My Panels at SL Comic Con FanX 2016: Gaining Writer Resilience, Writing Tough Topics for YA, and Going Beyond Steampunk Goggles

Cindy Grigg Profile Comic Con 2016

SL Comic Con FanX 2016 is upon us! Here’s what I’m promoting and where I’ll be.

First of all, this is my first time having a booth, so look for my boutique press Misch Masch Publishing in Artist’s Alley, with CrankLeft. Our address is Teal 3. Come say hi!

I’m promoting three books:

First, the Peacock Lavine and the Aetherian Fates of Nott series, about an immortal Valkyrie who lives among mortals in Regency London.


“A Norse Steampunk and Urban Fantasy Rollick and Tussle Through an Alternative Regency Iceland, England, and the Afterlife”, Peacock Lavine and the Aetherian Fates of Nott includes notes of Jane Austen’s day but with airships, societal hermits, Luddites, and of course, Norse supernaturals.

And yes, it’s okay to go Regency rather than Victorian and still be steampunk because the Industrial Revolution began in the 18th century.

This has been incredibly fun to write, and it definitely covers a lot of ground, so it may need to be your next adventure novel.

Please note that you may want to preview this book before sharing it with your mature MG’s. It’s pretty tame but does reference violence (Valkyries are Shieldmaidens and this is during the time of the Napoleonic Wars, plus Ragnarok!), sex (that it happens, not a play by play), and garden variety swears. The protagonist is 18 years old, but she’s lived in a compound so she’s both figuring out who she is and where she fits in the larger world. For that reason, both MG and YA readers may relate.



Here’s Contestant #2!

Psychopomps or “guides of souls” are those entities who escort the nearly or newly dead to an afterlife realm.Psychopomps Cover 20


Little Bundle of Death by BEN LANE HODSON  


The Sea of Ghosts by RAYCHEL ROSE


Mobile Dusters by E.W. FARNSWORTH


 The Resurrectionist’s Kiss by CINDY GRIGG





The third book is for writers, detailing how I speak my drafts rather than typing them, which has helped me be active by going on Writer Walkabouts, increase my daily word count, and more. A total lifestyle-changer, whether you write fiction or non-fiction!

I include a system of drills that are hopefully fun, as they incorporate works of classic literature.

Once you master this skill, you will feel like you’re working with eight arms and an octopod’s evil genius mind!!

The Productive Authors Guide to Dictation Full Cover E 2.png

Note: This is a new cover for the print version. The eBook features a previous cover until early April. Same content either way.




Friday March 25, 2016 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm



Check out this main Panel Programming Page for more details, and have a wonderful week!

My Panelist Schedule for Comic Con 2015 #FanX15 in SLC

Comic Con FanX 2015

I am super excited to be a panelist at next week’s Comic Con 2015: Fan Experience in Salt Lake City, Utah. The last couple have been an absolute blast! 


For all you writers, my book about how to save your poor wrists while amplifying your hourly word count came out a month ago: HOW TO DICTATE YOUR WRITING LIKE IT’S…2015. The first book in my middle grade series HULDUSNOOPS is also available, for those of you needing some Icelandic fantasy / sci fi in your lives (this should be all of you).

13 Advantages to Dictating Your Writing and What a Writing Walkabout Looks Like

Here is my panelist schedule, though you can also search for my name on the main event site or download the app. Please come up and say hi!

Friday January 30, 2015

2:00 pm: Writing and Health, Ballroom C

8:00 pm: Equality in Speculative Fiction, Ballroom C

I love going to Cons. The energy you get from being around that much nerdiness and creativity is palpable. And in the words of Stan Lee:

Comic Con Stan Lee Quote

So. Whether you are local or need to make the trip, it sounds like this is where you should be next weekend!!

But if you can’t make it, I’ll be posting about epic costumes and miscellany on Instagram which feeds to the right on this blog. 

Sabotage! 7 Ways to Deal with Writing Saboteurs

I don’t have any saboteurs of my writing at the moment–and it occurred to me, that’s just the time to write this post! Because I have had writing saboteurs in the past and human nature being what it is, I’m sure to have them in the future.

I love this definition of sabotage by Merriam Webster:

Sabotage:  The act of destroying or damaging something deliberately so that it does not work correctly.

To fight sabotage, consider these 7 strategies. The last several deal with people you can neither change nor easily walk away from, because that’s when sabotage really gets tricky.

1. Check the Person in the Mirror

That intelligent person you see in the mirror every day could easily be your most subtle writing saboteur.

One solution: When I first started writing, I wrote a kind of journal of what it was like to write. That revealed to me how often my mind churned out sabotage. 

“I think that sometimes love gets in the way of itself – you know, love interrupts itself. We want things so much that we sabotage them.” – Jack White

“Self-sabotage is when we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn’t happen.” – Alyce P. Cornyn-Selby

2. Check that Person in the Mirror Again!

I’ve found it important to also be aware of how I behave as a saboteur. For example, I think most of us struggle with gossip. This creates a lot of problems for myself and those I am ‘trying to understand’ (we’re usually not, we’re usually judging) and a ton of lousy energy.

“Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.” – Marie Curie

When trying to cleanse my own psyche of those trying to sabotage me, it makes no sense to be sabotaging others’ lives in any way. Putting other writers down makes you a worse writer every time, not a better one.

One solution: Gossip to a piece of paper, or your word processor, then burn it or delete it. Don’t hang onto it once it’s out. Or ‘gossip’ to your higher power to iron your feelings out, but don’t gossip to other people.

3. Become Better at Discerning When Sabotage is at Work and When It’s Not

Writing is important to me, but it’s not the most important thing to me and probably isn’t to you, either. If someone is pointing out my own priorities of family, for example, they are probably not sabotaging me.

Also, while most discussion or criticism of your work should not be labeled sabotage, be savvy enough to know that sometimes communication really is motivated by petty insecurity.

eCard 1

Examples I and other writers have experienced include:

  • Authors of one sub-genre type putting down another entire sub-genre type (‘hard sci fi’ putting down ‘soft sci fi’, etc.)
  • Traditionally-published authors putting down all self-published authors, or vice versa
  • Reviewers, commenters, or even agents who want to be writers but aren’t yet so they lash out
  • Writing panelists who attack each other’s comments in front of an audience instead of cordially disagreeing
  • Writing industry politics in general

One Solution: Don’t internalize this stuff or even hate people for spewing it, because it’s very human.

Taylor Swift has it right, you must shake it off, though that song brings me to an important point. Expressing opinions or taste does not automatically make anyone a saboteur or a hater. For example, I cringe during the part where she starts talking in that song. It just doesn’t work for me. Is that gossip? Hate? Sabotage? Nope, that’s preference. That’s giving an honest review.

If I share in gossip or write some nasty review that tries to undermine someone’s good name, confidence, or sense of purpose as an artist–particularly to make myself feel or look better–that’s sabotage.

4. Lovingly Help Others Identify Sabotage When It’s Happening

Most of us aren’t jerks at our foundation. Most of us sabotage others out of non-awareness of our own fears: fear we won’t keep up; fear of losing comforts; fear of losing love; fear that we’ll never have what they have even though we feel we’ve worked harder for it; etc.

“Men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire.” – Dan Brown, The Da Vinci Code

One solution: Ask a question rather than out-and-out accusing someone of sabotaging you. I had the most success asking it this way: “Does me being a writer lead you to feel something that I’m not aware of, and if so, what is it so we can work it out?”

5. Re-wire Internal Responses to Sabotage

The jerk on the bus who scowls and tells you writing is a waste of time you can easily get away from. Your significant other, parent, friend, writing teacher, or others, not so much.

“There is a stubbornness about me that never can bear to be frightened at the will of others. My courage always rises at every attempt to intimidate me.” – Jane Austen, Pride and Prejudice

One solution: When people sabotage me, I can recondition my response to rejection. While it’s important to not smother the feelings of hurt and betrayal rejection necessarily brings with it, on a functional level, make sure writing operations do not shut down as you’re dealing with that! This way, someone else’s funk doesn’t rob me of my dreams.

6. Define Your ‘Walk-Away Points’

When I go in for a job interview, I should know how low a salary I’ll accept. What’s my walk-away point? Even with my most treasured relationship, there is a potential point I would jettison it all if things got terrible enough.

One Solution: I’m not advocating being reactionary or throwing relationships away. I’m advocating defining your boundaries. Clearly define for yourself the point at which ongoing toxic messages do or do not constitute a walk-away point, either from the person or from writing. That’s important to know about yourself.

 “You need boundaries…even in our material creations, boundaries mark the most beautiful of places, between the ocean and the shore, between the mountains and the plains, where the canyon meets the river.”
– Wm. Paul Young

7. Determine a Go-To ‘Walk-Away’ Procedure

If my walk-away point is reached, I’m going to be emotionally-spent so it’s always good to determine beforehand what I want to do, while I have all my mental and emotional faculties, and so I don’t overreact.  Am I going to put up with it while being better at not absorbing their toxic messages? Am I going to just stop contacting this person altogether until things change? Am I going to suggest counseling or mediation, knowing there’s probably a deeper problem behind the sabotage? It’s a personal question.

One solution: I haven’t had to do any of those things I just mentioned yet, thank goodness. Most people, when made aware of it, stop sabotaging. But when I realized one of my saboteurs would not relent, I made my writing a subject we would no longer discuss. I’ve had to use that a time or two since then as well, temporarily, so this has become my ‘walk-away’ procedure. I ask both of us to walk-away from the topic, not each other.

So far, it’s helped!

Any ways you’ve used to manage intentional or unintentional saboteurs to your writing? Please share!