RSS

Tag Archives: encouragement

High Hopes

I like this joke: The optimist sees the glass as half full, the pessimist sees the glass as half empty and the engineer sees the glass as twice as big as it needs to be. Maybe it is because despite an engineering degree, and a fascination for the darker sides of story telling, I remain in my heart an optimist even while understanding the arguments of the other two camps. It’s all going to be okay, somehow. I really think that.

Some schmaltzy things turn me off, particularly if I feel like my emotions are being manipulated. Others, ones that sort of just are what they are, can put a huge grin on my face. When I was writing x0, a novel with plenty of dark scenes, I wanted a ridiculously hopeful song for Lola to suggest using in order to provide Nwanyi with encouragement. I found the late 50’s classic “High Hopes” and it was perfect. This song, which most people associate with an ant moving a rubber tree plant, was first popularized by Frank Sinatra, with music written by Jimmy Van Heusen and lyrics by Sammy Cahn. It was introduced in the 1959 film “A Hole in the Head”.

If you want to take a break from all that Christmas music you’ve been hearing, enjoy this video of Frank Sinatra singing High Hopes with what must have been a group of school children from the late 50’s or early 60’s. It is guaranteed to put a giant grin on your face and might even add to your holiday good cheer.

You can also buy this song at Amazon.com. The following is the excerpt from x0 that mentions “High Hopes”.

Lola savored the feeling of Somadina’s friendship. She’d had so few women friends over her adult life. She’d been too busy with work, with Alex, with the kids. Too often there had been so little in common. And here was a woman, for heavens sake barely older than Lola’s own daughter and a world away in every sense of the word. Yet in her hearty self-sufficiency, in her attachment to her child, her loyalty to her sister, and in her good fortune in attracting the affection of a genuinely good man, they had more in common than Lola had with most women she knew.

Lola reached back with a mental equivalent of a hug.

We are both strong telepaths, she thought, knowing that Somadina would pick up the feeling and fill in words which were close enough to the meaning to get the point. We know that Nwanyi is at least a weak receiver herself after all of her association with you. At least Olumiji thinks so. Let’s try to send her a message together. Sort of doubling the transmitting power, if you will. Lola felt Somadina’s confusion over the last phrase. She tried again. Let’s push together. An image of two women pushing a large rock. Somadina got it.

Music, Somadina suggested. Nwanyi and I both like music. American music.

Okay. Let’s pick a song to encourage her. Lola thought for minute, and tried singing something in her head. Out came a song from her childhood, Frank Sinatra’s hit High Hopes about an over-achieving ant trying to move a houseplant.

What is that? Somadina asked. Don’t you know any rock and roll?

Yikes. She didn’t think there was a rock song that was particularly encouraging about someone surviving.

 

 

 
2 Comments

Posted by on December 21, 2015 in music for peace

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Ten Wonderful, Easy Things You Can Do for Your Friend Who Writes Books

True voice 4Maybe you don’t read much, or maybe you just don’t like fiction. Maybe you like it a lot and you have a TBR pile of sixty or so novels. Whatever the reason, you have a good friend or close relative who self-publishes her stories and you think it is totally cool but you haven’t gotten around to reading one yet. It would be nice if there was a quick way to show your support.

There are ten of them I can think of, and any single one will make her smile. You can probably do them all in under twenty minutes without spending a dime or uttering anything but the truth. Are you ready? Open your browser and let’s go

Start with Amazon.com. Type in her name, and pick the option to go to her Amazon page. In the upper right hand corner, you can like her author page. Let’s be honest, an author page with few or no likes looks so forlorn. What if she doesn’t have one? Gently suggest to her that she take a few minutes and make one, so you can like it.

Now go to her most recent, or most popular, book. Scroll down to the reviews. Find a few that speak highly of the book, but also are well written and honestly point out her strengths. A positive but fair review will attract readers who will like the work, and that is what you want for her. Click the button at the bottom of these reviews that says you found the review helpful. You did, didn’t you? Your click will help scoot these reviews up to the top.

On to Goodreads. Here, you can add her books to your bookshelf. When you do, all your friends will see that you did, and that is free publicity for her. Then check out Listopia. Goodreads has hundreds of lists, ranging from the color of the cover to the first letter of the title. Her book surely belongs on several, so add it. Once again, that’s more publicity.

hippiepeace10Twitter gives you lots of options. The easiest is to simply retweet one of her own book-related tweets for her. My favorite is to write my own tweet about her book that includes her name, the book’s title, and some fun or funny remark. This gives her something to retweet to her own followers, and that is priceless.

Facebook also offers a lot of options. Hopefully she has a page for her book and you’ve already liked it. If not, fix that. If so, like and share a post of hers that you particularly enjoyed. With the new FB algorithm you may have to go to her page to find it as it may no longer come to you. While you are there, comment about another post or two. All this activity will bring more eyes her way.

Finally, drop by her blog. Become a follower. Comment on a post. You can even mix and match here by tweeting one of her blog posts or sharing it on Facebook, so that you make a little noise everywhere on her behalf.

If you are the writer, not the friend, consider hanging on to this list until your birthday or some other special occasion rolls around. Then don’t be shy. Pass this along to anyone who says that they want to do something nice for you.

Note: z2 is just finishing a blog tour through the fine folks at Reading Addiction Virtual Book Tours. The post below is part of that tour and it appeared May 4 on a wonderful blog called Book Faery Reviews. Please share this post with wild abandon and make struggling writers happier everywhere.

Appreciation for the great images above goes out to the Facebook pages of Hippie Peace Freaks and Your True Voice. Please drop by and give them both a like.

 
1 Comment

Posted by on May 10, 2014 in writing

 

Tags: , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: