Tag Archives: Music

#SATurdate: Pre-Order, Prequel, Bread Pudding, Mad Hatter, & Janitors

23 Apr

Bad Bloods is officially up for pre-order everywhere! You can find the links below, but I will have additional information come out this Monday as well. (That is, if you didn’t receive my newsletter…which you should’ve…because we all know you signed up…but if you haven’t…(insert wink)…you can sign up for my newsletter by clicking here.

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AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

What I’m Writing:

I’m still working on D! But pre-order week is the craziest week ever. (Okay. Maybe not as crazy as release week, but alas…) Between my day job as an editor and my author goals, I was stupid busy, so I’m only 60,000 words into D. That being said, I also worked crazy hard on prepping the Bad Bloods Prequel. Yes, a prequel. And you can read more about that below.

What I’m Publishing:

Bad Bloods is officially up for pre-order! And because I’ve said it once before, here are those pre-order links again. You can read the first chapter on Wattpad by clicking here.

AmazonBarnes & NobleiBooksKoboSmashwordsGoodreads

wattpadAdamAs many of you heard, I’m also publishing a FREE prequel on Wattpad, but more news about that will come out on Monday’s blog post. If you want to get started anyway, you can read the How to Read These Stories and the first chapter—Adam—by clicking the links. I’ll be uploading a new origin story every other Friday. But, again, more information will be posted this Monday.

Other than all that craziness, Clean Teen Publishing is putting together a book trailer and business cards for me! (The book trailer is AWESOME. This will also release on Monday.) I also made five more teasers, which will start releasing THIS Tuesday. Seriously, from here on out, you can expect so much news on Bad Bloods to release on the regular. Get ready. This is going to be wild.

The #1lineWed preview this week was “nod.”

“You are not to say anything. Not a word. Don’t answer questions. Don’t look at them. Smile. Nod. Walk straight for the door.”

Pre-Order Bad Bloods

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Visit the Facebook, Pinterest, and the Extras page.

What I’m Reading:

12998337_1025499567497224_5493488091969500484_oThe Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater: Like everything else in my life, I didn’t have a lot of free time between work and pre-order chaos, so I’m still reading The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater (and a little disappointed she’s going to be within a two-hour drive of me on the 29th, but I can’t go). ARGH. I will meet her one day. I swear on it.

What I’m Listening To:

Melanie Martinez—I’m a bit obsessed with her (and her music videos). If you all haven’t checked her out—including if you only know Carousel from American Horror Story—I’m telling you right now, go check out her other songs. Dollhouse is my personal favorite, but Mad Hatter and Cry Baby are definitely up there.

What I’m Watching:

The Philosopher Kings, which is a documentary about the janitors who work at some of the most elite colleges in the US. Get some tissues, because you’re going to ugly cry with me. I highly recommend this documentary.

philokings

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

13006723_1027492807297900_4721895012803377268_nBanana Chocolate Bread Pudding: I used rye bread, heavy cream instead of milk, and dark chocolate chips instead, but here is the recipe I used. It was AWESOME. I will definitely make it again, especially when my bread is going stale.

What I’m Wearing:

Pajamas! (Sorry, Find Your Style KC. I know we talked about this during #AuthorinaCoffeeShop this week, but I simply love pajamas.) For those who didn’t make it to #AuthorinaCoffeeShop, Find Your Style KC is my personal shopper/lovely lady assistant. She helps dress me for public events. (Seriously. I need the help. I’m terrible at going out in public.)

What I’m Wanting:

Some serious writing time! Those weeks that really take that away from you can hurt. Bad.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

I had a dream of a sloth staring at me, and for some reason, I screamed myself out of my dream. Why? I have no idea. I love sloths. I think they are the cutest, ugly animal ever.

What Else Is Going On:

Have I mentioned Bad Bloods is up for pre-order?

Oh.

I have? Five times? Really?

Well.

This is awkward.

~SAT

event5Clean Teen Publishing is hosting an event – the #AskCTP Giveaway on Twitter April 27! I’m REALLY excited about this live author-reader Q&A, and I really hope you all can make it. You can even win a CTP Mystery Box, which includes 1 to 2 print books, swag, and more. And that’s not all.

If you love free stuff, don’t forget that I’m posting a Bad Bloods prequel for free on Wattpad. Minutes Before Sunset, book 1 of The Timely Death Trilogy, is also free right now. Recommended to YA paranormal romance fans who want new creatures never seen or heard of before.

Read Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, for FREE

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Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2:

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Death Before Daylight: book 3:

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#SATurdate: Deadpool, Gangsters, Cake, & the Grisha Trilogy.

16 Apr

Rereads and rewrites and movies and cake. What else could a girl want?

What I’m Writing:

I’m writing in D, and as promised, here is more information. D is a young adult, portal fantasy. I know. I know. Portal fantasies tend to be frowned upon nowadays, but hey, I’m not one to listen to trends, and I truly believe this novel is worth pursuing, so I’m going after it! I’m currently 45,000 words into it, and I’m aiming for 90,000-100,000 words for this particular draft. Once the draft is done, I’ll figure out cutting and adding, but it’s a bit too early to tell, since I added so much information from the original drafts to this one. I’m really excited about it though! I even picked up more paint swatches this week. It’s a colorful book, and I’m spending a lot more time on the intricate details that make up the world.

What I’m Publishing:

This week, Clean Teen Publishing finished the final formatting of November Snow! I cannot wait for the release of Bad Bloods. The interior is beautiful. Other than that, this week’s #1lineWed preview was “back.” So, read your preview below.

Add Bad Bloods to Goodreads: November Rain and November Snow

Visit the Facebook, Pinterest, and the Extras page.

Coming soon!

Coming soon!

What I’m Reading:

12977041_3201610677838_2820462666464715283_oI reread Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo this week. I actually read it a long time ago, but I never wrote a review, and I REALLY wanted to write one, so I decided to re-read it, because this trilogy is awesome. Leigh Bardugo is awesome. Shadow and Bone is magical fantasy with a touch of darkness and horror, a story where darkness is a physical THING. The setup was interesting, the culture was fascinating, and the overall plot was exciting, thrilling, and intense. Recommended to readers of epic fantasy, magical powers, dark vs. light stories, charming villains, and Russian culture. Favorite Quote? I love you, Alina, even the part of you that loved him. Read my five-star review by clicking here.

I’ve also been on quite a reread kick, so I picked up The Dream Thieves by Maggie Stiefvater, because I cannot WAIT for The Raven King to release later this year. I’ll write a review for this book, too, since I haven’t written one before.

What I’m Listening To:

I listened to Dead Sea constantly this week. It’s become one of my main songs to write to while writing in D. Give it a listen. It’s beautiful instrumentals.

What I’m Watching:

deadpool-film-header-home-ent-itn-front-main-stage

I saw Deadpool. (Finally, I know.) And just to clear up my superhero hate from last week, I LOVED Deadpool. I thought it was hilarious. On a more serious note, I got my hands on Legend, Tom Hardy’s movie about Ronald “Ronnie” Kray and Reginald “Reggie” Kray, two gangsters that made their mark in the London underworld in the 1950’s and 1960’s. I thought Tom Hardy was fantastic, and although a lot of the real-life story was taken out, I really enjoyed this film. (And Emily Browning. GAH. I love her.) I’d recommend both of these movies for different reasons, but Tom Hardy is the best. Just saying.

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What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

No baking this week. I took the lazy way out and bought myself two huge slices of chocolate cake. I simply couldn’t help myself.

What I’m Wearing:

Sunglasses! I found them just in time for spring. (I lose sunglasses as much as I lose my pens…generally in the couch…or the fridge.)

