Monday, April 28, 2014

And I WON!

So C2E2 is over, and I'm happy to announce that I won the Geek Geek Revolution panel against three major SF/Fantasy authors, Seth Fishman, Patrick Rothfuss, and Kevin Hearne.) Woot! I got some awesome Star Wars notepads as the prize!

Some of my favorite questions that got asked and I was able to answer:

What are the names of the Dire Wolves in Game of Thrones? Greywind, Ghost, Summer, Shaggydog, Lady, and Nymerion.

What phrase is repeated in all six Star Wars movies? "I've got a bad feeling about this."

What is Star Wars Day? May the fourth.

How many siblings does Ron Weasley have, and can you name them? Charlie, Bill, Percy, Fred and George, and Ginny.

What is the best selling SF novel of all time? Dune.

What movie does this quote come from? "I'm sorry Dave, I can't do that." 2001, A Space Odyssey

The YA book panel was also really fun. We answered a lot of questions to novel writers, and about the state of YA literature today. Great discussions!

And here are some fun pictures from C2E2:

It was cool to see this in the C2E2 program!
The audience at the Geek Geek Revolution panel
I bumped into Demitria Lunetta there!

Seth Fishman (doing his "I IS STRONG" pose), me, April Tucholke, Kendare Blake, and E.C. Blake
And here I am snuggling with a Storm Trooper. I was kind of star struck!
All in all, a really fun weekend! It was my first convention of this sort, and hopefully not my last!

This Saturday, May 3rd, I'll be at the Great Gigs event at the Philadelphia Science Festival. Any Philly friends, come out and say hi!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Geek Musings and Nutschell Blog Visit!

Yes, that is "Geek Musings" and not "Greek Muses." My brain is all on geek trivia and how much I (gulp) don't know. You'll see why, below. :)

I had a few calm weeks, but crazy book-related stuff n' traveling is re-commencing!

If you're in Omaha, I'll be at Bennington Library on Tuesday evening at 7 PM for a book signing and talk!
This weekend, I'm going to C2E2 (Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo). This is my first comic-con of any kind, so I'm totally psyched! I'll be on two panels on Saturday:
  • In Defense of YA, with April Tucholke, E.C. Blake, Kendare Blake, Seth Fishman and Shannon Stoker, followed by a book sale and signing.
  • Geek Geek Revolution, with Patrick Rothfuss, Seth Fishman, John Scalzi, and Kevin Hearne. This is where we battle over geekish trivia and I get my butt kicked in public, proving that instead of watching Star Wars over and over again, I should have been watching reruns of Firefly  and Buffy the Vampire Slayer instead. Ha!
And also this week, Nutschell Windsor is having me over on her blog for an book review on Monday, interview on Wednesday, and book giveaway on Friday. I've known Nutschell since I started blogging way back, so it is such a treat to be featured on her blog. Please come and stop by! I writing? I'm trying to! I have edits due soon but I'm also trying to work on a new book that's a mix of contemporary and magical realism. So far, it's so fun! 

And finally, it's SPRING! We just did our Easter egg thing and I never get tired of watching the hunt! This magnolia is blooming in my front yard and I look forward to saying hello to these flowers every April. 

Have a great week, you guys! Are you enjoying spring? What are you writing this week?

Friday, April 11, 2014

Blog Musings and Seward, NE signing

Hi guys! Well, I'm finding that I'm blogging rather sporadically (whoa, I'm having flashbacks of the movie Clueless and Cher's vocabulary lessons).

When I started blogging in 2010, I decided the best way to blog was regularly and often. I think I started blogging M, W, and F. I'd do Medical Mondays on Mondays, Sister of the Traveling Blog on Wednesdays, and random stuff on Fridays. But as my book release drew closer, I went to twice a week. And then after my book came out, I was so busy with deadlines and promo events, I ratcheted down to once a week.

I've been really stressed about blogging the last few months. Is blogging dead? Am I bringing anything worthy into the world when I blog? Is it taking away from my writing time? I'm also on Twitter, Facebook,Tumblr, Instagram, and occasionally blogging for the League of Extraordinary Writers. I'm as out there as possible without completely going nuts.

I love the community in blogging--you guys were my first cheerleaders when I first started writing. And I miss visiting with you guys. But I'm also finding that blogging is not a static entity. Like people and like life, it changes and morphs. Sometimes it winks out, and several good friends of mine stopped blogging a while ago. Sometimes it blossoms into multiple blogs, or changes tone altogether.

So in the end, I've just decided to stop thinking so hard about it. I'll blog when I feel like it, without any regrets. So yeah, I'll be around--but it's going to be random! 

So...if you're a blogger, do you blog to a set schedule? Or do you blog when you feel like it? 

**If you're in Nebraska, I'll be at a signing in Seward, NE at Chapters Books & Gifts tomorrow. If you're NOT going to the Spring Huskers game, please stop by to say hi! I'm signing with a few other indie authors including Carol Bicak, who is a journalist at the Omaha World Herald and wrote this wonderful picture book on Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo's baby lions. My kids love that book!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Good Badlands Trip and more

Hi guys! My family and I went offline for a week while we drove to South Dakota and visited the Badlands, the Black Hills, and Mt. Rushmore. We stopped by Wall Drug and adopted this adorable Jackalope. 
We also ate a lot of food that wasn't exactly healthy (I'm talking to you, deep fried Hershey's bar) but was fun to consume. Exercise and clean eating has commenced since I returned!

Here are a few photos. They're off my Instagram account, so they show up very tiny and insignificant here, but come find me on Instagram and see them in their full glory. 

This is Badlands National Park. It was seriously gorgeous and unreal, like being on the moon on earth. And yes, the color was real, since we drove by in the late afternoon with all that goldy sun everywhere.

These are real, wild billy goats at the edge of a huge bluff in the Badlands. We actually saw them walk down a hill with an incline as steep as a backslash!

Here are some mule deer in the Black Hills. They were adorable. Fuzzier than white tailed deer, with long rabbit ears. 

This frightened me. As do any large, "whimsical" statues of supposedly cute things. Whimsy scares the bejeebers out of me. There were actually little prairie dogs here and we fed them peanuts. They made noises like bubbles popping. 

And here are the plains. The one thing I love about the midwest is the wealth of sky. I never get tired of that huge bowl of blue sky.

And here is Mt. Rushmore. This photo doesn't do it justice. The artist who created it was Gutzon Borglem. The whole process was pretty amazing. Did you know that he started carving Jefferson's face to the left of Washington, only to find the granite wasn't good quality? So he blasted it off. Talk about killing your darlings! And then when he started carving Jefferson's face to the right, he found a crack going through his nose. So he changed the angle of the face, set it four feet deeper into the stone so the crack went through his cheek instead of the more delicate nose. I mean, my goodness. 

I haven't been to many national parks, but now I'm psyched to go to more!

I hope you're all having a great week! Have you visited a National Park? Which one was your favorite? Where should my family go to next?