Family Night at the Hardy's

We just had a family weekend. My husband, Tony, and I were beat so we just played Halo with the girls . It went something like this:

“I see Bob... I’m coming to get you Bob... I’m going to kill Bob....” chants my 9 year old followed by, “One more for me. Oh, look, there’s Hardy.... I’m coming to get you Hardy... What, where’d you go.... there you are... I’m going to kill Hardy....” 

My screen goes dark. I’m dead. I know she’s a sweet little girl and doesn’t realized the panic and terror she’s invoking with her high pitched monolog of doom, but hey, it works!

Then there’s my six year old: “I see Dad. I’m going to jump over you and kill you.” Followed by massive giggling. And sure enough, that’s just what she does: Jumping as she makes her avatar jump and spinning as she kills him with two punches to the back of the head.

Then you hear the girls fighting, “No fair making a fortress! That’s cheating!”

Apparently, my youngest has developed an interesting strategy in Halo. She buys a cache of weapons, stashing them in a corner. Then she plants mines all around the area so only she knows the safe route. Next she walks into the open until she spots another player. 

You can guess what comes next. Blam! You step into a mine as you chase her. Not bad for a 6 year old.

As the girls fight,it is a sight to see. They stand in the middle of the room, jumping around and ducking as they try to evade and strike at the same time.

This is all due to, Nacho, our foreign exchange student from Spain. He was a great teacher and should be proud of his students - they have now become masters of Halo.

Weekend at LTUE

My first LTUE

Live, the Universe, and Everything

I went to the LTUE conference in Utah for a  weekend. All I can say is, “Wow.” It was a truly beautiful experience, coming together with writers and lovers of the written word. There was a spirit of harmony, acceptance, and camaraderie that flowed throughout the symposium, making this one of my favorite conferences yet.

The size of the convention really surprised me. There were 144 panelists presenting information on everything from getting published, blogs, writing, and everything in between. There were so many wonderful authors... here are a few of my favorites:

Tracy and Laura Hickman were in attendance. Not only is Laura Hickman an author of some D&D campaigns, she is as lovely as she is kind. Her book Baking Outside the Box is on my must have list – it sounds like a fun book and has been getting great reviews.
Tracy Hickman is a prolific writer but I will always remember him as the co-author of a Dragon Lance series, starting with Time of the Twins. These are great YA books that were released before there was a YA category. I enjoyed the books so much as a young reader; I remember finding a picture or two in each book – it was like finding buried treasure. These pictures are the reason I had sketches done for my first book, Prophecy of the Flame.

L.E. Modesitt Jr. was only there for a short time, but it was great to see him again. I’m looking forward to the release of his new Recluce novel!

I also had the honor of meeting James A. Owen. The warmth he shows for his fans reveals a generous heart. I’ve discovered his YA series that starts with Here, There Be Dragons. I am looking forward to working my way through each one of them.
David Farland, i.e. David Wolverton, has written over fifty science-fiction and fantasy novels. He is a legend in the SF&F industry and am thrilled to have had a chance to meet him. Nightingale is his most recent release – I’ll post a review of that in a month or so.

One last author really made an impression: Bree Despain. This is an upcoming author to watch for. She has a great series out, but I think it may be misleading.  Though the covers scream ROMANCE – they have a great fantasy thread that is full of action, suspense, and paranormal world that so many men would love.

If you didn’t make the conference this year, put it on your schedule for 2013: it is a conference you won’t want to miss.