Thursday, August 30, 2012


I'm 2! And it's a big surprise to me!

Yes, it's my Blogaversary. Anyone know what the gift is to celebrate two years?
Me neither!
It's cotton! Woo hoo! cotton candy for everyone!

Blogging has been so fun! I can't believe it's been two years. And I have some other reasons to be excited too:
  • I'm getting close to 500 followers, woot! 
  • I finished my camp nano book, though I didn't get to 50,000 words, yet. But I'm sure with editing I will get there.
  • and best of all! I got a request for a full for POP TRAVEL! My first one! 
What better way to celebrate than to give stuff away?!

How 'bout a couple of books:
Full Dark, No Stars by Stephen King
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
A personalized graphic design by me? I've been making buttons and banners for friends and I also do business cards and fun, inspirational covers!

All you have to do is comment and let me know what you'd like. Then I will randomly select winners. EASY! I'll leave it open for a week (9/6)

Thanks for following me around and keeping me going!

Monday, August 27, 2012

finished, but not done yet

Now I'm in trouble. I see the problem with me doing a Nano. I rush to get my word count in and I reach the end. Too soon! I'm terrible at lengthy descriptions. Now I have to edit and weave in backstory, sensory filled settings, and a better ending. I'm the worst at endings. Everything worked out, the end, good night everybody!

But I do get to go back and read what I wrote. That's fun. Adding words, even chapters is the tough part. Many of you overwrite and have to chop. I am way more conservative with my writing and have to beef it all up. Maybe that's the simplifying math person in me. Or maybe that's just how I write. To even think I have a complete novel, I have to have a whole story in outlined sentences. Then I use my notebooks to add what actually happens in the chapters. When I get to typing, I touch up the scenes with details and add more characters and background. So now I'm done with that phase and I have the skeleton of a book. Time to add some muscle!

Hope everyone is doing well with their writing! How do you get through your first draft? What are you working on?

To give myself inspiration, I visualize. In addition to drawing maps and making lists and charts for my book (total plotter!) I also flutz around with cover's my fun cover for

Broken Branch Falls - The story of a high school goblin who wants to break free from his stereotype, which also means breaking the law.

PS - lots coming up in September and still going on right now - check out my packed sidebar!

Friday, August 24, 2012

thou shalt listen here!

I went to college in Arkansas, what a hoedown! And while I was there, I fell in love with the Southern dialect, even picked up a bit of an accent. Y'all hear it once in a while. Anyway, a friend on facebook posted this and I had to pass it on...

Oh! And if you ever thought of being in a band - here's a way to name it (from another friend on facebook - it's perfect fun, useless nonesense, ain't it!)

Answer these two questions and that's the name of your band:
1) What are color are you wearing?
2) What did you just eat?

Mine at the time was: Plaid Fish! which was very weird since I hardly wear plaid or eat fish. What's yours?

Rock on! Have a kickin' weekend!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Don't be afraid to commit

It takes courage and determination and perseverance to stay committed.
In life, relationships, and writing.

My dad told me,
If someone wants to do something, they will find a way to do it. 

ie - No excuses!

So I will write my Sensational Haiku Wednesday this week and I will finish my 50,000 words for Camp Nano by Aug 31! And I will publish one of these days, too.

When negative vibes
creep in and discourage or
temptations distract,

Remember the goal,
the sweet reward that will come,
result of hard work

Commitment is pride,
dedication, conviction.
Going the distance.

Monday, August 20, 2012

KSM - updates and fests

August is slipping away. Some days I'm behind, some days I make up for it, but my Camp Nano story is coming along nicely. I am excitied! The characters have gone on a quest I had no idea they needed to take! I am having a blast following them on their journey! Hope my fellow campers are doing well, too! Keep writing!

I'm also looking forward to September. Routine, school, subbing, and blogfests!

So much is happening right now! HUGE!

Angela B and Lady Gwen have started a new blog for paranormal YA writers called Partners in Paranorm YA! I was honored that they asked me to make them a header. *blush* Go check it out!!!

Unicorn Bell Query help contest!The Unicorn Bell busy bees are presenting so much helpful info - it's like a Query Con!  Agents and Editors are at the ready! Even if you aren't at the query stage , you must stop by!

Speaking of querying, if you are looking for an agent/publisher, remember to sign up for
Deana Barnhart's 2nd annual

This September long event has helpful advice on how to prepare for submission, networking opportunities, and tons of prizes! Deana has gathered several Agents and Editors hungry for your talent! Head over and sign up!

