Thursday, January 28, 2021

Oh, Good Lord NO!!!!!

 January 28, 2021

Are we having fun yet? 

I want to thank Nickelback for immortalizing those five words. They are so apropos for the last ten months. They certainly sum up the evening of January 27, 2021, at least for me. 

What did you do, you ask? 

It's good to keep the hard drive of one's computer tidy. To that end, I ran the CCleaner. Did you know the CCleaner used to be called, quite eloquently to my way of thinking, the Crap Cleaner. Then we started to get oh-so-politically-correct. Life was more fun in the good old days before the word C-R-A-P scared the crap out of us. But I digress...

I ran the It does a great job but one of the side effects is the need to re-enter passwords. That shouldn't be a problem, but it has now become one. You see, I have a private email I use with a small group of friends. It's not like we can use a Yahoo Group any longer, is it? Anyway, we have this small group thing going for privacy. We've been chatting away for years with no end in sight. 

Shouldn't be a problem, should it? 

Yeah, it's a problem. Great Google seems to take exception to the fact I use Gmail for my private group time and a different email address for blogging. 

I just about had a meltdown when I couldn't access my blogs. I will soon have fourteen years of MY LIFE recorded here at Between the Keys. To not be able to access the memories would literally kill me. I don't know what I'd do. 

I figured it out, obviously, but I was truly panicked. I had to add myself. I had to change passwords. I had to verify I am ME. (Where the fuck did I leave my phone?!?!?! Where's my fucking phone?!?!? Honey, have you seen my mother-fucking phone?????) Yes, I swear like a sailor when I'm upset. My honey saved the day and called me so I could hear my phone ring and locate it.

In the end, all is well. My faith wasn't too badly tested, just my intelligence. My girlfriends are right where I left them and Deuce and I can blog to our heart's are content. 

Note to self: Don't leave your phone in your coat pocket. 

Monday, January 18, 2021

Bourbon and Blues review - 4.4 overall at Goodreads

January 18, 2021

I confess I don't pay much attention to reviews when I'm buying a book. The same book is a different, and personal, experience for each person. I might think a book presented a wonderful story while the next person thinks it to be complete drivel.

This year, 2021, is what I'm calling the year of being intentional. I've been struggling with focusing on all things writing and that must change. That change can only manifest if I'm intentional. I'm off to a good start in January, having worked on the Rayne Forrest book and laid down the "first clicks" on a new KC Kendricks book. I also need to work on being more consistent with promotion. To that end, I chose Bourbon and Blues as the January focus. 

The Bourbon and Blues webpage has been updated, and I made one of the little promo cards that have been so popular on Twitter. This morning I went looking and found that Bourbon and Blues has a 4.4 overall rating at Goodreads! I did not know this (because I'd never looked). And just like that I already have to update the original promo card. We do live, learn, and improve. Next time, I'll do some checking before I make a promo card. 

Life is a bit unconventional and I like finding unconventional ways to bring my characters together. We don't always meet our perfect match at church, or a pub, or by way of well-meaning friends. What matters is that we recognize something in another person that marks them as special, and a match for us. 

Here's a bit about Bourbon and Blues. Enjoy!


Bourbon and Blues

KC Kendricks
Book 11 of The Men of Marionville series
Contemporary gay romance
4.4 rating on Goodreads

When Griff Ernde makes a late-day visit to the cemetery, the gates close with him on the inside. Griff ends up in a cell at the local precinct house charged with trespassing, and with no way to salvage the day. No doubt about, it’s a personal low in his life. Then his luck changed when Kory Watts joined him in the cell. 

Kory Watts has a knack for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Stood up on a blind date at a local club, Kory gets swept up in a drug raid and lands in a cell with an inebriated stranger. When his drug test comes back clean, the duty sergeant offers Kory a deal: if he takes Griff home, they both can go with no charges. It’s not a deal Kory will refuse. 

