Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Computer Woes

Greetings Pups,

Okay, I'm gonna be quick today, so I can give you all a little update. And that update is that my laptop is the worst! Alright, maybe it's not THE worst, but it's pretty bad. Yes, I have been having some serious computer problems as of late. Since I am no expert, I have no idea what is happening with it. All I know is that it freezes up several times a day, without warning, and it can cause me to lose work in the process. And since I hate to type, I REALLY hate having to retype after things disappear. Also, since these freeze ups come out of nowhere, I would have to hit the "save" button after every other word, which would not help me get my work done. This has even effected my ability to progress with my books, which is extremely not good, as I am on a deadline. And of course, it is effecting my work on this blog. I love writing here, but it gets frustrating having to rewrite everything that cannot be saved.

So, I'm sad to say, I'll have to take a bit of a hiatus until I get this mess sorted out. Until I either get this stone age laptop fixed or until I buy a new one. Of course, neither of those things will be easy, since my cash flow is barely trickling. If that, even. So, keep me in your prayers about this. Or hit the DONATE button up there! Yeah, that's right. I have no shame anymore.

Anyway, I thank you for all your support and prayers and for reading this blog at all. It means a lot. I hope to be back as soon as possible.

Love and full moons,
Becky the Writer

Friday, February 10, 2017

Top Ten Stingers Songs (from the series Jem & the Holograms)

Greetings Pups,

So, like yesterday, I am clarifying where this band comes from. Even though, unlike The Misfits, I don't think that The Stingers have a real world counterpart. Actually, I think they kinda dressed a lot like that band, Stryper, what with the black and yellow theme, but whatevs. I just wanted to be consistent, so there you go.

Anyway, as fans know, this group showed up in the third and final season of Jem & the Holograms, with a bunch of songs written, yet again, by Barry Harman. Yeah, I have to keep giving this guy credit. And whilst I enjoy the songs of the previous cartoon bands I discussed, I must say, I think Mr. Harman saved his best stuff for last, because I kinda like these songs more than the others, over all. Sorry. Gotta be honest.

Also, with this new group, we get some new singing voices, of course. Providing the vocals for the ladies, Minx and Rapture, we had the late, great Vicki Sue Robinson, of "Turn the Beat Around" fame and beyond. And we had Gordon Grody, a very accomplished singer and vocal coach as the voice of the animated greatest love of my life, Riot. What? I loved Riot. He was my first bad boy crush. He was all handsome and arrogant, and he had a fabulous wardrobe, awesome hair, and some serious "Daddy Issues", which means he just needed a hug. He was basically a precursor to Tom Hiddleston's version of Loki. Wait, didn't I mention Loki yesterday? Weird, because I hate those movies. Apologies. Anywho, let's get this list started.

#10. "The Stingers' Theme" - To be fair, the only reason why this song made the list is because, if it wasn't, I'd only have nine songs. Yeah, The Stingers didn't have a massive body of work. I mean, this list is pretty much their debut album. And whilst I can get a kick out of this one, it's certainly not the best.

#9. "Are You Feelin' Alright?" - You gotta love a song where it's about asking if someone is alright...due to extreme niceness. For real, that's what the episode was about. One of the members was acting nice, and the other two were not having it. Well, they did, after all, have an image to uphold, so I'll let it slide.

#8. "Take It Or Leave It" - Did I mention Riot was a little arrogant? Yeah, so were his band mates. In other words, they're awesome, you're not. And if you don't like how they behave, you can just move yourself on. Personally, I liked it so I stayed...and took it.

#7. "All In The Style" - This song has the lyrics "Sparkle, shimmer, twinkle and buzz". I'm sorry. Do you need another reason why this one is amazing? Yeah, I didn't think so.

#6. "Perfect Match" - This song always made me question Riot's feelings for Jem. I mean, he says he loves her, but according to the lyrics, it seems he only wants to be with her because he thinks she's as perfect as he is. Fortunately, I am also perfect, so, Riot, if Jem doesn't want you, I'm right over here.

