Friday, October 11, 2013


I love soccer and I love Real Salt Lake. There is nothing like sitting in Rio Titno Stadium and hearing the beautiful word GOOOAAALLLLL!!!! echo through the stands. I love that word, and this week I love it even more. Not only have I made my goal for this week, but I did it three days ahead of schedule. 5,600 words in four days. The big goal is to finish Room for Two by December 12th. Right now I'm feeling really good about reaching that goal. 5,600 is a far cry from 80,000 so maybe I should only be yelling Goal!, but I'm feeling pretty happy right now, so maybe just a gooaall! How are your goals going? Do you have any big plans for Nano? Until next time....WRITE ON!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Salt Lake City Comic Con

Salt Lake City Comic Con broke opening weekend records, far surpassing the expected number of guests--and I was one of the lucky 50000-80000 people that I have heard made it there on Saturday. I've seen lots of numbers thrown around at just how many people were there, but all I know is it was A WHOLE LOT!

I went with the intention of handing out business cards (which I did) but totally got sucked into some fan girl moments. I must admit there was no one I wanted to meet enough to pay 30$ for a picture with. I'm the type that would rather spend the money buying something the next season of Superman Lois and Clark. Still I got to "see" Dean Cain, Dirk Benedict, William Shatner, and more so that was fun.  But what I really liked was meeting authors and artists and having one on one conversations about the craft.

The other thing I loved were the panels. The first one I went to made the whole experience worth the drive. Aaron Patterson spoke on self-publishing. I went because many of my clients are choosing that way and I wanted to have some insight to give them. I have been very anti-self publishing for a long time. It was for people who couldn't get published the traditional way (because they were not good enough). I've read plenty of self published books to prove that. But over the past year I've seen more and more good books finding their way into the self-publishing market, even some big time names, and so I decided to give it another chance. I'm glad I did. I will write more on what I feel is involved in GOOD self publishing and who should be doing it later, but for now, just know, it is not something to be laughed at anymore.

My favorite discovery among the booths was an interactive comic book called Anomaly. It will be coming out in a few weeks, and if you like comics, or heck if you are like me and really don't care for them that much, and you like electronics (iPads, Tablets, phones) then you have got to check it out.

Below are some pictures (that I didn't have to pay for, thank you very much).  My favorite was a family of Whedon fans. I had to get my picture with Captain Mal and Captain Hammer (20 years later :)).

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Do This. No, Do That. No, Do This.

If you are looking for ways to improve your writing, one of my favorite resources is Dave Farland's Daily Kick in the Pants. It is an email that comes to you, not exactly daily, but pretty close. One email the other day talked about who to trust when it comes to writing advice. The obvious answer was the person who has done it the longest and is the most successful. While I totally agree with this, I think it goes a little further than that. Why? Because even the most seasoned authors have different opinions on the best way to write. As Dave pointed out, just because someone can write, doesn't mean they know how to tell someone else how to write.

So what is a new writer to do? Well, for one thing: WRITE! All the writing advice in the world will do you no good if you are not sitting everyday putting pen to paper, or finger to keyboard. It isn't easy. Just look at my numbers for the last few days. Part of my problem is that there is so much writing advice that is going through my head. I have all the advice I tell my clients that I see make their stories stronger, I have all the advice that I've read in great books such as Characters and Viewpoint or The First Five Pages, I've got all the advice I've learned from going to workshops and con panels with amazing author's such as Orson Scott Card's Literary Boot Camp or LTUE or Worldcon, I've got all the advice I've gathered while having lunch with Brandon Sanderson or Dave Wolverton/Farland, or Dan Wells. It is all up there swimming in my head. These people are the best at what they do. I've sat with them, picked their brains, found what worked for them. So what is my problem?

Well, sometimes their advice, no matter how good it sounds, goes against one another's. What worked for one author, was different for another. Everyone has their own plot structure or unique outlining method, and don't get me wrong, everyone of their ideas is excellent. I love making Character Sheets based on the outline found in Gail Carson Levine's Writing Magic. I love plotting out my story on Dan Wells 7 point structure. But they each seem to be giving me different advice. They are only telling me what worked for them.

