Heads Up! Short Stories Coming Soon to a Blog Near You!

That’s right! I’m going to post short stories right here on the blog! I’ve recently joined a writing group (more info below) and once a month we’re given a prompt for a short story. I’ve decided to post them here. I may publish them in a book down the road, I may develop one or two into a novel, I may hate them and print them, just so I can burn them. Who knows?! My point… Be on the look out for at least one short story a month.

Short Stories written by Author K.D. Reed

Some amazing things are happening! I’ve got two new full length novels in the works. I’ve found an amazing community on YouTube. And, I’ve gained a lot of new friends lately from Twitter. THINGS ARE ON THE MOVE.

I’m working on a science fiction novel. It’s post-apocalyptic and really cool. I started it for NaNoWriMo. And, while I learned NaNoWriMo is a NaNo-NoNo for me personally, I absolutely LOVE the story I started. So I’m going to keep going with it. It’s too good not to. Also! I’m currently in the process of creating a new author platform. I’ve felt the pull to write something Middle Grade. Call it fate. Call it destiny. Call it me trying to get my little niece and cousins to love reading as much as I do. I have to do this. I can feel it. But, to do so under the name K.D. Reed is going to be… problematic. My stuff is for grown-ups. Like… the grown-uppiest of grown-ups. If you’ve read my books, you understand. Therefore, when the time comes, I’ll be creating a whole new name and platform for my kid stuff.

Because I can.

I’ll also keep working under the name K.D. Reed at the same time, though. So don’t worry, adult people. I’m not going anywhere.

Next! Thanks to the beautiful people on YouTube, I’ve joined a writing group. As I mentioned above, we’ll be prompted for some short story work. It’s mostly for fun, but I wanted to share it with all of you lovely people.

Lucky you.

I want to quickly give a special thank you to Ben Sanders. We met on BookTube/AuthorTube (the people on YouTube talking about reading and writing, respectively) and he’s the super neat dude that organized our cool kids writing club. Yeah… it’s not actually called that. It just makes me feel like a cool kid, okay? Any who! Ben is really great, and a talented writer. Check out his YouTube channel. You’ll thank me later.

Lastly, if you haven’t noticed, I’ve moved most of my social media activity to Twitter. Facebook, especially right now, has A LOT of problems. Every time I log on I feel like Wesley in The Princess Bride when he’s hooked up to the machine.

Funny meme from the movie The Princess Bride

So! Most of the time, I only go to Facebook for the groups I’m in and to keep up with family. There’s a lot of people I’m connected to there that I love both personally and professionally. (Not like in a hooker way. Like in a writing way. But, you knew that, right?) Moving to Twitter has gained me some amazing friends, and I like it A LOT better. Here’s my Twitter, if you want to follow me there.

That’s all the news! I’m hoping to post January’s short story tomorrow. Or soonish. Sooner rather than later. Definitely. Probably. Maybe.

As always, you guys are so great. I have the best readers. I really do. Thank you so much for sticking with me. Please know that you are appreciated.

Also…

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Until tomorrow! (Or whenever…)

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The Tolkien Lover Book Tag

The most honorable KRISTEN KIEFFER has constructed an awesome Book Tag all about J.R.R. Tolkien. And, as you all know, I’m more than a fan of that guy. TOLKIEN IS LIFE. So here’s the thing… I couldn’t resist participating in such an awesome tag! Tolkien is one of the reasons I’m a writer. He’s helped define so much of me. Time to gush!

Here’s the deal, this is interactive. Tags work like this:

  1. Questions are posted about a thing.
  2. The writer/blogger answers said questions.
  3. Others are tagged by the writer/blogger at the end of it all.
  4. The chain of awesome keeps going… and going… and going…

Let’s start with a Tolkien quote, shall we?

Quote by J.R.R. Tolkien author of Lord of the Rings (Not all those who wander are lost)

Okay! Let’s go wandering!

1. The Lord of the Rings is Tolkien’s most famous work. But did you read the books or see the movies first? What are your opinions on each?

