the truth is not running away from you // journal

Fall is absolutely gorgeous in the Northwest. People say winter is coming early, but I don’t know. I wish I had photos to show you – the orange, yellow, and rust, mixed with green when I drive the highway. I’m still wearing shorts even though it’s cold or rainy most days. Why? Because. . .I am a stubborn girl and I want to see just how long it’ll take me to give them up. AHEM. #haha

Today, I don’t have anything special to write. Just something I need to share before it leaves my brain space completely.

Here goes.

So, I was chatting with a co-worker last week – about the Bible. We were talking about the ways in which people reject lies. How, when, some people find out that a particular belief they have about God isn’t, after all, true; all they want to do is reject anything associated with that particular circle/denomination/group. They want to fight against that idea of God so strongly it causes them to alienate people who still believe that way. How because they’re so hurt, they just want to throw babies-out-with-bathwater. They can’t believe a person, who, is supposed to teach the character of God, instead teaches the character of Man as he tries to define God. They can’t believe they were lied to.

I told him that it’s hard sometimes, to bridge the gap between people and God. He nodded first, understandingly. But then he said something amazing.

He said: “The truth is not running away from you.”

I can’t stop thinking about it.
The truth is not running away from you.

And it makes total sense. We tend to think that truth is this deep treasure, buried within the heart of the earth. Something that takes blood, sweat, and years to uncover. Something that has to be hard, or: how else would I appreciate it if I didn’t have to struggle? Yeah sure, sometimes we have to dig a little. Sometimes we have to wade through opinion to find truth. Yes, sometimes our hands come out a little dusty.

But what my co-worker pointed out was that God doesn’t put truth on the top of the shelf and dare us to reach for it without a ladder. He doesn’t label it with a different word, so we’d be confused if we found it. He doesn’t tie it to the end of a rope and treat us like cats – begging us to chase it.

No. If we truly believe that God is Father, we have to believe that He sees us as children. Children, right? Children who, probably can’t spell t-r-u-t-h if they tried, but it’s okay because He’s teaching us to spell.

And I think sometimes we get wrapped up in pursing “THE TRUTH OUT THERE” that we lose sight of “truth. . .right here in our backyard.” We want to chase truth that shouts and jumps and flashes with color. But we forget that truth is also gentle and quiet and still. It waits for you to come closer and ask it questions.

The search for truth is a wonderful, beautiful, and necessary thing. We need it. It’s the seam of our existence. But. Let’s stop telling ourselves (and others) that truth is unreachable and obscure.

Truth is near.
It is present.
It isn’t running away from you.


“For this commandment which I command you today is not too difficult for you, nor is it out of reach. It is not in heaven, that you should say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea, that you should say, ‘Who will cross the sea for us to get it for us and make us hear it, that we may observe it?’ But the word is very near you, in your mouth and in your heart, that you may observe it.”


*that’s Deut. 30: 10-14, guys

always forward.
k.


 

p.s. I can’t believe it’s been a month since I posted here last. Life has just been an insane kind of hectic, and I find myself neglecting creativity in the name of exhaustion. Not good, right? Anyway. Tell me how you are. Any exciting plans this fall?

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11 (Highly) Interesting Facts You May Not Know About Me (The Sunshine Blogger’s Award) | thanks, Abbie!

You might recognize the title of this post from a similar one Abbie wrote on her blog two weeks ago. You might have even seen that she tagged me (*sends hugs across the US*). If not, just know that this is what today’s post is dedicated to: answering all her questions. Here now, is: 11 Highly Interesting Facts You Probably Don’t Know About Me (a.k.a Keira answering Abbie’s probing questions about my life).

 

be sure to check out
Abbie’s post too – it’s
super amazing bc she is. : )

 

What would your dream career be?

I would be a music photographer. I would travel around, documenting concerts, music fests, indie studio recording sessions, etc. . .I’d combine my extreme love for music, with my love for photography (something I actually know how to do). Maybe I’d even get invited to Abby Road Studios in London to photograph a soundtrack recording.

That would be amazing.

 

What fictional character do you relate to the most?

Really, Abbie?!? How do you expect me to relate to one character above all others? I love so many fictional characters for different reasons! But I’ll try.

