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1 | THE SOUNDTRACK OF IMAGINATION | 1

So it’s Tuesday and there is supposedly a music blog hop (Twisted Mix Tape Tuesday) that people participate in. I love my music and would love to give it a go, but it seems there is a specific theme/guideline they are using.

Basically they are working their way through the various decades — currently entrapped in the 60’s (or earlier) — where you make a “mixed tape” to someone as though you were living within that decade and have no knowledge of music beyond that time period. It’s a great, fun concept and I like it a lot, but feel a bit ill-prepared. I should have researched a tad bit earlier. Most know my knack for procrastination, though, so this likely doesn’t come as a surprise.

I’m going to go off the reservation a bit. It’s not that I dislike rules or lack understanding of their place; I just hate following them. No, but really, I just wasn’t prepared, so this week I will blaze my own trail — so to speak — while retaining the spirit of involving music in some fashion.

But first a completely unrelated story.

Bee All You Can Bee

Yesterday was Grandma Day. I visited and we caught up on current events from the past week, and I read her a handful of my BEDiM entries being we got behind last month. It was an early day, however, because my brother wanted to grill. On the way over to my brothers I had a close encounter of the bee kind.

I was almost to my destination, cruising down the road with my window down, taking in the evening breeze when all of a sudden there was a buzz and...

*THWACK*

From out of nowhere I was smacked upside the head (in the ear more specifically) and for a moment I thought I was going to die. Die by swerving off the road and flipping my car. But I lived, and my vehicle remained straight and true on the road. Then there was a buzz. I cringed, and was maybe gripped by fear. The buzz sounded again and whatever the source... it sounded huge. I was certain I was about to engage in another epic battle with a June Bug. I can’t recall if I recounted my first combat story; I will link to it if I happen to find I have.

Needless to say, I hate June Bugs.

Panic overtook me and I tried to remain low/scrunched over/etc for some reason. Maybe I thought I would have a better chance that way? No freakin’ idea. Instincts were kicking in. Another Buzz and I tried looking back to find out what I was dealing with, because I couldn’t recall if June Bugs, you know... buzzed. In my first battle with a June Bug it maneuvered silently. Chances were good I was dealing with a bee, not that that made it the situation any better; I am afraid of bees and wasps. Don’t judge!

Finally I got to my brother’s house and evacuated the vehicle. Looking through the back window I saw my arch nemesis for the evening: A giant bumble bee. The sucker was huge! It was dazed and confused... grooming itself and buzzing around the back window now and again, but unable to find its way out. I showed it to my young nieces and the friends they had over. It was quite the spectacle to them. Hell, even to me. I was against killing it. I understood we both happened to be at the right place at the wrong time, so I left the windows open for it to eventually escape and be on its merry.

At the end of the night, I have to admit, I was afraid it may still be in the car. Thankfully, “Flight of the Bumblebee” Part 2 never came to fruition; all was quiet and peaceful.

Hey, Look at that! Worked music into the story! I’m such a genius almost always never that I scare myself sometimes. And here I thought I would have to create a song on a whim. Perhaps, in due time, I still will...

Now that’s really scary!

The Sounds of Armageddon

Now down to business.

I thought for my music theme I would highlight a couple of songs that have given me inspiration for various pieces of work. I will likely make this a series that I partake in periodically (possibly sans the randomly interjected, unassociated stories). Consider this Part One of The Soundtrack of Imagination series! Today I’m specifically focusing on my Post Apocalyptic/Sci-Fi story: After Armageddon. First off is the song that I view being inspirational for the series as a whole. A theme song perhaps?

Imagine Dragons - Radioactive:

I’ve no place specifically in the story that this song represents yet. So far, when I listen to Radioactive I see a montage of scenes taking place throughout the story; like a trailer of sorts. If you see me listening to this song (or the After Armageddon playlist) on Facebook/Spotify you can be sure that I’m focusing on that fictional piece. It amps me up!

Next up we have a song I’m sure many are familiar with.

Michael Andrews, Gary Jules - Mad World:

I love this cover of the Tears for Fears song. The first few times I listened to it some pretty strong emotions were evoked (and still are). The first time hearing this version was from Donnie Darko, a movie I’m very, very fond of.

