Sunday, September 20, 2015

Blogger Award!

I've been nominated by Katie at Katie's Cottage Books for the Sisterhood of the World Blogger's Award!  Thanks!!

Here are the rules: 

1.) Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
2.) Put the award logo on your blog.
3.) Answer the ten questions sent you.
4.) Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer.
5.) Nominate ten other bloggers

And here are Katie's questions for me:

1.) Do you enjoy horseback riding?  I used to love it when I was younger.  In fact, I went with my mom to a real "Dude Ranch" in Colorado when I was 18, and I rode horses for about 9 hours a day, 7 days straight.  I've never been so sore in my life, but I loved the experience.

2.) Do you prefer Charlotte Bronte or Jane Austen?  Jane Austen!  I love her wit and the "lightness" in her stories.

3.) Are you right-handed or left-handed?  Right-handed. 

4.) What is your favorite sport?  Tennis.
5.) What is the most unusual thing you have ever done?  I once sang a solo in front of 20,000 young people at Reunion Arena in Dallas. I had been chosen in a summer youth camp contest.  I was scared to pieces but somehow made it through...

6.) Do you prefer the mountains or the seaside?  Mountains for sure.

7.) How tall are you?  5' 1''

8.) Do you prefer cats or dogs?  Dogs, specifically Corgis.

9.) Can you sing?  Ha, yes!  I didn't see this question before I answered #5.  I grew up singing in church, solos and in choir.

10.) Do you prefer classic Sherlock Holmes or the contemporary Sherlock?  Classic.

Thanks again Katie!

Monday, June 9, 2014


Today is my book's birthday!  Time to celebrate!  *throws confetti all over the internet*

PAINTING THE MOON is available in e-book format at Amazon,, and Kobo.  It's on sale today for $2.99 and the price will increase starting tomorrow, so get yours TODAY!  

The book will be available in softback format at those same online locations in a couple of weeks. 

After years of rejections, and after months of intense edits, it's time.  Time for me to let this book GO, and toss it out into the world to take flight.  It's no longer just my book anymore.  And that's a weird and wonderful feeling.  

"No matter how much I adore writing, no matter the pleasure my stories give me, it isn't until books are read that they really start to breathe."  ~Kate Morton

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

My Author Website

Just popping in to share the link to my author website, since I no longer post fresh entries on this Writers Corner blog.

My first novel will be published in June!  So exciting!

Traci Borum Website

Monday, October 14, 2013

Writing Helps

My father passed away last month, on September 6th.  I'm feeling all the range of emotions I've been told I'll feel:  sadness, numbness, frustration, confusion, joy (from the good memories), etc.  Some of them at the same time.

Well, writing helps.  For the first time in weeks, I've felt like penning something.  And it's a small tribute to my dad.  It's nothing fancy or eloquent, but it captures how I'm feeling right now.  It captures the shock of my trying to process this thing called grief.  Just felt like sharing...

The Last Time…

I didn’t know it was the last time.
That I’d see you smile or laugh at your own jokes.

I didn’t know it was the last time
You’d ride in the car with me, look at the clouds, tell me that “time is irrelevant now”.

I didn’t know it was your last meal,
French toast, made by Karen, gobbled up fast.

I didn’t know it was the last time
I’d watch you direct your chorus, ring chords with your quartet.

I didn’t know it was the last time
We’d have intense chats about “Justified” or the newest Jack Reacher novel.

I didn’t know it was the last time
You’d hug your parents or grandkids or wife. Or me.

I didn’t know it was the last time
You would talk about politics or work or golf, things that mattered then.

I didn’t know it was the last time
We’d watch a British movie together (“Soames!”) or laugh at “Who’s Line.”

I didn’t know it was the last time
I’d go Christmas shopping for your presents online.

I didn’t know it was the last time
You’d watch a football game or text a friend or read from your Kindle.

I didn’t know.

But it wasn’t the last time. Not really.
Because someday, in a heavenly realm,
We WILL sit and talk again.

We will embrace and catch up, and I’ll see
That smiling, radiant face.

And we will both be peaceful. Happy.
Forever united. No more good-bye’s.
No more “last time’s.”

Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Publishing Journey -- The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

I've always enjoyed reading about how authors got published -- even the details of heartache and excitement and disappointment of their individual journeys.  Because reading those stories lets me know I'm not alone in my own experiences.

