Bangor Toy and Comic Con Recap

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photo courtesy of Jennifer Hobbs

Yes. LONG TIME NO SEE!

I’ve been quite busy being sick, and working, and writing up a storm! While I haven’t made much way on the “finding a house” front, I’m still looking and hope to find something that will prove to be a lovely home for Lemon Jelly and I. I also spent the last weekend hanging out with fellow writing geeks (and possibly several freaks) at Bangor Toy and Comic Con!

This was my first time doing this particular Con, although I am no stranger to the Comic Con scene. I’ve done three now and have found that the experience only gets better and better. The first thing one should know about working a Comic Con is that there is a lot of visual stimuli, a feast for the eyes, if you will. I spent much of my two days observing the array of colorful costumes (some of which you cannot unsee) and soaking in the energized atmosphere.

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On Being Sick…Again

For some reason, 2016 is really kicking my butt. This is the third time I’ve been sick so far this year. I haven’t been reckless with my eating or drinking, I haven’t been running around outside without a jacket, and I haven’t been spending time among hordes of sickly children. I don’t even like to spend time among hordes of non-sick children. I have, however, been stressed about things; the blog is one of them.

Last year, I took a year off from publishing anything and decided to focus on the Monstrum Chronicles blog more. I posted Literary Cooking Adventures, videos which took anywhere from four to five hours to film, edit, and post; Inspiration Through Music; and Horror-FAIL Fridays… They were fun and I had lots of time to work on them because I wasn’t dedicating myself to trying to finish any lengthy WIP’s. In 2012, my first year doing the blog, I kept up the blog posts AND wrote and released a new book.

This year, it’s been different. I can’t find the same energy I had four years ago to be able to multi-task and do all of those things at once. It, of course, doesn’t help that I’ve been sick and worried about things, one of which is finding a house. But, most of all, it’s that I’ve been finding it hard to find time to write. When I do manage to carve out a minute or two, I realize that it’s also the same day that I was supposed to have written a blog post. Or I get a migraine. Or I’m on the brink of sneezing my entire face off and am exhausted. And usually, I won’t write anything.

Yes, I realize this is a bit of a whiny post and for that, I apologize. I wanted to fill readers in on why there haven’t been many posts this year and to assure you that, once I’ve settled things with the house, am feeling healthy and energized once more, and feel confident that I can keep up with weekly blog posts, I will resume doing so. For now though, I ask that you be patient with me, that you allow me the time I need to get my ducks in a row (what kind of an OCD dingleberry puts ducks in a row anyway?) and stay tuned. I hope I’m able to at least post something once in a while, but I know it won’t be weekly and there might not be any rhyme or reason to it.

Thank you and I hope you are all having a good 2016 so far.

~KSilva

Valentine’s Day Update!

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That’s right. I spent my morning enjoying this. And it was GLORIOUS.

So, here we are about a month and a half later from my first update and I have very little to show for it. I’ve been slacking pretty hard on blog posts and for that, I apologize. I’ve been dealing with some bad writer’s block, being sick, and having a pretty crazy schedule. I’ve also begun the difficult (but fun) task of house-hunting. With that said, I’d like to try and get back to the old schedule of posting at least two posts a week.

Expect a new Inspiration Through Music post tomorrow and a new Cooking Adventure this week. I’ll hopefully be able to keep up with my posting schedule from this point on.

I’ve been trying to work on my latest incarnation of “The Wild Dark”. This will be the 7th or 8th time that I’ve started it over (yes, I’ve lost count). I’m also looking forward to finishing up “The Collection”, a short story from my latest book “Memento Mori: Book 3 of the Monstrum Chronicles”.

Oh, and “Night Time, Dotted Line”, my indie travel comedy is FREE today on Amazon Kindle. So go snag it while you can!

That is all. Return to your daily duties!

~KSilva

Inspiration Through Music: Top 10 Game Soundtracks (for Writing) in 2015

Welcome!

