Do any of you remember the first time you heard Whitney Houston sing?
If you're like me, this is it:
I loved belting out this song when I was a kid, then as I grew up, I learned to appreciate how well-written the song was and how powerful the voice behind it was.
It broke my heart when I found out Whitney passed away. I was rooting for her to conquer her demons, and it is just so, so sad that she's gone. So, in memory of the woman with the spectacular voice and bright smile, here are a couple more of her songs:
And, a tearful, heartfelt tribute from LeAnn Rimes:
Thank you, Whitney, for sharing your gift with the world.
So, I was listening to music this morning as I worked on my (boring) homework and a song came on. It was a song I hadn't heard in a while and had forgotten about. Immediately, I started singing along. I still knew every word. I still loved this song. What song, you ask?
Do any of you remember Expose`? I was a kid when they were really popular, but I vividly remember receiving the cassette tape for Christmas. Yes, cassette tape! It was the first album I'd ever owned. Before that, all my songs were recorded off the radio. Anyone remember doing that?
Anyway, I loved that tape. It had so many great songs on it, a good portion of which were written by the amazing Diane Warren. Like this one:
And this one:
Just listening to these takes me back to when I was a kid, alone in my room, blaring these songs and singing like I knew what they were about. They don't really make music like this anymore, do they?
So, what about you? Do you remember these songs? Cassette tapes? What was the first album YOU owned?
This passed Thursday, I was supposed to be sitting front row at a LeAnn Rimes concert. Sadly, it was rescheduled and I had to make due by watching some Youtube videos. And thus this week's Monday Mixtape was born.This is the latest single from LeAnn's upcoming cd (9/27):This is my favorite way to hear LeAnn sing - acoustic, without all the bells and whistles. Plus, this song is very angsty and angry. I love it :) Another acoustic performance of one of LeAnn's most well-known songs:I could go on forever, but I'll stop with one more video. I'd give my right arm to hear this song live:
So I missed last week's Mixtape on account of baking hundreds of cupcakes. A pretty good excuse, if I do say so myself.
Anyway, I was showering this morning, listening to my iPhone, and Mariah Carey came on. I found myself singing along to every word (badly, I might add) and I thought, "What better person to devote a Mixtape to?"
I've loved MC for years. And years and years. Ever since I was about 9. My best friend at the time would swear that Paula Abdul was better. I disagreed. I still disagree.
One of my favorite things about Mariah is that she writes all her own songs. I've talked about my love of lyrics before, and how much I love a good songwriter. Well, Mariah is among the best. At least in my opinion
I'm not the biggest fan of her new music, but the old stuff? Amazing.
Anyway, this is the song that reminded me of my love for this artist:
This is an old favorite:
This song was my anthem throughout my teen angst years. Favorite lyric: "She dreams of all that she can never be/She wades in insecurity."
And there you have it. I take no shame in crediting Mariah Carey for getting me interested in writing. Daydream was the first CD I ever owned and, after reading the liner notes, it hit me: people WRITE this stuff. The songs I sing along to, the books I read...someone actually WROTE them. I don't know why it took so long for me to realize this, but it changed my whole life from that point on.
So, what about you? Who are some of your inspirations?
Anyone who knows me knows I love a good singer. I love listening in awe, wishing like hell I could sing half as well as they do. I love closing my eyes and letting their voices wash over me. I love the pure, God given talent spewing from their throats. I love it.
Today's singer is a recent discovery. I've been hearing this first song everywhere, so I decided to pick up her cd and give it a listen. And let me tell you, it's amazing. Go buy it. Now!
This next one is my favorite off the cd right now:
How awesome is that? Gorgeous and chilling, right?
Alrighty. I'm off to finish up The Odyssey and take a stab at the next chapter of my WiP. Happy Monday, everyone!
Why hello, Monday. Have I told you just how much I hate you? Well I do. Go away.
Sorry about that. I'm looking down the barrel of a pretty long week and since Monday is the start of it, well...I've got feelings. Angry feelings. It's not Monday's fault, really. But there you have it.
And now that I've revealed just how crazy I am...how is everyone else today? I'm nearing 200 followers, which seriously blows my mind. Thanks, guys! You sure know how to make a girl feel special!
