Thank You, 2022, for All the Fish

As we wind down the last few days of 2022, looking forward to a new year and the waxing of the light, this week at the SFF Seven we’re offering thoughts or blessings for the year that has been or the year to come.

For me, 2022 delivered a kick of a ramp-up back to life closer to pre-pandemic levels. Though spring started slowly, with several in-person conferences canceled, I was able to return to hanging again with other writers in person in April at the Jack Williamson Lectureship. It was SO GOOD TO PEOPLE AGAIN. One of the great lessons of the pandemic for me has been how much of my social life depends on conferences and conventions. (Can I just call them both “cons” for short? What even is the difference?)

Seeing people in-person again meant I also made new friends this year, which has brought light into my life I didn’t realize I was lacking. Not unlike as the days grow longer and sunshine returns, warming the earth, and you begin to realize just how long and dark the winter has been.

I had a less productive year, wordcount-wise – in fact, my lowest year ever for wordcount, though I’ll give final numbers next week – but it looks like it will be my best income year ever. So, looking ahead at goals for next year, I’m considering decoupling my wordcount goals from my sense of success and focusing on what makes me most comfortable financially.

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I’m also completing a year of 16/8 intermittent fasting, where I fast for 16 hours and eat during an 8-hour window. I also vastly decreased added sugars from my diet. I’m thrilled with the results. I’m down 18 pounds since January 3, 2022, 16 pounds of that from body fat, and I’m down over 4″ around my waist and hips. It feels like really healthy weight loss, like I’m no longer so insulin-resistant, and I just feel tons better overall.

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While in many ways, it’s been a difficult year, the work I did at the end of 2021 to break the stress cycle has really paid off. While we’re facing the loss of our senior cat Isabel, who is 17 and declining, we’ve also welcomed in a new life, with kitten Killian joining our household. So many wonderful things have happened to me this year – including wonderful people entering my life – that it feels truly miraculous.

I’m grateful for the blessings of 2022 and eagerly look forward to what 2023 will bring.

First Cup of Coffee – April 12, 2022

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

Ah, excellent today is Tuesday April Twelfth for 122022 and it’s um, I’m looking at my thermometer. And it’s actually showing 51° out there which means I could be going outside I don’t know why I’m like not moving out to the grape arbor. The the wind is cold I think that’s part of it. Ah, but there we are.

Ah so um, update on the ah laptop screen Watermark I’m sure you’re all on tenterhooks to know. But I think it’s decreasing ah if I wanted to risk it I would trace an outline. That would be the scientific thing to do but trace an outline so I could see if the borders are actually moving but I’m not willing to risk it because I don’t want to mess up my touchsc screenen so I’m just excuse me. But. Don’t know what that was a little bit of frogginess. But um yeah it’s um I think it’s I think it’s different today I think it’s the borders are receding and I think there’s more open patches in the middle. So. Cross our fingers that maybe I didn’t fuck it up forever if you don’t know what I’m talking about you have to listen to yesterday’s podcast and get the whole story of Jeffe’s carelessness although this is it’s not nearly as bad as it could have been so I’m telling my blessings. Actually today is a counting blessings kind of day. It feels like a good day. Um, saw bobcat this morning young female. Do these bobcats have this sense to them that they seem to me like they’re smiling. You know she comes. I saw her as I was lifting weights, saw her out the bedroom window and called David and we watched her come around and she drank from the fountain and and she glances up now and then and kind of has this look on her face like it’s a great world. It’s a beautiful morning I swear she’s smiling at guys. And um I was ah dancing around to Taylor Swift’s I Think He Knows really love that song. There are a lot of songs on lover that I really like and I almost feel like we like lover kind of got a little bit lost in the wash. Maybe that’s just me. But um, what year did that come out 2018? Yeah, that’s why it was 2019 August of 2019 so we only got to enjoy enjoy it for I mean I guess it was a good six months before pandemic kicked in but I don’t know it seems like a lot of that stuff that happened at the end of Twenty Nineteen kind of got um, kind of smooged out like that’s totally a word and I’m not even gonna fix it on the transcript by what came immediately after and the.

Stress and trials of that I’ve been going through the programming stuff for SFWA’s nebula conference and there are a lot of panel suggestions on creating well being under stress. It’s like. I wonder why this topic is on people’s minds ha and I won’t go into another rant on Brandon Sanderson but seeing how many writers wonderful writers out. There are suggesting. Topics like that just reinforces for me that someone being flip about making a joke about people not being able to create during the pandemic is just that much more annoying.

And if you don’t know what I’m talking about you would have to go find that podcast because I’m not going to renew my rant I have other things to rant about. Thank you? Ah, but no I’m feeling good today I’m dancing around seeing the bobcats feeling pretty good. Um, feeling like I’ve a lot to do. But theoretically it’s doable. Theoretically um, let’s see so oh I wanted to talk a little bit more I even made notes sticky notes. Yeah, to collect my thoughts collecting um I need like one of those waynes world moments blue do pu it’s not a flashback. It’s me collecting my thoughts. So. I talked quite a bit yesterday about um about the Jack Williamson lectureship and how much fun it was one of the things that I don’t think I really touched on I sort of did tangentially. But I wanted to come back to it to talk about what makes panels at conferences. Really fun for for the participants for the writers I think that it’s um, there is something indescribably wonderful. About being able to have conversations with other writers in a way that we don’t on our own so this is something for all of you readers or aspiring writers out there for when you go to conferences and you feel like. You you don’t want to ask the stupid question you know and people always excuse it. You know they’re like oh well can I ask a stupid question and and I really do strongly believe there’s no such thing as a stupid question I think that’s just people being snotty who say that there are. Because how do you get your question answered unless you ask it and and yes I have known people who are like you should go out and do the research yourself and they totally make that face and they use that voice. You should go out and do the research yourself and. Discover the answer to the question my idrate which like do you even know how they found out they like happened to stumble upon it. We did get a question at 1 of the panels somebody asking us about research and what was our you know did we prefer to ask people or.

You know Google or look stuff up and I was totally on the side of I want to ask people because you know until we get better ai the human brain is able to drill down to answer exactly the thing that you want and dorendda was talking about. Um. Doing research for her sunshine books and you know like talking to sheriffs and they would say well this is how it would go down and she’s like yeah yeah, yeah, but I can’t have it go down that way because it won’t work with the story I want it to do this How can how can I make it do this and still be kind of close to real life That’s what you need people for um, asking questions of other people is a wonderful way to get information and especially when you have the opportunity to ask other creators or ask authors you admire or what have you. To answer a question that you might have you know that’s wonderful and and it prompts us to think about things in ways that we don’t normally think about you forget what people don’t know first of all and. The conversations that we have just listening to how other writers answer the same question is I don’t even know I don’t have the words. Ah, it’s um, transcendent is that too strong of a word. It’s just really so stimulating and it refills the well and it just makes me feel good and there I so I’m just gonna come down on this full stop. You guys doing a panel in a room full of. Living breathing human beings with other living breathing human beings is just a thousand times better than the online panels. Um, and I know I’ve complained about this before but you know doing those online panels. Where you’re just looking at the other panelists and you don’t have any sense of the audience at all, you can’t see who’s asking questions. You don’t have that that energy in the room. It’s a real thing you guys if we have learned nothing else from this whole Zoomtastrophe there I Coined the word. It’s probably a terrible word. It won’t last stop trying to make fetch happen if we learned to anything from this whole Zoomtastrophe. It’s that that Zoom interaction doesn’t um replace human interaction.

