It’s warming, and a little reassuring, that some of you have noticed my absence. Thanks! I’m not really sure what to say… I won’t lie—no, things have not been good. Lots of major life changes. At the same time, I’m also not going to get into any details. For now, just know that I’m fine. Writing is a lifelong pursuit for me, content creation is a compulsion, and at some point I will pick up where I left off.
One of the unique and fun aspects of The Ballad of Stevie Pearl is that each chapter is named after a song. In fact, I don’t even call them “chapters” – I call them tracks, i.e. Chapter 1 = Track 1. These songs set the tone, feel, and subject matter of each chapter – the lyrics or melody paralleling the words on the page. It’s a neat little addition, giving the story a real-world connection and creating a richer experience for the reader who wants to connect with the characters on a deeper level.
Taken as entire playlist, all of the songs played back-to-back – kind of like reading the book from cover to cover – the soundtrack tells the story of Alex and Stevie in a new way. Having already read and connected with the book, you can relive each “chapter” just by listening to the song – even welling with joy or tears when a particular crescendo peaks.
She’s curious, shy, gentle, loving, and trying so hard to figure out where life has taken her. Luna The Tuna has been with us for a week. We got her from a local rescue, and her story is pretty vague before that. She was found roaming the streets Los Lunas, NM and dropped off at a shelter. She hung out there for a while without much luck and was eventually put on death row. Fortunately, the rescue here in town takes dogs from kill shelters and tries to find them homes.
Once again, she was at the rescue for another few weeks where she had an operation (spay). Strange people poked at her, she was trapped in chainlink cages, sleeping on concrete floors, surrounded by deafeningly loud cellmates, and not much understanding. The whole system is pretty heartbreaking when you lift the veil. I’m not saying I could do better or have more compassionate solutions, but I also didn’t want to spend another minute in there. I wanted to take them all home. But, ultimately, they gave her second chance. They brought us together.
It took quite a while to arrive at the final version of Stevie Pearl’s book cover, but I’m finally happy to share it with you! What do you think?? I like it. I’m liking it more and more the longer I look at it. No matter what your momma taught you – books are judged by their cover. Does this look like something you’d want to read?
From the very start, I knew what I wanted for Stevie Pearl. I wanted a modern spaghetti western movie poster. I wanted Alex standing in the middle of street like a gunslinger, the Hollywood sign hovering above him on the mountain in the distance. He’d be guiding Stevie behind him with his left hand, using his body as meat shield to protect her from the gunfight that was surely about to ensue. Art galleries would line the vacant Santa Monica street and his Jeep would be parked off to the side. The whole thing would have been a modern take on The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly movie poster – the same coloring and feel, but with The Venture Bros. style animation.
Update time. So, not only have I chosen an editor for The Ballad of Stevie Pearl, but she has already sent back her finished revision! I should do a whole article based on the struggles of editing this novel under our current social climate, but that’s for another time...
Niko, who was originally asked to be the copy editor, stepped up big time and took on the role as my content editor. I am so happy, and so thankful for her. In full disclosure, she actually finished the edit a couple of weeks ago, and I’m just now putting meaningful time into her review… Wow, I suck! I’ve been surprisingly busy in my other life; building websites, shooting video, and editing commercials.