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

Music Monday: Spoilers, Sweetie