First Cup of Coffee – May 2, 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.

00:12.73
jeffekennedy
Ah, so it’s been it’s been a thing ah I had a great weekend I kind of finished off with a bang. Oh I should say Monday today Monday bla blah blah it is monday. May second we are fully into the merry months of may which means um, sexy things for those of you who know we won’t get into it even though we are hardly Pg here at first cup of coffee. Yeah, whatever. Ah I did get this secret garden cleaned up if you’re on video you could say it’s looking much better I did not quite finish the vine behind me that needs yet to be done. Might be able to see that I have the hummingbird feeder up I’ve actually spotted hummingbirds. It was so nice to have them back again. Um, and everything is leafing out ah in cleaning up the yard yesterday. The garden I got a really. Nice surprise and I don’t know if I mentioned it here on the show last fall but I was looking back at old pictures of our garden and Laramie, Wyoming where we lived for 20 years and we had had this beautiful. Bleeding heart by the front door of the first house we bought together and it was in the shade east facing and it was gorgeous. It was like a couple feet tall and. I don’t know I might have seen 1 in someone else’s garden but it reminded me I was like oh I love that bleeding heart I wonder if I could grow out in Santa Fe was a little bit of background on this is I do love to garden you guys probably know that already. Although this was here when we bought the house. It is however changed over enough that I think I can start taking some credit for it. But um. Um, I yeah I’ve I’ve always really loved garden and in we had 2 different houses in Laramie where yeah, we really created some some knee gardening type stuff.

02:44.69
jeffekennedy
We put in ponds and waterfalls and my garden at 1 of them the first house with which had the great bleeding heart was actually on the town’s ah, garden tour one year which is not. Ah, fantastic accomplishment probably because um it was a small town but I was proud I was proud and and I put took flowers and plants to the garden show and won prizes so there you go my grandmother loved garden. And my mom says it skips a generation that’s her excuse. Although my mom loves to do potted plants and she’s amazing at design and I just splashed my coffee everywhere. That’s not good. It’s a Monday somebody has a kiss on the Mondays. So um, last fall I thought well oh I should this was the other bit of backstory is that when we moved to Santa Fe I thought oh it’s going to be so much easier to garden there because we always. Joked about gardening and laremie as being an exercise in building character because the environment is just really very harsh. It’s high altitude and it’s cold. A whole lot of the year we had a shorter growing season than Fairbanks Alaska that was great detail to share with visitors. Ah. 1 of my friends a poet had a ah a chapbook of poetry that was entitled hope in zone four because we were the zone 4 which was we were like teetering on the edge of zone 3 and maybe not. Not even that sometimes but that summed it up I thought that was a great title hope and zone for can’t remember her name right now you could probably look it up Alice oh well. So um. When we moved to Santa Fe I thought here is my chance I will be able to um garden without having to build so much character and it’s interesting because yes in some ways it’s easier. The growing seasons much longer. There’s the warmth of. Water becomes a big thing and it’s too hot for some things. But anyway last fall I thought huh I wonder if I could grow bleeding hearts here. So I got 3 bare root plants and I planted them at 3 different locations of the garden and yesterday and properly forgot about it. That’s 1 thing about gardening is.

05:32.78
jeffekennedy
Um, are there gardeners out there who like remember absolutely everything they plant. This is an interesting corollary to the fact that as a writer I consider myself to be a gardener. Um, and I totally don’t remember everything I plant until it grows it pops up. So yesterday as I was clinging things out I found a little bleeding heart and it was already starting to bloom it so I’ll put a photo off that because I know you’re dying to see and then I was like okay where did I plant the other ones and I found one other and right behind me and it’s also about to bloom and. The other one I think is hunted the crab Apple I’m gonna have to go look for it. Um, for a while I did have these markers like these copper markers that you could use a special pen to Mark things on um, it it didn’t last you know the garden doesn’t love. Having things really neatly laid out at least mine doesn’t um, one of my friends in Laramie who was also a writer and was also a gardener. We shared a great deal that way she said that she had read an interesting study on that people with. Really well ordered gardens tend to have have well-ordered gardens because they have more chaotic lives and people with really organized lives have more chaotic gardens um behold my chaotic garden. She always thought that was really funny that I was like I never know where I’ve planted things. And some things don’t come back I mean that’s the thing about Santa Fe um we things just don’t always over winter um rodents dryness sometimes it gets really cold but we had a lot of things over winter this year um so yeah. And the lilacs are starting to bloom. You probably can’t see it very well. But I’ll turn the video in case, you are on video. You could see that the lilacs are starting to pop so that’s cool. Um, so yeah I got that all finished by yesterday afternoon and. Showered off and was enjoying the grape arbor and got a call from my stepsister that my parents were in a car wreck. They’re both okay more or less okay totaled the car this kid going really really fast. Um. They were going through. They’d stopped his stop sign and we’re going through the intersection and my mom keeps calling the kid. We don’t know how old he is but he was going really fast and slammed into them spun them around stepdad had to stay the night in the hospital. Ah, he’s.

08:20.63
jeffekennedy
He’s generally okay, his blood pressure is high and my mom sent me pictures of the car and the air bags had gone off and on his so he was driving on his side. The blood is on the air bags. He got a big hemotoma on his arm and his leg and had to Lancet and. We’re having trouble stopping and bleeding and all of that so stay tuned. Um, my stepsster is funny because a couple of times that something like this has happened she calls me which she almost never calls me. We usually text she calls me and she says so if you talk to your mother. Lately yeah and the second time she’s asked me that and I know I laughed at her for it later because I and she said well I don’t know what you already know and I’m like yeah I know I understand why you’re asking it. It’s still funny because now I know if hope calls me and says have you talked to your mother that means that something has happened. So so that was our big thing. Um I talked to my mom this morning and she did get good sleep. So that’s something she’s was really shaken up and so we’ll just see how things go I asked her if she wants me to come to Tucson and she said not yet. So. Um, but if you’re listening to this mom I will a couple other things. This is just like back to our usual programming. Um I’ve started listening to poetry. This is a new thing. And it’s ah amazingly immensely gratifying and well refilling I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before so some of this came out of ah the rabbit hole of reading this biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning I think it’s funny because the transcript always makes browning lowercase I have to go in and fix it I don’t catch them all but they um obviously were poets and married to each other and it was fascinating. To read and there were some excerpts of their poetry but it mostly focused on them and talked about so like their works in context of what was going on in their lives at the time and their relationship and so forth. So after I finished the book which I think I finished on friday. Something like that I looked up a few of the poems because I wanted to see what? um you know, just get the context for it. Some of them I knew already some I did not I was of course familiar with how do I love thee, let me count the ways. Although I don’t know that I’d ever really.

11:09.61
jeffekennedy
Read the whole poem and paid attention to it. So as I was looking that up googling on my phone I got suggestions for hearing people read and so I’d I’d read the poem. Um, it’s it’s not called how do I love thee. But I can’t recall what it’s called right now but the actual title is and I listen to um, a famous actress Helen Mirren read it. And it was lovely hearing her reading it and then you know how it is when you start googling things I got the very helpful suggestion of did I want to hear my bestie Tom Hiddleston read me some poems and I thought that that one was going to be in it. But. It was um, it was not that was like a red herring on the keywords but still delightful and I listen to this 30 minute thing and I’ll I’ll try to remember to post it in the show notes because it’s well worth listening to It’s a collection of poems. Read by Tom Hiddleston who does a great job of reading. He’s got a lovely voice too and and it was some poems that I was familiar with from school and so forth and other ones that I was not and I was getting ready in and the morning you know like doing my skin care routine. And all of that. It’s a little breezy this morning you can kind of see my hairs flying around supposed to be Wendy today alas, which at least keeps the smoke off. We do have a fire up in the ymaz mountains which transcript will not get right up up near Los Alamos and Saturday are. Air was listed as unhealthy. So I just stayed in on Saturday but then fortunately wind shift to direction and it moved out so I was able to be out here on yesterday. So that was a positive. Um, what we’re saying oh the poems. So I was listening to these poems and just found it really stimulating and invigorating and I never thought of that as being a thing for refilling the well and when I was on http://poetry.org looking up some of these poems that pop ups and I reflexively close pop ups because I hate popups and I hate that we can’t stop them anymore but they did ask me if I wanted to receive a poem a day in the mail mail email and I you know like said no write as I was.

