First Cup of Coffee – April 19, 2022




Transcript
00:01.14
jeffekennedy
Um, good morning. Everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee I’m noticing that the cream separated that a bad sign tastes fine.

00:22.21
jeffekennedy
No, maybe not please to stand by all right? sorry about that. Ah, the cream had indeed gone sour does it taste quite as good with the half and half in there turns out that the cream had ah expired on March Seventh who knew and I’ve been drinking it up till last week and it was fine. That’s why I get for only doing little tiny dollops at a time I suppose but apparently left unsupervised for a few days. It went rogue alas. Today is Tuesday oh you know I’ve know this I forgot to put sweetener in it. Okay, we’re having a blooper morning stand by all right I think I’m set now. Ah so much better. All right. Today is Tuesday April Nineteenth and for those of you on video or those of you ah keen to the audio intro I’m back out in the grape arbor um, and so thus. Big chimes again and you know things are greening up out here. The roses are coming up. You might be able to see some daffodils in the background crap Apple tree is starting to bloom. It was so nice being outside in Tucson. That’s why I have been away from the podcast for a few days. And been away visiting my mother who is the one who complains the most if I don’t record a podcast. So um, haven’t had 1 since a week ago tuesday but here I am back in the saddle. It was great being out in the tucson weather flowers blooming everywhere. Yeah, thank you? And yeah, so I thought I really need to make an effort to get out into the grape arbor again which transcript. Really hates that phrase. We’ll see how it did. Um, we’ve had so much wind that they I to throw a bunch of tumbleweeds over the wall because they’ve like blown in and mess things up so clearly I still have I’ve done some garden cleanup I need to do more. Did a little bit at my mom’s house that was fun. Although I’m not sure she appreciated it. She had a um, a volunteer lemon tree coming up where they’d cut 1 down as one does in Tucson I would love to have a volunteer lemon tree.

03:12.19
jeffekennedy
Ah, and she told me to do whatever because it had also it was more like lemon Bush and she said to do whatever I wanted to it so I trimmed out a whole bunch of stuff to create a single trunk to make it give it an upright growth. But I think she was shocked. But anyway I’ve decided um this fall I’m going to keep track of the temperature at which I am driven inside and then pay attention in the spring as soon as those temperatures start to get up ah to that same level to come outside. Um, it is 47 here this morning °f with like a real feel of 53 I still don’t know how they decide that. Um, yeah, so. Good to get out here and to be looking at stuff again and be part of the garden I made notes on the airplane um of things that I wanted to talk about. I probably have too much for a single podcast but that’s good. That’ll keep us going this week I did take the whole time off of writing I got some words. Um, well I take not since Wednesday um I did do sifwell work. Had to be done and and last night I slept like the dead and dreamed tons of selfful stuff. So there. We are my plan had been with The Storm Princess and the Raven King to come back from this and start over revising from the beginning because I’ve passed midpoint and I’m not sure if I will because I kind of do have a feel for the scene where I stopped so I might just try poking at that and seeing if that works and. Save the revising for later. Yeah that’s just sort of a matter of coming back and getting a feel for for where I’m at.

