Bonus Post: Lyric Status Friday

Time is never time at all
You can never ever leave without leaving a piece of youth
And our lives are forever changed
We will never be the same
The more you change the less you feel
Believe, believe in me, believe
That life can change, that you’re not stuck in vain
We’re not the same, we’re different tonight
Tonight, so bright
Tonight

Billy Corgan, Smashing Pumpkins

One selection from many I love from Smashing Pumpkins. It is among those on my MP3, which is always with me on runs and walks.

Bonus Post: Lyric Status Friday — It’s Still Rock and Roll To Me

What’s the matter with the car I’m driving?
“Can’t you tell that it’s out of style?”
Should I get a set of while wall tires?
“Are you gonna cruise the miracle mile?
Nowadays you can’t be too sentimental
Your best bet’s a true baby blue Continental.”
Hot funk, cool punk, even if it’s old junk
It’s still rock and roll to me

Billy Joel

Call Me (Blondie song)
Call Me (Blondie song) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This and Blondie’s Call Me were two of the first 45 rpm records I owned. That was the summer after finishing third grade. A girlfriend hosted a sleepover birthday party at her home; and all guests were requested to bring a few 45s so that we could pretend to be contestants on Dance Fever.

Image Credit: Retroland, retroland.com

Remember that show? My sister and I were so enamored with that show. We weren’t groupies. But, we held dance contests on nights when our parents hosted late-night bridge or poker parties. We designed costumes, choreographed dances, boogied and scored performances.

Related previous posts …

Bonus Post: Lyric Status Friday — We Are Young

Creative Forces: Gotta Love Johnny Depp

Jonny Depp as Captian Jack Sparrow in Madame T...
Jonny Depp as Captian Jack Sparrow in Madame Tusauds in London, taken in June 2007. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am not one to post much about celebrities. It’s just not my realm of expertise. Further, I’m a bit removed from identifying with those who live to chase, take shots, jabs or whatever to sell gossip. While on a stakeout to investigate my son and his behavior issues at school, he spied me within 30 minutes of me being assigned to my post. So, I would get a big fail as a spy or paparazzi member.

But, I am not above giving kudos to creative forces in film who make watching movies an incredible experience. So, I might as well lead with my all-time favorite, who never disappoints me in any film he carries or supports. That would by Johnny Depp. I really revel in his ability to study and become the characters he portrays. While this little sneak-peek at his Tonto look does come off as a bit too much like his Jack Sparrow, I still think it’s a notable transformation. I am waiting with eager anticipation to see The Lone Ranger.

http://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/the-lone-ranger-johnny-depp-explains-bizarre-tonto-makeup-2012254

Bonus Post: Lyric Status Friday

My cousin Joe prompted me to share just one more post this week. On Facebook, he urged all his peeps to post lyrics as their status for today. So, without a doubt, mine is an excerpt from one of the Foo Fighters’ songs. The Foo Fighters are my absolute favorite band. I believe this talented group of artists will continue to crank out legendary music and lyrics everyone can relate to; and rock to. So, without any further delay, here’s my Facebook status for Friday, April 20 …

I am a new day rising
I’m a brand new sky
to hang the stars upon tonight
I am a little divided
do I stay or run away
and leave it all behind?

Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters

Related posts from kateschannel …

Thoughts About Music and the Foo Fighters (kateschannel.wordpress.com)

When I See Something I Like

On days when I am outta my writer’s chair, sometimes I see things such as movies, television shows, live theatrical or musical performances, and crazy stuff in my neighborhood. Most of the time, I just go on my way after seeing a movie or show. But, every now and then, I feel like sharing my opinion when I really like something.

So, that’s why I’m adding this category. Maybe you’ll agree with my posts; maybe you won’t.

Who knows? Maybe my posts will prompt you to check something out you might have passed up otherwise. That happens to me. I read and listen to suggestions.

