March update…

Apologies for being late with this month’s soundtrack clue. I’m having severe computer issues and unable to access the internet at the moment through my own computer. This makes online life pretty difficult! It looks like I’ll have to buy a new one which I was really hoping I wouldn’t have to do yet, but if it shuts down completely, I’m sunk! I haven’t been online much anyway as I really am writing, transcribing, and revising like crazy! (Plus working, of course.) I’ve already gone past my original (self-imposed) deadline so am working extra hard to get everything done as quickly as possible. With lots of help from my most severe critic, of course….

Buu offering literary advice

The good news is, I am moving into beta-reader stage and will be sending first chapters out soon. Book cover should be coming along soon too. Yay!

So, on to this month’s clue. Since the past couple have been a bit vague, I’ll give you something more concrete this month.

    CLUE #9 Some of the artists represented in the soundtrack can be found on my Pinterest “Music” board.
    Not all the artists are there, but the board represents some of my favorite artists and the kinds of music I listen to most.

I hope that helps! Updates will be a bit slow until my computer issues are solved, but I still have book and music reviews to do so I’ll try to post again soon!

*EDIT* Oops! I forgot to leave you with some music! I really like this from Lucius. 🙂

Listening to:


Writing: The Glister Journals, Book 2: Chapter 24
Reading: Mockingjay
Watching: Gilmore Girls Season 4



The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and excerpts at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2014 to China Blue Publishing.

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The Bronze Tour…continued

bronze

The Bronze Kindle tour is underway and will be on until October 25th with a new $25.00 giveaway too. Thank you so much to everyone who has followed me on Twitter, Facebook, and added Bronze to your shelves on Goodreads. I really do appreciate it and hope you get a chance to read it. Check out the Spooktacular Blog Hop Giveaway too. I’m giving away a $25 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of Bronze.

Make sure to stop by the tour kick-off at Kathy’s site or The Glister Journals Website to learn about the Bronze soundtrack, a musical puzzle to solve. (And yes, there will be great prizes!) The following links will become active as the posts go live. I hope you’ll come along and appreciate my gracious hosts by following their blogs. And I’d love to hear from you!

October 14th

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer – Tour Kick-Off: The Bronze Soundtrack

Kelly’s Lucky You – Bronze Spotlight

Christy’s Cozy Corners – Bronze Review

October 15th

Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews – Excerpt (Snow Day) and Character Interview: Allison

fuonlyknew – Bronze Spotlight and Excerpt: First Encounters Part One

Bookmarks, Spoilers and Happily Ever After – Bronze Spotlight and Excerpt (Snow Day)

October 16th

Spellbindings – Guest Post: Assumptions, Titles, and Judging Books By Their Covers

My Devotional Thoughts – Guest Post: My Top Ten Re-watchable (PG-13 or under) Movies

From the Bootheel Cotton Patch – Bronze Spotlight

Sweeping Me – Bronze Spotlight

October 17th

The Write Game – Character Interview: Robin

Every Free Chance Book Reviews – Author Interview

Wondermom Wannabe – Bronze Review

A Blog Hop Place for Books – Bronze Spotlight

October 18th

Sarah’s Reviews – Guest Post: My Writing Journey

Pieces of Whimsy – Bronze Spotlight

Reviews by Karen – Bronze Spotlight

Gustosa Giveaways – Bronze Spotlight

October 19th

Victoria Simcox’s Blog – Bronze Spotlight

Mythical Books – Guest Post: The Difference

Cuzinlogic – Author Interview

October 20th

Books Are Love – Bronze Excerpts:

    Excerpts and Sketches: The Boys (Dave and Chris)

    Excerpts and Sketches: The Girls (Robin and Melanie)

    Excerpt: First Encounters Part Two (Gold)

October 21st

Books are Love – Bronze Review

Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Bronze Spotlight

3 Partner’s in Shopping – Bronze Spotlight

October 23rd

Simply Infatuated – Tens List: Riding Adventures

Peace from Pieces – Author Interview

Beck Valley Books – Bronze Spotlight

October 25th

Taking Time for Mommy – Author Interview

Rose & Beps Blog – Bronze Spotlight

Cici’s Theories – Bronze Spotlight



All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2013 to China Blue Publishing.

