#SoundtrackSunday Prompt…Your Personal Theme Song

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Soundtrack Sunday

Welcome back to the new (monthly) addition of my Soundtrack Sunday Blog Challenge…

Every great movie has a great theme song…why shouldn’t you?

This week is all about finding your own theme song. If you could choose one song to describe yourself, what would it be? ..or maybe its a collection of songs….a playlist…a symphony….Because we all march to our own tune and I want to hear what yours sounds like.

You can post your response this following Sunday, or any Sunday in August.

Tips:

Don’t worry too much about choosing the “right” song; just choose a song that you really connect with…after all, it’s your life and your soundtrack…have fun with it!

If you don’t want to explain your connection with the song, don’t. The writing isn’t a requirement, it’s a suggestion. In the end, it’s up to you whether you want to really elaborate on it or not.

Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post (by posting a link to it in your blog) and return to post your own link in the comments so we can all read your post.

You can check out my response by clicking on the My Sunday Soundtrack link in the menu or by following the permalink here (wont be visible until Sunday):

Feel free to use any of the buttons on this post in your own post or on your blog.

If you’re new, get started by checking out the main challenge page here.

Lastly, if you have any questions about the blog challenge or feel you can contribute to it, in any way, email me at acwilliswriting@gmail.com.

 

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#BeQuotable…Day 2…Love

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My favorite quote from wise mans fear.  So yes. It had flaws, but what does that matter when it comes to matters of the heart? We love what we love. Reason does not enter into it. In many ways, unwise love is the truest love. Anyone can love a thing because. That's as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.

“So yes. It had flaws, but what does that matter when it comes to matters of the heart? We love what we love. Reason does not enter into it. In many ways, unwise love is the truest love. Anyone can love a thing because. That’s as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.” ~Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man’s Fear

I forecast a lot of Patrick Rothfuss quotes throughout this challenge…why? Because The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear are two of the greatest novels written…ever…because the words on these pages have the power to shoot straight into your heart and roll around for a while…because this may be the most perfect quote about love, ever imagined. I have loved like this…but I’ve never been loved LIKE this…and that makes all the difference…

D is for Distraction….#atozchallenge

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Today’s A to Z topic is distraction. It’s something that all writers have to deal with but in the world of self-publishing where most of us are also employees, wives, mothers, ect full time, overcoming distraction can be a real challenge. How hard can it be, you ask, to find a quiet corner in my house and write? Let me tell you a story. This afternoon, I set down at my computer, turned on my writing music, brought up Scrivener and started to write. I had written 89 words when I turned around to see this behind me:

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So, I’ve written 89 words toward my word goal for CampNanoWrimo in the past 2 days. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I have been blessed with the most amazing children ON THIS PLANET…and I welcome moments like this because they are too precious to wish away.

Still, the worst distractions for me aren’t even external. It’s the internal distractions that really hold me back the most. There are days when my brain is a steady train of thought and days when it feels like everything thought in the world, apart from my “writing thoughts” take priority.

Writing Rituals

One way to overcome distraction and focus the brain for writing is to develop a writing ritual. I actually wrote a post about my writing tools for a blog hop a while back and it talks a lot about my writing process and distraction so I wont go into detail about it right now but you can read that post here: Roping the Wind…The Writing Tools that Work for my Scattered Brain.  As a companion, here is an interesting post on famous author’s writing strange writing rituals that I thought would be fun to share.

So, whatever your outlets in life, what are your distractions and how do you deal with them?

…and as always, check out my fellow AtoZ Bloggers...

 

Happiness Is…Bald and Wrinkled Aliens….#SoundtrackSunday

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This week is easy, for me because it’s all about happiness. When I scan my life for the happiest of happy memories, there are three that stick out a million times beyond the rest. Oddly enough, they are some of the most bloody, painful, and confusing times of my life and resulted in the introduction to a bald, wrinkled alien life form into my life. Yes, I’m talking about becoming a mother and for me (someone who NEVER wanted children), it was a wild and crazy ride indeed.

