Wednesday, June 29, 2011

If You Are A Writer...

Are you feeling discouraged about your writing?
Do you wonder how your work will make it out in the world?
How will you shine in a sea of so many?

Read this!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Happy End of June

I don't know if it's happy or not. Right now, looking at the calendar, I can't believe this month is almost over! I'm hoping July slows down a little bit or my writing goals will be "patoot" out the window.
That being said. I'm taking the rest of the week and maybe the first of July off so I can finish my alien MS. I realized this AM that I need to show more of the setting or spaceship. My original goal was by the end of this week but I think I'll push it a week back.
Friday Fotos are scheduled so those will post.
Thanks for coming over here and being my friend! I love you readers!
Taffy out.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I have nothing today. I blame it on summer and lax schedules and children being home and four different camps and me loving to sit at the pool and read. And watch the kids, of course.
Also, I'm trying to get my WIP edited by the end of June to submit it (an agent asked to see a full).
I have a new WIP going through my critique group right now. It's a thriller I think, bordering on horror, I think (I really should make an outline and not pants this one).
I LOVE summer.

What are you up to?

Monday, June 20, 2011

A Youngster's Story

"I went outside and wrote this all by myself, Mom."

"I see little plants like I'm in a tiny jungl. I see houses like honted manchins.
I see clouds like pilows in the deep Blue seas. I see the sun like a huge Firework.
I see roks like little ants.
I see cats and dog like tigers. I see spoons like miny shovles. I see tails like lots of snaks. I see cars like Big Bugs on the road. I see Birds like huge dragons in the air. I see trees like gaint peaple. I see whales like Big plans in the water. I see spiks like on a Dinsor.
I see Balls like meters Falling From the sky.
the end

(Copied straight from the little, green paper handed to me Sunday afternoon).

Friday, June 17, 2011

Funny Foto Friday

Crazy illustrations by Chow Hun Lam

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

ELEMENTAL by Tiffany Dominguez Review & Interview

Hi, Tiffany! Thanks for visiting!
Let's get down to the interview, shall we?

 Can you tell us in one sentence about your book?

Luke’s out of control and Eva is the only one who can stop him.

Do you need music or quiet while writing?

QUIET. I’m a very focused, intense writer. I have little time (thanks to three little girls) so I have to make every minute count. I can easily get lost in my manuscript if I have no distractions. Boring, I know! Wouldn’t it be much more interesting if I could answer that the Biebs really gets me on a roll? Sorry!

Do you have a favorite breakfast food?

I drive my girls to private school a half hour away every morning so I don’t have time to sit down for a meal (as much as I’d like to--eating is one of the things I do best). My favorite thing to grab is a chocolate covered coconut granola bar. Love those! On weekends, I like to make omelets with peppers, onions, chilis and lots of cheese.

Are you a night owl or early bird?

In my second life, I’m a night owl. But in this one, I have to be up by 6:30am, so I’m an early bird. I’m also in bed no later than 10pm or else this weary body cannot get up at previously mentioned early hour.

What do you never leave home without?

My brand new iphone 4! I would have said a book a few weeks ago, but now that I have my iphone, I can read on that. I love ebooks!

Is there a book or author who changed your writing or viewpoint?

I love Suzanne Collins. She proved to me that YA can be more than shallow teens and racy themes. She is my hero.

If a movie were made about Elemental, who would play the main characters?

Eva would be played by the girl in the TV series Castle. Her name is Molly C. Quinn. Check her out on imdb--she is gorgeous! Luke would be played by Liam Hemsworth (currently cast in the new Hunger Games movie as Gale). It would be truly drool-worthy.

Any other books in the works?

My second novel, LOST DYNASTY, is under consideration by a major publisher and two agents. It’s a speculative fiction novel about an 18-year old girl trained to be one of the world’s best assassins in order to protect her family from the man who has systematically destroyed them all.

My third novel, a Steampunk adventure set in Victorian England, is about a third of the way finished. It’s Elizabeth Bennett in leather carrying a ray gun (not her specifically but you get the idea). You can read the first chapters of all of my books on my website

Good luck with all your writing goals, Tiffany! Thanks again for stopping by.

Hidden within the Blue Ridge Mountains, an elite private school trains students born with the Elemental powers of Earth, Air, Fire and Water. Luke Huntington, Earth Elemental, is tired of incompetent teachers, easy classes and most of all, competing with Eva Sarantos. Soon-to-be valedictorian Eva, Air Elemental, has trained for years for the chance to prove herself to her advisor, to the Council and to the infuriating Luke. In spite of their tricky past, these two high school seniors are paired together on a covert mission for the ruling body of the Elemental world. After destroying an airplane hangar and watching one of their closest teachers die in their defense, the two students fly to Italy, pursued by an army of black-cloaked elitists. In Italy, they discover Luke’s ancient legacy, the secrets of two of the most powerful men in history and whether they can overcome their own tricky past to team up against a secret society gathering forces in the highest ranks of world leadership.

I was pulled in immediately at the beginning by the conflict and turmoil of the two main characters, Eva and Luke.
Tiffany's does a good job with her characters from beginning to end. Eva and Luke grow stronger and better through the story until they find who they truly are and where their inner strengths come from.
The love interests have some pretty intense scenes too from barely being able to control their anger toward each other to loving each other.

Want to buy it??

