Monday, August 31, 2015

The Price of Freedom

The day is almost here. The day when my boys will be back in school and life can return to normal. Well, as normal as it ever gets around here. I rub my hands together with glee in anticipation of the little freedoms I have lived without for the past nine weeks. Once I get through the horror of getting them out the door and safely dropped at school, the world will become my oyster! I can write when I want to write, not when they are momentarily mesmerized by a cartoon–all the while, the guilt of using a screen as a babysitter eating away at me. I can run errands without constant whining in my ear. Hot dog! I can pee in peace! And I can actually finish a thought without being interrupted with a request for a Disney Infinity game system. (Ever since news spread of the Star Wars characters, it’s ALL my boys talk about. They are relentless!) Life looks pretty damn good.

Then the other shoe drops. I realize that I will now be left to my own devices in an empty house. Instead of sitting down with my laptop to bang out brilliant ideas for my latest book, I will be tempted to take advantage of the array of vices looming in front of me. Perhaps, a long, hot bath with a good book? I cannot remember the last time I could read without being interrupted every two minutes. (Constant requests for sustenance, technical assistance or refereeing prevent such a luxury. I’ve already been interrupted ten times since I started writing this blog post.) Once I talk myself out of my Calgon-take-me-away time, the remote will try to jump into my hand, beckoning me to lose myself in the wonders of Netflix, Google Play and Hulu Plus (Have you SEEN the number of cool shows they’ve added lately?) As I use one hand to force the other to drop the remote, I will remember the list of recipes I have bookmarked for the time when little helpers aren’t close enough to hear the whir of my KitchenAid. I will run from the kitchen, knowing if I set foot in there, I will come out several hours (and calories) later. I’m nothing if not thorough with my quality testing.

The more I think about it, my impending kid-free surroundings start to feel like a minefield of epic proportions. How can I possibly be trusted to bypass all this cool stuff in favor of buckling down to work on my next book? (If I didn’t fall asleep shortly after my boys went to bed, I wouldn’t be in this predicament. I have literally NO alone time. That’s what having two rambunctious boys will do to you.) I’m reminded of my early college days when the doors of freedom opened wider than I had ever seen them and I was left with the choice to stray into the unknown or stay on the beaten path. After a small detour into debauchery, I was able to stick to the straight and narrow, capitalizing on the benefits of my excellent education. Maybe this is what I need to do now. Just a small taste of freedom should do it, right? Then I can focus.

Suddenly, I remember my secret weapon. My husband has just changed jobs, which means he will be working from home EVERY SINGLE DAY. Ha! There’s no way I could stand the ridicule I would see in his eyes if he were to catch me, say watching my umpteenth episode of Gilmore Girls or perfecting my latest cookie recipe. The drill sergeant is in place, y’all. We can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. Come hell or high water, my next book will be written.

(Psst! Don’t be fooled. My husband may look like he’s a sweetheart, but he has a mean streak! He’s PERFECT for the job.)

The price of freedom is rough, peeps. I’m really glad I don’t have to pay it on my own. ;)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Unexpected Writing Partner

Writing is a lonely business. Well, it has been for me. Sure, I have people to bounce ideas off of, I have Facebook writing groups that I visit frequently to both give and receive tips, encouragement and at times, stage an intervention (hee!), but when it comes down to writing those words down, I’m on my own. It can be a rather chilling feeling.

Very recently, I was given a writing partner. I should specify that this partner is of the human variety, since I’ve had feline contributors for years. He fell right into my lap–literally! My brilliant ten-year-old son snuggled up to me (score! That almost never happens anymore.), sweetly offering his help in developing my next book. Given that I write Chick Lit, this may seem like an odd decision for a boy who thinks of little other than video games, battles and Star Wars (really anything with a hint of violence), but once I share an exciting tidbit, things will make MUCH more sense.

I have great plans to shake things up, peeps! I’m going to add a touch of *gasp* fantasy to book #4. What the what?!? I may be off my rocker, but it certainly sounds like fun to me. After writing about my life for the last three books, I relish the idea of writing characters whom I’ve never met. You should still expect a lot of wackiness and romance, since that’s how I roll, but you will encounter many otherworldly elements, creating what I hope will be a magical reading experience. Ha!

I suddenly find myself excited, rather than petrified, to start writing again. Not only do I get to spend more time with my amazing son, but he gives great writing tips to his panster mother. We sit down with our matching Star Wars notebooks (Darth Vader for him, Yoda for me, natch) and we discuss our plans. He has me write character maps, CLEAR plot outlines and detailed notes about my settings. I’ve been jotting down so much information that I may have to bust into the R2-D2 notebook we bought because it was too cool to leave behind.

He’s also a stickler for schedules. If we say we’re going to write for the next two hours, we write for the next two hours–no matter how many notifications we hear pinging from our tablets about our progress in The Simpsons: Tapped Out. Even when I remind him that he begged me to play this insane game, and is therefore, responsible for my current addiction, he won’t allow me just a quick peek. Honestly! Where does he get this determination? I suppose this is karma for my, ahem, strict attitude during homework season. Payback really is a bitch.

So, dear readers, you can rest assured that my next book will be written in a timely manner. At the very least it will be written, because even if I attempt to give up, my spectacular writing partner simply won’t let me. And thank goodness for that, since my furry companions seems to have far more interest in other activities…

Monday, August 17, 2015

To Write or Not to Write?

A crazy question for an author to pose, I realize, but it’s one I’ve been asking myself since I finished writing my last book. I often feel like, well, a fraud. I haven’t been penning masterpieces since I was six. I didn’t spend my formative years wondering what it would be like to see my book on the shelf in my local Barnes & Noble. I certainly never had the shakes from not creating my own fictional worlds. Truth be told, I spent most of my life hating writing. That’s right. You heard me. I HATED writing. With a white-hot passion.

Yet, here I am, an author with three books under her belt. If you’re interested in how I became an author, I’ll be happy to tell you the whole story. For now, we’ll return to the topic at hand. The burning question of whether or not to continue down this path has been haunting me for months. Sure, I was able to distract myself for a few weeks, what with the end of school, our trip to France to visit my husband’s family and the general craziness of summer.

But when the dust settled, it seemed as though the choice had been made for me. I honestly thought I had lost my writing mojo. *GASP* Every time I sat down with my laptop, my brain would freeze. I totally choked. Not one intelligible thing would come out. Unable to believe I could so easily lose a talent as stellar as mine (ha!), I quickly shifted into rationalization mode. You know the drill: find any excuse not to put your brilliant words to the page. I came up with some really good ones, if I do say so myself.

*I don’t have time to write.

I’m a stay-at-home mom. My boys keep me really busy! I don’t have a spare moment to myself! Yeah...somehow I found the time to watch all eleven seasons of Grey’s Anatomy. Clearly my reasoning was flawed. Shhh! It’ll be our secret.

*I have to exercise–doctor’s orders.

Since when has my life been ruled by such things? Well, I may be a bit of a hypochondriac AND have a few pounds to lose after overindulging my pastry obsession in France. And my wine obsession. And my chocolate ob–shutting up now.

*I need to clean the–

OK, I can’t even finish that sentence. I truly abhor cleaning, but I did it anyway in my tireless effort to avoid writing. My house was sparkling, but I was miserable.

*Summer is the time to spend with your kids. My boys NEED me.

Not as much as I needed them to distract me. Once they had hit their Mommy quota for the day, they were ready to hang out with friends–both two and three dimensional. (They love their video games a little too much. I really need to cut down their tablet time.)

Once I reached the end of my list of justifications, I thought all hope was lost. I was convinced my ability to tell amusing stories had been a fluke that left as quickly as it had come. It seems I was wrong. (It happens occasionally. OK. It happens often.) One night last week I couldn’t sleep. My youngest had a nightmare–the kind with such blood curdling screams that you think an intruder is trying to steal him. I flew out of bed, comforted him and sleepily acknowledged I had lost yet another of my nine lives.