Anyway, look for my post about the movie, Moneyball, tomorrow morning. I know. It’s already on pay-per-view. But, you know how it is. Too much to do, too little time. But, please check it out and leave a comment or two. I love to chat.

Book It Party Room: Kate Policani’s The Lustre

I am pleased to applaud and cheer loudly for the release of The Lustre, from blogger friend and author, Kate Policani. A short fiction piece that mixes it up with elements from Christian, Science Fiction, and Fantasy genres, introduces the Akataromai, an entrancing race of beings hidden within human society. Originating on Earth, they conceal themselves among the human population. They look just like us. But, mature Akataromai can live for centuries and feed upon negative Human emotions.

Policani tells the story of Angelina Quorra, an Akataromai, who is unique among her people. Like all Akataromai, Angelina is a human-looking girl who absorbs emotional pain. She might never die. However, she has a unique talent, called The Lustre, which enables her to also absorb physical pain. Anyone who feeds her achieves overwhelming pleasure. Angelina’s talent brings her great fame and great trouble. Her story is told by the men who adore her.

Review Notes:

The Lustre was a quick, thought-provoking read. I appreciated Policani’s concise, captivating story-telling. Further the characters are well-developed. I kept drooling over Luciano and enjoyed stepping into Angelina’s world for a spell. Also, the opportunity to view the story from multiple viewpoints reminded me of my all-time, favorite authors, Mary Higgins Clark. This writing style enables me to establish a deeper connection with the characters and the conflicts that play out. While not in agreement with his choices, I felt I was inside Jaques Trace’s rage and despair as he ascended to tragic levels of greed and envy. Lessons woven within Policani’s fantastical tale are real, timely, catalysts for reflection and discussion. The Lustre reminded me of how easy it is to covet others’ blessings, to succumb to greed, and to allow envy to cloud judgement. All of these human follies distract us from living, destroy even the strongest of relationships and break many hearts.

Author Bio:

Kate Policani is a homemaker and compulsive writer from Seattle. She has a wild imagination and an addiction to reading and writing. Her hobby is exploring and analyzing all kinds of stories. She uses them like a literary chemistry set to examine a variety ideas and concepts and to fuel her own writing. The Science Fiction and Fantasy genres are her favorites because the exciting flights of fancy make a thrilling plot. Every day is filled with the stories of those around us, especially in this information age. It is her passion to find what stories inspire her and others, and why they inspire. There are more than 80 stories waiting on her hard drive, incubating and developing for future reading! What will she come up with next?

Buy your copy of The Lustre at Barnes & Noble or on Kindle or Smashwords. Also, available on CreatespaceRed coverSlate coverBlack and Cream cover.

Literacy For All Minds

In order to develop my own writing capabilities and to better explore literary genres, I read; or at least I try. Sometimes my daily reading is limited to elementary-level readers and picture books. But, hey,  developing a love for literacy in young minds counts for something, doesn’t it?

Anyway, Issa’s teacher has a literacy program called Book It, which I love. In collaboration with all the second-grade classrooms, Issa’s teacher uses the program to help parents and students explore literary genres, together, and to help students build a love for reading. At the conclusion of each month, students submit a book report on what they read. This month we’re reading about Ireland and about how my grandmother’s great grandparents migrated to Oceola Township, Michigan from Ireland’s Fermanagh and Westmeath counties in the mid-1800s.

Like my daughter, I consider myself to be a student; and use various forms of literature as a component to improve my knowledge of various subjects as well as writing itself. Also, I enjoy having the opportunity to chat with successful authors about their professional journeys.

Therefore, I am introducing, Book It, a spin on Issa’s school literacy program and a new blog category. It will contain book reviews. My first will be on Kate Policani’s, The Lustre.   She is a new blogging friend I admire; and she put me on her list to be a part of her virtual launch party, which includes a chance to review the story before it is released to the public. I’m busy putting up party decorations to help all of you get into the frenzy. I’ll let you know when my Book It party room is ready for all of you to have a look at The Lustre.

