My musical choice is very much dependent on the mood of the story. For Roxy Sings the Blues, you can bet there is a lot of BB King and Eric Clapton.
While writing Kiss of the Dragon, I primarily listened to instrumental music.
My musical taste runs a gamut from classical, to Instrumental such as Tubular Bells, to some jazz, to Blues, bluegrass, rock, classic rock, some pop. but rarely does it include Country or rap. If you’re into that – great. I’m not. With everything, however, there are exceptions. I like Johhny Cash – he’s considered country.
My most recent playlist includes the following:
The video is shaky but I usually have it playing in the background anyway.
How are you liking these posts? Some are interesting to me, others are things I’d rather keep to myself about like my editing errors. Uffda!
Welcome back to my little corner of the world. It’s interesting to me, one of the comments that is on the MFRW page; “Blogging is an opportunity for authors to connect with readers. Despite being fiction writers, blogging is an entirely different style of writing and often stumps us. Our challenge is designed to help our authors blog consistently, thoughtfully and with purpose.”
The reason that I find this interesting is that I have the opposite thought. It’s easier for me to write short blog posts than to stay focused for longer lengths of time to write a finished novel. There, I said it. My confession. It is difficult for me to focus – hence why I have multiple unfinished and unpublished novels. I guess those earlier days of being an opinion columnist have conditioned me for the short bursts of thought, rather than to keep plugging away on one continuous thought. ADD tendencies don’t help. Anyway, moving into the focused topic for the day, my greatest strength.
Well, I can tell you ten things that it isn’t! Maybe that is a topic for another day. I had to think about this for a while, in fact, I logged off of everything and pondered, making a mental checklist of what I wasn’t good at. Those are easy and added to the time-wasting while my gears turned. I’ll admit it, I sulked.
My mind went down the list of all the things that I could see that my friends were good at. It’s a good thing I didn’t have any ice cream in the house or I would have drowned my sorrows in the company of Ben and Jerry’s.
It wasn’t until a phone call from a friend that I had a valid answer. I know, insecure much? She asked what I was doing and I told her bluntly I was wasting time while I was trying to think of something I was good at, something that would be my greatest strength if I even have one. Don’t think I can’t see those eye rolls now, just as I’m sure she was rolling her eyes on the other end of the phone.
After a stern lecture for being down on myself, she quickly rattled off things that she saw are strengths. She didn’t have to stop and think about them, she just rattled them off! Right, add ‘quick to think’ to the list of “not my strengths”.
I recalled a list that my media coach made me put together when I was in a mood like this a couple of years ago. What did I do with that list? Add ‘organized’ to the list of ‘not my strengths’.
My husband and I went to marriage counseling, and one of the things I had to do was put together a lost of his strengths, and things I loved about him, then put together a list of my own strengths. Compiling his was easy. Mine? Not so much.
Just a side note here, but don’t you find it ironic that karma or fate tends to throw things like this topic up in your path when you are at a low point in that area? Hmm? Just me then? Yeah, irony.
My readers don’t care that I’m a good cook – no make that a damn good cook. I’m not going to appear on Master Chef or anything, but I manage quite well to feed my family tasty nutritious, and sometimes not so nutritious foods. None of us are starving. You guys don’t want to hear that I am an exhorter, finding value in everyone else. If you’ve read even one of my blog posts, you probably already know that.
So as an author, what am I good at? Isn’t it sad that it took cheating to come up with something?
OK, asking my friend over the phone, going through my stack of notebooks for that list, going through the marriage counseling folder, are technically cheating. Hey, when you’re down you’re down.
In that folder, I found the list my husband made about me. I was in tears. It amazes me that he sees all these wonderful things in me. OK, maybe I should make a run to the store and bring Ben and Jerry home for a celebration. Instead, I decided to make his favorite meal and dessert for him. ( It’s a small thing, but something I could definitely do for him!)
In the top five of both lists – the one from the media coach and my husband’s list, and one of the things mentioned from my friend on the phone made me smile and I admitted, this could be the thing. OK, let me be honest here. There were actually a couple of things that were on all the lists, which made me smile this ridiculous goofy smile and cry happy tears.
So what is my greatest strength?
I am never lacking ideas. I rarely ever get writer’s block, instead, I have a flood of ideas and have trouble focusing on just one.
A friend will ask my advice on how to move her characters from point A to point B, and I have a couple of ideas. I don’t even have to think about it, I can rattle off a list of options for her. Another friend needs a title – BAM I give her a list of options and more than a few times, the author will decide on one of my suggestions.
I have a creative mind. I can come up with an idea from just about any prompt that you can throw at me. I can make a meal that is practically gourmet from simple ingredients. I can make an elaborate plot out of a simple idea.
I can throw boulder-sized obstacles into my character’s path to keep them from their objective. I can always think of “what can go wrong now” to avoid a straight line to the end.
My name is Ellie Mack and my super power
is my Creative Mind.
I have no problem with doubt in this area. I know I am creative. this is not an area that I second guess myself. Why it was so hard for me to see it, I don’t know.
Lame plot? I got a solution.
Flat characters? I have some ideas.
A new twist on an old theme? I got a million of them!
Wrote yourself into a corner? Did you see the loose ceiling tile?
A brilliant mind is one of the sexiest qualities a person can have.
Being smart is sexy!
It feels great to know that I can in all sincerity say I am confident that this is a strength.
Confidence is sexy!
Confidence gives you the inner fortitude to be bolder in your endeavors.
Boldness is Sexy!
