Shark Week 2020: Maine’s First Fatal Shark Attack

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Here it is: Shark Week 2020. This has long been one of my favorite times of the year, mainly because I have an excuse to profess my undying love for sharks for an entire week. Though this year, the week has been tainted by a sad and unfortunate tragedy in Maine’s waters. No more than a couple weeks ago, a woman was swimming off of an island in southern Maine with her daughter and was attacked by a great white shark. The undisputed theory behind the attack was that this woman was misidentified as a seal because of her wet suit and its exploratory bite caused enough damage for her to die of blood loss. It is Maine’s first fatal shark attack on record.

The media exploded around this event. While most articles published do a good job of explaining the rarity of not only being attacked by a shark but also the regularity of sharks visiting our waters and how normal this has become, there have been other articles that have sensationalized the attack and painted a negative portrait about sharks. It’s no secret that when Jaws was released as a summer blockbuster in 1975, it created waves of terror with the concept of a large predator stalking innocent people at beaches. People were afraid to go in the water. Others chartered fishing boats in order to go out and catch sharks in an effort to cull their own fears about these ancient beasts. It practically destroyed the great white shark population in the north east Atlantic ocean and has perpetuated acts of “shark culling” in several other countries, namely parts of Australia, and South Africa.

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What’s up, June?

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Due to an issue with my previous theme on the blog, I’ve had to revamp everything about it, including the name. We are now The Kat at Night Blog, where we’ll be discussing dark fiction and, really, lots of dark things. I’m hoping to begin book reviews on dark fiction very soon. I’ve been ordering books up the wazoo to fill time during COVID-19 and I have a TON to read! It’s been a while since I’ve been so excited about reading.

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Social Distancing, COVID-19, and Being a Writer

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Right now, there’s a whole lot of THIS going around. For several writers (who are also introverts), the idea of staying home for two weeks to self-quarantine is a dream come true. The ability to write to your hearts content, avoid the general public, and bask in the warm glow of books all day long? Who doesn’t picture that as being Elysian? But for those of us who also market our own stories, it becomes a Herculean task to do this via social media only. Not only are there algorithms and hashtags to master, ads to purchase and design, and non-stop postings to be done, but there is the simple truth that putting your book in the hands of a physical customer has a beauty to it that can’t be equaled by online sales.

When I’m not writing and attempting to market my own books, I work as a salesperson. I spend day in and day out selling product to customers, convincing them what choice is best for them and how much fun they’ll have with said item. I’ve been doing this job for nearly 13 years. When I have the opportunity to attend a convention or an event where I can push my own wares, I get to reach people on a different level, a more personal level than I would just letting my books go in e-tail platforms.

That’s why I was so hyped to be doing not one but two big events this spring, events I spent a good deal of money on, and in addition to that, spent money on promotional items for said events as well. I was looking forward to getting people excited about my newest book and creating hype.

And then the Corona Virus happened.

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New posts, new book, new everything!

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We’re changing things up a bit here at The *all new* Kat at Night blog. Along with re-branding comes serving new content for the masses. I’ve decided on a few different blog series to incorporate into The Kat at Night that might be some fun for both me and you. I also have a new book coming out in the fall which we’ll talk about a little bit, as well as some upcoming events you can find me at in the spring!

But now, a moment to speak about old series posts here. I will not be continuing Inspiration Through Music, though I would like to incorporate a music-themed blog here on the site. Cooking Adventures will be getting a bit of a make-over in that I will be returning to blogging my adventures versus vlogging them. My video equipment is unfortunately outdated and unable to make a video in a timely fashion. The last Cooking Adventure video I made took me nearly a week to edit because of corrupting video files. Suffice to say, I will try to provide plenty of photos to illustrate the future adventures well.

Now, onto new blog series!

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We Switched Names…Again

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That’s right. Hopefully, this will be the last time.

