Sunday, January 27, 2008

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Interview: Adrian Grey
-Exactly what it sounds like!

Different Tastes in Music
-Interview with rap/hip hot act Chief Holyfire for those of you who dig various genres!

Interview: Play Action Pass
-Exactly what it sounds like!

Interview: Odd Zero
-Read what I wrote above!

Interview: Pasiflora

Interview: J.M. Warwick
-Interview with YA author of the book An Open Vein.

Authors Write
-Published authors and one aspiring author gives advice and talk about issues they feel are important.

Rock This
-What we are listening too!

We Have a Dream
-In honor of Martin Luther King's birthday, what are our dreams for the future?

New and Cool
-Something new and cool, of course! Book-related...

Can I Do That?
-Interview with someone involved with something interesting!

Looking Back
-Winter concert reviews

-In loving memory of Casey Calvert, Brad Renfro, and Heath Ledger

Interview: Adrian Grey

Adrian Grey

We talked to Jordan of Adrian Grey not too long ago to get some information about his music and his future. Check out the December issue of Substream magazine and support them!

1. Who is this and what do you do in the band?

I'm Jordan and actually I write and record all the music but since I'm not supernatural I can't play everything at the same time live. For live shows I sing and play piano, and sometimes guitar.

2. What song of yours do you feel really shows who you all are as a band?

I would have to say the new song that I recently put on the page "I think you just adjust" it just explains the way I was with alot of friends I had in the past, but over all probably the most feelings I have ever put in a song would be "between me and you" it says so much and you would just have to listen to the song to understand.

3. Do you have any albums or album plans?

I have a full length out called "your present plans are going to succeed" but it is a self recorded/released album so you can only really buy it at shows. I am soon going to a studio to record an e.p. that will be pressed and sold on and other music internet stores.

4. What's one of the most rewarding things you've experienced from this band so far?

Well I was interviewed in the December issue of substream magazine, so that was a lot of publicity since those are sold all around the United States. Also I have really been rewarded by all the friends that I have made from other bands we've played with.

5. If you could wish on a real shooting star, what would you wish for?

I'd would wish for my new E.P. coming out soon to get good reviews and be interviewed by more magazines to greatly increase my fanbase over the year so I could hopefully get a spot on next years warped tour and just keep increasing my fanbase.

Different Tastes in Music

Chief Holyfire

Chief Holyfire is not a part of a band and he doesn’t play acoustic like most single acts do. He’s actually not even a part of the Alternative scene. He’s a rap/hip hop act that we’ve talked too for a little bit now and figured we’d give him a shout out for those of you who might be interested in his music. After all, a lot of people have multiple interests!

1. How did you come up with the name Chief Holyfire?

I came up with the name CHIEF HOLYFIRE in 2001. I have some native american ancestry on both sides of my family and so the title of a CHIEF was fitting for someone like me who wanted to influence and lead people. The name HOLYFIRE came about when I started studying the bible and found an interest in God and his view of life. So I figured I could describe my passion for spiritual things as a HOLYFIRE. During that time I was playing baseball at a junior college and being a pitcher I threw the baseball in high speeds referring to the velocity as fire.

2. What are some your influences?

Musical influences I have are E-40 because of his creative slang. Jay-Z because of his word play and puzzle like rhymes. Tupac because of his aggression and zeal. Jadakiss because of his delivery and rap voice.

3. Have you released any albums? Are you planning on releasing anything in the future?

I released a demo cd in 2002 that was received well. Since then I have focused on producing singles because the industry is changing and consumers are interested more in one song than they are an album.

4. What message do you hope to convey in your music?

I aim to communicate hope and truth to my listeners. A majority of the rappers in the game are phoneys and lie to the public about who they are, what they've done, and why they did it. I see my fans as friends and feel no need to lie to them about who I am and my experiences. Hopefully when the world listens to my music they will want to give God a chance and attempt to solve some of these problems we are faced with on a daily basis.

Interview: Play Action Pass

Play Action Pass

Play Action Pass is a Powerpop/Indie band from Gainesville, Florida that makes me want to smile, quite honestly. I talked to Adam (bass, back up vocals) recently about the band’s influences and what they have set in store for the band’s future, as well as what they support and feel people should pay attention to as well.

The band are selling $2 demos at their shows, but you won’t need to wait long for a proper release. “We are planning on venturing back into the studio sometime before the summer to do some more recording and have our completed EP ready by May of 08.” Just in time for their summer tour as well, so you can be fully prepared to rock out at one of their shows! According to Adam, you’ll be able to catch them “Up and down the East coast as well as the states around the Texas panhandle, Mississippi, Alabama, Texas.”

