scalawag

2017 indie vs hybrid scalawag for the fanatics

Happy New Year to anyone who reads this blog! I consider you a friend and ally. Last month I bought two critical texts which may help me refine my future, in the work sphere of life. The 2017 Writer’s Market and the DSM-5. The latter is the latest diagnostic manual I need to improve my currency in the counseling psychology field. I am coming up on 9 years as a career counselor. The Writer’s Market is the latest edition of a text widely known to help independent authors find representation for their work. I have been a real scalawag in the area of publishing, all my life long, if not a clueless no-talent scribbler!* I must not have wanted 2 pay for postage, cuz I always wanted to be traditionally published. I danced around the Book Expo and chose instead to blog (circa 2007) and self-publish (circa 2013).

I’ve been indie happy with my small circle of fanatics (term of endearment) , and fellow readers and writers, but seeing how it’s the new year and all, what with the charmed feeling you get exhaling old ideas and ways of being, I wanted you to know that I am contemplating holding back on self-publishing my latest effort: “Ame and the Tangy Energetic”. Had I made my personal deadline, I would have self-published in 2016. But I did not. And the book is not yet finished to my standard.

If you don’t read my books, no worries, I plan to keep posting flash fiction, video books, book reviews, and creative non-fiction daily, right here on this website. If you do read my books, I want to thank you for your patience. I may decide to self-publish this year. But I am leaning towards using the Writer’s Market to locate a traditional home for the book over the course of the next 12 months. I would like to be a hybrid and have the choice of traditional publishing. Why not? I have devoted so much of my life to the craft of writing.    -K

* The self-identifier ‘clueless no-talent scribbler‘ has been offset by some minor accolades in recent years. In 2016, KatYa’s novel Maze was chosen by the Sacramento Public Library for representation in the annual local Author Festival. Also in 2016, KatYa’s website Vitamin K surpassed 100,000 views online, and currently stands at 140,000 strong, and growing. This self-deprecating indie author (and human being) has been a much beloved contributer to G.Plus Poetry circles, and her books, all carefully calibrated works of literary fiction, have received close to 100 reviews averaging 4+ STARS on both Amazon and Goodreads.com.

two clicks and a book

I do not write mysteries. Writing is the mystery and a book, a puzzle piece, a small part of being solved. I am wondering if I have what I need to do what I wish to now do? The magic number, I make it fourteen. Two weeks, to get back to you. To immerse myself in the colorful cove of creative process, and finish what I started a little over a year ago. There is a battle on our screens, online, for our eyes, our attention, our desires. When we are tired, they win. I go to do something creative and if I make one mistake, chasing down an email or a tweet – any packet of information – I may be sucked to the bottom of a sloping hill of mud, two clicks away, marching my way up and back to reclaim my sacred land… but always two clicks away. I wonder if I have what it takes to stand my ground? I have all my rations, all my munitions, and all my comrades around me. I have my health and my family, and my faith. I can easily recall when the world came over me, a long shadow before a setting sun. I plodded my way through the deepest night. Lost, I surrendered; and they had mercy on me. I don’t know how or why. I was a pitiful starved creature, lunatic raving and howling, chained to an iron post on a cracked island of asphalt. I was the one who broke dumb from the pack. Now they saw I was no threat and marched me through a wasted land of drought. I focused on the stars of windless night until I was one, too, the smallest and farthest away. And brighter grew. I stretched for the sun out of a cold, dark place only I inhabited. Not at first, but soon I was touched. I found something there I cannot describe. In the poverty of speech one may call it ‘god’ – if only to relate. The thing which keeps me bright. This thing which can keep me up all night. That which helps me shine through darkness. Immerses me in sacred process, helps me hold my ground. In fourteen days or not, two clicks away and shot, from the bottoms ever climbing… I wonder will I find my way, and back to you? Otherwise, this book may live a lonely life in my heart.

creative confidence

can be elusive. good thing is you (the artist) will know when you have it. all the rules they ever taught you, muted. taking risks does not feel so scary. nobody knows what you are doing more than you.    the work is mutable not sacred. you can see the whole thing moving through the smallest fragment. it is alive and tugs at your pulses.

writing a book

As some of you may know from previous posts, I was enticed by the natural editing process (several drafts in, mind you) to switch perspectives between two main characters and sisters, Ame and Kell. I stepped in the arena and began doing exactly that, and found Kell’s voice (previously unexplored) an easy thrill; writing from her perspective comes quite natural to me. I began threading the narrative this way, back and forth between Ame and Kell, for several pages in what has come to be a rather drawn out ‘prologue’ of the (unreleased) Book #3 of my fiction series.

Switching perspectives seem to inject the narrative with a juicy shot and a vaccination against monotony. Both voices are first person, and Book #2 left off with the sisters apart and now trying to communicate through the telepath. Ame is searching for Kell who has gone missing. These characters both have telepathic capacity, though the younger of them, Kell, has had hers stifled by her opiate addiction. In fact, she has been a junky for so long she doesn’t even know her own power. She has not yet been convinced she is one of their tribe: Delux. A people very much like humans in all ways except for certain practices and preternatural gifts.

So I had yet to have anyone else read the latest draft with the perspective switching. I really only got it all together in form a couple weeks past. I shared my work with my beta readers through g. docs.  I shot the first 15,000 words out to my betas last week and got a great reaction. One of my readers actually read my mind completely (no joke!) and suggested to me to have this threading go on – past prologue – and into the main narrative, he so enjoyed the switch. Now this will likely postpone (and already has) my release, but it cannot be helped really if I am to follow these leads. Getting the comments from my reader was like the universe speaking to me, I swear to god.

The series has had some initial success in the market. I released Book One in late 2013, and Book Two late last 2015. Here is the link to the series on Amazon, where 17 combined reviews have garnered 4.9 out of 5 stars. Here is the link to the series on Goodreads, where as of this writing 43 readers’ reviews have garnered 3.9 out of 5 stars. Totaling both platforms, that makes 60 reviews for 4 out of 5 stars. Just a drop in the ocean, but encouraging enough for me to wanna keep the series alive for you and me!

writing a book

itching for play (writing process)

my friends, confidence rises as the words fall into place and chapters materialize around central concepts and characters. the cover is itching for play as i write into the future of this series. not knowing where it is going, i understand myself better seeking who i am then being who i have found myself to be. i need not wear the booksellers cap right now. of course i crave readership and less do i thirst for sales. i am much more interested in communicating with my audience than banking off of them. how separate the marketing mind is from the actual making of a book. july has been very good. best month in months for WIP production. i have been back to shouting out from behind my desk, alone in my room but for cats! a very good sign. i don’t holler much unless i’m onto something. like any project of any kind, the builder can see when things are falling into place (or not). with this book, not unlike the others preceding it, i found the process of setting the foundation to be painstaking, almost like the surface was some scraggled slippery rock on saturn. like bones on the mend, i had to literally break it up several times and reset it. there were days i could not even walk and meet the site,  the reminder of all the work needing done. the healing has begun. the foundation is in place and the structure rises up and takes form against the harsh landscape! though the inners must be fulfilled, it is a lovely and most tingly experience to walk around and above and look upon the book, the materialized form of it! (i mean in my mind, materialized as a vision) again, this work heals me and has little to do with the separate process of bookselling and building readership. it’s a faith play. knowing that it’s a fine house and someone will make it their home. the cool thing about a book or work of art, is that the builder shares the home with the reader and the world. i am unsure how large my fan base is, at this time, and it may be very small. but the author, the one who writes, is carefree! carried across the healing process, jettisoned into fresh space, wearing saturn’s ring. saying what i needed to say, in an ordinary, heartfelt (ritualized and methodical) way. and the paint job? the cover, she awaits, ornamental, itching for play.

journal

Journal # 05.11.16

I have been troubled. My mind looks at the walls and searches for symmetry. In the paintings and photographs. Everything is off and even the new front door they fit, is off white but I like it. Still my mind rummages around when there’s central work to be done. My biggest responsibility may be to silence my mobile phone. Welcome to 2016. The little things. Seems I lost my state of mind to some sorta civil war with every other neuroblast taking sides. Divisive. I demand a united front. Summer is on the way and here’s hoping we both get hot.

process #

go slow. go quietly in your creative process

Imagine if you slowed your process down and watched it, played it back for yourself like a film. Yes, you can drip all the butter you want on your popcorn. Just eat one popped kernel at a time. Taste it. Lick the butter off of your fingers very carefully, like you are giving head. You can put your legs up over the seat backs cause you are the only one in the theatre. Ladies cross your legs, just in case. Someone always prowling in the darkness, maybe come off the screen and wanna be with you. Hopefully its the hero or heroine, and don’t you dare make love to yourself, it’s a cardinal sin, if there was a hell you would go to it but mostly we agnostics know you would just feel bad about yourself and sick to your stomach. This is a work of fiction cast out from the booth in the back to enlighten the screen for your eyes, you who receive. Imagine the warm blue light triangulating out into the darkness and above your head. Closest to the projector you can even see the air we breathe is swimming with dust. Our lungs must be ingenious. Focus on your breath as the numbers count down from ten, with an old radar-like image and a line traveling clockwise around back to midnight and the numbers fall and the excitement of what’s to come… What’s to come out of process, is more process, the consequence of process, the marvel of creation, making our lives one brilliant second at a time as we go. Swimming through our lives and slow it down commensurate with a wave. We are fragile. We are breaking. We are falling in love again.  xxxxox  KatYa

creative process

the mad scientist in me and you (creative process)

mad scientist

I don’t know about you but only in silence can I break away from routine and find my way back to her, the mad scientist in me. Ya, once I find her all bets may be off, she may decide to pump some Iggy Pop or Nine Inch Nails into my bloodstream with all the coffee. Here in my laboratory — aka my apartment —  playing with the soft membrane between you and me in my mind. Going off somewhere unusual and yet somehow self-validating. The unitive awaits us, the collective mind, where we may connect from any distance. It’s extrasensory. My head is buzzing by Alice Munro’s  Carried Away. I let the kittens outside for the night. They will be cold but they want to go. I am denying the urge to go off with salts and butters on a plate of broiled veggies and shrimp. Other tenants in the building are bumping into our shared walls, makes me feel safer. Me and you, we really need to break the routine for a hot second. Let the atmosphere in my kitchen become remarkable all of a sudden. Only because I am paying extra attention. Super cool and clear with vinyl floors, flourescent overheads, a giant green chair, a laminate wood table. Much different from the feel of the carpeted living room with cathedral ceiling. I can breathe into the silence and feel the softness of the inside of my baby blue dollar store slippers. I can follow the whisping whirr of the ceiling fan. The lovely chime of the Tibetan bell tongue, rocking against itself. Why fear my mad scientist when I love her so? She is raison d’etre like no other! Out of her comes strange stories like Maze and Grand Theft Life. Maybe that’s what terrifies me? Stories of my life but not exactly memoirs. Call it creative nonfiction. Or don’t call it anything at all. Just what comes out of the silence with me. Alluring and luring us to a feast of re creation. Thank god I have my laboratory. Thank god I have my routine to break. Thank god I have my health. Thank god for Alice Munro. Thank god for you. Thank god for books. Thank god for the mad scientist in me — and in you. Let’s all let ourselves get carried away by our experiments tonight. This is true living!

Q&A — Inspiration

Q  What inspires you to get out of bed each day?

A  Some days I jump out of bed because I had a nightmare.
Some days I get out of bed to go to work.
Some days I float out of bed with a wild idea I need to type out of my head.
Some days I drag out of bed, desperately seeking coffee.
Some days I wake up screaming bloody murder,
my kitten doing acupuncture on my toes.
Some days are uninspired, and I pray to god for the muse.
Some days are easy, so I stay in bed, my imagination in a delicious state, wandering.
Some days are hard and depression fights me into a corner.
Some days I have a powerful thirst to publish,
so I can reach out and connect with my fans.
Those are the days I really feel alive!