Sunday, October 23, 2016

Where There's Smoke by KC Kendricks

October 23, 2016

Where There's Smoke is now available! "Smoke" is the tenth book in the Men of Marionville collection.

When I wrote A Cat Named Hercules, which featured combined stories from those special felines who shared my life, I knew I had to write a story that included a special dog. I thought that dog would be Jett, but it turned out to be both Jett and Deuce. (That's Deuce on the cover.)

I hope you'll enjoy Where There's Smoke.



Book #10 of the Men of Marionville series
Contemporary gay romance available at:

All Romance eBooks:

Leon McNamee successfully worked his life plan to a good job, his own home, and the one thing he always wanted as a boy - a dog. He hasn’t had much luck in the relationship department, but in Smoke, he has all the company he usually needs.

Jeremy Cooke’s new plan is to stay clear of entanglements and not get hurt again. He moves to Marionville to start over and decides to rescue a damaged dog. After all, he’s well acquainted with abuse.

Leon and Jere get acquainted over their shared love of dogs, but Jeremy holds close his secrets. When an argument escalates, disaster strikes. Leon has to fight to save Jere’s dog - and the man’s trust. At the end of the day, his best ally is a black Labrador Retriever named Smoke.


“Yeah, it’s like twice the size and population. I think people here are nicer, though.” He paused and took a deep breath. “I…had a bad relationship. Like, really bad. My bad judgment. I knew someone here, a relative of sorts, so I came here to… I guess start over.”

The flat tone of his voice spoke volumes. It was a hopeless defeat, a tiredness I’d never personally experienced. What tore at my heart was the total absence of any defiance.
I’d been bitter when Allan decided he didn’t like my dog enough to stay with me. Good riddance, I’d said. I’d been determined to put him behind me and move on - and I had. I sensed Jeremy had floundered on his way to ending the relationship. Maybe he still did.

Today wasn’t the day to pry further. Today was for building a friendship and finding possibilities.

I put my hand on his knee. “Are you sorry it ended?”

He stared at my hand but didn’t move away. “I’m sorry it began.”

I patted his knee. “Well, it’s Saturday. What should we do now? Take in a flick?”

“You’re nothing if not predictable, Leon. I knew you were going to suggest a movie some time before I let you drive me home.”

“Okay. No movie. You like boats?”

He leaned away and looked down his nose at me. “Seriously? You really can’t help yourself, can you? What’s wrong with sitting here and chilling out?”

“My dog is on a leash. My dog ate and will no doubt want to poop in public grass where kids play, and I won’t allow him to do his outside activities here. My dog needs to go home to his backyard, and then his crate for a nap.”

Jeremy straightened. “Good points. I guess you should take me and Mo home so you can get on with your day.”

I didn’t want to do that. I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to him for fear I’d never see him again. My instinct said he’d never call me, and if I called him, he might hesitate to answer. I showed my desperation.

“Do you like baseball?”

“Yeah, I do! It’s really cool Marionville is getting a double A team.” He narrowed his eyes. “What?”

I hung my head. “I don’t know a fucking thing about baseball.”

“So why the hell did you ask me if I liked it?”

“Would you like to hang out at my place and watch the game? You can teach me about it.”

He stared at me, lips slightly parted, an enigmatic expression in his eyes. “Do you like anything other besides dogs?”

“I like to ski.”

He glanced at the sky, and then looked at me. “Water or snow?”

I grinned at him. “Both.”

“Thank God. I’ve never been water skiing, but I’m pretty good on the slopes.”

“I didn’t know they had mountains in Peoria,” I quipped, still smiling.

He smirked at me. God, he was adorable when he wrinkled his nose and rolled his eyes.

“When I was a mere lad, we spent every, and I mean every fucking Christmas at my grandfather’s place in Pennsylvania. I learned to ski. And you’re a smartass, Leon McNamee.”

“And you’re just too cute Jeremy Cooke.”

I didn’t actually think about it. Maybe if I had, I wouldn’t have done it.

I slipped my arm around his shoulders, leaned in, and kissed him.

He started and sucked in a quick breath. I’d never had anyone go so still in my arms. But he didn’t pull away. His lips trembled under mine, and yet he didn’t push us apart. I moved my lips over his in a soft caress and ended the kiss.

