Music Meets Movies Monday: Elinor&Edward, It’s You

Today, we have a little twist to the Music Monday video selection.  This is the most recent addition to my Music Meets Movies playlist on YouTube.  I find this playlist to be a wonderful place to take a few minutes break before I begin writing or between writing activities such as switching from editing to writing.

Catchingraindrops24. “Elinor & Edward | It’s You.” YouTube. YouTube, 04 Oct. 2014. Web. 01 Apr. 2017.

I find listening to song lyrics is a great source of creative inspiration — especially when they are paired with lovely images from a favourite Jane Austen adaptation.  However, I can’t actually listen to music with words when I write because it is too distracting, so I leave them for those times when I’m not writing.

For the past three weeks, I have been trying out a new routine for my writing work time — breaking it into sections dedicated to various things that need doing. Two of those sections are editing and writing new things.  When I have to transition from editing to writing, I need to have something to calm the critical section of my brain and help me relax into the creative part of my brain.  Music works very well for this.

During my editing time slots this week, I was able to complete the first round of edits on At All Costs, and in one writing section, I wrote its epilogue.  That story has now been sent off to my first reader, and I am waiting to get her comments back before I will touch it again.  I will be putting Discovering Mr. Darcy in the editing time slot this next week as I got that manuscript back from my second reader.  Hopefully, I will have news about a preorder of that book by next Monday.

My writing time this week focused on Not An Heiress, the sequel to Discovering Mr. Darcy, and I managed to add about 8,000 words to it. I think I am on the downward side of the story hill and should have the story wrapped up in another week or a bit more.  And then it can slip into that editing slot. 🙂

Below is one day’s worth of words from my writing times this week, and, I think, the song above matches up pretty well with what has been happening in this section of the book. (I also happen to envision Mary as looking a lot like Elinor in this version of Sense and Sensibility.)

A Word of Warning:  I am at least halfway through this story, so, as always when we get to the second part of a story, this excerpt will contain spoilers. 🙂

EXCERPT FROM Not An Heiress: 
Continue reading Music Meets Movies Monday: Elinor&Edward, It’s You

Music Monday: The Northern Mist, Dan Gibson

Last Saturday, a friend and I visited a local thrift store. They were having a twenty percent off everything sale — how can you resist that!  As is my normal habit on entering a thrift store, I began my perusal of items with the books, DVDs, music CDs, and paintings. In other words, all the imagination inspiring treasures.

“Dan Gibson The Northern Mist.” YouTube. Ed. RELAX NATURE MUSIC -Emmaqui3♥. YouTube, 21 Aug. 2015. Web. 26 Mar. 2017.

I found two CDs of instrumental music. They have both found their way onto my mp3 player on my desk, and I have been listening to birds while writing every day this week.  The song in the video above is track two on Songbirds at Sunrise. In my opinion, which is the one that matters when the music is for my writing time 😉 , I think these songs are perfect for imagining a scene in a garden or meadow, and part of what I wrote did take place in a garden. However, only a small part. So, apparently, the music is equally as effective when plotting compromising scenes in libraries.  Sadly, I am only going to share the garden portion today.

The story I was focusing on writing this week is called Not an Heiress and is a sequel to the story Discovering Mr. Darcy — this story got its epilogue and has been sent off to my last editor.  It should be published sometime around the middle to latter part of April.

Other than writing just over 7,000 words on this new story, I also added close to 1,000 to With the Colonel’s Help and edited six chapters of At All Cost, which should be starting the editorial rounds by the beginning of April. Needless to say, it was a busy and tiring week, but it was also extremely enjoyable. I am quite excited about all four of the projects that demanded my attention this week.  So excited, that I have had trouble sleeping.  The good colonel has been assisting me with working out plot ideas when I should be sleeping.  I have asked him to wait until a more appropriate time of day, but it seems an impatient colonel outranks a mere authoress. 🙂

Now, shall we get on to the longish excerpt from Not an Heiress?  This sequel will focus on Colonel Fitzwilliam and Mary Bennet and will feature a compromise.  As you should all know by now if you have read my secondary character stories, don’t expect a completely typical Mary.  This Mary reads sermons and is rather serious, but she has a particular reason, at least when Richard is around, for reading this material. (Also, Lady Catherine in this story and in Discovering Mr. Darcy is also not typical — demanding and all, but not typical.  This is definitely Austen with a twist.)

