Monday, September 27, 2021

Battling distractions - and losing

 

September 27, 2021

I've become a distracted writer. I've pulled the blinds and put a relaxing screen saver on the TV to be white noise but it's to no avail. My mind whirls with all these things I should be doing, or would like to be doing, and I don't accomplish much. 

Today's distraction, after taking the man of the house to have blood drawn, fixing breakfast, and starting a load of laundry, is strawberries. I'm hosting the Cousin's Lunch this coming Saturday, and I want to make a cheesecake for dessert. What better way to infuse flavor than by adding a bit of strawberry powder to the batter? Not having any strawberry powder, I pulled a bag of sliced strawberries out of the freezer and loaded the contents into my dehydrator. 

And down the rabbit hole she went...

Setting up the dehydrator reminded me I needed to water the strawberry plants. I didn't expect much out of the plants this year, but I purchased from Burpee and I expected more of the plants to live! Thankfully, I'm already getting sets from the nine out of twenty-four that did survive. And this was from Burpee! 

I was also reminded that I wanted to order some silicone mats for the dehydrator. I'm tired of cutting parchment paper to fit the trays. Off to Amazon I clicked and...wait... The 2022 Old Farmer's Almanac popped up. So I purchased a copy after I ordered the mats. 

I opened the sunroom door and a yellow jacket flew inside the house. There was no way it was going to get out alive - and it did not. 

So, strawberries. I could take a picture and blog about dehydrating them, right? Not really, but confessing my distraction might be of help to others. Maybe. Who knows? 

I'm a distracted writer but my house smells wonderfully of ripe strawberries and will for the next two days. It's not all bad, is it? 


 _*_*_*_*_*_*_

 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

 


Monday, September 13, 2021

Time was


 September 13, 2021

And I thought it would be easy. I was wrong. 

There was a time, back in the good old days, when beginning the journey of a new book was easy. The words flowed onto the page without ceasing and the end came far too soon. 

I don't think I appreciated that enough. 

My idea for the sequel to Ride Your Luck is sound. It's even timely, although I didn't realize that until I sat down to write this blog. That's what good coffee does to me. It somehow opens my mind and allows me to think, generally thoughts I don't want to have, but sometimes apropos. 

I think I'm too concerned with getting this story "right" to work on it quickly. That has rarely been a concern. I write the story and it is what it is and if readers like it, okay. If some don't, I'm philosophical enough to know you can't please everyone and move on. 

So why is this one so different? Being introspective by nature, I continually question my motivations and actions. That's not a bad thing. It's good to know yourself and to examine what you do so you stay true to yourself and to your vision. 

Sometimes the vision shifts and leaves a person second-guessing. That's where I am with this story. Is the beginning too "heavy?" Is the beginning a trigger point? It strikes a match on an experience I had when I was seventeen, but that didn't stop me from writing it. 

Here in the predawn hour, I question if the attitudes of the current culture are affecting me. 

Time was I didn't entertain such thoughts. I wrote. 


 _*_*_*_*_*_*_

 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



Saturday, August 28, 2021

The deadly lack of ambition


August 28, 2021

Lack of ambition to do anything. It happens to all of us. The stars align or misalign, whichever you prefer. We wake up feeling grumpy and lazy and ambition to do anything beyond fix a hit of caffeine has flown. What's worse is we're not sure we care too much. Maybe we don't even care that we don't care. It's a problem we don't have the ambition to fix. 

Some people will hop right on that as "depression." They'd rather blame lack of ambition on a medical condition than admit they could get off their ass and do something - they just don't want to. I'm not cursed with that sort of avoidance. I can admit I'm feeling grumpy and lazy and not have a lick of guilt over it. 

As I get older I see value in different things. So what if the backside of my house doesn't get pressure-washed this summer? Given the choice between pressure-washing and quiet time on the patio with the spousal unit, I'll take the quiet time. If there is one thing we all should have learned from the Covid-19 pandemic it's that people are precious. Choose people, always. 

The sequel to Ride Your Luck is underway, but here at the end of summer, I lack the ambition to work steadily on it. Every day I'm more and more aware I won't pass this way again. I'll never watch Loki stalk across the backyard exactly the way he did this morning. Deuce will never interact with me just the way he did this morning. The songbirds will never call out the same songs, and the little screech owl may never come so close to the house again. These small things I would have missed had I not taken a step back from busy to look for them. 

