11 January 2021

Music Monday: Inspiration

Behind each of my novels is a spark of inspiration. The dogs, of course, are the inspiration for Proud Racer and Clobberpaws. My time gaming and the friends I made there inspired the Nature Walker Trilogy

Rift is no different. Around the same time that I knew I wanted to take a break from the Orana Chronicles and my other projects that had stalled out, a very good friend of mine sent me a link to the video below. Before that, I had a vague idea about getting stuck in the world of the MMORPG that I play, I watched this video, and BAM there was Lex, standing in front of me and encouraging me to write how he felt about Em. 

So thank you, Angel, for inspiring one of the most difficult and interesting novels I've ever written. Also, y'all...this is one of the most beautiful pieces of animation I've seen. Go to YouTube and watch the rest of the chapters in this story, and be prepared for your feels to be hit hard.




Church
by Fall Out Boy

If you were church, I'd get on my knees
Confess my love, I'd know where to be
My sanctuary, you're holy to me
If you were church, I'd get on my knees
I'd get on my knees
I'd get on my knees
I'd get on my knees

And take the pain
Make it billboard big then swallow it for me
Time-capsule for the future
Trust me, that's what I will be
Oh, the things that you do in the name of what you love
You were doomed but just enough
You were doomed but just enough

If you were church, whoo
I'd get on my knees, yeah
Confess my love, I'd know where to be
My sanctuary, you're holy to me
If you were church, yeah, I'd get on my knees
I'd get on my knees, whoo
I'd get on my knees
I'd get on my knees

I love the world but I just don't love the way it makes me feel
Got a few more fake friends
And it's getting hard to know what's real
And if death is the last appointment
Then we're all just sitting in the waiting room
I am just a human trying to avoid my certain doom

If you were church, yeah
I'd get on my knees
Confess my love, I'd know where to be
My sanctuary, you're holy to me
If you were church, yeah, I'd get on my knees
I'd get on my knees, yeah, oh
I'd get on my knees, ah ah ah
I'd get on my knees, yeah
I'd get on my knees
If you were church
I'd get on my knees

Confess my love, I'd know where to be
My sanctuary, you're, you're holy to me, you're holy to me
If you were church, yeah, I'd get on my knees, yeah

07 January 2021

Notes from Exile: Hey, remember 2020?

Photo credit: Phil Roeder
Wow. So, how is everyone doing this morning?

Yesterday was a rough day, by any stretch, for me. It was the first day of a new semester and that always comes with loads of horrifying delightful surprises as my students realize that forty-eleven thousand things are not right with their accommodations and they need to be fixed NOW. 

It was the first day that I actually had to GET UP ON TIME and be presentable, whatever that means in the current Zoom classroom environment. I wrangled the background in and out of a terribly messy incredibly organized guest room and brought it into the office for my interpreting work. The canine chorus sang the song of their people a few times and blocked out my audio. But it all got done, leaving my brain and body a bit battered but overall glad to be back doing what I know how to do.

And then after all of that, I went to the sitting room with my laptop and phone to stretch out on the sofa for a bit and watch something utterly boring but soothing in its routine and standard practice: the certification of the votes from the Presidential election by the joint Houses of Congress. I admit to bit of anxiety over the contentious mood in our nation's capitol concerning the upcoming transfer of power, but ultimately, my PollyAnna soul was certain that it would roll along smoothly as it has done for over two hundred years.

Because we are Americans. We are loud. We are bossy. We are our own worst enemy. But at our very core - I believed, anyway - we are still Americans and sometimes we just need a bit of reminding what that means. We need to remember our history and build on it for our future, and other such platitudes.

Wow. PollyAnna was WRONG. While I am still finding it hard to believe that the people I saw yesterday are at all representative of the majority of people in my country, that was a terrifying display of what can happen when lies and misinformation are allowed to propagate. 

It was also a reminder of how far we have yet to go in terms of law enforcement reform. I stand by my statement yesterday that if any of those on that front line that broke into the building and quickly overwhelmed the Capitol police had been people of color, that would have been over before it started. We all saw the policeman taking selfies with one of the terrorists inside the building. We watched as the terrorist mob was pushed back, finally, out of the building, and then just left, for the most part, to disperse. Left to disperse, after curfew. Left to disperse after curfew on the same streets where unarmed protesters over the summer, hands in the air, were tear-gassed so that the president could walk over to a beloved church and use it for a photo op.

