Musical Mayhem #MFRWauthor


badge-blog-challenge-updated

Welcome to week 7 of the 52-week MFRW blog challenge.  This is a makeup post, so the linky link for other authors will not work. 

This week’s prompt:

 Music to Write By

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!

You can find other posts in this series here:

  1. Raindrops on Roses
  2. They’ll Survive – I Guess
  3. Binge Watching #MFRWauthor
  4. Thank God for Grace in Editing!
  5. #MFRW Best Friends
  6. Crafty Author #MFRWauthor

Til next time!

Write on my friends, write on!

Ellie

 

 

 

 

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A Dragon’s Song


If I were to describe my book by a song I would choose “Bring Me To Life” by Evanescence, to describe Kiss of the Dragon (copyright Ellie Mack 2012).  Kiss of the Dragon is a paranormal romance about Isabelle Lennox, an interior designer from Texas.  She falls through a mirror to end up back in medieval times where she meets Zanathrus Fallon, Lord of the Green Dragons.

Everything that she has thought about who she is, is about to be shattered.  When she is thrown into Zane’s world, it “wakes her up inside” awakening her true being. Like a Celtic knot, her life is interwoven intricately into the tapestry of life, prophecy, and destiny. The hidden truths begin to surface as their relationship develops. The ordinary existence she had is nothing compared to the grandeur of who she really is.

In a world of dragons, wyverns, mages, and warriors; Isabelle discovers her own strength and purpose. She is either the destiny or the destruction for the dragon world.  Which will it be?  Either way, there’s no turning back to the darkness that was before.

In the chorus the female lead singer is singing “wake me up inside, bid my blood to run, save me from the nothing I’ve become.”  Then at the end of this song the lyrics are: I’ve been living a lie there’s nothing inside, Bring me to life.

Reality has never been as good as fantasy.

Lyrics to “Bring Me to Life”

How can you see into my eyes like open doors?

Leading you down into my core when I’ve been so numb.

Without a soul, my spirit’s sleeping somewhere cold

Until you fixed it there and lead me back home.

Wake me up (wake me up inside)

I can’t wake up (wake me up inside)

Save Me (Call my name and save me from the dark)

Wake me up (Bid my blood to run)

I can’t wake up (Before I come undone)

Save me (Save me from the nothing I’ve become)

Now I know what I’m without

You can’t just leave me

Breathe into me and make me real. Bring me to life.

Wake me up (wake me up inside)

I can’t wake up (wake me up inside)

Save Me (Call my name and save me from the dark)

Wake me up (Bid my blood to run)

I can’t wake up (Before I come undone)

Save me (Save me from the nothing I’ve become)

I’ve been living a lie. There’s nothing inside.

Bring me to life.

Frozen inside without your touch

Without your love, darling

Only you are the life among the dead.

All this time, I can’t believe I couldn’t see

Kept the dark but you were there in front of me

I’ve been sleeping a thousand years it seems

Got to open my eyes to everything

Wake me up (wake me up inside)

I can’t wake up (wake me up inside)

Save Me (Call my name and save me from the dark)

Wake me up (Bid my blood to run)

I can’t wake up (Before I come undone)

Save me (Save me from the nothing I’ve become)

I’ve been living a lie there’s nothing inside

Bring me to life.

“Kiss of the Dragon” is a current work in progress that I will be submitting for publication in 2012.

Write On my friends, write on!

The Next Big Thing


This is the fun stuff! Ten questions about my current WIP.  Now who wouldn’t want to take time to answer questions about their projects? I was tagged last week by another great author Nicole Storey-Bailey, and I have to pay it forward to five more authors.  Woot woot!

Buckle up this is a fast ride through Dragon town!

 

What is the working title of your book? 

Kiss of The Dragon

Where did the idea come from for the book? 

The idea came froma comment about a ‘dragon complex’ of someone that tends to be miserly.  LOL  A rush of fourteen handwritten pages gushed out before I could rethink the idea, then I fine tuned it, and used it for my NaNoWriMo project.  I have been rewriting and editing it since then.

 

What genre does your book fall under? 

Paranormal romance.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

I would probably have to go with  Jake Gyllenthaal. Joe Mangionella can  play his brother Brody.  For the lead female Isabel Lennox, I would choose Elizabeth Gillies. I see my characters adn those actors/ actress would closely fit my mental picture.  It’s ironic becaseu I have talked with some authors that say they can’t imagine their work as a movie.  Are you kidding me?  Mine plays out like a vivid technicolor movie in my head as I go! Who wouldn’t want to see hot sexy men and women?  Dragons flying through the air?  Battles and bloodshed in human and dragon form?Sounds like an epic movie to me! I’ve seen far worse , trust me.  there are some real stinker B movies out there!