Maybe this lack of ambition I feel this morning isn't all about being grumpy and lazy. I still want to spend some time today working on the story. I used to want to hop out of bed on a Saturday morning and start pounding out the word count. This played directly from some old writing advice that said to get your writing done early in the day and it worked for me for many years. Today I know it will be too hot to be outside this afternoon so that will be my writing time. I'll walk with Deuce and tend my garden first, while it's cool. 

No, I don't lack ambition. I've simply tempered my expectations of what I can actually accomplish and finally accepted it won't all happen in one day. I think I've finally become a mature person and no amount of ambition to change THAT will work.  

  _*_*_*_*_*_*_

 KC Kendricks


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

Life through the eyes of my black Lab, Greenbrier Smokey Deuce: deucesday.blogspot.com
My country life at The Hideaway: hollytreemanor.blogspot.com




Saturday, August 14, 2021

Genre names and first clicks

 

August 14, 2021

It seems I have a new strategy for surviving any given Friday the 13th - can something! Our hankering for fresh peaches led us to a local orchard and the purchase of a half-bushel. Instead of spending yesterday happily pecking away at the keyboard, I canned peaches. If you want to know more about that, zip on over to The Hideaway, which is the new name for Holly Tree Manor. 

Peaches aside, all was not lost on the writing front this past week. The search for character names went well. Writing about modern cowboys meant settling on names that reflected the west while not being too old-fashioned or over-used. The first part of that is easy. The over-used part? With everyone and their brother writing books these days, it's impossible to pick a name that doesn't fall into that category. I settled on Zane and Walker. 

Zane is classic western thanks to author Zane Grey. I was delighted to discover many of his stories to be available on Kindle. I think my grandfather had every one of his paperbacks. The name Walker has a more recent reference. Yes, I watched Walker, Texas Ranger cut a wide swath through the bad guys. Yes, I've seen [more than] a few Chuck Norris movies. NO my character does NOT look like even a young Chuck and he does NOT have ninja moves. Or maybe he should have ninja-like moves with a rope. Now there's a thought...

The new story is underway. The first clicks, so-called because my old keyboard is nice and clicky, was an intro I wrote as an authoring tool to fix in my mind when the tale begins. It's a bit from Regan Oakley's point of view and takes place as he and Wythe are waking up from a little overnight delight out on the range. Ride Your Luck ends as the couple are setting out for a little one-on-one time and their tryst seemed like a starting point. Halfway through the first chapter, I decided to clean it up and make it the prologue, something I rarely include in my books. It's good to change it up every once in a while. 

It feels good to have a new story hitting the page. Every time I finish a book I wonder if I should go on. I'm sure that one day the answer to that question will be 'no'. But for now, I still enjoy spinning tales to amuse myself, to live in a community I created and control - as far as the characters allow! 

Daylight approaches and there is much to do. Deuce needs his walk to start his day off right, and after that, there are still several dozen peaches spread out on my dining room table that I need to process and other chores to finish. It'll be afternoon before I can return to the manuscript and continue to become acquainted with the characters. I'm looking forward to all of it. 


 _*_*_*_*_*_*_

 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

Monday, August 9, 2021

Maybe I should flip a coin

August 9, 2021

A spreadsheet can only get you so far. 

I have several spreadsheets which aid the author in not using the same names for our heroes. Does the author occasionally forget she used a name? Yes. Is it time to go with Tom, Dick, or Harry? Nope. Used Harry in Hot August Comes. Used Tom in Ride Your Luck. Used Dick...er...nope. I have an Uncle Dick. The name game can become problematic. 

Just as problematic is the title game. It's rare to be able to zip over to Amazon and type in "[Suggested Title Here]" and not get a hit. Sometimes I don't want to use the same title as four hundred other writers, sometimes I don't care. The title fits the story too well to pick something lesser. You've got to know when to just go with it. 

Names and titles cannot be copyrighted and that's a good thing. There are those who have tried and they failed miserably, and in the full glare of the writing community, I may add. I recall an author trying to copyright the word "cocky." Quite the bru-ha-ha, that one. Or was it a tempest in a teapot? Whatever. 

