Tag Archives: Music

Atlanta, RT and Booker T.

Jillian here.  I just got back from Atlanta, Ga where I attended the Romantic Times Convention. The convention itself was fun and it was good to see other writer friends as well as chat and interact with readers. I had two pretty awesome things happen in the reader arena – with the same book. I wrote a story called Rex, the Ex and the Hex– first draft was done in 12 days – it was such a fun story to write as the hero believes himself to be hexed and visits a number of hoo-doo folks to try to get rid of the hex (like a witch doctor, a haruspex, a tarot reader, etc).

One reader mentioned she read it and thought it was really good and she could tell I was having a blast as I wrote it. That made me happy as I was glad that shone through.

Another reader saw the cover on a magnet on my table at the signing. She grabbed it and said, “You wrote that?” When I said yes, she said, “I loved it so much, I read it twice and I never do that.” – Her words were worth the trip to Atlanta for me.

The other best thing about the conference wasn’t really related to the conference. My friend Sandra and I went to a concert at a local winery/cafe where they serve tapas and their own wines. I love 1960s music and when she said she wanted to go see a man named Booker T. Jones, a Grammy winner, I was all on board for that. I said, “Booker T. and the M.G.s?”

Well, these days, he travels with his son and two other guys. The music is still wonderful. He and his son played a ballad version of Purple Rain by Prince and it was so moving it brought me to tears.

We got a chance to chat with him in the lobby afterward. What a nice, humble, kind man he was. I could’ve stayed there all night. It was that amazing.  If you get a chance to go, do!

here’s one famous song  and another with his son on guitar.  I tried to upload one of the videos I made but for some reason, the computer said no.  We were seated right by the piano. It was awesome.

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Happy December!

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Jillian here- nope. I haven’t fallen off the edge of the world. It just seems that way. Laurie is always telling me she doesn’t see how I can do all I do and alas, she is right. I can’t. Things … Continue reading

A Wee Bit O’ Fluff by Valerie J Patterson

I thought it would be good to just write a fluff piece this month, so I hope you enjoy the lighter side!

I find it amazing how different my day is if I wake up with a song in my head.  I have found out that there are mornings the song in my head is apropos to whatever I have to face that day, and other mornings it’s completely bizarre.  For instance, one day last week the hymn You’ll Never Walk Alone played on an endless loop in my head all day, and that evening I found it to be a comfort.  Some of you may recall, I have an elderly aunt with Alzheimer’s who I moved down to an assisted living residence near me after it was determined she could no longer live alone.  This day, I went to see my Aunt Sis and she wasn’t able to use my name.    This particular visit, she recognized me but was unable to tell one of the nurses there that I am her niece and that my name is Valerie.  That evening, while we visited, she struggled to converse with me as well.  So, on my way home while I was lamenting the fact that her Alzheimer’s is progressing, I once again could hear the lyrics to the hymn in my head, reminding me that neither my aunt nor I were walking through this storm alone.

Then there are those songs which seem to be replayed over and over simply to torture me!  They have no relevance to anything going on in my life, but merely seem to be stuck there either because someone planted the song in my mind or I heard it on the radio and it got lodged there.  For instance, not long ago the lyrics to I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas were playing in my mind as soon as my feet hit the floor one morning.  At first I thought, “Cool, I really like this song.”  Never mind that Christmas had long past and it was springtime.  However, by mid morning I was like, “Get out!  Get out!  Get out!”  I would hear myself singing it or humming it and those around me would frown and respond, “Thanks!  Now it’s stuck in my head!”

I rather like when that happens because then I’m not alone in my madness!

Songs centered around a female name are generally complimentary and are usually popular.  There is an older gentleman who frequently has business in my office.  Instantly upon seeing me he breaks out into song, and the song he is singing is Valleri by The Monkees.  He really belts it out, and I always, always smile or laugh and instantly feel my mood lighten.  He’s been serenading me with this tune since 2007.

One day I asked him how come he never sang Valerie by Steve Winwood and he said because The Monkees’ tune was better.  So, a debate ensued, but was never settled.  He was just in my office a few days ago and still we have not reached a conclusive end to the debate.  So, here are videos of both songs.  Please have a listen and cast your vote and the reason for your vote.  I’ll take my findings to work for the next time he serenades me!

Oh, and what’s the wackiest song you’ve had stuck in your head?

Until next time…may the song in your head brighten your day and lighten your mood.

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A Flash in the Park

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One of the delights of summer for my family is attending concerts in the park for an evening of classical music, singing, food and always a spectacular musical fireworks finale, the theme to Star Wars being popular.  We haven’t done … Continue reading

Let’s Talk Music

I love music. I listen to it when I’m writing. I crank it up when I’m cleaning house. That picture of someone dancing through the kitchen with a mop as a partner—that’s me.  🙂

So I thought I’d start a discussion about music. I grew up in the days where my favorite artists were Neil Diamond and John Denver. I can still be seen singing Cracklin’ Rosie while driving down the highway. I just make sure the windows are rolled up. I, um, don’t have the voice Neil Diamond does. lol

Most music history that is taught breaks music into six historical periods:

  • The Middle Ages (think Gregorian Chant)
  • The Renaissance (sacred music goes mainstream and dance music is popularized)
  • The Baroque Period (Johann Sebastian Bach and opera)
  • The Classical Period (music lightens up)
  • The Romantic Era (emotional depth gets added)
  • The Twentieth Century (The Beatles and Elvis!)

I never took any music history classes in college and I don’t know why. I love to listen to most anything, from opera to country. And, while this isn’t a contest and there’s no prize, I thought I’d list a few songs I like and see if you can identify the artist. (Be careful paging down because I’ve listed the answers at the bottom of the blog.) Here you go:

2010 – The House That Built Me
1993 – Bed of Roses
1986 – Addicted To Love
1973 – Daniel
1969 – My Way
1955 – The Great Pretender

These are only a few songs I like and some are before my time. Well, at least before I started listening to music. When I need to concentrate the most, I put classical on. Brahms, or Shostakovich if I need to be empowered.

Now it’s your turn. What do you listen to? Do you have a favorite artist or genre you listen to? A favorite song?

Oh, and here’s your answers:
2010 – The House That Built Me (Miranda Lambert)
1993 – Bed of Roses (Bon Jovi)
1986 – Addicted To Love (Robert Palmer)
1973 – Daniel (Elton John)
1969 – My Way (Frank Sinatra)
1955 – The Great Pretender (the Platters)

Have a GREAT day!

posted by Laurie Ryan