Living Musically, Or The Son of Paleface Returns

D: The Son of Paleface is the return, A. I mean, even the song is a reprise.

A: I know, but there is the whisper of a ‘saying’ in my head, which escapes me – and may not even be real–

D: Go figure.

A: Cheers, D. Regardless, it either has to do with Paleface or the Return of the something – and no, not Jedi.

D: I wasn’t going to go with Jedi. That’s your nerdgasm, A.

A: And that is my Ewok song. *Ahem.* So, where did you hear that word?

D: I live your head. I can’t account for what I pick up.

A: Point taken.

D: So, what exactly is returning, may I ask?

A:  You may. What is returning is news. See, with the new compliance rules at work, I can’t visit blogs, but I can read them on my email. So, I’ve gleaned a fair bit of news that I haven’t been able to respond to, or even “like!”

D: This is painful for you, isn’t it?

A: It’s almost physical, that’s how difficult it is not to casually stroll by blogs. I’ve managed a workaround, which I only discovered this week —

D: She’s bright, folks, but she never claimed to be quick.

A: . . . (Teeth gritting) Thank you, D.

D: Anytime.

A: As I was saying, I can link titles to my Facebook page to show my appreciation, but really, it’s just easier to put all the articles I enjoyed into a blog post, like in the good old days.

D: The good old days? Like, when you used to write every day instead of being . . . Oh, I don’t know, what’s the word. . .?

A: Busy?

D: No.

A: Mom?

D: No . . . oh wait, I have it: a bloody social butterfly. Who are you and what have you done with my A?? I want my writer back.

A: Your writer is still here, D. She just went through a bout of creative burnout. Being moderately social is my cure. There is only so much inspiration I can find within my four walls.

D: So, being ridiculous at a painting bar helps you write?

A: You better believe it, D.


A: First, stroll by Green Embers Recommends for Part 2 in my Battlestar Galactica review.  AND check it out, the Not-So-Shocking-News Dialogues are now on iTunes!! You can actually subscribe! Because Green is awesome.

D: That’s not even in the original Battlestar Series.

A: No, but it is in The Plan – in fact, it is the best part of The Plan.

D: Good point. Next, check out Terrible Mind’s writerly prompt (and I hear A might actually participate – stay tuned).

A: And last week, at Legends of Windemere, Charles discussed wedded bliss – or lack thereof – in fiction. The wedding palace was particularly funny–

D: And this week he’s debuting a series of villain teasers from the world of Windemere – head on over and check it out

A: There’s a challenge a-brewing. A book review challenge series, hosted by the lovely Rosie Amber, which started today! Check out the first post, How I Write a Book Review.

D: And in “Making Monday’s Fun” News, John and Marie have a lovely “Top 10 What Not To Do” involving the camera. A should take notes.

A: Cheers, D. Last week, Jack Flacco posted a great article – and he’s right: 1999 was one of the best years in film, although I do disagree with Phantom Menace. Sure, it made a lot of money, but . . . but . . . sigh. To answer his question, The Mummy, Sleepy Hollow, The Bone Collector, Lock Stock and the Matrix stick in my memory.

D: In case you missed it, that delightful dilettante and mistress of prose, Helena Hann-Basquiat bade us a (temporary) farewell with the raw, moving epistle: Leaving Arcadia. Start reading it here. In her absence, her creepy alter-ego Jessica B. Bell is now in charge of the blog.

A: There’s a new site in town, Good People Doing Great Things, and they need YOUR help. While you’re there, check out Marie Ann Bailey’s guest post: A Random Act of Kindness.

D: So, A and I aren’t the only ‘characters’ of the literary (and I use that term loosely) to make an art form of talking to themselves. Ionia Martin, of Readful Things is extending a fabulous interview opportunity to all the writers out there with Mirror Interviews. First up? John Howell (writer, not historian)!

A: And finally, she had me at space pirates . . . check out JS Collyer’s promotional goodies for her marketing crowd-funding campaign. From the looks of it, the campaign has been successful in less than three days – that is spectacular!

D: Speaking of pirates . . .

A: That is my very favorite one (sigh). Hope you all have enjoyed our Living (movie) Musically News Spectacular. Thank you all for reading and have a great day.

Living Musically: On the Willows Edition

The Boy in all his sparkly glory. There are even black sequins running down the side of his trousers.

The Boy in all his Godspell (or is that Godsparkle?) glory on opening night. It’s the only photo he’ll let me post yet – everything else is embargoed!

