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Writer Gal

March 2015

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Mar. 10th, 2015

Writer Gal

Brimstone Rhine: 16 Days to Go "Mockingbird and Kestrel Girl"

Last summer, the Apocalypse Gals and I went on a mini-tour with my brother The Celtic Musketeer, and sang a few concerts in Massachusetts and Rhode Island.

We were staying overnight at a place called The Buttery in Dorcester, MA for a house concert and idly rehearsing that afternoon in one of the guest rooms. Missing our poet friend Dominik Parisien, AKA "The Apocalypse Boy," we decided to record this song I'd written for him.

This is one of the songs from THE HEADLESS BRIDE EP, now FULLY FUNDED by the BRIMSTONE RHINE CAMPAIGN. It's not the studio version, of course, but I thought it might amuse you.

Also... it might INSPIRE you to check out the AWESOME NEW STRETCH GOALS!



Mar. 9th, 2015

Writer Gal

Brimstone Rhine: 17 Days to Go, or "The Wizard Magill"

On the subject of MUSIC VIDEOS.

I think I did tell you... one of the stretch goals is MUSIC videos? Of either "Dido in Effigy" or "Lysistrata, Strut Your Stuff"?

I like working with Magill Foote of Rule2 Productions, because... Well, because he is a WEIRD GENIUS OF GLORY. Because he MAKES things. When Magill says he'll do a thing, he goes and DOES THAT THING. Only better than you or I could've imagined it!

He is one of my wizards. Grant Jeffery is my other wizard. (Grant's my ALBUM ARTIST THANK YOU FOR FUNDING YOU ARE ALL THE COOLEST BECAUSE HE'S AMAZING HURRAY!!!).

Together, Grant and Magill work together on films and win awards. LIKE THIS FILM!!! THIS is my PERSONAL FAVORITE!!! This film!!! (I LOVE THIS ONE SO MUCH!!!) IT WON STUFF!

JURASSIC PARK IV!!!


And, like, if we get a leeeeetle more money, we can MAKE PROFESSIONAL MUSIC VIDEOS! Possibly with PROFESSIONAL PUPPETEERS!!!

Gosh, something in me wants to see us ALMOST burn a Puppet Queen Dido on a pyre. I may or may not be a TERRIBLE PERSON.

So. Maybe... MAYBE PUT A DOLLAR OR TWO  MORE TOWARD BRIMSTONE RHINE???!!!

THE BRIMSTONE RHINE PROJECT


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Writer Gal

Brimstone Rhine: Day 13, or "Stretch Goals"

WE GOT WHAT WE NEED!!!
WE ARE FUNDED AT $5000!!!

However, I do have some stretch goals.

STRETCH GOAL 1:
Up to $5,500:

I am under strict orders from Friends in the Know to do no further stretch goals until I budget to PAY MYSELF. Which... I, uh, did NOT do in my original calculations. I figure, since I'm paying my collaborator $500, it's probably fair wage for me as well!

STRETCH GOAL 2:
$5,550-$6,500 (smiley face)

I have these incredible FILMMAKER FRIENDS in Canada. I would love to pay Magill Foote $1000 to make one or even TWO music videos, probably of "Lysistrata, Strut Your Stuff," and/or "Dido in Effigy." He has professional puppeteer friends, is all I'm saying. Not like MY Wicked Naked Puppets. Like, PROFESSIONALS. And he has a GREEN SCREEN. So. Yeah.

STRETCH GOAL 3:
$6,500-$8,500 (tee hee)

I sing with another band called The Banjo Apocalypse Crinoline Troubadours. We have a song cycle all written and rehearsed and performed called "The Distant Star Ballads." (One of them, "Sisters Lionheart" is featured at the bottom of this Story Page.)

I would love to fund us making this an album.

STRETCH GOAL 4:
$8,500-$10,000 (ah ha ha ha mwahahaha)

About a year ago, I started adapting Charles Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities as a stage musical.

I know, I know. It's been done before. But not like I'm doing it. Oh, believe me. Believe me.

It's possibly my best work. Possibly because I'm standing on the shoulders of a dead genius.

