Archive for June, 2015

Fratellis Seven Nights Seven Days on MVM

Last time I had a Fratellis video here it was 2011, and the band had split after two albums. Turns out that split was a five-year hiatus, with a new album released in 2013 – and a 4th album due out this August. (The reunion and new albums was only recently discovered. I have, of course picked up # 3 and pre-ordered # 4.)

This week’s track, in celebration of this news, is from the third album (We Need Medicine).

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Approaching Biltmore – December, 2010

Through the trees along the driveway, just before the right-hand turn for the grand approach to the front of the house.

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Google Maps – Expanding to Yosemite

I’m not a climber. Correction, I’m not a rock climber – I’ve been known to climb up and around things – hillsides, trees (when I was younger), but rarely going vertical for more than a few feet unless it’s a climbing wall (and even that’s a rare thing for me, at this point).

Which is why I think it’s cool that Google Maps is diversifying their available locations, even into parts of nature. Specifically, there’s currently [24 June 2015] a link on the main Google page linking to an exploration/climb of El Capitan in Yosemite. Now I’m tempted to go write something…

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Thursdays, Renamed

You might have noticed the last post carried a new sort of title. The repurposing of the “Repurposing” thread has been completed, and the name has now been changed to “Story Prompt Thursday.” likely to be shortened to “SPT.” The “Repurposing” category will continue to be used for those entries for easier continuity.

As a reminder, the plan is still for it to be a photographic thread, interesting images from around the internet (with the images themselves hyper-linked back to their source).

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Story Prompt Thursday – In the Forest

Is it morning? Late afternoon?

This one easliy lends itself to Fantasy: I’ll admit, one of my first thoughts here is of the Hobbit, maybe the early entrance to Murkwood… or of the scene in LotR: Fellowship, where Frodo & his hobbit company first encounter the Rider, just after leaving the Shire.

But there are other possibilities that can be explored. What sort of stories do you see here?

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Post-MFA reflections

It feels odd, writing this now – as opposed to when I actually graduated back in January. The thing is, this is the first June since 2012 (when I started) that I’ve not had to make the trip for school. I won’t have to make that trip again – I can, and likely will (there is a separate Workshop that runs concurrent with the June Residencies that I might try to present at), but that’s the fun part. That would be as a professional gig, under different obligations than as a student.

To say there is a unexpected, heightened, sense of withdrawal right now would not be incorrect.

It’s a feeling that I’ve not had from any of my other programs. It’s the connection based on the power of stories – of exploring them, creating them and helping to make them better – shared by people with similar visions. Residencies were heady experiences, once the initial shell-shock of the first few days wore off.

Add to that that the guest speaker for this Res is Chuck Wendig, an author I have been following for the last few years. He’s actually someone that has a fairly good following within the program, at least among the Spec Fic writers.

In that vein, a few bits of Wendig-ian advice, appropriate to this initial post-MFA period that I’m going through – and a reminder to those just starting:

And oldie but goodie that I’ve shared before:

A Writer’s Prayer:

Speaking to the process:

And finally, where Neil Gaiman says, “Make good art,” Wendig offers a more blatant battle cry for the trenches:


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And the Music Fades… James Horner, RIP

James Horner, film composer, has been reported killed during a plane crash. Odds are, you’ve heard his work at some point over the years: Avatar, Titanic, Braveheart are three of his most notable works, but he’s had steady credits since the late 1970s. Actually, looking at his list of credits [follow the above link] is impressive… I didn’t realize just how much of his music I had head over the years: Star Trek 2 & 3, Willow, Cocoon (1& 2), Commando, Aliens, Glory. Field of Dreams – and that’s just a handful that I could list from my youth. Mind, all of those were from before I was into music to the point of seeking out film scores and being able to identify the composer’s other projects.

As a (prose) writer, my process has evolved, but one thing that I tinkered with before, but become a regular fixture while working on my MFA thesis, is using film scores as background music while slinging ink across a page, or while keying in revisions. The Avatar score was a huge part of that listening. I’m sure more of his music will find it’s way into what I listen to while writing, I’m just sad there won’t be any more*.

* There are three more films due out this year that he composed for... It seems he was also working on the Avatar sequels, but it's too early to know if anything has been written for them.

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Stay (Wasting Time) on MVM

Dave Matthews is one of the few acts that I regret not having seen live – a decade ago. (Yes, I realize they are still touring, but I have three kids now, so the odds are highly in favor of attending only a very few concerts at this point.) I had tickets, once, but ended up giving mine up due to work issues (during my internship, IIRC).

This week’s selection is from one of their live show releases… Live at Folsom Field.

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Dark Flower – Denver, 2010

Taken June 2010, in Denver… I think at the Botanical Gardens.

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Repurposing – Cliffs of Norway

(click the image for credits and view the original site)

There is an interesting statement at the original site, about seeing this view from a ship. My Spec Fic sensibilities took hold, and started spinning off into world building: Is this a normal structure, or manmade – like a giant submersible thing? What would it be like to encounter this from the sea? Encounter the sea from above the cliffs? What would the society living there be like? Any vessels? Caves that could serve as a port? This speaks to me as something principally for a Fantasy setting, but could see it work for science fiction – a crash landing perhaps?

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