December Wrap-Up & January Goals

December was both a slow and hectic month for me. Slow in that I was out of commission with a nasty cold for the first 1/3 of the month and hectic because the holidays coincided with the deadline for the final draft of STEEL MAGIC. (But it was submitted on time! Go me!)

December Wrap-Up:

  • STEEL MAGIC final edits done and submitted!
  • Steel Empires series bible started with character names and places from book 2! (Typing it up from the various pieces of scrap paper they’re written on is a different matter…)
  • Read my critique partner’s full short story collection and absolutely loved it. I can’t wait until she has it in a position for me to brag about it more.
  • Posted one of my Star Wars book reviews (5 stars for Claudia Gray’s LOST STARS!) before my husband and I saw the premiere and then had no more time to read for pleasure the entire month. On the plus (minus?) side, my husband keeps buying all the Star Wars tie-in novels, so you’ll get to see lots of reviews of those from me.
  • I only poked at book 3, STEEL BLOOD, a little bit, which leads us to…

January Goals:

  1. Finish STEEL BLOOD. Luckily, I’m attending a writing retreat this month. That will give me both the time and creative energy for the final push.
  2. Finish edits on prequel story 1 (STEEL FORGED 1: THE RELUCTANT MASTER), which has been languishing during the writing of book 3 and editing of book 2.
  3. Possibly start the rewrite of prequel story 2 (STEEL FORGED 2: THICKER THAN BLOOD).
  4. Type up and begin to organize Steel Empires series bible.
  5. Proof a novel for my publisher. (And possibly a second.)
  6. Blah blah book reviews blah blah I know you are so bored of hearing me claim that I am going to write book reviews.

I recently had somebody ask why I do these monthly update posts. Two reasons:

(1) Accountability on my part. It’s a lot harder for me to slack on my projects if I feel like a lot of people know what I’m supposed to be working on.

(2) To remove the mystique of the writer. Since I attended a graduate program on writing, it means that I have a lot of friends who are also writers. What we do and go through is completely normal to me. But in the rest of my life, I am the only writer that many of my friends know. The concept of not only writing a book (or multiple books) but also all the work that goes into publishing and marketing it can sometimes be like magic. It’s really not, and I consider this my small way of educating the interested public.

But that’s it for now. Message me on Twitter (@hannaedits) if you want to talk Star Wars!

Husband and I appropriately attired for our first viewing of STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS.

Published by steelvictory

By day, J. L. Gribble is a professional medical editor. By night, she does freelance fiction editing in all genres, along with reading, playing video games, and occasionally even writing. Her debut novel, STEEL VICTORY, was her thesis novel for Seton Hill University's Writing Popular Fiction graduate program in Greensburg, Pennsylvania. Previously, she was one of the co-editors for FAR WORLDS, a speculative fiction anthology. She lives in Ellicott City, Maryland, with her husband and three vocal Siamese cats. Find her online (, on Facebook (, and on Twitter and Instagram (@hannaedits). She is currently working on more tales set in the world of Limani.

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