Tag Archives: writing craft

Pumper the Pumpkin Picture Book Free Oct. 28-31/Write Your Own Spooky Story


Every year, I like to give away a little treat of my own. I’ve written a picture book from a story I originally wrote when I was 10. I originally wrote it back in Mrs. William’s class when I was in the Fifth Grade. 35 years later, here is the story of that long ago character I created, Pumper the Pumpkin.


Pumper the Pumpkin: A Halloween Tale by Tiffany Turner *Available for Free on Amazon 10/28-31

On Halloween Eve, Pumper is trying to be a jack-o-lantern. Only he needs to find the right family to adopt him. Will he in time? Join Pumper in this amazing Halloween quest of being a part of something bigger.

This Halloween short story is intended for ages 3-10. Get into the Halloween spirit with this family friendly tale.

For years, I’ve carved Pumper the Pumpkin has my pumpkin in hale to this character I created so long ago. Sometimes, things you make up as a kid, like having unicorn friends come hang out with you in your bedroom, can make their way into a children’s story to entertain children that were once your age.

Remembering those fun, creative activities always has been a plus for me. I use them all the time in my stories. And yes, I still have the Pumper original story. I promised myself that when I got bigger and my language arts skills improved, I would rewrite Pumper the Pumpkin. The original story had bully kids come in and throw all of Pumper’s family to the ground, breaking them into pieces. It’s how I said he was alone originally. But I cut that out in the rewrites, and made it that he just hadn’t been picked yet. I added the character Miraballe. Voila! A new, improved Pumper story was born.

So, if you’d like to write your own Spooky story over the next few days before Halloween, check out the steps on How To Write Your Own Spooky Story below. These can be done in a few days if you double up a few of the lessons. Try two lessons a day, and you can make your story in time for Halloween. Waaaahhahhahahahha!

Day 1 For Writing A Spooky Story: Main Character Creation

Day 2: Creating a Spooky Setting/Plot

Day 3: Starting the Rough Draft

Day 4: Continuing Rough Draft with Dialogue

Day 5: Revision and Proofreading your story

Day 6: Writing the Final Draft

For those of you that would like the full lesson plan, it is available on Teachers Pay Teachers at this link: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Spooky-Story-and-Summary-Report-October-Writing-Unit-2763010


The Spooky Story Writing Unit is available on Teachers Pay Teachers for $2.95.

Only $2.95!

Plus, Pumper the Pumpkin will be free on Amazon between Oct. 28-31!



-Tiffany Turner




Update: The Lost Secret of Time is Coming!

Tiffany Turner in the hospital ICU Dec. 2014

Tiffany Turner in the hospital ICU Dec. 2014

Greetings Crystal Keeper Fans! I’ve been rejuvenating my efforts to get back into the swing of writing. As always, life has thrown some curves at me. And they were some pretty big curves. There were a lot of changes in education, namely the Common Core, that has made it difficult for me to keep up with all my writing and still give all my efforts in teaching. Transitions are really hard in education, and this has been the worst and most difficult that I’ve seen in my career.

Then, I got blindsided by illness in December 2014. I got pneumonia and ended up in the hospital. While there, I went into Code Blue and cardiac arrest. Basically, I almost died, and the doctors were trying everything to help me pull through. I also had the complication of septic shock and the discovery of a heart blood clot. So, it was discovered that I have cardiomyopathy, a heart failure condition where my heart isn’t pumping enough blood to the rest of my body.

My monitors in the hospital.

My monitors in the hospital.

This has made it difficult for me to do much else but get better. I’ve been on medical leave from teaching, and I’m taking a year of absence to get my health back. The bonus of all the health issues is that as I start to feel better, I can start writing again.

So, over the next year, I’ll be working on The LOST SECRET OF TIME and finishing the Crystal Keeper Chronicles. I’ve always intended on doing so. But sometimes life just throws you a curve ball, and you have to adapt, pick yourself up, brush yourself off, and keep going.

Resting in my hospital bed Dec. 2014.

Resting in my hospital bed Dec. 2014.

All the encouragement is always helpful and appreciated. I’ve got a start on THE LOST SECRET OF TIME, and signed up for Camp NANO in April to make progress on the book. Things are underway, and I’ll be sure to give you updates as I move through the process. As for now, I’ll be continuing with featuring more Indie Authors once a month, and will try to get back into doing Indie writing posts to help out other authors.

So, hug your parents, kids, and pets. Positive thoughts can do so much. You just never know what path will lay before you. And with writing, everyone is on a different writing journey. I’m glad to be sharing mine with you.

Take care!-Tiffany Turner (Mrs. Turner)

How Do Writers Get Their Ideas?


How do writers get their ideas? This is a huge, diverse question . To start, you have to often ask writers. Most often, they come to me in a blinding flash; with a flurry sometimes I hardly have time to write them down. One time I was carrying the groceries, and dropped them in the doorway as I ran, grabbing a piece of paper to write down my ideas. Another time I woke up from a dream; finishing it as I was waking up. I didn’t want it to stop. I got up, grabbed my laptop, and by the time my first cup of coffee for the morning was done, I’d written the first scene of a new story.

The orchard behind Tiffany Turner’s house growing up in the Santa Clara Valley.

The best way to get ideas is from your own experience. With my first book, The Lost Secret of Fairies, I drew my ideas from experiences as a kid. The big inspiration for the book was playing in the orchard behind my house growing up. Often, we put a ladder against the fence, climbed over, and ran about through the outer edge of the four acre orchard. At the time, it was known as the Santa Clara Valley. Orchards criss-crossed over the entire area that now have some of the top computer and Internet companies.

