Wall of Flame Challenge

Imagine going into a Chinese restaurant. Now imagine that they have a sign saying that if you do this certain little challenge, you get the meal for free, your picture on the wall, and a fifty dollar gift certificate.  Your picture goes on the Wall of Flames… Sounds neat, huh?   

LIES!!!

I’m a sucker for this kind of thing. My picture was on the wall at Fudruckers for their 1 pound challenge. (1 pound after cooking burger, w/ giant basket of chili cheese fries and a huge milkshake) I didn’t even break a sweat. I got the t-shirt to prove it. (ironically, the biggest 1 pound challenge shirt available was a Large). 

I love this place in Layton called China Wok II (1266 South Legend Hills Dr). I eat lunch there all the time. The food is cheap, really good, and the service is always great.

So today I tried this “Wall of Flame” challenge. How hard could it be? There are five pictures on the wall.  So five people managed to do it and not die screaming in horrible fits of agony. Piece of cake.

The challenge. Any of their regular dinners, “spiced up” a bit. With one bowl of rice and one glass of water. You’ve got a half an hour. You can’t get up to leave until you are done. You have to eat the whole thing.  Easy, right? 

Except that the “spices” they use did not evolve on Earth.  You know the spice made out of giant Dune worms that makes your eyes turn weird colors, travel through time, and knife fight Sting?  No, this is worse. These spices are made from a pepper that evolved on a strange alien world of firey death pain suffering.  This pepper laughs at jalapenos. This pepper makes the habenero it’s bitch. This pepper has no name, and the ancient Middianites who discovered it referred to it only as – TERRIBLE SHRIEKING DOOM – before it destroyed their entire civilization.  This pepper exists in multiple quantum dimensions at one time. This pepper divides by zero.

Are you guys getting me yet? Can you feel it?  It is watching you…   

So one of these pepper seeds was discovered and brought to Layton Utah. (it was probably discovered on the moon, hell if I know).  The seed was then planted in a giant tub, but instead of soil, it was placed in a fine dust made of ground habeneros and napalm.  It was watered daily with shoggoth tears. Villagers sacrified chickens to the Seed. The Seed sprouted (henceforth to be known as the Sproutening)  during a lunar and solar eclipse (at the same time!) under Halley’s comet.  The pepper grew, and soon replaced Pluto as the ninth planet in the solar system.

My coworker, Dan, decided to try this too. We did not know about – TERRIBLE SHRIEKING DOOM!  The owner tried to warn us. He told us that yes, there were five pictures on the wall, but that was out of the 160 people that had tried it so far. (none of them are smiling in those pictures either).  It is currently unknown how many of them still live. (one is still in an insane asylum).

The owner said that if you could make it about 5 or 10 minutes, then everything would be fine, because that is when you would start to go numb. (now there’s something to look forward to!)  Some people had actually eaten their napkins.  Some had gone mad from the pain and gnawed their own limbs off.  I was warned not to drink the one cup of water, because water only made IT angrier, and we really didn’t want to make IT any angrier.  Satan won’t put these in Hell’s cafeteria’s because he decided that these would be cruel and unusual punishment…

This thing is stupid hot.  Only a fool would willingly put it in his mouth.

So there I was, and they bring me out something that had started life as General Tso’s chicken, before it had been covered in a sauce that looked suspiciously like fresh asphalt.  Somebody had been screaming in the kitchen a few minutes ago. I think they might have gotten some of the fumes in their eye.  But the screams had stopped… Abruptly.

You know food is scary when in order to be eaten, it can’t just be free. They have to give you $50 to eat it and put you on a wall so that you can declare you are more badass than everyone else.   You know all those statues of Julius Ceaser?  Yeah, it is because he ate one of these once.  Pompey Magnus was like, dude, I can’t compete with that. It’s all you. I’m going to Egypt.  

I ate a piece. Hot… but not too bad.  Kind of like getting pepper sprayed.  Nothing I can’t handle. I look over at Dan. He’s playing it cool… I take another bite… still okay… but then a single air molecule hit the Lovecraftian sludge on my tongue and it awoke.  Oh yeah… that is starting to hurt. One of my other coworkers (who was smart enough not to put poison alien pepper spores in his mouth) looks over and remarks about how fast my eyes have turned red.  It burns. IT BURNS!!!!

