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And check out my joint blog with the love of my life and writing partner Dmytry Karpov: Kimberly ♥ Dmytry

Then his blog: Dmytry Karpov



Saturday, December 25, 2010

VOTE on Cover Design for Reluctant Familiar

The Reluctant Familiar
by Kimberly Kinrade
A

OR

B



 VOTE:
Which cover do you like best for this book: A YA fantasy series launch?

Synopsis:

In a world that expected her to be magick, 13-year-old Agnes was disappointingly ordinary. She fit in better with her human friends than her witchy ones.

Months after having reached her Magicked Phase, Agnes still shows no signs of talent, or of bonding with a Familiar, leaving her prominent family in danger of losing all.

Until a seemingly chance encounter with a flea-ridden alley cat changes all.

When Agnes finds herself bonded to a god named Sebastian, and in possession of powers she never knew she had, her life is turned on its head as she is transported to other worlds to thwart evil and undo damage done by wayward gods bent on destroying her new Familiar.

But will the bond last? If given a choice, will Agnes and Sebastian stay in this unlikely bond, or will they break it for a chance at freedom?

 QUESTION:
Vote for cover A or B below. Also, this will be available via paperback or E-book. Should these have different covers? If you don't like either, vote C ;) And I'll keep working!

This book will be self-published after the launch of my collection of short stories, poems and essays called "Bits of You & Pieces of Me," coming January 2011.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

"Bits of You & Pieces of Me" Book Launch SOON!

That's right folks, I have been sooo blown away by how many people have requested my work, that I am launching a very special book that has been on my heart for many years.

I can't tell you how much I love all of you who have supported me in my writing. This book is for all of you. I am still working on my YA Fantasies and do not know whether I will publish via traditional or indie routes, but either way this book is for you!

"Bits of You & Pieces of Me" is a collection of short stories, poetry & essays on life. While each piece stands alone, together the chapters tell the story of an idealistic girl in love with love who discovers the demons of a splintered heart when that love turns violent. Through it all, she climbs her way back to Hope and finds that in the end her True Heart remained Unbreakable. Release date this month TBA

It will be available in print and ebook version on many sites. Those of you who follow my blog will get a sneak peak of the cover as soon as it's ready. Also, go like my Facebook Fan Page for regular updates!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Amazing Raffle! Awesome Give Aways!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year right? Also the most stressful. And I know we are all struggling with money and loads of other things. NOT the best time to do a fundraiser.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to pick when my darling 8 year old would most need therapy for serious anxiety attacks and depression. She needs at least 3 months of therapy which will run about $1500. So that’s my goal, to raise $1500 in the next month.

Even if I don’t make it, every penny helps. I’m a single mom with 3 little girls. I write full time and can never tell what my income is going to be from month to month. I do well for myself mostly, but we’ve been hit hard lately by major car repairs, attorney fees and more. I fought like hell to get custody of my kids and ensure their father had supervised visitations until he receives the treatment he needs to be safe with them. This all costs money.  (To read more about the reason for this click on “My Unbreakable Heart”.)

If you are new to my blog and confused, you might find the following posts helpful.
To learn about “Rose,” my  8-yr-old who is amazing, brilliant, talented and ultra-sensitive, read my tribute to her at “The Chicken Nuggets Must Live!”

“Education or Stress: What is school doing to my daughter?” introduces the problems we are facing, and “ 8-year-old Panic Attacks Part 2” delves further into what I’m doing to help her. “Fundraiser Launch Coming Soon: With Prizes” is kinda self-explanatory I think. And now, we’re here. The launch.

So…here’s how it’s going to work.

EVERY DOLLAR you give will earn you a raffle ticket. I will collect these until January 14, 2011. I will then use a random online number generator to pick the winning numbers. (And I am actually going to give you REAL tickets, I’ll even take a picture of the raffle bowl as it fills.)

