Friday, October 31

Spokane Arts Award Show

So, tonight was the Spokane Arts Award Show.  I was nominated for the Imagination award and got 2 free tickets to the event.

I didn't win, nor was I one of the finalist, but I did have fun and that's important.

Took my friend Sandy and we dressed up [me as a steampunk person, her as an anime character].  We ate some appetizers, she had some champagne and generally hung out. Watched some of the people do the Thriller dance, then the awards were announced.

After getting our picture taken, we headed down and I got a chance to chat a bit with a friend, before we left.

Not to discount the party, but the best part for me was the dessert at the Onion downtown.  We got to try deep fried oreos [which I've had before, but she hasn't] and talk, before the drive home.  Which was also a blast.  My music is fun and good lord did we sing loudly and badly all the way back to her place.

All in all, it was a fun night and I am glad I went.  Parties aren't my thing, but it's good to get out and try new things every so often.

Kristy C


video

Thursday, October 30

World Series, Panic Attacks and Migraines...

[written at 10pm Wed Night.]

For a few hours today, all three were happening at the same time.  The first and last seem to have passed, but I'm still sitting here feeling tired, with my heart speeding up randomly.

I've done everything I can to calm myself down, since I know it was a mixture of realizing tomorrow's the award show, Saturday's NaNo and my team was in a close battle for the World Series.

1: We won.  I screamed when we made a pretty craptastic error and let the tieing run make it to third.  Then I screamed, even louder, when the Panda made a freaking amazing catch and we won.  Scared the cat doing that too.  Not sure she's forgiven me yet.

2: I know NaNoWriMo will be what it will this year.  I'm writing blind and without purpose, other than to write.  Done it before, I can do it again.

3: The award show... I'm still freaked out about it.  I'm scared I'll win, and I'm nervous I'll feel out of place, and that I don't deserve to be there.  Win or lose, I know its not important.  But I'm scared anyway.

So, there we have it.  Now, I think I'm gonna head to bed.  Ya'll will be reading this in the morning, so I hope your day goes well.  I'm gonna try and take photos of the event and have something to show for it, even if I'm freaked out over it.

Kristy C

Wednesday, October 29

Recouping

Last few days have been nothing but 'blargh.... I want to nap' after the weekend.  Which is pretty typical for con goers.  We're at the end of the season, but for those of us artist we're also at the start of the Holiday season.

No rest for the wicked.

I've been taking it easy, but plan on getting back into my routine next week.  I've got too much to work on not too. Between NaNo, the Etsy shop and everything, I've got to get busy.

That doesn't mean this will suffer however.  I'm going to work on some more posts and have things ready to send out daily.  Its even in my check-list.  :D

Expect to hear more about my my writing and any sales I've got coming up.  I may even include some blurbs.

Plus, I've been reading a fair amount and I want to review what I read for ya, so there's that too.

Meanwhile, this week is focused on getting better and tomorrow night, when I have the Costume Ball and awards show [aka, the HOLY CRAP event].

How are your lives looking?  Busy, boring, in a calm before the storm?

Kristy C

Tuesday, October 28

Feeling Accomplished

So, this weekend I got to feel all professional and like I've arrived somehow.  While vending at a con, I was put onto three writing panels.  [Character Development, Female Creators and Tips for Aspiring Writers]

Not only was it interesting to be on the other side of the table, but it was a bit of a shock to have someone come up after and ask for advice... And others still find me at my booth and chat with me.

Somehow, it feels like in the last year something broke inside me and I've been able to grow more than I'd thought I could.

Looking back over the years, I know where a lot of it started and also when everything started to crumble.  But even knowing these things, having those moments where you see the growth in yourself... Its strange and wonderful at the same time.

As I've said in the past, last year my car with all of my jewelry [ok, minus about 20-30 pieces, but still.], my display... Pretty much everything was stolen.  I got the car back, but not much else.  It left me heartbroken and thinking I should have just given up.

But my friends encouraged me and I stuck with it.  I reimagined my display and my presentation of the jewelry.  I started, and have kept, an inventory with accurate pricing.  My photos are more professional and I'm striving to keep my etsy story up to date.

And ya know what?

In less than a year, I was back on my feet and moving forward.  My stock is at the same place it was before the theft, my etsy stores up and mostly running... And I've taken several big jumps at trying to make it in the world.

So whatever happened to me, it all started with the theft and all that thing forced me to do.

Nothing could make me trade the jewelry for this change in myself and everything, but at the same time... Not sure I'd give up the results.

Kristy C

Monday, October 27

Days 2 & 3 of PAC Con

You have no idea how bad I feel about not getting a post up yesterday.  Something happened to my brain, and I was all 'BLAAAARGH' and forgot a lot of things.

Sorry, no photos to post.  I ended up spacing a lot and didn't get around to photos this time around. However, more than a few friends took some and I may borrow them [with permission and credit] to show of the epicness that happened.

Saturday was pretty good.  I had two panels and enjoyed both of them.  Made several sales of jewelry.  >.> The first few were after I'd left, made me kinda feel like it was me that couldn't sell.

Afterward, I went to Denny's with a friend and had a nice chance to relax and just enjoy things.

Sunday was slower, but still nice. Chatted with people, did some shopping and in general.. Had a blast.

Would I go again?  Not sure.  The booth prices were steep, more so for the area.  Sure, I didn't pay but I kept it in mind while going over if it was a success or not.  While I 'made' money, I didn't make that much.

