Category Archives: writing/query

bloggers thanking bloggers

I know that a lot of people hate anything that reminds them of chain letters, so I will try to spice my 7 tidbits (all about me) up a little ( ūüėõ spoiler: there may be a cowboy picture or two) and keep the fun flowing as I pass this award along to the most recent commenters that have been helpful/engaging/or just plain awesome…..

Dragon’s Loyalty Award


First off, I want to send out some cyber to¬†Jean over at for adding me to her list of 15 rocking bloggers.¬†She always has a kind word or two for her fellow bloggers, as well as, writing tidbits and book reviews, so be sure to look her up.¬†This award, in particular, is given to those who have commented and/or followed¬†on your¬†blog. So, if you find your name below, pass the thanks along to a blogger that you appreciate. Annnnddd here we go…


*pinterest pic

Here Are The Rules For This Award:

 * Display the award certificate on your website.
*  Announce your win with a post, and link to whomever presented your award.
* Present 15 awards to deserving bloggers.
* Drop them a comment to tip them off after you’ve linked them in the post.
* Post 7 interesting things about yourself.
All about ME:
Let’s start with the seven things about Tracey, that I will try to make interesting to all. Hummmm … where to start.¬†Well since I added that race track photo to the top, why not start off with¬†horse. I love horses. I love to ride them (though it has been years), especially run.¬†To¬†be on top of a horse as¬†he flies across the¬†ground, it feels like you’re the one flying.¬†Everything about the animals speaks of majestic strength, of power. Being on top of one, you get to be included¬†in that power, if only for a little while.
*pics from trip to boyd county fare
Number two on my list … I’m gonna go with cowboys. I blame this on Lorelei James and her rough rider series. lol.¬†Just lover her cowboy romances.¬†Though it could also have something to do with the fact that I am a Kentucky girl. Cowboys and other men that work farms or with animals are just plain sexy. ūüėõ One day, I plan to write a contemporary/cowboy romance. But for now I will stick to my Fantasy/paranormal romances. I will edit the ba-zillion rough drafts until I want to scream, and then watch out. Here come the Cowboys.
*pinterest pics
For your third viewing pleasure, let’s look at some beach pictures. Although I have been to many different sandy shores, in both the heat and the cold, I am not a beach fan. I love the beautiful views to be found, buuutttt … Sand and Sharks, people. Sand and Sharks. I hate and fear them both. I firmly that sand has a mind of its own, and is more dangerous than the ever hungry shark. As soon as you enter the city holding your chosen beach destination, the sand goes to work. Without getting out of the car, you will start to feel the creeping, abrasive, sneaky sandy hands. Heaven help you if you are brave enough to go swimming. I always come out of the water (ocean or pool) with sand taking up residence inside my bathing suit. With shark, I would just like to eat one of them before they get me. At least them I will kinda deserve it. (at least in the sharks mind) lol
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*my sunset/sunrise pics
On to number four … When I need a break from my characters and the worlds that the voices demand I continue to build and expand, I turn to crafts. Mostly, I experiment with oil paints. I enjoy the way you can blend and change the canvas. Plus, even if you use a drying agent, mixed in with your paints, you have at least three days to change your creation. Oils are very forgiving of mistakes. ūüėõ My other main craft revolves around yarn. Hats, scarves … stuffed animals, baby clothes … I will try anything. Everyone should include some form of arts and/or crafts in their life. Make sure that you use both sides of your brain, not just the fact based side ūüėõ
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*keep trying until you find your stress relief
