There ARE Miracles

Written by Laurel on December 24th, 2015

The Odell Lake Adventurers: Herb & Maggie Zeller; David & Laurel; John & Lynn; Son Dave’s in the insert.

The Odell Lake Adventurers: Herb & Maggie Zeller; David & Laurel; John & Lynn; Son Dave’s in the insert.

Alicia: A California-stylish lawyer

Alicia: A California-stylish lawyer

The sky bore a touch of gray as I peered out the cabin’s kitchen window. I stood at the sink, washing vegetables. There was David, down by the lake where we’d docked our rental fishing boat. Family members were with him.

A good thing. Even grasping his cane, he didn’t look too steady. In fact, he sort of listed to starboard. Literally. Four months had passed since he’d had his failed knee replacement surgically evicted and new hardware installed. The healing process advanced with snail feet.

David swung his leg into our boat. Nobody steadied the craft against the dock for him. What was he doing? That was right up there with climbing a ladder while using a chain saw. Didn’t he want to survive until our 50th anniversary? We had nine more years to go. The space between the boat and the dock inched wider. Lord have mercy! He was either going to fall into the drink or split up the middle like some dried-out wishbone yanked apart.

By some miracle, nothing bad occurred.  

SteamBirdie Visits David

SteamBirdie Visits David

In November, the day the OryCon Science Fiction/Fantasy Convention opened, my brain revisited that Odell Lake scene. David had just been admitted to Good Samaritan Hospital in Portland. His problem—which had manifested itself as a gradual increase in heart and respiratory rates, had culminated with a combination of congestive heart failure and pneumonia. The damn fluid in his lungs kept him from getting a decent breath. He was drowning on land and coming way too close to going down for the third time.

By some miracle, he recovered.

All Better!

All Better!

There’s lots of things we joke about lately. How the salty Rueben Sandwich he ate the day before hospitalization proved his downfall. How, in the future, we’re switching to refundable airline tickets and traveling only where we have doctor friends or relatives. (The presence of our son Dave and his wife, Kathy, in Portland saved the day.) But the truth is, hind-sight isn’t foresight. Neither David’s primary care physician nor his cardiologist picked up the category 5 level of his brewing medical hurricane, any better than we did.

Well I’ve now got the lowdown on really keeping his water retention down low. God’s given me the love of my life back. David and I aim to celebrate that big 50 in nine years.

Merry Christmas! May good health & happiness be yours.

With love,

Laurel & David

The Gang of Five (Jim, John, Dave,  Laurel & David)

The Gang of Five (Jim, John, Dave, Laurel & David)

 

Where I’m Headed — Where I’ve been (Assembled by Laurel Anne Hill)

Written by Laurel on October 17th, 2015

Writing and reading have totally sucked up my time these past two months. Persistent folks may have sighted me on Facebook a few times. My blog, however, has grown cobwebs—and not for Halloween.

No need to notify the missing authors department. Here’s a quick update on my activities. I’m alive and well and living in the State of Confusion.

WHERE I’M HEADED

Sunday, October 18, 2pm: Sumiko Saulson to launch Insatiable at The Dark Entry in Berkeley, CA (Event will also include readings by authors Elva Nelson Hayes and Laurel Anne Hill.) 

sumiko saulson dark entry october 18

 

November 5-8: World Fantasy Con, Saratoga Springs, New York (http://www.wfc2015.org)
Laurel Anne Hill is an attending member and will serve on the “Going on a Quest? You will need…” panel on Saturday, November 7, at 12 noon, with Jeanne Cavelos, Betsy Dornbusch and Catherine Montrose.

November 20-22: OryCon Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, Portland, Oregon.
(http://37.orycon.org/)

Laurel’s Schedule:
Nov. 20, 5pm: Creating Your Protagonist (Panel with “Mind,” Laurel Anne Hill, Django Wexler, James Patrick Kelly and David Boop)

Nov. 21, 11am: Steampunk! Explain It! (Panel with Kier Salmon, Laurel Anne Hill, Dean Wells, Shawna Reppert and Stephen Couchman)

Nov. 21, 12 noon: Religion in Fantasy (Panel with Vanessa MacLellan, Darragh Metzger, Laurel Anne Hill, Blake Hutchins and J.C. Hendee, Jr.)

