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I’ll be in New York City this weekend for BookExpo America and BookCon, and you know what else will be there? The first-ever ARCs of my new book, GIRL SQUADS! Not even I’ve seen a copy of these bad boys yet. If you come to my ARC drops, you can be the first to read this rad new jam all about female friendships in history. Hell yeah. \

Here’s where you can find me!

Friday, June 1

11:30am-12:30pm
Quirk Books booth #2038
GIRL SQUADS ARC Drop and Signing

Saturday, June 2

11:00am-12:00pm
Quirk Books booth #2038
GIRL SQUADS ARC Drop and Signing

xoxo

S

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It’s one million degrees in Phoenix and I’m excited to be there!! If you’re going to be at Phoenix Comic Fest this weekend, I’d love to see you! Here’s where you can find me:

Wednesday, May 23

7:00pm – The Poisoned Pen Bookstore
Elevengeddon. Come meet and greet some great authors pre-con! Like me, but also Victoria Schwab, Delilah Dawson, Scott Sigler, John Scalzi, Chuck Wendig, John Scalzi, and more!

Thursday, May 24

12:00pm – North 125AB
All Bards. It’s D&D. We’re all bards. There’s no bards. Sam Sykes is DM. It’s gonna go great.

1:30pm – North 124AB
Signing for All Bards.

Friday, May 25

4:30pm – 126C
Female Representation Matters. I’m moderating this panel with Romina Russell, Alexandra Monir, Suzanne Young, and Amy Lukavics about how stories featuring strong female leads impact the world and how female writers contribute to our culture.

5:45pm – North 124AB
Signing for Female Representation Matters.

Saturday, May 26

10:30am – North 126C
LGBTQIA Representation in Sci Fi and Fantasy. Gail Carriger is moderating this discussion on issues of representation for LGBTQIA in Science Fiction and Fantasy writing.

3pm – North 126C
Writing Advice I Would Give my Best Friend. Peter Clines is moderating this panel with me, Brandon Mull, and Shannon Messenger on our realest writing advice.

4:30pm – North 124AB
Signing for Writing Advice I Would Give my Best Friend.

Sunday, May 27

12:00pm – North 125AB
Writing Rebel Girls. I’m moderating this talk about the most awesome female characters in fiction with Kristi Charish, Melissa Marr, Gail Carriger, Aprilynne Pike, and Rae Carson.

1:30pm – Changing Hands Author Signing Area
Signing.

xoxo

S

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Grab your sunscreen and get ready for the best and brightest weekend of the year – it’s YALLWEST! I’m so excited to be heading down to Santa Monica High for this festival again, and can’t wait to see y’all there.

Here’s where you can find me this Saturday, May 5th at SaMoHi!

1:00pm – North Gym
Superhero Family Feud with Ryan North, Charles Beacham, Marguerite Bennett, Brian Inithar, Irene Koh, Bill Rosemann, Robert Venditti, Steve Wacker, and Mark Waid

2:00pm – Centennial Quad
Signing – bring your books or grab one on-site!

4:00pm – Cafeteria
Rebel Grrls Rule the Multiverse! with Daron Nefcy, Mallory Schleif, Tilly Walden, Jen Wang, and Wendy Xu

5:00pm – Tent 2
Ms. Space Face – What Would Carrie Fisher Do? – with Veronica Roth, Rhoda Belleza, Claudia Gray, and Jill Scharr

xoxo

S

 

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Hey cowpokes! It’s almost time again for Calgary Expo!

Here’s where you can find me this weekend:

Friday, April 27th

2:45pm – Boyce Theatre
Voice Actor Q&A with Overwatch Stars Fred Tatasciore, Jonny Cruz, & Charlet Chung

6:00pm – Palomino E
Beyond Pokemon: The Voices of Veronica Taylor

Saturday, April 28th

1:00pm – Stampede Corral
Anne of Green Gables with Megan Follows

3:00pm – Stampede Corral
Q&A and Sing-Along with Disney’s Little Mermaid, Jodi Benson

4:15pm – Palomino D
Meet Runaways Star Gregg Sulkin

Sunday, April 29th

1:15pm – Palomino D
Celebrity Q&A with the Queens of Reign – Megan Follows, Rachael Skarsten, & Adelaine Kane

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Hey guys!

