Showing posts with label music. Show all posts
Showing posts with label music. Show all posts

Friday, February 28, 2014

The Playlist for FADE INTO ME

Next week I'll start working on the query and synopsis for FADE INTO ME while I wait to hear back from critique partners. I'll also return to critiquing the novels my friends sent me before my Muse took over the month of February.

Today I just want to share a few of the songs that I've listened to a thousand times while writing or editing FIM.

The first song that inspired parts of the plot was..."Fade Into Me" from This Loud Morning by David Cook

Focus on the line that says, "When we disappear into each other, our colors appear and bleed into one"

Once Caedmon (I think he'll keep this name) gets over himself, this becomes his song.
"Over" from Red River Blue by Blake Shelton

And just last week I heard this song and dropped everything to look it up and add it to the playlist. It seriously sounds like someone read my book and put Ryanne's story to song.
"You Hear a Song" by Cassadee Pope

If you want to check out the other music that kept me company, feel free to visit the playlist I made on Grooveshark.

Friday, September 13, 2013

What Does the Fox Say?

QueryCon is in full swing over at Unicorn Bell.

Until it's over, I'm just posting random little things over here. Today I'm sharing a video a friend shared on Facebook. I don't even know what to say about it.

It's strangely...well, it's kind of...I don't know if...

I'll let you decide for yourself since I'm speechless after watching it several times (I'll never divulge how many!)


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Guest Blogger Amalia Dillin--Forged by Fate Playlist

The Theme Songs of Forged by Fate

I’m not really a playlist kind of girl, when it comes to my writing. Generally I just put on Pandora in the background and try not to listen too closely to the lyrics. But that said, there were definitely a few songs which felt perfect for characters of this series, and I have been known to play them on repeat every once in a while, when I was feeling stuck. I hope you’ll enjoy them, too!

For the gods who are thwarted, time and again – most especially one goddess in particular, but naming her would be awfully spoilery of me – Lisa Loeb’s “I Control The Sun.”

And one for Eve and Thor, for whom time moves very, very slowly. And friends disappearing is really the least of it. Great Big Sea’s “Long Life (Where did you go)”

Finally, for the immortal Adam and Eve, the song “It’s All Been Done” by the Barenaked Ladies is beyond perfect.

So now you know what I was listening to while I was writing – I’ll leave it up to you to decide what it means, when you read the book!


After Adam fell, God made Eve to protect the world. — Adam has pursued Eve since the dawn of creation, intent on using her power to create a new world and make himself its God. Throughout history, Eve has thwarted him, determined to protect the world and all of creation. Unknown to her, the Norse god Thor has been sent by the Council of Gods to keep her from Adam’s influence, and more, to protect the interests of the gods themselves. But this time, Adam is after something more than just Eve’s power — he desires her too, body and soul, even if it means the destruction of the world. Eve cannot allow it, but as one generation melds into the next, she begins to wonder if Adam might be a man she could love.

Forged by Fate available now, from World Weaver Press!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Insecure Writer's Support Group March 2013 and Birth of a Novel

Since I'm not going to blog this month, I'm combining my IWSG and Birth of a Novel posts this week. After this, I'll just be putting up pre-scheduled guest slots. You'll see why below.
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer.

Thank you Alex Cavanaugh for keeping this great community going!

This month I want to get back to work. February was a lot of fun, but if I don't get writing it'll never happen again. The plan is to not blog this month and use that time to do one of two things.

  1. Prepare all my posts for the April A to Z Challenge
  2. Finish the 1st draft of my sequel
So far things are going okay. I've written drafts of the posts through G. I've done a bit of writing as well, however it wasn't on book 2. It was on book 4!

The second to the last scene in Talia's story was really shouting at me over the weekend. In fact, every time a certain song came on the radio I just bawled. Many of you know I'm a professed cry baby, but this song just hit me. I've heard it many times and remained unmoved. But the words sunk in and I visualized Talia feeling them to her very core. 

