Writing for Today’s Reader

“Even if you write historical, you must write for today’s reader.”

I recently read something like, “Even if you write historical, you must write for today’s reader.” And that, my friend, is why I find it so difficult to find a book to read or write. I never thought I was old-fashioned until now. The world’s values have changed so greatly, and I’m just not into it.

I’m often drawn to watching historicals on TV, but I’ve noticed how they’re pretty much rewriting history for today’s viewer with today’s values. That is such a turnoff for me. But I get it, I really do.

For example, I read a sample from Good Enough: The Myth of Success and How to Celebrate the Joy in Average by Eleanor Ross where the author stated that Millennials have felt so much pressure to excel their entire lives and it’s all become too much. So now they just want to be mediocre and that is good enough.

I get that, really, I do. Because it’s swung all the way to the other end from when I was growing up. And why my generation, so many of us repressed and told we couldn’t do things, decided to stand tall and say, “I’m amazing and I can do anything I want to do.” Then, perhaps, they pushed their kids and the next generation or two to be all you can be. And that’s too much pressure for anybody.

This whole write for today’s reader idea is why, I’m thinking, I cannot finish writing She’s Not That Good or start something new. Because if the story question is how she’s struggling to achieve anything and finally when she does, she’s feeling pretty awesome, well, that’s going to turn off those Millennials who are struggling with the opposite problem.

Then, again, I have no problem writing music, at least not dance music, for today’s generation. Music seems to reach across generations so when somebody calls my track “dope” or “smokin,” I’m quite pleased. (They used to say my characters were “fabulous.”)

I really haven’t been able to write much ever since social media took over the world. So many thoughts and ideas battling around, I feel like I have nothing to add, like I’ve said everything I have to say, and it’s time for music now. Or at least express my thoughts in sound, poems and lyrics.

 

What’s Your Story Question? My Top 5 (#Preptober #NaNoWriMo)

We must write or paint or make music that pleases us, and,  we are fortunate, what we love will be loved by others, too – Writing the Novella by Sharon Oard Warner

Thinking “She’s Not That Good” may make for a better novella than novel, I’ve been reading “Writing the Novella” by Sharon Oard Warner. The current chapter I’m reading is “What’s the Story Question?” This, of course, has led me back to my previously published novels/novellas and those story questions. For example, here are my top 5:

1. Real Women Wear Red – Is pink a woman’s favorite color from childhood to grave?

It was the chick lit heyday and pink was hot – not only were covers in pinks but one Bachelorette had a completely pink wedding. And while I have worn pink many times, I never forgot those candy apple red shoes I just had to have when I was about 8-years-old. So, naturally, just to be different, I had to write Real Women Wear Red.

This was my third novel but the first to get an agent and publishing contract.

Btw, one woman told me, “Real women wear whatever color they want to wear.” Of course, but for my book, I chose to highlight red, considered to be a power color.

2. Real Women Sing the Blues – What if you left your corporate job to pursue your dream?

The sequel to Real Women Wear Red where I explore the idea of leaving behind the corporate life to pursue your dream, something we probably all think about. Personally, I started with writing and moved into music.

3. Letters on Balboa Island – What if a woman regrets leaving behind the one who got away? What if she could have made a different choice?

This book was a very personal story for me because it was a fictionalized version of my mother sending my father a “Dear John” letter and then marrying somebody else, who I grew up calling “dad.” I liked to think she’d had regrets.

4. Myths of the Fatherless – What if you meet your father for the first time that you can remember as an adult?

The story idea in #3 was so strongly-felt for me that I had to write a nonfiction version of my search for my father.

5. Déjà at the Blue Diamond… – What if a psychologically abused woman imagines her second husband is her first husband in disguise?

Okay, so this one is a little far-fetched. In fact, the opening scene came to me in a nightmare. I couldn’t let the story idea go so I had to write the book. Originally, it was called “Déjà Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon” but some thought the word “saloon” made it sound like a Western so I left off saloon, even though my ear liked the lyrical rhythm of it.

So what is the story question for “She’s Not that Good?” Is not knowing her true identity getting in the way of pursuing her real dreams of career and romance?

Do you often consider the story idea before writing your book or does it just unfold as you write?

#Preptober for #NaNoWriMo: The Heroine’s Journey

Anybody gearing up for NaNoWriMo by doing Preptober? Okay, I’ve never been a fan of NaNoWriMo – tried it once and wrote crap – lol!

But after completing 50/90 (50 songs in 90 days) or rather surpassing 50 songs by writing 60 songs, I’m thinking I might want to do NaNo this year. At least, do it my way.

I’d really like to finish “She’s Not That Good” aka “Real Women Are Good Enough” during NaNo. Otherwise, I fear that book may never be published.

