Music Monday: Enchanted ~ Period Drama Montage

Today, along with writing news and a writing excerpt, I thought I would share this fan video that YouTube was so kind as to suggest that I needed to view. 🙂 I think it is very well done —

SpellboundStudios. “Enchanted ~ Period Drama Montage.” YouTube. YouTube, 31 July 2012. Web. 22 Apr. 2017.

— and I enjoyed the song, so I added this video to my Music Meets Movies playlist. I’m up to 72 videos on that list now. It’s a great place to take a short break between writing projects. And this was a week full of projects.  Let me list a few of them for you.

  • Tuesday was the official release day for Discovering Mr. Darcy on all retailers. It was a good launch with the book ranking fairly high in some of its categories, and it already has 7 reviews the last time I looked.  Thank you to all who purchased and to those who reviewed as well.
  • The print copy of that book finally came and, after a slight tweak, it was approved and is now available for purchase.
  • Because of the way the epilogue flows from Discovering Mr. Darcy to Not An Heiress, I wanted to have Not an Heiress available for people to preorder when they finished reading Discovering Mr. Darcy.  That meant getting a file transferred into the proper format, writing a book description, filling in all the information required on all my retailers, and setting a date.  As it is booked right now, Not an Heiress will release on June 20, 2017.  This is the first time I have placed a book on preorder before it has entered the final stages of editing, so I will admit to being a bit nervous. However, I believe, I have set aside enough time to complete all the editing that needs to be done before the deadline for the final manuscript upload. In fact, I should have first round edits completed by the end of this week.
  • I mainly focused on With the Colonel’s Help during my writing hours this past week, but I did write a few words that are the beginning of what I am planning to make a short story to go with At All Costs, although I have this sneaking suspicion it could end up being a bit longer than a short story. 🙂  Oh, and At All Costs has been sent to my final editor for reading. That story will be available May 18, 2017 (hopefully 😉 ).

So, as you can see, this was a busy week of varied activities, which meant lots of opportunities to watch Music Meets Movies videos as I transitioned from one activity to another. 🙂

Now, to chose a bit of the writing that I did this last week.  While I managed to add around four thousand words to With the Colonel’s Help, I think I will give you a peek at those first 700+ words from the rough draft of the story about Caroline, which has no title as of yet. Be prepared for a surprising Mr. Hurst in this scene.

EXCERPT FROM Caroline’s Tale:  Continue reading Music Monday: Enchanted ~ Period Drama Montage

Music Monday: Let Her Go, Passenger/Break of Reality

Today, along with some writing news and a short story excerpt, I have the same song two times for you.  The first video is an instrumental cover of Passenger’s “Let Her Go” by Break of Reality. This video is on my writing playlist (no lyrics means it can play while I write).

Break of Reality. “Let Her Go – Passenger Cello Cover by Break of Reality.” YouTube. YouTube, 13 May 2014. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.

The second video (below) is a lyrics video that someone created. I thought I would share that one for those who might be curious as to what the words to the song are. It’s not a happy song, but I have not been writing happy stuff this week (see excerpt), so it fits.

Marcohordijk. “Passenger – Let Her Go (Lyrics).” YouTube. YouTube, 15 Dec. 2012. Web. 15 Apr. 2017.

So what have I been doing this week in my writing life?

  • I was worked on getting the print version of Discovering Mr. Darcy ready.  That was not easily done as my computer did not wish to play nice with CreateSpace for a couple of days, and then, I forgot to change the font colour on the spine and didn’t notice until I got the digital proof back. That has been fixed, and I finally have a print proof on its way for approval. They say that I should have it by April 25th.  I am hoping I have it sooner. 😉

 

  • I finished Not An Heiress — the epilogue is done! And it was fun writing a little bit about the Darcy and Fitzwilliam children. 🙂  And I began first round edits on the story in preparation for June publication. Although this story will not be ready to release for a couple of months, I am hoping to have a preorder up for it by Tuesday, so that when readers finish DMD, they can order NAH and be ready to continue the story that the epilogue of DMD hints at.

 

  • I returned to writing With the Colonel’s Help just in time for the story to take a sad, angsty turn. As a result, writing times have been shorter and word counts have been less because I struggle with the emotions of writing things like this in large doses. I internalize the emotions — happy or sad — when writing and reading. I have needed a longer “decompression” time after those sections. The good news is I think the story should be through its darkest part very soon, and then I can get things set right. That should be easier (and faster) to write.

