I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about me, about my work, the things I’ve been writing and how I feel about those things. I don’t talk that often about the work of others that I’ve enjoyed, and when I do, it’s usually in passing. I mention I read a book and enjoyed it, then move on to other things. Today, I’d like to do a bit more than that.
There are two creative works that I’ve experienced lately that I’ve not only loved, but that have had a lasting effect on me. I love when that happens, when someone’s artistic work reaches into me and touches me, when it crawls into my brain and makes its own little home there. I get to carry those things with me everywhere and watch them reach into areas of my life I hadn’t expected. Honestly, there’s nothing better than that in art.
So, what are these two fabulous examples of creativity? One’s a book that I read over my vacation. The other is a recently released album by one of my favorite bands.
I’m going to start with the book while I know I still have everyone’s attention. It’s that important to me that you all know about this book. It gave me a book hangover that, honest to god, lasted about a week. Yes, I was going through revisions for Possession, but it wasn’t that. It was the book. I just couldn’t imagine reading anything else for that week. All I wanted to do was dive back into reading it again.
I suppose I’ve teased enough. The book in question is Mythology, by Helen Boswell. Helen’s a good friend and a fabulous lady. I can’t say enough wonderful things about her, but this is supposed to be about her book, so I’m going to restrain myself on the subject of this amazing person. Trust me, the struggle is mighty.
Mythology is a Young Adult, Paranormal novel, and it totally knocked my socks off. Okay, maybe you guessed that already. But honestly, it was just incredible, from beginning to end. I think it took me a few days to even begin to find words to describe this book. That’s highly unusual for me. You might have noticed, I’m normally good at expressing myself.
Where to begin with why I loved this book. Let’s start with the characters. Hope, our heroine, is an independant young woman who’s spent pretty much her whole life dealing with an ability no one else has. Hope sees auras around people, and sometimes she also sees a person’s worst moment, something bad that either happened to them or that they did to someone else. You can imagine how much fun that makes socializing with others. Yet she does have a few friends. She’s very capable, intelligent and practical. I love these things about her, and that she doesn’t let stuff get her down, no matter what.
Micah’s this guy Hope meets at school, who somehow manages to get past her normal reserve with people she doesn’t know. He’s incredibly handsome, drives a Triumph motorcycle (I’m a sucker for a guy with a bike), and he and Hope just seem to get each other. Neither are exactly normal, though Micah doesn’t know at first what’s different about him. When they find out (no, not spoiling it), Hope tries to find help for Micah.
This is where Jonathan comes in, an enigmatic art gallery owner who has some expertise that could help Micah. The question for Hope is how to get him to help.
There were so many wonderful moments in this book, and times when I wanted to cheer, others when I laughed. I read a lot of it on my plane ride home because I couldn’t put it down. When it was over, it was a great place to end it, but I was still sad it was over. The sequel cannot come fast enough. I love that there was nothing about this book that I’d call stereotypical. It was easily one of the most original books I’ve read in a long time.
If you haven’t read Mythology, I heartily recommend doing so. I think I’m going to take my own advice soon and reread it. I miss Hope, Micah and Jonathan so much already.
Now, what about this other bit of art that I’ve recently fallen in love with? That would be the new 30 Seconds to Mars album, Love, Lust, Faith + Dreams.
I should mention that I’ve loved 30STM since I was in university. They came to my campus while on tour in support of their first album. I saw a poster and checked them out because the poster looked cool and I kinda like the name of the band. OMG, I fell in total adoration with them. The lead singer is actor Jared Leto and dear gods, his voice. It totally kills me, and in the best way possible.
But I’m always a bit trepidatious when one of my favorite bands puts out a new album. I worry it won’t be as good, and that it might even tarnish my love of what’s gone before. I also worry that it’ll be more of the exact same thing I got with the last album. Maybe some people like that, but I’m not one of them. I like a band that does something different with each new album. I want them to grow, to catch me off guard that first time I listen with something I didn’t expect. I need new music, and I do mean new. If I wanted the same old thing, I’d just throw an old album on. I do that all the time. Give me something that makes me move, that leaves me desperate to hear it again and hear more at the same time. Let me feel and think and exist within the music for the length of a song and you’ll own my admiration and adoration forever.
Maybe this sounds like a tall order, and it probably is, but it’s why I get nervous every time I even hear that a band I love like I do 30STM is coming out with something new. I shouldn’t have worried this time. Really, didn’t need to. They did it again. I’ve had Love, Lust, Faith + Dreams playing non-stop since Sunday. On my stereo at home. On my iPod as I walk around. In my head ENDLESSLY at work. It’s a wonder I can get anything done for the music pouring through my brain. It’s made the week sparkly and fabulous though, because I have killer tunes every minute of the day.
Even better, the songs are slowly filtering into my writing playlists. One has already inspired a new story entirely and three of them made and existing idea explode into full, screaming voice, begging to be written. As much as I feel like I want to be writing that idea now, I love finding music that does this to me, so it’s hard to be anything but happy about this.
So, there you have it, some of the art I’ve been totally digging recently. Maybe you should check it out a bit for yourself. 🙂