Tag Archives: writing music

#SATurdate: An Ember in the Ashes, A Torch Against the Night, W – Two Worlds, & YALLFest.

27 Aug

What I’m Writing:

Honestly, I’ve put the next Bad Bloods books away for now. Sophia would not shut up, so I spent my writing time obliging her this week. Basically, I wrote in book 3 of the Tomo Trilogy, Take Me Never. I know. I know. Book 1 isn’t even out, so a lot of you have no idea what I’m even talking about, but I will not—and cannot give up—on this girl. She’s loud and stubborn and loves everything just a little too much. I’m 6,179 words in, and since this week’s #1lineWed theme was “work”—this line is from Take Me Yesterday, the sequel to Take Me Tomorrow (which is complete). I promise I will get this series into readers’ hands one day. 😀 I also worked on a brand-new story after researching for a ridiculously long amount of time. But that’s all I’ll say about that book for now. For those of you who follow even my books with only initials as titles, I rewrote the beginning of B, AGAIN. Why? I know I can write B. (B is a contemporary I’ve been attempting for about a month now.) I’m just trying to find my footing with it. I like giving these updates—even if they are crazily obscure—because I think, one day, (hopefully), if one of these books ever gets into the hands of readers, they’ll be able to go back on my website and see the daily grind of it all instead of thinking writing happens overnight. I want to share the journey, so other writers know the journey is the fun part, including the struggles and hurdles and writer’s block and rewrites and little successes. Every writer’s journey is different, but every journey should be fun! Now that I’ve said that, Bogart the cat was my editor this week. I received some awesome feedback from a great lady, and Bogart let me know what he thought via Instagram. Here was that photo series.

Bogart the Cat

Bogart the Cat

What I’m Publishing:

YALL Fest 2016

YALL Fest 2016

All my books for Penned Con St Louis arrived this week! I will be traveling with YA author Natasha Hanova (and sharing a booth), so check her out. On a side note, it’s almost certain I will also be at YALLFest in Charleston, South Carolina this November, so look out for more news on that little trip of mine. I look forward to meeting more wonderful people. In book related news, I owed you guys Steven’s short story on the Bad Bloods Prequel on Wattpad this week, but I spent more time focusing on novels rather than shorts. I will get back to it, though! (And I will announce when it’s posted. Promise.)

November Rain (FREE)

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November Snow,

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Smashwords, Goodreads

Free Kindle Book: Bad Bloods: November Rain

Free Kindle Book: Bad Bloods: November Rain

What I’m Reading:

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

I finished An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir! If you love Game of Thrones, you will love this YA fantasy. It’s epic, it’s dangerous, and the world is full of surprises—magical and inhumane. I recommend it to epic fantasy readers, especially those who like a little mysterious magic and don’t mind brutality. There is a significant amount of rape threats in the book. But in regards to love, there is basically a love square going on. Each protagonist has two interests they go back and forth on, but it does not take up the majority of the novel. The novel heavily focuses on military power and rebellion uprising. You can read my four-star review here. My favorite quote? “But there are two kinds of guilt, girl: the kind that drowns you until you’re useless, and the kind that fires your soul to purpose.”

I also started Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater. It’s the third book in The Raven Cycle, and if you haven’t checked out this series, do so now. It is perfection.

What I’m Listening To:  

Since I was writing in Take Me Never, I returned to my lovely Take Me Yesterday playlist on YouTube. Check it out!

What I’m Watching:

I started watching W – Two Worlds, and I LOVE it. Special thanks goes out to Siamese Mayhem for recommending it to me, but basically, it’s the best K-drama ever. It follows the daughter of a web comic as she accidentally portals herself into the comic to try to save the hero from being killed by her own father. It’s thrilling, romantic, hilarious, and simply awesome.

W - Two Worlds

W – Two Worlds

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

My oven broke! I am so sad. Baking is basically the only thing that gets me off my computer addiction (because, let’s be honest, you can’t have a laptop next to a cake mixer), so…not going to lie, I drove an hour to borrow an oven to make cookies.

What I’m Wearing:

Rain boots! It was storming like crazy here. Great writing weather.

What I’m Wanting:

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir

A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir! We’re so close.

What I’m Dreaming Of:

So…I was a monk…and there were tons of monsters everywhere…and I had to defend the last glass of red wine on earth? I have no idea. But the fight scenes were epic. I managed to hold onto a glass of red wine while fighting the world at the same time. If only I were so smooth in real life. (I am the clumsiest person I know. In fact, I fell down the stairs for the SECOND time this year this past week. I’m in so much pain it’s stupid.) But thankfully, this time, I only caught rug burn.

