Tammy Garrison

YA and Sherlock Holmes Author

I’m leaving soon…

In under two months, I’m moving halfway across the country. When I say this, it becomes more real. I’m not moving my entire household at once; my husband is staying in Kansas to finish out his job. And we have no place to move to, as of yet. I’ll be enjoying the fine guest rooms of AirBnB for the first few weeks I am in Pennsylvania as I start a new job and look for a place to live simultaneously.

This move is complicated in a lot of ways. I’m not working in my field, right now. My husband is in his favorite job. We live in a place neither of us like. I’m homesick for PA, he would like to live closer to his Kansas family, and/or civilization. He is giving up his Best Job Possible so that I can have my Best Job Possible. I’m overwhelmed with gratitude and regret.

It’s complicated. It’s the joy of moving to a town with a Starbuck’s and working higher up in my chosen field tinged with the regret of my husband leaving his job, and the pain our lengthy separation will bring. It’s the logistics of moving a household piecemeal across the country with two old cars, a dog, and a handful of cats. It’s the chaos of moving to a place without a place to live already secured. I get grey hairs thinking about it.

That all said, I am ready. I’m ready to leave some of the deeper negative aspects of this place behind. I’m ready for a more challenging job in my actual field. I’m ready for the new faces and places. While that’s all perfectly scary, it’s also warm and comforting to know that the situation, while Unknown, has so much potential. The only thing constant is change, and I had been stagnating recently.

I used to have a very specific list of activities I enjoyed. My last two moves haven’t made room for those things in my life. I’m hoping to get those back. I’m hoping to get back a healthier cooking situation, visits to the dog park, and sitting outside on my porch while I write. I miss visiting small local businesses and being a familiar face in the community. Right now my life lacks a dog park and a porch, and easily accessible local places that have things that I want and need. I’m nostalgic, sure. But I think the things I look back upon fondly from several moves ago are attainable in my new situation.

I will be closer to my family. Three hours by car is so much easier than twenty. My husband will be losing easier access to his family, but I’m hoping that being near a major airport will allow him to visit at least as often as being a four hour desolate car drive away did (which is surprisingly not often, really).

I look forward to living in a college town again. We’ll also be near a larger town, again. Granted the larger town will be State College, PA. Which means it will be filled with *shudder* Penn State fans. But there is a certain atmosphere of learning and possibility that I miss.

Heck, I look forward to living in a place with trees and hills. You don’t realize how much those things are part of you, until you live in a place devoid of both. Even other areas in Kansas have things like the Foothills, rolling green lands shaped by receding glaciers, which are beautiful to look at especially at dusk and dawn, or the Leavenworth area, which was so full of old tall trees and hills that I seldom missed home as acutely as I do now.

There are other things that get into you, when you grow up in a place. Things you carry with you that you don’t think you do. Like the Memory of a place. The culture and the history seep into you, and when you go to another place, the lack of those things that are an essential and unnoticed part of your makeup feel like a gaping void in a new place. It’s own history and culture don’t fill that hole; that can only be done by a past that is uniquely your own.

I miss Italian grandmas and pierogies and fireworks for the sake of fireworks. It’s not just a matter of missing them. It’s a matter of needing them, somehow, in my life. I know the place I am moving to won’t be exactly like that. But it’s closer physically and culturally to that missed history that I crave.

It’s too early, yet, to know what I will miss from a decade in Kansas. My in-laws, certainly. My nieces. The custard place that is so bad for you, and yet so good. The plethora of stars that you can see away from city lights (I honestly didn’t know it was possible) and seeing the sun set all the way at the horizon, and not behind a tall building or hill. I think those are fair things to miss. But there will be a lot I am glad to be rid of, too. A town isolated from everything and some personal troubles that were exacerbated by that isolation. No twenty-four hour diner. Lack of a bloody coffee shop. Some things are just inexcusable.

How will my husband take it? He’s made this move for me before. The culture shock will be less acute this time around, I hope. I also hope we’re in a better position to make sure he sees his family more often than last time, and more often than I have seen mine in recent years. Keeping those connections is so important for the heart and the soul.

