Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Writer’s Ramble—Kurt Chambers


Man! I’m in limbo! Well, that’s the way it seems sometimes. Right now, I’m in the middle of a submission campaign. Waiting, waiting, waiting!!! That’s all my life seems to consist of right now. It’s just dangling at the mercy of others. Will they? Won’t they? Will I even hear from them again? It’s the most frustrating thing in the world when you consider the percentage of how many of them will be a yes. The statistics stand at a staggering 100% no at the moment. haha!! That’s not the most encouraging set of statistics in the world, and is enough to make even the most hardened optimist steer towards the cynical side of life.

But all is not lost! There is always hope. That 0.00001% still lurks in the background, waiting to jump out on you when you least expect it! So, what will I do? Well, keep waiting will be first on my list. In the meantime, I have tons of editing to do. And reviews. Being the moderator of the Young Adult Novel Workshop helps keep me busy. Did I mention real life? *Grin* I have several other novels that need to be written. I’ve just decided to scrap the novel I’m working on at the moment for personal reasons. I wanted to write a book four to my Truth Teller series, my baby, but as I stand little chance of getting the first three books published any time in the near future, I will put this aside for now. This story was such a big part of my life for so many years, but I think it's finally come to an end. It's time to move on to something new.

It’s nearly the end of the year. My goal this year was to finish my newest novel, Unknown Reality, and bring it to a publishable standard. My aim was to get it submitted before the end of the year, and I have achieved that. Go me! Hehe!! I wonder what next year will have in store for me J

Did you do set yourself any writing goals for this year? I would love to hear them.


Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Good Days & Bad Days—Kurt Chambers


I’ve had a bad week this week. Only today, someone did a 'hit and run' on my car and smashed the back door in while it was parked on the street. I have a long list of horrible things that have happened this week, but I won’t bore you with the grisly details. lol This week, I’m going to post something that I wrote a while ago and has been sitting in my port on WDC gathering dust. It started out as a blog post one day when I was having a really bad week, but it sounded too depressing when I read it. So what I did was write something more positive and use it to compare my train of thoughts on a good day and a bad day.

Bad Days
My alarm goes off at 5:55. I peel my eyes open and curse quietly to myself. Another day. I hit the snooze alarm at least twice. I seriously don’t feel like I can handle another day.

When I finally bring myself to crawl out of bed, I’m cold. Like a robot, I go through the same routine; wash and dress, make my flask and rush out the door after drinking half a cup of tea. Got to get my skates on, I’m late again.

I peer through my car windscreen at all the red break lights as I sit on the motorway in yet another traffic jam, and my mind starts to wander. What crap will I be up against today? A thousand thoughts drift through my mind about the people I care about. A tear rolls down my cheek, but it’s okay, I’m alone. No one there to see me without my mask. I don’t really care about myself, I don’t matter too much so long as I keep on top of things, but I do care about them. I will try not to lose it today, I really will.

I reach work, it’s grim, dark, cold and still raining. The people I work with are nice. They say good morning and ask how I am. I smile politely and lie to them.

“Yeah, I’m okay, thanks.”

They’re not really interested in my welfare, it’s just what you say. No one is really interested, even the people you consider close to you. They all have their own crap to deal with. I sometimes wonder what it would be like if people were really honest with each other. What would their reaction be if I told them how it really was?

“Well, I’m not doing so good, to be honest. My wife is suffering from ill health. It makes things so hard. My daughter is struggling to cope with raising two kids on her own. I do what I can to help, but I’m not in the best financial position myself. My other kids don’t make things any easier. Some of my closest friends are having a really hard time. It’s so hard to watch. It’s all taking its toll on me, I think I need help. Is it normal to sit on your own and cry, because I find I’m doing that quite a lot just lately?”

I’m fairly certain they wouldn’t ask me if I was okay again, and would probably avoid me. So I do what I always do and slip into my mask, smile, joke around and quote my morning script.

“Yeah, I’m okay, thanks.”