What Else Is Going On:

I got more cat lady office décor! I’ll be sure to share it soon.

~SAT

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#SATurdate: The End, Writing Playlist, Lemon Bars, & The Winner’s Kiss

2 Apr

One of my all-time favorite trilogies came to an end this week…and so did one of my manuscripts.

What I’m Writing:

12143231_1011224762258038_3533122318676664942_nI finished Take Me Yesterday, clocking in at 78,000 words. Of course, I have a few chapters/scenes I want to add during the editing process, so it’s not complete-complete, as no novel is after the first draft…or the second…or the third. That being said, I will be putting Take Me Yesterday aside for a minimum of a month between now and my first editing session. I think taking breaks between finishing a novel and editing a novel is important. It helps clear the brain and fine-tune your focus to edit rather than to write. I will say this though, for those who zoomed up and saw the last line or so, five characters die in Take Me Yesterday. Prepare yourselves.

On a sort-of-related-not-really-but-yes-related note, it hit me that finishing this novel was my 10th novel. Granted, only five of them have gone to publication. (Let’s be real, most authors write numerous, TERRIBLE books before they start getting published. I’m not an exception. My first books make me cringe. It’s known as the apprenticeship time for a reason.) Still, weird. Not that numbers matter or anything like that. I have plenty of half-written manuscripts that will probably never be finished and plenty of ideas I’ll probably never see through, but I feel like I should bake a cake. This time, with two candles.

What I’m Publishing:

This week’s #1lineWed preview was eyebrows, so here’s a sneak peek at Bad Bloods: Her smile was as small as the rest of her features, but then her raised eyebrows took over her expression.

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:

12919682_1013277415386106_4772341465276874814_nThe Winner’s Kiss by Marie Rutkoski. I was lucky enough to get my copy one day early. Marie Rutkoski is the best, one of my favorite YA writers of all time, and the ending of The Winner’s Trilogy is perfection. The perfect ending to a brilliant, stunning, and heart-wrenching trilogy. Recommended to fans of high fantasy and lovers of romance, strong characters all around, and those who enjoy gorgeous prose. My favorite quote? He would lose her if he couldn’t do this. He didn’t trust her. He did not. Yet he understood that there are some things you feel and others that you choose to feel, and that the choice doesn’t make the feeling less valid. Read my full 5-star review by clicking here.

What I’m Listening To:

To celebrate the completion of Take Me Yesterday, I created a playlist on YouTube where you can listen to the playlist I used while writing the sequel. No judging allowed. 😉 A fair warning though: I listen to some explicit music. Like VERY explicit. So…pre-screen it, yeah? You’ll basically find alternative music and rap music, like Glass Animals, and then Rittz, and then Lana Del Ray, and then Ces Cru. Play it by clicking this link: Take Me Yesterday Playlist

What I’m Watching:

I binge-watched The New Yorker Presents series via Amazon Prime. It’s really interesting and at times, hilarious, sad, maddening, and lovely. I definitely recommend it.

What I’m Baking, Making, and Drinking:

12916319_1012354918811689_8686432340318754170_oI lived off of espresso and sandwiches this past week. It’s basically been a non-stop writing sessions, and as we all know, writing is fueled by coffee. Lots of coffee. Hot, cold, iced, espresso, Americano, sweetened, black, tall, venti, mocha chip latte coffee. Whatever your flavor, words will come.

When I did finally finish writing, I took a day off and baked some lemon bars. For those of you who read The Timely Death Trilogy, then you know Eric Welborn is OBSESSED with lemon bars, specifically the ones his stepmom Mindy makes. Therefore, I channeled my inner Mindy Welborn and baked, baked, baked. Here is the recipe I used.

What I’m Wearing:

 12901473_1016252698421911_7581341378334475332_oWhatever matches my brand-new coffee mug. I’ve been dying to have one of David Olenick’s designs for awhile now, so when I gave myself permission to reward myself, I went after this little beauty of a coffee mug. (Fun fact: His designs also take up my computer’s home screen.) Check out David Olenick by clicking the link.

If you like this design, it was done by one of my favorite artists, David Olenick at Society6. Here’s his page 

What I’m Wanting:

To shake off the ending of my completed manuscript, so I can concentrate on another manuscript. (That is hard!)

