Category Archives: Project-related

The Old Souls Series Sounds Like…

If you were around in May, you probably read the AW May Musical Blog Chain (the very first one I hosted!). For that occasion, I picked songs that represented various aspects of Unforeseen Dives. Okay, I mostly presented the songs befitting the main characters. The point is that I said I would eventually do the same for The One Who Sees.
Today is the day. Song Saturday has a whole new face.

I actually decided to do the exercise for the whole series since each main character of The One Who Sees has a book of his own. Except for Christopher. Wait… no, I couldn’t possibly… crap… *writes in a seventh book in the series*. I am blaming this one on you guys. Stop musing me! Leaf, stop snickering!

Okay. On with the soundtrack. I am not going to give an extensive analysis of each song as I did in the blog chain. A girl’s gotta keep some mystery. However, you should know that everything has a meaning: the musicality, the lyrics, the order in which the songs are presented. Everything! A group provides a song for more than one character? It isn’t for lack of a big repertoire. It means something!
I wrote a quote/except for everyone. Quote is something they said out loud in The One Who Sees. Quote/excerpt are something they are likely to say in their book (since each is written first person). So not a quote per se, nor an excerpt since they are not written (except Lily).
I’m providing links to a YouTube video of most songs. When it applies and was possible, I picked a video with the lyrics either in the video itself or in the comments. Moreover, for the songs I could find on, I created a playlist published at the end of this post. Unfortunately, all songs weren’t available that way!

I invite you to listen. Either pick one character or listen to them all. Once you’re done, tell me who you think that/these character(s) is/are.
Just for fun, ok?! I’m curious!


Excerpt/Quote: “The hotel’s soap slides on my skin as I wish traumas would do. Unfortunately, traumas are akin to moisturizer; they sink deep into your skin and have a long-lasting effect.”
S.O.S – Apocalyptica featuring Christina Scabbia (in the playlist) -> I’m going to see this band live tomorrow night at Quebec’s Summer Festival’s closing soirée. Squee!
Star Scat – Caravane Palace (in the playlist)
Beyond Me – After Forever -> Random fact: I sang this at a multi-disciplinary art performance a few years ago. (just the woman part, of course.)


“That man didn’t realise how lucky he was.”
Congratulations – Blue October/Imogen (in the playlist)
30kft – Assemblage 23
Arabesque #1 – Claude DeBussy (in the playlist) -­> I’m not giving a YouTube link because no version fits like the one in the playlist.


“We have a punching bag. Chris hung it up in a tree. Do you think it’ll help?”
By The Sword – Emilie Autumn
Lullaby – Assemblage 23 (in the playlist)
Haunted – Stream of Passion (in the playlist)


“I just couldn’t face reincarnation yet. I had to make amends or I’d come back as a rat.”
Let me be your armor – Assemblage 23
Rise above it – Afro Celt Sound System
This Time – Jonathan Rhys Meyers (August Rush OST)
-> I l.o.v.e. this movie.


Excerpt/Quote: “I miss my house in L.A.”
Star 24 (No Apologies) – Jakalope
El Pajaro – Lhasa De Sela (in the playlist) -> Random fact: Lhasa is my sunny Sunday morning music. I was unable to find a good YouTube version, though.
I put a spell on you – Logan Kendell (in the playlist) -> The version in my playlist fits better than the original but I can’t find it on YouTube either!


Excerpt/Quote: “People assume immortals have no knowledge of death. Wrong. I’ve died more times than you can ever hope to. It just doesn’t stick.” 
Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up) – Florence + The Machine (in the playlist)
Crushing Me – Stabbing Westward
Follow The Reaper – Children Of Bodom
 -> Head-banging time! Soft hearted, lower the volume! 😉


Soul Eater
Quote: “I decided that a bulimic soul eater was a lot worst than accepting and controlling my soul consumption.”
Track 1 – Keiji Haino/Peter Brötzmann (in the playlist) -> I stumbled upon this one because I searched for the track #5 of their Evolving Blush or Driving Original Sin album. I can’t find it anywhere on the web. If you know it, it’s perfect for this character.
Don’t let me be misunderstood – Santa Esmeralda -> In a mind-set called sarcasm, this song is THE best for this character. That was a free hint.
Save Yourself – Stabbing Westward (in the playlist)


So wanna jump and tell me who you think these characters are?