I am going to look into a few other cons over the next year or so.  I enjoy them as a vendor, and would love to be a panelist as well.

Kristy C

Saturday, October 25

Day 1 of PAC Con Spokane

So, yesterday was the first day of PAC Con here in Spokane.  We set up our booths and had some people go through.  Today's supposed to be the busy day. [Hoping for lots of sales.]  But I've also got 2 panels.

Yesterday, I did my first panel EVER, as a speaker.  Turns out, of the three of us.. Only one had done them before.  I didn't die [YAY!!] and it was pretty fun.  I hope I didn't over talk, since it can be a problem I have.  But the other two seemed to like me well enough, and I'll have both of them in my next two panels.

There was some bad news I only just saw today.  A friend and fellow author's brother passed away a few days ago.  I'd met them both several years ago at SpoCon and likes both.  I know her health has been up and down, but her brother was her rock and it breaks my heart that he's gone.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend and I'll try and get a post for you about today, and hopefully have some pictures on Monday.

Kristy C

Friday, October 24

COVER REVEAL!!!

Argentum is the thread that binds all magic. When Merlin fashioned the first shapeshifter charms, he selected silver for his work. The silver wand, the silver scrying bowl, the silver charms of the shapeshifters.

All contain the essence of Argentum.

ARGENTUM-CONCEPT2-Front

The P.A.W.S. saga continues with

Argentum

Coming soon


You can pick up book 1, here... P.A.W.S. by Debbie Manber Kupfer

Thursday, October 23

When The Muse Hits...

I spent most of my day hanging out in my living room/work space, watching some TV and not doing anything.  Then I glanced over at my supplies and start taking things out, looking around and getting curious.  Out of no where, I get inspiration for some earrings I'd thought of making months ago, but almost given up on.


I call them, Dirty Dice earrings.  :D

Several months ago, I found an old dice game and rifled through them.  I came up with two pairs, then wasn't sure I wanted to make more.
That Was... 
Are You A...
SOLD

As you can see, I did some style changes for this second batch.  :D  Even managed to worry my best friend a bit with my cryptic phrase...
>.>  I am tempted to try something... I wonder if dad's drill is about for me to use.
While I did explain my idea, she'd already gone to bed [like a sane person.]

Luckily for me, my dad came home a few minutes later and I asked if he had the drill.  Didn't find it, but I did find his much more powerful Dremel.  [Mines great, but weak.]  He then gave me a kick ass clamp thing and I was off to have fun making jewelry.

With a drill.

:D

Sometimes, I love my job.  I got to not only drill word dice, I got to make slightly perverted dirty dice earrings AND watch cartoons while doing it.

I may not make a lot doing this, but how many people can say they love what they do?

Here was my set up... Kick ass, if you ask me.

So, that was my night.  Inspiration hit like a ton of bricks, and I survived.  Now, to take and inventory them for the Con this weekend.

Kristy C

Wednesday, October 22

Walking...

Its an easy thing to do, but for some reason hard to keep at.  I've been told to spend 30 min a day being 'active', and this means working out in some fashion.  Not 'go to a gym and spend hours there', but walk, ride a bike, swim... Something.

So, on Monday my friend and I went to the mall and walked 2 miles.  WOO!!!  Then yesterday, she wasn't up to it and I messed up and didn't do anything.  Today, one of her kids stayed home and so she had to cancel again.  I know I need to walk anyway, so I plan on it.  Just sucks and isn't easy.  Blargh.

But, I want to get better and this will freaking help.

>.>  Doesn't help that one of my best friends got to complain that her hips hurt after the running and hills thing she did on Saturday.  I thought not nice things about her.  Still, she was excited and happy about my working out and my two miles.

Well, off I go to get my jaunt in.

Kristy C

Tuesday, October 21

What does FINE mean?

Freaked Out Insecure Neurotic and Emotional

The line comes from The Italian Job, a good movie in my opinion.

But if you think about it, when you say 'I'm fine' 90% of the time, you're not.  You are in fact one, if not all of those things.

You're freaked out over something going on in your life, most likely that you have little control over.  Sure, you can study for a test, but what if you run out of time or skip a page by mistake and miss something big.  There are elements you have to trust will happen.  And that's just something you have some control over.  Plenty of other things happen in our lives that we have no control over and its just a waiting game.

I've got 3 panels I'm speaking on at a Con this weekend.  One on Friday, two on Saturday.  While I'm thrilled to take this step [I HATE crowds and I HATE being the center of attention], I'm also freaking out because apart of me doesn't feel qualified to talk to people about being a writer.

On top of that, there's this award I'm up for.  Yes, I know I've got an imagination.  Trust me.  But to be up for an award as someone who's used that imagination for the betterment of the city? When I look at the others nominated, I feel pretty small and not worthy.

Insecure... So, not only are you freaking out but with that comes the doubts that you're just not good enough.  Interestingly, I covered those with Freaking Out pretty well.  I think these two tend to go hand in hand when we say 'I'm fine.'

Neurotic... This ones harder to explain.  I think the best part of the description of the word is 'unbalanced' and 'unstable'.  And in this sense, its showing that you're not able to cope with changes well.  Why is this bad?  In an uncontrollable situation, changes happen and they happen fast.  Which means when you're off kilter, they'll throw you into a tail spin and drag you down.

Last week my heart started acting weird and I had a lot of trouble sleeping.  My reaction, since I was stressed over other things, was to not figure out how to try and calm down, but keep freaking out, nap a lot and finally end up in the ER, scared that something bad had happened too me.  I was unbalanced and that first 'attack', knocked me for a loop.