Note: Shortly after each one of my children were born, I selected a song for them. These songs, to me, represent their individual spirits in the rawest forms. One thing about being a mother that no-one ever tells you is the ways in which you KNOW your child. You know their soul on a deeper level than anything you’ve ever experienced before and (for me, at least) this “knowing” occurs before they ever walked or talked…before the world molds them into individual beings. I think that knowing their offspring’s raw spirit helps a mother realize their child’s potential. It’s the reason that mothers will fight against a world that tells them their children “cannot” do something and motivates them to hold their children up, even in their weakest moments…Anyway, these songs are the songs that solidify the moment of birth and of “knowing” for me. They are my children’s spirit songs. Whatever they become, I will always remember who they really are…I will always see their beautiful spirits.

October 6, 2009 3:27 AM

My son was born 6 weeks early. My water had broken  on Friday afternoon but the ER told me it wasn’t broken and sent me home. It wasn’t until I followed up with the doctor that Monday that they confirmed my water had actually been broken and they sent me in to be induced. I was terrified, being a first time mother, and exclaimed that I still have 6 weeks left, I hadn’t attended my parenting class yet, and nothing was ready. It didn’t matter, Rymi was on his way to meet me and in the wee hours of the next morning, he came into my world, and changed everything about me.

From the moment he was born, he was a very sensitive and overactive child. He was colicy, particular (due, in part, to the rampat spoiling), and he didn’t sleep for the first 6 months of his life. Still, everyone was drawn to him (they still are) and EVERYONE loves him. I have watched him grow into a talented comedian and he is the happiest when he’s the center of attention. He’s still high strung and hyperactive. I guess he always will be but he will be popular and loved.

He’s 4 now and what he wants to do when he grows up is “make monster makeup”. I can see him in Hollywood one day, whether it’s behind the scenes or on the stage. He’s just that kind of person. Sometimes I worry that he’ll have problems staying grounded. I’m worried that he’ll forget about the simple things in life…I’m worried that he’ll lose himself in his own character and find himself unable to be aware and thankful for the simplest, most fulfilling aspects of life. So, this is his song. Because, at the end of the day, I know my mission as a mother is to “ground” him…keep him centered. I know my mission is to help him become a Simple Man (well, maybe just a simpler man)

September 11, 2010 12:29 PM

My pregnancy with the girls had been a long, hard road. I was in the hospital for a week before their arrival and although I was glad to know exactly WHEN they were coming, my body was tired from Preeclampsia and months of bedrest. With them, it was a C-Section and the doctors had warned me that they may not cry immediately. It felt unnatural to be bringing my daughters into the world this way and the dual teams of nurses in the room only made the experience more terrifying.

I was lying on the table, half alive, when I heard the screams of my little “baby a”. I was delighted that she came out, screaming and I knew that everything was going to be alright. This was a good indication for what Kaya’s personality was going to be. She is the most calm of all my children. She is as steady as the stream but as strong as stone. She is nurturing and protective…she’s my mother earth baby.

Of course, this song relates to her because it is her namesake but it’s the peaceful, rhythmic reggae music that reminds me of her spirit. There are times when things are chaotic and Kaya finds a way to soothe me. Kaya literally means “enlightenment” and, of all my children, I know that she’ll be the wisest and strongest. She’ll probably be the one who needs me the least but this makes being her mother even more challenging. I know I’ll have to recognize her needs, because she’ll never bring them to me willingly. I know that I’ll have to break through her stone barrier and make her allow me to support her for once. I will have to help her soften to the world and realize that it’s okay NOT to be the one who takes care of everyone else. I will have to help her understand that it’s okay for her to take care of herself from time to time.

September 11, 2010 12:30 PM

Kaylin came into the world, a minute later and 3x louder than her sister had a minute previous. She had a rough go of it, at first. Although there has never been more than 1/2 difference in hers and her sister’s weight, she seems so much smaller than her older sister. She’s certainly much more soft than her.

But she’s a DIVA! Since the moment she was born, she has put herself in direct competition with her sister and is always trying to “out-do” every other child she meets. She’s also very finicky. Even as a newborn, she had very strong preferences and a equally strong voice which she used to voice her opinions. There is no such thing as convincing this child that she cannot wear her princess dress to the store or sleep in a tu-tu.