At this point I’m about five bites in.  Involuntary tears are coming out of my eyes. My hands are starting to shake.  Bite six, the hallucinations start. A submarine came out of the floor. The walrus that got out asked me for directions. Man, I’m tripping out. Bite seven… wait… that was my napkin.  Bite seven. My brain said “Screw this!” and shut down.

At three minutes and thirty seconds, I surrendered.  I made it to the bathroom and blew my nose for awhile because the contents of my entire skull had turned to water and came running out my nose.  Dan made it six minutes, which makes him twice the man I am.

Now, for the five men on the wall, they are manly men amongst men. They are titans. I salute them.  I tried to pay homage to the Wall of Flame.  I might still have still been hallucinating, but I believe the pictures were of George Washington, Vlad Dracula, Miyamoto Mushashi, Optimus Prime, and Christopher Walken. 

So, if you are as manly as Christopher Walken and you like to eat molten lava for fun, you need to go to the China Wok.  It was literally the hottest thing that I’ve ever eaten.  (well, attempted).  Now if you’ll excuse me, that walrus is still lost.

EDIT:  thanks to the copious amounts of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream consumed last night, I lived through the morning.  Thanks for your concern.

EDIT 2: I was just informed that my coworker’s girlfriend attempted the challenge today. We will call her “Marie”. She made it to the end but ran out of time with food left.  Which makes her ten times the man I am.  Now you guys who have been tempted have to do it, because you can’t be be beaten by a girl!

And since this post has gotten linked all over the interwebs for some reason, if this is your first time here, I’m a novelist, buy my books: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1439132852/ref=s9_simh_gw_p14_t1?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-2&pf_rd_r=02F5Q3VMNZ4RFRBH1JTG&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938631&pf_rd_i=507846

How to Write a Story That Rocks Workshop – The Video

So… how do you write stuff?  Good question.  Watch this:

http://johndbrown.com/2010/02/how-to-write-a-story-that-rocks/

Or you can go direct to Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=8B94E8B54E235F72

A big thanks to Stephen Nelson for recording this and putting it together.

At LTUE, author John Brown and I did a 2 hour seminar called “How to Write a Story That Rocks”.  This was the first time we’d done this together, and I do believe it turned out pretty good.  Now, keep in mind, I’ve only just watched the first segment.  A. Yes, I’ve gotten a little chunkier this year.  B. Am I always that damn bouncy and twitchy?  Holy crap, now I know where my kids get it from.  (in my defense, I had just gotten onto a new BP medication that makes me a little bouncy)

Since this was originally John’s baby, and I was just tagging along, there were still some bugs to work out. Mostly because I didn’t really know what was going on until I got there, but I do believe that it actually turned out extremely well, and we got a ton of compliments from the aspiring writers there about how helpful the whole thing turned out. 

So I hope you find this useful.

Starting to click, writing update

My final revised version of Monster Hunter Vendetta is pretty much done. I’m just going to wait until this weekend so that I can look at it one last time with a good solid time block, and then it is off to Toni.  She had me make a few small changes, all of which were good suggestions. 

And I do believe the consensus is to leave in Pwn.  Though once you read the character, you’ll understand why.  His name is Melvin. He’s such an unpleasant thing that he even brings out the worst in Trip.

Meanwhile I’m working on Monster Hunter Alpha.  My problem is that I always start slow. The first 25-30,000 words of a book are the hardest, and by the time I get done, those usually get chopped and edited a bunch anyway.  The characters tend to evolve as I write, and it is usually by half way through the book that their voices have really jelled in my mind.  But once I get past that initial hurdle, the next 100,000 words tend to fly by.

I’ve finally reached that point on Alpha, and I’m pretty excited. The big challenge with Earl is that he is such a remarkable badass, that you don’t want to mess up the mojo by explaining him too much. He just is.  Earl is a force of nature.  This is a man who has issues with authority, thought of himself as indestructible even back when he was normal, and once punched out Jimmy Carter.   

One of my bad guys finally clicked the other night, and I’m having a lot of fun writing from his perspective now.  I won’t say too much, but lycanthropy for him is kind of like multiple personality disorder, only your other personality is like an angry Freddy Kruger on a bender.  This guy hung out with friggin’ Stalin. 

Earl actually gets a love interest in this one, and if you are a Southern, chainsmoking, Thompson weilding, fearless, nearly invincible maniac, you need a very special kind of girl. 

