Monday, May 21, 2018

The Amazing Shrinking Kindle Universe


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Write On

Kindle Scout

Amazon's platforms for authors keep shrinking

And if you haven't heard, Amazon is shutting down Kindle Worlds. In Amazon's words:

"Kindle Worlds is a publication platform where you choose a licensed World, read the Content Guidelines for that World, write your story, upload that story, create a cover, and click through a publishing agreement with Amazon Publishing. Once published, every Kindle Worlds story will be featured on Amazon.com, as well as on Kindle devices and apps. Follow the steps below to publish your story today!"

Except that submissions are now closed.


This is a real problem for authors who have written for Kindle Worlds. It's up to each world owner to determine how, or if, authors can keep selling their work. A few owners I've looked at have mentioned nothing.

Let me know if you've written for Kindle Worlds and if you've heard what your options are. You can read the thoughts on this subject by Kindle Worlds author Terri Deno here: The Death of Kindle Worlds.

What alternatives are you looking into for writing fan fiction? Let me know!


© 2017 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Shore Leave 40 Is Coming Soon!


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Yes, the annual Shore Leave Sci-fi convention is only a couple of months away. It sneaks up on me every year. I go to meet WRITERS and CELEBRITIES, and try to keep up with what's going on in the sci-fi world. This has been a difficult year at best, and I'm not sure how much of the convention I'll be able to attend, but I hope to spend some time there.

If you want to get an idea of what the convention is about, here's a short video! (This may not show well on mobile devices.)



Video courtesy of BCPL Online (Baltimore County Public Library)

BTW, I'll be giving away a few books from authors I know and maybe have a couple of works in the art show. The don't have a direct link for the art show yet (they aren't the best at getting information out...), but it should be coming soon. Until then, click HERE.


© 2018 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Friday, May 4, 2018

Old Book, New Sales


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Sometimes a book surprises you.



Here's a link to my post on Patreon telling how.

BTW, I'll be giving away a copy of Dead Men's Tales at Shore Leave 40 this year!


© 2018 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

A Brief Update On Current Projects


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Image of quill and parchment

 

As you may have noticed, I haven't been doing much blogging or writing or had anything of interest to post here for the last couple of months. My day job and family issues have been keeping me busy. Work has always been crazy during this part of the year, but this time it's worse than usual. I did find a few extra minutes today, however, so I thought I'd update anyone who might still be following this blog on what my plans are for the future.

Here's what I'm hoping to do in the coming months:

  1. I have a few short stories almost ready for submission. They've been almost ready for about three months now. It's time finish up and get some new stories out there. A few of these will go to Horrified Press / Thirteen O'clock Press. I have a few thousand more in the wings—I'd like to get to them before I expire...
  2. I had approached Terri Deno about working together on a small series of traditional haiku books. She indicated she might be interested, so I started on a mock-up of what I was considering. Then I lost the files. Well, I found them again. Soon I want to have enough to give her an idea of how the books will appear.
  3. I have a few digital art pictures in process, including one for Terri Deno. Some of the others will be shown at Shore Leave 40 if they ever provide the necessary details about the art show. There's nothing on the web site yet. "Soon," they say. I also hope to have some traditional art there, but time is running short.
  4. Speaking of which, I need to start preparing for Shore Leave 40. It sort of sneaks up on me every year.
  5. Start compiling the poems to be included in a book titled Dark Rhythms, a collection of rhyming poetry on the dark side. I'll bet you can figure out complex mental process I used to select the title.
  6. Finish the Beth Rhodes novels I started reading. They're getting better with each one.
  7. Write a couple of flash fiction stories or short poems for Miranda Kate's Mid-Week Flash Challenge.

That's all I have time for now. Check back soon, though, as I'm really trying to get back to posting regularly!


© 2018 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Monday, March 26, 2018

Reports Of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated


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No, I'm not pushing up daisies...

Yes, I stole the title of this blog post, even though it is a misquote.

I haven't been on here for about a month. I'm not sure what the next month will bring, but I do hope to have a real post at some point.

I wanted to let any followers I have know that I am still alive and will continue once the duties of my day job ease. Too much overtime and falling asleep at the computer at home has reduced my creative time to this.

I will post again, however, I promise.

I shall return! (Yeah, I stole that, too...)


© 2017 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Another One Bites The Dust


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I don't often visit the site for Salon magazine as they seldom post anything of interest (to me), but the other day I clicked on a link that took me to their page. That's when I got this pop-up:



I get these sort of warnings a lot. This one was slightly different, though. They gave me an option. I could allow them to use my "spare" computing power to mine for cryptocurrency. Apparently they don't make enough money with ads or subscriptions, so they want me to allow them to use my computer and electricity so they can grab some digital currency to help keep them going. They talk about how the money could be used for what they consider valid social causes. Yes, I suppose it could, but I really think it's to help their bottom line.

While I give them kudos for being upfront about it, they didn't say anything about sharing.

If Salon wants to mine cryptocurrency, that's fine by me. But don't ask to use my resources and slow down / overheat my PC to do it.

What's also interesting is that back in December 2017 Salon posted an article saying this sort of thing was bad as it would require more value in energy than it would get in currency. This extra load would slow the acceptance of "green" energy sources. So it's bad if you do this but good if they do it. Got it.

You may ask why I use an ad blocker when so many sites rely on ads for revenue. I don't block all ads. I don't even mind having a few ads on the screen since I don't click on them. But things have gotten to the point where many web sites are so full of ads and pop-ups as to become unusable. Or they are painful to use. In addition, you never know where the ads originate. More and more have embedded malware or render poorly.

