Changes

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The life I’ve been living for the past twenty years is about to change.

I’ve been working a minimal job which allowed me to focus on my writing, essentially as a homemaker. I had flexible hours which allowed me to exercise. I didn’t make much money, but I had a lot more time than many writers do. My husband was the one who supported us, allowing me to pursue my career.

Alas, even though I had extra time, I was constantly running out of it. I still run out of time. Now I may have even less.

My husband has been laid off. For twenty years he’s done excellent work in Quality Assurance for the computer tech industry. Now he’s being passed over for younger candidates with degrees less capable than he is.

Should we really accept this? It’s the situation we’re in, but should we really accept it? What can we do about it?

I have a degree, a B.A. history. I didn’t have the tech skills to get jobs like my husband did. I didn’t want to be a teacher. I’ve been terrified of children and their parents ever since a mother chewed me out in a restaurant for not smiling, for trying to ignore it when her child ran up to me and poked me in the back. Getting to know other children and their parents has eased the fear, but it hasn’t gone away.

Being accused of doing things I have no idea I’m doing makes me feel helpless, frustrated, and angry. I remember being accused of being rolling my eyes when I was trying to listen to someone. It made me feel the same frustrated fear.

I’ve spent my whole life trying to be nice, polite, and kind, trying to be as positive as I can. Moments like these make me feel like I’ve profoundly failed.

I know I can be outgoing, can make people enjoy themselves. I’ve been at events where I know I’ve made it more fun, helped everyone there. My failures ricochet in my head like a gong whenever I try to suggest on a resume or anywhere else that I have social skills.

I would have loved to have been a professor. This seemed like the dream job, only it took me longer to get my degree than I thought it would. Once I did, I was eager to start making money.

Maybe I should have stayed and got that Masters’s Degree. I could still do it, but that costs money. I’ve been out of the work force for so long. Returning terrifies me. Only it’s what countless people do, countless writers. I’ve only met one other writer like me who was being supported by her partner.

Now we’re facing a situation where my husband and I are no longer be able to afford our home. Not unless my husband can get a job that pays as well as the one he had. Or if we can both get jobs that will cover our housing expenses and the mortgage.

If we aren’t able to, we’ll have to move.

I feel sick every time I think of the changes coming. No more walks in the neighborhood. No more swims in the pool. No more walking down a tree-lined street, something I felt very lucky to do, even though I wasn’t a millionaire.

I was lucky, lucky to live in my home for twenty years. Everything seems so much more precious now that I’m about to lose it, including the time I’ve had to spend on writing, social media, learning languages, reading, and taking breaks from all of it.

I never had enough time. It takes time to learn how to do something, to become better at it. Now I’m going to have even less time to accomplish everything I’ve managed to do.

I hope I’ve improved at time management. I think I have. I’ve certainly worked hard at it. I’ve learned how to decide what’s important, to make certain I accomplish at least one thing. Deadlines, however, shoot certain priorities to the top of my things to do list . I need to finish a blog at inspirationcauldron.wordpress.com by the end of each week. That’s a deadline I’ve set for myself. I need to finish edits and return them to an editor. That’s a deadline a publisher has given me. I need to vacuum, mop, clean the bathrooms, dust, sweep the porches, and do other household chores within a week. This is a task someone else set for me.

Some of the memories I have of work make me shudder. I always tried hard to do the job. I did my best to get along with the people I worked with. Sometimes I succeeded. Sometimes I made friends who lasted beyond the job. Sometimes my job wore me out to the point that I had no energy for what I wanted to do. The latter happened often enough that it was a relief to leave the work force and concentrate on my writing.

I had that option. Now it may disappear. I need to prepare for its disappearance, for what comes next.

Wish me luck, strength, and opportunity in facing that future.

September Update

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The good news is I’ve lost a little weight, not as much as I’d like, but I’m aching less. I feel I’m getting my mojo back.

The bad news is I’m not doing as much as I’d like. This is nothing new. My sales are non-existent, something which sends me spiralling into a depression every time I think about it. Only I’m trying to make this spiral a constructive ride where I think about what I can do about it, along with what I want to accomplish.

