December Wrap-Up & January Goals

2016-tardises

My 2016 holiday/birthday TARDIS acquisitions, with bonus Alex-cat photobomb. (Not shown: Hand-painted miniature TARDIS I’ve already moved to my desk at the day job and the gorgeous laptop slipcase that a sleeping cat had claimed when I was ready to take this picture.)

Happy 2017 to all! This year I’m looking forward to continuing work on the Steel Empires series, contributing to Speculative Chic, reading lots of amazing books, and attending fun conventions, and watching lots of great movies and television shows. This year’s motto is probably “Work hard, play hard.” Continue reading

Holiday Letter 2016

lucy-christmas

Lucy would like to remind everyone that she is the best present (and that the heating vent is warm).

Happy holidays to all of my readers! Every year, my husband and I send a card and newsletter to family and friends. Since I include all of you in that category, below is a (slightly redacted for privacy) copy of the newsletter. I hope you are all having a great holiday of your choice.

(In case it’s not obvious, the name I actually use in day-to-day life is Hanna!)


Dear Family & Friends,

This has been a year of changes in the Gribble household, but for the most part, they have all been for the better. Continue reading

November Wrap-Up & December Goals

Even though I didn’t complete the full NaNoWriMo madness this month, I still got a lot done!

November Wrap-up:

  • I successfully wrote 30k words in 30 days for my mini-NaNo attempt! I’m now at 70k total words on book 4.
  • Book reviews completed:
  • I had a great time attending ChessieCon the weekend after Thanksgiving. Check out my con report!
  • Visiting Sint Maarten for my cousin’s wedding was a lovely retreat with my husband, though I’m happy I get a break from traveling for a while.

sxm

December Goals:

  1. The end of book 4 is in sight! No, wait. I still have 20 scenes to write, because this is turning into a beast. My writing goal this month is 20k words, plus some accompanying research that still needs to be done.
  2. Book reviews, as always. I have 11 books in the queue.

Is that it?

Wow, that’s it. I mean, aside from all the holiday-type stuff that I have to do.

I think my supervisors want me to stop blogging and get back to work now. I’d rather be back on a tropical island.

supervisors

Liebster Award tag

I’ve been tagged in another fake award chain letter thing. Whooo! This time, I was tagged by author Shannon Eichorn (blog and Twitter here) to answer more questions about things you will 100% need to know the next time I am a topic at your local trivia night.

I like answering these things because I am a firm believer in the idea that an author is more than just a writer. For example, Shannon is cool because she is a fellow speculative fiction writer. But Shannon is interesting to me because she is a woman who works for NASA! It is that extra interest that adds to the impetus for me to eagerly await her upcoming novel, Rights of Use.

Hopefully you’ll read something here that makes you interested enough to check out my own Steel Victory. Continue reading

October Wrap-Up & November Goals

October Wrap-Up:

  • I made it to 20,000 words in STEEL BLOOD by October 31. So I will definitely have at least 5k to 10k words to complete in December, but I am okay with that.
  • I finished all of the Kitty the Werewolf books and wrote up my review of the final novel in the series, KITTY SAVES THE WORLD.
  • I got the first STEEL FORGED prequel story edited and found a new name for it! Further revisions are waiting for December. The cover artist has also been contacted and things are happening with that.
  • I don’t know why I’ve been slacking so much on writing book reviews. According to the list I keep on my phone, I’m 7 books behind. Oof.
  • STEEL VICTORY got some love this month. Check out my article on vampires in popular fiction over at SF Signal!

November Goals:

  1. I am officially signed up for NaNoWriMo! Feel free to add me as a writing buddy at “hannaedits.” In the first 2 days, I cranked out 5,528 words, so I’m feeling pretty good so far.
  2. You seriously think I’m going to have any other goals besides writing 50,000 words this month?
My writing assistants hard at work.

My writing assistants hard at work.

September Wrap-Up & October Goals

September Wrap-Up:

  • Reach 20,000 words in book 3, STEEL BLOOD. Progress: Better than August! After a few rounds of scene edits with my criqiue partners in which some narrative vomit was thankfully cut, I ended up with approximately 9,000 words written for the month, and I’m hanging out at about 14,000 words right now.
  • Goal: Finish re-reading Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty the Werewolf series before reading the final book. Progress: I was cranking through them at a good clip (according to my Instagram posts), but I got distracted about two weeks ago by trying to re-watch the original Heroes before checking out the new Heroes Reborn. Three books left until the final KITTY SAVES THE WORLD!
  • Goal: Weekly book reviews. Progress: Uh, I wrote one. Oops.
  • Goal: Get prequel short story copyedited. Progress: Got sucked into book 3 and still have to email copyeditor to check his schedule. Oops.
  • Goal: STEEL VICTORY book promotion. Progress: On track! Lots of work has been started with my lovely publicist, and things should start appearing soon!

October Goals:

  1. 10,000 words of book 3. I’d like to have 25,000 done before NaNoWriMo starts.
  2. Finish Kitty the Werewolf series and tackle my next reading project: The five new novels that take place before Star Wars: The Force Awakens. My husband has finished them already and is impatiently waiting to discuss them with me.
  3. Get something rolling with the prequel story. Find a new name for the prequel story since the original name no longer fits after the rewrite!
  4. Weekly book reviews.
  5. STEEL VICTORY promo!