So I just wanted to emphasize that how great it is if you were putting together a conference if you’re attending a conference being on a panel with other writers who have interesting things to say is um is the best. it’s awesome and it’s it’s always been. From the very beginning of my writing career. 1 of my favorite things and it continues to be 1 of my favorite things. There is something about that about that conversation about having observing how other people make things happen. That is endlessly fascinating David and I have been watching. Let me get the exact title. So it’s called winning time the rise of the lakers dynasty and I will link to it in the show notes. It’s on Hbo Max which is I think funny. It’s like the only Hbo there is now but like they had Hbo and then they added Hbo Max and I don’t know if I was like not the only one who was really pissed that they wanted me to pay for 2 channels but they merged them so it’s called Hbo Max now but it’s um, Hbo right so it’s um a series on Hbo Max sorry I already told you that and it’s ah about. Exactly what the title says it takes place in like starting in 79 I think with the purchase of the lakequors by a businessman I’d never heard of but who used to live in Kemmerer Wyoming of all places um, played by John C Riley who’s amazing Jason Segel is in it and it’s about how they sort of I so much stuff I didn’t know even though I lived through this era about like that and Mba best ball was not bringing in the money. It wasn’t popular. They I don’t know if I can even discre. You know they’re talking about Magic Johnson’s in it and Kareem Abdul Jabbar and they’re just talking about how they transformed this money pit into a moneymaking enterprise. And the creativity that went into it and I think that’s the kind of thing. It’s a good show for us because David likes basketball stuff. It’s very witty. That’s really cleverly done a lot of good people working on it like Jonah Hill

Say I could tell you like some of the John C Riley well he’s a star store I knows gent Jonah Hill Adam Mckay is like 1 of the directors some of these other names I don’t know people more savvy than I might. But it’s um, they’re they’re delving into the racism of the era in really interesting entertaining ways the development of I didn’t realize that the lakers were the one to create the whole. Um. The lakers girls the the sexy dancing girls as cheerleaders. it’s it’s just fabulous you guys and it’s I think endlessly inspiring to see how people do things how people created things and overcome things. And that comes back to listening to people talk on the panels and talk about one of my favorite questions to ask other authors is to talk about a time when they had to reinvent themselves because everybody has had it. It’s a treasure rich question because. Every single creator out there has had to reinvent andvent themselves and reinvent their career at some point and hearing what happened and why they had to do it. It’s um, really just ah so enriching stimulating. But. So this is I’m I’m sort of bouncing all over the place this morning dancing right? I won’t sing tempting though. It may be 1 of the gals I got to know at the lectureship is. Mary Ayala who is the Dean of arts and sciences at Eastern New Mexico University and she sat right by us at dinner that first night and she is um you know like my age Darynda’s age and. Super smart I mean obviously she has to be in order to be dean of a college and we just had a lot of fun talking and then the next day I saw her and she she stopped. We were walking from like 1 building to another and she was coming towards us and she stopped. Was walking with Dorinda and she stopped us and she said I just wanted to tell you guys how much fun I had talking to you last night. She said it was just like a breath of fresh air I think this is how we all felt that was just like we could finally take in some fresh air and talk to people. We didn’t already know.

In person. Ah and she was just she said I just feel so I woke up this morning just feeling tons lighter and feeling excited about things again and she even decided at that point she had been headed somewhere else. And she said you know what? I’m just gonna run this errand later I’m gonna come sit with you guys and talk some more It’s just delightful. So I know I’m sort of going in circles here. But I think we can’t underestimate the the stimulation that that kind of thing provides us and what. We can learn from other people and from what they’ve struggled to create and do so and I know I had another oh I also finished watching last night severance you guys been watching severance this is on Apple um. So yeah, it’s on Apple Tv and if you um, if you couldn’t watch Ted Lasso mother then you can’t watch this but I don’t know that you and would like it anyway, it’s dark. It’s very dark and unsettling. In fact, we watched I don’t know 1 or 2 episodes and David bailed on it because he said this is kind of depressing. He’s more sensitive to depressing stuff these days and I was like yeah it is kind of depressing but it was also fucking fascinating. It’s Adam Scott and directed by Ben Stiller of all people then Ben Stiller who is like coming back to dark in his old age David was telling me that Ben Stiller when he was in like film school. Ah. Got kicked out of class for writing a screenplay that the professor said was so unsettling that they wouldn’t show it to anyone so now like maybe he’s sort of coming into his own. This is also cool, right? You know where people are in their careers and you kind of get to that fucket point of your career sorry I should have like warned people that this is the 4 letter. Word episode but it’s on Rand here at first cup of coffee right? You reach this point in your career where you just want to do the stuff you want to do and and and you don’t care if anybody else thinks that you should be doing it or wanting you to go back to doing zoolander or whatever. Ah. So severance. The premise is that people have a chip embedded in their brains that divides their memory so that when they’re out living their lives. They don’t know what their work is.

And then when they go to work they ride in an elevator and this circuit they make it be like little sounds which they then use to really good effect later for disconnects with reality. But then it clicks out and it blocks out all their memories of who they are outside that place. And they are only awake and alert in their office world so that it’s it’s the ultimate work life separation right? and which is how it’s built. But then it’s it’s creepy because the people who live inside the office building. Who only have their lives as workers they that’s all they have right? They don’t know anything else and this affects them profoundly and so the the final episode of the first season came out last week and i. Wasn’t able to watch it because I was out of town but I watched it last night and David was cooking dinner and we sort of have that open plan open to the kitchen there at the pass crew and he was like why do they keep playing that really ominous creepy music. And I’m like because there are ominous and fucking creepy things happening. Um I was I did not expect the revelations in that final episode I knew that there were going to be questions answered and i. Of course not all not all completely answered. There is a season 2 but you know there’s a lot of times with shows like this where they set out with this premise that creates a lot of mystery and paradox and you really want to know the answers. And then by the end they fail to satisfy that it’s like they. They’re really good at setting up the question but not so good at the answer and this final episode was just amazing. Ah yeah, so we could talk about severance. So let’s see. Um I think I’ll call that good I’m thinking about setting up a Discord channel for conversations where we can have like spoiler conversations about books and stuff maybe through a Patreon or something let me know what you think about that and let’s see. Will talk to you all I’m flying out of town on Thursday but not till later in the morning. So yeah I think I’ll talk to you all on Thursday you all take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – April 11, 2022

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

First Cup of Coffee – April 8, 2022

Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee and with the fabulous Darynda Jones author of oh ah, you up the thing. Ah paranormal mystery. Young adult straight mystery yeah lots of things I tried to get her to do a trime for you guys and she was like I it it has to be like dy me do delivery. So I am here in. Fabulous portalis and at the home of Doinda Jones and she’s already started making it into a museum. You guys. So like when you tour where Doundda Jones lived and created her works There’s like the dog gates against the guest bedrooms and it’s just like visiting the sacred bedroom of Abraham Lincoln yeah and yes Jane Austen Jane ahusten there. You go here, you go um. And so I stopped at the hydration station on the way from the hotel and got my rather I said like grande-ish size but this feels very would you like I got an americano because it’s like because if I get an espresso. It’s like not enough to keep drinking right. This whole because Dorinda does a lot of the same ah intermittent fasting that I do so she understands we understand each other. Yes, we do so this has like you know enough that I could sit on that for a while and she had stevia for me and. And then a tiny tiny bit of c cream just to like cut that edge right? So what are you drinking? you have your I am also drinking americano but I have sugar you have sugar I actually picked sugar and and show them your fabulous cup. Winter so you have to describe it because some people are only on audio. Oh okay, so it is a very sparkly dairy sparkly travel mug with the winter soldier star that he has on his shoulder and then the back has the words. That the you could say to him that would control him that heck that he had to break they had to break and the in the so do we not dare say them out dare say them out loud but right you want to control him with yeah I mean who wouldn’t so dear listener Doinda has a thing.

