Kendrai Meeks
The 10th Kingdom: 20 Years Later

The 10th Kingdom, the meta fairytale miniseries, premiered twenty years ago today. This is my retrospective…

Shortly after we all ceased clutching our pearls over Y2K disasters (some of you are too young to remember — and you’re the better for it), a twenty-three-year-old me packed up all my worldly belongings, my three-year-old daughter, and way too many homemade potholders to admit and hitched her way (via a plane ticket provided by my husband’s new employer) from Detroit to Silicon Valley.

And then I cried almost every night for two months straight.

I never anticipated I’d be hit with culture shock without even leaving the country. California, however, was nothing like Michigan. It was crowded, confusing, had way too many crazy drivers, and it never snowed. Oh, and it was EXPENSIVE. So, so expensive. (Note: this hasn’t changed.) It was the height of the dot-com era and Silicon Valley was the epicenter. Everyone who could stitch together enough code to program a VCR (google it, youngin’) was pouring into the area. Residential rentals enjoyed a 99% capacity and prospective tenants were showing up to open houses and leasing offices with home-baked brownies, hoping to edge out the competition.

For two months, we lived out of a hotel. During the day, my husband worked 12–15 hour shifts at his new job, while Amara and I drove around in my beaten up Subaru wagon (it would stall at every third stoplight), going to rental after rental, hoping to strike gold. By the time we’d crawl home each evening, it was just enough time to make dinner, give her a bath, and make out a list of places to visit the next day. I was exhausted and needed an escape from the insanity.

I turned to TV.

I’d like to be able to tell you exactly which shows I frequented in 2000. I suspect Friends and Buffy the Vampire Slayer were among them — but the point of escape is that you don’t keep track. That all changed, however, when The 10th Kingdom premiered on this date, February 27, 2000.

For those of you who haven’t had the privilege, let me sum it up very quickly. It’s the Meta Fairytale. Which one? No, not all of them, but most of the ones you’re familiar with: Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Jack & the Beanstalk, Snow White, Red Riding Hood, Little Bo Peep, King Midas… and elements of a dozen more. 10th Kingdom played out in two-hour episodes over a period of four weeks, and it was MUST SEE TV OR DIE viewing in my house. I swooned over Wolf, laughed along at the bromance between Prince Wendell and Tony, and prayed for Virginia’s Happily Ever After. 10th Kingdom gave me the escapism I needed during a very trying and emotionally draining time, when I too felt alone in a strange Valley, surrounded by towering glass trees and ruled over by tech wizards and real estate queens. I got to be Virginia, battling against the demons of my youth who told me I couldn’t be anything in this world where so many were more qualified, prettier, and had more money and bigger dreams than I did. I got to play along with the fairytale.

I’m sure that had lasting effects. (Notes: to see evidence of this lasting effect, you can, of course, check out any of my fairy tale retellings).

And so, realizing that the 20th Anniversary of this cornerstone of my love for all this Fae and Fair was upon us, I sat down recently to rewatch the whole series from tip to toe. In the 20 years that passed, I’m happy to say it still holds its claim as one of the best things ever, and I’ll knife fight anyone who says it wasn’t (as long as the knives are plastic and we part as friends), but the forty-three year old me sees the Grimm-er elements of the fairytales. Just as you can never step in the same river twice, so too can you never hear the same story twice.

Wolf was a stalker, and the relationship he and Virginia embark on will be anything but happily ever after… The unlikely love story between the protagonists starts when Wolf is sent by the Evil Queen to murder his to-be paramour. Yes, that’s right, the first time Virginia sees Wolf, he’s brandishing a knife, standing in her grandmother’s kitchen while Grannie is tied and marinated in preparation for his consumption. What changes the dynamic? Fairytale magic, of course. Upon seeing the young heroine, Wolf falls instantly in love, and transforms from would-be killer to committed stalker. Now, granted, through the four episodes, his character does develop considerably, and because the episodes were played over many weeks, it feels like he has time to change. Still, there is a brief period on their journey when, under the influence of a full moon, Wolf turns downright verbally abusive, threatening, and to some degree, violent (he kills a whole coop of chickens and possibly, a bunny). Even if you buy in that he’s transformed into a good guy (and, come on, it’s a fairy tale, so you must), looking beyond the HEA-like ending tells you that full moons are known to happen regularly. What’s to stop Virginia from his cycles of abuse?

