Sunday, March 28, 2010

Life is Balance

March 28, 2010


I’ve been remiss about my blog. It’s been a while since I checked in. I can only report I’ve been busy. (Note to editor: yes, I see that’s three usages of ‘been’ in three sentences.)

Actually, I rather like the aforementioned editor. As someone whose time is valuable, I appreciate her approach. She keeps things very business-like, but every once in a while her sense of humor shines through.

So what’s kept me busy? The man and the home front most certainly. With the arrival of spring, we’re gearing up for home and garden activities. This year, finally, we’re installing central air conditioning. It’s been [ack! another ‘been!] a long time coming, but paying off the mortgage was more important. Now that I’m mortgage free, it’s time to do some things to feather my nest in preparation of becoming a full-time writer.

This is also the year to repaint the bathroom. I firmly believe a coat of fresh paint is a marvelous thing, so every other year, I paint a room. It’s a cheap pick-me-up for the house. I’m changing the shade a wee bit this time around, and that’s not all. It’s time for new towel racks, and maybe even a new light if I can find one I like.

On the writing front, I finished my first shapeshifter story and got it turned in. I missed my self-imposed deadline by three days, but I got the edits for “A Hard Habit to Break” early. I spent exactly three days on the edit process, so there ya go. With those two things accomplished, I’ve turned my attention to the story for Amber Allure’s new themed series.

I got a haircut, did website updates, went for a bicycle ride, participated in a chat, had some of the in-laws down for dinner, and filed my taxes. With all that swirling around in me, it’s no wonder I didn’t get the chance to blog.

None of that is a complaint. I feel very blessed to have so much in my life. The activity keeps my brain functioning and my senses alert. I appreciate the quiet times more by having the pendulum swing in the other direction, too.

April is just around the corner. There’s Easter, my young cousin’s baby will arrive, my best friend is going on a vacation and I get to watch her cat, and the release of “A Hard Habit to Break.” That’s the tip of the iceberg, so forgive me if I don’t check in too much.

Like all things, it will balance out somewhere down the road.


KC Kendricks
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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Fate loves focus

I’m not sure why, but I’ve been a bit ‘scattered’ this week. Maybe it’s an awareness of all the things I need to accomplish over the next few weeks, or perhaps it’s just the end of a long, hard winter. Whatever the culprit, my concentration is non-existent.

Part of the problem may be that I’m physically tired. With the sudden change in the temperature, I’m not sleeping well. It’s too warm for blankets, and too cold to open a window and let some fresh air in the bedroom. And have I ever mentioned my bed partner feels the need to sleep plastered to my backside?

Tired or not, the break in the weather means it’s time to start walking again. I’ve not been able to get outside on my lunch breaks since Christmas. Every day this week, I’ve made my way to the small city park I like, and made two laps around the place. It’s twenty minutes of fresh air, sunshine, and stress relief. Next month, I’ll up the walk to three laps, and then four the month after. Before too long, I’m going to try on the skinny jeans and see how they fit.

If you’re wondering what that has to do with writing, well, here’s the thing. If I’m going to ever go to writing full-time (only 2,639 days until retirement), I’ve got to have a good exercise regimen firmly established. I refuse to channel Jabba the Hut as I sit at my keyboard. A better me means better writing, or so I firmly believe.

So what’s up with the writing this week? I’m scattered. I’m coming up on the end of a story, and the floodgate of new ideas has opened. Pick one. Pick one. PICK ONE! It’s always difficult to narrow it down to the most complete idea and forge ahead. But this time, my AQP publisher helped me along, albeit unwittingly.

Amber Allure posted a call for submissions that perfectly fit one of the ideas I had in development. I even had that folder open on my desk when I saw the email. Kismet? Fate? Psychic vibes? It doesn’t matter much. I jumped onboard for the series, which means I need to get the current work-in-progress, the shapeshifter story, finished. There’s no time to dally the way I usually do.

