31 January 2022

Music Monday: Y'all Means All

Okay, I love me some Miranda Lambert. I know, I don't usually ride around blaring country music or have anything other than DEEP DARK EMOTIONAL music in my writing playlists but there are some notable exceptions. Trisha Yearwood, for example, is a member of my sorority from uni. Dolly Parton...well, she is a treasure beyond measure. And women like Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert can get me up and - yikes - dancing.

I also love Queer Eye, not just because the guys are fab and so entertaining but also because their message is so important. Love is love and you have to start with yourself...or if you can't, allow others to show you why you are worth that love. So when Miranda Lambert did this song for the last episode of QE S6...y'all. Too much. Y'all means ALL. Enjoy.

No lyrics this week because THE WORDS ARE ON THE SCREEN THE WHOLE TIME.  Y'all. ❤

24 January 2022

Music Monday: And now for something wildly different...

First, the educational part. Shum, by the Ukrainian band Go_a, was the fifth place finisher in the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest, and was an adapted version of a longer song that the band borrowed heavily from local springtime ritual songs to write. The adaptation was necessary both due to the length of the song and the lyrics that were taken directly from ritual songs sung in the region for thousands of years.

Secondly, this song is like a glimpse into the coming season, where things aren't so gloomy and cold, where trees are budding, and hopefully the warmer weather returns...and brings with it my allergies. So just a glimpse for now, minus the pollen. What could be better? (If you turn on the captions you can see the lyrics in English.)




Shum
by Go_A

Oh, Spring song, Spring song, where have you spent your Winter?
In the garden, sitting on a maple tree, you've been spinning a shirt
There on the edge of a forest, an owl is blowing into the water
I'll sing a song - let her hear it

[Chorus]
Shum, get twined with periwinkle
I'm singing the spring song to you
Sowing, sowing, sowing, sowing hemp plants
Sowing, sowing, sowing, sowing green ones

[Verse 2]
Come Spring, come, don't wait around
We'll go outside to love each other
Oh Spring, our miss, look in our window
We had sung our song and the sun shined on

[Chorus]
Come on, come on, let's twine the Shum
Twinе the Shum, dance it around
Sowing, sowing, sowing, sowing hemp plants
Sowing, sowing, sowing, sowing green onеs
Shum, get twined, get twined!
Shum, get spread with periwinkle
Sowing, sowing, sowing, sowing hemp plants
Sowing, sowing, sowing, sowing green ones


[Bridge]
Oh, Spring song, Spring song, where have you spent your Winter?
In the garden, sitting on a maple tree, you've been spinning a shirt
There on the edge of a forest, an owl is blowing into the water
I'll sing a song - let her hear it

[Chorus]
Shum, get twined with periwinkle
I'm singing the spring song to you
Sowing, sowing, sowing, sowing hemp plants
Sowing, sowing, sowing, sowing green ones
Come on, come on, we've made some noise
Made some noise and awoke the Spring
Sowing, sowing, sowing, sowing hemp plants
Sowing, sowing, sowing, sowing green ones

And in the original Ukrainian:
Весняночко, весняночко
Де ти зимувала?
У садочку на кленочку
Сорочечку пряла
Там у лісі, на узліссі
Сова в воду дує
Заспіваю співаночку
Нехай вона чує
Заплетися, шуме, барвіночком
Я тобі співаю весняночку
Сію, сію, сію, сію конопелечки
Сію, сію, сію, сію зеленесенькі
Прийди, прийди, весняночко
Та й не забарися
А ми вийдем на юлицю
Будем любитися
Весняночко, паняночко
Заглянь у віконце
Заспівали співаночку
Засвітило сонце
Нумо, нумо, заплетемо шума
Заплетемо, гуляти підемо
Сію, сію, сію, сію конопелечки
Сію, сію, сію, сію зеленесенькі
Заплетися, шуме, заплетися
Барвіночком, шуме, застелися
Сію, сію, сію, сію конопелечки
Сію, сію, сію, сію зеленесенькі
Весняночко, весняночко
Де ти зимувала?
У садочку на кленочку
Сорочечку пряла
Ой у лісі, на узліссі
Сова в воду дує
Заспіваю співаночку
Нехай вона чує
Заплетися, шуме, барвіночком
Я тобі співаю весняночку
Сію, сію, сію, сію конопелечки
Сію, сію, сію, сію зеленесенькі
Нумо, нумо, наробили шуму
Наробили, весну розбудили
Сію, сію, сію, сію конопелечки
Сію, сію, сію, сію зеленесенькі

17 January 2022

Music Monday: Once Again, with Cody Fry

I posted his remix of Eleanor Rigby, which is almost always on repeat, but that led me to look at more of this fellow's work and it did not disappoint. Though I think most of the TikTok creators that use part of today's Music Monday song aren't really listening to the words, exactly...I think it is amazing and needs to be performed in ASL to really show what's going on in the song. I mean, when the ground begins to shake...? Genius. A classic in the making. This isn't tied to any particular novel I'm working on, per se, but it could be fitted into a few here and there. Good stuff.





