Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Year in Review - A 2013 Writer's Retrospective

December 29, 2013


Like many, I’m amazed another year has passed. My recollections of the year just past tends to blend together in a blur of meetings, appointments, conflicting schedules and myriad responsibilities. That’s not all bad because I like what I do, but here in the long, dark evenings of winter, I wish I’d taken more time to relax and play. I don’t make formal New Year’s resolutions, but perhaps I’ll keep that in mind as we sail into 2014. 

I’m a firm believer that to know where you’re going you need to take stock of where you've been. The past and future is what this blog is all about as the present is taking care of itself very nicely.

January saw the release of Desert Snow.  Desert Snow was an easy story to write. I’d had it in mind for a while and it flowed onto the page. January also launched the new tradition of our Cousin’s Dinner, a more formal quarterly gathering of all us cousins. It gives us a chance to sit down together for a meal on a regular basis. Making time for each other has become more important as we all seem to be busier than ever. 

February brought the Snow Moon. They called the storm that went through here Winter Storm Nemo. We had some snow and then rain, but it could have been much, much worse. We were lucky, unlike folks north of us. Catching Fireflies was released in February 2013, and I’ve been wondering if I need to revisit the guys on Ocracoke Island.

March was a quiet month. I prepared for the blogging challenge and did my income taxes, and I didn’t write as much as I would have liked. My sunroom became an impromptu greenhouse as I planted seeds - dill, coriander, green pepper and more. 

April has taken on a new meaning in the last few years with the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Twenty-six blogs in twenty-six days going with topics from A to Z. More information about the A to Z Blogging Challenge can be found here. Think it’s easy to blog every day excepts Sundays for an entire month? Ha! I dare ya to do it and no cheating - write real entries!
May was the release month for Deuce of Diamonds, the sequel to Double Deuce. There’s definitely a third installment of Ian and Rick’s story in the works. We made a flying trip south to visit the brother-in-law and I came home with a mild case of strep throat. Luckily I got antibiotics promptly and my vacation wasn’t ruined.

June - my birthday month and Mercury went into retrograde. I still got some writing done but I took some time to work on my genealogy project. We got a small pool, just deep enough to relax and cool off in, and we enjoyed it all summer long.

July was a slow month. I wrote a lot of prose but no book releases. It was one of those stretches where foundations were laid for the future. Thinking about the future convinced me to actually make Twitter part of my daily routine. I now remember to go tweet, but I'm a lost cause with the pictures part of it. Perhaps I'll work on that in 2014. Liking photography, I did what I knew I shouldn't and joined Pinterest. No joke - I set a timer if I'm going to play on Pinterest. My website got an overhaul in July. 
August. The release of Kentucky 98 Proof. I knew this book would take off like a rocket and it did. Kentucky 98 Proof was the #1 Bestseller at Amber Quill Press in August and it was on the top ten bestseller list at All Romance eBooks. I went to my roots for this story and the end result was magic.

September was busy. I spent a lot of time on the promo circuit with Kentucky 98 Proof while doing the edits for Station to Station. The month also brought the worst news of the year when a young family member was diagnosed with cancer just before her first wedding anniversary. We know her fight will be difficult, but youth is on her side.


**The following paragraph was updated 4/24/2016**
October found us having a quiet celebration at my house. My partner passed the seven-year mark of being cancer free. Even as we give thanks and count our blessings we pray for others undergoing treatment. Station to Station released in October and seemed to be well received. I was delighted to have this new installment of the Men of Marionville series available but the truth is I privately think with our cultural focus on the fun sides of Halloween, October is only good for paranormal releases. So if you missed Station to Station in October, now’s the time to circle back and get it.

November 2013 marked the 30th anniversary of my father’s passing. That, coupled with a brutal month at the day job, left me a little tired. Not much writing happened in November, but sometimes it’s important to step back and take a breath while dealing with employer horseshit. Excuse me. Horse manure. No, I was correct the first time. It was all horseshit. I took a good look at my retirement portfolio and upped the ante. I don’t need to buy shoes in 2014. I have enough pairs of heels to last the next three years.