This is the song I listened to while writing Chapter Three of After Armageddon. The song will likely encompass a majority of the events that take place in that section of the story. Naturally it’s placed in a spot where a very traumatic event is unfolding. I feel the song allows me to lock into that state of mind, imagining myself in the situation first hand. The hope is that it fuels my ability to pull the readers into the character’s shoes, allowing them to experiencing what he/she is.

So those are two of the songs that play a significant role inspiring my After Armageddon fiction. I hope you’ve enjoyed!

Next Tuesday I hope to be on board with the music blog hop. Feel free to join in on the shenanigans!

Have you ever been kamikazeed in the ear by a bee while on the open road? *Sigh* Didn’t think so... Do you have specific songs that inspire some of your creative works?

TRAMPLED BY THANKFULNESS

After the A to Z 2013 and Blog Every Day In May 2013 Challenges I decided to take some time off. It’s been a week and in that time I’ve focused on getting back into an exercise routine, caught up on some work, contemplated my fiction (though not writing any), and debated where to touch base with my next — this — entry. Also, I’ve been catching up with fellow bloggers and have only completed the task with 2 ½ people out of 12+ I need to learn how to stay on track and read faster...

If you’ve been following along for a while you’ll likely be familiar with the fact that I sometimes have random bouts of emotional bursts. I won’t point out the specific posts this time around, but if wanting to you can inquire and I will share the needed links. A similar outburst occurred last weekend while listening to music; more specifically watching a music video. I meant to write this post right away, in the moment of it all, but I’m a master procrastinator.

Triggered By Turtles

The video above is the one that triggered the emotional reaction out of the blue. There I was... minding my own business, just discovering that a band I’ve heard a good amount of hype about — Trampled By Turtles — was actually a local band, checking out one of their videos for the first time and...

*THWACK*

I was bitch-slapped in the Deep Limbic System and began crying like a little baby. Trampled By Turtles had violated me emotionally and I never saw it coming. Nor did I have a say, apparently, in the situation. Blindsided, my cup filled up and runneth over with tears. I’m not embarrassed about crying; I think its a healthy release that we should experience when needed. I was more upset that I wasn’t exactly sure why it was happening.

I began thinking of past relationships and just life in general, as I went to curl up in the fetal position in bed. Okay, not quite, but I may as well have. I was bombarded with thoughts of not having accomplished anything significant in life, not having a family (paired with the exact opposite thoughts of not being prepared/ready for, or even desiring, one right now), believing it was time to stop pretending I can make any sort of living writing; buying/selling gaming cards; or any other “hobby” endeavor, and what exactly I planned to do in the long-term in regards with my life. It was all rather depressing really.

To that I say both Fuck You! Trampled By Turtles and also... Thank you! It’s a real mixed bag-o-crazy over here sometimes in the deep recesses of my mind.

There were more thoughts and emotions all intertwined with the ordeal, but having a week pass did a number on my memories associated with it. In fact, being the genius that I am, I decided to once again subject my mind to TBT’s emotional abuse in order to channel some of the same triggered reactions.

Yeah... I cried again ya bastards... don’t judge! At least I didn’t go run off and hide in my room for hours, though! So in your face!

Did I learn anything? Any lesson? Come to have an epiphany? Not really. Eventually the charged feelings subsided and I leveled out. Of course I’m going to make millions writing and indulging in my other extracurricular, hobbitastic activities!

Some people never learn...

10 Things of Thankful

As I was catching up with fellow blogger entries this week, One (A Fly On Our Chicken Coop Wall) posted about a blog hop a friend of theirs set up. I fought with myself for a while and eventually decided to join in on the fun, thinking originally it was a daily thing. Thankfully it’s only a weekly entry. I apologize for not having this posted a few days ago as planned, thinking some others may like to join in. I’d imagine you can join in at any time.

The hop occurs on Saturdays and involves listing ten things you are currently thankful for in your life. This is in encouragement of embracing and sharing some good ‘ol positive vibes. If participating, I believe they ask that you visit the two people before (or after, or around) your placement on the link list and that you use their banner/badge, which I’ve used above.

