Saturday, October 30, 2010

Happy Halloween!

What are you going to be for Halloween?

Friday, October 29, 2010

I Need Friends Friday Interview

Sarah Eden interviewed little ol' me for her "I Need Friends Friday" post.
Head over there and see what is up with Hwch ddu gwta, the tail-less black sow. :)
P.S. If you leave a comment one the interview, Sarah will enter you in the October contest!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

My Third NaNoWriMo

I'm going there again this year.
National Novel Writing Month.
Writing 50,000 words in 30 days.
Insanity unleashed.
Can't be done, you say?
I beg to differ.
And so do all those who wrote feverishly during November, edited their work and published it.

My method the last two years consisted of not thinking, just writing. Turning off the inner critic. Typing without thinking.

My first story was over 50,000. It was about an African village. A young girl was told by the medicine man whom she had to marry. The intended groom was old. The girl's mother helped her run away. She made it to America, learned and grew up, returned to Africa to find her village slowly dying. She gave them a way to live again.
I have no idea where that story came from. Seriously. It wasn't ANYWHERE on my radar. The MC has a very distinctive voice. I haven't written a strong voice in any of my other stories so far. It's my next story to be edited.

Last year I typed without thinking again. The story that evolved was a dystopian story. One day the moon shifted in its orbit, causing tidal waves and earthquakes. A group of teens learned they would find a sort of "Eden" in the "big crack" that runs down the middle of the earth. Many people seek it and many are taking advantage of these people. They are led to a prison instead. The teens must find Eden and figure out how to free all humanity.

Once again, how did that story come out? No idea. I had NEVER read dystopian before.
This year I want to try writing with an outline in mind. I have no idea if it will work.

What about you? 
Are you signed up for NaNoWriMo?
If you've written like crazy in November, what was your method? Was it successful?

Monday, October 25, 2010

LUW-Hero's Journey-Annette Lyon

The Hero:

The audience can identify with him or her.
The hero has to grow through out the story.
The hero is involved in most of the action.
S/He has a character flaw which is sometimes opposite of their strength.
At some point in the story, The hero must make a sacrifice, even their own life.

There is a Mentor in the hero's life.

The Mentor:

Teaches the hero.
Gives the hero a gift.
Motivates the hero
Can be a shape shifter-may not be who the appear to be.
I.E. Obi-Wan (taught Luke, gave him a light saber etc)

Along the journey there are Threshold Guardians.

Threshold Guardians:
Block the hero's way.
Can be a human or object.
Test the hero-can the hero get through the obstacle? Is he worthy?
Can be working for the good or bad side.
I.E. Fluffy from Harry Potter (literally guarded a door), Stormtroopers, poppy field.

The journey needs a herald.

The Herald:
Shows up about 1/4 of the way through the story.
Issues the hero a challenge
Announces coming changes-"All is not well! The world is changing!"
Gives the hero motivation to go on adventure.
Can be a person or object.
I.E. Buzz Lightyear (Andy is changing), Gandolf (giving ring to Frodo), Harry's first letter from Hogwarts.

Every story needs a shape shifter.

The Shape Shifter:
Not what he/she appears to be.
Revealing their "real" self can create big change in the story.
Can be good or evil.
Can be combined with another character type like a herald who is a shape shifter.
I.E. Anakin who shifts into Darth Vader, Mr. Darcy, Wizard of Oz

And every hero needs a nemesis or shadow.

The Shadow:
The villain.
Tests the hero's true abilities and worthiness.
Forces hero to rise to challenge.
Often beautiful, elegant or good.
I.E. Darth Vader, bigotry, natural disasters, The Joker

What hero would be complete without a trickster or sidekick?

The Trickster:
The sidekick.
Helps balance out the drama with a little humor.
Brings things into perspective.
I.E. Bugs Bunny, Merry & Pippin

Wednesday: The hero's actual journey

Read any books recently where the people in the hero's journey were evident? Which book? Which characters?

Spooktacular Book Giveaway/Blog Hop! Oct 25-31

I LOVE Halloween!
My family LOVES Halloween!
So to celebrate how cool we are, the wonderful holiday, I'm giving away a book!

"He had a sensation of being told a secret he knew to be true, but which would be far, far easier--and much safer--to ignore; all the more so since he strongly suspected that acknowledging the truth meant his life would change utterly."