MHA takes place in northern Michigan, up in the U.P. during winter… and Earl has a bazooka. (well, actually a Karl Gustaf, but close enough)

Pwned

Okay, this post is by request of publishing mastermind, Toni Weiskopf, who has been doing the final edit of my next book.  In MHV I have a creature who is hopelessly addicted to the internet use the word “Pwn” or “Pwned”. 

Is Pwn too obscure to use in a contemporary action fantasy monster-killing novel?  Would you, the reader be cool with that, or would you scratch your head and think it was a typo?

LTUE Report

I got home from LTUE today and I am bushed. Three days of writers talking about writing, mixed in with writer’s schmoozing, book signings, and more panels, jeez, no wonder my brain is fried. My first LTUE was last year, and I was a “participating guest”. This year I was a “special guest”, which basically meant that I got a cooler title on my badge and I showed up earlier in the program book. Sweet. I’m moving up in the world. On a serious note though, a lot has changed for me as a writer since last year. There was a subtle difference from being some a new guy that had self published and then gotten a book deal, to being an “up and comer” who everyone had heard of.

I was on several panels, but the biggest event I did was in conjunction with my friend John Brown. http://johndbrown.com/2010/02/handout-to-how-to-write-a-story-that-rocks/ It was called “How to Write a Story That Rocks” and was 2 hours of hyper-intensive brainstorming. John and I went on book tour together, and when you spend 30 hours in a car with somebody you get to understand their philosophy of writing pretty well. We went over how to come up with ideas, how to tweak those ideas into character and plot, and the basic creation process of building a good story.

I’ve never been an analytical writer. I don’t know jack about the “rules”. I never learned anything or paid any attention in an English class after my freshman year in high school. (now, Mrs. Silva on the other hand, was a tough lady!) I don’t know what the points are of the Hero’s Journey, nor have I ever read a book on the 3 act vs. 7 act structure. I’ve never had a lick of training on how to write, (and grammar? Holy crap, I suck). When I started out, I was basically a guy who liked to tell stories. My knowledge of how to tell a story comes from instinct and being a random dude who has always liked to entertain people. You try to make enough people laugh, you start to understand how they think, and you start to understand what works and what doesn’t. Writing is the same for me. I’m telling you something in order to get an emotional response. When all else fails, have a monster eat someone’s face… Oh, and at least one explosion every hundred pages.

John Brown, on the other hand, is a deeply analytical writer. He really ponders on writing, story, character, narrative flow, everything. John is one of those guys who will get better and better with every single thing he ever writes until the day he dies. John loves to entertain just as much as I do, but he’s also fascinated by the craft. He’ll experiment and work his butt off to not just write something good, but to also understand just what makes it good, so he can share that too. Hanging out with John was good for me as a writer, because our conversations helped me put into words a lot of the techniques I use. To John, these are techniques that make up an art, and I always just thought of them as my toolbox of tricks to make stuff cool. (typical Correia margin note – NEEDS MORE NINJAS!!)

So we put our discussions together, used John’s story outline tool, and went from there. The workshop went extremely well. We had more than 120 people (don’t know, but that’s how many hand outs we had, and we still ran out). John conducted, and I served as the Vhanna to his Pat, and as comedy relief. Two hours flew by, and we threw up a ton of information. The whole thing was recorded (Thanks Stephen!) and I’ll post a link as soon as I’ve got one so you guys can see what you think for yourselves. We got a lot of really positive comments about how helpful the workshop was, and some good critiques to help us improve it for next year.

I was on several other panels with some truly awesome writers. Some of them were authors that I’d worked with before, like Paul Genesse, Howard Tayler, Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, or James Dashner. Plus I had the opportunity to meet lots of people that I’d never gotten to work with before, and I was able to run into many old friends and acquaintances from other cons. (BYU learned their lesson and did not put Dan Willis and me on the same panel like last year, because of Correia’s casual swearing problem. Damn Aggies).