What I need is to fund the finishing of it and the GREAT QUEST for a musical theatre composer as dedicated to his or her own art form as I am, and as excited about this project as I am. Because... Because it is beautiful. And what's more, in this age of disparity, of privilege versus poverty, it is NECESSARY. That's what I think anyway.

GOALS. I HAVE THEM.

But if we don't get there, know that I'm just so grateful to have made my initial goal.

CHECK OUT THE BRIMSTONE RHINE CAMPAIGN!!!

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Writer Gal

Brimstone Rhine: Goal Unlocked!

HOLY SMOKES! HOLY MOLY! HOLY EVERYTHING AND THE FURIES TOO!

BRIMSTONE RHINE JUST MADE GOAL!!!

 

There are still two weeks left of the campaign. I am under STRICT ORDERS not to ask for any of my AWESOME STRETCH GOALS until I have budgeted to pay myself, which I, uh, didn't do in all my previous calculations.

So, the next few hundred dollars will be a stipend to the creator.

After that, if I get anymore (well, *BUG-EYES* what's the LIKELIHOOD???), it will go to MORE ASTONISHING PROJECTS YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW!!!

But until then, here is a BIZARRE Shakespeare monologue I did in one of my VOICES for YOU. Because you are my LEEETLEST LUVCUFFS!

And--thank you. Thank you. Thank you!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-MEjalZOZ4

Mar. 6th, 2015

Writer Gal

Blogging Brimstone Rhine: Day... Something. "A List of Beautiful Things."

First of all, we only have $210 to go until BRIMSTONE RHINE is funded! That's very exciting! Things've slowed down a little. In a way, I can't say I'm ungrateful! Ha! At least my skull has stopped spinning. Hopefully in the next few weeks we can creep on up to the END GOAL!

Ultima Thule! Excelsior! FABOOSH!

Second of all, Julia Rios of the Outer Alliance Podcast was so kind as to interview me about Brimstone Rhine. The interview includes a beautiful discussion with YA fantasy authors Sherwood Smith and Rachel Manija Brown about their books STRANGER and HOSTAGE, and then I come on at the end for a chat, and Julia Rios asked me to SING. So I did.

Here is the whole interview!


And here I just thought I'd recap all the COOL THINGS THUS FAR:

1. Alecto! Alecto! Demo Reel

2. Wicked Naked Puppets

3. Headless EP Bride Lyrics

4. Uncanny Interview about Brimstone Rhine

As ever, thanks for reading! Have a BEAUTIFUL WEEK!


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Brimstone Rhine!

Mar. 3rd, 2015

Writer Gal

The Headless Bride Lyrics NOW AVAILABLE!

Mike Allen over at MYTHIC DELIRIUM MAGAZINE has so kindly featured all the lyrics to Brimstone Rhine's THE HEADLESS BRIDE on his WEBSITE!

HERE THEY ARE!!!

1. O Loathly Ones
2. Can of Worms
3. Lavender’s Darling
4. Mockingbird and Kestrel Girl
5. Chevalier
6. The Headless Bride
7. Black Widow’s Waltz
8. Barrow Brine

I wrote all but "Mockingbird and Kestrel Girl" and "Barrow Brine" during a single slow day at work. "Mockingbird" I wrote a bit earlier for my friend the poet Dominik Parisien one day (also at work), thinking it might cheer him up a bit. Also because he was so unwise as to tell me, "You have shiny eyes. I'd like to pluck them out." And that's what you get for such high-falutin' compliments.

"Barrow Brine, or The Kenning Song" I wrote when my friend the musician Samu Rahn (of Cairn) and I were passing forth kennings for the ocean through text messages. "Barrow Brine" was the BEST ONE I CAME UP WITH. So I wrote that, made up a quick tune, sang it on my Voice Memos app, texted it to him, and within the week, he'd recorded over my skeletal melody a VERY PRETTY guitar part, and it made me super happy.

The song "Chevalier" is a continuation of a theme Mike Allen and I explored once in a poem (due out soon) about a conversation between the ghost of Joan of Arc and the prisoner Gilles de Rais on the eve of his execution for heinous crimes. I always liked the thought of a saint and a monster as comrades in arms. Or... was it quite so simple as that? HISTORY IS SO INTERESTING!

