Years ago my hubby gave me a copy of Bartlett’s Quotations, which I can lose myself in for hours because there are so many wise and thoughtful things said throughout the ages. It’s tucked onto the “most important” reference shelf on my desk along with my Flip Dictionary. But, the other day, I read a quote on-line about “doing.” I loved what it had to say and instead of reaching for Bartlett’s I stayed on the computer. Using Google, I ended up at brainyquote.com and found out it was attributed to Leonardo daVinci, who definitely had quite a bit of experience in doing.
So, of course I read everything that Leonardo had to say about life, the universe, and everything. Although we can’t meet this genius doesn’t mean we can’t glean something from him in our time. And then I wondered, “What did Michelangelo have to say? Anything quotable?”
Because Michelangelo is mentioned and admired by Grace in Winging It! And he’s going to make an appearance in book two and I was mulling over what would happen in that scene. What did the artist think about? Would there be quotes to help me to bring him to life on the page?
So guess what quote popped up first on the site.
“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”
At any rate, he said many other wise and wonderful things, and then I started to wonder if he might say one of these to Grace.
You know what? I think he just might.
Is everybody feeling in the holiday spirit? I hope so.
I am (feeling in the holiday spirit, that is.), so I’ve decided to give away a sleigh full of books. If you have a Kindle Fire, or Paperwhite, or app feel free to stop by Amazon on the schedule below to pick up your copy.
Seasons and Holidays – is FREE RIGHT NOW through 12/15
Colors – Will be FREE 12/18 – 12/22
Opposites – Will be free 12/16 – 12/17 and again on 12/23, 12/24 and Christmas Day.
Winging It! — Will be FREE 12/14 – 12/17
My Wishful Thinking – Will be FREE 12/20 – 12/23
Hope you enjoy the books and this version of the classic by Michael Bublé. Happy Holidays, Everyone!
Just a quick note to let you know I have a post today over at the group blog YA INDIE. I blogged about how writers can connect with readers on Goodreads. This is my second post over there. The first post dealt with why I like to blog and how to think about topics.
If you’re a writer you don’t need to be YA or INDIE to find useful ideas and tips, so head on over. I’m enjoying this group blog as a new way to connect with other authors, and if you’re a reader not a writer, you might still find some really cool new authors, so you’re invited to the party, too.
I really wanted to hit this milestone of 10,000 books sold in my first year and missed it by about a month. Oh, well.
It’s really small potatoes compared to a lot of authors, but it makes me happy. So…. thank you, readers!!
Before he was Cinna in The Hunger Games, Lenny Kravitz was an incredible rocker. Actually, he’s still an incredible rocker, but some of you may only know him as an actor, and you really owe it to yourselves to get to know his music.
So, why is “Fly Away” this Monday’s song?
Well, because it’s always, always always, been a favorite of mine. And, I’ve always thought it’s the perfect song for Grace from Winging It! She wants her wings for exactly this reason!
Also, I have to fly away today, making this post much shorter than normal. I’m off to finish some work on a newsletter that’s about to go out to the folks on my mailing list. If you haven’t signed up yet click here. I absolutely will not spam you. If I do things right, it’ll be about twice a year that I send an update on upcoming releases.
Even if you don’t want to clickety-click, you should make time to watch this video of ”Fly Away”. The audio is not quite as good as the original, but it’s waaay cooler. Promise.
It seems like I always include fantastical things in my books, so these three things seemed–I don’t know…interesting.
Dolphins Talk — In Dolphin Girl, Jane speaks with the dolphins. I don’t know if you saw this piece on the TODAY Show about the beluga whale named NOC (pronounced No Sea), who learned how to vocalize in a lower octaves, which sound remarkably human. Here’s a link to YouTube where you can listen to the whale’s conversation. I wonder what he’s saying? Any guesses?
Guardian Angels Exist — In Winging It!, Grace is an Angel-in-Training who is skipping school to try to earn her wings while serving as an apprentice. In yet another clip from the TODAY Show, here’s a real-life guardian angel. In fact, I’m writing a new story for Grace where she spends a bit of time in the hospital with her Assignment. Look for Gifted! soon.
Wishes Granted — In My Wishful Thinking, Logan and her best friend Emily share a genie, who grants anything they desire. Sorry but I don’t have a clip from TODAY (yet). But I did have a few wishes granted. Namely that the proof of the paperback arrived today and it’s ready to go and the ebook is already for sale at Amazon. And! My Wishful Thinking is a POTW (Pick of the Week) by Orangeberry. All in all, some nice wishes granted.
In my last post, I mentioned that Lo, the main character from My Wishful Thinking looked like Katy Perry, and probably this song is why.
The story is set during the summer before Lo’s senior year of high school and a critical scene happens on July 4th. Plus, there are a bunch of ways the genie, Eugene, resembles a firework. This song is upbeat and inspirational, so why do I always tear up when listening?
Maybe I’m thinking about Lo.
If you’re interested, there’s a giveaway over at Goodreads for MWT. Just head here to enter.
It seems absolutely amazing to say this, given that I thought it was doomed to be a dusty drawer book. While it’s been awhile since I was a new parent, I can’t help but think how much all the ups and downs of this past year are like having a new baby. So, here are some of the similarities I’ve noticed.
