Farpoint 2018 Schedule

Farpoint2

This weekend, I’m excited to make my debut appearance at Farpoint 2018 in Hunt Valley, Maryland!

Here’s my schedule:

Friday

  • 4 PM: Creating Immersive Worlds
  • 5 PM: All Things Winchester
  • 10 PM: Book Fair

Saturday

Sunday

  • 10 AM: Superhero Film Overload?
  • 11 AM: Book signing
  • 12 PM: Balancing Writing with Business
  • 1 PM: Reading from…I’m not sure yet!

Will I see you there this weekend? If you come to my reading on Sunday, will you perhaps be one of the first hear an excerpt from book 4, Steel Time?

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January Wrap-Up & February Goals

SS 1st draft word countWow, is the first month of 2018 done already? Seems like it flew by in a whirlwind of writing and reading and LEGO. Oh wait — because that’s basically all I did this month.

January Wrap-Up

  • First of all, the good news: The first draft of Steel Empires #5: Steel Shadows is DONE! Final word count clocked in at 85,836 words. You have no idea how happy I am that I don’t have to stress about cutting 15k+ words like last year.
  • While letting that first draft simmer a bit, I also finished major edits for book 4, Steel Time, and sent them back to my publisher. In addition, I wrote up my acknowledgements and the back cover text, and the book is on its way to layout!
  • Now it’s back to revising Steel Shadows, which I’m about 1/4 done with. I’m enjoying it, so that’s a good sign, right?
  • In the midst of all that, I also beta read a novel for a grad school friend. IT WAS SO GOOD, YOU GUYS. When it’s a bestseller, I’ll totally get to say that I got to read it first.

January Book Reviews

January Speculative Chic Contributions

February Goals

  1. Finish revisions on Steel Shadows and get it out to my beta readers!
  2. Note to self: Find beta readers…
  3. I’ve added another convention to my list! The weekend of Feb. 9-11 I’ll be attending Farpoint in Hunt Valley, MD (just north of Baltimore).
  4. And at some point, I need to start thinking about the presentation I’m giving in March for the Uniontown Public Library’s 2018 Author Series. I’ll be discussing how alternate history can be used to create amazing stories!

How’s 2018 working out for all of you? Have you accomplished any of your New Year’s resolutions? I did mine! (See my Speculative Chic post about reading A Wrinkle in Time.)

Now, time to get back to work on Steel Shadows. I have my biggest LEGO set to date to build once it’s off to the beta readers!

fireplace cats

Hard at work on their own New Year’s resolutions.

Build Report: Mini London Bus

My littlest sister got mega points for giving me LEGO sets for Christmas, so I took time on my birthday a few days afterward to build this small set. My burgeoning LEGO cityscape needs adequate public transportation, after all.

Mini London Bus (40220) — 118 pieces

I love that clear bricks are used for the bus windows rather than the more traditional thin clear pieces I’m used to. It scales to my city “street” nicely, and I’ve already checked that the film advertised on the side is also advertised by movie poster in the Palace Cinema set currently in my build pile.

Mini London Bus

Build Report: Parisian Restaurant

Over the holidays this year, I added to my growing LEGO metropolis (currently reigning supreme atop a bookshelf in my guest room) by constructing the Parisian Restaurant Creator set. I started on the afternoon of Christmas Eve and spent a few hours each day (after my writing was done!) until it was complete on the evening of December 28.

This was a really fun set with lots of intricate detail and cool surprises. Definitely makes me want to get back to Paris. Or at least break out the cheese and champagne here in my kitchen.

Parisian Restaurant (10243) — 2,469 peices

This set was divided into four main steps. With the first set of bags, I constructed the base of the set.

PR base

Continue reading

December Wrap-Up & January Goals

Happy new year from all of us at Casa Siamese! Though you won’t see this post until it goes live on Wednesday morning, I’m writing it late Monday afternoon with a tummy full of amazing New Year’s Day brunch and a hot mug of tea. I’m excited to start 2018 with a bang, and by bang I mean working on some blog posts and then curling up on the couch with a book.

December Wrap-Up

  • I decided not to kill myself finishing Steel Shadows in the midst of all the other holiday craziness, but I came pretty dang close. The book is currently at a touch over 83,000 words, and I have the two short concluding scenes to finish up. If you follow me on social media (and you should, obviously), expect posts of extreme joy within the next few days.
  • I had a blast beta-reading the next novel in what has become one of my favorite series. I never expected to enjoy paranormal thrillers as much as I now do, but then again, I never expected to read as much romance as is currently mixed in with my science fiction and fantasy. I’m not quite sure when this novel will be published, but I’ll definitely have an excellent review to post on release day.

December Book Reviews

According to Goodreads, I read well beyond my goal of 50 books for 2017, though some of those listed on my account were short stories or books that I abandoned for whatever reason. The list above doesn’t even include everything I read in December this year, because I’ve already queued up book reviews and other blog posts through mid-January!

December Speculative Chic Contributions

January Goals

  1. Okay, seriously, this time I’ll finish the first draft of Steel Shadows.
  2. Since I can’t immediately launch into the first round of revisions without giving the entire book time to percolate, it’s a good thing I have edits for book 4, Steel Time, that also need to get done this month!
  3. Once Steel Time goes back to the editor, it’ll be nice to sit down and look at Steel Shadows from the beginning. Since I wrote that beginning 6 months ago, I definitely need the refresher before I start tweaking things. It will then go to the beta-readers either in late January or early February.
  4. Speaking of beta-reading, I have another book by a friend to review! I haven’t read his work before, but I’ve only heard good things, so I’m excited to experience a new writer.

I hope you are all looking forward to whatever 2018 brings us. I have lots of events already planned throughout the year, and I’m hoping that a proper vacation is also in my future. Now, I have more blog posts to write and a box of macarons I got for my birthday to eat.

Though I didn’t ask for any this year, for either Christmas or my birthday, my family knows me too well! The new additions to the TARDIS collection are:

2017 TARDIS

  • Retro pencil holder from my mother-in-law
  • Stained glass wall-hanging from my mother
  • Jewelry box from my sister- and brother-in-law

Two separate people also gave me bottles of port this year. Good thing I have book 6 to write in 2018, because I’ve got the writer-juice to do it!

Build Report: 2017 Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar

Ghost FalconI honestly can’t remember the last time I had an advent calendar as a kid. I have vague memories of the ones with cheap chocolate in middle school, which is when my littlest sister was a toddler.

Now that I’m an adult, for various definitions of the word, it was time to start the tradition anew!

2017 Lego Star Wars Advent Calendar (75184)

I’m not going to talk about each day’s present. There are plenty of more hardcore Lego blogs out there for that. Instead, here’s a quick summary with pics, in no particular order.  Continue reading

Annual Holiday Update

Below is the holiday letter my husband and I sent in our cards this year. Thank you to all of you for also being amazing supporters. I couldn’t have gotten through this year without you.


Dear Family & Friends,

This has been a much-needed quiet year for the Gribble household. Of course, quiet for us still means lots of work and travel!  Continue reading