Many Winners!

Congrats to Cynthia Borgmeyer Clubbs! You are the winner of a signed copy of “The Canticle Kingdom”.

The author survey contest has also ended. I have emailed the winner of the $10 Amazon gift card (Karlene Browning) and three other author services. When I have compiled a report, I will send all those who participated a copy. Thank you all for helping me further my education. Now to go write the paper!

Come back on Friday for the cover reveal of my next anthology: Carol of the Tales and Other Nightly Noels. Everything is coming together nicely.

Have a great week!

Fairy Tale Giveaway Hop

View fairy tale hop final.jpg in slide show

Another great blog hop where all the prizes having something to do with fairy tales. I’m giving away a copy of my fairy-tale based book “The Canticle Kingdom.” It is part of a series that includes the prequel “The Canticle Prelude” and will include two sequels coming out soon.

Speaking of fairy tales, I’m collecting fairy tale stories for a new anthology with Grimm-style stories. Take a look at that project and more under “Current Projects” on this site.


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The Canticle Prelude Kickoff Contest

How would you like to read the complete compilation of The Canticle Prelude? It includes all the serial chapters from the series “Canticle of Night”, “Canticle of Dawn” and “Canticle of Twilight”. It is a great read to start before you read “The Canticle Kingdom” or even after you have. This compilation includes a bonus chapter linking the serial stories and the novel previously unreleased, as well as the sheet music for piano of the song that the music box plays, which I also wrote.

Head over to the site for more details:

New Year, New Goals

Happy New Year, everyone! 
I’m feeling very blessed and glad to have a fresh start at life. The end of 2012 was not the brightest point in recent memory. However, in 2013, things are already looking up.
 In 2012, I achieved my goal of writing 600,000 words in a year. This was a growing experience. This year, I do want to focus on revision. I produced a lot of content, and I want to make sure that all that effort gets seen by actual people sometime. So most of 2013 will be dedicated to both revising current projects, and mapping out future projects. But that’s not to say that I won’t be producing some new material.
Last year, I experimented with the idea of putting together a self-published anthology. This was a wonderful experience in which I got to interact with a host of wonderful authors, editors, and artists. We are all very pleased with the finished product and so I’ve decided that we need to create other such projects. Our first anthology has already raised over $1000 for charity alone. I think that is an excellent first step. I foresee doing two other anthologies in the series to make it a trilogy. All of the stories will be based on Christmas carols, and hopefully some that are new and interesting to all of you.
I’ve also come up with two additional ideas for anthologies for which I would like to collect over the long run.
The first of these will be called “Silver Linings”. This is an anthology that collects true stories of people who experienced trials that turned out to be blessings. Hence the name.  I’ve already had some submissions and they have been excellent. Please keep them coming!
The other anthology for which I would like to collect is a collection of modern fairy tales similar to the style of the Brothers Grimm. If the brothers went out today and asked people for their stories , what would they tell them? I am coming up with a few stories of my own for this anthology, but I would love to hear what the rest of you have in mind!
If you would like information on any of these projects, simply click on “current projects” above.
As I will be doing a lot of revising this year, I’m also interested in people who would like to be beta readers for my manuscripts. Many of my manuscripts are either fantasy or science fiction, so I would like you to be well-versed in that genre if you would like to become one of my beta readers. If you are interested, please just send me an e-mail. I could use quite a few. I have a lot of projects on various stages of completion and really would like to see some of them out on the shelves.
For those of you who are fans of The Canticle Kingdom or The Last Archangel, I have good news for you. Not only will I be continuing my audio series with Big World Network that links to both of these franchises, but I have developed two more books for each of the series, full-length novels that bring the stories started in the first books to a satisfying conclusion. I’m working on revising them now, and hope to get them out soon, possibly through Big World Network. I will post more information as it becomes available.
I’m also hoping this coming holiday season to put together a concert for charity in conjunction with my two anthology releases. I am still looking for people with which to collaborate on this. I’m hoping to partner with at least one high school choir or any other musical group out of the community. They will perform carols based on the carols that are highlighted in the anthologies.
Please contact me if you know anyone who might be interested.
That’s all I have for now, folks! I’d love to hear from you now. What are your writing goals this year? What do you hope to accomplish? All the best in all your endeavors, and please let me know if there is anything that I can do.

My Best Writing Year Ever: How I Did It

 600,000 words in 365 days. In December 2011, that was my goal. I honestly didn’t know if I could do it. That was like writing words equal to NaNoWriMo (50,000) every month for an entire year. As of Dec 20th, 2012, I hit 609,548 words for the year.

