Monday, November 4, 2013

Growing up on Books

Re-posting from my Facebook for you guys who missed it there =)

I’ve been thinking a lot about family lately. Not the kind you see at reunions and Thanksgivings though. I’m thinking of my literary family. Those individuals whose books shaped my writing in the same way my biological family shaped, to some extent, my character.  I’ve never met my literary family in the flesh and that is a shame. All of them are dead now, you see, and some of them died before I would even realize how great an impact they would have on my life. But I will always have their books to guide me and comfort me. I can re-read them at will, just as one might flip through a family photo album and reminisce about birthdays and Christmases past. So let me introduce you to my literary ancestors.

Isaac Asimov: He is in many ways the Grandfather of modern Science Fiction, specifically because of the three laws of Robotics. But he is my literary Grandfather for so much more. Asimov was one of the most prolific writers of all time, publishing more than 500 books on almost every topic imaginable. He wrote a guide to the Bible and to Shakespeare; he wrote fiction and nonfiction, he penned books of limericks even. He was a lifetime learner, as was my real Grandfather, James E. Skinner, who remains the greatest man I ever had to privilege to know. It was from both of these men that I learned what I believe is the most important thing in one’s life: never stop learning (and never, ever, stop writing). Asimov died when I was only ten. It would be two more years before I began my study of science fiction. I’ll never have the chance to shake his hand, to have him autograph one of the many books I own of his, and I’ll never get the chance to tell him how he inspired me. My grandfather passed away in 2008, during my first year as an English Grad student. He never got to read the book I wrote for him. I never got to show him the dedication to him in the front of the book, and I don’t really know if he ever realized just how much he meant to me.

Andre Norton: Like my biological Grandmother, Louise Skinner, Andre Norton was a woman ahead of her time. She wrote science fiction when it was still very much a boy’s club. And she wrote it damn well. She never let her gender hold her back and neither did my Grandmother. The folks that worked at People’s bank in the 1950’s were borderline afraid of Mrs. Skinner I think. She demanded a job well done and if you failed her, she’d see to it that you fixed it. She managed the money for her and my Grandfather’s business. She didn’t let her gender keep her from marching in that bank and confronting the board members themselves if she had to. Both these women taught me to never let society’s preconceived notions about gender keep you from doing what needs to be done. Science fiction is still predominately written by men and for men (though it is getting much closer to an even balance), which is why strong female protagonists are to this day far less common than their male counterparts. I write books with female leads. I could probably sell more books if my protagonist was a man and my female characters were limited to sidekicks, bad guys, sisters, wives, girlfriends, children, damsels in distress, or overtly sexualized in some other fashion. But I’d rather write what I want to write, than what will sell the most books any day. (On that note, I dare you to find a SF film, tv show, or book that the cast is half female and half male. You will find few and most will be a work of Joss Whedon- we all know he is trying).

Robert Heinlein: Heinlein would be the elder cousin I grew up with and adored in adolescence. Then he got older and weirder and sudden I realized I didn’t like him so much anymore. I have an analogy in mind from my own biological family, but I’ll keep that to myself. I grew up with Heinlein’s young adult series. Books like Double Star, Farmer in the Sky, and Have Spacesuit will Travel. The older Heinlein got, the more I found his books were not to my taste. Maybe it was the brain tumor, or maybe it was just me. Books like Friday, I had a hard time finishing. Despite all that, his books were there for me in my childhood, which lacked siblings (and for a while the internet). Like my cousin, Heinlein was ultra-cool and by extension so was I. Then I grew up and I realized he had changed his style and it didn’t seem so cool anymore. Heinlein still taught me something very important: there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned adventure in space.

I could make a few more comparisons, and so many other authors and texts have been critical in my development (Doyle, Austen, Poe, Dickens, and Burroughs to name a few), but these remain the big three for me. They are the core of my literary family. I’d love to know what writers make up your literary family as well.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Children of Ymir Free Promo!!