Before Sebastian stands I do she stands I stands the same. Those things you didn’t need to know right? right? Probably feel my so and I’m trying to figure out why am I so much whiter than Torenda I mean am I that. We’re sort of sitting side by side and I feel like I look very white in this light. That’s very pale, pretty very pretty well. Well thank you so we’re doing the Jack Williamson lectureship and we went and did that thing last night. Listen to Connie Willis interview Walter John Williams and then went to dinner afterwards that was fun. Yeah, did you learn anything I learned a lot about Walter that I didn’t oh yeah and in his career this very interesting, very interesting. He’s he’s had a very long and. Up and down roller coaster career which it seems like all writers to right? right? Yeah yeah, but yes, it was very interesting and I also went to so Connie Willis’s daughter is a criminalist in San Jose California so I went to that yesterday afternoon and listened to her talk and that was. Ah I learned so much about her daily. You know what does a criminalist do and daily life and and the the stuff that they do in the lab and the different types of evidence. It was very cool. So are you gonna weave any of this into Absolutely yeah, you just don’t know how or where yet right? exactly she gave some really good tips on ways that they found criminals that you know that I have not seen there was 1 in particular that I have not seen in the book yet. So I’m like I’ll be using that. So can you share are you is it secret. It’s it’s well it involves a fitbit put it that way they use technology a lot phones fitbits anything. They can get their hands on and she said whatever you do it doesn’t matter if you delete it. It’s still gonna be in your phone so they have caught many a criminal. By getting their phones and restoring recovering deleted pictures and that sort of thing because so just because you you think it’s deleted. It’s not and computers are the same It’s never really gone. So it’s true that that’s like Facebook and Amazon and all of that they like.

Save everything forever. Yep yep, it’s there forever. So if you commit a crime don’t take pictures. Don’t take pictures and don’t wear your fitbit and don’t wear your and. Ah, ah and I want you guys to know I had to connect with Darynda’s wireless in order to do this podcast and you know how like there’s the joke out there where people say oh you should name your your wireless network like Fbi Surveillance fan so that you can like make your neighbors paranoid. Guess what during this wireless network is called but it is because you just couldn’t resist I couldn’t resist this is sunny I just found it. Funny. It’s been that for oh gosh probably 10 years and I won’t tell you were her wi-fi password just in case. But it’s on brand also so I feel like I have to level up to met to match like your level of being on brand my commitment your commitment to the brand. Ah.

So so what are you working on these days during actually let’s talk about I want I know you’re working on several things but let’s talk about your revisions on the third book the sunshine yes because I think a lot of people. You know, a lot of writers listens to the podcast as well as readers and but there’s always this perception speaking of like up and down and that kind of thing that like you know what is this your sixteenth published book. No, this will be 26 26 how did I lose track. Well, that’s because you’ve got the self post you I had the different stuff. Yeah, yeah, yeah, all the. And a young adult that was a long time ago. Oh I was a trilogy and yeah, so yeah, yeah, so so yeah, 26 books now and you’re working with your wonderful editor at St Martin’s but it’s been It hasn’t been a path strewn with rose petals. No, but. So. It’s so funny because I got very used to my first editor was Jennifer Inerlin who is now the president of St Martin’s and she’s busy and she’s busy and so I went to another editor so I got used to Jennifer’s editing style and she had a certain way and she would just write. She wouldn’t do line edits. She would write me up. An editorial letter and you know we were good and it’s kind of like a marriage. Yeah, you get really in sync with a particular view. So and and so I was very used to that then I went to another editor for 1 book and I wasn’t edited at all and I was like no. I’m not no book is perfect I mean they just isn’t I don’t care who you are your book’s not perfect and so I you know voiced my concerns to my agent and so she taught to Jennifer and now I have ah another editor and I’ve had her for 3 books now Alexander Seahlster and she’s amazing. Um, but we do there are things that she thinks of that I just wouldn’t think of and and it’s very interesting. It’s been very interesting and things. Like word choices that I wouldn’t have thought of like I couldn’t use should I say this is it okay to say I think it is because and because it’s interesting how and and yesterday I talked a whole lot oop sorry I thought I muted to my mother um hi mom. Ah now you know what? a. Whenever I’m saying oh there’s my mother awake and texting me. Okay there we go um and now I lost my train of thought so what’s oh because I was talking yesterday about being generation x right? and you know and things change and you try to be good about being aware and not becoming.

That grandfather where everyone says you know in my day my day I know what we called it and it’s like well yes grandpa is a racist but you know that was the time he grew up and you don’t want to be that person right? But at the same time stuff changes rapidly you know and like what feels like. An okay word to use even a year or two ago is now people are like oh wait a minute. Yeah you so use it and so I was really surprised at 2 of the words that she took out and I didn’t even tell you my bizarre story about writer coffee. So okay, so she had me take off thug and hoodlum. Hoodlum I got because that’s clearly hood. You know racist that sort of thing but thug I was like why thug. So I go to writer’s coffee last Saturday and lo and behold what are they talking about. Thugs the word thug which comes from faugy. Yes, yeah I did not know this at all I didn’t bring it up I thought I thought this is a sign from god ah god are you listening or you know like or the technology on your smart. This is true. Yes, it. It’s all out there and. Yeah, and how it came as ah, the british used said as propaganda against indian gods and nice or East India yeah yeah and yeah I didn’t even know that I was like oh well, no I get it and all those. Yeah, although still, it’s um, you know some of these words are so old and I don’t know but you know’s you you don’t want to hurt anybody. So it’s good to learn these things and take them out but then it’s like um, you know trying to lense these things from your vocabulary can just be just very interesting experience. Yes, so I so I have to tell you guys that duringda’s table has cup holders. You see this I can like set this into the the little cup holder. You would think that’s what it is. You know what? it actually is. It’s this is like for gaming or something that this is poker. It is for those little. Ashtrays all way back in the day they would put these little disgusting likes and clearly we don’t have them but we do have the the poker and I was noting that I was fidgeting with this that the poker things. I just thought it was a really pretty table. We used to have game night. We didn’t we never played poker but we used to do game night. So it’s it’s a beautiful table I mean do you know what what it this no I don’t I think it’s all fake. It was not that expense really I don’t know this looks um that has very nice woodgraen. Yeah.