She’s so girly, in juxtaposition to both her sister and myself, and from the time she could walk she would put her purse on her arm and priss around the room. She cannot sit in the buggy in the clothing ilse and she’s more inclined to shoes than baby dolls. She is my little queen.

My challenge with her is going to be helping her understand that she is not her sister’s subset…she is an individual and she’s amazing for it. I want her to know that she’s “beautiful in her way because god makes no mistakes”.

Soundtrack Sunday Week 3: Love Songs…#ValentinesDay

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SountrackSundayValentinesIt’s Week 3 and Valentine’s Day is upon us! Fittingly, this week is all about love.

Good or bad, every love life has an anthem. This week, share the anthem(s) of your love life with us as we prepare for the upcoming Valentine’s Day holiday. It’s pretty straight forward so I don’t think any “tips” are really necessary. I will remind you that you can use more than one song if you need to, to show us the ups and downs throughout your love life or you can stick to one song that really speaks of your love life “right now”. You can take whatever route you want to with this: share your “sexy” songs, the songs that remind you of your first love or even share a breakup song.

Also, I know it’s a bit early to start doing stuff for Valentine’s Day but if I do it next week, it will be after the holiday. Somehow, that doesn’t feel right and maybe this little “exercise” will help you get into the “groove” ; ) of the holiday spirit. You can use one of the “special” buttons for Valentines or stick with the “old faithful” buttons. I will include them all in this post.

If you’re new, get started by checking out the main challenge page here.

Lastly, if you have any questions about the blog challenge or feel you can contribute to it, in any way, email me at acwilliswriting@gmail.com.

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Soundtrack Sunday Week 2: “Fight Song”…#Superbowl

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Soundtrack Sunday

In honor of Superbowl Sunday, this week’s prompt is “Fight Song”. You may not know all the words to your Alma Matter’s fight song but you know the tune to it. It is the anthem that blares in the background when a team scores a touchdown…it’s the rumble through the crowd as the team gathers for a pep rally.

What I want to see this week are the song/songs/lyrics that rally you. What songs motivate you, or push your forward? This can be general or specific to a time when music helped you push through the trenches of life…It can be the song that comes to mind when you think of reaching for the stars or the music you work out to. I want to know the tune of your triumphs, survivals, and touchdowns.

Tips:

 Don’t worry too much about choosing the “right” or “popular” song; just choose a song that you really connect with…after all, it’s your life and your soundtrack…have fun with it!

If you don’t want to explain your connection with the song, don’t. The writing isn’t a requirement, it’s a suggestion. In the end, it’s up to you whether you want to really elaborate on it or not.

Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post (by posting a link to it in your blog) and return to post your own link in the comments so we can all read your post.

You can check out my response by clicking on the My Sunday Soundtrack link in the menu

Feel free to use any of the buttons on this post in your own post or on your blog.

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Week 1: Beginnings

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Welcome to the Soundtrack Sunday Blog Challenge

This week is all about beginnings. Using music, describe where or what you came from. It can be a song from the year you were born, a song that reminds you of your hometown, your parents, or your heritage. You can make this post about new beginnings or beginnings not yet to come…whatever come to mind when you think about your own beginnings.

Write: Write a post that explains your connection with the song to the prompt. WHY does this song signify beginning for you?

Don’t forget to schedule your post for Sunday and tag it with Soundtrack Sunday.

Tips:

 Don’t worry too much about choosing the “right” song; just choose a song that you really connect with…after all, it’s your life and your soundtrack…have fun with it!

If you don’t want to explain your connection with the song, don’t. The writing isn’t a requirement, it’s a suggestion. In the end, it’s up to you whether you want to really elaborate on it or not.

Don’t forget to create a pingback to this post (by posting a link to it in your blog) and return to post your own link in the comments so we can all read your post.

You can check out my response by clicking on the My Sunday Soundtrack link in the menu or by following the permalink here (wont be visible until Sunday):

Feel free to use any of the buttons on this post in your own post or on your blog.

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A Blogger of Repute

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It’s really hard for one to truly know their own reputation. This is because people are more inclined to speak lightly to your face and heavily behind your back. Fortunately for me, I have a knack for seeing the complicated truths behind the simple lies that people tell on a day-to-day basis. This is how I came to understand the makings of my own reputation.

