Monday, September 30, 2013

China Doll By Ginger Mann...A Review

*

The following is a review of the second story in the upcoming Shades And Shadows Paranormal Anthology, to be released Halloween Day, 2013 from Xchyler Publishing. There are nine short stories focused on the paranormal, as well as a forward by the multi-talented Ben Hansen of SyFy Channel's Fact or Faked. This story in the anthology is titled China Doll, by Ginger Mann.

The second story in this paranormal anthology differs greatly from the first. Where the first focused on creepy things going "bump" in the night, China Doll takes another path. It's a more cerebral. Mann introduces us to the item after which the story's named, and Kris, the owner of the precious doll. 

I suppose the picture I've used on this blog post is a small spoiler alert, and I apologize for that, but the doll is a device Mann uses to develop a strong central character in Kris. We see life through the eyes of a young girl who loses the one thing she loves more than anything in life. We feel her joy, her pain, the choices she must make. The story is well-paced and the chapter breaks move the story along. When I finished I was surprised at how quickly I read through the entire thing.

China Doll takes its reader on a journey where family love, a child's heartache, and magic take center stage. The ending allowed my mind to explore the possibilities. Ginger Mann did a great job on a sweet and sometimes sad story.

* Photo Saving Face, by Amy Haskins used without permission from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/91571659@N03/8394028863/in/photolist-dMKAkz-5HLSCJ-5CZzcj-dWMd6k-7V6W8W-qWqKZ-8LDmBi-5QZ8vm-6qE612-5FAB67-WaSmN-5e2FCH-bEeg1r-6jJAs2-cDj14G-unMk-dguyrz-7HSPYt-ekHriW-7HSP3K-bp8oaR-4YsRQy-7M6Prm-72jyj7-dRDyJw-8GaPen-8GdZt3-8GaPoc-9oQCtg-9gHKYP-9p7b4h-brjrKJ-eqowVP-6t8Qrc-6tcYoG-6vGUL-Jezav-fsEtH7-3RLNYb-eABkCY-8jYWP-e1cUMR-68Uitg-6tcYw7-2CvAJ7-dXFZfa-uTvKG-7BFw2P-bYMPPN-9pg48r-bbDNjK?reg=1&src=sharev3#

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Getting The Shot...


I walked into the living room yesterday morning and saw the cat sitting on top of the couch. It wasn't so much the cat that caught my attention, but the sunlight shining down on the cat. I quickly grabbed my camera.


I don't know if I've been told this, or it's something that came to my mind, but when I think of photography, it's basically the manipulation of light. Without light, no photography can exist. The light coming into the living room was extremely bright and such bright light bouncing off the stunningly white fur of the cat looked amazing.


So, I had good light and good subject matter. I began taking pictures. I was only able to get a couple of pictures before the cat became bored and left her moment in the good light. With digital photography (at least, for me...) I snap as many pictures I can and hope things work out. I haven't worked in a studio so I haven't had a lot of experience setting up the shot.


Of course, it's not until I download the pictures on to my computer can I really tell if anything worked. It was the last picture I took, the one below, that turned out to be my favorite. I know I've posted many pictures of our cat before, but I really like this one a lot. Yesterday morning, I got the shot I wanted.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Music Man by Eric White...A Review

*

The following is a review of the first story in the upcoming Shades And Shadows Paranormal Anthology, to be released Halloween Day, 2013 from Xchyler Publishing. There are nine short stories focused on the paranormal, as well as a forward by the multi-talented Ben Hansen of SyFy Channel's Fact or Faked. The first story in the anthology is titled Music Man, by Eric White.

The story, Music Man, centers around a decade's old mystery and one man's obsession to make things right. The narrator paints for us a picture of an almost idyllic childhood memory, a memory we know cannot end well. White masterfully transports us to an age of children where adventures consume their thoughts and actions. 

