December Playlist

Hope you all had a happy new year. I had purchased a Huion Kanvas 13 graphic tablet in mid-December to replace my old Wacom Intuos Pro, but after a few days of it working perfectly, it stopped working correctly. I was getting ready to create a “December Playlist” image and the pen cursor and the pen were not aligning. I tried everything under the moon to fix the problem, but nothing worked. I ended up returning the thing and got a Wacom One, which was a lot more expensive than the Huion. It wasn’t all quick and easy to setup either with the Wacom. The tablet required a USB-C to HDMI adapter. For some reason my iMac doesn’t like generic or other brands of adapters. I tried one that was $35 (these adapters range from $15 and up) and because it didn’t work, ended up paying $70 for an Apple one that worked.

I’ve read quite a few reviews on the Wacom One having issues. I just hope mine isn’t one of them. This was what my mind was occupied with in the last few days so my new year felt like an extension of 2020. You know, like one big mess. Anyway, here are my favorite songs of December.

Before You Go – Lewis Capaldi on The Voice (I love the song and his voice, but check out the piano guy. Isn’t he just amazing?)

Only Love Can Hurt Like This – Paloma Faith

Restless – Maddy Hartson

I Hope – Gabby Barrett

Music

I’ve been binge watching “Chuck” on Amazon Prime. When the show first came out, I watched an episode or two but didn’t have the time to keep up with it. I’m so happy that it’s on AP. One of the episode played “One More Try” by Timmy T in the background. That just totally solidified my love for the show. That song brought back so many memories.

This song came to me early one morning. I know why but I’ve got a lot of memories attached to it. It was used in a TV series called “Mr. Robot” but I haven’t seen it. I remember the song from “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.”

“In Time” by Robbi Rob

Here’s one that I just love. It’s a timeless song.

“Kiss the Rain” by Billie Myers

August’s Playlist

Hoping for a gentler and kinder September. Here’s the top three from my August playlist:

I’ve revisited this song because of what’s gone on in my life last month. “Legacy” by Lustral.

Earlier in August, I was remembering those college days in the 90’s and Tori Amos was one of my favorite musicians to listen to. “1,000 Oceans” came later but it still gave me those college days vibes.

“Radishes and Flowers” by Jesse Blake Rundle was a song I heard on a Youtube compilation. The guitars from 2:30 to the end really hit me.

July’s Playlist

This playlist is unique in that it’s mostly freestyle from the 80’s. My top three most listened to were:

“Fantasy Girl” by Johnny O

“Together Forever” by Lisette Melendez

“Show Me” by The Cover Girls

The lead singer of The Cover Girls reminds me so much of the lead singer of the Sneaker Pimps. They both are tiny with cute voices and personality. Especially in this song:

I was seriously on a freestyle kick last month. Other songs that made it on July’s playlist were:

“Promise Me” by The Cover Girls

“If Wishes Came True” by Sweet Sensation

“In My Fantasy” by Gina T.

“Shelter” by Dash Berlin

“Songbird” by Fleetwood Mac (The Glee version sung by Santana)

“Poppiholla (5am Mix)” by Chicane

“Beyond Time” by Blank & Jones

June Favorite Songs

Before I share my list, just thought I’d mention that I’m doing Camp Nano this month. Goal is 30K words for a romance novella. It’s something different from the sci-fi and fantasy stuff.

As you know, I love music. I track monthly favorites in my bujo. I do it pretty sloppily but it’s nice being able to flip back and see what I’ve been listening to. I used to track it on this blog but stopped and I’m not sure why. I enjoyed doing that so I’ll continue it.

Here’s my top favorites/most listened to songs from June:

“Aeternum” by John Lunn for The Last Kingdom series on Netflix. The soundtrack for the series is simply amazing. It’s one of the best out there. I’d say it’s just as good as The Last of the Mohicans soundtrack. “Aeternum” is so haunting. The drums and bass from 3:10 on is one of my favorites. In the show, they play that beat without the singing and it gives me goosebumps.