So far I’ve received  $190 in donations (In addition to the total being kept by the ChipIn program to the right) and I am SOOO BLOWN AWAY by this support. If you’ve already given you are already entered.

What will you win?

Art Magnet Set,  Painted by "Rose"
  • ·         First, everyone who gives will receive a short story written by yours truly about a little girl consumed with fear as her panic attack worsens. It will include artwork by my talented 8 yr old. This is in E-book style and will be emailed to you or made available for download. (You can also receive this just by RT, Emailing, Blogging, or FB this! Any show of support is appreciated.)

  • ·         A select number of givers will receive a set of handmade refrigerator magnets featuring my daughters artwork thanks to the lovely and talented Desirai. Check out her site here.


  • ·         Free web hosting for a year (restrictions apply: web space cannot be used as a file repository)
           - Wordpress installation and set up
- blog migration from blogger, typepad, wordpress.com, etc

  • ·         Free web hosting for a year (restrictions apply: web space cannot be used as a file repository)
- Wordpress Installation with Wordpress theme of choice
Once again, Desirai and her partner in crime Jeffrey are contributing the work on this, and I am giving the hosting.

  • ·         The fabulous Dmytry Karpov is writing a flash, dedicated to a lucky raffle winner based on the subject of their choice. The flash will be emailed to the winner and featured on his blog.

  • ·          Other possible prizes include free books, poetry recordings and another year of free webhosting. Some of these prizes are valued in the hundreds of dollars and I’m SOOO grateful to my awesome friends who have made these donations for my daughter. LOVE YOU ALL!

To give, please click on the donate button to the right of this blog in order to pay through ChipIn. If you’d like to give in some other way, please email me at Kimberly.Kinrade at gmail dot com.Also, email me and let me know which item you'd like to be entered in for the raffle. Thank you!

Thank you all and good luck! I will keep you posted on Rose’s progress.

** To date, she is still suffering attacks, though they aren’t always as bad. I am modifying her date to factor in potential food allergies. 
"Rose's" happy place based on her idea of Belize


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Fundraiser Launch Coming Soon! With PRIZES

"Flowers" by Rose, 7 yrs old

My daughter has chosen the pen name of "Rose," based on my decision not to use my children's names and pictures in my writing. You can read about that process in my two part blog series here and here.

Rose is 8 as of Halloween. My first born and definitely a treat. The moment she entered the world she was alert and wise. An old soul. Even after 40 hours of labor and an emergency C-Section. She stared straight into me, and all I thought I knew about love was alchemized into this entirely new understanding in that moment.

From a young age she has been more aware and conscious of the world than most people, young or old. You can read about her crusade to save the earth, and the chicken nuggets, in "The Chicken Nuggets Must Live!" This was a post dedicated to her environmental spirit and commitment to picking up every piece of trash littering the planet.

But her life has not been easy. She is an exceptionally bright, creative child. And exceptionally sensitive. And lately we have seen the darker side of this gift.

For over a year now she has complained of random stomach aches, usually when she is at school, and only since leaving the Waldorf School she attended in Pre-K and K.

The public school system does not support the creative energies that flow through her. Combine that with her father leaving, financial difficulties and several moves, and we are now facing chronic depression, anxiety and full blown panic attacks.

For more on this, please read this and this post on what is happening and what I am doing about it.

She needs help. And help costs money. I'm doing ok, but still have a lot of back log issues from when I wasn't doing so ok. And I'm a full time writer, my income fluctuates and my benefits are slim to none. So, I am having a fundraiser at the suggestion of a friend.

I'm trying to raise $1500 for 3 months of treatment for Rose. Art therapy combined with Behavior Modification and counseling. I'm $165 closer to that goal as of today.

If you don't agree with my methods, I respect that. No one is holding a gun to your head to donate. But I'm not looking for a fight. If you have other suggestions, I'm all ears. I'm combining hypnotherapy, diet modification, essential oils, EFT and other techniques as well. You can read about some of my plans in those posts I linked earlier.