Be warned, however, I’m lacking some of the information like where to specifically list your link. There are multiple locations to submit your entry’s link, so I have a little research to do. I may be all over the place at the start, but should be fine once I understand the details more fully.

Without further ado... my listing of things I am thankful for:

  1. I’m thankful that this blog hop is only weekly (as explained above) and not daily. Part of my debate with participating revolved around the fact that I think I may be too pessimistic to come up with 10 things a day. Sad, I know, but honest! This should be more doable...
  2. *Two Hours Later in Spongebob style* My newly made friends during NaNoWriMo and fellow bloggers met since I began this blog; most during the A to Z Challenge.
  3. The patience of my fellow bloggers as I barrel through and catch up with their past (and current) posts. I’m at about a 15% completion rate!
  4. Music that can trigger my emotions and make me think, regardless if negative or positive. To be able to feel the vast range of emotions on the spectrum is truly a gift, in my opinion.
  5. Hopefully this isn’t cheating... but having that full spectrum of emotions!
  6. The clown my grandmother (in AZ) made when I was a child I still have dangling from my lamp. Clowns in general creep me out; even this crocheted representation she painstakingly created back in the day. During the emotional burst last weekend I eventually trudged out to the living room, leaned back against the wall, and dramatically slide down into a sitting position. When the Emo attack was letting up I looked up and saw the crafted clown smiling over at me. this in turn made me smile and laugh. Then daily life resumed as normal.
  7. For the hobbies that I partake in that randomly spawn ambitious dreams and fuel my creativity. Now if only my motivation would catch up to speed...
  8. My friends and family who share along in and/or support the above endeavors. There are plenty out there who would rather scoff and ridicule such things, but those types of people are very few and far in between in my life.
  9. My cat Crooks who is always there to help comfort me in my times of need... when he deems it fitting... *sigh*
  10. My grandmother (in MN) who is actually always there to help comfort me in my times of need; loving unconditionally.

Have you heard of Trampled By Turtles? Do you have a specific song or artist that can trigger some powerful emotions within you? Anything you are currently thankful for in your life?

BEDiM 2013 : DAY 30 & DAY 31

(A Blog Every Day in May 2013 Challenge Entry)

*5/31/13 - For some reason I wasn’t able to log into Blogger yesterday, or this morning. In fact, only a few sites were working. At first I thought it was maybe my connection at a friend’s house, but the issue continued once returning home. I am a bit worried that the laptop is acting up. That will be Bad News Bears. I don’t personally view this as failing to complete the prompt as it was complete (yesterday’s being very short), but merely a delay due to technical difficulties. I’m just happy I’ve been able to log in this afternoon... if it continues to allow me to be. Which, so far, it isn’t allowing me more than 3 tabs open and Blogger isn’t loading again. GAH! So today will be another double-feature, or so I hope.*

I can’t seem to load the site to nab today’s prompt, but I know it deals with letting go, and my reaction to the statement. Currently there are some crazy conversations going on and it’s made it hard to focus on this post. I won’t go into details, but all guilty members that happen to read this will know who you are!

*Day 30, Thursday: React to this term: Letting Go

This Is Water

So letting go? After reading this prompt I kept thinking about a video I just came across the other night. This video highlights letting go of your own self-centeredness/importance over others and letting go of the petty annoyances in life that drag you down in a tailspin of negativity. Either way, I found the message(s) within to be profound and well portrayed.



What do you think?

*So, I found out the issue seemed to be that my old (and I thought dead) antivirus became jealous I had uploaded a new antivirus program. So it became... sentient... I will say... and reactivated itself outside of it’s already expired date. It was fighting for dominance over my system against Avast and it was blocking me from accessing the interwebs. Really weird.*

On that note, however... I had to let go of my issues with missing yet another daily posting for this challenge. It wasn’t the first, but it will definitely be the last (for 2013 anyhow). I get really anxiety-bound that I am missing a post, but this wasn’t so bad being it was a bit out of my control. Eventually I was 100% okay with it, as shit happens, and that’s okay.