But, on a side note, 2000 Scott Cohen was HHHOOOOOTTTT….

If not for the plot, Tony may have committed rape… Okay, I might be hyperbolizing this one, but at the very least, Tony was a creep. Yes, part of 10th Kingdom’s greatness is that it showed a more fleshed out set of characters than is typical. Everyone is flawed and has baggage. But… there’s flawed, and then there’s Tony. In an early scene, while still in New York City, Tony, Virginia’s father, receives a magic bean in exchange for information (given to a still-on-the-path-to-murder Wolf) about Virginia’s whereabouts. One of the things Tony wishes for is for his boss and the boss’s entire family to become his servant and (somewhat hysterically), kiss his ass — a wish that is granted quite literally when repeated members drop to their knees and pucker up. Soon enough, the whole Boss family is busily adhering to Tony’s commands: clean the kitchen, polish his shoes with his tongue, fix the broken elevator… But the Bossman’s wife, a leggy, beautiful blond, is nearly whisked away by Tony to a lingerie shopping trip, with some subtle suggestions that he intends so much more than that. Watching back in the #MeToo era, I definitely didn’t gloss over this like I did the first time. Straight up, Tony is a creep.

Virginia is still suffering from some major childhood trauma and shouldn’t be in a relationship with anyone. (This one contains spoilers.) Towards the end of the penultimate episode, we get the big reveal: the Evil Queen who we’ve been learning to hate since Scene #1, is in fact, Virginia’s estranged mother. The truth of the night Virginia lost her mother plays back for the audience in a series of flashbacks and via some magic-mirror induced visions. Queen Christine started life as a beautiful and somewhat loosely-moral New York socialite. As a young, successful entrepreneur, Tony caught her eye. They’re married, have Virginia, and then Tony’s business crashes and they end up poor. Christine doesn’t adjust well. She starts sleeping around, and grows more disenchanted by Tony and Virginia’s presence in her life. Finally, one night when Virginia’s eight years old, things come to a head when Christine tries to drown her daughter in the bathtub, saved only by Tony’s serendipitous arrival home from work. Christine flees and chances upon a magical portal to the Fairytale dimension and the house of the Swamp Witch, aka, Snow White’s evil stepmother, in the waning years of her life. Meanwhile, Virginia grows up in a home with a father who sits around watching TV while she cooks and cleans, with a grandmother who is two sheets to the wind and somewhat delusional, and working a dead-end job. To top things off, when she does have her moment of reckoning with her mother, Christine tells Virginia she was a mistake, that she should have been killed at birth, and again tries to kill her. Virginia, in an act of self-defense, uses the poisoned comb of Snow White lore to put her mother into a state of eternal torpor, but still laments her passing and feels guilty for her acts. That’s a lot to unpack, and there’s no indication she’s had any kind of realization of just how damaged she is or how dangerous her relationship with Wolf is likely to be. Girlfriend needs some deep therapy.

At the end of the day, however… The reason, perhaps, that 10th Kingdom still resonates with me has remained true. Unlike the Disney-sugared version, the original fairytales were meant to show us that life sucks, that evil is real, and that there is all kinds of danger in the world beyond our understanding. But, if we are loyal, brave, persistent, and true, life sides towards good.

Having said that, I soooooo want Netflix or Amazon to buy up the rights to this and do a complete remake, because that scene in the forest that faded to black when Wolf and Virginia FINALLY hooked up… Yeah, I might want to see that expanded upon a bit.


IF YOU’RE INTERESTED IN SEEING WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT, THE 10th KINGDOM IS CURRENTLY AVAILABLE TO STREAM ON AMAZON PRIME, AND CAN BE PURCHASED ON DVD OR BLUERAY.

