#MirthMusicMon – On an Australian theme

Happy Monday, everyone! (I know, oxymoron, right?)

Today for Mirth and Music Monday, I am sharing videos from my favourite Australian singer and a favourite Australian comedian. Kate Miller-Heidke is a classically trained soprano who broke into the folk/alternative scene with songs like this one (Caught in the Crowd), Last Day On Earth, and other fun ones (if you can cope with some bad language, I recommend the Facebook Song). Adam Hills is a successful stand-up comedian in Australia as well as the UK (I know he’s also done festivals in Canada; not sure what kind of following he has in the US), as well as host of such TV shows as Spicks and Specks (and no, “spick” is not a derogatory term for Mexican in Australia; the title simply comes from a BeeGees song). Anyways, without further ado:

Please feel free to join in on Mirth and Music Monday. Just post some videos and then link up with us here. Thanks to Regi for hosting. I’m probably going to be posting a blog tomorrow with some second-half-of-the-year goals for myself. Seriously, though, how is it July already? Ah well. Catch you later!

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#MirthMusicMon – Google and Some Josh Groban

So today I was on a bus and somehow got thinking about Eddie Perfect and I was like, “Is he the one who had the routine about Google” and then I remembered, “No, that’s Eddie Ifft”, and then I was thinking about how I liked that Google spiel. So this is Eddie Ifft’s Google rant. Sorry for a bit of bad language.

I was hoping to find an Eddie Ifft song to use a the music part of this post, because then we would have had two Eddies, but the only song I could find that would make sense to people other than Australians got a bit weird in the second verse and I didn’t like it. So when all else fails, Josh Groban, right? This is one of my favourite songs off his most recent album, “All That Echoes”.

To join in on Mirth and Music Monday, simply post some videos like this and then head on over to Regi McClain’s blog, where you’ll find a nice, handy linky. And with that, I leave you to enjoy (or not) your Monday.

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P.S. I just posted this, and WordPress congratulated me on my 200th post. So that’s a thing.

#MirthMusicMon – Sisterly Love and the Diary of a Sad Cat

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This is a quick post today, since despite having a long weekend, I’m completely exhausted. On the music side of MMM, I have a song called “She’s My Sister” from the concept album for the musical “The In-Between”. I’ve just come home from dinner with my own sister, so it seemed appropriate (though I should note, having said that, that we have never lived together and therefore never had any of the issues sung about in the song).

 

The second part of my post is a tribute to our cat, Mizzy, who we lost over the weekend. You’ve probably already seen the Sad Cat Diary, but here it is again anyway.

And with that, I bid you all a fond goodnight!

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#ROW80 Check-in: A terrible influence, and #MirthMusicMon – More Gilbert and Sullivan

nanowrimo_logoSo at the end of November last year, there were a group of NaNoWriMo participants in my region, me included, who decided to continue meeting up every so often and writing together. We called our group PoNoWriGro (Post November Writing Group, though recently we agreed it’s that time of year where the Post really needs to change to Pre). We meet every second Thursday and alternate between going out for dinner and having write-ins at someone’s home. This week was an out-for-dinner week, and at one point the subject turned to this year’s NaNoWriMo… someone asked me if I knew yet what I would be writing, and I said I wouldn’t be participating this year, since I’m heading off to the UK on November 12. This was met with exclamations of, “But that gives you twelve whole days! That’s only, what, 4000 words a day? You can do it!”

And at first, I was like, “Don’t be silly, that’s a ridiculous idea!”

