Music Monday on Thursday

I’m a pretty humble gal.  I am not very good at taking compliments, I sort of dismiss them unless i’m mindful enough to remember a simple “thank you” will suffice.  But there is one thing I will brag about.  I’ll go on and on about.  I would venture to call myself a music evangelist.  I pride myself on is my good taste in music.  Music helps me feel good, helps me write and helps me sleep.  I’m lost without it.

I have had people WAAAAY cooler than I tell me that they don’t have access to cool music without me.  I have mailed CD’s across country to remedy that.   “Who uses CDs anymore” a young twenty-something asked me.  Well, probably older 30 somethings who use iTunes and don’t know how to get around copyright issues.  We need the CDs. But I digress.

So I thought that a gift I would give to someone who happened upon my blog on Mondays (except for this Thursday, just pretend it is Monday) would be the gift of a good song. Now, I can’t actually gift it to you, but i can gift you the momentary pleasure of listening to the song, enjoying the song and then maybe later you will purchase the song.

After 10 or so weeks I’ll burn all of the Music Monday songs onto a CD and have a giveaway.  YAY!  Giveaways are super fun!

Without further ado, today’s song is When I Grow Up by First Aid Kit.  First Aid is made up of two sisters that have magical sounding folksy voices.  Very singer/songwriter.  So sit back, close your eyes and take a listen.  Let me know what you think!

I confess… I love 80’s Europop! Shhhhh… you didn’t see this. Move along, nothing to see here, nothing to see.

What’s in a Name

This morning, after my youngest called me about 50 times while I was in the bathroom, I had the idea that changing my name to “I’m Ok!” would be the best thing ever.  So every time they screamed at me, they’d just be saying “I’m ok!”

and I’d be all “That’s great!” and go back to playing CandyCrush or something else just as useless.

wife

Courage

It’s time for another fun photo of a stoic man with makeup!  

Aside from the makeover I just gave him, he has some important words to say.  “Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway” So much of life is about closing your eyes and taking that step into the void.  A leap of faith.  Life is hard, fighting with your brain is hard.  There is security in the Rat Race but is there fulfillment?  Do not resign yourself to life less than stellar, do not lose hope.  Do not become a dream deferred.  “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”  So just freaking JUMP!

john Wayne

Finding Time to Write

Finding time to write is one of my biggest challenges.  Too many other commitments pulling at my legs… oh, wait, those are the kids.  But seriously, with working full time, having the three kids, my husband working downstate a few nights a week (and every other weekend) and the periodic photography jobs… it’s tough.

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That is how I found myself cursing at midnight last night because I had stayed up WAY too late.  I’m already sleep deprived and getting sick, the last thing I needed was to stay up till midnight.  But, I was writing and I got distracted.  I ended up writing over 4000 words last night!  I think it was worth it, my body disagrees.

But it wasn’t my fault!  Yesterday during the day I listened to a great podcast from Dead Robot Society.  One of the hosts yelled at me to write, even if it is just 250 words, just write dammit!  There really isn’t a reason not to write.  So I did… I just didn’t stop.  I blame the Robots!

However tired I am, forcing myself to write every day is a great habit to get into and one of the reasons I love NaNoWriMo so much.  You practically need to write every day to finish on time.  But unfortunately that also means that no laundry gets folded in November.  My spouse is a saint. But I do end up writing an entire novel.  The bones at least.

How do you find time to write?  Let me know in the comments.

Getting into Character

For me, knowing who my character is, what they feel like and who they are, is of the utmost importance.  If I have a poorly developed character I struggle with what they do, how they act and what they say.  Writing can already be so much like bleeding to death a drop at a time, that not doing your homework beforehand makes it all the more painful.

For the first book I wrote and finished, Second Chance Key, I took the easy way out.  I based the characters in the book on my friends and family.  Cop out, I know.  But I did it for a very specific reason.  It was November 1st and I had just learned about NaNoWrimo!  NaNoWrimo requires you to write 50,000 words in a matter of 30 days and… it must be something totally new.  New! ACK!!   I was working on Earthbound when I tossed it aside to do Lodestone, what I thought would be a novella (but is now around 70,000 words) because I thought it would be a quick write.  Silly me.  So, I find out about NaNoWrimo and I decide to put Lodestone aside to start what became Second Chance Key.  With no time to cast my story or even come up with one, I decided to go with a story I had told my children while we stayed at my brother’s lake house.  And then I pretty much flew by the seat of my pants for the following 30 days.  For Second Chance Key, I needed to do what was easy and taking character development out of the equation made things SO much easier.  So I “won” my first year.  YAY!

However, with my other stories, I do things a bit differently.  One thing I did for Lodestone was I created Wander her own Pinterest board.  This helped me not only find inspiration for the story (I also have a secret Lodestone board for my own personal notes/character inspirations) but it let Wander express her style, dreams and things she likes.  I was able to go back and look at some of her outfits, then have her wear them later. The music she liked, what movies and so on.

I don’t know that I will always create a Pinterest account for each of my main characters, but from now on I will definitely be having a secret board for each book so I can pin my different inspirations there.  It’s incredibly helpful and is a great place to keep your research!

There is my free advice for today 😉

 

The Importance of Stories

This year is the year I decided I’m going to make it happen.  Make writing happen.  I’ve written stories since I can remember, since I was in grade school.  I crave to tell stories and to live vicariously through my characters.  What I cannot do, they can.

My character Glory from Earthbound came from the sense of helplessness and sadness I felt when I heard horrible stories on the news.  Things that would make me want to wash my brain and forget forever.  I couldn’t undo what happened to those people, women…worst of all, children.  So I created her, and she would find a way to save them.

We all tell ourselves stories, we tell ourselves stories to cope, to entertain…it’s a part of life.

“He still loves me,” “Someday I’ll be famous”, “and they lived happily ever after.”  We do this all the time and may not even realize it.

My friend, a high school counselor, she finds herself worrying about the kids after they leave her.  Will they be ok?  Will they “make it”?  So I tell her their story.  I tell how they start college and struggle but get help, that they make really great friends and find people that become a family to them.  How they meet a partner that really loves them and gives them stability.  And how they make it.  Without stories we lose hope.

After telling stories for as long as I can remember, and three successful NaNoWriMo I decided I needed to get serious.  In spite of working full time, having three children and a husband that works a whole lot, I have to make time for it.  I have to require it.

Second Chance Key

SCKCoverHannah Brock is a mom on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Desperate to pull her crumbling world together she brings her small children to stay with her sisters at their strange lake house.

While there the unwitting children stumble into a dark fearful and unknown realm filled with dangers and loss. Will their Mother be able to pull herself together enough to help them or will they be lost forever?

 
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