Good Book, Good Music and A New Niece!

First off, I want to say welcome to my new little niece, Felice, who was born at 1:37 this morning. I love you already and I’m going to work so hard at being your favorite aunt! (grin)

It snowed here in Oklahoma and too many people are complaining. This weekend was magical. We got to stay in by the fire, drink coffee and cocoa and I caught up some reading and even wrote that kick-ass fight scene I had to completely redo. It’s better, too!

But, I love the snow. Love it. In fact, I miss living north where it snows a lot. We’re lucky to get one snow here. Problem tho is, it’s not really snow. It’s ice. Pretty, but still ice. There’s a picture on a fellow Okie horror writer’s blog here Steven E. Wedel (Pick Incriminations at the left), but I’m maybe forty minutes north and my view is completely different. It’s two days later and I still can’t see the street and just getting to the mailbox is hazardous.

As a writer, that mailbox is freaking important–especially since I still don’t have a copy of Surreal Magazine in my hands. I slipped and slid all over my yard to get to that box this weekend. You see, I’m new at selling my fiction and I’ve found I like it. A lot. I’ve sold lots of stories, but they were without byline. I’ve published articles, columns, etc… which I would like to do more of… but it wasn’t my fiction. It’s time to find homes for all these odd stories I’ve written. Most of them have won first place awards, so maybe I have a chance, eh?

Anyone have any tips on market study? Ever notice how much money you end up spending to read publications only to find they aren’t right for your work? Tips welcome. Our library system doesn’t stock a lot of short fiction markets. I don’t mind paying for the good ones, but I’ve joined a lot of new publications only to get one or two issues before they shut down.

I did subscribe to a fairly new publication and potential market today. Apex Science Fiction and Horror I found it after seeing that Jason Sizemore ( A Writer’s Vanity ), their editor, has a story coming out in the same issue of Surreal. Will follow up with details- that current cover of theirs is mucho disturbing, btw.

I can also recommend Tim Lebbon’s Berserk. I wrote about the creepy cover here The Write Snark: More on Description and have to say, the book lived up to it. Wow.

It’s more gory than I like and a couple of times, I wished I hadn’t just eaten, but it is one fast-paced, well written tale with a great twist. Halfway through the book, I didn’t know who I was cheering on and by the time I got to the end, I loved the premise. Would like to see another book with more about the Berserkers. He has a lovely talent for description which as you know, I like. (See The Write Snark: Keep it Simple. Keep it Real. )

Another good one I read recently was by a friend of mine, T.L. Shaefer, called The Brotherhood. The Summerland (I know it says Summerland, but the link takes you directly to the Brotherhood. ) This is another writer with a talent for description. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. We get fantastic characters, a setting I’d like to visit myself, unexplained psychic happenings and a surprise villain. I loved the main characters. Go to her site and read the blurb. Sounds good, doesn’t it? It is.

Last but not least… Today’s music:

I’ve been in another odd music mood lately, so beware of the twisted mix.
Trip hop, goth and jazz!! Scared? Ah, come on! Give em all a try– it’s good to live a little.

First- Trip hop. I’ve been a fan of this genre since before it became a known description. I remember walking into music stores and asking how they filed trip hop and getting blank expressions. Bands like Portishead, Massive Attack, Morcheeba and Esthero just weren’t that well known in our top 40 pop driven world. I loved them. BTW, Trip hop is best played loud and in the dark.

Massive Attack’s Mezzanine will always be in my top ten. Dark, moody, driven and sexy as hell! All it takes is listening to the clip of song four, Inertia Creeps. This song was used in a fantastic scene in Stigmata. In fact, these first four songs appear everywhere. The Matrix, House, Victoria Secret commercials, Stigmata, etc… There are clips at Amazon and Itunes. Mezzanine: Music: Massive Attack

I found a new band, Lunascape. Kind of trip hop and kind of Cranberries. It’s a good mix. • L U N A S C A P E • They have clips on the music page. I really like SOS Planet, Lane Navachi, Inferno, Mindstalking and others. I do have a little trouble with Yairo, but overall like the feel of the CD. I can hear so many influences in this music, even Sinead O’Connor at times — but their style is their own. Also at Itunes and Amazon. One reviewer at Amazon called Kyoko Baertsoen a mix of Dolores O’Riordan, Sinead O’Connor, with a bit of Enya. I’m not the only one. (grin) Reminiscence: Music: Lunascape

As for goth. This is an extreme hit or miss genre. I don’t like most of it. No, that’s not exactly true. I like the music, but a lot of the grating, male, shapeless voices get on my nerves. Not all, tho. There are some gems in there– you just have to pay attention.

