First Cup of Coffee – June 3, 2022

Thoughts on leaving readers with an emotionally satisfying ending, regardless of whether it makes perfect sense plot-wise, along with a story about buying wedding flowers and celebrating with joy.




Transcript
00:01.12
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:26.00
jeffekennedy
Delicious. Today is oh say it with me Friday ah June Third my friend’s wedding weekend. For something that started as um, basically we’re going to run to the justice of the piece we’ve ended up making this into quite the party and it’s been awesome. It’s ah been really super fun. I’m really glad that Charlie and Megan decided to do the party in a way that. Included all of us and lets us just do something purely fun.

02:08.48
jeffekennedy
Ah, hummingbird is busy. It’s kind of a little breezy morning here in Santa Fe but it’s supposed to be really beautiful today. Just a little tumultuous here it as the sun comes up but warm enough to be outside without sleeves. so so yeah um yesterday was a good day I felt like I was behind all day. Um I had went to writer breakfast coffee brunch and. That was fun. Um, you know, but still it just sets my morning back and I have to try to be let go of that because I do feel like the social interaction with friends is important right? And then I went to trader joe’s and bought the flowers for the wedding and I think I told the story on here before it that I was like I want to do the flowers for the wedding. It worked out great going to trader joe’s it turned out that they were turning over their flowers on thursday morning. My mom commented that her trader joes doesn’t seem to have as um, big a flower section. Ours is quite extensive and I was there. It’s right by the front doors and I was there um filling my cart. And it was. It was really funny because this was one of the best parts because very often going to trader joe’s is not a happy experience as far as the other people are concerned. It’s it’s a happy experience for buying what we want to get. And for the you know prices in general but people tend to be really stressed there like no and I don’t know why the parking lot tends to be like a rage fest I don’t know why so this was. Pure joy. Um, people were just commenting one person after another and people were like oh look how beautiful the flowers are and then they’d be like and look at you look at you with this card full of flowers and I said yes. My friend is getting married this weekend and they’re like that’s such a good idea to do it this way and um, it was just um, seeing how happy it make people. It made me think of the movie Bed of roses which I love this movie.

07:46.34
jeffekennedy
Where he talks about Christian Slater talks about after his wife died why he goes into the floral business because and I’m I’m gonna have to paraphrase but he he has this wonderful thing where he talks about you know that there’s something about delivering flowers to people that it’s out like. Best moments in their lives or the worst moments. But either way their faces when they take the flowers and he takes her who is a very wounded person along with him and she gets to experience that same delight. And and I could see it yesterday in people’s faces when they they looked there was this one older lady who um, you know said can I get to those and I said oh yes, you know pulling my laden card out of the way and I’m like just yell at me if I’m in your way and she goes. Ah. It was funny. Um, so and even in the parking lot I have my cart out there. You know and I’ll throw the photo on the show notes you laden with all of these colorful flowers and this. Lady and her daughter pull up. You know they’re they’re passing behind you know, like in the lane and she stops and they have the windows rolled down and she goes those flowers are so beautiful and I said for the upteeth time you know my friend is getting married this weekend and she’s like oh that’s so wonderful and so then i. Stepped pictures of the cart and texted Megan and said do you want to see the flowers or do you want to be surprised and she didn’t reply right away cause she was at work and as I’m driving home I get the text from her and. Saying I want to see and then she adds I hope I didn’t miss my window by not responding right away and I was like now of course I took the pictures anyway and sent them to her. Um, and she said um, it’s just so much. Joy. Um, and it is you know a joyful thing get married 2nd wedding for both of them and um, yeah, that’s really cool. So um. Yeah, so then I brought them home and realized I had a little bit of a problem I’d been thinking about it like where am I going to put them and then I had a stroke of genius and put them in the washing machine. Ah I tried doing like the pre-soak thing but it wouldn’t.

13:19.72
jeffekennedy
Fill I think I had to have stuff in there already. So then I just filled the the bucket that David uses to refill the fish tank did a couple of runs of that and filled up the washing machine and it it held I’m curious to see I’m going to look this morning and see if the water’s still standing in it I think it will hold until I drain it. So I just had all of the bouquets in there and then some in the bucket and I don’t maybe I’d gone overboard in acquiring but the armloads of flowers and it was funny because I’d had a specific budget mind but I didn’t count. As I was loading up the flowers I kind of just went with proportions of you know oh I want these I want these I want these and then I had to grab a couple of grocery things too. So I did that and I came out like $10 over budget I thought well that was amazing. So then I had to get to actual work and work on the book and I ended up adding like 2700 words yesterday and made it almost all the way through the second of the 4 epilogues, two to go you people Ah oh well. Yeah. It is what it is so ah, we’ll see how far I get today I would love it if I could get the last 2 epilogues today. Maybe they’ll be shorter second one was longer is what it is. And I still have to add the last few lines because I wasn’t by the time I finished yesterday. It was like almost 3 finished my 3 hours and I went longer I went like 15 minutes longer Dorinda signed off and I said um I’m going to stick with it and see if I can get these last few sentences and it ended up being more than a few sentences. And then I wasn’t sure if it was right I wasn’t quite hearing hearing the words. so I stopped if so I’ll see how it looks this morning and so then I did not go to in-person yoga. Because it was too tight of a turnaround and I thought I need to deal with these flowers and I wanted I really wanted to get them all arranged and into vasas so that and I’d gotten out I borrowed some some from Megan just like 4 and then it turns out you guys I have a lot of vases. But. So I had all my vases lined out and I thought well if I end up with not enough faces at least doing this tonight I can return any of the ones I don’t use to water and then go run to Michael’s or something tomorrow and get the.

19:01.38
jeffekennedy
Get some more vases or Tuesday morning. So I spread out I put a sheet on the rug. Well David and I ate dinner first but that’s we don’t you don’t need the blow by blow. Even though I’m giving it to you and we did ended up eating a fairly early dinner and. Then I spread the sheet out on the carpet in the living room and I just started and I got out a big garbage bag you know because they’re all wrapped in cellophane. So you know tookck off the cellophane took off the elastic and laid them out and bunches by type of flower and color and dan i. Started doing the arranging and I had 1 really big face that I had to like solve an engineering problem for um because the flowers looked too. Short in them. You know, like even the really tall lilies like barely stuck over the top of it I solved my engineering problem and I felt very clever for that as well and got my other bouquets all arranged and it ended up coming out just fine. So. Yeah, they are um, they’re beautiful. Beautiful I’m very happy with them. So this afternoon I need to text the homeowners of where the wedding is going to take place and see when I can drop those off I’m going to try to go take those flowers this afternoon. And couple other little tasks little errands and then um, yeah, and then party at their house tonight and I got out of all of my SFWA meetings for tomorrow. So I can go hang out at the pool. With with people and I may end up working on this book more first thing in the morning. Yeah because I would really love to dive into revising on Monday I haven’t revised those final pages yet. So.

23:28.66
jeffekennedy
So now that’s that’s my story and I’m sticking to it I did up. Um I put a lot of it on Instagram stories I made a real I need to like make a story too. But I kind of did some of that this morning and. Also slept long because I think I stayed up a little late so I’m running a bit behind but I’m on top of things I feel like I’ve got plenty of time to work on the book today and do the other things for the wedding and just have a really fun party weekend.

24:48.32
jeffekennedy
Yeah, so dont know do I have anything else to say At writer coffee yesterday they were telling me an interesting story because I was saying that on this book that my concern is is that I’ve not stuck the ending the way that I want to and Jim Sorenson was talking about um because he’s like involved in transformers and gi Joe and so he hands up going to. Different conferences than I do but he so I can’t remember the writer but it’s like one of the ones I think who did incredible hulk and he said he was talking about how at the end of one of them. That’s sorry about this where I won’t get my specifics. Jim could tell you but anyway ah I guess Bruce I remember it was incredible Hulk Bruce banner goes running after the train at the end she she gets on the train and then heing goes running after the train and trying to stop her but the train pulls away. And all dejected. He turns around and goes back and she’s standing there on the train platform and they embrace and it’s all good and he says that audiences love this ending. Love love love this ending. It’s like the huge emotional punch reward ending and it’s like what a. Best received endings he’s ever done and he hates it. He hates this ending because he says it actually makes no plot sense whatsoever and he wrestled with this ending because he’s like if she’d already gotten on the train. How did she know to get back off the train again and how did she get off the train when the train’s already been moving that she’s back on the platform. None of this matters to the audience because the audiences love the emotional reward of the ending and so that was what Jim was saying to me is like you know you’re doing these epilogues and you’re doing this big emotional reward for the ending. He said nobody’s going to mind whether or not, you’re ending of like the the resolution of the plot actually makes any sense. So ah yeah I thought to. Um, was probably what I needed to hear.

29:48.52
jeffekennedy
I know that um from inside the writer brain that we can belabor things quite a bit more than the readers will and then readers end up belaboring things that make no sense to us that they focus on. So yeah, it’s a good. Exercise in zen and I do agree. This is one thing that I have learned over the course of writing books and seeing which ones work is that once I got really good at real. Really good. I feel vain saying that but I feel like I’ve gotten much better at it anyway of delivering that emotionally satisfying ending that it it makes all the difference because it’s what you leave the reader with in the end. It’s that feeling that they close the book with. So so yeah, it’s really the opposite of the cliffhanger ending right? because the cliffhanger ending isn’t actual ending. It’s a moving straight into the next story. Yeah, so it’s um, it’s useful to think in those terms and of course you can’t please everyone all the time I saw a review of one of my books yesterday where somebody said that they wished that there had been more resolution at the end or you know that I had tied up more of the events and like and I couldn’t there was too much I’m sorry you wish that um you know if wishes were horses sometimes sometimes you’ve got a. Decide where you’re going to stop the book. You know I could have stopped it earlier that that’s you know one way or the other. But when you’re writing a series that’s in a continuous arc. It’s not always possible to tie up that full you you can put in that scene with that. Um, emotional resolution but sometimes it’s not enough for everybody if not all the questions are tied up so but but this is tying up the four book series and in some ways the whole. Whole series right? you know and that’s why it’s been fun to touch back to that original Twelve kingdoms trilogy in these scenes kind of bridging the generations I’m really enjoying that. Yeah, so.

35:18.26
jeffekennedy
You know I mentioned and and quite a few of you replied back to me with aghast faces that this might be the end of the 12 kingdoms and uncharted realms world. Yeah I don’t know maybe maybe not. Right now I don’t have clear ideas of what I would write next. It could be that I’ll write like little novellas here and there it could be that I’ll get some idea that will connect it. Um I remember 1 reviewer. It was really funny in reviewing the forgotten empire’s trilogy said it was set in the same world as. 12 kingdoms and uncharted realms and I was like um, no, no, not not even close. In fact I went to some effort to make them distinct worlds. But for those of you have been reading along with Heirs of magic ah you will will. You know there’s the altar realms and so there’s this thing that you know like maybe the world can connect I don’t know we’ll see. Um, yeah, so all right I’m gonna go get to work see if I can get this uploaded in time to ah. Concentrate on these epilogues but I hope you all have a wonderful weekend I hope that it is joyful in any way that you can make it joyful and I will talk to you all on Monday you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – June 2, 2022

Updates in general – THE STORM PRINCESS AND THE RAVEN KING is done except for the epilogues! which I’m really enjoying writing because they’re great touch-backs to the original Twelve Kingdoms trilogy. And other stuff…




Transcript
00:01.14
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone. This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Um, delicious. If you’re on video. You’ll see that it’s a little bit breezy here this morning today this Thursday June second six two 2022 for some reason the transcript. Has trouble with numbers. Um, so I’m trying to enunciate them better. We’ll see if that helps. So yeah, it’s um, a coolish morning I am outside and we make it rain today. Which would be most welcome. Ah definitely has that? Um, it feels like being on the pacific northwest coast or even Southern California or San Diego you know a? ah. Cool beach day. It’s some just amazing. How distinct that moist specificific air is when it makes its sway over to us.

