Kelly McCullough writes fantasy, science fiction, and books for kids of varying ages. He lives in Wisconsin with his physics professor wife and a small herd of cats. His novels include the WebMage and Fallen Blade series — Penguin/ACE, and the forthcoming School for Sidekicks — Feiwel and Friends/Macmillan. His short fiction has appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies. He also dabbles in science fiction as science education with The Chronicles of the Wandering Star — part of an NSF-funded science curriculum — and the science comic Hanny & the Mystery of the Voorwerp, which he co-authored and co-edited — funding provided by NASA and the Hubble Space Telescope. Kelly on Twitter, Facebook, G+, ello

Me And My Creative Brain: A Dialogue.

September 26, 2016 in About Kelly, Kelly Vs. Morning, Silly

Brain: Ooh ooh ooh!
Me: What? It’s three in the morning.
Brain: I figured out the whole unicorn thing.
Me: What? The? Hell?
Brain: No, it’s great.
Me: It’s not great, it’s three in the morning.
Brain: No, I’ve got this.
Me: All right, It’s obvious you won’t let me sleep. Tell me.
Brain: *assuming an erudite English accent* It’s the equinox!
Me: …the hell.
Brain: *in accent* You see, the mistake is easy. Vernal instead of virginal. Right?
Me: *blinking* Not sure where you’re going with this…
Brain: *in accent* And equinox. Equi meaning center and nox…well, it doesn’t mean horn, but it sounds like ox and oxes have horns. Easy mistake.
Me: *in accent* First, it’s oxen…oh gods, now I’m doing it.
Brain: *in accent* See! It makes perfect sense. Vernal equinox and virginal unicorns.
Me: Go back to sleep, brain.
Brain: *drops accent* Not till we tell Laura, she’s going to want to hear this.
Me: Not at three in the morning.
Brain: Sure she will.
Me: I may not be _good_ at self preservation but I’m pretty sure on this one.
Brain: *pouts*
Me: *sigh* All right, I promise I’ll jot it all down and we can tell her first thing in the morning.
Brain:
Me: Brain?
Brain:
Me: You’re asleep already aren’t you?
Brain: *snores*
Me: Fucker.

Addendum from a few hours later with Laura.

Me: *sighs* My fucking brain.
Her: That’d be a good autobiography title for you.
Me: O.o
Her: *chuckles*

Friday Cat Blogging

September 23, 2016 in Cat Things, Friday Cat Blogging, Pets and other friends

Just take the damn picture and let me get back to sleep.

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Like dis!

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Even looking at that makes me all yaaaaaaaaaaawnie.

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You McCullough cats are super lazy.

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Daily Writing Habits

September 20, 2016 in About Kelly, Professionalism, Writing

I was asked when I write and for how long, but there’s no simple answer because time at keyboard has never been my writing metric. So, it can vary quite a bit day-to-day and has varied even more over time.
 
When I was starting out I wrote mostly in the late afternoons and evenings after my college coursework, from 4-6 hours. While Laura was in grad school I wrote 6-8 hours a day most days while she was at school—basically 10-6.
 
For the early Blade books I was writing mostly 9-12 in the morning with a second, smaller bite at the apple starting around 2. With the later Blade books and middle grade stuff I’ve often been doing most of my writing 3-5 in afternoon.
 
Some of the variability is writing speed. When I was starting out I wrote 2-4k words in 6-8 hours, of which maybe 1-2 was ultimately salvageable. Now I typically need to write 1-2k words a day for a deadline and I can use 85-95% of what goes on the page in a session. That can take anywhere from 1-6 hours to write depending on whether I know what happens next or not and if I’m in flow state.
 
I also used to do most of my thinking about the book while I was at the keyboard and trying to write. These days, that part of the work is quite often a separate step that involves walking and talking to myself. That, and I have a lot more non-writing tasks that are part of my job these days.

