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Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Work-out writer: Music to get you off your ass – excuses just piss me off – time for some WHUPOW, y’all.

askyourdoctorWelp, did y’all think I wasn’t going to come back to this here blog? Nah. I’d never desert it. However, this here’s what I believe: you can be a good writer but that doesn’t mean you can keep up a good blog with tantalizing posts and goldenfire words that draw people by the hundreds–hell, I’m lucky if I draw people by the tens *haw haw!* Same goes for books – you can kick the ass of writing to whoopeetown and back, but if’n you ain’t got a story, then all you have is a bunch of well-written words strunged together–what? strunged ain’t a word? It is now — haw!

So, while I have a good ole time on my Facebook page (and it’s a regular ole Facebook page and not one of those “like” thangs so come join in), I’m not as blabbity here. There are so many other blogs out there that are kick ass and where the blog writer knows just what to do to make it shine. I learned how to tell a story in my novels and am doing pretty well in that regard with my readers (y’all are big ass buckets of awesome!), but I still haven’t learned how to take a blog and make it kick ass. Dang! I’ll leave that to the Blog People on High.

cartoonDSC08450-001So have you been working out? If you are shaking your head no, then come here. Come.Here. Closer. Cloooosssseerr. CLOOOOOSSSEERR. *FWAP!* that’s me smacking you upside your head! Get your ass out there and get moving! I ain’t play’n! And same goes for writing. I don’t want to hear no excuses. Shut up. Excuses piss me off. Yeah. Now, come here. Come.Here. Cloooseerr. Naw, I ain’t going to smack you again! I just was going to plant a kiss where I smacked you, cause I’m sweet like that *MUWAH* I know you like it.

If you are looking for some good heart-pumping music, I am suggesting the 50 Techno Trance Anthems collections. I have three of the volumes and am quite pleased with them. Most have that beginning that starts you off, then builds you to a frenzy, then pulls back a bit, and then WHUPOWS! you again–great for interval training, for which I strongly suggest you try.

I don’t listen to music while writing, so it’s up to you if you use this music for that. But it’s good for traveling, too, or cleaning the house.  These are the three I have – you can purchase them from iTunes for your iPod or shuffle, or from Amazon as MP3 or whatever.

Get moving. Get Writing. Stop whining. Stop complaining. Okay, you can whine and complain sometimes–I know I do!–but if’n you are doing that and not accomplishing shit for shinola, then it’s time to take stock.

Now go kick the ass of the day!

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Friday Photos/Video: Cove Walk & Novelists Who Can’t Sing & Et Cetera

A novelist and her laptop – a love story Part One – to be continued . . .

I am The Worst Dang Singer EVER . . . I dare you to post YOUR singing – haw!


My brother composed this music for Virginia Kate

My debut novel Tender Graces and the video Bellebooks made – I was so excited!

Then when Secret Graces came out, I tried to make one – lawdy!

Okay all y’allses – I have a visitor coming who has never been to the states! Then, I’ll be flying out, leaving GMR and the dawgs here, to visit my Granddaughter, Son, and DIL in Oregon. I am hoping to post ahead of time for my first and third of the month posts -Don’t Forget Me! :D (Note new posting schedule to the right – )


Bluegrass . . .

While winding along I-40 one morning, the sun roaring over our Smoky Mountains with every bit of arrogance the sun deserves (and only the mountains can face the sun without averting a gaze), I listened to Bluegrass—the soul-filled mournful fiddle crept up the back of my spine and settled there, vibrating until my entire body strummed and thrummed.

The roots of Mountain Music, our Bluegrass music, arrived here with the immigration of people from Ireland, Scotland, England, Africa. Early settlers of Western North Carolina were Scots-Irish, and when they arrived, they brought with them their songs and their fiddles and they expressed the human condition through their vocal and instrumental storytelling, passing them down from generation to generation, each voice, each instrument, each condition molded and formed to fit, yet at the same time, as ancient and consistent as mountain life itself.

In those early pioneer days, women generally weren’t allowed to play banjo or fiddles, so they sang, passing down from mother to daughter their musical stories. The story-songs had as big impact on Bluegrass music as the instruments. Listen to the tone of their voices and hear the plaintive melancholy that seeps into the bones and stays there, a part of the marrow, a part of the people who live in and love these mountains.

Scottish influence wasn’t all gloom and woe, for they brought their love of fun and dance with them, as well. Cool mountain evenings brought laughter and music as ancient as these old mountains, and the connection from Scottish Mountain to Western North Carolina Mountain cannot be mistaken when the ear is tuned to the past intersecting with the present.

From the sideboards of American homes, Bluegrass music entered living rooms live from the Grand Old Opry from the musical stylings of Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs, Chubby Wise, and Cedric Rainwater. Live performances are something we radio listeners do not get much of now with the onslaught of recorded music, and yet, without the recording of music, how much of the old mountain music would reach the ears of a population who will never sit on a front porch and stomp a foot in time to soulful renditions mourned out as if from the pricking of skin to let the music bleed away, deep red and thrumming, dripping down into the mountain earth where up springs a unique, rich, and varied mountain life and its song.

Now you all know I always say for us to support our writers, musicians, artists!

So, here’s a few places to check out bluegrass, or variations of it, and feel free to add your own in the comments if you like:

The Get Down Boys

Steep Canyon Rangers (this is the Western North Carolina bluegrass band that actor/writer/musician Steve Martin joined up with)

The String Dusters

Robert Frost’s Banjo

My brother’s “california bluegrass – Saga of Virginia Kate” (and again, as I’ve said – I do not receive compensation for this! It goes to the musician, of course!)