EXCERPT FROM Not an Heiress: 
Continue reading Music Monday: The Northern Mist, Dan Gibson

Music Monday: Somethin’ I’m Good At, Brett Eldredge

Sometimes a song will inspire a story. It can be the emotion of the melody or a simple lyric. And then, there are those times when a song reminds you of a story. That is what this incredibly fun song did for me this week. Read on for a few short snippets of that story and a peek at something sort of new that I started writing this week.

BrettEldredge. “Brett Eldredge – Somethin’ I’m Good At (Official Music Video).” YouTube. YouTube, 28 Feb. 2017. Web. 04 Mar. 2017.

Ok, did you listen to the song? If you did, do you have any guesses about which story or characters this song might have reminded me of? For me, I think I shall never be able to read or write about Whit from A Very Mary Christmas without picturing Brett Eldridge. 🙂

Below is where we first meet Wit.

Nicholas Hammond groaned and rose from his chair. “Why are you here?”

“Good day to you, too, brother,” said Alfred Hammond, flopping into a chair. “You remember Whit?”

“Mr. Whittemore.” Nicholas greeted the young man, who had accompanied Fred into the study. At least Ethan Whittemore had the good sense to look uneasy. Nicholas came around his desk and propped himself on the edge of it, intentionally kicking his brother’s foot while crossing his ankles. “I might ask the same of you, Whittemore. Are you not both supposed to be in school for at least another week?”

“Old man Frohock cannot abide a bit of fun,” said Fred, “and wishes not to see me again until after the New Year.”

Nicholas motioned for Whit to take a seat. “I assume you were part of this fun?”

“I was, sir.”

If Nicholas did not know the sort of young man Whit was, such a concise answer given in such a humble tone might have convinced him that Whit was an innocent caught up in a scheme not of his doing. But, Nicholas knew Whit. Whit was the brains of the pair seated before Nicholas’ desk. The idea for a scheme might originate with Fred, but the planning and execution lay firmly at Whit’s feet.

Whit might be the “brains” of the scheme, but it certainly seems that any scheme he promotes to Fred ends in disaster and near tragedy.

“Grab some coins and your great coat,” whispered Whit as they moved down the hall. “Wickham will be playing cards tonight, and he is an easy mark. I dare say, we can double our money and then arrange for a bigger event where we could win more — that is if you are up to riding against Wickham.”

Fred paused to consider the thought. “But if we lose?”

“That will not happen. Aside from your brother, you are the best rider I have seen. However, if needed, I will write to my father to cover the expense and take my chances with being sent to sea.” He grabbed Fred by the shoulders. “But, that will not happen, for we will not lose — although, tonight, you will lose. We must make Wickham think he has a chance against you. A friendly ride out after the game with a small wager, and then we beg him to let us attempt to win it back — along with additional money from his friends.” Whit slapped Fred on the back. “If not for that lad carrying the milk, the scheme would have worked on Allston.” He chuckled. “Actually, it did work.  We just were not allowed to collect, but this time, there will be no lad with milk and no Mr. Frohock to keep us from our winnings and your brother from marrying.”

He had good intentions. If only he could run a scheme without something going wrong.  Thankfully, he finally got it right. (Although his timing needs some work.)

The door at the end of the room cracked open just as Nicholas stood to draw Mary into his embrace.

“Are you finished? We are getting cold.” Whit’s head poked through the small opening.

“Then I suggest you find the main entrance to the church and use it,” said Nicholas.

“But what is your answer?” Though Whit’s head still poked into the room, he was obviously struggling against someone who was trying to pull him back.

“I have not prepared to leave Longbourn,” said Mary.

“We have seen to that,” Whit slapped his hand in the direction of whoever was attempting to extract him from the room. “Fraser also knows to expect Miss Mary. Not a thing has been left undone.” He finally lost his struggle, and the door slammed shut for a moment before reopening.