Closure by Gossamer. Memoir, Sweetest Misery and Shell Full of Sand kick me in the gut every time. Memoir has a slow buildup that turns soulful, intriguing and erotic. The lead singer’s style is deep, heavy and full of passion. You can even hear a strong Celtic influence on this CD which is always a good thing. Some of the songs ripped me back to the eighties, like Her Ghost. Some do have that growling, techno style that tends to make me jittery if listened to long enough but in today’s wonderful world of technology and playlists, I get to pick and choose. Most of this CD makes the pick. Also on Itunes and Amazon. Closure: Music: Gossamer

Jazz. I know, it doesn’t fit. But there is beauty in all music. (I’ve even, gasp and don’t let my daughter hear, found country gems. heh heh) Jazz, however, is a completely subjective genre. Some jazz fans listen to nothing else and damn, they can be snobs about it. Get over it, I say. It’s a wonderful, big, music-filled world. I like all kinds of jazz. Old jazz and blues ( I LOVE BILLIE HOLIDAY), contemporary, acid, fusion — it’s all good. Jazz is great played live!

I subscribe to Max Jazz. MAXJAZZ They send out an email when they’re promoting someone new. I joined for Rebecca Martin, who has such an individual voice. MAXJAZZ: Rebecca Martin Hold your cursor over Lead Us and just listen. I found her years ago when she released a fantastic song called Thoroughfare… let me see if I can still find it… Yay, it’s still on her website. Rebecca Martin – The Official Web Site Discography Go down to the last CD listed.

I went off on a tangent. I do this with music. And movies and books… okay, so I’m an entertainment slut. I’m not ashamed.

But, Max Jazz recently sent me info on Erin Bode. Here, on the main site, MAXJAZZ, she’s listed first. If you click on the CD cover, it takes you to the main song, Holiday, and photos. There are more clips of hers if you keep going. Sounds really, really good.

There’s another to add to my TBB (To Be Bought) pile. Better make some more of those sales, eh?

And my readers are always, always, free to make recommendations of their owm. Share the love, I say.

0 thoughts on “Good Book, Good Music and A New Niece!”

  1. Oh, I just got back from seeing her at the hospital and she’s so lovely, I cried. Tiny, with the prettiest face… I kept looking at my two and thinking how fast it goes.

    Betty, I got mine in today, too! I love, love, love the artwork with it and just asked the artist if I could showcase her work here. I’ll be blogging about it tomorrow. Would today, but darn, did you see the length of today’s post???? Besides, I need to finish up a horror short tonight. I finally came up with the twist and man, it scared me. Yeah, baby!

    I enjoyed seeing my name in print so much, I’ve decided to market my other shorts now.

  2. I loved the art, too! That’s a great magazine.

    Of course you should market your other shorts. I never knew the idea was in question.

    Silly woman.

  3. Rinda,

    When everyone was having trouble with their blogs, mine was working fine. It just wouldn’t let me post comments. I’d create a sincere and somewhat witty remark and would get the message: This post contains no data.

    Congratulations on the birth of Felice. I’m sure you won’t have any trouble being the favorite aunt. Just laugh when she loses one of your favorite pair of flip flops in a muddy creek bed. Let me think, that was way back in 1969 when I wore my favorite aunt’s flip flops, without permission.

    E-mail me at with your address and I’ll mail you the disk with the OKRWA Christmas Party pictures.


  4. Congratulations on the birth of your niece.

    I have two nieces and four nephews, so far, and both of my sisters are younger than I am.

  5. Congrats on the niece!
    Congrats on Surreal Magazine (my mom forwarded your email to me)!
    Finally, Mezzanine is also one of my personal favorites. (I was obsessed with “Dissolved Girl” for about a month, then reverted back to my usual “Letters to Elise” obsession.)

  6. Oh, Dissolved Girl. I went through an obsession with it, too. I might again. That build up! I always turn that one up loud.

    The Cure. You like the Cure. Smart girl.

    “I know I’ll never really get inside of you
    To make your eyes catch fire
    The way they should”

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