I’m in the middle of a lot of stories. Some of them are inspired by fairytales, myths. Some are inspired by my own life. I’m working on a series inspired by Tarot card imagery, the symbolism of the pictures on the cards, how they change in the eyes of the beholder. This gave me an idea for shadows who are like, yet unlike vampires. Created of dream, desire, and memory, they often have an idealized human appearance, feeding off dreams, emotions, and memories. Shadows struggle to maintain an existence in the real world, having to feed, and getting very attached to those they feed upon. They’re often supported by the ones who brought them forth. Many of these shadows gather in Omphalos, a small artist’s/outsiders’s community in a shadow of a hill. A tower sits upon the hill, often a broken ruin, sometimes a circle of stones. Within the circle a pool appears where the colors of lost dreams offer visions to those whom come looking for them, luring them into the water. This pool has often lured Christopher and the twins. A Door can appear within this pool, the stone circle or the tower itself, a Door to the Shadow Forest. Find your path through the Shadow Forest and it will lure you to your heart’s desire, the desire which opened the Door in the first place. Stray from the past and you will be lost, prey to the shadows which wait for you.

This was the premise of a series I called Tales of the Navel: The Shadow Forest or Tales of Omphalos. I questioned the title because not every book has the Navel in it. (The Navel is Gabrielle’s little shop in Omphalos filled with mysterious items linked to the heart and memories of those who enter.) I’ve written roughish drafts for three of the novels in this series; Stealing Myself From Shadows, The Hand and the Eye of the Tower, and A Godling for Your Thoughts? I’ve written part of My Tool, My Treasure, the fourth book. I had plans for more books; Web of Inspiration and My Cusps Overfloweth. I’ve posted countless blogs involving stories or imaginary conversations with Christopher, Damian, Danyel, Tayel, Gabrielle, and other characters from this universe at inspirationcauldron.wordpress.com. I’d planned to play for the self-publication of these books from what I’d make from writing other stories I’d submit for publication.

This plan hasn’t gone well. I got published, yes, but I have no idea how much money Fairest made, since its publisher took all of it. I never got a payment statement to let me know how well it was doing. The statements I’ve gotten since have ranged from poor to non-existent.

Is my writing so bad? I’ve been told by more than one person that they love my books/ My sales, however, tell a very different story.

I’m very proud of what I’ve published, what’s available for purchase today. Here’s what still out there…


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A Symposium in Space

Both my tribute and my retort to Plato’s The Symposium. This one happens in the future on a space cluster owning by one of the wealthiest and most decadent citizens of the Intergalactic Democracy, my matriarchal inversion of Ancient Athens. Only the speeches on love actually manifest as food, thanks to the ‘magic’ of the host of the party. Or is it the power of the speech itself? Along with this talk of love is an actually love affair between Phaedra, the narrator, and Pausania, her passionate, yet disillusioned lover. Throw in a wandering philosopher named Sokrat, a love-crazed pirate, and the space craft of Phaedra’s dreams, she gets a live-changing event…


Buy Links for A Symposium in Space are at…

Nine Star Press: https://ninestarpress.com/product/a-symposium-in-space/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Symposium-Space-Feast-Words-ebook/dp/B07PGB15FY/ref=sr_1_1?crid=3BPACY58MCCMV&keywords=a+symposium+in+space&qid=1552937461&s=digital-text&sprefix=A+Sympo%2Caps%2C239&sr=1-1


Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130883509?ean=2940161507872


Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-symposium-in-space

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/928136



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Seven Tricks

A more mouse-centric interpretation of certain events of The Nutcracker where a gallant mouse prince scampers his way through seven tricks while becoming smitten with a certain nutcracker…

Buy links are at…

Nine Star Press: https://ninestarpress.com/product/seven-tricks/

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/seven-tricks-ks-trenten/1127424849?ean=2940158598838

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Seven+Tricks%2C+by+K.S.+Trenten

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/seven-tricks

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/758279


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Wind Me Up, One More Time

Inspired by the very first story, this is a fairy tale wrapped in a holiday story about a little girl and her Theodore Bear bringing a little magic and love to a female couple who’ve forgotten how to dream while being caught in the gears of their own industry.