It’s pretty though I just thought it was pretty. It is pretty. It is pretty and it has cup holders. I mean it’s kept up seriously yes, according to my grandkids those are cup holders too. So okay, though that that’s probably says a lot about my mental age right? There? No I actually when I bought it I thought they were cup holders. Did you all I did and then somebody told you yeah somebody was like no those were for those little extras. Oh learning every day learn stuff every day. Okay, so so you ended up having to take words out and then it’s just you know revising people often ask about the process of revising this and so. How would you describe your process I should have tried to ask it with a straight face joined that jones how do you describe your revision process. Ah gosh I I don’t know I just go through the notes and so Alex my new editor she does line edits as well as some editoria. And editorial letter and so I just did the line edits first and went through everything and tried to fix everything and again things that I wouldn’t even have thought of and um and then went to the letter and. What’s my process I don’t know I was curious. Do you like begin at the beginning of the book or do you well with the line edits I do right? just go straight through those try to get those done as much as possible. Um, and i. For the most part I try to accept everything because I figure. Well if it just threw her out of the story or whatever. Um, every once in a while I’ll be like I’m gonna keep that you know instead to fight for your joke. yeah yeah I do fight for my choice because that’s a thing. Like like I have a lot of jokes and and she will take out some and you were known for for your humor. Yeah, and so and every once in a while I’ll be like oh I got to put that one back in I’m sorry sorry I just like it. You can’t kill that darling kill that darling. But. Um, yeah, and and it’s funny. We were talking about how editors um you know like they’ll be reading something and maybe they have to go off and do something else or go to a meeting or they go have lunch or they you know sleep get a phone call or get a phone call. Whatever and they come back to it and it’s kind of like It’s almost like they kind of forgot what was going on to force and because sometimes the the notes will be really out of the blue and you’re like what Linda come I always wanted that when and sometimes like beta readers will do that too because they’ll be like well but you never said.

You know, like why he had the thing or something where did the thing come from and you’re and go back and you’re like here it is on page 10 right? where I say why he has the thing. Yes, yeah, it’s like maybe they just and and you look at it and you think well do I need to add to it. Do I need to explain? yes. Here’s why he has yeah to make it more sadly address something to get be a attention. Yeah, exactly? Yeah, but but sometimes you know it can be hard I I try to tell people this that it can be a real challenge to. No matter where you are in your career knowing which critique to take right and we were talking about this sum to last night about people telling you how to fix it? Yes, so a lot of times it’s like an editor or a beta reader whenever they’ll know something’s wrong not quite right not necessarily wrong but not quite right something didn’t hit him and then they might offer a way to fix it but a lot of times that’s that doesn’t fix it. That’s it’s that’s not the right way to do it. So you’ll like go back and you’ll think oh, but if I add this line to paragraphs before then that makes more sense so you you have to figure out the best way to fix it. It’s like they know something’s not quite right, but they don’t know what and sometimes they can’t even describe it right? right? right? because they’ll say well I just. Don’t sympathize with this character you know and and I think it’s because because he his hair is the wrong color. Yep, that’s that’s like a stupid example, but and you’re like no no no I know it’s not the hair color that’s bothering you but something is making you feel unsympathetic. Yes, yeah. Yeah, exactly exactly it’s so it’s like this detective exactly you have to really and that’s why to me revisions take so long because you have to sit there and kind of think about. Okay, what is the real problem here. You have to try to get in your reader’s head or whatever and try to figure out that’s that’s one of the hardest parts isn’t it to try to. Because you have the book up here right? and so you know exactly and it’s like how do I get it to what they know exactly and then even then you know readers make things their own right? right? Oh absolutely It’s it’s always um, interesting to see how some. Readers interpret the books right? Yeah I talked some in you and I chatted some about um Jennifer L. Armintrout’s most recent book and the whole kerfuffle around that you know and all of those readers saying that you know they were upset about.

I don’t even know what it was but like something did we talk about this. Maybe it was what someone else did you? you know like this one that just came out in her. It was like the war of 2 queens. Oh so yeah, no, we didn’t talk about that. no I was thinking yeah yeah did you follow that at all no oh well no onefuffle oh yeah well all of these readers or some readers. Some very loud voice readers unlike book talk got very very upset saying that I don’t know it had something to do with like that there was some kind of emotional infidelity and they were really upset with her and calling it the deal breaker and and Jennifer said in like 1 of her reader groups that they were reading it wrong. And and they got very upset. You know you can’t tell me how to read and all this which true. Yes, yes, but then some other people who read the book said but actually they were reading it wrong. But so it’s like interesting. Yeah, interesting. But I mean that is a thing you just can’t it I mean do you think there is a thing where readers are rating it wrong because you can go both ways on this. Well it but also to me if there’s more than you know. more than 1 person. yeah more than 1 person got this impression. Yeah, then I don’t I don’t can you read a book wrong I mean certainly we get like reviews where people like get actual details wrong right? You know like exactly the names. Yes, or. Or they’ll say things like you know I hated the part where she killed the dog and you’re like but actually she didn’t kill the dog but that is absolutely yeah, something went wrong. There. There was some discondent but but yeah, readers. And and it’s interesting if you go back and read something that you read a long time ago. Have you done that? yeah and you know like something you read when you were like a teenager or oh yeah, any say anything leaked to mind and done that well ah I hate talking bad. So. I am you can fudge the details. Okay, okay, well, okay, we’ll do that so I am a huge very particular vampire series fan. Well, that was absolutely huge. Um and I remember when I read the first one I read the first one on it. First came out and I left it I loved everything about it and and for the most part and everybody kept talking about how badly written it was and this is the book I think it is to start with a t yes, that’s okay and they kept talking about how badly written it was and I was like really.

Well and I was still new I was still writing I wasn’t published yet or anything and I didn’t get it and so you know now after having I think it was probably about two years ago I decided to reread it and I was like wow it. It really is better. still a good book. you know it was still a good book it was an enthralling book. Yes, and I still loved it and I still love it and I love her and I love what she did. Um, you know I she got hundreds of thousands of teenagers to read. Yes, who then became our readers. Yes, yes, yes, who had never read a book in their lives. I met many of them and then went on to love all things jealousy. Yes yes, so we are. That’s interesting because I have not gone back and read that but I I was really floored I had a very difficult time getting into it again and um, yeah. And well you had’t told me that yeah and I was like I feel bad I mean I a lot of people say there aren’t there’s books are not badly written right? and I I have set that I’ve said that on record on as well yes yeah well that I said that people do not read 800 pages of. Bad writing right? So it’s it’s not actual bad writing it’s something else. Yes, it’s um, that it doesn’t fit a particular aesthetic or style yeah style. Yeah, so what? So what was. What what about it? Would you say was badly written I would hit you wrong because now you’ve got this editor brain. Yeah exactly and I just it feel like it was written which this was her first published book right? and it was the first book who among us would not go back. Right? change. Absolutely our first publish but it was a first book. You know? And yeah, yeah, I just would you change things in your first post oh absolutely yeah oh I would change so much I can’t even yeah I I never read my books. I would change stomachma I cringe I’ve I’ve thought about that and I don’t know if you and I have talked about it but you know like my first published book was or you like full novel was rogues pawn. The first fantasy romance and covenant at thornance that Carina did and we’re trying to get rights back now and so now I’m wrestling with that. It’s like if I get my rights back and I self-publish it do I do you want to go back through it. You know because part of me really does yeah, but also I think it might be such a gargantuan effort right? that we.

