Friday, September 27, 2013

Every Day Things

Author, S. R. Karfelt's McFail List

Unless you’re a character in a novel or film, ya gotta do everyday things, and I for one suck at them. The organization and implementation of everyday things doesn’t look very impressive on my life resume.

·         Getting up on time. McFail.

·         Breakfast. I eat the same thing every single morning (oatmeal) because I simply can’t make these sorts of decisions in the morning. Problem: It takes me an hour to cook and eat it. After years of breakfast oatmeal, I kinda have to force feed it to myself, and who’s feeling cooperative in the morning? McFail.

·         Working out. I do this everyday because I basically sit for a living. I turned my dining room into an exercise room thanks to Dear Hubby’s prowess on eBay. I usually finish up about noon despite that convenience. Workout good, noon? McFail.

·         Time for the day to begin. What’s for lunch? (Kidding, mostly.) 

·         Shower or write first? Since I pass my office on the way to the shower, guess which one usually wins? I am so glam.

·         When forced to leave the house, shower always wins. (You’re welcome.)

·         Leaving the house for any reason usually consumes the entire day. Because it is then that I realize:

o   Car needs gas.
o   Gas needs money.
o   Bank.
o   Haven’t checked the P.O. Box for book related stuff in…awhile and I need to mail books to people.
o   Staples for office supplies. You need big envelopes to mail books to people.
o   Ooh, there’s Barnes & Noble nearby, I need books too.
o   B&N is next to TJMaxx and I still need a new purse. Mission Accomplished, and then some, one hour later.
o   Target is across the street, wouldn’t paper towels be nice! Once inside I stock up hoping I never have to return.

§  Lifetime supply of paper products.
§  Toiletries.
§  Chocolate.
§  Lightbulbs, most are burned out.
§  New lamp. Some assembly required. Rut roh, Scooby.
§  Baggies. Do I need these? I don’t know, but I won’t again this year.

o   Speaking of Christmas, the mall is nearby. I have coupons for candles from three different stores. So I go there.

§  Bath & Bodyworks – candles.
§  Yankee Candle – candles.
§  Hallmark – candles.
§  Stagger back to my car with fifty pounds of candles.
§  Guess wot’s for Christmas? (Don’t tell.)
§  Yes I’m thinking about Christmas. There shall be two novels written, NaNoWriMo, and conferences between here and there. It’s candles, folks, and maybe a box of baggies.

o   Lunch time. Stop at my favorite cafĂ©. Visit with people.
o   Post office fifteen minutes before it closes. Oops, realize these books aren’t all getting mailed domestic. In fifteen minutes I fill out five customs forms AND help a senior citizen with her parcels. *Feeling Amazing*
o   Dang, forgot to check the P.O. Box…again.

·         Back at home Dear Hubby is waiting, politely wondering what is for dinner. Why, oh why does anyone ever ask me this question? Go out? Um, okay.

·         And that is how an entire day to write begins at 9:00 p.m. McFail.


S. R. Karfelt
Camera McFail
This blog is dedicated to my clone, who asked me today which everyday things I’m awful at. So I will repeat her question to you. What everyday things are you awful, terrible, no good at? Yes, I know I ended that sentence with a preposition. I’m actually fairly good at that stuff, sometimes, though, I just McFail there too.











Monday, September 16, 2013

Diner Music



Warrior of the Ages by S. R. Karfelt



Scenes from an immortal life.


Kahtar barely fit inside the booth at Cliff’s diner. Barefoot he stood 6' 10 ½ inches tall. All his police uniforms had to be custom made, and a shoemaker from his world sneaked and made his shoes for this one, including a pair of khaki colored sneakers that he’d never actually worn. He shifted, trying to turn towards the waitress, but wedged against the laminate tabletop made that impossible. “No menu,” he said without meeting her eyes, a kindness he gave most inhabitants of her world. “A slice of strawberry pie, no whipped cream, and a cup of coffee.” The waitress smiled, but busied herself writing it down. “Glass of water?” “Please,” at least he could drink that. He could manage to choke down a slice of the pie every week. It seemed something a normal cop might do, but coffee he just couldn’t manage much of.


The waitress hurried behind the counter, and Kahtar’s mouth automatically slid into the almost smile he’d spent millennia perfecting. An elderly couple rose from the booth in front of his, and shuffled towards the door, buttoning coats and wrapping scarves. The man paused by his table. “Plow keeps blocking my drive! Right after I shovel, they just shove a foot of snow across the whole dang thing. I called the station, but nobody even came out to check.” Kahtar focused his eyes on the spot between the man’s grey brows, but before he could comment, the man’s wife poked him. “What’s he gonna do, Howard? Shoot the snowplow?” Grumbling, the man moved away and the smile that briefly lit Kahtar’s face was genuine. Bad timing, the waitress returned with his order. A huge scoop of ice cream sat on the side, melting into his pie. From his peripheral vision he saw a huge smile light her face in return for his.


