Friday Five: The Blogging Woes Edition

**Note: Copied and pasted from LiveJournal

1)  I’ve had this LiveJournal account since 2006 and have made many wonderful friends in the community but am increasingly concerned about the great possibility of the entire platform imploding so

2)  set up a WordPress site and blog in which I used the WP importer tool to import all my LiveJournal posts and comments (except the comments never came through and WP was supposed to fix that but hasn’t yet).

3) I tried not to get too stressed about the missing comments because I figured the WP techies would sort it out eventually, except they haven’t, and now there’s a problem on LJ’s end which makes it impossible to import my posts to my WP site.

4)  Yesterday I decided to just copy and paste those six missing LJ posts into the WP blog but then realized they’d all be dated January 19, 2012 which would totally mess up my archives, so did nothing.

5)  And now I find myself living in blogging limbo as I try to decide whether to continue posting here or there (where no one comments and if the import issue is ever resolved will result in duplicate posts), or maybe just shut-the-hell-up and take it as a sign from the universe.

Rant over.
Here are some fluffies:

image from

Friday Five: The Blogging Woes Edition


1)  I've had this LiveJournal account since 2006 and have made many
wonderful friends in the community but am increasingly concerned
about the great possibility of the entire platform imploding so

2)  set up a WordPress site and blog in which I used the WP importer tool
to import all my LiveJournal posts and comments (except the comments
never came through and WP was supposed to fix that but hasn't yet). 

3) I tried not to get too stressed about the missing comments because I figured
the WP techies would sort it out eventually, except they haven't, and now there's
a problem on LJ's end which makes it impossible to import my posts to my WP site. 

4)  Yesterday I decided to just copy and paste those six missing LJ posts into the WP blog but
then realized they'd all be dated January 19, 2012 which would totally mess up
my archives, so did nothing.

5)  And now I find myself living in blogging limbo as I try to decide whether to continue
posting here or there (where no one comments and if the import issue is ever resolved will
result in duplicate posts), or maybe just shut-the-hell-up and take it as a sign from the universe.

Rant over.
Here are some fluffies:

                                                                              image from


Friday Five: The Determination Edition

1) I am ever so slowly making my way through the second draft of my middle-grade,

2) revising, rewording, reshaping, and re-visioning the story

3) that seemed so straight forward when it whispered in my ear, begging for attention,

4) but for some reason is now taunting me and laughing at my attempts to rein it in.

5) But the joke’s on my feisty muse because I WILL COMPLETE THIS SECOND DRAFT!

image from

May all you also prevail in your wrestling matches, literary or otherwise!
Have a grand weekend!

Friday Five: The Comes and Goes Edition

1)  Yesterday as I revised (again) Chapters One and Two it felt like a losing battle to make this book what I hoped it could be, and I experienced despair

2)  but when I read those revisions right before bed, I realized I’d made huge progress and found the tone of the story amidst all that rubble, and I felt rejuvenated.

3)  Yesterday morning Wildebeest was crabby and negative as I drove him to school

4)  but this morning he was laughing and happy with life and the day ahead.

5)  Today I’m grateful for the knowledge that the Good and Not-So-Good come in waves, and that whatever rolls in eventually rolls out only to replaced by something else that just might be Very Good or even Excellent.

                                           image from

I wish everyone, at minimum, a Very Good weekend!

Friday Five: The Time-for-a-New-Plan Edition


1)  Last weekend I read I the first draft of my latest middle-grade novel after letting it sit awhile.

2) All week I've jotted notes and zeroed in on characters' motivations and reconfigured the plot.

3) I followed editor Kendra Levin's Five-Step Revision Plan, and created a
"one paragraph summary" that inexplicably mushroomed into multiple paragraphs.

4) I swing between moods of exhilaration and freak-outs about my chances of pulling this one off.

5)  And then today I realized that, despite the first draft being written in first-person,
the story needs to be told in third-person.

Here, Tracy, gaze upon the starling to calm your nerves:

                                                                                                 © Tracy Abell 2009

I wish everyone a wonderful weekend filled with epiphanies and maybe a few feathered friends! 


Friday Five: The Will-Wonders-Never-Cease Edition


1)  Wildebeest thanked me this week for not letting him watch much television
when he was little because he believes that made him a good reader.

2)  While I drove Zebu and his friend to school Tuesday morning, Zebu laughed
at one of my jokes! In front of his friend!

3)  Wildebeest ate an entire helping of Zippy's curry the other night and said,
"This is really good."

