Friday, December 19, 2014 | By: Taffy

California Raisins Christmas Special

We loved watching this when the kids were younger. Then my oldest (AKA College Student) looked it up and we laughed and laughed. Here's to a simpler and fun Christmas!


Saturday, December 13, 2014 | By: Taffy

Christmas Gifts for Writers and Readers TAKE TWO

Need some more ideas for your favorite reader or writer? Try some of these!


Audible subscription. 
For that reader that is too hard to pick a book out for because they read YA (gasp!). JK But with a subscription to audible, they can choose whatever book they want to listen to.




Bananagrams
Our family LOVES this game. I just leave the tiles out and someone inevitably sits down and starts forming crossword grids. It's fast and fun and perfect for anyone. 








Food
Sometimes your favorite writer needs to get out of the house. And something more than chocolate. Gift cards are perfect for this situation!

Saturday, December 6, 2014 | By: Taffy

Christmas Gift Ideas for Writers and Readers



I have spent hours looking for the perfect gifts for you to give your favorite reader or writer. PHEW! What a list! I hope you enjoy the descriptions as well as the gift ideas. ;)




Paper Passion Perfume

This tells the story of a passion and a twisting plot to put the particular bouquet of freshly printed books in a bottle. Gerhard Steidl was first alerted to the importance of the smell of a book by Karl Lagerfeld, prompting a passion for paper and the composition of a scent on the pages of a book.



Old Books--Book Lovers' Scented Soy Candle

Part of our Book Lovers' Series, this candle is a completely original scent inspired by the smell of old books! Ideal for bibliophiles of all sorts. The scent is a sweet, earthy smell with a hint of must. (Not mildewy, rotten old books!) 
Scents:
Timber, White Tea, Newsprint, Must



Wicked Witch Bookmark

Red slippers for her, for all hostess.




Red Liquid Bookmark

The liquid bookmark by japanese designer kouichi okamoto of kyouei design is a fun way to keep your page marked when your nose isn’t buried in a book. each piece is handmade by the designer and comes in a set of three colors: red, white and black.




Fully Booked Tent

Are you the biggest bookworm around? A big fan of books? A really big fan of books? Well here is the big book tent for the big book fan! It looks like a giant has dropped his favourite best seller just for you to find shelter in, perhaps you can even hold book groups in your tent to discuss the true meaning of The Natural World: The Complete Guide to Life On Earth.

Hunger Games Inspired Earring and Cuff

Inspired by the Hunger Games, written by Suzanne Collins, this antiqued bronze Quiver and Arrow Ear Cuff connects with a chain to the Mocking Jay earring to create this unique "Bajoran" style ear cuff. The Quiver and Arrow Ear Cuff is 1 1/4" long and the Mocking Jay has a wing span of 1 1/2". Shoot straight and "May the odds be ever in your favor!" 


Monday, December 1, 2014 | By: Taffy

PlotWriMo: Revise Your Novel Blog Tour!! And Giveaway!


I am so excited to Host 2 amazing ladies on my blog today, along with the fabulous program they have put together to help authors get their book published and to learn how to revise their own novels in a manner that will make manuscripts shine.

I'm always on the look out for some fresh ideas to get my manuscript polished.
(Don't forget the rafflecopter giveaway at the end of this post).

Let's Introduce you first to this program:



VIDEO SERIES

We offer writers two video series with more in production:


1) PlotWriMo: Revise Your Novel in a Month
http://apathtopublishing.com

8 videos, 5.5 hours + 3- hands-on exercises

Congratulations! You have written a draft of a novel. You’ve accomplished what many
writers merely talk about and dream of doing – you have written an entire story from
beginning to end. When you finish celebrating, it is time to revise: to re-envision and
rewrite what you’ve written into a novel that agents, editors and readers will devour.
Writing a great plot involves craft and skill and know-how. Before you undertake a major
rewrite, first consider your story from all angles with the help of step-by-step instruction
and daily exercises. You know you’re ready to rewrite when you’ve checked all the
essentials elements for creating an exciting story with compelling characters and a
meaningful plot.