For those of you who are still sitting here reading this and going ‘I still don’t know whether I’ll like this band or not,’ then ponder no further. I have two solutions for you! The first would be to read this following sentence: “Our musical influences are so vast that I think our sound is an eclectic mix of different elements that you here in Indie, Emo, Hardcore and ambient music. I've been told a lot that we sound like a mix between Taking Back Sunday and Angels and Airwaves.” As for the second solution to your problem, all I have to say is CHECK THE MYSPACE! What better way to know whether you like a band or not? I even helped you out…I’m including their link.

This is one of many bands that believe in giving back and being there for others who are experiencing something that they are familiar with. I believe that they are even going above and beyond some bands in ways, however, and deserve your support if only for that fact. Adam let us know the organization he supports and what the band is planning to help out. “Our band is definitely a big supporter of To Write Love on Her Arms and just like the idea of LOVE as a movement, our band also is setting up a show at the capitol in Ocala, Florida, to benefit a scholarship program that sends kids to rehab who are unable to pay for it themselves. I am a recovering drug addict myself as well as being a trauma survivor. A similar program saved my life and I’m trying to do the same for someone else. I just really think that music can be a tool to make the world a better place and one event that raises money can send someone to treatment who otherwise could not have afforded that opportunity. That opportunity could save his life. I know the opportunity saved mine.”

Wise words, I must say. Good luck on the benefit show, guys!

Interview: Odd Zero

Odd Zero

Three words: Rock. Punk. Metal. Check them out and find out if you agree! But before that, read these following questions that Mike Friedman (vocals) was kind enough to answer for us. How do they think they differ from others? What’s their idea of success? Read on!

1. Who is this and what do you do in the band?

Mike Friedman, vocalist for Odd Zero

2. How do you feel your sound differs from other bands?

We feel like we are a raw, dark, aggressive modern rock band with the attitude and intensity of old school punk and metal. Our reviews have all labeled us as something different, including "metal-tainted punk," "power punk," or "post punk." In many of our songs, you can hear the essence of a great punk song; our drummer, Milt Hernandez, and bass player, Tay Malloy, combine to create a direct and intense sound. But then Mike Fujii's shredding guitar puts a strong metal stamp on the songs, which I think creates something very different from what other bands are doing. Other songs are distinctly metal, but retain the punk edge. Whatever we do, we want to make sure people feel the intensity and emotion of the song and come away feeling something.

3. Do you have any albums currently released? Any in the works?

Our first self-titled CD, produced by legendary hardcore/punk producer Don Fury, is available for sale on Itunes, CDBaby, and Soundclick, as well as on Rhapsody Radio and Pandora Radio. We are currently working on our second CD, produced by Joey Z (Life of Agony, Carnivore), which should be out in the Spring.

4. What's your idea of success?

For as many people as possible to have heard our music or gone to our shows and thought to themselves, "Wow, that was intense -- this band kicks ass."

Interview: Pasiflora


Bass player, Evan, gives us the lowdown on this Indie band from Madison, Wisconsin, who everyone should give a listen too.
This is a band that has played shows with the likes of Drop Dead Gorgeous, The Graduate, Monty are I, Action Action, and more; A full-length album is set to be released in the next couple months; and something about a pet tiger!
How do you know if you’ll like something or even love something if you don’t try it out? So I expect everyone to do just that… right after you read this interview, of course, though!

1. Who is this and what do you do in the band?

This is Evan. I play bass in Pasiflora and sing occasionally...I also creep people out :-)

2. Will you give us a brief history of the band?

Our band has been through a lot in the past year. We officially started in October of 2006. Devin, Tyler and our former guitarist Justin were in a band called Painting in France, Zeb and I were in a band called Off the Deep End and our former bassist Jonny was in a band called A Distant Yesterday. I used to be the lead singer and we had three guitar players...ridiculous. We all decided to come together and start making some music. I think we didn't really have a distinct sound and for a while and a lot of us were unhappy. So we ended up breaking up in the summer of 2007 after the start of our tour with Trophy Scars. We spent the majority of July and August 2007 just thinking about what we wanted to do with our music. We eventually decided on a few important things like what our sound should be. We added a new vocalist named Ryan and I moved to playing bass, making us a five-piece. Right now we are working on recording, and plan to release, our first full-length album "The Syllabic Rhythm".

3. Your full-length album will be coming out soon. When is the release date and what do you have to say about the songs on the album and the recording process?