December, finally. There are stories submitted several places and I’m waiting to see if I can expand my horizons in the coming year. Keep your fingers crossed. With any luck, I can spread my wings a bit and take my writing up a step. It's a circular conundrum. If I retire I'll write more but I can't write more until I retire. So in preparation of writing more, I need to get my name into new places. It's a prime example of how interconnected all things are. I hope you’ll stay tuned and see how it goes.

There it is - 2013 in a single blog entry. My sincere thanks for coming along with me in 2013. All in all, it was a great year. I hope the good trends continue. 

To you and yours, I wish you a healthy, prosperous and fulfilling New Year.

KC Kendricks


Saturday, December 28, 2013

Grandpa! What's for dinner?

December 28, 2013

There are those of us who are of a certain age.... some of us edging toward middle age remember a cute but hokey television show called Hee Haw. I happen to be one of the fortunate ones forced by her elders to endure the first-run shows. The show had a segment where "Grandpa" rattled off what was cooking for the down-home dinner. 

And for the record when "Grandpa" said dandelion greens, I could relate. I pulled many a dandelion for my grandmother. She paid well for that service. But I digress...

"What's for dinner?" is frequently a battle cry at my house. The spousal unit and I have differing views on what makes a good meal. He's hooked on the cooking shows and wants to eat the way the tv cooks do. I lived alone far too long before I met him and there are many evenings I think tossing a potato in the microwave or a bowl of soup will suffice. It gets ugly if I only pick at the wonderful dinners my beloved prepares. 

But there's a light shining in the darkness of January: gift cards! 

This Christmas was the year of the restaurant gift card and I suspect these cards will help me win the food wars in January. When Himself decides he wants ME to fix him a down-home southern breakfast, we're going to Cracker Barrel. When Himself decides we should grab something quick before we head home from town, we're going to Bob Evans. There's no date night in January due to the Cousin's Dinner, but in February I've got it covered at the Olive Garden. And the next time Himself wants a steak, I'm going to shine like a star when I toss his whiney ass in my Charger and haul it to the Longhorn Steakhouse. 

So go ahead, Grandpa. Ask me what's for dinner! 

KC Kendricks
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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

And a Merry Christmas Day it was!

December 25, 2013

12 Grand biscuits with real butter
11 dirty wine glasses (somehow?)
10 slices of coconut cake
09 serving dishes
08 plates filled with hot food
07 people liked the apricot sauce
06 servings of cranberry sauce (with two abstaining)
05 bottles of White Merlot (and none left)
04 cups of coffee, leaded
03 cell phones ringing
02 dishes brought by others (that I didn't have to cook)
and a turkey picked clean down to the bone

And a lovely Christmas Day dinner. 

KC

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve 2013

December 24, 2013

It's Christmas Eve. 

I'm trying to discover what that means to me this year but I suspect I'm simply too tired to appreciate the nuances of the day. The hustle and bustle of the last week has caught up to me at a most inopportune time. 

The house is clean, the gifts are wrapped and the table is set for tomorrow. I have no shopping or laundry to do. I've tried to settle down and work on Sundown and Fallon's next story, but I find my eyes closing and my head nodding. The obvious thing to do would be take a nap. 

What? Take a nap and miss part of the day? Me? I don't think so.

I think I'll find my old sneakers and a long coat and head for the woods. It may only be a balmy thirty-seven degrees (Fahrenheit) outside, but that'll work for me. A brisk walk will get the blood flowing and help me contemplate all the good things in my life this Christmas Eve.

My health. My partner. My family. Friends. A warm, dry mortgage-free house. A career I enjoy. A day job that pays the bills. I've got a lot to be thankful for this Christmas Eve. 