I had to sit and write the scene. The setting wasn't really there, and I wasn't sure how they got to this point in the story, but the dialogue was solid and real in my head. And that's what I jotted down. Over 600 words of this painfully beautiful conversation between two people I've grown to love. Now I have to fill in all the blank spaces in between the end of The Magic Wakes and Here There Be Dragons. My hope is that now I've listened to my characters and saved the inspiration, they'll let me get back to writing The Search For Knowledge, which is currently sitting at 39,200 comfortable words.

However, I keep opening the doc, looking at it, and then closing it. Most of those words are in 1st person and need to be re-written into 3rd to match TMW. But I keep thinking I should finish the story line first and worry about rewriting later. Or maybe I'll rewrite first to get back into the story. *sigh*

Here's where the insecurity comes in. Well, it's more like frustration.

I've suffered bouts of depression off and on for years. Even though my head tells me to go seek medical help, I'm stubborn. I always think I can fix it myself. It isn't as bad as some people experience, and it's mostly in the gray gloominess of winter, but it stinks.

I WANT to sit and write.

My body wants to lie in bed and sleep.

When I'm sleeping I can dream all these wonderful stories. I can live them. I can feel all these emotions. But when I'm awake I'm empty. The only thing I really feel is guilt.


Because I have a wonderful life. There's nothing wrong with it. I have a great husband who works hard to provide for me and our children. My kids are smart, healthy and independent. And funny! I have friends who love me and support me. I'm healthy. So what's wrong with me?

I think I wrote more of myself into Talia than I realized. I need the sun shining on me, renewing me and energizing me in order to feel whole. It's not even spring and I miss my North Carolina back yard. Where am I going to sit and write? I've got a postage stamp surrounded by a big wooden fence. No trees. (See how much I'm like Talia? I NEED trees!)

How am I going to make myself write when I don't want to do anything? (I'm writing this post Tuesday at 1 pm and I'm still in my pjs--I'll change in time to walk to the bus stop.) My head knows and understands what's wrong and what I should do to feel better.

  • Exercise
  • Shower
  • Accomplish something

So why is it so hard to make myself do what I know I should?

Monday, January 28, 2013

Disciple by L. Blankenship and the Playlist

ONCE UPON A TIME, there was a young(ish) writer who churned out half a million words about a girl named Kate. That wasn't a bad thing, but the half million words had serious problems. OMG, did they have problems. So the story was trunked.

About seven years pass. (insert 7 year itch joke here)

And this song comes along: Coldplay's "Viva La Vida"

And the not-so-young(ish) writer pictures herself walking the streets of the story's town with a push broom (so she can sweep the streets that she used to own) and starting to think about that story again. And all its problems. And how to fix them.

Then one day, BLAM, she saw how to make it work. The result was Disciple.

Music is important to my writing. I don't have much skill at creating music, but it has some deep hooks in me. It's been proven that music moves through different parts of the brain than language, and I'd be willing to bet it can tap different parts of one's creativity.

I closely manage my music, when I'm writing. I create playlists for each story. Sometimes songs attach themselves to certain characters -- sometimes I know why, sometimes I don't. But here are some of the songs I associate with Disciple's three main characters. (Note: the video is irrelevant. YouTube just has the most complete collection, and it's easy to embed.)

Kate: "Losing My Religion"
Not literally. What Kate loses is her innocence, her understanding of how the world works, as her skills develop. The higher ranks of magical ability, in the "Saints of War" universe, involve a small number of people who have good reasons to keep secrets. She leaves the simple life of a peasant-born girl behind as she learns the reality behind the magic.

You'll notice that the other two characters have two songs apiece -- Kate has a second, but I think it would be too much of a spoiler right now.

Kiefan: "Make Me Bad (Sickness in Salvation Mix)"
There was a time when I worried about Kiefan being too goody-two-shoes. I wanted him to be a strong, heroic prince, but worried that he'd be unrealistically noble and come across as a stuck up ass. Then this song (and some others) came along and got me in touch with his dark side, his anger and anguish.

"Less Than a Pearl"
After "Make Me Bad," Kiefan swung a little too far into the darkness. iTunes randomly picked this song to play while I was writing one of Kiefan's important scenes in Part III (no spoilers!) and it stuck to him. The emotions matched up well to the scene. I was glad, because it pulled him back from the dark.

