Sunday, June 24, 2012

Comments Fixed

Apparently there had been issues with my comments button not working properly, so now I have fixed the problem. I also have my share buttons at the end of my posts back. So share and comment away!

Random Song Of The Week #4

Weezer -- Say It Ain't So
Album -- Weezer (Blue Album, 1994)

Oh yeah.
All right.

Somebody's Heine' is crowdin' my icebox
Somebody's cold one is givin' me chills
Guess I'll just close my eyes

Oh yeah
Feels good

Flip on the tele'
Wrestle with Jimmy
Something is bubbling
Behind my back
The bottle is ready to blow

Say it ain't so
Your drug is a heartbreaker
Say it ain't so
My love is a lifetaker

I can't confront you
I never could do
That which might hurt you
So try and be cool
When I say
This way is a waterslide away from me that takes you further every day (hey)
So be cool

Say it ain't so
Your drug is a heartbreaker
Say it ain't so
My love is a lifetaker

Dear Daddy,
I write you in spite of years of silence.
You've cleaned up, found Jesus,
things are good or so I hear.
This bottle of Steven's
awakens ancient feelings.
Like father, stepfather, the son is drowning in the flood

Yeah, yeah yeah, yeah yeah.

Say it ain't so
Your drug is a heartbreaker
Say it ain't so
My love is a lifetaker

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Romania In Pictures

One of the places I would love to go before I die -- Romania. Below are links to a web forum for photographs I found one day dinking around. Many many gorgeous photos to browse through. Sit back, relax, and enjoy a virtual tour of one of the most beautiful countries in Europe.

Romania In Pictures

Romanian Castles

View of Poenari Castle (top left on cliff, barely noticeable), the Castle Dracula, and surrounding area, the place where several scenes of my novel take place. Just, try to picture no road or bridge there and the river with more water. Click on photo for better view.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Random Song Of The Week #3

Johnny Cash -- One Piece At A Time
Album -- One Piece At A Time (1976)

Well, I left Kentucky back in '49
An' went to Detroit workin' on a 'sembly line
The first year they had me puttin' wheels on Cadillacs

Every day I'd watch them beauties roll by
And sometimes I'd hang my head and cry
'Cause I always wanted me one that was long and black.

One day I devised myself a plan
That should be the envy of most any man
I'd sneak it out of there in a lunchbox in my hand
Now gettin' caught meant gettin' fired
But I figured I'd have it all by the time I retired
I'd have me a car worth at least a hundred grand.

I'd get it one piece at a time
And it wouldn't cost me a dime
You'll know it's me when I come through your town
I'm gonna ride around in style
I'm gonna drive everybody wild
'Cause I'll have the only one there is a round.

So the very next day when I punched in
With my big lunchbox and with help from my friends
I left that day with a lunch box full of gears
Now, I never considered myself a thief
GM wouldn't miss just one little piece
Especially if I strung it out over several years.

The first day I got me a fuel pump
And the next day I got me an engine and a trunk
Then I got me a transmission and all of the chrome
The little things I could get in my big lunchbox
Like nuts, an' bolts, and all four shocks
But the big stuff we snuck out in my buddy's mobile home.

Now, up to now my plan went all right
'Til we tried to put it all together one night
And that's when we noticed that something was definitely wrong.

The transmission was a '53
And the motor turned out to be a '73
And when we tried to put in the bolts all the holes were gone.

So we drilled it out so that it would fit
And with a little bit of help with an A-daptor kit
We had that engine runnin' just like a song
Now the headlight' was another sight
We had two on the left and one on the right
But when we pulled out the switch all three of 'em come on.

The back end looked kinda funny too
But we put it together and when we got thru
Well, that's when we noticed that we only had one tail-fin
About that time my wife walked out
And I could see in her eyes that she had her doubts
But she opened the door and said "Honey, take me for a spin."

So we drove up town just to get the tags
And I headed her right on down main drag
I could hear everybody laughin' for blocks around
But up there at the court house they didn't laugh
'Cause to type it up it took the whole staff
And when they got through the title weighed sixty pounds.

I got it one piece at a time
And it didn't cost me a dime
You'll know it's me when I come through your town
I'm gonna ride around in style
I'm gonna drive everybody wild
'Cause I'll have the only one there is around.

[Spoken] Ugh! Yow, RED RYDER
This is the COTTON MOUTH

Huh, This is the COTTON MOUTH
And negatory on the cost of this mow-chine there RED RYDER
You might say I went right up to the factory
And picked it up, it's cheaper that way
Ugh!, what model is it?
Well it's a 49', 50', 51', 52', 53', 54', 55', 56', 57', 58', 59' automobile.
It's a 60', 61', 62', 63', 64'. . .