Let’s move on to the next, and final, prompt:

Day 31, Friday: A vivid memory

That’s not too bad. I will even try to pull one from my childhood, which is time and again noted as a strenuous task.

Who Ya Gonna Call?

You may think this is another juicy tale about a haunting, but you’d be mistaken. This is just a brief glimpse into a vivid memory I have about an injury.

As a child — around the same time frame I stole a bunch of Christmas Lights off the neighbor’s trees and windows — I, along with my brother and friends, would play Ghostbusters. It was pretty much like tag. One of us was a Ghostbuster and the others were ghosts.

I remember the Ghostbuster would carry around a steering wheel from some broken toy and pretend to drive the car around catching up to the ghosts. This is what I was doing, laughing and being joyous, when I suddenly tripped and fell. I got back up to continue the chase, but I couldn’t; my knee was in pain. I never knew if I fell on a branch or on the toy steering wheel, but whatever it was messed my knee up.

My mother’s boyfriend at the time called me over just then to help him, as he worked on the car. He wanted me to push on the gas pedal so he could assess the issues the car was having. I tried explaining to him that I had hurt my knee, but he blew it off. So I got into the driver’s seat and tried to do what he asked. Pushing on the pedal, though, caused extreme pain and I just started crying. All the while he was yelling at me to give it more gas and push harder. I tried...

Eventually he came around to the door — still ajar — about to yell at me, but then he saw I was crying. I showed him my bleeding knee and he apologized for thinking my injury was minor. Soon after, he brought me to the doctor.

I just remember it looking weird, that flap of skin cut in a half moon on my knee. I had to get stitches, and I believe that is the only time I’ve ever had to do so. My life has been pretty much injury free. For a long time you could see the scar, but it has since faded and is now barely visible.

Another One Bites the Dust

May is over (er... ending...) and another challenge down! I think I can do with some down time now. Maybe get to that fiction I was supposed to be doing. I have a piece I hope to finish, which was meant for the Paper Darts fiction contest, but came up short. Starting it two hours before the deadline was not a good game plan. I will have to remind myself of that next time. Need to hit up some more After Armageddon too.

This was a fun challenge and met even more people for which I am very thankful for! The prompts were a little all over the place (and picture heavy), but I managed. I wonder if the host plans to continue it next year. I think this was their first go at hosting the challenge, which may explain some of the randomness. Maybe not.

Thanks to everyone following along and/or participating. Congrats to you all! May our June be more relaxing! I’ve a lot of catching up to do.

What did you think of the This Is Water video? Do you agree with the content? Can you recall a vivid memory? Have you ever broken anything (bodily) or needed stitches? Any June challenges that anyone is aware of? >.>

BEDiM 2013 : DAY 29

(A Blog Every Day in May 2013 Challenge Entry)

I am very proud of my picture story yesterday. This host can’t bring me down yet! Now we arrive at one of the prompts I’ve been most excited for. I wasn’t aware it was today, though. For some reason I thought it was the final post.

Today’s prompt:

Day 29, Wednesday: Five songs or pieces of music that speak to you or bring back memories. Use Grooveshark or YouTube to include them in the post

I’m not sure what Grooveshark is, so I plan on sticking to the ever prominent Youtube. Plus, it’s built into Blogger... so yeah...

This isn’t going to be easy. Trying to single out five songs that speak to me, is like placing down all my favorite cookies in front of me and telling me I can only pick and eat five of them. We know from my previous post how that would end. I would eat ALL the things. Much like I want to share the abundance of songs that connect with me.

I’ve decided, since I wasn’t able to do so during the A to Z, I will share a handful of my favorite songs and artists throughout the next few weeks. Most music I listen to recently has become associated with my writing, so I thought I could share them and explain the scenarios and/or representation of each.

For this post I will attempt a nostalgic theme.

Stories Through Music

The Offspring - Come Out and Play
The Offspring I feel is one of those bands that my entire group of friends loved when growing up. When I hear them I always remember back to the days when we would party and just act stupid on a weekend (or daily) basis. To be honest, the entire SMASH album was played over and over and over again. When it came down to picking one song, it was between Bad Habit & Come Out and Play. I felt Come Out and Play best represented our teenage angst and shenanigans.

