All The Stars Were Just Like Little Fish

im Adams aka Newepicauthor, the creator of A Unique Title For Me, is hosting SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY and this week he has chosen the theme: GRUNGE MUSIC

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So…I was thinking lots of random thoughts about the genre of Grunge Rock. It somehow does not seem as pretentious as the era that pre-empted it. You know those egotistical rock icons with their big hair and sparkly platforms, their super tight trousers and big power ballads. Somehow, Grunge music felt like a rebellion against all of that.

Yet, Grunge became almost as iconic – mainly through some of the tragic demises of legendary names that left the world slightly traumatised. I think that there is an emotive connection to Grunge that every has felt ought to be memorialized – whether or not you actually like the sound of Grunge music.

Most of the music I hear within the category of Grunge sounds troubled – to say the least. I am never sure if this is a stroppy teenager having a big fat hissy fit because they cannot get their own way – or some surrealist flexing their creative muscles in warped directions. Somehow, I feel safer with the stroppy hissy fit than the surreal but warped creative genius.

My main gripe with Grunge – is the horrific association of iconic Grunge musicians with disturbing abuse of drugs. I sort of write them off as fools for this reason. I have seen people destroy their lives through drugs – and I have even tried to tackle this bizarre form of self-destruction in my writing. I detest the abuse of drugs. So it is hard for me to feel any sort of respect or admiration for anyone who dabbles, becomes entangled, becomes enslaved by drugs.

My choice for today is another legendary icon – Courtney Love and the band Hole with a track called “Violet“.

And the sky was made of amethyst
And all the stars were just like little fish
You should learn when to go
You should learn how to say "NO"

Might last a day, yeah
Mine is forever
Might last a day, yeah
Mine is forever

When they get what they want, they never want it again
When they get what they want, they never want it again

Go on, take everything, take everything, I want you to
Go on, take everything, take everything, I want you to

And the sky was all violet
I want it again, but violent more violent
Hey, I'm the one with no soul
One above and one below

Might last a day, yeah
Mine is forever
Might last a day, yeah
Mine is forever

When they get what they want, they never want it again
When they get what they want, they never want it again

Go on, take everything, take everything, I want you to
Go on, take everything, take everything, I dare you to

I told you from the start just how this would end
When I get what I want then I never want it again

Go on, take everything, take everything, I want you to
Go on, take everything, take everything, I want you to
Go on, take everything, take everything, I want you to
Go on, take everything, take everything, I want you to
Go on, take everything, take everything, I want you to
Go on, take everything, take everything, take everything, take everything

Written by: Courtney Love and Eric Erlandson

Penny For Your Golden Hearted Thoughts

Sometimes Jack looks as if his mind is elsewhere. He looks as if he is another world. We all have those moments I suppose. But Jack has a heavy load of responsibility on his shoulders.

We talk a lot about the work we are both involved in. There are certain details he cannot share with me – confidentiality – details about individual people, details about decisions made with regards to funding, the demands of political entities, decisions to send volunteers to areas that are fraught with danger.

I sometimes gaze at him wondering what is going on in his mind. It can be difficult when there are subjects he cannot talk to me about. However, one thing I am sure of, and it comforts me deeply – Jack’s thoughts, his motivations, his meditations, his ponderings – they generally revolve around things noble and wonderful.

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I am sure he has his moments…but on the whole, Jack is an golden hearted man who is devoted to serving others. That is why he has been assigned so much responsibility. I am so proud of him.

I Feel It In My Toes

It may seem silly, but one of the advantages of working in Finance was being able to paint my finger nails all sorts of different colours. In my NHS role – it’s a big NO NO! to nail varnish.

That’s just fine, because I still have my toes. However…

…I have noticed recently that my toes are being neglected – and they are not happy at all. I just don’t seem to have the time the time to paint my toenails.

Jack travelled to Porto Rico last week. So this weekend…I will have time on my lonesome for the first time in ages. Top of my priority list – pain those dainty little toenails.

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I Was Almost A Mother

Frequently, I still feel as if it was just last week when I left school. I still do not feel like an adult. Adult experiences still sort of unnerve me. I think because I profoundly disagree with the worldwide social, political, economic system and have sought to avoid becoming entangled with it, I have lived a lot of my life feeling free, able to give my time and energy to things that feel truly important.

Naturally, the friends I have drawn closest to have shared the same view, the same vision, the same yearning for something so much better than the monstrously inadequate current way of mismanaging things. But over the years, many of my friends have had to make decisions as a new and precious responsibility was assigned to them. They experienced the wonder of becoming parents. They had to make changes to their lifestyle in order to care for their incredible gift.

I was talking to a friend last night. We have been friends since we were teenagers. She is a mother of three beautiful little girls. She was telling me about some of the dramas in their family just in the past month. They have been to A&E four times in a month with their three daughters. It would seem the girls are attracted to danger.