As much as I hate that it happened the way it did, I saw The Fellowship of the Ring first. After seeing that film, I died. I feel like that’s not even a hyperbole. I was gone. I knew I had witnessed something special. It was sparkles and starlight and FEELINGS. Like angels were singing of my destiny.

I mention this in my post Authors Who Turned Me into a Reader. I am ashamed I had to be convinced about “some old fantasy book” by a film. But! I almost went straight from the theatre to the bookstore. When I bought the entire Lord of the Rings series I devoured them. I read nothing but Tolkien for months and months.

I went to the midnight premier of The Two Towers. Mind you, I was still in high school when the movies came out, so I missed the entire day of school to wait in line for the movie. Like… 12 hours in line, just so I could have a good seat. When I commit… I COMMIT.

Here’s where it gets interesting. I was okay with the second movie. Having read the books I found a thousand inaccuracies, and since I had been turned into a Tolkien purist, I was only okay with it. Didn’t LOVE it the way I loved the first film. But, how could I? I knew what I was in for. That first time, I was not expecting my life to literally change. By the third movie though… I had a problem.

–Unpopular opinion time. Yay!– I really didn’t like the film adaption of The Return of the King. I felt like Peter Jackson thought he knew better than Tolkien on what to do with the story. The changes he made were not something I could just shake my head at. I was a bit… enraged. It wasn’t his story to take so much liberty with. For me, Jackson committed an injustice to my literary idol. Bad form!

In fact, I STILL haven’t seen any of The Hobbit films. And I don’t plan to. As soon as I heard Jackson was attached to the project, I dismissed it. This was before it was even announced that it’d be split into three films. (Why, in all of Middle Earth, was the shortest book turned into three movies, instead of making six movies out of the Lord of the Rings series? Why?!)

Okay. I’m going to stop here, before I forget the rest of the questions and turn this into a rant. (It’s too late for that, isn’t it?)

 

2. Who is your favorite member of The Fellowship? Does this person differ from your favorite Lord of the Rings character in general?

Legolas.

Boom. There it is. He’s my most favorite in all of Tolkien’s writing. And I’ll tell you why…

  1. He’s mad talented. Those archery skills. Damn.
  2. His temperament. He doesn’t dink around. The elf gets sh*t done.
  3. The dude can freaking fight.
  4. His relationship with Gimli. He seems like a flawless guy. But he still learns and grows. He befriends this dwarf who he’s been conditioned to loathe. They’re friendship is beautiful.
  5. He’s an elf. That alone qualifies him as a favorite. Really.

Gandalf is a close second. Because of his wisdom and adventurous spirit.

 

 

3. Now for some fun! If you could be any character from The Hobbit, which would you be and why?

Um, Smaug.

I like to be left alone.

I’m cranky.

And don’t touch my stuff.

Like, it sounds ridiculous. But when I thought about this question, Smaug was all I could come up with. I just… get him.

Also, there’s a lizard in Africa named Smaug giganteus, or Giant Dragon Lizard, after our dragon friend. Something about it being “similarly armoured”. Fun fact!

 

 

4. Tolkien’s work goes beyond The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. Have you ever read any of his other books? How about books about Tolkien?

Oh man. Here we go.

I have read The Silmarillion. I have a couple of Book of Lost Tales.

I also have some reference books. A “Complete Guide”/encyclopedia. And some Elvish language books.

I am also the proud owner and reader of The Origins of Tolkien’s Middle Earth for Dummies.

You guys. I don’t mess around.

 

 

5. Let’s talk romance! Pooling from all of Tolkien’s work, which two characters do you ship together most?

Obviously Aragorn and Arwen. I’m so happy about those two kids! I think their story is beautiful. The right kind of “forbidden love” if you ask me. I wish more people would reference them when describing relationships rather than Romeo and Juliet. It’s so much more of a love story. And, you know, less suicide.

Also, Rosie and Sam. I want to pinch their cheeks. So stinking adorable.

Truthfully, I’m not what one would call a “shipper”. I let what’s cannon be cannon.

 

6. Alright, alright. We all have at least one thing from Tolkien’s work that makes us waaaay too giddy and excited. Something that we could talk about for days. What’s yours?

The Elvish language.

