Skip to main content

Starting 2011 Off with a Bang…Red Ryder Style

By Tracey Devlyn

Welcome to my first blog! I’m so excited to join the Casa ladies. Since signing with Sourcebooks last spring, I’ve been a regular visitor and sometimes commenter on the blog. So, I feel like I know a little bit about everyone already.

This year will be a year of firsts for me. First editorial notes, first marketing plan, first blog tour, first book…well, you get the picture. Although some of my firsts make my knees clang together just thinking about them, I’m looking forward to every minute of this year’s journey. And next year’s and the next.

In an effort to start off 2011 right and to stay organized, I pinned my annual writing goals next to my desk, so that they’re forever in my line of sight. I also published them on my website for accountability purposes. Not so easy to ignore them now! In my day job, I’ve established annual goals for years, so it was easy to transfer that habit over to my writing. Annual goals act as a road map. I’ve found they keep me on target throughout the year (I’m easily distracted!).

I’m also a member of a goals loop where we commit to writing 100 words every day for 100 consecutive days. The great thing about this program is that you generally write more, far more than a 100 words. But, on those days when you don’t think you have five words in you, the 100 word goal forces you to work through it. This group keeps me motivated and energized.

I also started the year off by adopting a Doberman pup from a local rescue shelter. He’s three months old, has long legs and ginormous feet. Feet he’ll eventually grow into. Yikes! Meet Ryder (aka Red Ryder). He’s the sweetest thing, but he hates Chicago’s weather. So do I, so we’re a good match.

That’s it for my first blog. I’m really looking forward to spending time with the Casa ladies and all the readers who stop by to see us!

Now it's your turn! Did you set any professional or personal goals? How about pets? Did you get a precious bundle in your stocking?


  1. He's adorable, Tracey--and all legs! I didn't notice his feet until you mentioned it, and then I noticed--and all feet! :) He's adorable. I have a 5000 word count goal per week. Must get at least that much done! Sometimes I get more, sometimes less if I'm editing a book by deadline. But with working full time, it's the only way I can keep up and get my writing done on time. Although I'm 3 months ahead on deadlines right now! :) So see? It works!

  2. Aww...I love puppies! He's sooo cute!

    As for me, I need to write 8,500 words a week and I love the 100X100 group. My other goals are to eat less, walk more, spend less and find balance in all things.

    As for our pets, I'd love a puppy but it goes against the whole "spend less" goal. Plus, Jasmine, my rescued pointer, is more of an only dog, dog. She doesn't like competition and she's so skittish, she needs a lot of attention.

  3. Ryder!!! Love it!!! Great first blog! (Anything with a puppy or kitten gets high marks in my book!) Welcome to the blog!

  4. Great first blog! Welcome to the Casababes!I'm practically a newbie here too but these folks are great! We have a cat, Boots Randolph Terminator Outlaw, who rules the back yard.
    I'm fortunate in that I get to write full time and my children are all grown. So, I really like to put out 4 to 5 thousand words a day. Somedays the number drops ... somedays if the scene has my brain held in hostage, it can do more.

  5. Tracey, love the photo of your precious pup! And kudos to you for adopting from a rescue!! Having fostered over 40 puppies & special needs dogs for my local Humane Society, truly I can't thank you enough! By adopting, you also saved another life as there's now room for that rescue to take in another Red Ryder. :)

    Congrats on your debut! Looking forward to many more books and blogs form you in the future....

  6. Gosh, Tracey, that "puppy" has huge feet!

    I'm in the Club 100 writers and I'm on day 79 of the second round of 100 words a day. (Don't tell anyone, but 100 words a day is a snap...usually)

  7. Wonderful blog, Tracey! We're delighted that you're here.

    Red Ryder is adorable...and yes, he will most definitely grow into those feet. We rescued our dog, Ginger, 11 years ago. She's a Doberman/Shepherd/Rotweiller Mix...but we think she has some sled dog in her. ;)

    Enjoy your year of firsts. There is nothing like it, and don't forget to celebrate each and every first along the way. So much to look forward to.

    This is a year of first's for me too, coming from the library market and small publishing houses where publishers handle things just a bit differently across the board.

    After meeting my December 31st deadline for DYLAN, I've given myself three months to get into the swing of the Virtual Tour that Danielle just emailed last night, finish my article for my new column in the RWA/NYC newsletter- This Crazy Writer's Life-get my promo in place for the three RT events that I'm a part of...

    Good grief the list just keeps getting longer, and wouldn't you know it, my characters are bugging me to get going on JESSE's story.

    Apparently there is going to be an all out brawl (Marquess of Queensberry Rules) during the All Male Revue. Trouble's a-coming to Pleasure, Texas and I can't wait to get back there (it's summertime and there is NO SNOW) and start writing!

    Thanks for a great post, Tracey!

  8. Never got anything like that in my stocking! Very cute. Looks like your New Year is going to be interesting!

  9. That is going to be one big dog. LOL. You'll handle him with the same grace and determination you tackle everything else with.

    I've gotten pretty rigid about my goals this year. I have four big things on my list and I'm concentrating on them. This is a new approach for me, so we'll see how it goes.

  10. morning Tracey!

