Life

A Slightly Late GISHWHES Post

Hi, everyone. Your wayward author is back with another update. In my last post I told you about how busy I’ve been. I’ve got good news; I’ve been working full time for the National Park Service for more than a month now. My stress levels are way down, and I’ve been able to get some writing done (as well as my editorial jobs). In fact, I was able to participate as an author in GISHWHES 2014. I’m sure most of you know about GISHWHES, but for those who don’t GISHWHES stands for “Greatest International Scavenger Hunt the World Has Ever Seen”. The contestants do all sorts of wacky fun stuff for charity. One of those things this year was to ask a published scifi author to write them a tiny bite of fiction. The stories had to be 140 words, and include Misha Collins, the Queen of England, and an Elopus (an elephant/octopus hybrid). I wrote two myself and two with Sarah Hendrix. I’ll post them here for your reading pleasure. Be warned some of these are pretty weird.

GISHWHES #1 With Sarah Hendrix

It was a vast, black ocean they raced across, skimming the oily surface as their skiff ran from the ships of the royal navy.

The Dread Pirate Collins sneered at his prize. He knew that if he could just get away from the navy, he’d be able to ransom the clockwork Queen for quite a bit of money.

The Queen, for her part, stared back impassively. Her automaton brain knew that this was her fault. If she had been more fair, and just, as she was programmed, then no subject would be forced to into piracy.

The pirate’s ship was pulling away as something huge rose up from the waves smashing his ship. Mechanical tentacles snaked across the deck.

The Elopus cradled the Queen in it’s many arms. “I love you.”

End

GISHWHES #2 With Sarah Hendrix

She sat alone at a back table in The Elopus. A piano tinkled, out of tune, near the stage. There was a glass of something strong in her hand and her hat was tipped low over her eyes.

Sheriff Misha took a deep breath and looked up to the sky but the faded sign with the odd creature was in the way. He wondered exactly how things would play out.

She seemed to know he was there before entered; her gun was already pointed towards him as he turned to her.

“You ain’t wanted here, Sheriff. Leave me be. I’ll be gone soon enough, just here on family business.”

He nodded and sat across from her, his hands far from his gun. “Sorry about your momma.”

“The queen is dead,” she said quietly. “Long live the queen.”

End

And now my solo stories:

In the Cave of Ganesh

Misha paused at the opening of the cave and pulled the tattered letter from the back pocket of his trousers. The handwriting inside was still legibly the Queen’s.

Dmitri,
I have no words for how sorry I am for what I must put you through. I know you understand, the beast must be destroyed. My sources tell me you will find it in the Cave of Ganesh. Please, be careful. I cannot lose you.
~V

He shoved the note back into her pocket, wishing for more information. There was only one map in the entire royal archive marking “the Cave of Ganesh”. He was here, now, though. After weeks of searching, he’d found it.

A rock clattered towards him. He looking into the cave and there it was. The beast, writing, huge, and reaching for him.

“Sorry, Vicky,” he murmured.

End

Misha and The Queen vs. Dr. Elopus

Misha and The Queen crouched atop the roof of “Elopus Inc”. Their target was coming around the corner. He was a middle aged man, balding on top and dressed in a lab coat.

“Now?” Misha asked.

“Now,” she confirmed and jumped from the rooftop, using her Scepter’s power to land safely.

Misha unfurled his wings and followed her to the sidewalk. “Dr. Elopus,” he said. “You’re under arrest for crimes against humanity, cruelty to animals, and several hundred municipal code infractions.”

The Queen pointed her scepter at Dr. Elopus. “Come quietly and we won’t have to hurt you.”

There was a moment of silence before the man began to laugh. As he did, he began to transform. Tentacles sprang from under his lab coat and his nose distended to become a trunk. “Not today!” He cackled, swinging towards them.

End

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Where the Hell is Kelly?

Here’s a fun game for all of us. It’s like “Where’s Waldo” but with more swearing. Where am I? What am I doing? Why the hell haven’t I updated this blog in forever? Well, in the first place, I’m still alive, working two jobs, and for a three week stretch (23 days, but who’s counting?) I didn’t have a day off; I was working at either one job or the other. During this time I’ve been continuing my work as an editor and trying to do normal human things like “laundry” and “bathing”. Other things, like this blog and most human interaction outside of work, have fallen through the cracks. I’ve had two weeks in a row, though, where I’ve been able to get a day off and the trend looks like it will hopefully continue.

I don’t really have much more to update than this. I haven’t been writing much, editing less of my own work, and I’ve only recently started to catch up on the back log of reading I have waiting for me (though I did finally get through my email). If by some chance you need to contact me, you can leave a note in the comments, email me, or send me a message on twitter. I am going to try to get back to updating at least semi-regularly. Well, we’ll see how that goes.

Updates, Announcements and General Mayhem

I might have been neglecting this blog. Alright, really there’s no maybe about it. I haven’t posted in quite a while and I am sorry about that. I do have some (if not good then possibly adequate) reasons, though.

My first reason is that I am back in Virginia. The Park Service job was a seasonal job, and while it paid more than my job here, it ended sooner. So I’m back in Virginia, working for the concessioner while putting in more applications with the Park Service for winter jobs. It’s now the middle of our busy season, and while we were closed for two weeks for the shut down, October is back with a vengeance.

The second reason I’ve been neglecting the blog is that I am now one of two editors for Goldfish Grimm’s Spicy Fiction Sushi. Michael, my co-editor, and I have been working for a month now to get everything in order and running smoothly. Well the first issue we’ve edited is out now, and looks great! I’m really very excited about all of this. It has, however been taking a lot of my time. I am also still working with Dagan Books, so I’ve been trying to balance my time between the two publications.

My third reason is a lot less exciting than my previous one. While we were laid off my brother and I were prepping a house to be painted. We actually started the painting, but were called back to work before we were able to finish. Thankfully the paint we have can be used in low temperature weather, so we’ll probably finish sometime in November (after the worst has passed at work).

I guess that’s it for now. If you have any questions, feel free to ping me here or on twitter. I’ll see you a little more frequently now, I hope.

PS-For anyone waiting, there will be a new Our Party soon.

Journals, Cookies, and Zombies! Oh my!

Okay, I should have written this blog ages ago, but I’m feeling rather frayed around the edges. Christmas, family and forced socialization does that to me. Anyway, I have a plethora of things to talk about starting with a CONGRATULATIONS TO BOTH HAVOC AND PAUL MAGNAN for winning the Zombie Santa contest. Since there were only two entrants, I decided to paint one for each of them. Paul has already received his and Havoc will get his shortly.

Next up there are a few new journals in the gallery.

A traditionally bound journal covered in cloth.

A traditionally bound journal covered in cloth.

I really like how the bear came out.

I really like how the bear came out.

And finally, the annual parade of Christmas Cookies That Need to be Explained

Rainbow Cluck and the unnamed bug eyed rainbow cat were two spectacular cookies this year.

Rainbow Cluck and the unnamed bug eyed rainbow cat were two spectacular cookies this year.

What a beautiful tree! Too bad one of the candles caught the tree.

What a beautiful tree! Too bad one of the candles caught the tree.

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The poor tree.

Finally we have Simon Cat. There is no explanation necessary.

Finally we have Simon Cat. There is no explanation necessary.

Crash and Burn

Wow. What a month. Or two. And not in a good way. To give you an update on my life, two of our staff members quit, right before the busiest time of year. I decided to write (and wrote) a novella during that time period. I found out the company I’ve been working for lost its contract with the government and I’ll have to reapply if I want to work here next year. I realized I don’t really want to work here next year. I worked two 50+ hour weeks in a row and had to fight for a day off during one of those weeks. I read 6 novels, at least 8 novellas and a bunch of short stories and am working on reading more. I managed not to kill any guests at work and kept my coworkers from murdering anyone either. I have not collapsed from exhaustion yet (either mental or physical) though there were a couple days where I was close. And sadly I have not yet finished the “outline” phase of my current work in progress, though I am so close I can taste it. I’ve set it aside for a bit, though, so I can read. I’m currently in the middle of 1984. Brave New World should be arriving any day.

I am ready for a break. I’m more than ready for the season to be over. I don’t want to deal with people anymore (though I’ve been seeing some really nice people lately. Unfortunately I’m to the point that I assume they’re going to yell at me unless proven otherwise.), and I definitely don’t want to be responsible for their problems. I’m tired of people complaining about the smallest things (I asked for a TOP floor room, even though I made my reservations YESTERDAY, and I am MAD someone who made their reservation months ago got it instead of me!)

On a happier note, I’m ready to write. My massive reading binge (4 of the 6 novels have been in the past two weeks) is my way of recharging my writing (and my poor beleaguered brain). While I’d planned to start writing my work in progress this month, I think everyone will be happier with the result if I wait until next month (or at least I will). I am also planning on writing and submitting a few more short stories, both to anthologies and magazines.

So yeah, I’m ready to crash and my sanity has already burned. Please send help.

Remember, sanity is relative. Whose relative is questionable, but certainly not one of mine.

More Journals

Sorry for the inactivity here as of late, I’ve been busy. And, in typical form, I don’t have the time for a real blog post now. Instead I will give you two of the journals I’ve done recently.

Here’s a work in progress shot of the two covers I did.

Each journal is unique in that I have to cut it, sand it, stain it, and attach or wood burn whatever I’m putting on the cover.

The two tone stain job here was a pain, but worth it. I think it turned out really well. The center piece was a pendant.

And, if you missed it, this one was up on the Dagan Books Kickstarter.

I believe it was there for all of ten minutes before someone snatched it up.

So yes, that’s all for this edition of Journals I Make. By the way, the Kickstarter still has a few more days if you want to donate something: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/carriecuinn/dagan-books-publishing-weird-wicked-and-beautiful

Remember, kiddies, the journals (or rather ones like them) are for sale. All you need to do is contact me about making you one!

The Day that Wouldn’t End

I actually wrote this a while ago, but never got the chance to post it, so it’s been sitting on my phone collecting virtual dust. Yesterday, however, was “one of those days”. And since I’m sure you’re as tired of hearing me bitching as I am about having something to bitch about, I decided to post this today. This is my rant in poem form; while it isn’t 100% accurate to yesterday’s circumstances (at least I hope not) there were certainly homicidal thoughts. Here, without further adieu, is the original poem, The Day that Wouldn’t End.

The Day that Wouldn’t End
Saturday was the start of it
And I an unwilling part of it
Though we all did our best
There was not a moment’s rest
There were problems and complaints galore
Until we threw up our hands and said: “No more!”
But it just didn’t stop the whole night through
(I was lucky to leave before two)
Then, just when we thought it was done
We came back and found it was only begun
The world gave the worst it could send
It gave us the day that wouldn’t end

It wasn’t until sometime Sunday,
Or maybe even as long as Monday
That we realized it was the same day
(The changing time caused the delay)
It was the same bitching and griping
The exact same petty sniping
We changed people and rooms
But the new ones were the same goons
They were just going by a new name
Like they were playing some sick game
Trying to make our fragile minds bend
Here on the day that wouldn’t end.

And we were affected, it’s true
Or at least those that weren’t were few
Our tiredness started to show
Though our service didn’t slow
Normal people would be astounded
At the homicidal thoughts that abounded
We’re lucky no one was killed
Or a drop of blood spilled
That we won’t, though, I wouldn’t bet
It just means we haven’t yet
I guess it will all depend
On if this day will ever end.