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Autumn is by far my favorite time of the year. Seriously. You see, when you live in Central Oregon, you usually have two seasons: winter and August. Lots of snow in the wintertime, and blazing hot summers. I mean, we are called the high desert for a reason. We get very little rain. (No, no, you’re thinking of PORTLAND. Portland gets all the rain and is very weird. The rest of us in the state are fairly normal, and the Cascade Mountains block most of the rain from coming our way.)

So for about two weeks, we get to enjoy this absolutely beautiful autumn weather that’s pretty much close to perfect. The leaves change colors, the temperature drops to a livable degree, and there’s even several days of cloud cover. It’s my favorite season for all of those things, plus hot chocolate, boots and scarves, and maybe some apple cider.

Of course, the down side to the leaves changing color is that eventually they fall to the ground.

I went for a walk this morning since it was amazing outside, and also because I had been a lazy sloth for most of week. I saw all of the leaves on the ground below the tree in our front yard and was rather impressed. They’d all fallen fairly quickly. Well, a few hours passed after I returned home, and I worked away at some business stuff. (Side note: I’m working on a couple of calendar designs and couldn’t be more excited! I can’t wait to show them here.)

ANYway, by early afternoon I was ready to check the mail and see if any of my orders had come today, but when I opened my front door, I was greeted by this:

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Yeah, those weren’t there when I went for a walk earlier, so I actually stepped back in surprise because I wasn’t expecting it.

That’s right, all of those leaves that had previously been in the front yard….

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….were now all on my front porch.

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“Well, that kind of sucks,” I thought, feeling none too pleased.

Then I saw my neighbor’s porch:

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And suddenly, mine didn’t seem quite so bad.

So there you have it. White I love fall weather, I’m not so keen on the clean up side of things. But soon we will have those nasty white flakes falling from the sky, so I can’t complain. I’ll be wishing for fallen leaves when that time comes around.

And now, off for more calendar editing fun!

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Well, Hawaii was a blast. I mean, like there’s any other way to describe something so close to paradise. I will say, however, as much as I thought that I was going to be fine in the heat and humidity, I was actually a little overheated a few times. When I had gone there before, it was at Oahu, and it rained a lot. Not a very hard rain, of course, but enough that it actually cooled me down quite a bit.

This time we were at Kona, and while it was still a ton of fun, the side of the island we were on really doesn’t get much more rain than we do in Central Oregon. (Which isn’t much at all.) The muggy humidity and lack of rain got to me a few times, but thankfully it wasn’t too bad overall. I guzzled water like a freaking camel and never went anywhere without my trusty 32 oz. HydroFlask.

We packed a lot into just a few short days, so Brother and I were pretty tired by the time we got home. But we got to see the tallest waterfall on the island, watch a live volcano, and go inside the oldest church on the island. We drove all around and saw a lot of different scenery. Plus our last day there, we got to spend the whole day at one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen in my life. We made definite plans to go back someday, and now we have a better idea of what to do there and where we want to spend more time.

I didn’t get quite as many photos as I had hoped for, but I was still able to get some decent ones. Even a few that I will be able to use for marketing purposes.

Which brings me to my announcement.

I’m super excited (and a little bit scared) to introduce my latest project, Hawk’s Haven Photography and Design. Any of you who have read my book, Prince of Light, might recognize the name Hawk’s Haven. It’s actually a family name. My grandparents used to own this little one-bedroom cabin by a lake. There was no running water, no electricity, and nothing but a wood stove for warmth. But multiple members of the family used it for vacations (and even a couple of honeymoons). I was quite young when we used to go there, but I still have fond memories of it. We went there to get away from the stress of everyday life and just enjoy nature. Thus when I decided to pursue landscape/nature photography and use my photos for home decor, it felt like a fitting tribute to the name.

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Photo taken at the top of Black Crater in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon. Design by yours truly.

I’m so excited for this, guys. I’m still a writer and always will be. I’m also still working hard on book two of the Prince of Light series.

But there were a series of hardships I had to endure before I could continue working on that particular series. I know some of my followers have been here for a little while, and while I’m not sure exactly how many read my blog on a regular basis, they might have noticed some changes over the last year or so. I won’t go into details for the sake of the people involved, but last summer, I ended my marriage. In fact, this month has been a bit surreal for me, because the paperwork was finalized last October. It’s been almost one year exactly.