“He is persistent,” muttered Nicholas. “What shall I tell him, my love?”

Despite the CircumstancesWhit was just such a fun character to write! And to tie this in with what I was doing this week — I have put together another anthology of previously published stories.  Despite the Circumstances is a collection of four stories that have a common theme of love against the odds. The titles included are Oxford Cottage, Listen to Your Heart, Waking to Mr. Darcy, and A Very Mary Christmas.

Along with getting this collection organized and uploaded to the various retailers, I finished going through Discovering Mr. Darcy and sent it to my first reader and have her comments back — I have a few things to work on for that story this week.

And then, I opened my story ideas and partial works folder and randomly picked one to open. This was labeled P&P 4, which means it is the fourth story idea I started writing. I stopped that story at just over 14,000 words! That was probably due to focusing on some other project and then just never came back to this story. Well, I have decided that I will try rewriting it. (My style of writing has changed a bit since that first attempt at this story and rewriting seemed easier than just editing.)  I am not certain where this story is going or if it will go directly to publishing or take a stop in Thursday’s Three Hundred yet, but it is underway. I haven’t gotten very far into the rewrite — about 3500 words or so, but here is a bit of that beginning.  Oh, and I have renamed it, at least for now, as With the Colonel’s HelpContinue reading Music Monday: Somethin’ I’m Good At, Brett Eldredge

Music Monday: Shape of My Heart, 2Cellos

2Cellos. “2CELLOS – Shape Of My Heart [OFFICIAL VIDEO].” YouTube. 09 Dec. 2014. Web. 08 Jan. 2017.

Happy Monday! Isn’t this a beautiful piece of music to start the week? It is one of my favourites to listen to while writing. (Yes, I know I have a lot of favourites, but they are all so good. 🙂 )

I chose to feature this video today for a couple of reasons that are related to what I was working on this week.  First, the plucking of the strings makes me think of traveling by horse or carriage and the constant clip-clop of hooves as you roll or ride along for hours. There was a good deal of travel in what I was writing this week because Bingley had some business to take care of.

Second, the visuals of floating and burning papers made me think of things happening in the plot.  The business our hero left to complete was not of a pleasant nature, and it was the sort of which you do not really wish to have documentation.  (Yes, I am talking about Bingley as the hero here. There is something surprising hidden behind that pleasant exterior.)

I finished the story except for an epilogue, and, thanks to the help of a reader and friend on Facebook, I have a title for this fourth book in the Willow Hall Romance series. Yay!  The title is At All Costs, and I think it fits perfectly since the story, both for the hero and one of the “villains” (yes, one of them — there are several that cause trouble), is a story of fighting for and protecting your love at all costs.

I plan to write the epilogue in a few weeks after I have edited So Very Unexpected. That book is slated to be published on February 14, 2017, so I am busy doing the first round of edits so that I can send it to my first reader, fix what she tells me, and then send it on to my proofreaders/copy editors. This means the story has disappeared from the blog, but I have left a link to a two chapter preview on my Leenie B Books page. I am enjoying going back to this story after being away from it for about two months.  I still love Lydia!

I believe that is all the writing news I have for you today.  This week, I will be editing and working on my Austen Author’s blog post for next Tuesday (which will feature a giveaway).  Enjoy your week! Hopefully, you will get to stop by the blog on Wednesday and Thursday for a lovely painting and a full chapter of At All Costs. 

EXCERPT FROM At All Costs:  *Contains spoilers and a cliffhanger. 🙂 *

The sun was setting as Bingley and Richard wound their way through the streets of London.  They had paused long enough upon arrival to leave their bags at Bingley’s townhouse and for Bingley to stop at his solicitor’s office to check on the progress of marriage papers and a special license.  Now, however, he and Richard had left the favourable portion of town and were slowly making their way down toward the river. 

Bingley waved to some chap who was seated on a crate marking things off in his notebook. 

“She sails at dawn,” the man called. 