Just a quick update: Sept 18- Sept 22 Children of Ymir is free on the Kindle. I've never tried an Amazon promotion before so it'll be interesting to see how it goes. In the meantime, I'm still typing away on Book II, but I'm also considering the release of another SF story through Amazon. It's a little flash fiction piece I did and since it's so short I've never considered releasing it until now. It's not really part of the Valkyrie Trilogy, but there are some similarities in the versions of Earth. I suppose if I wanted to tie them together I could say this new piece is a precursor to the Earth we seen in the Valkyrie books. It's called "Alley Cat". I'm still not sure if I'll release the story or not, but I'll post an update about it here and on my Facebook and Twitter. For now, here's the link to the Children of Ymir page: http://www.amazon.com/Children-Ymir-Valkyrie-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00D3W1GMI

Hope you're week is full of awesomesauce!!

K. S.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Finally back to writing.

This house hunting/relocation processes has been killing my creativity for like two months now. Today is a new day though! We made an offer on a house and found out this morning it was accepted. So, I can cross that off the bazillion things I still have to do. However, that one item was a big one. Sure, we still have to sell our current house, hire inspectors, sign papers, move stuff, and completely renovate the new house, but just taking that one thing off my stress-out list has got me writing again. Look! I'm doing it right now!

I worked on book two this morning, and after I am done here, I'm gonna work on it a little more. Then it will be back to the reality of cooking dinner, folding laundry, and painting the rest of the trim and doors so it's nice and purdy for prospective buyers. Life is good, the coffee is strong, and the keys are smooth...


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Prequel Short Story for The Valkyrie Trilogy



The prequel story for the Valkyrie Trilogy is almost ready for release and may be out as soon as next week! To celebrate, here's a sneak peak!



* * * * *


     “We have to destroy him.”
    “And then what? Destroy the other hundred or more Gen F models to be safe? I’ll not do that, Job.”
     “Keeping it here any longer is too dangerous,” the man pleaded. “Please. The government will get wind of this and the whole facility will be shut down. We’ll all be jailed, or worse, and all your robots, not just the Gen Fs, will be taken.”
     “Fine,” Robespierre said, pushing past him.
     “What?”
     “I said fine.”
     “So…you’ll be putting in the decommission order then?” Radfield asked cautiously.
     “No. I’m changing its status to domestic. Have it transferred to my home immediately, and I’ll resume the inquiry on my own time and at my own risk.”
     “You can’t do that, Maria!” he shouted as he ran after her.
     The woman abruptly turned to face him. Radfield skidded to a halt just inches from colliding into her.
     “My resources. My research. My facility. I can do whatever the hell I want.” Robespierre was a full foot shorter and a decade younger than he, but the venom in her voice combined with the sudden closeness of their proximity made him flinch and take a step back.
     Robespierre resumed her departure.
     Radfield couldn’t stop her. She had always been an eccentric woman, treating these robots as if they were almost human. But now, he was quite convinced she’d gone mad.



* * * * *

Monday, April 15, 2013

Valkyrie Tunes to Jam Out to

I've always been inspired by music. I hear a song on the radio and it reminds me of a character or situation from a book I'm working and it gets me pumped up to write. So with that in mind, I've decided to work on playlists for a few of my Valkyrie characters. Yes, it's me procrastinating, but it also gets me back into the writing mood, which has been very elusive because of real world stresses these past few weeks. The playlist will allow me to in some fashion be productive while I work through other things that stifle the writing process (such as relocating and house selling and buying, etc) It's also a way for fans to contribute to the Valkyrie world, because I want your input. So, what do you think Vladia would list to in her down time? What do you think Rehel is jamming out to while logging repairs? What's Tolen humming as he conspires? You tell me and I'll add it to the list!