05:26.30
jeffekennedy
I um, have been reading Connie Willis’s short stories I’m not usually a short story reader. Some people love them I to me I think it’s because I love to read novels I love to read long. And a short story. Some people love short stories because they can read it in a single city. My stepsister Hope who I saw over the weekend is going to read this same collection of Connie Willis’s which is called Firewatch after the story that is the first one on the collection called. Fire watch um and a number of her award winning stories are in this and I have read her novels before because did I mention I’m a novel reader for me a short story is. It. It usually leaves me hanging I I feel like I just um, like I’m just learning the world and the characters and syncing in and it’s done I always want more? Um, it was interesting reading a collection of her short stories. Because there was a congruency to it and it let me do one of my favorite things which is to study like her themes and her recurring images and so forth. Um, fire is a thing for her. Not so shockingly. But on one of her stories. She mentioned Fred a stare and I should have grabbed the quote wonder if I should go grab it. Okay I opened it on the Kindle app on my phone which took an extraordinarily long time just for the record. So she said she has little um epigraphs little explanations between her shorts before her short stories which I admire greatly because I never know what to say about my own stuff and i’m. Totally going to I’m glad I have this book on my kindle because I’m gonna borrow from her. Um, yeah, she’s just very smart about what she says so she says Fred Astaire is my hero he used to report to his movie six weeks before filming started. And practice his dance routines wearing out a couple of pairs of of tapshoes and Hermes Pan who claimed he could only dance backwards for the rest of his life. Also he could stand there and look like he had just made it up in the words of almost every one who ever saw him dance.

08:04.52
jeffekennedy
He makes it look easy and what she says after that is that’s what I want to do even though it looks like I’m going to wear out dozens of pairs of shoes before I even come close make it look easy. But I thought that that was really striking about Fred Astair and. My husband David who is a musician from way back. He always talks about the Beatles and how the Beatles played in those German bars for a really long time playing cover songs playing hours and hours every night. And that that brought them together as a band and it’s an example, he uses a lot. Um for the value of practice and while we were at the Jack Williamson lectureship that I was at a few weeks ago yeah I guess a couple weeks ago what is time who am I we the the question came up as it always does um, you know like essentially how do you get better. How do you know when your work is good. how how do you level up? How do you improve your craft How do you um. Get over feeling like your work sucks newbie writers and even experienced writers and ask this sort of question all the time It’s like how do we how do we do this had to change my angle slightly because the sun is coming up I’m running a bit behind this morning. Yeah, although I went to bed early but like I said slept like the dead. So how do we improve and I think this is one of the answers and it’s the answer I always give and it’s not the answer that people necessarily want to hear because. Saying that something just takes a whole lot of time and you just have to keep doing it over and over and over again is not the optimum answer right? It’s not what we want. We want something else. We want the magic pill. We want the here read this book. But I think there’s a huge amount of truth in this that what it takes is a lot a lot of practice and I’ve used the metaphor many times but bringing up here again in case, it’s new to you of running water through pipes and it’s this isn’t mine. Other authors have talked about it that when you first begin writing um your creative pipes are corroded. They’ve been sitting there unused. They’re full of crud and when you first start running water through them and getting the words that come out at the end. The words are cruddy.

10:54.54
jeffekennedy
I mean that’s just how it is. They’re Rusty. They don’t come out very fast. They’re full of all sorts of stuff right? they’re muddy, they’re unclear. But if you keep running water through those pipes eventually those pipes will flush. And it will get rid of all of that crud and soon you will have clear water coming out. What do you do with the cruddy water doorway put it on the you know reuse put it on the garden. Um I think it is one of the at the risk of sounding like I’m shaking my cane. 1 of the great drawbacks of the ease of self-publication these days is that it’s very easy still in the sun here there that’s better and you could see the for Scythia in bloom behind me. Um, ah, what was oh. Ease of self-publication I mean I self-ublish yeah you know, a lot of people do it’s a great thing. It’s wonderful for income. Ah, the great drawback of the ease of self-publication is that you could publish those books. The ones that come out when you’re first running water through the pipes. Um, you know and some of that’s inevitable I was talking with some other authors of the podcast I did withronda we were talking about that whether we would go back and change things in our first books if we could um. There is a point at which you just have to go with it. You know because it’s it’s not gonna be perfect and you know maybe your twentieth book is the one that’s gonna be really good but I do think that you have to resist the urge to publish the first stuff you write and certainly this audience of writers at the Lectureship. We’re kind of shocked to discover that Dorinda has a bunch of trunk books and they asked what that meant and it’s like books that are in our trunk and well never come out I have a couple of unpublished books I’ve one that one day I will maybe rewrite. Ah, it. Could be that the idea was too ambitious for where I was at the time and now I will come back around to it. But the thing is is that we have a tendency to want to preserve everything we write because of the effort that we put into it and. It’s not always the best impulse sometimes that means that you should ah you know not be afraid to put a book in the trunk. So 1 thing I was noticing is um oh hold on a moment here.

