April is Great…No Foolin’!

A happy Easter weekend to you all! 

Hello, everyone. I apologize for not checking in earlier this week. Between singing in LDS General Conference over the weekend and doing dress rehearsals for “The Secret Garden” at the Hale Center Theater Orem, I’ve been pretty booked. It was a bit of a rough start for the first part of April as far as writing goes, but I made up for it with a good writing day yesterday.
Here’s a few announcements:
I’m going to be in Ephraim Utah at the “Write Here in Ephraim” event, teaching my class on avoiding cliché and signing books. It will be held most of the day on Saturday April 14th at Snow College, so stop by if you are in the area.
All the submissions for my Christmas anthology are in and there are great things in store. I have an editor and a cover artist on board and I’m ready to go. One of my favorites is a historical fiction piece that centers around the legend of Good King Wenceslas.  Look for that and more this holiday season.  (Sounds like I need a movie trailer voice there.)
If you’d like to see me and many other wonderful actors and actress’s in “The Secret Garden” you can get your tickets online at http://www.haletheater.org. The first performances start April 13th and the show runs all the way until June 2nd. I will be performing every Monday, Wednesday and Friday night as well as some of the Saturday matinees. (I’ll post those later). I highly recommend you come see this one. It not only has incredible music, but a timeless and touching story that will stay with you long after the show is over.
Also don’t forget to check out my web serials to which I have contributed.
Running Total: 173357
Month to Date:  8731
Yearly Percentage to Go: 71.1%
Writing Tip of the Week:
It really pays to plan. I’m reading over some things that I wrote in my early writing days when I just went for it without taking much time to plan. I found things rambling more often than not. I don’t think there is one true way of planning, but I think whatever works best for you is the way you should go. I’m attending David Farland’s Million Dollar Outlines workshop this month, so I’m sure I’ll have more to say on the subject later.
Writing Update:
Wandaful is finished! I see that one as a series, but I’m not sure exactly how long yet. I’m going to let that one sit for a week before taking it up again so that it has time to ‘simmer’.  Now I’m just wondering what to do next. I have several options, and I’m not sure which one would be best. I’ll be sure to let you all know.
‘Til I see you again, write bravely and live well! 

Avoiding Cliche Like the Plague

I’m back! I apologize for the short hiatus. From choir tours, to auditions, to funerals and more, my life has been on overdrive lately.
There have been many personal triumphs lately. For starters, if you are living in Utah, be sure to come see me perform in “The Secret Garden” at the Hale Center Theater Orem beginning in April.  You can get details at http://www.haletheater.org.
I’ll let you know of the others in my writing update. As far as writing goes, I’ve really hit my stride. Just take a look at the numbers:

My word count for the week: 11,672
Running Total: 75,586
Writing Tip of the Week:
I’ll start sharing some tips from my presentation at UVU called “Avoiding Cliché Like the Plague”. (See picture at the beginning of the post) Here’s my first installment:
There are three kinds of cliché I try to strike out of my writing:
Cliché Phrases: “He’s as skinny as a pole.”
Cliché Plot Points: “The knight saves the damsel.”
Cliché Characters: “The elf has pointy ears, and an affinity for baking.”
All of them can helped by taking what you have and twisting it, adding a vivid detail or two.  Instead you could have:
“He’s as skinny as a melting icicle.”
“The knight’s horse saves the knight.”
“The elf is a sculptor whose greatest dream is to fly.”
Much more interesting, huh?
Writing Update:
One of my short stories “Checkin’ It Twice” was accepted into an anthology this week. It will be out in time for the holiday season.  I’ll post more when I have it.
Speaking of Christmas anthologies, I still have a few slots in my own Christmas anthology of stories based on Christmas carols. Please check it out under “current projects”. 
I’m getting ready to submit a short story to David Farland’s “Nightingale” contest. It can only be 2,500 words, but I think it’s great. Here’s hoping.
I also had two short stories become finalists in the Parables for Today contest (parablesfortoday.com). I’m waiting to hear if I’ll get one of the cash prizes (1st-5th place), but I’ll be happy in any case, because they will be in that anthology as well.
Things also plug along well with the novels, with about 20,000 words in each. 
“Canticle of Night” has reached over the halfway point and has been really fun.  Please take a moment to support it by clicking the ‘like’ button on the page.
If you want to listen to or read “Canticle of Night”, please visit my page at http://www.bigworldnetwork.com/CanticleofNight.html
I’d love to know what you think about it!