Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Two Ideas

There were two stories in my mind. When I sat down to think about them, neither worked. I couldn't see how to flesh them out and make them full out novels. So I put them on the back burner. I focused on other ones which I fell in love with.

Every once in awhile they would pop up in my mind but I never gave them much thought. There were other things to think about and worry about.

Then, one day, I saw they could go together. I have no idea how I came up with it because individually it would seem, they would never fit and the story would be all over the place. But somehow I really think it'll work.

I'm so excited about this story and it'll be my NaNoWriMo project for 2014. Which is awesome because until I figured this out I had no clue what I would be writing about in November. With October coming this week I can't wait to dive into my NaNoWriMo planning and plotting. One of my favorite parts of NaNoWriMo is being able to dedicate so much to just plotting, planning, character development, research and world build building.

But I'm also nervous about this project. It'll be one of the most personal stories I've written and I've only told one person my ideas. So, no, I'm not telling the rest of you either. At least not yet. (Yes, that includes you mom!) But, the author Neil Gaiman says if you don't feel like you're standing in the street naked you aren't doing it right. So... This is a good thing then according to that.

But when you have a story to tell, you have to let it out, the world needs your story. 

Linking up with Sarah Anne Hayes: http://sarahannehayes.com/blog/the-story-you-need-to-share/

Monday, September 29, 2014

Music Monday!

Okay friends, it's going to be a quick one because I'm still recovering from my sister's wedding on Saturday (you can tell by how scratchy my voice still is). You can see some of my favorite pictures on my Instagram by clicking here. You should follow me too if you don't already. ;-) Hehe yay for shameless plugs!

This is the song which was stuck in my head when I woke up this morning. I know it's totally overplayed - but I can't get enough of it right now!

If you can't see the video above here's the YouTube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7PCkvCPvDXk

Cause you know I'm all about that bass about that bass no treble....

What songs have been stuck in your head lately? Link up!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Music Monday- Wedding Style!

My life has been completely taken over by my sisters wedding. If you were to walk into my house all you would see are flower arrangements, bride and maid of honor t-shirts, flower pots, glass jars for the candy table, etc. It's wedding central here in the Hornburg household. My poor dad. He told me the other day "I can't wait until everything is back to normal."

Sigh. Me too.

Don't get me wrong. I'm excited for my sisters wedding and it's going to be a great day. However, it'll be nice to be able to actually use the kitchen counter and table again for something other than centerpieces.

What I did do though this week is prepare a playlist of music for the day of the wedding. The hair stylist and the bridesmaids are arriving bright and early on Saturday morning and I want to be sure we have the perfect mood set for the big day.

Here are 10 of the songs I have on the playlist:

I love the movie About Time and this song from it is so sweet and perfect for weddings.

Because obviously you can't be getting ready for a wedding without this song going through your head.

Times like this I just can't get enough of old classics.

This is their first dance song. So awesome!

A modern song- but perfect for saying "I Do!"

So... does this song remind anyone else of the TV show Growing Pains? Because I remember when Mike was going to get married he had cold feet and his dad told him about this song which helped him when he was going to marry the mom. Whenever I hear this song that's what I think of and since it was about getting married obviously it has to go on a wedding playlist.

My sister and I LOVE Disney and there's nothing quite like a great Disney love song. I found this medley for the ukulele not long ago and I've been trying to learn how to play it because it's so perfect!

Say what you will about Taylor Swift - I love her and I love this song. You don't? Oh well. I'll just shake it off... shake it off..

Obviously I have to have a song from a musical on the playlist, and "All I Ask of You" is one of my sister's favorites.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Rock Angel Review

Rock Angel
Jeanne Bogino
Publisher: SparkPress
Genre: Young/New Adult Realistic Fiction
Release Date: September 16, 2014- TODAY!

Basic Summary Without Spoilers:

Shan is a young girl living on her in NYC in the early 1990s after a rough childhood. She's a brilliant guitar player who joins a promising rock band her roommates boyfriend is in, and is run by their talented keyboard player Quinn. After hearing her play a gig one night, and hearing her voice, Quinn begins to call her Angel. But there's a hitch - she's a drug addict. 