13:48.20
jeffekennedy
Was my mom texting me I’ll text you back in a moment mom. She’s awake. Um, so um, excuse me I did a reread those of you who have been following along consistently. Know that I did a reread of the heirs of magic books. So I read the prequel and then the first 3 books in the series and I just finished the one over the weekend as I was heading to Tucson I think I finished it on the plane and then. That was when I started Connie Willis’s stories and read those over the weekend I really do recommend that firewatch collection. It was excellent. Some stories have stood the test of time far better than others and my stepsister hope plans to read it as well and we shall discuss because I’m interested to know what she thinks. Um, and I’ve I’ve talked about that a lot you know how do we know? what’s going to stand the test of time and I know creators artists and so forth who really try to I don’t know game it try to do the thing that will stand the test of time you know and. Ah, be universal on all of this and sometimes I think you just don’t know you don’t know what’s going to stand the test of time and I’m I’m interested to discuss with her the reasons why I think some of these did not whereas others have so but you know all same writer. All at the top of her game. So it was interesting for me reading the third book in airs of magic the one that came right before this the dragon’s daughter in the winter mage. Um I knew people had received it a little differently than the others. And it is a different book and it’s interesting to think about because it’s different in tone than the first 2 and I didn’t do that on purpose. But I think a lot of it had to do with what was going on in my life as I was writing it. And it’s this push pull right? that I was thinking well some people would argue that that was a mistake of mine that I should have made more of an effort to consider the market and design that book. To match the others in the series and to match the market but at the same time I feel like as creators right? We are um as I often say we are not making widgets. Um, if i.

16:33.68
jeffekennedy
Wanted to make widgets I would probably be doing that which I don’t I think that sometimes the stories what comes out when we tell a story is we have to be authentic to that. You know it is what it is. That’s what’s coming out of our subconscious self I reading that book I was recognizing themes. Um, just stuff that was going on and in some ways it’s a. I don’t know maybe a sadder book a little bit darker book. Um, it’s certainly not sad or dark overall but it is not as fun and lighthearted as the others and and there were reasons for that and. You know I think that those things are going to bleed into our work unless we really separate it out. Um I think that um. Yeah, you know we’ve been talking lately. My family was talking about it over the weekend. You know, just how different our world is with social media. So I’m more aware of things that people have said about this particular book because I just see the conversation about it or I catch things. That people don’t say like somebody tweeted me and said that they were surprised that this book didn’t sell as well as some of the others that the first 2 books in this series were their favorites of anything I’d written which is great. Thank you I love I love that but I did notice that she didn’t say the third book and it’s It’s different it’s a different book and I did see one review by accident where somebody had said just skip this one because nothing happens and it anyway and you know reader’s prerogative. Absolutely you know if you feel like that’s the best advice to give then sure give it. Of. Where am I going with this I will I’ll see and I do this as a reader too where I’ll say well I didn’t love this. What is much you know I I wish that the books had stayed the same as books one 2 3 in this series or whatever but you know what.

19:00.13
jeffekennedy
Sometimes what comes out is what comes out and and I don’t think that I can regret that. Ah, some of that has to do with growth as as a creator right? You know it’s that this is the water that came through the pipes at this particular time and the pipes are me. Right? So unless you are an Automaton or able to separate yourself entirely from who you are in your life which I don’t know maybe a sociopath can do that.

