Tag Archives: short stories

Mad Dash

My social media and blog progress has fallen short of my goal this season.  I think I’m two blogs short, and I haven’t posted anything on my social media in weeks.  I explained a little, in my last post in April, why I fell short.

My birthday was at the end of March, and I did spend some time with my family.

I also did a quick life revamp. I cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. I bought an adorable mirror for my wall. It’s a baroque mirror; I feel like a nicer version of the wicked queen. It’s great.

I started my diet again. It’s been up and down. It involves a lot more cooking and time.

Lastly, I’ve been working on Tapestry. I’ve done a ton of edits, and still have a ton more to do. However, I have a deadline. And not one of my imaginary, hope-I-meet-it deadlines. I have a friend who is beta reading my work. She has some stuff she has to handle by mid-June, and won’t be able to help me again until the end of the summer. I want to finish all the edits on the stories before she’s unavailable.

Editing away!

So far, it’s been okay. I have enough distance to edit properly; I feel like I’m really improving the stories. I have gotten half of them to her. However, I need to finish the other half in under two weeks.

I have also thought about redoing the cover for Tapestry. I don’t want to start from scratch, but I do want to make improvements. I’ll see how I feel about it in a couple of weeks.

And I want to create covers for my friend’s short story series. So I need to squeeze in some meetings about that in the upcoming weeks as well. (Which I am very happy to do.) This is all to say, wow am I busy. I am enjoying the work, though.

I will try to do better with the social media. It’s been hard to get back into the swing of it.

I have had more blog ideas. I have written them down. I’m excited to write them. Hopefully, by the end of the year, I can squeeze in the two blogs I missed during this craziness.

Happy spring everyone! Hope it’s going well for you.

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Here, There, Everywhere

The last couple of months have been hectic.

After Campfire Stories, I needed a little break. I relaxed, and gave myself time to think about what I wanted to do next. I also bought a few books! 😀

Shortly after my break, I got to visit with my aunts and my uncle, which was amazing. I learned a fun and crazy card game. We stayed up all night playing. I won a few times, but I had a pro on my team.michal-parzuchowski-43274

Pretty soon, I will get to see a different branch of the family tree. I hope that goes equally as well. I’ve been running around trying to prepare for it. I bought an adorable bathing suit. I also attempted to clean.

While it’s been tons of fun, it’s also been distracting. I haven’t gotten much work done. I tend not to work when I have guests, so my break lasted a lot longer than I thought it would.  Plus, it takes a moment for me to get back on track each time I change my schedule or have a lot of stuff going on.

After this next visit, my schedule should be clear for awhile. I hope I can focus during the second half of April, and finally get Tapestry close to finished by the end of May. I already marked up one of the stories.

I’m super excited to get back to work. I’m going to try to squeeze in another story before the impending family visit. Who knew I could miss work? The feeling is probably fleeting, so I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.

 


Campfire Stories: Nearing the End

Campfire Stories is going to be published soon! Everything is complete including my new author biography. The group is entering the marketing part of the process.

Of course, I will be announcing all new information on my Facebook Page and Twitter account.

I’m feeling all sorts of emotions: surprised, happy, hopeful, and a little disappointed. First and foremost, I’m happy we were able to put this book together. Previously, I was worried about the project falling apart.  I am also happy about everything I’ve learned and been able to accomplish. This has been a great experience. I hope the marketing end is just as educational and fun. I’ve gotten slightly more familiar with Mailchimp already. I hope there are lots of sales, that people like my work, and I gain readers.

The slight disappointment has nothing to do with the Campfire Stories project. I had wanted Tapestry published by the time Campfire Stories was published. I have fallen short of this goal. However, there is a silver lining.

Campfire Stories has taught me what goes into creating a book from start to finish. It took five people nearly a year. Granted, we were doing other things in our lives, but putting a book together is not as simple or easy in practice as it is in theory. I understand now why I have fallen short of my goals with Tapestry. They were steep goals. I will make better ones going forward.

I want to give a huge thank you to my Campfire Story partners:

Ansley Ashe

Jill Marcotte

Lucy Jayne

Allison Gammons

fdywsfh8n6y-rachel-walkerI published this blog a couple weeks early. It was ready, and I thought it would be a good Valentine’s treat for my readers :).

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!


Writing Outside of my Zone

Not only has the summer flown by plunging me into the fall, September has come and gone as well. During these months, I went out of my comfort zone and wrote in a different genre.

The idea came to me when two different people asked me to participate in group projects. It seemed like a good idea, so I said yes. I wanted to keep my style, but felt horror would be the best way to go for the stories. I have never written a horror story before; although, my work does have a dark vibe to it.

I watched horror movies to get into the horror writing mood. While I’ve seen one or two, they’re not my normal pick. I found ones I liked, and ones I hated. However, I was inspired by them all. I came up with two good ideas (one for each group), and went to work.

