Daily Prompt: Strike a Chord

Do you play an instrument? Is there a musical instrument whose sound you find particularly pleasing? Tell us a story about your experience or relationship with an instrument of your choice.

As those of you visiting won’t know, I am a music student. I play the Cello, Piano and a bit of Bass Guitar. For content purposes, I won’t go on about them, but another instrument that has captured my heart of late – the French Horn.

The French horn is a beautiful instrument. Not only can is sound brassy, and perform a number of fanfares including the brilliant off-stage fanfare in Strauss’ ‘Alpine Symphony‘, but can produce the most sweet, lulling tones which carry you away in the stuff of dreams. It can blend very well with other sections of the orchestra – a particular favourite combination of mine is horn and strings – as well as come out of the texture. I have a few horn players a friends (they’re handy to have around for non-horn-playing horn-lovers like myself), and I’ve played in orchestras with them several times.

I’m always amazed at what horn players are put through in an orchestra – we played a new piece of music in an orchestra recently where the horn section screamed at the top of their range for extensive amounts of time (the composer clearly had no idea what these poor people had to go through) – since then, we have been reissued parts where the string section now plays their parts following many complaints about exhausted lips. God damn brass players…

This is the horn solo from Brahms’ Symphony No. 3, 3rd Movement. This particular recording, done by the legendary Berlin Philharmonic, showcases the extraordinary range of tones that the horn can have.

Next is this extract of the Berlin Phil. performing Dvorak Symphony No. 8 with conductor, Claudio Abbado. This is a showcase for horns cutting through the texture of the orchestra, in this case with crazy trills that you can see as the horn players lift up their instruments!

So yes, the horn is a favourite of mine at the moment, I hope you see why.

On another matter, I am attending sixteen concerts in August as part of the Edinburgh International Festival, where I will be hearing outstanding ensembles such as The Sixteen and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra perform in the Usher Hall. Since I’m going to so many concerts it was suggested to me that I write a review on them. So that’s what I plan to do during August – and they will all be posted up here on the blog!

Other chords a-striking:

A Look Into the Life of J. S. Bach

Hello everyone. Today I thought it would be a good thing to share a piece of writing I did on the life of Johann Sebastian Bach, one of the most influencial composers of all time. Bach’s music goes beyond the Baroque Era of music from wence it came – it has influenced countless numbers of composers in the 19th and 20th Centuries. Anyways, I thought it was time for a more serious piece of writing and hopefully this post will become a useful learning resource for people studying music and Bach (complete with pictures!!).

Johann Sebastian BachJohann Sebastian Bach was born on the 31st March, 1685, in Eisenach, Saxe-Eisenach, and died 28th July, 1750, in Leipzig. He was one of the most influential composers of all time (especially important in the development of 19th Century Romantic music, and his counterpoint and transformations of his subjects were very influential in 20th Century serialism). He was born into an extremely musical family – it is known today that the Bach family turned out an amazing number of good musicians, and indeed several truly exceptional ones, between the late 16th and early 19th Centuries. Bach was also a devoted Christian and Lutheran, partially due to his birthplace being near to where Martin Luther first translated the Bible into German whilst in hiding. This is something that would influence him throughout his life, perhaps more than anything.

His father, Johann Ambrosius, was a town musician and singer, and was most likely the one who taught him the basics of music theory, as well as starting him out on the violin. All of Bach’s uncles were musicians, holding jobs as court musicians, church organists and composers – his uncle, Johann Ludwig, was a well-known violinist and composer of the time, and another of his uncles, Johann Christoph, was the first to introduce him to the organ.

When Bach was only nine years of age his mother died, and his father remarried. This however did not last, as Bach’s father died just ten months after his mother. After this, at the age of ten, Bach moved into his older brother, another Johann Christoph’s, house along with his younger brother, Johann Jakub. Bach’s older brother, Johann Christoph Bach (1671-1721), was the organist at St. Michael’s Church in Ohrdruf, Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg, thirty miles from Eisenach, and played a vital role in the organisation of the music there.

