Three Forks Saddlery

Three Forks Saddlery.

The first stop for the montana rwa conference. Just the picture of the horse has this Kentucky girl saddened that my travel funds are so sparse. I love everything about horses, but especially the wonder they inspire as they run. Either free or carrying a burden, these animals have a grace and majesty like no other.

To be fortunate enough to sit astride, to feel the difference between a trot and a full out run … there are few words that can capture the flight and freedom felt as the horse begins to run full out.

Kentucky may be littered with horses, but I have only have the pleasure of the experience a few times, so far. But once is enough. I can still fell my nerves. When the horse starts out trotting, your body bouncing with jolting step, its only natural to stop and think, “What in the heck am I do? Running will throw me faster than an mere mortal can possibly hope to deal with.”

Then the fun really starts. (Especially if you grow up trying to prove you can do anything. Anything that your aunt and uncle can do, that is. ;P ) I couldn’t believe how smooth the ride became. Once a horse starts to move, its feels as if their hooves leave the ground. Suddenly, you and the horse are air born, you’re heart racing along in excitement. Really, everyone in the world should experience such freedom at least once.

Be leery if you must, but leave the fear at home, and enjoy learning to fly. Tracey

Query #2,233,849,922,… oh hell, i lost count

My cabin mate from #campnanowrimo has been helping me with my query letter skills, and I have come to the conclusion that I owe her a trip to Hawaii, my winning lottery ticket (once I find one), and a lifetime supply of aspirin. I am finally on the road to growth but I in no way believe that the journey is over.

A query is like a wild animal, a mountain lion, unset that you are unable to speak its language. Even after a killer day of writer, and rewrite, I only understand a few phrases of this foreign language. I mean, how in the world do you condense 100k words into a mere three hundred. And still manage to get you point across. It would be so much easier if I could just write, ‘so… there was this girl from Nantucket …’ People still talk about that brazen chick.

Seriously, though, I am a lot happier with my query. I dread the next rewrite but, once the words are down, I am pleased. At this point, my query and I have spent thousands of words together. I am anxious to return to the world that I created for Marin and her Fae community, but if I want others to enjoy her adventures, I must first tame the wild beast known as ‘query hell’.

For now, I shall return to the wildlife, feel free to join me in the writers jungle. Tracey

wow, just wow

I must be the luckiest person in the world. I joined JuNoWriMo and then campnanowrimo for fun and that extra push we writers need from time to time. Not only was I gifted with two new amazing women to commiserate with, I found someone that actually knows the biz and all the dos and donts of publishing.

Tracy Stengel is awesome, and I was lucky enough to have her as a cabin mate in campnanowrimo. She has offered straight to the point, but with a gentle touch, advice for my Query and Novel. This is a miracle as I detest query hell and every component involved in the process. I had grown to the point that I firmly believed that I would need to take out a loan, or smuggle geese into the country, for cash, if I wanted professional help. So Tracy is a clear sign that fantasy and reality can at time mesh together, in order to create the impossible. Yes, I write fantasy.

After working with Tracy for less than a week, I plan to use her in the future, especially since her price is so low. I nearly had a stroke when she told me that she only charged people $1.60/page. I had to re-read her chat post twice. I was telling Tracy that she was invaluable, and that she would be able to pull in more clients than she could possible handle, with the right PR. That was when the shock came. I asked for her to send me her web address, and she told me what she usually cost. I needed to check my eyesight and re-read the obvious typo. But nope, and anyone that has looked into the price of a good editor, I swear that I am telling the truth. I even double checked her web site, just in case she was giving me some kind of deal because of our new friendship.

The woman is obviously crazy, but her work is top notch. I have been looking for this kind of feed back for at least a year, but I am on a low budget. Usually my hysterical laughter is due to a shock of a different kind. One site was willing to help for the low-low price of $3.00/page and $40.00 flat for query hell, and synopsis confusion. Dude … My novel is long assed fantasy. 100,000 pages buys some guy a mansion, while I eat cat food. I had decided to look for help in my critique groups for now, I am elated that Tracy landed in my camp. I hate Query Hell to the point that selling off my first born child was looking like a viable option. I am sure that any offspring that come my way will be eternally grateful to my journey with my new cabin mate.

If you love to write, have considered taking it up as a side hobby with the option of selling your work in the future, or you really want help navigating through query hell, follow in my foot steps. Joining the NaNoWriMo groups on twitter, facebook, and wherever you may stumble across them, can be more beneficial than you ever believed. You may not be lucky enough to get a cabin mate with Tracy’s talent, but because I jumped into campnanowrimo, everyone I know or can reach will now have the option of Tracy’s advice.