The story, however, is interrupted by details relived in the narrator's tortured mind. He sets up the scene, then slowly introduces plot points that change a child's world of wonder to a nightmare where betrayal, and evil dwell. White takes the most vulnerable character and makes him the victim.

Without disclosing too much of the story, when you think it will end, it continues and doubles down on its strange reality. With half the story consumed I could not envision the ending, which left me considering the future of the characters.

The narration is choppy as it jumps from present day to the narrator's memory of events, almost as if we can feel the storyteller's angst in his retelling. I found this very effective as it helped set the tone of the story.

It drew me in and made my mind expand with possibilities. It's one reason I love short stories. It's the first story in the anthology. I can't wait to read the rest. Well done, Eric!

* Photo used without permission from Eric's Facebook Site: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=391937140906764&set=pb.105288346238313.-2207520000.1380412597.&type=3&theater

Friday, September 27, 2013

A Century Of Dart-Ness...


I spotted this sticker on a minivan last week and it brought back memories. It also made me realize a couple of things. 

First, I realized it's been a long time since I was in high school.

And second, our school is REALLY old.

Okay, technically, the school is not old at all. The edifice that was the original high school built in 1914 was torn down and a new sparkly building was built to replace it a decade ago. I was sad to see the old building go, but seriously, short of putting up red velvet ropes and turning it into a museum, there was really no choice for the old girl.

The mascot for Davis High is a dart. That's right, a dart. We were, and those who attend the school today, the mighty, mighty darts. 

And the darts are a century old.

Dear old Davis High School, we'll fight for you.
We'll fight for Davis, we're up to snuff,
We never, never, never bluff.
Against the Darts of Davis, none can progress,
Three cheers for Davis are 
D-H-S!
Against the Darts of Davis, none can progress,
Three cheers for Davis are 
D-H-S!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Why Didn't They Have These When I Was Young?


Last week we picked up my son at one of those trampoline places. If you're unfamiliar with the concept, imagine a place where trampolines line the floors and walls and children and adults alike can frolic to their heart's content.

So, my question is, why didn't these places exist when I was my son's age?

 

There are actually a lot of things that didn't exist when I was my son's age. Video games, deep-fried Twinkies, TSA. Some I would not want, but others, like Get Air Sportsplex, located 1188 Sportsplex Drive, Kaysville, Utah, 84037, would have been a blast.

Of course, each generation looks upon others with both regret and admiration. I wonder if my son would ever want to grow up in the 1970's.

Probably not...


Get Air Sportplex in Kaysville Website: HERE

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Waiting To Feel Worse...Didn't Happen


At work on Monday our team leader said, "There's something going around, so if you don't feel good or think you've gotten it, stay home."

Today I took his advice.

We have some important deadlines coming up and a virus could really put a dent into the schedule.

Yesterday afternoon my head began to feel fuzzy--you know that feeling when you're not sure if you're going to feel worse. We've been putting in a lot of hours at work and we had that yard sales last weekend, maybe it was my body telling me I needed to take a break.

I slept in this morning. I was waiting to feel worse, but as it turns out, I feel better, so I don't believe I caught what's "going around..." That's good news.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Day For Public Transportation...


I could have driven from my office building downtown to the training held 40 miles away. That would mean I would have to drive to the office in the morning. Leave around noon, drive to the training, then drive home after. Or, I could just take a series of buses and trains to accomplish the same thing. I took a picture on each leg of my journey.


The 6am Frontrunner southbound train.


The 615 downtown bus.



I arrived early for the train trip north so I snapped a few pictures.


The train trip north.


And the train trip south. Ever since I lived in Europe decades ago, I've loved riding on the train. It's something we here in the west don't get to appreciate as much as those on the east coast do. I probably won't be taking another trip like this any time soon, but if I do, I hope I can again utilize public transportation.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Cap't Monkey And Tooele Boy And The Big Decision...A Short Story

Santa Monica Pier amusements

Flash Fiction Photo Prompt

I had to edit this week's story. It was too long, but it was fun. Here are the rules if you'd like to give it a go yourself!