Friday Cat Blogging

September 16, 2016 in Bees, Cat Things, Friday Cat Blogging, Pets and other friends

So, I’ve been thinking about running for president…

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We will totally vote for you!

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Wait, was that hive full of angry bees?

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We’re in too!

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That’s like ten pounds of hen of the woods mushrooms.

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Well, actually, mushrooms are known for being informed voters.

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Wait, who’s the frog voting for?

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Friday Cat Blogging

September 9, 2016 in Cat Things, Friday Cat Blogging, Pets and other friends

Fly, my steed! Run like the wind!

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That is soooo undignified. Monkeys were made to bring food, not ride.

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Also, you can eat them in case of emergency.

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I am intrigued by your ideas. Do you perchance have recipes?

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You can’t eat monkeys! They bring the duckies!

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Also, as noted above, they make epic mounts!

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Who needs a mount when you have this excellent frog launching pad?

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Why the hell is there a frog in this story? Cats and caterpillars only, man!

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I am skeptical of the caterpillar half of that statement…

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On second thought, screw it, you do what you have to. Ima  take a nap.

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Again, thanks to Matt Kuchta, Mandy Little, Neil Gaiman, and Frogdor the Ribbinator for various guest appearances.

Friday Cat Blogging

September 2, 2016 in Cat Things, Friday Cat Blogging, Pets and other friends

Hooray for Friday Caterpillar Blogging!

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Da hell?*

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This isn’t going to end well…

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I like caterpillars. They are delicious!

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Dat not so bad.

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What about frogs?

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Frogs are also delicious!

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I would not eat a frog. Not with a dog. Not in a bog.

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Only if someone else catches it for me. Because I ain’t amovin.

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Man, it’s a good thing cats are so lazy.

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Not all cats!

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Thanks to Matt Kuchta, Mandy Little, Neil Gaiman, and the Hot Tub Frog for various guest animals.

Friday Cat Blogging

August 26, 2016 in Cat Things, Friday Cat Blogging, Pets and other friends

Froggy went a catting…

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Just no.

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I’d love to participate in this, but…well, no. Ima just gonna nap here.

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I find the entire exercise distate…distava…in poor taste.

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You nap-tay-toh. I say nap-tah-to…

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Belated Friday Cat Blogging

August 20, 2016 in Cat Things, Friday Cat Blogging, Pets and other friends

Is today the day for the competitive sleep off?

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I don’t know, it’s too bright out to check the roster.

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I’m going to throw down just in case. 3.2.1. zzzzz….

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I call this one Cannonball Z

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Dance party and sleep off in one move!

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Did someone say dance party?

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Oooh, I’m always in for dancing I’ve got the legs for it. 200 of them!

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I’ve got the disco floor lit up!

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…the hell?

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Don’t ask me, I was hired for the sleep off, as a couch…

Photo on 8-14-16 at 9.26 AM 9.46.59 AM

Friday Cat Blogging! With Special Guest Neil Gaiman

August 12, 2016 in Art, Cat Things, Friday Cat Blogging, Neil Gaiman, Pets and other friends

She’s behind me, isn’t she?

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Yeperrrbit!

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What the hell is with the frog?

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I think something like this…

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Cats are sooooooo weird.

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She’s behind me again, I just know it.

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That’s it, I’m going to watch something really surreal…

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Like this Gratuitous Author Cream Pie Sequence:*

Pie with Neil (closed captioned version) from Matt Kuchta on Vimeo.

With thanks to Neil Gaiman, Matt Kuchta, and the ever game Laura McCullough,

Friday Cat Blogging

July 29, 2016 in Cat Things, Friday Cat Blogging, Pets and other friends

Is it just me or is this gravity poorly adjusted?

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I’m ready, I have feathers!

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I’m not quite sure that’s how it works…

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I am going to cling to the thumb-monkey just in case.

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In proper cat household, thumb-monkey clings to you.

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I think I will cling to this plate of tuna.

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With thanks to Matt, Mandy, and Neil for the extra cats.