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ceciliatan
Date: 2016-05-03 09:00
Subject: Lullaby
Security: Public
Tags:ziggy, ziggy ziggy ziggy

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

Ziggy and I went home and fell easily into bed. The only time in my life I’d had this much sex with this little effort or argument about it for this long was while I’d lived in Spain. Well, maybe right at the beginning with Jonathan, too, but as we all know, the easy part didn’t last.

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ceciliatan
Date: 2016-05-02 09:00
Subject: Guest blog! (A new sci-fi romance from @kayelleallen)
Security: Public
Tags:general blather

Guest on my blog today is the fab Kayelle Allen, a tour de force in science fiction romance! Her new book, Bringer of Chaos, just went live yesterday!

Get it in print and on Amazon, with other sites coming soon!

Kayelle Allen is a best selling American author. Her unstoppable heroes and heroines include contemporary every day folk, role-playing immortal gamers, futuristic covert agents, and warriors who purr.

Sempervians never die. Neither does their love. Nor their thirst for revenge. The immortal Pietas. Bringer of Chaos. Soul Ripper. Hound of Hell. Impaler. Slayer of Innocents. Hammer of God. If, in the history of a planet, there"s a famous despot or killer, chances are it was Pietas. Imprisoned on Sempervia for the last ten thousand years, he"s about to be discharged -- not because he"s paid his debt to society -- but because he"s too violent for the other prisoners to tolerate. Once he"s unleashed, the galaxy will never be safe again. Unless the spy among the hundred who dare to follow can find a way to change his path -- or kill him.

Sempervians never die. Neither does their love. Nor their thirst for revenge.
The immortal Pietas. Bringer of Chaos. Soul Ripper. Hound of Hell. Impaler. Slayer of Innocents. Hammer of God. If, in the history of a planet, there’s a famous despot or killer, chances are it was Pietas. Imprisoned on Sempervia for the last ten thousand years, he’s about to be discharged — not because he’s paid his debt to society — but because he’s too violent for the other prisoners to tolerate. Once he’s unleashed, the galaxy will never be safe again. Unless the spy among the hundred who dare to follow can find a way to change his path — or kill him.


Amazon

boc1-bnr-jailer

Romance Lives Forever Reader Group https://kayelleallen.com/bro
Homeworld https://kayelleallen.com
Twitter https://twitter.com/kayelleallen
Facebook https://facebook.com/kayelleallen.author
Pinterest https://pinterest.com/kayelleallen/
G+ https://plus.google.com/+KayelleAllen/

Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

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ceciliatan
Date: 2016-04-28 09:00
Subject: Real Men
Security: Public
Tags:courtney, new york city

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

In the end we hired a trumpet player Mitch knew and liked working with and who Marvelle knew from other gigs, a serious-looking chap with round glasses named Lorne Acevedo. He was from New Orleans and had played with Wynton Marsalis. Fran and Clarice booked to come in for two weeks of full band rehearsal in July, after everyone took a break for the Fourth.

I saw Court a couple of times during that audition and rehearsal period in New York–took her to dinner once, that kind of thing–but once she figured out that she could make it to The Hangar for the last hour (or more if we ran late) of our rehearsals, she was there pretty much every night.

One Friday at the end of June, when she’d come by five nights in a row, I asked her if she shouldn’t be spending more time socializing with people from the company where she was working, i.e. shouldn’t she be going out for drinks to schmooze with people or whatever?

She looked at me funny. “Why would I do that?”

“Isn’t the point of an internship that you’re making connections with people you might get a real job with later?”

She blinked. “You’re kind of an idiot, aren’t you.”

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ceciliatan
Date: 2016-04-26 09:00
Subject: This Corrosion
Security: Public
Tags:new york city, singing

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

(Guess what? The DGC Kickstarter reached funding goal last night! There are three days left in the campaign so if you haven’t pledged yet, you’re running out of time! -ctan)

Working with Priss was kind of exhausting because I had to pay so much attention to something that I normally paid no attention to at all. Singing is like walking. While I’m doing it I’m usually not thinking about it very much.

But imagine if instead of just walking on the treadmill you had a trainer who had you agonizingly lift your foot muscle by muscle, bone by bone, then carefully maneuver it to where you were going to step, then gradually transfer your weight to your toes, then the arch, then the heel of your foot, taking painstaking care every second to do it exactly a certain way. And then doing the other foot. And again. And again.

That’s what vocal exercises with her were like.

I discovered I kind of liked it when she was there telling me what to do, though. The exercises were to do things like loosen the connection of my tongue to my throat so that I wouldn’t create unnecessary tension, and strengthening certain parts of my muscles so my vocal cords could be controlled with more finesse. Priss warned me that it might take two to three years (if I kept up the exercises) to build a full connection between my chest voice and my head voice, and to rebuild what she insisted I’d “lost” from my upper range.

Also I was in decent cardiovascular shape but didn’t have the diaphragmatic power that someone who’d played a wind instrument or trained as a singer all their lives had. So we worked on that, too.

But it wasn’t all about power. One day she banished Ziggy, told him to come back in an hour, which gave me a feeling of foreboding right away. Like my ego was about to take a vicious beating but it’d be even worse if he was there. One thing about Priss, she did her homework. She knew always knew right where to hit me, like the old master in the kung fu movie knowing exactly where you’re weak.

I soon found out what new lesson awaited me. “I have something you should hear,” she said. She hit play on a boom box on top of the piano. The cassette in it was a dub she could have only gotten from Jordan. It was my isolated vocal tracks from recording 1989.

I’d heard them before, back when we were recording, but usually only for a line or two at a time before hearing it back as part of the mix. At least my pitch was good. My pitch was always good.

Then she put headphones on us both, hit record on a little portable tape deck and played back “Why the Sky” and recorded me singing my part while she accompanied lightly with hints of the chords on the piano.

Then she made me listen back to compare the original recording and what I’d just done. And then she stared at me.

“If you’re waiting for me to have a Mr. Miyagi moment, I’m not getting it,” I said.

“Let’s try it one more time, no headphones now, just you sing and I’ll play. But this time I want you to sing it softly. Quietly. Sit up straight. Breathe. You’re fully warmed up. You’re ready to do this.”

Yeah, yeah. So we did it again. With her really pushing me to pull back on the force I was putting into the notes.

And I could not hit some of them at all. It wasn’t that the pitch was flat. It was that I couldn’t even get my vocal cords to vibrate on certain ones at all without pushing a lot harder.

I looked her in the eye. “That’s not right.”

She nodded. “Now you get it, grasshopper.”

“That. Is. Not. Right.” I resisted the urge to put my hand on my throat. Nothing hurt. I didn’t feel strained. But I felt like doing it just the same.

“You’ve been instinctually avoiding the trouble spots,” she said. “But I needed to show you they were there. If all you do is power through them you’re not playing your instrument to the fullest.”

“Damn.” She was completely right and now I was kind of angry at myself. This wasn’t about singing the highest notes, either–though all my trouble spots were in the upper half of my range. “Okay. How do we fix it?”

“That’s what I’ve been trying to teach you.”

“And it’s going to take two to three years.”

“Most likely, yes. At least he needs to do the same exercises so you will have no excuse when you are together not to do them. Unless you are ill, of course.”

“Of course.” I suddenly wondered who I would get to do the exercises with me when I went back out with Nomad. The answer to that question was obvious, suddenly. “Hey, you work with all kinds of singers, right? Sorry, that was a stupid way to ask that.”

Priss put her glasses atop her head, the earpiece chains making it look like an exotic headpiece. “What are you trying to ask?”

“Would you also work with two backup singers I’m hiring?”

“I have room to take one or two, yes.”

“Great.” I made myself a mental note to call Fran and Clarice and see if I might be able to get them here soon.

While I was making myself notes, I needed to talk to Mitch about who else to recruit for the horn section, and Linn was going to need to measure everyone. And we still needed to settle the question of some secondary personnel. Would one drum tech be enough for two drummers or did I need two of those, too? Et cetera.

Priss cleared her throat delicately, so as not to roughen up her cords.

“Oh, sorry. Spaced out.” I sat up straight suddenly, not because I should for singing, but because I realized something. The band I hadn’t named yet, with me and Bart and Christian, but which had managed to record an album… I told you the names of some of the songs, right? “Shape of Space” and “Skyward” and “Dawn”? It occurred to me that there were a lot of sky and space references, even if some were double-meanings, and of course Moondog Three had the whole moon thing going on. “Star Gaze,” I said aloud.

