Seven Tears Into the Sea
       Phantom Stallion Series

Terri Talks

Terri Farley
Wabi Sabi

Sunday, August 28, 2005

The Storm

Dear Readers,
To those of you in Katrina's path, please know I'm thinking of you, hoping for your safety and wishing you a dry book to ease your worries.

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Friday, August 26, 2005

Pocket-sized Miracle

One more quick quote from Whitman:

"..a mouse is miracle enough to stagger sextillions of infidels..."

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Thursday, August 25, 2005

Sweet, satisfied Creatures

Dear Readers.
I've been rereading poetry by Walt Whitman & thought you might enjoy this short excerpt. It helped me see the heart of a young woman most of us wouldn't like one bit--a character in SECRET STAR (January). When I'm writing unpleasant characters, I try to give them one likeable or admirable quality. It keeps them human and, I hope, from becoming stereotypes.

"...I think I could turn and live with animals, they are so placid and
I stand and look at them long and long.

They do not sweat and whine about their condition...
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania
of owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands
of years ago... "
from Walt Whiman's SONG OF MYSELF

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Tuesday, August 23, 2005


Q: When you write about Nevada, I feel like I'm really there, but I'd like more information about the real state. Is Nevada the same as in your books? Could I go to school there? Could I buy a ranch?

A: Here is a website which will show you lots about Nevada http://www.travelnevada.com/ & you can sign up to get a free NEVADA magazine.
I love Nevada. I moved here by choice and I try to give a realistic picture of one part of it in the PHANTOM books.
Many things about the state make my heart soar & make me give thanks it exists. I love the Black Rock Desert, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the lakes, rivers, small towns and wild places. The sound of wind ruffling through the feathers of wild geese overhead,and a coyote's midnight call are among my favorite sounds. The scent of sagebrush after a thunderstorm is incredible. Because I love these things, the Nevada's shortcomings make me sad and angry. Not all of Nevada's citizens, Congressman and Senators care about wild life -- and of course that includes wild horses -- or the environment in which they live. Lots of Nevadans are more focused on money. That means if you live in Nevada and care about wild life -- and some Nevadans do! -- you have to let your representatives know how you feel. It can be frustrating.
If you'd like to come here for school -- Nevada has two high-ranked four year colleges -- one in the north and one in the south and both have school-within-a-school Honors colleges. We have many two-year colleges,and one is out near the territory I write about. I hope to visit it soon.
Like most states, high school education in Nevada varies widely. I taught remedial and International Baccalaureate classes at the same low income, multi-ethnic high school and loved it. We have lots of great middle & elementary schools.
Gambling casinos and hotels are the cornerstone of the state's economy, followed by agriculture and mining.
Could your family buy a ranch? Sure. There's often land for sale. Much of it is fertile, but water is always a concern in a desert climate. Remember, though, that in the PHANTOM books, I don't put in the hard times of ranching life just for fictional conflict. Most ranchers wouldn't want any other life, but they pay for it with lots of hard work and sacrifice.

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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Thanks, A.E.

"Not everything that can be counted counts,
and not everything that counts can be counted."
~ Albert Einstein

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Thursday, August 18, 2005



Sometimes my parents don't take my stories I write seriously, and I'm afraid if I try to get them published, the publishers won't take me seriously.

This is a common problem for all writers -- not just young ones. What we do seems easy to outsiders.
Want to hear 3 remarks writers (including me) hear?
"You write for kids? How cute. That must be lots simpler than writing for adults."
"I have this great idea for a book. All YOU have to do is write it for me. It'll be easy. You know, put in the commas and conversation and stuff -- and I'll split the money with you!"
"Gee, you've published _#__ books? You are so lucky!"

Simple? Easy? Lucky?
Hello? What IS that substance in your Slurpee?

Probably they're just confused. They think TYPING = writing and I bet they've never tried to write something worth reading.
So what do you do?
Here's a start: Do things that prove YOU take your writing seriously.
SET A TIME of day you WILL be writing.
Ask if you can do your chores, homework etc, any other time. If not, adjust your writing schedule, but don't give up.
Don't: watch TV. Don't pause to play a video game. Don't run down to the corner out for nachos. Ask yourself if, in a year, you'll be happier that you've written 300 pages of a book, or watched TV programs you can't remember.
Do: Arrange for someone else to take phone calls which come for you. Concentrate on your story, not what's going on around you. Ignore IMs or respond (politely) that you're writing.
BE STRONG. If you're asked to go out for ice cream, say "Yes! Thank you! Can we please go in ten minutes when my writing hour is over?"
SET A PAGE LIMIT and act happy (dance, throw confetti, kiss your cat) when you've met it. Start out with a low page limit. Anyone can write one page per day.
MESSY FIRST DRAFTS -- are great & this is how you'll keep to your page limit, but do not share them with anyone.
SPARKLING FINAL DRAFTS -- since you've created great curiosity among your friends & family by staying on your schedule, they may ask to read your writing. Sharing is up to you. I don't recommend it until the story is finished. If you decide to do it, though, your final drafts must look great. Spelling counts. Sorry, but when people see misspellings, they assume the writing is no good. Is that fair? No. Is it true! Absolutely.
More about publishers, later.

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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Wow, can this horse travel!