Deciding on the best title for a story can sometimes be difficult. Many of my stories get their title from a line of dialogue. My characters will be chatting away and say something and I just know THAT is the real title and so I change it. But even that is not without pitfalls. 

Someone in a Facebook group tried to call me out on A Hard Habit to Break. That title came from within the story, which is about high school friends growing apart, coming home, and then becoming lovers as adult men. Is A Hard Habit to Break also an old song by the group Chicago? Yep, and it's a song I like so well it's on my car playlist (along with 1449 other songs stored on the memory stick that lives in the USB port). Did the song inspire the story or the title? Nope. It came from a line of text and I knew it was right for the story. I refused to take her bait and discuss the matter on Facebook. 

Having recently finished July Heat, I'm ready to roll on a sequel to Ride Your Luck. I've long wanted to revisit the Bar RC Ranch even though there is some "prevailing wisdom" that cowboy stories don't sell. I don't care. I like cowboys and I'm going there. The problem right now, if you want to call it that, is I can't decide on title and names. The title will come as the story progresses, but I do think I need the names NOW. It's hard to get a grip on a character who is nameless. 

That's where we are this morning in the writing realm. It's going to be a hot August day so I'm running errands as soon as this blog entry is posted and closing the blinds against the sun this afternoon and writing. The first order of business when I settle in my sunroom office with a large tumbler of iced tea will be to make a decision about names. 

After that, I'm willing to bet the next decision will be to speed up the ceiling fan from low to high. 

  _*_*_*_*_*_*_

 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


Monday, July 26, 2021

July Heat - now available!

 

July 26, 2021

July Heat is now available! It's finally uploaded to Amazon and ready to go! I'm very pleased to have this one finished and "out the door," although I was sad to say 'see ya later' to the characters. The best thing about creating a fictional community is going back and visiting with previous characters, bringing them forward into new stories with a mix of old and new friends. It's a good bet Drew and Morgan, Mick and Logan, and Memphis and Jake will pop up again when I revisit Centerville. But first I'm heading west to the Bar RC Ranch to visit Regan and Wythe.

Until then, here's a bit about July Heat.

Enjoy!

KC

_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_

July Heat
Book 3 in the Centerville Muscle series

Drew Bernard’s life was shattered in a single, breathless moment. His one action made reconciliation with his family impossible. He can’t change it, but he’s determined to move his life forward and not be defined by a single, horrific moment. When a friend reaches out to him with the offer of a place to stay and a temporary job, Drew makes the move to Centerville.

Morgan Osborne made choices for the benefit of his son, but now the child is a grown man and determined to sever all ties with him – except for the monetary ones. When an unsuspecting Drew witnesses a particularly heated exchange, Morgan makes his apologies and ends up asking Drew to go out with him. 

Drew is drawn to Morgan, but he’s afraid to trust his heart. His vision of his new life never included someone like Morgan, someone who would need to know the truth. 

EXCERPT:

All clean and shiny, I hoped to snap a quick nap before my dinner date. I expected a call or text from Morgan to let me know what time he’d pick me up. I didn’t anticipate a knock on the door. I pulled on a pair of faded blue jean shorts and opened the front door to find Morgan standing there.

He looked me over, his gaze going up and down and back up again. He finally looked me in the eye. “Wow. You have the nicest…eyes.”

I laughed in spite of myself. “It wasn’t my baby blues you were looking at, Osborne. I know what you’re really interested in.”

“Can’t get much by you. Hey. Your eyes are brown.” He narrowed his eyes and gave me a fake glare. “Okay. I get the joke. I, um, was driving by…on my way home… and I saw your car. Is six too early for tonight?”

“How’d you know it was my car?”

He grinned and flicked his thumb over his shoulder toward the driveway. “Pfft. Mick Ambrose wouldn’t own something like that, that’s how. And it has a Virginia license plate.”

I laughed. “Fair enough. So where are we going tonight?”

“There’s this little authentic Greek place over in Easton I like. It’s very casual, but the atmosphere is great, and the food is even better.”