Priss put a hand on my arm and looked into my eyes, perhaps checking if they were dilated. “Are you all right?”

“I think I may have just figured out what my next band is called.” Pending a trademark name search and the other guys not shooting it down, of course. I was already picturing it as two words for some reason, maybe with an asterisk in the middle: Star*Gaze. Maybe Skyward as a backup name, but I had a nagging feeling there was a band called that. The album should be titled Shape of Space, though.

Priss patted me reassuringly. “I hear your liebling in the hallway. Go let him in.”

“He’s your liebling,” I said, as I got up from the piano. He was much more than that to me. But though I’d finally come up with a word to put on the band, there was no word that could encompass Ziggy or our relationship. Ziggy was a definition unto himself.

Last details about the Kickstarter!
Because a few people have asked about Add-Ons, here’s a slight revamp of how they work. If you want to raise your pledge amount in the Kickstarter to cover any *additional* rewards you want to add (not counting the “sold out” rewards where there was only 1 or only 5 of a thing), then just do that. Say you want to add on the necklace and the book, and you already backed the handprint T-shirt at $30. Just add the $10 for the necklace and the $25 for the book to make $65 (and then what Kickstarter prompts you regarding shipping). When I send out backer questionnaires next week, there’ll be a spot for you to write what add-ons you wanted. Sound good? Any questions, drop me email at daron.moondog @ gmail.com or comment here!

I’d really love to get us to $4,000 and those bonus pages in the book!

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ceciliatan
Date: 2016-04-23 09:00
Subject: Golden Brown
Security: Public

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

(In the midst of the Kickstarter campaign, somehow you guys still managed to trigger a Saturday post, too! So here it is. -ctan)

The Aesthetician came by The Hangar to measure us all for wardrobe more than once. We also had a couple of production meetings there instead of at the office so she could figure out some logistics about building the stage. We weren’t going to take a custom-built stage with us to South America but if a US or European tour shaped up we might. Depending on the venues. Meanwhile the South American stage had to be worked out with regular sections that could be easily rented and built no matter where we went. This meant we had to finalize how many musicians we’d have and where they would be.

At one such meeting the main topic of discussion was my hair. No, I’m not kidding. No, I wasn’t happy about it. I’ve never been comfortable with people fussing over my appearance.

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ceciliatan
Date: 2016-04-21 09:00
Subject: Sax & Violins
Security: Public

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

(Video chat tonight to talk about the Kickstarter! Submit your questions on Facebook, in the YouTube stream chat room, or below! AND NOW WE’RE ONLY $150 from a backers-only chat with Daron! Only if we can get to $3,000 by 9pm EDT tonight!)

We’d been rehearsing for maybe a week when one day someone came to the loading dock during a break. Or maybe they’d been there for a while and waited until we were in a break to try to get our attention. Bart went to answer it while the rest of the guys wandered around to refill their coffee (Chris) or grab a smoke break outside (Marvelle, who swore he was trying to quit) or visit the restroom (Bradley).

When Bart didn’t come back right away I started walking across the brick floor to find out who he was talking to. I heard my name being taken in vain. Then he let the guy in, a slender figure carrying a sax case.

“Mitch!” I shook his hand and we pulled each other into one of those one-armed back-pat hugs. He was sporting a narrow, well-cropped goatee. “What are you doing in town?” I was fully expecting him to say he was here to play a gig and was just dropping by to say hello.

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ceciliatan
Date: 2016-04-19 09:00
Subject: What the World is Waiting For
Security: Public
Tags:jordan travers

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

(Join me this Thursday April 21st 9-10p EDT for a video chat to talk about Daron’s Guitar Chronicles and the Kickstarter effort! RSVP on Facebook or bookmark the Youtube streaming page directly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSJWPwxEjGA. If we get to $3,000 in donations before the chat, we’ll follow it with a donors-only chat with Daron! -ctan)

If I just describe what we did over the next two weeks it sounds like we worked like maniacs, but really we didn’t. We weren’t going round-the-clock, and it didn’t feel like “work”–like a slog–because it was exciting and satisfying even when it was sometimes nerve-wracking.