So what are my plans for Preptober for this particular book? Before I can finish writing some scenes, I think I might need to establish the beats via “The Heroine’s Journey… “ by Gail Carriger. But on second thought, I’m not i to Greek mythology at all and may be using “Romancing the Beat…” by Gwen Hayes instead. There’s also “Save the Cat Writes a Novel… ” by Jessica Brody.

It would be nice if I could finish it for publication. Music may keep calling me back, but after 50/90, I need a break from music. Don’t I?

Why I Used #LogicPro Instead of #Ableton for #50/90 #Songwriting #Challenge

For those of you who do not know, 50/90 is a songwriting challenge where you attempt to write 50 songs in 90 days, starting around July 4th, ending October 1. It’s an offshoot of FAWM (February Album Writing Month) where you attempt to write 14 songs in the month of February.

2018 was my first FAWM and it nearly killed me – lol! I was new to songwriting and music production and putting my music out there for critique was stressful. But I was hooked. The community is especially supportive, and I loved that interaction with other songwriters/musicians.

The first time I heard of 50/90, well, I thought that was insane and never really took it seriously. Last year, I might have written a couple of songs. But this year, I ended up creating 60 songs – busting past the 50 even. I couldn’t believe it. But I got hooked on creating songs every day.

Right before 50/90 started this year, I’d purchased Push2, and I’d hoped that 50/90 would be a great opportunity to get creative with Push. However, with the daily pressure of getting songs out there, I found I was relying on me knowing Logic Pro and being more comfortable with it.

The other personal music challenge I’d given myself was to do more songwriting/performing rather than the usual EDM tracks and I much prefer Logic Pro for that – the “note” section is perfect for writing lyrics and/or having them while recording.

Logic has an awesome assortment of loops, which I also relied on during this time crunch. My intention for Push2 was to move beyond stock loops and create my own, but I just didn’t have time to acquire those skills in time for 50/90.

It’s 4 months until FAWM 2022. Is that time to get comfortable with Ableton and Push2?

“Don’t Touch Me” (#50/90 #music #producer #songwriting #challenge #LogicPro)

Now that 50/90 is over for this year, I’m going through my tracks to pick out my favorites to bring back into the studio for further mixing/remixing, etc. This one I did in Logic Pro.

Don’t Touch Me
(Kathy Holmes @ Screamie Birds Studios)

Chorus

Don’t touch me, don’t touch me
I’m just here for the beat

Don’t touch me, don’t touch me
I’m just here for the beat

Verse

I brush past you in the crowd
Give you a little bump
You bump back, give me a smile
Haven’t seen you in a while

Verse

Since the day you asked me out
And then never showed
Got a better offer I heard
Or that’s what I was told

Chorus

Don’t touch me, don’t touch me
I’m just here for the beat

Don’t touch me, don’t touch me
I’m just here for the beat

Bridge

You ask me for my number
I don’t do that, don’t do that
You know you want it, want it
No I don’t, as a matter of fact
I just came here to dance

Chorus

Don’t touch me, don’t touch me
I’m just here for the beat

Don’t touch me, don’t touch me
I’m just here for the beat

The Truth Is: 50/90 Song #55

I haven’t been able to stop writing songs for 50/90–it’s such an awesome motivator, especially with feedback from this community of fellow musicians/songwriters.

One of the features is that you can indicate your favorite songs so when somebody stops by, they might want to listen to those. The problem is, my favorite song seems to be the one I’m working on – lol!

So, song #55, my latest song at this moment (55 out of 60), is my favorite. With this one, I was experimenting with the CLA vocal plugin, recommended to me by a fellow producer. I start with shadowing vocal samples from Audentity Records and then take the lead with my lyrics using the “Moody” preset of the CLA plugin.

Take a listen here:

End of September #Free #Book #Kindle #Deal

To celebrate the end of September, my parents wedding anniversary (the 25th) and the end of 50/90, Déjà Vu at the Blue Diamond… will be available to download on Kindle for $0.00. This #Free promo runs from Sunday, September 26 through Thursday, September 30.

I’m also hoping this will get me in the mood to finish my romantic suspense novel in progress. 🙂

To find out all the juicy details and to watch a sneak peek video, check it out – Déjà Vu at the Blue Diamond…

“Girl on the Run,” Song #51 (#50/90) or Musicians Gotta Make Music

Just when I thought I was finished with 50/90, having created 50 songs in 55 days, I just couldn’t stay away from music. I took some time off and wondered why my week sucked. So I had to get back into the studio. And here’s one of the versions of what I created, “Girl On the Run,” song #51, an exercise in Logic Pro Future Bass experimentation and remixing.

Hope you enjoy.