Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Win the middle grade book 'A Place For Delta' at Online Publicist.

Home grown Family is giving away 'Mama Miti'.

Need Bisquick mix? One some at Raisin Olives (cute name).

Sara loves to save $$ and she loves to help others save too! Go to Sara's Savings.

Win an awesome Snorg tee @ You Have How Many Kids?

Reach ONE of Your Writing Goals in April!

Need help getting one of your writing goals accomplished? Hop on over to Tristi Challenge and post your goal for the month of April. (You can post it here too if you want.)
Go on!
It's time to get that ONE goal done.
You can do it!

My April goal: Finish editing my sci-fi WIP.

Henry Miller on Writing

(Photo by Peter Gowland)

The Commandments

  1. Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  2. Start no more new books, add no more new material to "Hemingway's Suitcase."
  3. Don't be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  4. Work accordingly to Program and not accordingly to mood. Stop at the appointed time.
  5. When you can't create you can work.
  6. Cement a little everyday, rather than add new fertilizers.
  7. Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
  8. Don't be a draught horse! Work with pleasure only.
  9. Disregard the Program when you feel like it--but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
  10. Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
  11. Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema,all these come afterwards.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Writers As Therapists?

Here are a few excerpts from my email about writing and writers. Are writers expected to be therapists? What are your expectations as a reader vs. writer?

"It is astonishing to me that if "Living Dead Girl" were a film, it would be illegal for even an adult to possess it as I gather from the descriptions that it would meet the definition of child pornography. Are "word pictures" any less harmful than photographic or cinematic images? Why thrust verbal child pornography onto an entire generation of kids by writing this kind of thing? How could it empower or heal or speak truth to any of the kids that read it?

By contrast, in Elizabeth Smart, we have an excellent real life example of a child who really was placed in this sort of position. Enough has been said that it's clear what happened to her and we really don't need the specific details. What IS healthy and hopeful about her story is the person she has become - a beautiful, talented, PRIVATE young woman who provides a powerful example of hope for victimized kids.

There's a way to tell powerful stories in a powerful way. I think you lose that power when you "fall back" on brutal details, even if they are true. It doesn't add. In fact, I think it diminishes actual victims more than anything. By not keeping certain things "in reserve" so to speak, we expose the private horror of true victims and in fact victimize them again. We trivialize them and their experience. And a fictional recover could do more harm than good -- reality is a lot harsher than the thin air we pull stuff out of and I can't help but think some readers struggling with those issues may read and wonder what's wrong with them, that they haven't gotten past it so easily as our fictional creation did.

Maybe some YA books do help readers heal. But I think we writers have to be careful and not delude ourselves that we are some sort of therapists - that something we write can accomplish what takes months or years of therapy with a trained professional. Not that some good can't be done - and there are some excellent YA books that maybe HAVE done some of that kind of good ("Speak" comes to mind. I don't recall it as being graphic but I do recall it as being eloquent.) Books like that don't "heal" by portraying prurient details but by exploring character and inspiring courage or even just creating hope (things in very short supply in much literature these days.) And let's face it - ever since there has been National Geographic and even Sears Catalogs, we could pretty much predict what the dog-eared pages would be. Sex sells. It even sells kids books. Violence attracts. It's a lot harder to make money writing/publishing quiet brilliant enduring "literary" books than it is to make money writing/publishing books that are just plain dirty or violent - even if there is supposedly some lofty goal attached to it.

Unfortunately we're in a market where publishing as an industry is fighting for its very survival. Since sex sells, we're going to see more, not less. And in spite of any lofty ideals the industry or author claims, much of it will be put out there just for the sake of selling books, not healing or helping or improving a generation.

I don't believe in censorship, but I have become disappointed in a lot of authors I used to admire."

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Winding up My Library Love


What an amazing week (I can't believe it's over)! Thanks for all the blogsphere support that came this way!

If you haven't had a chance to read the comments from the 'Library-Loving Blog Challenge' please take a minute and do it. Awesome bloggers left great comments. You might even find a new blog to follow.

And how much $ am I donating to the Pleasant Grove Library?
*drum roll*

Won't the lovely PG librarians be surprised!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sid Fleischman Passed Away

Did hear that Sid Fleischman, author of 'Whipping Boy' and 'By the Great Horn Spoon, passed away at age 90. He wrote over 50 books and was a Newberry Medal winner.
Have you read any of his books? How did you like them? I think I need to read a couple of his books this summer.

