Original MINDER Video (FAIL.)

Now you’ve seen my official MINDER book trailer, I’ll safely confess I attempted making my own video before Matthew Niemann saved me.

My poor little effort was doomed from the start. I was on day 4 of the flu. We’re talking FOUR days of hallucination fever. Hot sweats. Cold sweats. Debilitating fatigue. I could barely flip my aching body from one side to the next. It took an act of God to get up and pee. I talked to the ceiling because no one else would come near. The family stayed away because apparently, the room smelled. I’m telling you, I was SICK. But on day 4, Christopher made an announcement.

“I think your book is here.”

(he said this from the doorway)

My book.

MINDER was a Kindle book before it was page-sniffable.The fabulous Theresa Jones helped me ready it for paperback, and Amazon sent a proof copy before it went live.

My copy had arrived.

I hobbled downstairs, sweaty and pale. And then I heard the voice.

Get this on film.

I wish it said to put on some lip gloss, because I looked like ass. But I listened. I was the color of an egg yolk. But I listened.

Christopher filmed me opening, then holding, my first copy of MINDER.

My body celebrated being vertical, while my hands celebrated 8 years of -let’s just say- hard work. My heart pounded, too, but it was probably just exertion. In any case, it was emotional.

A few days later, I had the bright idea to film “scenes” from the book. Another massive fail. First off, Mercury was in retrograde. NEVER attempt anything important during mercury retrograde. Secondly, my actors (are) spazmatrons. With gas. Thirdly, I am not a film maker.

1. Every scene was interrupted. EVERY SCENE. EVERY TIME.
2. That bloody ‘H the M’ package got dropped 50 times. Do you think it EVER landed right? No. Irritation level: 10.
3. All she had to do was call for Winnie. It was the one scene that actually went according to plan. Until she farted.
4. I gave up.

In the end, I decided to put my sorry efforts together for my own gratification and set it to music that, if nothing else, would make ME smile. So I did. I toyed with making it public, but God intervened and sent the talented, uber-professional Matthew Niemann to save my reputation. Thanks, Matt.

As for my video, well. . . I’ll stick to writing. But there’s some cool orb action from 1:09-1:27 and, if you’re a total freak, some soft toot action at 1:41. It goes without saying I don’t own any rights to this music, but for the love of God, turn up your speakers.

Peace, love, and portals,
Jennifer Kabay

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SIGNS

I’m big on asking for signs. Real big. Maybe because I know my prayers are heard (yours are, too.) And lately I’ve asked for a lot. Because I have big stuff happening, and I’ve been real nervous. Antsy. Second guessing every decision, wondering if I’m really on the right path because nothing seems to go according to plan.

Who’s plan? chimes the Greek chorus.
Erm . . . my plan.

Right. Therein lies the rub. Sometimes neurotic, controlling, hypersensitive writer people need cosmic reminding they’re not really in charge. I mean, not ultimately.

You must know by now I wrote a book. It’s called MINDER, and Kindle sales far exceeded my expectation. And now it’s coming out in paperback. I’ll publicly admit I hired an astrologer to help determine the perfect date for its paperback release. These things are important. If you’re skeptical about the stars affect on your personal life, just recall last month. June was wacky for just about everyone I know. Things broke. Stopped working. Plans fell thru. People lost wedding rings. Contracts. People went back on their word.

. . . releasing a book during Mercury Retrograde would be demented at best, so I wanted a professional opinion. We poured over charts and graphs. (It’s complicated stuff!) And YES. The stars, planets pointed to a particular day indeed. July 7th.

“July 7th!” I exclaimed, “Hot diggity dog, that’s Ringo’s Birthday!” I mean, if that’s not auspicious I don’t know what is!

But as time wore on, my ego lit a cigarette and blew smoke on my faith. Who releases a book on a MONDAY, she sneered, all raspy. And after 8 years of self-doubt and CONSTANT need for reassurance that not just my mom, Grandma, and best friend are gonna buy copies, here at the final hour, I sank to my knees.

Am I doing this right? I asked. Please let me know you’re all over this, God. Please give me a sign. Then I asked Grandpa, who makes his heavenly presence known fairly often, to please make it obvious.

I got my signs.

So Christopher decided to take a sledge hammer to our library this week. “Perfect time to be stirring up Spirit, honey,” I huffed. “Looks like Hobson’s lair up in here!”
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I walked by this particular pile, feeling VERY compelled to pick up a book.

Which one? I asked silently. That one, I felt, eyes resting on an old dusty blue one. There were many like it. It was one of the Harvard Classics: French and English Philosophers. Copyright 1910.

I picked it up. It was covered with dust. I opened it. Smelled like stale cigarettes. Grandpa. It probably hadn’t been opened in 30 years. But then I noticed something. A note, barely sticking out one of the pages. I opened it to J.J. Rousseau’s Profession of Faith of a Savoyard Vicar. Don’t ask me what that means, I don’t know. But to my surprise, the note said: Jennifer, and @ 10:30 scribbled at the bottom. I then noticed something else. A highlighted passage on the page with my name.

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Here’s what it said:

“I meditate on the order of the universe, not indeed with a view to explain it by vain systems, but to admire it perpetually and to adore its all wise Creator, whose features I trace in his workmanship . . . Shall I, who ought love and admire above all things that order which is established by his wisdom and maintained by his providence, desire that such order should be broken for me? No! such rash petition would rather merit punishment than acceptance. Not can I pray to him for the power of acting aright:for why should I petition for what he hath already given me?”

Okay, I’m no 18th century French Philosophical enthusiast. But I had chills. I read the old words and felt the modern day translation, LOUD AND CLEAR: Chill, Jennifer. Look at this earth. Look who made it. Look at that seed. It will rise from the dirt as a beautiful flower, in its own time, with no requirements of you. Things happen in accordance to Divine Timing. HIS time. Not yours.

And just to drive the message home, I then passed a box of memorabilia, previously tucked on the top shelf of an old storage closet, now in a pile alongside everything else on the floor. I picked up and unfolded the paper on top, scanned through it, and about fell over.

Three years ago, I had a tarot reading by a little 82 year old Mexican lady in Austin. Arguably the best reading I’ve ever had. I scribbled notes as she talked. Notes I’d forgotten about. Notes that were now in my hand. I read thru my reading, stunned at her accuracy. Then got to the last page. I recall at the end of my reading she started telling me my lucky days and numbers. “Write this down,” she said, divining one date in particular:
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Love,
Jennifer Kabay
Paperback Writer.

Post Your Happy!

People of the planet! I’m creating a giant, (geographically correct) wall of HAPPY and I NEED YOU! Yes, you! You there, sitting on the couch! You at work! You on the front porch! Irish! Sri Lankans! New Yorkers! Russians! Africans! South Dakotans! Londoners! Alsatians! You, taking a coffee break! You, on the toilet! (you shouldn’t use your computer on the toilet). You, the world over, I need you! 

Ready?

1. Grab a postcard.

2. List 3 things that make you super duper happy. (keep it clean, please.)

3. Mail it to me!

Your postcard could look something like this:

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Mail your postcard to:

J. Kabay 

P.O. BOX 278

San Marcos, Texas 78667

Of interest:

I will personally respond, by mail, to the first 100 received. ( So ensure your address is on there!) It’s important these postcards arrive from all over, otherwise my project will be very lopsided! Parents, I’d love to hear from your kids! If you’re on vacation, all the better! I need postcards from all corners of the planet!

Something about the postcard above: I bought it at Anne Frank’s house in Amsterdam in 2000, but never sent it out.  I will mail it to the person who sends me my 76th postcard. 

Your answers will help me with my second book.

Thank you so much! Can’t wait to hear from you! Every single postcard received will get a photo shout out on Author J. Kabay’s Facebook page!

Much love and gratitude,

Jennifer

A few from my collection so far:

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Who wants to win a painting by Christopher Barnett?

I love being married to a talented artist. It means I have purty walls. Badass illustrations. It means when my publicist says “Hey, let’s have a contest for your book. Can you think of a good prize?”….I know just the thing.

We are giving away a custom portrait. Picked by you, painted by Christopher. In case you don’t know my husband, he’s super talented. Like, ridiculously talented. He painted this:
Noah

And this:
CAR MURAL

And this:
paris

But those are murals. YOU get a portrait. Specifically, a retablo. Retablos are custom portraits painted on wood with acrylics and gold leaf. Christopher then distresses it to make it look like a relic. Like this:
CHARLIE
Your retablo can be of you. Your dog. Sid Vicious. Your Grandma. President Lincoln. Whatever.

So here’s what you have to do:
1. You have to buy my book.
Click HERE to buy.
2. You have to READ my book.
3. You have to REVIEW my book.
4. You have to post it by December 24th.

A winner will be selected at random (I will probably video one of the kids pulling and reading your name from a hat.) Anyone who posts a review AND is listed as an ‘Amazon Verified Purchase’ will be eligible for the drawing. Reviews in place WILL be eligible as long as they are verified purchases. Reviews submitted AFTER December 24, 2012 will NOT be eligible. Your review does NOT have to be ‘good’, just honest. We must be able to tell that you actually read “MINDER”. So in other words, “Buy this book. It was good, can you enter my name in the drawing now” ain’t gonna cut it. Did you like the book? WHY? Did you think the book was a colossal waste of 5 bucks? I suppose you can say that too. Just please say it tactfully.

So get crackin’! Get reading! Get reviewing! You do NOT need a Kindle to download MINDER. I myself do not have a Kindle or iPad so I downloaded it to my PC. A print copy is currently in the works but for now, peeps, we’re electronic. Feel free to post questions after this post. You may have the same question as someone else! Thank you SO MUCH for your support! Now I gotta go tell Christopher I volunteered him for this.

P.S. SHARE THIS LINK WITH YOUR FRIENDS. WE WILL SHIP THIS PAINTING WORLDWIDE.

“MINDER” by J. Kabay . Chapter One: What Happened to Margaret

Margaret gazed tearfully at her reflection in the mirror.

She hadn’t moved for at least an hour.

The paralysis of fear had taken over as she tried desperately to accept the fact she was about to die.

God save the Princess!”

“Long live the Princess!”

It was all very real now. They were getting noisier out there. And the louder they got outside, the sicker she felt on the inside. They’d locked her in chambers since the trial, but even in isolation she refused to break down. The idiotic guards might see her—and she must never appear weak, even if it was her last day alive.

But the noon hour approached quickly and the urge to cry was stronger than she was. Cook tried in vain to comfort her with a good breakfast, but who could eat with such a nervous stomach. The quail’s eggs and brown bread sat in a solid lump between her throat and belly now.

Boom. Boom. Boom-boom-boom.

The drummer.

Wouldn’t be long now.

She pulled her hands to her throat, rubbing it with trembling fingers. Her skin was pale and smooth, never having been exposed to much sunlight. She’d spent her entire life in a fancy chair wearing heavy dresses while being primed and educated to rule her country. Learning French, learning Spanish, etiquette and horsemanship . . . learning everything except how to have fun, it seemed. Now, she’d have no opportunity to use her French. C’est la vie.

“God save the Princess!” 

“Long live the Princess!”

Babies cried and dogs barked amongst the townspeople below. She was grateful for their attendance, though whether it was for support or entertainment she couldn’t be sure. She turned to her friend sitting next to her now.

“Do you think it will hurt, Sara?”

I couldn’t say, Margaret . . .

No one besides Sara was allowed to call the Princess by her first name.

I imagine it would only hurt for a moment,” she answered softly.

The Princess returned to the mirror, eyes resting on her necklace.

“And who shall have my pearls?” She rubbed a pearl between her small fingers. “I hope . . . I hope the axe doesn’t . . . .ruin them.”

You don’t want anything happening to your pearls Margaret, that’s right,” she said slowly, “Your mother gave them to you—how terrible if they fell into the wrong hands.”

“Oh dear Sara! You’re right!” She fiddled at the back of her neck. She wasn’t supposed to take them off. Not until her coronation. “Please take them!”

Are you sure?” She leaned forward, already reaching for the necklace.

“Yes, I’m sure. You’re my dearest friend and I’m ever so grateful. If only they’d let you testify on my behalf.” She slipped the jewels from her fingers, placing them on the table before her.

You know the Court would never listen to me.

“Yes, I know,” she sniffed, feeling odd without her pearls. “Imagine declaring me mad without consulting those closest to me! If mother was alive, she’d never let this happen!” She burst into tears, burying her face in Sara’s lap, a sobbing ball of blue satin and blonde curls.

The chamber doors slammed open and Friar walked in clutching his Bible. He’d been watching through a crack in the door for the past hour, hoping and praying for a way to save the Princess. It wasn’t right to execute someone so young, even if she was insane. But going against the Court without a shred of evidence would certainly put his own life in danger. The Court was in a sensitive position to safeguard the throne; the Kingdom could not afford another failed monarchy and foreign royals would never take them seriously with a mad Queen. This was justification enough to order her death.

