Showing posts from May, 2014

Foto Friday ~ Never be fearful


How writing this post made me homesick for a place I only visited

I taught English in Taiwan for six months. The culture, language and humidity were all new to this girl on the cusp of be coming a legal adult. Thankfully, enough people spoke a little English and were kind enough to help me when I was lost or didn't know how to tell the taxi driver how to get to my apartment. 
Most of the younger generation spoke English. They usually went to their regular school from 7 AM-5PM then they went to an English speaking school. I taught elementary kids (loved them & their teachers) in the morning and adults in the evening. I found myself judging intellect on the lack of conversation skills. Until one of the men I taught told me, in broken English, that he was one of the top physicists in Taiwan. What an idiot I was! I repented and vowed to never judge on someone's speech again. 
My students and ransom strangers loved to practice their English skills on me and I, in turn, I fell in love with the people and their customs.  I can not fathom how h…

Paperback vs. Audiobook vs. ebook

I've used many, many different formats to read books. 

Kindle~ When I use the stationary bike at the rec center, I take my Kindle. Not only does reading pass the boring time of pedaling, I get a ton of reading done. I'm on netgalley (are you?) and have a ton of catching up to do. It's fun reading books that haven't hit the market yet. 

Audiobook~ I listen to audiobooks and playaways while I'm traveling or go walking. This too passes the time. I've learned this format doesn't work while I'm on exercise machines. I get too distracted by the TVs and their closed captioning. It's never a good idea to listen and read at the same time. 
Graphic novels ~ LOVE Shannon Hale's graphic novels, especially Rapunzal's Revenge. And ALL my kids have read the books at least once. I check out the history ones now and "accidentally" leave them around the house. 

Pottermore ~ Have any of you been on Pottermore? It's Brillant! Talk about interactio…

Social Media and Author Platform

How many ways can you be on social media now? Here is a lovely picture to give you an idea:

(Do you recognize all of the symbols?)

There are different opinions about writers having their own platform. Some experts say YES! you need one while others say "do whatever you want".

I guess the question is what do you want? And the follow-up question: how much time do you have?

Social media can be confusing. Which place is better to send out launch dates or updates? Where is the best place to post pictures from book signings? I don't think there is one right or wrong answer. It comes down to what you are comfortable with and how much time you are willing to invest.

Here is a breakdown I found of a few popular sites that might help:

Facebook is for people you know, like from high school, college and family. Twitter works for 140 word observations.Google+ tends toward passions like photography.Tumblr is full of pics and gifs.Pinterest is used for pinning recipes or ideas that you …

Armchair BEA and my intro

Since we can't go to NY together to experience Book Expo America, let's join in the fun from our armchairs!

Thanks to all the sponsors. Seriously, you should click HERE and see all the goods up for grabs.

Welcome to my blog, Taffy's (that's me) Writings (all things writerly).  I've been blogging for about five years. I mostly started this blog to record my writing journey and to put up my reviews.

I love to read. I mostly read young adult but I've read many genres just this year. My favorite book? How can a reader choose one? I'm looking forward to the next book in The Grisha Series by Leigh Bardugo though. I think I read more YA because there is always hope. Hope in life, hope in love and that first flush of excitement when That One boy calls.

I'm also a writer.
I don't have anything published yet but there's always hope. My manuscript is out at a couple of agents. It's a story about a seventeen-year old girl who can't remember how any …

Foto Friends Friday

First of all, how can you not like a guy who is wearing a bow tie? Secondly, and one who can rock it? Jeff, I mean, Scott, I mean J. Scott...  SIGH.  Apparently, he answers to all of the above and many more that I didn't dare ask him about. He was introduced as Jeff and that is what I call him. Unless someone else calls him Scott then I'm all confused and I mentally wonder if I've been calling him the wrong-but-right name during the conversation.  Yes, that ladies and gentleman, is Jeff/Scott Savage. Name confuser, gentleman and scholar. And writer. Impressive writer. My boys read his books. I read his books. And I can't wait to read more (hurry up and get them published, will ya?). Jeff is also a classy guy. Look at the photo below. When he won his Whitney Award, what did he do? He took a hold of his wife's hand, and took her up with him. He gave her lots of credit for her support. Classy.

In the writing community, Jeff is a down-to-earth writer who is willing to listen…

How Our Critique Group Got It's Name ~ Sharks & Pebbles

This video inspired our critique group's name. Some days we use our teeth and rip apart manuscripts and some days we are as gentle as pebbles (not really sure how pebbles and gentle go together but that
is the fun of a critique group).

Critique groups and partners

Do you have a critique group or partner? Why or why not? 
My stories always sound good in my head. I just don't always have the patience to make it sound good on paper. I gave my first story to a friend to read. She was kind and helpful. She pointed out that the dog in the story, a very important dog, didn't have a name or breed.  "Can't you read my mind?" I asked. "Nope. And neither can your readers."
I'm totally embarrassed by that no name dog now BUT my friends critique made me realize my story baby isn't as cute as I thought. I needed other writers to see the problems and help me fix them. I needed a critique group. 
At a local writing conference, Josi Kilpack presented on critique groups and how they work. This had to be a sign! I was pumped up and ready for a group after her talk. But I was still a newbie to the writing community. How do I find a group? The answer was: another writing conference. 
I can't remember how our group started. From …

Foto Friends Friday

Shout out to Erin Summerill, Jessie Humphries and Julie Donaldson.  Julie won a couple of Whitney awards.  Erin took hundreds of pictures. Jessie rocked her two day book launch. Amazing ladies, gifted women.
Did I mention fun and funny? No? Will, they are. Julie hates this pic and I don't blame her. When you are close to your due date and feeling huge and really, really hurting, it's hard to smile and laugh. She's a good sport and genuinely kind. Her acceptance speech is gracious and full of gratitude to a love Heavenly Father. Classy.
You know you're going to have a crazy time whenever you spend time with Summerill. From theme-coded outfits to crazy pictures and lots of laughs, Erin keeps me smiling. And bonus that she's a sweetie who loves her family and friends. We should see her books on the shelves in no time.
Jessie is the token Vegas friend. LOL. Long legs, shiny hair and kicking butt like nobody's business, she's hot. And not just in looks and brains. Her …

2014 Edgar Winners & Nominees Announced

Here is the official link of the 2014 winners & Nominees.

 How many have you read?

Mystery Writers of America is proud to announce, as we celebrate the 205th anniversary of the birth&nbsp of Edgar Allan Poe, the Nominees for the 2014 Edgar Allan Poe Awards, honoring the best in mystery fiction, non-fiction and television, published or produced in 2013. The Edgar® Awards will be presented to the winners at our 68th Gala Banquet, May 1, 2014 at the Grand Hyatt Hotel, New York City. 


Sandrine’s Case by Thomas H. Cook (Grove Atlantic – The Mysterious Press)
The Humans by Matt Haig (Simon & Schuster)
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger (Simon & Schuster – Atria Books)
How the Light Gets In by Louise Penny (Minotaur Books)
Standing in Another Man’s Grave by Ian Rankin (Hachette Book Group – Reagan Arthur Books)
Until She Comes Home by Lori Roy (Penguin Group USA – Dutton Books)


The Resurrectionist by Matthew Guinn (W.W. Nor…

Foto Friday ~ Set your course by the stars