“Cool. I’d invite you in--”

“No. No, I don’t want to put you on the spot like that.”

We stared at each other for a moment, but neither of us spoke. Whatever Logan thought about the man it was obvious Morgan knew and wouldn’t cross some imaginary line. The problem was I didn’t want Morgan to drive away now that he was here.

I rolled the dice. “We could start the evening early.”

I swear the man’s ears pricked up like a collie. “I’ll just wait in the truck while you get dressed.”

With that, he was down the steps, nimble as a mountain goat and twice as fast. I scratched my chin. I’d wanted to trim the beard but that might take too long.

It was a good thing I’d already decided what to wear. I dressed in record time and slowed down long enough to quickly run the trimmer over my face. In less than ten minutes I’d made myself presentable, sent Logan a text, and was out the door and into Morgan’s pickup, the one with Osborne Mechanical, Inc. emblazoned in big gold letters on the doors. 

I fastened the seat belt. “What’s first on our list?”

“Did you have lunch?”

“Yep, and even if I didn’t, it’s too close to our dinner time to eat. Or are you trying to fatten me up for some nefarious purpose?”

He slowed for a stop sign, made a right turn, and accelerated. “My purposes are all legal and above board. Our first stop is at my place so I can freshen up. I didn’t expect you’d suggest we spend the afternoon together.”

I shivered as a sudden vision of us naked on a bed and bathed in sunlight flashed through my mind. It had been a long time since I entertained thoughts of having sex again.

“What’s wrong, brown eyes? You already regretting coming out to play?”

“Not at all.” I glanced at the large brick and stone houses, set well back from the street behind mature oaks and maples. “Swanky neighborhood.”

“It used to be, back in my grandparent’s day. Now it’s gone middle-class.”

“Is that a bad thing?”

“Not at all. That was a poor choice of words. I guess it would be more politically correct to say we now have a lot of diversity on the street, but still good families.”

I glanced sideways at him. I suspected he’d come of age in a time when words were just words and not considered a social judgment.

“Good families with money?”

“Well, Drew, here’s the thing. The local historical society has its talons deep into this little enclave, so yeah. You have to have some money to abide by their dictates as to what you can do with the property you own.”

He turned left and we passed through a set of wrought iron gates flanked by simple square fieldstone pillars. A mortared fieldstone fence, about six feet in height, was built along an east-west line and I suspected the wall surrounded the entire property. The paved driveway curved gently to the left and the massive stone house came into view.

The center section of the house was two stories tall and flanked by wings on either side. I guessed it was built in the nineteenth century and had been added to over the years. I must have been thinking loudly.

“My great-great-grandfather built this place in the mid-eighteen-sixties. It’ll be Jason’s someday, not that he’ll appreciate the history of the place or his family.”

“Is having someone to pass this legacy on to why you married and had Jason?” Fuck. I put my hand on his knee. “I’m sorry. That was inappropriate of me.”

Morgan didn’t respond as he pulled the truck in behind the house and backed it into a spot with practiced ease. I started to panic that I’d offended him. My question bordered on why he’d tried to deny being gay, and the whys of it weren’t any of my business. I was on the verge of apologizing when he patted my hand.

“It’s okay. The answer to that is yes.”

It hadn’t been that simple and I knew it. 

_*_*_*_*_*_*_

July Heat
Book 3 in the Centerville Muscle series
 
Available at
iTunes/Apple - https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1577295214
Rakuten/Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/july-heat-1
Barnes and Noble - https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/july-heat-kc-kendricks/1139875152
 
Amazon US - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09B65X52H
Amazon UK - https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09B65X52H
Amazon CA - https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B09B65X52H
Amazon AU - https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B09B65X52H
 
Universal link to all sellers
other than Amazon - https://books2read.com/u/mvoKK6




Sunday, July 25, 2021

July Heat - the promo card is done!

July 25, 2021

The path to getting a book published is never linear, at least not for me. Maybe a photograph will inspire me to a new story. Maybe it'll be the notion of the writer that a sequel to a story would be fun. 

What comes first, the story or the cover? 

