Roundup: January 2018

Me News:

The new year brought a few new things, all good. First was a new apartment. This one was a surprise because our apartment complex had told us that there was nothing available until March, but suddenly when we called to bug them about it on January 2nd (we were desperate to escape the hot Jumanji mess that was our upstairs neighbor situation) there was a beautiful loft available to move in "like, tomorrow, if you want." So, my SO being the proactive sort, that's what we did. We went from comfortably settled, not a thing packed, on Tuesday to living in a new apartment on Friday. And we did it without killing each other.

My writing routine has flipped a bit with the SO's new schedule working nights like me. I think I like writing at night better, though it's hard to say. But I definitely do like our joint resolution to go back to the gym. I was getting by with mostly-daily Pilates, but I think the absence of real weight lifting and my fear of becoming the Asshole Upstairs Neighbor myself was weakening key muscle groups, as evidenced by my perpetually aching knee and the trip to urgent care for horrendous muscle spasms in my back. 

The biggest new thing, though, is my very-nearly-firm decision to go back to school in the fall. As much as I love tutoring, it doesn't pay quite enough to get ahead and becoming a published author with actual revenue could take years. I've looked around periodically for another job, but everything that pays more than what I make now (which, honestly is pretty decent, considering) requires another degree. So it's back to school for me. I'm not going to get into what I'm going to school for, at least not yet. Maybe next month it'll be real enough and definitely a thing that's happening. I'm pretty excited though.

Publication news:

"Muddy" was published at Flash Fiction Magazine. You can read it here.

My spin on the legend of Tam Lin, "True Love Scars," will be published in Seven Deadly Sins: A YA Anthology (Avarice) sometime in April (probably). More info on this soon. 

"The Spider And The Honey Bee" is scheduled to go live at Fterota Logia sometime next week.

Patreon News: 

Grammar Bites: The Comma Splice

Roundup: December 2017

Not a ton happened this month. I've been slowly--so slowly--plugging away at Dark and brushing up some old material for submission. The holidays ate up a lot of time I thought I'd have to write. But I did get in a good binge read of The Knowing, which I've actually had for months but was afraid to read because its companion book, The Forgetting,  emotionally wrecked me. I would highly recommend both, but The Knowing is definitely the less stressful/suspenseful read. Take that as you will. 

In the spirit of positive thinking, some good things that happened this month: 

-My man and I bought the tickets for our summer vacation/research trip to Greece this summer. Apparently we got them just in time, because the prices nearly doubled like two weeks later. 

-I got replacement sets for my Song of the Lioness and The Immortals quartets for Christmas. I'd had my old copies since I was maybe twelve and read them literally to pieces. 

-I had a couple of writer dates with a friend I made at a writing workshop. 

-I received a request for my full manuscript from an agent that I'd completely forgotten submitting to in the first place. 

So, yeah, kind of a slow month but a good month nonetheless. I can't wait to see what 2018 brings! 

Roundup: November 2017

It's been a pretty successful month in this here corner of the Interwebs! I got my Patreon campaign up and running and even got FOUR WHOLE PATRONS (one of whom isn't related to me!). Seriously, though, I think it's a good start and I'm hopeful I can grow that number in the coming months. Anyway, here are some highlights from November:

Upcoming Publications:

"Muddy" will be featured at Flash Fiction Magazine on January 7, 2018

"The Spider And The Honeybee" will be featured at Fterota Logia, date TBD

Free "Grammar Bites" 

Learn about subject verb agreement and misplaced modifiers on my Patreon Page! These mini grammar tutorials will be posted every month and will always be free to the public. 

Free Sample Chapters

Chapters of my works in progress are Patron-only, but I have one teaser chapter each for A Garden of Light and Shadows and In The Dark Of The Moon to get you started. Have a look and see which story grabs you! 

Garden, Chapter One

Dark, Chapter One

Wrapping Up "12 Weeks To First Draft" Course From Writer's Digest

I'm in week 12 of my first ever online writing class, and I have some mixed feelings. On the one hand, it's definitely useful to have a firm weekly deadline. On the other, I'm not sure how much I got out of it. I envisioned something a bit more interactive and at least video lectures like the previous workshop I signed up for with Writer's Digest. But the "lectures" were text and had been recycled many times and used by several different teachers so that sometimes the assignments as written didn't quite mesh with the teacher's intentions. The other problem was that, with twelve weeks and 2,500 word assignments, you're getting less than halfway through your first draft unless you skip around. 

The main benefit of this course is the opportunity to receive feedback on your writing. For me, it was a little frustrating because what I really need is guidance regarding the overall plot, pacing, etc. What I got was a small amount of big picture advice and a lot of "you repeated this word" and "don't use the word 'it' so much" and other cleanup type stuff that, frankly, I'm not that worried about in the Very First Draft. Why polish something that's probably going to end up looking very different, anyway? I'm sure it will be somewhat useful down the road, but I was a little disappointed with the ratio of big picture advice to copy-editing level advice. In the future, I think I'm going to take my money right to an editor so that I can specify what kind of feedback I'm looking for. 

But onward and upward! I've gotten through Act One of Dark and hopefully I'll be able to crank out a lot of material during the Christmas dearth of students (no one wants to do exam prep over the holidays--shocking, I know). 

Hello World!

I'm Kassandra, and I'm so happy to re-introduce myself as, well, myself! When I first started writing "for real" (read that, when I got my first story published), I thought I needed a pen name. It wasn't that I thought a pen name would make me look cooler or more author-y; it was more that, at over twenty letters long, my real name is not exactly publish-friendly. In addition, the name Kassandra and its variants (Cassandra, Kass, Cass, etc.) are very popular pen names these days. 

The irony of needing a pen name because my real name sounds like a pen name did not escape me, but honestly I was excited about taking on a nom de plume. So I picked my middle name, Tamara, and the English translation of my last name's root word: Linden. Tamara Linden. Sounds great, right? Right! There was just one problem (actually there were several, but this is the biggest): I hate being called Tamara. Somehow it didn't occur to me until I started using Twitter that people would actually be addressing me by my pen name. I don't hate the name Tamara, obviously, but I did hate the microsecond of disorientation I felt whenever someone called me by that name. I also really didn't enjoy the awkward exchange I'd have every time I made a new friend/crit partner, wherein I would have to explain why they'd be getting an email not from Tamara Linden but from someone named Kassandra with a really, really long last name. 

So, with great relief, I've decided to abandon...not all, but most pretenses and return to my given name. I guess technically it's still a pen name, but Kassandra Flamouri is as close as you can reasonably get to the real thing. I have to tell you, it's sooooo much better. Everything I put out into the online world feels so much more authentic: I'm not acting a part or crafting a brand...I'm just me! Obviously some filtering still needs to take place (I don't think potential agents or publishers need to see my ugly selfies, for instance, however hilarious I find them) but so far, everything feels so much more natural.  

I'm getting really close to launching this new website and my Patreon....and this post! Just one or two more kinks to work out and then we'll be off and running. See you soon!