Alrighty! Moving on to interesting fact number five. (I feel like I am on a dating site … lol) Anywho. I would say that my travel history is pretty interesting. I have been to beaches from the west to the east (see fact three). I have been to different Kentucky areas for singing competitions. As a teen I went on one of those Eruo tours, visiting France, London, Germany, Switzerland, etc… I have seen castles and homesteads from the 1800’s, I have gone cliff diving (very little cliff, not to dare devilish), and I have gone deep sea snorkeling. And still there is so much I want to see and do. Seeing and experiencing the world around me is very important to my life. I want to take in as much as I can.
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*I need to start taking more pics
Two facts left. For number six, I will go with … Animals. I love them all. In fact, every time I go on a trip, I pick an animal to associate with that adventure. In Switzerland, I chose the mountain goat. I loved taking a tram up into the mountains and seeing them perched so perfectly on the rocky cliff face. At the beach, I usually go with an alligator. Most would probably go with sharks, but when I was small, I saw an alligator snatch a bird for his dinner. I have some charms for a bracelet of a necklace with representations of my vacations animal picks.
*alligator pic came from pinterest (need to get one of my own)
Lastly, but not least … I have MS (multiple sclerosis) but I refuse to stop me from living. I want to be apart of the world, not just sit on the sidelines and watch. I may not move at the same pace as others, or accomplish everything in a timely manner, but eventually get to the places I want to be. I have learned to work with my MS, instead of being smothered by it. When I wake up, I ask myself what I want to accomplish. Then I stop to think, what CAN I accomplish. If I’m having a bad day, I know that whatever I want to do isn’t out of the questions. I just need to wait and see if tomorrow will let me do more. This process has allowed me to become a new person, when I thought all had been lost. I avoid things that hurt my head, and take life one day at a time. I have event finished one novel that I am in the process of talking to a publisher about, and I have half a dozen other rough draft (but dang, the editing process vs my MS and dyslexia … let’s just say time consuming).
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Blogger appreciation
Now for some fellow blogger love. Here is my list of Blogger I think we should all know more about.
1. Mary Shortridge … a lovely woman from the writing group in my area … truthfully some of the best writing I have ever heard… (Finish your book, Mary, so I can buy it in hard back and kindle)
2. …. some of the best pictures of water views
3. …. love the reviews found here
4.Sharmishtha¬† …. she always has a kind word to share, artist and writer.
5.¬†Dellani Oakes¬† …. I would love to be able to paint the water scene from her home page… fun reads to be found from this blogger
6. Frank Parker …. an author and one of the many excellent bloggers willing to inspire those around him…
7. Mary A. Perez …. a lovely site that can reach both the English and Spanish speaking blogger with her writing
8. Opher Goodwin …. a seriously all around blogger and author, with ideas and viewpoints on multiple fronts
9. Lloyd Lofthouse …. author with lots of site ideas when you are looking for blogs about books… he also has a handful of other blogs that should be checked out … I dub thee, word warrior
10. Teresa … because, hey, she is a fellow Kentucky gal … plus, I live the animal pics on her blog
11. A.C. Melody … a fellow author just trying to keep the voices happy ūüėõ
12. Tracey Lynn Tobin …. because Traceys rock… not to mention that her maiden name was just like my last name (if you tack on an E) which automatically equals cool ūüėõ
13. Noirfifre¬† … because anyone that loves Pride and Prejudice, I will consider my peeps… lol… I may be all about Fantasy/paranormal Romance, but P&P is a must read/watch for everyone… *sigh … now I want to put my copy in the DVD player
14. Jin Okubo … anyone willing to reblog my words gets an award … plus he writer in English and Japanese … (Man, that makes two bi-lingual bloggers on my list … I am so jealous… wait, maybe its three… dang it… I bet you can all speak and write¬†in multiple languages *pouting now)
15. … a blogger after my own heart, with so many voices in her head that it is either write them down or go insane…
Now go forth, my lovely winners

