Thursday, August 29, 2019

Quills 2019 Afterglow

I’m still in the glow.

Wow, just wow. What a fantastic weekend just happened. The 2019 Quills Conference was a stellar event of community, education and encouragement.

If you weren’t there, you missed a great event. Mark you calendars for next year, August 13-15, 2020, where the League of Utah Writers and our annual committee turns 85.

That is some tradition there. That is some work, some love, some energy, some community.
Encouraging agent Samantha Wekstein
 to stay hydrated at Quills 2019

What a great thing is community.

I am so lucky to be a part of the writing world in Utah and beyond. Here I’ve found like minds, struggling to do their best, making mistakes, picking themselves up, hoping in the balance on Thoth’s scales that we come out ahead, having been a more positive force than negative in the world. In a community like the League of Utah Writers, where all are mentors and mentored, this goal is as achievable as a kind word, a useful critique, a sympathy and celebration.

I love writing conferences, they’re unlike any other event I’ve ever attended. Conferences like Quills, organizations like the League of Utah Writers offer opportunities to give back, to excel, improve, network, get silly, be hated, be loved, be alive. Live in Letters.

I want to thank the volunteers of Quills, the board, committees, guests and attendees who made it so wonderful and offered unparalleled opportunities to everyone. I got to thank a mentor, make new friends, learn from wise, mingle with my people.

My gratitude to all and everyone.


Thursday, August 8, 2019


This week at the Blog Mansion, for obvious self serving reasons, i'm going to like to a new review of THICKER THAN WATER by Guild Master Gaming, a site for geeks and hep cats.

Check it out:

Guild Master Gaming Review

THICKER THAN WATER will release in two weeks-SQUEEE! on August 22, 2019. I'll be celebrating the event at the League of Utah Writers Quills Conference. I hope to see you there.

Thursday, August 1, 2019

THICKER THAN WATER—Debts in the Desert

Tony Flaner’s new adventure, THICKER THAN WATER, is not only the best book ever written ever, but it’s also economically priced and makes a great gift,

But I digress.

I talk a lot about writing to theme, an unusual method of creative writing, one that I learned through my  training in literary and cultural criticism. Thank you, University of Utah. What this means is that I’m usually investigating a larger idea in my work. Larger than just the story, I mean. The story is in service to the personal exploration of the theme.

In Thicker than Water, I was driven by the idea of family connection and ancestral  debts. It was spurned by the tragic but modern phenomenon of losing connections with once dear friends and family. Maybe you’ve kept track of everyone who ever touched your life, but I unfortunately haven’t and coincidentally, neither has Tony.

There are people whom I’ve loved, who have loved me, put up with me, saved me in hard times, but still have fallen by the wayside of my life, lost in the distractions of growing up and growing through.

Nostalgia comes in times of quiet and in times of crisis. For Tony, it’s a tonic to reinvigorate him out of a stupor to repay an old debt to kind kin in the desert.

Tony’s debts are more defined than mine, his settings more cinematic, but the idea of a magical summer, mythical and meaningful as only retrospect can color it, is at the heart of the story on all levels. From his son’s music concert to the snake in the garage, all are pieces of the same familial puzzle.

And there’s plenty of  sarcastic social satire, Flanerisms and a ripping good mystery I bet you won’t figure out until the very end, when Tony tells you. Your mileage may vary.

THICKER THAN WATER, A Tony Flaner Mystery, coming August 2019