Kate Rivet

Author Archive

Hello everyone!

Well, no matter how many times I make a resolution to really start doing regular blog updates, it always falls apart very quickly! I wish I could say it was because I was busy writing away — which I do have to admit, sometimes I am these days! — but it’s more because my actual job is really taking its’ toll right now. There’s short-handed, then there’s what we are, which is just sheer desperate. I’ve logged a TON of overtime, which is great for my wallet — not so great for my mental health, physical health, and free time for writing (also known as my second job!).

Before work got crazy, I decided to join up with some of my NaNoWriMo friends on their Camp NaNoWriMo cabin and set a goal of 20,000 words. After work got crazy, though, I revised my goal down to 10,000 words. Not only is work taking up all of my time, but I’m actually leaving in three days for four nights in New York City! It’s the first time I’ll ever be there, and I’ve got SO many cool things lined up! I’ve got tickets to both Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (seeing both parts in one day, which should be a great way to do it!) and Yerma (because Billie Piper is AMAZING and I just got to meet her in person not that long ago!). I also bought a voucher to go to MoMA to see the art and hopefully finally get to see my most favorite Dalí painting in the entire world, The Persistence of Memory! I’ve been to the Teatre-Museu in Figueres, the Casa-Museu in Cadaqués, and the Dalí Museum in Florida (where I saw The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory) which, as a self-proclaimed Dalí enthusiast, has been an incredible time — but my absolute favorite has remained elusive and I MUST see it in person!

Other than that, I don’t actually have concrete plans in New York. I’d like to stop by and see the Today Show because I’ve always watched it, but I genuinely don’t know how else I’m going to spend my time. I’d like to visit Tiffany’s since I’ve become a big Audrey Hepburn fan and think it would be very cool to see that Tiffany’s in person, and I’m also thinking about stopping by one of the famous tattoo studios to get a little more ink. It remains to be seen what I’ll do, but after I get over the initial stress of trying to navigate NYC (it’s so big but so compact compared to Barcelona and London!), I’m sure I’ll have a blast!

On to what I’ve been working on writing-wise, my camp project is a hockey romance novel, since I’ve been reading a lot of those lately. I read one that I felt like I could do better, and while hockey romance is a rather sacred genre for me because two of my first favorite romance authors do it SO well, I wanted to at least make the attempt to actually do better than the one I read. So far it’s going okay — I’m over 5,000 words — and I think it has a chance to do well. I also did successfully complete my NaNoWriMo book, which was the fourth book in my Royals series. I DID have to finish it I think in February, but I did the 50,000+ for November and am very satisfied with it. I also have a couple of other ideas brewing and in some form a few different places so that I can get back to them when I can.

Anyway, I’m going to get back to my Camp project, because I’m not budgeting any single New York minute (get it? ;)) of mine for writing — though if inspiration strikes, I may jot down something. I hope that if you’re participating in Camp NaNoWriMo, you’re finding it as good an experience as I always do!

Until next time,
Kate

Hi everyone!

I know I’m doing a terrible job at keeping up these days, but I’m promising now that I’m going to try to do better. If you’ve seen any of my Instagram posts, you’ll have seen that we had to say goodbye to my male Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Seamus, on October 1st. My baby boy had severe mitral valve disease as well as issues with his tricuspid valve amongst other heart issues, and to keep those in check, we had to give him several medications. The diuretics we had to put him on to keep him from going into congestive heart failure are very hard on the kidneys, and it came down to a conversation with his cardiologist about what was a friendlier death for him, heart failure or kidney failure. In the end, his kidneys were the better option, so we cut back as much as we could with his heart meds.

For the past … maybe month to two months, he had been slowing down — something I figured was probably because he was almost 12 years old anyway, which is pretty old for Cavaliers — nearly all of them have heart disease if they make it to 10. On his 12th birthday, September 27th, he visited the cardiologist for his quarterly check-up and pending blood work, he was the same as last visit. The next night, though, she called us personally — his kidney values had more than doubled, and that meant they were shutting down. We tried a last-ditch medicine change, but literally a day and a half later, we had to cook him eggs and by night fall, he wouldn’t even eat those. He also refused his meds, so I was woken up just before 5 AM Sunday to say goodbye to my baby boy.

