Thursday, February 28, 2019

With So Much Good To Watch...Why Watch The Bad?

Today, while on a break from work, I did a little internet surfing and happened upon a video, just one of the hundreds you're exposed to on a daily basis...that is, if you spend any time on-line. The official University of Utah Football Twitter account posted the video. That got my attention. But what I saw on that video, brought a question to my mind.

If you haven't seen it (and I recommend that you do...), you can't helped but be moved by the emotion. A phone call interrupts a team meeting. The coach stops, takes the phone, and chats with the caller. A player is summoned and joins the coach. The call is put on speakerphone. 

A parent delivers the player, the coach, the entire team (and now, the world...) some news.

And it made my day.

I'm not going to say what happened--you can access the video by clicking: HERE. The question that came to my mind after watching the video is this, with so many good things to watch and to read and to experience, why do we choose to watch the crap? 

You know what I'm talking about. Why do we watch things that bring us down, that make us feel...well, make us feel something other than joy? There are some amazing videos out there--my favorites are videos of soldiers returning home to their families. I can hardly get through them. They get me every time.

If you want to make yourself feel better, check out the video of a college student receiving some wonderful news. Then search for service men and women homecomings. If nothing else, it'll at least bring a smile to your face, and maybe, a tear to your eye.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

The Seven Stages Of Grief...Failure To Back-Up Data Edition

Because most of us work on computers, there's a good chance it's happened to you, that moment you realize that information you thought was safe and secure is gone. 

It's when the seven stages of "failure to back-up your data" grief begin. Stage 1 hit me pretty hard.


I was given an assignment to edit an audiobook. I even blogged about the joy I felt when I finished the project. Turns out, the program we used to edit the audiobook requires that you save two things. I only saved one and you can't recover the data without having save both things. That's when Stage 2 kicked in.


Oh, how I wanted it to not be true. In fact, I kept telling myself it couldn't be true. It wasn't until I watched a YouTube video about people having similar issues that I finally had to face the fact of what I had done. If only I had watched that video before I hit "Delete," all that work would have been saved. That made me mad and ushered me to stage 3.


Pretty self-explanatory. Then came Stage 4.


I couldn't really do much with this one--I'm not sure how much capital I had. I mean, who am I going to bargain with? It wasn't like Doctor Who could show up, transport me back to a few days in the past. Stage 5 was next.


This one, well...yeah, I felt it. I especially felt bad because I had taken longer on the project than I had anticipated. I thought it would be easier than it turned out to be. And now, it would take even longer. Stages 1 - 5 prepared me for Stage 6.


I'm usually a happy person so this one wasn't too bad. I mean, considering all the bad things that happen to people, this was generally mild. Still, though...

Finally, it was time for Stage 7.


Turns out, not all was lost. I backed-up my hard drive after I edited a quarter of the book so I was able to recover that. And, after originally editing that 25%, the rest of the book went much faster. Once I realized it'd just have to do it again, it sucked, but there was some comfort in that.

I had hoped to get working on a story I've let sit for years. I was excited to jump in with both feet. I guess that will have to wait, at least for a little while.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The 9 Volt Battery...An Odd Duck

The 9 volt battery...remember those? Growing up, there were so many things that required 9 volt batteries, things that kids loved, like transistor radios, and my personal favorite, walkie talkies. The 9 volt--with those weird connections on top in which I choose incorrectly half the time when trying to hook them up. We used 9 volts all the time as kids. It's all part of growing up in a "not-yet-digital" electronic world.

Yeah, they were big.

They were in remote controls and kids toys. I remember seeing if a stray battery lying in the junk drawer had any power by placing it on my tongue on the connections--the stronger the jolt, the more charge the battery has. I still do that.

Of course, today not as many things used the rectangular-shaped batteries, mostly smoke detectors. Plus, you can tell fewer and fewer things use a 9 volts because of how expensive the darn things are. In a grocery store they run around $5 per battery, at a convenience store they're even more. I know--I checked. We picked up a pack of ten at Costco--they were the cheapest we could find. I have a couple of transistor radios, but the old-fashioned walkie talkies (the kind with Morse Code keys on the side...) are long gone. Those were fun--I never did learn the code, however.

We needed to replace the battery in our garage door keypad. I know there's a date on the side of the 9 volt letting everyone know just how long they can expect the batteries to function. I don't know how they calculate the dates, but in my experience, I have doubts that the battery I put in the keypad today will be working in 2023. Maybe it means I can put the battery aside and pick it up in 2023 and it'll work like new.