Book #10 of the Men of Marionville series
Contemporary gay romance available at:

All Romance eBooks:

KC Kendricks

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A true blessing

October 19, 2016

Yesterday marked a major milestone in my life - my beloved hit the 10-year cancer free mark. It's a stark reminder that not all people who develop a metastasized cancer are so fortunate. 

I would have remarked on this yesterday, but the evening belonged to us. We didn't do anything special. We didn't need to. We're old enough to know there is no social convention to display our unity. It's not a thing we wear or drink. It simply is. 

So debate politics and other nonsense without us. We'll sit on the porch, together, and ponder those things in life that truly matter - and enjoy the last roses of summer.

We are together, and we are truly blessed. 


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Stat check time

October 16, 2016

The internet puts the world at our fingertips. It also gives us information overload. Anything we want to know is out there. Well, some version of it is out there. In the cloud. Floating. Drifting. Doing whatever the hell it does until we search for it and reel it in. 

There are a lot of author groups and I belong to a bunch of them. I rarely post information although I do read. It's not that I'm anti-social, it's that I'm not doing anything vastly different from the other participants. Why take up air time just to say, "Hey, I do that, too!" There's enough posts to get through without that. 

In one of these groups, a recent discussion focused on websites so I paid attention. I do my own with some very simple software, but I'm always looking for ways to improve it. I'm not an ace by any stretch of the imagination. I'm simply too frugal to pay hundreds of dollars a month from something incredibly fancy and frilly when I'm not a fancy and frilly sort of girl. 

When the discussion turned to the number of people using cell phones to traverse the wide plains of the Internet, I paid attention. And then I zipped over to Blogger to check some stats. Why Blogger and not my website? 1)The log-in for my web info is a huge pain in the ass and 2) I knew I'd be writing a blog post, ergo, just make one Internet stop. I'm frugal with my time, too. 

So looking at my stats, it appears that only 17 people viewed my blog via cell phone, and I know one of those Android viewers was me on my Kindle. I showed a girl at the bowling alley the page about our trip to New River Gorge. 

What I actually find more interesting is that Chrome has the largest share of browsers used and Windows is the big operating system. The little rebel in my soul is snickering at me for being so mainstream.  

More to the point is I just don't see a new trend developing. I'm not going to revamp to be more cellphone friendly at this juncture. (Sorry, all you hip boomers.) 

And now, curiosity satisfied, I'm going back to my writing. 


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Seducing Light - #MSS163

October 15, 2016

Welcome to My Sexy Saturday #163! Thanks for stopping in at Between the Keys. Today I have seven sexy paragraphs from Seducing Light. Enjoy!

Nick said he planned to cut back on his workload. Being a fan and following along in the trades, I knew he’d purchased the property in Montana three years ago, and the house had taken fifteen months to complete. It wasn’t much of a stretch to surmise he’d made a nest to feather with someone out of the public eye.

The shift to directing movies instead of acting in them wasn’t an unusual one. Lots of actors did it with great success. And, like a lot of other A-listers, if directing didn’t work out, he would not have lost a thing. He could step back into acting, if he chose to, no harm done.

He was at least forty-three and looked five or six years younger, a big plus in an industry that catered to youth. Was he having a mid-life crisis? For a gay man, youth and good looks were important. If your preferences ran to macho, you wanted to nail the most virile and attractive studs, or have them nail you. This I understood all too well.

I wasn’t egotistical enough to believe for one moment he’d spied my scrawny ass and lost his mind, no matter how it appeared on the surface.

Everyone needed touch. Was it as simple as he’d denied his true nature for too long? If I wanted to be a part of his life—and I wanted that more than I wanted air—I needed to figure out where his head was. Right now, what was best for Nick was best for us. That wasn’t going to be easy to reconcile with the excitement I had over my re-blooming career and my renewed passion for my craft.

Twilight brought a few flying insects to my vine-shrouded retreat. I poured the dregs of my tea into a flowerpot, amused that the huge coleus in that crock obviously liked caffeine. The hinges of the back gate creaked. Boot heels clicked on the concrete walk, then stopped just behind me. He stood so close I felt his body heat. I smiled, but didn’t turn around.

“What took you so long?”


Be sure to visit all the My Sexy Saturday blogs. The list is at the bottom of this post.


Asher Myles struggled to put his life back together after an identity thief stripped him of everything but his talent for capturing light and shadow with a camera lens. With a new job and a new start, Asher’s on his way to Montana – and a meeting with the man he’s fantasized about since he first saw him on the silver screen. 