02:56.64
jeffekennedy
So, things are going well yesterday was a good day. A good writing day I did finish the actual story woo I finished the actual book. Um, climactic scene and all of that. I felt like I had not stuck the landing on it. Um, and I I don’t know I felt like I that there’s this inning there that I could find that was remaining elusive but Carien read it and she likes it. She thinks it’s great. She had only like one suggestion for expansion. So we’ll see I still need to go back and revise about the last. Well it was 83 pages that I wrote now it’s going to be more because I can sort of tell you guys where I’m at. I am at Ninety Thousand five hundred and five words which astute listeners astute and regular listeners will recognize as being well beyond my estimate but we knew those epilogues were going to be long right? I finished the first epilogue and it is almost 3K words they may all be. About 3,000 words but Carien loves it so far I’m actually really loving writing them. So yesterday I wrote 3,226 words. That’s what I did in my 3 hours and when I get to the point of. Revising yeah see now I’m up to 91 pages that I’m going to have to revise. Although I think that the epilogues will revise pretty fast but it’s fun. It’s really fun because um I don’t want to spoiler anything for you guys. But. I don’t feel like this is a spoiler because it’s expected. But if you want to know nothing cover your ears for a minute because the none epilogue is our intrepid heroes returning to castle Ordnung and so I get to have a scene with. Ursula and it’s um, it was just really fun to write an extended scene with Ursula again heroine of Talon of the hawk the high queen I hear Jackson inside wanting to come out shall. We let him come out. He’s been good lately. I’ve been letting him go free inside the sacred garden hold on no that wasn’t him must have been hearing things the um house across the way and where our houses are spaced out pretty distant but over that way has um.

08:35.72
jeffekennedy
Children I know two small children and one of them when she is running around and playing sounds very much like a cat to me I think it’s partly distance. But you know that? ah. But says something that I hear that as a cat I’m sure Jackson was happily inside extracting treats from his puzzle box that’s been a a great thing have um genie mom to think for that one. And she’s also been featuring the bonds of magic audio books on her listen up review site. So I appreciate that. Thank you Jen although I don’t think she listens to this podcast so she won’t know that I thanked her. I was amused with myself yesterday in the blog posts that I wrote which ended up being a fairly log blog post too. But I felt like I had things to say and telling that story and looking up Brianne Merritt my my old nemesis who never knew she was my nemesis and was my nemesis for no good reason. Other than that I was jealous I was a young and jealous 18 year old alas not always the wise and zen woman you see before you now or. Here before you now. Ah I am saying that ironically I hope you know that. So um, let’s see so yeah, epilogues are going to be long but I am getting through them. Um. My friend Kelly Robson who checks in with me every day on writing stuff and ask me if I thought I was going to be done yesterday I was like no way. But I finished the first epilogue got part way through the second I got like. five pages into the second and the first one was ten pages. So yeah I kind of know where this one’s going so we’ll see um and then I’ve got two more after that maybe by tomorrow I don’t know. Going to write her coffee this morning and buy flowers for the wedding for Megan’s wedding so that’s exciting and I feel like I should be talking about more writing and industry stuff and my mind is a blank.

13:54.52
jeffekennedy
But in a good way. Um I was maybe supposed to do something for SFWA yesterday. There’s this author coalition call that occurs on the first Wednesday of the month so now that it’s June. It was yesterday and it’s at 11am my time and I I probably mentioned this before but a lot of the people on the call. Just do not seem like they have anywhere else to be because I spend a really long time talking about stuff and I feel like I am a. 1 of my failings as a human being is that I am impatient and I have to reign in my impatience. It is a constant struggle for me, you guys to rein in my impatience. But. It’s um I think it’s because I tend to do things pretty fast and in concentrated ways and when other people don’t do that. It robs me wrong. You know like the um, the grocery store clerk who like. Vaguely checks out your stuff and stops to talk to people and gets distracted and then you know some something goes on over there and they’re like oh ha ha ha ha and you’re like could you just fucking scan my groceries or at least I’m like that I don’t say that i. I rein in my impatience. So. But yeah, um, I’m not subjected to many meetings that I don’t control anymore which is great for me right? That’s one of the great benefits of having the ah career that I have at this point I love. Not having to attend meetings um you know like you do in corporate life all of the meetings that I attend are almost all so like None of the meetings that I have now are all things that I am invested in hearing about. They’re either about my favorite subjects me my books and my career. Um, you know so meetings with like my agent or my editors or things like that or they are SFWA meetings. Wow I felt like hair in my face. Flowing around from that breeze I think I washed it this morning and I can’t do anything was it.

19:15.96
jeffekennedy
So some randomness for you. But so like this call I do feel like it’s good. We have somebody else. Michael Capobianco who is a long time and very able volunteer at attends those calls anyway. But. I attended once a couple months ago because I had a specific issue bring to bring up to the other writers organizations and Capo as he is fondly known said that SFWA has two seats on this call and that he thought it would be great for the SFWA president to attend and I think it’s a great idea too. But when it comes to the execution yesterday I was I was writing hot I’ve got to finish freaking this book I didn’t say that well did I got to finish this freaking book freaking finish this book. Um, and. I just did not want to stop to be on this call. So I I was bad and I elected to not do it I’ve been doing more of these things in this last week or so and I think it’s just because I really needed to like taking. Entire days off of checking my sifwa email I I do think it is self- preservervation and I am we’re technically on hiatus to recover from the conference and so forth. So I was like you know what? I’m just going to be on hiatus and. Focus on the writing so that felt good. Um I need to finish paying bills and yesterday I finished early enough that I spent a couple of hours balancing the finances and I’m still crunching royalties. I have to finish crunching for Amazon and for my website sales and then pay bills. So I may get that done today. But the other thing I’m doing today big excitement in my world is I am going to in-person yoga with my favorite yoga teacher first time since. Pandemic. Um, she’s been doing like Zoom yoga I’ve mentioned that a number of times on here and doing recorded sessions by Vimeo and I have found I just do not like the combination of screen time in yoga it like makes it be not yoga for me. So she’s doing these classes that are simultaneous virtual and in person I think this is the future right? We’re all doing this right? The the hybrid options. So but I get to go. She’s opened a new yoga studio with another guyhoo I really like and I’m gonna go do freaking.

24:49.76
jeffekennedy
in-person yoga. So yes, mother I will be going into town and back twice today. She’s been laughing at me that how much I’m going into town because you know for so long I almost went nowhere but um so it works out. On Thursdays with it being writer coffee day and yoga day because this is the yin yoga class that I really like at four o’clock and as I mentioned I was chastised by the massage therapist for not maintaining my own flexibility. So. I need to get with that birds are so happy this morning I don’t know if you can hear them in the background but they’re just chipping away so pleased at having this moisture in the air. It really brightens them up. Dear, big excitement in my world was. We had our septic septic tank emptied yesterday and got it’s it’s kind of absurd how you can be proud of these things but got an a plus rating on our maintenance of the septic tank. So I did not. Know that it makes a difference if you use a disposal because this guy who’s ah I mean he was really like a classic cowboy type even had a cowboy hat dressed like a cowboy talked like a cowboy but he was great. He was efficient and very sweet. He accidentally ran over. Of our cactus um sort of we have like this center thing which we call the center thing I don’t know if there’s a name for it. But you know like our driveway goes around the center thing and we have a bunch of cactus planet in there and he ran over one of part of one of them with those big tires and he felt really bad about you. Brought me out there to see it and he’s like I try to be careful but I can’t always feel and there really is not much of a lip there and and he tried and he wanted to knock a hundred dollars off of the price and I felt I felt bad about that I was like oh I don’t think it was a hundred dollar cactus and in fact it’s one that we. Planted with a paddle from another cactus cactus are ridiculously easy to plant and propagate if you are interested. Here’s our botany section first cup of coffee. All you have to do is take one of the paddles use um tongs like kitchen tongs. But you know like if you have a neighbor with a cactus or you see a cactus somewhere where someone won’t mind you can just take a paddle like from the bottom you just take that and you lay it on the ground them done I’m serious and and they will root themselves. You know, put it in a hot spot.

30:31.20
jeffekennedy
Hot dry spot. But then so this ah and and it’s too bad because it was blooming all these beautiful pink flowers. But um, he is like well I I feel bad about that. So I I’ll give you a discount and he said you know it’s was like $300 to have the septic tank. Um. Cleaned and everything and he said let’s just make it 200 so I wrote the check for 250 because I thought yeah and he did great work if I still took some of it the the discount discount for my squash cactus. But anyway he said that we didn’t have a crust in there but we won’t think too hard about the crust but he said um, you must not have a garbage disposal and I sorry to answer and he looked at me and he said or you don’t use it very much and I said I do not use it very much. Um. First of all, it doesn’t work great and second of all we compost a lot but he said yeah if you use the garbage disposal a lot that really affects the septic tank and you get this crust in there who knew you know it’s like you buy a house with a septic tank and they do not. Give you instructions you could see the birds zooming around behind me. They’re very active. So yes, I’m it’s always good news to know that your septic tank is in good condition. I’m always hearing it seems like about people having septic disasters everybody out here is on a septic tink. My mom said she didn’t know I was on septic and it’s like um you know live eight miles outside of santa fe depending on which way the crow is flying and we are not on seur where. We are our own water system and everybody has septic. So um, let’s see those have been random thoughts right? What else? Oh I’ve got almost all 3 covers for the covenant of thorns books they’re going to be super cool. You guys this concept I just love it and we’re just going ahead and doing all 3 because she sent me all these options for the first one after I you know I told you I got that sort of like um shiver of delight at seeing one that was a like really different kind of concept. And so when I said I want this one and she said oh that’s my favorite too which I always feel like is good sign if the artist loves that one best then? you’re onto something right? So then she sent me a whole bunch of choices and I was like I loved them all and I made Darynda look at them and she loved them all.

36:05.26
jeffekennedy
But I picked out 3 that I think worked great for the progression of the trilogy and so we’re just going ahead and doing that So that’s awesome Huh You guys are gonna love him all right? Well I think that’s it for me. So um, yeah I’m gonna go do my thing. You go do your thing I Hope it’s a great thing and I will talk to you all tomorrow bye-bye.

Putting Food on the Table™ and Other Wise Advice for Aspiring Novelists

This week at the SFF Seven we’re discussing what we were supposed to be – the vocational advice young writers get because writing doesn’t put food on the table™

I really loved KAK’s epic tale from yesterday (for some reason Google has decided I’m not allowed to comment anymore), in part because I am also not the author who Always Wanted to Be a Writer.

Not because I didn’t love reading and writing – I always, always did! – and I even won a poetry contest when I was eleven or twelve and I wrote poetry (really bad poetry) all through high school. I contributed them to the high school literary magazine, anonymously because I was a weenie. I took AP English and my teachers praised my stories and other writings.

But, dear reader, never did one person suggest that I become a writer. Nobody ever thinks that a career as a writer will put food on the table™. To be fair, it generally doesn’t, and it takes a long time to get there, unless you hit the literary equivalent of the lottery. Like all the pretty aspiring actors from the Midwest arriving in Hollywood on the bus, very few of us become superstars. Most of us get really good at waiting tables

Sometimes, though, I wish someone had suggested that as a career for me. Instead, like KAK, when I was told I could be or do anything, those suggestions shaded toward other careers. Science! Medicine! Biology! While I greatly appreciate that so many adults in my life recognized my strengths in the STEM areas and encouraged me to apply myself, I regret that I didn’t direct some of that application to writing.

See, when I was headed to college, there was a scholarship offered for someone in English/Literature. You had to write an essay and the winner got… I don’t even remember. Free ride? Fame? Glory? I can’t even remember, but I wanted it. I had this idea of surprising everyone with my sudden literary talent. So, even though I was enrolled as a pre-med student, I wrote an essay for this scholarship in the lit department.

Now, my mom and I had this back and forth then, where she HATED that I put off schoolwork until the night before. I was a terrible procrastinator – something I had to change about myself in becoming a novelist – and I’d gotten pretty good at gliding by on last-minute efforts. That’s what I did on this essay, whipping it out in a frenzy and I still thought it was brilliant.

