The Charred Tree

Archive for the month “March, 2012”

Diaspora: A Near Thing

The white Queen’s Bishop glided along the diagonal of dark squares toward a small black castle. The Rook dissolved into a mist which parted and disappeared as the Bishop came to rest. Nora had added the effect a few months ago and claimed that it was the same every time a piece was captured but, as he watched his last major piece disappear from the board, Thomas Jefferson “TJ” Clarke wasn’t so sure. It certainly looked more flamboyant when you were losing. Again. Read more…


A quick intermission…Sad Songs Blogfest 2012

The other day while looking around the internet for some research I took a break and cruised some blogs…just to see what other folks are doing. I have the great pleasure of knowing one particular blogger/writer/speaker/photographer, L. Diane Wolf, in person and her blog, Spunk on a Stick, is one of my usual stops when I do a bit of blog surfing.

That’s when I discovered that Diane is doing a Sad Songs Blogfest today (March 30). I’ve recently had several conversations with other writers about music and its role in our writing process so this fit right in with the discussions. I thought, “Why not?” The Blogfest is for sad songs, so I can list my top picks of what I listen to while writing something that needs to be sad.

So here goes….Enjoy!

Top 5 Sad Songs as chosen by DBJohnson at The Charred Tree

#5  My Immortal by Evanescence

Since I first heard this song, it has always evoked strong emotions. The lyrics pair exceptionally well with the music and Amy Lee’s vocals are perfect for this song. Quiet, introspective, contemplative, moody scene?  This music helps the writing flow.

#4 John’s Walk from the Ink soundtrack

Ink is a low-budget, high production value film that is a finely crafted story. It is extremely well done and is a visual and audio feast. You can tell when I’m impressed with the music when I buy the soundtrack before the movie is even over. The point in the move where this music is used is a keystone of the plot and this music is critical to the emotional impact of the scene. Desperate hope, making a stand, hard decisions–these types of scenes are covered.

#3 The Fisherman’s Song

I originally heard this song on a collection of Celtic music CD. The story told by the lyrics and and heart-rending music makes this song what I listen to when writing a scene involving loss or grief.

#2 Underneath The Weeping Willow by Grandaddy

I discovered the music of the group Grandaddy from two different friends on opposite sides of the globe at about the same time (so neither gets full credit). Their work evokes a range of emotions and this is one I can listen to on repeat for hours (I have). What I get from this one is being emotionally drained and just wanting to sleep and retreat from the problems that haunt you.

#1 Flirted With You All My Life by Vic Chesnutt

Vic Chesnutt was plagued by depression for much of his life after the accident that left him mostly paralyzed from the neck down when he was 18. While many (most?) of Chesnutt’s songs are heavily emotional, Flirted is by far the most touching and crushing look at his take on depression. This song is one I listen to while writing scenes involving hopelessness, depression, and weariness.

Hope you have enjoyed this list. It was interesting going through my collection to find which pieces of music are my favorite sad songs.

The Chauchemar

It was a quiet night in the swamp. The fog that covered the water and land alike dampened all the normal night sounds and only a few could be heard—the scratchy calls of the tree frogs and locusts, the hoot of a nearby owl, the occasional splash in the water that could have been caused by just about anything. Rene poled the small pirogue through the dark and watched for possible hazards which could materialize out of the mist without warning. Read more…

A Special Treat

Author’s Note:  I was issued a challenge and I’m not yet sure how I did with it. As those who have read my work may realize, much (dare I say ‘most’) of my work has a dark aspect and is geared more toward a more mature audience (this will become even more apparent as some of the serials play out on the blog…but I digress). Since I do not have children of my own, I have not felt the need to build tales with them in mind.

Until now. Read more…

Diaspora: Motherlode

Probe XP-42816 coasted into the Adjan 172 system at .9997C, just under the speed of light. The onboard artificial intelligence was advanced enough to navigate and make survival, information gathering, analysis, and report decisions but that was all; it was not advanced enough to need any name other than the probe’s designation. Self-diagnostics of the various systems aboard the probe indicated everything working properly Read more…

Bound By Silence: Arrival

The cloaked figure slowly walked the narrow street heedless of the fog and the dark between the widely spaced  and guttering street lamps. The steady soft clip that accompanied each footfall on the cobbles echoed slightly between the cramped buildings and faded into the sound of the almost-slumbering city—the muted voices of the dock workers as they drank Read more…

Farewell! Away! Down River!

“Wake up, sleepyhead. It’s time to get ready to go to the river.”

Big Daddy’s voice spoke softly into his ear and woke him, without alarm, to the dim light of a candle set on the stool beside his pallet. Luke’s first inclination was to pull the hand-sewn quilt tight around his chin and go back to sleep—it was obvious from the fog that accented his grandfather’s breathing that the morning’s chill might be a bit more than just “pre-dawn.” Read more…

Jack’s End

A fable about responsibility.

Jack sat on the front stoop of the cabin that was home to him and his aging mother. Mother was very religious and spent most of her time praying up at the chapel. Jack sometimes asked her what she prayed about and her response was always the same: “I pray that you will one day get over your foolishness and take the responsibilities of an adult seriously. You are an adult and should do more than just lounge around grinning your fool head off!” Jack didn’t ask her that very much anymore. Read more…

Welcome to The Charred Tree!

The Charred Tree is a dedicated site to publish my writing. Most of the work will be short stories but at times I will post vignettes and scenes from longer stories. I make no guarantees of the tales’ quality, but they are my own and I share them here for you to enjoy. Whether you enjoy my work or not, please take a moment to leave your thoughts. All comments and critiques are very much appreciated.

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