What I’m Dreaming Of:

I had a GIANT tabby cat, and my cat became so fat that he got stuck while trying to dig under my backyard fence. I was trying to get out while my bunny—yes, I had a bunny in this dream—tried to push me away from helping my cat. This bunny was huge. He was named Dumb Bunny, too. (Which I’m pretty sure was my aunt’s bunny’s name from a couple years back.) Nevertheless, I had my tabby cat, my dumb bunny, and a little white fluffy dog…and all of them were trying to tackle me while I was trying to help one of them…and a bunch of neighborhood kids were throwing a party under my house at the same time? I don’t know. Dreams are strange.

What Else Is Going On:

12719152_1017091155004732_1359757398723330593_oI added a reading corner to my new office. This wonderful reading corner includes three giant stuffed dogs and a teddy bear…along with a KU blanket. This means there is a KU blanket in MU territory. I also moved my painted portrait of Bogart with Humphrey Bogart to my new office. It’s starting to feel like home. I’ll share more pictures soon, but I was lucky enough to capture Bogart admiring himself in his portrait. By far, my favorite painting in the world. My cat lady heart just can’t handle the cuteness.

~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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takefofytseve

#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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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

#WW Staying Focused as a Writer

8 Jul

#WW Staying Focused as a Writer

Staying focused. It sounds simple but is all too complicated for many. It’s different for every writer, but I’ve recognized quite a few common stressors among authors. Some get overwhelmed by finding time to write and manage social media. Others can’t finish a novel without another one sneaking up on them. Some even ditch novels altogether. Like I said, it’s different for everyone, and there are many reasons behind the variety of #writerproblems out there. (Hence why there is an actual hashtag for such things.)

So, today, I wanted to discuss one I deal with as well as the ways I’ve kept myself in check over the years, but I would love to hear about how you manage your writing!

My issue is completing a novel when a new one suddenly demands my attention.

How are we supposed to concentrate on such a beautiful day?

How are we supposed to concentrate on such a beautiful day?

While I have no problem finishing a novel or coming up with an ending, I used to have a hard time keeping focused on the one I need to complete next. Any time I got a new idea or a new character, all I wanted to do was obsess over the new, potential story in front of me. I realized it was a problem when I spent more of my time planning novels than actually writing them, and while this happened to me a few years ago, I learned a lot of little tricks to keep me focused. In fact, this exact issue happened to me recently. While I’m mainly working on the rewrite of November Snow, I have another completed novel—one that’s never been released before that I refer to as “D”—and while it is complete, there is something wrong with it in my gut. And I realized what it was just the other day. Now, all I want to do is go fix everything in that manuscript. But I have to control myself. This is how.

1. Give Yourself a Time Limit

Whether it’s writing in a new novel or posting on your social media, tell yourself you only have an hour or two to do what you want before you continue to do what you need to do. Maybe you give yourself a few days. (I did.) However much time you need, give it to yourself, but try to set a time limit so you can get back to your original task. For instance, I gave myself a few days to jot everything down for “D”, but eventually, I know I have a bigger goal that needed attention, and now, I’m back to focusing on November Snow. “D” will gets its day soon. This isn’t to say I don’t want to work on November Snow. I do. I want to work on both, but I had to pick one because of other goals I’ve set (publishing dates, for instance).

2. Be Aware of Triggers

Another aspect of this I have to control has to do with triggers. I will use music as an example. I’ve only recently started writing with music on, but now I have associated playlists, and they help me focus almost immediately. If I hear “Murakami” by Made in Heights, November Snow is the only thing I can concentrate on. But “Dreamland” by Fan Shiqi triggers “D” so fast that I’ve learned to avoid that song when I’m trying to focus on November Snow. Keeping the right triggers around me, while avoiding the wrong ones, not only energizes what I want and need to focus on, but also prevents distractions.

3. And finally—Don’t Be Too Hard on Yourself

This is going to contradict my first tip, but if you go over your time limit or you simply change goals altogether, that’s fine. You know in your gut what you need and want to do. It’s a matter of being honest with yourself, understanding yourself, and accepting yourself and your artistic process. I could beat myself up all day that I lost time on the November Snow rewrite for “D”, but that would be counterproductive. I got something done, after all. Now, I just need to get more done. Just keep moving.

This is how I’ve stayed focused through my #writerproblems. How about you? What are your tricks and tips?

~SAT

Announcements:

We’re 20 days away from Minutes Before Sunset!

Seconds Before Sunrise, book 2, is also up for pre-order.

And? Clean Teen Publishing listed another Goodreads Giveaway!