Before we do all those adjusting things of missing stuff and building new routines, we’re going to have to get through the bumpy part of moving a bit at a time, transporting animals long distances, and dozens of other challenges. We’ve met them before, and we will again, too. It’s just a matter of time and perseverance.

I hope to be able to report, six months from now, that everyone is settled in, the dog has friends at the dog park, and that my husband has a new job he loves as much as the old one. I hope to report that all the possibilities I saw in this new adventure are coming to fruit. I hope to be able to say how attached I am to the community, how I’m recognized at the local coffee place, and how my cats love their new house.

For now, all I can say is that I’m moving in less than two months, half-way across the country, to a house I haven’t seen, or picked out, yet…

 

Tammy Garrison is the author of The Twisted Blackmailer – Watson and Holmes Book 1 – the first in a new Sherlock Holmes YA series available from Amazon USAAmazon UKBook Depository (free worldwide shipping) & Kindle


Where have I been?

Lots of things going on. I just finished the first draft of a mid-grade novel and I’m dealing with some personal stuff. But the fun thing is… I’m in the cast of the local production of Sister Act. I have actual lines and everything!

This is super cool because I have never actually been in a stage production before. My degree is in technical theater and playwriting, so I never really got a chance to strut my stuff on stage. I play the oldest nun, which will be fun because I get to do old-age makeup. FINALLY. THAT ONE CREDIT MAKEUP CLASS COMES IN USE.

So that’s what I’ve been studying for and doing that’s been taking up so much of my time.

That said… still have a rough draft of a novel I need to get on the second draft for, then I will go back to Sherlock Holmes for a bit. SO that’s my big update!


The Lying Detective

I’ll work under the assumption that you have seen The Lying Detective by now, since BBC Sherlock has aired both in the UK and on PBS in the US. If not, and you don’t want to be spoiled, do not proceed.

That said, I have a variety of scattered thoughts.

-Sherlock is starting to repeat itself. Dying is what people do, the character that sets the honey trap, etc.

-I did like our villain. He was pretty darned villainous without being Moriarty level bad. I did find it odd that they ascribed CHAS’s trait of being the worst kind of worst to him instead of Magnusson last season. It’s a minor detail that probably only bugs me.

-If I wanted to watch Trainspotting, I would watch Trainspotting. While Sherlock walking the walls was a nice effect, I kept on my guard for the appearance of a dead Rosie the entire rest of the episode.

-Where the heck WAS Rosie? She became an ephemeral non-character for me because we didn’t see her, and she was only mentioned a handful of times. Roughly three. It was like they were trying to distance themselves from a child they don’t know what to do with?

-I doubt they’re going to kill her. We’ve just pulled John up by the bootstraps, losing his child would be too crushing of a blow. The problem is, the child is a problem. She has to go away. It’s very easy to do when you make her less of a real person.

-John kind of redeemed himself, and he’s slightly less of a piece of trash. But still, texting (maybe sexting) some woman while your wife is in the next room feeding your daughter is not only skeevy, but seems almost out of character for a man who, while a chaser of tail, is about duty.

-John was sexting Sherlock’s sister. SO many implications.

-Hallucinations of a dead wife are actually quite serious. He SHOULD get that looked at. I know it was a plot device, but man, it’s overused. It was overused years upon years ago when NCIS did it. And at least everyone had the decency to hallucinate the character.

-You don’t bounce back from double kidney failure. As far as I know the only solution is a transplant. Sometimes, with Sherlock, I can’t tell if Sherlock is an unreliable narrator, the writing is shoddy, and they’ve just let the medical or science side slide. Unfortunately, that stuff makes or breaks a show like this for me. If Sherlock is going to be making epic deductions that we’re supposed to buy into the truth of, I feel like we need to have solid realism with medicine and science. Sometimes I wonder if this show even has a medical consultant, which it really does need if you’re going to have two doctors on the show.

-Molly, where have you been this series? We love Molly. I love Molly at least. She sees through Sherlock’s shit.

-Can Molly do a proper examination in just an ambulance? Again–medical realism.

-Sherlock’s advanced planning (two weeks, the cane, etc) really stretched credulity for me.