A: I’m not a particularly religious person–

D: No kidding, A. Heathens are more religious than you.

A: Ahem. . .

D: Sorry.

A: Of course, Godspell isn’t what I consider religious.

D: You mean, aside from the parable-base storytelling, the crucifixion and the whole, you know, Jesus-thing?

A: (Eye roll) Yes, D, despite all that. I do think it has a wonderful message, and I especially like that it tells that message without all the other trappings that can to get in the way.

D: Are you really going to ruminate on religion and Godspell. . . .again?

A: No on the first part – this is so not that kind of blog.

D: And the second?

A: Oh come on, D! Godspell is the only thing The Boy currently allows on the iPod when we’re together.

D: The only thing? Really?

A: Okay, he may have also discovered Commentary!, the musical soundtrack to Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog:

(Thank you, oh-so-much, Jesus, for introducing that to him. Of course, since The Boy insists on being Jesus’ mini-me, and since Jesus played Jean Valjean once, I may finally be able to watch Le Misérables – as trade-offs go, I’m good with it).

D: I’ve just realized why you need me around.

A: . . . This is going to be interesting. Pray tell, why is that, D?

D: You speak in parentheticals. Confusing parentheticals. All the time! Even your music choices this week are disjointed and not appropriately, nor punningly, set-up.

A: Is punningly a word?

D: No. But it works all the same.

A: Indeed. So, what’s your point, Druid?

D: I am obviously here, in part, to present your words in something resembling logical order.

A: This from the time traveler, for whom logical order—

D: A . . .

A: Okay, okay, I can accept that. What’s the other part?

D: Brilliance. Sheer and utter brilliance. In fact, you can’t stop this brilliance.

A: Oh yeah? Well . . . um . . .

D: Yeah, what have you got, A?

A: I don’t have anything—

D: Ha!

A: –Except majesty!

D: I think that’s cheating.

A: How is that cheating?

D: I’m not certain, but give me a few moments, and I’m sure I’ll come up with something.

A: I wouldn’t bother. Majesty always wins, and we have got to go – I have to find some waterproof eye makeup, so I can prepare myself to weep-I mean watch the last three shows this weekend!

This one gets me every single time. The last show on Sunday is going to be a killer.

D: You big softie.

A: Says the cat-man warrior.

D: Oi!

A: And on that note, we bid you all a fond good-day – have a great Friday and an excellent weekend everyone!

Living Musically: Prepare Ye

D: What, pray tell, are we preparing for?

A: . . . um, May Day? Beltane?

D: Really? Because I’m pretty certain that Prepare Ye the way of the Lord has nothing to do with Beltane.

A: Not even if we’re going to Sing About Love?

D: . . . Still not going with it. In theory, perhaps. But in function? No.

A: Killjoy. Okay, then we are preparing to edit the now-completed first draft of the Changelings sequel, The Coming Storm.

D: Preparing to edit? Preparing?! What have you been doing all week, then?

A: Well, I put the two narratives together, but after that, I decided I really ought to play candy crush. And clean out my email folders. And then I did a fair bit of staring off into space lamenting the death of my iPod.

D: Overlooking your gross negligence, allow me to extend my deepest sympathy. Would you like a moment of silence?

A: Nice, D. Silence is the problem. There’s been altogether too much silence. And stop mocking me.

D (Hides grin) But you’re not music-less. You’ve been playing the same bloody dirge—

A: It’s not a dirge, it’s a drumming song.

D: . . .

A: Okay, so when it and it’s fellows are on repeat it may sound a bit dirge-ish.  I can’t help it. Florence and her machines, The Hobbit and Godspell are the only decent things on my backup Nano. Well, that and Christmas music. While I do love me a good Adeste Fidelis

D: Oh boy, do you ever – how many copies of that song do you have?

A: 10. What’s your point?

D: You only need 1, A.

A: In that, you are gravely mistaken.

D: So, is doing something about this musical wasteland one of the things for which you must ‘prepare?’

A: Yup. I’m taking steps (Yes, we are participating in Building Rome over at Green Embers. Check it out). The first of which is to quit my whining and take the Christmas music off the Nano. It’s cold enough out there without me singing Jingle Bells.

D: Can you stop linking people to the Christmas music?!

A: What? It’s what came on this week – which was really rather a kick to the head.

D: Oh boy. Is that your only goal for the week?

A: No – you can stop tapping your foot at me, Druid. I’m going to see if I can’t hit the half-way mark on editing The Coming Storm.

D: And . . .?

A: You just can’t let it be, can you?

D: Nope.

