The Writer’s Jukebox: “Medieval Anthem” by Peter Crowley


A friend of mine shared an entire playlist of upbeat, Celtic-style music that’s just excellent to write to.  This particular piece is great for fantasy settings – when I hear it, I immediately think of Camelot from BBC’s Merlin, the world of Princess Merida (yes, I know she’s Scottish, not Irish), or the rustic homeland of one of my new Storybooking characters.  (More on that another time.)

This song practically screams of freedom, wide open natural spaces, medieval carnivals, and the optimistic starting points of great adventures.  (As for the less optimistic midpoints of said great adventures, I’ll have to refer you to that gloomy old song the dwarven party sings in The Hobbit….)


Opening Up about After the Fall

On the one hand, I want you guys to know when I’m working on a project, so you know that this whole Allison the Writer isn’t dead.  On the other, I don’t like talking about my projects, because there’s always the chance that this undisciplined procrastinator of a writer will run out of steam and shelf the thing forever until I get more inspiration.

I think that at this point, it’s safe to say that this project has actually taken off.  So I’m going to ramble a bit about it.

So I’m writing a book again.  I’ve been thinking of what I want out of the experience, what my goals are for the project,

  • Self-publish something that’s bigger and better than Seaport.  I could work on that story for millions of years if I so desired, but why should I obsess over fixing its flaws if I could just take it for what it is, and write something better to prove that I’ve improved since then?
  • Experiment.  Experiment with new themes, a new setting, a new voice, and challenge myself to use them.  For this story, I’m writing in the first-person present-tense.  I am, not I did.  I’m walking, not I walked.  I used to hate reading that narrative style; I also hated reading poetry.   But I gave writing poetry a try and I rather like it now.  Perhaps I’ll enjoy this too.  Perhaps it’s that little change in scenery that’ll make this book all the better.
  • Improve.  Take everything I learned the hard way about Seaport, everything wrong with it, and apply what I learned from those mistakes to After the Fall.  For starters, I really rushed with Seaport.  I thought I could write something over a lazy summer and publish Draft 2 to the world.  I’m writing a novel now – this will take time.  I’m hoping to be done with Draft 1 by the end of this year, and then I’ll bug all my writing friends about beta-reading.
  • Novelize.  I’ve been writing for years, but never have I actually written more than 15,000 words in a project (to my knowledge).  The average length for a middle-grade novel is 30-50k words.  I’m aiming for at least 25-30k.  Mind you, I believe in quality over quantity – the word count isn’t what matters, but I feel that if I didn’t rush myself, Seaport could’ve been a novel, not a novelette.  I want to see if it’s possible for me to write an evenly paced and substantial novel-length body of work.

That said…


And so it begins.


After the Fall – Book Cover Mock-Up #1

Sometimes, I design mock-up covers just for the fun of it.  I can’t draw to save my life anymore, so this is like the best way for me to produce “concept art” for my story without breaking the bank by commissioning others to do it for me. 😛


What do you guys think?  A couple of months ago, I polled some of my friends on Young Writers Society and got this feedback about changes I could make: Continue reading →

101 Lies Writers Tell

This is amazingly, surprisingly true.  All of it.

You Write Fiction

They won’t all apply to you, but I guarantee some of them will. (I thought it would be really hard to come up with 101 entries, but once I got the ball rolling…well, let’s just say the list didn’t take long.)

1. I don’t need to write this down.

2. No one will notice this plot hole.

3. I’ll remember that idea in the morning.

4. I can get through this chapter without coffee.

5. I’m a decent proofreader.

6. My friend’s a decent proofreader.

7. That was the last typo.

8. I can write while I watch.

9. Just a quick five-minute Twitter break.

10. No, I don’t actually have a crush on my character.

11. This rewrite should only take an hour or two.

12. I’ll save my snack for when I finish the chapter.

13. Yes, I take a break every hour.

14. That two-star review didn’t…

View original post 872 more words

The Writer’s Jukebox: “Gold” by Jeff Williams ft. Casey Lee Williams

I recently got into the anime-inspired series RWBY (I’ll eventually review the series on the blog), and the soundtrack is an interesting melting pot of genres, from very aggressive rock to some cute stuff that’s reminiscent of 70s disco.  On a whole, I’m not a fan of most of the songs on the soundtrack, but this song is just so upbeat and catchy.  All I have to do is turn it on and I’m motivated. 😀


Those soaring vocals may be a little shrill for some, so here’s this instrumental version as well:


I hope this tune in my Writer’s Jukebox helps you get into a good writerly zone as well!  Stay tuned for my next musical pick. 🙂

The Writer’s Jukebox: Songs that Help Me Write

I’m inspired in part by the a series of posts on Jason H. Abbott’s blog, Aethereal Engineer, where he shares awesome music from around the web to help get those writerly creative juices flowing.  Additionally, my friend Heather from Young Writers Society started the “#songoftheday” tag, which I’ve butted into from time to time with my favorite golden oldies.

Anyway, I’m going to start a series on this blog called The Writer’s Jukebox.  Every so often, I’ll link to a songs that get me into a good writing mood.  Stay tuned! 🙂

Review: The Beauty Thief by Rachael Ritchey

Disclaimer: I was given a free, digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions expressed herein are my own.

This is the story of a girl whose heart was stolen, and not in a good way.  The beautiful Princess Caityn is well-known throughout the Twelve Realms for her kind disposition and graceful features.  She’s loved by many, and envied by few, including some with twisted motives…. Continue reading →