Monday Musings #11 — Censorship

I find a lot of songs on the radio irritating. Some because I just don’t like the genre or something, but a lot of the time it’s because of censorship. Have you noticed that quite often, the “clean” version of a song changes “fuck” to “love” for all the delicate, shell-like ears out there?

Which would be fine, but those things aren’t just fucking interchangeable. One might be in love with someone they’re fucking, but there are lot of songs out there that are really talking about the other, no emotional strings attached kind and potentially giving impressionable listeners (this is the “clean” version after all, so any one could be listening) the wrong idea about what healthy love is like.

Here are just a few examples. Continue reading “Monday Musings #11 — Censorship”


A to Z Challenge #24 — Xylophone

My high school had an award-winning marching band. We would learn a new show each year — and although I stubbornly stayed on third part even into my senior year (I was not an award-winning clarinetist) my marching was solid. Although actually, because I played third part my playing was usually pretty solid too.

The best year was my first. We played The Rise & Fall of Rome, composed by a man who writes these things with marching bands in mind and they all kinda start to sound the same if you listen long enough. But, at least to me and the rest of the newbies, it was brand new and epic. I can still hum bits of it. I can still remember that bit in the second movement when the clarinet section’s arc to merged with the mellophone section’s arc, and we had to be very precise in order to avoid being whacked in the head by a brass horn.


Just about every weekend in the fall we would pile into several busses and road trip it to whatever show we were competing in that night. As one of the larger sized bands, it was almost always a nighttime performance, which leant a sort of crispness and sense of anticipation to the whole thing. Traditionally, our last show of the season was in Napa, and the thing about the Napa competition was that it was often rainy. Rain meant marching without feather plumes on our hats, and that the woodwinds had to practice with our instruments under our clear plastic rain ponchos much as possible so the water wouldn’t get into the pads. (I don’t know how the flutes and piccolos made due with that, to be honest. I’m also not sure, in a heavy enough downpour, how the sousaphone section didn’t drown.) At Napa my freshman year, it rained all day — all the way there, all through warm ups and rehearsals, and all through dinner and the pre-show pep talk. We had our ponchos on in preparation. And then, miraculously, when we lined up in the on-deck area during the tail end of band performance before ours, the rain stopped. The chaperones rushed through our ranks and files, collecting ponchos and handing the plumes back out.

Naturally, it started raining again as soon as we took the field.

But what followed was absolutely amazing. Continue reading “A to Z Challenge #24 — Xylophone”

A to Z Challenge #8 — Hello


When I first heard this song, I had immediate feelings about what it was about.

It was that iconic part of the chorus — “Hello from the other side.” To me, the other side means the afterlife, so I thought of the entire song as sung by a ghost who has been unsuccessful in contacting a former lover who is still alive. The one that got away, sort of thing. She asks if they ever moved away from that small town because she’s been out of touch with them for such a long time, and maybe she’s been trying to reconnect since before the time of her death. Whatever caused them to part ways it was probably something she did and now deeply regrets, and that’s why she’s still hanging on trying to send messages. Continue reading “A to Z Challenge #8 — Hello”

Writing Soundtrack #1 – Narcisse

This post was inspired by this post on Writing And Musing. It made me think of all the times I’ve heard a song that totally fit with whatever I was working on, so today I want to share some of the songs that I associate with one of my characters.

Her name is Narcisse, from my in-progress  fantasy novel Growing Magic. She’s twenty-seven, raised in a relatively privileged environment by superficial parents who didn’t really pay her much attention. Her skill as a manipulator gets her their blessing to attend her choice of school in her study program of choice, and she graduates a talented Sorcerer in a particular and specialized field — one most would consider unnecessary philosophy on the origins of magic. Then, since she has nothing in particular to do with herself, she carves out a niche for herself in the research department, where she eventually gets herself into trouble because she’s a smartass and sticks her nosey nose into places she shouldn’t.

The first song I have for Narcisse is Extraordinary Machine, by Fiona Apple. Continue reading “Writing Soundtrack #1 – Narcisse”