Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Levi & Stacy - a limited edition

**August 29, 2023 

**December 31, 2023 - This special edition is no longer available. 

Levi & Stacy

Levi and Stacy hold a special place in the booklist. Shining Victory is written from Stacy's point of view. No One But You is from Levi's. It has long been the plan to write another segment from Stacy's pov, but fear of mucking it up has thus far prevailed. 
Do not abandon hope. It may yet happen.

                                              Shining Victory                    No One But You

Limited Edition! 
For a limited time, get both Shining Victory and No One But You in one limited edition volume!

This two book set will only be available until December 31, 2023 

This title is no longer available. 

Friday, August 25, 2023

And speaking of distractions...

August 25, 2023

The end of summer is upon us. I gaze through my office window and there is a smattering of leaves on the ground. In years past, those leaves would be bright yellow from the poplar tree but we cut that tree down last summer. This coming winter, its wood will keep us warm. 

I should not be gazing out the window. I should be writing, and not blogging. The current work-in-progress has languished this week while I did...what? Looking back at my daily notes, what I did was not much. Organizing the music CDs in one fell swoop was hardly necessary. The task could have been broken down into smaller segments across more days, days in which I wrote first. I didn't do it that way. There was also a trip to town for groceries and a test run of the log splitter. And then there was Twitter or X as it is now called. 

What to do about Twitter/X? I've actually thought about leaving it, but the platform itself isn't the problem. 

I spent far too much time on that platform, whatever the hell you want to call it. My feed is full of beautiful American muscle cars and I can't take my eyes off the shine! I click the little heart and I get more cars. And I do love American muscle cars. But I should be writing. 

One of the deciding factors in retiring from employment last year was my desire to get back to writing, so why am I allowing distractions to keep me from it? It's a fucking lack of discipline, that's what. I recognize it. I just don't do anything about it. 

That needs to change. I've been home for over a year now and I admit that settling in with the spouse was important. I tried to be deliberate about the adjustment of us being together 24/7. We're both armed. Shooting each other would not have been productive. Now we've reached the point where we believe we can accommodate each other. Leaving him to his own devices so I can write shouldn't be a problem but I enjoy spending time with him. Still. 

There are deer on the other side of the window. We had a large group of fawns born this year and they dance around like little sprites. I've seen it before but I always stop what I'm doing to watch. The nature around me feeds my soul. Is that an excuse for not writing?

It's obvious I'm going to struggle with the distractions surrounding me. No self-help book will help me if I'm not willing to shut it all out and write. And I already have the tools necessary. I know I need to set aside a block of time each day for writing and stick to it. The real question is why am I not getting that done? 

Maybe I need to close the drapes.


Social media links:
Life through the eyes of my black Lab, Greenbrier Smokey Deuce: deucesday.blogspot.com
My country life at The Hideaway/Holly Tree Manor: hollytreemanor.blogspot.com
Snips and clips on my YouTube channel: KC Kendricks Between the Keys

KC Kendricks, Between the Keys, gay romance novels, m/m romance, writers on writing, writing distractions, LGBT gay romance, contemporary romance, time management, distractions, end of summer, firewood, social media, American muscle cars

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

A new, but necessary distraction

August 22, 2023

Distractions. Writers may try to avoid them, but it's as if the Universe simply can't stand to have a writer peacefully clicking away on her/his keyboard. I've written about distractions before, but this time? THIS time it's a distraction that put me in crisis mode! My faithful (now not so faithful!) CD player has given up the ghost and is headed to electronic disposal. 

I don't have a clue how many music CDs we actually own. Not a clue. Hundreds is my best guess. I won't lie and say I play CDs every day, but the prospect of not having all that music available to me with the push of a button is, well, scary. When I'm in the mood for some Elton John, I want to hear it NOW! 

What to do? Purchase a new player, you say. That makes sense, but my sound system is ancient. I'm not sure a new player will plug in and play. A new system would be smaller ✅, have a remote control ✅, and have a USB playback ✅✅✅✅✅!!

