Links and Things

There isn’t much to report today, although stay tuned: this blog will be having an event next week. I’ve never had an event before. I think it will be fun!

To tide you over, here are some things I found on the internet that I thought were cool. Maybe you will think they are cool too!

beastlyworlds

New favorite WordPress blog! This artist has a really charming style, and she makes comics that are funny and adorable. Especially check out her illustrations of the kids from Game of Thrones.

Writing Excuses

A really cool podcast that I found from a link in this post at This Page Intentionally Left Blank. I listened to the most recent episode of the podcast (by clicking the link at the right of the Writing Excuses page you can get it to download directly to itunes. It’s free) and I found it helpful and intelligent. Also, each episode is under 20 minutes.

The Story Shack

This is a really cool online journal, most notable in that it publishes an illustration with every single story. A lot of the stories are fun, and there’s some really great art.

 

I had a brief band practice this morning followed by a dentist appointment. This afternoon I am going to spend some hard time writing, and also doing the laundry and perhaps excavating the floor of my bedroom (it’s pretty bad, but every time I think about cleaning I slink off to my study to write instead. So am I procrastinating on the cleaning, or HIGHLY MOTIVATED on the writing?) Tomorrow I finally have my second harp lesson(!), followed by more band practice and then Tucker’s Pub open mic. I will be debuting the harp at Tucker’s to play chords on “Downeaster Alexa,” so wish me luck! We’re also doing Mumford and Sons “The Cave,” so I think it will be a fun set.

-Grace out

The Mumford Concert (and Where We Are Today)

I am tired! It all started this Saturday, when I went to see Mumford and Sons in concert at the Gentlemen of the Road Stopover in Portland, Maine. It was a one-day festival with eight musical acts playing on alternating stages through the course of the day, culminating with a Mumford and Sons performance just after dusk. Here’s a real nice article about the festival and the band’s experience in Portland (Rolling Stones Article). Portland is the closest city-shaped thing to where I’m living now, so I’m starting to really appreciate it myself. The Eastern Promenade was a beautiful place for a festival; the stages were framed by a backdrop of ocean, sailboats, and gulls.

I spent most of the day on my feet. I could have camped near the beer tent with some friends-of-a-friend, but after one beer I was already getting antsy. I don’t go to concerts very often, and this would be one to remember forever. I wanted to be near the bands. I think Dawes, Apache Relay, and The Maccabees were some of my favorites, aside from Mumford and Sons. When it was finally time for the leading act I managed to worm myself up to within 20 feet of the stage; close enough to see their facial expressions if I squinted my eyes.

There was one moment when I thought maybe it wasn’t worth it, when someone’s tall head blocked my view and my back and legs ached from standing for so long (I’d secured my spot during the previous act) and thoughts of my discomfort outweighed my enjoyment of the music—but then someone moved to the side and a window opened up clear to the stage, and the dusty blue sky deepened on towards night, and the stage lights shone white and indigo, and Marcus Mumford’s voice sang out over the crowd, and it was all a bit of concert magic. Suddenly I had the adrenaline I needed to jump and scream and truly experience the rest of the night.

Are you aware of Mumford and Sons? I suggest you give them a listen, if you haven’t heard of them and if folk-rock sounds like a thing you’d enjoy. There’s something about the vocals and melody that really resonates with me, and I went through a period of about a month last fall where I could only draw while listening to Mumford and Sons. Here’s a digital painting that came out of that time (yeah, I know the figures need some work):

Anyway, after the concert and subsequent night out on the town I went back to work on Monday and Tuesday, and the soreness of all that dancing combined with the rigors of painting and climbing ladders and biking three miles uphill to work left me physically exhausted—I’ve taken two long soaking baths in as many days. Last night I had planned to set aside time for writing, but then I got a call from a guitar-playing friend asking if I wanted to join him in singing for an ice-cream social, which sounded like too much fun to pass up. We would have sounded better if we’d practiced the songs beforehand, but we had a good time, and it was a family type event where a few wrong notes were easily forgiven. Even more fun, we are planning to actually practice a few songs for an open mic this friday!

So where, in all these fun music-times, is Wanderlust? Well—it’s burning at me. It’s sitting just behind my eyelids, begging for attention. I thought maybe I’d work backwards through the manuscript and add in some bits and pieces before going back to the beginning for a re-haul, but after the concert this weekend I’m anxious to spend some time on Chapter One, which contains a rock concert. Suddenly it seems like a good idea to start from the beginning and go all the way through, fix as much as I can, and see how the end sits, and whether it’s worthy. I have at least the morning off today, and after writing this blog post I think I’m warmed up. Time to get to it!