Nick Light, actor, director, and Hollywood royalty, doesn’t like paparazzi. When he agrees to have his Montana ranch photographed for a style magazine, the unexpected happens. Asher's not the man Nick expected to find behind the camera. Asher knows he'll have to convince Nick they belong together, but he has an edge.

Because if there’s one thing Nick can’t resist, it’s a man with a talent for seducing light.

Available at All Romance eBooks, Amazon, iTunes and other fine online book sellers. 

KC Kendricks
blog: (you are here)
mailing list at:

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Finally - autumn

October 9, 2016

I love the changing seasons. I love the rhythms of nature and studying how they echo within me. I can't imagine stepping onto my patio to the same weather every day. I would find that completely depressing, even boring. We are all wonderfully diverse in what we love, aren't we? 

In my world, winter comes sneaking on tiny cat paws. You sense the stealthy approach, day by day, until by Christmas you know winter has settled in for a stay. Spring arrives in a steady progression of green. Summer makes an abrupt arrival, like a plane touching down and dropping off a cargo hold full of mosquitoes. But autumn? Autumn is the guest whose presence you long for and who can't get here fast enough. 

The big poplar tree out back is my autumn herald. It's the first to have leaves turn yellow and drop by ones and twos until by October, it's looking a bit bare. Things are moving a bit slower this year. It still shows green which makes me wonder if everything will be later this season. 

Deuce and I went walking earlier today. It was a bit breezy and I needed a sweatshirt, but it was far from chilly. Deuce wore his orange safety vest because, state park or not, and even though it's not yet the season, there are already hunters in the woods. 

Brown leaves are down, and the sky has turned to that perfect autumnal blue, but the maples have not yet begun to change color, baring the odd leaf here and there. It was a great day to be outside enjoying one of country life's most enduring pleasures - a simple walk in the woods. 

Sweet seasons. Autumn's rhythms. I can't imagine a life without them. 

KC Kendricks

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Email Etiquette and the Three Email Rule - IWSG

When I was in my early twenties, a good friend moved away. We used to pen letters back and forth, then emails, but in time, with so much mundane in our lives, the correspondences dwindled and finally ceased. We reconnect from time to time, via email, but it’s not the same. For one thing, she types in all caps. Regardless of that, it’s good to hear from her. But my last email went unanswered for months. I wondered if harm had befallen her. She’s fine, but it got me to thinking about mail and email etiquette.

There was a day, in the 19th Century, it was considered quite impolite not to respond to a personal letter. Email changed all that. Or did it? Polite is still polite. Isn’t it?  Is being too busy to respond a valid reason not to respond? If you’re legitimately swamped, I think a day or two lag is acceptable between friends, but not business associates. You can set an auto response stating you’re unable to answer until such and such a time for business.

Your friends will know why you didn’t respond yesterday. They’ll know you’re email provider is dumping everything into the spam folder or the dog is missing and you’re going crazy. (They'll be searching with you if they can.) Friends will know the day job is slowly killing you. Just don’t post on your personal Facebook while you’re ignoring them or they’ll never believe the “busy” excuse again.

One of my major gripes with every publisher I’ve ever been with is the failure to respond to emails. Even worse is the Three Email Rule.

I send to ask a question.
Publisher X responds with obtuse information I didn’t ask about.
I ask for clarification.
{echo chamber goes here}

See? Three emails and you’re done. I don’t consider it to be a good practice to ignore authors. Hey publishers! See all those INDIE OPPORTUNITIES out there? That’s where the authors are going when you ignore them.

And aspiring authors - build your email bridges carefully. Don't send cartoons to business connections. Don't send photos of naked men (or women), either. Be professional and use email etiquette at all times. At least until you have a circle of email friends you can claim as your posse. There's where you relax and have fun. 

Thinking about this has me thinking about improving my own practices. Maybe I need to reiterate that if you email me after nine o’clock at night, I probably won’t answer until the next morning because that's my reading time. Of course, reading time for an author is technically work. Perhaps I need to set an auto-response saying that. It would be the polite thing to do. 

KC Kendricks
mailing list:

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Pulling the tail of justice

October 4, 2016

The writing world is a small, yet global, community. Author groups abound, and we join and get to know, if not the person, their name and online presence. Memories are long in the writing community.