I doubt that claim as well.

With the new battery in place, the garage door obeys my command each time. If, the battery follows in the footsteps of its now-dead siblings, in a couple of months it'll take more than a couple of keypad tries to open the door until finally, it'll stop working all together.

I don't know--maybe the keypad's to blame.

I wonder when we'll no longer use the odd-shaped batteries. More than likely, they'll always be around. Like everything, time will tell.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Hats Off Party...An Amazing Way To Say "Thank You"

Saturday night many of my friends dressed up in their finest and went to a party. For only the second time, I joined them. The theater's been putting on this event for years to show appreciation for those who volunteer their time and talents to make the theatre a cultural and financial success.

The place was packed. 

It makes sense--the theatre, with its two stages, presents at least nine full-length shows a year, not to mention special events and children's performances. For us, it's like a church for performing, and we're the congregation. So, when the theatre throws a party, people come in droves to feel that spirit of friendship and camaraderie.

And they all looked fantastic, even without hats!

When I attended a few years ago, I went for the food. Saturday night, I went for the program, or part of the program. I performed in one show at the theatre in 2018. Some years, I've done as many as four shows. Looking at the schedule this year, it's likely I won't be on either stage in 2019. 

Because of social media, you can tell what's important to your friends. Since I have hundreds of theater friends on Facebook, my timeline was inundated by pictures and comments and videos of smiling beautiful people posing for selfies, or seeing themselves on stage. It's a testament of what--not only the party--but also the theatre means to them in their lives. I know I've dedicated numerous photos, comments, videos, and blog posts to the theatre, the shows, and my friends.

I noticed the same thing happening after I attend a writing conference the weekend before. I sort of live in both worlds, a performer and a writers. The week before my social media timelines were flooded with pictures of authors and artists mugging for selfies and videos, letting everyone know of the great time they were having at the LTUE writing conference.

I left early, didn't really talk to many people Saturday night. I had obligations with family. It might be a long time before I'm again invited to the festivities at the theatre a few miles down the road. And even if I don't go, there will no doubt be pictures and videos to show me--and everyone else--just what a great time they had. Thank you Centerpoint Legacy Theatre for the invitation. You throw a great party, even if no one's wearing hats.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Watching "Seinfeld"...After All These Years

Over the past six months or so something's happened in our house that I find interesting. Our daughter has spent many of her evenings with my wife and I watching stuff. I suppose that's not unusual, but it's what we're watching that gives me pause.

We've been watching movies and TV shows my wife and I grew up with, the kinds of things we used to watch after we graduated from high school and were in college. We've gone through most of the John Hughes movies (okay...not all of them...), The Wedding Singer, and a ton of other romcoms. This past week we finished the entire Seinfeld series.

Not only has it been fun for us, it's brought back a ton of memories. Plus, we get to remember what an amazing show it was. Of course, it was different. But what I noticed watching it this time is how organic if feels. I think knowing Jerry was a comedian first, then an actor, adds to the charm. If I can make a comparison (and probably a bad one...), the show was like electing a politician not from one of the two major parties. They're not beholden to anyone and they can do whatever they want. That's what Seinfeld did for nine seasons.

And if they didn't, it sure felt that way.

Binge watching is something I could not envision, even a decade ago when we bought the Seinfeld box set. In a matter of days you can see the whole show--it's like we're messing with time. 

Our daughter will most likely be moving out in the next couple of years and she'll be starting a new life with new adventures. I'm glad we've been able to share with her those shows that help shape us. Plus, she now knows where we got some of the sayings we spout all the time around the house. So when I say, "Because people like to say _______," our daughter know why I'm saying that and where I got it.

I don't know what's next on the watching agenda. Whatever it is, I'm sure it can't--in many ways--hold a candle to the series we just ended. Seinfeld was one of a kind.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

I Was SO Close...Almost Made It

I think I first noticed the taillight out a few weeks ago. I was in my car and I was following my wife driving the van. When she put on the brakes, the passenger side light was out. No big deal--we'd need to get that fixed. Last night, as I pulled the van into the garage, I noticed a headlight out. I knew I was needing to drop off my daughter in SLC in the morning. Great, I thought. I'll pick up the bulbs on the way home.

