Monday, March 31, 2014

Devil's Triangle: The Complete Graphic Novel Launches Today!


Blake Casselman's a busy guy. He writes screenplays, produces movies, wins awards, teaches writing classes, invites people to appear on panels, and single-handedly puts on Salt Lake Comic Con (I made up that last part...). If that weren't enough, he also co-wrote a graphic novel.

Today begins the official book release of Devil's Triangle: The Complete Graphic Novel. 

I really want to help Blake get the word out on this project. In the spirit of full disclosure, I feel I must admit something. I don't believe I've read a graphic novel from cover to cover. I know, I know...I cannot claim "nerd" status now. I'm admitting my shame to the world. As far as this book goes, I don't know the content. I don't know if it's okay for all ages--not quite sure what's inside.

But I do know Blake--the guy's quality so if his name appears on the book, even if I haven't read it, I would love to see it succeed. If you're into graphic novels, I suggest you give Blake's a shot. Better yet, e-mail this blog post to your friends who--like you--also enjoy a good graphic novel. You'll be supporting a very busy man with a lot on his plate. 

And who knows? You may love it so much, you'll hardly be able to contain yourself by waiting for the next edition, and I don't even know if they'll be a next edition. Chances are, however, if you and many others love it, there probably will be. You can pick up a copy in either paperback or Kindle: HERE. Or, at least go to the book's Facebook page and "Like" it: HERE.

Congrats Blake and all those involved! It's fantastic to see a project finally be done!

* Photo used without permission from:

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Now, It's Your Turn...A Short Story

It's Time For Another Story!

Here are the rules of this little writing exercise:

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) Add your story (Blue Link) at Leanne's or Tena's site.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.

This picture comes from the “Back The Blue” Bash, put on by Arlington Police Foundation to support Arlington Police Officers and I want to thank Arlington PD for permission to use.

And Your 5 Words
Here's what I came up with this week!

Now, It's Your Turn

It's not everyday I think of Jim's old motorcycle, but when I see a custom bike fly by or one parked, with sun gleaming off the chrome, my mind travels back to a time when no superhero, no movie star was cooler than my big brother when he rode his bike.

When I was thirteen-years old when Jim, my elder by five years, bought a piece-of-junk bike chopper from his friend, a friend who owed him more than the old bike was worth. I remember asking him why he told that old bike and not money for a new one. Jim just laughed. "Sometime in your life, you're going to need to catch a break and you'll need someone to help you out. That's why you help people." I was still mad at him.

Jim worked hard almost everyday on his bike. It took months, but slowly the chopper took shape, first the engine was overhauled, then the rest. Jim took each piece to a shop for the custom paint job, and once painted, he placed each piece on one of my mother's white bedsheets he put on the garage floor. She was furious!

Finally the day came when every nut, every bolt, every piece fit perfectly together and Jim fired it up. I covered my ears as the roar of the engine seemed to shake the house off its foundation. He killed then engine then turned to me and said, "You wanna ride?"

"Are you serious?" I said, not quite believing his words as they filtered through my still-ringing ears. Jim just smiled. I hopped on and we were gone.

I've traveled over paved roads many times in my life, but never like that. The bike's engine hummed, its silky purr propelled us through neighborhoods, past homes and businesses, past playgrounds and schools. I wrapped by little arms around my brother's strong body and screamed at the top of my lungs, having never experienced such pleasure before (and seldom since...). I was in heaven.

Not quite a year later, we got the call. I saw the look on my mother's face turn from concern to horror as the police explained the situation. Passersby saw Jim lying in the middle of the road, not sure if it was a person or an animal. He suffered multiple broken bones, damaged both kidneys and the crack of his skull exposed part of his brain. They told us it would take a miracle for him to survive.

We rushed to the hospital and the doctor first talked to my parents, then to me. He told me Jim needed a kidney and they asked if I would be able to help. I told him I would. After some checks, they said I could donate my kidney and I did. When Jim finally woke up, he thanked me for what I did. "Now, it's your turn for a break," I said and we both cried.

Word Count:  494

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Jazz Vs Mavs, March 2014 Edition...

A few weeks ago I attended a basketball game between two professional teams. When I say my vantage point to see the action couldn't be better, I'm not kidding. I couldn't get closer to the floor. And the only reason I was able to sit so close was because of a gracious friend. Otherwise, there's no way I'd be sitting there.

