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…)

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.

 

Authors Who Turned Me into a Reader-Part 1 of Why I Write

Most, if not all, writers start at the same place. As readers. Our love of reading leads us to fulfill our destiny of saying what others cannot. To produce the stories people need. And how did we learn such a career existed? By reading! We started as the readers we now cherish. Certain authors set us on the path. Everyone has their favorites. And these are the beautiful souls that lead me to my journey. The authors who turned me into a reader, and ultimately a writer.

Books writers and readers, Tolkien, Andrews, R.L. Stine, Ann M Martin

We’re going to do this as chronologically as possible. Becoming a reader starts in childhood. The books we’re read at home. The books our teachers and parents read to us. So journey with me, if you will, to the days of my youth…

P.D. Eastman

Go Dog Go a children's book by P.D. Eastman

Truthfully, this is my mom’s favorite children’s book. She read it to us often. And, while I have no idea why she loves it (I found the dog who didn’t like the other dog’s hat mean, but what did I know? I was just a kid) this book was a staple of my childhood. I knew all the words, all the puppies inside, and all the silly pictures. Entertaining and memorable. This probably started my whole crazy writer life. So… Thanks Mom!

Eastman created a lovely dog world in Go, Dog. Go! Simple. Fun. Relatable. My four year old niece loves it. Her grandma, my mom, reads it to her. Just as she did with me. Hopefully it will instill in her a love of silly stories the way it did for this writer. Who knows? Maybe my niece will grow to be an author herself!

R.L. Stine

Goosebumps Welcome to Dead House by R.L. Stine. A popular scary story for kids.

What kid doesn’t love Goosebumps? I think every child in America gets a solid start with R.L. Stine. Spooky. Creepy. So. Much. Stinking. Fun! I loved every single one. And then he did the Choose Your Own Adventure books! The ones where you pick where you go in the story. Jumping around the entire book. What fun! Ah! I can’t get over what Stine did for me as a kid. I picked up my first Goosebumps in like… 5th grade? (ish.) And let me tell you… I wasn’t thrilled. I thought, “This book looks stupid. No princesses. Why do I care about monsters? These books are for boys!”

What an idiot. I loved the first one, and every single one after. So great! R.L. Stine speaks to kids beautifully. He entertains. Reaching the entire audience of children. Every kid loves his stories. He speaks to them, and their interests. Such a talented writer.

Ann M. Martin

The first Baby-sitters Club Book a book series for kids by Ann M. Martin

Oh, man. My friends and I LIVED off these books for all of 6th grade. At least. Actually it started in 4th grade. Maybe even sooner. We read these books furiously. Every single one. All the spin-offs. We watched the TV show and the movie. A great time was had and this book series was responsible for so much of it.

Martin creates fun stories, that deal with what kids deal with. Friendship dynamics, step-parents, diabetes… Her stories aren’t traumatic, but they don’t graze over real-life stuff. Growing up, I was totally a Kristy (kind of bossy, resourceful, ambitious) and my best friend was a complete Claudia (artistic, free-spirited, innovative). Parts of our personalities had the potential to put our friendship at risk. But! I fully believe this book series showed us that different personalities can thrive together. Everyone is important. We embraced who were were, just like the girls in Baby-sitters Club did. Ann M. Martin just gives me all the good feelings.

Yoshiko Uchida

Journey to Topaz, the story of Japanese Interment Camps, a children's book by Yoshiko Uchida

I read Journey to Topaz three times between 6th grade and 7th grade. I LOVE this book. The subject matter is deep and painful, but Uchida tells it with hope and beauty. A terrible mark on America’s history, this story made me think. Feel. I think that’s why I kept going back to it. It made me feel. It showed me something ugly, but taught me that people are strong.

I think this was the first book I read that invoked true emotion through writing. Oh! The Feelings!! Conflict. Sadness. Confusion. Injustice. But also hope. Strength. Tenacity. Ah! Yoshiko Uchida did such a beautiful job with this story. I think I’ll go read it again…

V.C. Andrews

Runaways, part of the Orphans series, by V.C Andrews.

I read this book in 9th grade. CHANGED MY LIFE. V.C. Andrews was a turning point for me. I went from girl who kind of likes to read sometimes to always having a book with me. In my backpack, in my locker, in my purse. I became a reader. A bookworm. And so, SO, happy.

This book may have been a tad mature for me at 14. But! It was so engaging. The story was captivating, driven, suspenseful. Andrews has a way of sucking you in, without mercy. Some of her plots are even predictable, but her storytelling forces you to keep going anyway. This author taught me the power of a book. Of a story.

J.R.R.Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings, fantasy books by J.R.R. Tolkien

No list of authors (if composed by myself) can exclude Tolkien. He is my literary idol. Tolkien took me from reader of whatever, to literature enthusiast. Okay… Story time!

First of all, I honestly thought I was too stupid to read “real” literature. Classics, if you will. I thought I wouldn’t understand them. That they’d be over my head. Vocabulary would be too difficult. Themes wouldn’t be exciting. Blah blah blah. People discouraged me from reading things like this. They said, “it’s probably too hard for you and boring.”

THEY WERE 100% WRONG.

I love classics. You don’t have to be a genius to get them. Or love them. They’re all beautiful and wonderful and if anybody tells you differently you send them to me. I’ll take care of it. >insert chosen angry threat here<

Second, and this is a little shameful, I saw the first movie BEFORE I read any of the books. I hate myself for it, but… that’s just how my life played out. Any who, after seeing the movie Fellowship of the Ring I dashed out and bought ALL the books. I now own Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, The Simarillion, The Book of Lost Tales… Even some theory and language books on Tolkien’s world. Read ’em all. Love ’em all.

Tolkien opened up a doorway for me. Not just for classic literature, but for fantasy as well. A deep love of high fantasy grew quickly. Which led me to science fiction. Which led me to write. My first book is science fiction. Had I not ventured into Middle Earth, I never would continued on to create my own worlds. It really is that simple.

He is a true genius and beautiful soul. I owe him my life.

Literally.

There was a time when I felt all I had was Middle Earth. Those adventures gave me purpose when dealing with a particularly difficult phase of life. I clung to them for strength. I keep them near now… Just in case I need them. Tolkien’s characters were my friends. My family. They still are.

And now I’m a reader who writes. Or a writer who reads. You can pick.

These are the writers who turned me into a reader. They’re the reason I write. Had I not found them, the fire of story telling would never have ignited. I’d be wandering around searching for a destiny. Now, I wander searching for a story.

But, you know what Tolkien says…

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

Be sure to check back for Part 2 of Why I Write: Authors Who Turned Me into a Writer. More authors to gush about. More books to swoon over… All that jazz. Also, I’d love to hear about the authors who took YOU from “regular person” to reader. What book changed your life and turned you into a fantasy world creature?

Why Your Family Name Did Not Come From a Mistake at Ellis Island

Ellis Island NYC
View of Ellis Island from a boat

This is a super interesting little article for two reasons:

  1. My husband came over in 2007 (A HUNDRED YEARS LATER) from Europe and had a name issue due to alphabet differences.
  2. My first book Kevin starts at Ellis Island because he’s from another planet, so in an odd, slightly humorous to me way he “immigrated”. (Him being sent there against his will as a prisoner is a whole other issue.)

Anyway, check this out if you like. I thought it was interesting.

And, you can get Kevin HERE.

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.