Wednesday, April 23, 2014 | By: Taffy

What do you think is the most important quality a writer/author should possess?

What do you think is the most important quality a writer/author should possess? This is a question I put to a other writers and authors. Their response were as varied as their writing.

Dogged persistence. Rebecca Shelly 
Definitely going to agree on the dogged persistence. The ability or the commitment and drive to write regularly. You cannot be a writer unless you write. Tiffany Demings  
Along with what everyone else has said, tenacity. Rachel Hart 
Endurance. You won't get anything done until you sit and write, and write, and write. Chem Flitton
There are some days I really would like to curl up and read a book and eat some chocolate. And there are days that the sink full of dishes stink and the floor is sticky and I can't leave them. I can't. But on all days, I need to sit and write.
Persistence has a couple of meanings: persisting, especially in spite of opposition, obstacles, and discouragement; lasting or enduring tenaciously.
In spite of opposition (phones ringing), obstacles (messy house) and discouragement (another reject letter), we writers can endure. We can get our daily writing in, even if it's fifteen minutes.

Being teachable. That includes a lot of stuff, including being able to take constructive criticism. Donna K. Weaver

A commitment to learn the craft of writing. Janette Rallison

I think a writer needs an understanding of human nature in order to write stories that resonate. Emotion is why people read a book, and why, after we finish a good book—one that resonates, it stays with us. Julie Daines

This week is a big writer's conference in Utah: LDStorymakers. It's an amazing conference with too many classes to choose from, hordes of writers, awesome agents and camaraderie. Let's face, writing is a solitary job and we need to be able to get away from the couch/desk/library where we work and refill our creativity well. Conferences are a great place to work and socialize.Everyone writer, no matter if they are published or just starting, can learn the skills needed to write a book or poem or short story. We learn from each other, presenters and life. 

Thick skin. Rhonda Hinrichsen

I think authors also need to have integrity, and the ability to continue working through heartbreak and disappointment of all kinds. Nicole Giles

Ironically, the first word I though to of was compassion. Probably for ourselves, others, our characters. Lisa Swinton

The ability to never give up -- from learning to writing to just sticking with it. Amy White

 I would say passion and comitment. A writer has to love what they are doing and have the dedication and belief in the story to see it through. Even if they just write for themselves. Creativity can be important too. Ashlee Madson

Passion, commitment and thick skin. And the compassion to give other writers the encouragement we all need during our hard times. A hard critique, a bad review or a rejection all hurt. We all know what the lows feel like. We can commiserate
What about the highs? I love when my writerly friends get an agent or a published book or just finish the dang thing. Those are times we need each other too, I think. It's okay to reveal in the glory of accomplishing our goals. We work hard! We should get a bit of confetti thrown for us. 
And lastly...this writer had an amazing epiphany:

Self-motivation to write write write practice practice learn learn rewrite rewrite rewrite rewrite rewrite. Print. Repeat.
Creativity to do it all in a new way.
Humility to accept and implement advice.
Wisdom to know when to listen to advice and when to trust your instincts.
Thick skin to accept failure. (It's not you, it's what needs to be fixed.)
Stupid, unrelenting, blind, passionate, dogged determination to keep getting your stuff out there. (Like with spaghetti: keep throwing 'til it sticks.)

May the SCHWiTS be with you. Always. Tabitha Thompson

(Sorry about the weird coloring of the post! I couldn't get it fixed.) 
Thursday, March 27, 2014 | By: Taffy

7 Useful (and Free!) Apps for Writers

I don't know about you, but my iPhone/iPad are sadly underutilized. I try to us them for journaling and keeping notes but I haven't found exactly the apps that suit me. I'm a person who likes to try new things and keep trying until I am firmly stuck on the ones I love.
Here are a few apps I love, and a few I'm still trying out.

This note-taking app makes it very easy to write notes and organize them. Plus you can add pictures and verbal notes! I love that I can sync between phone and computer.

Note Taker HD
This is an interesting and intense app. You can take notes with a keyboard, stylus or you can write with your finger. I haven't been able to figure it all out yet but it's cool. And my hubby loved it.

This is a cool app that allows you to mindmap your thoughts. I need to play with it more. Another mindmapping I'm trying out is MagicalPad.

This is a simple word count app to keep you on track and productive.

Pandora or Jango
I listen to music while I write. It helps me tune out my inner critique. I like the apps that allow me to create my own stations. Every book I write seems to have a different station. My YA psychological thriller tuned into The Cure station while my YA contemporary characters enjoyed American Authors and Mumford & Son

Name Generator
There are tons of free name generator apps. From pirate to roller derby to cage fighter to convenience store names, you need a name ? There's an app for that. ;)

Don't forget your camera is a fantastic way to store visual ideas.

*** I have one more writing tool I LOVE I use on the computer to help me edit: AutoCrit Editing Wizard. You can get it for free or pay for the year. This editing machine shows me overused words, cliches, pacing, etc. I use it every time I edit.

Do you have a favorite app? Writing or non-writing? 
What is it?
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 | By: Taffy


Through a series of dreams and delusions, Curtis Hansen becomes convinced that he and his wife, Pauline, are part of an intricate game devised for the entertainment of wealthy onlookers. To win, the couple must stay together despite a series of temptations and trials designed to break up their marriage. After playing “The Game” with Curtis for nine arduous years, Pauline makes a shocking discovery. Read the riveting, true account of her decade in the dark and her return to reality after Curtis is diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.

What an amazing way to deal with what life has handed you. Pauline uses humor and tears and writes a book. 

This story tells of a mental disorder, work, family, cruddy living conditions, anger, love and forgiveness. I caught a glimpse into my own home life growing up.

Pauline gives a personal story, straight from her heart and life and asks us to only understand. Understand what she went through, how much she loves her husband and family and why she is the person she is today. 

I read this well-written and insightful book in a day.