Get a playlist! Standalone player Get Ringtones

The Title Hustle

Arrange transportation for the weekend in Montreal in two weeks: check
Schedule an appointment to have my hair braided for the summer: check (keeping blue hair blue under the sun and chlorine is just not what summer should be about)
Provide feedback on the early sketch for Cassidy’s cover: check

One thing that is not getting checked off my to-do list is figuring out the title that’s going on the aforementioned cover.
If memory serves, I’ve talked about this about a month ago; I need to find a title for the 2010 Story (or Cassidy’s story, if you prefer). I’ve been thinking about it over and over and I just  can’t put my finger on the title I feel is the best. It eludes me.
I’ve tracked it, baited it, tried sneak up on it and catch it unaware. Nothing works.
I’m beginning to wonder if I’m too picky. Each one I come up with have something wrong: too long, too bland, not telling enough, too obscure, too “police”, too “psychic”… it never ends. I never had so much trouble finding a title for a story. It’s driving me nuts.
I decided to ask the advice of my regular readers in the hope of getting out of this predicament.

Should PSI be in the title or should it be the name of the series (if series it was to become)? Should Cassidy be the name of the series?
No. I shouldn’t do it like that or I’ll drive you all crazy. Ok… Other thought: I’ll just open up my creativity and brainstorm possible titles. Focus on quantity, not obsessing about quality. Fifteen minutes, non-stop, no deleting. We can narrow it down later.

Prescious Clues
Prescious Lives
PSI: Unforseen
Bomb of Ill Omen
Time bomb
Crystal Bomb *laughs*
Once Upon a Future
The Psychic, The Telepath and The Bomber
Of Futures and Pains
See No Evil *laughs*
Fog of Time
Seers and Bombers (Cops and Robbers, anyone?)

Gosh, fifteen minutes are gone and I haven’t found a thing for the last five. Most of these are useless anyway. I do think one of them as potential. Let’s see if you pick the same one. And if you have suggestions, make them!
Here! I’ll give away one beautiful print of the cover art to a randomly chosen helper! You won’t have it tomorrow because it’s not done yet but I should get the final version in July and I will not forget you.
In case you want to have an idea of the quality, I recommend you go check out the artist’s blog. Melanie Bourgeois is her name and I have loads of fun working with her. It’s nice to be able to use metaphors and see them translate into an image.
Please, I need help. Don’t go shy on me now!

AW May Musical Blog Chain

Look at that! It’s May already, which means a whole new blog chain with the Absolute Write Water Cooler forums’ gals. Since I am organizing this one, I get to start the chain and as usual, you’ll find the list of all the participants along with a link to their blog at the end of this post.
I proposed to approach this month’s blog chain from a musical standpoint. Essentially, I wanted to know how the character(s) and/or story(ies) of my fellow AWers sound like. This means that this post is going to be a little peculiar in its structure.
I strongly advise that you turn on the speakers (or put on your headphones) and plan a bit of time to undertake this musical journey. I’m giving you direct links to YouTube so you can truly experience my soundscape.
Again, for those of you who aren’t familiar with the Unforseen Dives, you are welcomed to discover it here on my blog. The serial is published 2 times a week (Wednesday and Sunday) and I will end my shameless promoting with a direct link to the beginning of it all

* * *

Tartini – The Devil’s Trill Part One, Part Two
For me, Cassidy always was a violin; capable to play the energetic and joyful Irish reels yet, simultaneously unable to ever shed its soft whine. The violin has this inherent emotional weight that is just undeniable. It can lead complex orchestrations through ebbs and flows of feelings though it’s one of the smallest instruments on the stage. It doesn’t bellow like the trumpet. It is far more breakable than the flute. It won’t sparkle with the brasses or crush your cartoon head like a piano. But no one can ignore the violin.
I also always knew that Cassidy is classical music; deep and heavy even through the lighter melodies. She is not epic in nature though, which came as a problem when I had to sum her up with one song.
I chose Tartini’s Devil’s Trill because it’s one of the more technical songs on the violin and Cassidy’s life is anything but simple. It also navigates sad, happy and adrenaline-filled feelings on its path to the final notes. And the title. Those of you who have read the Prologue and the Roman numbered chapters can but understand.