Last we have, Emotional.  This is the last element and for good reason.  First two go hand in hand most of the time, freaking out brings out your insecurities.  You're then unbalanced and unprepared for changes to happen.  When those things take you to a breaking point, your emotions cut loose and you 'release' what should have been released when the person asked 'How are you?'

I'm not the best at sharing my emotions, but I try and do what I can.  Its important to let go and let out what's messing you up.  When I saw the nurse practitioner on Friday, her advice for helping was to exercise and get into counseling.  Interestingly enough, I've received two different replies to that last bit of advice.

1: Its a load of crap.  My idea of 'counseling' is a bottle of jack and my friends for a night.  Drink and get it all out in the open.  One costs hundreds of dollars, the other maybe $60.  Same result.

2: Good, it's helpful and sometimes you need to share things with someone who's not going to judge you.

The NP said she sees it like an oil change.  You perhaps go in weekly, biweekly or something for a while, but hopefully reach a place where you're only going in twice a year.  Kinda like an oil change.  And to me, that makes sense.  While yeah, the first one isn't a bad idea and I do enjoy a good vent to a friend, its not the same as those times you share with a stranger and get what you REALLY want to say, out in the open.

Heck, I've shared more here with the world than I have at times with people I care about.

Now, I'm not saying I've managed to get past being FINE.  I'm not.  I still reply that when I don't want to deal just yet.  And timing is important.  But so is sharing.  And sharing with someone who don't judge you, pass on what you said in 'confidence', or perhaps stop talking to you for what you say or any of those reasons why friends aren't always the best people to share with.

And there are plenty of people who fall into those categories.  Some people talk with pastors/priests, others with bartenders.  Strangers you share a table with at a coffee shop who seem willing to listen and not judge. Guidance counselors, advisors and many others fit into that category of someone you can talk too.  I've even used a blog I never shared and kept my name off of to rant and vent about things I didn't feel I had someone to talk too about.

I understand peoples dislike for counseling.  I've been there.  We all think its like Frasier and how you secretly want to have sex with your mother, and it all starts with your childhood.  But its not that.  Or rather, its not ALL that.  Sure, some are like that and some aren't.  If it doesn't work, find someone else.  You don't buy the first car you sit in, or marry the first person you date... Why stick with the first doctor you find?

^^  Thanks for listening.  I hope to have gotten closer to seeing someone by now [as this was written Sunday night.] and will keep you updated a bit on things.  Posts may be late this weekend, but I'm hoping to get a few preposts up this week.

Kristy C

Monday, October 20

Guest Post - Kristine Hall-Garcia of Meditations on Art

Hi everyone! My name is Kristine Hall-Garcia. I am a writer, and the creator of Meditations on Art, a website for creatives. I’m excited to have been invited as a guest on Kristy’s blog. She asked me to tell you a little bit about myself and my new blog.

As my first novel is nearing completion, I knew I needed to start thinking about building an author platform. That’s a difficult task for an introvert who hates talking about herself. Being a writer, one might think that I would at least enjoy talking about writing, but I don’t. The idea of starting a blog about writing sounded like something I would quickly tire of.

One thing I do love though, is art in all of its various forms. I love music, painting, dancing, film, crafts, sculpture, photography, etc. Art excites me. I love being exposed to new art and artists, and I never tire of seeking them out.

I find that as a writer, I am often influenced by other art forms. A Tori Amos song, for instance, inspired my novel. I wrote a horror story that was inspired by a P.J. Harvey song, and I know musicians who wrote songs that were inspired by famous paintings. I think all artists are inspired by other forms of art.

What I wanted to do was create a space online that would bring artists of all forms together, under one virtual roof. While I definitely consider literature art, writing is really more of a craft. It doesn’t always feel magical and exciting. In fact, a lot of times it just feels like work. I find that I need constant inspiration and motivation to put in my work everyday.

And that is what Meditations on Art is about, bringing inspiration and motivation to creatives. Every month I feature a new artist who shares insights into their creative process, the highs and lows of their career, and of course, their art.

You won’t find any Stephen Kings or Taylor Swifts on my site. Meditations on Art is for the struggling artists. The ones who haven’t made it big, might never make it big, but do it anyway because they love it. My hope is that you will find a future King or Swift on my site, though. If you are an artist, or just someone who likes art, come check us out!


Kristy is my feature artist for November. And the rest of the line-up thus far looks great! Thank you for hearing me out, and I hope you will come visit me by clicking here: http://meditationsonart.com

Sunday, October 19

Review: Excelsior by George Sirois


I joined a FB group and took part in an event online with them, where we got to meet George online and ask him about his other series of books. As a bonus, he gave us a chance to pick this book up for free. I did, and once I'd finished my other current read I went out and started this one.

From the start, the story pulled me in. The idea of it was amazing and the way you learn of Matthew and how the dreams of a comic could be something so much more, was one that you don't see too often. My only critique is that the ending seemed a little too fast. While I don't mind fast stories, it pulled me out a few times to catch up on what the heck was going on.


In the end, that didn't stop me from loving what this book had to offer and I would happily recommend it to just about anyone who enjoys this genre.



