Today I’d like to introduce to you my favorite guest poster of all time, the only guest poster who has done so twice, the amazing and hilarious Charley R! She was the author of our 5000th comment here on the blog– that’s right, 5000 comments. At about the same time, I reached 200 followers. That’s got to be enough qualification to get out of a few blog awards, right? Anyway, on to her brilliant guest post– I hope you enjoy it.
There’s an overwhelming pressure in the writing world to be original. If you write something according to the hype of the time – be it vampires, twisted fairytales, or sentient geraniums – you’re more than likely to be confronted, at some time or another, with the accusation that you’re just jumping on the bandwagon. While on one of my frequent book-hunts on Amazon, I am forever running into reviews that say a book is “unoriginal”, “clichéd”, or “is really similar to . . .”
Sometimes these statements are true – I once complained to a school librarian for stocking a book that was pretty much a carbon copy of Lord of the Rings, complete with near identical Fellowship, semi-vanquished Dark Lord and malignant MacGuffin. These books are books no one wants to read because they, quite honestly, are simply washed out versions of something else. (more…)
Posted by Liam Wood on October 11, 2012
The three-thousandth comment has come and gone. And with Miss Vixen as the third most commented person in that last set of a thousand comments, is it any surprise that she had the 3001st comment? (I was the 3000th, so we had to pick the nearest one. You’ve had too many guest posts from me anyway.) She was awarded a guest post for being awesome.
When I heard that I was being asked to do a guest post for Liam at This Page Intentionally Left Blank, I had a moment of silent freaking out….fine. It was semi-silent. Many more people read his blog than mine, so I’d be blogging to a wider audience. Frightening, isn’t it? And there is the opportunity that I might be able to snag some more readers with some subtle hinting (verrrry subtle, mind you…nothing obvious about this…). After the freaking out moment, I had a moment of derp when my brain simply could not think of anything of which to type. So I scoured through the northern region of my brain (where the ideas are the coldest, sharpest and most polar bear-infested), and after 7.3 minutes, voila! There was my idea. Huzzah.
Onward we go. (more…)
Posted by Liam Wood on August 8, 2012
Why do so many people take an instant dislike to the cello?
It saves time.
My father, reading the recent guest post entitled “In Defense of the Cellists”, began writing a comment defending his son (me). Eventually it got too long to only span one comment, and I agreed to post it as a guest post.
In reviewing Liam’s introduction to the most recent guest post on why cellos are better than he says they are, I was stuck by his open animosity toward the cello and this launched me into a self examination of my own attitudes and the precarious position in which I find myself. As some background and in defense of Liam, he finds himself in this position honestly. He is the second son of a second son, a bassist and a son of a bassist; pianist and grandson of a pianist. He has an elder brother who plays cello and an uncle who plays cello (his cousin plays bass). He finds himself annoyed from a combination of an elder brother who knows everything, yet has his own unconfessed limitations, often surrounding the cello. Though Liam does get along well with his brother, he bristles at the “cello attitude”, such as: I [think I] can do everything on my cello – I can play high like a violin, I can play low like a bass, I pretend to play jazzy and think I am cool when I do, I play pizzicato like a violinist (little bitty finger tips), but think I am cranking on the strings like Ray Brown. We bassists do not find it to be some sort of cognitive dissonance that we can declare the cello community as our mortal enemy, yet can and do like and enjoy the company of some individual cellists. As a fellow bassist with Liam, I fully understand this attitude as I had held the same for many years now.
However the fence I am on is razor thin. With a son who plays cello it is dangerous to declare his entire section to be my mortal enemy, especially when I must attend all of the concerts and practices and lessons. If my view came out, I suspect a teacher or two would immediately double their rates. Familial harmony would be interrupted and I would be a pariah.
In addition, through the training process and the amazing experience that Liam’s brother had in [some unknown state] at the Cello Academy, I began to enjoy the cello, especially when they did the cello jam sessions and 40 cellists in a room, playing some common theme and the power of a great cello section enveloped me. I believe that I will need to grant Liam some literary license. Knowing that his writing voice is developing, his creativity is brimming and as a young person, he needs some room to surf through a few different attitudes and ideas, often at different volumes. Certainly as we grow in life we tend to allow some diversity to enter into our lives. So now I must recant, make amends with cellists far and wide, if for no other reason than that my economic state is at risk. These days, we need to see our kids as more than our extensions in life, but as our future caregivers.
Posted by Liam Wood on June 24, 2012
Recently we reached a total of 2000 comments on this blog. *waits for applause to die down* The author of the two-thousandth comment was Hero, of Heroic Endeavors. She is a cello fanatic and thus my mortal enemy. (Just kidding. I love celli. It’s the players I mind.) Anyway, she agreed to write a guest post for us over here, in exchange for the readership she’ll gain by being linked to. Enjoy– and feel free to argue against, as I will– her guest post on the reasons why celli and cellists are… “awesome”.
When Liam told me that I could write a guest post for his blog, my mind immediately spun out. (Imagine driving on a slippery road and turning too sharply, and then imagine the ensuing events. That was my mind.) (An episode of Top Gear, basically.)
I couldn’t think of what to write about: Liam’s blog has such a larger readership than mine, and this is a great opportunity for me to impress some of his readers and direct some attention toward my blog (subtly, of course). So I’m feeling a little bit of pressure to write a good blog post, that’s funny and smart and, of course, annoys Liam – because that’s just how I am.
The idea came to me while I was thinking about why I read Liam’s blog – I found it through NaNoWriMo, but I stuck around because 1) the Les Misérables reference and 2) the page entirely devoted to cellists. While I find the ‘Tips on Irking Young Cellists’ amusing, I do think it paints a rather unfair picture of us cellists. I realized that by way of giving me this guest post, Liam has given me the opportunity to speak out in defense of cellist-kind! So I present to you: The Seven Redeeming Factors of Cellos (or, if you’re a cellist reading this: Seven Reasons Why We’re So Awesome).
In no particular order, here we go. (more…)
Posted by Liam Wood on June 23, 2012