You are now entering the world of my thoughts.

This blog is my diary of works in progress. The only way a writer can improve upon her skill is to practice, practice and practice some more. Here, in this place of quiet peace, I pen to paper my thoughts and creativity. Welcome to my world.

Copyright © 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 SN Taylor, All Rights Reserved

Friday, November 21, 2014

Book Blast & Giveaway: Cranberry Bluff by Deborah Garner

Cranberry Bluff Cranberry Bluff by Deborah Garner Molly Elliott's quiet life in Tallahassee, Florida, is disrupted when routine errands land her in the wrong place at the wrong time: the middle of a bank robbery. Accused and cleared of the crime, she flees both media attention and mysterious, threatening notes, to move across the country to Cranberry Cove, where she has inherited her Aunt Maggie's bed and breakfast on the Northern California coast. Her new beginning is peaceful - that is, until five guests show up at the inn for a weekend, each with a hidden agenda. Mix together one blushing honeymoon couple, one flamboyant boutique owner, a deadpan traveling salesman, and a charmingly handsome novelist, and there’s more than scones cooking at Cranberry Cottage Bed and Breakfast. As true motives become apparent, will Molly's past come back to haunt her or will she finally be able to leave it behind?



 

  Author Deborah Garner Deborah Garner is an accomplished travel writer with a passion for back roads and secret hideaways. Born and raised in California, she studied in France before returning to the U.S. to attend UCLA. After stints in graduate school and teaching, she attempted to clone herself for decades by founding and running a dance and performing arts center, designing and manufacturing clothing and accessories, and tackling both spreadsheets and display racks for corporate retail management. Her passions include photography, hiking and animal rescue. She speaks five languages, some substantially better than others. She now divides her time between California and Wyoming, dragging one human and two canines along whenever possible.






book blast button
    Book Blast Giveaway $50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 12/23/14 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.   a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Author Interview: Robyn Abdusamad

Today I have the honor of introducing you all to author Robyn Abdusamad and her new book You Are Beautiful. The coming of this book, along with many others being published that tackle the issue of racism and racial bias and promote diversity, is quite timely. Children need a safe place to discuss these issues and picture books are the perfect medium to help children understand and navigate this tough topic. Without further ado......Robyn Abdusamad.



Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your book?

Well, I am from North Carolina but my family recently relocated to Texas, the Dallas-Fort Worth area.  I am a graduate of North Carolina A&T State University with a Bachelor in Communications/ Public Relations and a Masters in Public Administration from National University.  I have over 10 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. I’ve also worked in the secondary school system in North Carolina. Right now, I am a stay at home mom.   In my spare time I enjoy volunteering in my community, traveling, shopping, and connecting with family and friends.

My new book, "You Are Beautiful" is about two sisters who have their first encounter with a racial bias and are saddened by what they hear.  It is a heartfelt and inspirational lesson that provides both children and parents with a solution to embracing diversity with knowledge and kindness.

What was your favorite children’s book growing up?

I recall several of my favorite children’s book growing up, but the ones that stand out were ‘Bambi Gets Lost’, ‘Mooch the Messy’ and ‘Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret’.

What author inspires you the most and why?

Wow, I have so many but if I have to select one it would be Iyanla Vanzant.  I am inspired by her well-grounded and passionate approach to life.  I also like her ability to connect and engage with her audience-- it is through her books or lectures.  Her straight to the point approach is a breath of fresh air.

What are your earliest memories of writing?

My earliest memory of writing is in middle school.  During the summer, my mother would always have my brother and I writing reports on various topics. Most of the time if we traveled we were required to write mini reports about our experiences.  Also, I didn’t grow up in the era of email, texting and instant messaging so I was always writing letters to my relatives and friends.  Back then we had pen pals too and my mother encouraged us to write.  She saved a book I wrote in middle school titled “Summer Love”.  As an adult, I read it and found it to be quite cheesy, but she liked it.

Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural?

Both. My mother encouraged me to write because she realized that writing was a natural extension of reading comprehension. And because writing (hand writing and not typing) was a thing of my generation is was second nature to write both for pleasure and for communication purposes. During the summer, writing was a fun activity we did and when I turned 14 I started journaling; I still journal to this day. So, writing has always been a part of my life.

 
What do you do when you’re not writing or promoting your books?

When I am not writing or promoting my book, I am spending time with my husband and children or connecting with friends and family.


What do you hope that readers will take away from your book?

The message I would like for children to take away from YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL is that despite the outside differences, people are similar on the inside.  After reading my book, every child should understand that their skin color is unique and beautiful.  As for adults, I would like for them embrace having conversations with their children about race and other forms of bias they might encounter away from home.  I am sure the conversation will be uncomfortable for some, but I would like for my book to be a catalyst for that conversation.

How can your book be used in the classroom?

Educators may use my book in their classroom as an introduction to teaching diversity and multiculturalism to their students.  Also, I have activities on my website that they can print and use for their class at www.robynabdusamad.com.