It’s been a bit of a hard go, but I’m so grateful for the 19 months we got of borrowed time with him. You always hear that grief is a strange thing and different for each person, and it really is. I never felt this way when we said goodbye to my two cats, nor my earlier dog, but Seamus was truly my best friend and the loss of him has hit me hard. I’ll be fine for days, then I’ll spend an entire night crying. It’s a huge adjustment for all of us, especially Seamus’s ‘puppy’ — our other Cavalier, Maggie. She’s 11, and knock on wood, has been fine — and although she was confused for the first few days, I have to say she’s living her very best life now.

Maggie is now enjoying rides to anywhere we can think of she can go with us, she’s having snacks that were forbidden with Seamus here because he had to be on an extremely low sodium diet, and she’s finding joy in life for maybe the first time ever. It’s been wonderful to watch her come out of her shell, but occasionally it will be a reminder of something or other that Seamus would do and a wave of sadness will wash over us again. As I said, though, we’ll get there — it will just take a little time to find our new normal and get used to it. The day we had to put him down, I went to my chosen tattoo studio, Carson Street Tattoo in Pittsburgh, and had my artist Mark tattoo Seamus’s paw print onto my bicep along with his birth and death dates. It’s really helped me heal a bit, and I’m glad I had the foresight to get an ink pad and make that print the day before we had to put him down.

In the writing end of my life, I was doing pretty well on my London story until I set it aside because Seamus needed a little extra TLC. I’m thinking I’ll either add to it for NaNoWriMo (which is just about a half a month away!) or write the sequel to the story I wrote a few years ago that I’ve let bounce around my brain ever since. I think it will be very good for me to get out and see my fellow writer friends and get back into the groove after a highly unproductive year or two at this point, and maybe I can rediscover that fervent passion I’ve always enjoyed.

In reading news, I recently decided to dive headfirst into the Outlander series, since most of my friends are obsessed with the books, but more so the TV series. I read both Outlander and Dragonfly in Amber and binge watched season 1, and I have plans to start on season 2 fairly soon before I dive into books 3 and 4 before watching season 3. It’s definitely been intriguing, and not something I would usually pick out for myself, but I’m really enjoying it! I never thought I’d see the day where I could hardly put down a historical romance, but there you have it.

Well, I think I’m going to go enjoy this beautiful fall day — it’s going to be almost 80 degrees here in Pittsburgh! — and I hope you all enjoy yours too!

Until next time,
Kate

Wow, has time flown!

I wish I was here to tell you all how much I’ve accomplished and that I’ve got something being published soon, but the truth is that the wall I had hit has not completely disappeared.  I’ve got a few good projects on the go, and am in the midst of a new Camp NaNoWriMo story — one that actually looks to be something I can follow through with.

I can’t figure out exactly where the problem lies with the writers’ block I have going on, but all I can do is continue to try fight back and continue to work on whatever projects I come up with.  I think I have 4 or 5 projects that are promising but are in various stages of completion.

As far as life outside of writing, I just returned from a trip to Florida!  I’m not a fan of overly hot weather, and it just so happens that my flight landed on the hottest day they’ve seen so far!  The entire 5 days I was in the Orlando area were miserably warm, but I did really enjoy my trip!  I met up with my mom who was with her best friend (who moved down to Florida a year or so ago) and spent some time there, but my mom and I also had some side trips!  On my first FULL day, we picked up a rental car and my mom and I went to St. Petersburg to The Dalí Museum! If you know my love for Salvador, you’ll know exactly how much this stop meant to me!  It was a lot smaller than I thought it would be, but was nevertheless a great representation of his artistic abilities!