And then I thought about it. I am planning on November 1 being my last day at work. That gives me the whole following week to get myself packed, and get up to my parents’ for a few days before I head off. When I put my mind to it, I can bash out 1000 words in under an hour. So I’d just have to do four sessions throughout each day. And I do have a 24-hour plane trip ahead of me. A couple of my PoNoWriGro buddies are already saying they’ll most likely be NaNo rebels and maybe work on two stories, so if I were to that as well, I would be in good company (I’ve rebelled in Camp NaNo before, too, so it wouldn’t be the first time), and that would also make it easier bashing out 4000 words a day. The only question is WHAT DO I WRITE?! I was actually thinking Operation: Sugarplum could be one, but I would have to come up with another story as well. I’ve had a bit of a look at the “Adopt a Plot” forum on the NaNo website and there were a few that took my fancy, so we’ll see which one I end up going with.

As for ROW80 goals, this week has been good! I got in my two hours’ editing work on AMCF, along with sending it out to the last of my wonderful betas. I passed row80-2page 80 today, and since the whole thing is 160 pages long, that’s something of a milestone. I might actually have it finished before I go overseas in November. Huzzah. I also visited all my sponsor posts for Wednesday, plus some! Which is a marked improvement from the last few check-ins. AND I wrote 1500 words on Keep Your Enemies Closest, so I now feel less guilty about not working on that the last couple of weeks. Though I was writing it at my writing group’s write-in at a cafe today, and I only had my tablet, and I couldn’t for the life of me remember any of the characters’ names apart from Gallivan and Mireille, so there is a lot of “Private ____ said” and that sort of thing. So this week I’ll probably focus on editing and making it fit properly with what was already written, rather than writing anything new.

That’s it for writing news, so now onto Mirth and Music Monday, the brainchild of one ReGi McClain. Click through to her blog to find the MMM linky.

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I’ve been listening to more Gilbert and Sullivan recently, and I couldn’t decide which version of this song I like best, so you get two. In the first you have the Jon English swinging from ropes and arguing with the maestro and pretending to be an opera singer, and in the second you have Anthony Warlow doing a pretty spot-on impression of Captain Jack Sparrow.

I’m going to take off now; it’s nothing personal, but my upstairs neighbour called me not long ago to invite me up for apple pie and tea before bed, and I am very open to that (actually I’m going on a healthy eating thing as of tomorrow, but might as well make the most of it before then, right?), so… yes. Ttfn, lovelies!

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#ROW80 Checkin and #MirthMusicMon: “Home sweet home… it’s crap.”

Before I go into anything else, a friend of mine would be very grateful to anyone who has a spare half an hour or so and would be able to fill out this survey for her. It’s on senses of humour and responses to various jokes, and is for her Honours thesis for psychology. All responses are completely anonymous of course. She still needs quite a few responses.

This week has been a bit of a blah one for ROW80 goals. Well, it started out well, with an hour spent on Keep Your Enemies Closest, my Short Story Saturday WIP. But then adding a second hour to that to make my goal? Yeeah… I got about 280 words written in the half-hour of Thursday night where me and the members of my writer’s group bothered to do any writing (we were all tired and there was good food and Suz is going overseas for 12 months in about three weeks, so we were sort of just hanging out with her). Since my usual goal is an hour/500 words, I suppose you could say that half-hour was right on track. But the second half-hour, which I tried and tried to get through today, just wasn’t happening. I wrote maybe 100 words of Operation: Sugarplum (I’m still stuck on that fight scene, and even moving onto the next scene for the moment proved difficult)… so I decided to come write this post and then I’m actually going to return to AMCF editing for a bit. I did finally write this up earlier; I rearranged my pin board to accommodate it a couple of weeks ago, but only just got around to it:

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… Yes, sometimes I like to pretend I’m Cockney.

The reason the text is so big is so I can read it from my bed, the head of which is at the other end of my room. There is still plenty of room on the pin board if I end up needing another couple of pages when writing at that size. As for 101 Things in 1001 Days goals… yeah, I kind of forgot about them all together this week, so no work was done on them at all. And I think that’s about it for ROW80. Onto MMM!

