I’m not gonna lie – I was SO excited when Victoria Grace Howell nominated me for this blog tag (thank you, Tori!) that this was my reaction.
OK, maybe that’s an exaggeration… But music is one of my many loves in life, along with writing, books, and tea. So if you’re a music fan as well, fair warning: This post features YouTube videos. It also features links to more YouTube videos. I tried not to go overboard… but you still might be here a while. 😉
First, like any blog tag, let’s start with…
Happy Spring, everyone! Who else is looking forward to the weather getting warmer, the flowers to start blooming, and the world to soon turn green and lush and vibrant again? 😀
OK, maybe I was being overexuberant. But spring is my favorite season, after all, and after a super-productive winter on the creative front, I’m looking forward to carrying that momentum into the next season. Plus, I have exciting news to share on two of my writing projects! (No, the current manuscript isn’t done yet, but it’s getting there. *wink*) So, without further ado, let’s dive into this edition of the Creativity Corner.
Summer ends tomorrow, and what a busy season it’s been. Traveling, sightseeing, getting a head cold (OK, that wasn’t fun, but it did happen), and through it all I managed to get a lot of writing and reading done. So despite the busyness, it was a productive and satisfying summer. 🙂
Without further ado, let’s launch into the Creativity Corner for a recap of what I’ve been writing and reading, and other related happenings, since the end-of-spring edition in June.
Do you listen to music while you write? Has a specific song or music artist ever influenced one of your stories, poems, etc.? This has happened with a number of my published poems. Thus, Poetry & Song is a limited-run series where I share one of my published poems and the song that “helped me write” it. I also offer insights into why I chose that particular piece of music, as well as any other inspirations for the poem.
After the amazing response to the first Poetry & Song post back in May, I knew I’d have to write another one down the road. Today happens to be a good day for that, because… um, well, September 5th is my birthday. (*blushes*) But that’s all the attention it’s getting. Instead, the joy and gratitude I always feel on this day gives me reason for blogging about “Eve of Spring.”
What? You say spring was five months ago? Who’s counting, though? 😉
Today I’m sharing “Eve of Spring” and the life-changing song I listened to as I wrote it. And together, both pieces were among the saving graces that helped me through one of the most challenging periods in my life.
As I write this, I’m battling a cold (which should be gone by the time this goes live), so I can barely grope for words to summarize my August. Except for “awesome.” Yes. I still dealt with lingering anxiety in my offline life, but as the month comes to a close, I’m utterly delighted with what happened and what I accomplished during that time.
So, yes, it was an awesome August. Say that alliteration ten times fast. 😉
Since today is the last day of August, it’s also time to share some of the joys of the past month. I’m taking a slightly different approach this time, too. Instead of mostly material items, I included two accomplishments (or, rather, “to-do list” items that I completed) and one experience. And feel free to share your August joys in your comments. I always love hearing what’s made you happy, too!
June was a weird month. It was busy for the usual reasons (work, writing, two weekend trips to Cape Cod), but nothing out of the ordinary happened, either. Which is fine, actually. It’s nice to have extended downtime between busy spells, and since I’m heading back to NYC in August, I’m taking advantage of it as much as I can. Oh, and I finally finished my GoFundMe photo album of my Iceland trip!
The only downside to June? The increasing heat and humidity. Ugh. I like summer, but not when it’s 90+ and muggy. Makes me ever more grateful that my condo has air conditioning… and now I feel like I’m rambling. (*blushes*)
So, yes, it’s happiness-celebrating time again. I’m linking up once again with blogger / writer friend Leanne Sowul to share my joys during the month of June. (Her post is scheduled for Friday, but you can still check out her blog here.) As always, feel free to share the things that brought a smile to your face in your comments on this post!
Can you believe that summer is here? 😮 It still feels like I was in Iceland last week. How on Earth has time zipped by so quickly??
Since a new season has begun, it’s time for an update on the past season’s creative happenings. And after a winter where I struggled with anxiety for a few weeks and my confidence in my writing hit rock-bottom, I’m happy to say that spring was a more productive, inspiring, and emotionally healthy season. It wasn’t free of bumps, but I’m moving forward and focused on new projects.
New projects?? What about The Keeper’s Curse? Or the novella? Yeah… I’ll explain what’s happening with them, too. But first…
Welcome to the first edition of An Ode To! Music has been a huge part of my life for a long time. But after leaving my music journalism gig last May, I’ve struggled to find a fresh and inspiring way to continue talking about music without committing myself to a routine meme. Now I have, and I’m very excited to share the music I love in a brand new way.
What can you expect from this and future Odes? Readers will learn a little bit about the highlighted artist and who they sound similar to (in case readers haven’t heard of them before). Then comes the best part: songs! I’ll pick out some of my favorite songs by said artist, briefly explain why I love them, and include YouTube clips so you can watch / listen for yourself.
So, without further ado…
If I could use one word to describe the music of 2014 for me, it would be “weird.” Firstly, it was a year of transition and rediscovery music-wise. In May, I left my music-reviewing post at Sonic Cathedral after 5½ years so I could concentrate on novel-writing and other creative pursuits. Suddenly I had more freedom – and time! – to listen to genres besides female-fronted rock and metal. That explains why this year’s Top 10 list features the most variety I’ve ever had in my end-of-year countdowns. Yay! 🙂
Secondly, the quality of 2014’s music took me on a bumpy rollercoaster ride. There were awesome surprises, huge disappointments, and an unusually high number of “in-betweens” that I needed to replay several times before knowing how I felt about them. And in some ways, my #1 pick summarizes my year of music: It tips its hat to my “head-banging” past while shocking the hell out of me – in the best way possible. In fact, I don’t think my SC colleagues would have seen this one coming (except for one – she knows who she is, because it’s all her fault *winks*).
Buckled in? Then let’s go! Continue reading
Each of Anathema’s past three albums has at least one song that envelopes me completely in whatever feelings it conveys. On their latest album Distant Satellites, that song is the ballad “Ariel.” Understated arrangements at the beginning allow Lee Douglas’ evocative, angelic voice and the simple lyrics to shine. Then, in grand Anathema fashion, the music climbs in intensity until Vincent Cavanagh joins Lee on the mic. Brother Danny Cavanagh prolongs the already-gorgeous crescendo with a heart-cry guitar solo. Enough about the aesthetics, though. The true beauty of “Ariel” is its pervading emotion: love. It’s hard to describe, and I agree the lyrics can be interpreted as either pure happiness or lingering sadness… But “Ariel” stirs the former for me. Warm, auric, unmistakable, intensifying as the song soars on. There may be millions of love songs in existence, but to me “Ariel” defines the musical expression of love – the kind of love everyone deserves to experience in their life.