Monday, August 30, 2010

The Fleece of Handsomeness RPG

Citizens of Earth,

Partly as a writing exercise, partly for kicks and giggles, I'm going to be hosting an online role playing game hosted on my blog, based in the medieval world of my novel The Bent Sword. My best ideas for stories have often come from role playing games, so who knows, if your character and story is good, they may end up in future novels. The format will be like this: I write a post establishing the story, then every character may make one comment describing their action. The next day, I update the story. More specific rules will be given in time.

To make the game more interesting, I'm going to send a free copy of The Bent Sword to the winner. The winner is the person who either completes the quest, survives the longest, or the last person who doesn't drop out from boredom. If you're interested, click on the link below, where you'll need to make a comment with the following information:
  1. Your character's name
  2. Any distinguishing attributes of your character
  3. Why your character isn't lame

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Salem Pond

This summer we filmed a screenplay I wrote called "Removed". The main character Derek wants to have a Walden experience, so he decides to "live deliberately" by giving up all his worldly possessions to his roommate and starting a new life in the nearby city park. Unfortunately for him, the city park fails to be the Walden fantasy that he's looking for as he confronts skateboarders and a girl who is constantly on her cell phone. As he seeks to learn from nature, he ends up learning what he didn't expect. The movie will be coming out within the next couple of months, so we'll keep you posted.

We chose to film it at the beautiful Salem Pond. I highly recommend it as a beautiful park to enjoy a lunch or dinner at with your family or friends. It's huge! It has a big beautiful pond with ducks to feed, a big field to run around on, picnic tables, a playground, and plenty of benches to ponder on.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Book Giveaway

Two (and a half) book reviewers are giving away a free copy of The Bent Sword. Read their review and enter to win.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Book Signing Tonight

I'll be doing a book signing tonight from 5:00 to 9:00 PM at the BYU Bookstore in Provo. You (the ambiguous, statistical cloud of potential customers whom I nevertheless hold an endearing brotherly love for) should come.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Book Seller Conventions

Tuesday night was a dinner at Cedar Fort in Springville, where LDS booksellers from around the world (some as far as England and Switzerland), came to hear authors pitch their books. We only got two minutes to do so. I think I packed a good punch. It was fun to finally meet some of the people at Cedar Fort that I've been corresponding with for months.

Tonight was a similar event at the South Town Expo Center in Sandy, where there was a large mingle with booksellers and authors. It was fun to see how many people were in my same camp ... first time authors that were more or less clueless but gun-ho nonetheless. One bookseller from Montana was very insistent that I needed to come and do a signing at her store. I smiled and nodded, but I can't imagine at this point how that could be economical. Some other booksellers from Idaho told me that they already had my book. That was a pleasant surprise. On top of all the other contacts I made, I tried to bond a little with famous fantasy author James Dashner, but in the end I realized that I hadn't read any of his books and I frankly had nothing to say to him. I became friends with the uncle of another famous fantasy author, Brandom Mull. He promised to buy my book.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Teresa's Birthday in Space

For Teresa's birthday party last Friday, I turned our basement into the bridge of a Star-Trek-esque spaceship. I accomplished this by creating cool hexagonal shaped architecture with our recording studio soundboards, setting up our laptop computers at a desk with cool screen savers that mimicked Star Trek computers, shutting out the light of the windows with multiple layers of garbage bags, setting up a large flat panel, wide screen TV with my computer, which ran a realistic space simulation program, and by playing a continuous soundtrack I created of spaceship engine hums, futuristic computer noises and all manner of spacey sounds.

Teresa is by no means a Star Trek fan, but in trying to think of something fun and original to do for her (if you're unaware, we have a longstanding tradition of trying to outdo each other with "surprise" birthday parties twice a year), the thought of this was irresistible. I'd hosted a similar party in high school, though with much cruder resources. And frankly, creating amazing space simulations has always been a dream of mine. To get Teresa and myself psyched for the event, we checked out and watched the new movie Star Trek the night before. Unfortunately, neither of us liked it. Though we're just haters.

Of course, when I picked up Teresa, whom I'd sent off to her parents' house, she was under the impression that we had some date plans in Salt Lake City. Though she was no doubt suspicious, as her mom had slightly leaked some information. When she entered our basement, many friends and family members, dressed in Star Trek outfits, soluted her as captain and escorted her to the captain's chair. She didn't known any Star Trek jargon, and as her first mate, I wasn't very good at it either. But our crew improvised well enough to get us launched deep into space, when, not long after, there was a transmission from an enemy ship (friends in the basement bedroom who communicated with us through a multiple camera setup and a TV of their own). Enemies boarded our ship, violent struggles ensued, engines were deactivated, victims were hurled into the vacuum of space, the captain was kidnapped, rescue missions were sent, etc., and it was good fun ... though short-lived. It was short-lived because our basement, in the heat of July, with nothing to cool it but a single fan, was so unbearably hot, especially in the super-insulated spaceship, that no one could take much of it before having to go outside and cool down.

Tragically, we forgot to take a picture of the spaceship.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Message From Lord Bore