My short story is published! You can find A Little Magic in Volatile When Mixed, An Anthology of Poetry and Prose on Amazon.
My short story, The Cellar, is now published and available through Amazon in It Came From the Great Salt Lake: A Collection of Utah Horror. (edited by K. Scott Forman) Check it out, along with the other scary stories in the book. I hope you enjoy it!
A Little Magic, Amanda Yardley Luzzader, Chadd VanZanten, classes, Dean Wesley Smith, friendship, fun, Johnny Worthen, League of Utah Writers, League of Utah Writers Conference, learning to write, Maxwell Alexander Drake, Owen Egerton, Scott Forman, short story, short story contest, winner, writing, Writing Conference
The League of Utah Writers annual conference was held in Logan this weekend (August 28-29), and my friend, Annette, and I drove up together. We had a great time. The classes were fun, interesting, and informative, the food was delicious, and I got to pitch my new book. I talked to other authors, handed out my card for Double Play, and collected a bunch of business cards and bookmarks for books I am looking forward to reading. Dean Wesley Smith was the keynote speaker at the conference banquet, and he encouraged us all to have fun while we launch into the changing world of writing and publishing. I learned all about how to craft a fight scene and make magic believable from the enthusiastic Maxwell Alexander Drake, how to write humor from Owen Egerton, all about self-publishing (a very informative class) from Cindy Hogan, and putting conflict in fiction from the vibrant and entertaining Johnny Worthen, who has a new book coming out soon. The panel discussions were interesting. In Scott Forman’s class on writing horror, I outlined a new horror story that I am eager to write. One of the most thought provoking classes was Between the Lines: Conceit and Thesis, by the brilliant Chadd VanZanten, who also won the top prize of Writer of the Year. In our down time Annette and I had a wonderful time talking about life and writing, and we made a lot of new friends too. Most exciting of all, I won first place for my short story, A Little Magic, in the Short Genre Fiction category. That was amazing. I really appreciate Amanda Yardley Luzzader and all those who worked with her to make this conference a success.
adventure, Ben Stiller, book, Cheryl Melhoff, comedy, creativity, Danny Kaye, David Bowie, fantasy, fun, icon, imagination, James Thurber, Kristen Wiig, Major Tom, movie, movie review, Samuel Goldwyn, Sean O'Connell, Sean Penn, short story, Space Oddity, symbolism, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Todd Maher, Walter Mitty
The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, published in 1939, was one of James Thurber’s most famous stories. Considered a masterpiece, it has made its mark on our society and even our language. It is the story of a little man who spends his time in heroic daydreams when in real life he is dominated by his wife and doomed to boredom. The story was radically adapted in the 1947 movie, in which Danny Kaye enlivens the story with music and overcomes his daydreams to become a real-life hero. Now we get another look at Walter Mitty in the 2013 film starring Ben Stiller. Walter starts out as a wimpy negative assets manager (photographs) for Life Magazine, a man who daydreams about fantastic adventures and his beautiful but unobtainable co-worker, Cheryl Melhoff. But the company is being downsized as it converts to on-line status, and everyone fears for their jobs. Famous photojournalist Sean O’Connell sends Walter a package containing a wallet and negatives, and tells him that negative 25 captures the ‘quintessence of Life magazine,’ and that it should be used for the cover of the magazine’s final print issue. But negative 25 is missing, and so Walter follows the clues and sets out to track down Sean and find the negative. Inspired by the imaginary Cheryl singing about Major Tom (Space Oddity, by David Bowie), Walter gains the courage to have real life, fantastic adventures (such as jumping out of a helicopter flown by a drunk into icy, shark infested waters, outracing an erupting volcano, skateboarding down a lonely highway, and climbing mountains in the Himalayas), all the while having cell phone conversations with the persistent customer services rep Todd Maher from e-Harmony. Walter ends up changing himself and finding happiness through his real life adventures. I really enjoyed this whimsical version of Walter Mitty. There are layers and layers of meaning beneath the silliness. We all have a little Walter Mitty inside us. For the most part our lives are boring and predicable. We yearn for adventure. Too few of us actually seize the chance to actually go and do something exciting. So here’s my new year’s challenge to myself and to all of you: this year, go and do something courageous and outrageously out of your comfort zone. Go and have an adventure! (And see the movie.)
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