Dancing in the Austere Light of the Moon, One Analyst Ponders the Struggles of Art Amidst a Wildscape of Ravenous Beauty and Rustic Splendor – it’s October.

*Inhales*

Ahhhh!

That Autumnal air strikes deep in the marrow, doesn’t it? It’s a great season to do just about anything you want, but we as creatures of habit are so akin to focusing on the selfish misery of our habitual life. Do not simply stop and smell the roses, run away, jump in a swamp, and appreciate a pumpkin patch from the ground floor every once in a while, why don’t you? There are too many mysteries that history and science cannot grasp; it’s the kind of knowledge that no amount of books will fix, and books are marvelous!

We have quite the email for you this time, sorry for the delay – read all the way down for a new short story, my most hideous yet!

Now then, since I’m feeling all sharp and dandy, how about a dose of auditory excellence?

OOPS!

Spooked ya!

It’s also around that time of year where half of the U.S. population dresses up like anime characters from European myth, and the other half of the population attempts to feed into their tooth-rotting addiction.

No big deal, the government has done worse than that, I guess. It’s time to MELT SOME TEETH!

W-wait, what’s THAT?!

BOO!

Gotcha again! It wasn’t a mummy at all! It was just Hurt Minion getting ready for the next batch of our super daring newsletter narratives.

Oh, I wanted to talk about that!

Reflection: “Narratives”

I’d like to talk about taking care of people.

When it comes down to it, we are a species that worship stories. It was ingrained in us when we were wandering tribes to settle together and receive experiences, be they real or imagined, from the wisest and boldest and most thoughtful of our packs. No matter where you are from, or how separate you consider yourself from others in our world, this inexorable link binds us together, gives immortality to heroes, and extends the legacy of the great beyond their generation to affect the whole world.

After all, if it weren’t for a few good stories, who would recognize the name Shakespeare?

From the mere slant of our evolution, we were wired to love and be enriched by stories. It’s not like eating, or sex, or survival, which had a self-evident advantage, this was the passing of wisdom, a form of survival in itself taking the form of campfires at night, half-full mouths explaining concepts, gossiping of misdeeds, and heralding heroisms.

It is something we all need in order to live, in fact we tell ourselves stories subconsciously throughout the day to make sense of our outer and inner worlds – theoretically speaking we cannot even think objectively, as the attempt to do so requires a worldview compatible with finding value in observing things “objectively” in the first place.

Steadily, surely, I feel like I am understanding the undercurrent of what we, as humans, desire in the subtle craft of the story – the very essentia of our creative spirit.

And how better to use it than for MARKETING!

*airhorns.wav*

Gotcha again!

No but really, the emails have been going well. Not my typical posts like the one you’re reading now, mind you, but the ones with the Minionry in them causing trouble, increasing television ratings from PG to way higher since 2014, and generally making a huge mockery in people’s inboxes in support of Delivery Minion.

I’ve realized that if you want people to read, you have to make them care. Yes, it’s extremely obvious on paper, but in practice there are a million times a million separate approaches to gain your little gold star of care and service. There are all sorts of ways to engage people with the use of the imagination, and I think sending a novel-sized worth of narrative minion visits was the right call with engaging people.

Believe it or not, you have been reading stories this entire time!

*Evil Laughter + Characteristically-Ominous Lightning Strike*

I’ve written a ton of these emails, those of you just now joining the email list are really in for it, as you have a marathon of silliness to get through as minion by minion delivers their parcels your way. The story needs to make you care about what’s going on, and when people care, they read.

Just wanted to give you a blink at what’s going on in my side of reality. In other news, I’m getting really good at making baked potatoes! Like whoa: when you crust them up with salt and oil, they’re just so tasty!

Now to completely steer in the absolute opposite direction, I’d like to talk about something entirely different.

A Request:

No, like the real kind!

I appreciate all you do with reading these emails, buying the books, and leaving reviews, that all makes my week.

No, really, just one book is enough to make happy – rest assured I’m quite easy to please these days!

Today, however, I’d like to bust some of my social credit points and do a dreaded “shout out” as the cool instagram influencers call it.

Please, take a look at this minion here:

Wow, that tuna is huge!

