Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Review: The Dragons of Chiril

Before DragonSpell, on a different continent and a different time, a young emerlindian’s desperate decision threatens to disrupt the foundation of the world.

Tipper has been caring for her family’s estate for years now, ever since her father disappeared, making a living by selling off his famous artwork. Then she learns that three statues she sold were carved from an ancient foundation stone, and the fabric of her reality is crumbling.

She must free her father and save the world. But she can’t do it alone.

Her ragtag band of adventurers includes Beccaroon, a giant parrot; Bealomondore, an aristocratic young artist; a handsome dragonkeeper prince; the Wizard Fenworth; and the tumanhofer librarian Librettowit. Together they travel through valleys and kingdoms and consort with purveyors of good and agents of evil to find and reunite the missing statues. Will they learn to rely on Wulder’s grace and guidance along the way? (Description taken from

Before I say anything about the actual book, if you look at the cover art, there's a little white line at the bottom.  Look ever closer, and you'll see the line is actually words.  "Previously released as The Vanishing Sculptor."

Seeing as I've already read this book, and I'm reading it again to review it, maybe that will affect my review.  Maybe not.  But let's give it a go.

If there was one word to describe this book—just one—it would be engrossing.  That doesn't mean this book is a page-turner.  It doesn't mean that The Dragons of Chiril is action-packed.  But I have to give it to Paul—even the scenes normally labeled "boring" are touched by the clever and beautiful prose.

That's one of the big pluses of this book.  The prose is written in a style that makes it easy to read.  An engrossing style.  The description is magnificent, as always, and the writing moves the book along, even if nothing is happening.

The world-building was well done, if confusing at times.  There are seven different races (I think, I can never keep them straight), and seven low races, as well as a collection of new words for drinks & foods, places, things, etc.

And, of course, we have the usual motley host—a wizard with a wandering thought process, a often grumpy librarian, a somewhat hysterical emerlindian girl (who happens to be the main character), a vanishing sculptor (which is why the previous title for this book was much more accurate), a younger tumanhofer artist who adores the older artist's work, a charming, dashing young dragonkeeper, a lady with the most bizarre idea of logic, and many more.

All of the characters, to some extent, were lovable and three-dimensional.  I especially enjoyed Wizard Fenworth and Lady Peg (maybe because I identified with them so much).  They were fantastic.

And really, characters are what drove the story, in this novel.

The plot had high stakes.  The end of the world.  Death of loved ones.  And yet, it didn't quite move along as it should have, which shows the more character-driven aspects of this tale.

This was one of the things that made it simply "engrossing" but not amazing and fast-paced.  And besides this, not enough went wrong. I kept thinking, "This is too easy."  And that's never a good thing.

Besides this, the main character rather annoyed me.  She, like I mentioned earlier, was somewhat of a flighty, hysterical person.  When trouble came around, she screamed and jumped around—she wasn't much of a strong character.  She was portrayed as more strong-willed, but she never quite attained it, in my mind.

The message of this story was good, but not powerful.  It didn't impact me, as a reader.  Great morals are often embedded in character and plot and the decisions themselves—in this case, the morals were quoted straight from this world's Bible, the Tomes.  It felt like I was being cheated of a good story, like the author, instead of taking the time to deeply embed messages in the characters themselves, just put it in there by quotes from some Wulder-following characters.  While I know this wasn't true, I still felt a little frustrated by it.

All in all, it was a good yarn, but not too powerful.  Read it, if you don't mind a plot that doesn't move too fast.  It's still a good tale.

Rated 8 out of 10.

(I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah's BloggingForBooks program.  I was not required to write a positive review.)

Also, please take the time to rate my review below.  If you rank it, you are entered for a chance to win a free copy of The Dragons of Chiril!

Thank you!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Tip: Dilemma—Morals, Characters, and Problems Meet

One of the greatest tools of a writer in writing meaningful stories is the Dilemma.

It covers morals.  It fuels plot.  It causes problems.  It shows character.

Dilemmas are what happen when something goes wrong—and more than the usual wrong—and in order to fix it, the character must make a difficult choice.

And they're powerful.

But merely telling you about it is not enough.  Let's examine dilemmas from top to bottom, dissecting them to find out what makes them so strong.  And then, we'll use them to our advantage in creating truly meaningful stories.


What makes dilemmas powerful?  

It's a hard question.  And in order to write powerful dilemmas, we need to know the answer.