And more reminders:
  • WRiTE Club is still going on - don't forget to get over there and vote on Mondays and Wednesdays!
  • Marcy is generously hosting The Great Giveaway! Every week through September.

  • But first, we get to do our first writing assignment of the school year for Emily King and Melodie Wright  - What I did last summer bloghop! 
  • And your Space Captain, Ninja Alex is cordially hosting what is sure to be a huge blogfest,  share your Genre Favorites! A mixer for us to get to know each other and talk about what we like!
Enjoy your week!

Friday, August 17, 2012

TT talks with Kyra!

You all know Kyra Lennon, right? What? Some of you don't? Well, this girl is a breath of fresh air - from her upbeat blog to her kicking book, GAME ON!

To help spread the news about her new release, I offered to interview her and she blew me away with her answers...

Welcome Kyra. Could you tell us about your twenties, did they influence your writing? Do you see yourself or any of your friends in characters from Game On?

I wasn't nearly as brave as Leah is when I was in my early twenties! It would never have even crossed my mind to move to a different country to start a new life. Personality-wise, though, there are some similarities. I made mistakes in relationships back then, some of which I regret hugely. That is something Leah goes through during Game On, and I think a lot of women will relate to that, too.

I was only brave enough to move across state lines, couldn't imagine starting over in a new country! And I can totally relate to the mistakes of dating! I could write a book (ha ha)
So, how long have you been writing? How did you start?

Love this cover!!!
The moment I knew how to work a pencil, I was writing stories. I don’t know why or where the desire came from, but I just loved doing it. I was around 14 when I realised that writing was what I wanted to do, but as I got older, I got busy experiencing life, and writing got pushed into the background. I have always written stories on and off, but it wasn’t really until this year that I decided I was going to turn one of my stories into a novel.

That young, eh? Would love to hear one of those early stories! And you are braving the waters of publication. That takes courage!
Where do you write? And do you need music or silence?

If I could own an apartment overlooking the beach in my little English seaside town, I totally would, because writing by the sea is just about the most inspiring thing ever. Unfortunately, I haven’t hit the big time yet, so I mostly sit at the dining room table, looking out onto our backyard at all the pretty flowers my mum planted there! I usually write in silence, especially if the scene requires a lot of concentration.

A cozy beach writing spot sounds divine! Maybe we could all pool our money for a peaceful writer's time share...
And on a personal note, what are your distractions?

Facebook LOL! Work is my biggest distraction, I guess. I work as a freelance writer, so my day is spent flicking back and forth between fact and fiction. It was really hard to juggle them both at first, but I think I have just about got the hang of it now!

I know what you mean. Housework is my biggest annoyance, I mean distraction. Would love to just write! Lastly, would love it if you could give us an excerpt from your favorite scene from GAME ON. Or one you're proudest of... 

Ha, the scenes I’m proudest of are usually the ones with the biggest spoilers, but the following is a scene I had a lot of fun writing, and the ones after were fun too! In this part of the story, Leah’s family have come to visit her in America, and her nephew, Jamie, is a big fan of Radleigh McCoy. Against her better judgment, she agrees to introduce Jamie to his hero, but quickly regrets it when Jamie asks a very awkward question:

“Daddy, can Radleigh come with us tomorrow?”
Josh, Radleigh and I fell silent. It was an innocent request from Jamie's point of view. To the rest of us, it held huge implications.
“Oh, Jamie, I don't know,” Josh said. “I'm sure Radleigh has other things to do tomorrow.”
Jamie looked at Radleigh, his eyes wide with hope. I glanced at Josh, and he shrugged.
Did I want Radleigh with me when I was trying to enjoy being with my family? No. Did I want to disappoint Jamie by saying Radleigh couldn't come? Not at all.
If Radleigh had been a decent human being, he would have made up an excuse to save me from this awkward position I’d been put in. He said nothing.
Oh, I see. You’re gonna make me make this decision.

Conflict, tension, awesome! Thanks for letting us get to know you and sneak a peek, Kyra!

And here is how you can get the fabulous book GAME ON! by Kyra Lennon

After swapping her small town life to work for one of the top soccer teams in the U.S, Leah Walker thought she could finally leave the ghosts of her past behind. However, when she meets serial womanizer, Radleigh McCoy, the memories of her old life come swarming back, and she is forced to ask herself whether she has really changed at all.

