Friday, December 31, 2010

Dreaming Big for 2011

Everyone tries to think of that perfect resolution at the end of the year. Some use it to make changes for themselves. Some people think of what they wish to improve in their lives. I propose that this year, think of a resolution for something big, really big. Dream as big as you can. If you think it, write it, then maybe, someday this year, it will happen. It's the ultimate of positive thinking. Besides, with a New Year starting, anything can be possible. This reminds me of times when I was younger, kid like in the thinking, that anything is possible. I want to believe that again. So, here it goes. I'm dreaming big, anything is possible. Here are my Dream Big Resolutions for 2011:

1) To have my book series, esp. the first book "The Lost Secret of Fairies" mentioned in Oprah's Book Club.

2) To have "The Lost Secret of Fairies" picked up for it's movie rights, including the other books for possible sequels.

3) To have dinner with Robert Downey, Jr.

Ok, I did say to dream big. If you want to join in the fun, enter in the comments section what your Big Resolution is for 2011. Best Wishes for 2011 everyone! Happy New Year!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Played in Some Leaves Lately?

At this time of year, there are leaves everywhere. I found myself walking to the mailbox crunching through maple leaves. The cars have started creating a trail through them on the roadway. The fresh rain from yesterday has plastered many different colors and designs to the sidewalk. It is a natural masterpiece of art at my feet. The smell of wet rain and damp leaves remind me of something. I cannot put my finger on it. I keep walking.

Crunch. Crunch. Crunch. The dry, wet leaves of autumn are calling up a memory. The thought comes to me as the smells assault my nose. I used to play in these things. I used to build big piles of leaves on my lawn and hurl them in the air. They'd get stuck in my hair, and I remember the smell.

I breathed in the memory. I was 10 again. I crawl in the pile and throw up the middle with an explosion of crisp brown and orange crackling leaves. A car goes by and I'm instantly back to being an adult. The autumn spell is broken.

When did the playing stop? Is it that I don't have time? I'm busy being an adult, working and doing chores. Is it that I don't have a lawn anymore? I have condo association lawns now that are raked with lawn blowers.

Or maybe, I've just been there, done that. I've built a lot of piles. Do I really need to build another one, get leaf bits in all kinds of parts that might be hard to clean later? Or is it that I just did it for the smell and the feeling of just throwing them about? It was fun, and I had time after my homework to rake them up on a fall weekday. Now I don't have much time except for work, work at home, and work some more.

I sniff. I smell the leaves. I remember. Besides, they're plastered to the sidewalk and I don't want to ruin the pattern that the rain created. Maybe it's nice to let the leaves be, and smell them.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Season For Good Ghost Stories

Halloween is the season for a good ghost story. I've been remembering the days of sitting around a campfire telling tales of ghost hitchhikers and mysterious experiences. How many of you have heard about the guy that picks up a hitchhiker near a cemetery, only to have them disappear from the back seat when reaching the destination? Or the girl with the red ribbon around her neck that doesn't reveal why it can't be removed until her husband finally pushes for an answer?

If you're looking for a good story or two to tell your friends, here are some of the ones I remember best to share. They are some of the good classic ghost stories I remember from back in my day as a kid. Maybe you can share them with your family.

I think one of the spookiest ghost stories is an interactive story that has to be experienced. There are many a slumber party where this was tried. Often, my friends and I scared ourselves in the process. It begins with the legend that if you look in a mirror in complete darkness and say the words "Bloody Mary" three times, the ghost of some murdered girl with a bloody face is suppose to appear.

Did her face ever appear when my friends, giggling wildly, gazed into the bathroom mirror? Um, no. But just the legend and trying it seems to be a good spook, especially at this time of year. Who can say? Maybe it's actually worked for others, but never me.

Another good story I've heard a few times is the hitchhiking ghost. Mostly it's told around camp fires or in the dark at a slumber party by flashlight. If you want to make it extra spooky, make the setting be more near your current location. Somewhere nearby locations are great for the pick-up point of the ghost.