And someone else – let’s call her Brienne Merritt – won the scholarship. You can Google her. She’s beautiful, blonde, athletic, intelligent, talented, and she won MY scholarship making her the ideal nemesis for a young me. I’m not tagging her because we aren’t friends and never were, though we have a lot of mutuals. I kind of doubt she even knows I exist. I was that gal at the party in Say Anything that comes up to Ione Skye and babbles on about how their competition made her work harder and Ione finally says, “me too!” just to be polite.

(I notice that Brienne is now a nurse, which makes for a funny reversal.)

Anyway, the advice I did get, that was the best vocational advice I received, came at the end of college from my Comparative Religious Studies advisor, Professor Hadas. I was trying to decide between many post-college paths and interests – medical school, it turns out, was not one of them – and he told me to stick with science.

I know, right? Basically the same as everyone had been telling me all along, but he had wise advice along with it. He advised me to pick a career (and post-graduate education) that would put food on the table™. He told me I was fortunate to have strengths in areas that people would pay me to work on. And that having that income security would give me a foundation to continue to learn and grow, to follow my more esoteric interests.

It was truly good advice.

First Cup of Coffee – May 31, 2022

The lone female story construction and how creators default to it – and how we can combat it. Also the digging-bodies-out-of-the-rubble dramatic beat, final reveals, and biological drives to physical aggression.




Transcript
00:00.10
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:27.20
jeffekennedy
Ah, very good today is Tuesday May 31st – year’s flying by I think so take the summer’s gonna fly by too as in. Days of yore um, ah seems like I have a lot of stuff planned for the summer already.

01:27.70
jeffekennedy
So um I was thinking as I sat down that I wonder what I have to think about or talk about or anything this morning.

01:56.86
jeffekennedy
Ah, um, yeah, so I got through the the major beat of digging bodies out of the rubble which um Darynda agrees is an appropriate dramatic beat. And now I’m doing final final reveal which I’m not entirely sure what it is still fuck my life there. That’s something in my eye. Don’t know what it was.

03:12.40
jeffekennedy
So I’m at um, 94000 words on storm princess ah, and yeah, self to do this final scene then my four epilogues. So. It’s going to be longer than 98000 words unless I want my epilogues to be only a thousand words each which I just think isn’t going to happen but but there’s time. So um, yesterday I got almost 3K words twentysixhundred something. So maybe I’ll get that today.

04:58.34
jeffekennedy
Well well I don’t have a lot in my head this one. I was thinking about um, just trope I almost feel like I want another word for it. It’s like a ah this thing in my eyes still bugging me. All right? We’ll see if that works So I don’t know. Is it a cliche. It’s It’s like a default construction a default construction that I see. Some authors fall into.

06:41.48
jeffekennedy
That and and it’s something I’ve been playing about before and and I think that we just get so programmed to accept this that it becomes like a a knee jerk storytelling. Crutch default construction I would call it cliche because it is a little bit but I feel like this goes beyond that anyway. I should say what I’m talking about ah I think that um. It’s this thing where you have one female character where you have like a group of men and one female character and you know we just see it come up all the time and I think we’re so used to it that we don’t think about it. But. Book that I’m currently reading and this series that I’m I’ve been loving I mean it’s been a great reread. It’s weird I Some of these books I think I read half of them and not anymore or either though I stop paying attention Mom I’m. I am getting into the part of the series when I fell off of the series and I’m because I know I’m having to buy the books and and I’m glomming it I mean that’s it’s been Great. It’s been great getting through the stressful times and um, I’m. Learning a lot from how she does things like fight scenes she has so many more fight scenes than I do and she does them in different ways. So So that’s been good I mean there are so many things I like but she has a real tendency to have a sole female character. And all the rest are men and every once’s while like she’ll drag in kicking and screaming another female and she’ll be there a little while and then disappear again. And it’s funny because you know obviously it’s some sort of paranormal right? because that’s the normal thing that I read paranormal thing I read Ha Ha far. So It’s not like the. Standard reasons for not having female characters or more female characters matter because we’re talking about you know, like ourmortal beings with superpowers so you could as easily have an equal number. Why not even just an equal number.

12:06.90
jeffekennedy
Ah, males and females. But no, she has way way more male characters.

12:25.60
jeffekennedy
Sorry got distracted watching the hummingbird and it’s we we got to quit doing this guys. Ah, um, yeah, we just need to have. More female characters and books and I I think some of this comes from well. Okay, so I’m gonna do some broad generalizations here when men write it I think it’s because it’s easier to give distinct characteristics for them to male characters. So you know there’s like the brainy guy and there’s the suave guy and there’s the big beefy guy. Um I rewatched guardians of the galaxy last night. Great show. Great show. Um I love how that movie is done I see new clever jokes in it. Every time I watch it I’m sort of resuming my Marvel rewatch I’d fallen off of it for a while in in winter soldier. There are things I really like about winter soldier. But I don’t love that movie I’m not sure why maybe some of you can tell me why? um. I kind of get bored part way through it and so that’s what happened I’d like gotten an hour into it and then I had stopped watching it for some reason then then didn’t go back so I finished it and I was like this is fine I don’t know why I got bored I mean there. There’s some you know great bits I love the. Captain America black widow inter play. Um and spsttion stan does a great job as with their soldier I don’t know I don’t know what is about that would be anyway. I finally made it through that and watch did my re watch of guardians of the galaxy. But. That’s a classic example and yeah I know you know they’re like reaching back to the old Marvel um, not necessarily doing any gender swapping which they probably could have but your your main team of guardians of the galaxy right? is you have? um. Star lord right? and Peter Quill who is a distinct character right? He he’s probably 1 of the most rounded characters of the group so you have star lord Peter Quill then you have the talking Raccoon genetic experiment then you have groot that who is the tree like being um and both of them seem distinctly. Male. Ah, even though there’s no reason they’re both voiced by male voice actors anyway and they’re.

18:08.36
jeffekennedy
Given male characteristics which you know like why does the tree have to have a gender ah and then you have Gomorrah who is the green skinned woman and then you have I can’t think of his name. It doesn’t help. For you guys to shout it at me because I cannot hear you um you know who I mean big beefy guy right? Who is very literal. So so there’s like our character types right? and Gomorrah is the female. And I know I’ve talked about this before but it just starts to drive me crazy how often I see it and you know it’s even um, you know and and so some of this comes from all of these stories that we’ve been reading all our lives and. I think that we default to that so that’s one reason and then I think like in female driven stuff when female writers are writing for maybe for female readers too that there’s the you know, not like other girls thing. That this is how you make your female character stand out and be special if there are no other female characters around which is just irritating.

21:04.22
jeffekennedy
Now so it’s interesting at a polycon um coming up at the end of July one of my travel things there I filled out my form for the panels for that and. One of them is about female friendships and stuff. So I I hope that’ll um, be interesting to hear that panel I know that more and more readers are asking for that. You know for books that are about the female solidarity. Um. You know, a lot of times when there are other female characters in the books. The ones that are there are a source of jealousy or competition. Um, yeah, or they’re evil. So which is okay I mean everywhere why I see someone saying oh well, we shouldn’t have any female villains because well for reasons I I don’t even understand all the reasons people think that it’s like misogynistic and I almost like it’s more egalitarian right? you know women are as capable of evil as men right. We can be just as terrible hey I don’t not quite an argument a debate with my friend Jim last week at writer coffee because I was talking about. We were talking about war and gender we were talking about the the shootings and I said that I thought that young men tended to be biologically driven to be more aggressive that young women. Have you know all the hormones and the energy and so forth, but it tends to channel in a different direction than physical aggression and he he said that he didn’t was it sure he agreed that you know he said well do you really think that biology drives our behavior that much and I said. Yeah I do I I think it’s a combination. You know the nature and nurture debate. But yeah, and and the thing is is that he is a very gentle man and he is not a physically aggressive person in any way. But you know I was like. You know there’s a reason why they have military academies for boys and not so much for girls you know sure girls get into trouble and girls act out and do shit and there’s like girls schools and stuff. But it’s not that military structure and I don’t know maybe that’s.

26:47.22
jeffekennedy
Ah, programming thing too. Maybe maybe girls are just so relentlessly programmed to be nice that we don’t get into physical aggression. But I’m not sure I believe it I think that there’s certain. Do think that our biology drives us to certain extent that we have to remember that we are more than our bodies that we are also intellectual and spiritual beings. But you know those hormones and that biological drive. That’s why I was saying to Jim I said you know that. Drive to be heard bull I think is responsible for a whole lot of stuff and you know garner as many females as you can and rule the other bachelor males I’ve just known too many guys like that.

28:37.52
jeffekennedy
Well so so anyway I I feel like this is something we we really need to deliberately work on as um I I have no problem with having female villains. But I think that there should be. Strong female relationships that are not competitive and not jealous and that I would just love to see new books being written. We won’t worry about the old books but going back and adding in or making it be just a ah balance you know and. I know a lot of people are working on that having you know more diverse characters having characters that are you know and maybe of no gender or binary. Um, or I’m sorry, not binary I cannot talk. Non-binary and b what’s wrong with me today I was I was trying I was trying to say bisexual that was it nonbinary bisexual too. Enbys I got hung up. Um, but yeah, that’s I think that. Doesn’t grote later isn’t baby group turn out to be like genderless or female or something I have to see on the rewatch. So anyway, it’s just working against that story cho. Um, and I know I’ve talked about it before but. I’m not going to stop talking about it until you guys fix it. But so um, yeah I don’t think I have much else to say um I’ve ah kind of got this this swelling in my brain. Ah. Figuring out what this final reveal is going to be yeah and then so the question is do I go back and do my revision before the epilogues or do I write that blogs I think I’ll just see how I feel. All right? Well instead of that babbling about nothing I think I’ll go get to work and I hope you all have a wonderful Tuesday short week in the us if you had yesterday off and yeah, gonna be fun week for me. Building up so I will talk to you all? Oh on Thursday you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – May 30, 2022

On balance, dealing with Parkinson’s disease and problematic food additives. Also thoughts on being an intuitive writer and ways of discovering the answers to mysteries in my stories – or not!




Transcript
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:30.20
jeffekennedy
I’m laughing because I said it wrong didn’t I epic fantasy romance I can’t ever decide what I write. Ah today is Monday may Thirtieth Memorial day here in the Us. Ah, a lot of people asked me if I was taking today off but I took last Monday off I mean granted, it was like a mental health day but um, no, not taking today off almost done with this freaking book. You guys. So yeah I um. Made it through the climactic battle scene. Um, at the I wanted to say at the end the climatic battle scene that happens at the end the culmination of the four book series. Um. Yeah, on Friday and I can’t remember how many I think I just did like my 2000 words. Yeah I did like 2055 I’m at 91.5 k so I have a little. Little bit more to do to tie it up digging bodies out of the rubble as it were that should absolutely be a beat I should do my own set of beat sheets. Now I shouldn’t have said that because now you guys are going to say yeah that be great. We want that who knows if I’ll ever do that and I’m such an intuitive writer that I don’t really think in those terms but I I guess I do know that this is my digging bodies out of the rubble phase. And then my epilogues so somewhere none words to go maybe I could finish those today and tomorrow certainly by Wednesday and finish this revision and then the out loud proofing.

04:50.82
jeffekennedy
Now. So so yeah, big big denouement as it were but I’m feeling pretty good about it. There is one mystery I haven’t solved. Oops and and I was not going to do it because I thought oh well do we have to have an answer to this and then when I was talking about coming close to finishing I was working with Darynda online and she goes oh I can’t wait to find out x I was like well shit. Guess I need to answer x I don’t really know what the answer is and see for me the way I write the den one of the real downsides of being an intuitive writer is that I can’t just pick a thing and have that be it. Um. I ah I have to discover it. It’s it’s like that. There’s an actual answer out there. There’s a truth out there I want to believe but I have to find it I can’t just assign it a thing. I know that probably sounds silly since it’s my book. But it’s the way it is. Yellow jacket coming into the hummingbird feeder. There. Not a honey bee honey bees would be welcome. Not yellow jackets it went and away again then it was foiled. If you didn’t know this if you have hummingbirds and you have Hummingbird feeders one way to foil the ants and the yellow jackets is to put vaseline like on the landing surfaces. You know you’d like. Don’t put on the holes but you put on the other landing surfaces and the crawling surfaces and. It repels those unwelcome invaders happy home tips here at first cup of coffee.