More about the Author:
George Sirois self-published his first novel "From Parts Unknown" in November of 2002, which he is re-working as a five-part eBook serial and paperback release. When he self-published his Young Adult/Science-Fiction novel "Excelsior" in July of 2010, it was named "Top Pick" by Night Owl Reviews and a quarter-finalist in the 2011 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. George's writing has also been seen on 411Mania.com and Booktrib.com as a featured columnist. After living in New York City for most of his life, George and his wife and their two dogs now happily call St. Louis, MO their home. In his spare time, George is an avid cinephile, a collector of film scores, a lifelong fan of the New York Giants, and enjoys West Coast Swing dancing.

Saturday, October 18

So, I was looking around Facebook and found this amazing blog with this amazing post.  It rings true to me, which means I'm hopefully not doing the wrong thing with my life.  While I have looked for a few jobs, I've got a bit of a past and its not easy.  Not to mention, that I put my creative future ahead of another profession or an easier way of making money.

Check out below for Bill Watterson's advice on being a creative and following your passion.

128. BILL WATTERSON: A cartoonist’s advice from http://zenpencils.com/comic/128-bill-watterson-a-cartoonists-advice/

Kristy C

Friday, October 17

Wandering Wizard Released!!!

So, today my short story leaves the Amazon Only world and escapes into the rest of the world!!  I hope you enjoy it and leave some great reviews.

Nook
Kobo
iBooks
Smashwords

Kristy C

Thursday, October 16

What happens...

When you get too stressed?  You can't sleep for two nights and end up at the ER getting EKG's, blood work and X-Ray's, because you're hearts racing at times and you're short of breath.

That happened last night.  I actually bumped the post for today to tomorrow to post this.

Turns out, when you say 'My hearts acting funny' they don't mess around.

Not that they shouldn't take it seriously, but I have no idea what caused the anxiety spike in me, just that it spiked and I freaked out after two days of very little sleep, being constantly tired and my heart racing on and off.

So, lesson learned... Although, what to do next I'm not sure.  A call to my doctor today is a big part of it all.  Figuring out how to help my stress levels, another part.  I don't want stress to break my body any more than it already has.

Kristy C

Wednesday, October 15

Things I liked, Killed or Canceled...

Its happened for years now.

I like a character, that character is killed off in the TV Show.  Often doing something really stupid that bugs me.  I recall one time where the guy saved another character who I disliked immensely.

Books I've liked have also received bad reviews, while I personally loved them.  It hurts to see others rip apart a story I thought was enjoyable.  Not amazing, but for what it was... Good.  Interestingly enough, I tend to leave better reviews for those, in a hope to counterbalance the negative.  Not nicer, but with a higher number of stars than I might have before.

Now, it seems to be happening in TV Shows.  Last season, I ADORED The Crazy Ones with Robin Williams and Sarah Michelle Geller.  I saw a lot of reviews for it that commented on how Robin was 'demeaning himself by returning to TV and falling back on old tricks.'  I wondered if they had an inside line to Mr. Williams, to see if perhaps he liked the return to his roots?  I didn't see it like others did.  The humor was intelligent, the cast worked well together and the stories engaging.

It broke my heart to see the show canceled.  More so some months later when I wondered if it might have played a small part in why Robin Williams was depressed.  Fans who disliked a show, and a Station that listened.

Now, oddly back on CBS, there's another show.  Scorpions.  Its supposedly based on Real Life, which I kinda doubt.  But it is enjoyable.  The third episode had the most 'unbelievable' elements to it, with the obvious 'hero' quality given to the character who is 'based' on the associate producer, whose life the show is based on.

Anywho, that's my little rant for today.  Drives me batty how often things I love are killed, badly reviewed or canceled.

Kristy C

Tuesday, October 14

NaNoWriMo... Panster

So, my first year I started with nothing, and it was my best year to date.  Not that the other years have had bad results.  I think my second year is the second best.  After that, I planned and lost heart and then skipped.

This year, I'm starting with a blank slate.  There's a possible idea in my head, 'The moon is the silent brother to the sun.', but its just a possible one.

Right now, I think I'm gonna just get a prompt or two at midnight and write whatever comes to mind.  Seems to be the best way for me to go about it.  Most of my stories have started with a vague idea of what to start off with.

What kind of plans do you have, if you're doing NaNo?

Kristy C

Monday, October 13

Drama Rama

In my day to day life, I try my hardest to avoid getting in the middle of drama and to avoid drama queens.  Its impossible to always avoid them, but I do try.

Lately however, there's been some drama in a local community I'm a member of and its kinda annoying. As is typical, I've got friends on both sides of the line, and I think there's more than just two of them out there.

What I think bothers me the most, is that a few weeks ago when everything came to a head, one of those people seemed rather understanding and not that upset.

Now, a little over a month later, they're bitchy and very upset over everything and to the point of ignoring evidence that others aren't avoiding things, but have other plans.  Just because amends have been made, doesn't mean that it'll all be fixed with an 'I'm sorry and things are changing.'

It takes time to heal the wounds that have festered for some time now.  During the time of pain, people often pull away to wait things out.  Some of us are watching through the changes, others are going to watch from the sidelines.  Both are valid standpoints, but you have to just keep plodding along as best you can on either side.

What's hard, is that none of this takes into account that sometimes people make other plants and there's nothing you can do about it.  Anniversaries, vacations, class schedules, work... All of those things can cause you to not go for a few weeks.  For heavens sake, I've missed quite a few shows in Sept, due to other events.  No one complained about me [I don't think].  Is it just because I told them I'd be gone?

Sometimes, things happen and we all just have to realize that.  Its not easy to do, but we have too.

Kristy C

Sunday, October 12

Nothing better than a show that makes you cry...

When you watch something and it brings out an emotion in you, even if you perhaps know the ending... Its an amazing thing.

