Inspiration Through Music: The Civil Wars

Ever have one of those moments where you come back to a musician that you heard about a while ago and chose to ignore (because you’d been an idiot at the time), only to discover that this band/musician is brilliant and extremely talented? That happened to me the other week. I had just watched “The Hunger Games” movie again and decided to have a peek at it’s soundtrack because some of the songs really touched me. In addition to the original score, I listened to the album “Songs from District 12 And Beyond” which includes the Taylor Swift ballad, “Safe and Sound” (also coincidentally featuring this week’s artist) and the soft beautiful, “Kingdom Come”. I’d heard of the Civil Wars before but had never listened to their stuff because I was honestly expecting something completely different. I am not as much a fan of alternative rock as one might think. I can handle it every now and again but it’s not my favorite. And for some reason, that’s what I thought these guys did. Boy, was I sorely mistaken! I practically berated myself for hours for not checking them out earlier.

The Civil Wars is an American singer-songwriter duo of Joy Williams and John Paul White who put together plaintive ballads and thought-provoking emotionally-charged pieces. The combination of their voices is especially heart-rending  in my favorite song of theirs “Falling”. The lyrics are also very fresh and pieced together so thoughtfully that they expertly tell a story while evoking emotion easily. I feel as though I can listen to their music and start a dozen other writing projects from each song. I kind of want to… But, must not get carried away. Today, I’ll be sharing 5 of their songs with you and showing you what I see when I listen to them. Enjoy!

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Creating Memorable Characters

Good morning, readers!

In the last few days, I’ve finished reading The Hunger Games and watched the entire second season of Downton Abbey. In both the book and the television series, I find myself longing to return to the lives of the characters I so fell in love with. Thankfully, I have Catching Fire (the second book in the Hunger Games Trilogy) to read. But what of Downton Abbey? Alas, I’ll have to wait for the next season. But I will because I am so enamored of the storyline and the people who populate it.

When you fall in love with certain characters, you have an immediate loyalty to them. You want to follow them on their journey. You want to see more of them. You’re compelled to stick by them through whatever happens and you’re determined to make sure that they get what they deserve, whether good or bad. There are several characters in books and television shows that I remember from years ago that I miss. And I found myself wondering this morning, why is that? Why are they so much more stained in my memory than others? What are the makings of a memorable character?

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