Saturday, August 23, 2014

Joining the virtual blog tour

I've always loved to travel. Even if I'm not boarding a plane at the moment, I'm thankful to Emily Breunig for tagging me in a virtual blog tour in progress. Emily, who was a fiction colleague of mine at St. Mary's College of California, is a writer, teacher, editor and self-proclaimed cat wrangler who now can count an adorable puppy amongst her companions. She's had stints in China and Sweden and currently lives with her husband and menagerie in the South Bay. I'm happy to count her among my writing community.

A snippet from her novel "A Ghost at the Edge of the Sea":

The plane over the Pacific shuddered and dipped. Its wings flexed, and the metal groaned as the passengers groaned. From his position in seat 46B, Will couldn't tell which sound was which. He clutched at his armrests, his seatbelt cutting into his stomach with every jolt. The flight attendants had been strapped into their seats or at least ten minutes now, or twenty; he couldn't move to check the time, and outside, it was still dark. The woman next to him gasped and grabbed his hand as the screens showing the film flickered, then went dark, and Will held his breath, waiting for the oxygen masks to tumble into his lap.

"At least," the woman said softly, without letting go of Will's hand, "at least I know where I'm going."

Will raised his eyebrows at this, and then turned to her and gave her the best smile he could manage. "Shanghai still, I hope. Unless they've changed it to some small Pacific island."

The woman giggled and shook her head. Her blond bangs brushed at her eyes with the movement. "No, that's not what I meant," she said, pressing down with her hand and driving his own into the cracking gray plastic. "I mean after that, if this plane gives up. What's your name?"

"Will," he replied, cautiously, unable to come up with another to give her.

"Pray with me, Will," she said. "Pray that we reach whatever destination God has set out for us, whether it's of this earth or not."

As defined by another St. Mary's fiction colleague, Rashaan Alexis Meneses, who tagged Emily, the definition of a blog tour is as follows:

The “virtual blog tour” is an excellent, friendly way for writers, artists, and other creative folks to bring attention to their own work as well as that of others. It begins with an invitation from another artist or writer. Then in your blog you acknowledge the person who invited you, answer four given questions about your work and your process, and then invite three other people to participate. These people then do the same thing, referring their blog readers to the blogs of three more people, and so on. It’s a wonderful sort of “pyramid scheme” that’s beneficial for everyone: the artists and writers as well as the readers of their blogs. We can follow links from blog to blog and then we can all learn about different kinds of creative process and also find new writers and artists we may not have known about before.

So without further ado, let's launch into the questions:

1) What are you currently working on?

I've just sent my novel, THREESOME, to my agent. THREESOME is an account of a couple whose daughter was killed six months prior and who, in order to try to cope with the aftermath, travel from Columbia, Missouri to Gualala, California. Having done that, I've been writing and submitting a ton of personal essays. Once I've gotten that out of my system, I'm going to start on PIRATE BOB, a first-person narrative from the perspective of a shelter dog.

2) How does your work differ from others of its genre?

I push the envelope until it tears. Once you get inside, you won't believe what you'll find.

3) Why do you write/create what you do?

I can't not do it. Some things need to be said, and they're usually the things no one talks about. I've always wanted to walk that edge, because while you risk falling and breaking your ass, you get a hell of a good view in the bargain.

4) How does your writing/creative process work?

Eight and a half weeks ago, it changed radically. I had weight-loss surgery and am down 35 pounds. Along with this came a rush of energy that has enabled me to write as much as 2000 or more words a day, which is awesome given that I was barely managing 500 words daily (if that) before. I write in cafes in the morning and at home in the afternoon, usually with music playing and with copious Facebook breaks. I type like a demon. If I'm not breaking my keyboard, I'm not doing it right.

And now to tag four others! Here we go:

Lita Kurth (MFA Rainier Writers Workshop, Pacific Lutheran University) has had work accepted or published in FjordsReview, Redux, Raven Chronicles, Main Street Rag, Tikkun, NewVerseNews, Blast Furnace, eliipsis…literature and art, Compose, Tattoo Highway, Composite Arts, Verbatim Poetry, the Santa Clara Review, Vermont Literary Review, and others. Her work has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her CNF “This is the Way We Wash the Clothes,” presented at the Working Class Studies conference, 2012, won the 2014 Diana Woods Memorial Award (summer-fall 2014) and appeared in Lunchticket 2014. She contributes to,, and In 2013, she co-founded the Flash Fiction Forum, a reading series in San Jose.

William Yelles started Daily Possible to help you silence the world’s alarm with the wake up call to infuse your life and the lives of others with meaning and magic. New content each day provides solutions spiritual and practical. As a coach and consultant, William provides the right amount of inspiration, encouragement and passion to drive successful results. Learn more at

Tracie Handley is a Southern girl who, after years as a trial consultant, decided to chase her dream of being a writer -- a paid writer, that is. Working as a freelancer, she's written articles for AOL Travel, HuffingtonPost, Gadling Travel, Paw Nation, and numerous other outlets. She has one book in print, Divine Inner Vision: Living Life in Focus, which she co-created with lifelong friend, and extraordinary photographer, Sherri Rudder-Smith. Currently,she is collaborating with Sherri on a book which focuses on autism from the perspective of families who live with it every day, and, as always, she's chasing freelance opportunities.

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