Our community for creating and marketing Words, Music, and Village

14.1018 Final Cropped CoverTHE LATEST:
Special Kindle Countdown price for three days only!

My newly published novel Song of the Ocarina. for only $2.99:
F., Dec. 12–Sun., Dec. 14.

A great way to ease into the music-filled, fantastical world of Delfaerune during the holidays. Just sayin’.


See this grin? That's me, sharing creative works and ideas with you, and a cup of tea.

See this grin? That’s me, sharing creative works and ideas with you, and a cup of tea.

Welcome! I’m so glad you’ve found our little online community! Here,we share ideas to create and market better writing, music, and “village.”

Throw in a few “Coffee CommuniTea” coffee and tea-shop reviews, and we’re golden, right? What better places for writing, enjoying music, and creating village?

I’ll also link you up with some word-of-mouth (WOM) strategies, stemming from my marketing background as owner of Videan Unlimited, LLC.

Our goal is to generate success together, using fresh tactics to get the ‘verse buzzing about our—and others’—cool creative endeavors. Come on in and join us… Ann


Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth

P.S. Learn more about my novels on Google+.

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Life’s Little Pleasures — the coveted Videan family gingerbread kids recipe

A word-of-mouth marketing example from the lens of Ann Narcisian Videan
to inspire your readers or tribe/village.

(You may want to subscribe to my LINC enewsletter announcing
more word-of-mouth marketing examples.)
…………………………..

Gingerbread orchestra.

Gingerbread orchestra.

The good story behind the goodies

My mom was famous for her gingerbread kids. She baked dozens and dozens every Christmas, and her friends waited all year for them to arrive on their doorstep.

To try our family gingerbread recipe is to love it. Really. Everyone who tastes them, raves about how tasty, soft and chewy, and uniquely iced they are. Not to mention highly tasty.

We’ve continued, and slightly enhanced, the tradition. We still give them away as gifts at holiday time, only usually in one or two of my “scrapboxed” tins. I use my scrapbooking materials to creatively cover the many tea tins I accumulate from Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf every year. Plus, my family loves to make the kids’ icing unique. One year, we iced on car logos. Another year, Harry Potter characters. Last year, the dwarves from The Hobbit (which will have already seen if you subscribe to my LINC enewsletter.)

My tins are perfect for our award-winning Molasses Crinkles, too! :)

My tins are perfect for our award-winning Molasses Crinkles, too! :)

 My "scrapboxed" cookie tins for cookies and gingerbread

My “scrapboxed” cookie tins for cookies and gingerbread

I thought this year I’d add to your holiday cheer by sharing the recipe. Enjoy every morsel!

Gingerbread Kids

(makes 70 mini gingerbread boys)
From the kitchen of Madge Narcisian, via Ann Narcisian Videan

1/2 c. soft shortening
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. light or dark molasses
1 egg yolk

Beat shortening, sugar, molasses until creamy. Add egg yolk and beat well.

2 c. all purpose sifted flour (maybe just short of 2 cups)
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 t. ground ginger
1 t. ground cloves
1-1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. nutmeg

Sift flour with salt, baking soda, baking powder, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg. Blend into sugar mixture. (If the dough is too granular, add a tablespoon or two of milk.)

Chill dough for more than one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. On lightly floured board, roll out dough to 1/4” thickness. Using two-inch gingerbread cookie cutters, stamp and place 1/2” inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes.

Icing

1-1/2 c. confectioners sugar
1 egg white
1/2 t. cream de tartar
Use water not milk to thin icing.

Why not share one of your favorite family recipes, below in the comments…

…………………..

Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth

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Fantastical read, top-notch gift idea, relaxing price – this weekend only

Song of the Ocarina, Ann Videan

Character image by John Taylor.

Looking for an escape from holiday pressures, or need a solid gift idea for someone who loves fantasy adventure?

Here’s an easy — and super affordable —  way to ease into a new realm… In the Zealynd realm of Delfaeurune, music joins with Earth energy to conjure balance among all creatures, “extinct” and mythical creatures talk and live peacefully, and the Dark Fae pattern themselves after burned-out human rock stars.

I’m offering my newly published Song of the Ocarina (ebook version) for a special Kindle Countdown price of $2.99 for three days only: F., Dec. 12–Sun., Dec. 14. Here’s a link describing how to give a Kindle ebook as a gift, just in case you don’t know how. (I didn’t.)

