Stuff I Like About Hadestown, a list

  1. I got into Hadestown just in time for the OBC recording to start coming out, so I’m enjoying doing comparisons between the songs on the live recording and what’s being dropped.  So far I … um … kinda like the live version Hermes better? (Andre deShields is really good, though! Don’t @ me!) I really like the changes they made to “Way Down Hadestown.”
  2. The thing that drew me into this story is Hades and Persephone.  I’ve seen Persephone as the sad victim; I’ve seen Persephone as the rebellious daughter; I’ve seen the two of them portrayed as young lovers … I don’t think I’ve ever seen them as older, married, and losing each other.  It’s a good take, and an interesting one. And the idea of loving someone by giving them what you want to give them, and what you would want them to give you, but not paying attention to what they want or need is universal.  (It seems to me like Orpheus and Eurydice touch on that a bit, too, but I also haven’t heard the entire musical yet.) And they’re gods. They’re not human.  They’re fickle and strange; I love that I get that sense out of the music.
  3. Good lord in heaven, Patrick Page’s voice.
  4. A show that centers the idea that good tragedy makes you think, every time you watch it, that this time it might be different?  That’s my thing, y’all.
  5. “Wait for Me” is quite possibly the loveliest song I have heard in forever.


and now for a musical interlude

Hi there!  I hope you’re enjoying Dropping Slow, and if you haven’t yet donated to either the Sharon the Light website directly or to my CrowdRise, that you’ll consider it!  Just scroll down to any of the Dropping Slow entries and click the links.

I asked on Facebook if anyone might be interested in my Dropping Slow playlist, and a number of enablers said yes.  So if you click the link, you can play the music I’ve been associating with this story for over a year, and that I’ve been playing on repeat as I revise and add scenes.  Some of them are very character or plot oriented; some of them just sound right (if that makes sense to anyone but me). I’m including the track list below for anyone not on Spotify, so you can (to paraphrase Lin-Manuel Miranda) compile it on your music listening thingie of choice, if you would like.  (We own all of these, Scott, so have fun in iTunes!)

I also very much underestimated my word count (math is not my thing), so the posts will probably get longer this week and next.  I may spill over into July; we’ll see.

So, again, thanks for reading and for liking, and thanks to those of you who have donated!


Untitled – Green, REM

All This and Heaven Too – Ceremonials, Florence + the Machine

Here Is the House – Black Celebration, Depeche Mode

Goodnight Elisabeth – Recovering the Satellites, Counting Crows

Everyone Says ‘Hi’ – Heathen, David Bowie

Take To the Sky (Russia) – A Piano: the Collection, Tori Amos

Alice – Alice, Tom Waits

Sway – Let There Be Morning, The Perishers

Pictures of You – Galore, The Cure

Life On Mars? – The Best of David Bowie, David Bowie

Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone – Gold (1965-1975), Tom Jones*

Black Metallic – Ferment – Catherine Wheel

Rattlesnakes – Strange Little Girls, Tori Amos

Red Right Ankle – Her Majesty the Decemberists – The Decemberists

Rocket Man (I Think It’s Going to Be a Long, Long Time) – Honkey Chateau, Elton John

(Below is the footnote.  No spoilers, but a little extra side story if you want it.)

Continue reading “and now for a musical interlude”

Every Single Day Starts Tomorrow!

And if you’ve got some extra cash and want to donate to some worthy causes …

Every Single Day for Feeding America

Karen Sorenson is creating her second poetry chapbook, We Feed the Dead (that is a seriously awesome title), to raise funds for Feeding America.  The link goes to FirstGiving, which lets you donate any amount!  More details can be found here!


Every Single Day for the ACLU

Laurel M is back to provide the campaign with music!  She’ll be performing a song every single day to raise funds for the ACLU! This is also through FirstGiving, so again, no minimum donation.  Laurel’s songs were definitely a highlight of ESD in January, and during her bonus round, so if you want to check them out, check over here starting tomorrow!


And, of course …

Every Single Day for Sharon the Light

That’s me!  500-900 (usually more like 700ish) words per day of my novella, Dropping Slow, posted here on my blog every day in June to raise funds for Sharon the Light.  Details (so. many. details.) here!  And if you can’t do the $10 minimum Crowdrise donation, head on over to Sharon the Light’s donations page, click “custom donation” and then let me know you did it so you can get the ebook at the end!


The fun starts tomorrow!  (Well.  Fun for you.  Not so much for our heroine in Dropping Slow.  Tace has some problems.  She’d probably love to read some poems or listen to some music, but … well.  You’ll have to read.  And I have to proofread, so.)


Guess who got a donation yesterday?

So, as promised: “Anything Can Be Used As a Bookmark,” by yours truly (special thanks to the Zweeble).