13:56.49
jeffekennedy
Reflexively closing their fucking pop up and now I kind of think maybe I do want that it would be interesting. 1 thing about poems is and you guys probably learned this in school too that they’re almost always better read aloud and I learned to read a poem. 3 times right? you read it through um just to get the poem in once and then you read it through much more carefully parsing it for sense and then a third time again faster and and one of those. And I’ll usually the last time read it out loud or is the first time even if I just get poems much better if I read them aloud so listening to other people read them is great and I one of the ones that Tom Hiddleston read was The Love Song of J Alfred Proofrock from which I recognized many many lines and I’m sure I had to have studied that at some point in school. But I’ve never paid that much attention to it and again this is something about you know what? we bring to to a work. Ah I never knew probably because I was. Ah, dense teenager when I first read that poem or studied it I think people may have done it for like poetry competition and speech and debate because I did do poetry one year I read um, an and Sexton Poem you do not do old black shoe. Now that I think I did it like way too dramatically with a blue star on my forehead anyway I’m sure people did j alfred proof of love song of but I never picked up on. All the reflections about growing older and how do you feel about love later in life. Um, and it was really enlightening and delightful and I recommend the listen my coffee got really cold. It must be chilly out here. Chilllier than I thought but we’re almost done. Um, so we watched another episode of winning time the LA lakers story last night and also another episode of Julia about Julia Child which I think I’ve also recommend enjoying both of those shows very very much in the episode last night there is this point at which they’re talking about how basketball is only a game and Jason Segel who plays Paul Westfield says you know why are we even doing this.

16:44.27
jeffekennedy
It’s only a game and the older man 1 of the team managers starts talking about when he was a young man and he says he graduated from high school on Monday married his sweetheart on Tuesday and shipped off to the navy on. Wednesday night so he has to be referring to world war two I would think and he says you know here they were a bunch of kids on this boat and the on like once a week they would stream a game baseball basketball football. Whatever and they would all. Watch this game and become totally involved in it and he said here they were in this life in death situation and it yes it was only a game but it was also this much needed distraction and and that really hit me because you know i. I’ve been disdainful of sports in the past and and a few of my friends have called me out on it and I think rightfully so because there there’s nothing wrong with being into sports any more than there’s anything wrong with being into romance. Ah it is. Not I don’t want to say it’s a distraction. It is something that allows us to look away a little bit from the very difficult things we’re dealing with and there’s. There’s just um I think there are people who want us to make want to make us feel that there’s something bad about that and there just isn’t apparently this woman and I don’t know who she was but she tweeted something a couple of weeks ago saying um, ah she. She even started saying I’m probably going to get in trouble with this for this which if you start your tweet saying that you should probably seriously rateconsider whether you really want to tweet it. But she said how can any of you be reading fiction at a time like this. We all need to be reading nonfiction so we can understand what’s going on. There are always these people in the world and apparently she later deleted the tweet after getting thoroughly shouted down but you know these people who. Think that you have to be totally focused on the brutal reality of the moment. Um, you, you don’t especially when you know we we now have the curse and blessing of being able to know all of these things that are going on around the world.

19:26.29
jeffekennedy
There isn’t an escape for from it unless you give yourself the escape and so my permission wand is inside but I shall wave it nonetheless in absentia ah, you do not have to watch the news. You do not have to read nonfiction to understand what’s going on. You can watch your sportsings games. You can read your escapist romances. You can listen to Tom Hitddleston read you poetry because all that you can control is right here right? Your your internal environment. So. You do what you need to do to create your own zone of happiness because then that gives you the the energy it refills that well and it enables you to go out there and then make changes in the world and on that note. I will talk to you all tomorrow take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – April 22, 2022




Transcript
00:00.89
jeffekennedy
Good morning, everyone! This is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Ah. Had to take an extra sip there today is they haven’t done this for a while say it with me: Friday! Whoo, um April Twenty second so it’s 4 twenty two 22 and it’s beautiful morning here. Crab Apple tree is in glorious bloom and I’m realizing. However. That I need something on my little arms because we’re go have wins again today but today and tomorrow shall be the last for the big wins and then we get nice again? Um, but I’m going to go grab a jacket I shall be right back there I put on a pink. To match the crab Apple but you probably can’t see all that well because of the rising sun but um and I grab my notes because I made notes today. Um I think I haven’t given a writing. Update. And a while I’m still working on The Storm Princess and the Raven King I am well past midpoint I’m closing in on scene 5 and I’m at um, little shy 55000 words I I think it’s going fine. It’s funny because lately ah, several people have asked me how the writing is going which I guess people must ask me all the time and I’m just noticing it lately because I actually don’t have a good answer to it I think my head is so caught up with nebula planning and stuff with SFWA. Yeah, I’m actually not I don’t know I’m I’m not um, what is the word I want people. I want to say kvetching and that’s not right? Um I’m not all caught up in the book I’m not having my usual emotional turmoil over writing this book I feel like I’m circling in the book I thought that after the.

02:26.60
jeffekennedy
Break over Easter in Tucson with the family where I didn’t write it all for a few days that I that would be a great time to come back and revise from the beginning and I didn’t feel like doing that I felt like going forward with where I was on the book I keep wanting to turn the laptop but I want you guys to see the crap Apple. You probably don’t care. But. You get to see it anyway. Um yeah I wanted to keep going and and I feel like and I do think I’ve mentioned this before you know this is Rhyian and Lena’s story and they’re kind of caught in something of a vicious circle in their relationship. So I can’t tell how much of this is them circling and how much it’s me circling but to some extent I am oddly sanguine about it. How often do we get to use that word in daily conversation? I am I have a good plan I have time to revise and I realize that I may end up like doing a lot of cutting and streamlining by the time I get to it maybe I won’t I often think that I am and then i. I don’t so so we shall see um but so far I’m feeling fine about the book. Maybe that’s a bad sign. Ah, coffee tastes good I am also am on something of a rabbit hole I don’t know if it counts as a rabbit hole if I’m not lost to it but I’m doing so I started reading something unusual for me. And I do blame Connie Willis. Okay now I am turning the laptop so I can sit back a little bit here because she in her great epigraphs. Do you come epigraphs if it’s just like a little forwardy thing to her stories in the collection Firewatch. She mentioned the poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning and the courtship between her and her husband the poet Robert Browning with stuff that I didn’t know um because before this. I think I knew about them that you know it’s like the result of of this education I don’t know maybe we could scathingly say american public school education which only gives a glancing overview. Also my um.

05:03.53
jeffekennedy
Private Liberal Arts College education get this shallow overview of everything every once while he was like people especially the experts the experts of I put that in their quotes. Ah complain about that sort of thing. And and I always think whatever I think of that word I think of when I was in graduate school and one of my favorite professors had a poster up that said experts don’t know more than anybody else. They’re just better prepared and have slides. Guys it is so fucking true and those are words to live by. So ah how the experts I I think this is a theme with me I I circle back around to things about experts and people knowing stuff and. Putting a lot of pride in what they know anyway, I will admit without hesitation that I had this very um, shallow understanding of the poets Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning which I suspect many of us have. Um, and I can quote the 1 poem. How do I love thee, let me count the ways but I did not know a lot about their courtship I did not know that she was a famous poet before I knew she’d married later in life I didn’t know that she was 40 that he was 9 years younger that he fell in love with her poetry and courted her because of that that she was basically an invalid and a shut-in fascinating things about her family. So I do get interested in biographies. But this was a little bit of a departure for me because I was reading about this while I was at my folks house in Tucson and impulsively bought a couple of books one on Kindle and 1 on paper of all things that are biographies of her and so I’ve been reading this book and. I could actually give you the actual title and I can link to it and be responsible by I’m reading a book called Dared and Done: the Marriage of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning by Julia Marcus and it’s very interesting and I i. Enjoying it a whole bunch. Ah, it really feels like it’s feeding an unasked question. You know how the universe sometimes does that it supplies you stuff that you didn’t know you wanted to think about.