Um. . .okay: Judas Iscariot.

Okay, so. Tosca Lee wrote this amazing book about him, and although it doesn’t pretend to be historically accurate (because let’s face it: what we know of Judas is mostly speculation anyway), I love it so much. I related to his struggles, and his doubts, and yeah. . .reading it almost brought me to tears.

 

Who is your biggest inspiration/role model?

I can’t say I’ve found ONE SINGLE PERSON that is my “biggest” anything. It’s hard to rate one above the other because each of them offers different inspiration in different ways + I gather inspiration from SO many different places/people.

But. If I had to make a list. . .

Deborah Lipstat | Kate Emmons | M. Night Shyamalan | Kinsey Mhire – her photography is swoon-worthy | Hannah Bretcher | Brene Brown | Rob Bell | Amanda Cook | Misty Edwards | Eric Ludy | Andy Crouch – he wrote Culture Making | Eric Metaxes | my dad | Freya Dowson – she does amazing humanitarian photography, you have to go check it out |

 

What goals are you working on right now?

Right now, I am trying to learn everything I can about how to be an adult in the real world. I am working almost full-time, so learning how to balance everything (blogging + creativity + life + rest + friends + photography) in sync with that is a BIG time goal. I’m also saving for a car and experimenting with this new, scary thing called a “budget”.

Send help.

#justkidding, I love
adulthood

 

If you could magically receive one quality, what would it be?

Courage.

There have been so many times when I wished I had just stood up and said “No,” even though it would have felt beyond uncomfortable.

 

What skills do you wish you had?

A photographic memory. Flying. Invisibility. Determination to stick with creative projects even though I don’t feel like it.

What’s your favorite way to practice self-care?

Oh my goodness, I love this question! I know that self-care is a “trending topic” these days, but honestly, I think people have always known its importance. It just makes sense – take care of you, and you will take care of others. That said, my favorite, favorite way to practice this actually comes in two parts.

1. I take a Rest Day (also called Shabbat, or just Rest Day if you want to be nonreligious about it)
2. I turn off my phone + the internet (done on most Shabbats, but it can be done anytime, really)

Seriously, Shabbat is the best thing I’ve ever done to stay sane in this crazy world. I know, I know, some people will say, “ugh, you’re following the Law and well. . .Sabbath isn’t commanded for NT believers and…aren’t you being legalistic and all that???

No, guys. It’s freeing.

I won’t bog you down by explaining it all here (it would take waayyyy too long anyway). But. If you’re curious: I once wrote a blog post about Rest. And. . .Rob Bell has a dozen excellent podcast episodes on Rest and Menuha! and Rythmn.

He says, “If you really want to be productive, set it down and walk away.”

 

What is your favorite quote and why?

If the engine isn’t joy, you can’t go the distance.” || Rob Bell

This one means a lot to me because it says that the basic fuel of the universe is joy. Not productivity. Not talent. Not knowledge or strength. Not any of the things we think will grant us success. No. It’s joy. Just joy.

and let’s just face it:
I don’t have ONE FAVORITE QUOTE.
I have HUNDREDS.

 

What is the biggest life lesson you have learned so far?

You are never stagnant. You are either running towards something, or you are running away from something else.

 

I wrote a blog post
about this too.

 

What are you most looking forward to this year?

My one-year blog anniversary! I’m kind of excited to hit this milestone, since blogging has become one of my favorite things.

Also, I am going to be living in a place where it snows, so I’m excited to take photos in it and drive in it, and act like a total #northernnewbe who has never lived in snow before.

 

yes, I know Northerners will lecture me
about how much snow sucks, but let
me have fun first, okay?

 

How do you want to impact the world?

I want to speak and make people say “Wow.I want to matter to the people closest to me. I want to leave a treasure trove of wonderful things behind (manuscripts never published, letters, photographs printed on real paper). And maybe…someday they’ll tell stories about me. Someday. . .when I’m gone or too old to care, they’ll talk about me in ways that won’t make me sound like a person trying to change the world. They’ll talk about me like I’m nothing special – just a person trying to do good work in the world, exactly who I’d like to be.