When Kory and Griff meet again, they agree to have a drink - of ice water. Neither man judges the other and it’s quickly apparent they share an attraction. As their budding relationship heats up, Kory wonders if he’s ready to get serious with a guy he just met no matter how well suited to each other they are. When Griff is suddenly charged with the murder of his father, Kory is ready to move heaven and earth to help prove him innocent, but it might not be enough to save what’s between them.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Fits and starts

January 11, 2021

With the holidays behind us, I am determined to be intentional about putting on my writer's hat. So far it's working well. Ten days into the new year and I've made more progress on the Rayne Forrest work-in-progress, and on a new KC Kendricks story. I've also made a few website updates (with more to come) and created promo cards for use on Facebook and Twitter. 

Amazon FINALLY uploaded the updated manuscript for the Rayne Forrest book, A Hero's Bargain. That led to finalizing the updates to Bourbon and Blues. I also made sure the Sundown Saga was set up on the new series feature Big A offers. 

So. Progress. 

I purchased a very inexpensive desktop tripod for my phone. If I'm going to share my writing "real," I need to practice first. The tripod will also be useful for sharing Deuce's world over on his blog, Deuce's Day. The dog could be a star if I gave him a bit more encouragement. 

Being content with the start of 2021 is, I think, important. Each step has been a small one, engineered to be successful. That gives me something to build on as the January chill drags on. It may seem like I'm working in fits and starts, but that's real life. Staying on top of everything requires a lot of flexibility, another keyword for the year 2021.

Friday, January 8, 2021


 January 8, 2021

How important is it to have a record of my "work" for posterity? Early on in my writing career, the most seasoned writers said to keep a record of everything you write. Every version of every draft of every manuscript complete with worksheets, notes, inspirational photos - The Works. The reasoning was you never know when you might hit it big and your scribbled notes become very valuable to the highest bidder. 

I get all that but I don't aspire to be another JK Rowling or a Clive Cussler. Or even Nora Roberts, if you want to stick to romance. It's not me. I like having a quiet life. When I write a story it's a story I want to live and then read. 

And so enter YouTube. 

The spousal unit and I have been watching a lot of YouTube these past few months. One evening he turned to me and said I should post my videos. Seriously? I take videos around the property for fun or to remember where something is planted, etc. Okay, so I've now posted some. Most are of Deuce for on his blog, Deuce's Day. So the question is, would I enjoy making a few writing videos? The jury is definitely out on that one. 

Videos of Deuce are easy. I want to always remember my time with him so even his naptime is precious to me whether or not anyone else agrees. But videos of me as The Writer? 

I do a lot more than write, though. We've watched This Farm Wife walk through mud video after video hoping for something exciting to happen. The same thing with Outdoors With the Morgans. The man lives and breaths firewood. I know how to cut and split firewood so it's not very exciting. Then there are the "prepper pantry" folks. Those are actually educational, but I have little to add.  Or do I?

Those videos are about a unique perspective on life. That's the one thing we all have (unless we drank from too many pitchers of Kool-Aid and only know how to parrot rhetoric). Do I have a unique enough perspective to offer, too? 

I'm pondering the possibilities and experimenting with new-to-me software. We'll see where it leads.


 KC Kendricks

Social media links:
Life through the eyes of my black Lab, Greenbrier Smokey Deuce:
My country life at Holly Tree Manor:

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Amazon series feature - new to my bookshelf

 January 2, 2021

For some time now I've noticed how Amazon displays series information in a different way. Suddenly, just a few days ago, that feature popped up as part of my bookshelf control. It seems like a good idea so I thought I'd test it out. 

Note to self: trying new things at six o'clock in the morning, in the dark, before finishing that first cup of coffee - not a good idea. 

I decided I'd set up the Ian Coulter's Amethyst Cove series, and it was going well for the first three books, Double Deuce, Deuce of Diamonds, and Ace, Deuce, Trey. Then SNAP! I went back to add books four and five, Circle of Steel and Steel Wheels, and it had vanished. The panel said my updates were in review, but I wasn't finished and there was no option to continue past the first three books. 

In trying to make this a simple process, Amazon has complicated it. If I can't edit the feature is it really going to help me? Maybe. I can edit after the review process is complete. 