So, warm up the internet, and join at least on NaNoWriMo, no matter the month out branch. Tracey (And side note, just because the names are similar, does not mean that I will be able to guide you through wordage issues. Brainstorming and loquacious=idis … this is where my writing forte lies.)

P.S. Even if you are too shocked to believe the truth, visit the link below and check out Tracy’s website. Hey … why are you still here? I said go. So, off with ya. ;P

Camp NaNoWriMo – Preparations

read about other #campnanowrimo participants starting with Icy Fern… and by all means, come see my progress as well 😛

Icy Fern

Camp NaNoWriMo is two days away, including today.  I can’t believe that it’s so close to July already!  I’m so nervous about Camp, but nevertheless, I’m still very excited about it.

I spent this past week preparing for camp by developing and creating characters, working on locations, and outlining.  I am pretty much all finished up with it and ready to write!  The only problem is that most of my work was on my computer, and my computer has stopped working.  I’m not sure what’s wrong with it, but I’ve spent all day yesterday trying to figure it out.  This morning, I am going to give it another try to see if I am able to fix it.  If I am unable to fix it before I leave today, I’m going to take it by Geek Squad, in hopes that they will be able to fix it.  I’m hoping that it will be ready…

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camp nanowrimo


So far, so good. Up to 4215 words and ready to continue, Camp NaNoWriMo has just begun. I was a little afraid that I would be slowing down, getting blocked by this point. JuNoWriMo was one sprint after another, and still I pushed myself to reach the 50k goal, by the end of June. And here I am, starting from scratch (in word count) for another 50k. By the end of July, I will have composed 100k words in two months. The prospect is a little daunting, but it is an excellent way to meet other writers.

Marin’s story is growing, the people around her joining with their own stories and love troubles. The edit on book one took a turn for the better as one of my camp mates jumped in to help with my query hell, synopsis, and novel. We chat for hours (when we should probably be writing ;P ) and talk about the most obscure topics. Yesterday the topic involved a lively chat about doggie sex.

Brainstorming is one of my favorite activities, but it is limited to others that actually want to create an imaginary world. So I find myself extremely lucky to have found Krisz and TS, even if we do discuss hound coitus. I told them about my lively pugs, and my memorable trip to San Francisco. Mom and I were able to find a stroller that was specifically made to contain pets. What we didn’t expect … Cujo and Roxy doing the trip up right, as they used their new stroller to renew their puppy vows. It was a week of pug-honey-moon antics. Embarrassing at the best of times but when small children start pointing and asking, “Mommy, what are the puppies doing?”

Don’t get me wrong. I loved my babies and miss them dearly, and the retelling of the stroller hotel room is entertaining, but a full week of having a front row seat to the creation of the next generation was a bit much. lol. They keep me on my toes and entertain, each and every day. Some moments are horrifying while others are frightening. We chatted for hours, as I passed on my years of pug ownership experience.

When I told them about the near death moments, their were a few laughs, as well as a few gasps of eww. Especially when I explained the mechanic behind doggie CPR. Yes, CPR. I have placed my mouth around their furry, flat faces on more than one occasion. I cringe each time one of my pugs get the sniffles. It’s sneeze, sneeze, and a deep breath that includes a throat full of ten inch tongue. They weave around as their brains are deprived of oxygen, and then down they go, and just like normal CPR, you clear the throat (usually of an overabundance of tongue) and pray that the first forceful blow of air will revive the little fluffers. Because the longer it takes, the longer you run the risk of swallowing dog hair and snot. When I explain this scenario to my Vet, an educated and caring man that has devoted his life to saving animals, he looked at me and actually took a step back, and said, “Eww. I don’t think I would go that far.” And yes, I need a new doctor should anyone have a suggestion.

All of this doggie education was used for selfless goal of help TS to brainstorm about her doggie scene, in her novel. It was not wasted time, spent laughing and goofing off. I swear. We chat til the early morning and check in during the day as we support and push each other toward the finish line. If one person has an issue, the others are more than happy to lend a helping hand, or paw. Anyone interested in writing should take advantage of twitter and projects like #JuNoWriMo, #NaNoWriMo, and #CampNaNoWriMo. At this time, I plan to continue participating with these groups and any others that come along. The advantage is definitely worth the finger cramps as we type thousands of words a night.

Join the fun, Tracey


43k and climbing
43k and climbing

I am 7k away from completing JuNoWriMo, which is an online project that pushes you to complete 50k in the month of June. The word sprints are extremely helpful, as you compete to compose the most words in 10-30 minute increments. It is a fun want to get in the word count now. I can always edit later, but for now the novel is being written. The support and occasional push, if needed, help to pass the time. I also met an online pal.