1. Sleepless nights.
Coming up with scenes for the next book? Remembering something you forgot to do? A Kindle Select free run, anyone? Are these the things that woke you up or kept you up? They were for me.
2. Checking to make sure the baby is alive.
The book equivalent of tiptoeing into the nursery is signing into KDP to check your sales. If you hit refresh-refresh-refresh, you probably were the type of parent that would wake your baby just to make sure.
3. Less social life and free time.
You receive an invitation to hang with friends, but you’re involved in something else for the book. It could be a blog tour, or promotion, or interview or, or, or…
So you decline and watch over your book instead. If only there were book babysitters, then you could still go out and phone home ten times to see how things are going.
4. You must fight the urge to over share.
When you do finally go out, you must fight this with all your will power. You know those parents that have hundreds of pictures and want to tell you about diaper changes. Don’t be that person. No one cares that you need one more review before ENT will feature your book. No one.
Well, maybe other authors at KB, but that’s it.
5. The weight you put on is worth it.
The biggest, most disappointing difference is that you don’t immediately lose weight when you release a book. But really, who cares about buying new clothes? You wear a lot of sweat pants when you write, anyway.
Take heart. It will come off, but it requires a determination that you never needed bb (before book or before baby, whichever you prefer).
Babies need strollers, binkies, bottles, and lots and lots of clothes. Books need covers, a web site, editing, social media, and blog posts with adorable pictures like this one.
7. The support you get from others (and who gives it) surprises you.
You think grandma will be the biggest fan of your baby (and maybe your book, too). But it doesn’t always happen that way. In fact, a lot of your support comes from those who are going through the same trials at the same time.
8. Nothing is just yours any longer.
With babies, you are required to share more. With writing, the book is what you share. And sharing your book is waaay scarier than sharing your stuff, because now you’re out there for everyone to see. Don’t fret. It’ll be okay and you’ll even get used to it.
9. You let go of perfection.
Your house is not as clean, because there are so many book-ish things that need your attention first. When you find the time to clean, you’d rather write. Not only are you forced to handle house stuff differently, but also somewhere in that first year, you realize your child – the book – is not perfect either.
Oh, well. Nothing is.
10. The second child doesn’t get as much attention.
You fully intend to not fall into the trap of not giving as much to your second book (or your second child), but it happens the all the same. Because you still love your first book and you can’t just drop it like a hot potato, so now your love is spread around, perhaps a bit thinner. It’s not that you love it any less, but it can never be the one and only.
11. You believe once again in the things you believed as a child.
You begin to believe in magic and luck. Perhaps you’ll be visited by the book version of the tooth fairy–the Amazon fairy, who deposits sales into your KDP account late at night while you sleep.
12. It doesn’t really change you.
With a baby you’re now A MOM. With your book you can call yourself AN AUTHOR (if you want). But those titles don’t change who you are at your core. Your values are still the same. And as much as we all would like the event to magically transform us, and make us better than we were before, it doesn’t.
So, here are my top twelve. There are others and maybe you even have a favorite.
Each book only gets one first birthday, and to celebrate this one for Dolphin Girl, I’ve lowered the price to 99 cents. You can find it here at Amazon
Music Monday is back after a long hiatus and we’re going to go completely old school today circa 1966 or 67 with The Beach Boys.
As we quickly approach the end of summer, I thought it’d be nice to have one last hurrah. I’m fairly certain all of you have listened to the classic “Good Vibrations” at some point in your life. It’s catchy, upbeat, retro and perfect for summertime.
But how closely have you listened?
Because, it’s a much more complex song than it sounds on the surface, and in fact, that’s part of the genius of it.
I love the harmonies on this song—not only on the vocals, but also what is being done instrumentally. It’s incredible the way Brian Wilson wove parts of this song together, which is what I aim for when writing. (I fall short, but aim for it, anyway.) While harmony could be a topic for its own post, I really want to talk about this song as a model for pacing.
“Good Vibrations” is a long song by the standards of the 1960s. Three minutes was what musicians were supposed to shoot for and it’s over four, so it definitely broke some pre-conceived notion of what a song was supposed to be. Still, beyond its length, the the unusual way its paced is remarkable; sometimes happily upbeat, sometimes melancholy, sometimes building toward a climax. After a quick listen I counted at least seven significant changes to pace and could probably argue for more if you include chorus or transitions. The ones I’m counting occur at 1:50, 2:18, 2:55, 3:09, 3:28, 3:46 and 4:00.
What’s amazing is that all of these distinctly different tunes blend into one practically perfect song.
If you look purely at timing, the changes occur at fairly regular intervals. There are also two times where the song echoes the good vibrations rif from the beginning: it happens during the piece that begins at 2:18, and again at the piece that begins at 3:09. One thing is certain when you listen for pacing–the changes are not predictable.
When I think about trying to translate that kind of structure into writing, my brain feels like it might explode.
It’s not an exaggeration to say Brian Wilson is a genius. I think he took huge risks with this song, although we probably take them for granted because the song has become so familiar.
So, how does this help me or you—any writer or reader or music fan? It helps me to think about looking at my novel holistically. Can I take readers through a series of different emotions? Can I tell a story without it becoming too predictable? Can I look for places where an echo might unify things?
For readers or music fans I hope it provides some insight into the truly remarkable things that are possible when we create.
Now, I hope everyone enjoys this version of “Good Vibrations.”