I could use a little music help

So I am sitting in the Detroit airport right now, catching up on my email and looking forward to sushi for lunch. I’ll take pictures, I promise. The flight here was on time and uneventful; loverly. Fingers crossed for the next leg of the trip.

Theo has been working away at his forge, crafting a new look for my website. It is still very much a work-in-progress, but here is a sneak peek at the Novels page.

And here’s the new look for the homepage.

What do you think? (Not all of the buttons work yet, so don’t worry about that. Just tell us what you like and what you don’t like.)

I also asked Theo to put together pages for playlists for all my books. This is where I’d love your ideas: What songs would you put on the playlist for: SPEAK, CATALYST, PROM, TWISTED, & FEVER 1793 (I am looking at you, for that one!)?

edited to add I forgot to mention our early morning adventure in the Forest. We woke up at 4am as scheduled. Minor complication: no power. I got dressed and put on my make-up by candlelight, while Beloved Husband valiantly made coffee by boiling water and handpouring it through the coffee-filled filter. He let the dog out to do her business just as we were preparing to leave. One nanosecond later, he bellowed for her to come back in. I had caught a whiff of skunk and assumed the worse.

Yes, it was a critter, but it was a raccoon raiding the dog’s food bowl in her pen. Nothing was left of the skunk but the stink. Crisis averted. Packed the car, grabbed the coffee and hit the road at 4:30am. As we headed for town, BH said, “You blew out all the candles, right?” Me: “….. ah, I think so?”

We drove back. Yep, I had blown out all candles. House and dog were safe. The raccoon was full. And the skunk was probably watching all of this from the cover of a hollowed-out log, laughing his fool stripe off.

18 Replies to “I could use a little music help”

  1. i like the new layout 🙂

    some music ideas–

    “the killing moon” by nouvelle vague for speak (don’t let the girl’s girlish singing mask the lyrics for you…)
    “i am a rock” by simon & garfunkel for speak

    “spintering” by arizona for catalyst

    “rough gem” by islands for twisted (reminds me of tyler’s relationship with his father)
    “the great escape” by we are scientists for twisted (or catalyst maybe)

    “alright” by supergrass for prom
    “end of the line” by traveling wilburys for prom
    “i summon you” by spoon for prom

  2. Kudos to Theo! It’s very classy looking. The flash isn’t too overpowering and the background music is a nice touch. There is a leaf covering most of you last name on the novels page, though. 😛

    Have fun on your trip!

    little quirk

  3. love the new design for the page! hope your trip is going well! some song ideas:
    1. “silent all these years” by tori amos for speak
    2. “blackbird” by the beatles for speak or twisted (not sure which)
    3. “beautiful” by carole king for catalyst
    that’s all i can think of for now. if i think of any more i’ll leave another comment! =) ♥

  4. Hmm.

    No songs limited to late 18th century Philadelphia, of course, though the Knopfler is about Mason & Dixon, coming here in 1763, so these are mostly for the general feel of the era…

    Loreena McKennitt, “Skellig”
    Mark Knopfler, “Sailing to Philadelphia”
    Turlough O’Carolan, “Eleanor Burkett”
    James Keelaghan, “Jenny Bryce”
    Jay Ungar & Molly Mason, “Ashokan Farewell”
    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, “Horn Concerto No. 1 In D: Rondo. Allegro” (my copy of which comes from a disk called Mozart for the Morning Commute, which if a person were only going to own one classical CD, I highly recommend.)
    Dr. Joseph Warren, “Free America
    The Virginia Company, “Banish Misfortune-Go To Te Deil And Shake Yourself-Smash The Windows” (on their Smash the Windows album).

    I may be able to think of more later when I get home.

  5. I like the new layout, but it’s stretching my screen at 1024×768 pixels, so it’ll really be a pain for the users who are trying to view it in 800×600. Just a suggestion to make it more user friendly :).

    For songs, here’s some suggestions:

    Rooftop – Melissa Mcclelland
    I Don’t Want To Be Me – Amanda Clemens

    Under Pressure – Queen

  6. love the new look 🙂

    I agree with “Blackbird” by the Beatles for Speak. Also, “Wounded” by Third Eye Blind would be absolutely perfect for this. You can read the lyrics here if you want.

    There’s a song I’m thinking of for Catalyst, but I can’t remember the name. I’ll get back to you on that one.

  7. Oooh, new webpage! It’s really pretty…i really like how clean and direct the new front page is!

    I agree with perfykt’s opinion of making the layout a little narrower – probably more than a third of your audience has 1024×768 screen resolution (see the “Primary Display Resolution” section).

    The links that pop up when the mouse rolls over the books on the tree are really pretty. I think it would be nice if the links on the title page reacted when you hover your mouse over them, like for instance if the text became underlined or something. (As an added super bonus point, this would make your design more consistent.)

    Um… i hope you are doing well in Detroit.

  8. I hope you have a fabulous time in Kalamazoo. It’s a fantastic town. Try to check out one of the craftbrewers or Food Dance while you’re there.

    I just finished my MA there. I wish I was still there because that conference seems awesome all the way around.

  9. About the new website (WIP!)
    Probably shouldnt have the leaf cover your last name so much- new readers to your universe may turn away if thats the very first place they visit.

    I do like the tree with the books

  10. Twisted:
    “Say it Ain’t So” by Weezer

    “Nowhere and Everywhere” by Michelle Lewis

    “Girl Disappearing” by Tori Amos

  11. Web site review

    I’d like the tree to look more like an apple tree and the “fruit” to be more tempting.

    On the pages in the junk drawer that do work, the type is so microscopic on my screen that I can’t even begin to read them.

    I love the flipping signs.

    I like the book page much better than the main page. I don’t know why really, but I know the frame seemed wrong to me, like who you are can be captured and placed within boundaries, when you defy so many categories. You write picture books about African girls, Mother’s Day, Thanksgiving; books for the Humane Society, about proms, rape, and abuse.

    So I suppose it depends on what your website does for you and who you want using it as to whether or not it works or not. Some of your work is so hugely popular with boys, and the teen boys I know, would probably not explore unless they already knew you. Twisted has taken your “boy” appeal and multiplied it exponentially. However, since most of the people who check out your website already do know you, I guess it doesn’t matter so much.

    I’m brainstorming and calling ’em like I see ’em and I guess what I am really saying is that this site will work well with existing fans, but I have my doubts whether it would attract new teen readers, especially boys. My suggestion would be to break the frame in some way.

    I love the music (but music drives me nuts if it never changes). Everything loads really quickly and works quite well (if small).

    The book page works a lot better for me (although the leaf does cover up words). Can you make the music stop after, say, 45 seconds?

    Your website certainly gets a passing grade and I will still wander in from time to time and I will still direct all the teens I know to stop by. This is my gut level, unfiltered response, which I know you will value even if you don’t appreciate its entire message. And I know that even if you stick with the frame, you will have a good reason for doing so (but please DO make the font sizes bigger).

  12. for speak (or twisted, if it the song wasn’t singing “girl” in each refrain)

    “ocean city girl” by ivy

  13. song suggestions

    I just finished teaching Speak in my English I class, and I took in two songs:
    – Crucify by Tori Amos
    – Try not to Breathe by R.E.M.
    – Be Careful by Patty Griffin
    – Kid Fears by Indigo Girls
    – The Girl With the Weight of the World in Her Hands – Indigo Girls
    I will probably think of a thousand more. My students love it when I bring in music to connect with the literature, and they bring in great songs as well.
    Thank you so much for writing such amazing books! I love Modern YA literature, and I am pushing for it to be taught in a school full of veteran teachers who want the classics/canon and nothing else. I actually required my students to purchase their own copies of Speak because my school would not purchase me a set. They all loved it, and agree that the purchase was well worth it! We are going to watch the movie tomorrow!

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