19:38.57
jeffekennedy
wren’s that beautiful, beautiful spring song. Um, yeah, that though even if the water running through your pipes is clear of mud and rust and other things lead that come out of whatever kind of pipes you have um. It’s still gonna be flavored by those pipes and that’s that’s part of being a creator and on that note I will sign out I hope that you all are having a wonderful week and I will talk to you all probably Thursday you all take care. Bye-bye.

First Cup of Coffee – April 11, 2022




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

00:13.93
jeffekennedy
But it’s so good today is Monday April something Eleventh April Eleventh and I’m back home. Glad that you all liked the podcast with Darynda last week. Um. She is adorable isn’ said she even if she wouldn’t do the chime dingling. So. It’s funny. Ah I opened up my laptop because I have to have it open to do the video portion of this podcast and I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with my screen. Looked like maybe there was light shining on it funny but there’s not light shining on it funny and it almost looks like 1 of those old photographs like where you get damage around the edges and so it’s like bright in the middle and then there’s like a little halo around it and then dark at the edges. And I’m like what the fuck is wrong with my screen and then I remember how quickly we forget so on Saturday when I was down in Portales at the Jack Williamson lectureship Saturday morning we did the workshop creative writing workshop. So Connie Willis led it guest of honor Walter John Williams assisted and then they had the rest of us guest authors. Um, what essentially being the peanut gallery in China me chiming in and it was really fun because I’m asked originally I’m like is this something. We’re supposed to go to and they’re like well we would really appreciate it if you would and this is a terrific event because they they paid all my expenses and you guys know how I feel about this if you’ve been listening for a long time. They did it perfectly. Um, they paid for my hotel. They picked up all my meals. And it was um, you treated me with respect even though you know I wasn’t as important as some of the other authors they ah acted like I was and that’s amazing anyway. So we did this creative writing workshop. And we finished up oh like round twelve twelve thirty and Connie Willis said well we’re all going to go out to lunch and so do you want to come I’m like yes, even though I wasn’t hungry because. David Sweeten, Professor Sweeten who is um, the one running the lectureship now down in portalis at it’s at Eastern New Mexico University He had big colachi homemade colaches where he had like set the dough to rise overnight and and.

03:00.21
jeffekennedy
Dear reader I had to so hungry I was unbelievably hungry and I had not had coffee. Um, so at this point for lunch I was not hungry. This did not stop me from eating lunch. But I yeah so. Somehow so like despite the inadvisability of this thing you know so I’m I’m walking around at the lecture ship. You know for a couple of days and I have my pink Fluevog laptop bag that I love very much which is basically just a tote bag here. I’ll show you so see. It’s um, if if you’re not on video sorry you get the same description. It’s pink leather. It’s got some embossing of flowers in the Fluevog style and the best thing about this is that the rope handles go all the way underneath the bag. So at the bottom doesn’t tear out and I thought this quite some years ago five years ago when I was in Denver at the store. Um, because I wanted something that would work better to carry my laptop that I could also put on my shit in when I’m like at conferences. So I also had my wonderful thermis thing which is in the kitchen I won’t go get it that David gave me um for Christmas maybe doesn’t matter. That’s a coffee thing and a water thing and it’s really great because he did research. It’s big. It’s really tough I’ve already dented it still tough and it’s got this is the first time I’d used it just for water and it’s got this screw on top with them. Oh I don’t know what you would call it like a really flexible thingy that goes around the straw. So I can if I tip it over it does it spell. However, this does not mean that water will not leak out so I had you could see where we’re going so I had that in the laptop bag upright you know and I would stick it in there with my laptop and my other things. And really it worked fine. It was not a problem and when I first did I thought oh it was this stupid. You know it’s like you know how you do that? You’re like will I regret this but no, it was fine except when we went to lunch I had put my laptop bag behind the. Seat of the car with my partially open bottle of wine I made sure that didn’t spill but when I came out from lunch somehow probably when I was driving the thermos thing. Yeah I know you’re all country had tipped over and there was like standing water in the bag of my wonder bottom of my wonderful.