I've attended several Jazz games. I once worked for the Utah Jazz Dancers (but that's another story...). But it's been a while since I attended the game armed with a good camera. I took a lot of pictures--I was lucky to attend on the night where the Jazz Bear's birthday was acknowledged. It was fun to see five other NBA mascots entertaining the crowd.

Here's just a taste of what I saw.

The home team played hard, the mascots and Jazz Stunt Team were amazing, but unfortunately the Jazz lost. However, with good friends and great seats, how can you not have a wonderful time? Brian, Phil--always fun to hang with mine brødre! Thanks Jeff and Marlisa--always honored by the invite!

Friday, March 28, 2014

So, Are You A Professional Photographer...?

I took my son to a seminary meeting this morning in Syracuse. After a while I decided to take my camera outside and looked for something interesting to photograph.

"Are you a professional photographer, or what?" the teacher ask me as came back in after taking a few pictures, camera in hand and I waited for class to be over.

"No, not really. I just look for interesting stuff to shoot," (in a non-2nd amendment way...). My son was done and we drove home. On the way I thought about the photographer comment.

Am I a professional photographer? 

Well, my pictures have won awards--county fair, but hey! They were awards! And I was "hired" by a friend to shoot several triathlons last summer. Didn't quit get payment for that, but that's okay. I did it for free and it was a great experience, great opportunity to learn.

I found an irrigation ditch and some tumbleweeds. It was bright outside so I didn't know how they turned out until I downloaded the pictures into my computer.


Do I think anyone will pay me for these pictures? Most likely, no. But if I only took pictures that I knew I could sell, I'd probably not use my camera much, if at all. Sometimes I just like to remember how beautiful this world is.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Coming Home And Catching Up, 27 Years Later...

The people on this piece of paper were, at one time, all living in Denmark. And on a cold day in January, 1987, seven of us boarded a plane and headed home. The other person was already home, in a way. Due to the amazing age we now live in, I was connect with someone who I thought was the one who stayed in Denmark on Facebook. Even though it wasn't her, her message brought back so many memories It's amazing how a simple message can do that.

In this picture there are three people born in America, one Canadian, and four native Danes. If you've never been to Denmark, it is bursting with wonderful people, wonderful caring people who are born in a beautiful country and raised to withstand harsh winters and yearn for the few coveted days of summer sun. With few exceptions, if you know a Dane, you know a happy person.

I met many people while I lived in Denmark, but unfortunately, I have forgotten most of them. The idea of Facebook (even the internet as we now know it...) was years away and I didn't keep in tough with many of my friends. I feel bad about that. Social media helps us all to stay connected, but I'm thinking if Facebook existed back then, I'd be connected to more and more people.

Of the eight of us on the page, I've connected with three of them. One I don't believe is on Facebook (and if so, I haven't found her...), and as far as the rest, it's possible they've passed on. I know two have, The Jespersens--amazing people!

Så, dette er for dig, Dortha (men ikke den I troede du var...). Det var virklig godt at høre fra dig. Jeg kan næsten ikke tro at dinne familie er voksne med børn af deres egne. Er vi virklig så gamle? Så må jeg også siger at skriver på dansk er meget shov, men jeg også ved at mit dansk er ikke så godt. Jeg håber på at du kunne forstå mig. Vi bor i Farmington lige over gade hvor jeg bogede da jeg var en drange (mit forældres hus). Vi har fire børn også, vores ældste er på misionære in Kalifornian. Vores ungeste er ni år gamle. Ingen er gift (endnu...) ;) Jeg er en skriver og fotografer or blogger of fader og mand og jeg arbjeder for statten Utah. Jeg har hafte det virklig godt i mit liv (so far...) og det var meget fint at høre på dig. Tak for det! Vi ses!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Getting Close To...Goodbye

For the past thirteen, almost 14 months I've been working on an assignment and soon, the assignment will end. 

I'd like to see it not end.

Of course, I knew it would be a temporary gig--we were all told that before we began. Joining the team brought me back to a building where I worked for 10 years, lots of memories--both good and bad. I was reunited with many friends and I've enjoyed the work. We did something, as a group, not may people believed was possible. That's always a great feeling being part of a team that accomplishes great things.