 

 

Now it’s YOUR turn!

I nominate:

Abigail, Story Eyed || Hannah, Letters to Myself || Erin, Acoustic Erin
Grace Ann, Totally Graced* || Kenzie, Paper Pizza

*I know you were already tagged.
Hope you’re okay with that. : )

Here are the questions:
1. what is your favorite genre to read?
2. if you could choose a different name for yourself, what would it be and why?
3. what is your favorite thing about being an artist/creative?
4. favorite song/soundtrack to jam out to?
5. how has the internet made your life better + how has it made your life worse? what do you do when you feel overwhelmed by it? (I know that’s three questions #sorrynotsorry)
6. link to something that has inspired you this month (it can be anything: blog post, video, book, song, podcast)
7. do you listen to podcasts? if so, what is your favorite?
8. what is your favorite place you’ve traveled to?
9. what goals are you working on right now? (I stole this one from Abbie, bc yes, I love the question)
10. tell me how much you love snail mail (I know you do, right?)
11. what’s one piece of art/project/thing you’ve done that you’re really proud of?

Free Soundtrack Suggestions no. 2

Hey guys,
It’s me
: back with another list of soundtracks-you-should-listen-to.

I hope you all aren’t too disappointed that I haven’t actually been “writing” on here lately. I really wish I had a “deeper” post to share with you all. Something that I’ve been thinking about, or some insight, whatever. Truth is, I have been thinking about a lot of things, but I just can’t get the writing to say what I want it to say. It keeps getting tangled up, like when you don’t wash your shoelaces by themselves and they get all wrapped and knotted around your shirts.

Anyway…
Let’s get into soundtracks now.

 

And Then There Were None

I found this one while browsing Spotify for the Poldark soundtrack and idk Spotify decided that I might like other soundtracks that star Aiden Turner. Turns out, I did. ATTWN is this mixture of intense creepiness and horror – but it’s awesome and I love it. I think we can expect great things from Stewart Earl in the future.

to start, listen to: the entire thing

 

Into the West

I love this one for it’s Western/Folk/Native sound. The flutes and drums and guitar – well, they’re just gorgeous together. Give a listen, and maybe then, go watch the miniseries (I know I want to).

to start, listen to: Buffalo Run, Gathering of Nations, Hunting the Buffalo, Into the West, Much to Learn from Each Other, Photography, Rations, The Mother Lode, The Sand Creek Massacre, Wheeler Reunion 1890

 

The Interpreter*

Honestly, guys. this soundtrack. I’m so obsessed with it. I saw the movie earlier this year, and wow okay, it’s really good.

to start, listen to: Tobin Comes Home, Guy Left His Lunch, Matobo, Zuwanie Arrives at the UN, Silvia Showers, Drowning Man, End Credits – if you want all the best tracks, otherwise listen to the entire thing without stopping.

 

*shhh, I’m actually listening
to it while I write this post
.

 

 

Red Sparrow

I didn’t think I’d like this one much, and it’s not my favorite Newton Howard score, but it’s still pretty awesome.

to start, listen to: Overture, Anya, Come Here, There’s a Car Waiting to Take you to Moscow, Searching Marta’s Room, Didn’t I Do Well? (my favorite track of the entire thing), End Titles

 

The Postman

Little Brother and I fell for this one after listening to the Main Titles. It’s just epic, classic James Newton Howard style – what else matters, right?

to start, listen to: Main Titles, Shelter in the Storm, The Restored United States

 

 

 

enjoy.
k.


|| Let’s Have a Conversation

Pick a track off this list and listen to it. Then comment below and tell me what you thought.Also, tell me what soundtrack/song you’re currently obsessed with and we’ll make this a music swap, k?

5 WWII Books You Should Read This Summer

I’ll admit it: WWII is my favorite sub-genre of historical fiction. I mean, I love fiction in general, but these stories have an extra special place on my bookshelf (and in my heart). Now that it’s summer, you have more time to read – don’t you? lol – why not invest time in a few high-quality books that will probably change the way you look at the world? Take it from me, these books are keepers.

