Sunday, September 27, 2020

September Morning by KC Kendricks

September 27, 2020

There was a time in my writing career I thought to write books with the months in the title. So far, I've got December Promise, Hot August Comes, and September Morning. I'll eventually get through the months, I hope. One should never give up on an idea with promise. 

To celebrate this month that is coming to a close, here's a bit about September Morning.



September Morning
KC Kendricks
Contemporary gay romance

Jagger Davis, JD to his friends, is at a crossroads in his life. He takes a summer sabbatical at picturesque Sandbridge Beach in Virginia to enjoy sun, surf, and solitude while plotting a new direction for his life. Arriving at a rented cottage, JD finds sun and surf, but the cottage next-door houses six fun-loving guys determined to include him in their summer activities. It’s quickly evident JD won’t have time to feel lonely. 

Nate Fischer is one of a group of friends who spend every summer at Sandbridge. An IT specialist, Nate’s taking a few weeks off before his next assignment sends him out to sea for months. He introduces himself to the new neighbor and invites JD to the first bonfire of the season. 

JD fends off advances from Nate’s roommates as the two men become close. But JD harbors a secret in his past, one he worries Nate won’t accept. When Nate’s job abruptly calls him away, JD realizes his mistake. He hasn’t given his summer lover a fair chance. Now he has to convince Nate he’ll be waiting when Nate returns - if Nate still wants him. 

~ ~ ~ ~

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KC Kendricks

Thursday, September 24, 2020

The end of summer 2020 and becoming a prepper

September 24, 2020

This has not been a good year for the writer. There used to be an old saying, "they lost their mojo." Not exactly. The events of this year stripped mine away. The first time I went into the grocery store and couldn't by something as basic as flour reprioritized my entire life. I've become a prepper. 

As summer winds down, many of my plans for a more secure future are coming to fruition. We're fortunate to live in the country, that is to say in a very rural setting. With the "peaceful" riots in the cities, we're insulated by location but we remain watchful. All the hate bubbling out of everyone has me too unsettled to write. What goes on the page today may be deemed offensive in a year. Then what? 

Becoming a prepper is not about hoarding toilet paper. It's about making a plan and methodically implementing it. It's about conscious decisions to gather in those items necessary to sustain my household for several months, perhaps even a year. It's carefully packaging pantry staples and slowing stocking the freezer, and then making sure there is fuel for the generator to keep the freezer running in the event of a power grid collapse. It's about conducting your day-to-day living with a new and growing awareness of what you need to do to weather another, longer stay-at-home order. 

But this does not mean it's all doom and gloom and the world is ending. Quite the contrary. I've found that working my prepper plan has brought me back to who I was as a younger woman. I learned so many things at my grandmother's side - soap making, canning food, tending a garden, etc. I'm putting those lessons to use and I'm enjoying doing so. 

We've purchased a small greenhouse to start seeds next spring. We've rearranged our spare bedroom to create our prepper pantry on the main level of the house where the spouse can access it. (He can't go up and down stairs any longer.) We're carefully planning meals together so that nothing goes to waste. Instead of dabbling with the dehydrator, I'm actually preserving fruits we'll use. I'm small batch canning and the spouse is interested and enthusiastic about helping. 

It's a different world now. As a couple, we're closer than ever as we work together to make sure we're as secure as possible in the face of an uncertain future. I can't help but feel that's what a pair bond is supposed to be like, a couple who are united in all. Even in these trying times, it's a wonderful feeling. 

It gives me ideas for stories that may someday be written. 

KC Kendricks

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Big steps, big changes

September 13, 2020

Before I get on-topic, I want to pause and remember my friend Jimmy Ray, who would have been 60 years old today. It's hard to believe he's been gone for eleven years. Rest well, Jimmy. 

I've alluded to it many times. I've danced around it. I've dreamed about it. 

Tomorrow, I will finalize the last item on my Must Have Done to be Able to Retire list. Years of planning are about to pay off as I give myself the gift of TIME.

Time to do those things I enjoy, those things which enrich my life and emotional well-being. Time to care for my partner. 

It's a big change for him, too. He's been home alone for over twenty years while I was out working. I'm going to be intruding on his time. Or not. I expect to spend a certain amount of every day at my computer writing. 