Buy links are at…

Mischief Corner Books/Shenanigans Press: https://www.mischiefcornerbooks.com/wind-me-up-one-more-time.html#/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B081LPX2WH/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=Wind+Me+Up%2C+One+More+Time&qid=1573974211&s=books&sr=1-1

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/wind-me-up-one-more-time


Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wind-me-up-one-more-time-ks-trenten/1134959345

Apple: https://books.apple.com/us/book/id1488235515?fbclid=IwAR1_ox2T5jIHibPFBHUqTck0SNaP3pcZIgNM4DS3VAjU47mn3o5iu260bMA


How do these three stories link to Tales of Omphalos? They’re all stories involving wonder, magic, and emotion, but they’re more like Alice in Wonderland, The Oz Books, and Revolutionary Girl Utena than what the market genre defines as fantasy. I still think of all my stories as being ambient fantasy, more emotionally-driven than action-oriented. I’m not sure if anyone noticed when I hashtaged my stories #ambientfantasy. What scenes I’m planning to be sexual I want to be as strange and surreal as anything on Hannibal or Revolutionary Girl Utena. Two of my stories are romances, but not all of my Works in Progress are. I believe I’m Young Adult. Some of my previous publications have been marketed thus, but I’m not entirely sure if this label lets readers know what my work is about.

This questioning of my identity as a writer has been eating at me for some time. I’ve always been drawn to stories which were not easily labeled or wore many labels. I wanted to follow in those writers’s footsteps, but I need a way to let my potential readers out there know I’m here. Cover art is a great first contact, something I’ll need to keep in mind while planning future releases. My lack of sales has really dampened my spirits, made me wonder if I made a huge mistake somewhere. My published works should have more sales. I’m just not sure how to draw the attention of those who’ll want to buy them.

Maybe I should commission some shoujo manga or John R. Neil-style sketches of my characters in my currently published works? Maybe I should this for the characters in my works in progress?

I’m still mulling over this, trying to think of a promotional gambit I’ll like which potential readers will actually notice. This is quite a challenge since there’s a lot of shiny out there.

Wish me luck.

Making Important Changes

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Right now I ache. Parts of my body are starting to hurt. I’m carrying too much weight on my body. It’s painful. I need to lighten the load. This is something I’ve been telling myself for months, but I haven’t been able to do it. Staying away from the cheese, the chocolate, and the wine is hard. I’m not going to stay away, but I need to reduce my portions, increase my exercise. I’ve done this before. I was thinking back about all the times I’ve successfully lost weight. When I was a teenager, I often did it to get into a formal for a dance. I did it successfully seven years ago and again, two years ago. Only the pandemic hit and I’m a depression eater. I let myself go last year, feeling like the world was ending, and what the hey? I might as well eat and drink while I can. Only it made me feel better only in the short-term. The long-term is catching up. I have to deal with the consequences.

I’m swimming again. I’m trying to reduce my portions when I eat. I’ve returned to studying Italian, Chinese, Japanese, French, Portuguese, and Spanish once more. I’m reading more, yes, a sedentary activity, but it feels like a revival of my former self. I triggered myself while rewriting At Her Service, only to go back and look at what I’d written, wondering if Ariella was being sexy or sexist? Perhaps a little of both, although she may not have meant it. Claude may have to say something at some point about it's not just women or men whom need to dance. I’ve been expanding Fairest, leaving most of it intact, but tweaking a few details involving the side characters. I’m typing up the contents of my notebooks, which had piled up to the point they were taking way too much space. I’m making my way through them, journeying through the past months while I do, experiencing what I was feeling when I got vaccination, what I was working on, what I was distracted by.

It’s curious thing, to look at where I once was and to compare it to where I am now.

I’ve also got Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins set aside, plus Stealing Myself From Shadows, The Hand and the Eye of the Tower, A Godling for Your Thoughts? and Aissa and Polyxena, waiting to be polished up for publication. These are just the stories I have complete drafts. This isn’t counting A Portrait Is Worth a Thousand Words or On the Other Side of the Mask, which I’m expanding from the shorter versions I’ve submitted. Or all of my Works in Progress standing by.

I’m not sure if I’ll finish anything if my health falls apart, let alone be able to self-publish anything once I’m done. I’ve often marveled at other authors, how they’ve managed to push themselves through incredible pain to finish projects. This may be what I have to do. I’m hoping I won’t have to. I’m about as tough as ricotta cheese. (wry grin) I haven’t done very well when my strength has been put to the test.

Here’s hoping I’ll do better. Here’s to getting the willpower to make certain I do better.

  • Current Music
    Odyssey, by Amethystium

June Blues Become July Anxieties

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I feel as if my stomach has become a pit of acid, making me frequently nauseous. Many a crisis confronted me last month, bringing queasiness in its wake.