It’s not worth that you and and put that kind of time into it when you could be yeah when I could write new things. Yes, producing new work. Yeah, yeah, exactly I don’t know would you? Oh that’s such a good question if I got the rights back to first grave first grave I would change little things little things like word choice. Yes, word choices I feel like Charlie I was trying to in that first book I feel like I tried too hard because and and in some ways you’ve talked about and I’m interrupting you. You’ve talked about that like in the early days you would go in and layer in the humor. Yes, in a way that you now just do as an organic part of the writing exact. But then it was much more deliberate. Yes, like joke deliberate. Yeah and I was trying to write funny beef people kept telling me that I write funny. So I thought okay well I’m gonna do this I’m gonna you know work I’m gonna write funny god god damn funny on purpose. I wasn’t doing it on her and um, yeah I I and I feel like I just I tried too hard and I overdid it and I and Charlie comes across to me, especially early in the book. It’s very unsympathetic because she’s um. When you write humor. You can’t be little. You can’t belitle other people and I don’t know because then it just becomes cruel. It’s Chris cruel. Yeah and I don’t know that she was necessarily doing that but it it almost is that’s on that edge there to where it was just a bit much and I would change that. I would I think I would go back and change it I haven’t looked at that book of mine I take that there’s a lot of problems with it structurally yes, see that would be way more massive a bigger undertaking and I don’t know that I would do that I saw. Somebody recently recently like last year or something like that reading it because this is part of it is like when people discover your work now they go back and the like back less them. Yes, bless you? you? Yes, thank you but they go and read your entire backlist and I I kind of cringe because I’m like. Go all the way back exactly? Um, but I saw somebody like you know, showed up in my tweet search. You know where they mentioned it. They didn’t tag me it. It was totally my fault that I looked but they were talking about oh reading coil thorns by Jobby Kennedy so excited and then. But she was talking about how it like she got whiplash going back and forth between the whimsy and the horrific aspects of it and it’s like I think I didn’t balance it well I didn’t know what I was doing right? right? right? So learning and yeah.

And I I wanted those things in it. But I think yeah, it’s um, it’s that refinement it’s getting the blend right and right now yeah so yeah, absolutely so that’s probably enough time. Do you have anything else. You want to say no. No nothing to say nothing and we’re gonna try get a little work done before we go off to the readings I already got some writing done this did you? Yes, it’s you I know such a good I makes you look bad. Well 1 thing that Walter was saying last night when Condy was asking him about. You know process someone does he write and all of this and he’s like that he writes like 500 words a day and does it like at 1 in the morning and he just works for a couple hours and otherwise he pretty much like naps and naps and eats and and eats and I was like how do I get this writer’s life. She asked what his favorite part of being a writer was and he said the hours and it was like this does not match my life but I but doesn’t match your why I just’s like what we’re doing it fucking wrong. We’re doing very wrong, very very wrong. Walter’s got the right idea I guess he also has like. The enormous backlist and is as his riches that he lives off. Yes, yeah, still where we have to figure this out. Yeah, we’re to work on that with all right? So we’re gonna go work on that. Um, lovely seeing you all I forgot to say that it was Friday we forgot to do the chair dance. I didn’t even say what the date was so let’s do it now today is April Eighth and it is you’re gonna say it with me do the chair dance. What is thisjule. It’s Friday it’s like Friday they ah so you are the wonderful weekend. And I will talk to you all on Monday yall take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – April 7, 2022

Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Ah, wonderful suck that puppy down That’s what she said is what she said today is Thursday April Seventh Twenty Twenty two and back in my home temporarily anyway, heading out this afternoon. So sorry that I did not do a podcast Tuesday or Wednesday my mother already gave me the heavy sigh of disappointment. But I was kind of impressed I did one from the hotel on Monday I also got my 2000 words from the hotel on Monday so that felt like a real win. Um, that was kind of followed by then successive of not wins. But oh it wasn’t so bad. Um, we had a really nice time I had a wonderful body treatment Monday afternoon my skin is soft again I told the girl who gave me the body scrab and herbal wrap that I needed to be de-lizarded and. Afterwards she said you know you had a lot of dead skin on your arms and I’m like I know ah this is why I’m telling you why can’t we do this at home I don’t understand why I don’t have an effective way to do this at home I do try those body scrubs and stuff and. Doesn’t do the same thing anyway. so ah yeah so that was great. We had a wonderful time. We decided Tuesday morning just to get up and go um which is usually. But we want to do we. We don’t like hanging out in the morning’s delaying. We’d rather just get on the road and go so that’s what I did um, we probably let the hotel by about 7 um the upshot was is I did not get. Podcast done on Tuesday I did not get words done I um, we got home now about a quarter to 2 something like that and then um, the cleaning ladies arrived which is just always chaotic.

And and I dealt with business stuff. There was SFWA stuff that it piled up. It’s I knew I talk about this lot a lot but it’s just amazing to me how many people. Um, if you don’t respond to their email within a day or two that they just like. Have have fits and they send you additional emails saying did you get my email and they that I had 1 person saying something well since there’s been radio silence I want to move ahead with this decision and I’m just going to make this decision and it’s like. I’m offline for two days and it’s radio silence I don’t think so I saw an interesting thread yesterday that I shared on Twitter this guy talking about the characteristics of gen x and you know it’s. Funny being part of gen x and I’m on the the older end of gen x and you know for a long time. We thought we weren’t really gen x that we were generation jones but that got lost. Um, you know so okay, fine gen x. Whatever. But I sure do share a lot of characteristics with Nx and they were talking about one of the things this guy was coming at it. He gives them business advice dealing with colleagues and so forth and a lot of it was really decent advice. But 1 thing that he mentioned is he said you know gen x is often forgotten that we are 20% of the population and he talked about how gen x grew up in a time when. Institutions failed us and that we are very cynical about institutions and it’s funny because I always thought that I was just naturally cynical about institutions that this was like something inherently me. But apparently it’s generational. But he was talking about that. A lot of the people in your organization who are probably head down and getting the work done ah are probably generation x and there were it was interesting. In fact, let me share with you hold on. So I know I don’t have to tell you guys to hold on when I pause I know we’ve been over this but here we are okay so this is interesting because he says these 42 to 57 year olds are so strange it presents golden opportunities here are 10 mind hacks to use with gen x and then he.

Comments at the end of this. Let me go down. Um, he says hilarious how every gen x reply was I was skeptical at first and I don’t like the words mind hack because that’s what institutions do It’s just funny. Um and he says that not everybody is like this of course. But gen x prefers to do it their way and don’t want to sweat the rules I’m so much you guys I oh isn’t that like what I talk about all the time on here is like just. Don’t sweat the rules just get it done. Um I’m trying to keep looking into the camera. Oh I know I could blow this up big – zoom is your friend Jeffe here we go. Um. Ah, this one I don’t get right? They say he says acknowledge gen x as emails quickly they will love you. Um, they grew up in a time when institutions weren’t to be trusted so well and so here we are allow gen x a balanced life. Gen x grew up with workaholic boomer parents seeing that gen x thinks work is part of life. But not why they live give them data genx says tell me how it is and cuts out the fluff for generations like millennials. This is hard because millennials want the ship. Sandwich for feedback and I’m not good at giving the shit sandwich feedback he he shares this great graphic which you know talking about gen x feeling forgotten which shows like the generation guidelines on they have the silent generation baby boomers millennials post millennials. So they like literally left out generation. Ah, which ah we’re all just in back going? Yeah, we know? of course they did um first generation not to do as well financially as their parents are their kids. Um. And so he has like doing these things with generation x say do it your way use. Well-w writtentten emails. He says that we grew up with grammar and we don’t like the shorthand of texts which I don’t I never like put you instead of y o you say I got it. Focus on the mission with them allow life balance bond as people but I mean isn’t that a thing ah be direct acknowledge that they exist expect pessimism expect work work life celebration. Ah my friend Kelly Robson

That’s the one who retweeted that into my timeline and she commented that she wonders how much of this just general enough to ring true like a horoscope which maybe but I don’t know and it was interesting Anyway I do feel some of those memes. Ah, the Generation X means when like the bloom the boomers and the millennials are fighting and the millennials are doing the whole okay boomer thing at its the as 20% Generation X are just sitting back with our glass of wine going. Okay. I’m just gonna enjoy my wine.

