~ There is only one journey: going inside yourself. ~
- Rainer Maria Rilke


Wallace Wu and Cynthia Dale ~ Saturday, March 24, 2007

I found this concert, with orchestra@uwaterloo and Wallace Wu strangely moving. I think it was partly because he was so young and so good. I thought about the work and the dicipline needed to get where he had gotten with his skill level and talent. I'm finding myself very moved by the poignancy of youth, these days.

Cynthia Dale's concert was pretty good. I wasn't blown away, but it was fun. It was just her rendition of "When I Grow too old to Dream" that moved me. Of course, I was writing the review as I watched, which didn't lend itself to getting really engaged by the concert and the performance. But I actually managed to finish the review for the 10 pm filing deadline. I was really astonished at myself for that. The concert wasn't even completely over (they were in the encores). It's a lot of pressure and kind of exhausting, but also a nice feeling to come home after (feeling exhausted, as mentioned) and not have to think about writing a review on top of everything else. So there's definitely a good night to having to file by 10 on the night of the concert. It would be more difficult for classical, I think.

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 10:46 AM::::



Covering Joel with Perfect Pitch ~ Friday, March 23, 2007

Yippeee! My latest review. I am currently (even at this moment) working on another one, to be run in tomorrow's paper. And then I'll be doing one tonight, for a Cynthia Dale concert at Centre in the Square. It's another of those rather stressful "write it as you watch and file it before the show is even finished" concerts. This will be my second--the previous one being the Billy Joel tribute I've linked to here. Nerve-wracking indeed.

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 10:55 AM::::



New cover design ~ Thursday, March 15, 2007

Giselle suggested that I use one of the Waterhouse paintings that I had incorporated into a little calendar I made a while ago in my design of a new cover. It's a great idea--particularly since Waterhouse's work is now in public domain! Yippee! (You can click on the image for a larger version of the picture--but you may have to do so more than once, because it seems to want to take you to the first photo I posted on blogger instead. At least it does when I first click on the images. So then you have to go back to the blog and click again and it seems to work. I'll have to look into why this happens at some point).

Of course, once I created the original layout and design for the cover, it wasn't too much more work to use some other Waterhouse images that are somewhat appropriate in order to create the other two covers as well! So, I did. Now I just have to clean up the actual books for which the covers can be used.

I actually suspect that Waterhouse used the same model for the first and the third image. The middle one is actually an Ophelia painting and may have used a different model, but I had been playing around with it in Photoshop (trying to figure out how it works, but without any manuals or guides. Gotta get me some of those), so her face is less defined and could concievably be the same character. Heh. I think the protagonist's hair is red at the moment, so I'll have to change that for this "edition" of the books. Maybe make her eyes a different colour instead...

I haven't figured out how to use Photoshop yet (which is annoying. I'll get to it soon), so I designed it in Photodraw, which doesn't allow you to figure out or specify what dpi you want (at least, not that I could find). Frustrating also. So, I'm not sure how it will look in print (they recommend a 300 dpi file--I'm guessing this is well below that).

At any rate, I don't intend to order print/proof copies yet, since I'll wait till the others arrive first, go through them and make the appropriate fixes and corrections to the content. Then I'll order my proofs from that and see if the cover renders all right or not! But I do like the overall look of this new cover, at least.

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 4:52 PM::::



Je me souviens: Houston ~ Thursday, March 08, 2007

What can I say of Houston? I found it a bit of a drag. It was very car-oriented, but all the highways seemed to suffer from twin afflictions: construction (ugly) and congestion (frustrating), with the result that traversing relatively short distances involved rather long waits. But, it was also not a city that seemed to have a great setup by way of public transit or pedestrian-friendly areas. We parked at a park and walked to part of the museum district (literally a block or so away), in the process taking our lives into our hands crossing the roads because in every direction the pedestrian lights seemed to take you about half way. Then, when you were marooned in the middle of the intersection on a vulnerable little island with cars hurtling by at breakneck speeds, you'd be faced with a traffic light-less, multi-lane roundabout you'd have to fling yourself across during a rare break in the onslaught.

This added to the impression of an unwelcoming city. That may not be true of the place once you scratch the surface, but between ugly piles of dirt and broken concrete and streets that didn't lend themselves to walking, it felt very isolating--a culture that encouraged everyone to stay in their own little private, motorized boxes--and certainly wasn't in the least bit tourist-friendly (or we didn't find the area that was--and you'd think that if anywhere, the museum district would be designed for ease).

