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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

SING ME TO SLEEP Wins USA Best Books 2011 Award!

Celebrate good times!! I just found out SING ME TO SLEEP won for YA Fiction in the USA Best Books 2011 Awards sponsored by USA Book News. YAY!!! Dance and sing. And blog.

I did a marathon revision session for SING ME TO SLEEP, the Musical yesterday. I polished it up and sent it off to my collaborator, award-winning composer, Harriet Bushman, from London, England. We're hoping to produce it in 2013. Harriet wrote the music for "Beth's Song" and "Take me Home" so you know the music will be fantastic.

Would you like to read some? Here's the opening scene. It's a big, up-tempo dance number. Do you think I captured the scene? Writing it as a musical play is so different from a chapter in a novel. You have to sacrifice a lot of details, but it's fun to imagine it on the stage while you write.



SING ME TO SLEEP
adapted from the novel, Sing me to Sleep by Angela Morrison

Book by Angela Morrison
Lyrics by Angela Morrison
Music by Harriet Bushman




ACT I
Scene 1

Setting:            The halls of Port High School, designated by a row of lockers or locker flat.

At Rise:            Lights up on row of lockers, HIGH SCHOOL KIDS, COLBY, HORSEMAN2, milling in the hall before the first bell rings. COLBY is the center of everyone’s attention.

                                    (Song: “WE’RE COOL, WE RULE”)

COLBY
I BUST MY BUTT TO MAKE PORT HIGH THE BEST

ALL GUYS
            SATURDAY’S GAME WE’L FACE THE TEST

GIRLS
            DON’T WORRY, GUYS—YOU ALWAYS WIN

ALL HIGH SCHOOL KIDS
            LET’S DO IT ONE MORE TIME!
           
WE’LL BE LOST COLBY WHEN YOU LEAVE

COLBY
            I GOTTA GRADUATE—AND BE FREE!

ALL HIGH SCHOOL KIDS
            WHO WILL TELL US HOW TO WALK AND TALK?

COLBY
            I’LL SAY IT ONE MORE TIME—

            I’M COOL
            I RULE
            THERE’S NO PLACE TO HIDE FROM ME
            FOR LOSERS CRYING
            IT AIN’T RIGHT.

ALL
            WE’RE COOL
            WE RULE
            WE KNOW WHAT TO WEAR AND DRIVE
            NOT LIKE LOSERS CRYING
            IT AIN’T RIGHT.

(Enter HORSEMAN1 with THE OFFERING. THE OFFERING wears only white briefs, black socks and tennis shoes.)

COLBY, HORSEMEN 1 & 2
(stick a bike chain through THE OFFERING’s underwear and chain him to BETH’s locker while singing)
           
NOWHERE TO HIDE FROM US, NOWHERE TO RUN.
PLACES PEOPLE THIS JOKE WILL BE FUN!
THERE SHE IS—WE’LL GET HER
ONE MORE TIME!!

ALL
BETH THE BEAST POLLUTING OUR HALL
SHE’S DAMN UGLY AND TOO DAMN TALL
FREAKS LIKE HER SHOULDN’T BE
ALLOWED TO BREATHE.

WE’RE COOL
WE RULE
THERE’S NO PLACE TO HIDE FROM US
FOR LOSERS CRYING
IT AIN’T RIGHT
WE’RE COOL
WE RULE
WE KNOW WHAT TO WEAR AND DRIVE
NOT LOKE LOSERS CRYING
IT AIN’T RIGHT

REMEMBER OUR FUNNY PLAYGROUND GAMES?
BROKEN GLASSES—SUCH A CRYING SHAME
VIPER, FOUR-EYES, SQUIRREL FACE CAN’T BE
ALLOWED TO BREATHE!!!
AND SCOTT THAT HYPER KID GLUED TO HER SIDE.
WE KICKED HIM DOWN, HE RAN HOME AND CRIED.

COLBY
ACT NATURAL—PLACES—PEOPLE
ONE MORE TIME!!!
(Music continues under the action and dialogue. ALL take up natural places at lockers or in groups talking. Enter BETH, left. She walks hunched over, hiding behind her hair, watching her feet. Everyone pretends to ignore her, stares after her when she walks by. Ad lib, suppressed sniggering.)

                                    (BETH sees the OFFERING, rushes up to him.)

BETH
Are you okay? Did they hurt you?

(BETH touches THE OFFERING’s arm. He pulls back and stares at it like its going to turn to stone.)

THE OFFERING (frightened)
They said to tell you I’m the offering. They said the Beast requires a sacrifice every full moon.

                                    (ALL gather behind BETH, laughing and catcalling.)

COLBY
Dude, the Beast’s got a mate.

BETH (ignoring the crowd behind her)
It’s okay. We’ll get Mr. Finney to bring his bolt-cutters. I don’t eat freshmen for breakfast.

THE OFFERING
That’s not what they said you’d do.

ALL
(Explode with laughter. Music up. During the song, BETH tries to escape but they won’t let her. Lots of pushing back and jeering. BETH keeps her head down, fighting back tears. BETH ad libs, “Excuse me.” “Let me go, please.” “Guys, come on.” etc.)

WE’RE COOL
WE RULE
THERE’S NO PLACE TO HIDE FROM US
FOR LOSERS CRYING
IT AIN’T RIGHT

WE’RE COOL
WE RULE
WE KNOW WHAT TO WEAR AND DRIVE
NOT LOKE LOSERS CRYING
IT AIN’T RIGHT

WE’RE COOL
WE RULE
THERE’S NO PLACE TO HIDE FROM US
FOR LOSERS CRYING
IT AIN’T RIGHT

WE’RE COOL
WE RULE
WE KNOW WHAT TO WEAR AND DRIVE
NOT LOKE LOSERS CRYING
IT AIN’T RIGHT

(Song: “BONES BLOOD AND FLESH” ALL continue to sing “WE’RE COOL WE RULE” in the background.)

BETH                                                                        ALL

YOUR WORDS—                                                            WE’RE COOL
WHY DO THEY DEFINE ME?                                    WE RULE
WHY DO I BELIEVE YOU?                                                THERE’S NO PLACE TO HIDE
YOUR FACE.                                                                        FROM US
YOUR LIPS, AND YOUR FINGERS—                        FOR LOSERS
DON’T SPILL THEM ON ME.                                    CRYING IT AINT RIGHT

I’M BONES, BLOOD AND FLESH                                    WE’RE COOL
NOT CLAY TO BE POUNDED                                    WE RULE
AND SCORCHED IN THE HATE YOU FEEL            WE KNOW WHAT TO DRIVE
I BLEED WHEN YOU WOUND ME                        AND WEAR
JUST LIKE THE PRETTY GIRLS DO                        NOT LIKE LOSERS CRYING
IT AIN’T RIGHT!
                          
YOUR WORDS—
YOUR LIPS AND YOUR FINGERS

                                                                                    WE’RE COOL
                                                                                    WE RULE
                                                                                    NO PLACE TO HIDE FROM US
                                                                                                                                               

(BETH gets frantic, trying to break free, plugging her ears. Enter SCOTT and MR. FINNEY, carrying bolt cutters. MR. FINNEY menaces bolt cutters at the crowd and shoos them away. BETH breaks free, almost falls, SCOTT steadies her. The crowd continues to sing  or hum “WE’RE COOL WE RULE” as they saunter off to class. MR. FINNEY goes to THE OFFERING to cut him free.)

COLBY (encountering BETH)
Get out of my way, you damn ugly beast!

(Curtain or black-out leaving BETH and SCOTT in front of curtain or in a spotlight for Scene 2. Everyone else exits.)

In Scene 2, Beth and Scott sing a duet that covers the second half of chapter one--the Beauty and the Beast scene. It's a huge contrast to this--fanciful and dreamy, with some funny parts, too. I'm traveling the next two weeks, but if I get a chance, I'll post some of that scene next. 

Monday, October 31, 2011

SING ME TO SLEEP Released in Brazil!

CANTE PARA EU DORMIR, SING ME TO SLEEP in Portuguese is out just in time for Christmas! 

Summer 2010 I sent a few books down to bloggers in Brazil, and because of all the hard work those bloggers did promoting SING ME TO SLEEP, a year later, the Brazilian edition was released. Here's the cover.


Lais, from Fracky.com.br, already reviewed it. She told me they did an excellent job with the translation. I'm so happy to know that. Lais said, "I received from publisher soon as it was released and read again (and I cried again, of course). . . . [T]he translation to Portuguese was perfect, didn't lose the essence of the book."

I can't wait to get my own copy of it! I'm always amazed at how hard all you wonderful bloggers will work for books you believe in. I'm so thankful so many of you continue to believe in mine!