My Thoughts:

The Premise

Stories about musicians intrigue me. I don't read them very often, but whenever I do I'm always "I should read more books like this." Rock Angel was no exception. While I am not a rock girl by any means, and I don't play music for a living, I could still relate to parts of the story about how the music drives them, learning to play, improving their skills, writing music, etc. In a way, most artists of any kind would be able to connect. I may not write music, but I write stories, for example. Or even just the itch to want to play their instruments and learn more. When Shan was having the "joneses" for playing her guitar, I had to admit, I wanted to get my hands on my ukulele. 

I had a rough time with all of the drug issues though. It's because I personally have zero experience with that type of lifestyle. I'm pretty sure the worst I've ever done, I had a slight headache because I drank just a tad too much. So... sometimes it's hard for me to understand the mindset. (Thanks D.A.R.E.! I'm the one kid you worked on!) However, once the characters are addicted I'm more understanding because if you're addicted you're addicted, it's a disease. It's the "why did you start in the first place" I always have issues with. These are all personal things though, and nothing to do with the quality of the writing. The author, Jeanne Bogino, did a wonderful job of making you love and sympathize with the characters. From my limited experience, she was able to portray drug addiction in an honest way and I definitely learned more about it. There were different issues which came up later in the book I had never considered before and it was interesting. I just can't help but wonder how someone who actually knows more about drug addiction would take this book. I'd love to hear their opinion so I would have a clearer idea of what it's like.

The Characters

I loved these characters. Sometimes they drove me up a wall because Shan and Quinn are so stubborn and make awful choices! But they were real. Even through their mistakes I loved them and was rooting for them. I would have loved to get to know the other band members a bit better though. Shan and Quinn were the main characters, so most of the focus was on them. We also got to know Debbie, Shan's roommate. However, I would love to learn more about Dave, Dan, and Ty. Especially Ty - I felt as though he got the least amount of focus out of everyone in the band.

The Love Story

There was so much angst in the beginning! Between Shan's drug issues and Quinn's issues with commitment it drove me insane. I'll give Shan credit though - she was far more patient with him during that time period than I would have been. 

There was a point where there were SO MANY sex scenes. I can understand an author putting a couple in here and there. But I felt as though there was a whole section of the book where it was scene after scene after scene and I was like "I GET IT!"

For a while I was very concerned with their relationship being too co-dependent, but as the story went on I was rooting for them 110%. They were real people, with real issues, who were trying to make it work. Just like the rest of us. Only they were rock stars.


I enjoyed this book a surprising amount. The very beginning hits you hard with the drug issues and I was worried I wouldn't get into the story because I wouldn't be able to relate or understand the characters mindsets. But, thankfully, I was wrong. The characters were real and I loved them, and I loved peeking into their rock star lifestyle and everything which goes into it. There were times I felt the story dragged on a bit and I wondered "where is this going?" but then it would pick back up and go on track again. I saw in the back of the book there was a sneak preview of the next one, Angel on High, and I hope I can read that one eventually as well.

I rated Rock Angel 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads.

Note: I received a free eARC of Rock Angel through NetGalley.com in exchange for an honest reivew.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Falling Slowly

One of the things I've loved the most about learning to play the ukulele is that I'm seeing songs in a new way. Or maybe the way I used to when I played instruments regularly that I'm getting back to. My big goal when learning to play a song is also getting it memorized so I can pick up and play whenever I want to. I want to have a decent size repertoire in my mind so when asked to play, I don't have to be all "well I need to go find my music for that song..."

In memorizing music, you see it and hear it differently. You learn the ins and outs of the words and melodies. You figure out your own way to play it and sing it. Making it your own. You notice different things about the piece you never noticed before. I've learned I listen to the song over and over again so I can be sure I get the right feel for it and know exactly how it should be.

You'd think after awhile I would get tired of these songs - but in fact it's the opposite. I learn to love them even more. I've even been learning some I never would have though of before but now that I've decided to play it - I'm in love.

One of the songs I've been trying to learn is "Falling Slowly" from the movie and musical Once. It's such a beautiful and simple song and I love everything about it. I'll share two versions. One is the original from the movie, which is amazing. The second version is from the musical, which is the version I usually listen to.

What songs have you been listening to lately? Link up!

Friday, September 12, 2014

I Don't Have "The One"

A few weeks ago, I was on the phone with a good friend (who is also one of my favorite writing partners) about her most recent writing project and her use of soul mates in the story. We talked about how, especially in fantasy writing, soul mates are wonderful plot tools. While it can be cliche at times, if you do it well it make make for a great plot piece.

Then, not long ago, Nadine wrote a blog piece about how she doesn't believe in soul mates. She talked about how she loves her boyfriend, but doesn't think they are soul mates. It's a fantastic post and you can read it by clicking here.

But then, a day or two ago I was on the phone with a other good friend. She recently went to a wedding in her hometown and was able to catch up with a good friend of hers. "We're soulmates," she told me. "We're not getting married or anything like that. It's not romantic and we're friends." 

Needless to say, I've been contemplating the idea of soulmates a lot lately. 

Like Nadine, I'm not entirely sure I believe in them. Yes, I do think God has a hand in the people we meet in life and everything. However, having that "one" person be "it?" I'm not so sure. Thinking in terms of marriage, what if someone's spouse dies and they marry again? Which was one their soulmate, the first marriage or the second? What if both were truly wonderful, healthy, and happy marriages? This is just one example I can think of where I'm not sure if the soulmate idea works. It might be great for storytelling, but in real life... I'm not so sure.

But I think my friend is onto something when she said her soulmate wasn't romantic. She was telling me how for some reason beyond her explanation they just worked. When they are together something clicks and she can't explain it for any other reason than that. When I look back on some of my relationships with friends and family I understand what she means. There are some people for some reason or another it just works. 

If there are such things as soulmates, I think we need to expand our definition of the word. First, our soulmate may not just be the person we marry or end up with. A soulmate can be anybody. A friend, a sibling, parent, cousin, etc. I can see in my mind the different people in my life where I can tell someone in our spirits connect. We work together in a way it doesn't work with other people. They are people I will never be romantically involved with, but my connection to them is still just as strong.

It makes me think of a quote from Sex and the City where Carrie wonders if maybe our friends are our real soulmates and boys are just there for fun. I'm not sure if I agree with the last part of her statement, but I do like the idea of our friends being our soulmates too. Who says love has to only be romantic? (Also - the amount of times I quote Sex and the City on this blog scares me sometimes.)

This doesn't mean it's always easy though. If we are going to say there is such a thing as soulmates, we need to stop buying into the lie it'll always be easy. Even with these people in my life we still have to work at it. If we're far away from each other we need to make a lot of effort to stay connected. Even with the ones who are close by, it takes effort. Schedules conflict, we still fight and hurt each other sometimes, and we have to work at forgiveness and communication. 

Even if you have a soulmate, you're still human. We still fail each other sometimes, and we need to learn to work through it.

The last thing I think we need to change about soulmates is the idea we can only have one. Why just one? Why can't our souls connect to more than one person? Especially if we're talking about adding friendship and family to the picture. Why can't your soulmates be your spouse, your best friend, and a sibling for example? They each bring something different to your life which cannot be replaced. 

We need to stop acting as though if the love you have for someone isn't romantic, it's not as strong. 

Romantic love is amazing and powerful and I don't want to act as though it's not. Because it is and it's a beautiful thing! If you find your soulmate in this type of relationship, I think that's amazing. But we still need our friends and our family just as much. Someday I might meet the love of my life and our spirits might connect in a way I can't explain. But that doesn't mean it cancels out the other connections I've made with my family and friends.

My soul connects to all of them.

Does God have that one single person for you in life? Maybe. I'm not sure. If he has given you "the one" - that's awesome. But maybe there isn't just one person who is your soulmate. Maybe it's not a boyfriend or husband or wife or whoever. Maybe you have a small handful of people you connect with on a level you can't explain.

No matter what it is - it's beautiful.

Linking up with the Faith and Fellowship blog hop.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Disney Music Monday

It's Music Monday again!

Since I'm a terrible blogger - I didn't get this up last week. It was Labor Day... so it's okay... right? No? Darn.

Anyways, since I missed last week I'll do the monthly theme today. Disney music!

I know everyone is probably sick and tired of Frozen and the song "Let it Go." We've heard it a million times and it's overdone. I get it. But guys... I just can't get enough! I still love it! Especially when one of my favorite youtubers did a cover of the song not long ago. She has a fantastic voice and I'm totally in love with her cover of the song!

Also- I still say this song is the theme of my life at the moment. 

What Disney songs can't you get enough of? Or what are you listening to at the moment? Link up and let me know!