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:

Stats:
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!

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.

Winner:

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.

LDStorymakers:

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: http://ldstorymakerauthors.blogspot.com/2012/01/show-your-love-for-ldstorymakers.html

If you want to learn more, follow this link address: http://ldstorymakers.com/conferences/registration/
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.