Anders: "Tonight/Only Girl in the World"
I love this mash-up. Love it. Anders is something of a playboy, so I'm sure he would've sung this to many girls over the years… but eventually he came to mean it in a different way. It took on a note of pleading. But no spoilers!

"How You Remind Me"
Yes, both of my boys have their angry songs. This one is pointed at the whole world, when it comes to Anders -- everyone is always reminding him that he's the ne'er-do-well bastard.

I hope you enjoy the playlist. Want more? There are "theme songs" for the first three parts of Disciple at my blog.

Back cover copy for Disciple, Part I:

The saints favor her, else-wise a peasant girl like Kate Carpenter would never be apprenticed to the kingdom’s master healer. But her patron saint also marks her ready for the duty of tending to a mission that must cross the ice-bound mountains. Their little kingdom faces invasion by a vast empire and desperately needs allies; across the snow-filled pass, through the deathly thin air, is a country that’s held off the empire and may be willing to lend an army.

Kate knows about frostbite and the everyday injuries of wilderness travel. She can heal those.

She’s not ready for the attentions of a ne’er-do-well knight and the kingdom’s only prince, though.

And she isn’t ready for the monsters that harry them night and day, picking off their archers first, wearing the party to exhaustion, pushing Kate beyond the limits her healing abilities.

She must keep them alive, or her blood will be on the snow too.

Disciple, Part I is available at all major online retailers • Disciple, Part II on sale April 1st!
Pre-order Part II, or pick up a bundle of both parts, NOW at Kickstarter! Click on the widget to see the book trailer and the pledging options.

Read a sample of Part I, Chapter 1 • Read a sample of Part II
Cover and blurb for Part I or Part II

Disciple, Part I on Goodreads • Part II on Goodreads

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Soundtrack to The Big Smoke by Cally Jackson

I'm honored to have Cally Jackson guest posting with me today. If you saw my book review you already know how much I enjoyed her debut novel. Today she's sharing the music she listened to while writing this amazing coming of age tale.

Take it away Cally!

Like many authors, I often use music to help get me into the right mood when I’m writing. I used this technique frequently when writing my debut novel, The Big Smoke, which is told from the perspectives of the two main characters, Seb and Ceara. Interestingly, I could only ever listen to music where the lead singer was the same gender as the character. (Strange, I know!)

I had some favourites for both of the characters: Missy Higgins, Lisa Mitchell and Kelly Clarkson for Ceara; and Kings of Leon, Powderfinger, Ben Kweller and Bernard Fanning for Seb. I must have listened to these two songs a dozen times while writing The Big Smoke:

Apart from my regulars, there are a number of songs I listened to for certain scenes and some that are even mentioned in the story…
“Once I got a seat on the bus, I put on my headphones. I closed my eyes and started thinking about Lara while The Beatles’ I Want You bounced round my ear drums. Maybe, if I played my cards right, tonight would be the night I’d finally get laid.”

“I stopped at the little cart with the green tin roof and tried to decide if I wanted a Coke. Right then, two things happened – the song Help started playing on my Discman and this girl walked up the steps from the gardens, wearing a shirt with the Help album cover on it. I swear, the exact instant John Lennon sung the word ‘Help’ into my ear, I saw the album cover on this girl’s shirt.”

“You’re my best friend. Of course I want to know what’s going on.’
'Why? It’s not like you can do anything. You have no idea what it’s like, throwing away your dreams for a three-year prison term.’ 
I bit my lip. ‘I’m on your side, Bek. Don’t forget that.’
‘I know. I’m sorry. Don’t listen to anything I say.’ Bek smiled feebly and turned up the radio. A Dido song was playing, its mood regretful and melancholy.

A few rain drops hit the windscreen. Before long, it began to drizzle and everything turned grey. I watched the rain drops chase each other down my window and wondered what I could say to help Bek accept her situation. Nothing came, so I stayed silent.”

