Tag Archives: music

Music is life

Being on Twitter usually makes me angry. Today it made me cry with joy:

Watch her face as the music takes hold. For a few, precious moments, she’s young again and doing what she loves most in the world. This is the power of music.

Have a wonderful weekend,

love
Meeks


Editing as a Pantster

A pantster is a writer who ‘writes by the seat of their pants’ – i.e. doesn’t outline in advance. I’m a pantster, mostly, and I learned a long time ago that pantsters have to trust their subconscious. If that little voice says ‘no’ then we have to listen, even if that means deleting thousands of perfectly good words.

Today I deleted 3688 words from the second book of the Suns of Vokhtah. I replaced all those words with just 490. To give those 490 words some context, the MC, Kaati snuck into the Healers’ Settlement as a refugee, not knowing that refugees were locked up like caged animals. It needs to escape but the other refugees are too beaten down to help. Or so it thinks :

Kaati woke to the sound of voices raised in anger. Propping itself up on one elbow, it peered across at the lattice and saw that the Big Twin was shouting at a group of iVokh armed with buckets and baskets. Clearly, the drudges had arrived, and they were not happy.

Rising to its feet, the young Trader was edging closer to hear what they were arguing about when Hands appeared by its side.

“Wait!” the Refugee hissed, grabbing Kaati’s wing with one hand. “Drudges not wanting to take body. In case being contaminated. Insisting that Healers should being called.”

“Not being sick!” the Guard shouted as it flung open the door. “Seeing for self. Dying of wound.”

Two drudges entered and placed their loads on the sand before gingerly peering down at the still form lying on the ground. One of them nodded, albeit reluctantly, and the Guard retreated back down the tunnel.

“Getting ready,” Hands whispered as a small group of Refugees began drifting towards the door. Were they trying to escape?

Apparently not. As soon as the small group reached the baskets left by the drudges, they darted in and began cramming their mouths with food.

“Ho!” Hands shouted, its voice shrill. “Should sharing!”

“S’so!” Someone else cried.

The cry was quickly taken up by all the Refugees in the cavern, and in moments the area directly in front of the door was a pushing, heaving mass of angry iVokh.

“Guard!” a drudge shouted as it pushed inside, using its basket as a ram.

But the Refugees were in no mood to be intimidated. One tore the basket from the drudge’s hand while the others shoved it up against the lattice. The whole structure creaked and groaned as more and more iVokh pressed against it.

“Now!” Hands whispered as the space before the door suddenly cleared.
The two took off at a run but were still five wingspans from the opening when the Big Twin stormed into the cavern. Shrilling in fury, it began lashing out with its switch, and wherever the switch landed, iVokh keened in pain, Refugees and drudges alike.

They all fell back, except for Kaati. Ducking under the Big Twin’s arm, it grabbed the switch with one hand and a bunch of cilia with the other. And then it snapped the guard’s head down onto one bony knee. The iVokh was dead before its body hit the ground, delicate echo chamber smashed like an egg.

The young Trader roared in triumph as it brandished the switch in the air.

“Out!”

The drudges in the tunnel dropped their loads and fled. A moment later, a bone jarring crash came from behind.

Spinning around, the young Trader saw a band of iVokh pour over the fallen lattice. At their head was Hands. The two locked eyes for a moment before Kaati turned and ran after the drudges.

It felt good to be a hunter once more.

Despite losing so many words, this scene was very…therapeutic to write. This is the music that drove the words:

Aeterna by LiquidCinema

For those who are interested, LiquidCinema is a music production company similar to Two Steps From Hell, but not as well known to listeners. I’ve just discovered their music myself, and I’m totally in love.

Now I’m going to log on to ESO and kill some different kinds of monsters.

cheers
Meeks


Music for a Villain?

I’m a pantster and I love characters ‘on the cusp’, so I’m not sure yet which side of the Good vs Evil divide Death will occupy, but as soon as I heard this piece on Soundcloud, I knew it was Death’s theme.

Enjoy? Maybe?
Meeks


Music for the Acolyte

Music has always been a vital part of my writing because it speaks directly to the emotional and creative side of my brain. In a very real sense, it puts the logical side to ‘sleep’. For me, that is a necessity because technical writing comes so much easier.

But finding the right music for the right story has never been easy. Until today.

