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LTUE 2014

“Use Grammarly’s plagiarism checker because a copy cat always will be declawed!”

I have been attending the LTUE fantasy and science fiction symposium for well over a decade. I attended my very first LTUE with James Dashner. We were both so new as authors, so intimidated and awed by everyone else.  A lot has happened since then, what with James becoming JAMES and me having just published my ninth novel, but I confess . . . there still is a good amount of awe to be had.

Some fun bits of advice I gleaned from my peers while speaking with them on panels and while hovering in the background of their classes as well as from my own personal experience:

  1. Never trust people you only met yesterday with embarrassing information when they will be speaking on a panel with you and will have access to the microphone *cough cough Peter Orullian!* (that might literally be the first time I’ve ever blushed)
  2. Just because you are up to date with the TV series Once Upon a Time, doesn’t mean everyone else is. Refrain from revealing spoilers, such as certain characters getting killed off, just because you have a point about how well written that particular scene was. The collective gasp of several hundred people nearly knocked me off the dais. I am sure I will receive hate mail. I am *so* sorry!
  3. A real hero makes sacrifices–Peter Orullian (who I’m quoting even though he isn’t to be trusted)
  4. Heroism has a sliding scale from little sacrifices to life altering sacrifices–Robison Wells
  5. Make sure your characters are individuals. Your twenty year old hooker will have  different speech patterns, diction, tones from your forty year old housewife.
  6. The difference between a hero and a protagonist is that the protagonist is the point of view, but the hero is the guy who gets the job done. They can be the same person, but they don’t have to be.
  7. Every novel is an act of faith–Larry Correia
  8. The most interesting character is usually the guy who has the most to lose.
  9. Making new friends is the point of conferences for writers. Hi Chad Morris! Oh, I guess hello to you too, Peter . . . 😉
  10. And connecting with old friends is like the sigh of relief that comes at the end of a very busy and stressful week. It was so good to see my dear friend Lee Modesitt. I’ve really missed that guy. I didn’t get to say hi to everyone or really talk to everyone the way I would like, but I so loved seeing you all.
  11. Sleep well before conference and plan on good sleep after conference. Do not plan on sleeping during the conference. Because if you’re sharing a hotel room with Amber Argyle and Krista Jensen, you will giggle until 4 am and end up dragging your barely warmed over corpse to the panels where you’re speaking the next morning (which might account for the lack of judgment on confessions to new friends)
  12. Jeff Savage is my hero because he uplifts everyone he comes in contact with. I wish I had that kind of personality.

The highlight of my symposium was going to lunch with Larry Correia and hearing him order a “sensuous sandwich” and then hearing him giggle like a ten year old girl. If you know Larry, you know why that’s adorable.

Young Adult Book Giveaway

Link list of great young adult book giveaways

I am participating in a blog hop sponsored by: I am a Reader Not a Writer and Down the Rabbit Hole. I’m participating because this particular blog hop giveaway is about YOUNG ADULT BOOKS!!!!!!! Is there anything on the planet I love as much as young adult books?

Only the family, but besides THEM . . . nothing.

I am giving away a brand new copy of NYT bestselling author James Dashner’s Scorch Trials, hardback first edition. This is a YA filled with danger, action, and humanity at its best and worst. Super fun read!

And if you go to the link list, you can see ALL the others who are giving away awesome YA books.

The rules are simple:

1. Follow me on Twitter: @scatteredjules

2. Leave a comment here letting me know you followed me.

The giveaway ends on February 1st at 12:01 AM

As a bonus, I will throw in another YA book of my choice (I have tons of awesome books). I promise it will be a book of high quality and good content because I don’t read things that aren’t.

 

Ring Out Wild Bells

I decided to start the year with a january Blog Hop giveaway. So read to the bottom if you want to participate.

I love the poem by Tennyson: Ring Out Wild Bells. Love it. It’s been put to music in the LDS hymn book, and it’s haunting and beautiful and feels full of promise all at the same time. The song gives me chills. I was disappointed we didn’t sing it on new Year’s Day in Sacrament meeting, but maybe next year.

With two books coming out within the next three months, I have been insanely busy. This means I haven’t blogged very much, which is probably a relief to everyone because then they don’t have to hear me whining over edits, over the fact that every time I think I’ve uncovered the secrets of the comma I realize I haven’t uncovered anything at all, over the fact that my kitchen counters are never clear, over the fact that Mother Nature is a real slacker with the whole winter thing.

I’m really glad I spared you all of that whining. Lucky you guys!

But since it is tradition that I start the year by looking back at the previous year, I’d decided I’d better write *something*. I had things I wanted to do last year, and things that actually were achieved.

Writing. I had tons of writing goals. Long term . . . short term. I wanted to write three books. I wrote two and three quarters. I would have made this goal except the year ended with all kinds of stuff getting piled on me at once and honestly . . . I have three kids who need to know they’re loved. I had to put something aside, and the work in progress was that something. It’s mostly done . . . which feels quite the same as mostly dead. I will pick that up again in another week or two. The two books that did find their way to completion are also the two coming out in the next few months. Olivia (which is part of the series written with Josi Kilpack, Heather Moore, and Annette Lyon) is coming out in February. And Hazzardous Universe: The Magician’s Last Words (Loving that title!) is coming out in March. The book that is mostly done is called Capes and Curls. It’s a fairytale retelling featuring Little Red Riding Hood and Goldilocks. It’s been a fun write, and I cannot wait to go back to it.

