Sunday, February 26, 2012

LTUE 2012

This was such a fun conference.  It would have been even more fun this year if I hadn't been sick.  It wasn't a keep you in bed sick, or you're nearly a Zombie sick, just some where beyond that sick.

I had the great opportunity to meet some amazing authors and listen to them speak about the art and craft for three days.  This years Keynote address was by James A Owen.  I hadn't known about his work yet, but I'm so glad he was chosen as this years Guest of Honor.  He gave the most stirring speech.  It was all about choices that we make and how they add up to where we are now.  Then how we can make choices in our lives to guide our future to where we want it to be.

A lot of this can be found in his new book Drawing out the Dragons.  I managed to get it free in ebook, but it's worthy of the purchase.  Please do.

Of course there were tons of excellent panels and I could spill my notes out in great form on the blog, but that would probably only benefit me.  I might from time to time post what I learned in detail.  But here are some more highlights.

The author signing.

I finally got to meet Amber Argyle.

I pre-ordered her book in the spring last year months in advance, read it and then proceeded to have a very challenging summer/fall and then couldn't manage to travel up to her signings on the north end of the valley.  Luckily LTUE paid out it's dividends and we met.  For all of you out there who haven't read her book.  It's Witch Song.  It's a darling to read and an update from her directly is volume 2 is in edits now.  Keep your eye out for it.  I'm hoping this year.  What is Amber like?  Amber is both fun and a friend.  We never met before, but it was like we were long time friends.  I get the feeling this is who she is and that everybody gets this fine treatment.
(Notice my puffy eyes... I was dead on my feet, and it showed.)

Guess who else was there?  My friend Robin Weeks.  You may know her from the David Farlands Author Advisory Calls.  She also volunteers with LTUE and was on several panels.  She's very involved in the Utah writing community and a fine woman.  Watch out, rumor is that she's also a Lawyer. ;-)
How does she find time to write?
Regardless, I hear she's submitting right now so send out your prayers, karma or what ever it is you do, for her.  I think we're all going to be amazed.

I met so many other authors and I'll likely post about them as time goes by.  Mean while I'll post a few pics in my right side bar.

Anyone ready for LTUE 2013????  I am!  (My backside hopes they have softer chairs next time.)

Monday, February 20, 2012

It Takes Like 2 Seconds...

Hey friends,

O.k. I'm going to ask something of you, but it will only take a few seconds, honest, and it may net you a free book.

I've just submitted my first short story into a contest.  The thing is, I have to win this popular vote thing first if I'm even going to be considered in the contest.  Top 3 submissions based on votes plus two wild card selections will be considered for the contest.  Please click the link below and post a comment.  I'm entry #16 under my writing name LC Piper.  It's real easy and only takes two seconds.  But this is important.  You need to either sign in when you post your comment, or if you decide to post anonymous, I need you to put your email address in there for your vote to count.  I voted and it literally took 2 seconds.  Click  here...

All voters get entered into a drawing to win a book.  They have lots!  Plus if  you want you can promote the contest on your FB or Twitter or what ever and get more entries.  (But voting for me is the most important, right?)  Details are here...

So what's this all about.  Confidence.  I need a little win to motivate me.  After attending LTUE last week (big post coming in a few days with pictures) I was reminded that sometimes people fade in their dedication on huge goals if they don't allow themselves a win here and there.  I need a small goal and a small win.  A.k.a short story.

I've worked hard and I think it's really good.  Yeah, it's short, but it had to be under 750 words. It's really polished.  Brittany and I went through this with a fine tooth comb.  It's a tie-in to the Dark Divine series by Bree Despain.   Remember Bree...

I'll post her books below.

Your vote could guarantee a chance for Bree and her panel of authors to read and judge my story.  You could be the part that gives me the chance to be read and maybe even win.

If I win first place one of the prizes is a 15 page edit from Bree Despain... I can't tell you how much I'd love to win that.  I'm working on Speaker of the Winds right now and I could really use the help from a published professional author.

Well, thank you for your time today and wish me luck by casting your vote.  Heck if you've got 15 minutes, give my story a read.  Once the contest is over I'll post it here as well. Mean time, I created a few book covers.  Which one do you prefer?

Thank you.
Here are Bree Despain's published and soon to be released books.

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Little Brag Moment

Here's a quick post.
I've been sick the past week and of course it reared it's ugly head during my long awaited trip to LTUE in Orem, Utah.
The illness made for an uncomfortable conference, but I still enjoyed the conference immensely.
Here's a quick tidbit.  Later when I get more time and my face doesn't feel like it wants to fall off I'll post all about the experience.

Bree tweeted about offering free copies of the currently un-released The Savage Grace at the LTUE book signing.  So, of course, I had to be there.  I accepted a copy and am now flaunting it so everyone else can be jealous.
You may now begin jealousifying yourself!

Not only did I totally get a free copy of her book, but Bree graciously signed it and left me a great writing tip.
My best writing advice: Great books aren't written, they're revised.
Which couldn't be better timed because I'm revising my way into two or three finished manuscripts this year.

Bree, thanks for the book, advice, book mark and the red Dark Devine Nail polish.  I swear I gave that to my wife... promise!

Are you a writer or artist?  Check out this contest she's running on her blog.  I'm considering to entering my self.  I'll let you know if I do.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

The Year of Revisions (not the dragon)

I've been rather quiet lately on my blog.  This year I've started revisions and it's like I'm all brand new to this writing thing.  Suddenly I'm revisiting my novels and it's tough to not scream like a girl and hide in the closet.

O.k. maybe not like a girl.

I'm learning a lot about why someone should free write a first draft.  But now I'm getting into all the important writing things like, 'show don't tell', repetition, grammar and dialogue.  This is going to be a tough revision.  I should actually probably call it a re-write.

I've decided that my weakest point is telling instead of showing.  I've learned that it truely is important to ensure your readers feel emotionally invested in (a.k.a. care about) your characters.  If I want you to care about them, worry about them then I need to show you how they act/feel instead of tell you.  This means a lot to me and I'm willing to start over to make sure I do it right.  I'm sorry, but I want you to cry like you're cutting onions.  I want your heart to soar when they fall in love.  I want you to get utterly pissed and write me hate mail when you read the ending demanding I send you the draft of the sequel.

Quite frankly I want my characters to be so alive and real that you include them as dependents on your health insurance.  There is balance in all things.  For now I'm tell heavy.  I wish it were as simple as just restructuring a sentence to make it work, but it's not.  I'm learning as I go, but for now it's double dutch.  I'll master this and make it worth our time.

That's what I'm up to.

Oh, by the way, I'm working on Speaker of the Winds.  Yeah, it's going to be awesome.  You might as well start saving to buy it now.

Keep on writing.  I am.