Find your Inspiration


Where do you find your Inspiration???

For years, I wrote down my ideas and worked on my outlines and rough drafts, but that was all. I looked down and had dozens of both, but unless I wanted to build another room to house my ideas, I needed to finish this and edit that. It was a moment of ‘omg, where do I start…’ and I didn’t have a clue. Then I saw something on twitter about National Writers Month (#NaNoWriMo). The organization is great. They have the main event in Nov. for #NaNoWriMo, and camp comes in july (#campnanowrimo) … I think there is even a month dedicated to the junior wordmonger.

But what do you need, what do you get out of it, and why should you bother???



Hey, this may be camp, but that doesn’t mean you have to go outdoors. I mean, l love nature and all the beautiful landscapes that are available … but … bugs. I said it, bugs. I am too old to fight off bugs, use natures outhouse (or even a camp restroom), and sleep on the hard unforgiving ground.

Even those lovely foldout beds, that can be put into place with the ease of a lawn chair, is a no-go for this Kentucky gal. I want to ride the horses, wade in the stream, take some amazing photos … and then go home. So indoor camp is it for me. Plus, s’mores can be made anywhere. yummmm. A bottle of wine, a bag of goodies, and some upclass camp junk food. Dang, now I’m hungry.

But camp isn’t about the food, or the bedding. It’s about the people. I am still friends with the first two women I met at camp, a Canadian word-lover and an Ohio wordsmith.¬† We still get on Facebook to chat, trash talk, and when needed …¬†we support each other in our current projects. So the inspiration you can find at CampNaNoWriMo, or one of the similar online get togethers, is something that you can take with you. Something that you can depend on throughout the year, not just the month that you bust your arse to reach that 50k word goal line. Even if you never reach 50k words, the connections and friends are important.

But just because I enjoy my comforts (the bed is sooo not mine), don’t think I miss out on the wildlife… say hello to Froggy Assassin in the picture below …..


Writing is a solitary event for the most part. But every once in a while it is good to get out of you writer’s cave, take a look around, and stretch your legs. We have to go out in the world in order to keep the ideas and voices flowing. Stroll through the local fruit market, wonder around the towns surrounding chosen vacation spot, or my favorite outdoor activity … stop at a random exit. When I’m coming home from some roadtrip or out of town necessity, I watch the signs that promote the attractions for the upcoming exits. My last trip ended with a stop along the Ky-Tn border. Mom and I stopped for lunch at this little outdoor museum. They had houses from the old days, and lots of animals walking around. The little store had some of the crafts from the area, and the back of the store housed a little deli with homemade goodies. We had some of the best cobbler I have ever tasted, and I’m not normally a cobbler lover.

In essences, inspirations can be found anywhere. Indoors and out, you just need to be open to trying something new. You can tackle the word sprints with your NaNoWriMo camp mates, or soak up the off the beaten path attractions. Just have fun, and then write it down… ūüėõ … Happy Wordage, Tracey Clark

Here are some of the photos from my off the beaten path stop…


blessings in computer woes


just acquired a cheap, but excellent lap top… this one will be off line at all times. or as close to ‘at all times’ as possible… i would like to have something virus free… why??? because i spent two days freaking out because i thought i had lost years worth of writing… but in ocd fashion (only ocd about writing and a few other important topics… lol) i had saved my work on three different flash drives.. the first had a lot of problems, mostly the books and rough drafts saved there were no longer opening… why??? wordperfect … word-freaking-perfect… i am in no way techy, and i don’t understand office 360, and in fact feared it, so i chose to try wordperfect…

when i purchased¬†this latest¬†computer, i decided to bite the bullet and get office 360, understand it or not, even though the idea of saving my work on a cloud gave me pause… but the lady at the store had an Microsoft office deal that just included the basic programs, no 360… woo who… and wow… i love it… so much help with the editing process… soo… a scary few days, but in the end, it feels like i came out on top, better than ever

writer’s depression



The internet has exploded with opportunities for those of us pouring out heart and soul into beloved characters and imagined worlds. One of my biggest problems with this gateway to all things written, is  the distraction potential. Before I realize the danger, I have too many irons in the fire. With millions of chances to rub cyber-shoulders with other word lovers and thousands of contests to show and better your work, how do you choose witch to ignore and which to latch onto with both hands. If anyone out there has the answer, I would love to hear it, because I find the world of wordage to be daunting and hard to navigate. Fun, but distressing.

My current mode of operation is to pick few at a time and see where it goes. I went through the query/pitch contest #pitmad on twitter and participated in #postitforward. #PostItForward helped me to refine my 35-word pitch. Hopefully I will be better prepared for #NestPitch, the contest being held the first of April. I even managed to find a Beta reader for my Novel Finder’s Keepers, while tweeting about queries on twitter. But the number of rejections, no matter how polite, and the multiple edits weigh me down at times.


Feeling the writers depression heavy on my shoulders, I decided to distract my mind with an outside art project. I love all things artistic. It really doesn’t matter what type of art, from music to cake design, from paintings to wood crafting, from beaded necklaces to knitting … And especially writing. I love it all. ūüėõ

But the end of¬†a story leave a kind of undertow, a empty space that needs to be filled or else. I have read¬†as my fellow authors mourn the end of there current story, so I felt partially prepared. Still … I was shocked at the¬†depth of my fall,¬†like an adrenaline crash. I am ashamed to admit that I spent a¬†day or two moving around in a kind of haze, feeling as if I didn’t know where to go,¬†what to do, or who to turn to. I didn’t really want to be around others. I didn’t want to read any of my favorite authors or watch my favorite shows.