Happy Father's Day!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

New Hair

Okay, this has nothing to do with writing, but I just wanted to blog about my new do. Wednesday I spent a good chunk of my day off work at the salon and had my hair cut and colored. I went in there for the haircut because my thick, long hair was getting out of control. And it was unhealthy and hard to brush and full of split ends upon split ends. It had been two years since scissors touched my long locks of frizzy, wavy, dish water blonde hair (with a touch of carrot), and it was long over-due. I had seven inches taken off, which still left my hair fairly long to probably five or six inches below the tops of my shoulders, then layers were cut out on top of that. The cut certainly helped the wave in my hair become more bouncy. I like it! My fingers slide on through my hair without getting all tangled up in it, and when I put it in a ponytail my hair actually stays off my back and much of my neck. Great for summer!

The color was something I hadn't planned on doing. I looked in one of their mirrors and said to myself I needed to do something about this awful color. So I found a color I liked in a hairstyle book they had laying around and pointed out to the hairstylist that was the color I wanted, a nice strawberry blond color. Picked out the color from their sample book and she went on to mix up the dye and applied. Rinsed it out and what I saw in the mirror was definitely not strawberry blond, but a deep auburn red. I was not happy. At first. The color has grown on me and now I think I'll keep it for a while. Everyone who has seen it likes it a lot. I don't know if they're just being nice or if they are being sincere. Who cares. I like it, and that's all that matters.

Old me with blond hair, though not much to see, it's the most recent photo I have.

New me. My boyfriend needs to learn to use the camera better. Ha!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

You You You

It's not all about you. Oh wait--in second person perspective it is! Currently I've been working on a scene, (albeit very slowly, life kinda has put the brakes on my writing for a bit) where this point of view perspective I believe, I hope, is going to work for the scene. The rest of the book is in third person, sometimes close, sometimes a little more distant, all depending on the scene, which in the edits and rewrites I'll make it my goal to transition everything more into a closer third perspective. This scene, though, will most likely be the only one in second person point of view, unless I decide to delve into it again with another similar scene.

The reason for this little change up isn't to be show offy, it's because for the point I'm trying to bring across in the way I want the reader to see and feel in this particular scene, I believe second person will work best. A lot of peeps don't like second point of view, and I'm not too thrilled with it either, yet for this short scene I think it'll work. Second POV comes off to some as pushy, like the narrator is telling you how to feel, what you should see, what you should do, like in those Choose Your Own Adventure books I used to read as a kid. 

You think everything is about you.

However, that is what I want. A little bit about the scene in question--Vlad, the main character in the story, has been going through a bout of melancholy, so bad that he has attempted to kill himself. In his final attempt he slices up his arms with a shard of glass and nearly bleeds to death. Anna, one of my other character's healer woman (Vlad calls her a witch), does what she is told to do, heal his wounds. She knows, though, if his mind isn't healed as well, he'll keep attempting to kill himself until one day he succeeds (or so she believes). Vlad's call on her being a witch isn't too far off, she's also a mystic, and in this scene I'm writing she delves into his subconscious through hypnotism, which is where the second point of view comes in. She's directing him into what she wants him to see, to feel, to smell and so forth, her objective having him realize his life is important to not only himself, but for all of those that care for him. Everything in this dream-like state she puts him through she has control of. He hears her voice, which is in the second perspective in as close to her voice through choice words as I can, in italics, and he responds back to her, his words in quotes. Here's a bit of an example:

Floating, flying on unseen wings, above the tops of trees, toward the azure sky. The sun is bright, warm upon your skin. The breeze gentle, the air flowing through fingertips, rippling your clothes. Your wavy blond hair. The air is so clean, so fresh up here. There! A cloud, white and cool as you float through its mist. Ah, but you must come back down, beautiful. This is not where you need to be.
“But I don't want to leave. The ground below, so far, and green, above, the blue sky. I want to fly higher.”
You can't! Down back to the earth. You are not finished here. In a field so green, dotted with wildflowers, the mountains in the far distance. The forests behind you. What is that you hear?
I hear—laughter. A child's laughter.”

 Of course, this is just a sample, and in first draft mode, but I hope it illustrates what I'm trying to explain and I think it'll work for what I'm trying to achieve. Now, onto finishing the scene. Butt in chair time.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Random Song Of The Week #2

Ludovico Einaudi - Divenire - Live at Royal Albert Hall, London
Album - Divenire (2006)


Possibly, my favorite composer.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

For Whom The Bell Tolls

János Hunyadi
No, I'm not about to blog about the novel by Ernest Hemingway, or the song from Metallica of the same name. I'm speaking of the church bells that chime at noon. I never had any thought as to why church bells chime at noon, it was always a thing that just was. One day, I couldn't tell you when, during one of my researchscapades for my novel, I came across some interesting bit of info. Yeah, it has to do with the church bells chiming at noon. Some of you reading this may already know why and the importance of why they chime at noon, some of you may not. They chime in commemoration of two men, but primarily for one: János (John) Hunyadi, and for the other, Giovanni (John) da Capistrano.