At the end of 2013 about a third of the team left, their talents were needed elsewhere. I was asked to stay on board so we could finish up. Today we said goodbye to another team member and it's tough. Next week he won't be back and in another week or two, neither will I.

I suppose I should be glad that it was such a good experience for me, excited for whatever is in store for me. Still...we always seem to wish things (when they're good...) could stay that way. Then again, if nothing changed, life would get pretty boring. Here's to the future!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Pic Of The Day, Vol. 2...

Last year I looked back on 200 photographs that I used as my "Pic Of The Day" pictures. I arranged them in a video and added some music. It was the first 200 pictures I used as my "Pic Of The Day."

 Tonight I did it again.


Go to the YouTube link: HERE to watch the whole thing! You may just be included in my little film.

This time, I used the next 200 pictures.

Just looking at those pictures brought back a lot of memories.


I'm currently working on my sixth "Pic Of The Day" volume so I've got a few more of these to make.

It's amazing how life passes us by and we're too busy to notice.

So, here's Volume 2. I hope you enjoy it!

Monday, March 24, 2014

To Park A..."Car"

This is what I saw it as I left work this afternoon, a single vehicle in the corner of a parking lot.. It looked lonely and it got me wondering. Why was this "car" parked by itself in a sparsely filled lot? Could it be that the parking lot was full and when I came upon the scene everyone but the black one had left?

Not likely.

The parking spaces go perpendicular to the street, not diagonal as shown by the parked example seen in these pictures. My next thought was that maybe the owner maybe ran out of gas as he maneuvered his "car" to park properly in the lot.

Again, not likely.

These things are supposed to get excellent gas mileage so the likelihood the engine actually stopped working due to the lack of fuel is remote at best. Which leaves only one option, that being the most obvious.

The driver parked his "car" in a spot where no one would ding it with their door as they exited or entered their own vehicle. But really, the owner of the little black "car" didn't have to worry about this happening. I doubt many other divers would park by the "car" anyway.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Not So Bad After All...A Short Story


It's Back!

Last week I wrote about the possible demise of the Weekly Writing Blog Hop. It appears reports of its death have been greatly exaggerated. Thanks to Leanne and Tena for bringing it back! And they've changed things up a big--they went retro!

When I first began writing these short stories, the rules were one picture, five random words. It changed to two pictures and no random words (which I liked...), but the original format was fun, too. It's been a while, so 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) Add your story (Blue Link) at Leanne's site: HERE.
5) Have fun, don’t stress, let those creative juices flow.
Your five (randomly generated) words:


Here's what I came up with this time. Enjoy!

Not So Bad After All

"Did you pick up the goat cheese?" Becky asked Tyler as he came in from an emergency shopping run. She heard her boyfriend of three years curse and she knew he forgot...again.

"I'll be right back," Tyler said and he swore again as he closed the door harder than was needed. Becky shook her head. "Just great," she said as she stirred the pepperoni sauce, in preparation for tonight's dinner with their friends, the Johnsons, burps of red bubbled up from the saucepan Becky inherited from her grandmother after she passed away two years previous. Every time she used it, the memories of her favorite grams almost made her cry.

Becky checked the cat clock on the wall, its black tail emanating from its mechanical spine and swinging in tandem with its googly eyes, both moving as the seconds ticked down until their dinner guests would arrive. 

"Crap! Where is he? They're going to be here any minute," Becky said to the black and white smiling cat knowing it knew as much as she did. Tyler had been getting on on her nerves lately. Was it when he drained her iPhone battery playing Flappy Birds leaving her unable to make a call when she got a flat tire? Was it when he used a screwdriver to pry open her jewelry box (which he destroyed, by the way...) after she lost the key? Maybe Tyler borrowing her comb to remove a burr in their neighbor's dog's fur. Yeah, that was probably it. Maybe it was a combination of everything, the forgotten goat cheese--an integral ingredient in the night's meal--just adding to the fun, barrel of monkeys fun.

The sauce continued percolating as Becky checked the table. Hor devours, wine, even the silverware was placed correctly on the table. Wait, that was Tyler's assignment. Maybe he wasn't so bad after all.

She returned to the stove when Tyler opened the door. This time she didn't ask him if he remembered the goat cheese.

Word Count: 338

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Two Local Authors...Two Dystopian Worlds


This month I read two books by two local authors, local authors who, because of their incredible talent, appear to be doing well. They both know how to tell a good, engaging story. They both have created believable worlds, and the stories I read are not limited to one book. Luckily for me (and everyone else...), there's more to read from both.