“My treat for the ice-cream, Chief. I’m Brenda, I just moved to Willowyth.” Kahtar nodded at her and dropped his gaze to glare at the offending ice-cream. He detested processed food. A pile of slop off the snowplow’s tires would be more palatable. “Um, enjoy,” she managed and scurried away. He realized a beat too late that he’d been rude. With his fork he picked up the entire clump of the treat and shoved it into his mouth. He’d leave a big tip, money made up for a multitude of sins in this world. Of course the poor thing needed it too.


Kahtar knew the woman’s name was Brenda Blake. He knew everything that went on in this town. She had two daughters, and she’d taken a place over on Second Street. She cleaned houses on the side, worked at the diner forty hours a week, and sold some kind of make-up that she wore entirely too much of. Without looking at her, he scanned her as she poured coffee into the cups of construction workers lining the counter. Five feet eight inches, one hundred-seven pounds, the evidence of a heavy smoker invaded every cell of her body. The poor thing would not live to be an old woman. He forced a gulp of coffee, fighting a grimace.


Static from a speaker overhead caught his attention, “Who wants to live forever?” the singer intoned, the high notes producing even more static. The irony wasn’t lost on him. The young woman behind the counter probably wanted to live forever, and she likely wouldn’t have another decade. He on the other hand, had forever. Technically anyway. The singer was right, who did want to live forever? Only those who had absolutely no clue what a curse it was.


Kahtar shoveled the pie into his mouth in three bites, leaving the crust behind. People did that, even in his world. He fished for his wallet in the confined space, trying to ignore the lyrics that were – of course – a love song. He didn’t like music, not of this world and not of his. The last thing an immortal needed was another song to take root in his subconscious. Whatever part of his mind stored music had filled up ages ago, and he had no room left for more of it. As a matter of fact he wished he could have the bulk of it removed.


Back in WWI he’d consumed a hefty dose of mustard gas to the tune of Nora Baye’s Over There, making it the first time in his existence he’d been tortured to music. Literally anyway. Kahtar pulled out fifteen dollars and dropped it on the table. He squeezed out of the booth but the singer’s high notes followed him. He could tell that singer who waited forever. He did. And it sure wasn’t love he waited for, not that he’d mind it. He glanced back at the people in the diner, not a single one looked in his direction. When he looked at people, they looked anywhere but back at him. He was one scary being. That truth followed him in both worlds. Immortality was apparently a trait endured alone. 


***

S. R. Karfelt
Nicole Mason Photography
If you enjoyed this scene, check out my book about Kahtar. Chronologically this scene takes place the winter before Warrior of the Ages begins. I enjoy spending time inside Kahtar’s world and mind. Let me know if you do too, and I’ll share more.

My name is S. R. Karfelt, and Warrior of the Ages is my first baby to make it into print. It’s available at Amazon and wherever finebooks are sold. If you have any questions about this scene, or questions about Kahtar or the book series, this is a place to ask me! I’ll try to keep CAPTCHA off the blog as long as I can bear the spam. I hate CAPTCHA too, I always flunk. It makes me question my own humanity, if I can’t prove I’m not a computer, what does that make me? 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Consumer Confessions


Glass Blowing Vs. Editing
S. R. Karfelt



AKA Things to do Instead of Editing

·         Today I paid someone $35 to stick lit candles in my ears.
o   Not my proudest moment, but I still say unless you’ve lived with chronic vertigo since April 26, 2001, shut it.
o   Dear Hubby went on about the Laws of Physics and vacuums and blah blah blah, whatever, so not listening.
o   Might try acupuncture next. Will let you know if needles in the face trumps fire in the ears.

·         I hate coffee but love the way it smells. I adore little indie coffee shops, you can read there. Sometimes I stand at the counter and read the menu while debating what I can get that smells like coffee, but doesn’t taste like coffee. Sometimes I pay $4 for a cup of milk with a whiff of coffee in it.

·         Since my book is now out, people often ask me, “How many books have you sold?” Please, girlfriend, how would I know? That’s math.

·         My second novel is written. The next step is to rewrite one scene from another point of view, edit, and send it off to my beta readers. So far I’ve cleaned every room in my house. Organized closets. Caught up on my Victorian Literature reading. (Thomas Hardy, brilliant.) Balanced my checkbook. BALANCED MY CHECKBOOK. Did the ear candle thing. And went to the MALL. And it’s not even Christmas.

·         At the maul I used all my coupons for free stuff. I save them until I have a pile. Spent forty-five minutes in Bath and BodyWorks sniffing mini-candles before picking my freebie. That company employs marketing geniuses. They sent me a box of free brownies when I ordered face cream. Life can’t get any better than that. #FreeBrownies

·         The shoebox hidden in the attic was clearly marked in sharpie: PORN - DO NOT OPEN EVEN IF I’M DEAD. Apparently this is not what I should have written on the outside of a box I didn’t want anyone to look inside of. Who knew anything in the attic would be so popular? I still stand by the claim that it was my great-grandmother’s and I was keeping it for purely sentimental reasons.