After dropping off my daughter, I left the freeway and made my way to the auto parts store I usually frequent for most my auto parts needs. After I signaled to turn off the main street I saw police lights in my rearview mirror.


And I was so close to the parts store--right across the street, actually.

A few months ago I was pulled over for failing to signal before a righthand turn. This morning my mind raced as I wondered what I had done wrong. I hadn't exceeded the speed limit and I thought I had signaled. Then again, I thought I had signaled months ago when I was pulled over.

I parked and rolled down my window. The cop walked up and with a smile on his face, asked me if I knew I had a taillight out. I actually laughed. I told him I had just turned off the road to go to the store to get the bulbs.

Thankfully, he believed me. 

He gave me a warning.

I bought the bulbs then came home and swapped burned out for new. It's funny--as I drove home, I though there were dozens of places I could have stopped for the lightbulbs. I chose the one closest to my house. Of course, had I driven my car, I'd have to think of something else to write about for this post.

Friday, February 22, 2019

February 22nd...An Anniversary Day For Our Family

Facebook reminded me that three years ago today we welcomed our oldest child home from his LDS mission. My wife reminded me of another event that happened on February 22.

Only this event happened twenty-seven years ago today my wife and I went out on our first date. And I wrote about it in my journal.

That's not unusual--I've been writing about my daily activities since January, 1985.

There are details about that first date that my wife remembers better than me. I forgot, until I re-read that entry (it was a Saturday, by the way...) that we went bowling. After, we went to the U of U vs Wyoming mens basketball game (the Cowboys blew out the Utes 70 - 57--the internet provided that info...) and we had to do some quick talking at the ticket office because my date forgot her student ID.

I wrote about the date that night--I had positive things to say. Good thing because twenty-seven years later she and I are living in the same house and are the parents of four children and four pets.

Three years ago we gathered at the airport carrying posters and busting with anticipation. We hadn't seen our oldest in two years. Today he's been home a year longer than he was gone. Strange how time works. In some ways the three years since the airport and the twenty-seven years since our first date seem the same. Then again, maybe I'm just getting old.

Yes, February 22nd has been a good day for us.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

My New Pal...Nike

Last weekend I bunked at my brother's house while they were away on a fantastic adventure. They were gracious enough to allow me to stay the night which saved me the hassle (and cost...) of getting a room, or from driving the sixty miles home late at night and driving the sixty miles back early the next morning. It was nice of them to allow me to stay.

I only had one reservation...their little dog, Nike.

Nike's an adorable little doggie. I'm not sure how old he is, but I do know he's not a puppy. When my family's visited my brother's, Nike's usually behind a closed door. We have to do that, too with our little pup. It's just easier to remove a dog from everyone than wait for the dog to get comfortable with all the visitors in the house. When we visited, Nike didn't seem to like us. He growled a lot.

I wondered how he'd take to having a stranger spend the night.

When I opened the door, Nike was waiting to greet me. I'm sure he was expecting his loved ones. He most likely never imagined the person coming through the door would be unknown, and worse yet, someone who lives with two other dogs and I'd bring the smells of our dogs with me into his house.

He growled.

Then he barked.

And he continued barking.

I tried to see if Nike would come around to liking me. I sat across from him and tried calling his name in calm and soothing tones. That didn't work. I went to my room and got ready to go to bed while he barked in the next room. I thought maybe Nike would keep barking all night long. I texted my brother asking if they had dog treats to perhaps gain the animal's trust. They did not.

My brother did ask me to put the dog out for a few minutes before we both went to sleep. I ventured into the main room and asked Nike if he wanted to go out. He surprised by stopping his barking. He then jumped off the couch and headed toward the door. I let him out and went back to getting ready for bed.

Ten minutes later, I opened the door and a different dog came through. He wasn't barking, instead, he followed me to the couch and jumped up to sit right beside me. He let me pet him and comfort him while his family was away. It was nice to just sit and be with him, letting him know I wasn't a threat but a friend.

The next morning I left. I said good-bye to Nike as he sat on the couch. I wonder when we return to visit, will he remember me, or will he begin barking again? I'll have to find out.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

If You Like Reading And Helping Out A Family...Give "Sakura" A Shot!

I heard about the project some time ago. Paul Genesse, on social media, broke the news that his friend and fellow author Zachary Hill passed away. He wrote about a book Zachary was writing and Paul vowed to finish it.

And he and Patrick Tracy did.