You Are Beautiful will release November 28, 2014

Thank you for your time, Robyn and best of luck with your new book release.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Location! Location! Location!

This year, I decided to do something a little different. Instead of hiding away in my room, I decided to make my NaNo writing space a little more spacious.

I have commandeered the dining table for my writing pleasure for the month of November. I have access to the kitchen and my never-ending stash of tea, a big window that lets me have a wonderful view of our backyard and trees, also, the table, is a tall one. It allows me to still type standing when I get tired of sitting in the somewhat comfy chairs. The black file holder doubles as my snack box and a place to post my "do not disturb" sign! :D  You don't see it but I have headphones that allow me to block out noise and the random family member who poke about in the nearby kitchen. And the lighting is perfect! So far, it has been great for high daily word counts!

Location is everything! So, where is your writing space this month? What does it look like?

Sunday, November 2, 2014

How Do You Start Your Story?

At the beginning, end, middle, with the title, the pitch, the hook?

There is the whole divide of planning and plotting your story or simply writing from the seat of your pants. One thing I have noticed with my own writing, I don't plot or plan my story out. I try to but it turns out into a synopsis then goes into storytelling. Sometimes it starts at the beginning, the middle or with a simple title.

This year's story, Picture Perfect, (working title only) started in a crazed smathering of me trying to figure out my story. I had an idea but the idea was not really fully coherent but it was moving around quickly in my head so I just wrote it all down until about 3000+ words later, the story began to form more fluidly. Page five on my word doc begins chapter one. But this is NaNoWriMo. The first draft is expected to be trashy until we go back through it and wash, rinse and repeat a gazillion times.

So, how do you start your story? 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Are you ready for #NaNoWriMo 2014?



Tips for a Happy NaNoWriMo

Whether joining for the first time or making this year your annual trip down writer's lane, here are some of my tested and proven tips to get you through this hectic month of word collecting.

1) Clear your schedules. If you are like me, writing 1,667 words a day is slow but steady work. Other than work, my time will be spent either on my laptop or writing in a notebook, I wont have time to socialize, read books, cook, clean, blog, facebook or twitter (unless it is #NaNoWriMo related).

2) Create a comfortable work space. Yes, I used 'work' because NaNoWriMo will work you like a job! I like soft music, large table, cup of tea and preferably a window to write.

3) IF you just HAVE to get on the internet, visit NaNoWriMo.org. Create an account and join your fellow NaNo-ers for tips, support, motivation, encouragement and accountability throughout the month.

4) Write. Write. Write. Do not worry about perfection. Forget you have a delete button. This challenge is about getting your story down on paper, not craft. You can edit it later.

5) Got writer's block. Get up and stretch. Change writing space for a bit. Take a walk. Exercise. Visit Nanowrimo.org and get inspired by your fellow NaNo-ers.

6) Participate in Write-ins. Writing can be a lonely profession but it does not always have to be so solitary. Whether online or in person, join group writing activities. Write-ins are really fun. Check out this link to find one near you.

7) Snacks. Gotta have them! My faves are tea (you should see my tea stash :D ) fruit, nuts, and dark chocolate (almonds, peanuts, cashews or macadamias).

8) But the most important of all.......HAVE FUN!!!!!!! 50,000 words or not, just getting however many words you muster up on paper (or screen) alone is an achievement in itself!

You got this!

Happy Writing!!


Friday, October 31, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014


As I sit here waiting for the hours to tick away to begin NaNoWriMo, I wonder how I will fit this challenge along with PiBoIdMo (another fun writing challenge for picture book  writers), work (why does teacher-parent conferences HAVE to be in November?)and then of course Thanksgiving, with all the cooking and entertaining family (my dad and step-mom insist on coming here for Thanksgiving to check out my new living space.) Can someone please add a few extra hours in the day, pleeeeaaase! It only has to be for the month of November!

So how WILL I fit everything in this month? Plot and Planning, of course.

First off, EVERYONE in the house knows I'm participating in the challenges and have accepted the responsibility of grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning for the month of November.

Second, I have sketched a writing schedule for myself (in stone but it is flexible if I find some time outside of it to write) so do NOT bother me (unless the house is on fire) during that/those times.

Third, I have secured a spot on our brand new dining table as my place of writing. NO ONE is allowed to be in my spot during writing time.

Fourth, absolutely NO distractions. If I don't answer you, do NOT come looking for me to see if I heard you. Most like not because I will be wearing head phones to block out noise and distractions.

Fifth, if everyone abides by the rules, I will write them into my novel as good guys/gals. If not, well, you all know where I am going with this :D

In #NaNoWrimo, the object is to write 50,000 words in 30 days. If I write 1,667 words a day, that will get me to the winners line. But My goal is to write at least 2,000-2,500 words a day, that way, on Thanksgiving day I wont have to ignore my dad. I also hope to write outside my normal genre which is children's fiction and science fiction.

So what are your writing goals for the month of November?



Member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators