Radio Interview!

Tuesday I was honored to be interviewed by radio talk show host, filmmaker, and screenwriter, Dave Congalton on his Hometown Radio program about my new novel, Finding Joy. It was fun chatting with him about writing, growing one’s craft, and the inspiration for my latest work.

Have a listen here.

http://www.920kvec.com/show/dave-congalton-hometown-radio/

About Laurie: The author of the recently released Finding Joy as well as The Pharaoh’s Cry,  Portal Shift, Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky of the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles, and the middle grade Forest Secrets Laurie Woodward  co-wrote Dean and JoJoThe Dolphin Legacy. Her poetry has been published in multiple journals and anthologies and she was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet,  and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at artania.net

Here Comes the Judge!

I am thrilled to announce that I’ve been selected to be a judge in the New Voice Short Film Festival! And I’m the only woman chosen as a judge. What an honor!

This film festival is designed to showcase the work specifically for non-professional, non-union related filmmakers. If you are a filmmaker, writer, director, and/or producer at least 18 years of age and living in the Southern California area, you are welcome to submit your film project here:

Submission Information

The author of The Pharaoh’s Cry,  Portal Shift, Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky from the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles,  as well as the middle-grade Forest Secrets. Laurie Woodward  co-wrote Dean and JoJoThe Dolphin Legacy. Her poetry has been published in multiple journals and anthologies and she was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet,  and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at artania.net

Dark Side of the Moon: An Excerpt

The world is changing. The war is over, and they say civil rights have been won although if you look around my school you wouldn’t know it. In high school there’s an invisible line dividing kids into whites, Mexicans, and blacks. Oh, sure we cross over and party with each other, but we all know that there’s this glass wall between us.

We all live in separate worlds. And it pisses me off.

Ever since Charles Manson made hippie a symbol of evil, kids have stopped hitting the streets to march for peace. Now we teens steal behind trees in parks or shut ourselves into the back of Chevy Vans where we pass joints around and listen to Pink Floyd take us to the dark side of the moon.

On that side no one cares when gang fights break out. Over there it doesn’t matter if we are denying people of color their rights. We breathe in Colombian smoke and the guitar’s riffs fill our ears as we listen to Pink Floyd’s quiet desperation guiding us ever further from the light.

On the dark side of the moon we are so high we don’t notice the rest of the world. Our vision is blurred and all we see are the twinkling stars in space.

 

The above is an excerpt from a novel I’m working on. 

The author of The Pharaoh’s Cry,  Portal Shift, Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky from the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles,  as well as the middle-grade Forest Secrets. Laurie Woodward  co-wrote Dean and JoJoThe Dolphin Legacy. Her poetry has been published in multiple journals and anthologies and she was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet,  and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at artania.net

 

A Hungering Muse

When the words are stilted, like a stubbed toe limp or a stunted tree seeking sky on a windswept cliff,  quotes  help me summon the muse.

muse in ear

Piers Anthony said: “Keep writing, because not only does practice improve skill, it gives you more chances to score on the market.”

piersanthony

William Shakespeare: “O! for a muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention.”

shakespeare

Ray Bradbury’s advice is this. “To feed your Muse, then, you should always have been hungry about life since you were a child. If not, it is a little late to start.”

raybradbury

“Finish what you’re writing.  Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.” -Neil Gaiman

neilgaiman

What do you do when the muse is silent? Comment and let me know!

The author of The Pharaoh’s Cry,  Portal Shift, Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky from the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles,  as well as the middle-grade Forest Secrets. Laurie Woodward  co-wrote Dean and JoJoThe Dolphin Legacy. Her poetry has been published in multiple journals and anthologies and she was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet,  and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at artania.net

 

Learn About Film Scoring from Composer Mike Hall

Imagine a movie with no music. No eerie piano and toning gong. No suspenseful drum kits and horns. No echoing synthesizer making you look over your shoulder for an approaching alien. It wouldn’t be the same, would it?

“Alien Craft” Sound Track by Mike Hall

Composer Mike Hall is very much aware of the the mood music can create. He has made it his life’s work to design, produce, engineer, and master the parts of films that you and I take for granted. Growing up in the small town of Tipton, Iowa and later moving to LeClaire,  home of the History Channel’s show American Picker, his earliest influences came from the rock records his parents would play. Even though this was Buffalo Bill Cody’s  birthplace, his parents didn’t stick to listening to Bluegrass and Country.  Instead, his house on twenty acres was filled with the eclectic sounds of Buddy Holly,  Ricky Nelson, Elvis Presley, and The Beatles.

Music filled his mind  as he explored the towering bluffs, raced along the Mississippi River walks, and climbed ever higher in the deciduous forests. From his perch high in the silver maple or cottonwood tree he often watched deer graze, raccoons and squirrels scurry in and out of gooseberry and wild grape bushes, or wild turkeys peck for grubs on the leaf-carpeted forest floor.

Sometimes, he’d be lucky enough to catch a bald eagle flying overhead. While the beating of its wings echoed rhythms in his ears, he would tap on his faded jeans and dream of song.

As he grew, music became ever-more important as he trekked to the local record store searching for albums and tapes that might inspire. That’s when he began to notice film scores and listen with a more discerning ear. Then in high school he joined his first rock band with some friends. He may have known, “just enough to get by,” but his lack of of experience didn’t stop Mike.

Self-taught, he continued  practicing,  honing his craft until he was thrilled to begin performing as a guitar player and singer in the old school death metal band, rock band Angelkill. For the next few years Mike toured and played in a variety of bands of the same genre such as Mortuary Oat and Helmsplitter, which the Spirit of Rock Ezine called “..extreme metal that takes you on a roller coaster..” Spirit of Metal Article

During this time Mike was contacted by a German filmmaker who asked to use one of his songs in the end credits of his film. As he sat watching a film with his music playing, it  got him to thinking; What inspires me the most?  He considered this for a while, but the answer soon became clear. Composing. Creating musical scores for film.

For example: “Post Apocolyptic” by Mike Hall

Now Mike can often be found in his home studio working the keys and dials as he composes. While he  has done several jobs for hire, Mike says, “The work that has the most meaning and thrill for me is the music I do that has no project tied to it…there are no pressures…no expectations…just me and the the music.”

Eventually most of these compositions find their way to a record, video game, or film but even if they don’t, it’s fine with Mike. He loves that time of no pressure. That moment he is creating for the sheer joy of making music.

That passion and joy have paid off as Hall’s movie credit’s continue to grow.When the Night Comes, Pretty Little Things, and Evil Deeds, Full Circle are just a handful of the films he has scored to date.

Today Mike is sharing his passion with young musicians around the country mentoring and guiding them as they set out on their own musical journeys. He says, “I was  I was really kind of isolated growing up with no one encouraging me to do music. That’s why I think it’s so important to be a mentor to others and offer encouragement when and where ever you can. It can make a difference.”

Yes you can, and do Mike.

Listen to “Invincible,” and feel the power.

More about Mike Hall can be found on YouTubeSound Cloud, and Stage 32.

 

A teacher, Laurie Woodward is the author of  several novels including Forest Secrets, and the fantasy series The Artania ChroniclesShe also cowrote Dean and JoJoThe Dolphin Legacy and was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes her novels on the Central Coast of California.

A Hungering Muse

 When the words are stilted, like a stubbed toe limp or a stunted tree seeking sky on a windswept cliff,  quotes can summon the muse.

muse in ear

Piers Anthony said: “Keep writing, because not only does practice improve skill, it gives you more chances to score on the market.”

piersanthony

William Shakespeare: “O! for a muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention.”

shakespeare

Ray Bradbury’s advice is this. “To feed your Muse, then, you should always have been hungry about life since you were a child. If not, it is a little late to start.”

raybradbury

“Finish what you’re writing.  Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.” -Neil Gaiman

neilgaiman

And multiple authors say the same thing.”If you want to write sit down and do it!”

So what are you waiting for? Put your butt in the chair and write!

The author of The Pharaoh’s Cry,  Portal Shift, Kidnapped Smile, and Dragon Sky from the fantasy series The Artania Chronicles,  as well as the middle-grade Forest Secrets. Laurie Woodward  co-wrote Dean and JoJoThe Dolphin Legacy. Her poetry has been published in multiple journals and anthologies and she was a collaborator on the popular anti-bullying DVD Resolutions. Bullied as a child, Laurie is now an award-winning peace consultant, poet,  and blogger who helps teach children how to avoid arguments, stop bullying, and maintain healthy friendships. She writes on the Central Coast of California. More about her work can be found at artania.net