Like all people, my reputation differs slightly between the groups of people who know me. However, it settles around one basic fact: “Ashley Willis is…different“. Different is one of those words that can be a double edged sword. Some people who know me delight in my difference and see the freshness in it. Some people say it with distaste in their mouths and wish I would learn to conform. Whether they love me or hate me, people who know me cannot deny my “weirdness”.

It’s true, too. I’m admittedly weird and sometimes awkward. I’ve just never been good at fitting in a mold. My thoughts tend to stray from the norm and so my actions surely follow. Where I come from, tradition reigns supreme and anybody who strays from the norm is sure to draw gazes. I don’t see this as a bad thing, myself because I understand that my weirdness stems from being able to think for myself. I will never ebb along in consensus because I don’t have the ability or energy to make up my own mind about something.

The only biteback from my reputation is that people who know me don’t really understand me. When weirdness becomes a novelty, people tend to discount the individual. I am idealistic so people tend to call me naive…I am caring and loving so people tend to call me a pacifist…I am a dreamer to a point of fault and so people wrongfully label me as ‘ditzy’.

Here in the blogosphere, it’s a little different. We are all opinionated…we are all intelligent…maybe we’re all a little weird. While I’m still different, in small ways, from the vast majority of other bloggers, it’s easier to find commonalities. With this, I feel the people who read my blog have a more complete understanding of who I really am than people who might have known me for longer but because of their misunderstandings, don’t really know me at all.

While I might seem ‘scattered’ or ‘all over the place’ in real life, within the confounds of my blog, my focus is stronger. My blogging reputation isn’t as far-reaching as I want it to be, yet but it is clear:

I am an independent author

I am a free thinker

I am a nurturing mother (both to my kids and the independent authors I fall in love with as I spotlight them)

I see both the light and darkness in the world…I choose to focus on the light…

With that being said, many of you who are reading this might disagree. That’s okay. In fact, that’s the beauty of reputation. It starts with perceptions of ourselves and grows to include outside perceptions as well.

As you finish reading this, I urge  you to do two things. First, stop by my Indie Spotlight page and check out today’s Friday Feature on Aray Brown. She’s a poet who also makes beautiful spoken word videos on YouTube. She’s a delightful person and has a beautiful story to share.

Second, think about your own reputation…what is your reputation by the people who know you and how does this compare to your blogging reputation?

2014 Writing Goals…Blog Hop For Writers

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My plate is pretty full right now. I’m writing a novel and a collection of short stories. I’m doing the “Zero To Hero” blog challenge, getting ready for a promotion of and putting together a blog tour for my debut novel, while maintaining my Indie Spotlight and all other regular aspects of my blog. I’m doing all this while going through a separation and taking care of 3 kids (ages 4, 3 and 3) on my own.

What do I do when I have a full plate? I fill it up  more! I don’t  know why, it’s just what I do. I like to fill the moments in my day (particularly creatively) and it’s been so long since I’ve been able to engage in any type of creative outlet that I think my hunger for it is consuming me.

With that being said, I came across a great blog hop, hosted by Ruth L. Snyder that I couldn’t resist. It’s a 12 week challenge which requires posting every other Monday so it’s definitely manageable. It’s also creative and fun and I’m super excited about doing it. With that said, it actually started on January 13 so this first post is a little late. The subsequent posts will be on time, however.

My writing Goals 2014: 

  1. Get my debut novel, Darkness Within, in the hands of more people.
  2. Finish, and release, the second book in the series: Light Without. 
  3. Finish, and release, my short story collection based on the Celtic Lunar Calendar (still unnamed).
  4. Write Daily.
  5. Write well…(continuing to produce work I can be proud of).
  6. Complete as many blog challenges as humanly possible, this year.
  7. Win Nanowrimo for the second year in a row.

That’s all I have, for now, but I’m sure as the year moves along, my goals will increase. I have a few other novels that I’m outlining, right now so I might end up releasing more than just the two additional books this year. I know that I will write 3 (because of Nanowrimo 2014 but I won’t have time to edit and release my Nanowrimo 2014 novel). Right now, I’m just keeping my focus on the release of those two. As always, I’m keeping an eye on the horizon, as well. 😀