07:48.76
jeffekennedy
And there’s great stuff in this book that I didn’t know I wanted to think about. And and there’s going to be a lot here I think this is going to become a book slash series slash new world someday I try not to teach you guys with secret projects because you complain and I know you complain with? Love. Ah, um, yeah, this just gave me an idea with a capital I so but it’s far down the road I have um I mean I have I caught you guys up on stuff lately doesn’t matter. After I finish storm princess on the Raven King that ties off the heirs of magic series that’ll be done then I’m going to write another book in bonds of magic series for all of you wondering if there are more books after gray magic that’s what I’m writing once I finish this then I have 2 more books planned to write. 1 is one that I started that I think of something like a hundred pages on. Let’s see how many pages I have on that. Maybe it’s not so many I might be um, ah, overly optimistic there. Oh yeah. Well, but sorry at disneeze might be just the one I no, that’s not so bad I have 87 pages on it. 20 a little shy of 24000 words I want to finish writing that book and then I have another new shiny idea that I promised to write. For agent Sarah in the fall for possible submission. Our other thing is still out on submission and she Sarah wrote me an email the other day and actually let me find this because you guys will be interested. And think she won’t mind me sharing this but it’s very interesting industry wise so you know we just don’t have much going on with that secret project that’s been out you know since last fall genre departure and Sarah says she gave me a few updates. There’s really nothing much to say but she said. All submissions are going slow and to give you some perspective I’m currently out with 8 different submissions spanning all genres from historical to sweet contemporary to paranormal Rom -com all are going slow and I think this is more a symptom of publishing at the moment versus your book.

10:24.16
jeffekennedy
People are just hitting bandwidth walls and they need something. Oh oh I’m sorry and until they need something or something heats up. It’s going slow but going to be trying to as my dad would say kick the tires and light. The fires. Resubs and see if we can get some good news. She’s very sweet but and I am hearing this from more people than Sarah um, and it’s interesting even like with nebula planning. You know we have people just dropping out of doing stuff. Um, just. Like suddenly hitting overwhelm I think it’s just where we are bandwidth bandwidth is a real thing for people right now. So this feels like a good time for me to be contemplating new things. So a lot of. Writers talk about and I hear writers say this all the time that they won’t read anything in their genre while they’re writing a particular book which for me because I’m all always writing I don’t that wouldn’t be possible then I would never read in my own genre. But I also think that that’s a. It’s a consideration that’s not that important because and I know I emphasize this all the time that people who plagiarize are doing it on purpose and putting stuff into the stew of your creative mind is. That’s just partly how we refill the well so so I’m reading this stuff about Elizabeth Barrett and kind of storing it away into this stew for this story I want to write. But it’s also giving me interesting. Food for thought and one of them is is that she was as I said famous as a poet. Um, as as an invalid basically a shut in she didn’t leave her room for many many years and there’s. Different stuff about like what was wrong with her but we won’t go into all of that you can go read the book but this fine I mean it’s a great love story and it’s exactly the kind of thing that I write about and that I love in romance. Is that when she fell in love with Robert browning that gave her the impetus to take control of her health and to leave her room for the first time in I think you know in something like a decade and she ended up marrying him and running off you know of.

13:11.56
jeffekennedy
Avoiding her tyrannical father evading escaping running off to italy and lived and she lived there married deliriously happy for 15 years before she died still too young around my age. Ah.

13:30.28
jeffekennedy
And it’s some the part that ah the book that I’m yet getting into now is and it does as the title indicates really focuses on their marriage the book that I got on paper focuses a whole lot on her early life. But she continued to be a prolific poet and wrote a whole lot about the political events going on in italy at the time which is another big lacuna in my public school education that I really didn’t know much about what was going on in the middle eighteen hundreds in italy did you. Um, giving you all the inquiring look maybe it would be a little much to expect and and actually what this book is saying is is that even at the time very few people in England or America knew about the politics of italy and. Where the you know the period in Paris when all the writers were there. You know really made parisian politics very familiar to people Elizabeth was writing about the politics in italy and so was Robert browning but people weren’t interested. They. Just so didn’t care and another fascinating thing is is that once she was married and had a child which isn’t that cool I mean she had a child after she was she was like 41 or 42 I I think it’s interesting because. When I was 36 this gal that I knew I don’t know if I would color a friend but we were sort of it in the same circle but she she asked me one day kind of out of the blue if I had regretted never having children and I was 36 and I It took me aback and I said I didn’t think I’d never had them yet and and she was flustered and was all like oh I didn’t mean and it’s like well why do you ask somebody a question like that for the record I never tried to have children I I always use birth control I never. Woke up one day thinking that I needed to have a baby I kept thinking I might you know like that ticking clock would suddenly go off and I would hear the alarm and I didn’t but I also acquired 2 stepchildren when I was 24 and that kind of sucked up all of my. But little maternal bandwidths I apparently have um douglas either anyway after she was married her poetry got dismissed as being like Robert browning’s wife’s and it sort of.

16:19.90
jeffekennedy
Pens on the era and I found this fascinating because the author says that she refers to as criticism changed as as the critical community and critical in terms of literary criticism. Changed up through the 1950 s when they began to understand that a poem could also be and mean something that her her italian poems about politics were dismissed as being um, cheapened. By being about politics instead of being about like higher things isn’t that interesting and I know I touched on this the other day and Lexi Chantal made a lovely reel about it. Thank you Lexie ah, and. Reacted to it in a blog post on the SFF7 blog about whether or not we try to make our work outlive us whether we try to make it mean something and it was fascinating to me the idea that literary criticism evolves. Also. Which I mean I guess I thought I knew this but it was interesting hearing someone else say it because you guys hear me talk all the time about objecting to people qualifying stuff as whether or not it’s well writtent. Or is it a good book or a bad book and there’s there’s a great meme going around with Stephen King who personally pisses me off because I don’t know why Stephen King decided he got to be on a literary high horse that he gets to. Past judgment on whether or not other people are writing good books but I do think it’s interesting. The idea that how we view creative works changes over time. It makes sense that it does. But I’m molling this idea now that so much can be just what we see in the moment is very different with historical perspective right? Ah and 1 thing that the author who is a woman is talking about is how Elizabeth Barrett was she calls her describes her as being diffident and self-effacing. She was a very modest person even though she started out being hugely more famous than Robert Browning she was also a shutin she had a very very small world and.

19:07.42
jeffekennedy
She had many people who came to visit her and a lively correspondence. But she also just did not have a huge ego and so she would excuse herself saying ah you know I’m only watching this through my window and. You know I’m just as a woman and she used analogies after she married of being a wife and being a mother because of course she did this is going back to what I was talking about the other day with the pipes and how that colors the water that comes out of the pipes. What we are doing who we are at any given time. Is going to influence our creative voice. Well the critics damned her for her for it saying that again that she had made her work less important by using these womanly analogies you know and it’s like well you know fuck. Those guys. It’s just sort of like ah I want to say the more things change the more they stay the same. But I think we’re just still living out this same trajectory. So anyway, those are all the things that I’m thinking about right now. it’s it’s I really ah it’s a I call it a rabbit hole because I had not expected it all to be going in this direction and I’m finding it immensely rewarding and I suppose this is how we deepen our previously shallow educations. One of my favorite professors in college said that. Whole point of a college education is to teach you how to continue to learn for for the rest of your life and I think that is um that that has served me very well I absolutely believe that and this is an example right. I am continuing to learn about ah the politics of italy in the mid eighteen hundreds did you know that they were not a unified nation I didn’t know that and and about Elizabeth Barrett and Robert browning fascinating stuff. Filling that well, it’s really fun all right I’m going to head out I hope you all have a wonderful weekend I hope you find some delightful rabbit holes of your own and I will talk to you all on Monday take care bye bye.