Last of all, John and I did an interview with Steve and Nick of http://elitistbookreviews.blogspot.com/ . It was a low key and informal interview about writing and the business thereof. We had a lot of fun. I’ll post a link to the interview as soon as I see it. I’ll tell you guys what though, if you’re not checking this one, you’re missing out. They’re tough, but fair, and read more books than anyone I’ve ever met other than Mrs. Correia. They gave MHI a positive review (and that was before I had met them) so I’ve decided to kill Nick as a terrorist in Dead Six, and Steve will probably be devoured by a werewolf in Monster Hunter Alpha. So another LTUE comes to a close, and I’d just like to say thanks to all the wonderful folks that I was able to work with, and all the great fans and aspiring writers I was able to talk with. I love you guys.

LTUE Schedule for next weekend

If you like writing, want to be a writer, or just like to listen to writers babble, you need to go down to BYU next weekend.  LTUE is awesome and it is free. That’s hard to argue with.

Last year I was a guest, this year I’m a “Special” Guest.  I think that means that they buy me lunch or something.  I’m also doing a 2 hour workshop in conjuction with my friend John Brown on Thursday night. Since John and I spent like 30 hours in a car together last year for book tours, we’ve discussed our personal writing strategies quite a bit.  It should be fun.  I’ve gone through and bolded my panels. 

THURSDAY, 11 February 2010

9:00 AM
- Style in speculative fiction
SF was long denigrated for being a literature of ideas, not of good
composition. How has that changed? What constitutes “good style” in
SF or fantasy, and what is the difference between the two? What
special stylistic challenges (for instance, exposition) face the SF
or fantasy writers that aren’t an issue for mainstream writers?
(Helge Moulding, James Dashner, Eric Swedin, Lee Allred, Lisa Mangum)
James C. Christensen Q&A (Dave Doering, moderator

10:00 AM
- Fantasy without Magic
(Paul Genesse, Brandon Sanderson, Robert J Defendi, Lary Correia,
James Brown:

Presentation: Using FREE and open source software (open
office, abiword, etc.) to reduce your expenses. Discuss the
availability of reliable and easy to use open source alternatives to
the traditional writer’s tools (word, excel, photoshop, etc.). How
to find good quality open source alternatives. Sources for FREE
software.

11:00 AM
Main Address: James C. Christensen

Noon:
- Creating a wizard that isn’t another Gandalf, Merlin, Dumbledore,
etc.
(Brandon Sanderson, Paul Genesse, Dan Willis, Aleta Clegg
- Mormons in Horror
Believe it or not, there are active LDS who read, edit and write
horror fiction. What tensions do they see with their faith and
culture and this genre? How does their belief color what they find
“really scary”?
(Dan Wells, Eric Swedin, Michael R. Collings, Eric James Stone, Lee
Allred (M)
- “Star Trek vs Star Wars: A Question of Audience Accessibility
through Costume Design”
When costumes employ a true sense of the past, futuristic worlds draw
the audience into a world they not only accept but can honestly
embrace. This workshop will discuss how the costume designs from
several science fiction classics helped new worlds become truly
believable…and how others did not. (Rory Scanlon)

1:00 PM
- Defining Children’s Literature: What are a children’s book, a
middle grade reader, a YA novel and an adult novel?
(Stacy Whitman, Lisa Mangum, Mette Ivie Harrison, Dan Willis, Pat
Castelli)
- Talking Art
(James C. Christensen, Howard Tayler, Nathan Hale, Bryan Beus)
How to make your military SF seem more like real military. (Jess Meeks)

2:00 PM
- Putting Romance into Your Fantasy. Do you have to have a love
story in Fantasy? Why or why not. If you do, how do you balance it
with the action and adventure?
(Clint Johnson, Anna del C. Dye, Mette Harrison, Ami Chopine, Lesli
Muir Lytle
- Kristy Stewart, “Shadow of the Standard: The Position of Fairy Tale
Adaptations”
- The Howard and Bob Show. What do you get when you get two prolific
writers together on a panel? Come and find out!
(Howard Tayer, Robert J Defendi)

SIGNING: James C. Christensen

3:00 PM
- Writing Strong Female Characters
(Aleta Clegg, Paul Genesse, Ami Chopine, Laura Card, Lesli Muir
Lytle, Karen Hooper)
- Ghosthunging/Ghosts (for writers and fans)
(Tom Carr)
- Y Publish Presentation ((Rachel Giddings)

4:00 PM
- No More Dead Dogs (or moms): Why do mothers and dogs always die in
children’s literature? How do we pull at the heartstrings and give
child characters independence without killing off dogs and moms?
(Paul Genesse,, Stacy Whitman, Clint Johnson, Julie Wright)
- Ghosthunging/Ghosts (for writers and fans)
(Tom Carr)
- Michael R. Collings, “‘To Be Still a Man’: Abstraction and
Concretion in C. S. Lewis”