My father had a serious procedure done on his heart which I’m very happy was a success. He is having to change his diet yet again, avoiding the Asian foods he and Mom were enjoying cooking to avoid salt. This brought an awareness of how many canned, jarred, bottled, or premade items have a lot of sodium; such as oyster sauce. Even low sodium soy sauce is excessive for Dad now. It’s often much easier to control what we eat if we make things from scratch but this takes time and effort. I guess this is why I eat a lot of raw vegetables, although I have to avoid the latter on a save-the-air day. I still eat way too much cheese and wine. Yeah, Dad isn’t the only one who needs to modify his diet. I reverted back to bad eating habits during lockdown and I have the extra pounds along with the accompanying aches and pains to show for it. All the stress hasn’t helped. My mom, Don, and our cat, Cinnamon have all had health issues, medicial procedures or both happening along with Dad. I tend to overeat when I’m stressed. I’m a stress eater. It doesn’t help that my husband is a stress cook and grocery shopper. He often makes dishes much richer than I should be eating. He also buys high-calorie cookies, ice cream, chips; all things I’ve trained myself to avoid and keep out of sight. My husband likes having them in easy reach. Mental health cookies he’s called some of his purchases. Dad and I were amused by that, although it looks like improving our overall health means avoiding this source of mental health, alas.

It’s hard to write while all this is going on, yet writing can relieve my stress like nothing else. I was deeply touched when a couple of my characters cheered up another character in a blog I wrote last month, cheering me up in the process.

Sometimes the hardest thing in the world is to stay cheerful. To smile and congratulate someone else on their success, even though I’m sinking into a morass of not just stress but genre confusion. I’m not longer sure what my genre should be or if I understand how genre works. If perhaps I’ve made a terrible mistake in mislabling my work since it isn’t living up to the expectations of the label. Am I actually a genre writer or do I belong in mainstream fiction? Do readers of LGBTQIA+ fiction expect romance and sex in the stories with the label? Do fantasy readers expect action and violence? Am I failing those expectations? What genre do the covers I envision belong to? I’m a mess of confusion about what I am, not for the first time. My confusion has mingled with my stress, slowing down my writing, for I’m no longer sure which direction I should be taking. The only one person who can figure this out, however, is me, although it may be possible to ask other people questions about their own genre and genre expectations in general to become less confused.

Wish me luck.

June Blues

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Summer has begun and I’ve got the blues. I’ve failed too often and too recently. One failure in particular is haunting me. Something important was happening in the life of someone I love. She wasn’t worried about it and I wasn’t worried about it, so it slipped my mind. I shouldn’t have forgotten, but I got busy, thinking and planning other things. My first weekend out on a date with my husband was coming up. I let myself anticipate that, working hard to free myself up for that weekend. The result was I wasn’t there for my loved one when I should have been.

The above is an explanation, not an excuse. I have no excuses. I’m trying to figure out why? How could I have forgotten? This wasn’t just inexcusable, it was a terrifying lapse of memory.

There have been other failures too. Don’t get me wrong. It hasn’t been all failures. I’ve accomplished tasks this past May. At least one of those accomplishments took me by the surprise and it was a very satisfying suprise. Right now my failures are weighing heavily upon me.

How do I lift this weight from myself? I’m not sure if I should lift it. Not all of it. Perhaps some matters should weigh upon me. Perhaps the weight will help me to remember what’s important.

Some of my depression may be all the reminders I’m getting that I’m no longer young. I’m getting some stiff physical reprimands when I try certain things. If I go to Monterrey for a day, it means a two-hour car ride. I’m stiff and sore afterwards. I even limp. Crowds, noise and too much sun have always given me headaches. I got whacked with one after my day on the pier, drinking wine, and watching the sea lions play. Yes, it was fun, but I paid for my fun with pain.

Don’t get me wrong. It was great going to Santa Cruz and Monterrey this weekend after being locked down for over a year. I got to go see things and do things I haven’t in far too long, but I’m out of shape. I tire easily. This is the first time in a long time I’ve coped with the after effects of crowds and noise. We’re beginning summer and hot weather always makes me tired, although I love the fruits and vegetables which come into season because of that heat.

I wish I could swim. I haven’t gone swimming in over a year. Our local pool is closed. I’m not sure if the one at the gym is open. For that matter I’m not even sure if my swimsuit still fits. I gained a lot of weight during lockdown and a lot of things don’t fit. The extra pounds isn’t helping with the hot tired feeling, but changing that is up to me.