Have a fabulous weekend everyone!

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Tail with a Twist

My wonderful friends, Leigh, Cassie, Mark, and Morgan are hosting a fabulous blogfest - Fairy Tale Madness! Here is my entry in the Twist category. Though it's also funny =D

The 3 Ninja Pigs

The three brothers Swine, protectors of Happy Valley, just finished defending the chickens from the weasel gang. After a long battle, they were ready to call it a night.

Flinging his stars into their block, Shuri said good night first and entered his hut made of straw. Katan shook his head at his youngest brother’s poor choice of building materials, but Shuri said he needed fresh air to sleep.

After swinging his nunchucks around, Chaku kicked open his door, showing off. His crude cabin made of sticks was no sturdier than Shuri’s hut of straw. Though skilled ninja fighters, both of Katan’s brothers could use a lesson in humility and practicality.

As Katan reached his strong house made of bricks, he picked up his newspaper, unlocked his door, and went inside. The headline said, “Wolf Breaks Out of Jail!”

The Wolf would head straight for the Swine brothers who put him away. Katan had to warn Shuri and Chaku. He called Shuri first.

No answer.

Chaku picked up on the first ring.

“Shuri is here and so is the Wolf.”

“I’m on my way.” But before Katan hung up, he heard knocking. “Chaku? Chaku!”

“Not by the hair of my chin!” After a crash, the line went dead.

Katan rushed outside. His brothers came running with the Wolf on their tails. The three brothers locked themselves inside.

“Little pigs, little pigs, let me in! Or I’ll blowwww your house in!”

“Do your worst,” Katan said and the Wolf began to blow. The house stood firm.

Each exiting a different way, the brothers surrounded the huffing, puffing Wolf. Shuri flung a star at his butt, Chaku whacked him with his nunchucks, and Katan thwacked his nose with his long sword.

The Wolf howled all the way back to the Pen.

For you ninja enthusiasts, here is where I got the ninja piggies' names:
Shuri for shuriken – star discs
Chaku for nunchaku - nunchucks
Katan for katana – long sword

Hope you enjoyed. I had a great time writing it! Will do my best to visit around the other entries this week.

And 4 tiny/huge announcements:
Have a good one!

Friday, August 10, 2012

TT talks with...Christine!

paranormal romance writer!
Christine Rains knows how to be cool, even without A/C! In the space of 30 days, she wrote a completely thrilling story! And only a few months later, she is publishing it. Now that's cool!

And to wrap up her quick blog tour week, here are a few tidbits about the fabulous Christine!

Thank you so much for this! People have been so generous in helping me promote FEARLESS.

No problem, Christine! Happy to do it! At press time you finally have A/C. I would die without it! Seriously dead, or move into the grocery store. How long had you been living without it? And what did you do to keep cool?

It was four weeks. Some days, I thought I'd boil to death. We took cold showers and spent time in the pool out back. My son and I spent several days a week at the library. I'd live there if they'd let me!

I live in the right time, with modern conveniences - would never have survived on the Frontier! 
If you could live any time besides the present, when would it be and why?

I'd like to see what's in the future. Maybe 50 or 100 years from now. We've made such strides in science and technology in the last 100 years. I bet we'll be completely surprised what life is like in the not so far future. It would also be nice to see what my son and my descendents are like.

That's a great idea - I'd like to see my descendants too (and possibly a real dystopian society? colonies on the moon? way way in the future! love sci fi!) You have a sweet, glasses wearing, book reading family! Could you tell us about each of your fave books?

Aw, thank you! My favorite series is the Harry Potter series. I wonder if they have magical air-conditioning! My husband loves the Harry Dresden series by Jim Butcher. And my son's favorite book at the moment is "Maybe A Bear Ate It."

Harry Potter, of course! I've heard of that series by Jim Butcher, need to check them out! And your son's book sounds fun!
So, what was your inspiration for Tawa? and FEARLESS? Did you outline it? Or did you pants your way through A to Z?

Oh yeah, I totally pantsed my way through the A to Z Challenge! I had no idea where the story was going until I got there. It was so much fun! No outlining whatsoever. My idea for FEARLESS came from wondering about childhood monsters. My son isn't frightened of anything at the moment, a little too young to maybe understand it, but what about when he's older? What if the monster under his bed was real and I didn't believe him? Who would protect him? That's where Abby comes in. She protects the children when no one else believes them. Of course, Abby needed a teacher and a guide. I thought about what children believe protects them from monsters, and what I believed as a child too. Our beloved stuffed animals protect and comfort us. Tawa's personality came first and it didn't fit a teddy bear. She was much bigger! My son inspired me to make Tawa a hippo with his love of the "Hungry, Hungry Hippo" game. (Not the one with the marbles, but just me pretending to eat stuff!) Tawa's name is a short version of Taweret, the Egyptian goddess who protected pregnant women and young children. Though, as a hippo, Taweret was much more fearsome than Tawa!

