Saturday, August 28, 2021

The deadly lack of ambition


August 28, 2021

Lack of ambition to do anything. It happens to all of us. The stars align or misalign, whichever you prefer. We wake up feeling grumpy and lazy and ambition to do anything beyond fix a hit of caffeine has flown. What's worse is we're not sure we care too much. Maybe we don't even care that we don't care. It's a problem we don't have the ambition to fix. 

Some people will hop right on that as "depression." They'd rather blame lack of ambition on a medical condition than admit they could get off their ass and do something - they just don't want to. I'm not cursed with that sort of avoidance. I can admit I'm feeling grumpy and lazy and not have a lick of guilt over it. 

As I get older I see value in different things. So what if the backside of my house doesn't get pressure-washed this summer? Given the choice between pressure-washing and quiet time on the patio with the spousal unit, I'll take the quiet time. If there is one thing we all should have learned from the Covid-19 pandemic it's that people are precious. Choose people, always. 

The sequel to Ride Your Luck is underway, but here at the end of summer, I lack the ambition to work steadily on it. Every day I'm more and more aware I won't pass this way again. I'll never watch Loki stalk across the backyard exactly the way he did this morning. Deuce will never interact with me just the way he did this morning. The songbirds will never call out the same songs, and the little screech owl may never come so close to the house again. These small things I would have missed had I not taken a step back from busy to look for them. 

Maybe this lack of ambition I feel this morning isn't all about being grumpy and lazy. I still want to spend some time today working on the story. I used to want to hop out of bed on a Saturday morning and start pounding out the word count. This played directly from some old writing advice that said to get your writing done early in the day and it worked for me for many years. Today I know it will be too hot to be outside this afternoon so that will be my writing time. I'll walk with Deuce and tend my garden first, while it's cool. 

No, I don't lack ambition. I've simply tempered my expectations of what I can actually accomplish and finally accepted it won't all happen in one day. I think I've finally become a mature person and no amount of ambition to change THAT will work.  

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 KC Kendricks


My home on the web- Between the Keys: 
Visit my bookshelf at: 

Life through the eyes of my black Lab, Greenbrier Smokey Deuce: deucesday.blogspot.com
My country life at The Hideaway: hollytreemanor.blogspot.com




Saturday, August 14, 2021

Genre names and first clicks

 

August 14, 2021

It seems I have a new strategy for surviving any given Friday the 13th - can something! Our hankering for fresh peaches led us to a local orchard and the purchase of a half-bushel. Instead of spending yesterday happily pecking away at the keyboard, I canned peaches. If you want to know more about that, zip on over to The Hideaway, which is the new name for Holly Tree Manor. 

Peaches aside, all was not lost on the writing front this past week. The search for character names went well. Writing about modern cowboys meant settling on names that reflected the west while not being too old-fashioned or over-used. The first part of that is easy. The over-used part? With everyone and their brother writing books these days, it's impossible to pick a name that doesn't fall into that category. I settled on Zane and Walker. 

Zane is classic western thanks to author Zane Grey. I was delighted to discover many of his stories to be available on Kindle. I think my grandfather had every one of his paperbacks. The name Walker has a more recent reference. Yes, I watched Walker, Texas Ranger cut a wide swath through the bad guys. Yes, I've seen [more than] a few Chuck Norris movies. NO my character does NOT look like even a young Chuck and he does NOT have ninja moves. Or maybe he should have ninja-like moves with a rope. Now there's a thought...

The new story is underway. The first clicks, so-called because my old keyboard is nice and clicky, was an intro I wrote as an authoring tool to fix in my mind when the tale begins. It's a bit from Regan Oakley's point of view and takes place as he and Wythe are waking up from a little overnight delight out on the range. Ride Your Luck ends as the couple are setting out for a little one-on-one time and their tryst seemed like a starting point. Halfway through the first chapter, I decided to clean it up and make it the prologue, something I rarely include in my books. It's good to change it up every once in a while. 

It feels good to have a new story hitting the page. Every time I finish a book I wonder if I should go on. I'm sure that one day the answer to that question will be 'no'. But for now, I still enjoy spinning tales to amuse myself, to live in a community I created and control - as far as the characters allow! 

Daylight approaches and there is much to do. Deuce needs his walk to start his day off right, and after that, there are still several dozen peaches spread out on my dining room table that I need to process and other chores to finish. It'll be afternoon before I can return to the manuscript and continue to become acquainted with the characters. I'm looking forward to all of it. 


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 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, August 9, 2021

Maybe I should flip a coin

August 9, 2021

A spreadsheet can only get you so far. 

I have several spreadsheets which aid the author in not using the same names for our heroes. Does the author occasionally forget she used a name? Yes. Is it time to go with Tom, Dick, or Harry? Nope. Used Harry in Hot August Comes. Used Tom in Ride Your Luck. Used Dick...er...nope. I have an Uncle Dick. The name game can become problematic. 

Just as problematic is the title game. It's rare to be able to zip over to Amazon and type in "[Suggested Title Here]" and not get a hit. Sometimes I don't want to use the same title as four hundred other writers, sometimes I don't care. The title fits the story too well to pick something lesser. You've got to know when to just go with it. 

Names and titles cannot be copyrighted and that's a good thing. There are those who have tried and they failed miserably, and in the full glare of the writing community, I may add. I recall an author trying to copyright the word "cocky." Quite the bru-ha-ha, that one. Or was it a tempest in a teapot? Whatever. 

Deciding on the best title for a story can sometimes be difficult. Many of my stories get their title from a line of dialogue. My characters will be chatting away and say something and I just know THAT is the real title and so I change it. But even that is not without pitfalls. 

Someone in a Facebook group tried to call me out on A Hard Habit to Break. That title came from within the story, which is about high school friends growing apart, coming home, and then becoming lovers as adult men. Is A Hard Habit to Break also an old song by the group Chicago? Yep, and it's a song I like so well it's on my car playlist (along with 1449 other songs stored on the memory stick that lives in the USB port). Did the song inspire the story or the title? Nope. It came from a line of text and I knew it was right for the story. I refused to take her bait and discuss the matter on Facebook. 

Having recently finished July Heat, I'm ready to roll on a sequel to Ride Your Luck. I've long wanted to revisit the Bar RC Ranch even though there is some "prevailing wisdom" that cowboy stories don't sell. I don't care. I like cowboys and I'm going there. The problem right now, if you want to call it that, is I can't decide on title and names. The title will come as the story progresses, but I do think I need the names NOW. It's hard to get a grip on a character who is nameless. 

That's where we are this morning in the writing realm. It's going to be a hot August day so I'm running errands as soon as this blog entry is posted and closing the blinds against the sun this afternoon and writing. The first order of business when I settle in my sunroom office with a large tumbler of iced tea will be to make a decision about names. 

After that, I'm willing to bet the next decision will be to speed up the ceiling fan from low to high. 

  _*_*_*_*_*_*_

 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