Long after I had him settled back in bed, my heart was still racing. Then the most bizarre thing happened. My brain started filling in details for my next book. I had only done basic character sketches and a jotted down a few plot points, so there was barely even a skeleton. Suddenly everything started to fall into place. It was AMAZING.

And just like that, I decided to keep writing. For now. ;)

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Walk This Way: A Jay Walking Soundtrack

Can you believe summer is almost over! I sure can't. But there's still plenty of time to find some great summer reads.  Case in point - the delightful Tracy Krimmer's latest novel, Jay Walking. It's been out for less than a week! And who better to tell us about this awesome book than the woman herself. Take it away, Tracy!

When I first began writing, the only time I could sit and write was in total and utter silence. Even the sound of the dog snoring distracted me enough that I couldn't get my words down. By the time I drafted my second book, I couldn't write in silence. I learned I need a soundtrack. Music plays such an important role in the writing process, at least for me. I haven't seen a music video in years (do they even still exist?), but when I listen to a song, I always see a video playing in my mind. Story ideas form out of song lyrics all the time. My first draft of Pieces of it All transpired through Maroon 5's song "One More Night." The manuscript ended up taking a completely different turn, but its roots start there. Jay Walking was a fun playlist to create. When working on a draft certain scenes or themes remind me of specific songs. I start a Spotify playlist and keep adding to it. I keep Spotify open on my computer and listen while I write. To give you some background on Jay Walking, here is the blurb:


Chelsea Wyatt, a single mom trying to build a life for her and her son, is sick of the body she sees in the mirror. A daily diet of Cookie Crisp cereal is not doing wonders for her mood or her figure, and it’s time for a change. Setting out to get fit, she commits herself to a daily walking plan, forcing herself to give up her all-sugar and carb diet, a difficult task at her donut obsessed job. But her plan goes sideways when a stumble on the ice puts her in the arms of Jay, an attractive young man out on a run. They grab coffee together, and Chelsea finds herself thinking about him long after their short meeting. The thought of dating again hadn’t crossed her mind in years, and she doesn’t even know if Jay is available, or if he would be interested in her despite her unfit body. Just when she has a handle on her new routine, her past catches up with her, throwing her blossoming relationship with Jay and the rest of her life into chaos. Can Chelsea hold onto the people she loves most, or will a wrong turn set her up for failure? 

 This book focuses on fitness, romance, and body image. There are 32 songs on the playlist, and I always add to it. Here are some of my favorites: "Weak" by SWV. Come on 90s folks, who's with me here? I loved me some SWV back in the day. I love this song and it's perfect for Chelsea and her love interest, Jay. "Conqueror" by Estelle & Jussie Smollett. The first time I heard this song during an episode of "Empire" I thought of how hard we fight for things and do anything we can to achieve it. Chelsea wants a great life for herself and her son, a healthy lifestyle, and a great guy to boot. "Who Says" by Selena Gomez & "Try" by Colbie Caillat. Both of these songs are so important for young women. Body image is in our face all the time and these songs speak to everyone and remind us to love who we are just as we are. "Cold Hearted" by Paula Abdul. Chelsea's ex, Daniel, is, in a word, a jerk. This song is perfect for him! These are some of my favorites, but I love them all. Here is the full soundtrack. Follow me on Spotify to access the playlists for Pieces of it All and Caching In as well! 


 Pick up Jay Walking for only $2.99 for your e-reader through August 15th. On August 16th it goes back to its regular $3.99 price! Amazon Barnes & Noble iBooks Kobo

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About Tracy Krimmer: Tracy’s love of writing began at nine years old. She wrote stories about aliens at school, machines that did homework for you, and penguins. Now she pens books and short stories about romance. She loves to read a great book, whether it be romance or science fiction, or any genre in between, or pop popcorn and catch up on her favorite TV shows or movies. She’s been known to crush a candy or two as well. Her first romance novel, Pieces of it All, released in May 2014 followed in December with Caching In, a romance mixed with the hobby of geocaching. She also has written several short stories. Find her online at, Facebook at or Twitter at