Just tell me in the comments if you have a favorite scary book.
Leave me your email too.

Now head over to all the blogs below to win more!

  1. I Am A Reader, Not A Writer (US/Int)
  2. My Reading Room (US/Can)
  3. A Cozy Readers Corner (US/Can)
  4. Amusing Reviews (US)
  5. Why Not? (US/Can)
  6. The Elliott Review (US)
  7. ReaderGirls (US/Can)
  8. The Thoughts of a Book Junky! (US/Int)
  9. JDP NEWS (US)
  10. Little Squeed (US/Int)
  11. Ex Libris (US/Int)
  12. Melinda Jones Carroll (US)
  13. The Hob - A Tribute to the Hunger Games (US/Int)
  14. The Guardian Legacy (US/Can)
  15. OutnumberedMama @ Busy Moms Who Love to Read (US)
  17. i heart reading (US)
  18. The Bookish Snob (US)
  19. Book Infinity (US)
  20. Y. A. Love (US)
  21. Crafting Insights (US/Int)
  22. Looking Out My Backdoor (US/Int)
  23. Taffys Writings (US)
  24. Beas Nook Nook (US/Int)
  25. Mina Burrows (US)
  26. Eves Fan Garden (US)
  27. Missy Reads And Reviews (US/Int)
  28. Bitsy Bling Books (US/Int)
  29. Genre Reviews (US/Can)
  30. Colloquium (US)
  31. Marcia Lynn McClure Fans (US)
  32. Dragonflowers And Books (US)
  33. Belinda Kroll, Worderella (US)
  34. Murphys Library (US/Int)
  35. Down The Rabbit Hole (US/Int)
  36. Curling Up By The Fire (US/Int)
  37. Dark Wyrm Reads (US)
  38. Book'd Out (Us/Intn'l)
  39. Acting Balanced (US/Can)
  40. What All The Kids Are Reading (US/Can)
  41. Book Noise (US)
  42. Reader Recommended (US/Int)
  43. Layers of Thought (US/Int)
  44. The Fiction Enthusiast (US/Int)
  45. Roots In Myth (US/Int)
  46. resugo reads (US/Can)
  1. Bookworm Lisa (US/Can)
  2. Walnut Springs Press (US/Int)
  3. jennifersmusings (US/Can)
  4. IceyBooks (US)
  5. Haunts Haven (US)
  6. Read for Your Future (US/Int)
  7. The Hob (US/Int)
  8. Nikkis Starbucks Reviews (US/Int)
  9. Pure Imagination (US/Int)
  10. Candaces Book Blog (US)
  11. Literary Obsession (US/Int)
  12. Reading is Dreamy (US/Int)
  13. Curious Minds (US)
  14. Book-Savvy (US)
  15. Spooktacular Geek Girl Giveaway (US)
  16. The Happy Booker (US/Can)
  17. TheDiaryofaBookworm. com (US/Int)
  18. BookKids (US)
  19. The Noble Pirates (US/Can)
  20. Escapade through Egypt (US/Int)
  21. KC Randall Wrote A Book (US)
  22. Shell's Stories (US)
  23. The Creative Well (US)
  24. Soap Box in My Mind (US)
  25. Musings from "Old" Paradise (US/Can)
  26. Sharons Garden of Book Reviews (US)
  27. Sarah's Book Reviews (US/Int)
  28. There's A Book (US/Int)
  29. Stiletto Storytime (US)
  30. Star Metal Oak Book Blog (US/Can)
  31. Urban Girl Reader (US)
  32. Simply Stacie (US/Int)
  33. The Book Tree (US/Int)
  34. Emeraldfire's Bookmark (US)
  35. Simply Ali (US/Int)
  36. The Bluebookcase (US/Int)
  37. YA Enthusiast : : Romance Lover Anonymous (US/Can)
  38. Two Little Cavaliers (US/Int)
  39. Just Joan (US/Int)
  40. My Neurotic Book Affair (US/Can)
  41. Reading Angel (US/Int)
  42. Literatis Literary Library (US/Can)
  43. A Novel Idea (US)

