Tag Archives: Music

What Life’s All About….

April really didn’t quite go to plan for me, at least as far as my authorly existence is concerned. You may or may not know that, for reasons entirely too complicated and uninteresting to explain here, the time I have available to be “Nicky Wells, Author” has been cut in half since the beginning of February. By and large, the implications for my readers are negligible as I am abounding with ideas for books, and I am working fast and furious when I can. Moreover, I’ve had a bit of a strategic realignment in terms of how I spend my time. I mean, come on, I was a project manager in a previous lifetime—workflow management is my specialty, and crunched agendas don’t intimidate me!

So I took a long hard look at how I should spend my author time, and I made some adjustments. As a result, the time I dedicate to actually producing product—writing books for you, my friends!—has barely been affected.

However. Every now and then, life will throw up a few wrinkles, and April was one of them. Through the entire month of April, I managed a grand total of fifteen hours of work on my books, if that. Why? Grab a chair and a cuppa and find out…

5 April—Older Son’s Birthday Party
My older son celebrated his ninth birthday in style at a local leisure centre, and the grandparents came to stay with us for advance celebrations for the weekend. Lots of fun and cake was had, my gorgeous nine year old was chuffed beyond belief by all the presents and attention, and writing didn’t seem important.

Superhero cupcakes for a superhero ninth birthday party!

Superhero cupcakes for a superhero ninth birthday party!

7 April—The Big Rock Concert
Monday, 7 April, was not only the first day of the Easter holidays, but also the day of The Big Rock Concert. From about nine o’clock, I was busy dealing with the excitement of my two children as they got ready for their first rock gig ever. In the early afternoon, we drove over to Nottingham for the FM, Europe and Foreigner concert. We took the opportunity to link up with some old friends for dinner beforehand, and then we launched ourselves head over heels into the rock extravaganza.

The Big Rock Gig--the boys' first--and we loved every minute... Especially when Europe delivered The Final Countdown!

The Big Rock Gig–the boys’ first–and we loved every minute… Especially when Europe delivered The Final Countdown!

8 April—Older Son’s Actual Birthday
If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ll know that we like to party here at the Wells house. Certainly by the end of this post, you’ll be convinced of the fact. So either way, it’s no surprise that in addition to the ‘pre-party’ on Saturday, we also celebrated my son’s ninth birthday in style on the actual day.

Of course we had a proper birthday cake 'on the day'. S.H.I.E.L.D., as made by birthday boy and dad.

Of course we had a proper birthday cake ‘on the day’. S.H.I.E.L.D., as made by birthday boy and dad.

12 April—Wedding Anniversary (Number 11)
Yup! Eleven amazing years! With all our normal babysitters literally being out of the country owing to the Easter holidays, we elected to turn our anniversary day into a family celebration. We amused ourselves cooking up a feast of home-made ravioli, filled with lobsters for the adults and four cheeses for the kids. If you’ve ever made ravioli from scratch, you’ll know that this can easily take up a day. We had cake and fizz and snacks and music in between, and it was glorious. Writing? Errr…

Homemade Lobster Ravioli... the best anniversary dinner ever!

Homemade Lobster Ravioli… the best anniversary dinner ever!

19 April—Unscheduled Day Trip to Bristol
The week following our wedding anniversary passed in a blur. We made Easter decorations, baked cakes, and went on outings—work can wait, right?

On Saturday, 19 April, we travelled to Bristol for the day to visit one of our children’s best friends who was in hospital with a burst appendix. We left Lincoln at seven a.m., arrived in Bristol at just after eleven a.m., and dashed to the hospital to see the patient. Our visit lasted only twenty minutes, and those were spent in shifts as the poorly patient couldn’t have more than two visitors at a time, but it was absolutely one-hundred percent worth it to see her little pale face light up.

After we said our farewells, we dropped in on some other friends, and then some other friends… and some other friends still. We turned the day into a flying-visit-bonanza of epic proportions with three rounds of tea and cake and a big dinner, and we had an absolute blast.

