25 July 2022

Music Monday: I'm Only Real...I Mean Human

I may have posted this one before, but it occurs to me how perfect it is for my current WIP for this month's Camp Nanowrimo. The discussion of who is human/real and who isn't is at the center of this second foray into Arcstone, and while it is on the second draft it still needs a lot of work. But...I'm only human...don't put the blame on me, hey?



Human
by Rag'n'Bone Man

Maybe I'm foolish, maybe I'm blind
Thinking I can see through this and see what's behind
Got no way to prove it so maybe I'm blind

But I'm only human after all, I'm only human after all
Don't put your blame on me

Take a look in the mirror and what do you see
Do you see it clearer or are you deceived in what you believe

Cos I'm only human after all, you're only human after all
Don't put the blame on me
Don't put your blame on me

Some people got the real problems
Some people out of luck
Some people think I can solve them
Lord heavens above
I'm only human after all, I'm only human after all
Don't put the blame on me
Don't put the blame on me

Don't ask my opinion, don't ask me to lie
Then beg for forgiveness for making you cry, making you cry

Cos I'm only human after all, I'm only human after all
Don't put your blame on me, don't put the blame on me

Some people got the real problems
Some people out of luck
Some people think I can solve them
Lord heavens above
I'm only human after all, I'm only human after all
Don't put the blame on me
Don't put the blame on me
I'm only human I make mistakes
I'm only human that's all it takes to put the blame on me
Don't put your blame on me

I'm no prophet or messiah
Should go looking somewhere higher 

I'm only human after all, I'm only human after all
Don't put the blame on me, don't put the blame on me
I'm only human I do what I can
I'm just a man, I do what I can
Don't put the blame on me
Don't put your blame on me

21 July 2022

Three Years That Feel Like Three Minutes

Martha Ann McDonald
9 Aug 1932-21 July 2019
The first year was a blur. She had been declining for a little over a month, so when my sister called me to tell me that she had passed there was a feeling of relief. she wasn't suffering. She was with Daddy, finally, which I think is what she wanted most from the moment he left us in 2018.

Then there was the pandemic. It was easy to not let the grief take over in 2020 because I was so focused on this Big Bad Scary Thing that was taking over the news cycle and driving us into our homes, separated and safe. I often said during that year that while I missed her desperately I was glad, in a way, that she didn't have to experience this time. And while that was very true, there were many times when I felt desperately alone and just needed to hear her say "Hey, Nancy," on the other end of the phone.

I was ready for the pain in 2021, but the pandemic held on a little longer, so I could put a pin in all that awful for a little longer. But this year, 2022, it has hit me and now it's almost like it is happening all over again. 

I remember with visceral clarity how small her hand felt in mine as I sat by her bed at Emory. I remember thinking that my sister was a superhero because she had now walked alongside both of our parents through this last stage of life while I just flew in and out like a hummingbird, never landing long enough to let any of the pain seem into my soul.

My mother was a force of nature kept in check by a very strict southern American upbringing. she told us that the girls in her family (of which there were three) took care of things inside the home and her brothers (also three, and all older than their sisters) took care of things outside the home. My mother didn't know how to change a tire and was very uncomfortable writing a check. She was a product of the Great Depression that came of age in the 1950s. She "didn't get the whole hippie thing" during the 1960s and suddenly found her purpose, I think, in the 1970s when her daughters were born. I honestly think that in 1971 they stopped being Hoyt and Martha and became Nancy's mom and dad...and then in 1976 that purpose was cemented when they became Susan's mom and dad.

She had bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Georgia in English, with a concentration in Elizabethan Literature. She knew a bit of French from having to fill in for a French teacher at one of the high schools who didn't have one. She was a teacher down to her very bones, and to be honest I'm not sure which age group was her favorite. I do know that she enjoyed teaching preschool at the churches where Daddy served.

She was always my biggest fan, and truth be told I was hers even though I didn't show it. Her relationship with my father was the best example of faithfulness and love I could have had growing up, and I know that I was luckier than most.

And now it has been three years, and I am still picking up the phone to call her when I have a good report selling books or a challenging interpreting assignment. I have been adrift for three years now, and that part doesn't feel like three minutes any more than it feels like it will get better.

For all of you that have lost someone either before or during the pandemic, I see you. I hold space for you. This is hard stuff, the hardest thing I have ever had to go through. I remember sitting with my sister that Sunday afternoon that she died and asking her if we were orphans now.

I still don't know the answer to that, but I will never stop missing my mom.

 

18 July 2022

Music Monday: 80s Throwback, Part 1

Confession time: I love Survivor. I mean, I love 80s music, don't get me wrong, but...their album Vital Signs by Survivor was a revelation for teenage me, and was Most Likely To Be Played At Every School Dance when I was in high school. I know it may come as a shock since I've NEVER EVER written romance into any of my books...but I'm hopeless in that category and these songs...just...

