Tag Archives: Joanne Harris

Wandrin’ Star

By now probably all of you have seen the ad by Amazon, with the tousle-haired man and his dog with the broken leg. It’s sweet but the song attached to it seems an odd choice (well, except that the dog wants to wander and can’t, poor wee thing). It’s catchy, though and sticks in the head. For those of you who wonder how the rest of it goes, here it is: (click on the first lines for a link to the Youtube of Lee Marvin singing it…)

I was born under a wandrin’ star
I was born under a wandrin’ star
Wheels are made for rolling, mules are made to pack
I’ve never seen a sight that didn’t look better looking back
I was born under a wandrin’ star

Mud can make you prisoner and the plains can bake you dry
Snow can burn your eyes, but only people make you cry
Home is made for coming from, for dreams of going to
Which with any luck will never come true
I was born under a wandrin’ star
I was born under a wandrin’ star

Do I know where hell is, hell is in hello
Heaven is goodbye forever, its time for me to go
I was born under a wandrin’ star
A wandrin’ wandrin’ star

When I get to heaven, tie me to a tree
For I’ll begin to roam and soon you’ll know where I will be
I was born under a wandrin’ star
A wandrin’ wandrin’ star
Read more: http://artists.letssingit.com/lee-marvin-lyrics-born-under-a-wandering-star-zfs6zf2#ixzz3y79V5jpL

I’m feeling that restlessness again. I don’t know whether it is winter or cabin fever or my lack of success with knitting broad-amyut I feel the need to stretch my legs. Somehow.

The other song that keeps running through my head is the Rose Vaughan Trio’s Restless as a River, a lovely tune with a haunting melody that sounds just like water over river rocks. And then there’s Rawlin’s Cross‘s Open Road, a song I listened to obsessively when I was contemplating divorce so many years ago…:

 If you want to you could stay, dream your life away
Counting the old memories you have stowed
But if you could be what you could be, you’d be just as good as free
I think it’s time you hit the open road

Open road, carry me
And take me where I can be free
Lead me where I’ve got to go
To the end of the open road

The future sits beside you, whisper in your ear
Telling you that now it’s time to go
But I don’t know how far you’ll get before sunset
I just know it’s time you hit the open road

Leave the past and let it wait, do not hesitate
Take your time and time will take your load
There’s nothing here for you but the memories and the blues
I think it’s time you hit the open road

I don’t know. Maybe it’s the Sagittarius in me, or maybe it’s from years of wandering as a military spouse, but for a while now I’ve felt the need to shift my location. I’m not sure where as yet. Will it be to Wolfville, small College town in the Annapolis Valley? Will it be elsewhere? Where?

I love it here. I love the people I’ve met and gotten to know. But there’s something… Perhaps, like Vianne Rocher in Chocolat, it’s the tricky north wind that calls me to travel, to experience something new. To force myself out of the comfort of routine, to encourage me to step bigger, to take chances, to expand my view. Or maybe to tighten my view, live somewhere smaller, somewhere where I can walk places, where there are birds other than pigeons to see.

Perhaps I can do this here. Perhaps I can’t. I only know there is something not sitting quite right here in my lovely cozy spacious apartment in the city, despite the friends around me. Like a pebble in my shoe, it pesters. I can push it to the side, ignore it for a while, but it’s still there…


Anger and hostility are good/bad for writing…

Hey y’all.
Had a terrible week. Pretty bad all over. I hate everyone, even myself, and this Dairy Milk chocolate bar just isn’t doing the cheer-up trick, so I know I’m in deep.
It’s all in my head, though, and I’m feeling vaguely bi-polar – filled with excitement at the thought of Word on the Street tomorrow, racing about for final details for my Bloody Words Mystery Conference table and “the pitch” I’ll be giving for the book I’m writing with the irrepressible Sex Lady Karen K. I’ve got no reason to be angry or hostile or anything except happily typing away here and gazing out into the mood-enhancing fog.

Even my horoscope is telling me that all of my mistakes are my fault and I should just take ownership of them and charge on, focused on the prize.

But I can’t help myself up – all it takes from most anyone today is a sideways glance and I’ll snap…Just in a frumious Bandersnatch mood and so I should stay out of firing range, right?

But no. I keep trying to TALK to people, which is not a good idea.

On the good side, my last attempted conversation lit up an entire line of annoyances and now I am typing madly.
So maybe it will all turn to right.

In Chocolat, by Joanne Harris, she writes marvellously about the west wind, and how it makes her character restless, uneasy. Here in Dartmouth, it’s swampy, hot, gusty. I want nothing more than to walk the beach alone and throw rocks at the helpless ocean. I’ll promise that for myself tomorrow, after my toil.

Today I am getting ready, like a coiled steel spring. It’s truly frightening to behold…

Seeking synesthesia

I’ve always gloried in the sounds of words. Onomatopoetic words for me, like hippopotamus, cello, gawping, grape, babbling, seasoning, purple, smudge, puce, mucus, bog. Words that effortlessly sound out what I feel and see when I hear them – silk eases through my lips like a scarf around my neck, glop insinuates pudding dropping on a countertop, ooze is that same pudding easing through a sieve, cheep is the sound my birds make, feather is light as their touch. Not all words have this magical link to their meaning, but the ones that do enrich reading and fill the readers’ minds with visions and sounds.

Lately, synesthesia has been in the news, and is a theme of Joanne Harris’ very creepy and excellent new book, blueeyedboy. I have to say I am filled with envy of those who have colours assigned to words, or music, or sensations. Truth be told, I think we all sometimes feel these sensations, when a wire is crossed or memories tangle in the back rooms of our minds, where they tumble about together.  I can’t hear the Moonlight Sonata without smelling toast, hearing the rustle of newspaper – my father tried for years to learn the piece fully through and he would practice on Saturday mornings, when we’d all be awash in the newspaper and breakfast while he played. It still also relaxes me.  Saturday mornings were happy times in my childhood, and the contentment of these times eases through with the comfortable music.

Beethoven’s Symphonies (I believe the 5th, especially) sends shivers down my spine and pushes the chill smell of early winter through my sinuses – I studied one Beethoven’s Birthday at Queen’s with my residence window wide open to the chill and Beethoven charging forward on my stereo.  The brisk, urgent smells and feelings return when I listen to it now, even in the warmth of my apartment.

But I long for more more more – I want the sound of Malbec to be less acidic, more like the wine. I wish celebrating smelled like fireworks, or that caramel not only mimicked how your mouth has to go when you eat one but also tasted like it does when you do.

I can’t help but think that paying more attention to these things would help link words with flavours and colours, link music with colours and tastes, link colours with music and words. Would practice help?

I’m off to evaluate the colour of Gin and Tonic.  I see it as lime green or acid blue….with an undercurrent of steamy summer jazz….