“Where to?” Bingley called back.  Continue reading Music Monday: Shape of My Heart, 2Cellos

Music Monday: Good King Wenceslas, The Irish Rovers

AlexanderRoublev. “The Irish Rovers. Good King Wenceslas.” YouTube. YouTube, 18 Dec. 2011. Web. 25 Dec. 2016.

ABOUT THE SONG:

This was one of my favourite carols as a child. Why? Because it told a story about a kind king.  I would listen to the carol, often singing along, as lovely images of a king and his page struggling through the snow would play in my mind.

I could feel the wind blowing and would shiver as the cold seeped through the pages clothing chilling his blood.  I could see the peasant stooping and adding another twig to the pile in his arms.  I would imagine his family huddled around the hearth at his home waiting for his return. I could see the page taking large strides to match those of his master as he followed behind the king sheltered from the wind and snow. I would smile at the thought of the surprise visit and gift from the king to the peasant.  And I would be reminded that I was blessed.

I still think about these things when I hear this song, and it is still a reminder of just how blessed I am.

WRITING NEWS:

I have spent more time reading this week than writing.  In the midst of the busyness of the season, combined with the release of A Very Mary Christmas and hosting a book launch giveaway on Austen Authors, finding time to write was challenging.  Finding time to read was less challenging, so I reread parts of some books that I have read several times before.  It’s a thing I do when I find a book that I particularly enjoy and am drawn back to.  I reread these stories with a purpose — to discover the story or character development techniques the author has used to engage my interest.  I like to think of it as studying at the feet of the masters. 🙂

However, it was not all reading this week.  Below is a small portion of what I was able to write.  I am still working on Willow Hall, Book 4.  I am getting into the things are starting to come to that ultimate climax before the resolution portion of the story, so read at your own risk. 🙂  It will be many weeks before this portion shows up in a Thursday post.

STORY EXCERPT Willow Hall Romance, Book 4:

Later that evening, Bingley tapped his fingers on the table next to the letter he had written. He was uncertain if this was the best course of action.  Perhaps he should just take a trip to town to speak with Mr. ___.  Letters were tricky items.  There was no guarantee that the intended recipient would be the only recipient of the news in a missive.  He scanned the words again.  Continue reading Music Monday: Good King Wenceslas, The Irish Rovers

Music Monday: Beautiful Romantic Music (101), Peder B. Helland

Soothing Relaxation. “Beautiful Romantic Music: Relaxing Music, Piano Music, Violin Music, Guitar Music, Cello Music ★101.” YouTube. YouTube, 07 Nov. 2016. Web. 03 Dec. 2016.

It is that time of year when I start to re-evaluate everything and decide if I wish to keep doing things as I have or make changes.  I am in the process of contemplating my posts here on this website, starting with the first post of the week — Music Monday.  In the past, I have often had a song that connected directly to a story because I often find inspiration in music — be it the lyrics or the emotions the melody evokes.  That has  not changed. I still find music very inspiring, and when I write, there is almost always some sort of music playing in the background.  So, I am still planning to share music on Mondays for now, but these posts will not always have a direct connection to the story on which I am working. They will rather be pieces that I have found inspiring and have had playing as I work — which is exactly what this week’s selection is. This week, I have been listening to this particular piece of music (in a shorter version, which I purchased on bandcamp.com) along with several other tracks by this composer.

And what have I been working on as this music plays?  Well, I am attempting to get a good portion of the new Thursday’s Three Hundred story sorted out. Another week of writing, and I think I should have it well underway and be able to tell if everything is working together as it should for the story.  So, do I post a small excerpt from that story here on Monday as I have all the other times when doing a music/story connection post?  Sure. Why not?

Remember, this story is under construction and an excerpt here may or may not show up in the version that gets posted later…although I am working very diligently to make sure that I am only writing useable material. 🙂

This small piece is from a section where Bingley has had a rough day and is drowning his sorrows. It is also the beginning of a planning session by a rather sloshed Bingley and a slightly tipsy Colonel Fitzwilliam about what might be the best tactic to use if Bingley wishes to get Jane to accept him. 🙂

A Story Excerpt from Willow Hall, Book 4 (I’m still working on choosing a title 😉 ):

“What has you looking as if you ate a piece of bad fish?” asked Richard, taking a seat in Pemberley’s game room next to Bingley. 