Here's what I have so far, created via Spotify. Just click on the character name to go to their playlist if you want to rock out:


Rehel

01 Animal I Have Become - Three Days Grace
02 The Kill - 30 Seconds to Mars
03 Man Down - Walk Off the Earth
04 Monster - Skillet
05 Rose - A Perfect Circle


Vladia

01 I Don't Care - Apocalyptica
02 Metal Heart - Garbage
03 Limp - Fiona Apple
04 Untouchable - Garbage
05 Mouth - [The Stingray Mix] - Bush
06 Supremacy - Muse
07 Mudshovel - Staind
08 I'm Not Calling You A Liar - Florence + The Machine


Abel

01 Riot - Three Days Grace
02 Dark Paradise - Lana Del Rey
03 Loser - Beck
04 Wonderwall - Oasis
05 Shimmer - Fuel



Tolen Malthus

01 12 √Čtudes, Op. 10: No. 12 in C Minor, "Revolutionary": Allegro con fuoco - Chopin
02 Uprising - Muse
03 Fantaisie Impromptu in C-Sharp Minor, Op. 66 - Chopin
04 Finale: Presto, Non Tanto - Chopin
05 Country Song - Seether

Isobel Falis

01 #1 Crush - Garbage
02 Living Dead Girl - Rob Zombie
03 Howl - Florence + The Machine







Monday, March 18, 2013

Valkyrie Flightsuit

  I never cosplay anymore because all the cons I go to now requirement me to be in author mode, not fan mode. Trust me, it's a bit hard to sell books, meet fans, and be taken seriously while dressed up as my favorite Final Fantasy character. So, I needed a work around. How can I be in author mode and still play dress up? Solution: commission a Vladia cosplay from The Valkyrie Profiles! The only problem with that is, unlike a movie, anime, or video game, there are no visual references.

I'm not the best artist, but I did my best (meaning a I traced a body form then added on the details I imagined) and here is the first attempt. I'm actually pretty happy with it, but what do you folks think?
 This is Vladia's Valkyrie flightsuit. All the pilots have this standard design; the only variations are by position and rank. Vladia is in a Defender unit, so her colors are black and maroon. The Gunslinger units are black and emerald. Last, the Captain of the squad, Tolen Malthus, has a uniform of black and blue. Rehel, of course, doesn't get a flightsuit, so he is in all black with an off-centered red stripe down the front to denote his status as the Valkyrie squad's robot.

I've got a girl in New Orleans all set to create whatever I send her way. So, perhaps the next con you see me at, I'll be sporting this baby! You my address me as Lt. Robespierre. =D

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award: Round 1 has been pwned!!!!

So excited that I have made it through the next round of Amazon's Breakthrough Novel Award. I beat out 1,500 other entries to get this far! Next round will take us down to only 25 entries. I honestly never expected to make it this far. I am competing not just against other SF novels, but fantasy and horror as well. I feel a SF novel in this market really has no change against the current popularity of the other two genres. Two of the biggest franchises of the last 10 years came from fantasy and horror (Harry Potter and Twilight). Sure, The Hunger Games was sort of SF, but let's be honest, no one is really willing to label it as SF.

Despite my pessimism, I am super excited and honored to make it this far. You can check out my ABNA entry page HERE to read the sample that got me to the next round. You can also leave a review for the excerpt as well (do that, you will).

Though the quarter-finalists were announced on the 12th, it wasn't until a few minutes ago that I noticed the judges actually put two editorial reviews for the excerpt on the ABNA page. And guess what: They are awesome!!!! I'll post them below, though you can also find them by clicking the link to the entry page. Wish me luck guys! I'm gonna need it!


Editorial Reviews:

Amazon.com Review
The author has imagined an intriguing scenario, and adeptly placed the reader into it. A changing culture of robots is interesting and piques curiosity. Vladia is a sympathetic protagonist, one is cheering for her already, and in these opening pages, the writer has placed her in a precarious situation after the death of her mother. With a title hinting at Vladia’s future as a strong participant in coming war, opening pages that introduce a character worthy of rooting for, and very good writing skills, this author has created a world the reader wants to enter. This excerpt has a strong hook and is a great start to an absorbing read.