Onto this week's Mixtape. I'm only posting one song today, as I'm on my way out the door. But it's a good one, I swear.
I resisted Pink for the longest time. Said she was overrated. Annoying. Blablahblah. But the truth is, she's pretty bad-ass. And I adore this song. Like, a lot.
Alright. I should get a move on. I've got about an hour of public transportation while reading The Odyssey ahead of me. This might call for some Mt Dew...
Ahh, Monday. How did you get here so fast? Am I the only one who can't believe it's already February? Where does the time go?
Did everyone watch the Superbowl yesterday? I have to admit, it was on but I definitely wasn't watching it. Guess what I was doing instead? No, not writing (bad Meika). I was playing with my brand spanking new iPhone!
*cue girlish squeals and hand clapping*
I've lusted after the iPhone for soooo long. And then Dana got one a few months ago, which only made me want it more. Well, yesterday I finally got one. And I'm super excited and slightly obsessed. Now, if only I could figure out how to blog from the thing, we'd be all set...
Anyway, today's Mixtape is full of randomness. It's just the kind of mood I'm in.
Do any of you watch Glee? I have no problem admitting that I'm a big ole Gleek. In fact, I couldn't wait for the Superbowl to get over last night so I could watch it. Anyway, Gwyneth Paltrow just did a guest appearance on the show a couple months ago, and she sang this:
How great is she?
I feel like I should apologize in advance for this next video. My mythology professor had us watch this in class last week (I'm like 90% sure it has nothing to do with Mythology, but...eh, I was amused). Prepare yourselves for some creepy, scaly manfish:
(I'm so ashamed...)
Hmm...what can I do to make up for that lost minute and a half of your lives? How about some Jason Mraz? I love the simplicity of this song. It's just...ahh.
Favorite line: "And it takes no time to fall in love/But it takes you years to know what love is."
I really, truly, sincerely hope you forgive me for sharing Old Gregg...it's been stuck in my head for days!
Anyway, have a great Monday. I'm off to play with my new toy...and maybe finish chapter 18...
Happy Monday, everyone! Hope the weekend was long and relaxing for you guys. Mine, well...not so much! But I'll survive!
I had a blast participating in the Page 99 Blogfest -- if you didn't check out everyone's pages, do it! It was fun and interesting and educational. Thanks to everyone who swung by to read my page and for all your lovely comments. Tierney isn't as heartless and selfish as she comes off on that page, I swear!
Anyhoo, the lineup for Monday Mixtape is filled with leftovers from last week's blogfest. My honorable mentions that didn't quite make it to my top ten list. Hope you enjoy!
Addicted - Kelly Clarkson
Who hasn't been in a relationship like this before?
My favorite line: Well...all of it, really.
Cruz - Christina Aguilera
I don't know what it is about this song, but every time I hear it, I want to close my eyes and soak it in...
My favorite line: "As I'm driving I'm captured by the view/So much beauty, the road becomes my muse"
The Difference - Matchbox Twenty
My all-time favorite song by this band is Hand Me Down, but this one is a VERY close second. I love Rob Thomas' voice and he's a great songwriter. My favorite line: "Day breaking on the boulevard/Feel the sun warming up your second hand heart"
Bonjour! How is everyone this lovely Monday morning? Are you as bitter about the end of your weekend as me? If so, hopefully some great tunes will cheer you up!
I had no idea what songs to choose for this week until about ten minutes ago. This song came up on my media player and I forgot just how much I liked it. There aren't many songs on Youtube by this artist, so forgive the horrendous grammar and spelling (not to mention the incorrect lyrics).
Amy Dalley hasn't quite made it big yet. At least nowhere near as big as she should have. She's got a wry sense of humor and a ton of personality and it shines through in her music. Romeo is a fun, fun song. My personal favorite lyric? "He could be a good-looking serial killer for all you know."
I don't know anything about the girl singing this next song (but I'm gonna look her up after I'm done here...girl can SANG!). The focus is the song itself. Kylie Sackley is one of my most favorite songwriters. Ever since she penned "Nothin' Bout Love Makes Sense" for LeAnn Rimes, I have been in love with her. I've also been waiting anxiously for this girl to sign a damn record deal and release some of the songs she's posted on her --->site<--- .="" a="" and="" br="" chock-full="" definitely="" favorite="" girl-power="" i="" is="" it.="" it="" love="" mine.="" of="" one="" s="" sass="" this="">
Ahh, Rachel Williams. I've posted a couple songs of hers here before, but she fit into the theme of this week's Mixtape too well to leave out. This video is a twofer. The first song has the 'tude and the second...well it's just beautiful. Hope you enjoy!
