Hi, friends. Sorry it’s been a minute since I’ve posted on here 😅. I took a stay-cation when the bestie came into town, interspersed with some shows. October basically went by in a blur. And November… well, November’s been a bit rough. So here’s a recap of last month.
Shows ~ September ended with me finishing up the Doctor Who Steampunk Convention in Clarksville. The community was super nice, and I made a bird friend! His name is Bishop and he’s an African raven, so I couldn’t resist showing off my book, Raven’s Cry, with him. He tried to eat it 😂.
I also did the Southern Festival of Books here in Nashville. Don’t tell the other shows, but it’s one is one of my favorites 😉. That one is outdoors, and I get a whole tent for it, which is good since it always tends to rain one of the days. And it got pretty chilly, which tells me I need a medium-weight steampunky type jacket. If anyone has any recommendations I’m all ears. Let me know in the comments below.
And finally there was the Atlanta Steampunk Expo. This is the second year it’s been on, and I’ve done it both years, so I guess you can call me an elder attendee? I dunno. Anyway, because I’ve been there before I saw some familiar faces. People I’d met the year before, which I really love. It’s nice to catch up and reconnect, plus I got to hang with a friend of mine from college after the show. I also got to meet some new people. First there was Mike Lackey, who I’ve known through Instagram for a long time, but haven’t ever actually met him in real life. Does that count as a new meeting? 🤔 Anyhoodles, I didn’t know he was going to be there and at one point I looked over, saw his banner, and thought, “Hey, I know the guy!” I also met Kevin J. Anderson, who is a massively prolific author. He’s got over 150 box under his belt! I even had the the honor of doing some panels with him. I always learn things at panels, even the ones I’m on, and this was no different. My biggest takeaway was dictation, which he does all the time. Part of this blog post was even written via dictation. Unfortunately, Siri doesn’t understand everything I say, so it requires a good bit of corrections, but it’s still a quick way of getting down thoughts your thoughts.
Books (bought and read) ~ As far as buying books goes… ha ha, things got a little out of control 😆. While the bestie was here, we hit a bunch of independent bookstores (support your local bookstores, people!). It’s near impossible for me to walk into a bookstore and not buy something. But look at all the pretty! 😍 I’m currently reading Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott, which has turned out to be both amazingly comforting and instructional 😊 .
As for books read, I feel pretty proud because I have once again proven that I can eat a book for breakfast if I really put my mind to it. I purchased Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie on October 30th and finished it on the 31st. This was also my first Agatha Christie novel. What have I been missing my whole life?! Firstly, I really appreciated the storytelling style. I know I’ve mentioned this before, so I don’t know why I keep thinking this way since it keeps being disproved. I often think older books are going to have a boring storytelling style, and that’s just not the case. People just don’t really change no matter what decade or even century you’re in. People so often assume they know things things, take them as absolute fact. Things that are broad-brush generalizations. And they take things they heard from someone else and believe it as gospel, and I love the way that muddied the waters of the mystery. As I’ve mentioned before, I love playing Whodunnit, and I could not come near to making a guess. I had a suspicion about one character, but it was about 40% suspicion, 60% uncertainty. And Hercule Poirot was a way more interesting character than I expected. I first met him while watching the film version of Murder on the Orient Express with Kenneth Branagh, and that was a really great depiction, but I don’t think I got the sense of Hercule’s character from that as well as I got it from the book.
I also barely finished listening to the audiobook of The Picture of Dorian Gray. Like, finished reading it around 9pm while giving candy to trick-or-treaters. I’m not sure what I expected from this book, having never read any Oscar Wilde before. I found the characters a little difficult to relate to but only because I got pissed off at them again and again. Lord Henry is king of the douche bags, hands down. I had more trouble with Dorian even though I understand his character. People rationalize all kinds of things to themselves, but I wanted to shake him. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know where the book was going for a lot of it. I feel like the middle kind of fast forwarded and just gave us an overview of his life, but the ending got really exciting. I had no idea what was coming and was not disappointed at all 😱.
Newsletter ~ I wrote a spooky story for my newsletter last month, set in the Broken Gears world. You can still access that if you want to by signing up for my VIP newsletter (along the right-hand sidebar if you’re on a laptop or desktop computer or down at the bottom if you’re on a mobile device - tablet or phone). The story stars Cali from Raven’s Cry, plus a few other familiar faces. No spoilers but some relationships that are established during Raven’s Cry are revealed in the short story. Once you sign up, you’ll receive a password to access the Exclusive Content page where you can find this and all my other VIP-only short stories.
What’s Next? ~ I’ve got a lot in the hopper, friends. You can check the homepage or the Events pages of my website for all my upcoming live shows. If you’re in the Tennessee area, however, Dickens of a Christmas on December 8th is the next one.
I’m also working on my NaNoWriMo project, which will be the next installment in Lenore‘s storyline from the Broken Gears universe. There are so many pieces! I’m really loving Scrivener’s folder functionality right now because, without it, I think I’d be tearing my hair out.
I’ve also been selected to contribute to an anthology coming out in February! I’m so excited because I get to write a retelling of The Snow Queen 😄. The first draft is done, and I’ll be getting first critiques on it this weekend. The anthology will debut at the Austin Bookstars event I’m attending in Austin, Texas on May 4th. All proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which is a charity very near and dear to my heart since I am a survivor of childhood cancer. When the pre-order is available I will post links everywhere!
I know this was kind of a long one, so thanks so much for sticking with me 💗. If you made it this far, here’s a picture of me dressed as a faun for Halloween.
Thanks for reading!