And both authors wrote about dystopian realities. Dystopian genres fascinate me! I've started a few stories where the future of humanity has bought the farm and survivors struggle to survive. There are similarities between the two stories. Climates have changed, governments have broken down, and the remaining humans have devised methods to get through their days alive.

Dan Wells's book, Fragments is the second in a trilogy and James Dashner's The Maze Runner is the first of his series so there are differences between the two. Wells set up his world in his first book Partials so his world is continuing. Dashner sets us in the middle of a world as foreign as possible where we know as much of what's going on as the main character. Having your memory swiped can do that to a person.

I enjoyed both books. Wells's first book in his series is more involved than Dashner's, but to be fair, Partials takes place on the eastern seaboard of the United States and involves several different communities, where The Maze Runner is contained almost exclusively in a huge, mysterious maze. Later this year you'll be able to see The Maze Runner on the big screen. I LOVE to see any author succeed, but it's even sweeter when they're local.

We have a lot of local authors and in the past few years I've gotten to know many of them personally. These are not "downer" people. In fact, most are downright cheery. I guess, for some, happiness (and success...) can be found at the expense of fictional characters.

* Photo used without permission from:

ø Photo used without permission from:

Friday, March 21, 2014

So, What's A 1970 VW Camper Van Worth...?

Remember when those old VW camper vans traveled the same roads as normal cars, vans, trucks and motorcycles? Those were the days. I saw one for sale today and I had to stop and snap a few pictures. Every year they're becoming more rare.


The thing was from Oregon (or, at least, it had Oregon plates...) and authentic Grateful Dead stickers--those were a nice touch. 

 Even though the outside was trashed, the seats inside were in surprisingly good shape. Maybe no one dared get close to the thing based on how it looked on the outside. The side door didn't open. The passenger side door wouldn't close. There were several dead bees in the window wells and all the wiring that could and should be found out of sight hung freely under the dash--some wires touched the floor.

 But even with all its problems and its seriously dangerous lack of safety features (in a front-end crash, the driver's legs are officially considered crumple zones...), with all the rust and non-closing/non-opening doors, I still looked at, and allowed my mind to imagine actually buying it, fixing it up, and driving it down the road on the way to some little campground with the family all inside excited to spend the night away from home.


So, what's the worth of a 1970 VW camper van worth? A lot more than you'd think.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Congrats To This Year's BYU Men's Basketball Team...


For those who know me they know I'm not a big fan of any BYU sports programs, but I've got to give props to this year's BYU men's basketball team. They played their last game of the season today and they fell to 87-68 to the Oregon Ducks in the NCAA Tournament, the only team from the Beehive state to earn a bid to the big dance and not win their conference championship.

The Y had a huge challenge today. Except for some cougar faithful, not sure many had them advancing past a very good Pac-12 team. Had BYU their big man, Kyle Collingsworth (who tore up his knee last week against Gonzaga...) the game could have gone either way. Having Collingsworth would have changed everything.


And, there's no shame in losing to a better team.

I haven't watched a lot of college basketball this season but when I've watched BYU I saw a team that never quit, a team headed by a quality coach and a good man. As a fan, you shouldn't ask for more than than. If you get that from a program, that's a good thing and wins are gravy.

They did good. This team may not change me into a BYU fan, but I respect them. I mean, I'm still glad the Utes beat them...


For a Utah man am I!

* Photo used without permission from:

ø Photo used without permission and taken from:

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

No, These Here Are Farmington Rocks...

My neighbor and I were up on the hill a couple of days ago looking at rocks, big, heavy, beautiful rocks.


"I love Farmington rocks," he said. I pointed to some rock work done a few years ago further up the hill. "What about those? Those are nice," I said. My neighbor saw what I was pointing at and said, "those look like Ogden rocks. I mean, they're nice, but they're not beautiful like Farmington rocks."

My neighbor's right.


I decided to go and take some pictures of the patterns on some of the boulders. I'm sorry these photos can't capture how pretty these things are. Farmington does have a lot of old pioneer homes build out of rocks and there are building restrictions in the city limits requiring rocks be used to cover parts of certain types of new buildings. Yes, we in our little small town love our rocks. It's because, like my neighbor said, "they're beautiful."