So there ya have it. Have a great Monday, everyone!
So, Dana and I saw Tangled this past week. It's an adorable movie which, of course, features Mandy Moore's voice as Rapunzel. It got me to thinking -- Mandy has such a sweet, beautiful voice and her music seems to go, for the most part, unnoticed. So I decided to dedicate this Monday's post to her.
Wild Hope is definitely one of my all-time favorite albums -- by anyone. There are so many amazing songs on it. This one is so...gah...just gorgeous:
Back in the 90's, in the midst of the pop princess/boy band phenomenon, I dismissed Mandy as one of the mediocre, barely talented acts that sprouted up. This is the song that changed my mind.
Who hasn't seen A Walk to Remember? The heartwarming, heartbreaking teen flick starring Mandy and the adorable Shane West? When Mandy sang this song, I got chills:
This last one is from Mandy's newest cd, Amanda Leigh. I don't like this one quite as much as Wild Hope, but it's still got its charm.
And there ya have it. I hope you enjoyed this week's Mixtape. I'm hoping to post more regularly in the near future, as soon as the holiday chaos calms down. If I don't make it back here again this week -- have a happy and safe New Year's Eve, everyone!
I'm still alive, I promise. I've just been busy with the usual hustle and bustle of the Holiday Season. Good news? I think we've gotten most of our Christmas shopping done. Bad news? Well, a peek at my bank account will tell you that.
On Friday, I got all registered and situated for school -- I'm finally going back. Yay! I have no idea what I'll major in. Still haven't the faintest what I want to be when I grow up. But it's a start, right?
I've also been hard at work on my NaNo novel. The whole idea is to have it finished before school starts on January 15th. I've got tons of ideas for the revision already, thanks to a friend of mine wading through 250 pages of crap. And I can't wait to dig in and get my hands dirty.
So, it's Monday -- again. Is it just me, or do the weeks seem to fly by way too fast these days? Anyway, here are a few songs for your ears.
I love Lady Antebellum. This is their newest song. It's gorgeous and haunting.
I admit it. I'm a total Gleek. I watch and rewatch episodes of the show and even download the songs. I can't help it. It's like a drug. Not to mention, I've got a big ole crush on Matthew Morrison. This is one of my favorite songs they've done. Matthew Morrison and Kristin Chenowith. How can you go wrong?
Ahh, Anna Nalick. When will you make some new music for my ears? I adore her voice and her lyrics are so beautiful.
So there ya have it. This week's Monday Mixtape. Hope you guys enjoy this batch of songs! Now I'm off to get ready for work. Have a great Monday, everyone!
It feels weird to do a Mixtape that's not about my NaNo novel. But I've got some good songs to share with everyone tonight.
First up is Christina Perri. Dana is in love with this girl. She's got a really unique voice and a pretty cool story. Apparently, she was a waitress whose demo was picked up by the people at So You Think You Can Dance, which lead to a record deal. And now here she is. This is a really cool, really intriguing song.
This song has the tendency to instantly mesmerize me. Every time it's on, I stop and just listen.
And last but not least, I'm gonna get a little festive. I love Christmas music. LeAnn Rimes has an amazing Christmas cd that I'm obsessed with this time of year. This is one of my favorite songs from it.
That's all for this week's Mixtape. Hope you guys enjoy!
Alright. Here we are. Approaching the last bit of November.So, how am I doing? Well, for the past two days, I've been over 3k behind. I've managed a thousand words each day, but then another day shows up and I'm way behind again. Argh!
I'm fighting, though. And I'll make it. If I have to barricade myself in my office for two straight days without food or water or potty breaks, I will make it.
Okay. Maybe that's a bit extreme.
