ConnectiCon 2014 and Other Vacation Fun

Fro- Zone

Have you ever been cornered by someone eager to share their vacation photos? Yes? No? Well, I’m about to do that to you right now! Seriously, it’s hard to believe another summer has come and gone. While I did find time to pen another novel (see #2), I also made sure to have plenty of fun too! Without further ado, I present – my summer in pictures.

1. May – Sheep shearing at Old Sturbridge Village! Yes, May is not technically summer yet, but my kids college classes were over so close enough. Sheep Shearing 2. JuneOver Easy was well underway thanks to a helping hand from Scrivener. I’m happy to report that I finished the first draft by the end of July and it’s currently in the hands of my beta readers. The photo below is from a night at Muse Paint Bar with my writer friends. The painting on the left is mine. Muse Paint Bar 3. JulyConnectiCon 2014 KICKED ASS. For three glorious days, my family was knee-deep in geeky heaven. The highlights for me and Hubby – meeting Rob Paulsen and Maurice LaMarche. You may recognize their voices from Pinky & the Brain. They were personable and during their panels – freaking hysterical. Pinky & the Brain The boys were enamored of Lauren Landa – famous for voicing Annie in Attack on Titan. Look at her. She’s gorgeous. Lauren Landa And once again the costumes were amazing. These are some of my favorites. Fro- Zone Toothless Classic Cyberman Seriously – attend this convention! There is so much to do and the Connecticut Convention Center is a great venue.

4. AugustRedcoats & Rebels. Another fun year even though it was a big soggy in the morning. The rain made for light crowds at first but we still had fun. By day’s end, the sun appeared and we captured some awesome battles pictures. IMG_0639 IMG_0504 IMG_0379 Ahh. So much fun. Well, back to writing. I have another book to plot and a few to edit. For more photos, check out my Pinterst page. Thanks for stopping by. I hope everyone had a great summer too.

5 Reasons Why Writers Should Attend Conventions

Bad movie, but awesome car!!

Hard to believe, but a whole year has gone by since I attended my first convention. During the past year, I did manage to complete two novels – Mystic Hero (and sold it!) and Lachlan’s Curse (still editing it). And I’m in the home stretch of my first contemporary romance – Over Easy.

IMG_4786And while I wasn’t always sure I’d get any of these novel completed, I knew with certainty that I’d be going to ConnectiCon 2014. So this year we pre-purchased weekend passes so we could come and go as we please. This year’s roster includes amazing voice actors from shows my family enjoys: Pinky & the Brain! Legend of Korra! Fullmetal Alchemist just to name few.

In May, me and my guys attended the first ever Hartford Comic Con. While not as big in scale and scope as ConnectiCon, it has the makings of a bigger event in the future.

As a writer, nothing beats attending an event loaded with other fantasy/anime/gaming/sci-fi/you name it/ enthusiasts. Even if you don’t love any of these things, consider attending at least one convention in your area at least once. Here are some reasons why:

1. They’re fun! The crowd alone is worth the price of admission. At last year’s ConnectiCon the vibe was one of pure fun. People were there to have a good time and celebrate the love of things fantastical and fun. Writers tend to be people watchers (and if you aren’t observing, consider doing so). And if you just want to get in tune with your inner geek, this is the place to do it. ConnectiCon also has a squillion different panels and workshops (and, yes, some are for writers).

2. Costumes! The costumes are incredible. Thanks to SyFy’s Heroes of Cosplay, I’ve gained a new appreciation for how much work goes into Cosplay. As someone who can only stitch straight lines on a sewing machine, I am in double-awe of all the hand fabrication and planning that goes into the costumes.

3. Networking! It’s a chance to meet other authors and artists. Last year, I was able to meet and spend time with Michael J. Sullivan and I also met Dan Dos Santos. He’s the cover artist for Patricia Briggs’ Mercy Thomas books and Diana Rowland’s White

It's the dude who draws Archer!!
It’s the dude who draws Archer!!

