Thursday, January 24, 2013

She's at it...AGAIN!!!

Back again with the latest segment of...
Random Facts and Tidbits.

Random Courting the Flame Fact…Excerpt?!

This time around, rather than just give you a random Courting the Flame fact I’ve decided to give you an excerpt. Here’s a tiny sampling of one of my favorite scenes. Who knew that finding a brooch could be so… decide.

He lifted his head, and I gasped. His eye sockets were ablaze, flames shooting across his face. I stumbled backward, but he reached out and caught me, his eyes deep chocolate again, his visage full of concern.
“Hey, take it easy!” he said. “Are you okay?”
I nodded, stomping my irrational outburst of panic beneath its steel-reinforced trapdoor. “I’m fine,” I lied too loudly. “I just wanted to know what you thought of the brooch.”
He cocked his head. “I love it. It’s beautiful. An exquisite piece. Nothing to get upset about.” He held out his hand; it was empty. The brooch had fallen to the floor.
I stooped and swept it into my palm, eying it carefully. It looked perfectly normal. Gracie, you’re losing it. You’re absolutely losing it. This is a pin, for heaven’s sake. Just a pin. “I wish I knew its story,” I said, to have something to say. “I mean, if it even has a story.”
“Of course it has a story!” Michael caught himself, and then smiled. “It’s far too striking to not have some sort of tale attached to it,” he added in a milder tone. He knitted his brows and looked at me hard. “What’s your guess?”

Diana DeCameron Tidbit:

Wow! (chuckles to herself) I just scanned back through some of my old blog posts and was amazed to discover just how many of them discuss my “inspirations" for writing, LOL. In my defense, sharing things that inspire me creatively feels completely natural…easy. They’re the posts that I never feel forced to write because the topics are genuinely the ones I enjoy talking about. In case you haven’t guessed by now, I’m about to do it again. And the recipients of this week’s “You’ve Inspired Me Creatively” blog post goes to the band:

Those who know we well may be surprised by this choice, mainly because I tend to be more of a rocker chick (yes, yes…leading lady Gracie Clarke gets that from me). So by all accounts, The Civil Wars is a band that shouldn’t inspire me. A mingling of Americana, indie folk, and folk rock, their sound is far more “country” than I normally prefer.

No offense to all those die hard country fans out there. My husband is a huge country fan, and as a singer myself, I can appreciate the musicianship involved in composing country music. Truly, I can. But normally the themes of most country songs don’t speak to me the same way that say a…Linkin Park song would. That said, imagine my surprise when my friend suggested this slightly obscure alternative country duo out of Nashville called The Civil Wars. One listen to their single Poison and Wine and I quickly searched out The Civil Wars on iTunes. Half an hour later,  I downloaded their 2011 release, Barton Hollow.

So what is it about this country-ish sounding band that hooked me? That’s a great question, actually. There’s definitely a haunting undertone to most of their songs and, hey—I’m all about haunting undertones. But the cool part is you can’t quite place your finger on exactly what it is that makes their music so haunting. Sometimes it might be a subtle effect on one of their voice tracks. Sometimes it might be a dissonant tone craftily placed in the bridge. Often times, though, the “haunting” aspect to their sound comes from how their voices work together.


Speaking as a vocalist now, it’s very rare to find someone whose tone completely and unequivocally matches your own. It would be the equivalent of say…finding your “musical” twin flame. When I listen to Joy Williams and John Paul White perform together, that’s the level of connection that I not only hear but feel. It’s almost as if their voices dance together on some strange unseen level. Sometimes their voices travel together side by side, paralleling each other musically, but sometimes…ohhhhhhh, sometimes their voices join together in this amazing display of harmonies that leaves me awestruck and almost weepy (but in a good way). I’m talking hairs-up-on-the-back-of-my-neck awestruck.

And I would be remiss if I didn’t mention their talents as lyricists. The Civil Wars is one of the few country-ish sounding bands that manage to speak to me lyrically. Why? I think it’s mainly because the theme to most of their songs revolves around relationships. The good ones. The bad ones. And the…well, the ones you’d like to forget, LOL.

Heart-stopping harmonies and heartbreaking lyrics—it’s the perfect combination, really. Of course, I wouldn’t dare end this post without paying homage to The Civil Wars with a video showcase. After all, they’ve held my hands through many late-night writing sessions. So it seems only right. That and…well…all this talk about The Civil Wars has made me want to listen to them again. So, without further ado, please allow me to introduce—

As always…
Until we meet again, make it a great week!
Oh, and more Facts and Tidbits to come.