Live From LDStorymakers


This weekend is the annual LDStorymakers Writers Conference in Utah and writers from around the midwest and further have congregated in brute force. Over 600 of us are milling around the Utah Valley Convention Center attending lectures and intensive workshops to improve our craft.

Last night I attended a Publication Primer workshop, which is six hours of combing through the first 10 pages of  the manuscripts of the members of your table finding ways to make prose stronger (and more likely to be picked up by an agent or publisher). My table was moderated by the talented Amy Winehouse of Eschler Editing.

I’ve already brushed shoulders with writing super star and NY Time Bestseller David Farland, we shared an elevator on the way out.

Should you happen to be at the conference come find me and say hi! I’ll be wearing a grey fedora.

Expect a full report on Monday!

I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend and will give a full report on Monday.

My New Feathered Babies

IMG_3323In place of a fascinating post about fantasy or science fiction, here is a picture of my new feather babies.  I’ve always wanted to have a pet and because of allergies it hasn’t been an option. With chickens, they can stay outside, they are smart and loving, and in time they will give fresh eggs.  What could be better than that? My kids are head over heels in love with their chickies and each are in charge of one. My oldest named his buff orpington Nacho (after Notch in Minecraft, and, well, nachos.) My daughter named her black star Active Black, but then was talked into calling it Twila instead (like twilight – not sure the best way to spell that yet.) My youngest named his tiny Rhode Island red Poopy Butt, and was talked into Petey, but now wants it to be Umizoomi Pete. I’m sure it will change again. Mine is a silver wyandotte named Millie, which is secretly short for Maleficent.

Happy Easter Weekend to all!

LTUE conference

This Valentine’s weekend, instead of spending quality time with my ever lovin’, I get to spend it with a horde of fellow speculative fiction writers at the annual Life, the Universe, the Universe, and Everything Conference. I’ll miss my hubby dearly, and this is the best gift he could have given me, to allow me to go. It’s even double sweet, knowing that I’ve had the kids off track from school for the past three weeks and really needed to get away for awhile.

This year, however, marks a change. This year, I’m here with the awesome people at Xchyler Publishing and their booth and I get to promote their books, including the new anthology I’m in.

At previous conferences I’ve either gone it alone (which is not particularly fun) or with a friend or two, (which is way better). This conference tops them all because I’m surrounded by people I like to be with, and even better, have earned their approval. I’ve even found the inside edge to getting on the “expert” panels for future years.

That said, after the first day I’m exhausted and need a break, so this post will be short!


To see more pictures you can check out Instagram using the hashtag #xchylerpublishing

2014 in review

There’s nothing quite like a ready made post that’s already customized and ready to go. A big thanks to the WordPress helper monkeys for compiling my 2014 year in review.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,700 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 45 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Christmas Aftermath

It seems that every Christmas season is spent with weeks and weeks of anticipation working toward the big day and then only 24 hours in which to revel in it. Ours was no different.  The morning started early, our youngest (and least likely to stay in his room) woke up minutes before seven and despite the stern talk we had the night before about waiting until at least 7:30, Christmas started in earnest promptly at 7am.

After all thoroughly celebrated, the presents opened, the stockings ransacked, the chocolate nibbled, and forty-seven squabbles broken up; we were glad to call it a night.

Perhaps one of my favorite days of the year is the day after Christmas.  Good feelings are still lingering around, there are lots of goodies to snack on, and the kids are happy to play with their new toys, at least for a while. Yes, there is usually a mess or two to clean up, paper shreds and tinsel and bows hiding under the couch, and a stack of dishes in the sink. I don’t mind.

I have my own new toys to play with.

Here’s to hoping you and your’s have an equally pleasant day after Christmas.Day-After-Christmas

‘Tis the Season to Shamelessly Promote Yourself!

Here’s a very Merry Christmas to all my dear readers, if it weren’t for you I would probably be doing something far less interesting, like folding socks, or hunting down mystery spots in my carpet. Finding interesting things to post here has been a challenge and I hope that I’ve delivered things that you have found intriguing.

Cool Reindeer is all about shameless self promotion

Cool Reindeer is all about shameless self promotion

I would love to make this blog as terrific as possible, and love even more to pay it forward. In the spirit of giving and sharing, I’m looking for fantasy concept artists, cosplayers, and other awesome people to feature in future posts in the coming year.  If you are interested, send me a line here in the comments, include any links to existing material online, and if I feel that you are a good fit, I’ll be in touch with you!

Merry Christmas!

Christmas, Bring it on.

Now that we have thankfulled and gratefulled everything to it’s fullest, it’s time to bring on all the Christmas cheer.  Today we are setting up the tree and making gingerbread houses with the munchkins (and I’ve already been chewed out for being an OCD fun killing ogre…) Here’s to Christmas!

Gingerbread houses

The before picture, after pictures to follow

Hubby gets eaten by tree!

Work it good lookin’


Bring it on.

Speculative Fiction with Shia Labeouf

It’s no surprise that I love YouTube and pop culture.  So, when I found this awesome little piece – just in time for Halloween I might add – I knew I had to share it.

Speculative fiction is when a story has one or more elements that aren’t considered part of the real world including magic, fantasy creatures, and unreal settings.  It includes such genres as horror, fantasy, sci-fi, paranormal, and yes, even vampire romances.

Since Shia isn’t an actual cannibal, as far as we know, this lovely piece of internet is a solid horror story instead of a factual recounting. It is also the most bizarre thing I’ve seen all year, and that’s saying something.