Amazon.com Review
Overall, the excerpt gives us a plucky and resourceful heroine who is brave but still understandably childish in her response to her plight. The robot plot sounds familiar, but with such a short beginning, it remains to be seen what twists the author comes up with.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Science Fiction Convention Time!!!!!!

Hey Guys!

 So this weekend is Con Nooga in Chattanooga, TN. and I'll be there doing my thing. Con Nooga is Chattanooga's Only Multiple Genre Convention spanning: Sci-Fi, Horror, Anime, Paranormal, Fantasy, Literature, Comics, Gaming, Bands (music), Movies, etc. They've got me on six panels this year. In between panels, I'll be at my booth selling copies of The Valkyrie Profiles. Also, when you buy a copy of the book at Con Nooga (or if you buy an ebook copy and bring in the email receipt), you'll be entered in a raffle for a super awesome Geek Basket (see what I did there??) that is chock full of cool merchandise from Star Trek: TNG, Star Wars, Super Mario Bros, World of Warcraft, Dr. Who, and more. Just talking about it kinda makes me not want to give it to one of you guys... Anyway, here's my schedule so if you are in the area come see me!


Friday
5:00PM Author Meet and Greet

Saturday
10:00AM Building and Breaking Classic Story Structure

NOON Plotter or Pantser? Using Outlines - Pros and Cons

2:00PM Writing Scenes - The Building Blocks of Story - workshop/discussion

8:00 PM What's My Plot? A No Holds-Barrd Plot off! Challenge our authors with an idea and see who comes up with the best plot!

Sunday
12:00 PM Writing Believable Dialogue

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Finally over the dreaded flu! It was a tough 10 days or so, but I am finally back at 100%. Despite the flu eating into my writing time, I received wonderful news today! The Valkyrie Profiles has made it to the second round selections for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award *Squeal* This has totally got me pumped. There are four rounds total so I still have a long way to go. Either way, I'm honored and excited and ready to get back to work at full throttle. Here's a link to the contest page if you'd like to check out the details: http://www.amazon.com/Breakthrough-Novel-Award-Books/b?ie=UTF8&node=332264011

Not much else to report on today so I'll leave you with this:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sneak Peek of Book 2?! Is This Madness?!

I know book 1 of the Valkyrie Trilogy, The Valkyrie Profiles, has not even been out a month yet, and I know posting a sneak peak at book 2 already is nuts, right? Well, I'm kinda nuts and I'm doing it anyway! It's short, but I think it will give you a good feel for where book 2 will be going. Enjoy!

*   *   *


     Still, she was being watched; she’d felt a pair of eyes on her ever since she had disembarked. And then there was this other ship. The closer she grew, the more she began to think it was, in fact, operational.
     “Something’s not right,” she whispered, clenching her jaw.
     “Very perceptive! I expected nothing less,” a disembodied voice boomed.
     Vladia reached for her weapon, only to remember that she hadn't been armed since her encounter with Malthus on the Dragoon.
     In her peripheral, a nearby viewscreen flickered on. There, a man with stark white hair and a wide, toothy smile spoke: “Nice to finally meet you, daughter of Robespierre.”

*   *   *


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Doing Some Good



Want to make the most of something you were thinking about buying anyway? Well, this is your chance. From now until February 10th (yes, that is the day The Walking Dead returns), 20% of proceeds from sales of The Valkyrie Profiles on any format will be donated to The S.H.A.C.K Safe Haven Animal Care Kennels. The SHACK is one of Mobile, Alabama's newest animal rescues and they are in need of funding to keep doing the good they do. You can check out their Facebook page here: SHACK to see photos and stories of past and current rescues, as well as pups up for adoption. There's also a petition going around right now in protest of the recent conduct and polices of the Mobile County 'shealter'. Read more and sigh the petition here.