I looked at my¬†mother and finally said, “I am¬†stuck in a writer’s depression.” I knew what the problem was, but that didn’t mean I knew how to fix it. I didn’t want to start another story. I didn’t want to send of query letters or read through my novel for the hundredth time. But once I admitted¬†out loud that there was an issue, I was able to stop and think. I needed to create something. I needed to immerse myself in something other than writing and entertainment.¬†Creating a baby outfit from yarn seemed like fun.

It all started with those adorable little shoes. I had never attempted to knit, and¬† I am not that great at following all the jargon. My friend Debbie and her¬†wife are expecting a bouncing baby girl soon, so¬†I jumped in feet first¬†– as I always do ūüėõ – and managed an outfit perfect for a pre-me. Since that baby¬†is following the¬†normal format, my creation may¬†end up as clothing for her doll babies. Next time I will shot for the 3-6 month old size. lol


Correctly sized or not, my knitting project did the trick. I felt energized, able to start editing and fleshing out my second novel. At times I still feel so new to the world of writing that I imagine phrase like ‘wet behind the ears’ and ‘the paint isn’t dry’ are stamped on my forehead. Not that little things like lack of experience would ever stop me.

The worlds created by the voices in my head have been building for years. Little thoughts that I would jot down and forget. Ideas that I would use to set the landscape of my dreams as I feel asleep, but nothing more. Finding out who I was after my life was turned upside down with Multiple Sclerosis was a hard road. My worlds, my characters, and my imagination saved my life. I had my mother by my side feeding my creativity with art projects that I could work on from the bed that held me hostage for years.

With her help and the constant stimulation of the projects she provided, I slowly became a person again. I found my worlds, my voices, and my creations. With each downward slide from a writers high, I know that I can turn to her and she will push me to create, to live. Everyone should have someone willing to give that push. A family member, a childhood friend, or cyber writing buddy. Find that person willing to push you out of the downward slide from your writing highs. Some willing to push you to create!

Happy wordage everyone

the polite rejection

I find myself fighting the writing blues. For the past few months I have been focused on editing, query contests, and participation in the writing community. There were lots of smiles, laughs, and connections to be had. I enjoyed every minute of the¬†adventure. Wellllll….. with every high there comes that moment when the low finally hits.

I finished editing my baby for the hundredth time, working to fix my show-vs-tell abilities. I forced myself to focus on just this one project, ignoring the pull of newer ideas and new worlds. The voices were strong and insistent, but for the first time in my life I managed to stay on target. I allowed the call of my WIP, while I tweaked and refined.


I felt overjoyed and completed a query letter that didn’t make me want to go back to bed, burn my laptop, and hide under the covers for days.¬† My words came with ease and confidence, as I revisited all the cracks in my story. The excitement had me putting on my helmet, ready to take on the world.

I entered query contests on Twitter. I sent of regular query letters for my novel, and I entered sent off half a dozen short story submissions. I became sooooo focused on the business side of writing that forgot that this is just the beginning of my writing journey.


Then I finished editing that last line. Looking at my baby, I wanted to crawl into a hole. I wanted to take back all my submission. My work wasn’t ready for the Red Pen Of Hate… I needed to protect my babies. No one out there could look at my work and enjoy what I had created. I felt depressed.

And I got one of the many ‘Rejection’ letters that we as writers learn to expect. It wasn’t rude or demeaning. Quite the opposite. Buttttttt…. Those first few words, “We’re sorry, but…” flashed in my mind’s eye until the rest of the email disappeared. I needed time. I needed chocolate. And above all, I needed to allow no one but my mother to have access to my work.¬† ūüėõ


Now, thoroughly depressed, I plan to fight my slump the only way I know how. My kindle is charged and ready for my therapy session. I think that this slump will require a large dose of Patricia Briggs. If that doesn’t work, I will hit the hard stuff… Laurell K Hamilton, Shelly Laurenston, Karen Chance….The list goes on and on.