I finished the first season of Arrow last night and have to admit, I cried through a good deal of the end.  It was pretty freaking amazing and I honestly loved it.

On the flipside, I actually called part of the ending after four episodes.  I hope this doesn't give anything away, but....

SPOILERS!!!!!
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Sho, in case you haven't seen it, here's what I said at the end of about 4 episodes in....

Seeing two best friends in love with the same woman, I KNEW the best friend would end up either as a villain or dead, but only after the girl had pretty much chosen him.  Guess what?  I was right.

And I think that was a big part of why I stopped watching it.  What I didn't plan on, was that it would be beautifully done and leave me crying as I watched it.  That, was worth it.

Kristy C

Saturday, October 11

Bah, late post

Had a long night yesterday... Well, a long day in all.  But then, Friday's tend to be long.  Gaming starts at 2, [or, its supposed to...] and I arrive about 1:30ish, to make sure I'm there in time.  And then the first session runs til 6, with an hour break before the second session starts at 7 and goes til 11.

Well, both of my games started late and one ran late, while the other got over early.  Was kinda weird.  Enjoyed both of them, but the gentlemen who GMed the first game had some health issues in the end and had to leave by ambulance.

I'm praying he's ok.  Nice guy.

Our second game.. Well, it turned out all of us had played it and so none of us could play it.  Instead, we did a last minute other game and I played Bruce Wayne. :D  I only picked him of my 20+ level 1's, because my friend said she wanted to play Kyle, her Catwoman character.  Decided I should for sure play Batman right then and there.

Had a BLAST, despite being told I shouldn't have a sword.


Anywho, sorry its late.  I'm gonna get on the ball this weekend and prepare more posts, making sure its not all last minute.  Ya'll deserve better than that.

Kristy C

Friday, October 10

When a story stalls...

I'm working on the Fairy Tale Murders, and the story seemed to be zooming along when tonight...

Nothing.  I reached a place and my muse seemed to pull away.  Something in it feels off and I can't figure out just what that is.  It could be that I'm moving too fast, or that I missed something, or that I'm not letting the story do what it needs and fighting against it.

Either way, I got stalled out of it.

On the plus side, after skipping a sprint I did another and popped out a 830 word, almost complete story... Which I'm going to share some of with you here.  :D

The prompt was 'Dark and Stormy Night' and an Epic Horse... I got the first one in.

Most stories start on dark and stormy nights, because they’re setting the stage for what’s about to happen.  In Erra Lash, its always like that so we’re pretty used to it.  Which is why my story has a different opening line… Besides this one at least… I mean… Oh, you’ll see. 
The sun peeked through the normally darkened skies and smiled down upon our small village.  To date, that had only happened seven times in two hundred years, and only twice was it a good thing.  Both had been when our leader married someone the goddess approved of greatly. 
Any other time she parted the clouds was seen as a sign of her anger at us.  See, Cess was hidden away from us, looking through the clouds to watch our world.  In this way, she could leave us to live as we wanted, with minimal interference.  Only when someone’s sins were so great that even through the cover she could see it, did she part them to dispel justice.


Kristy C

Thursday, October 9

Arrow... Catching up.

Last season I started to watch Arrow, but got distracted and disliked it.  However, I'd like to watch the Flash and figured I'd give it another try.

I'm 8 episodes into the show and I am enjoying it.  There's a loooooooooooot of drama, which I understand is a part of the show, but... Its also too much at times.

Honestly, I don't have a lot to say today.  I got myself made up by a friend so I could get head shots by another friend, all for the award thingy I'm up for.

Then I added 1371 words into my story and killed my first bad guy.  Parts of the story feel like they're moving a bit fast, but its something I plan on going back to work on later.

Kristy C

Wednesday, October 8

Word Sprints, NaNoWriMo and a WIP

So, a few weeks ago I started doing some sprints with a group on Fb.  The best part about the sprints, I think, is the themes they give us.  We're supposed to incorporate the theme, or the word, into the story.

We meet up online when someone posts a 'Wanna sprint?' to the group.  Its often with a good 20-30 minutes before we'll actually sprint, enough time to get something to drink, set the mood and lock out the family.  Or whatever you have to do to get ready.

Then, its a 30 min 'write' sprint.

Ideally, you're not supposed to edit while you sprint.  Its about getting the words out, not the quality of the words.  Some people dislike that, as they have to go back and edit over everything later.  Personally, I've found the more often you do the sprints, the better you get at self editing on the fly.  But, that could also be just me.

Once the 30 min is up, we return to post our word count, plus either the best bit, or the bit with the prompt.  :D

Sometimes I look through a book of prompts, and add in another one to 'sweeten' the inspiration.  This is just for myself.  Other times, the song playing on my Spotify playlist will spark what I need to start something.

Then, my muse struck without me looking.

Our theme was Garbage Can and my theme was four sealed boxes.  Add to that, Familiar Taste of Poison and you get the start of something interesting.


In fact, that something was so interesting, its just over 9k in words and I think about half done.  Not to mention that I've gotta plot out sme things and needed a world map, and a mind map program.

Yeah, something that simple became much more.

From what I can tell, the story [The Fairy Tale Murders] is a novella of sorts, most likely a little too weird to be a Cozy Mystery, but something for me to explore.  My brains been in a dark place lately, and this story might be what I need to move through it.  I hope to have it finished by the end of the month, so I can start NaNoWriMo with something new.