Believe me, you never think that you’re going to contribute to that statistic until you do. I never imagined that I would end up divorced. I mean, it’s not like you go into marriage with that mindset. I certainly didn’t. But the situation was an abusive one, and it wasn’t changing despite many efforts and time in counseling. Needless to say, writing a romantic storyline wasn’t exactly number one on my priorities, which is why the Prince of Light series had to take a hiatus.

For the most part, I feel strong. I don’t hate men, and I don’t hate my ex. I forgave him a long time ago. Unfortunately, this was the necessary path for both of us, but I believe we will both be better for it. I have amazing family support and a brilliant church family that I can’t praise enough. I am BLESSED. It’s hard to work through some of the emotional things that come from enduring something like this. Yes, I have moments where I feel like a failure. Moments where I feel like damaged goods. Anyone who has been through this can attest to that. But they’re just moments. I know who I am, and I know what I’ve been called to do. And I’m ready to start writing again.

Part of my healing has come from starting Hawk’s Haven Photography and Design. I’m narrowing down exactly which products I enjoy working on the most, and I’m always looking to improve my craft. This has been my dream since I was in my early twenties, and to finally be able to make it a reality is amazing.

And the best part? It’s a brand-new season and a fresh start.

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Sneak peek at a design not yet available on my site. Lucky you!

Thanks for all the support, dear readers. I’m still going to post on a regular basis, but hopefully you won’t mind seeing some occasional pic-spam from my other projects. Plus, I’m always looking for good quotes that are public domain, so if you think of any that would look good as a print or greeting card, leave a comment.

Be blessed!

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I don’t post political entries on purpose. My opinion is my own, and I don’t feel that it’s my job to change someone else’s mind. Not only that, but I’m not nearly as educated in politics as others are, so I leave the explanation and persuasion to the many diverse blogs and authors who can articulate far better than I.

However.

I feel compelled to write something, simply because my heart hurts at just how much hatred is going on the USA right now, on BOTH sides. Regardless of how you voted, regardless of how you feel, what’s happened has happened.

I saw a meme floating around FB that said something along the lines of hoping for Trump to fail as President is like hoping the pilot will crash the plane we’re all flying aboard.

That just about covers it, in my opinion. Yes, I truly hope that Trump does well as President, just as I would have for Clinton. Not because I necessarily like either of them, but because I want this country to do well. I know I might push some buttons by saying this, but STOP IT.

To the Democrats: Your nominee lost. Move forward and stop being jerks about it.

To the Republicans: Your nominee won. Move forward and stop being jerks about it.

Seriously, people, this is the exact opposite of what this country stands for. We are the UNITED States of America. I have many friends that I disagree with who I still manage to love. It doesn’t mean that your voice doesn’t count. It doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t believe what you do. It doesn’t even mean that you can’t say exactly how you feel. It just means we need to at least be civil with one another. Try to keep the other person’s feelings in mind when you speak.

In the long run, we’re still all in this together.

So please, EVERYONE…be kind.

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Update

Just to give a quick update on Samus and her new home – I’ve been receiving pics and text messages from Sister-in-Law, like with the bandanas and whatnot. (Of course Samus has different colored bandanas every day to feel special. Heaven forbid she should wear the same one all the time.)

So I was sent a picture of Samus curled under some blankets, with the information that when the teen daughter has to work late at night, her mother tucks Samus into bed with a warmed-up corn bag so she won’t get too cold.

I’m starting to feel like I was a bad puppy parent.

And I’m pretty sure she wouldn’t come home with me now if I begged her.

But you know what? I’m thrilled that she is being so spoiled and loved, because if there was ever a dog that deserved such a wonderful, loving family, it’s Samus. She gets to go for truck rides with dad, hang out with mom during the day and snuggle with daughter at night. She must be in absolute heaven right now, so thankfully I made the right decision.

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Well, my apologies that I’ve been rather missing in action lately. We’re in the process of moving (long, boring story, but basically we’re waiting on the bank right now). I have no wi-fi connection at the house where we’re currently staying, so my access is limited to when I’m at the library or what’s available on my phone. Thus I have to take a slight hiatus until we get settled. Cross your fingers for us! 🙂

I look forward to posting again soon.

