Monday, October 30, 2017

Robed in Fantasy on Etsy

Did you know I'm a garber, a costumer? I love to sew and have been since I was in the 8th grade, when a neighbor taught me to sew in exchange for hanging out with her niece for the summer. We were friends for years and hung out whenever she came to town. 

One nice thing about sewing is whenever I write myself into a corner or get stuck on a scene, I just move the office chair over to the sewing machine and make something. It's creative and often my mind works out the problem while the fabric is transformed into a garment. Then I'm ready to jump back into writing. It's a back and forth thing sometimes but works for me.

I sometimes sew commission costumes. Most recently was the 4 piece suit for the Beast character from The Beauty and the Beast movie. It was so much fun. Here's a photo:

Now, I do sell costuming at events and online through Etsy. If you're interested, my shop is called Robed in Fantasy. This is a pirate poet shirt I listed this morning.

Let me know what you think and leave me a comment below if there is something you do that's creative. I believe there are many more of us out there than visible on the surface.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Are You a Writing Spider?

A Topic Chat with Kim Richards Gilchrist (That's me!)

Writing spiders are real creatures who spin their webs in zig zag patterns, resembling writing. Wednesday, we are discussing the similarities of this non-poisonous arachnid to  being an author.


The web of the yellow garden spider is distinctive: a circular shape up to 2 feet (60 cm) in diameter, with a dense zigzag of silk, known as a stabilimentum, in the center.

To construct the web, several radial lines are stretched among four or five anchor points that can be more than three feet apart. The radial lines meet at a central point. The spider makes a frame with several more radial lines and then fills the center.

Join Kim tonight for a comparison of human acts of structuring and plotting our short stories and novels and the behavior of the Writer Spider as she spins her zig zag web.

5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Pacific Time at  No password is needed; just sign in as a guest.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Writer's Chatroom

Hey all!
Welcome back to my blog. I'm pleased as punch that I'm, again, moderating over at Writer's Chatroom. It's been a few years since I volunteered there and have to admit I missed doing it.

This is a great resource to bring your writing questions and to learn about the business and craft of writing. Our regulars and moderators are of varying skill levels and genres. Even an old pro can contribute or learn something new. The other nice bit is just talking live with others who do what we do. We all experience the isolation writing can bring and chatting twice a week is the answer.

Come on by. We meet Wednesday and Sunday evenings. Click on that link above to find out the times and upcoming topics.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Mystery Writers in the Mausoleum

I want to share an event with you if you're in Northern California. This is a literary event held yearly in a mausoleum in Santa Rosa, CA.  I won't be reading this year but a friend of mine, Ann Hutchinson tells me she'll be singing. It is a really fun event. I definitely plan to go. You can find details here.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Today's Haunted Halloween Spooktacular Guest Author is Catherine Winters!

What's a Halloween Spooktacular without vampires?  Today's author guest writes an urban fantasy series about the fanged folks. Welcome Catherine Winters! The book featured today is a stand alone book which fits with her vampire series. I have to say I'm impressed with an author who knows how to spell bogeyman. It's a small thing but a peeve of mine. Grin. Here's the book information and a quick guest blog post by Catherine:

A Murder of Vampires
The Imperial Vampires Series
By Catherine Winters

ISBN: 9781535325509

Book Description:

Even vampires have bogeymen.

Geneviève Lacroix wasn't really made to be a leader. Perhaps that's why she chose to form a council instead of an empire; she wouldn't have to bear the burden of responsibility alone. While the Council of the Undead was a success, her inability to face challenges head-on would affect vampires all over the world.

When Coventry Payne informed Geneviève of her intent to betray her sire, Grant Black, Gené did nothing. When Coventry succeeded, Gené ignored her own laws and Coventry went unpunished. When Coventry showed up asking for her own House, Gené gave her New York. When Coventry began weaving myths of Grant's excessive violence and ruthlessness to keep fledglings in line, Gené remained silent. When Geneviève feared Coventry would make a play for the Paris Council House, she gutted it instead of fortifying it.

