Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Time for a Blog Award!

Cue the music and dim the lights, folks!

When Jessie Harrell told me she was passing a blog award my way, I was thrilled. I've never received a blog award before. Yee-haw!

Then I discovered Cara gave me the same award. Hot-dog!

The icing on the cupcake? Bryan Sabol has also honored me. His blog is fantastic, and if you read his post concerning this award, you'll discover that he is a fascinating guy. Yep, Bryan and I go way back. Okay, maybe not way back, but he did mention me in an article of his.

Check it out if you like cupcakes. You can't say no, right? Everyone likes cupcakes.

Without further ado (Gee, I love saying that!),

Follow the Rules

The rules that apply with accepting this award are:

1. Thank and link back to the person(s) who gave you this award

Done and done. Next?

2. Share 7 things about yourself

Wait, you want to hear about little ol' me? Oh, alright!

1. I strongly dislike talking on the phone, and with good reason. I like planning. Put me on the spot and I stammer and usually spew unintelligent words like a fountain of awkwardness. But if you put me in front of a computer and give me a little time, I can craft dialogue that would make Fabio cry manly tears. Time is everything.

2. Well, number 1 was a mouthful. Let me make this one a little more concise. I have an unusual obsession with Japanese rock and hip-hop. Honestly, it's fantastic stuff. And as I tell my mother all the time, "You don't need to understand what they're saying to feel the beat in your bones!"

3. Hm. Still not concise enough. Oh well. I'm a bit of an exercise nut when soccer season rolls around. However, catch me the week after it's over and I'll be on the couch all day, eating big macs to reruns of House MD.

4. Mythology is rad! Norse, Greek, Egyptian, African, Chinese. It's all compelling stuff. The coolest thing about mythology is that it comes from everywhere. Where there are people, there are stories. Which is why the five listed above don't even begin to scratch the surface. The novel I'm currently revising (tentatively titled Atticus Six) features a world in which the monsters of all these mythologies are real. And while some of them are good, the Minotaurs and the Fucanglong Dragons need someone to keep them in order... That someone is Atticus Abernethy the Sixth!

Would you buy it?

5. Soccer is a huge part of my life and is easily my favorite sport. If I'm going to exercise, you can bet it'll be with a soccer ball. As far as I'm concerned, the World Cup is the most compelling sporting event since four years ago. And in four more years, this one will be trumped. The World Cup for the win!

[It's 2:30 AM. My brain is swollen.]

6. I'm a huge fan of cinema, from Ray Harryhausen (the stop-motion pioneer behind the original Clash of the Titans) to Tim Burton. I might write an article of my top ten favorite movies some day. And it will be grand.

7. I'm motivated by a note card I keep in my wallet. This note card is my list of goals. It contains small bits such as: Because they are adorable, I will one day raise a huskie from puppy to doghood. But this is a rather childish example. Others include: Master the piano and Get my first novel published by the age of seventeen. Whenever I have a few minutes, I pull the card out and read it. It is a symbol of what's to come.

There you have it. Seven random facts about me. If you had the tenacity to read through that muck, I salute you.

The final rule is to pass this on to fifteen other bloggers. This is going to be tough considering how many people I'm sure have already received this. I'm just going to pass it to as many as I can.

Nora MacFarlane of Lemons to Lemonade

Sheri Larsen at The Writers' Ally

Heather Kelly at Edited to Within an Inch of My Life

Lisa Amowitz at Why A? The Blog of Lisa Amowitz

Enjoy your awards, folks! I look forward to your fun factoids!

This post has taken days. It was worth it, I suppose. After all, your support is what motivates me to keep writing. And keep writing, I shall!


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

My Top Five Favorite Songs of All Time

Consider this a follow-up post to last week's post, Music as Inspiration. Wait, you're telling me that was eighteen days ago? Wow! Time flies when you're in captivity!

This captivity is, of course, the state-mandatory kind. The last two weeks of school were of were fist-clenching, teeth-gnashing difficulty. Exams.

But it's over now, so who's complaining? I've roped in straight A's and perfect exam scores all around, so let's celebrate! And what better celebration than music?