Reading aside, I have my WIP…. I can lick my wounds, enjoy my favorite authors, and develop my own worlds to wake through. Allowing your mind to interact with the voices of inspiration filling your mind can be the best motive to keep learning, to keep writing, to keep enjoying the creation of wordage…

Happy Writing, Tracey

Guide to SFF (Science Fiction and Fantasy) Sub-genres

this is excellent for those fantasy/sci fi writer’s out there trying to nail down what genre your novel falls under. it is one of the hardest questions. you wrote your novel, and if you are anything like me, you didn’t stop to think … this will be a dark fantasy work of ark … you merely wrote what you loved, what you saw playing out inside your head. I ran across this writer and many others while participating in #pitchmadness … twitter query/pitch parties are an excellent way to meet new people. even if you gain nothing more than acquaintances, you have gained something. a comrade-ary that allows you to feel apart of something larger. now, I am off to edit, and tweet with other #pitchmadness peeps while we all wait for the big reveal …

Lara Willard

Lara Willard answers genre questions: What's Magical Realism? What's the difference between Science-Fiction and Fantasy? What genre is my novel?

I’m not a published speculative fiction author or agent. Am I really qualified to write such a post, or am I just making things up as I go? You be the judge.


  1. SFF Sub-genres Used in #SFFpit
  2. The Difference between Science Fiction and Fantasy
  3. What’s the Difference between…
  4. Setting-Based Sub-genres
  5. Literary Fantasy
  6. Fantasy Romance or Romance Fantasy (Order Matters!)

SFF Sub-genres Used in #SFFpit

If you are writing sppeculative fiction and plan on pitching via #SFFpit, or if you are researching #MSWL, you need to know your sub-genres. The total list, as of December 2014, is below. I’ve divided them based on the requirements of the sub-genre.

By Subject (Genre Depends on Specific Tropes)

  • #FA ‚Äď fantasy
  • #DF ‚Äď dark fantasy
  • #EF ‚Äď epic or high fantasy
  • #MYF ‚Äď mythic fantasy
  • #PN ‚Äď paranormal
  • #SF ‚Äď science fiction
  • #DS ‚Äď dystopian
  • #ML ‚Äď military science fiction

View original post 1,508 more words

yasmine phoenix’s blog post, part one

Have a look into the thoughts of the unpublished writer. Yasmine Phoenix did an excellent job. The Q&A was fun and the back and forth with other word lovers was both enlightening and entertaining. Happy reading, Tracey

yasmine phoenix

Query Quest & Writing Tips

I entered a Query Contest yesterday. For the first time, I finally have a query that I am proud of. My friend Tracy (TS) Stengel Foore, aka: the query conqueror, and all around brilliant editor, managed to pull a query out of me that nearly made me weep. (and no tears of disillusioned pain and vexed hatred) This query actually made me eager to participate in the world of query hell. I will still get rejections (because that is the way of the literary world) but at least now, I won’t assume that the rejecting agent in question decided not to take me on because they cringed at the idea of reading anything else that came from me. (yep, my queries have been that bad. This isn’t a self-deprecating moment, I swear. I’m sure that TS would be more than happy to back me up here. :P)


I readied my new and improved query, and waited with baited breath for the starting gate to open. 4pm on the dot, I was there. Off to the contest queens, my query flew. We had been warned that the limit of 200 queries would go fast, that last year closed down within a few hours. I didn’t want to miss out, not when my work had improved. TS had put in a lot of her time to get me ready. Failing to even be in the competition would have been a let down to myself, and disrespectful of the time she gave up to help me out. I didn’t want to sit around and forget to even try to enter. And that was when I believed I would have the cushion of a few hours to make the cut off.

HA. No such luck this year. Six minutes after the contest began, the 200 limit was reached. Yep, six minutes. I have never been happier that I ignored my need to procrastinate. My email flew into the cyber world at 4:01. Taking part in Michelle and Amy’s ‘Sun VS Snow’ query quest has been a great way to have fun, meet other writers, and get some much needed query practice. Hauck Trueblood


The fun and games will continue through the will on twitter. Each day, there is a question to be answered and posted on twitter with the hashtag #sunvssnow. Today’s writer challenge: Share your Editing Tips. Usually I am one to put off editing for as long as possible. I want to sit down and write the next story, create the next world. Being forced to put that off so that I can fix my mistakes, reread old works, and fix, fix, fix…. yep, not my favorite pass time. But after participating in a questionnaire for unpublished writer that was being compiled for Yasmine Phoenix’ blog, I found a few points in the editing craze that I could enjoy.

