Houses of the Broken and Other Stories

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Sticks and Stones

In Houses of the Broken, Lacey reflects “There’s nothing more pathetic than being dumped by a loser… ”

But, many of you won’t know if that’s true or not.

After nearly 18 months, my ‘indie publishing’ experience has come to an end. I can’t say I’m thrilled, but the thing about taking a leap of faith is; sometimes you fall. Does it hurt my pride? Sure. Do I feel stupid for trying? Absolutely. Did it send me in to a debilitating pit of despair over the past 6 months? Most definitely.

Will it stop me? No.

I’ve thought long and hard about what I wanted to say, but I won’t say most of it. I don’t want to break the internet. (I have a vivid imagination and the vocabulary of a well educated sailor.) But I feel it can best be summarized the classic parent trap: I’m not mad, I’m just disappointed.

I gambled and I lost. It happens, just spend an afternoon browsing Writer Beware. What will I do now? Rally. It might take longer than I like, the Valley of Darkness is long and wide, but eventually it will sink on the horizon behind me. And there it will remain, a wasteland of forgotten times.

I’ve come eye to eye with the worst than can happen. From now on, there is no fear, just some healthy motivation based on spite.

xoxo

-Katherine

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Back to my roots – Time for Camp NaNoWriMo

I need a kick in the pants after this past year. My head is spilling over with ideas but I can’t seem to transmit them from the chair to the keyboard. Life, as it tends to do, keeps getting away of my long evenings in coffee shops, wine bars and opium dens…. wait, I never really did any of those things… but I’d like to think I would, given the chance.

I really got my start writing feature length pieces thanks to NaNoWriMo. It took me a few tries to hit 50,000 words, but once I did, there was no going back. Houses of the Broken actually started as a NaNoWriMo project. I won, that year and stared down the path of publishing.

The following year I had the issue of hitting 50k but being nowhere near done! I thought this was a great problem to have… until I tried to pick it up and finish it…. that one may just remain a cliffhanger for a while.

It wasn’t long before the bottom dropped out and life got in the way again. Half way through NaNo I was unemployed and facing an ugly winter. My muse skipped town, and that flighty little minx hasn’t come back to roost since then – longer than I’d like to admit. The ideas are there but they’re trapped under the ice of reality, waiting for her radiant warmth to break them out and set them free.

So,  thought I might try to get my muse in to boot camp. Thankfully Camp NaNoWriMo is just around the corner! I’m a new camper, I haven’t tried this event before but I’m hoping it’s just the right amount of peer pressure to work in to my busy summer schedule. With any luck, soon people far and wide will be reveling in my unnatural love for woodchippers and creative problem solving.

Until then, if you see my trixie little muse, by her a one way ticket home.

Dayglo Uncooked Green Chilli Sauce – Condiment – Weaponised

Can’t wait till I have some peppers ready!

Jo Robinson

I’ve been meaning to share my chilli sauce recipe with you for a while, and now that I’m having my second miraculous straight day at my computer I’ll have at it. This is a very malleable and forgiving recipe – it’s also great fun. Just don’t fiddle around with your eyeballs for a bit afterwards.
Ingredients:
Apple Cider Vinegar (around 2 cups for this batch)
Juice of 2 fat lemons (or more – you can change with vinegar as per your own preference)
1 Whole head of garlic – peeled and chopped
2 Chopped medium onions
About a finger-length chopped Lemongrass (optional)
1 teaspoon Salt (or to taste)
4 to 5 Cups snipped green Chillies
You’ll need a blender for this recipe.
I suggest using empty, unwashed Vodka bottles for storage to begin with.
A funnel
Method:
1. Put the lemon juice, salt, half of the vinegar, the garlic, onions…

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When the Levee Breaks

When I grow up, and I mean when I have more control over my own destiny and find myself on the other side of the management desk, I intend to turn things around. Tell your friends what we’re like. Tell our competition what we do. If you don’t like something, say it. Don’t leave it a carefully guarded mystery, festering in a cave of fearful doubt.

The world is slammed with non disclosure agreements and expectations. But I want to disclose. Oh, how I want to disclose.

Too many strings make for a heavy burden when you have to keep nearly every aspect of your daily involvements short, sweet and anonymous. No one wants to get bad press, but the more iron clad the agreement, the more you should keep a wary eye to the big, flashy smiles behind them.

Some people *ahem* are good at telling stories. Some people *ahem* love telling stories and some of the best stories aren’t fiction. Does someone need a champion? Someone to blow the chained cubicles wide open? Someone to ask the other minions if they’ve been treated the same? (I hear some people are good at asking all the wrong questions.)

The best way to keep people happy is to keep your promises. Setbacks are reasonable, if not expected. Deception, well, don’t expect that to succeed for long. Ignoring problems also doesn’t tend to make them go away, unless your goal is to alienate and irritate people in to leaving. And those people, aren’t going to recommend you later down the line, even if they are subject to a gag order.

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Third Life – Prompts and Circumstance

Soul searching is a tricky beast. The time spent rambling around in my own head would make me a millionaire if I could put it to better use. Times change, preferences shift and every once in a while you’re left working without a net and the only way out is down. I problem solve for a living, but the down side is sometimes that analytical beast looks in the mirror and it’s hard to break the gaze.