Trash Zombie series. He was generous with his time and was happy to answer my questions. He also asked to see one of my book covers (unprompted). He liked  Mystic Ink so much he kept my post card. While standing there talking to Dan, I realized I was rubbing elbows with none other than Brandon Sanderson. Total geek out moment!

4. Vendors! There are so many types of artists: web, comics, graphic novels, television. At Hartford ComiCon – we even saw the lead artist for Archer. If you are a fan of merchandise, you won’t be disappointed. Hartford ComicCon had TeeTurtle on sight (love their shirts) and numerous vendors selling everything from unique dolls to long-lost action figures.

5. Inspiration! Last summer, I was writing Mystic Hero and fell into a bit of a creative rut. As a result of attending ConnectiCon 2013, I was inspired to locate a scene during a convention. Devlin and his cohorts find themselves in hot water with a bunch of goblin baddies, and what better place to have a showdown, then a convention filled with costume wearing mortals. Am I right? Yeah. Trust me. I am.

So who else has attended a local convention? And if you haven’t, what’s holding you back?


Bad movie, but awesome car!!
Bad movie, but awesome car!!

My Interest in Pinterest

All pictures 001


Okay, I’m a bit late to the Pinterest party. For the last few years, I’ve actively avoided joining anymore social media sites that would siphon away from my writing time.

It all started out innocently enough.  While I was updating the appearance of my blog, I re-checked some of WordPress’ settings and noticed a Pinterest option.  In order to take advantage of the option I needed an account.

It was easy enough to create one. Then I made the mistake of looking around.

And – whammo – I was hooked. Because now that I had an account, I should add some boards because what if someone found me and I had nothing there? I would look pretty lame.

And where else could I post my cool Oogles the Owl photo collection?

All pictures 001

Oh, and while I was doing that, I figured I might as well start trying out the little red Pinterest button found on many websites too. So off I went, messing around with my favorites sites to see who had the red button.

Hear that sucking noise?

That was my writing time going down the drain. But the end result – I created some pretty cool boards (see them here) and I’ve been enjoying my friends’ boards (who are years ahead of me).

Honestly, Pinterest reminds me of a giant, web-based scrapbook. The only thing missing is fancy borders, colored backgrounds, and 3-D doo-dads.

The big question I have, what is Pinterest for? How does everyone use it?

As a photo album? For inspiration? To drool over food porn (or hunky men)?

If you’re on Pinterest, please share. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

The Weekend is Mine, all Mine!

Yay Friday! I hope your week went well.


Recently, I had an attitude adjustment. Every blog about writing or by writers, eventually, touches on the topic of professionalism and treating writing as a job.

I am not going to dispute that wisdom. If you’re in it for the long haul and you want to be published (or stay published), then you have to realize that writing isn’t sitting around waiting to be struck by genius. There comes a time in every writer’s day, month, year (take your pick) when you have to do the deed. You know, sit at your computer and write stuff – whether you feel like it or not.


Kind of like being an employee at a day job. I have a full time job. I also consider writing a job and when I am actively working on a story, I do it after the paid job.

Which brings me to the attitude adjustment. For the last few weeks, I’ve written my 2,000 – 3,000 words a day from Monday – Friday (after my day job ends) and I’ve taken the weekends off!

And by off, I mean, I don’t even turn my laptop on. For the last several years, my trusty laptop has been on 364 days of the year. The only day it got off was Christmas day because family comes over.

So far, it’s been therapeutic. I don’t feel all – “Ugh, I have to write today.” I admit, I’ve been getting a little grouchy about writing. Like it was a ball and chain. Until I realized that even with my day job, I take time off and I sure don’t feel guilty about it. Why should writing be different than any other profession?

Who wouldn't want to pet this cute cat??

That doesn’t mean I won’t write on the weekend. I will. But it’s also nice to know that I don’t have to feel guilty for taking a day trip with my family or grocery shopping so we can eat all week. Or read a book. Or just veg and pet my cat.

BTW- Mystic Hero is over the 55,000 words mark, well on it’s way to first draft completion in the next week or two. Yay!