In other news, my Friday-night Dungeons & Dragons campaign has come to a close. Half the group is moving out of state, and they will be sorely missed. This was actually the first time I’ve ever been able to complete the conclusion of an adventure like this–most campaigns tend to fizzle out mid-quest. For the complete write-up of our adventures, check out the 5th edition “Weird New World” (5e WNW) campaign notes featured over at the Tower of the Archmage.

That’s it for now! Check back later this week for an interview with an erotica writer (because I’m looking at writing my first sex scene in book 3 and I needed some professional advice) and (hopefully!) a review of Gail Carriger’s ETIQUETTE & ESPIONAGE!

Requisite picture of an adorable cat (selfie taken yesterday with my mother-in-law’s seal-point Siamese Boris):

Boris

August Wrap-Up & September Goals

August Wrap-Up:

  • Goal: Write 10,000 words of book 3, STEEL BLOOD. Progress: A little over 5,500 words. Part of that was because I didn’t even start writing until August 18, and the other part was crippling uncertainty as to the way I was starting the novel, which is one of the hardest parts of any book. But after two great sessions with my critique partners, I think I’ve got my mojo back and I’m ready to press on!
  • Goal: Finally finish the complete draft of the first STEEL EMPIRES universe prequel story. Progress: Done! I’m really pleased with this story and my critique partners seem to like it. It’s currently with another beta reader for a final coherence check.

September Goals:

  1. Reach 20,000 words in the first draft of STEEL BLOOD.
  2. Finish my massive re-read of Carrie Vaughn’s entire Kitty the Werewolf series before reading the final book (I just started book 7 tonight).
  3. Become much, much better at remembering to write my weekly book reviews. (This will probably involve picking a different day of the week, because Thursdays are just not working out lately.)
  4. Fix anything the beta reader finds wrong with the prequel story and send it off to my copyeditor and cover artist.
  5. STEEL VICTORY book promotion! I’ve started slacking on that due to my current love/hate relationship with book 3, but I’ve got a list of great ideas that I need to start working on.

Thanks for hanging in there with me! Here’s a picture of cat:

Nicki the cat presents "Kitty's House of Horrors" by Carrie Vaughn as his sister Lucy photobombs in the background.

Nicki the cat presents “Kitty’s House of Horrors” by Carrie Vaughn as his sister Lucy photobombs in the background.

July Wrap-Up and August Goals

July = Success!

My goals for the month of July were relatively simple: Complete a scene-by-scene outline of book 3 (tentatively called STEEL BLOOD) and finish the initial rewrite of the first prequel short story (formerly called “Peacekeeping” but now in search of a new name). I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo with the goal of 10,000 words between both of those goals. My final word count for the outline and the last half of the story was a little over 11k words. Right now, it looks like STEEL BLOOD will be about the same length as STEEL MAGIC, both a little shorter than STEEL VICTORY. I met with my lovely critique partners last night, and they gave me some great notes for “The-Story-Formerly-Known-as-Peacekeeping” (TSFKaP).

For August:

  • Write the first 10,000 words of STEEL BLOOD.
  • Complete the next stage of rewrites of TSFKaP. Send it to final beta-reader. Start working with cover artist for Kindle release.

Wish me luck!

Here’s a picture of some kitten enchiladas:

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Nicki and Lucy

Delicious, delicious social media

Okay, so the title of this post is a lie.

I’m not that huge of a fan of social media.

Wait, that’s a lie, too. Let me back up.

I love Facebook. I’m not really good at talking to people, so it’s a great way for me to keep up with all of my friends’ lives and adventures. While I keep my personal page limited to people I have met in real life, I love to chat with people who follow and comment on my professional author page. That’s where you’ll find random thoughts about writing in general and current projects specifically that are not long enough for or don’t really warrant a full-on blog post.

I love Instagram. It’s where I can safely spam the world with pictures of my adorable cats, and look at pictures of many, many more cute cats in return (I’m pretty sure I follow more cats than actual people at this point). One of my sillier hobbies is taking selfies with Alex, my ridiculous blue-point Siamese.

Oh, Twitter. I will never understand you. It’s all a bit like shouting into the ether for me, but I realize that I need to have some sort of presence as an author. Finally, I settled on two strategies: (1a) Post each book that I start reading, (1b) Link to the reviews I write on each book read, and (2) live-tweet my Friday night RPG sessions. The two current games I’m involved in are a 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons campaign, in which I’m playing a melee ranger named Riia who really, really doesn’t like plants and an old-school Star Wars game in which I play Teyla, a minor Jedi who never got much training, has issues with seizures, and often gets her way thanks to her crime lord father. But I do promise that if you drag me into a conversation on Twitter by tagging me that I will always happily participate. It’s the instigating things I don’t really understand.

Buttons to my social media accounts can also be found at the top of the right-hand column of this page.

I hear rumor that another blog is featuring me at some point this weekend, with special interview questions. Stay tuned!