Author Archives: Kevin L. Nielsen

About Kevin L. Nielsen

I write books. I like cheese and dragons.

Story Time – I nearly ruined my wife’s most expensive piece of clothing

It’s been a while since I’ve told a story.  This one happened this last week.

I was holding my six-month old when I bent over to pick something up off the little shelf/cupboard where we keep our shoes.  This shelf, lovingly called the shoe shelf, is sandwiched between our front door and our couch.  It also houses our wax melt scent thingy.

When I bent over, my six-month old flailed about it delighted abandon and struck the wax melt, sending liquid wax tumbling down toward the coach.  I watched in horror as the champagne scented wax fell, not on the couch, but all over my wife’s 70-dollar LuLaRoe Sarah.  For those not familiar with that brand, its basically a floor length cardigan that is highly awesome and very warm, not to mention the most expensive article of clothing in our house.  My wife sells them, so her LuLaRoe clothes are precious things all around.

I panicked.  Hot wax covered the bottom corner of her precious LuLaRoe.  She wasn’t in the room.  The kids were all fine, so, being the genius that I am, I decided to toss it into the wash with the wax still wet.  I started the washer before she came out, assumed everything was fine, and went back to the evening.  Well, first I put new wax in the wax melt so she’d never know it spilt, cleaned off the wall and shoe shelf, and pretended it never happened.  I was safe.  She’d never know I ruined her Sarah.

Fast forward to when the washer finishes.  I rush to it before she can (she was nursing the baby) and volunteer to finish it up.  I was confident everything would be great, and it was.  I couldn’t see any wax.  Since that type of clothing needs to air dry, I took it to the closet and hung it up along with the other clothes…and that’s when I noticed the wax was starting to appear all down the side of the sweater.  See, it had been warm and wet still, so I hadn’t initially noticed it.  As it dried, it started to appear.

Curses!  I couldn’t easily sneak it back into the washer and I was getting ready to admit defeat and fork over the money to replace her Sarah.  I’d failed to fix it.  In one last ditched effort to not give up, I googled “how do you get wax out of clothes?”  About a dozen of the responses were from husbands who had spilled wax on their wife’s clothing.  They all suggested using an iron and a pair of towels to heat up the wax, then soak it into a towel.  I could try that, but I had to wait until the kids and my wife went to bed.

That is how I found myself at 1am sneaking into my own closet to get the aforementioned wax-strewn article of clothing and then sneaking into the kitchen with an iron and two towels.  My apartment is small, and even smaller with three kids in it.  There is no place you can go in it that you can’t hear the smallest sound made from anywhere else in the apartment.  I sneakily did as “the google” suggested and got the wax out of that garment.  It took a while to get it all out, but when I was done, it was gone.  I’d done it.  Yawning, now at 2:15am, I snuck back into my bedroom and put the Sarah back into the closet, now wax-free.  I was tired, sore, and more than a little embarrassed, but I also glowed with the joy of accomplishment.  I’d done it.  No more wax.

My alarm went off at 6:30 and I hurriedly got ready to go to work with my wife slumbering on with the kids.  It was calm and peaceful.  Just before leaving, I decided to go survey my handiwork again.  I’d done it.  I’d gotten the wax out.  I could be proud of that, right?  I was…until I noticed I’d missed a spot.

Which is how I found myself sneaking back into the kitchen to get out that last spot of wax with an iron and two more towels…

Moral of the story…google it first.

P.S. Yes, my wife now knows, but I made it a week before I caved and told her. She never noticed anything different with the Sarah until I brought it up.

Categories: Musings | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Hiatus is over – New Release, Spring 2018

This has been the longest hiatus on the blog in the last two years, I believe.  Life just got a little crazy for a while and some things had to be de-prioritized.  Blog posts were one of those things.  I did, however, still post on my social media from time to time to let people know what I was up to.  Now, when I say Social Media, I’m honestly just referring to my Facebook Author Page.  I have most social media outlets, but I just don’t use them with any regularity anymore.  My author page I do.  So, if you’re really looking for regular status updates or project goodies, go like that page on Facebook and turn on the notification settings for it.

