Tag Archives: celebration

Day 14: How’s the Weight Loss Program Working?

by Lillian Csernica on February 2, 2017



Answer: Fourteen pounds in fourteen days. Yes, that’s right. I’ve lost on average one pound every day since I began the program.

This is not a testimonial or an infomercial. This is a celebration of overcoming a problem I’ve had since I was ten years old.


I like eating vegetables. I like cooking. I can’t remember how I got into the rut of relying mostly on fast food or microwave dinners. When the kids were little I had to eat fast when I had a free moment, sure. The boys are legal adults now. It’s high time I abandoned the old instant gratification pattern for long term health and well-being.

All this without a specific exercise program. I’m still wearing the knee brace. There’s a communication problem between my doctor and the physical therapy people. I am in the middle, trying to get that sorted out. Until I know what I can and can’t do while my knee recuperates, I have to be careful.

Meanwhile, let me just say that I love Quest protein bars. So many flavors to choose from!



Filed under chocolate, doctors, Food, Goals, Lillian Csernica, parenting, Self-image, Special needs

NaNoWriMo 2016: VICTORY!

by Lillian Csernica on November 30, 2016



Yes, ladies and gentlemen, Bouquet of Rivals, Book 3 of The Flower Maiden Saga, weighs in at 50,064 words.




Filed under Awards, creativity, dreams, editing, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, historical fiction, history, Japan, Kyoto, Lillian Csernica, love, research, romance, travel, Writing

How Do You Make A Dream Come True?

by Lillian Csernica on October 20, 2015

Ladies and gentlemen, I am about to accomplish the Number One item on my Bucket List.

Tomorrow morning I depart for a solid week in Kyoto, Japan.

My husband is a kind and generous man.  I complain about him, I tease him by referring to him as The Spousal Unit, but I have to say he gives me the best gifts.  Chris says that because I was willing to spend two months living in the hospital with Michael, because I cancelled my plans to attend Sasquan, the World Science Fiction Convention, and because I made life easier on everybody here at home who kept up our normal routine, I deserved something special.

So he decided to make my dream come true.  What’s more, I get to take my best friend Pat with me.


Kyoto is the location for the third book in my Flower Maiden Saga.  I’ve already done a lot of research, but nothing could be better than being right there in one of the greatest cities on earth, a city that has stood for over a thousand years.  And it’s time for the maple leaves to turn color!  The temple gardens will be absolutely gorgeous!


Kyoto is also the city where in the Heian Period a lady known as Murasaki Shikibu wrote the world’s first novel, The Tale of Genji.  That makes this trip something of an artistic pilgrimage to the place where the world’s first novel was written by a woman, a lady of the court whose name continues to be known and respected more than ten centuries later.

My steampunk stories featuring Dr. Harrington and his family center around Kiyomizudera, the Pure Water Temple.  The climax of my historical espionage story “Tea & Trickery” (in AlternaTEAs, forthcoming from Sky Warrior Books) takes place aboard a steam train that departs from Kyoto.  I can’t wait to walk the streets my characters walk, and to stand in the places where their stories unfold.

I probably won’t be online much.  There’s a whole lot to see in Kyoto!  Pat and I will be out there walking through the city, riding the trains, and sharing what may well be our greatest adventure yet!


Filed under dreams, history, Japan, Kyoto, nature, romance, travel, Writing

A Thousand Thanks

by Lillian Csernica on May 26, 2015

Hi there.  I have recovered to the point where I stand a good chance of writing a coherent post here.  The Memorial Day Weekend was spectacular.  Sorry I didn’t manage to blog from the cons as I’d hoped to.  A few items were added to my schedule.  I spent the weekend either speaking before an audience, reading my work aloud, enjoying the company of some truly outstanding people, or trying to scrape together a few hours of sleep.

Sharon Cathcart, Thena MacArthur, and the other folks responsible for Clockwork Alchemy.  What a blast.  When I showed up for the release party for Twelve Hours Later, I had no idea I would be reading my work in front of Harry Turtledove himself.

