Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Well, it's National Novel Writing Month. I never participate. I mean, write a novel in a month? When I have a 50-hour-a-week day job and kids? Not going to happen. But this year, I will participate in NaNoWriMo's lesser-known cousin, National Novel Finishing Month. That's manageable. I have a novel that is 3/4 done, and this month, I'm going to finish it. Two days in, I've written 2,000 words, and today I plan to write another 500 before heading off to work.

In other news: Digital Science Fiction has released a collection of its first 10 story publications, including my story "Catch a Fallen Star." It's called "Cosmic Hooey," and you can find it right here.

And now, because writing is more important than blogging (yes, it's true), I'm going to go write.

Monday, October 26, 2015

MileHiCon, publications and writing

Last week, I was on vacation from the day job. It was a staycation in which, for one glorious week, I got a window into what life might be like as a full-time fiction writer.

On Wednesday (Back to the Future Day), Nature: Futures published my time-travel story "Prime Time," which you can read right here. And you can read the origins of the story, too. (There are Daleks involved.)

Also, I received my contributor's copy of the Far Orbit Apogee anthology from World Weaver Press, which is all about space opera, one of my favorite subgenres.

And if that wasn't enough, Digital Science Fiction published a reprint of one of my all-time favorite stories, "Catch a Fallen Star," which you can purchase right here. (This is the seventh publication from Digital SF, with other stories published from great authors like Martin Shoemaker and Alex Kane. So check out the others, too!) Also, as I write this, my story is ranked No. 37 in the Kindle Store for short reads in science fiction and fantasy, and No. 97 in cyberpunk. Awesome.

MileHiCon from Friday-Sunday was a blast. I enjoyed my panels, and hanging out with friends I see only a couple times a year.

With all that going on, I still wrote at least 1K words on my novel each day. I don't have a final word count tallied for the week yet, but it'll land somewhere between 9K and 10K. That's as much as I usually do in a month when I'm also working at the day job.

And in a lovely coda to the week, my talented friend Dustin Adams has a super fun story today at Every Day Fiction, "Halloween O'Hungering," in which a hungry journalist named Jennifer hunts for food during the Denver Zombie Crawl. This might be "based on true events." Except for the part where she turns into a zombie.

Today, I'm back at the day job. The window is closing for now. But it gives me even more motivation to make writing my permanent, full-time job someday.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

My MileHiCon schedule

MileHiCon starts tomorrow at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in the Denver Tech Center. For the first time ever, I'm a participant instead of a member. I'm not scheduled to sign books, but I'm happy to scribble my name if you happen to own an anthology in which I have a story. I am doing a reading, panels and fan forums. Here's where to find me around the con:

4 p.m. Inside Writing Workshops: Clarion, Odyssey & More, Wind River B
Jennifer Campbell Hicks (m), Oz Drummond, Blair MacGregor, Emily Mah, Connie Willis

11 a.m. Once Upon a Time Fan Forum, BristleCone
Jennifer Campbell-Hicks, Deena Larsen

8 p.m. Space Opera Discussion & Reading, Centennial
Michael Carroll, Jennifer Campbell-Hicks, Eytan Kollin, Patrick Swenson

2 p.m. Orphan Black Fan Forum, BristleCone
Jennifer Campbell-Hicks, Paul Lell

4 p.m. Eulogies for the Lamented Departed, Mesa Verde A
Melissa Koop, Lou J. Berger, Jennifer Campbell-Hicks, Jessica Coyle, Rob S. Rice, Connie Willis

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Updatery time

Happy October, everyone!

Actually, October is one of my least favorite months because it means winter is right around the corner. Snow and me don't get along. I should be living in Miami, not Denver.

Here's what's going on in writing:
So, lots of good news.

Also, I will be at MileHiCon, Oct. 23-25. This convention is always a highlight of the year for me. This will be my first year participating on panels, and I might also be doing a reading. I'll post my schedule here when I get it. If you're around the convention, please stop me to say hi.

