Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Warm July Sunday

July 31, 2011

I'm done with hot weather. It's already 82F/28C here in western Maryland and it's only nine a.m. Yeah, yeah, I know. It's the Mid-Atlantic region and triple H is the norm for this time of year. I'm still done with it. Can't we move on to October?

Instead of spending my morning bicycling along the C&O Canal with the Potomac River for company, I'm holed up inside on the computer. Not a bad thing - for November. But this is the end of July. I crave sunshine! Fresh [breathable] air! A bike rides gets the blood flowing. Feel the breeze in your hair!

(It also gets you lots and lots of bugs honing their blood sucking skills on you, but for the purposes of this blog, let's ignore that.)

Since it's too hot to go outside without melting, and I'm not, repeat, not doing any housework whatsoever, today is a good day to check into all the corners of my Internet world. One of the Yahoo groups is having an open excerpt day, and I'm playing along. My goal is to post an excerpt from every book I have out. If you like, you can cut to the chase and just visit my website and read them all now :)

In addition to the groups on Yahoo, there are blogs to read. There are a lot of good blogs out there. Scroll down through the blogroll and check out a few. I confess one of my faves is Melissa's Imaginarium. I love Mel's sense of humor.

The groups and the blogosphere are just the surface. After that we get to Twitter, Myspace, Facebook, Goodreads, and now even something new at All Romance eBooks. Where will it end? When will I have time to write?

To be honest, every once in a while I need to let the stories "rest." Quite often I benefit by taking a mental break. But I can never abandon the entire world of my writing, so here I am - about my business on the Internet.

When it's all said and done, I'll be happy I did the promo thing today. It's necessary. It may be time consuming, but it's not difficult. And if inspiration regarding any of the stories I have in progress strikes, it's easy to say "enough Internet" and get down to work.

I hope everyone will enjoy this last day of July. It doesn't seem that long ago we passed the last day of June, does it?

KC Kendricks
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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Give, get, and give again




July 26, 2011

For these past many months I’ve suffered with insomnia. It’s not the first time this has happened, and it probably won’t be the last. I put up with it because I must, but if it doesn’t resolve on its own, sooner or later, I’ll resort to the Tylenol PM to snap my biorhythm back into shape.

The inability to sleep often has hidden causes, but I’m pretty sure the root cause of it this time is an overloaded schedule. Too much going on at work, too much going on in my personal life, and not enough time for my passion – writing. Through a stroke of genius, I wrote about a thousand words today.

Okay, it was pure selfish bullheadedness, but who cares? Sometimes I just need to tell everyone and everything to take a number until I’ve banged out a part of the story that has suddenly become clear. I had to get it down while the scene was fresh in my mind. And guess what? The sky didn’t fall on anyone!

My mood started early this morning. Emphasis on early, please. Last evening, I was tired enough to resort to fixing myself a hot toddy in the hope it would knock me out and help me sleep all night straight through. It had every indication of doing just that until 5:16 AM.

What, you ask, does 5:16 AM have to do with it? Promise you won’t call the ASPCA or PETA, or charge me with spousal abuse, and I’ll tell you.

I love my cat. He’s a black and white with tuxedo markings. Quite the handsome boy if I must say so myself, with personality plus. He’s also not allowed to sleep in the bedroom when I’m sleeping in the bedroom. The RETIRED spousal unit knows this. I don’t care if the cat sleeps on the bed all day long because I’m not in bed with him. The cat is NOT a polite bed partner. He pounces on anything that moves.

This morning the brush of whiskers on my cheek and the sinking of not-so-tiny claws into my bosom got my instant attention at the ungodly hour of 5:16 AM. I think I may have mentioned the time earlier in this post, but I’m running short on sleep which can affect the memory. I was sound asleep, and then I was wide-awake. It took, oh…. .000001 seconds.

In .001 seconds, the spousal unit was awake and diving for cover. He’s in charge of not allowing the cat into the bedroom if he comes to bed later than I do, which he did last night. In .1 seconds, the cat was off the bed clawing at the door in the vain attempt to make a clean escape. By this time, all the commotion had the dog barking, and my hope of a solid eight hours of sleep had been whittled down to settling for six and a quarter hours. Unacceptable.