But back on track: it looks about the same as most of the other minions, yes? I mean, not the same in that there’s nothing distinguishing them. Of course Hydroponics Research Minion loves wearing lab coats and swinging around The Kingsday Tuna to drum up some holiday spirit and cause abrupt realizations about how much it hurts to get slapped by a five hundred pound fish.

I mean the style – the art of the emails, lore pages, and otherwise have been reasonably consistent, I’d like to say.

Well that’s what, or more accurately who I want to bring up.

The artist Shiroasa has been the artist for The Holy Verses for some years now. I knew ever since I commissioned an updated profile picture that they would be one I’d want to hold onto and pester constantly to build our great literary world.

They’ve done the art for every minion, all of the book backmatter, most of the chapter title art, most of the lore entries, and even did emojis for our discord server!

Well, they’ve finally made a big jump and have released their very own Kickstarter campaign! They’re into dark gothic, catholicy, gory stuff with a dash of cuteness, so if that sounds like your cup of tea, I’d invite you to check out their campaign:

This is a big moment for them, and I expect they have a lot of hopes and dreams as an artist riding on this one. They need to make dough, and for me to help their art to take off and achieve that would be a great honor for me. Again, I am but a humble author; I have no authority over what is hip, but I wanted to lend a hand in the construction of a friend’s dreams – call me a sucker but I believe that kind of thing is important. Again, you can access the campaign at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/shiroasa/saints-lament-gothic-enamel-pin-designs.

Thank you for reading, and a double thank you if you decide to support them.

Now, the moment you’ve been waiting for. (I hope.)

Hark Minion! Hail Minion! It’s so good to see you guys again!

This month’s bit of writing is… Look, I’ll be upfront, I slammed a lot of ideas into this one, and one of the characters stood out as needing some extra development, and things went sideways.

I mean, I’m not about writing lots of sex, I think most stories don’t need it as a narrative device, but there are some times where you must follow your artist’s volition and write hideous, perverted, heartwarming holiday filth.

If you don’t already know about The Knight’s least-chaste member, or one of The Minionry’s most heavy handed backstabbers, you will. It’s going to get personal in this one, but at least the embarrassment happens in public and around people she cares about, so that makes it better… right? Not being alone is a good thing, yes?

Anyway, this one’s really pushing it. I’m not going to slap an age rating on here because you are old enough to get through this one, but please, do not read this one to your kiddos. I mean, we should be upfront and just lay out that I consider none of my books to be appropriate reading to young children. Even Woodcastle has an F bomb hidden in there somewhere, and let me tell you it only gets more twisted from there.

I actually don’t consider my self an “adult” writer, but the truth of the matter is that to visit on some topics I want to, I had to craft a universe that was crude enough for me to interact with those sorts of things. The characters will do what is natural to them: they come first, of course – isn’t it fun to put them in their little pastel boxes and watch them run around and worry about postmodern conflicts? Honestly I’m quite proud of all of them: You think you know a person, but they have a whole underworld of issues boiling just below the surface. The great beauty is when the story slowly draws those inconsistencies out. Characters shine their brightest when we place them in hideous circumstances, after all.

Anyway, this one’s called The Hardcore Holidayoff, with a side-title of All All’s Eve. I think you’ll enjoy it.

This story contains:

-An outman minion

-Knight Harmony causing a lot of disharmony both in herself and out in the physical world

-Our first introduction to the second Wizard’s Society member we’ve met (bet you couldn’t guess who the first one is)

-Trap Minion almost trying at 50%

-Depressing and questionable scenes back to back to back

You can read this heartwarming, terrifying, hideous, wonderful blob of holiday-themed madness over at:

https://kellinkston.com/2021/10/17/the-hardcore-holidayoff-aka-all-alls-eve/

I hope you enjoy it and not write me any angry emails! (but even if you did, you couldn’t stop me, hahaha!)

In Closing:

You’re important, you know. You have the ability to shape the world, both inside and out, so take some time today to breathe and watch your thoughts. The more you practice observing your ideas, the more power you have over them, at least in my experience.

I hope you have a good start to your holiday season, and not get too scared of ghosts and all that this coming Spooky Day.

Look forward to another email next month. Thanks again for reading.

Write you again soon,

Kell

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