It’s that time again, where sand and sun and seriously long lines all converge in one giant, beautiful mess we call San Diego Comic-Con. You can catch me at a few panels and signings this year, so please do come say hi!

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Thursday, July 20th

Real-World Retellings
10:00-11:00am, Room 29AB
Fiction is fantastic, but sometimes we are reminded that while the truth may not be stranger than fiction, it can at least be as compelling. Graeme McMillan of The Hollywood Reporter will lead the discussion with Koren Shadmi (Rise of the Dungeon Master), Box Brown (Tetris), Jonathan Hennessey (Alexander Hamilton), and Sam Maggs (The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy).

Real-World Retellings Signing
11:15-11:45am, Sails Pavilion AA09

Intersectional Feminism in Comics
12:00-1:00pm, Room 32AB
Representation matters, both on and behind the page. Sam Maggs (Wonder Women, Star Trek: Waypoint), Susana Polo (Polygon), Sarah Kuhn (Heroine Complex), Robbie Thompson (Supernatural, Silk), Christina “Steenz” Stewart (Lion Forge Comics), Cait Brennan (Debutante), and Rose Knight (Women Write About Comics) chat about the strides made in representation of race, gender, and sexuality in comics-and how everyone can do better.

Superhero Family Feud
6:00-7:00pm, Horton Grand Theater
Bestselling, award-winning, comic-loving, authors Margaret Stohl (Black Widow, Captain Marvel), Rainbow Rowell (Fangirl, Runaways), Jason Reynolds (Miles Morales: Spider-Man, Ghost), Cecil Castellucci (Tin Star, The Plain Janes), Shannon and Dean Hale (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl: Squirrel Meets World), Ryan North (The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl), Nick Lowe (Marvel Comics editor), and other special guests battle to the finish in this superhero-centric Family Feud -style game.
Please note: free tickets for this event must be acquired Thursday at 9:00am in a drawing in the Autograph Area of the Sails Pavilion.

Friday, July 21st

The Secret Loves of Geek Girls Signing
4:00-5:00pm, Dark Horse booth #2615

Sunday, July 23rd

Moving Beyond the “Strong Female Character”
4:00-5:00pm, Room 32AB
One-dimensionality is so late-’90s; fans need well-written, fully-developed women in their media. Join Sam Maggs (Wonder Women), Amy S. Foster (The Rift: Uprising), Bree Turner (Grimm), Danielle Paige (Dorothy Must Die), Jody Houser (Faith, Orphan Black), Jen Bartel (Jem and the Holograms), Alicia Lutes (Nerdist), and Amy Chu (Poison Ivy, Red Sonja) as they chat about their favorite lady characters, what could be improved, and how creators can make those changes.

Hope to see you there!

xo

S

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Hey buds!

This week, I’m headed out to the best coast for YALLWEST and a quick tour up the good ol’ US of A. If you’re in LA, Albuquerque, Seattle, or Portland, I would love to see you! Here’s my schedule:

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YALLWEST
Saturday, April 29
Santa Monica, CA

11am – Real Stories that Inspire
Gallery
Moderated by Sarah Enni with Sam Maggs, Julie Foudy, Hunter March, Sara Miller, and Josh Sundquist

1pm – Storymakers in Games
Tent
Moderated by Sam Maggs (Bioware, Unannounced Title) with Dave Stohl (Call of Duty), Matt Dunn (League of Legends), Adam Foshko (Activision), Michael Fletcher (Destiny 2), Jason Harris (Destiny 2), Jeff Negus (Call of Duty), Ariel Lawrence (League of Legends) and Taylor Kurosaki (Call of Duty)

2pm – Signing
Centennial Quad
Wonder Women, Star Trek: Waypoint, The Fangirl’s Guide to the Galaxy

5pm – Ask Me Anything: LGBTQIA+
Cafeteria
Moderated by Sam Maggs with Jeramey Kraatz, John Corey Whaley, Adam Silvera, Natalie C. Parker, Benjamin Alire Saenz and CB Lee

6pm – All-Star Smackdown
Barnum Hall
Get tickets here!

LOS ANGELES
Sunday, April 30
4pm – Meltdown Comics
Talk and signing with me, Hope Nicholson (Spectacular Sisterhood), and Ashley Poston (Geekerella).

