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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Elegantly, Ruthlessly and Honorably.....and an ARC Giveaway!

I was driving down to San Diego to watch the final show choir competition of the school year and I had the radio on.  The annual  Coachella Music Festival was happening somewhere out in the desert and I was hoping to find out who was there.  It's kind of ultra-cool to go to Coachella and so, not being cool myself, I have never been.  But if you are into up-and-coming, awesome bands and the like, then sweltering out in the desert for three days of concerts is the place to be.

But again, I was did not go.  I went to the show choir competition.

However, the DJ on the radio was interviewing the members of a British band called Foals. I have to admit, I am a sucker for an accent.  So, these two boys were talking about their artistic process (I am a sucker for artistic process) and saying that they were changing the way they were creating music*.  In the past, they took a very calculated approach.  They knew just what they wanted in a song.  They knew just what there needed to be in that song for it to be "successful." But they were frustrated because they weren't creating.  They were just producing stuff.

The gist of their conversation was that they stopped thinking so much about what the song needed and instead tried to let the music unfold itself.  They said the music should emerge Elegantly, Ruthlessly and Honorably.

Of course, it made me think about writing.  I want to write elegantly, ruthlessly and honorably.  And I want my books to reflect that.  I don't want to list ingredients and pour them in a bowl and hope that a book comes out.  I want to rely on the format** less and the story more.

* I am paraphrasing.
** yes, ironic coming from a writer of easy readers.  But I am nothing if not a contradiction.


Now that you sat through my weekly inner-writer turmoil, you get a prize.  In January at ALA, I got some great ARCs and I promised to pass them on (but I had to read them, first!)  so that other folks can read them and get the word out about them.  This week, I am giving away these three books:

If you would like to be entered in the drawing for these three books (that's right, winner take all!) then just leave a comment below.  I read and enjoyed all three of them, however please note that they are from my stack of YA ARCs.  YA stands for young adult.  Middle Grade ARC giveaway to come soon.



erica and christy said...

Well, I loved your post on your inner turmoil, but I also love your ARC giveaway. You were lucky to get and read all these and I hope I'm next!!

Kathryn Packer Roberts said...

I would love to be a part of your giveaway. =)Thanks!

kathrynroberts at hotmail dot com

Anonymous said...

I may print out the words "Elegantly, ruthlessly and Honorably" and post it above my desk. A noble goal, especially in the middle of revisions, which is where I am right now!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Oh, this is brilliant. I want to be elegant, ruthless and honorable!! And I'd love to be entered for the ARC giveaway :)

Krispy said...

Great point about producing versus creating. I love that phrase: elegantly, ruthlessly, and honorably! Should be a new motto.

Thanks for sharing, and thanks for the giveaway! I'd love to be entered. :)

Margo Berendsen said...

Elegantly, ruthlessly, honorably. Repeating that because it's not only a beautiful writing vision, but it sounds beautiful too.

Please enter me to win these ARCS! I'd love to read Warped especially! So nice of you to pass them on.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Shelley! I was just reading about the Coachella Music Festival before signing on to Blogger. Looked like a lot of big name actors were also at the festival.

I'd like to be in the drawing for the ARCs.

Thanks and have a great day!

Laura Pauling said...

I would love to be entered in the giveaway.

And even for all my outlining, I love when the creative process takes over while I'm writing and the story takes a turn I didn't expect.

Lisa and Laura said...

Wow. A new gold standard. Sign me up as a writer who will constantly be aspiring to elegance, ruthlessness and honor. I think we need membership cards.

Anne Spollen said...

I once Googled Welsh just to hear their accents so I know what you mean. I listened to prayers.

And I want to write elegantly, ruthlessly and honorably - what a
great trio of words to describe writing.

Come to think of it, I want to live my life that way, too.

Jess said...

I'm a sucker for an accent too :)

I would love to win those ARCs~ thanks for passing on the love!

Aylee said...

"Elegantly, Ruthlessly and Honorably"
I really like that. Great words to write music/books by.
I would love to enter this giveaway but only if it's open to Canada (don't worry about it if it's not!). Thanks.