Our other side trip was to spend our last full day at Universal at the Wizarding Word of Harry Potter!  We had Park to Park tickets and enjoyed the train back and forth between the two areas, and had a few strolls through both parks as well.  We had a good time at Margaritaville juuuuust as the rain storm was hitting, so we were glad to be inside and miss that!  We had a hotel that was a 10 minute walk away for the night, and combine that with the pool at the hotel, and we had a great end to our trip.

My next ‘trip’, if you’d like to call it that, is an overnight trip to the D.C. Area to see FC Barcelona play next month!  I am SO beyond excited because I’ve never managed to see them on any of my trips (even though I’ve had tickets twice – the first was rescheduled to before I got there and the second, my baggage got lost and dealing with that made me too late to make it to Camp Nou!).  A lot of my stories are set in Barcelona because it’s such an important place to my heart and I am really glad to be able to finally see my favorite La Liga team in person 🙂

Well, it’s time to head to bed — I have to go to my real job tomorrow and then make some time to keep writing!  My latest strategy is going to be to make it a goal to write AT LEAST a thousand words every night — they don’t have to be great ones, but I think a thousand is completely doable and will definitely end up equaling at least a few books a year!

Until next time,
Kate

Hello everyone!

It’s been a couple of months since my last post!  Crazy, but it was actually a much-needed rest from writing.  I’ve written 13 books pretty much back to back to back for so long that my NaNoWriMo failure kind of gave me the push to take a little break.  Tonight marks the first time I’ve written any new words since the one night in Barcelona that I felt like writing a couple hundred words, and surprisingly enough, I’m actually quite pleased with what I’ve gotten down so far.  Instead of working on finishing my incomplete NaNoWriMo project (that I actually DO intend to finish eventually; it’s too far in to fully give up on it!), I began work on the fourth book of my Royals series.  This one is going to be interesting, if I can just figure out how I’m going to make it work.  I have the male royal figured out, I have an idea of what the female character’s profession is, but I have no idea yet how I’m going to weave their lives together.  It will definitely be fun to watch their story blossom in front of me!

As far as my writing goes this year, I’m hoping to get editing on the first two Royals books, and I’d love to publish at least one of them, if not both, by the end of the year.  There’s something about the world(s) I’ve created for these characters that has become such a happy place for me, and I’d love to give everyone the chance to peek into these characater’s lives.

After this royals book and after I finish my NaNoWriMo if I can be motivated enough to do so, I think I’d like to write another story set abroad.  In the book I wrote a few years ago called Modern Love Abroad, I created a character who, like me, was a big fan of Salvador Dalí.  I was jealous of this woman as I wrote her story, because she got to experience some of the things I had only dreamed of being able to — like a visit to Dalí’s house-museum in Portlligat, and a visit to the town of Cadaqués, which was so important to him.  This past year, two days before my 30th birthday, I FINALLY made the pilgrimage to both of these places!  It was a great itinerary — first, a visit to Figueres and the Teatre-Museu Dalí, then a ride into Cadaqués for some free time and lunch if the small group desired, then on to Portlligat to see the home Salvador shared with his wife, Gala.  I had always seen such beautiful images of Cadaqués and had never been able to grasp how something so stunning could be real, and although I’ve been there now and have walked all through town, I still can’t believe it’s real.  The photographs I took of the town are photos that my family and friends and I look at and I can’t articulate the beauty that is so poorly represented by my images.  There is not one photograph I’ve ever seen of Cadaqués that accurately shows how breathtaking it is when you’re walking along and gazing across the beautiful waters at the town stretching into the mountains.

I also enjoyed my visit to Iceland, and have a very vague idea of a book I could set there one day.  I’ve always enjoyed volcanology — probably because I had a great earth sciences teacher back in high school — and I got to see Eyjafjallajökull while on a tour of south Iceland.  To stand at the base of the volcano that closed so much airspace when it last erupted — well, it was a very awesome experience.  I wish I could have seen more volcanos, but now that WOW Airlines is going to have nonstop flights from my home airport (Pittsburgh International), I think I can easily make a couple return trips.  Besides, if nothing else, I’ll have to go back to replenish my stores of Icelandic candy!  They’ve easily got the best chocolate I’ve ever consumed, and I can’t recommend it enough.