It’s the end of 2015 and with that revelation, I’ve decided to go through and list some of my favorites of the year starting with music! For long time subscribers to the blog, you’ll know that I have done a weekly blog for music that is inspirational to writers. It’s most often music that I’ve found from video game soundtracks or ambient/instrumental composers. This year, I wanted to list my top five favorites that I’ve listened to while writing. (Note: these are my personal choices and they’ve all been released in 2015. If it wasn’t released this year, it doesn’t make the list!)

#10: Dying Light Original Soundtrack by Pawel Blaszczak

Why: As a big fan of Blaszczak’s soundtracks for “Dead Island” and its sequel, I was extremely excited to hear what he’d be doing with “Dying Light”. The soundtrack for “Dying Light” is a perfect mixture of thoughtful isolation, of tension and terror. It differs from the Dead Island soundtracks by incorporating a bit more synthesizer into it, making it feel a bit more technical and almost CSI-like. Several of the tracks were very similar which doesn’t lead to much variety. Thing is: that consistency makes it a PERFECT soundtrack to listen to while working on any police procedural, detective story, or crime drama. It’s also great for any urban paranormal stories you might be working on. Track picks: Horizon, Invitation, Demolition, Now They Are Coming, Praise the Sunlight, Breakdown

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Writer Thoughts-Thursday: NaNoWriMo

Late in October at one of the Halloween Readings that I organize, I listened as several fellow writers and friends discussed plans to partake in this year’s NaNoWriMo. Never heard of it? It’s like a month-long marathon for us writers. It stands for National Novel Writing Month. Think of it as a writing spirit quest if you will. A writer commits to the challenge of writing 50,000 words in one month’s time, therefore writing an entire (or most of) one book. In order to accomplish this seemingly Herculean effort, a writer must write at least 1,667 words a day to finish on time.

However easy it might seem, there is something that we writers seem to excel in all the better: procrastination. It’s one of my top ten talents actually. I didn’t decide that I was going to join the scores of writers participating in NaNoWriMo until 9 days into the month. I should have had 15,0003 words written. Here we are now 19 days into the month and I still have less than 10,000 words. I’m supposed to be more than 1/2 way completed by now.

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Busy Sickly Update…

That feeling you get after you’ve been in bed with a terrible headache ALL WEEKEND…and now, it’s your day to go back to work and you SUDDENLY feel better?

That’s been my weekend, folks.

I managed to get the most demonic headache, a combination of sinus, stress, and muscle all rolled up in a ball and tossed at my head. The sinus part was caused by a Calamondin tree that I have in my apartment (or should I say “had”). The Calamondin is a strange mini fruit tree that has a tiny orange fruit that tastes much like a lime. For some reason, despite it being November, this tree has been rapidly blooming and growing more little oranges. Our weather here in Maine has been warmer than it should be and for some reason, this tree is just absolutely loving it. Problem is that the pollen from these little flowers is super potent and my entire apartment smells like them. One day of sitting here breathing it in made my head feel like I was in Willy Wonka’s tunnel of craziness. The tree is now at my parent’s house after my mom gratefully came and picked it up.

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Night Time, Dotted Line: On the Set!

Night Time, Dotted Line Film

It always amazes me the people that I meet during my day job. Last week before I went on vacation, I ended up helping a couple of guys with hiking boots for a trip to go hiking up north. Both were students from Maine Media, which provides workshops and college courses for anyone interested in film, photography, multimedia, writing, etc. While at the register, one of them noticed my book, “Night Time, Dotted Line” on display, read the back blurb, and commented that it looked like a fun idea to film. Two days later, he came back, bought the book, read it in one night, and asked if he could film a scene from it for his five minute film class project.

It’s always an authors dream to inspire someone else through their work. While I had my dream cast and dream locations, and dream everything else in my head when I wrote the book, I never thought I’d actually get to see it acted out with real people. I visited the set today and watched for about a half an hour as they fixed the lighting, rehearsed the scene, and seemed to have lots of fun doing it.

I’ll be excited to see what happens in editing and what the finished product looks like in a few weeks.

Thank you, Jeff Bienkowski, for being inspired to do this for your project and thank you to your team for having fun with it and doing such a great job so far.

Literary Cooking Adventures will return next week with a special Harry Potter-themed adventure!

Stay tuned!

