Showing posts from May, 2011

Happy Memorial Day


Failure vs. Fear Foto Friday

"When we can begin to take our failures seriously, it means we are ceasing to be afraid of them. It is of immense importance to learn to laugh at ourselves."
-- Katherine Mansfield

Playing Full Out @ Writing Conferences

I read this article and wanted to write my own post about Playing Full Out because I believe in it not only at conferences but in life.

<------(The picture has nothing to do with writing. Don't kids play fully though??)

I've been to my share of writing conferences. I always come away recharged and ready to revise my stories to be better. I've noticed a few shy attendees, hiding in the corner or in the back, somehow fearful of talking to anyone.

One piece of advice I received before my first conference: Don't be shy.
If any of you know me, that's not a problem. But, I still feel a little overwhelmed by all the people. Writing conferences are full of interesting/amazing/funny people. You just have to take a step forward and meet them. The person you want to talk to probably feels the same way. :)

Next piece of advice: Inhale the knowledge.
Not matter how tired or bored, don't get distracted. Learn from the experts, those in front of you.

Why playing full out…

The Forgotten Locket by Lisa Mangum INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY!

A little about Lisa:

Lisa Mangum has loved and worked with books ever since elementary school, when she volunteered at the school library during recess. Her first paying job was shelving books at the Sandy Library. She worked for  five years at Waldenbooks while she attended the University of Utah, graduating with honors with a degree in English. An avid reader of all genres, she has worked in the publishing department for Deseret Book  since 1997. Besides books, Lisa loves movies, sunsets, spending time with her family, trips to Disneyland, and vanilla ice cream topped with fresh raspberries. She lives in Taylorsville with her husband, Tracy.

Let's get down to the interview, shall we? Then scroll down, read the blub and find out how to win this book!

Thanks for coming over Lisa!

Foto Friday

Ahhhh! Another writing retreat! This one we can make ourselves :)

We interrupt this blog...

I just found this article by Mandy Hubbard on the latest trends in publishing. Read it!

Here are a few things that got me excited because I'm writing/editing this genre right now:

MANY editors would love a thriller/suspense/horror. Most said more of the psychological kind, not the slasher/guy-with-a-chainsaw kind, but there was room for both, really. If you've written something seriously, insanely scary, you're in luck. 

We heard all week long: Editors are hedging bets that sci-fi may be the next big wave/trend. Partly this is because we just haven’t seen a lot of it lately and it feels more fresh/stand-out, and partly because dystopian sometimes naturally evolves into the sci-fi  realm, so in many ways, readers are being prepped to move in this direction.  Another thing I heard all day, every day? Realistic/Contemporary YA is a tough sell, but almost every editor really, really wants it to rally and come back in a huge way. 

Characters of other races, religions, etc,…


Sometimes we writers (humans) need to step back and remember to be authentic. Because being authentic is being perfect.

Arrogance vs. Confidence

At the last writers conference I had the opportunity to pitch my book to an agent. I was nervous like I though I would be, only sweaty and out of breath.
(Gross, right? Learn from me and be prepared!)
I ran back to my room and grabbed my first chapter just in case I had time to read her a portion to give a feel for my "voice."
I gave her my pitch, she wrote something down and told me she liked alien stories and wanted to see more of my story.
Very cool!
I told a few friends, called my husband (who chewed me out because I didn't call him right away) and began to think of a few changes I could make to tighten the story.
The week following said conference I've gone about my writing in a totally different way.
I feel different.
I feel good.
Really good.
Somehow, my few minutes of time with the agent gave me a boost in confidence. I think I'll call it validation. Yes, validation. Which leads to self-respect and self-respect.
Then I wondered if I was being arrogant.


Foto Friday

Holy huge cave, Batman!!
I'm overwhelmed by the size of this cave. A small village could hide in here.

Jasmine Flowers-Short Story

(This is the short story I submitted for Utah Children's Writers in April.) Every night I lay lonely in some low class dive, I took out her story and read it, certain to find a clue for me. Tonight, I am back in the same dingy hotel room I started in when I covered her wedding five years ago. This time I reported on the death of a famous tribe lord: her would-be-husband. I found out he had taken twenty wives, seven in just the last year.  It was a great accomplishment for man of his years. Plus, he had 46 sons and counting. I returned to the hotel, wrote and sent off my story and read hers again. Ellis. She told me of her favorite flower, Jasmine and she loved her parents deeply. When I checked out, I asked the manager where Ellis’ family had moved. “They didn’t move,” he whispered.  “They shut themselves up in their house after their daughter ran away from her wedding. Poor family. Ruined them for life.” The smoldering coals I held so carefully in my heart burst into fla…

First Chapter Contest Winners

At LDStorymakers they held a first chapter contest. Here are the winners (congrats to all!!):
Grand Prize #8 Malach by Cory Webb

Special Recognition Award #29 S.U.P.E.R. by Kimberly VanderHorst

Adult General
1st: #4 A Starlit Road by Curtis Moser
2nd: #26 Going, Going, Gone by Kim Karras
3rd: #119 Three Promises to the Dying Lady by Sharee Campbell

Adult Speculative
1st: #56 Last Dispensation Space by Randy Lindsay
2nd: #138 Dark Mist by Mark Greer
3rd: #7 Banished by Lisa Swinton
3rd: #18 Windows by Debra Erfert
3rd: #89 Uriel by Devon Dorrity

1st: #24 The Seventh City by Renae Mackley
2nd: #32 Heartstrings and Towerstones by Scott Lockwood

1st: #113 Facade by Jordan McCollum
2nd: #110 conspiracy by Nicole Trionfo
3rd: #128 Running Scared by Kristine Parkin

1st: #54 The Utah Gold Rush by Darvell Hunt
2nd: #141 Surviving the Detour of Divorce by Sheri Johnson

1st: #144 Brenna by Lisa Turner
2nd: #11 Hunky and the Beast by Amy Dahlke
3rd: …


My brain is still not fully functioning. I'm in "to-do" overload from laundry to ten pages for my critique group. I promise to post about the LDStorymakers Conference soon.
So you don't go away angry or mad or sad, here is the pitch I gave:

"Mandy's having a bad day. She just found out her mother is an alien and her father has been covering it up for years. While researching the disappearance of her best friend's brother, Mandy uncovers the dark truth about aliens running her town."

Whaddya think?

See you in a few days.

Foto Friday

Oh Man! My heart's pounding just looking at this image!

You. Are. Awesome.

Just a reminder of how cool you are!

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." 
Marianne Williamson (A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles)