Time for a new week and there is a lot happening this week. I was just talking to my daughter about one of my favourite songs (okay I was singing it off-key as I unloaded the dishwasher).
Good songs like good characters in a book, or a great and intriguing plot stay with us. Sometimes I think we happen on a song or a book or even a painting at just the right time and that's why it resonates with us and the person next to us couldn't care less about it.
I'm writing a new series of books and one of the characters is a lyricist. That means I've been writing my own song lyrics that I hope will speak to someone. Of course I hope the whole book does too, but writing lyrics is a different skill. It's fun to do new things especially as I've been writing a long time now.
When Any Way You Build It releases in April It will be my 12th novel, I've had another two pieces in anthologies...that's a lot of novel writing so song writing that's a refreshing change.
Here's one of my favourite songs for you. It's not really a classic but it's a classic at our house. The other week I met my husband in town for lunch and this was playing at the burger joint so I guess it is a classic for someone else as well
Quickly before I go I want to let you know that Any Way You Dream It is #free right now so you might want to grab a copy if you haven't read it yet. And I've also set up a Fun, Flirty Fiction group for readers over on Facebook so if you want to join just click here.
To be a writer you need to write.
I haven't been much of a blogger lately and my social media engagement had been down as well, I suspect.
Sometimes I really fret about that stuff - you can't sell books without an online presence if your books are sold almost exclusively online. You lose visibility and people forget about you, or so everyone says.
On the other hand you can't sell books if you don't write. Without that stage you have nothing to sell. That's a fact.
For the last couple of weeks I've chosen to focus on the writing and not get quite so distracted by the business and promotion side. Who knows if that's a good strategy or not but I do feel more energetic, more engaged with my characters and more enthusiastic about writing so those are all positives.
Any Way You Fight It, Book 3 in The Upper Crust Series is off at the editor now and will have an October release. Any Way You Plan It, Book 4 in the series is with the BETA readers now and Books 5 and 6 are ready for reading too. And I have a Christmas and a Summer/Valentine's novella ready for readers as well.
I guess that means I need to take a little break from the writing and get back to the promotion and other aspects of the writing business because that's what it is, a business. I already run another small business so I guess this makes me a entrepreneur, with two businesses on the go.
Like any business this one has goals - I want to get those four Upper Crust and two novellas published by January, I want to get better at organising my promos and newsletter, I have sales goals and marketing goals and now all I need to do is maintain momentum. Yeah, that's the hard part.
This song came me into my head yesterday for some inexplicable reason...and it reminded me of Marissa and Mike in
Any Way You Plan It...so here we go an old Australian '80s classic by Jenny Morris for Musical Monday.
Is it really Monday again? Did I really not put up a single blog post in a week? I guess that's two yeses.
I'm such a slacker! (That's me in the picture!)
Lately I've had that overwhelmed and underachieving feeling. I get it every now and then and I can't quite shake it off. Sadly it doesn't spur me on to do more it just kind of immobilises me.
Little things and good intentions slip by unattended to, unfulfilled. Opportunities are squandered.
It is very annoying.
Maybe it is because the sun is finally out, after an insanely wet winter, but I feel like I started shaking that off again over the weekend. I made a few plans for myself. Plans that don't require me to work in with others and that I can quietly look forward to.
I'm a planner by nature, but I'm married to the man least likely to make a plan. His grave stone could read "Here he lies, he didn't plan to die."
Don't get me wrong I like to be spontaneous but I also like some structure. A girlfriend and I say we like "organised spontaneity". I'm happy to go off on a whim but damned if I don't want to take the bus schedule, some snacks, bandaid, some ibuprofen and a jacket just in case.
Putting a few plans in place both for my work life, my writing and my home life help.
Meanwhile I'm plugging away at Book 2 in the Upper Crust Series and deciding which book to write for NaNoWriMo in November. It will either be Book 3 in the series or the sequel to Mr Right and Other Mongrels (if you have an opnion, do let me know).
This song is very much the soundtrack in my mind at least for Book 2 in the series. So it's today's Musical Monday offering. And it really is a beautiful song.
A very late Musical Monday post. It's still Monday somewhere on the planet I do believe.
So I describe my latest novella, Any Way You Slice It as a bit like Grease meets The Proposal so with that in mind this Musical Monday I'm sharing random thoughts and memories about Grease (the movie).
1. The first time I saw Grease was on holiday in Fiji. I was wearing a floral wreath on my head I'd made out of frangipanis. I was so young that when they said Rizzo had missed her period I thought "why is so one so freaked out that she missed a class at school?"
2. I saw Grease 2 at the drive-in movies in Dubbo, in Central Western NSW. All I really remember about that movie is Michelle Pfieffer and the song Reproduction. Luckily I had learnt a couple of things between the first movie and the sequel.
3. When I went on my US High School Exchange, I very probably thought my story would end up a bit like Sandy and Danny's in Grease (probably not the flying car part). It's safe to say as I didn't go to 1960's movie America that didn't happen.
5. Even though (or maybe because) I went to an all girl's high school we often sang Summer Loving on the bus to and from school excursions (field trips for my American readers). One side was Danny and one side was Sandy. I preferred the male part because I have a very deep and dreadful singing voice and I like to sing the "wella, wella huh" part.
It's Monday and frankly I am exhausted. That's not a great way to start the week but I am tired for a good reason. I spent from Thursday to Sunday at the Romance Writers of Australia Conference. I really love the conference. I find it overwhelming, exhilarating, exhausting and inspiring.
Musical Monday today is an old school choice. The conference has a great after party where we dance the night away and so for all those writing queens and goddesses I have chosen this classic.
So this week I'm off to the RWA in Sydney. I'm really looking forward to this year, probably more than any in the past simply because I feel like I have gotten to know people over the years and so I'm far less worried about being a Nigel-No-Friends this year.
That's of course a common fear for anyone attending a conference like this and has more to do with oneself than anyone else. Most people on the whole are very friendly and welcoming at these events. There is the odd frosty type, and of course you get that in any crowd. Sometimes those people make for the funniest stories but I'll never tell because "what happens at conference stays at conference as they say". Anyway, I just figure those people are shy and don't want to make friends so it's time to move on.
Anyway, to help out anyone new to the whole conference whirlwind here is an old Conference post on Pitching and the Conference.
And of course if you are attending please come and say hello if you recognise me.
Here are two of the hilarious and confusing things about meeting people at writers conference:
1. Authors don't look like their author pictures in real life. In fact they often look like the best version of themselves in author pictures (or even the best version of themselves ten years ago) and that person who introduces themselves in fancy dress at a cocktail party isn't going to be looking like that.
2. Lots of authors use pen names (especially romance authors). So the person you know as Melody Smith online might be called Melissa Smythe-Jones in real life. Confusing much?
So people look different, have different names and may be in fancy dress - it's not at all confusing now is it? Having said that after one leaps those hurdles (did I mention the Have Chick Lit Will Travel Box set is racing up Amazon in the Sports category) everyone is extremely friendly and welcoming.
And for Musical Monday because it's the Romance Writers Conference here is a song about kissing. I've loved this song since the day I heard it.
7/27/2014 4 Comments
Today Musical Monday is being taken over by Geralyn Corcillo whose novel She Likes it Tough is on of the novels in the Have Chick Lit Will Travel Romantic Comedy Box Set, that I am also included in and which just released on Friday.
What a whirlwind weekend I have just had! The Romantic Comedy Box Set Have Chick Lit, Will Travel that I am a part of along with Monique and Jennifer Gilby Roberts is burning up the Amazon charts!
Can you guess what song has been going through my head all weekend? It is by – not to be biased against Monique and Jennifer – The American Authors! “The Best Day of My Life.”
And how could these past few days be anything but the best days? At one point on its meteoric blast through the charts, Have Chick Lit, Will Travel was nestled between Sophie Kinsella's I've Got Your Number (which includes the Best First Kiss Scene ever!) and Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones: Mad About the Boy. Sigh...what a beautiful, divinely comfy place to be.
Back to Musical Monday. Did you ever see the Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, James Garner movie Maverick? In it, Foster's character unearths a secret about the other two. When they ask her how she figured it out, she explains, “You both sing the same wrong words to Amazing Grace.” And that little oddity gave it all away.
See? Using music in stories can be fun and so much more than background noise.
In my contribution to the Box Set, She Likes It Tough, my first-person narrator heroine Lisa Flyte constantly relates her life to aspects of pop culture – books, movies, TV shows, and songs she has had trolling through her life. And the hero Jack Hawkins picks up on this through the course of the story and their topsy-turvy relationship. So much so, that when everything between them gets good and truly fracked up, and Jack is trying to work his way back to her, he tries to do it through songs:
I open the email. No text. It’s an MP3. A heartfelt apology from Jack? A snippet about us from some radio show? I can’t imagine.
I get up and close the door to my office. Then I make sure the volume on my computer is low enough that only I’ll be able to hear it. I open the attachment.
With the first riff of guitar strings, I catch my breath. “Joey,” by Concrete Blonde.
The heart-wrenching lyrics rip into me with their desperate struggle to salvage messed-up love.
But we got lucky once before
And I don't wanna close the door
I can scarcely breathe. Is Jack asking me to come back? Is he trying to confess something? Explain something? Or did he just send me a song he thought I’d like? And if so, why? Why why why why why?
The song ends, making it easier to hear my heart pounding.
The silence of the computer makes my skin prickle. Jack sent me a song.
Wait. Jack sent me a song? Are we in middle school?