#5. "It's a Hard, Hard Life" - That's right. Not a hard KNOCK life. Just a hard, HARD life. I say The Stingers have beat Annie and Company on this one. Also, it gave us some great back story on the band, with the help of the visuals of the show, of course. It gives a good reminder about the days when people couldn't get famous by way of the YouTubes. Good times, indeed.

#4. "Destiny" - This is the one song where Ms. Vicki Sue Robinson really gets to shine as she gets to do some solo singing in the verses. This is a excellent tune, and it makes me wish they used her even more.

#3. "Mind Games" - Not better than John Lennon's. Darn close, though. And as far as beats go, I'd say this one has the best of all of them. Too bad it's about messin' with people's minds, and in the case of the episode from whence this came, they were messin' with an old lady. Stingers, come on now. I know The Misfits tried to kill people a few times, and you're trying to keep up, but that was just mean.

#2. "Under My Spell" - I absolutely love the melody in this song, especially the bridge. I think it's the bridge. I don't know. Look, you'll know what part I like best when you hear it. Also, this song was featured in the episode where Riot kinda kidnaps Jem and whisks her away to a deserted island so they can live there forever, just the two of them. That does it! I'm dying my hair pink, because, apparently, everything lovely happens to people with pink hair!

#1. "Let Me Be" - So, not only is this my favorite song from The Stingers, this is my favorite song from the entire series. True story. It is just perfect, especially for the episode in which it is played. Which also happens to be my favorite episode of the entire series. True story again. It's just so good and it makes my heart feel warm and all that, which is something I love from music. Therefore, many thanks for this one.

So, those are my favorite songs by The Stingers. And since I've come to the end of this little series, honoring the music from the wonderful cartoon series, Jem & the Holograms, let me finish with this. Whilst the songs that came from this show may not have shaken the world, they were one of the first things that made me fall in love with music. And as cheesy and overly nostalgic as some people may want to label them, I'm grateful to those behind this show that created them and brought them to me, to provide some of the few good memories I have from my childhood. Yes, I am extremely grateful indeed.

Love and full moons,
Becky the Writer

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Top Ten Misfits Songs (from the series Jem & the Holograms)

Greetings Pups,

So, as you can see, I had to clarify which Misfits I am discussing today. Apparently, there's more than one. But if you read my post yesterday, you already knew what was coming. Today, we will be ranking what I consider the best songs from the archnemeses of the Holograms, the Misfits. Now THEY said that their songs are better, and sometimes they were correct. I mean, there's some fun in the badness of our villain band here.

Once again, credit to Barry Harman, the songwriter, and the singing voice of Pizzazz, Ellen Bernfeld. Perfect choice, by the way. Her vocals had sass, in the best way, just like The Misfits. So, let's get into this music, shall we? Or as the aforementioned, Pizzazz, would probably say, "We're gonna talk about this music, whether you like it or not...BECAUSE I SAID SO!" Off we go!

#10. "Gimme Gimme Gimme" - "Gimme, gimme, gimme, or I'll take it and make it mine!" Okay, right off the bat, we see that The Misfits may not have the best messages to their songs. But they're the villains, so it's cool. Also, this gives us some insight that maybe one of the members is used to getting everything she wants, i.e. "Daddy, I need to buy a music company!" "Sure, why not?"

#9. "Outta My Way" - This one here is the first song we get from The Misfits. Again, very appropriate to prepare us for things to come. And when you see them coming, for realsies, outta their way. See, how nice I am, to warn you.

#8. "Surprise, Surprise" - I think my favorite part of this song is the little "Heh, heh, heh" that we can hear. It sounds a little creepy, but that's a good thing in my book. Also, I would prefer this song to "Pop Goes the Weasel" when I'm cranking the handle on a Jack in the Box. Personal tastes, just sayin'.

#7. "Listen Up" - When some people say, 'Listen up', you do it. This is one of those times. And apparently, according to this song, it's the end of my career. Which I would be worried about. If I had one. Sad face.

#6. "Makin' Mischief" - If I had to dub any song by The Misfits as their theme song, I would say it's this one. I think, for most fans of the show, it's the one we think of first when we think of them. It certainly reminds us of their love of shenanigans and hijinks...and sometimes capital crimes. And since "mischief" and all, this also might make a good theme song for Loki.

