First Cup of Coffee – August 5, 2022

Thoughts on being groomed to be nice and pleasing people, along with musings on “people will never forget how you make them feel,” insights from Maria Vale’s WOLF IN THE SHADOWS, and a meaningful review of ROGUE’S PAWN.




Transcript
00:01.87
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance here with my first cup of coffee. Happy dancing today is say it with me Friday. Woo August Fifth um first week of all this almost done depending on how you slice your week to He’s are busy. They like Friday also so um, how are you all. How are you doing I did not have a terribly productive day yesterday I did not hit my word count. But um I had a really good time at r coffee it was the first time that the group of us had been together in a while there’ve been just. What people going out and peopleing. So yeah, it was a really good time I got a little bit of writing in before I left and um, a little bit done when I got back did some royalty crunching so that was good. I’m still at a good place on this book I’m going to set up the pre-order soon. I’m going to do the cover reveal soon I think I’m going to do the cover reveal next week that’s pretty exciting isn’t it I think it’s exciting. So um, yeah I’ve I’ve passed midpoint I’m at 44,000 words liking this story having a really good time with it. So um, so yeah I feel like I’m a good place I think it’s going to release I should just commit I’m setting the release date for September Twenty Ninth you heard it here. Almost first I think I said it in the newsletter or at least I told assistant corine to say so in the newsletter. Ah, she tends to try to um, protect me from committing to Release States I don’t know why Ah but something blah blah blah stress blah blah blah. Things come up. Um blah blah blah don’t you don’t have to commit yourself I’m fucking committing myself September Twenty ninth it’s a cool morning here in Santa Fe um we had storms all night

02:35.31
jeffekennedy
But really didn’t get any rain. The storms just kind of circled lots of lightning and thunder um, so it was it was pretty. You know all around the valley seeing the heat lightning and the clouds and but it would be nice to get some more rain with it I know I’m greedy greedy now. So. But yeah, it’s almost a little cool for no sleeves just kind of nice people are always surprised that being in New Mexico that we have cool weather too. It’s um. Have to understand how geography works I don’t know what to tell you so the other thing I did yesterday and I’ve been thinking about this ever since it’s on my mind ah is I stopped in to pay the remainder of my bill on my new fountain. Ah, because the remainder is birthday present from the husband. So for those of you who may not listen every day that I broadcast I don’t know how you could, but you know hey choices. Um, so I had this big rock fountain. Installed up front that I’d been wanting for like ten years and it was expensive. Saved up for it partly Christmas present partly birthday present. So and and you may have heard me kind of like obsessing a little bit about John. About the mythical John and what John required to install the fountain and so forth and the install went great. But so there was this sales skill that I worked with Beth and she was like the person who greeted me when I got there and she helped and in general I liked her. She was good. Um, but. She was not communicative after after like I settled on the one I wanted in some way she was like trying to talk me out of that one and you know kept saying oh I could do other ones and I was like no no I like this one and then she was worried that was gonna be too. Big and and so I realized that a great deal of my anxiety about the install and my nervousness about the mythical John who turned out to be absolutely delightful and obliging and helpful. Unlike a mosquito. Um I realized that all of that had come from her. And so you know which I didn’t necessarily hold against her but from the time I put down my deposit because I did have that date right? My financial records until they actually installed the fountain was six weeks in a day and during that time I had to call twice to say.

05:23.17
jeffekennedy
So are you guys going to grab and install this founder what been set on my money but I thought you know it’s Santa Fe it’s New Mexico manana is a thing. It’s landscaping. They’ve probably it’s summertime. They’ve got lots of big clients I was willing to be patient. You know, obviously it wasn’t like I had to have it done for like a wedding or something like this so I was all right with that. Um, but you know I did have to pursue it several times. And there was a little bit of this anxiety involved and all of that I was good with so they came and installed it left I was a little bit dismayed that they left the great bear and that there were no rocks on top of it which I felt like was not explained to me which i. Felt like was kind of Beth’s fault you know that she didn’t say oh do you want rocks on top too because one of the guys who installed it said oh we could bring some rocks and you know if you want to pick out some rocks and it’s like well had I realized I would have just picked out some rocks on site and had to brig it. When they brought everything else to install the fountain right? but it was too late at that point and not those guys fall and I ended up doing it myself which was probably less expensive but definitely a lot of work. So so anyway it was it wasn’t perfect when it when they left but you know I was. I was satisfied with it and that very afternoon I got an email from Beth with an invoice for the rest of the money and I was like oh so you’ll know how this is right like when you’re eating at a restaurant and the. Ah, server is late with everything um leaves the table this happened to us during a polykon because we made a reservation ahead and yes, we were a big group of ten people but we made the reservation you know weeks and weeks ahead that. Delightful Maria Vale did it found this restaurant and made the reservation and warned them big group limited amount of time and when we got there, they didn’t even have the table set up which was a bad sign but the waiter would just ignore us. For long periods of time like everyone would be out of water. We’d be out of wine and we would have drunk a lot more wine had the waiter enabled that which I always wonder at because that’s just money in their pocket right? You know and maybe some people think that a group of women aren’t going to tip in which case they’re just.