Five days a week we spent eight hours a day rehearsing. Sometimes in the mornings I’d go work out with Christian and then I’d get to the rehearsal space (I’d dubbed it The Hangar) around eleven and maybe work on some stuff before everyone else came in. The rest of the band would arrive at noon and we’d work on arrangements and run-throughs until Ziggy arrived around four, usually bringing “lunch” with him for all of us. Then there’d be three or four hours of rehearsal with him and then we’d knock off for the night by eight.

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ceciliatan
Date: 2016-04-18 14:13
Subject: Live YouTube chat this Thursday about Daron & Kickstarter
Security: Public
Tags:appearances, chat, daron's guitar chronicles, kickstarter

I’ll be hosting a one-hour live chat via YouTube Live, streaming on my YouTube channel! This Thursday from 9-10pm Eastern (Apr 21) I’ll be talking all things Daron, the latest Kickstarter, and reading from Daron’s Guitar Chronicles, as usual!

As a bonus, if we can pass the $3,000 milestone by the time of the chat, a special one-hour text chat with Daron will follow for backers only! You can back the Kickstarter for as low as $1, right here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/ceciliatan/darons-guitar-chronicles-third-omnibus

You can pull that chat up on YouTube directly at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSJWPwxEjGA

OR should be able watch the video chat via this embedded video:

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Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

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ceciliatan
Date: 2016-04-14 16:30
Subject: NY Times Bestsellers tell self-pub secrets at #RT16
Security: Public
Tags:ebooks, writing talk

One of the panels I attended yesterday at RT Booklovers was a packed house on the subject of self-publishing ebook platforms. “Power of the Platforms” was moderated by K.A. Linde and featured three (possibly four?) New York Times bestselling authors: Jamie McGuire, Laurelin Page, Alessandra Torre, and CD Reiss.

They had a lot of tips and information to impart for any author or small publisher – and for each other, often pausing to take notes on each other’s remarks.

The first topic of conversation, and the one that went on the longest and came back up the most times, was about the most disruptive recent change in the digital marketplace: Kindle Unlimited, aka KU.

For those unfamiliar with KU, it’s a “Netflix” type model where readers pay Amazon a fee for unlimited access to books in the KU program. To be in the program, a book has to be ONLY available via KU for 90 days before it can be sold anywhere else, and the author is paid a small fee determined by pageviews which doesn’t come close to what they would have been paid if all those reads were actual sales. Every publisher I’ve talked to doing romance or erotica, including my own imprint Circlet Press, Riverdale Avenue Books, Samhain Publishing, and even the LGBT publishers Riptide and Bold Strokes Books saw revenue from Amazon drop suddenly when the KU program came online.

Here’s what the panelists had to say:
(Disclaimer: I type as fast as I can but I only get about 60-70% of what people say and I occasionally get mixed up on which person was speaking, but I’ve tried to capture the discussion as accurately as possible.)

KA Linde: Let’s just get this right out in the open. Kindle Unlimited. Do any of you do KU exclusively? (Some authors have pulled all their books from elsewhere and only do KU.)

Jamie: I don’t. I say open as many doors as you can. I see narrowing the platforms as narrowing the audience. This is the time when promiscuity is a good thing! Do everybody! (audience laughter)

Alessandra: KU is really tempting to a lot of authors and everybody is flocking in that direction, but everything changes and you are cutting out a lot of readers if you just stick to one platform. And there are a lot of opportunities on the small platforms who are more willing to work with you.

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Mirrored from blog.ceciliatan.com.

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ceciliatan
Date: 2016-04-14 09:00
Subject: High Enough
Security: Public
Tags:singing, ziggy, ziggy ziggy ziggy

Mirrored from the latest entry in Daron's Guitar Chronicles.

(So close to revealing the cover designs for the new omnibus! We’re now at $2,441 in the the Kickstarter and when we get to $2,500 I’ll post them! Have you been meaning to back it? Clicky Here… -ctan)

Ziggy waited until we got home from Limelight that night to say “I told you so,” and then he told me in very very gentle terms, while wrapped around me in bed like a glitter-covered octopus.

He whispered. “You.”

“Hm?” I had been drifting in a post-sex daze, not asleep but not all there either.

“Can.”

“I can what?”

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