A: Fine – there’s also some research I need to do – mostly radio control room protocol in WW2, and herbal remedies used in the Highlands of Scotland in the mid 1700s. If anyone knows anything about either of those, and would be pleased as punch to let me pick their brain, drop me a line in comments!

D: You make that sound so appealing. . . you are essentially offering to turn into a zombie in exchange for information.

A: Well, that is how editing makes me feel, so however picturesque my cliché there was, it works.

D: . . .

A: Okay, so I have another goal, and that’s to write a review of About Time for Green Embers Recommends, and catch up on my favorite Bayou chronicle over at Helena’s.

D: Lovely. Now, may I suggest a little less conversation and some more action on your part?

A: I don’t think that means what you want it to mean, D.

D: I let you use “Let it Be.”

A: Point taken.

D: And so?

A: And so, we shall bid the blog a fond adieu for the evening – thank you so much for reading & have a great night!

Living Musically – Saturday Sillies

D: In which A combines news and music.

A: I think all news should be delivered musically.

D: So, should dirges accompany bad news and magical themes accompany happy news?

A: Other way around, really – you know just to see if people are paying attention.

D: You make no sense.

A: It’s Saturday sillies, D. I’m not supposed to. Plus, I’m on my third cup of high-test coffee. There will be no sense-making today.

D: Good to know. You don’t actually have that theme song on your phone, do you?

A: No. And that’s probably a good thing. That was The Boy’s contribution to today’s show.

D: Although, it does get me thinking. . .

A: Don’t think, D. Let’s dance instead.

D: You know who loves Bowie, A?

A: Helena. Helena loves Bowie.

D: Too right, and you know what’s going on with Helena today?

A: An Ask.FM Q&A session.

D: Right again – Do you know why?

A: Okay, I said I was a little over-caffeinated, not in need of having lines fed to me! Helena’s successful Kickstarter is over in just three hours (go – preorder now if you haven’t! There are some excellent incentives) today, and to celebrate, she and Jim Squires will be answering questions all afternoon on Ask FM.

D: And how do you plan on celebrating?

A: Well, first by joining her, and second, by putting the lime in the coconut.

D: Are those gorillas?

A: Yes.

D: Gorillas singing and playing instruments, singing about putting the lime in the coconut?

A: Again, yes.

D: This isn’t silly Saturday. This is surreal Saturday.

A: What, you never let your hair down?

D: Very droll, A.

A: So you’re telling me you’ve never gone full monty?

D: A! What a question to ask – you’re going to make a grown warrior blush.

A: Not bloody likely. Answer the question, Druid.

D: Does going  bare in the basin count?

A: In this case, yes. Totally. Speaking of natives. . .

D: This is more of your belated St. Patrick’s Day tribute, isn’t it?

A: What? I love me some Christy, D.

D: Wasn’t there supposed to be news in here?

A: Ah, yes, so there was – thank you, D. In Middle-Earth News, Gandalf needs help. He has a lot on his mind and if he doesn’t find what he’s looking for, I fear–

D: Seriously, A?

A: What? It’s hysterical (And many thanks to Perry for posting that and making my Friday – I’m a lurker on her site, and it just made me smile).

D: . . .

A: Almost as hysterical as this Oakentoon.

D: Are you quite finished?

A: Maybe.

D: Finally, I was—

A: Oh, wait! There’s middle-earth madness going on now.

D: . . .

A: Because, you know, it’s basketball season – I think – and people are betting on stuff, but I don’t know anything about basketball, so voting on Middle-Earth matchups seems so much more entertaining.

D: You know, A . . . I think. . .

A: Yes?

D: Hang on, I’m getting there. I think that you should put this in your pipe and smoke it.

A: That is not the Eddie Izzard clip I listened to in the car.

D: No. No it is not.

A: This one is better.

D: Yes. Yes, it is.

A: And with that, I think our Saturday Sillies are over.

D: Really?

A: Well, in the blogosphere. . . for now.

D: And with that threat, we bid you all a fond adieu.

A: Thank you for reading, everyone and have a great weekend!

Living Musically: Wanderlust Edition

This has nothing to do with music, but it is indicative of how I feel this week. Plus: Hobbits.

This has nothing to do with music, but it is indicative of how I feel this week. Plus: Hobbits.

D: Wasn’t that the title of last week’s edition of Living Musically?

A: You mean the edition that wasn’t posted?

D: That would be the one.

A: Yes, well, it started to get maudlin, and while I am Irish, and St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner. . .

D: You have no appreciation for the Celtic soul, A.