Already have your copy but still want to help out? Write a review to increase interest and spread the word to all your animal loving, book reading friends!. Purchase links can be found below:

Amazon paperback: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0615751199

Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00B07BWFE

Nook: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-valkyrie-profiles-k-s-daniels/1114126790?ean=2940015980417


Or, you can donate directly to the SHACK or SouthBark (the other local rescue in Mobile, AL)

SouthBark Chip-in: http://animalholicsanonymous.chipin.com/keep-southbark-going
                  Paypal: donate@saveasoutherndog.com
The SHACK paypal : theshackrescue@gmail.com

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Why I hate the term "Genre Fiction"

     I already know this post is going to be much more akin to a rant than an essay. I ask you to bear with me, please.

     People in the literary scene like to throw around the phrase "Genre Fiction". When they do this, its usually in the context of "Oh, but that's genre fiction" (you'll have to imagine the condescending tone for yourself). You see, the term is an insult. Any novel that isn't, according to some literary or academic snob, high-art (definition in a bit) is garbage or smut. Its genre fiction. High-art is something that is not just for entertainment (again according to some literary or academic snob), as it adds to the world, usually by some form of convoluted social or political (or both) commentary. An example of high-art would be a novel by Jonathan Franzen. This is not in any way an attack on him. I am not saying I don't enjoy his work. What I am saying is that his work should not necessarily be held so high above others under the dubious label of it being high-art while the rest is genre fiction. There are many genre fiction novels that I find are just as well-written and offer just as much social commentary as his, but are ignored to a degree because of these labels.

     But an even greater issue I take with this requires us to examine what the term genre actually means. A genre can be defined as a set of stylistic criteria a work of art can be put in. For example, for a book to be a gothic romance, it would have to have some of these elements: love, terror, tragedy, sex, death, the supernatural, etc. By this definition, everything can have a genre or a combination of genres. In fact, a book that is considered high-art also has a genre-the genre would be that of high-art. So, to label a novel in a negative way by calling it genre fiction is ridiculous. It is a misuse of the word by snobs. I often throw the term around in relation to my own work, really just to make a point and highlight the stupidity of the idea. The simple truth is this: every book is genre fiction because every book has a genre. I write genre fiction; so, too, does  Jonathan Franzen.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Death of Education in America


