rflong: (Meeting on the Turret Square)
( Apr. 28th, 2009 03:32 pm)
I went to see this last night

Bear with me. There are not enough superlatives in the English language.

In places it was actually so beautiful that in between listening to the music, the lyrics (and er... reading subtitles - my Italian is not that good), and watching the images unfold on the screen my mind just could not keep up. I just had to sort of sit back and be swept away with it.

Anna Netrebko  and Rolando Villazón starred and were marvellous - opera stars who can both sing and act and look the part. Musetta almost stole the show (so did her costumes) and the scene where the two pairs of lovers sing - one pair reaffirming their love, the other breaking up, was wonderful. There's tremendous humour in this story which the film brings out well, which serves to make the tragedy which it strikes, as it inevitably must, all the more poignant.

And that moment near the very end, where the music stops and they speak a few lines instead of sing -- shocking and heartbreaking.

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And will be some more.

This weekend is P-Con, so I will be there, for the most part. This weekend is also [livejournal.com profile] e_w_h 's birthday so I will be at his party on Saturday night as well. And staying overnight in parents. There is a fair amount of running around to be done anyway, and child-wrangling.

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For some reason my stress levels have gone through the roof lately. Its a combination of many small things rather than any one biggie, but its irritating the hell out of me as I have now graduated to those ridiculous dreams where you keep thinking you've woken up, but you haven't. I'm trying to ignore things. Not sure its working.

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We watched Quantum of Solace last night, which wasn't as bad as I was led to believe, but I really couldn't* buy the villain in his flowery shirts. And as for the theme song... *shudders* I am one of the few people in the world it seems who liked the Chris Cornell one for Casino Royale, but this... uh... nothanksbyebye.

*eta: Couldn't buy the villain in a flowery shirt, I had "could", probably was half asleep when I typed this. He was not a James Bond villain. Sorry. Not at all. Blofeld and Goldfinger would never have allowed him in the club.

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I have no news. I started working on Moy Tura Echoes again last night. I thought I had gone wrong with a scene and should have killed off a character, but when I went back to look it turns out I still need him. This is not to say he will be safe for much longer. but for a little while. That said, there are already two characters slated to die towards the end so another might be overkill (Ha! Pardon the pun).

Another thing I have to do is write an article on Fantasy Worldbuilding before the 5th, which I would like to do without repeating all the things I've said about it elsewhere. This might be the tricky part, mainly because when I sit down to write about a subject I tend to forget whatever I've written on it before and before I know it... identicle article. So I want to have a long hard think about it. Sometime. When I have some time. Which I won't. Suspect I will sit down on the 4th to write and forget everything I have ever written on the subject before and... well, you get the idea. Not that my theories have changed. I'd just like it to be fresh.

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Also one of my colleagues just showed me this website. I am a cat person, sure, but sorry this is just WRONG!

rflong: (Default)
( Nov. 20th, 2008 12:03 pm)
About em... emmm years ago... oh all right between 1989-1993 (I think, its a bit blurry) I went to university in Aberdeen.

Why Aberdeen? you may ask.

It was first in the UCCA handbook, I will answer and chortle in a knowing way with everyone else who went there at this time. It was a running joke. It probably still it.

Why Aberdeen? Celtic Civilisation Course - that was one thing. And the English degree I ended up doing which actually included (shock horror) Old English and Linguistics. I liked Scotland, that was another. I have no idea now. But I did have a lot of fun, which probably accounts for some of the blurry bits mentioned above.

Then there is this:



This is what Aberdonian Students got up to on a Saturday night. I was at this gig. I remember the fake standing stones clearly. Well, kind of clearly. And it was fantastic. The venue was the Lemon Tree and my friend Kirsty asked me did I want to go. Which as it turned out I did. But we didn't bring the hand puppet that night.

I have no idea if I am in that film. There are people in it  who look like me certainly, but they're blurry! So I can't tell. This would have been our final year I think.

This blast of nostalgia was brought to you by the fact I heard them on a radio show yesterday at lunchtime and oh how I squeed! Their rendition of The Bonny Lass o' Fyvie (or The Irish Dragoons) was the inspiration behind my short story The Bonny Lass O' Fyvie. So its kind of writing related. The wonderful thing about Scottish folk music, particularly Aberdonian folk music is the extremely high body count. As this one will attest. Also if there's any sort of romance in the song, expect it to end badly. Very badly.

This band is also well known for playing ACDC's Thunderstruck on the border pipes. How's that for innovation? There's film of it somewhere too. If anyone is interested, or even just morbidly curious, I'll dig it out. :) Yes, I think that qualifies as a threat. But hey! I'm not threatening the Celine Dion cover of Highway to Hell now, am I?

rflong: (Default)
( Oct. 10th, 2008 10:05 am)
Last night I went to Jack L's gig in Vicar Street. It was, in a word, fantastic. He has incredible stage presence and the songs suit the full range of his voice so well. If you're in Ireland and can get to see him, go!

If you don't know him, this is one of my favourites, but really there are too many to list here.


Interesting intro actually - they were happy for people to take videos and photos if flashes were kept to the minimum, but asked that only the good clips were loaded onto YouTube! :D

And meanwhile, back at the ranch...

my cousin phoned last night and he's in Dublin today (from Edinburgh). This is totally out of the blue! He's on his way out to my little library now and later we will go for lunch. Yay!

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rflong: (Default)
( Sep. 18th, 2008 11:34 am)
I wrote a little over a thousand words on Moy Tura Echoes yesterday which came as both a surprise and a shock. Shock because of the scene I wrote in which some VERY bad things happen to a very nice person. VERY VERY bad things.

I wonder if this is the reason that I couldn't get past this stage for so long. I suspect that I didn't want to write the bad things because I like the character so much. Now that its done the ideas are leaping around, the scenes are playing out like movies in my head and for the moment at least I know exactly where I am going and most of the words that will get me there. Sadly it has taken most of the summer to get here. I've concentrated on other things but this is the one that I really want to get finished so its a fantastic breakthrough. Now if only I wasn't at work and had time to write! :D

Inspirations are funny things. I'm not a great believer in "the muse". I think there definitely is one, but quite frankly, if something isn't working I don't have the time to flop around on the chaise longe with hand to forehead going "oh woe is me, my muse hath deserted me". I move on to something else and let the one with the problem sit and stew. I work full time, I have two kids, my days are FULL. Writing doesnt' take second place, but it has to understand the priorities of life.

But inspiration can strike at any time and in any place. I saw two crows the other day outside the shop, probably looking for nesting materials. One of them picked up what looked like a large A4 sheet of paper or card and flew off with it in its beak. *Bang* Morgan has an affinity with crows of course so therefore...

Or take these two vids. I'd never come across them before although I know the fiddler Mairead Nesbitt from other performances and the song The Voice is wonderful. But I watched them both last night and the two slotted together and off went the plot bunnies. This isn't part of Moy Tura Echoes, although it could be, but Moy Tura Echoes doesn't need any added complications at the moment. It adds them itself. No, these are for something else. Not sure what yet.

But look at Mairead Nesbitt's face as she place AND dances (at the same time if you don't mind. There's a word for people like that. I can't say it here). And listen to Lisa Kelly sing that wonderful and haunting anthemn. And then tell me what stories they conjure up for you

Granuaile's Dance:


The Voice:
rflong: (Clock)
( Dec. 3rd, 2007 11:04 am)
A bit of a mad weekend in the end. Lots of frantic running about but not an large amount of anything ACTUALLY done.

Friday night: Watched Blackbook by Paul Verhoeven. A wonderful film. I sobbed like a baby for most of the final third. Carice von Houten playing Ellis was magnificent. I don't know why but anything about the second world war, particularly about the occupied countries always really upsets me. I realised at one point that I was sitting there with my hand curled so tightly into a fist that my nails were digging into my palm.

Saturday: two birthday parties - my son went to his friend up the road's part and had a ball. I did the shopping. My husband worked on shelves for the kids room (yay!). We then thought we would go out and work on the garden. And opened the back door. And the heavens opened. So I had a nap instead. Bliss! Then we went to another birthday party, this time for our friend's one year old. They also live on our road. We met more neighbours. Yay.

That night we watched The Curse of the Golden Flower which was spectacular but maddeningly hard to follow. There were a couple of Pirates of the Carribean moments as in "Whose side is X on now?" *shrug* But thoroughly enjoyable and fantastic to look at. And really really depressing! But in the prettiest way.

So a non-Hollywood filmic weekend, which can be an eye-opener. For a really enthralling film though, I'd recommend Blackbook.

Sunday: Visited hardware shop. Visited parents. And (highlight for me) I went to the Messiah for All concert in Monkstown. This is an annual event which my Dad's choir organises where the whole Messiah is performed, and the "audience" brings their own librettos and joins in the chorus parts. It gives the effect of a mass chorus and is thoroughly enjoyable. It's the beginning of my Christmas and has been for some years. The Hallelujah chorus is phenominal. Last night they were accompanied by the Orchestra of St. Cecilia and I think I now prefer the orchestral accompaniment to the organ one. It was beautiful. There is a moment in the final Great Amen when the choir stops and the melody is played briefly. Noramlly as I said this is an organ piece, but last night it was played by two violins in perfect harmony. Then the full choral power of about four hundred people took over and raised the roof.

The soloists were marvelous, particularly the soprano, Anna Devin who I think is very much someone to watch out for. Let's just put it this way. She sang Rejoice Greatly, and smiled like someone actually rejoicing, just like the song says! You don't always see that. Fab!

I'm shattered! And run off my feet this morning!

Writing? What's that?

I need to start thinking about the LH end of year contest too.

R
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