First Cup of Coffee – April 12, 2022




transcript
00:00.60
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee.

00:13.85
jeffekennedy
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.

00:48.55
jeffekennedy
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.

03:34.36
jeffekennedy
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.

04:26.50
jeffekennedy
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.

07:12.96
jeffekennedy
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.

09:57.41
jeffekennedy
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

12:46.25
jeffekennedy
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.

15:30.64
jeffekennedy
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.

18:15.30
jeffekennedy
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 – March 14, 2022




Transcript
00:00.39
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee which is actually green tea this morning see how I am just. Getting healthy all over the place today is Monday March Fourteenth Pi Day three fourteen three point one four I don’t know why people think that’s funny except that they like to post pictures of Pi which has nothing to do with pi pi but. Such is the internet. Ah so um, hope you all had a good weekend I had a um I had a very unstructured weekend I had 1 scheduled meeting counted one and. It only lasted like 20 minutes so I actually did not do a whole hell of a lot I was trying to figure out what I actually did with my time David was out driving a lot and I just kind of I don’t know I hermited. There were. It was not great weather I mean it was sunny and so it was nice inside the house but there was a ah sharp cold wind blowing. Um yesterday I did go out and start raking out on the east side of the house pulled out the dead getritus from the winter there. Consider doing it out in the secret garden because the daffodils are starting to come up but I did not do that. Um I did not have a a strong plan and so not a lot happened I read a lot I’m now on the fifth book of. Juliette Marillier’s Sevenwaters series and it was funny because David left yesterday morning I did laundry I washed all the clothes and David was very appreciative of that. Um.

02:18.18
jeffekennedy
And I cleaned up the kitchen but it was funny cause he came home I don’t know around 5 or so and he asked me you know he asked me if I had a good day and I said yes, it was nice and relaxing and he said what did you do and I’m like I’m not sure, but that’s sure what I did I got. A couple of things off of my to do list. You know those things that sit on your to do list and sort of gain gravity with every day that you slide it down the to- do list god I hate those things. Ah, ah, you know and then they don’t take that long to do I don’t know what is to deal with those It’s that dread and procrastination right? Just hard to get to that stuff I almost feel like I should have written down what I did all weekend but I’m also ah but. Since like my warring selves right? I’m also was trying to relax and forcing myself to relax. That’s an old joke David and I have from back when we taught Tai Chi classes there was this because Tai Chi you try to let go of force and you relax and so you. Get into these standing forms or postures and movements and you try to do them in the most relaxed way possible and so we would do a lot of exercises with like heavy arms. You know where you would try to you know, let someone else take the weight of your arm and give it out and you would give it up and it’s it’s really not easy to do. There are a lot of um, it’s part of that practice of of giving up control and relaxing letting things go and there was this one young guy who came to take the classes and he was just um. Not the kind of guy who gave up control easily and David was working with him and saying um and the guy is like oh a hair and David’s like okay you you you need to try to to let go you know? don’t don’t force it and the guy so says. Um. Says I’m forcing myself to relax, but not how it works reader. Oh my ts hot. so um yeah so I was definitely I was going back and forth especially yesterday because Saturday I was getting more things done yesterday I was thinking I could do an unplugged day and then I didn’t and I kind of regretted it I I should have stayed unplugged I was not sticking with my resolve very well.

05:04.95
jeffekennedy
And I have not been sticking with results very well lately. So I don’t know what my deal is I’m trying to ah I did a yoga class yesterday. Um, and that was funny because you know I did it on the the Vimeo at least it wasn’t zoom. It wasn’t live. My favorite yoga teacher and I thought okay I’m gonna do this in class and you know because I really need to get back into the in yoga and and she was talking about. Um you know, like settling into it and letting go and listening to. Yeah she’s my favorite yoga teacher. She’s great, but she was starting out with saying um you know to ask yourself a question you know to have a a question for your practice and I thought I don’t know what my question is so I’m like can my question be what is my question and I decided it could and. She was um, you know, just encouraging us to sit with it and stay in it and all of this and I was not doing a good job of staying in it and I thought and oh and she was saying you know to listen to our bodies and what. Bodies need and I got halfway through the class and I thought I must don’t want to be doing this so I stopped and I thought well you know at least half an hour you feel good was half an hour more than I had been doing. Um. So yeah, I’m just trying to listen to myself and figure out what it is that I need to be doing what makes me happy to be doing and sort of to restore this equilibrium I have been doing some financial stuff and that makes me happy to like get the numbers in order. Been moving some money around and doing a few things that I’m excited about that are going to put us in a better financial place and so that’s part of what I’m thinking about and I am excited to try this um lower word count goal and see how it goes. Um. Megan Ciana Doidge commented that that she does the wax and wane thing too and and I think that’s very true that um. And and I do I follow that same pattern when I’m starting a new book in particular, especially if I’ve had a couple of weeks off or I’ve been doing a lot of editing it does take a while to ramp up in those words again and so maybe reducing my word count goal.

07:49.92
jeffekennedy
Isn’t the right thing to do because when I was figuring out and I talked about this on Friday that you know my average is a little shy of 10000 words a week that is the average overall and it’s not um. And the thing to remember about averages math is that it’s a combination of the highs and the lows and so if I reduce my word count goal overall will that drop the average down. That’s the question or is it more sustainable and I think that the difference here is. Is that little birdie on the porch caught my attention that is looking at those weeks that I’ve actually gotten 15000 words a week um or ah, yeah, 15000 words a week so 3000 words a day and early twenty Twenty one I was doing a little bit better but still there are not that many weeks where I have actually hit 15000 words a week. So I think that’s the difference. I do think that there’s something to be said for yes at different points the the book will go at different rates of speed and Megan was saying that towards the end sometimes she’ll get four or five thousand words a day and. And I certainly have days like that. But I don’t I don’t do them I I don’t let myself do that unless I’m like seriously behind like I was with gray magic I don’t know it’s it’s an eternal push pull isn’t it. Trying to figure out the difference between what we the disciplines we impose upon ourselves and and when we need to listen to what we organically want to be doing um and I think that’s um, you know it’s pertinent today because. We just switched to daylight savings time in the us I think europe does it like maybe did it two weeks ago or does it in two weeks I forget I know there’s like two weeks where my assistant and I are off sync. Um, you know and so for me. It’s one of the consequences of having you know that I don’t wake up with an alarm clock I do not require myself to wake up at a particular time and that was something I decided a whole long time ago when I first went stopped doing the day job because a long time ago. Very long time ago now.

