From time to time fellow bloggers will send a writing challenge your way, and I actually liked the content of this one since it involved the craft of writing. I was also threatened with seven years of bad luck if I broke the chain, so that was another powerful incentive to put fingers to the keyboard. I’d like to thank Jon Eekhoff from South of the Strait for including me on this tour. Jon is a fellow teacher down in the trenches of education, but I most appreciate his travel writing about his incredible European adventure last summer. Jon can pull you into a story and make you laugh as he offers you the good, the bad, and the hilarious of some of his perceptions. Now onto the questions!
- What am I working on now?
Mostly packing labels and apartment applications. And while these are only marginally less likely to land the Pulitzer than my unpublished novel, they are certainly more functional since they will provide me with a place to live and dishes to support my chicken salad after a long day at work.
My other work involves one novel, The Truth of Wishing Wells, which is a story about the disappearance of a young woman from a small, southern town, and the aftermath her husband and daughter must face as they wade through a deluge of gossip and conjecture.
I’ve also written reams of memoir about my time in Indonesia, but I don’t have enough structure to roll it through a printing press.
And then there’s my blog. Anecdotal in nature, my posts are intended to sharpen my writing skills beyond the cryptic little scribbles I make along the sides of the student essays I grade. When you spend countless hours jotting comma splice, misplaced modifier, and really? in margins, you lose the finesse of dialogue.
2. How does my work differ from others in the genre.
If I’m considering my novel, I start snarling over that word genre since many agents kicked it around to mainstream fiction. Told from a dual point of view, the daughter’s and the husband’s, it was neither young adult nor women’s so mainstream was the best sticker to put on it. When I wrote the blasted thing, I simply wrote the story that unfolded from an idea; I didn’t realize how essential it would be to pigeonhole it.
3. Why do I write what I do?
I’ve always heard to write what you know. Consequently, my settings are either small, southern towns or remote fishing villages with only one awkward, white woman for hundreds of miles. Unless you count those rude European tourists in their tank tops and blatant disregard for the local culture, which I did not. I know what it feels like to live in a fishbowl on both foreign and domestic soil, so I write accordingly.
4. How does my writing process work?
Since I’m the most consistent with my blog, I seek out post material based on the following criteria: if it was embarrassing, awkward, or downright painful, then I’ve usually got a good story to tell. If something more than a bit of humor emerges, great; but if not, then I know I have a gracious group of followers who will say, “Oh, look. Traci wrote about doing a face plant in McDonalds. Isn’t that cute?” Like.
And now to tag a couple of innocent bystanders. I nominate Rebecca White Body from Moments of Unexpected Beauty and Marian Beaman from Plain and Fancy.
Rebecca is a kindred spirit who is a former English teacher, lover of words, and craftsman at the keyboard. She shares about her life and even some of the past from her family members.
Marian is the Barnabas of bloggers. If you need a word of encouragement, stop by her blog and make a comment. She’s one interesting lady with her Plain background and Fancy conversion, and she’s one of the most gracious people you’ll meet on the internet.
Ladies, the baton is in your grasp.