Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The daily confusion

Gemini’s Horoscope for August 25, 2010

You need to let yourself really push on your career track, even if you'd rather be doing other things. You can make more progress than you realize if you just shift some resources around.

I’ve been thinking about my horoscope all day and wondering to which career it refers. There’s my day job, where I spend forty-plus hours a week wowing everyone with my administrative skills, and there’s my writing career where I spend forty-plus hours a week trying to survive as a little bitty fish in a great big pond.

You’d think I’d rather concentrate on the career where I get heaps of praise, but not so. I prefer life in the crowded waters of the pool.

If I had my ‘druthers’ my career as office manager/administrative assistant would be winding down, and my writing career ramping up. Maybe that’s my answer. Writing is what I want to do, so I need to make the push at the day job.

Do the stars and planets deliberately set out to confuse me?

And what resources are they talking about? I wish these things came with a detailed outline and a roadmap. I'd worry about getting it all figured out, but come tomorrow, I'll have a new puzzle to solve. Until then, it's time to get back to work. I'll let you figure out which career I'm working on today :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Back Stairs reviewed by Sensual Reads


August 23, 2010

I suppose since this is my blog, it's okay to do the self-promotion bit, right?

Elise Lyn of Sensual Reads reviewed The Back Stairs, and here's what she had to say:

Taking us into an unknown world, KC Kendricks pens an intriguing novel where we can only see this world if we have enough nerve to go up the Back Stairs. Fallon does, and is surprised at what he finds. Sundown is only the tip of the ice berg. Together, these two will be able to survive the revelations that will shake Fallon’s world. Intriguing and compelling, Back Stairs makes for some thrilling reading and excitement . Back Stairs is another electrifying tale from the pen of KC Kendricks.

Thanks, Elise!

The Back Stairs is available at
www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thebackstairs-2004038-145.html

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The dreaded writer's bl....bottleneck

August 15, 2010

I parked my butt in my office this weekend, intent on writing. I did write - all the way to about 3,000 words. If only those words had all been on the same story!

The Muse can be a fickle little thing. Even after spending so much time with her, she's often a mystery, but I think I may have figured out something.

I read a lot of blogs, and writers everywhere address writer's block. No one wants to come down with it since it's often resistant to standard cures. A writer can re-read their favorite books, take a little vacation, sit and stare at a blank screen until the ice breaks- whatever it takes. For me, the solutions are as myriad as the causes.

Experiencing either a total lack concentration or complete tunnel vision locked on one unsuspecting target, I have to figure out which pole I've gone over to before I know what to do to break a block. Complete focus is the easier of the two to manage. I simply take a walk, ride my bike - anything but write. It clears my head and allows my thoughts to reorder themselves back into some semblance of coherency. Lack of concentration is a harder row to hoe.

I never know for sure what triggers these little episodes of scatterbrainitis. Stress is such a catchall, but I'm sure it has a lot to do with it. And we all know modern stress is killing us, breath by breath. I'm sure if I could afford to retire, I'd be soooooooooo much calmer. (So buy more KC Kendricks books, please!)

This weekend, I realized part of my lack of productivity stemmed from not knowing what project I wanted to work on next. I'm signed up for two PAXes with deadlines of December 1, 2010, and March 1, 2011. I have another adventure for Fallon and Sundown started, and I'm developing a new series that ties the threads together through one or two central characters, much the way Theron and Austin did in the Southern Cross series. So with all this floating around in my head, it was no wonder I couldn't focus.

I decided to use that energy in as positive a way as possible. I opened each folder, one at a time, and went through all my notes, adding whatever flowed quickly out. As soon as the train of thought broke, I closed the folder and moved on - to the sum of 3K words! Writer's block busted wide open!

Do I want to work this way all the time? NO. I don't think it's good for me personally to reinforce this little problem I have with my attention span. But now I understand that sometimes the block isn't a block - it's a bottleneck. Now I have an easy, productive way to forge ahead.

Sometimes it takes a long time to figure out a simple problem.

KC Kendricks
Visit my website at: http://www.kckendricks.com
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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Old dog, new tricks, same questions

August 10, 2010

The release of a new book is a satisfying experience for me. While it's certainly the culmination of a lot of hard work, in many ways, it's just the beginning - of more hard work. For the epublished, once the book goes 'live', there is a lot of promotion to do. Or not do if you're not into promoting your work.

For those of us who do promote, we get to know other authors, at least by name, quite quickly. I recently read a blog comment that one particular author "tripped" over the same other author everywhere they went. I giggled like an idiot.

Yeah, babe. We'll ALL out there with you. It's what we do! I'm still laughing.

So my sense of humor needs a little work. It'll be okay, honest. (Note to self - BEHAVE!)

In my defense, let me say it's been a long, hard day. I spent hours trying to figure out Facebook today. Jeez, could they make it more frustrating? And what's with the nasty, dull white background? I much prefer the brilliant colors of MySpace. No matter. I'm getting the hang of it.

