cauterized word count (blog post)

Maybe writing isn’t for me, I almost titled this “catheterized word count.” That is an image that I wasn’t intending to give you.
I am still working on my novel, and I thought it was going fairly well. Although, I am having issues with the main character, she seems to be lacking a true personality. My biggest problem though? The word count.
I have been writing the story long hand. Yes, weird in this age of technology, but for me it helps the ideas flow. Possibly because it moves slower, therefore I am able to create the scenes and characters as I move across the page, instead of getting to the end of typing a sentence and have no idea what’s to happen next. Obviously I am not an outliner.

image courtesy of

I felt that I was far along in my so-called novel, so I began typing it out. Boy was I shocked when I came to 18,000 words when I thought I was at least 3/4 of the way to the end. The novel I am working on needs to contain 90,000 words. Yes, 90,000 words!!! Yikes!
I really am in a sort of freak-out stage. I only have a few more scenes and I feel that my WIP (work in progress) will have run its course. I am sorely disappointed. saddened. Grieving. Angry. Wishing it were different. I WANT to write a novel. I thought I could do it. Now I am left wondering, contemplating this piece as a whole, ruminating over what holes I haven’t filled.
Is there hope? How do I do it? I am constantly reading about the craft of writing. Probably a ratio of 10:1 (reading about it: actual time spent writing). Sure, I have seen mentions of outlines, character profiles, ideas to get the creativity flowing. But what about creating a sheer behemoth of a book? So many writers accomplish the task. But how? I thought my idea was big, but now I’m finding it’s infinitesimally small.
In addition, how can a woman not accomplish the feat of coming up with 90,000 words when she uses thousands of them each day?
If you wrote, or are writing a novel, was it easy for you to come up with the 90,000+ words it takes to create your work?


February 27, 2012 at 2:56 pm 4 comments

Guests of Waverly (flash fiction)

This piece was inspired by Write on Edge.

The prompt was as follows:

Pick four numbers, each between 1 and 10.
The first number will be for your character, the second your setting, the third the time and the fourth will be the situation. (They then had a corresponding list.)
Take the four elements and combine them into a short story.
All four you picked MUST be your main elements, but you can add in other characters, settings, times and situations.
Link up your response, which must contain the four story elements you chose, and come in at or under 500 words.
Here is what I ended up with:
Character – a waitress
Time – during a thunderstorm
Setting – on a beach
Situation – someone has lost/found something

photo courtesy of

Guests of Waverly

Rain fell in sheets, blurring the beach that lay just yards away, and drenching the guests who remained despite the thunderous warnings the impending storm had brought.
Her yellow dress was visible through the deluge. She moved the sand, her hands sliding methodically back and forth.
Someone pushed me from behind, “Alice. Go help her.”
“But it’s…” I said, pointing to what had moments before been a dry, warm, inviting beach.
Mr. Stark implored me with his eyes, “What are you here for?”
“To serve the guests of Waverly with speed and sincerity.” I gave him my best attempt at a smile, and stepped out from under the sheltering portico.

The woman was drenched, water flowed off her long dark hair.
“Ma’am, can I help you with something?” My voice barely rose above the raging wind and rain.
The woman in the yellow dress looked up at me and glared. “Who are you?”
“Alice. I’m a waitress at Waverly.” I waved my hand in the direction of the restaurant.
The woman’s face contorted into a look of panic and sadness. “I’ve lost my ring.”
Although I wasn’t able to differentiate any tears from drops of rain running down the woman’s cheeks, her eyes were turning red. She swiped at her nose and sniffed. That’s when I noticed the man, who was also on his knees, frantically looking for something. He was wearing a tux, which seemed odd.
The woman sniffled and wailed, “He gave it to me only a few days ago. An engagement ring.” She cried, “Right honey? He could barely afford it. Saved… for months.”
The man looked to the woman, raised his thick eyebrows, and glancing at me, nodded. He immediately turned back to his search.
The woman in the yellow dress covered her face and continued with her breakdown.
Despite wearing crisp white capris, I fell onto the ground and began moving handfuls of the heavy white sand, looking for the ring. Most likely it was small, being that her fiancé had to save for so long to purchase it.
The woman had given up all efforts at searching, and was now sitting on a lounge chair under an expansive umbrella. Her fits of sorrow now abated, she was ringing the water from her hair.
I felt something sharp brush against my shin. Looking down, I was shocked by the excessively large diamond set on a band of smaller diamonds that lay in the sand.
Squealing with delight, the woman ran to me, her drenched yellow dress clinging to her thighs.
“Oh, thank God you found it.” She snatched it from my fingers, as if she were afraid I would slide it in my pocket.
“Henry! We must go. You were to drive me to meet my husband twenty minutes ago.” The woman in the yellow dress took off ahead of the man at a rapid pace.
“Yes Ma’am.”


Okay, my husband thought the man in the story was her lover. Who do you think he is?

February 20, 2012 at 3:56 pm 2 comments

existence is futile without a goal

Wow, it’s been a long time. Like an old friend you haven’t talked to in a while. When you finally see each other things start off slow and then, hopefully, you are back to where you were before you parted ways.
At some point after starting my blog, I devised a plan to write three blog posts every week. After all, this is what the experts advise. Ahhh, the experts. Sometimes the experts advice isn’t the advice that’s right for you, or I. We all live very diverse lives, and what works for one may not work for the other. I found that as a writer, it was taking too much of my time to come up with blog ideas, write them, edit them, and also have adequate time for my family and other writing pursuits.
So, the logical step? I dropped my blog. I didn’t worry about it any longer. I suppose that’s obvious. In the beginning, part of the reason for creating a blog was to gain readership, so that in the future I could share my love of the written word. I realized that if I don’t have any words (big projects) to share, there is no point in having a readership.
I began to think more about what I wanted to do as a writer. I want to write, and if something is taking away the joy of doing so, is it worth it? Thankfully I didn’t have a large following that got dumped on their heads when I took a long hiatus. If that were so, I would have greatly damaged my name, and possibly my future career.
For today, I am back, and I have no idea how often I will post. It’s nice to be here, to write something short that shares a glimpse into my writing life. Because in the end, that’s what this is. A place to share what it’s like to be a writer, and an author, hopefully with some regular life thrown in.
‘Till we read together again…

February 18, 2012 at 7:56 pm Leave a comment

mountain top R&R

Colorado offers such gorgeous scenery and exciting activities, so we have decided that we will spend as much time as we can exploring our beautiful state, instead of traveling to other destinations. Why not save some money and see what fun there is to have in our backyard?
This time we didn’t plan the trip. My parents were offered the use of a log home in Steamboat Springs. I have lived in Colorado for a total of eighteen years and I’ve never been there. The home wasn’t in Steamboat, but more than 20 miles farther, outside a town named Clark.
After driving a few miles up a rough dirt road we came to the house, which the owners called a “cabin”. I wouldn’t really define it as a cabin, they were being modest.

The "cabin". Photography by: Ryan Johnstone

The view was breathtaking, especially on the mornings when the fog rolled in and settled in the valley.

View from the porch. Photography by: Ryan Johnstone

View from the porch (Mt. Hahn). Photography by: Ryan Johnstone

During the kids’ naps, I wrote and read on the deck overlooking a valley and mountains in the distance. The kids loved the

The BEST seats in the house (or outside the house). Photography by: Ryan Johnstone

free space to RUN, and the adults (as well as the kids) enjoyed the free space to ride four wheelers! Pearl Lake State Park was a short ride away, and the brave drivers tested me on the trails in Route National Forest. I barely passed.
It was a great weekend with family, surrounded by beauty and silence.

When is getting away really getting away? Do you seek solace in an adventurous city? Is getting away with your family relaxing? So many people spend their only vacation every year with family that stresses them out. Is that you? Is there a balance between being kind and getting your own relaxation time in?
What about finding adventures in your own state? Have you explored what it has to offer?

