Saying Goodbye to the Groundhogs

Photo by Erin Silversmith, Wikimedia
So last year I discovered a family of groundhogs living in the Kudzu vines at the end of a street near my house. Almost every time I stop at that particular stop sign, I see a fuzzy, brown head poking up to say hello. They're so cute and they make my day whenever I see them.

Winter is fast approaching, and I'm seeing the groundhogs less and less. I don't know much about hibernation, but I imagine they're getting ready for their long sleep until Groundhog Day. Pretty soon I won't see them at all.

And that makes me sad.

I've Discovered My Cat's Deep, Dark Secret

So my cat Nikita (Nikki for short) is a bit of an enigma. She's a basketball with legs, nearly twenty pounds, a total love sponge, and has secret superpowers that allow her to move silently and weightlessly as needed. One moment I'm sitting there with my lap cat-free, the next minute she's fast asleep and my lap is cat-full.

And I never saw her get in there.

There's no rational explanation for this. She runs across the floor and it trembles. She thumps her way up and down the stairs. She walks on my chest first thing in the morning and the breath is pushed out of my lungs. But she has the uncanny ability to magically appear on or next to me without me ever feeling or seeing her move.

It's freakish.

She even has the ability to supplant objects already in my lap. For example, my oldest cat, Darwin, was curled up in my lap while I wrote. I reached down, scratched his ears, he purred happily. I typed a few more pages, reached down again and...

It's a Book Signing Extravaganza!

Saturday is a busy author day for me and a few of my fellow author friends. I've got two, count 'em, two signings that day. One in Norcross, GA and one in Canton, GA. So if you're in the area and want to say hi (or get some cool books from lots of cool authors), come on down. There's a variety of book genres and ages, so there's fun to be had for all.

Here are the details:

Meet Our Local Authors Signing
Saturday, October 20
1:00 - 4:00pm
Barnes & Noble at the Forum
5141 Peachtree Parkway
Norcross, Georgia 30092

Book Signing with James R. Tuck, Delilah S. Dawson, and Alex Hughes 
 Saturday, October 20
7:00 - 9:00pm
Books-a-Million #232
1810 Cumming Highway
Canton, GA 30114

How I Spent My Summer

(Thanks to Rula Sinara for the photo!)
Me at the RWA Literary Signing
By Janice Hardy, @Janice_Hardy

What a crazy summer it was. I usually don't travel that much, but this summer I was all over the place. I started off with FandomFest in Kentucky at the end of June (I already mentioned the horror story about the trip home on that one), then off to the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Conference in California the end of July, back out to Denver, Colorado to celebrate my agent's 10th Anniversary, had a few family trips in there to Florida as well.

And during all of that running around, I also finished the new book (yay!) and sent it off to my agent. This one's another YA fantasy set in a brand new world with new characters. (It involves an undercover spy!) It took a lot of rewriting because I kept changing things, but I love how it turned out. Fingers crossed my agent and editor love it too.

Let's just say I'm beat.

Luckily, no more travel until the holidays roll around. But I did have a great time while I was away. Here's a quick recap!

Visit Me (and 400 Other Authors) at the "Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing at RWA!

The "Readers for Life" Literacy Autographing has become one of the most popular events at RWA's Annual Conference. (Romance Writers of America) Hundreds of authors participate in this autographing event, and each year they raise thousands of dollars, which are donated to ProLiteracy Worldwide and local literacy organizations. Since 1990, RWA has raised more than $716,000 to fight illiteracy.

I'm delighted to be a part of it this year.

This event is open to the public, so if you live in the Anaheim, CA area, or you're attending the conference, come on down and pick up some books for a worthy cause.

2012 “Readers for Life” Literacy Autographing
Wednesday, July 25, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. (Find me at table 505)
Anaheim Convention Center, Ballroom (third floor)

Proceeds from book sales go to ProLiteracy Worldwide, Read Orange County, and Literacy Volunteers—Huntington Valley.

No outside books are allowed in the event.

Also, for those atteneding the conference, I hope to see you at my workshop:

Romance Writers of America (RWA) Annual Conference
Workshop: It's Showtime! Show Don't Tell
July 25 - 28, 2012
Thursday, July 26, 9:45am - 10:45am

I'll be sharing tips on finding the common red-flag words that can indicate prose that is told, not shown, and what you can do once you've found them.

Or just stop me in the halls and say hello. I'm looking forward to meeting quite a few of my fellow bloggers, authors, and readers next week.

Fun (And Horror) Was Had at Fandom Fest

My cool undead cameo
So last weekend I was speaking at Fandom Fest in Louisville, KY with fellow author pals James R. Tuck, Delilah S. Dawson, and book reviewer Carol Malcolm. Delilah and I drove over together, and I swear that seven-hour trip took about an hour. I have no idea where the time went. She must have superpowers. I might never take another long car trip without her again. It was my first time at this convention, and I had a blast (the return trip was a nightmare, but I'll get to that in a minute).

The convention started out with a quest for brains. My very first panel was on the zombie apocalypse, a subject I just can't get enough of. I chatted with my fellow panelists and guests about the different types of zombies, why zombies scare us so, and what draws zombie writers to zombie fiction. Serious discussions about zombies. How cool is that?