If you do decide to read any of them, please please reach out and let me know what you thought! I adore bonding with people over favorite books. Enough said: here are 5 WWII Books You Should Read This Summer

. . .

The Storyteller | Jodi Picoult

// forgiveness // baking and challah bread // war crime investigations
// secrets kept from loved ones // Auschwitz // fairy tales as reality //

History isn’t about dates and places and wars.
It’s about the people who fill the spaces between them
.”

. . .

The Nightingale | Kristin Hannah

// resistance // reaching out for love that can never be yours // sacrifices of war // heartbreak // hope and love, and little moments of joy // Ravensbruick // Operation Spring Wind //

I love you,” he mouthed.
Shots rang out
.

 

My copy of Unbroken is in storage, and I haven’t gotten myself The Sunflower yet, so you’ll just have to pretend that I’m not missing two books from this photo.

. . .

Sarah’s Key | Tatiana De Rosnay

// July 16-17th 1945 // shattered innocence // Auschwitz // journalism
// painful and compelling // Zakhor Al Tichkah //

. . .If they had told her, if they had told her everything they knew, wouldn’t that have made today easier?”

. . .

The Sunflower | Simon Wiesenthal

// inspired The Storyteller // gripping // makes you wrestle // makes you ask questions // lots and lots of opinions // fantastic discussion starter //

There are many kinds of silence. Indeed it can be more eloquent than words. . .

. . .

Unbroken | Laura Hillenbrand

// if you haven’t read this book, you need to. you just need to. //

Dignity is as essential to human life as water, food, and oxygen. The stubborn retention of it, even in the face of extreme physical hardship, can hold a man’s soul in his body long past the point at which the body should have surrendered it.

. . .

 

enjoy.
k.

 

 

|| Let’s Have a Conversation ||

Have you read any of these titles? What are your favorite WWII books?Have any recommendations for me?

Adventures | Utah

all we see is sky
for forever
we let the world pass by
for forever
feels like we could go on
for forever
this way.

. . .

“For we are only of yesterday and know nothing.
Because our days on earth are as a shadow.” || Job 8:9

. . .

 
I’m so so happy I finally get to share these photos with ya’ll, since it took me forever to get my laptop to cooperate so I could edit them. : ) I have been working with my new camera a lot more, and getting prouder of the photos I take. Really excited about photographing more and more this year!!

hope your summer
is lovely
k.

Growth

My dear.
You used to get excited about sunrises and fresh salads.
You loved each season for what it was.

But then
you saw a hundred sunrises.
and
you ate salad every weekend.
you turned incredible into mundane and
then
wonders became dull.

You stopped believing in life
and instead you bought
the mantle of sameness.

You stopped noticing the murals on the wall because you’ve seen them a thousand times.
You got so used to the place you were in, you thought:
who I am now is all I’ll ever be.

But how can you,
believe in life as death?

Death is the thing that is stagnant and still.
Death is sameness. But not you –

You are
living
breathing
alive.

You are never stagnant.
Even if it feels like you haven’t moved, haven’t changed, haven’t done.
You are moving
changing, doing.
Movement is built into you.
Sameness is not your inheritance.

My dear, please
Life is not a hamster wheel

Growth is not always visible
but
it is
there.

 

always forward.
k.

Artist Spotlight | k.a. emmons

Hey guys, how’s your summer fairing?

Mine is pretty great, although I’ve had hardly any time to do “summery things” because I’ve been working so much. Weekends are always filled with home projects, blogging prep, and editing new photos. I have over 300 photos to sort through and edit – so that’s taking a lot of time. Guys, I’m really, really excited to share them with you. And yes, there will be a blog post with my favorites. . . soon. But today is not that day.

Today I have a very special post for you. I’m interviewing Kate Emmons to celebrate the release of her latest book – Worlds Beneath!!!*

*it came out
July 1st, so
get over there
and buy it.

Kate is someone I really admire. A lot. She’s a talented writer, she runs an incredible, A+ blog, she’s determined and it shows. It’s an honor to interview her. So today, we are chatting about her, her writing, her latest book, and best of all: her passion for the indie movement. This is something she spoke about in the release video for Worlds Beneath, and after I watched it, I knew I had to ask her more about it (it’s near the end, and you definitely don’t want to miss it).

