Boogie Writes

This blog was first seen in February of 2014 at Sunshine State Romance Authors. I am reprising it, because it is Musical Monday. Plus, Thursday was “Get Funky Day”, and I missed it. That is all.

 

Music has ruled my world since birth. I shimmied out of the womb with a bad case of Boogie Fever. I came by it honestly: my mom, a 40’s glamour girl, gave up her dancing career to marry my dad and have a family. My two older brothers are both musicians. LP records played nonstop during my childhood, introducing me to the many melodies and rhythms of human emotion.

My first record was Disney’s The Story of Thumper’s Great Race. As far as I was concerned it was a masterpiece of pure joy. Who could resist Thumper? I played it over and over, until I memorized every word. I learned about melancholy from Del Shannon’s “My Little Runaway.” The haunting melody of my mom’s “Goldfinger” opened my eyes to danger and mystery and the Beatles’ “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” introduced my six-year-old heart to young love.

My love affair with words began with listening to lyrics. Mom bought me an album with a collection of poems set to music. I loved “The Walrus and the Carpenter”, by Lewis Caroll. I still remember the tune to “My Grandfather’s Clock,” which I just discovered was written in 1876 by Henry Clay Work, a British author. Even then, I was drawn to historical writing. Who knows? Maybe that’s why my first novel is a historical romance. Once I could read, I consumed lyrics like candy and even now, lyrics keep me writing.

In college I studied creative writing and danced and sang professionally. Ah, college! Fast forward to disco in all its glory: every Friday night my small liberal arts college held a disco. It was joyful and liberating. After all, who can think about their problems while doing “the bump” with your dance partner to the Commodores’ “Brick House?”*(See below.) Certainly there was nothing profound about the lyrics: “She’s a brick house/ She’s mighty mighty/Just letting it all hang out.” Whatever! Disco wasn’t deep, but for me it was joyful and liberating. Dancing meant freedom, giving myself up to the bass beat and letting the music and lyrics fly me away.

Thirty years later, my fingers dance on the computer keyboard, creating romance novels. For me, writing and dancing will be forever linked. In the choreography of language, I find the freedom once found in dancing as I work to create plots with rhythm and characters with the range of emotions, in stories that I hope will entertain and satisfy.

In my column, I will share my thoughts on writing romance novels, my daily hustle, if you will, toward better writing and publication and the connection between my two loves, words and music. Just so you know, every so often, my body gets the “Boogie Fever” and I must get down with my bad self. Welcome to Boogie Writes. I hope you enjoy it.

*(For those of you too young to know what “the Bump” is, the dance consists of bumping hips with a partner, with various degrees of creativity and bad taste.)

If you’d like to read some more of my Boogie Writes columns and other great blogs about writing by my fellow members, check out the blog archives at:  http://www.sunshinestateromanceauthors.com

Newsletters, Aristotle and Procrastination

What do procrastination, newsletters, and Aristotle have in common?

Have you ever put something off for so long that it grows into a Mountain of Impossibility? I’ve been published since 2014, and have known perfectly well how important a newsletter is for promotion. Yet I just couldn’t seem to get out of my own way to do it, what with one thing and another.

But the upcoming release of my third book, Echoes of the Moon, in November has lit a fire under my…erm…you know, and I swallowed my dread and took the plunge. And guess what? Like many tasks that are anticipated with dread and fear, once I got going, it proved to be painless and more than a little  fun.

You know that saying, “A job well begun is half done?” It turns out the phrase was first coined by Aristotle. It got me thinking about the history of procrastination. Who was the first procrastinator in human history—-Adam? What chores did cavemen and cavewomen procrastinate? Figuring out that fire thing? Just couldn’t get around to inventing the wheel? Deboning a dinosaur? These are the kind of weighty questions I’ll ponder in my newsletter.

I’ll be sending it out on Sunday, and I hope I have more followers by then! (Hint, hint!) I’m looking forward to connecting with you in the newsletter, and doling out snippets of paranormal, humor, 18th Century history, and most of all, romance. I’ll so my best to provide fun giveaways, bonus material you’ll not receive anywhere else. I’ve got some fun things planned, and I hope you’ll join me.

Leave a comment to be in the running for an original coloring page, created by talented Florida artist, Andrea Hiotis, and inspired by book #1, Mercy of the Moon. The winner will be chosen by the International Man of Mystery on Sunday morning (10-1-17).

 

Makeover with Sara DelBeato

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Talented performer and singer, Sara DelBeato and I go way back.  The first time I saw her sing, she was about 8, and from the moment she opened her mouth, the audience was hers. She still brims with a contagious positive energy, and immense talent. When she hits that stage, it’s hers!

I was so happy to get reconnected with her recently, and having learned that she’s also an Aesthetician, and Younique presenter, we decided to give me a makeover with the amazing products that she uses onstage.

This isn’t just any makeover. It’s an “I Just Met My Deadline and I Look Like an Ogre and I’m Leaving My Cave Soon-Help me, Sara!” Makeover.

You see, I just sent my third book in the Rhythm of the Moon series to my editor at Wild Rose Press, which required me to hole up in my cave for 5 days minus family members, minus even the dog.  Now I have bags under my eyes the size of Montana. Will Sara be able to make me look human-er, smashing-for the Desert Dreams Conference Readers Event in Phoenix on June 3? I’ve no doubt.

While Sara was working her magic, we had a fun conversation. Sara DelBeato:

Jennifer: Thanks so much for the makeover, Sara!

Sara: Of course! It’s my pleasure! You look amazing before AND after. I love introducing people to this awesome makeup & skin care line, and seeing the incredible results.

Jennifer: When was the first time you realized you wanted to be a performer?

Sara: Oh, from the very start. Even as a kid I had that passion, and it just always felt like a given.

Jennifer: What was the first real gig you ever had?

Sara: Well, let’s see…I was already doing my own shows by the age of 10 at different venues throughout the state of Florida. I was opening for acts like the Smother Brothers, Larry Storch from “F Troop,” etc. I didn’t really discover the theatre until my teens; My first musical theatre performance was South Pacific.

 Jennifer: You’ve performed on cruise lines. What did you enjoy about that?

Sara: Everything, really! I love performing, I love traveling, and I love ship life. So, it’s a great fit for me. Also, I was able to meet a lot of very talented and wonderful people. Aside from the contracted production shows and assigned singing engagements, I was able to collaborate with other musicians on a fairly regular basis. That was really great.

Jennifer: It sounds like a blast. What’s your favorite gig so far?

Sara: That’s a tough one. I’d have to say playing Fanny Brice in Funny Girl, cruising the Hawaiian Islands with Norwegian Cruise Lines, and the show I’m currently working on: Raunchy Little Musical.

Jennifer: If you could sing a duet with anyone in the world, past or present, who would it be?

Sara: Ooh, great question! Louis Armstrong, Bobby Darin, Stevie Wonder or

Paul McCartney.

Jennifer: Do you have a favorite song? What’s your favorite musical?

Sara: I do! I have many favorites, but I’d have to say my very favorite is “Beyond the Sea.” As far as musicals go, I really love Gypsy.

Jennifer: How did you get into Younique makeup?

Sara: Well, back in 2010 I took some time off from performing to pursue another interest of mine: skin care/makeup. I became a Licensed

Aesthetician…which is basically a fancy way of saying Skin Care Specialist. I found that becoming a Presenter for Younique provided me an opportunity that would allow me to gain further exposure with the emphasis on cosmetic artistry. All the while incorporating the experience I have in the performing arts. Both fields blend beautifully…pun fully intended.

Jennifer: 😊What do you love about it?

Sara: I love the fact that I’m helping to uplift and empower women. That we’re connecting. I want women to recognize their beauty and self-worth with or without makeup. But if you love lipstick, and it makes you feel good to wear it, that’s the sort of happy that will shine right outta your face. I also get very excited about sharing Younique’s beautiful, natural-based products with everyone. They’re the cosmetic and skin care line I’d want someone to tell me about! Also, every purchase that’s made through a Younique Presenter also supports The Younique Foundation, a retreat for sexually abused women where they can go to begin their healing process.

Jennifer: That’s wonderful. What was your most embarrassing moment while performing? I’ll go first with my most embarrassing moment: At Boblo Island Amusement Park in 1980, I lost my wrap-around skirt while singing and dancing in front of 800 people.

Sara: Oh no! That’s a solid embarrassing moment for sure. LOL! I’ve had quite a few myself, but I had an experience not too long ago where I just BIT IT onstage. I love prat falling, but this was a very real fall and I was in some very high heels…all the while sporting one of the shortest skirts I’ve ever worn. It was one of those falls that make you question if the person is injured. When I finally got up, I was so flustered that I just kicked off the other heel and continued the scene sans shoes.

Jennifer: Yes, the show must go on. What has been your most triumphant moment performing so far?

Sara: I had the pleasure of performing at the prestigious Colonial Theatre in Boston, and that was an awesome feeling. But, I’d honestly have to say that they’re all triumphant in one way or another. Even the smallest gig. If I can make just one person in the audience smile, then that’s good enough for me.

Jennifer: That’s impressive. Thanks so much for making me over today, Sara! It was a lot of fun.

Sara: Thank YOU! I appreciate your wanting to collaborate, and look forward to some binge-reading!

Jennifer:  I can’t wait to hear you sing again, Sara!

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