You are amazing! Can't believe you went in blind! Outstanding! And a hippo is perfect!
And here's a last random question, what is your favorite article of clothing?

My favorite thing in my closet is my "I <3 My Geek" t-shirt. My husband gave it to me for Christmas four years ago. (see above pic!)

Thank you again. You're so sweet for offering to do this!
Of course! Very happy to have you! So glad you stopped by! 

And here is the blurb and how you can get FEARLESS by Christine Rains:

Abby White was seven years old when she killed the monster under her bed. Now she slays creatures spawned by the fertile imaginations of children, and the number of these nightmares are on the rise. Neither she nor her guide - a stuffed hippo named Tawa - know why.
When she rescues Demetrius from an iron prison, he pledges his life to protect hers until he can return the favor. She doesn't want the help. And how can she concentrate on her job when the gorgeous wild fae throws himself in front of her during every fight? No matter how tempting, she can't take the time to lose herself to him.

To save the children and all she loves, Abby must be truly Fearless.
Smashwords               Createspace
Amazon                  Barnes & Noble

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

where the fun begins

Courage is...

facing another
day, knowing what is coming,
hoping for the best

Courage is...

writing through the blocks
finishing the scene, getting
it done without fail

Monday, August 6, 2012

Postcard from camp - Happy Monday!

I'm chugging right along and feel good about my progress at camp. I know some of you are camping with me. I'd like to get an email going for support and updates, if you're interested! My cabinmates are pretty quiet so far...Let me know (taratylertalks >at< gmail >dot< com)

And here are the answers to the Tagline Haiku from Friday:

Party on dudes, (Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure)
You never know where you'll end up. (My book, Pop Travel) 
Size does matter. (Godzilla)

Don't panic. (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy) 
Free your mind. (Matrix Reloaded) 
One man saw it coming. (I, Robot)
Unleash the fury. (the Hulk)

So the show has been cancelled. But the adventure is just beginning. (Galaxy Quest)

The funny thing is these are mostly Sci Fi, and I didn't plan that...but they fit together so well and sci fi does have some great taglines! Yeah, Sci Fi!

A tag line can be a spark to catch reader interest - do you have one for yours?

Enjoy your week! Please come back Friday for a fun TT Talks interview with Christine Rains!

Friday, August 3, 2012

killer haiku!

Ever been to the KILL ZONE?
You should - it's a great site for writers. It is organized by a group of experienced authors who offer advice, critiques and contests. One of the latest challenges was to create a haiku from taglines of books or movies. You know I couldn't resist that. Here was my offering...

Party on dudes,
You never know where you'll end
up. Size does matter.

Don't panic. Free your
mind. One man saw it coming.
Unleash the fury.

So the show has been
cancelled. But the adventure
is just beginning.

Can you figure out the movies these taglines are from? (I'll post the answers later)

Do you have any taglines from books or movies for us to guess?

Have a great weekend! May the force be with you!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Prepared but still scared!

I'm nervous. I'm anxious. I don't know if I will be able to make the quota! 50,000 words in 1 month!

Here's the breakdown:
1600 words a day at 120 words per page (handwritten) = 13 pages a day!
That totals 390 pages of writing! I had to buy more notebooks! Thank goodness I use front and back so it's 195 pages to use which is only 2 100 page notebooks. Not to mention the pens! I'll need new pens! Love shopping for school/writing supplies!

Sorry for the mathiness! Putting my goal into numbers helps me get ahold of what I have to do and keep track of them. Number are concrete. I write accomplished numbers on the calendar to see the results. Add or subtract them from the daily goal and I can see how far behind or ahead I am and how far I have left to go. Miles on my journey...

This is a lot of numbers! I better get started! Thanks in advance for all your support! I'm off to camp!

PS - Forgot to add on the haiku I wrote for Sensational Haiku Wednesday...


When born with talent
do not squander, nourish it
and use it wisely

Talented fingers
melt away stress reaching each
perfect pressure point!

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