Monday, May 30, 2011

Just Photos . . . Walk about in Haywood County & My Cove

As I walk about I think of my nephew today - killed in a training exercise for the Marines . . . thinking of all of those who serve - those who come back and those who never will . . .

GMR drew this :-D

PS - I tried to visit some of you yesterday, but Blogger, or something in my browser?, would not let me comment; I finally had to give up in frustration! Anyone else having problems; if so, I know it's not my browser but instead blogger.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Writer Unboxed, WebComic, and Finally a Good Solid Draft

Hi folks! I am excited because I finally have a good solid draft of the final in the Graces Trilogy. This book has been more difficult because VK, as the storyteller, finally tapped into some things she, and I, have been avoiding. This novel has a bit more darker tones to it in places, and a bit more violence, and I've had to write it in a way that felt "right."

A difficult chapter is when Grandma Faith tells of her last five days on earth - that was one of the hardest chapters I wrote. She has but the one Chapter that VK storytells from Grandma's pov. I was exhausted when I completed it, and when I read back over it I had to fight not to cry. Some of Momma's (Katie Ivene) chapters are and were quite difficult to write, as well. I fought against this darkness creeping in, but finally I had to let go and let VK tell the story how it needed to be told. She is the storyteller and she needs to finally break through the dark so the light can find its way back in. Still. It's been difficult. I know I wanted to avoid this as I didn't want the last book to have this darkness and violence, but, it is what it is. It had to be written and moved out of the way.

But now, I have a good solid beginning, middle, and end. I wrote the ending chapter yesterday and I felt such a sense of relief and gratitude and . . . more relief, as if I knocked weight off my shoulders.

I've been trying to stop by your places here and there, one or two at a time. But, thank you for being so understanding of this time I need to complete my novel. Now comes the rewriting and editing, the filling in and the taking out, the polishing.

I want to direct all of you to Writer Unboxed. Both on Facebook and the blog. This is such a wonderful group of writers and readers - come join in with us!

Also, I have been enjoying this webcomic so much - The Shadow Bytes - there's a funny quirky cat, and his owner makes appearances when the cat lets him *laugh* - They post comics Tuesdays and Thursdays, and I've come to look forward to them. Let's support them as they are trying to gain readers.

OMG! I just went by there to grab a photo or some image and look what was on there! *laughing* - I had NO IDEA when I put this here this morning that it was there! *BAH_LUSHING!*  - I honestly didn't have a clue - I am just a-grinning now - thank y'all guys *teeheeheehee*

My brother's "comtemporary bluegrassy" music he composed for the Virginia Kate Graces Sagas still inspires me. When I listen to it (and you can puchase the music for 99cents on itunes - and I receive no compensation for his music - I just want to support him and other musicians, writers, artists, etc, out there!), I am inspired to write; I am drawin in VK's holler; images come, thoughts, emotions. Though I can't listen to music while writing, I do listen otherwise.

Another bit of music that inspires me with the Graces Sagas is Angels of Venice's "Lionheart" -(it's the second song on the cd), and a pivitol scene came to me while listening to this song. I was driving down I-40, round the mountain curves, and this song "Lionheart" was on, and the images of VK and her family came - but one image in particular really smacked me - VK riding Fionadala up up the mountain, faster and faster, her hair flying. I'm still inspired by this song to write her.

Now, y'all go do the day and if you have time, visit these folks and tell them I said howdy!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Random Photos/No Post: Mee Maw Bra & Dares, Spider Webs, lil Boop, etc

All Kimmi Richardson had to say was "I dare you to put on this Mee Maw Bra . . . "

My sweet Lil Boop -the reason I do so much now. I want her to be proud of her Granny kat
Kimmi Richardson came to visit the mountains - we couldn't believe we had the same danged kind of Walk About hats!

Thanks for the mug GMR! :-D

Thai Spice Restaurant, Waynesville, NC - Yum!

Fire Pinks . . .

a beauty

Blackberries growing wild in the cove at Killian Kob

near our little log house
moon over Killian Knob

Psycho Cute Girl (Maggie) & Not Quite Fat Dog (Jake)

There's a nice web here - if you click to see it larger-at Lake Junaluska

all photos Kat Magendie's except Mee Maw Bra taken by Kim Michelle Richardson

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Showing you my innards -My guts on a Platter - all for you

I sit on my porch, looking out at the ancient Smoky Mountains rising bold and important, I think about my solitary nature, and recognize my contradiction. For when I write, don’t I turn myself inside out? Don’t I release the demons? Don’t I give you my guts on a platter? Yes, for you, Dear Readers, I slice open my skin, show you my innards, allow you to see what is hidden. No matter if I believe I do not allow people to know who I am, no matter that I huddle on my Maggie Valley Mountain Cove to hide from the human elements, wallowing happily in nature elements, no matter at all. For my words reveal the truths.

Inside out, I show you my heart beating beating beating. I show you how strong and smooth my bones are, how heavy and substantial my skeleton makes me. I show you the blood that races fast and hot through tough and capable veins. I am real. I say to you, “This is who I am. Read me.” I divulge secret bits and pieces in the characters of my stories and pitiful poetry, and I blatantly reveal myself as myself in essay.

Did you know that every word, sentence, paragraph, page that I craft is for you, Dear Ones? Did you know that the words I create are in the hope you will read me, and in reading me, get to know me, and in knowing me, maybe you will love me? Writers can be needy, and writers can be selfish, and writers can be self-indulgent, but how this writer is can’t be measured by how much I sit alone, for it is only through you and your reaction to my words that I measure my worth. Perhaps you do not want such a heavy burden, but I place it on your shoulders anyway, again and again.

If you meet my outside shell, you may not recognize me from my words. I will stand back in a corner of the room and watch you, listen to you, gauge you, figure you out, peel back your skin and skull and see how you are made, use you as fodder for my work. If you approach me for conversation, I become fidgety.

You say, “I am conversing with you, human to human, eye to eye.” You are close enough to feel your words fall upon my face.

I shift from foot to foot. I stammer, “Um, I see. Yes, um.” I attach the “ums” because I am stalling, tensing, panicking. My face is warm. In my terror, words begin to erupt from the hollows of my belly, and I try to keep them down. Words back up against each other, filling my throat—all the things I think about, read about, wonder about, the things I see, the things I touch, all the things I don’t even know I’ve stored away—perhaps for some piece of writing, perhaps accidentally, perhaps because I am bored. My tongue begins to taste the words as they fill my mouth.

It is all for you that I write.

all photos are Kat Magendies except for the istock photo of magical book. This post was taken from archives.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Video: Dog wants treats, owner teases, Godzilla, & Where I Hide To Write (photograph)

Morning Everyone!

A video for you - Thank you all for your patience with me by still stopping by to say hello while I am working to make my deadline for this fourth book (VK III) *muwah!*

Wait, had to share this one too - just makes me laugh -found it while writing something on Facebook about the Godzilla, Battra, Mothra remake I watched the other day - so silly, but makes me LAUGH!

My little log house in the cove at Killian Knob

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

My Thoughts on my new Kindle e-reader

Y'all may remember I posted pics for my trip to finally purchase a Kindle e-reader. I'd held off a long while, but finally I just couldn't stand my curiosity any longer.

My Kindle sat around for a couple of weeks before I downloaded any books, then it sat around another couple weeks before I read anything on it. Although I was curious, the Kindle on my bedside table didn't compel me to open it and read like my printed books always did.

However, once I finally opened my first ever Kindle book (How to Bake a Perfect Life by Barbara O'Neal) and began reading, I quickly "forgot" I was reading from a device. This, I admit, amazed me. I fully did not expect to have this "forgetting" and thought the reading would instead feel awkward. Nope, I read along happily and was fully into the story, never thinking "Huhn, I'm reading on a device and not a book;" well, perhaps I did think this from time to time, but not in a negative way, for the reading experience itself--getting into the story and characters--felt the same as with the printed book.

When I was out of town in Baton Rouge/Paulina, Louisiana, I took along my Kindle, and this, my good friends, is another positive experience for e-readers. I didn’t have to lug along books, which really isn’t so bad if I am reading one book; however, I have been out of town, finished a book, and didn’t have another one with me, or began a book and decided I wasn't in the mood for that one afterall. With my Kindle, I have as many books as I wish to read at my fingertips, and when I fly, with baggage weight fees, taking along a Kindle instead of books/manuscripts will be invaluable.

But the most wonderful thing about my Kindle that made it full worth the price (I bought the wifi version for $139.00) is how I am able to upload my draft manuscripts to my Kindle and read my own work (alternatively, I can upload an author's book I will be 'blurbing/endorsing' without having to have a printed copy). This is, and will be, an invaluable tool for my work. Reading the work in different ways always allows me to catch things I may not see in my word doc, or the printed one. I uploaded the draft of VK III to read (so easy to do!) and it allowed me to "see" things I wanted to work on, and to experience where I had things where I wanted them. I love this! I'll be able to read my galley (last chance to proof) on the printed copy, word doc, and on my Kindle. Shazam!

However, what I missed about reading a printed book is the feel of the book, the heft of the pages, the smell of books, yes, but as well, with an e-reader, I miss the colorful spines on my shelf, and the beautiful covers on my nightstand. Also, while reading printed books, the author's name and the title of the book are at the top of every page—not so with my Kindle (unless there is a setting I am missing?)—and with my pea-headed black holed brain, I sometimes forget who I am reading and what the title is!

Without the visual of the printed colorful covers/spines on my bookshelf/nightstand, and without the author’s name and title of book at the top of the pages, there is this distance between me and the work and the author, and that does bother me. I look for some distance from the author when I am into the reading of the book, but upon picking up the book from my nightstand, and then closing it when I am finished reading for the night (or the end of the book), or even as I subconsciouly note the title/author at the top of the page, I do not want that distance, I then want the connection, which is somewhat missing from my Kindle e-reader experience. That's a flaw I do not  know how to remedy or if it will work itself out.

All in all, I’m finding the experience a positive one. Which is why I will also say that I don’t mind paying a decent fair price for my Kindle books I purchase—perhaps not as much as I pay for a printed book that I can place on my shelf, but I consider the experience of reading the same joy on my e-reader that I do on the Kindle.

What about you? Thoughts on e-readers?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Random Photos: South Louisiana Early May 2011

boiled Louisiana Gulf Shrimp 
I was in South Louisiana last weekend & snapped some photos - enjoy!

fried catfish

Hymel's in Convent, La - food above is from there

Paulina, Louisiana

My second ever painting - went to Canvas on the Rocks with Alaine again - LOVE Canvas on Rocks!

Fest For All 2011 & Beloved Grandfather Oak

Old State Capitol Baton Rouge

inside of Magnolia

George's Baton Rouge


This is the large (HUGE) nest -you can see the bird there

oh the spanish moss!

Inside Old State Capitol, BR

New Orleans skyline

Fest for All 2011 - lawd

Canvas on Rocks, Baton Rouge