13 September 2021

Music Monday: Right Now

Well, I can't tell you why this song speaks to a project that I'm going to start working on soon because I am notoriously horrible with spoilers...but I can tell you that it is a YA book - a real one, not one that starts as YA and then becomes NA because I'm an old lady who thinks she is still in her late 20s - and that it is a fantasy series. 

But I heard it as I was running an errand yesterday and it hit me that this is the motivation for one of the MCs in this story, especially this line: "Miss the beat, you lose the rhythm / And nothing falls into place, no / Only missed by a fraction / Slipped a little off your pace, oh..." I mean that line could be written on my tombstone or be found if you looked me up in the dictionary. That's my whole life, right there...and that's her life too.

Crap. Spoilers. Anyway...while I'm not a fan of what I like to call Van Haggar, the music in this song is all Eddie Van Halen and his amazing skill on the piano and guitar, and when this mysterious YA story becomes a movie this song will be in the soundtrack, no doubt. 




,/center.
Right Now
by Van Halen

Don't want to wait 'til tomorrow
Why put it off another day?
One more walk through problems
Built-up and stands in our way, ah
One step ahead, one step behind me
Now you gotta run to get even
Make future plans or dream about yesterday, hey
C'mon turn, turn this thing around
, hey
It's your tomorrow
(Right now),
C'mon, it's everything
(Right now),
Catch a magic moment, do it
Right here and now
It means everything
Miss the beat, you lose the rhythm
And nothing falls into place, no
Only missed by a fraction
Slipped a little off your pace, oh
The more things you get, the more you want
Just trade in one for the other
Workin' so hard, to make it easier, whoa
Got to turn, c'mon turn this thing around
, hey
It's your tomorrow
(Right now)
C'mon, it's everything
(Right now)
Catch that magic moment, do it
Right here and now
It means everything
It's enlightened me, right now
What are you waitin' for?
Oh, yeah, right now
, hey
It's your tomorrow
(Right now)
C'mon, it's everything
(Right now)
Catch that magic moment, and do it right, right now
Oh, right now
It's what's happening
Right here and now
Right now
It's right now
Oh
Tell me, what are you waiting for?
Turn this thing around

06 September 2021

Music Monday: An Early Throwback Thursday

So I sat down last night to find something to watch on tv and stumbled across one of my favorite movies from my younger days, The Lost Boys. While there are cultural things that were lost on me as a teenager not growing up on the West Coast, I was mesmerized. To this day I still am, even though I've seen it so many times that I know all the words.

I still say good dog when Nanook knocks the vampire into the bathtub.

So this just makes sense that I would find this movie after discovering an old manuscript in my hard drive and thinking for a few minutes about trying my hand at writing paranormal romance. 

You will all be glad to know that I'm sticking to fade to black for now.


Cry Little Sister (Theme from "The Lost Boys")
by Gerard McMahon

Last fire will rise behind those eyes
Black house will rock, blind boys don't lie
Immortal fear, that voice so clear
Through broken walls, that scream I hear


Cry, little sister (Thou shall not fall)
Come, come to your brother (Thou shall not die)
Unchain me, sister (Thou shall not fear)
Love is with your brother (Thou shall not kill)

Blue masquerade, strangers look on
When will they learn this loneliness?
Temptation heat beats like a drum
Deep in your veins, I will not lie

Little sister (Thou shall not fall)
Come, come to your brother (Thou shall not die)
Unchain me, sister (Thou shall not fear)
Love is with your brother (Thou shall not kill)

My Shangri-La, I can't forget
Why you were mine, I need you now

Cry, little sister (Thou shall not fall)
Come, come to your brother (Thou shall not die)
Unchain me, sister (Thou shall not fear)
Love is with your brother (Thou shall not kill)

Cry, little sister (Thou shall not fall)
Come, come to your brother (Thou shall not die)
Unchain me, sister (Thou shall not fear)
Love is with your brother (Thou shall not kill)

Cry, little sister (Thou shall not fall)
(Thou shall not die)
(Thou shall not fear)
Love is with your brother (Thou shall not kill)

30 August 2021

Music Monday: It Will Never Be Enough

So I'm on what I like to call the Clock App (algorithms be damned) or, as it is actually called, TikTok, and I joined last year during lockdown because I wanted something to do. I expected funny cat videos and a few really cringeworthy dance challenges and don't get me wrong, I found that...and more. There are hashtag communities there, of like-minded folks, such as #booktok and #writertok and so forth, and so many talented cosplayers and actors and the like.