Okay, actually found the meme I wanted so I will put that on the post. So anyway, back to the ostensible topic of this podcast. Ah but you know here at first cup of copy. We talk about anything. Would say anything you guys want to, but it’s what I want to which is probably a very generation x thing. So yesterday yesterday was just busy. You know 1 thing about being a an author. And I think this is you know, but bla not being articulate, um, especially self-publishing is you wear a lot of different hats and so yesterday I was supposed to post my blog to the SFF 7 blog. Um I was tired. I ah had to kind of stomach upset Tuesday night and didn’t sleep all that well slept too long Wednesday morning and I’d been thinking about doing a podcast and so that was the first thing that went sorry mom. Ah, but then I didn’t end up getting the blog post done. Ever yesterday. Um, and I didn’t get that many words I was just a little creaky I got 1247 words yesterday which kept me on track anyway and then i. Had other things that I had to do because obviously being president of Sawa comes with certain obligations I had to go sit in on the author’s coalition call to discuss an issue with them that has come up with our members and that was at 11 my time which cuts into my writing time I almost never accept meetings during my writing time and all of these people were clearly um, much more used to having long meetings than I am I am very much the could this meeting have been an email kind of gal. And I’m also a let’s move this meeting alone and the people on this call spent a lot of time talking very slowly and thoughtfully about things which was great but at the same time I was thinking I need to get off this call and then because I’d ask to be put on the agenda I was at the end. In fact, i. Really very much considered just popping in at the end and skipping ah the risk. But then I thought well that would be rude since I’m coming in asking these people for help. So but it’s funny because I’m heading out this afternoon to go to the Jack Williamson lectureship and.

1 of the the first official events is going to be Walter John Williams in conversation with Connie Willis 2 2 wonderful greats talking about Walter’s career and I’ve heard walter talk about his career before and this is at Eastern New Mexico University so this can be great for the students and everything and. And there’s a dinner afterwards. So his thing starts at five thirty and I like really really wanted to get there at like six fifteen so I didn’t have to so I could leave here later and sort of waltz in and not listen to the rest of Walter talking about his career again. It’s not that I don’t. Like Walter I think he’s a great guy but that this is how I am and and I was talking with Darynda Jones because she lives in portalis where this is going on and we were talked about scheduling and I’m like sorry you going to this thing and she’s like well yeah i. I thought I would to be nice to be supportive and I’m like oh is that a thing I was so awful you guys so reader I am going to these things to be nice because dorda is making me. So anyway I had to be in on this call I finished the call came off got another hour of words and then I had to spend an hour I successfully got another SFWA meeting canceled. So go me. But. then you know so then I was like going through emails and dealing with stuff these emails that people were annoyed that I hadn’t answered. Um you know it’s funny. This is probably like another tangent but I got an email from an unnamed person whose famous author parent died. Some time ago and they wanted to know about having that parent named SFWA Grandmaster and that it had been explained to them that it is sefwas policy longstanding policy not to name dead people grandmasters and there are a number of reasons for this. Partly because it’s the intent behind grandmaster to have them interact with the community and be you know, share their wisdom and so forth. It. Also um, we have lots of living authors to celebrate and if we start. Going back and celebrating the dead ones you can imagine I mean it’s just going to create a backlog. Um, we also don’t take away grand masteror because that’s so fraught so this.

This person wrote to me and it was perfectly fine. You know, write me an email and say I understand this is policy I’d like to see it change for my parent my deceased parent and everyone will appreciate it and it’s like well we’re probably not going to change this policy because of the aforementioned reasons. But then there may be some ah something else. We could do so I was going to investigate that and then this person sent another email the next day reiterating same but sent it to the entire board and say well I emailed Jeffe Kennedy yesterday but I’ve not received a reply and so now I’m emailing. Everyone looks like really. Anyway, so I then spent an hour on the phone with a cover artist because I’ve been doing this rebranding for the Sorcerous Moons’s covers which have not been up for sales since like November because I’ve been doing this cover rebranding and. She um, did an amazing amazing first cover and then the second cover is I mean it’s taken a long time shit like she couldn’t do it December because of life and all of these things going on and then. She said can we get this done in January instead you know, thank you for being understanding. You know it was moving and her grandmother was sick and all of these things and anyway now it’s April and we still have only 1 cover you should disappear in the middle of March. And this series is one that I sold to Scribd for audiobook conversion and so they want the rebranded covers so they’re like where are these covers. That’s how they their emails say they come across from that voice where are these covers. No, they don’t. They’re very nice. They’re very patient but they do want these covers and so I this gal had not come back to me for two weeks and I sent her a couple of emails saying we have to get this done. She didn’t reply so I opened a Paypal dispute and so then. 1 of the things I found when I got back Tuesday was she did reply and she’s like she family and had taken her to Mexico because she was so stressed and all of this and anyway so ended up the easiest thing for me is to ever finish it and she does great work. And I I’d like started to line up other people but there are these intricacies of dealing with covers that if you don’t have the layers file which is a Psd file a photoshop type file for that first cover. It’s very difficult for another artist to go in and and.

Replicate because they can’t see exactly how they created the effects they kept you know they’re like do you know what font used and like no I don’t know what font she used. It’s it’s remarkably arcane and and I get it. This is not made up stuff because I hear this from different cover artists when they’re. Trying to replicate what someone else did or at least match the style. So. It’s definitely to my advantage to to get this gal to do it and so I’d suggest I said maybe we should just set up a Zoom call so we could. Just talk through because I could tell we were not communicating well and because I would say things and emails that she would you know like apparently not have process so she said actually that would be amazing. So we spent over an hour on the Zoom yesterday afternoon. Thrashing through the design of the next 5 covers. So at least it’s done but it was like you know that’s a whole lot. You know I was sort of musing over all of the things that I spend my day on that aren’t actually putting words down on the page. So. The good news is is that these covers will be done in a week she and she was she was very sweet and she started out and and maybe I’m winding back around to this generation x thing I have no idea how old she is. She is not english is not her first language I think she is um I don’t know sure it it seems like eastern european type name and that might be the accent I’m not great with accents but it was amazing because she just shared her desktop. It was amazing watching her put this together on photoshop I mean she’s incredibly skilled and talented but she started out the calls apologizing. Get again, you know and saying how much she appreciated me being patient with her and how the last three months have been so difficult and all of this and it’s back to me. Having to force myself to be nice because I kind of want to just move past that. It’s like ga yeah yeah, whatever I appreciate that you’re sorry um I actually don’t need any more apologies I just want the work done which to me drives exactly with what he was saying in that thread about generation x right? as opposed to the. Shit sandwich that millennials want for those of you who don’t know what that means it means that you if you have negative feedback you you take the shit and then you sandwich it between nice stuff so you start out with like a compliment and tell them how great they are and then you give them the shit and then finish up with how great there and what’s going right.