So, in an effort to keep my sanity, I use AdBlocker to block many of them. And since Salon seldom has anything truly unique I can't live without, I just have to say good-bye. I know Salon will disagree, but most of what they have (that I would consider reading) is 10% news and 90% opinion. That's not worth a subscription or having them use my PC to make them richer.

I've also stopped going to Business Insider as they insist I get rid of my ad blocker. Again, there is nothing on that site that isn't on a bunch of other sites.

I do pay for some content on the Internet, and have a few subscriptions that are free. But I get to chose which ones.

So, so long, Salon (and Business Insider).

Note: AdBlocker now has an option to filter out at least some of the sites using your PC to mine for money. And, yes, I have turned that filter on.



P.S. It would be great if you could check out Terri Deno's Patreon site and consider supporting her writing efforts! Struggling authors need all the help they can get!


© 2018 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 41


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Everyone likes a little flash fiction, right? Thanks to a prompt from Miranda Kate's 41st Mid-Week Flash challengeyou're going to get some! This is from Miranda's post:
This picture was created by Ana Prazeres or Aegils, a Portugese artist. You can find her work on Deviant Art and also on 500px. She has some incredible creations. She calls this one 'The Craft' - which offers a story in itself.
If you want to join in, here's what she's looking for:
General Guidelines:

Story length: Anything up to 750 Words (no minimum).
How enter: Either provide a link in the comments, or post the entire story in the comments.
Deadline: I will post a new one every Wednesday, but if you're inspired by a previous weeks, go ahead and write for it.
Genre/Theme: All/Any - completely open. It doesn't even have to refer to the picture.




I've written short horror piece this time. It's called Chain of Dreams. The story is posted on my Patreon site (free access). I wanted to put a mention here for anyone following my blog especially since so few know about my Patreon site. You can access my story by clicking the title below (and I've put a little preview below).



Preview: 
Of course it was a dream. It had to have been. The ocean was hundreds of miles away. The house didn't even look like hers.
Miriam sat up in bed. She wiped the sweat from her forehead and waited for her heart to slow. She was certainly awake now—might as well get up and get ready for her appointment.

It's only 312 words long, so I can't give to much of a sample! To continue reading, go to my Patreon site (free access for all on this story).


© 2017 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Digital Image, Analog Device


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I've created another patron-only post on my Patreon site. This time it's artwork in the form of digital images. My trusty pocket watch is the subject this time.

Here's a teaser of one of the images:

Sample of pocket watch mosaic image

Here's the link to Digital Image, Analog Device on my Patreon site. As I mentioned, it's for patrons only, so if you really want to view it (and my other patron-only posts), it'll cost you. But not a lot!

While I enjoy working with digital images, I need to do some work by hand—you know, that stuff you create with pencils, pens, and brushes! All I need is time...



P.S. It would be great if you could check out Terri Deno's Patreon site and consider supporting her writing efforts! Struggling authors need all the help they can get!


© 2017 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 39


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Everyone likes a little flash fiction, right? Thanks to a prompt from Miranda Kate's 39th Mid-Week Flash challengeyou're going to get some! This is from Miranda's post:
This week's photo prompt was taken by Piroshki-Photography, a Serbian photographer. You can find more of their photos on their page at Deviant Art. They call this one 'Curved Reality'. It was taken in Santa Margherita Ligure, in Genoa, Italy.
If you want to join in, here's what she's looking for:
General Guidelines:

Story length: Anything up to 750 Words (no minimum).
How enter: Either provide a link in the comments, or post the entire story in the comments.
Deadline: I will post a new one every Wednesday, but if you're inspired by a previous weeks, go ahead and write for it.
Genre/Theme: All/Any - completely open. It doesn't even have to refer to the picture.




I've written short sci-fi piece this time. It's called Accounting Problem. The story is posted on my Patreon site (free access). I wanted to put a mention here for anyone following my blog especially since so few know about my Patreon site. You can access my story by clicking the title below (and I've put a little preview below).




Preview: 

Of course, there had been anomalies: satellites in disturbed orbits, aircraft that went off course, inexplicable tidal surges, and more than a few people claimed to have had peculiar visions when gazing into the sky. The leaders of the major governments all dismissed these as hoaxes, the working of deranged minds, or even as acts of God, but they all knew. Now, however, the effects were obvious to everyone. The cat, so to speak, was out of the bag. Schrödinger's cat, apparently.

To continue reading, go to my Patreon site (free access for all on this story).


© 2017 K. R. Smith All rights reserved

Monday, January 15, 2018

Mid-Week Flash Challenge - Week 37


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Everyone likes a little flash fiction, right? Thanks to a prompt from Miranda Kate's 37th Mid-Week Flash challengeyou're going to get some! This is from Miranda's post:
This week's photo prompt was taken by Kari Liimatainen, a photographer from Finland. She has some amazing seasonal photos. You should take a look at her gallery over on Deviant Art.
If you want to join in, here's what she's looking for:
General Guidelines:

Story length: Anything up to 750 Words (no minimum).
How enter: Either provide a link in the comments, or post the entire story in the comments.
Deadline: I will post a new one every Wednesday, but if you're inspired by a previous weeks, go ahead and write for it.
Genre/Theme: All/Any - completely open. It doesn't even have to refer to the picture.




I've written a poem this time. It's called The Faerye's Death. The poem is posted on my Patreon site (free access). I wanted to put a mention here for anyone following my blog, especially since so few know about my Patreon site. You can access my poem by clicking the title below.



© 2017 K. R. Smith All rights reserved