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Originally published at Robin Burks. You can comment here or there.

One thing about spending most of the day at a theme park and the evening in the hot tub is that you sleep really well. And sleep I did the night before my final day at the Disneyland parks. I awoke early in the a.m. refreshed and ready to go, getting myself lined up for Disneyland before the gates opened at 8:30 a.m. At first, it didn’t seem like the crowds were as bad, but they certainly felt bad later… I’ll get to that, though.

I began my morning with breakfast, choosing the Mickey Mouse chocolate tart at the Jolly Holiday Bakery. I would have preferred a dark chocolate, but milk chocolate seems to be the Disney preference, at least in California. It was still really good, and I’ll admit it, I ate Mickey’s face first:

Mickey Mouse chocolate tart

I actually had a plan for this park, and although I switched some things around, I’m glad I went with it. Early on, it wasn’t a problem, but later in the day when the lines got huge, I was grateful I’d thought some things through. I headed towards Adventureland. Since the first thing I saw was the Indiana Jones ride, I hopped into line, where I waited all of 10 minutes. It was a lot of fun and yes, I did ride it again later. The line itself for Indy is interesting and takes you through this temple setting. The theming was also quite good.

After Indy, I settled in for Pirates of the Caribbean. I almost didn’t get on this ride, as I’ve done it a million times at WDW, but someone told me the Disneyland version was better, so I hopped on. I’m so glad I did. This version of POtC is a million times better than the one at Disney World! It’s longer and there are more scenes. I’m so glad I didn’t pass it up. Following that, it was Haunted Mansion, which is cheesy, but the effects make it awesome, as always. This ride was shorter than that at Disney World, but still charming. The mansion, itself, though is is very different and is actually a New Orleans style home, rather than the manse I was used to.

The next step in my plan was to hit Tomorrowland. By this time, 10 a.m., the park was already packed. I got a fast pass for Star Tours and then waited in line for nearly an hour for Space Mountain (I was just waiting out the fast pass). I realized that Disneyland’s Space Mountain only goes around in one direction, taking the same right turn over and over. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this until I got on the ride and started getting queasy. I don’t like things that do circles in just one direction. I don’t like them at all. So I will never ride Space Mountain at Disneyland ever ever again. Lesson learned. I had to sit down after and regain my bearings (and my stomach).

Tomorrowland

Fortunately, it was time for lunch, and I thought some food might settle my unhappy belly. I got one of those awesome corndogs that Disney does so well.

Disneyland Corndog

By the time I was done eating, it was time to ride Star Tours. And boy, has it changed since I last rode it. I haven’t been to a Disney park in a good long time (probably before the three prequel Star Wars films were released), so the “new” version of the ride blew my mind. It was so good! I wanted to ride it again, but I didn’t want to wait via fast pass and I didn’t want to stand in line, so that didn’t happen. Why, oh, why, doesn’t more rides at Disneyland have single rider? WHYYYYYYY?!?!?!

At this point, the crowds were getting to me. It doesn’t help that two major rides (Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain) are under refurbishment, which means more people standing in other ride lines, but it was just miserable. I decided to get ice cream at the Gibson Girl ice cream parlor. After picking up my chocolate chip cookie sundae, I didn’t even have anywhere to sit down and enjoy it. I took up position on Main Street’s curb as people bumped into me and nearly walked all over me (really, look where you’re going!).

I finished my ice cream annoyed and walked back to the hotel. Fortunately, a nap lifted my spirits. Napping in the middle of the day while doing Disneyland is a great idea, by the way. I’ve done it a bit during my Disney World trips.

After my nap, I headed back to the park, which was even more crowded than ever. I kept checking the line for Alice In Wonderland, but it never let up, so it’s the one ride I didn’t get to do. However, Matterhorn, thank goodness, had single rider, so I managed to get on that.

The Matterhorn

I also did some smaller rides like Pinocchio’s Daring Adventure and a Winnie The Pooh ride. The rest of the rides had long lines again, so I  said screw it and did some shopping instead. I bought pirate socks and a pirate keychain, along with a few other souvenirs.

I had a dinner reservation at Cafe Orleans, so I headed there next instead of braving any more lines. They got me in quickly and I proceeded to eat a wonderful meal of pommes frites, a chicken gumbo crepe and beignets that were to DIE for. I actually only ate three of the beignets as I was getting full, so I took the other two with me. My original intention was to save them for breakfast, but they didn’t make it out of the park.

I walked by the Jungle Cruise and saw that the wait was 5 minutes. I hopped on immediately. Now this is my least favorite ride and one of the lamest rides in all of Disney-dom. Or so I thought. But I did it in the dark and it was actually pretty cool. I don’t know if it’s because Disneyland’s version is better or that it looks better at nighttime. I was almost ashamed that I liked it so much. I also re-rode Indiana Jones, this time using the single rider line, which takes you through forbidden parts of the temple (well, forbidden to most). In fact, I almost got lost in the temple, but fortunately someone who’d done it before knew where to go. Seriously, that was part of the adventure. I enjoyed the ride even more the second time around.

I checked Alice In Wonderland again, but the line was still huge. I gave up and sat down on a curb again and ate my beignets. I thought I’d do some final souvenir shopping, but the stores were so packed that I gave up after purchasing a single hoodie.

I’ve learned my lesson, though: never visit Disneyland during Presidents Week. Never never again. However, I will be revisiting Disneyland every year, as I can afford it, along with my annual convention attendance. I fell in love with Disneyland and decided I prefer it over Disney World: it’s cheaper to visit because you need less time there, it’s much easier to travel through the parks (and easier on the feet as everything’s closer) and most importantly, THERE ARE MORE RIDES.

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The Curse of Hekate

Alex Grosjean is back. A tall, dark and pointy-toothed stranger shows up at Alex's door and asks for help: he wants to find the insane monster-woman, Lamia, who cursed him. Meanwhile, a plague sweeps through the city and Lamia starts abducting children. After a trip across the world and a frightening encounter with the goddess Hekate, Alex must push herself to her limits to save the world. Again.

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Originally published at Robin Burks. You can comment here or there.

In my continuing coverage of my recent Southern California vacation, today I’m going to write about my second day in Anaheim and my first at the Disneyland Parks, where I visited Disneyland’s California Adventure.

Disneyland California Adventure

I was really excited because my all-time favorite ride is Tower of Terror at Walt Disney World and DCA happens to have its own version of it. But first, I had to stand in line to get into the park and then stand in line at the Starbucks at DCA (entitled Fiddler, Fifer & Practical Cafe) to begin my morning with a sugar buzz. I chose a caramel walnut sticky pastry that was oozing with goodness when it arrived in my hands. I ate it quickly and awaited rope drop (because visitors are let into part the park early, rope drop is the actual opening of the park and its rides).

The park was crowded already, but I’ve found that getting there early is usually a good bet on avoiding long lines. I was wrong on one count, though: the line for just a fast pass for the new Radiator Springs Racers in Cars Land was actually longer than the actual ride line at the time. Which, I might add, MAKES NO SENSE. Why wait in line to ride later when you could have just ridden it then? I mean, DUR!

I get ahead of myself, though. Because my first order of business was making it to my beloved Tower of Terror. The wait was about 5-10 minutes and as always, I loved it. It is different from the one at WDW and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t go quite as high (although that might just be a SFX thing they do at WDW), but it was still freaking awesome and still my all-time favorite. I knew I’d return to that later.

The Tower of Terror

Now, back to the Radiator Springs Racers. Cars Land at DCA is relatively new, so it was packed with people. The Radiator Springs Racers line was up to 70 minutes by the time I arrived, but I hopped into the single rider line and rode it in 10 minutes flat. Really, that’s the only way to go when that’s an available option. It was a lot of fun and I couldn’t help but think that this is what Test Track at Epcot should have been. The theming of it and the rest of Cars Land was amazing – the level of detail blew my mind. I’m not a huge Cars fan, but I can appreciate the work put into this part of the park. I spent a lot of time just wondering around admiring it:

Cars Land

At this point, I also made sure to get a Photo Pass, which is a great thing to have, especially if traveling solo, like I often do. Disney photographers take photos and then put them on this pass. You can access the photos later online and purchase the ones you like. Even better, though? The photographers will also take photos with your own camera. It’s a lovely service that Disney has offered for years.

After wandering around Cars Land, I started to explore other areas of the park. I stumbled upon Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, and being a massive fan of The Little Mermaid, HAD to ride it. Yeah, it’s a kiddie ride, but at Disneyland, even the kiddie rides are amazing. Of course, after that, I felt a little peckish. It was time for that most famous of all Disney treats: the cinnamon goodness of the churro:

Churro

Satiated, I chose to ride Goofy’s Sky School, which is a kiddie roller coaster and probably my least favorite ride ever. It was so rough and throws you around so much that I ended up with bruises! Did. Not. Like.