There are hard, factual aspects of a dilemma.  For instance, here are some.

Dilemmas are powerful because they often show character.  You don't tell your reader that a character is heroic.  If you do tell your reader, at any point in your story, that your character is heroic (i.e. "He was a heroic guy"), you must cut it.  Now. 

Your character's character is showed by his or her actions and decisions.  You know a character is heroic when he or she sacrifices himself to save others, or if he or she risks his or her life to make a daring rescue.

Dilemmas take it a step further.  They go from making ordinary decisions—will he rescue the maiden or slink back to his old life?—to difficult ones.  Dilemmas aren't just choices; they're choices between two bad things. Will he die or allow someone else to die?  Will he eat cucumber and parsley cake or rotted watermelon?

If you want to show character, go with a dilemma.  Choices show your character's character, but dilemmas show their true motives and morals.  It's the difference between helping the maiden escape (decision) to dying for her rescue (dilemma; allow the maiden to die or die yourself?).  Helping the maiden escape may have ulterior motives, but dying is the greatest price of them all.  If a character dies for another, then loyalty and love is truly expressed, much more than in a simple rescue.

There seem to be different brands of character dilemmas.  There are normal dilemmas (die or allow her to die), and then there are also temptation dilemmas.

Someone—often the Villain—may offer the character a choice.  It's the choice between something bad or something the character wants—at a price.

A great example of this is in the TV show Doctor Who.  (I've recently discovered it, and I really like it.  But don't worry, no spoilers here.)  In the episode "School Reunion", the main character (the Doctor) is given a choice.  He can join the bad guys and have a chance to regain what he's lost, but at the price of doing something he thinks is morally wrong.  The other alternative is to try and stop them and risk their lives.

Think about it.  The only thing stopping him from accepting that choice is the fact that he would have to stand by and accept something morally wrong.  Not even  doing something wrong, only accepting that it was happening and receiving the reward for this wrongdoing.

And this reveals the character of the Doctor.  He cannot, will not stand aside while wrong is being done.  It's against his nature, his character.  If he sees wrong, he stops it, regardless to the cost.

This is a fantastic element of his character, revealed by a hard dilemma.

So, what else does a dilemma do?

It also moves the plot.

Dilemmas make fascinating reading.  They are simply irresistible.  What will the character choose? is a powerful question that drives the reader to keep reading.  It moves things forward.  And that's something you always want in a novel.

If the dilemma can have an impact on the plot and complicate matters, all the better!  

Dilemmas often create emotion.  Daniel Schwabauer states that the entire purpose of a novel is to create emotion.  Novels make us care for characters, and when a character is presented with a dilemma, it makes some sort of emotion.  If he or she makes the wrong decision, we feel disappointment, betrayal; such scenes can create a variety of emotion.  If he or she makes a right decision, we may feel proud, sorrowed (if the price is too great for the character to bear), etc.

Dilemmas cause your reader to think.  There have been many times where I have wondered, "What would I have done in this character's place?"  Dilemmas make the events of story move out of one world and into reality, impacting a reader's life.

And if the dilemma sets an example, then perhaps the reader will be encouraged by that.

Take these all together.  Dilemmas show character, move the plot, create emotion, and cause you to think.  They're powerhouses of story.  Alone, like this, they can still be powerful and impactful, but there is one thing that draws all of these aspects of dilemmas together.

Express the Moral


That's the thing that ties a dilemma together and makes it relevant to the reader.

Characters show morals.  Plot shows morals.  Emotion makes the moral impact you.  And morals are the things that cause you to think in dilemmas.

If I had to tell you one thing in this post, it will be this: use dilemmas to express the morals behind the story.

It's hard to do that without doing what others call "preachy".  I've had attempts that did turn out preachy, but I kept on going.

Because if you can successfully (and without preaching) express the moral of a story through a dilemma, then you have a truly meaningful scene that will impact the reader. If you can do this throughout your novel, then it will be fantastic.

Often, a novel will have some sort of moral.  In The War Horn, my moral is tied up in the symbol of a war horn—freedom and also mercy and justice.  The dilemma my character has at the climax uses this symbol to express the morals behind my story in a (hopefully) non-preachy manner.

To Write A Dilemma

I can't give you step-by-step instructions for writing a dilemma.  The dilemmas must come from you and your imagination.  However, when writing a dilemma, keep these there things in mind.

1) Have your character choose between two bad alternatives in a way that has him or her stay in character.

