Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 year in review & some resolutions

A love doing retrospectives like this - it's a great way to reflect on the year & take stock in my life, etc. It really puts things in perspective. Often I've thought that I had a horrid year, and then when I look at the meme I'm like "oh hey, my year was actually pretty awesome!" That's not to say there wasn't drama - face it, living with a teen(s)... there's gonna be drama! 1. What did you do in 2012 that you'd never done before? I'm sure I'll forget a lot, but I traveled to several countries I'd never been to, published a sequel novel, moved to Washington, DC, won a Disney racing award (twice!), was a guest of honor at a convention, got my coast 2 coast Disney medal, dressed up in a Star Trek suit and pretended I was an away team at Disney World. Met the Speaker of the House (and went to his Christmas party). Flew business class internationally (that was AWESOME), visited the CONGO and watched a Lion hunt a Warthog! Saw Big Bad Voodoo Daddy & Don McLean in concert!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Thrift Fashion, a post for Jill

Several weeks ago my friend Jill gently reminded me that I hadn't done a Thrifty Fashion post in a long while, so I am doing one now for her. :) Happy Christmas everyone!
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You might be asking yourself (because I know I'm certainly asking myself), why the heck is this author/Marine/mother/wife writing a fashion blog? Aren't there like a bajillion fashion blogs out there? Why do we need another? We probably don't, and I don't think I'm a fashionista at all, but apparently some of my friends and family do, and they asked me to do one, soooo... I figured this would be kind of fun to do. So there. You can see my first post HERE, where I go into the basics of my style & kind of what my shopping "motto" is (never pay full price for anything), and that patience is a virtue (wait 3 years to find a specific pair of $250 Fluevog shoes for $40? Why yes I did...)
Outfit # 1, Special Agenda? Nope. I just wanted to be comfortable and warm on this chilly morning. Anthropologie sweater, $30 (store year end clearance) Grey blouse, $3 (thrift store) Anthropologie Purple knit skirt, $25 (store year end clearance) Purple Penny Blossom by BrightCopperPenny (she makes geeky themed ones too!), $7.50 Tan suede boots, $6 (thrift store) Bling (necklaces, costume jewelry on sale at Claire's - yup!), $30 Total: $101.50. At full price would have been: approx $350. [...]

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Saturday, December 22, 2012

A guest post from Author, Marianna Roberg

[caption id="attachment_834" align="alignleft" width="369"] Me (Queen Amidala) and Marianna (Sith Witch) at a Star Wars party I put together right after Episode I came out. Yes - we made our costumes, and yes, we have always been geeks. :D[/caption] Many years ago, when I was 18 (it was in the last century!) I discovered a wonderful thing called "fanfic." I read and read and got my Star Wars and X-files fix, and in doing so, made friends with a another young lady online named Marianna Roberg. Of course we didn't know each other by our real names, no, but eventually we chatted a lot more, grew to trust each other, and realized after a while that lo and behold we lived only a few blocks from each other! So of course we had to meet & solidify our friendship. Then about a year and 1/2 later I graduated from BYU &  I went and joined the Marine Corps, moved to the other side of the country and  we lost touch for a few years. Until once again on a Star Wars forum I saw the handle I recognized so well & bam! Marianna & I were back in touch again. I was absolutely delighted that she was able to make it out to see me this past October during Crystal Coast Con, and after a bit of talking/catching up, I asked her if she wouldn't mind sharing some of the challenges/experiences she's had with her writing/life over the years, and I'm so grateful she was willing to do so. I've always been a fan of Marianna's writing, so if you are looking for something new to read, please check out her Broomcloset series:
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Not long ago, I visited Janine and her famil [...]

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Sunday, December 16, 2012

A Writer's Workshop

We held our 4th annual Writer's Workshop that my husband and I host in our home. The players change a bit every year, but we've have some consistency as well. The original members at this point are me, my husband Ronald T. Garner  and Aaron Allston. Bryan Young & Conley Lyons started joining us the 2nd year & have been permanent fixtures every year since. And my dear friend Maggie Allen joined us for the first time this year - additionally, it was her first workshop ever! [caption id="attachment_817" align="alignleft" width="300"] Me & Bryan on our way to the Air & Space museum - workshops aren't just about tearing up each other's stories. We have fun too![/caption] This brings me to my first point, why are workshops important? I was going to write this really insightful post about why all writers need to workshop their stories (even experienced Pro's like Aaron), but I saw that Bryan beat me to it & did it far more eloquently than I ever could. His full post is here, but I'll paste some highlights below. http://www.b [...]