It's never good for me to say it's this way or it's that way. I never know. The July Heat cover idea came in the middle of writing the story. Creating it took to about three-quarters of the way through the story. And now the little promo cards I like to do took until yesterday, after July Heat has been uploaded to a few vendors, something I need to check on. Once the smaller vendors are live, I need to upload it at Amazon. It'll all come together. 

That's what I say about the promo cards - it'll come together. (Read that "I'll get a good idea one of these days.") And so I did and now it's done. Now here's a bit of promo.

_*_*_*_*_*_*_


ABOUT JULY HEAT

Drew Bernard’s life was shattered in a single, breathless moment. His one action made reconciliation with his family impossible. He can’t change it, but he’s determined to move his life forward and not be defined by a single, horrific moment. When a friend reaches out to him with the offer of a place to stay and a temporary job, Drew makes the move to Centerville.

Morgan Osborne made choices for the benefit of his son, but now the child is a grown man and determined to sever all ties with him – except for the monetary ones. When an unsuspecting Drew witnesses a particularly heated exchange, Morgan makes his apologies and ends up asking Drew to go out with him. 

Drew is drawn to Morgan, but he’s afraid to trust his heart. His vision of his new life never included someone like Morgan, someone who would need to know the truth. 

 _*_*_*_*_*_*_

 KC Kendricks

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


Saturday, July 24, 2021

A new BTK record is set!

July 24, 2021


Yesterday, a new record was set here at Between the Keys - 1072 views in one day. WOW! My thanks to everyone who stopped by!

I could have missed this. Checking the stats isn't something I do on a regular basis. Yes, I've blogged about the stats before, just as a curiosity, but I think it's important to remember that the stats don't tell the whole story. 

While I'm delighted that so many found their way here, and hopefully read a few posts, I know that doesn't translate to book sales. I've been in this game too long to believe that and I do, in fact, know better. Blogging at Between the Keys is fifty percent book related and fifty percent whatever the hell I'm in the mood for. And this morning I thought I'd share that BTK got a lot of views yesterday. 

Interesting, at least to me. 

KC Kendricks

Monday, July 19, 2021

And now for some updating - the Men of Marionville

July 19, 2021

It's often said that change is the only thing you can be sure of (outside of death and taxes). That's very true. Change is inevitable - but why? I think a lot of it has to do with the way we keep learning and improving our knowledge and skill set. 

Change can also be daunting. With the Men of Marionville series, or as I prefer to call it a collection, the first books in the series contained out-of-date series information. The bonus reads didn't stretch to Twice Removed From Yesterday and the author bio needed updating in the worst sort of way. 

I settled down to make the updates after a read-thru of July Heat. I needed to let that story "settle" before I selected an excerpt, made a promo sheet, and started the uploading process. 

This afternoon I went ahead and loaded July Heat, but I don't have approvals and links. I should be able to start announcing them tomorrow.

Getting the Men of Marionville books updated took longer than I thought. Had I been able to go through the books without interruption, yes, I would have the job completed. Life happens, or so they say. Some days it's happening to someone else and it becomes necessary to be a nosey neighbor and watch your cousin WORK in the neighbor's yard. (Seeing IS believing!) 

 I'm three-quarters of the way through my self-appointed task. I'll get it finished either tonight or tomorrow morning. It's always good when you don't have to rush. 

Will Amazon notify Kindle owners the books have been updated? Your guess is as good as mine. 

With July Heat finished, I need to decide on my next project and I have no idea which way I want to go. I've long wanted to write another story set at the Bar RC Ranch, so perhaps it's time to see if I can flesh out a story outline and a couple of character bios. I enjoyed writing Ride Your Luck and the modern-day cowboy. I'll leave the true Wild West to someone else. 

And that's the way it is, July 19, 2021.

Have a good 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
Snips and clips on my YouTube channel: KC Kendricks Between the Keys



Saturday, July 17, 2021

The paradox of time (I need a clone)

It seems like the older I get the more I want to accomplish - and the less time I have to devote to new challenges. I don't think I'm unique in that. Time, and the passing of time, is more on my mind these days. My life is pretty full and it's difficult to fit everything in. I continually remind myself that personal relationships should never suffer because I want to spend all my time holed up in my comfortable office doing writer stuff. Case in point - an hour and fifteen-minute phone conversation with one of the cousins this past week. What earth-shattering event kept us yakking for that long? Food, gardening, tree-trimmers, and retirement. 

