#MusicMonday

I Wish I Stayed

by: Ellie Goulding

Why can’t we speak another language
One we all agree on?
Why when many look outside, they see houses
Instead of the fields they grew from?
We are constantly uprooted from them
Making us tiresome and fearful
Can you get up right now and
And have a free-fall?

‘Cause you can fall if you want to
It’s just a matter of how far
You’ve treasured your hometown
But you’ve forgotten where you are
And it will stay with you ’til your mind’s been found
And it has been found wondering around

With that skipping rope, a trampoline
The crafty smoke that made us choke
But we didn’t give up hope
Ya, it’s the simple ways of getting paid
The carelessness of running away
No, wish I stayed
I wish I stayed

Patterns all arranged in my background
These pillars and posts keeping this country of war
Letters were always sent with no addresses
So that people can’t discover
They were always undercover
Why do I always draw triangles
Instead of the words that this paper so deserves?

‘Cause you see,
I don’t own my clothes but I own my mind
And it’s not what you’ve lost
But it’s what you find

I don’t own my clothes, but I own my mind
And it’s not what you’ve lost
But, it’s what you find

You found that skipping rope, a trampoline
The crafty smoke that made us choke
But we didn’t give up hope
Ya, it’s the simple ways of getting paid
The carelessness of running away
No, wish I stayed
I wish I stayed.

‘Cause you can fall if you want to
It’s just a matter of how far
You’ve treasured your hometown
You’ve forgotten where you are
And it will stay with you ’til your mind’s been found
And it has been found wondering around

With that skipping rope, a trampoline
The crafty smoke that made us choke
But we didn’t give up hope
Ya, it’s the simple ways of getting paid
The carelessness of running away
No, I wish I stayed
I wish I stayed
I wish I stayed
I wish I stayed

I do not own any rights to this song, the lyrics or video. All rights remain with the artists and their respective agents. No copyright infringement intended.

I’ve been a big fan of Ellie since first hearing her hit single “Lights” on the radio. I know she’s gained massive popularity since then, but these ‘live’ and ‘acoustic’ versions of hers have always been my absolute faves. She’s one talented singer/songwriter – and she used to record-or at least edit-her own albums in her apartment, so have to give her #IndieLoves for that, too!

p.s. I had to look this up because I was curious (fine, American), so for all others who are scratching their heads: “crafty smoke” or rather just ‘crafty’ is from an Old English word that means ‘strong’ or ‘powerful’ according to dictionary.com – but, according to Urbandictionary.com, it can also be part of a slang term that means to sneak away for a cigarette… I wonder which one Ellie was alluding to here? 😀 (psst, I made you learn something, ha-ha!)

#MusicMonday

Never Again

by Breaking Benjamin

Carry me under, meet me abandoned
Show me what’s left, show me what’s left

Beautiful anger, breaking the pattern
Show me what’s left, show me what’s left

Take the color from your eyes
I bleed for you, I bleed for you

Bring the broken back to life
We’ll make it through, we’ll make it through

Empty and perfect, shattered and worthless
Show me what’s left, show me what’s left

Dragging me further, forget to remember
Show me what’s left, show me what’s left

Take the color from your eyes
I bleed for you, I bleed for you

Bring the broken back to life
We’ll make it through, we’ll make it through

Never again, never again
Time will not take the life from me

Never again, never again
Time will not take the life from me

And after this world is out of reach
Sober and silent, faded and violent
Hopeless, I fight to fall between
Never surrender, out of the embers
Save a space inside for me

Take the color from your eyes
I bleed for you, I bleed for you

Bring the broken back to life
We’ll make it through, we’ll make it through

Never again, never again
Time will not take the life from me

Never again, never again
Time will not take the life from me

I do not own any rights to this song, video or lyrics. All rights remain with the artists and their respective agents.

Another inspiring song from my Hell on Earth series. Enjoy! Yes, yes I do listen to a lot of Ben 😀

#SundaySoundtrack

romeojuliet

Since I’ll be celebrating my new release tomorrow, I decided to have my #MusicMonday a day early. I’ve mentioned in earlier posts how much I love the piano. I am a total sucker for those piano pieces that completely captivate me. Yes, I like some classical music, but I mean the modern day songs that somehow find that perfect composition between piano and lyric.

When you find a masterpiece of music where all of the instruments and the singer move you beyond reason, there is nothing better in this world. The following number is one such song, and from a movie I’m sure everyone has seen a thousand times (Just me? I’m such a nerd 🙄 )…

*Note: Please excuse the video, turn it on for sound only or watch at your own risk, I have no idea what it’s supposed to be, but it was the only “authentic” version of this song I could find on YouTube, now aka #YoureFired

I’m Kissing You

Lyrics by Des’ree, Composed by Timothy Atack
  Romeo + Juliet (1996) Soundtrack

Pride can stand a thousand trials
The strong will never fall
But watching stars without you
My soul cried

Heaving heart is full of pain
Oh, oh, the aching

‘Cause, I’m kissing you oh
I’m kissing you oh

Touch me deep, pure and true
Gift to me forever

‘Cause, I’m kissing you
Oh, I’m kissing you, oh

Where are you now?
Where are you now?

‘Cause, I’m kissing you
I’m kissing you, oh

I do not own any rights to this song, movie or video. All rights remain with the artists and their respective agents.

The Elusive Pokemon

TeenBoysHavingFun

Yep, that looks like my goofy boys. image source: keyword-suggestions.com

Ever since I packed the kiddos up and moved to this lovely area we’ve called home for the past 3 years, they’ve made a lot of friends around the neighborhood. Friends that started out as guests and have quickly become family. They camp out in my living room, play my video games, watch my Netflix, share their jokes and rapping skills (some are really good!) – in short, it’s always fun times around here. I feel blessed to be considered the ‘cool’ mom to this large assortment of kids, mostly boys and a couple girls, ranging in age from 13-18. They even sometimes cook, sometimes clean, wash their own laundry – with a little push from the stern side of cool mom 😉

Hey, this is an equal opportunity household!