#5. "We're Off and Running" - They sang this song whilst on a roller coaster. I know I shouldn't bring up the 'video' that went along with it, but even without that, I would love this song. And yes, ladies, you are looking stunning.

#4. "Takin' It All" - We're gonna call this the cousin song to #10! Except it's much better. Ironically, they sang this right before they lost a competition. Of course, they rarely win, so when else would they sing it.

#3. "Free and Easy" - So, we've established that the members of The Misfits can act ever so slightly entitled and they also don't doing work much. So what a perfect song to describe how they want to live! For real, in the episode, they literally have a conversation about how work sucks and all that right before they sang it. And for someone who is stressed...A LOT!...I can't really disagree with the message of this song entirely.

#2. "I Like Your Style" - This song was the first one they performed when they got a new member, who happened to be a saxophone player, and they really take advantage of that here. It sounds fantastic and I love the chorus melody. This is one of those times when you know the songwriter was not messing around.

#1. "Universal Appeal" - "In my own mind's eye, I am the sky, so why should I be shy, when I've got universal appeal!" I mean, does that not just sum it all up for how The Misfits feel about themselves? They're rad (because 80's) and you're not. End of story. Seriously, though, I love the lyrics of this song a lot, and the music fits it perfectly. Top tier, indeed.

And there you have my favorite songs by The Misfits. I must say, if they and the Holograms were around IRL, I would have a tough time deciding which one I liked better, since both have a collection of great songs. Gee, I hope another group doesn't show up with music that blows both of them out of the water! Ha, ha, ha! Yeah, see you tomorrow.

Love and full moons,
Becky the Writer

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Top Ten Jem & the Holograms Songs

Greetings Pups,

If you read my analysis on the songs of last year, you'll know I was incredibly displeased. Thus, I was motivated to get into my metaphoric time machine and head back to a period in my life when music made me happy. Specifically, my childhood. And, believe it or not, said childhood was rather dominated by the music of one show: Jem & the Holograms.

I've talked about this show before, like when I listed my favorite episodes, but an important aspect of the series was the music, of course. So, I decided to share with you all the ones that are my personal favorites. Now, keep in mind, all these songs are about a minute or so long, as they were being incorporated into a half hour show, so there's not a ton to say about them. Still, there was quite a bit of care put into them by the writer Barry Harman, who, with the exception of the theme, wrote all the songs. ALL OF THEM! impressive. And let us not forget the wonderful singing of Ms. Britta Phillips, who was the musical voice of Jem, herself.

So, let's get started with my Top Ten Jem & the Holograms songs. Off we go. Wait, no. I mean...Showtime, Synergy! Oh, quiet! You know you would have said the same thing. Carry on!

#10. "Love Will Show the Way" - There's something very haunting about the melody of this song, whilst also having some hopeful lyrics. It's tough to mix those things and have them fit together well, but mission accomplished here.

#9. "Only the Beginning" - So, this is the first song we heard from Jem & the Holograms, aside from the opening credits. And it literally was only the beginning. No false advertising here, my friends. None at all.

#8. "Can't Get My Love Together" - Well, for crying out loud, Jem/Jerrica. I can't imagine why you're having this problem. Oh, wait. Yes, I can. All things considered, plot-wise, this tune could make me roll my eyes, but it is a lovely, heartbreaking song. Can't ask for more than that?

#7. "Deception" - And to continue on that subject...Now THIS should have been the theme song for the show. And if you've seen the series, you'll know why. You also would have gotten my references for the previous song. Yeah, there might be a tad bit of dishonesty between characters. Just sayin'. At least, we got a good song out of it. Hooray!

#6. "Dear Diary" - I like diaries, even though I've never been good at keeping one. At least, not in the traditional sense. But, as a writer, I like the message in this song, talking about how valuable and comforting writing things down can be. It is. I know.

#5. "Straight From the Heart" - Whilst singing this song, the group was wearing attire with a "Martinique Look". It was a plot point in the episode. Anyway, as per usual, they tried to match it with the music. And, again, it's a great message about how people aren't always what you expect and they might have something wonderful to share with you.