This is where Bach studied, learnt and performed a range of music, including music written by his brother. He copied music out as well, though he was forbidden to do so due to the expense of manuscript paper at the time; however this proved invaluable to his musical education. His brother also instructed him on the clavichord, and instrument that his brother had been instructed on by famous keyboard players of the time himself. Johann Christoph was a good teacher, as his own five children later achieved high ranking in the music world at some point in their lives.

Bach quickly settled into the new household of his brother and his wife, and studied harpsichord and organ under his brother with enthusiasm, aptitude and great interest, something that soon became apparent to his older brother. Johann Christoph instructed his younger to copy out music, especially the works of composers such as Jakob Froberger, Johann Caspar Kerll and Pachelbel, the latter also being Johann Christoph’s former teacher. Bach also attended the Gymnasium (the grammar school) of Ohrdruf, where he excelled in Latin, Theology and Greek.

At the age of fourteen, due to his ‘uncommonly beautiful soprano voice’, Bach was awarded a choral scholarship to study at the prestigious St. Michael’s School in Lüneburg, in the Principality of Lüneburg, a journey to which he most likely would have had to make by foot. This journey was no small feat – the route that he and his schoolfriend, Georg Erdmann, took was a hundred and eighty miles long (no doubt they will have been given free food on the journey by the many monasteries they will have visited along the way).

During the two years he would study there he was exposed to a wider facet of European culture. This was very important for influencing Bach’s music, as he would have come into contact with a lot of different music from Italy and France, as well as other parts of the Holy Roman Empire. When he soon lost his soprano voice, he made use of his talents as a violinist, playing in the orchestra, as well as playing the harpsichord to accompany choir rehearsals, developing his instrumental skills.

During his stay in Lüneburg, he was exposed to the rich organ culture of Hamburg, and when he was almost eighteen, enriched in his musical experiences, he decided to try and find employment as an organist back in the district of his birth: Thuringia. He thought that getting employed as an organist in Arnstadt, a small town in Thuringia, would be fairly simple, as his family had been musically active in the area for generations, and he was particularly curious of the new organ being built there. This led him to leave Lüneburg in 1702, back down South to Arnstadt.

When he became organist of the church in Arnstadt, Bach took on the challenge of organising the church’s music with enthusiasm and excitement. He was also in charge of the new, relatively large, 23-stop, two-manual organ that had been newly built. Bach took every opportunity to hear recitals given by the talented organist, Dietrich Buxtehude, after being given leave by the Church Council in Arnstadt in the October of 1705 to go and stay in Lübeck to hear Buxtehude, so much so that he overstayed his time in Lübeck.

Buxtehude was a huge influence on Bach – the two would have discussions about the arts when Bach was in Lübeck that year, and Bach attended concerts of Buxtehude’s Christmas Cantatas. After being inspired by these discussions and concerts, as well as visiting Reincken in Hamburg and Böhm in Lüneburg on the return journey to Arnstadt, he was full of enthusiasm and excitement for putting his new ideas and experiences into his playing at the church in Arnstadt. This turned out to cause a number of problems however – the congregation at Arnstadt were confused by the ornamentation and variations in the organ part of the chorales that they would sing.

The Church Council were at first irritated with Bach for the trouble he caused at first, and also interrogated him about the unauthorised extension of his leave in Lübeck. Bach, despite not justifying himself, was treated with leniency. However, these new musical ideas proved important in his compositional style, particularly of his many works for organ including the Preludes and Fugues, the Trio Sonatas, and the Chorale Preludes.

New conflicts arose due to Bach refusing to work with the ‘undisciplined’ boys’ choir he had been put in charge of, and what was a promising start became a mess of disputes; however, this period in Bach’s life was to prove one of the most influential. By the end of 1707, following the death of the organist there in 1706, Bach applied for the post as organist of St Blasius Church, a huge cathedral-like building in the town of Mühlhausen, and was accepted on a good contract. This marked the beginning of the next period of his life in Mühlhausen, one that would not last due to the town’s decay and growing puritan views of music and art. The influence of Calvinism had huge implications on church music, as Calvinists believed that personal expressions of faith were more important than public professions.