The legendary story goes like this: A lone driver goes past a spooky location in the middle of the night. They see a hitchhiker, and feel sorry for them. A description of the hiker like dripping wet in dry weather or looking especially white on a warm night could be a good addition to build suspense.

The driver picks up the mysterious hitchhiker. A lot of the time as they talk, it is revealed that some clue, their name or what they were doing is revealed. Next, upon arrival, the hitchhiker has disappeared. The driver, thinking they got out without seeing, goes to the door to check on them. The people in the house are shocked to hear the name of the hitchhiker. The mysterious rider usually has the name of someone who died earlier. Boo.

Lastly, here's a great spooky story that has so many variations, you could add your own twist to it. A young girl marries a man. She always wears a red ribbon around her neck. Her husband is always curious about the ribbon, and continuously asks her to take it off. She tells him no. There can be several times through their life that he tries. Sometimes they are newly weds where he asks all week. Sometimes he asks her whole life and asks when she's an old lady. You can always add your own twist. In the end, she gives in and takes off the ribbon. When she does, her head rolls off her shoulders onto the floor. Boo.

Hopefully, this will be a great way to get your ghost stories going during this time of year. Always if someone has heard the story before, let them know it's a new version or your own version. You could surprise them, or maybe they can add to the story. Enjoy yourself, and have a fantastic, spooky Halloween! Happy Halloween to all my readers and boo!

Link to the Tiffany Turner Website to try out your own Spooky Writing Project.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A New Journey in Research

You never know where research will take you. Well, at least this is what I've found out while researching my books. I love to go to different places and find out about legends and myths. There is adventure in exploring an area and using the description as some setting in your book. This is the joy of writing and researching. They seem to go hand and hand, and they are a very creative, fun step in the writing process.

I recently got back from an adventure in London. I wanted to return to the British Museum book room that had a range of information on things in the museum. I learned the book room had been closed and all the books moved to the British Library in another part of London.

The British Library in London
So, off I went to investigate. I am proud to announce I'm the new proud owner of a British Library card. The librarian got excited when she learned I was an author researching my third book. And I must say, I did find some interesting legends and myths on dwarves and dragons, which I'm focusing in on the third book. Plus, a changeling will play a pivotal part. So, I researched as much as I could on that.

The third book is turning into an adventure that will involve dwarves. So, I was thinking I needed more than just information about legends. I wanted some hands on experience of something that is closely associated with dwarves, mines.

The next logical step would be to find a mine. Luckily, I live in California, and it is famous for the Gold Rush and the many mines in Gold Country, the Sierra Mountain foothills where much of the gold was panned and mined during the Gold Rush. On July 24, 2010, I headed onto Route 49, the highway that connects many of the gold rush boomtowns. And yes, found myself a gold mine.

Tiffany Turner on the Sutter Gold Mine Tour

The Sutter Gold Mine is located off of the old Route 49 which leads through the old boomtowns. Complete with red construction hat, I was driven on a miners' transport truck 200 ft. underground. There was a chance to walk around and look at the white quartz. Veins of the quartz contain the gold. It is mined and processed as gold ore. The walls were testimonies to the hard working miners that had blasted out the tunnels I traversed.

Unfortunately, the price of gold dropped to around $200 an ounce, and the mine closed in the early 90s. Of course, now the price of gold is around $1,000 an ounce. Talk of reopening the mine has been going on for 10 years. However since it's closure, it's being used to give tourists going through the area a look at a real gold mine, both modern and historical.

When you write a story that often includes crystals, a good exploring research trip wouldn't be complete without discovering a new kind of crystal. I walked into the On Purpose Higher Awareness Book Store in Sutter Creek, and found a fabulous new crystal stone to inspire me for my next book. It's called Septarian or "Dragon Stone". It's a type of fossil stone that includes clay sediment wrapped with ancient shells that formed together with calcite crystal. I leave the beautifully polished stone on my nightstand to inspire me as I write.