This song was brought to you by the-cassandra-project‘s Every Single Day Challenge and the donation of Laurel M, whose fundraiser for the Sierra Club is here, if you’d like to thank her for unleashing this upon the world.

I’ve reached my goal now–I’ll keep posting poems and stick figures until the end of the month because that’s the deal, and you can actually still donate if you want (or you can run over to Heather Bain’s Crowdrise, also for the ACLU).

And also a special shoutout to Karen Sorenson, the person behind this challenge and thus another responsible party for this tomfoolery: I hope your car is all right, and if it is not, I hope this eases the annoyance.

goddammit, amanda

I have the week off work.

I had plans.  Plans to clean, and write, and file things, and maybe get the three of us off of our shared Apple account and into Family Sharing because I’m tired of the 8 year old getting texts meant for the lovely husband on the phone he has just for games. [1]

That sound you hear is God laughing.  Or the Universe.  Someone is laughing, anyway.  Because the kid got strep and some other stuff happened, and I’m actually pretty pleased because while nothing else got done, I did write.

Anyway, the child is recovered and things have … settled, somewhat, and I realized that I was alone in the house and had some time to spare, so I might as well listen to all the new Amanda Palmer songs I’ve been meaning to listen to …

First, “A Mother’s Confession” and its 69 footnotes.  Which, halfway through, made me literally say “Oh, honey,” out loud to the empty living room.

Early parenthood is a nightmare of sleep-deprived what the fuck.

One night, the baby started crying.  This was not unusual.  What was unusual was that he’d slept long enough that Scott and I were pretty soundly asleep, too, so when we woke up we also did not wake up.  We didn’t co-sleep;[2] the child was in his crib in his room.  But.  I was frantically looking for the baby in the bed.  Scott was frantically looking for him in the nightstand.

We had an ongoing joke that we’d prospectively knocked all of his elementary school education from his brain because we both kept accidentally bonking his baby head on the ceiling of the car when we took him out of the car seat.

bonk– “Well, there went fifth grade!”[3]

So this is just to say that when I played the song for Scott, he laughed.  And winced.

Also, we’re pretty sure we’ve been to that Publix.

Anyway, I followed directions and read the footnotes after I listened to the song.

And then there was “Machete.”

I did not heed the warning to read first and listen second this time, because it was time to pick the boy up from school, so I just plugged the phone into the car stereo and hit play.

I should have listened.  It’s not good to cry while you’re behind the wheel of a car.  I mean, it wasn’t full-on-sobbing-can’t-see-the-road, but at the next light there was eye-wiping and a muttered, “Goddammit, Amanda!”

Music.  I dunno.  Amanda Palmer has gotten me through a lot of shit since around 2004.  The Dresden Dolls were a saving grace for me once upon a very dark time.  (I’m not the only person who says this, or thinks this, I know.)

I loved “Lost,” off Theatre is Evil, from the first moment I heard it.  I love the lyric

No one’s ever lost forever
When they die they go away
But they will visit you occasionally
Do not be afraid
No one’s ever lost forever
They are caught inside your heart
If you garden them and water them
They make you what you are

… because I love that idea, and I love the inverse of it, the idea that maybe if you don’t water the people (or voices) who are stuck in your heart, they won’t make you into anything–if you can figure out how to not cultivate the awful people (or voices), then they may visit you sometimes, but don’t be afraid, they’ll have no power. [4]

And then my grandmother died, and the song came on, and I hit that last verse and started crying.

When I was listening to “Machete,” because I did not heed the warnings, I didn’t realize this song was for Anthony, Amanda Palmer’s best friend who died recently of cancer.  Until

And you took
Your machete
And you said boo guess who
But seriously, beauty

… and I’ve read The Art of Asking, I recognized that nickname, and perhaps in a few years I will be able to sort out and explain why exactly that song, about a person I have never met, reduced me to tears in my goddamned car as I turned at a red light, but today?  Probably not so much.

I know I can’t imagine losing my best friends.  But right now in my life, I know that I can.  That I will; maybe not all of them, but yeah, we’re not all going to drop dead at the exact same moment.  And grief sucks and doesn’t end.  It … “bothers” is not a great word.  “Unnerves” might be closer to what I want?  I am deeply unhappy that anyone ever feels grief.  So some of those tears were sympathy, too.  And fear.  And probably the result of a week that really did not go how I wanted or expected it to, even if the end result is good and everything is fine.


1 [back]  This is mostly inconvenient rather than embarrassing, but it did result in “Dad, what’s an STD?” one day, so …

2 [back] I honestly have no horse in any parenting race.  If you co-slept/co-sleep, that’s awesome.  It wouldn’t have worked for us, so we didn’t do it (though we did a lot of co-napping).