You may have heard the buzz-buzz over the course of today. Ellora's Cave is closing, so they say. Authors have the option of getting a reversion of rights effective December 31, 2016, or... Choices do remain although I'd imagine there has been a lot of work behind the scenes to prevent those moves well before the announcement was issued. 

Closing, they wrote. Not filing bankruptcy. Bankruptcy would open the financial records to the courts. Making that a moot point is one of the moves, I'd think. 

I have two KC titles caught in this. While I'll be glad to get the rights back, republishing those two stories isn't high on my priority list. They feel tainted, and I need to wait until that feeling passes before I even click on the file folder and look at the original manuscript. 

I could detail what went wrong, but I think most people in the writing world know by now it was two things: greed and the failure to treat people correctly.

Karma: destiny or fate following as effect from cause.

"Bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." - Luke 6:28

While this is a sort of closure to many people, it's a beginning to others. I for one have no plans to sue for those monies owed me. I doubt that it's all that much, and I simply can't be bothered to drag out my association with that company. Is it cut and run? Sure.

Rarely do I actually talk about my faith, but I do believe there is a higher power at work in this world. I think it's a good power. At least it feels benevolent in its dealings with me.

I'd love to see some sort of justice done for those authors who are owed large sums of money. I truly would. Contracts were signed in good faith. If money was made on their product, they deserve to be paid accordingly. It's the RIGHT thing to happen.

There's another sort of justice I doubt any of us will be privy to. It's the justice meted out by some greater power, the universe, karma - whatever you choose to call it. And whatever you call it, it's a fan of justice. 

And sensible folk don't pull its tail, especially repeatedly.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Tango in the Night

September 24, 2016

I'm very happy to finally have Tango in the Night available, and to share it for this My Sexy Saturday (MSS#160). I've had people ask if the title is a reference to the song. The answer is yes, and no. If you don't know right off hand what the tango in the night is, well..... think about it..... There ya go. It's what we all do with someone new. The give and take. The learning about them while not giving too much of our self away. Falling in love is a dance - a tango. Make sense now?

Here are seven sexy paragraphs from Tango in the Night. And be sure to check out all the My Sexy Saturday blogs. The list is at the bottom of this post. 


“Glad I could be of assistance. Meet me for coffee in the morning?”

I wavered, my resolve to keep our courtship slow and careful threatening to crack in an unexpected way. If I told him to come by the house for coffee in the morning, he’d end up spending the night tonight instead. Standing in his embrace, that didn’t seem like a bad idea at all. My body was tight, aroused, wanting him. I rubbed my bristly cheek against his bristly cheek.

“Let’s work on morning coffee next week.”

“You’re killing me, Jubal.” He nuzzled at my neck, behind my ear. “I’m gonna have to go home and beat off when I could be making love to you.”

I chuckled softly as I tilted my head so he had more room to nibble my neck. I shivered in waves as his lips teased, finding pulse points.

“What do you think I’ll be doing, Ellis?”

He jerked away and fixed me with a hot blue stare. “Okay. If you want a little courtship, I’m good with that, but now I’m gonna be nuts all night.”



Jubal Graham is back on the job after a shooter took the life of his long-time partner, and sent him into a coma followed by months of rehab. Determined to have justice, Jubal is focused on finding a killer, not a new romantic entanglement. Ellis Banks, with his smoldering blue eyes and denim-clad swagger is a distraction Jubal can’t afford – or ignore.

Ellis Banks came to Philadelphia to bust a drug operation; one that connects to the same case agency legend Kentuckian Jubal Graham is working. Ellis finds himself drawn to Jubal, but Jubal holds him off. Sure that Jubal is interested, even though he wears his slain lover’s ring, Ellis mounts a determined siege.

Jubal’s surprise at having a suitor develops into a growing affection for Ellis, one clouded with old fears. Fate ripped one lover from his arms, and now Ellis is in the line of fire. Jubal has to decide if he’s brave enough to love again.

Tango in the Night is available at

Amazon, All Romance eBooks, iTunes and other online booksellers.

Find more information and a longer excerpt at

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Where There's Smoke - cover reveal

September 18, 2016

One of really great things about self-publishing is the control one has over book covers. I truly enjoy playing around with Photoshop and creating my own covers. Some really work - others not so much. Either way, it's fun to do. Plus, if a few months down the road I think a cover isn't working for the long run, I can update it without begging or paying for the update. It's a handy skill to have. 