-----//-----

2) How to Write and Sell a Picture Book with a Plot
http://apathtopublishing.com/how-to-write-and-sell-a-picture-book/

7 videos explain how to plot, write and sell picture books + provide exercises how to
immediately integrate the concepts into your own unique story. Learn about all the
different kinds of picture books, examples of character-driven and action-driven picture
books, how to develop winning picture book concepts, what are the major turning points
in every great picture book with a plot, writing, voice, character goals and motivation,
how to revise, testing your theme and take-away, who to submit to and so much more…








Here’s How the Video Series Work

Each video includes an in-depth look at the specific elements promised and how to
consider these essential story principles as you write, revise, rewrite, sell your story.
Writing assignment(s) guide you with step-by-step instruction.
Whether you decide to watch all the videos in a row and then go back and do the
exercises or jump right in to the 1st video’s exercise, work at your own pace and take
more or less time on the step-by-step exercises. The series are designed to fit into even
the busiest of schedules. Sign-in and watch video lectures, complete homework
assignments, and ask questions in a public forum on a timetable that fits your needs.



Shout Outs:

**The 1st draft you let yourself write any old way. Now revise your story from every angle

**Can't seem to #finish your #novel? Ready to give up? Before you do, revise!

**I’m finding the revision process FUN! Did I actually say that? Loving this process, thank you!

**Friends don't let friends #revise alone



Let's introduce you to Jill and Martha now!!



Jill Corcoran bio
Jill Corcoran is the founder of Jill Corcoran Literary Agency and co-founder of A Path A Publishing

 
Martha Alderson bio

Martha Alderson, author of The Plot Whisperer: Secrets of Story Structure Any Writer Can Master, is known as “The Plot Whisperer” for the help she offers writers worldwide. She is the founder of PlotWriMo: Revise Your Novel in a Month and the award-winning blog The Plot Whisperer


These ladies not only brought us these amazing author tools, but also offer another service with 2 levels of Participation (Participants and Observers):


Office Hours
2nd Thursday of every month
9:30-11:30am Pacific
on-line
http://apathtopublishing.com/office-hours/


Active Participants and Observers

ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS: 8 authors each have 15 minutes to work with The Plot
Whisperer Martha Alderson and Literary Agent Jill Corcoran on whatever you want help
with. Read part of your manuscript, query, discuss energetic markers, concept, brainstorm
plot, characters, etc and receive feedback you can immediately apply to your work.
Active participants must watch either Plotwrimo: Revise Your Novel in a Month or How
to Write & Sell a Picture Book Videos. This gives us a common language and baseline
understanding of underlying plot and story concepts for better communication.
Receive a critique of your First Pages, Query, Concept, or get help with your Characters,
Where to Start your Story, Crisis, Climax, etc. It is your time...your choice

***OBSERVERS: 15 observer spots. As an observer, you do not participate/read your
work, but listen and learn from others during these sessions.



SO MUCH HARD WORK FROM THESE LADIES! LET'S SEE WHAT REVIEWERS ARE SAYING ABOUT THESE VIDEOS AND SERVICES:

Reviews of the series:

"The amount of time, heartache, frustration, and hell that these videos are saving me from
is immeasurable."

"Don't wait until you have a first draft to get the video series. If you have an inkling of a
concept, get the video series. The videos will show you how to define your energetic
markers. You'll learn the difference between crisis and climax. The 8 videos constitute a
'top to toe' writing course. 
Jill Corcoran & Martha Alderson, thank you for giving me
the opportunity to call myself a writer with pride." Dolly D Napal

"I have been writing, writing, writing, and reading about writing, but I knew I was still
missing the mark. How I write and rewrite books will be forever changed for the better. "
Wendy McLeon MacKnight

"I felt overwhelmed with my latest revision. I feel like a weight has been lifted and I'm
just on day one."


Last, but not least, these ladies offer a fantastic workship to help people actively learn from the
A PATH TO PUBLISHING services.


A Path to Publishing Workshops:
http://apathtopublishing.com

We often tailor-make an advanced workshop for writers who have watched the series to
ask questions and receive feedback on your own individual story.
A Path to Publishing Facebook Group
https://www.facebook.com/groups/apathtopublishing/

Everyone is welcome to join A Path to Publishing Facebook group created by Literary
Agent Jill Corcoran and Plot Whisperer Martha Alderson as safe, smart, fun alcove for
writers and illustrators to share and learn about the craft of writing and the book biz. This
is NOT a place to sell your books but a wonderful forum for us all to advance our skills,
our creativity, and our dreams plus learn about what Jill and Martha are up to at A PATH
TO PUBLISHING.



Be sure to follow along and see what others are saying about these services and how they have helped them! Read individual reviews and more information about how this video series can help you!

December 1https://www.facebook.com/nordlinger
December 1http://writingclassesforkids.com
December 1http://inkandangst.com/
December 1taffyscandy.blogspot.com
December 1Rebeccalacko.wordpress.com
December 2http://deescribewriting.wordpress.com
December 2http://1st10pages.com
December 2http://thestorytellersscroll.blogspot.com
December 2www.katherine-hajer.com
December 3http://www.jordanrosenfeld.net
December 3http://robyn-campbell.blogspot.com/
December 3http://aditebanerjie.com
December 4lje1.wordpress.com
December 4http://writtenbymikey.blogspot.com/
December 4www.PenInHerHand.com
December 5www.ChristineSang.com
December 5Susan P
December 5www.ChristineSang.com

AND NOW, JILL AND MARTHA ARE OFFERING SOME AMAZING PRIZES TONIGHT. SO BE SURE TO ENTER AND SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THIS EVENT AND THEIR WONDERFUL VIDEO SERIES!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

CLICKOLOGIE ~ Elevating Your Photography From Beginner To Pro by Erin Summerill

Clickologie: Elevating Your Photography from Beginner to ProClickologie: Elevating Your Photography from Beginner to Pro by Erin Summerill
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked up this book and looked at all the pictures first, then started at the beginning to read the words. I couldn't stop reading. I don't remember the last time I wanted to read an instructional book from cover to cover. Erin hooked me from the very beginning. How could I put down this book with a definition like this:

Clickologie
2. The study of capturing life in photographic images that are so beautiful they could make the burliest grown man cry.

Excellent and FUN book about photography from the fundamentals to pro. Filled with vivid pictures, clear instructions and clever words, this book will teach anyone about shooting, posing and becoming the photographer they want to be.

I highly recommend this book if you want to take your photography to the next level.

View all my reviews
Wednesday, November 26, 2014 | By: Taffy

NaNoWriMo Pep Talk from Jim Butcher


Beware, sweet, innocent, aspiring writer. People aren’t telling you this, and they should be. NaNoWriMo participants are being deceived into thinking that being an author is a good thing. But you don’t know. You don’t know the horrors you might face as a professional, published, full-time author.
I could tell you. I could go on for hours about all the things that threaten my peace of mind. I could for you a tale unfold that would harrow up your carpal tunnels and chill the very marrow of your finger bones: tales of the constant questions, the unending deadlines, the mind-bending task of deciding each and every day which hours you will spend writing.
But never mind all of that. Best not to dwell on the worst. Instead, let us concentrate on what you must do to avoid this horrible fate, and save yourself agonies untold.
First and foremost, and I cannot stress this enough: do not sit down at the keyboard and write on a regular basis. This is a trap. You can tell yourself that you’re only doing it to scratch an itch, that you only need to get a few hundred words written and then you can set it aside—but the siren clickclickabulation of the dancing keys will do more than merely produce words on a page. It will condition you to want, nay, to need to do it each and every day.
And if that happens, there is simply no way, in the long run, to avoid the most lamentable and horrible fate of finishing a novel.
Whatever you do, do not seek feedback from readers and other writers. Bad enough that you work in a vacuum, allowing the authoric energies to work their demonic way on your thoughts—if you add to that the feedback of the work’s intended audience, you will only establish the primary mechanism of making your writing more effective for those for whom it is meant.
This is a doubly pernicious practice! Not only does it seduce you to create more material for your audience, but it creates more audience for your material in an infernal feedback loop. I cannot stress to you enough how much you need to avoid this part of the process! Save yourself!
A further horrible mistake I can recognize only in retrospect: do not inform yourself about the publishing industry and the demons who labor therein. Oh, certainly, those people, those editors, may seem to be witty and charming and friendly at writing conventions and on workshop panels, but make no mistake. Their only purpose in life is to draw you into their evil plans, and force you to labor for them while they help you hone your writing craft.
Many aspiring writers are intimidated by editors, and I cannot help but emphasize how much credit you should give to these instincts, placed there for the protection of your sanity and whole mind. If you allow yourself to overcome this natural inclination, it may be too late for you to escape your fate.
Finally, I can only encourage each and every aspiring author out there to quit writing at the first opportunity and never look back. This seemingly harmless activity is anything but, and if you cannot break its hold on you, if you continue to make up one excuse after another to keep typing, if you find yourself promising yourself “just one more novel” and never draw away from it, you will inevitably be drawn into published perdition.
All you need do is quit! Just say no! And you will be saved! But if you continue, and continue, and continue despite all the sane voices trying to sway you, you will be drawn into the maelstrom of madness that is the life of a professional writer.
Dear NaNoWriMo participant, I beg of you, listen to me! You cannot know the horrors you will face! Run! Flee! Turn aside from this dark road!
For if you do not, I fear that one day, you will find yourself writing with other damned souls like me.

Jim Butcher is the author of the The Dresden FilesThe Codex Alera, and the upcoming Cinder Spires series.