Monthly Archives: March 2013

Why I’m still playing the flute and the piccolo

Musician playing the traditional Mongolian mus...

Musician playing the traditional Mongolian musical instrument morin khuur (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am a pretty good amateur musician. I started out playing the recorder along with everyone else in my elementary school. When I entered fourth grade and changed schools, I took another year of recorder lessons at the Manhattan 92nd street YMHA, where A W Binder was music director. At the end of the year I became bored, however, and wanted to study another instrument. My mother dragged me in to see Dr. Binder, who recommended the flute. It was a good fit.

In spite of having a moderate amount of ability as a musician, I decided not to pursue it as a career by the time I went away to college. I might have dropped the instrument altogether, except for the husband of one of my mother’s bosom buddies, Arthur Austin. Arthur was an amateur violinist who played weekly in a string quartet of like-minded musicians.

“Keep playing,” he encouraged me one day when our two families were having dinner at his house.

“Mom,” I said on the way home, “Arthur says I should keep on playing.”

“He’s not as good as he thinks he is,” Mom replied.

But that so wasn’t the point. He was playing his instrument, as part of his life.

My being a musician has been a huge influence on me as a writer. It’s helped form my ear as a poet, and it’s contributed heavily to my world view. One of the major characters in my forthcoming science fiction novel, Broken Bonds, which is due out in July, is a musician, and I wrote several poems — they’re meant to be songs — for her. I even signed up for an online song-writing course through coursera.org, so they may yet have music as well

So, Arthur, if you’re watching from up there, I just wanted to know I appreciated the encouragement. Still do.

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Mont Blanc

The west face of Mont Blanc, the tallest mount...

The west face of Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in the French Alps, from Passy, Haute-Savoie. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my novel, Relocated, my main character speaks fluent Aleyni, but discovers there are a some things he didn’t learn, like expletives.

Face it, they don’t usually teach you how to swear in French class. Nor do they tell you that the euphemism for bathroom is petit coin, or that sortir means to sleep with someone.

They also don’t tell you about regional differences in pronunciation, or about the many differences between Canadian, Belgian, and French.

Which brings me to the following story. My sister, a friend, and I spent a summer in Europe when we were in college. Our friend was semi-engaged to a young man, a Frenchman with a Swiss father. They owned a dental supply business.

So, one day, when L’s boyfriend had a delivery to make, we all piled in Y’s truck and headed for the hills.  We reached the village with no difficulty, but Y. couldn’t find the dentist’s office, so we stopped a passer-by if he knew where Moblanc (dentist’s name) was.

Apologies for my lack of accent marks on this keyboard, and my free translation of Y’s words:

Y: “Est-ce que vous savez, ou est Moblanc?”  (Can you tell me where Moblanc is?)

Passer-by: “La-bas.” (points to near-by French alps). (Over there.

Y: (realizing the problem – local pronunciation of the famous Mont Blanc ): Non, Moblanc, le dentiste. (No, Moblanc, the dentist)

So we made the delivery and then stopped for a pizza. Pizza is very popular in France, and was even then. French pizza, however, does not by default come with cheese.

Another one of those little cultural differences just waiting to trip up the unwary tourist.

 

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More on Gimp: Illustrating a story

I’m putting together another collection of Aleynobilia, poems, and stories to celebrate signing the contract for Broken Bonds, the next Aleyne novel, an adult science fiction romance. I’m hooked on Gimp, so I tried my hand at illustrations to go with a couple of the poems and stories I plan to make part of the collection.

One of the stories is about a girl who lives in an old castle, one not in terribly good shapecastle1.castle3

castle2So far, I have seven versions of the castle illustration.

 

 

Castle7 Castle8

castle5 castle4

Which one do you like best? Leave a comment, or email me at info@margaretfieland.com,

and I’ll post the results.

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Review of Possibilities Anthology

psscvrI regularly search for blog posts, articles, and the like containing my name. Usually I limit my search to the previous week, but today, intent on updating my author listing in Poets and Writers, I searched on articles posted over the past year.

Every once in a while, I turn up a gem, and this was one of those times: a review of Possibilities, an anthology to which I contributed a poem.

Not only did the author love the book, but his favorite piece was my poem:

“I think, however, my favourite piece was the single poem in the anthology, Margaret  Fieland’s ‘Neck Less’. Playing with the concept of ‘bracelet’, Fieland writes a witty piece about that which encircles; incorporating collars as, since she explains in the poem, very little rhymes with ‘bracelet’! Inferences between restraint and control play around each verse, and I think this is why this poem was my favourite…”

Check out the whole review:

http://reviews.futurefire.net/2013/02/mccalla-possibilities.html

You can download the book free from Smashwords:

http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/251712

 

 

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A Bit About Rebecca

Homeschooling schedules

Homeschooling schedules (Photo credit: verymom)

Meet Rebecca Frech, a fellow traveler on the weight-loss journey:
I’m a cradle Catholic who reverted to the faith in 2000. (Thank God!) I’m a wife, mom of 7, homeschooler, and writer. I write at my own blog Shoved to Them (http://shovedtothem.blogspot.com), Ignitum Today, and The American Catholic. I’ve also written a book for new homeschoolers which should be out later this year (June…I hope…) tentatively named. “Teaching in Your Tiara: The Homeschooling Book for The Rest of Us”

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Meet Author J.Q. Rose

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Hi Readers. Glad you’re here. I appreciate you taking your time to stop in to visit. Please remember to leave a comment to be entered into the random drawing for prizes at the conclusion of the tour on March 21.–$10.00 MuseItUp Publishing gift certificate and free e-books.Coda To Murder 333x500(1)

It’s an old cliché that it “takes a village”. With this book it took a city,
Fellow authors in my Koffee Kuppe Writers Critique Group and writers in the Fremont Area District Library Writers Group helped to find inconsistencies in the action and timeline, typos, and keeping the character “in character.” But they weren’t all that picky all that time. These writers were great at brainstorming ideas for the story line and a source of encouragement and support as well as just a joy to share this time together. If you’re a writer, please don’t be shy about sharing your story with other writers in order to get some input and fresh eyes on your story.

My main character, Pastor Christine, found herself in situations not usually covered in seminary such as her church’s music director murdered in the church basement. I turned to my favorite pastor and friend, Pastor Ed, for advice and direction on how one would look at the circumstances from a pastor’s point of view.  His help in looking at all the relationships involving the pastor and church staff and the congregation and community helped me to round out the details.

Officer Doug was helpful in explaining police procedure in a small town police force. I didn’t know police throw a phone through a window to communicate with a hostage taker and not have to use a megaphone!

We are all familiar with the acronym for SWAT team…. SWAT, Special Weapons and Tactics. Doug’s explanation for SWAT is to Sit, Wait, and Talk in order to resolve a hostage situation. The example of that definition was clearly demonstrated in the latest kidnapping of the little boy from a school bus. The police wanted to wait for a peaceful ending to the incident, but in that situation it was impossible.

I listened and interpreted what the writers and the professionals told me, but if there are any errors or misinformation in the story, it is entirely my doing!

Cyber hugs and kisses are speeding through cyberspace to Lea Schizas, MuseItUp Publisher, and editors Kim Cresswell and Penny Ehrenkranz for their help in shepherding the raw manuscript into a finished e-book. I am proud to be a part of MIU knowing how important it is to the staff to offer the best book possible to their readers.

Also a huge thank you goes to my cover designer, C.K. Volnek for a spectacular, eye-catching cover that will attract readers’ attention. She took a spark of an idea from me and turned it into a lovely, emotional piece of art.

I can’t forget to thank all the authors at MuseItUp for their support and encouragement. Many authors who will be hosting me on the Coda to Murder virtual book tour are Muse authors. I am overwhelmed at how close people can become over cyberspace, never meeting face to face. I cherish these friendships.

My name appears as author on the book, but I have had a team who helped me to put it altogether. My thanks to all of you.

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TAGLINE: Pastor Christine Hobbs never imagined she would be caring for a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer.

BLURB:  Pastor Christine Hobbs has been in the pulpit business for over five years. She never imagined herself caring for a flock that includes a pig, a kangaroo, and a murderer.

Detective Cole Stephens doesn’t want the pretty pastor to get away with murdering the church music director. His investigative methods infuriate Christine as much as his deep brown eyes attract her.

Can they find the real killer and build a loving relationship based on trust?

BUY LINKS:

Now available at MuseItUp Publishing- http://tinyurl.com/anax9x7
Amazon.com http://tinyurl.com/ap376tb
bn.com and major online booksellers.

BIO–After writing feature articles in magazines, newspapers, and online magazines for over fifteen years, J.Q. Rose entered the world of fiction writing with her first published novella, Sunshine Boulevard, released by MuseItUp Publishing in 2011. Her latest mystery, Coda to Murder, was released in February. Blogging, photography, Pegs and Jokers board games, and travel are the things that keep her out of trouble. Spending winters in Florida with her husband allows Janet the opportunity to enjoy the life of a snowbird. Summer finds her camping and hunting toads, frogs, and salamanders with her four grandsons and granddaughter.

Connect with J.Q. Rose online at
J.Q. Rose blog http://www.jqrose.com/
Girls Succeed blog http://girlssucceed.blogspot.com/
Author website http://jqrose.webs.com/
J. Q.  Rose Amazon Author Page http://tinyurl.com/aeuv4m4
Goodreadshttp://www.goodreads.com/jqrose

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