Monday, October 18, 2010

Write a Synopsis? I‘d Rather Gouge My Eyes Out by Caleb Warnock

  1. Written in present tense
  2. Written in third person
  3. Three pages, double spaced
  4. TELL rather than SHOW-synopsis is an explanation of character arcs, not in chronological order.
  5. Proper MS format-First time you mention a characters name, CAP the whole name. Put POV in parenthesis after the name.
  6. May editorialize in synopsis. Use the first line to intro main character, issues, age, time period etc.
  7. Weighting-most important gets more space, usually the protagonist.
  8. Don't vamp-don't dramatize
  9. Tell the ending 
Pretend like your tell your MS to a divorce lawyer...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Emotinal Intensity in Gifted Students by Christine Fonseca

Designed to provide support for the difficult job of parenting and teaching gifted children, Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students: Helping Kids Cope With Explosive Feelings provides the resource parents and teachers need to not only understand why gifted children are so extreme in their behavior, but also learn specific strategies to teach gifted children how to live with their intensity.

Presented in an easy-to-read, conversational style, Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students uses real-world examples through case studies and role-plays that show parents and teachers how to interact with gifted children in a way that teaches them how to recognize, monitor, and adjust their behavior. Worksheets, tip sheets, and checklists are included to help parents, teachers, and the students themselves learn to cope with the explosive feelings that often accompany giftedness. Specific strategies for stress management, underperformance in school, perfectionism, and social anxiety make this a must read for anyone wishing to make a positive lasting impact on the lives of gifted children.

This book is great for any parent but especially for those who parent and teach gifted children. It wouldn't hurt all teachers and principals to read this book!

What I loved: Christine starts at the beginning by educating the reader what a gifted child is and why they are more emotional. She goes over the mislabels, myths, diagnosis, etc. that often accompany a gift child's emotions.
Every chapter is short and doesn't read like a college text book. Christine uses understandable terms.  At the end of each chapter, she has extra help/ ideas for teachers.
I LOVE case studies and stories. Every chapter has them and really helped me to ingrain what I was reading. She has tips, worksheets and checklists to help. This book was a great help to me. It was well written, concise, understandable.
What I didn't like: Nothing!

Thanks for trusting me with your book, Christine! It was a great read.
I received this book for my unbiased review.

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Want an e-reader version? Order here.

Foto Friday & May The Writing Be With You!

This reminds me of a book I read called, "The Last book In The Universe."

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

LUW-Josi Kilpack


External Characters:
Contrast vs. compliment
Reflect internal
Deflect Internal
Consider how others will percieve
Name characters wisely
Obstacle vs. Asset
Is the name, physical self, external self an obstacle or assest?

What is the stand out feature of your character? Is it good or bad? Does it reflect the internal??
What is the physical flaw of your character? Use it toward conflict, it can be the same as the stand out feature.
Does the flaw reflect the internal? This can be very powerful!
How is the flaw a strength? It can be a strength for others as well.
What is the characters perception of their physical self? Do they use it to their advantage or try and hie it? Do they feel burdened or blessed?

What is your characters special ability? What makes them worthy of their story?

Now go forth and write!

Monday, October 11, 2010

LUW-Josi Kilpack


Internal Characters:
  • Motivation
  • Goals
  • Emotions
  • Fears
  • Influence on external
What is the primary internal goal of your character? Love? Power? Security? Revenge?
What is the secondary goal of your character? Love? Power? etc.

What is the motivating fear? The character is equally driven by fear and goals. FEAR fuels action toward Primary goal.

What is the point of change? The goal changed OR the character realizes they were wrong OR they act against their nature to accomplish goal.

What is the conclusion? Goal is achieved OR goal is not achieved.

What did the character learn? About themselves or someone else or the world? It all reflects on the characters growth.
How is the character stronger in the end?

Make a thirty word summary of the internal character THEN a two hundred word summary and see where you are in your story.

External Character

Saturday, October 9, 2010

WINNER of Emotional Intensity!

