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…

 

Some promises to be kept: Guest Bloggers

Hello everyone! Following some feedback I received I have changed my theme to start off a series of modifications I’m going to be making to my blog – starting with COLOUR!

It’s kind of annoying because at home I have one of these internet “dongles” because I find them handy and easy to use with the laptop around the flat. However the package I’m on only allows for a few MB download/upload so I am unable to change anything until I get onto another computer. However, I will be putting in a lot more pictures from now on, just as I did when I started up the blog! I must apologise for the lack of posts also – seems they have gone along with blog maintenance!

I promised also to see about getting some guest bloggers to write some very interesting stuff and to help with filling in the gaps I’ve created between posts! So as promised I am going to give you the opportunity to become a guest blogger on my blog.

What I’d really like is if any interested people could send me an email to dysfunctionalspraffer@gmail.com stating a little bit about:

  • who you are
  • what you do
  • why you think you would be suited to write on the blog
  • what your interests are
  • what days in the week are you able to write

My ideal people to have on as guests would be people who are interested in music – people who could be knowledgable in music or just interested to learn more about music – and who are generally motivated in life, as well as being congenial people and, ideally, already writing stuff so they know what they’re doing.

If you’re interested please send an email consisting of no more than 1000 words to me at dysfunctionalspraffer@gmail.com by 9pm (G.M.T), 23rd March 2014 (next Sunday). I’m really looking forward to hopefully getting some interested parties!

In the spirit of today I’m going to share with you a lovely piece of music by Franz Liszt which a friend of mine is playing right now – Gnomenreigen, performed by legendary pianist Sviatoslav Richter:

Spraffer’s Music History Lesson #1

Hello everyone! Sorry about the lack of DP post today, however it was pretty uninspiring to be perfectly honest as I have danced before – even had lessons – but I don’t do it regularly.

Tomorrow I have two things on: a recital and a recital assessment. The recital assessment is something that happens once a year. You have to perform a programme of up to 15 minutes (I will play two pieces – 5 minutes and 12 minutes – and I know the maths doesn’t work) and talk a bit about your pieces. The marking scheme works as so:

  • You are marked out of 10 on your performance capabilities. This includes how you interact with the accompanist, how you present yourself and how you finish off the performance. The idea is that the assessment should be carried out as if it was a normal recital, even thought it is adjudicated by only two people – a senior tutor (who happens to be a legendary cellist – argh!) and a guest senior tutor (this year it is the Head of Strings in some university in England – a violist, so bring on the viola jokes!)(No seriously – what do you do if you run over a viola player? You make sure you got him.)
  • You are marked out of 25 on your technique. Important factors include making sure that you are not tense during playing, you are perfectly in tune, and you make a really good and appropriate sound.
  • You are marked out of 25 on your musicality. For the purposes of the assessment, this includes whether you approach the piece musically, your choice-making during a performance, your choices regarding what you do musically when preparing the pieces for the assessment, etc. It can also include your performance attitude, and how you appear during a performance (e.g. if you make a tuning error and screw up your face, then they may deduct marks). Because the tutors are naturally very musical, and obviously very musical, it can be terrifying to play to them. I know a few friends who are really worried about their assessments.
  • You are also marked out of 10 on your knowledge about the pieces and composers, as well as your general know-how on what possible things you could have done with the piece to prepare it. Questions may include things like “What did you find hard about learning these pieces and how did you approach these?”, or perhaps “How did the composers experiences influence your piece?”. This is new to the assessments this year, and to be honest has been terrifying everyone as no one really knew that this was going to be marked!

So, tomorrow I will be playing two pieces, one of which is not too hard and the other is quite tricky. These are Prokofiev’s Cello Sonata, 2nd Movement, and Bruch’s Kol Nidrei for Cello and Orchestra (although it is going to be played by my legendary piano teacher whom everyone loves because he is literally ridiculous at playing piano).

Here is the Kol Nidrei, played by legendary cellist, Jacqueline Du Pré:

And here is the Prokofiev Sonata, 2nd Movement, played by legendary cellist, Yo-Yo Ma:

As practice for my exam, I’m now going to write about my two pieces and their composers – briefly.

Max Bruch’s Kol Nidrei is for Cello and Orchestra, as I said, and was finished in Liverpool, England and published in 1881 for the first time in Berlin. It was premiered by Robert Hausmann, the cellist of the Joachim Quartet, for whom the piece was written. The piece is, ultimately, in binary form (there are two sections), with two different subjects. The first subject is based on the Kol Nidre prayer, a Jewish prayer recited in the evening service on Yom Kippur. The beginning of the piece, as you can hear, is supposed to imitate the hazzan who chants the liturgy at the synagogue. The prayer, I believe, is about asking God for mercy – when the cello solo comes in after the introduction, you can imagine a Jewish man praying, even begging, to God for forgiveness with “Lord, have mercy” which, not surprisingly, also fits in with the notes of the solo Cello part. The second subject of the piece is much like the sun rising in the morning, and is in the tonic major key (the same key, only major, as opposed to minor at the beginning). It is based on the middle section of Anglo-Australian composer, Isaac Nathan’s arrangement of “O Weep for Those that Wept on Babel‘s Stream” (written by Lord Byron). This again is a Hebrew inspired subject, and keeps to Bruch’s original idea.

Bruch himself was a German Romantic composer. He lived from 1836 to 1920, and is probably most famous for his first Violin Concerto. He began composing from an early age, when he wrote his mother a piece of music at age 9, and received an early musical education from Ferdinand Hiller, the pianist to whom Schumann dedicated his wonderful Piano Concerto in A minor. Bruch enjoyed a long career as a teacher and composer, taking up jobs all around Germany. He composed very much in the traditional German Romantic style, much like Brahms, as opposed to Liszt and Wagner who composed “New Music”. He worked with musical legends of the time, such as Joseph Joachim who premiered Brahms’ Double Concerto for Violin and Cello with Robert Hausmann.

Contrasting to the Romantic German style of Bruch and his Kol Nidrei, Sergei Prokofiev’s Cello Sonata is a truly vibrant and modern piece of music. My favourite movement, despite playing the second tomorrow, is the first, however I haven’t put it up yet. So here it is:

The piece was premiered in 1950 by yet another legendary cellist, Mstislav Rostropovich, and extraordinary (pianists of this standard are also legendary, however cello must take priority…) pianist, Sviatoslav Richter, in the Small Hall of the Moscow Conservatory. It was composed for Rostropovich himself in 1949, after Prokofiev had been inspired to write the piece following hearing one of Rostropovich’s recitals the same year. Much of Prokofiev’s music as banned because of the composer being accused of formalism by the Russian Government. Many artists in Russia who lived at the same time (and a lot of whome knew each other), such as Dmitri Shostakovich and Sergei Rachmaninoff, also suffered from the terrible conditions in Russia at the time, resulting in many of them (including Prokofiev) emigrating to places like America. I think this also had an effect on the Cello Sonata. The second movement has march-like qualities about it, however there is a really, as my cello teacher would say, “wishy-washy” (great adjective, don’t you think?), romantic tune in the middle which I think reflects upon Prokofiev’s relief from the fact that he could openly premier and publish, as he did in 1951, his music in Russia again. The piece usually takes about 25 minutes to perform from start to finish, and has three movements: (i)Andante grave, (ii)Moderato, and (iii)Allegro, ma non troppo.

Sergei Prokofiev was a Russia composer who is famous for his Peter and the Wolf (a personal favourite of mine!) and his five piano concertos. He was born in 1891 Sontsovka, now Krasne in Eastern Ukraine, which was under rule by the Russian Government. Inspired by his musically devoted mother playing Chopin and Beethoven on the piano, he composed pieces from an extraordinarily young age of 5. He studied in Moscow most of his life, and moved between Russia and America during his life time depending on how turbulent the situations were in Russia at the time (although he was tempted back by Stalin’s government, he was subjected to more accusations when he returned – his wife was sent to a gulag in Siberia).

I hope that this will give you some interesting stuff to learn and talk about, as well as letting me pass my assessment! Do listen to the pieces – they are all fantastic! Anyways, I hope everyone’s having a good evening!

Daily Prompt Catch-up: Walking on the Moon

What giant step did you take where you hoped your leg wouldn’t break? Was it worth it, were you successful in walking on the moon, or did your leg break?

Photographers, artists, poets: show us RISK.

This is my first catch-up for now. I was in the Edinburgh Central Library, Reference Library (gorgeous building, must visit if you’re in Edinburgh – it’s on the top floor), on a computer for two hours doing some work due to my infamous craptop failures, and I decided to attempt at doing some writing on the blog. However the computer did this funny thing that meant that all the text on the screen of the “New Post” page was invisible! So apologies for that, however that frustration has led me to doing this prompt which I meant to do on Saturday!

It has to be said, I am not one for taking risks – at least not anymore. I play it safe in most cases, often going out of my way to do so. However the only exception to this is when I’m playing music. A musical “risk” can be a lot of things, but what I mean by it is something that you do that might go against the grain; something unconventional. As a musician I think it’s important to put in a couple of quirks when you feel like doing so. In a performance, for example, I might do something spontaneous stylistically (obviously not completely crazy: subtlety works best!); something that I haven’t practised doing for that piece yet which will work nicely. Risks in music is what brought us Debussy, Shostakovich – in fact you can go right back to Medieval/Renaissance music whereby one composer wrote a Mass setting based on a particularly dodgy, secular song!

Indeed, in a lot of situations, in science for example, you must take risks to progress! I know that my risks in music lead to enjoyment, and that can be progress too.

Risks of other natures:

  1. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | Basically Beyond Basic
  2. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | a Portia Adams adventure
  3. My Giant Step – Daily Prompt | alienorajt
  4. Four Things I Learned About Freedom From an Uber-Strict Prep School | Kosher Adobo
  5. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon- Being Independent | Journeyman
  6. I Think My Leg Is Broken | Musings | WANGSGARD.COM
  7. Rocket To The Moon . | Crossroads
  8. A Rainy Day At Home (short story) and The Daily Prompt | The Jittery Goat
  9. One Crazy Mom » Taking the Next Step
  10. I’m Michael Jackson | Knowledge Addiction
  11. I Will Weather | Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | likereadingontrains
  12. DP Daily Prompt: Walking On The Moon | Sabethville
  13. Walking On The Moon – You Kidding! | Views Splash!
  14. Daily Prompt: The Giant Step — A Haiku: Sunday, February 23, 2014 | LisaRosier.com
  15. It’s All About Trying… | Life Confusions
  16. S. Thomas Summers: Writing with Some Ink and a Hammer | A Violin on Baker Street
  17. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | Here I am !!
  18. Extinction | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  19. Hunters – reloaded | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  20. Inappropriate love | shame
  21. We Ought to Obey God Rather Than Men | Among the Whispers
  22. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
  23. If You Lose Your Head While Cooking, It Insults My Intelligence | Bumblepuppies
  24. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon « Mama Bear Musings
  25. A giant step | Sue’s Trifles
  26. Have Faith In God | Flowers and Breezes
  27. I liked the place so much I bought more than the t-shirt! | thoughtsofrkh
  28. DAILY PROMPT: Risk | cockatooscreeching
  29. Dare To Dream | My Little Avalon
  30. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon – LOVING THE ALIEN | Phoenix Fights
  31. Three Firsts In A Day | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  32. Daily Prompt: Being Intrepid! | All Things Cute and Beautiful
  33. Craters in my heart. | Your Best Friend from the DMV
  34. Risky Business for this Girl Born in the Year of the Rat « psychologistmimi
  35. here’s to evolution | y
  36. milking the way | peacefulblessedstar
  37. What giant step did you take where you hoped your leg wouldn’t break? | askgrampa
  38. Walking on the Moon | I Write Therefore I Am
  39. Leap and the Net will Appear | The Zombies Ate My Brains
  40. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
  41. Tiny Pieces | Barefoot on Rainy Days
  42. Losing Blood | The Land Slide Photography
  43. Daily Prompt: A Leap of Faith | Wright Outta Nowhere
  44. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | Delicious Ambiguity
  45. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | Infinitefreetime
  46. I’m Not Afraid of Lunar Monsters
  47. Some may say I’m wishing my days away… | An Upturned Soul
  48. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | The Wandering Poet
  49. I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  50. Dream awake | mnemosynesandlethe
  51. Igmutaka’s Blessing | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  52. Two Years Later | Recovery Miles
  53. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | Nola Roots, Texas Heart
  54. Where’s the Function Key for “Risk?” | by LRose
  55. A plea on behalf of all of us who self-publish. Daily Prompt | alienorajt
  56. for a pigeon | The Seminary of Praying Mantis
  57. DP_Walking on the Moon…or should I say – Gliding in the Sky! | Essence of Del
  58. Risk: Daily Post | Destino
  59. Haiku: Walking on the Moon | Mirth and Motivation
  60. My First Step Out of Rock Bottom to Start My Walk on the Moon | Ever Upward
  61. I did not break a leg | mombox
  62. Defying Gravity | Retrofocus
  63. My Disney College Program (A quick summary of why) | The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project”
  64. Hall of Shame | Exploratorius
  65. Moon Walking For Dummies | Overcoming Bloglessness
  66. Risk- The fear and excitement of taking that important first step | A picture is worth 1000 words
  67. Risk: Walking on the Moon | Yowza, Here We Go!
  68. My brief American dream | Life is great
  69. Risk | Focal Breeze
  70. Risk Taking… Beware! | The Christian Gazette
  71. Walking on the Moon | Alexia Jones
  72. Giant Step: Kelly’s Cheesecakes and Cookies | 365 Days of Thank You
  73. Daily Prompt: Risk | That Montreal Girl
  74. Daily promp: Weighing it up | helen meikle’s scribblefest
  75. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | Lady K’s Lounge
  76. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | Lady K’s Lounge
  77. Daily Prompt: Risk | Morrighan’s Muse
  78. Sunday Snapshot: Walking on the Moon | Tommia’s Tablet
  79. JUMPING SHIP | SERENDIPITY
  80. Life – risks = boring | Willow’s Corner
  81. The Art of Doing a Header | Awkward Laughter
  82. Care to Dare | Rima Hassan
  83. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | Raspberry’s Daydreams
  84. Daily Prompt: Walking on the Moon | bardalacray
  85. Recipe: Giant Chocolate WTFs | Be Less Amazing
  86. THE RISK TAKER | DANDELION’S DEN

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: Predictions

There are 344 days remaining in the year. Describe what you’d like to be doing on day 211. (Hint: that’s July 30th.)

Photographers, artists, poets: show us the FUTURE.

Usually my brother and I don’t get along at all. We are exact opposites in every way imaginable. We both have completely different interests, completely different looks, completely different ways of approaching things, etc. That being said July 30th is the only day we get along. It’s his birthday.

This one day I make him feel even more in the centre of attention (he’s a bit of a drama queen) and make an effort to not get annoyed. I usually get him a present too, something quite large and reasonably expensive too! It’s my way of trying to get to him and try to make a fresh year. As he gets older by another year, I expect a certain level of maturity, more so every year. This is natural of course.

When my brother was born I thought (or so I was told by our mum) that my little brother was the most wonderful thing in the universe. When we were little he would come with the other four of us to play in our village where we lived at the time, and we had a lot of fun together. Then when we moved away from the village things became more turbulent. My brother is and always has been a softy. He used to hate water-fights, because he didn’t like being the victim even if everyone else was also getting soaked! When we moved into the city, he had to move school, and this caused him a lot of problems.

He used to get bullied by older kids at primary school. This stopped happening after he had made some friends in his year, however I remember him staying off school a lot because he hated it so much. He wouldn’t let our mum leave him alone. It was quite scary to watch someone be petrifying by the idea of school, something I’ve never particularly disliked (although he and I went to very different schools). He made it though his primary years though, and by the end he was much more confident. His next task then was to move up to high school, and this also proved difficult for him. When he moved into his first year at high school, much older, bigger kids would tease and swear at him, and, for him, I think this was like a recurring nightmare. For several weeks he was quite shaky, however when he came out of it you could sense a change. He had become so much more unforgiving, so much older.

This was the biggest change in his attitude towards our mum and I, and he would get annoyed by everything we did, shouting verbal abuse all the time. He never did any work, and I think he just has no motivation. I can just imagine the thoughts running through his head, “No one’s ever helped me so why should I help them?“. This in itself is silly because our mum especially has always been very supportive of us. However I think there’s an interesting idea here.

Everyone goes on about kids entering their “teenage years” and how it will bring mayhem and so forth. This being said, I think the cause of this is because of all these new experiences. I think that people overestimate the stress capacity of such a young mind. I would know. I think that teachers should be  more forgiving and helpful to young teens who find the whole experience of moving to a bigger school with older, bigger, often meaner kids very stressful and wearing. That should be the future.

Futures of other universes (blogs):

    1. Timeline Of The Far Future | AS I PLEASE
    2. Story Throw Up | Lewis Cave
    3. On July 30th I’ll Be Drawing A Blank | The Jittery Goat
    4. DP Daily Prompt: Predictions | Sabethville
    5. perhaps one out of | y
    6. future | yi-ching lin photography
    7. Daily Prompt: Predictions | tnkerr-Writing Prompts and Practice
    8. Daily Prompt: Predictions | Thoughts of an INFP
    9. 254. July 30, 2014 | Barely Right of Center
    10. Fate | Active Army Wife
    11. july 30, 2014 | Life Love Lily
    12. The thing I would like to do on day 211: Thanks to Allah | Write for learning
    13. Predictions – A Daily Prompt Post | My Little Avalon
    14. Daily Prompt: Predictions | Willow Blackbird
    15. Just messing about on the river: Daily prompt | alienorajt
    16. July 30th, 2014 « My journey to qualify for the Boston Marathon…and everything in between…
    17. Daily Prompt: Predictions | A Day In The Life
    18. After 211 days… | Read Me
    19. What the Heck Could I Doing On July 30th 2014 | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
    20. Der, Die, Das…Was? | Mishe en Place
    21. The Rock | L5GN
    22. Give Me A Break | Wanderlein
    23. A Bright Future | A mom’s blog
    24. Developing Prediction Senses | Ako Si Ehm Blog
    25. “Predictions” | Relax
    26. Hump Day, Metathesis, and Discipleship | meanderedwanderings
    27. Daily Prompt: Predictions | Chronicles of an Anglo Swiss
    28. Daily Prompt: Predictions | Finding Life
    29. As I look into the Crystal Ball | Unlocking The Inner Creative
    30. Daily Prompt: Predictions | Basically Beyond Basic
    31. The business of writing | Kate Murray
    32. Daily Prompt: Through the Looking | One Starving Activist
    33. Will They Come True? | Flowers and Breezes
    34. Predictions | Geek Ergo Sum
    35. Predictions: July 30th | A Patchwork Life
    36. In the Future | One Crazy Mom
    37. Guest Blog Post by Precious and Coco (Kitty Cats): How To Be The Perfect Cat Person
    38. 211/365 | The Colours of Confetti
    39. of unwanted complications « Anawnimiss
    40. Chasing Dreams | Real Life Co.
    41. I can predict the future! | Love.Books.Coffee.
    42. The Future | The Land Slide Photography
    43. Daily Prompt: Predictions | Under the Monkey Tree
    44. Daily Prompt: Predictions – Hoping for major advances in the HIV field while saying goodbye to Australia « psychologistmimi
    45. Pee Here Now Part 2/Daily Prompt | I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
    46. Daily Prompt: Predictions/Future | A Taste of Morning
    47. Daily Prompt: Life on day 211 | Life’s So Sweet