October 28, 2010 | By: Tracy

Don't Be a Halloweenie!

In honor of October’s best holiday (sorry Columbus Day, but you are so 1492), I wanted to take a break from the writing talk and discuss scary stuff that doesn’t involve query letters and agent rejections.

Sadly, I have no intention of getting dressed up this year. Sort of lost my zeal for wearing costumes out in public… and what I choose to do in private is none of your business, thank you very much. But that doesn’t mean I don’t still feel the Halloween spirit.

As a self-professed scary movie lover, how could I not love a holiday that celebrates all the creepy things that make our skin crawl?

Since I’m always looking for new and improved ways to scare myself, I wanted to ask you guys what your all-time favorite scary movies are. Personally, I tend to love freaky/creepy more than gory.

Some of my favs:

The ShiningThough I love Jack Nicholson, the remake with Rebecca DeMorney(sp) was way freakier, IMO.

I Am LegendViral Infection Dystopia is scary to me…even Will Smith can’t make that sexy.

GothikaGhosts and spirit possessions will almost ALWAYS freak me the hell out. Guaranteed.

The RingNot gonna lie, I still have nightmares about the girl crawling out of the television set.

PoltergeistSee above about ghosts. The one with the creepy old guy who looked like a walking skeleton scares me most of all.

Nightmare on Elm StreetA little gorier than I normally like, but the scene with Freddy getting poor, unfortunate, young (smoking hot) Johnny Depp through his own bed had my little brother and I fighting over the top bunk for months.

Alright, so let me hear about some of your favs!
October 26, 2010 | By: Tracy


And that's quer, with one "E".  Not that I have anything against gay pride, but this isn't that kind of post.

As many of us know – whether we’re participating or not – November kicks off National Novel Writing Month.

Well, I’ve decided that November is kicking off something else for me as well -- NaNoQuerMo. (Not to be confused with Jose Cuervo, which I may very well need a good deal of by the time November comes to an end)



My goal -- since I’m a bit of a procrastinator -- is to send out one query letter/email a day, every day, throughout the month of November.

One query a day.

And I won’t let a little rejection or insecurity get me down, no matter how hard they try...and I expect them to try really, really hard.

One query a day.

Sooooooo, if you’re also in the querying phase, and maybe needing a little extra push to get you going, you should totally join me!

One query a day.

Think about it. NaNoQuerMo, it just rolls off the tongue doesn’t it?  (Yeah, I know it doesn’t. Just pretend, please)

In all seriousness, for anyone who's also at the querying stage, now is the time for us to take on this kind of challenge. Once December rolls around it’s going to be a lot harder to get through to agents. Not only is it holiday time…but there will be hordes of newly optimistic NaNoWriMo’s sending in their un-edited NaNo projects and clogging already full in-boxes. 

Let’s not get lost in that. K?

So who’s joining me??

Bueller? …. Bueller?.... Bueller?...
October 25, 2010 | By: Tracy

Not Enough Hilary Duff

Before I get into my post for today: If you’re a Twitterer take a quick peek at my “pages” (above). I’ve added one with links to the Twitter feeds of writing industry people. Help me grow it by letting me know about writers (published & hopeful), editors, agents and publishers that you follow on Twitter. And don't forget to let me know if you want your name added as well!


Normally, I am NOT a big fan of celebrities who decide to write a book. Then again, I’ve never been a big fan of singers who try to act, or teen stars who try to cross over into adult mainstream. (Unless you’re Justin Timberlake, in which case please disregard… and call me)

That being said, I can’t help but be a little embarrassed by the massive girl crush I’ve developed on Hilary Duff. Seriously, I want to BE her. She’s beautiful in a I’m-more-cute-than-anything-else-so-you-can’t-really-hate-me sort of way. She’s managed to go from Lizzie McGuire to singer to making out with Chad Michael Murray on the big screen. She got married not too long ago…and through all of the above she’s managed to keep her image as a smart and classy girl-next-door.

Hilary Duff is the girl who makes me feel painfully insecure about my current accomplishments in life. Thankfully, I can always turn to Lindsay Lohan to make myself feel better…but that’s another post for another day.

Anyway, as if the rest of Hilary’s accomplishments aren’t enough, I just recently discovered that my darling is also a published author. (I seriously, seriously want to be her).

I saw the book jacket for Elixir while perusing the teen section at Barnes & Noble (they don’t check for ID, thank God) and picked it up wanting desperately to be able to go “HA! Finally found something you can’t do.” Except, the story line sounded fairly interesting and nowhere near as cheesy as I was hoping, in my heart of hearts, it would be. Needless to say, Elixir is now sitting comfortably tucked away on my Nook waiting to be read.