09:07.82
jeffekennedy
So so yeah, um, oh oh I was gonna say about that discovering the ending. For example, if you haven’t read The Orchid throne cover your ears for a moment because this spoils the ending. Or or leaf I’m sorry I know it’s only 5 minutes into the podcast. But um, but if you have read the or it’s own or if you don’t care about being spoiled last chance I did not know what Lia’s true nature was until the very end. I knew she had a secret that she was hiding but she was hiding it even from me and and ironically enough I was with Darynda at the rwa convention in Denver we drove up together and we roomed together and we got there a couple days early to do like writing retreat. Which was fun and we would like walk over to the public library and sit over there and write and and and I drove her crazy I drove her mad all week because I couldn’t forget how to finish the freaking book. And I was really trying to finish it before the convention started. But um, so she was trying to help me brainstorm what the answers would be I’ve probably told this story before but I think it’s funny because she um. I mean we kept talking about it and talking about it and I was explaining the things and she’s like well could it be It’s this could it be. It’s that could it be this other thing got something my eye there. We go cat here and. Some of them I really wanted to take because they were like some great ideas I was like oh that’s a great idea I should make it be that but I couldn’t just make it be that during this so good at coming up with ideas and then finally finally. I guess this isn’t all that spoilery because I’m not saying what it is finally I realized what it was what her secret was and and I told Doinda I was like thank you so much you you’re amazing I love you. Thank you for coming up with me and she gives you this look and she’s like Jeffe that is not even close to any of the things that I suggested I’m like that bar doesn’t matter.

14:01.78
jeffekennedy
Ah, so um I did have a good weekend I did have a very relaxing weekend. Ah I was very grateful to past Jeffe. Because I realized on Saturday morning that I had made an appointment like a month ago for Sunday morning to go up and get a massage treatment from my favorite therapist up at Ten Thousand Waves and so I went up yesterday morning and did that and it was. Delightful. It was really good. I was really tense was comes a shock to all of you I’m sure. Um, and now I’ve got my ah laundry list of things that I need to do to ah improve my. Flexibility, especially this upper back and my hip flexers he is like I said what they’re really tight and he says you need to do the work to keep them flexible I was like damn it I need to get back into yoga. My favorite yoga teacher has finally opened up a brick and mortar studio again. All of these great. Um I know people get mad if you say post pandemic because pandemic’s still going. But at least it’s um, opening up again, right? What can we call it call it. Um I don’t even know. Um, anyway it and it’s funny I think I told you guys when I got that body scrub like a month ago. Yeah, maybe almost 2 ah, you know she said I took a lot of dead skin off of your arms I’m like I know. Oh. That’s why I needed a body scrub and the the treatment I had yesterday is called a nose to toes and it’s it’s amazing if you’re in Santa Fe and can get up to Ten Thousand Waves which I recommend um, get this nosetoose treatment but it’s exfoliating and. Body work and hot oil nirvana so so he showed me the exfoliating gloves and he said look this is all the dead skin that came off even though because I soaked for an hour first even though your skin was wet was like so my skin is dry. It’s like I feel like. During the pandemic. It’s like I totally fell apart in ways that I didn’t mean to and so but that was wonderful and then I stopped by Megan’s house and got vases.

19:28.10
jeffekennedy
Getting ready to do flowers for the wedding next weekend very much looking forward to those festivities and I got out my spring clothes which I feel like well it is way too late I need to get better about doing that sooner. April felt so busy April of may. Maybe it’s just like having the conference done is making all the difference in the world but it didn’t take me all that long. It just took me a couple of hours um put away my winter clothes get out the spring close but I’ve made myself a reminder to do it at the beginning of April next year because Hello Hummingbird I have all of these really great spring clothes that are made that are springy looking but made for cooler weather and if you’re on video you’ll see I’m wearing my one of my sweaters that I got out. Because it is cool this morning so I’ll still have a chance to wear those things I’m sure that’s why I get for living at high altitude. But I wish I’d gotten them out sooner. So ah I need to. Be more Johnny on the spot with that. Ah, that first year of pandemic it was like I never I didn’t do one of them. It’s like I never got out my winter clothes or something but they noticed a thing so I know like there’s the whole Marie Kondo deal where you’re supposed to get rid of anything that doesn’t spark joy. Ah, one of the things I do when I change over my closet is to get rid of stuff that I won’t worn and another rule I heard a long time ago I think my mother told me this one but I don’t know where she got it. It’s like if you haven’t worn anything in a year you should get rid of it um aside for like for you know like special occasion clothes and that doesn’t really work either. But I noticed this time that I do have like ah a mental expiration date. On some of my clothes because I had several things in there that I’ve been keeping for admittedly a very long time I mean a long time people I am not a ah person who gets rid of things easily. And there was this one dress that’s probably at least twenty years old I’m I’m not sure exactly what you’re but I’ve loved love love loved it and I’ve kept it all this time and this time when I got it out I looked at it and I was like ooh I had that instant o response.

24:55.40
jeffekennedy
Like why would I why am I keeping this stress. Um, so I did get rid of a few things like that. So several things that I have loved and kept for a very long time. So I don’t know what what changed there I certainly noticed and I think I’ve mentioned this before that I had a. A lot more warm weather clothes and I have cold weather clothes and I’m not exactly sure why that is although I fixed that this year and then I bought a whole bunch of stuff but I cut out this dress. My little dolphins I desired was a summer dress. So that’s. Now so it was nice. It was really fun to rediscover all of these things. It’s um, the getting out of the summer clothes is you know, not only a space saver thing to you know like put away the stuff that’s not appropriate for the season. But it’s also a rediscovering of the wardrobe because i. Had all these things I was like I forgot I owned this I totally forgot about this thing. So so yeah, that was really really great and I baked a blueberry pie I know one of the things we’re discovering. With David having Parkinson’s is that the neurophysiology because of course parkinson’s is where you’re not making enough of the transmitter you’re not making enough of the dopamine and he has to supplement. With external sources right? That’s the medication but he’s incredibly sensitive to any kind of food additives. Um, which are in just everything like even if you get the organic stuff. It’s like. We don’t even know what it is and you know and interesting in the us they don’t have to list what those things are because it’s considered to be proprietary and if it’s not regulated by the Fda. They can just do it so like colors or flavors that they do to enhance the product. Ah, they have an effect and I’ve heard you know parents of children who are on the spectrum or who have other kinds of it. It does seem to be you know, like neurological stuff that’s affected. You know they have to get really incredibly careful about those kinds of additives you know and I’ve heard you know like there was a whole thing about red dye number 3 being bad but there’s also all of these hidden things that end up making you feel bad and you don’t know why.

30:39.50
jeffekennedy
And when you have somebody who is reliant on a very delicate balance to feel good like David is it just it. It’s become just too much of a risk because it can throw off his medication for days if he gets something wonky so we are. Really try and get good about making everything from scratch at home. Um, which means not eating out so much not so much takeout although if we can get him really solid if we can get him really balanced then we can do some of these things. Um. Because it it but it has to be a single excursion. Our problem is is that we tend to do one excursion and then we go on a rampage so he had got this pie for me. I think I mentioned this before last Sunday when I was eating my feelings and it was a no sugar added pie which I you know because I’m trying not to do added sugars right? and but it had other shit in there and it threw him off for like three days so yes so I’d said you know what I should just. Bake a pie if we really want to have a pie I should bake one. It’s not that difficult actually baking pies is quite easy. So he reminded me about it yesterday afternoon and yeah so I baked a blueberry pie and oh my god you guys. It’s so good. It was delicious and it does have sugar in it. But I figured out. It’s twenty five grams of sugar in a slice of pie and I’m trying to stay below one hundred grams of sugar a day additional sugar. So so actually that was fine and I think I could decrease the sugar I think I could make that recipe with less sugar because it. Blueberries were sweet and yeah, so so yeah, that was great. Um Saturday I did a lot of hanging out and reading and weeding of the garden if you could see it I think it looks a lot better. You might not be able to tell. But. Yeah, got a lot stuff done in the garden and some like light chores done around the house that sort of thing so it was very relaxing weekend. So um, so yeah, I’m it’s nice to be back on a more even keel I very much appreciate all of you sending me nice notes and Megan Ciana Doidge

35:56.74
jeffekennedy
Bought me something at the farmer’s market email task for my mailing address a couple other people have sent me nice things and I I appreciate you guys. It’s it’s good to know that the support is out there. Um. You know I had a number of people invite me to to dump a rant or vent and I didn’t take advantage a whole lot of that mostly because if I didn’t want if I didn’t have to be dealing with stuff if I didn’t want to be thinking about it or if I didn’t have to be. Talking about it not putting this well am I you understand what I mean right? if I didn’t have to be directly dealing with it I didn’t want to think about it is what I am trying to say ah but you all are you all are wonderful I appreciate the the community that I have. Um, yeah, so I’m going to get to work and get this book finished and so on and so forth I hope that you guys all have a wonderful week. Many of you in the us anyway are on holiday today. So I hope it’s full of the holiday ish things that you would like it to be and I will talk to you all tomorrow you all take care bye bye. Or goodbye. It doesn’t want to go.

First Cup of Coffee – May 27, 2022

More on this series re-read I’m doing and how books hit us differently at various times in our lives. Also, author newsletters and what NOT to do, plus a happy report (at the end so you can nope out) on the 16/8 eating regimen.




Transcript
00:01.67
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Delicious.

00:37.23
jeffekennedy
Ah, so today is say with me Friday woo May Twenty seventh beginning of memorial day weekend here in the United States um interesting to see how this weekend goes huh we um, get Monday off federal holiday and here it’s traditionally about um, camping and doing. Barbecues and going to the lake or what have you kind of a right of the beginning of summer lot of ah schools getting out I do apologize to the. Lovely english teacher whose name escapes me at the moment commented on Facebook that may thirty first tuesday is her last day of school and she was looking forward to reading storm princess um, I’m close I’m close really. I passed um 89400 year years did you hear that eighty nine Thousand four hundred years people. Oh my god words eighty Nine Thousand four hundred words I should have known it was the kiss of death when early on I said that the book was. Seem to be writing too easily ha ha that means that the end was coming for me. Um, yeah, you guys know I hate writing like the fight and action scenes and like the whole end of this book is None big fight scene. But. Finally figured out how to extract themselves without killing everybody only a couple of characters. Die you guys don’t even believe me when I tease you like that. Ah yeah, so so it’s getting there. Um. I’m really glad that I didn’t have to try to get it done by yesterday. Why who I think there’s gonna be a None but thank you ah less smokeky today. But um. Definitely the pullman in the air.

05:45.70
jeffekennedy
so um so yeah I’ve got somewhere in the neighborhood of eight or nine thousand words to go then a revision pass on this last hundred pages that I’ve written and the proofing out loud and. Yes, some of you who offered to be proofreaders english teacher types in order to get to read earlier I may take you up on that cat hurt to have more eyes on it. So. This is the the test if you listen to the podcast actually I shouldn’t make that a barrier for entry but you know how it goes. Ah, so today I gave myself a lovely treat and that I did not look at my sifwa email at all I did address a couple of things but you know technically we’re supposed to be on hiatus right now and everybody is um. If. You’re not here in the us you know this I hate that we have to say it this way this latest mass shooting the most recent horribly tragic unthinkable mass shooting in a long chain of unthinkable ones. Ah, really. Has created ah a ripple I don’t know if it’s a different ripple than any of the ones before at right or coffee yesterday Jim was saying something about it and I said you know I’m trying not to be exhausted by this cycle and it probably doesn’t help that I’m otherwise fairly exhausted but. You know it’s just like these things keep happening and nothing changes. You know when right away the conservatives start spinning their bullshit and yeah Texas what are you gonna do with them I would say I wish. Well no I’m not even gonna say that loud. But yeah, it’s just um I guess you know Abbott says that he’s going to make sure nothing like this ever happens again. But. Then they’re all supposedly going to some big and n a national rifle association rally tonight with Trump which amusingly enough they have banned firearms from the event ah go figure. Anyway, you were not here to talk about that.

