New ebook release

For those of you with ereaders (or who read ebooks on your laptops and tablets), the last of my older books, Joshua Mansfield and Sheri Zod, has been released as an ebook. You can read more about it on my author site, A Truant Disposition. It may be especially interesting to those of you who follow Gymshoes music because the novella (it’s shorter than my other novels) includes songs, one of which there’s a recorded version of by Undead Monkey (melody line is different from mine). It’s a contemporary fantasy, more in the magic realism school of literary fiction than Tolkien (sorry, no elves). Though this is the fourth of my older novels to be released as an ebook, it was actually the third book I wrote. It’s a good rainy afternoon sort of book. I hope you enjoy it. Might go good with some of my Gymshoes music…If there’s a track that strikes you as good to go with this ebook, drop a comment, I’d like to know what you think! 🙂

Yes, It’s Supposed To Sound That Way

Some you, new to Gymshoes Music, may listen to the first track of Sand In My Shoes and think: is it supposed to sound like that? Yes, it is and I’ll tell you why. 😀 Gymshoes music is (mostly) not live, not natural; it’s a one-person artificial studio construct. I’ve done stuff that’s real and rootsy (A Tropical Depression) and incorporated natural elements into my soundscapes (“The Beach At Sunrise”, “A Piece of Fiji” for example), but mostly that’s not the idea. Gymshoes music is mostly about creating something that can only be created in the studio. It’s about manipulating sound and rhythm, about editing bits and bytes. Some of you may sneer, but I have a somewhat punk attitude about it: like early punk musicians, I don’t have to be able to play these instruments—it’s legitimate not to.

I recall a discussion about a drum part with former Undead Monkey collaborator Hockinfinger. The band has never had a drummer more than briefly (something that breaks my heart as I’m a very rhythm-oriented girl who wants a long-term drummer). I worked up a complicated overdubbed drum part and he objected (rightly in this case) that no human drummer could play it. His criteria for creating a drum track was the limitation of what a human drummer could do with two hands and two feet. I can understand that. It depends on how real you want the track to be (and what the song needs).

On the other hand, Gymshoes music is not supposed to have that level of reality. 😉 I’m one person and though I might lay down a bit of percussion, I’m not a drummer. Doing strictly studio work means that I don’t have any limitations! I have overdubbed rhythm on a lot of the songs precisely because I can do something digitally that can’t be done in the real world! Artificiality is integral. So embrace the hopped-up guitar and manic polyrhythms!

Most contemporary music is a product of technology one way or another. If you’re listening to me play acoustic guitar in my living room, there’s no technology involved. If you’re listening to an mp3, you’re up to your neck in technology. 🙂 I play acoustic guitar, write songs with lyrics instead of samples—like A Tropical Depression—and enjoy rootsy music. But with the exception of A Tropical Depression, Gymshoes music is mostly fun manipulating sound and rhythm. So, yeah, it’s supposed to sound that way! 🙂

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Summer Fun Sale!

My new ebook is scheduled to be released July 19th and Idiolith, in conjunction with Smashwords, is running a coupon sale of my other ebooks now through the 19th. They’ll be approx $3.74 (25% off) for the next 2 weeks with the coupon code on the Smashwords site. Smashwords ebooks can be downloaded in many formats so you can read them on any ereader–or on your computer.

Want a little music to listen to while you’re at the beach reading ebooks? Don’t forget last year’s summer album, Sand In My Shoes. Want something more rootsy and that will do a bit of good too? My EP A Tropical Depression still benefits the Red Cross. There’s been some very heavy weather this year (not to mention the Japanese earthquake and tsunami!) so please don’t forget to give to the Red Cross whether you have the album or not.

Keep your eye on my Truant blog “Idleness” for more info on the upcoming ebook. This one is a bit different. It includes songs, one of which was recorded by my band, Undead Monkey. Eventually I’d like to get the whole set recorded (the one that was recorded, “Incandescent Life” doesn’t have my original melody line). There could be an enhanced ebook edition of Joshua Mansfield and Sheri Zod at some point in the future, but there’s nothing in the works right now and no plans to do it, so don’t wait for that! The ebook (like all my ebooks) will be available in the major online stores (Borders excepted since they’re going bankrupt).

I hope everyone is having a good summer and that my ebooks and music can contribute to that. 😀

Music for a tsunami

Some of you may remember that one song on my A Tropical Depression album was not about hurricanes, but about the Indian ocean tsunami in December ’04. Now, watching the images of the quake and tsunami in Japan I’m grieving once again and hear “Wave, Goodbye” echoing in my head again. You can buy the song (and the EP) from: iTunes, Amazon, myspace, Napster, and Rhapsody. All proceeds benefit the Red Cross. If you plan to donate to the Red Cross, you can get some music, too. However, the Red Cross needs much more than what will come in from this song (unless it goes viral in a way I can’t even imagine), so I urge you to donate whether you get “Wave, Goodbye”, or A Tropical Depression or not. What matters is helping the people in Japan. If the music helps you, too, that’s a bonus.

The liner notes of the album are here.

My thoughts and prayers are with the people of Japan.

Audio for ebooks

How many of you got ereaders for Christmas? Or know someone who did? Most ereaders (& of course iPad) play audio. So, I thought I’d remind you that my Halloween Soundtrack album is good music for reading a spooky book. Many of the tracks were inspired by works of fiction, so it’s very fitting if you want to drop them into your ereader as you read dark stories through the long dark winter evenings. Of course, most of my other tracks are lighter fare, so if you’re reading something warm and sunny this winter browse through the tracks in the music player in the sidebar, paying particular attention to Sand In My Shoes, if you really want a summer vibe. Both albums are available from iTunes, Napster, Amazon mp3, & myspace.

Ping Me!

I’ve now got an artist profile on iTunes Ping! You can follow me there: http://c.itunes.apple.com/us/profile/id-14812. Do you use Ping? What sort of updates do you want from me on Ping? How often? Do you use it like you do social networking? Let me know how (or if) you use Ping. Otherwise I’m just going to wing it. 🙂 As on other social networks, I have the option of following you back (or at least I think I do), so I’ll check in there periodically and maybe follow you back. See ya there! 😀

Networked Blogs on Facebook

You can now follow this Gymshoes blog via the Networked Blogs app on Facebook. It’s a half million blogs strong and growing! Check it out…while not all your favorite blogs will be there, if you’re on Facebook a lot, it’s a fast easy way to keep up with the ones that are—like both of my blogs. The links below will take you to the Networked Blogs Facebook page for them. You need to have a Facebook account to use this feedreader.

Follow via Networked Blogs:

Obviously, if you’re reading this you already have the URL or feed for this Gymshoes blog. 🙂 The URL for A Truant Disposition is: http://truantdisposition.com and the feed is: http://truantdisposition.com/?feed=rss2

Music: I’ve started working on a new ambient piece of music which I intend to offer free on this site when I get it finished. I’m limiting my time working on it right now because I need to work on the sequel to my mystery novel — and electronica can be just as much a time sink as writing. 😉 I just don’t want you to think that I’ve gone off music just because my old novels are coming out as ebooks and I’m following up on some of them. 🙂 I’ve got a couple of music projects going: it just takes a while to finish them up! 🙂