There are 2 very important things I’ve learned as the mom to a neighborhood of teenagers. 1: Always have food and drinks on hand. 2: Keep a can of Febreeze in every room. Especially if your kids are athletes!

Knowing I was going to have a couple extra kids over, I begrudgingly went grocery shopping, so no one would go hungry. Now, I am admittedly a carb-junkie. You can have your ice cream, candy bars and donuts. Stay the hell away from my coffee and potato chips! As it turned out, my 2 extras turned into 4 + the 2 I gave birth to, and I learned something very interesting this past week: How much food 6 teenage boys can eat in less than 48 hours.

The answer is: ALL OF IT. (aka what a family of 3 could live on for a week).

To include all of my cheddar cheese Ruffles. 😐

“Who ate all my chips?!”

“Not me!” x 6.

I guess it was that elusive pokémon no one’s caught yet. That little shit also dirties all of the towels and dishes, drinks out of the milk carton, never replaces the empty toilet paper rolls or seals the cereal bag and leaves dirty socks all over the living room. I’m going to call him Teenboyachu.

#LOVEMYKIDS! #HateGroceryShopping! #GetYourOwnBag!

Dear Indie ♥ Weekly Resource Post

Independent

Whew! What an exciting week it’s been. So many things happening, changes going on with my publisher as well as my self-publishing – fortunately, they’re mostly good things. Or I should say, blessings in disguise. 😉 Last week I promised to share some non-mandatory options you can use for pre-marketing your book before the big day. The three most popular choices are:

  • Book Trailer
  • Teasers
  • Book Playlist

I loved the idea of having a Book Trailer, so I shopped around, read “How To” articles, then opted to make my own for my first novel The Zen Lounge (the trailer is right down there on my side bar —->). I used the ‘slideshow’ feature on the free online movie maker Kizoa, because the Windows movie maker was both too complicated and didn’t have half the features I wanted. Here are the pro’s & con’s from my experience:

Pros:

  • I spent $30, rather than $400.
  • I got the experience, worked through all of the kinks, bugs and learning how to do it (was frustrating at times and I almost quit) and can now make my own trailer with confidence.

Cons:

  • I haven’t received a single book sale from having a book trailer.
  • It’s extremely time consuming, having to shop for the right stock photos and videos, on top of actually making it and then finding the right song for it, adding the credits at the end, etc. It took me a week or more before I got to the finished product.

So, there you have it. You’ll have to decide on your own if it’s worth the time to make your own or even the outrageous price for a professional trailer when it probably won’t help you sell any books. I’m now completely ambivalent about book trailers and am in no hurry to make another one.

Teasers are far easier and a fan favorite. As you all know, I made all of my own Teasers for Collar Me Foxy using the free design site Canva. I signed up for a membership through the stock photo site Dreamstime, because they were offering the first 5 photos for only $0.05/each and they’re about $5 cheaper a month than iStock or its sister site, Getty Images. So, shop around for those bargains!

Another option is that if you’re going through a professional cover designer, they might offer Teasers for an additional price. My designer for my upcoming novel, Avarice, offers a package of 5 Teasers for $75. Considering that if you don’t have a membership with a stock photo place, most pictures are upwards to $45 a piece, that might be worth it. Or, simply if you don’t want the hassle of making your own.

Either way, I highly recommend having Teasers for your book to use not only for pre-promotion, but with your Release Day tour.

You may have already seen Book Playlists on other author’s tours. These are fun to make and 100% FREE. Some people make them from the songs they listened to while writing their book, I chose songs that best represent what the book is about, or that matches my character’s personalities. I never made one for Collar Me Foxy, but my Hell on Earth series has one for each book that I’ve already started. It’s just another fun thing to include in your book’s Release Day tour for fans to check out.

All you have to do is sign up for a “Channel” on YouTube. You can create however many lists as you want under your “Library” and name them after your books. Hint: When you’re searching for the music videos to add to your list, make sure to have YouTube open in two different tabs, because the search bar that comes up while “Creating” the list will not list the official videos, but other people’s “covers” of that particular song. I don’t know why, but it happens. Use the regular search bar provided by YouTube on the second tab and then copy and paste the URL into your “Add to List” box on the first tab.

If you’re interested you can check out my YouTube Channel here.

Well, that’s all for this week. Just some things to consider and keep you busy while your MS is in the capable hands of your editor. Next week we’re going to be getting into the nitty-gritty work that comes between editing and publication. This will be the busiest time in your journey, so get ready to roll up your sleeves and turn your MS into an actual publishable novel. 😀

Weekly Accomplishments: I got the first mock ups for an upcoming novel through my publisher, Hearthstone Alpha, and it is smoking hot! 😀 I also got a new publication schedule worked out with them, so now my series will be publishing consecutively (a book a month) starting next summer, rather than 1 book every couple of years. I’m also super excited to see the first book I ever beta read, His Hostage by Anna Adler, getting released this week on the 15th! What are you celebrating this week? Please share with us in the comments so we can celebrate with you!

Feeling Jazzy Redux

jazz-Sardoal

image source: wellvyl.com

He Was

He was rickety jazz
Blue smoke haze
Disjointed hips
Bohemian brimmed Fedora
Finger slide phantasm
The bilateral conjecture
Dissipates

My memory knew him
Passion burnt night
Paradoxical lingo
Bracketed bourbon smile
Sultry spotlight specter
The billowing curtain
Lingers…

…He was rickety jazz

~A.C.M.

Have a great weekend all!