What I’m Wanting:

A new desk! I know I’ve said this a lot recently, but JESUS. Finding a desk is hard. Then again, I’m really picky. I don’t like sliders for keyboards, since I don’t have a keyboard. (They only end up banging against my knees.) I also don’t like a lot of shelves…or see-through desks. Those get so dirty so easily. (Lots of cat paws.) I basically need a living room table. Just a flat piece of wood. Why is that so hard to find? This remains a mystery.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

So you know how most people wake up from their dreams before they die? Yeah…I don’t, and this week was a perfect example. It began with a giant cafeteria full of people, and then, a man—who looked strangely like Chris Hemsworth—walked in, and we all knew we were going to die. Cue the chaos. Everyone ran, but I made it out the door in the first wave. This cafeteria, apparently, was ten stories up, and we had to run down this twisting, dark staircase to get to freedom…but there are holes in the sides of the walls, and if you fell down them, you died, and if fell down the middle, you died. I was running too fast, so I tripped and I fell down one of the holes. Imagine falling down from the top of stairway where you bounce off all the railings as you go. At this point, I knew it was a dream. (This is pretty common for me to realize while dreaming, but most of the time, I can wake myself up or take control of the dream. This time was not one of those times.) I thought, At least you get to wake up now, but dream world had other plans. I fell what felt like a hundred feet and then I hit the ground. I was most definitely a meat pie. (Sorry for the graphic nature of this dream.) But then I reconstructed myself and I had to keep running. Unfortunately, Hemsworth caught up to me and killed me for the second death of the evening. Then, I woke up. (And people wonder why I write violent scenes.)

What Else Is Going On:

event5Clean Teen Publishing is hosting a #AskCTP Giveaway on Twitter on April 27th, and I’d love it if you all came. I actually had a hand in making this event happen—since you all know how much I love Twitter from my weekly Twitter show #AuthorinaCoffeeShop—and it would mean a lot to me if you all can come hang out with all of the Clean Teen and Crimson Tree authors. They are a fantastic group of people, and I’m truly looking forward to it.

~SAT

Read Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, for FREE

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Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2:

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Death Before Daylight: book 3:

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Get your free book today!

Get your free book today!

#WritingTips Music Muse and Tricks

15 Feb
At the signing :)

At the signing 🙂

If you would like a signed copy of any book in The Timely Death Trilogy, e-mail me at shannonathompson.com. Barnes & Noble in Wichita has a few copies left from the Valentine’s Day Romance Author Event this past Saturday. It was AWESOME. I met some wonderful readers and authors.

Thank you for coming out!

~SAT

Every Monday, I cover an older post but in a new way. In fact, today’s post comes from my very first year of blogging. (It’s really surreal to see how much my website has changed since 2012, so feel free to read the original post here.) Basically, I covered one song I listened to in order to get inspired, but that was it. Today, I want to talk about music in general in regards to writing and how you can use it as a tool to help enhance your work, make connections, and understand yourself better.

1. Trick Your Mind with Classical Conditioning

This is, by far, my favorite aspect of music in regards to writing. You can use music to trick your mind with basic conditioning. (You know, that famous psychology term defined by salivating dogs and bells…but we’re going to use authors and music instead.) Basically, find songs that have the same mood or tone of your story, and listen to them while you write or right before you write. That way, when you’re having a day where you don’t feel like writing—or you’re just having a difficult time getting into the mood—you can listen to these songs, and it “tricks” your brain into knowing it is time to write. In fact, I’ve used this method before, even though I rarely listen to music while writing. I still have “trigger” songs I listen to while brainstorming, so when I’m having a harder time than usual, it can be fixed with an energetic song my brain correlates with successful writing time. Thanks, Pavlov.

2. Inspiration, Of Course

A lot of writers find inspiration in music. Whether it’s the lyrics or the sound or the mood it invokes, music can serve as a starting point for writers. When I was younger, I was *kind of* like this. I loved to listen to music while I had to take long drives to school (and this was when gas was $5 per gallon, yeesh). The combination of movement and music helped me zone into movie trailer type scenarios. I could picture snippets and high-action type scenes that I could shout at myself (at stoplights as well) and later write down when I was…you know…not driving. I don’t do this anymore, but I have had great moments where a song really sticks with me and can help shape a scene or a character. In fact, I recently couldn’t get enough of Railroad Track by Willy Moon in relation to Take Me Yesterday, book 2 of The Tomo Trilogy. Even though it didn’t inspire anything, the music (and the video) fit what I had in my head perfectly, and seeing it played out helped energize me enough to write 10,000 words in one night. For that one night, that song was everything.