After that, I decided to tone things down at Mickey’s Fun Wheel. I chickened out of the swinging cars, because they honestly looked more terrifying than anything I’ve ever seen (and I’ve heard rumors they even keep barf bags in those cars), so I went simple and just went around the regular non-swinging cars to get a great view of the park. I wouldn’t call Mickey’s Fun Wheel a lot of fun, but it was relaxing and let me rest my feet and body for a few.

Mickey"s Fun Wheel

By the time this ride was over, though, I was ready for some real excitement. So I hopped in the next line over for the California Screamin’ roller coaster. Now, I usually don’t like roller coasters that do loops (this one has one), but for some reason, this was the smoothest and most fun roller coaster ride I’ve experienced in some time. And I absolutely loved it! In fact, this was another ride I knew I would return to later. And I’m now counting it as my favorite roller coaster of all time.

Lunch time arrived and my stomach did a lot of rumbling. I had already read about these cone things over at the Cozy Cone Motel in Cars Land, so I made my way back over to that part of the park and ordered something called a Chili Cone Queso. It was basically chili with fritos and cheese (loads of cheese) served in a cone made of bread. It was AMAZING. It also paired well with the pomegranate limeade I chose for my drink.

Chili Con Queso

Then I realized something very important: I did not have any Mickey ears! I must have Mickey Ears in a Disney park because it’s tradition! So I went shopping and ended up in the Hollywood area of the park again (where the Tower of Terror looms over all). After being surprised by some costumes from Once Upon A Time (one of my favorite TV shows) in some store windows, I wandered into a store and found the perfect set of ears: they were steampunk. STEAMPUNK EARS. How could I refuse? My timing was perfect because right after that, Mickey Mouse himself popped out to say hello.

Mickey Mouse

After meeting Mickey, I felt hungry again and thought a snack was in order. So I went to the candy shop and ordered a peanut butter sandwich, as I’d read those were very good. They also look a lot like the s’mores sandwich, so I inadvertently got that instead. This, however, turned out to be a very happy accident, because it was divine. So I didn’t complain, but just enjoyed the mistake because I think I probably ended up liking this better than I would have the peanut butter.

Smores

At this point, the park was full, nearly to capacity. And I was tired. So I did a very smart thing: I walked back to the hotel and took a nap. Two hours later, I was refreshed and ready to get back to the park.

When I arrived, I went straight for the Tower of Terror. The wait was only 20 minutes (although it only felt like 15), so I had to do it again. I just HAD to. This was one of the few rides at DCA that didn’t have a single rider line, but it was worth the wait, even if the wait had been longer. I enjoyed the ride again, although I did realize that the drops aren’t randomized like the one at WDW. I didn’t care, though. This is still the best ride ever.

Thinking to keep the thrill factor up and having time before my dinner reservation, I then went back onto California Screamin.’ There, I ran into one of my Gallifrey One friends, who happens to work as a Disneyland Cast Member. I rode the coaster again and enjoyed it even more the second time.

Dinner time, however, was fastly approaching. I made reservations for the World of Color dining package at Carthay Circle, one of the few table service restaurants at DCA. I was not disappointed. I enjoyed an amazingly good old-fashioned daquiri in the lounge (I had a few more during dinner). Dinner itself was superb. The World of Color package is pre fixe, but I still ordered some fried biscuits on the side because everyone recommends them. Those were amazing, so very very good. I almost couldn’t stop eating them. My appetizer was a tomato soup that was quite good, followed by an entree of some wonderful salmon and topped with one of my favorite Disney desserts: chocolate mousse with crunchy bits. I was in dining heaven. I also ran into some fellow geeks when I commented on someone’s N7 hoodie and we got to talking about things like Doctor Who.

After dinner and drinks, I still had some time to blow, so I rode the Monsters, Inc. ride (I forgot the name of it, but it was something about Mike & Sully). It was really cute and I liked the personalization at the end (how many times would I hear someone saying “Nice ears” during this visit?).

Monsters, Inc.