What to do if you can’t afford to buy books…

Authors of all stripes will receive occasional messages from readers who ask for free copies of our books because they can’t afford them. While we can often sympathize, the truth is, writing is what pays our bills and what lets us keep writing. So today, I thought I’d share a few ways you might be able still read our books even if you’re a little short on cash…

For the first few years of our marriage, my husband and I lived on a combined income of approximately 15K/year (including our earned income tax credit). We did this, after the first year, while raising a child. Food was expensive. Rent was horrible. I was a coupon-clipping queen. (And still am, thank you very much, because they are magical slips of paper that save me hundreds of dollars per year.) And during this time, I read. A lot. One, because I was also a university student and I kinda had to for class (any humanities major requires an inhuman amount of reading). And two, because like you, I’m just a natural-born reader.
As you can imagine, I wasn’t running out to my local Borders every time one of my favorite authors dropped a new title to buy a $24.99 hardcover.$24.99 could buy two boxes of diapers (three if I had a good coupon.) But in a time before ebooks were a thing and I considered extra lean ground a luxury good, I still managed to tick a lot of titles of my TBR.
I totally get being at a place in life where affording books is difficult, but for those of you in this situation, I wanted to give you a few tips on how you can still read your favorite authors (hopefully I’m one) and not break the bank.
But first, let’s start off with the #1 thing NOT to do:

via GIPHY


Yeah, just NO. You don’t have to be super tech-savvy to go out and find illegal books. They’re there in multitudes, almost any book and any author you’d ever want to read. But here’s a few pointers on why pirating books is bad:

  • The obvious: it’s illegal. I know, so is jaywalking and it’s not like anyone ever gets in trouble for pirating books. (Though actually, they sometimes do.)
  • On top of being illegal, it’s also UNETHICAL, because it’s STEALING. I mean, stealing is such a moral no-no it made the list of Top 10 Commandments. Seriously, do you want bad karma points for book snatching? You’ll come back as a sea cucumber or a reality show contestant or something.
  • It IMPAIRS an author’s ability to make a living. I know, Neil Gaiman says he’s cool with pirates stealing his books. I mean, not cool, but he sees the upside to it. But 99% of authors aren’t Neil Gaiman. Most of us don’t even earn enough selling tens of thousands of books a year to make a living off it, or just break even.
  • Sometimes pirates embed viruses in ebooks. Just like real life, immoral living carries a risk of disease. 
  • I’m pretty sure it destroys your sex life. I’m still collecting evidence to support this one, but I’m confident in my conclusion.

Now that’s out of the way, let me share the plenty of ways to get books for little or no cost. Here’s just a few:

  • Public libraries! If you’re fortunate enough to live in a country with these sacred temples, worship at them. Looking for a NYT Best Seller? Your library system probably has a few copies. Looking for an Indie title and pretty sure your library wouldn’t carry it? Well, that’s probably true, but it could still be possible. See, libraries are magical, and they have all kinds of ways to make things appear, it just requires a little extra effort and patience:
  • ILL or InterLIbrary Loan: Even if your library doesn’t carry a title, another system near you might. Check with your librarian to see if the title can be ordered via ILL. Basically, it lets different library systems, and by extension, their patrons, borrow from each other’s collections. Yes, it may take a few weeks for the book to arrive to your branch, but it’s worth it. I use this several times a year when looking for obscure nonfiction titles where the ebook is available for purchase but for what I consider an insane amount. 
  • Suggest your library stock a particular book or indie author. Public libraries are public entities, funded mostly by taxes. If patrons request something, they might just go out and get it. (Bonus if you can coordinate a few book buddies in your area to make the same request.) Not all indie titles are available for library purchasing, but many are. (Libraries also stock ebooks and audiobooks these days too!) Ask your librarian how to recommend a purchase.
  • Ask an author to donate a copy to your library system. This will depend upon an author’s ability to eat the price of a sale, and you should respect if one says they can’t afford to, but the worst thing you’ll hear if you ask is no.
  • Read a lot? Then review a lot! One thing indies need as much as book sales, especially in the beginning, are honest reviews on prominent sites. If you review fairly and consistently, you build up a certain level of clout that may make a potential review from you more valuable to an author than selling one more copy. Note: I’m not suggesting a quid pro quo here. Any author who offers you a review copy of a book in exchange for a POSITIVE review is doing it wrong. Your review should always be honest but respectful. (It’s okay to say negative things about books, just don’t be a dick while doing it.)
  • Ask to join an author’s ARC team. ARC means Advanced Reader Copy, and almost every author, particularly indies, has a team. Members receive a pre-publication copy of the book (it may still have some typos) with the agreement that they will post a review upon release and/or offer the author feedback on any minor changes that should be considered. 
  • If you read paperbacks, you can usually find used copies cheaper through sites like eBay and Amazon. Just be careful not to buy from the 3rd party services that list books for more than the actual list price. I recently found a used copy of one of my early books, A Love by Any Measure, listed on eBay for $3.93. That’s less than the ebook! Yes, an author earns nothing on these sales, but we did the first time the book was bought, so it’s cool.
  • You can borrow ebooks on Amazon from someone who’s already bought it. Yeah, did you know? If an author has made a book eligible for the program, Amazon allows anyone who’s bought it to lend it out to another reader free of charge one time for 14 days. More details on how that works here. Don’t have a bookworm friend who owns the book? Try Lendle. It lets people with books and looking for books find each other.
  • Keep an eye open for author promotions and sales. There are several ways to do this, including following an author on Facebook, Twitter, and/or subscribing to their mail list. But the best way to know when a title is discounted (sometimes even free) in the markets where you shop is to follow an author on Bookbub. Bookbub monitors the price changes and notifies readers if one of their followed author’s titles goes on sale. [You can, incidentally, go here to follow ME on Bookbub.] Sometimes “on sale” means free. Bookbub also offers daily lists of promoted titles in the genres you like to read via an email newsletter subscription. This is a great way to discover new authors as well with minimum risk. Are you an audiobook listener? Bookbub recently created a new service similar to its ebook newsletter but specifically for audio called Chirp
  • If you read a lot of books and you’re willing to exchange savings for selection, subscribe to a service like Kindle Unlimited or Scribd. For a monthly subscription fee (currently, KU is $9.99 and Scribd is $8.99), you can read an unlimited number of titles. With (and this is a huge caveat) the limitation that you can only read what’s included in each program’s library. Scribd also includes some audiobooks. An Audible subscription can also save you money on the cover price of audio, but even the top tier will only get you three audiobooks a month, so that’s a consideration to make if you decide to sign up.