-Mrs. Hudson. Blessed Hudders. Her epicness grows. She has lived a strange and amazing life, to retire in a house with a yucky moldy basement flat (let’s talk about how the numbering of the flats doesn’t even make sense) and a crazeballs tenant in the upper floor, a smoking hot car, and gentlemen willing to drop Sherlock several times while tossing him in the trunk of the car.

-The trunk of that car is awfully roomy.

-Where does she park the thing?

-Does Molly matter or not matter? Are they making a point? Writing flaw? I can’t tell.

I’m looking forward to the last episode. We’ll see if they manage to smooth over some of my problems. And make John still less of a human trashcan. Either way, though, I feel like I’m going to be unsatisfied with Rosie’s fate.

 

Tammy Garrison is the author of The Twisted Blackmailer – Watson and Holmes Book 1 – the first in a new Sherlock Holmes YA series available from Amazon USAAmazon UKBook Depository (free worldwide shipping) & Kindle


Giving The Twisted Blackmailer for the holidays

For $18 I will ship out a SIGNED copy of The Twisted Blackmailer anywhere in the US! (additional fees for out of country) Usually arrives in two to three days.

My paypal is spastasmagoria (at) gmail dot com

Indicate the name of the person for whom you wish it to be inscribed, and the mailing address of where you would like it to go.

For an additional $2 I will gift wrap with non-religious seasonal wrapping paper. I love wrapping presents, and I currently have none to wrap! (I’m messed up, I know)

So get on that thing!

 

Tammy Garrison is the author of The Twisted Blackmailer – Watson and Holmes Book 1 – the first in a new Sherlock Holmes YA series available from Amazon USAAmazon UKBook Depository (free worldwide shipping) & Kindle


Back in the day.

In case you haven’t noticed, I’m horrible at naming blog posts. I suppose this will have to serve, for a post on nostalgia and missing someone.

Once upon a time, in the 90s (I marvel that some people reading this weren’t even alive back then–where does time go? It’s a mystery.), I decided to take the most challenging college course. Not because of content, you see. But because it was at 9am on a Saturday morning. Yes, you heard me. Saturday. Morning. When sane people are asleep.

It didn’t fill a requirement, it was actually a class for non-traditional students, and I was, like, nineteen (no, I actually was nineteen, it just sounds less committal to say ‘like’), so while I was in my senior year of university, I was hardly traditional. But it fit my interests, and I really, really wanted to take it.

So despite the inevitable sleep deprivation, I registered for Warren Scheideman’s Sherlock Holmes class.

I already spent far too much of my meager student pay checks on pastiches and questionably legal VHS tapes from Ebay, the only place you could get that stuff before Amazon. I’d read all the stories eleven fold, and I was ready for the hardest, easiest class I had ever signed up for.

scheideman-warrenI’m sure a lot of people knew Warren. He was a BSI member (Count Von und Zu Grabenstein) for many years and traveled in wide academic and Sherlock Holmes circles. It was easy to love his class. He was interesting to listen to, and never talked down to any of us. A handful of us would stay after class and just talk to him about Sherlock Holmes and life. Sometimes the conversations were an hour. More often, they ran into the five to seven hour category. One time I think someone had sandwiches delivered.

But that’s the kind of guy Warren was. He wouldn’t turn anyone away if the conversation was good, and always let things wind down to their natural conclusion.

I ended up taking his Shakespeare class the subsequent semester, then doing an independent study the semester after that, where I researched and wrote a Sherlock Holmes pastiche. It’s still unpublished, sitting in a drawer on fading laser printer paper. But I’m proud of it. I think I’m proud of it mostly because he was proud of it. And his opinion meant a lot to me.

I went to the Theatre School at DePaul University, where I never quite fit in. I think my brain was just slightly out of synch with everyone else there, for good or for worse. I also spent most of my time alone. I didn’t have any friends, just a few acquaintances that didn’t avoid me instantly. So really, Warren’s kindness, and dare I say, friendship, meant a lot to me. He listened to me, he took me seriously. He wasn’t waiting until I was finished speaking to explain to me just why I was wrong. In fact, he made me feel kinda smart. Yeah, I was graduating university at 20, managing to do it in only three years, and I still felt stupid. Warren made me feel like I might actually be a competent human being.