Why I Blog: Seven Reasons

There are a gazillion reasons why I blog. Here are seven.

1. Therapy. Like exercise, writing is an outlet for stress, negative energy and toxic thoughts. The act of writing enables me to think more objectively about parenting, marital conflict, peer relationships and other domestic issues; and often opens my mind to considering viewpoints beyond my own. This encourages a positive spin to my posts and sometimes allows me to solve problems fueling me with  stress, negativity and toxins.

2. Practice. Just like anything else, writing successfully requires replication. It takes a certain practiced finesse to string words together in a fashion that makes sense and that encourages readers to feel, think, comment, or share. This finesse just doesn’t happen magically; at least not for me.

3. Develop my craft. I suppose this is similar to practicing. But, I see it as a separate purpose. One reason is development of my craft requires more than just writing. It also requires reading fiction, non-fiction, short stories, essays, magazine/journal features, news articles, blogs, poetry, etc., etc. The more I expose myself to writers who have already achieved success as authors, journalists, screenwriters, bloggers, etc., the more inspiration I have for making my own writing better. There are so many willing to share tips on how they achieved their success. Why not tap into that expertise?

4. Build an audience. When I began my blog, I knew finding readers would require studying successful blogs and traditional media that have achieved a significant number of followers. The techniques used to building an audience is similar those used to find new business opportunities for my previous employers. I still have yet to leverage all of these tools to their fullest potential.

5. Building my brand. Since there are so many fabulous writers out there as well as other forms of media begging for attention 24/7, establishing an identity that connects with readers is a key objective. Since I have not published anything with a byline since college, I figured a blog would put me on the right path in meeting this goal.

6. Good company. I am a social creature. Sitting quietly in my chair all day at my desktop or laptop is not what gets me off. The network of writers I circulate with through my blog and other social media platforms is a motivator to write as often as possible. Some are accomplished, published writers while others have other professions and interests they love to share. This gives me a broader view of who I share this planet with. I love chatting with people, learning about others’ interests, and reading what others have to write about their life experiences. My blog enables me to connect with people I wouldn’t have a way of getting to know otherwise.

7. My children. While both of my children are in the early elementary phase of their academic journey, there is considerable emphasis on literacy and language development. If the two witness my commitment to reading and writing daily, I am hopeful they will  follow my lead. My daughter loves books and does apply a great imagination to creative writing tasks at school.

So, why do you blog? I would love to read about your reasons.

Related posts at my blog …

Schedule It

So Much to Write

Words Are Mighty

Also, here are some fave blogs with recent posts about writing …

Linda Cassidy Lewis

Sarah Smiles Awhile

Limebird Writers

The Tattered Thread

 

 

NaNoWriMo: In the End

At 11:10 pm, November 30, my word count surpassed 7ok. Clearly, I had made the 50k mark in my first annual NaNoWriMo challenge. But, I told myself my form needed polish. The story read like a 5k without that explosive sprint to the finish line.

So, there I sat listening to Foo Fighters’ Everlong. Do I risk it? If I edit, I could get tripped up or sidelined. I might not make it before the buzzer goes of to call the race. As I considered my options, I kept hearing Jillian Michael‘s voice from her cardio kickboxing DVD.

“Don’t cheat me!” she shouted.

Did I ever mention I hate alarms? They interrupt all the important stuff like sleep, dreams and sex. I think it’s better to let nature tell me when it’s time to wake up, go to bed, walk the dog, or write.

Besides, I just wasn’t content with my story. I kept rehashing the plot in my head. Was it exciting? If I was snuggled on my couch reading late at night, would I fall asleep or stay riveted to the action on my pages? Did the characters have enough to make an audience scream sequel?

As I reconciled the plot, it was midnight. For some reason I didn’t care that the race was officially over. I wanted my characters to feel closure to their story; or have plane tickets to the next destination in the series of adventures I am plotting for them.

