Monday, November 28, 2011

Someday we'll find it, the Rainbow Connection.

Sometimes when I hear this song I Just want to cry because it's so beautiful. For me it's not just a song I listened to when I was little--it's my family. It takes me back to memories of all of us living together in Alpine. We were as silly as ever with a family of six kids. I remember my siblings making up their own version of this song. “Someday we’ll find it, the peanut connection, the cashews, the almonds…”

Recently I was writing a scene in my novel where a character recalls a childhood song and sings it to Julia (my protagonist). Instantly this song came to mind.

I heard that The Rainbow Connection is on the new Muppets movie, so naturally I must go and see it. I love this song because it's such a time machine for me. It takes me back to those memories with my siblings, and makes me so grateful for my family. I love you guys!

In case you need to listen to this lovely song, I've posted the youtube of Sara McLachlan's version.

What are your favorite songs from your childhood?

Monday, November 14, 2011

Like a Skyscraper

I’ve had Demi Lavoto’s song Skyscraper stuck in my head for days.I never got sick of it though, and I think it's because it’s such a powerful song. Demi wrote the lyrics after her hardships with rehab and everything that came with it. Her voice seems strained, and you can hear the emotion in every word, but it is so inspiring. The combination is just heart wrenching, and you can feel how vulnerable she is.

Often in writing I really can’t connect to a character until they are stripped down of their pride, power, or success, and are completely vulnerable. It might sound strange, but how are can anyone feel a connection to the protagonist if they don’t have any problems?

Some of the best chapters happen when the main character feels broken, shattered, and defeated. Because it's so breathtakingly beautiful in that one moment when they rise up (and hopefully they do, I’m a sucker for happy endings) and defeat their dragon.

Apply this to Harry Potter, Twilight, or Hunger Games, all of the main characters have moments when they feel they can’t go on. Harry sees his friends and family die in order to save him. In New Moon after Edward leaves, Bella can hardly will herself to live. And Katniss repeatedly stares death in the face as every battle could be her last. Obviously these books are EXTREMELY different, and chances are you probably prefer one over another (Okay, I’m pretty positive you do). But each heroine, protagonist, or warrior has that one moment when they’ve hit rock bottom, and you can feel their pain. They are vulnerable, but that is why you root for them. That is what makes a character's journey so powerful.

What are some of your favorite scenes/chapters from these novels? Or any other novel?

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Pretty Little Liars

I just finished reading Twisted, book 9 in the Pretty Little Liars series. And it was, well, twisted.

I don’t know if you’ve ever watched the series on television, but it can become pretty addicting. The books are VERY different than the show (or I guess I should say the show is very different, after all, it came later). The characters look different (Emily on the TV series has tan skin and black hair, and in the novel she has red hair with pale skin), which I don’t really mind, although sometimes my mind mixes things up. Also, different characters hook up with people that they never did in the novel, but I’m not sure how vital all that drama is to the storyline. The novels are even more thrilling than the television series. However, I will admit they are a little PG 13 (really, I could go without the swearing).

I definitely love how Sara Shepard writes. She has such a great voice, and when you combine that with her dark stories of Pennsylvania’s Pretties, you have a deadly combination.

Also, I really admire each characters own sarcastic voice that makes me burst out laughing even in the scariest of scenes (and my gosh, they do get scary). I guess this could be the comic relief that’s provided when situation becomes too intense.

Once again I found myself googling when the next novel comes out, which happens to be December. Shepard amazes me with the fact that she can pump out multiple fantastic books in a year. I'm writing my second novel for The Shapeshifter’s Secret, and I’m trying to be motivated by this fact. Hopefully I can learn to write as fast as Shepard, and create books that are just as addicting ;).

Have you read the books or watched the series? What is your take on the stories?