20 April—Easter Sunday
The traditional egg hunt took place a little later than planned owing to our very late arrival back from Bristol the previous night. Eggs duly found and gathered by the kids, we went to church, cooked lunch, watched a movie, and ate altogether too many chocolate eggs. Did you know that you can’t possibly work on a book if you’ve overdosed on chocolate?

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter!

24 April—Husband’s 40th Birthday
As if April hadn’t been eventful enough already, my husband also celebrated his fortieth birthday. The kids and I spent ages making him a special commemorative present in the week leading up to the Big Day. On the day itself, I got busy organising a surprise dinner and putting the final touches to the surprise cake party. Birthday boy himself didn’t want a fuss, of course, but you’ve got to, for your fortieth, right? I arranged for several friends and their children to creep quietly into the house while the boys and I distracted Jon in the kitchen with his steak dinner. When everybody had arrived, we allowed Jon to go into the hitherto locked up dining room, and everyone jumped out and shouted ‘surprise.’ The look on my birthday husband’s face was, as the saying goes, priceless.

Happy 40th Birthday, Jon!

Happy 40th Birthday, Jon!

26 April—110 Reasons to Celebrate
To round the month off perfectly, we had a big party in the local village hall celebrating all in one go: all recent family birthdays, our wedding anniversary, and our moving-house anniversary. Family from near and far and friends old and new came together to dance, sing and make merry—kids ‘n’ all. The Higgledy Piggledy Band took us through our paces in many a round of ceilidh dancing, and everybody had brought food to turn the buffet into a veritable feast. At one point, I was invited by Tom, the caller, to demonstrate a dance (what, who, me, with my two left feet?) and a little later in the evening, the guitarist decided to go rock and launched into a rendition of ‘Mustang Sally’, for which he summoned me to be backing singer. I accepted the challenge, although I requested backup from a friend, and it was an exhilarating if possibly slightly out-of-tune stage debut for the both of us.

Let's party! Actually... I really wanted to include a party photo here, but I was so busy having a great time, I never even got the camera out of the bag. LOL!

Let’s party! Actually… I really wanted to include a party photo here, but I was so busy having a great time, I never even got the camera out of the bag. LOL!

The highlight of the evening, however, was to see the many smiling faces of parents dancing with their kids, of kids dancing, and of everybody having a whale of a time.

Getting my priorities right…
With all of these goings on, it is fair to say that during the month of April, I didn’t overachieve, as would usually be my wont. There are many things I wanted to do that I never got round to. However! Everything that needed to get done has been done to bring you my next book on time. Editing, proofing and cover design is all under control. Fallen For Rock will be out on 3 July. Watch out for the cover reveal in late May!

Meanwhile, the whole family is buzzing with happiness and memories right now. We had a truly outstanding month with many events we will never forget. When all is said and done, that’s what life is about. Rock on!

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CentreStage with Jo Lambert~Getting in the Groove with Plenty of Music and… E L James!

Welcome to CentreStage!

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CentreStage showcases fabulous authors from around the world. These authors might tell you about their books, their lives, their pets, children or canal boats… or their inspiration. Inspiration is quite a popular theme, as it is one of the most frequently asked questions for any author. “What inspired you to write…”

Today, the fabulous Jo Lambert talks about an unexpected (by me, that is) combination of inspiration. Jo and I have known each other in Cyberspace for… oooh…. eons! It wasn’t until I moved to Lincoln that I discovered that Jo practically used to live round the corner from me (relatively speaking) down in Bath. We missed the chance to meet and rock out together to one of our joint favourite bands, so Jo is visiting virtually today to make up for lost time. Take it away, Jo!

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Whatever captures my imagination…

Great to be here and many thanks for inviting me to join you on Centre Stage. As you know we have two big things in common – a trilogy (although I’ve already finished mine) and a love of modern music. So I thought while I’m here I’d chat about what have been for me two very important influences.

Whoop! I’m all ears.