Learning my way around Facebook comes at the expense of writing time. With my frustration level at Code Red, I knew better than to attempt to work on either of the two stories I have started. Now it's past ten, time to head for bed, and I regret not having written anything.

Tomorrow is another day, and I know from experience that when I settle down in front of my computer, the words will come faster, and better, for giving my subconscious time to simmer the story a little longer.

But I wonder as I get ready to close up shop for the night if all the time spent learning new tricks (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, etc.) is worth the time away from the work. I haven't come up with that answer. Maybe I never will. Even as I finally learn Facebook, I know the next big "in" thing lurks around some corner, waiting to suck the hours out of my day, just like it's predecessor. Efficiently and without remorse.

The old dog is going to bed, but first a word.

Open Roads is available at AmazoniTunesBarnes & NobleKobo and other online book sellers.

BLURB:

Tyler Phillips enjoys his small town life. He’ll never get rich working the family business, but he knows there’s more to a man than the size of his bank account. Easing into mid-life, Tyler’s restless for something he can’t find in the little borough of Easton – male companionship.

Noel Springs got caught up in the economic downturn. His job gone, and retirement a lot of years in the future, Noel decides to take a long drive and see some of the country before dedicating himself to finding new employment. The open road is just what he needs right now.

When his car overheats outside the little town of Easton, Noel discovers the local mechanic is hotter than his radiator, and just as eager to blow off some steam.



KC Kendricks
www.kckendricks.com
kckendricks.blogspot.com
www.twitter.com/kckendricks

Friday, August 6, 2010

Mark your calendar

August 6, 2010
7:56 PM

So I'm finally leafing through the latest RWR magazine. The 2011 RWA Conference will be in New York from June 28 - July 1.

You girls are gonna have to change your mind about gay romance or stay the hell out of Greenwich.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Hurtful words

August 5 2010
9:03 PM

Don't give a second thought to what came before -- you've got to get going in a new direction today, and yesterday's business is ancient history by now. You can't go wrong by pushing forward.


That’s my horoscope for today. I only pay attention to the good ones, and ignore any and all about gloom and doom. As wise as today’s may seem, I’m struggling with it. Specifically, the letting go of yesterday’s business is giving me trouble. Yesterday I read a blog that left me unsettled, and greatly saddened.

When I was a novice, I had the good fortune to learn the rules of online etiquette from the owners of two of the major online publishers over lunch one sunny afternoon. Both live within driving distance of my little hometown, and had come for a booksigning event. Their top two rules at that time were 1) be careful what you say online because it never goes away and you never know how far it will be carried or by whom, and 2) never publicly criticize other authors about anything because they will never forget and someday they may be in a position to do you great harm by simply remaining silent when your name is mentioned instead of giving you a positive recommendation. That was seven years ago, and I believe those lessons are even more important today.

It does an injustice to the novice and the struggling to post anything that can be misconstrued as unsupportive. The individual career path is as unique as the individual writer. As authors, we should be aware of the ambiguity of words, and take precautions that we don’t open the door for others to use them in ways we did not intend, for example, advancing a private agenda.

Those of us who are established need to give support where we can, and remember there are those who are easily wounded by censure. No one should be subjected to ridicule, either for their writing ability or their productivity. Let us remember not everyone is blessed with a sense of humor, and let us never be so full of ourselves that we forget our gift comes from beyond our poor human skins, and should be carefully tended, not poisoned from within.

So, yes, my horoscope today is one I should pay attention to. I need that new direction to lift my spirits.

I can’t stop the hurtful words of others, I can only avoid using them myself. I was once a novice with tender feelings, and the hurtful words said to me resulted in the fact that there is a group of women whose work I haven’t purchased in seven years.

I do not want to ever join their ranks.

KC

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Amber Allure Top Ten Best Seller list, July 2010

August 1, 2010
7:13 AM

Congrats to my fellow Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure authors who made the monthly top ten best seller list for July 2010.

AMBER ALLURE / July 2010

1. And The Survey Says... - Karma Eastwick (Gay / Contemporary)
2. Pieces - Shawn Lane (Gay / Contemporary)
3. Save Me From Myself - Cassie Stevens (Gay / Contemporary)
4. Revealing The Past - T. A. Chase (Gay / Paranormal)
5. Bus Stop - Pepper Espinoza (Gay / Contemporary)
6. Yesterday's Names - Vivien Dean (Gay / Contemporary)
7. (Boys Of The Zodiac) Leo: All That You Are - Jamie Craig (Gay / Contemporary)
8. Night Train To Naples - Carolina Valdez (Gay / Vampire)
9. On Days Like These - Christiane France (Gay / Contemporary)
10. Wings Of Love - Deirdre O'Dare (Gay / Shapeshifter)