Category Archives: Kellie St. James

Wednesday Randomness – What Inspires Me from A to Z

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This week’s topic is what inspires me…from A to Z. This was hard. This was very hard. I almost gave up, three times. But I stuck to it, and this is what I came up with. Some of these are writing inspirations, some are general inspirations in life. I couldn’t come up with something for every letter of the alphabet, but I did my best.

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Books, duh.

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Dora is my husband’s great-grandmother and she is 102. She has seen so much and lived through so many changes in the world. She’s lost a husband, a daughter, survived breast cancer in the 70’s, and she’s always in a good mood when you visit her. She’s an amazing lady.

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Fear inspires me, mainly the fear of being stuck forever in a job that I don’t want to be doing when I’m 60. I don’t hate my job, but I don’t want to do it forever. And the fear of seeing myself in that same desk 30 years from now inspires me to keep writing.

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Hiddleston, Tom inspires many things that I will not talk about here. 🙂

Ireland inspires me, because, well, I should have been born Irish. Something about the culture and history speaks to me. Just looking at pictures of the rolling green hills and rocky shorelines makes me happy.

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K

Location, location, location – there are many places in the world that inspire me. I was fortunate to travel to Italy as part of a program when I was in college and I got to visit Venice. The Grand Canal is amazing and seeing pictures of it always brings me back there. Cheesy as it sounds, it transports me.

My brother co-runs a small theater company in Seattle. it started out as something he did only part of the year, but it has become his full time job. He has put so much time and effort and creative energy into this venture. I’m inspired by his willingness to do something out of the ordinary and to take this plunge.

New experiences, any new experiences, have the potential to inspire. I tend to be rather hermit-iike in my tendencies, so I really have to push myself sometimes, but I always tell myself that a new experience may be the inspiration I need for a new story.

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People watching kind of goes along with new experiences, you never know what you might see when you’re around a group of people. And boy can you get inspiration from people you see out and about.

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Rainstorms inspire me the same way that sad songs inspire me. Sometimes I get stuck in a melancholy mood and when I’m there, I just like to kind of wallow in and see where it takes me. Some of my best writing ideas have come out of those moods.

Sad songs inspire me to write. There’s something about the mood they put me in, it gets the creative juices flowing. I think they tap into the inner high school loner in me.

Toad the Wet Sprocket is one of my all time favorite bands, I love them unashamedly and I always will. There are numerous songs that I hear that take me back to a certain time or event. There are also particular songs that fall under that “sad song” category that inspire me to write. They help me when I’m working on YA stories because I can get back into my teenage headspace.

U2 is another one of my favorite bands, inspirational on many levels.

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Water in the form of lakes (Lake Michigan specifically) or oceans is incredibly inspiring to me. I can sit on a beach and listen to waves for hours. The first draft of a full length novel I finished is heavily influenced by water, the main character is for sure. I also find it soothing, I often fall asleep to water sounds.

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Yellow Ledbetter is a song by Pearl Jam. I can’t understand most of the lyrics because, you know, Eddie Vedder. but something about the opening chords of that gives me chills.

Z

Check out the other Wednesday bloggers to see what inspires them. And make sure welcome our newest blogger Paige Prince!
Bronwyn
Paige
Jess
Jessica
Kellie
Kris
Gwen

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Wednesday Randomness – Your Book is a Movie, Who is the Dream Cast?

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This week’s blog is about all dream casting for your book. I haven’t actually published a book, yet, but I have a current story I’m working on that I’m pretty excited about so I thought I’d use that one. I don’t want to give away too much about, but in short, this is a YA story about a psychic and a serial killer. Enough said.

My main character is named Francie and I have always pictured her as Felicia Day, although as a teenager. Especially with a hint of her character, Charlie, from Supernatural. A little quirky, but with a secret that she sides from a lot of people. But the look, total Felicia Day, the red hair, the smile, totally adorable.

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Francie’s best friend is a kid named Will, or as I like to call him, a younger version of John Cho. In the book, his last name is actually Cho. I like this picture of him in particular because he looks a little younger and a little innocent. And kind of a like a guy in awe of his psychic best friend. But he’s also Francie’s rock.