Anyway, I’m going to end this post — I think I’ve written enough for one night, and I’ve got to get back to my day job tomorrow!

Until next time,
Kate

Hello everyone!

This isn’t a REAL update — I’m busy with book #3 in my Royals series and pushing to finish the first draft before NaNoWriMo starts! — but I had a few things to let you all know about!

1) Living for Adventure, my 2nd book, will be FREE on Amazon from November 1st through November 5th as a little inspiration for those wanting to NaNoWriMo as to what a little over 50,000 words is like!  It’s pretty short and the usual price is 99¢, so save your dollar and grab it when it’s free!  Let your friends know, too — it’s available here (or you can search my name on Amazon!)

2) Roads to Love, my 1st book (and my 2014 NaNoWriMo novel!), is going on sale in honor of my birthday!  Starting on November 24th, it’ll be available for 99¢, and on the 27th, it goes up to $1.99 — December 1st it goes back up to the full $2.99, so again — grab your copy here or search me on Amazon 🙂

3) I finally set up an Instagram account, something I never really bothered to do because I was under the impression that it was a pain in the butt to toggle accounts — not true!  My sidebar on the site here has both a slider showing a few recent pictures, and there’s also links and buttons for social media along the sidebar as well.  Follow me and keep an eye out — I’m leaving for two weeks abroad on November 17th and I promise I’ll be sharing some fun pictures!

That’s all I’ve got for today, I’m heading back to the keyboard to get this Royal story to its’ finish!

Until next time,
Kate

Hello everyone!

Wow! I can’t believe it’s nearing 3 months since my last post! I’m hard at work to the follow-up to my last book, though writers’ block is still a big factor! I’ve been really making a big effort to learn some of what my main character is going to need to know for the next book — and I have to say, some of my research has been extremely fun! In the third book in my royal series, the princess is an aspiring zookeeper, and some of the animals she loves the most are macropods — like kangaroos, wallabies, and some other amazing creatures! I’m fortunate enough to live in a city where I have a lot of zoos nearby, and in the past 3 weeks or so alone, I’ve gone to 3 zoos! I’ve also discovered 2 other zoos I plan to put in a visit to, just to get another chance to see some more incredible animals. At two of the zoos I’ve spent time at, I’ve gotten to pet and feed some kangaroos and wallabies, and at the second of those two, I even got to snuggle a baby kangaroo and a baby albino wallaby — both were absolutely adorable, and I can’t wait to go back and get my hands on them for some extra research!

In addition to going to the zoos, I also found a really interesting and science-y guide on how to distinguish between some different baby macropods, what to feed them with, and how to care for them — all things that my princess is going to need to know! You’d think it would be a little boring to read something so textbook-like, but I enjoyed all 150-ish pages and now I can’t wait until I finally make it to Australia and New Zealand! That trip is one I need to save some extra cash for, because the flights and lodging isn’t cheap, but I fully intend to go in the next couple of years!

Other than that, there’s not a whole lot to report back to you all. After I make good progress with this book, I plan to edit the first of the royal series, and get working on the second’s editing as well. It’s my goal to get at least the fist one up on Amazon maybe by January at the latest, but with life happening around me and an almost three week trip across the pond to England, Spain, Wales, and Iceland in November, I won’t make any hard and fast promises! What I WILL promise is that I will do a little work to this website in the near future, and maybe even include a small photo gallery of my adorable macropod friends that I’ve made in the course of my research! For now, though, this is goodbye — I’ve got a neighborhood party to attend today, and I believe it starts at 3!

Until next time,
Kate

Hello everyone!  It’s been a long time, hasn’t it?

I haven’t had a lot to say lately, so I’ve been staying away.  I got about 35-40,000 words in to the novel I’m currently working on and suddenly, that dreaded case of writers’ block came back with a vengeance.  I’m happy to report that this weekend was another turning point, and I’ve begun to make solid progress again.  I think I managed about 5,000 words in the past few days, which is HUGE compared to where I’ve been stuck!

