Before anyone reaches for the phone to call the FBI, just note that I am not being held hostage, nor am holding anyone hostage.
Which exactly what a hostage victim or a hostage taker would say, isn’t it? But let’s get to this post.
So, after nearly two years of no vacations, I am very eager to travel. Of course, I know it would be an absolute pain in the ass to travel right now with 1) it being summer (Mr. Husband and I only travel in the shoulder season for various reasons), 2) the misbehaving brats and loonies on the planes in the US lately, and 3) our spiky little friend still making things uncertain in regards to testing, closures, and quarantining and, arghhhh!!!
But I really want to at least PLAN to travel. You know, to have something to look forward to??
Making all this worse are the evil evil airlines. See, with all our previous travels, I’m on a fair number of airline mailing lists. So for the past several months the wicked winged bastards have been sending me “Special offers” “Amazing deals” and telling me to “book now”.
Ugh, stop it, just stop it you horrid flying monkeys.
Because even if I felt daring enough to book a trip, I can’t book a trip.
Because I’m currently involved in a hostage situation.
Again, put down the phone to the FBI. You probably won’t get through anyway.
See, to travel internationally your passport needs to not be expiring within six months. My passport was due to expire in November this year.
Being the organized sort, I thought I was being uber efficient by getting a new (and hideous) photo done in May, then getting everything packed up and ready to go in June.
Plenty of time to get that passport back and maybe (big maybe) plan some sort of excursion for this fall or next spring, right?
And now I am completely passport-less because the US State Department is apparently holding my passport hostage.
(Note: to apply for a US passport renewal, you have to send in your old passport. The thought of not having my passport gives me shivers, but rules is rules.)
I sent in the old passport, the application, the fee. I checked the tracking number a few days later. The package with my precious little passport showed up safely at the US State Department. Phew!
I then checked the passport processing status thingamajig: “Status Not Available, please wait and check again.”
So I waited.
And waited. And waited.
Every time, it’s the same message. It’s now been about six weeks since the package was received. And they still haven’t even begun the processing process.
My only conclusion is the State Department is holding my passport hostage.
Either that or everyone in the passport office keeled after laughing themselves to death over my photo.
But I’m going with the hostage thing because even though I’m frighteningly hideous, surely someone must be immune to my ugly mug. I mean, they’ve got access to rugged and brave folks like Special Ops, Secret Service, bomb squads, and SWAT teams.
I’m also going with the hostage thing because this is apparently not just a “Tammie” phenomenon. People are reporting passport processing taking anywhere from 18-20 weeks.
That’s nearly five months. To glue a picture in a little book and stick it in the mail.
So, any vacation planning is on hold while I deal with this hostage situation.
Meanwhile the list of places I want to go keeps growing longer and longer and I’m not sure if my mom’s going to want to housesit for the time it would take us to visit all these places.
So, if there’s anyone willing, could you set up a GoFundMe and raise some ransom money? Free Britney, sorry, I mean, Free My Passport!!
Facing Fears & Writing Updates
To prove my case that my face might have scared the passport people to death, I’ve got another video for you.
I’m chatting about my hostage situation, then I give a quick writing update, and finally I spew a few thoughts on how scary it is to be a writer sometimes (and it has nothing to do with seeing my reflection in the computer screen).
Joking aside, the fear of sitting down to write is real, and I have a few words on getting past that fear and getting the words out…in a very rambling fashion.
Just click the image if you’re brave enough to check out the video….
Your Book Bargains for the Week….
Yep, I’ve got another round of book bargains for ya. If you have a spare 99c lurking in your couch cushions and you’re looking for some new sci-fi or fantasy tomes, be sure to pop on over to Dean Wilson’s SFF Book Bonanza.
All of the two dozen or so books are only 99c, including three titles from yours truly (The Undead Mr Tenpenny, Space Walk, and The Voyage of Heroes).
Actually, there’s a lot of great books in the list this time, so you might need more than 99c. Dig deep int hose couch cushions! Dig deep!
Any passport woes to share? Is your passport being held hostage? Where are you dreaming of traveling to? Do you feel safe traveling now? Do you prefer to travel in summer, winter, or the shoulder seasons?
Pop your thoughts into the comment box below!!
Have a great week, everyone!!