I'm excited! I've gone through being frightened of such a big change to being so ready that working out my notice at the day job is going to be very difficult. Nonetheless, the day job has nothing more to offer me. 

I can't wait for tomorrow to come so I can make that last phone call. Now, in the spirit of honesty which is very important to me, I must tender a confession. There is a part of me that gleefully anticipates my employer's reaction. That is rather base of me, but there it is. I won't lie about it. 

When the new CEO came in August of 2019, I told myself I would give them a year. I did that, and it was a miserable year. I've not enjoyed working with them at all, and so started to get the cats herded and the ducks lined up in a row. My contract says I have to give a four-week notice. I'm going to give a two-week notice and see what happens. No matter what, my train is leaving the station headed to MY destination. 

It's been a long time coming. I've weathered a lot of storms the last several years - Mom developed Alzheimer's Disease and had to be institutionalized, my step-father died suddenly and I had to handle the estate to benefit Mom, and my partner had three major surgeries. 

It's my time to breathe.

KC Kendricks

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Strange days - the colors of 2020

September 9, 2020

The year 2020 has brought a lot of changes to everyone. Some changes are ones I never thought to see, but see them I did. I know now that I really don't know what my grandparents endured during the Great Depression, that their stories were actually warnings to me and my cousins, ones we understand and heed so much better now.

One thing I never expected to have happened was for a facemask to become a fashion item, but here I am. I had some bandannas in a variety of colors and I made masks out of them. These days, when I have to leave home, I grab my cell phone and then select what color mask I want to wear with my outfit. Strange days, indeed. 

And the vacillating between do/don't cloth masks work is enough to make a person want to scream. Who's getting close enough to me for it to be an issue? Right. No one. Trust me on this. 

No, my bandana masks have now become a statement. This country girl will show her colors because maybe she's a bandit at heart. I come from a long line of hard-working blue-collar men and women. The colors of 2020 are one way to show my pride in that heritage. 

KC Kendricks

Thursday, September 3, 2020

A small harvest

September 3, 2020

As I edge closer to retirement, my focus is more and more about what do to fill the hours I used to work outside the home. Writing will certainly be a big part of that, but my writing hat doesn't settle on my head for endless hour after hour after hour at a stretch. I find I can sit at the computer for perhaps an hour, and then I need to move around. I'm sure the fact my muscles stiffen up when I linger in the same spot for a long time is a sign of getting older. I don't like it much, but there it is. 

The "experts" agree that moving more is good for the body. So what is something else I'll do to move around for a few hours a day once I retire from the day job? The quick answer is container gardening. We enjoy fresh produce and growing some of our own will be a worthwhile hobby. Preserving some of it will enable us to eat cleaner, and growing in containers will help us keep the whitetail deer from eating all our hard work. 

This year we tried out a set of 5-gallon grow bags made of a heavy fabric that allows the bags to drain well - almost too well. Keeping the dirt moist enough was an issue during the hottest stretch of the summer. But all-in-all, the bags worked well. We were overrun with cucumbers, and the cherry tomatoes produced at a good pace for fresh eating. The bell peppers were doing great until a young doe got brave and munched the top out of the plants. She didn't get down to the peppers, but she ate off the flowers so those plants were finished. We're working on a better plan to thwart the deer next season.  

Growing up in the country, and watching my mother and grandmother preserve the bounty from the garden taught and prepared me to do this. I don't see it as work, but a connection to those who went before me. I've worked all my life with this as a goal - to one day, very soon now, to truly become the lady of the manor. 

My task for this coming winter is to select a canner for next year and purchase canning jars. Why can instead of freeze? Freezers are dependant on electricity, for one thing. The other is that I feel the freezer is better utilized for meat, baked goods, and prepared meals. 

I'm really looking forward to next summer. "Retirement" no longer means sitting at home drawing a pension, at least not to me. I think an early morning walk with Deuce, a turn at the computer, tending the garden before noon, another stretch at the computer during the heat of the day, evenings on the patio, a final time at the computer after dark will make for many perfect days. It's just the sort of schedule to feed this writer's soul.

KC Kendricks