Which I am not good at doing and but you know I I think I do tend to just cut to the data and it’s like thank you for the apology. Um all I care about is getting the stunt. Let’s just get it done So That’s definitely in line with that thread Right. Maybe not just general like a horoscope. So Anyway today I am didn’t try to get words done I’m not doing writer coffee they asked and I was like I’ve got to focus on work and then get out of here by about one and do the lectureship stuff tomorrow Morning. We are going to have a very special podcast I don’t want to over promise but the plan is for me to be broadcasting from the home of the Lovely Darynda Jones So we will do a joint video session and if you have questions if you have anything you want us to discuss. Yeah, it’s your opportunity. So I will talk to you all tomorrow and yeah otherwise um, hope things are going well in your lives and that you are juggling all of the balls. Ah big balls. That’s what she said you all take care Bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – March 24, 2022

Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Ah happy chair dance. Today is Thursday March Twenty Fourth only a week of March left and which means that the first quarter of 2022 is almost gone. How did this happen. We don’t know it’s a mystery. I always love that line in Shakespeare in love with the I can’t think of the afters name but the date owner where he’s like it’ll work out. People are like how how and he’s like I don’t know it just ah yeah, something like that that was probably bad. Ah. Not a brilliant anecdote. There’s another movie quote from you for you. Ah, so my week is going well the ah 2000 words a day is working remarkably well um, I’m yeah on track so far this week we’ll see what happens yesterday Darynda proposed a slight change to our um. Morning routine. So we’re starting at Eight o’clock this morning well almost eight o’clock I there eight o’clock was the plan and then I as you guys may or may not know I don’t set an alarm I wake up naturally which is like something that I cling to I don’t want to have to set an alarm. Now that I’m a full-time writer. It’s like the one gift I give myself. It’s a a special thing for me that I get to wake up naturally otherwise I tend to be a real bitch of a boss so this morning for whatever reason it It’s very interesting if you do sleep on a natural calendar. You will find that and I’ve been doing this for what almost seven years now wow ah your sleep time or at least my sleep time waxes and wanes from night to night. Some nights are shorter and some are longer and last night was a longer night for whatever reason. Um, because as I recall I think I was in bed by like nine I usually I’d start turning into a pumpkin after about eight o’clock and of course the daylight savings time.

Has kind of messed that up. But you know my evenings are very low key and I start winding down early and I’m one of those people who falls asleep really fast. So I was asleep for a few hours and then my elderly cat Isabel beautiful fluffy Isabel. She doesn’t get as much press as Jackson does I’m not quite sure why maybe because Jackson was like the kitten and Jackson’s very charismatic and I think feel like Isabel does get short shrift because sometimes people will say well you know does because because. Visitors you know Jackson is so gregarious and so engaging and charismatic and everyone’s well people will say be like well does isabel do anything almost in those exact words you know like is there anything special about her Isabelle’s also a main coon cat and she is blue smoke. Min ku cap and I’ll put her photo on the show notes here. So and I realize I’m going off off topic but hey that’s the brand here at first cup of coffee. So last night. Isabel Isabel is now 16 and she sleeps a lot and she’s deaf and last night every once’s while she wakes up I don’t know if there are nightmares or I’ve tried to look it up and it’s like ah a kind of dementia in cats. Otherwise she doesn’t seem to have any kinds of dementia but she woke up and she was crying and crying. And she has this very loud meow now that she’s deaf and I was sound asleep. But for some reason that penetrated which very little does I’ve often joked or I don’t joke David says that the great thing that he brings to our relationship is that if the house burns down. During the night that he will carry me out of it and save my life because he thinks I’d sleep through it. So this penetrated and I got up and I didn’t know David wasn’t in bed. He’s often up at night. So I went blially out looking and. He like came out of the kitchen and I said where is she and he said I don’t know and she was back in his office and that was at Eleven Fifty five so I’ve been asleep for a few hours and so I picked her up and brought her in. Bed with me which she just doesn’t come do on her own anymore. She used to sleep with me every night but now she sleeps in his office which is the warmest room in the house and I think that’s why I’m interested to see if this changes as summer comes on but we have um, brick floors with radiant heat.

And I have the temperature in his office. David’s just I mean he’s skinny skinnier than I am and and he’s just ah, you know as he gets older. He gets colder so the warmth in his office come guest room is. Up there and Isabelle has this little throw rug that we’ve put down for her and it’s this one corner of the floor that she’s figured out is like where the radiant heat gathers. There’s certain places where the floors definitely warmer than others and the cats have found those in their feline way. So she. Spends a lot of time sleeping on that little rug in his office and but I brought her into bed with me since she seemed disturbed and she slept by my pillow for most of the night so that was nice because I know I woke up once around 4 and she was there and I went back to sleep. And normally if I go back to sleep like that it means another hour and a half and sometimes I’ll calculate it because it’s like far is a little early to get up but usually like another hour and a half and that’s right in line with you know, like scientific studies on sleep cycles that a full cycle is an hour and a half more or less. So but then I woke up at six thirty oops so um yeah we’re supposed to start at 8 it’s seven fifty seven now but we moved at tape 15 at my behest during it was ready because she said she wants to. To start and were earlier which is big because she originally for her meeting me at 9 was a lot for her and I had you guys know I track everything you know I was like well you know I’m usually starting by 9 we could just make it be 9 but for me writing wise the earlier I start the better off I am and I do have graphs to show that I get better work counts if I start earlier. So this works great for me. It’s just a little bit of adjustment. Especially after daylight savings time kicking in but it’ll be interesting to see how that works I’m going to keep doing the two k per day this week and then next week I might see if I can go up to 2.5 um, yeah, we’ll just sort of see I’m going to experiment a little bit I’m going to be curious. We have some travel coming up so that’s going to change things around some we are going to go up to Blackhack Colorado.

And meet up with David’s siblings for a couple of nights just a little get together and I’m going to do the It’s a it’s a casino hotel thing and I don’t really like and I’m like. But they do have a spa and I’m going to do I’ve been dying for a body scrub and they do a body scrub and wrap so very excited for that and then at on April Seventh and eighth I will be down in portalis. New Mexico fabulous Portales which is ah where Doronda Jones lives ah and it’s down right near the Texas panhandle but it’s where Jack Williamson famed science fiction writers from. And I’m going to be down there and doing some panels and stuff I believe they will also be streaming looks like some interesting panel topics too. There’s a new guy in charge this year David Sweeten who seems to be I haven’t met him in real life yet. But he seems to be just really on the ball I’m really smart and he thinks I’m a great writer so you know clearly he has excellent taste and discernment. So I’m looking forward to this last year I was on a weird panel that it’s it’s this happened. To me a lot and I think it might be the whole crossover fantasy romance um woman writer with kissing in her books is ity a is it really not fantasy confusion but there are certain conferences. Especially these very little ones where I think what happens is that the organizers don’t really this always sounds bad. They don’t know who I am ah and I think this can happen to any of us you know, like there are certain people that they know what they write. But what happens is is if you are a writer that like quivers doing programming hasn’t actually read if they don’t know much about you then they end up sort of sticking you on panels in weird places like I got put on a panel that. Like a great transgressor on this and I’ve complained about it before is mile highcon up in Denver which I like to go up there because I have family up there. Denver’s my hometown. A lot of people in the area I know.