Well-fed and still a little drunk, I ambled over to the World of Color viewing area reserved for Carthay Circle diners. I sat down an hour before the show started and struck up conversations with many other people, most from up north, who like me, were escaping the cold. The time flew and the World of Color show began, which is this wonderful event with fountains, projection, fire and music. It was spectacular.

But my feet were hurting from standing by the time it was done. It seemed to take forever to escape the park (as it was closing and everyone was doing just that), but when I got back to the hotel, the obvious next thing to do was get into the hot tub… again.

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The Curse of Hekate

Alex Grosjean is back. A tall, dark and pointy-toothed stranger shows up at Alex's door and asks for help: he wants to find the insane monster-woman, Lamia, who cursed him. Meanwhile, a plague sweeps through the city and Lamia starts abducting children. After a trip across the world and a frightening encounter with the goddess Hekate, Alex must push herself to her limits to save the world. Again.

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Originally published at Robin Burks. You can comment here or there.

I really did mean to blog while I was enjoying the sunny weather of Southern California over this past week, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do anything that felt remotely like work. So if you expected day-by-day posts about my trip, I’m sorry, but I hope you saw my posts and photos via social media. Obviously, I had an amazing time, both at the Gallifrey One convention (which I covered over at my other site FanGirlConfessions.com) and Disneyland. It was an entire week of being a kid again, dressing in costumes (or mouse ears) and just having a good time for the sake of having a good time.

I did manage to squeeze in a little work: I networked with a few more authors, as well as met some really cool people from NASA (I write a lot about NASA missions over at DVICE). But mostly, I just laughed a lot, talked a lot (and lost my voice because of it) and danced and sang and celebrated that wonderful thing we like to call life.

So let’s focus on my post-Gallifrey One trip, shall we? I woke up Monday morning, fighting the con blues (and an extremely scratchy throat from all the talking), and went to pick up my rental car from Alamo. They let you pick out what car you want, so I went with a vibrant red Toyota Yaris, not because it was cool, but because I hoped it would be easy to pick out in a large parking lot. I’ve lost my share of rentals in parking lots, so that’s my strategy now. I drove to Howard Johnson’s in Anaheim and attempted to check in and was notified that I couldn’t do so until later. It was President’s Day and rooms weren’t ready yet.

Fortunately, my friend Brian Uiga, invited me to Mission Viejo for lunch and a ride in Herbie, which I might add, was AWESOME. The whole experience felt so very Southern California, and the weather was probably the most beautiful I’d seen it during my trip. Here I am with Herbie:

Me and Herbie

Then it was time to finally get checked in. I really liked the hotel. It was sort of outdated, but in a nice retro kind of way. It was also clean and had a hot tub, which really, is all I require (oh, and a comfy bed). Once checked in, I drove to Downtown Disney where I saw a dragon made of LEGOs:

Dragon made out of LEGO"s

And then I shopped because World of Disney is awesome. I even ended up with new pajamas:

Mickey Mouse Nerd PajamasThey’re very appropriate, don’t you think? I also bought a great birthday present for my great-niece, but needed it shipped because it was huge. But most importantly, I had this wonderful chocolate and caramel-covered marshmallow thing with sprinkles that I got from Marceline’s Confectionary:

Marshmallow Thing

I can’t remember the exact name of it, but it was a Valentine’s Day special item and it was beyond yummy.

If you’ve read my other travel posts, you know I’m all about food. I love food. And this trip was no exception (see above photo). So I like indulging in great meals. I’d done a little research and decided on a place called Roy’s for dinner. The food is best described as Hawaiian fusion. It’s a chain, but seems to get great reviews, so I figured I’d give it a shot. I started with this wonderful drink, a Hawaiian martini:

Hawaiian Martini

I followed that with a prix fixe menu, because the value was good and I wanted to try things that maybe I wouldn’t have tried otherwise. I started with a lobster bisque that was to die for. Seriously, it was so good that I was trying not to drink it from the bowl like a redneck. That was followed by the most tender pork I’ve ever eaten in my life, seasoned to perfection. The dish was called Pork Osso Bucco. It also had fingerling potatoes and brussel sprouts. Dessert was my least favorite, but still good. It was a butterscotch and miso pudding. It was cold, though, and I felt like it would have tasted better warmed up. I still ate most of it, so I guess I can’t complain much, right?

So with a great meal in my belly and a warm drink coursing through my veins, I went back to the hotel and discovered the wonder that is the HoJo’s hot tub. Needless to say, I enjoyed that hot tub every night of my Disneyland adventure.

