Sunday, November 27, 2022

I'm throwing in the towel


November 27, 2022

I give up. 

I spent six hours today trying to achieve any sort of progress at the .com, and all I managed to do was get a section to load that directed people to the book pages here to Between the Keys. 

The plan was to show the book covers but every time I uploaded a cover, it was set as the page background. Nooooo, that is not what I wanted. I'd really like to have each series have its own page but it's beyond me. 

My first website was up from 2004 through 2020, and I didn't have a bit of trouble with it. I had it through Yahoo and used their Sitebuilder software. It was so simple. I could create my own background, add photos and text boxes, and then move them around the page to arrange them as I liked. I can't do that now. There is one option for section placements which I think is so it'll look good on a cellphone. 

I don't live on my cellphone. I want a website that looks good to me since I'm the one paying for it! 

I've reached the place where I think I've known all along was coming. Do I want to have a .com? More precisely, do I want to pay for a .com that isn't giving me what I want? No. 

What's the best course of action? Maybe give up on the .com and spend the money on something I will enjoy.

Saturday, November 26, 2022

It won't be long!


November 26, 2022

We've made it through another Thanksgiving. We're still eating leftovers, and that's okay. It's a yearly occurrence that makes me understand why Deuce turns his little black nose up if I don't change up the flavors of his chow.  

One Thanksgiving tradition we don't follow is Black Friday sales, but this year I slipped in a purchase at Burpee seeds. It was worth it. Twenty-five percent off my order, plus free shipping. Oh, yeah. I have plans for the 2023 growing season. 

I did a blog about it over at Holly Tree Manor. https://hollytreemanor.blogspot.com/2022/11/four-short-months.html

Yeah, big plans for 2023. I'm counting down the days until there are (hopefully) little green sprouts in my house! 



KC Kendricks, Between the Keys, Holly Tree Manor, gardening, Burpee, black Friday sales, Thanksgiving traditions

Thursday, November 24, 2022

To be thankful - Time Was

 


November 24, 2022

Thanksgiving Day

Today kicks off the 'holiday season' here in the United States. We're all expected to have a feast today, give our thanks today, and tomorrow morph into world-class consumers, something not all of us aspire to be. 

Himself and I are blessed with many riches and we are indeed grateful. We will prepare a traditional meal for the two of us and then watch a couple of old, favorite movies. Or maybe we'll watch Fluffy on Netflix. It's undecided. Our life here on the manor is a good life.

What we won't do is hop on the Black Friday sales bandwagon. We have what we need and we know it. We don't purchase things we don't need.  We've worked hard for years to reach this point. I've held a job since my first part-time job when I was only sixteen years old until retiring this year. 

Our holiday celebrations are different now. Our parents are gone. His children and grandchildren are grown. We're on our own, and we must confess the stress and drama of the day is also gone. We'll eat when the turkey comes out of the roaster. Last-minute changes to the menu? He doesn't want carrots but would rather have beets. No problem and no explanations need to be tendered. 

We'll share memories of the Thanksgiving dinners of our youth. Mine seem to be happier than his, but I've lived rural all my life and my background is more complex than his. So much has passed away and yet it made us who we are today. I pray we always remain thankful.


Time Was
Time was it’s often spoken
Back in my day also is heard.
Listen close to what comes next
An honor on you may be conferred.
Someone may share something precious with you
A memory of a life that was over too soon.
Those called young will ignore the gift
Having no connection in the literal sense. 
We who are the bridge are saddened
Having learned what we hold is fragile. 
Eleven met at a long table, children at one end
Scattered now, filling new tables without age.
Now one sits alone, yet her table is filled
The ghosts of those long-ago days linger still. 
She has memories to share if youth would dare.

KC Kendricks
2022




Sunday, November 20, 2022

Frustration or annoyance?


November 20, 2022

Is it frustration or annoyance? I can't decide. What I do know is not being about to come up with at least a working title for the current work-in-progress is driving me around the bend!  

I'm into chapter four and by now I should have something. I think the Muse is laughing at me. I think she has a title but she's not sharing. The little bitch is like that. Fickle and vindictive! 

Yes, I know she's a part of my own psyche, but I stand by my words. She's bitchy at times. She holds out on me! Just remember you don't have to live with her and I do!! 