Well, that’s just a few things I know. Know of anything I didn’t say? Let me know. Thanks!

The Alphasmart may be the best thing I’ve ever done for my writing

In 2009, when I started writing fiction again after a fifteen year hiatus, I was able to draft a 120,000 word book in about three and half months. In the past 10 years, even though my technical writing skills have improved, my word counts have drastically slowed. Some of you have been saying it looks like I’m writing a lot these days (and I have increased dramatically), but that’s an illusion. Yes, I did release two books recently and in very close succession. But these two books were 40,000 and 50,000 words long, and took me six months and four months to write, respectively. In literary fiction this would be considered lightning speed, but in genre fiction, this is the equivalent of molasses dripping from a jar in the Arctic Circle in winter. It’s very, very slow.

In large part what accounts for the slowing over the years has been the number of distractions I allow myself to be subjected to while working on my laptop. Granted, I have tried multiple ways to limit these distractions. Sometimes I’ve been successful; often I have not. Let me state for the record this: these are my own weaknesses and not attributable to anything else but my own inability to keep myself focused. Things I have tried include:

  • }turning off my Internet service {didn’t work – my family needed it as well]
  • using dictation (as I am now in writing this) {I’ve found it works for me for blogging/emailing, etc., but not for drafting fiction}
  • using various timing mechanisms where I reward myself with non-writing time for doing a certain number of words or a certain amount of writing time {rewards are sweeter
  • using programs like Write or Die to scare myself into writing more.

While all of these have resulted in modest improvements, I have always found ways to circumnavigate them. I even wrote some code to be able to capture my text off of the timed writing tool I used so I did not, in fact, lose it. Such is my determination to procrastinate that I will actually program to do it.

Last year, several of my writer friends, having similar issues, told me of their attempts to overcome using so-called distraction-free devices. These come in several varieties, and really are nothing more than old-fashioned word processors scaled down to a workable size and with the ability to export text back to a computer, either wirelessly or via a cable. One of these devices, which I have seen and actually looks quite awesome, still wasn’t right for me due to its price tag. However, the Alphasmart Neo2 was something that looked like it might work for me.

This device is old school, at least from where I’m sitting right now. It can’t transfer text wirelessly (unless you have a specialized infrared receiver sold separately), it doesn’t have a Wi-Fi connection, and even the cable used to hook it up to the computer is difficult to come by these days. This is one of those rare cases where DH’s obsession with hoarding every piece of electronics we’ve ever bought and every cable we have ever cabled comes in handy. I was able to dig through some old boxes and find several of the type of cables that I needed. By the way, if you’re curious, this is the old style USB printer cable.