So. I’m going to stop talking now and hand it over to Kate.

 

KATE / personal

tell us a little about yourself. hobbies, passions, faith – what makes you, you.

I live in the green mountains of Vermont with my husband and right next door to my family and sister – who is a fellow creative and basically my spirit animal. I’m passionate about writing, traveling, surfing, karate, and helping people realize that they are here for a big, beautiful reason.
Above all of these though, I’m passionate about Jesus and obsessed with this beautiful truth: that we were created to discover and ENJOY the bliss of who we are in Him.

 

have you always wanted to be published or is this a recent dream?

I don’t think I really thought too much about being published when I was a wee child. I was too busy furiously scribbling and getting ink on my fingers, sipping tea with my sister and bantering on about our books. By the time I was a teenager though, I knew that I wanted to write forever and publish everything.

 

in what way does your personal life influence your writing?

I would say that my my faith and the things I spend time on definitely influence my writing. I spend a lot of time outside in nature, talking to my friends and family about faith, reading scripture, doing karate, and traveling. All of those things have inspired me, for sure.

 

do you ever worry about where the next “big idea” will come from?

Not so much worry, but I definitely wonder sometimes! Haha. It’s always a crazy excited/anxious feeling, waiting for inspiration to strike for the next story. I’ve learned by now to just trust that it will come when it’s meant to.

you have written more than just fiction – essays, spoken word, slam poems, nonfiction – what is it about these genres that intrigue you?

I LOVE non-fiction. It’s fun to write, it’s fun to read, and it’s just a pure expression of something – usually an idea or concept – that just won’t keep quiet in your head. There’s so much room for variety within non-fiction and I think that’s part of what attracts me to it. I write a lot of poetry and I find slam poems to be an excellent and artful way to communicate things in ways that you may not be able to by just writing something down. It adds that extra element of speech, and with that a lot of passion and raw authenticity.

 

outside of your published books, do you have a favorite writing project you’ve done?

I do indeed. It’s a fiction YA novel that I wrote when I was 17, and it’s extremely near and dear to my heart, and I am planning on publishing it. I wrote a blog post about it once. It has a lot to do with faith and doubt and what it means to be alive. There’s lots of surfing and strawberries and dancing with kids, and learning to forgive and let go and learning to listen. There’s a lot about graffiti and hope and wrestling with big questions and big dreams.

 

you’ve said that you almost never read fiction: why is that? what would you say to people who say that you have to read fiction, in order to write it?

I get this one so often! I’ve kind of gotten to the place where I don’t even feel the need to explain myself anymore, because SO MANY PEOPLE quote “you have to be a reader in order to be a writer” thing. . .not true. You really don’t. It really depends on what mediums inspire you to write, and books have just never really done that for me. I know it sounds weird, coming from an author, but films inspire me a lot more than books do. And I’m also hugely inspired by travel and being outside or in the ocean. So it all depends – everyone is different. Everyone is inspired by different things.

 

and while we’re on the topic: what are you favorite nonfiction book(s)?

I love anything by C.S. Lewis. Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. Make Your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven.

what are some writing doubts you’ve had to overcome and how did you overcome them?

Oh wow, inspiration isn’t flowing right now. . .this must be the end. I’ll never write again.
Literally this happens and that’s pretty much my exact thought process, and I think we can all agree it is utter nonsense, haha! Talk about putting pressure on yourself. I find the best way to overcome this is to be KIND to yourself. Take some time off. . .restore. Fill your cup. Don’t beat yourself up and talk down to yourself or your craft. As my husband likes to say “perfection takes time.” So quote that to yourself instead of talking all this garbage about your book.

 

outside of writing, you also run a blog collaborative: Burning Youth. What is Burning Youth, and what inspired the idea?

Burning Youth was something I was inspired to start a couple years ago about passionate young adults and how much beauty and potential we have locked inside of us just waiting to be let out. It essentially became this really beautiful yet casual online hangout for young adults about fighting darkness and bringing the light, and that’s exactly what I wanted to see happen with it. It’s not super organized or scheduled – it’s messy and random but steeped in purpose, and I’m incredibly honored to be a part of it with so many other talented young writers.