While there are a few musts in this industry: you must have compelling characters, you must have a plot that is intriguing, you must have a beginning, middle, and end, the way you get there might be very different than the way they got there--and it might be the exact same. So, what should you do? My advice, for what it is worth, is to keep reading those books, keep going to those cons and workshops, listen to what they tell you and try it. If it works for you--great, if not, find what will. The most important thing is to keep an open mind. Don't get set in the idea that this is the way it has to be. There are many paths to the end of a book, but one of them is not sitting around and waiting for your book to be handed to you on a silver platter.  You have to want it! You have to work for it! Read, learn, and most importantly Write! That book is in there, now make your own path to finding it!

And as always,


Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Joy of Editing

Back when I was finishing my degree and had oh so much time on my hands, I decided to add one more log to the fire and began editing for Eschler Editing. It started merely as a "Soccer Money" job since M is  now not only on a club team, but has recently made the Regional Olympic Development Team as well (They narrow down the State ODP team from 40 players to 20 for this.) But along the way I discovered that I was learning too much to ever give it up, and having a ton of fun along the way. So now in addition to posting about my writing, I can post about being an editor and all the things I've learned. Hopefully some of it will help you. To start off, here is the link to my current blog post for Eschler Editing on Inventing Time to Write.

Hope these tips help you become a more productive writer. Remember, now is the time to write your story!

Write On!


Monday, January 21, 2013

The Tree is NOT Coming Down!

I love Christmas time! It is full of traditions at our house. The tree goes up the day after Thanksgiving. On the four Sundays before Christmas, we light the candles on the Adventskranz. St. Nick comes on the 6th of December and leaves treats in the kid's shoes. We watch ELF, and I always make my famous Schwarzwald Kirsch Torte. Technically Christmas time ends on the 6th day of January. Traditionally it is the day the wise men came, the last day of the 12 days of Christmas, and the day the tree comes down.

This year we have not quite stuck with tradition. For one thing, the tree didn't go up until the 23rd of December. I was busy with finals (I ended up graduating Suma Cum Laude!) and work, M had just made the Olympic Development team for the third year in a row, and I had a couple of manuscript edits that I promised would be done before the New Year.

Maybe it was the fact that the tree went up late, or maybe it was the fact that since the New Year started my life is still running on full gear, but the tree didn't come down on the 6th of January. I though that maybe it would come down today since I am off work and between edit jobs, but there is still the house to clean, books to be read, children to play with, a hubby to watch Downton Abby with, and a submission to get ready for this weeks writing group.

So, it looks as if the tree is here to stay. I remember one year when I was little. We used to have real candles on our tree, back in the day when it was easy to go to a Christmas tree farm and cut down a fresh tree each year. One year, the tree stayed fresh for so long that we kept it up well into February just for the lovely evergreen smell. We took down the Christmas ornaments and decorated it for Valentine's Day. The way it is looking I think I better get the kids to start cutting out some paper hearts, and who knows, we may even end up having to cut out some four leaf clovers as well!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Next Chapter

Once upon a time there was a stay-at-home mom who cooked, cleaned, chased after kids, and all of the million other jobs that only a mother can understand. Knowing that soon all of her children would be in school she decided that maybe she should go to school as well. Because she also loved to write, she signed up to take an English class at the local university one night a week. Three years later she graduated.

Yes, it is official. I am a college graduate. I have a BA in History through Utah Valley University. So now what?  What is the next chapter in the book of my life? Most important is that I get to pick my kids up from school everyday, and spend my evenings hanging with my family and not with my textbooks. I hope that I will have time to blog a bit more, I plan on hitting a long line of books on my GoodReads list that have been put on hold, and I definitely plan on writing--a lot!

The good thing is that all my jobs are beneficial to my writing goals. Working as a part time cashier allows me time to read and brainstorm ideas. Working as a freelance editor gives me the chance to improve my writing and critiquing skills. And being a mom to a soon to be teenager keeps me up on the  current trends that all my YA protagonists need to know about!

In January I plan on continuing sending out queries on And the Sky Full of Stars. I plan on working intensely on a second draft of Room for Two. And I plan on keeping up with my blog and hope to catch up with all of you. 

I wish you all a wonderful New Year! 

Write On!