From 1708-1717, Bach became a court musician for the Duke of Sachsen-Weimar, one of the most distinguished nobles of the day. Bach’s position as both a member of the chamber orchestra and as the Organist of the Court meant that he could improve on his playing. Primarily, he was a violin – he even became leader of the orchestra – however he also played the harpsichord. He also wrote and arranged some of the music that the orchestra played. As Court Organist, he played on a new and smaller organ than the one in Arnstadt; however he later complained about it being inadequate, leading to a full reconstruction, something that the Council trusted him on designing due to his expertise. During this period of his life, Bach wrote extensively for organ, whilst also becoming widely known as one of the best organists in Germany and one of the most knowledgeable men in organ construction. Most of Bach’s best organ music was written during this period of his life.

Following the death of the old Kapellmeister of the Court, and not being given the post despite having virtually done his job for him prior to the Kapellmeister’s death, Bach was introduced to the Court of Anhalt-Cöthen, and was offered the post of Kapellmeister there, which he accepted. This infuriated the Duke of Sachsen-Weimar, so much so that upon trying to resign, Bach was arrested and detained in the local jail for a whole month before eventually leaving and being allowed to resign from his post to go to Cöthen.

The Six Suites for Solo Cello, part of the Cello standard repertoire
The Six Suites for Solo Cello, part of the Cello standard repertoire

During Bach’s stay in Cöthen, from 1717-1723, his master was the twenty-five year old Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen, a son of a Calvinist. Due to this, there was no church music in Cöthen; however Bach organised secular cantatas and fashionable chamber music of the day to be played for the prince, which the Prince enjoyed as he had well-developed musical taste due to his Grand Tour of Europe. Indeed, the Prince enjoyed travelling, and when the Prince went of journeys he was accompanied by his court musicians. Most of Bach secular and instrumental music was written in the Cöthen period, including his Six Suites for Solo Cello.

Bach accompanied the Prince twice to Carlsbad, once in 1718 and another time in 1720. When Bach came back from the 1720 journey, he received shocking news that his wife, Maria Barbara, had died (despite being in perfectly good health three months earlier when Bach had gone to Carlsbad), leaving four motherless children. He later married Anna Magdalena, a fine singer who Bach first met when she sang one of the cantatas he wrote in Cöthen for the Prince. She was kind to his existing children, and they soon got married. Their marriage lasted a whole twenty-eight years, and Bach had an additional thirteen children with her, although few of these children survived childhood.

Now with family on his mind, he grew concerned of his eldest sons and their education, as Cöthen had no universities. In the hunt for somewhere new to go yet again, this is where he most likely revived an invitation he received from the Margrave of Brandenburg to produce what we now know as the six Brandenburg concertos. However, there is no record that Bach actually went to the Margrave’s court in

The Opening to the 1st Movement of Brandenburg Concerto No. 1
The Opening to the 1st Movement of Brandenburg Concerto No. 1

Brandenburg, and the Bach family moved to Leipzig, where Bach would spend the remainder of his life.

Bach moved to Leipzig in 1723, where he lived and worked as Cantor of Thomasschule at Leipzig. Bach’s duties there were gargantuan – he had to organise music for the four main churches in Leipzig, construct choirs for each church from the pupils at the Thomasschule, and also to instruct the more senior pupils as musicians to play in the church orchestras. He cleverly devised four different choirs, each one with a different level of ability, and assigned the two better choirs to the Thomaskirche and the Nikolaikirche.

For very Sunday in the Church year, for five consecutive years, Bach wrote a new cantata to be performed (after these first five years, he wrote cantatas less regularly). His cantatas were specially crafted to inspire the congregation, as well as to reflect upon the religious text. This is reflected in the opening choruses of the majority of his cantatas, and his cantatas were often signed with the initials ‘S.D.G’ for ‘Soli Deo Gloria’ or ‘to the glory of God alone’.