11:07.25
jeffekennedy
Although I should add the caveat that I am not anti-gun full stop by any stretch David has guns. He grew up in Wyoming using guns hunting um taught me how to fire a gun because he felt like if we were gonna have him. And the house I should know how which is true. None of my none published essay was about that learning to shoot a gun. Um, it would hurt my feelings if nobody had guns I’d actually be perfectly fine with that. But I’m also fine with responsible gun owners having. Access to to guns for um, you don’t like normal purposes not assault rifles used to murder people because that’s the thing is there’s there’s no other reason to have an assault rifle other than to kill people. Anyway I said I was going to stop talking about it. Hopefully there will be no violence this weekend as I mentioned I think in yesterday’s podcast you know people are riled up um popping with emotion you know. Years out of pandemic we still have covid cases. it’s um it’s a thing it’s a thing isn’t it all right? Let’s talk more about books and writing ah I thought it was amusing because assistant correne. Has been on a kick of um, unsubscribing from author newsletters and I don’t recall what got her started on this something annoyed her and I know I saw it in that but it’s fled out of my head but she. Started looking at all of the author newsletters that arrive in her inbox and the ones that a lot of them are from authors that she’s like never even read you know she did the thing where she signed up during some giveaway or another and she just decided to start cleaning them up. And she came across one the other day that the unsubscribe function on the newsletter was there which is required by law but it was in black font on a black background in the square. So that you couldn’t read it unless you moused over it unless you lit it up with your cursor and did the highlight a trickxie author trying to keep people from unsubscribing so I’m just gonna say here authors author people out there readers you.

16:45.39
jeffekennedy
Welcome to continue to listen and do your little fist pumps in the air because this is for you in part but I’m speaking to the author people I know that everybody tells you you have to have a newsletter I know everybody says it’s the. 1 property. You can control that it is the best way to reach readers that it’s the way to ensuring success and riches and I don’t know ah dancing people of your preferred gender in skimpy outfits. Ah. All of this and more will be yours if only you have a newsletter and I know that a lot of you do the newsletter swaps that there are sites set up where you can put out there to do swaps with other authors and you know try to reach each other’s audiences and that one of the things that you. Talk about in those authors swaps is how many subscribers you have and bragging rights I have 30000 subscribers. Well, that’s awesome. It doesn’t matter if they’re not actually reading your fucking newsletter I mean you can get all. Absorbed in the click to open rates and all of this stuff what it comes down to is and I I have to duck the sunlight here I wanted to lean into the camera meaningfully. But I guess I don’t get to what it comes down to is. You ah, the whole point. The whole freaking point is that you are trying to let readers who want to read your books know that they’re available right? This is very simple. Which means that you shouldn’t be doing tricksy stuff to keep them from unsubscribing or you know, hammering at them with a blunt instrument like you are somehow going to force people to deliver those sales or patriots. I don’t understand why this is so hard. Um, and I won’t continue to rant about it but don’t do fuckery like that come on and I know most of you don’t readers if you um. Want to subscribe to an author’s Newsletter. You do not have to I know some of them are great. Some of them deliver cool stuff. I know mine is um, mine is utilitarian karing sends it for me. So I don’t have.

22:15.30
jeffekennedy
Delicious yumminess in there I think you get most of personal delicious le yumminess here. But um, mine’s informational now here you go now you get to know what’s going on. Um, yeah. So the other thing I’ve still been continuing my massive read of the author that I have not named although now at this point I kind of want to because even though I bitched about a couple of her books I mean she is keeping me going I am this has been. Hell a stressful week and it’s um, I’ve been glomming these books and what’s interesting is I’m trying to think of how to describe this. So like there’s the none few books where with. The same protagonists and then along the way she started doing sort of the the spinoff novels of other side characters giving them their stories. That’s a pretty standard thing to do right? and. She has the reading order on our website and I’d worked my way through like None or None books of that main arc and then I decided maybe I should go back and catch up on the intervening novellas you know that’s why I looked up her reading order and also um. Like some of these spinoff series because the arc does braid and interweave and I’m freaking to join them. What’s really interesting is like those none couple of spinoff books. And the one that I’m reading now which is a spinoff of another character so that makes three day um had him on my Kindle bottom ten years ago more and. Even though I’m very familiar with the books and their premise I think I like maybe I only read the none chapters of them. There was a very long stretch there beginning in 2009 ish when we moved to Santa Fe and it it. could even have begun a little bit before that 2007 ah ish when I none moved into writing fiction. It was when we left the marsial arts school. We’ve been part of for None ears and I got was no longer sleep deprivved and got some of my life back.

27:42.63
jeffekennedy
I’d been reading all that time. But I’d only been reading and then I began writing novels and I wrote the book that became rogues pawn I’ve seen the cover concept for it ravins sent me to set me the cover concept. She sent me like oh I’d like None concepts and None of them were all. Ah. Exactly what? I’d expected her to send and the other one was something that was so different. It was electrifying and I was like I want this electrifying cover and she said oh good. That was my favorite too. So that’s like I can’t wait for you guys to see that’s it’s really cool. Yeah. Ah, dare I say trend setting I am not much of a trend setter but I could almost see this one being trend setting. So 2009 we left Laramie Wyoming where we’ve been living for 20 years moved to Santa Fe and following that was when I really started digging. Into seriously writing um getting back into my writing habit I remember putting up a blog post I should see if I could find it. It would be funny to link to be funny to read again that was something like now where did I pack my writing career. Boy that was a tumultuous time but from then until about 2014 so about a 5 year stretch there. Um I was just burning it at all ends. Um I still had my career type job. As an environmental consultant I was hugely busy with that. Ah I finally got my my 3 book deal with Kensington I don’t maybe at the end of none that book came out none something like that. But it’s interesting to me because there’s this whole stretch of time where I do not remember the media that I consumed going back to these books that I read at the time I know that that was when my tbr piles really started to mushroom I had so many books that I was acquiring and not reading. And some of that happens when you begin to write very seriously. It takes up like all of your reading bandwidth too. So those none those None books of the spinoff characters and possibly some of those novels in the main arc I think I may have only read part of them.

33:06.90
jeffekennedy
Could have been that I read only the teaser chapter at the end of the previous book and bought it and then never read it because I remember like reading the book I remember like nothing of the rest of the book which is kind of a treat to read them now. Um, but yeah, definitely. Through this phase of reading books I don’t remember and David Nine husband when we’re looking for movies to watch if we find movies that are like from that 2009 to 2012 era that was like when we were switching over from getting the mailed in Netflix movies doesn’t that seem like ancient history now. Um there was this little video store here in our neighborhood but it was not very good and we didn’t have a great place in Santa Fe or rent movies. But I was resisting buying the whole. Cable package and you couldn’t do that piecemeal service thing yet. So anyway, there are if we find a movie that looks interesting and we and it’s from that time span we’re like oh we should watch that because we know that we like either missed it or. For me, it goes longer up to like that none timeframe when I was watching things and I was like doing social media on my laptop at the same time and I remember nothing of these movies I like totally did not pay attention to them. So. I guess it gives me lots of stuff to go back to and re-experience. But I think it just is a good It’s a good lesson in that the way books set us at particular times what we like what we don’t like I remember that spinoff book. I may have read more than the none chapter of it and I remember not liking it at all and this time when I read it I was like why did I not like this I don’t even understand I totally glomed it so much is what we bring to the page. Um, so um, now. In in other news. None quick thing is tap out now if you’ve got if you don’t want to hear about like weight stuff body image stuff but I am officially down 10 pounds on this none fasting fasting for 16 hours eating during an 8 hour window I also have cut out additional sugars. So that’s made a difference. The best part is I’m down £10 overall but I’m also down like none of fat because my scale tells me and.

38:46.41
jeffekennedy
This is the I think first time I have found an eating regimen that affects the fat that way I think it really truly does target that insulin resistance. So this is amazing for me I’ve lost two inches around my waist and i’m. Very excited and also I think this is sustainable I’m very interested to see where my body settles out I was plateaued for a very long time and now it’s like a couple months it is slow. You guys if you’re tempted to do this. This is a slow method. It does not melt away the pounds like. You know, like doing keto or something like that. But it’s um, it. It feels healthier. It works well with how I tend to eat anyway, I remember being a young woman in my you know in college or in grad school. You know that I would do this anyway because I would be busy and I would often eat one meal a day. Um or I would have a few snacks but I had long fasting periods and I could totally see how my body is well adapted to this so pretty cool. All right I’m gonna go get to work. Hope you all have a wonderful weekend long weekend or not I will do a podcast on Monday. Um, yeah, because that’s could be a workday for me I have to finish this freaking book right so all right I’m gonna get t work you all you go do your thing. Um. Stay away from the and grew crazy. So you all take care by bye.

First Cup of Coffee – May 26, 2022

Some background on the Disney Must Pay effort and why we still need to celebrate writers working for Disney. Also thoughts on stress, getting knocked off our pillows, and putting things into perspective.




Transcript
00:00.41
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:33.81
jeffekennedy
That sound of the chimes lingering in the air is the same as the feeling of caffeine hitting my bloodstream How’s that for poetic today is Thursday may twenty sixth and if you’re on video you can see by the light. It’s a little bit smoky here this morning not terribly, but definitely enough to feel it smell it.

01:38.87
jeffekennedy
Fires aren’t growing bigger just had to do with like how the the air masses settled in overnight and I need to water my plants. Oh they’re not too bad. So um, here we are ah so let’s see I am making progress on the book. Um, thank you those of you who chimed in with oh no. On me extending the release date but also being willing to wait for it to be right? Ah I always feel a little chagrined when you guys say stuff like you know, take whatever time you need to make it make it right? make it be good. That’s like oh well am I going to do this. Ah, well will I actually make it be good I didn’t know that was part of it I just wanted to make sure it was finished but no no I’m I I do I am kidding? um that is part of my problem is that I have been going back and wanting. Wanting it to make sense I’m hoping it will make sense. Ah so what? oh sorry kick the table. Ah, one day I’ve been meaning to address is. Some people have complained about the Ray Bradbury nebula award which is given to people who write for the screen that the winners were the writers of want a vision and. Which is Marvel which is Disney and sif what is currently engaged in um, a huge effort has been for more than a year of getting Disney to pay their creators. So. For those of you who have not been informed on the whole Disney must pay effort. Um, what happened is that Disney has been um boy I little it’s throat you from that smoke aren I yeah already out here though. That Disney has been acquiring. Lots of other franchises as Disney do and among them they acquired like star wars a whole bunch of stuff the you know like the dark horse stuff vampi vampi.

07:01.85
jeffekennedy
Vampy the buffer slayer Buffy The Vampire Slayer ah yes I am still brain dead I’m feeling better but I am bring dead and so for an example, what happened is that this originally came to our attention because Alan Dean Foster as if a member. Of longstanding and probably familiar name to many of you discovered that his books that he had written for George Lucas back in the day that he had written the the star wars work for hire books. Um, that. It may not be fair to call it work for hire but he was definitely hired to write these books and they were very successful that when Disney bought star wars the whole star wars franchise that they then stopped paying Alan De and foster royalties on those books. Um, and they even came out with like new versions like snazzy versions and still didn’t pay him and when he realized he hadn’t gotten a royalty payment in a really long time and he needed the money you know that’s the thing is he was fighting cancer and needed the money. So his agent tried to reach Disney and failed. They just simply this is something that Disney does is that they simply don’t respond and so we got involved and a bunch of other writers organizations got involved and began the Disney must pay task force. And eventually Alan Dean Foster did get paid but Disney’s argument was that when they bought these franchises that they had acquired the rights without the obligations. So let’s just take a moment I’ll stare into the camera rights without the obligations. So basically that meant that they thought that they could just buy star wars and have all of the rights without honoring any of the previous obligations on the contracts. Whereas our position was and is a contract is a contract and you have to honor the contract. So um, allendine foster eventually got paid some other people got paid but Disney has continued to be recalcitrant about contacting. Authors they if if an author comes to them or comes to them through us and fights for it eventually Disney will start paying them but they won’t take it upon themselves to actually go through their own paperwork and contracts and honor those contracts on their own which is.

