Harry Potter Taylor Swift Mashup?

I first saw this like a month ago and thought it was pretty creative and interesting. This girl decided to make video about two of the things she loves most. Taylor Swift and Harry Potter. I know you might not immediately see how the two can go together, but somehow she makes it work.

I don’t remember exactly why she did it or if she’s done any similar ones, but this is pretty awesome. And just entertaining to watch for a few minutes. Maybe you might want to watch a few times. Or a hundred. It’s nice and catchy. If you find yourself trying to learn the words, don’t worry. I’m sure you’re not the first.

What did you think? Cool, huh?


On this day in 2014 I published Judging a Book by its Author.

 

Day 1 at Half Price Books is Done!

Yesterday was my first day working at Half Price Books. Let me tell you about it.

First off, I’m pretty sure my store has ALL THE BOOKS. They’re everywhere. I’m not talking about on the shelves for people to buy. I’m talking about everywhere else! It’s kinda crazy and cool at the same time. And I never realized how much easier it is to find a particular book when you’re just shopping on your own than it is when you’ve got a dozen more to put on the shelf. Everyone there is a pro! Seriously. I felt like the rookie my whole shift.

Mostly I got to shelve some paperbacks and play around just a teeny bit on the computer. And I had a handful of customers ask me where to find items. I tried my best to help them, but I’m still learning the store and had to hand off a couple. I also realized that the store sells plenty of movies, music, and games that I hadn’t previously known about. Y’all know I love me some country music, TV, and books. This is the perfect place for me to be working.

The best part is that I had to ask the other workers a lot of questions and they were always eager to help. That probably doesn’t sound like much, but it’s not something everyone gets to have. Unfortunately, I don’t think I remembered all the names I learned today. But I’ll learn them. Hopefully.

And look at what I got today! So nice and shiny!
IMG_20150812_123228Tell me about your most recent first day on the job. Unless it was horrible, then make something up you writer, you.

 

20 Years ago Today…

tumblr_ljvhh86ryH1qd1s5no1_500

Selena Quintanilla Perez was killed.

And if you think about that, then you realize I was only three at the time of her death. Everything I’ve learned and know about Selena came after her death.

Now I’d bet that most of you have no idea who I’m talking about. And I’m going to tell you why that is. Selena was shot by her fan club president and friend just two weeks before her 24th birthday. She was not a rising star, she was not up and coming…Selena was a superstar within the Latino community. Superstar. She brought tejano music to a more mainstream audience. But after accomplishing just about all she could accomplish, it was decided that she’d crossover into pop music with an English album.

See, Selena was Mexican-American. Just like me. She spoke perfect English and struggled a bit with her Spanish, but she’d always sang in Spanish. So her crossover was more about timing than about ability. She could sing. She could dance. She could perform with the best artists of her time, and she built up an enormous fan base that was ready for her to make the move.

But she never had that opportunity. Her crossover album was released just a couple of months after her death. But I want to tell you what I truly believe would have happened had she been able to continue an already extraordinary career.

You would absolutely know her name. She would have been one of the top selling artists of the 2000s. She would have dozens upon dozens of awards. And she’d have appeared on Time’s 100 Most Influential People in the World lists several times.

Oh, and Jennifer Lopez may not exist as we know her. The coincidence is that Jennifer Lopez got her break by portraying Selena in the movie about her life. If there’s no movie, who knows what might have happened. I honestly think Selena would have been the Jennifer Lopez we know today. She would have had her hand in everything.

Selena Quintanilla Perez is a LEGEND within the Latino community and Texas. She was named the top selling Latin artist of the 90s and the overall top Latin artist of the same decade. Her crossover album Dreaming of You debuted at number 1 and topped the Latin Albums chart for nine consecutive months. I imagine that most of you are unfamiliar with her music, so here are her two pop songs that you might just happen to know.

If you’d like to know more about Selena, I encourage you to go here.

If you haven’t seen the movie about her life, you can stream it on YouTube or Amazon for $2.99.

Selena, rest in peace. You’re impacting more people every single day.

Saturday Selects: The Grammy nominations

2015-Grammy-Nominations-Header_2014-12-05_10-19-08

Photo Credit: Popdust

Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write the first Saturday of each month in which I talk about something completely unrelated to books and writing and all that fun stuff. Click here to see past topics. Today we get to talk about some music.

I’ll be honest. I watch the Grammys every year. Last year I was tweeting along with millions of others as Daft Punk stole the show. But every year when the nominations are announced I’m really only interested in a few categories. All the country categories. The pop ones because those are songs, singers, and albums that just about everyone knows. Usually. And I also look at the rap categories. Why? Because country music is my life. Okay…maybe not. But I love and listen to it every single day. I look at the pop categories just to see if the usual players are nominated. And I look at the rap categories to see if Eminem is nominated. I’ve been a fan of his from his late 90s days. So now that you know all of that, here’s what I think of this year’s nominations.

Best Country Solo Performance

The category is full of stars. Miranda. Carrie. Keith. Eric Church. And Hunter Hayes. I am of the opinion that Carrie Underwood should be nominated and win every year because there really is no one with her voice in country music. And very few in any other genre. But for this particular category I would be very surprised if Keith Urban or Hunter Hayes took home the trophy. Any of the other three would be justified in my eyes.

