Last Post – New Blog

22 Mar

Typewriter

Hello to all of you beautiful people who have followed me from the start. I’m sure you have noticed the lack of posting in recent months, and I didn’t want to leave you all high and dry without the news of why that is.

I’ve started a new blog: christinakaylenhart.wordpress.com

I need to focus more on writing, and actually building more of an author site. Thank you for sharing this journey with me, and if you’d like to stay in touch, click the link above to follow my new blog.

Much love to all of you!

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Book One in The Rosebush Series Now Available!

19 Aug

So, the series I was working on for years is finally being released into the wild. Book one, Lavender and Smoke, is now available on Amazon as well as the createspace estore.

Links: Lavender and Smoke – Amazon

Lavender and Smoke – Createspace Estore

The second book, Woods and Ash, will be released by the end of September. And finally, the third book, Rose and Dust, will be released by Halloween.

For those of you who followed me during this journey, thank you so much. I have not been posting blog posts on here lately, and I will be starting a new blog – more of an author website – and as soon as I get that running, it will be my final post for Daily Rants with the Bitch Next Door. I love you all. Happy writing!

Typewriter Love

2 Mar

Vintage Olympia SM7 Deluxe Two-Tone White Portable Typewriter with Case, Made Germany RESERVED CHRISTINA

First, I want to apologize to my loyal readers for being MIA for so long. I finished my fantasy trilogy, and the first novel in the series is in the hands of a literary agent in NY (fingers crossed). I also started a new novel, a paranormal/horror/dark fantasy, which is about a third of the way done.

I don’t think I’ll be writing blogs consistently for a while, I may just pop in here and there. But, since I’ve been gone, I had acquired a gorgeous vintage Sears Tower Constellation Typewriter, sort of by means of a happy accident. If you’re a writer, and you’ve never typed on a typewriter, I highly suggest purchasing one. It’s difficult to explain the difference between using a laptop/computer or a typewriter, but I’m going to damn well try.

When typing on a laptop (which I could never live without), it’s great for quick, fast typing, especially for longer works, like novels. But I find that I prefer using a typewriter for poetry and short stories. Something happens when you sit down at a typewriter. Something magical. It’s just you, and the lovely machine in front of you. With laptops and computers, it’s so easy to erase and backspace and delete, that you allow yourself to write whatever the hell you want no matter how crappy it is. But with a typewriter, the beauty of it all is that you have to really think about each word you type, because you know if you screw up, it’s going to be far more difficult to erase, or you might not be able to at all depending on the machine you have. There’s also something so beautiful about sitting at a desk in front of that old beauty, knowing she had a life before you. Knowing someone else sat at a desk and used her, perhaps to write a novel, maybe for love letters, maybe for poetry, but there is something poetic in and of itself.

The typewriter I was given a few months ago was sort of an accident. Keep in mind, I’d been wanting one for quite some time, but never allowed myself to splurge and spend somewhere between $100-$500 on a beautiful one, because if I was going to get one, I wanted it to be the typewriter of my dreams. I had an electric one for a while before this, so I didn’t want to be impulsive or selfish and buy a manual just because I wanted to. Now, the little boy I babysit saw my electric typewriter about a year ago and he has been wanting a typewriter of his own ever since. I decided to google any listings of people giving away free typewriters in my area. I found a listing: free manual typewriter, with a phone number underneath. There was no picture. No description of its status if it worked or not. So I called the number, turns out the woman lived down the street from me, and the typewriter worked. I went that day to pick it up, and when she opened the case, I almost fell over. It was an almost exact replica of a typewriter I wanted months before but couldn’t afford. It was a vintage Sears Tower Constellation in a baby blue color with white keys. The woman was elderly, and she said her parents gave it to her when she was in college, but she has no use for it anymore. I thanked her repeatedly, decided this was fate and I would keep it instead, and immediately put it to use at home once I bought a new ribbon. The little boy I babysit was given my old electric typewriter (his little sister broke it already).

Some of the keys were sticky here and there but it worked like a charm for months. Now, unfortunately, the J completely broke underneath due to rust and the N is on its last leg. I didn’t care about splurging anymore, and when I saw that Olympia SM7 Deluxe on Etsy it was love at first sight. I HAD to have her! Since using the old manual typewriter, I can’t picture my life without one. The magic, the romance, the beauty of the experience. I compared it to music; doesn’t listening to a record give you a different experience than listening to a CD?

So, to writers everywhere, I just wanted to share this little typewriter love with you and give you some insight in to my personal experience using a typewriter over a laptop or computer.

And if any of you are on Instagram, you can find me there daily @christinakaylenhart where I post poetry I’ve written using my typewriter. See you there! Happy writing, everyone.

Thoughts On Finally Finishing a Trilogy (and Hooking up my Brother with my Protagonist)

16 Oct

Hello bloggers! I know my blogs have been sporadic for a while, but I swear I have a good excuse. As I’ve mentioned probably a thousand times (and you’re most likely sick of hearing about it but I’m going to say it again), I was writing a fantasy trilogy. Well people (and maybe aliens, dogs, vampires, werewolves, shape shifters read this blog too), I’m thrilled to report that I finally finished it.