Don’t mind me. I’ve just got the June blues. Here’s hoping they’ll pass.
  • Current Music
    Condor's Flight, by Cusco
  • Tags

April Aftermath




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It’s a very good thing I finished and set up Blogging From AZ April Challenge: Character Poems way in advance. Doing so gave me a break from blogging, a break I didn’t know how much I’d need.

First off I got my first vaccination shot for Covad-19. The Pfizer didn’t give me the horrible after effects some of my friends and fellow writers endured. Some of the side effects (or imagined side effects) were positive, like an easing of some of my aches and stiffness. I did feel like I was coming down with something and keep getting sleepy. I was warned I might experience both. Being a cautious sort I decided to take it easy, not to push myself at any of my various projects in progress. I’ve been watching a lot of The X-Files which I got on DVD. I’ve never seen the whole series so it’s been a fascinating journey, putting all the pieces together, the steps which Mulder and Scully take in order. The X-Files paired very well with Supernatural for me. It’s an interesting balance, watching the two shows together with all of their similar and dissimiliar elements. It’s also a treat to watch the performances of the actors since David Duchovny, Gillian Anderson, Jared Padaleck, and Jensen Ackles are all strong with years in which to polish their craft and fine tune their performances. Seeing them in action is a welcome distraction.

I haven’t let myself be completely distracted. I’m still writing. I’ve been working on At Her Service but it’s been slow going. I’ve been fine-tuning and fixing up a lot more as I expand than I thought I would. I’ve been working on other things but I’ve had to pace myself at everything, not just to take care of myself, but because there’s been a lot of turmoil in the places where I write. I’ve needed to snatch moments of quiet in which to work.

I’m not sure when the chaos will be over. There may well be more to come. My second vaccination shot is coming up in early May. Judging from my husband’s reaction to his second shot, I might be in far worse shape afterwards. He came down with a fever which he was warned might happen. He drank plenty of fluids and it slowly came down. Fevers, however, along with the accompanying nausea and headache aren’t fun. I firmly believe it’s worth going through in order to be vaccinated against Covad-19, to get something of a normal life back again, but I’m not looking forward to it. Maybe I won’t go through the same thing as my husband. I got the Pfizer, he got the Moderna. We could have different reactions. Our responses to the first shot were similar enough I ought to prepare myself. If I’m going to get a fever, I’m going to be incapicitated. I’m going to want to look after myself, concentrate on getting through it and getting better.

Wish me luck.

What's Happening?



It’s begun, it’s begun, #BloggingFromAZAprilProject! Both Cauldrons (The Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration at inspirationcauldron.wordpress.com and the Formerly Forbidden Cauldron at inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com) will be participating. This April’s theme is Character Poems.

Ah, poetry…I’ve got a passion for certain poets’s works such as Baudelaire, Christina Rossetti, Shelley, Lord Byron, and William Blake’s. I’ve posted poems of my own at both Cauldrons, often inspired by the prompts of P.T. Wyant at ptwyant.com. This month I’m offering a poem every day at each Cauldron to one of my characters. We’ll see how much they appreciate them. (wry grin)

Once more I’m not officially participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, but I am writing. I’ve been expanding At Her Service, working on a few of my fanfictions, along with bits and pieces of other projects. It’s been slow-going. I’m still adjusting to getting up earlier. The weather got a lot warmer where I live. I’m having to walk a lot earlier. This means I’m going to bed earlier. I’ve lost time in which I used to work. Spaces where I used to work in are flooded with harsh sunlight, making them stuffy and uncomfortable. Blinds don’t always help in this. Real life has been difficult lately, making me want to hide from it. This hasn’t helped my enthusiasm. Plus I learned something which made me wonder if my own tastes are at odds with the public, if I’m writing in the wrong genre, if maybe I should be aiming for readers of literary fiction. Only I’m not entirely sure how to aim. Perhaps the mentality of the market is against me. As an avid reader I felt my opinion as far as books are concerned mattered, but perhaps they’re too specialized to matter enough. I’m someone who loves to play with literary ambiguity facing a demand to define themselves. I wonder and worry about these things.

Forgive me my funk. I know the antidote for it. Give myself a success. Do something, accomplish something in spite of the funk, even if it’s something small.

Wish me luck.

