Friday, January 31, 2014

My Son Teaches Me a Lesson in Determination

Hey there, remember me? I'm waking this sleepy blog up for something C O O L. And of course there's a story behind it....

I was going to share this on Facebook, but it seemed too lengthy an explanation.

I was going to share this on Twitter, but 140 characters. Yeah.

This is a story of creative perseverance that I had to share, and it's about my sixteen-year-old son, and it'll end with a blow-your-mind video at the end. With lights and music!

Okay, back to my kid. My husband and I have always called him a Renaissance Man. He's an artist, a singer, a beatboxer (he's Plasma Music on Vine), and a deep thinker. He's shy-yet-confident and a very, very old soul.

He's also into music, always has been. At first it was electronic dance music at the tender age of six. Then it morphed into dubstep, complete with dubstep dancing (which he learned by watching You Tube videos). And now he's into what he calls the "completely underground stuff." He's constantly asking me and my husband to listen to new songs that he's discovered. I do like a lot of it.

He also stumbled upon this device called a Launchpad. In short: "Launchpad S is a powerful 64-button music controller that lets you make music or mix tracks using a super-intuitive grid of multi-colour buttons." It was the one thing he desperately wanted for Christmas.

When he opened it up he nearly burst, and he hasn't looked back since.

He recently programmed a song and performed it for my mom using the Launchpad. She thought it was great, but I could tell she had no idea what actually went into what she just saw. So I explained it to her.

He decided upon a song, imported into the Launchpad program, Ableton Live, and then parsed the song out into clips (most clips are one to two seconds long). The entire song. Then he assigned each clip to one of the squares on his Launchpad (the location is completely up to him). Then he programmed an accompanying light color to the Lanuchpad square, as well as light patterns, carefully taking into consideration the overall beat of the song.

Those steps alone just blew my mind. But the most difficult part is still to come.

From what I saw while he was creating and programming, he seemed to do the song in chunks, like, say, twenty second intervals. He would go over and over and over and over the pressing of the Launchpad buttons, so that he memorized where his fingers had to go. Very much like learning a piano piece. Lucky for him he had a mother who kept in piano lessons for six years, much to his chagrin.

Then he'd tackle the next part of the song, and the next, until the whole song was programmed and the button sequence learned. It took him just under thirty days to produce the video you're about to watch. And yes, he made this video himself as well. He's a determined, crafty young man.

Why am I sharing this here, on my recently silenced blog that was mostly about writing? Persistence, that's why. To remind you that whatever it is you're striving for out there in this world, chip away at it every single day. Do not give up. Have a plan. Do the research. Learn what you need to learn. Don't be afraid.

Do whatever it takes to make it happen. Power onward and "make your own music."

Oh, and I do miss this place and all of you.

In order for his You Tube page views to increase, you'll need to watch his Launchpad performance directly on You Tube by clicking HERE. Thanks for watching!!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

EMPTY releases in paperback today. And there's a GIVEAWAY!




To help celebrate the paperback release of EMPTY today, I'm running a giveaway. Subscribers--old and new--to my monthly eNewsletter will be automatically entered to win a signed paperback copy of EMPTY and a bookmark! 

There will be five lucky winners (US and Canada only - winners to be announced in my January Newsletter). 

Not subscribed to my monthly eNewsletter? Don't worry, you can sign up by clicking HERE.

BOOK SUMMARY

Dell is used to disappointment. Ever since her dad left, it’s been one let down after another. But no one—not even her best friend—gets all the pain she’s going through. So Dell hides behind self-deprecating jokes and forced smiles.

Then the one person she trusts betrays her. Dell is beyond devastated. Without anyone to turn to for comfort, her depression and self-loathing spin out of control. But just how far will she go to make all of the heartbreak and name-calling stop? 

Interested in why I wrote EMPTY? Click HERE.

Interested in some stellar reviews of EMPTY? Click HERE and HERE and HERE.