While my friend was talking…I was thinking back to four years ago. Four while years ago. It seems so crazy. I was almost a mother. A life, a unique and precious human was growing inside of me, developing intricately and miraculously. I felt a sense of mourning today…for all sorts of reasons. I miss friends I have lost, beloved friends, relatives, and the precious little child that I lost when she (or he) was just the size of an apricot. I am comforted that she lays peacefully near to my family in Snowdonia. She will always be a part of me. A precious and epic part of my voyage of a lifetime.

Her father will always be a part of me. Whether he needs to be or not – he will always be one of my most treasured friends. Whether he needs to be or not. What he allowed me to experience – makes him sacred to me.

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I Just Want To Protect You

I heard some say something odd the other day. It is odd. Very odd. They expressed their opinion, or belief, that it is alright for humans take whatever they want or need from this planet and creation, because in their words “earth is hell, life on earth is just a test we need to survive”.

How bizarre. How utterly bizarre. To me, and I am sure to many others – life on earth is a wondrous, beautiful, loving gift – magnificent on so many levels. Yes, there are challenges, and most of these seem to be caused by imperfect people. But earth – planet earth – is a stunning jewel, teaming with exquisite creatures reveling the imagination of an extraordinary artist.

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I want to live on this earth forever. I want to protect and cherish this breathtaking home and the astonishing creatures we share it with. Since I was a little girl – my heart has been particularly wrapped up in the ocean and whales. If I had a completely free choice of how to spend my day every day (if I was without the commitments and responsibilities I have become entangled with) I would be out there researching and protecting whales. How they have suffered from people who think they can just take whatever they want from this planet and creation. I would love to think of them as safe and thriving always.

Everybody Kept Saying That I Had To Let You Go

Jack is up in the air right now. Sigh. I will see him in three weeks time. Sigh.

I was ironing just before bedtime to other night. I wanted to finish my ironing so much. I flicked on the television for some company because I felt a little lonely without Jack. I caught the last half an hour of the film Castaway. Oh the tears!

I think I saw this in the cinema when it was released. I am not certain, but I think I did. Because I remember being in the cinema and crying uncontrollably, a huge lump of sadness in my throat at one particular scene. It really really moved me at the time – which I think was all the way back in the year 2000. (How on earth is that possible hey?)

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Years later, I watched the film during the time that Jack and I were estranged. This time round, the agony I felt when I watched that scene when Kelly runs after Chuck and declares “Everyone kept on saying that I had to let you go. I love you. You’re the love of my life!”

That time of my life was simply awful – awful! Nobody else could see what was painfully obvious to me – Jack was the love of my life. I could not let go. It was not possible for me to let go. I am glad I met Goldfinch – so so so glad – he was so good for me – so so so good – and I could have loved Goldfinch to the moon and back, I think I did in fact. But I remember spending some of my time with Goldfinch telling him about Jack. I could not let go of Jack. I could not let go. Not with that aching rift that would never heal.

I am so glad that Jack found me. I am so glad that he took the initiative to make peace. I am so glad that I am going to marry the love of my life. I am so sad I will not see him for three weeks.

Pricing My Own Books

There is one part of self-publishing that I don’t think I am qualified for at all – pricing. Like many other writers, I sort of wish that someone else would take care of all the marketing and decisions over pricing etc.

I am just not very good at the business side of…well, anything actually. I have spent most of my life volunteering for charities – AKA doing things without being paid a single penny. That has been just fine.

So, when it came to pricing my books….well, I really could not get my head around the idea of asking other people to pay money to read my work.

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When it came to the price to charge for a paperback copy of my books – well, that was easy. I just chose the minimum allowable price. That means if someone buys a paperback copy, they are only paying for the cost of printing (and delivery) and I won’t make any money (royalties). That is a decision I made because I want to make it possible for books to be in the hands of people. I grew up reading books from libraries and charity shops – and I read and read and read. I would not anyone to not read because they cannot afford it.

But pricing the Kindle version was much much much more of a headache. Friends advised me that if I set the price too low…and that was my first inclination – to set the price at sort of almost giveaway rates – people would think that my writing was worth nothing, that it was not worth reading. Eventually I settled for around $2.99 (I think those who are signed up for Kindle unlimited can download it for free). I just do not want to set the price any higher.

What price should I put on my own writing? Look…I don’t need to make a penny out of my writing. I have reaped incredible reward just from being able to see a tiny seed of an idea grow, a short story develop into a three part novel series. The immense satisfaction of weaving the storyline of complex characters, taking my character on an incredible journey of growth and learning – exploring love and life lessons – there is no price that can be put on the process of writing.

It’s a sort of Catch 22 – of course I love it when people to read the story of Annabelle and those who have had an impact on her, and I want to make her story freely available. But if I did set my books at a ridiculously low rate, people might not understand the amount of time and work that went into those books. They might not understand that far from being fantasy fiction, these books contain real life events framed within the stories of fictional characters. They might not realize the research and many many discussions with mental health professionals that shaped Book Three in particular.