This is why I love researching for my books. You have to bring a little of real life into fantasy to make it believable. To go and experience your settings and base them on real adventures breathes life into writing. Writing from experience is the best way to drive writing, and of course, it makes the research an enjoyable part of the writing process.

Writing Exercise:
What can you research and write about?
Post comments and ideas below, and I can share them in a future blog.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Summer Reading: Important for Children of Any Age

Not often do I go on the day job soap box, but as a teacher I know how important it is to keep your children reading during the summer. So many school budgets have been cut that summer school is becoming a luxury. As it is, only the really low and needy kids will make it into summer school these days. But all children need to practice their reading during the summer. They lose important skills they learned during the school year if they don't.

So here is a list of some things to consider from a 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade experienced teacher to help you navigate where to start in your child's reading needs:

1) Let them read for enjoyment.
A lot of parents try to force books on kids which tends to turn them off. Of course, sometimes it's hard for a child to find what they like. This is actually part of the reading process, and trying lots of different kinds of reading is a skill they practice in school. Take them to the library and let them explore. Try not to limit.

These days there are a lot of different kinds of books to try. New classics have come out since you were a kid. The "Wimpy" kid series, lots of fantasy, graphic novels are some of the new popular areas that were absent 20 years ago. Let your kid "Go for It" and explore. You might discover some new fabulous novels as well.

2) Reading anything is good.
A lot of kids don't find they enjoy books. But they might enjoy gaming magazines, code books, Highlights for Kids, or other reading enjoyment. Even the internet has vast amounts of reading to explore. Reading has changed it's venue, and even Ereaders to phones have reading opportunities. Trying lots of different things is key. The summer can be a wonderful time to explore all these vast storage areas of new reading.

3) Practice makes perfect.
Kids are not perfect readers, and need practice. It's called Independent Reading, and it's the third prong of reading development. Kids need to read on their own for enjoyment. The summer is a time to really practice and make this third area of reading development key. The more reading children do, the better they will get.

4) Setting up a reading time is helpful.
Kids need routines. Just a basic time for Independent Reading time is a wonderful structure to get kids to practice. It can be chosen by the child or structured into their regular day. 20 minutes seems to be a good starting amount, but can be increased 5 min. each year. I wouldn't go over 30 minutes during the summer unless your child wants to. Reading Time shouldn't be torture, but for enjoyment. And if your child starts to want to read longer than the set time, brilliant. They should start to choose more reading time on their own so it doesn't become a punishment.

In the end, your child should start to be able to enjoy reading whether it's on the internet, with a book, on the Ereader or even a magazine. Reading should be for fun, and the more practice your child has at that, the more they will want to read.

Tiffany Turner is working on her third book "The Lost Secret of Dragonfire". Her first and second books, "The Lost Secret of Fairies" and "The Lost Secret of the Green Man" are available on in paperback or Kindle Editions. She teaches during the school year in a California Elementary school, and has 13 years teaching experience.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

To Error Is Human

Ever wonder about those mistakes you find in books? How could the editor and writer miss them? Little things like in the book, Carrie, Stephen King has the owner of the Kelly Fruit company named Hubert on page 69 and Henry on page 217. Or in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Buckpeak is tied to a tree before Harry and Hermione go back in time. However, when they travel to the past, Buckpeak is tied to a fence.

After reading through a writing blog this morning, I discovered an unusual website. It is called, and there is an impressive list of mistakes found in some famous books.

It makes you think that we are all human, no matter how famous the book or author. Everyone makes mistakes. Of course, they are usually found by readers and fans. They are not usually distracted by the processes of writing or never see the pounds of revision that lead up to a novel.

I can relate to some of these mistakes that most likely come out of hours of revision. A character name is changed later in a revision. Often one change is missed. Or when the writer is thinking through all the details, or going from draft to draft, a detail is remembered wrong or confused.