Emilie Autumn – I know where you sleep
Rebecca is percussions. Loud drums beating everything down on their path to affirm who they are, lead troops and protect their country. It can be incredibly alluring when it dictates the movements of a belly dancer’s hips but is more often than not a force to reckon with. And let’s be honest, it’s a little scary. It is what you hear first when your neighbour is listening to his music too loud.
I chose Emilie Autumn’s I Know Where You Sleep because it is mostly led by drums, yes. I also chose it because of the lyrics (which are in the linked video). Listen to them from a telepath’s point of view: “I know the sickening thoughts that slither around your head.”
Rebecca knows and she has the potential violence to sound as menacing, and beat you to a pulp, if you mess up with her or her loved ones.

Sugar Ray – Fly
If I had to pick a musical instrument for Casey, as I did for the two girls, I think I’d give him the flute. Yeah, I know, doesn’t sound all that masculine, does it? Beg to differ.
The flute doesn’t do dramatic very well. It’s playful. It’s sunshiny. It’s light. It sparkles. And last, but not least, it has a phallic shape. Now, try and tell me this is not Casey?
Admittedly, the song I picked doesn’t have any flute. However, it does convey this “cruising under the sun in a convertible car” feel. It has Casey’s smooth moves and crooked smile. The lyrics are fitting too: “I just wanna fly. Put your arms around me baby.” Added bonus: dress Mark McGrath (the singer) with a suit and it’s pretty much what I have in mind when I think of Casey!

Cassidy and Rebecca
Apocalyptica – Quutamo
The both of them complete each other perfectly. Rebecca supports and guides Cassidy. Cassidy modulates and softens Rebecca. The harmony of Apocalyptica’s Quutamo perfectly shows that and nicely shadows the story’s plot.
There is even a little bit of Casey at about 1 minute 45.

Cassidy and Casey
Yiruma – River Flows In You (piano and violin duet cover)
I had a hard time picking the perfect song for their relationship. There is definitely something between them. Is it the playfulness of two friends? Is it romanticism? Will they come together or grow apart? There are a lot of feelings to portray.
The original River Flows In You by Yiruma is simultaneously sad, romantic and joyful. This violin and piano duet posted by s0ggywaffls adds the layer I needed to get it to a point that really represented Cassidy and Casey. Both instruments work together but remain separate entities. At times, it sounds like the violin is escaping the piano as it gains energy and freedom while the piano stays behind. Yet, as it ends, they share a few notes and you’re left hoping.

The Story as a Whole
Sarah Moir – Vivaldi’s Four Seasons’ Winter remix
The Four Seasons of Vivaldi immediately came to my mind when I thought of summing up my whole story with one musical oeuvre. But then, as I listened to it with that in mind, I found that it was missing harshness. And percussions. I decided to browse a bit for a version played with an electric violin and a little bit more aggression. Something a bit more foreboding. Sarah Moir’s rendition does that.

* * *

So there you have it! This is my auditory perception of my characters and story. For those of you who are familiar with Cassidy’s story, what song(s) would you put to it? Any song you would like to bring to my attention? As you can see, I have a very diverse repertoire (though the songs I picked are violin-centric due to Cassidy) so don’t be shy!
And if you are lucky, I might post something similar for my work in progress (The One Who Sees) too. Would that interest you?
Time for me to stop writing now and leave the stage to the next person on the chain!