Nov. 21, 4 pm: Broad Universe Rapid Fire Reading (Short readings by Shannon Page, Theresa Darklady Reed, Shawna Reppert, Jennifer Brozek, Kamila Miller and Laurel Anne Hill)

Nov. 21, 7pm: Medical Myths and Errors — What a pandemic would really look like (Panel with Laura McShane, Mir Plemmons and Anna Sheehan. Laurel Anne Hill will moderate).

Nov. 22, 12 am: Midnight Horror Readings by Richard A. Lovett, Laurel Anne Hill, Claude Lalyumière, Lori Ann White)

Nov. 22, 11am: What I Wish I Would Have Known: Pitfalls for New Writers (Panel with SD Perry, Laurel Anne Hill, David D. Levine and J. A. Pitts)

WHERE I’VE BEEN

Saturday, October 3: Laurel Anne Hill met Ann Robinson (Star of War of the Worlds) at the Rheem Theater Science Fiction Day in Moraga, California.  The program included It Came from Outer Space (1953), The Thing from Another World (1951), Forbidden Planet (1956) War of the Worlds (1953), and one hell of a lot of popcorn. Now I just have to figure out how to get the photos off of my %&$#@!!! vintage 2007 cell phone.

war of the worlds poster

Ann Robinson (Photo from Public Domain)

Ann Robinson (Photo from Public Domain)

 

Saturday, September 19: Laurel Anne Hill joined approximately 470 Polytechnic High School alumni and friends for lunch at the Irish Cultural Center in San Francisco, California. Polytechnic High School, established in 1894, closed in 1972. Pretty damn good for a school forced to shut its doors over forty years ago.

Laurel and her friends Donna and Grace, known for jumping out of a window together (onto a hidden landing) in Spanish class.

Laurel and her friends Donna and Grace, known for jumping out of a window together (onto a hidden landing) in Spanish class.

Friday, September 25: Laurel Anne Hill joined other local authors (All Borderlands Books sponsors) for readings at Borderlands Books in San Francisco, California (http://www.borderlands-books.com/). Laurel read the opening of her steampunk/horror short story, Beware the Nine, published in the How Beer Saved the World anthology. Diverse stories at the gathering and great readings were enjoyed by all. Guess who forgot her camera?

boderlands books san francisco 

Monday, September 7:  Passenger Laurel Anne Hill climbed aboard her favorite steam train as Engine 2472 made its last run through Niles Canyon in California. Golden Gate Railroad Museum (www.ggrm.org), the owner of Engine 2472, will soon move to a new “home” in Northern California.

Laurel had to do some climbing to snap this shot.

Laurel had to do some climbing to snap this shot.

 

Laurel and her friend Lillian

Laurel and her friend Lillian

 

 

 

 

 

Laurel Anne Hill Interviews Award-Winning Author Loren Rhoads

Written by Laurel on August 5th, 2015

DangerousType cover lo-res (2)Please join me in welcoming Loren Rhoads. I’m thrilled to have her as a guest on my blog. Loren Rhoads is the author of The Dangerous Type, Kill By Numbers, and No More Heroes, all coming from Night Shade Books this year. She is also the co-author of As Above, So Below with Brian Thomas and editor of The Haunted Mansion Project: Year Two. I met Loren through the activities of the San Mateo County Fair Literary Stage, and Broad Universe, a nonprofit international organization which celebrates and promotes the work of women writers of science fiction, fantasy and horror. 

Loren Rhoads (Photo by Ken Goudey)

Loren Rhoads (Photo by Ken Goudey)

INTERVIEW
When I read the opening pages of The Dangerous Type, I was hooked. I had to keep on reading. What did you concentrate on to achieve this effect on readers?

Loren: Thanks so much for saying that! I’m glad it worked for you. I tried to keep things moving along quickly by using multiple points of view. Each point of view is very tightly focused: just the things that each character would know or notice. Each scene tells only a bit of the story, but most of the characters are untrustworthy or deluded — or hiding things from the others — so it’s left to the reader to piece everything together like a puzzle.