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Extra: The top two songs I listened to while working on Bad Bloods: Murakami by Made in Heights and Black Crown by Silent Rider and Camille Corazon.

3. #MSWL Correlations

Okay. The title of this section is a bit of a stretch, but I think every writer—whether they are looking for a traditional agent or not—can learn a ridiculous amount about the industry and writing trends by following the #MSWL feed on Twitter. #MSWL is Manuscript Wishlist, which is where agents post what they are looking for. Surprisingly enough, a lot of agents will post song titles and say something along the lines of “If your manuscript is like this song, I want it!” Isn’t that awesome? A single song—lyrics and all—could inspire an entire novel…and an agent who wants to sign it. Why? Because songs are powerful. It doesn’t hurt to understand why either. Just like how we tell writers to look at their favorite books and ask themselves why they love them, I suggest writers research their favorite songs and ask themselves the same question. You could have a story hiding in you.

How has music affected your writing life?

~SAT

This THURSDAY, I will host #AuthorinaCoffeeShop Episode 7 on Twitter at 7 PM via @AuthorSAT. I normally host it on Friday, but a few of you have expressed Thursday as a better day, so I will probably test out the next few episodes on Thursday to see which days are best. I hope to see you there!

Another wonderful picture of the authors from the Barnes & Noble signing!

Another wonderful picture of the authors from the Barnes & Noble signing!

The Timely Death Trilogy is now available! 

Get SIGNED copies by e-mailing shannonathompson@aol.com

Minutes Before Sunset: book 1: FREE 

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Seconds Before Sunrise: book 2:

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Death Before Daylight: book 3:

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#SATurdate: Star Wars, Novel Aesthetics, Antlers, and Florence

26 Dec

First things first, I hope everyone had a great holiday! This girl celebrated with Christmas candies and hours of reading. (I seriously cannot believe it’s almost 2016.)

What I’m Writing:

I actually fixed some scenes in Take Me Yesterday this week, and I attempted to keep moving forward in it, but it has to take a pause while I focus on the Bad Bloods edits.

What I’m Publishing:

I received the first sets of edits for Bad Bloods, both November Rain and November Snow, I managed to finish them over the holidays. As many of you know, Clean Teen Publishing did finish the covers for both books, and we’ll be having a cover reveal on January 6. I’ll be sending out a newsletter this Tuesday, asking for help, and three lucky helpers will win an exclusive sneak peek of November Rain. (Sign up here.) In regards to this week’s sneak peek, I actually didn’t participate in #1lineWed, but I was invited to post a #novelaesthetics on Twitter. Basically, we had to choose three photos that represented the aesthetics of the novel, so here are those photos for November Snow.

Visit the Facebook, Pinterest, and the Extras page.

novela

What I’m Reading:

 10900066_956293941084454_5982930522247100530_oI began The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson, and I’ve barely put it down. I LOVE it. It’s a mix of romantic cheese and heart-pounding betrayal in a world of royalty and assassins.

I began and finished Midnight Thief by Livia Blackburne. It received 5 shiny stars from me. I thought it was action-packed, absolutely epic, and a delight to read. I loved Kyra, the orphan who joins the Assassins Guild only to figure out that loyalties might not be so simple. Add magical beast-cats and knights to the mix, and I was in love. Recommended to fantasy and paranormal YA fans. Read my full review here.

What I’m Listening To:

Florence-And-The-Machine-How-Big-How-Blue-How-BeautifulFor Christmas, I received the new Florence + The Machine album, How Big. How Blue. How Beautiful. And I love it.

