Monday, September 24, 2007

Kitchen Sink

Thrills and chills

If you're hesitating to buy the CD because you don't care for opera, don't worry, because it doesn't matter. I'm not an opera fan, either, but like thousands of other fans have discovered, this guy's voice will send chills up your spine. He could sing the phone book and still enthrall you. I mean, here's this bloke, this bloke from Wales who worked for a cell phone company, was a cancer survivor and in debt up to his vocal cords, and now he's an international star with a world tour coming up.

Besides Nessun dorma, which you've probably already heard him sing on YouTube, the CD has Everybody Hurts - in Italiano! - and a fantastic rendition of Music of the Night. Some parts are way over-produced (shades of Phil Specter, there), but that's (sort of) understandable considering that Simon Cowell rushed to get it released. It's topped the charts in the U.K., Australia, the Netherlands, Denmark - okay, let's just say all those other places, months before it was released here, where it is now No. 1 on Amazon's Classical and Opera & Vocal lists, and No. 5 on the Pop Rock list.

You will love this CD.
The Society of Children's Books Writers & Illustrators meeting I attended over the weekend was inspiring, as usual. At every meeting, they have "brag time," which is where people who have had recent successes - meaning in the month since the last meeting - stand up and tell us all about it. I am in awe. Every month we hear about new books coming out, new contracts having been signed, awards won, and so on. Those of us who are unpublished just sit there with our mouths open. I found out that one lady, who is putting together the annual conference next month, has written 76 books, and some of them have been made into movies.

I also found out that they sent the first chapter of my YA novel, The Earthquake Doll, to a NY editor for critique (in other words, I was one of the first ten people to get the chapter out in time!) I won't have her critique until the conference, in mid-October. I have visions (some would say "delusions") of her liking the chapter so much that she will ask me to send her the full MS, and/or will know of someone who will want to see it. That's why I'm working so hard to get it (re) edited. Even if that bubble is burst, I'll at least have a polished MS to send out to ... someone ... next month. Well, first I'll have to send out the query letters to see if anyone wants to see the whole thing - this is called the query-go-round. Anyway, please wish me luck.


In the meantime, I'm one of several online people critiquing a novel written by an extremely talented young woman in SCBWI . I got to meet her for the second time over the weekend. When we saw each other this time, we hugged, and she and I both said, at the same time, "I just love you!" Awww... This gal will have no problem getting published one day. I'm sure of it.


For any LOTR fans, here's a great clip I recently Stumbled - let's call it "Advice from Boromir." Enjoy!