One of the questions asked us what book we had out and ready to use at a moments notice. I admit, this was the hardest question for me. I actually got more out of my fellow writer’s answers. I especially appreciated learning about ‘The Emotion Thesaurus. I immediately purchased my own copy. While buying my copy, I also found two other great finds of the thesaurus world. The Negative Trait Thesaurus, and The Positive Trait Thesaurus… LOVE LOVE LOVE these books.

Back to the here and now. For today’s Sun VS Snow question: here are a few of the tips being shared on twitter…

Fave edit tip #2: Look for filter words like saw, heard, thought, decided, felt & reword those phrases to show instead.

-Laura Rueckert

Read it out loud. The whole thing. Anywhere you trip up reading, check to see if you could write it better.

-Meghan Thompson

Yes, reading aloud helps with dialogue in particular. Hey, no one can say all that in one breath, that sounds stilted…

-Diane McIntire Rose

Edit Tip: When you finish draft one, don’t touch it for a reread and delay the edit as long as possible. Distance = Perspective

-James Stryker

Edit tip: talk to other writers. Have them read excerpts. Listen to feedback =). Be open minded!!

-Kelly Heinen

Save every draft. This frees you up to make drastic cuts, knowing you can always resurrect the darlings you murder


Edit Tip #3: “Was” is not your friend. Search and destroy. Remove whenever possible. Make writing more active, less tell-y.

-Laura Heffernan

I thought I knew something about editing until I read Self Editing for Fiction Writers by Browne. Y’all really should too

-Eric Rasmussen


if you want to peek at writer’s comments, here is the list of questions for the follow days… answers can be seen on twitter when you follow #sunvssnow

Tuesday, January 27 Give us your best editing tip! Share some wisdom!

Wednesday, January 28 Your MC is pushed in the pool or hit with a snowball, what do they do? Do they forgive and forget or fight back?
Thursday, January 29 Your MC is trapped on desert island/snowed in a cabin. What one item do they have to have?
Friday, January 30 Your bad guy/girl is suddenly wearing a pink tutu. What happens next?
Saturday, January 31 A dream is a wish your heart makes. Where is your dream vacation writing spot. Where would you like to sit and pour out words?
Sunday, February 1st It’s all about friends. Look for fresh critique partners or give praise to the ones you have! This is your day to send out thank yous and find new readers.
Monday, February 2nd Hold onto your hats. We announce the picks today! Post a twitter¬†picture¬†of you wearing a hat or tell us what sort of hat¬†you’d wear.
Remember it’s about making connections and having fun –

A Quick Guide to Ruby Writing Sprints

A Quick Guide to Ruby Writing Sprints. I am getting excited. The end of one writing goal can lead to procrastination, or even the fear to start something new. You think that maybe you should wait and see how your work has been received. You worry that maybe you are wasting you time. If you never put your work out there then you don’t need to even think about rejection. Yep, a load of crap. At least that is what I tell myself, because the bottom line is that my writing has become my creative world, my outlet. I will still fear the sting of a harsh critique and procrastination will forever follow me around, my faithful companion, but when I know that once I start, I get more joy out of building my characters a home, a universe to live, love and play in than anything I have set my mind to in the past 34 yrs of life. This should be similar to NaNoWriMo but each person will develop their own goal, limits, and finish lines. Hopefully the Writing Sprints will be as entertaining and invigorating as NaNo. A little push to help us get started and stay focused.

happy wordage, tracey

Announcing the 2015 Ruby Winter Writing Festival!!!

Announcing the 2015 Ruby Winter Writing Festival!!!. this sounds like a load of fun, especially with NaNoWriMo so fresh in our minds… we are still buzzing with the fast pace of nano, but this looks like a relaxed environment to continue our writing, while coming down off that writing high… count me in

Fantasy Cowboys

Sooo… I find myself in the post-NaNoWriMo stage. Am I working to finish that novel? Am I congratulating myself on finishing book number two? Am I gritting my teeth as I head into the tortious world of edits?¬†Hmmmm….¬†That would be¬†a big¬†NO… NO, NO, NO.

Hey.¬†Not my fault. I was sidetracked by bull whips, chaps, and rodeo lovin’.¬†Hehehe.

