Build Report: Iconic VIP Set

I freaked out to my husband the other day that a LEGO set I wanted might disappear soon, according to the ominous wording in the latest catalog. (Yes, I get the LEGO catalog and pour through it religiously.) Because he is the best husband, his response was, “So order it already.”

That particular LEGO set goes into the build pile as a future writing/editing reward, but what I did get to build tonight is the cute freebie that came with it!

Iconic VIP Set (40178): 205 pieces

VIP store

Not terribly complicated, but definitely adorable. There’s supposed to be a red post on the empty floor pegs up front, but it photographed better without it.

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September Wrap-Up & October Goals

SLCC book signingAlas, the streak has been broken and I did not quite meet all my goals this month. I blame the con crud I picked up at Salt Lake Comic Con. (Which did not stop me from having an awesome book signing while I was there.)

September Wrap-Up

  • Between a week where I didn’t write a word and being unable to catch up on the flights to and from Salt Lake City, I did not write 15k words this month. As of this writing (Saturday evening), I’m actually at 41.5k. I remind myself that my goals are self-imposed that that it’s not the end of the world.
  • Salt Lake Comic Con, however, was a total success! Participated in great panels, met some cool people, and best of all: Got my picture taken with John Barrowman. Check out the full con report for all the craziness.

September Book Reviews

September Speculative Chic Contributions

October Goals

  1. I would love to catch up on last month’s deficit and make it to 60k words on Steel Shadows by the end of the month. However, I will still be happy with myself if I make it to 55k words instead.
  2. I’m traveling again this month, heading to Seattle for a few days for the day job.

Ugh, it looks like I hardly did anything at all! Two simple reasons: I watched a lot of Netflix instead of reading, and no movies I wanted to review for Speculative Chic came out in September.

But I’ve already got a cool author interview and another book review queued up on the blog while I’m away this upcoming week, so don’t think I’m going anywhere!

Honestly, my brain is still mush from meeting John Barrowman. I’m not sure why I’m even sharing this picture with you all, considering how much I look like a goofball.  Continue reading

Con Report: Salt Lake Comic Con 2017

big tardisGetting to Salt Lake Comic Con was a hell of a ride. Some back story:

A year ago, you may remember that my husband headed to the wilds of Mississippi for 6 months for work. While Erik was there, he met a very cool guy, comedian and actor Jay Whittaker.

A few months ago, Erik and I were trying to figure out what to do for a vacation this year. Between both of our work schedules, we had some leave built up, but neither of us felt like blowing it all on a cruise for a week. Since Jay had talked up SLCC so much, and neither of us had ever been to Salt Lake City or a giant comic con, we decided to go for a shorter trip this year. We told Jay we were coming, and he asked me to send him my media kit so he could try to get me on programming. Which would have just been a bonus — honestly, we were going anyway at that point, and had even bought the fancy passes that came with the cool t-shirt.

But I sent Jay my media kit (after frantically putting one together), and lo and behold, I got an email from the person in charge of author guests! It was official — J.L. Gribble was going to SLCC, not just Hanna.  Continue reading

SLCC Panel: So I’ve Written a First Draft: Now What?

The panel I’m most excited about at Salt Lake Comic Con this week is definitely “So I’ve Written a First Draft: Now What?” (Saturday 9/23, 7 PM in room 150G). I’m a weird sort of writer. Putting the first draft on paper is often like pulling teeth (even though once I actually start writing, the time flies by). However, cleaning up that brutal first draft is where my passion for my craft really shines — I guess that’s the editor in me.

Last year, as part of the blog tour for Steel Empires Book 2: Steel Magic, I wrote a post that covers the panel topic! So if you can’t be in Salt Lake City this weekend, head over to author Cara McKinnon’s blog to find “So You’ve Finished Your Novel: What Next?

Hopefully the other panelists have some added words of wisdom to share from their experiences, which I’ll try to include in my con report when it goes up next week. Until then, we can have our own panel here! (Because being online is more entertaining than packing, which just pisses off my cats.) What do you do when you’ve finished your first draft?

August Wrap-Up & September Goals

signing at Confluence 2017Ack, I’ve been productive again! Met all my goals for August and everything.

August Wrap-Up

  • I completed another 15k words in Steel Shadows, bringing me to 30k done! That’s definitely over one-third of the book, and while I often have trouble slogging through the middle, this story has been a hell of a roller coaster so far. I’m excited, and I hope that shows through my writing.
  • Confluence in Pittsburgh earlier this month was a blast, and you can read my con report here.
  • When I got home from Pittsburgh, my husband headed off to Europe for a few weeks for work, so I had to entertain myself somehow. Luckily, I had a brand new LEGO set to build, and you can check out my build report for the Saturn V rocket here.
  • And finally, the contest I hosted for Steel Blood’s one-month birthday was a ton of fun! Entrants guessed the total number of my TARDIS collection for a chance to win free books from the Steel Empires series. I’m already brainstorming fun ideas for another contest later this year.

Saturn V final

August Book Reviews

August Speculative Chic Contributions

September Goals

  1. Another 15k words of Steel Shadows, bringing me to 45k completed.
  2. Attend Salt Lake Comic Con! I still don’t have my schedule, but my husband and I planned this as our 5-year wedding anniversary present to ourselves, so being on programming was just a bonus. We’re excited to see some friends, visit a new city, get books signed by cool authors, and get our photo taken with John Barrowman. Okay, I’m getting my photo taken with John Barrowman. The plan is to politely ask for a hug from my favorite immortal and try not to burst into tears.

TARDIS contest extras

Con Report: Confluence 2017

signing at Confluence 2017I was thrilled to once again be invited to Confluence, the annual SF/F literary convention hosted by Parsec. I have a ton of fun, and this year was no exception.

FRIDAY

Road trip company is the best, and this year a friend drove to my place outside of Baltimore on Friday night to join me for the weekend. With her company, the 4.5 hour drive to Pittsburg was a breeze. We arrived in time for a late lunch at a bagel place up the street from the hotel, then I dove into my three panels for the afternoon and evening.  Continue reading