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The other character I can picture clearly in mind is the bad guy, the killer, Grayson Anderson. And for him, I see James Spader. A late 1990’s or early 2000’s James Spader. He can come across as utterly creepy and soulless, it just screams serial killer. His faces flashes in my mind when I write certain scenes. *shiver*

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Those are a few of my characters from my current work in progress and my dream casting if it ever became a movie (and time travel were possible, apparently).

Check out the links below to see what the other Wednesday bloggers are saying:

Jess
Gwen
Bronwyn
Kellie
Jessica
Kris

Flash Fiction

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Flash Fiction

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02-2015 - WinterCottage

I could hear Milo’s steps getting quieter as he fell farther behind me, but I couldn’t bring myself to slow down. We were getting close, I could feel it. Something was pulling me deeper into the woods.

“Kat, wait up!”

I paused momentarily to let Milo catch up and I could hear branches snapping over the sound of my harsh breathing. The cold made this trek harder than it should have been but waiting just hadn’t been an option. Once Milo was close enough, I headed towards what looked like a clearing on the other side of a grove of pine trees. We pushed our way through and I stopped short.

“Is this the place?” Milo asked, his voice ringing in the cold air.

“Shhhh.” I hushed him. I don’t know why, but I felt like we were being watched. Or maybe that someone was listening to us somehow.

It looked the same as in my dreams. A small, stone cottage surrounded by a creek on three sides. It looked abandoned, but there was an energy coming from it, waves pulsating out from the house. Beckoning. “Do you feel that?” I asked Milo.

“Feel what?”

I didn’t bother answering him, but started forward, crunching through the snow. I didn’t stop when I reached the creek but splashed through it, expecting the water to be icy cold. Instead, the water soaking my jeans was warm like a summer sun was shining down on it. I heard Milo gasp in surprise behind me but other than that he stayed quiet.

We reached the other side of the creek and as we stepped onto the bank, the scene in front of us changed. The snow-covered grass became green and vibrant. The broken and missing shingles on the roof repaired themselves and the cottage looked like it had just been built. Smoke curled slowly from the chimney and lights glowed softly from the windows.

As we approached the front door, it swung open on silent hinges and the delicious smell of baked bread surrounded us and pulled us inside. Seated at the worn wooden table in the middle of the main room was a young woman with long black hair braided down the middle of her back. She wore a floor length, emerald-green dress with bell sleeves, almost Medieval looking. She was heartbreakingly beautiful, but was surrounded by an aura of sadness that was almost tangible.

“Please come in,” she said. “Don’t be scared. I’m glad you finally found me, Kat.”

Her voice was soft and melodious. I glanced over at Milo and he looked like he was positively entranced.

“I didn’t realize I was looking for you,” I said to her. “Who are you?”

She smiled, “My name is Celeste. But I understand that you may know me as Snow White.”

That was just too much for me. I sank down on the bench on the other side of the table from the woman, Celeste, and felt Milo sit next to me. “I, no. You, no. Absolutely not. No.”

She laughed softly. “I’m sorry, it’s probably a shock. But I called you here because I need your help.”

“What do you mean you called me here?”

“And how do you need Kat’s help?” Milo asked.

“Let me tell you my story,” Celeste said, “and hopefully you will take pity on me.”

When neither of said anything, she continued. “I believe most of what you know about me as a fairy tale is at least partially true. The Queen tried to have me killed because she thought I was more beautiful than she and she was jealous of me. She paid a huntsman to take me into the woods and kill me. What the Queen didn’t know about, and what the fairy tales never mention, is that I had magic of my own. I knocked the huntsman unconscious and fled from him, finally coming to a small cottage in the woods, this cottage in fact. Here I met seven men, miners, who took me in and helped to hide me from the Queen. They protected me and in return and I helped to care for their house and for them. I used my magic to help with their mining operation and they became more successful than they ever dreamed. They built a house for each of themselves nearby and I stayed here in my little cottage. Unfortunately, they became so wealthy and well known that they attracted the attention of the royal house. The Queen found me and was enraged when she discovered I was still alive and living a happy life. She decided to punish me eternally instead of killing me. She locked me in this cottage forever, never to age. The miners were stolen away, but kept alive, so that I could never see them again. And that’s where I need your help.”

“Ok,” I said, “I’m not saying I believe you in the slightest. But if I did, how in the world could I help you?”

“Yeah,” Milo said, “That’s what I asked.” I’d kind of forgotten he was there until he spoke.