We are hoping to have it out by February 22nd, but release dates tend to get pushed back a bit. Sometime in February or March. It'll be available via iTunes and so look for it! I can tell you that the songs are going to be hard for some people to swallow. We are trying to do everything in our power to not sound like anything else and so far we've had a really positive response. I guess you need to approach us with an open mind because that's the way we've been writing our music. As far as the recording process goes, it's been a really good time. We are recording with our friend Tim Payne at the studio he built (Standing Water Studios) in Madison. It gives us a chance to take things slow, and believe me we have been taking it SLOW, and find a good comfort level.

4. What are your future plans for the band?

We want to release our full-length and start touring. We've gotten in touch with some really awesome people in the last year that are going to try and help us out.

5. Some bands like to discuss the meaning behind songs, and others do not. Which one do you prefer and why?

When you hear our album there will be a recurring theme throughout it that deals with this very question. I think if someone wanted to know the meaning of a song, we'd probably tell them. But I think it's more fun if you come to your own conclusion and feel your own way about a song. We aren't subversively trying to offend anyone, so don't worry about that, but we have some "deep" meanings in our songs...shit might make your brain explode.

6. If you had to choose one band whose success you'd love to have, who would it be and why?

Um, I'm not really sure. I can't speak for everyone but I've always felt that I wanted my band to have a degree of success that doesn't mimic another bands...if that makes sense. I'd be fine with being able to live comfortably off the success of my band, but it's more important to me that when people hear Pasiflora they know it's Pasiflora and not something else...

7. Finally, if you could wish on a real shooting star, what would you wish for?

Not speaking for everyone in our band but I would fucking love a giant pet tiger to ride around on...

Interview--J.M. Warwick


Young Adult author of An Open Vein, J.M. Warwick, was kind enough to fill us in on why she decided to try her hand at YA writing, her inspiration, and who she is a fan of! Be sure to read our review of her book as well, to find out more about An Open Vein!

1. Why did you decided to write a YA book?

I love to write. LOVE it. I write Women's Romance as well as YA, because I have so many stories inside of me, they ALL need an outlet!

2. Are you currently working on or have ideas for any future YA work?

I have many WIP's ( works in progress ) the one I'm currently working on has paranormal elements and is a YA story.

3. What do you feel is the most rewarding aspect of being an author?

Meeting readers. I especially enjoy astute readers who 'get' An Open Vein. It's not a story for every one and it's certainly ambiguous, but that's what it's supposed to be: open to personal interpretation, something you can't forget because it's just so out there. When I meet a reader who truly understands the nuances of the story, I'm thrilled.

4. On your website, you came up with your own playlist for An Open Vein, which a lot of authors have been doing recently. Why did you pick the songs you did? Did you listen to the songs while you wrote the book or did you come up with them afterwards?

I listened to all those songs while working on An Open Vein...the minor chords added to the dark drama unfolding in my head and made it easy to get into it.

5. Where do you find most of your inspiration comes from?

Stories usually simmer in my head for a few months or years before I actually start writing them down. An Open Vein was my longest at nine years. Inspiration can come from just about anywhere. I've written 4 ballroom dance/romance novels and I was inspired to write those because I went to a ballroom comp years ago ( long before Dancing With the Stars was around ) and thought "The dance floor is an automatic for a love story!"

6. What are some of your personal favorite books or authors?

I adored: The Wish House by Celia Rees, Fighting Reuben Wolfe by Marcus Zusak, the Kite Runner, Sexy by Oates, Notes on a Scandal, The Heart is Deceitful Above All Else and Nora Roberts' Honest Illusions is my all-time fav book.

Authors Write

Authors Write

Some published authors and even one aspiring author was kind enough to write an essay for our Authors Write section. The essays give advice and talk about issues important to the authors. Once you read these, go and add the author on Myspace and let them know what you thought!

R.A. Nelson

First off, all of these things are just suggestions. The BEST advice is to take what works for YOU and forget the rest.

---Read GOOD BOOKS.As many good books as you can find. Books that speak to your heart, fill you with love and wonder, books that inspire you. Life's too short to read boring stuff. What's worse, if you read too many "bad" books, bad habits will startseeping into your own writing, no matter how good you are. Now, how to tell a good book from a bad one?? So much of that is subjective and up to individual taste, but for me there are some really important signs to look for

-- I lovebooks with a lot of HEART. If it's all just action action action or character character character, I get bored. I like a nice mix. What I like to call "story-driven" books rather than character-driven or plot-driven. Also, for me the best books always begin on the INSIDE and then radiate outward from there. So, though I love to read, I'm also very takes time for me to find a new book that I can truly love and dive into and wallow around in. So I look and look and look. But they are out there, and they are always worth the search.