Tomorrow there will be an eclectic group of eight at my table. My parents, my uncle and his "friend," and a couple in our circle whose children have scattered to the in-laws. It should make for lively conversation and a merry Christmas Day. 

May your holiday be equally blessed. 

KC




Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Cat Named Hercules for My Sexy Saturday #30

December 21, 2013

Welcome to the official start of Winter 2013. It's a toasty 50+ degrees in my neck of the woods - hardly what one would expect for the winter solstice. Since we can't do a thing about it, let's just enjoy it!

This is the next-to-the-last My Sexy Saturday of 2013, and probably my last time until January. Next Saturday is a full day, so I had to let go of something, and while it doesn't take much to schedule a blog, I have no hope of helping out on the promotion of #mysexysaturday next weekend, so I'll skip a week.

So with that said, let's get straight to the point of My Sexy Saturday and my seven sexy paragraphs from A Cat Named Hercules.

*_*_*

Gale opened his front door and moved back so I could step inside. Complimenting his choice of attire required breathing, and he’d knocked the air right out of me. Black slacks, a maroon and black long sleeved knit shirt in a classic argyle pattern, and loafers had never affected me like this before. I managed to speak the inane phrase.

“Wow. You look great.”

He smiled at me as he closed the door. “Thanks. So do you.”

Gale reached for me, then stopped. I hated to see his uncertainty. It was more proof he needed to do some living before he got serious about anyone, including me. I smiled and closed the distance between us, slipping my arms around his waist. Our lower bodies touched, then he leaned into me. His lips opened as my mouth covered his and I tasted the cinnamon freshness of chewing gum recently disposed of. He pulled away.

“What? You’re grinning.”

“I am. I just learned what gum you like.”

He rolled his eyes. “You’re a little nuts, aren’t you?”

*_*_*



A CAT NAMED HERCULES
Book five in the Men of Marionville series

Now available at AmazoniTunesBarnes and NobleKobo and other online book sellers

New in town, Shiloh Rudy joins a group of civic-minded volunteers to better acquaint himself with his recently adopted community. It’s a good way to make friends, network, and help make a difference, not to mention perhaps meet someone interesting  - in a romantic sort of way. The one thing Shiloh didn’t expect was a love to rival all others to come with four white paws.

Gale Widmyer is on his feet and moving forward after piecing his life back together following a series of wrong choices. In his darkest moments, the one bright spot in his existence was the fulfillment of his dream to become a veterinarian. Gale’s making good on a promise to himself when an abandoned kitten leads him to Shiloh Rudy and a chance at the happiness he never hoped to have.

Laying the cornerstone for a developing relationship comes easy for Shiloh and Gale. But the wounds of the past often remain unhealed at their deepest point. A few careless words erects a wall of silence between the two men, one Shiloh has to breach if he hopes to win Gale back. It will take more than apologies to win Gale’s forgiveness and put old fears to rest. It’ll take a cat named Hercules.

KC Kendricks
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http://www.kckendricks.com
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Friday, December 20, 2013

Hop on the turntable and Step Into Christmas

December 20, 2013

A Christmas confession - I love Elton John's music. (What? You already know that? That's good!)  Well, I love Elton, too, in the way we're to love everyone. Closest I ever got to meeting him was shaking his hand during a concert in 1976 as he went along the edge of the stage. I really admire the guy for so many things but that's another blog some day. I generally rank his music on a scale from:
     Iconic!
     Great!
     Good! 
     Like it!
     It's Elton!

There is no bad Elton music, by the way.

It's hard to believe that forty years ago EJ put out a Christmas song, one that has kept up with the times better than most. No, no, no I'm not talking about the B side of the 45rpm.......I'm talking about Step Into Christmas! 

Thank you, EJ, for forty years of this iconic song and for all the music which has been the soundtrack of my life.  

