Since Tracy works in the humor-free field of research, she decided to reprise the snark of the humor newspaper (the original Logy Express) she created in high school in personal blog form. The main improvement of the blog over the newspaper is the freedom to use profanity.
Logy means sluggish and Tracy does indeed have an aversion to expending energy. She also has an aversion to: growing up, getting out of bed, and wearing something other than pajamas. Her dog is not smarter than your honor student, but she still likes him better. She dreams of an early retirement relaxing with her husband and fluffy dog. But if she must work, acceptable jobs include: personal blogger, dog companion, red panda keeper, ice cream taste tester, Segway meter maid, and lounge singer.
1. How did Logy Express transition from a high school newspaper to a blog?
Very slowly. I conceived the newspaper incarnation of Logy Express with a friend of mine when we were 15. The writing was ridiculously silly, fueled by sugar and other carbs during the wee hours of sleepovers, and filled with inside jokes. We produced a handful of issues on my Apple IIe and had an unpaid circulation of a couple dozen friends (and one teacher!). After that, I spent almost 20 years writing things only in my head. I spent about 5 years kicking around the idea of a blog to publish some of these thoughts. When I finally decided to go forward, there was only one name that made any sense to me…Logy Express. When I asked my co-editor from high school if she minded my re-using the name, she said, “go for it,” and now I write a blog that is often silly and fueled by sugar and sleep deprivation.
2. When are pajama pants acceptable in public and when are they not?
As a mature adult, I have to worry about the image I present to the world. So I don’t wear PJ pants in public. For one thing, if I wore them outside, I’d have to wash them more often. For another, most PJ pants don’t keep my legs warm enough outside in winter. And lastly, new advances in fleece technology have brought us “butterfleece” pants so buttery, so fleecy, so available in basic black, and so cargo-pocketed, that I believe I look “sporty” rather than “ready for bed” when I wear them in public.
3. Do you have any big plans for celebrating your fortieth birthday?
I will probably just obsess about whether or not to do something big. If I sit on the couch in butterfleece pants eating Harvey Wallbanger cake and ice cream, I will probably feel lame. If I make big plans, I will probably wish I had just stayed home in my butterfleece pants with my husband and dog eating cake and ice cream.
4. What’s the scoop on the ice cream blog?
I’m an ice cream addict. I took an ice cream class last January and have been spending most of my free time dreaming up new flavors and testing them out ever since. I like taking pictures and end up photographing all the ice cream I make. Starting a blog to share these flavors and photos seemed like a logical next step…a baby step to possibly starting a business. I finally got the site up this week and it’s called Get the Scoop. I hope to share a flavor or review once a week.
My favorite is cookie dough ice cream without cookie dough—the ice cream itself tastes like cookie dough. It’s a brown sugar ice cream with chocolate chips and walnuts. The most fun I ever had making ice cream was the Marshmallow Peep flavor I made last Easter. I got to melt Peeps into the ice cream mix and to massacre a bunch more Peeps with a chef’s knife for mixing Peep parts into the finished ice cream.
The worst ice cream I ever made was salted caramel. The recipe I followed actually used the words “burned sugar,” and of course that’s what caramel is, but good lord. Even though I stopped the caramel cooking process long before achieving the deep tarnished penny color the recipe called for, it still tasted like poison to me. We didn’t come close to eating that quart of ice cream.
6. What’s the most ice cream you’ve ever made for one event?
I made 33 pints of ice cream for my first annual ice cream social last summer.
7. Do you consider yourself to be a writer who blogs or a blogger who writes?
Both? Neither? I attended a blogging workshop before starting Logy Express. First thing, the instructor asked for a show of hands, “How many of you are writers?” While I thought about whether I could raise my hand when I don’t write for a living, I missed my chance to answer in the affirmative. She clarified that the other guy who hadn’t raised his hand planned on starting a visual arts blog. Then she clarified with me that I planned on typing words into a computer and clicking “publish.” Voila! I was a writer!
I don’t see that there has to be a difference between writers who blog and bloggers who write. I want the freedom to write whatever I want and to interact with others on my terms. That’s what blogging is for me. I don’t always see a positive correlation between whether people are “Writers” (meaning they are getting paid to write) and the quality and clarity of their written words. Of course there are some horribly written blogs out there. But there are also horribly written published books, magazine articles, and newspaper articles (don’t get me started on journalists’ incoherent reporting of research findings, I’ve had difficulty recognizing my own studies when reading about them in newspapers).
