Friday, February 26, 2016

Do You Have Goals #2

Hi everybody! I'm a little late getting this up today. In my non writing goals I was approved for the apartment I want yesterday and have five days to move so I've got a lot on my To Do List.

But this is important so even if I don't get to your post today I will by the end of the week :-)

And if you haven't already joined us hop over to Misha Gericke's blog The Five Year Project for details on joining her Do You Have Goals monthly blog hop. (Hint, anyone can join)

Five Year Project: Do You Have Goals?

Primary Goal: Sell an average of seven hard copy books or 35 e-books a day

I did much better on February's goals than I expected they were:

Sell seven hard copies or 35 e-books

And I sold exactly seven. I was actually a little shocked. The number was more or less arbitrary, meant to give myself a concrete way to gage my success. The weirdest part was that they were all hand sales to people who ASKED me if I had any copies and OFFERED to buy them. I didn't have to wave them in anybody's face trying to coax them into making a purchase.

I was a little less successful in my goals for actual writing. Those were:

Finish rough draft of chapters 4-6 of current writing project (aprx 11,000 words) ---I maybe made half that word count. I wish I had made more but I'm not beating myself up about it too much since my computer did crash halfway through the month and I haven't got it fixed yet. The word count I did manage was by hand and at the library so I'm proud of myself for getting it done at all.

Arrange and attend a meeting with my Crit Group --Done

Research the historical rituals of trial by combat --Done. Although I will probably research in a little more detail in March

I surprised myself with my marketing goals as well. They were:

Re-establish consistent social media presence via blogger, twitter, and Facebook --Done. Although I did disappear a little towards the end because of my computer

Attend and perform at 4 poetry open mics --Done. AND I was asked to co-feature in a poetry reading with another local poet. I am quite thrilled by this :-)

All in all, I am satisfied with my work and ready to move on to my next goals.

So I guess it's time to set those

March's Goals: Sell fourteen hard copies or 70 e-books

Actual Writing:
Finish rough draft of chapters 5-7 of current writing project (aprx 11,000 words)
Arrange and attend a meeting with my Crit Group
Research the historical rituals of trial by combat

Maintain consistent social media presence via blogger, twitter, and Facebook
Begin work on A-Z posts for April
Attend and perform at 4 poetry open mics
Co-feature in a local poetry reading

Keeping myself focused:
Daily yoga
Daily entries in gratitude journal
Daily meditation

Cut cheese out of my diet

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Weekend Writing Warriors

Happy Valentine's Day my dears. Welcome to this week's Weekend Writing Warriors. If you don't know what that is it is a weekly blog hop in which writers get to post and read 8-10 sentences of each other's work and learn from and encourage each other. It's great fun and very rewarding. Join us and share the love!

My excerpt this week continues from where last week's left off in my dark romance SNOW ROSES. The passage isn't necessarily a Valentine's passage but  SNOW ROSES is a love story.

But also, what love is deeper and more innocent than a young girl's for her father?

"I paced across the intricate weave of my chamber's rug, losing myself in its elaborate swirls, trying to conceive some kind of consistent pattern. My eyes grew raw and tender around the rims. I slept little and ate only when coerced. My already slight form and pale skin became a rattle of bones and a ghostly pallor.

When I did sleep I dreamt that I was drowning. Ice cold water poured into my lungs, filling them until I thought my chest would burst. Other nights –or days; I had long since stopped keeping track of time –thick, thorny vines wound their way around me, squeezing until I bled. I woke, screaming, only to realize that the reality was worse than any nightmare."

After her father's death Snow shuts herself away in her grief cluttered chambers but she is plagued by more than painful memories. She will never be safe unless she forgets how her father really died. At last she escapes into the woods with nothing but a small knife. 

Rose leaves the sleeping village she grew up in for the first time in search of her missing grandmother. Alone in the dark woods she finds ghosts, a rabid wolf, her grandmother's mangled corpse, and Snow. 

Snow and Rose thrive together in the wood but hiding will not keep them safe forever. It will take something stronger than walls to conquer the dangers that haunt them.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Interview with my Readers: Sadie Marie

Last week I posted an article about why I write, which is, in summary form, for the reader. To honor that and get to know my readers a little more I am starting an interviews with my readers feature here on Taliesin and my very first reader to come visit us is the lovely Miss Sadie Marie

Hello Sadie, welcome to Taliesin. Tell us a little about yourself. 

