I love Christmas for more reasons than just the family time, presents and food. I love Christmas for some of the songs and tunes that are available at yuletide.
Songs that feed the imagination of the fantasy writer and artist such as; “Suzy Snowflake” written by Sid Tepper and Roy C Bennett in the 1950s and sung by Rosemary Clooney. Suzy Snowflake is a little snow fairy that beckons children to go out and play in the snow, though the song isn’t exactly about Christmas per se, snow intrinsically is associated with Christmastime. Though some will argue that Suzy Snowflake is nothing more than just a little girl dressed in a snow white gown, there is a video however that shows otherwise. In the video Suzy taps at the windowpanes of little houses with a magical wand that frosts the panes over. In my opinion, that’s not to the ability of a mere mortal child.
I like to think of Suzy Snowflake as being the female counterpart or wife of Jack Frost, another Christmas/Winter hero.
I am aim to write about a Christmas song at least once a week leading up to Christmas, all of them are secular Christmas songs and could be considered food for the imagination.
Tag Archives: music
I love Christmas for more reasons than just the family time, presents and food. I love Christmas for some of the songs and tunes that are available at yuletide.
For the last two days I have posted later in the day, not the morning like I usually do because I have been busy with my son. It is the October half term, I am still getting over what was now discovered to be a mild case of pneumonia, and thankfully they caught it with strong drugs on time. I luckily had a doctor with the savvy to take a swab from me, something that’s getting rarer these days – intelligent and compassionate doctors.
I never heard of pneumonia of the ear, but it explains why my infection has lasted a solid 5 weeks this time around.
Anyway, I have tried to work hard and make various posts for scheduled posting to stick to my promise of a post a day, but for some reason or other the posts I have chosen to write aren’t time compatible. I have been thinking about Christmas and New Year a lot, so a lot of the poetry and discussions I’ve written are schedule for 6 to 9 weeks’ time.
In those discussions I’ve spoken about how I feel about various festive traditions and songs, such as “Marshmallow World” by Bing Crosby and “Susie Snowflake” and the idea of the Krampas etc.
I don’t know why my mind is set in mid-winter but I find it very enchanting, however, it is not time compatible just yet.
Stick with me
I cannot work in silence when I am writing; I need music all the time. For me, silence can be painful and headache inducing, as much as having television on in the background is also another disturbance and headache waiting to happen.
There are only two times when silence suits me without invoking a headache; when I am walking in nature, woodlands, pathways next to canals and fields etc., or being driven somewhere by car. I dislike conversations in cars, I don’t like talking, and I like to zone out and forget I am in the car because I tend to feel sick when I acknowledge I am in a car. I can imagine other places quite easily when I am not spoken to and in a car, this therefore makes it difficult for my body to realise it should be sick. I also cannot read in a moving car, but I am perfectly relaxed at reading on trains and in busy cafes.
Travelling on buses and in cars makes me tired as well as daydreamy and any more than an hour in either and I am asleep, unless I am very tired or woke up early on the day, I tend not to sleep on trains, I love trains, I have a passion for them which has certainly rubbed off on my son Henry.
We take regular trips on trains just because; we are trying to get into a habit of going on the Severn Trent valley steam railway every couple of months. I like to look at the scenery around there, the river Severn is the most beautiful river I’ve ever seen, which doesn’t say much because I’ve only ever seen three rivers personally up close.
Music therefore is a very important tool for my writing. I like listening to instrumental music mostly, such as that found from Nox Arcana, Apocalyptica, classical music, but sometimes I will listen to lyrical music from all styles and eras, such as Patsy Cline’s Honky Tonk Merry-Go-Round, Movie Soundtracks, Kesha and many others.
If it weren’t for music I don’t think I could be as emotional in my writing as I am with it.
When I was little I had no imagination, seriously. I didn’t find my imagination until I was around 9yrs old, I remember teachers from the couple of schools I was allowed to go to complaining that my stories were too realistic and that I lacked imagination. I was browbeaten by them to develop an imagination and my mum helped with that – by the time she was finished with me my life was destined to be a writer from the age of 11. It was decided for me and I have to admit I fell into it.
I am not saying for one moment that I don’t enjoy writing, I do. But a writer’s life was chosen for me, not something I found I wanted, it was literally thrusted upon me.
When I look back through my therapy and my creative recoveries, I have noticed that when I was a child I had planned to be a mother or a teacher and that I had a huge interest in art and fashion. I had quite vain thoughts as a child, but all of this was discouraged out of me and by the time I was 16 I had forgotten the art life I had wanted for myself and writing took its place. I know writing is an art form in itself, but I meant painting, sculpture etc., all those other art forms were discouraged simply because my talent lies in writing, not drawing my mum often told me.