A: I have a Celtic heart – does that count?

D: (Grumble, grumble, mutter)

A: What was that?

D: Yes, fine – I suppose. At least you have me to stand in for that soul you lack.

A: Indeed I do, D – and a fine trade it is. Now, shall we get down to business?

D: Certainly. Pray tell, what started you thinking of wandering?

A: When have I not thought of wandering?

D: When you lived in Ireland.

A: . . . You’re really working that Celtic soul thing, aren’t you?

D: Someone has to – so, I suppose this abominably cold winter had you and your iPod dreaming of different climes?

A: Indeed. First there was Erebor.

D: You’re going to be a Dead Man Walking if you keep up the Hobbit references.

A: I don’t know why. . .

D: Oh, fair play – although it is a little Sentimental for my tastes.

A: Hm, does that mean you’re not into Angels?

D: I don’t know, A – the seraphim and that lot are rather lumped together with the Fae in my book – it’s all rather a sort of homecoming, aye?

A: Careful D, you might have me thinking of Bag End.

Evil cute cat. Better than Hobbits (just don't tell D).

Evil cute cat. Better than Hobbits (just don’t tell D).

D: (Eye roll) You are not a Hobbit, A. First of all, you’re too tall.

A: I know, but I had second breakfast this morning, does that count?

D: Perhaps.

A: Right then, so you won’t mind if I play this honorable mention . . .

D: Good lord, three of them?!

A: I know, I know, I need a different playback function but honestly can you blame me? It was sunny, above freezing twice this week, and I had Hobbit songs to sing me into work.

D: Best week ever?

A: Yeah, pretty much, and not just because I didn’t have to hit the ‘skip’ button at all.

D: You hit the skip button??

A: Yeah, I get six skips a week – kinda like Slacker on my blu-ray. There are just some songs I can’t quite stomach at 6:30 in the morning, D (and they have their very own blog post coming up soon!)

D: Fine, your excuses work this time. . . but what else was it about this week that made it fabulous?

A:Well, without further ado . . .

Helena made her Kickstarter goal!

With 10 days to go. All of you out there, you’re awesome. I mean it. I nearly screamed when I found out, and I was at work! Go read about it here. And here. I don’t have quite the words to express just how happy I am for Helena and for the people who supported her, but needless to say: Nice job, internets. You all rock.

D: Nicely said, A. I think.

A: (Eye roll) Also, everyone needs to take a gander at John W. Howell’s site, as he has posted a new trailer for his thriller, My GRL. It’s pretty cool.

D:  And as a reminder to everyone, Charles is having a Twubs chat tomorrow (Saturday, March 15) – if ever you had a question for the scribe of Windemere, now is your chance to ask! What are you going to ask him, A?

A: Unfortunately, I will be unable to attend. I’m going to be carrying sponsor banners in Milwaukee’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade and celebrating heartily afterward.

D: Do you ever wish you were Back Home in Derry?

A: Um, I lived in Dublin, so no, but nice D. Very nice.

D: I thought so.

A: You would – for other Music Highlights (and these highlights are a-freaking-amazing) check out Helena’s Tom Waits revue.

D :And also head over to Jack Flacco’s site for his take on Playlists. I swear to the heavens, he and A are long-lost twins. Now if only she’d listen to him about playlists.

A: One day, D. . . one day.

D: Maybe.

A: If you’re lucky.

D: And with that empty promise, we bid you adieu.

A: Have a great weekend, everyone and thank you so much for reading!

Living Musically – Scatterbrained Edition

happy music

Happy Listening
Photo courtesy Google Images
Labeled for Commercial Reuse

A: I think my iPod is trying to tell me something.

D: Um. . . you are aware that it is an inanimate object, correct?

A: Says the character in my head.

D: My point still stands.

A: All right, so I know just hitting “shuffle” on all songs is problematic, as it is likely that I will hear the same song twice – but twice in once week?

D: You know the trick, right?

A: Yes, follow Jack Flacco’s suggestion and make a smart playlist that only plays songs I haven’t listened to in over X-amount of days.

D: Oh, I was going to say . . . well, never mind. Jack is right.

A: No, what were you going to say?

D: No, really, it’s okay, A.

A: Tell me.

D: Wow, did you know your eyes get all funny and –

A: D.

D: Fine, I was going to mention something about pipers and a fiddler and (voice gets quieter) maybe some pan pipes

A: . . . Yeah, Jack’s suggestion works better. Be that as it may, I Found a Reason to verily and voraciously vaunt the veracity of vindictiveness.