As Coventry continued to grow her power and influence, Grant lay bound in a box, alone in the dark, starved of blood, slowly going mad. Only Coventry hadn't counted on the ever-increasing population of humans, the "shrinking" of the world, the eventuality that someone would stumble upon his prison and release him.

One hundred and fifty years has seen that eventuality come to pass, and now he will have his revenge. Coventry will get the bogeyman she created — although the monster she claimed he was is nothing compared to the monster he's become.

This book is a standalone within the universe of The Imperial Vampires Series


The couple at table twenty-seven were not unusual for a Thursday dinner service. He was more handsome than most, and she more annoyed, but their clothes were expensively made and perfectly tailored, their shoes shiny and fashionable. She was perhaps too short for him; they looked a bit mismatched, but then, the gentleman was so tall that it was probably unavoidable. She was beautiful, though cold, refusing to smile even as her companion tried to charm everyone in reach. If they noticed the shaky hands and determined lack of eye contact from their waitress, they hadn't mentioned it; if they'd noticed the series of wait staff who had subsequently tended to them, they likewise had refrained from commenting. They were, in truth, the perfect table: neither of them ate, but both drank, and were pleasant and uncomplaining. The gentleman paid the tab, and tipped extravagantly – enough so that the shaky waitress didn't mind sharing, and even grudgingly admitted that perhaps she'd been wrong in her original estimation of his character ("Creepy."). 
            The couple left the restaurant, not touching each other, not even looking at each other. They were a mismatched set indeed: he was more than a foot taller than she. He towered over her, loomed, used all his great bulk to intimidate, but she would have none of that. She opened her own doors, assuming he was following, got behind the wheel of an obscenely expensive sedan, and pulled into traffic without looking.
            "Is the car bugged?" He wished not to be overheard. As did she, when it came to that – the restaurant had been merely a convenient rendezvous, not a place for conversation.
            "Of course not, it's mine."
            "You'll forgive me if I don't have the greatest confidence in your – What is he, anyway? Is he even there anymore?"
            "Not so often as to care what I do with my personal time." They spoke English with similar accents: softened consonants, narrow vowels, a superficially British sound with something more exotic underneath. It was the language they had in common, and the one in which they did the most business. "You didn't drag me to Budapest to discuss Vlad."
            "True enough. I need your help."
            She laughed. "It wasn't enough that I rolled back the stone from your tomb?"
            "You did that for yourself."
            "Did I? I can't remember what you've done for me since."
            "I've been a convenient villain, haven't I? A tale told to fledglings so they fall in line."
            "You could have been that lying in the sarcophagus."
            "Yes, yes. I'm a terrible burden on your conscience. One has to wonder why you bothered to free me if it was going to plunge you into this ridiculous guilt."
            "One does. I do. Daily."
            "But I've stayed out of your way, out of Europe, like I promised, haven't I?"
            "I fear that's going to come to an end."
            "I deserve vengeance."
            She bit her lower lip, worrying it with her teeth, drawing a tiny bead of blood that filled the car with a sweet-rotten scent, like berries gone slightly bad. A human wouldn't have noticed, but his nostrils flared and he turned to stare at her.
            "I don't know those laws," she said, and he could hear every ounce of relief.
            "It's not the law that gives me the right to kill them."
            "Then you don't have that right."
            "They locked me in a box for a century and a half."
            "Didn't you deserve it?"
            "You thought I didn't."
            She shook her head, taking a sharp right turn off the main road. They'd left the city completely behind, and he thought he knew where they might end up, but allowed her to determine their course. "I…don't know if that's true."
            "Then I am the villain to all of us, is that it? I'm the bogeyman, the big bad vampire?"
            "We all have our roles to play," she whispered, without looking at him.

Hey, all! *waves* I'm Catherine Winters, here to promote my newest novel, A Murder Of Vampires. It's part of my Imperial Vampires universe, and a prequel to the Josephine Trilogy. I hope you'll give it a try – it's a great place to step into the series!