2) Always make it hard.  The key to a successful dilemma is that the character will pay a price, no matter what the choice.

3) Express a moral.

4) Make it relevant and thought-provoking to the reader.  Something as heartbreaking as choosing which parent will die (i.e. choosing between Mom and Dad) would cause the reader to wonder which choice s/he would choose.

5) Create emotion.

Along the course of your life, what experience have you had (in life, in writing, in books, or otherwise) with dilemmas?  What can we learn from them?  Anything I missed that you'd like to note?  Like this post? Leave me a comment and we'll talk. :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Just To Let You Know

I wanted to tell y'all that Jake is the best brother in the whole wide world (yes, he is that wickedly awesome!!)

Jake is amazing- you should know- you read his blog!

He is a great writer.

He has mad (arm) sparring skills.

He doesn't complain when he has to clean up other peoples' messes.

He lets me sit in the front seat when I'm in a bad mood (good move, by the way.)  :)

He is the type of guy who will give up his day to go fence in 101 degree weather (no shade or breeze!) with his grandpa.

He is someone who can make you laugh- laugh loud.

He is someone who isn't afraid to admit his mistakes- who always gets over himself and says he is sorry (not that he ever does anything that he needs to say sorry for!  *wink*)

He is my brother- the one that can sit on the sofa for 20 minutes and write a spectacular blog post (ridiculous, I know!  He has mad writing skills)

There is a lot more I could brag about- but I gonna go eat *ice cream* (Jake, you're missing out.).

One last word-

I miss you.  I love you.  You are the best (ever) brother in the whole stinkin' wide (really wide) world.  Don't get eaten.


p.s- please comment and tell Jake how (WICKEDLY) awesome he is!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Review: J. R. R. Tolkien

J. R. R. Tolkien famously penned The Hobbit and the three-volume novel The Lord of the Rings. Known as "the father of modern fantasy literature," his writings have inspired many other works of fantasy and have had a lasting effect on the entire genre. In this Christian Encounters biography, learn how Tolkien's faith was an intrinsic element of his creative imagination, one that played out in the pages of his writings and his life. (Description from

While this book is titled "J. R. R. Tolkien", I think it could have been called, "J. R. R. Tolkien's Life & Faith, & How It Impacted His Writing".  Much of the emphasis is not on his life—although the book certainly reviews Tolkien's whole life—but on how his life and his faith found its way into his writing.

I must hand it to the author; he could write a fairly engrossing biography, enough to pull me out of a fantasy novel and dive into this nonfiction.  Thinking I would read this after I finished a novel I was reading, I flipped through it, read the back, and read the introduction.  And from that introduction, I couldn't resist picking up the book.  The biography is small; only 160 pages.  But though it was small, it was certainly a good read.

Perhaps it's because I'm a writer that I liked it so much.  Much of the material touched upon—writing, Lord of the Rings, the Inklings, Tolkien's beliefs about fantasy and myth—was relevant to me, as a writer.  The goal of the TPBS (a group consisting of Tolkien's closest friends) was especially relevant.

As to the actual writing, the biography style of it was fine.  There were several sections where the author—probably on purpose—began with a bit of prose.  "It was the biggest snake Tolkien had seen" or something like that.  I found them to be out of place with the rest of the book, and a little annoying.

Even without this, the book would have made 4.5, maybe even 5 stars.  However, the "Legacy" chapter—the last one in the book—lowered my opinion of the book.  Without going into detail, I will say that I disagreed with some of the author's opinions, especially regarding Harry Potter.  Besides this, I felt that much of the chapter was out of place with the rest of the book.  While it is appropriate, when reviewing Tolkien's life, to also take a look at his legacy, I felt that some of this section could have been cut.

Overall, this was a good read that gave a lot of insight into Tolkien's life and the beliefs behind his tales.  Several sections—especially the sections about the TBPS—were just beautiful and poetic.  I literally stopped reading in several places to contemplate quotes that the author gave from various sources.  This excellent biography was only diminished by a few things that I disliked.

Rated 7.5 out of 10.  (Four stars)

Read it, you won't regret it.  Unless you don't like Tolkien and/or fantasy, that is.  Recommended.

(I received this book for free from Booksneeze, in exchange for a review.  I was not required to write a positive review.)

The Errant King Cover Art!

Wayne Thomas Batson has released the cover art for book two of the Dark Sea Annals: the Errant King.

Check it out. 