Wait, I’ll give you a minute to take that in.

I finished the trilogy. Complete. Donezo. One series. Three novels. 225,000 words. However you want to break it down, I’m done! You heard me?!!

I’M FREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Woah, sorry about all of the exclamation points. I don’t want you to feel like I’m yelling at you. But, I feel slightly insane and mentally exhausted. I wrote 60 pages in the last two days, and I’m recovering.

I finished it yesterday, I’m just editing the last 50 pages of the third book right now. Ah, sigh, it feels so good to finally be free of this series. I thought it’d never end. And in the beginning, I never wanted it to end. I had a blast writing it, but after a while, other ideas started blowing around in my head and I almost felt like a prisoner to this series at times. I know my characters didn’t want the books to ever end, but I had to shut them up. I had to kill some of them (I still feel bad about that). But, now that it’s over, it’s truly bittersweet.

I had so much fun living in this world the last two years. But, towards the end, it became less fun and felt more like a chore. I did several crazy things throughout, like changing the perspective (I’d rather not remember that), but they were things that needed to be done.

You know what that means. It’s time to start querying agents again. But, I’ve decided this will be my last hoorah in querying. Originally, I had too much faith in this series to ever resort to self-publishing, but after a solid year of querying (far too early, so I understand the rejections), I’m going to try one more time. If I get rejected by an exhausted list of agents, I’m either going to self-publish or self-destruct. Either way, this series will be available to the public to read. I just want to share it with the world, no matter which way it happens.

I just have to give a shout-out to my fellow writers who have written or who are writing a series. Damn, talk about WORK! So much time, effort, work, brain farts, and actual farts go into this process. And it is truly a process. One that takes over your entire life, basically. I have a newfound respect for writers who write series. I can’t imagine writing, say 13 books for one series (shout out to Charlaine Harris, love you & your Sookie Stackhouse novels!).

Hmm, other exciting news…

Well, I started writing a new book. It’s…wait…don’t kill me. It’s a vampire book. I know! I’m so sorry! Some of you are probably so over the vampire thing. But, I have to admit, that I’m not. I love vampires. You probably noticed because my mention of Charlaine Harris. And I’m making it my personal mission to write a fresh, new vampire book. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking it’s almost impossible to come up with a fresh idea for a vampire book. But, I looked it up online, and nothing like it has ever been done before. Sorry, can’t spill the beans on what the idea is (because I’m afraid someone will steal it and I’m just so protective over my work in progress!). But, hopefully one day you can read it.

Umm…anything else…

I saw a black dog today wandering around the streets. I have a black dog, so, obviously I chased it down just to make sure it wasn’t my pooch going on a little adventure. Luckily for me, it wasn’t my dog. Unluckily for someone else, it was their dog. He didn’t have a collar on. And he was wet (rain). Some lady came running and I thought it was her dog, so I told her where he was. But it wasn’t her dog. Sigh. Where is this dog’s owner!??! The lady caught him and stayed with him, so I went home and ate French fries. What else was I supposed to do??? He was in good hands! And I was hungry!

Oh, also, I just have to share this because it was the highlight of my night yesterday. My brother came home and asked me if I had any hot new friends (a question he likes to ask every few months just to check) and I said yeah, my new protagonist. She’s hot as hell and such a smart ass. His response?

“Do you work with her? Who is she?”

….I’ve never laughed so hard in my life. I really thought I was going to pass out or pee in my pants. After I pulled myself together, I was thinking yeah, I just started working with her. And I can’t wait to get to know her better. But sadly for him, she’s fictional and won’t be having sex with him anytime soon.

Mesothelioma Awareness Month: My Small Tribute to Cameron & Heather

23 Sep

Cam_Lil_HVSJ

I was honored when Cameron reached out to me and shared his family’s touching story. Eight years ago, his wife, Heather, was diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Three months after she gave birth to their daughter, Lily, Heather was told she only had 15 months to live. Could you imagine being given an expiration date? Well, she was. But, after a life-saving surgery, which included the removal of her left lung, she is alive and thriving more than ever. Below is a picture of the blessed family.

Since Heather is one a survivor of the rare cancer, their family made it their lives’ mission to spread awareness of mesothelioma, which is a preventable disease that takes so many innocent lives. In honor of the 10th annual Mesothelioma Awareness Day (which is September 26th) they reached out to me to help spread the word by dedicating a blog post to share some eye-opening fats about mesothelioma.

“Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that attacks the lining of the body cavity called the mesothelium. The only known cause to mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Asbestos exposure was first linked to mesothelioma cancer in 1964. Worldwide mesothelioma cases are expected to reach their peak around the year 2020. Mesothelioma commonly sits dormant in the body for 20-50 years after initial exposure to asbestos. 80% of all mesothelioma cases occur within the lining of the lungs. There are two other recognized types; peritoneal mesothelioma occurring in the abdominal lining, and pericardial mesothelioma occurring in the heart’s lining. Between 2,500 and 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year. On average, they are given 10 months to live. Mesothelioma is most commonly diagnosed between the ages of 50 and 70, but it is not uncommon among younger generations who may have experienced second hand exposure. Mesotheliom incidence in women is on the rise because many women experienced second hand exposure from parents or spouses who worked closely with asbestos.” –Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance facts and statistics

On the culprit: Asbestos

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that is classified as a known human carcinogen, because of its association with mesothelioma. On average, 30 million pounds of asbestos are still being used in the United States today. The substance can still be found in many homes, schools, and commercial or industrial buildings. Even 30 years after the peak of its use, asbestos still remains as the number one cause of occupational cancer in the United States. During the 1930’s until the late 1970’s asbestos was at its peak production and use. US Navy veterans who served during World War II and the Korean Conflict have the highest probability of having asbestos related health problems. Asbestos is used as building material in several developing countries throughout the world, including India and Brazil. Industrialized nations such as China, Russia, and Canada also continue to mine and use asbestos as material for consumer products. On July 12, 1989, the EPA issued a final rule banning most asbestos-containing products. In 1991, this regulation was overturned by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. As a result of the Court’s decision, only a few asbestos-containing products remain banned. This year 10,000 Americans will die of asbestos-related diseases such as lung cancer or mesothelioma and 200,000 people will be living with asbestos. To this day, asbestos is still found in many schools, homes, commercial, and industrial buildings. Asbestos was once used in common household items such as toasters, hairdryers, and over 3,000 other consumer products. The EPA estimates that there are asbestos containing materials in most of the nation’s approximately 107,000 primary and secondary schools and 733,000 public and commercial buildings.” –Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance facts and statistics

My ex-boyfriend used to work in flooring. He had to wear face masks sometimes, but only when it was known that asbestos was under the tiles. It’s extremely dangerous for people to do this type of work for that reason. I remember he got pretty sick once, and we were both worried it could have been from asbestos exposure. So, asbestos isn’t as rare as you might think. It could be under the tiles in your house. Keep this in mind when considering remodeling your home.

“Asbestos may be found in many different products and many different places. Generally, any of the following materials* installed before 1981 are presumed to contain asbestos:

Sprayed on fire proofing and insulation in buildings

Insulation for pipes and boilers

Wall and ceiling insulation

Ceiling tiles

Floor tiles

Putties, caulks, and cements (such as in chemical carrying cement pipes)

Roofing shingles

Siding shingles on old residential buildings

Wall and ceiling texture in older buildings and homes

Joint compound in older buildings and homes

Plasters

Brake linings and clutch pads

* this listing is not complete

Buildings constructed prior to 1981 will have asbestos postings in most mechanical rooms.” –Princeton University Environmental Health & Safety

I hate to ask the obvious question here, but if Mesothelioma is preventable, and people are aware how dangerous asbestos is, then why are they still using it?!?!?! Where is the common sense in this?

The stats are frightening, and while I never believe in people receiving expiration dates, I do believe in miracles. Heather beat the odds, so if you or a loved one is living with mesothelioma, there is always hope. Miracles happen. People are saved every day. Heather is a prime example.

Heather- my heart goes out to you and your blessed family. Thank you, Heather and Cameron, for sharing your story with me. I wish your family nothing but the best life has to offer. I only hope this blog post will reach at least one person in some way.

The 10th annual Mesothelioma Awareness Day is Friday, September 26th. Help spread the word on Mesothelioma Awareness! You never know. It could end up saving someone’s life. Knowledge is power.

Links:

http://www.mesothelioma.com/

http://www.mesothelioma.com/heather/awareness

Sneak Peek into my Fantasy World

20 Sep

Rose and Dust

So, I figured it was high time to give you all a little sneak peek into my fantasy world I’ve been living in the last two and a half years. When I’m writing a novel, or a lengthy short story, I like to make collages of the characters and places I envision in my mind. And while google image can come close to providing images similar to those I see in my mind, it could never be exact. Still, I pull whatever is closest to what I see in my head, and I put it all together so it can inspire me every day when I write.

I wanted to share the collage I made with you all, so you can meet some of my characters. The roses are quite symbolic here, as my protagonist gets dragged through a rose bush into another world. As of now, I’m querying agents trying to find representation for the fantasy trilogy. I’ve had two requests for material, and plenty of rejections.

Ah, rejections. They taste so sweet anymore. I expect them. But do these agents understand I will never give up on this series? I will be relentless in my search for representation. Because, while I’ve self-published three books, I refuse to self-publish this series. I believe in it too much.

Do you believe in magic? In supernatural elements? While it may seem quite ridiculous, certain wondrous events happened while I was writing this series, and that’s precisely why I will never give up on it. Extraordinary things are real, whether you believe it or not.

The Writing Process: Down in the Rabbit Hole

20 Sep

Delicious post!

R.G. Tamaki

06.03-rabbit-hole

Writing is like spending time on the cross, when you die painfully every moment; other times it’s like the resurrection, when you feel fresh and alive and brand-spanking-new.

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