10:39.70
jeffekennedy
I did ah a writers residency at u crosss if you get a chance to do one of those things I do recommend it. It. It was um, it was extraordinary for me and a lot of voice. it was early on in my career and it was the first time. That anyone knew me primarily as a writer that introduced me as a writer like at the moment I arrived they took me around and introduced me to the other residents and they said this is Jeffe Kennedy she’s a writer and I was like I am? but um, but that’s amazing. Especially for you guys when you’re first starting out deb someone identify you as a writer first and foremost now I’m used to it is that sad that I’m used to it. Maybe it’s not sad I think it’s pretty wonderful. Um I’ve been reflecting on that how how fortunate I am um how you know my relative success. You know it’s one of those things where I’m not I’m always striving for more. But I’m really having to reflect on the fact that I do have a really robust career and that’s been growing and doing better all the time I don’t want to lose my train of thought but I do want to share and I put it on social media yesterday I went to look at the Amazon listing for gray magic. To grab the link or something I don’t remember why because I don’t normally go look at my reviews and I was startled to see that there were 108 reviews on Grey Magic already and it’s just been two weeks that it’s out I think that’s the fastest that any of my books has ever accrued reviews I remember this one time. And bank camp. Yeah sorry ah juvenile humor for the win. Grace Draven my bestie when we were early on when we were friends and radiance was still climbing the charts and all of that I remember her posting that. Radiance had a thousand Amazon reviews and she was so excited to pass that milestone and I was like that bitch Bitch! Ah but now Dark Wizard has like 350 something so I’m thinking I’m going to pass that milestone. And I’m gonna throw it in Grace’s face actually Grace is so generous. She’s always I said her my thing about my hundred and eight reviews that she was like that’s fantastic. She never says to me. Oh you, you poor sweet summer child. Ah so anyway, um.

13:23.27
jeffekennedy
1 thing about being on that writer’s retreat at Ucrosss was it was my schedule was totally up to me and so I decided that I would not set an alarm and that I would go by natural calendar. And just see what it was and I think it’s one of the first times in my life since maybe like summers and high school or something that I had not set an alarm clock and there’s really something to be said and and I’m sorry for those of you who have schedules where it’s not something you can do. But there really is something to be said for waking up on our natural rhythm because our sleep cycles are slightly different every night and the alarm clock disrupts that but waking up, you know at the natural cessation of a cycle is um, it’s so much more restful. Ah, so the downside of it is when daylight savings time occurs like this my sleep cycle is still attuned to to me to my natural place rather than of the clock. So I didn’t start this podcast till nine o’clock which is eight o’clock in real time and so now I’m feelinging a little behind and I’m having to work breathe through that I’m not behind the clock doesn’t matter. Although. My appointments in like the afternoons and stuff haven’t changed so in some ways it does matter I have a doctor’s appointment this afternoon. Oh Joy. So um, so yeah, that whole figuring out I remember when I was younger and I would like take the weekend off or something and I never thought of it that way but where I would end up screwing around all weekend. And the time would just kind of vanish and I didn’t feel bad about it in the same way. Um, but I was really kind of trying to do that really kind of. Do you hear me. But I’m I’m very torn I was I probably should have unplugged yesterday and just. Given myself over to not doing anything at all on the computer but I did do some things and then I started fretting about the things that I didn’t do so.

15:56.33
jeffekennedy
But yeah, what’s interesting during that yoga class and thinking I don’t want to be doing this anymore. That’s enough maybe that was a real thing that that was enough. Yeah, so I don’t know what else. It’s been interesting reading these books I’m reading Seer of Sevenwaters which the author puts at the front that she was writing this while she was receiving cancer treatments in like 2007 I’m going to sneeze. I’ve learned how to pause and not sneeze in your ears. Um, and it’s still very good. She’s an excellent writer and I love these stories. It’s interesting that this fourth book and fifth book have started kind of a new cycle and she. Says on the fourth book. Heir of Sevenwaters that she thanks her agent for helping her brainstorm the novel and it’s very interesting because it feels like the first three she had very definite ideas for and this next set. Um. Are much closer together in time which is what I’d said originally that I was surprised by book 2 that she did a generational leap and now she’s staying very much within a much shorter timeline I don’t know it’s almost It would be interesting to talk to her. Because I feel like she had an idea for the first 3 books that was kind of this epic sweep and these next books don’t have quite the same heft and it could be that she wasn’t feeling good. It’s hard to write books when you don’t feel good. But I’m still loving it and and to be fair. There are very few authors who can stand up to being glommed in this way to having one book after another read and it. You know and and especially when I’m reading with my writer brain because I do notice repetitions and 1 mistake and I always worry about people doing that to my books so so yeah today is the first day of trying for the 2000 words a day. And we’ll just see what we get and a noble experiment right? And yeah, but in that guess not a lot to report I think we’re just always trying to find ways to.

18:44.14
jeffekennedy
To be kind to ourselves and still produce the things that we want to do right? Um, special shout out to Meghan by the way who she posted to social media. So I’m sure it’s fine. Had a hysterectomy and I told her that. Every woman I know who’s had a hysterectomy says it was best thing they ever did so I hope it is for you too. Mehan and I hope you are at home now and recovering well um, yeah, suchha life right? but. Hope you recover and you’ll be back on your feet because Megan also uses walking desk walking in right and again and all the rest of you get out there on your feet, get some exercise, be kind to yourselves if you can get on your feet and I will talk to you all tomorrow take care. But bye.

First Cup of Coffee – March 10, 2022




Transcript

00:01.30
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee. So full confession. Um, first of all today is Thursday March tenth. That’s not the confession. But I’ve already been sipping on the coffee. So I sat down here once already to start the podcast. Staring at my face and the video screening here and I was thinking I look so tired I look so tired and washed out. What’s you know What’s wrong him? Well I feel a little droopy this morning but well I look really washed out and then I realize I forgot to put my makeup on I’d like totally skipped. Putting on makeup somehow so I had to like go back and actually put on the the up how is your day going but I don’t know why I’m spacey today I slept a long time last night. And woke up about 20 until 6 didn’t get out of bed until after 6 because I was just so sleepy I was kind of you know when you wake up and you kind of do the dozy thing kind of dreamy thing which I really enjoy. But um, yeah, feeling sleepy this morning and then. Like forgetting to put on the makeup. Don’t know how that happened the coffee is definitely pricking me up. We have a big winter storm coming in. It’s like this is we’ve had more winter in the last couple of weeks and we have all winter. Um, ah my bath is also kind of stiff I might have a little bug That’s what I get for doing things like going into movie theaters and being around people here. We are like figuring out the whole being around people thing again. Without masks because New Mexico lifted the mask mandate a couple weeks ago I don’t know if I mentioned that so yeah, everybody’s running around exchanging germs again of all varieties now. So. So it goes. Um I I don’t feel terrible just um, clearly not all together with it today. So yeah, we’re supposed to start getting snow around five o’clock tonight and it’s already pretty overcast I thought we were gonna have a kind of a nice day until then. But.

02:44.67
jeffekennedy
Yeah, the storm’s really coming in and they’re saying we’re going to get 4 to eight inches of snow which will be lovely and David is cooking cooking us vegetables. He’s playing with the the new. Food processor that we were gifted. It’s um I don’t know if I mention it’s this very fancy breel food processor and so like 1 of things has has on. It is an adjustable slicing blade. David’s been watching Youtube videos and making all kinds of great things. He make chicken pot pie. So now he’s slicing like cauliflower and broccoli and sweet potatoes very thin and roasting them so that we have healthy snacks to have around what a good man huh. So he’s been busy doing that and it smells good in here. So but I don’t mind the snow but I wonder if it’s making me a little bit. Um hibernatory that my friend Kelly Robson asked me the other day if I was hibernating. Ah, because I said I’d slept a long time like over the weekend and she said are you hibernating and I so I don’t think so because it actually feels like spring here. But now I’m having to walk it back because yeah, maybe hibernating. So. I did not have a very productive day yesterday writing wise I kind of tapped out early on. Um, it could be just still the ramp up because I’ve already written twice as much. Um, so far this week in the first 3 days this week then I wrote all of last week or the week before I mean you could see it’s like doubling each because I was editing and so forth. So you know like the I had um, 1392 and then. 33 17 and so far this week I have 65 16 so I suspect I’m in that phase of building up my writing flow again. That’s a thing about taking time off. I I recognize that it’s good for me to take that time off and refill the well and all of that kind of thing. But um, it sure does break up that flow.

