Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Cards for Everyone!

I didn't make Christmas Cards this year. I've been living in a Hobbit Hole for a few months writing. I couldn't climb out of the great mountain on laundry to muster the energy it takes for Christmas Cards.

But my 10 yr old made some for her friends that I thought I would share in hopes to pass them to you with holiday cheer. Enjoy!
Dear Cassidy (her best friend), You are so- AWESOME! I think you should have a Merry Christmas. The Great Zecora predicts it! Happy Holidays!

Dear Katie (her Aunt), I hope you have a great Christmas. That reminds me of an episode of Shaun the Sheep. I will tell you about it later. Happy Holidays! P.S. It's a Christmas Episode.

But this one is my favorite! Happy Christmas!

Dear Sarah (a girl in her class), I hope you have a Merry Christmas. Did you know that the first Christmas tree was in Germany? It was discovered by a guy named Martin Luther. Happy Holidays! Martin Luther in Germany "What the--?"

P.S. That's not what really happened and that's not what Martin Luther really looked like.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Incredulous. . . DING!


disinclined or indisposed to believe; skeptical.
indicating or showing unbelief: an incredulous smile.

I realized something about Young Adult fiction . . . the word INCREDULOUS! I do not think it means what they think it means. Looking over the definition it shouldn't be used so much, but oh . . . it is.

This word saturates any action-driven, paranormal YA fiction out there, like a cancer running through every page. It is so overused that a bell goes off in my head every time I read it. DING!

(As a church go-er, I had a very irreverent moment with something similar, a phrase that the teacher kept saying over and over. I would make the DING! and my friend and I had to hold in our laughter until tears filled my eyes and fell down my face. I told the teacher I was just so moved by what she said. Am I going to Hell?)

It's not as funny when you're reading it over and over. As a reader and a writer I notice these things. The Twilight series has "Incredulous" on nearly every page. The Mortal Instruments Series, not as bad, but still too many to count. At least Cassandra Clare gets points for using "Incredulity" instead.

I tried to think why YA writers use this word so much:
  • Maybe the author thinks that's what sullen, angsty teens do. Look at each other incredulously. Like the dumb expression- shifting their weigh and cocking their heads, like duh, don't you get it? "I'm a teenager and you're just an adult that doesn't understand anything, because you must've skipped being a teenager." I hope that, as an author, I can give teenagers some credit. Not all are "Incredulous."
  • Maybe it's just a fun word that hasn't gotten it's time in the sun, like "Farfegnugen" or "Chimichanga."
  • Maybe authors think they sound smarter when they use it, the magical word that makes an instant connection to the reader. "That's a smart word. I must be reading a smart book."
My point - We notice these things. Readers are not stupid. We hate it when you spell out the plot for us and we notice the lack of originality with wordplay. Authors might not, but I sure do. There are millions of words out there. So, get out your thesaurus and pick a new one.

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Wet Blanket - A Love Story...

People wonder why I don't take my husband to all my GEEKING OUT, like midnight movies and book signings... well, I don't wonder at all. I know perfectly well why I DON'T take him. Heck, I don't even invite him.

My husband Kevin is a constant thinker. His brain is actively working all the time. Many nights he falls asleep on the couch just so the TV can lull him to sleep. So, sometimes he thinks too much.

One of my more recent "Geeking" was STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS. Lots of my friends wanted to go. I bought thirty or more tickets for everyone. I made shirts, my friend Rick made Star Trek communicators... we had a blast.

My husband came, but I didn't sit next to him - not because I didn't like him, but there wasn't a spot, which was fine. He didn't say much after, because I loved it so much, even though I was routing for the bad guy. Our marriage survived it.

Anyway, I watched it again last Friday after I received my pretty new Blue-Ray from Amazon. Sunday morning - nearly 36 hours later - he comes into the kitchen and says to me, "Don't ask where this train of thought came from... But, if Kirk were smarter he wouldn't have detonated the cold fusion device in the volcano, he should have detonated it near the volcano or the side of the volcano and it would have had the same effect. Then Spock wouldn't have been in the volcano in the first place and they wouldn't have to rescue him."