I was OBSESSED with it for a long while. And, I still love it. I used to yell it at people I was mad at. When I had my horse, I often gave her commands in Elvish. I even helped design a tattoo for someone in Elvish.

I have more than one book on it. In high school all my computer passwords were in Elvish. (They’re not anymore, so don’t try anything sinister. Not that I have anything worth stealing…)

I think it’s just so cool. Tolkien was a master linguist. That’s one of the reasons I revere him. He really put his soul into his works, and it shows. The man created a gorgeous language. How can you not love that?!

I would have majored in Elvish in college, had they offered it.

 

Tag! You’re it!

Can I tag Stephen Colbert? I feel like, back in the day, I could almost compare to him in Tolkien lore knowledge. I haven’t been as emerged in it as I once was. So, I wouldn’t dare challenge the biggest, baddest, Tolkien nerd of all. But I’d love to see his answers!

Pipe dreams aside, I honestly challenge ANYONE who wants to gush about the wonderful J.R.R. Tolkien. Drop your links in the comments, or tag me on Twitter (@authorkdreed) so I can read your answers. Because, seriously, I could read about Tolkien all day. Every day. Forever. And ever.

Also, pop over to Kristen’s blog and read her post. Actually, read all her stuff. She’s super duper.

 

NaNoWriMo 2016- LET’S DO THIS

In six-ish hours it’ll officially be NaNoWriMo prep time. For me anyway. Some have been preparing since September 1st, some before that, some may not gear up for a few more weeks. But! No matter when, or how, NaNoWriMo is coming for us all.

National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo for those that don’t know) takes place November 1st-30th. It’s a challenge for writers to complete a novel draft of 50,000 words during those thirty days. Basically, write a book in a month. Boom. Easy, right?

Um…. no.

It is not.

This is my first year participating. While very excited, I’m doing my best to OVER prepare so as to avoid getting overwhelmed. As a result, I’ve gathered some awesome resources. And, lucky you! I’m going to spill it all here, so you can play too!

NaNoWriMo advice, resources, and general help for National Novel Writing Month

Okay!

Let’s start with NaNoWriMo in general.

First, I found this great, probably pretty accurate, representation of what to expect. Our friends at BuzzFeed wrote this up a few years ago. While not SUPER helpful for participants, those who know someone involved may learn a thing or two. I’m planning on sending this to my husband come November 1st. It has some hilarious info and gifs on the stages we writers will experience during NaNoWriMo. Like this gem. Stage one:

 

NaNoWriMo Madness from BuzzFeed

(It is from like… 2012 I think? But still relevant)

 

Next up, some great posts on preparation:

Checklist: 30 Things to do for NaNo Prep

A great list of stuff to do. Everything from plotting to social calendar clearing. Even a handy graphic I may print out and carry around with me. She’s has great visuals with every step. Many of which cracked me right up:

 

Game of Thrones NaNoWriMo funny meme

 7 Strategies for NaNoWriMo Prep

A lovely compact list to help with plotting. I especially like the idea of drawing a map. Fantasy or not, a map of your character’s surrounding and geography can be immensely helpful. Also, thoughtfully choosing a point of view helps a ton. Pick one and stick with it.

The National Novel Writing Month official website

Alrighty. Head over here. Register. Get yourself set up for success. I did. My profile is still a bit bare for the moment, but find me. Add me. Let’s be friends and cheer each other on. I love to hear from readers and writers. And, I love talking and joking and sharing ideas. All that jazz. Sign up!

Now for the juicy stuff.

Once November is here, these will help you stay organized and keep you going.

Day-by-Day NaNoWriMo Outline: Your 30-Day Cheatsheet

An awesome day-by-day process of where your story should go. Great for the planners (like me) to read through before you outline. Can also be good for the Pantsters*. You crazies can peek at it to keep your plot moving along. Super great list for story construction. Also contains a neat graphic. Woo!

*A “Pantster”, I learned, is a writer who “flies by the seat of their pants” when book writing. For example, they don’t outline and such. Pretty sure I would actually die a death if I tried it. They’re cool and badass and I want to hear their war stories…

NaNoWriMo: The Art of 1667 Words Per Day

Great tips on how to keep your micro-goal of 1667 words per day. That’s all we have to do. One thousand six hundred sixty-seven words. A day. For thirty days. We can do that, right? It’s going to be fine.