I threw the cat out into the heat and made the dog go down to the den in the basement. The man was more problematic. Locking him in the bathroom doesn’t work. I gave him the bed and took up residence on the daybed in the sunroom where I remained until my alarm went off at six.

And woke the spousal unit again.
And he doesn’t know how to shut it off my alarm.
He had to get out of bed and pull the plug.

I’m still laughing.

Bad KC.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Score!

July 19, 2011


I got a 4 out of 5 [stars, bars, hearts, avatars, whatevers] review this week for Your Whisper in the Dark. In the text of the review, the comment was made that Kenzie turning a trick at a bar shocked the reviewer.

I must be doing something right!!

KC




Your Whisper in the Dark is now available at AmazoniTunesBarnes and NobleKobo and other online book sellers.

Book four of the Men of Marionville series. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Obsessions and Old Friends

July 15, 2011

There’s something about typing the words, “OLD friend” that makes me want to cringe. I’m still young, so that makes all my friends YOUNG friends, right?

I got a phone call from an old friend today. She’d just seen another old friend and learned I’ve been published. (Yeah, back in 2003!). We’ve been out of touch, obviously.

Anyway, she called with congratulations and we chatted for quite a while. It took an hour out of my day, and at first I was mildly worried about spending that much time at work on a personal call. I had a pile of papers to file, some correspondences to handle, and most importantly, I needed to get out of the office on time on a Friday afternoon. But it worked out fine.

It was good to talk with her and catch up. The years dropped away and we laughed over how mundane our lives truly are. On the drive home, it struck me that she is the second person to call me out of the blue in as many weeks. Must be planetary alignment, or something – something like I spend all my spare time writing. Fast on the heels of that realization was one more indisputable and undeniable truth.

I’m obsessed with all things writing.

Is this a good thing, or a bad thing?

It’s a good thing, at least for me. I spent a lot of my life drifting, unsure of what I wanted to be when I grew up. When I sat down and wrote the very first story, I knew this thing called writing was my passion.

Don’t get me wrong. My “day” career involves helping people and it can be very rewarding. It’s nice to know you’ve made some small difference in a person’s life. This is my job.

What I live for are those moments when the words of a story flow onto the page. This is who I am – a writer.

Obsession or passion - call it what you wish. It will still be a good thing for me. But I think I will look at my calendar and make more time to reconnect with old friends and have some fun. Maybe visit some new restaurants, or take in some local culture. I think it will be good for the writing.


KC Kendricks
Website at: http://www.kckendricks.com/
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Sunday, July 10, 2011

Western Maryland Rail Trail

July 10, 2011


I'm up early, ready to blog and eager to write prose. The only hitch in the plan is the weather. It's a balmy 64F/18C - the perfect bicycle riding temperature. It's been awhile since we made the trip to the Western Maryland Rail Trail, so today's the day.

My usual ride is on the C&O Canal towpath. If you ever come to Maryland, make time to visit the C&O Canal and spend an hour walking along the Potomac River. The canal was built in the 1800's as a way to facilitate moving goods up and down the Potomac River. I know you wonder why not just float your barge on the river itself, but the Potomac River has a lot of secret rock ledges beneath the surface.

These days, it's easy to ride along and imagine what it must have been like when mules pulled the barges through the canal. The towpath is like some green-leafed time tunnel, lined by mature trees with a full canopy overhead. A ride on the towpath is private and quiet, unlike the rail trail which runs beside Interstate 70.

Even with the road noise, the rail trail provides a nice change of pace. The towpath is gravel with a lot of bumps, sticks, rocks and roots to dodge. The rail trail is paved with lots of people to dodge. And snakes. Let's not forget snakes.

They like the blacktop. It holds the heat. Be very careful about running over "sticks" on the rail trail.

On the towpath, you have to watch out for deer and squirrels - and even the occasional bald eagle. The snakes are all down by the water sunbathing.

But road noise, people and snakes aside, a ride down the rail trail has the one perk the towpath doesn't - my honey will ride with me. To protect me from snakes. Just kidding. He has nerve damage from chemotherapy in his legs, and the towpath is a bit too rugged for him. I have to slow down to his pace, but it's worth it to ride beside him. He even allows me to call him a slowpoke. How's that for true love?