WhenTomorroComes_Cover_AVATARI don’t think the Behind Blue Eyes trilogy could have been written without the aid of all the great music from that the sixties – a time I was also growing up in a provincial town much the same as Ella and Matt. A lot of the trilogy is therefore autobiographical and was easy to write. Of course it was an extra-ordinary decade too, a cultural revolution – the clothes, the new-found freedom young people were experiencing, not forgetting the music. Because one of the central scenes for theLoveLiesAndPromises_Cover_AVATARbooks is a club called The Mill, the trilogy is peppered with references to popular songs of the time and creating a playlist to use to accompany my writing also provided me with an instant personal connection.

TheGhostOfYouAndMe_Cover_AVATARFor instance, ‘Hello-Goodbye’ by the Beatles, brought back memories of a twenty-first birthday party I attended and ‘My Generation’ by The Who reminded me of my college days. With all this music going on in the club, it wasn’t surprising, therefore, that I soon decided to incorporate a rock band into the storyline. A natural development as it seemed to me that romance and music were beginning to go hand in hand.

BetweenTodayAndYesterday_Cover_AVATARBetween Today and Yesterday, the sequel to the Behind Blue Eyes trilogy, set in the late eighties, featured another rock band called Rosetti, but this time I kept song references to a minimum. If there were any, they were purely fictitious ones which were performed by the band. Somehow it seemed this story did not need the same treatment as the trilogy as all the principal characters were mature grownups. My playlists were there, of course, full of songs I had picked out which were relevant to the narrative, only now the music was purely for listening purposes. Once again romance and music were combined in this story, albeit in a slightly different way.

TheOtherSideOfMorning_SMALLFor my fifth novel – The Other Side of Morning – which I’m currently in the process of writing, I’m still in music mode – If I had to describe it I guess I would call it the sequel of the sequel. We’re now in the mid-nineties and this time Rosetti’s front man has become a big solo star with an ego to match. The music is still there but the story itself has been influenced by – you’ll never believe it – E L James! No, I’m not about to write a novel about BDSM, but I did read ’50 Shades’. It was Christian’s intense possessiveness with Ana that made me want to write a novel which dealt with obsession. And so the new book centres on a three-way love affair, one woman loved by two very different men and an obsession so strong that it ends in devastating consequences for all three of them. Once again music tracks get only a rare mention in the book, the playlists I listen to, as with Between Today and Yesterday, are the key to the writing and one of the main influences has been a band I know you’re a great fan of – Dare.

*Nicky cheers and dances* Indeed!!!

And the future? Well at present my energies are totally taken up with writing the current book. However, there will obviously be another book in the pipeline by this time next year. Whether it will be a continuation of the lives of the families who live in Little Court Manor or something completely different I’m not sure, but one thing I can guarantee is that it will definitely involve romance and music!

Excellent news! Just my cuppa, then. Rock on!

Once again thank you Nicky for having me here and good luck with Sophie’s Run.

Why, thank you, Jo, it was my pleasure having you here today. Thank your for a fabulous post and I adore all your covers, btw. You have such a strong brand: totally awesome.

Now tell us where we can find you…
Ok, then… I have a blog, of course, and a website. I’m on Twitter as @jolambertwriter and I’m on Facebook, too. You can find my books on Amazon!

About Jo Lambert
Jo Lambert lives in Bath, Somerset with her husband, small grey cat Mollie and Bridget, a white MG Midget affectionately known as her husband’s ‘other woman’.

So then: music and hot stuff…. what gets YOU in the mood for writing? And readers ~ can you tell what inspired an author when you read their books?

CentreStage with @KatieMettner ~ And The Rhythm Is Going to Get You!

Welcome to CentreStage!

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CentreStage features amazing authors from around the world. These authors might share with your stories about their lives, their writing, what inspires them and what brought them to write in the first place. Today, it is my enormous pleasure to welcome the amazing Katie Mettner to CentreStage.

Katie is truly an inspiration in every conceivable way, and most certainly in the ‘keeping your spirits’ up department. Even with a stinking cold or a splitting headache, Katie sends out happy vibes and positive tweets at all times.

Oh yes, and that’s how we bumped into each other, in Twitterland. Over one of her funny and laugh-out-loud little tweets. We connected, and have been sending each other hugs and laughs ever since. Katie shares with us today how she reclaimed music in her life, and why and how it inspired her to write Sugar’s Dance. Tap-tap-tap it away, sweetie!

