Today’s #WIPjoy topic is “songs on your MCs’ playlists,” which is frankly too big to answer effectively on social media (sorry, Twitter), so we’re doing it here on the blog.
I have a bonus to this post, too. First I have my own playlists for primary characters, and then I have a guest DJ Kayla, who beta-read Shard & Shield last week and told me then she had made character playlists, which of course meant I had to ask her to chime in on today’s #WIPjoy topic.
Last time I talked about the weird appearances of Little Drummer Boy figurines in Nativity scenes and the fascinating historical research I got to do for So To Honor Him. Today I’m going to talk about the obligatory soundtrack for the book: “The Carol of the Drum” or “The Little Drummer Boy,” depending on when it was recorded and by whom.
I’m not even going to try to list here all the myriad covers of this song, or even just the better ones. I’ll simply point out some really stand-out recordings and explain why I think they deserve a mention. I know I’m leaving out a lot of favorites; feel free to comment below with a plug for your choice!
Fair warning: Today’s post is less art and more business. I’m going to very briefly touch on why I self-publish.
I didn’t start out as a proponent of self-publishing. When I first knew I wanted to grow up to be a writer, it was simply “vanity publishing,” and to be honest that’s still out there. Vanity publishing was expensive and mostly low-quality material that couldn’t get a second look from “real” publishers. Those who used a vanity press rarely made money and were not taken very seriously.
That’s changed now, and there are a lot of reasons why self-publishing is now “legit.” And I’m not even talking about admitted outliers like Hugh Howey making $150,000/month and walking away from seven-figure offers. Sure, those success stories are awesome and I applaud! but there are other benefits to self-publishing as well.
I have a short list in Evernote titled “Unofficial Goals Indicating I Have Arrived :D”. There are only a few entries, formatted as a checklist, of cultural ripples I have observed around successful stories.
I keep the list a secret, because I don’t want to influence the process. I want to see the organic ripples — I want a reader to tweet my title on #FridayReads because she was enthusiastic about the book, not because a friend did it just to make me feel good. Only once an achievement has been unlocked do I allow myself to share that it was ever a goal. (Yep, a #FridayReads appearance was one!)
Richard Westall’s Sword of Damocles, 1812. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
At one point in Shard & Shield, a character is waiting for his treason to be discovered. He knows it is only a matter of time before he is identified, seized, tortured, and executed, but in the meantime he must go about his daily business as if nothing is wrong, as if he fears nothing, as if his entire world does not hang by a Damoclean thread.
I might have researched and prepared for writing such a state by sending off a manuscript for consideration.
It’s good to have realistic expectations as well as goals, right? And likely goals as well as shoot-for-the-moon goals, right? Authors — and everyone — should have many small goals as they make their way toward large goals.
So in a fit of procrastination from Real Work, I’ve compiled a just-for-fun list of things which would make me happy, small or large signposts on the way toward Arrived — wherever that is.