I don't wanna share too much of the story, but I'm going to show the small start below.  Not too many words, just a hint of what its about.  And remember, this is first draft only.  So its kinda Raw.  If you listen to the song at the same time, could be cool.

Kristy C

He looked down at the body before him, eyes staring blankly back.  Even in death, she was stunning.  Black hair splayed out around her head in a sort of halo.  The kind you can’t get without someone’s carefully combing it out.  Hands had been crossed over her chest, with an apple resting above them. 
Cause of death hadn’t yet been determined, but he’d have bet money it was poison.  A glass lay next to the body, tipped over with what had been left of the wine only a few drips in the glass, and a puddle on the floor. 
It fit with the other killings they’d had lately.   Three others, each killed by poison and each laid out to represent a fairy tale princess.  His analysts were having a field day working out a profile, as well as who would be next.  Best they could tell, before this one, only Snow White and Cinderella were left.  Although he’d pointed out the others had been princesses, while she’d only married a prince. 
Taking a deep breath, he looked at the rest of the room.  Four sealed boxes had been arranged around an old metal garbage can.  X-Ray machines were being brought in to see if they could figure out what was in each, before they opened them. 
Each one had a marking on it, and he had a feeling to what was in the last one.  It bothered him to no end, because it meant the reasons would never be known.  Killers like this didn’t tend to leave notebooks laying around with their reasons. 
He just hoped, it wasn’t who he suspected.  Stepping toward them, he saw the markings more clearly.  A rose, a wave, a braid and a swan. 
“They called her Cinderella, because they made her sleep in the ashes by the fireplace and she was always covered in the cinders.”  He mumbled, opening the lid as others yelled at him to stop. 
Staring up with a blank face was a lovely woman with golden hair.  Her body had been bent and twisted to fit into the can, before the ashes had been dumped in.  Looking back at the woman on the floor, he swore. 
They had an accomplice to look for.

Tuesday, October 7

0.0 Surprise Events

While I was heading over to take a friend grocery shopping, I checked my email and found a surprise in it.

Hello, and congratulations! You have been nominated for a 2014 Arts Award in the category of Imagination. We'd like to express gratitude for your good work for Spokane through the arts, and congratulate you on this recognition.

Needless to say, I was a little shocked by the email.  Looking it over, the thing looked legit and nothing was asking for money or telling me to download anything.  So, there was that.  And in general, I was sure it seemed familiar.  But that didn't stop me from wondering what the heck was going on.

After a little while, I remembered what was going on.  Someone on Fb had posted a link about a group trying to bring out the art in our city.  I'd jokingly asked a friend to nominate me.  I figured I'd be just one of hundreds and not much would come out of it in the end. Once it was done, I promptly forgot about it.

Land us on today, when suddenly I'm receiving this email saying I've been nominated.  To me, I don't really understand how it happened.  Its strange, as these things don't happen to me.  Sales have been sketchy lately, with some shows doing great and others not even bringing a profit.  My book hasn't sold a copy in weeks and I'm trapped at 4 reviews.

Yes, good things have been happening as well, but in the long run... Its just such a crap shoot that I figured nothing would come of my work.  At least, not locally.

I should explain a bit of that last comment.

Plenty of people around town have asked for help in various things.  Be it money, time, product, you name it, they've asked for it.  And I've tried to help as best I can.  Not perfect, and I'm not seeking to say 'That wouldn't have happened without me', but I've worked to help the local community.  The few times I've asked to get help, raising money or rebuilding my supplies after the theft... Well, 3 in the local community have helped.  Most of the help came from people I didn't expect it to come from.  Former customers, friends I haven't caught up with in ages, people like that.  But in the few times I've asked, none of those I've helped have helped me back.

I'm not demanding people repay, that's not how it works.  But when you see one person say 'Oh, help please?' and dozens of people rush to their side and when you say 'Help, please?' no one bothers to show up, it leaves you feeling out in the cold among friends.

Sure, we're all broke.  But I've still helped.  For f***'s sake, I gave a dollar to the homeless guy who cornered me to write me a poem!!

Its about sticking together as a community.  Everyone bitches about how we've splintered and that they don't talk to 'Those' people, or 'they just blocked me one day', but no one sees that they're doing the damage as well.  I've got friends in almost every splinter of the community.  I didn't take sides.  Everyones right and everyones wrong.  I get invited to things and hugged upon being seen, but for the most part... No help to be had when I need it.

Sorry for the vent, but when you look at the local community and that's what you see... Its hard to imagine someone reading what your best friend wrote about you, from her heart [in the lawyery way she writes ^^] and saying 'I like them.  Lets honor her in this.

Its like a little flash of hope in everything.  Perhaps not all of the community is as two faced as it feels they are. [This makes me feel like the Grinch.  “And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.”]

Anywho... I've asked a few friends to help me out, as I need head shots to do this thing.  I've actually needed them for a while, but keep putting it off to not be in front of the camera.  I dislike being in front of the camera.  Thankfully, I've had a few people offer to help.  ^^  A few aren't even local, but said they wished they were to help me out.  Always nice to hear.

I'll keep you updated on the event.  Sorry for the rant, but its been bothering me for a while now.

Kristy C

Monday, October 6

New Fall Shows... 2 of...

Got a chance to watch Gracepoint last night.  Gotta say, what's interesting is that where How to Get Away With Murder is fast paced and jumpy, but in a good way, this one is slower and plodding along.