Somewhere on my computer is a list of possible titles. I started it eons ago and added to it religiously for several years. Now I can't find it. It's there - I never delete files - but where is it??

I would love to decide on a title. Once I do that, I can make a mock-up of a cover and have it open on the other monitor screen as I work on the story. I like to do that when I can. It's a visual aid and sometimes we need those. 

A title should reflect some facet of the story, but "Bend Over, Donut-Boy" will NOT work. "Baker's Dozen" sounds like a cookbook about donuts. There's a bit of suspense coming later in the story, so how about "To Kill a Donut-Boy?" No? I agree. That's not it. 

The struggle is real. I've been very fortunate in my career in that I've rarely had this much trouble settling on a title. Perhaps I'm overthinking it and Himself is correct. It's a cold and windy day and he's suggested we load up Deuce and take a drive to the Antietam Battlefield. Stepping away from the computer may help. Lord knows I'm not about to go outside and do battle with the wind. 

Maybe I'll get lucky and it will come after we take our little jaunt into history. I sure hope so because I need to stop dwelling on this and WRITE! 

KC Kendricks

https://kckendricks.blogspot.com/p/the-bookshelf-of-kc-kendricks-and-rayne_3.html


KC Kendricks, Between the Keys, titles, a writer's life, Antietam Battlefield, contemporary gay romance, m/m romance, Deuce

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Got to figure it out

 

November 16, 2022

I miss not having a working .com website. For many years I used the Sitebuilder software and it was very reliable. I had the option of creating my own templates and layouts. Now all I have is a .com placeholder that directs everyone to Between the Keys. That works, but it's not the same as when I had a working website. 

In the early days, the do-it-yourselfer was warned that it was a bad idea to have everything on one platform. I agree. Right now, I'm very "heavy" on Blogger. If Blogger goes the way of Yahoo's Sitebuilder, my online presence is gone. It's not a good prospect. 

It's difficult to get answers these days. Customer Support for the website I do have should be called the Sales Department. There is no support. There is only the up-sell, and I'm not interested. I want a simple working website which is what I had five years ago. 

Google isn't much help, either. Oh, it can find you millions of "answers," but those answers don't necessarily apply to your question. It's very frustrating.

Amazon's author page is great for my presence on Amazon. It doesn't do a thing for me at other vendors such as iTunes/Apple, but it is a last-ditch fallback for information. 

It shouldn't be this difficult. I see this happening more and more. Something that worked perfectly is being replaced with myriad things that do not work perfectly. It's a mystery to me why companies continue to operate as though this is a good thing for the consumer.

I suppose I'm stuck with a placeholder .com for as long as I'm willing to pay the monthly fee. That might not be much longer. It's truly only pennies a day, but I'm not getting what I want for those pennies. Not at all.

 


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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


KC Kendricks, Between the Keys, websites, contemporary gay romance, m/m romance, the upsell, LGBT fiction, writers on writing, do it yourself

Monday, November 14, 2022

September Morning - new cover and promo card


November 14, 2022

For some unknown reason, I woke at three a.m. and could not go back to sleep. Perhaps I fell asleep too early last night, or maybe Deuce decided to flop down back to back with me and turn up his furry furnace. It could have been a strange noise outside. Someone was spotlighting deer on the State Park side of our road last Friday night. That didn't turn out too well for them...

Once I was awake I was too restless to go back to sleep so I got up and turned on my computer. My thought was to simply play cards or Mahjong until I got sleepy again, but decided to check the blog. That's how I ended up making a new cover for September Morning.  

I like my guys, and their "attitudes," so I kept them and added a beach bungalow and campfire. I then made a new promo card, but I'm less pleased with it. I think the description font being larger than the cover font is not to my liking. Sometimes I have to look at a project for a few days (or just a few hours) to know what I want to change. I can fix the font, easy-peasy. 

Once upon a time, I thought about writing a story for each month, but that hasn't come to pass. Yet.  So far I have September Morning, December Promise, July Heat, and Hot August Comes. Those titles just worked out the way they worked out. If I try to put a month with a story - nope. Won't work.

So here's a bit about September Morning. Follow the link here if you want to read the excerpt.