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The Curse of Hekate

Alex Grosjean is back. A tall, dark and pointy-toothed stranger shows up at Alex's door and asks for help: he wants to find the insane monster-woman, Lamia, who cursed him. Meanwhile, a plague sweeps through the city and Lamia starts abducting children. After a trip across the world and a frightening encounter with the goddess Hekate, Alex must push herself to her limits to save the world. Again.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Tags:

Originally published at Robin Burks. You can comment here or there.

Madame VampireJust in case you missed my announcement on social media last night, I have released a short story, “Madame Vampire” that you can download completely for free from Smashwords. You can get it here. This story was written for a competition, where I nearly made it to the final round. Instead of letting it collect dust, my publisher suggested we release it. So that’s what I’ve done. It’s different from my other published works and falls squarely under the category of “Horror.”


Enjoy!


Download Madame Vampire


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The Curse of Hekate

Alex Grosjean is back. A tall, dark and pointy-toothed stranger shows up at Alex's door and asks for help: he wants to find the insane monster-woman, Lamia, who cursed him. Meanwhile, a plague sweeps through the city and Lamia starts abducting children. After a trip across the world and a frightening encounter with the goddess Hekate, Alex must push herself to her limits to save the world. Again.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

Gallifrey One Plans

Originally published at Robin Burks. You can comment here or there.

Gallifrey OneMany of you are aware that I’m an avid fan of Doctor Who. Most of you know that I usually spend a weekend in February, ever year, at the Gallifrey One convention to celebrate my fandom. I’m proud to report that I will be attending this year, as well. But wait, there’s more! I will also be a co-host on a panel at the convention, titled, “Science Fiction TV Year in Review.” The panel is on Saturday, February 15th at 6 p.m. If you’ll also be at the con, please drop by and say hello. I’ll also be cosplaying at the event, so track me down: I’ll be either Rose Tyler (with the Union jack tee), Rose Tyler from the 50th Anniversary special (aka vagabond Rose) or Dr. Grace Holloway.

I’m also planning a few days at Disneyland after the convention because, well, I’m also a Disney freak. It’s actually kind of odd that I’ve never been since I’m in the area every year. I believe I’ve decided that if I like it, it, too, may need to become an annual tradition. Tower of Terror, here I come!

Finally, The Curse of Hekate is still obviously for sale, everywhere e-books are sold. Please pick up your copy today.

Next up? I hope to announce the completion of the first draft of The Book of Revelations. I’ve been working on this for over two years now and finally getting the story done will be a major achievement for me. Of course, much more work needs to be done, but I’m still marking this as a major accomplishment.

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The Curse of Hekate

Alex Grosjean is back. A tall, dark and pointy-toothed stranger shows up at Alex's door and asks for help: he wants to find the insane monster-woman, Lamia, who cursed him. Meanwhile, a plague sweeps through the city and Lamia starts abducting children. After a trip across the world and a frightening encounter with the goddess Hekate, Alex must push herself to her limits to save the world. Again.

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Going Stir Crazy

Originally published at Robin Burks. You can comment here or there.

I haven’t left the house much in the past few weeks. First, the weather was just too nasty. Then, work just got crazy busy. Not only do I have to juggle novel writing with my DVICE gig, but I’m also juggling interviews with FanGirlConfessions.com. As Syfy seems to be promoting the heck out of the winter season, I’ve had an interview scheduled nearly every single day. And then I have to type up those interviews and post them, and by the time all is said and done, I have no time left for anything else. I’m not complaining, but it doesn’t leave time for working on any of my books or promoting them.

However, I have come to terms with that. I understand that because I am ALWAYS writing… well… something, I shouldn’t feel guilty if I can’t get to the novel. I’m lucky that my “day” job is a writing gig and that means that I never have a chance to get rusty with words. It can feel overwhelming, like today, especially when I’m trying to have some sort of life added into all of that, but at the same time, I am grateful for always being surrounded by words.

Needless to say, though, I’m really looking forward to my vacation next month (which still might involve a “little” working, depending on what science panels are available at the con). Until then, though, I’ll continue to go stir crazy, so much so that I’ll start doing memes with my cats:

Cat Memes
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cat4


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The Curse of Hekate

Alex Grosjean is back. A tall, dark and pointy-toothed stranger shows up at Alex's door and asks for help: he wants to find the insane monster-woman, Lamia, who cursed him. Meanwhile, a plague sweeps through the city and Lamia starts abducting children. After a trip across the world and a frightening encounter with the goddess Hekate, Alex must push herself to her limits to save the world. Again.