I set to work and check the clock every ten minutes. Is it tea break yet? I try my best to get through the day. Working hard helps to take your mind off what’s really going on in your head. Best not to think too much about it. I hide behind my wall.

I get a text message telling me about the latest crap going down in real life. I give a deep sigh. Is it tea break yet? When is this day going to end? I make a few jokes with my friends and slip deeper behind my wall. I mustn’t let my shield slip.

Finally my working day comes to an end. I’m cold, dirty and extremely tired. I pack my stuff in the car and drive through the rain towards the motorway. I’m greeted by a string of bright red break lights as I merge into an endless line of crawling traffic. My mission to reach home has begun. I just want to get home.

My euphoria at arriving is short lived when I step through the door and my wife tells me about everything that has gone wrong during the day. It’s never good news. I try to look concerned, but all I really want to do is eat my dinner and go to bed.

“Don’t worry, I will see what I can sort out.”

I absorb myself that night in my computer, just like every night. I don’t have any friends in real life, but that doesn’t really bother me. Who needs friends? It’s not like I would have the time for a social life anyway. The day reaches its end. I’m relieved. Like a robot, I run through my chores before I finally climb into bed.

Before I know it, my alarm goes off at 5:55. I peel my eyes open and curse quietly to myself. Another day. I hit the snooze alarm at least twice. I seriously don’t feel like I can handle another day.

But I always do. I have no choice.

Good Days
My alarm goes off at 5:55. I peel open my eyes and curse quietly to myself. Here we go again. I’ve never been a morning person. I hit the snooze alarm at least twice. This morning it was actually three times, I fancied an extra ten minutes in bed.

When I finally get out of bed, it’s not too bad. It’s warmer than it has been for days. Like a robot, I go through the same routine; wash and dress, and make my flask. I gaze out of the window to find my car isn’t frozen. What a result, I’ve got time to finish my cup of tea this morning.

I peer through my car windscreen at all the break lights as I sit on the motorway in a traffic jam. Not that I’m bothered, at least it’s not raining today and I’m in no rush to get to work to be honest. I stick on one of my CDs and play air guitar to one of my favourite tunes on the steering wheel. I sing really badly as I gaze out of the window at all the miserable-looking commuters around me.

A thousand thoughts drift through my mind about the people I care about. My grandchildren will be coming over on Saturday. They bring so much joy to my life. The thought of their beautiful smiling faces as they rush into my house and cry, “Granddad!” makes me smile a lot. How funny they are.

I reach work on time for a change, so I have time for another quick cuppa before I get out of the car. The people who I work with are nice. They say good morning and ask how I am.

I smile politely and say, “Yeah, I’m okay, thanks.” I mean it this time.

I set to work with my wind-up radio blasting, and the morning flies by really quickly. I stop for a tea break and get a short text message from my wife. It tells me how much she loves me and how much she is missing me today. It makes me smile, and I realise how lucky I am.

Finally, my working day comes to an end. I pack my stuff away in the car and drive to the motorway. My mission to reach home has begun. I just want to get home.

I pull up outside my house, go inside and dump my bags beside the back door. I’m greeted by my beautiful wife who gives me a hug then hands me my dinner. It’s my favourite.

I settle down for the evening and switch on my computer. I have an e-mail from one of my dear friends. It is massively encouraging. It makes me smile. You now, I really do believe I have a chance to make something of myself one day. My friends are so nice to me. They are amazing.

The day draws to an end and I climb the stairs to my bed. I love my bed, seriously, it’s the best place in the world. I think happy thoughts and drift off into a comfortable sleep.

My alarm doesn’t go off at 5:55. I peel open my eyes and stare at the clock in the darkness. I don’t relish the thought of getting up in the cold knowing I will be rushing around like a madman. Then I realise. It’s Saturday. I snuggle back down into the warm duvet with a contented smile.



