Tag Archives: authors

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!

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.

My Tips on Writing a Novel

20 Sep

So many writers out there want to finally write that novel, or maybe even just finish one they started eons ago. I’m not on the NYT bestseller list, so you may have your doubts on trusting me, but I have self-published three books and I’m working on the third and final book in a fantasy trilogy. So, want to know how I did it or how you can do it? I have a few simple tricks; well, maybe they aren’t simple, but it sure sounds simple enough.

  1. WRITE! Don’t quiet all the voices in your head, just quiet the ones who are telling you that you suck and you’ll never write anything decent. The other voices you want to listen to. Those are the voices telling you what you want to write. The voices of your characters convincing you this will be a good book, and that there is a story to tell, one that you must write.
  2. WRITE! No matter what, the water doesn’t start pouring until the faucet turns on. Or something like that. It’s a quote, by someone I’m too lazy to google. You need to sit down and force yourself to write. I don’t care if you’re not “inspired”, neither does your potential. If you never start, you’ll never finish. And if you never finish, you’ll be all depressed about this great idea that went to waste. Every writer will tell you the same thing, set aside some time during the day/night just for writing. If you’re bad at sticking to a set schedule like I am, just write when you know you should be writing. You know you hear that little voice in your head, telling you “you could be writing right now.” LISTEN TO IT! Stop watching reality TV, stop eating cookies (okay, have one more and then write), and stop staring at a spoon and trying to make it move with your mind. WRITE!
  3. DON’T RE-READ IT! Whatever you do, my god, do not re-read the sentence you finally just managed to write. It is the kiss of death. Your inner critic will be telling you what a dumb loser you are. And, hey, maybe the sentence could have been better, but that’s what REVISIONS are for. DON’T RE-READ IT UNTIL YOU FINISH WRITING THE ENTIRE BOOK! You can fix it later. At least then you’ll have something to fix!
  4. Please don’t use dialogue tags like “she snapped ferociously” or “she irritatingly whined like a baby who wanted milk”, keep it simple. He said. She said. Of course, you can change it up when it comes to dialogue tags, with action tags, etc. (Look it up if you’re unsure but want to improve your writing). Because when you do want to publish the book you just finally wrote, nothing screams amateur like terrible dialogue tags. For one, it completely interrupts the conversation happening. Readers don’t want to pause every second to see how your character cried out in pain and then screamed in agony. They want to read the conversation as if they were hearing it. And in real life, conversation moves quickly for the most part.
  5. I’m sorry for that last step, it’s not really a necessity in writing a novel, but if you want it to be as good as it can be, please, keep your dialogue tags simple! Okay, now I’m sorry for this step too. Waste of a step.
  6. WRITE! All you need is the idea. Maybe you don’t even need an idea. Just start writing, and something will come out of it. Something will pull itself together magically. Words are powerful, and writing is powerful. You’ll feel so alive once you’ve written that book and printed it out and you see it with your own eyes. You can read it. You’ll see that it wasn’t a total piece of crap like your inner critic was telling you it would be.
  7. REVISE! Now, comes the annoying part. Revision. Yes, yes, edit and revise, we all must do it. Unless of course you want to hire someone to do it for you, but sh#t, it’s hard out here for a pimp. Do it yourself if you’re capable of doing so. Some people are terrible with editing/revising/grammar/punctuation/line edits. That’s okay. I’m sure some editors are terrible writers (sorry, just trying to make a point). Not everyone is good at all things. If you want to write, DO IT! Worry about the rest later.
  8. WRITE! Just f#%@ing WRITE ALREADY!!!! Stop reading this and go write.

I hope these little tips have been useful to at least one person. Because, well, I just put off writing my third and final book in my trilogy to write this blog. And so help me god if it was a waste of time…

I want to see novelists out of you. Now go. WRITE! Oh, and don’t worry about how much you should write a day. Some writers write 100 words a day. Some write 200. 300. 400. 500. 2,000. 10 pages. 20 pages. 30 pages. For me, I try to sit down and at least write one full chapter. Of course, I’ve had days where I write two pages, other days where I write ten pages. One day I wrote almost fifty pages. That was a lot of effort. I was mentally exhausted after that. Don’t compare yourself to other writers. But do give yourself some sort of deadline and commitment, this way you’ll feel more obligated to do so. Commit to writing 500 words a day to start. That’s not a lot. Sh#t, this blog post is almost 1,000 words. Damn. That could have been another thousand words for my novel.

GO WRITE!

Are Vampires Dead? Or are you still Thirsty for More?

19 Sep

Okay, honestly, I never thought I’d even consider writing a novel with even one vampire in it. For two main reasons: 1. Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice. Can anyone top that??? I never wanted to even try. 2. It’s been done, and done again, and then done so many times that the initial gothic horror and intrigue of the creature has almost vanished in the wee hours of dawn.

But…I must admit…after beginning to watch True Blood, I find myself once again fascinated with the vampire allure. I haven’t been this excited since I watched The Lost Boys years ago.

So, here is the question of all questions. And please comment, because I want honest opinions here. What are all of your thoughts on vampires? Are they dead? Undead? Are you still thirsty for more blood or are you over vampires/vampire novels/vampire movies and even vampire fangs at Halloween?

Let’s start this conversation! I’d love to know what you all think. Now that I’m ending the road to the trilogy I’ve been writing, it’s time to start kicking around new ideas for my next novel. Until my next idea kidnaps me, I’ll be considering to consider writing a fresh vampire novel, although writing anything completely fresh and new is a bit of a struggle, it still can be done in one way or another. So please, help a sister out here! Fellow writers, I beg of you! Drop me a line or two or thirty in the comments.

My eyes are burning red with curiosity.

Fiction: A Profound Journey

22 Apr

Storytelling has consistently remained throughout the generations and decades and if we think about it, there must be a reason why. Before words were written, stories were told orally or through pictures on caves. I think humans initially invented stories or tales as ways to express intangible aspects of life, such as the Gods or love or hate. Stories were used in order to better explain them in theory and through example.

We’ve all heard, read, or written stories that have resonated with something inside of us or moved us beyond the literal context of the story. Of course fiction is not entirely real, but there is a realness to it that we relate to and appreciate. That’s why so many people enjoy stories about raw, honest characters. It appeals to us. It speaks to our beliefs and our morals. Stories have been a way for us to understand the world around us and provide comfort or discomfort if you will. Writers write for different reasons. Some want to comfort others, while others want to disturb their readers and drag them out of their comfort zone.

Fictional stories about loss of innocence teaches us that each person has their own story, their own experience in which they’ve grown or matured or experienced a severe loss or even a minor one that was severe to them in that time. It helps us relate through our own experiences. We realize we aren’t the only ones who have experienced something disturbing or sad, it’s just a part of life that everyone must go through. Life is full of ups and downs. It’s not happy all the time. But without the sadness, we wouldn’t truly understand what happiness was.

It’s for this reason of understanding the world and relating to it that people read. It gives us a sense of hope, a sense of comfort, a sense of unity. We learn and we grow and temporarily we’re transported to another world, a world outside of our own. To me, this is the real magic behind stories. It’s a portal to another time, place, or world, with the promise of a safe return home.