Krisz is, thankfully, sane and gives excellent feedback, when we have brainstorming sessions. lol. She is the reason I now have a blog that works. My previous blog, which will remain nameless, had one too many ‘down for maintenance’ problems. And, at times, I was unable to add to my posts. So, of course, I forgot about the blog. Time after time, I told myself I would come back and check later. Well, later turned into months. But Krisz had a wordpress blog, ( ), and at her suggestion I moved. So, so, so glad that I did. I can handle the occasional breakdown, but months is a bit much for me.

With JuNoWriMo ending, Kris has talked me into attempting camp nanowrimo for July. That is another month of 50k work. So maybe she didn’t need to force the subject, just ask. lol. Apparently, I am a masochist or maybe I just realize the potential of another month of support and that little push to write 50k words. ;P

Hopefully, by tonight I will have at least 44k words. We are down to the wire with JuNoWriMo and I would like to start of camp nanowrimo having complete June’s task. Cross your fingers and your toes, and sign me up for carpel tunnel surgery. Or maybe a surprise Agent, knocking down my door, begging to read my latest novel. Did I mention that I write fantasy? Only in my make believe world does the agent come to me without the completion of query hell. lol

But on the subject of query hell. I managed to complete my synopsis and I am in the process of vamping my first chapter. Excellent feedback has lead to a few changes, changes that will of course be place under the Finder’s Keeper’s page. When they are finished, only the actual query will remain. Then I plan to submit to Ethan Ellenburg. Now would be a good time to cross anything you have left. Personally, I am in knots.

If there is a nano for august, someone, for the love of mud, stop me. If you can? muhahaha. Worlds need to be created, or the voices get bitchy. Right now they are screaming at me to end this post, and continue my race to the 50k line. I would love to ignore them but then the noise keeps me up at night. So back to the current novel, I go. Happy wordsmithery, everyone.

To rant or not To rant… that is the question

Procrastination… how I love thee! Oh, okay… so maybe it’s a love/hate relationship. I made a definite list for today, and what did I do? Anyone? How about you Mr. Procrastination?

I got in my nice comfortable writing chair (see lazy-boy definition for clarification) and opened my trusty laptop, prepared to work. But first I needed to clear my emails. That lead to twitter and facebook updates. One must always be vigilant when it comes to building a platform. Sidetracked, I realized that there were a few emails left. And I couldn’t just leave them. Those evil little things tend to outgrow ones message box, when not closely watched. And that could lead to an overlooked missive. All very important, as was the movie I managed to squeeze in.

Fine… That is all crap. I just really hate query letters and synopsis writing. Not to mention edits. I stare at the page and wonder where in the world do I start. What do I leave out? What is essential and what is vital? Are these things important to me, does the agent want to know every inch of my work? The answer is a resounding ‘yes’ to the latter, and ‘no one knows’ for everything else?

Sadly, I suffer from a rare disease called loquac-itis. This is a serious disability in which the author tends to run on at the mouth, dream up future plots in the middle of daily activities, and lose control of their sarcastic side effects at the worst possible moment. So once again I find myself facing midnight, but refusing to go to bed until at least one task is completed.

Then again, maybe I’m just hungry. Not to worry, though. I will finally be able to eat real food, Thursday evening. If not, I am demanding a refund on the gallbladder surgery. I really want some chicken fried rice. Maybe some Mexican, mashed potatoes, some…

Now, if you will excuse me, I need to wipe the drool from my chin before having a quick pity party. Did I mention that I was hungry.

RWA Meeting

Monthly RWA meeting today. I was glad to report that I had written over 30,000 words over the previous two weeks. That is a very nice total, if I do say so myself. 20k more and I will be able to say that I completed JuNoWriMo, 50k in a month.

I was also lucky enough to find a critique partner in the PRO community on the RWA site. She was able to give me some advice that helped me to redo the beginning of my novel, Finder’s Keeper’s. There was just something off about those first words. The flow of Finder’s Keeper’s beginning is so much better now.

I also me/connected with a lovely woman from JuNoWriMo, on twitter. Sadly, my new cyber pen pal introduced me to ‘Sherlock’. Now I am addicted. I have traded novels with Krisztina (pen pal) for a more relax type of critique.

Also reported my participation in IGO contest, through RWA. I hope to get feed by on my writing style from my first contest. There are many Authors out there giving their praise for the feedback received from the various contests. I regret that the beginning of my novel was rewritten after I joined the contest. I also found a website that finally cleared up the synopsis process. The idea of giving a play by play is a bit daunting. Add in the fact that this information was obtained after contest entry and first place is asking a bit much. Oh, well. Lesson learned. Still, the comments should be extremely helpful.