Smallest of details can get by the editor and writer. There is so much detail and description in every book. To error is human. It is the natural course of things. But sometimes, just to find an error is exciting. The thought occurs, ah, they didn't catch everything. As in Angels & Demons, Langdon swims in the water of the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi after a man has drowned. But of course, the fountain only is about one foot deep.

These little mistakes bring out the joy in reading. It's like being a book detective to find out even authors are human. Because if writers like Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, and Dan Brown can make mistakes, they are just like the rest of us. It makes us all feel a little more human.

Crystal ClusterTiffany Turner is the author of the Crystal Keeper Chronicles. Her books can be found at

Referenced Links for this Post:
Lauren's World of Mystery Writing

Monday, May 31, 2010

Opportunity to Meet Tiffany Turner

Book Signing with Tiffany Turner
Author of:
The Lost Secret of Fairies: The Crystal Keeper Chronicles Book 1
The Lost Secret of the Green Man (The Crystal Keeper Chronicles)

Saturday, June 12, 2010
1:00pm - 4:00pm
Borders Bookstore/Oak Ridge Mall
925 Blossom Hill Rd., Suite 1741
San Jose, CA 95123
Tiffany Turner will be doing a book signing in the San Jose Area. She will be reading from the second book in her Crystal Keeper series, The Lost Secret of the Green Man. She'll also be playing her Gaelic harp. Come join in the fun and an exciting afternoon with Tiffany Turner.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Lost Secret of the Green Man Kindle Edition

Hot off the presses! Yup, the new edition of "The Lost Secret of the Green Man" is now available for your Kindle. I'm happy that I have a lot of avid Kindle readers from the first book. So I am glad that the second book is now available. Enjoy everyone! I would love to hear from any Kindle readers. Just post on what you think about book 2.
Link to the Kindle Edition Here!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Is Going To A Writing Conference A Good Idea?

If you're serious about writing, a conference can set you on the right road. From how to submit, workshops on writing craft,or meeting editors and agents, a writing conference can teach you how to turn writing from a hobby into a working career. But which conference would be the best to start at? How do you know when and where to get started? Here are some tips on what I've learned from attending conferences and starting my writing career over the last 5 years.

There are several things to consider when choosing to go a writing conference. The first step is to find a conference for your writing genre. Many conferences are genre or writing market based. Whether you write adult fiction, children's books, or romance novels, some conferences zero in on your specific writing. This will be a crucial first step so you can find a starting point. If you know what writing you are already doing, this will guide you to the right market and conference.

Another starting point are writing groups. There are several organizations for writers that support with conferences for their members. My writing group, the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, is for writers and illustrators in the area of children's books. Another writing group I've heard of is the Mystery Writers of America. Both these groups host their own national and regional writing conferences. Other resources are literary magazines that offer workshops to writers. I've been invited to several, including one hosted by Highlights Magazine.

However, sometimes the next factor really comes into play, the cost. I found I get a lot out of the smaller, local chapter conferences than national. The cost also tends to be lower for local chapter conferences. Some literary magazines sponsor workshops. They are helpful for craft, but tend to be very expensive. The higher cost doesn't mean better. So I suggest to shop around to find the best deal within your budget. Plus, travel costs do need to be factored in, especially if you need to stay in a hotel. Sometimes the local conferences are more cost effective since hotel stays are not needed.

You also need to learn where you are in the writing process. Are you just beginning? Do you have a manuscript ready or you want to find an agent? Not sure where you are at now as a writer? Sometimes just going to a writing conference can sort out all this confusion. The steps of writing and the writing business are presented and reviewed in many conference classes. It will help you discover what part of the writing process you are currently at.

After five years of following this dream, I have two self-published books that are currently selling on, Kindle, Barnes and, and Smashwords. I've just received a fabulous Kirkus Review for my second book, and I'm working on my third book's first draft manuscript. Going to writing conferences has allowed me to find out the information I needed to get my dream started. I've developed my writing craft, learned how to promote myself, and continue to keep writing books that inspire my readers. In the end, going to a writing conference will pay off for the effort and money put into it. It is all worth it if it contributes to a fabulous book that sells. This is everyone's dream.