What drives your main characters in The Dangerous Type?

Loren: Raena Zacari, the central character, was an assassin until she couldn’t face her job anymore and she fled from her post. Once the Empire recaptured her, they imprisoned her inside a cave that kept her alive and unaging. Her former commander knew where she was, but he never came to let her out. Once she was locked up, he was blackmailed into spreading a targeted plague that wiped out the galaxy’s oldest species. Raena wants vengeance. Thallian wants her back under his control. They’re locked into destroying each other.

Gavin Sloane is a former Coalition pilot that flew against the Empire during the War. He had been sent to offer Raena asylum, but lost her when she was recaptured by Thallian. After the War, Sloane amassed a fortune so he could discover what happened to her. More than anything, Sloane wants the relationship with Raena he never had before.

When Ariel Shaad was a girl, her father bought Raena as a bodyguard for her. He made a fortune designing and manufacturing sidearms for the Empire. Once Raena ran off to kill for the Empire, Ariel started stealing guns from her father to arm the Coalition. Ariel and Gavin met during the War. She really liked him, but Gavin was — and remains — focused on Raena.

Ariel considers Raena a sister, although their relationship is much more complicated than that. She never expected Raena to have survived the War, but when she finds out that Sloane freed her, Ariel is willing to forgive him anything.

How is The Dangerous Type different from your previous stories?

Loren: As Above, So Below, my previous novel, was co-written with Brian Thomas. It’s about a succubus who sets her sights on bringing down an angel, who in turn possesses her with a human girl’s soul. That story is a blend of urban fantasy and horror, but it’s set in a very real Los Angeles. The language is a whole lot more descriptive and lush than The Dangerous Type. Both books share the multiple point of view structure.

When you wrote The Dangerous Type, were you trying to target specific groups of readers? Or just tell the stories of your main characters?

Loren:  I used to write science fiction and actually published a chapbook of it called Ashes & Rust. I got pulled into other genres over the years, but my favorite movies were always science fiction. I wanted to write a book that reflected the original Star Wars (before it was A New Hope) with the politics of Firefly and the relentlessness of Aliens. I’ve always felt that the first rule is to write what you love.

What is your favorite chapter in The Dangerous Type?

Loren: That’s a great question, Laurel. I’ve never really thought about it before. I’m really proud of the chapter where Ariel, Gavin, and Raena are walking along the beach on the weapons-free pleasure planet after sunset. Raena is ready to light out after Thallian; the others know they can’t hold her back. Raena goads Gavin into swimming in the alien ocean after dark. Unable to back down from the dare, he follows her. The chapter captures the characters really clearly. I’m so fond of them in all their weaknesses. It’s funny, because the beach scene came to me really early in the process of writing the novel, but swimming amongst the sea monsters was written really late. The two halves really illustrate the ambitions of the book: action and character development and a little bit of sex.

What new story or stories are you working on now?

Loren: I’ve got a couple of things going on. I am working on a short story based in the same universe that tells the story of when Ariel’s dad bought Raena as a slave. I’m also co-writing a story with Martha Allard about Raena’s first encounter with the black market medic called Doc, when the crew of Doc’s ship rescued Raena from a bounty hunter during the War.

In a completely different vein, I’m finishing a new novel called The Shadow of Death. It’s about a witch who isn’t ready to let her guardian die. She travels to Prague, Oslo, Paris, London, and New Orleans, struggling to buy him more time with increasingly more dangerous magic. The book is urban fantasy blended with horror. Some of the chapters have been published as standalone stories on Wily Writers and in Not One of Us, The Paramental Appreciation Society, and in the book Sins of the Sirens. The chapter set in Venice appears in the nEvermore! anthology, edited by Nancy Kilpatrick and Caro Soles, just published by Edge.

Thanks so much for your great questions, Laurel! You gave me a lot to think about.

And thank you, Loren.

Readers interested in Loren Rhoads and her works can find out more information at: www.lorenrhoads.com and 
http://www.amazon.com/Loren-Rhoads/e/B002P905PE.