Celeste looked at me for a moment and I slowly realized what she was seeing, the same black hair and blue eyes I saw on her face. The more I stared, the more I realized we looked like we could be sisters. She saw it dawn on my face. “I need your help, Kat, because you are my only living relative. You are the descendant of my younger sister making you my great, great, many times great-grand niece. And because I was able to call to you in your dreams, it means you share my magic. That means you can help me free my friends. You’re the only one who can help me. Although the Queen cursed me for eternity, the modern world is causing the magic to fade. If I don’t find the miners soon, they’ll be lost forever. You have to help me find them. I can’t let this happen. They are good men, their only crime was to help me.”

Leaning across the table, Celeste clasped my hands in hers, “Please, Kat. Please, say you’ll help me.”

To be continued…

Check out the links below to see the other Flash Fiction Monday stories:
Jess Jarman
Kellie St. James
Bronwyn Green
Kris Norris

Wordless Wednesday – On My Walls

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Wordless Wednesday – On My Walls

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Check out the other Wednesday Bloggers:
Kris Norris
Bronwyn Green
Gwendolyn Cease
Jess Jarman
Kellie St. James

Wednesday Randomness…Five Biggest Writing Distractions

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It’s been so long since I’ve blogged, I almost forgot what a blog was. I will say that I have been struggling with same major mental health issues (and that is my first time ever mentioning my mental health or anything related to it online – cue hyperventilating). Just pulling myself out of the muck to do this blog post required a backhoe, but I figured, I have to start somewhere. So here I start…

The five biggest writing distractions. I have to narrow it down to five, huh? Number one for me lately is, as I’ve already mentioned, mental health. I’ve actually been struggling with some pretty deep depression for close to nine months now, but it’s gotten worse over the last two or so. I used to want to write but couldn’t make myself. Now I don’t want to. I know it’s temporary and I know it will pass. Eventually. One day, hopefully before the universe ends. But right now it sucks.

When I’m not fighting my brain, the number one distraction is my day job. Mostly in the form of, I spend nine hours or so on the computer at work, so when I get home, the last thing I want to do is get on the computer. I’m not sure if that’s really a distraction or not, but it keeps me from writing.

When I actually get to writing, those rare times, I get distracted by…the internet. Who’s surprised? Anyone, anyone? Bueller? I’m guessing no one else out there is ever distracted by the internet. I mean, no one else looks at pictures of baby elephants bathing, or cats jumping and missing their landings or dogs trying to walk in new booties or ALL of Pinterest. You lucky people with self control.

What else distracts me from writing? Oddly enough, the actual act of writing. I get so bogged down in wanting everything to be perfect that I don’t get much writing done. This sentence needs to be the best sentence ever written! Three hours later I have four words that mean going to the store…which are probably “going to the store.” It’s infuriating.

I also tend to get distracted by everything else I SHOULD be doing besides writing. Writing isn’t my day job. It’s not even a paying side job (yet). So every time I sit down to write I start thinking that I should be cleaning or doing laundry or spending time with my husband or working on any number of home improvement projects that are piling up. I need to just get over that. My husband tells me that all the time, I need to just go write.

So, those are my five biggest distractions from writing. What distracts you from the task at hand?

Check out the other Wednesday bloggers below:

Brownyn Green
Jess Jarman
Kellie St. James
Gwendolyn Cease
Kris Norris

Wednesday Randomness…Crushing on Fictional Characters

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This week’s Wednesday post is all about crushing on fictional characters. Mine mostly come from books, but I found a few non-book swoon-worthy characters to throw in there. In no particular order…

Dmitri Belikov from the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead. I didn’t see the movie so I don’t know how he was portrayed there, but in the books, he was flat out amazing. He was a bad-ass for one, when it came to fighting. Good-looking, as well. But he was also loyal and supportive, and just a good guy. Except for that time in the middle of the series where he was a serious bad…oops. Wait, spoilers.

Jonah Seafort from the forthcoming Eventide by Chris Allen-Riley (otherwise known as our very own Bronwyn Green). This books comes out October 20 and you should read it because it’s awesome, but also because it has this swoon worthy character. He’s Native American, which for me is a big plus (so sue me, I’m shallow). And he doesn’t have any of those negative attributes you see in so many teen male characters these days. He’s not a stalker, he’s not controlling, he’s not creepy. He’s there for Devon (the main character), even when most others think she’s toxic (damn, I’m getting close to spoilers again). I’m not sure I can even put into words what I really like about it, but I got at least two, maybe three distinct stomach flips from him when reading this book.