1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story
2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday to link up your post.
4) Link up your story at these sites: Nicole, Carrie, Leanne, or Tena.  
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.

And the five words -

Bingo
Courage
Saliva
Ant
Brooch

 Enjoy!

 Cap't Monkey And Tooele Boy And The Big Decision

"Cap't Monkey?"

"Yes, Tooele Boy?"

"I'm thinking of buying a boat."

"What?!" A solution of milk and saliva spewed from the captain's mouth as Tooele Boy chose an inopportune time to share his latest ambition while the two lunched at Arbys. "Are you crazy?"

"I don't think so. Is it crazy to buy a boat?"

"For someone responsible? No. And why do you want a boat, anyway?"

"Last week I saw a picture of a couple on a boat. The man was full of courage and the woman was...well, she was full of something else. They looked like they were having fun."

"Fun? I don't know if I'd call it fun. Remember, I was a ship's captain for seven months back during the Clinton Administration?" 

A puzzled look spread across Tooele Boy's face.

"That's why I'm a Cap't."

"I thought it was because you ate sugared cereal."

"Listen," Cap't Monkey fought to control his rage. "I'm tired of telling you that's not true."

After a moment, Cap't Monkey continued. "Tooele Boy, I know that you know that I know a lot about a lot of things...printer toner, jury nullification, ant species. But if there's one thing I know very well, it's boats. I just don't think it's a good decision for you."

"Gee, Cap't Monkey. I know you're trying to help, but I still want a boat."

The wise former boat commander thought of a way to stop his friend from making a monumental mistake. Suddenly, an idea came to him.

"Tooele Boy, follow me." The two left Arbys and walked across the street to the city's thirteenth-largest arcade.

"This place is amazing!" Tooele Boy said, his eyes dancing to to the brilliant lights of the den of electronic entertainment. "Do they have boats in here?"

"No boats, but they do have this!" Cap't Monkey pointed to an older machine. "This, Tooele Boy, is one of my favorite games. Magical Moleo!" Inside the game was a weathered plaster face with mysterious eyes. Fading paint adorned the head covered in a red turban with a crystal brooch. Moleo had seen better days.

"Ooohhh," Tooele Boy gasp with wonder. "Moleo. Is he really magical?"

"He is, indeed."

"Will he tell me if I should buy a boat?"

"No, not directly. Let me explain. Do you have on you, by chance, a quarter?"

"Got one right here."

"Now, follow the instructions." Tooele Boy obeyed.

The men watched as lights flickered on the game, then Moleo's head slowly turned until it rotated 360ยบ. After a few seconds of silence, Tooele Boy finally spoke.

"That's it? That's all that happened? I worked hard for that quarter, and that's all I got? I've been robbed!"

"Exactly!" Cap't Monkey said. "If you can play this game a thousand times without flinching, then you'll be ready to buy a boat."

"But I'll be throwing away all my money," Tooele Boy said.

"Bingo."

Word Count: 493

Sunday, September 22, 2013

21 Years...


A lot can change in twenty-one years. Wedding dresses look different, though my tuxedo could probably pass today. I admit I'm no expert in fashion so maybe my tux would look out-of-place in today's world.

But these things don't matter in the grand scheme of things. Twenty-one years ago we married on a beautiful autumn day in Utah. Twenty-one years ago our four children were not around. My mother, as well as many good friends and family members were. The house where we live didn't exist, nor did the cars we currently drive. 

And the new iPhone 5S was twenty years, eleven months and 28 days away.

We've had our ups and downs, good times and bad. Still, I can't imagine life without my sweetheart, my wife, my friend.

We travel through existence as singular entities. Our emotions, our thoughts remain accessible to only themselves. However, when you find a person who agrees to share the journey, you hold on and don't let go. Thank you Lynda for taking that chance! I didn't think I could love you more than I did, but time constantly proves me wrong. Happy anniversary!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

...Your Cluttered Houses Yearning To Be (Clutter) Free!