 

THE LITERARY STAGE “ROCKS” AT THE 2015 SAN MATEO COUNTY FAIR

Written by Laurel on June 15th, 2015

The 2015 San Mateo County Fair has ended. Wonderful memories of Literary Stage events keep replaying in my brain. Here’s a BIG THANK YOU for the San Mateo County Fair staff, the California Writers Club (CWC) San Francisco/ Peninsula Branch volunteers, and the many local authors who contributed their efforts and time.

Author and internationally-known horror hostess, Emerian Rich, sent me many pictures of “Author Day,” the annual celebration of local authors, held this year on Saturday, June 13. Author and writing coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan sent me photos, as well. (I forgot my camera that day!) Here are some of my favorites. The first 16 are from Emerian Rich.

"Author Day" Discussion Group  and Bardi Rosman Koodrin

Bardi Rosman Koodrin, Laurel Anne Hill, Tory Hartmann, Jeannine Gerkman, Michele Jessen, Shelley Buck, Emerian Rich, Sam Kauffman, Margie Yee Webb, Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Frank A Saunders Reads

Frank A Saunders Reads

 

 

Stanley David Gedzelman

Stanley David Gedzelman

Marjorie Bicknell Johnson and Judith Shernock

Marjorie Bicknell Johnson and Judith Shernock

Chris Lamela

Chris Lamela

The Rejection Generator meets its match.

The Rejection Generator meets its match.

Sumiko Saulson: Book and Hammer

Sumiko Saulson: Book and Hammer

Margie Yee Webb

Margie Yee Webb

Emerian Rich

Emerian Rich

Yvetta "Doll" Franklin

Yvetta “Doll” Franklin

Getty Ambau

Getty Ambau

Diane Lee Moomey

Diane Lee Moomey

Claire Mack, Laurel Anne Hill and Owl

Claire Mack, Laurel Anne Hill and Owl

Richard McCallum

Richard McCallum

K.K. Johnson

K.K. Johnson

 

 

 

 

Jill Pipkin

Jill Pipkin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Cohorts in Literary Stage Crime" Laurel Anne Hill and Bardi Rosman Koodrin

“Cohorts in Literary Stage Crime” Laurel Anne Hill and Bardi Rosman Koodrin (This photo and the following five were contributed by author and writing coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan)

 

 

 

 

Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Teresa LeYung-Ryan

Ellen Six and Michele Jessen

Ellen Six and Michele Jessen

David Hill, Michele Jessen, Laurel Anne Hill and Dragon

David Hill, Michele Jessen, Laurel Anne Hill and Dragon

Teresa LeYung-Ryan, Michele Jessen, Sam Kauffman and Jeannine Gerkman

Teresa LeYung-Ryan, Michele Jessen, Sam Kauffman and Jeannine Gerkman

 

 

Dave Strom

Dave Strom gives his approval of Author Day

Were you at Author Day but your photo not included in this posting? Send me your photo (taken at the event) and I’ll add it.

 

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL AUTHOR: Author Day at the 2015 San Mateo County Fair on Saturday, June 13

Written by Laurel on June 5th, 2015

I know I’ve already posted all thirty of the author profiles for AUTHOR DAY (Saturday, June 13) at the 2015 San Mateo County Fair. And I know I’ve already posted information about the Author Day readings and WRITERS HELPING WRITERS discussion. But I absolutely love this GOT FICTION poster I created today. I just had to share. Please pass this link on to others!

For more information about Literary Arts events at the San Mateo County Fair this year (June 6 – 14),  go to http://sanmateocountyfair.com/contests/departments/literary-arts.

Warm wishes,

Laurel Anne Hill (Author of Heroes Arise)

GOT FICTION AUTHOR DAY FLIER_001

 

LITERARY ARTS MIDWEEK “MASHUP” AT THE 2015 SAN MATEO COUNTY FAIR

Written by Laurel on June 5th, 2015

Midweek at the 2015 San Mateo County Fair, a number of talented authors, playwrites and poets will grace our Literary Arts Galleria Stage in Expo Hall. A reading here, a workshop there. Because of the variety, I’m playfully calling this collection of events our Literary Arts Midweek “Mashup.”

