The Day the Music Died

Music is not dead, nor will it ever be. I don’t know how it is in your neck of the woods, but here there has been a lot of talk about how hard the music industry has been hit by the pandemic. And I get it, no concerts mean a great loss of income for musicians.

Today is the day the music died – the day when Richie Valens, Buddy Holly, and The Big Bopper died in a plane crash. The day the music died.

Can you imagine life without music? I can’t. I don’t play any instruments, and I couldn’t carry a tune to save my life, but I’m listening to music every day.

I grew up on Bruce Springsteen, Queen, U2, Dire Straits, Creedence Clearwater Revival, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, and a dash of ELO and Rolling Stones – so you know where I’m coming from. Mum liked Abba, but since Dad didn’t it wasn’t played often. I can sing along pretty well, though.

After that came a period of:

I still know the lyrics by heart. When I started to learn English, I sat with the LP up in my room and translated the lyrics to the entire Heart of Stone album.

The next musical milestone was Roxette. My first ‘big’ concert was their Joyride tour. Very cool back then.

Bigger, Better, Faster, More! I had such a crush on Linda Perry. I still know the lyrics to every song on that album, I think.

As I grow older, I was drowning in male groups. There was a lot of Aerosmith, Nirvana, Metallica, Kiss, Bon Jovi, Guns N’ Roses, Black Sabbath and so on. It went on for years and years, one white male rockband after the other until I got a little angry.

Don’t get me wrong, rock is my genre along with some singer-songwriters, some blues, the occasional folksy tune, some heavy metal – pretty much everything except what you hear on the radio. But if you don’t listen to a lot of pop and you don’t actively search for something other than what’s fed to you, you won’t end up with a lot of women.

So, I turned up the volume and played Tracy Chapman’s Talkin’ About a Revolution for the entire house – whether they wanted to hear it or not. Janis Joplin and Aretha Franklin had the walls shaking in my room. I played Shakespear Sister, Anouk, Skunk Anansie, Alanis Morisette, The Cranberries, K’s Choice, some Sheryl Crow if I felt like it, and several others.

Today it’s so easy to find music. All you need is Spotify or YouTube and you have more songs than you’ll ever have the time to listen to at your fingertips.

Picking favourites is impossible because it all depends on what mood you’re in. My kids know how to headbang to Motörhead and dance along with me in the kitchen when we listen to:

They’re used to me singing along to Rival Son’s Electric Man, The Bros. Landreth, Silvertide, Black Stone Cherry and so on. But I make damn sure to play:

Any many many more because no one will ever tell my girls that:

And now I’ve filled this post with so many embeds that it will never load and I haven’t even included half of the songs I’d scrawled down before I started putting this post together LOL . Carmen Vandenberg is my latest crush – the woman can soo play guitarr, and if you like Bones UK you should watch this video.

So will the pandemic kill music? No, it might change how we consume it, at least for a while, but there are always ways to enjoy music. And if we can’t figure them out, the young musicians coming to take over will. Like these two teens playing on the streets of Dublin.

What Are You Watching?

Movie2020 was a strange year. I’ve never been one to watch much TV. I usually catch the news at some point during the day, though with the internet at hand, I usually hop on there and watch the latest casting when I have the time.

My habits changed during 2020, though. Sweden was a bit behind most other European countries when the pandemic hit. We had our first death on the same day the WHO declared COVID-19 a pandemic. The following couple of weeks were pretty calm, but then people started to react.

I’m living in the middle of nowhere, so while the government changed laws and instilled restrictions about travelling, we still didn’t have a ‘general spread’ in our county. We’d had one person who’d tested positive, but they weren’t living here, just here on a visit. So while things were chaotic in Stockholm, it was still pretty calm here.

TVThen April came, my work more or less shut down, leaving me without an income. And this is when my darling husband decided going on a ride on his motorcycle was a good COVID activity. And it would’ve been had he not crashed.

After a couple of weeks in the hospital, that now quickly was filling up with COVID patients, he came back home. The list of fractured bones was long, and he was first on sick leave for eight weeks, but it was prolonged.

So we had about twelve weeks of me being out of work, and he being on sick leave, not able to do much else than watch TV.

That’s how our Netflix marathon started.

Now, when I say marathon, it might not be what other people would call a marathon, but we binge-watched a few series LOL.

Tiger King

Like everyone else, we watched Tiger King. It’s appalling, seriously off-putting if you ask me. Big cats are not meant to be kept in cages, and idiots are not supposed to ‘care’ for them. Loons the lot of them. The US has more big cats in private zoos than there are in the wild. *shakes head*

Friends

Yes, I know, but hubby and I never saw it. It’s impossible not to have seen some of it, but we sat down and watched it from episode 1 aaaaall the way to the 236th. Is it good? Nah. There are some moments, but the fat jokes made me cringe. And if we’re to talk diversity, not top rating.

Black Mirror

After the Friends marathon, we wanted something different so we watched the first two seasons of Black Mirror. Dystopian, sci-fi craziness. There are some seriously disturbing episodes, but some are quite thought-provoking.

Glow

Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling! I was against this when hubby suggested it. Wrestling? The 1980s? But it’s quite entertaining. Ruth is a struggling actor who gets work as a wrestler – Zoya the Destroya LOL

After Life

This is Ricky Gervais’ series. He’s written it, directed it, and plays the main character, Tony. Tony’s wife died in breast cancer, and he walks through life being miserable. It’s way more touching than I first gave it credit for. In every episode, he watches a video snippet of her and remembers their life together.

Godless

Western anyone? I’m not much for western (unless we’re talking Deadwood) but hubby has seen all the old ones that you’re supposed to have seen, and sometimes he tries to get me to watch them too. Godless is a bit different. The town it takes place in is mostly run by women.

Living With Yourself

It’s about a man going to a spa-thing and ending up with a clone of himself. His old self was supposed to die, but something went wrong, so now he has to fight with himself about his wife’s attention. Weird, but quite entertaining.

Sex Education

Another series I didn’t want to see when hubby suggested it, but LOL. High school is not a setting I seek out, not in the books I read and not in the series I watch, but this is hilarious. Otis’ mother is a sex therapist, and kids at his school come to him for advice, so he starts a little side hustle.

Dear White People

Samantha White has a radio show called Dear White People. She’s in the university, and in the radio show she points out social injustices most white people choose to ignore. As a Swede, I don’t understand the structural racial injustice of the US. I’m not saying we’re spared here, we have idiots and structural discrimination too, and I’m not naive enough to think a black person is treated the same way as a white is (my nieces are black, I notice the difference in how people view me when I’m with them) but FFS America – it’s time to clean up your act! I liked this series, more in the beginning than toward the end, but I’d still recommend it to everyone!

Stranger Things

Both hubby and I have seen so many rave about this series, so we said we had to watch it. We saw the first season. It’s scary and creepy, and if you like horror (I’m sure you’ve checked it out already LOL) give it a go.

Lucifer

Ah, my favourite fallen angel! What do you desire? LOL. I love Lucifer and his Detective – or maybe not his dectective as much as Lucifer himself, but still. We watched all episodes available and then just a week or so after we’d finished, the next season was released, so we dropped what we were watching (Dag) and went back to Lucy.

Dag

A Norwegian series about a couples therapist named Dag who thinks everyone should split up LOL. He has a water dispenser of whiskey in his office and suggests his patients should get a divorce. We watch the first season before moving back to Lucifer.

Timeless

Timetravel! I enjoyed this series. Sadly, they cancelled it. The ending was a bit hasty and the fight scenes drove me mad, but I liked how they travelled and their fight against the bad guys.

The Umbrella Academy

The second season dropped! And no, the Swedes in it does not speak Swedish, I had to read the texting to understand what they were saying. A group of people who were adopted together use their superpowers to prevent an apocalypse. Personally, I thought the second season was a bit of a repeat of the first, but it’s still good. And here’s a series that’s far better when it comes to diversity than Friends LOL

I’m Not Okay With This

Sadly this was cancelled due to the pandemic, so there will only be one season. Too bad, I liked it. Sydney is a seventeen-year-old girl who lives with her mum and younger brother. Her father killed himself. She has a crush on her best friend, Dina, but Dina is dating a guy at their school. Sydney hates him, and when she sees him, she can make him have a nosebleed just by thinking it. When she gets angry, things get even crazier, and there is something about her developing powers and her father’s death that doesn’t add up.

Rita

Oh, Rita. This is a Danish series. Rita is a teacher who has a hard time following the rules. There were so many moments of recognition in this series for me. Not that I ever did the things Rita do, when I was a teacher, but sometimes I wanted to. I don’t know if this is available in all regions, might be you have to be in Scandinavia to see it, I don’t know. It had us laughing.

The Blacklist

This is what we’re watching now. Though, now that the kids have been off school our evenings of cosy TV-watching have been disrupted. The Blacklist is about Raymond Reddington a criminal, and Elizabeth Keen an FBI profiler. Together they take down bad guys – bad guys Raymond wants gone. I enjoy this, it’s one case per episode and there are some entertaining sidekicks. Most often, I want to shake Ms Keen for being stupid, and I always complain to hubby about how she always makes the wrong decision, and loses all the fights, and does the meek female fight noises when hit. But I love Raymond and Dembe (his bodyguard), so I think we’ll continue to watch it. There’s a shitload of episodes.

TheEndSeeing this makes me wonder how many hours I spent on the sofa during 2020. There were a few movies too, not many. Most movies are too long for me – no problem watching six seasons of Lucifer or 236 episodes of Friends, but a movie is too much work LOL. And I’ve been puzzled about why I read so few books during 2020…

What are you watching? Did you change your TV-watching habits because of the pandemic too?

Update | Hopes and Dreams

GoalsA new year! I usually have all my goals set for the coming year long before the first of January rolls in – that’s not the case this year. There is so much I don’t know about this coming year that I don’t know what my playfield looks like. I have no idea how much I will work, and therefore I don’t know how much time I’ll have to write.

I’m a goal-oriented person, not competitive, but goal-oriented. So not having a game plan drives me mad.

2020’s Goals

But let’s start by having a peek at what I said I’d do in 2020. I said it would be my clean-up year. All those stories I’ve started and then abandoned when something new and shiny popped up on the horizon… I was supposed to dust them off and finish them. 

I didn’t.

I set out to do it, and I fixed Black Bird, which was published in May, but that’s it. I didn’t so much as glance at all the others.

I also said I’d start an M/F name. 

I didn’t.

I won’t. I’m not saying I never will. I have periods when I think switching ‘genre’ would be fun. I talked to my publisher about it, and they were on board, but I put it off, and then I had other ideas LOL

Then I said I was gonna publish 6 stories. I published 8 – 9 if we’re counting the 2020 Top Ten Gay Romance anthology. Yay!

I also said I’d write 182.500 words. That’s an average of 500 words a day. Now, I made these plans before we knew anything about COVID-19, before we knew there would be a pandemic. 

But COVID hit, and between April and mid-August, I didn’t work. Even after mid-August, I’ve worked a lot less than I normally do, which has given me more writing time.

Aside from the economic consequences, it has shown me what I want to do with my life. I’d love to be a full-time author. 

So yeah, 182.500 words, I hit that in July. I wrote 377.038 words during 2020.

Bujo2020

2021 Goals

Okay, so what are my plans? I’ve written that I’ll write 250.000 words this year. It’s less than I wrote 2020 but I don’t know what my life will look like. 250.000 words in a year are about 685 words a day – I should be able to do that even if I’m working. I hope.

The stories… I don’t know. I already have three scheduled. See how vague everything is?! I’m gonna write the third story in the Rockshade’s PID series. And I really should clean up some of the old ones. There are a couple there I’m quite fond of and want to finish.

I’ll leave the yearly goal open, and say that I want to write the third Rockshade’s PID story in the first quarter of the year, and then we’ll see where we’ll go from there LOL

What are your plans and goals?