3[back]Third grade gifted program.  Just to be clear. And I don’t remember him reacting with more than blinking at us, so the bonks must not have been very hard.  But we were both so guilt-ridden, oh my god.

4[back]Which is, of course, difficult and painful.

things about David Bowie

Bowie was Scott’s.  That’s the first thing.

And your prayers, they break the sky in two,” is the second.

Heathen is the third thing.  It’s not on my iPod in its entirety, and it’s all I want to listen to.

Bowie was myth made manifest.  That’s the last thing.  I grew this story of him in my head from songs and half-read interviews and photographs; now there’s an ending, solid fact and impossible to ignore, and I hadn’t considered that there would be one, so.


Scott’s post is much less elliptical than mine.

Randomnicity, mostly because my thoughts on the Hamilton soundtrack are pretty random right now

So what’s been going on in Laura-land … ?

Thing the First

Whelp, my lovely husband is blogging again, which is a joy.  His blog is a little bit of everything: writing samples, shameless other people promotion, personal stuff. Rants, probably, at some point. His most recent post is–hey!–a lot of random stuff.

And just for the record, he had me try that Switchel thing, and it went like this:

Him:  Try this.

Me:  No.

Him: Oh for–it’s lemonade.

Me:  Okay. (drinks)

Him: Made with vinegar.

Yeah, it was nasty.  You should totally make it and try it.

Anyway, head on over there if you’re interested in reading the blog of that guy I blame for everything.

Thing the Second

Finished listening to the Hamilton soundtrack, and have scattered thoughts that I may blog about later on in more depth …

  • So much of it is about words and writing, and I love that–because I would, yes, but also we forget how much of history and art relies on writing and language.
  • And this musical seems to play with and get off on language in a way that reminds me a bit of Sondheim (and is also connected to the ways the musical is playing and grappling with history).
  • Holy hell, the ambition–and I mean, the ambitions of the characters, yes, but also the ambition of this show, and it’s been a while since I’ve gotten to love something for its ambition without also loving it for and despite its flaws.  Granted, I’ve only heard it and not seen it, but this is really solid (there are a couple of spots where the marriage of hip-hop and theater doesn’t seem happy, but there aren’t many, and I could probably make a case for that reflecting some of the uneasy marriages in the play?  So yeah) and it just soars.
  • Jonathan Groff, you glorious fop, I just don’t even.
  • I love Lafayette and I do not care who knows it.
  • And, you know, I really really liked it a lot, right, and then we hit “It’s Quiet Uptown.”  And I don’t know if I’ve ever heard or seen or read anything that encompasses marriage and pain and grace so well.  And connected to that is the idea that no one ever knows how a marriage works except for the people in it, and Eliza’s movement into and out of Alexander’s narrative, both willingly and not, and her eventual narrative and legacy.  And so that’s the moment I fell.
  • We will not speak of the reprise of “Stay Alive,” okay?  I have a little boy, so that’s a giant nope.

Scott and I are driving to see Jason this weekend, so we’ll have some time in the car for him to hear it, and I really hope he likes it.  I think he will.  The last album we both really got into was Hazards of Love, and it’s been too long since we’ve geeked out about music together.

Thing the Third

Okay, there is no third thing.  So, you know what?  How about some stuff to read?  None of it is new stuff, because I’m currently making my way through Mr. Mercedes and playing Stephen King Trope Bingo, but hey!

  1.  Three Stories, by Karen Sorenson – Three interconnected short stories about family, love, and the slow process of moving on.
  2. Hide Behind, by Jason Kimble – “It’s never gonna fruit ‘cause you stole it.” (It’s never too early to get in that Halloween mood, and this will do it.)
  3. The Cursed Headdress, by Your Humble Narrator – Because why not, right?  I call this one my Hellboy homage–the Teachouts and (another) Lovecraftian nightmare.

clap along if you feel like a room without a roof

So, I hate “Happy.” I mean, not really, but for a while it was everywhere and I felt like I was being ordered to be happy by every car ad, grocery store speaker, and minion in America, and if I want to be in a bad mood I’m going to be in a bad mood, Pharrell, goddammit. So my hating “Happy” has become a bit of an inside joke for the lovely husband, Z, and me.

Last night was the gifted class spaghetti dinner fundraiser. The kids all performed for us. Z warned me they were singing “Happy.” Numerous times. (This is the same kid who was worried I’d be upset at him for singing “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” because I’d think he was saying I was an adulteress or something. Our conversation about that is actually how he learned the word ‘adulteress.’)

Z likes to find us in the audience, give us a wave, and then not look at us again during performances. “Happy” was the last song of the evening. The intro started, and he looked right at me, gave me the biggest cheesy grin, and this unsubtle, utterly obvious thumbs up.