We held a yard sale today. Lots of things to learn.

One thing we learned--there are a lot of yard sales in the spring because apparently, people like to shop at yard sales in the spring. We did get some curious citizens, but most cars just kept on driving.

 

Another thing we learned. Moving baked goods closer to the people's cars greatly improve the buy opportunities for shoppers, hungry or otherwise.

 

If you could ask for the perfect weather for your yard sale, you would pick today. It was completely beautiful outside.


The value you place on items can change, and change drastically during the course of an average yard sale. Things costing tens of dollars at the beginning of the day can become basically free as time ticks on. If you're a buyer, patience is your key. It can be worth a lot of money.


I also watched two guys load a rather large weight bench on top of their work truck. Considering their strength, they probably didn't need it.


And lastly, taking the time during the week to clean out and remove things from your home that probably should never have been placed there in the first place can be a lot of work and a lot of fun. We ended up taking in more than we thought based on the level of interest we received. That's a bonus.

Friday, September 20, 2013

"So...You Going To Watch The Game?"


The conversation went something like this.

"You going to watch the game tomorrow?"

"No," I said. "Probably not. You?"

"Maybe," said the co-worker, someone with a huge U of U flag draped over one wall of his cubicle. "Probably."

"I know," I said. "I'll probably record it and watch it if the Utes win. If not, I'll just delete it if they lose."

We continued talking.

"I used to watch every game, every Utah Jazz game, every U of U football and basketball game, but not anymore. I'll watch a Jazz game here and there. And I've started to watch some of the U basketball games again. I think they're on the way back."

"You don't want to watch the games?"

"I do like watching them, but I hate the way they affect me. They drive me crazy and I can't sleep sometimes, so I just turn it off--it works for me."

There was a pause, then I continued. "What I would love is to be able to watch a U of U game and if the Utes play hard and did everything they could and a better team beat them, I'd love to be able to stand and clap and be at peace with the whole thing--glad I just watched an entertaining game."

"Wow...that's like being in a transcendental state," he said. "That's like achieving football zen."

"You're right," I said. "You're right."

Thursday, September 19, 2013

All Right...You Need To Enter This!


Late last year I saw a similar call for submissions for an anthology. I entered it and it changed my life. I remember thinking that it would be fun to try my luck at a steampunk short story. I had entered several writing contests and my success rate was zero. Maybe this time would be different, I thought.

What intrigued me about this particular call was not the steampunk theme (which, is very cool...), but what the publisher wanted us writers to do with the theme. They wanted us to take a classic story and give it a steampunk treatment. Instantly, HC Andersen's Little Match Girl came to mind.

I wrote it. I submitted it. I was chosen to be included in the anthology. I re-wrote the story several times and last April, it became a reality. Since then I've been on panels at conventions and met so many amazing people--all because I took a chance on a call for short story submissions from Xchyler Publishing.

Now, it's your turn! Get writing! Check out their webpage: HERE! Take a chance! Have a great time!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

We're Having A Yard Sale (And A Fundraiser...). Come On! It'll Be Fun!


You know how it is... There's stuff piling up in the house, things that once seemed important, or needed. It's been a crazy month and we decided next Saturday, September 21st will be the lucky day.


Almost as important as the items for sale at a yard/garage/estate sale, is location. We live on a dead-end street on the edge of town (the east edge...). We've had yard sales at our house before. People came, but we had limited success. The past couple of yard sales we've held, however, were hosted at our friend's house. And, as far as location goes, their house is as close to perfect as one can get. Main street, in our hometown.


We've got a lot of work to do. If anyone in the area would like to rid themselves of like items that are taking up space in their homes, please contact us. We'll give you the details and we'd LOVE to have you join us. Also, if you'd like to know some of the things we're going to be selling, I'll let you know as well. Big items: weight bench, trampoline, lots of books...


