Friday, August 21, 2015

#BoTB Results: I'm Waiting For The Man (Bowie vs. Wee Cherubs)

This was a much closer battle than I expected... I love Bowie (whose name, thanks to you all, I finally know how to pronounce officially), and I love the Velvet's original, and I didn't want to pair those two up, but who else does this song? Who could compete? The covers I found sounded too similar, or stood out as mediocre...

Until I found the Wee Cherubs. Whom I'd never heard of before (and, I suspect, none of us will again). Now that was a novel version. As Stephen said, they took a dark, dirty, ugly song -- ugly in the content sense -- and turned it into a soft and delicate crooner-type ballad. I'm not sure I would actually prefer their version to either the original or Bowie's, but I found it an interesting arrangement. And, apparently, I made a good choice (for a change), since this is the closest battle I've had since that epic opening tie.

The results:

Bowie = 9

Wee Cherubs = 7

I'm tempted to give my vote to WC just to make this more even. But the truth is that I'd rather listen to Bowie at any given point in time. So... the final result is 10 - 7.

Well fought, Wee Cherubs. Well fought.

(Original post here.)

Oh, by the way... I'm probably going to miss the next battle. We'll be in NYC for a week (for my book launch on the 2nd -- yay/yikes), and although I could easily schedule the post before traveling, I wouldn't be able to visit other battles. But I'll be back for the Sept 15th one. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Spectacular Settings! (#WEP)

Hosted by wonder-women Denise Covey and Yolanda Renee, the WEP (Write - Edit - Publish) Spectacular Settings hop is all about the power of place -- and the part it plays (can/should play) in writing.

Got a spectacular setting from a favorite book? Join the hop (it runs from the 19th to the 26th) and share! (More info here.)

The setting I'm sharing here is not from fiction but from poetry. And not just any poet, either. If you've followed this blog for a while, you might know I'm a huge fan of T.S. Eliot. A couple of months ago a long-time friend -- one of those people from the past that sometimes pop up into the present, usually bearing extraordinary gifts -- got together a small group of poetry enthusiasts for a reading circle on Skype (we're scattered all over, geographically), and the first piece we read was Eliot's Four Quartets

It's a piece I know well, maybe more than well -- it was none other than this old friend who introduced me to Eliot some 20 years ago, and the Eliot collection I own is one he gave to me back then... twenty years almost to the day we began reading. Several bits from Four Quartets have, in these two decades, gained special significance. For instance,

Saturday, August 15, 2015

#BoTB: I'm Waiting For The Man (Bowie vs. Wee Cherubs)

The original: The Velvet Underground
Written by: Lou Reed
Original release: 1967, debut album (The Velvet Underground & Nico)
Cool trivia: Also released as Andy Warhol's Velvet Underground in 1971 (with There She Goes Again on the B side)

Andy Warhol footage of Velvet Underground rehearsals (c. 1966)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

It's up. It's out. It's done.

 August 9th, 2015. Quiet Sunday, no plans other than lazying around the house, maybe do a bit of yard work later in the afternoon, when the heat goes down. My dushi in the kitchen, preparing me an avocado-and-tomato sandwich for lunch. Facebook spewing its inane entertainment. The dogs asleep around my desk chair, immobilizing me.

The ping of an email. I don't know it yet, but my comfortably ordinary Sunday is about to end.

The email is from my publisher. It's up, says the subject line.

No need to say what. Or where.

The book. My book. It's published. THE MIRACLE OF SMALL THINGS. Out into the world, into the hands of whoever wants to have it, including perfect strangers. Including, most conspicuously, the people who've cheered me on. The people in my life.


It seems so stupid, after 9 months of prepping -- working -- for this, 9 months of knowing it was going to happen... But it still blindsided me.

It's up. It's out. For better or for worse, it's done.

My first book has been published.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

The Drawbacks of Paradise

I do love Curaçao. I love living here, I love its 'prickly kind of beauty', its contrasts, its contradictions. To me, this tiny island that so few people have heard of -- and of those who have, most relate it to a blue orangey-tasting liquor -- is paradise.

But paradise, any paradise, comes with drawbacks. And, depending on who you are and what you love, the drawbacks and their relevance to you may vary:

Friday, August 7, 2015

#BoTB Results for Big Yellow Taxi: Joni or the Crows?

Well, well. I didn't expect such a wide margin. Really? 1:2? (Or is it 2:1?) Joni Mitchell, indisputable winner of this battle. (Which, by the way, I'm sure Counting Crows would concede. They'd be totally cool with it.)

Saturday, August 1, 2015

#BoTB: Big Yellow Taxi

Happy August, y'all!

You know what that means... New month, new Battle of The Bands. Nothing instrumental this time, just straight-up rock, good times, and a social statement. Pretty timely for me, seeing as... Well, I'll write a separate post for that. In the meantime, I give you:

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