Our talented guests will include: Darlene Frank, Shulamit Sofia, David Hirzel, Scott Lummer, Maureen Studer, Ollie Mae Trost Welch, Jo Carpignano, Laurel Anne Hill, Frank A. Saunders, Audrey Kalman, Lisa Meltzer Penn, Lucy Murray, Ellen Six, Linda Okerlund, and Ann Foster. I’ve attached the corresponding promotional fliers below.

For more information about Literary Arts events at the San Mateo County Fair this year (June 6 – 14),  go to http://sanmateocountyfair.com/contests/departments/literary-arts.

MIDWEEK MASHUP text for meetup (1) use this one_001
June 9 (2-3 pm) AUTHOR PRESENTATION Inner Critic Workshop Darlene Frank_001June 9 (3-4 pm) AUTHOR PRESENTATION Shulamit Sofia_001June 9 (4-5 pm) THREE SHORT PLAYS_001June 9 (5-6 pm) AUTHOR PRESENTATION New David Hirzel Book_001June 9 (6-630 pm) AUTHOR PRESENTATION Ollie Mae Trost Welch reads from her memoir_001June 11 (4-5 pm) POETS READ AND DISCUSS POETRY  Jo Carpignano and Ollie Mae Trost Welch with border_001June 11 (5-6 pm) AUTHOR PRESENTATION Writing dark with the lights on Laurel Anne Hill_001June 11 (6-7 pm) AUTHOR PRESENTATION Writing in the Dark Frank Saunders_001June 11 (7-830 pm) Fault Zone Readings Hosted by Audrey Kalman updated_001

 

KIDS’ DAY AT THE SAN MATEO COUNTY FAIR ON MONDAY, JUNE 8, 2015

Written by Laurel on June 4th, 2015

Monday, June 8, 2015, will be Kids’ Day at the San Mateo County Fair. Children 12 and under will be admitted to the Fair free. Below I’ve listed three FREE events for children that afternoon, put on by Jeannine Gerkman, Sam Kauffman and Laurel Anne Hill. These programs will be held in Expo Hall at the Literary Arts Galleria Stage.

For more information about Literary Arts events at the San Mateo County Fair this year (June 6 – 14), go to http://sanmateocountyfair.com/contests/departments/literary-arts

.

kids day flier to post on meet up_001About Jeannine Gerkman:
Jeannine Gerkman is a person with many hats—Poet, Realtor, Volunteer, Fashion Consultant, Artist, Dog Mom, etc. She has written over 60 poems, some of them prize-winning and published. A Realtor since 1997, she delights in helping folks market and sell their homes in the Bay Area, focusing on Belmont. The name of her new book (sold as a color hard-cover or black-and-white coloring book) is Spring.

About Sam Kauffman:
Sam Kauffman is an internationally known Christian author, writer, singer, songwriter and recording artist, a published musician and poet. Sam says: “My inspiration for writing comes from life – children in airports, national events, holidays, friends, the seasons and day to day living. This world is a place of wonder and awe begging to be noticed – speaking to us if we will listen and give life a voice.” Sam lives in the San Francisco Bay Area but travels nationally and internationally with her music ministry offering programs, concerts, dramas, workshops and writing seminars for school children. Sam, a wife and mother, also enjoys knitting, gardening, cooking, and playing with her Wheaten terrier.

About Laurel Anne Hill:  
Laurel Anne Hill’s award-winning novel, Heroes Arise, was published in 2007. Her many short stories and nonfiction pieces have appeared in a variety of publications, most recently in the anthologies Horror Addicts Guide to Life, A Bard Day’s Knight, Fault Zone, and Shanghai Steam. Shanghai Steam, nominated for an Aurora Award in 2013, is recommended by Writing Fantasy & Science Fiction. More at www.laurelannehill.com.

 

FREE EVENTS FOR WRITERS AT THE 2015 SAN MATEO COUNTY FAIR (June 6-13, Literary/Galleria Stage in Expo Hall)

Written by Laurel on June 4th, 2015

“WRITERS HELPING WRITERS” is the theme for the 2015 San Mateo County Fair’s Literary/Galleria Stage. Over the next several days, I’ll be highlighting many of the Literary Stage events scheduled for June 6-13. All events held at the Literary/Galleria Stage in Expo Hall during the fair will be FREE to those on the fair grounds.