I wanted to read 70 books and I read 78. One of these days maybe I will be as well read as Jessica Day George. But probably not. That girl is a machine! I fell in love with Jim Butcher’s writing over the year and ended the year with James Dashner’s Death Cure. It was an epic ending to the series. It was fitting and believably human. I genuinely loved it. if you haven’t read it–then a pox upon your head. Dashner did a great job and Death Cure was a great book to end my reading year. Thanks James.

I wanted to get into shape. But one ACL snap and torn meniscus later, I am just grateful to be walking. I’ve come to the point that I can walk without a limp most of the time. I still struggle on stairs. I can do them, but sometimes if my knee is really hurting, it’s slow going. A rather severe depression overcame me at the time I injured my knee. It’s strange how a physical ailment can have such an emotional impact. I’m clawing my way out of it. Some days are great and there’s no pain at all. Others are less than great. It is the way of things.

I wanted my kids to be safe and happy. They are that for certain. I’m so grateful for the joy those three kids give me. I love listening to them laugh and hearing their ideas. I love the way they see the world and the fact that they aren’t afraid to share their thoughts with Mr. Wright and me. I love their jokes and hard work, and the way they care about others. Families are important things. And not every day is perfect in any family, but every day is worth experiencing because they are there: parents, siblings, in laws, nieces, nephews, children, spouses. I’m glad for the people in my life.

It was a good year. I was able to do some cool things and spend time with cool people. I’m glad to have another year at my disposal. Maybe I’ll get three books written this year . . .

I wish all of you a great New Year. May you accomplish your goals and be happy. As a way to kick off the year, I’m joining

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer in a blog hop giveaway for a young adult novel. I have in my possession a hardback copy of James Dasher’s Scorch Trials. To qualify for the giveaway, either follow my blog *or* follow me on Twitter http://twitter.com/scatteredjules and leave a comment on this post. That’s it. If you already follow both, then just leave a comment and tell me you’re awesome. And make sure to go to the blog hop link to view all the other blogs giving away YA books so you can have chances to win other way cool books by way cool authors. The giveaway runs from January 27th to 31st US only entries please.

Dave Farland’s New Series

Dave Farland has  a new fantasy called Nightengale, published by East India Press www.nightingalenovel.com
Nightingale launches a marvelous contemporary fantasy for young adults, a grand adventure overflowing with wonders.  Alternately laugh-out-loud funny and terrifying, there’s a sweetness and passion to this novel that keeps readers up long into the night. This looks like something entirely new. It’s an enhanced novel which takes a bold step into the future of pulishing. I’m a fan of Dave’s works and am excited to read his new novel. I have a reluctant early teen reader in my house that this particular book is sure to be a hit with. Go check it out!
“A thrilling ride, with plenty of twists, action, and amazing characters.  I ripped through it.  Highly recommended.”
– James Dashner
New York Times Bestseller
“A beautifully crafted experience: stunning art, haunting music and delightfully subtle animated accents all accompany a riveting and deeply human story. There is (quite literally) nothing
else like it.”
– Editionals
“Farland is simply one of the best sci-fi and fantasy writers alive.”
– Orson Scott Card
Hugo, Nebula, and World
Fantasy Award Winner

Letters

Dear Mother Nature: That was one wicked lightning storm last night while I was driving the lone highways of Utah. I’m a huge fan of your work, and I think you’ve outdone yourself. It was so brilliant and otherworldly, I half-wondered if the alien invasion was coming. My normally static-ridden hair was straight on end. Bravo for a spectacular performance!

Dear Man in Bookstore: No, I wasn’t admiring you. I was admiring the newly packaged leather-bound copies of To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The fact that you weren’t admiring the books I was admiring, in spite of the fact that you stood right next to them, means you really aren’t my type and I’ll never be admiring you. Sorry. I hope we can still be friends  . . . in the I’ll-never-see-you-again-thank-goodness sort of way.

Dear James Dashner: Thank you for writing such a fun book. I truly enjoyed Scorch Trials and cannot wait for Death Cure. Your book kept me company while I drove the lone highways of Utah and watched Mother Nature do her thing. Your book and I had a great time together. Also thanks for the phone call. I”m glad you’re my friend.

Dear Family: Thanks for not putting me up for adoption when I get weird. You guys keep me grounded.

Dear friends: Thanks for all the comments, private emails, and words of encouragement. I promise not to stop writing even though I did consider it for a few minutes. I appreciate all your support. You guys are like a lifetime supply of flashlights with batteries.

Dear Manuscript in Progress: Sorry for the trim yesterday, but you look much tidier now. Those forty pages made you look a shaggy guy wandering around with no sense of purpose. It’s true when they say, “this hurts me more than it hurts you.” so stop whining.

Dear House: No you aren’t going to be clean this week. You’d think you’d be used to it by now. Honestly, House, you whine as much as Manuscript in Progress.

Dear Me: Why are you on the Internet when you have Manuscript in Progress to get ready?