Weekend Grab Bag – From Writing Tips to Stormtroopers Dressed as LEGOs for Halloween

Song playing right now on my playlist: “Mountain,” by Tonic

Writing and the Writing Life:


In Geekdom:


Weekend Grab Bag – From Writing Tips to Baumgartner Space Jump LEGO Reenactment!

Song playing right now on my playlist: “Pride (In The Name Of Love),” by U2

NEWS: This week MUST LOVE BREECHES won 1st place in FF&P’s On the Far Side contest in the time travel/steampunk/historical category and a full request from the judging editor. It also finaled today in the Windy City Four Seasons Contest, paranormal category

Writing and the Writing Life:


In Geekdom:

Weekend Grab Bag – From Writing Tips to Stormtrooper Hygiene

Song playing right now on my playlist: “Begin the Begin,” by R.E.M.

NEWS: I will have some awesome news to report next week about MUST LOVE BREECHES (re: status in Query Land) and STEAM ME UP, RAWLEY finaled in its first contest (and the first one it entered), The Golden Pen, ironically beating out MUST LOVE BREECHES by less than a point (.7)

Writing and the Writing Life:


Ada Byron Lovelace

  • This recently came across Publisher’s Marketplace: “James Essinger’s ADA’S THINKING MACHINE, exploring two interwoven human stories – the story of a man, Charles Babbage (1791-1871) and that of a woman, twenty-four years his junior, Ada Lovelace (1815-1851) and their involvement in the Analytical Engine, to Gibson Square, for publication in July 2013 (world).” SQUEE!!! (that last part was me of course, not PM) Now if only publishers would be convinced that MUST LOVE BREECHES could tie in with this 🙂

In Geekdom:

Weekend Grab Bag – From Writing Tips to a Star Wars Call Me Maybe

Song playing right now on my playlist: “Walk Like an Egyptian,” by Bangles

NEWS: I’m heading to the RWA Conference on Tuesday, so there will be no Six Sunday tomorrow, or Monday Hunk, or Grab Bag. I don’t expect to resume normal blogging until August 1. I hope to do some sort of live blogging of the conference, but not sure how that will pan out, so we’ll see!

Writing and the Writing Life:

Romance Writing


In Geekdom:

  • And I’ll leave you with this (h/t The Nerdist):

Weekend Grab Bag – From Writing Tips to Batman Spa (and some Firefly)

Song playing right now on my playlist: “Let’s Dance,” by David Bowie

NEWS: I signed my first contract! BEER AND GROPING IN LAS VEGAS, coming January 2013 from Secret Cravings Publishing!

Writing and the Writing Life:


In Geekdom:

Weekend Grab Bag – From Writing Tips to Star Wars parody of Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’

Song playing right now on my playlist: “Me and Bobby McGee,” Janice Joplin

Writing and the Writing Life:


In Geekdom:

  • And I’ll leave you with this, a parody of Gotye’s music video, “Somebody That I Used To Know” (h/t Stubby the Rocket):

Weekend Grab Bag – From Writing Tips to Whedon as Bathroom Coach

Song playing right now on my playlist: “Monday Morning” Fleetwood Mac

Writing and the Writing Life:

Ada Lovelace:

  • If you’d like to see a Serenity LEGO model crafted by LEGO, sign up here. Less than 900 votes needed to make this a reality!
  • Have you seen Avengers yet?? I can’t wait to get some Joss Whedon goodness. Am going today if I can…
  • Did anyone else catch Nathan Fillion live tweeting Out of Gas and Ariel last Sunday? It was really cool, but distracting, as I was doing word sprints at the time. Plus it was making me sad hearing him talk of his love of the show.
  • for some Whedon weirdness, check out Whedon as Bathroom Coach (h/t the Nerdist):

In Geekdom:

  • check out what the instructions are on Google Maps for the walking option, if you type in directions for The Shire to Mordor
  • And I’ll leave you with this:

Weekend Grab Bag – From Writing Tips to Vader In A Kilt On A Unicycle Playing Bagpipes (I Kid You Not)

Song playing right now on my playlist: “Stray Cat Strut” by Stray Cats

Writing and the Writing Life:

Romance Writers:

Ada Lovelace:

Jane Austen:


In Geekdom:

Monday Hunk Who Reads – Nathan Fillion

By Flickr user RavenU (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ravenu/77053539/) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Flickr user RavenU (http://www.flickr.com/photos/ravenu/77053539/) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

Nathan Fillion

Those of you who know me well may wonder why I haven’t featured Geek God Nathan Fillion before. Well, he was one of the first I looked up when I thought of this weekly feature, but I couldn’t find a picture of him holding a book other than a Richard Castle book.

Fortunately my kick-a$$, ninja searching skills have improved since, and I was able to find these lovelies for you. Also, I will try my darndest not to go all fan-girrl. Okay, deep breath.

For those living under a rock who don’t know who he is, he played Capt. Malcolm Reynolds in the cult TV show Firefly. As you might have noticed from my blog’s logline, I’m a huge Browncoat (fan base’s name). I’m one of the small legion of fans that watched the TV show when it aired. Of course, I followed this charming and talented actor’s career since. Currently, he plays mystery/crime writer Richard Castle on the ABC hit TV show Castle. He’s also the only Hunk Who Reads whom I’ve had the pleasure of meeting. I used to be the organizer of the annual charity screening of Serenity for the city of Atlanta, part of the global Can’t Stop the Serenity event, and one year at Dragon*Con, he was gracious enough to donate and sign two autographed photos (I’d only asked for one) for the silent auction. He was every bit as friendly and charming as you’ve imagined.

