The Secret is Out: The Right Music Boosts Productivity

I’ve known for many years what this article from Popular Science reveals. Listening to a certain style of music improves focus and helps me write. It can help people concentrate on other tasks too. For example, the article says that listening to music of the right style aids surgeons. If you got a surgery coming up, you might want to ask what’s on the surgeon’s playlist.

So, what kind of music enhances focus and the ability to work productively?

This article promotes video game soundtracks as an ideal. This makes sense because everything about video games is carefully designed to maintain the focus of players and keep them from doing anything else. I’ll add that many types of movie soundtracks serve just as well.

The key is that the music should have no lyrics or at least very little singing. As a writer, I’ve been listening to orchestral-style music, mostly movie soundtracks, while writing for years. The absence of lyrics is essential because I’m choosing and organizing words. Song lyrics would distract from that.

I supplement my music collection with the Epic Soundtracks station at Pandora. It’s an awesome writing aid. The music blocks out household noise, keeps my writing pace at a certain rhythm, and provides enjoyment as well.

You should be listening to video game soundtracks at work

Productivity studies suggest you can boost your output with the right music. Make sure to artfully arrange your workspace so it looks good in pictures Pixabay As I write these words, a triumphant horn is erupting in my ear over the rhythmic bowing of violins. Continue reading

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Bayeux Tapestry and how images shape historical views

As the article shared below explains, the Bayeux Tapestry is an exceptional example of historical propaganda. The 230-foot tapestry that depicts the Norman Conquest of 1066 from the Norman point of view is headed for display in England, the country that was conquered. The tapestry has not been in the country since artisans completed the embroidery over 900 years ago.

The effort that the creation of the immense tapestry must have required reveals the motivations of those who planned the work. They placed great importance on shaping the images that would influence people’s view of history and the social order. This is always one of the goals of mass media. The images and narratives shown in books, television, films, internet, and even fabric can skew realities in one or two generations and erase whole points of view. Historical acceptance eventually confers legitimacy.

As a fantasy author, my task includes the building of worlds. As a student of mass media and propaganda, I’ve always tried to weave propagandist elements into my stories. My characters who’re part of elite segments often take great care in managing how the larger society perceives and reacts to their actions. The first epic series that I wrote, The Rys Chronicles, has many examples of this type of narrative crafting. In that story, a society undergoes a great rebellion. I show how the rebels play upon the emotions of the people to elicit the responses that they need. I also include details that show how the art and philosophies of the existing order have permeated and controlled the society up to the point of rebellion.

English and French rivalry highlighted by loan of historic Bayeux Tapestry

French President Emmanuel Macron visits England on Thursday to discuss a host of bilateral issues, from migration to Brexit. That seems like a pretty routine, boring story. Yet excitement is rising in both countries because of a single piece of cloth. Continue reading

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Fire and Fury Trump book so popular sales up for similar title

Author Randall Hansen has benefited from the big sales achieved by “Fire and Fury” by Michael Wolff. Wolff’s attack piece on President Trump has attracted many readers. Forbes Magazine describes its online sales as “unprecedented.” It’s dominating the best-seller charts at Amazon as people clamor for details about the man positioned to prevent as much human progress as possible.

Meanwhile, Hansen’s “Fire and Fury: The Allied Bombing of Germany, 1942 – 1945” has enjoyed a sales boost according to the author’s report. Its similar title has garnered it the visibility treasured by authors as people search for the other book. I suspect Hansen’s book will make for lighter reading.

If any authors and publishers have some political scandal book in the making, please feel free to adapt versions of my book titles to your purposes, especially if you expect best-seller status. I could use the extra visibility, and my titles should work well in many real-world political applications.

Consider these gems as you prepare to publish before the 2018 midterms:

Judgment Rising

New Religion

Savage Storm

Union of Renegades

‘Fire And Fury’ Lead To Increase In Sales Of Book With Similar Name

After Michael Wolff’s tell-all “Fire and Fury” released Friday ahead of schedule, the book fast became a bestseller and is now seemingly helping another book’s sales too. Author and historian based in Canada, Randell Hansen, tweeted Friday that the unprecedented sales for Wolff’s book had led to an increase in sales of his own book, whose name also had the words “Fire and Fury,” in it. Continue reading

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Surplus killing behavior of wolves represents food stockpiling

I came across a headline recently about shocking wolf attacks in France. A sheep-raising couple lost 15 animals in a night. They had been willing to accept the loss of an occasional animal, but the carnage alarmed them badly.

This is exactly the type of incident throughout history that allowed our cultures to paint the wolf as evil. Of course the species represents a dangerous predator, but are incidents of large scale kills really evidence of violent rampages motivated by thrill seeking?

My internet research soon named the phenomenon of a mass kill as surplus killing. Wildlife biologists have observed it in wolves, and it happens more often during harsh winters with more snow. This was the case during a bad winter when wolves took down 19 elk. The wolves would expect to return to the carcasses and feed for as long as possible. Other predators and scavengers in the region would benefit from the food source as well. This suggests that wolves exploit opportunities to kill multiple prey animals so that they can stock up on food. A behavior that any human can relate to.

Livestock, like sheep, are especially vulnerable because the wolves discover that the sheep are easy pickings. Domestic sheep panic and run when confronted by wolves and become easy targets. They also leave their young exposed. The desire of the wolves to stock up on food would explain these mass livestock killings as well. Humans engage in mass livestock killings every day. Like real-world wolves, my werewolf hero Thal always has a reason when he kills someone too.

France caught in war with wolves

Furtive, wily and the animal of fairy tales, wolves fascinate nature lovers, but they raise fears among French sheep breeders who are trying to save their flocks. Amid debate in France on a future policy towards wolves the government is being asked to come to the aide of sheep farming. Continue reading

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Druidic and Celtic Symbols in Druid Warrior Prince

Learn how author Juli D. Revezzo blends Celtic symbols and mythology into her tales of a magical Ireland. Contributing to Brave Luck Books as a guest writer, Revezzo shares some insights about her newest novel DRUID WARRIOR PRINCE from the Celtic Stewards Chronicles.

Druid Warrior Prince

Druidic and Celtic Symbols in Druid Warrior Prince

by Juli D. Revezzo

The Celts have been of interest to modern man for centuries, despite the fact that we have very little in the way of firsthand accounts of them. What they left behind, however—their stories, their art—has fueled that interest and even some modern pagans. In Wicca, for instance, you’ll see an interest in Celtic gods, and if you visit a Wiccan festival, or even a Renaissance festival, you’ll no doubt run into Celtic spirals all over the place!

Spirals (the symbol of ebb and flow, leaving and returning), of course, aren’t the only symbol prevalent in Celtic mythology. The stories abound with symbols everywhere. A Cauldron isn’t just a cauldron, it’s a symbol for the entrance into the Otherworld, at other times, it’s a container for an inexhaustible supply of whatever food or drink one might need.

So when it came time to build the world in Celtic Stewards Chronicles (of which my novel, DRUID WARRIOR PRINCE, is the latest installment), I couldn’t resist adding a few of these interesting symbols into my “imagined Ireland”

Then there are the harbingers. These are Balor’s minions, a combination of mythological figures of the evil Fomorians — enemies of the Tuatha dé Danann and creatures of my own imagination.

fomorians

A depiction of the Fomorians by John Duncan.

They’re mythic yes, but also pure fantasy. Since the series runs backward from our time in the present to the past, I decided to make the harbingers able to adapt to their ecology. So in book one (Passion’s Sacred Dance), the heroine thinks they resemble alligators of which she’s used to from local Floridian zoos and habitats. By the latest installment in the Celtic Stewards Chronicles, DRUID WARRIOR PRINCE, which takes place in Medieval Ireland, the problem arose that Ireland has no such creatures. So what do they do? Adapt the species to resemble the hideous creature of legend (Celtic and otherwise): dragons. So, yes, there be dragons (of a sort) here.

So there you are; a few of the symbols that show up in my latest fantasy romance novel, DRUID WARRIOR PRINCE. I hope you will take a look and enjoy what resulted from my mixture of reality, fantasy and symbology.

If you’d like to know more about DRUID WARRIOR PRINCE, here’s the synopsis:

Gwenevieve Macken’s well-ordered world falls into chaos as encroaching interlopers scheme to possess both her and her land. Although she’s been trained to spot the signs of inhuman evil in men, the amassing armies take on guises she never expected.

When a foreign guardian presents himself as her only option for salvation, Gwenevieve must make a choice between her desires, and fulfilling the mythic fate to which she was born. A forced marriage to a Tuatha dé Danann warrior isn’t part of her plan.

DRUID WARRIOR PRINCE at Amazon in Kindle and Paperback

Author Biography

JuliDRevezzo_black and white320Juli D. Revezzo loves fantasy and Celtic mythology and writing stories with all kinds of fantastical elements. She is the author of the historical romances, House of Dark Envy, Watchmaker’s Heart, and Lady of the Tarot, the Antique Magic paranormal series and Celtic Stewards Chronicles series and more. She is also a member of the Independent Author Network and the Magic Appreciation Tour.

To learn more about this and future releases, visit her at: http://www.julidrevezzo.com

Sign up for her newsletter at: http://bit.ly/SNI5K6

Follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/julidrevezzo

or Twitter: https://twitter.com/julidrevezzo

blog: http://julismapsroom.blogspot.com/

Thanks, Tracy, for inviting me here to talk about Druid Warrior Prince. 

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Disney going hog wild with Star Wars

I’ve really been pleased so far with how Disney has developed the Star Wars universe. “Rogue One” was an outstanding movie. I cry every time I watch it, plus it has such bad ass Darth Vader scenes.

I’m very much looking forward to the “Han Solo” movies that have been planned. This news article said that production was just completed on the first movie. I wonder if they are at all based on the splendid novels written by Ann C. Crispin? I thought her “Han Solo Trilogy” books were excellent.

Disney announces new Star Wars film trilogy, TV series

Disney on Thursday announced plans for a new Star Wars film trilogy and a live-action TV series as it builds on the beloved and profitable science fiction franchise. … recently wrapped on a film based on the story of Han Solo, who was played by actor Harrison Ford in the original trilogy as well as in 2015’s “The Force Awakens,” according to Disney executives. ” SoloContinue reading

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Lord of the Rings TV series has great potential

Amazon wants to have a hit fantasy television series of its own. Envious of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” success, Amazon Studios has started negotiations with the estate of J.R.R. Tolkien regarding the creation of a “Lord of the Rings” television show, according to a report in Variety. Jeff Bezos himself is said to be involved. No official deals have yet to emerge, but I certainly agree that the world of Middle Earth has almost limitless potential for great fantasy stories. You don’t have to stick to the stories. Just use the world.

I would make a television series that shows Aragorn’s younger days as a Ranger with the Dunedain. He and the rangers could fight monsters most episodes and have elf girlfriends whenever possible. The world can have that great idea for free, unless of course the Tolkien estate turns Bezos down. Then Amazon can pay me to write a thrilling alternative. If you want some free fantasy fiction, download one of my novels.

Can A ‘Lord Of The Rings’ TV Series Measure Up To ‘Game Of Thrones’ Success?

Another epic fantasy series could soon find itself a television home, as Amazon is reportedly eyeing a television adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s fantasy series, “The Lord of the Rings.” According to Variety, Warner Bros. Continue reading

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Extinct human species inspire fantasy races and monsters

My whole life I’ve been fascinated by human ancestors or prehistoric members of the genus homo. Neanderthals are the most well known. Their disappearance from Europe at the same time that modern homo sapiens moved into the continent has held the attention of researchers for years. Many ideas have been presented about their downfall, but I’ve always suspected that humans hunting Neanderthals played a big role in their disappearance. I base this belief on what I know of recorded human history. Wiping out neighboring peoples and taking their lands have been standard operating procedures for thousands of years. Humans have been known to wipe out many species. Hunting is considered the major reason for the mass extinction of megafauna and the rise of agriculture. We killed all of the animals and had to figure out another way to get food.

Reading and writing fantasy literature usually includes humans warring with other races, usually nasty orcs that represent the unsightly other that must be killed and can be killed without regret. I believe that the races and monsters that make the fantasy genre so fun and interesting are derived from our deep body memory of battles fought in distant ages when we were not the only species making weapons. It’s not too far of a stretch to image a burly Neanderthal as a giant or troll.

The article below suggests that the steady influx of more humans into the continent of Europe gradually caused our species to prevail and the other to wither.

Neanderthals were doomed to fail, new study suggests

Neanderthals lived at the same time as early humans. They were strong, smart, and in many ways better than their counterparts. Yet humans endured, while Neanderthals went extinct (though in a way, we still carry them around through our DNA). Continue reading

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25% off Now through Black Friday 2017

25% off ebooks and audiobooks by Tracy Falbe

Enter coupon code Reader25 at checkout and get a 25 percent discount on any order of ebooks or audiobooks at this site.

This coupon offer is in effect now through Black Friday 2017. Download some engrossing fantasy literature. It’ll help pass the time if you’re traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday. And if you have a day or two off work, you can curl up and escape to new worlds.

Fantasy readers worldwide have access to any of my fantasy titles in Epub, PDF, or Kindle format. Also find audiobook mp3s of Union of Renegades and The Goddess Queen.

Save 25 percent on any titles in the following series:

Rys Rising

The Rys Chronicles

Werewolves in the Renaissance

You can start any series with a free download.

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Archeology a constant source of inspiration for my fantasy writing

This article about a 1,000-year-old Viking sword found by a hunter in the Norwegian Mountains easily suggests a story to me. Unlike the speculation in the article that someone dropped the sword while lost in a blizzard, I like to imagine someone trekking up to 5,000 feet above sea level and hurling a magic sword into the snowy waste to escape its curse. It might explain why archeologists have not found any other artifacts or a body near the sword.

1,000-Year-Old Viking Sword Discovered In Norwegian Mountains

A reindeer hunter in the mountains of southern Norway stumbled upon a Viking sword that has survived exposure to the elements for more than 1,000 years. Einar Åmbakk found the sword because half … Continue reading

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