Blogging from A to Z 2018: Theme Reveal

atoz-theme-reveal-2018Hi, everyone.  April is Blogging from A to Z month.  As you know, I entered into the challenge last year with no clear plan, but decided to share facts from my fiction.  During the event, I was already planning for this year’s series.

So, with no further ado, here is my theme for 2018:

The Music of David Bowie

My plan is to share not only hits, but some “deep cuts” from his albums.  Information will include not only the album title, but also some trivia. As often as I am able to find them, I’ll use live performance videos.  Seeing Bowie live six times was a privilege, and I want to be able to share it as much as possible here.

Oh, and you might see some samples from The Rock Star in the Mirror (Or, How David Bowie Ruined My Life) along the way.

To give you a little preview, here’s Music Monday:  David Bowie performing “Sorrow,” from Pinups, on 1983’s “Serious Moonlight” tour … which happens to be the first time I saw him.  Enjoy!



Blogging from A to Z 2018

a2z-h-smallHi, everyone.  I just signed up to do Blogging from A to Z again this year.  I had a great time last year, sharing facts from Bayou Fire in the lead-up to its release.  I planned this year’s series last year so that I wasn’t flying by the seat of my pants, and I’m looking forward to revealing the theme to you all on March 19.  We’re going to have a lot of fun together!

Reflections on Blogging from A to Z


At the end of March, I made an impulsive decision to participate in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. I didn’t even know such a thing existed until a friend and fellow author revealed her theme for the project, so I was already a little bit behind the power curve.  However, I hurriedly came up with a plan and jumped in with both feet.

survivor-atoz2b255b2017255d2bv1So, what happened during April?  I posted at least one blog article every single day except one (my most active month).  I doubled my readership (which wasn’t huge, but still … more eyes!).  I was able to share facts from my various historical fiction projects, and create some buzz about the release of Bayou Fire … which happens today!  Most importantly, I met some really nice people and read some interesting articles across a variety of subjects.  My plan to read every single post on the challenge quickly went by the wayside, but I made a point of visiting several each day.  On average, there were about 150 people per day participating … and most of us made it all the way to the end!

If you would like to read all my posts from the challenge, or if you missed some and want to catch up, they’re at this link.  I had a lot of fun, and I’ve already got next year’s challenge planned.  Look for a theme reveal in March 2018!

Blogging from A to Z: Z is for Zydeco

zCan you believe it?  We’re on the last day of #atozchallenge!  I’ll talk more about my experience in a reflections post tomorrow.  For now, let’s get to the business at hand.

Zydeco is a genre of music with its roots in southern Louisiana.  A lot of people think it’s the same thing as Cajun music, but it really isn’t.  Cajun music primarily consists of waltzes and two-steps that came from Acadia — what we now call Nova Scotia.  It came primarily out of white communities.  Zydeco is a little bit more like rhythm and blues, and it came primarily from the people of color.  Another difference is that zydeco is primarily sung in Louisiana Creole, or kouri-vini.  The outside influences are similar, in that both genres feature accordion (button or piano), violin, and rhythm.  The latter is a good way to tell the difference if you’re unsure; Cajun music uses a triangle, and zydeco uses a frottoir, or rub board.

So, where did the term come from?  According to Lee Benoit, a Cajun musician from Rayne, Louisiana, a music journalist had been listening to Clifton Chenier perform a song called “Les Haricots Ne Pas Salé” and asked what the music was called.  Chenier’s Creole accent was so heavy that the journalist wrote down what he thought he heard: zydeco.  Some of the big names in zydeco are the late Boozoo Chavis, Rockin’ Dopsie, the late Buckwheat Zydeco and, of course, Chenier.

I’m delighted to present two zydeco greats today.  The first track is Clifton Chenier’s “M’appel Fou” (They Call Me Crazy), and the second is a fun video featuring Boozoo Chavis’ “Motor Dude Special” — a song named after Chavis’ horse.  Laissez les bontemps rouler!

Blogging from A to Z: Y is for Yellow

Samuel stepped out onto the balcony. Clytie was pressed against the balustrade, trembling in terror.

Clyties_Caller“The last time I saw you, you were wearing a lovely dress. What do you girls call that jolly shade of yellow again?”

“Primrose,” Samuel said as he stepped forward. “And she can no longer stand the color.”

Matthews stared at him. — From my Regency novella, Clytie’s Caller.

yAs with all things, colors go in and out of fashion.  In the early 20th C., here in the United States, one such color was called Alice blue, after Alice Roosevelt Longworth, who favored the shade.  There was even a song written about it, “Sweet Little Alice Blue Gown.”

Wild Flower Pink Evening Primrose Yellow
Wild Evening Primrose, public domain photo via Creative Commons

During the Regency, fashionable colors included puce, a maroon almost the color of dried blood … and named for fleas, of all things, and bottle green — the ingredients for which included arsenic.  Since dyes were not colorfast, you can imagine the eventual result.

Primrose yellow was another fashionable color during the era, and its name came from the wild evening primrose plant’s blossoms.  Nowadays, most primroses are hybrids, and you only find the color at the center.  In any event, ladies of fashion often wore this golden yellow tone in day dresses, evening gowns, etc.