Tag Archives: music

End of the year recap

2016 wasn’t a total dumpster fire on a floating garbage barge. As the year comes to a close I’m ignoring the shitshow and focusing on the goodness that 2016 brought me like:

  1. Keeping and exceeding my New Year’s Writing Resolutions to a) write 1 short story a month and b) submit at least one short story a week. I new end the year with 12 new shorts. I submitted my stories to over 150 contests/ literary magazines/ journals over the last 52 weeks and as a result:
  2. Publishing two flash fiction pieces in August. “Graylight” appeared in The Dime Show Review and “Agenda” appeared in 200 cc’s. I also placed “Self-Check” in Cleaver, but that won’t appear until March 2017.
  3. Writing nonfiction. My essay “Going the Distance” about running the 2008 Boston Marathon appeared on the November issue of The Creative Truth Journal.
  4. Contributing to the Hand2Hold Organization’s official blog Preemie Babies 101.
  5.  Pitching and selling my first freelance piece in eight years to Mom.me. You can read my micro-preemie piece here. This also led me to recording my first podcast.img_3100
  6. Self-publishing my f/f ya romantic comedy Secret Heart in October. The tragic events of last June hit close to home and inspired me to bring something frothy and fun into the world sooner. Secret Heart has sold more copies than I imagined and the feedback I’m getting from teen readers cemented how happy I am with my choice to self-publish. I even visited my first local GSA meeting in December at Shorecrest High School.
  7. My poem “Postpartum” was a finalist in the PNWA poetry contest and four of my short stories were finalists in various contests.
  8. Finding my voice again and starting two new projects: a middle grade novel and a new YA novel.

I’m really proud of what I accomplished this year. I hope to continue to be as prolific in 2017 as I was in 2016. My goals are much the same as they were, although I’d like to finish both of these projects and get them out into the world.

I have two gifts for you. The first: I’m giving away a total of 10 Kindle copies of Secret Heart via Amazon. The first contest ends tomorrow night (January 1st) so enter quick. The second contest ends Wednesday, January 4th. Yes you can enter and win both.

The second gift is this new song by Regina Spektor.

*waves goodbye to 2016*

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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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Tune in Tuesday: Father John Misty – Chateau Lobby #4

This might be my favorite song right now. It’s always on when I’m at the writing café.

People are boring
But you’re something else completely
Let’s take our chances

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Tune in Tuesday: ” Cold Clear Moon”

This song has nothing to do with my WIP and everything to do with the mad crazy love I feel for my 11 week old son and the Pacific Northwest.

Tomo Nakayama – Cold Clear Moon (Official Music V…: http://youtu.be/8iaEEG1GveY

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Tune in Tuesday: “All I Want”

This new song by Dawn Golden has been a wrecking ball to my heart and I can’t stop listening to it/ watching the video even though it makes me an tsunami of sad. It reminds me of a cross between old (and good Coldplay) and The National.

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July 1, 2014 · 1:09 pm

Tune in Tuesday: I’ve Got a Secret

Other than Tegan and Sara’s “Closer,” if there was one song that defined SECRET HEART it would be “I’ve Got a Secret” by Kate Nash.

I’ve got a secret, I can’t tell you

You would judge
You would judge
You would judge
You would judge

Why can’t we be friends?
We can’t pretend you don’t love me
You don’t love me

Why can’t I kiss her lips?
Why can’t I be with him?
Homophobic pricks

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May 13, 2014 · 2:15 pm