See? It’s all about attitude. If you find yourself in a rut or so stressed out you can’t think straight it might be time for an adjustment!

Anyone else feel the need to take time away? How do you veg?

With a Rebel Yell!

Recently, younger son and I attended Old Sturbridge Village’s annual Redcoats and Rebels event.


This was our second year attending and it was as much fun as last year. Even better, the weather was comfortable and we caught up with friends who were there for the first time.


If you live in the New England area, consider visiting the village. For the month of August, kids admission is free (ages 2-17). Old Sturbridge Village is the largest outdoor history museum in the Northeast.

875 Kids Free in August flier_073113

At the end of August, our town is hosting a pirate event. Can’t wait to attend that next!

ConnectiCon 2013 Rocked!!

(I’m cheating today. This is the same post over at the 7 Scribes. It’s going to be a scorching 99 here today. Stay cool IMG_3152everyone!)

Welcome to another Friday! Casey here.

I’m happy to report that I crossed an item off my bucket list. It all started with a Kindle Daily Deal and a book called Theft of Swords by Michael J. Sullivan. Every day, since I purchased a Kindle Fire, I check Amazon’s Kindle Daily Deals (very much like a junkie looking for a fix).

This particular day, Theft of Swords was the fantasy offering. I downloaded a sample, was hooked by the first page and immediately purchased it. And, because I happened to be in Goodreads that day, I sent a friend request to the author.

Long story short, in addition to accepting my request the author sent me a note and we started a conversation that ended with him agreeing to be my guest, here at the Scribes, on August 9th (Yay!). While researching his various social media sites, it turned out

Michael J Sullivan
Michael J Sullivan

he’d been invited to ConnectiCon as a literary guest, along with Brandon Sanderson.

Now, my hubby and I have discussed going to this convention for as many years as it’s been going on. Each year, it has gotten progressively bigger and more exciting. When Michael suggested we meet up at the conference, I was happy to accept.

I’ve been to the Connecticut Convention Center before for other events, but none of them come close to the size and scale of ConnectiCon. There was so

much to do: panels, Q&A sessions, book signings, gaming, vendors, and parties. So much that we barely scratched the surface. Check here for more information.

The best parts for me aside from meeting Michael and his wife, were the costumes (more on those in a

Tony Stark sighting!
Tony Stark sighting!

moment) and encountering artist Dan Dos Santos. His artwork has graced the covers of Patricia Brigg’s Mercy Thomas books and Diana Rowland’s white trash zombie series (among many others). Super nice man and very gracious. While we were chatting, Brandon Sanderson came up to the table (squee!).

Now, those costumes – fabulous, fantastic, well-made, top-notch. What more can I say? The variety was mind-boggling. And for the amount of people attending, everyone was polite and relaxed.IMG_3138

Overall, it was a great experience for me. Hubby was a bit overwhelmed by the sheer geekiness but there were plenty of comic book and movie characters. On the drive home, he was speculating what kind of costume he could make for next year.

So, if you live in the New England area (and even if you don’t) and if you love comics, anime, role-playing, manga, gaming, etc. don’t miss a chance to attend this con!

What Cons have you attended? What are your favorites? And if you haven’t ever attended one, would you consider it?


Stories that Stick

Please join me at the Scribes today as I share – Stories that Stick.

Have a safe and wonderful holiday!

Going Giftless – Year 2

Find out about my family’s new holiday tradition – Going Giftless. Stop by the 7 Scribes and share your views.

On the Mystic Storm front – I’m slowly revising my way through the first draft. It may seem hard to believe, especially after I’ve written the entire book, but it’s taken me a while to find Zephyr and Kalli’s voices. Now that I have them, I just need those long stretches of time locked in a room with nothing but voices in my head (I know that sounds a little loony).

Daydreams and First Drafts

Today, I’m over at the 7 Scribes where I make the case that daydreaming is required – Do Not Disturb – Daydreaming in Progress.

On the Mystic Storm front – I’ve read through the printed first draft and yikes! I still have some work to do to smooth it out. So I will be diving back into the writer’s cave to clean it up.