08:05.68
jeffekennedy
Stupid and they don’t know life because almost every woman I know has at some point weighted tables and appreciates how much work it is and they tip well but this is beside the point. My analogy is the server who takes forever to. Do absolutely everything but then is Johnny on the spot with the bill at the end because they what can’t wait to get rid of you or whatever. So this struck me exactly that way. It’s like oh you sat on my money for six weeks barely communicated with me. Only communicated with me when I initiated. But oh you can fire off that email right away. So I ignored it I’m like it. It was a passive aggressive fuck you it was like I’ll pay the invoice I wanted to pay it I don’t well maybe want is a strong word. But. I was committed to paying it and so I you know left it and besides we were going out of town the following week so Wednesday Wednesday three business days later I get another email from Beth saying. I didn’t hear back from you. Did you get my email with the invoice and I was like really really bad. You are able to like now you can follow up when there’s money involved you know, like probably she got a commission or something I don’t know maybe they were chewing on her I don’t know but it. It annoyed me with initial caps and so I took a couple days I was on vacation and I emailed her back and I was nice I mean kind of nice and I explained and I said you know I’m taken aback that. You sat on my money for six weeks did not communicate with me. Ah, you know I felt like my project was low priority which okay, but to have the all the efficiency be piled into extracting the rest of the money from me. Ah, feels like not great. So customer service and she wrote back. Um, maybe a couple days later it wasn’t immediately and she apologized it was a reasonable apology. Um, so before I went to a polycon I did stop by there to try to pay the rest of my invoice. And they had already closed for the day. Um, you know it’s like they don’t make it really easy for you to do these things but and I emailed her at the beginning of this week and I said just letting you know that I stopped by to pay the invoice and you all are already closed for the day but I’ll try to stop by this week

10:56.62
jeffekennedy
And I think she sent back. Okay, that’s fine. So yesterday after rider coffee I was in that neighborhood and I stopped in and I was able to go in there and this other lady met me sort of outside they have like this little um, you know like it’s a big landscaping yard kind of thing. Um, and they have a very small like office hut and this other lady met me outside of it and she said can I help you and I said yes I’m here to pay the rest of my invoice and she said oh okay and she said something like are you Margaret and I was like no she says okay and den says what is your name and I say Jennifer Kennedy as I follow her inside. And inside leaning against the counter is Beth and I say hi and she goes oh hi and I said how are you doing it. She said great and she turns around and walks out the door and does not come back in the entire time and when I leave there is not hide nor hair her and the look on her face. I mean she was I don’t know ah not happy not happy I I don’t know if I could identify the mix of emotions but there was definite anger and she was not going to have a conversation with me right? she started to do the high. How are you think. Until she realized who I was and and it’s funny because like the second time I went in after she had waited on me. The second time she didn’t recognize me and this time she didn’t quite recognize me at first and you know I don’t expect people to recognize me completely. But. I did pay a fair amount of money and I am recognizable, especially because I’m my big hat on right people usually do remember me not bath. But anyway I was reflecting on this as I left. Um, you know paid my invoice. Chatted with one of the worker guys who was in there and the gal that you know took my money and told them that I love my fountain and they were just charming you know and they’re like oh we’re so glad you know and everything it’s like this was the customer experience I wanted um, not Beth who like hid from me. As I leave like what am I going to do to her and and I did wrestle with feeling kind of bad about this and I was thinking about that quote that’s attributed to Maya Angelou I don’t know if it you know internet who knows if it’s real, but it’s um. People might forget what you did, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel and I think that this quote is often interpreted to mean that we should always make other people feel good about themselves and and I was wrestling with this feeling like.

13:47.37
jeffekennedy
Was I unkind to Beth should I have been kinder to her and I thought she will never forget how I made her feel about this and I thought well is that a bad thing and I feel like throughout my life especially when I was younger. I really viewed myself as not being a nice person I’d gotten so much feedback may I offer you some feedback? Do you guys see that when we I thought that was funny um that I was not nice that I could be nicer. And I think that this is something that women get all the time right? You know that we need to be nicer and I’ve been reading um Wolf in the Shadows. Ah the last book in the legend of all wolves series by Maria Vale love this series it’s lyrical it’s gorgeous um I’ll put up a review but one of the things she really explores in this book is the female protagonist is a woman who has been sort of relentlessly molded to be nice and she’s learned to smile. In this particular way I’m sort of like trying to do it on video that is like a pleasing smile with her lips enticingly open but I saw in the video that a mosquito right in the middle of my forehead that’s enticing. But so as not to make her cheeks look fat and I think anyone who’s like done a selfie for Instagram we’re always trying to do that figure out how to like smile without squinching our eyes and making our cheeks look fat. Um, yeah, and and a lot of it is her. Being having pleasing behavior and I thought well I think a whole lot of my viewing myself as not nice when I was younger was from some of this relentless coaching to be more pleasing to be softer to be more attractive and. Later in life. It does become a thing where you stop caring about that so much. Um, you don’t really care about enticing men. Um, maybe because you have a man or maybe because you don’t care anymore or you never did depending on your orientations and. Ah, how many fucks you have left to give but it’s it’s been interesting to me also later in life having so many people say to me that I am a really nice person you know and and they use the word. Um.