Getting back into the swing of things here at (now) The Kat at Night, we will be exploring this blog as it transitions into a discussion about writing dark things, particularly my affinity to doing this. We’ll also have the odd discussions here and there about other things dark like films and music, cats, coffee… you know… generally dark things.

The purpose for all of this tom-foolery? Rebranding is hard. I had, at one point, hoped that I might be better at reaching out to the writing community and possibly get others to post guest blogs or be able to connect on a more vast scale with writers of every genre. Those are pretty big goals to achieve on a fledgling blog that gets very few views because of intermittent posts by its only author.

Returning to a more simple, practice of sharing myself with the writing world is more my speed, and definitely more up my alley.

So, here we are with The Kat at Night.

I’ll be posting at night (of course) on subjects relating to dark fiction and my approach to it and soon enough, others approaches to it, too. I had thought maybe I would have the workings for a podcast here but decided against the latter. We’ll start with a blog and move on from there.

Until our next (actually first) post under a new name,

KSilva

2019 in Review (Hello, 2020!)

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A new decade is officially upon us. With it, I’d like to announce some upcoming changes to my business and the blog as well as upcoming releases to get excited about. But first, I’d like to talk a little bit about 2019.

Firstly, 2019 was a year of stepping outside of the box for me. There were a lot of firsts for me (including first tattoo!) and a few lasts. I’ve decided that I don’t want to apologize any more for not getting things up on this blog. I have a lot of intentions. I get excited and my ambition causes me to get carried away with what I’d like to accomplish. I also forget to take care of myself when I do this. That means that I ignore giving myself time to exercise, time to sleep, time to get ready for work on time…

2019 was a year of anxiety for me. I had many beautiful, blessed moments with friends and family this year. I also had several where I realized that I don’t take care of myself nearly as much as I used to. Being able to balance myself means that I can write, and go to work, and occasionally write on the blog, and update my website in a timely fashion. I can play with my cat, pay my bills on time, take my garbage to the dump… all without feeling this terrible weight pressing on me, telling me that I’m doing it all wrong.

Without giving away too many details, I have decided in 2020 to launch new services from my website. I have decided to offer freelance creative writing consultation to writers in the speculative fiction genre. Speculative fiction encompasses everything from fantasy, horror and sci-fi as well as all sub-genres in those main categories. While the details are still being fleshed out, I will be updating my website in the coming weeks with details of what aspects of writing my consultation will include. I’m excited for the opportunity to branch into this part of writing. I’m never more inspired and happy when I feel like I’m helping people with their creative endeavors. This is my answer to giving back to a writing community that has been so helpful to me since entering it.

Along with this news comes upcoming title release news! I’ve just finished writing my novel “The Wild Dark”, a project I’ve been working on since 2013. It’s an apocalyptic thriller with heavy ghost influences and monsters. While this manuscript has a lot of work ahead of it, I’m hoping for a release date in September of 2020. Further details are sure to come.

Last but certainly not least, I want to say that I know I have been very fast and loose with my promises on this blog. I’ve wanted to write so many things this year and haven’t. I wanted to make changes immediately, only to find I lacked energy and follow-through and hadn’t left myself nearly enough time to achieve the goals. I will not be able to continue things like Inspiration Through Music and Cooking Adventures because I don’t have the same energy that I had before when I started those two series. They will always be special and wonderful additions to this blog.

But we must move forward.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting more about what will be happening with The Writer’s Abditory as well as the coming changes to my business. I’ll also be posting more writing-related posts here.

For now, I want to say thank you for riding through the decade with me and here’s to 2020. May you bring happiness, radiance, and color to our lives!

~KSilva

Late Autumn Updates (FRUSTRATION)

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This sums up my writing career this fall.

I’ve had a hard time dealing with a lot of what fall has dished out this year. In no particular order, my car went into the shop for two weeks, my roof began leaking like a mf-er, I’ve lost power twice for more than three days at a time, and I’ve taken on a butt-load of extra work at my day job. I’m struggling to get into a new work-out routine, the house is routinely a mess, and raccoons ransacked my barn and threw my trash EVERYWHERE. To say that this makes me frustrated is an understatement.