Or should he get points for choosing THE BEST SONG EVER?
I don’t know. I don’t know I don’t know I don’t know.
The wooing through songs continues, but how does it end up – and what does it mean to the outcome of the story? Does Lisa fight back with songs of her own? Does she ever figure out what Jack wants or is trying to say?
From Lisa's cell phone ring to how something about The Ramones gives away one of her secrets, music chirps and trills its way throughout this story. Because after all, like sex and free food, doesn't music just make things better?
How do you use music in your life, your work, your art? And if one song from a spurned lover could win you back or at least make you think twice or even pull your hair out trying to decide what to do – what would it be?
Geralyn Corcillo has work published under the names GVR Corcillo and Geralyn Ruane, as well. Identity crisis? Sure...but she's got it pretty much figured out now.
Once upon a time, Geralyn Vivian Ruane Corcillo taught high school in Watts and South Central Los Angeles. But deciding she needed an even tougher job, she chose to write.
Corcillo won a few contests, hit the New York Times Bestseller List with her first short story “Jane Austen Meets the New York Giants,” and got a B-movie screenplay produced by Roger Corman. She Likes It Tough is her debut novel, and winner of Best Humor Book 2013 and Best Indie Book 2013 from the Rebecca's Reads Choice Awards. She Likes It Tough was also a Quarter Finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Awards 2014.
Corcillo lives in North Hollywood with her husband Ron, a guy who's even cooler than Kip Dynamite.
Pop back tomorrow for a post by the third author in Have Chick Lit, Will Travel Jennifer Roberts
Before we talk music let's talk box sets and other things. Or more specifically let's talk about this Box Set that Mr Right and Other Mongrels is being included in. It will be out this Friday and is called Have Chick Lit, Will Travel.
I'm going to probably bore you senseless with the details this week but if you want to attend our online launch on Friday 25 July then pop on over to Facebook and sign up to attend.
Also if you've signed up to receive my newsletter it will be in your inbox later today.
Now on to earworm. as you are no doubt aware, earworm songs are those pesky songs you get in your head that you can't quite seem to shake. You wake up to them, go to sleep to them and find yourself humming them on the train, in the supermarket and in the shower. The annoying thing about an earworm song is you probably don't even love the song, sometimes they are even songs you hate.
I played a song in the car back from our road trip two weeks ago and it has been in my head EVER SINCE (yes that is me screaming with frustration). What's worse is my lovely husband who is currently renovating my kitchen (which is fantastic for life but not so much for writing) is whistling the song while he drills, saws, hammers his way through the day. Drilling and that song do nothing for my creativity.
Over the years I've had some pretty annoying ear worm songs. I'm going to share a couple with you now - you can thank me later - and I would love it if you would share yours with me.
First off we have Lady GaGa with Alejandro. I do not like this song. I do not like it in the car, I do not like it at a spa, I do not like it in my head, it makes me wish that I were...well not dead, but able to shake it for sure...
Next up we have a lovely young man by the name of Taylor Henderson. He came second in Australian X-Factor last year, a show that I don't even watch unless I'm reading in bed or am too tired to think. Somehow I had this little song stuck in my head for 6 months. Lucky me.
It's important to remember that almost always with earworm songs I have a key line wrong, usually the chorus, so that not only am I annoyed by the song the whole family gets to be annoyed as I sing in the car, kitchen or wherever it pops up.
So today's question is - what song is your current earworm? I need a new one - and DO NOT say Frozen, okay?
I've been a pretty bad blogger the past couple of weeks but admittedly I have been on vacation. See those pictures up above, they prove it. We went on a family road trip from sunny Sydney to the Gold Coast in Queensland. It is the middle of winter so although you see and sand it wasn't as toasty warm as these photos imply. Whoever said the camera never lies well that guy was a liar.
Anyway it's always nice to recharge the batteries, drink a few cocktails, ride some rollercoasters and get ready for the months ahead.
As a parent I'm amazed at how fast time is passing and am all too aware that my delightful 13 year old will be off on her own adventures soon and I will no longer be part of her vacations so I really do try and seize the moments now because they are all too fleeting.(Having said that I'm kind of theme parked out for now!)
So back to the desk. My new novella which will be out in August will be making it's way to the editor this week. That's exciting for me. I'm working on it's sequel. The novella is the first in a series and I hope that readers like the characters. I like them. Smart women making their way in the big city while keeping their sense of humour...the kind of women I like to hang out with both in real life and in a book.(Sneak peek of the cover coming soon - sign up to my newsletter if you want to see it.)
Don't forget about this give-away I'm part of. It's a great opportunity to win some prizes donated by a wide variety of authors. (See entry form below).
And finally for Musical Monday...one of my favourite songs for singing loudly in the car on a road trip - Story of a Girl. very fitting for a writer whose main characters are usually girls finding their way.