Anyway, here's your NaNo Monday Mixtape:
I fell in love with this song a few months ago. This is a new version -- a duet! It's a gorgeous song and perfect for the moment Tierney realizes that maybe, just maybe, she's falling for someone else:
Ahh, Keith Urban. I love him. Like, a lot. He's so great at putting emotion into his voice and breaking your heart with a song. This one breaks my heart every single time I hear it. And the mood of it, the absolute heartbreak and desperation, is exactly the tone I want to capture when Tierney reaches her lowest point:
This song has been a favorite of mine for a very long time. When we first meet Tierney, she's broken. Oh, she puts on a good front, almost has herself convinced she's fine. But she's clinging to her pride almost as hard as she's clinging to her past. And one person sees that. This is his song to her:
Alright. Listening to these songs has lighted a fire under my butt. I should be able to crank out some words before work. Fingers crossed!
Happy Monday, everyone! And, if I don't stop in before Thursday, Happy Thanksgiving!
I'm flailing in the somewhat shallow waters of my wordcount at the moment, as you can no doubt see on the handy dandy widget to the right. I've made the mistake repeatedly of trying to write at night. I am no longer a night person. I used to be, but then my work shifts changed and now I'm up and functioning no later than 7am. So by the time 11pm rolls around, I'm ready to crash. I was up the other night till 2am trying to write. Kept falling asleep as I was typing. Started typing things that made no sense. Oh, it wasn't nearly as bad as last year, when I typed something about my main character drinking "two sips of vodka" -- while she was pregnant. But I'm sure it does no good for my writing to type half-asleep.
So, I'm up early this morning to try and catch up on my words. Wish me luck!
Real quick, here's Monday's Mixtape:
Tierney's love for hair bands + a disastrous and dysfunctional love life = Def Leppard's Love Bites:
This song is so heartbreaking and captures a low point in Tierney's story perfectly:
And last up, the incredible Rachel Williams with a song I'm sure everyone can relate to (plus, she bears an uncanny resemblance to what I picture Tierney to look like):
Okay, I've gotta get busy writing. Happy Monday, everyone!
I can't believe it's the second week of November already. I got a little behind on my wordcount yesterday, so today's post will be brief.
I've mentioned before that I'm a huge SHeDAISY fan. Kristyn Osborn is one of the best songwriters I've had the pleasure of listening to. This song, Mine All Mine, is perfect for the moment my main character realizes that the things that went wrong between her and her ex are all her fault. Favorite lyric: "I drove you to the edge of the map and after that, I pushed you off just to watch you fall."
The next song on my playlist isn't meant to be taken literally. But the bittersweet, melonchaly feel of it, the idea of being "almost honest" is perfect for Tierney's life. After all, she's been "almost honest" with everyone in her life. Plus, Josh Kelley has an amazing voice.
The last song is another by Sara Bareilles. What can I say? The woman has a way with words. This song captures Tierney's desperation for reassurance, that she's not an awful human being. To me, this is her begging the one person she's been totally honest with to stick by her. To make her feel "not alone"
Alright. I need to be at over 13k by the end of the day and I'm sitting at almost 11k. So I've got some work to do!
Here is an overview of my space. I put this desk together all on my own last winter, after NaNo. It's kind of cluttered with various inspiriational bits. The pink and purple blanket on my chair, my mom made for me. I love it.
Here's a shot of my cork board. Various writing quotes and my winner's certificate from last year's NaNo. The blue question mark man is a Jason Mraz sticker for the song Mr. Curiousity, which he wrote about Writer's Block.
A shot of the shelf on my desk. To the left is the plot bunny I found at a thrift store. He's cardboard and hollow inside, but I thought he was pretty cool. I've got a bunny pencil holder and a dinosaur with bunny ears, too. The book is last year's NaNo novel. I am so ridiculously proud of it, even though the cover didn't turn out exactly as I wanted. I promised Dana she could design this year's cover.
A close-up of the other board I keep on my wall. It's filled with various inspirations. As you can see, Audrey Hepburn is a big one. I like to think of her as my muse. Sweet and doe-eyed and soft-spoken, but capable of saying just the right thing to kick your butt into action. Jason Mraz in the upper corner, a sweet note from Dana on the shamrock in the lower right. My grandma is next to that, then a few concert tickets. The lottery ticket is from Dana, too. It's a losing ticket, but she cleared the words NOVEL and MINOR. She handed it to me and said, "Your issues are minor, write the damn novel." Surprisingly, it's pretty great motivation.
