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 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: Thunderstruck, 2Cellos

In this week’s Music Monday post, I am sharing a bit about what I did with my writing time this past week as well as a story snippet and a fun video that I think sums up how Elizabeth feels in the excerpt when she figures out exactly where she is.  Enjoy! And have a great Monday!

2Cellos. “2CELLOS – Thunderstruck [OFFICIAL VIDEO].” YouTube. YouTube, 18 Feb. 2014. Web. 05 Feb. 2017.

WRITING NEWS: 

This week has been a low word count week for writing. There were other things that needed doing.  One of the things that I did was create a new cover for

One of the things that I did was create a new cover forSo Very Unexpected So Very Unexpected.   I had one that I was using as I was writing and editing the book, but I wasn’t completely happy with it. I am much better pleased with this new cover.  At the same time, I also created a cover for At All Costs and for the bundled Willow Hall Romance series.  I have also started working on the print cover for So Very Unexpected as well as getting final file formats started. I should have my last edits back this week and NEXT Tuesday, the book should be published in ebook format with print being ready shortly after.

Part of my writing time this week was devoted to the new story I have started and the other part was given to preparing an Austen Author’s post for next Tuesday. The first draft of that post is ready, but it still needs graphics. And I must decide if I am going to do a giveaway.

One reason I did not get as much story written this week is that I have hit a wall of thinking (which means I must be at least halfway through as that is where this wall usually hits). There are details that need to be considered. So while my brain works on those things, I did some reading and a bit of planning.  Between this and the graphic work for the covers, my brain is feeling nearly ready to tackle those decisions.

STORY EXCERPT: Continue reading Music Monday: Thunderstruck, 2Cellos

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: A Traditional Christmas, Brian Crain

So this week, in addition to writing (short excerpt below), I have been getting things ready for the publication of A Very Mary Christmas (info below).  I figured that while working on a seasonal story, I should be listening to some lovely seasonal piano music, so this playlist has been playing repeatedly in my office.   Continue reading Music Monday: A Traditional Christmas, Brian Crain

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