Sadie: Hello Taryn! Thank you for having me! Well obviously I am Sadie. I am currently trying to pursue myphotography and at the moment I manage an awesome starbucks kiosk in Santee. I love to read, pretty much anything I can get my hands on. Reading, photography, drawing, and Dr. Who take over my life at the moment.

Sounds like you have a pretty amazing life going for you! What kind of books do you read?

Sadie: It's been great so far! Oh anything from teen fiction to reading the amazing views from Neil Degrasse Tyson and Dalai Lama. I am currently reading Girld Online which is an amazing book from an amazing youtuber Zoella Sugg. It's a teen fic about a girl dating a rockstar.

Wow, that is a very diverse selection. What inspires you to read and in so many different genres?

Sadie: I feel like when it comes to books I am so open minded. Each author has a story to tell. From it being fiction to non-fiction they each pour their heart and soul onto pages and it is so beautiful. It's weird but I feel like I connect very deeply with all sorts of books just like music. If that makes sense haha Books are definitely something I hold close to my heart no matter what genre. They help me escape from reality for awhile.

That makes perfect sense and not weird at all. It is nice, isn't it, to have a place where the mind can go and be free. Books give us that haven sometimes. What are some of your very favorite books?

Sadie: Yes! I am glad it made sense! And oh what a tough question! Well the Harry Potter series of course! How to Kill a Rockstar. The Art of Happiness. A Series of Unfortunate Events. Anything by Edgar Allen Poe and Charles Bukowski. Oh and anything Alien related!

Been watching the X-files reboot then I imagine! Did you get a chance to read SNOW ROSES?

Sadie: Yes! Oh my gosh and may I say it has been amazing so far! I'm thinking about binge watching it again on Netflix since they are taking Dr. Who off. And yes I have!

Good! I hope you enjoyed it. Why do you think people read and tell stories?

Sadie: I did! Snow Roses was the first book I read for my 2015 reading challenge and I couldn't put it down . . . unless I was at work of course. I highly recommend it. I have my friend reading it at the moment! Like I said before, I read to escape reality. There is good in the world but when life seems to be a little stressful or I can't just seem to handle it I read and escape. It entertains and to tell a story it opens our minds to many possibilities. Opens up our imagination and makes us a little more free from the daily routine that some of us might feel stuck in.

The mind is indeed full of possibilities. What possibilities do you see in your future?

Sadie: Well the possibility of finishing my story I have been writing. Adventure and exploring new placed with Ruby. Ruby my Camera! I have done so much already this year that has given me the motivation to do things I was so afraid of last year. I see hope, happiness and freedom. More than I ever thought before. I feel like I owe this new feeling to the books I read. They help motivate me to dream bigger and not to settle.

It sounds like books have a very special place in your life Sadie. Where can we find you on the internet to follow along with your next adventures?

Sadie: I'm pretty much on everything haha. Facebook: Sadie Marie, Instagram: Black_mirror_photography, and twitter: coffee_lover19

Thank you so much for joining us today Sadie! It was great to talk to you.

(If you are interested in becoming a featured reader on Taliesin e-mail me at I can't wait to hear from you!)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Sonnet: Motley

For fun, for personal development, and to help spread my writing locally I have been performing at open mics in my area. Here is one of the poems I am presenting this month along with a video of me practicing.

I thought the mask theme was appropriate since Madi Gras is tomorrow :-)


Whir of colorless gauze begging for dies
Shadow filled laughter drowning out sound
Paint covered eyes spinning round and round
Drink bitter delights to sustain the lies

A popinjay decked out in white and black
Swallow the emptiness. Wash out the hues.
Dance to the silence of a drunken ruse
With feathers and bells dripping down your back

With masks twisted out of charm and wits
Don't let them see that your eyes are their eyes
Don't look at yourself. Don't dare become wise.
Whisk your cloak full of glittering bits

Invisible in gilded finery
Wear the costume you expect to see

What do you guys think? My performance skills have a bit of a way to go but it's going to be fun developing them :-)

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Weekend Writing Warriors

Hello! welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, a lovely weekly blog hop in which we get to read snippets of each other's work. Jump in! The words are deep and inviting, perfect to swim in.

My snippet this week is from my dark romance SNOW ROSES, available now on amazon.