And now for…

A SHORT EXCERPT FROM With The Colonel’s HelpContinue reading Music Monday: Let Her Go, Passenger/Break of Reality

Music Monday: I Be U Be, High Valley

Happy Monday! Today, I decided to share a song because, well, it has just been stuck in my head a lot lately.  It is just one of those that sticks.  I love this group’s music. And even though this has a more traditional country sound to it, I like it, which is not always the case for me.  But then it has such fantastic lyrics which I am certain plays almost as big a part in my liking it as the rhythm and melody. Although I did not choose the song to have a connection to what I have been writing this week, I think I can make one.

Highvalleymusic. “High Valley – I Be U Be (Official Music Video).” YouTube. YouTube, 07 Apr. 2017. Web. 08 Apr. 2017.

This week, I reached what I think is the end of Not an Heiress.  It still needs an epilogue and would have one by now, but I ended up with a touch of the flu and had to take a day off from writing. (That was not easily done 😉 )

In this story, the hero, Richard, and the heroine, Mary, are really opposites when you consider them separately.  She is bent on propriety, and he is more willing to have some fun. However, they blend together into something unique and strong.  They have a passionate love that overcomes her propriety, and they both have a desire to help those who are less fortunate. And though, they, at first, think they cannot be together, it becomes obvious that their love is not going to just fade away and be replaced by another.  Thankfully, Lady Catherine guesses that they love each other and forces the issue, so the coming together of the two happens more rapidly than it would have otherwise.  And it is a sweet relationship that they have!  I can see Richard singing this song to Mary. It seems to echo what his thoughts of Mary are.

In addition to finishing the main portion of Not an Heiress, I also completed the line edits of Discovering Mr. Darcy.  And, just now, late on Sunday evening, I have just submitted my ebook files for review to all my retailers for a short preorder. The release day for the ebook book is April 18, 2017.  (Print will probably be about a week later.)

Tomorrow, it is my turn to post on Austen Authors, where I will be sharing an excerpt from Discovering Mr. Darcy and talking about short stories/novellas a bit. And there is a chance to win an ebook copy. I hope you drop by and say hi!

Before I post an excerpt of what I wrote this week, I thought I would share the cover images for Discovering Mr. Darcy and Not an Heiress.

DMD_Cover (1)NAH_cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

And now for a bit of what I wrote this week.  Remember, this is from the end of the book so it will contain spoilers. It is a bit shorter of an excerpt to hopefully avoid any major reveals. Read at your own risk. 🙂

EXCERPT FROM Not an Heiress:  Continue reading Music Monday: I Be U Be, High Valley

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: Beautiful World, Tim Janis

Sometimes a scene or a melody, a lyric or a bit of conversation is all that is needed to spark the imagination.  Other times it is just simple curiosity asking questions.  And still other times, it is rest and relaxation that renew the ability to create.  This week, I took some time to refresh my imagination.

Timjanisreocrds. “Peaceful Music, Relaxing Music, Instrumental Music “Beautiful World” by Tim Janis.” YouTube. YouTube, 16 Feb. 2017. Web. 25 Feb. 2017.

An exercise I like to do when I come across a lovely piece of music with such gorgeous pictures to accompany it (like the video above), is to add people to the scene.  Is there a delivery boy running down that street with a knapsack on his back, late and fearful of punishment? Is there a girl similar to Miss Morland sitting in the shade of that tree as the house and windmill stand watch in the distance? Is there a child with a basket gathering flowers in the forest? Who waits inside that cottage with the lantern lit and for whom are they waiting? What stories do you see in the pictures and hear in the music as it swells and soften? 

~*~*~

I freely admit that I struggle with taking time to refresh. I see goals and tasks laid out before me, and I tend to push my wants and desires down beneath the feelings of responsibility.  This enables me to get a good deal of work accomplished even when I do not feel like working, but it also makes it difficult for me to take the time necessary to step back and breath before plunging into the next item on that never-ending to-do list.

