Sunday, May 31, 2009

Filing for an extension

Umm, I'd like to extend my deadline to Wednesday, on account of my whiplash* making me miss two whole days of writing. Otherwise, I shall have to admit defeat, which I really, really hate to do.

I think my injury is sufficient enough to warrant it without breaking the double-pinky promise (thus avoiding the horrific consequences outlined in this post).



Double besos (one for each extra day)

*It still hurts a lot, but after daily massage and more drugs than I really care to admit to taking, I'm doing better and can at least type without wanting to die.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

I. Feel. Stupid.

I went into the file I sent away yesterday, and my page breaks weren't inserted. I mean, they're there on the original full manuscript, but when I copied/pasted, they disappeared. It's not like I didn't go over it eighteen zillion times to fix minor glitches before attaching it, because I know MS Word does goofy things like that*. I hope the agent doesn't think I'm completely incompetent. Maybe the writing will be compelling enough to make them overlook a formatting error? I sure hope so. I'd hate for them to think I'm a yahoo**. :-(


*Sometimes I really hate MS Word

**Although I don't use the term in the exact same context,
Janet Reid says yahoos are BAD. I don't want to be one.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Another partial!!!

Just came into the email box. Woo-hoo! This is exciting!

That is all.



And not the figurative kind, either. You know how I got into that car accident(1) just before Christmas? Well, the doctor said I'd probably feel it about 5 or 6 months down the road. I didn't really believe him(2) and to be honest, I forgot about it.

Until now.

I even believe that doctor. I can barely move my head(3). I'd been feeling a little sore for about a week, but attributed it to a tough day at the gym last Tuesday - after all, for three days my lower body was so sore that I practically had to aim my derrière at the couch and fall if I wanted to sit, and getting up involved a sort of rolling motion...but I digress...But then I realized that it was cardio and a lower body workout, not something that would affect the head/neck to cause this pain (I'm a regular Sherlock Holmes, I know). Hopefully I can get in to see the doctor quickly(4) to have it documented so I can get to physio/massage and get fixed up.

So anyway, in light of this discovery, I have declared today "Do nothing day".(5)

I'll still write, of course(6). And nap. Maybe get dressed. Oh, wait, I have to get dressed so I can take #4 to soccer tonight because hubby has a meeting. Curses! That means I'll have to drive. And shoulder check - oooh, not good. And getting clothed means I'll have to lift my arms up. Ouch. Perhaps with enough painkillers...oh wait, that'll affect the driving.

Don't worry, I'll figure it out. I'm resourceful, if nothing else.


1. It's in the footnotes of that post

2. It wouldn't be the first time a doctor was wrong about something, but don't even get me started on that one...

3. I used to think those neck braces were for when you broke your neck, but now I could really use one to hold my head up.

4. Wish me luck with this one. It'll be a week's wait, at least, and then who knows how long to get treated (free health care is good, but sometimes it can be a long wait).

5. Except for the caesar salad my husband asked me to make for his potluck lunch thing at work

6. Um, hopefully. It's kind of hurting to type, even lying down and propped up by all sorts of pillows, so I'll have to see about this one. I may have to tough it out. I have deadlines to meet, after all.

Monday, May 25, 2009


Okay, accountability check. In the last week I've only written ONE chapter. It wasn't even a very long one. Feel free to imagine me cringing as I type, because that's exactly what I'm doing. What a sucky feeling.

Sure, I can make all kinds of excuses: the kids were home sick from school, I had lots of running around to do, I had to vaccuum and do laundry, two of my kids had a birthday (they're even born on the same day), I threw a baby shower, I had to take care of the capuchin monkey problem in the backyard...they're all true (well, except for the monkey part, but you can bet that would have taken up A LOT of my time*).

So this week I am pledging to write THREE chapters**. That's right, you don't need glasses. I said THREE chapters, and if I don't do it, well, it won't be done, but still, it's not like you can ground me or anything. (edit: I guess it might help to mention that my chapters for this WIP seem to be averaging about 2000-2500 words***, and I take Sundays off from writing, AND my mom, sister and nephew are coming to town for the kids' piano recital this weekend****)

I know what you're thinking. How will we know if she really did write those chapters? I guess you won't, but you'll just have to take my word for it. I promise not to lie. Pinky - no, DOUBLE pinky - promise!

See? I'm totally trustworthy. Everybody knows that if you break a double pinky promise you'll break your mother-father-brother-sister-dog-cat's back, and give birth to six-legged children. Would I risk any of that?

Nay, I would not.

I'll report back next Monday, unless I finish sooner. I may even find time to blog again this week. You know - in between writing and taking care of those monkeys.


*Sure, wikipedia says they're undemanding regarding their habitat, but you can't believe everything on that website.

**If you write more than that on a regular basis, no offense, but I don't want to know about it. And no, I'm so not jealous of you. (Why what have you heard??)

***But they're only as long as they need to be, of course, so maybe I'll luck out and have some really, really short chapters this week...

****Okay, now I'm really wondering what I've got myself into, but a double-pinky promise is not something to be trifled with. Mmm, trifle...Okay, focus, Tracy. FOCUS!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Because this is more fun

It's a good thing that my husband hates the internet*, because otherwise he'd see that I'm typing instead of cleaning. But really, why would I clean when there are so many other things that I could do?

I know, I know, we have company coming, but does it really matter that there's popcorn all over the floor from last night's family fun? I mean, other than that, the carpet is very clean. Can't we just sit everyone on the floor and pretend it's a middle-eastern style hors d'oeuvre or something?