 

I have to ask: what are your favorite soundtracks?

YOU KNOW MY LOVE LANGUAGE: SOUNDTRACKS. ❤ My favorite of all time would have to be The Passion of The Christ soundtrack by John Debney because that’s really what made me fall in love with scores as a young kid. Also any and all of the Transformers soundtracks by Steve Jablonsky, and quite literally anything by Hans Zimmer.

 

KATE / writing + author tips

how many (finished) books have you written?

Oh boy, I’ll have to put on my thinking cap for this one. . .like 9 or 10? Something like that

 

what made you decide to publish The Blood Race series, ahead of any other novel?

Because I was completely on fire for the story, stoked, and I felt God guiding me hardcore in that direction. So I went for it! I also believe so strongly that it’s a story the world needs. Writing it made such a huge impact on my life.

 

do you have any kind of checklist that a piece of writing has to make before you release it to the world?

After I finish writing, I am pretty religious about editing my own work before I send it off to my editor. I think it’s a great practice to get into, and it will teach you so much about your craft and story in general. After this it’s off to the proofreader, ARC-readers, and then formatter. I typically also design and create the cover during this time + a little before, too.

 

do you read “how to write” or “writing tips” books? what is your opinion on “writing” books?

I personally have never read them. I think every writer is different and I know a lot of people who are into reading that kind of thing, and that is all cool! It’s just personally not my thing. Writing to me is like painting or any other art. . .there is no right or wrong. It flows from my soul. No one can tell me how to make that happen, it’s always just comes to me.

 

how do you feel about the advice “write what you know”? do you think it limits young writers?

I think this can be good and bad. There is some truth in it. . .but honestly, you could know a lot of things and not be passionate about any them. And who wants to write a book they’re not passionate about? Sometimes these things go hand in hand, but not always. So if you don’t know what to write. . .write what you’re passionate about. Write the thing that keeps you up at night.

 

being an indie author, do you find that it’s easier to be distracted from writing because there are so many other things you could do – marketing, replying to emails, social media branding, etc. .? how do you balance it all?

I would say that’s the hardest part about being an indie: you’re the one doing all the work, and it can be tricky to balance all of that. But it’s possible with discipline. . .staying focused, not getting distracted, and therefore, having enough time. I do find it distracting sometimes, when I sit down to write in the morning (when I usually write) and find myself thinking about my stuffed inbox, or ad copy. . .but I refocus, put these things aside, and focus on the task at hand. It’s helpful to have at least a vague outline of your day too, such as writing in the AM, emails in the PM. . it gives you permission to relax and take that off your plate until later, and vice versa. I also have a lot of help from my family and friends which helps a TON.

 

how has being a published author changed your mindset / writing process? does it feel different, to know that your writing is being read and admired?

Knowing that my writing is making an impact is a huge source of joy and motivation to me. I couldn’t do what I do without my readers, so I find it extremely humbling. It definitely feels different and surreal, and sometimes scary, haha. It’s like putting your baby out there into the world. But it hasn’t really changed the process of how I write.

 

last question: I remember when The Blood Race first came out. I used to check its Amazon page regularly, and read the reviews. So many of them were wonderful reviews, but like anything else. . .some were not so wonderful.
has that surprised you in any way? how you reconcile the idea that your writing is not for everyone, even though so many people enjoy it?

I think it boils down to the fact that everyone is different, and that’s to be expected. I write what’s in my heart. . .whether someone takes it or leaves it is fine with me. I always say “I write because I have to”, and that’s not an exaggeration. . .writing is how I understand the world and myself, and I would do exactly what I’m doing now even if no one ever read a single thing I wrote.

 

KATE / the indie movement

your passion for the indie movement: does it spring from being an indie author yourself, or something else?