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Holiday Recovery Time

Originally published at Robin Burks. You can comment here or there.

Holiday Recover Time The holidays are always a super-crazy time of activities revolved around family, shopping, eating, drinking, more eating, more drinking, more shopping. In fact, I don’t recall having any alone time (including time to write) during the last two weeks of 2013. Obviously, spending time with family is key, but at some point, a writer needs to get back to work.

I’d hoped that this week, the first full week of January would give me some respite, but it seems that I’ve gone from one frying pan into another. This week has been about gearing up for the winter TV season, and Syfy has four shows it’s currently promoting: Helix, Being Human, Lost Girl and Bitten. And obviously, they scheduled the Q&A interview calls over the course of three days: Monday through Wednesday. Have I written anything other than my daily DVICE articles this week? Nope, because I haven’t had time. I go into each interview prepared, so that takes time and then the interviews themselves also take time. By the time I’m done for the day, that’s it – I am truly done and there’s nothing left for working on The Book of Revelations.

I’m already imagining next week to be equally as crazy because that’s when I’ll start typing up all these interviews (although I hope to have time this weekend, if I’m lucky). I hate not writing every single day, but I’m hoping to squeeze in at least two days this week where I can hammer out maybe 4000-5000 words. I’m so very close to the end, I hate slowing down now, but work is work, right?

I’m also getting ready for the big trip to Los Angeles next month, where I’ve tagged on a visit to Disneyland. And being the anal-retentive person that I am, and expecting crowds at the theme parks involved, I’ve come up with a working itinerary (okay, I didn’t come up with it, TouringPlans.com did) so I can see and ride everything I want to. I also needed to research restaurants, at least the nice sit-down ones that always require reservations (trust me, I’ve done Disney before and any restaurant that requires sitting down needs reservations up to 90 days in advance). So then again, there’s more of my time sucked away.

Tomorrow ends the round of interview calls (I hope), so I do think that maybe I’ll have Thursday and Friday free to work on writing that isn’t for DVICE (although that does come first, as it pays my bills). My weekends are spent mostly doing housework that piles up during the week and finishing up costumes for Gallifrey One (my main reason for going to L.A.). I tend to get obsessive about cosplay, though… But I made a goal to finish the first draft of The Book of Revelations before the con, so I’m determined. I’ve only got about 5-8 chapters to go. Surely I can do it.

Needless to say, I’m grateful to be busy. But I wouldn’t mind a day or two of downtime either. I suppose, however, that’s what wine is for: to make me forget that I’m so darn busy right now.

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The Curse of Hekate

Alex Grosjean is back. A tall, dark and pointy-toothed stranger shows up at Alex's door and asks for help: he wants to find the insane monster-woman, Lamia, who cursed him. Meanwhile, a plague sweeps through the city and Lamia starts abducting children. After a trip across the world and a frightening encounter with the goddess Hekate, Alex must push herself to her limits to save the world. Again.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Smashwords

A Writer’s Greatest Fear

Originally published at Robin Burks. You can comment here or there.

A Writer&quot;s Greatest FearI did make a New Year’s Eve resolution to blog here more often, so I think I’m doing pretty well so far, don’t you think? I used to journal everyday over at LiveJournal, so I’m not sure how I got out of the habit, but I blame social media. However, thanks to Neil Gaiman’s post about the very same thing, I wanted to try it for myself.

So today, I’m writing about my greatest fear, at least when it comes to writing. It’s a pretty simple one and sometimes even keeps me from sitting down to write because it’s so strong. I usually have to fight it and beat it into submission and only then can I do what I need to do.

So what is this fear? It’s a fear of the words not coming. And it happens every time I try to write something. It’s not so bad when I’m writing articles for DVICE (because, fortunately, most of those are based on other things I’ve read and news that’s been reported). And it doesn’t usually come when I’m blogging, either here or at FanGirlConfessions. This fear is particularly strong and nerve-wracking when I sit down to work on a short story or novel. For some reason, just before I get ready for my day’s writing sprint, I break out in a cold sweat and ask the question to end all questions (and to end all writing): “What if the words don’t come?”