----Don't worry about copyright and all the publishing and technical jazz yet. Worry about the WRITING. I wrote for a long time before I felt any of it was good enough to send out. Oh, I knew from a pretty early age that I had a chance to be a "good" writer eventually; heck, lots of my teachers told me so, and I could string together pretty cool sentences and come up with what I figured were great ideas. But a novel is a really long haul, and there are so many pitfalls and traps. Usually you get started like a house-a-fire, then run out of steam somewhere. I have boxes andboxes of stuff at home that will probably never see the light of day...novels that ground to a halt around page 30 or 70 or even 150. I even wrote an entire novel (330 pages) that I immediately knew was terrible. Not so much the writing-- I could put my finger on all sorts of nice paragraphs and thoughts and phrases -- but something was messed up about the story. The structure. The characters. Only the most important parts of the book.... :) But I kept going,knowing that I was getting better all the time. And I wrote 2 more complete books that I didn't publish before I wrote TEACH ME, but each of those was better than the one that went before it. So even though it was pretty frustrating at the time, I was learning all the while and getting better andbetter.

---All that said, that doesn't mean it will take you as long as it took me to get published...look at Christopher Paolini who wrote ERAGON. So much of success in this business depends on how persistent you are. There were lots ofyears where I didn't write much at all -- too busy running around trying to do other things instead of realizing that I should just keep following my lifelong dream of being a writer. Don't get discouraged. Be careful about who you share your writing with or who you choose to share any dream with. There are people who love to pull other people down, and there are people who -- with the best of intentions -- are constantly negative about a dream. Surround yourself with people who fill you with "light" about what you are attempting to do. Writing a novel is tough enough without somebody stomping on you every other day.

------There will be really tough days...days when it seems like absolutely nothing is going to work out. Just realize that these days are what they are -- they will pass, and good times will come again. You have to be able to step back and look at the situation and just kind of tell yourself, okay, so that's what's happening right now. That's what I feel like right now. I won't always feel this way and it won't always be this way. I like to do a certain number of words each day when I'm working on a book...that way if I hit a really bad day, i can still feel good about something -- I got my quota of words done for that day. Even if I think they are awful. Most of the time they aren't half bad when I look at them the next day. All kinds of things can make you think your writing is bad on a particular day -- how a friend is treating you. Something happening at school or work. Even what you ate. So develop a long-view approach and realize it's more like running a marathon than sprinting.

----Realize that this business doesn't pay much in the beginning. My agent just sold my third book, and I'm still working a fulltime job. Almost everything about this business is very slow. It's always good to be working on a new project whenever waiting to hear news about your last book. Not many writers do this fulltime, but it certainly can be done. For every writer who makes a big splash and gets a giant advance, there are probably 50 writers who established themselves over time, book by book, until they were able to leave their "day" jobs. For me it will probably be another year or so, depending on how my books do, of course! :) I worked at a newspaper when I was 20 -- I was a sportswriter covering high school and college basketball, football, baseball, that kind of thing. Working at a newspaper is a great training ground for writers -- itteaches you to write quickly and competently on a deadline, how to write under pressure, and how to be endlessly creative, especially writing about stuff like sports where there are only so many ways you can report on a game. Also, it's often easier to get into newspaper writing than lots of people imagine. If you just go down to your local paper and ask to speak with someone in the editorial department and tell them you want to be a writer, most of the time people will be very helpful and point you in the right direction. Lots of newspapers use freelance writers for individual stories called "stringers." It doesn't pay much, but it's another good way to start. You can even do a few practicestories and take them in to let an editor see your skills and what your style is like.