Truth Teller is now available from here:



You can connect with the author at:

Author’s Web page http://kurtchambers.net/

Truth Teller Reviews:

Dawne Dominique - Multi-published author and professional cover artist.
The Truth Teller is one of the best children's fantasy book I've read in a long while. Charlotte is so easy to picture in my mind, and the fantasy aspects are brilliant! There are underlying currents of "real life lessons" that are subtly included...ideal for parents looking for that perfect bedtime story to read to their children. I loved the entire premise of the novel and will definitely be purchasing the next ones in this series.
Kurt Chambers has captured the genre with a wonderful story that will delight many a child's (and adult's) imagination.

Annie McMahon - Editor, published author and Novel Workshop moderator.
This book has everything a bestseller should have: compelling story, endearing characters, vivid descriptions, genuine emotions, and a lot of surprising twists and turns. This is a story about a friendship that transcends race, gender, age, and even realms, between Charlotte, a ten-year-old girl, and Elderfield, a teenage elf. Beautiful and heartwarming. I strongly recommend it and have reviewed Kurt’s story on my blog, Dutch Hill News.

Ralene Burke – Writer, Editor for Wives in Bloom:
Honestly, I can’t wait until my kids are old enough to read these books. Kurt has written an amazing series that emphasizes such wonderful themes as friendship, family, hope, and faith. I’ve read Truth Teller and Wrath of Siren and, even though they are MG, enjoyed them immensely. If you’re looking for wholesome reads for your children, check out the next big thing for MG.

Friday, 18 November 2011

Life Beyond Our Planet—Kurt Chambers


Do you believe there is life out there beyond our own planet? To me, this is a silly question. Yes, of course there is. Tons of it! Life is a naturally occurring phenomenon in nature. Given the right conditions, life will form on its own accord; this has been proven in scientific experiments by creating a primeval soup from which life emerged.

I’m a keen amateur astronomer, and spent two years of my life building a rather large reflector telescope. During the time I spend building this, I studied astronomy to learn as much as I could about the universe that surrounds us. It’s amazingly fascinating, and very beautiful. One of the things that really stood out to me was the sheer size of our universe. Trust me, it’s very big indeed. And in this vast universe, there is a lot of stuff. So much so, you couldn’t come up with a number that would even mean anything to you. Common sense alone tells me that there is a lot of life among all this. Our humble planet alone contains approximately four billion different life forms that we know of, and we live on such a tiny little planet.

The question that we should be asking ourselves is, I wonder what all these life forms beyond our planet, solar system, galaxy, and even universe, are like? That’s a much better question. One that many a good book have been written about. They call it science fiction, but chances are, some of it may actually be science fact. We stereotype aliens as being little green men that like probing things that would possibly make your eyes water, thanks to the media and the film industry. I’m not saying that there is a civilisation out there that has the technology and the resources to visit our planet. We live a very, very long way from even the nearest star. But one thing is for sure, we are surrounded by billions and billions of living things in every direction. We may not ever see them, but they are there.

If anyone out there is interested in helping with the search for real intelligent life, then you may want to check this out. I’ve been a member of SETI@home for over ten years and run their free program on my computer all the time.

http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/

Sunday, 6 November 2011

NaNoWriMo —Kurt Chambers


This month is a busy month for lots of writers with NaNoWriMo which, for those of you non-writer people, stands for National Novel Writing Month. The idea behind it is a writer spends every spare second of their time writing their novel, trying to hit a daily word count each day, or an overall target for the month. As writers, we don’t always spend our time just writing. If only we could! We spend a lot of our time reviewing other people’s work in critique forums or with beta readers. A large majority of writers learn their craft this way like myself. We also have to revise and edit our own stuff after getting reviews. This can be very time consuming. Networking is also a big part of a writer’s life. There is such a supportive network of writers out there in cyberspace, we all support each other and help with such a challenging quest of becoming published authors.

NaNoWriMo isn’t for everyone. I’ve never done it myself as I’ve always found it a bit too intense. We are all different, and I can’t write that way, personally. But I do wish all those other writers out there all the luck in the world! I take my hat off to anyone who is participating this year. And if that’s you, I just have one thing to say…What are you doing here reading my blog? You should be writing! :D