Friday Five: What’s Up Around Here?

1.  Right now, my son is off in Southern California, (possibly yawning and) playing stand-up bass in a music festival. Jazz band is first on the calendar for the day, and I’m pretty sure they didn’t get into the hotel till 11:00 or so last night. I’m also pretty sure the adrenaline is going to make the lack of sleep irrelevant! Not to mention the fact that, Disneyland is next, this afternoon and all-day tomorrow. Too much fun!

2.  What that means for me is a few long, uninterrupted days of writing. Okay, plus a few errands, a couple of work tasks, and some date-time with my husband. But mostly I’m spending time with my historical YA and Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel Workbook. Yes, again. Yes, still. Got started yesterday, and am remembering how great it is to be able to just sit for a long stretch, thinking and taking notes, rather than trying to cram brainstorming and illumination into a brief hour here and there.

3. HUGE storm here last night. I tried not to spend too much time thinking about those big buses taking all the band kids down Highway 5 and up and over the Grapevine.

Here’s to good, safe bus drivers! There’s a tree down on our road somewhere, and I’m pretty sure I’ll be without power some time today. Here’s to good, charged laptops! This weather feels an awful lot like that lion March was SUPPOSED to come in like, even though it’s mid-April.

4. I spent time the last two days immersing myself in Robin LaFevers’ Grave Mercy: His Fair Assassin, Book 1,and let me just tell you how happy that “Book 1” part makes me. I love all of Robin’s books, but she has surpassed herself with this one. So many layers. Such an awesome heroine–complex and angry (totally justifiably) and smart and powerful, with just the right amount of flaws and need to change. All smoothly and seamlessly integrated with real history, including a young-teen duchess I would totally support as ruler. Not to mention lots of action. If you’ve been hesitating about this book, don’t–it’s a wonderful read.

5. I’m struggling with finding the right music to work to lately. I’ve got my playlist for the historical, but it’s feeling a bit old (probably a clue about how long this book is taking me to write!), and I’ve been switching around on Pandora with some Electric Blues here, some Folk Rock there, but nothing’s quite making me happy. If you’ve got any new stuff to recommend–something with a strong percussion or bass line, some awesome strong-voiced singers, or just something you’ve discovered this year that you must share, feel free to leave a note in the comments! With my gratitude for the assist.


  1. I recommend the Aussie band Brother – didgeridoos, crashing guitars and bagpipes. What’s not to love?


  2. It’s really windy and rainy here in the OC today. But it’s supposed to be nice tomorrow. Good luck to your son!


    • beckylevine says:

      Thanks, Debra! I figure they can handle a little freezing rain–they’re young and at Disneyland! But it’ll be fun for them to have a nice day tomorrow to really run around.


  3. solvangsherrie says:

    I just got Grave Mercy today and I can’t wait to read it. Perfect for a rainy weekend at home 🙂


    • beckylevine says:

      Oh, it so is. Because it feels good to be tucked in safely away from all the machinations going on out in Ismae’s world!


  4. Rose says:

    I keep hearing about Grave Mercy–must check it out! (Especially as she’s now an agency-mate of mine!)

    I also keep hearing about that storm–I really hope we don’t get it here. I grew up with wild storms like that all the time in the spring, and guess what, I DON’T miss it.

    My musical find of the year are some people I’ve been listening to for years, but they’ve recently reinvented themselves as The Piano Guys. They come out with new stuff a couple times a month, so it doesn’t get old, either.


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