Lately, there has been a lovely trend of readers making videos to try to speak to the reason why we read adventure and fantasy books. Most of the time you see a person reading at the beginning of the video with someone else asking (or the words are written on the screen), "why do you read so much?" And the terribly talented person goes on to show clips from or cosplay characters from several well-known movies/books/tv shows, often becoming the heroes and acting out their lives...because "...I know now that this world will never be enough for me." (by TikTok User @montropolis)

This is why I write, y'all. This is why I continue to write, to quote "Hamilton," like I'm running out of time - this world will NEVER be enough. This song nails it. (Also, I love Kelly Clarkson's version from The Greatest Showman Reimagined, so that's the one I chose.)




Never Enough (from The Greatest Showman Reimagined)
by Justin Paul / Benj Pasek

I'm tryin' to hold my breath
Let it stay this way
Can't let this moment end
You set off a dream in me
Getting louder now
Can you hear it echoing?

Take my hand
Will you share this with me?
'Cause darling, without you

All the shine of a thousand spotlights
All the stars we steal from the night sky
Will never be enough, never be enough

Towers of gold are still too little
These hands could hold the world, but it'll
Never be enough, never be enough for me

Never, never
Never, never
Never, for me, for me
Never enough, never enough, never enough
For me, for me, for me

All the shine of a thousand spotlights
All the stars we steal from the night sky
Will never be enough, never be enough

Towers of gold are still too little
These hands could hold the world, but it'll
Never be enough, never be enough for me

Never, never
Never, never
Never, for me, for me
Never enough, never, never
Never enough, never, never
Never enough
For me, for me, for me

27 August 2021

Next time, on Brave Lettuce...

Image by Darwin Laganzon from Pixabay 

So, there are two projects on the horizon that I want to tell you about - two upcoming novels, that are special...SO special to me, but in very different ways.

The first one is special because it is at least three years in the actual writing, but probably ten years in the making. When I lived in West Yorkshire for two years, I took copious mental notes about the landscape, the architecture, and the people, knowing that there was a novel in there somewhere. Then I discovered steampunk and thought I could write a novel in that genre. Spoiler alert? I was wrong. However...I did manage to cobble together a story involving dodgy Irish mythology, an underwater gorge that has killed people (that part is true), and two enterprising Victorian sisters who happen to have very large dogs and solve crimes.

No? Okay, how about this: A magical detective tale set in Victorian Yorkshire. Irish mythology meets the Industrial North through a deadly underwater gorge. Sisters Lucy and Annie must find their roots to save West Riding from an ancient threat. Better?

Anyway, my first Luminous Beings novel called "Strid" will be opening for pre-order on the first of October. Watch this space for more information and ordering links to Amazon.


The second piece that is coming out in November is special to me because it revisits Orana and introduces readers to one of my favorite characters I think I've ever written. She was a secondary character in the Nature Walker Trilogy, though her actions (under the control of everyone's least favorite wizard, Taeben) brought about the resolution of that story arc and brought Gin and Sath into their roles as Guardians. Now that they are off saving the world, again, I thought it was time for my readers to get to know Tairneanach a little better. 

Born into power and forged by betrayal, Tairn's life has blown off course more often than it has kept true. She survived retribution for her role in the death of the Qatu'anari Princess Royal by agreeing to live in the far northern citadel of the dwarves, Thror Mydin, where Tee could keep an eye on her.

A decision to take a well-deserved break from her nanny duties leads Tairn to a chance meeting with an old friend on the road to the Outpost. From there, she joins a rescue mission and goes up against a demigoddess bent on resurrecting an ancient evil and enslaving the above-ground citizens of Orana. All in a day's side trip, right?

The second in the Guardians of Orana series, "Red" will be open for ebook pre-order on the first of November, so watch this space for more info for that book as well.

23 August 2021

Music Monday - Tomorrow is Today

So back when I was in college, I was in a play my senior year called "The Shadowbox." The director chose wonderful music for the opening, intermission, etc. and most of it dealt with the same theme of the play - a look at families in a hospice, each dealing with impending death in different ways. I didn't know anything about anything back then, but boy did I think I was ready to play a 40-something mother of a teenager who was visiting a husband dying in hospice care. 

This song drifts in and out of my life, as do my other two favorites from that play, but today this one spoke to me about my upcoming Nanowrimo project - the sequel to Rift, and the continuing story of a young woman going too far into her gaming universe to be able to hang on to her real life. I've been thinking about Em and Alex a lot lately, and Lex, Alex's avatar in the game and alter ego. And this line sort of jumped out at me in the car: And someday, when your dreams are leaving you, I'll still believe in you. There's sort of a Peter Pan and Tinkerbell quality about videogame characters - do they exist when no one is playing the game? Do they remember things and people? 

If Em stops seeing Lex as a sentient being, does he revert to binary code?

Anyway, this is from what I think to be one of Billy Joel's greatest albums, Cold Spring Harbor, and it always takes me back to a dusty theatre in a small college in Tennessee...I wonder if my Maggie is still walking the boards and still grieving a life she hasn't quite lost yet?


Tomorrow is Today
by Billy Joel

I've been livin' for the moment
But I just can't have my way
And I'm afraid to go to sleep
'Cause tomorrow is today

People tell me life is sweeter
But I don't hear what they say
Nothing comes to change my life
So tomorrow is today

I don't care to know the hour
'Cause it's passing anyway
I don't have to see tomorrow
'Cause I saw it yesterday

So I listen for an answer
But the feeling seems to stay
And what's the use of always dreaming
If tomorrow is today

Still I'm waiting for the morning
But it feels so far away
And you don't need the love I'm giving
So tomorrow is today

Oh, my, I'm goin' to the river
Gonna take a ride and the lord will deliver me
Made my bed, I'm gonna lie in it
If you don't come, sure gonna die in it

Too late, too much given
I've seen a lot of life and I'm damn sick of livin' it
I keep hopin' that you will pass my way

And some day if your dreams are leavin' you
I'll still believe in you

I don't care to know the hour
'Cause it's passing anyway
I don't have to see tomorrow
'Cause I saw it yesterday

Though I'm living and I'm singing
And although my hands still play
Soon enough it will all be over
'Cause tomorrow is today

16 August 2021

Music Monday: It's come to this

 Y'all, anyone that knows me knows that this is one of my favorite songs. Back in the day when I was awake into the wee hours running around Norrath (Everquest), I always had music playing alongside the voices of my group on Teamspeak. Quite frequently this song was in the mix, and it will always remind me of charging up to an angry NPC...as well as swapping out my heals as fast as I could to keep the fighters propped up.

But now it holds a different place in my heart as the absolute theme song for my Nature Walker Trilogy, as well as a fantastic driving song...as long as I have cruise control set. I'm a GenX 80's child, and not ashamed to have this tune blasting. I can't believe I didn't have this one as a Music Monday before!

(Before any of you come at me for misogynistic tendencies...in my head, it's often she or they rather than he...)