The difference makes it hard to watch one right after another, but still enjoyable.  I'm gonna keep watching it and see where it goes for now.  I'm fairly hard to please, but having the chance to watch them on my laptop, while I do other things, might be what I need to keep at it.  Also hoping my dad is able to upgrade things next year and I'll perhaps get my own box.

Sadly, most of the shows coming out this year [that I wanna see] are dramas and I can't handle too much in one night.  I'll catch up a on others this week. And I promise to not post it tomorrow.  :D

Kristy C

Sunday, October 5

New Fall Shows... 1 of...

I've been catching up on the new falls shows this weekend.  That was of course, after discovering that I could watch them on my laptop thanks to Xfinity.  :P  Dur, never thought of that.

Selfie:  I liked it.  Yes, its an obvious modern take on My Fair Lady, but that's also a classic story and one that's easily remakeable.  I'm not sure its got more than a few seasons in it, as they've already hinted too much at the possible relationship between the leads.  ~Shrugs~ I'm sure they'll work it all out.

How to Get Away With Murder:  First off, I love a good murder mystery.  Pretty sure I've mentioned that.  Secondly, this may be the kind of show that has some cast changes every season, which I don't mind too much.  The storytelling in it is pretty cool.  I'm enjoying the way it all unfolds, both past and present.  Often with a sly comment made in the past, that they then show in the present... But expand on as the story goes.  As an example, seeing the people waiting in a car, then seeing the person who was shopping, while they waited, then seeing the other side of a phone call that was placed by the shopper.  As of episode 2, we still don't know what exactly is going on, but we're picking up clues.  Its sort of like starting in the middle of the ending, then jumping back to show how you got there, while advancing the ending.  By the end of the season, I expect we'll have caught up to the present and see it all unfold.

I got half way through Gracepoint, but did a few writing sprints and then got super tired, so I'll try and finish it tomorrow and perhaps another one.

What new shows are you excited about or have you enjoyed?

Kristy C

Saturday, October 4

Happily Ever After or Why I Like Action Flicks

Growing up, I've always loved me a good fairy tale.  Something about them just rocks.  Plus, they have the same ending.  Happily ever after.  And I like that in my stories.

Which comes to why I adore action movies.  Good guys fighting bad guys and the good guys always win.

In horror, you tend to have bad guys survive, while the 'good' kids just manage to live to the end.

In drama, you often have lovers who never really talk, and near the end one of them ends of killing themselves.  Or they do talk, but one of them dies anyway.  Most of the time, its just that one of them dies... Only important part.

In comedy, its a crapshoot.  Sometimes you get a good one but all too often, its just bathroom humor and low end comedy.  Not something I enjoy.

In thrillers, you find another crapshoot.  Sometimes they're well made and a good mystery, but other times they're only a little better than a horror film.

And in action films you tend to have good guys and bad guys.  Sure, some of the good ones are doing bad things, but they're also the kind of people with honor.  Not easy to have honor when you're all evil.

Action films can be more horror driven, thriller driven, even comedy driven.  And strong storylines aren't that common.  Most of the time its about the good guys stopping the bad guys from doing something.  During the course of that stopping, fist fights, knife fights, gun fights, car fights and many other types will appear.  Explosions happen, impossible feats of physics...

Then the good guys kick butt and walk/ride off into the sunset, alive to fight another day.

Sure, if the bad guys win you'll see them next time.  Its like Arkham Asylum... A revolving door for the baddies.

A good movie to understand what I'm talking about is a rather bad one called Jake Speed.  Not easy to find, no one very famous is in it.  But no matter how weird the good guy is, he's always good.  Or listen to some Philip Marlow radio shows.  Again, you'll see that kind of person.

They always do what's right.  Sometimes, it goes against the law but those times are for a specific purpose.  Say, a young kid was apart of something and sticking him in jail would do more harm than good.  Our good guy will keep him out of jail, while making sure those guilty are punished.

Please understand, there's nothing wrong with the genres mentioned above.  I just don't enjoy them as often.  Sure, there are exceptions to almost any rule, but for me those are just that... Exceptions.

Kristy C

Friday, October 3

Valentines Candy or Boxing Gloves...

So, there's this song from a really good movie called The Happiest Millionaire called Valentines Candy.  The young star of the movie, Cordelia [or Codry as she goes by] has just lost a date with a handsome young man, because her brothers were 'teaching' him how to keep up his guard should she punch him, and instead knocked him out.  So, he left.  Now, our young woman is faced with a problem.  Is she Valentines Candy or Boxing Gloves.

Now, I know all well and good that this story takes place in the early 1900's, and the time it shows means she should be in one world, but isn't.  But I can't help and make comments of 'yes.' whenever she asks if she's meant to be one or the other, because I've felt faced with that same issue for a years.

Even in this modern time, it feels as if you're supposed to fit into one of a few molds.  Girly girl or Tomboy.  You're not supposed to dress up for a tea party, then go play a d20 game after.  Making jewelry while watching Iron Man is a no-no.

A few years ago I was picking up some things at the dollar store and the lady behind me had two little girls with her.  One had a pretty princess jewelry pack, the other a plastic war axe.  I grinned and commented that I wanted both.  I mean, who says you can't have pretty jewelry on while you slay the dragon?  Sure a skirt might make movement a bit hard, but the right type could still be modest AND lovely.

But instead, we're still teaching our young people that you have to fit into some sort of mold.  You can't be diverse and eclectic.