ALBUQUERQUE
Monday, May 1
6pm – BookWorks (4022 Rio Grande Blvd. NW)
Talk and signing with me, Hope Nicholson (Spectacular Sisterhood), and Ashley Poston (Geekerella).

SEATTLE
Tuesday, May 2
6pm – Tacoma Public Library (1102 Tacoma Ave. S)
Talk and signing with me, Hope Nicholson (Spectacular Sisterhood), and Ashley Poston (Geekerella).

PORTLAND
Wednesday, May 3
7pm – Powell’s (Beaverton)
Talk and signing with me, Hope Nicholson (Spectacular Sisterhood), and Ashley Poston (Geekerella).

Hope to see you there!!

xo

S

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So it’s probably no big secret that I do A Lot of Things. On top of my full-time job writing games, I also write  books, comics, and articles; do radio and TV hits; shoot internet video; travel to conventions and conferences; and still kind of sometimes try to have personal relationships with other human beings (if I absolutely must). People often ask me how I keep all this nonsense straight, and until recently the answer was…

…Very poorly.

I have high anxiety and I’ve always suffered from can’t-turn-my-brain-off-at-night syndrome, and find it can be helpful to get the things I need to do out of my head and on to paper. Unfortunately, my inability to stick to one system of organization meant that I was left with mini-lists in a notebook, in a day planner, on post-it notes, the the Notes app on my phone; anywhere I could jot something down, I did. You can probably guess that this was not Super Effective, and I forgot appointments, calls, and deadlines all the dang time.

That is, until I found

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The first time I saw someone talk about their “BuJo,” I decided to google it, and quickly came across a series of mommy bloggers and professional instagrammers with bullet journals that looked something like this:

Like, nahhh??????? I can’t draw for shit, and I have stuff going on????? I can’t dedicate hours a day to this?????? I wrote it off as a nonsense project for people who aren’t actually busy, and need to find a way to both fill their time and appear busy. But when I tweeted about it, the internet came back to smack me in the face with some sense: it turns out that, below the heavy-calligraphed facade, the bullet journaling system was actually incredibly functional.

Here’s the nuts-and-bolts of it: it’s basically one single repository for all those thousands of notes you used to scribble around haphazardly, so you never forget anything ever again. Bam.

Some other basics:

  • You should use a notebook with dots instead of lines, so you can make your own layouts depending on what is simplest and most useful for you.
  • It’s better than using a proscribed pre-made dayplanner because there are no space limitations – you can take three pages for a busy Monday, a quarter of a page for an empty Tuesday, and another page to jot down notes during a work meeting or about a video game you’re playing. It’s totally freeform.
  • It’s basically just a scheduler/planner, nothing fancier than that.
  • It’s called a bullet “journal” because you never cross out your actual text. That way, you can flip back through your BuJo at a later date, and it will stand as a record of everything you did that year, no extra time-consuming “journaling” required.
  • All that calligraphy and color and shit is cool, but totally unnecessary. I have ZERO artistic talent, but I used to love scrapbooking (when I had more time and space for the hobby), so I use fancy tape and nice markers to make my BoJu look a little zippier. Here is a drawing of LEGO Batman that I did recently to prove to you my lack of artistic skill:
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Listen, I’m a writer. We can’t all be good at everything. It’s fine.

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So, all that being said, here’s the fairly simple, pared-down method I use for organizing my BuJo.

First: the journal itself! The internet largely recommends a Leuchtturm1917 (gesundheit!) Medium Dotted Hardcover Notebook (Canada/US). It’s like $20 and lasts ages.

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I made that shitty cover with some washi tape and a piece of paper.

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Dotted pages, not lined.

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My tools are pretty simple. I have a selection of colorful and metallic markers and pens that I keep in this cute ALBinWonderland pouch. My friend Karyn also recently got me a set of erasable marker-pens that have really come in handy for times when I goof (frequently).

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I also use this book of planner-specific stickers that I got at Staples (for cheap with my weekly 40% off coupon).

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Add in some rolls of nice-lookin’ washi tape (also from Staples); a ruler; a pair of scissors (only if you really care about the edges of your tape; otherwise, just tear it); and a selection of stickers that I’ve picked up at various conventions over time.