---Read books about writing. There are lots of good ones out there -- you can practically pick them at random and still learn a lot. Read books about the nuts and bolts of writing a book -- things like structure and plotting, pacing,dialog. Also, I read a lot of writer biographies -- why? I wanted to know how they did what they did -- not only the writing, but how they SURVIVED. Being a creative type is tough -- you have to find ways to earn a living, all the while writing on the side. It's very much like working two jobs if you are disciplined about it. And even tougher than that, writers also tend to come from very "interesting" families or backgrounds -- {think: dysfunctional, nuts, chaotic, different etc.). One of the hardest things about being a writer -- at least a writer of any worth -- is how you have to keep your level of SENSITIVITY high, while at the same time managing to not feel like a walking nerve ending while going through life. It's a very tough balancing act. And I think it helps to read about the lives of writers because 99% of them had all kinds of problems their whole lives -- like most people do -- but somehow still managed to do what they did. It helps to know you're not "alone" out there when you are going through hard times -- believe me, you could tack a list of 100 world famous writers on a dart board, throw a dart, and no matter what name you hit, therewould be all sorts of stuff they had to battle through.
-----Good luck! Keep going...R.A. Nelson

E. M. Alexander's Thoughts on Human Trafficking

One of the issues that my book addresses is human trafficking and the misconception that people have regarding the likelihood of this illegal activity occurring in their towns or neighborhoods. People as commodities—this is hardly a new idea. But I think that people, particularly in the United States, don’t realize that human slavery is still very much in existence.

The trafficking of women and children accounts for the third largest criminal industry, outranked only by weapons and drugs. One statistic I saw estimated that 50,000 people are trafficking into the U. S. each year for sexual slavery, but as horrible as that number is, it doesn’t begin to account for the amount of people trafficked world-wide. Many individuals who are victims of slavery end up in prostitution, yet there are others who are sold for house or farming labor, too.

I can’t think of a more sorrowful existence and it enrages me to know that these so-called businessmen who enslave people for profit have so little regard for human life.As I mentioned, there does exist some serious misconceptions about slavery in America. Many people go about their lives assuming that it is a problem that only exists in the poorest nations.

True, impoverished countries are often where criminals find potential slaves, but you must ask yourself: Who pays for their services? With the United Nations claiming that trafficking is a $7 billion dollar a year enterprise with an estimated 900, 000 victims trafficked across global borders annually, developed countries need to recognize their part in enabling this illegal activity.

I live in Connecticut and, prior to writing Death at Deacon Pond, I had learned about three incidents of slavery that influenced me in the process of writing the book. The first was in an area very close to where I grew up. It was a massage parlor in this plain building. Police raided the business one night and discovered several foreign women, all forced into prostitution. The second was a young woman who spoke at the University of Connecticut about how her family sold her—not once, but twice—into domestic and sexual slavery. And the third involved a group of men who were being forced to work at a tree farm in the northwestern part of the state.

They’d been trafficked into the state under false pretenses and then forced to work 18 hours a day, with little food and ridiculously low wages. These three cases really got me thinking how slavery exists, silently most times, right under our noses, but that once you hear about and once you see it, you can’t pretend anymore that it isn’t there. Trafficking happens. It is happening right now and I, for one, see no difference and feel no less about a young Vietnamese girl sold by her poor family than I do if it were a child I knew, snatched from my own neighborhood.

Even though I only touch upon this important issue in Death at Deacon Pond, I can’t deny that I was intensely motivated by my belief that we all deserve the right to freedom, the right to make choices for ourselves and our bodies. In my small way, when I found my main character, Kerri, discovering a trafficking ring in her small town, I hoped to give readers something to think about. I hoped that they would follow Kerri into that dark cellar and see trafficking for what it is, a crime of stealth and imprisonment and terror. I believe that it is apparent in the moment that Kerri bursts out of the cellar, temporarily blinded by the light, but then able to see. Because that’s how I see the grip of slavery, as a force that can only be paled by the power of our actions, by our willingness to open our eyes, by the force our hope and by the strength of our conviction to stand up in the face of adversity. "For those of us who are in position to do something to combat human slavery, however small our contribution, neutrality is a sin."-------Inspector General Joseph E. Schmitz, Department of Defense

Advice for Aspiring Writers
Laura Wiess

Write what you're passionate about. Make me (the reader) love your characters because if I'm emotionally invested then I'll pretty much follow them anywhere. Make me laugh and cry with them, worry about them and celebrate their triumphs.
Let them show me who they are and what they care about through their actions. I want to know what they're afraid of, what they defend and what they surrender. Make them real people with a full range of emotions, including the darker, more intense ones. I want to love them and care whether they make it through or not.
Most of all, I want to feel lonely when the book is over, and sorry my time with them has ended.
The other piece of advice is to write because you love it and you have to. Write because there are stories demanding to be told and characters waiting impatiently to speak. Write because it's what you want to do most in the world, even if you never earn a dime from doing it.
Learn how to craft a compelling story. Learn to listen while you write and be willing to go to dark, secret places in the characters' lives if that's what's necessary. Study the market, submit the best work you've ever done, don't shrink from plain-speaking and don't quit at the first rejection. Learn from the advice, dig deeper, try harder.
Keep going. Keep learning, writing and submitting because in the end, it's all about writing a great story.