The Princess jolted to her feet, backing away while Sara stared at the floor. He prayed his voice wouldn’t shake.

“I’m sorry My Lady . . . it’s time.”

“Sara, please help me,” she sobbed.

“Please Highness, we needn’t make it worse.” He squeezed the Bible. “They’ve paid for a special executioner…the blade is new.” He searched her face. “It will all be over quickly . . . please.”  He put a hand on her shoulder, pulling her gently.

The guardsmen marched into the chambers, taking her by the upper arms. She allowed herself to be guided a few steps then stopped and turned, making eye contact with her friend.

“Please don’t let them ruin my things.”

Sara nodded solemnly.

“Let’s go,” said a guard as they led her away.

The Friar walked quickly to keep pace, reading the Holy verses as fast as he could and Sara rushed to the window, peering to the courtyard below. Naturally, the kingdom was horrified to learn of Margaret’s fate and a small sea of people crowded the wooden stage below, many shouting curses at the tall, muscled executioner who, as was the custom, wore a black mask to conceal his identity.

Coward!” they screamed.

Show yourself!”

But he ignored them, his mouth expressionless while sharpening the shiny blade towering a foot over his own head. The castle doors opened and townspeople booed as the guards ushered the Princess through the bellowing crowd.

“Make way!” the Judge called out, his red robes clean and silky. It was he who presided over Court and delivered the verdict. But the crowd knew better than to shout anything directly at him. He waved a finger at a man to adjust the basket. God forbid another head roll off the stage.

The guards tightened their grip on the Princess’ biceps, her feet barely touching the ground as they carried her through the mob. Men, women, and children screamed for their Princess, reaching out, trying to touch her.

I’ll take her in!” they shouted.

May God forgive you!”

“She’s just a child!” a woman called. “Have mercy!”

The guards shoved the ragged woman from their path, making their way up the steps. The Judge met them at the top, raising his hand to silence the crowd. They hushed themselves quickly.

“Princess Margaret, do you understand the charges brought against you?”

She raised her chin.

“I find it most interesting you’ve waited until now to ask me my thoughts . . . Sir.”

The Judge held her stare before looking on the crowd.

“Does anyone have evidence contrary to the findings of this Court?” he called. “Any knowledge that will save the Princess now?”

Silence.

“She’s loony as a jaybird, Judge,” said one of the guards. “She been talking to herself the last hour,” he scoffed through brown teeth.

“Is this true, Friar?”

“Your Court made this ruling,” he answered tightly. “It has nothing to do with what I say.”

Answer the question, Friar. Is it true what the guard says?”

The Princess turned to him, her blue eyes darkened from an hour of crying.

Please child, he met her gaze, please understand I cannot lie.

“Yes.” He looked at the floor. “It’s true.”

The Judge stood still a moment then nodded at the executioner.

The crowd erupted again, their screams amplified by the stony walls enclosing the courtyard. In a panic, the Princess wrenched her arms free, looking to the tower. She wished Sara was here holding her hand, making it better, but the guard grabbed her neck, wrangling her towards the block.

“Don’t be so rough with her! The Friar lurched forward. “For God’s sake, have some respect!”

The Princess smiled feebly and knelt to the floor, allowing them to tie a sash around her eyes.

Boom. Boom. Boom-boom-boom.

 She laid her neck down, her blond curls spilling over the wooden block and the Friar leaned close. “God is always with you,” he whispered, tucking a curl behind her ear. “Even now.”  The guard yanked him back.

In nomine Patris et fillii et Spiritus Sancti-

The executioner stepped forward, raising his giant axe.

Sara gazed sorrowfully at the scene below.

She never meant to get the Princess in trouble. So many times Margaret begged her not to go and how could she when they always had such a good time together! Margaret would’ve missed her terribly if she’d gone and never come back! And there! She just looked up in her final moments! Didn’t that prove they were the best of friends?? The executioner swung his giant axe. Sara closed her eyes as Margaret’s head thudded to the stage. Idiots misplaced the basket again, she sighed, running the pearls through her claws. They were still warm, having been around Margaret’s neck since she was a baby, thirteen years before.

Margaret

*****

You just read chapter one of MINDER by J.Kabay, available now on Amazon.