What I’m Watching:

Yes. Yes. I finally saw Star Wars The Force Awakens. (No spoilers, I promise.) I definitely LOVED it. I thought it was much funnier than the original ones and the ones I grew up watching. I loved the protagonists a lot, and I definitely did not see some of those twists coming. (I saw one coming, but other than that, I sat there like, WHHHHHAAAAAT?) I never thought they could make a cuter robot than R2D2, so that was awesome. The girl is a badass. Loved her. A great movie to go see this holiday season.

For Christmas, I received Dark City (1998)mainly because I professed my love for Rufus Sewell on here. AND I loved it. That is an awesome flick. Just purely twisted sci-fi.

I also watched Dune (1984) for the first time (please don’t kill me), and I have to say, not a fan. (Please don’t kill me again.) I simply think the director was ahead of his time. They just tried to tackle a too high sci-fi for the time period and the technology that was available to them. But, I will say this, I can tell that the book is probably awesome from the movie. It just seemed too complicated and imaginative for the screen to sum up in an hour and a half.

movies

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

You might be sad to hear that Shannon is going on a bit of a diet. Not that I’m trying to lose weight, but I have been eating WAY too much sugar, so you probably won’t see as many desserts on here as before…Even then, I totally failed this week’s goal, and I made breakfast cookies. (So not as sweet, but cookies nonetheless.)

What I’m Wearing:

Ugly X-Mas sweaters. This one has a dog on it and antlers.

What I’m Wanting:

This was me cheating at Barnes & Noble.

This was me cheating at Barnes & Noble.

Cookies. Because I’m on a diet. (Even though I cheated and bought myself one.)

What I’m Dreaming Of:

This is a story on how Shannon learns she is dreaming and forces herself to wake up.

In real life I had to make it to a family event at 6 p.m. That doesn’t sound bad for many of you, but I work a night shift, so I don’t wake up until 3 p.m….and this was technically my weekend, so I don’t get up til 5 p.m. sometimes…and this event was over an hour away, so basically, I was having anxiety about my alarm not going off on time, which is what caused this dream.

My alarm doesn’t go off. I see the time. 5:40 p.m.

I leap out of bed, rush up the stairs, and start pounding on the wall to wake up my roommate. “The alarm didn’t go off!”

For some reason, he screams, “Noon is not good enough.”

This was my first clue something was weird.

So, we run into the closet to pick out clothes, and he’s singing. (Another weird clue.) So, I stop to take out my cell phone. (I find electronics help me figure out if I’m dreaming or not.) And sure enough, this phone has a grocery list on it. There’s no such app like this one. It automatically knows we need certain things in our fridge based on previous purchase records.

It says we need two things of tuna.

I never get tuna.

This must be a dream.

I actually have a moment where I want to stay so I can do whatever I want, (because that’s a thing at this point,) but I’m super paranoid the beginning of my dream was trying to tell me that my alarm actually didn’t go off, so I wake myself up.

It’s 1:47 p.m.

I have two hours left to sleep.

What Else Is Going On:

I’m just really, really, REALLY excited for the cover reveal on January 6. I practically can’t sit still. It’s painful to keep them a secret, but it will be well worth it! I’m looking forward to starting 2016 off right.

~SAT

#SATurdate: The White Rose, Man in the High Castle, Burt’s Bees, and Sweets.

5 Dec

As you all know, we didn’t have a SATurdate last week due to the monthly Website Wonders piece, so this one might be a bit longer than usual. (I think I say that every week for one reason or another…but oh well!)

What I’m Writing:

I realized I need to go over Take Me Tomorrow before I can move forward in Take Me Yesterday, so I’m officially working on Take Me Tomorrow. There are a few things I wanted to add, just with a sentence or two. Example, one thing that was hinted but went basically unnoticed (by my fault, not readers’) was the fact that boys and girls are encouraged to separate themselves, which was one of the reasons there were more boys than girls. I actually addressed this directly after a high demand in my article Why Most of my Characters are Male. I mistakenly thought I hinted to it enough, but this time around, I’m going to blatantly say it. There are a few things like that I’m looking forward to adding as I go through it. For original readers, I’m about 60 pages in, in the chapter It’s Too Late.