I think it might spring from my rebellious gypsy spirit to be quite honest! Haha. I’ve never been a conventional person. I was a free-ranged homeschooler, I didn’t go to college, and I wrote prolifically since I was a kid. I was used to doing things on my own, and by the time I’d published The Blood Race, I’d already co-founded a non-profit with my sister, helped make an indie documentary, and spoken at conferences and classrooms internationally. My sister and I have grown so much together as creatives as well, and she has always been a huge inspiration and motivation. So I was a pretty darn headstrong, independent young adult. It’s ironic though, because I actually did start going down a traditional route with another book. . .which turned out to be a great big learning experience but lead the book nowhere. So I started from square one and went indie. . .which turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made. I felt completely liberated, and free to build my career.

 

what is the indie movement? or. . .more specifically: how would you define it?

Artists making art, being able to share it directly with their audience – with no massive corporation as a middle man – and being able to build a career by doing so.

 

why did you choose indie over traditional publishing?

So many reasons. I wasn’t ready to change (many) things about my book just because someone sitting behind a desk somewhere in a publishing house wanted me to. It’s not just a “crank em’ out” business for me, it’s an art. While every once in a great while, you CAN have a very successful experience publishing traditionally, it’s most certainly not the norm, and it was not the experience I had approaching the industry.

do you see the indie movement exploding in the coming years? why or why not?

Oh, I think it’s already started to, 100%. Indie music is dominating the markets, and indie books are right behind it. We are living in an indie age. . .people don’t just want to buy the mainstream things that corporations are pitching at them – they want to discover art for themselves and there are SO many platforms for that. There has never been a better time to be an indie artist.

 

are there any disadvantages to being an indie author, do you think?

Hmm, not so much a disadvantage, but it is more work. There’s a lot to do, a lot to balance while still pursuing your craft. So sometimes the struggle is not being able to find enough hours in the day. But as you grow and learn, you find ways to manage everything, and often friends and family who are eager to help you along the way. (Shout out to my awesome, talented family!!)

 

why do you think people resonate with the indie message?

I deeply believe we are all born with an innate desire to create – we are creators. And with that desire comes the potential to create it ourselves. . .I think we’re attracted to the idea of doing it ourselves – as artists, without restrictions, or waiting for someone else to buy our story out from under us.

 

what advice can you give aspiring indie authors?

WRITE. Write, write, write, and then write some more. That’s the #1 thing that will build your career. And second, research – learn all you can. I highly recommend starting with Self Publishing Formula Podcast – hosted by a best selling indie.

 

what do you think is the most defining difference between traditional publishing and indie publishing?
(it seems to me that the relationship between authors and readers is closer because there is no publishing house or management company between them. that’s really the message I got from your Worlds Beneath release video – that readers can actually be apart of the process. so. . .could you touch on that?)

You definitely nailed it – that’s a huge component. But I would say above that, two larger differences are: how much control you have over your own work, and how much income you’re making, honestly. There’s a huge difference on the financial scale. I know a lot of traditionally published authors who are happy if they are getting 17% of the profit from their work, while indie publishing will often allow the author up to 60-70%. So that’s a massive difference. And if your book is sacred to you, and there are things you know you’re not going to want to change or cut, or if you want a say in the title, cover, etc? You may want to consider indie publishing.

 

how can readers support the indie authors?

Buy their books,
leave them nice reviews,
and share them.

 

KATE / World’s Beneath

I know you won’t give spoilers (and honestly, I wouldn’t want you to), but can you give a little teaser about what readers can expect from the sequel?

It’s funny because I’m finding that this one is SO HARD to talk about without giving spoilers! Haha. Expect a new POV, a few new faces, and some new places as well. There’s a very different and unique component that makes it quite different from book 1.

 

what was your favorite part of writing the sequel?

Writing a POV for Fin, the wolves, and a certain climax.

 

were there any particularly challenging scenes to write?

Not really. Haha. That sounds super conceited, but this book was honestly just so much fun.

 

is there a playlist or Pinterest board for readers to visit?

EEEE, YES! I CANT WAIT TO SEE WHAT YOU THINK OF THE PLAYLIST.

yes, well I’m
sure it’s amazing

 

the playlist || the pinterest board

 

FOLLOW KATE

WEBSITE
BLOG
INSTAGRAM
SERIES IG
TWITTER
FACEBOOK
GET WORLD’S BENEATH
Get the first 9 chapters of The Blood Race: FREE!

