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.

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

And please “Like” us on Facebook!

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Artwork, Road Trip, Music (Part Three)

Yes, I know it’s taking me weeks to write up a trip that only took me days, but what can I say? I’ve really been very busy and tired too!

I would just like to mention first (especially for those of you following over there) that The Glister Journals giveaway is still on over at Goodreads. Four hardbound copies of Bronze will be given away there. You can sign up HERE. Yes, I really like the look of the giveaway widget on my blog and the book’s website, but it only shows as script on the Goodreads site, which is very strange. So I’ll put the widget at the end of this post so it doesn’t mess it up!

On to ART!

This week I am featuring the third of the pieces created for me by Katelynn Chambers (a.k.a. Nettlebeast)

The Glister Journals: Dave and Remmy

This is not my favorite, though I love the ‘feel’ of it if you know what I mean. I just don’t see Dave at all like this. He also looks much too young here. But I love the freedom it projects, and the colors and technique are beautiful, as always.

I’ll be posting the last of Katelynn’s pieces soon. Guess who it is?

On to the Road Trip:
DAYS THREE, FOUR, FIVE

My time spent with my loved ones was precious, quiet, and (I hope) understandably private, so I’m not going to dwell much on it other than to say I enjoyed it immensely. There were a few things that stood out so I’ll touch on them.

The first day, after having slept in a little, was mostly taken up by a tour of the area. I had been once before, quite a few years ago, so some places were at least vaguely familiar, but the whole area is absolutely beautiful. Blaine is the northernmost town off highway 101, on Drayton Harbor, about 25 miles west of the Cascade Mountain Range, and about half an hour from Vancouver, British Columbia (Canada). I would certainly classify the surrounding areas as rural, though the southern community known as Birch Bay has both a quaint seaside feel and the resort area, Semiahmoo, has a golf course and spa, as well as the harbor.

Unfortunately it is now necessary to have a passport to go back and forth over the border. This seems fair considering our (the USA’s) stance on Mexican border crossings, but is rough for those of us who would just like to revel in a bit of British/Canadian culture and perhaps have a sausage roll. I can see I’m going to have to get my paperwork in order before I return.

One of the things that stood out to me while I was there, was the emphasis on peace. Indeed, several of the roads leading off the 101 near the border are “Peace Portal” roads. A welcome sign at the northern entrance to Blaine informs you proudly that it is the Peace Arch City. And right there, as you enter that fair city, is Peace Arch Park, a wondrous place where magical things happen. Like peace and stuff. I came this close to exploring the park, but didn’t. I wasn’t sure if I’d be accosted somewhere in the middle with demands for my passport. And then where would I be? Hauled off to Canada and never heard from again! Perhaps it would spark an International incident and put our precious peace in jeopardy. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself. There’s an anthem for heaven’s sake. Just add it to the list of things to do the next time I visit when I’ve got my paperwork done.

On the second day, I took my trusty bicycle (which had weathered the trip on the back of my car nicely) and parked at the end of the Semiahmoo Parkway, a lovely area of easy, mostly paved trails that extend through the Semiahmoo Spit to the small harbor. There is a resort and spa there, but check the reviews carefully before you reserve a room.

Now, this was a momentous day for me. I don’t know exactly how long it had been since I’d ridden a bicycle, but long enough so that I couldn’t remember. Actually I think it would be safe to say that the last time had been over half of my lifetime ago. That’s long enough. Not to mention how impossiby out-of-shape I am. So it was with a little trepidation that I mounted and, wobbling slightly, began my ride.

Guess what…it’s true! That old saying about doing things you think you’ve forgotten because it’s been so loong? Just like riding a bike!

I was glad I had brought my camera along. The weather was hazy and cloudy, so visibilty at a distance wasn’t great, but it was cool which I appreciated more.

I had been made aware that there were bald eagles in the area and sure enough, as I reached the marina there was one perched on top of a pole. This is a zoomed shot…I wasn’t that close to it, but it was cool anyway.
Bald Eagle
Wild flowers were abundant too. I took more pictures, but don’t know what happened to them. ๐Ÿ™
Flowers 2
Flowers 1

This is Semiahmoo marina. Not particularly impressive or quaint or even picturesque, but quite nice, especially with the mountains on the horizon (looking north or east).

Seniahmoo Marina
And one more reminder of the great friendship and love between our country and Canada.
America Loves Canada
Yes, I’m so comforted to know we are at peace with them. Now if we could just work on that with the rest of the world.

I’ll cover the other two albums I mentioned in (I promise)shorter posts soon, but I’ll leave you with a Black Keys song as there is so much good stuff on that album (El Camino). Hope you’re not easily offended…



LOL. See you soon!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Glister Journals by B.B. Shepherd

The Glister Journals

by B.B. Shepherd

Giveaway ends August 11, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win



All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012 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 chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please “Like” us on Facebook!

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Artwork, Road Trip, Music! (Part One)

Sorry again for the hiatus. I had hoped to post before now, especially as I am officially on vacation, but life’s been go, go, go!

First of all, another piece from wonderful Katelynn Chambers. This time it’s Robin and her horse, Gali. I don’t quite picture Robin this way myself, but I love the picture anyway. The relationship implied between the characters is perfect, and I love her jeans! The colors and artwork in general is amazing. I just love her work so much!

Robin and Gali
Robin and Gali from The Glister Journals: Bronze


On to the road trip.

DAY ONE
On Monday I headed north, destination: the northernmost part of Washington (state) to visit a person very dear to me. I got a very late start due to errands that needed to be run, and tried to get as far as could without stopping. I don’t often get further north than Sacramento, so, especially once past Redding, I began to be a little more interested in the scenery. I was also looking for a potential Starbucks stop, but didn’t want to have to go looking for one. There were no signs, so I kept going.

I admit to being tempted by the little city of Dunsmuir (apparently “Home of the best water on earth” and, according to the city’s website, “the small-town home of 2,000 you wished you had grown up in.”), but eschewing the potential delights of the Dunsmuir Historical Gardens, I continued on. It was probably closed anyway.

I wanted to take pictures along the way, but there are very few places to actually stop, especially not where there’s anything interesting to photo. Here’s a picture of Mount Shasta, northern California

Mount Shasta

Not a terribly good picture; it’s much more impressive in person. By this time I was in need of tea and ready to venture off the beaten track in search of it, but this mountain town (I didn’t write down the name)



didn’t look like it would have a Starbucks. Just finding the way back onto the I5 was an adventure. Of course that could be said of most large cities too.

I took some better pictures of Mount Shasta on my “good” camera (which I will add later–I have to wait to get home to download them) some place north of a town called Weed. Yes, that’s right, Weed. There’s actually a South Weed, a Central Weed, and even a North Weed Road (or something similar.) Weed is obviously a Very Important Place.

I was struggling to keep my eyes open by the time I crossed over the border into Oregon, but finally rolled into Medford about 10 p.m.

To finish off with MUSIC:

I had picked up three new CDs for the trip: The Black Key’s El Camino, Keane’s Strangeland, and I finally got Gotye’s Making Mirrors, which is wonderful. But more about that next time. For now I’ll leave you with Keane’s Silenced By The Light which is on the radio quite a bit right now. I got to listen to the CD once through, but I’ll listen again and have more to say about it on the trip home. I hope you enjoy!

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012 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 chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please “Like” us on Facebook!

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Glister Journals Art

I’m VERY excited to be able to introduce you to artwork created in conjunction with my fiction series, The Glister Journals. If you’re like me, when you read a book, you imagine the characters very clearly. That’s the main reason I like to read a book before I see a movie made from it. I like to have my own mental picture of characters and places in my head before seeing someone elses. I have plans to get some of my own sketches out this summer too, but still haven’t had much time to concentrate on art. But I also love seeing what other people think characters look like, or think they might look like.

Which was my idea behind finding artists to help render my Glister Journals characters. I commissioned two amazing artists to do character sketches for me, a couple of which were actually finished a couple of years ago, but I have been waiting for the right time to share them. And that time is now!

For the next few weeks I’ll be posting one piece each weekend beginning with this lovely picture by Katelynn Chambers:

Allison and Gold from The Glister Journals
(c) 2012 Katelynn Chambers and China Blue Publishing

I love the sense of movement and the color palettes she uses in her pieces; they are all unique and wonderful. You can see more of her work at her portfolio site, Nettlebeast Studio.

I’d also like to show you the updated cover for the revised editions of Bronze. Both pictures make very nice wallpapers and you are very welcome to use them for personal use, but please respect the copyrights. ๐Ÿ™‚


(c) 2012 B B Shepherd and China Blue Publishing

Click on the pictures to see them full size. All artwork can also be found at my new Tumbler account. And I’m going to throw a giveaway in here: the first person to comment on this post telling me the name of the horse on the cover of Bronze wins a free hardbound copy. I’ll even sign it if you like. More about giveaways and locations next week.

Now I think we need to finish with a little music, don’t you? I haven’t got back to finish my Cinco de Mayo post, so I’ll borrow some music I might otherwise have posted there (don’t worry, there’s plenty more for that post, and I will finish it!) This is “Fire Escape” from Civil Twilight, definitely one of my favorite bands right now, but I’ll get back to them on a previous post (Yes! Time travel!)



Have a great week!

Note: All original text and materials by or commissioned by B. B. Shepherd are copyright 2012 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 chapters can also be read here at the top of my blog. (and also in a menu in the sidebar!)

And please “Like” us on Facebook!

Share
Continue Reading