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How to Gut Your Audience (with music and stories)

Two of my immediate family members are pursuing a career in the music industry. One of my favorite things to do is hear them work on a new composition or practice a difficult vocal run.

So my last year in college, I was inspired to finally fulfill one of my dreams—get over my embarrassment and take a @#$% voice lesson.

Couldn’t keep a pitch to save my mother’s life, but I absolutely loved it.

In the last year, I decided to take voice lessons again when I’m not behind a keyboard or paintbrush. I also braved new piano lessons to improve my improv skills. And, surprise, surprise—just like painting, music has so many similarities to writing.

I’ll get into one of them today 🙂5712010773_593c1a7f7b_zPicture this—you’re sitting in traffic. Spotify/Radio/whatever hooked up. And then a song plays. And it guts you.

One minute you’re fine. The next you’re raining tears harder than a monsoon season. Images of your childhood and past regrets and dead former pets play on repeat through your thoughts.

The song gets you. The song is you.

How can the artist/musician/actor portray the song so perfectly?

It’s more than just emotion.

It’s characterization.

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What do you cherish?

I’m not a sentimental person. One of my earliest, if not the earliest, memory I have is of losing a precious stuffed animal lamb. I’ve lost many more things I loved throughout the years–the pair of sunglasses I saved up for, my 16th bday present–a camera, even years and years of treasured photos when my wallet was stolen.

The lesson younger me learned was: to love objects is to lose them.

Didn’t help any that my mom is a pragmatist and we had very few knick-knacks growing up. I inherited that gene. I let my poor husband pack one small box of knick-knacks during our move from our apartment to a house.

Over the weekend, I read a post by my friend Elsie Elmore about items that hold special meaning to us. So while her cherished item was a Valet Chair from her father, I had to think really hard about what item I cherish.

And I couldn’t think of any.

I could, however, think of words.

Words are the one thing I’ve kept throughout my life. Wherever I go, whenever somebody leaves me a note that makes me happy, I put it into a file. I’ve been collecting since I was a kid. This is the file:


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How did YOU do during NaNoWriMo? (I won!…By cheating)

NaNo is officially over! Hooray! Writers around the world are slumped over their keyboards, hyperventilating from the last effort push, with week-old coffee mugs and take out tipped over.

Did you make your goals?

I made my top three NaNo Rebel goals!

  1. Finish line editing RBRP (Luka’s POV and moving hard copy edits into word doc)
  2. Finish sending to readers and incorporate feedback, as much as I can
  3. 1-2 blog posts a week (The Advent post yesterday still counted!)

But……I have a small confession to make.

Original photo found here:

I cheated.

Original photo found here:
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How to set goals for NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo starts on Saturday!

(on your mark…)

If you’re not familiar with NaNo, NaNoWriMo stands for National Novel Writing Month. Basically, almost writer on the planet holes up for 30 days to scratch out 50,000 words on a fury of caffeine and chocolate snacks. Some over achievers actually spit out an entire novel. If you make the 50k word goal, you won!

But I’m a NaNo rebel. While I do like Twitter word sprints and inspirational posts, I usually adjust the 50k goal so my body doesn’t putter out with migraines around week two (which it usually does).

And, I figure if I share my goals publicly this year, I will be held accountable.

(get set….)

Here are my goals (Dream big at this stage—we’re going to edit goals later):

  • finish line editing RBRP
    which includes Luka’s POV
    importing my stack of hard edits
  • receive and incorporate feedback from my 3 readers
  • send to other 3 readers, receive and incorporate feedback
  • go over agent list to query
  • research self pubbing more (I’ve been really waffling with RBRP on this)
  • start drafting TPT—30k
  • move back into posting twice a week

Here’s a dose of reality (very important if I want to set realistic goals for myself. Remember to take into account holidays, illnesses, and even a freebee day or two.):

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