I'll be honest, I struggled with this guest post for a while. I just couldn't decide what y'all might want to read about. Writing? Reading? My characters? Why I love Star Trek so fucking much? (Probably not that last one. But feel free to message me if you're interested. I could talk about Star Trek for days.) 

Finally, someone suggested that I should just let you all get to know me. And I figure there's no better way to do that than to see my Buzzfeed quiz results. I mean, they're clearly the most accurate personality assessments on the interwebs, right? Right. So let's get started!

I'm 40, based on my McDonald's order. But also 21, based on my shoe preferences. I'll let you guys sort it out.

I'm 100% pug, which I think is pretty damn impressive. I mean, how many pugs do you know who've published five novels? But I'm also somehow 67% cheese, which doesn't seem likely, mathematically. Though I did only get a D on a basic math quiz, so maybe don't take my word for it?

I'm 64% keen, which I think must be a British quiz, because it means, like, smart? And since I got 8/10 on the "Can you guess the animal from its French name" quiz, I'm going with smart. At least with words.

According to a visual test, I think I should live in London, but should actually live in Sydney. Denver, where I actually do live, was not an option, which is straight-up bullshit, yo. Denver is the place to be, as so clearly evidenced by all the out-of-state license plates I've been seeing lately. I'm also never going to get married, which will be news to Mr. Winters, who thinks we walked the aisle at least a decade ago. (Fun trick if I'm 21, eh?) And our fat, grumpy, orange tabby is apparently most like a black panther. I'll believe it when I see it.

I am not a die-hard Disney fan, though to be fair, the quiz was about the parks, mostly, and not the actual stories. I know a lot of useless facts, but not a lot of them are about theme parks. Sorry, Charlie. As for which famous redhead will play me in the movie of my life? Julianne Moore. I was hoping for Tess Holliday – she's much more my style – but who am I to argue with the Buzzfeed gods?

So. There you go. I hope you've got a pretty good idea of who I am, now, based on the world's most accurate metric: A 21-40-year-old unmarried married pug, who is kind of smart, doesn't know jack about Disney, looks like Julianne Moore, is more than half cheese, and should live with her black panther in London or perhaps Sydney.

Sounds about right. ;)

About the Author:

Catherine Winters writes urban fantasy, women's fiction, and literary fiction. She is an undefeated four-time Chopped champion and the principal mezzo-soprano for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Denver. When she's not writing or singing, she enjoys teaching French to cats. At least one of these things is actually true.

Tour giveaway:

5 copies of A Murder of Vampires, print or ebook (to be decided by the winners). Open internationally.

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Thursday, September 29, 2016

Welcome Constance Burris, Today's Featured Haunted Halloween Spooktacular Author!

Constance Burris' latest book is titled Black Beauty. Inside we find out the bad consequences for a young girl who goes to a Voodoo priestess for help with bullying. I can definitely see this one as a movie! Check out the trailer:

Black Beauty
Everleaf Series
Book Zero
By Constance Burris

Genre: Urban Fantasy/Horror

Publisher: BE Publications

Date of Publication: September 2015

ISBN: 1515275892

Book Description:

At Vista Apartment Complex, life drastically changes for four of its residents when they decide to do business with Crazy Jade—the supposed voodoo witch that can grant your wish for a price.

Shemeya wants the confidence to stand up against the girls bullying her at school, but she soon has to choose between keeping her dreadlocs or living a normal life. After catching her boyfriend cheating, Latreece just wants to have the same curves as all the other girls. Ashley will do whatever she can to have “White Girl Flow”, but takes her pursuit too far when she steals from Crazy Jade.

Everyone who comes into contact with Crazy Jade soon learns the true price of her magic—and how horribly wrong it can go.

