For the Love of Music. And Pandora.

My friend Shelby told me about a song she thinks would be perfect for my WIP, Better Than This, because, you know, our WIPS have to have playlists, right? When we see it in our head, it’s like a movie and every movie (every good movie) comes with an amazing soundtrack. I think I’ve subconsciously had songs that I linked back to my works. In the old days *cough a couple years ago cough* I would make CDs with songs that inspired me to write the books. Actually, I’d have Batman do it because he could ‘work’ ITunes better than me (his words. I really I just think he enjoyed doing it.) But he’d make me the playlist and I’d listen to it on the way to work and home. Since Pandora is now a thing, I don’t have to make CDs anymore. I just plug in whatever one song is most inspiring and let the algorithms do the rest. And actually… it’s worked out pretty well.

Back when I started writing BTT in 2016, I knew there was a musician involved, but I had no idea it swayed more toward the SKA/Punk genre. I had all kind of rock musicians playing and somehow (probably by the Grace of God) Kodaline’s All I Want came on and I thought—this is it. This is *so* the number one song on my playlist. It actually made me realize something pretty significant about my WIP, which opened the door to how the rest of the story (and books) would unfold. Yeah. This one song. This one FREAKING AMAZING SONG basically wrote the series. Sure, I’m ‘technically’ writing it, but bravo to Kodaline for putting out something that set a series of events into place. Art influencing art influencing art. Blows my mind sometimes.

If you haven’t heard the song, I *highly* recommend doing so. It’s beautiful. And kind of makes me cry because it’s so sad and sweet. Not giving away anything about BTT here (unless you want to BETA read and then by all means, let me know!) but Kodaline’s song is seriously a driving force behind what happens to Autumn and Alex. Like, it’d be a totally different story if Pandora (AKA God) hadn’t played that one song to me. Geez… what a life huh? What a freaking miracle this life is.

What about you? Do you make playlists/listen to a certain channel to be inspired? Has any one song impacted a WIP? Tell me because I love hearing stuff like this 🙂

I Came. I Conquered. I Went to Vegas.

Well, I started off my TwitterPitch doing it wrong (figures). Thanks to Mason @ Muse Riding Shotgun, he informed me that spaces are needed between the hashtags so agents/publishers/anyone can find what I’m tweeting. (Kind of important, so I’m glad he stepped up with some neighborly writer advice. Thanks again, Mason!) With that said, I got three hearts! Woop Woop! I could’ve gotten no hearts and that would’ve made this a very sad post. But hey, three hearts are better than no hearts so I’ll take it.

I’m patting myself on the back for this one because Twitter is so not my platform. I’m like a cave-woman banging a bone against a wall, willing it to respond. Any sort of reaction is awesome and the fact that there were THREE different people/companies somewhat interested in a pitch I put together like, blew my socks off. So, I rewarded myself with a trip to Vegas.

Made it!

Okay, yes, the trip was planned beforehand, but maybe that was life’s way of saying ‘here’s the ice-cream you get for eating those Brussel sprouts. They may taste meh, but now you can ruin it with some much-needed calories.’ Unfortunately, I’m writing this NOT as a jackpot millionaire. I only gambled $20 in the penny slots and spent more cash on taxisies and trips to Walgreens. (I needed things. Shut up.) Vegas was fun and I’m glad to say I went in January because I guess it’s known (besides being the sin city) as a melt-your-skin-off state, and I already get plenty of that in Florida. But in case you’re interested, I was able to snag a few pictures between all the wide-eyed stares at places third-class passengers like myself rarely venture.

The Venetian (I didn’t foot the bill. Obviously)

Yeah, um, this is IN our hotel.

Suuuuuuper creepy at night.

Across from our hotel.

Ah, Paris!

Just another day in France.

More like CRAP! I lost all my money 😦

This should be EVERY ESCALATOR

 

Go back to your home on WHORE Island.

In Cesar’s Palace. Because, why not?

Danny Ocean?

IN the Bellagio

Chihuly!

Did the real Cesar live here? No? I didn’t think so. Also, is this hotel pager friendly?

 

 

Have you been to Vegas? If so, did you like it? And did you participate in IWSG’s Twitter Pitch? How’d it go?

P.S. How do you pluralize taxi? I definitely spent a few minutes trying different spellings. Jury’s still out.

P.P.S. Thanks again to Catie and Susan for an amazing trip to Vegas!

#TwitterPitch

There’s this thing called TwitterPitch that I think I’m going to do. Heard of it? You probably haven’t as I just heard of it and I’ve been in the writing game for a few years. Although, I’m slightly retarded when it comes to being up to date on things so maybe you have. But if not, it’s this great tool for authors to submit their MS via twitter with an (obviously short) pitch. I don’t really use twitter. I’m still unsure about the whole thing and why I should be on there and why I should care (I’m being totally honest here. I just don’t think it’s my thing.) BUT I like that this is a new platform for reaching out to agents and publishers and people, so I’m going to give it a go. At least, for the TwitterPitch.

Ready?