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

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Spooktacular Blog Hop

Spooktacular Hop 2013

Yes I know my book tour has just started, but this seemed like so much fun and I never get to do anything for Halloween! Since I doubt I will dress up and go out, I’ll give something away instead! A $15.00 Amazon gift card and a signed (and Personalized if you like) paperback copy of Bronze. This blog hop giveaway is open until October 31st.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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The Glister Journals: Bronze Tour

bronze

I’m so happy and excited to announce the start of the Bronze Kindle tour today. It will be on until October 25th with a new $25.00 giveaway too. Thank you so much to everyone who has followed me on Twitter, Facebook, and added Bronze to your shelves on Goodreads. I really do appreciate it and hope you get a chance to read it.

Make sure to stop by the tour kick-off at Kathy’s site to learn about the Bronze soundtrack, a musical puzzle to solve. (And yes, there are prizes.) The following links will become active as the posts go live. I hope you’ll come along and appreciate my gracious hosts by following their blogs. And I’d love to hear from you!

October 14th

I Am A Reader, Not A Writer – Tour Kick-Off: The Bronze Soundtrack

Kelly’s Lucky You – Bronze Spotlight

Christy’s Cozy Corners – Bronze Review

October 15th

Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews – Excerpt (Snow Day) and Character Interview: Allison

fuonlyknew – Bronze Spotlight and Excerpt: First Encounters Part One

Bookmarks, Spoilers and Happily Ever After – Bronze Spotlight and Excerpt (Snow Day)

Deal Sharing Aunt – Bronze Review

October 16th

Spellbindings – Guest Post: Assumptions, Titles, and Judging Books By Their Covers

My Devotional Thoughts – Guest Post: My Top Ten Re-watchable (PG-13 or under) Movies

From the Bootheel Cotton Patch – Bronze Spotlight

Sweeping Me – Bronze Spotlight

October 17th

The Write Game – Character Interview: Robin

Every Free Chance Book Reviews – Author Interview

Wondermom Wannabe – Bronze Review

A Blog Hop Place for Books – Bronze Spotlight

October 18th

Sarah’s Reviews – Guest Post: My Writing Journey

Pieces of Whimsy – Bronze Spotlight

Reviews by Karen – Bronze Spotlight

Gustosa Giveaways – Bronze Spotlight

October 19th

Victoria Simcox’s Blog – Bronze Spotlight

Mythical Books – Guest Post: The Difference

Cuzinlogic – Author Interview

October 21st

Books are Love – Bronze Review

Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Bronze Spotlight

3 Partner’s in Shopping – Bronze Spotlight

October 23rd

Simply Infatuated – Tens List: Riding Adventures

Peace from Pieces – Author Interview

Beck Valley Books – Bronze Spotlight

October 25th

Taking Time for Mommy – Author Interview

Rose & Beps Blog – Bronze Spotlight

Cici’s Theories – Bronze Spotlight



All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2013 to China Blue Publishing.

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and chapters at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

The first chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

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End of Summer Update.

My goodness, I never meant to go this long without posting. I’ll try to get back on track! I’ve been writing, writing, writing, but I’ve also been reading much more than I have for quite some time. I will be adding occasional mini-reviews of books I can recommend as well as my occasional music reviews.

First off, Glister Journals news. My original plan was to release the Kindle version of Bronze this summer but, as it hasn’t been promoted or marketed much before, I want to really get it out there this time before the second book in The Glister Journals series is released. So the plan now is to do a book tour in October with the help of I Am A Reader, Not A Writer, one of my favorite book bloggers who also does tours (her button can be found in the sidebar). I’m feeling mighty blessed right now.(Edited–plans have changed slightly)

Details to follow!

Road Trip

Drayton Harbor

I was able to take a little trip north again this summer to visit my dear family. It was a mostly uneventful trip, I got some writing done, enjoyed my time there immensely, and came back with a major observation: next time, I need to figure in extra travel time to explore! Other observations:

    1. I’ve never seen Mt. Shasta so snow-less, even in the middle of summer. There are places I’d like to explore in the area, mines and caves and falls and such. 🙂

    Unsnowy Mt. Shasta

    2. On the way up on my second day of driving, I found myself quite a bit ahead of schedule and decided to drive through Olympia, Washington, just to see what was there. It’s the capital after all. What I saw was charming (if there’s a seedy side of town, don’t disillusion me!), the section of town I saw reminding me strongly of downtown Santa Cruz, and the capital building shining in the distance across water which must have been Capital Lake. Clever name. I though of parking to walk around and take pictures, but I was expected by a certain time by family. I determined to make a stop on the way home instead.

