Friday, May 27, 2022

And we have a title and new cover!


May 27, 2022

The first few days of "retirement" have been anything except retiring. I've been busy!

Monday - changed the water filter and put the fencing up around my garden to keep the deer out of it.

Tuesday - burned a brush pile, finished chapter nine of the work-in-progress, AND got the title!

Wednesday - went for groceries, the spousal unit sold the Silverado, did a load of laundry, blogged at Holly Tree Manor (The Hideaway), and I finished the cover for Riding Against the Wind

Thursday - we had a siblings lunch with his two sisters and one brother, got the SIM cards updated in our phones, and we mowed. 

Okay. It's Friday. When do I get a day off?

My plan to spend a portion of each day writing is not off to a great start. Yes, I'm another chapter in, and the cover is finished, but putting on my writer's hat two days a week will not a finished book make. 

To be fair to myself, I didn't actually expect my routine to settle down right away. Our little manor on the mountain is three acres in size and there's a lot to be done to keep our lives flowing smoothly. I think I've done pretty well to have spent at least parts of two days practicing the craft. With rain imminent, today will likely be the third day. 

I'm sure my imagined mornings spent on the patio with the spousal unit will come to pass. Eventually, I know I'll lift my hands up and declare I'm taking the day off to sit back and appreciate all the hard work I've done. If not, what was the point of doing it?

Right now, "retirement" feels much like my annual vacation except I don't feel the ramping up of the stress related to knowing I need to go back to work next week. It's a little different. 

That's enough musing for today. The next chapter of Riding Against the Wind isn't going to write itself, and a rainy day is perfect for working on it. 

So here's the obligatory teaser: Riding Against the Wind, the sequel to Ride Your Luck, coming soon!

Although "soon" may still be relative. After all, I am retired now! 


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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


KC Kendricks, Between the Keys, Ride Your Luck, Riding Against the Wind, contemporary gay cowboy, m/m romance,  LGBT gay romance, a writer's life, retirement planning

Monday, May 23, 2022

"And so, it begins"


May 23, 2022

"And so, it begins." - Kosh, resident Vorlon at Babylon 5

At the risk of pushing a few of you over the edge with my retirement obsession - I'M RETIRED!!!

Yes, the day finally arrived. My employer, or should I say ex-employer, held a reception for me yesterday afternoon and it was quite nice. Lots of people, past and present, showed up to give me a send-off into what we call retirement. I came home and "crashed" like an old woman and had a nice nap in the recliner. 

That is not going to be my life. 

I blogged a bit about this over at Holly Tree Manor (The Hideaway), but that was about life in general. Here at Between the Keys, which is supposed to be more about my writing, I have different things to say. 

My writing has been on a bit of a hiatus. The last several years brought big changes to my life. My stepfather died and my mother had to be placed in a total care facility. My friend and writing partner died. My husband had several major surgeries. Covid-19 hit and I needed to be more present at the day job by working from home. The effect on my life was a perfect storm. 

But you know what? I've made it through. I don't expect that picking up the threads of my writing career and weaving them back together is going to be easy. I have to develop a structure for my days that includes taking care of the spousal unit, home chores, writing time, and time to nurture myself. I've thought about it a lot, but now I need to see if the plan works and what changes the plan may need. 

Twenty years ago, I was writing The Skies of Mahdis. That story has been out of print for some time, but the absolute joy I found in the creation of that story has never wavered. Will I be able to once again work in that atmosphere of joy? Will I be able to embrace each new story in the spirit of joy and hope that we all get our happy ending? 

All those years ago the group of writers I was involved in (where did they all go?) had a saying: BICAW. That's "butt in chair and write." That is indeed what has to happen. I need to tune out all the chatter of life here in The Hideaway and write. It has to be a priority, or it won't work. 

It all boils down to how willing am I to work hard to regain momentum. Am I really going to be able to do it? I guess I'm about to find out.

Yes, I'm now retired. Let the real work begin!