The Death of Education in America
     More Americans than ever before attend an institution of higher learning. Yet we are no longer a leading global power in education, or any other thing for that matter. These statements appear at odds with one another, but in actuality they are totally unrelated in that the number of people attending a university has no bearing on the quality of the education these people receive. In fact, the latter is a symptom of what is ailing our dying educational system. You can’t lead in anything if the populace does not know anything. We are, in a way, ignorant because we lack the essential fundamentals that transform knowledge into power: innovation, creativity, and passion. I would argue that higher education in particular has become relatively useless and a devastating waste of money in its current state.
     I know you’re thinking, “wait, doesn’t she work in higher education? How can she make such ostentatious claims when she is a part of the system?” Let me clarify: no longer does one need an institution to bequeath knowledge onto them as knowledge is, and has been for some time, readily available to all who seek it. Hundreds of years ago men went to institutions to learn because books were not in as great supply as they are now. Knowledge was reserved for those with money; money bought the admittance to higher learning and money bought books.  The working class had no time or the financial resources to purchase either.  Of course women weren’t permitted in universities for some time, though if their family was rich enough they could reach a bit of knowledge through books purchased by the family (of course this is a generalization and there were a few women who did the unthinkable and ruined their ‘reputation’ in the conquest of knowledge). In a way, knowledge was rather mysterious to a great deal of people because it was simply harder to attain.
     In 2013, there are libraries and bookstores galore, and the internet does a decent job of filling in the rest. Every book I have every taught out of is available for purchase on amazon.com, as is every essay I use as a teaching tool. So why do people go to university if all they need is available elsewhere for a fraction of the cost? There is, of course, something to be said for having a professor as a sort of mentor and having classmates to bring in new perspectives, but I insist that these benefits offered by a traditional education are rarely utilized when students lack of innovation, creativity, and passion.
     I think it is a fair assumption to say that it takes a great deal of self-motivation, self-disciple, and self-confidence to take on the task of either educating oneself or gaining education by using the tools available at a university. Note all the ‘self-‘s. If you are going to do something for yourself with no one to forcing you do it, as I attempt to do every day in the classroom, you have to want to do it. You have to have a passion for learning and you have to be creative enough to see the connections between subjects (this refers to the well-sung complaint I get from students about how they don’t understand why they have to take Calculus when they are not a Math major). And, you have to be innovative enough to take the knowledge from books and the internet and apply them in shocking, new ways. Most people simply cannot do this. So, they go to the institution of higher learning solely for a quick transfer of knowledge and a slip of paper that may or may not land them in their dead-end dream job. Yet this does no good, clearly. If there is still a lack the aforementioned criterion, it is all just memorization of facts (usually short-term) and the mimicking of processes. What possible good could come from a country whose people can only memorize and mimic?
     But, this is not the fault of higher education. It has been rendered useless by the education one must receive before entering a university. The three key ingredients needed to make one truly intelligent should be learned as early as elementary school.  And this is not because we need more qualified teachers (a stance our government has taken). Qualified or not, teachers simply do not have the time to truly teach. Why? Because of bureaucracy, namely the standardized test.  Teachers are forced into the ‘teaching to the test’ mode for many reasons, including school rankings and government funding (and possibly job security). The students must memorize and mimic only what will be tested on and there is no time to foster any sort of passion for the subjects or projects that demonstrate creative and innovative problem-solving. Sure, there is the PACE program for gifted students (once they reach the third grade that is), which meets about an hour and a half once a week. But that isn’t enough.  And the rest of the students, well I guess they are on their own. 
      The students grow to hate school and subsequently hate learning and that is a terribly hard mindset to undo (I am aware this is a generalization and that there are students who do, in fact, love to learn, but they are most definitely in the minority).  I see the remnants of this mindset in my college students. They say they want to learn, but what they really mean is they want a B or an A so their GPA looks good on their future resume. They want that A or B handed to them essentially; they do not want to work for it because they do not really want to learn. They expect to exude minimal effort and reap the maximum rewards.  And some teachers just give up and give them their A or B because they know it doesn’t matter what they do. Others fail them over and over and over until they have a credit deficit and their financial aid is cut off, leaving them with no degree and upwards of 20,000 dollars in student loan debt.  Yet I maintain this isn’t entirely the students’ fault either. This is the way our educational system has programmed them. How can we now scold them for fulfilling the contract?
     I see the same thing now in my own child, who once loved school and learning until around the second grade. I moved her from a private Christian school to a public one because the quantity of material covered was lacking. I do not regret the move, but with one thing gained another was lost.  It’s equivalent exchange. I traded a narrow minded, slow paced, ‘fun’ learning experience for a broader spectrum of education that teaching memorization and mimicking. Neither would be good in the end, as I have witnessed the products of both in my own classroom. In all honesty, my best students are those that received at least a few years of home schooling.
     So, now we know the cause and the effect of our current situation. The only thing left is the solution. One thing that doesn’t work is money. All the money in the world will not foster a love of learning in these students. The money may buy SMARTboards and ipads. The money might make learning a bit more engaging for a while, but only because it feels like entertainment.  No, money cannot be the answer. But, getting rid of standardized testing might just be a great beginning. Of course, we still need tests, just a different sort; the sort that you can’t just feed into a machine for scoring.
     If teachers could teach what they want within the expectations of their grade level, if they could slow down enough for students to develop a passion for the knowledge, if they could teach in a way they believe is effective for their particular students, and then test students in a way that lets them use creativity and innovation, instead of memorization and mimicking, students might actually become something higher education can work with. And, we just might be able to save this sinking ship.

Friday, January 18, 2013

A Contrast in Creation Narratives: An Overview of the Christian Creation Tale as compared to the Native American Creation Tale (in layman’s terms)

Christian Creation Tale:

Once upon a time there was a god (let’s call him God). God was zippin’ around the universe and was all bored and shit and he was like, “Man I should make some planets”. So he made some planets and it took about a day. The next day he was still kinda bored so over the next five days he put stuff on one planet (cuz fuck all those other planets; they be bitches. God made lots mountains and billions of shrubberies and millions of bunnies to eat those shrubberies and like ten thousand bears to eat those bunnies and finally one man to eat all of the above. Then God was tired to he took a nap and for the rest of time he expected everyone else to take a nap that day too.