Underground
Cody Fry

I woke up underground
Not a light, not a sound
Threw my voice into the dark
But the dark had no remark
Just repeated what I said

Claustrophobic at first
Struck by hunger and thirst
I stood up and looked around
There was nothing to be found
Just a world I couldn't see

And I heard, "Woo"

I can't see you now
I'll find my way
Underground

Then my fear began to ease
From far away whispered a breeze
Telling me to move along
Move along, there's nothing wrong

So I cornered my resolve
Took a breath and took a step
Encountered metal on my left
What a strange thing to find
Metal in this place of mine
Running lengthwise down the hall

And I heard, "Woo"

Then a light broke through the black
I was standing on a track
That little light began to grow
There was no where I could go
And the ground began to shake
No time left to hit the brake
That little light was closing in
And suddenly, I'm floating

Love, I see you now
You found me here
Underground

12 January 2022

Just another day...almost

How has it been SIXTEEN YEARS?
Today is 12 January. Just another day...almost. This day took on spectacularly awful meaning when I was 17 - but that is past trauma and I'm not here to rehash that. Let's just say that an awful
experience made me who I am today, in part at least.

In 2006 it was the day that I lost my Profee. He had a tumor in his noggin that was growing rather aggressively and inhibiting his ability to open his mouth all the way. In addition, it was placing a lot of pressure on his considerably large and brilliant brain, and he was changing - his patience was waning and his perception of events was skewed. I remember driving to Anderson, SC from Montgomery, AL where we lived to see the only vet to whom I'd trust my sweet greyhounds. I remember being out to grab a bite of lunch while Profee was being sedated and the lump on his noggin x-rayed with a view to biopsy whilst he was under.

I remember the phone call with the results - them telling me that while he was the sweetest dog and the other half of my soul, for sure, that he was also a 75lb dog with the body of a top athlete, and that if his misunderstanding of a situation and pain continued to increase at the rate we'd seen, I might be putting my other two greyhounds and my cats in danger. The kind vet also said that he would be remiss if he didn't mention that I could be putting my self in danger as a single person with a pack of hounds and cats if one of the hounds decided I was a threat.

That vet was right to mention that, and to this day while I hate the decision I made just to not wake him up...I hate that I didn't tell him goodbye or gaze into those eyes one more time...I don't regret it. The damage it would have caused if he had snapped suddenly - which was a real threat, since the tumor was just behind his ear on the top of his head and pressing on his skull - would have been irrevocable. He had already snarled at me for surprising him more than once if the room was dark or he was asleep. I didn't want to remember him that way, and I didn't want him to be lost to me like that. He trusted me to make that decision for him and I did.

It was around this same date that I lost my sweet kitty girl, Franny. Franny and her brother Zooey moved to West Virginia, Athens, and South Carolina with me. While she made no secret of the fact that she loved my ex-husband infinitely more than she did me, we tolerated each other. We both loved Zooey, so we had that in common. When the time came for her, I knew again that it was the right thing. We'd lost her brother Zooey a year or so prior and she was just wasting away. I think she would have loved England and adored Simon, but maybe her little kitty heart only had room for one Daddy.

I haven't lost anyone on 12 January in a long time, and maybe I can give this day another try. It is close to my sweet Ciaragh's birthday - and she reminds me so much of my Profee that I wonder if he sent her to us...he and Daisy that is, who never met on earth but I have no trouble imagining in collaboration at the Bridge. Maybe 12 January won't make me twitchy in future and maybe the 17 year old me who cursed this day and all it brought me will be able to rest.

Maybe.

10 January 2022

Music Monday: Well, it's time...

The pre-order opened on Friday, and I'm hoping that I'm not alone in my excitement for the release of the second in the Guardians of Orana series, Red. I've mentioned Tairn here at the Lettuce once or twice, and I hope that I have sparked an interest in Orana's favorite fire-haired sorceress...and not an automatic "NOT AGAIN" when I mention her. It happens, when a writer has a favorite character. She's my Lestat, to borrow humbly from the great Anne Rice. So of course, when I first heard this song by Elbow (running a close second to Imagine Dragons in terms of winning the right to do all the music for all my movie adaptations...as if), the title alone told me to pay attention. But the song...it is as though they know Tairn. "You burn so bright/you live so fast/this can't go on too long/you're a tragedy starting to happen..." There are other bits too, but you'll have to listen to it again after you get your copy of Red to see what I mean.