A few things of note. I’m still working on Duskchild, my big epic fantasy novel set in early Roman/Etruscan times.  It’s been slower on the writing front as I get some research out of the way that will make the drafting process a little easier.  It’s a fun book that’s now ventured into part two.  Two new characters get some major screen time in this part and it’s been fun exploring their viewpoints on the events happening in their world.  As this is a big, weighty fantasy novel, it’s going to take me a while to finish before moving on to the next project.  That’s ok.  I’ll have some other works for you to read in the meantime.

“Colonial Prime: Humanity” is in the production phase.  What that means is all the editing, from content through copy edits (punctuation, spelling, etc) have been completed and it is in the process of getting formatted for ebook and print books.  I’ve been working with the artist (Garrett Hamon) on the cover art and love how it’s turning out.  I should be doing a cover reveal for that in the coming weeks.  The release date for the novel is February 6th, 2018.

I’m really excited about this story.  I say that a lot, I know, and that’s a good thing, I think.  Every novel should be better than the last one or else the author simply isn’t working to improve their craft.  An author should be excited about every one of their new project (to some extent) or they shouldn’t write it.  Yes, by the time it gets to print, they’ve read and reread it about ten thousand times and aren’t as excited about it as they were when they started, but they should still be excited for the reader to get it.

This story started as a whim one day when I needed a break from writing Sharani novels.  I was struggling to maintain my writing pace while juggling doing the Mythica novelization and Skies.  My head wasn’t in a good place to keep writing fantasy so, on a whim, I started writing a science fiction concept about a colonization voyage across space that would take 45 years, but without the simplistic plot device of have “cryosleep.”

I’ve never really cared for that thought process when it came to long space voyages.  I think it takes away a great opportunity to see how a society would function if they were awake for the whole trip, knowing some of them wouldn’t make it, but that their children and grandchildren would.  How would that society function in such a small, enclosed space?  How would food and supplies work?  Could they make a sustainable ecosystem aboard ship that would enable them to feed themselves and grow their own food?  What would the struggles be?  How would people react?

When I started the story, I hadn’t dabbled in anything science fiction before.  I assumed it would be a fun writing exercise to clear my head, then I’d get back to work on my next big fantasy project.  I didn’t expect it would work as a story or that I’d been any good at it, really.

I was wrong.  Not only did the story work, it worked surprisingly well.  I found great character voice and expression, loved working through character conflicts and plot, and overall realized I had a great story nugget that could turn into an expansive platform for future books based around the same characters.  I pitched the story to a publisher and they leapt at the chance.  It’s been a fun project all around and a great learning experience.

Here’s the pitch (if you still need one at this point):

“Captain Amara Corrin, hero of the late Solar Wars, commands the first colonial fleet.  Full of hopeful dreamers looking for a new home, world-weary ex-soldiers, and those just seeking escape, five ships set out from Earth with the hopes of humanity behind them.  But Amara soon finds herself with more trouble than she can handle.  The Council, Earth’s new governing body, has saddled her with their political rivals, exiling them to a place where they could do them no harm.

Struggling to find balance, Amara appoints a fresh-faced first officer with a hidden past, Nathan Esquina, and tries to figure out a way to keep her son, Jaelyn, free of the political machinations of those aboard the ship trying to destroy the rocky peace upon which they stand.  When a message from Earth lets them know that the Council has fallen, Amara, Nathan, and Jaelyn land themselves in a pitched battle where a single mistake could end not only their own lives, but those of every person aboard their colonial fleet.”

February 6th is the release date.  I imagine there will be a pre-order option available some time in January, but I’ll post about that when it happens.

Leading up to it, there will be some fun activities to help spread the word and give people a chance to win advance reader copies.  Watch here on the blog and my Facebook Author Page for more news.

As always, thank you for your continued support.  Spread the news about the new book and direct people here or to my Facebook Author Page.

Read on!

Categories: Standard Updates | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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