16:27.67
jeffekennedy
Generous and I love that that people call me generous because it’s important to me to be generous and so I was thinking holding to a line and that’s one of my favorite quotes from Georgia O’keeffe and it really is from Georgia O’keeffe where she said um, if you can find. Where your line is and hold to it that is the most one can do in life and yeah, you know maybe saleswoman bets won’t forget how I made her feel but maybe she’ll become a better salesperson. Maybe not because um. Learning from the lesson. She would have stayed there and had a conversation with me and been like you know because I could be a repeat customer right? if I’m a repeat customer I’m not going to work with Beth but otherwise I was really happy with the work they did so that was on my mind. Um, yeah, that sometimes people remember how you made them feel doesn’t mean that they have to feel warm and fuzzy and good about themselves. You know that’s we don’t all need to feel good about ourselves all the time right? Especially if we screw up. So the other thing I want to share is I got a um ah review of Rogue’s Pawn so I’ve released Rogue’s Pawn and Rogue’s Possession. Rogue’s Paradise book 3 is coming out. Um like in another week or so I’m getting it uploaded. And this is one of my longtime readers and I wanted to share this to share this with you not to you kind of to you? Ah, but I thought that um you all might find this interesting since I was angsting a fair amount you know about releasing this book and that I’ve changed as a writer. And so I thought she gave this a really thoughtful interesting review. Ah, but but but um, where she says I’m not going to read you the whole thing. Um, she says comparing her early works to her more recent work definitely shows how she’s grown I mean alas I figured this would show that’s me, um, it says Miss Kennedy’s author note at the beginning of the book provides insight and genuine reflection that I appreciate. Which is good right? Good thing I did that with this in mind I went into the book with lower expectations I should not have worried the concept of this story blew me away. It takes a different look at the faye and creates something new yet familiar authors who can make an existing mythos. Fresh are impressive.

19:11.82
jeffekennedy
The rough part is the writing style and the character voice. Yeah I got better at that. Um I can definitely see how this is one of her earlier works her writing style has evolved to have more complicated world building as well as complex characters. Her later stories are layers upon layers. In rogue’s pond there is intrigue and a little layering by doling out information in bits and bits Jennifer a k lord lady sorcerer is a human who has sucked into another world where she neither knows the rules nor the people people the reader is following her first person account and is just as befuddled. This world is a reinterpretation of the fay. How Ms Kennedy blends and bends the mythos to her wishes is intriguing. It parallels Jennifer’s experience on this bizarro world. This could be a high fantasy book but it mixes in romance and even some bdsm non con. Ah yeah, which is fair. Ah, which makes it defy easy Categori’s categorization story of my life. This is why I could not sell this book suffice to say that I ended up with a book hangover and wished I could have taken a sick day. The ending of the story hooks me into the next book and I want to dive right into Rogue’s Possession recommended to fantasy readers who enjoy their fate. Dark and careless. So I love that I love um, everything about it. It’s it’s interesting to have someone else assess in the same way that I did um that it was um, you know I’ve grown out as writer. And it was tempting to fix things. But I’m kind of glad I didn’t because it’s part of our history right? Um, yeah, so thoughts for a Friday I hope you all have a wonderful weekend and. Get to ah I was trying to to frame this wish for you that you ah behave according to your authentic heart I will talk to you all on Monday you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – July 1, 2022

A bonus podcast today because our outing was canceled, so I’m talking about why I find the tour of Georgia O’Keeffe’s winter home and studio a mystical experience and why I think all creatives should do it.




Transcript
00:01.25
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of epic fantasy romance I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:14.42
jeffekennedy
Ah, sheer bliss today is say it with me friday. Ah, woo woo July First happy New Month rabbit rabbit we used to have this superstition that my mom taught me um that if you say rabbit rabbit. Um, the first day of the month None thing that you say when you wake up on the first day of the month that you’ll have good luck for the rest of the month and then my mom eventually decided that it actually created bad luck and we stopped saying it a long time ago. She’s to be much more. Superstitious that she is now Jackson is out here with me this morning and I’m having to keep an eye on him because he is um he is pushing his boundaries like it’s like having a None ar old kid around. And he’s a mature cat. You would think that we wouldn’t have this but um, he has been trying to go over the wall. He’s been trying to take advantage of this recent freedom of being allowed out here by going over the wall and yesterday he. Did he went on an excursion I think maybe Kelly didn’t realize she shouldn’t let him out and we thought he was sleeping somewhere and he showed up on the front porch all tired because he’d been on an excursion and now he thinks that that’s what he gets and I’ve been telling him. No. So forgive me as I keep an eye on him. So I thought I’d made a mistake yesterday when I said talk to you all tomorrow because I blaatedly realized that I wasn’t going to be able to do a podcast today. Because we were going up to Abiquiu but then below and hold here I am because we ended ended up not going had to cancel. So um, yeah, it’s too bad. Ah, the the tldr is that Kelly is not feeling well so we pulled the plug on the excursion which is the the saddest part of it is that these tickets are difficult to get and I got them I don’t know.

