Friday, August 9, 2013

Inspired by David Archuleta: 500 Days of Service

This Sunday, Aug 11, 2013, marks the 500th day in David Archuleta's 2 year long service as a Mormon Missionary. That leaves about 7 months to go before David's return. The fan base is starting to get a little restless now. We can almost see the proverbial "light at the end of the tunnel." I think by the time December gets here, and that light is a bright beam centered in our view, we will all be chomping at the bits, just waiting for that first "I'm  Back" tweet. I have a feeling it will be a very long winter in the Northern Hemisphere this year. 

While David has been away from all of his fans, I have tried (not always successfully) to keep up this blog. I have posted when new releases have occurred (Thank you Team David for everything y'all have done to keep David's name out there) and when landmark dates have come around. This is another one of those landmark dates. The only problem is I have been so busy with all of the activities surrounding the release of my book that I haven't completed the project I started for 500 days. 

I will have to admit, my project was a little too ambitious and about a third of the way along I realized I had bitten off much more than I could chew in the allotted time. I am compiling a list of 500 songs I would like David to record or at least sing in their entirety at a concert sometime. These songs come from many different music genres- Christian, Rock, Pop, R&B, Blues, Country, and Christmas. Yes, especially Christmas. Some are even sung in Spanish. As of today, there are 275 songs on my list. They run the gamut from "A" to "Y." (It's kind of tricky to find other artists songs beginning with a "Z" that are appropriate for David, unless he does a Disney tribute album and sings Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah. LOL) I probably need another month to actually work on and complete this crazy list, but I'm not going to give up. It has been a lot of fun listening to all of the newer songs that I hadn't heard before and the older ones I had forgotten about. I'm sure I can come up with at least 500 songs for my list, eventually. I'll post my list here as soon as I get to song number 500, so keep an eye out for it. 

In the meantime, here's a little tribute to David for inspiring me to do something I never in my wildest dreams imagined was possible: Writing a novel and publishing it.



“It's cool how an artist comes up with an idea that influences another artist and and it keeps changing and moving from one person to the next; creativity has a way of recycling and reinventing itself with the passage of time. It's almost as if each artist contributes something unique to a massive bank of ideas and expressions that's accessible to everyone, which future artists later have the privilege of tapping into when it's time for their own creations to come about. So, if creativity is a force that's passed down from artist to artist and generation to generation, then I like to believe inspiration is the thread that ties it all together. Inspiration is fluid; it can move from one person to another at any given moment, through any given manner. To me, the feeling of being inspired is what happens when something strikes you so intensely that it triggers something deep inside and sparks your creativity to do something you haven't done before. And then depending on how you choose to respond, it can allow you to be an inspiration to someone else in return. In any kind of art, inspiration is contagious. The way I see it, without inspiration, we're all like a box of matches that will never be lit.”
David Archuleta, Chords of Strength: A Memoir of Soul, Song, and the Power of Perseverance, Chapter 2: Hit with Inspiration

This is it. To me, these simple words are some of the most powerful, positive, and prophetic words I have read in a long time. They are words spoken straight from the heart of an incredible young man (he was only 19 yrs old when he wrote COS) who, just by being himself, has inspired many to reach out of the confines of their mundane, ordinary everyday lives and try something different, something extraordinary.

I am one of those lucky people to be inspired by David. I started writing this blog because I was inspired by David. Then, this blog lead to other writing projects like short stories, and then concert reviews to accompany my husband's live music photography. I was suddenly a writer. I was actually using skills that I had studied  in college, but had never had the guts to apply. I was a WRITER. I liked this new me. I was feeling good about myself for the first time in a long time.

Then, suddenly, one day, a crazy idea came to me. It was a story, but not short like the other ones I had fashioned before. It was a long story. A very detailed, very long story. It combined a lot of different facets of several people's life stories into one story. It was impossible to NOT write this story down. It consumed my mind for months and months. Actually, it still consumes my mind today.

It took me the better part of two years to write, edit, and then edit some more before I allowed anyone to see what I was writing. I would ask my family very simple questions about a word here or a line there, but no one knew this "project" was actually turning into a full length novel. Finally I was ready for others to see what I had produced. I shared my project with a couple of my extra special "David friends" and made some needed adjustments. I shopped around for a "Literary Agent" to help me sell my novel, but soon discovered something that David knows all too well; If you don't fit into an already set mold of what "The Powers That Be" of the industry think you should be like, they won't give you the time of day. "Shot Down In Flames" became my theme song.

But as I reread Chords of Strength and listened to David's songs, I realized that I didn't have to be shot down. I could do this thing on my own, without a big company backing me, because I had already done the hard part. I had written a complete book. Maybe it's not the greatest book of all time,and it certainly doesn't conform to all of the industry "rules," but it is a good story, straight from my heart and mind. I have the right to share it with others if I want to.

Not wanting anyone to change MY STORY into what they think is right, I decided to investigate how to self-publish. Amazon was the choice. Free to publish an eBook if I do all of the prep work myself. Wow. I thought I had done a lot of work on this story, but when I took on the formatting for Kindle I had a serious wake-up call. It took a while, but I was able to overcome many an obstacle and finally in had an eBook for sale on Amazon. Next, I tackled the paperback avenue. Again, Amazon came through for me with CreateSpace. Here I learned that all formatting is not created equal, so back to the computer to format for another type of publication. All in all, I have learned a ton. Above all, I learned that I can do just about anything if I really set my mind to it. I probably won't ever become rich from this crazy adventure I have undertaken, but I'm still really proud of myself for undertaking something this huge and totally out of my comfort zone. And I have David Archuleta to thank for inspiring me many times along the way.

Here's the cover to Dreams Are What Life Is Made Of . I also created this cover, with a little help from my friends and family.

My pen-name is J. Grace Moore. Click on the Amazon link above to preview the story.

Link to Author's blog:

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