Seeking a little more organized way to rationalize through things, I found a career blog that suggested asking yourself the following questions, stream of consciousness style. They are universal in nature and could easily be adapted to almost any person and situation. After compiling and reading over the responses that took me several days I did have to chuckle to myself. It reminds me of a Tarot reading that high school kids would give each other, flipping through the little book of divinity sworn to give you all the answers. Your mileage may vary.

Q.1) What are you working on? What is important at this point in your life? What are your own goals? 

A.1) I’m working on keeping an income, finishing my house and establishing myself as a writer. At this point being financially secure and finishing my home is my main energy usage. My goal is to wrap my passions in to my daily life, have time and means to explore and experiment, and have a sanctuary for myself and my family. Another goal is to quit being stressed based on the actions of others – get away from the negative vibes and the stranger I feel myself becoming.

But now I know it’s best not to tell others your goals because once it is out, the internal governor has no power.

Q.2) What is your ideal situation? How would you like your life to look? What would you change in your job, your living situation, your activities and your relationships if you had a magic wand?  

A.2) If I had a magic wand – and only with a touch of magic – the house would be done, correctly restored inside and out with a workshop and a clean play yard. I would be out of my *profession and/or in a position where I wasn’t stuck at a desk and didn’t constantly have to compromise myself. There would be encouragement, humor and innovation with hands on applications.

I would de-stress my personal relationships. More time to do the things we need to thrive, not just survive. I’m tired of being just a survivor.

Q.3) Write about your day. What did you think about? 

A.3) After reviewing my inbox, I spent the day waiting to hear from people that never reply. I stare at the screen and my desk and try to think of ways to keep productive while I wait since I never know when I might get the critical piece of information that will allow everything to fall in to place.

I think about how nice it is outside after this god-forsaken winter, and how it’s a crime to sit here and stare at nothing.

Then I send another email to an unresponsive consultant.

I think about everything I wish I could focus on. House, garden, farming, future, books, art, cooking, chillaxing with my dog… I think about what it would really be like to leave my *profession.

I think about being gobbled up by the Nothing.

Q.4) Write about your ideas. What have you been thinking about? 

A.4) I’ve been thinking about how to make a better root beer, imagining taste profiles that I’ve been missing and how they would combine. I’m thinking about how much I actually want to sell my soul to get what I want. I’m tired of compromise, is it worth the risk? Will I have spent all of this time and energy and wind up with nothing? I’m always thinking about how to protect myself.

I’m thinking about getting my cookbook together. Re-starting the food blog. I need to find my passion again. I need to get back in to my Saturday morning routine.

I’m thinking about how to get our bathroom finished and how the heck to get the monster bath tub upstairs without injuring someone.

I’m thinking about my next book and if it’s even worth finishing.

Q.5) Write about the people who buoy you up and increase your mojo level. What is it about those people that make them mojo builders for you?  

A.5) There aren’t many people in my life right now that meet that description but when things were good it was the people who were genuinely interested in what I had to say, encouraging and happy to find out how things were going. People who were able to exchange ideas and brainstorm without drowning out my voice and challenging everything I said whether they needed to or not. Being believed in can go a long way.

Many people are encouraging until you actually start to make progress.

Q.6) Choose one thing you’d like to add and one thing you’d like to take away. 

A.6) I would like to add more travel and take away being chained to my desk.

Q.7) What do you want to accomplishing during the rest of your life?  

A.7) I want to find something I’m good at that doesn’t make me feel miserable, compromised and out of control. I want to be independent and stable, the less I have to rely on people the better.

I don’t really care about a bucket list because tastes and values change, along with the economy and politics around us. I want the freedom and flexibility to explore things as they come to me without having to justify myself or apologize for being different.


*profession withheld for the safety of the human race.

Third Life: Fool’s Gold – Week 4: Save it for Happy Hour

After nearly a month trying to look subtly more feminine, I’ve come to a brief conclusion…. only people at the bar notice.

While the workplace results were completely null, I did round the week out with a random happy hour compliment about how pretty my eyes were (from a stranger of course.) What this leaves me to postulate is that barring any drastic changes, my every day environment is unlikely to respond to any tweaks or twinkles. Going out is another matter.

It’s just too bad that bar isn’t the place I’m looking to be discovered. :)

Pre-Sale is live for Houses of the Broken!

Houses-of-the-Broken-Available-NowPre-Sales are now available for Houses of the Broken! More venues will be added as we roll along but here are some links for your favorite online e-tailers.

Kobo

iTunes

Barnes & Noble

Edit:

Now also available on Amazon!

Houses of the Broken – The big reveal!

It’s almost time, are you ready! In a few short days, Houses of the Broken will be available via Cliffhanger Press for your eBooking pleasure! In the mean time, I’m going to give you guys a little teaser *drumroll please*

Goodreads-File-Houses-of-the-BrokenI’ll be updating the release info as it comes in, stay tuned!

Third Life: Fool’s Gold – Week 3: Purgatory

Did you ever have one of those weeks? One of those weeks where you exist inside of a business but you’re on your own desert island? That was this week.

I haven’t been able to even interact with people due to varying schedules and timelines. 10 minutes tops with the management all week, let alone trying to catch other team members. It’s been great for some work in progress plot development, but has left my overall experiment stunted and skewed.

A few more hours and we can chalk this entire week up to a mulligan.

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