Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thursday's Children - Playlist Palooza!

A lot of my fellow Thursday's Children writers have WIP playlists that they've been sharing and since I've started a new story, I've got a new playlist.

Confession time: I'm so not a fan of happy songs. I'm not sure what that says about me, but they never feel terribly genuine. So my regular playlists tend to be named things like:

Got Prozac?
It's Not a Celtic Love Song Unless Somebody Dies
Bad Choices
Fairly Angsty Love Songs
I'll Give You Something to Cry About  

(Once I made a mix CD for a dear friend with that title - she returned the favor with an even more depressing CD called, No, I'll Give YOU Something to Cry About, Bitch. To this day, it remains a favorite.)

For this new WIP, I've got a mix of traditional Celtic stuff along with more contemporary stuff. Given the vibe of the story it totally works. I also thought I'd share youtube videos of a couple songs that are in super heavy rotation on this story. (Below the list.)

I Am Stretched on Your Grave - Kate Rusby
Family - Noah Gundersen
Albatross - Susan McKeown and the Chanting House
After the Storm - Mumford and Sons
In the Sun - Joseph Arthur
Rootless Tree - Damien Rice
Who Will Sing Me Lullabies - Kate Rusby
Broken Crown - Mumford and Sons
Brittonik - Circa Paleo
The Old Ways - Loreena McKennitt
Angels of the Silences - Counting Crows
An Nighean Dubh - Susan McKeown
Hallelujah - Jeff Buckley or Rufus Wainwright
The Blower's Daughter - Damien Rice
I Am My Mother's Savage Daughter - Wyndreth Berginsdottir
The Wanderer - Mumford and Sons
Santiago - Loreena McKennitt
32 Flavors - Ani Difranco
A Mhaire Bhruinneall - Susan McKeown
Cold Water - Damien Rice
Dark Black Clouds - Circa Paleo
Not a Pretty Girl - Ani Difranco
Collide - Howie Day
One Safe Place - Marc Cohen
The Story - Brandi Carlile

Monday, February 25, 2013

Monday Musings - What I Need to Write

It's Monday Musings time and I'm late because of the day from hell. Seriously, it's a wonder I'm still awake. But anyway, be sure to check out the other Monday Musings Lovelies, Kirsti Jones, Tess Grant and Lynn Dozema and  see what's on their lists.

I don't really need much to be able to get down to work and start writing. Mostly, I jut need my computer. It's gotten to the point where I have trouble composing away from the keyboard. At this point, it feels like an extension of my brain. I *can* write on paper, but I find that it tends to be more of an outline as opposed actual writing.

Other than that, I don't need much.

Except, you know...tea. I need a lot of tea.

And sometimes coffee.

I'm not one of those people that needs complete silence to write. After all, I did daycare for years, so typically chaos doesn't faze me. But every once in a while, I have a day where I can't focus, so if it's one of those days where I'm easily distracted by the outside world, I need headphones and music.

And the last thing I need are friends. Friends to bounce ideas off of, share excitement with and yep, sometimes to whine to when things aren't going as well. Writing is a very solitary profession and friends are one of the biggest necessities of all.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thursday's Children - The Terrible, Awful, No Good, Very Bad Day

Confession time...this is so not the post I'd intended to write, but something happened yesterday.

Yesterday I had a terrible, awful, no good, very bad day. And like the lovely Raewen Hewitt, I was inspired by a less than fun experience.

You see, I had to go to the dentist. While my dentist and her hygienists are wonderful women, I have a deep and abiding fear of them - well, of any dentist, really. Earlier in the day, I told a friend that the only way going to the dentist could be worse was if the doctor had dressed up in a clown costume made of spiders. (Disclaimer: I don't actually know what that would look like, but it seems pretty horrific when I think about it.)

Spoiler alert: I was wrong. I was so terribly, terribly wrong.

I had to get an old filling replaced because I guess that's a thing. So I put in my headphones, cued up a mix I call, "Got Prozac?" (think Counting Crows, Damien Rice, Howie Day, etc.) and tried my best to check out.

I got the first shot of novacaine. The doctor waited the appropriate amount of time then started drilling. It didn't exactly work. So I got another dose. This one worked, but it also made my heart race and my body shake uncontrollably. I don't think I've ever shook that hard in my life. Nor have I ever felt that out of control. I was understandably freaked out. Nay...I was freaked the hell out. It was decided that I should probably have some nitrous to calm down so they could finish the work.

Guess who had a negative reaction to that? Yep. Complete with hallucinations. There was part of my brain that would tentatively raise it's hand and say, "Dude, it's cool. You're just hallucinating." The rest of my brain was stuck watching the terrifying images that would waver in and out of focus while I tried not to hyperventilate.

If you've stayed with me this far, you're probably wondering what any of this freakshow has to do with inspiration. Well, when I went to bed last night, I had nightmares. Basically an endless loop replay of my visit to the dentist. I did one of those things where I sat up straight in bed gasping for air. I'm not even convinced that I was fully awake when the dream started to fade and morph into something else.

It turned into a full blown scene from my WIP involving some super unfortunate faery magic. So I grabbed the notebook I keep by the side of the bed and started scrawling it down. At some point, my husband groaned and said, "I hear some writers write during the day." To which I responded, "None of the ones I know," and kept writing.

Now, I'm not saying that I'm glad this happened. Not even close. But because of it, I feel like now I have a good chance of accurately conveying the disorientation and terror involved with that sort of loss of control. Soooo...silver lining? Yeah, I'm going with that. And next time, they can just knock me right out. I'm not sure I need more inspiration like that.

Please check out the other Thursday's Children authors and their inspiration for the week! And feel free to join in - it's a fantastic blog hop!  Here's the code:

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Unfortunately, not all of the linky links are showing up and I'm not sure why. :(

Monday, February 18, 2013

Monday Musings - Favorite Movies and TV Shows

The Monday Musings authors picked favorite movies and TV shows for our topic this week and I know that by the time I'm done narrowing it down, It's still going to look like I do nothing but watch TV - I promise that isn't the case, though.

You can check out my fellow Monday Musings authors by clicking on their names: Kirsti Jones, Tess Grant, and Lynn Dozema.

Okay - let's get on with the entertainment.

The TV shows I've listed are there primarily because I love the characters. I've loved watching them develop over the years - or, you know, season, in terms of Firefly. And looking at the list, it's really no surprise that most of them have paranormal elements. It's what I love best, and I love these show in particular because of their character and story arcs. So in no particular order are my favorite shows.

And I can't forget the movies I love. There are so many more, but in the interest of time and space, I'm trying to limit them somewhat. Again, in no particular order...

So, I'd love to know - what are some of your favorites?

Monday, February 11, 2013

Thursday's Children (and also Monday Musings) - A Virtual Tour of My Office

This has been sort of a hell week for me, so at the lovely Rhiann Wynn-Nolet suggested that my office post do double duty for the Thursday's Children post. I thought it was a brilliant idea, so we're going with that. Below, you can see some of the things that inspire me in my work space!

And you can also see the work spaces of my Monday Musings writers - just click on their names to check out their offices, too! Kirsti Jones, Tess Grant and Lynn Dozema.

Okay, so it's clutter. No, really cluttered. But it works and it's home.

This is my desk. Actually, it used to be my husband's when he was a kid, but I cleaned it up, put new hardware on it and adopted it. It's where I keep my journals, rocks and whatever reference material I'm using at the time. Oh yeah, and the computer.

My office also doubles at my sewing room. I have, what one would consider, an unhealthy addiction to fabric. But I'm working on purging a bunch of it this year. If I don't have very specific plans for it, it's out. Oh, and the old treadle machine under the new one actually works. It's gorgeous, too.

This is one of the bookcases. As you can see, it's overloaded and also in need of purging. And that's Thelma, my dressmaker's dummy wearing a shawl my mom made me. The harp was given to me by a friend. One of these days I'll learn how to play it. You my spare time.
This is just some art I like. Or, more art I like. My kids call them "The Butt People." The unframed print is by a very talented local artist named Gary Elderidge and the print is called The Muse of Art and Literature. It's absolutely beautiful up close - I wish I could get a better picture of it.
I've ended up with a lot of instruments in my office - some are mine, some not so much. The three hand drums, harp, dulcimer, recorder, trumpet and bamboo flute are mine. The two guitars, concert flute and violin are not. And they are in my office. Hmm...
This is a gorgeous Victorian chemise that I rescued from a house that was scheduled to be destroyed back when I was in college. I wish I'd had the foresight to pry out the fireplace mantles and take the old glass doorknobs and other fixtures. Unfortunately, I didn't.
Anyway, this is my little chaos corner. Hope you enjoyed the tour. :) 

Don't forget to check out the Blog Hop, and join in, too!

Here's the code for the Linky to put on your own post.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

New Blog Award!

Thanks so much to Tamara of the One Magic Bean Buyer Blog! She awarded me the Cutie Pie award - which I cheerfully accepted!

And I get to nominate other people, too. So my nominees are Kirsti Jones, Lynn Dozema, Tess Grant - my fellow Monday Morning Musers! Please click on their names and check out their blogs! :)

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Thurday's Children - Picture Pages

I might have mentioned it before, but I'm a very visual person - I learn best via images or watching someone do something. Unless it's math. I could watch that all day long and it will always be dark sorcery to me. But anything else? I'm good.

When I first started writing, I discovered that the same was true for plotting. I tend to think in pictures and it's easier for me to capture the basic story arc in images rather than words. One afternoon, I was flipping through one of the many catalogs that had piled up in my mailbox and I saw an image that brought to mind the story I was trying to plot. Immediately, I started making connections I hadn't thought of before and took notes. But I also looked for other images that fit into my story. I ended up making collage pages.

It helped to look at the images before I started writing - especially if I'd been away from my story for a while and was having trouble settling back in. Now that Pinterest exists, I tend to rely on that as opposed to cutting pictures out of magazines or catalogs, but there's still something satisfying about busting out the scissors and glue stick.

Here are a couple of pages from past stories.

Don't forget to check out the Blog Hop, and join in, too!

Here's the code for the Linky to put on your own post.

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Monday, February 4, 2013

Monday Musings - Where I'd Like to Live

This week, we're talking about the places we'd like to live. Be sure to check out my fellow bloggers' posts. Kirsti Jones, Tess Grant and Lynn Dozema.

There are a ton of places that I'd like to visit, but I love my home state. I even love my house. I don't, however, love my current neighborhood. It's not terrible, but the houses are close together. So close, in fact, that if I'm not careful, I can see right into my neighbor's bathroom from my kitchen window.

So. Not. Cool.

For any of us.

But like I said, I love my house. It's a cottage style home that was built in 1927 and still has the original hardwood floors and gorgeous red oak woodwork and tons of character. However, I would like it better if it were situated in the woods bordering the shores of Lake Superior. I'd be thrilled to wake up every day with this as my view. Think of all the writing I could get done!

Instead, I'll have to be satisfied with my once a year writing retreat. But hey...better than nothing!