05:30.64
jeffekennedy
I should like look at some of the athletic stuff some of the exercise physiology stuff when I was in grad school I there were a couple of people in our department one in particular who was very interested in exercise physiology it Was a zoology and physiology department was one of the great things about the department was that there were people working on all kinds of different stuff and so you learned the smatterings of things so I know a lot about like reintroducing endangered species and like managing wildlife populations. And so you know evolution of kidneys and also exercise physiology and this one grad student worked a lot with the olympic athletes down in Colorado springs and I learned a lot. From that you know this whole you know how do you deliver peak performance at the time that you want to? how do you manage the training and I think that there’s a lot of metaphors that are adaptable to that I think it works in the same way. I think that the creative flow works very much in the same way as the as the physical stuff. It’s never clear to me how much of what we do as writers or creators. Is directly linked into the physical but there’s definitely parallels. So so I know that I really pushed hard to finish gray magic. Broke some of my own rules and you know like rode over the weekend and did all of those things and got it done and maybe I didn’t take enough time off between because you know I’m definitely feeling this week like I had I thought okay I’m coming back this week and I’m coming back strong and I did come back strong Monday I got over three thousand words Tuesday I only got 24 23 but I still met my milestone goal so I was still on track for the date I wanted to do. And I’d had to stop early on Tuesday and then yesterday I don’t know yesterday I was distractible I did not have the focus again and I only got five seventy six so I’m just kind of wondering do I need to like take more days off just and not do stuff.

08:15.88
jeffekennedy
Or do I need to like maybe maybe I just need to start doing little bits. You know, um, like today go for a thousand words maybe I’ll try that. That’s something that I often recommend to people doing something like nanorimo national novel writing month. Instead of going immediately for like that 16 67 per day that you need to make it for all thirty days of the month start slow and ramp up and then go to more than the 66 16 67 I don’t know if anyone’s ever taken in my advice so I don’t know if that actually works we need to do a study. We really need to do some actual controlled studies. That’s the scientist in me wouldn’t that be fun just to see and and it’s hard to tell because everyone’s so individual. You know like my mantra find out what your process is and own it. Um yet I feel like I’m constantly reworking what works for me while finding out what my process is and so forth. So but clearly I’m not back to my. 3000 words per day schedule and I’m kind of revisiting and I’m sorry if I do blather on about this a lot because I think I do talk about it. You know how often do I really sustain 3000 words a day well de kuiller here. Bunch of them out there blue scaled coils what we have here 1 2 3 4 5 six seven and there’s the lookout coil. There’s always one that’s gets up on something high and plays lookout. We just bought a coil block but we haven’t put it out there yet. David picked that up yesterday. It’s like a block of compressed seed that we put out on the ground for them so need to get that out there for them. So anyway, um, I’m wondering how often do I really do I’ve been talking about that a lot this year how often do I really do 3000 words a day and maybe I need to revisit that that maybe I thought that that was a sustainable productivity for me 3000 words a day five days a week but I’m I think I’m actually not sustaining that level very well. And maybe I need to ratchet it down which um, nobody wants to decrease their productivity. But if my productivity decreases itself then I’m in the same place right.

11:00.80
jeffekennedy
So um, yeah, so we’ll see we’ll see um, it’s hard to tell like how much is refractory period and how much is just needing to build up endurance again. I kind of like this idea of doing maybe just sort of reframing my goals I think I’ll try that and report back see what you guys think because 1 thing that happens like a lot of people can do the 50000 words in in November for Likech. Na no rhymo. Ah, but then they crash and and that’s what I’m looking to avoid is is the crash I want that sustainability. No, so so let’s see what else is going on. Oh I should so back up a little bit and say that I’m also groping a little bit trying to find the threads for this fourth book of the series and that’s another thing too is that writing. The final book of an ark is just always harder. You’re just pulling all the threads together instead of spinning the threads out you’re bringing them together and I’ve heard somebody else’s you’ll use the metaphor of landing the plane you know that like taking off is. A lot of work. But then you’re flying flying and flying and that’s like relatively low of investment of effort. So says we who do not fly airplanes so we don’t really know but landing the airplane. There’s a lot involved in landing landing the airplane and getting everybody safely there. And you know like George R Martin very famously has not finished his series of um, a song of ice on fire and I don’t know if he will. Everyone’s well somebody asks me? Well I’ve talked about this before when I when I see George. Ah, at events here in town. No I do not ask him about it nobody does because we’re his friends and we don’t want to torment him. But when people ask me if I think he’ll finish I have to say I don’t know I mean I I do not know if he will. I think there are a lot of things in the way I think that there are reasons why for instance, some Brandon Sanderson very famously recently put up a kickstarter because he wrote like 4 novels during pandemic and put up this video about it which i’m.

13:43.38
jeffekennedy
I have complained in other places given my thoughts on on how he chose to do that and I will not say it here but I did have problems with it. No what I I am going to say something because he went. At it in this I think well intentiontioned way where he was kind of playing a joke and he was saying you know you know pandemic’s been hard and people have been asking how he’s been doing and that he’s been very close mouthed about it at. That he finally wanted to come clean and he pulls out this big stack of paper and says I wrote 4 novels since pandemic started and he does give some interesting data where he shows like what percentage of his time was devoted to various activities before the pandemic and. How much sense and like well for me, it was certainly true I’ve talked about it here that without traveling to conferences without doing all of that stuff I did not get tired from traveling and I had a lot more. Concentrated time just being here at home and focusing on writing and it did make a difference and and it did for him too. He ended up spending more time with family and you know a miniscule bit on conferences and stuff and he was able to write these novels and fantastic. Great for him and he is so popular that from this you know he said he was doing a kickstarter to publish these 4 novels this entirely new series I didn’t watch the entire video because I did get irritated with him and I’ll tell you why in a moment but you know he’s. Made something like $15000000 from this kickstarter to publish these novels. Ah, he hasn’t made it yet. That’s in pledges so you know with kickstarter you only get the money once you deliver the product. So but I mean he’ll probably deliver. And I wanted to add the caveat that Brandon Sanderson this is how I got there in the first place got his start because he finished Robert Jordan’s fantasies series wheel of time. So Robert Jordan had started the series I don’t remember how many books in he was. He was getting old I don’t remember if he had a chronic disease or whatever. But at any rate Robert Jordan picked Brandon Sanderson to co-author I don’t I’m I’m talking about something I don’t know tons about I don’t know how it worked I don’t know if Jordan had it outlined and Brandon.

16:29.35
jeffekennedy
Wrote it or whatever. But anyway, that’s oh graish bird hit the window ah startled me the cleaning ladies are so good about cleaning the windows. But now the the birds are hitting them It’s always this kind of light this time of year they get so um. The birds are so restless you know, excitable huh sorry about that hope it’s okay, I’m sorry act to check. Well it was alive but it’s really stunned so i. Wrapped it in a towel to keep it warm while it recovers and put it up out of the way. So a predator won’t get it. We’ll see if that makes it I need to get some of those window decals there I put it on my list to buy some I set it up on the. Bench outside the window here see if it’s gonna be okay, it might not I think it’s a Jubi too ha the cycle of life as my mother says the cycle of life is killing me. Okay, so sorry focus. Um, so yeah, that happens where people you know hire someone to finish their series for them and I kind of wonder if George won’t get to that point. Although I kind of don’t see George doing that. So anyway, ah my problem with the way Brandon and Sanderson went about that and I think that it was just not ill intentioned I don’t think it occurred to him how this would come across. I think it was just he was excited to share this thing and he thought it was a funny joke to play this way but it really fell flat for many of us because there are so many creators who have really struggled during the pandemic have struggled with the anxiety and the difficulty. Of dealing with all the things and there are a lot of people who have not been able to create and so for him to very smugly throw down his stack of paper and be like I wrote 4 novels was um, it was a little much. And so so yeah I thought that that displayed a um, a distressing callousness towards other authors. Um you know and that was probably just oh birdie’s gonna be okay.