If you’re like me, and have momentary panics about achieving even a hundred words a day, this post will really help. Awesome advice, about distractions, momentum, etc… I also loved her idea of changing your font color to a super light gray. To keep from editing as you write. I’m a major culprit (victim?) of that. I’m horrible. Fixing every little problem that shows up when my atrocious first draft crap spews out. I tweak here and there. Bad! No! I’m the worst person to tell you not to do that, because I can’t stop doing it myself. But, DON’T. I’ve actually made a sub-goal for NaNoWriMo. JUST LET THE CRAP FLOW. Don’t edit. This blog made some great suggestions for overcoming that. Awesome.

This Generous Person’s Spreadsheets

If you’re like me, I love to see progress. While I’m usually one for instant gratification, sometimes it’s nice to see steady progress toward my goal day-by-day. Especially if I have thirty days where I have to stay focused and finish. These spreadsheets (all totally and completely free) can really help us keep track of word counts. Which, as we all know, are important to be watching.

The spreadsheet with this link is technically for 2015. But! The post states there will be an updated one for this year posted soon. Hooray!

Also, you can donate to the cause for more spreadsheet goodness. If you’re feeling extra nice, it’s a cool thing you can do.

Write a Novel in a Month (without Losing Your Mind)

This one isn’t NaNoWriMo specific. But, it’s a great resource for reminding you why we write first drafts. It’s got some good stuff on plotting and discovering your story. While the post is sort of an ad for a book about writing a novel in thirty-one days, it still has some great points about first drafting.

I hit up this blog a lot for advice and motivation. So, browse through some other articles. This is where I first read about publishing shorter stories on Amazon. And even though my novellas are longer than what is suggested, I found that I loved writing shorter fiction. It taught me a lot and I’ll keep doing it. My point? You never know where you’re going to find inspiration, or have an “ah ha!” moment. So poke around. Read a little about what you don’t think will interest you. You’ll be surprised. This applies to ANY blog, of course.

To conclude…

NaNoWriMo is going to be awesome. I’m really looking forward to it. Even though it’s my first ride on this merry-go-round, these are the things I’m going to keep in mind that you’ll also want to consider:

  • Don’t forget to prep your friends and family. Let them know you’re not going to be as reachable as normal.
  • Guard your writing time. This is one month out of the year when you are going to choose you. You owe it to yourself to write. You love it. You deserve it. For thirty days, say no to the other stuff. Protect the time you’ve set aside for yourself to do what you love.
  • Write through writer’s block. That syndrome doesn’t get to exist in November. My best advice when you think you’ve got it? Pretend you don’t. Write anyway. The point of this exercise is to write. Not to write well. Remember that. Just put words on the page.
  • Don’t edit as you go. Just say no, kids.
  • Try to get enough sleep.
  • Plan. Plan. Plan. Have an outline. Set micro-goals. Word counts, page counts, scene completions, whatever. Strategize so you can be successful. And so you don’t get overwhelmed. (As a side note, this point may be lost on the Pantsters. I don’t know how you do it, and I have MAD respect for you dudes that can fly like that. PLEASE tell me how you do it. I think I’d just end up weeping under my desk.)

The point of #NaNoWriMo is to write. Not to write well. Remember that. 

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There you have it! For now, at least. As I find more throughout this crazy writing spree, I’ll update this post. Again, find me on the NaNoWriMo official website so we can hold hands and cry together. I mean… win together.

LET’S DO THIS!

Throwback Thursday 2.25.16

This was part of a 30 day letter writing challenge I did on a blog I used to have. On July 18th 2010 I was to write to a stranger. This is what I said:

Hello, Stranger:

I’m not really sure what to say to you. Being as I don’t know you, I have no idea as to your interests. I could tell you about myself. Although, I’m not sure what good that’ll do you. I’m not sure what good that will do me either. 

What do you believe in? For you, what’s worth fighting for? I’m always intrigued by other’s ideas and notions. What’s most important to a person teaches me far more than “what do you do for a living?” Quite often our occupation is what’s there, not who we are. 