02:58.48
jeffekennedy
three months ago um they’re booked up till August at this point so there’s no no getting new ones I’ll call the place when they open at eight thirty it’s um an hour a half drive away. Um. Jackson no, he went over the wall all right kitty retrieved sorry for yelling in your ears. He is um, thought he was just gonna have a little escapade.

03:45.75
jeffekennedy
David’s pulling the car out I was like no, what’s happening so much activity today. So anyway, we were going to go do this tour of um, Georgia O’Keeffe’s winter home and studio in Abiquiu. And this would have been like my fourth time I love to take creative friends there and I recommend it if you’re in the Santa Fe region and you’re any type of creative. It’s so worth going because this is where she lived towards the end of her life and she set up this house. Exactly as she wanted it I want to say the latter half of her life. Um up until she had to move into. Um you know, kind of assisted living in Santa Fe when she was very old and declining last couple years. So. Because she was a visual artist. The house is set up with these beautiful windows that capture specific ah swatches of landscape. it’s um it’s like to me this is the pilgrimage. You know it’s like I could take her leave. The the chapel at Chimayo if um, you know I’ll take people to see that if they want to. You know you can go touch the holy dirt as it were um that has no mystical significance to me. Being in Georgia O’Keeffe’s home her studio. Her garden is um that for me is the mystical experience. It is I don’t know there is a there is a vibe to it. There is an energy in the air. There is a. Ah, purity to it that I find it immensely moving. So I’m disappointed that Kelly and Alyx won’t get to experience it. We also had a day passed to Ghost Ranch but that would have been just sort of knocking about and seeing some of the landscape we didn’t have like the the horseback ride or anything. So um, yeah, that’s too bad. It would have been a fun excursion I really wanted Kelly to see it but she woke up this morning. Saying that she’s sure she has strep throat I really suspect. It’s the the dryness of the climate here I could be wrong. It’ll be interesting to see but she went ahead and made an appointment with urgent care. For first thing this morning. So yeah, she um.

06:28.60
jeffekennedy
She did she kept saying oh well because we were messaging Alyx was messaging me Kelly was messaging me um and she kept saying oh well you and Alyx go and I was like you know if you’re sick enough that oh excuse me. Little bit of a burp there unexpected didn’t even feel it rising up so please excuse me. Ah, yeah, you know I was like you know if you’re sick enough that you have to go to urgent care. Then it’s probably a really bad idea for the 2 of us to be a 2 hour drive away while you’re alone in a city. You’re not familiar with David is here but um. You know and he could have been on call but know and I know that that can be the sickness stocking to sometime I remember being um with one of my colleagues there. We go what’s being weird. Ah, being was one of my colleagues when I had the day job. She was sick with a terrible terrible sinus thing fever um lungs oh she was bad off and we were in Atlanta and we’d been on a long trip where we um. Did Atlanta first and then we were going to fly I can’t remember exactly how we were going to do it but we had to spend the weekend away from home and then the next week in like North Carolina and I think we were flying into North Carolina on Saturday and. It was like Friday afternoon. We’d finished most of our work pouring pouring rain. Ah and it let out the whole time we were there. It was um, it was winter time that cold and dreary atlanta rain nonstop so heavy all the time. I had to go grab my water.

08:53.52
jeffekennedy
Ah, so much better coffee doesn’t always um quench the throat when it feels dry right? So anyway, this story ended up being long this here’s versimilitude this is like me trying to tell you a single story. As all sorts of things are going on at the restaurant. But um, so she was feeling sick. She was worried about having to fly because her ears were really stopped up and we had finished work early and one of the people we were working with one of the local epa guys found a. Urgent care location for her. Um, right off of the bart station so that we could because of course we had no transportation so that way we could just hop on the train and go there and ah, you know be right? there. And then get back on and get back to our hotel which was also very near it was near that downtown Bart station. Very fun, kind of vintage hotel so we left the Epa offices went to the bart station which I think was like right below the building and she turns to me. She’s so sick and she has big puppy dog guys and she says would you go with me and I was like no it was totally my plan to just like push you onto the appropriate train and say good luck out there I would like. Course I am coming with you anything else would be completely irresponsible. So but that’s how it is when you’re set right? You don’t always I don’t know you feel so pitiful right? So it turned out well she she got the serious antibiotics. We were able to delay the flight by a day so that it was long enough that the doctor said that she should be okay to fly without rupturing her earrums which was a concern. They’re a miracle cure. So anyway, I’m hopeful that they’ll be able to get Kelly fixed up. They’ve got another week here. So many fun things yet to do holiday weekend here in the us and well really in Canada too because that’s part of why we were going today is that it’s Canada day because they are um, working while they’re here particularly Alex who has a. Full time job.