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I was really struggling for what to post this week. It was only when I thought Tripod might be an option, and typed them into Google, that a couple of things they had done with the Umbilical Brothers came up, and I remembered the intense and passionate love affair I had with all things Umbie a few years ago. Seriously, though, the Umbies are awesome; they are both professional mime artists, but they do all the sound effects for their scenes as well. This is their summary of the film “Gone With The Wind”, which was part of the Australia’s Favourite Film special done by the ABC back in 2007 or so. You should click on the related videos as well. *nods sagely* (And for anyone with kids, I deeply recommend their show, “The Upside Down Show”. It’s amazing and encourages kids to use their imaginations like nothing else!

I also had some music to go in this post, but our Internet went down last night and was still down when I got up this morning, so I am unable to look up the clip (since I’m now at work). It was going to be “I Believe My Heart” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “The Woman in White” if you want to go look it up. Just make sure you listen to the version from the show, not the annoying pop version that I stumbled upon last night. I’ll be back on Wednesday! 🙂

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#MirthMusicMon – The Very Model of a Modern Major-General and #ROW80 Check-in: Damn that book being good!

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The other night, I finally got around to doing something I’ve been meaning to do for years and downloaded a version of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado from iTunes. The following night, I did the same with The Pirates of Penzance, and as such, have been listening to them all week. So it only makes sense that something from one of those is my contribution to Mirth and Music Monday this week. I did manage to pick about the longest song that I could, but it really is the best one. This is the version of Pirates that I grew up with on video, and it never ceases to amaze me that the guy playing Major-General Stanley is the same guy playing Nanki-Poo in this production of the Mikado. Said productions were only a few years apart. I think Mikado was second, too. The same company also did HMS Pinafore, that was the only one I got to see live, and I’m pretty sure I was too young to understand half the jokes, but it was still lots of fun. Anyway. I am rambling! Video!

And now onto my ROW80 check-in. Um. Well. You know how I said on Wednesday that I had started a new book and it had grabbed me in the first two pages? Well, it continued to keep me reading so much so that I gave up any plans of getting anything else done until I finished it. Which was yesterday. The book was The Amulet of Samarkand, the first in the Bartimaeus trilogy by Jonathon Stroud. And it was awesome. But that did mean I basically had today to get anything done. And I did write for two hours! The two hours preceding the writing of this post, in fact. I wrote about 300 words on Operation: Sugarplum; not the best result, but  the scene that I’m currently working on is proving tricky to actually make turn into words on a page.

I did, however, also manage to add 500+ words to my Short Story Saturday serial, Keep Your Enemies Closest. Actually, I also worked on that a bit yesterday, going through what I wrote last year and fixing it up and making it better. The story is coming along nicely. I’ve come up with a bit of world-building tonight that I wasn’t expecting, so that’s exciting. Also exciting is that people seem to be enjoying it so far, even if it is basically me foisting a first draft on an unsuspecting audience.

… I am vaguely worried it is going to turn into a full-fledged WIP, but… I could actually live with that. It is a prequel to Friend of the Enemy, so if I end up writing one instead of the other, I’m not hugely bothered. The plan I’ve got for it in my head is paced reasonably quickly, so even if it does take over, hopefully it won’t be for too long.

Anyway, it’s time for me to schedule this post for tomorrow morning and go to bed. I shall catch you all at your check-ins. 🙂

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#MirthMusicMon – The Galaxy Song, and #ROW80 Check-in: Primarily Progress

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I’m going to do Mirth and Music Monday first this week, because I can!  I went to see Professor Brian Cox’s live show on Saturday night, and he was awesome! Not only is he incredibly intelligent and passionate about science, he’s also really funny and entertaining! In the middle of talking about how he ended up as a BBC science presenter, he ended up on a rant about Justin Bieber and One Direction and how awful it would be if they presented television science. Then he forgot what he had been talking about previously. He also talked about the episode of Doctor Who he had a cameo on, and was humorously bitter over having to refer to the Doctor as “a better man than me”.  Anyway, this song, sung by Monty Python star Eric Idle, and co-written by Brian Cox, was played at the show, and there are some funny moments in the video, so I thought I would share it. It was used as the trailer for his most recent show, Wonders of Life, which I am watching right now because I bought all the DVDs.