A USB playback. I love having that in my car. I have a favorites playlist for in the vehicles with almost fifteen hundred songs on it. This could really work!

Yeah, it could work if I had all my music loaded onto the computer so I could slide it right over to a jump drive. 

Guess what the distracted writer is doing today? 


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 The Hideaway/Holly Tree Manor: hollytreemanor.blogspot.com

KC Kendricks, Between the Keys, m/m gay romance for Kindle, contemporary romance, a writer's life, LGBTQ romance, writing distractions, writers on writing, music CD, USB drive, memory stick, jump drive

Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Pesky Promotion Pitfalls

August 16, 2023

If there is one thing I don't like about being a writer in 2023, it's doing promotion. I didn't like it twenty years ago and I like it even less now. 

Back then, before Amazon slayed the epublishers, if you had a good website, you did okay. Amazon is no one's friend. It exists to make money, plain and simple. Many, many, many voices have been silenced due to Amazon.

Yahoo used to have groups, as did MSN and Google. They're gone now and we're left with Facebook groups and other social media such as Twitter and YouTube. Doing promotion in the Facebook groups is like navigating several thousand landmine fields. 

"Do this, don't do that! Can't you read the signs????"

Don't misunderstand me - there are myriad groups that are really great for promo. Post and go because an author's time is valuable, at least mine is.  Other groups have a lot of rules, which I add to my spreadsheet. 

I've mentioned the FB spreadsheet before. It's full of KC shorthand, but it works. I know which book I've promoted and when. I know if it went into review, when it posted, and if it's still pending a month later. 

Really, folks. If you're going to review each post, DO IT. My spreadsheet has five worksheets and one page is for groups I've abandoned like a hot potato because I don't have time for nonsense. 

In the past week, I've moved ten groups to the abandoned worksheet. It'll save time in the long run. One group removed my first five promo posts but not the sixth (the first was in January so they were spread out). I don't care what the issue was. I simply cut the group out of my rotation. 

It's not like I enjoy abandoning a particular group. Sure, the groups are full of other writers, but writers are readers, too. Between October and March, I read at least four books a week. April through September are the outdoor fun months, so I probably read four books a month. The point is, writers read. 

And since writers read, I'll stick to posting in the groups that are truly writer-friendly. And on the social media formerly known as Twitter. And YouTube if I can get off my butt long enough to go make a video. Beyond that, I really must figure out what to do with Patreon. But I don't like the idea of having people pay for special treatment. 

That's enough whining for today. Promotion needs to happen, but I don't have to enjoy it. 


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 The Hideaway/Holly Tree Manor: hollytreemanor.blogspot.com

KC Kendricks, Between the Keys, gay romance, m/m romance, kindle romance, social media promotion, book promo, spreadsheets, rural living, country lifestyle, a writer's life

Thursday, August 10, 2023

We now communicate via the meme

August 10, 2023

Over the past several years, we the people have become uncomfortable with speaking our real and true opinions, and we certainly don't post them online. There is always someone lurking about who is delighted to tell you how wrong you are. I'm too exhausted to listen to them. I'm not about to change my mind on core issues. 

I enjoy a witty meme. I found the one pictured on Twitter...excuse me...X... and it took me down a musical memory lane. Those five words say a lot. In my youth, I loved the music of Simon & Garfunkel, and The Sound of Silence remains a favorite. The song has weathered well the test of time. Go listen to the Simon & Garfunkel version. No one else does it as well and they did write the song. 

And the people bowed and prayed to the neon god they made. And the sign flashed out its warning in the words that it was forming. And the sign said, "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls and echoed the sound of silence."

It got me thinking about all the memes filling up my Twitter and Facebook feeds. I know someone who never posts any sort of update about her life. It's a political-themed meme or nothing. She gets flamed continually and I think she likes the abuse. Maybe she thinks any attention of whatever form is good. I disagree. Showing your ass and saying, "LOOK AT ME!" is never in good form. 