I work in retail. It’s not what I “do”. It’s what I tolerate so I can have food and a car. See? You didn’t learn much about me there, did you? Oh well. It’s not as though you’re going to write back. 

Do you believe in Destiny, Stranger? I do. I’m not really sure how it’s helping me, but I believe in it. I wish on stars, too. Although, lately, I’ve only stared at them. No wishing. I’m trying to give up wishing. It’s no good. Every dandelion, first star, 11:11, necklace chain and penny in a fountain wish has proved false. I never expected the wish to magically materialize before my eyes. I only thought that maybe putting that hopeful energy into the world would make things a little lighter. 

But, alas, it did nothing.

Interesting how one can say things to a stranger and feel alright with it. I don’t know if you’re even listening. Doesn’t really matter, though, does it?

Goodbye, Stranger. Lovely chat.

Throwback Thursday 1.14.16

Oops, almost dated it 2015. Still in transition, I guess.

Okay! Here it is! A recap of my day in August of 2010. After reading this little ditty, I’m amazed at how my writing has changed. It’s a lot more interesting for one thing. But, I chuckled at it here and there. Hopefully, you do too. Enjoy!

August 25th 2010

I woke up this morning FREEZING. I swear I could see my breath. (I really couldn’t, but I almost felt like it) After shivering for a few moments, I checked my phone, both to note the time and make sure I had no messages. Why I would have a message is beyond me, it was 8:43. The only person to think of messaging me that early would be Jessie, because she’s two hours ahead of me. But, she knows better than to communicate before 10:00 my time, anyway. Smart kid. 
 
As I was saying, it was 8:43 and I was cold. “Freezing” is the word I think I used. Yes, freezing was the word. That’s what I was. After dropping the phone back on my “nightstand” (I use the term loosely, for it really isn’t a nightstand at all; more of a tower of plastic drawers I got at Wal-mart, but it’s the surface closet to the bed and therefore used as if it were, indeed, a nightstand) I tried to go back to sleep. Those efforts were fruitless, though. What’s the first thing you have to do when you wake up…? That’s right. I had to pee. 
 
But, it was so cold! To go to the loo would mean getting out from under the snugly blankets, and away from the two warm cat bodies keeping me alive. With a little (or loud and pathetic) whimper, I crawled out of the bed and dashed to the little girl’s room; which, I feel the need to add, is clear down the hall and entirely too far away from my bedroom. 
 
After that business was taken care of I went back to my room and stared at my pile of dirty laundry. It took me quite some time to find what I was looking for. Mind you, I did not have my glasses on, nor had I any coffee, so this could have gone on for several hours. Any who, I finally found my fleece pants, and plucked a pair of socks out of the drawer. The pants went on over my Star Wars (that’s right, STAR WARS) shorts, and the socks were pulled onto my little feeties. And, what do you know? My purple hooded jacket is right there next to my laundry pile (Alright, it was IN the laundry pile) Think I’m going to resist that on this frigid morning? On goes the jacket. Zip goes the zipper. The hood is flung over my head, and I crawl back under the blankets. I go back to sleep for another hour. 
 
Ah, the life of the unemployed.
 
After waking up (again) I go on with my day. Two cups of coffee, check the Facebook, the Tumblr, the e-mail, and watch my programs. In case you’re curious those would be: Young and the Restless, and Passport to Europe with Samantha Brown. Today’s featured destination was Salzburg, Austria. Dudes! That place looks extraordinary. A four hour tour of the Sound of Music filming locations?! Sign me the up! Not to mention many historical Mozart attractions to be seen. Seriously, so cool. 
 
Now that my morning “routine” was completed I decided to get done what needed to be done. Just before I make my way to the bathroom to wash my face, however, I smell it. That specific smell I smelled the day before, but ignored. Today, it was stronger. *sniff sniff* Yep. That’s something dead. Where is it…? I check under the couch, in case the cat did something gross with a mouse. Nothing. But… this is where it smells the most. What’s behind the couch? The window. What’s in the window well? A nice dead duck. Lovely. 
 