What's that you say? Popcorn isn't a middle-eastern dish? Darn, there goes that idea.


Fine, then. I guess I'll just have to vaccuum.

Popcorn doesn't really go with roast beef anyway.


*unless it's used for its original, God-given purpose - to play Diablo 2 online with his brothers and the kids - I know, I'm a terrible mother - the horror!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Good Girls Can Be Masochists Too

I sent off a couple of email queries during the last week to a few other agents. Their response times are generally quicker than my first one (for which I got a partial request), which is why I waited this long to submit. I mean, I have so little control over this process, it couldn't hurt to try and manoeuvre things a little in my favour, right? In the end, I know I'd be in great hands with any one of them. Hopefully I've spaced it out enough that the responses will come in around the same time*. Who knows, maybe things will heat up and I'll get more than one offer.

A girl can hope, right?


*crickets chirp*

Hey, it's my blog and I can dream if I want to...

So, I'm excited and nervous again. Nerves stink, and are counter-productive. My problem is that I've got an overactive imagination. This is good for writing stories, but not so good for getting a good sleep. I imagine all kinds of exciting scenarios**, plotting my reactions and living in the land of what-if. Then my heart races, my palms get sweaty, and my stomach does its own clumsy brand of gymnastics as it flips and flops all over the place. This all leads to sleep deprivation, making me too tired to function in just about every capacity. I forget to clean the house (meh, that was probably going to happen anyway), I forget to feed the children (not good), and the laundry goes by the wayside as I wander around in a stupor. Now the family is hungry and smelly, and my husband is wondering why I am doing this to myself. See, and there's the sad, sad irony. I AM doing this to myself! WHO DOES THAT???

Oh yeah. Writers, that's who. ME, that's who.

*shakes head*

What have I gotten myself into?


*This isn't a completely exclusive list. I'll likely be adding to it as I find more agents who represent books that I enjoy and/or are similar to mine. There are so many excellent agents out there.

**As an optimist, I only imagine the most excellent scenarios of course.

Monday, May 11, 2009

I now interrupt regularly scheduled programming... brag about my awesome family! Cheezy, I know, but I seriously have the greatest kids (they must get it from their dad). Yesterday I got breakfast in bed; o.j. and eggos with jam, cut into hearts -my 8yr. old's idea (she was so excited). Then I got to open everyone's cards and gifts. Is there anything better than a heartfelt, homemade card? I think not. Hubby didn't make a card, but he got me a gift certificate to a spa...oooh, that massage and facial are calling my name! I told him I didn't need anything, but it was a lovely surprise and I'll definitely take it. At church, all the children sang a beautiful song as a tribute to mothers, and my 9yr. old accompanied on the piano. He doesn't read music, so he spent the last 3 weeks memorizing it and did a fantastic job. He was so worried he wouldn't be able to do it, but the kid has got a real gift for music. It was great. To top things off, all 5 of my munchkins were super quiet when I laid down for a nap, and hubby did all the dishes and made supper. All I had to do was wake up and eat! Talk about spoiled.

So, I've had my day, and now it's back to work. We're in the process of selling our house, so I've got to get the house cleaned for the realtor open house tomorrow (boo, cleaning sucks). We were originally trying to sell the house ourselves, but we put an offer in on another place and we had to list with a realtor. Oh well. At least our realtor is giving us a break on the commission.

On the story front, I got an amazing revelation about my current WIP, and I'm so excited to get far enough into the story to work everything into it. Fun stuff!


Friday, May 1, 2009

Beyond Mediocrity (hopefully)

So, I've got a decent start on one of my new WIP...okay, so I did some outlining and wrote the first chapter, but it was like pulling teeth trying to get it written. It would have been so much easier to just work on the sequel to the book I just finished, but I'm not writing that unless someone wants it (and book one wraps up neatly as a stand-alone). I distracted myself by doing some writing on 2 other MS, but it's time to put the nose to the grindstone and fully commit to this story.

And now, I feel like I officially suck. Perhaps I'm being a bit hard on myself, since this is really only the first time I've tried to transition from one story to another, but it's still the way I feel. This line of work sure isn't for sissies, is it?

If I hadn't read a post about this very same thing, I might feel worse, but I figure if Shannon Hale feels this way, then I'm in good company. I'm sure I could find the exact link if I weren't so lazy, but I'll paraphrase what she said. It doesn't matter how many books you've published, or if you've won the Newbery prize; every time you embark on a new journey with a new story, you're going to think you suck. And it just might be true! But that's okay, because you can always go back and rewrite until you get it right. You need to give yourself permission to suck.

When I started writing my novel last year, that was my mantra. After all, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to pull off an entire novel (I mean, I suspected that I could or I wouldn't have begun in the first place). But then as time went on, and the MS became more polished, access to the suckiness was denied and it was time to have the MS ready to submit. I guess what I'm saying is, that it's hard to let myself suck again. I don't want to suck. I know, who does, right? :)

So, what keeps me from going off the deep end? What makes my self-esteem bounce right back up when it takes a hit? In a word, gratitude. I have a great deal of faith, and that gives me hope for the best possible outcome in every situation. No matter what happens, I am always thankful. Am I grateful to suck? No, but I'm grateful to be able to learn how to not suck. :)

I read a quote somewhere that really struck a chord. "If you don't risk mediocrity, you'll never achieve greatness."

Here's to taking risks, and the quest for greatness - while maintaining an attitude of gratitude.