What you get with this device are the basics. It has a dictionary that you can use to do spellchecking, and you could add to it if you have specialized vocabulary in your writing. It has a thesaurus which I haven’t used yet so I can’t comment on its utility. It has calculator function in several other functions intended for educational purposes (it was originally developed to be used as a typing and word-processing tutor aid), but these are all things that I don’t need. This writer suffered through two semesters of high school typing class, and due to playing piano, has some strong damn fingers that can type out about 80WPM.

The most important thing is what it doesn’t have: pretty much anything else. You’re not going to get email notifications, no IMs coming in from friends, and if I ever see a single pop-up ad come up on this thing, I will throw it against the wall. It is as distraction-free a device you can get that will still capture your words electronically rather than in ink and not let you do much else. As long as you keep your phone out of reach and your computer off, and assuming there’s no cute dogs or squirrels outside your window, you will be typing like crazy on this thing.

I’ve had this device since last spring, but I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to start a new book before using it as one thing that is difficult is transferring existing files to it. There is a way to do it, I know. I read about it in the user manual. But it looks kinda complicated and I didn’t really want to try. As aforementioned, I’ve been working on two books in his last spring that took me until earlier this fall to finish. Last week, I finally started a new book which allowed me the opportunity I was looking for. Last Friday morning I pulled out my Neo2, put in the batteries, pressed the power button, and just started to plunk my little heart out.

I use an online word tracking tool called WriteTrack to schedule my projects. It allows me to set up a timeline, and to associate certain effort percentages with each day that will then trickle down into determining what my daily word goal must be. I thought I was being pretty demanding of myself by setting up a six week timeline to write a 65,000 word book. After all, I’ve never written a book that fast since 2009. My resulting daily word goals varied from 500 (on the days where I still had to go to my part-time “real job”) to 1900 (on the days where I was writing full time). In the first seven days of using this device, I hit my word goals six out of seven days, and actually could have done much more if I didn’t have the policy of stopping to do “writer business stuff” when I make the mark. Consequently, in seven days of using this device, I have written over 10,000 words. While this is not a great feat in terms of genre writers, it is a great feat for writers named Kendrai Meeks. Because I know I actually could have done more, I’ve taken up the policy of cutting one day off of my total production schedule for every three days that I make my word goal. Just to be fair to myself I’ve also agreed that if I go three days without making my word goal I will tack on an additional day. In doing this, I will be able to complete my project on time, and more than likely, early. All this has come about because of my reliance on the Alphasmart.

Now, just to be fair there are some things the Neo2 cannot do which I wish it could. First and foremost of course, is that I wish you could transfer wirelessly. I don’t want it to be on Wi-Fi because I know the dangers that will present, but I would really love if it had Bluetooth. Unfortunately, this machine was designed and manufactured before Bluetooth was really a viable product. (Did I mention they don’t make these anymore and that you have to buy them secondhand? Yeah, you should know that.) Also, this is a straightforward word processor designed to get the words onto the screen, and not to make them look pretty. There is no ability to bold or italicize text; that you have to do when you transfer the words into whatever computer-based word processor you’re using. I’m also not sure if it could hold a whole book on it. The device has eight preestablished files set up. I’m not geek enough about hardware to be able to tell you how much data equals words on these things. What I can tell you is that the longest chapter I’ve written on it so far is 2618 words long, and that fills up 28% of the file space for that chapter. Extrapolating then you would think about 9000 words can go into each file. With eight files that’s a total of 72,000 words. My book will fit, but yours may not.

I also learned my lesson yesterday about considerations when transporting this thing. Having to work remotely yesterday (i.e. for me, that means not at home), I put the Alphasmart into my bag and headed out the door. When I pulled it out and turned it on, I discovered that, while jostling in my bad, it had turned on and an additional 600 words of gobblygook had been typed into my document. This gives me an opportunity to tell you of another of the disadvantages: it’s difficult to erase large sections of text. You have to do the old-fashioned “delete delete delete.” I could have simply transferred the document to my computer and took it out the accidental text there, but I wanted to keep writing on the device until the chapter was done, so I pressed “delete” a lot. One of my goals for this weekend is to figure out something I can put over the keyboard of this thing to keep that from happening, as I would like to use it wherever I can take it.