I cackled. Like, I’m pretty sure people were looking at me.

Scott and I were together for 16 years before we had the boy, so we were a pretty solid unit before we added him to the mix. And every once in a while, like last night, it hits me just how well our little goofball fits in with us.

state of the Laura: writing 10, me 0

There’s a quote floating ’round my Tumblr about writers and procrastination, and while I might have an entire post about that in me, today I just want to say that my problem isn’t procrastination so much as it’s a total inability to prioritize the four or five projects I have going on right now:

This is my current writing notebook/binder.  It's about 2 inches thick.
This is my current writing notebook/binder. It’s about 2 inches thick.







I’ve been feeling vaguely off lately on the writing front–I had to trunk a short story that I spent pretty much all of last summer working on, but … it’s just not working.  It’s repetitive and while I like the interpersonal stuff that’s going on, the A-plot was wonky as hell.

But it never feels good to give up on something I’ve finished.  I should be able to fix it!  And, I dunno, maybe I will someday, but right now I have no perspective and no idea how.  Good luck, me of the future!  Have fun with that one!

In the meantime, I have two stories to revise and a novel to plug away at …


It’s also the tail end of summer, which means a lot of stuff jammed into the last couple of weekends, and a kid who is alternately bored and then nervous about the start of 2nd grade.

Today we went to see Guardians of the Galaxy, having talked said boy into it despite the possibility of “bad language, Mom!”  It wasn’t the best of the Marvel movies, but it was still pretty good–Z. is definitely a Groot fan.  I liked Rocket Raccoon, myself.  Who expects the genetically-engineered raccoon to be a mad engineering genius?[1] Also, this may be the only time in my entire life that I have actually enjoyed “The Pina Colada Song.”

(I also imagine a new generational dividing line:  what does “Hooked On a Feeling” immediately bring to mind:  Guardians of the Galaxy or Reservoir Dogs?  Because I don’t think I was the only person in the theater unconsciously expecting that part to end a trifle differently.)

Speaking of music, I’m listening to the iTunes Radio Top 50 Alternative and putting a lot of stuff on my “stuff to listen to” playlist on Spotify.  “Take Me to Church” by Hozier and “I Wanna Get Better” by Bleachers are the  most recent additions.  I also found Robbie Williams a couple weeks ago and now want glam rock suggestions.

I may be getting pulled into Gravity Falls (ha!) …

And now I’m going to post this at 11pm on a Friday.  Good luck, little blog post.

1[back]Underestimated characters might be a narrative kink of mine.

State of the Laura: no longer drowning in snot …

… my eye is itchy, though, and it’s driving me crazy.

So what’s the haps? (I am nothing if not slangy and current.)

Let’s see. We sent the boy to Lego Engineering Camp (which is also “science stuff, too, Mom!”) for a week, and basically everyone we’ve mentioned this to has asked us if he’s built a Lego Death Ray yet. For the record, not that we know of. But Friday is Parents’ Day, so we’ll see what sort of chaos ensues.

Also, really, one can only keep fingers crossed and hope. Some mothers wish for their sons to become doctors; I have hopes of introducing the boy to my retirement-community bridge or book club as “My son, the mad scientist. He made that army of clockwork hairless cats–you know, they showed it on the news. It was a Mother’s Day gift.”

At any rate, he seems to be having fun.

Really, I’ve got nothing much else to blog about. I can toss a few links around, though, hang on …

1. I’m sure everyone’s seen this by now, but just on the very off chance …

I try really hard to not harass people about their grammar (because rude), but seriously, every grammar pet peeve that, when I see it, requires me to take a deep, cleansing breath? Is in here. Also a couple that aren’t actually mine, but that drive my friends crazy.

2. I have Flipboard on my tablet, and that’s where I keep links to all the short fiction I’ve saved to read. (There’s a lot of it. Like, a lot. Just. Yeah.) Anyway, the other night I read Destiny, With a Blackberry Sauce by David J. Schwartz, which was absolutely not what I expected, in a really good way. It’s quite short, and if the Lovely Husband is reading this–I emailed you the link, Scott, you should read it! (If you are not my Lovely Husband, you should also read it.)

3. And if that Lost/Glee crossover fanfic I’ve mentioned before has gotten you a little intrigued, but paging through LiveJournal was keeping you away, Because You Left parts 1 and 2 is up on Archive of Our Own, where it can be downloaded or just read all at once on ye olde computer.

“And Laura, do you have something specific you want to share with the class? A follow-up to an earlier announcement, perhaps?” Well, nope, not quite yet. But not too long, now. Watch this space. Or whatever other space of mine you prefer to watch.