Compare with San Antonio, whose streets (even outside of the riverwalk) were easily navigated and where you could actually cross the streets without a clear and present risk to your life. It doesn't have to be like Houston--city planners everywhere have proven it again and again.

The other really unpleasant result of all this lung-clogging and visually offputting car orientation was that the drivers were really agressive. You got the feeling as you tried to cross the street that they were gunning for you (it wasn't much better in a car--there was still the sense that they were out to get you). I was reminded of the scene in Bowfinger when Eddie Murphy is asked to run across eight lanes of high-speed traffic. That was Houston, and any way you sliced it, it was pretty gross.

We did eat at a couple of yummy places, though. One seemed to be part of a chain and was under the Art Gallery in the downtown core; the other was a family business--a hole-in-the-wall Mexican place with great food that we just chanced upon as we were driving past the endless strip malls on one of the highways.

Two other interesting things: the many, many churches--some giant, and others (many of them) just thrown into random strip malls, beside various retail shops and restaurants. The second interesting thing was the ads. You learn a lot about the place from the advertising. This trip really brought that home to me. Consider (click on the photo to link to a larger version):

and .

From the latter, I must infer that I am not the only one who would find Houston and its environs (this was taken in Galveston, though the ad was also on the highway leading to Galveston) unwelcoming. :-)

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 6:51 PM::::



An Experiment ~ Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Well, my curiosity overcame me. I've been thinking of ordering from lulu for a while now.

This is a book I shopped around to various publishers and agents and had no luck placing. At this point, I feel like I no longer have any perspective on it (in the context of trying to revise it again into something publishable), but it's a story that's been with me for so long and I love it so much, that I thought it would be nice to see it in print sooner rather than later. :-D

But for now, I think this will give me some closure. When I have time between other projects, I'll work on cleaning up books two and three and adding them to the site. Then, the trilogy will be in print in some form at least and I'll be able to hold them in my hand and read them, even if at this point they're not place-able with a regular publisher. Other books, I'll keep marketing through normal channels, but this is a nice way to get closure on those books that I've put lots into, but that I've worked and reworked so much that I don't know how to fix whatever it is with them that isn't working. Also, I've ordered a couple of proofs and I'm excited to hold them in my hand and look through them. Yippee! :-)

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 5:00 PM::::



Da Capo Review and other things ~ Monday, March 05, 2007

First of all, here is my latest review! I only realised that I had somehow left out the word "the" in one sentence this morning, as I read it in print. But, the nice news is that it was the first Arts link this morning on The Record's main page (previously, my reviews were only featured on the second arts page). One is tempted to say that this is because, perhaps (haven't gone out and bought the paper yet, so I can't say for certain) there is only one arts page today. But still, it's nice that mine is the first link people can click on under Arts on the MAIN Record page! Yippee!

I'm about to head off to buy a few copies of the paper, as the way the story was laid out makes it difficult to print cleanly. I'm instead just going to go the old fashioned way and literally cut'n paste the piece on a sheet of paper and photocopy it. :-)

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 9:45 AM::::



Yeesh! ~ Thursday, March 01, 2007

My, but it will be a busy few days!

Tomorrow, I am slated to meet with Carolyn to discuss her manuscript (which is really good, IMO). Then, I may be going over to Lee's place to learn how to update the UU website. I also need to fit in plenty of singing practice and potentially a duet practice with Vicky (whom I haven't heard from with regard to whether she's interested in joining me in the evening).

In the evening is the coffee house, where I may be singing with Vicky as well as solo--or maybe just solo. I'll also be singing with the women's group. Whew!

Saturday, breakfast with Karen, then the Kitchener market, followed by Cafe Conversation. Maybe an afternoon free, and then an evening concert that I'll be reviewing for the Record. Sunday, UU (maybe--depends on how late I'm up Saturday working on the review), and makin' music with Judith and John in the evening. That should be way fun!

.... and then it's au revoir weekend. We hardly knew ye!

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 10:11 PM::::


Here be my latest review for the Record, of a Wellington Winds concert! It was a really lovely concert. My next concert is Saturday night. It should be fun! I am very intrigued by the concept behind it, which is the theme of midnight (each one in the series is a different time of day--the final one is on dawn).

::Posted by Anduril Elessar @ 9:08 AM::::


P r o f i l e

Anduril Elessar
Susan Deefholts

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