Fiona Apple and the new book Permanent Spring Showers. A guest post on the Undercover Soundtrack.

Fiona Apple's New MasterpieceToday I have a guest post on the very cool site The Undercover Soundtrack. If you haven’t visit the site, you should. Writers discuss their musical inspiration and “soundtrack” in the writing of their work. I was on the site before, writing about the music behind A Jane Austen Daydream (which you can check out here). In this post I take on the soundtrack of Permanent Spring Showers, my latest book.

Here is an excerpt from the beginning:

Music can be like little time capsules. For some, they may return you to younger days, for me they return me to books. Whenever I take on a project, my creative psyche demands that I find the right soundtrack for it. And if I don’t, I might as well kiss that creative spirit goodbye. They flounder, gasping and dying like a fish out of water.

When I began work on my novel Permanent Spring Showers I knew I was doing something a little odd. It was a book very loosely based on a screenplay I had written years earlier, but this was going to be a very different work, not an easy adaptation. Also, I was going to present it chapter by chapter on my site. I liked to call it then a book in real time since you could enjoy the book and witness the creation of it as well. Yet, it was even more than that. Since I wasn’t bogging myself down in thoughts of sales, agents, and publishers, I was opening the door for sheer possibility. I could do anything, only limited by my own imagination.

It was so creatively exhilarating to throw off the shackles that so many of us feel when creating. And, adding in the danger that I could screw it up at any moment (for everyone to see) was just as thrilling. I was playing with literary fire. Luckily, I never felt alone in the flames.

In the article I break down the relationship between Fiona Apple’s most recent CD (which is awesome, by the way) and the book. You can check out the entire article here.

Permanent Spring ShowersPermanent Spring Showers was published by 5 Prince Books and is available on all online book retailers. Out in both print and eBook, you can find it on amazon.com here. The eBook is on sale for only $3.99.

You can read a sample and learn more about the book via this page. Grab a copy today!

 

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The Madness and Joy in Blogging, Writing, Etc., Etc.

WindOne of the perks of running your own site is that you are your own boss. And how strict you want to be with yourself is your decision. Some are mean with themselves. Me? I’m an old softie! Do I want cookies? Sure, here you go…

I once wrote a post that gave some advice to bloggers on topics and what not to do. One of the points in the “What not to do” category was to discuss how tired you are. Frankly, everyone gets tired, and writing about being too tired to write really doesn’t make sense. So my advice was to take a breath and come back when you have something else to say.

Now me? I’m not saying I’m tired, but definitely something is going on with me creatively. The winds are shifting and on Sunday I decided to throw my cards into it and see where they land.

1. Originally my hope was to share a book over the summer, but I don’t know if that is going to happen now. I mean, I’m happy with the first draft but honestly, my creativity is really interested in another work. I went out this weekend to work on the planned book, but I ended up spending most of my time working on the new book and giggling my way through it.  Continue reading

The Importance of Delusions: The Four That All Writers Need

Imaginary FriendsWhen I was a child, I never had one imaginary friend.  I could never limit myself to one. And when I did seek them out, I would steal them left and right from books, having in the end something more akin to a kingdom in my head.

The funny thing is this kingdom is still around. No, I don’t need any help, but they are there, transformed now from warriors and wizards into readers, editors, agents, interviewers and publishers.

And if I am walking my dog on a late evening, there is a chance I might be working out a pretend interview in my head or I might be thinking of a meeting with a producer interested in one of my books, figuring out how I would pitch the material. Typically, I don’t talk out loud (even my dog would question my sanity then), but those conversations are there as I am always planning, considering my options and thinking of the next steps I might need to take in my career.

Yes, the imaginary friends or the capability for internal debate like this is still around and it is now a tool I use. And using my imagination like this has grown, assisting and encouraging… and not always truthfully. Spawning dreams and delusions that I use as tools as well.

All artists have delusions, some are big and some are small. They empower our debates, drive our inspiration forward, and give us hope even in the bleakest of hours. There are, in my humble opinion, four universal delusions that all writers share.  Continue reading

My Favorite Writing Posts

Even Superman writes!We writers love to write about writing. Do other artforms love discussing their own art like we do in our neck of the woods? Do painters paint about paintings? Or singers sing about singing? Okay, this is a silly notion and the answer is sometimes, but nothing like us writers. We own this.

Yes, we writers love to discuss our artform (read and write) and I even have the personal proof to back the magnitude of this.

See, I like to think I write on a lot of interesting topics from movies to life experience to  TV to parenting, etc. (Heck, even last week I wrote 1300 words on Winnie-The-Pooh!), but nothing beats the numbers of visits I get when I put up a new writing post. And luckily for me I love writing about writing.

Books, and the creation around them are a passion of mine. I love throwing a thought out there and watching the responses come in via twitter and comments.  Sometimes I agree with the responses, sometimes I don’t, but it is always fun (not when they get mean, of course, which sometimes does happen).

I thought today I would link back to four of my personal favorite writing posts with updates and new thoughts from me on them below their link.  Consider it the equivalent of a reunion special… of my mind. Continue reading

My Online Literary Experiment: Literary Dating Regrets

I can never look back as a writer. It’s not in my literary makeup.

I don’t end a book when I am writing, I divorce it. Yes, I have a literary breakup. “I’m sorry, it was a great run, and I really enjoyed our time together. I will always cherish it, but I need to move on.”

Dating, in my opinion, is a great way to describe the writing of a book. There is the initial first crush, the hint of interest that drives the beginning; the first date, learning about each other; and there is even that moment of pure writing ecstasy when things all come together in a magical union of bliss…. Yes, I just compared writing to sex, let’s move on before all of us feel more uncomfortable.

And also, sometimes like in dating,  things don’t work out and you realize after the “first date” or “second date” that you and the book are just two different and won’t “mesh” well.

Taking it a step further, if I didn’t wipe my hands of even a completed work, and walk away, I would be forever working on a novel, rewriting passages, rethinking plots. I have never experienced the “Ah ha! Eureka! It’s done moment” and I probably won’t. It’s not in my literary makeup as well. So, for me as a writer, I simply need to know when to say when. This part of my writing brain is one of the reasons I cannot go back and read my old work easily. Continue reading

MEGAN is now available as an eBook! (Only $9.99). The link to purchase, samples, and a new introduction in this post…

I am proud to announce that my novel MEGAN is now available as an eBook!

It is being sold via Google Books for only $9.99 and it can be used on any eBook reader (Kindle, etc.) or iPad or iPhone. Here is the link to my novel, MEGAN.

I hope you will check it out and share it with your friends.

If you would like a sample of the work first, they are available as well via Google Books, or you can find a previous sample I have shared on my site here.

If you would rather not deal with an eBook, it is, of course, still available via amazon. You can find the paperback here for $15.95.

Here is the amazon description of the book: Megan Wane is caught in a life of dull dreariness. She goes to work in a dead end job with a boss she can’t stand, and comes home to a silent apartment with only a standoffish cat for company. She can only get away through her imagination. And there, in her thoughts, there exists a fairy-tale kingdom with wizards and dragons. A place called Prosperity, where she is both a princess and a hero. On this day, both Megan’s external reality and her interior world will suffer tragedy that will turn her life upside down and shake her to the foundation. Can Megan turn disaster into deliverance?

Below is a new introduction to the book and my experience writing it.

I hope you will check out the eBook of my novel, MEGAN. I am really proud of the book and I think you will like it as well. Continue reading

The Playhouse Rationalization: Introducing My 4-Year Old to Pee-Wee Herman

“What is that?!”

I knew that accusatory tone too well. My 4-year old usually pulls it out of his arsenal when he catches me doing something secret in front of him, like taking bites of a cookie I have no desire to share with him (that weird conundrum parents get in when they want to set a good example, but, damn it, they also want a cookie).

This time the tone was related to something I was watching on Facebook. Jimmy Fallon had Pee-Wee Herman dub his voice into a The Dark Knight Rises trailer (You can see it here) and it was awesome.

I was having a hard time holding back my laugh, but watching that trailer was kind of off limits for the boy. While my son loves Batman, Christopher Nolan’s films are definitely out of his age bracket; hey, sometimes they feel out of my age bracket (I had a hard time getting near pencils for a week after seeing The Dark Knight). Continue reading

Relearning to Write

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi has a theory of flow, which defines flow as “‘the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter; the experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.” (You can read more about it here).

For me, this is more than a theory, this was my reality as a fiction writer. I can’t begin to tell you the days, weeks, and months, I would lose with a project. This is how my creativity used to work:

  • I would get a spark of an idea, scribble down a few notes, but chances are it will sit in my head from anywhere to a few months to years.
  • Suddenly, for some unexplained reason, my creativity is ready, and the idea is ready to be born, all I have to do is sit down.
  • I will start to work on the idea, not always in chronological order, allowing my creativity to dictate what to work on and when.
  • Bliss. Continue reading