OH! Also for your reading amusement, Deb Stanish at Uncanny Magazine interviewed me!!! HERE IS THE LINK! If you get the WHOLE EBOOK, you get TOTAL ACCESS TO EVERYTHING Beautiful Uncanny Magazine and all its SPACE UNICORNS has to offer!!!

As usual this month, this blog is the fault of THE BRIMSTONE RHINE CAMPAIGN!



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Mar. 2nd, 2015

Writer Gal

Wicked Naked Puppets Presents: IVAN ICARUS!

Okay. I told you I'd do it, so I did it.
Some things to bear in mind:

1.) THIS YOUTUBE VIDEO IS NOT SAFE FOR WORK. They may be puppets, but they are WICKED NAKED PUPPETS doing WICKED NAKED THINGS.

1a.) This YouTube Video is probably not safe for your grandparents either. At least, I won't be showing it to MY grandmothers. Although, come to think of it, my own mother is a grandmother (to my nieces) and she cackled. So use your discretion.

1b.) NO, REALLY! USE YOUR DISCRETION! Don't watch it if you are sensitive to this sort of thing. The LAST thing I want to do is offend you. I'm here only to AMUSE you.

1c.) To that end, maybe don't show your YOUNG CHILDREN either. (Unless you want to have that conversation.) Because, again, though they are puppets... THEY ARE WICKED NAKED PUPPETS.

2. I wrote this for my beautiful actor friend Eric. He sometimes does Voices. One of his Voices is named "Ivan." Eric makes astonishing metaphors out of coffee mugs and broken lightbulbs. He also sometimes jumps out of airplanes. (Hence the "Icarus.") I wrote this song to make him laugh. I never thought it would have puppet theatre put to it. But life is, at its most exciting, TOTES UNPREDICTABLE, YO. Kind of like this FRIKKIN CAMPAIGN.

3. I got to sing "Ivan Icarus" for a few mixed audiences last summer, when my Apocalypse Girls (Amal El-Mohtar and Caitlyn Paxson from The Banjo Apocalypse Crinoline Troubadours), my brother Jeremy Cooney (AKA "The Celtic Musketeer") and I all went on a mini-tour.

4. My magical Canadian wizard friend Magill Foote of Rule2 Productions took my ridiculous phone footage of last week's dining-room-table-puppet show and made it all purty, with red curtains and and a bouncy sing-along-ball and all. ALL THE KUDOS TO MAGILL THE MAGICIAN!!!

5. I recently gave this song (and all its silliness) over to a project called "Angels of the Meanwhile," a chapbook spearheaded by writer Alexandra Erin. Proceeds will go to benefit Elizabeth R. McClellan's shoulder surgery. Now, our Elizabeth, you may or may not remember, is the gal who inspired the entire ALECTO! ALECTO! album to begin with. She is important to me. An important woman, an important poet, and one who helps whoever she can whenever she can. To read more about her shoulder surgery and how YOU might be able to help, follow this link!

Without further ado, allow me to give you...

IVAN ICARUS!


This is, of course, all the fault of BRIMSTONE RHINE!


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Feb. 26th, 2015

Writer Gal

REBLOGGED: Bunch of Book Recs

HAVE I RAVED TO YOU ABOUT MARTHA WELLS RECENTLY?
I LOVE HER BOOKS!
LOVE THEM!
THEY'RE RE-READERS. THEY'RE SWALLOW-WHOLERS. THEY ARE EMINENTLY SLURPILICIOUS!

If you're taking Tempest's challenge, then there are worse places to start than RIGHT HERE. The Raksura Books, perhaps? YES.

And then she went and made a PRETTY LIST for the rest of us!

Originally posted by marthawells at Bunch of Book Recs

I don't know why I haven't been posting more. I've been busy working on the book, but I think I'm also losing my will to persist, somewhat. I can keep writing, because I've always done that, but it's getting a bit hard to do other things.