_*_*_*_*_*_

Jagger Davis, JD to his friends, takes a summer sabbatical at picturesque Sandbridge Beach in Virginia to enjoy some sun, surf, sleep, and solitude. 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 grow close. 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 in not giving his summer lover a fair chance. He must convince Nate he’ll be waiting when Nate returns - if Nate still wants him. 

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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, contemporary gay romance, m/m romance, LGBT gay, Kindle romance books, book covers, a writer's life, writers on writing, September Morning, July Heat, December Promise, Hot August Comes

Saturday, November 12, 2022

My writing familiar, Loki

 

November 12, 2022

Someone I don't talk about much is my writing familiar, Loki. In many ways, he's like having a second dog. He goes outside with me and follows me around the yard. He'll come promptly when called which is a big plus since we allow him to go off the screened patio when we're in the yard. He sleeps in my reading chair when I'm working in my office, or sometimes under my desk with Deuce. It's good to have quiet writing support. 

It's been a busy week here on the manor. There was firewood work and some prepping for the 2023 gardening season. We made two trips to town, a drop-off at the landfill, and rain from Hurricane Nicole turned yesterday into a washout. One of our trips to town was in anticipation of the approaching rain. I got chicken quarters and cooked them off to have the meat in the freezer. Later today I'll process all the broth in the pressure canner. Loki and Deuce will get a small amount over their dinner today for a treat. 

While all this necessary work was going on, my thoughts moved along plot lines. The new WIP is started and, if I say so myself, so far so good. I'm still annoyed with myself that it doesn't have a good title, but it'll come. 

That's the way it works when a new story is percolating. My hands are busy doing those things that must be done while my brain spins out character, dialogue, and plot. When I do land at the computer to write, it goes much faster because I've already "written" it in my head. 

It's the middle of November which means that here in the Mid-Atlantic region, we are at any given moment mere hours away from a big temperature drop. In some ways, I'm looking forward to it. My days will be spent mostly inside and inside means writing, and writing hard. If this past summer was any sort of indication, spending beautiful summer days inside at the computer won't happen. 

Maybe by next summer, the novelty of being home will have worn off, but I doubt it. I've given a lot of thought to a plan to structure my time, but just like the book without a title, it's a work in progress. 

Isn't everything, even life? 


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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


KC Kendricks, Between the Keys, contemporary gay romance, LGBT romance, gay fiction, m/m romance, m/m fiction, Rayne Forrest, Loki, country living, a writer's life, writers on writing, pets, rural lifestyle, time management

Friday, November 4, 2022

Seducing Light cover updated -again!

November 4, 2022


Having recently made the decision to create my own vendor accounts at a few places, I've set myself to the task of slowly making those changes to my backlist. And I do mean slowly. I've chosen ten works as test cases, one of which is Seducing Light. 

Seducing Light is one of my earlier works, but I think it's one of my better ones. I opened the file this morning and studied the old cover for quite a while before concluding it had to be replaced. It must have been meant to be because the new cover fell into place in under an hour. 

I looked in my folder of gigolos.....er... purchased stock photos... yes, we indie authors buy men. Moving on... I found a stock photo in the file which had not been used, and the old Rayne Forrest website photos produced a background shot. Heaven only knows how old that background is! 

The cover came together nicely, and all the updating on the blog pages and booksellers was quickly accomplished. 

Writing is not a linear endeavor. Making a new cover was not part of my plan for the day - not even close. But it's done and it looks good, so I'm glad I went with the flow. 

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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, Seducing Light, contemporary gay romance, LGBT fiction, m/m romance, book covers, a writer's life, 




Thursday, November 3, 2022

Confused much?


November 3, 2022

Most everyone gets confused from time to time. It shouldn't be a big deal. The spousal unit hasn't worked a job away from home in twenty years, and for almost that long he's been asking me what day of the week it is. Having recently retired, I understand it better. The first thing I look at every morning is my calendar. That's just so I have an answer for HIM, you know. It's not because I need to know what day of the week it is. 

Often times our little confusions are because we've not been paying attention when someone is telling us something. We've forgotten how to listen and so days later we embarrass ourselves when we have to call a friend and ask what it was they told about [fill in the blank]. 