Shemeya knocked on Jason’s door. For the past two years, they’d ended up in the same chemistry course as lab partners. He’d asked her out a few times, but she’d politely said no. He bored her. Turning him down made her feel like an idiot who only went out with thugs, but she wasn’t stupid. She only wanted a little thug, not a full serving.
When Jason opened the door, she pulled off her backpack and stepped into his house. “Is your mom home?”
“No, she’s with her new guy.” He led her into his kitchen. “Want something to drink?”
“You got some juice?” She desperately wanted to get rid of the dry, earthy taste that the herbs had left in her mouth. Water hadn’t worked.
“I got something better.” He reached under one of the kitchen cabinets and pulled out a bottle of Hennessy.
“Jason, really?”
He smiled innocently.
She rolled her eyes. “Sure. I need a drink after the day I’ve had.” And liquor should kill the taste in my mouth.
He poured the cognac into two yellow plastic cups before they walked into the living room and sat on his couch. The alcohol warmed her insides and seared away the taste of the herbs.
“We should be talking about absorption, not sitting here getting drunk,” Shemeya pointed out.
“We always finish our projects tipsy. Why should this time be any different?”
Shemeya laughed. “Anyways, let’s get started: absorption vs. adsorption.” She pulled her chemistry book from her backpack.
“Stupid names. Why do they have to be so similar?” He sat back on the couch with a glazed look in his eyes.
“Are you going to get your books?”
He licked his lips and leaned forward. “I’ve heard stories about you and Latreece’s boyfriend.”
“So?” The buzz she had from the liquor quickly dissipated while her heart rate increased. She dreaded where the conversation was headed.
“I don’t understand. I’ve been asking you out for months, but you go out with him instead. He has a girlfriend.”
“I didn’t go out with him,” she said through clenched teeth. She’d expected to be harassed at school; she hadn’t expected it here. She had hoped her anger would shut him up, but no such luck.
“I saw you go in the room with Corey last weekend at Serena’s party.”
She threw her books on the table and stood. “Oh damn, Jason. Really?”
“I’ve treated you with nothing but respect since I’ve known you.”
“I’ve had a horrible day with everyone teasing me at school. Now I get here and have to deal with it from you, too. I’m leaving.” She turned from him and bent over to pick up her books.
“Are you crying?”
She brought her hand up to her face, and it came back wet. Why was she crying in front of him? Wasn’t the fake weed supposed to give her courage?
“Don’t go. I’m sorry.”
She was so busy wiping away her tears that she didn’t fight it when he grabbed her hand and pulled her back onto the couch. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said anything.”
She let him hold her as she cried. Maybe it was the liquor, maybe it was the fake weed, or maybe it was her loneliness, but whatever the reason, she didn’t stop him when he brought his lips down onto hers.
His sweaty hands on her breast brought her back to reality. He wasn’t who she wanted. “No, Jason.” She pulled back. “I have to go.”
“Don’t go,” he pleaded, with his hand still under her shirt. Somehow they’d ended up on the couch with him on top cradled between her legs.
“No.” She tried to move from under him.
He loomed above her, flushed despite his dark skin. “Do you like it rough? Is that what it is?”
“No. This isn’t what I came here for.” Shemeya tore at his chest, but Jason refused to budge.
He kissed her neck. “I’m tired of being the nice guy,” he murmured, pinning her further beneath his body.
“Get off me!” she screamed. His erection rubbed against the crotch of her jeans. She punched and kicked, but it made him more excited. Her scalp itched as she fought. She wanted to scratch, but she needed both hands to fight Jason off. I’m getting raped, but I can’t fight the urge to scratch. The inconvenience of it almost made her laugh.
Something above moved. She looked past Jason. Five snakes were hovering above his head.
“I’m going crazy.” This time she did laugh, and the snakes, which were the same rusty brown color as her dreads, smiled.
Jason looked towards her. “Why are you laughing?” His eyes darted above her. The feel of his erection disappeared as he crept away, but she wrapped her legs around his waist.
Her itching scalp had been replaced with pleasurable tingles that ran from her head down to her toes. “Where are you going?” she asked.
“We need to leave,” he said, trembling. “There are snakes in here. There are snakes in your hair.” She pulled him closer while he fought to be released. “Let go. We need to get out of here.”
“No, stay,” she whispered in his ear. “They won’t hurt you.”
Shaking, he looked from Shemeya to the snakes. He tried to force himself from her legs. This time, when she tried to pull him closer, he punched her. Pain exploded in her jaw, but she never let go.
“Jason, that hurt.”
He looked into her eyes. “Please,” he begged. A snake sunk its fangs into his cheek. Another struck his ear. One clung to his nose, and another hung below his left eye. He writhed in pain as he tried to escape the snakes and her thighs. His pleading eyes came back to her before he stopped moving completely. The snakes retracted their fangs. She relaxed her legs. Jason fell onto the carpeted floor.
She stood and nearly fainted before she righted herself by grabbing the side of the couch. She brought her hands up to fix her hair but hesitated a few inches away. She’d never touched snakes before. But the snakes came to her, caressing her open palm. They were cold and smooth and full of life.