These are in no particular order. Oh, come on! It was tough enough narrowing it down to five!
Next week, I promise we'll get back to the bare bones of creative writing. But for now, we party. If I were an adult, I'd say, "I need a drink."

This list is the figurative cocktail of this blog.

I tried to get the original video whenever possible. Some of these songs just don't have music videos. But I still strongly suggest you give them a listen. Without further ado, crank up those speakers and bask in the beauty!

American Pie or Vincent (Starry, Starry Night) - Don McLean
By now, this choice is obvious, and I needn’t say more on the greatness of American Pie. Vincent is another one of his breathtaking songs. It’s open to interpretation, but it speaks to me as an ode to the late Vincent Van Gogh, a renowned artist who struggled with depression. It’s soft in tone but packs an emotional punch of meaning. Although these are in no particular order, this is probably my favorite song of all time.
“For they could not love you. But still, your love was true. And when no hope was left inside, on that starry, starry night, you took your life as lovers often do -- But I could have told you, Vincent: this world was never meant for one as beautiful as you.”

Mrs. Potter’s Lullaby - Counting Crows
I’m a huge Crows fan so this was a difficult choice. It was a toss-up between this one and Rain King, and Mrs. Potter won by a small margin. It’s funny I’d choose another eight-minute epic for the list. This is like the Counting Crows’ American Pie in many ways. The lyrics are abstract and poetic, and the piano riff playing the whole song is deviously catchy. The best part of this song is a line early in: “If dreams are like movies, then memories are films about ghosts.”
Who would have guessed a song inspired by Monica Potter would be so deep? “I know I don’t know you, and you’re probably not what you seem. But I’d sure like to find out so why don’t you climb down off that movie screen?”


Howard - Bayside
This is the newest song on the list, coming from Bayside’s 2008 album. The whole album is brilliant and catchy, but this is by far my favorite. Like Vincent, it’s an ode to a pioneer of our culture: visionary business mogul Howard Hughes. I don’t know much about Hughes aside from a few of his best quotes and what I learned from the movie Aviator. Coincidentally, it happens to be one of my favorite movies of all time. (Don’t worry, we'll get to that list!) What I really like about this song is the lyrics. It’s almost like a personal letter to Hughes. Heck, the first line is, “Mr. Hughes, how are you? I know it’s been awhile. But I’ve been dying tryin’ to catch your brilliant smile.”
It celebrates him as much as it recognizes how misunderstood his brilliance was. “Free thinkers only thrive in history books.”

Tom Sawyer - Rush.
Who hasn’t heard this song? The opening still echoes in my head. “A modern day warrior; Mean, mean stride. Today’s Tom Sawyer; Mean, mean, pride.” I could have picked a dozen Rush tunes to fit this spot, but this one really speaks to me. It’s the classic, iconic Rush sound. Neil Peart is one of the greatest drummers of all time, and it shows. There’s a message somewhere in this song, but I’m too busy rocking out to fully comprehend it.
“No, his mind is not for rent to any god or government. Always hopeful, yet discontent. He knows changes aren’t permanent. But change is.”

Pretty Women
- Sweeney Todd and Judge Turpin.
Didn’t expect a musical on here, did ya? Neither did I, honestly. Musicals have always been important to me. I would’ve felt guilty if I didn’t include a song from one. Sweeney Todd happens to be a favorite of mine. Everything about it oozes cool. The characters, the story, the music. It’s about a barber who returns from prison with one thing on his mind: Revenge. Throw in a colorful cast and some meat pies with questionable contents and you’ve got one great experience. I’m a big fan of “No Place Like London” and the reprise of “Johanna,” but this one takes the cake. Or should I say, the human meat pie? I’ve seen many performances of it, but my favorite is from the movie adaptation, directed by visionary Tim Burton.
We have Johnny Depp as our vengeful barber and Alan Rickman as the tosser Judge Turpin. The suspense during this song is unreal, but it doesn’t take from the beauty of the two men harmonizing. “How they [pretty women] make a man sing! Proof of heaven as you're living."


That's the list folks. Comments? Leave 'em below.
I'd like to hear some of your lists. Why don't you slap something together? Believe me, it's a refreshing experience!