    What a cutie patootie Mr. Ryder is....he'll keep you on your toes, as will your goals. Best of luck in this year, it's gonna be a doozy! =)

  11. I got my daughter a Great Dane puppy, but made sure she moved to Denver first. I'm told he chews everything all the time no matter what.

    As for goals, they are not helpful to me. I know many people find them motivating, but they strike me the same way all those breathing exercises did in child birth classes: I am going to breathe, for pity's sake. I don't need exercises to remind me to breathe (though I know, some people do, and the idea is to distract you from pain, and so on). I am going to write most days, and think about writing every day. This is not an activity to accomplish, it's an expression of my identity.

    Enjoy your debut year. I found the crew at Sourcebooks to be supportive, constructive, responsive and just plain fun to work with. You're in good hands and we're all here to help if you need it. Relax, and enjoy yourself.

  12. Welcome, Tracey! So very glad to have you here. I love that you are so goal oriented--it will ensure your success. Best Wishes!

  13. Hi Tracey, and welcome! Ryder is absolutely adorable. I want to pinch his little cheeks and kiss his snout. He has very large paws, and you know what they say about THAT. ;-)

    Right now my only writing goal is a BICHOK goal: working on my WIP at least two hours per day, at least six days per week. Anything else that's writing-oriented gets done outside that time. That said, the "anything else writing-oriented" is rather exploding right now being that my debut, TASTE ME, is being released in March.

    So I'm right with you on all the firsts.

  14. My goal is the same as last year. twenty pages a week. It works for me, so I kept it. No little bundles in my stocking, thank goodness! I have enough to keep up with! But those doggie pictures are too cute.

  15. Tracey -

    Ryder is the cutest thing, and those feet just make me laugh.

    No doubt, 2011 is going to be a wild, crazy, exhilarating ride for you. Hang on, and enjoy every second of it. No one forgets their first time :).


  16. Terry--
    Awesome word count goal, especially working full-time. I'm in the same boat as you and strive for 750 a day, but generally have to make up shortfalls on the weekend. Congrats on having a 3 month buffer with your deadlines. That's great!

    Is your pointer a German short-haired? I think they're beautiful dogs. Good luck on all your goals, especially finding balance. Such a hard thing to accomplish these days.

    Thanks! My pup came with the name. Couldn't have picked a better one. :)

    Love your cat's name! Terminator is one of my all time favorite movies. LOL

    Foster parents are truly special people. The way you open your home to these adorable critters is amazing. Such patience! Ryder came from a litter of four. The owner stopped feeding the pups well before taking them to a kill shelter. The foster mom said he was skin and bones when she received him. She took awesome care of him--no bones in sight!

  17. Jennifer--
    Thanks for stopping by! Congrats on writing for 179 consecutive days. You've already established a habit. Yay!

    Sounds like you have a full schedule! Can't wait to read your RWR article. All Male Revue--love it. Enjoy your 3-month "respite" - although I'm sure you won't be resting much. LOL

    Maybe next year!

  18. Hi Tracey! Glad to have you join us. Growing up, my extended family had Dobermans. Great dogs.

    I don't set goals really. I just write as much as I can. I don't write every day, but I do write every weenend. On a good weekend, I can write 12,000 words or so. During the week I'm lucky to get 12. My day job saps my creative energy, so writing after work rarely happens. I'm a weekend warrior-type writer. Not by choice, but out of necessity.

  19. Not sure what a weenend is, but it sounds fun!

    *pardon my type-o*

  20. Adrienne--
    Aren't you a plotter? I would have bet good money that you set annual goals. LOL Good luck--you have an amazing debut year ahead of you with two new releases. Whoot!

    Thanks! So nice of you to stop by.

    Thank you for your encouraging words! The Sourcebooks crew has been so welcoming and attentive. I've enjoyed all the information coming across the loop too. So helpful!

    Thanks! I hope you're right. LOL

    Ryder's snout is smoochable--when he doesn't try to nip back. :)Those baby teeth are sharp. I can only imagine how crazy busy you are promoting your March release. Can't wait to see you book on the shelves. SO exciting.

    Twenty pages is a great goal. I'm so glad you've found a process that works well for you. I think Ryder knows exactly how cute he is!

    You get my "you are my hero" award. I so wish I could write 12,000 words on the weekend. I would love to have my evenings free to just veg with my hubby. Such has not been the case for four years. Oi. Mark me green with envy!

    Thanks so much for the warm welcome. I really appreciate it.

  21. My writings goals for 2011 are to finish editing two manuscripts and complete another new manuscript by the end of the year. Have fun with your new bundle of joy!

  22. What a cutie, Tracey. He does have long legs and big feet. You'll have a whopper on your hands soon. I need to do a better job with goals and daily word counts. I tend to just write like mad when inspiration strikes.

  23. Great post! I love having goals. I have to write them down too. I usually refer to them as my personal deadlines. I think I work better under pressure. Ryder is adorable! Super cute.

  24. I'm a dog lover, too. My boys, Hunter and Dutch, said to tell Ryder that being a Writer-Girl's dog is an awesome job. ;)

    Hugs, Tracey
    Here's to all of us meeting our goals in 2011!


Post a Comment