The Bucket List
By Constance Burris

Josephine lifts her arthritic knees up the steps of the small Japanese tour bus and stares past the rows of empty seats before she settles her gaze on a middle-aged woman with a curly afro.
When the woman turned and smiles, that is all the invitation Josephine needs. “May I sit,” she asks after she wobbles her wide hips through the tight aisles.
“Of course,” the woman says.
“Thank you. I’m Josephine from Texas.”
“Nice to meet you. I’m Keisha from North Carolina.”
“Are you traveling alone?” Josephine asks.
“Yeah, are you?”
“No. My no good husband is at the hotel in bed. He ate some bad sushi or some shit.”
The woman blushes. She must be from the suburbs, Josephine thinks. Suburbanites are always blushing over curse words.
“Are you looking forward to seeing Mt. Fuji?” Josephine asks the girl once the bus starts moving.
“No, I’m getting off at the Aokighara forest.”
“The what?” Josephine asks.
“The suicide forest at the base of Mt. Fuji.”
“I’ve heard about that place. It’s where people go to die.” Josephine shakes her head. “I wonder why so many go there?” Josephine asks. “I suppose they’re all unhappy.”
“They can’t all go there because they’re sad,” Keisha says. “Maybe some are just finished.”
“Finished with what?” Josephine studies the woman. She’s too pretty to be so morbid.
“With life. Maybe they’ve crossed everything off their bucket list.”
“Well, then you create another list. Believe me; I’ve started over more than a few times. You can always reinvent yourself and create a whole ‘nother bucket of lists.”
“Yeah, I guess you’re right.”
“You’re not thinking about going there to die are you?” Josephine asks suddenly concerned.
Keisha laughs. “Of course not. I’m just curious.
Josephine brings her hand to her chest. “Oh my goodness. You about gave me a heart attack.”
“You don’t have to worry about me. I have a husband and a little girl at home. I would never leave them.”
“Good. Good,” Josephine says as she stares at the woman, looking for any sign of depression.
“I promise. It’s just a weird curiosity of mine. I’m not going to kill myself.
“Well if you’re sure,” Josephine says, finally at ease.
“Ms. Josephine,” the Japanese tour guides says with an almost flawless American accent “We’re here.”
“Oh my. I didn’t even know I was sleep.” Josephine looks over to Keisha, but the woman’s seat is empty except for a folded sheet of paper. Josephine glances around the bus for the woman, but she is nowhere in sight. All of her belongings are gone. Satisfied she has done her due diligence and no one can call her nosy, Josephine unfolds the paper.

Keisha’s Bucket List

Graduate High School
Go Ziplining in Costa Rica
Go To College
Get a passport
Make love under the night sky
Visit Canada
Write a book
Fall in love
Get married
Have a baby
Travel to another country
Visit the suicide forest

All but the last one is marked out.

About the Author:

Constance Burris is on a journey to take over the world through fantasy, horror, and science fiction. Her mission is to spread the love of speculative fiction to the masses. She is a proud card carrying blerd (black nerd), mother, and wife. When she is not writing and spending time with her family, she is working hard as an environmental engineer in Oklahoma City.

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