The book is now available. It's call, Sakura: Intellectual Property and you can order it by clicking: HERE. I have not read it, but I love the cover art! It's beautiful.

What's the book about? There are a couple of reviews on the Amazon site. Here's a blurb from the YouTube site promoting the novel (you can access the YouTube site: HERE):

A Japanese, heavy metal singing android is hacked and turned into an assassin. She has to save Japan from a secret cabal taking over the world.

I never met Zachary. I'm sure we attended a few of the same conferences, and had he not passed away, there's a good chance he and I would have had a chance to meet, and perhaps share a panel or two. Everyone who talks of Zachary has glowing things to say, and since I know many of the people who speak highly of Zachary, and I hold those people in such high regard, I believe them.

Paul has worked on this novel for two years and will receive no renumeration for his work. All the profits are going to Zachary's family. That's another reason to support this work, a wonderful reason to support this work.

If you think you'd like this story, or you'd just like to help, click on the links and order the book. It'll make you feel good. Books are written for many reasons, as many as there are writers. Sakura was written for a good reason, one of the best, actually.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

IKEA...Not A "Quick Stop" Place

I knew I was going to drive past the IKEA furniture store this past weekend. I attended a writing conference and the huge monument to Swedish capitalism (not to be confused with Volvo or Husqvarna...) rose just west of the Interstate 15 I'd be taking. With my wife engaged in a de-clutter experiment, we needed something only IKEA offered, plastic lids to cover their stackable plastic tubs.

No problem, I thought. I can stop by either on my way down, or on my way back. It'll be quick.

I should have known.

I did not stop Friday as I drove south. To be honest, I kind of forgot. But, I knew by leaving the convention after my last panel Saturday afternoon, I'd have plenty of time to stop, run in, grab the lids, pay, then jump in my car and head home.

Thankfully, the traffic traveling north was far better than I experience the day before as I drove south. I was feeling good Saturday afternoon as I pulled into the parking lot, spotted a beautiful yellow VW Beetle the store uses for promotions (I still wonder if the thing runs...), found a sweet parking spot as close to the entrance as possible, jumped out of my car and ran inside.

If you've been inside an IKEA store, you know it's a labyrinth. Once inside I could have gone upstairs to the showroom, or stay on the main floor and search among the thousands of items with funny names on the sales floor.

I chose the main floor. 

Once I entered the sales floor, I realized I had no idea where the things might be. Not kitchen, not lighting. I made my way to the storage section. They had to be there, but I couldn't see either the tubs or the lids. I spotted an employee and asked him a simple question, "Where are the plastic lids that go over the plastic storage tubs."

He just looked at me. 

I had instantly become "one of those guys," the ones who think the employee should know exactly what I was thinking--as if, the store only sells one type of tub and one type of lid for that tub. The employee was more than professional. He politely said they have hundreds of types of storage tubs and asked if I knew the name of what I was looking for. Of course I didn't. I told him it was for a storage unit like you see in kids rooms. He suggested I go to the kids section upstairs. Luckily, I've been in IKEA and shopped enough in that section, I knew right where it was.

Once I got there, I saw the tubs. I looked for lids. They had none. I flagged down another employee who looked it up on their little computers. At first they said they didn't know if they still made those lids. But after checking, they directed me to the aisle and section to find what I was looking for. After a quick jog, I found my six lids, hit the "20 Items of Less" checkout lane, hopped in my car and I was on my way.

Next time, if I have to do a quick IKEA stop, I'll be doing my know, to save time.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Back In The "Writing" Saddle Again...

As I left the LTUE writing symposium Saturday, something hit me. That old friend I haven't shared company with in some time.

Who is my friend, you ask?

His name is Motivation.

And he showed up while I was surrounded by hundreds of writers, editors, publishers, and artists.

It's been a while since I really dug deep and wrote anything. Other things have taken precedence in my life. Life changes and we must adapt. Plus, getting a book published was a biggie to check off on a "to-do" list. Still, these are just excuses and you can make an excuse for anything.

Because it was a holiday I had the day off. Just like the weekends, I did laundry today. When I was in grad school and after, writing while doing laundry was the norm. Today I dusted off an old story I started years ago and began reading. I've written about 20k so far and I've always thought the story had potential. And, when you pitched the story idea to a friend (who then started his own publishing company...) years ago and he loved it then and brought it up again this weekend saying he'd love to read that story,'s a sign I need to get writing.