September 14, 2011 at 1:50 pm 2 comments

it’s a turtles race – the writing life

My husband thinks I’m a slow driver. Although he’s encouraging in most areas of my life, he has no problem telling me this.  In fact, he tells me I am slow in everything I do. It’s true. I am. But I like to define it as “precise”. I have an aversion to doing things twice. I will do many things, but rushing through something so I can turn around and redo it? No thank you. For example I like to wait until all the leaves have fallen off the trees in autumn, so I don’t have to rake more than once. Unless of course I took the healthier point of view and did it for exercise. And why would I do that?

Yes, I write most WIP's long hand, and that makes it even SLOWER.

In my writing I am slow, usually pondering over every word, every sentence, punctuation, and paragraph. This is true mainly when it comes to writing everything except my blog (sorry dear friends). I strongly dislike editing, so if I can keep from making mistakes, I strive to do so. It comes back to doing everything twice. Sadly when it comes to the writing life it takes multiple do-overs before something is good enough to submit to an editor. Or so I’ve heard.
If you’re a writer, do you enjoy the editing process? For everyone: Are you quick in completing tasks, not over-worrying about the outcome?  Or are you more methodical in carrying out your responsibilities?

September 8, 2011 at 2:20 pm 2 comments

7 tips on how to make it through college 101

I have decided to share my 7 tips on how to make it through college. In this list

No, this isn't my alma mater.

you won’t find ways to stave off the worst hangover of your life, however you will find some useful tips to help avoid some of the conundrums I found myself in as a college student. If like me, you are far beyond your university years, maybe this will guide you on a trip down the hall of good, and not so good memories.

#1 – When skipping classes to rest, it might be a good idea to rid yourself of the sleep wrinkles covering your face before you attend your next class, lest the professor notice and make a comment. Thankfully I learned this one from a distance. Yes, I had been sleeping as opposed to attending the required course, but my BF was the one with the sleep wrinkles.

#2 – Don’t allow the newbie carpenter to fix your bunk bed, otherwise your roommate and her bed may collapse on you in the middle of the night. Yes, I lived through it.

#3 – Do NOT attain a dorm room adjacent to the Resident Assistant, or you may find yourself at her mercy more than you thought possible.

#4 – If you are the only student remaining in the dorms for the Thanksgiving holiday, and the fridge in the main kitchen dies, RUN. As fast as you can. Lest a certain vengeful RA tells you to clean it out, as she leaves for vacation.

#5 – Even if your parents are extremely strict and decide that going your freshman year without a car will teach you some sort of life lesson (not sure which one), beg them to change their mind. It really isn’t cool to beg for a ride to, well, anywhere.

#6 – Invest in a timer. Set it to go off when your laundry is finished. This way you can avoid the hot guy a few doors down from taking your underwear out and leaving it piled on top of the washer.

Share something crazy that happened to you in high school or college. Please keep it PG. Thanks.

To all those memories, good and bad.

September 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm Leave a comment

wake up and smell reality

In my last post I talked about some interesting research conducted on cellphones and their users. I wanted one of the most shocking reports to stand alone with it’s own blog entry. It came from the McCann World group. They found that “53% of sixteen to twenty-two year olds around the world would rather give up their sense of smell than their favorite personal technology device.”
In this study the researchers are going beyond cellphones to other devices, but the idea that people would rather lose their sense of smell than their electronic side kick is ludicrous. Of course these are teenagers and very young adults who were surveyed. I am also of the opinion that you can prove just about anything with a study (just get the right demographic to conduct your survey on, and wah lah).
Our sense of smell connects us to the world, and obviously those 53% haven’t lived long enough to wake up and smell the wonders (and not so wonderous) among us.
What have we come to when we are willing to trade technology for our natural senses? Would you give up one of your five senses for the guarantee of never losing your favorite gadget?

September 1, 2011 at 12:06 pm Leave a comment

Older Posts Newer Posts

Tracy Dee Whitt - Author

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 830 other followers


blog archive