    Unfortunately, on the trip back, although I was watching for off ramps as I drew near I never actually saw one and was way beyond the city by the time I realized I had passed it. So, sorry, no pictures this time. 🙁

    3. I’d also love to explore the Peninsula, but I figure that will require at least a day of its own.

    4. There are a wealth of national and state parks begging to be explored. I was determined to at least visit the Peach Arch Park, (Canada and us being such great pals and all) but guess what. Still no passport.

    5. Did you know that Linn County was the grass seed capital of the world? Neither did I, but apparently they’re very proud of it.

    6. There is a town called Battle Ground in Washington. Surely this deserves some writerly investigation. Apparently “The city is ironically named for the absence of a battle.” The reasons behind this lead me to number

    7. There are a lot of tribes in Washington. It would be interesting to plan a trip around visiting reservations or at least the visitor centers and doing some first person research. Just because.

I was able to get some writing done while there, though not as much as I would have liked. I even had a substitute editor.
My substitute editor

After a nice restful week I started home, but soon ran into thick smoke. It began soon after I’d left Roseburg, Oregon and mile after mile it continued.

Smoke, not fog

I stopped for gas and asked the attendant about it. He said that he’d just heard over the radio that there were at least seven separate wild fires burning through Oregon and northern California. Sure enough the smoke continued well into California and I guess there have been many more since then. A bad fire year. 🙁

If you have any recommendations for western Washington trips or have a trip blog entry you can link to, I’d love to see it. It’s a region I’ll be passing through at least once a year.

Music

I have quite a few albums I plan to share with you soon, including the ones I listened to on this trip, but I’d like to cover one that I had on my trip last summer but never got around to highlighting. It’s too good to not mention.

El Camino by The Black Keys is my second favorite album of 2011 (the first being Chevelle’s Hats Off To The Bull). The first time I heard them was through the song “Tighten Up” in 2010 and I loved it, but didn’t hear anything more until “Howlin For You” which I included in last year’s road trip post.

Curious about their beginnings, I looked into their background a little to find that Dan Auerbach (vocals/guitar) and Patrick Carney (drums) had known each other since they were eight or nine and became friends in high school “though they were part of different crowds—Auerbach was captain of the high school soccer team, while Carney was a social outcast.” (Wikipedia reference. A more interesteing and possibly more reliable biography is here) I couldn’t help LOVING that! If you’ve read Bronze, you know why.

I love this whole album, but my favorite is most definitely Little Black Submarines, the album version (NOT the radio version which is shorter and ruins the build-up).



I love blues based rock (though not so much straight up blues) and The Black Keys have a raw edgy sound that I adore. I listened again to the whole album trying to decide which other track to pull out for you, but seriously, I love this whole album. Great road trip music too! “Money Maker” is probably my other favorite but I couldn’t find a video, so I’ll leave you with the other hit off the album.




All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2013 to China Blue Publishing.

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and chapters at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

The first chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

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Rock On

I seem to have a problem with timing. No, not musically speaking. My sense of rhythm and tempo are rock steady. And not performance timing. I pride myself (what a weird expression, but you know what I mean) on being able to start on time and remain within a reasonable timeframe, both for myself or anything I’ve organized.

No, just general life timing. Putting things together on a daily basis timing. And especially this book business and promotion thing timing. It’s a bit…confusing and frustrating. And the more time I spend trying to do the social networking thing, the more confused I get (not to mention the horrendous wasting of precious writing time!)

On a more encouraging note, I am thrilled to be able to say that Bronze won (tied) the Literary Fiction category of the IndieReader Discovery Awards. I’m glad of the exposure and extremely glad to know that my book was read by people actually in the publishing and media industries and was considered good enough to win an award. For someone like me who is still trying to figure out the best way of letting people know my book even exists, it’s a BIG deal. So . . . YAY!

Also, I’m waiting to release (rather impatiently, but I’m trying!) the Kindle version of Bronze to maximize exposure for it. I’ll tell you more about this as those efforts progress. There will be hidden information revealed concerning the book (yes, like a puzzle) and a real contest (yes, solving said puzzle) and there will definitely be giveaways and free Kindle days and special goodies. I’m extremely excited and anxious to get this going! Tick tock tick tock….

In the meantime, I’m trying to concentrate on actual writing and avoiding internet wandering. I’m saving a couple of blog posts I’ve already written for a future blog tour–as soon as I have that set up–so I won’t be terribly active here, but I’ll let you know where I can be found! I would love to respond to people and answer any specific questions you may have, but I’m going to avoid the internet otherwise. I’m too easily distracted! The best place to contact me personally (unless you have my e-mail) is here on this blog, on The Glister Journals Facebook page or @glisterjournals on Twitter.