Most of my book sales come through Jack – who tells everyone about my books. I know he is the reason so many have read my work. I am really not very good at the marketing and promoting side of writing…and I don’t think I ever will be. But that is not too much of an issue. The reward, immense reward, was being privileged to pen such a story – from a woman who has been hiding things she hates about herself, to helping her find a home, to really grasping what an epic voyage life really is. It’s been an inspirational process – one that I am so grateful for.

I am rich – rich beyond any monetary value – because I had the opportunity to write like this. I do not need a penny from anyone. I am blessed beyond all words.

Roll On Buddy

im Adams aka Newepicauthor, the creator of A Unique Title For Me, is hosting SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY and this week he has chosen the theme: BLUEGRASS

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I know the distinct sound of Bluegrass, but before this week I could never have cited to you the name of a single Bluegrass track. I found a long list on t’internet, and listened to a bunch of songs, some of them mostly instrumental. I picked a track to feature today which captures the iconic sound of this genre, which reminds me so much of folke music from all corners of the British Isles. The strings blended together in a very energetic and raucous manner. This makes me think of music we dance to at a cailedh.

The track I have chosen is called “Nine Pound Hammer”, and this is a live performance from Tony Rice and a team of musicians. I understand that Tony Rice is a much acclaimed Bluegrass artist and has been very influential on other musicians who have embraced this genre.

Well, this nine pound hammer is a little too heavy
For my size, honey for my size
I'm goin' on the mountain, gonna see my baby
And I ain't comin' back, Lord I ain't comin' back

Oh, roll on buddy, don't you roll so slow
How can I go when my wheels won't roll
Roll on buddy, pull a load o'coal
How can I go when my wheels won't roll

Well, it's a long way to Harlem, it's a long way to Hazard
Just to get a little brew, just to get a little brew
Now when I'm long gone you can make my tombstone
Out of number nine coal, out of number nine coal

Roll on buddy, don't you roll so slow
How can I go when my wheels won't roll
Oh, roll on buddy, pull a load o'coal
How can I go when my wheels won't roll

Written by: Merle Travis

£195 To Trim My Hair!!!

You should have seen the look on my face when I walked into a salon to make an appointment and received a preposterous price quote from some completely delusional salon member of staff.

When I raised concerns over that quote and asked for a more junior stylist, I was informed that none were available, but I could be confident that the price of £195 was great value for a hair stylist who has twenty years of experience.

I thought she was completely doo-lally to even think of saying something like that. I mean…what the hecky-gecky are they going to do to make me think that one hair cut should take almost of a week of my wages? (yes, I work part-time within paid employment as I work many more hours each week on an unpaid basis for charities, but still, it is almost a week of my wages – so no, just NO!!!)

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I was super-fuming. How on earth can they think £195 is an acceptable price? I want my hair trimmed. That means I need someone who is capable of cutting my hair in a straight line. If the going rate for being able to wield a pair of scissors without ruining my non-style long hair is £195 – well, that is either the most horrific inflation since the price of Tesco’s Gouda went up 50% within a month…(back in January 2022) or…they looked at me and thought I am a total lemon!

Eed-yats!!! I am going to take my golden locks and find a hair-dresser who has more than one brain cell.

Do Your Research

Recently, I was drawn into a situation that seemed fairly complex to me. I was nominated as spokesperson, advocate, representative on an issue that I was really not entirely sure about.

When those appealing for my assistance gave me their account of the perceived injustice, naturally my heart strings were pulled. I wanted to help. Yet I could tell that the information they were sharing with me was inaccurate, unbalanced, and therefore likely to be dismissed by those who I would need to convince these concerns were valid.

So…what could I do in this situation? I had to do my research…

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A month later and there has been a result. I presented a case that initially presented the concerns that had been voiced to me and the reason I was speaking up for those who were disgruntled. Then I acknowledged I was aware of the background of this complex issue and I that I was aware of impediments to the desired outcome as expressed by the complainants.

I appealed to the reasonableness and the humanity of those in a role of decision making, those who render verdicts and execute the will of the authorities. I took some time to research the individuals who would be present at the hearing so I knew a little of their background. I personalized some of my comments in a discreet manner.

The outcome is far far better than I expected. They seemed to take my arguments (which were tempered with a great deal of diplomacy and tact) seriously, and they have responded promptly to correct the situation and have issued a touching apology directed to those who have suffered from a poor choice that was made by a body who are no longer on the scene. They wanted to rectify the situation, and they assured us of their commitment to the values I referred to in the case I presented.

This is good. But I do think a key factor was researching the situation so that the plea for justice could be sound and coherent. I am pleased with the outcome. The people I was advocating for who had become despairing and disheartened are thrilled with the result. This is really good!

Learner at Love

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