Thursday, April 22, 2021

Centerville Muscle

 April 22, 2021

When I wrote Bored, Stroked, and Blueprinted, I knew I wanted to add to Mick and Logan's story. I love muscle cars, so creating a series that has them at the nexus is sort of a no-brainer for me. Bored, Stroked, and Blueprinted featured a 1969 Camaro Z/28. My first car was a 1969 Camaro, sadly not a Z. I still have quite a fondness for those first-generation Camaros.

The second book in the series was supposed to be July Heat, but as that story developed, I knew that wasn't the right title for it and so it became Memphis. Memphis is a very appropriate title for a book that became a lot more than expected. Yes, there's a 1968 Camaro in there, but the story is definitely about a man's journey back to life. 

That left me with the title July Heat but no story. Happily, that didn't last long and the story is at twenty-thousand words and rapidly growing. I have the background of the cover figured out. It's going to be obvious it's a sequel to Memphis. 

It's really great to be enthused about a story. Most of the dust has settled around me and writing is enjoyable again. July Heat has muscle cars and my favorite pairing of characters - a slightly older man and a guy about a dozen or so years his junior. I think a bit of an age difference makes a good dynamic. Exploring the age difference helps develop the relationship between the characters as they share first the happier things they've lived through, and later, the more profound adversities. 

My break is over and I'm heading back to Centerville, which, by the way, is not that far from Marionville and Easton. It's also fun to make connections between stories that long-time readers will recognize. 

Will I take Centerville Muscle to twelve stories the way I did the Men of Marionville? There's no way for me to know until I get to the end of the road.  


 _*_*_*_*_*_*_

 KC Kendricks

My home on the web- Between the Keys: 
Visit my bookshelf at: 

Social media links:
Life through the eyes of my black Lab, Greenbrier Smokey Deuce: deucesday.blogspot.com
My country life at Holly Tree Manor: hollytreemanor.blogspot.com
Snips and clips on my YouTube channel: KC Kendricks Between the Keys




Wednesday, April 14, 2021

This just in from Blogger:

 April 15, 2021


Terms of Service·Privacy·Content Policy

Notices (1)

FollowByEmail widget (Feedburner) is going away

You are receiving this information because your blog uses the FollowByEmail widget (Feedburner).

Recently, the Feedburner team released a system update announcement, that the email subscription service will be discontinued in July 2021.

After July 2021, your feed will still continue to work, but the automated emails to your subscribers will no longer be supported. 

Friday, April 2, 2021

Down the rabbit hole

 April 2, 2021


Starting to update all the out-of-date links here at Between the Keys has taken me down the rabbit hole. There are well over one thousand blog entries spanning the last thirteen years, and all of them have a link or two - or more - included. The task is more daunting than I thought it would be. 

I've begun to wonder if all the updating is truly something that needs to be done. Do people actually go back and read entries from 2008? Yes, they do. Do they click on the links? I would have to assume so, in some instances. Is having a reader click on a dead link a good thing? Nope.

It could be better to link each book to a bookseller page, but I don't like that idea. Is Blogger safer than a personal website? Probably not but I found out a personal website isn't so safe, either. 

Updating the links is going to take a virtual forever, but I'm going to slough onward and do as much as I can. I may fall out of my chair with exhaustion, but until then, I will persevere. 

And that is my pep talk to myself this sunny Friday afternoon. Let's hope it works. 

 _*_*_*_*_*_*_

 KC Kendricks

My home on the web- Between the Keys: 
Visit my bookshelf at: 

Social media links:
Life through the eyes of my black Lab, Greenbrier Smokey Deuce: deucesday.blogspot.com
My country life at Holly Tree Manor: hollytreemanor.blogspot.com
Snips and clips on my YouTube channel: KC Kendricks Between the Key



Monday, March 29, 2021

It's not working for me


March 29, 2021

How do you know when the time is right? That's the question that keeps me awake at night. I've made decisions, but it's knowing when to implement them that's my problem. 

I thought I had the website issue settled, but no. I have a front page up and running and now it seems one cannot make changes to it. An even bigger issue is when I click my shortcut, I get a 999 message. Say...what? That is something I really don't understand. It takes refreshing the page for the website to appear. 

Is it hubris to desire to have my very own .com? Perhaps.

Is it absolutely necessary to have my very own .com? Perhaps. 

And there it is. The author is dithering again. 

I do like having a .com but what I have right now isn't going to work for very long. Right now, kckendricks.com directs everyone here to Between the Keys and that's fine in the short term. Blogger is where I hang out, be it here or at Holly Tree Manor, or at Deuce's Day (http://deucesday.blogspot.com).