4)  Last month Zebu complimented me on my texting speed. 

5)  Grasshoppers have some seriously trippy gription going on:   

                                                                                                     © Tracy Abell 2011 

Wishing everyone a wonder-filled weekend!


Friday Five: The Befuddled Edition



                                                                         image from

1)  I haven't written my 1000-words/day for the last two days, in part because
I can't decide whether to forge ahead OR go back and iron out some major plot
stuff I've since figured out.

2)   I've been working on a new WordPress site but have hit a major wall in terms
of what my limited computer skills can achieve, and am not sure how to proceed:
hire a web designer/installer to finish up the job OR muddle through as best I can
OR pretend none of it is happening and let it all wither away in cyberspace.

3)  I'm not sure why this Friday Five is the Befuddled Edition when numbers one and two 
seem less Befuddled than Indecisive.

4)  Wait! I've got befuddlement for you: On the first day of school, one of Zebu's teachers
asked students to share a little about themselves, and when no one else volunteered to
go first Zebu did, and proceeded to offer a lengthy explanation of the underwater basketweaving
club he founded at the school. Because the teacher asked questions along the way, Zebu
continued to spin his tale, thinking she was appreciating his silliness. Turns out she went home
and told her husband all about the amazing student who took the initiative to create
an underwater basketweaving club at school, to which her husband said "It's a joke." She told
me about it last night at Back to School Night. I kid you not.

5)  About this time every year I start wondering why I've agreed to be the facilities coordinator
for the local fall SCBWI conference. Okay, that's probably more Grouchy than Befuddled.

Wishing everyone clear, concise thoughts and actions today and throughout the weekend!


Friday Five: The Losing My Memory Edition


1)  For several years I’ve had to walk out of rooms and back into them
in order to remember why I walked in there in the first place. 
(A bothersome turn of events but not too scary, memory-wise.)

2)  More and more frequently, I feel as if I’m turn turning into my mother

who used to call out each of her five kids’ names before hitting on the right one.
(A somewhat humorous lapse in mental faculties that feels a bit scarier whenever 
I accidentally call my kid or husband by my dog or cat’s names.)
3)  A couple months ago, I drew a total and complete blank on a friend’s name 
for about five minutes.
(That memory void freaked me out, and freaked out Wildebeest even more 
when I confessed it to him.)
4)  Earlier this week, I was writing a check (something I don’t do all that regularly but
have done for thirty years), and temporarily forgot how to write out the cents part of the amount.
I really and truly could not remember how to do it.
(Ack!  That is all I can say about this episode.)
5)  I was thinking all these things were signs of aging and/or early onset dementia but then
I read Agnes today and realized the same happens to the very young:
AGNES by Tony Cochran
Have a great weekend, everyone!
May you create wonderful memories that stay with you forever and ever.

Friday Five: The Street Running Edition


1)  The sun is shining and the sky is blue, blue, blue 

but as a result of the excessive number of thunderstorms and downpours this week

2) the trails are too wet and messy for running which makes me sad, sad, sad
so I ran back and forth on the gravel portion just to get my bunny, meadowlark, wildflower fix

3) before heading back onto the neighborhood streets where I ran, ran, ran

up and down streets past parked cars and moving cars and boring old suburban houses
4) checking my watch every few minutes because I needed to run, run, run
for forty minutes before I’d let myself stop for the day
5) and by the time I reached my goal I remembered street running isn’t all that bad, bad, bad
because there aren’t any rocks or knapweed or holes to trip you up.
I’m hoping the trails dry out soon so I can get back out there where my heart sings, sings, sings.   
Wishing everyone a joyful weekend!

Friday Five: The Wine-tasting Edition


I know, I know.
You’re scratching your heads, wondering how this photo translates into a Friday Five
when there are only four people in the picture (Mom, Sister, Me, and the surly Zippy).

                                                                                                                   photo by Bitsy

Well, sillies, it’s quite simple.
We were in Albuquerque’s Casa Rondena Winery tasting room, partaking of five wine samples.

Also, the fifth member of our party, Zippy’s sister, took the photo (and was our designated driver).
So, there are lots of fives going on in this scene.  Okay?

We couldn’t move around much because there was a wedding about to start outside on the lovely vineyard grounds,

and one stressed-out employee behind the tasting counter was rude beyond belief,
and the vineyard label is (in my opinion) incredibly unattractive,  
but none of that stopped us from having four tasty (and one not-at-all tasty) wines plus a whole lot of laughs.
Wishing everyone a tasty weekend filled with laughter!