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book? 

Isabell Lennox discovers who she is and finds her fated love in this paranormal romance that crosses time and realms into a world of dragons and magic.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency? 

I am submitting to a publisher.  I am very hopeful! I like the idea of having a professional editor because I want to put out a good quality product.  If it won’t sell to a publisher?  I don’t know, then I suppose I need to do more rewriting.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

28 days during NaNoWriMo.  The rewrite on the otherhand has taken me nearly ten months.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre? 

Hmm,well there are many authors who have influenced me, influenced my writing.  As to similar works, I don’t know.  Katie McAlister has written several books about her dragon world, but it’s not like hers. Well except for sexy hot men.  Then there’s Moning, Barrons has a lasting impression that permeates everything. I’ve also read a lot of Showalter, Gabaldon, and many others.  I”m sure in some way each has impacted my writing.

Who or What inspired you to write this book?  

I think I touched on this above, it was a comment about dragon complex.  From there I took it and molded it into an outline that I followed for NaNoWriMo.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?  I did a lot of research about Celtic mythology for this and another book.  I am a research addict at times.  I have a fascination with medieval weaponry and warfare.  Oh, and one ofthe characters in the book is based on me.  I’ll never tell which one!

So now it’s my turn to tag five of my fellow authors, or aspiring authors.   Look for their posts next Wednesday!

Cathy Brockman    http://cathybrockman.com/

David Alvin   http://ensign183.multiply.com/journal

Raymond Frazee http://wideawakebutdreaming.wordpress.com/

Linda Bolton http://lindabolton.blogspot.com/

Allison Bruning http://allisonbruning.blogspot.com/

Write on my friends, write on!

 

 

 

Inspiration: One Brilliant Flash of Lightning


What inspires a writer?  The simple answer is it depends.  A more complete answer is everything.  Anything and everything can prompt a writer, but not everything inspires.  Prompted writing can be good, but inspired writing has passion.  Passion produces the WOW factor.  It’s that passion that ignites the inner fires and allows the writer to create his or her masterpiece.

An off-hand remark about a person having a “dragon complex” sparked my current work Kiss of the Dragon.   A “dragon complex” refers to the belief that dragons hoard gold. Smaug, the dragon in The Hobbit is an example of this belief.  The person that was being referred to has a tendency to be quite stingy and hoard their money.  What do you suppose would happen if a person who has the “dragon complex” had the tendency to attract gold, is attracted to the gold themselves like a drug and was a dragon able to shift into human form?  In a span of ten seconds I had my concept, my basic plot, and a cast of characters for my book.  I went immediately to pen and paper and wrote 17 pages of handwritten notes on scratch paper.  Granted, it was mostly illegible to anyone who didn’t know what the words were.  My daughter looked at it, then looked at me as if I were crazy to think she could read it.  Yeah, my handwriting at blazing speed is illegible. Deciphering my scribblings are iffy on a good day, much less when it is scrawled out during a brain gush.

Have you ever observed an artist when they are in this mode?  Driven would be the best word to describe it. The creative burst must be carried out to completion.  Sleeping, eating, and human interaction are all but forgotten. The story unfolding inside my mind overwhelmed my senses.  My characters carried on conversations in my dreams, during waking hours, pushing me deeper into their world. I was vaguely aware of movements around me, an occasional voice directed towards me that momentarily pulled me from my fantasy world.

One ‘what if’ led to more ‘what ifs’, which led to an idea that almost made me giddy.  The headiness of inspiration is addictive stuff.  It penetrates the cerebral cortex stimulating the synapses to fire into the right-brained creativity which then leads to an intoxicating level of neurotransmitters releasing endorphins surging through the creative’s body.  It is indeed a rush!  After the initial brain gush, I had a little time to think things through and discover the complete story, subplots, and character quirks.  During NaNoWriMo, I wrote a sum total of 98,000 words.  I kept a good 70,000, and put the rest in a different folder.  As it played out over a month, eventually I managed to get in some sleep and interaction with my family.

Instead of feeling drained and exhausted, I was exhilarated, charged for more and ready to undertake anything.  Shortly thereafter though the bottom fell out and the doubts took over.  Doubting that any of it was worth the digital paper where it was written, doubting that anyone would ever want to read it, and doubting that my sanity could weave a tale that actually made sense.  Was I after all just a ‘pie in the sky’ dreamer?  Was I chemically unbalanced, destined to end up in a psych ward somewhere talking to my dragons?