Here is a link to the story.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Library-Loving Blog Challenge

This is a library-loving blog challenge!

For every commenter on this post between now and 27, I will donate $1 (one dollar) to my local library, which is Pleasant Grove Library.

How easy could it be? You comment, I cough up the money, the library gets a gift! If you don’t know what to say in your comment, “I love libraries” will do.

Note that my pledge is “per commenter”—so if a single person leaves 50 comments, that still only counts once! But you can do more by spreading the word ... please link to this post, tweet about it, and send your friends here so they can comment and raise more money.

If you’re moved to make a flat-fee donation to your library, or to start your own challenge, you are quite welcome, and please leave that information in the comments.

For a complete list of participating bloggers (and to visit other sites where you can help libraries just by leaving a comment!) visit the writerjenn blog at

Pssstttt: Nathan Bransford commented! :)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Contests & Library Money

So many new books coming out this spring and my reading pile is already tall...
But I'll persevere!
Nicole Giles has a new book coming out: Sharp Edge of the Knife. She's doing a blog tour and contest. I'm going to send you to the first stop on her tour, C.L. Beck's blog. You can win books, watches or a date with Nicole's critique group. Go here for more details.

Next, let's talk about money.
And libraries.
I have joined a library-loving blog challenge and would love your help.
All that I need you to do is check back next week when I post my challenge officially.
*wiping sweat from forehead*
I, Taffy, pledge $1 for every commenter the post (coming next week) to the Pleasant Grove Library.
Our library needs money. Here is a link.

Important note:
My pledge is 'per commenter'-so if a single person leaves 50 comments, that still only counts once. But if you really want to leave 50 comments, leave them on Facebook or Twitter or on your blog with a link back to the post.
If you want to make a donation to your libaray, or want to start your own challenge, go for it! Let me know or visit

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Writing Marathon

I signed up for a writing marathon from March 18-20 here. My goal is 6,000 words. I plan on writing only during school hours so I'm not sure how much I'll really get done but I need more words in my SciFi story.
I'm going to update this post just so I can keep track of my count.
So far:
(almost there! My goal is 6000 and I still have another half day).

Have a great weekend!

Friday, March 12, 2010

What Makes A Good Ending?

I stole the title from over on Dan Wells blog. He started a great post on what makes a good ending. But he didn't answer his own question. He's letting his readers answer. His post and the following comments got me thinking about endings.
What is a good ending in a movie?
What is a good ending in a book?
Go here to read Dan's blog then come back and tell us what movie or book you think has a great ending.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

School Reading Lists & Goosebumps

How many have children/teens who have come home with a school reading list? Or have had a child come home telling you s/he read a book you didn't want them to read yet?

My 1st grader came home and told me he tried to read a GooseBumps book and it scared him; I could have told him. My daughter told me she was reading 'Twilight' before I was ready for her to read it. Many of her friends wee reading the series so she wanted to try them. It gave us an opportunity to talk about abstinence and 'why would a LDS person put swear words and other bad stuff in her books?".

One of the parents on my email list wrote that his son brought home a high school reading list. He is a very involved dad and had read many of the books on the list and knew enough that 'Lolita' wasn't a book she wanted him to read until he was much older.
Another book on the list was 'Catcher in the Rye'. He remembered it being an important book, took it off his own shelf and gave it to his son to read. His son came back and reminded him of the 'f' words, sex and drugs in the book.
"I mentioned my son and his experience with Catcher in the Rye. He did finish the book - in fact, we read it together. He read it and we talked about the issues and loneliness that can pop up on a young man, even when that young man thinks everything is great. I think, wait, I know we are both stronger for it. As for reading Lolita - I'm not sure about that one yet. I think there is more uplifting lit out there that he could read first. Time will tell."

Should parents stop their children from reading certain books or genres? Should teachers or librarians?
And what do you want your child to learn from books? How much do they really learn or understand?

Here is what one mother said:
"Adults with (comparatively) safe backgrounds are unlikely to understand the intense and sometimes violent emotions teens feel. That isn't to say that only people who had traumatic childhoods can write for teens, but when an author is writing about horrible situations that teens can and will relate to, they must do it honestly. That often includes discussing and describing terrible things. "

What do you think?