Friday Five: The Random Edition


1)  I have a piece up on today. HEAVY METAL MOUTH chronicles my experiences as 
a brace-face adult, and I hope you stop by to laugh at my expense.

2)  Today is graduation day at Red Rocks and our friend Brian is graduating. He’s actually three weeks 

younger than Wildebeest but started school at a younger age in California. We’re going to his party later where 
I’m sure I’ll get teary and embarrass him. It’s Brian’s turn today, Wildebeest graduates next year, Brian’s sister 
the year after, and then Zebu is the last of the gang. Time is whipping on by . . .
3)  Earlier this week I ran the neighborhood loop for the first time in a month or so, and am here to tell you:
keep up with your yoga practice! I haven’t been doing yoga nearly enough and really felt the difference in my
lungs. Who would’ve thought?
4)  I  just realized I don’t like this type of unrelated list for Friday Five because when I read a jumbled 
assortment on other blogs, I get overwhelmed thinking I need to comment on each and every item.  So if you’re
equally neurotic and starting to freak out, DON’T! It’s all good!
5)  Well, now it’d be kind of silly to add anything else, wouldn’t it? Let’s end with an assortment of produce:

                                                                                          image by

Have a colorful and varied weekend, friends!

Friday Five: The March Madness Edition


1) Yesterday Zippy, Wildebeest, Zebu, and I watched four men’s college basketball games
from our seats in the rafters and

2) had great fun
3) despite the sound of our brackets exploding with upsets (we’re looking at you, Louisville!),
4) and are now looking forward to Gonzaga beating BYU on Saturday 
5) because in our collective opinion, BYU’s only redeeming quality is having female cheerleaders 
who sometimes do back-flips when a player makes a free-throw.


                                                    image from

Keep your eyes on those dreams and have a grand weekend!  



Friday Five: The Mourning Dove Edition


Five Mourning Doves!
Count ’em!

Is this Friday Five stuff easy, or what?

                                                                                                                                    © Tracy Abell 2011
Here’s hoping this weekend doesn’t require puffing out your feathers to stay warm.
Have a good one, all!


Friday Five: The Translation Edition


Can someone tell me what this sign is trying to convey?

                                             image from

Is it . . .

1)  "Guitar Hero" is to blame parents.  Loose children call the kids "Roadies." 

2)  "Guitar Hero" is to blame.  Parents lose children (and)  call their kids roadies.

3)  "Guitar Hero" is to blame parents’ loose children.  Call the kids’ roadies!

4)  "Guitar Hero": Is to blame parents’ loose children (equal to) call(ing) the kids "roadies"?

5)  "Guitar Hero" really isn’t to blame.  It’s those damned parents and their loose children messing with the roadies.

Regardless of your take on this sign**,
I think we can all agree that nobody should mess with the roadies.

** After posting, realized this sign was put together via this link
but still think the meaning is open to interpretation.              

Friday Five: The Lisa Edition


Two days ago  shared some heartbreaking news about her health.

It’s a testament to her loving and humorous outlook on life that even though
we’ve never met, I can’t stop thinking about Lisa and her family.  
And I know I’m not the only one.
Lisa has always been a shining light in this writing community.

1)  Lisa started the Thankful Thursday tradition here in LJ-land.

2)  Lisa won the Morris Award and shared her nomination speech (which turned
into her acceptance speech)
 with us even though doing so was outside her comfort zone.

3)  Lisa notices beauty all around her and shares my love for spiders.

4)  Lisa supports her follow writers and hosts Authorial Intrusion which allows us to know
authors as real people with likes and dislikes, along with their best writing advice in five words or less.

5)  Lisa has reminded me to be grateful for all I have, and to let the people
in my life know how much I love them.

So many, many people are thinking of you, Lisa, and sending love your way.


Friday Five: The Worrywart Edition


1)  Yesterday I made the mistake of telling my hair stylist Wildebeest 
was doing really well.  This morning, he was an absolute mess.

2)  Last night for the first time since starting my new project, I went to
bed feeling anxious about my ability to carry it off.

3)  I’m not sure if I still fit in my regular jeans.

4)  Zebu and Wildebeest informed me they cannot stand how I wake
them up for school with a quiet voice as I open their curtains; they prefer
Zippy’s method of turning on lights and giving them a shove.

5)  I’d pack a bag and head for the hills, but then who would hold
down the fort?

                                                                                                                      Image from

Friday Five: The Catching Up Edition


1)  Hello, friends!  Maybe you noticed I’ve been AWOL from TracyWorld.  Why?  Busy, busy, busy.

