Author Archives: kyranravencroft
For some reason, people like to hear about goals authors set for themselves. I don’t blame them. It’s interesting to look on the other side of the fence like that.
But! Here’s the thing . . .
People follow people for specific reasons. It could be because they’re interested in an author’s life, what a lead singer is having for lunch, or whatever. There’s countless reasons to follow some one of interest.
So, yes. This is my writing blog/website. It’s devoted to my writing. But I am, believe it or not, a real person. With real problems and concerns. And I even like to do things outside of writing.
GASP!!! Heaven forbid an author do ANYTHING except write all day every day!
Yeah, well, get over it. Anyhow, I thought I’d come up with a list of things I want to accomplish in 2016. They include things related to writing, but they also include other things also.
So, without further adieu, I give you my goals for 2016:
- Publish Komplex Sinplicities. If you read my blog before this one then you will already know that I have ordered my first proof for the paperback. There will be an eBook version to go along side it as well.
- Buy a vehicle. This one we did already. I say we because me and my wife don’t make those kind of decisions alone. Besides that, we may both drive it, but it’s really for her anyway.
- Work on my other writing projects. I have so much stuff to get out it’s crazy! I can’t just work on one thing. My mind doesn’t work like that. So I bounce from project to project.
- Work on illustrations. I have cover art and ads to work on, but I ALSO have a book project that will be illustrated almost like a children’s book would be. But this is no children’s book. I also have a comic strip type book I want to work on. Only time will tell.
- Publish one other book with eBook and one eBook. Talking about a challenge! This may be easy for some people to do, but not everyone has that kind of time! Again, only time will tell.
- Metal detect more. Until last year, I slacked off from my metal detecting. And that, my friends, is a real shame! So I plan on doing more of that and maybe some bottle digging. I have a sifting screen that I’m gonna put to more use this year too.
- Upgrade to a better metal detector. I’m more eager to do this than I can express with words! I’m looking at getting the Garrett At Pro and grab myself a NEL Tornado coil to go with it. It’s PAST time I found those deep targets that’s been out of my reach this whole time, dang it!
- Take a trip. Due to life and all that, me and my wife haven’t had the chance to really go anywhere in the last year or two. So this year I’m looking for us to take a trip. We know where we want to go, but it’s going to be a while yet before we are able to. It is what it is, I guess.
- Make some videos. I have a camera, not a very good one, mind you, but I have one all the same. Whether it’s metal detecting videos or videos about writing, I’m looking to throw some up on Youtube. If you have any ideas for some, let me know!
- The usual crap. Every year I tell myself I’m going to lose some weight, eat better, and blah blah blah. Well, I did lose about twenty five pounds last year. Don’t ask me how I did it, but I did! But my #10 goal(s) are just the usual things we all say we’re going to do every year, but end up not doing.
And there ya have it! My personal top ten goals for 2016. It’s not everything I want to accomplish this year, but it’s the ones I think you would be interested in knowing about.
So tell us what goals have you set for yourself this year in the comments below. And tell us how you’re currently working towards them. Until next time, and as always, have an awesome day!
It has been one long and tedious journey to even get to this point: Ordering the first proof for the paperback. Whoo hoo!
But, we’re not out of the frying pan just yet. There is still plenty of work ahead. With that said, I want to go over a couple of things about where I am at right now with my writing.
Firstly, let’s go over what will happen once the proof arrives. So the files look good and the eBook files are waiting for their upload. It has been my experience, being this is my first paperback, that publishing a paperback is a whole different baby than doing eBooks.
In short, eBooks are formatted differently. You only need a front cover where as you need to create the spine and front and back covers for the paperback. The paperback cover has to be tweaked to meet the page count.
The interior is also different. Paperbacks are just that . . . paperbacks. Which is to say you are printing a physical book. So when formatting for this you have to think more traditionally.
On the flip side of this are the eBook files which are HTML and look different on digital devices. although there is a lot of freedom with what all you can do with digital files there are some things you’re going to have to sacrifice in order for the book to look right on a person’s reader.
Another thing to think about are pictures, links, and so on. Of course, in a paperback these things are printed on the page wherever they are in the file. Not so with eBooks. However, links can be clicked in digital files which will take the reader where ever you want to take them; website, landing page, etc.
Most people already know these things, so I’m not going to go into formatting details here.
Secondly, as stated before, the work isn’t over yet. Once the proof arrives it will need to be thoroughly gone over and looked at with the attention to detail of a forensics lab.
Such things I’ll be looking for are:
How does the cover look?
- Do the images (live elements) fit? Are they cascading too much one way or another? Are they off kilter? Too short on any side? How is the image quality? Is the text clear and readable?
How does the interior look?
- Are the pages starting on the correct page numbers? Is the text aligned properly? Is there any weird spacing anywhere? After reading the book from cover to cover, were there any grammatical and punctuation errors?
. . . and so on.
After going over every inch of the book, corrections will be made (if there are any and there probably will be) and the files will be re-uploaded. Should that be the case then another proof will be ordered and the cycle repeats itself.
Once everything is fixed and finalized then comes the heart pounding moment when you push the Publish button. But hold on a minute!
Are you promoting? Do you even have a marketing strategy? This should have been worked out a long time ago. If you don’t or haven’t promoted yet then don’t release that book into the world just yet. You need a following!
I’ve got my marketing strategy laid out. It may not be the best of them, but I feel it will be good enough. It’s not like I’m looking to be the next J.K. Rowling. I just want people to read my stuff.
Anyway, moving right along . . . .
So what’s to be expected after Komplex Sinplicites? Well, I plan on writing a blog post just on this topic; and maybe soon. But, for now, I’ll just say there are several other projects in the works.
The hard part is is there are so many of them. Writing takes time and, sometimes, focus. I’m a fairly busy guy! And there are a lot of times when I just don’t feel like writing for whatever reason.
Hey! Writers are people, too, you know!
In conclusion, I’ll keep doing what I do when I can find the time to even do it. The first proof, again, is on its way. I’m already working on other projects. And I’ll start throwing on the thick promotion stuff soon.
In the meantime, thank you for your readership! And stay tuned for future updates by clicking on the Follow button. I hope to see YOU on the other side!
Imagine something for a moment.
Now imagine that you and your family being dragged out of your house and herded into the street. There are men with guns, barking dogs, and people crying and screaming all around you.
You’re loaded and carried away in trucks to the train that awaits you. No one has any idea what is going on, where they are being taken, or what is about to happen to them.
After a few minutes, the trucks come to a stop; you have arrived at the train station. More men with guns hastily let down the gate and yell at you to get out and move into formation. There are more dogs barking, crying, fear, confusion, and soon a door on the boxcar you crawled into is slammed shut and locked.
It’s a long ride to where you are going. But for a moment, and only for a moment, you relax for reasons you can’t explain. But, for you, things have just gotten started.
Finally, you arrive at your destination. The door opens and the scene upon getting out is more terrifying than anything you went through before getting on the train.
You’re torn apart from your family. You’re chances of seeing them again are slim to none. Your bag is tossed into a pile with bags of persons that came with you and before you.
What happens from here depends greatly on which destination you were sent to. Unfortunately, you have stepped foot in the worst possible place you could be.
You’re going to die here.
Thoughts of what is happening to your family are going through your head. At this point, you can only pray they are able to survive.
What would you do? Where would you go? How would you survive? Three basic questions, but very important questions should you happen to ever find yourself in this situation.
Whether the end of mankind is due to biblical events, or man made (virus/nuclear) causes, the scenario is a scary one if you think about it.
There’s many “preppers” out there that already have bunkers, food and water caches, and an arsenal of weapons and ammo. These guys, surprisingly, each have their own ideas and theories on how to make it through the apocalypse.
But what would I do? What would be my game plan? Well, I’ll tell ya:
Let’s say that some freak incident occurred and me and my wife were the last two human beings on earth. The first thing I would NOT have to worry about is shelter. Shelter, fire, and food/water are always at the top of any survivalist’s to-do list. But the priorities of each can vary depending on the situation.
So with millions upon millions of buildings across the landscape, shelter would rank low on the priority list. And thank goodness!
The next thing I would want to worry about is the means to create fire. And though I’ve had training with making fire without matches or lighters, mind you, it’s more difficult to do, I’d still take advantage of the man made resources available until they became unusable.
Having the ability to make fire means cooking food, sterilizing water, keeping warm, protection, and so on. Fire is essential for life if you plan on living for more than a couple of years; if you make it THAT long.
Food and water. let’s first handle the food problem. If we were the last people on earth then there will be an over abundance of canned food available.
We could live on this for a long time, but eventually it WILL go bad. Unless wheat grew on its on for years to come, and we found a way to bake bread without a conventional oven (which is easier than you think), then making things with grain would also be low on the priority list.
Wild edibles would be brought into diets more as staples than exotics. The need to hunt and fish would, of course, become the norm. Luckily, I can do both.
Water, on the other hand, would be at the top of the list on any given day. You can survive for days and days without food, but you have a week (give or take) to live. Less than that if you are in a hot and dry area.
But water should be everywhere, right? Yep! So what’s the problem? Lots! Not to get into all the ways to get clean water, the most common method is boiling it. Hence the need for fire.
Bleach will be easily accessible for awhile, and I know adding a few drops to a gallon of water (and letting it sit for a few hours) will bring the water to drinkable status.
Over time, clothing will be an issue, and I can see the return to wearing furs becoming the fashion. But, with abandoned clothing stores everywhere, we could probably avoid the fur issue for awhile.
Medicine. Sigh. There’s the monster! Sickness is inevitable. We would raid what storage cabinets we could, but not all medicine would be usable over time.
We would keep what we could for as long as we could. After that, then it is what it is. In the meantime, herbal remedies, which I sometimes use already, will become our medicine closet.
One of the most important strategies to staying alive is one most people don’t think about: keeping busy! Whether alone or with my wife, I would make it a point to have fun, stay creative, and keep busy looking for supplies, water, and growing/finding food.
We’d need to relocate from time to time to keep up with food and supplies. I’d want to mark circles of distance on a map around our current location. This way I can set a limit to our gathering zone and where we are currently within said zone.
My vote wold be to take only what you think you need and those items you may not come across in the next area. Nomads and wild animals have learned this tactic long ago. It’s a good lesson to pick up.
Speaking of wild animals, what of the wild dogs and zoo animals? Wolves and coyotes? It’s my belief the first two would be the biggest concerns.
Domestic dogs are everywhere. And, eventually, they’re going to find their ancestral roots to survive. This means, possibly, turning on you. What zoo animals you have to worry about will begin congregating and re-populating. Luckily, guns and ammunition will easily attainable.
The thing you have to worry most about is being ambushed. And they will be a constant threat, so you better get use to the idea of no longer being at the top of the food chain. So, yeah, we would be packing at all times.
No one can tell you exactly how to survive through or after an apocalypse. But there are basic rules and strategies that most everyone will agree upon.
The smartest thing you can do is to not panic and use your head. Common sense, though seemingly a rare thing in today’s society, can go a long way.
So that’s a very broad and general view of what me and mine would do, but it’s a start. What would you do if you or your family were the last humans on earth? Share your survival plans with us in the comments!
And, welcome! To MY WISH LIST!
When I was thinking about writing this post I was thinking of some of the things that I actually have on my wish list. But then I got to thinking… Why not kick it up a notch? Why not make an EXTREME wish list?
So that’s what I decided to do. Also, trying to choose only one category to list this post under was a difficult choice to make. But I decided to list it under “Ramblings” because, well, just because.
OK! So let’s get on with it!
Some of the cool things I would really like to see, do, or own are:
- Experience ZERO gravity! (I think this one is on my real wish list, too.)
- Ride a rhinovirus! Wait… That’s suppose to be rhinoceros.
- Walk the Red Carpet at a celebrity awards show…AND RECEIVE AN AWARD!
- Be able to morph into any animal at will.
- Be able to fly and/or turn invisible at will.
- Time travel! And see…the dinosaurs…
- Have enough money to buy no less than 5,000 acres of ANYTHING at the drop of a hat.
- Stand on the top of Mt. Everest and yodel at the top of my lungs like Tarzan.
- There is NO number 9!
- Be able to explore other planets.
- Take an exploration submarine trip to the bottom of the Marianas Trench.
- Take off in a fighter jet from an aircraft carrier. O-O-OH YEAH!
- Sail around Cape Horn in an old school style sailing ship.
- Fly around the world in a hot air balloon that looks like the head of Darth Vader.
- Own and be licensed to fly a real life mock up of the Millennium Falcon.
- Have a major motion picture based on one of my stories.
- Be able to actual enter into any book I want and be IN the story!
- Own a gigantic real life fire breathing dragon!
- Have my theme music. MWAHAHAHAHA!!!!
- Be able to fully communicate with any species of insect and animal.
- Invent something positive that would revolutionize mankind existence as we know it.
- Use the power of my mind to make litter gravitate before me into a tightly compacted ball for disposal.
- Cure worldwide violence.
- Experience WARP SPEED! ZO-O-OM!!!!!
- Hang out with real life Ewoks.
- Win the National Pancake Eating Championship!
- 1957 Ferrari 250 Testa Rossa. ‘Nuff said. But an old Shelby Cobra will do just fine, too! Anybody willing to donate a kit car?
- Take a tour of Cinderella’s castle.
- Ride a real life (and human friendly) Godzilla through the streets of Tokyo! Woo Hoo!
- Own a real life, fully functional LIGHT SABER! If you can get me one then we’ll talk about details later.
Ok! So there’s my 30 (well, 29) things I’d like to see, do, or own. Hope you enjoyed the list, and leave a comment some of the things YOU have on your EXTREME wish list!
This can be a bit of a touchy subject. As I am not one to get into religious debates, I don’t usually bring this sort of thing up. However, I do find the topic of reincarnation interesting.
Now before you go biting my head off, you must understand something. I’ve had an interesting life in terms of otherworldly things.
I grew up in a Baptist church (saved and baptized) under a rather strict father and grandparents. I was sheltered from a lot of things, and when you do that to a kid it only increases their desire to explore.
So, that’s what I did. I went exploring. I won’t get into all the details, but quite simply, I had (and was) experiencing things that defied logic as well as what the bible was teaching me to believe.
So I opened my mind to other possibilities.
Eventually, self hypnosis and past life regression were some of the first things I began to look into. And, wouldn’t you know it, but things (memories?) began to surface.
I haven’t gone down that road in some years now, but what I can remember from it is suiting to how I am today:
The memories, if you will, are of me on a sailing ship. We were sailing very close to a sheer cliff that was very tall and like a tan-ish color.
I know I had a woman back home that hated for me to be out at sea and would wait for me often at the docks; searching the horizon in hopes to catch a glimpse of our ship. I know she did this because she had told me at some point.
I have always loved the old sailing ships. Later in life I would find myself working as a deckhand on towboats and I discovered the feeling of working on a boat was very soothing to my soul.
I’m attracted to water. I long for the ocean more than I care to admit, but the funny part is… I get sea sick! But, at the same time, I do love being in the mountains too.
So are these feelings the old roots of my former self that have sprouted into my current life? Or do I just really enjoy the mountains and being on and around water?
Who knows for sure?
There have been, and currently are, people in the world that can remember things from their past lives; or so they say. Sometimes, the memories they talk about can even be found in old documents to help support their claim.
However, some of the things they mention aren’t historically correct. And other people use these mistakes to slam those people, and the idea of reincarnation, to the ground.
But, honestly? If they can remember something that supposedly happened 50 to 400 or more years back, then don’t you think some things will naturally be fuzzy and obscured? I mean, what did you have for breakfast two months ago from today? Exactly!
Like I said, I’m not writing this to get into a contest over whose beliefs are right or wrong. Because of my own past, I have been forced to question my own beliefs. And what I believe in is my own business.
Now, since I’ve gotten COMPLETELY off topic, let me think for a second on what I’d want to reincarnate into if I had a choice.
Well, I’d probably want to be an animal; either a falcon or an owl or maybe even a three toed sloth. And for some good reasons. The most important of which is:
Animals don’t have to worry about bills! They don’t have to work. They don’t have to worry about renting or buying a house, buying groceries, their car breaking down, getting shot for wearing the wrong color shoes, and on and on I could go.
But, really, I love flying! So I’d probably cast my vote to come back as a bird. And if I had to come back as a person? Then I’d say a pilot or writer or maybe an actor. Although, a space explorer would be awesome, too!
Hell! Let’s put the icing on the cake, shall we? Let’s even bring me back as the opposite sex. I mean, why not?
On the other hand, knowing my luck, I’d probably end up coming back as a lump of crab grass or as a slug. I think I could handle being a snail, though.
So how about you? Without going into what religious beliefs you have, and just for fun, what would you want to come back as? Share it with us in the comments below!
Thanks for reading, and have a good one!
K was one of those people that came into my life at the right moment. He had that thing that only I seemed to know and understand. That’s probably because we walked on the same cloud.
K had a sister I’ll refer to as M. Never heard of M’s name before then. And come to think of it, I don’t think I have heard of anyone having the same name since.
I didn’t know his sister other than the few times I saw her. As for their parents, I think K’s mom stayed at home. His father, on the other hand, worked for a snack cake company.
They traveled a lot, and before I knew it, they were moving again. It must have been easier for him than it was for me. They moved all the time, so having to leave friends behind had become the norm.
But what made K so special to me?
It was his goofiness, his dorkiness, and the fact we saw eye to eye. This was in the days of the original Nintendo and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; which we both loved.
We would be the nerds we were and sing the Turtle’s theme song over and over – getting strange looks from all the other school kids.
He had WAY more TMNT action figures than I did, although I did have a pretty good collection of them myself. But video games and cartoons weren’t all we talked about.
K was a fairly heavy reader. And, if I remember correctly, his mom and sister were also. I made a trip with him to the local library one day where he introduced me to a new kind of book.
They were called “Which Way” books. I’m sure you’re familiar with them, but if you aren’t they go something like this:
You start off with the book giving you a bit of a story. Then, at the end of a section (not so much a chapter) you are given options that take you to different spots throughout the book.
After reading the listed options, you chose the direction you want the character or story to go. Sometimes the choice you made will lead to a quick end. Either you “won” or you died; in which case you would go back and take the now obvious route.
I thought the idea was rather clever. Apparently, so did K. We started writing a “Which Way” book of our own based on Nintendo games and using school kids as the game/story characters.
It was great fun and I was really getting into it. However, the book was never finished. K’s dad was being relocated and that was that.
K definitely had his quirks! One day I was spending the night at his house. The next morning, we were planning a full day of Turtles and cartoons, but some breakfast cereal was in order first.
He disappeared and came back to ask if I wanted milk in my cereal. I told him I did – as if there was any other way to eat cold cereal. Soon after he came back again with two bowls. And just when I was going for my first bite I noticed something…
I told K I said I wanted milk in my cereal. Happily shoving in mouthfuls from his own bowl, he said there was milk in it. I started to look real hard. Finally, in the middle of the bowl, I found what appeared to be moist bits of cereal.
Okay. Maybe he did put milk in it?
After moving the stuff around I saw a spoonful or two of what I was guessing to be milk in the bottom of the bowl. He was right! He did put milk in it. I suppose I should have clarified the AMOUNT of milk to put in it?
Something else K did that I found interesting was how he ate his peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Everyday, K would bring his lunch to school. He would often bring a single sandwich with whatever else his mom packed him.
The sammie was always in a Tupperware type bowl. He would open the container, take a bite of the sandwich, put the sandwich back into the container, and shut the lid. He did this with every single bite.
After asking, he told me why he did it for, but I can’t remember the reason behind it now. But it always tickled me to watch him eat.
I still have a family picture he once gave me. I tried to trace his name, but it turns out he has a pretty common name. I don’t know what kind of person he grew up to be, if he even remembers me, or would even want to hear from me.
I have often wondered what happened to K, what he’s up to now, and if he ever finished writing that book.
I know the odds of K ever reading this are slim to none, but I would just like to take a moment to tell him something:
K, you were a cool dude, man! I missed our friendship after you left, and I have never forgotten you. For what it’s worth, I’m writing you in as a character into one of my books. M will be in it also.
I hope you’re doing well and have found success and happiness in your life and continue to do so. And, K? Donatello is still my favorite Turtle!
The sound of the nearby waves soothe my soul; filling me with a kind of inner peace I’m not accustomed to in Tennessee. The stars this night seem to be in the trillions! And I am praying this day never ends.
It has been a long journey to get here. Suffering from jet lag and a crowded bus ride from Fort Lauderdale, I decide to call it a day.
Breathing in deeply, taking in the salty air, I soak in the beauty that is before me; trying to engrave the image into a lasting memory. With my gear stowed, I find my place in the tent and close my eyes.
The sounds of men and boys talking and laughing keep me from drifting to sleep. So I lay in amazement at the thought of how a poor boy could be so lucky to be here…now…in this place.
There’s a deep swelling of emotions as I realize there is much more to come on this trip. But the thoughts are pushed out of my mind as I begin to take notice of how bright the sky is.
And soon I see why.
Across the mass of water that is the Atlantic, and blessing us with a head on view of all of its glory, the moon rises out of the ocean. But this wasn’t any ordinary moon like I have ever seen.
No. This was the grand daddy of them all!
The largest and brightest moon I have ever seen, and have ever seen since, floated slowly into the sky as a god returning gracefully back to it’s kingdom.
I simply could not believe what I was seeing! Without realizing I did it, I made my way out of the tent and walked closer to the shoreline. There I stood in sheer awe at the sight the filled my vision.
I wanted to cry!
There are those moments in our lives when we have the opportunity to witness something truly magnificent. They are when time slows to a crawl, the worries of the world become meaningless and you realize just how insignificant you really are.
It’s a feeling we all know – an experience the dictionary can not describe. But when it reveals itself to us it stops us in our tracks. All you can do is simply be.
My Boy Scout trip to the Sea Base that summer changed my life. I have never been the same since. But it’s a good change! And one that I hold onto dearly.
So to the place that I have so longed to return, thank you! Perhaps we shall meet again…