The 2016 Las Vegas Writing Workshop: November 19, 2016

The 2016 Las Vegas Writing Workshop

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 1.35.47 PM.pngWriting Day Workshops is excited to announce The Las Vegas Writing Workshop — a full-day “How to Get Published” writers conference in Las Vegas, NV on November 19, 2016.

This writing event is a wonderful opportunity to get intense instruction over the course of one day, pitch a literary agent or editor (optional), get your questions answered, and more. Note that there are limited seats at the event (125 total). All questions about the event regarding schedule, details and registration are answered below. Thank you for your interest in the 2016 Las Vegas Writing Workshop!


This is a special one-day “How to Get Published” writing workshop on Saturday, November 19, 2016, at the Embassy Suites – Las Vegas. In other words, it’s one day full of classes and advice designed to give you the best instruction concerning how to get your writing & books published. We’ll discuss…

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By Shell Ochsner Posted in Poetry
20160807_204711 Aside




Of all the earthy things that twist and bend the truth of fancy delight

               are not of destinies dupe

Sometimes the simplest of pleasures comes not from monetary gains

               but of hearts filled with love

Wonders never cease only because the wicked command them to do so,

               if only for the sake of forgiveness

Can eyes shut so tightly, ever be opened once more?

Oh pray, tell the world how wronged you are when beholding glorious majesties!

Truths are a verification of grace and blessings held to the dearest sentiment

               and nothing as justification of the soul

Wit is evil as beauty is superficial

               and never lasting long enough

For those who see through the façade,

               are truly sanctified!


Beyond Compare



Bred a life of loneliness and despair
Hands woven since touch is meaningless
Shadows casts darkness that blinds
Covering thine eyes 
Hidden away is the destruction of
Canvasses once beautifully marked my stains of nativities blood
Have you no heart?
Oh impossible rouge, betrayal of all the world
You must find such trivial ramblings amusing
Mock me not, sir 
For I shall stage the final opus




Venomous words flow from viper’s tongues

Without regards of who’s listening

Fed up with the courtesies of life

Conjoined in hatred of the humble

Or at least those pretenders of guiltlessness

Betrayed by the world that has taken all

Given only in return a shattered heart,

          a broken soul

Appearances marked by cynicism instead of age

and held in contempt while embracing damnation

So little hope in a time of wonder

At an age of discovery,

          befits despair



My foster family made the decision for all of us to go camping for my seventeenth birthday celebration. Upon our arrival at Deadwood Reservoir, I find the setting here in the thickest of forests textbook for our last days. Happily, I claim a spot next to the water and sunbathe most of the afternoon.

Contemplating my role in the grand scheme of things, I become lost in the translation. The notion of what’s to happen to all humans wasn’t the least bit unsettling. Now that I know what I am, fate no longer considered logic. Mother said the magnitude of my significance would someday have a great impact on the world. Would the lifeless hag be ashamed? After all, it is her biblical philosophies that will bring my plaque to this world. Stupid woman! How can one ignore the consequences of entertaining the devil?
Discussions of my absent father were brought about in a trance like state. Whenever the topic’s broached, mother would always recite the same commentary, “He was beautiful with a symphonic and raw tone in his voice. No one loved me as he did. When I told him that I was with child, he insisted on naming you Apollyon.”
Mother never cared for my given name and changed it to Polly when she discovered in the book of Revelations that Apollyon is Satan’s ruler of the Abyss, a great smoking pit in perdition. According to scripture, when the fifth angel blows his trumpet, the pit will open releasing demonic locust that will torture anyone who does not bear God’s seal. The pain will be so great, those inflicted will beg to die, but unable to do so.
When my destiny was prophesied, mother cast me into seclusion and ensured that I was educated by priests and nuns to be used as the greatest weapon against Satan and hell itself. For this, my father’s immaterial essence tormented the woman who is now beset by insanity.
For more than three years, my mom’s been locked away in a sanitarium, forever trapped within her own mind. There is no life in those eyes, nor does she respond to my presence. Because of her mental incapacity, my father’s minions guide me and my true purpose which is to reign over the evil spirits of hell and destroy heaven. My dark father wants to rewrite Revelations and become the victor of a war that’s been ongoing since before time existed. What petulant mortals call demons, I accept as my brothers and sisters.

Interrupting my reverie, the four members of my foster family chimed, “Happy birthday Polly!”

My foster parents, Mike and Gabby, their son, Uri, and a younger foster child, Zach accompanied me to a picnic blanket filled with all of my favorite goodies. After singing the typical birthday song, we ate the treats and drank raspberry iced tea.
Confused by their generosity, I couldn’t help but to politely thank them for their kindness. “I can’t believe you went through all this trouble just for me, thank you.”
If truth be told, the Morgan’s are a nice family that deeply care for my wellbeing. Mike and Gabby have been kind foster parents and are genuine when it comes to helping kids such as myself and Zach; those so lost in the system that we’ve become forgotten.
After our picnic, Uri found a hot spring for us to soak in while the others dropped from a rope swing into a  swimming hole a few feet away. The radio spread a festive mood and I found that I was having the best of birthdays.
Being locked up for most of my life, I’ve never been given the opportunity to allow others to show me what it’s like to be normal. We were all laughing having a great time until the music was replaced by an automated emergency broadcast network message. Thinking it was just a test, the festivities resumed until the annoying tone switched to a panicked broadcaster’s voice.
I knew my time has come. I can feel those who dwell in the realm of hell gathering for the tasks at which they have been assigned. Mike then turned off the radio while Gabby escorted Zach and Uri to the campfire. Confused by their actions, I become anxious about what their intentions are. And why haven’t I been summoned by the command of my father?
Mike called out, “Gabriel, it’s time.”
A fire spontaneously erupted at the campsite and all four of them morphed into pure white monumental beings with massive wings. The light that emulated from their crowns was disturbing yet I couldn’t take my eyes off of them. Like a moth drawn to the flame, I ignored my mission and began to walk towards the fire.
Unexpectedly in my mind I was shown what the Morgan’s really were; Archangel’s.
Zachariel leads souls to judgment and is the protector who guards humanity. Uriel is the angel of repentance and guide to God’s light and truth. Sweet Gabriel is God’s messenger and guardian of all life. And Michael, well he is their leader and the right hand of God.
They are here to personally thwart Lucifer, their brother, my father, of his plan of world domination and bring finality to the war between heaven and hell. These four are to make sure the Apocalypse happens just as it’s prophesied in Revelations and that I do my job as God instructed. With love in my heart, I quietly thank my brethren as my black wings burst open my back. The painful transformation from human to an angel of darkness ensued as I entered the fire to wait for the sound of the trumpet.


I entered this into a Short Story Contest in the summer of 2015. The topic:

The sweat vanished from her skin as she sank down into the
cool, blue swimming hole. The radio spread a festive mood to
the commune members, who were picnicking, sunbathing, and
laughing while dropping from the rope swing into the water a
few feet away. Everybody got silent, however, when the music
was replaced by an automated emergency broadcast network
message. Thinking it was just a test, the festivities
resumed until the annoying tone switched to a panicked
broadcaster’s voice…

WORD COUNT:  Must not exceed 950

This particular contest doesn’t expect a writer to quote the topic verbatim, just touch on the subject so they know it’s written on the fly.

I really enjoyed writing this story and may someday consider a novel. Yet, as I re-read the story, it does sound awfully close to a Supernatural episode (which I just started to watch in March). 

Enjoy! ~Shell