Wednesday, March 30, 2011 | By: Taffy

Nufffing

I have nothing scheduled for today. I'll regal you with the past month of my little life:

  • I've been busy editing two WIPs, hoping to pitch one of them and use the other as backup @ Storymakers. 
  • Will I see you in May in SLC?
  • I'm also working on a third book that kinda scares me. So far it's about a girl and her BFFs who all end up dead. I haven't gotten far enough to know if she kills them or she just has bad luck. I don't write horror. 
  • Why has this story grown in my brain? 
  • I was stuck in a church gym for hours a few weeks ago. Don't get me wrong, I had fun. I think I have ADD (lol) because I can't focus for hours. Maybe it's the writer inside who can't focus? I took a notebook and used Josi Killpack's list to get to know my characters better. I filled fifteen pages, long hand. Now I need to enter all the info in Scrivener. 
  • Did I mention I love that program?
  • I like to listen to quiet music or the sounds of waves while I write. If I'm doing mindless writing, I like to watch NCIS with Mark Harmon. I cannot do anything while I'm glued to Castle. Those two shows are about the extent of TV for me.
  • What do you do while you write/edit?
Back to work for me.
THANKS for stopping by! I love your comments. They inspire me and help brighten my work!

PS
Have you seen this clip? FUNNEEYY
Monday, March 28, 2011 | By: Taffy

Great Writing Quote

"A writer is a writer not because she writes well and easily, because she has amazing talent, because everything she does is golden. In my view, a writer is a writer because even when there is no hope, even when nothing you do shows any sign of promise, you keep writing anyway."
 ~ Junot Diaz
Friday, March 25, 2011 | By: Taffy

Foto Friday

Wish I was here...again!
Loved the weather, company and view.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011 | By: Taffy

Thou Shalt Write

I found Tips for Finishing Your Manuscript on Book Surge:
  1. Thou shalt set a writing schedule.  This is your “other job now.”  Treat it like you’re getting paid.

  2. Thou shalt turn off the TV.  The TV will kill the desire to write.  Turn it off and step away from the remote.

  3. Thou shalt not reinvent the wheel.  Chances are that you are a writer because you were influenced by other writers or you enjoy a particular genre.  That means you have a blueprint on how you want to construct both story and layout.  Use the blueprint.  Study it.

  4. Thou shalt set a word count.  The best way to determine how to end a book is to know when to end a book.  If you have a word count goal, you can better construct the flow and plot points of your book.
     
  5. Thou shalt set a daily word count goal.  Know when your writing day ends before you sit down at the computer.  Giving yourself permission to stop writing at a certain point is almost as important as sitting down to write.  Personally, I set a word count goal of 1,000 everyday.  I’ve heard Stephen King does 1,500.

  6. Thou shalt join a writer’s group.  Joining a network of writers is a great resource for both information and inspiration.  You probably can find a writer’s group locally.  There are hundreds online.

  7. Thou shalt tell family and friends you are working on a manuscript.  This may be the hardest commandment to keep for some of you, but chances are it will be the most invaluable step you take.  They probably will react with genuine interest and beg to read what you’ve written.  Let them.  Get their feedback.  Encourage honest criticism.  It will help you grow as a writer and write a better manuscript.

  8. Thou shalt read what you’ve written out loud every day.  There is nothing like hearing what you’ve written.  You will discover both brilliant words and embarrassing mistakes when you hear the words you’ve written.  It will more than likely spur you to make changes or advance the story in ways you never thought of.  It’s a great visualization tool.

  9. Thou shalt seek silence.  Having time alone with no noise or interruptions is important.  I find time to meditate every morning.  I focus on what I’m writing and picture my characters and storylines.  It will keep you calm and confident in your writing abilities.

  10. Thou shalt read a book on writing.  Learn from the masters.  They’ve been there and they’ve perfected their craft. You might as well use them as a resource.  I recommend Stephen King’s On Writing and Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life.  I found them to not only be informative, but extremely entertaining.
Monday, March 21, 2011 | By: Taffy

Quote on Endings

“A novel is like a symphony in that its closing movement echoes and resounds with all that has gone before. Toward the close of a novel, the writer brings back — directly or in the form of his characters recollections — images, characters, events, and intellectual motifs encountered earlier. Unexpected connections begin to surface; hidden causes become plain; life becomes, however briefly and unstably, organized; the universe reveals itself, if only for the moment, as inexorably moral; the outcome of the various characters’ actions is at least manifest; and we see the responsibility of free will.” – John Gardner (From The Art Of Fiction). by John Gardner

John Gardner was an American novelist, essayist, literary critic and university professor. He is perhaps most noted for his Grendel novel , a retelling of the Beowulf myth from the monster’s point of view. Other notable novels include The Sunlight Diaries, October Light, and his craft book The Art of Fiction.