The dedication, handwritten by Bach himself, of the Brandenburg Concertos
The dedication, handwritten by Bach himself, of the Brandenburg Concertos

Leading to the end of his life, Bach had become more and more introspective, conserving his creative energies for some of the most perfect music he was to write. These works include several pieces with amazing musical form: the Goldberg Variations, the Mass in B Minor, and the Canonic Variations. His last major work, ‘Die Kunst der Fuge’ BWV 1080 (‘The Art of Fugue’), represents Bach’s mastery in fugue and counterpoint, something that no other composer in history has been able to surpass. However he knew that his life was nearing the end and his last chorale fantasia was based on the chorale ‘Before Thy Throne O Lord I Stand’. The famous unfinished fugue that he was also working on at the same time uses the subject ‘B-A-C-H’, ‘B’ being the German notation for B flat, and ‘H’ being B natural.

Bach died on 28th of July, after suffering from a severe stroke. On the same morning he had found that, after months concealed in a dark room, he could withstand bright light and see clearly, despite having lost much of his eyesight, perhaps a foreboding what was to happen later on in that day. Nevertheless, Bach remains to be one of the most iconic Baroque composers, with a vast output of both instrumental and choral music, both religious and secular. However, after his death, Bach’s music was rarely performed, and it was only in the 18th and 19th Centuries that composers such as Beethoven, Brahms and Mendelssohn would be inspired by his music.

A Summer Book List

Hello again! Now that summer is in full swing, with unexpectedly good weather here in Edinburgh, I thought a change of theme to something more jolly would be fitting – hence the new theme! When there is a nice day – which for me tends to be a fresh, gentle breeze, partly cloudy sky and temperature around 14 degrees – I am drawn out to the bookshops (Waterstones and Blackwells are the two nearest to me; both are useful for different things). I always go to Blackwells first, since it is the closest to where I stay. For a few years now I’ve been obsessed by Japanese culture and the Japanese language, following my travels there a few years back. I have failed miserably at finding a teacher, despite having tried to do 50/50 language tuition over the internet with someone who has disappeared in a manner of speaking (I am too repulsive, even over the internet?!), so my Japanese is basic at best. The thing I feel quite good at though is, despite having no teacher, I’ve learnt all of the hiragana and katakana characters,  and am also building up a good knowledge of the kanji characters, of which there are considerably more.

Being a major anime and manga fan, I am naturally drawn to Japanese names. They catch my eye. I realised this as I was in Blackwells, and the works of Haruki Murakami, a previously unknown writer to me, stared at me from their throne on the third shelf down from the sign ‘Fiction’. Amongst his most known works are The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, 1Q84, and Norwegian Woods. I haven’t bought these books yet, however I’m slowly building up my Summer Book List:

  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami (£8.99)
  • Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, Haruki Murakami (£8.99)
  • A new Japanese textbook which is much friendlier and easier to follow (£63.99)
  • The Kodansha Japanese Kanji Dictionary (£55)

Unfortunately I haven’t got £137 to spare on books. Life is tragic, especially the part about literature. Literature is tragic, especially the part about life. Dum tee-dum…

 

Summer’s Near: Let’s Get Down to Music

Hello everyone – apologies for being so late. This is my first post in around 57 days! I’ve been very busy with school work etc., however now that things have died down I can write a bit and share some more of my favourite music and talk about some things that I’ve been getting up to.

So this is Beethoven’s A Major Sonata for Cello and Piano, performed by no other than Jacqueline Du Pre and Daniel Barenboim. It’s a piece that I’m working on over the summer, along with the 1st movement of Prokofiev’s Cello Sonata. I hope you enjoy it – I’m not going to write anything on this piece yet until I’ve played it more and understand it more – and enjoy the calmness of the opening!

It’s June – nearly the end of term for us – and summer is tantalizingly close. My friends and I are feeling trapped in our claustrophobic society of musicians, and our even smaller friend group. What do we feel is the cure? *HOLIDAYS* Usually I feel like planning holidays kind of defeats the purpose – they’re supposed to be stress free and easy-going – however this time, I have pretty much booked out my holidays, promising myself that I will do certain things.