Giovanni da Capistrano
I've written a scene where the son of János Hunyadi, the king of Hungary Mátyás (Matthias, or Matthew) Corvin, is telling the tale of his father's brave fight in Nándorfehérvár (Belgrade) to my main character, Vlad, over-looking the cities of Buda and Pest from a balcony in the palace. Here's the scene as it is now in its first draft form, which may or may not stay once the novel is complete:

It must be noon,” the king said, “the church bells are ringing. Do you know why they ring at noon, Vlad?”
They ring for János Hunyadi, the White Knight of Christianity.”
Yes, my father. Remember me telling you at breakfast about his greatest feat being in Nándorfehérvár?”
Now I shall tell you the story. In Fourteen Hundred Fifty and Six, the Turks had siege of the city in June of that year, entrapping my uncle Mihály Szilágy and his garrison of six thousand within. My father arrived on Fourteen July with his troop of ten-thousand knights and cavalrymen and with Giovanni da Capistrano, a seventy-year-old Franciscan monk, and his army of twenty-thousand poorly equipped peasant recruits. Altogether they had built an army of thirty-thousand against Sultan Mehmed's force of seventy-thousand.”
They were outnumbered. I wonder what went through the minds of the men when they saw what they were about to be up against?”
No doubt they were afraid, yet Capistrano was said to have been a very passionate orator and instilled his troops with such enthusiasm in the cause that any fear the men may have felt would have been choked down and replaced with pride. The night my father and Capistrano arrived they broke enough of the Turkish navel blockade on the Danube to reach the city's garrison and provide them with much needed food and manpower. The war continued until came a lull on Twenty-two July, when the Turks took to burying their dead. More reinforcements came to the city during this time, and it is also when a strange turn of events happened.”
The king removed his hat and used it to fan his face. He wiped the sweat from his brow and continued, “It is said my father gave an order that no one was to go outside the walls of the city, but some of Capistrano's crusaders ignored the order and crept into the Turkish camp and began harassing them. The Ottoman cavalry tried to disperse them without success, and soon they were joined by more of Capistrano's men and with those of my father's, escalating into a full battle. Capistrano tried to hold back the men at first, then turned to leading them, shouting, “The Lord who made the beginning will take care of the finish!” He took the Turks from behind, my father captured their cannons, and through all the chaos, the Turks began to retreat. The sultan's Janissary troops tried to recapture the camp without success. Sultan Mehmed took to fighting and was rendered unconscious when wounded. After the Ottoman retreat, the defenders kept alert for a counterattack which never came.
During this battle, Pope Callixtus the Third ordered the bells of every church to ring at noontide as a call for all believers to pray for the defenders of Nándorfehérvár. News of the victory reached some countries faster than the order, and thus it was changed to commemorate my father's and Capistrano's victory. Now you know for whom the bells toll.”
What happened to your father and Capistrano after the battle?”
Unfortunately, the plague swept through Nándorfehérvár and killed many who fought in the battle, including my father. He died Eleven August, and Capistrano two months later on Twenty-three October.”

So there's the gist of the story of the siege of Belgrade, after which Sultan Mehmed had a new-found respect for the Hungarians and especially of Hunyadi. It would be another 70 years before the Turks attack Hungary again and win in the Battle of Mohács. Learn more here and here of the Battle of Belgrade.

Hunyadi and Capistrano lead in the Battle of Nándorfehérvár

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Random Song Of The Week #1

I came up with the idea the other day and thought it would be a fun little thing to do. So, every week on Sunday at midnight I will post a new Random Song Of The Week, any ol' song from any ol' genre. This week's random song:

Dead Can Dance -- How Fortunate The Man With None
Album -- Into The Labyrinth (1993)

You saw sagacious Solomon
You know what came of him,
To him complexities seemed plain.
He cursed the hour that gave birth to him
And saw that everything was vain.
How great and wise was Solomon.
The world however didn't wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It's wisdom that had brought him to this state.
How fortunate the man with none.

You saw courageous Caesar next
You know what he became.
They deified him in his life
Then had him murdered just the same.
And as they raised the fatal knife
How loud he cried: you too my son!
The world however didn't wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It's courage that had brought him to that state.
How fortunate the man with none.

You heard of honest Socrates
The man who never lied
They weren't so grateful as you'd think
Instead the rulers fixed to have him tried
And handed him the poisoned drink.
How honest was the peoples noble son.
The world however didn't wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It's honesty that brought him to that state.
How fortunate the man with none.

Here you can see respectable folk
Keeping to God's own laws.
So far he hasn't taken heed.
You who sit safe and warm indoors
Help to relieve our bitter need.
How virtuously we had begun.
The world however didn't wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It's fear of God that brought us to that state.
How fortunate the man with none.

--poem by Bertolt Brecht, from the play "Mother Courage"