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Katie writes:

What part of music is the most important to you?

That might seem like a strange question to some, but it’s really quite simple. What part of the music, the rhythm, the melody, the lyrics or a combination of them, is most important to you? When you turn on the radio what part does your ear and your heart grab first?

For me it’s always been the rhythm, what my feet want to do when the first few bars play. It’s about if the rhythm makes me happy, sad or relaxed.


 

When I first sat down to write Sugar’s Dance, I hadn’t listened to music in nearly 10 years. Why? Because when I turned the music on my feet wanted to dance, but they couldn’t, so every song made me sad. I found that if I just didn’t listen to music then that part of my soul didn’t hurt. Going from dancing almost nightly to sitting in a wheelchair left that part of me in a bit of an upheaval.

Then in February 2011 I was laying in a hospital bed and a nurse decided she was going to put on some music to help me sleep. She called it her “Lullaby CD”. Well, as much as I protested she refused to listen and since I was lying in the bed with only one leg at that moment, I didn’t see a way to get up and turn it off. So I laid there and listened and a voice floated out across that speaker. I wonder what my face would have looked like had I had a mirror because it was the most astounding voice I had heard since dancing the night away to Frank Sinatra.

I quickly yelled to the nurse who came running in and I asked who was singing. She got a really funny look on her face and said, “That’s Michael Bublé”, as though I should already know that. I didn’t, but I will tell you suddenly I knew that I was missing the next Frank Sinatra and I wondered what else I was missing.

Did the rhythm make me want to get up and dance? Absolutely! Could I? No, but I found hope in that CD that I would again. And so it played all night long and I heard Enrique and Lady Antebellum and Taylor Swift and Goo Goo Dolls and finally that part of my heart that was locked up against the strains of a rhythm was unlocked again. When I got home from the hospital I downloaded every album I could find of Michael Bublé and set about writing Sugar’s Dance.

newcoveredited

My favorite part of the book is when Agent Walsh, Sugar’s bodyguard, tells her she’s an anomaly. I share it below:

“You are an anomaly Tula.” He said between bites.
I looked up surprised at his words.
“Excuse me?”
“An anomaly; a contradiction.”
“I know what anomaly means. I’m curious why you say that.”

He had finished his omelette and was leaning back in his chair sipping his coffee. “I’ve been here, what about eighteen hours and I have heard Annie Lennox, Taylor Swift, Ace of Base, Billy Joel, Goo Goo Dolls, Michael Bublé, Bruno Mars, Lady Antebellum, Garth Brooks, Allison Krauss, Green Day, Lady Gaga, Enrique and some dude playing the piano.”
“George Winston.”

He arched an eyebrow at me. “So you know your music. I still don’t see your point.” I put my fork down and copied his posture.

“Your choice of music alone is, confusing.”
“I didn’t think I was going to have justify my music choices for this arrangement.” I took a sip of my coffee begging the Lord to give me strength.
“I never said you did. “

See this is the reason I don’t date. Men drive me crazy. They can’t seem to carry on a normal conversation in a normal manner.

“It was just an observation really, but I wouldn’t mind getting to know you better since we will be spending a lot of time together.”

He took a drink of his coffee his green eyes glinting at me from above the rim waiting.
“I’m a dancer.”

His eyes traveled across me again. “Yes. I can see that.” He was assessing me with his eyes, again. I probably should have been put off by the way he looked at me, but for some reason I couldn’t seem to get too worked up about it. “So that’s the whole answer. You’re a dancer?”

I sighed, “Music to me is about the rhythm. It’s about what my feet want to do when the first few bars play. It’s about if it makes me happy, sad, angry or lonely. It’s about whether I want to throw caution to the wind and swing or if I want to be pulled up tight and waltzed around the floor. For me music will take my mind off the bad stuff, let me be creative or relax me after a long day. It’s about what memories it brings back and what memories it makes. If I couldn’t dance music would simply be notes, but when I dance it becomes my soul.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

And so what part of the music is the most important to me? The rhythm, because without rhythm I didn’t move anywhere, but with rhythm I found the strength to share Sugar, someone who has also known the feeling of not being able to dance and then the feeling of rebirth by waltz through the darkness into the light.