Jeffrey Cathcart, a gentleman of many talents who is endlessly entertaining.

The team at Artistic Solutions, Inc., responsible for all the marvelous parts of BayCon.  I saw many of my favorite people from the Bay Area con scene, and scored several highly entertaining ribbons for my badge.

Steven Mix saw fit to honor me with a “Mixy,” this gorgeous trophy that consists of three golden stars rising up from the marble base.  When I asked what the award was for, he told me “general awesomeness.”

Justin and Bethany from Dreadfully Punk were kind enough to express their enjoyment of my story “In the Midnight Hour” by giving me a pair of their absolutely marvelous earrings.  Go see what else they have to offer!

Emerian Rich and all the Horror Addicts contributors who turned up for the Horror Addicts BoF.  We had such a good time!

The World’s Tallest Leprechaun.  It’s a good thing I don’t drink, or I would not believe I actually saw him.

The delightful young lady who thanked me in glowing terms for the talk I gave on “Steampunk Alchemy.”  I’m always happy to see the younger generation at cons, and I’m even happier to know the information I provide in my talks is useful to them.

The person who told me he’d heard about The Writer’s Spellbook on another panel about writing techniques.  It gladdens my heart to know all my shameless self-promotion is having an effect!

A big thank you to all the folks who attended the panels, readings, room parties and other events where I appeared or participated.  As far as convention experiences go, this weekend was a personal best for me.  I really think I broke the Fun Barrier!


Filed under Conventions, cosplay, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, history, steampunk

Meet the Real Me, Live and In Person!

by Lillian Csernica on May 16, 2015

Convention season is underway, which means I’ll be out and about performing my Shameless Self-Promotion Road Show.

Memorial Day Weekend is just around the corner!  I will be appearing at two, count ’em, TWO separate conventions!


At Clockwork Alchemy:

5 to 6 p.m. “Nemo’s Realm: Steampunk Underwater.”

6 to 7 p.m. “Steampunk Alchemy.”

7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Twelve Hours Later release party!

At BayCon:


8:30 p.m. Horror Addicts.net BoF/Author Showcase

Hang out with fellow horror fans!  Meet some of the Horror Addicts!  Win prizes!


At BayCon:

4 p.m. Death panel — How our culture deals with death, or fails to.

I’ll be telling the true story of what happened in 1987 when I died in a car accident!

At Clockwork Alchemy:

6 to 7 p.m. “Steampunk Trinkets”

8 to 10 p.m. “Steampunk Mythology”

Come one, come all!  We’ll be breaking down steam power to its component parts, then dreaming up gods, goddesses, spirits, elementals, and other appropriate Powers That Be to preside over each component.  Be there for the creation of the first Steampunk Pantheon!


At BayCon:

11:30 a.m. “Vic Spec Fic”

This is short for Victorian Speculative Fiction, best typified by Jules Verne.  There’s a whole lot more worth exploring, so come join my fellow panelists as we compare and contrast the best and the worst of the period!


To Be Announced.  I have no official commitments right now, but you know me!  I’m sure to be up to something!



Filed under Conventions, fairy tales, fantasy, Fiction, history, steampunk

Mom’s Official Day Off

by Lillian Csernica on May 9, 2015

Here in the United States, tomorrow is Mother’s Day.  This is the day on which we recognize all the love, the effort, and the sacrifices mothers provide for their children.  The traditional observance is taking Mom out to brunch or perhaps dinner, so she doesn’t have to cook or clean up afterward.

Mothers deserve more than one day of official recognition.  We deserve two weeks’ paid vacation with full benefits and room service.  Then maybe somebody would notice how many people it takes to do all of the work just one of us accomplishes on a daily basis.

When John was little, he was a “runner.”  He got out the front door one day and took off up the stairs to street level.  I went after him, slipped on one of the steps, and tore my right calf muscle.  I was laid up for about two weeks, spending the first week off my feet entirely.  My mother came over to help.  My mother-in-law flew in from New Jersey to help.  I think the final total was five people coming on board.  While my leg put me in a whole new world of pain, I must admit I rather enjoyed the validation of my nearest and dearest finding out just how much I really did do around the house.