#4. "You Already Know" - I get such a kick out of the melody for this song. It's very upbeat and playful, with what I feel is something of a late 50's, early 60's kind of style to it. It's just a fun love song about a couple in love. So sweet.

#3. "Let the Music Play" - So, this song is from the land of Shangri-La. What? Hey, just because Josh Gates can't find it doesn't mean that no one ever did. Anyway, amidst the sea of 80's glam rock that we love from this show, this song really stood out. It is a legit gorgeous piece of music, and it just makes me feel comforted when I hear it. And since I think that was the point, excellent work!

#2. "When It's Only Me and the Music" - I guess we can just call this the theme song for the character, Danse. Because I'm pretty sure the only times I heard this song on the show was when she was, well, dancing. Even in space, as the lyrics dictate. Joking aside, this is a lovely song, and the lyrics and melody are a perfect fit for each other.

#1. "You're Always in My Heart" - Oh, Muh Feels! Yeah, I'm not one to be ruled by such, but we are dealing with something nostalgic here, so it's okay. And there are plenty of feels in this song. It's basically a song for their father who passed away, and I get misty-eyed for real when I hear this one. But it also has a heartwarming aspect to it. I mean, there are few things more beautiful than promising to never forget those you love and those who loved you.

And there you have it. My favorite songs from Jem & the Holograms. Mock the hardcore 80's-ness of this show all you want, but some of that music was very good. It certainly holds up for me after all these years. But it didn't stop with just the titular group. Oh, no. We've got two more bands to get through. So, tune in tomorrow, to hear what I think of one of them. And if their songs are, indeed, better.

Love and full moons,
Becky the Writer

Friday, February 3, 2017

Words and Power

Greetings Pups,

When I was growing up, I always heard that there is much power in words. I mean, even the Bible says that "Life and death are in the power of the tongue." I used think I knew what that meant, until I looked closer at it. It doesn't say "Life OR Death"; it say's "Life AND Death." Both of those things reside in words, but it is up to us to decide which one wins. When it comes to how much power words have in our lives, WE are always in control.

In and of themselves, words are nothing more than sounds hanging in the air, scribbles on a piece of paper or characters on a computer screen. They really don't exist until we take a hold of them and give them life and meaning...and power. Think about it. Someone can tell you every day that you are worthless, a loser, unlovable, but if you don't let yourself believe those things, then they will have no effect on you. Same goes for if someone tells you that they love you everyday. If you don't believe it, you won't feel loved. You decide.

And therein lies the danger. Giving too much power to the words people say can lead us down a very destructive path. When I was younger, I let everything that everyone said to me affect me, because no one ever told me that it didn't matter what they said about me. I had to know the truth about myself. But soon, I was letting what people said to me and about me and become the truth about me. I hated THAT truth, but I held on to it, because I lost the real one. This resulted in my falling into a deep depression to the point of being suicidal. Thank God I never did it. If I had, I obviously would not be here today to try and give some advice. Are there times, though, when I still lose my way and let the words of others get a grip on me? Yes, but we all slip sometimes. It's okay. Still, I've learned over the years how much the truth about myself matters. That actual truth. Not the one made up by anyone else.

Listen, I know that it's not always easy to do, especially for the younger of us, but it's not impossible. You can decide what words do to you, whether they be someone else's or your own. If you don't want to be hurt by words, then don't be. Again, I know that is easier said than done sometimes, but it can be done. You just have to want that control. It is attainable.

As a writer, I love words, all kinds. I can see the potential in every one that I put on paper. I know that I can use them to affect people, one way or another. But that's not up to me. It is up to anyone who reads them. My hope is that they will be allowed to do some good.

In the end, we decide. We make choices. We are the ones with the power, not the words. So, no matter what anyone says to you, remember that it only matters if you want it to do so and if you let it. And no one's words about you matter more than the ones you say about yourself. So, build yourself up with ones that are healthy and true, and believe in them. Great things can follow for your life.

Love and full moons,
Becky the Writer