If you've never experienced this kind of panic, it's hard to understand.

She feels like she is dying. Like her body is being consumed by pain and if she doesn't get out of her skin she will disappear into that fear like a black hole. She can't stop it, or change it. She is terrified by it and does not understand what is happening to her. It is a dark place to be. Especially for such a sweet, young girl.

Rose's happy place



But, if you'd like to help, here are some options.

* You can donate money through paypal by clicking on that link over there ~~>

*You can tweet, RT, Blog or FB this to help raise support

*You can donate a service or work of some kind as give aways for those who donate money.

To date I have received a years worth of web hosting, books, and audio poetry recordings. Also, I will be writing a short story with Rose as illustrator to give to ALL who help in ANY way. I can easily track those who give money, but if you help in other ways, please email me at kimberly.kinrade at gmail dot com to receive the story. I want you to have it but won't always know how or where to send it!

I will formally launch this fundraiser at 12:01 am PST Tuesday December 14, to run until 12:01 am PST Thursday December 16. Any donators between now and then will be entered in the drawing for prizes. All prizes collected between now and then will be listed in detail on my Tuesday blog post.

After Thursday I will sell the short story with illustrations for $15 with all money going towards Rose's treatment.

Unfortunately I have no way of taking Anon donations at this time.

If anyone has experience with this kind of thing and can advise me on a better way to do it, I'm open to suggestions.

Thank you all for your support, kind words and love. We appreciate it greatly!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

8-year-old Panic Attacks Part 2

December 3, 2010 UPDATE: 


I am trying to raise $1500 for 3 months worth of treatment for my daughter who is suffering from severe anxiety, depression and panic attacks. 


She needs treatment once a week minimum. 


 Below is more about this story and other steps I am taking. I appreciate ALL of your support, RT, @, DMs, Emails, Comments and love. Everyone who helps (and by helps I mean donates, DMs etc,) will get an E-copy of a short story I am writing from the POV of a little girl in the throes of a panic attack, with illustrations by my daughter. I don't use my children's names or real pics online, but she is a wonderful artist. If you donate I will send this directly to your email if you provide it. I understand that many cannot donate, but I want to give this gift to all who do what they can. So if you want this story, please email me at kimberly.kinrade at gmail.com and I will email it to you as a thank you when it is done. 


Thank you again for your love and support!


And if you want to see my daughter in a different light: how she changes the world with her love of nature and environmentalism, read this post dedicated to her.

"The Chicken Nuggets Must Live!" 

 ORIGINAL POST

I think it goes without saying that I love my kids more than life. Most parents I hope would say the same thing, or something to that affect.

The funny thing is I never planned on having children. My ex wanted kids. I was ‘considering’ his request when I got pregnant with my first two girls. (With the first I was switching birth controls and she snuck in, and with the second I was on the mini-pill AND nursing. They really wanted to be born.) Our third daughter was conceived when he came home on a surprise leave from Iraq after being gone for 6 months. I wasn’t prepared to prevent anything. So Baby Girl #3 came into our lives.

Now, I can’t even remember the world without them. I know I have memories that predate their physical forms, but even these are infused with the awareness that these girls must exist somewhere. I would not be who I am without them. And it’s true, I love them more than life. I would give my life to keep them safe.  

So the fact that my 8 yr old is suffering panic attacks is killing me. (See last post for more on this.) Is it the school’s fault for putting too much pressure on our kids at younger and younger ages?

That’s likely contributing to it.

I got a lot of emails and comments from many readers after that last post. I’m grateful for the love and support you all have shown us. And it has me thinking.

There is the “storm the castle” camp that feels I need to remove her from this school and go to war. I’m all for this approach. And if the meeting with her teacher and principal hadn’t gone as it did, I’d be writing letters and contacting the press as I write this.

But.

They were great. Amazing, really. They have to work in the system. They have to give the tests and remind me of the consequences for excessive tardies or absences (I could get probation and in serious legal trouble!!!), but they also CHOSE to be loving and understanding.

