Monday, September 29, 2008

IF YOU ATTENDED CONTEXT….

ANTI-SILENCE SOLUTION: Gladiator/Hans Zimmer
JAVA PRESCRIPTION: Custom blend with crème de minthe
MOON PHASE: New Moon
TAROT of the DAY: SIX of CUPS: Nostalgia, serenity, an old love returns or an old dream now seems possible.

Of the panels I attended, the ‘strong female characters’ panel seemed to have a great in flux of people asking where is the heroine who is a mother? A wife? Who is older? Where are the tough wise-women? And Vicious Circle has a tough Nana, and a child that the main character is looking out for. So, I am hoping it will be found by those looking for something 'more'.

I also learned about the social metaphor that zombies represent, and though I meant to attend Tobias Bucknell’s Effective Blogging panel, things came up that interfered with that plan.

I did intend to do the ‘1 day to go’, and ‘day of’ blog countdowns, but heck, I was freaking BUSY.

As it turns out, the con was great fun! Being on panels was not as overwhelmingly stressful as I feared. In fact, the only thing that bit me was the elevator. The first, I sat on with my editor Paula Guran of Juno Books, and Tanya Huff who was the Author Guest of Honor. She’s the author of the Blood Books, showing on Lifetime as Blood Ties. (tanyahuff.net). She was also very gracious and turned a bit of the conversation to me, as did Paula, so I felt included. They both are much more knowledgeable than I and the attendees wanted to hear them more than an unknown, but Paula and Tanya both asked me questions so I was able to chime in. ;-)

My second panel, on Movie Soundtracks, I was able to talk much more. The other panelists were fans of the music. One was an author, one had an on-line ‘zine, one was just a fan. I was the only musician among them (or the only one who said so) and I think I brought a little something to the discussion that they could not. Of course I was geeky and let it be known that I adore Hans Zimmer’s musical works.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

CONTEXT COUNTDOWN: 2 DAYS!

ANTI-SILENCE SOLUTION: Last Samurai/Hans Zimmer
JAVA PRESCRIPTION: Custom blend w/ choc and Crème de Menthe
MOON PHASE: Waning
TAROT of the DAY: The HIGH PRIESTESS (heightening intuition, an enchounter with the hidden world, an uncanny sense that ‘something’ is at work in one’s life.)

Okay…the High Priestess today. Hmmm. On my deck’s card (not the Rider-Waite deck pics I use to post) I have Persephone, on the steps to/from the underworld, pomegranate in hand. The main character in VICIOUS CIRCLE is named Persephone ‘Seph’ and I wasn’t very aware of the details of her myth when I wrote it, but I have come to know some since. I like this card.

I’m ready to go, except for packing. And I’m looking forward to chatting with my editor who is the Editor Guest of Honor at Context, PAULA GURAN, and meeting a fellow Juno author, Matthew Cook, link to his blog: http://bloodmagicbooks.blogspot.com/ , his book, Nights of Sin, and sequel to Blood Magic was just released. http://www.juno-books.com/nights-of-sin.html It's also an opportunity for some ladies from my writing group to get together and I'm eager to see them again as well! It'll be a good trip!

Friday, September 19, 2008

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE MUSIC?

ANTI-SILENCE SOLUTION: Last of the Mohicans/ Randy Edelman & Trevor Jones
JAVA PRESCRIPTION: Vanilla Biscotti w/ Raspberry
MOON PHASE: WANING GIBBOUS
TAROT of the DAY: TWO of WANDS (New aim, goal or creative project...has potential, have the courage to proceed.)


I'm ecstatic to be included in a panel at Context that's called Great Movie Soundtracks. Aside from the last names of the other panelists, Johnson and Sandridge, I know nothing about this little panel…but I am sooo excited to get to share on a musical subject in addition to writing!! So, I’m wondering…as research data, of course, what is YOUR favorite? Do you even pay attention? What do you listen to when you write, if anything, and do you endeavor to create a ‘mood’—and if so, always, or just for certain scenes?

Musicians often do with melodic phrases, things that we cannot do with words, but mirrors and enhances the words. For instance…take Gladiator. When Maximus arrives and is to fight in the great Coliseum, there is little to be said, the visual is daunting. The composer (my favorite, Hans Zimmer) took a Waltz…a lovely 3-beat dance, and turned it into a monster of a song rather emulating the whole Gladiator idea, entertain and die…pretty monstrous. And yeah, I’m totally geeking out right now.