Can I just say how sad I am for this duck? Not only are they one of the only birds I’m not afraid of, but they’re just cute and have some cool characteristics. Also, the way my window well sits under the upstairs windows, the duck had to have gotten stuck down there, and then died. So sad. I could have saved her had I known she was in trouble. I’m sorry little girl duck. I’m really sad that that happened to you. 
 
So, my uncle takes care of the duck, and (after lighting a scented candle for awhile) my basement smells much better. I now proceed with my day’s events. 
 
I clean myself up, put on the makeups, and style the hair. After selecting an outfit of a black skirt, blue polo, and flip flops I head out the door. Where do I go? Only to the amazing Walgreen’s! One prescription refill for Kim please. Fifteen minutes later, drugs in hand, I decide: “I’m this close to the coffee house, I may as well pop over there for a tea and a quiet read”. So, that’s exactly what I do. My white orchid tea was delectable, and my current read is particularly enchanting, so it was nice. A nice looking guy came in, about half an hour after I got there. I made eye contact, then went back to reading; thinking he’ll think I’m cute and come over to flirt.
 
He didn’t.
 
After a little while I pack it up and go home. My tea was about gone, and I wanted to tidy up my living room now that the unpleasant odor had left (aw, I’m still sad about it). That ended up only taking a few moments, I’m a rather clean person, I guess. So what do I do? Throw my bed comforter in the washer and play chess. 
 
After the computer kicked my ass a couple hundred times, I elect to call it quits and help out with dinner. Uncle Scotty showed me his way of making biscuits and gravy, which I found fascinating. It was damn good, too. I’m glad my appetite is returning. I missed it, wholeheartedly. 
 
And that brings me to where I decide to blog whilst I digest. Here I am. Blogging. Digesting. What an eventful life I lead.

Throwback Thursday (A Blog Experiment)

Yes, yes. I do realize it’s Wednesday. But, I have an idea.

I think my husband rolls his eyes and holds his breath when a crazy like me says “I have an idea.” But, bear with me…

Throwback Thursday can be really fun. I used to participate on this blog until I realized that no one here knew me and/or cares about what silly-ness I had found myself a part of years/months/days ago.

Today it hit me. This is a blog about my writing. Things I’ve just released and things coming soon. What if I included things I’ve written in the past. Bam! Lightening. Idea. Throwback Thursday could be a segment in which I post an article/story/rant from long ago.

It might be fun to read what I used to be. The writer I once was. How I’ve improved. Things that have driven me to where I am now. Great idea, yeah?

Yes. Yes it is. Because sometimes I say important things. I’ve got some posts lined up about religion, dating, writing, and life in general that are honest and real.

H.G. Wells Quote (Past)

See? The past is important in learning where we wish to go. I wish to get better, so I’ll post my bad writing and mercilessly tear it apart. Or remember a tough time and build strength from what I’ve been through.

So! I pose the question, faithful readers, would this be a thing you might care about? Would a short post from the past be worth a read?

Ooooh, I’m all tingly. This could be fun.

 

Challenge Day 10

Hey! We made it!

Honestly, I’m a little sorry to close out this challenge. A longer challenge is in order for next time. If there’s any extraordinary challenges you know of, drop me a line. Now! On to the final day…

10. Would you rather sing every word you speak or always speak in rhymes?

This may come as a surprise to those who know me personally, but I would choose to speak in rhymes.

I’m a vocalist. For reals. I sing many songs, I’ve been in several musicals, and I’m in a “band” (I use quotes because there’s only the two of us, but trust me THAT’S ENOUGH. We friggin’ rock.) However, singing everything would get really annoying really fast for those in my life. My tiny dog howls when you sing too loud. So, if I got mad at him and were to sing loudly at him for leaving me a surprise (translation: poops) he’s just going to howl back. What good is that going to do anyone? Also, I’m pretty sure the boyfriend would leave me for a non-singing writer.

If I spoke in rhymes though, I’d sound like a super mysterious sorceress. People would come from far away lands to hear me cast my spells. (Or burn me at stake, whatever)

Also, I could probably make a fortune selling books in the style of Dr. Seuss.

Thanks for challenging with me!