Brandon Sanderson Name Auction

Brandon Sanderson is having an auction to get your name in one of his books. How cool is that?
Brandon Sanderson's generous name auction to benefit LTUE is now live on eBay:

The auction goes from 9:30PM MST April 6th (today) until 9:30PM April 16th--a Saturday.

So spread the word and may the best bidder win!


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Revision Decision

I “should” finish the revision of my novel today. Should. That’s what I keep telling myself everyday. I’m on the last part of the last chapter. Then what? My temptation is to go back and start editing again. I’m an editing addict. Can’t stop. What I need to do is query some agents. But is it ready? I need to go back and fix a few inconsistencies now that I changed some of the ending. Little things. Not a major rewrite though. I can’t get caught up in that loop again. The editor who’s waiting on this rewrite may lose interest or forget about the book altogether if I don’t send it to her soon. So I’ll fix those inconsistencies, spell check, and send it off! Yep, that’s what I’m gonna do. Here I go!

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workshop with Jessica Garrison

Last weekend I attended a writer’s workshop with editor Jessica Garrison from Dial. She was very personable and had great insights into the editing and publishing process.

She edited The Shadows, an MG fantasy/mystery novel—the first in a series called, The Books of Elsewhere. It’s a cute story about a young girl named Olive who moves into an old mansion and discovers that she can enter the paintings. (I won’t give anymore of it away.) My favorite thing about the books is the great metaphors and similes the author Jacqueline West, an award-winning poet, creates.

We met with Jess for one-on-ones, and she was complimentary as well as giving some excellent and in-depth suggestions for improving my first ten pages. She’d be a wonderful editor for a lucky author to have!

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A Night to Remember

For the last year, I’ve had this secret goal to sing at an open mic. night, but wasn’t sure if I’d ever be ready or brave enough. Well, Last week was Valentines Day, my Daughter’s birthday and my birthday. On Valentine’s day, my computer crashed. My husband and I went to a concert that night and I accidentally left my phone at the concert hall.

We went back to get it the next night, which happened to be my birthday and which also happened to be open mic. night. I brought my guitar, just in case I got brave enough to get up and sing—and I did! I sang a song I wrote for my husband for Valentine’s day last year. As we walked back to our car, we noticed it wasn’t there. It had been towed. This is one Valentine’s/Birthday I’ll always remember.



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5 things I learned from my first attempt at co-writing a song

Okay, so I got together with a couple other song writers a few weeks ago to work on a great idea for a song, but due to some differences in opinion and misunderstandings, sadly, we decided not to finish the song together.

After some more discussion, we finally agreed to give it another shot, and I’m glad we did. I learned some valuable lessons from the process that may be helpful to others who are new to co-writing.

1. The combined talents of 2-3 co-writers can result in a superior song and everyone can help cover the costs of recording if that’s what you choose to do.

2. Make sure you know your rights and the expectations before getting into a co-write, and decide how to go about it ahead of time. Eg: percentages, etc. (For ours we all get an equal share of the song no matter how much we contribute.)

3. For our co-write, we chose to only make decisions together and in person, not over the phone or through email, but we can share ideas through email to help avoid confusion.

4. Be honest about what you like and don’t like about the song and other’s ideas, but be open to trying other ideas.

5. Co-writing helps generate more ideas that you can pursue either with others or on your own.



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Co-writing Session

I got together with some other songwriters this weekend to work on a couple of new songs. They took some of the lyrics and melodies I’d written and added piano music and changed the melodies a little and came up with some ideas we all liked even better. We have similar tastes and styles and it was interesting to see what we came up with. I can write melodies and words to songs but feel somewhat limited in writing and playing the music for them and in singing and performing them, so it was great to work with others who had strengths in the areas I’m weak. It was a lot of fun.

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What’s Your Song Writing Process: Music or Words First?

I met with a couple of my singer/songwriter friends this week for a song writer’s group. I asked them what process they use to write songs, if they write the melodies or lyrics first. One comes up with the guitar music first, then she comes up with a melody, and she adds the words last. The other comes up with the words first, then the melody, and the guitar chords and music come last.

I’ve done it both ways. I usually get the line of a melody with or without words that I build a song from. Usually the melody comes first, but sometimes words and melody come together. Other times, I’ve written the words first and then added a melody afterwards, but that way feels a little unnatural for me.

I tried an experiment last week and came up with a melody for the verses and chorus of a new song without any words. Coming up with the music was fairly easy. I recorded it so I won’t forget it, but the song has lyrics. I don’t even know what it will be about. No title or anything, but it was a fun new way to try and write. I think I’ll do it again next time.

Some people use just a drum beat to write a song. I think I’ll play around with that on Garage Band next and see what I come up with. I’ll let you know how it goes. If you haven’t already done it, try it and see if it works for you.

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