I've come back from a week in the mountains, staying in the abode of my best friend/filmmaking partner and using the time away from things to work on my book. I definitely needed it after being absorbed in work and projects and whatnot for... wow, the better part of a year now. Sometimes you just need to break loose from your routine and find inspiration from new surroundings. I got a lot of work done!
I was also introduced to a few neat surprises, courtesy of "Weird" Ed. Because of him I've finally at long last watched The LEGO Movie, and it's now one of my favorite movies ever! On my way through Asheville I just had to stop at the Target there and buy the cheapest LEGO set that's out which has Emmet and Wyldstyle minifigs. They are now sitting next to my monitor as I work. Can't beat LEGO minifigs for inspiration :-) I also got caught up on Game of Thrones: we went through Season 3, now I just need to find Season 4. I've read all of the books and Ed's watched all the seasons, it was odd to watch it like that with each of us knowing what was coming from different directions. When it came time for "the Red Wedding", I knew it was getting close and when it finally happened, Ed said that my mouth was hanging wide open for a solid ten minutes! Sheeesssh that was harsh to read about, but to see it happen on-screen...
I'm also caught up on the Marvel cinematic universe, having now seen Thor: The Dark World. And 'course there was "Weird Al" Yankovic's new album Mandatory Fun. Which the more I listen to it, the more I'm increasingly convinced that this may be his best album since Bad Hair Day. There is one song on Mandatory Fun that I wasn't sure about at first, but even that is growing on me. My favorite song/video from the album is probably "Foil": Weird Al's parody of "Royals" by Lorde.
If this really is Weird Al's last studio album, he is pulling out all the stops with Mandatory Fun, even releasing a new music video each day for eight days (the final one comes out tomorrow).
A new Weird Al anything is reason to rejoice. But there is something else that I brought back with me from my trip, and I'm counting it as one of the most delightful discoveries I've ever made so far as music goes.
I had never heard of Lindsey Stirling until this past week, when Ed introduced me to her music. Stirling had been a contestant on America's Got Talent and was told that she wasn't right for the show with her "dancing violinist" act. I don't know what the heck they were smoking but Lindsey Stirling is unbelievably beautiful as a musician and dancer... and after watching some of her videos and listening to her while we were riding around the area I just had to have more. So I bought both of her albums - her self-titled debut and Shatter Me, released three months ago - at the same Target as I was headed home.
I've been listening to them like crazy since. And watching many more of her videos (Lindsey has like a billion subscribers on YouTube so I'm coming late to the party a bit :-) like this Star Wars medley. I never thought I would have fallen so madly in love with violin music... but here I am, and I have!
So if you haven't already, you really should look up Lindsey Stirling on YouTube and check out her work and if you're like me you'll be enchanted into wanting more. If you don't believe me, here is the video for "Beyond the Veil" from Shatter Me:
And then the in-every-possible-way beautiful video for "Shatter Me", also with Lzzy Hale:
So I came back refreshed, re-invigorated, a lot accomplished on my book, and with the most amazing new music that I can remember finding in a very long time. I'm feeling inspired and firing on all cylinders again!
I give Lindsey Stirling my highest recommendation. If she ever comes to town for a concert I'm absolutely going to be there first day to buy tickets!