Tiffany Turner has two books available through

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I just saw my book review by Kirkus Review. I've also been viewing other reviews on Sometimes an author is nervous about what others think about their work. But when you put yourself out there, it is bound to be liked by some, and not by others. I like readers to read reviews and maybe even check out the first few pages of the book on the Inside Feature on Amazon or digital search on Google. Sometimes by reading the book itself, you can tell if you like it from the first chapter or so.

Personally, I can't get through Jane Austin. I hated "Catcher in the Rye". But I love Anne Rice, Melissa Marr, and even the Twilight series. I really don't think Stephanie Meyer is a bad writer. She gets the storytelling job done. How it is done, is often a personal choice in style, word choice, and how a writer perceives the world. If you love a book, say so. If you hate a book, say so. Isn't free speech grand?

Here is the link to the Kirkus Review for THE LOST SECRET OF THE GREEN MAN:

Monday, March 8, 2010

Things Can Only Get Better

Today I went on rainbow hunt. I didn't intend to. But with all the rain in California, I wasn't really surprised when I looked up and saw a rainbow across the sky. I took a moment to admire, and then remembered my smartphone.

Just taking a breath and gazing at a rainbow can give a new perspective. It's like a promise from the devine.

I happily get in my car and tolerate the rain. I know that things are bad, but are they that bad? I have my health. I have a job. I have a home. These things I might have taken for granted if not for the last year.

I've seen friends loose jobs and some go through major health issues. I've had family issues and friend issues. I'm just happy that though I have a job and work longer hours, at least I have one. But really. It has to get better than this.

I've never seen our country this downtrodden. I've heard about it from other generations, the Great Depression, the Great War. But these were mostly my grandparent's challenges. The Cold War, Nuclear War, and the Great Quake, these were things I grew up with as challenges. They were the problems of my parent's generation.

For my generation, what happened? I've done the right things. I went to college, got a career and got married. Isn't that in a Talking Heads song? "Same as it ever was; same as it ever was. Same as it ever was!"

The rain came pounding down as I turn the corner to my little home in the Silicon Valley, namely a condo. I thought, there's got to be a rainbow somewhere. It was a positive thought through the downpour. I got to my turn to the complex and looked up. The biggest, brightest rainbow was in front of me. Towering over my home was a sign of hope.

It can only get better. There it was. Another true sign. Images of Noah and the ark came to my mind. Rainbows, the sign of good things to come, and two in one day. Something has got to happen. Things can only get better.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Just Released: Second Book in Crystal Keeper Series

It's here! The second book of the Crystal Keeper Chronicles was just released. "The Lost Secret of the Green Man" takes Wanda into the new realms of friendship.

Wanda tells it how it is.
"My closest friend had been Michelle. We'd been buds since Kindergarten, and then she moved away last summer. Sometimes I'd email her, but it wasn't the same as talking in real time. The fairies kept me from being totally lonely, but sometimes a Crystal Keeper needs other friends, human friends."

Here's a Quick Summary:
Who's got time for homework when your problems involve evil sorcerers? Wanda should be studying for a quiz, avoiding the bullies at her new school and living a normal tweenage life. But, she is called upon once more to be a savior of the fairies, a protector of the fey, a Crystal Keeper. Bees are dying, fairies are missing and nobody knows why.

Wanda and her new friend, Edina, visit a crystal store to search for clues. They read about the Green Man, a forest king who Wanda thinks could be the key to solving the mystery. But, when a unicorn appears in her bedroom, the mystery just seems to deepen. Perhaps by asking the right questions, she can find the answer to the crisis. Or will she just end up in peril herself?

Crystal Cluster"The Lost Secret of the Green Man" can be purchased at and at Barnes and Both the paperback and a new hardback edition are available. Ebook editions will be available soon.