row80-2As for writing this week, I think I probably worked for two hours on Operation: Sugarplum, particularly if you count both writing and plotting. Still haven’t got a complete outline, but I got some really good feedback on Wednesday’s post (both about the excerpt and some other aspects), which was really helpful. I didn’t write 500 words on my Short Story Saturday story, but I do have another 2000 words or so before I run out of material, so as long as I get working on it now, I’ll be all good. I visited all my sponsor posts after Wednesday’s check-in, so that’s good.

I also COMPLETED two goals for my 101 Things in 1001 Days project. I played the Tangled video game all the way through to the end, and I went a whole day at work without getting distracted by fun things on the Internet.  I also documented Saturday for an A Day In My Life post, which has been posted up on LiveJournal, and which I will post up here as my end of the week post. My goal is to do 3 of those posts, but at least I’ve made a start now. You can see my whole list of Mission 101 goals by clicking the link at the top of the page.

The first half of this coming week I may not get too much done on goals, as I will be preparing for a job interview I have on Wednesday. I’ve worked at the level this position is on, but only in an acting role, so I’ve never actually been interviewed for this level. I want to read the organisation’s business plan, annual plan, things like that, so that I can refer to those in the interview and prove that I understand the point of the position. So it might not be until Thursday that I actually work on my usual goals.

Anyway, I’m not going to hang around any longer because the episode of Wonders of Life that I was watching just finished, and I need to have some dinner and then get to work on that preparation I just mentioned. Catch you on Wednesday!

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#ROW80: Some Goal Revising and #MusicMirthMon: That is the question

You guys, today is exactly three months until I go on my big trip to the UK and Europe! Eeeee!

Anyway, I’m back to it after my lovely, refreshing non-writing week. And I have two new goals! As I said on Wednesday, I realised that I was neglecting other goals in favour of writing. It’s all very well to get on a roll and just want to shut everything out, but I don’t want the only thing crossed off on my 101 Things in 1001 Days list to be “Publish a novel.” And on Saturday, I started serialising a story I have half-written as part of Short Story Saturday. So, goals:

  • Work 2 hours a week on WIPs (currently focusing on finishing outlines for both Friend of the Enemy and Operation: Sugarplum).
  • Add 500 words to story, Keep Your Enemies Closest, per week. This story is background for two of the side characters in FotE.
  • Visit ROW80 sponsor posts after each check-in.
  • Spend an hour a week working towards Mission 101 goals.

So that’s the plan. I was determined to get back into piano playing recently and bought a stand so that my keyboard can be permanently out and not under my bed, but do you think I’ve touched it since then? Nope! I also have a couple of knitting projects half-finished, and I have all the equipment to learn to crochet and just need to get around to it. I am slowly working on the “Play a video game right through to the end” one. It’s the game version of Disney’s Tangled, but hey, I’m not really a gamer, so it has to be something fun and random for  me.

Onto Music and Mirth Monday, hosted by the wonderful ReGi McClain. Regi has been keeping us cultured the past couple of weeks with clips of Andrea Boccelli, so in that vein, I have here the video for one of my favourite Josh Groban songs, Per Te.

And now for the most adorable Shakespeare-related thing you will ever see in your life:

And with that I leave you, and go and have some dinner. You can join in on Music Mirth Monday here or find more ROW80 Updates here. Ciao!

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#ROW80 Check-in: Goal 1, check! and #MirthMusicMonday – “I’m not sure where this metaphor’s goin’…”

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That’s pretty much all I need to say right there, isn’t it? Despite procrastination and a busier-than-expected weekend, I brought the second draft to a close at 37282 words tonight. One of three goals for this ROW80 round is now complete! 😀 And with a whole month and a half to spare. 😀 😀

I do need a break from it, though; I realised I was becoming frustrated with the story and the characters towards the end. I’ve started working on Friend of the Enemy [working title], and you can read a bit more about that, including a little background piece in the form of an in-universe text book, on my Short Story Saturday post. My WIPpet Wednesday posts will probably be from this one for a little while now. And I know, I know, I still need to get on to finishing the outline for Operation: Sugarplum.