The video for I Can't Hold Back is 80s gold, complete with big hair, leather trousers, smoky dance sequences and, of course, well fitting blue jeans. The lyrics also resonated with me in terms of the current WIP, Camp Nano Take Two, which involves one of the most complicated couples I've ever written: Valentin and Henri. Have mercy. 

Valentin is very much like Taeben from my Orana Chronicles: a villain who is motivated by misplaced notions of love and control. Morally gray? Not so much. Morally deficient? Nope, not that either. Just men who were hurt by someone in their formative years with strange ideas of what love is.

Enjoy.



I Can't Hold Back
by Survivor

There's a story in my eyes
Turn the pages of desire
Now it's time to trade those dreams
For the rush of passion's fire

I can feel you tremble when we touch
And I feel the hand of fate
Reaching out to both of us

I've been holding back the night
I've been searching for a clue from you
I'm gonna try with all my might
To make this story line come true

Can ya feel me tremble when we touch?
Can you feel the hand of fate?
Reaching out to both of us
This love affair can't wait

I can't hold back, I'm on the edge
(I can't hold back)
Your voice explodes inside my head
I can't hold back, I won't back down
Girl it's too late to turn back now

Another shooting star goes by
And in the night the silence speaks to you and I
And now the time has come at last
Don't let the moment run too fast

I can feel you tremble when we touch
And I feel the hand of fate
Reaching out to both of us

There's a story in my eyes
Turn the pages of desire
Now it's time to trade those dreams
For the rush of passion's fire

I can't hold back, I'm on the edge
(I can't hold back)
Your voice explodes inside my head
I can't hold back, I won't back down
Girl it's too late to turn back now

I can see you tremble when we touch
Oohh, and I feel the hand of fate
Reaching out to both of us
This love affair can't wait
I can't hold back, I can't hold back
I can't hold back, I can't hold back

11 July 2022

Music Monday: Heavy is the Crown...

I'm behind on my intro to Daughtry, admittedly. But here is one that strikes me as more Orana than Arcstone...and I'm hoping putting it out here will get it out of my head and stop distracting me. This Camp Nano is Arcstone, dang it! Enjoy.



(Captions/Lyrics in the video! Yay!)

04 July 2022

Music Monday: Not Stranger Things. Nope.

I'm sure you've seen the Stranger Things season finale/last two episodes/massive LOTR length movie pretending to be two episodes of a television show, and that you have all the feels. Well, I'm not spoiling anything here, so I'll just leave you with something I found on Spotify the other day that slots in amazingly well to the playlist for this month's Camp Nanowrimo. 

But never fear, I have a whole bunch of ST4-related song post ideas. A WHOLE BUNCH.




Bad Romance
lyrics by Lady Gaga

Want your bad romance
Want your bad romance...
I want your ugly, I want your disease
I want your everything as long as it's free
I want your love (I want your love)
Love, love, love, I want your love (I want your love, I want your love)
I want your drama, the touch of your hand
I want your leather-studded kiss in the sand
I want your love (want your love)
Love, love, love, I want your love (want your love, I want your love)-
You know that I want you, and you know that I need you
I want it bad, a bad romance
I want your love and I want your revenge
You and me could write a bad romance
(Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh)
I want your love and all your lovers' revenge
You and me could write a bad romance
Oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh
Caught in a bad romance
Oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh
Caught in a bad romance
Want your bad romance...
Want your bad romance
I want your horror
I want your design
'Cause you're a criminal as long as your mine
I want your love
(I want your love) love love love
I want your love (I want your love I want your love)
I want your psycho, your vertigo stick
Want you in my room when
Your baby is sick!
I want your love
(I want your love) love love love
I want your love (I want your love I want your love)
You know that I want you, and you know that I need you
I want it bad, a bad romance
I want your love, and I want your revenge
You and me could write a bad romance
(Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh)
I want your love and all your love has revenge
You and me could write a bad romance
Oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh
Caught in a bad romance
Oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh
Caught in a bad romance
Want your bad romance...
Want your bad romance
(Na na na na! Na na-na na na! Na na na na)-
Want your bad romance
I want your love, and I want your revenge
I want your love - I don't wanna be friends!
Je veux ton amour
Et je veux ta revanche
Je veux ton amour
I don't wanna be friends
(I don't wanna be friends)
I don't wanna be friends
(I don't wanna be friends)
No I don't wanna be friends!
(I don't wanna be friends)
Want your bad romance
(Want your bad romance)
Want your bad romance!!!
I want your love, and I want your revenge
You and me could write a bad romance
(Oh-oh-oh-oh-oooh)
I want your love and all your lovers' revenge
You and me could write a bad romance
Oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh
Caught in a bad romance
Oh-oh-oooh-oh-oh-oh-oooh-oh
Caught in a bad romance
Want your bad romance
(Na na, na na! Na na-na na na! Na na, na na)-
Want your bad romance

Music Monday: Fighters, in All Forms