Music and Mayhem (sort of)

Last night was my daughter’s Spring Concert at the High School. She’s actually in the Junior High School, but the music program merged the singing groups and various bands with the Senior High School’s musical program, since the 8th grade is the only “Junior High” class.
Anyway (there I go, rambling again!), the concert was last night and showcased some really talented students. There was a fantastic jazz band, they just blew me away. The drummer was incredible, I really hope some of those kids have a successful future in music. They certainly have the talent. If I had only been listening outside, and not known the band was comprised of students, I would have thought they were pros.
There was also a wind ensemble performance. They were also very good, though not as good as the jazz band. A lot of the kids played in both, as well as the 95 member school concert band. The school really does have a lot of opportunities for musicians.
The chamber singers were good, though to be honest, I’m not much of a fan of chamber music. It’s an audition only group, and the kids were great singers. I wonder if we’ll see any of them on AI in the future.
But the newly formed a capella group, calling themselves Fermata Nowhere (the music teacher is very clever), was phenomenal. They performed Adele’s Rolling in the Deep and the girl who sang lead, while not as talented as Adele, still did a great job. Then they did Stacy’s Mom. Several of the parents and probably all of the grandparents in attendance were not familiar with the song. The kid who sang lead was really good, I’ve seen him perform before in other things, and he is quite talented. He’s one of the ones I hope gets to make a career with music. He had stage presence, and really had a great time up there, he had that “spark.” Anyway, the lyrics drew quite a few laughs, but some were also offended. One older woman near me, when she realized what the song was about, said,. “That’s disgusting.” She was promptly shushed quite loudly!
My daughter’s choir was also good. I wasn’t familiar with some of the songs, but they did a medley from Les Mis that left me crying. The soloists were incredible, the emotion in their voices touched everyone in the auditorium. And from there, they went into Bohemian Rhapsody. They cut chunks of it, since it’s such a long song. I’m not a big fan of that song myself, to be honest, but they did a good job with it, After that, we had yet another set by the concert band. The whole thing lasted about 3 hours! By the time I picked up my little guy from his friend’s house, it was after 10:00pm.
There was a brief intermission, and two idiot dads almost came to blows over someone coming in late. I mean, really, why do you have to be an ass and ruin what’s supposed to be a great night for your kids? Morons. Thankfully, someone stepped in between them, or it would have turned into a fistfight. Similar thing happened at my daughter’s dance recital a few years ago and they had to call the cops to break it up and keep it from becoming a free-for-all. I don’t understand why people have to be such jackasses.
In any case, the concert was a nice way to wrap up the music program for the year, and the kids worked really really hard. The talent and discipline they showed impressed me so much, I could use some of that discipline, to be honest! Lol
On another note, Kathryn at The Romance Review gave 4 Stars to Healing the Mage. You can read the entire review here:  This review was especially sweet, since she really liked the characters. As my critique partners know, the editing process was difficult with Healing the Mage. My hero had some serious flaws, as pointed out by my editor at Noble. Flaws I didn’t see until she brought them to my attention. Lily had some problems too, but not as bad as Aidan. I took every one of my editor’s suggestions and made significant changes. If I hadn’t, I seriously doubt this book would have gotten such good reviews. So a big thanks goes to Jill Noble for not only her comments, but her patience in working with me as I made the changes. I appreciated (and apparently needed to hear) her honest opinion, and it made all the difference, as evidenced by the latest review.

What Genre is This Anyway?

As I’ve probably mentioned before, my current WIP is a sci-fi themed story. However, in the last couple of weeks, I’m thinking maybe it’s not necessarily sci-fi, but fantasy.  Here’s the thing, I’m not a big fan of sci-fi in general – my knowledge of the genre is sorely lacking. I had several male cousins who were, so I always sort of knew a bit about it, just from listening to them, – Michael in particular, was a huge Trekkie, still is, and can go on and on until your eyes glaze over. I know, it’s happened to me many times! LOL But I did love the Star Wars movies, which I always thought of as episodes 1 through 3, but are now really episodes 4 through 6. But that was about the extent of it. I’ve really not read the genre, romance or other fiction, and certainly didn’t watch any of the TV shows or movies that so many of my friends did. As for the shows, I understand there are some really good ones, but I’m afraid I may find another obsession that I simply don’t have the time to indulge. So I’m not daring to get involved there. My time is limited enough now as it is.
Anyway, as I was saying before I started rambling, I’m not necessarily sure that Prince of the Universe is true sci-fi. The hero comes from another planet, and inter-galaxy travel is common to him, though not to my Earthling heroine. But here’s what’s got me wondering – just because it does involve other planets and space travel, does that make it sci-fi? Eventually, Vega will take Merry back to his home planet of Aldarra, but the civilization, while certainly technologically advanced in many ways, also involves magic, and the manipulation of energy and minerals to increase one’s power. Plus, Aldarra has a very different climate from ours, and the culture and customs could, in some ways, be described as medieval.
I’ve heard it said that if your scientific facts are wrong, it’s generally not acceptable to those who know and love the sci-fi genre. Is that true? I’m not much with technical or engineering knowledge (as my recent disasters with computers will attest to), so anything as far as warp speed and wormholes and the like will most definitely be “wrong.” How far can I push the envelope without someone crying foul? I’ve got spaceships, and high tech weapons, and races similar to and different from humans, but also magic and other paranormal elements. As I’m world-building, I’m wondering if I’m doing too much. I’m likely to piss off readers of both genres by doing things I’m not supposed to.
So, sci-fi fans, what am I not supposed to do, and what do I have to do to fit the genre? Or can I get away with twisting it all up?

