Whedonopolis – May 13-15, 2016

I’ve been very quiet lately – my day job is keeping me a lot busier than I would like. HOWEVER, not so busy that I don’t have time to put out an anthology, and do a convention now and again. I’ll be doing a few panels at Whedonopolis this coming weekend. It’s a convention for charity, so come out, buy a pass and join in the fun!  http://www.whedoncon.com

I’ll be doing panels on Friday and Saturday – and maybe a few more that we’re working out.

Friday – 8:30-  pm So this one time at con… 

Saturday – 1:00 pm – So Charming, Not Creepy

And in case you missed it, I also made an appearance on the last podcast of Big FanBoy Comics (Now FanBase press) http://fanboycomics.net/index.php/podcasts/fbs-week-in-review/item/6412

And the Story of the Month Club 2015 Anthology, A Baker’s Dozen of Magic, edited by yours truly is out and can be purchased on Amazon.

My patreon page is up and running, but I don’t get to post there as often as I’d like – usually about a chapter a month on the novel, with the occasional Cheesepunk (cheese review). That can be found at www.patreon.com/jabrawner Tell your friends!

In case you haven’t been paying attention

So life has been incredibly busy of late, and a number of things are going on, and coming up!

I will be at Long Beach Comic Con this weekend. I’m not on any panels this time, but I will be wandering around, and happy to chat.

I will be attending Wondercon March 25-27 at the LA convention Center. Probably no panels this time – I’ve been too busy to arrange any!

I will be attending Comic Con International July 21-24th schedule TBA.

I’ve started a Patreon page, (www.patreon.com/jabrawner ) that I would love if you would go support. I’ve got a couple of things going over there – I’m releasing chapters of my Captain Jac novel in the traditional Patreon manner, but to keep things interesting Captain Jac is also writing a column about cheese for Le Papier Marseille, and corresponding with her lover David about the column.

For the curious, the cheeses featured are real, and the columns deal with the taste, texture and smell of each, as well as amusing anecdotes from Captain Jac’s life. Photos of the cheeses provided by Steven L. Sears – who won’t let me credit him on the actual articles.

For those of you keeping track, I also have a day job. It is incredibly busy, and not leaving me as much time to write as I would like. I’m starting to get used to the pace, so I expect (finger’s crossed) that I will get back to writing  in greater quantity on a more regular basis soon.

 

 

 

Productivity rocks!

Since moving to Los Angeles I have been running non-stop. My day job, working for a startup (yes I have a day-job) involves at present, 5 different job titles, and for the past several weeks has involved working long hours preparing for our Grand Opening. I haven’t had much time for anything else beyond a few parties with my sweetie. This weekend I finally had the chance to buckle down and get caught up on writing, editing and a few other things.

Friday night I attended The Animator’s Guild party with Steve, and we met up with some awesome friends. (And made a few new ones.) Given that we didn’t crash until after 3am, I didn’t really expect to get much done on Saturday. Boy was I wrong! on Saturday I managed to get my tires checked out, got a package of promo materials sent out to a convention for bag stuffing, and then made it home to finally get a chance to clean my house. Believe you me, it needed it. I also managed to tailor four new shirts that a friend gave me a few months ago, so I actually have some decent work attire now!

Today the trend continued and has been no less productive! This morning I got up and finished all of the formatting for the interior on the 2015 Story of the Month Club Anthology, A Baker’s Dozen of Magic, and discussed the cover art with my fantastic Graphic Designer, Sandra Wheeler. (If you need a cover designer, let me know, I’ll put you in touch).

THEN, as if that wasn’t enough, I released  the first chapter of Captain Jac and the Seven Deadly Sins over on my Patreon account (www.patreon.com/jabrawner your support is appreciated!) and spent the rest of the day editing and doing re-writes on the first 30,000 words of Seven Deadly Sins. So, all in all, a very productive weekend. I don’t want tomorrow to be Monday,  I’d rather be creating!

 

The Force Awakens – and rocks and rolls and slides and turns…

Last night I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens for the second time. (The first time was last Sunday, and it was absolutely awesome, I loved it! – I have lots of thoughts that may warrant another, longer post, later.) Last night though, was something entirely different. Last night, in the company of my sweetie and one of our mutual friends we went to see Star Wars in 4XD. What is 4XD you may ask? (I certainly did!)

The seats of the theater are rigged to move in time with the movie, fans and air jets are set so that you feel the desert wind, you feel the spray of the ocean, and in some cases, you smell the forrest around you. Light saber battles? Explosions? The seats use vibrations and impact points in the backs of the seats to let you feel it. Side note: it’s almost as good as a chiropractor. If you have actual back issues though, I’d be cautious. Grand vistas of space, you almost feel like you’re floating.

I had a fantastic time, I haven’t giggled that much in a movie in a long while – I did however see two or three people running for the exits when motion sickness overcame them, and I’m thankful that whoever programed this experience used the scent factor sparingly.

Based on what I’ve heard, there are only two or three theaters in the US that offer this experience, but it is a lot of fun.

In the absence of productivity…

Photo on 1-4-16 at 7.50 PMIf you ever wonder why I don’t get more work done, here’s an example. In addition, my very large puppy dog likes to come and put his head on top of the cat… with mixed results.  This evening, in an attempt to be productive, I went in and started setting up a new Patreon account. (You’ll be seeing more about that later!) Unfortunately, midway through, the Patreon website went down. I’m really hoping that it saved all my work – because I think you will be as excited about the projects as I am. At least I hope so! But, as you can see, the kitty has taken over my lap, the Patreon website is not back up yet, and I have editing to get done!

And another year passes, and Thanksgiving Prep continues!

SLS_656222_resizeI had the wonderful good fortune this year to celebrate my birthday with my sweetie out here in Los Angeles. He planned a magical evening at the Magic Castle, and took me to see several magic shows.  (Yes, that’s a lot of magic!)  On top of that – the food at the Castle is divine.  I was also treated to a lovely flower laden cake by my sweetie!

 

On Sunday, 0I4A6856_resizeThanksgiving Prep continued with house cleaning! The sweetie and I turned the music up loud, and got busy getting ready for guests. Tonight, cooking prep continues. The apple chutney is bubbling merrily on the stove, the sweet potatoes are slow roasting in a crock pot, and I’m going to start the mashed potatoes and granny’s potato rolls next. Thanksgiving is going to be soooooo tasty this year.

 

 

The Great Thanksgiving Feast of 2015 – It begins!

I love food. I love to cook, and more specifically I love to cook lots of food for other people. Thanksgiving and Christmas tend to be culinary orgies for me, wherein I get to feed as many of my friends as can fit around my table. This year, my boyfriend and I are hosting together, and so it’s going to be as many of our friends as will fit around -his- table. This works out well, as he’s got more space and a better kitchen setup than I do. There are a couple of things that are going to make this year even more entertaining.

      I have never yet cooked for my boyfriend
      I just moved – I’m not entirely unpacked yet.
      I don’t know exactly how many guests we’re having
          We don’t at present own enough plates for everyone to eat on

I also have a tendency to cook for 30+ people, even if only 10 are expected. And of course other people are bringing food food. That being said – we’re a week out from the big day. I actually started doing prep work and this evening. In the oven right now – the beginnings of a fantastic chicken broth for chicken gravy.

The tentative menu  this year will be: (this does not include what guests are bringing, just what my boyfriend and I are cooking. )
Appetizer
Cheese ball/crab dip
Maybe Deviled Eggs if I have enough energy
Couple 1’s contribution

Main Dishes
Brined Roast Chicken
Spiral sliced Ham
Johnny Mozetti

Side Dishes
Sweet potatoes
Mashed potatoes
Apple Chutney – made from scratch
Cranberry sauce – just a can, nothing special
Salad
Chicken Gravy
Couple 2’s Contribution (salad likely)

Breads
Potato biscuits – my granny’s recipe!
Maybe a loaf of fresh bread depending on time.

Desserts
Pumpkin Pie
Guest 3’s Contribution

Obviously there are still a few things outstanding that we have to decide on. And I guess I may have to throw a vegetable of some sort in there – just for forms sake.

But it’s already started off to be a great adventure – I did all my grocery shopping yesterday, got all the way through the checkout line and discovered that I left my wallet at work and had no means of paying for anything. So I had to do the shopping all over again today, and ended up with even MORE stuff in my basket. Not sure how that happened… no really.

As I have time I’ll post recipes that I’m using (except granny’s secret one!) and how things are progressing. I’ve not made most of these things before!

 

I’m a fangirl, I admit it

All Covers 2015 LargeSo, last year for NaNoWriMo I had the great privilege to be included in the storybundle.com Nano Writing bundle. (This, if you missed it, was a collection of books on writing and selling your books – basically a fantastic collection if you have any desire to be an author.) There were some great authors in that bundle including Kevin J. Anderson, Dave Farland, Brandon Sanderson, Steven L. Sears, etc. You get the idea, basically people that seriously make a living writing and working in creative fields, writing about how to do what they do. They’re all pretty cool people.