D: Wow, I was going to taunt you for not making your alliteration make sense . . . but you did it, A.

A: Yeah. I did.

D: I bow down to your greatness.

A: Oh my god, are you dying?

D: No. I don’t even think Bjork is dying during that track A.

A: Maybe not, but it’s pretty.

D: You know what else is pretty?

A: Ponies?

D: No.

A: Butterflies?

D: No, A—

A: How about Pearls?

D: A!

A: (Grins) Yes, D?

D: You are hopeless. And obviously have had too much sugar.

A: Or not enough.

D: Did your iPod ever forgive you for giving it the Blues last week?

A: Sort of. It keeps taunting me though.

D: How so?

A: With this:

D: (Snicker) Oh, that’s not very nice. Anything else?

A: Well, this one made me smile a lot – even if it was wishful thinking.


D: Right, because you’re closer to the Heart of the Ocean than you are to summer.

A: But if I were in the ocean, I would have to ask a very pertinent question.

D: What’s that?

A: Where Are We Now?

D: Oh boy, this is getting a little ridiculous, A.

A: You know what that’s called, D?

D: I’m afraid to know.

A: Friday. That’s what it’s called.

D: (Eye roll) Do you have any other music you’d like to incorporate into our dialogue?

A: Only that I intend to go ‘Rock’n Me’ butt off tonight?

D: Really?

A: Does it count if it’s at the YMCA?

D: Are you quite finished?

A: Yes.

D: Finally.

A: I mean no – there are two honorable – or not-so-honorable as the case might be for the second one – mentions for this week.

D: You know, you were supposed to limit these lists to 5 songs, right?

A: Yeah, well, when have I ever followed the rules, even my own?

D: Right. Never. So, these mentions?

A: The Woodland Realm. One, because it is beautiful and two–

D: I know, I know, it came from the Hobbit Soundtrack. You really do need to implement Jack’s suggestion. You listen to that all week long.

A: I know, but when it comes up in “all songs” I have to list it. It’s required.

D: Uh huh. And the other one?

A: Super Freak.

D: There’s no need for that kind of language, A.

A: No, it’s the song.

It came on just as I was pulling into work – that was the biggest grin I’ve had at 7am in a long time!

D: . . . .

A: Don’t give me that look. Helena had Pornographers on her site (and some incredible music that I cannot wait to go home and listen to!)

D: Uh huh.

A: Smile, Druid – you know you want to. Happy Friday everyone. Hope you enjoyed my musical adventure this week – thank you for stopping by, reading and listening! 

Living Musically – Yesterdays Edition

Worrisome Heart Image courtesy Google Images, marked for commercial reuse

Worrisome Heart
Image courtesy Google Images, marked for commercial reuse

D: I know what you did, A.

A:Um, pardon?

D: I know you cheated on your iPod.

A: Snitch.

D: You did, don’t deny it.

A: Okay, so the whole muttering “snitch” thing was more a surly acceptance of my guilt than a denial. Yes, I did it. I cheated.

D: Well, that takes the fun out of castigating you.

A: I know. You’ll find other ways, I’m sure. So I cheated, but I had good reason: Out of this whole, horrible winter, this week has been the worst, driving wise. Mostly because I think the plows have just given up in despair, and frankly, I don’t blame them.

D: How does this excuse your worrisome heart?

A: I think that might be cheating ears, D. I still love my iPod, it’s just sometimes I like my playlist better than its playlist. When I’m white-knuckling the steering wheel, there is nothing more jarring to the senses than to have a Mr. White Keys start blaring after a lovely sojourn with Beethoven’s 7th.

D: I suppose. . . Tramp.

A: That’s enough, now.

D: Hussy.

A: Oi, Druid.

D: Fine. I’m done. Did your iPod have anything to say about your horrid behavior?

A: It threw the only Fleetwood Mack song I own (Tusk) at my head.

D: Hahahahaha!

A: Yeah, and then we played Learnin’ the Blues.

D: Even better.

A: And then the Beatles reminded us of better times with Yesterday.

D: All of this was in order?

A: No, but it should have been. Then we had a bit of a chat over The Coffee Song.

D: Oh, see – there’s hope for reconciliation, yet.

A: And then, today, as I pulled into the parking lot at work, Rock-a-Hula came on.

D: Payback.

A: Uh huh. I’m sure we’ll get back on track. . .

D: Nice, A.

A: I thought so.

