Tag Archives: music


I’ve got to revise Ever Touched in 60 days. The first draft is technically not done, but I’m almost to the end. I see no point in struggling to finish — and eat into my 60 days — when the ending may end up changing anyway.

Today I said I’d start it. I’ve got my music ready, I’ve read the first few pages to familiarize myself with it (I haven’t read them in months), and I have an idea about how I want to work this.

Soooo what’s the problem?

Well, I’m glad you asked.

It’s something I call the “Rewrite Terrors.” Basically? It’s the fear of screwing up a book when rewriting or revising. F*cking it up good. And, as I only have 60 days, I can’t screw up anything. This is why I insisted on starting today. To give myself a month buffer. I was going to start Nov 1st, giving myself 30 days, but that seemed waaaaaaay too tight, especially with Thanksgiving and a guest coming in from out of town. I also set up my 2nd vacation the last week of the month so if I did get into trouble, I’d have more time to fix it.

I’ve done everything I can possibly do. Typically, I outline the book after finishing, but I am considering skipping that step. I may outline as I go, which will save time, I think. This way, if I do need that big picture view, I’ve got it.

This book is very, very different from the other two. It introduces a whole new race of people, and some interesting abilities. It may continue in the next book, if I can’t finish the story in this one. Maybe. I haven’t decided yet. But it also grapples with some interesting concepts. There’s science-y stuff in there, too, which I won’t reveal right now. All in all, I’m pretty happy with it. So why am I so goddamned scared?

Every single revision is scary and challenging, as I told my husband a few minutes ago. Every time it feels like it won’t come together, it won’t work, but it always does. Sometimes it requires more work, or more brainpower, or more fanagling, but it happens. I have to trust the process. I’ve revised *counts* 1 book 3 times, and 2 books once each, not including novellas and such. That’s to completion. One revision I abandoned because I’d changed everything so much that it required a rewrite (still pending). And I get scared each and every time. With the one I revised 3 times, I was super scared because it was the book of my heart and I needed it to be perfect. I still have another to do, but that’s another story.

Okay, time to chill and see if I can make this happen. Wish me luck.

Oh, and a hint as to the theme song of this book, which announced itself last week: The Sound of Silence, covered by Disturbed. I will be playing this a lot. If you haven’t checked this out, do so. It is absolutely amazing. Off to revise!


New Music Rec: Leah (Symphonic/Celtic Metal)

I’ve always been passionate about music. It uplifts, it calms, it makes me think. I was exposed to music very early in my life, as my parents were always playing it. Because of that, I grew up listening to all kinds of music. When I was a teenager, I discovered heavy metal, and have more or less stayed within that genre since then. (I am also a diehard fan of classic rock – stuff like Led Zeppelin, Foreigner, Bob Seger, Rod Stewart, The Who, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Styx, Steve Miller Band…the list goes on and on!). I have also been a huge fan of the band Queensryche since I discovered them in the 1990s (high school). They were, at the time, more progressive, and their songs always made me think. It was deep stuff when most bands were singing about sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But sometimes, I need a bit more 🙂 (They’ve gone through some changes since then, including going a bit lighter and then changing singers and then exploding into metal again. While I respect the former lead singer, Geoff Tate, I have to give the new singer, Todd La Torre, credit for revitalizing the band and their brand. But overall, their music has literally changed my life.)

Soooo about 5-6 years ago, a good friend of mine turned me on to symphonic metal, which is heavy metal with symphonic and sometimes fantastical influences. A good portion of symphonic metal bands have female lead singers, which is awesome, as there aren’t many out there in metal. And, most of them are not American, which makes it even more interesting.

Most people know Nightwish. They’re Finnish, and they were like, the biggest symphonic band around. Then came others. And there are an amazing amount of them out there now. I almost can’t keep up. Now my music collection is about 70% symphonic or femme metal (metal fronted by women) and about 30% everything else.

I still love metal and classic rock — and 80s hair bands and pop bands and all that (I was an 80s child). But…I think the thing that brings me back again and again to symphonic metal is how different the sound is. If you’ve never heard it, I’m not sure I can explain this well, but I’ll try. There’s just…more to it. More musical elements. Beautiful arrangements and equally beautiful voices. The lyrics are cool, too. Some deal with fantasy type stuff. And most trend toward dark, which again, is totally me. 😉 So I enjoy them. I also enjoy going on mad hunts for new bands. Most of the bands I’ve found are from hunts. (Pandora radio and Spotify are my friends in this. Nowadays you can sample stuff before you buy, which I strongly suggest. Because this is so different, you want to know before you buy if you even like it!)

