The Messy Desk

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring is Sprung

And a girl's thoughts turn to vampires. And zombies. And werewolves.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Five Rules of Girls! promised in my Geektastic bio, here they are, in the scene as it was before it was cut.

(if this makes no sense to you, read my story in Geektastic. Actually, read all the stories. And buy lots of copies for all your friends! :)

(long story short: a cheerleader has hired the local geeks to teach her a little bit about their world, because her boyfriend likes scifi and she doesn't get it at all. In the following scene, Ellen, a nerd and cheerleader's natural enemy in the wild, is forced to teach her how to tell the difference between all of the Star Treks)

Trek 101

“All right, let’s start with the basics,” Ellen said, marching back and forth in front of the blackboard. She clasped a yardstick behind her back like a nun or a commandant, just waiting for a chance to strike.

Montgomery sat in Mrs. Tiegwold’s English classroom, all alone in the front row. The clock ticked sadly past 2:30: school was out for everyone else who didn’t need special help in the area of high geekery. She really was trying: she had her little bobbly feather-topped pen poised over her favorite pink notebook, legs crossed studiously.

Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to do much about removing the look of boredom and disdain fixed on her face.

Why they were doing this at school was a mystery. Montgomery could understand Ellen’s embarrassment at maybe taking a fieldtrip to a coffeeshop (the poor girl often had dribbles of something—milk, juice, coffee—on her shirt collars), but why not at least at her own house? She probably had tons of backup material. Dolls, action figures, fun props…

“We need to get you to the point where you can at least tell the difference between the Star Treks,” Ellen continued. “We’ll start with a good mnemonic device. THE FIVE RULES OF GIRLS.”

She suddenly lashed out with the yardstick and thwacked a pull-down Shakespeare character chart. The chart rolled up violently, revealing the five carefully chalked-in rules. Ellen smiled smugly at her trick. Not that she had obviously practiced a bunch of times the day before.

“Rule one:”

THWACK! She hit the board.

Kirk always gets the girl.

“Kirk, he’s the captain of the old one,” Montgomery said, remembering. “With the short skirts and stuff and the funky music.”

“True Trek,” Ellen corrected. “But you should probably just refer to it as the Original Series. Good for you for recognizing it, though.”

(Mica may have taken her aside and pointed out the value of positive feedback; a grumpy cheerleader wasn’t likely to fork over more money if instructed by a constantly insulting Trekspert)

The smile on Ellen’s face was forced, just like the cheerleader’s interest, but Montgomery took the compliment anyway and grinned, drawing a little congratulatory smiley face for herself.

“Rule two: Riker never gets the girl. That’s Star Trek: The Next Generation,” Ellen explained, seeing the other girl’s confusion. “With the bald captain.”

“Ah,” Montgomery said, making a note and nodding.

“Rule three: Dax was a boy before she was a girl. That’s Deep Space Nine, the one where they stay on the station and don’t go on a ship, and the girl — Dax — has spots on her face.”

Montgomery dutifully wrote it down.

“Rule four: T’pol, the girl Vulcan, doesn’t actually act like a Vulcan at all. And she’s got big pouty lips. That's Enterprise."

“Oh yes,” Montgomery nodded. “Ryan likes that one.”

Ellen rolled her eyes. “Figures. A corollary: there shouldn’t even be a girl Vulcan on a ship in the 22nd century, since canon clearly states that Spock is the first Vulcan in Starfleet — or any human - run ship.”

“Um, will that be on a test?” Montgomery asked politely.

“No, that’s for advanced students,” Ellen said, sighing. “And finally, the fifth rule of girls: the starship Voyager is captained by…

“…a girl?” Montgomery suggested dryly.

“…an extremely capable and intelligent woman who totally kicks ass!”

Ellen grinned, proud of her little dénouement.

Montgomery suddenly realized something.

“Hey, Ellen—you know, that shirt looks good on you. You should really wear light colors more often. With, um, better shoes.”

The yardstick almost broke in Ellen’s hands.


Friday, May 29, 2009

Two Great Things

I have a new daughter, her name is Ivy. She was ten pounds at birth. Oof.

The Geektastic party this Saturday! I've heard it's the hot ticket item this year at BEA. Only downside is that it's at a bowling alley, so I may be forced to reveal the terrible secret that I have to wear man-size bowling shoes. Like, really man-sized.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Ok, things have been a little slow in the 'news' department lately. Here's what's going on in my part of northern Brooklyn:

1. Today I emailed off a manuscript that has been a Work in Progress for eight years. It's a book that means a lot to me. A lot a lot. Very much lot. :)

2. My midgrade fantasy series has yet to find a home. :(

3. I am going to magically produce an offspring in May.

I think, barring finding actual life on Mars, that's about all the exciting news we expect around here for this week. Stay tuned, though. You never know.

(Last week, as a herald of spring, a Mr. Softee truck started playing its creepy melody outside our window at 11:15 PM. I went outside to watch what I assumed was the inevitable drug deal, but unless it was incredibly subtle, all I saw was a passerby getting an actual swirly softserve)

Thursday, November 13, 2008


It's here! I got me an ARC (advance reading copy) of the fantastic anthology edited by the incomparable Cecil Castellucci and Holly Black!

I would scan the table of contents to show you how One of Us by moi, Tracy Lynn, is really in there. But that would be weird. Right?

So you're going to probably have to wait until August to buy a copy, but check out a preview on Jennifer Hubert's Reading Rants blog here!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Welome to My New Website!

It was time for a redesign at the ol' Messy Desk. Whatcha all think? Don't be shy!

I was going to have a launch party, and contests, and stuff, but the nineties are pretty much dead and buried. Instead I'll toast you with some of my limited-batch pumpkin infused vodka, and get around to auctioning off half a bag of candy corn sometime later in the week.

(the other half is the second place prize to whichever of three friends actually get around to reading my latest WIP resubmit)

(first prize is me not nagging them)

So welcome, and click around!

PS Special thanks and kudos to designer extraordinaire Tara Sinn!