 

all photos credit
to k.a. emmons

 

. . .

I hope you enjoyed that. I was so blessed that Kate agreed to this interview alongside her busy schedule. Make sure you show her some love (AHEM…buy her book), and follow her in all the places.

cheers.
k.

Originality Doesn’t Matter | January Series no. 6

I don’t know if there is a single word in the artist community more misunderstood than: originality. Often, artists (or budding-artists) have great ideas, but they toss them away because they tell themselves: “Oh no, there’s no way I can create that. It’s already been done before.

To which I would say: so freaking what?

 

Debunking the Idea that Your Work Must be Original
– because the simple truth is: your work can’t be original

Let’s just clear something up: nothing is original. Everything has already been done before. Every question has been asked. Humans are still making the same mistakes they made in 1857 (if you think that date isn’t intentional, think again). We’re still repeating history because we can’t seem to get our freaking act together and learn.

So if you are searching for the ONE GREAT IDEA that has never been made in the history of the universe: stop wasting your time. That one, great, original idea? – it doesn’t exist.

But. If by some luck, you did find that ONE GREAT IDEA, you’d still be wasting your time. Because no one is going to care about your idea. Here’s why:

Nobody cares if your work is original, they only care if it speaks. People don’t care if things been done before because they want what’s relatable, human, and known. They want to feel less alone, so they go to art expecting it to pat them on the shoulder and whisper in their ear, “Me too. Me too. Me too.

When people look at a sunset painting, they do not think about how many other sunset paintings there are. What they care about is how they feel when they look at it: does the painting speak?

 

A Case Study in Un-originality
– Dear Evan Hansen


I remember when everyone was talking about it. They made references to it on twitter, and I saw the sheet music on Instagram. They said it was great. They said it touched their hearts. For whatever reason (and I still don’t know the reason), I never listened to it. That is: until March this year. Now. . .I understand what all the hype was about.

As of writing this post, Waving Through A Window has received 34,528,797 plays on Spotify.

Out of all the thousands of people that were touched by this musical, they weren’t touched because Dear Evan Hansen explored some obscure emotion no one had never heard about. No, people related to it because it was right in their face with every doubt they had ever felt, every question they convinced themselves was too stupid to say out loud. It gave them hope in a way that wasn’t far off. It was right there in front of them. It’s going to be okay and here’s why: you are not alone.

Show me someone* who went to the show and said something like: yeah it was good, but do you know how many other songs have been written about suicide and loss and loneliness? You know, I couldn’t help but think of every person who’s ever told me that my life matters. Blah. I really wish song writers would write something original, for once. Meh. This same, old refrain gets a little repetitive, to be honest.

*i mean, critics
might have, but
they’re not paid
to enjoy art, are they?

 

I’m not saying that everyone adored Dear Evan Hansen. I have actually come across several people who said it was too depressing. That’s fine. But. This musical touched enough people that, it shows me you don’t have to produce some BIG GREAT story line in order to make a difference. Sometimes it’s the little things that speak. Sometimes they speak louder than big things.

 

In Conclusion
– I’ll let W.H. Auden say it for me:

“Some writers [or artists] confuse authenticity,
which they ought to always aim at,
with originality, which they should never bother about.”

 

 

so go
make authentic art.
cheers.
k.

 

 

|| Let’s Have a Conversation ||

What do you think about originality? Have you ever worried that your art wasn’t original enough? Is there something you’ve seen or read that was the complete opposite of “originality” but it still touched you beyond words? Tell me about it.

Spring in Flowers | a photo journal. . .of sorts

A lot of you have asked me to share photos here. But honestly, I’ve been putting it off because well. . .I already share them on Instagram (and sometimes Twitter). And to share them on my blog too. . .idk, it feels a little excessive.

But here.

A selection of spring flowers and loveliness. Enjoy.
Sorry for the ones I’ve already shared on Instagram.
click on the photos
for exposure settings.
It’s my camera’s neat
little feature

 

 

“I can only say that I photograph what appears to be aesthetically beautiful
and what I can visualize as a photograph  worth creating
for myself, and I hope, for others.”
|| Ansel Adams

 

 

hope your day
is lovely
k.