Outside of writing, I’ve gotten some cool things in — my cousin and I went to see Jungle Jack Hanna live, and the local botanical garden, Phipps, had its’ corpse flower bloom!  My mom and I went to see Romero the corpse flower when he was placed in the palm court, then when we got the news that blooming had begun, we went back to see him.  I have a terrible sense of smell, probably due to my near-constant allergy issues, so I didn’t have quite the same reaction as most people did to his stench.  I was, however, able to catch a whiff or two and I can confirm that the scent from a corpse flower is pretty darned strong!

I’ve also booked all but one flight I need for my birthday trip in November — I’ll be visiting my old favorite cities of Barcelona and Reykjavík, though this time I do hope to manage to see Cadaqués on the Costa Brava and I’d also really like to try to see the Eyjafjallajökull museum (and yes — I can pronounce that one five times fast ;)).  I’ll also have very brief stopovers in London, and I may take my full day out there and go back to Cardiff and enjoy their beautiful city a little more in-depth.

Back to writing, though, I have plans for when this book is finally finished.  I’ll be sending the first book from this royal series off to my loyal beta reader Cat soon, then I’ll complete this one and start on book #3.  I’ve got great plans sketched out for it, and I really can’t wait to bring the third story to life.

I hope you’ve all been well, and I hope to be able to come back soon with details on when the first book (or two!) from my royal series are available via Amazon.

Until next time,
Kate

Hello everyone!

For once, I can honestly say that this post has been delayed because I’ve actually had a breakthrough!  Maybe it was just that none of my other ideas were strong enough, though they were all great on their own merits, but I finally came up with a project that I’ve been able to make some progress on!

Back at the very end of 2014, I started a project that I completed fairly shortly afterwards tentatively titled “A Royal Risk”.  Set in a fictional Scandinavian country, I was very happy to be able to create my own little world as some of my favorite ‘royal’ books have done before.  I was very satisfied with the outcome, but I had kind of closed it off in terms of potential follow-ups.  Part of trying to get myself back into quality writing was rereading some of my old work.  When I got to ARR, I was reminded of exactly how magical it was to be able to step into this world that was somewhere familiar but different.  I knew right then that this was what I needed to find again — a great balance of fiction and reality.

A few weeks later, I’m over 20,000 — I would be a lot further, except that with our lovely Pittsburgh weather fluctuating up and down, I’ve actually been fighting off persistent migraines — and I’m still loving where this new story is going.  Since I had mostly left the previous book as something that couldn’t have a real follow-up, I chose to do it in an inventive way — create another, very similar country that is very close to the original.  So close, in fact, that the monarchs of each country are distant but very close-knit cousins.  Once I’d brainstormed a bit for the new country that would be introduced, I set about thinking of great ways to tie the worlds together.  I’m finally at a point where this book is becoming its’ own independent work, though they will be tied quite closely for the duration.  I can truly say that I feel the same magic between these characters as I did (and still do!) between the ones in the first novel.

If nothing else, it’s exciting to feel the creative spark again!  And now that my version of Office 365 is updated to the latest and greatest software, I think it’s time to get back at it!  With any luck, maybe I’ll be able to release these two Royal books close together soon and let you all meet the characters I’ve grown to love!

Until next time,
Kate

Hi everyone!

Have you ever heard of that term before, a sticky wicket?  It’s a phrase that means a difficult situation, which is perfect to describe the one I find myself in right now!

I’m feeling particularly let down by my creative mojo right now — maybe it’s because I’ve churned out 12-ish books in quick succession over the past couple of years, or maybe it’s just because I made last year the year of READING instead of pushing at the writing, but ever since my NaNoWriMo project, I’m just not having very good luck!  I’ve got 3 or 4 projects I’ve half started, as well as a few others I’ve got tucked in other places that I could get working on, so I’m going to cross my fingers that something comes to me very soon!  I miss writing, and would love nothing more than to have such a great idea that my fingers trip all over the keys while I try to get it out!