My friend Motivation is fickle--perhaps that's more my fault. I'm hoping to return to the days where I write something every single day. I'd like to continue this relationship.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Watching A Little Football After The Big Game...The AAF

I've had as many birthdays as there have been Super Bowl games. I'm not a sports historian, but as long as I've been alive, when it comes to football, the National Football League, or NFL, has been king, undisputed heavyweight champion of the world. 

Since I'm no sports historian (though an internet search could get me the info I'm looking for...) I believe two leagues formed before I was born and created the NFL. Because we live in a capitalistic society, people have tried several times over the years to create a product to give fans of football something to watch when the NLF is not in season. The first "other" league I remember was the old United States Football League, or USFL. I remember it being ambitious, and they had a lot of money behind it. I even watched some of the games.

It didn't last.

There was Arena football--not quite the same, but it was football, and the XFL. They even tried a league in Europe. I remember watching a lot of those games. The talent wasn't bad, either. Now, the latest kid in the corral is the Alliance of American Football, or AAF. This time, there's a hometown team to root for, the AAF Salt Lake Stallions.

They've only played for two weeks. I watched the Stallions's first game. There's a lot of local university talent on the Stallions's roster. They did not win. I did not watch their second game. They did not win that one, either. And I'm not knowledgable enough about the game to gage just how good these players are, or are not. I do know, there were a lot of dropped passes...a lot of dropped passes.

I'm going to keep watching. It's fun to root for a local team, especially a professional team. I hope it works out. Based on past programs, they've got an uphill fight, but that's what sports and competition is all about, doing tough things. Good luck Stallions! Good luck AAF!

* All photo/video is used without permission from the NFL Network, The Atlanta Legends, or the San Diego Fleet.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

LTUE 2019...Has Come And Gone

The rooms are cleared, the chairs are stacked, the volunteers have all gone home. The evening brings the closure of another LTUE convention. The organizers invited me to participate this year and I had an amazing time participating on panels, hanging out in the vendor room, getting to know authors and convention goers alike.

I had been blogging a couple of years when I when to my first LTUE event. I'm sure I took more pictures back then than I did this weekend. I took next to none. Anyone who knows me knows that's unusual. I think I was more focused on the panels and making sure I didn't embarrass myself. I don't believe I did. In fact, the panels I attended--the ones I was on--were amazing! We discussed science fiction on the modern stage, the film adaptations of Philip K. Dick, and the incredible world of steampunk. I strengthened existing friendships and met people I hadn't known before. 

It's always bittersweet when these things end. I only attended two out of the three days, but the conventions wear me out. I am getting older.

I did leave today with a renewed desire to write. I've let thing slip as of late, but I really want--and need--to dig into some of my unfinished projects, dust them off, and get to work. Any time you leave a writing conference excited about writing, that's a successful conference.

LTUE 2019 edition was wonderful. Now, we see what lasting effects it brings. Thank you Immortal Works for letting me hang out. Thank you to my brother's family for letting me crash at their place. Everyone at LTUE--drive safe and God bless.

Friday, February 15, 2019

"Mamma Mia"...What A Show!

Wednesday night my daughter and I went to the theatre. Usually, when she and I get in the car to go to a theatre, we're usually in the show, not watching, but she's now in college and I'm involved in other things, so being in a show together might not be something we do very often anymore.

But Wednesday night wasn't about us, it was about seeing friends Missy and Adam (and all the others...) perform in a show that had a dual purpose...entertainment and hope.

A few miles down the road form us is a building that houses The Hopebox Theatre. I believe it was originally built as a nursery. It then was transformed into a church, and now, it's a place for live performances.'s always been a place where life is celebrated and encouraged.

The Hopebox Theatre's mission can be found on their website and you can access it by clicking: HERE. Having been involved in numerous community theater productions over the years, what they are doing is nothing short of a miracle. It's hard enough to put on a show and keep a theater open, but to voluntarily give away proceeds from the take, that's beyond selfless.

Mamma Mia...I don't know a lot of shows like it. I had only seen the movie so I had an understanding of what I was in for. The space inside the theatre was small, or to use a better word, intimate. It's a small-ish cast, but they filled the space and made the room come alive. Since I'm a child of the 1970s, the music was part of my youth, and I had to hold back from just singing along with them, as I'd do if the song came on the radio while I'm driving.

