A Pair’s Portrait, and Part of the Sky

Only 3 weeks (WHAT? GAH! HOW IS SEPTEMBER ALMOST GONE?!) until the launch of “The Story’s End (Book Seven of The Wilderhark Tales)”. To mark* the occasion (*you’ll see in half-a-sec what I did, there), have a look at this gorgeous piece of work from my treasured Wilderhark Artist, Yana Naumova!

Allyn, color final, gallery size

That’s right, it’s one of three new bookmark designs made just for “Story’s End” – which you can bet will feature in a giveaway during the online Launch Party, coming soon to Facebook. If that young man by the fire looks familiar to frequenters of this blog, there’s a solid reason for that. ;D And of course we all know Gant-o’-the-Lute – up in a tree again, just like in his personal bookmark for Book Four.

What’s he thinking about, up there? The same wish he’s held in his heart from the start of things, as glimpsed in “The Song Caster” and laid bare in “The Sky-Child and Other Stories”. Attune your ear and listen. Hear the music? It’s not “Part of Your World” – a fair guess, given the identical melody and lyric structure, but no. This is not the song of a Disney mermaid longing for land, but that of a Wilderhark minstrel who craves higher still…

<<<>>>

Look at this trick. Isn’t it neat?

Wouldn’t you think that my talent’s complete?

You’d think of me, wouldn’t you, that I can do anything?

*

Look at me now. Don’t I astound?

Watch me be a wonder while you wonder how.

One hour around me, and now you’re sure I can do anything.

*

I can top all your top virtuosos –

Any instrument, and any score;

Best you at your best game with my eyes closed.

But so what? Not enough. I want more.

Sky Child, cropped

I want to leave where the people are.

I want to see where no man’s yet ventured.

Land’s been done into the ground.

Try the sea, you say? …Ha. Cute.

*

But even a ship only sails so far.

Higher’s required for my adventure!

Impossible? Ah, you’re forgetting:

I’m Gant-o’-the-Lute.

Rays of Songlight - Copy

You’re free to walk. You’re free to run.

I mean to make my way to the sun,

And hang gravity! I long to be

Part of the sky.

*

What would I give if I could live up where the winds race?

What would I pay to spend a day there ere I die?

What won’t I try? Won’t be denied. Though I spend all my life in the chase,

I’m not quitting. Sick of sitting. Ready to fly!

On Music's Wings

I’m ready to know where the sunset goes!

Follow it westward, and rise come morning!

Dance over stars that your eyes only spy from below!

*

When can I go? Wouldn’t I love,

Love to explore and soar up above?

The sky’s part of me. And someday I’ll be

Part of the sky.

<<<>>>

Story's End Cover, gallery size

For Gant-o’-the-Lute, “ever after” has been less than happy. With the last of Carillon’s charm over him gone, the minstrel-king puts royalty behind him in pursuit of the music he once knew and the lifelong dream he let slip through his fingers. But dark whispers on the wind warn that time is running out – not only for Lute and the apprentice in his shadow, but the whole of earth and Sky.

The Story’s End (Book Seven of The Wilderhark Tales”, coming October 13, 2015; now available to add to your Goodreads “To Read” shelf.

Glory, Glory

A reblog of my 30th PerGoSeeMo Psalm from 2011, in honor of Christmas but days away. See you guys after the holiday!

<<<>>>

A humble girl in Nazareth

Is favored above all,

And she sings unto the highest heaven:

Glory! Glory!

Merciful and holy,

The Mighty One who raised his servant lowly!

See how the shepherds leave the hills

To go before the babe who will

Be Shepherd over chosen Israel.

 

Christmas Star

Above the town of Bethlehem,

A host of angels call,

And their voices fill the highest heaven:

“Glory! Glory!

Goodwill to the earth!

The mother of Messiah’s given birth!

See how the kings come from afar

To worship, ‘neath the shining star,

The Savior King of chosen Israel.

 

At Temple in Jerusalem,

An aged man in awe

Lifts his song unto the highest heaven:

 “Glory! Glory!

Light and peace and joy

Will fill the hearts of many, through this boy!

See how the light has yet to dim

For all who still remember him,

And hail the coming of Immanuel.

PerGoSeeMo Psalm 17

Psalm 17. Psalms 50:8-14

            You don’t really need another song.

You’ve had more throughout the ages

Than any but you could count –

From the sorrowfully substandard,

To the best Man has to offer,

To the “holy, holy, holy” from your hosts of heavenly seraphs.

            And surely any music you made –

A Holy Trinity trio,

Or a symphony from nothing –

Would reduce all man- and angel-kind to weeping,

Could their lesser ears discern it.

            What have I but words already written,

Melodies already strung,

Harmonies used over and over

Since the dawn of chords?

Sing him a new song” indeed.

            New to me, the song may be,

Slowly discovered, line by line,

A lyrical adventure…

Its surprise on me only.

            For your knowledge transcends silly things like time.

You knew the poetry I’d craft

While I’d yet to be crafted in the womb.

It’s all “been there, read that” for you;

Yours truly, last to know, as always.

            What to get the God who has it all?

You said, “I’ll take a ‘thank you’.”

            Thank you, then, with all my heart.

I’ll gift you with my gratitude.

I’ll wrap your praises up in verse,

And give it all my human best;

Present it with an eager smile

And eyes that shine with hoping that you’ll like it.

            And you’ll take it with gentle hands,

Exclaiming over the intent,

And add my scrap to the display on your divine refrigerator,

Loving gift for giver’s sake,

As those with children do.

            Oh, you.

            “Oh, you.”

            And it was then she re-knew she was precious.

PerGoSeeMo Psalm 16

Psalm 16. Psalms 40:3

            What is it about a new song

That makes me sing the louder,

That makes me sing the longer,

And never want to cease?

            What is it about a new song

Written in my own words,

Played out with my own hands

Upon piano keys?

            Is it in the creation?

In the lyrics? In the music?

In the whole of it that’s greater than

The joining of the parts?

            What is it about a new song

That you’ve urged us so to sing it,

And ever and again you’ve planted

New songs in our hearts?

            There’s something about a new song

That makes me want to share it –

That makes me want it heard by

Any and all around.

            There’s something about a new song

That captivates my mind

And fills my inner ear with

Nothing but the sound,

            Until it feels too much to keep

Inside a single person,

And I’ll have no rest until another’s

Heard the song I know.

            There’s something about a new song

That can’t be kept a secret.

Small wonder, then, you ever wish

New songs of you to grow.

“Theme”

One of the ideas that first comes to mind is that of the “theme song”. I love those. Not the really bad ones, obviously (although I was hard-pressed to justify my fondness for the “American Dragon Jake Long” season one theme to my father, the other day), but the concept is a good one, even if the execution occasionally results in failure.

            The great thing about theme songs is their almost indelible association with, well, whatever they were meant to be associated with. I could start singing – or, better suited to this medium, typing – any number of lyrics brought to fame by this sitcom or that children’s program, and a lot of your minds would immediately fly to that show.

            Hearing the melody would likely be more effective than reading the lyrics, though. For some people, at least, and most certainly for me, something about musical notes just strikes a chord (ignore the unintentional pun) faster and harder than even words can do. I can hear one minor triad on an organ and anticipate the overture from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera” almost before I’m consciously aware that I’ve heard a thing. (I’d be excited, too. I loved that overture and title song even before I learned to love the musical.)

            Melodic themes – where would movies be without them? Think of your favorite film without the soundtrack. Now stop thinking of it so hard, or you’ll make yourself sad. It’d be terrible! No increasingly insistent two-note motif warning you that somebody’s about to get snatched off their inner tube by Jaws. No triumphant brass declaring that Indiana Jones has lived to snatch up another artifact. No sweet woodwinds and cheerful strings reassuring you of happy Hobbiton habitants. None of the breathtaking scores by brilliant composers like Hans Zimmer… Okay, now that one made me sad. Back off, Danielle.

            To work things back around to the point: Musical themes make movies more. They enhance the sensory experience, while helping to keep everything feeling connected and full circle and whole. And that right there – that wholeness – is the essence of a theme.

            Blogs should have themes, I’ve heard it said (noun, definition three: “An implicit or recurring idea.”); should have a “meta-narrative”, as I recently/arbitrarily happened to read on a blog called “Hollaback Health”. That delightfully highfalutin hyphenated word was defined there as “the overarching story that explains and gives merit to individual events or stories. In the blog world it determines the synopsis, the mission statement, and the structure of your blog.” (Hope you don’t mind my quoting you, Kendra Writer-of-Post-in-Question. If you do, yell at me.)

            What is my blog’s meta-narrative? – the “Ever On Word” theme? …Yes, you in the back there, with your hand up? “Words!” Very astute.

            I’m not comfortable claiming to be an expert in many fields. Actually, lose the “m” and “s” – “in any field”, I should have said. Sure, I know stuff; not as much as that guy, but more than the other, or vice versa, dependant on what we’re talking about. But I don’t like to profess expertise because, I don’t know, it feels like asking to be proven wrong. (Pride before a fall, anyone?)

            But the fact is, words are my thing. I speak them well (on a good day), and I write them better, because I’ve been devouring them since my earliest youth and have made good friends of the dictionary and thesaurus. I love words – their shapes, their sounds, their technical definitions, and their subjective connotations. I know what I’m talking about, or I take a sec to look it up and then I know. And once I figured out that my blog would need a theme, I knew that words would be it.

            So if you ever read a blog piece written by me and it does not involve words in any way… then we can all be very confused together.