Holding Out for a Hero
by Bonnie Tyler

Where have all the good men gone and where are all the Gods?
Where's the street wise Hercules to fight the rising odds?
Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed?
Late at night I toss and I turn and I dream of what I need

I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night
He's gotta be strong and he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light
He's gotta be sure and it's gotta be soon
And he's gotta be larger than life, larger than life

Somewhere after midnight in my wildest fantasy
Somewhere just beyond my reach there's someone reaching back for me
Racing on the thunder and rising with the heat
It's gonna take a Superman to sweep me off my feet

I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night
He's gotta be strong and he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light
He's gotta be sure and it's gotta be soon
And he's gotta be larger than life
I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night

Up where the mountains meet the heavens above
Out where the lightning splits the sea
I could swear that there's someone somewhere watching me

Through the wind and the chill and the rain
And the storm and the flood
I can feel his approach like a fire in my blood

I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night
He's gotta be strong and he's gotta be fast
And he's gotta be fresh from the fight
I need a hero
I'm holding out for a hero 'til the morning light
He's gotta be sure and it's gotta be soon
And he's gotta be larger than life

I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night

09 August 2021

Music Monday - Wherever Is Your Heart

I'm already thinking about the next Nano event, and I'm leaving Orana behind for awhile, so I'm looking at human relationships rather than elves and Qatu and bored deities. This song speaks to a very basic part of a healthy relationship, be it romantic or platonic - the need to have a home, whatever that looks like, and what makes something/somwhere home. 

Also, y'all - Brandi Carlile. If you haven't discovered her yet, you are in for a treat. Enjoy.


"Wherever Is Your Heart"
By Brandi Carlile

I think it's time we found a way back home
You lose so many things you love as you grow
I missed the days when I was just a kid
My fear became my shadow, I swear it did

Wherever is your heart I call home
Wherever is your heart I call home
Though your feet may take you far from me, I know
Wherever is your heart I call home

You made me feel like I was always falling
Always falling down without a place to land
Somewhere in the distance I heard you calling
Oh it hurts so bad to let go of your hand

Wherever is your heart I call home
Wherever is your heart I call home
Though your feet may take you far from me, I know
Wherever is your heart I call home

Even when you're high, you can get low
Even with your friends you love, you're still alone
We always find the darkest place to go
God forgive our minds, we were born to roam

Wherever is your heart I call home
Wherever is your heart I call home
Though your feet may take you far from me, I know
Wherever is your heart I call home

Oh God forgive my mind, oh God forgive my mind
When I come home, when I come home
Oh God forgive my mind
There's a road that's long and winding, it hollers home
I'm calling home

Oh God forgive my mind, oh God forgive my mind
When I come home, when I come home
Oh God forgive my mind, oh God forgive my mind
When I come home, when I come home

Wherever is your heart I call home
Wherever is your heart I call home
Though your feet may take you far from me, I know
Wherever is your heart I call home

Wherever is your heart I call home
Wherever is your heart I call home
Though your feet may take you far from me, I know
Wherever is your heart I call home

02 August 2021

Last Minute Music Monday: You’ll Thank Me Later

Just watch it, that's all I ask...




Rockstar Sea Shanty
By Nickelback

I'm through with standing in line to pubs I'll never get in
It's like the bottom of the ninth and I'm never gonna win
Life hasn't turned out quite the way
I want it to be (tell me what you want)
I want a huge sail that'll hold the squalls
And a big black ship with some cannonballs
Don't wanna join Davy Jones twenty thousand
Leagues under the sea (so how you gonna do it?)
I'm gonna trade this life for fortune and fame
I'd even roll my bed and change my name, we...
We all just wanna be big rockstars
Live in hilltop houses driving 15 cars
The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap
We all stay skinny 'cause we just won't eat
And we'll hang out in the coolest bars
In the VIP's with the movie stars
Every good gold digger is gonna wind up there
Every Playboy Bunny with her bleached blonde hair
And we'll hide out in the private rooms
With the latest dictionary and today's who's who
They'll get you anything with that evil smile
Everybody's got a rum dealer on speed dial
Hey, I wanna be a rockstar
Gonna sing those songs that offend the censors
Singing those songs that offend the censors
Popping my pills from a Pez dispenser (rockstars don't do mornings)
Get washed up sailors writing all our songs
Get washed up sailors writing all our songs
Lipsync them every night so I don't get them wrong
We'll sing them dusk till morning, we
We all just wanna be big rockstars
Live in hilltop houses driving 15 cars
The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap
We'll all stay skinny 'cause we just won't eat
And we'll hang out in the coolest bars
In the VIP's with the movie stars
Every good gold digger's gonna wind up there
Every Playboy Bunny with her bleached blonde hair
And we'll hide out in the private rooms
With the latest dictionary and today's who's who
They'll get you anything with that evil smile
Everybody's got a rum dealer on speed dial
Hey, I wanna be a rockstar
Everybody's got a rum dealer on speed dial
Hey, I wanna be a rockstar

