You Need to Listen to Elliott Smith

These Music Monday posts would be so much easier if my old computer hadn’t died. I had something like three days worth of music on that thing. However, I’m 98% sure Elliott Smith was my #1 most played on iTunes. “Waltz #2” to be precise. So I thought I’d devote a post to Elliott. I’ve also decided to skip the commentary and let him speak for himself. Enjoy these tracks, posted in order of awesomeness, fyi.



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I Have Writing News!

I’m humbled yet proud. Excited yet scared. Chatty yet speechless. This is big. Yes, the biggest of all writing news ever shared on this blog.

An excerpt of my YA short story is going to be published in an anthology called Maryland’s Emerging Writers.

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As you may or may not know, I’ve been querying my novel for a minute or two, so this came as an unbelievably gratifying, validating surprise to me. I submitted on a whim, and now my words will be on paper. It’s…well, it is amazing.

I wanted to share this with you, because, obviously, it’s good news on the (ever-so-quiet) writing front, but it’s also a reminder to take a shot. You never know. 🙂 Put yourself out there, submit your work, and you may be writing a blog post like this one.

If you’d like to purchase this book (or you just want more info–I get it), click the link below. The official release date is August 21st, but you can pre-order it right this second, if that’s how you roll.

Maryland’s Emerging Writers

 

I hope you enjoy my story, “Not Quite a Dunbar Man.” If I manage to find it a home in its entirety, you’ll be the first to know. Thanks to Z Publishing for reaching out to me, accepting my story, and not changing it! Thanks to everyone on Scribophile who critiqued the story or stopped by just for a read. A special thanks to the Pipsters for all the writing support and venting. You ladies rock! I also need to thank the fictional-but-oh-so-real Tim Riggins, who subconsciously inspired my MC’s big brother.

And thank you for reading my blog, following my journey, and patting my proverbial back. You’re awesome.

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Now I’m heading to Twitter to spread the news…


Thanks for spending some time here. If you found this blog because you are also published in the Maryland anthology–or any of the other states–please say hi! And congrats on your new pub credit.

Writing Wednesday: How to Rekindle the Flame

I want you to know up front that I don’t know the answer. So don’t start reading this with the expectation that all will be revealed by the end. Not happening. Anyway.

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Here’s the deal. I’ve taken a little break from writing. Well…more like a hiatus. I severed all ties. Why? A few reasons. Namely, I had other things going on, like new jobs. I don’t know how I was able to work full time and do anything else. Wow. Point is, I pretty much quit.

And it’s strange because writing used to be this thing that I had to do, you know? I used to write for hours. I’m talking about those intense writing sessions where you’d only move to pee. You didn’t eat. You didn’t sleep. Come to think of it, writing is extremely hazardous to your health. It’s a wonder I’m not dead. But I digress.

Maybe I just don’t have many ideas. Maybe that’s why I spent so long on the same story…because I didn’t have anything else to say.

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A Writing Update on Writing Wednesday

Just wanted to check in on the writing front. Where all is quiet. #literarypun #suchadork

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The last query I sent was March 20th.

The last rejection was March 30th.

The last writing other than a blog post? Um…last year? Yeah, I think.


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Writing Exercise – Character Playlist #6: Mark

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My last playlist. And the hardest to compile. Out of everyone, Mark’s list has had the most changes. I started with strictly romantic type songs. But he’s not a total sap. So this is a mix of 90s/2000s alternative, radio-friendly, pop…stuff. With a touch of sap.

For what it’s worth, Mark’s favorite music is jazz. But I was not about to attempt such a playlist. It would just be Dizzie Gillespie, because that’s the only jazz artist I know. 🙂

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Mark’s Playlist

“The Alt-Rock Top 40er”

1) “Wonderwall” Oasis
2) “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For” U2
3) “Do I Wanna Know?” Arctic Monkeys
4)

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Writing Exercise – Character Playlist #5: Anna

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Wondering what this is all about? Start here: “What’s on Your Characters’ iPod?” A Writing Exercise

It’s back to the 80s this week. Anna likes to stay busy, so she really doesn’t have time for music. But on the off-chance she has a spare minute, she’ll put on some 80s. While Hunter is more of the cheesy 80s pop fan, Anna likes a little more 80s variety. Not much though! 😀 And definitely some girl power.

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Anna’s Playlist

“The 80s Rocker”

1) “Livin On a Prayer” Bon Jovi
2)

3) “What You Need” INXS
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Writing Exercise – Character Playlist #4: Andrew

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Here with another character playlist. We’re moving forward a decade. Presenting 90s grunge, Andrew’s favorite. I must say, I loved making this playlist. Andrew and I would get along just fine.

In case you have no idea what this is all about, start here: “What’s on Your Characters’ iPod?” A Writing Exercise

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Andrew’s Playlist

“The 90s Grundger”

1) “Even Flow” Pearl Jam
2) “Fell on Black Days” Soundgarden
3)

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Writing Exercise – Character Playlist #3: Hunter

I hope you’re ready for an instant mood shift. Unless, of course, you’re already as happy as a toddler high on sugar. It’s time for my next character playlist.

Feeling lost? Start here: “What’s on Your Characters’ iPod?” A Writing Exercise

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Hunter’s playlist has to be one of the most happy, upbeat, poppy, feel-good playlists ever created. And it’s 100% Hunter. No wonder he’s always so positive. 😀

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Hunter’s Playlist

“The ’80s Popper”

1) “What is Love” Haddaway
2) “Hungry Like the Wolf” Duran Duran
3)

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Writing Exercise – Character Playlist #2: Lily

Time for another character playlist. As before, I’ll post the list with a few video samples and give you the link for the Spotify playlist if you’re on Lily’s wavelength. Music pun. And a bad one at that. Sometimes I can’t help myself.

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Since Lily tends to dwell in the past, it’s only fitting her music preferences would be from another time.

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What’s all this about anyway? Start here: “What’s on Your Characters’ iPod?” A Writing Exercise

Here’s Tyler’s: Writing Exercise – Character Playlist #1: Tyler


Lily’s Playlist

“The Classic Rocker”

1) “Let It Be” The Beatles
2) “Comfortably Numb” Pink Floyd
3)

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Writing Exercise – Character Playlist #1: Tyler

If you missed my suggestion about creating playlists, start here: “What’s on Your Characters’ iPod?” A Writing Exercise. I’ll just wait for you…

Now that you’re up to speed, let’s continue.

So, I’ve chosen Tyler to start with, because he’s definitely the easiest. Two words: Bob Dylan. And some Pink Floyd too, but Bob Dylan.

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I wanted to also expand my explanation for the reason behind this exercise. Not only does creating a playlist help to round out your character, but it also serves as inspiration for writing any scene that character is in. Listening to what your character would be listening to is highly recommended either before or during your writing time. Or both! Since I have a hard time writing with music on (other than instrumentals), I would actually mostly listen after, in the editing process. While I would read the scenes back, I’d have whatever music on, and it just helps to get in the right space. I don’t know how else to explain it, but you should definitely give it a try.

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