I've died already.  I suspect I'll die again when October rolls around.  I can't wait.  Chew on this while you wait!


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Giveaways & Spearhead

Hey, readers!  Giveaway time!

Yup, I posted that just to hook you in here.  Sorry.  But read on, and you'll find it's true!  I'm not the one giving it away, but it's easy to enter.

BloggingForBooks (WaterBrook Multnomah's we'll-give-you-a-free-book-if-you-give-us-a-review program) has changed some stuff up (again), but this time it's in our favor.

Basically, you rate my reviews, you get entered for some free books.  That's all.  Since you have to verify your email, they use that email to contact you should you win.  The BfB people draw from raters at random, so you have a good chance of getting some good stuff.  The more you rate, the better your chances.   :)  If you rate a particular book, you have a chance of winning that book: if you rate Dug Down Deep, for instance, you have a chance of winning Dug Down Deep.

And this happens...all month.

Crazy, huh?

Which also works out for me, since I'd like you to rate my reviews anyway. :)  I get free books and ratings; you get to rate and enter to win books.  It's not a bad deal.

If you want to rate some of my reviews, you'll find all of the ranking thingies embedded in this post.

Some other momentous news has come about today.  Four Christian fiction authors (Sir Hopper and Sir Batson among them) have teamed up to create a website called Spearhead.   It's something big, and I'm not entirely sure what exactly it is.  But it seems everyone is abuzz with this news.  Some even call it "the next big thing".  Here is Spearhead's about page.

It's like an online bookstore, run by authors.  Christopher Hopper, in his post about Spearhead, referenced it as a "guild".

Can't wait to see what comes of it.  This could go far.

Opinions?  Any more information that you know that I don't?

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Where Things Are Going

Well, folks, I've come to a fork in the road.  And I'm turning soon.  Actually, that's more of a catchphrase than anything else, and an excuse to post that picture you see.  I already know where things are going. :)

I still have a lot of revising to do.  And that's pretty much a "Duh" for any writer; good books are not written, they're REwritten, right?

However, as I was rereading and formatting The Book of Shaldu this week, I began thinking about book two in the Prophecies Series.  That's the more-or-less official name of the series, by the way.

I really have no idea what is going to happen in that book.  It's a mystery.  I only have a couple of vague ideas and a prophecy.  But events are happening fast, and I'll fill you in.

Yesterday afternoon, I spoke to a friend briefly about Book Two.  That got my imagination juices running, and I realized (not for the first time) that I have no idea what I'm going to do in Book Two.  And since The Book of Shaldu was beginning to shape up, I thought it might be time to begin thinking about it.

That's what I do instead of outlining, see.  I ponder it.  I think about my characters.  I think about the plot.  And I say, "What could go wrong?"  (Which, by the way, is a fantastic question.  Find out what could go wrong, and then do it.)

Well, I didn't sleep very well last night.  That's what these things do to you.  In fact, in "sleeping on it", I might have awoken poor Inspiration again.  He always tunes into thoughts, not actions.  And since my mind was a boiling pot of imagination last night...

Long story short, he threw a bar of soap at me in the shower this morning.  And I realized that the back-story for one of my characters was a LOT more complex than I thought.

The character in question was Elene Silversword, the mother of my main character.   She was a strong character with a sharp wit and a sharp tongue, and she loved the High Lord.  For the longest time I couldn't understand why she was such a strong character.

But anyway, after Inspiration threw the soap at me, he told me all about Elene Silversword.  It was kinda creepy, actually, finding out all I didn't know about my own character.  Apparently she had fled to Kr'ark and married a guy named Jactwo Silversword.  'Course, I had to find out why she fled.  I'm her writer.

I found out a lot about this character called Elene.  For one, Elene isn't her real name.  Major shock there.  And for two, her story has betrayal and death and conspiracy wound up in it.

If you expect me to tell you what exactly her story IS, I won't.  It's my secret.  I promised Inspiration I wouldn't tell.

However, let it be known that her back-story will have a large impact on the course of the Prophecies series. This got me thinking for the rest of the day.  And, besides this, I figured out what this new prophecy means.

Now, if you're wondering what in the world all this has to do with where things are going, let me tell you; because of this rather painful smack from Inspiration, I now have a tentative plot for Book Two simmering in my mind pot.  I have a lot of foreshadowing to rewrite into TBOS, but it's beginning to come together.

To tie it all up, I have a feeling that Book Two is very close to getting to the point where I can begin writing.

