Category Archives: BatFiles

Muse-ic

For as long as I can remember, music has grabbed me by the imagination and dragged me along for whatever ride the tune decided to take us on. I blame Michael Jackson’s music videos, honestly (looking at you, Thriller, Remember the Time, Moonwalker, etc. ), but the fault wasn’t his alone.

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Anyone else remember these things?

The Kingston Trio must also take some of the blame. Songs like Dorie and They Call The Wind Mariah still take me from this world, and into another where people dance with flashing eyes and wicked smiles around burning campfires. Gue Gue sends me drifting through the bayou, falling asleep to the sounds of frogs and singing crocodiles. I used to listen to Shady Grove/Lonesome Traveler, and think up stories of why the man left Shady Grove and became the Lonesome Traveler.

 

One song of theirs in particular, has always stayed with me, but not because of the music or even the voices, which is usually the case. No, it stayed with me, because it was the first song I could remember listening to that told an actual story. All of the other songs were about love, or losing a love. Little snapshots of time, captured in a tune. South Coast is different. Give it a listen sometime, and you’ll see what I mean (if I try to write about it here, I’ll end up writing a short story to go with it, and…let’s just not do that right now, okay?).

This fascination with music and writing still continues. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve gotten more lost in a story I’ve created from the movie’s soundtrack than the movie itself. Even now, I find myself writing to music more often than not, though I have to be careful with what I listen to. If the lyrics are in English, then I get too distracted with the words to pay attention to what I’m writing.

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Meet Gackt. He writes all of his songs, has an amazing way with words…and half the time, looks like he just    stepped out of an anime.                                                    

I’ve tried listening to classical/orchestra, but all that did was either make me sleepy or just tune everything out. A couple writing friends tried suggesting electronica, but yeah. That turned into a big pile of nope for me, too. Some of the music wasn’t bad, mind you, it just didn’t do anything for me, inspiration wise.

So far, the best music I’ve found for me to write to is basically anything non-English. Luckily, I listen to a lot of music from overseas – mostly older J-rock and K-pop, so I still have plenty of music for my playlist. Also, the J-rock singer I prefer tends to be a bit…dramatic…with his music videos. Often, they tell a story (or at least part of one), and that makes me itch to tell one, too. The only problem I’m having with this strategy is that I actually studied Japanese for a good couple of years, so I’ll be listening to one of the songs and I’ll start picking apart the lyrics I can understand. I don’t understand Korean, so the K-pop songs are still safe, but it’s hard to write zombie fiction to songs like “Ring Ding Dong” and “Bubble Pop,” you know? Especially with the death of ShinEE member Jonghyun back in December.

So, for all you TL;DR people: Music gives my stories life, and RIP Jonghyun.

#BatFiles 2 – One Distinguishing Feature

I wasn’t sure what to write for this prompt. My life is fairly simple and plain. I wasn’t born during an eclipse like my sister. I wasn’t the first-born in the family, or the last. The only thing that set me apart from my siblings was that I was born with a full head of black hair and olive skin, while they were born with platinum blonde hair and the Irish peaches and cream-colored skin of our mother. siblings

Seriously, our baby pictures look like I came from completely different parents. When mom sent out pictures of me to our family, they called her up asking “Who’s the Asian kid?” I have since then lost my dark skin (for the most part), and my brother lost his hair, but as you can see, I’m still the odd one out.

My siblings are both 9+ years older than me, but that’s nothing special either. My friend Nikki shares a similar age gap between her and her brother. I had an accident when I was a toddler that has left me with a pupil that is permanently dilated, but after the amount of time I’ve spent at the eye doctors this past year, that isn’t all that “wow, really?” either. I know my friends, so I know I’m not the only one who would geek out over the MRI and CAT scan results. Pretty much the only thing that I have encountered that most people haven’t is also something that doesn’t really come up in conversation.

Death dreams. And yes, it’s as ominous as it sounds.

I’ve dreamed of at least six people’s deaths before it happened (No, I would not like one of those special coats that buckle in the back, thank you for asking). They’ve all been family members, or close friends to the family, so it’s not like these dreams can predict catastrophes, but they’ve been accurate enough that when I wake up from one of those dreams, I start preparing to say goodbye. The deaths have all been sudden ones, too, so it’s not like it was a death anyone could’ve seen coming, especially considering I was only eleven the first time I had one. Well, the first one I remember, anyway.

I dreamed that my father was swallowed up by darkness as he was running up the basement stairs. My mother and I were chased out of the house by a flood, and we ran across the street to my best friend’s house, where we got together with his family and floated away to safety, though we left his father behind as well, for some reason.

A couple months later, my father was coming up the basement stairs and a blood clot went through either his heart or his lung (I don’t remember which). He had a seizure, and survived, but later that day, he went to the doctor to get everything checked out, and…well. He never came home. He had another seizure and died on the steps outside the doctor’s office. Nine months to the day later, my best friend’s father died as well.

The last one happened almost two years ago, and the person who died was, as far as we all knew, in the peak of health. If I am remembering correctly, he died of sudden cardiac arrest.

On an interesting note, I have two aunts who supposedly might not finish out the year, and I have not had a death dream for either of them. Not that I’ve recognized, anyway. So who knows how this all works? I certainly don’t, though I would love to figure it out so I can shut it off. Dreaming of people walking away forever, even though it doesn’t happen all that often, is still a draining experience. Especially when you have to live with the fear that the next person you “see” walk away, will be the one closest to your heart.

#BatFiles 1 – Distractions

Ah, what doesn’t distract me from writing?

Right now, it’s this blog. And homework. And DC Legends on my phone, Criminal Case on Facebook, and Homescapes on my tablet. There’s also the new wall going up in my room (long story, will explain later), so there’s moving stuff out of my room, painting, moving the stuff back in.

There’s making sure the kids do their homework and chores before my roommates go on vacation, doing my grocery shopping for the week, and getting ready for my vacation next month (yes, I plan this far ahead). Let me put it this way: when I began writing this, my roommates hadn’t left for vacation yet. They’ve been gone a few days now. It has taken me two weeks to write two paragraphs. Oyvey.

Honestly, with life, it’s entirely too easy to get distracted, and we all know it. I try to make myself sit down and focus on just one thing, but unless I’m really feeling whatever it is, my brain goes “SQUIRREL!” and I end up going down the rabbit hole. On the plus side, I learn so much, because the rabbit holes are usually of the philosophical sort, but on the downside, my writing suffers.

I’ve tried every suggestion I’ve been given to keep myself on track and none of them have worked. I have an app now called StayFocusd, and I plan on giving it a try next, but I already know I’m going to end up turning it off. I hate having limits putting on me. My brain goes all “Bring Down the House” Queen Latifah on me and by the time it’s done having its say, my ass is hanging from a bathroom hook at a fancy country club, and I don’t ever want to have that conversation again, either. So yeah, limits are a bad thing.

One day I will find a way to get my brain to just shut up and let me work, but I’m not holding my breath waiting.