Fighting the Black Thing

lyrics by Erin and Rand Bellavia, music by Rand Bellavia

(inspired by A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle)

There’s a battle being fought across the universe
Who and why and where and what and when
Weak and strong or right or wrong
It’s been going on so long
Feels like we’ll never find our way back to the light again

There’s a lesson being taught across the universe
And all we have to do is imitate
It’s not who we are or what we say
It’s what we do: the Imago Dei
We were created to create

Not everything is black and white
But I know the wrong when I’m in the right
Sometimes even angels fight
Gotta dig through the dark until you find the light

So stand with me and fight with me
Dance and sew and write with me
We can’t win unless we all take part
Paint with me and cook with me
Make a comic book with me
We fight the Black Thing best by making art

There’s a refuge being sought across the universe
From desperation and despair
Grab a pen and find your voice
Find a tool and make your choice
It’s the only immortality we share

There’s a battle being fought across the universe
But there’s more of us who love than those who hate
Fear and anger feed the dark
But empathy can be the spark
That lights the light that shines so bright when we create

So build with me, invent with me
Conduct experiments with me
Engage the world with head and hand and heart
Sing with me, compose with me
Write poetry and prose with me
We fight the Black Thing best by making art

Day 7: Creativity

Been away from the posts for a few days, but I knew this was one I wanted to tackle.

Creativity has always been important to me. When I was younger, I thought I was going to be a fiction writer. I’ve had a bit of success, here and there, at short fiction. Thing is, there’s not much of a market for short fiction, and I’m not sure I’m a novelist at heart. I don’t have BIG IDEAS. I’m kind of lousy at plotting.

My creativity manifests in other ways, though. I’ve been doing calligraphy since I was in high school, and I maintain an Etsy shop where I sell my calligraphy and paper crafts.

Lately, though, it’s been coming out in the form of songwriting. Well, lyric writing. I’m not a musician, but I am married to one. 🙂 And being married to one has brought me into a whole community that has nurtured and supported this creativity.

The past two years, I’ve participated in something called February Album Writing Month. (That link goes to my profile.) The idea is to write 14 songs-an album’s worth-in 28 days. Now, I haven’t made it to 14, or anywhere near, but it’s been a useful exercise anyway. This year, I posted three things…one of them, a lyric that’s been around for a while that has finally been set to music. I ended up adding two lyrics that aren’t quite finished. In my drafts I also have a Peggy Carter song (tentatively “Do as Peggy Says”) that I’ve been trying to write this for a year now. I’ve made a little bit of movement, but It’s giving me a rough time. There’s also a chorus inspired by a FB post conversation that still doesn’t have a song, and two brainstorming lists that I’m hopeful will turn into something at some point. I call that a win.

All of this is moving toward an album that Rand and I are going to record this year. (eep!)

All of this is to say that, while I’m not doing what I once thought I would be doing, I’m really happy with my creative life right now. I love being able to create and collaborate and feel supported and enriched by it.

(The poster imaged above–designed by Karen Paddison–features lyrics from the song “Take it Back” by Kathleen Sloan. It’s based on a speech made by Barry and Sally Childs-Helton when they were inducted into the Filk Hall of Fame. I am proud and humbled to count these people among my friends.)

Day 2: Heart

(Yes, I am a day behind. I’ll catch up eventually…maybe…) 😉

I sometimes make fun of Heart a little bit for going all ballad-y (and less rock-y) in the 80s. But this song. Is. So. Good. The ultimate power ballad.

Album meme (expanded version)

So, I did the facebook “10 album” meme that’s been going around, but I had some additional thoughts. And I thought, “Oh yeah, I have a blog! So here goes.

First, a repost of the 10 (okay, 11) I posted to facebook, covering roughly the years 1987-1993.

True Blue–Madonna

Licensed to Ill–Beastie Boys (Yeah, I know the many ways this album is, uh, problematic. I also know it’s not the best Beastie Boys album. But I was 13, and I listened to it A LOT.)

Batman Soundtrack–Prince Well, y’know, Prince. 

Faith–George Michael

Appetite for Destruction–Guns ‘n Roses

New Jersey–Bon Jovi I loved Bon Jovi so, so much, you guys.

Hysteria–Def Leppard

Rhythm Nation 1814–Janet Jackson

Blacks’ Magic–Salt n Pepa

River of Dreams–Billy Joel

Bat Out of Hell–Meatloaf This obviously did not come out while I was a teenager, but my high school years were when I got into it. Also, It’s a miracle that it took me so long to figure out that the man responsible for these songs also wrote “Making Love (Out of Nothing at All)” and “Total Eclipse of the Heart.”

My taste in music could best be described as “mainstream.” 🙂

Here are some albums that were important to me earlier in life:

Annie–Original Broadway recording When the movie version of Annie came out, I had been listening to this album for a couple of years. I was kind of a tiny hipster, annoyed by how different it was. The songs that were left out. The songs that were created/added. I still prefer this version. Oh, and as a side note, we’ve been re-watching 30 Rock, and it tickles me how much Tina Fey (or someone in the writers’ room) loves Annie. The songs come up rather frequently.

Grease soundtrack (movie)

Just Sylvia–Sylvia My mom had this album, and I was obsessed with the song “Nobody.” I would pretend that I was going to sing it on a gameshow. (which I think might have been the 80s version of The Gong Show?)

*honorable mention: “Eye in the Sky”–Alan Parsons Project…it doesn’t get a full spot because I only bought the 45, but it was the first music I purchased with my own money*

Air Supply–Greatest Hits  I had originally stayed away from including greatest hits collections, but this one was a huge part of my childhood. My mom had it on cassette…in my memory, it was a copy, and it had Bonnie Tyler on the other side.

The Other Side of Life–The Moody Blues My dad was a huge fan of The Moody Blues, and I remember listening to many of their albums on cassette, in the car. I know not everyone is a fan of this record, but I liked it quite a bit (and was kind of obsessed with the single, “Your Wildest Dreams.”)

Hi Infidelity–REO Speedwagon I really, really liked this album when I was 9. In fact, I got in trouble for bringing it to school once, due to the risque cover.

She’s So Unusual–Cyndi Lauper

Hangin’ Tough–New Kids on the Block I went on a trip to the beach with my friend Heather and her family the summer I turned 14. We had a tape that had Hangin’ Tough on one side, and Appetite for Destruction on the other. It’s really kind of hilarious.

Dirty Dancing soundtrack So, who else can sing the Kellerman’s anthem?

And a few later (college/after college) offerings:

Pop! (The First Twenty Hits)–Erasure This is just one of the greatest hits albums that was a very big thing for me when I was first building my CD collection–which didn’t happen for me until early college. Billy Joel. Journey. Styx. Queen. REO Speedwagon. etc.

Jesus Christ Superstar–Original London recording

Les Miserables–complete symphonic recording

I never would have discovered my love for these musicals if it hadn’t been for my roomie/bestie Jen…

Jagged Little Pill–Alanis Morrissette I admit, I wasn’t on board the Alanis train right away. I was, in fact, kind of put off by the aggression and what, at the time, I felt was vulgarity of “You Oughta Know.”  Then, I don’t know, a year or so later, I went through a bitter breakup and was all “AND I’M HEEEEEEERE TO REMIIIIIIND YOU…”

Shakespeare My Butt–Lowest of the Low This is the quintessential album for surviving your 20s. It’s about being broke, getting fired, falling in love, breaking up, and trying to figure out your place in the world.

Fight Like a Girl–now with video!

(lyrics in previous post)

Fight Like a Girl

This is a new song Rand and I have been working on…we’re trying hard to have it ready to debut in a circle at this weekend’s FilKONtario. We also plan to perform it in our concert at Marcon in May.

UPDATE: we now have video, thanks to the awesome Tom and Sue Jeffers. 😀

I can roar like a lion, though I look more like a lamb
And I know I’m so much stronger than you all think that I am
I’ll stand up for every person in the world who’s ever heard
Someone say, “You’re not a fighter, you’re just a girl”

I’ll fight like a girl
I’ll fight like a girl
I’ll fight like a girl
I’ll fight until I’ve won
I’ll fight like a girl
I’ll show ’em how it’s done
I’ll fight like a girl
I’ll make them all eat their words
And fight like a girl

I’ve taken down vampires, zombies, Sith lords, reavers, and spies
I’ve escaped from countless supervillains without the help of the guys
I’ve destroyed evil empires and cheated death like a pro
With my stake, my katana, my battle staves, and my bow

(Repeat chorus)

Bridge:

My name is Kamala, Natasha, Michonne
It’s Katniss, it’s Zoe, it’s Sarah, the clone
Buffy, Veronica, Bobbi, Barbara, Diana, Melinda, and Rey
Call me Leia, or Sydney, or Peggy, or Carol, or Kara or October Daye

I’ll fight like a girl
I’ll fight because I’m right
I’ll fight like a girl
I’ll fight all day and night
I’ll fight like a girl
I’ll fight the dark with the light
I’ll fight like a girl
I’ll punch, kick, and bite
I’ll fight like a girl
I’ll fight with all my might
I’ll fight like a girl
I might even decide to not fight
Nah

I’ll fight like a girl
I’ll fight until I’ve won
I’ll fight like a girl
I’ll show ’em how it’s done
I’ll fight like a girl
Til everyone in the world has heard
I’ll fight like a girl

 

(Storybook) Love Story

Hey, I forgot to post my most recent lyrics. No video of this one, at least not yet. 😉 We performed it at FilKONtario. Those of you coming to ConCertino will have a chance to hear it this weekend. 🙂

(Storybook) Love Story

Music: “Love Story” by Taylor Swift

I’d torment you whenever I saw you
You were my farm boy and I was in love
I saw you there, sunlight dancing on your golden hair

What could I say, you looked just like a picture
I just pointed saying, “Fetch me that pitcher”
‘Twas foolish
But you said, “As you wish”

Then you had to go, you were seeking fortunes,
But you swore you would always make it back to me
Then I was kidnapped by some pirate
Why did you have to go?
And I said…

Humperdinck took me, I thought you’d left me all alone
Now I’ll never doubt you; here they come, we’d better run
You’ll be the pirate and I’ll be the princess,
It’s a love story, baby, just say, “Yes”

So I ran out to the fire swamp with you
Tried to keep quiet ’cause we’re dead if they knew
I’ll close my eyes… avoid the rodents of unusual size

But at the other end the evil Prince was waiting
Humperdinck said, “Get away from Buttercup”

But you were everything to me,
and I was begging him, “Let him go”
So I said…

Humperdinck, take me and leave him alone
I’ll come quietly; promise you I’ll never run
You are my prince and I’ll be your princess
It’s a love story, baby, I’ll say “Yes”

Westley, please save me, I just don’t know what to do
I don’t love Humperdinck, I’m so screwed
I’m so afraid, will we make it out of this mess?
It’s a love story, baby, please say, “Yes”

I got tired of waiting
Wondering if you were ever coming around
My faith in you was fading
Then I saw you in that bed, lying down
And you said…

“Buttercup, gently, I’ve been mostly dead all day
I came for you, all you had to do was wait
Help me out of bed, this jerk has got to go”
You picked up your sword and stood on your own
and said…

“To the pain, Humperdinck / You warthog-faced buffoon”
The prince dropped his sword, he won’t be getting married soon
We tied him to a chair and rode off in the sunset
That’s our love story, baby, we said Yes

Walking music

So, as a part of my “trying to be all-around healthier and happier,” I’ve decided that I’m going to do better with getting some regular exercise. I was doing pretty well with walking in the summer and early fall, and then that kind of, well, went away.

I recently dusted off my gym membership (BAC…I may look for another, less expensive gym when this membership expires…), and I’ve been mostly just walking on the treadmill using my jog.fm iPhone app.

I really like this app–it analyzes your music, and plays music according to the pace of your walk or run. Here are some of my current favorite walking songs:

  • Bad Medicine/Keep the Faith–Bon Jovi
  • Bad Romance/Teeth/Lovegame–Lady Gaga
  • King of Spain–Moxy Fruvous
  • Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It–Will Smith
  • Under the Carlaw Bridge–Lowest of the Low
  • Up!–Shania Twain
  • Without Me–Eminem
  • New Sensation–INXS
  • Happy Girl/My Baby Loves Me–Martina McBride
  • Cold, Cold Heart–Midge Ure
  • Shine/Desperation Song–Carbon Leaf
  • Personal Jesus–Depeche Mode

I like songs that keep me at a decent pace and put a little bounce in my step!  I’m always looking for new things to add, so if you have any suggestions, please share!

 

30 Day Challenge-Day 6

Favorite Song

Okay, this one’s just impossible…so I’m going to go with “That, For Me, Is You”  by Jim Boggia, the song Rand and I danced to at our wedding.

First Dance

Listen

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30 Day Challenge-Day 3

Favorite musician

Man, these are hard…

Well, I have to start with the one brought Rand and me together:

(Ron Hawkins)

And there are more after the jump.
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