Have I mentioned here at Between the Keys that I tried to retire and it didn't go as planned? I know I did over at Holly Tree Manor, but I'll share a bit more with you. 

It was one of the strangest conversations I've ever had. I put in my letter of resignation effective July 31, 2021. My contract states I need to give four weeks notice, so I gave them five. That had more to do with the way the calendar dates fall this year and some other people's scheduled vacations than trying to be an overachiever. 

Retiring is generally cut and dried. You hand in your notice, work out the days, and off you go to your "new" life full of extra hours to do the things you want to do. (Did you hear the heavy sigh I just made?) The upper echelons flocked to my office, full of the belief they'd done something horribly wrong to me that made me want to leave. Nooooo. I wanted - still want - to retire so I can do all the happy little things I enjoy. 

They did not like this. They threw the world at me - anything I wanted if I would just stay. They know they can't replace twenty-one years worth of my experiences. Sure, another person can learn my job and do it well, but some knowledge can't be transferred. I understand their panic. 

The upshot is I'm now free to work at home as much as I want. I only need to go to the office when I need to pick up paperwork and/or use the copier to print statements, etc. I retained full benefits. I cautioned them I do have a Final Date that I won't back off from. 

I agreed to this even though it's not my Plan A. Or even Plan B through about Plan Y. I'm already regretting agreeing to it. It's the paradox of time. My time. Time to do all the little things that make me happy. But now I can do some of those things. I'm attempting to adjust my thinking to where these next months will be an easing into retirement. 

Even with having a lot of extra time at home, I need a clone. I suffer from the same "problem" everyone else does. No matter what I'm doing, I can think of a dozen other things I'd like to be doing. Right now I'm blogging but maybe I should be doing the final read-through of July Heat. It's time to load it onto a Kindle and look at it on a device. I can't do both things at once without a clone to do my bidding. 

Time isn't fluid. It's linear and it changes course for no one. We talk about managing our time but the truth is Time manages us. We make our decisions based on Time's unwavering flow. Slow, lazy afternoons are a trick of the mind as much as the busy mornings that pass in the blink of an eye. It's our perspective that makes Time paradoxical. 

I still want a clone. 


 _*_*_*_*_*_*_

 KC Kendricks

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

Social media links:


Sunday, July 11, 2021

July Heat - finishing up

July 11, 2021

THE END

Those are great words to type, and I was able to do that yesterday evening. Finishing a manuscript might not be everyone's idea of a hot Saturday night, but writers are a different breed. We think nothing of leaving our spousal unit to fend for themselves, eating warmed-up pizza alone with only the television and YouTube for companionship. When it's time to wind up the story, then it's time. We must obey the muse, and so it was last evening. 

I don't think Himself minded being able to watch tractor, firearms, farming, woodcutting, and tool videos without having to endure sitting through gardening, canning, and homesteading videos (my choices). Sometimes being in our own spaces works best here on the manor

July Heat is my seventy-seventh book. I'm including the Rayne Forrest books in that count, and a handful of those are out of print. I wonder if I can make it to one-hundred? It's taken over twenty years to get this far, but it remains doable. I used to fear I'd run out of ideas, not time. The world does move without us and it's up to us to keep up. 

Back in the midst of the e-publishing boom, having typed THE END my work would be over. I'd send the completed manuscript to my editor and the completed information forms to the cover artist. Then I'd wait until my book came up in the rotation. Being blessed that my books have always been popular, I never had to wait long. These days, being independent, the process takes a while longer. I need to create the cover, edit, edit some more, add the front and end material, and upload the complete book to the various sellers. There are still some e-publishers out there, hanging on, but Amazon has effectively killed that model. The lack of competition is not a good thing. 

As I built the ending of July Heat, I went back to the beginning and re-read the story. This was my first editing pass where I look mostly for continuity and the glaring typos. I also took the time to run what I had through Grammarly, which not perfect, does catch all the little pesky comma ommissions. I don't really get commas. Never have and probably never will. 

Now that THE END has come, I'll go back and do a complete re-read looking for the same things - continuity and typos. After that, I go old school and print it out. For some reason, I find reading a printed copy away from the computer is helpful. 

