Philip Glass is one of the few composers who creates music with such flawlessness and beauty that I find it hard to come up with the worthy words to describe it. I was introduced to his work through the film, “The Illusionist” which is also among my top ten favorite movies. The way he made the music weave seamlessly in and out of the film, made it inherit the magic and the romance between the characters blew me away.
Good morning, readers!
Just a quick announcement of some events happening this week!
First, Saturday night March 3rd, I’ll be returning to the wonderful Slainte Wine Bar and Lounge in Portland. I’ll be reading a selection from my upcoming book, Aequitas as well as a selection from one of my other works (I haven’t decided which yet.) I’ll also have the pleasure of reading with some fantastic emerging writers. E.J. Fechenda and Kate Cone, who I did the first reading with, will be there, as well as Nicole Johnson and Marie Coyle. It should be a fun evening for all and I’m glad to be involved once more. Here is the Facebook event if any of you would like to come! https://www.facebook.com/events/119882378138763/
Second, the following Tuesday evening, March 6th, I will be at Vose Library in Union, ME, to discuss my work, read from Vox and Aequitas, and have a grand ole book-signing for Vox. I’ll be talking about how I got started on the Monstrum Chronicles, future projects, and will answer any questions that anyone may have about them. This starts at 7 and goes until 8:30. There will be refreshments available (tea and cookies!). Here is the facebook event for that: https://www.facebook.com/events/390678894276766/
In other updates: I am 75 pages away from finishing the edits on Aequitas! Very very excited. I’ve worked on it almost everyday for the past week and it’s felt amazing to just have the time to do it again. I miss being able to write uninterrupted!
I finished reading Catching Fire on Saturday night and am now reading the last book of The Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay. This series has me hooked! When I’ve finished reading the third book, I’ll post a mega review for all of them. I, however, will not be writing one for Anthony Bourdain’s Medium Raw.
Well, I believe that’s everything! Stay tuned for my Inspiration Through Music post this evening where I’ll be discussing the works of Philip Glass.
COOKING ADVENTURES #8: Caribbean Grilled Crab Cakes with Mango Salsa
Folks, I am crying. Contrary to what you might be thinking, I am not crying because of injury. I’m not crying because the recipe was disastrous and I’m not crying because I burned my tongue. It’s the onion. The blasted onion. And it’s not even a whole one either. I should also mention that I finished eating my crab cakes about forty-five minutes ago. I’m in my living room far away from the kitchen and whatever onion fumes may still linger there. I can still taste it though. Like the ghost of onion’s past, it’s going to haunt me and remind me of how bad an idea it was to include it in the recipe, even if the recipe called for it. Of all the times I decided not to take my own advice… grumble, grumble…
I talked a couple weeks ago about g0-to music for writers. Each writer should have a library of music that they use to get “into the mood” when working on a specific scene or with a certain character. I have a few choice ones that I go directly to when I work on The Monstrum Chronicles; ie: Massive Attack, Normund Corbiel’s soundtrack for Heavy Rain, The Crystal Method, Maynard James Keenan, and Imogen Heap among others. But when I came across a flashback scene that needed to be written for Aequitas, I found that the only thing that would do was James Horner’s haunting score from A Beautiful Mind.
Good morning, readers!
In the last few days, I’ve finished reading The Hunger Games and watched the entire second season of Downton Abbey. In both the book and the television series, I find myself longing to return to the lives of the characters I so fell in love with. Thankfully, I have Catching Fire (the second book in the Hunger Games Trilogy) to read. But what of Downton Abbey? Alas, I’ll have to wait for the next season. But I will because I am so enamored of the storyline and the people who populate it.
When you fall in love with certain characters, you have an immediate loyalty to them. You want to follow them on their journey. You want to see more of them. You’re compelled to stick by them through whatever happens and you’re determined to make sure that they get what they deserve, whether good or bad. There are several characters in books and television shows that I remember from years ago that I miss. And I found myself wondering this morning, why is that? Why are they so much more stained in my memory than others? What are the makings of a memorable character?
Cooking Adventures #7: Oven-Baked Caramel French Toast
First, read the directions. Second, re-read the directions. Third, read the directions once more for good measure. I should have done that third one. Oh, and the all important “Read directions the night before you attempt the recipe.” I had read the directions for Oven-Baked Caramel French Toast last week when I’d been looking for something to make. I remembered seeing that the directions involved refrigeration over-night, something I haven’t had to deal with since the cheesecake episode. However, when I awoke bright eyed and bushy tailed this morning and looked over my recipe, I realized with horror that I hadn’t refrigerated anything. And I remember thinking last night, “Isn’t there something I’m supposed to do now for this french toast?” Well, we’ll start with that and go from there.
Music is often about transportation. One moment, you are in your bedroom sitting in a chair. Then when the music starts, when the first notes grace the air, you suddenly find yourself somewhere miles away. It could be a place that doesn’t exist, your dream vacation spot, or even a nightmare. Writing has the same quality. When I begin a chapter on a first draft for a story, I need to be able to get lost inside of it. It helps me to concentrate on getting the whole thing down and not breaking away to edit things here and there. Finding the right kind of music that can do this while writing can sometimes be hard. It has to reflect the atmosphere of the story, create the right mood, and fit with your characters. If there is any musician who has discovered a talent for teleporting us from our safe homes into ancient mystical landscapes, it must be Loreena McKennitt.
Good evening, folks,
For health reasons, I won’t be posting my usual Inspiration Through Music blog. Instead, I’ll post it Wednesday night. I apologize for not being able to have it up for you sooner. Otherwise, I was able to write 8 pages this morning before getting sick.
COOKING ADVENTURE #6: Cajun Chicken Pasta
My decision to carefully back away from baking may have been the right one this week. After my pineapple upside-down cake disaster, I knew that a change of style was needed. At the end of last week’s blog post, I’d hurriedly searched the web for an easy chicken recipe. When Cajun chicken pasta popped up, I jumped on the idea of making a spicy recipe that might just be simple enough even for me. Then, after committing to it in my blog post, I read the recipe. My eyes zeroed in on one fatal ingredient: heavy cream. I knew this would probably be my undoing.
Most writers have their choice of one musician or group that inspires them no matter what the genre of material they write. Different songs reflect different characters. Each song is so dynamic and individual that it can fit one idea so perfectly and the next track on the CD will fit another completely unlike the first. This music causes us as writers to open up our minds through our ears as we listen to each song. It’s our go-to selection. It’s usually the first thing we throw on in order to culminate ideas, to prepare for the writing journey ahead, or to end one. I, personally, love many varied types of music and have a broad music library. However, Massive Attack is, by far, my go-to source for finding inspiration in writing projects.