I do not recommend this method of getting people’s attention.

So to all the mothers out there, birth, adopted, foster, grand-, god-, and fairy godmothers as well, I salute you and all that you do for the people you love.


Filed under Family, Goals, housework, mother

NaNoWriMo Finish Line!

by Lillian Csernica on November 26, 2014




50,156 total word count so far.

Not bad for my first try!


Filed under Awards, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, history, Japan, love, marriage, romance, Writing

Crossing the “Finish it!” Line

by Lillian Csernica on October 20, 2014

Today is a glorious day for me.  Today I sent my novel manuscript to my agent.

It’s been a while since I’ve experienced the exhilaration of this singular experience.  Sword Master, Flower Maiden is 90, 000 words long.   All those words have been written, rewritten, cut and reorganized and cut and polished and cut a bit more.  I think I have an inkling of how a gem cutter must feel when the diamond comes out just right.  Patient application of both art and craft has brought out the special quality in the heart of the stone.


I want to go out and party.  I want to eat ice cream.  I want to drive down the coast hanging my head out the window while the breeze whips my long hair into impossible knots.

This is what happens when I finally reach that point where I can say, “Yes, the book is done!”  My agent may disagree, and that’s OK.  She showed me how to make Ship of Dreams a stronger and better story.  I have faith in her knowledge and her instincts.  Until she gets back to me, I can do the happy dance that goes along with this stage of writing and publishing a novel.

So now what?  What do I do now that I have Finished My Novel?  I start writing the next one.  “Wait!” you might say.  “Don’t you get a break?  Don’t you get to relax for a while?”  Sure.  Tonight I’ll eat ice cream and watch “Cupcake Wars” on Netflix.  Tomorrow I keep working on the plot outline for the sequel.  NaNoWriMo is just around the corner.  I want to be ready to take a flying leap into the adventure of cranking out 50,000 words in just 30 days.  Time to pull a kitchen sink and throw everything into the ms that seems like a good idea at the time.  I’ll sift it later and make those creative decisions that move my hero and heroine forward on both their personal character arcs and on the major story arc as a whole.

I did do something really cool to celebrate finishing this novel.  I bought myself a present.  Thanks to the nice folks at Teespring, I now have a black long-sleeved shirt with a message on the front that reads:


What’s your superpower?”

So here’s a high five to all my NaNoWriMo comrades, and to all my fellow novelists.  Let’s cheer each other on as we cross our individual finish lines.


Filed under Awards, Blog challenges, chocolate, fantasy, Fiction, Goals, history, Japan, love, marriage, romance, Writing

Doing the Happy Dance

by Lillian Csernica on August 18, 2014

I am delighted to share with you the latest milestone in my writing career.

As of 2:17 a.m. this morning, I have completed this edit of my current novel!

What does this mean?

I made several improvements in the story.
I expanded the role of one character and reduced the role of another.
I fixed the errors in my Japanese words and phrases.
I cut one hundred and fifty-two pages from the manuscript.

The time has not yet come to send the book to my agent.  I have another sixty-six pages to cut.  That will be easier now that the plot has come into clearer focus.  I need to double check a few fine points of Tokugawa period clothing.  I also want to verify my fictional locations on a map of Satsuma (now Kagoshima) so my travel times and overall timetable are still correct given some of the changes in the story.

Even so, I did it!  I got all the way through the edit!  I had hoped to be done by the end of July.  I am eighteen days past that deadline, which all things considered isn’t that bad.  Now for the fun part.  While I finish the clean up work on this manuscript, I’d better get to work on the second book of the trilogy!  Fortune favors the prepared mind.  I want to be ready just in case Lady Luck offers me a three book contract!



Filed under fantasy, Fiction, Goals, history, Japan, love, marriage, romance, Writing