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Archive for April, 2014

On writing: caring for your writer

April 22, 2014 15 comments

Almost a year ago, in this post, I passed along a discussion on how family and friends can support the writers in their lives. Recently, I came upon a new post entitled, “The Care and Feeding of Writers”. I think it complements the old list nicely. You can find it here. Though the entire post is a worthwhile read, if you want to read just the ten steps, skip down about half way through.

For us fledgling writers, I found this quote apropos:

Lastly, for beginning writers and their support staffs, I want you to know that publishing will not solve your life. Whether it’s a book or a story in a magazine, you are still going to have all your issues and problems — and you probably won’t be rich.

–dp

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Melancholy Monday: My Immortal (Evanescence)

April 21, 2014 4 comments

My Immortal is a heartrending song. Its dolorous melody and haunting lyrics create an overwhelming sense of regret and despair. Some might categorize it as yet another tune about a broken relationship, but there’s really much more to this song than that. To paraphrase the songwriter, his intent was to convey the sting of death and the loss it inflicts on those left behind (the immortal). There are times, he thought, when the spirit of the departed can linger and haunt the one still living, until eventually the pain is so great, being left alone and feeling nothing of the one who passed seems a better alternative to the constant agony brought by their ever-present spirit/memory. Regardless of the interpretation, though, this song is the epitome of melancholy.

You used to captivate me by your resonating light
Now I’m bound by the life you left behind
Your face—it haunts my once pleasant dreams
Your voice—it chased away all the sanity in me

Here’s the song (and video) for any of you who’ve not yet heard it.

–dp

Mike Masse, The Pie Pizzeria, and amazing acoustic covers

April 5, 2014 15 comments

In February, while visiting with my son in Wisconsin, he mentioned a man by the name of Mike Masse. He asked if I’d ever heard of him. When I said no, he smiled and told me I just had to watch one of his videos. He told me I wouldn’t believe what I was going to see and hear, and you know what? He was right. Click on the link below to watch Mike Masse’s cover of the song, Africa.

Mike Masse’s acoustic cover of “Africa”

As I watched I couldn’t believe that two regular guys (both attorneys and friends since college) in a pizza joint called The Pie Pizzeria, located in Salt Lake City, Utah, could pull off what I just heard. It was nothing short of amazing. And every time I’ve watched this video since then, or watched one of their other covers (and they’ve done a lot of them … check them out here), I am still in awe at how good these two guys really are, especially Mike.

However, simply letting you know about these two isn’t the only reason I posted this. What I learned about one of these men (Mike Masse, the guitar player), was that his young song, Noah, was diagnosed with cancer back in 2012. At that time, knowing he had lots of followers on YouTube, he decided to try to help his son in a way he thought might make a difference. He created a touching video, where he talks about Noah and his diagnosis, and asks for donations (by purchasing a special song he’d recorded) to help with Noah’s treatment. If you’ve ever wondered what despair, sorrow, and feelings of utter helplessness and desperation look like, it’s all right there in Mike’s eyes. It is, as the article notes, heartbreaking. You can find the article and video here.

Fortunately, there is good news. Here’s what Mike posted on YouTube with the original song video:

Update (March 22, 2014): Noah is doing really great these days. He’s had clean MRI’s for a year, and is catching up on his walking and talking. He’s very loving, very happy, very cute, and very funny. We’re grateful for all of the support and prayers we’ve received. We love every day with him and look forward to every tomorrow. Love, Mike

What a wonderful way for this part of the story to end.

So, go check out Mike Masse on youtube and enjoy the great songs these two are playing. You’ll be glad you did. I’m following him on Facebook and right now, and in honor of March Madness, he’s doing brackets pitting various songs against each other, where the song with the most “likes” keeps advancing until there’s a final “winner” that he’ll cover. Should be fun, because there are some great songs to choose from.

–dp