Music Monday: Wanna Be That Song, Brett Eldredge

On Thursday of this past week, I stepped into the “Author Spotlight” on the darcyandlizzy.com blog.  Some of you have seen the post (and commented on it), but others have not. So, let me explain a bit about what this whole spotlight thing is and why it led me to choose this song to share.

BrettEldredge. “Brett Eldredge – Wanna Be That Song (Official).” YouTube. YouTube, 22 June 2016. Web. 17 June 2017.

On the 15th and 30th of each month, darcyandlizzy.com features an author who posts her work on the forum. The author shares a little bit about herself and her writing, and there is a giveaway that readers can be entered in simply by leaving a comment on the post.

My post is a short interview.  The questions I answered were:

  1. What are you currently working on and what inspires your muse?
  2. What first drew you to JAFF (Jane Austen Fan Fiction) and how long have you been reading it? What prompted you to begin writing?
  3. Do you prefer Regency or Modern? Do you write for other fandoms besides JAFF? Do you have any hobbies besides JAFF?
  4. What are three of your favourite resources to turn to when writing?
  5. Are there any people in your life who have inspired certain traits in your characters or scenes?

If you wish to see all my answers, you’ll have to visit the blog post 😉  (the link is above in the first line of this post). However, I am going to share part of my answer to question four because it is that answer that has had today’s song in my head all week.  I listed YouTube as one of the resources I turn to when writing (if you read these posts each week — that should not come as a surprise). The reason I gave for using this resource is “Every book needs a soundtrack, right?”

Have you listened to the above song? Can you see (or should I say hear) the connection?

One part of the song, near the end says:

When you’re searching the horizon
When your eyes look back
When you’re standing in the moment
Every life has a soundtrack

That phrase.  Right there. At the end. That’s the reason this song has been in my head. In my writing world — the life and love of each hero and heroine has a soundtrack to me.  (Some of which I share with you here each Monday.)

As I listened to this song this week, I thought of it in terms of stories.  And I would agree with Mr. Eldredge.

Let me be that song that gets you high
Makes you dance, makes you fall
That melody rewinds years
Once disappear, makes time stall
Wanna be those words that fill you up
Pull your windows down and keeps you young
Makes you believe you’re right where you belong

I want my stories to be those stories that make you feel all these wonderful things and leave gyou with a sense of wellbeing.

That is why I have chosen this song today…now on to some story news and a bit of what I wrote this week.

I have some publishing news —

If you are looking for a feel good, flirty, little romp of a story, you’re in luck. Not an Heiress publishes this week.  AND to celebrate, there will be a giveaway on my Facebook page starting tomorrow and running for one week.  One option for entering involves dropping a

One option for entering involves dropping a favourite quote from the book — so get those ready while you are reading, and hey, if you can’t purchase the book — you can find part of it already posted on darcyandlizzy.com. (The rest will be posted there over the next two Saturdays.) I am excited to see which quotes you guys like. (I hope there are some that you like, and I won’t just hear crickets. 🙂 )

I am excited to see which quotes you guys like. (I hope there are some that you like, and I won’t just hear crickets. 🙂 )

In addition to getting things ready for the book launch and being part of darcyandlizzy’s spotlight, I finished one round of edits on His Beautiful Bea and sent that off to my first reader to get her input on what I should include in an epilogue, and I also managed to add a few words to my Henry story. (I only managed to write just over 3,000, which is low, but it is still progress, right?)

(I only managed to write just over 3,000, which is low, but it is still progress, right?)

Below is about 800 words from my last writing session on Friday night.

EXCERPT from Henry: To Prove Himself Worthy: Continue reading Music Monday: Wanna Be That Song, Brett Eldredge

Music Monday: Unwritten, Natasha Bedingfield

This week I was “staring at the blank page before me.” 🙂

As I mentioned last week, I took a few days off to allow my brain time to relax. So, this week, after requiring myself to take one day of absolutely no work (Monday),  I decided it was time to start working the brain back into the writing schedule.

NBedingfieldVEVO. “Natasha Bedingfield – Unwritten.” YouTube. YouTube, 25 Oct. 2009. Web. 04 June 2017.

The process actually started with writing my blog post for Austen Authors — which you can read tomorrow. It is about Not an Heiress and includes three excerpts from the story.

Then, I turned my mind to an idea that was sparked this comment by Patty on last Monday’s blog post.

An idea for a story, could you write a piece that made Crawford redeemable?

Hmmm…Could I? It was a thought that gave me goosebumps — still does. And that is a good thing.  That’s what happens when excitement mixed with apprehension skitters through me. 🙂

So, I went in search of the answer…and that process looked like this:

I started by spending a good deal of time on Tuesday rereading portions of Mansfield Park and taking notes.

