Archive for the ‘updates’ Category

Oh HEY. It’s March. Where did February go??

It felt like January took roughly 11.3 years to get through and then I blinked and it was March 1st. WOW.

Because time got away from me, there are a couple of links that you may have missed.

Author Interview

First, I had a fantastic time chatting about Threadwalkers with Jennifer Holmquist, aka Magic Cat Jenny, over on her YouTube channel:

Book Review

Second, Time Travel Nexus published a lovely review of Threadwalkers earlier this week, which you can read here.

Don’t forget you can always find reviews, media, and bonus content on the Media and Bonus Content page of this site. 🙂

(Vitural) Book Tour

Third, I’m going on (virtual) tour! Starting next week, I’ll be hanging out on various book blogs in the form of guest posts and interviews, and there will be many more reviews! If you want to follow along, here’s the planned schedule:

March 5th

March 6th

March 7th

March 8th

March 9th

So I’ll be seeing you a lot next week as I try to stay on top of these. I’ll also link back to these sites each day as the posts go live so they are easy to find.

#BYJoStraw Project

In other, non-Threadwalkers news, I’ve started a new instagram account to document a project I’m doing this term for my master’s program. I was challenged to find something to promote biodiversity, so I decided to give up single-use plastic straws! In the US alone, we go through an estimated 500 million straws A DAY. They can’t be recycled and it takes each one 200 years to decompose. YIKES. I ordered a glass straw from Simply Straws, and honestly, it’s been SO much fun to use! I take it with me everywhere in its cloth sleeve, and it’s got a cleaning brush and everything. Here’s my straw in action:

If you want one of your own, you can use my referral link to Simply Straws for 25% off your first purchase. In the spirit of full disclosure, I will let you know that I also get rewards when you use the link. So basically we both save money and there’s less plastic pollution. It’s a win-win-win.

So there’s the full update! In theory I’ll be back on Monday with links to FUN THINGS! Woot!


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Well, here we are.

It’s 2018, we’ve moved halfway across the country, and life is beginning to show the signs of settling back into some sense of normalcy in our household. J went back to work and I am waiting on school to start and generally speaking we’ve got an idea of the next few months.

If you follow me on instagram, you’ve seen some of our recent local adventures, now that we’re back in southern California.

Silver and gold sunset

A post shared by Joanna (@joannavolavka) on

It’s been good to be out of the cold weather, and I can already feel my mental health improving. It also helps that not only do I have friends still here, but I actually have, somehow, more friends here than I did when we left three years ago. Some have moved here and others have naturally grown from acquaintances to friends from just being in my broader circle, and I’m grateful for all of them. And, unlike my usual moves where I don’t have a niche (which is an ongoing issue for military spouses, and one that I should probably blog about separately), I also have a cohort to join and which has already been welcoming and happy to meet me.

So all in all, things are good.

And what of the writing?

Well, I’m working on a couple of things. The first is a fresh media push for THREADWALKERS, including a local book launch sometime in the next couple of months. (I’m seeking book bloggers/vloggers/etc for reviews and interviews and all, so if you are interested or know someone who is, please get in touch!)

I’m also working on the next book… It’s not a follow-up to THREADWALKERS but a new thing entirely. It started as a pet project to get some ideas out of my head but has grown into a thing that might turn into a Book. We will see. There’s still a lot of work to do.

What can you expect in 2018 from me?

  • I’ll be going to some conventions this year (would a schedule on my About page be of interest?).
  • New content related to military spouse life.
  • New content related to writing.
  • More travelogue things because you know I won’t stop traveling and that’s what I enjoy writing about here the most.

So there’s the update! If there’s anything you’d like to know more about, just get in touch! 

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Yesterday was a little busy for me online! If you didn’t notice, I launched a Facebook page where you can follow news updates as I post them, and maybe events and things. I’m not sure yet. It just seemed like a good way to connect with folks who don’t follow me here. Regardless, you can mosey on over here if you like and give me a follow, or maybe share the page. That would be nice.

In the meantime, you may have noticed a few changes to this site in the last two days. It’s nothing huge in terms of design, but you’ll notice some tweaks to the tabs up at the top, including a new one with information about the book. AND if you click on it, you’ll find that there’s a link to a SNEAK PREVIEW. You can read chapter one as well as the summary of what it’s about. Yay!

I can’t post much more than that right now, but I’ll keep updating it with info as I have it, including dates and the cover reveal and all. Stay tuned!

Upcoming Event:

Next month my publisher will have a cover reveal party on Twitter, and that includes the cover for Threadwalkers! And of course I’ll post it here once it’s public, but I’m really excited to share it with you. For now all I’ll say is that it’s got my name on it, which to be honest is still a little surreal. In any case, I think you’ll like it. I do. ^_^

So there’s all the news I’ve got for now! Enjoy the sneak peak!


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I know it’s been quiet over here for a couple of weeks, but life has been moving at breakneck speed, leaving me very little time to blog anything for a bit. I’ve got another post coming on Thursday where I’ll talk a little about PCSing with my cats (which is always the most stressful part of moving but I’ve also gotten fairly practiced at it) but in the meantime how about a life update?

Because I have NEWS.

As of last week, I am officially signed with 50/50 Press to publish my debut novel, Threadwalkers. Yay!!

I don’t have any more details just yet as I still need to go through the editing process, not to mention formatting and cover design and all kinds of things I probably haven’t thought of yet, much less setting a publication date, but trust me that I will keep you posted.

I know.

A little about the book: Threadwalkers is a YA science-fiction time travel story, told from the point of view of a 16 year old girl whose life starts to unravel around her as small changes in her past have big implications in the present. And that’s all I’ll say for now! There will be more as I can share it, I promise.