11:27.30
jeffekennedy
Just kind of a scattered moon around here now. David’s out here in the garden look. It’s Stephan. It distracted me so exciting. Garden news is our lily blossom bloomed so beautiful I took a photo. Yesterday. It’s not yet open this morning cause it closes at night. But I’ll put that on the show notes so that you can see it and so yeah holiday weekend. Um, no big plans for the weekend. Otherwise we’ll try to assure canadian visitors a little bit of um. American fourth of July fund. They interestingly asked me if there would be military flyovers and I was kind of confused by the question at first and I was like well no I mean there would only be like air shows at. You know and that would be if you like went to one

12:29.77
jeffekennedy
But apparently in Canada and Canada day they have like military demonstrations and it made me realize how in the us that’s really not a thing like our parades are um, we have veterans and we. Have like emergency service vehicles and that sort of thing but we don’t include military equipment in our fourth of July parades. It’s not anywhere I’ve ever lived I don’t know if it’s different where you are but I was telling them about that. That’s part of why it had been such a um. A big freakin’ deal when Trump was elected that he wanted to have the um military parade for his inauguration that shit he’s such a shit and he wanted to have like tanks. And the pentagon put down its foot I don’t remember who it was or how but they said no they said that there has never been and and I was trying to qualify what never was you know like maybe not since the civil war but that there have never been. Military vehicles on us civilian streets in all of our history and it was a good start now. Even if Trump does think that he’s putin and some of these gp conservatives fancy themselves Putin. I take that you know that is one of our our last lines in the sand that I hope we hold to that. Um, we are not a military government and we do not parade military vehicles. Through the sky or the streets or the waters if you’re near water. Um, it was interesting to think about that and think back to all the parades that I’ve seen Ah yeah I mean certainly sometimes you might get like national guard troops marching but not. Like full out military right? so ah so yeah it should be a late back weekend. Maybe we’ll go get to do some fun things shop around and that sort of thing hopefully Kelly will be feeling better Alex is off today because of Canada day. So. I said that I might um, be able to meet up with them later and take them to do some things since Kelly will probably be sleeping and so forth. So I have my writing day back. Unexpectedly so that’s kind of a bonus for me.

15:18.63
jeffekennedy
Very excited to get that.

15:23.62
jeffekennedy
Excuse me.

15:29.57
jeffekennedy
So um, yeah, and so bonus Podcast My mom was sorry that I didn’t get to go and I said yeah but hey bonus podcast for you. So I’m gonna. Dash inside and call the Georgia O’Keeffe museum to let them know that we’re not coming. Maybe someone lucky person will be able to use the tour tickets. So I Hope you all have a wonderful weekend holiday weekend or not wherever you are. Hope you get to do some fun things perhaps make some pilgrimages to some illuminating spots.

16:13.66
jeffekennedy
And um, yeah I will talk to you all on Monday you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – April 25, 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.

00:12.83
jeffekennedy
Ah, dreamy sigh for the deliciousness. Those of you acutely observant either on video or listening to the sounds of the chime will note that I’m back inside today. It’s a stormy morning here in Santa Fe not precipitation. Alas. But um, a cold wind blowing. Ah today is Monday April Twenty Fifth it’s the perfect date. Um, all you need is a light jacket. Ah, hopefully that’ll be us this afternoon you I’m sure all of you get that. Maybe not my mom but ah, you know what can you do. Ah I had a great weekend. Um, did get to get out in the garden hung up my hanging plants. You can’t see them on the video. It’s to glare e f. It’s not gonna happen. But. Yeah, got my hanging plants hung up just in time for them to be blasted by the cold wind. But I’m sure they’ll be fine. It’ll be fine. Everything is fine I got some other ones planted I put together a couple of hanging baskets of my own. We’ll see how they turn out. I did go out and check on them see if I could sit outside and I thought oh it’s not gonna be pleasant been scraping tumbleweeds out of the property. So Friday we got this wind that was. Unreal I mean they’ve been given us the high wind warnings by afternoon we had ah the alert go off on our phones saying warning us of dust storms that you know if we were traveling that the visibility could go down to 0 in like no time at all. We were having like seventy mile an hour seventy five mile and our gusts and the wind roared all night long it was it was something people so I’ll put a photo on the show notes. But the ah. Tumble weeds I was bitching about the tumbleweeds last week there they’re everywhere I had already cleaned up a bunch from like under the juniorni per out front and that kind of thing tons under there now but they had mounted up in front of our garage. You know like the old. Um I don’t know.

02:49.26
jeffekennedy
You know if you grew up reading Laura Ingalls Wilder like I did or that sort of thing but you you know instead of having snow piled up to the eaves of our house so that we have to dig our way out with tumbleweeds piled up in front of the garage and I had did like. Get out there and drag them out of the way just to get the car out of the garage. It was um and was something and on Saturday I saw some of the writer people Melinda Snodgrass did a plot break with us done at beastly books. And Melinda has lived here all her life I’ve just been here like 13 years but I asked Melinda because she lives not far from me just like we’re we’re both sort of in the same outskirts of Santa Fe area she’s a little bit more outskirty than I am. But I asked her I said knew the wind had to be bad at her house too and she was and she said it was the worst she’d ever experienced in all her time here. Good thing. There’s no such thing as global climate change right? Otherwise we’d be concerned. Ah, um. Total aside for those of you who you probably were not you probably were not worried about my laptop screen but it is gradually drying out it dried out someone I was in Tucson and there’s like only a couple little spots left. It’s mostly good now i’t been meaning to mention that. There’s like 1 that’s like right if I do this of your own video I could put it like right over my face and then it looks like I have some sort of skin condition. But if I don’t do that. It’s sort of like the ah the thing with the doctor you know it’s like you know, stop doing that it hurts when I do this. Then don’t do that. Ah, so um, yeah, been cleaning out tumbleweeds I told David that for the first time really ever I understand now why people want to burn stuff because. There’s like what can you do with all of these tumbleweeds except set them free again. I wish the ha would hire like a big wood chipper and put it in the community parking lot and so that we could just haul all our tumbleweeds there chop them up. That’s it’s so tempting to set a match to the fuckers.