(photos all taken by kat magendie)

A spring weekend? Hike to Secret Ancient Whale Back Rock! And SWEETIE ARC copies . . .

not whale back but another ancient secret place

This weekend is supposed to be warmer than we’ve had in . . . I don’t remember; sometime in fall? It may heave up to 50 degrees. If so, I’m going to hike up to the secret place where Whale Back Rock is and do a Sweetie reading right there. If you’ve read Sweetie, you recognize Whale Back Rock – it makes several appearances, and is based on a real boulder. It takes at least an hour to get there, if I remember right – been a while since I’ve hiked up there. It’s serene and lovely and ancient and undeveloped. I hope it stays that way. If something “big” ever happened with my books, I’d buy up as much land as I could to protect my Killian Knob and surrounding mountain area to protect them from further development.

Someone’s comment reminded me to say that I’m going to record the reading at Whale Back, so people can watch/listen/see :-D.

My musician brother Michael has made me some music – his interpretation of Bluegrass/Celtic music (he plays rock). It’s a contemporary take and even has Fionadala’s hoof beats in it! He named it “The Saga of Virginia Kate” (The Graces Novels). I put a sample draft video with his music on my FB page, and hope to have a trailer or some kind of video made from it soon that I can post here. If you want to hear it, just ask and I”ll send you the link, or go to my FB page. My other musician brother, Johnny (who plays jazz/blues), is creating his interpretation and I’ll be using it for videos as well. So exciting! I have gifted brothers.

Okay: I have some ARC copies of SWEETIE that BB sent me to use as I wish! An ARC is Advance Review Copy; it was also my Galley Proof – the galley proof is what my publisher’s send to me to read for One Last Look before it is published -that’s the last opportunity I have to read for errors. As well, those copies are what are sent to reviewers, because they are printed in advance of the actual publication date and are printed more inexpensively (though it’s hard to tell really). Whomever gets one of these copies knows that it usually will contain errors. At this point, however, there aren’t changes to the story, only nits and typos and last minute things, like for example, in the Sweetie ARC a name is wrong towards the end (has Billy instead of TJ), and et cetera.

So, if you review books, contact me and I’ll send you one. If you don’t review books but have always wanted to, then go ahead and contact me, or, place your request with your email in the comments section. Of course, if you hate it, pretend I didn’t send it to you *LAUGHING* okay, I’m kidding *laugh* I’ll give them away until they are gone.

Now, y’all go have a great day and a wonderful weekend!

Angels of Venice, Lionheart, and Virginia Kate . . . music without words . . .

Good Morning!

I was thinking about “muses” and what inspires creativity. Though I do believe that if you wait for inspiration to come, you may spend a lot of time waiting and little time doing. For me, I see the actual doing as creating the inspiration. So, when I sit down to write, and put my fingers to the keys, and begin writing, then inspiration comes. I don’t want to wait for it. I spent far too many years having to wait for my dream — a dream I buried deep during the years I couldn’t allow myself to remember what I wanted. To go around waiting for inspiration to strike me is a waste of any time I have left in this old world. I am prolific (in what I have in my files, not necessarily what will be published) only because I know I have to just sit and write; however, it is what I love to do and I find no struggle in the actual writing — yes, there are “struggles” to being a writer, but, the actual writing is not one of them for me.

I do find inspirational surges when I am in nature, and especially when I am deep in the woods and my mind wanders as it becomes a part of all that is around me.

Music can create those surges as well. Though I can’t listen to music as write, unless perhaps it is Music Without Words, and then only certain kinds and in certain circumstances.

There is this one piece of music by Angels of Venice, called (appropriately) LIONHEART that I have on a Natural Wonders cd. Every time that music played, I imagined Virginia Kate riding up her mountain, then there would be snatches of “scenes” from the beginning of the book – she’d be thrumming up the mountain on Fionadala’s back, and first she’d be a young girl, but by time she reached the ridge, she was a woman, turning turning to release. The beginning of the book, where I have the part in italics (below) all came from this piece of music. I’d listen to it in my car and sometimes I’d cry — the image of VK was so strong and so real, I’d get goosebumps. I’d say, “Go VK … Ride! go!” and I’d dream of the day she’d be published so that you all could envision her as well. And now she is published. . . when I listen to LIONHEART now, I am still overcome, but now I know others can envision VK flying up the mountain.

I wanted to use this piece, or a portion of it, for the trailer, but there are copyright laws and all that, so I couldn’t.

Here is the Angels of Venice website.

Here is (link won’t work! sorry! dang!)– I’m not sure this link will work so you can listen, especially when to the fiddles come in, that’s the point where I’d get the goosebumps. I hope the music plays.

Here’s one of the things I wrote to go with that music, what I visualized as the music played:

Grandma Faith wavers in the mists, the wolf calls, the owl flies, the mountain is. Up up I go on Fionadala’s back, her hooves thundering. I see my child’s eyes only, through the closet keyhole, dark eyes are open, then closed. Thundering hooves, up the mountain we ride. At the ridge I stop, take Momma from my pack. And there, with mountain song rising, with fog wetting, with Fionadala nodding her head, with the fiddles of the old ghosts of old mountain men crying, with the voices of all I’ve lost and all I’ve gained, with the mountains cradling, with the West Virginia soil darkening my feet, with Momma’s cry of “Do It!” I open her vessel, and as I twirl, turning turning turning, I let her out—she flies out with a sigh, with forty thousand sighs. As I come to rest, she settles upon me, settles upon the trees and mountain and rock, settles, then is finally stilled. The owl cries, the wolf calls, the mountain is, Grandma Faith nods. Momma is a part of it all now.

Now, you all have a good day: Go DO the day–and don’t wait for inspiration, find it in the Doing.

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