I've been working on a story set in Marionville about a guy and his dog meeting another guy and his dog. So of course I had to put Deuce on the book cover. 

Do you know how difficult it is to get Deuce to sit still and pose for a picture? He's only nine months old and in constant motion. I had to bribe him with food. Yes, it's true. I stoop to bribery with my dog.

Where There's Smoke will be out before the end of 2016. Having the cover ready is encouragement to write faster. 

KC Kendricks

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Beneath Dark Stars by KC Kendricks

September 17, 2016

Welcome to my part of the My Sexy Saturday blog hop! This week is about sexy magic, so I have seven sexy paragraphs from Beneath Dark Stars. What's more magical than a shapeshifter able to take on whatever form he chooses? That's Sundown. He's not limited to one shape only, and he keeps his lover on his toes. Of course, sometimes Fallon knows just what to say...


He drew in a quick, short breath, and then blew it out.

“The Chal can help. We are able to go into places where you can not.”

For once, his people would be on my side. “The Elders will sanction that. Right. Tell me another story.” 

“I was with the Elders yesterday, apologizing for my actions regarding Sergeant Mack. I have promised them – again – that I will cease to play Sasquatch tricks on him.”

“But did you promise not to play any tricks on him, period, or just the Bigfoot ones?”

He blinked at me, dismay written all over his face. Uh-huh. I had him now. “Chupacabra, perhaps?”

His mouth dropped open. His eyes widened. “That is not me! I have never been to Texas!”



Fallon Roxbury, seasoned detective and special police consultant, knows that appearances can be deceiving. Trained to gather the clues and arrive at logical conclusions, he fits the puzzle pieces of a situation together to find the truth. But there’s nothing reasonable in Fallon’s attraction to the sexy, secretive shapeshifter called Sundown.

Sundown has studied people all his life. Having his very own human male is all he ever wanted. In Fallon, he’s found a man he can trust with his secrets and reveal his true nature. Keeping Fallon happy is a joyful exercise into which Sundown puts his heart and soul—when he’s not teasing Fallon’s police partner by leaving strange footprints at crime scenes, that is.

Fallon’s new case ties into an old one. At a dead end, he knows it’s time to ask Sundown for a little help. With his special abilities, Sundown can get into places Fallon can’t. All Fallon has to do is figure out a way to prove what he already knows. But what’s a cop to do when the truth takes a shift that’s stranger than fiction?

Beneath Dark Stars
Book 2 in the Sundown saga
Available at All Romance eBooks, Amazon, iTunes and other online booksellers

Be sure to use the linky below to check out all the MSS blogs to read some great Saturday excerpts. 

KC Kendricks

Friday, September 16, 2016

For the Lexophile in us all

September 16, 2016

This came around in one of those endless emails we all get, but it’s pretty cute and worth a nod. Anyone who lives in Maryland in July has met Number 17. 

1. Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period of time.

2. Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

3. Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.

4. Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.

5. Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating. The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

6. Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.

7. Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.

8. Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

9. Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

10. Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.

11. Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. 

12. Karmageddon: It's when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, and then the Earth explodes, and it's a serious bummer.

13. Decafalon (n.): The grueling event of getting through the day consuming only things that are good for you

14. Glibido: All talk and no action.

15. Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.

16. Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

17. Beelzebug (n.): Satan in the form of a mosquito, that gets into your bedroom at three in the morning and cannot be cast out.

18. Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a worm in the fruit you're eating.

Have a good day!!!

KC Kendricks

Did you know my books are also on iTunes? Yep, they are!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

September Morning for MSS 158

September 10, 2016

Welcome to My Sexy Saturday here at the blog! I've been on vacation this past week, enjoying a few day trips around the county as a way to say goodbye to summer.

This is the 158th week of My Sexy Saturday, and the theme is a sexy dilemma. A sexy dilemma? Which book to chose for that one? I think it's pretty simple for this month: September Morning.


Nate’s hand was warm on my thigh. The heat snaked towards my balls, inducing the almost forgotten tingling. My cock swelled. I was speechless, amazed I could feel arousal again.

Part of me fought it, whispering that it was cheating on Michael. But it wasn’t. He was gone. Would he expect me to mourn him forever? I didn’t think he would, so why did I feel so guilty?

“Hey. JD. What gives?”