I aspire to be someone else's Hilary Duff some day.
October 22, 2010 | By: Tracy

Paper Books Rule and E-books Drool!

A little while back (okay, a long while back), I created a post poking fun at why I thought E-books were better than the paper version. Mostly tongue-in-cheek, of course. Well, now it’s finally time to flip the switch.

Paperbacks are Better Than E-books Because…

-- It doesn’t cost a couple hundred dollars to replace a paperback you accidentally dropped in the bathtub.

-- Your paperback will forgive you for throwing it across the room after you discover the sadistic author has killed your favorite character without warning. E-readers, not so much.

-- A cracked book spine is a clear sign that you’ve read the book, which makes you look smurt. A whole shelf full of cracked spines makes you look super smurt.

-- Without paperbacks my Edward Cullen bookmark would have absolutely nothing to do. He’s not meant to get dusty, he’s supposed to sparkle dammit!

-- It’s much harder to start a “casual” conversation over the book the cutie seated next to you on the plane is reading (*swoon*) when you have no idea what book it is.

-- You can’t dog ear a Kindle.

-- You actually have to remove the credit card from your wallet to buy a paperback. Yeah you're still going to buy it anyway, but at least you'll remember why you're broke later.

-- In the event of a worldwide power loss in the middle of winter, your least favorite paperbacks make great kindling for a cozy little fire. Whereas your Kindle is useless once the battery dies.

-- You look a little stupid asking your favorite author to sign your Nook.

So there you have it. A few reasons why paper books aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Feel free to add anything I’ve missed.

Happy Friday, All!!!
October 20, 2010 | By: Tracy

Writing Hell and More Cheesy 80's Movie Trivia

Okay, so here’s a quote from another one of my favorite old 80’s movies. Let’s see who gets it first.

“I’m setting bootie twaps.”
“You mean boobie traps.”
“That’s what I said, bootie twaps.”

Oh the perils that we writers can be put through when trying to find an agent (as if writing a novel isn’t mental strain enough).

So last night I have this epiphany, if you will, and the query that I’ve been struggling with for nearly a month just came together. The tone, and which details to include, all finally flowed together and that proverbial light bulb clicked on inside my head. I won’t go so far as to say the Angels started to sing my praises, but for a moment it felt like they might be warming up. And then…

It dawned on me that I’ve spent so much time worrying about my query letter that I forgot I still need to revamp my synopsis. And this is what I looked like when that realization hit.

Yep, my hair turned into a mustache and bushy eyebrows. I may have even said rachet frachet more than my fair share of times.

One day, we’ll look back on these days and laugh…right?
October 18, 2010 | By: Tracy

What'sa Happening, Hot Stuff?

Cookie to the first person who can tell me what wonderfully Cheesy 80's movie that line is from!


So, I spent entirely too much time playing around with the design on my blog Friday night. So much so that I didn’t even add on the pages for fellow writer Twitter feeds that I wanted, or a link to my new updated first chapter. But at least the blog looks pretty! Perhaps things like this are a main reason why I’m still single. Nothing sexier than a girl with a hot new blog.

So anyway, please tell me you like it. Lie to me if you must.

Anyway, I know that a couple of you said that you don’t expect to do NaNoWriMo this year…while it makes me sad, I understand. For those of you who ARE expecting to give it a go please come find me. We can buddy up and push each other to keep going in those times when it seems damn near impossible.

My username is Muppet Love

Yeah, I know it’s a little corny, but I created it six years ago on a whim. Whatcha gonna do?

So if you’re NaNo-ing this year, come find me. And let me know your username so I can return the favor!

Alright, time to go keep the day job happy for a few hours. And tonight I’m making it my mission to go back over to visit Nathan’s forums again (Hi, Quill, if you happen to be reading!). It’s been too long since I spent some quality time on his message board -- Nathan's, not Quill's.

Again, how am I shocked to be single?
October 14, 2010 | By: Tracy

Query Wary

As some of you know, I’ve previously done the query thing with this particular MS several months back. Sending it out to about a dozen agents and getting one bite before I decided (on my own, thank you very much) that it still needed another good polishing. Now, the story is as beautiful as it can be at this juncture and I’m ready to start querying this month, before all the NaNoWriMo craziness pops up in November. And since I have a shinier MS, I definitely need a shinier query, right?

Okay, so here’s what I don’t get. Why is one little paragraph the hardest of all to write???

I mean, I’ve done plenty of studying on the query process. I’m no newbie in that regard. I understand that you don’t have to try to cram the entire story in, just enough to make the agent want to read more. I get that. I really do. Heck, I’ve even critiqued plenty of other writers and helped them get query blurbs that “sing”.

So why in the name of Mercutio can I not manage to pull out one little paragraph for myself?!