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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



KC Kendricks, Rayne Forrest, Between the Keys, Holly Tree Manor, retirement, writing career, contemporary gay romance, M/M fiction, Babylon 5 quote, a writer's life, life changes, setting priorities


Thursday, May 19, 2022

Bittersweet hours

My home office and my "staff" 
already lying down on the job

May 19, 2022

Bittersweet. One word to encompass the last twenty-two years of my working life. 

Today, I walked out of my day job office for the last time. It's no longer "my" office, but belongs to a capable young woman named Allyson. I've left it in good hands. 

The plan was for tomorrow to be my last day, but the CEO won't be in tomorrow and so we had our last conversation. I wasn't sure about this woman in the beginning, but I watched her acclimate and grow in the position. Now I think she's probably the best "boss" I've had at this facility. I find that I will miss the morning chats that we called staff meetings. 

And so today became the day I've worked toward and waited on for so long. Today I'm retired.

I'm no longer sure what that means. 

What if I don't feel like doing some of the things I thought I'd want to do? Hmmm. That's a thought, isn't it? 

I'm going to go easy on myself for the next few weeks. I expect to be full of conflicting emotions and ideas. It's going to take some time to adjust to my perpetual vacation. 

I think a spreadsheet may be in order to help me organize the various projects I want to undertake. Just think of all the colorful blocks when I complete something and instead of crossing it off or deleting it, I fill the cell with bright colors! Now that sounds like a plan to plan the plan!

Leaving the day job is bittersweet, but working until I drop dead was never an option for me. The next few weeks will sort themselves out and all will be well. I'll get my project list underway and figure out who I will be in my time of retirement. 

And that's the most daunting task of all. 


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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 8, 2022

I need to buy a guy

May 8, 2022

This past weekend was a washout. Yes, it rained for three days straight. That gave me the opportunity to catch up on a few things, such as making a cover for the as-yet-untitled work in progress. I didn't get too far because the background took hours. I hope it doesn't look like it, but I need five different photos to finally come up with something I liked. The sad part is that when I finally go and buy a cover guy, he's going to cover a good portion of it. 

This story is a sequel to Ride Your Luck, so I knew I wanted a hint of the same sky that's on the RYL cover. But I didn't want it to be the same color palette. Yes, I'm picky sometimes. 

I love sunset and autumnal colors so I had a few sunset photos in the files. The story takes place on a ranch so I wanted a barn. Let's not forget the mounted cowboy but not the same one as on the Ride Your Luck cover. 

Layering the photos together was good practice. It's been a while since I made a cover and it's a good skill to have and keep sharp. 

Now I need to go shopping for a man...er... a cover model. I do wonder how badly inflation has hit the stock photos sites. Everyone is jumping on the raise-the-price bandwagon these days.


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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



KC Kendricks, Between the Keys, Ride Your Luck, gay cowboys, m/m romance, book covers, book titles, LGBTQ gay romance, story sequels, skill sets

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

All I need to do is to remember to do it


May 4, 2022

With only ten more working days until "retirement," I've been thinking about better ways to connect to social media. "Retirement" doesn't mean idleness, at least to me. It's the time to refocus on filling my days with those things that bring fulfilment, and that means wearing my writer's hat. 

I write a lot of different things. Books or blogs, it's all writing. I just need to remember to share it! 

To that end, here's a reminder that I blog about our life at the "manor" on a regular basis. One of my goals is to share those links for those who are interested. 

A recent post at Holly Tree Manor (The Hideaway) was about the arrival of warm weather and some small preparations that are underway.

 https://hollytreemanor.blogspot.com/2022/04/finally-warm-weather-means-outside-work.html

Another bit of writing I do is at the blog, Deuce's Day. Deuce is our black Lab, and his blog tells his story through his eyes. We think Deuce is special and we want to remember and share his life. 

So, that's it. Connect and share.  I hope you'll join with me as I step into "retirement."

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 KC Kendricks



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