Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Of Stories and Debussy


I'm not a great listener of “Classical” music, more modern classics, such as Elvis, Guy Mitchell and the musical re-tellings of Andre Rieu taking first place within my heart. Yet there are days where the peaceful flow of the music of the Romantic and Impressionist eras are what I crave.

So I go and uncover the worn collection of classical records (not literally records of course because I listen to music on my laptop and back then we listened to Cd's and later the computer) from my childhood.


First, I play a Hungarian Rhapsody, which also happens to be the one most recently listened to. I've listened to it a dozen times of late because Osbert Gaunt in The Daughter Pays plays one, and ever since my first reading of it the strength and passion of the song sends me away to the dark of an English evening a hundred years ago. I'm there looking in upon the sitting room where Virginia (the heroine) lies upon the couch looking out into the stars of the night, the firelight flicking around her, the swell of the song sending her spirit in flight with the freedom of the stars.

Music and story are so earnestly intertwined: the theme song of a movie that you love (or don't) but for which the song still makes you laugh or weep in ecstasy as the case may be (Love Me Tender anyone?), the endless round of a tune stuck in your head when one is attempting to sleep, and the music of a wedding day.


The treble notes of Debussy's Clair De Lune flutter through the room. It is in songs such as these that the quiet speech of the music enters into your spirit, between the steady fall of rain outside your window and the warmth of dreaming within.

Dreams of the ages, of all the generations who have listened to this song, my heart fills to overflowing with the glorious ache of it, but it is not a painful one. It is an ache that makes me reach for my favorite tales as words for my own flick into my head and flow out of my fingers into the document upon my computer, translating the electricity of the storm and rain without, the humming wonder of imagination within and the trembling glorious gift of music which twines amongst everything.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Liebster Award - 3

Here are my answers to the tag as given by Faith of Just Way Too Boss! Thank you Faith!


If you would live anywhere in the world, where?
I actually think the place where I live is a very nice sort of place to have a home and there is nowhere else in particular I'd rather have it. However, I would dearly love to try living all sorts of other places and then have this be my home base. :)

What dream occupation did you have as a child?
To be a member of Robin Hood's band perhaps or some such thing? As you can see, my choice would have been rather fraught with difficulty.


If you could only wear one color for the rest of your life, which color?
Blue. It's such a deliciously living sort of color and has such a variety of moods within its spectrum. Just thinking of it makes me feel tingly and adventurous.

 Favorite new book?
The Scent of Water by Elizabeth Goudge. It's either very odd or perfectly splendid, I just can't quite decide which. So please don't hold yourself quite recommended. :)


 Do you prefer to watch foreign entertainment with subtitles, dubs, or you don’t like to watch foreign entertainment?
The only thing I've ever watched nearly to completion was the Austrian film, Sissi (1953) and it was sub-titled. Beautifully filmed with exquisite costumes and breathtaking scenery; I found it completely charming.

Favorite fairytale?
Beauty and the Beast...and sometimes Cinderella, but all my favorite re-tellings are of the former.


If you decided to learn another language, what language would you choose?
Spanish... because the cultures that speak it also happen to be the ones I find most fascinating!

Books or E-readers?
Books. I love the reality of them between my hands.

I'm not going to give the 11 random facts, but if you would like some about me you can read my two previous Liebster awards here, which (while yet being from the ancient chronicles) are still quite relevant. :)

Happy Springtime, friends!


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Of Muses... and One of Mine


My fingers are trembling with the Insp. to write stories: anyone's really, but most especially Wes and Lina's (because they are the most adorable :)). But my main project is Clarkson and Elise's story and I will not forsake them. 

But there's the Difficulty; namely, Clarkson. He's wonderful and supportive to Elise and does everything else he should, but he won't say anything. And when I try and make him, he looks levelly at me with all that intelligence I know he has deep behind his eyes, quirks his mouth with a spark of humor and still won't speak!