And things I'm reading:
  • "Ready Player One" by Ernest Cline with my 11-year-old son. There are parts that aren't appropriate for him, so I'm editing as we go along. Overall, we are both absolutely loving this book. For the first time in a long time, my kiddo complains when I tell him we have to stop for the night and go to bed.
  • "Dawn" by Erin Hunter with my 8-year-old daughter. This is the third book in the second series about the Warrior Cats. This series is darker than the first one and gets a lot into the devastation that humans cause to the ecosystem when we rip up natural open areas to build houses and roads.
  • "Joe Ledger: Special Ops" by Jonathan Maberry. I've read three Joe Ledger novels, and now I'm jumping into the short story collection. I'm enjoying these stories a lot, more than the novels, which are also awesome. That's probably my natural inclination toward short fiction coming out.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Publication day! At Daily Science Fiction

It's "Found Day" over at Daily Science Fiction! I hope you enjoy it!

This is my third story in DSF and by far the most personal. If you read my notes at the bottom, you'd know that I wrote this story on the day someone very important to our family, our dog Buddy, died of lymphoma. We'd had Buddy for 10 years. When we came home from the vet office, our house was suddenly very empty. What I really wanted was to come home and see his smiling face and wagging tail at the door. So I went to that wishful place, and "Found Day" is the story that resulted from it. If today is Found Day, I hope you all find the thing you most want to find.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

I have your SF fix right here

Anthology news!

First off is "1st and Starlight." This anthology is edited by Sky McKinnon and includes 14 stories by writers who have, at some point or another, been named finalists in the Writers of the Future contest. Some of these talented folks have gone on to win the contest. One is a Hugo nominee, Kary English. There's a mix fantasy and science fiction, and all the stories are fantastic. One of the stories I'm most proud of, "Catch a Fallen Star," is reprinted here. It's available for purchase right now on Amazon.

And World Weaver Press and editor Bascomb James did the reveal today for the cover and table of contents for "Far Orbit Apogee," a space opera anthology that will be released in October and is now available for preorder. This one includes some writers whose work I've read and admired for a long time, including James Van Pelt and Milo James Fowler. Also included is my story "Masks," which is all about political intrigue, space battles and hidden identities.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

My home for sale: 106 Pandora Circle, Erwin, NC

I'm going to interrupt the blogging about writing, journalism and pop culture to go into another subject that is very important to me. And that thing looks like this:

This is a house at 106 Pandora Circle in Erwin, N.C., that my husband and I have owned since 2003. We bought it when we were about to have our second child because the place we lived in at the time was too small for a growing family. This house was perfect for us. The right size for our family, and within our budget as first-time homeowners.

It's not perfect anymore, though, because now we live in Colorado. It will be perfect for another family, or a couple that needs some extra space. Our Realtor listed the house for sale today. You can find our listed price, information and photos on his website right here.

I'm going to talk about the what makes this house great that you won't find in the listing, stuff that comes straight from someone who lived there for years.
  • All four bedrooms, the living room and the dining room have ceiling fans. I miss that so much. The extra air circulation cut down on air-conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter. I loved to lie in bed at night with the fan going softly overhead.
  • Heating controls are separate for upstairs and downstairs.
  • The backyard is big with shady trees, and a new fence. It's great for kids and/or pets. The porch is a good place to spend summer evenings with some outdoor furniture and a grill.
  • The neighborhood is quiet and safe. The house is at the back of a cul-de-sac where the only traffic comes from people leaving and returning home. Our oldest child was friends with the boy who lived in the house across our backyard, and they would walk between our houses to play.
  • In fact, the entire town of Erwin is like that. It has a small-town feel. Our kids played soccer and baseball at the town park, and the downtown festivals and parades are a lot of fun. But only a couple miles down the road are Walmart, Lowe's, stores, restaurants and entertainment. Access to medical care is easy with Betsy Johnson hospital only 10 or 15 minutes away by car.
  • When we lived there, my husband worked in Fayetteville, and I worked in Raleigh. We were a commuter couple, going in opposite directions, and I know other couples deal with the same issue. Erwin is the perfect location for that because it's halfway between the two larger cities.
  • The master bedroom and another bedroom are upstairs. The other two bedrooms are downstairs. Our oldest child enjoyed the extra privacy of having his bedroom downstairs. We also used one of the downstairs bedrooms as a library.
  • The attic has easy access from a door upstairs (no climbing through trap doors in the ceiling) and has lots of space for storage.
  • We just finished up more than $10,000 in repairs and renovations right before putting the house on the market.
If you're interested in a tour, contact our Realtor, Rod Hudson. His website is right here. You can also call him at (919) 524-1800.