Category Archives: music

Secret Heart Playlist Track 7: Stadium Love

I don’t remember the first time I listened to a Metric song but I remember instantly falling head over heels with the Canadian band’s 2008 hit “Help I’m Alive.” If watch movies (and pay attention to the soundtrack/ score) they might be a familiar sound. Their music has been featured in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

Fantasies (2009) is my favorite of their albums. I love the song “Stadium Love” which pits animals against each other and the melody is so infectious it’s dangerous.

Wanna make a bet
Odds are neck to neck taking off the gloves
Spider versus bat
Tiger versus rat, owl versus dove

Every living thing pushed into the ring
Fight it out to wow the crowd
Guess you thought you couldn’t just watch
No one’s getting out

Without stadium love
Without stadium love

“Stadium Love” felt like that kind of song Avery’s band Detonate the Gazelle would cover during one of their shows and I had to include it in the playlist.

Want more of the Secret Heart  playlist? You can find the songs here.

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Secret Heart Soundtrack Track 6: Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want

I’m a big fan of the music duo She & Him comprised of Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward. I love the soulful 60’s vibe they give their songs, especially their cover of the Smith’s
Please, Please, Please, Let me Get What I Want,” that first appeared on the soundtrack to one of my favorite movies 500 Days of Summer.  And while I like to think that Avery is old school in some of her music preferences, I don’t think she’s really discovered the Smith’s yet. I think the longing (and possibility) that Zooey D. belts out echoes Avery’s own feelings for Madison in this particular scene of Secret Heart.

Haven’t had a dream in a long time
See, the life I’ve had
Can make a good man bad

So for once in my life
Let me get what I want
Lord knows, it would be the first time
Lord knows, it would be the first time

You can find a more songs on the Secret Heart soundtrack here.

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Secret Heart Soundtrack Track 5: La Bamba

Fun fact about me: just like Avery in Secret Heart in middle school I had to memorize “La Bamba” by Ritchie Valens for extra credit. I still know the entire thing by heart and will occasionally sing it when asked, though it is not my go to Karaoke song (the B-52’s “Love Shack,” is but you’ll have to wait on that).

This song is infectious and plays during a key scene early on in the book. I dare you not to chair dance to this song on this rainy Saturday. And remember if you’re going to dance La Bamba, you need a little bit of grace.

Want more of the Secret Heart soundtrack, you can find the songs here.


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Secret Heart Soundtrack Track 4: I’m Making Eyes At You

“I’m Making Eyes At You” is one of my favorite songs in the Secret Heart soundtrack. The beat is so infectious  it’s hard not to dance in my chair. This song is almost as good as “I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You.” 

So you want my affection?
We both know you’ll only throw it away,
But if you must have a go, fine, ok!
If you must have a go, then go away!

Please don’t, please don’t speak.
Last night has no doubts.
In between the dreams.
Even as we speak.

This track is perfect for describing Avery’s unrequited feelings for Madison early on in the book.  And Since Secret Heart is set in Florida, it was important to have a (Jacksonville) Florida indie band represented.

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Secret Heart Soundtrack Track 3: Modern Love

I’ve been a fan of Bloc Party since their album Silent Alarm released in 2004. The song, “Modern Love” still haunts me, so naturally it made it’s way to my playlist while writing Secret Heart and then it magically worked it’s way into a scene with Madison and Avery.

What are you holding out for?
What’s always in the way?
Why so damn absent minded?
Why so scared of romance?
This modern love breaks me
This modern love wastes me
Do you want to come over and kill some time?
Throw your arms around me


I dare you to watch this acoustic performance of “Modern Love” at KEXP in 2012 and not cry.


You can find more songs on the Secret Heart Soundtrack here.

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Secret Heart Soundtrack Track 2: Closer

Avery is pretty much a fictional version of Tegan and Sara, so it’s only natural that the soundtrack to Secret Hearis full of Tegan and Sara songs. Also, a little known fact: I was at a Tegan and Sara show in 2012 when the seed of this story was planted (at the time I was calling it  Prom and Prejudice) and during NaNoWriMo in 2012 I had “Closer” on repeat.