This year Story Bundle is doing another writing bundle. For those of you that have never heard of Story Bundle, it’s basically a pay what you feel the items are worth site for bundles of ebooks  (there is a minimum of something like $3) The writing bundle this year is full of great authors again, and if you missed the 2014 bundle, you can pay a bit more ($25 minimum I think) and get the full 25 books. So my book will be included as part of the 2014 bonus books.

As cool as this all is, (and it’s really pretty cool!) my moment of fangirl came when, in discussing things with all of the other authors included, I realized that my inbox contained an email from Judith Tarr. I’ve never met Ms. Tarr in person, but there were a few of her books that I read growing up that I literally read until they fell apart. Like… the covers are taped on… with multiple layers of tape from where I had to tape them up a second time and maybe a third because  I re-read them so often. One of them is held together with a rubber band to keep all the pages together. And I’m in an email thread with her discussing book marketing… because our books are in the same bundle together. *squeeeee!!* I did not, I promise you, dance around in my living room like a madwoman. But I did think about it.

Ok. I’ll take a few deep breaths and calm down now… maybe. (And maybe hope she doesn’t read this) But I know which of the bundle books I’ll be reading first!

If you’re curious about the bundle itself, you can find it at http://storybundle.com/nano
Ahem. So yeah. Apparently I can fangirl, it just doesn’t happen very often.

Life, the Universe, and everything…

The sad truth is that life has been kicking my butt lately. All in good ways mind you, but it has been so busy that I’ve not had time to blog, to write, or basically do anything beyond putting one foot in front of the other for the past six weeks or so. After Dragon con, life got caught up in a whirlwind of activity involving moving to the west coast, starting a new job, and relocating and reorienting myself.

2015-09-13 11.47.53
I owe a great big thank you to my former roommate Sandra, who helped me pack and load (And threw a nice little party). Annie & Greg who showed up unexpectedly with pizza and starbucks (OMG guys, thank you SO much!) and to my lovely and wonderful boyfriend Steve, who drove out from California, helped load, spent a night on the floor of my empty house (sorry!), and then hauled the big trailer back for me.

The drive out to CA was lovely, with only one minor snafu – a ticket that was entirely my fault.

Then things got interesting.

2015-09-15 11.32.39I started out life in Los Angeles with a little bit of sanctioned B&E. My landlord didn’t get me the keys to the new place on time, (he didn’t even have them!) but he thought the place would be unlocked and that I would be able to walk right in. Not so much. We got to the place and it was locked up tight, the guy that DID have the keys wouldn’t be back until evening, and I had movers coming. Oh, and it was raining. With the help of the neighbors we found an unlocked window, popped the screen out and made like cat burglars. Of course this was a high up utility window, so I ended up climbing a tree, wiggling in through the window, and dropping down inside so I could unlock the place. It was obvious the maintenance guy had been working on things – there were cans of paint, slabs of sheetrock and a variety of tools scattered about. There were also, most handily, two new door lock kits waiting to be installed. Those got installed quickly. And then we waited… and waited… and waited for the moving guys to show up. Two hours later they finally arrived. Apparently confirming via the written form of email, giving them all the details, and getting a confirmation reply was not enough for them. Anyway. I digress.

My first day on the job was equally exciting. The CEO (my boss) decided that it would be best if I started in the middle of their largest trade show of the year. It’s surprising like working at a convention, minus the cool costumes, and with a heck of a lot more overt misogyny.  (Not so much from my co-workers, but from the rest of the people there.) And for the first time I did actually see rented booth babes. I felt sorry for them – but that’s an entirely different blog.

2015-09-16 23.29.24
Starting a new job during a trade show event is a bit like being dumped off the deep end of the pool. You learn to swim really quickly, and on the whole it was fun working the floor. It wasn’t until after we closed up shop for the day that it got really interesting though. I kid you not, they took me to a rave, at Disney, and all of them got entirely, smashingly drunk.  There were even glow-sticks, flashing rings, and eyelashes made out of feathers. Also, I wish I had video of everyone dancing.

And that was my first two days in town. Thankfully it’s slowed down a little bit (not much) since then. And I’m trying to get on writing the November Story for Story of the Month Club.

 

Oh. And did I mention my boyfriend is awesome? 2015-09-18 08.03.36