"I grew used to papa's death the way summer dwindles into winter. Silently. Laboriously. Without hope.
I do not know when the funeral was held. I do not know how many foreign dignitaries attended or how the common folk mourned the loss of their ruler. I imagine I was invited --expected to attend in somber black silk, suffering silently by my stepmother's side. I imagine that my handmaidens pleaded with me to allow them to dress me but I never heard them. "

After her father's death Snow shuts herself away in her grief cluttered chambers but she is plagued by more than painful memories. She will never be safe unless she forgets how her father really died. At last she escapes into the woods with nothing but a small knife. 

Rose leaves the sleeping village she grew up in for the first time in search of her missing grandmother. Alone in the dark woods she finds ghosts, a rabid wolf, her grandmother's mangled corpse, and Snow. 

Snow and Rose thrive together in the wood but hiding will not keep them safe forever. It will take something stronger than walls to conquer the dangers that haunt them.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Insecure Writer's Group: We Are Not the Stars

This is my first time here on Insecure Writer's Support Group. If you don't know what Insecure Writer's Support Group is it is a monthly blog hop in which writer's post about their writing lives and encourage each other and learn from each other. It's a great idea and I am so glad I get to be a part of it.

I had a revelation earlier this week about my writing life.

I was talking to a coworker at the deli I work at about my writing and he said something that perplexed me.

He said "Who knows? Maybe I'm talking to a star."

He meant it as encouragement of course but it got me thinking.

Am I trying to be a star?

Everyone has a right to shine. The question isn't so much a matter of humility as objective. I read somewhere once that you can make a fortune from writing but not a living (possibly that is a Ray Bradbury quote but also possibly it isn't) so in order to make a living with my writing I may need to acquire a certain amount of fame. I'm ok with that if it means I can continue to write and not have to work double and triple shifts at minimum wage retail jobs anymore but it is far from the reason why I write.

I write because it is my calling.

I write because I can't imagine dedicating my life to anything else.

I write because I am bigger on the inside and the light that lives within has been screaming to get out since the day I was born.

I write because I dream things everyone else is afraid to believe in.

But I have come to realize that my writing doesn't really have anything to do with me at all.

Another writing quote that I read so long ago that I have no idea who said it is that we write to be like those who gave us the most joy.

All writers began as readers who fell so in love with books that we began pouring them out of our hearts in thick gushes of ink. Because at some point in our lives books saved our lives. They taught us. They inspired us. They kept us company when no one else could. They understood us.

They fed our souls and kept us from dying from the inside out.

As C.S. Lewis would say "we read (them) to know we (were) not alone" (Yay! I actually remember who said that one).

That is the real reason I write. To tell others that they are not alone. To teach them. To inspire them. To understand them.

To feed their souls and keep them from dying from the inside out.

Because every time we talk to another human soul we are talking to a star.

Writing is never about the writer. It's about the reader. Our job is not to make them look at us. It is to help them look at themselves.

They are the true stars of every book and it is our honor to keep them company and --if we are any good at what we do --offer them a twinkling of hope so that they can grow brighter still.

Because we are all so much bigger on the inside.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Return of a Wandering Soul

Hello. Remember me? Probably not. I used to write here at this blog then I disappeared into the web of life, returned promising posts and promptly disappeared again. I am back. I intend to stay for awhile yet, ranting and rambling about books and writing and metaphysics.

I am hoping that I can transform Taliesin to more of a discussion forum than it has been in past. I get a bit tired of talking about me and my experiences with words all the time (not that you won't still find the occasional, indulgent rant). I would like to present a topic, give my twenty cents on the subject, then see what you have to say. I will do my best to respond to all comments but please feel free to continue discussing any subject among yourselves with or without my input.

I would like Taliesin to become a kind of virtual salon (the seventeenth century French kind) where you can come and explore one another's ideas. If I could serve you coffee and rich, sugary delicacies while you chat I would (Consequently you may see the odd recipe on here from here on out. I have become a shameless foodie but I will try to at least keep the food loosely related to literature).

Other things to look out for here on Taliesin:

Monthly give away of Taliesin in its zine form (To enter simply share or tweet any Taliesin blog post during the month. A name will be taken from one of my many hats at the end of the month)
Character interviews where your characters get to come up and tell us all about themselves
Reader interviews in which you get to come up and tell us all about yourself
My poetry (Possibly accompanied by videos of me practicing for poetry open mics. So scary!!)
Book reviews
Indulgent rants about literature and who we are as a race, as a society, and as individuals.
And, of course, information about my books Snow Roses, White Hart, and the upcoming sequel to White Hart

I hope to see you all around. It feels good to be back.