Monday, March 8, 2010

More Contests! Wanna Win?

Contests galore and my poor tired fingers are whining, "Please stop!" But I say "Nay! I must post for my readers!"

Queen of the Clan is doing The Officebox and The Original Scrapbox giveaway PLUS a new book out by Rachelle J. Christensen, 'Wrong Number'. Go check it out! Want to see the book trailer? Go here.

D.N. Giles is giving away a signed copy of "The Sharp Edge" of the Knife on her blog also with the Scrapbox giveaway.

There's actually a HUGE list of blogs (25 to be exact) participating in this giveaway. Whatever blog you are on for the contest will list the other blogs.
Good luck!

Contests & Book Launches

Contests galore around the web! It's easy to snare yourself some free goods if you'll just try!

Elana Johnson is giving away BOOKS! Lots of SIGNED books!

Shooting Stars is doing a great giveaway also: a 40 page partial submission and critique of said pages; signed books AND toffee!

Kimberly Job is giving away her favorite things on her blog, Scribbled Scraps, including her critique group :) Not really.

Daron Fraley
is doing a give away to help launch his new book "The Thorn" which is book one of 'The Chronicles of Gan'. Go Daron!

3 Authors, 3 genres, 3 new books! Friday, March 12 6-8 PM @ The Deseret Book by the Orem Mall.
Go see these lovely ladies, win a door prize and buy their books!

Annette Lyon is giving away her four-book set temple books in conjunction to her book launch! Her newest book is called 'Band of Sisters'.

Sarah M.Eden writes Regency Romances that are good, clean books. Her newest book is 'Courting Miss Lancaster'.

Julie Coulter Bellon is another great author and she lives in the same area as me! So what's not to like? Julie's newest book is 'Dangerous Connections'.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Reader Vs. Author Vs. Publisher Responsiblities

There was an interesting thread on one of my email lists over the past week. It started with an emailer who reads fantasy books mostly. She picked up a YA to read and was shocked that before page 50 the main character was 'going at it with a guy she just barely met'. She asked for enlightenment on the YA book scene. Is this what readers are to expect now?

The next person wrote about a book that described acts of a pedophile in too much detail and she wished she could cleanse her brain. But even more anguishing for her was that her 16 year-old read it before her.

And here is the big question/statement that created a flurry, nah, blizzard of emails: "I'd love to read a discussion on the responsibility of an author/editor/publisher to protect readers versus protecting an author's right to push the envelope."

Another thought:
"I fully believe a responsible author and publisher SHOULD be very
sensitive if their material is age appropriate. This type of adult
responsibility is completely different from the overused cry of censorship."

What are your thoughts??

Friday, March 5, 2010


Works in Progress:

Added more words to Sci/Fi.
Editing/beefing up historical romance.
Editing YA.

Also, practicing writing query letter and synopsis for each and submitting them to various blogs for critique. I feel like I'm going on my first date!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Got Words?

Doing anything March 18-20? Now you do! Writing. Writing. Writing. 'Throwing Up Words' is hosting a contest to get the words out of you and on to paper. Grand prize is a first chapter critique for the person who writes the most words in three days. Check it out here. Mention that I sent you!

Also, there was a great post on writing contests and a list of contests today on the same blog. Check out that post here.

Heather Moore is doing a contest on her blog. Her new book 'Women of the Book Mormon' is coming out for Mother's Day and from what I can tell, I'm going to buy at least 5 books to give to amazing women in my life. Besides, Heather's awesome. Go here for her contest.

Rebecca Irvine is taking a survey on general book readership and purchasing habits among LDS members here. She needs a few more people to take the survey so hurry over, take the survey and let others know about it.

Tristi Pinkston is part of a blog book tour for "Love Your Body" here. Prizes are involved! (I think I'm part of this tour next month?).

Trisit is also doing a contest in conjunction with her new book, "Secret Sisters" being released the middle of March (Middlemarch?) here.

Anymore contests? Let me know! I'll be happy to post them.

Dan Wells LTUE Presentation

If any of you would like to see Dan Wells AWESOME presentation @ LTUE, it's here on YouTube. Click here.

A few of my favorite things I'm doing

I'm reading: Fiction: The Light After the War by Anita Abriel  It is 1946 when Vera Frankel and her best friend Edith Ban ...