Friday, April 24, 2020

Just the Rain

April 24, 2020

Just the Rain

Softly it pounds on the roof, just the rain
No discernable pattern to its drumbeat
It’s dark in my room, silent thoughts, only breath
Only wonder that such a thing as rain is real

Spring has come, on its journey to birth summer
Clinging to winter in odd ways, with white flakes
That melt even as they fall into newly green grass
And gives way to the relentless rain outside my window

The world is wet, drinking deep of heaven’s gift
The purple lilac teams with the rain, strange bedfellows
It bends but never breaks, reminding me
Sometimes even a blessing can be a heavy thing to bear

KC Kendricks

Monday, April 13, 2020

That happened a lot faster than I thought it would - Open Roads cover

April 13, 2020

There is a time to procrastinate, and apparently, a time to get the job done. Just yesterday I expressed my dissatisfaction with a new version of the Open Roads cover. Well, it wouldn't let me rest or be productive in other areas. I sat down and revamped it yet again. 

I'm not sure this is a keeper, either. I'm not supposed to say that, you know. Back in the days when I was "coming up" in the various publishing houses, we were told to go promote the hell out of each and every cover. We should gush! 

The problem with that is I'm not a "gusher" unless puppies are involved. 

This cover is better because the words are not up at his face. I've learned another lesson - no more white shirts. It doesn't bother me a bit to acknowledge my Photoshop skills will always be a work in progress. The joy is in the learning and achieving as much as the finished product. 

And that is quite alright with me. 

KC Kendricks

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Open Roads - new cover

April 12, 2020

It's taken a while, but I'm finally settling in to work on doing a few things that have been on my To Do List forever. It's of little importance if I complete the list. Experience has taught me that when one thing gets scratched off, two take its place. It's not a winning proposition. 

I've never been happy with the covers for Open Roads. Even when it was first out through Amber Quill Press I wasn't happy with it. Open Roads was part of a collection from that pub and every single book in the collection had, with the exception of title and author, the exact same cover. I didn't like that. Too many readers saw the cover and ended up buying the wrong book because they didn't read the title. Go figure. 

Yesterday, I played around with Photoshop to create a new cover for Open Roads. I'm still not sold on it. I'm annoyed with myself that I can't seem to get this one "right." If my buddy author Chris Grover was still living, she'd have some good input for me. 

Open Roads is a great story - one of my favorites if the author is allowed to admit she has favorites. I think that's why I'm not happy with the cover. It doesn't capture my connection to the story. 

Being that I do my own covers, I'll keep trying. Maybe not today, though. I've moved in the direction I want to go with it, but I need to study it for a few days. That is one of the perks of being forced by Amazon to go indie. Changing cover and content doesn't require ten emails begging someone else to make changes to the work. I can just do the updates. 

There may be some who would argue I shouldn't change out book covers. I've heard the logic but I don't espouse to it. Just as writer's wisdom says we should write the story we want to read, I think we should have a cover that we want to feel good about. 

It's all a work in progress, much like the author herself. 

KC Kendricks


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

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

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

Available at Amazon, iTunes, B&N/Nook, and Kobo



Barnes &Noble/NOOK


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Saturday, April 4, 2020

Writers on Twitter

April 4, 2020

We've become a society that has come to accept identity theft. And why not? We freely give people wide-open access to our lives via social media. And yet, people still wonder why writers use a nom de plume. Huh.

Twitter is now our main source of information. I don't know about you, but I haven't viewed a news broadcast or read a news article in the last year that didn't quote opinions from Twitter. It's all clickbait. You have to be discerning in what you respond to on Twitter.

There are a lot of writers on Twitter and I follow a bunch of them. Personal opinions aside, we have a lot of commonalities in that we write. It gives us an understanding of each other based on our understanding of our craft. We are as alike as we are different in how we approach our writing. 

These days, my fellow writers are putting forth a lot of polls and posing some very good questions on Twitter. I approve, not that anyone needs my approval. A few brave souls are even responding to the toughest, most politically sensitive ones. 

Writers have always been willing to tackle the difficult, tough, questions. We used to only do it in our stories. We still do. Our characters put our opinions out there for the world to view. Even then, it's still a tightrope walk.