What I’m Publishing:

We’re working on the cover for Bad Bloods! The ideas were fantastic, and I’m really looking forward to seeing what the cover ends up being. Bless my cover artist’s heart for dealing with my input. (Seriously. She deserves a huge shoutout.) So, thank you, Marya! Check her out at Strong Image Editing!

Now, I’m sharing the winning #1lineWed from the previous two weeks. The first one’s theme was home.

This was home to me. Just the thought of Catelyn’s suffocating hugs made my heart lurch.

A little background, Catelyn is Serena’s best friend and practical sister. They both live in the Southern Flock, and they nearly look like twins, aside from a scar on Catelyn’s face. Here is a link to the Pinterest Pin of Catelyn. In the original version, she had a moon/star tattoo (something that got cut out) and her name was spelled Caitlin.

Since it was two weeks—of course—here was the second #1lineWed preview. The theme was humor/laughter.

“He told me to stay away from you.”

I laughed. “How unoriginal.”

I would give extra information about this line…but I have to leave some parts up for mystery. 😉

Visit the PinterestFacebook, and the Extras page.

What I’m Reading:

Winterspell by Claire Legrand: This is a darker retelling of The Nutcracker, so I thought it’d be the perfect book to start December off with. So far, so good.

The White Rose, book 2 in The Lone City by Amy Ewing: UGH. I love Amy Ewing so much. I cannot wait for book 3. I, of course, gave this wonderful novel 5 stars, and you can read my entire review here. But, again, not for everyone. As a flat-out, upfront warning, this series revolves around a lot of sexual abuse, including but not limited to forced surrogacy, prostitution, and castration. If you can handle reading about controversial issues, you’ll love this series. Amy handles everything delicately and brilliantly. Seriously. I have an author crush.

booksPretty Guardian Sailor Moon, V. 8 by Naoko Takeuchi: Again, no secret I love this manga, but I’m currently re-reading it and reviewing the new prints. Here is the link to my five-star review. This one covers the ending of The Infinity Arc and the beginning of The Dead Moon Circus.

What I’m Listening To:

I went to a concert! What? Yes! Little ol’ me went to a concert for the first time in…well…years. I went to the Puscifer concert, and it was pretty badass.

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I’ve also been obsessed with I’m Good, I’m Gone by Lykke Li. Literally, it’s probably the only song I’ve listened to in two weeks.

What I’m Watching:

 I binge-watched the full first season of The Man in the High Castle, an Amazon original. WATCH IT. It’s phenomenal…and I want a season two.

Basically, it’s alternative history where Germany and Japan won WWII…and Rufus Sewell is in it. For my readers out there, it’s based on a Phillip K Dick novel. Gooooo. Go watch it. GOOOOOO.

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On a side note, I also watched Brother Bear. I freakin’ love that movie.

I also watched Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows—Part 1 and Part 2, because you have to watch both if you’re going to watch one of them. This is a rule. You must not break it.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

It was Thanksgiving, so naturally, I baked a lot of Thanksgiving-themed treats. I actually made my very first turkey all by myself this year too. Not going to lie, I was pretty proud of myself. I stuffed it with fruit and covered it in a white wine butter sauce. I also made candied yams for my father’s job party and pecan tarts for my little self. (Those pecan tarts, though. I ate all of them.) As if I haven’t made enough sweets, I also made Rice Krispies Treats with butterscotch. Freakin’ delicious.

food

What I’m Wearing:

Blueberry-Chocolate Burt’s Bees lip balm. It’s a treasure. 

What I’m Wanting:

Book 3 in The Lone City by Amy Ewing. It doesn’t even have a title yet, and I’m DYING.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

I dyed my hair white as the world went to war with one another. It was rather strange, because my hair looked normal until I could flip it over and put it up, and then it looked like an elongated white halo, almost like a melted halo, down to the ending of my back. I believe a bomb went off near me, and I thought I lost Bogart. But someone I knew found him and brought him to the safe house I was staying in.