31 July 2021

Notes from Exile...We had ONE job

Y'all. We were so close. SO close. It was really looking like we would turn this pandemic corner to find the light at the end of the 16 month long tunnel. We had two jobs...well, really, one job.

Get vaccinated. Man, I hate needles and I did it. We talked about this. I had reactions afterward. I powered through it. And you can call this post virtue signalling if you like - I call it letting folks know that I did all of this so that we ALL can get back to normal, not just so I can take off my mask and I can go back to activities. It isn't an I, after all. It's a we. We want to get back to normal.

But we apparently aren't as anxious for that as I am. Because we haven't all* gotten vaccinated. We continue to demand to be maskless. We continue to deny that this virus can kill us. We refuse to stop gathering in large groups and carrying on with our lives as though nothing has changed.

And we continue to ignore that herd immunity doesn't work on a virus that can mutate to continue to spread. 

So now, because we don't seem to care about the us as much as the I, we are seeing cases spike again. We see people getting so sick they have to be hospitalised again. We see health care workers pushed to the brink...again. 

We the people becomes every person for themselves...and if I sound even more preachy than normal, it's because I'm angry. The news is full of politicians - not epidemiologists, but politicians - like the Governor of my state that made it illegal to have a mask mandate. Illegal to do something that hurts no one* but will save everyone. 

Please. Get the vaccine if you can. Wear a mask if you are able. If you can't do those things, stay home. It is so simple. Think about someone other than you or yours. 



*I am not referring to anyone who, due to age or medical/health condition cannot get the vaccine or wear a mask. You are part of why I got it, and why everyone should that is able.


19 July 2021

Music Monday: Yeah, I know, Enterprise...

 I heard something recently that has stuck with my little nerdy heart. I am a fan of the Star Trek franchise more so than others because at its core, it has HOPE. Not dystopian apocalyptic horror that has to be overcome, but hope. I like that. 

This song speaks to me on that level. You can tell me till you're blue that this is the worst series theme song to go along with the worst series (I've heard that almost verbatim) but I don't care - it is one of my favorites because it has so much of that hope that I mentioned. Enterprise was, in the chronological timeline, near the beginning. It was not far out from the firsts - the first space travel, the first contact, and so many others. And please...Hoshi Sato is who I want to be when I grow up so why wouldn't I love it?

Heghlu'meH QaQ jajvam...but for now, join me in appreciating this expression of hope. 


Where My Heart Will Take Me
by Russell Watson and Diane Warren

It's been a long road
Getting from there to here
It's been a long time
But my time is finally near

And I can feel the change in the wind right now
Nothing's in my way
And they're not gonna hold me down no more
No, they're not gonna hold me down

'Cause I've got faith of the heart
I'm going where my heart will take me
I've got faith to believe
I can do anything
I've got strength of the soul
And no one's gonna bend or break me
I can reach any star
I've got faith
I've got faith, faith of the heart

It's been a long night
Trying to find my way
Been through the darkness
Now I finally have my day

And I will see my dream come alive at last
I will touch the sky
And they're not gonna hold me down no more
No, they're not gonna change my mind

'Cause I've got faith of the heart
I'm going where my heart will take me
I've got faith to believe
I can do anything
I've got strength of the soul
And no one's gonna bend or break me
I can reach any star
I've got faith, faith of the heart

I've known the wind so cold, I've seen the darkest days
But now the winds I feel, are only winds of change
I've been through the fire and I've been through the rain
But I'll be fine

'Cause I've got faith of the heart
I'm going where my heart will take me
I've got faith to believe
I can do anything
I've got strength of the soul
And no one's gonna bend or break me
I can reach any star
'Cause I've got faith of the heart

I'm going where my heart will take me
I've got strength of the soul
No one's gonna bend or break me
I can reach any star
I've got faith
I've got faith, faith of the heart
It's been a long road

12 July 2021

Music Monday: As

Just like last Monday, I can't say anything about this without spoiling something. But I can say that it makes me think not only of the current WIP but of several relationships in my novels. Y'all, I didn't set out to write romance novels at all, but my characters fall in love with each other and then what am I supposed to do? 

