Friday, March 23, 2012

She Likes me, she really, really likes me!

“I like that Tracey Bacon.”
Ada is my new friend. She’s three years old.  She has blond hair, chubby, sun-kissed cheeks and a ready smile that makes me feel special. As I chat with her mom about writing, life, and peri-menopausal hormones, Ada runs barefoot in and out of the back door on her wonderful little-person legs, dressed in teeny tiny jeans and a T-shirt.  She brings me flowers. I know they’re weeds, but she hides them behind her back and presents them so proudly all I see is a beautiful bouquet—and I can’t help but sit a little taller.
Ada likes me. I know this because she’s three and because she says so.
That’s it.
Even before I handed over a Ziploc bag of leftover chewy Jolly Ranchers, Ada had already made up her mind about me—had already decided to honor me with her friendship. Here’s why: Last time I met Ada, I said, “See ya later, Alligator” as I walked out the door.
Promptly, she told her mom, “I like that Tracey Bacon.”
Just me. Being me. Not trying to please or impress. I captured sunshine in the body of a tiny, precocious three-year-old girl and I’ve been living in the afterglow ever since.
I’m enough for Ada. I’m enough for Jesus.
I have to think about this. Ponder it. Is it really that easy? If I’m just being me, will people like me the way Ada does?
Do I have to be Tracey—the writer—Bateman. Tracey—the super-spiritual, have it all together—Bateman. What about Tracey—the animal-lover, perfect mom, good cook, edgy, funny, skinny, pretty woman—Bateman.
I can be a lot of different people—not all of them are truly me—and honestly, I’m a little afraid of taking off the hats that don’t fit. There’s a lot of messy hair under there!
But right now? For a moment, I look a little girl in the eye, and she likes me: Tracey Bacon.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Welcome 2011

Boy am I ready for it! 2010 was supposed to be the year I finally ran my half marathon, finally lost the last 50lbs (gained 20), finally get on the best seller list again. LOL not so much.

But it hasn't been bad. I think at the beginning of 2010 when everyone was talking about change this and God is saying change that, I heard God saying, "Stay the course" for me personally, and so I once again went against the flow and stayed the course. I know I need to change. :) The above mentioned 20lb weight gain is evidence, but with Rusty gone in Kuwait all  year and my daughter spreading her wings, my son getting his license, other son playing sports, other son embarking upon a career in fitness, I needed to stay steady in my own walk. There were too many changes in my world. And so as much as I love the comfort of status quo, I stayed home, wrote, read, cleaned house, cooked and tried very hard to just keep things together.

So CHANGE....I think this year is looking like it's gearing up to be a year of change. Rusty came home to no job. That's different. :) Financially, the book biz isn't doing so well for midlisters like me. So that's another change. I don't know where we'll be this time next year. But times they are a changing (thank you very much Bob Dylan)  I better start swimming or I'll sink like a stone!!

Good things are coming this year. Another book under the pen name Tracey Cross: Love Finds you in Dodge City, Kansas. Fun historical romances. Another paranormal book coming from Waterbrook. A "ghost story" tentatively titled "Are You There?"

I've also deactivated my facebook account for now. I have no control over my FB impulses, so my 1500 friends will have to do without my quippy updates about the kids, excessive whining, occasional inspiration and of course delicious cooking updates (which would have to go anyway if I'm to lose the 50lbs plus the new 20 :) ).

So I'll leave you here. Hoping to blog more regularly since facebook updates have to go and I truly  do need to be connected to readers.

God Bless you in 2011.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Introducing....Tracey Cross

guess this is as good a day as any to start blogging again. The ease of facebook has sucked all the blog right out of me. At least on facebook you know that there is potential for 1300 people to skim my post. Blogs---not so much.

I've been playing solo-mom for the last few months as my husband is in Kuwait serving in whatever they're calling it these days--it was Iraqi Freedom. I think Enduring Freedom is what we call it now--in any case, here at home we are calling it Enduring Dad's Deployment.

Anyway, something exciting is happening this summer. I am writing historicals under a pen name. So why announce a pen name? I'm so glad you asked...because everyone knows anyway and I want to show you all my fabulous new cover from Summerside Press. So here is the official announcement of the new me and my new book written under a family name, Tracey Cross

Product Description

Jane Albright's life is shattered. The Nebraska homesteader is newly widowed, with one child to care for and another on the way. When she learns that she is at risk of losing the family home and freighting business to a greedy moneylender named Franklin Lloyd, she has no choice but to brandish a bullwhip and haul freight all the way to Deadwood, South Dakota. Franklin agrees to give Jane three months to pay the note, and she is determined to secure her children's future. But Deadwood is a rough place for a woman, and Jane is soon over her head. Franklin longs to help her - but will she let him?