8. Did you write Good Enough before or after you heard the call for submissions to Precipice?
Mostly after. It is an expansion of the memoir post I submitted the first time I linked up with Write On Edge (when it was still called the Red Dress Club). Based on the prompt, the original piece was considerably shorter and focused more on the setting than the actual event (my first kiss). When I heard the call for Precipice, I wanted to write about what happened after that kiss. Several thousand words later, and a brief (aborted) detour into making it supernatural fiction, I realized I only had enough words to expand the original story of the kiss. I wrote about how I ended up in that situation…of being kissed for the first time by someone I didn’t even know and wasn’t particularly interested in.
9. What did it mean to you, as a writer, to be part of this anthology?
Finding out the editors accepted my piece was a Sally Field-type “you like me” moment. As someone relatively new to sharing what I write, getting positive feedback every now and then helps reassure me I’m not wasting my precious free time when I spend it writing. Then when I read the anthology, I was overwhelmed by the honor I felt to be included with all of those great writers.
10. What are your writing goals?
2013 is going to be my anti-goal year. My only goal is to spend more time doing what I want to do. Since writing is one of those things, I guess my goal is to write more. I definitely want to spend less time mentally grinding and editing and more time prying the words from my head.
11. How long have you been linking up with Write On Edge?
I first linked up almost two years ago. I’m so grateful for the writing prompts and the support of the community. If someone had told me two years ago I’d have something published, I wouldn’t have believed it. And it’s obviously due to Write On Edge.
12. What social media do you use? Do you combine your personal and professional or keep them separate?
Social media frustrates me a little. I am so easily distracted and it seems like social media’s main purpose is to ensure I never accomplish anything. I am in awe of people who can keep up with Twitter. I have a Logy Express Twitter account and a Facebook page. I can keep up with Facebook much more easily than Twitter, but I find it a lot easier to get interaction going on Twitter than on Facebook.
I’m on LinkedIn professionally. Since I wrote the piece for Precipice and started to think about a possible ice cream business, it seems strange to look at my LinkedIn profile and find so little reflection of how I would describe myself right now. There is no link between my personal and professional social media use, since my profession has nothing to do with the creative pursuits underlying my personal social media use. In fact, my employer blocked access to social media at work until a couple of months ago.
13. When the day comes that you are on stage, accepting some prestigious award, who are you most likely to forget to thank?
If I don’t have notes, I will get nervous and forget everyone. But I don’t want to be one of those people who bring notes on stage because then it looks like you were expecting to win. So I’d probably end up being forced to sing whatever earworm was currently stuck in my head (“No Sugar” by the Guess Who at the moment) until the orchestra started playing me off.
14. What is your ideal writing environment? Have you ever been able to create it?
I started to type a response about a quiet area without clutter to distract me, but realized I need to call BS on myself. When I was inspired to write for Precipice, I spent hours at my horribly cluttered desk in my cluttered bedroom typing away, deep into the night. So I think my ideal environment is less about setting and more about being inspired and feeling like I have a long stretch of uninterrupted time. I rarely have that. When I write, it means I’m not getting enough sleep.
15. What is your favorite electronic or digital writing tool?
My iPad means I can write anywhere, including my front porch. It doesn’t get any better than that.
16. What is your favorite non-electronic writing tool?
I don’t like writing with pen and paper anymore. I prefer the efficiency of going straight to the machine. Maybe I’m just out of practice writing things down on paper, but the last time I had to hand write a large amount of information, I had such trouble with accuracy and legibility, I started to worry I was having a stroke. Typing is so much easier for me.
17. What is the most persistent distraction from writing?
Everything that is not writing, but mostly my job. I’m a laboriously slow writer. Being aware of how my free time only comes in small chunks here and there makes spending a few minutes on something “quick” like checking email or Facebook very tempting. I need a large block of time to write.
18. What is your editing process?
Maybe it’s the sleep deprivation I live with, but I seem incapable of writing clearly and concisely out of the gate. To end up with a solid piece of writing that makes my point, I usually need to write and write and write until I have many more words than I wanted to post, even though I haven’t yet made my point. It’s only through writing too much that I can start to whittle away at the words and figure out what my point was and how I can best make it. Outlining and even trying to be explicit up front (“the point of this post is…x”) hasn’t really improved the efficiency of my process. Even after I have something pretty much the way I want it, I still go back and re-read several times, making changes each time. It’s exhausting to be me.
19. Do you ever write fiction?
Extremely rarely. I’m much more comfortable writing non-fiction. I prefer reading non-fiction too. I think I have posted fiction on Logy Express once. I worked on a fictional “choose your own adventure” that essentially rewrote the story of my failed relationship with first kiss guy for Precipice. But I couldn’t figure out how to cut it down to fit the word limit and still have it make sense. I think it would be fun to finish that story, but it would be very long.
20. Who shot first, Han or Greedo?
Do I get any points for at least being able to guess this question was about Star Wars? I spent quite a lot of time Googling this (mostly getting distracted by things once on the internet), and now don’t have any time left to craft an answer other than, “I had to Google this.”