I get frustrated, sometimes far too easily when I’m not able to figure things out the first time or even second time around. It’s ridiculous, to expect yourself to be able to master something on the first, second, or even third try. But, something about how my brain is wired still gets upset. And getting upset often makes roadblocks for me. I become convinced that I can’t do it, that I’ve already puzzled everything over, tried all the options to make things work… Of course, I haven’t. Of course, I’m too caught up in my emotions to be able to look at things clearly.
Here we are at Day 1 of my 30 day writing challenge. I’m doing this in the hopes that I’ll get back into writing on this blog regularly through these short posts. My first entry is a pretty fun one; ten things that make me happy. In no particular order, here we go…
There’s something to be said for the love of a cat. Cats are independent, sometimes enjoying your affection and at others, preferring to be on their own. Maybe I find my own disposition toward other people to be the same. Sometimes, I really like to be near people and at others, I really enjoy my alone time. My cat, Lemon Jelly, knows when I’m upset, can enjoy a good cuddle on the couch on the blanket next to me, or behind my head. He sleeps next to me on the bed when he can (and still tries to when he can’t). Hearing that satisfied purr sometimes is one of the most comforting things in the world. Yes, he may kill some plants, puke in strange places, and attempt brain surgery on me while I sleep, but at the end of the day, he’s still my best friend.
I’ve been introduced to so much wonderful music in the last few months, particularly things in the ska genre, which I had largely been disinterested in before. Not sure why. But I wholeheartedly regret that now. There are so, so many great bands in that genre that have been inspirations for the seeds of stories I’d like to work on. Several of these ideas have come from the works of Streetlight Manifesto and consequently, Toh Kay (the band’s lead singer) who has done acoustic covers of many of the songs. While I’d love to do an Inspiration Through Music post for just Toh Kay’s acoustic covers, you can’t really focus on him without also talking about Streetlight Manifesto. So, today’s Inspiration Through Music will be a bit of a split between the two of them.
Tomas Kalnoky AKA Toh Kay, is a Czech born American musician. While his music with Streetlight Manifesto has a much more upbeat, harder, and motivated feel to it, his solo albums are much smoother and often times, reveal a sadder tone to them. It’s amazing how one can listen to the original Streetlight Manifesto version of a song and then the Toh Kay version and feel as though they’ve listened to two completely different songs. But I love this. And I love that certain songs can be interpreted in both lights. I have a couple of songs from Toh Kay and Streetlight Manifesto that are on a playlist for my latest project (both versions of the same songs) and I’ve found that both work incredibly well for different parts of the story.
My latest project takes place in a fictional beach-side resort town where a vampire (name hasn’t been decided yet) is caught in the moral implications of his lifestyle and the jobs he’s often paid to do, the innocent people that are affected by it, and the dissolution of his own humanity the longer he does it. Toh Kay’s music speaks more to this character’s inner struggles, while Streetlight Manifesto’s songs are a bit more on point with action scenes integral to the plot. Because while I’ve described what this book is about in a deep and kind of nebulous way, it really is supposed to be more of a horror comedy and the playlist for it is chock full of other ska classics. Doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have its serious moments though and I can get inside my main character’s head more when I’m listening to those pieces by Toh Kay.
So, today, I’m going to share with you a few of the Toh Kay and Streetlight Manifesto songs that I have added to my playlist along with a couple of generic scenes to illustrate what I’m thinking when I listen to them. Enjoy!
If you’ve been following the Monstrum Chronicles blog for some time now, you’ll know that I love discovering new music and writing alongside said music. Recently, my boyfriend introduced me to a musician whose style can only be described as part Ray LaMontagne, part phenomenal guitar, and part…sunshine and coffee. Have you ever listened to someone sing and been able to practically see them smile through their voice? Peter Mulvey is this musician.
I was lucky enough to meet him at a recent performance in Hallowell at the beginning of June. He’s one of those people with a charming personable presence, the kind who can entertain with word and song and that you can never grow tired of listening to. He’s become my go to for car rides, down time in the house, and yes, even for certain story ideas. As I’ve been thinking more and more about starting a sequel for Night Time, Dotted Line (my dramedy), I’ve found that Mulvey’s voice resonates with both of the main characters, Calleigh and Spencer, well; particularly with Calleigh though.
Today, I’m going to share a few of Peter Mulvey’s songs with you along with some of the images that his songs conjure in my mind. This is a fun little exercise that you can do in your own spare time. Just take a pencil and paper, play to the songs below, and see what comes to mind when you listen. Enjoy!
This time has not passed idly. While I haven’t stuck to my New Year’s resolution about blogging more consistently, I’ve done a pretty good job of keeping to everything else on it. And I’m proud of myself for those things. Life feels as though it’s on an upswing at the moment and I’m not going to complain about it (even as I suffer from a particularly debilitating head cold).
Instead of apologizing like I have many times over, I thought I’d share with you some of the things I’ve accomplished/started over the last few months or so.
This week, I had the pleasure of listening to the ultra-talented Ben Webb, a performer whom I’d never heard of before, but whose music instantly reminded me of several other artists. Webb’s music is dynamic, multi-faceted, and speaks of people’s many transitions through life.
Writing the first draft is a wondrous experience for the most part. You have all these ideas swirling around you that you want to incorporate: characters that seem cool, smart, funny, and sexy; places that will make your readers long to travel there (or stay as far away from it as possible); a plot so Machiavellian, you wonder if you should be examined by a psychologist… The possibilities are limitless.
(I wrote this back when the Oscars were happening… yeah.)
I have always, and will always be a fan of music composed by Thomas Newman. I own a number of his impressive film scores, several of them Oscar nominated or winning and all of them gorgeous in their own right. Little Women, Phenomenon, The Horse Whisperer, Meet Joe Black, American Beauty, The Green Mile, Finding Nemo, Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, The Help, Skyfall…(and let’s not forget TV show Six Feet Under and Miniseries Angels in America)! And now, the dramatic and emotional score for the Oscar nominated film, Bridge of Spies.
It’s been months since the last update. I was thinking (hoping) I’d be on a more regular schedule following my move but it’s been harder than ever to stick to one. I’ve barely had time to write (a sentence I hope I never have to utter again) during these last several weeks. The house has required a butt-load of attention. I’ve been doing lots of painting, yard work, and decorating to make it feel more homey. It’s coming along. It won’t be done this year. It probably won’t be done next year. But at this point, I have a few rooms completed or nearly completed.
This week has been absolutely wonderful. I’ve had a chance almost every day to sit down and either write or edit and I couldn’t be happier about it. It goes without saying; being able to get your feelings and thoughts down on paper is a cathartic experience. When I have days (sometimes weeks) where I don’t have time to write, I start to get very upset and am often sad. This entire ordeal with la maison (yes, I found one!) has kept me on the go for several weeks, driving hither and thither to check on inspections and take education courses and sign documents. It’s all well worth it; I’ve just missed my time to myself.