Listening to these songs takes me straight back to each of the scenes they inspired. How about you? Do you use music to help get you into the right mood for the scene you’re about to write? Or do you find music too distracting? Have any particular songs or bands inspired scenes in your writing?

More About The Big Smoke
Ceara’s desperate for love; Seb’s desperate to get laid. Ceara adores reading novels; Seb hasn’t finished a book in years. Two strangers, both moving from small country towns to Brisbane – the big smoke. As they prepare to attend the same university, their paths seem set to collide, but they keep missing each other. Maybe fate is keeping them apart, or maybe it’s just chance.

When the semester starts, things get complicated. Ceara’s best friend withdraws from her, Seb’s closest mate turns into a sleazebag, and the relentless demands of university make their stress levels soar. Before their first semester is over, both Seb and Ceara will be forced to question who they are and what they want from their lives. Will they have the courage to find the answers, or will they crumble under the pressure? And when they finally meet, will it be love at first sight or a collision of headstrong personalities?

You can purchase a copy of The Big Smoke:
  • in paperback format from Cally's buy page (Australia and New Zealand) or Amazon (rest of the world)
  • in e-book format from Smashwords (preferred digital supplier), Amazon, iBooks, Kobo, Diesel and other e-stores.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wimsical Wednesday and an Award

Sorry I've been so random lately. There is just so much stuff going on in my head and in my life right not that it's hard to concentrate. Thank goodness for those blog awards that go around like crazy!

In the last few months, three people have given me the Versatile Blogger Award (yeah, ironic since I can't think of things to write about)-Elizabeth Poole, Yadin Bromberg, and Cally Jackson. I added each of them to my awards page, but didn't post a new 7 things about me. Here is the ORIGINAL 7 things from the first time I did this in 2010.
And now for a new 7 things about me:

  • I still dream about the end of the world on a regular basis. It no longer creeps me out because I can use bits and pieces of the dreams for the stories I write. Let's just hope my dreams don't turn out to be prophetic like Talia's.

  • I'm almost forty, but I forget that all the time. Perhaps its because I hang out with teenagers every day of the week? Whatever the reason, I'm still seventeen in my head. This causes problems when I think I can do something and then my body reminds me I'm getting older. This is why I've started running again.

  • I've completed 5 half marathons over the last four years. Then I stopped running and gained 20lbs. I DO NOT recommend you try this. Each run now feels like I have 10lbs weights tied to my ankles. It hurts, its hard, and I don't want to do it. But the only way I'm going to lose the weight and have more energy it to run. Plus, since I started running again two weeks ago, I've been able to write new stuff. It clears my head for me. :)
  • Yesterday I went to the eye doctor and learned my eyes are still good. Except for night time. The weird part about that is that I was disappointed. I wanted an excuse to get contacts. The plan is I'm getting violet contacts closer to book release time. How cool would it be to wear them to any book signings??? (See totally think like a 17 year old!)
  • I'm still head over heals in love with my husband. We  met when we were twelve and finally married after knowing each other for ten years (we had to grow up and he wanted to serve a mission for our church). It's been almost 16 years since then and he's still my best friend. When we get busy with "work" or our church activity, he's the person I miss the most. If I were to be stranded on a desert island and could only take one thing--it would be him. :)
  • My religion is more of an every day life style than just a Sunday thing. Hopefully this is true for most people, but sometimes I wish it wasn't. I love my church, but it keeps me as busy as my kids. This leaves little time for my selfish writing desires. 
  • And # 7: This song has been stuck in my head for the last two weeks straight.

And for passing it along, here are my last seven new followers:
Rebecca Belliston
Julia Keanini
Michelle Ann King
Jess--How do I find you?
Encourage One Another
Laura Barnes

Is there anything you are just DYING to know about me?

Friday, February 17, 2012

New favorite song?

What a great week this has been! Lots of great blogfests celebrating romance, kisses, and all that jazz. Thanks for all the comments. They gave me lots to think about. I've also been reading Sendek on my Kindle. Wow, there are a lot of typos that I missed! And pronouns that didn't get switched in the POV change. Not having my computer to fix all of those is killing me right now. I tried to open my wip on hubby's computer and it didn't recognize the rtf file. That's how lame (read OLD) it is.