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Bonus Kevin Wada commission of Nico Minoru that currently lives on my at-home work desk.

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Now, to get into it. The great thing about the Leuchtturm1917 books is that they come with a pre-made index in the front. You use this to jot down any page numbers that you might need quick access to later. I mostly use mine to keep track of when a new month starts.

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Next, the almighty bullet journaling Code. These are the different types of bullet points you use for different tasks. Most things get a regular bullet. When you finish a task, you put an X through the bullet. If something gets moved until tomorrow, you put a little -> arrow over the bullet. The rest of them I honestly don’t even really use, but people like them, so here they are.

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Here’s my long-term planning page. I have a little section for each of the upcoming 6 months. Anything I plan now that will happen later in the year lives here. Traveling to the Yukon in August? Slap those dates down now so you don’t forget.

I just make these one at a time – the odds that I’ll be planning something now for October or onwards are pretty slim, so I think that’s okay. You only have to make one of these pages every six months.

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At the beginning of each month, you make a “monthly spread” (read: it’s a fucking calendar). On this page, you’ll take each item in that month from that long-term planning page and move it onto its corresponding day here. Once the month begins, any plans I make for later in the month go directly on here.

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Here’s how I set up my monthly boxes. That tends to be enough space for the amount that I might schedule on any given day. Down the left side, you add in each numerical date and an initial for their corresponding week day. I break it up by week with a line between every Sunday and Monday.

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On the right, I’ve added a little quote, plus boxes for month-long goals and general notes. You can do anything you want with that remaining space.

Now fill ‘er in! I like to shade out-of-town travel times with pencil crayons (or “colored pencils” for you Southern heathens out there).

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As you can see, you have to get over being precious about the look of your journal pretty quickly. I’ve had to cross a bunch of stuff out; I’ve made lines in wrong places; I’ve smudged some marker on the page. Whatever – nobody is going to see it but you, right?

That being said, this post is stressing me out. Anyways, you can take a look at February as well, which also got pretty messy.

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Every Sunday, I make a “weekly spread.” Everything from in my monthly spread for that coming week migrates onto here. Any plans I make for later in the week I just put here.

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I split the page into 6 sections (one for each weekday and one for the weekend), and washi tape divides the page horizontally. On the bottom, I have three blocks for notes and/or stickers, and one for a daily tracker.

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Add that week’s dates and whatever you’d like to track. I have cabs taken, credit card use, whether or not I read that day, whether or not I meditated that day, and how many hours of sleep I got.

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Fill that in with everything from your monthly spread. I usually use the little empty note blocks to jot down other things that I need to do during the week, but aren’t assigned to any specific date (go to the bank, mail a parcel, etc).

Then, you’ve got your daily spread! At the beginning of each day, you take whatever is in  your weekly spread and put it down in bullets. This is your daily to-do list. Anything else that comes up during the day, pop it down here. Cross bullets off with X or -> them as you complete them or put them off, respectively.

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Ideally every day would be pretty with tape and markers, but sometimes shit just ends up looking like this, because I make it at work on the fly. Hallowe’en got stickers; the rest of the week… did not.

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What I like about the -> system in particular is that it really forces you to look at what you’ve been putting off. You have to rewrite that item each day, so it shames you into getting it done. Here you can see that I put off calling my sweet, sweet stará mama for five whole days before I finally got it done. I am a bad granddaughter.

Beyond daily planning stuff, you can also use the notebook for literally any random nonsense you want. Here’s an entry from the last day of my life, AKA the day I started playing Stardew Valley.

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At the beginning of 2017, I also started a page to keep track of what games, books, movies, and TV shows I would consume during the coming year.

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So that’s it! That’s the whole process. Each morning I just throw down everything I need to get done into bullet points, and any plans that come up for later in the week, month, or year go directly into their respective spreads. The only time I ever miss an appointment these days is when I leave my BuJo in my backpack for the weekend!

Keep in mind that I’m a super-beginner at this still, so if you have any questions or suggestions or want to show me your own spreads, please feel free to hit me up on Twitter @SamMaggs! This is just what works best for me, and, honestly, it’s changed my life. I’m so organized now, y’all? So organized.

Um, that doesn’t mean I want more to do, though. I’m good. We’re good here. All good.

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