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 With the Men of Marionville series, or as I prefer to call it a collection, the first books in the series contained out-of-date series information.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



Sunday, May 30, 2021

Rainy days in May and the retirement countdown

 May 30, 2021


I'm on vacation from the day job, so of course, it rained yesterday. The temperature didn't rise above 60F, either. That's somewhat odd in our neck of the woods for the end of May but not unheard of. Checking the local climatological site, it shows our average low for May 29 over the last thirty years is a whopping hot 54F, with an average overall temp of 66F. So we struck an unhappy medium.

Rainy days are good for writing. Writing goes better with coffee. I sense a win/win pattern here. I completed a chapter and a half, tweaked the new cover, did a read-through to check the continuity so far, did a load of laundry, and shelved canned sixteen pints of chicken breast I processed on Friday. Not a bad day's work. 

While working on the new cover, I decided to go back and put the series name on the covers of Bored, Stroked and Blueprinted, and Memphis. At this point, Centerville Muscle is at least a trilogy, or it will be when the WIP is finished. I won't update the covers at the bookstores until I'm ready to upload the new book. I thought about giving Memphis a new cover but decided against it. Memphis is a different, deeper story so it's appropriate the cover has a different look from the other two in the series. 

Different seems to be a watchword these days. This vacation is different. This is my last May vacation before I retire. I've been talking about my retirement for a very long time, and if not for the cost of health insurance, I'd have pulled the trigger on it a long time ago. For me to go through the "Affordable Care Act" and purchase the same coverage I have through my employer it would cost me over $1500 a month. Yes, fifteen hundred dollars a month. That's not a typo. It's not "affordable" either. My choices are to pay up or to work until I'm eligible for Medicare. The safe choice is to work. 

This will influence my vote for the rest of my life. Way to screw over the middle-class Americans who work and pay for everything. 

All is not lost, at least not yet. I have a little countdown app on my phone and it tells me I have forty-seven weeks to go. That's 240 workdays. For me, I need to subtract the Mondays since I don't work on Monday, and this week I'm off, and that leaves only 228 workdays. Take off the remainder of my vacation time and holidays between now and my last day and I'm down to 192 days. It looks more doable this way. When we get down to it next year, I may bite the bullet and COBRA out for a month or two. It would be worth it to be home in March and April to get the spring yardwork done early. 

That was me thinking out loud. It's still too soon to write that chapter no matter how much I like the sound 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





Friday, May 28, 2021

Projects and vacations

 May 28, 2021

May is always a busy month for us, and especially so this year. We enjoy our country home, and May is the month that makes or breaks the summer. If we don't have our outside projects finished or well in hand by the end of May, they won't get finished until fall. The triple-H weather of the Mid-Atlantic doesn't aid outdoor work. 

Our major project for this summer was installing a patio work/cook area. We planned to purchase lumber and build the frame ourselves. We budgeted for barn-style doors and Formica countertops. We re-evaluated when we got to the home improvement center and figured the cost. It was substantially less expensive to purchase pre-made cabinets and paint them, not to mention it was also substantially less labor-intenstive. 

We still have a few odds and ends to finish, installing the toe-kicks for one, but the station is completely functional. A lot of my gardening supplies are out of sight as are his grilling implements. Once we repair or replace, the power washer, I'll get the concrete deep cleaned. It's all to the good. 

Today kicked off my annual vacation week. This is the only time I take off ten days straight. For the remainder of my vacation time, I take as long weekends. With this project all but done, I can kick back and relax. The most strenuous thing I'll need to do is water the peppers and tomatoes. 

At least I say that now. I'm sure we'll come up with something else to do. Maybe we'll do a little pruning around the edges of the yard, or work on the little shooting range we want to create. We should take an afternoon and detail the vehicles. I'm in the home stretch of another story, the third in the Centerville Muscle series, and now that the cover is finished, I plan to wind it up. 

But if we decide all we really want to do is relax on the patio, we have a great space to do it in. And at mealtime, we can dine outside protected from mosquitoes and with a clean surface upon which to fix our burgers. 

That's what all the hard work was for, after all.


 _*_*_*_*_*_*_

 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

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Amethyst Cove promo cards

 

May 13, 2021

Switching from having all my information on a .com website to the Between the Keys blog has been a lot of intense work. I'm not complaining, just stating the facts. The thing is, I've found out I like some of my reworked promo items a lot better than the originals. Go figure! 

The Covid-19 pandemic has impacted my life in strange ways. I'm essential personnel at the day job, so I've been splitting my time between the office in town and my home office. Things are shifting back to being in town more and my boredom level has ramped up to almost intolerable. Life is far from back to normal and the lack of work proves it. Why do I need to be at a desk where I've got nothing to do?

Well, your favorite author always has work to do. It may not be exactly right, but I've spent time at the day job working on some promo items, not to mention doing some blogging. And watching a few YouTube videos about gardening and canning. Let's not forget that. Anyway...

Yesterday, I reworked the little promo cards for the Amethyst Cove series and I thought I'd share them today. If you want to know more about Ian and Rick, and how they got off to a shaky start and ended up married, please visit https://kckendricks.blogspot.com/p/ian-coulters-amethyst-cove-by-kc.html

I think Ian and Rick's story is honest in dealing with their relationship. Sure, we all want romance, but romance takes commitment and work to last. Ian and Rick have ups and downs just like we all do. Ian is a bit commitment-phobic and Rick struggles with jealousy and insecurity, but in the end, they know life is better when they're together. It's love, commitment, and above all understanding the other person that makes it work. If that's not too close to real life for you, I think you'll enjoy this series. And yes, it's a lot better if read in order. 

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

 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


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.

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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)