12:46.15
jeffekennedy
A continual source of frustration. Um, and it’s just how Disney does business and it’s not awesome. One of the great implications of this of course is that it would be a very simple way to cut creators out of the loop if this sort of thing is actually. Legal to do so you know if um for example st martins is a subsidiary of Mcmillan and they own the rights to my forgotten empire’s books they could simply sell my books over the tour. And tor would then gain the rights without the obligations and they would no longer have to pay me anything or my agent. Um, so you could see how this is a really terrible precedent and Disney gets way with it out of my and that’s awful. So all if that’s the background. So when these writers for wada division won the nebula award for the Ray Briberry nebula nebula award some people have pushed back on us and said why are you giving Disney an award. We should be boycotting them and and it’s important to address this because. All along. We’ve been very very clear. Please do not boycott. These enterprises don’t boycott the works or the writers because we so we want them to be paid. We want them to ah earn the accolades and the money. For their work. That’s what we’re about. So yes, we are going to give a nebula award to writers of one division because I’ll tell you what Disney doesn’t care whether or not they want a nebula award. They’re not going to plaster the nebula award sticker on. Wanda Vision streaming or the special cd edition or something like that. But those writers those writers joined in online and they were giddy. They were just delighted to have won the award because that’s what keeps creators going right. So so that’s the reasoning there I can understand why people jump to boycott. But you know boycott is just not not productive in this kind of situation. So um, other than that ah each day is getting better I got to see my friend Megan Mulry last night and it was very funny because I I went and got my hairs did got my.

18:03.83
jeffekennedy
Color. Wow yeah, smoke is making me sneeze too. Um, and I ran some errands which was good just stupid things to get off my list. Picked up a screen that I had rebuilt for the house and our our house is now twenty years old almost twenty years old and it’s funny because I still think of it as a new house but the the screens really start to deteriorate and so I’ve just started like. Every spring when I get the screens out and put them back on the windows I take the one that is the most damage and have it either repaired or in this case, totally rebuilt. So and I picked up some shoes that I had repaired dumb things like this and I went and put down the deposit on my fountain I did take a picture of it this time so I will post a picture of it in the I don’t know I want to say the showroom but that’s. Probably an extra you know the yard where where they have it set up. And Dan got my hairs did and picked up Megan so that we could go scope out the place for where she’s getting married a week from this Saturday June 4th because I’m doing the flowers. And so we you know went and you know scoped it out made plans and all of this but it was very funny because when I picked her up she was ah stressed out from work and just thinking about all the details for the wedding and she was like oh my god I wish we’d just Eloped. We could have kept this simple and I said ah I said everybody thinks that ten days before their wedding that you know that they wish that they had eloped instead of doing the party and when it gets there. It’ll be fun and you’ll be glad you did it. It. It should cut all annoyed with me. And it made me think of that when you run into a taoist on the paths. Ah run the other direction I was like oh I was too daoist then wasn’t I she’s like I just want to bitch about it. Jeffie I was like okay I sorry understood please continue. So you know it’s just um.

22:58.10
jeffekennedy
It was interesting hearing about her week because she had had a very stressful week too. But in totally different ways and you know so we we shared our stress with each other and then we went and Charlie joined us and we went to Le Casa Sena and we sat the courtyard and we had wonderful. Rose drinks. They have this f frozen slushy witches I don’t know what all they put in it. It was rose wine and a simple syrup and I don’t know what else some other liquor in there. Um. Like Vodco something like that and then in a slushy actually I had the big slushy machine and I only sipped at it because I ordered a glass of rose and they brought me the frozen and I was like oh no sorry I maybe didn’t say it right? But then we. Megan was looking. It was beautiful that a little orchid blossom in it and we’re like oh well, maybe we should try it. We’ll just keep it itip it between ourselves because we’re both trying not to do sugar reader Megan ended up having 3 of them so that was a delicious delight and she deserved to treat. So yeah, so it was just really relaxing I felt like I relaxed for the none time in days sitting there with them and um, yeah, beautiful evening light. Yeah, perfect in every way. Miss sneece again. But.

26:16.71
jeffekennedy
Ah, smoke smoke smoke. So um, yeah, you know perspective is important I’ve probably been a while since I’ve talked about the whole being knocked off your pillow thing I know a number of you have picked up on that metaphor. It’s a good one. You know that for new listeners. It comes from the idea that like the marsial artists get all uppity and sneery and say well yoga is all well and good. But what happens would someone knocks you off your pillow and with the implication being that you need to learn how to fight and the thing. About it is that yeah you know things are all well and good while you get to meditate on your pillow peacefully. But everyone’s while life knocks you off the pillow not necessarily the aggressive attack that the marshall artists seem to. Ah, be forever anticipating and believe me I’ve been around I you know studied martial arts for None ears and they’re like have this idea that everybody’s at war you know it’s like oh your war with the world where do you know it or not okay. Ah, to be to be perfectly. Honest I do not agree. So but we do get knocked off our pillow and it kind of comes around to some of the other things that people talk about is that the that the measure of character. And a person that you really discover what a person is about when they are under difficult circumstances. You know it’s it’s fairly easy to be nice when everything’s going. Great. But when things get stressful when things get difficult and awful. When you are called upon to decide whether or not to stand up for a particular principle. Um, that’s that’s really you learn a lot from people when when the chips you learn a lot about people when the chips are down I should say and um I’ve learned some things about. Ah, couple people this week that yeah um you know some people get can can be very unkind when they’re when they’re upset angry and you know. Get knocked off your pillow you know, maybe you do come up this swinging but I do think that it’s important to keep things in perspective. Um, yeah i.

31:58.21
jeffekennedy
I was gonna say something. Um, um, a friend of mine is sick I was I was gonna say who it was but then I’m not sure that they would want me to has discovered that they have cancer. You know a lot of people are discovering that they have cancer right now and. Or other types of chronic diseases like that and I remember the predictions early on in the pandemic that this would happen that because people stayed in and avoided doctors and hospitals for a couple of years that a lot of screenings would get missed and. I think that’s why we’re seeing such a search um seeing a lot of people just being really upset people being really angry about things in the us we had another gun massacre school kids just really awful I’m not gonna talk about that much. But. You know it’s people are just um, there’s so much to be upset about and boy people are are doing it getting upset and um I don’t think that’s helping anything I think that yes we need to fight for reproductive rights. We need to fight for gun laws. But we also need to exhibit some some grace under pressure right? Try to be a little bit kinder to None another and maybe not come up fists swinging so but that’s ah your. Local neighborhood taoist speaking and yeah, putting things in perspective. You know it’s um, can get very upset about what organizations do or don’t do, but but yeah. It’s um, well it comes back to something that I mentioned a lot. You know that people will sometimes say well this isn’t that important of a problem compared to this other person’s problems and it’s like yeah but it’s still a problem. It might be a champagne problem but it’s still something that you’re working through. You know all of us just trying to find that balance on the pillow again. So um, I’m glad to be feeling a little bit more balanced now time with friends makes a difference doesn’t it. So with that I’m going to go I do have writer coffee this morning. So. That’ll be fun and I will talk to you all tomorrow you all take care and be kind to yourselves and maybe someone else too bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – May 24, 2022

On rewarding ourselves for hard work, getting the thing you want, even if it’s frivolous. Also, I’m delaying the release of THE STORM PRINCESS AND THE RAVEN KING – sorry! – but not by much.




Transcript
00:00.00
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:28.16
jeffekennedy
It’s actually my second cup of coffee today is Tuesday may 24th so right I to double check who’s trying to give you guys like a little bit of scenery. Um, later this morning because this is actually the second podcast I’ve recorded I recorded the first one and then the more I thought about it the more I thought I’m not ready to talk about all of that publicly. So I it’s the lost podcast recording and. This is the second one for the day.

01:43.80
jeffekennedy
Ah so I apologize for no podcast yesterday rest assured my mother already gave me a guilt trip about it and I was just wiped out yesterday I was exhausted nebula conference was fabulous. And exhausting and trying at times there were a lot of things that were wonderful about it. There were some things that were very difficult about it. Um. And I very much appreciate everybody who has reached out and offered support. Overwhelmingly people have been really supportive and you all are awesome I appreciate that? Ah, the nebula conference went very well. All things considered. We did not look like the Airmeet interface at all. In fact, everyone was looking forward to being able to set it on fire once the weekend was done our um own created system had been much better for previous years. So next year looking forward to doing a hybrid conference seeing a lot of people in person and we will come up with a different system for the conference. None thing that was funny about air meat was that if you were. Logged into the system. There were I mean it was very pretty It looked nice. But if you were in there and a panel hole started. It would suck you into the panel which we began to refer to as wormholing it was we turned out to be prescient. Because those of you who have been able to watch the nebula awards ceremony. It was live streamed. It was recorded. It’ll be available if it’s not already. Um I loved the nebula award ceremony Kate Ristau um knocked it all the park she deserves so much kudus kudus. I know somebody who used to pronounce it kudus and there I accidentally said it that way. Kudos for all of her amazingly hard work ably assisted by LD Lewis who handled the technical direction Kate just pulled it together amazingly and. So for those of you who saw it you saw that we had recordings from Neil Gaiman coming in as a time traveler and with references to wormholing. so so yeah the wormholing thing where even if you were like at.

07:21.10
jeffekennedy
None of the virtual tables and having conversations with somebody you got worm holed into their into ah the panel or into office hours which were supposed to be private that was really charming at none where it was supposed to be like a one on one thing and you’d get 50 people. Sucked in there and when we came back to Airmeet and asked them to fix the problem that they seemed to believe it was a feature and not a bug that this is like oh but this is how you get participants to your panels. It’s like no the other charming. Not charming thing about it. Was that it would wormhole you into whichever panel started first. So even people who had particular panels for that time slot like saved on their schedule. Um, it would still wormhole you into which everyone started first. It was an abysmal system. Um. We are um, conference project manager Kathleen Monin who also did an incredible job. She was compiling a document of all of our technical problems that I can’t remember exactly but she had it entitled something like. The flaming garbage wreck that is air meat so we are not pleased with Airmeet. We paid a fair amount of money to use that flaming garbage wreck. Ah, but our staff was amazing. Kate Baker, Terra Lemay, Becca Gomez Farrell all rocked it people put in a huge amount of work. Um, and it was you know yeah exhilarating and at times we got very emotional. Some difficult decisions had to be made and now we are in recovery mode. So on Friday I finally decided when I ended up getting sucked into some things early on in the conference. Realized that I was just not going to be able to get storm princess and the Raven King uploaded by Friday this Friday so I apologize to all of you who have been waiting on this book I appreciate your patience I’m sorry I pushed it out two weeks um new release state is June thirteenth to all of you who preordered you would have gotten the notice from Amazon if you preordered on Amazon um, it probably won’t take me that long to finish knock on wood. But i.

12:59.50
jeffekennedy
Thought well if I was gonna push it out I might as well give myself a little bit of leeway. So 1 thing I can do is once it’s done I can just push it live right? then early. Ah or I can just wait for the for June thirteenth what do you guys vote for let me know what you think. I not sure it manners. Yeah cool breeze where it’s not supposed to be very warm to do. It’s gorgeous this morning but we’re maybe gonna get rain today which would be nice. So um. Assistant Carien did read storm princess so far and she really loves it really loves Ryan’s redemption arc so that’s awesome and I am close to finishing I really am I think I was just tired. Um. Just get to that. Um, creatively drained point right? and so I’m probably going to ease in today by starting my out loud proofing and then finish it off. Um, so yeah, I’m I’m getting back to it. Yesterday I just did nothing I thought I was gonna work yesterday but I was just so wrung out and completely drained from the conference and all that happened so I just took a day off. And I went and of all things went shopping David and I went shopping for this rock fountain that I have been watching and when I get it I did buy 1 when I get it installed I will share pictures of it. My mom asked me to share a picture I was like oh I forgot to take None at the shop. Um, but they’re really cool because they’re natural rock and you dig a basin down in the ground and then there’s a grate that goes on top of it with smaller rocks on top of the grate. So the water spills down over the rock and goes back down into the basin to be recirculated so it really saves on water and there’s a lot more water um, stored inside so you don’t risk burning out the pumps. Ah. With the wind. We’ve been having my other fountain the wind keeps blowing the water out of the fountain and then my pup dries out overnight. Alas, so those of you who have been listening to the podcast for a long time know that? ah.

18:33.30
jeffekennedy
Ah, my mind just went temporarily blank there. What do you know? What do we know about me. Um I don’t know oh that I’m a big believer in rewards that when we’ve been doing a whole lot of work going to a tremendous effort. That it’s very much important to to reward our subconscious selves to give ourselves a treat the benefit of something that is desired and so. We went shopping for this fountain. Finally I’ve been wanting one for probably 10 years at least and I’ve been saving up for it. It’s gonna cost a little more than what I wanted but you know how you can do the thing where there’s the thing that you really really want. And tell me which you want what you really really want. Um, you have this thing that you want and it’s more expensive than what you want to spend or what you feel like you could spend so you get the the quasi thing you get like the next. Quality down or several qualities down or smaller or not so much and then it’s not quite satisfying because you always think about the thing you know it’s like well I really wish I would have had this one that I didn’t settle for this one I was. Seeing someone sharing over the weekend. Terry Pratchett’s theory of poverty. It’s probably not his but this is what he wrote up in a book about the poor man who buys the that a good pair of boots costs $50 and that but the man only makes $38 a month and so it’s very difficult for him to pay $50 so instead he buys the $10 pair of boots but those wear out in a year so in a year he has to buy the $10 pair of boots again and. And it’s nicely written it. You know it’s from ah None of his books and it goes you know into the downsides of the shoddy pair of boots that wears out but the person who can afford to buy the $50 boots can wear them for None ears and never never wears them out or you know wears them out only after a very long time and so in the end they spend less money because they can afford to pay more upfront and this is a way that we talk about that. It’s very expensive to be poor.

24:15.28
jeffekennedy
And that’s not a perfect analogy for what I’m doing because obviously this is a frivolous purchase. This is not something that I need to make it to work or to keep a roof over our heads but it is um, it’s a special tree and and it was. Felt important to me to reward myself for for hard work and I am wanting to reward the people that that worked with me on this too. So I’m have that in in place ongoing. So. Um. So yeah, um, sort of getting back into the groove now and she’ll be able to get this book finished off and starting the next one is my plan quite a lot happening. In June next big thing for me is my friend Megan getting married in less than 2 weeks and I need to get my act together on the flowers for them.

26:47.80
jeffekennedy
And let’s see. Yeah I I do need to make a plan there and then hopefully I’ll get that fountain installed in like the next week they said so that’ll be exciting I won’t maybe we’ll do a special. Podcast by the fountain. How exciting is that you know don’t say that we don’t have fun here at none cup of coffee.

27:49.20
jeffekennedy
So let’s see what else. Um, this is why I did not do a podcast yesterday because I am I feel so much better today and my brain is still feeling pretty empty. So I can’t even remember. Much in the way of specifics from the conference over the weekend. Um, there was just a lot of really great programming and I learned a lot from people my own panels went great and yeah, there were just a lot of magical things about it. And I’m very much looking forward to doing the hybrid version next year and yeah, so I think that what I will do is go ahead and get in and get to work and yeah. I hope that you all have a wonderful Tuesday that your week is going well and I will talk to you all on Thursday take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – May 20, 2022

Exciting events for me today and this weekend – I get to interview Mercedes Lackey! – and more and extended thoughts on building an author platform, what’s most important, and being aware of how others do it.




Transcript
00:02.95
jeffekennedy
Ah, good morning. Everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:31.61
jeffekennedy
Didn’t mean to make that extra loud clang. Ah, but you know what day it is say it with me Friday woo Friday may um, something who knows may none yeah. None nebula weekend yay kicked off with some mentoring last night that was really fun. And um, yeah yesterday was my mom and stepdad’s wedding anniversary fifteenth wedding anniversary of congratulations cannot believe it’s been fifteen years that going to that wedding feels like yesterday and yeah, so they were going to celebrate last night but then turns out that stepdad Dave has an infection in his leg still from that accident. So we had to be on antibiotics. So my David had a good idea. Um, and we had door dash send them dessert from the bakery so that they at least got to have a little treat I thought that was such a great idea feel free to use that. Um, um, so let’s see other things I’ve got I don’t think I even opened up where I am on the let me do that. It’s not going as fast as I want it to. But None is is good I have somewhere in the neighborhood of None None or None words to go? Um, none of you even responded. To me yesterday saying I was going to kill all the characters off. Apparently you guys just like didn’t take me seriously I’m gonna do it I swear ah I almost don’t have to kill them off because they’re all about dead right now. Wouldn’t take much really? So if I’m figuring on that about the last ten thousand words are going to be the epilogues which is what I’m hoping for that means I have like None to None words to save the world.

05:56.15
jeffekennedy
We’ll just see we’ll just see what happens a nebula conference panels are starting Today. No hummer and there’s one I want to watch at 10 my time I’m on 1 at 2 30 you could still register if you want to. Um, be part of the conference programming is great. Lots of good stuff happening tonight I get to interview mercedes Lackey Grand Master very excited about that little hummingbird. So panel at two thirty is about combating misogyny and romance Cecilia Tannis our moderator so that should be great looking forward to that looking forward to doing this reception and interview tonight. Lots of good stuff going on tomorrow award ceremony tomorrow night um I sent the trailer to my friend Megan Mori who is getting married in a couple of weeks that I have to deal with flowers for her wedding which. I really want to do I just um, need to do some dealing on that trying to figure out the best way to do that I know what I want to do I’m just trying to figure out the best acquisition method. So um, yeah. I get to see her next Wednesday she texted this morning and we will go um, scope out the site so I can make my nefarious plans. Ah, and then she will buy me a drink afterwards because she’s awesome vaway I sent her the. Yeah bu award ceremony trailer because she has been um, sort of my what do I want to say not objective ear. But um, she’s the person who is like. That I can tell things too that I could tell the secret things to because she’s not involved right? So you know like when you have an Nda and you don’t disclose stuff. You can’t disclose to you know anyone that where it’s gonna go anywhere but you know. Between her and I it’s the cone of silence on many many things so she knew what I went through and so I sent her the trailer and she said I have 3 words with for you and she did them in a separate text each line Neil fucking gayman amen amen sister

11:25.79
jeffekennedy
so um so yeah right now I’m in that kind of weird limbo state of getting this conference done feeling a little tired getting this book done. Looking very much forward to havingbbing the conference behind us as much as I’m looking forward to having the conference and then I will see what happens. Um, as far as getting this book out getting it finished. Ah what I’m hoping is. That I can like get that ending down today and I don’t know if I’ll work on it any over the weekend I’ll see how I feel see if it’s better for me to decompress or not. But if I can get the ending finished out between today and tomorrow. Or tomorrow Monday and then to a couple of long to sound running out of time month I really need to get that ending done today. Don’t I so that I can then have a couple of days to do my really pound words on those epilogues. Fortunately I know pretty much what those epilogues are going to be I just need to get them done and then have a little time to revise and improve not a lot of time to prove. Maybe I should push this release date I have to figure out what is the last day that I can push that release date.

14:29.77
jeffekennedy
I’m torn on that it would make things easier if I pushed the release date give me a little bit more time to get this proofing done in everything. Um, but then I also feel like maybe I can do it so I’ll figure out what is my. Drop dead day to push that release date and then you know if I do push it’ll be like by a week nothing big so um enough about me. What do you think about me. ah ah I did want to talk a little bit about author pal. Platform stuff because I blogged about it on Wednesday and received quite a few notes about it with people saying that they really needed to hear that so I thought I would talk about it a little bit more on here. Hummingbirds do not worry about platforms and I feel like I said should switch by hanging baskets because this one is so much happier than this one and this one’s really getting battered by the wind is it that I just need to move it in some but it’s symmetrical the way it is. I don’t know or I can move it over there so author platforms not hanging baskets. Ah so. For those of you who did not read the blog post. Although I’ll try remember to link to it if you’re interested. It comes from the term author platform comes from the early 90 s when. The internet was kicking into gear and people really started looking in terms of sales platforms on the internet and and reach and in the beginning author platform really applied to nonfiction books. It was in order to sell a nonfiction book you kind of wanted an author who was a perceived expert in the field a celebrity. Ah you know what? I’m saying um, had a following this. That’s part of why this is related to the early days of the internet because. People gain these followings. It was sort of like um Instagram influencers only with blogging and the early bloggers would gain these followings you know and and I remember you know like there were ones that I would follow every day like um, dous.

19:49.47
jeffekennedy
Don’t even know what she’s doing now haven’t looked at her blog in a long time but they gained these huge followings they had these enormous platform. Well so you have to think about things in terms of the New York people and especially the agents. And editors especially the young and hungry ones who are looking at building their careers and being able to sell the house and the salespeople on publishing a book and. 1 of the things that they want and sometimes I will see um agents in particular um will have in their submission materials tell me about your author platform tell me about your social media platform because what they really want. Is these people who already have none or hundreds of none or none followers already that they can target this book towards and you be say to yourself if you are a I don’t even want to say savvy. Um, but if you are following this line of thought to its logical conclusion and it is something that the newbie authors ask all the time is like well if I am a debut author and I have not yet done anything. How am I supposed to have a platform of readers already and. Is it that what the publishing house should be doing well my child this is one of the things that changed with the internet was these publishing houses figured out that they didn’t necessarily have to do all of that expensive and. Splashing of coffee up for the on themselves. That’s why get for getting worked up that they realized that they could make the authors do this especially because they did have authors coming to them with substantive platforms already right? so. It it really was a major change and and how how the business went about selling books because now they could sell books through social media and they really wanted authors who already had social media platforms. Well. You you can see the catch 22 here right? Ah and so that became the push for many authors to begin establishing their social media presence. You know, have your website have your Facebook page have your Twitter following ah before you even sell that debut book.

25:27.90
jeffekennedy
Because to back up a little bit on what platform is if you are not a celebrity or an Instagram influencer or a noted expert in dog feces bull feces. Ah, then what does it mean for you to have a platform. What what it is is. It’s your reach. It is ah who you can and let me get the exact definition here hang on. Okay I found it. And this is not me this is Jane Friedman’s definition which I believe I paraphrased but I linked to her article on it. She has a really great write up on author platform. It’s in the blog post if you go to that you’ll find it. But um. I am finding hint finding it. Okay, so an author platform is an ability to sell books because of who you are and who you can reach all right? So who you are may not necessarily. Be anything right? If you are not a noted expert in bovine feces. Male bovine feces. Ah, but who you can reach is a different thing now a lot of New York would love to have the person who comes with their ready-made. 0 followers. Whatever but do you have to have this no and the point that I was making in my blog post is the way for fiction authors to reach people is through their stories. And so the best way that you can build your author platform is by writing more writing more books writing more stories ah getting that work out there. That’s the most That’s why that’s why everybody says and I’ve been hearing this for decades now. Eep. And it is true that the very best way to market a book is to write the next book. Ah if you can write a series because writing sequels is great for marketing that none book but the more books you write. And I’m going to add this I didn’t say this in the blog post but this is why I’m always emphasizing craft and improvement over marketing efforts write better books get better at what you’re doing and as you get better. You will reach.

30:59.13
jeffekennedy
More readers as you write the things that move you you will reach the people who are moved by the things that you write. You don’t have to change up the marketing things as much as you need to get those stories out there that will actually reach people that’s. Ah, different kind of reach than the salespeople and marketing people are thinking about but that’s because they are sellers of widgets not creators of stories so something to think about. The other thing to keep in mind is that there are other ways to create reach and that is networking in the community being of service to people being helpful to people. Ah, but also the. The success people know this right? This is not a secret that the more you can build your platform your reach the more it will bleed into everything that you are doing So This is why there are. Members of the writing community who claim to do things out of the goodness of their hearts ah and present company accepted because I really do do things out of the goodness of my heart Actually, that’s not true I mean I wouldn’t do this podcast. Only. The goodness of my heart or only because my mother requires it I do it in part to increase my reach right? It’s It’s a way for me to do that. That’s why we do our social media things right? And that’s why it’s important to do the ones that you enjoy because. The more that you come across authentically the better it is but like somebody who for example, puts on a huge conference for self-published writers and says I don’t make any money off of this. Um, I’m only doing this to help out other self-published writers. Well great, but you know what else they’re doing is they’re increasing their reach even if somebody is not making money off of a thing. It’s because they’re investing in the platform. That will enable them to make money later. So a lot of um I don’t know the success community will will employ that kind of language where they will attempt to legitimize themselves by saying that.