And, of course, revising my other novels.  *sigh*  It gets tiring after a while...

Two more quick notes: first, the prophecy's name is also the name of a novel.  I actually "doodled" the prophecy, believe it or not.  I drew a tree, an orb, and a stylized moon, and then wrote a poem above the tree in runes.  This became the prophecy.

So, you want to know the name of the book?

Tentatively, Book Two of the Prophecies is called, "The Prophecy of Terrainian".

The name "Terrainian" is also tentative.  I may need a name-change.  Do you think I should change the name?  If so, what name would you recommend? (It's easily done; I haven't written anything about book two down anywhere but here.)

That's all for now.  Let me know what you think. :)

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Story

Someday, I want to write the novel I call the novel.  It's the novel that, if I ever have the expertise and the idea fleshed, will be the greatest novel I've ever written.

Sometimes, when I listen to certain soundtracks, I catch a glimpse of that novel.  The novel that would stir up adventure and stir the soul at the same time.  A novel that would pull you in for a wild ride; a novel that a reader will never forget.

It would be that kind of novel that (I hope) makes a reader sit back, and say just one word.  "Epic."  And the novel that is in me, somewhere, brewing, is just that.  If it will ever peek out, that is.

And, sometimes I wonder; do all writers have that novel?  Do you, writer, have that epic novel hidden somewhere in your imagination, just waiting to spring onto a page?

Or do you, reader, look for that novel you might call an "epic"?  And I've found those.  I've found in Tolkien, in Batson, in Davis, in Hopper, epics.

"Wait," you might say.  "What about all of those novels you're writing now?  Don't you pour yourself into those, too?"

And I'd say, yes.  But I almost view them as practice.  Even if they get published, though, they are only a small reflection of the novel that I may never write.

And yes, I may never write that novel.  Because, if I would write it, it might span pages, and pages, and pages.  Books.  Even more.  It would be a huge project.  I may even venture to call it "the Story", because it would be one story, even if it were more than one novel.

This story would be one of those stories that stays with you for a long, long time.  Something that expresses what I already have burned across my heart; the flaming love of a Savior, the passion of a God who saves, the furious fight of freedom, the ultimate battle of burning light and encroaching darkness.

But I feel, if I even attempt to write it now, it would fail.  Because I'm just not ready.  My writing style is developing, but not developed.  I have a lot of ground to cover before the Story can be written.

So, I write little bits of the things that rouse the soul.  In The War Horn, I touch on freedom and self-sacrifice.  In The Book of Shaldu, I write of the battle between light and darkness.  In Revolution, I will try to show the revolution that happens when God comes to earth and sets things in motion.

Little bits and pieces.  Ultimately, all of the pieces are found in the Bible; someday, I will try and show them embroiled in action in a tale that readers will never forget.  Perhaps it will be written.  Perhaps not.

Until then, I shall keep writing.

So, writer.  Do you have that tale you burn to write?  Tell us about it.

I'll leave you with one quote that Mr. S told us at the OYAN Conference.

Which would you rather have?

 Imagine yourself a bestselling author, with over a million copies sold.  But the thing is, once the reader reads your book, they promptly forget about it.  They've read it. It's just another book.  You get the royalties and all that from sales, of course. But the readers aren't impacted by it.  It's average.

Or, you sell one copy.  Just one.  You get the little royalty.  But the one reader who buys that book will never forget the wild tale they found inside.  Ever.

Which would you rather have?

Sunday, July 3, 2011

The One Year Adventure Novel Workshop

Agent 42.

Lauffter Control.

A banana.

A name-tag.

A signed copy of Song of the Ovulum.

Scrawled, "To Jake, Bryan Davis".

Ninja battles.

Sword fights.




All of them describe, but do not encompass, the One Year Adventure Novel Workshop.  It has been one of the most epic things I have ever done.  Undoubtedly.

And how to describe such epic things?  Epicness is hard to describe.  Very hard.  But I shall attempt it.  It shall be very lengthy.  So, if you want a summary; I have provided it above.  If not, try to make your way through this muddle.

The highlights of the first day (which includes the evening before the first day):

First, I met the one and only EaglesWings.  We (my entire Clan) had her and her mom over for supper, which composed of steak and rice.

I arrived the next morning just in time to see Mrs. S (one of the key people at the workshop) being herself.  Afterwards, Mr. S (also known as Daniel Schwabauer) lectured two lectures; he spoke first about Great Characters, using examples of Cyrano de Bergerac, Peter Pan, and Scrooge, I believe.

