Row80 Dec 17th

At my writers group party, the spudnuts were a big hit. But I must say, having tried them both ways, they are much better fresh out of the fryer.

And speaking of Christmas type events, last Sunday I attended one of Salt Lake’s biggest yearly events. It’s the hottest ticket in town, and it’s free—the trouble is can you get tickets. Often if you live out of town it’s easier, but as a local it’s anyone’s guess.

What is this event? Why it’s the annual Christmas concert put on by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and whatever guests they host that year. It’s usually a musically talented guest and someone brought as a narrating type. This year I knew I had to attend because who could miss out on seeing this?

bigbirddirectYep. That’s Big Bird conducting the orchestra and choir. Big Bird! This year’s guests were Santino Fontana (of Frozen fame) and the Sesame Street Muppets. Usually the age limit for this is 8 yrs old and up, but this year they dropped it to 5 and the kids giggled with delight whenever the Muppets were out.

It was probably one of their best shows I’d seen yet. It will be broadcast on PBS, but not until next year. However at the bottom of my post, I’ll embed a highlights video.

THE GOALS

How about that Row80?

Finish outlining Book 2. ACCOMPLISHED.

Read “The Fire in Fiction” and one fiction book. Progress! I did read a little more The Fire in Fiction, but I also read The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis. Where did that randomly come from? Well, I was watching Scrooge, the Albert Finney version and something in that reminded me of what someone had told me about The Great Divorce. Since it’s a pretty short read (about 100 pages in the version I have) I polished it off in a few hours. Fantastic little read if you’re interested in Christian theology. Not to say it’s authoritative or anything, just something intellectual to consider.

So now that I’ve gotten three fiction books read I really, really need to make better progress on TFIF. Hopefully next week I will have finished it, or nearly finished. I believe next week is the last week for this session of Row80.

Rework Book 2. ACCOMPLISHED. I sent off the first chapter to my writers group. As always, they had some good suggestions. It’s interesting how we writers tend to be fairly myopic about our own work, but can see easily see the holes in someone else’s work. That’s why it’s good to have a group to go to or some beta readers you can count on.

BONUS GOALS: # 1 Write at least one short story. No new progress.

#2 Do further plotting for Codename Clemmings. No new progress. I’m not sure if I’ll do the other project or continue working on this or polish up the first chapter of Book 2 more. I guess it’s good a new session of Row80 is coming up so I can make new goals to be accomplished. I’m still glad with the progress I’ve made overall.

Now that we’re in the home stretch of Row80, will you get all your goals accomplished? Have you found feedback to be invaluable to improving your writing?

And as promised, more Muppets.

The Candy Bomber

There’s not much to update with Row80, except one thing. Last night at my writer’s group I won an award. My group is the local chapter of a larger organization called the League of Utah Writers and we decided to have a chapter writing contest for short stories, articles, and poems, and have them judged by other chapters’ members—so there wouldn’t be any bias. I entered my short story TRICK OR TREE, and tonight I found out I won first place. 🙂 Granted, it’s only against the other members of my chapter, but it’s still nice to find out people thought my short story ranked first. Plus as an added bonus first place winners of each category get a $50 credit to spend toward future contests, writing conferences, or other writing career related things. Woot! I’m hoping this is a sign of further good things to come, like winning the final round of Pitch Wars (results won’t come until late January at the earliest) and the other two contests I’ve entered (results for these, not until late February). I was certainly all smiles last night. I am today as well.

And I guess that’s the end of this round of Row80. I think I’m going to take a break from Row80 and I may change up the blog schedule. But aside from all that, I’ve decided to take a break from my regularly scheduled programming to tell you about something you may love.

Last Sunday I had the opportunity to go to the annual Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas program. It’s kind of a big deal around here. We’ve seen the likes of Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jane Seymour, and Natalie Cole to name a few come and participate as guests during the program. This year it featured Alfie Boe and Tom Brokaw.

Mormon Tabernacle Choir

You can go Thursday through Sunday when it’s running. Tickets are free, but if you want some you have to enter a sort of lottery and hope they select you for tickets. Or you can standby and hope you get in. Some years and days are easier than others.

Anyways, this year they featured the story of the Candy Bomber, a man Tom Brokaw wrote about in his book The Greatest Generation. Here’s the story.

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