Get Your Tickets Now! League of Utah Writer’s Spring Conference

It’s Spring time and virtual writer’s conferences are popping out of the ground like daisies. Spring, being a time of renewal, is a wonderful time to learn something new, or reinforce something you’ve learned in the past. On May 23, the League of Utah Writers is holding a day long virtual conference complete with live Q&A sessions.

This year, and every year, there is a great lineup of teachers sharing their experience on everything from character creation to story structure, from utilizing social media to romantic relationships. Chances are, if you have a writing related question, there will be a class tailored to fit your needs.

Because this is a virtual conference there are several perks that you can’t get in a standard conference. First and foremost, it reduces costs down to the bare minimum for attendees. There are no travel expenses and no trying to find a decent lunch or snacks. You can take a break whenever you like, pause the presentation video if you need to jot down more notes, and you’ll never have to worry if the person next to you might just start eating ranch-flavored corn nuts while you’re trying to pay attention.

If anything, you get a better educational experience and the chance to see all the presentations instead of picking and choosing between two favorites in any given time slot.

The only thing you miss out on is meeting friends and fellow writers in person, and that’s a little sad.

This year I’m teaching about getting over creative roadblocks using a few psychology hacks. There is a discussion of the role fear plays in our ability to make progress in our creative work as well as several practices that can help.

I hope to see you there!

For more information and to register head on over to the League of Utah Writers website.

Power Word: Discover

Have you ever watched a toddler walk through a park? The first thing you’ll notice is they don’t walk. They stop every few steps to bend and look at something. Every moment is engaged in the adventure of discovery. Each rock, bug, and flower is a source of wonder and amazement.

“Look!” They call. “Look, look, look!” Their excitement is infectious.

As grown ups, as we are wandering the world on our own, how often do we truly look anymore? We’ve seen dandelions and ladybugs hundreds of times. What is left to see?

This is why I’ve chosen the word ‘discover’ as one of my power words this year.

Dewdrops on a ladybug

The word ‘discover’ is full of the excitement of curiosity and the possibility of seeing something new. Our world is filled with undiscovered and unappreciated wonders. Each flower holds its own unique beauty. Each sunrise is its own play of light and color. Sometimes we need to slow down and simply take the time to look.

For some, this act of slowing down and taking time to look is difficult but needed. We often get caught up in the business of getting things done. There are always lists of chores and errands that follow us wherever we go. Taking that extra second to allow our curiosity to take charge is time where we get to breathe and live in the moment.

For me, to discover means to allow myself to try new things. Sometimes it’s a book or movie I’ve been curious about but not something I’d normally chose. Sometimes its taking my kids to a new park we’ve found while driving somewhere else. Sometimes its experimenting with a new recipe in the kitchen. Each of these acts brings the potential of experiencing something new; a new idea, a new view, or a new taste. Each exposure to something new helps us redefine ourselves and what we enjoy.

This act of being very conscious about the act of discovery also means giving myself permission and time to follow random thoughts and bursts of creativity and see where they lead. The more I’ve allowed the act of discovery to guide my work, the more creative impulses come my way. This not only has influenced several of my writing projects, it’s created opportunities and opened doors.

It is my belief that we are all creatures of curiosity. By allowing ourselves time and permission to be childlike in our pursuit of discovery we can find a deeper appreciation for the world we live in, and in turn find happiness.

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Find me at Fyrecon 2018

b6228817e7c6ee37bfcc7f548def5a6e-rimg-w720-h273-gmir.jpgWith Spring into Books (Utah’s Awesome-st Author signing and workshop) at the beginning of the month, paired with end of school craziness for my kiddos, June has been a wild ride – and it’s getting wilder.

Fyrecon, the conference that encourages writers and artists alike to “Burn Your Creative Path,” kicks off tomorrow – and they are kind enough to let me play!

Writing conferences are wonderfully gratifying because they give creatives a chance to spend quality time with like-minded people. They are my tribe and I love all of them. This year I decided to be super ambitious and offered three brand new classes to teach, with the hopes that perhaps one or two might be chosen.

And … they asked for all of them. Woohoo!

Needless to say, I’ve been working my little fanny off getting ready and I’m super excited to share the awesomeness that I’ve learned.

Here is my schedule – come find me!

  • Class – Overcoming Ego for Better Head Space (Thurs 11am, Building D2, Rm 318)
  • Panel – Portrayal of Death and Dying: Discussing the Philosophy of the Memento Mori (Friday 1pm, Building D2, Rm 111)
  • Panel – Medical Accuracy in Fiction: Common Pitfalls and What is a Better, More Believable Approach (Friday 3pm, D2 – 111)
  • Class – Gut Punch your Audience with Emotion (Saturday 9am, D2 – 117)
  • Class – Finding Balance in Storytelling: Not Everything can Explode all the Time (D3 – 341

For those of you trying to decide whether you want to go or not – come! If you register at the door for the whole conference it’s only $50 and daily rates range from $22-27. If you’re a student it’s cheaper than a hamburger, $10 dollars for the whole conference or $5 a day. Military gets a 10% discount. That’s a whole lot of amazing for an extremely reasonable rate.

If it doesn’t work out for you to come this year, be sure to like Fyrecon on Facebook to be the first to hear about future events.

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‘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!