February 23, 2010 | By: Tracy

The only thing that makes Tuesday better than Monday ... is LOST!

During the winter, when there is no baseball, the only way I can track the days of the week is by what television show is coming on that night. Since LOST comes on tonight, Tuesdays have now become a bright spot in my week. Two weeks ago it would have been a toss-up between Tuesday and Thursday, but "Vampire Diaries" & "Supernatural" have both gone on some unexplained, and truly upsetting, hiatus until late March. (Good thing I love you so much, Damon Salvatore & Dean Winchester, otherwise it would be out of sight, out of mind.) Okay, so on the writing front... Queries: I sent out 2 letters last week, and I've got 3 more agents on my agenda for this week (one email already sent yesterday). I'm sure there are some people who know me - or are reading this - thinking "Um, why don't you just send them out all at once and get it over with?" If only it were that easy! For some authors, the agent querying process might seem akin to sending in a resume for a job listing (something else I'm also getting a lot of experience with, right now) ... and while that makes perfect sense, I just can't seem look at it that way. For me, it almost feels like asking someone out on a date. It's scary as hell! Here you are, mustering up the confidence to ask someone to give you a chance to show them how wonderful you truly are, while desperately trying to ignore the screaming insecurities inside your head. Not an easy task. Made even less easy by the fact you have NO clue what is going on inside the other person's head. (This is why I much prefer it when guys ask ME out) I only put up a brave front, when really deep down I'm a terrible chicken ... so, I consider it quite a good deal of progress to have done the deed 3 times in the past week. Thankyouverymuch. Writing: As of my writing session earlier today, I'm not quite 3/4 of the way through the rough draft of my current work in progress (WIP). Woohoo! Go me, right? Except, apparently, I'm developing a pattern wherein this is the time in every project when the next story vying for attention becomes determined to distract me. Thank goodness I finally learned, last time around, that I have to ignore the urge to "take a little break" from my current work to dabble with the new idea. My computer's memory is a virtual graveyard of old stories that were never returned to from that little break. What I really need is to find some writing friends in the real world, so that my non-writing friends don't have to try so hard to pretend to understand. They try. They really, really try and I love them for it, but its time to let them off the hook so they can go back to being my sounding board for all things baseball, hot guys and LOST.
February 21, 2010 | By: Tracy

The Good, The Bad & The Olympics

I've actually been surprised to find myself watching a whole lot of the Olympics this year. Normally, it just doesn't hold that much fascination for me. Maybe my competitive spirit is growing stronger the older I get, don't know. But there are a couple of things I do know. 1) If I don't want to see it, they will show it. I don't understand why they have to break up the events that I want to watch, with the ones I don't. Why can't I watch figure skating without having to watch the 2,000+ runs of the luge? Is there a reason why the speed skating competitions have to be broken up by the competition of people coming down the hill on skis? (Slolum, long jump, etc, they all look the same to me). And I'm sure there are people out there who would love to watch skiing and luging without the interruptions of speed skating and figure skating. Why must we all suffer? 2) My appreciation of a male athlete's looks is the kiss of death. Good looking men, are good looking men. It doesn't matter whether they are from the US, Canada, Latvia, Italy or one of the many small countries that were once the Soviet Union. The one thing all of these men seem to have in common though is, once I say "Oh, he's kinda cute" ... BAM, down they go. It doesn't matter whether they are skiing, skating or snowboarding, they're going to crash and burn, because of me. (Thankfully, I wasn't a big fan of Evan Lysacek's slicked back hair. Had he been as adorable looking on the ice as he was in all of his post competition interviews, my comments would have kept him from winning the gold for sure.) 3) I can't tell all the countries apart. The US and Canada, I obviously get (though I'll admit, when I was little I thought we were all one big country. Continents, countries ... it gets confusing for a young mind sometimes). Then of course there are the biggies like Italy, France, Germany, etc. But then there seem to be at least a half dozen countries that sound, or look, like Katjiskestan, and I have absolutely NO idea where they are located. And until the tragic accident that happened at the luge practice, before the games got underway, I didn't even know there was a country named Georgia. All those things aside, I've become addicted. I'm one of the millions who've been tuning into it every night ... and I realize now, just how much I'm going to miss it when it's over!!
February 17, 2010 | By: Tracy

Query Letters & Characters w/ Coffee

Okay, so, after much ado earlier in the week, I finally sent out my first agent query letter today (that basically means I wrote a letter to plead for an agent to read my manuscript ... but the pleading was professional, mind you). It's a serious step in trying to get published, but I'm trying not to be so serious about the whole thing, if that makes sense. From everything I've gathered it can often times be a long and trying road to find sucess in a writing career, so I'm attempting not to sweat the small stuff along the way. That being said, I did have a "did that really just happen?" moment on the way to the post office this morning. For anyone who knows me, it shouldn't come as much of a surprise that I stopped by the drive-thru at Starbucks on my way to mail my first agent letter -- seriously, I need to join a 12 Step Program for my latte addiction. Anyway, when I pull up to the little order-speaker-box the guy on the other end happens to have the same name as one of the characters in my story (it's not a very common name). I thought it was cool, but at that point I was more focused on getting my coffee. Then, I pull up to the window and when the guy with my character's name leans out to take my debit card ... he looks like my character too. Not just a little, but a lot! He was a few years younger, but it was unbelievably weird. I'm sure he thought I was a freak, the way I stared at him while he gave me my coffee. The whole thing, of course, was a highly unusual coincidence ... but I'm going to pretend it was a sign from the Writing Gods, telling me I have their blessing to proceed. Now, if I could pull up to Starbucks and have the guy at the window be able to explain to me what the heck is going on, on LOST that would be even better!