Then, I messaged a couple of author friends, and they very kindly let me discuss Mansfield Park, Henry Crawford, and various plotting sort of things. (It just helps to “talk it out” some. 🙂 )

After that, I needed time to think and mull over my thoughts — but I forced myself to begin writing a possible scene, just a piece.

This was followed by another period of thinking which consists of finding a relaxed position — often lying on my bed with a notebook next to me for jotting down thoughts ;), turning on specific music that I use just for this purpose, and letting various scenes play out in my mind.

Then it was back to writing.

Have I discovered the answer to the question of whether or not I can reform Henry Crawford?

Maybe. I think so. I hope so. 🙂

This is where the apprehension comes into play. The story is starting after the conclusion of Mansfield Park. Henry has had some time to regret Fanny and has made some changes. But…am I drawing on the small nuances of potentially noteworthy character in him as I see them in canon and developing them in a believable way?

There’s only one way to find out — write the story. 🙂

Here’s a look a the first thousand words of Henry’s story:   Continue reading Music Monday: Unwritten, Natasha Bedingfield

Music Monday: Fields of Gold, 2Cellos

While I wrote this week — and it was a busy week of writing, my Music to Write By YouTube playlist, which includes the song below, got a good work out. Besides music to keep me company while writing, I also had a couple of author friends who joined me via the internet during writing time.

Mborray07. “2CELLOS- Fields Of Gold.” YouTube. YouTube, 06 Aug. 2011. Web. 29 Apr. 2017.

Every evening this week, I met up with my friends, Rose Fairbanks and Zoe Burton, for an hour of uninterrupted/undistracted writing time.  Well, it was supposed to be uninterrupted and undistracted, but there are kids that wander through my corner of the living room and there is also the occasional “Oh, I need to know that” quick search that easily pulls one off onto some interesting tangents.  However, despite these little diversions, I did accomplish what I wished to and a bit extra.  Part of the reason for that is the fact that I didn’t stop writing at that hour limit unless I had completed a scene or had met my thousand-word minimum for that day.

But as you know, writing is not all that is on my schedule. I also have a scheduled editing slot in the evenings with specific daily minimums of work that have to be accomplished there, too.  🙂

(A little side note:  I am finding that I am rather driven by goals — I don’t like to miss those minimums at all. My husband would likely make some comment about my stubbornness here. 🙂 Also knowing I am going to write a post about what I did or didn’t do in a week is motivational. So keep reading these Monday posts, and you should get books/stories on a regular basis since I don’t want to have nothing to share. 😉 )

So, here are the particulars of what I accomplished:

  • Editing:  I completed my edits for Not an Heiress and have sent that story on to my first editor. So, it is well on its way to being ready for publication in June.
  • Writing:  I completed a first draft of the next Thursday Three Hundred story, With the Colonel’s Help.  I used to write these stories each week, but when I got to At All Costs,  I decided to write the full draft before beginning posting to make sure I had all the series things wrapped up as they should be.  Well, I liked having it set to post each week.  🙂  So, I decided to try it again this time around because I am kind of into the whole scheduling thing at present in an attempt to maximize my productivity. 🙂
  • More Editing:  I began final edits of At All Costs.  The tentative publication date for that book is May 18.  So, after the epilogue posts this Thursday, the story will remain up until next week. Then it will have to come down as I make final preparations to publish the story.
  • More Writing:  Since I managed to finish With the Colonel’s Help, I have turned my writing attention to writing Caroline’s story.  If it is going to be a short story, which I cannot tell quite yet, I am about a third of the way through it.  I should be able to tell if the plot I have in mind will be more or less than ten thousand words soon….I hope. 🙂

So, since my new work schedule seems to be work quite well, I have a new problem for which to find a solution.  Completing Caroline’s story will cross off all the stories on my “Write Me” list.  One of the things that I am considering putting on that list is an Austenesque story. Back in January, I mentioned that I wanted to try one, so I think I am going to give one, based in part on Mansfield Park, a shot…maybe…. 🙂 There are also those fairytales I had wished to attempt as well as a set of three stories (find them here if you wish, beginning with A Change of Heart) that I would like to develop into a Dash of Darcy story, and I have an idea floating around for a companion story to that one. I just need to decide where to begin and write out that list, it seems.

Now, for a short clip of something I wrote this week.  This is from With the Colonel’s Help and comes from the section of the story that is starting to wrap up the issues (the denouement), so, although I have tried to excerpt it without too many spoilers, it is, in of itself, a spoiler — read at your own risk. 🙂

EXCERPT FROM With the Colonel’s Help Continue reading Music Monday: Fields of Gold, 2Cellos

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