I got this from Ingrid's Notes.
Saturday, March 19, 2011 | By: Taffy

StarScout Rising: First Trail by Gary Darby BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY!

From the last frontier, Space. A must-have, out of this world adventure! Star Scout Rising, First Trail by Gary Darby is a thoughtful, awe-inspiring, and spine-tingling Sci-Fi mystery that follows a young man named Del Baldura during his quest for knowledge, truth, and discovery in the distant future of human and alien kind. This story has it all superb background, surprises, mystery, love, futuristic technological possibilities, bizarre life forms, and a hero trying to make sense of his duty and loyalty, his current leadership responsibilities, and his search for truth about part of his and his family's history. Volume One of a three volume set, Darby hits a grand-slam with this first novel. Smart and thought provoking. Volume Two due out in 2011.

Hold on for a ride in this first book of a series by Gary Darby. Twists and turns and action throughout the book for Del and others. The one draw back for me, the non-number person, was the chapter dates like: Star Date 2433.056. So you can see some serious science fiction thought put into this book. 
Another note: my younger son thought the cover was "very freaky!"


If you would like to buy this book:



































If you would like to win just leave me a comment about your favorite sci/fi book or movie! And leave your email address too please. Good luck! And good luck to you, Gary Darby!
Friday, March 18, 2011 | By: Taffy

Foto Friday

Does this haunt anyone else?

http://1x.com/OEfullSize/22767-fullsize.jpg
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 | By: Taffy

What's Your Uniform?

I posted earlier about your "uniform."  Has it taken seed in your head? Have you wondered what you would wear to a book signing/reading/conference? Me too.

I recently read an article in the Marriott Alumni Magazine about business style. Here are a few ideas to help you finalize your style:

I personally like Business Casual outfits.

For men:
  • Collared shirt
  • Khakis, chinos, corduroys pants
  • Leather shoes like Oxfords or loafers
  • Belt, match shoes
  • Socks, match pants
  • Casual sport coat is optional
  • Showered, shaved, pressed appearnce

For women:
  • Blouse or cardigan (I like collared shirts too)
  • Slacks or skirt
  • Fun, low-key jewelry
  • Causal shoes, not flashy
  • Belt is optioanl.
  • Perfumes-keep light. Some people are actually allergic to scents.
  • Avoid denim (Drat! I love dressing up jeans.)


The next level  up is Business Professional:

For men:
  • Dress shirt
  • Tie
  • Suit
  • Shined shoes

For women:
  • Blouse or sweater
  • Suit with slacks or skirt
  • Low heels
  • Nice jewelry


Tell me if you've decided or think.
Monday, March 14, 2011 | By: Taffy

Interviewed

I was interviewed on A Story Book World By Deirdra Coppel if you want to take a gander.
Look around her blog if you have time. She's interviewed a ton of authors. Now, if I can just get my book published...

jane eyre

Ask me what my favorite book is and I don't think about it as "Jane Eyre" slips through my lips.  I have to see this movie!


Friday, March 11, 2011 | By: Taffy

Foto Friday

What kind of story shouts out at you from this picture?




http://smashinguniverse.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/11/perfectsky.jpg
Wednesday, March 9, 2011 | By: Taffy

Quotes From LTUE

Spent many hours in this room:


"Deseret Book receives 2,000 unsolicited manuscripts a year; FOUR will get published. 300 manuscripts might be good." Lisa Mangum

"Surround yourself with knowledgeable people." Howard Tayler

"I don't know which is scarier: your book of the fact I use to live in the same house as you!" Dan Wells sister.

"Do blog tours!" Tracy Hickman

"A good writer offends half the readers because the book polarizes them." David Farland

"Word of mouth marketing is king. Make sure it has teeth!" Tracy Hickman

"Dilemmas make the reader sweat...deliciously." John Brown

"Keep your words soft and sweet because some day you might have to eat them." Tracy Hickman

Dan Wells: "I would chase you, but I work in my bed."