A couple of years ago we had the conversation where some men decided that no one had ever written any fantasy set in non-European inspired settings, except these four or five dudes they could name. Ignoring the hundreds of women who wrote it during the 80s and 90s, and the whole realm of Japanese fantasy like Moribito, etc. (which is how we came up with this list). Now we have the no one has written "non-patriarchal" fantasy except for these three or four dudes someone can name. Ignoring all the women who wrote this in the 80s, 90s, etc. (We talked about this on Kate Elliott's twitter so it's a little hard to follow.)

I guess I'm really tired of feeling like nothing I've done in genre counts, because I'm not a bearded white dude.

Related: I Challenge You to Stop Reading White, Straight, Cis Male Authors for One Year by K.T. Bradford about trying to diversify your reading and find new authors.

I have a lot of authors on my book rec tag that would fit, but here's a small sample:

David Anthony Durham, Prudence Shen, Violette Malan, Nnedi Okorafor, Silvia Moreno-Garcia, Nicky Drayden, Karen Lord, Judith Tarr, Craig Laurance Gidney, Sharon Shinn, Alaya Dawn Johnson, Wesley Chu, Ramez Naam, Catherine Lundoff, Joyce Chng, Kate Elliott, Barbara Hambly, Jaye Wells, Charles R. Saunders, Steven Barnes, Stephanie Diaz, Laura Lam, Alyx Dellamonica for a start.

Also in that list, N.K. Jemisin. I got to read The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin, which is coming out later this year and you should envy me, because it's really good. I gave it a blurb and said:
"This is an intense, exciting novel, where survival is always on the line, set in a fascinating, original and dangerous world with an intriguing mystery at the heart of it. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book!"
Writer Gal

Blogging Brimstone Rhine: Day Three "Squidmonster in my Brain!"

Dear everyone,

There is a happy squirmy squidmonster in my brain and I don't quite know what to do with it. In 3.5 days we've raised $3325 of the $5000 goal.

People are starting to hint that I might want stretch goals. And I'm like, "I can't think about that right now, gotta focus, focus, focus on the TASK AT HAND!"

This task being the initial goal, $5000. Which, 3.5 days ago seemed AS FAR AWAY AS NEPTUNE!!!

Right now we've funded my collaborator and sound engineer, we've funded the album art and artist, and we've funded ALL THE LOVELY SESSION MUSICIANS I'll be hiring for the studio. I LOVE PAYING MUSICIANS YIPPEEEE!!!

Right now we're in the first fourth of funding the physical CDs, distribution, promotion, and a couple of concerts. CONCERTS YIPPEEEE!!!

(We have a concert coming up. March 20th. Arts Café Mystic. EEP!!! Glenn Kendzia on keyboard and guitar, Jack Hanlon on BULL FIDDLE, baby.)

And my squidmonsterbabybrain is sort of sparking and fireworking and sending off little SOS flares. Like this:

Photo on 2015-02-26 at 11.42 #2

But the truth is... Squidmonster has IDEAS. For stretch goals.

More on that later.

Right now I just wanted to tell you that if we hit $3500, I totally have ANOTHER SURPRISE for you.

This time with NAUGHTY PUPPETS!!!

Just sayin'.

So. Whatchoo waitin' for anyway?

BRIMSTONE RHINE CAMPAIGN

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Feb. 25th, 2015

LUSTY

Blogging Brimstone Rhine: Day 3 "Cake Ferdays"

$2737 FUNDED as of waking up this morning!

Last night, to celebrate the passing of our HALFWAY TO THE GOAL mark, my friend (unholy amazing) (writer) (not enough SUPERLATIVES!) (general expediter of awesome) (famulus) Carlos Hernandez and I put this DEMO REEL together for you.


It's just four or five songs. It's scratch vocals and instruments. BUT! It is here. For YOU. As you're listening, PLEASE remember it is the ROUGHEST of rough demo reels.

Think of it like... Like cake. Now, cake and cake batter are NOT the same thing. This is cake batter. We're working to bring you the cake. And you're helping.

But I wanted to give you a spoon to lick. Because you have been SUCH BRILLIANT HELPERS ALREADY.





BRIMSTONE RHINE CAMPAIGN!



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