The performances were so honest. They really believe in the mission of the theatre, and it came through in what we saw. If I had to find a weakness, it had nothing to do with the performers or the theatre--it's in the musical itself. I can't imagine a harder thing to do than to write a story around world famous songs. Modern musicals are so good at creating the arc, each song building off each other, the story contributing until acting and dialogue and music come together, the synergy making each more effective. Mamma Mia just doesn't have it sometimes, at least, for me.

The show runs until February 23rd. If you want to have a great time at a reasonable price, check it out. I'll bet you'll be wanting to belt out the songs as well.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Then Your Friend Goes And Wins A Grammy...

The year was 1985, January. I moved from my home to Provo, Utah, to live for ten weeks at a missionary training center, known affectionately as the MTC. It's when and where I first met Lansing McLoskey. Sixteen months later he and I were paired up as missionaries in Copenhagen, Denmark.

I think I've seen him once since then.

But I've followed his career. In the age of digital stalking, you can follow almost anyone online. The fact that they're incredibly accomplished, makes it so much easier. Since Denmark, my friend's attended the most prestigious schools, become a professor of music, as well as one of the nation's leading experts on Danish classical music.

Oh, and he also designed his own longboard skateboard lines.

Before we met he was a punk rocker and surfer in California.

Now, he's a Grammy winner.

It's amazing how many people you meet when you've lived on the planet for more than half a century. Our connections scatter like leaves blown from a tree, each leaf travels its own path, taking it to destinations unknown. Lansing worked extremely hard to reach this point in his career and even if his work, Zealot Canticles hadn't won a Grammy, it would no less diminish his numerous accomplishments, nor would it stop all the amazing things that he has yet to do.

Well done, good sir! I bought your work and have been listening to its haunting melodies since I first heard the news. May this help inspire your next work and all those that follow. Well done.

Image may contain: one or more people and people standing

Lansing, summer, 1986, Copenhagen, Denmark

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Getting Ready For "The Big Game," And I'm Not Talking About Football...

Last night I had to pick up a few things for dinner. I hopped in the van, drove a mile or so to the grocery store, parked, then walked in. I was immediately hit with sights and smells letting me know something big was coming, something the store was prepared for, a shopping rush that required the entire entrance to be shuffled about and re-organized.

No, it wasn't in preparation for the big football game--that happened ten days ago. It was all to prepare for Valentine's Day.

You'd think every single person needed to buy something in that store the way it was laid out.

And, considering they know their store and its customers better than I do, they're probably right.

I can't remember if I disliked Valentine's Day more when I was single or after I got married, and since I've been married for more than a quarter century, it's hard to remember. I've softened on the "holiday" since--kind of an anti-"get out of my yard" attitude. I hated Valentine's Day because it was completely made up to sell stuff. It's like a worldwide holiday the same way The Bachelor is a reality TV show (don't get me started on The Bachelor--that's a whole other issue...). I hated the way they wanted people to buy stuff to show their love for others when people should be showing that love all the other days that aren't February 14 as well. Of course, we can't all buy stuff everyday, and that was my point. You shouldn't have to buy stuff to show someone how you feel.

In the past couple of years, I've had a change of heart (in keeping with the day's theme...). We don't buy presents or do too much for the day so it wasn't a matter of having to get something. I guess having a day set aside to let the most important people in your life know how you feel about them isn't bad. 

Still, the way the store was decked-out. You'd think you were in Denmark if the Danes ever played in the World Cup Finals (okay--nothing this country could come up with could top that...). 

Is it a "big game?" For some, perhaps. I picked up my bread and chips and didn't even think about buying any of the flowers, stuff animals, chocolates, or inflated balloons. If it's a game, I choose not to play. Happy Valentine's Day everyone! I mean, if you do that sort of thing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

If Steampunk's Your Thing...Check Out Our LTUE Panel Saturday!

In some ways, it seems like forever ago when I sat on my first panel, yet it was just under six years ago. The convention of my first panelist experience no longer exists--it died a few years ago. It's too was a good event. Since then I've been fortunate enough to be on many many panels covering a myriad of topics, but it's the first panel at the Salt City Steamfest when a group of us gathered to talk about publishing in the fascinating genre of steampunk that is special.

And so, this Saturday at the latest edition of the Life, Universe, and Everything (LTUE) Writing Symposium, I'll once again sit with fellow authors and discuss steampunk.

The title of this panel is: The Science and Culture of Steampunk. The short write-up of the panel is interesting as well. What if steam-powered technology had remained the principle means of energy, instead of being replaced by electricity and fossil fuels? That's a great panel question.