About the Author

TRACEY CROSS, also published as Tracey Bateman, is the award-winning author of more than thirty titles and has nearly a million books in print. She lives in Missouri's Ozarks with her husband and four children.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Recapping 2009 and What's coming in 2010

Hey all!
It's been a long time since I've blogged. But It seemed like a good time to get back to it.
2009 zipped by so fast I can't believe it's already 2010.
And just for the record I'm in the "two-thousand ten" camp, rather than "twenty-ten" I just think it sounds better.

The best fiction book I read in 2009 was The Help. Excellent debut novel by Kathryn Stockett. This is a secular book, so if you buy it on my recommendation, please be aware that it may contain language and subject matter you may or may not find objectionable.

Best non-fiction. I haven't read many, to be perfectly honest. But John Eldredge has caught my attention this past year. His book "Walking With God", came to me at a time when, quite frankly, I was questioning everything in my life: writing, church affiliation, calling, marriage. His open-faced vulnerability and willingness to share his real self to further God's agenda really spoke to me even though I can't say I'm in total agreement with every thought he wrote out. He sort of reminds me of Keith Green. Right now I'm reading his book "Desire". So far, so good.

Be looking for "Tandem" my second vampire novel for the Christian market. This will release in October and I'm very excited! "Thirsty" released this past October and is doing well. Look for it in Target!

2010 is shaping up to be another busy year. Besides Tandem, I'll be releasing a book under a pen name for Summerside Press. Look for Love Finds you in Deadwood by Tracey Cross. August 2010.

My husband is deploying again in a few days and we're so proud of him. Please keep him in your prayers.

God Bless you as you Live for Him!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Gearing up for 2009

I'm soooo grateful for the things God has taught and still is teaching me in 2008. Three more days until we turn the calendar. As I've prayed for a "new word" for 2009, I keep coming back to "stay the course". God's word for me is to keep pressing in. Keep doing what I'm doing and let Him take me where my path should lead. So many times we want the new year to bring some magical NEW thing. But for me, I want to keep on the same trajectory. Keep going to church on Sundays and Wednesdays. Keep nurturing relationships with fellow Christians, keep serving as my pastor requests. Keep building that trust that will allow me to serve from one degree to the next.
So friends, seek God for your year, stay planted in God's house, develop friendships from the household of faith and watch yourself flourish spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

Happy New Year. God Bless

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Relationships with other Christians

Okay, God is still teaching me about being in relationship with others, so I'm still talking about it.
It starts with relationship with Him. I can't be a good wife, mom, friend, daughter, if I am not first having my roots planted and nourished by relationship with God. (Col. 2:7).

But at some point, this whole walk has to be about more than just ME. My walk, my relationships, my blessings, my issues. Rusty and I had a great talk today about how I have grown close to a few of the women in church and how I found something I didn't know was missing. I didn't know I wanted friends until I started having them. Even so, it's not enough that it just be me. Our marriage will be stronger if we move into friendships together.

I've always kept our walks separate because I never wanted to be one of those wives whose husbands tag along under protest. It's demeaning to both partners and I've always felt if I manipulate him to do what I want when he'd rather not, it shows that I care more about me than him. Actually it was more amatter of principle, which is pride, but I let myself think I was being noble (there's my daily confession). Still, as a matter of course, Rusty does what he wants, and he answers to God, not me (as long as he doesn't do something against our marriage--you know what I mean). I don't tell him to go to church, or shame him if he stays home. He decides his own walk with God. But today we discussed how our indvidual walks do affect our marriage. We talked about needing to expand our circle to include common friendships. Luckily, my friends have amazing men that we'd enjoy hanging with. So our next project, and Rusty agrees is to involve ourselves in the group get-togethers and start making "couple" friends. :)

I'm looking forward to taking this next step and seeing the changes God is going to make in me. I feel the selfishness melting away as I step outside my comfort zone, my own issues, and share myself with others. I'm still fighting the tendency to wall myself as a defense against rejection. But Jesus is a good cushion if I get knocked on my butt. So I continually force myself to peek over the wall. Put one leg over, lift my body, swing the other leg, and hop onto the ground with the rest of God's people who are just as desperate to be loved and accepted.

Thank You God for these lessons.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

No more a hermit!

I have a confession to make...I have a tendency to be a hermit. But recently God has been deaing with me about how people who keep themselves away from others do it out of selfishness. And gee whiz, I don't want to be selfish. I honestly never felt like it mattered to anyone whether I was THERE or not. Okay, so I have major self-esteem issues too. Which isn't pretty. But lately I have been moving into an area where I'm forced to hang out with people and guess what? I'm making friends, learning who likes me and who honestly would rather not hang with me (and that's okay--sniff). I'm rejoining the human race and learning that giving my time and effort to get to know people is all about God and He is into friendships. PLUS, and get this...I'm actually getting more out of this than I'm giving. I'm learning that people are creative, funny, insightful, smart, talented, godly, not-so-godly (and I'm okay with that), friendly, and willing to be my friend. I'm laughing more, loving more, praying more for my new friends and church family, appreciating my leaders more and truly growing in grace and favor and in my relationship with God.
Who knew all I had to do was walk out my door and give my heart?
Merry Christmas!