I was a mouse, and my boat went down with three other mice, so we found another GIANT boat, and we got on. It was full of monk-related items, but no one seemed to be on board. There was also a story about Lykke Li on there and how she pretended to be a priest once, so we decided to pretend to be priests. The owners of the boat turned out to be cats, but when we told them we were priests, they decided to keep us on board.

What Else Is Going On:

The dorm hall I lived in while attending the University of Kansas was demolished this past week or so. It’s rather strange to see, considering it’s the oldest dorm on campus, a dorm my father AND my uncle lived in when they attended KU. I spent a year of life calling that place home. It was an awkward time of my life—definitely not the happiest—but now those memories are there, despite the location being turned to dust. I feel old, really. So, here’s a photo of my old dorm room.

college

~SAT

October’s Ketchup

31 Oct

October’s Ketchup

First of all, Happy Halloween! Second of all, have a piece of candy for me today. And finally, thanks for being part of my life this October. Between the paperback of Death Before Daylight releasing and the KC book signing, it’s safe to say that this month was wonderful, but as usual, the best part was talking to you all!

For those of you just now checking in this month, Ketchup actually means “catch up.” At the end of every month, I write these posts describing what goes on behind the scenes at ShannonAThompson.com. Some of the topics I cover include my big moments, top blog posts, my top referrer, #1 SEO term, and more in order to show insights that will hopefully help fellow bloggers see what was popular. I also hope it entertains the readers who want “extras” for this website.

Thank you for being a part of my life this October!

Big Moments:

As I stated above, the paperback of Death Before Daylight finally arrived! I’m beyond thrilled that The Timely Death Trilogy is out in full. You can even purchase the entire trilogy all at once. (Pretty awesome!) To celebrate, Headrush Coffee and Tea Roasters in Kansas City, Missouri hosted a Halloween-themed book signing, and it was wonderful! We talked about the folklore in the trilogy as well as other spooky topics. I even sold out of my Halloween-themed box sets this month! I’m so glad you all are enjoying the paranormal tale, and I hope to bring you new stories in the future. In fact, I sent off my next manuscript to my publisher this month for review. Keep your fingers crossed for me please.

Stay Dark,

~SAT

#1 Clicked Item was Minutes Before Sunset on Amazon

#1 Clicked Item was Minutes Before Sunset on Amazon

Top Three Blog Posts: 

#1 SEO Term

#1 SEO Term

1. How To Be The Perfect Writer: After listening to an inspiring TED Talk, I wrote this piece on the perception of perfection and the destruction of fearing to fail.

2. Bullies and Their Writers: October is National Bullying Prevention Month, and my publisher participates by having authors tell their stories and host giveaways. This was my story.

3. KC Event and Character Interviews: I had a book signing, but since many of you couldn’t make it—due to, you know, living all around the world—I posted two never-before-seen character interviews, one with Eric Welborn and one with Jessica Taylor, from The Timely Death Trilogy.

 

Other Blog Posts:

Saturday Update: The Intern, Salman Rushdie, Crimson Peak, and More: I saw a few movies, read a few books, and talked about more entertainment.

Replenishing Your Reserves by Journaling by B. Lynn Goodwin: Writing is fun, but it can also be good for your health!

#1 Referrer was WordPress' Reader

#1 Referrer was WordPress’ Reader

Changes: What I’m Doing: My life has gotten a bit crazier, so I explain why I changed Saturdays to fun days and how guest blogging will be affected it the near future.

Saturday Update: Crimson Peak, Submissions, Adele, M&Ms, and More: I’m enjoying these Saturday Updates. In this one, I talked about my latest submission to CTP, movies, and desserts.

Finding Your Author’s Voice by Ryan Attard: Finding your voice can be difficult, but this article explains just how you can do it.

Biggest Benefits of Reading by Dissertation Planet: Reading is more than just reading. This article explains how it also helps your life.

Saturday Update: Hannibal, The Jewel, Penny Dreadful, Chocolate, and More: I went on a trip to the hometown of Mark Twain, I read a few books, and I ate wonderful desserts.

