I Set My Path in Words in 2016

This year has been full of trial and error. I set some goals. I achieved some of them. Regardless of the type of feedback I receive from here on, I feel a thousand times better about myself than I did before I pressed the submit/publish button and put my heart and soul out there for the world to scrutinize in the form of my blog and my book.

I still have yet to publish Sunlight, Coffee and Roses, but it is coming soon. The agenda for January & February 2017:

  • Publish three book reviews on my book blog: http://letarawritesbookreviews.wordpress.com
  • Design book covers for the ideas that I have in my head for future projects.
  • Publish Sunlight, Coffee and Roses
  • Continue spreading the word about Reflection in the Music

As emotionally draining as this year has been, I’m glad to have experienced. It has been a time of growth. Indeed, it has been a time for taking steps forward into success and freedom. It has been a time for defining who I am and what I represent.–what represents me. Thankful for both the trials and the errors, I take every word I receive in constructive criticism and make improvements in how I present what I represent. I’m proud of the work I did on my books.

Though I neither wrote nor published this poem this year, the feelings I expressed when I wrote it still ring true today. Thank you for reading, commenting, liking and sharing my work. I look forward to sharing even more with you from now until forever.

 

Never Too Much, Never Enough

Sometimes I feel like crying
Sometimes I feel like dying
At times it feels like the whole world is lying
Deceiving me, saying my dreams can come true
Work hard and pay what’s due
I work til there’s little else to do
Yet still I feel so blue
Awake day and night
With times so tough
Sometimes my work just isn’t enough

Good health
Great wealth
Don’t work, don’t eat
Work all the time
Defeating poverty is a feat
Low wage at old age
Times still so rough
All that I do, yet still
Not enough

Love
Life
Love-life so lonely
Gave away my all when all was my only
Headache
Heartache
Feelings that I cannot shake
My heart and mind so full of stuff that nothing
Nothing ever seems to be enough

Conquer it all
I will not stall
My heart
My mind
I will reach out and touch
Something that’s new
Someone not so blue
I will conquer
I will touch
My work, my passion is never too much

© LeTara Moore, 2016

Retrospective

Reflecting on Song Choices

I thought I’d take a moment to go back and reflect on my exactly how my book Reflection in the Music came about and how it ties into the Discover Challenge this week. After all, music plays a huge role in my writing and was essential in the creation of my novella. The publishing of my first book was huge for me, so as I work to publish my next book I can’t help but to sometimes think back to a few years ago when I said to myself I wanted to publish.

It all started with a broken heart and a Billie Holiday song. Good Morning Heartache. In 2012 I wrote a scene that heavily revolved around that song. The scene was one of the main characters looking back on her past with Billie Holiday singing in the background egging her on. Might as well get used to you hanging around. Good morning heartache. Sit down. That song set the tone for the character who later became known as Pea. She’s sad, she’s confused and she’s invited heartache into her life by not letting go of her past to be able to embrace her present. Miss Holiday recorded more than one version of this song, but the version shared here is most haunting and what really motivated the character of Pea.

Sherri, the best friend of Pea, existed back in the original drafts of yesteryear, but didn’t initially have the presence to warrant a theme song. Finally, after beginning the developments of the other characters it hit me. Vanity 6 whose lead singer was Vanity aka Denise Matthews. Sherri’s life doesn’t totally parallel that of Denise’s, but vanity is a tough hurdle for Sherri to overcome. To introduce Sherri, I used a number of Vanity 6 and Prince references, even a nod to the Mary Jane Girls, however, Nasty Girl is Sherri.

Melissa. Her character contains such innocence and naivete. Writing her introductory chapter is what inspired the title Reflection in the Music. I remember watching a documentary on Minnie Riperton a few years ago and being blown away and saddened at the same time. She was such a sweet spirit and her amazing vocal capabilities reflected that. You could hear it in the way she sang, even when the lyrics she sang weren’t all that innocent. Totally the opposite of the Nasty Girl, but a powerful delivery still.

Finally, there’s Jane. Jane has lived with me for years and she may one day get her own book. There’s so much to tell about her. Ultimately, a song my Miss Donna Summer was what I most associated with her. The song really describes her starting point in this story.

I had several other songs on the playlist, too as I made my way through this book. Every now and then I’d listen to something different, but mostly kept the same songs on repeat. An eclectic and unusual mix: R. Kelly’s Cookie, Beyonce’s Yonce’, Otis Redding’s Try a Little Tenderness, Rihanna’s B**** Better Have My Money, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Led Zeppelin, Ro James, Van Hunt. I’d gain energy from certain songs and play them incessantly until I finished the scene or chapter I was writing. The same handful of songs kept me going, getting into the mood of writing and brainstorming.

The story I wanted to tell was inspired by a song by Dinah Washington entitled What a Difference a Day Makes. How much can happen over a 24-hour period? How can something as seemingly insignificant, something most consume as entertainment, a song have an influence over your entire life? The focus, however isn’t just on music, but on anything that people don’t consider significant. Things we mindlessly take in not realizing that they can and do have an impact.

How do you feel after you’ve listened to Good Morning Heartache on repeat for an hour or few? Well, I felt every bit of what Pea felt, not only because I lived some of it, but because the somberness and tone of the song and Billie Holiday’s voice are enough to move you and even depress you. It set the mood for what was Pea’s life at the time of her introduction. After you’ve listened to Nasty Girl and All Night Long by the Mary Jane Girls repeatedly do you not feel like the baddest chick around? I know I do. Every song choice was deliberate. Just wait until I reveal the playlist for the book I’m currently writing.

© LeTara Moore, 2016

 

Song

Before and After Motherhood: Working from Home

While this isn’t a work-from-home blog, this is the place where I express myself through the written word. Those words aren’t always poetic.

A little history about me:

I’ve always been free-spirited. When I was a teenager I decided that I wanted to be an entrepreneur. In high school I discovered that I could earn extra cash online by taking surveys. In college I learned about mystery shopping. I had tried a few internet work-from-home programs, but none of it really suited me. I loved to write, but had a hard time trying to determine how I should go about pursuing it. I came across independent contractor opportunities in a variety of industries. Several years of mishaps (and very expensive lessons) later and here I am writing this post in my living room while my toddler is dancing front of the television to the tune of a song on one of her favorite cartoons. More

Fall/Winter Goals, Books, Updates

Hello to my beloved readers! My post frequency so far this month hasn’t been on the same level as previous months, but I’ll continue to post new material at least weekly. In my self-publishing/blogging journey so far, I have learned so much and taken on more than I realized I was capable of handling. I spent a considerable amount of time promoting my blog before I published Reflection in the Music, but when it came time to really start pushing and focusing on the book, the majority of my time went into self-promotion, which totally wore me out! Let me say, when you’re trying to network and read other blogs/books/articles and leave feedback and share/retweet/repost you can quickly lost track of time and not have any time left to work on your own projects, if you’re not careful. So for the past couple of weeks I’ve been mentally trying to regroup and focus on my next project I plan to release in the coming weeks, Sunlight, Coffee and Roses.

This next book is a collection of short stories and poems, which I’ve been building up for the past few months, but as I sit down to arrange and edit the stories I’m finding that I’m not as satisfied with them as I initially thought and feel the need to write totally new material. It’s probably just me adding unnecessary stress onto myself and the stories are great just the way they are. Still, I had intentions of releasing this book at the beginning of October. It is now mid-October, which means I’ve missed my self-imposed deadline. If I had made it, that would’ve meant that I released two books at roughly the same time, which was a tall order. LeTaraWrites is a one-woman show and my title aside from indie author and blogger is also mom and employee, so time is a commodity I must use sparingly and accordingly. I have early to mid-November in mind for the potential release date, which I have every intention of making. My goal is to have both books published by the end of the year and I’m halfway there.

I’ve also begun work on a project I intend to release in early spring 2017 entitled Drive, which you can read a few samples by going to the category entitled ‘Drive’ on the side of the page if you’re viewing this on a computer—you’ll have to scroll a little ways towards the bottom of the page if you’re viewing this on a mobile device. It’ll be my first novel, as Reflection in the Music is a novella—a short novel, and I’m sure it’ll be even more torturous to write than my first book was. Call me a masochist, however, because I wouldn’t have it any other way. The writing is actually the easiest part, of course. The real torture comes in the publishing arena; designing my book covers, designing the book interiors, finding test readers, expanding my social networks, etc.

I have a slew of ideas for books to keep me busy for quite some time and I look forward to seeing how those seeds blossom. I also look forward to the day when this blog is no longer only a labor of love, but that I can enjoy the fruits of my labor. I spend about as much time maintaining this blog and creative writing as I do working my job, but that’s what you do when you want to pursue your dreams. Although it certainly is work, it is work that I can easily get lost in because it is something I care about. It is work I don’t mind doing because I feel as though I am putting my talents of which I am aware to use, as well as discovering new talents I never knew I had. Ultimately, that’s what this is all about. I’d love to get rich from writing, but experience is what I value more than monetary gain—though I’m definitely trying to earn a living, make no mistake.

As I push forward, I take with me the feedback I’ve received on Reflection in the Music so far, which has been mostly positive, and I create more work for you to consume. I’ve been praised for my character development and my ability to project my characters and ideas, which is what I was aiming for. I love a good character-driven book, and that’s exactly what I strive to create: characters that readers can get to know and relate to.

Just because I’ve been sharing these on all of my social media sites, I feel it is definitely appropriate to share them here—screenshots of feedback I’ve received from various parts of the web about Reflection in the Music. Feel free to check out the excerpts I have posted and order your digital and/or paperback copy if you feel moved to read the rest of the story.

Reflection in the Music e-book – $1.99

Reflection in the Music paperback – $9.99

I’ve said it in previous posts, I’ll say it in this post and I’ll say it in future posts: Thank you for taking the time to read anything I write. Thanks especially to those who purchase anything I create. You don’t have to invest your time and you certainly don’t have to invest your money into me or my work, but I am so grateful that you have for I cannot succeed in this without you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

The Gracefully Aging Year

It is almost the close of day on the first day of the month, but I had to write something before midnight struck. It’s hard to believe that it is October already. I could’ve sworn it was just January. We, or at least I, say something to that effect every year, but this year I especially mean it. Just when I think I have gone through the toughest, bumpiest, twistiest emotional/mental/spiritual rollercoaster, I am strapped into another and my tolerance for rapid speed, quick changes and unexpected drops in altitude is put to the test. More

Staying in the Here and Now

This was something I really had to pray about earlier today. Sometimes it is difficult to stay positive when life’s troubles and responsibilities are staring you in the face. I mean, having more bills than money; wondering if you’re going to be able to meet your obligations. It’s overwhelming. More

Shades of Me

Over the past three months, my readership has grown in leaps and bounds. Three months ago I started at zero, now I’m close to 1,000. I must thank every person who takes the time to visit, like, comment and share my posts. I have a certain goal in mind as far as this blog is concerned and that goal will contribute greatly to my long-term literary aspirations. Anyone who reads one of my pieces puts me a step closer to where I strive to be, and for that I am eternally grateful. More

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