miscellany & tori

I know, I fail at updating. I have been a busy bee. Well, really, a combination of being sort of busy and also having nothing in particular to say, which seems to be the formula for lack of blog updating. Remind me not to make rash promises about updating every day anymore.

It decided to be summer all of a sudden, which is interesting and results in terribly flopsy kittens. Tessa is melting into the file box as I type.

Spent the week working on a new painting, hanging out with a friend from Smith I hadn’t seen in five years, and flouncing around in sundresses. And submerging myself in the new Tori Amos album, Abnormally Attracted to Sin.

I’ve loved Tori since I was 13 years old and first heard Little Earthquakes. I’ve grown up with her in a lot of ways, and each subsequent album seems to accompany me into my future, if that makes any sense. AAtS is interesting. It’s very mellow, that’s the first thing I noticed. It seems more like one long musical progression than a bunch of different songs, while certain tracks are standouts (I’m particularly fond of “Give” and “Lady in Blue” at the moment,) it blends very well. And I’m sure this sounds vaguely insulting, but it makes for very good background music. Maybe it’s just more atmospheric than some of her previous albums. I wasn’t sure what I thought about it at first but having listened to it pretty much non-stop for several days I really like it. You can hear the sound progression from American Doll Posse, but it’s, I don’t know, smoother and softer. Very much looking forward to seeing how it sounds live in August.

In other news, I am finishing up the latest round of edits on the novel. The boy and I are planning on sitting down with it this weekend and polishing it up, and by the end of the month it should be query-ready. So when I’m not questioning the clarity of character motivation and adding bits of dialogue to scenes I’m compiling my list of literary agents and worrying over synopsizing something that’s non-linear and 33% second person narration. My query letter is good, though, so that’s one less thing to worry about. I’ll be ready, I feel like I’m working at a good pace.

And I’m having a professional tarot reading on Wednesday, so that should help, too.

bat for lashes

The weather gods decided to drop a weekend of summer into the middle of spring. It is warm to the point of floptastically floppy kittens and desperate desire for sangria. (I have the floppy kittens, but sadly lack sangria.)

I am reading and writing and contemplating a series of monochromatic rainbow paintings.

The other day Stephen Fry tweeted about Bat for Lashes and of course I had to investigate Stephen Fry-approved music. I haven’t fallen this hard in music love since I first heard the Dresden Dolls.

I listened to everything I could find online and then promptly bought both albums on iTunes. LOVE. It’s like someone put all my favorite music in a blender with a volume of fairy tales and a bottle of red wine. There was supposed to be a show in Boston tomorrow but that’s now postponed until August, which makes me extremely happy since I wouldn’t have been able to go tomorrow but might be able to depending on when exactly in August said show is postponed until.

So, anyway. Basking in unseasonable summer and in music love. Will likely spend the afternoon sketching knights and keeping an eye on the Kitten Flop Barometer.

ear candy for you, with a message

Wil Wheaton has a post on his blog today about Zoë Keating, and how NPR used her music without permission or credit.

I discovered Zoë’s music last year via Amanda Palmer (she’s featured on a couple tracks of Amanda’s solo album) and fell instantly head over heels in love. Here, watch & listen:



She does fancy digital loops of her cello and creates this gorgeous, layered one-woman symphony. She should be in Apple ads or something, for all their fusion of music and technology.

Wil has more info on the NPR stuff including quotes from Zoë. I hope it was an honest oversight and that they’ll rectify it, and I hope through the wonder of the internet and word of mouth more people will discover a wonderful musician.

You can buy Zoë Keating’s music on iTunes, eMusic, Amazon, or from her website. I have both the full album and the EP and I listen to them often, they are phenomenal and I highly recommend them for music while writing, painting, or doing whatever artistic endeavor suits your fancy. They’re also brilliant for simply sitting & listening, too.

Listen, buy, spread the word.

brave new world

I feel like I’ve been easing into 2009 the way one wanders into OZ or Narnia or something, looking around at the world in a sort of befuddled wonderment and not particularly knowing what to do with myself. That the world outside my windows is a snow-icing landscape of white with creeping black-fingered trees likely only adds to the otherworldliness of it all.

I spent today alternately watching inauguration coverage on CNN and attempting to figure out what was wrong with my printer. It made for an interesting juxtaposition of historically significant and everyday mundane, but didn’t make the world feel any less strange. Maybe it feels even more strange now, strange and new, in a good way. I fixed the printer, so that bodes well.

My Moby-based Pandora station keeps pulling out this track by Jakatta that samples the score of American Beauty, a movie I was somewhat obsessed with nearly ten years ago. It is mixed and layered and might not even be identifiable had you not seen the movie multiple times in the theatre and owned the soundtrack. Listening to it is like having a piece of my past reworked and remixed and made into something new that retains the idea of the original if not the form. It’s disturbing and comforting all at once.

I think I’m still standing in the snow looking at 2009 spread out in front of me all full of possibility and promise and hope, and not sure where it is going to take me. Perhaps I just need to trust in my boots to take one step and then another. Destination unknown.

awaiting autumn

I have been in a sort of cocoon of Lapsang Souchong tea and writing lately, alternately accompanied by Philip Glass on solo piano and Zoe Keating on multi-layered cello.

Now I’ve moved on to being vaguely addicted to Amanda Palmer’s new solo album, Who Killed Amanda Palmer. I wasn’t sure what I thought of it at first but it has grown on me like some sort of musical fungus and I think I love it to little bits. Or something.

Still writing. Still have my Lapsang Souchong. Still have kittens finding new and interesting places to nap. Tessa was all about the front window for awhile (see photographic evidence) and now she’s underneath the gold armchair in the corner. Bucket has taken to flopping in various spots in the hallway so I have to jump over her to get to the kitchen for tea.

It feels like it could trip over into autumn any day now, I am sick of the humidity and I long for scarves and fingerless gloves and pumpkin spice lattes. It is my favorite time of year, all cinnamon and leaves and crisp cool air. Any day now.