5:00 PM
- Poetry of the Fantastic
IMichael R. Collings, JoSelle Vanderhooft, Charlene Harmon
- James Brown: Presentation: How to use the open source 3D rendering
environment, Blender, to create still images or fly-bys of any object
or environment you can imagine. Use Blender to create a book cover,
an illustration, or a rendering of your game environment.
- How to Write a Story that Rocks (John Brown, Larry Correia)
- “Establishing Character Through Costume Design, It Truly is What
You Wear”
This workshop will offer step-by-step experiences in costume research
and design, demonstrating how clothing helps determine character
strengths, weaknesses and possibilities. (Rory Scanlon)

6:00 PM
- Drawing Wizards
(Nathan Hale, Brian Hailes, Sarah Seiter, Howard Tayler, Bobbie
Berendson, Jessica Douglas)
- How to Write a Story that Rocks (John Brown, Larry Correia)
- Mike Sorensen Magic Show and Q&A

7:00 PM
- 3D Art
(Ami Chopine, Steve Keele, Kevin Keele, Joshua Keele)
- Worldbuilding 101
(Roger White, Charlotte Randle, Larry Correia, Laura Card, Aleta Clegg)

FRIDAY, 12 February, 2010

9:00 AM
- How to become an idea factory: Where do you find ideas? How do you
go from an idea to a story?
(Clint Johnson, Larry Correia, James Dashner, Brandon Sanderson,
Karen Hoover, Howard Tayler
- The Leadng Edge presentation (Chris Baxter)
- Paths to publishing: When is traditional best and when should you
try an alternative
(Stacy Whitman, John Brown, Dan Willis, Eric Swedin, Sandra Tayler)
-
10:00 AM
- Why Mormons and fantasy?
There seems to be an explosion of successful young LDS writers in the
fantasy field. What’re the ingredients in their Mormon background
that make this genre a natural fit?
(Scott Parkin, Laura Bingham, Brandon Sanderson, Lisa Mangum)
- Laura Swift Lind presentation
- Cover art for Children’s and YA books
(Amanda Sorensen, Nathan Hale, Brian Beus, Stacy Whitman)
-
11:00 AM
Main Address: Marty Brenneis

Noon:
- Who influenced me as a writer?
(Eric James Stone, Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury, Berin Stephens, Jake
Black, Michael Young)
- Creating fantastic creatures a biologist could believe
(Jessica Douglas, Brian Hailes, Sarah Seiter, Dan Lind, Nathan Hale)
Lee Allred, “In(to) the Void and Back Again: Organizing the Universe
and the Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror Poetry of Michael R.
Collings”
- Pacing and Story Structure (Dan Wells)

SIGNING: Steven C. Walker, James Dashner, Clint Johnson, Larry
Correia
, Laura Bingham, Nathan Hale, Karen Hoover, Bron Bahlmann
Wilcox, Julie Wright, Bryan Beus, Paul Genesse
Tentative: Alan Bradbury, Anna del C. Dye

1:00 PM
- Killer Openings. How to write a gripping, engaging and interesting
first paragraph.
(Dr. Steven C. Walker, John Brown, Mette Harrison, Heather Horrocks)
- Jewelry making workshop (Michael R. Collings)
- how special effects have changed science fiction and fantasy
(Amy Chopin, Nathan Shumate, Marty Brenneis,
- History of Science Fiction and Fantasy Books for Young Readers (Pat
Castelli)

2:00 PM
- Jewelry making workshop (Michael R. Collings)
- Writing fantasy and science fiction for a discerning audience: How
to write believable child characters
(Clint Johnson, Laura Bingham, Julie Wright, Laura Card, Bron
Bahlmann Wilcox, J. Scott Savage)
- The history and future of the “B-movie” What is a “B-movie”? How
has the cheaper cousin of the studio film survived in the shadow of
major releases, and how has it affected in turn what gets released as
a blockbuster? What qualifies as a “B-movie” these days? (Nathan
Shumate)
- Military on MilitarySF: How to make your SF&F military feel more
realistic and still stay family-friendly. (How to make your military
SF seem more like real military.
(Jess Meeks , Lee Allred, Brad R. Torgensen, Steve Harmon