~KSilva

That One Time I Tried To Make Instant Pudding…And Failed

Since I don’t intend to have a Video Cooking Adventure up until later tonight, I thought I might share one of my first cooking disasters with you. This, in my mind, pretty much sealed the deal for me to always have some sort of difficulty in the kitchen. I was still in school, though what age I’m not entirely sure. If I strain my brain hard enough, I think I can remember it being middle school. I did not cook at this time. My sensibilities were that I had parents, they knew how to cook, and my extent of knowledge on cooking was limited to a Home Economics class where we made granola and smoothies. Even so, cooking is really not the point of this particular memory. All I had to do was mix two things together and wait. And I failed.

My dad had asked me if I could stir up some pistachio pudding for him. I quickly found the box in the pantry and read the directions…sort of. I ripped open the package and poured the puce-colored powder into a bowl. Looking back at the directions, I read that I needed to add however many cups of COLD… I didn’t actually read the rest. In my head, the only thing I thought it could possibly mean was water. My rationality was this: on a package of cake or muffin mix or anything like that, I’d never seen anyone say to add cold milk. It just said “milk”. And no one ever asks for cold milk on any instructions! So why go to the trouble of bolding and underlining COLD on the package? Why not just write “milk” and be done with it? But water! Often times recipes call for HOT or COLD water. That made more sense.

And so, I added cold water to the pistachio pudding powder. Pushing it into the fridge to set, I waited in the living room, blindingly ignorant of the mistake I’d just made. When the requisite time had passed, I returned to the fridge and pulled out the bowl, expecting a shimmering chilled pistachio wonder. It was not to be. Instead, a liquid with the color and consistency of swamp water looked up at me. I asked my dad what I could have possibly done wrong and after we determined my mistake, he laughed and I felt like an absolute moron. He still tried to eat it, just so I wouldn’t feel so bad. But pistachio soup on top of vanilla ice cream really isn’t the same.

Never made that mistake again.

Nope.

~KSilva

Port-Con Recap

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(Pictured from left to right: Top; Scott Goudsward, Peter Dudar, Josiah Pitchforth, and Duane E. Coffill. Bottom: Dale Phillips, Katherine Silva)

This past weekend, I battled hordes of cosplaying people and visited Port-Con, an annual convention celebrating geek culture in South Portland. This was my second time doing an event like this and so naturally, I was a little nervous about some things going in. For one, I was pretty sure that some of the costumes I saw, I wouldn’t be able to unsee (I’m referring to you, man in the pink spandex suit). Some were outrageous, some were super cool, and some were unidentifiable for me. There were lots of anime characters at this con, which is one of the areas I’m not too versed on. I was able to recognize some video game characters here and there and some obvious Doctor Who impersonators (of which there were many). Didn’t see any Harry Potter which struck me as odd, though.

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PORT-CON THIS WEEKEND!

Guess where I am today?

PORT-CON!

That’s right! For all of you living, visiting, or passing through the Portland, Maine area, be sure to swing in to the Double Tree Hotel across from the Maine Mall and check out this celebration of Maine’s geek culture. Basically…anyone who loves anime, comic books, superheroes, horror, Doctor Who, video games and various other things will be THRILLED.

I was lucky enough to join some of my fantastic New England Horror Writers colleagues this weekend as we present at a few panels and have our books for sale at the show. I’m joined by Scott Goudsward, Peter Dudar, Dale Philips, Josiah Pitchforth, and Duane E. Coffil. I’m looking forward to checking out some of the other panels being offered (one of which is about world building) and also looking forward to spending some much needed time promoting my latest release, “Memento Mori: Book 3 of the Monstrum Chronicles”.

We’ll be doing 3 panels over the weekend, one each day.

Friday 2 pm: The Basics of Getting Published

Saturday 2 pm: The Pros and Cons of Writer’s Groups (I’m in this one!)

Sunday 3 pm: Self-Publishing vs. Traditional Publishing (I’m also in this one!)

Check out the Port-Con website for more information about the event, when to catch our panels, and where you can find our table in the Artist Alley!

Hope to see you here this weekend!

~KSilva