April Showers bring May… showers?

It’s May. It’s supposed to be sunny and warm now, yet, we’ve still got more than our fair share of clouds and rain before it finally clears the way for some of those flowers the nursery rhyme talks about.
But I’m very excited about May this year – because with it comes something new and exciting. Started by my friend and fellow author, Shoshanna Evers, I’m participating in the May 50K. Basically, it’s the same thing as NANO, but for May. I’m really excited about participating – I tend to do really well when I just sit and write, at least as far as getting a first draft completed. For NANO, I completed a draft at about 53K total, but would have done more if I hadn’t gotten such a late start and missed the entire first week of the month. This time, I don’t have any huge plans to interfere, and if the first couple of days are any indication, I am off to a decent start.
There are two WIP’s that I am focusing on, actually. My medieval, which is complete – as far as a first draft, anyway. I am currently revising that one, and have been adding scenes here and there. But my main project will be the first of my sci-fi themed books, as I may have mentioned before. I did very well on Sunday , adding over another 2K to that ms, another 1K early in the week and I have the entire plot outlined – very basic, no details yet. Literally just a list of events that need to occur. If all goes well, and I have my computer back this week, as they have assured me I will, I’ll really be able to get cracking and make some serious headway into that manuscript. I’m having fun discovering the kinds of powers Vega has, and I’ve even surprised myself with how he interacts with elements native to our planet. Plus, his race does have the ability to use mind-bending control over others. Odd thing is, I’ve learned it can also be done unintentionally, if the feelings and desires are strong enough. Merry is finding that out, and boy, is she pissed. A confrontation is a-brewing! Lol  For now, I’m calling it Prince of the Universe – a nod to my love of all things Highlander (movies, TV series, etc.)
I really am having a blast with this story, yet, at the same time, I am also having a blast reworking Marissa and Ian’s story, so he doesn’t come off as such a cold-hearted brute. He never really was, but it’s time to make his conflicting emotions more clear. The poor man’s gonna be run through the wringer before I get done with him. Nothing like bringing an arrogant alpha male to his knees, though, he’ll never totally lose his arrogance and need to control. Does any man, really, fictional or otherwise? Besides, to me, that edge is what I love most about my heroes. They may be laid low by their soul mate, willing to do whatever it takes to keep and protect her, but they’ll never give up the part of them that makes them, IMO, so hot. The confidence of a man who knows what he wants, how to get it, knows how damn good he is at it, and won’t take no for an answer, just leaves me weak in the knees.
So stay tuned as the month progresses – you’ll get some glimpses into my upcoming work, as well as get to see some serious moments of insanity. First example, I’ve begun sketching out the next book in Prince’s world – nuts, I know! This will be about Vega’s brother Reygar, who is possibly even more arrogant and controlling than his brother. He won’t admit why, but what sends him off on his own private mission is an appealing Earth woman. I know it’s because he can’t resist her, despite her initial terror on meeting him and general shyness. Plus, she’s a real klutz, and has managed to drop a heavy box on his foot, smack her head into his, and knock him down the stairs. Even after all the battles he’s fought, poor Reygar has more bruises now.

Late Winners Announcement

So last week we wrapped up the Noble Authors Blog Tour. We also have our grand prize winner of the Eden Fantasy $100 gift voucher.  To recap, here are the winners of copies of Healing the Mage:
From Bianca Sommerland’s Blog: Mara
From Mindy MacKay’s Blog: TraceyD
And the grand prize winner of the Eden Fantasy $100 gift voucher is: Mara J Brandon! Congratulations, Mara – you had a great week!
And congratulations to all the winners on the tour and a huge, heartfelt thanks for everyone who participated. It truly was a successful and fun event, and I so enjoyed meeting readers and other authors along the way. I look forward to doing this again.
I’m behind on getting emails and the like to everyone, so be patient with me as I catch up. I’m still missing my computer, and stuck doing everything on my work laptop, which has been starting to subtly protest my overwork of it. In fact, as I type this, I have a backup going on this hard drive to ensure if this one dies, at least I won’t lose all of my files.
Have a great week everyone!