And then there is the issue of all those links to kckendricks.com that have been posted over the years. How in the world does one update all of those? Who has the time? I'd have to do it thousands of times! I don't think that's in the cards. 

I worried that the newer website softwares would be beyond my grasp, but I figured one out so I know I can figure out another. 

It looks like I'll begin again to search for webhosting that works better for me. Hubris is both annoying and frustrating. Maybe it's just plain being hardheaded. 


 _*_*_*_*_*_*_

 KC Kendricks

My home on the web- Between the Keys: 
Visit my bookshelf at: 

Social media links:
Life through the eyes of my black Lab, Greenbrier Smokey Deuce: deucesday.blogspot.com
My country life at Holly Tree Manor: hollytreemanor.blogspot.com
Snips and clips on my YouTube channel: KC Kendricks Between the Key


Monday, March 15, 2021

Caesar, beware the Ides of March - website is updated!

 March 15, 2021

Well, color me relieved! The new website is live. It's not finished, but at least kckendricks.com has a home. 

There is a lot more to do, so stay posted. 

 _*_*_*_*_*_*_

 KC Kendricks

My home on the web- Between the Keys: 
Visit my bookshelf at: 

Social media links:
Life through the eyes of my black Lab, Greenbrier Smokey Deuce: deucesday.blogspot.com
My country life at Holly Tree Manor: hollytreemanor.blogspot.com
Snips and clips on my YouTube channel: KC Kendricks Between the Key

This is becoming beyond annoying

March 15, 2021

Work on the new .com is progressing. Some decisions have been made and a few of them are already implemented. I have a new home page formatted using new software and it's...acceptable. Many of the pages of the old website have been taken down. 

Why is the old site still up and the new one not? Because Yahoo has hidden the DELETE SITE button somewhere unfathomable. 

Or perhaps it's because I'm of the age I like to think for myself and Yahoo does not like that. They reward herd mentality, not free-thinking (and especially not free speech). 

Here's the thing. I figured out one piece of new site building, so I know I can figure out another. 

Later today I'll see if I can get through to customer service, and you know how annoying THAT is going to be.

KC Kendricks, who feels like she's in cyberspace limbo.

 _*_*_*_*_*_*_

My home on the web- Between the Keys: 

Sunday, March 7, 2021

Switching from website to blog

 

March 7, 2021

A few short weeks ago I learned that Yahoo was ending support for the Site Builder software I've used since 2004. To say I'm not pleased about this is an understatement. Site Builder is...was...incredibly easy to use, especially since I was already well-acquainted with MS Publisher. Apparently, though, the powers that be consider the software inappropriate for viewing websites on a cell phone so it had to go bye-bye. 

Some day, when everyone goes blind from staring at itty-bitty screens, I'll still be chugging along on my big screen. No eye strain here. But I digress...

Years ago, yes YEARS, I began a project to mirror all the book pages of my .com here at Between the Keys. I never really got the project off the ground but now seemed like the time to get caught up. Last night I loaded the final book page and now I can start the work of looking for new website software and a new web host. Yahoo has made moves over the last few years that make me wonder at its leadership and stability. It's time to move on. 

I kinda like having the pages here at Between the Keys. I've found Blogger to be a good platform, but again, who knows how long it will remain so I need to have a .com somewhere else. Blogger did undergo an update last year that made it more difficult to use. Its next update will probably take another step toward Small Screenville. 

It's a lot of work to get done when I could, and should, be working on the latest manuscript. At what point will it become more than I want to undertake? I don't know. I'm not yet at that point, so website shopping I will go now that Blogger "has my back."

I do know one thing. Just like I printed all my .com pages to .pdf, I'll copy all the book pages here at Between the Keys in html and save them for posterity. It may be a waste of time, or it may save my bacon somewhere down the line. It's better to be prepared. 

Words to live by. It's better to be prepared. 


 _*_*_*_*_*_*_

 KC Kendricks

My home on the web- Between the Keys: 
Visit my bookshelf at: 

Social media links:
Life through the eyes of my black Lab, Greenbrier Smokey Deuce: deucesday.blogspot.com
My country life at Holly Tree Manor: hollytreemanor.blogspot.com
Snips and clips on my YouTube channel: KC Kendricks Between the Key


Friday, March 5, 2021

What is #pitmad?

March 5, 2021                                                                                                                                              

Recently my Twitter feed blew up with the #pidmad tag. What fresh hell is this, I asked myself. As with all things, Google knows too freaking much. Here's what I learned from Google.

