Monday, September 30, 2013

Kishi Bashi

Hey guys, random post today. Been meaning to share this musician Kishi Bashi (K Ishibashi, born and raised in the US), for anyone who might not know him. Recently discovered by Jim by way of David Levithan. He's incredibly inventive and amazing. His songs are beautiful, but it's also so cool to watch how he creates them, layering the sounds in live. Select videos below:

Listen to this song, Manchester
(the first vid is just a photo with the recorded version; the second is a live performance):

Ah. Love it. (lyrics at the end of the post; love any song about writing a novel :-)


And here's this long cool video from NPR that describes his process this way:

K Ishibashi is a master of building his music from the ground up, from live violin loops to layered singing to beatboxing, in order to create pocket symphonies steeped in classical music and 21st-century pop.

(If you're interesting in inventive music creation, I recommend watching the whole thing. It's so cool.)


i wrote me a book 
i hid the last page
i didn't even look
i think i locked it in a cage
wrote a novel
cause everybody likes to read a novel...

it started with a word,
and it started pretty well
about a rare and fragile bird that I couldn't even spell
on the table
i think i left it on the table...

i found the last page in the sky,
cold and sweet, like an apple

oh hello,
will you be mine?
i haven't felt this alive in a long time
all the streets are warm today

i read signs
i haven't been this in love in a long time
the sun is up, the sun will stay

The very last breath of the hero of our tale
would you only to guess
did he truly prevail
in the the sequel?
I guess I'll have to write a sequel...

my favorite part's when I die
in your arms like a movie
it's tragic, but now the story has it's proper end.

oh hello,
will you be mine?
i haven't felt this alive in a long time
all the streets are warm and grey

i read the signs
I haven't been this in love in a long time
the sun is up the sun will stay
all for the new day

will you be mine?
the days are short and I wrote me my last rhyme
all the streets are warm today
I read the signs
I haven't been in this love in a long time.

it's been a long time

Anyway, there you go. Hope you enjoy!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Writing and "Found Objects" and Beachcombing

Hi there! So. On the ol' plotting versus "pantsing" question, I've just had a thought that pretty well expresses why, I think, plotting only gets me so far. Thought I'd share. 

I plot. I do. I think and scheme. I "what if" this and I "what if" that, and I brainstorm my way through labyrinths of plot possibilities. Over and over. But, like I said, that only gets me so far. Any kind of neat and tidy outline of an entire novel defies me, and this morning, going over some recently written chapters, I had a moment of clarity. I was struck by how something that arose entirely in the moment, in the depth of the writing, was beginning to take on a fairly great significance in the story. I can't say what it is, of course, only that I've been writing this book for a year, and it only popped onto the page last week, and when it did, I thought, "Hm, that's interesting," but I didn't know what it might portend, and then I watched with fascination as it grew ... interestinger and interestinger. 

It wasn't something I could have planned. It was the result of submerging myself in a scene and letting things happen. Some of the things that happen get deleted, and others take root and grow and become ... the important stuff. 

And I thought how the whole process is kind of like found-object art. You can have an idea of what you want to make, but if your medium is found objects, then your end result is going to depend upon what objects you find along the way. 

Writing a novel, I have an idea what I want to make. And I start out with some of my materials before me (especially writing a final book in a trilogy), but during the entire process of writing, I'm, like, walking on a beach picking up driftwood pieces and sea glass and considering incorporating them. And then it happens that I find a SWORD lying on the beach, and an iridescent beetle, and a silk slipper, and ... a Spanish fan, and a can of olives (okay, I throw that right back), and brass calipers tangled in seaweed. 

And if I hadn't been walking on the beach (i.e. writing scenes), I never would have found them. If I were to just sit back on the porch of my beach house (I wish) with binoculars (i.e. outlining) I'd never find anything tactile or intimate or small or textured or alive. But I *can* plan out my walk from up there, and see if there are any sea monster skeletons or beached pirate ships I might like to scout out.

Ah, my love of writing metaphors! So, that picture is a little assemblage guy we got at an art show, and there were lots of little guys in the same general shape, but they were all unique depending on what bits and pieces had gone into them, and look at this:

Isn't that WOW? A driftwood and scrap wood elephant sculpture, so amazing!

Okay. Back to beachcoming with me. In the comfort of my writing room, that is. Cheers!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Quick river and beach getaway!

Ah, the beach. At the tail end of a summer of work, we squeezed in a few days at the beach, and it was fantastic. We kayaked and built sandcastles and saw seals and bald eagles and got ice cream and salt water taffy and breathed the incredible air. Aahhhh.

Below is Manzanita Beach, Oregon. Manzanita is our favorite town on the Oregon coast. And see the bay beyond? That's Nehalem Bay, where our favorite beach is. We've stayed hither and thither on various trips, usually in Manzanita, but this time we rented a house on the Nehalem River. IT WAS AWESOME.

Here's the view from the house, first day. We had a great day of rain followed by the most perfect windless, blue-sky weather we've ever had at the Oregon coast. It felt like California!

Same view, different days:

A seal friend, right off the dock:

Oddly, the house has a putting green! Right on the river. Don't knock the ball too hard! 

And the view from the living room. It felt like the prow of a ship:

I seriously loved this house. It sits at the junction of the north and south forks of the Nehalem River, and it's just river one way, river the other. It's for sale, and I couldn't help imagining writing retreats here, and long summer getaways, and daring kayak adventures. 

Manzanita Beach in the fog:

"Our" boathouse:

Clementine, suited up for the first kayak outing:

We just deedled around the river right near the house. 
Would love to have a kayak adventure some day though.

 Our favorite beach is near the boat launch in Nehalem Bay State Park. Here it is as seen from the town of Wheeler, across the bay. It's to the left of that dune over there:

And here we are:

It is baffling to us, but we always have it to ourselves. Look. This was a weekend of exquisite weather, and no one was there but us. People prefer the ocean beaches, just a few minutes away, but we don't. This is more beautiful and more peaceful, with warmer water and less wind, and with a rugged driftwood-strewn forest frontage where can make a kind of gypsy encampment with shade.

There's a small airport right over the trees, so airplanes are often coming in low like this:

Bald eagles also flew right over our heads, but I didn't get a picture. 
Well, I did, but you can't tell it's a bald eagle.

We decided that our sandcastle looked like Osgiliath:

Clementine wore my Star Wars sweatshirt as a jumpsuit:

The small town of Wheeler, on Nehalem Bay:

Isn't it ridiculously pretty?

 All good things must come to an end. On our way home ... 

... by way of Cannon Beach, the most touristy of the Oregon coast towns.

It's pretty gorgeous, though. Famous Haystack Rock, below. It's a puffin nesting ground!

(And yes, Jim and I did both work while on holiday. But I swear, once we're both done with our books, we're going on a no-work holiday and THAT IS THAT. :-)


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Lucky Ziri :-)

Readers are the best. This makes my day. Faindri, wherever you are, *hug*. Take good care of him for me!

(found here thanks to shout out from connieonnie :-)

Monday, September 9, 2013


HERE IT IS! The cover! The cover!

I love it, and I hope you do too. Huge thanks to my awesome publisher, Little Brown, for diving into this one with such great ideas and coming up with this striking, gorgeous piece.


Hollywood Reporter debuted the cover this morning, along with a brief excerpt from the book.
Read it HERE.

Lovely day to all!

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