Wondering what the book’s all about? Here’s an excerpt:

Lark’s heart beat quickly. The room tugged at her. Not just because of its rich natural garden tones, but something undefined, too. A tear escaped and trickled down her cheek.

Noel stepped toward her. “Are you alright, Alouette?”

Without thinking, Lark threw her arms around him. He hesitated at first, obviously surprised, but quickly responded by pulling her in close. The calming rhythm of his quickly beating heart helped her regain her composure, and she drew back to arm’s length.

He wiped tears from her cheeks as she looked up into his handsome face. “I… I’m sorry, Noel. I’m not sure what it is.” She glanced around. “This is my old room, right?”

He simply smiled, placed his hat on the table, and began humming a slow haunting melody. He held out his hands to her, and she took them, not sure what to expect. Hands joined, he moved their arms gracefully back and forth, all the time focusing intently on her eyes. She sensed powerful restraint behind their brilliant blue, but no matter what they hid from her, she never wanted to stop gazing into their depths.

As he sang, a soft thrumming emanated from the foliage in the room. The combined musical hum crescendoed, and the vine bed curtains and bright floral swags above the windows started to sway in time with his movements. Strands of light drew her gaze as they streamed out of the living greens and into Noel, their luminescence joining his energy field. She could see it flowing through him, brightening and widening his aura. As he continued his song, the light raced down along his arms and around Lark’s hands. When it hit, a gentle buzz reverberated through her body with a tingle. A cloud of human memories and anxiety washed out of her mind with a splash of clarity.

Lark became aware of herself as the oldest Fae daughter of Delfaerune Magisters Knyt Tūrehu and Fern Tūrehu. She knew she had grown up here in this beautiful Division home with her younger sister B’rook.

She had trained since age four to learn the secrets of the Fae world’s three most sacred instruments. The Kura Ocarina, a hand flute capable of carrying messages through foliage to affect physical changes in living beings. The Sacred Pākiri, a drum designed to control the emotional state of Fae. And, the Aroha Autangi, a zither with the power to control elements and spark spiritual healing.

All of Delfaerune knew her as the next Maestra… the one fae, Dark or Noble, with a matchless connection to Mother Earth, and an undeniable musical prowess. She would be chosen as her generation’s virtuoso and musical leader, in the footsteps of her father, once she came of age.

She had turned seventeen while in the human realm, so her testing would come soon.

With this realization, Lark pulled away from Noel, breaking the spell’s thrumming. She covered her mouth with her hand, and scanned her bedroom.

P.S.  Song of the Ocarina earned a Top Five Finish in the April 2014 Realizing The Dream Contest, by editors and agents attending the RWA Desert Dreams Writer’s Conference.

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Share proven tips in our free established author roundtable — ALWAYS

If you feed them, will they come? This is a question you might pose about book signings. These delicious treats at my recent book signing with C.L. Gillmore (A Friend Request)  were a hit attendees. It helps when you fellow author used to cater.

If you feed them, will they come? This is a question you might pose about book signings. Attendees loved these delicious treats at my recent Song of the Ocarina book signing with C.L. Gillmore (A Friend Request). It helps when your fellow author used to cater events.

What obstacles interfere with your writing?
What are you losing sleep over?
Need ideas and resources to move forward?

It’s a writer’s-choice meeting! Bring your questions and issues to the table for your fellow established authors’ input at our December 2014 gathering of the Alliance of Literary Writers, Authors and Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS).

Next gathering:
Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
(ALWAYS meets on the second Thursday of the month.)

Where:
Romeo’s Euro Café
(downtown GIlbert, AZ)
207 N. Gilbert Rd. #105
Gilbert, Arizona 85234
(480) 962-4224

Back-up location:
Joe’s BBQ
301 N. Gilbert Rd.
Gilbert, AZ 85234
(480) 503-3805

Cost:
A writing tip, and your own lunch.

RSVP:
PLEASE show the consideration of reserving your spot at the table by:
• RSVPing through the “Join” link on our Facebook Event page
or
• Contacting Ann Videan

If you’ve RSVP’d, please SHOW UP. If you run into a conflict, please let me know BEFORE the event so I can make the necessary adjustments for the group meeting. Cheers!
…………………………………………………………….

ABOUT ALWAYS

• Need contacts to help your writing?
• Want advice about your writing?
• Like to hang with other cool writers?

If so, our tribe – the Alliance for Literary Writers, Authors & Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) – is the place for you. We’re an informal group of established writers looking for camaraderie, ideas, enlightenment and connection with writers, especially in the Phoenix metro area, to talk about our craft and businesses.

Any established writer can connect with us online through our ALWAYS Facebook page, get listed in our directory of writers on our ALWAYS LinkedIn page, or you can meet with us in person at a lunch meeting. We’d love to have any experienced writer join us at our next meeting … anyone who spends a significant part of his/her week writing, and wants to rub elbows with other writers.

…………………..

Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth
avidean@videanunlimited.com

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Author secrets—from world-building to a writers’ residence exchange—ALWAYS

Our November 2014 tips from established writers attending the
Alliance of Literary Writers, Authors and Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) gathering.
Read ‘em and reap.

I was asked by one of the ALWAYS authors to share some world-building tips with our tribe, on the heels of publishing my new fantasy adventure Song of the Ocarina.

For a copy of my handout, visit the Files link on the ALWAYS Facebook page. Here are the high-level points from my wee presentation*:

1. Pick a unique idea or set of ideas to frame the world.
Mine centered around:

  • Noel Stone, newly Noble Fae, musician, and sometime sheep shearer. Image by John Taylor. ©2013 VUPublishing

    Noel Stone, newly Noble Fae, musician, and sometime sheep shearer. Image by John Taylor. ©2013 VUPublishing

    Noel, a 6-1/2′ tall character who came to me in a dream

  • A New Zealand-type realm influenced by the Maori culture
  • Fae names:
    • Noble Fae all natural (Lark, Glenn, B’rook)
    • Dark Fae based on burned-out rock stars (Mikk, Kert, Axyl)

2. Rules - establish logical rules for your world (especially putting limitations around magic, or developing cultural activities)

3. Rituals - structure a set of set activities in the world’s culture (greetings, birthdays, weddings/funerals, art/music, sports)

4. Power - develop a series of hierarchies (government, education, communities)

5. Place - more than setting, describe the place from a character’s perspective

* Malinda Lo’s blog provided world-building inspiration for my comments.

Additional tips from our authors:

  • Support indie authors by buying their books rather than sharing or free downloads. Your support means they can continue creating the stories you love.
  • Looking for a place to write? Check out Poets & Writerswriter’s residency exchange. I am SO excited about learning more about this!
  • The 3-Day Novel Contest. This writing challenge  has happened every Labor Day weekend since 1977. “Entrants pre-register, grit their teeth, lock their doors and try to produce a literary masterwork in 72 short hours. A panel of experienced judges reads the results and the winning novel is published.
  • To see what readers like about a genre, look at Amazon reviews about similar books.
  • Write a series rather than a one-off. Consider making the first book in the series Perma-free (permanently free ) on Amazon to allow readers to sample your writing and get hooked on the series.
  • Read Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them, by Francine Prose
  • Write more than you read about writing. Ah, the temptation!

…………………..

Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth
avidean@videanunlimited.com

Posted in All Posts, Delfaerune Rhapsody, Events, Words: Serious Play, Writing tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Share an evening with award-winning authors, books, and music… even award-winning cookies!

Award winning books and authors

Cheryl’s and my books are both filled with music and love. Her romance, A Friend Request, will appeal to adults (18+), while my fantasy adventure, Song of the Ocarina, is geared to new adults (ages 15-25+).

Join in our book celebration!

The music-filled, fantastical world of Delfaerune awaits your exploration in my newly published novel Song of the Ocarina. I’ll share the spotlight with Cheryl Gillmore, author of A Friend Request—an adult story of first love rekindled online—which I had the honor to edit.

Capture 12 Photo Gallery
417 E. Roosevelt St., Phoenix, AZ

Sat., Nov. 22,  4 p.m.–8 p.m.

What’s in it for you? Everything award-winning!

  • Win a free 5-page sample edit of your writing.
  • Earn an entry for my drawing for a free signed copy of Song of the Ocarina, a Top Five Finisher in the”Realizing The Dream Contest.”
    Just bring proof you found the special image identified in my blog’s Delfaerune Rhapsody section.(At the event, show me a screen capture, Instagram photo, my live blog page on your mobile device, etc.)
  • Meet at 7 p.m. with other “new adults” to discuss forming a tribe geared to leveraging your creative works.
  • Meet Cheryl Gillmore, author of A Friend Request, which I had the honor to edit. Her poetry book, Of Roots, Shoes and Rhymes, won the Sixth Annual National Indie Excellence Awards in poetry. Her first novel, Uncommon Bond, won the 2012 New Mexico-Arizona Book Awards for Fiction-Romance.
  • Hear the playlists associated with our books, both of which are filled with popular music references.
  • If you have no other reason, come on down for a taste of my family’s award-winning Molasses Crinkles cookies. (Really, the annual ZooTeens cookie baking contest, thought our cookies were “Most Like Grandma’s.”)

Another opportunity for a book-drawing entry…

Independent authors rely on loyal supporters like you to allow them to continue writing the stories you love. Can you help by spreading the word? If you bring evidence of posting or re-posting any announcement for this book signing, I’ll add a second entry into my book drawing for you, and send you home with a bag of those delicious Molasses Crinkles.


Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth

P.S. Learn more about my novels on Google+.


Posted in All Posts, Delfaerune Rhapsody, Events, Village: You+Me+Us, Words: Serious Play, Writing tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Create a compelling world to attach readers to your story – ALWAYS

This image of Queenstown, NZ, captures the feeling of my characters' magical world in "Song of the Ocarina." I'll talk about a starting point like this when creating a powerful fictional world, at our Nov. 13 established writers' lunch meeting – ALWAYS. @2008 ANVidean

This image of Queenstown, NZ, captures the feeling of my characters’ magical world in my “Song of the Ocarina” novel. I’ll talk about a starting point like this when creating a powerful fictional world, at our Nov. 13 established-writers’ lunch meeting – ALWAYS.
@2008 ANVidean

TOPIC: World-building in fiction.

How do you go about creating the world in which your characters move around in a novel? By request, your host Ann Videan will present ideas on this topic, having just finished creating a whole new realm for her Delfaerune Rhapsody series.

Next gathering:
Thursday Nov. 13, 2014
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
(ALWAYS meets on the second Thursday of the month.)

Where:
Romeo’s Euro Café
(downtown GIlbert, AZ)
207 N. Gilbert Rd. #105
Gilbert, Arizona 85234
(480) 962-4224

Back-up location:
Joe’s BBQ
301 N. Gilbert Rd.
Gilbert, AZ 85234
(480) 503-3805

Cost:
A writing tip, and your own lunch.

RSVP:
PLEASE show the consideration of reserving your spot at the table by:
• RSVPing through the “Join” link on our Facebook Event page
or
• Contacting Ann Videan, avidean@videanunlimited.com

If you’ve RSVP’d, please SHOW UP. If you run into a conflict, please let me know BEFORE the event so I can make the necessary adjustments for the group meeting. Cheers!
…………………………………………………………….

ABOUT ALWAYS

• Need contacts to help your writing?
• Want advice about your writing?
• Like to hang with other cool writers?

If so, our tribe – the Alliance for Literary Writers, Authors & Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) – is the place for you. We’re an informal group of established writers looking for camaraderie, ideas, enlightenment and connection with writers, especially in the Phoenix metro area, to talk about our craft and businesses.

Any established writer can connect with us online through our ALWAYS Facebook page, get listed in our directory of writers on our ALWAYS LinkedIn page, or you can meet with us in person at a lunch meeting. We’d love to have any experienced writer join us at our next meeting … anyone who spends a significant part of his/her week writing, and wants to rub elbows with other writers.

Posted in All Posts, Delfaerune Rhapsody, Events, Village: You+Me+Us, Words: Serious Play, Writing tips | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Musical, fantastical novel debuts: Song of the Ocarina

IMG_0550Today, the post brought to my door a large box filled with copies of my new novel—Song of the Ocarina, book 1 of the Delfaerune Rhapsody series. I experienced an absolute, glorious, Back to the Future George McFly moment! (You remember the character receiving his box of books in the 1985 film?)

That moment… opening the box and lifting out your creation… well, it’s an indescribable. Definitely worth a movie score subtext… if only!

You can currently find my music-filled, fantastical, new-adult novel on Amazon—in both paperback and Kindle format, but…

You may want to consider purchasing it in-person between noon and 4 p.m., Nov. 1, 2014, at the Author Palooza Book Signing Release Celebration at Dog-Eared Pages in Phoenix. [She grins, hoping to see you there. C.L. Gillmore, a wonderful author friend, will also participate with her book A Friend Request, which I edited.]

I’m also staging a one-day “Amazon Rank-Up” sales event, probably on Tuesday, Nov. 4. Watch my Facebook page and this blog for more details.

Another amazing image of secondary characters Axyl Thorne and B'rook Turehu as envisioned by Stacy Lefevre.

Another amazing image of secondary characters Axyl Thorne and B’rook Turehu as envisioned by Stacy Lefevre.

So, what’s it all about, you wonder?

My Song of the Ocarina manuscript won a Top Five Finish award, in the “Realizing The Dream Contest” at the RWA Desert Dreams Writer’s Conference in April 2014.

A great start for something I began writing during National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) in 2010, even before I self-published my first novel Rhythms & Muse.

Four years later, here I sit with a new book and great gratitude for input from:

  • Seven critique partners
  • Three beta readers
  • Three Maori/New Zealand expert resources
  • Two Fae culture creative consultants
  • Three vegetarian recipe providers
  • Nineteen song aficionados
  • One content editor
  • One generous production designer
  • Two brilliant character illustrators

In a companion post, I list the names of all these contributors… Many more lovely people helped make this book possible. A humble thank you.

About the Novel

Desperate to understand her place in the world, teenage musical prodigy Lark Tūrehu unwittingly follows her handsome music teacher Noel Stone into the parallel realm of Delfaerune. With her extreme height and long, silver-white hair, she already considers herself a freak in her Queenstown, New Zealand university, so how can she possibly deal with the added burden of her role as the Noble Fae’s leading musical spell caster? Not only must she retrieve and master the Kura Ocarina to earn the title of the realm’s “Maestra,” but the faefolk expect her to use the ancient wind instrument to save the human race from extinction at the hands of the Dark Fae.

♫♫♫♫♫

In Delfaerune, you’ll discover a lush world where music joins with Earth energy to conjure balance among all creatures, extinct and mythical creatures talk and live peacefully, and the Dark Fae pattern themselves after burned-out human rock stars.

Explore the Playlists

Song of the Ocarina is filled with music. Listen to and/or watch videos of all the songs mentioned in the novel on my YouTube or Spotify playlists.

Praise for Song of the Ocarina

“Ann N. Videan’s writing, descriptive and engaging, pulled me into the imaginative story she created with all my senses. Lovable characters, vivid descriptions, a truly magical, musical world. I eagerly await the next installment!”
—Jennifer Hartz, author of The Future Savior Series

“Teens and adults alike will find Videan’s story and characters appealing. I enjoyed the Fae musicians’ original lyrics, the animal personas—kiwi, moa, even the dragon—and the New Zealand flora and fauna enhanced the narrative.”—Sara Rebennack, bookseller

About the Author

Ann at Carmel's Cafe in Phoenix, AZ

Ann at Carmel’s Cafe in Phoenix, AZ

I live in Mesa, Arizona, with my awe-inspiring husband and two college-age children. As a Literary Architect, I book-shepherd authors through the writing, editing, self-publishing and word-of-mouth marketing of fiction and non-fiction titles

My women’s fiction novel Rhythms & Muse, along with its complementary soundtrack of five original songs inspired by the story, debuted in 2011. I now create fantastical adventures for new adults in my Delfaerune Rhapsody Series.

A professional writer since 1981, I opened my own award-winning home-based marketing firm, vIDEAn Unlimited, LLC, in 1996. I have served as an editor for corporations, visionary entrepreneurs, and national publishers.

My most joyful moments involve filling pages with words, exploring music, documenting memories in photos, gathering people around me with a cup of green tea in my hand, and rolling smoothly down new pathways on my in-line skates.

Explore blog posts about writing, my books and music CD, and my writing community here on this site. You can always contact me at avidean@videanunlimited.com.

So, could you possibly want to know anything else? I doubt it but, just in case, feel free to ask away!

__________________________

Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth

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