It's time to finish my coffee, step away from the computer, and load the bikes. Honey is at the door, keys in hand, ready to be underway, and I suppose I shouldn't keep the man waiting.

May your day find you riding a happy trail.

KC Kendricks
Website at: http://www.kckendricks.com
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Saturday, July 9, 2011

When all else fails, try humor

July 9, 2011

Last night. Words fail me. The memory needs to be blotted out of my brain.

It was one of the saddest things I've ever witnessed. The hometown team needed a mercy killing in the first inning. I'm actually glad my grandfather, who was an AVID fan of the Baltimore Orioles all his life, was not alive to see it.

I dug this old joke out of the archives to share this morning, because after last night, all us Oriole fans need a laugh more than the team needs prayer. Lots and lots of prayer............

* * *

Baseball in Heaven


Two ninety-one year old men, Moe and Sam, have been friends all their lives. It seems that Sam is dying of cancer, and Moe comes to visit him every day.

"Sam," says Moe, "You know how we have both loved baseball all our lives, and how we played minor league ball together for so many years. Sam, you have to do me one favor. When you get to Heaven, and I know you will go to Heaven, somehow you've got to let me know if there's baseball in Heaven."

Sam looks up at Moe from his death bed, and says, "Moe, you've been my best friend many years. This favor, if it is at all possible, I'll do for you."


And shortly after that, Sam passes on.


It is midnight a couple of nights later. Moe is sound asleep when he is awakened by a blinding flash of white light and a voice calls out to him, "Moe.... Moe...."


"Who is it?" says Moe sitting up suddenly. "Who is it?"


"Moe, it's me, Sam."


"Come on. You're not Sam. Sam just died."

"I'm telling you," insists the voice. "It's me, Sam!"


"Sam? Is that you? Where are you?"


"I'm in heaven," says Sam, "and I've got to tell you, I've got really good news and a little bad news."

"So, tell me the good news first," says Moe.


"The good news," says Sam "is that there is baseball in heaven. Better yet, all our old buddies who've gone before us are there. Better yet, we're all young men again. Better yet, it's always spring time and it never rains or snows. And best of all, we can play baseball all we want, and we never get tired!"

"Really?" says Moe, "That is fantastic, wonderful beyond my wildest dreams! But, what’s the bad news?"

"You're pitching next Tuesday!"


* * *
 
Have a great weekend, everyone!
 
KC

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Borders back in the news

I'm proud to be an epublished author.

So if you think it's odd I hate to think of a world without brick and mortar book stores, please chalk it up to one of the contradictions that make up each one of us and define who we are.

Publisher's Lunch keeps up to date with the happenings in the publishing world, and today included an article on Borders. The article states if the $215M offer to buy doesn't work out, Borders will have to liquidate. That would be a shame for my little town, but a possible boon for the epublishing industry.

Maybe I can take a mason jar to Borders and capture a bit of that new-book fragrance before it's too late. Sort of a homage to my younger years.

Read the article here:
http://news.yahoo.com/borders-book-stores-considers-215-million-sale-bid-173100288.html

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

June 2011 - Your Whisper in the Dark, No. 5 on the Amber Allure Best Seller list

*Note - while this publishing company has closed, it doesn't alter the fact the book was a best seller that month.

July 6, 2011

Whoo-hoo! Your Whisper in the Dark was the #5 Best Seller at Amber Allure in June! Thank you! Thank you! to everyone who picked up a copy. I hope you enjoyed the story.


(NOTE: Amber Quill Press closed on 3/30/16.)

Your Whisper in the Dark is now available at AmazoniTunesBarnes and NobleKobo and other online book sellers.

Book four of the Men of Marionville series. 