My dad's got an amazing eye for color and enjoys watching decorating shows, design shows and the such with me.  He likes seeing what people can create.  He can't stand the drama, but the inventiveness and the chance to see what's out there intrigues him.  Its because of him that I'm a Klingon-Hobbit who loves listening to musicals, jazz, blues and understands what I do about music.  I think he's where I get my creative eye from.  Nothing against my mom mind you, but her gift was a love of research and dialogue with others, among the tea and other things.

So, when I hear this song it saddens me to think that young people are so stuffed into a box and a mold, when we're each so unique and different.

Below are the lyrics and a Spotify thingy for the song.  And I still recommend the movie to people, because despite those things its a cute film.

Kristy C
Oh, Miss Cordelia Drexel Biddle, I thought I knew you well!
But now, Miss Cordelia Drexel Biddle, I just can't tell.
Are you Valentine candy, or boxing gloves?
Lately you seem very strange... What in the world's coming over you?
Everything's starting to change.
Are you sonnets by Shelley, or rover boys? Once, any answer would do...
Why are you suddenly wondering, which kind of someone are you? I
s a boy meant to spar with, or gaze at a star with?
Should you kiss him, or blacken his eye?
Now if he buys you roses, a right to the nose is really not quite the proper reply...
You're so lost in the middle of in-between.
Is your destiny canvas, or crêpe de Chine?
Will you someday be someone that somebody loves?
Are you Valentine candy... or boxing gloves?

Thursday, October 2

What Dreams May Come....

We all have dreams in our lives.  A few weeks ago I talked about my childhood dream of owning a bookstore, and how it changed into owning my own business and being an author.  So today, I'm going to talk about a few of my current dreams.  The big, and the small.

I'd love to have my jewelry business stable enough to support me.
I'd like to move out of my fathers house [I'm 32, but he's supporting me and I don't think he's upset.  I made mistakes in the past and am working on a tough road out.]

I'd love to have a simple place to live and work.
I'd love to lose some weight.
I'd really love to be in less pain.

I'd love to have one of my stories turned into a comic book or a graphic novel.
I'd also love to have one turned into a mini-series or a movie, but those are farther down the road.
I'd dream of having my jewelry walk the red carpet at a movie premier or an awards show.
I want my jewelry to be in a movie.  I want there to be a line at the end of the credits saying 'Jewelry provided by Vintage Fusion Jewels'.

And, I want to grow old with my friends and watch their kids grow up.  I want to be their aunt who buys them books and teaches them how to play black jack.  I want to be the person they run away from home too.

I don't think any one of these is more or less important than another, except that last one.  That's the one I don't think I could live without.

What are your dreams? Leave them in the comments, I truly want to know.

Kristy C

Wednesday, October 1

Review... Guardians of the Galaxy

I FINALLY got to see this movie.  Normally, I aim to go to the midnight showings of the Marvel films, but this time money was tight and seeing anything at a normal theater wasn't gonna happen.  [We have one locally owned, independent theater in town.  Used to be known the 'The Dollar theater.  They show movies for $5, and on Wednesday its only $2.50.  Either way, sometimes its worth the wait for the price.]

Anywho, adding to my annoyance was that most of the times I see the movie and all my friends haven't.  This time, everyone else saw it last month and I was still waiting around.  So they're making jokes, laughing and talking about how awesome it is, and I'm left pouting.  Talked about that a bit ago.

On to the review!!

LOVED IT!!  Now, I've loved all the Marvel movies.  Ok, not the first Hulk one, but after that I have actually liked all of these films.  The stories, the characters, the actors... All of it came together for me in a great way.  They opened my eyes to this world, and as such I've been more active in my weird research vibe of Marvel, along with watching cute cartoons of them.

Guardians is a group I didn't know a lot about.  Saw them once or twice in an Avengers cartoon, and perhaps once in Ultimate Spiderman, but otherwise.... Nothing.

Mostly, I knew who Groot was and thought he kicked ass.  'I am Groot!'

To some, I'm sure the story starts a little slow, but as a writer I get why.  Just as with Thor, we're not picking up an origin story on earth where we know what's going on.  The movie has to give background information to those of us who know nothing about the Marvel world, outside earth!

So the movie shows us a bit of information about each one of the characters, broadening our world.  Most of the story, and the group, is centered around Star-Lord [Peter Quinn].  He's the heart of the group and its leader.

He's flawed, not the smartest, strongest or the 'best', but he's got what all leaders need to have.  The ability to take command, do what's needed and realize when someone else might be better at doing something.

Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Sheridan, Reynolds, Rogers, O'Neill, Janway... And others come to mind as being the same type of character.  They have something inside them that makes you want to follow and trust, even when it looks like you're most likely gonna die.

Best example of this is in Star Trek 6.  Kirk asks Sulu to help him.  As they fly to the aide of his former captain, one of the crewmembers says that they'll fly the ship apart if they keep it up.  Sulu's response?  'Then fly her apart!'

His faith and trust in Kirk was so strong, that he was willing to defy anything to get to the mans side in a moment of need.

If you watch any of these shows, you'll see just how often a good leader knows how to bring out the best in everything they do.

Sorry for the detract, but I think its important to see that they had an important role for Chris Pratt, and he did what was needed.  A little more like Malcolm Reynolds, but then the others tended to be working for a government with strict guidelines to follow, while Mal and Quinn are working outside the government with a motley band of misfits at their side.

Honestly, there's so much I could say about the movie, but I don't want to give things away.  Sure, its been out for almost 2 months now and I'm more than sure you've seen all the posts, memes and reviews out there, but I don't want to be the one to spoils it for anyone.

5 out of 5 stars for me.

Kristy C