And my reply: "Well, that would have been a boring movie."

He goes on to tell me in detail about some of the flawed physics in the movie, the Enterprise underwater, the Enterprise tumbling through Earth's gravity... I knew he had stewed about this too much, making things logically right in his busy brain. I'm sitting there listening to him all the while thinking... this is a movie. This is fiction.

Kev: "I'm just saying that I don't think Kirk thought this plan all the way through."

Me: "But that would ruin the whole point of the movie."

Kev: "That bad physics makes for good action movies?"

Me: "No. That Kirk saves Spock's life. How could he save Spock's life if he wasn't in the volcano?"

Kev: "It could have happened on the ship later."

Me: "Boring."

Kev: "And this is why I don't write for Hollywood."

...and Kevin... the world is thankful for that!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Wrath of Comic Con!

The SLC Comic Con was SOOOOOO much fun! The organizers were worried that a few thousand would show up... WHAT?!

Are these people even for Salt Lake? We have such a loyal following here of everything Geek worthy. We also have a fabulous Indie underground culture of artists, authors, and creative dynamos. Close to 80,000 people worked past my booth and I took pictures with the best of them.

I thought I might share some of my favorite pictures with you all so you might feel like you were there.

My Awesome Saturday Crew - Meliss, Beckers, Me, and Sare Bear
I loved this costume! My Illumium Q-36 Explosive Space Modulator.
The line for the Tardis was super long. We got there just at the right time. It must have just arrived. ;)
The Doctor's new Companions. Don't you love Becky's Tardis hat?
YUNA!!! My fave Final Fantasy X!
We found him... Where's Waldo?

 I think this picture would have been better from the above level looking out over the crowd. Clever... clever people.
Julie helped my on Thursday. She's so awesome!
This R2 unit has a bad motivator! with Julie First day
Julie wearing the Everstar on her Face!
This was the year of the Doctor. There were a lot of people dressed up as one doctor or the other... I mean, they only have 11 to pick from. 
"Oh Zooly - you nut!"
My husband's the one n the cape - a cape his grandmother made for him when he was 5. The cape that says Kevin! This was what he did the whole conference, photo bomb people's pictures with his cape. So look through your pictures everyone. Look for the man in the cape.

My husband photo bombing some Halo guy.

I had to take a picture of Fry and Leela! This was right in front of my booth.
Great Location right next to the Doctor Who Posters.
"You are part of the Rebellion Alliance and a Trader!"

My Nerdy Family. This picture took years to make. At least now we have an excuse to get together once a year.
And a check mark on my bucket list - me with Kevin Sorbo... I had a picture of him pasted in my locker in high school... a picture I placed in a scrapbook and grabbed to get it autographed. Before the doors opened, during VIP hours I thought I might get a chance to see him, and there he was with only a few people in line. I stood there and then I thought "I can't do this" and went back to my booth. I totally chickened out. I placed the picture back in my bag and left it there. Ten minutes later my husband came over to the booth, grabbed my hand and said, "I need to borrow her for a second." He took me over to Kevin Sorbo, where I guess they were discussing me and had me meet him and take a picture. I was so starstruck and couldn't speak... so tall and hunky. I couldn't believe it. I'm placing this picture right next to the one I have with Bruce Campbell.

I can't wait for next year!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Bring on the... CON!!

Ticket for Star Trek Into Darkness
Geekdom has always been a part of my life. I love fulfilling the full measure of the nerdy things I'm passionate about. Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Hunger Games, Sherlock or Cumberbatch, take your pick - the list goes on and on.

If I tell you that I love Midnight shows mostly because of the freakshow I think you might understand.  The crowd is there as crazy as you, fueled by the energy and a few Mountain Dews.I live for it!!!

Just to list on my resume:

1st in line!
 ...I stood at the very front of a line of hundreds, dressed as Luna Lovegood, waiting for the 7th Harry Potter at the Salt Lake Barnes and Noble.