Thing number one is a family holiday to Paris. Family holidays, to me, have bad connotations; when I think of family holidays, I remember the many years where my mother, brother and I would travel around Europe and Scandinavia, and my brother would then act-up and make the holiday an absolute misery. Now, seven or eight years later, my mother and I can speak far more French than back then; however my brother, fifteen months my junior, I feel will act-up still. Maybe it’s just an association I make with my brother, and it’s unfair to expect that kind of childish behaviour from him, yet I cannot imagine family holidays going smoothly at all!

Number two thing to do is the second of two orchestral courses I’m doing with the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland (NYOS). I love orchestral courses – orchestral playing is invaluable, and you get to play some amazing music. That being said, these courses are a big commitment financially and physically, and a whole week of intense music-making takes its toll on your other work.

Thing number three is composition I must do over the summer for when I get back at school in September. Next year, we have to write several pieces that get recorded and sent away for examination. I set my marker high as I felt like my teacher expects me to produce increasingly good work. After conversing with my friend who studies composition more seriously than I, and who is a fellow cellist, he challenged my to writing a concerto-form piece for solo instrument and chamber orchestra, as he had done the year before. Of course, I had to take up the opportunity; however, we write in completely different styles – I write in a traditional, Romantic style and he writes in a contemporary, boundary-pushing style. As he suggested that I do this I thought that maybe I could combine the two and do a kind of Neo-Romantic concerto (abomination). I think that it will be a good exercise at the very least, and I look forward to doing it!

Number four thing to do is the general music making and practising I must do. During the holidays I hope to do some concerts with my friend, who is a flautist, up north near where she lives. Hopefully this will helped quench my thirst for travelling and freedom – it was the French composer Debussy who thought that inspiration could not come without travelling to different places regularly (I’m pretty sure I read that in an essay recently). In addition to this, I have new repertoire to learn over summer, including the Beethoven I shared, and my teacher is certainly keeping me busy.

I think that I’ve been in Edinburgh for too long – although it’s a bright, bubbly and interesting place I feel bored and restricted by it. Perhaps I need to travel a bit and spend time in a new place: it can only be good for me.

Daily Prompt: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

What is the best dream you’ve ever had? Recount it for us in all its ethereal glory. If no dream stands out in your memory, recount your worst nightmare. Leave no frightening detail out.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us IMAGINARY.

Oh the world of dreams! I love dreams, although I tend not to have them so regularly anymore; however this means that I appreciate them even more when I do have them!

Often people’s moods are affected by how they sleep; restless, relaxed, filled with vibrant imagery, filled with terrible imagery. For me as a musician and writer I can pour these experiences into what I do. Recently, you may or may not recall, I had a particularly bad dream, although it wasn’t terrifying in the sense of gory and blood-filled. It put me on-edge for the entire week. This shows how influential dreams, and indeed nightmares, can be.

My favourite dreams are the ones in which I am travelling. I love travelling; however, again, I don’t do it nearly as often as I used to. Recently I had a dream about going on a ferry to France, as I have done before. This was probably sparked from listening to La Mer by Debussy, which I talked about in my DP post yesterday. I love France, and I have gone there on holiday seven times. My dream started off on the ferry, and was accompanied by Debussy’s La Mer, starting at dawn and going right into a storm – in the same way as the piece progresses. It was quite overwhelming actually – the inspiring imagery and the inspiring music made it pull at my heart-strings in the same way as in a nightmare, when you are terrified because you can’t move.

When I arrived at the port, somewhere near the border with Belgium probably, I experienced that well-known sensation of all the blurred images and a headache, being pushed along the “storyline”, until I gained some kind of control and found myself under the centre of the Eiffel Tower. When I visited the Eiffel Tower for the first time, when I was a kid of about 5 or something, I always went underneath the centre and dizzied myself. because of the sheer size of it. Like I would have done in real life, I went to a café and ordered coffee.

And that, folks, was more or less the dream, one of my favourites. It’s funny that your dreams, despite being imaginary, can also be quite realistic. The human imagination certainly is an art form.

Other imaginary people:

  1. Back In Bug and The Daily Prompt | The Jittery Goat
  2. Daily Prompt: Sweet Dreams- The Psychology of Dreaming | Journeyman
  3. Deliverance | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  4. Fairy Wings- Non Fiction | Rose-tinted Rambles
  5. Sky on floor level | Le Drake Noir
  6. Until then… | Daily Prompt: Sweet Dreams | Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me
  7. I Dreamed About Avril Lavigne | THE BLACK SPAGHETTI CHRONICLES

Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm)

Write the blurb for the book jacket of the book you’d write, if only you had the time and inclination.

Photographers, artists, poets: show us BOOKS.

 A short one today. Sorry about another late post also – I couldn’t get on one any sooner!

I have often envisaged a very peculiar scenario whereby I pick up a book, open it and find a screen of the movie on the first page. This happens when I’m choosing a new book to read in my head when I’m in bed, just about to go to sleep. I remember the first time when this happened – it was prior to me reading ‘Carrie’s War’, because I had seen the film just before. I remember going, in my imagination, to the bookshop and picking up the book, opening it up and seeing the movie on the screen.

I have often thought that writing an autobiography would take you so long, and therefore you would need to start it early(ish). However this would deprive you of living your life in itself! That being said I have often thought my life and my friends lives would, collectively, make an excellent sitcom. This is where my imaginary movie screen-book comes in.

The blurb would read as so:

Deep in the shadows of 21st Century Edinburgh, the Spraffer (the gaffer, the faffer) is stressing out. As Christmas draws nigh like a vulture circling in on a carcass, he finds himself to be broke (the poor sod), despite his ‘revolutionary’ ideas on self-sufficiency, and must resort to working over Christmas. With the struggling battle against democracy, insensitivity and Copyright breach over the Christmas holiday, this Spraffer has to overcome his fear of real-life and become one with his inner intellectual property agent.

I’ve been reading far too much ‘A Confederacy of Dunces’…

Other books:

  1. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | A Room of One’s Own
  2. Sharp Pencil | The Jittery Goat
  3. Malala’s books | Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Ireland, Multiple Sclerosis & Me
  4. Daily Prompt « My journey to qualify for the Boston Marathon…and everything in between…
  5. Girl In The Blue Scarf | Sanjuro Tokage Experiments in Writing
  6. DP Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Sabethville
  7. The Best Book I Never Read | AS I PLEASE
  8. The Waterman’s Bible | Exploratorius | Photo Hack & Curious Wanderer
  9. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | The Wandering Poet
  10. BYOB(ookworm) or Drink From My Cup | Finale to an Entrance
  11. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  12. Essence | My Little Avalon
  13. What are you reading? | Raspberry’s Daydreams
  14. setting | yi-ching lin photography
  15. Daily Prompt: Books | 18 million pixels
  16. Judge it by the cover! | Sue’s Trifles
  17. Daydreaming | Butterfly Mind
  18. Orion 83 – A Path to Enlightenment | L5GN
  19. Beauty of Books | Mishe en Place
  20. Musy the Sputterfly | marjanitalarosa
  21. Dance with the Rain
  22. Time Determines the Heart | The Photo Faith Challenge
  23. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Awl and Scribe
  24. Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  25. Blurb for my novel | A mom’s blog
  26. An Amateur Writer | Life In Pakistan
  27. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  28. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Basically Beyond Basic
  29. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Deelusions Photography
  30. In Search for a Bride | Flowers and Breezes
  31. The Old Testament for the Rest of Us! | meanderedwanderings
  32. A Pup’s Rescue Book… | Haiku By Ku
  33. For my books, a sanctuary in waiting | 365 days of defiance
  34. ‘Bed of Roses’ Synopsis | jigokucho
  35. Hoping | The Land Slide Photography
  36. The Almost Finished, Yet Unpublished, Ever Upward | Ever Upward
  37. Succulent Bookworm | Travel with Intent
  38. Number Seven Written in White. | Hope* the happy hugger
  39. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Sarah’s Typos
  40. S.L.A.P. Therapy…..(wp daily prompt) | Daily Observations
  41. Long-Leggety Blurbing: Daily Prompt | alienorajt
  42. “BYOB(ookworm)” | Relax
  43. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Not The Sword But The Pen
  44. Novel? What Novel? | The Silver Leaf Journal
  45. If I Had the Time to Write a Book « One Crazy Mom
  46. The Blurb Of Public Opinion | The Political and Social Chaos Blog
  47. The True Photo Life Story – Passionately Bored
  48. Rudolf’s Book Jacket/ Daily Post | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  49. Hispanics as the Sleeping Giant | Institute for Hispanic Health Equity
  50. Getting Nymph-ed | Wanderlein
  51. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | A Mixed Bag
  52. Book Jacket Blurb: Jinxed Magics | Musings of a Soul Eclectic
  53. The Editing Blahs…. | Kimberly M. Ringer
  54. Daily Prompt: Books | A Taste of Morning
  55. BYOB(ookworm) | Amoeba Kat Musings
  56. BYOB(ookworm) | The Nameless One
  57. I just had to… | Casually Short
  58. Blurb for book I want to write. | Angela McCauley
  59. No foolin’ this outdoor junkie! [Sheri #2] | Rob’s Surf Report
  60. Daily Prompt: Book Cover “Why Can’t I Be Happy?” | Being HIS Light in a Dark World
  61. Off to the presses! | Master Of Disaster
  62. Well! Done!!! | Words ‘n Pics…
  63. WordPress Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Deviated Perception
  64. The Book I’ll Write About The Peduto Administration
  65. Take Back Home – Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) | Deviated Perception
  66. Daily Prompt: BYOB(ookworm) – Subtext | I shot the messenger
  67. Writers Anonymous | A.C. Melody
  68. Daily Prompt: Strange, But True | One Starving Activist
  69. New to the City – The Daily Post Writing Prompt | Wordgasm
  70. The Book I’d Write…If I Could Be Bothered | That Girl Who Wears Pink
  71. One Wahine’s Library | Wahine Wednesdays
  72. Fantasy Has A Name | lulubellaloveslife

Daily Prompt: Heroic

When you were five years old, who was your hero? What do you think of that person today?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us a HERO.

I can barely remember the specifics of my life at five years of age. All I can remember was that I was so enclosed in my fantasy worlds with my brother and friends that I rarely talked about famous people and big names. It’s quite strange now to think about what I was like as a kid because now I can remember names of artists, of actors and actresses and of films and TV shows. But back then, these things didn’t matter nearly as much as my stories and games. That makes the only heroes I had the characters I created.

At five years of age, I think my favourite hero was my ‘water-mage’. I’ve talked about my friends and I playing and creating these worlds to play in, amongst the quiet and peaceful countryside. ‘Hero’ was my general term for ‘protagonist’. We all starred in our games as our own heroes, and I was a wizard who could manipulate water (if you want to read my previous Daily Prompt post where I explain this then click here). This power had always fascinated me. Playing at being this particular hero was my favourite, especially when we were at the river.

But the interesting thing is what I think of my ‘water-mage’ today. Inevitably, as you grow up, you lose interest in playing games. Reality kicks in. Your bubble bursts. Childish ways disperse to make way for ever more school work and big changes to your life. The key change for me was moving away from our village to attend another school. The city life hit me hard. I mixed in with a completely different group of kids. It was heart-breaking in truth. Today I am still as imaginative as I was at five years old, but, like most people, channel my creativity into more quiet things like stories and books, rather than shouting and dressing up as ‘The Wizard of the Sea’!

We all experience this uneasy feeling of change when we grow up. I think that uneasy feeling comes from all this change, all the different things you have to do. I wonder what the world would be like if we all still pretended at being our own ‘heroes’. Although I’ve grown out of playing at it now, I still kind of miss my wonderful role and my hero.