9781787050242largeSo I miss him. One time I was back in Chicago visiting, and I did try to ring him up, but got his office voice mail. I was too chickenshit to leave a message. Would it be creepy and weird to talk to him or visit him again, after graduating? I didn’t know. I’ve been far too socially awkward all of my life to be able to properly tell. But I regret it. All the other times I made it to Chicago, it was over the Thanksgiving break… and then he passed away in 2011.

I dedicated The Twisted Blackmailer, my published pastiche from MX Publishing to him (and a few others), but I still feel like that doesn’t make it entirely right, somehow. I do wish he could have seen it. Even though it’s a gender-swapped AU that takes place in a high school in America, I am pretty sure he’d have found things to like. And we’d have spent a whole Saturday discussing the canon parallels between the book and the ACD Sherlock Holmes stories. And I’d walk away feeling like I’d done good. Like I was clever and competent. His smile could do that.

If you’re out there, somewhere, Warren, hey. This one’s for you. Thank you so much.

With deepest, humblest admiration,
Tammy

 

Tammy Garrison is the author of The Twisted Blackmailer – Watson and Holmes Book 1 – the first in a new Sherlock Holmes YA series available from Amazon USAAmazon UKBook Depository (free worldwide shipping) & Kindle


Pardon my self-indulgence. Sort of.

I found a few manga character generators online and started trying to make Holmes and Watson from my book 🙂 Here are my efforts thus far:

 

mangsher3 mangwats3 mangmockup

 

y/n?

 

I like the manga look for them because I think The Twisted Blackmailer is like shojo, but sans romance.

 

 

 

Tammy Garrison is the author of The Twisted Blackmailer – Watson and Holmes Book 1 – the first in a new Sherlock Holmes YA series available from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Book Depository (free worldwide shipping) & Kindle


How disappointed will I be if this isn’t in Infinity War?

hairbros

 

My level of disappointment will be extremely high. Because, really.  I need that hot Sherlock-on-Sherlock action, and both Robert Downey Jr. (Iron Man) and Benedict Cumberbatch (Dr. Strange) are on the cast list for Avengers: Infinity War. Therefore: this has to happen.

 

But more seriously–it’s great to see Benedict Cumberbatch getting bigger roles. They may not be as Oscar-worthy as, say, The Imitation Game, but they are certainly taking center stage, not only in the American market, but across the world. The take across the globe for Marvel films is in the billions, and places like China love both Marvel and BBC Sherlock.

 

It helps, of course, that he is incredibly versatile, turning in solid performances on stage and TV, in addition to his movie roles. So you can’t say he hasn’t earned his success. Or his ubiquity. At this point, everyone knows his name. I have seen older relatives playing the “type Benedict Cumberbatch’s name without looking at the keyboard” game on Facebook–some that I know would never watch Sherlock. That is market saturation.

 

If you want to know more about the transformation and evolution of one of the UK’s hottest actors, check out Lynette Porter’s two previous Cumberbatch books: Benedict Cumberbatch, In Transition  and Benedict Cumberbatch, Transition Completed

 

Or better yet, check out her most recent book, Benedict Cumberbatch, London and Hollywood, which is shiny and new and available in paperback next week (11/28) or this week on Kindle!

 

It’s that glorious half-way point between “following someone’s career” and “stalking someone’s career.”

Lastly, if you haven’t seen Doctor Strange, it’s still in theaters! Enjoy a mind-bending Marvel movie that, in a lot of ways, mirrors Iron Man’s journey from twat to super hero. The special effects are the best I’ve seen in a Marvel movie thus far, and I look forward to seeing Benedict as Doctor Strange again in Avengers: Infinity War all the way in May 2018.

 

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So long, and good night!

 

Tammy Garrison is the author of The Twisted Blackmailer – Watson and Holmes Book 1 – the first in a new Sherlock Holmes YA series available from Amazon USA, Amazon UK, Book Depository (free worldwide shipping) & Kindle