I’m an over-thinker. It’s what I do. There is no reason why a story blurb should sound wonderful when I write it in the morning and sound like crap when I go back to revise it at night. Obviously, my query is making me manic, which is probably not a good thing.

I know I’ll just have to stop being so overly critical and trying to write the “perfect” query letter, but I’m pretty sure I’m still due for another couple days of angst, because that’s how I roll.

Just curious, for those of you who’ve already query (once or many times) when did you finally decide you’d gotten it right? Or did you just guess?
October 12, 2010 | By: Tracy


Hi, my name is Tracy and I’m a Twitterholic.

There, I said it. I’m over the first hurdle.

Okay, so in all seriousness, I wouldn’t call my love for Twitter an addiction, because I have it well in hand. I do it simply because I enjoy seeing what others have to say. Or maybe I’m just really a voyeur at heart. *shrugs*

Anyway… when boredom strikes and my ADD kicks into high gear, Twitter is there for me. Now, I follow plenty of sports folk (both fans and players) and pretty much the entire cast of Vampire Diaries, so I have those important aspects of my life covered…but I want to beef up my writing community tweeters.

This is where I need your help, you guys!! If you have a twitter account and I’m not following you already let me know. I also want to build a list in my sidebar of any fellow authors (from newbies to well-established) and agents/editors. So send me the names/twitter handles of people in the writing community that you enjoy. (And yes, please leave your own in there so I can include you too!!)

If you don’t have a Twitter account already and feel left out, I’m so sorry. You should totally go get one though. *Peer Pressure*

So, here are a couple of my favorites to get us started:

kierstenwhite : Kiersten used to be one of us, now she’s one of them. But she’s darn good at it and her first novel is selling very well. So obviously, she’s doing something right, and she’s just so darn likeable.

Michellerowen : Michelle is probably in my Top 10 of favorite tweeters to read. She has a very easy-going, charming sense of humor (fits in perfectly with the fun, paranormal chic lit she writes) and I find myself never skimming over her tweets, because I want to see what she says next.

RichelleMead : Richelle is the author of my favorite YA series, so of course I stalk her online. No restraining orders, so I’m doing good. She’s got a pretty good balance of writer stuff and daily snark.

Janet_Reid : I don’t really think the Shark needs any introduction.

NathanBransford : Again, Nathan isn’t new to most of us. He’s one of the funniest, down-to-earth agents/writers I’ve come across. He doesn’t post too often, but when he does it’s usually worth the read.

BookEndsJessica : Jessica Faust from BookEnds. Be forewarned, Jessica is as straight forward in her tweets as she is in everything else. But she’s a great one to follow to get a feel for an agents day/mood. Not to mention, if you're up early on the east coast you'll often catch her taking a few minutes to answer #askagent quetions in the morning.
October 8, 2010 | By: Tracy


It’s October, you know what that means?

NaNoWriMo is less than a month away! WHAT??? Seriously? It can't possibly that time of year already.

I know. That was my reaction too. I swear it doesn’t feel like it should be time to think about a month of tremendously crazy writing again, but it is.

I’ve been doing NaNo for about six years now, I believe. I’ve kind of lost count … or brain cells … not sure which. This year, however, I have a wee bit of a dilemma. It’s the second week of October and I’m approximately 10K into another story. Since it’s a project I’m serious about I don’t want to rush through it in order to be done in three weeks, but NaNo’s unofficial rules say the 50,000 words for the challenge are supposed to be from a unique story that starts on November 1.

I’m afraid of putting aside the project I’m working on for an entire month…because that has never gone very well for me in the past. So it looks like I’ll be tackling TWO stories in the month of November (and working a full time job).

So, I’m giving Starbucks ample warning of my expected consumption next month.

Who else is planning on participating in NaNo this year? Anyone find themselves also likely juggling more than one writing project at once next month? If so we should form a support group.
October 6, 2010 | By: Tracy

I'm Baaaccck!

Okay, so I'm aware that I overshot my self-stated return date by about 2 1/2 weeks. (Thanks for checking, Terry)

My bad!

I totally needed the break though. It was good to get away from the whole routine (though not the writing/editing part) for a little while. Did my brain good to clear it out and focus on other non-writerly stuff for a little bit.

That being said...I totally missed you guys!!!

Alright, I know I've been out of the loop for several weeks,but did I seriously see that Snooki of the "Jersey Shore" *ahem* fame has a book deal? Is there anyone who's seen this girl with her buddies on their TV show that believes she'll be any good at writing an entertaining, well thought-out, non-melodramatic novel?? I wonder if her main character's favorite accessory will be the Bump-It.

Okay, I'm off to do some query revisions (it's about time to go down that road again)...and tomorrow I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone else has been up to while I was away.  So, until I get to you -- big hugs and kisses!! *Mwah*