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I find myself with this¬†overwhelming need to play ‘cowboys and indians’. Which is why I started my latest novel about a Rodeo Cowboy and rancher beauty. For now I plan on bouncing back and forth between my Rodeo lovin’ and my current Fantasy¬†Romance. The Fantasy is nearly complete but the Rodeo has a¬†stronger voice right now. The¬†female MC is the oldest daughter in a large ranching family. I decided that she would¬†decide¬†that she needed to follow her sister around the rodeo circuit, while little sis competes.

She is determined to go crazy for once in her life, after getting diagnosed with MS. Yes I was having a poor me moment when¬†I made this decision, but after a day or two of seeing this character come to life,¬†it just felt¬†right. Add in a tough as nails, man-whore, and¬†some wild interacts and misunderstandings, and I am loving this story more and more.¬†But then, who doesn’t love¬†a little cowboy lovin’ from time to time.

This new direction in my writing has me itching to attend a real rodeo with bull and bronc riding.¬†I want to see it first hand, not just on¬†youtube.¬†The ability to stay on the back of a pissed off animal for any amount of time is amazing to me. Plus, I just love horses. Sooo, horses plus cowboys … I am so there.¬†Let’s all go.¬†We can make group migration of it, but first I need to know when and where would be best for a rodeo newbie like myself.

While I am figuring that out, I will continue to develop this new world, and wrap up my second novel.

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My second novel is centered around shapeshifters, vampires, and fiery redhead doing her best to police¬†crimes that keep pulling her into a world she should¬†know nothing about. The female MC, Samantha¬†‘Sam’ Cass, is paired with Nic, a vampire that she is insanely attracted to. I wrote a handful of shorts stories with Sam and Nic, and entered the pair in a few contests. Writing those shorts was enough fun that I decided to give Sam and Nic a longer story during NaNoWriMo. And yes, I finished 50,000 words of their story during the month of November. I feel like I am over half of the way done with Sam and Nic’s first full length novel.

It was shocking but fun to see the book take a direction that was completely unplanned, when the Indian myth Coyote¬†decided to stick his nose into the mix. But then that is the best part of creating a new world … The story truly has a life of it’s own. And I am just along for the ride. Hopefully, by the end of December, Sam and Nic¬† will be done telling their story, while my cowboys will be more fully developed.

Happy Writing, everyone!!!! Tracey Clark

how to see the world?

Be it the online world or the world of reality and human interaction, I always find it amazing to realize that no two sets of eyes will see a situation in the same way. From eyewitness accounts of a crime, to in-class discussions of poetry and life. The eyes see but it is the individual brain that interprets.

Before I was forced to leave collage due to an onset of MS, I had the opportunity to take part in one of the higher poetry classes.¬†We created our rhyming (or not so rhythmic) verses, before sitting before one another in judgment. I would read my piece, then listen as my fellow classmates discussed meaning and intent.¬†They took in my words and decided the why’s and how’s hidden within.¬†This fascinated me.¬†Which most likely wasn’t the point of the exercises, but I decided to¬†create a piece¬†worthy of what I was seeing.

“The Written Word”

¬†Not for distribution outside Author’s Permission ¬© Tracey Clark

throw me down

mark me up

violate me

and tear me apart

read into what I say

take away what you will

but leave my pieces

for the mending maker to wield

For the first time in class, everyone seemed to agree. I allowed my family and friends to read what I had created, and they also said the same things. Oh, there were small differences of opinion, but for the most part, they were all in agreement. Suddenly, I was the only one able to look at my words without seeing the plight of a rape victim.

In a small way, they were correct. It was about a violation, but not one of human flesh. I had put into words what I thought my poetry would say to my classmates. If the written words could stand up for themselves, surely they would complain about the evils of man.

I knew that my poetry, and now my novels, would look at the wielders of the evil red pen with distaste, and fear. I knew that each and every word shook in terror, while¬†hearing that they were unnecessary or too harsh. But I also knew that I was responsible for the whole of the work. It was, and is, my job to make sure that the worlds I create come out of each edit whole. Be it poetry, novel, or art of any ilk, I am responsible for the life I create, my babies. ūüėõ

But how am I supposed to present my words, when the eyes before me will only be able to see/understand small portions of my creation, never able to take in the whole of it. Eyes and brains function differently, depending on age, life lessons, preconceived notions, etc … Not to mention the medium that my work/words are viewed through. Twitter is an excellent example of this point. This frustrating point.