Best Country Duo/Group Performance

Miranda. Carrie. Keith. And Eric Church are all nominated again in this category. But so is Little Big Town for their song “Day Drinking.” This song has been played on country radio for seemingly the entire year. I’d have to go back and look at the actual release date, but it’s been played for a long time. I’m not going to make any prediction for this category cause it’s an open one.

Best Country Song

I believe this is a songwriting award. Miranda and Eric Church nominated again. Yes, they actually co-wrote their hit songs. The issue I have with this category is “American Kids” by Kenny Chesney is nominated. Not only do I not like the performance, but I also don’t think it’s deserving of a songwriting nomination. I’m not going to sit here and act like I’m a music critic, but this and “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” are huge surprises to even be nominated in this category. At least to me. I hope Miranda wins just so she can go home to Blake with a million Grammys while he’s still waiting on his first.

Best Country Album

Eric Church, Dierks Bentley, and Miranda Lambert have to be the favorites in this category. But really, the favorite is Miranda. She already won this award just a few weeks ago at the CMA Awards and I’m confident that she’ll be taking home the Grammy. For those of you who don’t know, she dominates awards shows. Seriously. It’s ridiculous how often she wins. But her wins are definitely well deserved.

That’s all for the country categories. Eminem is nominated for Best Rap Album, Best Rap/Sung Collaboration, and Best Rap Performance. Pretty nice day at the office. And the pop categories didn’t offer any surprises to me. The only thing I will say is that John Legend MUST WIN for Best Pop Solo Performance for his song “All of Me.” He must. Great, great song. And I can’t imagine any artist coming close to performing it as well as he does.

That’s all I have for today. Hopefully I didn’t bore you too much. Click here to check out the full list of nominees.

A Recommendation!

LillySingh-c

Did you happen to catch on to the fact that I actually MISSED a post last week? I didn’t post Friday and then I missed my Saturday post the day after. Why? Because whenever it comes time for me to sit down and write one of these wonderful things for you all I will always and forever prefer to sleep instead. Y’all have no idea how much I need my sleep. Anyway, who cares about any of that stuff.

Today’s post will be a recommendation! I can see the wheels in your head turning. You’re thinking of my post from a very short while ago in which I was very specific in saying that I hate and never give out book recommendations. That remains true, BUT this won’t be a book recommendation.

Let me tell you how I just so happened to stumble across this outrageously funny girl I’m going to be suggesting to you all in a short bit. I’m scrolling down my Facebook News Feed. I hate the social network itself and talk to none of the people I’m friends with on there, but I still scroll through my News Feed several times a day. Mostly for funny Vines or memes. So I’m sitting there scrolling along and I catch the title of a Huffington Post article about some rap duo who capture the ridiculousness of Generation Y. I’m like…”Oh.” Honestly, some really trashy articles pop up on Facebook but I click ahead anyway. You can read the article here and you most definitely should! It’s short!

Then I watched the music video, it’s an actual song and a REALLY catchy one! But that’s only how I came to discover Superwoman. Who is Superwoman you ask? She’s who I’m recommending to you guys! Her name is really Lilly Singh.

She has a GREAT YouTube channel that I’ve been binge watching all day. It’s mostly comedic stuff, but in the process of my watching I found a “Draw My Life” video. If you don’t know what these are just think of a person narrating in the background as they draw what they’re saying on a dry erase board. These are always great to watch. So I watched hers thinking that it would be a little about her and a lot about how she managed to gain over 3 million subscribers to her channel. 3 million! And here I thought 1300 blog followers was something special. Anyway, the point that I’m making is that this video was not comedic. It wasn’t at all what I expected. If I had to put a label on it I would call it a video of hope and strength. And holy crap it’s seriously fantastic. And you learn about the girl whose videos are watched by millions.

I know this isn’t my regular bookish post, but you guys should really give this girl a look. At least watch the Draw My Life video because I guarantee you’ll love it. And then watch the music video for #Leh because you WILL be singing it the rest of the day and a purchase will be made.

Read the Huffington Post article and watch the music video for the song #Leh here.

Watch her Draw My Life video here.

Access her YouTube channel here.

Follow her on Twitter here.

Download the song #Leh from Amazon here. (Couldn’t figure out the iTunes link)

PLEEEEEEEEASE don’t just read this and skip all the links. This girl is beyond hilarious and I know you’ll find her entertaining. Regular bookish post coming tomorrow!

I decided to go ahead and include her Draw My Life video because I know you guys are lazy and won’t click. Now watch!

Saturday Selects: The beauty of country music

ImagePhoto Credit: News Generation

For all you newcomers, and there are A LOT of you, Saturday Selects is a series of posts I write the first Saturday of each month in which I discuss something other than books. This will be my fourth in the series.

I have to be honest with you guys. I sat here at my computer with my blogging playlist playing away and I couldn’t come up with anything I thought was worthy of a post. I’m talking over an hour I did this. I even smacked my head against the armrest of my chair once or twice. But I ultimately decided on country music because, duh it’s amazing, and also because Blake Shelton is tweeting EVERYONE right now. It’s one in the morning here. So let’s get into it.

Before I begin, I’d first like to let you know that I am OBSESSED with country music. I’m not exaggerating one bit. Let me tell you how I first got into the genre because I don’t think I’ve mentioned it on here before. And if I have, well I still like the story. So let’s rewind back to the end of 2009. I was in the midst of my senior year of high school. And I met this girl. I won’t tell you anything about her except that she loved country music. Maybe not as much as I do now, but she listened to it far more than anything else. Anyway, my birthday comes at the end of the year and us both being in high school, well a real birthday present was all but out of the question. So she gave me a nice handwritten letter. A pack of gum. A candy cane (for Christmas). A picture of her with her snowman, it had snowed in Houston for the first time in years! AND a list of country songs for me to download and listen to. Let me tell you, this is still the best birthday present I’ve ever gotten. All of those seemingly meaningless things. I STILL have the list she gave me, the picture, and the letter. Don’t ask me why because you can likely assume the correct answer to your own question. It took me a few weeks, but I finally downloaded the songs, it was 18 in total, and put them on a CD and played them in my car. Over and over and over again. That’s how I fell in love with the genre, by listening to a few random country songs on repeat.

I haven’t spoken to you in years, Desirae, but I thank you for introducing me to country music.

Now let’s talk about what makes the genre so great. First, and I know you’ve probably heard this before, EVERY song tells a story. Every single one. I’ve heard songs about suicide and breakups and abuse and partying and having children and everything in the middle. Tell me, have you heard a pop song recently that talks about children? I haven’t. But I also don’t listen to the genre too often. Or what about losing someone close to you? I’m sure there are songs out there in other genres, but you ALWAYS get great stories by way of country music. Always.

I mean, it simply does not get any better than a country love song. It doesn’t. Pop “ballads” are rarely ballads. But I’m not only talking pop, though. Hip-hop, um no. R&B, huh? Rock, does it even exist? I’m not here saying that other genres don’t produce some good music, I’m saying there’s far more to a song than how much radio airplay and downloads it gets. I’m actually a fan of Bruno Mars.

Lastly, one of the major knocks on country music today is that it’s gone so far into the direction of pop. Shut up. Right now, without utilizing the internet, can you tell me just five country singers you consider to be pop country? Just five. Of course I can, but can you? Leaving out Taylor Swift. If you can’t then you’ve just made my point for me. Country music has simply evolved. It doesn’t sound the same as it did 10, 15, or 20 years ago. But if it’s gone pop, then how has George Strait managed to stay relevant over the course of three decades? Or Reba? Or any of the other artists who have been around since long before some of the newcomers were even born. So don’t tell me country music has gone pop, because it hasn’t.

Some of my favorite artists include Brad Paisley, Blake Shelton, Rascal Flatts, Keith Urban, and George Strait.

If you’d like to read the others in the series, here they are:

Saturday Selects: Blogging amidst your social media

Saturday Selects: Tattoos becoming “mainstream?”

Saturday Selects: Farewell to an all-time great

Listen While you…Write?

Photo Credit: Fuel Your Writing

I remember thinking of writing this post sometime ago. But then it got lost in the shuffle of other blog posts that I thought were more relevant. But now I’ve gone ahead and changed my mind. I’ve even given it the coveted Monday spot! Supposedly Mondays are the most active days on blogging sites, though my top five days in terms of views have all come on days that are not Monday. Eh. Doesn’t matter.

Anyway, you’re likely still scratching your head trying to figure out what exactly I intend to discuss in this post. The title doesn’t really tell you all you need to know. Fear not, the topic to be discussed is what you listen to as you write. I was reminded of this question when it was asked of me by another blogger who nominated me for a Liebster Award. My initial response and longest post ever can be found here.

Okay. Time for the good stuff. My answer is actually a two-part answer. First, I don’t listen to anything while I’m working on my second novel. The sounds of my house are annoying enough that I have no intention of adding to the mix with sounds of ANYTHING. Second, I always listen to music as I write my blog posts. I typically write them the night before they’re set to go online. For instance, this is Monday’s post being written at 12:45 Sunday night. What music you ask? Well if you’ve glanced at my About Me page then you know that I LOVE country music. Seriously. I don’t care that people say all they sing about are back roads, blue jeans, beer, and trucks. It’s about a thousand times better than pop music. Probably more, actually. I’m always downloading new songs. I listen to my most recent country downloads as I work on my blog posts. It’s currently 11 songs. Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban, Thomas Rhett, and Brett Eldredge are all represented in this batch. I honestly don’t know why there’s a difference between writing a blog post and writing a new chapter. But there is.

So there you have it, I’m either listening to the click-clacking of my fingers on the keys of my laptop while writing a new chapter or I’m jamming to some country music while writing a blog post. I want to know what YOU listen to as you write. Let’s compare, shall we?

Also, I’m going to start keeping you guys apprised of my progress to read 50 books in a single calendar year. I just finished my fifth book of the year. London Bridges (Alex Cross #10) by James Patterson.