I promised readers I'd find out which countries the Phantom Stallion books are galloping through & and the answer,from HarperCollins, amazed me!

Here's the list:



























Thanks so much for asking!

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Monday, August 15, 2005

Writer's Wishing Well

Dear Readers,
A few more answers to your questions...

Q: How do you GET what you need to write?

A: Writers are sort of like wells -- all of their life experiences, fantasies, fears, etc., fill up that well.
Most successful writers aren't stingy with what's in the well. Instead of saving ideas, they scoop them up and pour them out on the pages and have faith the well will refill itself.
Still, writers need to get out and experience the world and relate to those around them, or pretty soon there will be nothing in that well to offer others.

A: Authors I love & who've influenced me greatly are: Harper Lee, Pat Conroy, Larry McMurtry and William Shakespeare -- no joke! Watch my work for Shakespearean allusions. I loooove putting them in there and I hear from students and teachers about them all the time!

Q: SEVEN TEARS INTO THE SEA is a fantasy and I love fantasy. It seems like except for Harry Potter (which doesn't come out often enough, there aren't that many Celtic fantasies. Will you write more? When?

A: I will definitely write more fantasy. I love the chills I get while doing it. My next Celtic book is way off there in the future, but I can see it taking shape through the mists of time! In the meantime, I'll keep including fantasy/supernatural elements in the Phantom stories -- mostly based on established Native American legends.
I'm collecting Hawaiian legends for an exciting new project!

Q: Were you shocked when you first heard that your books were being published in different languages? How many languages so far and which countries besides the U.S. ?

A: Not shocked, but delighted!!!!!
I'll have to check on the number of languages and countries, but I'll tell you as soon as I find out.

Have a great day & try to make more people smile than you can count on all your fingers,

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Friday, August 05, 2005

Going Away Present

I'm only going away for a few days, but I wanted to leave you a link to a VERY cool book called WHO'S YOUR DADDY. Since it was written by a friend of mine -- Lynda Sandoval -- I might have liked it any way, but it's sooooo funny and it sounds just like Lynda. Read it and you'll, like, recognize her voice in the grocery store.


As long as you're on her website, check out her bio...remember a few entries ago when we were talking about jobs? Well, Lynda's list is far stranger than mine. Here's a peek:
Fast food goddess, bouncer in a comedy club, office drone, European tour guide, encyclopedia salesperson, bookkeeper for an exotic bird and reptile company, extra in a Canadian television series being filmed in Luxembourg, petite wedding dress model, salesperson for a British imports shop, perfume Nazi for a Major Cosmetics Company, make-up artist for same, sexual assault crisis counselor, runaway crisis counselor, residential counselor in a facility for behavior disordered youth, counselor in a battered women’s shelter, 9-1-1 dispatcher, mystery shopper, police officer, nun.

Um, not really. I mean, I was never a nun. Whatever.


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Thursday, August 04, 2005

More Questions from Readers

Those of you who've been emailing me in the past two weeks know I've had a tough time getting back to you. I'm still working hard on book 22, thinking about a new fantasy novel and training for a long bike ride, so so I'm answering some of your frequent questions here!

Q:I've read you wanted to be a vet and you were a teacher. When did you finally decide you wanted to be an author?

A: I've always loved to write, but I had lots of sensible teachers who encouraged me to keep writing even when I was working at other jobs. I took their advice, which has worked out great. Sadly, I also followed the warnings of a counselor who convinced me my math skills were so awful, I'd actually endanger animals as a vet. Since then, the vets I've talked to say they figure most medicine dosages on a calculator, but that's ok, because I discovered teaching and LOVED IT.  Some of the best times of my life have taken place in my classroom leading kids to enjoy Shakespeare & find literature that "spoke" to them.

Q: Have any major events in your life had an imapct on you as a person?

A: That's a huge question and I know I'll skip lots of stuff, but here are a few life-changing events:
In 7th grade, moving from a small town where I was surrounded by friends and family to a bigger city where I knew no one ... Winning journalism awards while I writing for my high school newspaper...saving a white lab rat named Francis....having a work of creative nonfiction receive a national award...using my food money to pay for riding lessons while I was in college...teaching English in a gang area of downtown Los Angeles ...meeting my husband...moving to Nevada & meeting Wild Horse Annie (Velma Johnston), the woman who -- with the support of the nation's kids -- got Congress to protect America's wild horses... having my two kids....adopting Rookie, an abused collie from Collie Rescue...working for "Nevada" magazine on stories which sent me out into cowboy country where I made friends and learned about a life I grew to love.

Q: Have any things going on in the news --during your teenage years, or even adult hood -- impacted you writings? 

A: Absolutely.
When I was a teenager, these things made sense to me:
the civil rights movements,  women's movement,  and the return to the Arthurian principle that might does NOT make right and the powerless deserve a voice. 
As an adult: I've been horrified and heart-broken that many Americans love money more than anything else. Leaders who are greedy, proud and arrogant make our country look bad, and I've noticed the villains in my books are like that, too. Linc and Rachel Slocum, Flick and others believe they have a God-given right to everything they want, regardless of who's hurt.

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Monday, August 01, 2005

Monday Offering

"Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made,
like bread; re-made all the time, made new."

Ursula K. LeGuin
~amazing author~

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