So this man, called Adam, was namin’ the bunnies and bears and sleeping on the ground naked when he too got bored one day and was like, “God, you made like a million bunnies so can you, like, make one more human?” And God was like “Sure, little man dude, but imma need one of those ribs.” And Adam laughed and God laughed and then God said, “Seriously. Imma need a rib.” So Adam gave God a rib and God made a woman out of it. Adam named her Eve.

God then laid down the rules: “No talkin’ to snakes, no leavin’ the garden, and no eatin’ apples. All your apples are belong to me. Oh, and you have to obey me and shit.” Adam and Eve agreed and they went frolicking away.

One day snake came up to Eve and was like “Hey babe, you wanna share an apple with me?” And Eve was all like “No, no, no, well ok.” And that apple was delicious. So delicious she took one to Adam and he ate one too. God heard them eatin’ his apples and was all like “GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY DAMN GARDEN!”

So the two ran away and God put a guard at the garden so no one else could ever eat his apples again.

And that’s how people came unto this earth to populate it.



A Native American Creation Tale:

Once upon a time there were lots of gods hangin’ out in the heavens. The head god, the one who carried the sun around all day, had two sons, but they sucked at conversation and that made him lonely. So he said to his sons “Go down into the Earth Mother’s womb and tell all the beings down there that if they come out to the surface to hang out and give me offerings I’ll take care of them forever.” And the sons were like “Sure thing”.

So they dived into the Earth’s vagina, no questions asked, and told all the beings inside that they were being evicted from the womb so gather their shit and let’s go. This seemed like a solid plan to the beings so they packed their shit and made their way up the four inner worlds until they reached the surface.

The Sun god was happy to see them. Well, not really. These beings had horns and scales and were real ugly. So they were made to take showers and then some of them began to look more like humans. Now the Sun god was happy to see them. Once they had all showered the stank off, the almost people had to travel to the Middle, which was the Sun’s gods fav spot on the earth. They traveled for many years and encountered talking animals that helped them do stuff like planet corn to eat.

Eventually they made it to the Middle and they finally were completely human. Everyone, including the gods, animals, men, and women, was happy. The humans gave the gods gifts and in turn the gods made sure they had good crops and good hunting and lots of water to drink and eventually they even got a magic pipe (but that’s another story).

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Valkyrie Profiles Launch Party


Come out and celebrate the launch of my debut Science Fiction novel, The Valkyrie Profiles. Get your book signed or pick up a few copies for you and a hundred of your closest friends. Grab a beer, get some grub, and hang out. I'll be discussing the book, reading a short except, and having a Q & A session. There will also be some giveaways (gift cards anyone??)

Where:OK Bicycle Shop

661 Dauphin St., Mobile, Alabama 36602

When: 6:30-8:00 pm

Facebook event page

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Confessions of a Writing Junkie

My name is K. S. Daniels and it's been 1 day since I've last written. I was doing good for a while-teaching at the university and only writing academically. But I fell off the wagon about a year and a half ago. 

At first, I was just writing in my free time. It was like a hobby and they say hobbies are good for recovering writers. Well anyway, it just kept getting worse. I was writing in the morning before I lectured, doing it in the office on my lunch break. Sometimes I'd stay up all night writing, revising, and even editing. Before I knew it, it was like the old days again. The swift clicking of the keys, the gentle pressure on my fingertips as I released each one, the steady stream words consuming every inch of the page-what a rush! 

I can't stop. It's too late for me now, they say. Might as well let me write myself to death. It's ok though. One day they'll find me: hunched over my desk, fingers poised-as if ready to strike down the next words. Maybe they'll shake their heads and say, "What a waste". 

But I wouldn't have it any other way.