Other than rewrites and edits, today was dedicated to stock piling necessities. The 17th will be her soon and I will part with my evil gallbladder. Hopefully, I will wake up from surgery ready to eat. Man, am I hungry. Over a month of pretzels. If I never see a pretzel again, that will be just find with me.

Perhaps, tomorrow I will rant over one of my many ideals. For now, it is nap time for this writer. 3am is the perfect time for a small pause in writing activities.

Break in writing

One would think that I would be able to go at least one day without the literary world in my life. Not that I would ever wish for such a horrible state to occur. But even I do not good around looking for the written word while heading off to the Physician.

I parked my car and made my trek through the building blocking the last parking space to be found (in the neighboring county, okay, not really but the distance felt like miles by the time I managed to reach the Doctor’s office) As I used my slow but effective snails pace, I passed the pharmacy. The entire hallway was filled with books and nick-knacks. It was a hoarder’s dream. But in among the shelf fillers, I located a book of travel destinations for the entire United States. Did I need it? Nope. So I called dubbed the book research material and bought it anyway.

I have also crossed the 30k mark in my quest to write 50k words in June with JuNoWriMo. Get on board the writer’s train everyone. I will be more than pleased if I am able to finish off Book two and/or get a jump start on Book 3. Now if I could only persuade someone else – not me – to write up my query letters, my life would be perfect. Except for the crappy MS and Gallbladder problem, I would do cyber cartwheels. What the heck, I’m doing a whole cyber aerobic dance.

On a personal note, and we are going deep here. I just watched the finale of ‘The 100’ and I am so upset. Scream in rage at the sky from the guard tower, pissed. I see the road that show is traveling and for the most part I am pleased. I see that we will have a rescue attempt and most of our favorite characters will stay with us. They will change and grow and bounce between ‘bad ass’ and ‘whine-one-one’ profiles. But hey, what would we have to complain about if we weren’t disappointed from time to time. So, I understand the need for drama. But where can the plot go with Jaha (I. Washington) trapped in space with no way to the ground. Will Washington find a way out at the 11th hour? Will the man that came up with a plan to get them all to the ground die alone, gasping for breath? Will he suddenly remember an escape pot, like the one that Raven used to get down to earth? So, they have my attention for one more episode. I will watch the opener to season two, but my attention is extremely flakey.

I tried ‘The 100’ because Washington was a member of the cast. I would rather write up my own worlds, so only the best can compete. They will need something phenomenal, if they are replacing Washington. Otherwise, I have voices inside my mind begging to be released. They demand to have their time in the lime-light, and the voices are loud and insistent.

Until next time, Tracey L Clark

Continuing Finder’s Keeper’s

This month is dedicated to JuNoWriMo. One month to produce 50,000 words. At first I thought that maybe I was insane for even considering such a feet, but I am only eleven days in and already I have 28,000 words. The sprints actually push me to continue when I want to close my laptop and call it a day. It doesn’t matter if my word count is higher than the rest of the participants. It’s all about getting my thoughts done.

The voices in my mind thoroughly enjoy this tactic. The story flows and grows. Edits are for tomorrow. Today is all about building a world for the character living within my mind.

Book one, Finder’s Keeper’s, is finished and the editing process has made at least two passes at fine tuning the novel. Already, book two (untitled) has grown into it’s own adventure. This month will be about deciding if the words pouring forth should be there own story, or will they be apart of the conclusion to book two. Only the edits know. Once the voice decide, I will let everyone know.

Sadly, I will also be facing the scalpel, or more likely ‘the probe’, as my hateful gallbladder is sucked from my body. Not a moment to soon, if you ask me. I have been living on combos and pretzels for the last month. I could kill for some chicken fried rice. Not really that much to ask, but my gallbladder has been keeping me on the diet from hell.

And speaking of warm places… I dread the query process. But Query Hell is calling my name. The lovely ladies in my critique group inform me that I am not allowed to complain until I have receive at least 200 rejections. So this month I hope to built my rejection count, while hoping to find that one agent looking for a Fantasy Romance.

Now, I will say goodnight, and keep dreaming no matter where you are in life.

Tracey Clark

4 out of 5 read-ologists recommend this site. ups and downs of writer's insanity and day to day life. I will write whatever makes the voices happy, for a writer that ignores her inner voices is merely a mental breakdown waiting to happen. Keeping the voices happy and creating new worlds for them to play in is my main goal.

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