We're clearing clutter, but also having a fundraiser for our oldest. He's going to be leaving the house in a few months and the $$ would help. So, come Saturday morning, we're going to be surrounded by our junk...ah, I mean, important and needed stuff, stuff we'd like others to enjoy more than us. Come on! It'll be fun!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Egg-Shell White...Our Little Play


For the past couple of weeks I was involved in an artistic project called Defend The Arts. I blogged about it a couple of times. The event was held last Thursday and Friday nights and it was a lot of fun.

The play I was commissioned to direct was called "Egg-Shell White." I recorded the second performance and I downloaded it to YouTube. I apologize for the sound. The actors had no mics and I was some distance away when I recorded the show. It's about 10 minutes long and you might need to turn up the volume on your computer/phones to hear all the dialogue. 

And so, I give you "Egg-Shell White!"

The YouTube link is here: Egg-Shell White.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Activity-Slash-Treat...


"So, what are we going to do for an activity tonight?"

More than one child asked the question. More than one parent had no answer.

"And what's tonight's treat going to be?"

Almost every Monday night we're either asked one or both of these questions. Sometimes we have answers, sometimes not.

Tonight, it was time for an executive decision. "Let's go to Target for ice cream. And we can look for videos. It's a two-for-one deal."

Ah hour later we pulled up to the house with Haagen Daz and a couple of highly discounted videos. We can't do this every week, but for tonight, it worked out great.

Oh, by the way, caramel H-D is very, very good...

Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Note From The Deep...A Short Story

Photo courtesy of me. 
 
The Weekly Writing Prompt Returns!
Last week I did not write a story for the weekly writing challenge. It's the first week I missed in several months. I thought I'd re-start the tradition. The picture is a good one--so much potential for stories. If you'd like to try one yourself, here are the rules:

1) Use the photo and the 5 words provided in your story
2) Keep your word count 500 words or less.
3) You have until next Tuesday to link up your post.
4) Link up your story at these sites: Nicole, Carrie, Leanne, or Tena.  
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.
This Week's Words:
 
Letter
Velcro
Planet
Fever
Shopping
 
Here you go!
 
A Note From The Deep
 
Somehow she knew the when the phone rang this was no ordinary call. "Lori...um, they found something." She thought she had adequately prepared for the day when the news would reach her. She thought wrong.
 
"The main section of Bill's ship was located two miles down, about a half mile from his last transmission. Incredibly, it's mostly intact." Skip, Bill's best friend dreaded making the call to the now confirmed widow, but he knew she would want to know. Hopefully she could cherish his memory instead of embracing a false hope. Skip's mouth went dry as he spoke. He wasn't sure how much she would want to know, so he just kept talking.
 
"We had the ALVIN check as many compartments as possible. There's a hole on the starboard side--possibly from an explosion. We sent the video to San Diego and they think one of the internal ballast tanks might have burst, but unless we raise it, we'll probably never know."

Lori sat at her kitchen table, groceries, her shopping list and the kid's dishes from lunch sat as silent symbols of her continued life without her husband. The eyeless objects screamed of a nomalcy that didn't exist.

"Skip?" Lori cut him off. "Were you able to salvage anything?"

"Not anything of value." 

Of course, thought Lori. Bill never could cure the fever the open ocean gave him. He spent almost a million dollars on his research vessel. It had now become the one of the most expensive corral incubators on the planet.

"No Skip. I didn't think so. Anything, you know...personal?"

"Yeah, amazingly we did. We were able to maneuver the ALVIN inside his cabin and there was a plastic bag attached to a wall by Velcro. We snagged it because we thought we saw something in it."

Lori's hand began to shake as she waited for Skip to continue.

"Lori? Lori? You still there?"

"I'm here," she managed to say. "Um...what was in the bag?"

"It's an unopened letter. It's addressed to you."

"Did you open it?" she finally said.

"No. Of course not. We wouldn't do that."

"Do you have the letter with you?"