The AW May Musical Blog Chain’s Fantabulous Participants:
Aheïla (me)
Stefanie Gaither
Hayley E. Lavik
Aimée Laine

AW April Blog Chain

As I mentioned before, I recently joined the Absolute Write Water Cooler forums. It just so happens, no great surprise there, that the forums harbour a fair amount of bloggers. Said bloggers create monthly blog chains in which a given subject is talked about on one blog after the other. You’ll find the complete chain at the end of this message.
Today, my turn has come to answer this month’s question “What would it be like to meet your novel characters?” I pondered my options carefully. I could talk about Lily but you know very little of her. Thus, I chose to meet the 2010 project characters, or if you prefer, the cast of Cassidy’s story. Since you can read about them right here every week, I thought it would be more interesting.
For those of you AW bloggers who had never visited me before, if you want to start the story from the top, you can head to the prologue and work your way up to this week’s chapter.
So, without further ado, let’s see what would happen if I was to face my characters. 

* * *

I headed home with my organic 8 whole grains fresh bread in my bag. I almost collided with a strawberry blond woman with hunter green eyes and didn’t realize who she was until her black colleague wrestled me into an alley.
“We have to talk,” Rebecca growled into my ear. I was in trouble. Big trouble. Readers might think that Rebecca’s threats are barely jokes, but I know better. Being unpleasant to Cassidy is a sure-fire way to get your ass kicked.
“She does grasp your character very well,” Casey commented as he joined the two women. I’d have to be careful with my thoughts. Damned be the telepaths!
“I heard that,” Casey and Rebecca choired.
Rebecca let go of my arms after ensuring I was cornered between two buildings. Cassidy had yet to speak, which wasn’t unusual for her but might disturb the readers. After all, they are used to see the story through her eyes not to figure out what she might be thinking.
“Cassidy,” I ventured. “Could you please speak your mind like Casey and Rebecca taught you to?”
“She has nothing to say,” Becky affirmed.
“We both know that’s not true. She disagrees with the way you are treating me and probably beams it into your head right now.”
“Are you a telepath too?” Cassidy stepped forward; observing me through her square glasses like her perceptive mind pushed her to do. Her suit flowed nicely over her athletic built. It was probably one of the pricey ones Casey bought her for conferences. I loved the flower printed blouse she picked to go with it. She looked breakable but the copper highlights I recently gave her framed her face perfectly and accentuated her voluntary bearing.
“No. I’m a writer. I created you all. But you already know that, they picked it right out of my brain. That’s why you’re all here.”
“You bet your wacky hair, that’s why! What the hell is wrong with you?” Rebecca held her fighting stance, bent on slugging me if I ran. As if I would try to get pass an army-trained bodyguard who figures out my move as I think them. She wore her usual slacks and t-shirt. Nothing would hinder her foot springing free to knead my middle, should the need for it arise. I wished I had made her a skirt-wearing type.
She punched my shoulder so fast I didn’t even see it coming.
“Don’t ever dare to do that to me!”
Casey snickered. Damn I hate this guy; too handsome for his own good and a little too driven by his pants. I don’t care if his chiselled jaw won him the desperate secretary. I gave it to him to warn people of his overconfidence.
He glowered at me. I should really watch my thoughts.
“I think we got off on the wrong foot. Let’s be reasonable, shall we?” Cassidy was finally speaking up. Thank God I forced her through that step of her character growth.
“What is character growth?” Casey jumped in.
“It is an aspect of a character within a story. His, or her, evolution through the conflict.”
“Are you saying you forced me in front of those nasty journalists for the sake of your plotline?” Cassidy sounded simultaneously intrigued and pissed.
“Yes. It was necessary. As I had Casey tell you, it’s a skill you will need. Trust me. And that’s called foreshadowing, by the way.”
“So you know what happens next?”
“Of course, I’m the writer.”