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Also, I’ll be at Penned Con in St. Louis Missouri on July 25. If you want to meet me, send me an email! I’m just going as a reader, but I do have my first author event booked for October 17-18 at the Texas Book Festival in Austin, TX. Other events will appear on my Events page in the near future.

In other news, I’m also accepting guest bloggers again. My earliest available date is in October, so be sure to email me at shannonathompson@aol.com if you’re interested. I accept any posts about writing and reading, and I encourage bios, photos, and links. I look forward to hearing from you!

writing

Guest Post: Ky Grabowski: How Music Influences my Writing

23 Oct

Shannon again (only for a second…again) Many of you know Ky Grabowski, author of The Demon Inside, which is officially available on Amazon and Goodreads. (I hope you check them out.) But she’s talking about music influencing her writing today. So without further ado:

How Music Influences my Writing

 

I first off want to thank Shannon for allowing me to guest blog! I adore her, and am so happy to call her a friend. I’m a huge fan of hers and it took me so long to muster up the courage to finally comment on her site. I’m thankful I did – she’s helped me grow as a writer with her experiences and tips.

I’m Ky by the way! I always forget to tell people who I am, though most of the time you can find me dancing in grocery stores and speaking with a British accent. I’m often called a free spirit and am always saying the weirdest things, I love life and often wind up broadcasting it to everyone I met.

However today, I’ll be a professional and share something that I’ve wanted too for a while. I never could find the right time and for some unknown reason when I tried to write how music influences writing before it ended up in the trash.

It seems this post was waiting for the talented Shannon to share, and I couldn’t be happier to share this with her. I have the utter most respect for Shannon; she’s a mentor to me in my writing. I guess I should shut up now… Man, I ramble a lot – pardon me!

Music has always been a part of my life even before I was born. My mother sung when I was a child and my father played in a band that travelled around Canada. My father was a very talented man, along with his brothers.

Music was in the blood.

I however didn’t inherit the natural talent for the drums, guitar or even bass as much as I wanted to. I found love with the piano but was never able to continue learning. Though I know how to play Twinkle Little Star – I’ve never forgotten how, needless to say I feel secretly badass because of it.

Where did I fit in with my musical family? Not in the front row that’s for sure. Instead I collected music over the years and found where I belonged among the music. I was meant to enjoy the sounds people created and no matter where I go even today – I think about what music might be playing in my current situation.

Music has influenced my writing because 99% of the time I have to hear the sounds of the scene I’m writing. Music allows me to fully emerge myself in my writing. I feel what I hear and transport those feelings into words.

It’s very therapeutic. I always feel so emotionally involved in writing when I have music at my side. Music has given me the ability to create stories and complete them. It has a way of bringing forth a new way to write for me, and breaks down walls that might prevent me from writing certain topics.

If I’m struggling with a romantic scene I have to put myself in the shoes of my character. I’ve never been in love but I’ve felt love, and when I listen to romantic songs I try to believe in what the character is supposed to believe in. It’s a strange, fun and interesting experience to go through.

There’s this trust between the music and I.

Writing with music has also allowed me to learn new techniques. What could I possibly learn from music to help me in writing? Songs have a neat way of putting you into certain moods. Have you ever listened to a sad song and felt kind of gloom? Or a happy – upbeat song that makes you want to dance?

That’s what I use to help the flow of my writing continue. I listen to songs that will help me understand a scene I’m trying to write. I close my eyes and picture the scene through the lyrics, the sounds, and take it all in.

It’s almost as if I’m being thrown into a movie that my minds created with a song. It also gives me the chance to see how the scene might play out by following the song.

Something else that music has helped me learn is how to create a scene. If I know that the story is heading into a certain direction I’ll create a playlist based on the emotions. If the character is supposed to rise above failure, fall in love or lose hope etc I listen to songs and put together the playlist to help me achieve what I need too.912169_239210579569211_1265159785_n

In The Demons Inside, a short story I wrote that AEC Stellar Publishing is featuring in an upcoming anthology; music was heavily apart of the story. This experience was a bit different than the other times I wrote because of the character and their story.

I had to create different worlds that the main character would find herself in, and it all happens so quickly. In my mind the music had to make me feel lost, confused and rushed. It was a very Alice in Wonderland kind of experience, where the deeper I went – the farther I was from normality.

It turned out very well and through that I learned some great things about changing how I write, especially when writing in first person. I couldn’t write from an outsider’s point of view and explain the feelings. I truly had to believe what the character was going through and become that character.

Music is a great tool in writing. It’s simple to use and a great way to unlock those creative doors.

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