However, there comes a time when the mind begins to get weary and the benefit of taking some time to refresh is greater than the need to push on and complete a project (or begin a new one).  I hit that wall at the end of last week.  I have just recently published a book and completed a new manuscript for a short novella.  My brain was tired.  It needed to rest.  I fought the need for a couple of days (I’m no quitter, you see 😉 ), but eventually, I could no longer deny the need to just relax.

What did I do while relaxing?  I watched some tv. I read a book.  I listened to some podcasts and to Sense and Sensibility on audiobook. And as my few days of forced r&r drew to an end, I allowed myself to write a couple of short things — nothing associated with any current projects.   [One of those short things, Love is Patient, has been added to my short stories collection which you can find at this link.]

It was refreshing!  I am certain I could have used a few more days of rest, but those deadlines on the calendar could only be ignored for so long. I have begun work once again on the manuscript that I recently finished.  It needs a second going over before I send it to my first reader to get her feedback on the story’s plot.  I have also continued with my re-read of Listen to Your Heart in preparation for that second anthology of books that I want to make.  I have not started any new projects — or at least, I don’t think I have.  You see, one of the things I wrote this week was an idea I had about a year ago for an alternate scene in Mansfield Park.  As I finished writing that scene, I realized that it might not be just a scene. It might be the beginning of a longer story. How long? I am not certain.  I am not even certain that I feel fit to tackle it at present — I think it needs a bit longer to rattle around in my brain, to grow and shift and expand in form if it thinks it is going to be made into a longer work.

So, that leaves me with the question of what to share today.  First,  there is the link above to a short story for your reading enjoyment. And then there is this. The first chapter of Discovering Mr. Darcy as it currently looks after a second pass through.   Continue reading Music Monday: Beautiful World, Tim Janis

Music Monday: Beautiful Relaxing Music 106, Soothing Relaxation

What was I listening to this week while I was writing? This beautiful, relaxing, and imagination-inspiring piece of music.  And thanks to such lovely music and a few snow days, I had a very productive week.  So, click play and while the music plays, let me tell you a little about my week and share a sample of what I wrote.

Helland, Peder B., Soothing relaxation. “Beautiful Relaxing Music: Japanese Music, Chinese Music, Romantic Music, Meditation Music ★106.” YouTube. YouTube, 30 Dec. 2016. Web. 19 Feb. 2017.

To be honest, last Sunday seems like two weeks ago rather than just one. (I write these posts on Sunday’s usually.) We were in the midst of a very, very snowy period here in Nova Scotia.  In about seven days, we went from no snow to about a metre of snow, and that spring that the groundhog said would come early looks incredibly far away! 🙂 However, the last couple of days have been fairly sunny and on the warm side of freezing so things are melting slowly.

While I may be pining for green grass and spring flowers, the snowy days did afford me some extra writing time as schools were closed for three days. So, while my sons shoveled and played video games, I strapped myself to my desk chair and took care of business — a lot of it!

On the publishing side of work, So Very Unexpected made its ebook debut this week on Tuesday and was featured in my post on Austen Authors.  The print version also debuted this week, but later than expected as the storm that started on Sunday shut the city down for a couple of days, and my proof copy was delayed in reaching me. However, both print and ebook versions are now available.

Writing wise, I started a re-read of Listen to Your Heart.  That book is going to be put in an anthology, and I am taking one more swipe at picking up remaining errors — not that I will catch them all. 🙂

In addition to starting the re-read of that book, I also worked on the next Dash of Darcy book called Discovering Mr. Darcy.  I am happy to report that I managed to write just under 8,000 words and have completed the first draft. It is now sitting for a few days before I begin going through it to add in the bits and pieces of description and whatnot that I missed on the first pass.

For me, it seems the editing process is less about cutting things out than it is about adding details in. 🙂 Once I have a second go at that manuscript, it will be off to my first reader so she can tell me what I might still have missed as far as plot goes, and for me and my many charts and list, that is where the publication process begins.

And that was my week — other than getting things ready for the blog and to share on social media and other rather mundane businessy type things and squeezing in some homeschooling on the non-snow days. 🙂

Below is a portion of what I wrote this week. Remember, I was writing the ending of this book, so read at your own risk of spoilers. This scene is where Mr. Collins, who discovered Elizabeth and Darcy in a compromising position, finally decides to see reason.

EXCERPT from Discovering Mr. Darcy:  Continue reading Music Monday: Beautiful Relaxing Music 106, Soothing Relaxation