Surprisingly, it has been a struggle to write two short stories. It took awhile to come up with relevant ideas. That was the hardest part. I underestimated how hard it is to come up with an idea out of thin air instead of using an idea that has spent months bopping around in my mind.

forest face fog

Once I had the ideas, it should have been easy from there. Instead, it took ages for me to get what I wanted written down. Part of it was nerves. I want the stories to be great, but I know they will need lots of editing. I hope the groups will not be disappointed with my first drafts. Especially because I struggled to make my sentences tense enough. Horror involves jumps and scares. That’s not my forte.

This is also my first time working with other artists. I was nervous about sending out an informal contract to make sure I knew what I was agreeing to. The problem with contracts is that they can be too detailed or not detailed enough. I did my best.

Sadly, one of the collaborations fell a part. It happens. I am happy that I tried, and got to know another artist a little better. I’m still a part of the other group, but I’m not sure if we’ll make it all the way to a finished anthology. I hope we do. I also hope to improve my horror writing with the group’s feedback. We should be exchanging stories shortly. I’ll keep you guys updated.

Have you ever collaborating with other artists on a project? I’d love to hear about your experiences!


Picking and Choosing

I thought I would have been done with Tapestry by now. Unfortunately, it needs more editing, so I have put it aside. I did not expect this to feel so sad. I know it’s not gone. It’s just waiting for me to come back to it. However, I really wanted to publish it this spring. I’ve mourned the loss of this particular goal, and now I am working on something new.

I have moved away from the angst and emotion of Tapestry, and onto romance. It’s a big change, and I’m looking forward to it. I’ve twisted a couple of tropes, and it seems like it’s going to be a fun adventure. This time, I am doing things differently.

I am going to release parts of the story separately, so people can get a feeling for my main character. I hope this builds my audience. I have planned the plot accordingly. This means I will be editing smaller chunks at a time, which will probably work well for me. Additionally, I have done character profiles this time around!

This also means I am putting aside my Christmas story for the time being. I say this as snow falls outside my window. I wish I could have finished it, but I don’t think it would have been done on time for next Christmas. I am trying to focus on a project I can get done this year without lowering my standards for my stories.

Under the sadness, I am happy. I do love my new characters. It sucks when I have to choose between my stories, but it’s part of the job.

I will be submitting a short story for a writing contest this month too! It’s my first time writing Science Fiction. I enjoy trying new genres. I am in the final draft of the story. I can’t wait to submit. That’s everything on the writing front.

How has your new year been going?

I am thinking of writing a couple of posts on my new year resolutions. I am still trying!

-Kalen


The Breakup: Write Chain

**(I realize I just published a post about my write chain. That post was written five months ago, and I put it up to keep you guys informed so you know what I’m referencing in this post. I wrote this post a couple of weeks ago).

I made a decision to give up my write chain. I have been going for 500 days. The original plan was to give up on day 500 and take the day off, but it has been a long day. There was an ice storm which took out the power lines leaving me with no electricity. Instead of having a fun celebratory day 500 and washing laundry, I did almost nothing.

I spent 2 hours grocery shopping. Thankfully my house is cold enough where I think my groceries will be fine. It’s the logic I’m using. Initially the power was supposed to be back by the time I was finished. It hasn’t come back. It’s been 25 hours and it is expected to be at least 13 more.

Other than that, I have been staring at my ceiling. I haven’t been able to sleep. I’m tired. Luckily, I finally found a gas station with power and an available outlet. So I find myself writing. Day 501.

I am bored out of my mind. The 21st century doesn’t have much without power. Writing on paper isn’t the same for me especially since my stories, notes, and whatnot are on my computer. Cleaning is hard when leaving the haven of covers results in freezing. Plus, cleaning is beyond boring without any kind of background noise.

Anyway, I decided on a new plan. I am going to keep writing because I have to get my stories finished. However, whatever day I skip is whatever day I skip. It’s time to stop writing every day.

I realized this when I took a small break for myself after the craziness of the last year and ended up still writing 80 words every day. It wasn’t much, but I still noticed it. I want a real break. I also want to see the effects of forging the chain … how much better are my writing habits?

Plus, I am very goal oriented. I am more concerned with getting the 80 words in anything (like a journal or different piece or brainstorming session) than finishing my current project. I want to change the goal to: finish the project any way. Even if that means writing 2000 one day and nothing the next. I want to mix up methods, and see what the results are.

This isn’t to say that I have not appreciated my write chain. I have. It has pushed me when I needed it. It helped me create the best journal I have ever had. My journal is amazing and I hope to keep up with it. I also want to keep up with my random thoughts, brainstorming, and blogs. It’s been a great journey, but it’s time for a different one.

If you want to know more about my write chain below is another blog I wrote about it.