Has won a SIGNED copy of Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students!
Please send me your address (you can email me if you want) and I will send it on to Christine.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

LUW-LuAnn Staheli

Here is the rest of LuAnn's presentation:


Plot-Plot is the backbone of the story. In fiction plot is the action that grows out of conflict.
Conflict-is the obstacle, the problem
Initial Conflict-First event that starts the quest, the hook. Only needs one page (sometimes a chapter) to establish. It creates the next cause & effect (conflict) then moves the character to the next conflict. Initial conflict will predict the climax.
Exposition-Back story weaves through out the story.
Rising Action-Series of at least three conflicts
Climax-The most intense part of the story. Everything in the story moves the story to this point and the main character has an Epiphany to the resolution. Needs only one chapter.
Resolution-Is the outcome. Needs only one chapter

How many plots do you need?
Main character
Secondary plot for main character
Plot for secondary character
Subplot lines in each chapter

All non-fiction needs:
Climax-lesson learned
Resolution-reader says "I can do that!"

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Guest Post By Christine Fonseca

Writing Gifted Characters…Expanding Past the Stereotypes.

First, I want to thank Taffy for letting me hanging out on her blog today as she hosts a leg of my blog tour.

When we talked about possible ideas for today’s post, we decided to write something about writing smart characters. We’ve all seen them in some of our favorite books – characters that are just plain smart.

Hermione Granger in Harry Potter, “the smartest in her class”.

Anne of Green Gables is another great example.

Both of these characters are smart and somewhat intense in they way they interact with their world. Good examples of giftedness in literature.

But how is this created?

Too often, smart characters are created in stories and fall flat – being overly geeky, or stereotypical in their behavior.

But gifted kids represent more than the over-performing student, the geek, the math nerd, or the kid that always knows all the answers.

Sometimes, the gifted kid is an underachiever, or a drop out.

Sometimes they go to great lengths to hide their intellect from their friends.

More than anything, they are intense – both in terms of how they think about things, and in terms of their behaviors.

So, the next time to set out to write a character and discover that he/she is gifted…stay away from the stereotypes. Reach deeper and discover they ways in which that character is intense – how they interact with the world around them.

Look at the intensity of their emotional reactions to events in the story, how they interact with their friends, how they respond to stress. Focus on these aspects of their personality and you will move far past the common high-achieving stereotypes we often see in literature.

For more information on giftedness and the emotional side of these kids, check out my book – EMOTIONAL INTENSITY IN GIFTED STUDENTS. Written for parents and educators, this book delves into both the behavior that defines emotional intensity, and what to do about it.

Now it’s your turn…who are some of your favorite “smart” characters in novels? Have you written very many smart characters?

I’ll be by later today to answer any questions you may have.

Thanks again, Taffy, for letting my hang out!

 Christine is giving away a signed book as well as other cool swag! So comment here, comment on the other blogs on the tour and come back for my review of her book. Here is a link for Christine's tours:

Blog tour Schedule – Oct 1 through Oct 15, 2010

Please answer Christine's question and leave your email address to enter the giveaway! That's it. Good luck.

Find me on Facebook or Twitter
Want an e-reader version? Order here.

Monday, October 4, 2010

League of Utah Writers Conference

I'm going to post my notes, the ones I wrote in my little composition book, from the League of Utah Writers, henceforth called, LUW.
I went Friday and Saturday; heard good advice; remembered why I like writing; meet awesome people; renewed friendships; ate horseradish sauce and other good food. I believe it was worth my time and money.
I hope to post my notes every Monday so check back and see if you learn anything :)

LuAnn Staheli-Know your Genre

What is genre? It is literary technique, tone, content, length etc.

Fiction is the hardest genre to break into.
  • Realism-Plausible story about people and events that could really happen. Romance, thriller, historical, sports all fit under realism.
  • Fantasy-Fantastical elements in traditional or modern fantasy.
    • Traditional fantasy follows the quest. 
    • Modern fantasy has elements of magic in the human world. Horror and sci-fi are sub genres of modern fantasy.
Non-fiction SELLS THE MOST (by the end of the conference I was ready to change. I'm keeping ideas in the back of my mind and notebook).
  • Biography-needs more factual support.
  • Autobiography-Bigger piece of time
  • Memoirs-Small part of life
  • General non-fiction (Dewey decimal)-Different stories from life in one book
Poetry doesn't sell :)

Speciality books are manga (graphic novels), cookbooks etc

What are the target audiences?
Picture book: 1-3 pages
Chapter book: Max 100 pages
Middle grade: 100-200 pages
Young Adult: 150-300 pages
Adult: 150-several hundred pages, 70,000-90,000 words max

Friday, October 1, 2010

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 ...