November Wrap-Up & December Goals

Disney World 2017The holiday season is in full swing here at Casa Siamese, after a successful Thanksgiving (complete with fried turkey!) and my outside Christmas decorations newly put up. (The artificial tree will have to wait until my husband’s muscles can help.) I didn’t accomplish 100 percent of my November goals, but I’m in too good a mood to care.

Especially since my month started at Disney World! I’ve been riding that high ever since.

November Wrap-Up

  • Due to the aforementioned Disney World, because apparently writing goals go out the window at the happiest place on earth, I started the month behind and never quite caught up. I’m calling the month done at 13k words completed, bringing the current total for Steel Shadows to 68k words.
  • The Disney trip was definitely a success! Okay, so I was really there for a conference related to the day job. The four workshops I attended were well worth the time, and my day off in between was a blast. I thought it might be weird spending a day alone at a theme park, but it was nice to enjoy the day at my own pace, and sticking my Kindle in my purse for the few long lines I experienced was pure brilliance. I even saw the kitty trifecta of lions, tigers, and cheetahs to make my day at Animal Kingdom complete.
  • While not quite as extravagant, I closed out the month with a great time at ChessieCon in Baltimore, Maryland. You can read my full con report here.

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October Wrap-Up & November Goals

vampire WaldoHappy Halloween! I’m traveling tomorrow, so getting a jump on my monthly round-up post today. Please enjoy this picture of a vampire writer in her natural habitat from a Halloween party I attended this weekend. Apparently Waldo has gone to the dark side. Tonight I’ll be packing for my trip and giving out candy to the kids in my neighborhood. What are your Halloween plans, and what did you dress up as? Pictures encouraged!

Overall, I consider October a success! I ended up adding a weekend retreat with some awesome writer friends to my trip out of town to Seattle, but still managed to have a productive writing month. Let’s see where things fell, shall we?

October Wrap-Up

  • I did not catch up on September’s writing deficit, but I did meet my back-up goal of reaching 55k words in the first draft of Steel Shadows this month, for a total of 13.5k words written in October.
  • I had a fantastic time visiting Seattle for a conference related to the day job, but got to catch dinner with a friend from high school as an added bonus!

October Book Reviews

October Speculative Chic Contributions

November Goals

  1. I won’t be participating officially in NaNoWriMo this year, but I am looking forward to joining my local chapter for many of the evening write-ins! My goal this month is another 15k words on Steel Shadows, for an end goal of 70k words of the first draft completed.
  2. As I mentioned above, I’m going to out of town again tomorrow for a set of workshops for the day job. Don’t feel too sorry for me, though — this conference is at a Disney World resort, and I planned a free day to visit the new attractions at Animal Kingdom while I’m there!
  3. Later in the month, I’ll be a returning panelist at a local SF/F literary convention, ChessieCon, which takes place in Timonium, MD, the weekend after Thanksgiving. I’ll be sure to post my schedule soon. Will I see any of you there?

I have to wrap this up, because my husband is anxiously awaiting me to get back to our binge-watch of Stranger Things season 2. In the meantime, here’s a great shot of RDSP authors tackling an escape room together, which was easily one of the highlights of my month!

RDSP escape room

How many authors and editors does it take to escape a locked room? Featuring John Edward Lawson, J.L. Gribble, Jennifer Barnes, R., Heidi Ruby Miller, Jason Jack Miller, and Stephanie M. Wytovich

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

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

Author Interview with Brenda Cooper

silver ship and the seaTo celebrate the re-release of her first novel, The Silver Ship and the Sea, and promote the Kickstarter project for her connected short story collection, Stories of Fremont’s Children, author Brenda Cooper was kind enough to answer some questions I had about the world of these stories.


ABOUT THE BOOK

Prisoners of a war they barely remember, Fremont’s Children must find a way to survive in a world that abhors their very nature. Or they must discover a way to leave it…

Brenda Cooper’s Fremont’s Children series launches with her award-winning novel The Silver Ship and the Sea. Cooper explores what it means to be so different that others feel they must oppress you.

Six genetically enhanced children are stranded on the colony planet Fremont in a war between genetic purists and those that would tinker with the code. Orphaned, the children have few remnants of their heritage other than an old woman who was left for abandoned at the end of the war, and a mysterious silver ship that appears to have no doors.

To keep themselves alive, the children must leave the safety of the insular community and brave the beautiful but dangerous wilds of Fremont. Is it an echo of their own natures, or a proving ground of their genetic worth?

In this battle of wills and principles, what does the future hold for Fremont’s Children?

Amazon


What inspirations from Earth’s landscape did you use for the alien world of Fremont?

Fremont is more dangerous to humans than Earth. It’s a water world, with less landmass than we have, but with air that its inhabitants can breathe and land for them to walk on. So in some fundamental ways it is similar — frankly, more similar than any real alien worlds are likely to be. It’s younger than Earth, and less impacted by humans. For example, we’ve hunted the Earth down to smaller predators, but once there were sabre-toothed cats. On Fremont, there are pawcats, who are larger than our lions and more aggressive. There are demon dogs who hunt in packs and are larger than wolves and more dangerous to humans than wolves. The grass is sharp enough to draw blood. There are active volcanoes, many earthquakes, and periodic meteor strikes.  Continue reading

Love Across the Universe Blog Tour: What’s next?

Love Across the UniverseI’m pleased to host the authors of the new science fiction/romance anthology, Love Across the Universe, which came out on August 1. Now that their stories have been released into the wild, it’s time to find out what all of them are working on next!


Elsa M. Carruthers: “All B+ut You”

I have a few essays to write and novel revisions.

 M.T. DeSantis: “The Princess of Sands”

I’m currently collaborating on a rather epic fantasy novel, which is very near completion. It’s about an old wizard and a blind warrior who are working to save their corner of the world while telling bad jokes. Hoping to start shopping that around soon. There’s also the Stars and Stone Christmas anthology story, which has a rough plot outline, if not character names or a title yet.  Continue reading