– K.C.

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So I’m on this Hobbit kick lately, which is slowly growing to…what’s that look for? Just because I have a Lord of the Rings collection, an elf fetish and soft spot for giant fire-breathing dragons doesn’t mean that I’m a total…oh, who am I kidding. I’m a geek and a fangirl and proud of it, dagnabbit. And yes, despite the fact that the movies strayed so far from the books, I’ve enjoyed The Hobbit so much that I actually changed my wallpaper and theme for my laptop from The Legend of Zelda. You may not think that’s a very big deal, but I’ve had LoZ as the theme for the past 6-7 years or so. It changes as updates each time the newest Zelda game is released, but still. New computer, same old theme. It only changed one other time several years back, and that was to LotR. And it really didn’t last that long anyway.

Not since the days of Prince Nuada have I instantly fallen in love with a character so easily. That's saying something. (Don't worry, Nuada, there's still room for you in my heart.)

Not since the days of Prince Nuada have I instantly fallen in love with a character so easily. That’s saying something. (Don’t worry, Nuada, there’s still room for you in my heart.)

Thanks to Thranduil the movie, I now have a reason to change it for an extended amount of time. Yes, my love of all things elf has been sparked once again. Come on, are you really surprised that Thranduil was my favorite character from the two Hobbit movies? Not really, right? (Though I’ll warn you now, whatever you do, DON’T GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH SPECIFIC CHARACTER NAMES. Sweet cracker sandwich, the fanart some people come up with…my eyes are bleeding just thinking about it. All I wanted was some stinking backgrounds for my laptop, not nekkid reimaginings of some of the most beloved characters ever created. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

Dragons are made of win.

Dragons are made of win.

Anywho, my friend and fellow fangirl, the one who made those amazing cookies for my birfday, has been re-watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy with her mother as of late. (We had just watched the newest Hobbit movie together, and while she loved Thranduil as well, I think she was more smitten with Smaug. Though I daresay that’s mainly because of the actor who voiced him rather than the dragon himself.) Anyway, they’ve been watching the original LotR movies together, and her sweet, naïve little mother, who I love just as dearly as my own mom, keeps asking, “Where’s the dragon? Isn’t there a dragon in this?” Every time I see my friend with a new post about it on Facebook, I start laughing. The latest post was as follows:

“Still watching LotR. On the second half of Return of the King.
Mom: Is THIS where the dragon is?
BY THOR’S HAMMER, WOMAN, THERE IS NO DRAGON IN LOTR!!!!!”

She does go on to mention that she still loves her mother, no matter what. I don’t think poor mom could quite grasp how the new movies could be taking place in a different location in the same world, but have events that happened before the older movies. Yeah. Just try to explain it. It’ll make your head spin.

Honestly, it seems almost cruel to tell her WHY the dragon can’t be in the Lord of the Rings. I’m not looking forward to that part in the upcoming movie, even though I know it has to happen. *sniffle* I’ve always liked Smaug. Even if he does have a funny-sounding name. It shall be a sad, sad day.

EDIT TO ADD: I just found out something else that bothers poor mom about LotR. She apparently keeps asking, “Why do the elves have grass? Who is mowing that grass?” Hmm. Now that you mention it, I don’t really know. Maybe that’s what they do in their spare time…?

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This time it’s not for my book, but it’s still another great contest to enter! (Aren’t you just thrilled with all the freebies that are being thrown your way? I know you are!) Since I’m lame and haven’t been able to blog as regularly as I normally would, I’m trying to make up for it any way that I can. The lovely Michelle (who let me be a guest on her blog a while back, if you remember) is now hosting a giveaway for her book, Kindar’s Cure. You’ll also get to help her decide on which really awesome cover she’s going to have. (I’m torn between a couple of them, personally.) I’ll admit that I haven’t read the book yet, but the description sounds like something right up my alley. In fact, I sense a guest post by her in the very near future. She’s a super nice person and quite a gifted writer, so give her a looksie.

Contest and covers here!

Also, congrats to the two lovely ladies who won the copies of Prince of Light! I hope you enjoy it. 🙂

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