Anywho, that’s really about it for this week. Have some mirthful music to start or end your week, depending on when you’re reading and what time of the week you consider Sunday to be. I was watching Legally Blonde while typing this up, so here is one of my favourite numbers from the stage musical based on the movie. Elle’s pretty awesome, but the stylist, Paulette, is my favourite character. The dialogue at the end of the song is pretty boring, but make sure you skip along a bit to the reprise.

And since I have nothing to say that can really top that, I bid you goodnight!

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#ROW80 Update: Look at me go! and #MirthMusicMonday: Some romance and some silliness

row80You know how I said I probably wouldn’t get much written this week because I was going to be all lazy and at home and on holidays and not getting any writing done? It was LIES!  I actively pulled out my notebook or my tablet when I was lounging around watching TV or whatever, and managed about 3500 words over the course of my five days away. So, you know, PRETTY CHUFFED with that result. And just to show you what a wild life I lead, about 780 of those words were written on the night of my birthday, because I had nothing better to do (I had been out for lunch that day, though, and we went out again on Saturday night, so I was not left wanting for celebration, really). I wrote one scene that was easily inserted early on in A More Complicated Fairytale, and then straight through from when Cait returns home to when Felipe gets home a couple of weeks later to when they FINALLY get together (I mean… spoiler warning! Because none of you saw that coming, right?). For two characters who are usually so chatty, they spent an awful lot of time in that scene sitting in awkward silence and staring everywhere but at each other. As I said on Twitter at the time, I just wanted to bash their heads together and yell, “JUST KISS ALREADY!” Except, of course, once I got to that, I was like, “Oh, yeah, I hate writing kissing. Kissing is horrible to write.”

As for sponsor duties, I was unable to get to them for either Sunday or Wednesday due to my parents’ distinct lack of Internet (they only get a gigabyte a month, which is plenty for them, but means I have to show incredible restraint). I shall work extra hard on this week’s check-ins to make up for that. I also missed my WIPpeteers this week, but I will try and at least read your posts from this week before they disappear, even if I don’t get to leave comments.

That’s about it for my ROW80 update (find other ROW80 updates here, but as I said last Sunday, I’m now going to combine ROW80 posts with Mirth and Music Monday, the brainchild of one ReGi McClain (here is the linky if you would like to post something mirthful and something musical and join in :D). In my MMM post a couple of weeks ago, you got to hear my voice yelling the word “Doctor” in Rafe Morris’ Schnitz and Giggles song. That seemed to get a good reaction so here is a full twenty-five  seconds of me being easily amused by table decorations at my 21st birthday party three years ago. The other voice is my niece. I am doing my slightly affected “on video” voice, but it’s close enough to my actual voice to pass.

And now for the musical part of my post. In celebration of Cait and Felipe finally being engaged, this is the video which basically sums up how I imagine them once they get past all their issues and allow themselves to be adorable and romantic with one another. You just have to ignore the fact that it is actually from Phantom of the Opera and take it completely out of context. I find when I watch my housemate’s DVD of this entire production, I have such a cognitive dissonance, because Raoul and Christine are definitely not like Cait and Felipe for the rest of the show (someone remind me to finish writing that post I started about most female characters in musicals, Christine Daae included, being kind of useless).

And now it’s time for me to go, for though this post will be published early Monday morning (I hope – I’m new to this scheduling thing), I’m typing it Sunday night, and I really should learn to go to bed before 11pm. In my defence, I didn’t get home today until 8pm; it’s the best part of an eight-hour journey from my parents’ back to Canberra. So yes. Goodnight!

~ Emily