I shook my head. “It’s complicated. I wish it wasn’t.”

“The guy in the photo I noticed at your place the other morning? The one who looks like you? Was he your brother? He died, didn’t he?”

In many ways, he had been like a brother. That and so much more.

“Michael was my partner. I lost him last summer.”


About September Morning:

Following the death of his partner, Jagger Davis is on a sabbatical to finish healing and to get his life moving again. JD goes to Sandbridge, Virginia, for a restful summer of solitude and discovers the cottage next door is full of friendly neighbors. One in particular catches his interest.

Nate Fischer is part of a group of guys who spend every summer at Sandbridge. An IT specialist for a private contractor at the nearby Naval base, Nate’s taking some vacation time. When JD arrives, Nate invites him to a cookout on the beach. It isn’t long before Nate and JD are inseparable, but there are three men in the relationship.

JD’s memories are a constant companion. He won’t banish them to satisfy someone new. When Nate’s job abruptly calls him away, JD realizes he didn’t give his summer lover a fair chance. Now he has to convince Nate there’s room in his heart for both the past and the future. 

Available at All Romance eBooks and other online booksellers

KC Kendricks

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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The end of another summer (IWSG)

September 7, 2016

Why does the name of the ninth month of the year have its roots in "sept" or "seven"?

Authors ask themselves questions like that all the time. It's our curse, and our blessing. We who write become repositories of vast amounts of useless information. We get curious and go look up why the ninth month of the year is known by September. It won't save the world and we won't lose ten pounds, but we still have a need to know once the question forms.

It turns out September comes from the Latin septem, or seven. The Roman calendar had only ten months and, you guessed it, Septem was the seventh month. Mystery solved. (Until the curious ask when the calendar changed. In 45 BC, okay?)

Be it the seventh month, or the ninth, September has historically been a busy TCOB (taking care of business) writing month for me. Summer may be ending, but I'm beginning. September is my month of planning. And yes, planning counts as writing time in my world.

Part of that is due to what goes on at the day job. There, too, we are planning. I'm obsessed with budgets and calendars in September, and I think the mindset carries over. I keep a list of title ideas and in September I check the list and see what is possible.

I set up folders for those titles that speak to me. I write character bios and story blurbs. I look for inspirational photos. This year, the inspirational photo search will be more focused. I'll be looking for cover stock. And as I piece together the ideas, the most important thing is happening. Somewhere in the deep, dark recesses of my brain, the story is starting to cook.

The best stories I've written, and the easiest ones to write, are the stories I've allowed to have a proper simmering time.

This does NOT mean I'm going to let the stories cook forever. I need to be more diligent than ever to keep my head in the game and keep writing. As freeing as the lack of a publisher deadline is, it's in my best interest to try to set one for myself and attempt to meet it. Nonetheless, 2016 will go down in the annals as one weird-ass writing year, and not at all what I planned in 2015. 

Not. At. All. 

And while this is the Insecure Writer's Support Group, I'm secure enough to know writing isn't a science. Sometimes going with the flow of your life is the best option. Or the only option. I think writers on the whole get too caught up in the desire to "write something every day" they put a lot of undue pressure on themselves. I didn't learn that over night, but I learned it, and it's made my writing life easier. 

So that's what you'll find me doing this September. Planning and going with the flow of my life. Enjoying the last days of summer and looking forward to the magic month of October. 

KC Kendricks

In the mood for a mystery/private investigator/FBI agent story? Check out the Amethyst Cove series. Ian and Rick are waiting. 

Saturday, September 3, 2016

School days, old days we remember

September 3, 2016

The spousal unit and I often enjoy in-depth discussions. It's true. The man really can do more than grunt. Oh, I'm sorry. That's a politically incorrect statement. We can't man bash any longer. Oh, wait. He's "mine" so I can say that. 

I'm so confused as to what's proper and what's not. Utopia is out and dystopia is in. Humor is out and gloom is in. It's a different world. 

Back in the day, Maryland schools resumed the day after Labor Day. Somewhere along the way, that changed. Gov. Larry Hogan proposed adopting a more traditional schedule for Maryland schools as a way to save upwards of $100 million in the school/education budget, and this became a BAD thing. Soooo I can only assume spending more taxpayer money is in and saving taxpayer money is out. 

Yeah, no shock, that. 