25% test (p.74):

Melia nodded, her eyes wide, even through her glasses.
Eva continued, “I was trapped inside my air shield and I think I just stopped breathing. I must’ve passed out, and then I woke up in Luke’s arms. Melia, he’s a healer.” She could hear the awe in her voice.
For real?” Melia said, dropping her book on the table.
Healers were extremely rare in the Elem community. Personally, Eva had chalked up healers to the rumor mill, but now, there was no other explanation for her rise from the dead.
Wow. I knew that crazy kid would lose it someday.” Melia’s aura flared with anger. “He could’ve killed you. You have to report him to Hannah.” A mug flew out of the cupboard and smashed against the wall.
Eva rolled her eyes. She called that the “anger management” cupboard. “No.”
Are you nuts? It’s just a matter of time before it happens again.” Another mug flew out and landed on the floor with an impressive crash.
It won’t.” Eva’s tone was steady, though she had no reason to trust Luke. But as the words left her mouth, they held a strange ring of truth. Luke’s haggard features and the devastation in his eyes when she’d first woken up from her near-death experience were burned in her memory. She was certain Luke would find a way to keep her safe during the remainder of their task. At least, as long as she didn’t provoke him again.
I’m not going to say it.” Melia tapped her fingers on the counter. “Okay, I’m going to say it. I TOLD you so!”
Eva swept up the remaining shards of the mugs (tiny pieces—Melia must have been livid) and dumped them into the trash. “Yep.” No point in arguing.
How do you lose control of your powers, anyway?” her roommate wondered.
Apparently, when your partner does something really stupid to make you angry, that doesn’t help.” Eva shut the trash can lid with a bang.

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Query

Highlights from Elana Johnson's Class:

A query letter is to generate requests!

What you need in your query letter:
  1. Hook. Sum up your novel in one sentence.
  2. Setup. A few details about the main character, world-building and catalyst.
  3. Conflict. What does the MC want?
  4. Consequence. What will happen if the MC doesn't overcome the conflict? 

This is what my query looks like after Elana's awesomesauce class with notes in () from said class:

Dear Agent,
I read your blog and noticed you are interested in Young Adult Science Fiction (add personal touch as this shows you did your research). FROZEN (title always in caps) is a 55,000 word count novel about a small-town girl who discovers other-worldly visitors living in her midst.

Seventeen-year-old Mandy McAllister is assigned to write about missing youth for the school paper. As she digs deeper into the strange disappearances, she discovers her town is full of secrets, lies--and aliens (this last sentence is the hook. It sums up the novel in one sentence.).

Mandy learns that her mother is an alien impostor and her father--the Mayor--has been covering it up for years. Mandy gathers her courage and goes in search of her biological mother and the missing youth, only to find herself the next victim of alien abduction. (This paragraph is the setup).
On a spaceship full of frozen boys, she breaks free of her alien mother's mind control and initiates a plan of escape (this is the conflict). But can't do it alone. She finds her boyfriend on the ship, but is he one of the abducted? Or on of the aliens? She'll have to learn who she can trust and who she can't if she wants to get off the ship and saev those who've gone missing before her (this is the consequence).

I am member of League of Utah Writers, Utah Children's Writers and I sit on my local library board.
The complete manuscript is available upon request (assume they want it!).
Thank you for your time and consideration.


A few more notes:
  • If you're stuck on your query, trying writing it in your MC's voice to break down the barrier.
  • Most of your query should cover the first 30-50 pages.
  • Write the query when you're about 10-15,000 words into your story. It will help shape your story.
  • Business format letter: Two hard returns; no indenting.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fun Foto Friday

Isn't this an interestingly bright picture?? What kind of story would YOU write off this foto?

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


As writers, well, really, as humans, we gotta keep going, keep digging.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

POSSESSION on the beach-Happy Birthday!

I'm sooooooooooo happy for Elana!
Her baby is out in the world now.
Happy book day to you!
Wish I could go to King's English and hear/see you, Elana.
So I offer this post and  awesomesauce pic instead.

Yup.  Possession is at the beach. In Hawaii.
Love ya, Elana!
Loved your book too!!

Monday, June 6, 2011

More on The Help

Want to learn more about the writing in The Help? Larry Brooks @ Storyfix has "deconstructed" the book. He breaks it down so we can understand what makes the story so great.

The Help Structure

The Help by Kathryn Stockett in a library/theater near you

How many of you read The Help, raise your hands?

A few facts about "The Help":

  • Kathryn's first novel. 
  • On the #1 NY bestsellers for over a year.
  • Currently on the #1 NY bestseller list for paperbacks.
  • Being made into a movie due out in August.
  • Rejected by 45 agents.
Read the last fact one more time. I'll wait.
Yup. Rejected by 45 agents.

Keep moving forward, my writerly friends. Keep moving forward. You. Can. Do. This!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Writing a Synopsis

This is from one of the classes at LDStorymakers:

Writing a short synopsis

A synopsis should tell the agent:
The hook
The genre
The audience
What happens

Easy enough!

A synopsis must:
Make sense!
Give sense of tone and plot
Bring out what is unique
Make the agent want to read more

Do not do these:
Blurb yourself
Make comparsions that don't make sense
Tell too much
Include praise from the relatives or pets
Market your book

Also avoid:
Starting with a question
Trying to be too clever or funny

Not too hard, is it? Have you written a synopsis yet? How did it go? Or, what are you stuck on?

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 ...