I came across a post on twitter that took my mind back to those earlier poetry classes. A beautiful representation of some of my own words. A visual point of view of my inner voices.

Posted by

The Female Book @thefemaleboook

“If u could change one thing about ur body, what would u change?” Answered by 6 adults & then by 6 kids.

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I started thinking of all the ways that we lose the magic in our lives. At some point it seems to become automatic. We lose the ability to answer questions with the fantasy and dreaming of a child. I mean, the adult answer of wanting to become taller is no more realistic than the childlike wonder of growing wings. Most adults need that extra second or two in order to see the world hidden behind the forced reality of adulthood. I read this post and felt compelled to ask the twitter-verse at large what they believed had happened to take these wonders from our eyes, how we could get that wonder back?

But the 140 characters of a twitter response allows for much confusion. I had forgotten the lessons learned from my poetry class. I looked at this post and remembered a different poem.

“I wonder of the world”

Not for distribution outside Author’s Permission ¬© Tracey Clark

I wonder of the world

That happens all the day

The innocent abyss

That comes when children play

I wonder how they stay

In their place and time

When they climb a mountain

Or swim the ocean wide

I wonder if they know

There’s no one really there

I wonder if they see

Their friends are made of air

I wonder if they know

Their mountain is a hill

Or that the ocean blue

A rocky shore that’s still

I wonder what they see

When in their jungle hut

Or how they learn to tame

Their wild jungle mutts

I wonder of this world

That happens all the day

And I wonder how I lost

My innocent days of play

An author that I greatly respect, and admire, saw my comment and thought that I was worried about body images, which was reflected in her response. I was mortified, and still not thinking of my poetry life lesson.¬†So¬†I tried to clear¬†the misunderstanding¬†up. Which did what???? Made things worse of course. I replied that I was actually talking about losing childlike wonder. Soooooo … the matter was cleared up, right????? Nope. That would be insane logic.

She responded that she couldn’t help with that type of question, because she still saw the magic of the world around her, because she was a writer. All of which made me look like an unimaginative layman with body issues. lol

Moral of the story…. be careful when you dissect another’s words, and remember that if you put it in black and white, someone else will be sure to find their own meaning hidden inside.

happy wordage everyone, Tracey

back to back shorts

The last month or so has been dedicated to the creation of short stories, something that I am new at. I have found that the shorter the story is the harder it is to complete. 3500 words equals one to two chapters in my world. Loquacious-ness should be one of the deadliest diseases, in the writing community. My first attempt was a piece for my local RWA chapter, no more that 5000 words. HA

I was forced to start from scratch four times. In the end, I had my contribution but I also had three others (ranging form 11,000 – 6,000 words). On top of those unneeded babies, I could see a whole new world, just waiting to be explored, within my RWA short. I envisioned at least seven full length novels, and any number of back-stories. I was drowning in ideas.

Each time I finished one of my short story attempts, I counted up the astronomical wordage, and held my baby close. I told myself that I needed to keep each and every word, that I could sacrifice nothing. Again and again, I tried. And again and again, I created something that I loved.

This time around, I managed to shake off some of that … lets call it overwhelming love instead of insanity. But the truth was plain to see. I wanted to be apart of this world, but felt that I had started so late in life that I needed to do everything at once. That included short stories, and contests, and novels, and … there are a million opportunities, when you allow your mind to have a voice of its own. Poetry, ghost writing, ads and copywriting … And as is my predilection, I dove in head first. Forget the swallow end, I aimed for the shark infested ocean. Why learn from others when you can make it up as you go along. This is a fault of mine, but knowing that it exists doesn’t seem to affect my actions.

On a positive note … I learned from my first foray. This time around I collected my un-sacrifice-able words, and placed them in there own land of out-takes. There they will live out the remainder of their days in blissful ignorance that they will never see the light of the published world. (unless I find the perfect place for them to shine) I also learned how to move the story along at a faster pace, how to turn my back on flourish. (Blogs do not count, so I will ramble all I want :P) I learned how to hold back my need to explain with details that only I needed to know. *Remember everyone, don’t give it all away. That is the road to loneliness and heartache

In the past month, I have managed to create and edit three short stories. All but one has been sent out into the contest-void, cut off from home but hopefully shining. If/when they return, I hope that they have managed to make someone’s day a little better, if nothing else.

happy wordage, Tracey