·         Okay, fine, it wasn’t my great-grandmother’s, but sometimes there are perfectly logical explanations for things. There wasn’t room on the outside of the box for long explanations about gag gifts or the remnants of a Lorena Bobbit Halloween costume someone once wore to my house. It’s not like I could give that stuff to The Salvation Army, and the re-gifting opportunities were priceless.

·         Oh, like your friends aren’t the kind of people who would dress the stone pig in your front yard in trashy lingerie?

·         Sometimes I drive really far to an upscale supermarket. I buy things like cheese with truffle in it, starfruit, and seriously debate what exactly I would do with a live eel if I were to purchase it. I mean I do have a key to Zeus’s apartment. Bathtub or toilet, bathtub or toilet?


You don’t need to notify PETA, I left the eels in the Seafood Department to be humanely eaten. You gotta admit that was an excellent visual. Tomorrow though, I will buckle down to editing. It’s that or cleaning off my desktop. Pretty sure that the edits will win that one. What do you do when you’re avoiding a job? Any consumer confessions of your own? 


Monday, September 9, 2013

Roofus




So far I find trying to put a new roof on a house akin to purchasing drugs in a foreign country. No, I’ve never purchased drugs in a foreign country, but I’ve seen it in movies so I feel qualified to make this comparison.
1.      You have to know somebody.
2.      If you don’t know somebody, you have to know somebody who knows somebody.
3.      If you don’t know somebody who knows somebody, you will have to google how to build a portable meth lab put it on yourself.
4.      If you can’t put it on yourself you will have to move. I’m okay with this option, only it turns out you can’t sell a house that needs a roof. So you are now trapped like a pod of whales between icebergs. As much cake as you ate at your book release party coupled with the current condition of your roof will make this whale analogy horrifyingly accurate come February.

Fact: You need a roof or a cave with wifi.


Being a reader/writer/bookworm person you might try the Yellow Pages. Yeah. Good luck with that. For starters you should stop throwing all the new phone books directly into the recycling bin, because someday you might need a new roof and want it. You can try using the one from the year you graduated high school. Like I said, good luck with that. On top of that if you actually get a person on the phone they’ll never come. Not if you live in a beautiful, yet Deliverance-looking place. Even your friends don’t come to your house.

Fact: Most of your friends are imaginary.

Yellow Pages Roofer Facts
  • There are ones who drive their Corvettes past your house and shout a number at you from their rolled down window. It is either the figure for college tuition to their child’s Ivy League school or the cost of their yacht repair. Either way we both know there is no point in them stopping.
  • Some of those roofers who have been in business since your yellow pages book was current don’t need your business. They say things like:

o   I could squeeze you in spring of 2017.
o   Price? Well…(insert head scratching here) That’s a lot of roof. I’d have to get back to you. What do you do for a living?
o   Do I have to tear off the old roof? (Are there people who do that themselves? Or is it really optional?) Do you want me to haul everything away? (Unless it fits into a 13 gallon kitchen bag.) Would I need to put in one…two…three…four…five…six nails on every shingle? (Um, I’ve never done this before, assumed you had. Go. Just go.)
o   You might be able to get another year out of this one. (Do you really think so? I say hopefully.) Well, I wouldn’t stake my reputation on it. You might not, especially if it snows. Are you planning on moving anytime soon? (Hey, I already tried that one.)


S. R. Karfelt
Nicole Mason Photography
So what I’m wondering is if anybody has actually ever SEEN somebody putting on a new roof. What proof do we have that this actually happens? My timing is way off. My plan was to move before the attic was full of shtuff or the house needed work done. Too late. Anyone know a roofer who would work for all the shtuff in the attic and autographed copies of my latest novel? Come on, somebody has to know somebody. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Real Wish List






  • A hover suitcase
  • Stargate/Portal/Tesseract  (Don’t really care how we do it, just wanna bypass the Philly airport.)
  • The Jane Jetson Hair-Do System
  • Camera with auto built-in photo shop
  • The Hermione Granger Handbag
  • Nike Air Comfort Stilettos
  • The black hole trash can (“Never have to empty another one!”)
  • The Food Replicator (Yes, it’s always on my list.)
  • Liberated Enthusiastic House Elf (Ditto)
  • A home use weather control system (Mounts on roof, lot size up to ¾ acre)
  • Snow resistant driveway (No idea how it works either, I’m the idea guy.)
  • Amusement park type public transportation (buses/coasters, elevator/parachute)
  • Anti-Gravity Mondays


S. R. Karfelt
Nicole Mason Photography
   My name is S. R. Karfelt and when I'm not dreaming up ideas for
   someone else to invent I write Action Adventure with a twist. My new
   novel is now available, and instead of playing with my blog I ought to be
   editing the second one. If you have any brilliant ideas to add to the wish
   list, I'd love to hear them. 

   What should somebody else invent for you?