“Enso” by The Alliance. This is a trance song and has a pretty fast beat but at 2:00, it slows down to nothing and then picks up with an epic tune from 2:23 to 2:50.

“Last Hope” by Antoine Heid. I’ve shared this song before but I’ve started listening to it again. Mainly because I’m editing my sci-fi novella, but also because there’s a part of the song that has this really good drum piece that I missed before. It’s from 1:45 to 2:45. It’s sort of like a rolling drum but I’m not sure. It’s just fabulous!

“Zocalo” by Armin van Buuren. This is an old tune but I could never get enough of it. The breakdown from 3:35 to 5:15 kind of takes all my worries away.

“I Should Have Known” by Jovani feat. Jazzu. Love Jazzu’s voice, but also love the rolling drums. I’m a sucker for rolling drums.

2017 Favorites

The year flew by. I tried and failed at many things this year, but this last day of the year, I’m going to share the positive things, and my favorites.

The photo above is a dish I made trying out roasted purple cauliflower.  It’s hard to see but to the right of the salmon is purple cauliflower rice, which I made too. The fish is salmon sprinkled with fresh dill, paprika, garlic salt, black pepper, and topped with slices of limes.  I’ve never cooked with cauliflower before but I think this will be my new favorite thing because I really like the flavor and how easy it is to cook cauliflower.

I’m very proud to say that I accomplished two of my five goals this year.  One of them was to start school again…actually, to resume my master’s program from 2010.  So far, I’ve completed three classes and have four to go.  I’m going to try and load up on classes so that I finish by end of Spring 2018.  The other goal was to read 12 books.  I ended up reading 34 books.  A lot of it was due to freelancing as a book reviewer.  I was doing about three to four books a month starting in July.  I still read for leisure and still enjoy it

Here are my favorite books of the year:

1. Caraval by Stephanie Garber.  This was such a lovely and fun story with romance, magic, and suspense.

2. Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon.  This was a beautiful story told through the eyes of a young boy growing up in the 60’s.  The world building was fabulous.  I felt like I was right there with the boy.  The characters were well thought out and vivid.  McCammon really knows how to tug at your heart.

3. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne Du Maurier.  This was a well written classic about a man upset about the way his cousin died.  He was determined to get to the bottom of the mystery but somehow he becomes completely mesmerized by Rachel.  I saw the movie after reading the book and didn’t think it was as good.  If anything, read the book.


Can’t live without music.  For a sci-fi story I’ve been writing, I’ve got a few songs that go along with certain scenes.  Initially, I was going to submit the story to an anthology but I missed the deadline.  Okay, I have to remember I’m not going to focus on my failures (lol).  Anyway, here’s the cover for the book, and yes, that’s my pen name because I write different genres.

If you want to know a little about the story (the background story), you can check out my writing blog at, The Writing Sparrow.  It’s a new blog and I don’t have much there yet, but come 2018, there will be.

These are the songs that go with a few scenes in my story, but they are also favorites:

1. Immortal by Missing in Action

2. Last Hope by Antoine Heid (it’s just coincidence that my title has these two words in it).

3. Love on the Brain by Rhianna.

4. Elastic Heart by Sia

5. Wings (acoustic) by Birdy


I’ve been somewhat of a movie junkie this year.  I could barely count how many movies I’ve watched at the theater and at home.  It feels great to be able to watch all these movies.  When I had my two kids, I went into a strange zone where I couldn’t watch movies or even TV shows and not think everyone was pretending.  For some reason that bothered me to no ends.  Now, I’m relieved to say that even if they were acting, it’s no problem.  It doesn’t bother me one bit.  My favorite movies this year are:

1. Passengers

2. King Arthur – Legend of the Sword

3. Blade Runner

4. Star Wars – The Last Jedi

I didn’t do as much drawing and painted as I had wanted.  There’s just isn’t enough time to do everything so I’ve had to just focus on what mattered to me.  And, what mattered this year was getting my stories out.  I submitted a fantasy to an anthology earlier in the year but they are backed up so they haven’t gotten to telling the submitters who made it or not.  I also sent the same fantasy story to my professor who enjoyed it and gave me an “A.”

