Delirium (2016) + Cybersleep (2014)

[Note: contains some gory / horror themes for the more sensitive viewers!]

“Subconscious lies
Dream within a dream
But I’m not afraid of this illusion
Still inside my head
Take me there
Just take my hand
And help me fly
Try to understand…”

Less than 48 hours remain until I finally get to see the mighty Italian goth-metal band Lacuna Coil live in concert on their Delirium world tour!

Music: Lacuna Coil Live 2016

I stumbled across this live concert video of Lacuna Coil and really enjoyed it. I’ll be seeing them live in concert later in 2016 when they tour Australia, and I can’t wait. I have been obsessed with Lacuna Coil from the first moment I saw the “Within Me” video clip… Which I’ve probably already shared here (I have definitely shared it on my Facebook more times than reasonable, especially as I know a grand total of maybe one or two other people in my real life who actually like this band!). But hey, who doesn’t need a bit of Italian goth metal in their life!? I know that the songs, the imagery, their expressiveness, and the immense creativity of the beautiful Cristina Scabbia have been a source of great inspiration to me.

I’ve been known to listen to this song multiple times in a single day. Obsessed? Just a little…

NaNoWriMo Journal 2015: 9

Saturday, 14 November 2015

Not a lot to say, really. It’s been a fairly typical Saturday. I’m way behind my word count goals – by the end of today I need to be on 23,333 words to be up-to-date. But I won’t panic because this has happened in my previous Nanowrimos, and third time around I’ve accepted that having bad days is part of the routine. In an ideal world I’d have a few days a week, all year round, of solid writing. But that’s not always possible. So here I am. Trying to write while ignoring the desire to procrastinate on DuoLingo (I’ve added Norwegian, Ukrainian and Irish Gaelic to my languages… I’ll probably try Swedish next. Funnily enough it turns out I still remember a lot of Ukrainian and a tiny bit of Gaelic from back when I first tried to learn them years ago).

I’m also at that stage in the Nano process where I suddenly remember how much I love drawing and I start finding it hard to write because I keep imagining all the paintings I should be doing right now. Sorry, art, but you have to wait!

Current word count: 18,912 / 50,000 words

Today’s writing soundtrack: The Magic of Nature by Elderwind; Griseus by Aquilus… yet again. Beautiful stuff, if you ask me. Dark, brooding, atmospheric metal written by an Aussie. To me it’s the soundtrack of being in a haunted forest. 

Monday, 16 November 2015

Today’s proven to be one of those unusually productive days. Somehow I managed to get the kids out of bed, get myself to an appointment, go out for coffee, pick up some flea and worming treatment I’d ordered in at the animal hospital, give the cats their flea treatment, listen to a Richard Rohr lecture while cleaning, get in some mindfulness and prayer time, and I have roughly an hour to write before rushing off to get the kids from school and spend the evening no doubt following the routine of harassing them to do homework and find their sports uniforms.

My story is going well. I’ve finally made it to a significant plot point that will enable my character Zaira to confront the question of her own humanness or otherwise when she becomes lost and is rescued by a community of humanoid beings that welcome her into their midst. I said I wasn’t going to write my trademark “woman meets hot extra-terrestrial” story but it looks like that’s where the story wants to go. I think it is similar in many ways to my 2013 NaNoWriMo entry, and I think that if I work on it, I could potentially link them and create a duology of stories about the overarching and interlinked histories between a group of different worlds. As I say that I immediately think of the first two books in CS Lewis’s Space Trilogy, and find myself wondering how much those novels (Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra) influenced my story. Not to mention the great 19th Century writer George Macdonald’s Phantastes and Lilith).

Current word count: 25,363 / 50,000 words

Today’s writing soundtrack: Music of Unity and Peace by the Taizé Community. The music and teachings of Taizé have greatly impacted my life and enriched my spirituality. While I have never been to Taizé, I was able to spend a day with some of the French monks and a multicultural and inter-denominational group of young adults when Brother Alois visited Australia in early 2015.

Tabula Rasa (2014)

A year or two ago some fellow Tool fans told me to look into Soen. Eventually I got around to it and to my surprise discovered I really like this fantastic Swedish and American super group. The drummer formerly hails from Swedish bands Opeth and the mighty Viking warriors Amon Amarth (I shared a video of theirs on this blog earlier this year). I play Soen’s 2014 album Tellurian on an absurdly frequent basis.

Sons of Winter and Stars (Live in Studio) (2012)

Once in a while I come across music that is so beautiful (in my subjective opinion) that I just want to cry when I hear it. The Finnish band Wintersun does that for me.

I don’t know when I consciously realised that as much as half of the music I love the most is Finnish. My music collection is stocked up with bands like Korpiklaani, Finntroll, Amorphis, Turisas, and Norther. I couldn’t really account for what it is about their music and culture and languages that so intrigues me. I’ve seen a couple of Finnish bands perform live here in Melbourne, Australia, namely Ensiferum and Apocalyptica. I get the impression that a number of the bands are connected to each other. Here’s hoping Wintersun make their way here at some point in the not too distant future. Otherwise one of these days I’m going to have to take a metal fan pilgrimage to Europe. From what one of my husband’s German-born metal-loving co-workers tell me, let alone what I’ve managed to glean from watching YouTube videos with a profound sense of jealousy (!), Wacken sounds like an amazing metal festival. (Then again, I was able to nearly be showered in German metalhead vomit thanks to a very drunk fan watching the Rammstein set at Australia’s Big Day Out festival in 2011, so we do get to enjoy some of the sights and guttural sounds of the European metal scene over here.)

I love the folk metal genre in general, too, and it’s not just the Finnish bands. I saw Swiss band Eluveitie perform in Melbourne a couple of years ago and they were just brilliant. Easily one of the best gigs I’ve ever seen (a room full of bearded heavy metal fans moshing to bagpipes and low whistle has to be seen to be believed – it’s glorious). I was first drawn into folk metal via accidentally stumbling across Scottish pirate band Alestorm on a community radio station as I flipped through the channels. Since then, it was a short leap from Pirate music to Viking music. I fell in love from the first moment I heard a melodic scream about Valhalla (thank you, Swedish metallers Amon Amarth). On a completely related note, I named one of my cats Odin.

I find it interesting that I was always drawn to Celtic and Norse mythology and music inspired by those cultures. After a few years of my being helplessly drawn in that direction, my genealogy-researching history-geek sister uncovered a few direct lines of ancestry through our family to the Vikings and the Normans – we have evidence for Norwegian and possibly Swedish Viking heritage, and there’s also a thread in our heritage that appears to trace back to Finland, many centuries ago. It’s kind of cool to me to realise that countless generations ago some of my direct ancestors came from a part of the world that had always held a hitherto unexplained fascination for me. I feel like that validates my interest in learning more about a part of the world that’s about as far away from Australia as I can imagine. So, in the meantime, I’ll keep listening (and picking up random words in other languages as I attempt to learn the lyrics to the non-English songs).