Writing Tour

If only the books in that box had my name on them ...

If only the books in that box had my name on them …

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!

  1. 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 And while these are only marginally less likely to land the Pulitzer than my unpublished novel, they are certainly more functional since they will provide me with a place to live and dishes to support my chicken salad after a long day at work.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 MarianΒ 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.

30 responses »

  1. I love this writing process blog tour! I’m very into craft voyuerism πŸ™‚

    I didn’t realize you had written a novel, congrats! You mentioned an agent, is it getting published? If so, double congrats!

    • It’s written, but not being published anytime soon. I need to be more aggressive with it, but I keep getting sidetracked with the memoir πŸ™‚

  2. Aww…thanks for the baton, my friend! I just returned from an unexpected funeral sojourn in North Dakota, and I just got this message since there was no Internet where I was staying. I’m not up to wielding anything more substantial than a toothbrush at this point, but I will return to have a crack at those questions when I’m more baton-worthy. In the meantime, I will admire your modesty and anticipate reading your upcoming bestseller. (And since I was at a funeral on a reservation, I’ll especially connect with the awkward white girl theme you mentioned…)

    • I’m so sorry to hear about your recent loss, Rebecca. I know that sometimes you do need to take a step back when you been brutally blindsided emotionally and just heal. I did the same thing this time last year. Warm thoughts and prayers to you!

  3. As I was reading along, back about #2, I wondered how those very same agents managed to pigeonhole Truman Capote. Don’t ask. I don’t know why he came to mind, either. πŸ™‚

    • I’m with you, but the literary agents seem to feel differently. Something about them wanting/needing to sell books blah, blah, blah. But with this new digital age, I may just say “The heck with it!” and self publish at some point.

  4. Moving and changing jobs- can’t wait for the posts that pertain. How can they not contain embarrassing, awkward or painful moments when in the midst or looking back, you say,”now that will be a great post!”

  5. Well, you know, dearest, if you just wrote like so many who are on the shelves today then you would have a genre…pap. LOL

  6. Your novel sounds great. Have you read Poe Ballentine’s, Love and Terror on the Howling Plains of Nowhere? It is non-fiction and centers around the disappearance/death of a local professor. The side stories and odd collection of Nebraska locals made it one of my recent favorite reads. I knew you were the right choice for a blogging tour.

    • I’ll have to pick up a copy of Ballentine’s book. Now that I’m basking under a summer sun, I have time to read what I want for a change πŸ™‚

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