Friday 24 December 2010

Christmassy Pic of the Week . . . Anne Stokes

My apologies for not posting recently. I've been on holiday. To celebrate my 30th Birthday my husband and I took ourselves off on an 11 day cruise around the Canary Islands. It was fantastic - and warm. Came back on the 21st to snow and a country that's come to a stop because of it. It's embarressing how the UK just can't cope with all this white stuff. One fleck and the whole country goes into panic. But still. I wonder if it will stick around until Christmas Day? I've never actually seen a white Christmas.

Anyway, not only is it Christmas Eve today, it's also Friday, and that means it's time for Pic of the Week. I've chosen a little festive piece by Anne Stokes. Her work can often be found on Christmas cards and she is popular with a lot of people this time of year.

So here it is.

Enjoy, and I hope everyone out there has a wonderful Christmas . . . !!!

Wednesday 1 December 2010

30 Seconds To Mars - Music and Inspiration . . .

I confess. I'm a bit of a rock-chick.

I like music. I have a huge eclectic collection, with anything from soft melodies to head-banging metal. I own the soft tones of Enya, the mystic sounds of Enigma, and the synthesised beats of Jean Michel Jarre. I like trance artists such as Tiesto, Paul Van Dyke, Delerium and the likes.

And then there's the other end of the spectrum and the varying degrees of rock and metal; System of a Down, Korn, Linkin Park, Stone Sour. The list is endless. I own a bit of everything - but my heart will always rest with rock.

I'm blogging about music today purely because I went to a concert last night. For the first time I visited the Dome to see 30 Seconds To Mars. I absolutely love their work - have done for years - and seeing them play live was amazing. I also loved watching the crowd below (we were seated) turn into one living mass enjoying the experience of their music.

Music plays a huge part in my writing. It helps to enhance moods that I'm trying to create, hence why I own music to suit every mood - angry, mellow, sad, happy. And it helps to inspire.

Whilst sitting in my seat last night, rocking away with the rest of the crowd, I felt that inspiration. I've had 30 Seconds To Mars's album 'This is War' for a while now, and despite the amount of times I've listened to it, the chorus of one song suddenly jumped out and grabbed me. I don't know whether it was the atmosphere or the live singing that made it feel different, but I heard it in a completely different way and now have the makings of a brand new novel coming to life. Out of nowhere, and to be honest it's taken me by surprise and completely altered future writing plans.

So a big thank you to the 30 Seconds To Mars crew, Jared Leto, Shannon Leto and Tomo Milicevic.

What about you? Does music have any affect on you and your writing? Has one particular song ever inspired something big in you?