But I now have to wait seventy-two hours to see what my series feature will look like. If there's a preview option, I didn't see it. 

It's still dark outside and I have yet to finish my coffee. Maybe I'll learn something from this. You know - like wake up and engage your brain before you try shit like this. Bad author. 

Friday, January 1, 2021

2020 Retrospective

January 1, 2021

We've welcomed another New Year! Never did I dream, back in 2008, that I'd still enjoy blogging here at Between the Keys. That's the key - I still enjoy it. 

Life is a constant experience of change. We all saw that in the year just past. 2020 will not go down in the personal history of many people as a "good" year. And yet we have arrived here today triumphant over many adversaries, real and imagined. What I wanted to accomplish in 2020, and what I was actually able to do, are poles apart. And yet triumphant is the only way to describe how I feel. 

I wanted 2020 to be the year I once again made writing a priority. At the beginning of 2020, my partner's health had improved, my mother's condition had stabilized, I'd closed the door on settling my step-father's estate, and my finances were aligned in such a manner that I could, and still can retire at any time. I penned a cheery little poem to welcome the year. Little did any of us know what was ahead. 

Enter Covid-19 and its devastation. The heart has been ripped out of so many families by what I firmly believe is man's combined avarice and stupidity. Something sinister lies in the center of this pandemic and I don't believe it's a bat. 

2020 delivered the most massive changes I've ever lived through. Never did I expect I would live to see the shelves at the grocery stores be empty. My thoughts continually turned to my grandparents and what life must have been like for them during the Great Depression.  We were ordered by our government to remain home unless we were considered essential personnel by an employer. We are still under orders to wear a face-covering in public. Life in the United States changed rapidly and drastically and I fear it has been forever altered. 

The 2020 Retrospective

January 2020 saw me back to the writing. I had a work in progress, The Quest, and was keen to get it finished. In February, we began to hear bits and pieces about a serious outbreak of a new virus in China. The news escalated until in March we were all suddenly under stay-at-home orders and the rush was on for toilet paper. Seriously. The Great Toilet Paper Shortage was also upon us. 

Late in 2019, I began a new blog, Holly Tree Manor, to chronicle our rural life. It wasn't until the end of January that I decided to keep it going. It's hard to judge if it's the sort of thing anyone would be interested in, but it's important to me to journal these days. 

 April found me working from home. I again contemplated retiring but didn't want to lose my employer-paid health insurance. I penned a reflective blog entitled What We Will Remember and attempted to get some work done. 

In May I finally realized that part of my problem was grief over the loss of my writing buddy, Chris Grover. The approaching anniversary of her death left me questioning why I continue to write when there are so few writers left from the time I was first published. They say writing is a lonely profession and that is correct when no one around you speaks the language. 

But summer was here. There were fawns, fledgling hawks, fox kits, and for the first time in years a growing garden. My employer decreed I needed to once again work in the office, which did not please me but I went. By the end of summer, I was canning produce and developing a "prepper pantry" to be more prepared for the next wave of Covid-19.  By the middle of October, it was clear the second wave was upon us, and once again I was able to work from the safety of my home office. 

The middle of October also saw The Quest published! I cried with relief to have the project finished. The last thing I wanted was for 2020 to be the first year since 2003 I didn't publish a book. At the close of 2020, I'm working to finish a
Rayne Forrest manuscript. It's almost done and I do wonder why I didn't finish it sooner. I suppose I got sidetracked on all the KC Kendricks books, but taking a journey back to my writing roots is good for me.  

Not all of 2020 was contentious, but our presidential election certainly was. If I ever doubted (and I did not) that politics are a sham, 2020 proved it over and over again. Our Constitution weighs in favor of individual rights. Everyone remembers that. No one seems to care for the responsibilities that come along with it. That's all I can say on that subject. 

I can't see into the Year of our Lord Two Thousand Twenty-one. I wish I could. All any of us can do is go forward in faith, one day at a time. I hope you'll stay with me on my journey. 

KC Kendricks