Friday, November 30, 2012

100 Words: To Hear A World

Via Stock Xchng

People say if you hold a shell to your ear, you can hear the ocean.

Amy has never heard the ocean through a shell. (She’s tried them all, from creamy speckled junonia and striking lightning whelk, to oyster and the iridescent pen shells that shimmered like the ocean water under a noon sun.)

But she has heard other things.

The hiss of flame, the gun burst crack of collapsing wood, screams cut short.

Always and forever, the same sounds.

Except today.

Today, through the dusky conch, she hears a voice, crackling and rough like a sea bird’s cry.

Help us.

For Velvet Vebosity's 100 Word Prompt: Listening

Monday, November 26, 2012

Music Mondays: Creepy Holidays To You

In the coffee shop yesterday morning, I was treated to the nostalgic melange of 40s and 50s Christmas music. In previous posts I've talked about how creepy mid 20th century music often sounds (part of that due to its appearance in horror movies and post apocalyptic games like Jeepers Creepers and Fallout 3).

Holiday music is no different. For some songs it's the instrumentals that give it a dark shade, for others it's the lyrics.

Think about it.... He sees you when you're sleeping / He knows when you're awake. So, I have some eternal watcher who knows everything I've been up to? How is that not creepy? And then there are the original lyrics to "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" (which were changed at the urging of the Meet Me In St. Louis cast, thankfully): It may be your last / Next year we may all be living in the past... I still find the tune a little creepy, but that may just be me.

"Adeste Fidelis" ("Oh Come All Ye Faithful") also has a spine tingling vibe to it, though that's largely due to its use in a Tales from the Darkside Special.

My playlist this week consists of several spoofs of traditional music, some music played in a different key, and the one Christmas song I've always found creepy, no matter when or where it's used (see #5).

What's your creepiest holiday song?

1. Seasons of Belief - The Grither
2. I Saw Mommy Kissing Yogsothoth - H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society
3. Away In A Madhouse - H. P. Lovecraft Historical Society
4. Christmas Carols in Minor Key
5. Carol of the Bells




Monday, November 19, 2012

Music Mondays: Thanksgiving Edition

I have a conflicted relationship with Thanksgiving. When I was little it was all about the food and the company. And then I got a little older and a little wiser and a little more familiar with history...

I do think it behooves us to have a day set aside for gathering with family and friends. To contemplate what we're thankful for. To think on what we can change, what we can improve, how we can better ourselves, our world. (Whether or not people en masse will ever use Thanksgiving to do that is another question entirely and probably wishful thinking.)

I also think it betters us to not ignore our history. To not sugar coat it. To not continue to whitewash it.

The holiday we recognize today was created in 1863 by Abraham Lincoln; in the midst of a nasty war, he decided we should have a national day of thanksgiving and praise.

It is not, as depicted in children's books and grade school plays, a celebration of the coming together of the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag people.

The actual history of that era is something else, something shadowed by conquest, by genocide.

That's something to contemplate, as we gather around food laden tables. And it's something to contemplate in our daily lives, because we are not, as some like to say, a "post-racial society." We need to learn from our history.

For me, in the current world, in the current economy, there's a lot I'm thankful for. A lot I'm trying to not take for granted. Here's my song list for this week. It's short. Simple.

1. Thank U - Alanis Morissette
2. Kind and Generous - Natalie Merchant
3. Simple Gifts - Yo Yo Man & Alison Krauss




Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Runaway Wife

That's not a "once in a lifetime" chance, it's a once in several lifetimes....

My husband asked, "If you met the Doctor and he invited you to travel with him and you couldn't
take me with you, would you still go?"


Thursday, November 15, 2012

When the Muse Strikes

Agatha Christie said, "The best time to plan a book is when you're doing the dishes."

Because ideas always seem to strike when you're least expecting them.

I'm prone to daydreaming while doing repetitive daily tasks, so most of my ideas seem to strike when I'm doing housework (which makes a really convenient excuse to stop doing house work), while driving (don't worry, I don't write and drive), and in the shower (I swear, I'm going to hang a small dry-erase board in there).

I've gotten to where I have multiple writing surfaces scattered around the house. Dry erase posters and a magnetic white board (filled with magnetic poetry) scattered along my office walls. A dry erase poster on the front door, a note pad next to it, and various new or half filled notebooks in the living room, dining room, and bedroom. (If I ever own a house, I may invest in that dry-erase paint. For my office walls, at the very least.)

Where do you get most of your ideas? How do you deal with the random Muse Strikes? (Notebooks, iPads, going retro with voice records?)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Music Mondays: New Chapter Edition

am working on things other than myriad song lists. I've got some up and coming posts that are actually writing related (confronting stereotypes, handling criticism, more exercises) in an effort to bring this blog back into line with its description. Sadly, it's been one of those seasons where I can't seem to wrangle my thoughts into anything coherent.

To be honest, my work situation has shifted again and is just short of driving me bonkers. The job's been shaky for the last two years, though before this autumn I had some decent hope that we'd make it. Now, things are dire. And I waffle between wanting the company I'm with to pull through (because I really love what I've been doing these last few years) and wanting things to crash and burn so I can mourn and move on. (Though moving on in this economy will probably take a while.)

This limbo period is not great for my mental health and it's wreaking havoc on my creativity, leaving me with more desire to play in other people's sand boxes (getting married and raising children in Skyrim, saving Gotham in Arkham City) than my own.

And this leaves me even further frustrated since I feel that I should have the mental wherewithal to keep on with storytelling even as other things go to pot. (Which I've never really been able to do. So I'm not sure why I persist in insisting on feeling like I should.)

But, I digress. Here's this week's play list. All about new chapters. New beginnings. (Some a little more destructive than others.) Moving on. Second chances. I'm seeking motivation in music.

What are your go-to motivational songs?

1. Start Another Story - Emilie Autumn
2. Sunny Came Home - Shawn Colvin
3. Unwritten - Natasha Bedingfield
4. Thunder Road - Bruce Springsteen
5. Second Chance - Shinedown




Sunday, November 11, 2012

Confessional: To Sleep, Perchance to Awake To....

It's not always true, but....

(Click the image for the full size.)

I look forward to going to sleep just so I can wake up and have coffee.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Music Mondays: Election Edition

It's that time of year again. The time of year my brain's screaming at me from different directions, wanting me to stay tuned to what's happening politically, wanting me to pull back into my shell and turn my eye toward NaNoWriMo. (Which, if I intend to participate at all, I should get a start on in the next day or two.)

I've made this blog relatively politics free. There's always going to be a taste of where I sit from the things I write, the perspectives I give certain characters, the analysis I do on topics. But, I don't discuss politics here. (And I'm not about to start. I get plenty of that on Facebook and in other forums.)

But I do have a playlist for the election week. And here it is.

1. Amendment - Ani DiFranco
2. Keep Your Eyes On the Prize - Joan Baez
3. Fight Like A Girl - Emilie Autumn
4. The Times They Are a Changin' - Bob Dylan
5. The River - Bruce Springsteen




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