Here's the June list in its entirety:
1. Becoming His - Shawn Lane (Gay / Contemporary)
2. Between Sinners And Saints - Marie Sexton (Gay / Contemporary)
3. Sins Of Influence - India Harper (Gay / Contemporary)
4. Free Me - Brita Addams (Gay / Contemporary)
5. Your Whisper In The Dark - KC Kendricks (Gay / Contemporary)
6. Music Of The Night - M. L. Rhodes (Gay / Contemporary)
7. Static - L. A. Witt (Gay / Contemporary)
8. Catch Me If I Fall - Riley Knox (Gay / Contemporary)
9. All Work And No Play - Anah Crow & Dianne Fox (Gay / Contemporary)
10. Sex, Lies, And Edelweiss - J. L. Merrow (Gay / Contemporary)

For those of you who are reading the stories set in the fictitious town of Marionville (okay, okay, I've got the start calling it a series, I know)
,  Your Whisper in the Dark is about Kenzie, who is an old friend of Noel Springs of the previous story, Open Roads. 

While not a sequel in the strictest sense of the word, Your Whisper in the Dark takes place after Open Roads.



For more info on the Men of Marionville series (there - I said it), please visit my website.

Congratulations to everyone who had a June 2011 book release at Amber Quill Press!

Just a teaser - There's another Men of Marionville story in the works. This time, it's a college friend of Cassidy Barlow (What You Don't Confess) who came to town when Cassidy offered him a job. If you're thinking I'm having too much fun with this series, you'd be correct.

And now for the prerequisite signature information, made all the more important since I don't know just where you'll be reading this blog (gotta love the Internet):

KC Kendricks
Website at: http://www.kckendricks.com/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kckendricks
Join mailing list at: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/betweenthekeys
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Sunday, July 3, 2011

My Grandmother's Garden

Last year I wrote a post about the reblooming of my grandmother's first garden. Discovering the garden was such a profound moment in my life, I needed to share it. I'm sure no one will be surprised to learn I had to take the blog entry down due to spam comments. Why they found that blog so attractive, I'll never fathom.

This summer seeds harvested from those amazing plants have sprouted and are growing and gaining strength in my garden, and I can barely refrain from hopping up and down with glee. I decided it was time to share the story once more, and hope you'll forgive me for not allowing comments to this post. - KC

***
A Precious Legacy




July 11, 2010

I have faded memories of the old log cabin on the other side of the creek, the one my grandparents ‘went to house keeping’ in back in 1930. Abandoned by my grandparents when they built a brick home in 1940, the dark logs with their white chinking had almost disappeared when I was a girl, hidden by the poplar grove that sprang up in the old front yard. When I was about eight, my granddad hooked a chain on the old Allis Chalmers tractor, and pulled the cabin down lest one of his grandchildren come to harm playing in its shadow. From 1965 to 2007, the forest laid claim to the property, shrouding it with grapevines, and a carpet of ferns.

Being an only child, in a family of mostly only children, makes for some very close ties. My cousins and I act more like brothers and sister than some blood siblings do. When the subject was broached that one among the third generation was interested in the old lot, there was no need for discussion. All of us grand-kids are established with our own homes, on property given us by our grandparents (yes, we’re all neighbors and have been for almost thirty years). We welcomed the chance to honor the spirit of our grandparents, and pass the old property to one of the great-grand-kids who would care for it. Clearing began in 2007, and the new, modern house was completed in 2008, built on the exact spot where the cabin stood so many years ago.

Little did I know the treasure that would surface this year when I paid a visit to my young cousin. I strolled down my lane, hopped the creek, and walked across a carpet of grass where a few short years ago, wild ferns grew. Being family, I went around the corner of the house with the intent of using the kitchen door. What I saw stopped me dead in my tracks.

The entire length of the backyard, where lawn met the woods, was awash with pink, purple, and white foxgloves, yellow coreopsis, white daisies, pink columbine, and red sweet Williams. What sprawled before me was my grandmother’s first garden. I plopped down on the porch step, and cried.

All those seeds, dormant in the good earth for decades, had fulfilled the promise of sun and rain, sprouted and grown, and now bloomed. I marveled at the miracle, even as I berated myself for not visiting my young cousin at the right time last year. But things happen for a reason, and last year the foxglove would not have bloomed yet, and I might not have noticed what I've been assured was only a few daisies.

I’ve since transplanted roots and harvested seeds. Come fall, I’ll move more roots to my own garden, increasing my chances of good growth in the spring. I will cast the seeds back onto the earth, and watch for seedlings in the coming years, a precious legacy unknowingly left by a woman who loved her only granddaughter well.

KC Kendricks
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