"I got it right here."

"You think you could open it and read it to me?"

"Lori," Skip hesitated. "I don't  know. I mean, it's your letter..."

"Skip..." Her strong voice masked her vulnerability. "You loved him too. Besides, there were no secrets between us three." 
 
She heard Skip set the phone down and open the letter. The horrors of the past ninety days raced to her mind and she heard her husband's best friend read the message intended for her. She closed her eyes and allowed the words to cleanse her tormented heart.

Word Count: 457

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Reference, And Then Some...


I saw the posted job and I almost couldn't believe it--the job description read like my resume. It was almost too perfect, too good to be true. And, in the end, that's exactly what happened.

I have a neighbor and we've chatted several times about this and that. More than once he's asked if he could help me with anything. After reading about the posting, I asked him if he would be a reference for me. I wasn't sure--he's a very busy person, a very important person in the community and I wasn't sure if he did things like that. I would completely understand if he declined.

I sent the e-mail and he agreed. I was very excited. I was sure they would call to set up an interview time.

I waited, and then I waited and I didn't hear anything. There was a holiday after I applied and I took a couple of days off, but I wasn't too worried. After all, I was more than qualified for the job, and I'm not being boastful. Even the part-time gig I've been doing this last summer videoing and photographing events was one of the job duties. They had to call.

Yesterday I checked the status of the job and it was filled. I don't mind (as much...) not getting a job. I've learned from experience that there are much more qualified people out there, and that there are lesser qualified people who know the right people to get the job. What bugged me was no interview. 

I e-mailed my friend telling him that he wouldn't be needed as a reference and he wrote back with a great compliment. It made my day. He didn't have to be a reference to begin with, and he didn't have to write back. Not getting the interview stung a little. Hearing back from my friend more than made up for it.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Oh, What Do You Do When It's Overtime...


This week we've been "encouraged" to work overtime. We all knew it was coming. When we signed on to work this assignment, we knew working more than the traditional 40-hours a week would one day arrive. It's now here.

Others have put in so many hours these last two weeks. Not me. I took time off last weekend to attend a little get-together with 80,000 other people of similar interests. This week, it's time to get to work. 

We have several deadlines coming up--the first big deadline arrives in seventeen days. On October 1, 2013 people will be able, for the first time, to apply for the Affordable Care Act, or as everyone knows it...Obamacare. We've got a lot of work to do before that day arrives.

Some turn to energy drinks to get them through the day, others coffee. I drink neither. I have been known to purchase a caffeinated cola now and then. I used to drink it everyday. Back in grad school I felt I had to have my "fix" or I wouldn't get through those long days. Turns out I was just as tired when I stopped drinking Pepsis and Cokes as I was when I drank them, so I stopped.

For the next six months or so, we're going to be busy. I just hope we can get it all done. And I hope I can do it without too much liquid help.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Mr. Dabb...Glad To Know You


Back in July, we found ourselves at a party at our friend's house. As we watched the teenagers (and a few dads...) light off fireworks in the middle of the street, I overheard a conversation about some acting classes that were coming up and the talented person who was putting them together.

After we came home my wife and I talked more about the program. It turns out two of my kids and I decided to participate in the classes. Last night I wrote about a fundraiser happening tonight and tomorrow night. Turns out the classes, the fundraiser, the good times would not have happened if it weren't for Jeremy Dabb.

Defend The Arts is Jeremy's baby. He planned it, organized it, somehow persuaded friends to donate their talents and time, all in an effort to further the magic that the arts can have in our lives. We had a rehearsal last night and watching Jeremy backstage before tonight's show, it impressed me how cool and calm Jeremy was. Whether or not he was the same on the inside, I don't know. 

We had fun tonight and we're only halfway done with our Defend The Arts Festival. Thanks Jeremy for letting us share the ride!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Defend The Arts Show Is Thursday And Friday...A Worthy Cause

*

Tomorrow night, we're going to party!

