Wednesday, May 27, 2020

So Blogger has a new interface

May 27, 2020

I am NOT impressed. 

Underwhelmed, even.

I started Between the Keys in 2008, and a lot of my life is here. 

I guess I'm fucking stuck with it. 

I am NOT impressed. 

Monday, May 11, 2020

Oh, happy day! The Quest

coming soon
May 11, 2020

It's been a rough road to get to today. Today (actually last night) I opened the file on The Quest and began to write. It was as easy as I remember it should be, and the words flowed onto the page.

This past Wednesday, May 6, I sold my mother's house and we went to settlement. The sale was necessary to provide funds for her care. She has Alzheimer's Disease. I will tell you now, most earnestly, take steps NOW to protect your assets. If you don't, a nursing home can strip you bare. My mother will one day be left with nothing and will become dependant on the State of Maryland for her care. IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT? A will is not enough. But I digress, and that is not what I wanted to blog about right now.

A giant weight has been lifted from me. I've been tending to two houses for the past fifty-one weeks and it has not been easy. Dealing with a realtor - not easy. Strangers walking through the house and leaving a mess I had to clean - not easy. And I've not had help. My partner's health is not robust. 

Some people say there is no excuse for not writing every day. What bullshit. Writing is not a one size fits all endeavor.

Anyway... I'm back to work on the manuscript for The Quest. I had a different plan for this story but could never see the ending. I shelved it over ten years ago and then one day in 2019, my fickle muse played one of her little tricks on me and gave me a new title. I quickly realized my subconscious had resurrected the old story in a new way. I like the new way a lot better. 

I'm going to try to reflect on the last year as a writing sabbatical. I learned a lot about myself and what I want to achieve in the time left to me. I've cared for family and family business, and that is never wasted time. My husband and I have strengthened our bond as we walked through hardship. No, my time away from writing was not wasted. It was simply a different season in my life. 

The Quest is at about half complete. If I remain intentional, if all goes well, it will be only a few weeks until I type The End. We shall see. Life does like to throw curveballs at people.

Stay tuned!

KC Kendricks

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Emotional writer's block, the impact of grief

May 2, 2020

These are strange times we're in which we live. We've temporarily ceded our constitutional rights and civil liberties for the greater good of mankind. 

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has not as yet impacted life on the mountain. My people may not always be conservative voters, but we are conservative thinkers in ways that have nothing to do with politics. We're country people, rural dwellers with close ties to the land. We've conserved our resources and we're having an easier time of it than our city-dwelling neighbors. But that's not what is on my mind this morning. 

Writer's block. It's time to admit I have a case of emotional writer's block, the cause of which I lay at the feet of stress and grief. The last years have not been easy ones. My mother was institutionalized with Alzheimer's Disease, my stepfather died, my partner had two major surgeries, my best friend moved a thousand miles away, my writing partner died, a new CEO where I work caused a lot of upheavals, the uncertainties about retiring, tending to my mother's affairs including selling her home, and now living in a virtual house arrest. I've been trying to sort this all out in my head and it's not going well. 

Do I think my "problems" are unique in this world? No. Of course not. They just happen to be my "problems." Just as with any problem, identifying them sheds light into some murky corners. I believe the underlying reaction to all of this is grief. I grieve. 

I grieve the loss of who my mother was and what, unbeknownst to her, I must do in her name to provide care for her. I grieve the loss of a woman I've known since we were in the third grade together who is busy in a new life that has no place for old friends. I grieve the author friend who spoke the writer's language with me as no one else can. I grieve the loss of a co-worker that I was totally in sync with. I grieve the loss of a future imagined with my partner who through no fault of his own is progressively more disabled. 

Grief weighs me down to the point I have difficulty remembering how joyous it is to create a story. Creating a story is creating a virtual reality in which the writer joins with new friends to give them a world to live in and a voice to speak in that world. The writer becomes part of this creation, at least for a little while. I miss it. 

I'm sure Chris Grover would tell me to channel the grief into a character. Take him down to the depths of hell and then work him back to the surface. To be melodramatic, I'm not sure I want to take myself farther down into the pit. I'm too cowardly to go back there. You see, time does heal many things without the need to resort to substances that alter brain chemistry. I'm healing. 

I'm healing and now I worry I've become too lazy to write. Writing takes discipline and lots of it. Have the last several years stripped me of discipline? Have I become too comfortable living in the worlds others create? I've been supporting a lot of other writers these past months, reading two or even three books a week. 

It's time to redefine my path and rediscover the author part of my soul. It's time to settle the grief, to tuck it away and allow it to unwind and wither. Brave words, to be sure. I hope I can make them my truth because I want to walk in the sunshine again. And if I'm walking alone, I'll just have to create a couple of characters to walk with me. That's what a writer would do. 

KC Kendricks
My home on the web- Between the Keys:
My country life at Holly Tree Manor