WUW Winter

What’s Up Wednesday is a weekly hop/meme with four simple headings. Anyone can write a post and add the link to Jaime’s blog.

What I’m Reading

The beautiful coffeetable book Living in the Material World, full of pictures and quotes. As if I needed any more reasons why George is my favourite solo Beatle, or to be in awe of what an amazing soul he had.

What I’m Writing

Up to 593,300 words on my WIP, and not spending as much time on it lately to focus on the first two books I’m publishing this year. I’ve done a lot of reading and quick learning about formatting for e-books, which basically means unlearning a lot of what I’ve been taught about how to create documents. I’m going to remove autohyphenation last, since it just looks weird to have no hyphenation. When I put out the print versions, the headers, hyphens, and page numbers will go back in.

This added time away from Little Ragdoll has helped me to see where I need to get rid of excess verbiage, unnecessary lines, clunky phrasing, and other things I didn’t catch while going through it before. Shaving even 30,000 words off will just be a drop in the bucket when it’s about 387,000 words, but there’s only so much one can excise in such a deliberately long book and have it remain the same story.

What Inspires Me

As I’ve mentioned before, I mostly listened to The Hollies and The Four Seasons while writing Little Ragdoll from November 2010-February 2011. (Yes, I wrote a 397,000-word first draft in only three months.) Since it worked so well the first time, I’m spending quality time with The Hollies again for editing. My Hollies’ playlist on YouTube is now in tatters, with a lot of videos/songs deleted or made private, but Spotify doesn’t have that problem.

Finally, I get to listen to the albums from their classic years, after never being able to find anything pre-1969 in record stores in all the years I’ve been into vinyl. I consider myself fortunate for how I first got into Sixties and Seventies music in 1993, when there were two local oldies stations, and they played a fair bit more variety than they do today. They played so many songs I only hear these days on Dick Bartley’s Saturday night show. So when I became a Hollies’ fan in 1993, it was based off a lot more than just the 4-5 songs the one remaining oldies station plays into the ground now. (Seriously, I could go the rest of my life without hearing “Long Cool Woman” or “Bus Stop” ever again, though Allen and Lenore do meet at a bus stop on a rainy night in homage.)

If you’re interested, their best albums are For Certain Because…, Evolution, and Butterfly. They’ll introduce you to a whole new side of the band, which you’d probably never guess from the handful of songs in endless radio rotation. Songs like “Leave Me,” “Have You Ever Loved Somebody,” “Tell Me to My Face,” “Heading for a Fall,” “Would You Believe.” As I’ve said, thanks to the soundtrack for this book, I picture Ricky as a very young Graham Nash.

What Else I’m Up To

Waiting 4-6 weeks to hear back about whether I can quote from lyrics from the George Harrison songs “Crackerbox Palace” and “Be Here Now.” If I get permission, hopefully it won’t be too expensive. I found out that seeking permission for “Blessed” involves calling Paul Simon’s small office in NYC, not contacting a large publishing company. Apparently he’s very careful/choosy about whom he grants permission to. So either way, a famous person will know I exist after I make that call. I’d like to think that it might help my case that I’m just asking for some lines from a lesser-known song and not a huge blockbuster like “BOTW.”

Purim Katan (Mini-Purim) was Saturday night. Since it’s a leap year, there are two Purims this year, and the big one will be during spring break. Spring break at SUNY Albany has been made earlier since the Kegs and Eggs incident of 2011. On St. Patrick’s Day, students in Pine Hills smashed car windows, broke TVs and other appliances, and fought drunk in the street. The yearly Fountain Day was also cancelled indefinitely because of this.

I reused my nun costume from Halloween, and a few people didn’t even recognise me at first. I suppose that says something about how easily I could pass for a real nun!

14 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday

  1. I remember the great oldies stations of the 90’s too. I think it’s because most 90’s music was so bad, but the most popular station in my home town (among teenagers at the time) was an oldies station.

    Good luck with your e-pub pursuits. And have a wonderful week!


    1. If you think that’s shocking, I wrote the 406,000-word first draft of my Russian novel sequel in five months! It didn’t even occur to me that it was anything above and beyond, since it was like those books were writing me instead of me writing them.


  2. I really wanted to quote some 1950s song lyrics in one of my other WIPs but decided it would probably be way too much trouble to pursue permission. Who knows, maybe I’ll feel more ambitious about it one of these days. I hope it works out well for you though! Sounds like you’ve got a lot of writing projects on the go. I’m always envious of people who can balance more than one at a time. Good luck with all of them!


  3. Spotify is definitely one of my favorite things about the internet. I’ve found so much great music this way, and the ability to make my own playlists is simply awesome. I’m glad it’s helped you find some great old music! That stuff can be hard to track down, but so worth it.


  4. I think time away from a WiP is one of the best ways to see it more clearly. I tend to be on the wordy side, so it definitely helps me see where I can shed words. I can imagine you feel much the same way about snipping here and there. I remember thinking I’d never be able to write a whole book (so many words!), but then I was pulling my hair out at all the words I needed to lose lol.


  5. It’s kind of crazy how much a difference time away from a WIP can make! Also, go you for going through the trouble of getting the permissions for the lyrics. That process has always seemed very daunting. Good luck with it!


  6. Wow, you really know how to crank out the word count! Hmmm….note to self… start listening to The Hollies. They may possess unknown powers to help writers become crazy-prolific! 🙂 Good luck with the permissions you are seeking. I agree with Krispy – that seems like a very daunting process.


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