Pitmad is a quarterly event, on Twitter, where writers with unpublished manuscripts attempt to catch the notice of an agent or editor. You only get 280 characters so you need to be concise and leave room for hashtags. Once you've tweeted with the appropriate hashtags, you pin the tweet to your profile to make it easier for others to find. If you're lucky, your peeps will give you a lot of retweets, but remember they've got their own tweets out there so do your due diligence and do some retweeting for them. 

And do not like or click on the heart of anyone's pitch, either. On Pitmad day, that's reserved for the agents and editors so you know who to query. 

There seems to be a set of hashtags to use, but this poor writer is out of the loop. That's what happens when a writer allows real-life to intrude on the muse. But since we writers have our own language, here are a few I think should work.

#F for fiction
#SF for science fiction or speculative fiction
#M for mystery or #CM for cozy mystery
#S for suspense or #T for thriller
#P for paranormal
#YA for young adult
#LGBT and #BSDM need no explanation

It can be a bit daunting to jump into the fray, but in reality, you've got an equal shot with the other thousands of writers going #pitmad crazy. Just remember that catching the notice of an agent or editor, while exciting, may not mean a thing to your career. It may or may not get your published. BE CAREFUL. 

Before you give out any personal information to someone on Twitter, be sure to check them out. Make Google find you an agency phone number and make that call. Take your conversations off the Internet and make notes. Do your due diligence to protect yourself. 

I don't write this to discourage anyone. We need your voice. You deserve your shot. Just be cognizant of those who are waiting to take advantage of inexperience. You deserve fair treatment above all else.

So sayeth this writing elder. 

 _*_*_*_*_*_*_

 KC Kendricks

My home on the web- Between the Keys: 
Visit my bookshelf at: 

Social media links:
Life through the eyes of my black Lab, Greenbrier Smokey Deuce: deucesday.blogspot.com
My country life at Holly Tree Manor: hollytreemanor.blogspot.com
Snips and clips on my YouTube channel: KC Kendricks Between the Key


Thursday, February 25, 2021

We're having fun now (just joking, it ain't fun)


February 25, 2021

It used to be you could say "shoot me" to explain your level of frustration but it's not safe to do that these days. Too bad because I'm definitely at that point. 

Why, you ask?

Yahoo is ending its Site Builder website software. My .com has used Site Builder since 2004, and it couldn't be any easier to use. So OF COURSE they'd do away with it. 

They've offered to allow people to keep their website past ending support BUT you will no longer be able to add to it OR make any updates. Yes, it's frustrating. 

If I have to learn new software and create an entirely new website from scratch, I will certainly do it someplace less expensive. Not that Yahoo webhosting broke the bank or anything near to it. It's just there are cheaper alternatives out there if I want to keep the .com, and I do. 

I haven't made a decision on where to go, but I am going to finish a project I started a l-o-n-g time ago, and that's load book description pages here at Between the Keys. I'll at least have a decent fall-back for when the current website goes down. Check out the menu to the left for portals to information. As of this date, it's a work in progress so you could end up at the .com for the next little bit. But not for long if I can get 'r done. 

It was a good run. Seventeen years. 

More information when it becomes available. 

KC Kendricks




Sunday, February 21, 2021

The Winter 2020 Between the Keys Newsletter is Available

February 21, 2021

Isn't it confusing that only eleven days of winter happen in December and yet that December names the entire season? The winter of 2020 isn't over until March 20, 2021. Maybe it's just one more reason winter is generally a person's least favorite season. We're already confused due to lack of sunlight and warmth, and then the calendar screws with us. 

There was a time, in my distant writing past, when I was diligent about putting out a monthly newsletter. It was called Forrest Whispers because at that time only my alter ego published it. Jump to 2008 and I switched my focus and let the newsletter go. Fast forward to 2017 and I resurrected a newsletter and called it Between the Keys to stick with my "brand." I was doing okay until like so many others in my age group I was called upon to care for aging parents. I'm not complaining because life is what it is. I made the decision to relax and put out a newsletter when I have time to do so. 

The Winter 2020 edition of the Between the Keys newsletter is out! It's viewable in two locations - on my website and here at the blog

You're invited to check it out.

KC Kendricks

Monday, February 15, 2021

It's a matter of taste, isn't it?

February 15, 2021

Put a group of published authors together and sooner or later the talk will turn to book covers. What makes a good cover? What do book buyers really like? How do we win the book cover lottery? It's an important topic - to an author.