I give you, ‘The Journey of a Scarecrow’, by Indie composer – Jean-Gabriel Raynaud:

The instant the Scarecrow track began to play [on Soundcloud], I knew precisely who it was for. The quirky playfulness screamed ‘Acolyte’!

Who? What?

For those few brave souls who read my scifi/fantasy novel, ‘Vokhtah’, you may remember the small iVokh who worked for the Healers in Needlepoint. The Scarecrow is its signature song.

For everyone else, here’s a short excerpt from the book that introduces the reader to the Acolyte:

The Female was fast asleep when the steady drip, drip of the timepiece was joined by the scrape of wood across sand.

It was a small sound, as was the gap that appeared between the edge of the door and its frame. The gap was just wide enough to admit two twiggy fingers tipped with blunted claws. The fingers strained at the wood to no avail.

A dull thump sounded from the other side of the door as something heavy hit the sand. Two more fingers appeared and four blunted claws dug into the wood as the fingers jerked at the door. Each jerk widened the gap a little further until persistence finally triumphed, and the opening became wide enough for a small black face to appear.

Everything about that face was small, except for the eyes, which glowed huge and golden in the soft, blue light of the chamber’s single glow-worm.

After darting a timid glance from left to right, the face disappeared only to be replaced a moment later by a small black rump. Over-sized, jet black wings swept the sand as the hunched shape of the small iVokh backed into the chamber, dragging a sloshing leather bota. The water sack was almost as tall as the iVokh itself.

Diminutive by any standard, the healers’ acolyte looked more like an iVokhti than a fully-grown iVokh. In fact, the only parts of its anatomy close to normal size were its wings, and they seemed far too large for its small frame.

The Acolyte’s lack of stature was accompanied by a corresponding lack of strength. The Junior mocked its weakness at every opportunity, but the young iVokh prided itself on never failing in its duty. Clever and resourceful, it compensated for the weakness of its body by using the power of its wings. Only rarely did it have to rely on brute strength as it did now.

Bent over the bota, struggling to regain its breath, it stiffened as derisive hoots sounded from the outer cavern.

The Acolyte’s hide took on a hot, yellowish tinge. It did not like being closed in with the female, but it liked listening to the Junior’s oh-so-witty barbs even less. Pulling itself upright with a jerk, it grabbed the leather handle of the door with both hands and pulled. Embarrassment was a powerful motivator, and the door closed quickly.

The Acolyte features in Book 3 of The Suns of Vokhtah. Unfortunately, I’m still on book 2. That means I mustn’t allow myself to listen to this new music until I’m ready to write the Acolyte’s story… -cries quietly-

I hate these games I have to play with my subconscious, but my muse is temperamental at the best of times. At least now, I have a lot to look forward to.

Anyone else play games with their muse?

Meeks


I’ve found a new, favourite composer!

Musical tastes vary, I know, and mine may not match yours, but if it does…hi new friend! 🙂

Today I want to introduce you to my new favourite composer. His name is Peter Milinkovic, he hails from Serbia, and his company is called Talekeeper Music. What could be more perfect?

I found Milinkovic on Soundcloud which is an extraordinary website that showcases the work of new and not so new composers. The link below is for ‘Unbroken’, a track with a haunting melody and uplifting ‘pace’, very Kaati-ish :

The next one is called ‘Sun’ and the graphic is soooo Vokhtah! :

-dance-

I haz new writing music! Later all. 🙂

Meeks

 


‘Musick has charms to soothe a savage breast’

William Congreve wrote that line in a play called ‘The Mourning Bride’. I’m long past the point of being a bride, but I am in mourning so it seemed appropriate. A lot of hopes and dreams of a better, fairer life went up in smoke on May 18, but now it’s time to heal.

I can’t remember how I stumbled onto this song – thank you unknown blogger! – but I’ve been listening to it a lot lately. The composer is Ramin Djawadi, and the song is called ‘Light of the Seven’ [Season 6 of the Game of Thrones] :

cheers

Meeks


Retirement…slow down or speed up?

Not sure what your answer is, but mine is speed up! There are still so many stories I want to tell that another 50 years wouldn’t be enough, especially when I’m such a slow writer. And then there’s all that new tech coming online…

I’m not really a techie, you know. The true techies love all technology, whereas I’m pretty ambivalent about some of the innovations out there. Nevertheless, there are some gadgets I can hardly wait to use…like 3D printers for the home. Want that new top in your size? Not a problem, pay for the design and wait a few minutes while your 3D printer manufactures it for you. Or robots…I’ve loved the idea of robots since I first read ‘Door into Summer’ by Heinlein.