Her teacher wants to help. WANTS to help now! She has stopped correcting her tests in red, opting for black ink so it’s not so demoralizing. She is letting my child finish the timed tests even after the time is out so she feels a sense of accomplishment. She is emotionally supporting my child and attempting to engage her in art and encourage her. I am so grateful.

The principal is also working with me. She understands that I’ve been a single mom for 2 years and it’s not easy. I’m juggling a LOT of balls and not all of them stay in the air. She’s trying to help. To offer resources and support.

I picked my current apartment because of the reputation of this school and its staff. If my kids had to go to a public school, I wanted them in the best one, even if it increases my commute time to work.

I want my kids happy. Healthy. Enjoying life.

So here’s what I’ve learned.

1: My daughter is actually excelling in school. Even math. She only did poorly on one quiz and it’s haunting her. She’s a perfectionist and HATES to fail! Normally her scores are 98% or above.

2: She gets every cold and flu that goes around and is ALWAYS sick. It’s making school life miserable.

3: She is a very sensitive child and is lost right now. Our lives have been hard and she has felt this. So many moves, money problems I couldn’t hide, times when I didn’t know how I would feed them after my divorce. It leaves a mark. As my friend and awesome dad of 3 older girls Tom Chalfant reminded me, it takes a long time for kids to regain the feeling of stability after that first life is broken to bits. Which makes sense, because I’m still scared too.

4: It’s not all the schools fault, but the system is seriously flawed.

I would love an enemy to tear to shreds. A war to wage in the name of my daughter and children everywhere. And I certainly believe we need serious reform in the public school system in this country. But is it the fault of our local elementary school? No. They are doing their best. They are actually going above and beyond to help us.

My little girl is terrified her world will fall apart again. That I will disappear like her daddy. She’s lost everything but me and her sisters and she likely doesn’t trust that we’ll stick around. My heart breaks for her, but I cannot just blame the school.

Don’t get me wrong, the first thing I’m going to do when I become more affluent as a writer is get them back in the Waldorf school. Until then, we have to work with what we have.

So here’s what I’m going to do.

1: I’m saving money so she can work with a Child Psychologist who specializes in this kind of treatment and uses Art therapy. If you’d like to donate to this, I’m adding a donate button to my blog. (Reluctantly.) I’m not a beggar and I’m doing my best to care for my children, but they need more than I can afford to give right now. I do well professionally and make a decent living, but after almost a year of NOTHING! (Literally, we lived on food stamps and goodwill) We are really behind. When we moved into our apartment all we had left was clothes. No furniture or kitchen supplies. I’d already hawked all my jewelry to buy food. All our furniture to pay rent. It was all gone.  We are rebuilding, but it’s expensive and exhausting and takes up all my extra income every month. So, if you’d like to help, I assure you the money will go directly to helping my child recover. I will also post monthly updates on how that money is being used and the effects of her treatment.

2: I’m restructuring my work so that I’m working from home every day and I’m pulling them out of after care. Instead of being gone from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. every day, they will come home after school. Dmytry and I are forming our own company “Karpov-Kinrade Writing & Editing” and will be taking on additional clients. If you’d like to help, spread the word. Link our site. We appreciate it.

3: I will be making more time to spend one-on-one with each of my children. This will be easier when Dmytry moves in this month, as there will be another adult with whom to share the load. Each day my kids will have some private access to share their thoughts or just cuddle.

4: I will stay open to medication should her symptoms persist. I know this is controversial, and as a holistically minded person I abhor the thought. But I received an email from a longtime friend in which he shared his story of severe anxiety disorder. Some situations require more aggressive treatment and I will keep an open mind as I explore all options.

This is the start. I’m also hoping to get her in Art classes where she can express herself more comfortably. Or horseback riding. She loves animals and misses the classes she was in up north. But regardless, I am committed to my children and their health and happiness.

Thank you all for your support, love, encouragement and guidance.