She’s Not That Good is Live!

I did it! I finally finished She’s Not That Good by the end of NaNoWriMo 2022, and it’s live in Kindle format on Amazon.com. This book has had many lives, from a YA novel to a short-lived Kindle Vella to Contemporary Novella, which is what it is now. I hope you enjoy it!

Failing to launch an adult career, haunted by thoughts of never being good enough, Brandi Redwine searches for something she is good at. After chasing music and the exboyfriend in Nashville, she returns to San Francisco feeling like a loser.

Her best friend steps in and recommends her for an opportunity to compete for a job onboard a cruise ship. Her high school sweetheart is also on board, and his girlfriend is competing for the same job.

Will her entire future rest on a final performance, or will she finally realize she is good enough when she pursues what’s really in her heart?

AVAILABLE NOW!

Wrapping Up National Novel Writing Month 2022

Click here to listen on Spotify.

I finished writing/editing She’s Not That Good over the Thanksgiving weekend. I’m now going through the final read through (audio) before hitting publish. Finally!

I’ve been working on this story on and on for maybe a decade. It started out as a young adult novel but when a contest judge wrote that it sounded like a 40-year-old, I dropped it. To me it sounded just like me in my teens. But maybe I sounded like a 40-year-old back then. Ha!

I rewrote it as a contemporary romantic comedy, but couldn’t seem to finish it. Then I realized it wasn’t a novel. It was a novella.

I’m so excited to be this far with this story. And now I’m all revved up to work on the next one!

So please stay tuned for other books and music released by Screamie Birds Studios here at screamiebirds.com.

Top 10 Playlist for #NaNoWriMo

While I haven’t signed up officially to do NaNo this year, I have committed to finally finishing She’s Not That Good this month. I’m in the final editing stages of this particular draft (I’ve lost count), and should have it off to my editor next week. And then the next round begins… will this be the final draft before end of year release? I doubt it – lol! But each draft brings new clarity to the story.

So, if you’re doing NaNo and even if you aren’t, I’ve got a recommended playlist for you. This artist, Wolf Kier, is currently my favorite. His songs – lyrics, guitar, bass, drums, and vocals – really stand out for me. The first few times I heard him, I thought “David Bowie.” So check out my top 10 favorites on YouTube.

Pink Fur Collar

Like a Fool

One Day Out of Memphis

Bury Mary

Mrs. Wilson

A Girl Like You

She Brings Me

Miss You More

Love’s Exquisite Mystery

Then Comes Five

Oh wait, there’s one more favorite I can’t leave off the list. Consider it a bonus – lol!

Real This Time

And then there’s Summer Number One

See if you can find your favorites!

Wired for Story (#OctoberPrep #NaNoWriMo #WritingCommunity)

We’ve been locked down for so long, mentally, if not physically, that I’ve forgotten how to go out and do things. I’ve been hunkered down in my music studio totally loving it but I can’t stay there 24/7.

So climbing the walls, wracking my brain for ideas of where to go to get out of the house other than casinos and rock climbing, I went to our one Barnes & Noble, rediscovering my love of being surrounded by books and people who love them.

While on that outing, I discovered “Wired for Story,” and it got me to thinking which is the purpose of the book – lol! And I realized that what I said in Writing for Today’s Reader, that “She’s Not That Good” won’t be welcome by today’s Millennials, was somewhat true but also somewhat not true.

Yes, Millennials are overwhelmed by all they are pressured to do and want to feel good enough by doing much less, so the story of the protagonist in “She’s Not That Good” also feels that pressure and only by figuring out what’s most important to her will she feel good enough. It’s not that Millennials should just give up and settle for less. It’s that they should find that one thing they’re meant to do. That reminds me of a scene in “City Slickers.”

I was thinking that since I’m not a Millennial, I couldn’t tell a story for them. Wrong. That in spite of our generational differences, we are alike, too. Besides, I’ve often thought that Boomers and Millennials are quite similar in many ways.

I’d really like to finish “She’s Not That Good” for NaNoWriMo, so here’s hoping this will give me the push. Besides, after finishing that LogicPro 10.7 intense class (and 50/90), I need a break from music. 🙂

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?

I Thought I Loved Words…

I’ve been using the iPad so much that I now have sore shoulders, sore arms, sore neck, and it hurts to sleep. So I’m swearing off the iPad. I read that this is a thing now, especially for women, this difficulty using an iPad without pain.

I use it for so many things. What will I do with myself if I can’t use it? I even use it to read. Snap! Why not get some audio books? I tried some samples and I liked it. Not for fiction but non fiction. Listening to a book on writing craft was fun. Until they spoke of their love of words.

I remember when I thought I loved words. I love the idea of words. I love the idea of getting back to writing words. But I really love the *sound* of words. No wonder I’m enjoying audio books. But I shouldn’t be listening to audio books on writing craft. Not when I love the *sound* of words. No, no, this brings me back to my love for music, the thing I’ve been running from for so much of my life. And the thing I thought I’d been running toward in recent years.

Resistance. It’s still a thing.

Gearing up for 50/90

Fifty-ninety begins July 4th and lasts through September 30. The challenge is to create 50 songs in 90 days. I think it will be an awesome way to focus.

Yesterday, I posted on my travel blog some thoughts about my childhood and how when we visited my step dad’s family in California’s Central Valley, I would leave the women behind in the living room talking about babies to sit with the men on the front porch talking trash about drinking, the neighbors, and other stuff I can’t remember while making home-made ice cream.

Anyway, that got me to thinking about how hanging out with musicians in places like FAWM and 50/90 and Sonic Academy is like hanging out with the guys on the front porch. While there are women there, the majority are men. And that’s more than okay.

I also notice that when I’m involved in podcasts and live videos in these communities, we focus on the music. Nothing else exists other than a passing comment about having more time to create music. There’s no politics. And it’s so refreshing.

So I’m thinking that maybe if I focus on the next 90 days, that when it’s over, all of this might be over. Or in a better place than where we are now. And if not, October brings Rocktober and November brings National Solo Album Month (NaSoAlMo), the music version of NaNoWriMo (instead of writing a novel in a month, you write an album). Maybe *then* it will be over. If not, then there’s Christmas and New Year’s and then maybe it will be over or mostly over in 2021.