As a kid, there was nothing better than climbing up a tree and eating cherries just as they were ripening. We’d come up with exploring adventures that would take us through the orchard, into the creek, and travel beyond the freeway to see what lay beyond. Often, it was the next neighborhood or over-crossing for the freeway. But it was exploring beyond your own backyard, the best kind of kid adventure.

The "Boo" in his favorite sleeping position. He was the inspiration for the cat sorcerer, Brewford.

The “Boo” in his favorite sleeping position. He was the inspiration for the cat sorcerer, Brewford.

The other partner in my adventures was my cat. Often, I would sit in the orchard, and he would wander out to find me. I’d make a reading nest by mashing down the mustard plants, hiding among yellow flowers. One day, Booford, came out to see me. His tail bounced high above the tops of the mustard flowers as I heard his meows. I would yell back, shouting, “Boo, I’m over here.” Using my voice as radar, he entered my reading bowery covered in mustard petals meowing so loud as if to say, “Why didn’t you make that much easier? You know I’m not that tall.”

My family say I captured his attitude and personality in the Crystal Keeper series. Booford is my real cat that inspired Brewford, the cat sorcerer. I simply just asked myself the question, “What if Booford could talk?” So, from then on, he did, in my books. My family say I captured his personality. His half eyed stares had the wisdom of Garfield. He was an incredible cat, and he still lives today in my books.

When you put it all together, writers are inspired by the world around them. Whether you use your own experiences, dreams, or it comes to you in a flash, ideas come from everywhere. There is a saying, “Be careful, you might end up in my next novel.” This is not only true, but the more you write, the more the real world around you ends up in your books. If you know a writer, you might be the inspiration and don’t know it. If you are a writer, you already have an idea of what I’m talking about. So get out there, and experience life and the world. It’s the best way to write.

**This is the first of a series of blog posts that help support a novel study unit for The Lost Secret of Fairies, the first book in the Crystal Keeper Series.
Common Core Standards-4th Grade
Reading Level: 4.6 AR Level

ELA CCS Speaking/Listening 4.1 Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 4 topics and texts, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. (Discussion Question: How Do Authors Get Their Ideas?)

ELA CCS Reading/Literature 4.7 Make connections between the text of a story or drama and a visual or oral presentation of the text, identifying where each version reflects specific descriptions and directions in the text.

ELA CCS Writing 3.b: Use dialogue and description to develop experiences and events or show the responses of characters to situations.

The Lost Secret of Dragonfire is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The Lost Secret of Dragonfire is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

***Tiffany Turner has released her third book, The Lost Secret of Dragonfire, in her Crystal Keeper series. She continues to teach fourth graders in California while writing fantasy adventure middle grade novels. This is her 17th year of teaching. She is working on other writing projects in her No Limits Writing practices. She actively plays the Gaelic Harp at Renaissance festivals throughout Northern California.

**Follow to connect with more Common Core related blog posts over the next few months. Available for use in the classroom courtesy of Tiffany Turner.

Listening To The Inner Muse


Give your muse time to speak.

Give your muse time to speak.

There is a fact that happens after each New Year’s Eve. The questions start. What will I expect from the New Year? Will I write the best seller? Why isn’t my books selling better? Can I write a new genre? Will I get a good review?

Well, sometimes, you don’t know. You’ve got to step away, and just let it happen. But you just can’t write that good book. Your inner muse has to synthesize it for you. The only way that can happen is time. Give it all time. Walk away, and do something else, and the inner muse will speak.

I’ve been kicking the idea around for a NA Romance. I had several ideas in mind, and they weren’t connecting. I worked on another project for awhile, trusting the inner muse would connect the dots somehow.

Then one morning, I woke from a terrifying dream involving one of my past friends from those good ole’ college days. I woke with the thought, “She didn’t die that way.” Struggling with the horrors I’d been dreaming, I thought, “But what if she did?”

The rest of the day, I went to the mall, mailed a review copy of my book, and tried to get to Office Depot for some ink cartridges. Literally, the images kept replaying through my mind. As I’m walking from one store to another, the dots connected. My real life experiences were drawn up into some powerful ideas until it all spit out as a plot, all while walking from Target to my car. Literally, I had to concentrate to drive, but I didn’t want the muse to stop.

I finished the last errand, headed the car home, and drove directly to my laptop. Getting much written as I could, I started that NA Romance novel. The dots are connecting, and I can see it better. Somehow I trusted the inner muse to start it for me when she was ready. Trust is the biggest first step. It will happen when it’s ready.

Of course, this sucks when you got deadlines. But this is why I have different projects. Switching from one to another seems to unleash some subconscious explosion that will solve the problem when you least expect it. Sometimes that stop to take a moment, or do errands, can make all the difference.

Topic: Listen To Your Inner Muse

Topic: Listen To Your Inner Muse

**This post is part of the monthly
“Indie Life” posts linked on the Indelibles Blog.

The Lost Secret of Dragonfire is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

The Lost Secret of Dragonfire is available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

***Tiffany Turner has released her third book, The Lost Secret of Dragonfire, in her Crystal Keeper series. She continues to teach fourth graders in California while writing fantasy adventure middle grade novels. She is working on other writing projects in her No Limits Writing practices. She actively plays the Gaelic Harp at Renaissance festivals throughout Northern California.