I'm excited that July Heat will be released in the month of July. That was the plan and it seems like forever since the plan, any plan in my life, has worked as planned. (My old editor would scream about the same word being used four times in a sentence but today I'll give myself a pass on it.)

So! Coming soon! July Heat by KC Kendricks

*_*_*_*_*_*

Drew Bernard’s life was shattered in a single, breathless moment. His one action made reconciliation with his family impossible. He can’t put it behind him, not really, but he’s determined to move his life forward. When a friend reaches out to him with the offer of a place to stay and a temporary job, Drew makes the move to Centerville. 

Morgan Osborne made choices for the benefit of his son, but now the child is a grown man and determined to sever all ties with him – except for the monetary ones. When an unsuspecting Drew witnesses a particularly heated exchange, Morgan makes his apologies and ends up asking Drew to go out with him.  

Drew is drawn to Morgan, but he’s afraid to trust his heart. His vision of his new life never included someone like Morgan, someone who would need to know the truth. 

_*_*_*_*_

 KC Kendricks

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

Social media links:

Snips and clips on my YouTube channel: KC Kendricks Between the Keys

Life through the eyes of my black Lab, Greenbrier Smokey Deuce: deucesday.blogspot.com

My country life at Holly Tree Manor: hollytreemanor.blogspot.com




Tuesday, June 29, 2021

July Heat - I didn't "quite" follow the plot board

June 29, 2021

My writing is a combination of plot and pants. I do a brief character development being age, occupation, current obsession, current hangups, darkest secret, biggest dream, and from there do a very rough story outline. Let me reiterate. That's a r-o-u-g-h outline. My stories start out on the plan and generally end up on the plan, but in between? All bets are off. 

July Heat has been no exception to my style. I was checking the notes in my folder, seeing if I had anything I didn't use and could transfer back to the "ideas" sheet, and had a good laugh at myself. The middle of July Heat did not go where I thought it would. The characters led me in a different, and better, direction. And writers know that sometimes it's best to follow the characters. So I did.

It was also very easy to write in part of Logan and Mick's continuing story. I like to go back and revisit favorite characters and see how they're doing. Does that sound strange? It's a writer thing. 

I'm at the stage of story creation where I go back and re-read from the beginning and make adjustments. After that, it's forward a bit and a pass through Grammarly. Then it's a repeat from the top, and it's time to finish. I will say the end rather sneaked up on me, so much so I've taken a step back to think and be sure I've given Drew and Morgan their just due. 

After July Heat wraps, it'll be time to decide what's next. Do I continue with stories set in Centerville? Is three enough? The trilogy is a time-honored tradition, but I seem to do better with five instead of three. Ian Coulter's Amethyst Cove, the Sundown Saga, and the Southern Cross series are each a five-book set. 

Maybe I'll go back to the Bar RC Ranch and tell another modern cowboy story. Or I can travel back to Four Points, Kentucky, and see how Boone and Vic are doing. The options are endless, but there is one thing I'm pretty sure about. 

I probably won't follow the original plot. 


 _*_*_*_*_*_*_

 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



Monday, June 21, 2021

I want to opt-out of all of it

 

June 21, 2021

During the Covid-19 pandemic of 2020, we got hooked on YouTube. We joke that you can find out how to do just about anything because someone has posted a video. We stick mostly to cooking, gardening, homesteading, and automotive channels, but there's variety when we want it. One of the gardening/cooking channels posted a quirky little piece about reports of "smart" thermostats in Texas turning up or down on their own. 

I scoffed, too, but wait. 

Being curious, because this channel is a bit off-beat and the woman creating the content hears a different drummer, I restored to asking Google this morning. Guess what? The story seems to have legs. 

True or not, there's a big lesson, or several, here. 

