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…
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.
With the past two Poetry & Song posts, I’ve realized – or, rather, remembered – how personal some of my sources of inspiration have been. Today’s is no different. A few times while writing this post, I felt… well, uncomfortable, but not in a negative way. It wasn’t so much the idea of sharing the story behind this poem, since other people in real life already know it. Rather, it was the act of revisiting that inspiration, and reliving the warring emotions tied to it, that made a heart-wrenching situation from the past fresh again.
So, yes, “At A Loss” isn’t a happy poem. Neither is the song that helped me write it. But what makes this Poetry & Song combination unique is that, together, they provided some much-needed insight on an unraveling friendship. If it makes any sense, this post chronicles the first time I learned an important life lesson from my own poetry.
This Blog Hop stop has been in the works long enough that not one, but two fellow writers invited me to take part: Angela B. Chrysler, and E. Rawls. I “met” Angela on Twitter (I think?) late last year, and we immediately bonded over our love of fantasy literature and our dreams of becoming published authors. She’s now preparing to self-publish her debut novel, Dolor and Shadow, which is due out in late May. As for E. (full first name is Elizabeth), she was also nominated by Angela for the same blog hop; and like me and Angela, she’s a fantasy writer and Tolkien fan. Thank you, ladies – and sorry it’s taken me so long to respond!
Here’s some information and rules about the One Lovely Blog Hop:
This blog hop is designed to show our readers a more personal side to ourselves. We’ve been challenged by another author/ blogger (somewhat like the ‘ice bucket’ challenge) to list seven interesting facts to help cast light onto that tough writer’s/ blogger’s persona we all like to project. But we want to show that behind every story is a story, our story, my story; and like everyone else, I have dreams, hobbies, problems, and goals. This blog hop is a way to share some of them with you, my readers.
The rules are that I share 7 Lovely Facts about myself, and links to a maximum of 15 blogs that I enjoy reading. If I’ve nominated your blog (see names below) please don’t feel any obligation to join in but, if you do, please link back to the blog of the person who nominated you (that would be me, Sara Letourneau), share facts about yourself, and nominate 15 blogs (or as many as you can).
My brain tends to freeze when I have to think of random things to share about myself… But I’ve come up with seven that fit the billing. 😉
We’ve reached the end of the Sonic Cathedral Retrospective countdown! I’ve been listing my 20 favorite artists that I’ve covered in my five years of writing at the Sonic Cathedral WebZine. And today, it’s time to reveal the top five – including the artist I chose for #1!
First, in case you’ve missed the previous installments, here they are:
Part 1: Artists #20 through #16
Part 2: Artists #15 through #11
Part 3: Artists #10 through #6
So if we left off at #6, that means we’ll start tonight with…
Happy New Year!
Hope all of you enjoyed your holidays and are looking forward to 2012. I know I am. But before I think too into the future, I’d like to take a look back on the music of 2011. For me, 2011 got off to a slow start but picked up in excitement by summer’s end – and then a slew of great albums came out in early autumn to intrigue me further! So, which 10 albums did I enjoy the most? Most importantly, which one took my top spot?
Note: If you’re friends with me on Facebook, chances are you’ve already seen this list. This version is a little more interactive, however, and also reveals my favorite songs from each album.
Let’s get started with… Continue reading
Once again, it’s been a while since my last site update. But, I hope this one will be worth it. First of all, maybe you noticed that my site looks a little different… And you’re correct! I hope you like the new theme, “Dusk to Dawn.” It’s similar to the previous theme I’d been using, but a little darker in color. Let me know what you think by commenting on this post.
And now, here’s a quick summary of all my Sonic Cathedral activity since my last post.
For interviews (click here to go to the Interviews page):
- My latest interview is with American-born singer/songwriter Amanda Somerville, who has just released her first metal album under the stage name of Trillium. Maybe you might know Amanda for her choir and backing vocal work with metal bands such as Avantasia, Kamelot, and Epica – or maybe you know Amanda from her pop/rock solo work. Either way, Trillium’s debut album, Alloy, marks a new and exciting era for Amanda. This interview shows not only how thrilled and passionate Amanda is about her work, but also how incredibly funny she is!
- In October, I talked to one of the most promising symphonic metal bands I’ve heard all year: Divine Ascension, out of Melbourne, Australia. This band mixes their love of movie soundtracks with progressive and power metal influences. The result is DA’s debut album, As The Truth Appears. Guitarist Rob Inglis and singer Jennifer Borg discussed the making of this album, as well as the band’s origins, their music video for “Answers,” and how the band almost went for a male singer instead of a female.
- Also in October, I interviewed two members of the Swedish symphonic metal band Ultimate Fate. Singer Jennie Nord and drummer/grunter Ola Olsson spoke at length about their recently released EP, Beyond the Horizon, as well as their band’s unique blend of classic heavy metal and symphonic influences. They also commented on their experience as one of many bands in the famous – and crowded – Gothenburg metal scene.
And for CD reviews (click here to go to the 2011 CD Reviews page):
- Autumn’s Cold Comfort, which sees the Dutch alternative metal band taking a more progressive and melodic turn in their music. Not everyone will love this next phase of Autumn’s evolution, but I consider Cold Comfort to be the band’s “richest and most intelligent album to date.”
- Divine Ascension’s As The Truth Appears, which (as I implied earlier) is one of my favorite symphonic metal albums this year. DA takes the guitar-driven approach of power and progressive metal, complements it with symphonic arrangements, and lets a singer with a musical theater background take the reins. Perhaps it’s no surprised that I said, “[P]eople should – and will – talk about the Australian band that’s a new rival to Epica, Nighwish, Within Temptation, and other symphonic heavyweights.”
- Losing Scarlet’s Learning to Bleed, one of the heaviest albums I’ve ever reviewed. Imagine Five Finger Death Punch or Bullet For My Valentine, but with a firecracker of a female singer. It’s in-your-face, rebellious, even a little violent (musically speaking). That’s why I said this album is”… a far cry from the complex and sweeping styles you’ll hear from European bands – but Losing Scarlet is an American band, playing distinctly American metal music. And, they play it with balls and fire.”
That’s about it for now. I do have plans to update the Poetry section soon, as well as an idea for a new poll. So, stay tuned!
EDIT – 11/14/2011: Somehow I forgot to enable my comments when I posted this last night. Now you should be able to respond to this post. Sorry about that!
As I had promised, here is the list of my top 10 albums of 2009! Continue reading
Yes, I’ve done another interview for Sonic Cathedral! And this one is probably my favorite piece yet for the Webzine, and the one I’m most proud of! Continue reading
Yes, it’s “New CD Review” time! This month’s review features Dejafuse, a relatively new band from the Netherlands that’s fronted by former Autumn vocalist Nienke de Jong. As soon as I heard about Dejafuse’s album being released, I just had to get my hands on it. And it didn’t disappoint! Continue reading