05:46.80
jeffekennedy
Waterproof leather bag. Ah, let’s why I was like oh fuck I’ve ruin in my laptop right? So I spend a few minutes taking everything out drying things off dupping out the water. Ah. And I set the laptop up on end in the backseat of the car to dry out and just in case you know and I was just like sort of like sending a prayer to the tech gods that it would um, be okay that it would not be ruined due to my moment of carelessness. You know. Kick yourself like fuck. So I did not turn it on because that’s one of the tricks right? You know it’s like you have to resist turning it on until it dries out completely. So I you know brought it inside I said we have the radiant. Key to in the floors which will be turning off soon. It’s warming up. You know what? I’m still not outside yet though it’s um, it’s 48 I could probably start. It’s always rougher I don’t know for some reason I haven’t wanted to this spring have I so. Didn’t turn on my laptop until I Don know like noon yesterday because I thought okay won I give it a good 24 hours and so I turned it on and did the cross fingers and prayers and I had it hooked up to my big monitor and it came on. Came on just fine and so I thought hooray hooray but I did not open the laptop to see the screen until this morning when clearly I had already forgotten about the the incident so I have a touch screen on this. Which I’ll be kind of bummed if that stops working but it might be just because I had it closed up and now it will drive further the shape of the halo is changing. So maybe it’ll maybe it was just like um humidity. I don’t know I could have screwed this up heavy sigh and so um, that was a lot of talking about my laptop. I don’t have much else to report I did get some words done while I was gone I didn’t get tons but I did after the podcast with we could turn on some of these all right to turn on my progress count. So I could see what I did.

08:28.88
jeffekennedy
I mean at least I kept it moving forward which was my main goal on Thursday before I left I did get my 2000 words that morning Friday actually before I went to dorndda’s I was awake girly in the hotel room of course and so I got um, 440 words before I went recorded the podcast and then after that we didn’t have a whole lot of time before we had to go to the first event and then on Saturday morning I got another 543 words I don’t typically work on Saturdays but you know I was trying to do a little catch up there. So um, it’s funny looking back and forth between the 2 screens which you know I I do I probably shouldn’t but I could see things so much better on the big screen. But. I look at the little screen and there’s this whole weird watermark patina I mean literally a watermark right? and then on the big screen. It’s clear and it’s like oh but wait. So um, it was really fun. It was super fun being at the lectureship. Um I had met Connie Willis a few times before I had attended a reading of hers forever ago when I lived in Laramie she came up for that and um, she was just phenomenal. She was just delightful. To be with um I just I can’t speak highly enough you know and I talk about this sometimes about the difference. Yeah, like some I don’t want to say older. Although you know. Sometimes it can be an age thing but authors who are farther along in their careers. You know more advanced in their careers than than you are have can be very different in how they treat the younger writers I’m putting that near quotes. Um you know and. Writers are people right? People are people and people will people. Um you know and some writers who are like guest of honor at something like that. Um Connie was being master of ceremonies I think and she was longtime friends with. Jack Williams said the science fiction writer who got his bachelors and masters at Eastern New Mexico University and who was a professor there for a very long time and she would go every year for the lectureship and now that he has passed on she still goes and she was really happy. They’ve missed. It.