Knowing that you are strong in an area is enabling and allows you to work harder.
Strong is sexy!
Being smart leads to confidence. Confidence leads to boldness. Boldness leads to being strong. Being strong builds confidence . . . and the cycle begins to gain momentum.
I’ve got my sexy back!
*does a smexy dance to my inner music*
What does sexy have to do with strength? EVERYTHING! Sexy is so much more than a perfect size four female body. Sexy is a state of mind. A romance writer needs to have a certain sexy state of mind in order to write those steamy hot scenes and interconnective tissue that weaves a magical story that unites two individuals within the pages of a novel. Confidence gives you strength in who you are and what you are capable of.
Just like the rock hard muscles of a trained athlete, an author’s mind flexes with training and conditioning. It builds strength. A strength that others easily recognize, even when you can’t see it. Plus, the strong sexy author can make the voices of doubt that echo through the dark corridors of my mind shut the hell up!
This week’s prompt came at a time that I was truly down and I seriously needed this to get myself back up out of the mire. Thanks, MFRW! I needed that!
What is your greatest strength? Do you need someone else to point them out for you like I did or are you confident in your own to know your strengths and value?
You can check out what these authors have to say about it as well! Enjoy!
Only Seven? Hmm, well I suppose I can go with the top ones.
Supernatural – I make myself a bargain that if I get a certain word count, or get X number of pages edited for someone, and some housework – because housework is the bane of my existence – then I reward myself with some Sam and Dean time. Only one episode though, because I could sit for hours and binge watch. However, if I double the amounts above I get two episodes.
Nancy Drew games – No judging! I read the books when I was preteen, and I admit I am hooked on the games. I love the puzzles, having to figure out the clues, getting all of the easter eggs, . . . yes, I am a gamer nerd. Not in the sense that others are who are playing FPS games, but I love love LOVE Nancy Drew PC games and Lara Croft on PS3. I have played every single Lara Croft game since the first including Dark Angel, up to the most recent which I don’t have yet because I haven’t beaten the last one. Danger on Deception Island, Curse of Blackmoor Manor, The Haunted Carousel, I’m stuck on The Phantom of Venice, I have Nancy in the last chamber that I have to figure out the sequence of turning the valves so she doesn’t drown. I’ve managed to kill Nancy probably about 35 times now. Good thing she is resilient.
WASHI tape– Hello, my name is Ellie and I am a WASHI tape addict. It’s been seventeen days since my last purchase. I own 73 different styles of washi tape and I want more. (Don’t tell my husband that number please I beg you!)
BUJO – also related to the washi tape, because this is the biggest use for my washi tape. I don’t know what I ever did before I discovered the bullet journal aka bujo. I get behind on occasion when life gets busy, but more often than not it holds my daily todo lists, highlights that happen, a record of appointments and scheduled events/classes. It is my life blood! * clutches it close to my chest*
PENS – I had an unhealthy obsession with pens before using a bujo, . . . can anyone guess what enables me to indulge in this pen obsession even more? You guessed it, my BUJO! Come on, you can’t keep a record of your life simply with black ink. Pens come in a myriad of colors and I have each month color coded. Most of the time my writing is in black because I did a whole month last Spring in hot pink and wow, was that hard on my eyes! But, the highlights of the day, a special quote, a mandala, or a scripture that had significant meaning that day – these things are set off with color and various width of pens from .3 micron to a wide chiseled edge Staedler Mars. Only a true pen junkie will understand. I also have a couple of fountain pens . . . excuse me while I have a moment, . . . I absolutely love how they flow, but when you use a cheaper paper, they will bleed through and definitely ghost onto the backside.
Dark Chocolate covered expresso beans! Now you’re talking. Come on – chocolate, coffee, together. . . brilliant. The only thing after a handful I could rearrange the entire garage and start on five other projects before they wore off and then I crash horribly unless I eat some more and then I ‘m good to go until those wear off or I fall asleep . . . and come to with seven unfinished projects and a path of destruction in my wake.
HGTV – as much as you may think I have some serious addictive behavior, . . . you really don’t know the half of it. I couldn’t tell you any of the current shows on TV except Master Chef Junior. I can’t even tell you what night that is on. However, I can tell you exactly when Property Brothers are on, Chip and Joanna Gaines – love them, ( Yeah I know that isn’t the name of the show, so what!), Love it or List it, tiny houses fascinates me but I could never live in one full time. A few weeks ago when I was quite ill with the flu, could barely keep water down, and was buried in a cocoon of comforter and layered clothing, I had the clicker in hand – not that I was clicker happy, but to keep anyone else from using it. It was Property Brothers back to back episodes until they got to one that I had already seen. AT which time I switched to DIY channel and bathroom crashers. I think the only reason I got away with it is that they didn’t want the germs as when I lifted my hand to my mouth to cover my cough, it was the hand that held the remote. DETERRENT FOR THE WIN. You will be happy to know I have since disinfected the remote as well as 99% of our house. I give you a 1% error for places I can’t reach like above the cabinets.
I could go on and on with things that I really enjoy but seldom indulge in like fried chicken, chocolate ice cream, going to the theater, going to auctions, but the prompt was for seven. Probably a good thing to limit that as I will tell on myself and share TMI! Here’s a list of other bloggers sharing their guilts:
How are you liking these posts? I know I’ve been awol this past week with other posts but I’m getting a lot of words down. I promise to share another excerpt soon but when the muse is talking, I have to give my full attention as she’s a fickle thing!
You can find other posts in this series from yours truly here:
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