Here's what critics are saying about EMPTY:

Like Walton’s debut novel, Cracked (2012), Empty wades fearlessly into the desperate inner lives of abused teens.Readers will feel Dell’s pain acutely in this emotionally wrenching novel. ~BOOKLIST

Dell is a well-drawn character, and her loneliness and hurt are palpable. Teens will be sucked into her downward spiral and will start to wonder if her situation is ever going to get better. Empty will hit home hard with teens who have been or are being tormented and should shed some light on how painful and destructive bullying is to its victims. ~SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL

A cautionary tale about merciless bullying . . . . Portrayals may let readers (bullied, bully or observer) slot themselves in where appropriate and heed this red flag. ~KIRKUS

Walton writes books that matter. She writes with the intent of saving lives. Words are weapons-- but as Walton has deftly illustrated in Empty-- they are also hope.
~ Kim Sabatini, author of Touching the Surface

K.M. Walton's Empty is riveting, compelling, and brutally honest. Walton has crafted a very brave novel that draws readers not only into the complexities of a discarded teen's troubled world, but also toward the inevitable questions we must ask ourselves -- the questions EMPTY dares to explore.
~Andrew Smith author of Stick, The Marbury Lens, Passenger

Empty is a brave book written by a brave writer—relentless, unblinking, harrowing.
~ Beth Kephart author of Small Damages & You Are My Only

Monday, November 4, 2013

A rest.

To the one or two people who still visit this neglected dusty place, I say, hello. But, don't get too excited, this post might bum you out (it bums me out).

Back on July 18, 2008 (that's five years ago) I wrote my first post: I did it...I wrote a novel. Who knew that my journey to publication would be so arduous, so bumpy, so-friggin-long.

This blog, and more importantly my blog readers, got me through the most daunting times, the times I wanted to throw in the towel, the times I needed advice, a friend, a shoulder. Thank you.

Over the past five years I have opened up and shared so very much, right here. I have made "in real life" friends, gained critique partners, cheered others on from the sidelines of their own paths to publication - all wonderful things. But sometimes wonderful things must come to an end.

Cue the bummer part.

It probably won't come as a big surprise that I've officially decided to stop blogging. I've kinda already done that (hello, my last post was in September...and it's November. I'm a blogging slacker of the worst variety.)

Anyone need a tissue? *sniff*

Don't fret too much, I will still announce gigantic stuff here (new books, covers, etc...) And I'm on twitter (@kmwalton1), facebook, and kmwalton.com, so it's not like I'm disappearing into the mist.

If you're wondering "Why, Kate? Why?" well, it's because I want to save my time spent writing for my books. Not for monetary reasons or anything, simply because I'm blogged out.

So, farewell my blogger friends. See ya around the web. Stay cool.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

ALL OF YOU

You know when you have the good fortune to stumble upon someone in life and they turn out to change your life, for the better? That is the case with Christina Lee. I am lucky to call her a critique partner, and more importantly, a friend.

Her heart is big. Her writing talent is big.

It is with THE GREATEST PLEASURE and EXCITEMENT that I share the news of her debut New Adult release. Today the world can finally read ALL OF YOU! Her reviews are incredible because the book is incredible - I read it IN ONE SITTING.

Go forth and get your hands on this deliciously gripping novel.

Amazon

Barnes&Noble

Google Books


iBooks

Friday, September 13, 2013

So, Lately

Hello, long lost readers and friends. Hope this post finds you smiling, happy, perhaps sipping on a piping hot mug of coffee or tea. Things sure have been going and going around here - like everyone else in the world. Now that school is back in session, and my house is so damn quiet, I feel like I can sit down and blog.

So I am.

I've been meditating lately, just before I fall asleep. It helps to keep me centered. I stumbled upon Deepak Chopra's 21 Day Meditation Challenge app and recently finished my 21st day. Each session really got me thinking (I'm pretty sure that was the intention ; )

If anyone out there is feeling anxiety, worry, stress, then this post is for you.

If anyone out there is a dreamer, wisher, ponderer, then this post is for you.

If you're a longtime reader, you know of my deep love for THE POST-IT. They're everywhere in my life, and I don't know how I'd live without them. Big ups to 3M for creating such a masterpiece.

Anyway, back to the inspiration.

A few important thoughts have stuck with me from the 21 Day Meditation Challenge, things that I'd like to share with you guys because I think they're universal.

The most important: BE A CONSCIOUS CHOICE MAKER.

I wrote that on a post-it and stuck to my computer screen. I read it multiple times a day. I love the empowerment in those five words. I love the simplicity.

The second thought: WHO AM I? WHAT DO I WANT?

Those questions were asked repeatedly throughout the 21 Day Meditation Challenge, and I found it fascinating to mentally explore the answers. Give it a go.

The Challenge encourages listeners to take some time and write it down, record your thoughts. It helps you to process, to go deeper. I also helps to make your thinking even more concrete, even more real.

Who are you? Are you what others think you are? Are you who you want to be?

What do you want? Why do you want it so badly? Are you close to getting it? What can you do to make it happen?

Happy thinking!

If you're on Twitter, tune in each Wednesday at 10 AM EST for my #kindnessmatters campaign (@kmwalton1). The only thing promoted is kindness!