Sometimes, when I’m stuck, I find a piece of music that fits the mood of what I want to write, (or write a song that fits), and then sit back in the cinema of my mind and watch the movie…I just try to envision the action and/or the drama. Yeah yeah, it’s daydreaming with a soundtrack, but that’s what I do. What about you? Is music in your process at all?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

MY IDIOSYNCRASY


ANTI-SILENCE SOLUTION: Twister/Mark Mancina
JAVA PRESCRIPTION: Custom Blend w/ chocolate mint
MOON PHASE: Waning
TAROT of the DAY: QUEEN of PENTACLES
She is nurturing, down-to-earth, trustworthy and resourceful.

Or should I say psychosis, or neurosis?

Today I am forcing myself to push onward with a work-in-progress (WIP). I have been struggling with a hurdle scene and I discovered that if I play a game with myself it’s easier. That’s how psycho I really am; I can play a game with my brain as if the idea didn’t really form there, and as if my brain doesn’t really know what I’m doing…but somehow it freaking works. Because I, like the Queen of Pentacles, am resourceful. When something isn't working, I'll adapt, I can back up and change my approach if I need to. (Recognizing that I need to is another matter, that isn't always so clear...)

I was non committal about writing the scene. It wasn’t there. I was struggling. So, I opened a fresh clean new document. No looming word count already there. No greatness to match. (HA!) No nothing. I was just going to type it out, what tidbits I had, and at least put them down, even if jumbled and incoherent…because this wasn’t really the scene anyway. Not the REAL file. It was just a blank slate and I could delete it and no one would be the wiser.

But the scene got written. And, rough, today it gets a spit shine. Ah, progress. Some of the steps are harder to take for whatever reason. Just take it. Keep going. It’s in stopping that the problem lies.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

NEW FEATURE!

ANTI-SILENCE SOLUTION: Star Trek 6, The Undiscovered Country; Cliff Eidelman
JAVA PRESCRIPTION: Caramel Drizzle w/ Raspberry and Chocolate
MOON PHASE: Waning Gibbous
TAROT of the DAY: read on...

To the header of each post, we already have the Anti-silence Solution (because everyone else tells you what they are listening too), the Java Prescription (because I LOVE coffee) and the Moon Phase (because it’s important). You may have noticed I added a new one today.

Why? Because the Main Character of VICIOUS CIRCLE is a tarot reader, among other things. It’s fun, gives me something to say when I have nothing else to say (like that ever happens…) and can be informative. I’ll keep it short though, no soap box.

And our virgin draw of the card is…(Mister DJ, hit the drum roll pleeeease….)

the FOOL

First Card in the deck(Major Arcana), and no I amnot going in order, I just pulled that one at random after shuffling. It represents a new chapter in life, the beginning of the journey. What an apt card to start this new feature of my blog with! GROOVY!

Still looking for some questions/ideas/comments on the lines between Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance, c'mon! This is your chance to sound off and share!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

YOUTH, REVISITED

ANTI-SILENCE SOLUTION: Return of the King/Howard Shore
JAVA PRESCRIPTION: Caramel Drizzle w/chocolate
MOON PHASE: Waxing Gibbous


My old band, back when I was just a young-un in the late 80's, was called CORSAIR. (See, I was into pirates LONG before pirates were cool...) We had a grand time…teenagers with keys to the bar—we had a practice room there, where we kept our band equipment. We did not abuse our privilege. Okay, well once…maybe. Anyway, we could jam as loud and as often as we wanted. No parents screaming to quiet down. It was fantastic.

So my old drummer calls and says the old bar (now torn down for some city building) is having a reunion at a rented hall. We, along with many other rockers of the time, are going back to play. We’ll do a 5-8 song set, nothing big. I’m sooooo freaking excited! There’s nothing like being on stage, rockin’ my guitar. About 8 weeks to prepare and get the old fingers zippin’ over the fretboard. I can’t wait!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

COUNTDOWN TO CONTEXT

ANTI-SILENCE SOLUTION: Pirates; At World’s End; Hans Zimmer
JAVA PRESCRIPTION: Custom blend (see previous post)
MOON PHASE: Waxing Gibbous

I am officially going to Context in Columbus, Ohio, Sept 26-28. I even get to sit on a couple of panels. GROOVY!! Hope I have something intelligent and witty to say… If not, I have a room and I’ll hide out.