One other consideration is the screen. It allows for the view of four lines at any time, which is plenty. However the screen is not backlit, so this is not a device you can work on without light. If you’re a person who likes to type in bed or, for some reason, the dark, this will be an issue.

Yes, it has some downsides. What doesn’t? But 10,000+ words in seven days tell me that this was a great decision to make. Given that you can pick up one of these devices from used market such as eBay or Amazon for less than $50 “new in the box” (I got mine for $30 with free shipping off eBay), no more than the price of many of the other tools and services we buy and often cheaper, it is one of the best investment decisions I’ve ever made with the highest ROI.

I was considering doing a video where I review the Alphasmart for you, but as you know, I hate being on camera (or at least, seeing myself in pictures/video), and there are already tons of reviews of these things on YouTube. Go watch a few. Here’s one from 10 years ago that pretty much encapsulates what this device can do. Yes, a whole decade ago, and this device hasn’t changed since then.

By coincidence, 10 years ago was when I was able to write a 120,000 word book in three and half months.

Actually, that’s not coincidence at all.

CITY of CINDERS word switch out! (Mayhem ensued…)

Recently I did a Facebook live event to celebrate the release of City of Cinders. Included was a Mad Lib-styled contest where I asked readers to supply nouns, verbs, and miscellaneous body parts for three City of Cinders excerpts. Below are the winning submissions from Emilie M., (Name withheld), and Suzanne G. Thank you, ladies! (Words appearing in CAPITAL LETTERS) are those submitted by the readers.)

SCENE 1: “A FIGHT IN THE ARENA”

Barrel swung only seconds after Cindira stepped to her left, giving his TATTOO nothing but air to DEFENSTRATE. Her adversary fell to the ground in a harrumph, barely avoiding the bite of his own BATH BOMB.

“You MAGICIAN!” Barrel bellowed.

“You think the rules are different here?” she returned.  “The supreme art of war is to LAUGH AT the enemy without SLAPPING. Was true when CHRIS HEMSWORTH said it thousands of years ago. It’s still true now, even in a virtual arena.”

In a flash, Barrel regained his TABLE. “Thanks for the philosophy lesson, let me give you one in anatomy.”

The swing came quicker this time, so much that Cindira found it difficult to SCREW. She needed a DOORKNOB. Cindira put up her **UNDISCLOSED BODY PART** as she sidled back, drawing him by instinct in her direction. “The fight seems GORGEOUS, given that I’m HIDEOUS.” Her back hit the arena wall.

“You had as much time to choose a weapon as I did.” He pulled back his MONOCLE. “Or maybe you don’t know the simple code it takes to weave together HYDRANGEAS, CATS, and MINNEAPOLIS. I can teach you – for a price. Hyuah!”

 

SCENE 2: “BATISTA AND KAYLIE FLIRT”

“Rumor is, most of those EARS are ones you inspire.” Batista traced a FEMUR over Kaylie’s bottom STOMACH. “You’re quite the trendsetter, aren’t you? But who is doing all the designs?”

“I’m afraid I don’t share that NOUN. If everyone knew who my FOREST RANGER was, she’d jack her BOOKSHELVES sky high and never have time for me.”

Batista leaned in, his lips inches from Kaylie’s. “Can I at least see what’s underneath?” He closed his THIGHS and leaned in as though he meant to kiss her. “Let me see CHICAGO?”

Though the two HONEY BADGERS remained unaware, everyone else in the room turned on Cindira as she slammed her FREEZER on the table next to the coffee pot. Hell. No. She’d be damned if anyone was going to take a HUMP at her Honey Badger. Not even Kaylie was allowed to see, not that she’d expressed any interest. Cindira hadn’t spent years fighting off SADISTS for some hot lips BAR WENCH to DRILL in and steal MOTHER TERESA.

 

SCENE 3: “SCOTIA TELLS CINDIRA TO GROW A BACKBONE”

Cindira couldn’t visualize a situation in which Johanna would ever fire her own daughter. “No, Kaylie will do well.”

Scotia shook her head. “You mean as long as she has you there to clean up her VIVACIOUS CAT.”

“Call her out,” the redhead continued.