Maybe I’ll start a new grading scale for crush-worthiness, the number of stomach flips you get. I can even use little pictures of stomachs, instead of stars. Would that be gross?

The Winchester Brothers from Supernatural. I have a hard time picking just one, so I’m going with both. And just for a little bit of eye candy, here’s a picture. 🙂

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I think both brothers are crush-worthy in their own way, but it’s their relationship that really makes them unique (and the show). They never give up and they are loyal to a fault.

Tod Hudson from the Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent. I read a lot of YA, so a lot of my crush-worthy fictional characters from there, which makes me feel like a dirty old woman. I can live with that. Tod starts out the series as sarcastic and acerbic and I love him for it. He doesn’t lose that, but he becomes much more than just the witty guide that he starts out as. He becomes an integral part to the story and has the most heartbreaking scene in all of the seven books, hands down. Who doesn’t love a man who can cry?

Daniel Kalbi from the Dark Divine series by Bree Despain. Another YA series but to me, this one is not your typical paranormal YA. It has some of the same aspects that you come to expect, but it’s written in such a way that it feels fresh. And Daniel is no exception. He starts out as the bad boy with the dark past who shouldn’t be hanging around the preacher’s daughter (although not for the reason you think), but that idea gets turned on it’s head. He’s fiercely loyal, and he believes in his woman. I love that in a man. Or boy, I suppose.

My last crush for the day is from another TV show, Dr. Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds. I just love that weird, genius. He’s totally out there and I have a feeling that if I knew him in real life, trying to carry on a conversation with him would make me nuts, but I’d sure give it my very best try.

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Check out who the other Wednesday bloggers are crushing on:
Jess Jarman
Gwendolyn Cease
Kellie St. James
Bronwyn Green
Jenny Trout
Kris Norris

Wednesday Randomness…These are a Few of My Favorite Things – Songs Edition

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So, I might have moved my blog. And maybe given it a new name, and a new look. And a new theme. I’m not saying all these things happened, I’m just saying they might have happened. And I was, potentially, supposed to show them off a few weeks ago. At the same time, I was supposed to be keeping up on the Wednesday blogs.

But, that’s a lot of supposed to’s and should have been’s. And I’ve learned that way of thinking is not good for me. So I’m just going to skip over all of that and say, Welcome to my new blog! I can’t say it will look this way permanently, I’ve gone through at least four themes since I moved over here and I’m not sure I’m sold on this. But we’ll see.

You also might have noticed a bit of an alteration to my name. Move along. Nothing to see here. These are not the droids you’re looking for.

On to the actual Wednesday Randomness topic for the week…Favorite Songs!

This was a tough one to scale down. But here is a list, in particular order, of a few of my most very favorite songs:

Queen – Killer Queen (of all of Queen’s songs, I have no idea why I like this one so much, but I love to sing it). And yes, I’m aware it’s about a high priced call girl.

Toad the Wet Sprocket – All I Want (forever and always). I still get chills, from the song and the video. I saw them in concert recently (with Bronwyn Green) and they played this. I was a happy girl.

U2 – Angel of Harlem

Billy Joel – Leningrad (and also Downeaster Alexa). The man can tell a story. I get chills from both of these songs.

Sarah McLachlan – Building a Mystery (high school…)

U2 – Mysterious Ways. It’s funky and I love it. The video is kind of trippy.

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons – Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You (I love them in general, really)

Toad the Wet Sprocket – Crowing. Not one of their better known songs, but it’s always been one of my favorites.

Domestic Problems – Untitled. So I worked in a music store in high school and this CD came out when I was there. We played it all the time because DP is a local band. I can still every word to every song, but this one was always my favorite on the album.

David Bowie/Queen – Under Pressure. Ummm…Freddie Mecury and David Bowie? Yes, please.

Dave Matthews Bank – The Space Between

Counting Crows – Goodnight Elizabeth, this song has the feels, man.

Okay, so that’s just a few. I didn’t include any Broadway or Movie soundtrack songs though, that would easily double this list.

If you want to see what music the rest of the Wednesday bloggers are listening to, check out the links below:

Bronwyn Green
Jess Jarman
Gwendolyn Cease
Jenny Trout
Kris Norris
Kellie St. James