-laughs- I bet you thought Asimov was the only one who wrote about robots? Not so. You can find a description of ‘Door into Summer’ here.

Anyway, I’m saving my pennies for a household robot that will clean up after the cats, put the rubbish out, or maybe compost it on site? and mow the lawn. I’ve got a lot of lawn :/

But that’s not all! I haven’t had a chance to try VR yet, and it’s right up there as a ‘must do’ on my bucket list. I want to be able to travel the world from the comfort of my own home, and I want to fight monsters in glorious technicolour.

Of course, all of that depends upon how my eye-sight works with VR [I see depth via motion parallax, not stereopsis], but I’m hopeful, and this glorious track by Two Steps From Hell is how I feel at the ripe old age of 65. 🙂

The track is called ‘Unleashed’… Bring it on!

cheers

Meeks


Hilarious!

No intros…just watch & listen!

…and yes, it’s exactly what you think it is. 😀

My thanks to Russell Ray for introducing me to this fabulous video clip!

Happy Tuesday,

Meeks


More amazing art from Soul Draft

The Architecture Of Radical Simplicity The five best hotels in Hull for the City of Culture Lift-off: the must-see dance shows of 2017 CES 2017 Day Three of 3D printing, 3D Design and 3D prints in Las Vegas Japanese Artist Spends 3+ Years Drawing Massive, Incredibly Detailed Tsunami World’s largest LEGO exhibition Top […]

via Weekly Newsletter n°11 —

I love tech aggregators, such as New Atlas, but I also love the art brought together in one place by Soul Draft. Hope you enjoy it too. 🙂


Resolutions – yes, no, maybe?

I know my northern hemisphere friends are still busy bringing in the New Year, but here in Australia we’ve been there, done that. And no, I’m not bragging. It’s just that I’ve already let my New Year’s resolutions slide, and it’s only January 1. 😦

What did I resolve to do? Just two things, both ‘completers’ that have been hanging around the house for over six months.

The first is a flat pack, mini-greenhouse [apologies for the terrible photo]:

I did make a start...

I did make a start…

I bought the greenhouse off the internet in the hope that it would be easy to assemble. You’d think I’d know better by now. The damn thing has a million parts and the instructions are, as you’d expect, rat shit. But I can deal with all that. What I haven’t been able to deal with is the sheer physical effort involved in making the parts fit together. And before anyone asks, yes, I am trying to put the correct parts together. Those two things that look like small windows are panels for the greenhouse. Unfortunately, there are so many more to assemble. 😦

The problem seems to be one of gender. I’m reasonably strong for a 5′ 3.5″ tall, 63 year old woman. Unfortunately, everything seems to be designed for a 6′ tall, 30-something man.

I have absolutely nothing against 6′ tall, 30-something men. I think they’re gorgeous…but they have these very strong hands. Wait. That doesn’t sound right.

Ahem.

Things that come in flatpacks seem to be designed for people with lots of muscle and very strong hands.

But what about me?

I don’t want to beat the feminist drum, but really, would it be that hard to design flatpacks for the other half of humanity? You know, the women who have small hands and don’t look like plumbers?

At the risk of sounding sexist, all the gentlemen out there can go do something macho now while I talk about project number 2.

So…my second incomplete project was to turn a lovely sarong into a simple top. I do know how to sew, but this project has proven to be more challenging than I thought.

Mistake number 1 was that I thought I could whip something up without a pattern. Mistake number 2 was that I neglected to test the fabric before reaching for the scissors. Sadly, that lovely fabric frays like you would not believe, so every seam has to be hemmed first. Plus the fabric has a pattern that should match up…

Anyway, these two projects have been lingering like a bad smell for a very long time, so last night, as the minute hand neared 12, I resolved to complete them…first thing in the morning [January 1st, 2017].

So far today, I’ve mowed a great swathe of the back garden [because it was nice and cool]. I’ve also done some washing, tidied the kitchen, made a start on the floors, had multiple coffees and spent some time on social media. Now, I’m writing a blog post. In short, I’ve done anything and everything except what I swore I’d do last night.

-sigh- I am so tempted to throw both the top and the flatpack into the nearest bin. Why are New Year’s Resolutions so bloody hard to do?

Or in my case, ‘not happy, Meeks!’

Am I alone?

 

 


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