I was skimming through an online newspaper this morning and read an article about a first novel by a career politician which I had to look up on Amazon (because I’m a curious wench) and someone who gave it a one star sounded a bit snide so I looked up their other recommendations (to see what they actually liked to read) and there were no other books at all (which is suspect) but there was a five star review for a music album by the Amalgamation of Soundz which was described as Trip-hop electronic jazz (or something like that). Not having heard of Trip-hop (because I live in the Twilight Zone) I had to look up the band (it might be one guy playing ten instruments - I’ve no idea). The book wasn’t my cup of tea, but I bought a song and plan to buy more. I bought this one… Enchant me - here’s a link to Youtube - this is the radio version.
The original seven minute version is quite relaxing and works well on repeat (I like listening to songs that work on eternal repeat when I write). Music is very personal. If you don’t like it just roll your eyes at me. Just because the music makes me feel like I’m sitting in a Laundromat looking at old magazines as an extra in a B film devoid of plot or meaning (and enjoying it)…doesn’t mean you have to join me. You might have a laundry phobia. That would be uncomfortable! Perhaps that how Stench punks started? I used to live in a building with some. They were pleasant people - from an olfactory distance. However, if you like visiting Laundromats (even when you have no clothes to wash) feel free to join me in the movie!
Lately I’ve been obsessing over certain smells (imagine being in the grip of an overwhelming compulsion to search out a smell and inhale it and you’ll begin to understand - it’s bad!). I love the scent of an old clean Laundromat, but if I could have any smell in the universe (right now) I’d be inhaling the smell of a diesel school buss - the old ones with green plastic seats (there would be no other people on the bus - it would be full of red rubber balls). I’m sane (at least for a few more days). I’ve even been writing! It feels good.
I’ve been interview by the Romance Magicians! They don’t do tricks - they’re romance writers!
I came across the website back in 2009 and was enchanted by all the different personalities (they’re actually a Southern chapter of Romance Writers of America). It’s a lovely mix of published and waiting to be published writers who take turns writing blog posts and sharing their experiences and knowledge or latest novels. (more…)
Every now and then you come across a book that sucks you in and makes you glad the author has already written several more books in the series, because if she hadn’t you’d probably explode in frustration. This, for me, was one of those books! Having finished the third book in the series (I stayed up all night) I’m now forced to wait…however looooong before the next one to find out what the heck happens next! Be warned the third book ends on a seriously steep cliff hanger. I’d almost call it cruel!
Just One Damned thing after Another by Jodi Taylor is not a Regency romance, but it is a romance set in England (Taylor is English) and it does take place at various points in history (though not the Regency). If it was a movie in England it would get a 15 as there is some sex (though not a lot), but if you love time travel stories that are funny with a romantic element (though there are sad moments too - real life is always a mixture) - if you love fast paced stories that drag you around by the nose…you will LOVE LOVE LOVE this book. It’s also super cheap.
Before you go look it up on your e-bookstore of choice… As Taylor points out, one of the theories of time is that it’s like a flowing river (or something to do with water)… A day or so after finishing the second book I came across this song by The Wallflowers (I’d never heard of them before) called Everybody Out of the Water. It’s like they condensed the series into a song! I should explain that in the lives of the employees of St Mary’s something or someone is ALWAYS exploding, getting burnt/getting burnt down, getting wet or running for their lives. I’ve been listening to this on replay!!! Here’s a link to the song on Youtube!
I did have a Flicker account (past tense), but I kept forgetting I had one (it really has been that sort of year) so that was money down a black hole. I’m now sharing favorite photos on 500. I don’t know why it’s called that, but I love the number five so it works for me. It’s super easy (and it has a good free version), so (if you’re interested) when I’m not sharing photos on my blog I’ll also be sharing photos there (you can see the photos as large as your screen which I love). Most so far are older ones, but I was in Stamford on Friday and I found some really magical shots by the river (or I should say reflected on the river - minor details). It was a long exhausting day, but it was gloriously sunny and I found a few books at my favorite bookshop (St Mary’s Books). They sell all sorts. Everything from cheap paperbacks to rare collectors items. I nearly fell over the book ladder, but I managed to retain my dignity (which is just as well as I was wearing a knee length skirt and purple tights).