36:25.89
jeffekennedy
They don’t charge for doing a thing that they’re not making money off of it and you know, okay, great, but just because someone isn’t making direct money off of a thing does not mean that they’re not benefiting from the thing. So and I’m not saying that they shouldn’t benefit for it from it but be aware of that because there are those who will do any and everything to draw attention to themselves and including bad behavior. Because in a way that’s why they say that there’s no such thing as bad publicity which isn’t really true, but there is a kernel of truth in that because the more people who know who you are the broader your reach. Bigger your platform so on that note I am gonna go in and get to work I hope that you all have a wonderful Friday a wonderful weekend if I see you at nebula conference say hi to me. It’s totally online but there’s lots of virtual chat rooms and that sort of thing. And I will talk to you all on Monday you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – May 19, 2022




Transcript
00:00.99
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:35.41
jeffekennedy
Ambrosia.

00:43.21
jeffekennedy
Lovely morning here in Santa Fe today on Thursday May nineteenth yes I was just wondering if I titled the podcast correctly because I always titled with the date and um. Fortunately I did ah so um, lots going on here tonight. We kick off the events for nebula conference mentoring happens this evening. Everything is in place. Everything’s come together I believe um, yeah, events tomorrow. How’s the book coming along. They say who they ask? Jeffe it’s coming. It’s coming. Um I have got of 83600 words and um, so I’ve got like None to go. Um, doable. See how much time I have for that out loud proof. Fortunately I do write pretty clean. So if I have to upload a penultimate version I could do that and fix the commas after.

03:49.51
jeffekennedy
Knowing that I’m not going to have it proofed I have been paying more attention to like instead of punting on Lay Lilade I’ve been actually checking. Although I think I have it right now the one that I don’t. Get is each other and one another and I’m not sure anybody actually cares.

04:39.50
jeffekennedy
Other than the grammarians. So theoretically I can finish it right now. Things are an other disaster and I don’t know how they’re going to get themselves out of it. Ah, but there’s a possibility that the book will just end with them all dying and then they all died I mean I can understand why Shakespeare did that sometimes it’s like yeah and then they all died. So what she’s here. In fact, I well I’ve said this before but I think that the people who go for the tragic ending instead of trying to figure out how to make a romance end happily when they think that they’re being so terribly clever and like oh I’m going to write a romance except it ends tragically. Like actually the tragic ending is the easy ending. It’s um, super easy to have everybody die or everything not work out. It’s much more difficult to figure out how the fuck are they going to get themselves out of this situation. So I guess we’ll find out won’t we um, there’s a panel I want to see tomorrow at None my time. The none sequence of panels for the conference. But then I will um, actually there’s 2 at None but they’ll all be recorded so I can watch them later as well. It’s fun to watch stuff in person because of the chat role and everything you could talk to people and I see my peony is about to bloom. Oh. It’s so pretty glowing pink. So so yeah, quite a lot going on the next couple of days. Did you guys see I might link to it the trailer for the nebula award ceremony. Amazing, amazing people worked on that and it just gives me a shiver of delight because I can’t take any credit for the actual work. But you guys you have no idea what I went through to get that to happen the way that it happened. And I don’t feel like I can talk about it necessarily but Neil Gayman me I got him there other people helped me many thanks to the people that helped me and connected me. Um.

10:08.33
jeffekennedy
But for for reasons that are too arcane and absurd to explain and besides which it would be impolilitic I had to fight to have Neil Gaiman be our toast master in the way that he is. And it’s gonna be awesome and I’m just so happy. So happy without it turned out so that’s often I find the role of people in leadership. Um, which sounds kind of funny for me to say in leadership. But you know is that if you’re doing it right? You step back and and you don’t trumpet your credit like I’m doing right now but you know it’s it’s the other people who do the actual work but sometimes that work of being the one. Determined to have a thing happen and fighting for it and fighting people who don’t want it to happen that just takes a lot sometimes and it’s work. That’s not always noticed by people which is fine. Um, but it is an interesting thing to me. To show. You guys have my nebula nails. Oh here’s a little Ray of sunshine if you’re on video I am got. There’s sort of a deep blue purple with gold sparkleys nebula nails um, anyone else was I going to say on that. Oh on the the leadership thing. Ah so I had 1 funny. You guys know that if you’ve been listening to me for a very very long time because I don’t think I’ve brought it up recently that I think that as human beings. 1 of the things we have to combat is ego is the overweening ego the dominating ego. Um, and that’s partly my taoist perspective ah taoists are very much. Um. Anti-ego. You can’t be None with the dow if you are filled with ego and I think ego drives a whole lot of negative behavior. So I work very hard not to be egotistical. Not to let my ego take over and it’s funny in some ways because it’s this balance between not letting the ego run everything but also taking credit for stuff so quite a long time ago.

15:47.55
jeffekennedy
My very favorite professor from college professor David Hadas who was the one who is the non-practicing orthodox jew if you get that joke my religious studies professor amazing man. Huge influence on me and. He was he was dying. He got colon cancer and he decided and this was very true to who he was that he would not get radiation or chemotherapy. He had the surgery but he didn’t want. To have any of the other treatment because he wanted to spend his last days in the classroom um to doing what he loved best what he was so good at and so oh I’m gonna get over for clem talking to about him. So. I organized a thing where we had a kind of a memorial service for him while he was still alive and I worked with my University Washington University in St Louis and a bunch of my old friends. And we worked with the alumni office and contacted as many people as possible who had been as students. You know they gave us the records and I emailed everybody. It was early days of email you know and invited people to come and say nice things about him and. It was a really cool thing to do and the university dedicated this um one of the salons. One of the I don’t know teaching halls to him they put that put his name on it and it was just we all went back to St Louis it was really lovely weekend. It was funny because like some people that I emailed. Got so mad about me emailing them almost. Everyone was nice but a few people were like take me off of this mailing list. It’s like did you even read the email dip shit anyway, early days of email it would probably be harder to do now only illegitimate spammers or. Don’t to email people anymore. So ah, this one gal did um I don’t even remember she was a reporter and she was doing an article I don’t think it was for the student newspaper. It might have been for the St Louis Post dispatch I don’t remember what paper. But anyway she called me up ah to interview me about the event and so we talked about what was going on and everything and she was asking me about me and she said um, she said well I understand that you organized this event and I said well um.

21:21.61
jeffekennedy
A great many people worked on this event and she said oh okay and then there was like no mention of me in the article at all. It was like I very effectively erased myself which was actually fine. Because I wanted it to be about him and I’d said that to her several times you know that this is to celebrate professor Hadas. Um, but at the same time I was like oh note to self about giving away all credit. Um, you know it’s ah. Because people people will let you do it? So I don’t really remember how I got off on that whole thing. Oh just like leadership credit stuff and that sort of thing. Um, yeah, a lot of things with nebula conference and ceremony were things that I that I masterminded. Or such intermotion. But everybody else did all the work and they were fabulous and everybody will be very glad to have the work done with because it’s been a lot and then next year we will be doing the hybrid conference. Ah, that’ll be exciting moment. Back in person. So ah, the other thing I wanted to talk about is this funny thing about people not being aware of of the order of things of the precedence of naming and the reason this came up was um. My friend posted a picture of purple Columbine blooming in her garden and None of her family members who lives across the country said oh I love those purple and white flowers and I messaged my friend and. Because it made me laugh and I I said it made me laugh that she called the columbine purple and white flowers. So and I totally get this as a regional thing you know like that people on the East Coast may have never seen Columbine but I’m a Colorado girl by births or not by birth exactly but certainly by a nativity. Ah, my mother was born there stepfather was born there I grew up there hometown of Denver Columbine is the State Flower Purple Columbine ah and so it was funny to me that somebody would not. Recognize the flower and big I mean maybe just it’s so pervasive here. But also you know it’s like people who know nothing about the your american west right? and it is a pretty flower.

27:05.89
jeffekennedy
So and she replied back and said yes that um, when she and her son were skiing that there was a trail called Columbine and her son who’s a teenager said. It’s really sad that they named a trail after that town where all of those kids died. So this is the perspective partly of youth and partly of people who’ve grown up in a digital world that they’re not aware of the order of history. So in case, you don’t. Follow that whole thing probably most of you do, but he was referring to the massacre at Columbine high school which took place in Denver it was not a town but Columbine high school Columbine high school of course named for the state flower of Colorado and. Lots of mountains around here have Columbine this are that because it’s a flower that grows everywhere here right? I have none of yellow columbine in my garden blooming right now I should take a picture and of None of them put it on the show notes. Because the peony is not ready for full viewing anyway. So it’s just it’s it’s just a really funny thing and I’ve noticed it happen a lot and I can’t think of the books but like when people pick an older property. And say oh and ah I don’t think this was the exact one but um, like the one that I pulled out in the example for her was wizard of oz like when people complained that the wizard of oz rips off Harry Potter or some of these older fantasy works Rip off Harry Potter and it’s funny because when I none read Harry Potter I thought it was incredibly derivative of previous fantasy works. But once something becomes very large. It supersedes everything else and and there’s also the wherever someone none encounters. Ah, piece of information a story a name then that becomes none in their mind regardless of precedent. It’s a funny thing. And this was making me think too which is just sort of a sideline but I was ah thinking about how someone had asked me a long time ago. Um, and it was someone who was young and they were asking me about your song.

32:24.65
jeffekennedy
By Elton John and Bernie Toppin and they said why do you think he says um, but then again, no in the song. Why why would he do that and I said well it’s it’s meant to Reflect you know they’re like why why wouldn’t he just change that the song if he if he changed his mind and I said well it’s meant to be like this conversational tone and it’s meant to transmit his sense of of uncertainty and insecurity by having that in the lyrics and they said no I don’t think that’s it I think he just. Made the mistake and didn’t change it. It was like no I don’t think that’s what happened, but for some reason that song’s already that conversation’s always stuck with me and I was thinking about Jim Croce’s song. Where he says I’ll have to say I love you and a song and it starts out with I know it’s kind of late I hope I didn’t wake you? Um, there’s I didn’t look up the date on this one I well let me go back. I was wondering which of those came none and the answer is is Elton John and Bernie Taupin that song was 1970 Jim Crowie’s was 1973 um, lot of names I’m gonna have to fix in the transcript. Sorry if I don’t get them all and then there’s. Ah, what can I think of the band. Um I’m leaving on a jet plane has a similar thing. We’re addressing the person and the song where they say um, don’t now have to look.

36:09.97
jeffekennedy
It’s not letting me pause funny that song was written by John Denver I didn’t realize that I was thinking of someone else singing it. Maybe you guys will remember because I’m not gonna keep researching it. But anyway, ah. He says the same sort of thing in there as in um I hate to wake you up to say goodbye and what year was that oh Peter Paul and Mary that’s who I was thinking of um, singing it. Okay, hold on.

37:34.17
jeffekennedy
Okay, so that was 1966 which I should remember because that’s the year I was born. So anyway, this person who I can’t even remember who they are I want to go back and expand on the explanation and say that this was part of a songwriting trend. In the apparently late sixty s through the early 70 s of having kind of having lyrics that were more conversational and directed to a particular person we could probably do a whole essay on this and if you want to take that up. For your ah thesis. You’re welcome to do so so I’m going to go on my way and get some stuff done. Wish me luck. Um, if I kill off all the characters will you forgive me? Ah, ah. All right? Um I hope you all have a fabulous Thursday and I will talk to you tomorrow I’ll do my podcast tomorrow. What the hell it’s only it’s only time you all take care bye bye.