And last, but definitely not least, a shot of my bookcase. It's not super organized, but it makes sense to me. Two shelves' worth of writing books and a shelf of the classics. The rest is a mix of my all-time favorites and to-be-reads. Scattered throughout are various bits of inspiration. Again, Audrey. A stuffed pig on top. Snoopy with a typewriter.
And that about sums up my writing space. It's kinda cluttery but I love it! Can't wait to check out everyone else's!
Now onto the Monday Mixtape. Here are a few songs off my NaNo Playlist:
Bon Jovi, because my main character, Tierney, has a thing for 80's hair bands.
The Dixie Chicks - I Can Love You Better. Because Tierney is in love with someone who's in love with someone else. And she really does believe she can love him better!
Sara Bareilles - Between the Lines. This song is so heartbreaking and I think it captures perfectly the moment Tierney finds out her love is marrying someone else.
Now I must be off to crank out a couple thousand words before work. Wish me luck and good luck to all you other Wrimos out there!
This is the last Mixtape of October. Next Monday is officially November. AHHHH!!
Every Monday next month, I'm going to share songs from the playlist I've put together for my NaNo project. Some fun stuff on there. Today, though, is the American Idol finalist edition:
As I've mentioned before, I have watched every season of American Idol. Kat is pretty much my favorite finalist. Her new cd is amazing. Here is one of my favorites -- although, it's hard to choose since they're all so good!
Kelly Clarkson. Such an incredible voice, such an infectious personality. I adore this song. The lyrics are beautiful and Kelly's voice is...well, just take a listen!
I have a soft spot for guys who can sing like this. David Cook's voice is super sexy and this is, by far, the best cover of any song I've ever heard. I mean, it's Mariah Carey for God's sake!
I hope you guys enjoy these songs as much as I do. I have the sneaking feeling this won't be the last American Idol edition of Monday Mixtape...
Alright. I've got to go make dinner and get a few things organized for NaNo. I am under strict orders from Dana that I am not to do anything NaNo-related on our day off, so I want to get everything ready before Thursday! All you NaNo-ers out there, how is your planning coming along?
So it has become glaringly obvious that I'm in desperate need of a plan. A strict, iron-clad, if-you-don't-follow-it-you-will-be-violently-mauled-by-werewolves plan. We are nearing the middle of October and I am nowhere closer to my writerly goals than I was when this month started. I've allowed myself to be sucked into other things: TV, music, books, the internet. You name it, I'm doing/reading/watching/listening to it.
Prime example: I had two consecutive days off. Not just any days off, I had Saturday AND Sunday off. Which never, ever happens and probably won't ever happen again. And, aside from chores here and there, do you know what I did with my time? I read. And read, and read. I finally jumped on The Hunger Games train and I seriously couldn't put the book down. I went from being on page 8 Saturday morning to finishing the book early this morning. I couldn't tear myself away. Which is unusual for me, considering this is not my usual reading material. But I can officially say, I know what all the fuss is about and I approve. My last encounter with Young Adult fiction was the Twilight series. And...yeah, I didn't enjoy the experience. The Hunger Games, though...I'm anxiously waiting to get my hands on the second installment.
But I didn't write. Or even think about writing. Not once all weekend. I am ashamed of myself. Okay, maybe not ashamed. But disappointed. Nah, not that, either. I had a good weekend. A much needed respite from the stress I put on myself to get to work. And I read a great book. It was a win-win weekend. But the work week has returned and with it a renewed pressure to get back to my writing.
It's Monday, by the way. And I'm kind of fond of sharing music with all of you, so here are a couple songs for your listening pleasure:
Delta Goodrem is an artist I've mentioned before. She's wildly successful in Australia but not so much here in the States. Even so, I love her. She's got a beautiful voice and loads of songwriting talent. Not to mention those piano skills. This song is one of my all-time favorites:
I love Jewel. She has a way with words that can make me smile or sigh or bring tears to my eyes. This song is a definite favorite of mine:
Anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge LeAnn Rimes fan. I don't really know what it is, but I have loved her since I was thirteen. This song is pure gorgeousness. I do believe it's one of the best songs ever written, with its simple message and honest lyrics. I hope you guys are as inspired by it as I and countless others have been:
Anyway, I've got to get to work. Hope everyone has a great Monday!