On a more personal note, the other sticky wicket in my life right now has to do with one of my dogs.  Seamus, the family male Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, was diagnosed almost 2 weeks ago with mitral valve disease, as well as a disease in another valve.  It’s a very common thing for his breed, but at 10 years old, we’d thought we’d dodged that particular bullet.  It came on fairly suddenly, at least to us — he had no symptoms that would have indicated any issues until he actually started into congestive heart failure.  Seamus is my furry little best buddy, and he even comes to hang out in my room with me while I get ready for my day almost every morning.  Thinking about the fact that he could have as little as 6-ish months with us just tears me up, and my entire family is trying to grasp life without our little pal.  We have another Cavalier who isn’t directly related to him, and now we’re starting to worry about her and have plans to have the cardiologist check her over soon, too.  It’s such a shame, because Seamus is our little dude and he loves life so much.  He still plays like he’s a puppy, even at 10 years old, and he genuinely loves to please us.  Maggie is a lot less enthusiastic — she’s beautiful and she knows it, and she’s content to spend her days lazily awaiting her next meal or snack.  While I was able to teach Seamus a plethora of tricks, Maggie’s best one is to “be beautiful” and she sits and demands a treat for just being her!

Anyway, to get back on my original subject — these are the things going on right now that are contributing to me not being very active around here!  I DID just today finish rereading one of my older projects — a romance involving royalty in a country I made up — and it reminded me of how much I love writing!  So my plan is this — pick an idea or a half-written story, any of them, and work away!  It doesn’t matter if it’s the greatest story ever told or if it’s something I end up being lukewarm on in the end — it’ll at least get me back into the habit!

Until next time,
Kate

Well, hello there!

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?  I was so busy working on getting to goals of finishing my NaNoWriMo and hitting my self-imposed goal of reading 200 books in 2015 that I had to put much of life on the backburner!  I can say now that I’ve successfully completed both of those tasks, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it!

Let’s start with my NaNoWriMo project!  I did NOT complete it as fast as I usually do, but that was okay!  I didn’t have ANY overseas travel this November, so I wasn’t under my own gun to get it done before I headed off to somewhere much more fabulous!  Unfortunately, I’m not sure if I’ll ever be able to publish this one — it’ll need a LOT of editing to make that possible, just for copyright usage and other issues! — but I’m absolutely thrilled with how it turned out!  It was based on one of my favorite 90’s shows, Legends of the Hidden Temple, and its’ working title is Blue Barracudas of Love.  I really do love it, though, so maybe you’ll see a different version than the original one available one day 🙂

As for the reading!  I DID update the Reading List page above every single time I finished a new book, and while not every book I read this year was great, I did find a lot of new authors that I like!  Two that I discovered this year and particularly enjoyed were Christina Tetreault and Candis Terry.  I strongly encourage you to seek their books out and get reading!  I know it always put a smile on my face when I finished one of Candis’s books set in Sweet, Texas, and both Christina’s Sherbrooke series as well as the North Shore series have been a joy to read!

My new goals for 2016 would be to continue to read, but not at the exclusion of writing!  I’d love to strike up a great reading/writing balance, as I have a lot of trouble doing both at the same time!  I’d also really like to try to get at least one or two more books published this year, and possibly even get an editor or work with a publishing house this year.  I’m sure I’m still quite a ways away from becoming a professional, full-time author, even if I DO get to work with a publisher, but it’s still one of my dreams!

I also may very well make this the year that I get both of my current novels onto the bookstores for Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo devices; it took a while to figure out how to successfully produce a readable e-book for Amazon, but I know I can do it!

I hope that you’ve all enjoyed the end of 2015, and I hope it brings you as many wonderful things in 2016 as I hope to experience as well!  This year brings a milestone birthday for me, and along with it I do have plans to have a fabulous blowout travel bash to go with it!

Until next time,
Kate


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