Well, here's my story.  I've decided to be quite detailed, but to leave out the specific names and situations regarding the publishers/agents involved.  I just always want to stay professional.  I think that's really important.  So, here goes...

In the Beginning...

I've been writing novels since I was 21 years old (I'm 43 now).  I got serious about trying to get published about thirteen years ago.  I attended writers' conferences and soaked up all the information I could about the process.  I was told, over and over, that I had to get a literary agent.  That it was the only way to be published.  So, I polished my novel and polished my query letter.  Then I researched agents and studied their submission requirements.  Then, I sent out my proposals.  And although I got a few "bites" of interest (requests for a full manuscript), I also got countless rejections.  It happens.  In fact, it's expected.  But that doesn't make it sting any less.  But during those challenging years, I did something very important.  While I was submitting, I kept on writing.  I wrote and edited five other novels.

Fast-Forward to 2010:

During my final round of submissions, about five years after writing the first book in my current series, I got a contract from a literary agent.  Hallelujah!  But unfortunately, after many months went by, it became obvious we weren’t a good “fit.”  So, after our contract length had ended, we went our separate ways.  Back to Square One.

Switching Gears:

Since I'd had no real success with literary agents, I decided to approach publishers directly, on my own.  Big and small.  It took weeks and weeks of new research, and of learning the publishing industry in a way I never had before.  I wanted to be equipped, well-informed.  Essentially, I was becoming my own agent.  So, I sent my book to several editors and got nothing but rejections.  It made me wonder if I was on the right path.  But--a few months into the process, I was offered a contract by a small publishing company!  I was beyond ecstatic.  It had finally happened.  As a courtesy, I notified the other publishers who had my book.  And I received two more contracts!  After some excruciating decision-making, I chose a publisher.  (Side note:  I'm a teacher, with absolutely no legal education, so I decided to hire a literary attorney to look over the contract.  I'm so glad I did.  Worth every penny, for the peace of mind).

Sadly, things went unexpectedly awry, regarding the contract.  I won’t go into detail, but after months of “issues,” the publisher and I ended up going our separate ways (a mutual decision).  Still, I was devastated.  

Back to Square One—again—with a weary heart.  The doubts started to seep in, in a way they never had before.  Would this ever happen for me?  After all these years of trying? 

After licking my wounds, I decided to re-approach one of the other publishers who’d offered a contract wayyy back in January.  What did I have to lose?  They could only tell me "no."  But they didn't.  They actually took me back!  Within forty-eight hours, I had spoken with the editor twice on the phone, had received and signed a contract, and had written an author bio for their website.  Success, lightning-fast!  After all these years.  Blood, sweat, and yes, even tears.

In the End...

One thing I've learned:  the publishing process isn't for wimps.  It's frustrating, maddening, and it will make you doubt yourself many, many times over.  But, if your goal is to get published, it's something you likely will have to endure.  Every writer's journey is different.  There are some true overnight success stories out there.  But they're rare.  Getting published takes dedication, perseverance (actually, it's more like stubbornness, lol), and hard, hard work.  And, the good news:  the publishing landscape is changing.  Writers have more choices, more opportunities than ever (including self-publishing).  This industry is rapidly changing, because of the digital age, and e-books.  Even publishers now have no idea what the publishing landscape will look like in the future.  And that's kind of exciting.

Question of Why

During the journey (or, preferably at the start of the journey), it's important for every writer to ask one big question:  Why?  Why do I want to get published?

If the answer is "money," heh, forget it.  That's, unfortunately, unrealistic.  If the answer is "fame," again, unrealistic.  Not impossible, but not likely.

I asked myself this question a couple of years ago, and here's what I came up with:
I want to see my book in print.  To hold it, to crack it open, to smell it (man, I'm such a book nerd!).  The thought of having my own words, my own thoughts/ideas/characters grace the inside pages of a book makes me giggly.  It just does. 

Probably the main reason I want to get published is this:  I love the idea of other people reading words I wrote.  I love the notion that someone, somewhere, maybe in Maryland or New York or California, will see the cover, read the blurb, and decide, for some reason, to spend hard-earned dollars to purchase it.  Even more, I like the idea of that person going home after a difficult work day, maybe even with personal burdens, and escaping his/her life, momentarily, through reading my book.  Because that's a huge part of the reason that I read.  I would love for someone to experience what I experience through books--the escapism, the intimacy, and even the reflection of oneself through a character or situation.  The notion that I, somehow, could be any part of that process for someone else is incredible to me.