Thanks for stopping by and see you in the new year!

3 Current Epic Music Favorites

July was a busy month.  Swim is done for my youngest.  It was very intense and we’re glad to be done with it but we will probably join a less rigorous swim team during the school year.  School starts for my youngest this coming Monday.  She’ll be in 5th grade, the last grade in grade school where we live, then she’ll start 6th grade in middle school.  When I think about it, I get teary-eyed, so I try not to let myself get too deep into thoughts about it.

My oldest will be starting 10th grade in a week.  She loves POMs.  If you don’t know what POMs is, it’s a competitive sport where they compete their skills with other high schools.  The best go to national every year to compete for first place.  But, they also do volunteering and fundraise, and attend and cheer at all the varsity football games, other varsity games, and some junior varsity games.  Although she loves POMs, a part of her misses dance.  A few weeks ago she was so sad that she cried her eyes out begging to take a lyrical class with the dance studio.  So, husband and I signed her up and now she’s happy as can be.  She loves to dance.  There are so many facets of dance and some of them she doesn’t like or want to deal with, but dance, mostly just lyrical, she’s passionate about.

On the 3rd of this month, husband and I celebrated our 16th anniversary.  We had lunch and then in the evening, went to see the movie, Valerian.  In between, we took our youngest to school for registration and to meet her 5th grade teacher, and took our oldest to gynmastics (required for POMs).

Anyway, enough jabbering.  Here are my top 3 epic songs I’ve been listening to so far.

“Lost Tales” by SimBi

 

“Promentory” Remix by Vince Rogers

“Translation” by Tim McMorris

 

 

A Few Song Favorites and Sketches

The kids are on spring break so I get a break from driving everywhere.  With this little down time, I’m able to do a ton of stuff: write, draw, write, spend time on FB writing groups, etc.  It’s nice.  I’m also reading a book that I’m almost done with and getting ready to review.

A few song favorites that I have on rotation:

“Wayfarer” by Clau M

“About Me and You” by Clau M

“Where Is My Place In This World” by Soundmopi

“A Boy and His Cat” by Kari Sigurosson

Practicing on some quick portrait sketches.  Wish I had more than just 5 Copic markers.  I’m really loving them but I just can’t fathom shelling out the money for them as a hobbyist.  As you can see, I can only really color one girl with the Copics.  I want to give the elf queen in the top left grayish white hair, the girl in the bottom left red hair, and the girl on the bottom right jet black hair.

Hillsong United Empires Concert

Yesterday, husband and I went to see Hillsong United in concert.  It was unbelievably spectacular!  I had been wanting to see them live for so long so when the opportunity came I made sure to get tickets early.  We sat far up but it was because I wanted to just see the whole thing from above.  This was an amazing experience because this group of singers were more geared toward rock yet it had that underlying Hillsong-ness to it.  All the singers had beautiful and powerful voices that touched deep within my soul.  And, the music…perfection.

The opening singer was the very talented Lauren Daigle.  The funny thing is, within the last couple of weeks, I had been listening to Lauren’s music on YT.  I had no idea who she was or that she was even opening for Hillsong.  So, when she came out on stage and started singing, instantly I knew who she was.  Her voice is so unique that you can’t miss it.  You know it’s her.  I couldn’t believe my eyes and ears that I was actually seeing her sing live.  I was wiping tears just out of pure joy of this little surprise.

In the photo is Lauren singing one of her songs.

hillsongunitedempiresconcert07252016_840L

Here’s a song that she sang called, “Trust in You.”  Words cannot describe how beautiful it was to hear this song live.