05:24.61
jeffekennedy
Except then we would be we would have big problems but I understand now why people want to do it? Um, yeah, so so had a great time. Got I was pretty efficient on Saturday got the laundry done got some chores done around the house. And then in some nebula meeting stuff and then headed out in the afternoon and ran a few errands and then met up with the writer folks for the plot break talked to Grace Draven on the phone for a while and that was really nice to get to talk to her. She had so some good news career wise so that’s nice because she’s been having a hard time with dealing with family stuff. So it’s funny when we have these conversations we our conversations are this mix of personal family and career. But it was nice to get to have a ah long conversation with her and yeah and just debate stuff. You know we were we? Um, we rubb her neck on other authors and and judge them. Ah quietly to each other. Um, but it’s always interesting to look at what other people are doing and do it it helps reaffirm our own guidelines for what we’re trying to do and 1 conclusion I came to I’ve been sort of mulling 1 question. And I’m trying to think of how to phrase this because I don’t want to to give you guys the exact details. But ultimately I came around to well I don’t know why my writing is perceived this way and someone else’s writing is perceived that way. And then I kind of circled around on it and said but you know why am I even thinking about this because even if I could figure it out. It’s not like I’m going to change what I’m doing and and I come back to this over and over again and I’ve even got this little. Well I’ve got it stuck on here pretty well on my monitor but it’s a Georgia O’Keeffe quote and she says if you can believe in what you are and keep to your line that is the most one can do in with life and I really do believe that. Ah, you know it’s. Tempting tempting when you look at maybe something else being ah more widely regarded you know more popular selling better um, having a better reputation that you think oh should I should I be trying to do something more like that.

08:16.57
jeffekennedy
And of course there’s always the drive to improve to to grow and to do better and are those things in line with each other or are they going in different directions and what I ended up circling around to on this was. I’m not going to try to write like somebody else does even if I could I couldn’t do that all I can do is believe in what my what I am and keep to my line and I think that’s that’s.

08:53.36
jeffekennedy
That’s just part of you have to grow and develop in your own way but you can’t be someone else and we were ah looking at another author who is trying very very hard to look like somebody else and and. And she’s not the only one it’s tempting. You know everybody wants to be as hugely successful as some of the big authors some of the big popular authors right now and but imitating them isn’t gonna get. Anywhere something that I don’t do and it may be effective marketing. It probably is effective marketing grace and I were acknowledging that it probably is and at the same time we will just hate it is when people have perfect for fans of. Sarah J Maas and that’s always like the same 3 authors you know, perfect for fans of these books and it’s like well ah, what maybe it’s perfect for fans of your books guys. Ah I ah, um, shake my cane at you can I shake I’ll shake my ah. Permission wand here shaking the permission wand ah Scott the same as shaking a cane. But um, yeah, be yourself right? like you if. If you want to do a cover that’s more in line with the subgenre now I just did this rebranding for sorceress moons books they’ll start releasing on Friday I am’m trying a new a few new marketing things on those I’m gonna put them in kindle unlimited ah but I want to signal to readers that I think these books fit in that genre but I am not going to tell you that you know perfect for fans of throne of glass. You know first of all, okay, Mea Culpa I’m going to say it right out here. Um I hate a throne of glass I tried to read it. I read about half of it and nearly threw it against the wall because I found it insipid and stupid I know a lot of people. Love it. I’m sorry yeah and and it’s one of those ones that like people say oh well, it gets better after the next book and it’s like yeah I’m not gonna spend any more of my life reading about this. Girl who’s supposed to be an assassin. she’s supposed to be a trained assassin and she’s like the stupidest assassin on the face of the earth who never does actual assassin things there. There’s my unpopular opinion and I know a lot of people. Love it.

11:40.60
jeffekennedy
And it’s a great premise. It was a really wonderful premise and I I read it. You know as part of genre research. Ah there are other books are wildly popular that I think are abysmally stupid and I never ever ever. I shouldn’t say never ever ever. But I I feel like at this moment I can say with confidence that I’m not going to compare my books to those because I don’t I think I write better books on that. Yes or not as popular, but so anyway it’s it’s back to that same thing. And I know I talk about this a lot. But um, don’t try to write like somebody don’t try to make your book be a clone of somebody else’s so anyway, it was fun talking Grace always grounding for me. Do that with her and I’ve got I cleaned off my desk I had like all this crap you know how it like slowly grows I like a really clean desk so I’m very happy that my desk is now clean, but I’ve got a couple of stickies. So I’m gonna throw this one in here. Um, I thought I was gonna talk more about it. But I was you know last week or the week before I talked about generation x stuff. So I think maybe this is a Genx thing. But when I see on a I don’t know any of these social media sites. When I’m trying to find something or look at something in particular and they have the thing like look at what’s trending it’s like is it just me that I am automatically suspicious of anything that’s trending this is not a feature for me. It’s a bug It’s like if it’s trending I don’t want to know about it because. That’s like mass mind shit I’m I’m in a feisty mood this morning aren’t I I mean when you guys see stuff that’s trending do you go to magpie to it I know that’s what they want us to do I think this is like a gen x thing Megan tell me sit since we are. Fellow Gen Xes um so then my other sticky note I was well I want to finish what I was saying about melynda. Um, she’s so smart and it’s really fun to hang out with her and for those of you not familiar with Melinda Snodgrass um she has written. You know she wrote for star trek the next generation she was the show run showrunner for the third season she wrote the episode the measure of a man where they did the trial for whether or not data was human I think is was the question.

