clarentine: (cavalier)
Ah! I've been struggling to identify music which will work to conjure the main characters in Lynch; bluegrass/folk/Southern balladry is so very much not my usual era or prior area of interest, but it's what these characters want.

Tonight, I acquired the latest Mumford & Sons CD, and I got a nice, solid click: Calvin. Some of this will suit his personality exceptionally well.

I still need to pin down theme music for Lucie, Calvin's love interest. I'm stuck at the scene where she appears on screen for the first time. (Well, stuck for that reason, and because of some other Real Life stuff bogging down my conscious and subconscious mind. Fingers crossed I can get that handled in the next week or so.) A dayjob work friend of mine is much more up on this music than I am. I think I'll ask for her suggestions.

Other stuff that's working for this book: Fleet Foxes (that's Jody). Sarah Jarosz (theme, I think, rather than a specific character; I had thought this was Lucie's music, but it doesn't conjure her. Or maybe I just don't know her well enough yet). Riverside (Calvin, again.) Trapezoid (Martha, maybe?). Hank Dogs (thematic). Crooked Still (also Martha). So many groups I had no inkling of before starting to work in this book universe. See what writing does? Step through a door, and open your mind to possibilities unseen! This, now--this is magic. This is the joy of writing for me.


Gardeners will appreciate why I say this: sometimes, January is one of my favorite times of year. Not only is there little back-breaking work to be pushed through outside, but there's a stack of seed catalogs and, after dreaming over them, the satisfaction of actually choosing the varieties to be ordered and holding new seed packets in my hand. Daylight's growing noticeably longer already, less than a month after Midwinter. At this point in the season, anything is possible.

May it be a good one for us all.


Nov. 21st, 2009 08:29 pm
clarentine: (Default)
Here, have a helping of the true colors of autumn in Virginia in all their brilliance:

True colors of autumn

Those are Zelkova, Liriodendron (tulip poplar), Acer (maple), Viburnum, and Prunus (cherry). Needless to say, it's been an absolutely stunning autumn - see my Flickr page for further examples.


I went to the library today. It had been so long since I felt like I had enough free time to read that my card had expired. *g* Nice librarian lady got me reactivated without a hitch.

Based on a review in Realms of Fantasy, I picked up Joe Abercrombie's debut novel, The Sword Itself a few weeks back. I finished that last week. Verdict: odd, in that it's really, really hard to figure out who you're supposed to root for, but I can definitely see why this novel got chosen for his first. I'll probably pick up the second book, which is out now, if I remember correctly. I want to see what happens to the people I decided I cared about. *g*

Currently on my desk is The Watchmen, which looked intriguing in the book club flyer. I'm not a big fan of comics and superheroes, so getting used to the format is uphill work for me, but thus far I haven't put it on the Not For Me pile. (I have to admit that the banner on the cover announcing it won a Hugo is helping a lot with that decision.) I now also have waiting for me a new (?) Arturo Perez Reverte/Captain Alatriste novel, Laura Esquivel's Like Water for Chocolate, Jim Grimsley's Comfort and Joy (a perennial re-read at this time of year, and I think it's about time I chase down a copy for myself) and a novel by an author I used to read so I can see if hir writing has improved or if s/he is still on my Don't Bother list. The odds on escaping the DB list are long in this case.

Help me out here: what would you recommend that's come out in the past couple of years, while I've been head down in novels? What have you read and enjoyed? Here's your chance to plug the favorite that no one else seems to have heard of.

(That I've moved from comfort re-reads to new stuff is a good sign. My poor brain cells are so crispy.)


Coupled with the ability to read new stuff is the realization that I need new music. I've bought six new albums in the past week. If you like melancholy atmospheric stuff, allow me to recommend Air's album Pocket Symphony, which had been on my Amazon wish list for a long while based on airplay on Radio Paradise. (Yay for Radio Paradise!) I've also rediscovered a couple of REM albums that I have but never put on my computer and so have not received any play in probably six years. The album called Chants, Hymns and Dances by Anja Lechner and Vassilis Tsabropoulos has also proven listenable. I'm hopeful for the Mari Boine disc, once I get around to giving it some air time at home where I can turn it up (rather than at my dayjob, where one does not raise the volume).


