Lost and Found

It’s been a whirlwind of activity here at Kardos Manor over the past few months.  If it seemed as though I’d pulled a D.B. Cooper on you, I apologize.  The good news is I was never lost and the pages keep churning out, I just haven’t had much to post here for a while.

Thing is, I’m not really a blogger.  Nor was that ever the intention for this site.  I’m a writer – one with varying degrees of aptitude perhaps, but a writer nonetheless.  Draft, revise, finalize, submit.  As long as that cycle keeps happening, all is right with the world.

Still, I do intend to keep the website current from time to time.  There are announcements to make, occasional posts to update, and I still check traffic to see how people are finding their way here.  For me, this website was a place for people to land if they get curious after reading my work elsewhere, not vice versa.  I suppose there’s more potential behind it all, but amassing thousands of followers isn’t what interests me.  I’d rather put my attention and focus on continuing to write good fiction.  (Some would argue that has yet to happen, zing!)

One exciting update to make is to remind everyone that The Innocent Sink is being published on January 1, 2019 by the Coffin Bell Journal.  I’m really excited about this one, because I think the story is a great match for that particular publication.  (It is extremely helpful that the editors at Coffin Bell agree.)

Short stories are a fun way to get the little ideas that don’t have enough “umph” to find their way into a novel out of your head and make way for bigger things.  Once a draft is on the screen, I rarely find the motivation to go back and make it publishable.  It’s more of an exorcism than anything else.  Still, it is quite gratifying when one comes together and polishes up nicely.  Which is exactly what happened with The Innocent Sink.  I’ll drop another reminder here when it goes live in a few weeks.


A bit of a side hobby of mine at the moment is building my next PC from scratch.  Over the last decade, work travel necessitated purchasing laptops for the portability.  Although I typically bought top of the line models, there are some compromises that come with the territory.

Most important to me, I don’t care for the feel and layout of a laptop keyboard.  The keys don’t have “weight” and, in some cases, are actually sized down from a regular, full-sized keyboard.  You adapt, but the words per minute certainly suffers, and missed strokes make the backspace key one of the most used.  From a technical standpoint, laptops have integrated GPUs, lower overclocking space, and heat issues which throttle performance.  That significantly limits the computer’s abilities when compared to a powerful desktop.

Now that I don’t have to travel as much as I used to, I’ve decided to go back to having a desktop PC as my primary computer.  I looked into pre-built, but fairly early on it occurred to me that building my own would give me the opportunity to customize everything without compromise, while also being a fun learning experience to boot.

I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

The last time I built a computer from the ground up was back in the early 1990’s.  The basic configurations haven’t changed – motherboard, power supply, case, memory, CPU, etc.  But the computing scene overall has changed a lot since then, and today there are so many more options and performance-related factors to consider.  Intel or AMD?  nVidia or AMD?  Asus, MSI, EVGA, or Founders Edition?  Air or liquid cooling?  Hyperthreads or more cores?  Overclocking?  Every manufacturer has multiple models, and every model has multiple subsets.

There’s a lot of research to be done for every part, right down to the case.  You could spend two days dissecting fans for a particular build.  Thermals, decibels, clock speeds…it all matters.  Pick the wrong configurations and you have a system that works, but not to optimum.  I use my computer a lot, so it’s important to me to get it right.

There’s a lot to catch up on from the past 20-30 years, but it’s every bit of fun as I’d hoped.  I’ve learned more about motherboards over the past two weeks than any one sane person should probably know (thanks, buildzoid!).  Somehow, it all continues to make sense; I suspect my fascination with technology back in the 80’s and 90’s gave me a good foundation.  There’s a lot more information out there today, but the basic fundamentals remain the same.

My goal is to finalize the part selection and begin the build sometime around the first of the new year.  I might even update this site with a build post for those who might be interested.  I doubt things will go smoothly, but that’s half the fun.  And my trustworthy five year old MSI laptop will be close by just in case I need to chat with a few experts.

As usual, thanks for stopping by.  Based on how things are progressing, I expect some big news for my latest project sometime mid-2019.  It never goes as quickly as I’d like, but somehow I always manage to cross the finish line…

Finally! An Update That Works…

A few Wednesday afternoon tidbits to snack on:

I’ve been tinkering around with the website a little.  Most of it is behind the scenes work primarily related to SEO.  Turns out this little site has a very high ranking in Bing and Yahoo, and rising fast in Google.  Pretty cool considering the whole idea behind this website was just to give some side-projects and general thoughts about writing a place to live.  I never expected to create such a connection with the community – a pleasant surprise!

The most prominent and obvious change you will notice is the installation of the Disqus Commenting system.  For those that have Disqus, the interface will be quite familiar.  For those that haven’t, you can still comment without a Disqus account but you ought to think about signing up for one.  Plenty of websites use Disqus, and there are some really great resources to be found on their channel search.  If you’re curious, click here to check out their page.

For those that missed it, my short story The Innocent Sink just got picked up by Coffin Bell.  I’m pretty excited about it!  Coffin Bell is a relatively new publisher but they are rising fast and the masthead is growing.  From an author’s perspective, it’s very gratifying to have your work included in the early days of a quality magazine.  If dark fiction is your thing, I highly recommend checking them out.  It’s not a genre I typically play around with, but when I finished The Innocent Sink, I thought of them first.