19:11.92
jeffekennedy
It’s sitting up now. It’s sitting looking out at the little hood of the tall there. So yea. Yeah, all right must’s just been stunned a happy ending. We love happy endings excellent. So yeah, that was probably a lot of different stuff I’m feeling per year now. Coffee helps. Maybe maybe it was just ah, still sleepy. So anyway, I’m going to see about getting some work done I hope you all have a fabulous Thursday if you have interesting. It doesn’t have to be interesting if you have data on like what how you think this works with like getting back into producing and refractory periods and so forth I’m I’m interested send it my way. Yeah. So yeah, have a happy Thursday and I will talk to you all tomorrow take care bye bye.

 

First Cup of Coffee – March 4, 2022




Transcript
00:00.10
jeffekennedy
Good morning everyone this is Jeffe Kennedy author of fantasy romance and romantic fantasy I’m here with my first cup of coffee. Ah, that hits the spot. Ah, but all right there we go. Let’s get this day started today is say it with me friday. Um, March fourth March Fourth into Friday all ye brave soldiers. All you warriors of words and other things. Ah so I apologize that I had no podcast yesterday I had a um, kind of a busy morning and I had to go get my blood drawn. That’s wonderful, ah annual. Actually I haven’t had it done in a long time. I’ve been very bad I’ve been neglectful of things physical but I’m seeing this new general physician and he’s fine. Whatever I won’t go into detail I mean he’s okay David really likes him so that’s it’s harder to get David to like people. Um, he’s a young man. And in some ways I don’t feel like we speak the same language. For example, when I said something about dealing with being post-menopausal. He asked me how long ago I had gone into menopause or finished you know. It’s funny because men always think menopause just means the period you know it’s like when did you last have your period and I told him it had been a few years and he’s like well then you’re not. You know you’re done. You’re not postmenopausal anymore and it’s like um, okay tell me honey. Ah. Speaking from experience there so otherwise but he’s fine. So I’d go get my blood drawn 4 tubes of blood. Um, do I didn’t miss it and yeah it was kind of. Interesting. The phlebotomist was an older guy very experienced and so he was talking about my veins that um like I have these veins that are very close to the surface of my skin. You know the blue veins I thought like everybody had them. He even asked me he did this arm.

02:38.56
jeffekennedy
And it’s ever so slightly bruised but not too bad. He did a really great job and he was like are you sure I’ve been drawing your but before your veins look very familiar but he said that a lot of phlebotomists don’t like to use those veins that are very close to the surface which are called verriccose veins which I immediately want to be like. And do not have variricosetains. But obviously I do but um, but it’s always has such a negative connotation right? but he said a lot of them won’t a lot oflebotoists or nurses. Don’t want to draw from those veins because they’re so fragile and he said but they’re great veins to use it. You know what you’re doing. And he knew what he was doing. He was very gentle and efficient and did a great job. So it’s something I’ve been putting off for a very long time something that I needed to get done and I was gonna go to writer coffee yesterday. It was just me. Jim Sorensen and Jack Mitchell and so I thought okay I would go there and you know get my blood drawn first because I do get the fasting draw you know and and then meet them for breakfast. And I ended up sleeping in yesterday I’ve been sleeping so much I mean I think I’m just still recovering from that push on gray magic um I slept long today too. So yesterday I’d had this bold plan that I was going to be like up by 5 and would you know get. All of my things done exercise and podcasting get some writing done and then be at the lab by 8 kind of happened did not happen instead I woke up at like 156 and I was moving pretty slowly I did exercise did to did to my Thursday weightlifting did not get to the lab until like eight thirty did no writing got no podcast done. Um, yeah. What was I doing in all that time we don’t know I have no idea lifting weights feeding cats. So I am get my mother I sometimes I think about this because my mom once asked me what do I do when I wake up so early. You know she’s like what do you do with all that time and it’s like you know it never feels like that much time probably if I like really tried to keep myself efficient I would do better but I don’t I go back and forth because I sometimes.

05:22.31
jeffekennedy
Think well I should try to be a lot more efficient and not drift about and burn up those early morning hours and then I think why am I always pushing myself so hard dead and it’s okay to drift about in the early morning hours I don’t know so. Um, yeah, so I got to the lab late and I had to wait a little bit and then it took a while. So then I didn’t end up meeting Jack and Jim until 159 and they’d been there for a while had already had a lot of coffee. It’s always bad when you get to the party late. You have to catch up. Ah, but we had a great time. It was delightful and I didn’t leave there until I left there around ten thirty five um and give my mom a calling way home. That’s what I was checking to see what time was it that I left. So. So yeah, um, it’s funny because I paused in order to check what that time was not that it matters. But you know, heck and then I saw that I had a text from my friend Megan about drinks tonight. So of course I had to answer in the affirmative. Yes, please. Yeah, so um, so then by the time I got home. It was like 11 and I was sort of waffling should I try to write and I have been thinking about my friends my concerned friends and all of you out there. Some of you comment to me. It’s like oh. You know if I’m feeling this empty maybe I should not be trying to write the next book already. And yeah, so I don’t know if this is just like brain drain some of it might be from traveling might have had like a little bug from traveling not covid I don’t have covid um. Yeah, so I slept again long this morning I didn’t wake up till like six thirty but I am feeling beach day a little better and so yesterday I did a lot of business stuff I caught up on a ton of business reader. I had over a hundred emails in my sifwa inbox. How did this happen you know and a lot of it is just because I get cced on stuff which is good. You know it’s like I have to get ccd on stuff. So I see it. But it’s like oh my god and. And I know that some of you this sounds like nothing but I am an inbox 0 kind of gal I tend to view my inbox as my to do list which I don’t think is entirely healthy. But I revert to it. Um I did answer an email yesterday that I knew I had been taking a long time to reply to and it was from January thirty first

08:11.40
jeffekennedy
How did this happen. It’s like February vanished vanished into the ma of writing so that’s where I’m at ah I did get my inbox down considerably I got it down to less than 10 I would have gone for total zero but a few of them take a little bit more time and and I by the end of the day I was kind of tired I was done I also had to go yesterday was the day of medical stuff so later in the afternoon I had to go get my mammogram and my bone density test. Ah, girl never forgets her first bone density test but it was actually pretty cool. It was kind of um you lay on the bench and they like do the scan up and down on all of this. So I am slightly shorter than I used to be she said sitting up straighter i.

09:10.77
jeffekennedy
I’ve always been 5 four maybe slightly over five four and I was um, 5 three and a quarter with I’m making a sad face. Um I suspect. It’s this curvature in my upper spine. So I really need to get back into doing yoga. The great news is is my favorite yoga teacher sent a thing yesterday that they’re opening a new yoga center this spring it was fake this spring. Um, so that’ll be wonderful because I do not like doing the video yoga. Just doesn’t work for me so I’m very excited to get back into in-person yoga. And yeah, get that see if I can reclaim that inch. She said sitting up straighter again. I do have scoliosis and kyhosis a relic of my adolescence. When I was um in middle school and early high school I actually had to wear one of those back braces you know, like from Deanni and Judy Bloom you know that went from my hips with the thing opening my tomb like that. So my back has sort of been the thing that I always have to take care of. So let’s that’s a good goal right? Reclaim the inch hashtag then we’ll see how all my other metrics come out even though I’m not post-menopausal I mean aren’t you like. Postmenopausal for the rest of your life right? You know it’s like you have menopause and then your post and then from there on but otherwise I think I really healthy I’m blessed with ah genetically blessed with usefulness that and lots of sleep and a clear conscience I think. so um so yeah will I try to write today I don’t know um I think I started to touch on this before. Yeah with some of my concerned friends saying what I was like but last week I did take the week off I mean I was in l a for. Monday and Tuesday and then Wednesday yeah I did do copy on its while I traveled and polishing and all of that and then I didn’t do anything on Thursday and Friday um, but it’s been pointed out to me that doing business doesn’t count as resting which I don’t know. It’s really pretty weather today I’m tempted to not do much but I also feel kind of guilty ish if I don’t work. It’s pathological. What? Ah what can I say.