Step Into Christmas
 
Welcome to my Christmas song
I'd like to thank you for the year
So I'm sending you this Christmas card
To say it's nice to have you here
I'd like to sing about all the things
Your eyes and mind can see
So hop aboard the turntable
Oh step into Christmas with me
Step into Christmas
Let's join together
We can watch the snow fall forever and ever
Eat, drink and be merry
Come along with me
Step into Christmas
The admission's free
Take care in all you do next year
And keep smiling through the days
If we can help to entertain you
Oh we will find the ways
So merry Christmas one and all
There's no place I'd rather be
Than asking you if you'd oblige
Stepping into Christmas with me
- - -
 
You can hop aboard the turntable with Elton at
 
 
KC Kendricks

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The passing of that one lover...

December 19, 2013

I suppose, having been with my spouse for twenty years, I shouldn't have some things marked on my calendar. You know - the birthdays of old boyfriends and dates special events happened with them. Like when they won the karate championship. That sort of thing. Maybe it's in bad taste. I don't really know. But there's one notation that pops up on my calendar every year on December 19 that I don't care if my partner knows about. I will not remove it: JRH, 2009.

It was foolish of me to believe old lovers, forever young and virile in my memory, would live forever. Life has proven to me they do not. It's also been proven that to mourn in private silence is unhealthy, yet in this instance that is my lot. Perhaps had I been able to mourn openly I'd be over the loss and this year I know I am not.

You know the story. It's a common one. Thirty or so years ago I met a man.... and we shared so much. The ending isn't one found in a romance novel. He wanted to travel a road I did not and I would not bend. He went one way and I went another. We saw each other, sporadically, and it was enough to know he was happy enough in his choices, one of which I may have forced upon him.

And then a mutual friend delivered the news - he was gone.  

It's odd to know I'll never meet him on the road again. I'd gotten used to suddenly looking in my rear view mirror and seeing the grill of his Chevy pickup about three inches from my bumper. He did it just to hear me yell profanities at him and he'd always laugh. I will always miss his grin and the quick kiss on my cheek he always gave me.

Life is full of loss, and it's what we do with those losses that shape and prepare us to handle the next one with more grace. I didn't get to say so many things to him, not even goodbye. I didn't get to tell him I wouldn't forget him and that every year I'd stop and remember the long talks we had and the secrets he told me. It is one of the few regrets I carry. 

His passing at the age of forty-nine reminds me to cherish the people I care about and to take the time to tell them they're important to me. I need to say the words as much as they need to hear them. Because I don't want to miss another chance to tell someone I care about them and they matter. 

KC

Monday, December 16, 2013

Nine Days until Christmas

December 16, 2013

And then there were nine. 

Days.

Until Christmas. 

And not all the presents have arrived via UPS, USPS or FedEx. 

I may start to worry soon. 

KC

Saturday, December 14, 2013

River Walk - KC Kendricks' My Sexy Saturday blog post

December 14, 2013

Who doesn't like a mischievous shapeshifter?

For this My Sexy Saturday, I have seven "sexy" paragraphs from River Walk, in which Fallon and Sundown's relationship is tested by startling new facts about a cold case that has some bearing on how they met, a kidnapped nestling, and Sundown's jealousy over Fallon's new office assistant, Monte. Monte is straight and has a girlfriend, but Sundown doesn't understand how anyone wouldn't want Fallon. (It's a shapeshifter thing.)


I've enjoyed the Sundown series and am, in fact, working on the fourth installment this month and next. River Walk was a bit intense, so the new one will be a bit more light-hearted. The cop and the shapeshifter will take a vacation together.  

So without more rambling, here's a bit from River Walk for My Sexy Saturday. Be sure to check out all the blogs on the list below.

= = = = =

I wanted to say yes, but my inner voice, the smarter half of me, said he’d try and shadow me himself. “No. I know damn well you’d follow me around yourself. I won’t have you in danger trying to protect me.”

“You are wise, my beloved, and you know me well.”