11:14.62
jeffekennedy
In person part for the last two years of course so this was the first time back in person and everybody wish just so happy to be back together in person but Connie it was just incredibly generous. She really made a point of being kind not just to me but like. To another guest writer who only has ah has a couple of books so far and was not sitting in the very front row peanut gallery for the creative writing workshop but he was sitting more towards the back being a little more retiring and he had said to me they felt like he didn’t have as much to say as some of the authors which that can be a thing when you’re. Newby and Connie would really make a point of saying do you have something out you know and what do you think about this? Ah, she’s it. It takes a real generosity of spirit to be that good to writers and and she was. Kind to me in ways that I particularly noticed when I was talking about like some of the stuff with romance and she took a moment to explain how you know like the genres are about romance and you know she was saying you guys have to understand that for a long time. Science fiction. Was like near the bottom they weren’t nearly as good as literary fiction and then they found out they could look down on fantasy and then fantasy and science fiction both figured out that they could look down on the graphic novelist the comics writer she said until all of a sudden probably Neil Gaman’s fault. It did. Graphic novels ascended and and went out much higher. But then they figured out. Oh they could look down on romance. Um, it’s just really good to have somebody who is being warm and supportive and welcoming that way. As opposed to those who look down their noses and try to make sure that you know that you’re not nearly as good as they are and never will be which you know happens there certainly writers I’ve encountered like that. Um, in fact, it’s funny. I’m trying to decide if I should say this I’m gonna pause while I think about should I say this? Yeah I don’t think it’s gonna hurt anything for me to say this because I’m not gonna give details. But there’s 1 writer who like from the beginning of my career when we were first like at on panels together on that kind of thing. Was terribly unkind to me I mean nasty to me on Panels silence me silencing me on Panels um, someone much much more advanced in their career than I am to the point where like people were coming up to me after the panels say what is their beef with you be like I do not know if this person like.

13:58.62
jeffekennedy
Hated me on site. Well when I was looking at being president now Madam president ah looking at the list of people that could be named Grandmaster I saw this person’s name on the list and I thought ha. Won’t be naming you grandmaster anytime soon or ever ever you know, maybe a different president would but it was to me both a moment of probably ah, what’s the word I want unflattering. It’s not my finest moment people. Ah but i. Did feel a nice little moment of vicious glee over that like can’t stop you being mean to me but and then it’s also I thought stow this memory away Jeffe because it’s really important to remember. Um. That the newbie writers that you may sneer at today. Not that I would snare I try very hard not to but you know you never know who who they’re going to be in 1 year or 10 years or 20 years and maybe someday that person will be the 1 looking at your name on the list and deciding whether or not you should have a career achievement award. Um, it’s worth keeping in mind right? You know they they say that you should be careful of being kind to those that you meet on the way up because you’ll meet them again on the way back down. I think that implies a certain linearity that does not exist because it’s more like all of us are bouncing up and down and up and down. But um, yeah, Connie was just fabulous and she even took a moment to say to everyone that I have liked the worst job in the world being president of SFWA and that everyone should. Appreciate that and the other things she did that and I told this to David and he didn’t think I was quite. It was quite so funny but she has the quickest wit she is just tremendously witty and she had back surgery last year she was she’s your age mom. Ah, and born in Denver born in Denver and 1945 and she had back surgery so she has one of those walkers. You know she doesn’t have to use it all the time but she has it with her and then it has like 1 of those seats in it so that you could turn around and sit on it and so we were all done. On um Friday evening with all of the panels and walking out and we were you know I was coming out with my little group and I saw Connie sitting there on her little walker chair at the edge of the parking lot because her husband had gone on to get the car. You know to say for more of a walk but I yelled out abandoned in the parking lot.

16:54.79
jeffekennedy
And she looked at me and she goes seduced and abandoned in the parking lot!and I don’t know it. It really made me laugh and it was just um, it just felt like such a warm and delightful community. We just had um. I had a fabulous time I hope everyone had a fabulous time. Yeah, so I think I’ll leave it there. Um I need to kind of get back on my stick this week and I have finished reading through. The Sorceress Queen and the Pirate Rogue gosh I love that book I perfectly enjoyed that book the scene on the carriage is so freaking hot. Maybe I shouldn’t say that about something that I wrote but I really enjoyed it and I’ve started in on Dragons Daughter and. Good news is is I have little sticky notes things about that I’m understanding about Rhyian and Salena so getting it all figured out I hope so on that note I’m going to sign off I hope you all have a wonderful Monday that it kicks off the week will and I will talk to you al tomorrow. Take care bye-bye.