Writing and Music

I find listening to music very inspirational and can repeat the lyrics of many songs. I listen during the day when I’m at work, and I listen at home when I write. I listen when I walk the dog. My mix is truly eclectic, ranging from classic country to modern alternative.

I also am obsessed with watching musical talent competitions from American Idol to the Voice. Over the past few years, my interest has faded past the auditions. Once they reach the live shows, I feel that the contestants turn into manufactured clones and sing the same songs. I can only take Celine Dion so many times.

I admit though I did enjoy watching Meghan Linsey on the Voice last season. My husband and I had rooted for her when she was on CMT Duets as part of Steel Magnolias. I hope to see more new music from her and was disappointed that she didn’t win the Voice.

And, last night when I was watching the Voice I was captured by the audition of Krista Hughes. For those who missed it, she sang “Angel of Montgomery.” Her rendition was so moving that it brought tears to my eyes. I didn’t think anyone other than Bonnie Raitt could do that song justice but she convinced me. I am rooting for her.

As I write this, I am listening to a mixture of Jonny Lang and Johnny Cash. Perfect writing music. I hope to complete the final draft of Neighborhood Watch today as I sing along.


Handling Change or Avoiding it?

I know change can be difficult for many of us. I’ve experienced more than my share of change this year. In October, I switched jobs which included launching a new website, hiring and training a new office staff. That was just professionally and a lot to handle on its own but compounded as there is more to me than work.

It didn’t include the personal change in my life. I published my first cozy mystery novel, Murder by the Spoonful. Over the summer, I worked on the second book in the series, Pickin’ Murder. Now I am working on the first in a new series, Neighborhood Watch. That is the fun part of change for me — creating and writing the stories. I have so many ideas but am only limited by time.

And, in March, we lost our cat. He had an incurable disease at 18 months old so we had no choice. After a few weeks, we missed having a cat (except our dog — you can read his feelings about cats in a previous post). We went to the shelter to adopt. Many local shelters wouldn’t adopt just one kitten so we ended up with two. I’m glad we did.

Pixel, a little orange guy, and his sister, Terra, a gray tabby, are a lot of fun. They play constantly and sleep together. He is lost without her and cries if he can’t find her.

Pixel with his paw around Terra.
Pixel with his paw around Terra.

The kittens have adapted well to our house, even enjoying sneaking up on Bandit, our Australian shepherd. Pixel especially is very curious and greets visitors in the same way Bandit does. Terra runs upstairs the minute the doorbell rings and doesn’t come back downstairs. So, I was surprised this week when Pixel didn’t adapt to the newest addition in our house.

Tony, my stepson, brought home a scratching post with a dangling feather and bell for them. He placed it in the living room. Pixel took off the minute he saw it and refused to come back downstairs. Terra played with it. After a day Pixel would come down but the minute he saw it again he took off. I finally moved it out to the garage and he played in the living room last night.

I was shocked. I never expected one of my cats to have a problem with change and especially the addition of a new toy.

How do you handle change?

New adventures

This weekend has been a round of firsts for me and my family. . . It started on Friday. My stepson, his friend and I took my niece to Ikea after she realized that her new apartment did not come furnished. We spent several hours searching for everything a college student needs — bed, dresser, desk, chair and storage. It was a great experience for me shopping with young adults and enjoying their point of view. We especially enjoyed the children’s section. After that, they ran back to Evanston to build the furniture. I went home to have dinner with my patient husband.

Fun at Ikea
Fun at Ikea

And, then today, I took a break from the community wide garage sale to join the first ever Mystery Writers Revealed Facebook event. I had the opportunity to chat with some cozy mystery readers and other writers. During my hour, I was able to share some of my passions — writing, antiquing, shopping and travel. They offered some great ideas of future places to shop such as the Allegen Antique Market in Michigan.  I sense a road trip coming on in the near future. Who knows maybe Anne and CC, the stars of Murder by the Spoonful, will blog about it.

Finally, tomorrow, I will be at my first book signing at one of my favorite places, Affordable Antiques in Naperville. They have been gracious enough to let me crash in on their annual fall festival. Of course, I’m hoping I will have some time to wander around myself. and look around. Who knows what I will find?  I will be there starting at 11:30 a.m. and looking forward to it. If you are in the area, please drop by.