The End...Only The Beginning

So, that's my story, with all its ups and downs, twists and turns, lows and highs.  My story is happy, it's sad,'s unfinished.  Who knows where my writing will take me next.  But the most important thing is that I never lose sight of one thing:  the love of writing.  Because that’s the fire that fuels everything else.

Publication Announcement!

A few more details at the new author website - link here.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

My New Home!

This past week, I created my author website (squeeee!).  Here's the link to my new home.

I've had this Writer's Corner blog for about five years, and I have no plans of shutting it down (I hope to keep it as an archive of sorts).  I probably won't post very often here anymore, but there might be times I want to return and post something new.  For now, though, my focus will be on the new site.

Thanks to any who've been reading my little blog, and I hope you'll follow me over to the new site.  It's pretty sparse so far, in terms of information, but I hope to be adding to it as the weeks go by.

Friday, June 14, 2013

The Rocky Dance

After a long and winding road (and I do mean LOOOONG.  And WINDING.), the moment finally arrived this week.  Ahem.

I signed my very first publishing contract!!

I don't know how many details I can reveal yet, so I'll keep things vague for now.  But the main reason for this post is to inspire those still in the trenches, still struggling to get their work seen or read or published.  I've been there.  I understand.

For years, I wrote and studied the craft.  I attended writers' conferences.  I researched and submitted to agents.  And got rejected.  Then, one agent said "yes."  But unfortunately, things went sour and I ventured out on my own, agent-less.  So, I started submitting directly to publishers and had some bumps along the way.  More waiting, more rejection.  And then, some bites, some hope!  And it all led up to this point, this moment.  And though the experience is surreal, this joyful feeling makes the long and sometimes-heartbreaking journey worthwhile. 

If you have that dream, pursue it.  If publication is something you want, go get it.  It won't be an easy road, but it can happen.  I posted awhile back about why I want to get published (link here), and those reasons still hold true today. 

So, if getting published is important to you (and it's perfectly fine if it isn't) -- don't give up.  Keep plugging along, keep trying.  Because when you reach the tip-top of that enormous, steep staircase, you can finally launch into your triumphant Rocky Dance.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Behind the Scenes

Sometimes, especially if we're writing in a singular POV of one character, we writers have a particular challenge in front of us.  There are so many activities and actions and things that can happen "off stage," so to speak, that don't occur in the presence of our main character.  And sometimes, we have to find creative ways either to let that MC witness the action first-hand, or to hear about it second-hand in a realistic way.  It can't seem too contrived or manipulated.

For instance - I finished a novel last week (yay, me!) in which the last few scenes contained crucial moments that the MC didn't witness, herself.  She had left the area, leaving these other characters behind.  But that didn't mean the characters remained frozen, stagnant.  Things happened while the MC was gone.  And it took some hard thinking and planning on my part, to determine which information she found out and when.  And how.  I played with it, tested some possibilities, and things finally clicked, fell into place.

But the interesting thing was, in my brainstorming, I had to do something drastic.  I had to crawl inside those other characters' mindsets, find out exactly what they experienced that evening--even though it would never be shown in its entirety to the reader in an actual scene.  Only the important bits and pieces would be revealed later to the main character in hindsight.  But in order for the timeline to work, and for the emotional levels to ring true by the end, it was important for me to get inside those minor characters and live out their actions, anyway. 

As writers, we need to always keep in mind that sometimes, what happens behind closed doors, even if it's never revealed it its entirety, is every bit as important as what happens out in the open.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Show, Don't Tell

Plenty of blogs have tackled this subject (even I have, in this link here), so I won't bore you with it again.  But today, I ran across a fabulous quote that tells WHY showing is so much more valuable than telling.  It's because you want your reader to be active, not passive.  You don't want to spoon-feed them information and tell them everything.  You want to show them, and let them decide for themselves what's happening, how a character feels, why a character just made that decision.  Let the reader participate, feel like he/she has some hand in the process.

Here's the quote:

"Don't give the audience 4.  Give them 2 plus 2."  ~Andrew Stanton, Director of WALL-E