I had to set some ground rules for myself. I said that only writing that I intended to try to publish in some form would count, and the prewriting that I did for any novels or short stories. Anything I did for work, emails, etc would not count. 
I also thought that I needed to keep very good track so I could have exact word counts. My first step was to create an excel spreadsheet with 12 tabs, and label them for the months. I took a cell and set it up to display the total of the all numbers in the first column. Then, any time I wrote something, I put the word total in the next open cell in the first column. This kept an automatic running total with little hassle. I then set up a cell in each sheet that added up all of the total cells, so I could have a running total of everything I had done for the year. 
This sheet helped keep me motivated. I could always tell how much progress I had made and how much I had yet to do. 
I then evaluated my writing style. I know that I work best when I have a few projects going at a time, and so I mapped out the things I wanted to work on next and decided to work on each of these projects every day. I prioritized the projects to work on the ones I wanted to get done first early in the year. 
Then, there really wasn’t a big trick to it. I committed to writing every day and anytime I could. I tried to bring my laptop with me for times when I had a few minutes. If I didn’t have my laptop, I wrote using my iPod. If I didn’t have that, I kept a notebook handy to write, or prepare myself for writing so that I could move more quickly when I got to it.  
The biggest thing is to know when your best productive times of the day are and really use them for all they are worth. During these times, minimize distractions. Turn off Facebook, check your email once before you got to the writing zone, or whatever you need to do. Pinterest will still be there when you get back. There are even programs such as Cold Turkey, which will allow you to block these sites for a certain time limit while you write. Pretty useful. 
I experienced some major setbacks. I had some really busy weeks, such as the week before “The Secret Garden ” opened, in which I was an actor. Two LDS General Conferences and countless other events for the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Looming deadlines for work, a complete hard drive meltdown, severe sickness and many other things inhibited my ability to write. There were times when I fell way behind and had to rush forward by writing 10,000 words on the last two days of the month. 
I’m here to tell you that persistence pays. Just like in running a marathon, it does not do you any good to spend all of your energy in one burst and then stop running. You must keep a steady pace, with occasional bursts of speed to catch up in order to do your best. I believe that goals help writers push themselves to accomplish more than they normally would. Here’s a glimpse into what I wrote this year: 
The Canticle Kingdom Book III
The Last Archangels, Books II and III
Elected (Partial) 
The Death Seer (Partial) 
The Ward Choir Survival Guide 
The Ultimate Morning Study Companion (German/English) 
Voices in My Blood (Partial, co-authored)
Personal History 2012 
Short Stories 
Many, including ones for two anthologies “Sing We Now of Christmas” and “Carol of the Tales”. 
When Death Comes (Musical) 
Christmas Spirits the Musical (Partial) 
Serial Stories
Canticle of Dawn
Canticle of Twilight
Age of Archangels Seasons I and II
Christmas Spirits 
Dozens of articles for 
This next year is going to be taken up in revision and getting these and works from past years polished up and better ready to submit. If anyone else is up to the challenge, I highly recommend it. I accomplished so much this year and it is great now to look back and see that it all worked out. I am committed and serious about writing and will continue to put in the long hours that it takes to realize my potential. 
What are your writing goals for the coming year? 
A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all! 

Book Lovers Holiday Giveaway Hop

I’m fresh off a win from NaNoWriMo with 50,000 words towards a single novel and 30,000 other words written for a personal best of 80,000 words written in one month. Congrats to all those who finished NaNoWriMo!

Another great giveaway hop where you can win some great things just in time for the holidays. Enter below on the Rafflecopter widget, and then visit the many other blogs participating. Thanks, and happy holidays!

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Advent Event Day 3

 Welcome to day 3 of the Advent Event! Please share this event with your friends. The more anthologies we can sell, the more money we can raise for the National Down Syndrome Society.

Purchase the book here:

Or visit this site for more information:

Here’s a look at the next two stories:

“The Mistletoe” by Janet Olsen

Charlie stood outside the shop, watching through the window as children waited to see Santa, the younger ones clinging to their mothers. Charlie couldn’t help but feel a little sorry for Santa. So many children feared him.
“Hey man, what ya doing out here?” Tony joined Charlie on the sidewalk.
“Do you think I’m too old to see Santa?”
Tony chuckled. “You’re looking at him through the glass right now.”
“You know what I mean.”
“A twenty-five-year-old man would look kinda funny sitting on Santa’s lap.” Tony turned to his friend. Charlie stared through the window but he wasn’t looking at what was inside. “You’re not still moping about Bernice, are ya?”
“No—like you said, we were all wrong for each other. I hate that she dumped me right before Christmas but It’s fine.” Charlie shifted in the cold pulling his coat tighter. “I just wish…”
Charlie shook his head and pulled out the package he was delivering to Tony. Tony thanked him and shoved the box into his pocket before they stepped into the warmth of the shop.
“Come on—I’m not Santa, but I can listen to your Christmas wish.”