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Geek Media Expo wrap up

I know I haven't updated recently - long story short my website was having all sorts of problems, but seems to be working just fine now. Sooooo right before Halloween I was a guest again at Geek Media Expo (GMX) and it was once again AWESOME. We took out whole family and on Saturday night the 4 of us dressed up as the Avengers - Captain America, Nikki Fury, Tony Stark, and yours truly as Thor. The costumes were very well received and I think we may have our Christmas card photo. :)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Crystal Coast Con wrap up

Crystal Coast Con literally felt like going home. For about 9 years my husband and I lived all over eastern NC around the MCAS Cherry Point, New River, and Camp Lejeune areas. We lived in New Bern, Swansboro, Kinston, and then finally Emerald Isle for a time. In fact, I wrote the bulk of War of the Seasons: The Human while staring at the beach & hearing the waves crash from my window at Emerald Isle. So, when I got invited to a Con that was less than a mile from my old home I was super thrilled to go! It was so great to see so many old friends (the Carolina 501st Garrison *link* for starters), and make new friends (the talented band Saving Abel *link* was there), and get to spend some time with one of my oldest friends, the talented author Mariana Roberg *link*. On the whole this little con was full of heart, great fans, and of course my beloved Marines. HOORAH! I'm glad I was invited & I'm glad I went. Pics! I loooooved all the costumes I saw there. Hello Lilo! Awesome! Now THAT'S a robot! My friend Jane ROCKIN' Amy Pond! The littlest author! The littlest Riddler The littlest Wolverine The littlest R2-D2 [...]

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Friday, September 28, 2012

Dragon*Con, Thrifty Fashion, & I have an audio book!

Oh hey, GUESS WHAT? War of the Seasons: the Human has an AUDIOBOOK version! And it's read by the amazing, wonderful, talented, Patricia Albrecht! So if you like audio books, here you go!
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As I'm sure you can see from the header photo, Dragon*Con is one of those few conventions where the costuming side of me still comes out to play. Normally at cons now, I throw on a geek tshirt, tardis earrings, and go do my thing. Occasionally I'll put a costume on if asked to (i.e., I was asked to dress like a queen for a chess game at GMX last october), but other than that... well, I'm in "civilian" attire. A few people have asked me why, and I feel like I can't really answer it safely - I don't want to offend anyone, or have anyone think I think less of them if they've made different choices, but the short version is, I want people to remember my books, not my costumes. Most of the times I'm at these conventions as an author guest, not as a costume guest (that said, I do try to dress up if I have time to change for a costume panel), and I've noticed it throws some people off if I show up in costume, or people don't take me seriously, or, like I said, they focus on the costume & not my writing. Or the worst of all (but also good in some ways?): my costume is so good that people don't recognize me. Soooo, yes, I tend to stay away from costumes these days at conventions, unless there is an appropriate time for me to bust one out (i.e., if I don't have a panel in the evening, I generally will). At anyrate, Dragon*Con is a convention [...]

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Remembering Laura "GunslingerPadme" Jan 10, 1986 - May 3, 2012

I meant to make my weekly post on Monday but ran out of time. The same thing happened Tuesday and then yesterday morning I received some tragic news that immediately took over what I was going to post. That said, it's take me a bit of time to process my thoughts and feelings. Well, I imagine I'll be processing them for a while. I found out that my friend Laura (known as "GunslingerPadme" online in most places) took her own life in May. MAY? What kind of friend am I that I didn't notice I hadn't heard from my friend in 3 months? Well, I actually had noticed but I assumed that she had taken a social media hiatus - we all do that, and of course, I would never have thought that this would or could happen! I knew that Laura was unhappy. I knew she was bi-polar. I knew she had many health problems, but I also knew that she was seeing a doctor regularly. I knew that she was taking her meds. I knew she was doing everything in her power to cope, that she was fighting hard to get better, and I thought she was getting better. Or maybe I just hoped she was. Or maybe I just can't understand what it's like to be bi-polar or have the mental & health issues Laura clearly was suffering through. I know she tried to help me (and everyone else) understand - she created a public blog where she wrote everything she was feeling, going through R [...]

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Monday, August 20, 2012

Back from AFG, Thrifty Fashion, and whatnot

So, I'm back from Afghanistan again - as always a busy, exhausting, yet very productive trip. I love my job! And of course I made sure to bring proper reading material with me: It may interest you to know that I finished the 2nd draft of a novella (my Pride & Prejudice in Space story) which is currently with my Alpha reader. I also got a very good start outlining & writing the first 1/3 of the next Songs of the Seasons story on my flights. :D When I got back we had some lovely family time together with the Youngling & the FES while we played tourist in DC (I love this city).
Oh hey, want to win a copy of The Half-blood?