Music as Writing Inspiration by Audrey Leaman: We could all use a little more music in our writing lives.

Website Wonders: A montly classic

At the end of the month, I also like to take a moment to thank all of the websites who supported me by posting reviews, interviews, and features. If you want to be one of these websites, feel free to join my newsletter or email me at shannonathompson@aol.com. I always love speaking with new bloggers, writers, and readers! I will also share your post on all of my websites.

Reviewers:

Death Before Daylight: Black Words, White Pages

Calculated on October 28 at 19,878 followers

Calculated on October 28 at 19,878 followers

 

#MondayBlogs Music as Writing Inspiration

26 Oct

Intro:

I never used to write with music. The lyrics would distract me or it simply wouldn’t work. Many years later, I found music I actually enjoyed using, and I’ve used it since while brainstorming. Today, our guest writer is talking about just that. Using music to inspire her, here is Audrey Leaman.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in guest articles are those of the author/s and do not necessarily reflect my own. To show authenticity of the featured writer, articles are posted as provided (a.k.a. I do not edit them). However, the format may have changed.

Music as Writing Inspiration by Aubrey Leaman

Ah, yes, that terrifying word: inspiration.  How do we find it? And if we find it, how do we turn it into something worthwhile?

For those of you like me who bump (or crash) into writer’s block, perhaps the muse may speak to you through music.  Here are some specific ways to help get those creative juices flowing:

1) Pop/Rock: Listen to your favorite song, shuffle a playlist, or find new music…there is always a story behind the song.

For example: “Someone Like You” by Adele: who is Adele’s character? Why did she and her lover separate? What prompted her to show up at his door in the first place?

For example: “Mr. Roboto” by Styx: Is the character an actual robot/cyborg? Or is this symbolism for something else? Why does he need to hide, and why is his life in danger?

Music as Writing Inspiration photo

Photo provided by Audrey

2) Classical: Reverse-engineer the story as though it were a movie soundtrack.  Who are the characters? What are they doing? What’s the genre (romantic comedy, drama, action/adventure, thriller)?

For example: To me, Maurice Ravel’s “Valley of the Bells” sounds like a man standing above a valley at the brink of a terrible fate.  ( Here’s the full story )

3) A song you don’t understand: I don’t know about you, but sometimes I will love a song at the same time that I have no idea what it’s actually about.  When you start stringing a bunch of obscure phrases together, while it may sound awesome, I’m not quite sure what the artist is trying to say anymore.  So challenge yourself to take those seemingly random phrases and imagine possible meanings for them.

For example: “Hypnotic” by Zella Day: I understand the chorus, but the verses are less clear: “white threads on my laces / stuck on the hinges, swinging the door to the backyard” could represent all kinds of things.  Maybe the character is a young girl at the time of being in love, or maybe she is just remembering past childhood days.  It could even be representative of how pure and fresh her lover makes her feel.

3) Playlist: shuffle your music library.  Each song is the next action or character in the story.

For example: A love song (One Direction’s What Makes You Beautiful) followed by an angry song (Bon Jovi’s You Give Love a Bad Name) could inspire the story of a relationship that starts out strong but then bitterly falls apart when the girl changes her mind.

Have you tried something like this before? Can you think of other ways music might inspire a story?

Bio: What if mermaids wore suspenders? What if the White Rabbit played an Olympic sport? What if music could take you on an adventure?  Aubrey Leaman loves pushing boundaries by mixing and matching both between and within genres because she believes that the resulting fresh perspective can be both fun and illuminating.  So she uses books and music (and more) as diving boards to plunge into the cosmic pool that encompasses anything and everything that can be imagined.  You know, in a light-hearted, casual way.

You can follow her blog here and on  tumblr.

Want to be a guest blogger? Now is the time to submit. I will be stopping guest blog posts in December, but before then, I would love to have you on! I am accepting original posts that focus on reading and writing. Pictures, links, and a bio are encouraged. You do not have to be published. If you qualify, please email me at shannonathompson@aol.com.

~SAT

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