July Updates

Life has certainly taken some unexpected turns for me this summer, none of the least of which has been preparing and pumping myself up to apply to graduate schools once more. It has been a dream of mine since childhood to get a Ph.D. (“the highest degree possible!” as I learned at age eleven) in a paleontology-related field. To confess, I actually felt a bit lost after I graduated from BYU and was not able to get into a program for several years. I’ve always been deeply drawn to natural science and the history of the earth, and I yearn to my marrow to do something in this sphere, and to pave the way for other scientists and youngsters to come learn about the beauty that is our natural world and our place in it.

I also see opportunity as a person of religious faith to work with other scientist to help dispel misconceptions that science and faith are incompatible. I would love someday to contribute my LDS perspective to the Smithsonian’s Broader Social Impacts Committee, or in some such capacity where I might be able to help people feel like science is safe, encourage lifelong learning and creativity in others, and do some good. The prospect of having a cool plan for what I’m going to do with my life many years ahead in the future is also exciting.

I took the GRE last weekend (I first took it in 2009), and I’m eagerly waiting for my official scores to come through. The raw scores are better comparatively speaking than when I took the GRE the first time (my verbal score is great!), and I’m hoping that this and my interim years of writing experience will help me get into a lovely program somewhere. In addition, I’ve been spending some time reading and exploring topics in evolutionary anthropology to try and come up with ideas of things I’d specifically like to study in grad school. I’m very excited to put in another round of applications for programs that will start next year, and I’ll keep ya’alls posted on how things go as all that progresses in the fall.

Writing has been steadily progressing. I’m still hoping to wrap up a novel early this fall, and maybe make some progress on a second. I have a couple of short stories out on submission to magazines, and a story coming out in October in the Windows Into Hell anthology (I’ll probably mention this anthology several more times before it comes out).

I’m planning to attend Salt City Steamfest in a few weeks. I have not talked to anyone formally about being on panels, but in the past couple of years I’ve been invited to sit in on some. That may happen again. I will be sitting with the Xchyler Publishing booth to sell my various books for sure. If you love steampunk, or just want an excuse to see me, come! (It’s August 12th-14th at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center in West Valley). I’m also fairly certain that I’m going to be a panelist at Salt Lake Comic Con in September. (They made a portfolio for me, so I assume I’m in). Haven’t received a panel schedule yet, but when I do, I’ll post it under my Events tab. Xchyler is also planning to have a booth there, so I plan to be selling books. These conventions are always a blast, and I can’t wait to go!

Last mention for today. A lot of my friends and family have been very supportive with prayers and well-wishes as I was preparing to take the GRE. I wrote a thank-you on my personal Facebook account, but I wanted to mention again how grateful I am for you, and for your love and encouragement. I love you all, and overall I’m pleased with the raw results of my exam. It was hard work reviewing, and it took me a few years to find the courage to retake it. Thank you for being the awesome people that you are–I’m so lucky to have you in my life.

For everyone else, thanks for reading and following along on my author journey. I write for you, and I love getting to know you in person at conventions and gatherings when I have the opportunity. Thank you for all and any support you give me in my writing, whether it’s checking out my blog, attending my panels, liking something I post on social media, or picking up a copy of something I created because it intrigued you. I love sharing my talents and knowledge with you, and I love all the things I learn from interacting with you too. You rock!

See you at the next convention!