"Desuckify your book." Elana Johnson
Monday, March 7, 2011 | By: Taffy

How Do You Enjoy the Journey? 5 Ideas

This month my focus has been on tightening two of my stories and finished another. This past week I've wondered if I bit off more than I can chew/swallow/digest. At least once a week I'm ready to give up because I'm SURE I stink as a writer.
I found on those days the best posts come to my email or pop up on my sidebar and they are written just for me.

Do you have days like this? What do you do?
(I just ate a piece of dark chocolate. I should feel better shortly...)
Here are some tips and ideas I gleaned this week:

1. Enjoy the Journey.
My motto for the year is: Enjoy the Journey! I have a problem with starting a project and wanting to see the end of it. I start a scrapbook page, I want to see the album done. I start a story, I want to see it published. I have to relax and enjoy the journey everyday.
The other day a friend asked if I would coach her basketball team. She had to leave town unexpectedly and needed a sub. Of course I said yes. My daughter is on the team and the coach is a friend. I was sucked right in :)
Then I stressed. I'm not an athlete and I was worried about helping the girls. The team is non-competitive and full newbie players so I couldn't ruin anything. All I needed to do was rotate them so every on had a chance to play.
I arrived at the gym and friends teased me about subbing. I rolled my eyes and feigned nonchalance.
Guess what happened for all my worry and stress? Only two girls from the other team showed up. Yup! They forfeited. So my team played a practice game and had a great time.
I just needed to relax and enjoy the enthusiasm of girls squealing and double dribbling and having fun.

2. You can do hard things.
This is something we are not teaching our youth. And mostly it is by example. We can do hard things! You will be surprised at the HUGE obstacle that blocks you isn't as ginormous as you thought as you step up and face it. Stop playing the "what if" game. Change your thinking to "how". As you step up, you will be stronger!

3. Find the positive.
Problems and trials make us better by giving insights and possible lessons for us to learn. It doesn't feel like it at the time but as we emerge from the smoke, we are better people. Asking, "what can I learn from this?" will help build us up and strengthen us for the next trial or problem.

4. Focus on today.
Slow down, you crazy child...
Make one writing goal for the day. What is it? Edit ten pages? Write eight? Focus on one day at a time and you'll be surprised with the results. If you move too fast you may make stupid mistakes which puts you farther behind.

5. Learn from what works.
Understand your success so you can repeat it! Look close at what you did right so you can repeat it.  Write down what worked so you can remember.
Sunday, March 6, 2011 | By: Taffy

LOVE My Mailbox!

I was out of town for a few days. When I got back I found that my mailbox LOVES me! Take a peek at my goods I won! What fun. Now my book stack has grown and grown. (Did I mention all the books were signed by the authors? Hello! Awesomesauce!) Most of the books were from a blog tour of Cheri Chesley's book, The Peasant Queen.
THANKS to all who have wonderful giveaways. It's my turn to pay it forward soon, very soon.




A signed poster from the Breathless tour.
Friday, March 4, 2011 | By: Taffy

Foto Friday

This photo inspired a page of my story...


http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2010/12/27/article-1341954-0C96267B000005DC-931_964x618.jpg
Wednesday, March 2, 2011 | By: Taffy

Charisma Is Not A Dump Stat

From LTUE:
Charisma Is Not a Dump Stat: The Real World Importance of Personal Appearance and social Skills in Achieving Your Creative Dream.

Have you been to a book signing and wondered why the author can't buy a good pair of jeans? Or why they insist on wearing ratty sneakers? It makes me feel like they don't really want to be there and don't care about me or my money.
Howard Tayler, Jake Black and Tracy Hickman taught us the importance of wearing a "uniform." Clothes speak volumes and do matter.
"Your success as an author is directly proportionally to the appearance you give."
As my husband says, "dress for success. You never know who you'll meet."

I came in the middle of a conversation between a mom and a few teen boys. She was trying to explain why a jean and t-shirt may not be the best uniform, even for teens. How do you want the general public, agents, etc to treat you?
Think about the image you want to portray.
What do you think when you see these images? These are "uniforms" and say volumes about the wearer:





http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQMC_ARjIr05E4q9eurbgop6CqGqil5c08kUhlDPiFD9vxIQZHo
http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQcGppo1DjcNA6YMs7ih_q8QrVLydnldAd5dugXD3YY5fl476iK
http://media.ebaumsworld.com/2007/07/scaryfashion09.jpg
Tuesday, March 1, 2011 | By: Taffy

We Can Dream, Can't We?

Writing retreat anyone??
We can dream, cant' we?








http://www.ansechastanet.com/pressimages/jademountain/images/JadeMountain28.jpg