In researching his reading tastes and habits, I think I’ve hit upon why it’s so difficult to find pictures of famous men reading when I know they read–they probably own eReaders! It makes sense, traveling as much as they do. But, makes it dang hard to find snapshots. This is the case with Fillion; he’s a big fan of the Kindle and even tweeted someone to buy one to save money and trees.

Okay, on with the fun! Last summer at Comic Con, he revealed he was reading George R. R. Martin’s A Game of Thrones: A Song of Ice and Fire: Book One. During this period he posted this humorous tweet (anyone who’s seen him and/or Alan Tudyk at fan conventions know they love to rib each other):

He must have read through the series pretty quickly, because then in October he tweeted the following, which made me giggle when I first saw it then, and still does:

Fillion’s parents were English teachers and instilled in him the importance of literacy and a love of books. When his friend PJ Haarsma published his first book and heard that kids wanted it in their libraries but librarians couldn’t afford it, Fillion and Haarsma founded (clutch your pearls, girls) the non-profit organization Kids Need to Read (KNTR) in 2007. The Foundation encourages literacy and social responsibility through its gifts of inspiring books to schools, libraries and literacy programs serving disadvantaged children.

In 2009, in an edition of USA Weekend, he talked about his volunteering efforts with KNTR and what makes it worthwhile. He said:

If you can teach a kid to read, he can do anything.

Last October, he tweeted a promo for KNTR where if you purchased the anthology Every Witch Way But Wicked, proceeds would benefit KNTR. (Just a note here: I think this was a temporary promo for Halloween). And in true Browncoat fashion, a group of fans have been holding fundraisers for KNTR since 2010. In this one poverty-stricken elementary school in Chicago, the funds were used to purchase books, and the kids drew their own book covers of their favorites.

So, what is this book his friend did? The Softwire: Virus on Orbis 1 and Haarsma got him to do an audio version of the first three chapters. Here he is recording:

In 2009, Haarsma had a signing at a Barnes & Noble for Haarsma’s book, and Fillion and Alan Tudyk came for support and to promote KNTR. Here’s a pic of some fans and Fillion with a rain stick (it’s a Firefly thing):

The American Library Association featured him in their READ poster program: “We’re thrilled to have Nathan Fillion on our latest READ poster. He’s shown great dedication to engaging young readers with exciting books,” said Rachel Johnson, director of ALA Graphics. “Word of the poster’s debut traveled fast, and members, particularly YA librarians, are clamoring for it.”

In the poster, he is holding Haarsma’s book:

Last March he was at the 2nd Annual Milk + Bookies Celebration at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, California. Some photos from that event.

All right, so what else… Back in 2006, he did a podcast of the novel 7th Son: Descent. During National Breast Cancer Awareness month he asked folks to read Nicki Boscia Durlester’s book, Beyond the Pink Moon: A Memoir of Legacy, Loss and Survival. And here’s a swoon-worthy photo of him holding a baby at a bookstore!
Some fans have started their own Hey Girl meme featuring Fillion:

Want more, you can follow him on Twitter! I’ve been following him for quite a while now, and it’s well worth it. He even posts scavenger hunts in different cities. One day, I hope to be photobombed by him. One can dream, right? Just saw that TV Guide named him one of the Top 30 celebrities to follow on Twitter.

UPDATE: Memory-like-a-steel-trap commenter ‘rre’ dug up some dragon*con footage from 2008 where someone from the audience brought up KNTR and asked each panelist to name their favorite book. Quick-witted Fillion used the opportunity to say Of Mice and Men:

 “It goes to show that as great as it his to have a goofy, comically lovable character in a story, they inevitably have to die,” and looks pointedly at Alan, making allusions to Wash’s death [Tudyk’s character in the movie Firefly/Serenity].

Here’s the video:

video cuts off in the middle of his discussion of the book, so here’s the rest:

Firefly fans might be interested in the short series of blog posts I did back in the fall that featured writing lessons from the show, called Firefly Friday.

So that’s this month’s Hunk Who Reads. If you like these articles, please comment. They’re fun to write, but are time-consuming 🙂 — on that note, if you run across any photos of hunks reading, please let me know.

For further opportunities to idolize men and books:

Reading is sexy people!

Do you have any photos of male celebrities reading?

Come back next month to see the next Hunk Who Reads…

Past Hunks Who Read/Related Articles:

*previous Ovaries Exploding Award winner

Weekend Grab Bag – Writing, Geekiness and Tolkien


Ada Lovelace:


  • This past week if you ran across any Whedonites, you probably saw them grinning with unadulterated joy. Why? Because it was revealed that Joss Whedon, creator of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, had made a film in secret! It started with Nathan Fillion tweeting on Sunday: Oh, it’s real. Very. Very. Real. muchadothemovie.com  – since no one knew of it and Mr. Fillion is known to be a prankster, it was thought to be a joke. But no, Joss Whedon assembled many actors from his previous ventures to make a modern retelling of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing in 14 days! More details here and here

In Geekdom: