On Writing & Reading

Music, Like a Declaration of Love, Demands a Response #MFRWauthor
Dr. K, the Man in My Life #MFRWauthor
Becoming a Refined Reader #IWSG

Music, Like a Declaration of Love, Demands a Response #MFRWauthor

Many authors listen to music when they write. Some even give you the playlist for the songs that go with a particular book. I am not those writers. I need quiet for the thoughts to flow from my brain to my fingers. Even quiet music sends its soft tendrils into my mind  and draws me inexorably into its melody until I become submerged in listening. Then my toes get involved, followed by interpretive hand movements and eventually full body swaying or dancing depending on the tune. Like a declaration of love, music demands a response. It can’t be background noise for me. It always forces itself front and center.

My taste in music is all over the place. I love Bach, Handel and all things Baroque.  Seventies music with all the falsetto and disco beat turns me into a nostalgic puddle. Everyone’s heard of Led Zepplin, but my heart belongs to Bread. And Mozart, because his music is sublime.

If you’ve never heard the Queen of Jazz, Ella Fitzgerald sing, you need to get hold of any of her albums. I especially love listening to her sing the Gershwin song book. If you like that, dip into some Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin. YouTube has awesome clips of stars of that era singing on television shows. Oh, and don’t forget Judy Garland. She did more than just sing “Over the Rainbow.” And for singing, nothing can beat Freddy Mercury and Queen.

Here’s my playlist for this post:

  1. Bach https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WljAjYDg5IQ
  2. Handel https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cnn3TVBDtcA
  3. BeeGees https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XpqqjU7u5Yc
  4. Donna summer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW-3Hp1EVdQ
  5. Led Zepplin https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IS6n2Hx9Ykk
  6. Bread https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0KXV0gB0dw
  7. Mozart https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEJFuWgkGkY
  8. Ella Fitgerald https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2bigf337aU
  9. Sammy Davis, Jr. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5voM2HExV_Q
  10. Ella & Sammy https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQLmQpgv1w405
  11. Judy Garland https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAKyf3nJvGM
  12. Queen https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJ9rUzIMcZQ

Dr. K, the Man in My Life #MFRWauthor

No, not Dr. K. Similar, but not as good looking. 😛

Dr. K and I met when I was sixteen-years-old. He earned money during the summer running a jack hammer on highway construction. He was built. He was tan. And he was very fine. Romance blossomed. That was several decades ago. In the intervening years we’ve raised a family, come close to splitting up, and suffered through long military deployments.

We’re stronger than ever because we hold nothing back. He knows my darkest secrets. I know his. He covers my weaknesses, and I cover his. My life, my world, almost my entire history is tightly bound to him. It’s a bondage I hope never to be free of.

That’s the kind of bond I envision for each of my characters. A happily ever after is essential to my romance novels. I have my own happily ever after, a marriage to my best friend for 37 years. I want that for everyone, but I can make it happen only with my characters.

  • Shane & Adrianna – Shane: Marshal of Tallav
  • Maon & Selina – Maon: Marshal of Tallav
  • Rand & ??? – Rand: Son of Tallav is a work in progress.
  • Tyen & Kolya – “The Key” – free when you sign up for my newsletter
  • Matou & Maurelle – Matou & Me – a novella planned to release in late Spring
  • Derek, Siever, & Jane – “Merry Christmas, Santa” – short story

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Becoming a Refined Reader #IWSG

The Insecure Writers Support Group has posed the question how has being a writer changed your experience as a reader.

I didn’t expect when I first began working with a developmental editor that my taste in reading would change, becoming more refined.

:::::: in a nasal voice ::::: The author writes with a sanctified parsimony that both satisfies and leaves the reader wanting more. Her fillips of verbal ephemera launch the reader on a discovery of the inner workings of art as the basis for a new meaning of incandescence.

No, not that refined!

I’ve always noticed when an author has a particularly lovely turn of phrase, but now I see so much more of the thought and work that makes a narrative worthy of five stars. I expect any book I read to have a good story that keeps me turning pages. In the past, I didn’t have a problem with grammar and punctuation errors if the story was decent. Not anymore. I struggle to read even exceptional stories if the writing hasn’t been stringently edited. I notice the mistakes, at least the ones my own editor, often repeatedly, has pointed out to me.

I try to read authors that will, by mental osmosis, up my own writing game. I find myself rereading scenes to determine what the author did to make me feel such intense emotion or how she choreographed a fight scene so I easily imagined it in my head.

Recognition of quality writing has increased my appreciation for those who create phenomenal reading experiences.

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