Let’s find out more about Katie’s second book Sugar’s Song!

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Everybody needs a little Sugar!
When I am afraid, I will trust in you.  Psalm 56

 Love is a many-splendored thing and no one who knows this better than Tula “Sugar” DuBois.  As the New Year breaks over her lodge on the frozen shores of Lake Superior, Sugar is wrapped in the arms of the man she loves, dancing in the New Year with her brother and his new wife.

Enter the mysterious Lillie who comes to the lodge for Christmas break seeking safe haven. No one knows her secrets and she’s determined to keep it that way.  Having had secrets to keep Sugar is compelled to love and protect Lillie, determined to give her the strength to reveal what she’s hiding before it’s too late. When Lillie comes face-to-face with her past will she let revenge steal her future?

Sugar calls upon all who love Lillie to dance a dangerous samba to save the young girl before she is delivered to the Father by evil… As the tulips sprout through the snow covered ground there is new love, new hope and new life, and together they will share Sugar’s Night…

And last but not least, introducing the fabulous Katie Mettner herself, properly…

I grew up in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and moved to the Northwoods as a young adult where I now reside with my husband and three children. My love affair with Lake Superior began when I met my husband, Dwayne, and he drove me across the bridge one snowy November day with my nose pressed up against the glass. It was in that moment the scene was set for my breakout novel!

As a young adult I enjoyed ballroom dancing and spent many hours on the dance floor, and like Sugar I didn’t let my physical limitations hold me back very long. I’m happy to report that I’m back on the dance floor again! My stories are a reflection of my love for family intricately woven with life experience. When the gales of November blow early you can find me at the computer with a cup of joe, listening to Michael Bublé and working on Sugar’s next adventure….

Find Katie and her books on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Katie has a website, and she dances on Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

Nicky says: Katie, thank you for a wonderful post and for introducing yourself and Sugar. I’m positively dancing here. Please come back soon!

And over to you, dear reader. What part of the music ‘does’ it for you? Me, I’m a voice-and-lyrics kinda girl…

CentreStage with Elle Amberley: Music and Books, English and French, Lyrical yet Tough…

Welcome to CentreStage!

CentreStage showcases fantastic authors from around the world. These authors might talk to you about their books, their writing, their writing process, their likes or dislikes, their inspiration… or anything else that takes their fancy.

Today it is my tremendous pleasure to welcome the talented Elle Amberley. Elle shares my love for music and writing, so she’s written a very powerful, very intriguing post for my blog today. Give it up for… Elle Amberley!

Music and books, a never-ending love story

Books and music saved me from childhood despair, uplifting me and carrying me to a universe of my own. Marry this with an imagination often rebuked by adults, is it any wonder I became who I am today. An author who doesn’t like neat labels, who likes to experiment and write whatever bubbles up at the back of an overactive brain. I’m still looking for the pause button, the one to still my mind when I lay in bed unable to sleep despite extreme fatigue. When the fire rages on, the only way is to let the words pour out.

Words have saved me as an adult too, allowing me to part with a painful past, to clear my mind of all the negativity. Talking about dramas, small or bigger, is a powerful way to break away from all the vicious circles and help others. When I experienced profound grief a few years ago, music brought back the bubbles and so did French. I found myself able to express what I couldn’t in a language I picked up as a child, the start of my rebirth.

Being reminded of who I once was helped me to fight back. If you’ve survived once, you can do it again, my inner child screamed at me. So I found myself picking up Natasha’s story, a novel laying dormant in a corner of my mind. Natasha is a fighter, too proud at times, too independent, even if she’s longing for someone to love her and be there for her.

A British teenager, she travels to California, desperate to escape her only too real ghosts. In Nowhere Left to Hide, she finds herself and love, but refuses to take the easy way out. We catch up with her years later in Lost in Your Time. Heartbroken, she survives only for her children’s sake. But is this one battle too many?

Can she keep saying no to the handsome French rock star she is drawn to? She tells him it’s impossible. “Impossible is not a French word,” he counters back. Ah, she’d forgotten this old French saying. If only it was that easy.

