I should be asleep right now . . .

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Photo: instagram.com/heymadz16/

The thing is, I’m a night owl. This doesn’t fit well with my day job. I should be asleep right now. My weekend was short due to an event & such. So then when I finally have time to write – I don’t want to stop. It’s 11:48 and I have things to say and do for this new novel of mine. But my alarm clock will go off in the morning, whether or not I want it to.

Not all that long ago, I expected to enter a contest with a literary agency, using my novel A Thousand Years. I’ve changed my mind, dudes. I am going to use a newly re-started novel. But the problem is, I hate the idea of putting together a book proposal for a book that is just a tiny babe. So every second this weekend I couldn’t be writing, I’ve wanted to be writing. Boy is that a good feeling.

You can find the opening lines, here. You can find the totally weird playlist I’m using, here . . .

This is a super random mix of music. It’s what I was listening to on the beaches of Southern California (usually Huntington Beach) growing up, Carolina Beach music, and other beachy stuff – including some country music. Spotify usually suggests songs to add to your playlists (at the very end of your playlist). A few different times as I’ve added songs, Spotify has sputtered a little with suggestions. Hahahaha. I got a kick out of this. The playlist is as random as I am. Weezer circa 2001 – to classic rock from the 70s, U2, The World Famous KROQ (I miss those days in many ways), hits from the 80s & 90s, and a bunch of other of stuff.

Here’s my inspiration board on Pinterest:

In other news, I can’t write without music. I cannot. I know others who have to have total silence. I can’t fathom this. Nor can I imagine writing a scene and not turning to the vast interwebs for remembering things long since forgotten. For instance, no matter how many summers I spent at Huntington Beach and Newport – sometimes I need a little refresher. I try not to let myself get bogged down and distracted on little bunny trails and research. But it happens sometimes. For instance . . . Mr. Zoog’s Sex Wax. THAT is what the beaches of SoCal smell like. I had forgotten about this little thing until I started writing this evening. I just found out they have air fresheners. Dude. I’m buying some for my car. By the way, in case you don’t know, surfboard wax (like Mr. Zoog’s Sex Wax), is used to increase grip, traction, etc. It’s applied to a clean board. With friends that were surfers, throughout my teen years in particular, the surfboard wax (they all used Mr. Zoog’s) co-mingled with our sunscreen and tanning oil. Really, that’s a SoCal beach to me. Such great memories!

Anywho . . . it’s now 12:30 and I’m remembering all sorts of fun things like being at the US Open of Surfing in Huntington or camping along the fine dirt cliffs of San Clemente. So fun. When this novel is finished, I am certain it will be a favorite.

Inspiration and Vision Boards

Between my temporary role opening an event venue, past events I’ve planned, recipes, decorating inspiration, novel inspiration, and about a million other things, I adore Pinterest. I use it all of the time and sometimes like a search engine – especially when searching for something related to events or novel writing. I used to do this very thing when I was a kid, using my favorite magazines to collect vision boards and design inspiration. I only have one scrapbook of images left. If you can believe this – it’s from Victoria Magazine and is largely event, entertaining, and wedding inspiration. Now instead of magazines, I use Pinterest for my inspiration and vision boards.

Do you use Pinterest? I’d love to follow you there. Share a link to your profile (or follow me and I will follow back).

Writing a Novel ~ Part One

I’m not a great planner when it comes to writing. I’m an artist. I’d rather just follow whatever crazy trail my muse takes me down, as I write.

But there are things that inspire me or keep me pressing ahead – though I’m not a huge fan of planning (we’re called seat of the pants writers).

I thought I’d share a few posts in the next few weeks that cover some of the process of writing a novel or the things that inspire me and keep me focused.

Up first? Music! Lordy, I couldn’t get through a day without it.

But for writing, it’s often a necessary component of staying in the moment. And by in the moment, I mean that real life keeps me distracted for the vast majority of my day. If I can keep the music going that inspires me, and fit in bits of research here or there – when I can actually find time to write, it’s not as hard to get back to the right spot. For instance, a few nights ago, I wrote a portion of the prologue to my new novel.

But I have a lot of work to do on it still. The music keeps me thinking about the plot, characters, and working through the “issues” that pop up as I work on the plot.

When it comes to writing, I can and do listen to a lot of different things. My favorite writing stations on Pandora include my “Mumford & Sons” and “coldplay” stations. But I also will switch it up and listen to a variety of classic rock stations – especially if they’re Fleetwood Mac/Eagles themed.

But Spotify is where I tend to land most of the time. A few of my favorites, which you can find, here – are:

Coffee Casa (an xm playlist – The Coffee House station is almost enough to make me want to pay for XM Radio.)

Sunday Morning Jazz

Evening Acoustic

Sunday Nights if You Were Here

With my new novel, I decided to start a playlist of songs that remind me of the characters and their story. It’s called, like the novel itself – a thousand years. You can find it here.

As I write, there will always be different moments within the plot that bring up different moods. The music I’m listening to always reflects that.

It helps me to feel more connected to my characters. With a thousand years, that feels particularly true.

Next up I’ll share how an idea for a book takes shape in the first place and how I decide where and what to start writing.

If you’re one of the writers that follows me, are you one that has to sit in the quiet to write, or are you a white noise/music person like me?