I'm still jotting notes and some scenes for Faerie Wings and Eleena of the Stars in notebooks. Not a lot, but just enough to keep the excitement from dying while I wait for the computer part to come in the mail.

This week signified bonus time for my family. I went wild and bought two new CDs. Yep, I'm a high roller. One of the songs hit me as the perfect end credit song for Faerie Wings if it were ever turned into a major motion picture. I can't tell you all the reasons, but let's just say the line about colors appearing and fading together sealed the deal.

I give you Fade Into Me by David Cook.

And this one would be perfect for the end credits of Eleena of the Stars.
Take Me As I Am also by David Cook.

Have a great weekend and I'll see you next week!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Birth of a Novel Blog Chain Week 1

Today is our first Birth of a Novel blog chain. Thanks to Elizabeth Poole for coming up with the idea. As you can see, I'm doing the Nano version (need not play to take part in this blog chain, BTW, so sign up if you want to join. Email me and I'll put you on the list.)

For my first entry, I'll be filling you in on my goals for Nanowrimo, and telling you a bit more about my chosen project for the month.

My goal for Nano is to get the complete draft of that summer  novel I never wrote on paper. That will be at least 50K. I'm aiming for about 75K for the finished project. This will be my first YA Urban Fantasy, so wish me luck! The idea has been stewing for a year now.

How about my back jacket blurb?

Everything you've ever heard about faeries is a lie.
Lies they told to keep us from learning the truth.
The truth? They live among us, sentenced to watch over and nurture their greatest mistake.
Ryanne never believed in faerie tales, and yet all the eyes of the Fae are watching her.
And they hope she will be the one to set them free.
And some of the images I chose as inspiration?
And there will be Celtic flavors throughout. Imagine a garden laid out in the Five-fold design.
And a bit of music? This is what my MC has to learn (well one of the things).

Please visit the other participants in the chain. Remember, it's not too late to join. Just email me with your blog address and I'll add you to the list. (

Blog Chain Participants
Angela Brown
Brooke Busse
Charity Bradford
Elizabeth Davis
Elizabeth Poole 
Fida Islaih
Lena Hoppe
Mia Hayson
Miranda Hardy
Nyxie Moon
Tessa C

Friday, October 21, 2011

What We Can Learn About Voice from Music

Remember that "Let's talk about you" post from a while back? I think I've answered all the questions (if I missed one, poke me with a stick), but Holly Ruggiero just wanted a post on writing craft. This one's for her and I hope if fits the bill.

Holly blogs over at A Southpaw's POV. She writes fantasy and urban fantasy, and I believe she was one of my first followers. Holly, thanks for sticking around with me through all my mood swings.

Sunday night I drove to a meeting half an hour away. I listened to the following song four times in a row. As I listened, this post formed in my head. I hope it makes sense.

First, I suggest you plug in some earphones and listen to the song. Let it fill you, expand your spirit, and make all the stress in your life disappear. (Feel free to listen to it over and over.)

I don't have a clue what the words mean. I'm sure I could look up a translation, but I won't. Everything I need to know and understand in order for the song to touch me is in the voice.

The violin, so clear and piercing in its sincerity. Full of longing, climbing and falling, taking its time and rushing. Melancholy and exultant. Reaching, ever reaching. For me, it sounds like the core of life itself.

And then Josh Groban sings. Effortless, compelling, drawing you into the emotion even further. You can't help but feel something.

Now, we've all heard that we need to find our own voice in our writing. I finally got it listening to this song. We each have a unique voice, and when used correctly, we can pull the reader in. Make them feel something

So, lets take a look at our physical voice.
The sound of each individual's voice is entirely unique not only because of the actual shape and size of an individual's vocal cords but also due to the size and shape of the rest of that person's body, especially the vocal tract, and the manner in which the speech sounds are habitually formed and articulated. Wikipedia
Voice can be describe by its pitch, volume and timbre. (Indulge me, I think this is fascinating and wonder how I can apply it to describing my MCs voices. I'll try to keep it brief.)