You may laugh, but when the let down happened those fears were more real than the sofa I found myself sitting on or the Haagen Das container I had emptied.

Eventually, the rollercoaster leveled off and I began editing.  As I am working through it, I find myself surprised at the cohesiveness within the story.  There are complex subplots working simultaneously, and fantasy elements thrown in. Well, of course there are! I’m talking about shape shifting dragons that walk amongst us appearing as regular humans.

I feel I am the toughest critic on my own work, which is why it’s usually filed.  Saved on my laptop, safely buried in three layers of folders so that no one can accidentally read it and tell me what a hack I am.  There are multiple spiral notebooks with partially completed projects stuffed in a file cabinet in the depths of my basement for the same reason.

The fear of rejection is an issue that every writer must eventually face.  I made the decision to complete my project during NaNoWriMo.  I attained that goal, but it was crude like mined ore sitting in a railroad car.  I’ve been working on it since then reviewing, editing, refining, tweaking. This baby is full term, and it’s time to cut the umbilical cord.  I think it’s good.  I’m hard to impress, especially when it’s my own.

Have you ever had a similar inspirational spark?  Something that stirred your passion and caused the creativity to flow in a way that pushed you forward, drove you to completion?  There’s nothing quite like being in the zone.  The creative spark is intoxicating and highly addictive. I need it, crave it, I spend numerous hours pursuing it. Spark juice, I wish it could be bottled!

Write On my friends, write on!

Masquerade


Masquerade

As little girls, we loved to play dress up.  Mama’s pretty dress,  shoes, and jewelry could transport us into the magical land of ballroom dancing and fairy tales.  Today, Disney  has a full line of paraphernalia to complete any budding dreams of Princesses to meet every taste.

In high school we dressed up for prom and possibly other school dances, metamorphosing into beautiful damsels, setting our jeans and t-shirts aside for one night of glitz and glamour.

As an adult, what opportunities do we have to dress up?  Sure there are weddings, but I mean really glammin’ it up.  My sister is involved in SCA, Society for Creative Anachronism, a Renaissance group.  She has a variety of medieval wear from barmaid, to serving wench to elegant lady in waiting.  I think she even has one for sorceress, although she would have been burned as a witch.

During a visit she showed me her costumes and talked about her experiences.  At the same time I was reading a romance set in medieval times, and they had a huge ball to celebrate the oldest sons betrothal to the daughter of a neighboring clan.  It got me to thinking about the Ren Fairs and how they would compare to the real medieval experience.

A few days later I came across my DVD of Phantom of the Opera with Gerard Butler.  My hand was forced I had to watch it!  It was Gerard, and it was a good story!  If you click on the link above for ‘Masquerade’; you’ll see one of the things that inspired the masquerade ball at the beginning of my work in progress, “Kiss of The Dragon”  (copyright 2012 Ellie Mack)

I decided to share an excerpt from my own masquerade ball.  Click on the link first because it sets the mood,  plus it’s a brilliantly choreographed piece.  Go on, click; I’ll wait.  Some of the language used is PG-13; and the topic is mature.

*              *              *               *               *

                When her gaze rested upon the eyes, she was met with a sultry, heated gaze. The eyes were vivid green and promised passion in unending measure.

A crisp ocean breeze wafted over her accompanied by the faint sounds of waves crashing onto rocks. A vision of this man shirtless, his hair windblown leaning in, to kiss her on a high parapet overlooking the sunset flashed in her mind. Her fingers moved to her lips, feeling the slightest brush of his lips against hers. She surrendered to the sensation of his strong arms surrounding her.

“Izzy? Would you come on already?” Mel snapped, tugging on her arm.

Izzy looked at her friend. The vision disappeared and the clattering of glasses, and a buzz of several conversations started up again. She glanced back at the painting. “I’ve got to find out who he was.”

Mel moved closer and squinted up at the painting. “Wow! I’d do him” she placed her hand on her hip. “In a heartbeat.”

Izzy let out a breath she didn’t realize she’d been holding. “You’d do anyone Mel!” She crossed her arms in front of her chest. “He’s just so . . .” she chewed her bottom lip where the imagined tingling remained.  “Everything you could ever imagine.” Adjusting her gown she added “And of course, he’s dead. Figures!”

“Can you do it with a ghost?” Melody asked as she stared at the eyes. “I’ll bet he was hung.”