In the News


Drab, dreary and cold... this is what greeted me as Rock-a-Hula came on.  Maybe in six months or so, Mr. Presley

Drab, dreary and cold… this is what greeted me as Rock-a-Hula came on. Maybe in six months or so, Mr. Presley

A: Check out Ionia’s Reading Corner at Green Embers Recommends, for a spotlight of Ionia’s latest reviews from Readful Things Blog. While you’re there, you should also take a gander at all the other great editor spotlights and recommendations, including an excellent review of RoboCop.

D: For your mindless weekend pleasure, right?

A: That’s what I thought too, but Green had some great insights into the movie.

D: I’ll take your word for it.

A: No you won’t, but that’s okay. Green doesn’t mind. Elsewhere in reading, if you haven’t checked out the Legends of Windemere series, now is your chance – starting tomorrow, the first book in the series, Legends of Windemere: Beginning of a Hero, will be free.

D: Indeed – stop by Charles’ site, wish Luke and his friends a very happy first birthday, and then get yourself a copy of the book!


A: As anyone who has spent any time here will know, I love writing prompts. I try to do at least one weekly – it keeps the creative juices flowing when normally all I can think about is how – just how – am I going to explain the linear function of time doesn’t work the same way in Faerie as it does here.

D: Oh stop whining. You figured it out.

A: Yeah, but I haven’t written it yet – theoretical and practical are two different things, D.

D: Your point?

A: Even the most dedicated writer needs a break to fuel the muse. To the rescue? The Community Storyboard – the current theme is “From the Eyes of a Little One.”

D: And Chuck Wendig at Terrible Minds has a challenge that seems most appropriate for this “Living Musically” day – a flash fiction challenge using a random song on your player as the title of a story.

A: And then there’s Papi’ prompt, which I am going to do this week (honest), about how the Groundhog didn’t stand a chance.


D: No.  How about Rhythmic?

A: Yeah, that works. For more music fun, head over to our favorite Dilettante for her B-Side challenge/game/all-around splendid musical foray. She has better taste than my iPod this week.

D: And stick around for the fiction, ladies and gentlemen, because it is fabulous (PS: In case you haven’t heard, she has a Kickstarter for her Memoirs. Check it out!).

A: And that is it – happy Friday everyone! Thank you so much for stopping by and spending a little time with D & A.

Living Musically – Heart-Pounding Edition

simple-music-note-heart-276x259A: My beautiful romance with my iPod got off to a rocky start this week – or rather, an icy start. On Monday, it was literally too cold for it to work in the car. So instead, I listened to the blast of the heater as it brought the ambient temperature to a barely tolerable 30° F. Of course, on Tuesday, when it was actually colder (-10° F instead of -8° F), it worked just fine. And people wonder why I claim my electronic equipment develops minds of its own with the sole purpose of Gaslighting me.

D: Actually, I don’ t wonder.

A: If you were corporeal, I’d say you were the one doing it.

D: I would be, but alas . . .

A: And yet another argument for thought developing form. . . May I continue with Tuesday?

D: Be my guest.

A: Why thank you. With Tuesday came the whispering of sweet nothings via instrumental – a wooing tactic the iPod used to its advantage all week. It started with The Minstrel Boy, as done by The Corrs. It’s another song I didn’t recall owning, ever. Of course, it should not have surprised me: Irish national music and I have a love affair that goes back . . . well, sixteen years. Our passion (political) faded within the first five, but with distance and understanding, we’ve come to a good, occasionally heart-stirring, place.

Then, The Song of the Lonely Mountain came on.

D: Oh, by the gods – not this one, again.

A: Hush. You love it. I know you do. It wins by default, by the way—

D: Of course it does.

A: Oi! I’ll have you know I didn’t like this song when I first heard it, and I’m still not as fond of the movie version as I am of the one found on the Extended Edition soundtrack.

D: So you’re two-timing The Song of the Lonely Mountain? You hussy.

A: No – it’s more like if one were dating one in a pair of twins. They’re identical-ish, but you just like one over the other (and hopefully can tell them apart, because those hijinks and shenanigans could be dangerous. Fun, but dangerous).

D: You are hopeless.

A: I know. But I’m single, so I’m totally allowed.

D: I’m not sure your logic—

A: My blog, my logic – work with me here, Druid. Anyway, Lonely Mountain won me over, starting at 1:08 into the song.

Wednesday was unremarkable. I think I had a Jamie Lidell and a Paolo Nutini to make me smile, but by Thursday, the iPod started to get a little fresh. It put on Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana

. . . and Take it Off, by the Genteels.

D: Oh boy.

A: I know, right? Frisky monks and just plain old friskiness. So, I had a lot of reasons to smile this week. And then Friday rolled around.

D: Let me guess: it was a disaster.

A: If by disaster you mean the most perfect Valentine’s playlist that an iPod randomizing 2k songs could produce, then yes, a fabulous, wonderful, I smiled the entire way into work and not just when I have the freeway to myself to go as fast as I please, disaster.

D: You could have just said ‘no, it wasn’t a disaster, D.’

A: Well, that’s no fun. So here it is, the winning day:

1. Crying, Bjork

2. Careless Love, Harry Connick, Jr. . . for which I couldn’t find a YouTube video – so here is Ray Charles singing it.

Note: It wasn’t until Harry came on that I started to grin – the first one could have been a one-off, right? But with Careless Love, I started thinking, well, this is a good Valentine’s mix – not romantic, but certainly fun for the staunchly single.

3. Not Too Late, Norah Jones

4. Moon River, Audry Hepburn

Beautiful and bittersweet – right up my alley. And then, Eddie Izzard came on, waxing lyrical about the word “Bastard.” Be still my heart.

5. Bastards and Makeup

6. Shoot the Moon, Norah Jones

7. I Think I Love You, Partridge Family

By this time, I’m nearly at work. A traffic light is out, cars are backed up but I’m grinning like a loon because a) I like this song and b) I’m seeing a trend, and I love it.

8. Sea of Time, Beatles

A: That one was for you, D

D: Yeah, sure it was. 

A: And finally. . . 

9. #1 Crush, Garbage

Yes, folks, the iPod really does love me. Of course, it died right after #1 Crush – is being restored as I type – but it was worth it. It died for love.

D: Song of the Lonely Mountain still wins though, right?

A: Oh yeah. By a mile.

D: (Eye roll) Hopeless.

A: Yup! Good night folks – may you find love where you least expect it, and in the smallest of things! Happy Valentine’s Day.

Living Musically


Image courtesy Google Images, labeled for commercial reuse.

2014 is going to be my year, not of living dangerously, but musically.

I have a fair amount of music. Granted, much of it comes from soundtracks. I can’t seem to help myself. Perhaps it’s my way of reliving the movie, or as I used to do as a child, scripting my life and having my very own soundrack. Whatever the reason, I’m staring down 2336 songs, and that’s just what I allow on the iPod. There are perhaps another 1000 that don’t see the light of day except between October and December because they’re holiday songs . . . or Il Divo.

Of that 2336, I listen to about 100 regularly. A glance at my “recently played” and “most played” reads like a funeral gone majestic. With some calls for revolution thrown in for kicks.

So, here’s my challenge to myself (something similar to a New Years Resolution, but fun): queue the iPod to “all songs,” shuffled, on the way into work. That averages about 9 songs, which is great, given how many work days are left in the year. Admittedly, that is an imperfect calculation because I suck at math, but you get the idea. Each Friday, I’m going to feature the song of the week, one song of the many that I’ve rediscovered or has given something resembling meaning to my day.

I’m only doing this on the way in to work, mind. The day always starts out so hopeful, but on the way home there are going to be days I just want to listen to Florence + The Machine or Misty Mountains on repeat, challenge be damned.

This week’s favorites:

Oh, What a World, Rufus Wainwright – I forgot how much I enjoyed this song, and Rufus, and this song. 

Craic was 90 on the Isle of Man, Christy Moore – I didn’t even know I had this song until it came on this morning.

The Pitch, Moulin Rouge – Because Jim Broadbent makes me smile.

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, Monty Python – Because at 6:15 in the morning, scraping the car in -4 temperatures, hearing crazy Brits sing is probably the best thing to get you through the day.

Alabama Song (Whiskey Bar), The Doors – I loved it long before I heard it in At World’s End, but now that association make it even more fun.

And the winner:

Oh, What a World, Rufus Wainwright

In other News

D: So, I get no say in this year of living musically?

A: No.

D: Not even—

A: No.

D: Sheesh, tough crowd this morning.

A: Crowd? It’s just you and me, D.

D: And the guys in your head bantering about the non-sparkly vampires, per Papi’s Prompt.

A: (Coming to a Dialogue blog near you on Saturday) . . . that still doesn’t count. Anyway . . .

D: Don’t look at me like that, woman. I’m not going to interrupt again. Now who’s slowing down the show?