I was thrilled when my cousin Shane bought me oil paints for Christmas one year, my mum dreaded it and didn’t encourage me to continue, despite the good painting I did of some obscure Aztec ancient god. My dad was proud of it, but she looked at it as an expensive past time that she wasn’t looking forward to smelling.
Since living with Paul, he believes I have talents in both but my main skill is writing simply because I don’t practise art enough. In fact he is right, because I practise less than two hours a time approximately once every couple of months. Whereas writing, I am practising almost every day for over an hour.
A lot of the time I just draw with pencils or a biro and never colour it in. When I do really good drawings I am scared to paint them, because I tend to ruin good sketches with painting them wrong. I have done excellent work that was ruined by paint. A large African elephant in the Sahara, when painted, all the excellent detail was destroyed and it became cartoonlike, yet it was coloured in with watercolours, watercolour is my main medium.
I do chalk pastel art too, but again, I am frightened to preserve it, as I tend to over spray and my work is literally washed away.
I am self-taught in both art and writing.
Music is vital for me to work, this is the primary reason why I can’t work when my son is awake or at home, his noises drown out my music a lot. He also wants the TV on all the time and that drowns out the music too. Unlike most writers and artists I don’t like isolating myself in a room alone, I like to be around people, particularly people who respect music and respect the fact that I am working – a child can never do those things, they don’t understand; So, reluctantly I have to work around him and this is something I am dreading when I become professionally published – my time then has to work around the editors I am appeasing and for me, that’s going to be a nightmare.
I adore vampires, I am not sure if I’ve ever made that clear on here before (grins knowingly) and I’ve been thinking about them a lot today. I’ve been thinking about my favourite vampires, Judas Iscariot from Dracula 2000, John Carpenters VAMPIRES, Interview with the vampire and Daughter of Darkness to name but a few.
I love the culture surrounding vampires and everything Gothic, from the strange music options, to the fashion, the architecture and the darkness of it all, to the sheer sinfulness of loving it.
I love the strangest things and the strangest things inspire me to write and paint.
The strange haunting sounds of the music from Nox Arcana in their album Transylvania = visitors in the night, to their album shadow of the raven = the black cat wails and cries of a demon cat and the semi-Gregorian chants throughout all their albums.
I love the tribal belly dance scene, the gothic belly dancers from tribal fusion, I collect the DVDs regularly, I am a particular fan of Rachel Brice – to me, all of this just oozes vampire.
As a former belly dancer myself (not professionally) I am saddened that I didn’t learn about the tribal fusion style dancers until 2yrs after I gave up the dances, if I had known beforehand I think I would have sought them out and have become professional. I adore the dances and I would love someday to have a daughter who has the same interests in it as I do.
Unlike a lot of traditionalists, I don’t see belly dance as a thing solely for women, there is a form of belly dance for men! In fact it was traditional for both sexes to belly dance right up until the Persian Empire was created, then it was almost eradicated entirely for a practise for men and became a very sexualised dance solely for women by the Persian conquerors. The dance is debated to have originally come from the eastern side of Greece, near Salonica.
There is a dancer known as Prince Andrew which practises the masculine form, by belly dancing with a sword balanced on his naked waist and hips and balanced on his head. I find it very sexy, a very sensual dance. He looks almost like a character from Sinbad and the eye of the tiger; though his style is considered to be indo belly dance, a kind of traditional Indian style.
Here are a couple of videos with Prince Andrew dancing.
Masculine belly dance is starting to become popularised once again, there are more and more male dancers taking to the scene which I find rather exciting.
Another form of dance I like and think is very Gothic, is fire dancing.
I think vampires are very passionate beings, they put their heart and their soul into everything they do, they surround themselves with beautiful things, things they love, because eternity is a long time if you are around things you dislike or things that do not give you pleasure.
I think because they have eternity on their hands, they go out of their way to surround themselves with things that make them happy, collections from the past and even collecting newly sired people to be around them, of the nature that they like and connect with or that feel familiar to them. This is what I think happened to Lestat in Anne Rice’s vampire chronicles. I think Lestat was very nostalgic and may have seen something in Louis that attracted him to sire him, because he reminded him of someone he knew in his mortal life. Whether or not the relationship was compatible it didn’t matter to Lestat, he wanted familiarity and companionship and for a while he got it from Louis.
I feel very sad for Lestat, he seemed very alone. I think he and I would have got along very well together if he were real. I certainly would never leave his side; I am loyal to a fault with anyone I think is akin to me – not so loyal to those who are not akin to me however; being akin means more to me than being simply blood related, it is how our very essences match each other, how we connect, do we click? If not, then the relationship will be very short lived.
I consider myself to be a very passionate person. I am passionate about everything that I do and I seldom do anything that I am not passionate about. If I find it boring, I won’t do it, I will delegate – which is what I do even for my online games. I delegate the boring parts of the game to Paul, feeding my pets for example or setting them up for adoption for me. Some people call it being lazy; I call it, living my life to the fullest, and why not? Mortal lives are short anyway, there is no vampire going to sire me in this world. More is the pity.
That’s why I envelop myself with vampire mythology, vampire movies, haunting music, music boxes, pictures of wolves, bats and gothic castles around the house, thick wine coloured velvet curtains in the living room, old roses in the front garden with lilac and irises. Royal purple walls in the bedroom with a black carpet and red bedding. But not everything about my house is wonderfully gothic; unfortunately, there are a lot of places I need to decorate in order to eradicate the cold ice white walls my mother painted in most of the rooms downstairs. The brown sofa is a far cry from what I think is perfect, but it will do for the time being.
I have owl ornaments everywhere, a box filled with raven feathers, a raven feather silver necklace I wear on very special occasions. I miss the tiger’s eye ring my ex stole from me and the wolf fleece blanket with the midnight blue sky and full moon another ex-took from me. Yes I know, they are just things, but they were mine and I loved them. Especially the ring, that was special – my dad seldom could afford to give me anything with the money my mum would allow him, so anything he gave me was more precious than life’s blood, he gave me that ring, my ex stole it and that hurts.
It wasn’t all that particular ex stole, he stole an heirloom, the ring was an heirloom, he also stole my savings and unbeknownst to my mother at the time I had savings of £12,000 and when he dumped me I had less than £500 left.
It is this ex that made me dominant. After he hurt me and abused me in more ways than one, I became bitter against men in general for about six years, the boyfriends I had before Paul, were all submissive in the BDSM scene. Paul however wasn’t, but he wasn’t prepared to take me as a submissive, he reckoned he saw the true nature of me that was hidden because of abuse. I must admit that I had a lot of my gumption beaten out of me over the years before I met Paul. Since living with Paul the tolerance for other people negative behaviours towards me are at a minimum, boy have I got feisty since meeting Paul and he thinks this is a good thing.
I have a very low tolerance for anyone destroying my peace, destroying what I have accomplished since disowning my mother three years ago, I have a very short fuse for anything that upsets me. Learn what I like, learn my boundaries and we can be very good friends, solid in fact.
I have no qualms telling people that I demand a lot, I demand attention and the best, I demand love, I demand to be considered precious and above all, I demand loyalty not only for me, but my chosen family.
I consider my family as a pack, a clan, a tribe – very similar to how people view vampires, they have their little nest of individuals that stick together, I consider myself and the members of my house to be like this… a solid loyal unit.
I crave a large pack, whether fashioned together with a few like-minded friends or having children and teaching them loyalty and supportiveness of each other.
This is one the most unforgiving things I cannot stand about my mother. The bridges she burned when the family needed her the most, she’s a quitter. I’ve never been a quitter, but thanks to the bridges she burned not a lot of family wants to talk with me anymore, except for my father’s side of the family. They associate me as her little goon, because I was never allowed to leave her side right up until I was 27yrs old, I went everywhere with her, even missing school for home education to be with her, because she demanded it. As far as many relatives and friends were concerned I and my mother seemed close, too close, unnaturally close, so many believed we held the same values. In fact we’re total opposites.
My heart breaks day in and day out because of the family isolation I’ve endured because of her. When granddad was alive, I would be in regular contact of so many relatives, I was socialising at the weekends with the grandchildren of his cousins! Now that’s extensive family for you, what’s more is I was lucky enough as a child to have this happen on both sides of the family. My father’s side of the family are in regular contact with my grandmother’s siblings grandchildren! But again, because my mother isolates herself, she has therefore isolated me and my father from both sides of the family over the years.
I went from having approximately 15 to 20 visitors a week at the house, all different, all relatives, and having up to 18 people visit on Christmas Eve or Christmas Evening, to getting a visitor once a fortnight, the same one or two people and then only 6 for Christmas dinner, then down to just 5 for Christmas dinner and a visit from my brother and his girlfriend once a month.
I have a void that has not been filled since.
This is why I am in the scene, not the Gothic scene, but the BDSM scene. This is why I am so open-minded about open-relationships, I crave a large family and if I can’t make one through having children, then I intend to grow a large network and I think it is very unfair for anyone to try and deny me that.
I love vampires as they are eternally loyal and passionate.
Relaxed, lounging on the cream velvet chaise lounge dressed in a gold silk dress she smoked from her cigarette extension listening to adagio for strings on full volume, watching the city below her closing down for the night.
Her man, not far from her was helping himself to another glass of whiskey quietly and thoughtfully.
Years has past she thought to herself, years they have seen mortals below them come and go in their petty little lives, lives that they needed and not any of them ever questioned how long they’ve stayed in the area and how they’ve never changed, not even a spot.
Funny creatures she thought to herself.
Such potential though, their talents are wasted on their greed and their dramas, if only they knew.
Finally she broke the silence.
“Are you hunting tonight darling”? She said to the man behind her.
“I hadn’t thought of it, why are you hungry then my dear”? He enquired.
Now I understand that this snippet is full of adverbs and mistakes, but this is what I do when I am between writing actual stories. I just sit and I write random stuff and the most frustrating thing is that on Facebook I have many friends who are writers and I ask them questions like “do you do this too”? They never answer me. So am I alone in how I write? Or do all writers sit down with a plan?
Also understand that this is a first draft and is not part of a planned story, it was just something I wanted to get out of my head and I couldn’t go any further with.
Over the last couple of days I’ve been reading like a maniac ergo not written very much, I’ve been fortunate enough to have won two goodreads.com giveaways which has kept me busy; Also I have been watching funny rap take outs from ERB. It’s a recommended watch because you’ve got Darth Vader VS Adolf Hitler and Thor VS Zeus that type of thing.
You can find ERB on youtube
I hear the echoes of the songs of the lost souls
Captivated I cannot move
I only listen
Their cries sound like music, though there’s pain
Indeed they are the cries of pain
It would drive some insane
But me, I remain
Silent, still, listening on to the tune that chills
Deep into my very soul
They are familiar to me, those singers
Those words that they sing
So familiar it stings
I try not to think “why” to such things
The night is chilled and the air is icy
Winter nips at your cheeks and nose
Wandering far into the forest, you are lost my little Rose
Simplicity doesn’t exist where complexity plays
A daring youth like you amaze me in all ways
Hark! Hear the sound of the midnight wolves
Playing a melody to attract lost fools
You follow their tune, blissfully ignorant of the dangers they bestow
And onwards you follow, and onwards you go
Through the nocturnal world you flounder
From tree to tree you flow
Further into the orchestra, into something you don’t know
Into the jaws of hunger
Into the mists of time
Into the raging beasts that are ready to dine
And now you’re here, cold in my arms
A little Rose you’ve been
And I have plucked you from the world and you’ll never again be seen
Not by mortal eyes no how and you’ll stay forever with me
No mortal shall hear your cries when you beg me for release
And now you’ve joined the shadow world
A place that’s made from fear
And you will sup upon mortal babes and breed with me more fear
And nothing shall stop your pain, when you can’t kill anymore
You’ll always give into the hunger and eat their flesh that’s raw
And I’ll be here for you always
My precious little one
To remind you of who it was, that hid you from the sun
Oh my little Rose, look at what you’ve become!
A lot of my work comes about because of the thoughts that come to my mind when I listen to certain music; my inspiration changes with each kind of music I listen to, this is why I love instrumental music, particularly that from Nox Arcana.
I have all of their albums, they are essential for me to work effectively. Never before has a band affected me in such a way as Nox Arcana. Their music is exactly the kind of atmosphere I need to set my brain into for my work in fantasy and horror writing and art.
I might very well review each album or song separately someday, but the most listened to album for me is this one – Carnival of Lost Souls.
The amount of fantasy horror I’ve thought of. I have even thought about a comic series because of this music, this along with (sorry, something not Nox Arcana related) = The Honky Tonk Merry-go-round by Patsy Cline. Oh the things I have dreamt, thank you Nox Arcana, very much for this one. Johnny Depp is going to love you all the more if he ever reads my stuff and found out his new nightmares were inspired by you. *insert evil laugh here*.
Since I lost Cubase many moons ago, my computer isn’t hooked up with music composing software anymore (and I can’t read or write music, but I can play by ear and compose – with the software). My music was similar to Nox Arcana, that’s why I love it so much. I think the band must be within my soul group or something? Anyway, once I figured out how to configure my old Microsoft XP files onto my new computer (perhaps in Neverwhere) I will load up my old music and share it. Otherwise, if I really am in Neverwhere with that then my old music has been lost in the ethers of time forever. *Insert forlorn pierrot here*.
My creativity really is controlled by the type of music that’s around me at the time. In the times of no music, I tend to write flatly and that’s only suitable when I am writing non-fiction or essays.
Now being deaf, I rely heavily on vibrations, lip-reading and my two hearing aids and I am not looking forward to the day that my consultant said is in the near future, that I will lose my hearing altogether. Unfortunately at the time this was said to me, the consultant in question told me that there is nothing they can do to repair my hearing if the worst case scenario crops up, thankfully I know someone in the ENT department abroad who says that’s utter tosh. So fingers crossed that I will never lose my hearing completely.
I don’t know what I would do without my Nox Arcana!