A few online writers groups linked my article “The Rule of 33%” to their resource pages.  I’m honored.  If you know of any writer resource pages that would be interested, shoot me a message.  I’ve been doing this a long time, so if there are little tips and tricks that help anyone else, I’m happy to share the experience.

I’ve been watching the World Cup, only this go-around as an impartial fan of the sport as my beloved Azzurri didn’t qualify for the first time in 2,317 years.  As hard as that one was to swallow, it’s been rather fun watching games without the emotional investment.  It’s hard to predict a winner so early on, but a few teams have really stood out.  I’ll wait until the next round before deciding who to pull for but Croatia, England, Brazil, France, Uruguay, and Argentina have been fun to watch.  And you certainly cannot count out Spain.  Should be an interesting next round.  How’s your country doing?

Try out the new commenting system below!  And don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @paulkardos

The Innocent Sink

Sometimes things work out just as you planned.  I found out today that The Innocent Sink is going to be published by Coffin Bell Journal, issue 2.1, on January 1, 2019.  I am extremely excited to have my work represented in such a wonderful publication.  If you love dark fiction, do yourself a solid and go check them out.  There are some pretty amazing works by very accomplished authors featured in every issue.  I consider it an honor to be associated with that group.

The Innocent Sink is one of those stories where everything went right.  I wrote the first draft in one day, 5,200 words that just flew off my fingertips.  It needed edits – oh boy, did it ever – but the characters and plot were there from the get go.  By the end of the week and after four major edit runs, I knew it was ready.

Getting published isn’t a numbers game.  When you finish a story and are ready to submit for publication, it is really important to do your homework to find the best possible match.  That means reading and adhering to submission guidelines, but also getting a good feel of the other pieces each publisher puts into print, as well.  For The Innocent Sink, I had a list of five places I thought would be a good match.  Just so happens, Coffin Bell Journal was the top choice on my list.

Like I said, sometimes it works out that way.

There is more good news on the horizon, but today is all about how excited I am that The Innocent Sink has found the perfect place to call home.  It’s a great feeling and a good reminder of why I do what I do.

Got a success story you want to share?  I’d love to hear about it, comment away!



New Story, Same Old Story

Well, I’ve done it again. After countless rewrites and having received a blessing from my professional, often angry beta reading group, I have once again released a little white dove of fiction into the skies of a cruel, cruel world. You’re own your own now, buddy, best of luck. Gonna need it out there.

I suppose my process is the same as any other author. When a story is finished, or at least as finished as it’s going to be, I choose the top five publications that I think would be the best fit for it. It usually depends on the genre, the theme, and the reach of the publication. I especially like the ones that are picky and have intimidating submission guidelines. Because when they respond with a ‘yes’, you know your story will be in good company. I then spend the next twenty minutes formatting to the guidelines, writing brief introductions, and trying to thwart off my brain from finally convincing me of what a horrid writer I really am. It’s a fun life.

But my website isn’t about the follies of a writer. You can read that almost anywhere else, so I’d rather stick to what this website was meant to be. Namely, a place to post those silly little articles that I write to give myself a distraction from what I consider my “serious” work. They’re nonsense, I know. But fun to write and, hopefully, fun to read. They keep my fiction fresh and my fingers moving. If they entertain anyone to boot, that’s just a bonus.  (If this is the first post of mine you’ve ever read, have a look around, won’t you?  They get better, if by ‘better’ you mean different than this one.)

I don’t know what the proper percentage of likes-to-impressions (or it is impressions-to-likes?) ratio is on WordPress. In advertising, I know ten percent is a nice place to be. Same with YouTube, I think. But for a blog, I have no idea. My website is new, so I don’t get a lot of views yet. I guess that takes time. The good news, however, is that I have 5 likes on the articles from a pool of around 10 total views. (The other 150 views are me trying to fix mistakes and don’t really count.) Based on my advanced mathematical calculation abilities, that means half of the readers, who by some small miracle have mistakenly landed on my website, have poor taste in literature and a background devoid of culture. And, as I tell myself while stressing over the data, the other half probably meant to click like and just forgot. Probably too awestruck by what they read.

Suffice to say, I probably need to do something about the number of readers that come here. I think my best bet will be to start advertising it. Not pay for spots, but rather make sure it gets mentioned in the byline of every piece someone else publishes from now on. Missed opportunities, there. But, as I tell my children, the only problems you really have in life are the ones you do nothing about. As far as I can tell, that little number has fallen on deaf ears. But we’ve got time yet.

I should also make sure I don’t insult the people who click like on my articles, huh? I believe that those who appreciate humor are most likely to have a sense of one. So rather take offense, they probably chuckled at the slight. I hope.

And, of course, the word ‘hope’ brings me back to my little white dove. Surely one of my top five will pick it up. And, no, I won’t tell you which ones so I don’t look like a complete ass if they don’t. But rest assured, as soon as it gets picked up, I’ll be sure to post the good news here. Maybe even Twitter.

(That last line was just a way for me to easily segue into promoting my Twitter handle – /paulkardos Tricky, right?)

For the rest, don’t fret. More nonsense to come again next week. Until then, feel free to click ‘like’ below. Makes me feel better.

I have faith in you. You can do this!


via Daily Prompt: Thwart