I’d like Mile Hi Con but they always put me on these fucking weird panels like once they put me on a superhero panel. You honest like I don’t really write superheroes or not even really I don’t write superheroes at all and I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to say. And so last year with the old organizer on the Jack Williamson lectureship I got put on this panel on what was it was like writing science fiction or something. I wish I could remember the topic but it was really kind of strange I was like I do not know why I’m on this panel and the bad thing is is there are a couple of reasons for writers to do panels 1 is that it’s fun. Um, some of the. Most gratifying times that I’ve had as a writer is being on a panel with other wonderful writers where we end up having these amazing conversations. That’s the pinnacle because then you get a lot out of it being on the panel. So that’s good reason. Um. Reason that we do it is promo is to know, get ourselves out there um have people know who we are the other reason to do it is to be nice to you know, pay it forward contribute to the community. It’s like and I and a lot of writers view it that way. Because they’ll be like I don’t want to be on more than one panel for the conferences and I’m like really then why are you going? What are you doing there. They’re like oh it’s so exhausting. Really you know it’s like you know they’ll be like I’m on three panels cisconfer and. 1 every day and it’s exhausting like oh well, what do you do all day I know I’m bitching I just think about people who have jobs that you know like where they actually have to work really hard i. Well I will always say that being a writer is mentally draining and you really have to balance that creative flow and be smart about how you do it, especially if you’re a full-time writer or not even especially, it’s I think it’s worse if you’re trying to maintain another career and kids and family and all of that too. You know you really have to balance that energy but you know some of these writers I know for a fact have like never had a full-time job and you know there are jobs that you know like if you are working at it all day long. That’s all it’s a lot It’s.

Just you know a lot of running around in meetings and dealing with stuff and I will always say that the most the hardest job I ever had was being a cocktail waitress you know, full stop I am so glad that I don’t have to make my living as a cocktail waitress. Because waiting tables sucks you guys it sucks and it’s really hard and I know that people who haven’t done it sit back and be like well she goes a scurry back and forth between the kitchen. It’s like you have no idea absolutely no idea which is why I always tip well unless somebody really. Sponning it in anyway. So I’m sure I had a pointer in there somewhere I got interviewed on um, was it Tuesday afternoon yeah Tuesday afternoon by the kingdom of thirst podcast Abigail a great interviewer. We had so much fun I really enjoyed her podcast I should go ahead and link to it in here. So that. In fact, I’m going to type that in right now so that you guys can check it out but my old air. And a couple of weeks um kingdom of podcasts but she was talking about this podcast about first cup of coffee and just saying how. Relaxing. It is that it’s zen and I love that I love that it’s she said it’s just like having a conversation with your friend over coffee and it’s just like a nice chill thing to do and I love that I think that’s awesome. So. If I can’t think of stuff to stay say I feel like I can always fall back on the fact that that I’m just offering a zen experience here. Actually really, it’s more of a Dallas experience but we’re not going to to quibble lines there. So um, my point and I did have 1 oh that darinda and I are starting earlier. Um and maybe trying to get our 3 hours done by noon which is great and yesterday I was done by like 1130 and I got more stuff done on the to do list. You guys will be delighted to hear it i. Um, trying not to obsess about like getting everything off the list which I think is helpful. You know it’s that um, you’ll like the measureable goals. The ones that you can actually reach so but I got several things done off the list and so that’s great I got.

Bright Familiar uploaded, the audiobook. So just waiting for approval on that and then that will be out soon and other just little piddly things. Oh and so this is where I was had kind of started with all of this I did register for. World con in Chicago at the end of August beginning of September – Chicon. So I am planning to attend that and I also went ahead and registered for world fantasy con in November so planning to be at that and I will be at a polycon. In July so I need to get fact, let me make a note tear put this on my list I’ll get carene to put these appearances on the website.

So that’ll be good. So it’s like um, yeah for but but that’s the sound of the ah the world gradually sort of like revving up again. We’re kicking into gear. The other thing that happened yesterday is I got to. Email with an amazing writer someone who I particularly fangirl cut to exchange emails. You guys I can’t tell you what it is yet, but it’s very exciting, very exciting news. Not my career related but otherwise related. So. If you are canny. Your little brains will be thinking about what could this be? Ah yeah, so it was um yeah, particular little fan Girll moment there that I got to email with this writer from my myer. Who I admire I almost never use whom I just dislike whom I once had an editor my quiinsington editor had a special note saying this author hates whom don’t use it. So so yeah, it’ll be interesting to see how shaking it up here. A little bit will do and. Feeling good about things. So on that note I’m gonna go and meet up with the fabulous Darynda Jones and I will talk to you all tomorrow you take care bye bye.

A Year Ahead with Jeffe

This week at the SFF Seven we’re taking a look at the future! We’re asking: “What does your writing life look like for the upcoming year?” That includes book releases, WIP’s, retreats, cons, signings, etc.
I just had my annual planning call with my agent, Sarah Younger at NYLA, yesterday and my year ahead is looking pretty damn busy!
Book Releases
First release of 2022 is the audiobook of DARK WIZARD, Book #1 in Bonds of Magic. This is Baby’s First Self-Published Audiobook (TM) and I couldn’t be more delighted about it! Book #2, BRIGHT FAMILIAR, and Book #3, GREY MAGIC, will also be releasing in audiobook this year, probably in March for both. Whee!
Next up is GREY MAGIC, the current WIP, slated to be out February 28. After that, the long awaited finale, THE STORM PRINCESS AND THE RAVEN KING, Book #4 in Heirs of Magic, will be out in April (I hope!)
Those are my only slated releases at this point, but there’s lots more coming!
Does it count as a WIP if it’s out on submission? I have one of those out.
I’m going to finish a science fantasy I started two years ago. Super excited to get that out!
I may be doing a ghostwriting project 😀
I’d like to begin a new trilogy in the Bonds of Magic world.
I have a new shiny idea that I’d love to write, that Sarah is excited about too!
If this sounds like more than one person can humanly write, it probably is. Ever in motion is the future!
I don’t do retreats because I do my best writing at home.
I’ll be attending SFWA’s Nebula Conference in May!
Also the Jack Williamson Lectureship in April, Apollycon in July, maybe ChiCon in September and possibly World Fantasy Con in November.
Signings, etc.
Dependent on in-person events – cross our fingers!!


See Me at Flights of Foundry!

I’ve been head down finishing THE SORCERESS QUEEN AND THE PIRATE ROGUE. Look for the cover reveal coming a week from today! The book releases April 19, 2021. You can preorder through my website or at the links below 🙂


Anyway, I glanced up from this final revision and suddenly – tomorrow! – it’s April. That means conference season commences, even if it is all online this year still. Zoom fatigue is a thing. *sigh*

Still! That means I’m available online for your panel and workshop delectation. Look for me at Flights of Foundry the weekend of April 17-18, 2021. This online speculative fiction conference is FREE! (Donations are requested.) And there will be lots of awesome people speaking. Here’s my schedule:

My Speakers Sessions

Saturday, April 17

02:00 UTC

16:00 UTC

19:00 UTC

Sunday, April 18

21:00 UTC

I haven’t decided what I’m going to read yet, so if you have votes, let me know!
I’ll also be participating in the Jack Williamson Lectureship the following weekend, April 22-23, 2021, though I have no idea yet what the schedule will be.