3:00 PM
- “A Thousand Words for ‘Sand’: Benjamin Whorf, Edward Sapir, and
the Planet Arrakis” (Paul N. Hyde)
- A culture, fictional or real, cannot exist without language. A
language, fictional or real, cannot exist without a culture. Writings
systems, phonology, vocabulary, and syntax must be consistent with
the people or creatures who speak the language. The great writers of
science fiction and fantasy have understood the symbiotic
relationship between culture and language. Tolkien’s linguistic world
is perfect. As a teaser: How many months should there be in the
‘Dune’ calendar? There were two moons, after all.”
- How to build aliens and fantastic (but believable) monsters
(Helge Moulding, Roger White, Eric James Stone, Brian Hailes,
Kathleen Dalton-Woodbury)
How To Draw Wings
(Jessica Douglas, Sarah Seiter,
- Living with an artist (writer): functioning as support personnel to
a creative person.
(Sandra Tayler, Dawn Wells,

4:00 PM
- Imagery in Poetry
(Michael R. Collings, JoSelle Vanderhooft,
- The Challenges and Opportunities in the Book Market: A Review of 30
Years in Book Retailing Linda Brummett, BYU Bookstore General Book
Department Manager
- Abandoned in Space a 3D SF short made by BYU students follwed by a
Q&A (Joseph Winter and others)
- Storytelling and the persuit of truth (Bryan Beus))

5:00 PM
- Writing a good suspense/horror story. It’s more than just the
blood and gore.
(Dan Wells, Eric Swedin, Scott Parkin (M), Larry Correia)
- Marty Brenneis
- Joseph Devenport, “A Validation for Fantasy Scholarship”
- Storytelling and the persuit of truth (Bryan Beus))

6:00 PM
- Writing Flash Fiction (Suzanne Vincent)
- “Devil’s Triangle: The Graphic Novel – Meet the Creators” (Brian
Hailes & Blake Casselman)
- Abnormal Psychology and how to use it in your fiction
(Dr. Al Carlisle, Jess Meeks, Dan Wells)

7:00 PM
- Writing comics and webcomics
(Jake Black, Brian Hailes, Howard Tayler, Emily Sorensen)
- Podcasting
(Tom Carr, Revan & Malak, Jeff Norris,
- Zombies: A cultural and social metaphor
(what do they represent, why are they popular, what forces are
making them popular right now, etc.).
(Dan Wells (M), Eric Swedin, Aleta Clegg, Marty Brenneis, David Ferro

8:00-11:00 PM
- Filking (Fantasy and Science Fiction Folk Songs)

SATURDAY, 13 February, 2010
9:00 AM
- A Guys Take on Writing Romance (Male Panelists)
(L. E. Modesitt, Jr., Clint Johnson, Aleta Clegg, Dan Willis, John
Brown)
- The Future of the Art of Comics.
(Emily Sorensen, Brian Hailes, Jake Black, Howard Tayler
- Fablehaven Presentation (Brandon Mull)
- Educator’s Conference Registration

10:00 AM
- Using Fantasy and Science Fiction in the Classroom: Reaching
reluctant readers.
(Aleta Clegg, Dan Willis, David Ferro, J. Scott Savage
- Soft-science SF-
Can “hard” SF be about the “soft” sciences — psychology, sociology,
etc? Who’s writing the best in the field?
(Helge Moulding, Roger White, James Dashner, Robert J Defendi,
LarryCorreia,
- What Exactly Does an Editor Do, Anyway?
(L. E. Modesitt, Jr., Stacy Whitman, Suzanne Vincent, Lisa Mangum,
Tristi Pinkston,
- Brandon Mull Reading

11:00 AM
Main Address: Brandon Sanderson

NOON:
- Family-Friendly Anime
(Joe Monson)
- Building different cultures….
(L. E. Modesitt, Jr., Roger White, John Brown, Brandon Mull, Marty
Brenneis)
- Character Creation Tips (Art)
(Steve Keele, Kevin Keele, Joshua Keele, Jessica Douglas, Nathan
Hale, Bryan Beus)
- Horror and Dark Fantasy Poetry
(Michael R. Collings, JoSelle Vanderhooft

