Amanda Palmer

All posts tagged Amanda Palmer

On feeling beautiful and being random.

Published October 10, 2012 by mandileighbean

The following link is to an interesting article on the Huffington Post, which is an interview with author R.L. Stine.  I read nearly everything he wrote from the time I was in elementary school and until the last years of high school, and it makes me really happy to discover he is still writing and broadening his audience.  I will most definitely check out his adult thriller when it is finished.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/08/rl-stine-goosebumps_n_1937109.html?icid=maing-grid7%7Cmaing9%7Cdl22%7Csec3_lnk1&pLid=217209&utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false

 

I have been perusing J.K. Rowling’s newest novel, The Casual Vacancy.  I have not read enough to make any kind of decision, but I will say this: I miss Harry Potter.

 

I have one class of essays left to grade and it is literally taking me forever.  I guess that means I really do not want to grade.  I can knock out most of them during my prep period and then whatever is left, I will definitely finish tomorrow evening.

 

I would love to have some kind of musical talent.  In an ideal world, I would be equal parts Florence + The Machine and Amanda Palmer.  I do not listen to either artist enough.

 

I ran in the rain today.  It really does provide one with a feeling of accomplishment.

 

I’ve decided I am going to be Maleficent from “Sleeping Beauty” for Halloween.  I am completely excited.

 

I can count the times I have honestly felt beautiful on one hand.  Luckily, today was one of them.  I purchased a dress for an upcoming wedding and I absolutely love it.  It is scarlet and lace, and it makes me feel wild, romantic and beautiful.

 

We are all beautiful.

 

Rainy days call for random thoughts; I hope you have enjoyed these.

On video games.

Published August 1, 2012 by mandileighbean

I slept late today, despite going to bed at a decent hour.  I woke up feeling useless and felt that way for the remainder of the day.  Clearly, I could have done something productive or even just gone outside, but all I did was sat at this very computer and work on my music library in iTunes.  My library is very, very close to being as complete as it can be, considering I download new songs every day.  It’s not much, and I felt bad about being so aimless and tedious in the day’s activity, but I found a way to rationalize my behavior (as I always do).

Music quite literally is my muse.  When I sit down to write, and I’m talking every single time, I have music playing in the background.  I am pretty sure I mentioned in a previous entry that Her Beautiful Monster basically wrote itself after I listened to “Runs In The Family” by Amanda Palmer a couple of thousands of times.  I’ve developed an inspirational playlist for what I hope to become my second novel and I listen to it constantly; I even have it playing on repeat as I sleep.  A major song on that list is “I’m On Fire” by Bruce Springsteen, and that song also plays a role in Her Beautiful Monster.

For me as a writer, I believe music plays such a large role in my creative process because I think in images.  I see my stories as a movie in my head, in scenes, and every movie needs a killer soundtrack.  For today’s entry, I am going to share with you lyrics to the song “No Place to Hide” by Jace Everett.  The song was featured in an episode of “True Blood” last season and is epic (Everett also sings the theme song to the show, “Bad Things”).  The song is also what I was listening to as I wrote tonight’s prompt.

No Place to Hide

Jace Everett

There’s no place to hide down here
There’s no place to hide down here
Went to the rock, got on my knees
I heard the angels weep for me
No place to hide down here

Now where’s my brother’s keeper?
Who holds the flaming sword?
The field had turned to crimson
Thought I hid it from the Lord
But somewhere east of Eden
His blood cried out from the ground
I hung my head in shame where I was found

There’s no place to hide down here
No place to hide down here
Went to the rock, got on my knees
I heard the angels weep from me
No place to hide down here

Now I’m a wandering stranger
A scar for a name
A mark so deep and black my children’s children feel the shame
Oh merciful and gracious Lord, when shall I be released?
Was blood that has condemned me; only blood can set me free

There’s no place to hide down here
No place to hide down here
Went to the rock, got on my knees
I heard the angels weep for me
No place to hide down here
No, there’s no place to hide down here

There’s no place to hide down here

PROMPT: “You don’t have enough points, sir.”

PIECE: “You don’t have enough points, sir,” said a mechanical voice from somewhere behind Ben.  He whirled around, fast enough to make his head spin, and met an elderly gentleman who seemed spry enough and reminded him of a butler.  Ben cleared his throat and tried to calm his breathing.  Other than trying to regain his composure, Ben did nothing except stare at the old man whom he had assumed was the one that spoke.  As if he could read Ben’s mind and wanted to assuage Ben’s uncertainty, the old man said again, “You don’t have enough points, sir.”

“Enough points for what?” Ben asked, clearly confused.

“You do not have enough points to continue on, sir.”  The old man’s tone of voice was exacting, intimating there would be no room for debate and any pleas for charity or mercy would fall upon deaf ears.  Ben was going to try anyway.

“But I have to get through those large, wooden doors.  My lady is on the other side, in grave danger, and she is waiting for me to come to her rescue,” he argued.  He motioned to the doors before him with gloved hands.  The path led straight through the doors and continued on the other side, and the instructions given to Ben by the old, gypsy woman in the forest at the beginning of the journey had been explicit; do not stray from the path as it will lead to your love.  The gypsy also mentioned that time was of the essence and Ben needed to get a move on.  He had had enough of a delay already, between fighting off the robbers in the woods and evading the monstrous beasts that were chasing him.

“Well, sir, if I may be frank, you should have thought about points before making it this far.”  The old man’s face was impassive, almost impossibly serious.  How could any human being be so stern, so completely devoid of emotion or compassion?  It was then that it dawned on Ben that this man may not be a man at all.

“But I don’t understand,” Ben persisted.  “How was I supposed to know how many points a task was worth?  I fought my way here – do you understand?  I was nearly killed by thieves on countless occasions and as I was surviving, the awful, hideous monsters pursuing me crept closer and closer.  I have spilled blood and shed some of my own.  I have seen terror and have not flinched.  I have earned the right to advance, so let me through!”

The old man did not seem impressed.  He crossed his thin arms over his frail chest and walked around Ben to stand before the wooden doors.  “You may not pass.  You don’t have enough points, sir.”

Ben stopped thinking and his right hand immediately found the hilt of his sword.  What was stopping him from running the old man through?  How many points would Ben earn if he were to slit the old man upon and spit upon the intenstines that fell to the dusty ground?  A demonic smile tried to fit itself upon Ben’s mouth, but he came to his senses before it could fully materialize.  If he were to kill this old man, what would he become?  Ben reasoned he would be no better than the thieves he had killed, no better than the monsters coming after him, and no better than the cowards who had taken his lady love hostage.  He needed a different approach.  He sighed, suddenly weary, and asked the old man, “How can I get more points?”

The old man smiled.

On being inspired.

Published March 20, 2012 by mandileighbean

I am very proud of myself for writing my novel, but I am also very eager to start working on a second novel. However, I am feeling particularly uninspired. When I was working on Her Beautiful Monster, I wrote every single day. I thought about it constantly, dreamed about it and dreaded when the project would eventually end. I was truly passionate and as of yet, I have not been as passionate about any possible plots or characters that have come to mind. In short, I NEED to be inspired.

Typically, I listen to music to stimulate both the brain cells and my creativity. The artists that double as my personal muses are Bruce Springsteen, Bob Seger, My Chemical Romance, and Elvis Presley. Truth be told, however, Her Beautiful Monster was inspired by another artist entirely; the novel was inspired by the music of Amanda Palmer. I don’t enjoy her music as often as the musicians I listed earlier (but I should, and you should too – she’s phenomenal), but I do listen to the Boss quite a bit; probably the most out of any other artist out there. I listen to him for at least an hour every day.

I love Bruce for a multitude of reasons. For starters, he is from New Jersey. I am also from New Jersey, and there is an inherent motivational feeling associated with observing someone from similar surroundings and background make it big. Springsteen was able to make it out of the Great Garden State and return a conquering hero. I would love to be able to do the same.

I love Bruce because he’s handsome, which hardly hurts and usually helps.

Most importantly, I love Bruce because his lyrics are prophetic and impossibly beautiful. His authenticity and genuine sentiments make him accessible to every American – he is able to creatively and concisely divulge the anxieties, the triumphs, the dreams, and the desperations of the American experience. He is a true poet, and he has his finger on the pulse of contemporary American society like no one else. I would argue that Springsteen is not only a poet, but a prophet. His words set to melodies can be anthems and a call to arms, can entertain and tell a story with rich characters and timeless themes, and can inspire. I am living proof of the latter, as the first thing that I ever consciously wrote for an audience that I was proud of was a short story titled Cover Me, inspired by the Springsteen song of the same name. The short story was published on-line in the Cynic On-line Magazine, and is still available to read if you are interested (HINT HINT).

Bono, the lead singer of U2, once said that Springsteen was both private and accessible, which in my humble opinion, is true and an incredibly romantic contradiction. Through not only his words and music, but through his very being, Springsteen represents the common man, but is able to do so in a personal way that invites individual listeners to sympathize and empathize on a very personal level, as if every song is for everyone and simultaneously tailored to suit anyone; that is a truly remarkable feat that I strive to emulate.

Springsteen’s song “I’m On Fire” played a HUGE role in creating Her Beautiful Monster, and I still find myself returning to its imagery of loneliness and longing as physical and emotional ailments. The lyrics are beautifully simply and blunt. I highly recommend that everyone reading this also listen to that song, especially if you plan on reading my novel.

In my search for inspiration, I have lately been listening to Springsteen’s “Jack Of All Trades,” from his newest album, “Wrecking Ball.” The song has definitely enchanted me, and I believe there is inspiration within but to be honest, I am having a hell of a time finding it.

I need help.

What inspires you? Is it music? Is it a person? When you want to be creative, how do you get in the zone? Please share. I hope I’ve been able to return the favor.

Also – I’ve included a link to the short story mentioned in this blog … if you’re interested. 🙂

http://www.cynicmag.com/feature.aspx?articleid=3525

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