Success only flourishes in perseverance -- ceaseless, restless perseverance.
--Baron Manfred Von Richtofen

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Vulnerable



One cool perk of having my husband in a rock band is that I am getting to know all sorts of truly awesome local bands and musicians. Here is one of my new favorites, My Fair Fiend. This one, "Just A Song" hits me right in the chest with that breathtaking vulnerability of being an artist of any kind. Here are some of the lyrics (written by Callie Crofts):

But I'm so guilty of wearing my heart like a scarlet gown
Sparkling in the lights for everyone to see
And this undivided audience
You know too much, you know too much
This guitar's gone and got the best of me

And who can I tell it to?
Not you, love
Not anyone
No, some things are better left
Just bottled in the bottom of my soul
Or I could write it in a song
And all the crowd will sing along
And they might wonder if its written from experience or not


It's the same with books. We bare our hearts and souls out there for everyone to see, whether the audience realizes it or not. And, really, that's the way it should be. All truly great creative works must come from the heart.

But it sure is scary sometimes.

Go ahead and watch the video and let me know what you think. And if you like it, check out more of My Fair Fiend's stuff!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Salt Lake Comic Con!

Stan Lee called Salt Lake Comic Con the best comic con in the world. High praise. I had a blast. I sat on three panels: Geek Parenting, Shakespeare and Fantasy, and Monster Songwriting. I even sold a few books. I didn't take as many pictures as I should have, but here are a few.

Our "Table of Awesome"

Friends and fellow authors JoAnn Schneider and Berin Stephens at their own table of awesome

Dave Butler and Jayrod Garrett. So fun to see friends!

A few of the authors at the Table of Awesome

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Dark Dancer Release!

Congratulations to my friend and one of my favorite authors, Jaleta Clegg on the release of her magical steampunk fantasy, Dark Dancer. I can't wait to read it!

Here's an excerpt:


Katie held her arms out, twirling inside the ring of mushrooms like a small child. She laughed, lifting her face to the sun. Lavender mist crept around her feet, rising in the center. Flowers dropped to the grass under her bare feet. The mist swirled and spun with each step of her dance. A round window formed in the center, hanging in the air. Katie danced closer.
 

"Don't touch it!" Vague images of a dancing rabbits and a man with pointed ears teased Sabrina's memories. Cold sweat trickled down her spine.
 

Katie brushed the edges of the window, her dance growing more frenzied. The air reeked of ozone and lay heavy as if a thunderstorm brewed in the clear skies. Power crackled through the lavender mist.
 

Katie stretched into the window. Her scream shattered the peace of the quiet meadow. She fragmented like stained glass shattering. Wind blasted across the flowers, tossing the shards of Katie through the window. 

The mist dissipated, thin tendrils falling back to the grasses inside the mushrooms.
 

Sabrina stared in shock. Voices echoed in her head, whispers of warning from her mother, from a strange older man with slanted green eyes and gray-streaked hair. She shook herself free of the memories.
 

"Katie?" She crossed the meadow, breaking into a loping run.
 

She stopped at the edge of the mushrooms. She remembered her mother crushing the mushrooms under her foot. Strange words echoed in her mind, a language she'd never spoken. She watched a last streamer of lavender mist fade into the fairy circle.
 

She sank to her knees. She had to get help, but what would she say? My cousin vanished inside a fairy ring. What would Aunt Dianna say? She couldn't go home, not without Katie. She gathered Katie's sneakers in her arms, rocking back and forth.
 

She had to get Katie back.

Dark Dancer is now available in ebook and print!
Smashwords (all ebook formats)
Kindle 

A strange prophecy haunts the Seligh lords, rulers of the Fey and controllers of all magic in the Summerlands, a prophecy that foretells their fall.


A banished Seligh lord rules the Winterlands with an iron fist while his pets, the balmorae, patrol the borders against all intruders, guarding the secrets hidden beneath his icy lair.



A young woman rediscovers her heritage, a gift of magic and dancing that opens portals between worlds. She holds the fate of their world in her hands. All who live within the lands of the Fey must choose where they standbeside the Dancer or opposed to her.
 

Jaleta Clegg loves to tell stories ranging from deep space to magical worlds and everywhere in between. You can find a complete listing of her work at www.jaletac.com







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Monday, August 25, 2014

Good Advice

Now here's some writing advice I can get behind!




It's only 4.5 minutes and well worth your time. (And, hey, that's my book on his desk! Heehee)

Do you have any great advice for writers?

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Bad Advice

I mentioned before that I am sort of between writing processes right now. I feel that I have lost touch with my writer's intuition, and the organic process of creating that used to guide me. This problem started, I believe, about six years ago when I started attending writing conferences again after many years away.

Now, I love writing conferences and other conventions. I love seeing old friends and meeting new ones. I love visiting, commiserating, and networking. I love attending classes and workshops. But, I think that along they way, I been given some bad advice at these conferences. (Bad for ME, mind you. This advice might be great for other writers.) Outlines, structure, character arcs, etc., etc. are all great things. They are also hampering my creativity. Big time. I feel almost paralyzed when I sit down to write for fear that I'm going about it all wrong.


Something's got to change, and fast.

So, I'm very sorry, but I am ditching story structure. I am ignoring character arc. I'm not outlining. I'm going to sit down and tell stories the way they unfold in my head. The way that feels natural and right to me. Yeah, maybe I am doing it wrong. I don't care anymore. I just want to feel creative again.

We'll see how it goes.

Monday, July 28, 2014

A New Writing Chair

My old beanbag writing chair was nice, but it wasn't comfortable for long periods of writing. (Watching TV, maybe, but not writing.) So I got myself this lovely little recliner. It's so comfy and nice! I just love it. I like the brown, but I felt it needed a little splash of color too. I also picked up this picture.


It inspires me. My office (though I really don't like to call it that) is quickly becoming my favorite room in the house!

What does your writing space look like?

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Apocalypse Panel: Defining the Apocalypse

It's time for the Apocalypse Panel again! This month's question:

What defines an apocalyptic story?

The easy answer for me is

The End of the World as We Know It



I think it's the "as we know it" part that is most important. Apocalyptic stories start from a point of the world that we know, that we are familiar with. I think it would be pretty hard to appreciate an apocalypse in a world utterly unfamiliar to us, since we'd have no "before" to compare to.

Also, the apocalyptic event affects the whole of society. After all, we all go through experiences that change our personal world as we know it. Marriage, children, school, jobs, divorce, death, etc. But those don't make an apocalyptic story. Still, as I think about it, maybe it is our own personal apocalypses that make world-changing apocalyptic stories so appealing to us.

Be sure to check out the responses from the other panelists!