Recently I saw an ad for a symphonic metal/Celtic singer Leah and decided to get a free download of three songs. I think I found a new one! I really, really like her music. She’s got a great voice, there’s some symphonic in it, and some Celtic (another favorite)! I’ve spent all afternoon sampling her music and am itching to purchase something. I didn’t really know what to expect from an ad — never have done that before. But I figured I couldn’t go wrong with free. From like, the first few bars of the first song, I was hooked.

So, if you think you may enjoy her music, or are just curious, check it out. I believe you can get it on her website http://www.leahmusic.net. (The ad was on Facebook if that helps). Her newsletter’s pretty cool, too. In the last one, she had pictures of herself wearing homemade chain mail. Yeah! Pretty neat!

So that’s my recommendation for today. Hope you enjoy. 🙂

The NEW Queensryche?

I’ve been meaning to talk about this for months, and now that there are two new albums to talk about, it seems like a good time.

Most people who know me know that I’m a huge fan of Queensryche.  I discovered them in the 90s with their awesome Empire album.  Then I backtracked and obtained all of their older stuff, and fell even more in love than before.  Their music is not only kick-ass, but it says something, you know?  It’s not just mindless fuzzy crap. 

However, after Promised Land released in 1994, their musical quality took a downturn.  Something went horrendously wrong, and they put out album after album of crap.  Now, there are a few exceptions.  American Soldier, released in 2009, was pretty good and a neat concept album.  Operation: Mindcrime II, released in 2007, was pretty good, too — there was no way they’d ever be able to do another Operation: Mindcrime again.  It just wasn’t possible.  Obviously, there is something lacking from OM: II but on the whole, it was a decent attempt at a sequel to what is a legendary album. 

So apparently there were creative differences.  And last year, vocalist Geoff Tate was fired from the band after allegedly spitting on two of his bandmates.  He also apparently was controlling the musical direction which accounted for the hideous drop in quality of their more recent albums.

I’ve always loved Geoff Tate.  He has one of the most amazing and unique voices of anyone.  I saw QR in concert for the first time in 2009 and was blown away.  There’s no doubt that he’s talented.  He’s been dubbed “the voice of Queensryche.”  Well, when the news broke, I was heartbroken.  My favorite band was basically no more.  They split into two versions: Geoff Tate’s version with all new musicians, and the original musicians plus singer Todd La Torre.  I wanted to keep an open mind about both — who says a fan needs to take sides, right?

That was before Tateryche released their album Frequency Unknown. Well, let’s just say this.  It is painfully obvious that he rushed it to get an album out before Torreryche.  Even the title screams revenge.  The cover has two hands with rings with the initials “F.U.”  Really?  Can you be so immature?

I gave the album a chance, though.  I listened to it on Spotify and tried to like it, I really did.  But, damn.  It was another Dedicated to Chaos, which to me is one of the worst QR albums ever.  And the remakes of the four hit songs?  Painful. I can’t even believe that this is Queensryche.  And it isn’t.  It’s Geoff Tate with new musicians trying to recapture his former glory and failing.

I had high hopes when I learned that Torreryche was releasing an album.  I heard some samples and was impressed.  On June 25th, release day, I bought it off iTunes and settled in to see what they came up with.

And they fucking nailed it.  Everything about QR that I love was there.  Their signature sound was back.  The heavy metal was back.  Even LaTorre’s voice was reminiscent of Tate, but not a true copy which is good.  I wouldn’t want a Tate copy.  La Torre brings new things to the table and it’s so clear that the whole band has been renewed and inspired.  Apparently they are all involved in the songwriting and music, as it wasn’t with Tate.  It’s like they’re risen up like the phoenix from their own ashes and came out bigger and better and more amazing than ever.

So, yeah, my allegiance is with Torreryche.  They went to court and were both allowed to use the QR name until the hearing this November.  I expect that someone will lose rights to the name, and I’m hoping it’s not Torreryche.  Because these guys have been true to the QR sound and lyrics and I’d hate to see them start all over again with a new name.  (They were very briefly performing as Rising West until that first hearing, and had a good reception from the fans). 

A lot of people are saying that Tate is irreplaceable, and it will be the death of the band (or quite possibly has been the death of the band).  Yeah, Tate was amazing in his time.  And I respect him as a vocalist.  But there’s nothing wrong with new blood.  And if they can’t work out their differences, it’s better they split.  I’m just happy that the band didn’t break up over this.  It’s been 30 years.  How many bands have been around that long?  Not many.

So, that’s what I’m thinking.  I’m so looking forward to more from Torreryche.  And I will continue to follow both, but my heart’s with Torreryche.  They’re the new Queensryche.  Look out Tate.  I think they are here to stay.