I scrunched down under the covers, pulling him with me. “Try to remember you’re the one who said it. Now go to sleep.”

Sundown’s warm hand cupped the soft lump of my genitals. He sighed when nothing happened, but twice was all I could manage. “Do you dream of me, Fallon?”

“All the time, darling. Sometimes I spank you in my dreams.”

He laughed at my words and flipped over, his butt against my hip. I rolled onto my side and tucked him into the curve of my body. “Where do you go when you rest?”

 Sundown was silent for so long I thought he’d declined to answer, but he finally did. “I go with you, Fallon, to be sure you dream of me and not Mon-tee.”
= = = = =

River Walk
gay romance with a paranormal shift



The Sundown Series
1) The Back Stairs
2) Beneath Dark Stars
3) River Walk
4)Moon Dances
5) Fly By Night

KC Kendricks
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Monday, December 9, 2013

Again? Really? More snow?

December 9, 2013

Did the people at the Weather Channel draw a bullseye on western Maryland? Yesterday we had 5 1/2 inches of snow at my location, followed by what amounted to about an inch of ice forming on top of the white stuff. This morning, warmer air made it possible to get to work, but relief that this early December blow was past was short lived. 

My once and future honey called me for the express purpose of telling me we might get up to another six inches of the white stuff tomorrow. Excuse me? Is this a joke? He does like to have fun at my expense, but he's not joking this time. 

I'm trying to see the silver lining in the clouds, but I guess because I had to come to work today I'm too grouchy. I don't want to have a snow day dangled in front of me like the carrot in front of the donkey again. I want a damn guarantee! 

So here's my bribe to the universe. Let me stay home tomorrow with my DSL intact and I'll finish my Christmas shopping online. It'll be good for the economy! 

KC Kendricks
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***UPDATE***
December 10 - It's snowing. Like REALLY snowing. Looks like today's the day to finish Christmas shopping. 

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Here comes the snow, ice and freezing rain

Once again, it seems that the Weather Channel has my world on high alert. I could poke fun at them, but that would be admitting that I've plugged into it. So, okay, I admit I have. I take seriously all the warnings of doom and gloom about the impending snow and ice freezing rain. My goodness, what are we going to do? Those folks on the television will tell you to the point of insulting your intelligence.

Maybe I’m a tad grouchy this morning. Today was the day I was supposed to go to Hershy, Pennsylvania to see the Trans-Siberian Orchestra in concert. I haven't been to a concert in many years, not because I'm unable to go, or unwilling, but because I'm generally financially opposed to the cost of a concert. Anyway, the tickets are going to go unused. The Weather Channel says a winter storm is bearing down on our location.

I confess I've been watching the screen on my smart phone as the blue cloud closes in around us. I've also been looking out the window to see the first snowflake, but it hasn't come yet. I have a bit of an ulterior motive in watching for the snow to begin because snowfall is the best time to burn a brush pile, and I have a huge one that’s been growing all fall. If I can’t go see the TSO, I can at least play pyromaniac. The falling snow keeps the fire contained, and I don’t have to worry about burning the forest that covers the side of my mountain. Now there's an activity for keeping warm the Weather Channel won't mention.

Or maybe I’ll just fix a fresh cup of coffee and retire to the sunroom to watch the pretty snow. It seems a better plan for the remainder of the morning. 

KC Kendricks
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Monday, December 2, 2013

Sleepy Hollow - a rerun again??

December 2, 2013

I confess. I've gotten hooked on Sleepy Hollow. I love all the twists and turns plus some odd history tossed into the mix. But another rerun again? 

Rerun or not, Tom Mison as Ichabod Crane is definitely a little eye candy. Funny how he doesn't look nearly as hot in modern garb. Except for his eyes. I'll be disappointed as hell if it turns out he wears tinted contacts. 

C'mon all you programming dudes over at FOX! Use your heads and....oh....

I just now realized what the problem is. Y'all let your heads get away from you, right? 

KC