Tamara G. Cooper, Author

Suspense with a Touch of Romance

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Water Cooler Moments


In an instant, life can change. Sometimes, it seems for the better. Sometimes, it seems for the worse. In an instant, I can glance at a sunset and think it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. I want to hold onto it. Then, in another moment, it’s gone. If I close my eyes, I can still see it. It’s there, in my mind, in my heart.

So it is when little bits of life come to mind, and I remember something sweet.

I can see me as a young girl, standing on the porch of our home. The sun is hot. There is no breeze. I don’t feel like moving. There is no air conditioning inside my house, but we do have a water cooler. When the heat gets unbearable, I head inside and stand in front of it, spread my arms, and the wind of the water cooler cools the sweat on my 9-year-old body. And at that moment, I’m relatively comfortable. But it doesn’t last, because one of my siblings wants a turn.

Little water cooler moments are wonderful, aren’t they?

I hope to find a water cooler moment today. And then, I want to remember to be very grateful for it.

Sweet Relief

For years, I’ve worked on the craft of writing. No one but a writer of novels can understand the long, long process of getting it right, keeping the reader engaged throughout the book, ratcheting up the angst, making the characters people you’d like to know and root for, tying together the story lines, cohesiveness, flow, transition, a satisfying ending…the list could go on and on. The pay is probably less than a penny an hour, if you add in all the hours of getting a book ready for publication. But it’s not about the money. It really isn’t.

Writing is a gift we give to others. It’s a part of me that I’m handing to you. “Here. I’ve put everything I can into this gift, and I hope you enjoy it.” It’s like standing on a stage in front of 10,000 people. They’re expecting a measure of greatness, if you put yourself out like that. If you stand on that stage, and you charge people to come in the door to watch you, then you must have something to offer them above the norm. After your offering (singing, playing the piano, reciting great poetry, acting, reading my book, etc.), the sweet relief of a standing ovation is absolutely thrilling. You did it. You did a good job.

So it is with publishing a first book. Oh, to  put myself out on that stage with expectant–no, demanding–eyes on only me, with breaths held, bodies leaning forward, a sense of hope in their demeanor, it can be terrifying and exhilarating at the same time. What if they like the book? What if they don’t?

Sweet relief comes from actually stepping on the stage. There stands my cake of life, freshly baked and offered. A good review is your gift of icing on the cake. And let me tell you, I love the icing! It’s the best part.


I love mornings. The earlier, the better. Sitting on my front (or back) porch, smelling the freshness of a day emerging from the long night, watching the sun pull itself up above the horizon, feeling the expectation of great things to come.

Hope. Newness. Emerging dreams. Launching plans. Cradling gems of imagination in a day that has just begun.

I am grateful to be a part of it.

No Flat Tires Here!

I saw something recently that really affected me, a little meme that says so much with very few words.

Sometimes, we’re discouraged. Sometimes, we’re on the mountain top. But most of the time, we’re probably somewhere in between, plugging along with the responsibilities we have sitting hard on our shoulders as we think about our dreams coming true just around the corner.

I love to get up in the morning, before my three boys wake up. I let the three dogs outside, make my hot drink of choice that morning, and sit in my rocking chair on my back porch. The morning is quiet and sweet with the sounds of nothing but birds chirping. It’s usually still dark-ish outside and no one’s about but me. Ahhhh…… I put up my feet, read my daily devotion, and just enjoy the solitude.

Then, I start thinking about my day. If I allow myself, I’ll feel that burden “sitting hard on my shoulders” if I don’t have a list. I’m not great with making write-it-down lists. My to-do list is all in my head. I know, I know. I’ve heard it before:  “If you don’t write it down, you’ll forget it.” Which is the idea, I guess. My husband writes his down, but when he doesn’t accomplish everything on his list that day, he’s discouraged. My mental notes are much easier to live with.  At the end of my day, I think, “Wow, I’ve done so much!” and then just put the other things on my list for tomorrow.

I’ve been writing for a long time and my first book is just now about to be published. You might think, “Wow, 17 years is a long time to write with nothing to show for it.” Maybe. But I have several books already written and ready to go, so those years weren’t wasted. Then I think of the little meme I saw recently, and it encourages me. Here it is:

“If you quit when you don’t reach a goal, that’s like slashing your other three tires because one goes flat.”

I’m not a quitter. I’m just too determined to quit. I noticed yesterday that my right front tire is going flat. So, today, #1 on my mental list is to get that tire fixed. That way, I’ll be ready–and raring–to go, so I can maybe get that list finished today. Or tomorrow.

The tires will be ready when I am.




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