I just read a book in which the characters posed no questions. Their opinions were carved in granite. If someone didn't agree, the author used it as a tool to prove the opinion correct, and the character was quickly written out of the story. There were a lot of missed opportunities to show character growth that were never capitalized upon. I had a hard time finishing the story but I wanted to see where the author ended up. A forced HEA is never a good thing. 

People come in shades of gray. I believe the United States should have a balanced budget. So does that make me a conservative? I also believe every woman should have quick and easy access to an abortion. So does that make me a liberal? Those two opinions don't make me any of the labels because believing those two things are not mutually exclusive. 

As a writer, my job is to allow my characters, the voices of my opinions, to espouse to be understanding of what makes us alike - and different. I need my writing to give examples of tolerance and acceptance, not just of how we as humans express our love, but in how we strive to live a good life. 

We are all flawed, and we are all on the same journey. Let's try to remember that, especially in these challenging times. There is power in the written word in every genre. It's a writer's superpower. Let's use it for good. 

Twitter on a Saturday night might be a good place to start. 

 KC Kendricks

Life through the eyes of Greenbrier Smokey Deuce:

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

What we will remember

April 1, 2020

Growing up, I listened to my grandparent's stories of living through the Great Depression. My mother was born in 1937, as things began to ease. She has no first-hand memories of how difficult those times really were, but she grew up poor. Life for her was a gradual improvement until, as a widow, she married her second husband and money was no longer an issue.  

My maternal great-grandparents were both born in 1889. I look back and am astonished to have personally known people born in that century. Historically, they lived through the Spanish Flu (1918-1920), and the time of polio. A short mile from my house is a graveyard that gives silent testimony to the impact of a scarlet fever outbreak in this small community. A distant relative of mine on my father's side is buried there beside his wife and five of his children. Those five children all died within days of each other from scarlet fever. He and his wife lived to have five more, all girls. They were contemporaries of my great-grandparents although I never knew them. 

In my life and times, we have vaccines against measles, polio, diphtheria, and a host of other diseases. Up until now, HIV/AIDS has been the plague of my generation, a plague we know how to prevent but seem unable to eradicate. We've had significant scares with the Ebola, Zika, and West Nile viruses, but we got through. Modern medical researchers continue to study these and work to develop cures. 

Listening to my elders speak of living through those times was more than a history lesson. It spoke to the lasting impact it had on the lives of the people of those times. They were times of uncertainty and fear and great loss. The Great Depression and the Spanish Flu defined the lives of my great-grandparents and grandparents. In many ways, my grandparents never moved far from those days. My grandmother panicked when one of us got sick, as all children do. My grandfather bought land to farm and keep his family fed. He worked a factory job by day and then came home to tend his garden. He also kept honeybees, a lucrative sideline. They bequeathed more than land and money to me. Their gift was love and a shining example of how to truly live well. 

I look at the next two generations in my family. These days we are living now, today, will be days that define their lives. One of what I call gen4, myself being gen3, is pregnant. The gen5-ers are going to school via the Internet. COVID-19 will be what we remember, what my young cousin will tell her baby about, what the youngsters across the creek being homeschooled via the Internet will have in common with their peers. 

When I'm once again able to join with my gen3 cousins at the table, what we did in our self-isolation and social distancing time will be our discussion. I'm sure we'll note how people paid little or no attention to how serious the COVID-19 virus is. Perhaps we'll speculate on the bare shelves in the grocery stores and wonder how much worse it was for our grandparents. We have constant news and the Internet to keep us informed (on both the true and the false). They had a weekly newspaper and word of mouth. 

In my own little world, I sense a shift inside. I won't remember my time under a governmental stay at home order as a hardship. My employer's reaction to it is something I'll never forget. I've talked a lot about retirement and so I'm looking at these days as a test run. And I'm liking how I feel quite a bit. Being home is a good thing. Now all I need is for the stock market to rebound so I can lock in a few numbers. My own silver lining. 

Time will roll on. Please be smart and protect yourself so you can be a part of it. It'll be more fun to tell your grandchildren about self-isolation and social distancing than to have them tell their peers their grandparents died young, in the pandemic of 2020. 

KC Kendricks