Hence, I've been stuck re-arranging and deleting my writing from the last two months. And I've hardly written anything new for the last week.

It's all been quite sad, really.


There is this song from a good 'ol musical with Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, to wit Anchors Aweigh. Perchance you may have even heard it before, but the lyrics go like this...

I begged her, I pleaded, I told her, 'Baby, come out of your shell,'
I told her 
'Maybe, you'll find that it's swell,' 

I argued, I threatened, I said 
'You can't send me home,
Not like this, then...'

the lyrics cease to illustrate my point, hence the mysterious cutoff. However, switch the pronouns, edit it here and there, and you have a vision of Clarkson and I.


It's not exactly that I haven't been immersing myself in other people's stories -- which is often the first answer to my story problems -- yet something still wasn't working.

Last night at 9:30 I came up to my room, discouragement in my heart. I had tried to do so much for Clarkson and I was failing miserably. Was I trying to manage him too much? I actually knew I was, but what else could I do?

Disconsolately I began going through the books on the little table under the window, old favorites, mostly, but not quite the Insp. I needed and then my eyes brightened (or at least I assume they did, the eyes of the heroines in books at least always do at moments like this one) for there on the bottom was the book - Shadow on the Trail by Zane Grey. I'd never really read the thing, but the title was not the important part, it was the name that came after...
.

I went to my desk and, chin on hand, devoured the first chapter and then turning to my laptop I wrote a whole entire scene. Clarkson, moved, looked, spoke of his own accord. and Elise, too. SUDDENLY I know where they're going again and just how they might get there.

Thus, Zane Grey's magic was proven again. I've always named L.M. Montgomery and him as two of the most important writers in my life. Sometimes, though, I forget the power of them, but they wait and turn up again right when I need them most desperately. 

And Clarkson and I are friends again.

Who are some of your "muses"?


Friday, March 4, 2016

Things of Beauty: January - February

2016 bounced in with terrific vim for me. Not that so many big things happened right away, they just seemed like they were about to, and for some reason I felt not only inspired, but ready to tackle some things that have been caught up in my imagination for ages.


Very Favorite Things
Snapshot road-trips to Chicago, Shirley Temple's adorableness, a bike ride after church with my brother (a tree lined trail, glimpses of brown fields, sun-tinged yet chilly wind = most wonderful Sunday afternoon ever), the Cinderella Week(!), garden books spread around me as I plan the garden, planting peas and some lettuce, working in said garden with Littlest Sis, moments of crazy laughter with Arwen.


Reading
A cozy amount and mostly fairy-tales, but a few mysteries were slipped in too and I am reading a WWII novel from the perspective of a German-raised boy in England which keeps a solid balance.


Writing
They Searched Who Laughed and book reviews . In TSWL, Elise, Clarkson and her father have left Wilmington, NC, and are now arrived at their cottage "up north." I think Arwen and I figured out the major plot problems I was struggling with... and there's snow and the sea and a charming harbor town... it's almost Christmas and it's just them with no villains in sight... for now. Hence everything is sparkling-ly charming.


Out-Of-Doors
The dogs new kennel complex: large, airy, and has a cement floor. It really makes me feel semi-professional while caring for the dogs, which is amazing as dogs usually make me feel quite the opposite, hence having it so is a very wonderful boost to my morale. :)


Cooking
I've been playing around with inserting more vegetarian dishes onto the menu. Also, I've started having coffee with some collagen powder before my workouts in the morning. Happily yummy things all. :)


Discoveries
(Impromptu) Sunday afternoon bikes are super calming with my brother, who also happens to be one of my best friends (we go way back as in wood-sword-fighting back).

Laughter and hugs are great at keeping mental balance. Laughter... because either-I'm-going-to-laugh-or-weep-which-would-you-prefer. :)

And now... Spring is rippling closer and Victory Garden 2016 (I love calling it my victory garden because it sounds SO retro) HERE I COME! 




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