14:28.80
jeffekennedy
Um, she’s also written on other shows the profiler ah stuff like that. She’s writing on a new show. It was fun because after we did the plot break stuff which I’d like to go and listen to that’s how I got into this I was explaining to grace. That I don’t go to get my own work critique because I have feelings about that. But I like meeting with this group because I really like hearing how melynda approaches plotting she has such a different approach to it than I do so this is part of how I want to learn and grow because. I may not be able to do it like she does I’m tempted to try it with one of my upcoming books to have her do plot break with me and just see if I can do it but 1 of her things is is she she has to know the ending she wants to know the ending so that she can figure out everything. Leading up to that and she’s very firm in her opinions and which I adore about her. But I think is funny sometimes too because sometimes I just totally don’t agree with her. Um, but she puts things with such conviction I I admire that. Ah. But she’s like you have to know the ending otherwise you never end anything and it’s like I finish stuff all the time. Ah, but I never know the ending till I get there but there is one book that I do kind of that I’m one of my upcoming projects for the fall I do kind of know the ending of it. And I’m going to get her to ah maybe do plot break with me on it. We’ll see. We’ll see what happens it maybe I don’t know I might drive us both crazy. Yeah, we’ll find out but um, yeah so I was telling grace how interesting it is. Just to go through that mental process and it was very stimulating for me refilling the well and and now I have all of these ideas of things that I want to do and and she’s funny I may never get around to my sticky note here because I have other things to say. I did ask her a question because 1 of my upcoming projects is very much inspired by a particular movie and and I love her that she didn’t ask me what it was I said basically it’s an alternate fantasy world version of of a big movie. And she well she did say well if it’s Casablanca and I said it’s not Casablanca ah they all love casab blanca. It’s like the perfect moving perfect story. Ah they were going on about it at the Jack Williamson lecture ship too and I guess at tous toolbox they have a casa blanca viewing night.

17:10.47
jeffekennedy
Where people um are forced to watch it and then they analyze why it works so well I know I saw it a long time ago when I was younger and I keep thinking she watch it again. But I don’t I don’t know maybe I’d appreciate it better this time anyway. Um. Yeah, I’m clearly never going to get to the stick keynote so it’s just gonna have to live on my desk today. Um I asked her is it. You know this is what I want to do I said if you were going to do this if you knew not me would you. Try to plot the book according to the exact beats of the movie or would you just allow that beat to be the inspiration and and get away from the movie and she kind of cocked her head at me in a funny way and she’s like I would even take the movie of course she said that’s. That’s how you do good work is you find the right template and you use it. So I’ve never done this before but I’m I’m intrigued so I have these 2 potential projects that I could try to plot break with her and I would find very interesting to. Know just try stretch myself a little bit that way I’m having all these stretchy feelings as those of you who have been participating in the podcast for a long time having coffee with me for some time now. Um. That you know like I’m wanting to go into multiple povs which I know should not be as big a deal as it feels to me but it does and I think it’s it’s breaking out of that romance structure is what feels like such a big deal. Um. And I kind of want to do that for the next bonds of magic book once I finish this one? Um I found out interesting things about the book that I’m writing I’m enjoying that and let’s see oh but I know that there’s something I’m supposed to tell you guys. Also. Have to go look at my um to do list because I know I noted it on there something I’m supposed to publicize as a responsible author. Oh yeah, um I have I’m going to start putting the link in the show notes. But I do have a. List of ah but bla for the polyon convention in July I have a preorder link and it’s only it’s a good to like the first week of June or something like that. But if you want to preorder print books for me to have their.

19:56.50
jeffekennedy
For you to purchase and sign and so forth. You can do that and I’ve been meaning to say things about it but I need to put it out there a little bit more um and then sorceres moons rebranding. Coming the end of this week exciting. Yeah so um, there’s my 20 minutes further stickies tomorrow I hope you all had a great weekend to hope you are feeling. Like stretching and growing in all the most positive ways and I hope that April Twenty fifth is indeed the perfect date for you and I will talk to you all tomorrow take care bye bye.

Exile of the Seash

First Cup of Coffee – September 4, 2018 & Release Day!

Exile of the SeashToday is the release day for EXILE OF THE SEAS! 

Around the shifting borders of the Twelve Kingdoms, trade and conflict, danger and adventure put every traveler on guard . . . but some have everything to lose.
 