Oct. 1st, 2008 04:34 pm
clarentine: (Default)
NPR has just introduced me to a new group, a chamber ensemble called Ethel. >:-) Follow the link to Amazon and check out the sample from the piece by composer John King called Shuffle:

This may very well be the first Amazon MP3 I purchase; I'm not sure enough about liking the rest of the CD to spend $20 plus shipping, but I really want that song.

Link Salad

Jan. 24th, 2008 08:38 am
clarentine: (Default)
I started to put this in my email archive, and decided I could also archive it here for later retrieval and to perhaps infect others with my amusements.

Calexico is a band I heard first on Radio Paradise ( and liked very much - so much so that I've ordered one of their CDs (Feast of Wire). This link is to a live performance:

(I don't know if this interest of mine in things Western is due to recent movies (Brokeback Mountain) and books (Emma Bull's Territory) I've enjoyed, or whether those things brought back to the fore a longstanding preference. I suspect the latter. And I'm pleased that the rest of the world seems to be set to deliver more for me to enjoy. ::grin::)
clarentine: (Default)
I can tell I'm getting geared up to work on another story; the need to research has returned.

This story, the one I'm planning to work on for [ profile] novel_in_90's next round, which begins June 1, is about pirates. And botany. (And, unlike a certain other naval series (of which I have only read two books, quite deliberately, so as not to tread on toes), this particular botanical adventure features the botany as an integral portion of the plot, not just a series of character-building interludes.) And the realities of life in the Caribbean in the early 1700s.

Which realities include malaria and a batch of other lovely tropical diseases, but it's the ever-present malarial fevers that I was researching this past week. In keeping with my habit of inflicting nasty things on my characters, I've got one who recently contracted the disease and is now having to deal with the feverish unsteadiness that comes with it. He'll realize he's been afflicted soon enough - though not what he's afflicted with, as that bit of scientific knowledge hadn't yet arrived on the scene. It'll be my secret, mine and the audience's.


The CD I recently commented on purchasing for the express purpose of getting my mind ready to write this book - Rogue's Gallery, a collection of Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, and Chanteys - has been on my playlist a lot lately. There are some very fine renditions on there: Blood Red Roses (Sting), Fire Down Below (Nick Cave), Bully in the Alley (Three Pruned Men, I kid you not). There are also some truly lewd lyrics (Good Ship Venus, by Loudoun Wainwright III, on the second disc) and some very weird things (Dan Dan, by David Thomas) that defy description. I haven't really had a chance to give a thorough listen to the second disc, as a matter of fact, because I've been listening at work and that second disc is by no means work safe. *g*

At any rate, if you or someone you know enjoys honest sea-themed songs, this is a good collection, if uneven to my ear. I think I'd have preferred the lewd stuff safely tucked onto just one of the discs, instead of scattered amongst the other, gentler songs. The effect is sort of like stepping from the front parlor into a whorehouse.


Apr. 27th, 2007 09:07 am
clarentine: (Default)
...and what, to my wondering eyes did appear, but an email message from an agent I recently queried, asking for the first 50 pages of Cavalier Attitude.

In a spring that has been non-stop effort on several fronts at the same time, this is a bright spot. I'm trying not to get too excited. *g* Because, of course, she could get those 50 pages and decide the story wasn't moving in a direction that pleases her, and reject it. Rejections will always outnumber acceptances in this business, and it's well to remember that, as well as that it *is* a business. This is not my heart being judged; it's my novel, but it stands on its own. It has to.

So, in addition to all of the other deadlines I'm juggling, I'm focusing tightly on those first 50 pages, making sure they say exactly what I need them to say. Oh, nuance, how I love thee. And how complicated a beast you are to manage!

In other news, and along the lines of that research thing I was doing earlier, I bought some music today that will inevitably influence the writing. Maybe, just maybe, the pirates will come out to play again after listening to Rogue's Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs and Chanteys. The self-titled Rodrigo y Gabriela cd, an instrumental fusion of heavy metal and acoustic guitars which I heard pieces of on NPR's Saturday Weekend Edition, ought to be useful when it comes to revising the [ profile] novel_in_90-generated draft of Bells of Leon y Cantara. And I am not sure what Lisa Gerrard's latest, Immortal Memory, will influence, but I'm sure it will. I listen to selections of her earlier efforts with Dead Can Dance and in movie soundtracks (most notably the soundtrack for The Insider) all the time when I want that deep, bittersweet, achingly depressed mood that makes the words flow for so many of my characters.

Onward! (For, of course, there is no going back, and no sense looking over your shoulder. You don't want to see what's catching up.)


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