“What, here? In front of THE BELLY-DANCING CLASS?” Cindira shook her EYEBROW. “Kaylie’s the celebrity ANKLE of Tybor. I’d be doing more damage to the company than helping myself. Besides, no one would RUN SCREAMING at me, and they’re not going to do anything that would cost them their jobs.”

“I wish you had more faith in people, starting with THE HEAD CHEF. I still can’t believe you can go into the arena like you did last night and kick serious APPLE TREES, but turn belly up for the Fifes. Next time you sit down to your station, code yourself a new BELLY BUTTON.”

“This isn’t the vreal world, Scotia.” Cindira’s HONORABLE voice only carried to her friend. “There, I can be whoever I want to be. Here, I’m just a plain, little TOWN CRIER.”

Scotia swallowed a frustrated laugh. “Just because you can’t code the walls here doesn’t mean you couldn’t knock them down if you tried. If you keep letting Kaylie take advantage of you, you’re going to make her TEACHER someday. You need to stand up for yourself. Doctor’s orders.”

“I’m not sure having a PhD in BASKET WEAVING qualifies you to…”

 

Ravening Hood release SERIES GIVEAWAY!

YAY! It’s here! I’m happy to announce that [af_link id=”237″]Ravening Hood[/af_link], is now live on Amazon.  And to celebrate, I’m going to be throwing out a few giveaways in the coming days. We’ll start with the “Build your Collection” giveaway:

Here’s what up for grabs. To enter, click on the graphic(s) of the book giveaway(s) you’d like to enter (see rules below for stipulations):

  

The Rules:

  1. Sorry, but this giveaway is only open to US Residents.
  2. Odds in winning are 1 in 5 on all three giveaway.
  3. Winners are selected by Amazon; I have no role in the process.
  4. Contests are open until March 5.
  5. Entrant is required to follow Kendrai Meeks on Amazon to enter.
Reading Log

APRIL 2017 READING LIST

*Denotes book available via Kindle Unlimited at time of posting. This, and prices, subject to change. Prices listed are for the format I myself am reading, at time of posting.

[table id=1 /]

 

18 Thoughts on Rogue One

MAY 2017: ROGUE ONE

    • Imperial ships: still a better transport method than giant eagles.
    • Good thing these Imperial pilots chose a flight path directly over where Jyn was playing, so she could run home right in time to run away.
    • I know this all takes place in a galaxy far, far away and long, long ago, but are there no bloodhounds in this distant past? Or, at least, any domesticated beast that can sniff out people hiding in a cave? Seems like a Doberman Pinscher could have tracked down little Jyn’s cubbyhole pretty damned quickly.
    • Why is there always gravity on the space ships in these movies? Shouldn’t they all be floating around?
    • Seriously these imperial dudes are straight up wearing bed pans on their heads.
    • I’m also going to need a primer on how in the SW universe, anyone can speak any damn language they want, and everyone understands each other.
    • “I’ve never had the luxury of political opinions.” GREAT LINE
    • After seeing an actor who’s been dead a few decades act a new role in this movie, I trust nothing.
    • K-2, aka SnarkBot, is now my favorite droid EVAH.
    • In the marketplace, this guy appears to be cooking live octopus. THEY’RE ON TOP OF A SACRED MOUNTAIN IN THE MIDDLE OF A DESSERT. WHERE DID HE GET OCTOPUS?
    • Maybe the Empire should reduce their pew-pew weapons budget and get storm troopers some armor that actually stands up to being whacked really hard with a stick.
    • I didn’t know Cable was in this movie.
    • Jedha just went boom, meaning that little crying girl Jyn almost got killed saving a few minutes ago? Yeah, she’s dead now. Just in case you didn’t know where this movie was heading….
    • Good thing Erso decided to walk out in the open on to an unguarded platform the very second Cassian got in a position to spot him from his hidden vantage point. THE VERY SAME SECOND.
    • The blast from the Imperial ship as it takes off nearly throws Jyn off the edge of the landing pad. Her dad, who is closer to the blast but dying, doesn’t budge an inch.
    • #VADERSPA
    • Who wore it better?
vs.
vs.
  • #SPOILER# They all DIE? DIE? DIE? I don’t know whether to applaud such a HUGE risky gutsy move in a franchise known for its bittersweet endings, or be pissed off because they ALL FREAKING DIE.