books · writing

Winter of Wonder: Fauna

From Cloaked Press, the Winter of Wonder: Fauna issue is out now! It includes my story, “Give Them Wings” among many wonderful others. It’s a story about letting go, and about alien beetles, and about letting go of. . . alien beetles. I really love this story and am so happy it found a home in this beautiful volume.

It’s just out in ebook format at the moment, but fear not, I will announce when the print version is available.

books · writing

It’s NaNoWriMo time again

And I’ve signed up. . . again.

This year I really wanted to win. To really put effort into my word count, but I’m (not surprisingly) off to a slow start. Only 500 words on the first day.

I’m not doing the official method in that I’m continuing a novel I started in 2020. I few days before NaNo started this year, I thought I’d better review what I’d written so far because it has been many months since I’ve done any work on it and I just don’t remember enough details to get back into cold. I thought I had a few thousand words, but it turns out I had almost 30,000 words. This is great because adding 50,000 would be a good length to finish it, but bad because I didn’t leave myself quite enough time to review all of that.

So I was still finishing my reading on day one, and looking for my original outline to also review. I spent a lot of time looking, and couldn’t find one, and I think I have to admit now, that I probably never made one. My outlines are not detailed. I pretty much just use the 7 point structure to give myself some points to aim at when I start to get bogged down or lost in the flow of things. One of the reasons I had stopped working on this story, despite loving what I have so far, is that I was kinda lost about where to head next. So I felt I really needed those points before I could move forward. So I spent more time yesterday writing up a quick 7 point plot, then diving back into the actual drafting.

As soon as I’m done procrastinating by writing this, I’m going to continue the novel. I have learned over the years that I can’t sit down and plunk out 1500 to 2000 words in one sitting, even if I have enough time blocked off. My brain just stops well short of those goals. I need several shorter sessions to make that kind of progress in a day. That’s a problem for work days when all I really have is the evening when I’m already exhausted. So to make this work, I need to do more on non-work days to make up for not being able to keep up on work days. But I also homeschool the kiddo, and while they are great at managing themselves, I’m not completely free to write whenever I want, but I know I can do better with my time management than I do.

That’s the goal. To do better with my time. Maybe I won’t hit 50,000, but I’ll make good progress in the attempt. I hope.

books · cats

I have a new book logo

Broken Snowshoe Logo designed by Anna Hartz

My oldest just finished their first year at college and she’s still kind of searching for what she wants to be doing after school. So far, the classes they are enjoying the most are of the graphic design variety.

Years ago she drew a little logo for me to use when publishing my books. Neither of us was very tech savvy back then, so I had a cute ink drawing on paper, and just took a photo of it to use. Obviously, the quality of this technique wasn’t the best. For my birthday, they redid the logo, made it even cuter, and made it digital so it will look better and be more versatile online.

I call my own publications “Broken Snowshoe” after my cat Bob. He was a love, but had a broken spine and an amputated tail. Now, just look at it! The best.

books · Uncategorized · writing

HEA for Trans Kids book bundle

I’m excited to be a part of HEA (Happily Ever After) for Trans Kids third book bundle that is available from now until Aug 1st. This one is raising money for the Zebra Coalition that helps LGBTQ+ youth in Florida.

You can get the bundle of 13 books here for a $25 donation: https://secure.actblue.com/donate/heafortranskids-zc

You can learn about HEA and get on their mailing list for all future bundles here: http://heafortranskids.com/

And you can learn about the work that the Zebra Coalition is doing here: https://zebrayouth.org/

My short story collection “Eye of the Beholder and other stories” is included in this bundle with a bunch of other really great-sounding stories from authors I’ve admired. I just got my bundle today and will start reading tonight.

This is an exciting process for me: getting into a book bundle, and using my writing to help a charity are both things I have wanted to find a way to do for a long time now. Doing both at once is just filling me all up, let me tell ya!

books · crafty things · writing

4th Doctor Scarf Done, and it went to SiliCon 2021

Doctor Who, 4th Doctor scarf made by Kara

I’m not sure I remember exactly when I started working on this scarf, but it was at least 3 to 4 years ago. I taught myself to knit specifically so I could make this scarf. I used the pattern labeled as ‘original’ from http://www.doctorwhoscarf.com/s12.html , although I just used the yarn that I could easily find that seemed close-ish to the right colors. I can’t share what exactly I used because most of the labels are long gone and I just don’t know. I know it was nothing fancy: Red Heart, Lion Brand, and that sort of thing.

The scarf and I went to SiliCon with Adam Savage this past weekend. Despite the fact that my ‘costume’ if it could be called that consisted only of the scarf, and the hat, I got lots of nice complements. Got lots of head nods and waves from the other versions of The Doctor when we came across one another. In retrospect, I maybe should have asked for some photos with them, but I was so happy to be out having nerdy fun with masks and without crowds. They severely limited attendance. I read somewhere it is usually 30,000, but was 5,000 this year. For example, here I stand outside a main hall, and just look at all those people nowhere near me. It was great.

Kara in her completed 4th Doctor Who scarf.

We attended both days but I only wore the scarf on Sat because, even indoor with air conditioning, this scarf is heavy and HOT.

Other weekend highlights, was getting signed books from Andy Weir and David Gerrold. I also went to the writer panel with was fun and interesting. I saw so many other cool books in Artist Alley and it was painful not to buy something from each, but we have a very pricey car repair we are trying to navigate at the moment. I have notes and will get to them one day. We collectively did cave in a buy a cute game though. It’s called Gosh Darn Bubbles . We played it at length back in the hotel, and much fun was had. All the cards are fun, but ‘Slappa da Bass’ was the family favorite because it was fun to say.

books · cats · crafty things · crochet

The Crafty Kids Have Leveled Up

Black Cat with magical book pipe cleaner art by A. Hartz

My Mother’s Day gifts from the kiddos this year really blew me away. The teen who makes pipe cleaner art created this wonderful cat touching a book with their paw and magical swirls coming out. So amazing. I don’t think photographs really do justice to her sculptures. Even the tiny ears have the perfect kitty shape and bend to them if you feel them. The book pages can turn, and the paw can move.

Amigurumi llama by R. Hartz

Child, the younger, has discovered amigurumi. In the past weeks she has made a ton of cute little bees. Then, in secret, she learned to read a pattern and made this llama for me. All on her own.

I’m a proud Mama Llama today.

books · writing

Story Sale

My quest to start sending more stories out has reaped it’s first victory. My short story “Eye of the Beholder” will appear later this year at Zooscape Zine. I’m so glad this story turned out to be a good fit for them because I’ve been reading over there a bunch lately, and love the animal and fantastical vibe of it all. Go check it out, and don’t worry, I will definitely be reminding you when my story goes live there later in the year.

This is my first reprint sale, and I posted back in January on Submitting Again that I had just had a light dawn that my older stories were available for the reprint market, and I was going to give it a shot. After getting a few stories out there, I had hoped that I would stress about hearing back for each one a little less. Like the stress would dilute somehow. That isn’t how it turned out, but I do have to say that a single acceptance does help take the sting out of other past rejections and gave me renewed vigor to write new words too.