11:56.53
jeffekennedy
Ah, so and Darynda has taken. She’s not taken this week off she’s gone into her fugue state of trying to finish this book where she wants no contact and I think she sort of spirals through the clock and so I really don’t have her to contend with either. So. Know I know you guys Laura Darnell you’re gonna be out there. You’re gonna say I think you should take the day on maybe I will um, definitely feel like I need some more will refilling. So but I do feel like a good kitty cat that I’m getting all of the medical stuff done I I really have let it slide for quite a while. Ah. I know. But maybe yeah now that I like like more or less like I do like the um the offices and all of that and I feel like the um I don’t know if this is true everywhere if you guys are experiencing the same thing but I feel like the offices are just much. Nicer now I don’t know if this is like a post covid thing but they’re much more efficient. They’re much better at getting me in and out I mean I couldn’t believe how fast the mammogram and bone density went yesterday I mean it was boom boom and you know from place to place and they were really. Pleasant and efficient and friendly and helpful in all of this and there wasn’t you know it just seems like even five years ago going to the doctor I felt like I was being chewed up by a machine or something and all of these places are doing so much better and they you know I’ll send surveys afterwards. How did we do. Um, yeah, so they did good. They did good I’ve got my windows open I don’t know if you can hear the birds singing Zoom’s pretty good at suppressing background noise. Oh this isn’t Zoom – Zencastr. But still yeah might be a good day to go for a walk and enjoy the sunshine. It was ringing when I woke up this morning that was lovely. It was um that might have contributed to the oversleeping. It was very overcast and a little bit of rain and then I went out to put. Water and the bird bath and the air smelled of petricore I love I that was like in some of my very very first essays that I wrote you know the center of rain in the desert and that was before I knew the word petroorps but.

14:35.89
jeffekennedy
It’s just one of my favorite sense of the whole world and maybe all the more precious for being fleeting. So I don’t remember if I talked about this the other day. So I’m going to talk about it again now that you’ve had to sit here and listen to all of my burbling on about. Medical stuff. Um, the maintenance of the human body right? Oh before I forget before I forget I should tell you guys I almost did forget didn’t I that dark wizard is a Kindle daily deal today. Who Amazon picks us they they send you an email saying. Do you want to be part of this and then you say yes and then they say okay, we’ll think about it and then they send it to you so they sent it to me and dark wizards on sale at Amazon ebook for two forty nine so if you haven’t bought it now’s a great time to buy it if um, we buy it for your friends buy it for your family. But um, yeah, feel free to share because yeah would love to kick that up sales for Grey Magic have been great. So I’m hoping that this will be an additional boost. 1 thing I did start doing yesterday was getting through my to do list I really feel like I need to put together a promo plan for my backlist. And I was mentioning this on a chat and one of the girls asked. Well, what do you mean by backlist. She said that’s confusing to me and I said well for me it means completed series because when you have active series for example, like bonds of magic and Grey Magic came out monday. And so that means I’m like you’re putting up stuff about hey release great magic. It’s out. It’s in the world and then that bumps that whole series right? You know and people are like oh it’s just like I’m doing today right? Dark Wizard’s on sale and then you get book 2 bright familiar and great magic. So that’s very active. But then I have other books that have you know like a completed series for instance like uncharted realms. Um, that have been out for a very long time that I like just forget to talk about and Carrie Anne Ryan gives a really smart seminar on promoting your backlist. Just having this regular schedule where you bring up these completed series and like hey did you know why I wrote these books? Um, and it’s it’s really very smart in something like the doctor’s appointments I have not been doing and it has felt like too much to think about.

17:19.50
jeffekennedy
And I did work on that some yesterday and I had the brain power for that so that was really good. Um, so then the other thing I wanted to talk about was from the pro writing aid panel that we did on Monday afternoon the online panel that I did. With Alexia Chantel and Mary Robinette Kowal one of the things we’re talking about process and and I did touch on this I know because I talked about me being an intuitive writer whereas Mary Robinette is much more analytical and she was saying. She was asking me if my books really do come out when I’m done because I like pants my way through a garden. Um, right for discovery. However, you want to put it if they come out that way at the end and she said because your books are very tightly plotted. Which gave me a little flutter of pleasure I was like well thank you I appreciate that I love that she thinks my books are tightly plotted and and what I wished I had said at the time was this is part of why I don’t like the dichotomy. Or even the spectrum I don’t like the names of plotter versus pantzer because you guys know I don’t like pantser because it’s like fly by the seat of your pants which to me implies a loss of control that I think reflects the other end of the spectrum sphere of losing control. But. It’s also that if you write for discovery if you pants if you garden. It’s not that you don’t plot which is why I always refer to it as being a pre-plotter I am not a pre-plotter I do have plots and. I mean there we have it Mary Robinette Kowal says my books are very tightly plotit I just don’t plot them before I write them and I think that’s the difference. That’s why I really wish people would adapt that term I oh wait. Oh I should show you guys look at this. Was gonna wave my wand and make it so but look at this what I have if you’re on video not on video. It’s a long box burgundy colored box and dorinda brought me this from Harry Potter World is a gift because she is lovely and it is. Ah, magic wand so it’s um, if you’re not on video. It’s a beautiful dark wood warrant with kind of like a tulip shape at the end and it’s um, it’s from Ravenclaw house which is I have done the test to find out that I’m Ravenclaw.

20:08.42
jeffekennedy
And I think she said she thought it was Lena Lovegood’s wand those of you who know better if you are a video you could tell me if that’s true. It actually doesn’t say anywhere that I see in the box. So no way I’m going to wave my wand and make it so in the world that we say preplloter at least i’m. I’m gonna give up on people getting rid of the word panter because a lot of people like it but can we just say preplotter because if you’re writing a book and it’s any good at all. Then it’s plotted right? a book without a plot is a problem. Words to live by I’m wishing and making it so all right? So on that note I don’t know what I’m gonna do today I just do where I feel like um so I hope that you all wonderful friday. And hope you have a wonderful weekend and I will talk to you all on Monday you all take care bye bye.

I Always Slow Down at the End…

I finished writing THE PROMISED QUEEN! This is the third book in the Forgotten Empires trilogy, and – as happens with many trilogy finales – the draft came in long. I sent 118,489 words (about 426 pages in Word) to Editor Jennie Friday afternoon. A lot to pack into that ending!

As usual, finishing the book wrung me out. As an interesting statistic, writing the first 100,000 words took me 57 days, while revising those words from the beginning and adding 19,000 more took me another 19 days. So a full quarter of my time creating this manuscript went to revising what I’d written and adding the last 16% of the book. I always slow down at the end. I always feel like I *shouldn’t*, but I do.

And you all know what I always say: Figure out what your process is and own it.

So there I am!

I am trying to be better about refilling the well after I finish a project like this. So instead of plunging into the next fiction work, I’ve been taking a little time off. Those of you who listen to my podcast know that on Saturday I drove our 20 year-old Highlander into town to buy plants. When I arrived after a twenty-minute drive, I discovered that a pack rat had built a nest in the engine. How did I find out? Because the engine caught on fire! That’s it in the photo. You can see the bits of detritus from the pack rat nest – and that lots of the engine components melted. I’m fine – many thanks to Newman’s Nursery for quick action with a fire extinguisher and being so lovely to me – but the car will cost more to fix than it’s worth. So, goodbye to Nessie. My mom bought her new in 2000, so she had a good run.

A friend pointed out that it counts to a fiery sacrifice to the gods upon completion of this trilogy, so I’m going with that.