All these years ago I let my mind wander reading stories and listening to music. Imagine my joy and emotion the first time a reader wrote to me to tell me how they had been transported to a better place, moved by my words. This is always the most precious compliment anyone can pay me, the thought that somehow I helped someone whom I’ve never met through a dark hour, or two. I do get a lot of mail from my readers, I never share the private messages, but they always touch me. This is something I feel very strongly about, respecting the privacy of my readers. As I wrote this post my publisher emailed me a review of From Me to You. I posted it further down, you will see why it made me smile, and no, I never get tired of hearing from my readers. Indeed, I feel honoured. Thank you to all who take the time to share a little bit of their lives or just want to say hi from time to time.

Years ago I wrote a few songs, I thought it was just for fun. Well, it turned into a bit more than that. And yes, I’m also writing songs in French. An anthology of my French poems has also been released recently.

I relish the challenge of writing in both languages, it sparks new ideas and broadens my style, twisting words in a different way. My style is different in French, sometimes more edgy. This edgier streak can be found in some of my poems too. Dark Tales, my next collection of short stories, follows this pattern and will soon be up for release.

So there you are, a little bit of me. Thanks for reading me and I hope to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and the likes.

Do I have more novels laying dormant at the back of my mind? You bet!

Awesome ~ This is such a powerful post and it puts your novels into context (musical and otherwise) beautifully. I, for one, can’t wait to see what you come up with next. Thank you for sharing, Elle! Now let’s take a look at the official Elle Amberley.

Introducing Elle Amberley and her work

A prolific author, Elle Amberley writes Women’s Fiction, Literary, poetry, short stories and features under different pen names.

Elle’s particular strength is writing positive stories with a strong theme of being lost and finding yourself again. Although she broaches difficult subjects in her novels, the characters turn out to be fighters, not victims. Every emotion is conveyed and her style has been described as “lyrical” and appeals to a wide age group, which is a rarity.

Having overcome many obstacles in her life, including a very difficult childhood, she chose to reconstruct her life. Rather than writing a memoir like many abuse victims she prefers to marry fiction with some of her own experiences.

LOST IN YOUR TIME  

Ah, the dangers of the internet! We’ve all been warned, but do we take notice?

When Natasha clicks on a link, her whole life is turned upside down. A flash from the past, a chance meeting with a gorgeous French rock star…

A chance to start over and forget the pain and misery from the last two years.

But can Natasha let go? Will she accept this new twist in her life?

Will she regain her “joie de vivre”? Or will the sparks fizzle out?

Cover blurb, courtesy of Jae De Wylde, author of The Thinking Tank.

Rock star or husband – which would you choose?

Elle’s chatty and engaging style invites us in to share Nat’s thoughts and feelings as she comes to terms with another of life’s twists. Will she choose happiness or duty? Or are they one and the same?

NOWHERE LEFT TO HIDE

Natasha has fled her home many times. When she’s offered the chance to go to California, she can’t wait. Thousands of miles to free herself from her past. She might even find love if she can shed her last fears.

Sometimes sad, sometimes funny, sometimes romantic, a story of hope, fighting against the odds & the determination to do the right thing.

“A heartfelt tale, told with a deft touch.” Rowan Coleman, author

“Lyrical from start to finish, Elle Amberley embraces the essence of women and friendship in Nowhere Left to Hide. Natasha, a young poet and writer, is wise beyond her years, as she lets us accompany her on her year long journey from England to the sunny coast of Southern California as she finds courage, her true calling and love.” ~ Ana Lewis, Founder, WomenontheVerge.net

FROM ME TO YOU

Elle says: This a review my publisher found on Amazon. Thank you so much to the lovely reader who took time to post this, it brought a smile on my face and makes it all worthwhile.

Elle Amberley’s new collection of poetry is an honest, emotive and sometimes gritty depiction about life and love and evoked a variety of emotions in me, particularly ‘I Knew You Already’ which describes the strong bonds of motherhood even through pregnancy, sickness and fear, right to that moment when you finally hold your infant and you do indeed recognise them.