1:00 PM
- The Best Fantasy and Science Fiction Books for Children Pat Castelli
- Creating Fantasy Art (Daniel Hughes),
- Worldbuilding: Religion
(Helge Moulding, L. E. Modesitt, Jr., James Dashner, Kathleen Dalton-
Woodbury,
- Acting Techniques for Writers (Scott Bronson)

SIGNING: Brandon Mull, Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, Eric James
Stone, Berin Stephens, Jake Black, Roger White, Lisa Mangum, Aleta
Clegg, Mette Ivie Harrison, John Brown

2:00 PM
- Keele’s Korner: Steve, Joshua, Kevin Keele: Keele’s Korner and
talk about what’s happening in 3D computer graphics and games, making
a living as an artist, character creation tips, etc. (2 hours)
- SF on TV
(Jake Black, Charlene Harmon, Rex Rouviere, MartyBrenneis)
- Regional Publishers
(Lisa Magnum, Stacy Whitman, Linda Brummett, Garry P. Mitchell,
Tristi Pinkston, Dave Doering (M)
Marty Brenneis Presentation

3:00 PM
- Keele’s Korner: Steve, Joshua, Kevin Keele: Keele’s Korner and
talk about what’s happening in 3D computer graphics and games, making
a living as an artist, character creation tips, etc. (2 hours)
Interesting Facts about Killers (Dr. Al Carlisle)
- Historic Costuming (Linda Lyon)
- The experience of writing a good blog
(Mette Harrison, Julie Wright, James Dashner, Dan Wells Sandra Tayler)
Interesting Facats About Killers (Dr. Al Carlisle)

4:00 PM
- Writing Excuses Broadcast (Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, Dan
Wells)
- Eric W Jepson, “Saturdayصs Werewolf: Vestiges of the Premortal
Romance in Stephenie Meyerصs Twilight

5:00 PM
- Edgy YA vs. not-so-edgy
(Stacy Whitman, Laura Bingham, Mette Harrison, Julie Wright)
- Making a Living as an Artist
(Steve Keele, Kevin Keele, Joshua Keele, Brian Hailes, Jessica
Douglas, Sarah Seiter, Nathan Hale, Howard Tayler, Bryan Beus, Sandra
Tayler)
- “An Essay into LDS Writers and the Fantastic,” (Michael R. Collings)
- NaNoWriMo: writing a 50,000-word novel in a month. Learn about the
growing number of people getting involved in this annual event.
(Jessica Harmon, Danica West, Julia West, Berin Stephens, Emily
Sorensen)

6:00 PM
- Current trends in children’s (chapter books and middle grade)
genres: what subjects are hot?
(Laura Bingham, Mette Harrison, Julie Wright, Pat Castelli)
- How to write a good short story. You have to be concise, clear,
articulate, and still keep the reader’s interest. What does a short
story writer need to know/do to write a great short story?
(Robert J Defendi, Suzanne Vincent, Eric James Stone, Kathleen Dalton-
Woodbury, Brad R. Torgensen)
- Making a Living as an Artist
(Steve Keele, Kevin Keele, Joshua Keele, Brian Hailes, Jessica
Douglas, Sarah Seiter, Nathan Hale, Howard Tayler, Bryan Beus, Sandra
Tayler)

7:00 PM
Banquet in the Skyroom ($15/person, reservations must be mad by Feb. 6)
Tickets must be purchased by check or ash at LTUE BEFORE 10 AM on
Saturday, Feb. 13. Make checks payable to: Department of Theatre and
Media Arts.

READINGS

Friday:
1:00: Alan Bradbury /
2:00:
3:00: Lisa Mangum
4:00: Roger White/ Julie Wright
5:00: Brandon Sanderson?

Saturday:
1:00: Eric James Stone / Berin Stephens
2:00: John Brown /
3:00: James Dashner
4:00: Aleta Clegg / Heather Monson
5:00: Dan Wells /

We’re moving

A personal update, we just accepted an offer on our house and will be moving. 

I’m not going to post on the internet to where exactly we’re moving, but it is a small town up in the mountains.  I can’t quite shoot off my back porch there as there will still be neighbors, but I can be shooting in a couple of minutes.  

Yay!

Come and see me at Authorpalooza today in Sandy

Today is the Authorpalooza mega-book-signing at the Sandy Barnes & Noble from 1-3.  I’ll be there along with 30 other authors.  So if you’re in the area, drop by and say hi.