I’m excited to share this story with all of you, and hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

ALSO check out this AMAZING family portrait by my friend Em Somerville!
Volavka family portrait by Em SomervilleI love it so much! It’s now the featured photo on my “About” page. She even included my dinosaur necklace. ^_^ Thanks, Emma!!


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Oh hey, it’s March! Around the middle of this month, we enter the “9 month window” for transfer where we get to look at possible orders that J could get. Do I know what they are yet? Nope! But that’s okay. We’ve got another week or so. I’m anxious…but trying not to think about it too hard.

It’s been interesting the last couple of weeks, looking back at my older posts from our first PCS together, to Hawaii. I actually haven’t written much about “navy life” since then, as it became kind of routine for me, though those first couple of years in Hawaii were something else entirely. “Adjustment” is the understatement. We moved to a whole new culture, both in terms of Hawaii itself and in terms of suddenly living on base and being part of a sea-going command. J’s first command in Italy was mostly always in port, even though they were “at sea”– repair stations are different beasts– and then he was on shore duty and at school, so it was a pretty big shift for both of us.

Anyway, there were all kinds of lessons to learn, from how to deal with military housing, to finding my footing in the middle of a LOT of other military spouses, to just getting around places. Maybe it’s time to revisit some of those older experiences and respond to myself with the Things I Know Now.

I guess I don’t have much else to say except that I felt the need to check in and record where my mind is leading up to this next PCS. The slightly weird thing is that at this point we’ve been to enough places that there’s about a 50% chance we’ll be going “back to” someplace, which is both reassuring and…not. Friends aren’t necessarily in those places anymore so in a sense, it’ll be starting from scratch regardless. In another sense, I now know the housing markets, etc, in those places, which would make it a lot easier.

I’m going to wrap things up for now. If there’s anything you specifically want to know about this process, please feel free to ask! I’m not always sure what’s of interest and am just rambling for now. Heh.


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*taps mic*

Is this thing on?

So… it’s been a while. And I hate HATE starting out a blog post by saying that but as my last post to this blog was in, oh, MAY of last year, I can honestly say “It’s been a while” with no trace of irony whatsoever and really who can even properly read irony on blogs anymore anyway? (I’m hoping you can. I’m a heavy user of irony and also satire and puns though maybe puns the most. Despite this, my most viewed and commented upon blog post continues to be the ridiculous one about North Dakota even though I keep replying to Every.Single.Comment. with a link to the definition of “satire” from and still people don’t notice. It’s amazing.)

I am also a heavy parenthetical user. I offer no mea culpa. Parentheticals are useful.

So where are we? Well, we are 10 months from our next transfer with the US Navy and there have been enough folks expressing an interest in the process that I have agreed (agreed? decided? I’m not sure. I’ll go with ENCOURAGED) I have been encouraged to document the process as we go through it. I may (will most likely) have other thoughts about things as we progress and will try to offer as much explanation as I can, with a few caveats.

Caveat 1: I will not provide exact dates for things. If this continues and we get into any kind of military-related timetables, they will not be posted here. These’s this thing called Operational Security. It matters.

Caveat 2: I will probably repeat this one a lot, but for the purposes of clarity you should know that my spouse is in the Navy (other military branches have different processes) and Enlisted (Officers in the Navy also have different processes) and active duty (again, reservists have… you get the idea). That being said, this is only my perspective. Yours is probably different. I will regularly remind you that your mileage may vary.


So there we are. I have no additional things to say except that this photo is the most recent one I have of us, taken on the way to brunch on Saturday, and though I didn’t notice it until later I’m very entertained by the street signs above our heads. Oh good, now you’ve seen them, too.

More soon. Probably. Assuming I can put jumbled thoughts into less jumbled paragraphs.


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No, not the new computer.

That happened a couple of years ago, but I had a handy dandy external hard drive with everything backed up on it. It’s about my third or fourth, and I migrate my data every couple of years to keep it safe. YAY! Everyone is happy!


But then, due to a weird sequence of events…. well….

I bought a new computer about 6 months ago. My external has been working wonderfully with the new desktop and I’ve been happily chugging along.

train chugging gif

Then we moved 6 weeks earlier than anticipated. When we packed up the computer, I backed everything from it onto the hard drive. I did not mirror 15 years worth of data from the hard drive onto the desktop.

We flew to Raleigh for my sister’s wedding. It was lovely. When I got home, my computer seemed a-okay.

About two weeks after we got back, one day I tried to access a file I use regularly and…..nothing.


luke nooooo gif

The hard drive was powered on but the computer wouldn’t recognize it.


vader nooooo gif

My music, my photos, my writing…


Cue the crisis.

troy nooo gif

So I took it to a place where they check on such technological things, and once they physically pulled it all apart, they can mirror the data onto a new hard drive.


But in the meantime while I wait to get that back…. I don’t have my photos. So there won’t be any more 2015 Travelogue posts for a bit. I’ve got one sitting in pending waiting for pictures, but…. y’know, no photos.


PS: When they called me to talk to me about the contents of the hard drive to make sure they were “finding everything,” the conversation went something like this….

IT dude: So, can you tell me what’s on this device?
Me: Uhhhmmmm nope. It’s got everything on it since college so I’m not totally sure what all’s there.
IT dude: Okay, I’ll read you some of what I’m seeing. So there are 9,452 photos…..
Me: Probably.
IT dude: 12,687 music files….. that’s a lot of music.
Me: Since. College. And I’m old. So this was before Napster was illegal.
IT dude: …….okay then. Wow. Moving on, I see…. Five powerpoint presentations?
Me: SINCE. COLLEGE. Don’t judge me.


So there you go. Back up your stuff in three places, y’all. Seriously.

But they have all my data and I’ll have it back soon! YAY! Everyone is happy!

dancing cat gif


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