Preparing for April



Next April I’ll be Blogging From AZ. At both Cauldrons. Yes, I’ve managed to load pictures onto posts again at the Formerly Forbidden Cauldron at inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com. No, I won’t be returning there for regular Wednesday posts. They’re there to stay at inspirationcauldron.wordpress.com. I might do a monthly something at the Formerly Forbidden Cauldron. I haven’t made up my mind what.

The theme of Blogging From AZ: April Project is Characters Poems. Yes, it’s the same characters who’ll be appeared at the Cauldrons. Ariadne, Byron, Christopher, Damian, Elizabeth, Fiona, Gabrielle, Hebe, Isolde, Juno, Kyra, ‘Lyssa, Melyssa, Nevalyn, Ouroborous, Peter, Questioning, Rhodry, Shelley, Troile, Una, Vanessa, Westerleigh, Xian, Yuri, and Zenobia will be visiting the Cauldron of Eternal Inspiration at inspirationcauldron.wordpress.com. Amberwyne, Briar, Caerac, Dyvian, Danyel, Tayel (Tayel used to be Dayel, but he refuses to leave Danyel, his twin, so he ends up under D regardless), Emma, Faith, Grace, Hector, Harold, Iama, Jupitre, Kevin, Leiwell, Map, Nathalie, Oleander, Phaedra, Quartz, Rhane, Seraphix, Thomas, Undine, Varwyth, Xylanthe, Ylynessa, and Zoe will be visiting the Former Formerly Forbidden Cauldron at inspirationcauldron.blogspot.com. I’ll write a poem to each character (or characters) on the day of their particular letter. I’ve found it very helpful to remind myself of these particular characters. It gives me a chance to promote those in published works. It reminds me of those in formerly published works whom need me to finish revising their stories. It gives me the impetus to give a little attention to characters whose stories are still in progress.

I’ve got a lot of stories in progress; My Tool, My Treasure; Web of Inspiration, My Cusps Runneth Over, Trouble at Caerac Keep, On the Other Side of the Mask, A Portrait Is Worth a Thousand Words, The Players Are the Thing, A Suitor’s Challenge, Lift Your Gaze to the Heavens, and No Flying Saucers in the Vineyard, to name a few. Plus there’s my stories awaiting revision; Stealing Myself From Shadows, The Hand and the Eye of the Tower, A Godling for Your Thoughts, Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins, plus I’ve decided revise Fairest, expand some of the parts I summarized. I’m in the middle of revising At Her Service right now. There are also my ongoing fanfictions I’m writing at Archive of Our Own I need to complete; A Hopeless Situation (Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel), More Than a Jinrou (Shiki), and Sisterhood of the Witchblade (a Witchblade/Angel/Wonderfalls/Dead Like Me x-over) There’s lots to work on during Camp NaNoWriMo April, although I’m not sure if I’ll officially register. I’ll probably trying to be a little more vocal in my Facebook group; Camp NaNoWriMo: End of the Rainbow Cabin.

All of my blog activity will be put on hold in April for Blogging From AZ except for Rainbow Snippets. I’ll still post Rainbow Snippets on Sundays. Much of what I’m doing is rushing around getting these set up while continuing my Works in Progress. Morning Pages have become a way of life for me. They help me organize myself, think of what I’m going to write next, what I’m going to work on next.

I’ve become a lot more regular about Artist’s Rewards since social isolation. I can no longer go to art galleries, or visit places I used to. I’ve starting making them about the DVDs I watch, my impressions of what I’ve seen. A really trippy Artist’s Reward I wrote was a stream of consciousness piece regarding episodes of Hannibal Season 3. Doing this helped me get back to writing when I faltered during social isolation. They’ve also become a source of solace.

I’m getting back to my goals. Having the rights of Fairest and At Her Service sent me into a state of panic, or failure. Yes, I should have expected this. The contract I had for Once Upon a Rainbow Volumes 1 and 2 was only for a few years. I still felt like I’d been unpublished, that I’d taken a huge step backwards. I’ve been trying to regain my balance, feel like I’m moving forward again. This is after all an opportunity to improve both stories, to write certain scenes I just summarized in Fairest and to expand At Her Service, changing parts readers found objectionable which really aren’t essential to the story.

There are a lot of balls of juggle and I’m having trouble catching them, although I’m getting better with practice.

Wish me luck.

The First Step

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Self-publishing. It’s something I need to do, step by step.