Hogan's proposal led us - me and the hubby - to a discussion of our school days. RC is almost ten years older than me, but our experiences are similar. We rode a school bus and we had to walk to a central spot with all the other kids to get on the bus. There was no stopping every fifty feet for individual curb service - and fuel was a lot cheaper back then. 

Spring break? What the fuck is that? We didn't get a spring break and we weren't scarred for life. 

Snow? Get your ass on the bus and go. If the roads got bad, they sent us home early. 

The music program: my choice was to ignore it since they didn't exactly promote rock 'n roll but RC played lead guitar in various bands for over thirty years. He still won't let me hang his Strat on the wall for decoration, though. 

Gym class. Basketball? Why? Archery? Why? Although now I won't mind being skilled with a weapon that launches a deadly projectile. 'Nuff said on that. 

The exterior doors are locked? Someone is about to get an ass-kicking from the principal and they scurried away to hide. So the janitor locked 'em in. Other than that, the doors were not locked.

Take a gun to school? Are you fucking nuts? What if your father found out you did something that fucking stupid? You're grounded!

We definitely came of age in a different time. We worry about the quality of education the grandsons received. We know how well they did in cross country track, but can they make change without a cash register read-out telling them the amount? Simple things. 

I can't say that RC and I abhor progress because we don't. We each have our own computers, smart phones, and Kindles. (I win because I also have a laptop!) Endless hours are spent sharing neat little apps and tips to make all the toys run better and give more enjoyment. We've embraced Prime videos, Netflix and network apps. Someone even brought home a smart TV recently (my checkbook did not take that hit). 

I love being able to do work at home and email it to myself for later retrieval. And of course, I'm proud to be an e-published author with blogs, facebook, and twitter at my fingertips. I do my own website and I've recently mastered the art of book covers. And I drive a car without a carburetor that still ranks as American Muscle.  

Speaking of art, there's an art-like beauty to the ways life changes from generation to generation. But as the world turns, I feel a sort of sadness, or perhaps melancholy, for those things children today will never know - because we allowed them to slip away. 

And one of those things we allowed to fall away are the sweet hours of the Labor Day weekend. The unofficial end of summer and the last dwindling moments of September's sunlit freedom before school starts again. 

KC Kendricks

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Looking out the window

August 28, 2016

August brings the anniversary of a personal milestone that generally goes unremarked. I've now lived in this same spot for thirty-five years - definitely more than half my life. It's almost two-thirds of my life, but I shall drop that thought and move on. 

Back in 1980, when my grandparents gifted me with three acres of land, it was completely wooded. I worked alongside grandfather, father, and then husband to clear an acre to drill a well, install a septic system, and build a house. It was hard, physical work and I regret none of it. 
Two-story dog trot log cabin.

I had a vision of a log cabin in the woods, but those people in my life at that time overruled me. That I do regret. I wanted - I still want - a log cabin. Specifically, I want a dog trot styled log cabin, or house, with its central breezeway, but I must be realistic. It's not something I'm likely to acquire at this point in my life. 

It's not that my little house in the woods isn't sufficient. It is. In many ways, it has shaped my lifestyle and I have few complaints about that. I have all that I truly need here. The house is easy to heat, cool and clean. The mechanical systems have been well maintained. My property is secluded and private, which makes it rather safe against some of the things that can happen in the world. If you're not visible, you're not a target. I think my grandparents knew that, which is why their only granddaughter got this particular piece of ground. My male cousins are subject to every manner of annoyances living beside a road. 

Which finally brings me to the unchanging view from my office window. 

My home office is my favorite room in the house. It's me. There was no compromise on wall color, flooring, rug, furniture and its placements, lighting, curtains and artwork. I spin stories in this room, travel via the wonders of the Internet, and I read and learn in this room. I share my innermost thoughts from this room. And yet I gaze out at the lush green of my backyard (so very green for the end of August!) and for the first time question is this all there is to see for the next thirty years? 

They say identifying a problem is the first step in solving the problem. My father and grandparents are gone, and soon so shall be my mother. My retirement income will follow me wherever I live. My husband of over twenty years would welcome a place that is his in ways this property never has been, its history being that of my family. There's nothing to hold me here if I choose to let go of roots and begin a new adventure elsewhere. 

Except, that is, the view through my window. 



Coming soon: Where There's Smoke by KC Kendricks
Part of the Men of Marionville collection