Below is information about the Writers Helping Writers events on June 6-7, a schedule of all Literary/Galleria Stage events for June 6-13, and a drawing showing the location of the stage. Tomorrow I’ll spotlight additional scheduled programs, in particular, those for KIDS’ DAY on June 8. On June 8, all children twelve years and younger will be admitted free to the fair.

For additional information about Literary Stage events at the 2015 San Mateo County Fair, go to: http://sanmateocountyfair.com/entertainment/entertainment/performance-schedules

Warm wishes,

Laurel Anne Hill

Poster1 Writers helping writers from bill baynes margin adjusted_001

June 6 (3-4 pm SPONSORS PANEL Writers Helping Writers_001June 6 (3-4 pm SPONSORS PANEL Writers Helping Writers use this one_001June 7 (3-4 pm) AUTHOR PANEL Writing for children_001June 7 (4-5 pm) EDITORS PANEL Ask the editors_001June 7 (5-6 pm) AUTHOR PRESENTATION Publishing through create space and lightning source David Hirzel_001June 7 (6-630 pm) WRITING EVALUATIONS  Free consultations_0012015 San Mateo County Fair Literary Stage Sch 5.15.15 LAH_001Fine Arts Galleria literary stage, Expo Hall (2)

 

Thank you to the following San Mateo County Fair participants: Anita Volta, Bill Baynes, David Hirzel, Evie Groch, Gloria Bares, Katie Burke, Lisa Meltzer Penn, Margie Yee Webb, Mary Holland, Michele Jessen, Prudence Breitrose, Sheena Arora, Stanley David Gedzelman, Sue Barizon, Teresa LeYung-Ryan, Tory Hartmann, TR Poulson, Wendy Walter, Audrey Kalman, Darlene Frank, Edie Matthews, Kathleen Carinus, and Laura Deck.

 

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT FOR THE 2015 SAN MATEO COUNTY FAIR: Judith Shernock, Shulamit Sofia, Margie Yee Webb, Wendell H. Williams and Gisela Zebroski

Written by Laurel on June 3rd, 2015

Want to know more about the thirty authors who will sign and sell their books at the San Mateo County Fair on June 13, this year? Here’s some information about the final group of five on my list: Judith Shernock, Shulamit Sofia, Margie Yee Webb, Wendell H. Williams and Gisela Zebroski. Starting tomorrow, I’ll spotlight some of the events scheduled for the Galleria Stage/Literary Stage. 

For additional information about Literary Stage events at the 2015 San Mateo County Fair, go to: http://sanmateocountyfair.com/entertainment/entertainment/performance-schedules

Warm wishes,
Laurel Anne Hill

Author Day June 13 (2-4) Judith Shernock_001Author Day June 14 (2-4) Shulamit Sofia_001Author Day June 14 (2-4) Margie Yee Webb_001Author Day June 13 (2-4) Wendell H Williams_001Author Day June 13 (2-4) Gisela Zebroski_001

 

AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT FOR THE 2015 SAN MATEO COUNTY FAIR: Diane Lee Moomey, Jill Pipkin, Emerian Rich, Teresa LeYung-Ryan, Sumiko Saulson

Written by Laurel on June 2nd, 2015

Want to know more about the thirty authors who will sign and sell their books at the San Mateo County Fair on June 13, this year? Here’s some information about the next group of five on my list: Diane Lee Moomey, Jill Pipkin, Emerian Rich, Teresa LeYung-Ryan and Sumiko Saulson. I’ll spotlight the remaining five authors tomorrow! 

For additional information about Literary Stage events at the 2015 San Mateo County Fair, go to: http://sanmateocountyfair.com/entertainment/entertainment/performance-schedules

Warm wishes,
Laurel Anne Hill

Author Day June 14 (2-4) Diane Moomey_001Author Day June 13 (2-4) Jill Pipkin_001Author Day June 13 (2-4) Emerian Rich_001Author Day June 14 (2-4) Teresa LeYung Ryan_001Author Day June 13 (2-4) Sumiko Saulson_001