First thing is first. Finish the product. Finish Stealing Myself From Shadows which needs to be polished up and made ready to publish. Finish Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins which I finished a draft of last year and also wants polishing up.

Only Of Cuckoo Clocks and Crystal Coffins is the sequel to Fairest. Fairest, which is no longer in print since it’s contracted time is up in Once Upon a Rainbow Volume 1 as is At Her Service in Once Upon a Rainbow Volume 2. Those are products ready for re-publication or are they?

I’ve received a measure of criticism for At Her Service for a scene I inserted to make the story longer, a scene some readers found offensive. The scene has its place in the story but it could be fixed up. The entire story could be fixed up.

It’s not necessary but I could have a better story and a better product as a result. The same is true of Fairest. I fixed a lot of things which bothered me when I re-submitted it, but there are large segments I summarized.

I keep thinking about the novel, Hannibal, by Thomas Harris which I’ve finally broken down and read after being madly in love with the TV series Hannibal for so long. How I didn’t enjoy the ending with Hannibal and Clarice, although much of their relationship throughout the books had been beautifully written and beautifully portrayed in cinema. I never could quite accept the ending in the book the way I accepted what happened between Hannibal and Will in the TV series, even though the latter made my head spin at times.

Too much was summarized in those conversations after the Verger Farm. Those conversations signalled the change in their relationship, leading up to the end. I feel they should have played out, the way Will and Hannibal’s conversations did the series. As a reader, I didn’t feel the change. There may have been excellent reasons for those summarizations; such as a word, page, or chapter limit. How would I feel about the ending if those scenes had played out?

Criticism is useless unless I learn something from it. How much better will Fairest be if I let those scenes play out? How much better will At Her Service be if I go through, detect any summarizations, and let them play out?

I’ve got the rights back to Fairest and At Her Service. This is an opportunity to do something about those summarizations, the parts of the stories I’m still not happy with.

I guess I’m going back to that first step. Finish the product. I’ll worry about the other steps while I’m completing that one. In the meantime, I’ll keep my eyes and ears open for information that’ll help make the next steps less intimidating.

Wish me luck.

A New Year

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The song Love Crime by Siouxsie Sioux and Brian Reitzell keeps playing in my head, the one at the end of the TV series Hannibal. Watching its episodes, commentaries, and extras on BluRay was one of the things that got me through 2020. Somehow the image of the two men, bleeding, wounded, embracing on the cliff’s edge while the lyrics “I will survive/Live and thrive” sum up my almost defiant relief at leaving 2020 behind and doing my best to plunge into 2021.

I’m a lot heavier. I don’t want to be this heavy. I finished a rough draft of an original story I’m not sure about and a ton of Hannigram fanfic as rhodrymavelyne which is now posted at Archive of Our Own. I’m looking at a couple of original stories of mine which were orphaned once again when the anthologies were in reached their expiration dates. I’m considering self-publication with woefully empty pockets. I’m wasting time, doing too many things wrong, yet every step feels like wading into shark-infested waters. I wish I found the business side of writing more fun. It seems I could make it more fun if I started thinking creatively about certain entrenched marketing notions, if I figured out ways to directly appeal to potential fans of my work. How can I use the market to find them? What resources can I use to find them? One of the most effective methods I had of reaching out were conventions. I haven’t been able to go to those. I’m not sure if I’d be as effective at promoting my work at an online convention as I am in person. I hope a vaccine is found to the virus, allowing people to go to conventions again, but right now online conventions are the only conventions available.

I hope we can go back to doing a lot of things once a vaccine is found, but the hard truth is the world has changed and I’m going to have to cope with that change. While I’m trying to cope, time is wasting, and my finite time is running out.

My first impulse is to put aside the tasks I’m unsure of and concentrate on the ones I can do, like finishing my stories. Making money off stories published so I could earn enough to self-publish has been a complete bust. Maybe it’s time to concentrate on the stories that I’ve set aside for too long, the ones straining to get out in blog posts at inspirationcauldron.wordpress.com.

I haven’t made any resolutions. I don’t trust myself enough to make them. I would, however, like to finish a few, incomplete projects and tasks in 2021, ones which have been left unfinished for too long. I’ve made progress on a few, but I never complete as many tasks as I hope to.

Wish me luck, energy, and zest in finishing the ones I can.
  • Current Music
    Love Crime, by Siouxsie Sioux and Brian Reitzell