I’d like to share a video with you though. This made my day and was a huge encouragement to me to block out self doubt and just stay true to my vision, my ideas, my voice, my characters, and the story I’m trying to tell with The Glister Journals. Adults can be so stifling and negative. Children often seem to be my greatest inspiration, and these boys are wonderful. Rock on!

[This video unfortunately deleted. 🙁 ]



All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2013 to China Blue Publishing.

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and chapters at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

The first chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

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Allison, Wreck It Ralph and PDDs

First I’d like to share with you the second Glister Journals piece drawn by a friend, comic artist Jeff Stokely, before he became famous and notorious (okay he’s not exactly famous nor notorious beyond certain circles but he’s working on it!) I love this drawing. This is closest to how I picture Allison (from my novel Bronze) and I love the way he has portrayed Robin too, though I don’t see her quite this way. (The drawing of Dave and Chris is here.) What do you think?:

The Glister Journals: Allison and Robin

Jeff has been extremely busy and is working on two comics coming out this year, a reimagining of a classic pulp, Six Gun Gorilla, and his own (with co-writer/creator Chris Northrop) The Reason for Dragons which I am personally very excited about.

So, I finally saw Wreck It Ralph last night. It’s not a movie that I would normally choose to watch, but I had heard about it when it came out from many kids that loved it. My daughter and her boyfriend just watched it last night and left it for me to watch too so I figured I had better make an effort. I have to admit that I wasn’t at all interested in it and for the first half of the movie was wishing I was watching something else. But I persevered and I’m glad I did.

Now, I’m not going to list the reasons that I found the movie less than captivating. People have different tastes and this didn’t appeal to me to start with. It really bothers me when people write reviews on books, films, whatever, that they wouldn’t normally have read/watched and can’t really find fault with but give negative reviews because they assumed it was something else (don’t even get me started on assumptions) or just didn’t like it for reasons outside the scope of what it is. Why do people do that? So I’m not going to say what I didn’t like. If you like this kind of movie, you will probably love it.

This is a tongue-in-cheek ‘behind the screens’ promo that does not divulge much of the actual movie, but if you haven’t seen it, you’ll get the idea:



I will say that, though I felt ‘meh’ about all the characters from the beginning, Ralph himself, though completely predictable, did grow on me. But what I really sat up and took notice of was the character Vanellope. At first I couldn’t stand her and not because she was obnoxious, but because she was so obviously meant to be too obnoxious so that you would have to like her later. The anti-princess. Ugh. But as I continued to watch, it began to occur to me that this throw-away child was like the neuro-atypical people I see every day. How she was like my character Allison Anderson from Bronze. And, apparently, like me.

Now, Allison is quiet and introspective–not in-your-face obnoxious like Vanellope–nor is she homeless and lacking in personal hygiene. But that ‘glitch’ that keeps Vanellope from being accepted by the other kids–along with having very different ideas of what is attractive, valuable, and funny (not to mention questionable powers of self-assessment and style sense)–is what sets kids diagnosed with PDDs (pervasive developmental disorders) apart. It is also often what gives them heightened sensory perception and out-of-the-box creativity which Vanellope displays beautifully (her ability to see what others cannot, creative approach to problems, etc.) She is not just a quirky character that marches to the beat of a different drummer. I think a lot of ‘normal’ people like to think of themselves that way too.

No, there is something different about her; something in her code, her genetic make up and neural programming. This is PDD. This is what is at work with people with autism spectrum disorders. It is not something they control or choose and it does not necessarily affect their intelligence or ability to take care of themselves and others. It does often make it very hard to interact with other people, react in socially accepted ways, and cope with sensory overload. I don’t know if that’s what the writers had in mind but if you’ve seen the movie or watch it now, I’d be interested to know what you think.

*Small Spoiler Alert* I think the thing I loved most about the character in the movie was at the end, when she becomes accepted by the others (the reasons which I’m not going to analyze too deeply right now.) At first she appears to become a princess, as if she has completely changed and is ‘normal’ like all the others. PSYCH! Nope, she’s just the same as she was, glitch and all. I LOVE THAT! If you are a person with ASD/PDD, you cannot magically be changed. There’s no ‘cure’. Why should we want one? We aren’t ‘wrong’ or broken, just different.


I will leave you with a song and video I would otherwise never subject you to, but I love it. (Metaphors aside, whether this song is appropriate in a children’s movie is also beyond the scope of what I want to deal with here!):
http://youtu.be/imOU3KnMdLw



All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2013 to China Blue Publishing.

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and chapters at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

The first chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

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An Interview with Asidefromwriting Blog

Hi everyone, I just wanted to let you know about a cool blog site called asidefromwriting. I am featured there in an interview for their Indie Author Month and also have a feature with an excerpt of my novel Bronze. Stop by and say Hi! You can also enter to win books from all the authors involved this month!

Asidefromwriting is a great blog with YA book reviews and features from authors. The bloggers themselves are also writers: Melanie Cusik-Jones(Hope’s Daughter and Outlanders from The Ambrosia Sequence series),

Hope's Daughter

Tony Talbot (American Girl, Over the Mountain, others)

Over the Mountain

Jade Varden (Justice, The Tower, two more in the Deck of Lies series)

Justice

and Stephanie who, I believe, is working on her debut novel.

So I hope you’ll go on over and get to know me a little better! Have a great weekend everyone!



All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2013 to China Blue Publishing.

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and chapters at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

The first chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

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Two Lovely Bronze Reviews . . .

. . . and a very flattering picture.

Ruth over at Reading…Dreaming, a book review blog in Uruguay (how cool is that?) did me the honor of requesting a book to review a few months ago. Unfortunately the first book went missing and I’ve imagined all kinds of interesting stories of where it might have gone and in whose hands it ended up! But she finally received the second book, liked it (yay!), and posted this lovely review.

One of the things I love most about being a writer is the connections I make to those people who like my work, write the reviews, and let me know who they are. I now have friends in Canada, Australia, and Uruguay, as well as several dotted around the United States. The thought of doing a real, physical book tour makes me shudder, except that I would love to get to meet these people. (I do plan on doing a virtual book tour when the e-book of Bronze is released and again when the second book is released, but this will not require airplanes, scratchy hotel sheets, or crowds!)

Then she posted this picture of the bookmark of another author’s novel:

Kiss Me @KimberlyKinrade on Twitpic

It took me a moment to recognize my own book right behind the bookmark (you can just see the “n” and “z” of Bronze). Totally made my day! Though I’m not sure what that author thinks of it–it looks like she’s kissing MY book! I will have to somehow return the favor!

Thursday (two days ago) I received e-mail notification that ForeWord Reviews had reviewed the copy of Bronze I had sent. This is huge for me. There are not many widely (editorially) accepted book review entities that review indie books. I have received a couple of other media reviews, but nothing on the scale of ForeWord. So I was, as the song says, noivous.



Yeah . . . Bo Diddly.

Now, I’ve lived long enough to know myself pretty well. I had a rehearsal that night so I didn’t want to have anything else on my mind. I also knew that one way or the other the results of the review might (and probably would) keep me awake, so I didn’t look at the review until I got home after work on Friday (yesterday). I figured if it was negative and snarky at least I didn’t have to get up early in the morning and act like a normal person.

Apart from a couple of comments about certain information the main character, Allison, didn’t give soon enough (which, if you understand the concept of the book, was for a reason) and subjective opinion about formatting (if we had formatted over more pages the book would have been HUGE and cost more too!), the reviewer seemed to really like it and basically “got” it, as much as anybody can at this point anyway (bearing in mind, again, the concept of assumptions and how much information is still to be revealed!) The full review can be read here: ForeWord Review–The Glister Journals: Bronze

More music? Of course!!! I don’t think I’ve mentioned it before, but I wake up with music playing in my head. Every. Single. Day. The really weird thing is that I don’t wake up and the song then starts; I wake up and the song is in the middle somewhere. That’s seems odd, but maybe everybody does that. It’s usually something different every day, but this past week this song has been there several mornings. I love the trumpet part most, but after watching the video (just now) I love it even more and realize how appropriate it is for this post. This is what these lovely, confirming things make me feel like. (The dancing, the dancing! Not blowing things up! LOL)




All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012-2013 to China Blue Publishing.

The Glister Journals: Bronze can be purchased through any bookseller, or purchase now at Amazon.com

Reviews for The Glister Journals: Bronze

More Glister info and chapters at the book’s website here: theglisterjournals.com

The first chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

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Artwork, Road Trip, Music (Part Four)

The Glister Journals: Chris and Merle

This is Chris and Merle from The Glister Journals as imagined by artist Katelynn Chambers, the last of four pieces commissioned from her to coincide with the release of the hardback edition of Bronze. I absolutely adore her style and her sense of color. All her work affects me quite deeply. I look forward to commissioning (and/or working with) her more in the future.

The Road Home (A continuation)

As usual for me, I didn’t get on the road until much later than I had planned, but still wanted to try to make it to Roseburg, Oregon for the night. It began to rain steadily soon after I left my friends and Blaine behind. By the time I reached Mount Vernon, it was pouring so there wasn’t much to see and I was preoccupied with just seeing the road ahead. But beyond Olympia the rain subsided, the sun came out, and all was green and beautiful.

Around Kalama, a large body of water to the west sparked my curiosity and I began looking for possible offramps to get closer and explore. Keeping in mind how far I wanted to get today (and how far I still had to go) I didn’t want to get too far from the highway. Unfortunately nothing presented itself until Woodland. There, signs for the mysterious ‘Port of Woodland’ and the even more exotic sounding ‘Dike Access’ proved too alluring, and I had to strike off in search of whatever I could find.



Adding to the sense of adventure was what appeared to be a fair sized fire not too far distant.

Fire in the Distance

Considering how green everything was, and that it had been pouring all morning, I felt relatively safe and determined to find water, if not the source of the smoke.

What I didn’t realize then (but see now that I am looking at a physical map) was that the river, the Columbia, is actually the border with Oregon, though it lay north to south (or vice versa, I don’t remember which way the water was flowing) and that the other side of the river was in fact Oregon and had been for quite a while. Isn’t geography wonderful. Anyway, it was very pretty, but I couldn’t find any free river access so headed back the way I had come. I sorely wanted to stop and take pictures of all the emergency vehicles and the almost completely burned down house, but wasn’t sure whether that would be okay. It was obviously a training exercise, but I wasn’t sure how they’d feel about my taking pictures. Sometimes I don’t mind risking a little trouble, but trouble takes time and I still had a long way to drive.

I finally found a place to take some decent pictures just before turning back onto the Dike Access Road.

Columbia River, Washington

Having quite a way to go before reaching Roseburg, I pulled over at a rest stop somewhere in Oregon to stretch my legs and snooze for a few minutes. It was an extremely pretty area and I wish I had written down the name of the place (if it had one).

Somewhere in Oregon

Somewhere in Oregon

Music
For this leg of the journey I listened mostly to Keane’s latest album, Strangeland. It wasn’t until I had got it home from the store and ripped it onto my computer that I found that it was a Japanese release with bonus tracks. Goody. The bad part of that is that all the track information is in Japanese, which meant manually renaming everything. Luckily the song titles transferred just fine to my MP3 player so at least I could see what they were while I traveled.

Now, I have to say that, if you like Keane’s sound, you will probably like this album, but I can’t say there was anything that surprised me or bowled me over right away. The opening song, “You Are Young,” is nice but the second track, “Silenced By The Night”, jumps out as definitive Keane:



The following track has an even more distinctive sound. Keane utilizes very similar (sometimes exactly the same) interval patterns revolving around 2, 3, and 5. For example, “Disconnected” uses the pattern: 5-3-2-5-3-2-5-3.



This same pattern can be heard in “Day Will Come.” Past Keane songs you may remember with distinctive 2, 3, 5 patterns are:
“Is It Any Wonder” (2-2-3-3-5-5-3-2)
“Nothing In My Way” (2-3-2-3-5 2-3-2-3-5 2-3-2-3)
“Crystal Ball” 5 3-6-5 2-3-L7 2-3-L7 5-5-5-3-2-3-L7
There are other motifs Keane uses, but these are the ones that jump out at me and make the songs so darn catchy.

“Sovereign Light Cafe is another that took hold of me immediately but for a completely different reason. The opening melody is exactly like a song I wrote eons ago. No, you’ve never heard it and you never will, but it took me way back to days when I spent my time writing music instead of words. The lyrics grabbed me next; so evocative. It took me back to days and nights spent in Santa Monica, along the beach front, on the pier; it also took me back to England where I lived for several years, and time spent at Brighton, Southampton, other seaside towns. When I got home and saw the video, it resonated with me even more. It’s now one of my favorites.



I enjoyed the whole album, some tracks standing out more than others, and even the bonus tracks are good. My favorite of these (also reminding me strongly of England) is “The Boys” but I couldn’t find a video for it. I guess you’ll just have to buy the album!

I will leave you with this, set to beautiful locations and subbed in Spanish, “Somewhere Only We Know” (3-2-3-5-3-2 LOL)



All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd (including music reviews) are copyright 2012-2013 to China Blue Publishing.

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