So, I centered my attention on making a strong finish despite the time. If the story had just finished playing out on a big screen some-where, would I leave wanting to discuss it with my girlfriends; or would I march myself to the ticket booth to demand a refund?

In the end, I was satisfied enough to consider this very rough draft of my first novel finished. It has been left on my desktop to ferment.

Like my love for wine, it will call to me this Friday. It will tease me. I will be tested to ignore its pleas for a reread.

Thankfully, I have a new, temporary family member to care for. Santa sent Neptune, one of his elves  to keep watchful eyes on Issa and Riff through December 24. There are rules Neptune must follow to in order for his magic to work. His magic enables him to fly to the North Pole each night and to speak elf to Santa while discussing Issa and Riff. This added responsibility to my domestic law enforcement duties keeps my writing addiction in check.

Plus, there’s that Sunday night football contest between the Detroit Lions and the New Orleans’ Saints. I love football and continue to think the Lions can turn in a victory; even without Ndamukong Suh.

Related previous posts …

NaNoWriMo: Weeks 3 and 4 – Gory Scene Stealer

NaNoWriMo: Week 2 – Where It All Started

NaNoWriMo: Week 1- Setting the Stage

My First 50k

 

NaNoWriMo: Week 2 – Where It All Started

It all started in eighth grade, actually. That’s when I really knew I wanted to write. My English teacher was the first to point it out.

She read an essay I wrote — to the entire class — about a short story the class had read together. To this day, I still remember writing it. I had arrived early at my grandma’s home for a family reunion. Since my cousins had not yet arrived and I had this to write, I sat down and wrote.

Toward its completion, there was one word I wanted to use. It would give the essay that extra you-know-what. But, being brought up in a Catholic household, using the word was frowned upon. Plus, this essay was for my eighth grade English class. Would the teacher send me to the principal’s office or send a note home to my mom? The word in limbo was Hell.

In the end, I said the Hell with it. It went in. My teacher didn’t call my mom or issue me a detention. She read my essay along with two others to the class. I believe the difference was my choice of words. I took a risk.

To me, the success stories in the creative world are all about taking risk. Those creative forces — writers, filmmakers, actors, photographers, artists, designers, stylists, painters, chefs, etc. — who inspire me all push the envelop to evolve, develop their talent, and achieve their goals.

At the start of my freshman year at Western Michigan University, I took another risk, which was to write for the student newspaper, the Western Herald. Originally, I planned to stay away from the newspaper’s office in the basement of the bird cage until sophomore year. The rational, safe side of my brain said to get a grip, focus on studying, and adjust to “college” life.

My intuition said, go for it! Why wait? So, I went for that initial orientation and picked up my first story assignments from the entertainment editor and then progressed to writing news and feature stories. The risk taken afforded me the opportunity to meet and work with some of the finest, creative forces spinning our planet today.

Plus, I…

received freelance writing opportunities at a community newspaper in my hometown;

attended campus and sometimes city events (sports, cultural, concerts, etc.) for free;

watched — with active engagement — my more esteemed peers cover a student-lead, campus-wide protest and sit-in;

learned not to mix fruit-based alcoholic drinks with grain-fed brew;

went trick-or-treating at the then-university president’s home;

covered the 1992 elections;

influenced slumlords renting to students living off-campus to take complaints about horrific living conditions seriously; and

admitted to the guilty pleasure of wanting to know what was happening around me before anyone else.

Here’s a shortlist of links to some of my j-school peers…

http://blog.mlive.com/knapescorner/index.html

http://www.twaingirl.com/

http://fountainsportfolio.blogspot.com/

http://redwolf5150.livejournal.com/

http://www.cheerswineconsultants.com/Cheers%21_Wine_Consultants/Home.html

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kalamazoo-Gazette/114253861922693

http://www.thecenterformichigan.net/about-the-center/

http://colleaguesinternational.org/

My inspiration for this post all started from viewing a photo a former Herald colleague shared on Facebook. See the vintage Mac below? We all used to write our news copy on dinosaurs such as this.