The Fever Dreams of Hozier

Our music reviews seek to trace the narratives that weave between songs and albums. Check out our Rhythmic Fiction tag for other stories told through music.

It’s a pleasant surprise to see a true blues artist on pop radio in 2014. The Black Keys are the perfect example of a blues rock (more rock than blues) group who burst onto the mainstream scene with a sound that was revolutionary not in how much it changed music, but in how it reaffirmed the staying power of staple rhythms behind heavy distortion riffs and lyrics of struggle and loss. Their seventh studio album El Camino took home the 2013 Grammy’s for Best Rock Album, Best Rock Song, and Best Rock Performance (both for the single “Lonely Boy”).

Now, just in time for serious Grammy’s 2015 chatter, we have another artist bursting into mainstream pop consciousness with a sound that both reminisces and transcends the Blues. Continue reading The Fever Dreams of Hozier

Short Story Challenge – “First Day of Work” – Marcy Erb

I meant to post this about a week ago, since NaNoWriMo is already 8 days expired. But the results for my personal version of it with short stories – NaShoStoWriMo – were good: I wound up writing 15 short stories and over 22,000 words. My goal had been 20 stories, so I fell short of that, but considering I started the month with a whooping zero short stories ever written, I’m very pleased with the challenge. It accomplished its goal, which was to inspire me to write short stories.

Holiday travel for Thanksgiving really put a monkey wrench into my writing schedule and I marveled at folks in the U.S. doing NaNoWriMo who were able to power through that crazy last week of November when so many of us are traveling or shopping or prepping or hosting or cooking.

Continue reading Short Story Challenge – “First Day of Work” – Marcy Erb

December’s Theme: Tracking Mud through the House

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving/weekend. I spent much of my long weekend in the mountains, where we had temperatures from bitter cold to chilly-but-nice. That’s the Appalachians for you. My mini vacation gave me some inspiration for our next monthly theme, but we’ll get to that.

November featured our regular contributors again, with a galumphing theme which carried the symbolic depth I had hoped it would. Continue reading December’s Theme: Tracking Mud through the House

My Thanksgiving without Water

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. I normally have at least two Thanksgiving meals each year: one with my mother’s family, and one with my father’s family. I love getting together with my family — whichever family — and enjoying a feast of a day. Thanksgiving with my father’s family is particularly appealing, as the meal tends to span four or five courses, beginning at 2 or 3pm, and ending with coffee and/or liquor at 9pm. That’s an Italian-American dinner for you. Continue reading My Thanksgiving without Water

Shit, is November Nearly Over Already?

Welp, November ends on Sunday, as does NaNoWriMo 2014. I have 26,636 words written, and I know I will not be reaching 50,000 by the end of the month. Remember when I said I wanted to hit 35k last week? Same. Such is life. Continue reading Shit, is November Nearly Over Already?

NaShoStoWriMo Story – and Galumphing submission – The Soldiers’ Return

I promised to post one of the stories from my NaShoStoWriMo challenge and I’m only a few days late doing that…this one was inspired by our Galumphing poetry challenge for November. The words were: glass, lake, soldier. This one came in at 713 words – so only a few minutes of your time. Comments and suggestions welcome – I thank everyone for their encouragement regarding my personal short story challenge.

The Soldiers’ Return

By Marcy Erb

When Carl saw the soldiers coming across the pasture in formation, he wasn’t that surprised. He’d seen this before as a child in Germany and so he knew he needed to remain calm. That way, if he was called upon to take any action or speak to the soldiers, he would be able to do so in a dignified manner. Plus, he remembered; nobody else in his family spoke German.

Continue reading NaShoStoWriMo Story – and Galumphing submission – The Soldiers’ Return

NaShoStoWriMo Week 2 Complete – with unexpected word count!

Well, week two of NaShoStoWriMo (my version of NaNoWriMo, but with short stories) is complete and I met my goal. I have 10 short stories written so far. Because a lot of NaNoWriMo revolves around word count, I felt compelled to tally up my word count so far for the 10 stories and…wait for it…16,438 words! Holy Toledo! I really didn’t expect it to be that high already. Some of my stories are under 1000 words, but most are in the 1000 – 2500 word range. One behemoth is 3200 words.

Continue reading NaShoStoWriMo Week 2 Complete – with unexpected word count!

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