There are glimmers of humour in her work and a great deal of empathy and honesty. The short sharp sentences bring home the pains, joys and angsts of self hatred, falling in love and a changing troubled world, giving plenty of food for thought.

No matter how you feel you will find a poem that suits your mood in this excellent collection; from the very serious Mad World to the tongue in cheek Express Yourself.

These are poems that will stay with you and have you re reading them and finding something new to ponder over or smile about each time.

A delight to read and consider and I look forward to reading future collections.

Wow, Elle: what an endorsement. Congratulations!!

And finally… here are all the place where you can find Elle:

Elle Amberley Author; Elle Amberley Blog Elle Amberley Facebook; Elle Amberley Twitter; Elle Amberley Amazon UK; Goodreads profile; Mood boards for Elle’s novels

So… a lyrical writer with fighter heroines tackling difficult issues; an author versed in French and English and associating different moods and experiences with each. What an intriguing post! 

Do let’s talk about heroines. Do you prefer fighters, or damsels in distress? Do you write fighters, or damsels in distress? Or both?

Russians

It’s Music Monday here on Nicky’s blog and today I’m bringing you a real classic.  I’m posting no other than the first single I ever bought! It was a proper single, for those of you who remember the shiny black vinyl 45rpm plastic disks you used to get in traditional style record shops.

The motivation: a crush
I was thirteen and I bought it the day after a party at a friend’s house, where I had been asked to dance to (yes, you guessed it) just this song by the boy on whom I had a big crush.  It was a heavenly moment, and I tried to prolong the exprience by obtaining the music the very next day.  I wasn’t really into music then; I was just awakening to it, shall we say.  So I didn’t have a clue what or who I was looking for, and I had been too embarrassed the previous night to show up my complete ignorance and ask.

Instead, I opted for making a bit of an idiot out of myself in front of a complete stranger in the record shop.  I sang bits of the song to him.  Luckily it was very high in the charts, so he recognised it despite my subpar performance.

The fascination: the story in the lyrics!
Having got it home, I put in on play non-stop for something like three weeks.  Why’s that, you ask?  Well, it wasn’t just to do with having shared a dance with my crush.  The lyrics drew me in and didn’t let me go.  This is where it all started, my obsession with lyrics!  Anyway, here it is… I hope you enjoy.  The sentiment of the song is eternal, I feel, even though the actual historical circumstances have (thankfully) changed dramatically.

The insight: rock meets classic
Last but not least, I frequently rant on about how rock music and classical music aren’t actually a million miles apart. I often cite Verdi’s Requiem as a case in point, but consider this! Russians uses the Romance theme from the Lieutenant Kijé Suite by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev! Just for the love it, I attach a link for the theme as well… and you can see how amazingly skilfully Sting used this music in his own work. Rock on!

Russians by Sting

In Europe and America, there’s a growing feeling of hysteria
Conditioned to respond to all the threats
In the rhetorical speeches of the Soviets
Mr. Krushchev said we will bury you
I don’t subscribe to this point of view
It would be such an ignorant thing to do
If the Russians love their children too

How can I save my little boy from Oppenheimer’s deadly toy
There is no monopoly in common sense
On either side of the political fence
We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the Russians love their children too

There is no historical precedent
To put the words in the mouth of the President
There’s no such thing as a winnable war
It’s a lie we don’t believe anymore
Mr. Reagan says we will protect you
I don’t subscribe to this point of view
Believe me when I say to you
I hope the Russians love their children too

We share the same biology
Regardless of ideology
What might save us, me, and you
Is if the Russians love their children too

PS: I feel I ought to say “thank you” to Sting here for teaching me invaluable phrases. You would not believe the surprise on my English teacher’s face when, challenged during a class discussion, I offered a nonchalant, “Well, I don’t subscribe to this point of view.” 🙂

Here’s the vid:

 

And here’s the Romance theme from the Lieutenant Lieutenant Kijé Suite by Prokofiev. It’s very quiet, so listen carefully… 🙂

So, hand on heart: what do you feel when you hear this song? Does it give you goosebumps?