Story Soundtracks

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The first year I participated in NaNoWriMo, I created a soundtrack to write by because I thought it’d be fun and help motivate me to greatness. I’m a writer who writes to music and it did spur me on. Over the years, I’ve created more playlists and soundscapes for my works. I’ve found that when I set up a list of songs, carefully crafting the way the sounds play and match images in my head that it does something more than creating something fun and tangible to share with my friends and cohorts.

Creating a playlist of songs, helps me set my story pace. There are fast songs and slow songs and I find that I have to have a certain pace or beat to fill the gaps between each major plot point. So, behold… here’s the playlist for my 2010 NaNoWriMo novel. Enjoy!
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The Value of Tracking Scenes

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Last night I attended a NaNoWriMo Plot Party where we discussed various techniques on plotting and drafting stories. One of the things that stuck with me was a small discussion revolving around the idea of scenes in novels. Taken from Book in a Month the idea is that a narrative should only contain between 10-20 scenes total. If you look at current blockbuster movies, they have very little scene changes as they try and do more inside each setting than usual.

Today I pulled out one of my writing notebooks and decided to put my own writing to the scene test. I broke open a new pack of Circa storyboarding sheets (sadly, Levenger does not make these anymore) and sat down to practice this process using the past four years worth of NaNo novels. I sat down with each novel’s plot outline and started unraveling the story into scenes.
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Remember Scholastic?

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MikeOfAllPeople posted this picture on reddit today and it brought back a flood of memories for me today. Autumn always reminds me of these fliers and of school learning. I LOVED getting the Scholastic book forms. I recall spending hours carefully reading and re-reading them; figuring out which juicy fiction books to circle or place stars next to so I could get my parents to fill out the form and give me a check for the new books.

The day the books arrived were always a treat. Unceremoniously wrapped in rubber bands, with my form peering out from the small stack with my name on it. It became a status symbol for kids in my classroom… waiting to see which books arrived and who had the biggest counts. Occasionally, this was not me. I have often wondered if Scholastic was still promoting reading and titles this way and now I have my answers. Thanks for the memories, MikeOfAllPeople and to Scholastic for turning me into a book junkie.

Summertime Fun Updates

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So crazy month came and went and I’ve been spending the final weeks of August completing various projects. I got my level one certification with Katrina, started working on BATS items and Fall Equinox, and completed writing and sending in more reviews for Witches & Pagans magazine. Also been hard at work in trying to get my tarot business up and running. So far things are slow but steady.

The big news? Well, I learned how to crochet a few months ago. There was a particular thing I wanted to learn how to make so two of my fiber friends muddled through and taught me how to do it. And the amazing thing is that it’s stuck. I’m making thing after thing after thing and actually enjoying it. So, go figure. Continue reading

In the midst of the crazy

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This month’s been crazy hectic for me. Everything just seemed to want to happen this month and I feel like I’m being marshalled through everything. Most if it is fun stuff but it’s the planning and coordinating and packing and making sure everything gets done in an orderly time that’s the stressful crazy bit. So, what IS going on, you might ask? Well…
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A Blast from the Past

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During my college years (back in the 90′s), I was big into zines. You know, those hand-made, hand distributed, mostly photocopied magazines that focused around a singular topic. I had two of my own. Mirror Imyaj, a personal zine that I filled with musings of my mind and daily life. The name was suggested by my friend Sanjay and from there I made maybe 4 issues. (Imyaj is my name spelled backwards… clever isn’t it?) Eventually it became the digital name of my online journal here at Shades of Maybe.

The other one, Twisted Realities, was a fiction zine. I scoured the internets and my college for short (flash) fiction, poemtry, and essays with an edge. I was huge into postmodern fiction and wanted to create an outlet for my voice, and to publish others who had similar ideas about weird writing to mine. Twisted Realities had a two-issue run, mostly because it was hard to scrape up stories from others. But I was fortunate enough to have works by friends, as well as Lance Olsen, in the collections.
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