I have asked to be in on the panel called “Writing Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy” with panelists: Editor Guest of Honor Paula Guran (my editor at Juno Books) and the Guest of Honor Tanya Huff, and Phoebe Wray. If I’m correct, Wray's first novel in genre fiction is newly out, with previous genre-shorts to her credit, and non-fiction. So that should be a great place to sit in, with two knowledgeable folks and two relative newbies.

The other panel I have requested to be on is Great Movie Soundtracks. Since the con is titled ‘We liked the movie but the book was better.’ I’m hoping they really mean movie scores (specifically from movies adapted from books...), not soundtracks(which can be rock-n-roll radio tunes or 'inspired by' tunes also for pop stations, etc). Because, as you may have noticed, I love scores and note what I'm listening to at my header and it's 95% movie scores... From books, I specifically LOVE Howard Shore’s for the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and I like the various composers (John Williams, Nicolas Hooper, Patrick Doyle, etc.) who have given their takes on the Harry Potter franchise. All those composers have done so much to capture the essence of and enhance and identify the characters and the movies. Who doesn’t recognize the tinkling Harry Potter opening? This panel has two names attached to it: Johnson and Sandridge. I am not able to find who they are to detail them nor to help me know if I’m going to be in over my head! :-)

I’m very excited and hope to be a part of both panels!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

JAVA & JIGSAW

ANTI-SILENCE SOLUTION: Stargate; David Arnold
JAVA PRESCRIPTION: see below**
MOON PHASE: First Quarter (yay!)

No. I don't work puzzles with my morning coffee. Not a spinster yet.

I have, however been experimenting with my java. I’ve mixed up equal parts of Dutch Chocolate Fudge with Mexican Liquor(Buehler’s rip-off of the Kahlua-Coffee), and Caramel Drizzle. This combo is without a doubt the most delicious concoction I’ve ever found. YUM!!! And add the usual generous amount of chocolate syrup…heavenly.

Now for the Jigsaw. It's a club in Parma. My man, whose budding guitar company is about to take off, suggested that we go and see a band last night. Yay! Now…of course the guitarist in this band is none other than the paint and buffing guy who works with my honey, and though they weren’t a METAL band (they were rather PUNK), they cracked me up. One song, called ‘All My Friend’s Bands Suck’ was particularly delightful. I’m not 'into' that style of music per se, and some of it was just plain goofy, but I had a good time watching them. Crowd liked 'em well enough; plenty of people there.

The band that followed was, well, I hate to insult musicians, especially ones who get up on the stage and play live...but this quartet were rather rock-a-billy and that alone deserves at least a ribbing. Though able players, every song sounded the same to me; same key, same twang, same groove. In the first 2 songs, the chorus consisted of repeating the title of the song 4x. I leaned over to the honey when song 3 started and said, “If they repeat the title of the song 4 times in this chorus, I’ll give you 2 dollars.” They couldn’t do that to me 3x in a row…could they? I still have my smidgen of cash. But the song was ridiculous in lyric premise and the chorus was no different than the verse so I wasn’t sure the chorus was the chorus at first. If they played cover tunes, they’d probably have done well. Writing originals, though, not all musicians get that a repetitious nature of their key (which may mean their singer has limited range) and format will make every song sound alike. They play different ‘notes’ so it’s different to them. But people hearing it for the first time find it rather like hearing the same song for an hour. Annoying. (There’s an analogy for writing stories in there. I’m working on it.) And the ridiculous things they have in their lyrics...??? Doesn't anybody have anything to say? As a writer, words are important to me. If they are going to be nonsense, they better be catchy.

Now, lest you think I’m just a total bitch about music and bands…remember, I play guitar. I’ve been there done that. My old band is going to be playing at a bar-reunion thing where we were the house band for a time. So being on stage, something I used to take very seriously…toooo seriously, I am looking at what things are happening in clubs now (and the Jigsaw is a very cool venue) and thinking, “Yeah. I can do that, and I don’t have to be fussy about it.” I think I’ll be much calmer with things this time. That’s a good thing.