Muse: The Resistance

We now interrupt your regularly scheduled bookish blogging to gush about Muse’s new album The Resistance, released in the US September 15th.

So. Muse. First fell in love with them when I heard the song “Butterflies and Hurricanes” off the Absolution album. Mostly because there was a bloody PIANO CONCERTO in the middle of it. Can you say awesome??? I afterwards grew to love the rest of the album for the soaring melodies and strong, gorgeous chord structure that very much had it’s roots in 19th-century romantic works. Plus they just plain know how to rock.

I bought their earlier album Origins of Symmetry as well as Black Holes and Revelations when it came out, both of which I liked a lot, though I was ever so slightly disappointed that they weren’t quite as pianistically-driven as Absolution.

And then The Resistance happened.

Wow. Piano galore. One of the tracks (United States of Eurasia) actually features part of a Chopin nocturne, and many of them have lots of epic piano styling courtesy Matt Belamy. The first half of the album is good. The second half is phenomenal. Don’t get me wrong—in amongst the lush orchestral harmonies, gut-wrenchingly beautiful chord progressions, and almost inhuman vocal prowess, there’s a lot of good old-fashioned rocking out going on. Oh and at one point Matt sings in French. It’s enough to give a girl a heart attack.

So, to sum up… THIS ALBUM IS BRILLIANT. Go buy it now.

On Life and Writing (but mostly writing)

So it’s been several years since I blogged regularly. I don’t know if it’s because I no longer have anything to say (likely), my life is more boring than usual (possible), I’m addicted to vlogging (thank you, Viddler), or I’ve just been using up my word quota in ridiculously long novels (which is quite true). At any rate, I thought I might as well try again.

Currently, I am enjoying my beautiful new (well, to me anyway) grand piano, whom I have christened Prince Imrahil, am rewriting my 2006 NaNoWriMo novel, The Whale and the Tree, and am teaching a rather limited number of piano lessons (which will hopefully pick up again in a couple of weeks when school starts, to the relief of my pocketbook!).

Now I’m going to blab about writing, so run away quick if your eyes glaze over whenever I’m around you and start going on and on about how cool it would be if a troupe of mini elephant tamers moved in next door and wreaked general havoc on the world by turning the moon into a lovely lot of Brie cheese (now there’s an idea).

Novels In Progress:

  • The Rose Queen (Nano 2005). The plot is basically Narnia meets 13 Going on 30, and tells the story of Daphne Riddle, a destitute girl from 1840s England, who walks through a rose garden and into another world; there she makes all her dreams come true, but that’s not necessarily a good thing…
    • As of last summer, this novel is in its third draft and needs another go-through. It’s close, but I’m not quite satisfied with it yet, and I’m pretty sure I still have some pacing issues. I adore the ending, though, and still think the story has a ton of potential.
  • The Whale and the Tree (Nano 2006). The plot revolves around Talia and her mother, the Countess, who are banished to a tiny province on the edge of the North Sea. Talia is betrothed to a younger son but falls in love with the eldest, and the Countess locks herself up in the tower and slowly goes crazy. Myths, tracing the histories of nine gods, three stars, and a tree, are interspersed in the main storyline, and the two story threads meet up by the end.
    • As aforementioned, I’m currently editing this one. I’m on Chapter Six of Twenty-Six, so there’s a long way to go yet, but I know I’m improving things drastically, so definitely heading in the right direction. I’ve had a ton of people read the first draft and they’ve all been immensely encouraging; this story already has fans pulling for it. 🙂 Anxious to start querying agents once I finish the edits on this one. After that, of course, The Whale and the Tree will take the world by storm and I’ll make a million dollars. Until then, I gotta keep slogging through the rewrite. 🙂
  • The Fire in the Glass (Nano 2007). A companion book to The Rose Queen, but not a sequel. It’s about love, and second chances, and fire and water, and a huge evil Worm, and… The plot is ridiculously complicated, so I’ll just go with my one-sentence summary: She’s dead in his world, and he in hers; their worlds collide.
    • I’ve got 209,000 words of first draft!! I wrote the first 100k during Nano, and it took me through March to finish the rest. Huge and daunting, I am completely terrified by the prospect of editing this one. But I will, one day.
  • On Journeys Bound (Pre-Nano 2005). Sort of a pet project, this has a more traditional castles and princes and battles type of a storyline. Currently about a third into the second draft, which is a vast rewrite of the first draft, which is actually a vast rewrite of an ancient not-so-short short story, which is a rewrite of an even more ancient idea… This is one of those stories that just won’t leave me alone. I definitely intend on finishing it when more pressing projects are finally out of the way.

And then there’s the screenplay I wrote for Script Frenzy, Pink Sky Dragon and the Moon, which is decent enough that it deserves editing (and sending off into the world, and becoming a major blockbuster and making scads of money), too. It’s a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Persuasion, and is set in America’s most adorable city, Portland, Oregon. 🙂

So as you can see, LOTS going on in the writing aspect of my existence. As to the eternal question of What Exactly I’m Going to Do with my Life I still have no idea. Something to do with a cute little house (with a cute little garden), two cats (a ginger tabby and a black one with green eyes), a piano (guess I can check that one of the list!), a noveling desk by a window somewhere where it rains regularly, and lots and lots of tea. For vacation I’ll be off to Ireland, Egypt, Europe, New Zealand, India, and Russia, respectively–gotta do something to inspire the scads of novels I’ll be writing!

In the meantime, I’m going to teach piano lessons, play Imrahil for hours and hours, and plan for NaNoWriMo 2008, which is already starting to distract me from my editing project. 99% certain at this point that it’s going to be called The Silver Crane. It’s set in the same world as The Whale and the Tree, and will feature three love stories, murder, revolution, a ghostly old man in a library, and a Sleeping Beauty-esque story thread. I’m already getting excited about it, and it’s currently percolating in ye ole subconscious, ready to be Snowflaked when I finish editing.

And that about wraps it up. I’m hoping to update this semi-regularly with writing progress and life progress, and maybe even some movie and book reviews for good measure. Hope you enjoy, and leave me comments! I heart comments. 🙂

If you’ve made it this far, you get a cookie, here ya go! *hands readers cookies*

Cheers!

Gamwyn