A: Right. So, the wonderful  Helena Hann-Basquiat, and her wicked alter-ego, Jessica B. Bell have some fantastic news:  The Best Medicine and Three Cigarettes are now available on Amazon for .99 each. Check them out, buy them, devour them, review them.

D: Not only that but, Pamela at Poetry by Pamela has published a collection of her love poems, Dreams of Love. Congratulations, Pamela!

A: Indeed, Congratulations, Pamela – the book looks beautiful, and I know your poetry is lovely. Elsewhere, Green has an incredibly funny post on the joys (or is that dangers?) of being a singleton on the internet. How he deals with them is hilarious.

D: How do you deal with that kind of thing?

A: I don’t – I have yet to be accosted by fake people on the interwebs.

D: That’s just sad.

A: Right? Instead I’m accosted by fake people in my head.

D: Wow, that’s rough. . . hey, wait–

A: And on that note, I hope everyone has a fantastic day! Happy Friday!

I’m back. . . but not like Johnny.

A: . . . because it’s Christmas, not Halloween.

D: That you make the distinction amazes me.

A: There is a a huge distinction between Christmas and Halloween.

D: Really?

A: Okay, in terms of colors, yes. In terms of pagan-ness? No.

D: Thank you.

A: I try.

D: So you aren’t in a snow-bound hotel fielding ghosts, but you are…

A: In a lovely home lighted by a million fairy lights and sung thematically to my sleep every night.

D: . . .

A: I have a lot of Christmas music.

D: How much i s a lot?

A: Um . . . 1, 2, 3. . . 641 . . . Sorry, numbers really aren’t my thing.

D: Numbers hurt Johnny, don’t they?

A: Yes. If only Mr. King had known that.

D: (With apologies to Mr. King)

A: (Ditto)

D: (Wait, you agree with me?)

A: (Only on every other Wednesday)

D: (Ah, I see . . . are we going to stop speaking parenthetically at any point?)

A: (How about now?)

D: Indeed. So, A: what brings you to the blog? I thought you had “better” things to do?

A: Oh, don’t get all moody on me, Druid. The play was spectacular. The time with the boy was even better, and the editing? My goodness, it was  a breeze. Is it a bad thing that I liked reading the story?

D: Maybe.

A: I gave you three more scenes.

D:  Oh well, in that case, I think it stupendous!

A: Thought so.

D: Does this mean. . .

A: Yes, D?

D: Does this mean, you are actually done with Book One?

A: Well. . .

D: Come on, A . . . don’t leave an old Druid hanging!

A: I guess. . .

D: Yes??

A: . . . Book One is done!

(The heavens erupt with joyous praise. . . oh wait, that’s just D breaking out his 1-man-band).

D: I knew it!

(Dancing and singing ensue. Best get a large mug of mead. This is going to go on for a while).

A: So, I know I’ve been absent from the blogosphere, and that makes me a very bad blogger, BUT!

D: And it’s a big . . .

A: Really?

D: I have been in your head for over 13 years.

A: May the Gods have mercy on your soul.

D: Well said. Anyway. . .

A: If you ever had any interest in being a beta reader for D&A/The Changelings Series, now is the time to say AYE! PDF copies of Book One, The Changelings: Into the Mist, will go out on Friday.

D: In other words, if you ever wanted to give A —

A: Or D —

D: What-for, now is your chance.

A: Thanks, D. (Check out the “Contact us” form at the end of this to sign up for a chance to read The Changelings: Into the Mist as a beta reader!)

I also want to say, to those who are still reading after our several-week hiatus, thank you. It wasn’t easy coming out of blogging-retirement, but at the same time, the absence  of connection made it necessary. It isn’t about platform, it isn’t about some amorphous “thing” for the published-author-in-waiting that makes me come back, it’s all of you. I’ve missed you.

I purposely put away email and connection, except for Facebook (still had to promote the play locally, of course), for a few weeks and it’s been kind of lonely. I’m usually okay with lonely, but this time around, not so much. So, I’m back. I’m back and I’m focused on capturing the Christmas Spirit, whatever that means. I want to share with all of you my Christmas love, which I normally have in abundance. It starts with music. I grew up with only 2 Christmas records: The Magic of Christmas and Bing Crosby’s Christmas Classics. Since then, I’ve amassed over 600 Christmas songs. The one below, it is my current favorite. Over the next couple of days, I’ll share my Christmas song highlights.

What do you think? What is your favorite Christmas/Holiday song? I mean absolute favorite? 

PS: If you want to be a beta-reader for The Changelings: Into the Mist, let me know in the “contact me” form below, or in comments.

Cheers and much love,