Freedom of speech is the first right given to us by our Constitution. Congress, that is to say, our government, is to make NO law prohibiting freedom of religion and speech. Cancel culture has made the exercise of that right so onerous, that we now communicate through the meme. 

You dislike a particular politician? Post a meme. 
You hate your job? Post a meme.
You like to drink alcohol? Post a meme. 
You want to bash the police? Post a meme.
You want to support abortion? Post a meme.
You want to bash fat/skinny/old people? Post a meme. 
You want to talk about heaven? Post a meme.
You want to tell everyone to rescue a dog or else? Post a meme. 

This is how we avoid having conversations. If we try to have a conversation, we get attacked, often unfairly. We are entitled to have an opinion. 

I'm as guilty as the next person of withholding my opinion. I get annoyed when I read things like "ALL conservatives/liberals [fill in the blank]." 

Not many of the memes I see are like the one pictured above. They don't take us back in time or remind us with melodic words we still have work to do to improve society. Today's memes more often than not based on an underlying hatred of someone or something. This is what disturbs me the most about them. 

You'll have to excuse me if I don't join you in your hatred. Have you ever considered keeping it to yourself? 


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 The Hideaway/Holly Tree Manor: hollytreemanor.blogspot.com

KC Kendricks, Between the Keys, meme, contemporary gay romance, romance books for Kindle, Sound of Silence, Constitution, First Amendment, freedom of speech, counter-culture, a writer's life, rural living, m/m romance

Thursday, August 3, 2023

July 2023: My version of a newsletter for the month

August 3, 2023

We made it through July! It was a hot month here, but July always is. Historically, in my location, it is the hottest month of the year. We're suddenly into August, and like flipping a switch, it's cooler and a lot less humid. This year, I'm missing the yellow leaves that always began to fall off the big poplar tree that was just outside my sunroom office window. I could mark the first of August by the first leaves dropping. I miss the tree, but not the threat it posed to the house.  

July was a big month tending the garden. Everything was growing and it was time to feed the plants, as well as water the plants every day. I was able to start harvesting tomatoes, but not the ones I'd hoped for. I planted seeds purporting to be Beefsteaks, but were cherry tomatoes instead. I wasn't pleased but I made use of them in pizza sauce

I made good use of our little pool, too. Deuce enjoyed splashing around in his little pool for a couple of days, but then he lost interest in it. Thankfully, he abandoned it before I purchased him a larger pool. 

The writing didn't go as well as I'd hoped, but it never does. It's a mystery how if I can type a solid 60 words per minute, I can't type 3600 words an hour. The math doesn't prove out! The upside is the current work-in-progress IS progressing and I did get the cover completed. I really need to expand my knowledge of the Photoshop program I have, but that takes time. I hope to have the "blurb" written soon and a book page posted. 

One of the storefronts I use is now offering a service for book covers. I won't pay upwards of $100 for one cover and not have it be significantly better than what I can make, which they are not. 

I spent waaaaay too much time on Twitter in July, so this month I'm on a bit of a Twitter... excuse me... X...holiday. I'll allow myself to check in once in the morning and once before I retire for the night. That should suffice. I didn't spend enough time on Facebook putting up promos. I doubt I'll do much better in August, but we'll see. 

I'm actually going back to work soon. My replacement is expecting a baby in mid-September, and I'll be filling in for her while she's on maternity leave. I agreed to help on the condition I could do the bulk of the work at home. That was approved. I hope I'm not too rusty to actually be a help! 

July flew by! I accomplished something every day even if I did jump from chore to chore and project to project like a squirrel. Life has taught me that sooner or later, it all gets done.

Here's to August! May we all stay safe and healthy!


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 The Hideaway/Holly Tree Manor: hollytreemanor.blogspot.com

KC Kendricks, Between the Keys, newsletter July 2023, contemporary gay romance, LGBT, m/m romance, a writer's life, romance fiction, book covers, rural living, country lifestyle, romance books for Kindle