But I’m going to say it because the strung out expletives that I’d rather use are a bit too vulgar for this blog post.

I had really wanted to do that five part Halloween short story. I wanted to finish it. The losing power and tension headaches made that not happen in a timely fashion. But make no mistake…

I’m going to finish that bitch.

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I have a week off staring me in the face next week. That’s right. A whole week. And I intend to use it wisely.

Not only will I be finishing Backstreet Bloodbath, I’ll be giving you a daily account of what I get done. While I’m not participating in NaNoWriMo this year, I will be finishing my novel, The Wild Dark, which has been in the works since 2013. I’ll also be running or ellipticaling every day and cleaning a room in the house. Last but not least, I’ll be doing one old fashioned Cooking Adventure (not a video cooking adventure) for you by the end of the week.

I know, I know. I have promised a lot and not delivered. Life happens. The chances of me losing power yet again are statistically very high. We’re getting our first snow on Friday and that might come with high powered winds and all that crap. I live near the wimpiest trees in the state. If you so much as whistle at them, they’ll collapse on a power line.

I just need to make it to next week. Then, a little bit of writing time, self-love, and self-pampering can go a long way.

Until then,

KSilva

Maine Literary Award Finalist 2019!

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That’s right. My novella, “The Collection” has been named a finalist for the 2019 Maine Literary Awards in Speculative fiction. This nomination will be my second with the Maine Literary Awards and I can’t wait to represent at the official ceremony in June with books in tow.

Beginning last year, I sort of “relaunched” my writing career, changing my website, booking new events, and launching a new book. I’ve been so happy with the results of this. However, I’ve also fallen into the no man’s land of not finding much time to write new material. I have nearly four short stories in the works, three novels, and a series I’d really like to write for Kindle exclusively. I’ve also got a house that’s falling apart, a full time job about to move into summer retail craziness, and family and friends to spend time with. Every writer’s quandary is trying to find time to write and do the other things that are important to them.

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Spring and the OWC

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Spring might finally be here after all. Today, on this fine Thursday, the temperature is supposed to get up into the fifties! Which means the remnants of this week’s snowstorms will probably all melt. Fine by me. I don’t know about all of you but I am DYING for warm weather. I’ve also had this indescribable craving to put my hands into some soil and start gardening. I’m not a green thumb by any means…so this is strange for me.

The beginning of winter is usually when I get excited about spending time cloistered indoors with a hot cup of coffee and that orange dusky light next to my writing space. I like to imagine that I’m going to have all kinds of time to work on various writing projects (including the blog) and in the end, it rarely turns out that way. In fact, there is a point in about mid-February where I become sick and tired of the Maine winter and long for sun and warmer temperatures. I’m sure I’m not the only one.

As a writer, I’m still searching to find my optimal writing conditions or let’s just shorten it to the OWC. Most writers will tell you that they need to carve out any writing time they can, anywhere they can because trying to write while working a full time job, spending time with family and friends, and taking care of a house doesn’t leave much time in between for scheduled writing blocks. The thing is, I believe you do your best writing when you have a space you feel comfortable in, where you can’t be interrupted or side-tracked. Scraps of paper here and there can only get you so far. You still need a block of time to knit it all together, even if those moments are few and far between.

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Two Month Update

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It’s the last day of February. The temperature reads 10 degrees outside. The sun is warming my tissue-covered living room and I am in a hellish world of hold with the IRS, trying to find out why my refund is late. I’m getting over a cold which came on pretty swiftly earlier this week. Meanwhile, the cat is racing around the room like a deranged squirrel, nearly knocking things over. This is not the hygge life (#hyggelife) that I was hoping for when I wrote my first blog post for 2019.

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