East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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A long night in Windward House

Let’s get to Windward House in a circuitous way, with a song: Stella by Starlight is a classic jazz standard, and it was recorded by a number of musicians, most notably Stan Getz and Dexter Gordon, and it was part of the repertoir of both Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald. I first heard it in the Caterina Valente recording.
And it’s always good to have an excuse to post some Caterina Valente…

What I learned only much later is, the song is part of the soundtrack of a movie.
A ghost movie.
Indeed, one of the first movies to present the supernatural as more than just a gimmick for comedy or a scam with a rational explanation. Stella by Starlight, the jazz standard, comes from a proper supernatural horror.

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Music for Writing

Music was mentioned in a comment to one of my rambling “I’a writer, look at the way I do it!” posts a few weeks back.
I said I’ll write more on the subject of music and writing.
Here we go.
While it is not one of my favorite writing tools, I do use music when writing.

Music has, for me, three main functions :

  • as a distraction filter (for me, it works far better than Focus Writer and other such software)
  • as a soundtrack for my stories and for specific scenes
  • and as a tool to help me define characters.

Let’s see… Continue reading