 


Red

Elbow

Come as you are sweetheart, come as you are
You know you've got nothing to prove
I'll put you to bed you can let it all go
You've been playing too rough lately

You burn too bright
You live too fast
This can't go on too long
You're a tragedy starting to happen

Just as you are
Perfect
Just as you are
I'll give you the time you deserve
Don't make those promises
Don't tell me again
That dust is gonna settle your nerves

You burn too bright
You live too fast
This can't go on too long
You're a tragedy starting to happen

You burn too bright
You live too fast
This can't go on too long
You're a tragedy starting to happen

You burn too bright
You live too fast
This can't go on too long
You're a tragedy starting to happen

03 January 2022

Music Monday: Just one more before they go...

So I've not really spent much time on Lex and Em over the past month since Nano ended, but as happens when you have playlists as long as mine, this song came on the other day and I remembered how perfect it is for them...for everyone in Arcstone. No spoilers, but I wanted to share the first version of this song that I ever heard, from the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest. I know absolutely nothing about the band maNga, but I do know that the sentiment of "We Could Be the Same" absolutely resonates with Rift and will in the upcoming Storm...or is that the oncoming storm? Hmm...


We Could Be The Same

by maNga

You could be the one in my dreams
You could be much more than you seem
Anything I wanted in life
Do you understand what I mean?
I can see that this could be fate
I can love you more than they hate
Doesn't matter who they will blame
We can beat them at their own game
I can see it in your eyes
It doesn't come as a surprise
I see you dancing like a star
No matter how different we are
For all this time, I've been loving you
Don't even know your name
For just one night, we could be the same
No matter what they say
And I feel I'm turning the page
And I feel the world is a stage
I don't think that drama will stop
I don't think they'll give up the rage
But I know the world could be great
I can love you more than they hate
Doesn't matter who they will blame
We can beat them at their own game
I can see it in your eyes
It doesn't come as a surprise
I see you dancing like a star
No matter how different we are
For all this time, I've been loving you
Don't even know your name
For just one night, we could be the same
No matter what they say
For all this time I've been loving you
Don't even know your name
For just one night, we could be the same
No matter what they say
All this time I've been loving you
Don't even know your name
For just one night we could be the same
No matter what they say
No matter what they say

01 January 2022

Cover Reveal: Red is (almost) here!

Cover design, N.Dunne
It is rare that I am absolutely speechless. I mean, if you ask me about my books, the answer that always ALMOST pops out of my mouth is, "Well, there are words. Lots of words. I wrote a lot of words, and most of them are in order."

I get to the publishing stage and I'm just READY TO BE RID OF THAT BOOK AND THOSE CHARACTERS AND GET IT OUT OF MY FACE PLEASE for most of my books. But not with this one. I'm still not sure I've done her justice. Out of all of my characters from the Orana Chronicles she is my favorite.

No, it isn't Gin. It used to be Gin, and I can spend a lot of time thinking about Sath and Gin, but not just Gin on her own anymore. She got her Happily Ever After and she's off to enjoy it. But Tairn...is different.

Tairn is like me. Tairn is flawed and uncertain. Tairn expects things to go off the rails when she is involved. She does not form strong attachments because her imposter syndrome tells her that they won't stick around. Deep down, she is sure that she deserves all the tough bits life has put in her way, even if she can't verbalize why. But she keeps on going. She will redeem herself in the eyes of those she loves if it's the last thing she ever does. 

Because I get her...I mean, it makes sense, I created her...because I get what it is to be in her head, I have had the hardest time pushing the publish button on my book. I had to look up how to do the same thing three times in one afternoon while I was formatting. Is this because I'm being a perfectionist? Well, yes, but that's not new. It's because I don't want to leave her world. I don't want her to leave me. I almost don't want to share her - but I do, really.

Her name means thunderous, and she acts accordingly. And now she is holding out her hands to new readers, ready to tell them her story if they will just grab hold. I can't keep her all to myself anymore. It's time to let her have her own adventure and tell her own story.

{Pre-orders for the Kindle version will open on Friday, 7 January, and like all my novels this one will be available in Kindle Unlimited, Paperback and hardcover after the release day, 28 January.)