31 Days: Day 12 ~ The Sound of a Scene

music

Hey!  Welcome to day 12 on this 31 day journey.  If you’ve missed the days before this, you can find them all linked HERE!

I wanted to take today and tomorrow to talk about music.  I love music!  I kid you not when I say that I pretty much have music on from the time I wake until the time I go to bed.  It drives my husband crazy but I feel so inspired when I hear a good song.

The same goes for when I am writing.  I am able to write in silence but I am so much more inspired when I have music on.  Not only just on, but streaming through headphones right into my ears.  I am able to tune out all other sounds and distractions.  The scenes that are already alive in my head explode with detail, emotion and color!

Music talking

I’m always amazed at the difference that a song can make in how my scene plays out.  The descriptions are more thorough, the characters much more alive.  I get sucked into the world that I am writing.  I feel like I am walking alongside my characters as they face each trial.

I have a playlist on YouTube for each book.  Most of the songs that I listen to are wordless because I have enough words running through my head without adding lyrics to them.  The Piano Guys are some of my favourites, as well as Lindsey Sterling!  They have amazing songs and are SO talented!  There are songs by them for any, and all, scenes.

It’s easier to write the scenes with the proper emotional music flowing through my head.

Tomorrow I’ll share some of my favourite pieces of music with you.  Hopefully you’ll find a new favourite that you can write to!

Let’s talk:  How about you?  If you write, do you do it in silence or are you like me and love music in your ears? If you write to music, what is your favourite to write to?

~Sarah

31 days redone small

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World Moment: Nauru

This is a new feature I’d like to start doing on my blog.  I’d like to take one minute (or so) and give you some information on a random country in the world.  We’re going through a really cool book with our kids called ‘Operation World‘ and I am learning a TON about this world I thought I knew.  I won’t go into a ton of detail.  I’ll leave that to you to investigate if you choose to.  So, here’s the very first country I’ve chosen:

NauruNAURU

Nauru is a 21 sq km coral island in the South Pacific, and is home to a little over 10,000 people.  One of the coolest things about this amazing little nation is that they shut down offshore banking on the Internet.  Why is that cool? Because the government discovered that it was being used as a front for the money-laundering activities of Russian criminals.  It was a courageous and bold move because it stopped the flow of that money through the country… an amount approaching tens of billions of dollars a year!  They have chosen what is right over getting rich!  What an awesome example they are!  They saw corruption and didn’t just turn their heads but did something about it.

I am praying that they are blessed for this courageous stand!

~Sarah

Thanks for stopping in on my World Moment.  Have you heard of Nauru before?

Nauru family

Five Minute Friday: Beautiful

GO

I’m thinking of giving up make-up.

We are bombarded by images.  Every second commercial has a woman who is trying to ‘turn back time’ and ‘make her lashes longer’ and ‘get fuller hair’.  The message says that we should not EVER be content with our bodies.  Our wrinkles are ugly, our hair is flat, our eyes don’t glow.  We are imperfect.  Yep, we are imperfect but we were made in God’s image.

God looksThe other day my daughter vanishes for a while and reappears all dressed up, hair up and lip chap on.  She comes down from her room asking me for water.  When I innocently inquire what she needs it for, she says ‘I need it to look pretty’.  Confused, I ask how it is going to make her look pretty.  She shows me that she’s going to put it on her fingers and try to get her eyelashes to ‘stand up’.  When she can’t get her hair just perfect, she is saddened nearly to tears.  ‘I want to look pretty for my friends’ she says sadly.

I picture the many times she’s stood in the bathroom with me while I do my make-up.  ‘Mom, what’s that for?’  The common question.  Sadly, my common answer is ‘I don’t really know honey.’  Why do I torture myself trying to curl my eyelashes and then bite back a curse when I stick the stupid mascara wand in my eye?  Why do I agonize over the right color palate?  When did we become not good enough?  Why do my sparkling green eyes need help from a few torturous devices?

I’m running out of time so I’ll get back to my first point.  

I’m thinking of giving up make-up.

I sit my daughter down when she is sad about her hair and say ‘Honey, you are a beautiful girl.  Your friends don’t care if your hair is perfect.  They are coming to play with you because you are fun, loving and wonderful to be with.  Remember, what does God look at?’  She sighs and looks at me with eyes that mirror my own green and says ‘The heart, Mommy.  He looks at the heart.’

Thank you baby, I needed the reminder too.  I would gladly give up make-up to show you that you are beautiful without it… and so am I.

STOP

Want to get in on the fun of Five Minute Friday?

Let’s write… unscripted, unedited, unchained.  Let’s just write and not worry if it’s just right.

Here’s how:

5-minute Friday1. Write for 5 minutes flat for pure unedited love of the written word. (click on the 5 minute Friday image for the word prompt…it changes every week!)

2. Link back to Lisa-Jo’s blog (and don’t forget to invite others to join in).

3. Make sure to encourage the five minuter who linked up before you.

Please let me know if you decide to join in!  I love reading Five Minute Friday posts!

Sarah

Take a seat & Make a friend

I think that this video is awesome!  Check it out and then answer this:

Would you get in?  

Would the uncertainty be worth it to possibly make a friend?

Should we need a ball pit to chat with those around us?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

~Sarah

Interview with Shannon Dittemore~Author of the ‘Angel Eyes’ Series

shannon dittemore

This is my very first author interview and I am so honored to have Shannon Dittemore here to chat with me!  YAY!  I admit, reluctantly, that I’ve only just discovered Shannon’s amazing talent in the last year.  Now I cannot get enough of her writing!!  I wait, less than patiently, for each new release.  (No pressure Shannon!… wait, yes, lot’s of pressure!)  😉

I hope that you’ll come back on Saturday for my review of Shannon’s new book Broken Wings!  I am only including part of Shannon’s interview here because I want to tease you into coming back to see the rest on Saturday.  I may have asked Shannon for some hints about her next book Dark Halo… are you hooked now?  I’m excited!

Thanks so much Shannon for doing this!  I’m so grateful for your willingness to take time out of your busy launch schedule to talk with me!  🙂  Let’s get right into it!

What do you like most about writing fiction?

The let my imagination run wild part. Creating worlds, fleshing out characters, letting them run straight into a dilemma, making it worse for them, and then swooping in with the answer. I love writing fiction best when it feels like reading. That means my own words need to surprise me and my characters have to be real enough to make choices I’d have never made for them.

When you are writing, do your characters stay on your mind even when you are not writing?  Particularly when writing emotional or stressful sections?

Yeah. Sometimes I wish I could shut them out, but they often give me great material when they’re haunting me. There’s a scene in Broken Wings—a flashback of sorts—and Brielle is about three years old. When I first drafted that scene, my daughter was also three. That was intensely personal few days.

What is the most exciting thing about publishing your books?

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of a reader telling me how much my stories mean to them. To me, that’s the best part. Genuinely connecting with other people. Letting story do the hard part of breaking the ice and then sharing something as simplistic as a tale. It’s funny, isn’t it? I think what terrifies me the most, is also what excites me the most. I bet God’s laughing at me right now.

I admit that I may have laughed a tiny bit.  Tell us, who are some of your favourite authors?

So many! There is an author I will shove everything aside for and that’s Tasha Alexander. She writes the Lady Emily mysteries and I’m obsessed. I’m also a big Hunger Games fan, so I’ll throw Suzanne Collins in there as well. I love Ted Dekker and Stephen Lawhead. I love Cornelia Funke and Jenny B. Jones. I’ve fallen in love with Jill Williamson’s stuff and my pal Jenny Lundquist is amazing as well. So many of the up and coming YA writers out there are fast earning their way onto this list.

Awesome choices!  How about favourite book?  (yes, you can say your own!)  My blog, I allow it!  Favourite movie?  Favourite TV show?

Book: Too hard! I’m going to go with the Count of Monte Cristo. It’s a classic and keeps me from having to decide between all the amazing books that have hit shelves more recently.

Movie: So many great movies out there! Of late, I’ve loved Les Miserables. I’ve always been fascinated with that story and they did such a fabulous job translating it to film. If we’re talking old school, I’ll say A Few Good Men. YOU CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!  Or, or, or Sense and Sensibility. Love that flick.

TV Show: This changes almost daily. I really like the dialogue in White Collar, so let’s say that one for now.

That was a tough question!  How about an easy one: are you someone who reads the same book more than once?

Of course! And YA books are great for that.

How did you come to know the Lord?

As the oldest daughter of a preacher, I’ve grown up in church. I think I was five years old when I asked my dad to pray with me. Mom had run into a Chinese restaurant to pick up take-out after church on a Sunday and we were waiting outside in our old silver Citation. I can only assume something my teacher said in Sunday school prompted the conversation, but there you have it.

Do you have a favourite Bible verse?

Several. I love the gospels and the book of Daniel especially. On the bulletin board next to my desk I have this verse:

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.—Proverbs 3:5

If memory serves, part of that verse made its way into Angel Eyes.

That is one of my favourite verses too!  Such wonderful assurance.  Who in your life has influenced you most, besides God?

My parents, certainly. But I’ll also say my husband, Matt. All three of them have very deep, very profound relationships with God and I learn so much by watching them. My husband has been such an instrumental part of the writing process for me. He listens while I talk through my ideas, he answers questions about Scripture, and he lets me complain when I need to. He really is the best.

Name 5 things you can’t live without!  (Faith and Family are a given)

I’ve been floundering a little bit cause I had to go off caffeine. If not, I’d have said Pepsi and Coffee were #1 and #2. Hmmm. Let’s see.

~Panera’s Mac and Cheese

~My Kindle

~Matt’s oversized fleece jacket. I wear it every morning when I take the kids to school.

~My local Barnes and Noble

~Rhapsody

You’ll have to tell me how you managed to get off Pepsi!  (a craving of mine!)  When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

When I was really young I wanted to be an astronaut! But I suck at math so that got thrown out the window. I spent a lot of years wanting to be an actress and pursuing that. I still love the stage. So many great memories.

I am terrible at math too!  Last one, if you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be?

Well, I’d say the Holy Land, but things are a bit volatile these days. I’ve done Hawaii a few times and I could definitely do that right now. Winter is wearing on me (and I shouldn’t whine, I’m in California). Maybe Jamaica? My husband is a coffee roaster and he’d like to go on an origins trip there. I’d like to sit on the beach with a good book, so that would work for both of us!

Thanks again Shannon for answering all my questions!  You rock!  I so thoroughly enjoyed Angel Eyes and Broken Wings that I can’t wait for Dark Halo!

Angel EyesBroken Wings Dark-Halo

If you want to get your hands on Shannon’s books, click the book image above! Also, you can click Shannon’s image above to get to her website!

Remember to come back on Saturday for my review and more questions with Shannon about Broken Wings!!

~Sarah