Bingley shrugged and gulped the last of his drink.  “You did not stay at Matlock?”

Richard sighed and scrubbed his face with his hands.  “My sister is the center of a house party, and although her friends seem to enjoy my company, I do not enjoy theirs.  The last of the guest should leave by week’s end. I shall visit for a longer period of time after that.  As it was, yesterday and this morning was long enough for my mother to begin speaking of my marrying.” 

“It is a sad lot for us men,” muttered Bingley.

“Marriage?” Richard unbuttoned his waistcoat.  Continue reading Music Monday: Beautiful Romantic Music (101), Peder B. Helland

Music Monday: Foreigner, I Don’t Want to Live Without You

“Foreigner – I Don’t Want to Live without You (sub Español) ~ Orgullo & Prejuicio.” YouTube. Video created for and uploaded to YouTube by Carmen De Rivera. 29 June 2012.

 

THE LINK BETWEEN MUSIC AND STORY:

Yes, this is a Darcy and Elizabeth video, and no, my current work in progress is not a Darcy and Elizabeth story, since I am, of course, working on His Inconvenient Choice, the next book in the Choices Series.  However, this song goes very well with the story. In fact, it really could be Colonel Fitzwilliam’s theme, which I hope is evident in the excerpt below.

ABOUT THE BOOK:

 

Colonel Fitzwilliam has always known his father would try to force him into a marriage of convenience, but after Kitty Bennet captures his heart as she shivered in the cold on the streets of Meryton, he realizes his only chance at happiness lies in making an inconvenient choice. However, it is a choice that will not go unchallenged, and as family secrets are revealed, it is a choice that, in creating happiness for the colonel, could destroy his family.

AN EXCERPT FROM His Inconvenient Choice:

Richard drew his coat more tightly about his neck as he hurried along the street.  He had chosen to leave his horse and travel as most did, on foot.  “Pardon, me,” he said as he quickly stepped to the side, narrowly avoiding a collision with a footman, who was assisting a lady to a carriage.

“Richard?” said the lady.

He stopped and turned back.  “Lady Matlock,” he greeted her with a proper bow.  “A pleasure to see you.”

Her eyebrows rose.  “Is it?  I had thought you had forgotten about me completely seeing as I have heard naught of you for four days.”

He gave her a sad smile.  “I apologize, but is that not that to which we must grow accustomed?”

She motioned toward the carriage.  “Sit with me.  Just for a moment.  I shall not try to force you to return home with me, but the wind is biting, and it would be far more pleasant to speak if we were out of it.”

He saw her shiver and knew he could not refuse her.  “I shall not tell you where I am staying or precisely how I have been keeping myself,” he warned.

“Very well.  Then you shall just have to listen to me complain about your aunt.  That woman is truly lacking in social grace!”  She continued on for a few moments about the demands made on her staff by Lady Catherine and how Anne has spend the whole of her stay so far in her chambers.  “I am certain she is not as ill as she pretends, but I cannot blame her for using the only means available to escape that woman.  For that reason alone, I would like to see you marry her.”

“I should marry her to save her from her mother?”  He shook his head. “She deserves to marry, but it shall not be to me, Mother.”  He drew a deep breath and took her hand. “I wish I could marry her just so that I could remain your son, but I cannot.”

Lady Matlock  placed a hand on his cheek.  The war of what she thought should be and what she wished for him played on her features.  “You are certain?”

He nodded and turned his head to place a kiss on her gloved palm.  “I am, and though I shall regret leaving you, I cannot bear to face the regret I would have if I stayed.  I love her, Mother.”

“More than me?” she asked softly.

He shrugged.

“Oh, my son,” she stroked his cheek.

“I am sorry, Mother.”

“As am I.”  She leaned forward and placed a kiss on his cheek.  “Perhaps your father will relent,” she said hopefully.

“You know as well as I that he never relents.”

“I must hope.”  Her lips trembled slightly as she attempted to smile at him.

ONE MORE NOTE:

The full first chapter of this story (part of which was included at the end of the last book) can be read (in its first draft state) here.