“Does the crap stop hitting the fan any time soon?” Rebecca still hadn’t relaxed but she did when she caught my thought; the prologue had crossed my mind. It was their future so they didn’t know about it yet. But I did. Casey blanched, losing his surfer boy superb in the process. Cassidy was oblivious. She couldn’t read minds and though I shoved that future in her face a couple of times already, she never took it for real events to come.
Lollipop, lollipop, lollipop, lollipop, lollipop, lollipop, lollipop, lollipop, lollipop, lollipop.
While I thought of candy so the telepaths couldn’t figure out my next move, I swiftly reached in my purse and grabbed the notebook and pen I always carry with me. I scribbled “writers’ mind cannot be read by telepaths” before they could stop me and sighed with relief. The damage was already done though.
They moved to take the pen away from me but I held it against the paper, almost daring them to get me before I wrote them off to Timbuktu. Coming after me had been a reflex. They didn’t really wish to do it. They were still numbed by the last thing they saw in my mind.
“You can never tell her.” I urged Rebecca and Casey.
“Tell me what?” Cassidy might not know what froze her friends in place but she wasn’t stupid either.
“I’m sorry Cass but you can never know.”
“Why?” They all thought it but Rebecca said it first.
“It might make matters worst. Do you really want to risk that?”
“Just change it.” I had never written Casey in such a bad state. I kind of liked it on him.
“I can’t. I already wrote about it and planted my red herrings. If I switch the mystery now, readers will be pissed.”
“Then I’ll smash your hands so you can’t finish it.” Rebecca was returning to her fuming state.
“You’ll all end up in characters’ limbo. Trust me you don’t want to go there. It’s dusty and full of poorly developed persona.” They all looked at me, beaten. “I’m sorry. I really am. I love you but you are meant to go through this.”
“Will Cassidy and I at least end up together?” Casey grasped at straws to find a reason to rejoice. He didn’t do “helpless” very well. Cassidy stared at him. Yes darling, your character growth involves speaking in public and his is about finally declaring his love for you.
I shrugged.
“One hot night? Please? A passionate kiss?” Shrug, shrug, shrug. “Is it a ‘I don’t know’ shrug or a ‘I won’t tell’ shrug?” Shrug. “That’s just cruel.”
“You could always find out that you’re gay, if you prefer.” My pen hovered over my notebook. I think that actually scared him more than the future he had seen in my head. I pulled a few bills out of my wallets and handed them to Cassidy. She is the resilient one against all the emotional rollercoaster. I am so proud of her.
“Here. There is a bar just around that corner. Casey and Rebecca could use a drink.” She read in my eyes how bad I felt about what I did to them, what I am going to do. Her empathy kicked in and she hugged me. Then, she turned and grabbed her friends’ arms to steer them away. What a nice reversal of their usual relationship! I should use it in my story sometime.
As soon as they were out of sight, I pressed my pen against my notebook and wrote one more thing before going home.
“Even though Cassidy, Rebecca and Casey met their maker, they can’t seem to remember a thing about the encounter.” 

* * *

The amazing AW April Blog Chain:
Aheïla (me)

2010 Story Project’s Pondering

Ok. So I have this problem.

If you have read the About section of this blog, you know that I have set a series of rules regarding my unfolding story that still uses the working title of “2010 story”. The format is set at 1,000 words a week.
Unfortunately, for a few weeks now, Cassidy has been wanting to have more and more space. What I planned to be one post hardly fits in 1,000 words. At the same time, just splitting it in half doesn’t cut it: each half wouldn’t be strong enough to endure the week between them.
I also looked at my readership’s ebb and flow. I realize that one post a week isn’t enough of a hold to bring most people back.

So I’m left with this question: should I double the amount of content, effectively posting two 1,000 words snippets a week?
It solves all the problems! Or does it?

See, there is this nagging concept of time: there is only so much in a week. Can I maintain the new rhythm without compromising my other projects?

Pondering… pondering…

I don’t have the answer. What I think I’ll do is try it out and see if it works. If it’s not too much of a strain, I’ll officially amend the rules of my personal challenge. If requires bigger a chunk of my time than I can afford, I’ll rework my story’s parceling to fit it into the original format.

In any case, you’ll have a snippet tomorrow. 😉

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