The jist of the story is that some consumers in Texas may have enrolled into a "smart saver" program when they enrolled in a sweepstakes. How's this for a long link? https://www.click2houston.com/news/local/2021/06/19/local-residents-say-smart-thermostats-were-controlled-remotely-in-an-attempt-to-conserve-energy

Check it out fast because I expect it to be pulled. Here's another one -  https://www.wpxi.com/news/trending/texas-thermostats-adjusted-remotely-during-heat-wave-residents-claim/S35AZRBXARB6BBOT4BNA6NSWEE/

If your first question is how can anyone remotely reset a thermostat, let me say that the facility I work in has programable Honeywell thermostats that I can adjust with my smartphone. There's an app. Of course, there's an app. More than one.  I'm linked in to the security camera system, too. It's a different app. 

It wouldn't take much for a large company to strike a deal with any of the thermostat manufacturers to obtain override permission. A few clicks on a computer or phone, and you're going to get hot. Or cold. 

If you have some Amazon devices, it could be even worse. Amazon has/is using its Ring and other devices to create something called Amazon Sidewalk. This new "feature" creates a low bandwidth network using smart home devices and can piggyback on your neighbor's wi-fi if necessary. And you are someone's neighbor, too. Don't forget that. 

I'm not sure my very mercenary cable internet provider is going to like this. Could this mean MY Internet gets cut off because my neighbor is watching porn? I wouldn't like that much.

And here's another thing. My Kindle Fire HAS been acting wonky lately. It's gotten very slow and it acts a bit confused. I checked, and it does "see" a lot of networks around me that are out of range. But what if they are suddenly boosted and become in range? 

Does my cellular carrier, Sprint-now-T-Mobile, do something like this? 

I find this very worrisome. I want to opt-out of all of it. 

Just remember these points:

1. Read the small print.
2. Government is not in place to be your friend. 
3. If a corporation offers you something, it's not really to your benefit. 
4. Rule changes are rarely in your favor. Opt out. 

Sunday, June 13, 2021

July Heat - cover reveal

 June 13, 2021


Today's post is the post I started to do yesterday before I got sidetracked by little green growing things and ripe cherries. Amazing how that happened.

Cover reveal! 

July Heat, the third story set in Centerville and the sequel to Memphis.

I'm pretty happy with this final cover. It went through several incarnations before it occurred to me exactly where the pictures of the cousin's 1973 Mustang Mach 1 were stored. I spent many a happy hour as a passenger in that car, being chauffeured around the county back in the day when that's what young people did - go cruising in their car. 

July Heat is an older/younger rich man/poor man story about learning to live with the mistakes and consequences of the past. 

The Centerville Muscle series is set in Centerville, which is a neighboring community to Marionville. Being that Mick Ambrose's garage, American Muscle, is a nexus of the story, Tyler Phillips might pop in for a visit, as well as Levi Wright from Shining Victory. It's all about the larger community (that lives in the writer's imagination). 

July Heat - coming soon so stay tuned. 

 _*_*_*_*_*_*_

 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

Saturday, June 12, 2021

Typical start to the day

 
June 12, 2021

June is a month of transition from spring into summer. The weather in western Maryland is always unpredictable day-to-day, and June does a fine job of showcasing its temperament. 

I rolled out of bed this morning with big plans. BIG plans. HUGE! The day dawned overcast and the weather prognosticators didn't give the day much hope of sunshine. My foolish heart said, "perfect day to write!".  

Well, blogging does count as writing. Not the writing train I planned to hop on and drive into the sunset, but writing nonetheless. 

My first mistake was stopping at my garden corral when I took Deuce out to take care of his morning outside activities. One of the pepper plants has blooms on it so of course, I communed with all the little green plants. Next, I needed to update my calendar with a rescheduled dentist appointment for my fall cleaning. That seemed safe enough but it was, in fact, another little tangent. But wait... I decided I needed a picture of the pepper bloom for over at Holly Tree Manor. 

It's never a good idea for this writer to hop over to one of the blogs. Down the rabbit hole again. 

All is not lost. As I write this, it's still early in the day. The July Heat manuscript is open on the right-hand screen while I type this blog entry on the left screen. Having a dual-screen setup is, IMHO, the only way to go. 

If you've read this far, thank you! If your days start off like mine, going helter-skelter until you get a few small things out of the way before moving on to the actual plan for the day, I get it. 

As for the original plan to debut the July Heat cover today, well, that might come tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day on which to blog.

Enjoy your Saturday! I know I'll enjoy mine. 


 _*_*_*_*_*_*_

 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