Let’s pretend you are this *amazing* agent who’s like, ‘yeah, I represent baddass authors. All my bitches be at the top of the Best Sellers list (I don’t know why you talk like this. You should probably sound more professional.) So, you’re having a look through the Twittersphere to find your next favorite project. Then you come across the following:

After what happened three years ago, Autumn Sommers knows to avoid Alex Wolf. Now that a school assignment has brought them together, she’ll be forced to move beyond their past with the one person who can’t seem to forget it. But neither expects what happens next. #YA#R#IWSGPIT

Eh? Eh?

What do you think? Would that make you want to ask for more? A first chapter perhaps? If you’re wondering about the #YA#R#IWSGPIT, it’s the age, genre, and group I’m submitting through. Young Adult in the Romance category through the IWSG. The deal is, you ‘pitch’ your book through Twitter and if an agent or publisher is interested, they’ll request (along with a query and/or synopsis) a chapter or a partial or full MS. How cool is that? Sometimes living in this age rocks.  😊

I’m working on my query and synopsis in case anyone bites. I’m still totally planning on self-publishing because at least I know it’ll get out into the world, but why not try traditional as well? What could it hurt? It’s another shot and that’s what I need to be doing—taking as many shots as possible (basketball metaphor. Not alcohol. Although…)

Batman is so encouraging of me. He shows me videos all the time of people—famous, amazing people—who started off being told no. Or being turned down. Or thinking they weren’t good enough. There are so many I love and think about often, but for today’s post, I’ll reference the Will Ferrell one. Batman showed me a clip of Will Ferrell talking about his early days, before getting on SNL, before becoming the name he is and that his plan—his entire plan—was to keep throwing darts at the board because he knew ONE of them would eventually stick. So that’s what I’m doing. Throwing darts. Taking shots (basketball, people!) because I know ONE of them will work. It has to, right?

I’d love your feedback on the pitch. And for any authors interested, it’s happening on January 18th. Check out the info page at IWSG here. 😊

Surprise Sunday Post

The fun thing about fucking with people is fucking with people. So, it’s kind of all encompassing. Take me, for example. At the New Year’s Eve Party that Batman and I attended, we planted this terribly ugly Christmas decoration that was given to my mom and then passed along to us. I’d like to think that we’re second in the long line of people to “push it forward.” Kind of like “pay it forward” but with less good intentions and more laughs. The object in question is a DIY project kind of gone wrong… it’s an upside- down wine glass with a tiny Christmas tree and fake snow. It’s amazing fugly and I’m so excited to release it back into the wild. I left it in the bathroom along with all the nice, normal decorations.

Perfectly planted right behind the Santa.

I can’t wait to hear about how weird it was that this “random” thing showed up and what they’re going to do with it. Seriously. Can’t wait. This is super non-writing related, but it made me laugh and I wanted to share my excitement.

UPDATE: Batman returned to the scene of the crime and just sent me this:

Still there and no idea it was us. 🙂

A New Year, IWSG…And Some Sort of Plan

Today was spent doing two things I love: being in pajamas and watching Parks & Rec. I did start off by writing, but I’m going through the second draft of my second book *really* quickly and it’s making me nervous, so I figured I’d stray away from the computer and watch early Chris Pratt and laugh at (one of my heroes) Amy Poehler. Not a bad way to start 2018.

Of course, one of our water pumps broke during the night and Batman was super not happy having to go out in sludgy, wet (feels like) below frozen temperature to do something with the pipes. I really have no idea. My chores include laundry and keeping the house up to a clean-enough level for livability. But apparently, we can’t do anything that involves major washing and a freeze is supposed to come through on Thursday so that put everything in a really positive mood for the new year. Hence Parks & Rec.

But I did carve out two hours to sit and work on 1.) this amazing blog post and 2) more of BTN. I’d like to say I took the whole day off from writing, but those days are few and far between and I always end up feeling kind of bad about myself when I do, except when I absolutely can’t write, like when I’m at Disney or on an awesome vacation. Today, unfortunately, is not one of those days, so let’s get to that question for IWSG:

What steps have you taken or plan to take to put a schedule in place for your writing and publishing?

A plan would be nice, wouldn’t it? I’ve been kind of doing my own thing, which is a nice way of saying I don’t know what I’m doing. At all. The only part that I’m comfortable with is the actual writing part – and that sometimes is too much too. Forget marketing. Forget putting together any sort of plan or schedule to get things done in the smartest way possible. My current strategy is: write something awesome and when I think it can’t get any more awesome, make it available to others. Super cutting-edge—I know—but it’s all I’ve got.

So. 2018…this needs to be the year of change. The year I maybe do a little more to get my work out there. At the New Year’s Eve party last night, fabulous Shelby again raved about my books and told me I don’t give myself enough credit. Maybe I don’t. Maybe I’ve been doing no marketing because I don’t think my books are good enough, so I subconsciously don’t want people to read them. I don’t know. It’s just a guess. But if I’m going to be in this business (and I really want to) I need to treat it like a business. I need to be doing more. I need a plan.

And it’s coming together nicely 🙂

What about you? Do you have a plan? Do you think your writing is good enough to be marketed?

Insecure Writer’s Support Group (IWSG) is a monthly blog hop for writers at all levels to share their fears and insecurities in a safe and encouraging place. Please drop by and say hi to Alex Cavanaugh who started this nifty concept in bringing us all together.