Through the years as I've sat on steampunk panels, people have asked, "What exactly is steampunk?" There's many definitions, mostly because there's many manifestations of steampunk. It's a literary genre. It's a fashion definition. It's an art form. It's an interior design style. And to a smaller degree, there's steampunk music. 

I like steampunk for several reasons. My first published work was a steampunk short. I also like its plucky enduring attitude. If you attend any fan-driven conference, you'll see Marvel and DC characters. You'll see Star Wars and Star Trek cosplayers. You'll see anime and your favorite cartoon characters en masse. You'll also see people dressed in steampunk. They're not the most prominent, but they're always there, being unique, letting everyone know how much they love steampunk.

If you're in Provo this weekend attending LTUE, come check us out. There's some amazing authors as panelists, and I'll be there, too.

What would life be like today had not electricity and then fossil fuels taken over to power the world?

That's a great panel question.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Resetting A Password...Vicious Circle

I thought it would be an easy thing to do--you know, you forget your password, a couple of clicks later, you're in. I noticed one of my e-mails was down and I needed to reset the password.

Not so fast.

I tried a couple of passwords I've used in the past--no luck. No problem, I thought. I'll just reset the password from the website. I went to the site and followed the instructions.

1: enter your e-mail address


2: enter your password or click the FORGOT PASSWORD


Then I get the following message:

Please check your email.
We sent an email to ____________, which contains a link to reset your password.

One little problem.


Seems I've stumbled upon a Catch-22 situation. Thankfully, my friend is going to help me get into my email so I can reset the password. Of course, once I'm in I'll have no need to reset it. Such is life and the complicated world of technology!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sci-Fi On The Modern Stage...A LTUE Panel

I'm excited about this one. Of course, I'm excited about all the panels I'm fortunate enough to be a part of. Next Saturday, at the Life, the Universe, and Everything (LTUE) Writing Symposium I'll be part of the festivities. I'm on three panels. This is the first.

Earlier this week I sent an e-mail to a successful writer who is a screenwriter and a playwright. He's got experience writing science fiction and has written several plays. He offered some great suggestions as talking points for the panel.

I'm excited for the subject. It's untapped. The question is, "Why isn't there more science fiction-centered stories for the stage?" Fair question. Is it a technical question, and if so, will advancements in theatrical technology bring more sci-fi to the stage? Or is there just not enough interest? Of course, time will tell. Hopefully, we'll be able to flush out some theories and perhaps, some solutions.

Another reason I'm excited is because of the panelists. I've been on a panel with Aaron Johnston before. He's a bestselling author and screenwriter. I don't know Jonna Hayden or Katie Jarvis, but I've met Mary Kowal before. She's a successful fantasy writer and narrator with a previous career working in the theater.

These events are fun. It's a great way to meet new people, to get to know people better, and to discuss the creative process. If you're interested in this subject or any of the many other topics at this year's LTUE event, stop on by. You can see the entire schedule: HERE. Sci-Fi on the Modern Stage. Should be a fun one!

Saturday, February 9, 2019

A Proclamation Through Clothing...

Tonight, before the clock stuck 7pm, I changed into my pajamas. This is not normal for me. Usually, I change into my pajamas right before I go to bed, but seeing as it's now just after 9pm, I did not go to bed after I changed. I had dinner with the family, wrote this blog post, and am watching Oceans Eleven (the 2001 version...) all in my sleeping attire. 

With the change I proclaimed to the world that I was done with running errands for the day.

This wasn't the grandest of proclamations, but it felt good just the same.

It was a long day, a day filled with errands. Before 8am I was running one of my children to an appointment. I picked them up later in the morning. Between 8am and 6pm, me, or me and my wife were in a car, driving to and fro. It was the final trip, the trip to pick up some last-minute supplies for dinner, that caused me to make such a drastic change in clothing.

I was tired of running around.

It's funny. Since I telecommute, people think (I know because they tell me...) that I work in my pajamas. I suppose I could, but nope. It's just not me. At work I do dress in jeans and t-shirts. Because it's winter I also wear a couple of other layers, but when things warm up, I'll be ditching the layers as well. 

For some, pajamas equal freedom. It means they're not required to interact with society, at least, not in a socially acceptable way. It means a lack of responsibility as well. For me, this evening, it meant I was done with running around and I used pajamas as my proclamation.