The Wheel Weaves (an Album?) as the Wheel Wills

*The following blog is about songs I have written or plan to write, but it is going to talk about some minor happenings in the Wheel of Time series written by Robert Jordan and completed by Brandon Sanderson after Jordan’s passing.

It is not my intent to spoil you if you are planning to read the series. Nothing mentioned here will give away any plot spoilers, but will mention character names and possible relationships between characters. If you’ve read the first three books, you will know the people I mention. Since I like to focus on feelings rather than list off events, you should be able to read on even if you have yet to start the series.
I highly recommend that you do pick up these books.*
You probably know by now that I recently released a new EP. Reconstruction is an upbeat piano-based album that explores the themes of love and longing, childhood nostalgia, girl power, and keeping a positive outlook on life.

One of those songs, Make Him Mine,  is about a relationship in the Wheel of Time series from Elayne’s point of view.

As I was writing the song, I had ideas for other songs and I daydreamed of an entire WoT-themed album. Over the course of the fourteen books Rand encounters many people, but it is his relationships with all the extremely strong women that inspire me to get writing. They love him, they hate him, they fear him, and they treat him like a little child. It is so entertaining to read, and I have so many thoughts about how each woman’s song might sound. I love that in these books the men and women constantly talk about how they have no idea how to even begin to understand the opposite sex. It makes for great source material! Before I sent Reconstruction off to the printer, I even started on a song for a feisty older gal we meet in book 7.

I will keep you updated on how this project progresses. Right now I am still riding high on the excitement of my most recent album, but that itch to write more is always just beneath the surface. I’ve been jotting down lyrics here and there as inspiration strikes.

Random funny quote from the Wheel of Time Wikia page for the women of WoT: Women: “People who sniff, stare, smooth their skirts, and fold their arms under their breasts, and other stuff also, but mostly that.”

Yeah, that sounds like what one of the male characters would say!

Awesome trivia: there are 1,031 female characters in this series!!!!

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Inspiration: When I Least Expected It

Wednesday evening and all day Thursday, I reprised my career as a photojournalist and did some free-lance photography for a friend. We covered an event called “Fall for the Book” which mostly took place at George Mason University in Northern Virginia. After getting the necessary shots of the authors, I was able to relax and listen to what they had to say, and I was very inspired by two authors in particular. One was a poet named Natasha Trethewey, whose historical poems have the perfect balance between the beautiful and the unsightly. She took me to the edge of discomfort then wrapped me in beautiful descriptions of paintings and journals and her own memories. Hearing her read her own words was very moving.

The second author to inspire me was Alma Katsu. I knew within 5 minutes of her talk that I was going to purchase her book “The Taker” ~ its Gothic, dark nature being right up my alley. But also, she spoke of the writing process and her words really struck a chord with me. She said that in the end, the novel one writes is really the novelist’s own story. It is the thing deep down that the author is ashamed of, or afraid will be exposed. She said that until the author figures this out and embraces it, he or she will keep writing the same book until that story is expressed in an honest, fully-disclosed way.

I talked about this with my friend Grace between shoots. I wondered what my “story” was. We talked about songs and films that move us in ways that seem to affect no one else in the same way. What was it about these particular pieces that move me so much?

On the way home, Arcade Fire came up on shuffle. I thought of the song “Wake Up” and quickly found and played this song. This is definitely one of those songs that affect me. Every time I listen to this anthem of lost childhood, I sing it at the top of my lungs, half shouting, to the point where I am so choked up that I can no longer produce notes.

“Wake Up” by Arcade Fire

Somethin’ filled up
my heart with nothin’,
someone told me not to cry.

But now that I’m older,
my heart’s colder,
and I can see that it’s a lie.

Children wake up,
hold your mistake up,
before they turn the summer into dust.

If the children don’t grow up,
our bodies get bigger but our hearts get torn up.
We’re just a million little gods causin’ rain storms turnin’ every good thing to
rust.

I guess we’ll just have to adjust.

With my lightnin’ bolts a glowin’
I can see where I am goin’ to be
when the reaper he reaches and touches my hand.

With my lightnin’ bolts a glowin’
I can see where I am goin’
With my lightnin’ bolts a glowin’
I can see where I am, go-go, where I am

You’d better look out below

And then I knew my story. I knew what I needed to get out of me. I wrote for a very long time last night. A stream of consciousness that spilled out onto six pages of my notebook, and it is still not all out. With Alma Katsu’s words still fresh in my ears, I was mindful of how, as soon as I got close to the really difficult stuff, I would drift back into safe territory. I think I am onto something here. It might be painful, but I do not think I will be able to rest until I can express myself clearly – until my story has been given the attention it deserves.