"Imprinting is for Babies" Shirt
 ..I've made snarky shirts of 6 out of the 8 HP movies, Hunger Games, Twilight, Hobbit, and the newest Star Trek Into Darkness... awesome!!

 ...and I'm slowly collecting more Sherlock crap than I could ever find useful.
The deerstalker makes me write better.

So, to tell you, I couldn't be more tickled to get a chance to be a part of this years SLC Comic Con is a complete understatement.


Yes... Yes... I'm sure you all want to stand in line to get a photo op with Shatner, or Adam West. I mean, who wouldn't??

And yes, you can take that picture of Kevin Sorbo that you've had since high school, that you ripped from a TV Guide and hung in you locker autographed by the Herc himself.

And why not visit Tia Carrere while your at it, I know that's where my husband will be, along with any other male Wayne's World fans!

But if you really want the full CON experience, for it to meet its full Nerd potential, come swing by my booth. I'll be there all 3 days.

My goal this year is to take my picture with as many Slave Leia's as possible and to get a picture with Kevin Sorbo. It will go perfect next to my picture with Bruce Campbell.

Hope to see you there.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Featured Friday Blog

Here is my first Featured Friday posted on Xchyler's Blog.  Just a simple blog post about how I get through a first draft and beyond.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Big Thanks!!

...and the countdown begins.

My book comes out tomorrow and here are some "Thank Yous" and some random thoughts as I prepare for the release of my baby into the world.

I love being Indie, I always have been. It appeals to my core being, if that makes sense. The fact that my book was picked up by a publisher doesn't change my simplistic outlook on life or my joy of writing. I looked for a publisher that had the same independent spirit.

Xchyler Publishing, my publisher, is an Indie publisher, but that doesn't mean they don't know how to whip a book into shape. My appreciation grows for them daily. I like them more because they are Indie, knowing they are working as hard as I am to make it succeed is complimenting to the process.

Editing is never easy. I was scared to see what they might change from the original... and I was surprised and blessed that they didn't want to change anything. My editing team gave me more focus on what the story lacked and how to tell it. Thanks to Lissa, Heidi, Penny, and everyone who helped with the old and the new.

I love my job and in order to do this they had to let me be a writer for a few weeks. Thanks Kelly, and the Blood Bank staff for fully supporting me.

Last, my terrific family. Mostly Kevin, who I dedicated this book to. He thinks my hobby is silly, I know, but it makes me happy and that's what makes him happy. He stayed away from reading it, because he felt he might hurt my feelings. Wise man. But he told me he would read it when it got published. He gets my first copy.

My children, Mia and Julia, will tell you I'm a great mom, since I let them eat an entire tub of cookie dough while I was editing. But I think I'm a terrible mom, not giving them baths at night and letting them go to school in shorts and long, unmatched socks - not brushing their hair or feeding them nothing but microwavable dino nuggets. So, here I ask for forgiveness. I hope you love me despite my deficiencies.

...and THANK YOU to everyone that has been so supportive during the years of writing and I hope you all continue with me as I explore more of my crazy mind and my love for creating worlds.

I'm YOUR biggest fan!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Adventures in Publishing

Available April 19th, 2013.
Vivatera release April 19th, 2013
Available on eBook and Book Sellers Everywhere.

Back in September I thought I would try and find a publisher for my book Vivatera.  Though I had it edited several times, it was still missing direction and I wanted to see what professionals could do with it. I had heard of a new publishing company through my League of Utah Writers chapter and thought I would give it a try.

I felt my nerves increase at the thought of rejection, but I didn't want to live with regret if I didn't at least try.

So, I sent my manuscript off to one company, Xchlyer Publishing,, who seek fantasy, adventure, mystery, and steam punk. I thought my little book might fit well with their company... I was right.

They LOVED it and in November I signed a contract. They snatched it up so fast and didn't want it to go to anyone else.

Over the past months I had the opportunity to work with fantastic people, whose ideas stretched my brain in different directions and ignited my love of creating. Their vision cleared any of my previous doubts, and helped my confidence build. I'm so pleased with how it turned out and I'm so excited to be a part of this adventure.

XP has put up my bio on their website: