Spring in My Step

Albany-Bench-1

Hello everybody! It’s springtime here in NY!

I have been gone for quite a few months. Just work and things. Kinda haven’t felt the very best in terms of being confident about my writing, either.

It seems now is a perfect time to write, read, and talk about writing with what’s going on in the world. How are you all doing with COVID-19 and being isolated? M and I have been doing well; we are watching lots of old movies and going for walks. I thought this would be a great time for me to break my writer’s block, but I haven’t done that as of yet, and we’re starting week 7. I have been reading, though, which I’m happy about.

I used to have my nose stuck in a book all the time growing up. I kinda stopped reading as I got older. Now I’ve gotten back into it. I’m glad. I love reading. I’ve gone through 4 or 5 books so far. Right now, I’m currently reading Raven Black by Ann Cleeves. It’s a mystery thriller. I’m liking mysteries right now.

I was scrolling through Facebook last week and I came across a competition that the Writer’s Digest is holding. It is the Writers Digest Self-Published Book Awards. I caught it just in time; the deadline for submitting work is May 1. It’s an expensive entry fee, but I talked to M and we decided I should go for it! So I sent in The Underground Dogs. I’m not holding my breath, but I’m hoping for honorable mention!

Speaking of The Underground Dogs, sales have been okay. It seems they’ve slowed down. I thought they might pick up due to everyone being stuck at home. I might have to change my ad strategy. It’s a double-edged sword; I hate having to pay for ads because it gets expensive, but it’s the only way to get people to find my book on Amazon. So far, 12 people have reviewed it and I have a 4.5 star rating. If you haven’t checked it out yet, I encourage you to go get it. Its dystopian fascist themes are reminiscent of what’s going on in today’s world. It has some thrills and humor, too. I am sure you’d all enjoy it!

I also discovered people are rating and talking about The Underground Dogs on goodreads. I had no idea! It has a 4.33 rating on there! And there are 8 people who are currently reading it or want to read it. How amazing is that? It made my day! I feel somewhat ignorant and naive I completely overlooked goodreads. It seems like readers very much like that site to talk about and rate books. I will have to make an author profile over there. If you have a goodreads account and have read The Underground Dogs, please consider rating and reviewing it there! I’d be very appreciative.

So, because of those things (Writer’s Digest competition and ratings), I feel more motivated to work on my novels and start writing again. My psych and M have been telling me to “just do it” and write something. It is much easier said than done, of course. I am really going to try though. I have set myself a somewhat lofty goal: I want to self-publish (with Amazon) 4 more books before I am 40. Without telling you how old I am, know this is doable, but ambitious. BUT! This also means I have to move my butt, stop feeling sorry for myself, and actually WRITE! I am hoping to do so ASAP.

I am also thinking about adding a section to my website here about self-publishing. I am thinking of putting together some FAQs and How To’s. There is so much information out there and I figured out a lot of stuff for myself. I think I’ll put together tips and tricks in one spot to help others that have no idea where to go.

Well, that’s what is going on with me. Let me know what you all have been up to!

-JCDK

W.I.P.-Great Aunt Margaret

I thought I’d share one of the short stories I’m working on. It’s a mystery/thriller. Spooky.

Let me know what you think!

Great Aunt Margaret
J.C.D. Kerwin

“It’s watching me,” Eliza declared. She scrunched up her nose and tilted her head.

She is not,” her father said. He straightened the frame and descended the ladder. “There, that looks good.”

They each took a step back and gazed at the portrait now hanging above the fireplace. The lady pictured sat in a chair, arms folded gently across her lap. She looked directly at the painter—at the viewer—with a distinctive expression, as if she was trying to convey a thought with her eyes alone. A rusted metal placard sat at the bottom of the frame. Its faded type read “Great Aunt Margaret” but the artist and date were indistinguishable.

“It gives me the creeps, Roger.”

He pushed her shoulder. “It’s a woman, you know…and the name is Dad.”

“Well she gives me the creeps.”

He gave her a disapproving look. “You had better get used to it. It’s going to be here for a while.”

Eliza moved left and right, testing to see if the eyes in the painting would follow her movements. “Is this creepy picture really all you got?”

Her father nodded at the painting. “Yeeeep.”

“Well I, for one, am not going to be alone in the same room with that thing.”

She spun on her heel and hurried out of the room.

He stared at the painting for another few seconds before turning away. He paused at the light switch. He could’ve sworn he caught movement out of the corner of his eye.

“Now she’s got me doing it,” he mumbled. He shut off the light.

* * *

I got the idea for this story from a prompt. Now I’m going to offer it up to you! Here it is:

  • The person in a painting you recently acquired suddenly disappears from view.