My own personal experience with book covers is mixed. It's gone both ways for me. I've had great covers that didn't seem to move many copies and downright horrible covers that did. Go figure. 

Back in the days of working with publishers, the idea was to suggest ideas to a cover artist. The cover should reflect the story. The cover should have key elements from the story. The writer submits a helpful form and BOOM! The cover comes back with two bare chests and no heads. So why did the form require a description of the main characters? It was a bit frustrating but so is making my own covers. 

Don't misunderstand me - I like the creative process of making a book cover. But days like today, when I went to one of the stock photo sellers, it gets tedious. In looking for just the right guy that fits the story, that feels like the main character, I found beards. Lots and lots of beards. I don't like beards. Beards strike me as lazy, especially if the guy doesn't keep it well-trimmed. 

I must have scrolled through a hundred pages of "sexy handsome man" photo and found nothing. And some I did see I know have been used repeatedly on other covers. All of a sudden a pair of bare chests seems like a really good idea. 

I've reached the point in writing July Heat that I need to get the cover created and I feel stymied by what I found. My preference is to see the character's faces, and if possible, his eyes. (There's a story about this title here.)

So it's going to take a bit longer than I thought to make the cover. I know some will say I should hire a cover artist, but that doesn't work for me. It's like asking someone to read my mind and then they fail at it and I have to pay them regardless. No, it's better I take a week or two and conduct a good search to find the right guys.  

In the end, some readers will like the cover and some won't. There is very little I can do about that. Readers will buy or not buy for reasons I may never know. What I do know is I need to create a cover that pleases me. At the end of the day, that's the bottom line on a cover. 


 _*_*_*_*_*_*_

 KC Kendricks

My home on the web- Between the Keys: 
Visit my bookshelf at: 

Social media links:
Life through the eyes of my black Lab, Greenbrier Smokey Deuce: deucesday.blogspot.com
My country life at Holly Tree Manor: hollytreemanor.blogspot.com




Sunday, February 14, 2021

A little upgrade for the office

February 14, 2021

Several years ago I moved my office from a spare bedroom to the sunroom. My house is surrounded by woods and I enjoy having a good view of what's happening outside around me. You'd think it would be a distraction, but it's proven not to be one. 

That's not to say I never grab the binoculars for a better look when the deer move in for a quiet afternoon in the shade. Or spend time sitting out on the porch spying on the neighbors hawks.   

The longer I stay with writing, the more my office becomes my nest. When I wrote the first book, I had a small corner of the spare bedroom and a cobbled-together desk. The chair wasn't so great, either. I got a new desk and chair, and then a file cabinet. My husband, ever a good carpenter, got a four-by-eight sheet of melamine-clad plyboard and installed a solid desktop. That worked for a few years until one day I spied my current desk. I made the jump from "good enough" to "big girl furniture." I'm still using that desk and credenza in the sunroom

Back in the days when I did interviews at various review sites, one of the questions was always what music do I listen to when I write? With the wonderful playlists on YouTube these days, it's a very eclectic mix. What seems to be more important to me is scent. What does my office smell like?

Well... several years ago a girlfriend started to sell Scentsy. I got a wax warmer and a few scented waxes for a Christmas gift and I've enjoyed changing the scent in my office every day since. That first warmer quit working a few days ago so I did what a lot of us are doing during this pandemic - I scurried to Amazon as fast as my fingers could click and ordered a new warmer. I also found liners for the wax! What a good idea! 

I ordered a small package of liners and I couldn't be happier with them. I'm not in the habit of recommending products, but I didn't know about them so I figure maybe other people don't know. They seem to be very sturdy, hold a good amount of wax, and can be reused at least once. If you like using the scented wax as much as I do, give those liners a try. I'm not an Amazon affiliate nor am I getting paid to give a review, so don't be afraid to click. 

As for what scents I like, it varies by season, but I'm a big fan of patchouli and sandalwood. It takes me back to my youth, back to the days of peace, pot, and Woodstock. I also like almost everything citrusy and spicy. Fruity scents are fine in the summer, but never in the fall or winter. 

So that's the blog for today. Now I must get some writing done before it's time for the Daytona 500. Can't miss that one.


 _*_*_*_*_*_*_

 KC Kendricks

My home on the web- Between the Keys: 
Visit my bookshelf at: 

Social media links:
Life through the eyes of my black Lab, Greenbrier Smokey Deuce: deucesday.blogspot.com
My country life at Holly Tree Manor: hollytreemanor.blogspot.com



Thursday, February 11, 2021

Another three inches

 

February 11, 2021

Don't go there.