We're all subject to those little annoying lapses. It takes on a new light when you have a parent with Alzheimer's Disease. Trust me. I know.

When I forget something important, I panic. My heart races and I stop dead in my tracks until I can get clarity. I'm not trying to be a drama queen but it's frightening. I wonder if IT is happening to me. I went back to keeping a written desk calendar/diary this year. It's a good record to have and maybe it will entertain my younger cousins when they have to settle my estate and clean out my office. The scary part of all that is that my mother had notebook after notebook with list upon list detailing her attempts to stay in control of her life. 

We humans frequently allow our imaginations to seize control. A tiny pain is surely cancer. Eating any white food will give us diabetes. Aging eyesight must be macular degeneration. Forgetting we bought shampoo and then buying another bottle the next week is surely a warning sign of dementia. 

I'm trying my best to not be an alarmist. My imagination is best used for writing love stories, not scaring myself stupid. 

I think that retiring from the workforce brings a new way of thinking to a person's life. There's an adjustment period as stress levels drop and what is so frequently referred to as the new normal takes hold. Being the Lady of the Manor and a full-time writer is a dream I've long held dear. I'm finally there but here has pitfalls I'd not imagined. 

What day of the week is it? Thursday
Where did I leave my phone? In the garden shed.
Did we feed the dog last night? We both did - he's going to get fat.

I hate to say it, but that is not dementia. Dementia would give me an excuse and I have none because I damn sure am not getting old!


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 KC Kendricks/Rayne Forrest
www.kckendricks.com
My home on the web- Between the Keys: 
http://kckendricks.blogspot.com
Visit my bookshelf at: 
https://kckendricks.blogspot.com/p/the-bookshelf-of-kc-kendricks-and-rayne_3.html

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, aging, romance novels, new normal, retirement, Between the Keys blog, social media, cellphone, calendars, questioning


Wednesday, November 2, 2022

That fickle darn muse


November 2, 2022

I've been putting the finishing touches on After the Sea Sprite Ball, which is a Rayne Forrest novel. Some of you may know Rayne is my alter ego, writing more traditional het romance. Or whatever they call it these days. It used to be that you needed an author brand for every genre you wrote in, but I don't know if that still applies. I've not paid proper attention to such things. My bad.

I also have a brand spanking new KC book that is as yet untitled. Now that annoys me. I just can't think of a title. Experience tells me that I'll be typing along and a phrase will hit the page and BAM! That's the title. I just hate to wait for that to happen. 

Another item I'm making a conscious effort to improve on is promotion. I'm currently concentrating on Facebook groups. It's going well and I've been able to post, on average, once a week in those groups I've joined. 

Something I want to do, mostly for myself, is put the Deuce's Day blog into book form. It's a lot of copy and paste to accomplish that, but I think readers may appreciate reading about a dog's life from a dog's point of view. I've been playing with that off and on for a while now, but I'm in the mood to finish up old projects so it may actually get done. I'll put it out there on Kindle Unlimited with a $.99 price tag if someone wants to purchase a copy to keep.

And then The Muse exacted her due. She whispered to me about an old Rayne Forrest book that has languished in the files. Read it, she said. Make a cover for it, she said. 

Naturally, I obeyed. I grumbled at first because I have enough going on, but why fight it? It'll only get worse if I do. 

When I'm writing, I know the value of taking breaks. When I'm making good progress, I've learned that I can switch off and work on a different project and it's just the sort of break I need. I'm still about the business of writing. Experience has also taught me it all comes together in the end. 

Yesterday afternoon, I finalized the cover for what will be the second edition of Step Into Tomorrow. When I'll feel ready to put the story back out in the world, I'm not sure. I know it feels good to bring it back to life.

Now I must insist that The Muse behave herself and let me finalize After the Sea Sprite Ball. The front and end materials are added and I need to do that last read-through. Then I need to work on the untitled KC story. The Muse needs to work with me, not try and pull a fast one. 

Aye. Right. We'll have to see how THAT goes.

   _*_*_*_*_*_*_

 KC Kendricks / Rayne Forrest
http://www.kckendricks.com

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, romance novels, After the Sea Sprite Ball, Step Into Tomorrow, contemporary romance, futuristic romance, gay romance