Monday, July 15, 2013

An Incredible Gift!

Today, I learned that Grant Hart's new album is being streamed live.

I am not due to receive my CD until next Tuesday.

I couldn't wait. I listened to the live stream over and over and over again today.

Grant has outdone himself.

Please, listen to The Argument, and buy a copy of the CD, and give this brilliant man the recognition he deserves!

Please be sure to leave a comment on the site, if you feel so inclined.

Honestly, I really can't believe just how good this one is. I mean, I knew it would be good, but it has exceeded my expectations, which I admit were really high.

I can't decide which song is my favorite...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

On a Roll!

The ideas just keep coming, and it feels so good to be writing again! What I had for a "finished" product was sort of like someone who doesn't eat enough: all there, but not quite enough meat on the bones. I read through things and find places where a little more detail or some anecdote would improve the story, and then the new material comes to mind, and off I go.

I wrote Lorin's Tattoo this morning.

I still can't quite believe that this whole ball started rolling as a result of hearing what may or may not have been a bassoon in one of Grant Hart's new songs. (Pre-order the album here.)

It has been a little over two months since I first heard "Is the Sky the Limit." Maybe I make too big a fuss over Grant, maybe not. But it wasn't long after hearing the song for the first time that I started going back in time and listening to a lot of the music I was listening to while first working on "O Fortuna" in the mid-1980s. There was classical music, popular music, choral music, and French organ music. I had regrets over parts of the book I had been unable to flesh out due to a lack of research sources. There were parts of the book that suited me fine 12 years ago, but do not now. I have an opportunity to make all that better, and I feel like I have no choice about seizing that opportunity. The Muse is back!

The older I got, the more I disliked my books' titles. O Fortuna. To Walk in Newness of Life. Worldes Blis. While I like the reasons I chose those titles, I hate how pompous they sound to me now. Better I should just come up with a series name, and call the books I, II, and III.

So, I have been thinking about titles, and on Thursday at work, listening to an old, forgotten favorite, some words leapt out at me, and had me scrambling for pen and post-it notes, so I would not forget.

"Like leaves, we touch, we dance, we will know the story as we both remember all those many years ago..."

So, at the moment, the working title for the whole darn saga is "Like Leaves, We Touch."

Hubby says I don't need to explain myself and my reasons to anyone, but I think I need to put it down somewhere, if for no other reason than my own benefit.

In the face of eternity, people are like leaves. There are many of us. We are blown together over the courses of our lifetimes, and we touch, and we wither, and die, and fall. Though our lives seem to be going on forever, especially in difficult times, we really are so much like the leaves. Our time is brief compared to all that has come before, and all that will come after. We strive to leave a lasting impression, in hopes of not being forgotten when we are gone. We will dance, and we will know our stories as our lives progress.

Well, that's what I'm thinking about the title at the moment. Other ideas may cross my mind as I sit at work this week, who knows?

"Like Leaves, We Touch."

Any constructive thoughts you'd like to share, please feel free to leave a message. :-)

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Greetings from the Novelist's Front Lines

So, yeah, I've been absent again, for quite awhile. Most everything I have to say has been going into a rewrite of "O Fortuna."

Yes, I know I have just shamelessly linked to the book's page on Amazon, even though a) I am no longer happy with the final version of the book, and b) apparently my publisher has decided to release it in Kindle format without my knowledge or consent. I would not mind, but it is replete with formatting errors. What's a writer to do?

Well, re-vamp the whole damn thing, of course. Make it better than it was, kind of like the Six Million Dollar Man?

I have three volumes in a series, with seeds planted for a fourth. I need to name the series, and I may wish to rename the books within it. The jury is still out on that, but when I come up with something good, readers here will be the first to know.

I have come to the conclusion that I must identify the time period in which the books are set. I mean, when was the last time anyone dialed a rotary phone? Played a vinyl album on a turntable? (Apologies to my fellow Vintage Vinyl friends who do this very thing on a regular basis.) Typed a thesis on an IBM Selectric? Did not have a computer or a cell phone?

My "mood music" for the first book goes back to the late 1970s, so if I intend to refer to it, I really need to place the story in its time.

Billy Joel's wonderful song, Vienna, has been Lorin's theme song for a long time now. It captures him almost perfectly, and seems sort of prophetic, in a way.

And though Lorin is a classical musician/composer, he listens to a wide variety of music, and some of the music that got played on the airwaves in those days was damn good, and Lorin likes it. Consider this one by Dire Straits. for some reason, it always made me think of Lorin, and of him walking places in the city with Neal. When I hear the song, I can almost see the two of them. A foggy night. Perhaps they even steal a kiss or two in a darkened doorway...

I think in all my books, music IS a feature character. It asserts itself all over the stories. Not just these, but my other novels not in this series. (Yes, Virginia, CP/Jehan has many pots simmering on back burners.) I guess that shouldn't surprise me at all, given that music is a prominent character in my own life.

Which reminds me, I can't say enough good things about that first Dire Straits album, or Billy Joel's "The Nylon Curtain." Both of those albums have been in heavy rotation on my iPod lately. Between those two and Durufle's Requiem, I have been immersing myself in a particular atmosphere, and trying to recapture what I felt when I was actively working towards publication of the first book. And I am recapturing it, and feeling new things about it as well, as demonstrated in this New Excerpt.

Hope you enjoy it.

Thanks for reading.