Yesterday I watched an amazing video-talk on TED - Brenee Brown’s: The Power of Vulnerability. It’s funny, deeply poignant and produced several bright light-bulb moments that made me see myself in a new light! If you haven’t seen it I highly recommend it. I now understand why and how I’m mutating back into the girl I was at 12. That girl is my most authentic self; she’s the Cari who defiantly wore her heart (dreams, feelings, agonies) on her face with her head upright because she knew it was harder than pretending otherwise. She was wasn’t always kind or happy (she whined endlessly about not feeling well - some things never change), but she tried to be kind and tried to focus on the positive. From the outside her life prospects appeared grim, but she was always busy dreaming up impossible adventures (a number of which we’ve actually accomplished). I want to be that me and over the last few months I have felt more like her. One can’t go backwards, but we all have an authentic self buried under whatever fears we’ve allowed to warp us out of recognition. (more…)
This evening I was looking up paper dolls on Youtube (trying to get ideas for a project I’ve got forming in my head) and came across the phenomenon of BJD’s (or ball jointed dolls). These are sculptures you can dress! I found endless videos of teenagers and grown women unwrapping large packages containing their anticipated doll so out of curiosity I went in search of prices (and nearly had heart failure). The basic price is just the naked doll without eyes or wig! I’m not a doll collector (my dolls have all been rescued - they’d be offended to be labelled a collected object), but these ball jointed dolls are amazing. They come in all sorts of sizes and endless variety of styles. I watched a tutorial of someone sculpting a doll head out of paper clay and I think I’ll have to buy some clay and have go. Here’s one I’d buy if I were a rich girl… Actually I’d have to have two…He’d be lonely without a heroine to have tea with. (more…)
I spent most of December and the first two weeks of January mentally deep diving. I received emotional whip lash when one of my oldest friends died unexpectedly. I’ve known her since I was twelve. Her death followed a week or so after another friend’s husband died after a year long battle with liver cancer. He was a good man; a true hero! It was very sad. I bought some songs that reminded me of my friend and listened to them on repeat while I sewed frogs. I’ve no idea where the obsession came from, but late November I decided I had to have frogs on my Christmas tree. Using old sweaters and old bedpillow stuffing I covered the tree with frogs and most other flat surfaces in the living room. It felt soothing.
All the mental deep diving has had a strange positive side effect on my creative side. It’s as if all these different sides of my artist are waking up all at the same time. Whether it’s feeling mortality’s chill breath or the fact my brain is starting to heal; I’ve had numerous projects and stories churning in my brain at all hours. (more…)
I was researching an old book by E Beresford Chancellor (trying to find if anyone had read it before I spend money buying a copy) when I came across a new book out this year (I’ll have to get) titled “Literary Celebrity, Gender, and Victorian Authorship, 1850–1914″ by Alexis Easley about literary tourism in the Victorian age and how that affected the wider culture. The page that popped up mentioned a poet named Christina Rossetti. My brain came to a stop as it tried to compute a female name before Rossetti (the famous painter Dante Gabriel who apparently was also a poet - I missed that somehow, but then he’s not one of my favorite artists). I had no idea he had a sister who was a famous poet. Being a curious wench, I had to look up her work. It’s very Victorian! For all curious people who love glimpses into the forgotten past I highly recommend her poem A Bird’s Eye View. I imagine the author (an aging spinster dressed in black silk - the stiff bombazine sighing with every slight movement) sat in some room made dark by heavy blood red velvet curtains half drawn; her corset holding her so rigidly straight only her head can bend down over the small desk holding her paper and ink well. How could she not write depressing poetry with a neck ache?
I’m now off to read more!
Today I’ve been researching England’s Holy Wells (you never know where the curse of curiosity will lead or what insanities it will breed) and I came across a text by a R.R. Rawlins written in the year 1823 titled; On the Ancient Custom of Decorating Wells with Flowers etc. In capturing a custom, Rawlins unwittingly captures a moment in the lives of ordinary people. As I was reading his descriptions of making the floral decorations I stopped and thought about the men and women who, after exhausting daily chores, gathered flowers and constructed these elaborate decorations for their local Holy Wells. The time and energy that went into creating these decorations must have been considerable. Rawlins was some sort of churchman so there’s a religious flavor to his reminisces, but that too is very Regency.
This event was a big deal; his text closes with, “The day concluded by the visitors partaking of the hospitality of the inhabitants, and being gratified with a well-arranged band, playing appropriate pieces of music at each other’s houses; and had the day been more favourable, and free from rain, a greater attendance at Church and the Wells would have been witnessed.”
It’s only three pages long. I highly recommend reading all three pages to get the full flavor (he starts out with a brief history of May Day), but if you just want to read about Holy Wells…start the fifth paragraph down where it reads: “The flowers used on this day…’
Morning sunlight is burning through a passing patchy blanket of clouds. My corner of England is forecast rain later today. I haven’t decided whether I should return my library books or wait another day. I suspect in either case it will rain. Hello November! The perfect day for ‘November Skies’ (by the Danish artist Tomas Barfod). I LOVE this song (listen till the lady starts singing before deciding whether you’ll like it or not - there’s something about the layers of sound - it makes me feel like I’m snuggled up inside where it’s warm while the rain lashes the windows. Lovely!