Friday, May 22, 2009

It's not just another three day weekend

Going back into ancient history, back to when I started my very first blog, I was amazed by the fun of it. That blog, over on Live Journal, is long gone, defunct. A few years have passed, and these days my time is almost too limited to indulge in a good, long blog. Even now, I should be working, preparing my *desk* for the three day weekend, and a weeklong vacation in June, but I'm not.

I drove out to a quiet residential neighborhood on my lunch hour so I could take a thirty-minute walk in the shade. While walking, I was stopped by an elderly couple busily sticking little American flags all along both sides of their brick walkway. The old gent grabbed the tail of my vest and gave me this huge grin. I bet he was a real charmer, back in the day. He charmed me.

But I'm sure you're thinking that some old fellow grabbing a woman by her vest is cause for a good decking. It might have been so under different circumstances. (Trust me, I could take this fellow in a fight.) Being Friday, and the Friday before the Memorial Day holiday, I'm dressed in "casual Friday" garb - dark blue denim shorts that can pass as a split skirt, and a red, white and blue vest decorated with little flags and stars. Now you know why he tugged on my vest and gave me that grin.

It didn't hurt that he called me a "young girl," either. That made me laugh.

The old gent lost a brother in World War II. He was too young to serve, being only twelve when Pearl Harbor was bombed. After WWII, he went to work building airplanes. He's as proud of his country today as he was in 1945.

With all the turmoil and upheaval these days, it can be difficult to be a proud American. Too often I take for granted the liberties enjoyed in my country. I whine and bitch - and forget no one tells me what to do. I'm free to set my own course and pursue that which makes me happy. I tend to think of Memorial Day as a carefree three-day weekend, and not dwell on the cost of having that extra day to indulge my passion for writing.

Maybe Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young said it for my generation when they told us the cost of freedom was buried in the ground. (Sorry to all the legions of studio musicians who played with them over the years. There isn't enough server space to include that list of Who's Who in the Rock World.)

I was just young enough not to realize the political import of what that song was about back in 1970/71. Heck, I didn't get a lot of CCR the first time around either. But I do now, and that's the point.

This Memorial Day weekend, I'll take a few moments to give thanks for those who served, and those who still serve. Politically incorrect to mention prayer or not, I don't care. I'll pray that lives be spared, and families be reunited. And if it can't be that way, I'll pray that we will always remember the ultimate sacrifices made by individuals and families so that we can enjoy something called a three-day weekend.

KC Kendricks
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Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Ride

Email is a mixed blessing of my EDJ (endless day job). The annoying pleas for help from co-workers unable to grasp the concept of RUNNING A BACKUP are mixed in with the inane pick-me-ups, raunchy jokes, and the important stuff from my girlfriends. Sometimes my girls are the one sending the jokes and the cutesy slide shows. Doesn’t anyone work at work?

This past week I got a little slideshow called, “The Ride,” which was all about enjoying life. Considering who it was from, I had to watch it because I knew there would be a quiz…..

As I watched the thing play, one screen caught my attention. “Burn the candles, use the good sheets, don’t save it for a special occasion because today is special.” I like that concept.

For me, writing makes my day special. I floundered for a lot of years doing things, hobbies, that I enjoyed, but wasn’t necessarily passionate about. Taking the plunge and writing that first story changed all that. I can’t finish one story without getting ideas for two more. It brings me to my computer every day with an eagerness that was missing in my life. Writing has become the driving force of my “ride.”

Today brings a few of life’s more mundane chores. I’m home, so I have all those small things to do to keep my nest feathered. But after that, I think I’m going to go splurge on something special for my day. I’ve no idea what it is yet, I’ll simply know it when I see it.

And yes, I’m putting my best linens out, all through the house.

KC Kendricks

Saturday, May 9, 2009

How Star Trek convinced me to stay in the RWA

It's true. I'm a member of the Romance Writers of America, and it's membership renewal time again. I don't think they know I'm a member since you sign up under your real name. Since I started my career using a different nom de plume, KC Kendricks isn't listed on their website.

To what I suspect is their horror, my alter ego is, as I have PAN status. Make no mistake, the epublished author is a second class citizen in the eyes of the RWA, and for us to have a listing on the website makes a lot of people cringe.

The last several years has seen the RWA maneuvering to oust the epublished author. Rule after rule is approved to thwart our progress, and yet we persist, and continue to sell books. At one time, the RWA didn't want to consider us to be published authors.

Sorry. Legions of readers buy our epublished stories and we get checks. That makes us published. I begin to suspect we make more than some print only authors - witness the influx of those writers to epublishing along with some big name publishers going e-book.

What's really down and dirty is how the RWA waits until after the renewal period is up and then they slap down the new rules.

As if we don't notice. Tsk. Tsk.

Well, $85 is a lot to shell out for a yearly membership, but I guess I'll do it again. Why? I like the punishment. Just kidding. It's because of Star Trek.

I've been a fan of Star Trek since episode one, which first aired in September 1966. I was nine. I've seen every episode of every series, and every movie. (Yep. Saw the newest Star Trek today and you won’t get spoilers here but you should see it..) And back in the 1980's, I read every book fandom produced. One thing about Trek - you never know what might happen.

The only thing that is carved in stone in Star Trek, is if you're wearing that red security shirt on screen with Captain Kirk, you're gonna die, and probably horribly. Other than that, all bets are off, and you never know. All things are fluid, even space. Even the Borg. Crisis and solutions alike morph out from under you. You never know.

And you never know about the RWA. One day, it may morph into an organization that truly represents its total constituency. I want to still be there when that happens.

What will I have to say then? Well, you never know.

KC Kendricks
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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Noodle Confessions

I confess.

I shop at the local Dollar Tree. Everything is a buck. What’s not to love? So today I stop in to purchase two noodles.

Noodles – those long foam things that float in the pool. Not that I have a pool. I don’t. These noodles will be employed differently. Using a very sharp knife, my hubby will create a straight slit down each one and then fit it over the front edge of the bed of his pickup. Why, you ask?

When you haul things like mulch, pea gravel, topsoil, the noodle keeps all that crap from falling down between the cab and bed of the pickup and making a place for rust to lurk. Wish I could say that was my original idea, but it wasn’t. All I know is I’ve seen it actually work. But I digress.

While at the Dollar Tree, I found a little book about the Ten Rules of Writing. I’ve no idea when it was published as it lacks a copyright, but it does have the original price on it - $14.95 American, $17.50 Canadian. So for giggles and laughs, and a buck, I brought the book home. With a maximum of twenty-five words per page, it was a quick read.

I’m pleased to report I’ve broken all ten of the rules and I feel really good about doing so.

I’ve talked about the weather, described characters, added a prologue (well, I wrote one, anyway), I’ve used regional dialogue, and yes! I have used exclamation points at will!

Damn! But that makes me feel good!

KC Kendricks
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