And here’s the official video with dogs!

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Secret Heart Soundtrack Track 1: This is Anarchy

In creating my soundtrack for Secret Heart, I wanted to include bands I love. The first song on Avery’s playlist in the book is “This is Anarchy” by Tacocat, a feminist-pop quartet from Seattle.

Smash the state, dirty plates, sleep all day so I can stay up late

This is anarchy

Just can’t do the daily grind, finally found somethin’ I can get behind


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Tune in Tuesday: My Silver Lining

In light of all the sad shit floating around the world, this is my new “pick me up” song by First Aid Kit for those rough days.

I don’t want to wait anymore I’m tired of looking for answers
Take me some place where there’s music and there’s laughter
I don’t know if I’m scared of dying but I’m scared of living too fast, too slow
Regret, remorse, hold on, oh no I’ve got to go
There’s no starting over, no new beginnings, time races on
And you’ve just gotta keep on keeping on
Gotta keep on going, looking straight out on the road
Can’t worry ’bout what’s behind you or what’s coming for you further up the road
I try not to hold on to what is gone, I try to do right what is wrong
I try to keep on keeping on
Yeah I just keep on keeping on

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Reflections and Resolutions

I can’t believe 2013 is almost over.

Actually I CAN believe it because I’m looking at a calendar and today is Tuesday, December 31st.

You know that saying that goes “The days are long but the years are short?” Somehow all of my days in 2013 seemed extra short.

It was a busy year as years go. I traveled to Florida, Alaska (via cruise), and to Vancouver, B.C, I spent nearly two weeks wearing a backpack and exploring the rain-soaked countries of Croatia, Slovenia, Bosnia, and Montenegro with the husband in May.

I got an agent

I wrote two full YA novels and 1/4 of another

I finished NaNoWriMo

I started a SEKRIT PROJECT and started thinking about another

I got my first check for selling a short story and I wrote something for LITERARY REJECTIONS


I also took a lot of unflattering photos

I tried to run a half marathon but was side-lined by platar faciitis

I ate a lot of pizza

I discovered Cards Against Humanity

I didn’t win the lottery

I read 230 books. Most of them were amazeballs. A few sucked balls

I went to ALA in Chicago

I didn’t quit my day job

I dyed my hair pink again in an effort to relive 2007


I took a lot of selfies with my dogs

More shit probably happened, but I can’t remember.

Which brings me to 2014.

I’m lousy with resolutions. I never keep them. This year I vow to do only two things in an effort to keep things simple:

1) Not be an asshat. This covers pretty much everything.

2) Stay healthy.

Of course there’s a ton of stuff I want to happen in 2014, and things I want to try. Maybe I have a picture book or MG novel in me. Maybe I’ll finally sell LETHAL or SECRET HEART or something else. Maybe I’ll write THREE books next year.

If 2014 brings me half of what 2013 did, and I stay healthy and not act like an asshat, I think things will be okay.

And with that I leave you with Camera Obscura’s “New Year’s Resolution”  which has the best opening lines of a song ever:

New year’s resolution – to write something of value
New year’s resolution – to write something would be fine


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Rejection Playlist Volume 3, Track 10 “I Don’t Love Anyone”

This Belle and Sebastian song has been around awhile but I only recently heard it on the GIRLS soundtrack (which is AMAZEBALLS) and it’s been haunting me in a good way ever since. In addition to this being perfect for the playlist, it’s also quite handy to sing to yourself in line at the post office or in Costco, especially when you are feeling all ragey and murderous to everyone in front of you.


I don’t love anyone
You’re not listening even now
You’re playing with someone
You’re playing with someone else

And if there’s one thing that I learned when I was a child
It’s to take a hiding

I don’t love anything
Not even Christmas
Especially not that
I don’t love anything


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December 14, 2013 · 9:02 am