The second lecture spoke about common story mistakes writers make in their stories.  I won't go in-depth, but these were very helpful. :)  I took many notes. *nodnod*

Afterward, Mr. and Mrs. S acted out how NOT to critique and be critiqued.  Which was absolutely hilarious.

And then, lunch.


The thing that made my stomach churn.

Critique time.

Actually, it went quite well.  I was glad for the critiques. :)  

And then, break time commenced.  

After free time and supper, the OYANers packed back into the lecture hall for a surprise: which turned out to be a bagpipes fellow who played some absolutely fantastic stuff.  Cue much clapping!  

After that, a man named Mark Wilson came and gave a session called "The Lord of the Lord of the Rings", talking about how The Lord of the Rings was embedded with morals contrary to modern belief, and how it can apply to writing.  Great session, it was. :)

Afterward, the free time was labeled "Meet other OYANers who want to change and/or annoy the world with their words."

The Second Day:

Mrs. S was herself, for thirty minutes.  And she gave away stuff. O_o

And then, Mark Wilson again gave a lecture, this time about how storytelling impacts the world.  And I really liked this one as well. :)

After a short break, there was another lecture (this one by a judge in the OYAN novel contest) that talked about contest mistakes and how to avoid them.  

After, lunch, and then critique groups.  I gave them my worst chapter to endure. O_o

After this, there was scheduled a Doctor Who party-ish thing, which Eagles and I both went to, neither of us having ever watched Doctor Who.  So, I did, for the first time.

It was...strange.  And the fact that they watched two different episodes with two different Doctors made things confusing. >_>

The last two sessions of the night were very good as well; Mr. S talked about the four layers of truth in fiction, and how to communicate it; Mark Wilson talked about the need for community in writers.  We're not Lone Rangers. ;)

As for the time afterward, the OYANers were supposed to "Hang out.  Play Games.  Plot the destruction of the galactic empire."

Day Three:

Mrs. S was herself again.

Bryan Davis came to the Workshop to speak.  He gave us, in two sessions a crash-course in revision and advanced revision; from passive voice to foreshadowing to intimate point of view.  This was probably the most helpful part of the Workshop: I'm planning to do a Bryan Davis Revision soon. ;)

In critique groups afterward, we came up with the epic idea of Lauffter Control.  Defacing our name-tags, we hid the words "Lauffter Control" from view; and a plan to secure a banana was made.

After supper, Bryan Davis gave a fantastic "lecture" (better suited by the word speech) about writing for God and having a passion in writing.  It was amazing.  I cannot sum it up in mere words.

And after?  The Greenleaf Improv Team came to the Workshop and made us throw up our hands in laughter.  (Inside joke.  We had one of them "throw up their hands"...literally...)

The Last Day:

Mrs. S was herself, but only for 15 minutes.

After a lecture or two, a performance by some talented peoples, the critique group plot came to fruition.  And, chapter eleven of The War Horn was received very well, and they liked it. :)  And, Eagles' epilogue was bittersweet.

In the closing session, Mr. S addressed the topic he called, "Ack!  Where do I go from here?"  He did quite a good job. :)  And, some intrepid OYANers made an entire skit with the phrases like "His eyes were glued to the ceiling" and "he couldn't take his eyes off her" and "he threw up his arms", etc.  Complete with sound effects and a frantic person trying to grab the eyes off the ceiling...

After this, Eagles and I had a picture taken with Mr. and Mrs. S.

And then, as the schedule said, all OYANers packed as much last-minute fun they could into three hours.  It included a knighting, the pouring of Coke on one's head, capture-the-flag-ninja, lightning, and final goodbyes.

Oh, and did I forget to mention that I slept very little the entire week?

And now the OYAN Workshop is over.  It was epic, and the words I have spoken will never sum it up.  Post-Workshop depression has been cued for shipment.

BUT.  It was taped. >:)  I suspect they'll be making a DVD of the Workshop.  

So, that was my week.  My first conference/Workshop thingy.

If you've made it through this post, congratulations.  Hopefully, I've made you want to be there.  And if you weren't there and have never heard of OYAN, go and buy it.  And those of you reading this and were there...perhaps I've made you want to do it all over again.

Farewell, all, and hopefully I can get a writing related post up here sometime. If I'm not eaten by tarantulas first...