ESCAPED
Once she was known as Jenna, Imperial Princess of Dasnaria, schooled in graceful dance and comely submission. Until the man her parents married her off to almost killed her with his brutality.
 
Now, all she knows is that the ship she’s boarded is bound away from her vicious homeland. The warrior woman aboard says Jenna’s skill in dancing might translate into a more lethal ability. Danu’s fighter priestesses will take her in, disguise her as one of their own—and allow her to keep her silence.
 
But it’s only a matter of time until Jenna’s monster of a husband hunts her down. Her best chance to stay hidden is to hire out as bodyguard to a caravan traveling to a far-off land, home to beasts and people so unfamiliar they seem like part of a fairy tale. But her supposed prowess in combat is a fraud. And sooner or later, Jenna’s flight will end in battle—or betrayal . . .

Read More…

“The storytelling is lush and vivid, some parts, particularly the peeks into Jenna’s psyche, so beautiful and raw, they make your heart hurt.”

~Julie Fine on Goodreads

“(…) a sweeping piece of fantasy that captured my imagination and I’m blown away by this authors talent.”

~Marta Cox on Goodreads

“Jenna’s character is one of the best that I’ve read in terms of development. I may not have read the first book, but she grows so much during the course of this book that I didn’t feel like I was seeing her for the first time.”

~TheDigressiveApproach on Goodreads

Jump the Shark or Cut to the Chase – It’s All Cool Beans to Me

2016-06-18 14.58.01

I got to go on  a tour yesterday of Georgia O’Keeffe’s winter home and studio in Abiquiu. That’s been on my list for a while now and – wow! – it was totally worth it. I love studying how other artists live and it turns out that she and I share many aesthetics. No surprise as I love her work. Also no surprise that she’s more visually oriented than I am. My sister-in-law who’s a painter asked me if I got any “vibes” from the place. Yes. Yes, I did. Her powerful personality haunts that space and they’ve kept it exactly as the day she left. Remarkable experience.

This week on the SFF7 wonder blog, we’re discussing catering to younger generation – what words and ideas have we given up because younger readers won’t know them. This is my topic, so I’ll kick it off with a few stories for why this has been on my mind.

Art and Twitter


How do you like where I hung our cow skull? I’m feeling very Georgia O’Keeffe.

It’s hard to say if I’m imitating her, or Santa Fe design in general. Sometimes you do something just because it looks good. We happened to have this cow skull – which is kind of a long story. Suffice to say that David and I are both biologists and we have a lot of different bones and skulls. In this landscape they become less eccentric and more fashion statement.

RoseMarie sent me this article about a “new writer” giving up Facebook and Twitter. I kind of hate to give it the dignity of a link, because it’s really very silly. “Article” is really a strong word. It’s only 434 words long (yeah, I checked), which is comparable to my shorter blog posts. Really it reads like “Hey, this one friend of mine, who got an MFA? Well she gave up Twitter and Facebook, even though she was really good at it, you know? And she thought it totally worked for her.”

I don’t think I exaggerate there.

The “premise” was the “new writer” who’s been published in Narrative Magazine, which is respectable but hardly earth-shattering, and is, um, exactly one publication credit, cut herself off from the social media to concentrate on her writing. (By the way, the phrase that she’s “hoping to publish her first book soon” can be translated as anything from “it’s not done yet” to “she’s pitching to agents” to “she’s working her way through the university presses. In short, we have no idea where she stands on it.)

But I digress.

The result of the grand experiment? Even in the full essay, she never mentions if she gets any more writing done. Of course, she comes from an MFA frame and one of the amusing things about that mindset is three months of “focusing on your writing” isn’t really expected to produce anything in the way of wordcount. Deep thoughts can be enough. Her conclusion was she felt she “detoxed” from Twitter and maybe she needed to. Most of her musing is about whether she’s abandoning her social media platform when she needs it most.

There’s this guy on Twitter I followed recently. He followed me first, for a reference I made, so I followed back – he looked reasonably amusing and I usually give anyone who’s not only posting links a shot. He’s looking for a job. So he takes other people’s posts and mentions that he wants a job. For example, someone will say “I’m a writer – I have the papercuts to prove it” and he’ll reply “I need a job – I have a ‘hire me!’ sign to prove it.”

He’s clever and makes me smile, which is what it’s all about. So, I bit.

I asked him where he is and what kind of work he’s looking for. This is the opening he’s looking for, right? If I could, I’d be willing to point him in some directions.

So what does he do? He replies, twice, about how he needs a job and how sad it is that millions of people don’t have jobs. He tells me a state and a vague kind of work and gives me absolutely nothing to go on. Oh, and he tells me he got on Twitter because he’d heard it was a great place to connect with people.

And yet – he completely failed in his opportunity to connect with me.

I think that’s the part people miss: if you’re going to do the social media thing, you have to do it because you enjoy it, to really connect with people, not to manipulate the medium to get what you want. It’s fascinating, really, how invulnerable the system is to insincerity.

I suppose that’s the difference, too, between imitation for the sake of status and repeating an idea because of the image it creates.

Can I help it Georgia had a brilliant eye? Maybe the cow skull is just my little way of connecting with her, in a cosmic non-Twittery way.