Yes, I write romance with some, ahem, interesting love scenes, but that is not the "another" three inches to which I refer. I'm talking about snow. As in it is fucking snowing again. 

I'm so over this winter? Maybe not. 

In reality, this winter has been reminiscent of the winters we had when I was a girl. We actually had appreciable snow in December, and that pattern has carried through to at least today. 

Winter makes living on the side of a mountain very interesting - and beautiful. When it snows, the world becomes a quiet white cathedral. It's incredibly peaceful. The other side of that coin is one should not hop in a vehicle and expect to drive down the hill. One should prepare to slide down the hill. Better yet, one should plan ahead and stay home. In the case of the writer, she should stay home and write. 

That's the plan for today. As I work on this blog entry, it's predawn. To enjoy the snowfall, I've switched on the backyard floodlights and have a nice view out my window. The deer are moving along the top of the yard, close to the stone fence (I must tell the story of the stones someday). Quiet, graceful creatures, I wonder how they fare in this sort of weather but I dare not provide any food. My garden will be in enough jeopardy from them come summer. 

It's time for me to get to the manuscript, but I'm reluctant to miss any of the dawn. I've waited so many years to finally have that luxury and it feels like I'm cheating myself if I ignore it. There will be plenty of time to work on the manuscript today. And to enjoy the snow. One does not preclude the other. 

Sunday, February 7, 2021

A white cathedral

 

February 7, 2021

There are days when events align in magical ways. Today my grandfather would be one-hundred-eleven years old. Today, it's snowing, a wet, clingy snow that turned my woods into a white cathedral. 

My grandparents gave me the piece of ground I built my home on forty years ago. They loved the land and respected it as it provided so much for our family. Food, water, shelter, fuel, privacy, safety, and beauty. The land is a living thing. 

I was up before dawn this morning and settled at the computer. Like so many of us, I have remote controls for all sorts of gadgets and I switched on the backyard floodlights to watch the snow. Keeping an eye on the clock, as soon as I knew the sun, while still hidden by the thick cloud cover, would be above the mountain, Deuce and I went out to take pictures. 

Walking during a snowfall, it's easy to allow the white peacefulness to flow into your soul. The only sounds were those of Deuce's paws crunching through the snow and the calling of the young red-tailed hawk who fledged here last summer and never left. He's claimed my "territory" as his, but I'm sure we can peacefully coexist. If I thought he'd find it and eat it, I'd toss a raw chicken breast his way. Songbirds and squirrels are scarce during a snowfall and he may be in need of a snack. He also likes mice and moles, also scarce at the moment. 

That my grandfather loved this small part of the planet he cared for is not something I question. He did. I know it cost him to hand it over to me and is proof, to those who need such a thing, how well he loved me. Be it strange or not, I spoke to him on my walk through his white cathedral today. His response was all around me, keeping me warm on this cold, snowy morning.


 _*_*_*_*_*_*_

 KC Kendricks

My home on the web- Between the Keys: 
Visit my bookshelf at: 

Social media links:
Life through the eyes of my black Lab, Greenbrier Smokey Deuce: deucesday.blogspot.com
My country life at Holly Tree Manor: hollytreemanor.blogspot.com
Snips and clips on my YouTube channel: KC Kendricks Between the Key



Monday, February 1, 2021

Strange things in the Realm

February 1, 2021

So I posted a blog on January 28, just a few days ago. It was just a fluff piece about not much of anything. I like to just toss thoughts I think are interesting out into the Realm. It's a good thing to do to remind myself and others that we are still able to think for ourselves and Google doing our thinking isn't a good thing. Here's an example. 

I posted a blog on January 28. (Yeah, yeah, we already established that.) Looking at the Blogger stats, it would appear it was posted on January 26. I don't know about you, but that's scary. HOW did Blogger know I was going to write that post? Are the Ancient Alien theorists correct that we're all some great experiment and our actions are being directed to observe the outcome?

Blogger KNEW I was going to write a post on January 28 and it just tipped its hat. Now WE know that Blogger knows the future. Now we just have to pay closer attention. 

The next thing - how is Blogger calculating half a view? What does Blogger know about the half-people out there in the Realm? We're getting into some scary stuff here. 

Enough of pondering Blogger's place, or is that ranking, in the Realm of Cyberspace. In the real realm, I need to finish my coffee and go work on the WIP. Unless of course, the theorists are correct and even the real realm is an illusion. 

KC Kendricks
(with tongue firmly in cheek)