I certainly hope we are not starting as we mean to go on, but make no mistake, when we see something, say something. This can get better. Yesterday saw horrible violence by some gullible puppets of a tyrant, but it also saw an African-American man elected via run-off in a state that created that very run-off requirement as a part of the Jim Crow scourge. We can stand together and against this kind of insurrection and still do the things we need to do to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Your voice will count just as much from six feet away and behind a mask, stopping the spread of yet another kind of virus - the so-called MAGA virus that is turning our country inside out.

Now, off to edit. Poor Tairn. That manuscript is expecting PollyAnna. That is not who I am anymore.


04 January 2021

Music Monday: Well, here we are...

This is going to be a rather personal Music Monday, mainly because I can...but I just needed to talk about this for a second. My uncle died this morning. He had an incredibly long life - he was 93 - and it was full of grace and faithfulness that is sadly lacking in our world today. He was my mom's older brother, and the last of her siblings to die. That's a weird thought in and of itself - I've felt a bit unmoored (thanks to my friend Katy for that term, it is spot on) since 2018 when we lost Dad and this cycle of death, as it has seemed, began. It is worse now because we can't be with loved ones when their time comes. We can't gather afterward to share memories and be sad together. So while I'm sure I've posted this song before, I'm doing it again because I heard it before my uncle passed and thought of him - his strength and his resolve. Hug those you can and talk to those you can't. Life is short.



Little Hercules

Craig Carothers

So you cannot lift a spirit that has turned to lead
Or shine a light in shadow when the batteries are dead
Or fly like a bird over all the works of man
Or always think of the perfect words
But you do the best you can

Nothing seems as easy as it did when you were young
Myths may be invincible, but we are only strong
Strong like a memory, strong like a willow in the wind
Strong as you'll ever be, you will always need to bend

And if you feel the weight of the world
Put your mind at ease
Little Hercules

There are times when being a grown-up gets to be too much
And your sense of humor seems to vanish in the crush
Of the daily 9 to 9 that keeps your family alive
You're just putting in your time
Does anyone really go home at 5?

You've made a life where no one ever tells you what to do
Now the only tyrant that you're working for is you
It's never easy to keep all the promises you make
But no one's gonna get you fired
If you'd just give yourself a brake

And if you feel the weight of the world
Put your mind at ease
Little Hercules
'Cause there's so much on your shoulders
But you know it's a breeze
Little Hercules
Little Hercules

01 January 2021

Music Monday: Start as you mean to go on, right?

Well, Happy New Year! I'm just going to leave this video here, for now, because as I was sitting here pretending to be a writer the other morning, I heard this line from the below song by Elbow and was...struck? Shook? Anyway, it is a yes from me.

"We protect our little fictions/Like it's all we are..."

Start as we mean to go on is much better than a ridiculous list of resolutions that will be left behind before you can hit submit on the post. Let's try that this year, and if they are little fictions or hard truths, we can take them as they come. Who's with me?





Little Fictions
Elbow

A muffled battle cry across the kitchen table
A baffling contretemps that shakes the day unstable
Confessions from the cab, a habit that I got from dad
The flurry of departure in a cyclone of cologne
Would often devastate the gate and hedge
And set our tiny teeth on edge
I see it in me now and pledge
To knock it on the head, that's what I'll do

A muffled battle cry across the kitchen table
Bridges up, portcullis down and round the Tower of Babel
I'm babbling in my dreams of blue berserkers coming at me
Eyes and tongues and rusty knives
And God almighty laughing at me
From a fat boy fishing chair
I wake to find you laughing there
It's nice to know how much you care
Decided I should spend my life with you

We protect our little fictions
Like it's all we are
Little wilderness mementos
But there's only you and me here
Fire breathing
Hold tight
Waiting for the original miracle

I'm trying to focus on the issues of the day please
Your paper's upside down, the radio's in Chinese
These little tremors that are ripping through our rituals
That friction up the interaction
Emanate from quite the greatest
Thing that ever happened to
A pair of boozy bowerbirds like me and you
In other words
The alligator pear inside of you

We protect our little fictions
When we bow to fear
Little wilderness mementos
But there's only you and me here
Fire breathing
Hold tight
Waiting for the original miracle

Fire breathing
Hold tight
Life is the original miracle

Let's get old
Dare you now
Mix blood with me
All in
Love is the original miracle

Let's get old
Dare you now
Mix blood with me
All in
Life is the original miracle

Love is the original miracle

Music Monday: Inspiration