I don’t mind the nudge to refocus and get my butt in gear. Sometimes we all need that, but I am glad Fate chose a gentle and positive way to send a message. She doesn’t always take such care with me when she has a message. Nudges are preferable to slaps, so I’ll buckle down and get busy, and hopefully next time will be a nudge, too. I can handle those.

KC Kendricks
http://www.kckendricks.com

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Spring!



Sometimes day-to-day life overruns my attempts at writing prose. I want to write prose, believe me. The words are there, ready to spill onto the page, but the countless details of the actual business of being a published author, having a day job, and the needs of family and friends roar to the forefront and are not to be denied. We do not live in a vacuum, although we may sometimes long for that bubble of cold silence to keep the world at bay so we can free the voices inside us. Bottle them up for long, and they vanish.

And speaking of vanishing…For some unknown reason, my computer blue screened on me last night. Yes, boys and girls, the new Dell, circa 2009, is NOT the machine the old Dell, circa 2003, was. Three gigabytes of RAM aside, I am not impressed. Next time, I will ask if the power switch is lighted, too. I don’t care for that feature at all. I’m worried it will burn out and I’ll have to cart the bloody thing off to be replaced. This one may not make it through full depreciation and simply become a loss.

I didn’t start blogging to bitch. Honest. Well, maybe a tad, but certainly not about my processor, which, in truth, suffices well enough for now. What I really came to share was that this morning brought a harbinger of spring to my little postage stamp sized piece of the planet I’m blessed to hold in trust and call my own. The blackbirds arrived. At dawn.

No, really. At the (butt)crack of dawn. If you’ve never had a flock of blackbirds in your treetops, you’re probably wondering what’s the big deal. Well, writer or not, words fail me to adequately describe the cacophony of sound hundreds of blackbirds can create. I’m not joking or exaggerating – hundreds of them. I woke from a rather restful sleep to all this noise and lay there, in the dark, until my brain managed to process what was going on. My first thoughts were not charitable ones about all God’s creatures, great and small. Thankfully, they disturbed one of my neighbors, who responded by firing one [loud] shot that scared the flock away.

Rising at dawn brings its own rewards. I found my slippers, pushed the button to brew the coffee, and took inventory of my now quiet world. Spring is coming.

The tips of the maple trees have pushed out tiny red buds. There is a blush of new green in the lawn.The snow has finally melted enough for me to see the green tips of daffodils and hyacinths pushing up along the edge of my back walkway. There is even one lonely clump of crocus, although it's a bit shabbier than the old photo above. Maybe today, I’ll see the first robin of the year. I feel spring coming, too, its power of renewal seeping into me, warming and lifting me like a returning lover.

I’ve much to do today, from the usual Saturday chores to a baby shower for my young second cousin. I have a special gift for her – a baby quilt that was made for me many years ago.

The blocks were embroidered by my aunt, who is her grandmother. Then it was quilted by my great-grandmother and her great-great-grandmother, a woman she never knew, but her father did, and whose name she carries. The quilt was presented to my mother before my birth. My mother treasured it, and kept it for her own grandchildren, but that was not to be. It’s fitting that after so many years kept safe in my cedar chest, I pass it to the next generation. Such are the ties that bind us.

Later, after the family celebration, I hope to settle down with the current work-in-progress, and write prose. I’m excited about this story. It’s a stretch for me, being that one of the characters is a shapeshifter. I’ve gotten to the chapter where our main hero realizes his lover has this unique little “gift,” and it’s been fun to write. I’m anxious to finish it, and see exactly how the ending will play out. The characters haven’t revealed the closing paragraphs yet.

After that, a blue-collar worker will live part of my dream vacation. He’s traveling to see the great national parks found in the United States, which is the trip I've sworn will be a retirement gift to myself. Anyway, he stops in a small town and finds someone he never expected to find. I can’t wait to get going on this one.

Spring is definitely coming.


KC Kendricks
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