Pitch is how we order sound based on the frequency of vibrations of the vocal cords. High or low.
Volume is simply how loud or soft the sound is.
Timbre/Tone is where things get fun.
"In simplest terms, timbre is what makes a particular sound unique from another sound. For instance, it is the difference between a guitar and a piano playing the same note at the same volume." Wikipedia
Now, let's compare it to our writer's voice.

No one can write a story exactly like you because of your unique life experiences, the depth of emotion you have experienced, your sense of humor, fairness, justice, etc. Your habits also effect your writing skill.  --Me, I just set it off to mirror the above. :)
Pitch is how we hook our readers or agents. I'm lumping cover blurbs in this. The 'frequency' of times we share our books with others strengthens our pitching muscles.
Volume could relate to how strong or subtle our voice is. Do you have a snarky sense of humor that is impossible to miss, or one that is more of an intellectual puzzle? Is your romance cute or steamy? You could also relate volume to the sheer number of works you finish and send out into the world. The more books you publish the 'louder' your voice in the writing world.
Tone is the attitude a writer takes towards a subject or character: serious, humorous, sarcastic, ironic, satirical, tongue-in-cheek, solemn, objective.

What does your writer's voice sound like? Do you know? 
Tip: find one of your favorite sentences or paragraphs and that's probably your voice. I'm going to go look for mine now. ;)  
When you find yours, come back and post a snippet in the comments and I'll do the same.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Posting change for this week

Normally I post Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, but tomorrow is the LDS Conference Blogfest so this week, I'll post Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. Here is the plan:

Tuesday--LDS Conference Blogfest (discussing one of my favorite talks from the conference)
Thursday--Author interview with Elana Johnson!
Saturday--What I learned about pacing from the 2005 movie The Poseidon Adventure.

And because I have to share something today...This girl is amazing, and I think she's only 11 years old. I wanted to share the song anyway and Maddi Jane blew me away. Here she is singing Again by Flyleaf.

And check out her Jar of Hearts by Christina Perri--amazing!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

First Crusader Challenge

For my new followers, I'm always late to the game. :) But, I usually show up. Last Friday, Rachael posted the first challenge for the Crusaders.

The Challenge: In 300 words or less, tell us:

· one secret
· one lie
· one interesting quirk
· one annoying habit
· one of your best character traits, and
· one of your favorite things in the whole world.

The post can be in any format, but must include the random words, “bloviate,” “fuliguline,” “rabbit,” and “blade”.

NOTE: Rachael, I have not finished following everyone, so I don't qualify for the prize. I'm working on it though!

Ok, so, I was sitting in the doctor's office for my daughter's appointment wondering what approach to take with this challenge. I decided to write a rap song. And yes, I mean NO, I'll never change the music world with my mad rapping skills. Wrapping is more my style, but hey, the attempt made me laugh so I'll share with you anyway. And it weighs in under 200 words!

Just imagine an awesome rapper spewing these words fast and rhythmic.

I may look like the mom next door,
but look again and you won't be sure.
My blade is the pen, cause it's sharper than the sword.
Meek as a rabbit,
that's become my habit.
Eat and run,
my kind of fun.
My best trait isn't hard to figure,
I'm a great list-ner.
In life, many come to supplicate.
In my direction they bloviate,
and then don't reciprocate.
What's up with that?

---insert beat boxing bridge-----

Sittin' by the lake,
Tossin' crumbs to those in a fuliguline state,
My child fell in.
My heart beat like sin,
Until I pulled him out again.
Let the music flow through,
Comfort then soothe.
Excite my inner dream
To fill the room with my cellist steam.
Bow glides over the strings
While my heart and mind sings.
Yo-Yo Ma!
Reverberate and fade.
It'll all be okay.
If its a friend you seek,
Step up, then take a seat.
Your secrets safe with me, unless I talk in my sleep.

I may have revealed something about me that isn’t strictly true, can you guess what it is?

And now a little cello for you to enjoy.

I wanted to share THIS CLIP, but embedding was disabled.
This one is really good too.
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