We accepted an offer on the house today, so I should really be out house shopping, but that’s how much I love you guys that I’m going to go sign some books. :)

Cover art for MHV

Commentary from our friends in Europe:

I just got this posted to the HK mega-thread. 

Author : Blubby
Comment:
You guys are funny. “Fanboys” and people who are afraid that they cant buy guns as Civilians complaining about marketing of HK? Guys, what you do think whos doing the “marketing” for america? Not german people do that! That is the american HK who have to do such kind of bullshit and anyway, there is no need to discuss why you should need a full automatic HK416, or is there? Do you think we in germany can buy guns as civilians? No! Not a fucking stupid little pistol and that is how it should be in a civilized country!
Just in such “third world” countries like America you can still do so! A lot parts of the USA are as worse as the Iraq or Afghanistan. Just think about it and its a shame that people like you talk about guns like we do about cars! Fucking shame on you!

 

Let me break it down for you:

 

Author : Blubby

Blubby, may I call you Fritz?  Okay, let me reply, Fritz.

 

Comment:
You guys are funny. “Fanboys” and people who are afraid that they cant buy guns as Civilians complaining about marketing of HK?

 

Why, yes.

 

Guys, what you do think whos doing the “marketing” for america? Not german people do that!

 

If only that had had the word “dildoes” in it, I would have sworn that it had been written by Skwisgaar from Dethklok.

 

That is the american HK who have to do such kind of bullshit and anyway, there is no need to discuss why you should need a full automatic HK416, or is there?

 

Uhm… I may have to diagram that sentence, and then get back to you.

 

Do you think we in germany can buy guns as civilians? No!

 

Shouldn’t that be NEIN!

 

Not a fucking stupid little pistol and that is how it should be in a civilized country!

 

Oh, a “civilized” country… You really want to go there, huh?  


Just in such “third world” countries like
America you can still do so!

 

Yep.  Because we retain some measure of personal freedom, we’re a 3rd world country.  Gotcha.

 

A lot parts of the USA are as worse as the Iraq or Afghanistan.

 

Where in the USA exactly is life worse than in Iraq or Afghanistan?  Ironically, I don’t have any kids in my local grade school missing limbs from landmines, nor has my local shopping center been attacked by a suicide bomber lately.  Our women don’t have to wear to wear sacks and my hourly wage is about equivalent to what a Pashtun herdsman makes in a year. 

If you’re talking about violence, we do have some violence, but I believe that you’ll find that the places in America where you are most likely to be brutally murdered also tend to have the most restrictive gun laws.  Ironic, that.

And even then, I’d take Washington DC or Chicago over Kabul or Baghdad anytime. I believe what you did there, Fritz, could be referred to as “talking out your ass”. 

 

 Just think about it and its a shame that people like you talk about guns like we do about cars!

 

You know, Fritz, while you guys do make some pretty snazzy cars, the main reason you are able to speak your mind freely at all (on the internet that 3rd world Americans invented) is because at one point in time, a bunch of Americans that liked to talk about guns liberated you from a bunch of fascist socialist scumbags. Immediately after that, a bunch of other Americans who were also mostly fond of firearms were stationed in your land of fine beer and sausage to keep you from being steamrolled by a bunch of communists.

There are lots of Americans that like to talk about guns. We’re the ones that get called up to kill bad people and to teach slackers like you how to use them when something horrible finally happens that makes you realize you need one.   

 

Fucking shame on you!

 

NEIN, Fritz! Shame on you!

Here in free America I can own and carry a firearm for personal protection. I have carried a gun everyday for a decade.  I have used a gun exactly once to stop a violent encounter. I pulled a gun on somebody who was about to murder my neighbor. My wife was able to stop a would-be rapist because she pulled a gun on him while he was in the process of pushing through our screen door.

Perhaps, if we had been more civilized, like you guys, I could have let an innocent man die in 1997 and my wife could have been violated in 2002.  Now that’s progress!

But having guns is bigger than just the protection of the individual.  Our founding fathers understood that there could come a point in time where the government could become tyrannical and evil.  At that point the democratic process would no longer work, and the only possible way to secure liberty would be for the populace to take up arms against their own government.

Now, of course, it would be IMPOSSIBLE for a tyrannical despot to rise to power in Germany… After all, it is a civilized country…

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