I'll tell you what...enjoy one of the most perfect love songs ever, so I'm sharing it with you here.


As
by Stevie Wonder

As around the sun the earth knows she's revolving
And the rosebuds know to bloom in early May
Just as hate knows love's the cure
You can rest your mind assure
That I'll be loving you always

As now can't reveal the mystery of tomorrow
But in passing will grow older every day
Just as all is born is new
Do know what I say is true
That I'll be loving you always

Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky (Always)
Until the ocean covers every mountain high (Always)
Until the dolphin flies and parrots live at sea (Always)
Until we dream of life and life becomes a dream

Did you know that true love asks for nothing?
Her acceptance is the way we pay
Did you know that life has given love a guarantee?
To last through forever and another day

Just as time knew to move on since the beginning
And the seasons know exactly when to change
Just as kindness knows no shame
Know through all your joy and pain
That I'll be loving you always

As today I know I'm living but tomorrow
Could make me the past but that I mustn't fear
For I'll know deep in my mind
The love of me I've left behind
'Cause I'll be loving you always

Until the day is night and night becomes the day (Always)
Until the trees and seas just up and fly away (Always)
Until the day that eight times eight times eight is four (Always)
Until the day that is the day that are no more
(Did you know that you're loved by somebody?)

Until the day the earth starts turning right to left (Always)
Until the earth just for the sun denies itself (I'll be loving you forever)
Until dear Mother Nature says her work is through (Always)
Until the day that you are me and I am you (Always)
Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky
Until the ocean covers every mountain high (Always)

We all know sometimes life's hates and troubles
Can make you wish you were born in another time and space
But you can bet you life times that and twice its double
That God knew exactly where he wanted you to be placed

So make sure when you say you're in it but not of it
You're not helping to make this earth a place sometimes called Hell
Change your words into truths and then change that truth into love
And maybe our children's grandchildren
And their great-great grandchildren will tell
I'll be loving you

Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky (Loving you)
Until the ocean covers every mountain high (Loving you)
Until the dolphin flies and parrots live at sea (Loving you)
Until we dream of life and life becomes a dream (Be loving you)
Until the day is night and night becomes the day (Loving you)
Until the trees and seas up, up and fly away (Loving you)
Until the day that eight times eight times eight is four (Loving you)

Until the day that is the day that are no more (Loving you)
Until the day the earth starts turning right to left (Be loving you)
Until the earth just for the sun denies itself (Loving you)
Until dear Mother Nature says her work is through (Loving you)
Until the day that you are me and I am you (Now ain't that loving you)
Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky (Ain't that loving you)
Until the ocean covers every mountain high (And I've got to say always)

Until the dolphin flies and parrots live at sea (Always)
Until we dream of life and life becomes a dream (Always)
Until the day is night and night becomes the day (Always)
Until the trees and seas just up and fly away (Always)
Until the day that eight times eight times eight is four

Until the day that is the day that are no more (Always)
Until the day the earth starts turning right to left
Until the earth just for the sun denies itself (Always)
Until dear Mother Nature says her work is through
Until the day that you are me and I am you
Until the rainbow burns the stars out in the sky
Until the ocean covers every mountain high

Until the dolphin flies and parrots live at sea
Until we dream of life and life becomes a dream
Until the day is night and night becomes the day
Until the trees and seas just up and fly away
Until the day that eight times eight times eight is four

Until the day that is the day that are no more
Until the day the earth starts turning right to left
Until the earth just for the sun denies itself
Until dear Mother Nature says her work is through
Until the day that you are me and I am you

Music Monday: Right Now