“In the Bleak Midwinter” by Teresa G. Osgood

“Chop your wood, sir?  Please, sir?  Carry your bundle, miss?”
The bleak midwinter day was coming to a close, and the chance of filling my belly was close to naught.  The few townspeople still on the street rushed by my corner, arms full, muffled faces down.
“Fetch your water, ma’am?”
“Bit late for that, ain’t it?”  The crone looked up to cackle at me.  “The well’s frozen over.  You’d best get on home, lad,” she called, but I was already headed across the square.
I slipped two or three times on the morning’s snow, packed down over the snow from yesterday and from the day before.  The well was an inky pit, but surely the ink was still liquid.  I let down the heavy bucket.
I thought the bucket must have hit the stony side of the shaft, so I pulled on the rope, jiggled it a bit.  Again, I heard the sound of oak on stone, and I knew the old woman had told me the truth.  A parched feeling spread across my throat, competing with the hollowness of my belly.
The wind whipped past, snatching at the shawl around my shoulders.  I grabbed it back.  That shawl was all I had left of my mum, near all that was keeping me alive in this world.  I looked up to see the wind chasing the last tattered clouds away.  Stars were coming out like so many shards of ice.  I shuddered, and picked my way toward the alley.

And here a look of one of the prizes:

A signed copy of my first novel. The prequel just came out on Amazon, called “The Canticle Prelude”.

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Mayday Update

April is a Winning Month!
Welcome to another month! April was a very difficult month for writing. I had the opening of “The Secret Garden”, the crash of my computer and a thousand other things vying for my time. I’m pleased to report, however, that on April 30th, I jumped over the finish line for 50,000 words in April.  That was a close one! I had to find all sorts of little times to write a little here and there. It really does add up.
My hard drive situation is still not taken care of, but I have high hopes. I will get back to posting writing stats once I get back my old records. Until then, just know that I’ve done about 200,000 words already this year! Many fun projects coming your way soon.

Canticle Kingdom eBook
Great news! “The Canticle Kingdom” is now available as an eBook!  You can get the Kindle edition here: and on the Nook:  Many of the Canticle Kingdom prequel stories are going eventually to be in eBook form as well, and the two sequels I am writing will be in eBook form as well, so this makes me very happy.  

I went to the LDStorymakers conference this weekend  down in Provo and it was just to soak in all the knowledge and to get a chance to pitch to agent Holly Root. I think it all went really well!  I also loved seeing all of my writer friends and catching up on their amazing projects. We are in good company in our organization.
Last week, I attended a great workshop given David Farland about outlining. If you ever have a chance to take anything from him, jump at it. He has trained many NYT bestsellers and is one himself. You can find more about him at

All the stories are in for the Christmas Anthology, and one of the major steps that now needs to be made is to name it.
To this end, I’m announcing a contest. Send me in your best name suggestions and we’ll take a vote. If you suggest the winning name, you’ll get credit in the anthology, a free copy of the anthology when it comes out and your choice of one of my books or a free three-chapter edit from me if you’d rather.
Keep in mind the nature of the anthology, which is that it is comprised of short stories based on Christmas songs.  Please keep all suggestions family friendly, and be creative as you can be. Send all submissions to:

‘Til I see you again, live bravely and write well! 

Autism Awareness Blog Hop

For the next little bit (April 11th -17th), I am suspending my usual activities to participate in the Autism Awareness Blog hop.
My oldest son, Jarem, has a form of autism and I hear all the time how much more prevalent it is becoming. I’m very glad that there are so many resources to help people with autism.
I encourage you all to go to order to learn more.
In honor of this blog hop, I’m giving away a free signed copy of “The Canticle Kingdom”. You can use the widget to enter below, and don’t forget to follow the other blogs who are participating in the hop for more ways to win. 

Also don’t forget to check out my web serials to which I have contributed.

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Young Adult Blog Hop Winner and Upcoming Conference

Thanks to all who entered my entry on the YA Blog Hop. What a great response! As promised, I will reveal the cover of Canticle Kingdom II, but I think I will opt to do it on Monday, as we have a few other things for today.


Congrats to Samara O Tye! You have won the drawing for a signed copy of “The Canticle Kingdom.”  If you didn’t win this time, rest assured there will be plenty more blog hops to do.


I wanted to let you all know about a great writer’s conference happening in May that you should all go to if you live anywhere around Utah.  It is called LDStorymakers and it has some of the best classes, workshops and agent pitch sessions in the West. Each year just keeps getting better.

You can also win a great VIP spot at the banquet there with author Kevin Anderson and others. All you have to do is help get the word out. Get the details here:

If you want to learn more, follow this link address:
There are only a limited number of spots and many of them are filled.  Sign up soon!

Upcoming Appearances: 

I’ve got two great appearances coming right up in the next week.  On Saturday, Feb 4th, from 1pm – 4pm, I will be at the Sandy, UT Barnes and Noble signing both of my books as part of their semi-annual Authorpalooza. There will be tons of great authors there, so don’t miss it!

I’m also presenting and signing at BYU’s annual Life, the Universe, and Everything conference, being held at Utah Valley University. I will only be there on Feb the 9th, but have lots of events, such as the debut of my new presentation: “How to Avoid Cliche Like the Plague”.

Futher Information:
Guide to Career Education is a resource with information on English classes.