For the last couple of months my kids and I have been involved in a labor of love, a program to support the arts in our community. On Thursday, September 12th, and Friday, September 13th, we're putting on a show.

From the website, here's the purpose of the event:

Many of our local schools are slashing budgets or completely cutting out arts programs from their curriculum.  Our purpose is to help people understand that the arts are more than an extra-curricular activity.  The arts are an education of the sensibilities.  It is the application of science, math, history, and English.  We also   aim to speak to the educators and the educational leaders that we need to change the way we teach.  We need to make our usage of the core subjects more apparent  to the students and the policy makers.  Please join us in defending the arts.

If other things in my life weren't so amazingly crazy right now, I know I would have enjoyed the experience more, and I really have had a good time being involved in such a worthy endeavor. Work and Comic Con have required a lot of my time, time I could have dedicated to the show, or shows.

*

But, one cannot use excuses for art! And so, we're going to do a fundraiser. If you're in the area and would like to support us, you can find information about Defend The Arts on the website: www.DefendtheArts.com. Or find it on Facebook: HERE.

I'm directing one play and participating in two more. Plus, there'll be music by Sunshade 'N Rain, and the entertaining skills from Paul Draper, Master Magician and Mentalist.

Hopefully you'll have as much fun watching as we do performing! See you there!

 *

*Photos Used Without Permission From: http://www.defendthearts.com/

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Some Random Photos Of Flowers And Sunsets...


Today was one of those days where I didn't know if I was going to shoot any good pictures. On a day like today, I go to work (now it's dark when I catch my morning bus...), stay in the office for a 10-hour shift, come home on the bus, then do some writing. Sometimes interesting pictures happen along the way. Other times I've got to go find them.




For lunch I bought a burrito at the Taco Cart on the corner. I stopped by a beautiful garden that's close by and I snapped some shots. It was overcast so I wasn't sure how the lighting would be. Plus, there's so many bees buzzing around which makes me not want to linger. 




Overcast skies oftentimes leads to incredible sunsets. Tonight's was localized, but it was nice. So, on a day when I didn't know if I would find anything to shoot, I think it turned out pretty good.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Meet Dave Butler...

*

This is Dave.

Dave is an author.

Dave's a musician.

Dave is tall.

Dave is also a very cool guy.

Last Thursday I entered the halls of the Salt Palace Convention Center nervous and a bit overwhelmed. In a few hours I would be sitting in front of people (who paid good money...) and talk about subjects I felt unqualified to discuss.


I arrived early and decided to check out the vendor hall. It was there I ran into a friend and author, Michaelbrent Collings. That's him on the right, next to Blake Casselman, Comic Con organizer extraodinaire. If you google "Michaelbrent" he's pretty much the only one with that name--genius for an author...). We chatted, caught up. He's such a nice guy.

"Have you met Dave Butler?" he asked. Of course I had not. "You should go meet him. You can't miss him. He's like 6' 8'. He's really funny and he's got an guitar."

Intrigued, I ventured on until I found the only tall person holding a guitar on the vendor floor--most likely, the entire building.

"You're Dave Butler!" This he knew. We introduced each other then had a little chat. I knew he would be on the steampunk panel with me. It took only a few minutes before I knew I had nothing to worry about as far as the panels went. Maybe it was his sense of humor, or the comments he made, or the free music CD he gave me (that he usually charges for...). I don't know. But after leaving the booth where his books were sold, I felt different. I felt better.

So, thanks Dave for your help. You may not have realized it, but you made my Comic Con experience so much better! 

If you want to know more about the talented Dave (I could have mentioned his profound knowledge about Steampunk, but I didn't...), check out his website and buy his book, for he is the world's only Mormon Steampunk author--a title he will most like never have to give up.

Dave's Website: HERE.

http://davidjohnbutler.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Liahona-cover-CotS-1.jpg

* Photo borrowed from Craig Nybo's Facebook photos without permission. Thanks Craig!