Yes, I’m terrified that the next time I sit down to work on a novel, I’ll be blank and have no ideas and will stare at a blank page for the rest of eternity. It’s absolutely crazy and yet, it’s the scariest thing I can think of to happen. Has it happened to me? Of course not. Is it irrational? Probably. I’m a writer – there are always words. But I somehow think that someday those words will magically run away from me. Like they’ll just float away and I’ll never be able to create another story again.

I usually have to fight hard to get over that feeling, but the most important thing that I can do to kill it is to do what I fear: write. Once I start typing and the words begin to come out, the fear goes away as if it never existed. This is particularly true when I’m working on a first draft, because I just let the words flow, even if they don’t make sense (I subscribe to the Draft Zero philosophy). The words always come and by the time I’m done, I feel fine. Even if I know that fear will return the very next day. But then I’ll write again and it will go away. It’s a never-ending cycle.

Do other authors feel this way? Probably. In fact, I would count on it. And I suppose they probably get over it the same way I do: by writing.

So if you ever get to that point where you don’t think you can do something, the most important thing you can do is to just do it.

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The Curse of Hekate

Alex Grosjean is back. A tall, dark and pointy-toothed stranger shows up at Alex's door and asks for help: he wants to find the insane monster-woman, Lamia, who cursed him. Meanwhile, a plague sweeps through the city and Lamia starts abducting children. After a trip across the world and a frightening encounter with the goddess Hekate, Alex must push herself to her limits to save the world. Again.

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Looking forward to 2014

Originally published at Robin Burks. You can comment here or there.

Well, the New Year has officially arrived and I am more than happy to put 2013 behind me. 2013 was a very difficult year for me, due to the loss of my mother, but I suppose it didn’t totally suck: I made the transition to being a full-time writer and I attended two wonderful conventions: Gallifrey One and Geek Girl Con. I visited Vancouver and Seattle and fell in love with the Pacific Northwest.

Looking forward to 2014

But 2014 is proving to be even better. Not only is my second book out, “The Curse of Hekate,” but it’s popping up occasionally on Amazon.com’s Top 100 list for Mythology books. For me, that’s a pretty amazing accomplishment. Early reviews have been good and I hope to see more coming in soon. I’ve got the next Gallifrey One coming up in just a month (and to think, I wasn’t even going to go this year), along with a trip to Disneyland (in case you’re wondering, I’m a hardcore Disney fan and love DisneyWorld, but I’ve never been to Disneyland). I also hope to return to this year’s Geek Girl Con and spend some more time eating my way through Seattle.

I have a few “maybes” on the horizon as well. I’ve applied for a press pass for San Diego Comic Con and will be making my way there if and when that happens. I’ve also applied as press for Wizard World St. Louis Comic Con, as well as expressed interest in becoming a press affiliate. I’ll be working for FanGirlConfessions for these cons, and probably a little bit for DVICE, but I’ll also be spreading the word about my writing and hopefully, bringing more readers to my books.

So here’s to hoping that 2014 will be a great year, not just for me, but for all of you as well. Happy New Year, dear readers!

Originally published at Robin Burks. You can comment here or there.

This week marked the Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S. It also marked a week of busy activity for me, both as a journalist and as a writer. For starters, my new book, The Curse of Hekate will be officially released on Tuesday, everywhere e-books are sold. I’m really excited about this one as it marks the second novel in The Alex Grosjean Adventures. I really think you all will love it as much as I do. Here’s the summary:

Alex Grosjean, Oracle to the gods, is back. A tall, dark and pointy-toothed stranger shows up at Alex’s door and asks for her help: he wants to find Lamia, an insane monster-woman who cursed him and turned him into a vrykolakas. Alex doesn’t want to take the case, but after a plague sweeps through the city and Lamia starts abducting children, she finds she doesn’t have a choice. As usual, the gods task Alex with stopping both the plague and Lamia, but don’t offer much help. Even Alex’s boyfriend, Harry, has a dark side and secrets of his own. After a trip across the world and a frightening encounter with the goddess Hekate, Alex must push herself to her very limits to save not only herself, but the world. Again.

It’s enough to make a grown woman scream.

And now (drumroll, please), for the cover:

The Curse of Hekate by Robin Burks

In anticipation of this release, you can now get Zeus, Inc., the first novel in The Alex Grosjean Adventures, for just $0.99 at the following retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and Smashwords.