Local H - Fritz’s Corner
Local H is another of my all-time favorite bands. For a 2 member band they kick ass. In fact, they are still around around and kicking some ass last I checked. I loved seeing these guys live. This was one of my favorite songs they would play, along with High-Fiving MF. Both times seeing them they were performing at outdoor festival concerts, so it would be nice to see them at a smaller, enclosed venue. I was obsessed with this song (still am), and I’d like to believe when my friends hear it they still think of me (just as they did back in the day).

Our Lady Peace - Superman’s Dead
Another song, and band, I was (am) obsessed with. I’ll admit that over the years I’ve fallen out of touch with Our Lady Peace, but there was a time I would be jamming out to all their newest CD releases; singing, dancing, acting out music videos. The lead singer’s voice is so unique I can’t help but love it.

After going mainstream I kind of drifted from their music some. Not that it was less meaningful, but maybe it just didn’t quite resonate the same with me. It may sound bad, but this was around a time when the music became seemingly more “God” or religion influenced (This is akin to losing interest in Billy Corgan with Zwan). I’ll have to maybe give it another go someday.


Random Jak Fact 622: I may have recorded a Youtube video of me singing this song a good four to five years ago or so. This was done after not having heard the song in some time, and attempting to sing from memory. It was met with... mixed critique... which is to be expected as I’m not a singer. I don’t think it's up (publicly) anymore, sorry folks. At least... I really hope it isn’t.

3 Colours Red - Beautiful Day
This is a song from an album I randomly bought while living in AZ. It always evoked emotions in me. It’s a good thing, because it was about the only good song on the album. Anyhow, this song could (and potentially still could) turn me into a blubbering, crying baby for almost no apparent reason. Back in AZ I'd just play it over and over. Later in life I directly associated it with a break up I had with someone I had dated for only 3-5 weeks. I can’t even remember the length of time.

This relationship was an intense one, but it sputtered just as fast as it flared. It was important, however. While the feelings at the time could be classified as infatuation, I’m still uncertain. It allowed a brief pulse of what I’d later define as being Love. Remember, I never much believed in Love and all that mushy bullshit. This relationship was the turning point for me being more open to the idea — the possibility — that it actually may exist on some level more than just the fanciful romanticism of fictionalized realities.

So, this song represents that awakening in my soul. From there... it was all down-fucken-hill.

Trouble I say. Trouble.

Align - At the Basement Door
Align is a band that I’d imagine no one — short of possibly fellow locals — has ever heard of. They were my favorite local band, long since defunct, and I saw a handful of their shows while they were active. I cheered when the lead singer used the phone-mic, bought their CDs, still own and wear one of their shirts (it’s one of my favs), and I just happened to know people who knew them.

One of my best friend’s sister lived with the lead singer’s — then — girlfriend (or fiancée). So not only would I get to listen to their music, but also party with them now and again. I think during the party period the lead singer was in a band called Marble. I, and others, thought they sounded a bit like Green Day. Yeah, no... he passionately hated that comparison.

Align was a band I thought had a lot of potential and this song felt like one that would get them noticed. Unfortunately, they disbanded years ago; each finding a home in new bands. I get upset whenever I’ve learned they had a reunion show I missed. That makes me a Sad Panda indeed.

Anyhow, this song reminds me of the days after graduating where I’d party (advancing to college parties without having to attend!) and go to various music shows with friends. A lot of good times were had, even if one night a member of Marble wanted to punch me in the face! Who doesn't?!

Are you familiar with or do you like any of the songs listed above? What songs/music trigger memories or speaks to you? Do you go to (or have you ever gone to) live shows? Any favorites?

BEDiM 2013 : DAY 28

(A Blog Every Day in May 2013 Challenge Entry)

As anxiety-bound as I was about yesterday’s prompt, I really enjoyed writing it. Once I was in the motions of writing, it just started to pour out. I was hoping for something similar today, but no such luck.

Today’s prompt:

Day 28, Tuesday: Only pictures

Well, this is an epic fail area for me. These picture-intensive prompts are like my Kryptonite. I will just have to find some randomness and see what comes up.

A Story Through Pictures