Save Me Super Cake Girl

My boys were playing super heroes the other day, and my daughter not wanting to be left out (but still as girly as they come) stood up and said, “I want to be a cake super hero.”

She said she would drive around and make cakes for everyone who didn’t have one. She cracks me up.

But this got me thinking about my writing. In My Book Therapy we learn that the heroine needs a superpower. No, she doesn’t have to leap tall buildings and lift cars but some strength or special skill that can help save the day in the end.

In the Hunger Games, Katniss’ super power is to hunt. It is that super power that saves her and ultimately Peeta in the arena. In Twilight, Bella’s super power is her ability to shield her mind. This saves everyone in the end, even Edward. (Man, YA books have really great superpowers)

My current work in progress, my heroine’s superpower is her ability to do genealogy research. Not glamorous as a bow or a mind shield but in the end it is what saves the day for my hero.

Think back to one of your favorite books. Does the heroine have a superpower?

What do you think would make a cool superpower for a book? Baking cakes? It could work and who knows, it may just show up somewhere in one of my books in the future.

Building a Heroine – Literally

So I have heard a lot of lessons on how to build a character for you story. You need to consider motivations, back-story, fears, goals, and so much more. For a great instruction of building a character for a story, check out From the Inside…Out by Susan May Warren.

But this blog isn’t about that.  As I tried to create the vision I had for my heroine, I needed to find a “Hannah”. Really how hard could it be to find a cute, whimsical, full length shot of a red-head with curly hair, preferably in a green sundress. Like this photo. Only I couldn’t find one.

Being an istock contributor myself (my portfolio), I have no problem paying for an image but search after search left me empty. Okay, maybe I was being a little picky and specific but that has always been my down fall in my life.

My vivid imaginations comes up with EXACTLY what I want and nothing less with make me happy. Try dress shopping with me sometime.

My Junior prom I gave my mom a detailed description of what I wanted in my dress: blue, short, off the shoulder, with thick lace around the top. (Hey it was 1993 and this was very cool) My mom actually bought this dress without me because it was exactly what I wanted. She was right it was perfect and I loved it.
My senior year it only got worse as I drew the dress I wanted on the back of a bulletin during church: short, black velvet, 3 spaghetti straps that cross/weave in the back. My mom laughed at me, but we searched and found nothing close. But I did find a dress three sizes too big, velvet , and full length on sale for $15. So I snatched it up and marched off to the tailor and $40 of alterations later this is what I had.
So you can see, I know what I want. But tailors couldn’t help me this time. Fortunately, I’ve learned a little about digital stitching along the way.

So I found these two shots.

And with a little work (changing hair color, skin color, dress color, swapping heads, and making the dress a bit more CBA approved) I made the the Hannah I wanted.
Yes I confess I am a Photoshoper.

In fact, if you have ever seen a photo of my family that we are all smiling – yeah it has been Photoshopped.


Many claim that this is “cheating.” But I have to laugh. I am not after a photo-journalistic approach to portraits. Back when people would sit for paintings, do you think that the people never blinked, the kids never cried, and everyone stood perfect for hours. No, the painter painted what he wanted. It was not journalism but a portrait, art.
So what are your thoughts on Photoshop?

A good thing or is it cheating?

My One Sheet

You may have picked up by now, I am a writer . I don’t have anything published as of yet, but I do have a book I am pursuing to get published.

I will be attending the ACFW conference next week to meet and connect with other writers as well as agents and editors. For this conference, I have to have what is called a one sheet. It is one piece of paper that tells a bit about my plot and myself that will stir up interest in my book. So here is my one sheet.


So…did it work? Are you interested in knowing more? Maybe I’ll give you a peek next week. Better stay tuned.

Where Were You?

There are certain events in history that will often beg the question: Where were you? Where were you when Pearl Harbor was hit? Where were you when Kennedy was shot? Where were you when the Challenger blew up? Where were you when the two towers were hit?

I love these questions and it is not because of morbid fixation. I don’t want to know history from facts; I want to know history from stories. I want to picture what it was like. I want to feel the emotion of that moment with the storyteller.

Pearl Harbor was bombed exactly thirty-three years before I was born. But when I think about it, I picture my grandfather in his college dorm gathered around an old radio, hearing the news, knowing his life had just changed forever. Kennedy was shot about twelve years before I was born but I know my father sat in a college lecture and how the class all left un-dismissed when the news broke.

But I can tell you where I was eleven years ago today when the two towers were hit. I remember the sickening ache in my gut as I watched them crumple to the ground live. I remember the days that followed as the country struggled to find its emotional feet. I remember watching the country unite and heroes rise up for unexpected places.

Story has the power to change someone like the facts never could. That is why I write. I have never written an historical fiction but the idea intrigues me.

Whether you write or not, you have a story. Pass on those stories, so as your kids learn history in the class they don’t just know the facts but what it was like to life through it.

So, where were you?

Social Media Sweet Spot

One aspect of a writer’s life is social media. An online presence, if you will. This has been a struggle with me. Inconsistent blogs (if you haven’t noticed), an occasional tweet, but I have struggled to really find my grove.

This week I started my author page on Facebook. I must say that I think I have found my sweet spot. I have had a personal account on facebook since 2007 so I am not sure why it didn’t occur to me earlier that this would be a good fit. After all – facebook is already a part of my life.

I created my page Wednesday night at 8:30 and by Friday morning at 8:00 am I had over 116 likes and By Saturday morning 181.
To have so many friends, family, and strangers interested in my journey as a writer is exciting and humbling. Everyone is excited to see what God will do next and frankly so am I.

So, thanks for stopping by my blog. I am striving to be more consistent. I appreciate your support too. If you want to find me on facebook. I am at www.facebook.com/tari.faris.author If you tweet join me there @FarisTari.

I will try not to have too much overlap but I sure there will be.

So what is your favorite avenue of social media?

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