2)  Last weekend with the help of Zippy, Wildebeest, and Zebu, I placed 12 tons of landscaping
rock around the perimeter of our newly landscaped yard.  Yesterday I spent the day with a Rug Doctor,
bringing the basement carpeting back to life.  This weekend I’ll be cleaning walls and beams in preparation
for the painting crew.  I appear to be nesting.  No, I’m not pregnant.

3)  Despite the above, I’ve been working on BIRD BRAIN revisions.  This round, I’m working off  ‘s 
comments, and am thrilled with the improvements.  I’m so grateful for all the wonderful critiques I’ve received,
and am looking forward to querying soon.

4)  Tuesday night I got together with  who was in town.  We’d never met in person but bonded 
immediately and had a wonderful time in a sports bar on election night.  Really.  If you have to suffer through a
political crap storm, you want to do it with someone smart and funny.  I’ll always remember I was with Phoebe when
I learned civil liberties champion Sen. Russ Feingold lost his re-election bid (shame on my fellow cheeseheads!)

(Because we were sporting I VOTED stickers, the bar gave us a free brownie sundae but I don’t know how to
send phone pic to email).

5)  Yesterday Wildebeest turned 17.  I keep thinking I’m too young to have a child that old, but I guess the
facts are against me on that one.

I’ve missed everyone and hope to catch up on LiveJournal when I get a little more breathing room.
I wish you all a glorious, early November weekend!


Friday Five: The October Already? Edition


Zebu really likes this photo so I added the summer color for him.

1)  I’m trying not to panic at the thought that we’re now careening, full-tilt
toward the end of the year

2)  Because there are still so many things I want and need to accomplish
before then

3)  But there’s nothing I can do about the steady march of time

4)  So the best I can do is get a grip already

5)  And push on through to meet my goals (with a minimum of whimpering).

Happy October to all, and have a wonderful weekend!

Friday Five: The Where-I’m-At Edition


1)  I’m loving my whiteboard as I sort out characterization and plot for BIRD BRAIN.

2)  But for the sake of my brain cells, I need to make the big investment and buy non-toxic, no-odor markers.

3)  I’m now enjoying all the little revelations that come with revision, and am no longer beating myself up 
for not being an omniscient author.

4)  I’m writing every single day, making progress every single day, and feeling better about myself
every single day.

5)  This week I received a 14+ month response to a query for FRAMED, and all I could do was laugh.

Wishing everyone a grand weekend filled with whatever brand of happiness your hearts desire!

Friday Five: The Trail Running Edition


ONE bunny sighted on the trail.
TWO humans sighted on the trail, one on foot and the other on a bike.
THREE brief walking stints because the hills were killer.
One-two-three-FOUR-one-two-three-FOUR, the cadence I chant in my head to keep me moving along the trail.
FIVE pounds lost this summer that I don’t miss hauling around with me.

Happy Friday to all!  Have a wonderful weekend filled with blue skies and laughter.

Friday Five: The Steven Wright Edition



Everywhere is within walking distance if you have the time.

Cross country skiing is great if you live in a small country.

Curiosity killed the cat, but for a while I was a suspect.

A lot of people are afraid of heights. Not me, I’m afraid of widths.

I intend to live forever. So far, so good.


Wishing everyone a weekend filled with much laughter and just enough absurdity to keep it interesting.

Friday Five: The Random Synapse Edition


1)  I hope to return to my regularly scheduled blogging from here on out, as I
have emerged from my funk (thank you, friends!)

2)  Zebu and I just got home from a run which feels extra satisfying since it’s
going to be about 20 degrees warmer in an hour or so.

3)  I sent my BIRD BRAIN pages and synopsis off for the conference critique,
and feel good about my decision. 

4)  I’m back at work on BIRD BRAIN but am not rewriting as I’d planned;
turns out I know those pages so well I couldn’t let go of wording so it’s
actually better to tweak what I already have.  Weird, huh?

5)  Happy Birthday to my sister and Wonderful Weekend to all. 

Friday Five: The Parent Edition


1)  Sometimes you just want to pack a bag and run away
2)  but since that’s generally frowned upon, you hunker down
3)  and hope for a shift in attitude and behavior.
4)  The wait feels like forever, but that shift always comes,
5)  and when it does, the sun shines and the birds sing.

                                                                                                          © 2010 Tracy Abell

Wishing everyone a weekend filled with blue skies, calm waters, and an overall mellow vibe.