glass-half-full kind of kid, and that we do not have to worry about any demons in her head. My son, on the other hand, had been largely miserable for the last year or so of his life, and we’d attributed it to “typical” teenage angst, when in fact, it was much, much more than that.

And then we had a late lunch, ate at a small sports bar that we didn’t start frequenting until after my son’s death. I commented that I liked this place because it was a new fave for us, and I’m a big fan of starting new traditions instead of holding onto the old. My husband pointed out that the first time we went to this place was the day we picked out our own gravestone, at which point I’d commented, “This feels more binding than even getting married did.”

After that, we picked up my daughter from school. She was thrilled to see us and chatted all the way home, exchanging snarky comments with my husband and laughing each time, even telling us a bit about her day in between. That seven minute ride was the highlight of my day thus far.

Now we’re off to dinner, going back to an old tradition. My therapist suggested we do something to honor Brady on this day, perhaps make his favorite meal. Instead, we decided to go to his favorite restaurant. Hopefully, we’ll have a nice, relaxing dinner and we’ll laugh through the tears.

And tomorrow, we go back to reality, this new reality that, while it was forced upon us, we’re doing our best to make as happy and satisfying as we can.

Tami Lund Talks Dragons & Loss

Almost a year after his death, we’re slowly beginning to use my son’s bedroom again. Not surprisingly, it’s being taken over by my daughter. Her Lego dragons are on the shelves; there are pictures next to the computer monitor. We’ve moved the dog’s crate in there, too, which is nice if only to get it out of the living room.

We offered to move her in there entirely (it’s bigger than her bedroom), but she declined. I think it’s a combination of it being “his” room and the fact that she isn’t keen on change. Moving her bed is one thing; firing up the computer in there is entirely another. And the dragons are there because she’s run out of room in her own bedroom.

My husband and I refer to it as the “annex” now. My daughter recently said, “Why do you call it that? It’s Brady’s room.”

I replied, “Because honestly, saying his name hurts. It’s easier this way.”

And she said, “Why can’t you remember the good times? Why can’t you enjoy the time we had with him, instead of wishing it never happened?”

That hurt, because I admit, sometimes I wish he never had been born, but only because that way I’d never have had to suffer this immense pain that never quite goes away, now that he’s dead, far, far too soon.

When I think that way, my overactive mind goes a few steps further, and tries to analyze what the world would be like if my husband and I had not tried to get pregnant for those six months; if I had not gone to my gynecologist and she had not prescribed a pill that would (finally) make me ovulate. If we had not had sex on that specific day, at that specific moment.

My daughter came around when she did because of the timing of my son’s birth; we wanted them roughly three years apart, and we got lucky because they were two years and nine months apart. It was Halloween, eleven days after his second birthday, when I found out I was pregnant with her.

If we had not had him, would we still have her? We never intended to only have one. If it had taken us another six months to get pregnant, we might have had an entirely different kid. Maybe even a girl first. And then we probably would have waited another six months to try to get pregnant with number two. And maybe she would have been a boy. And since I cannot fathom my life without my daughter in it, I suppose I cannot say I wish my son had never been born, because then I might not have her, too.

So after a few moments, I responded, and I said, “I don’t wish it had never happened. I wish it were still happening.”

Tami Lund Headshot 2014

Tami Lund writes funny, award-winning books and depressing blog posts. But the blogging helps her deal, so she can do everything else in life–like write more books for your reading pleasure. Check out her books here: https://www.amazon.com/Tami-Lund/e/B00AXJH5MY/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_2