“Mel! Is that all you ever think about?” She grabbed her friend’s arm, pulling her back towards the hallway.

“I’ll bet you don’t have to use protection for a ghost.”

Izzy sighed. It was a good thing they were on a charter bus. Mel had already had too much to drink. She felt a little tipsy herself, but there was no way she was going to miss this masquerade ball. As they approached the ballroom, a man stepped out of the shadows in front of them.

 

*               *                 *               *                *

Have you ever attended a masquerade or a Renaissance Fair?  Have you read books that had masquerade scenes in them?  What do you like about masquerades?  I distinctly remember two scenes from movies, the one for Phantom, and a Vincent Price horror movie, The Masque of the Red Death. Weird I know, but my parents let me watch Sunday monster movie matinée and I was glued to that set for Sunday afternoons, a ploy I later learned to keep me from getting too messy when we had guests coming for Sunday dinner. I’ve since read many books set in medieval and renaissance times.

The funnest party I ever attended was a masquerade.  I think this is one reason for the popularity of Halloween parties, we still like to play dress up.

Leave me a comment and share your experiences, and let me know what you think of the excerpt from Kiss of the Dragon.   

Write On my friends, write on!

Tuesday Tidbit


Ever have those days when you have a jumble of things on your mind that you have to sort out?  Yes, well it’s one of those days er, weeks actually.   I’ve been rather surprised by the overwhelming response for Love Notes.  Chapter 5 is posting today, if you are so inclined to  click over there and check it out!

This may cause me to rethink my stance on “Pantsing” my stories in the future.  Love Notes started as an impulsive inspiration.  (For the readers here’s a little insight into the  catacombs of how my mind works.  For the writers, the chambers vary but many are familiar with the process.)

What if?

The magical star stuff that fiction is made of.  During a conversation with a friend, I got the spark of an idea. One spark was all it took and I was off and writing.  I didn’t stop to plot things out until chapter 5.  So I suppose if y’all start commenting differently past chapter 5, maybe I should go back to pantsing.

The same sort of inspirational spark happened for Kiss of the Dragon. While having a conversation with my daughter, a reference was made about the ‘Dragon Complex’.  My eyes lit up, the gears clicked into place and my daughter said I got a strange, somewhat scary expression before I darted down the hall and began writing.  Seventeen pages later, I asked her to read it and tell me what she thought.

She glanced down at the pages – my masterpiece – and looked back up at me like I was crazy for expecting her to be able to read my furious scribblings. (OK, so my handwriting isn’t the best!)  From those seventeen pages it has blossomed into something much greater than I ever imagined. I’m discovering details as I go, and I am anxious for people to read it.

It’s sort of like the same satisfaction of preparing a great meal.  When everything comes together it looks, smells, tastes fantastic!  It may even sizzle.  Waiting with bated breath for the reaction of the person dining; the expression of satisfaction, the moan of delight.  Verbal praise or approval really isn’t necessary when you nail it!  You know, you just know when you hit the ball out of the park!

You can prepare the same meal a thousand times.  Sometimes it just doesn’t turn out right, but there’s the times when the family requests to have this again because it was that good.  Writing is like that on a much larger scale.  It takes time, a great deal of time to write a book.   I have the whole story completed inside my head.  Finding the time to get it down is frustrating at times.  I know though that I nailed it.

I cook our family meals, and I’m a darn good cook!  (Do you think I’d be overweight if I wasn’t?)  There are times when I surprise myself, both good and bad.  I’ve made the worst fried chicken I’ve ever attempted to eat – really it was bad.  Conversely I’ve made the best coconut cream pie I’ve ever had – as well as the others who inhaled it then asked for the recipe.  Here’s the down side to being a dump cook: when you tweak the recipes you don’t always write down everything you did. So I spent several months trying to reproduce exactly what I did to make the perfect pie.  Honestly, how much pie does one family need to consume?  Ahhh, but when I ‘happened’ on the perfect combination again –  I knew.  The expressions, the slow savoring over each bite told me.

I think I’ve nailed a  couple of my stories here.  I”m still working on them.  Trying to balance more writing time with family time, a job, a blog, and all those little unexpected things that come up.  Stick with me and I think you’ll like the finished project.

Which leads right into the part that I had planned for today’s post – editing.  After Editing Isn’t For Wimps, I received some emails and pms asking me how I edit.  I will share that part on Thursday.  It would make today’s post too long, and I’m sure everyone has other demands on their time just like I do.

I recommend you check out my friends over at  Storytime Trysts.  Free stories, who doesn’t like free?

Write on my friends, write on!