Laura Wiess is the author of SUCH A PRETTY GIRL published by MTV Books/S&S. Her second novel LEFTOVERS will be released on January 1, 2008 and she's currently busy working on her third MTV Book. Please visit for more information.

Lisa Saper-Bloom

Can you relate?

If I were to tell you I was the girl who felt ugly … can you relate?
If I were to tell you I was the girl who never had a “real” boyfriend … can you relate?
If I were to tell you I was the girl whose daddy screamed so loud it felt like he shook the house … can you relate?
If I were to tell you I had a problem expressing my thoughts and emotions … can you relate?

Are you able to imagine?

Are you able to imagine healing the girl who felt ugly?
Are you able to imagine healing the girl who never had a “real” boyfriend?
Are you able to imagine healing the girl whose daddy shook the house when he yelled?
Are you able to imagine expressing your thoughts and emotions?

Up until six years ago, I was unable to imagine “yes” being the answer to any of those questions. I was twenty-nine years old, living with heavy emotional weight.

To me, the emotional weight felt like a foggy morning in San Francisco. I could not see the lights of the city or the light of life. It was a constant thickness that clouded my true feelings.

The fog became apparent when I found a school that offered yoga, aromatherapy, massage and several other healing techniques and arts. Desiring a career in this field meant desiring a deep look into the dark and noticing the dim light. The light became brighter as I moved into certification processes. The aspiring healer became the healed.

The sun started shining when I realized I had spent my life living under self-sabotaging comments and remarks as well as the destructive, unnecessary comments and remarks from others. I realized that my emotions were unsupported and left for abandonment. It was a process to work through. My overwhelming desire to heal helped me decide that working through some pain was a great way to lift the fog and see the bright lights.

While finding the light, I found the “yes” to those questions. I lost fifty pounds and I found me—the girl whose sun shines both inside and out; the girl who is living and loving in a successful (ten year) marriage; the girl who has nursed her wounds from daddy’s yelling; the girl who has no trouble expressing her thoughts and emotions.

You can find that girl (woman) too!
This book shares the healing arts, specifically gentle yoga for all body types, aromatherapy, life coaching, and massage. This book is my work both personally and professionally. This book is a year’s worth of therapy. It is therapy that can last you a lifetime. And it is never too late to start!

True story:

A yoga student of mine came to a series of workshops based on my book, Peaceful Mind, Thinner Body: A Woman's Week-by-Week Guide to Emotional Weight Loss.

At our last session, she claimed, she needed to divorce her husband. But she was scared he would be a tyrant, that she would be lonely, and that she would have no money.

I looked at her and said, he is a tyrant, you are lonely, and you have no money (he did not contribute financially).
Weeks later, she came to my big book signing. We didn't have much time to talk, but she did manage to tell me he was out of the house and that she is happy.

Weeks after that, she came to my yoga class. Having a bit more time to talk, she proceeded to tell me that he wasn't a tyrant, he simply said ok...tell me when to sign the papers. Since then, her daughter and 1 month old granddaughter moved in. She's no longer lonely. And her daughter contributes to the she has more money!

And here's the biggest kicker: she lost 10 pounds!

See...our emotional weight is tied to our physical weight. That is why this book is so powerful.

Lisa Saper-Bloom is the author of Peaceful Mind, Thinner Body: A Woman’s Week-by-Week Guide to Emotional Weight Loss.
Lisa lost 50 pounds on her journey through emotional weight loss.
Just taking five minutes a day with simple aromatherapy, gentle yoga for all body types, massage, and life-coaching exercises will change the way you think and the way you look.
You can order Peaceful Mind, Thinner Body
at,,, and

Aspiring Author

The most terrifying thing as an aspiring author (for me personally) is the blank screen; the little cursor flashing on the left, challenging you to write something, anything. It always seems a little daunting when you first start a new project, not least because the interest of the reader will literally be captured in those first few lines. The pressure to make them as impressive as they can possibly be is intense.
Therefore you’ve got to find something slightly different to introduce your short story, novel, poem or whatever form you’ve decided to write in. Not necessarily a “hook”: after all, this is only the opening few paragraphs. But something that stands out. Something that will pique the interest of the person reading it. In other words, you will have to be original.
After the minor matter of the introduction, and the first few chapters or parts themselves, comes the biggest task: the plot and meaning. The support of the delicate rooftop that is your introduction and conclusion. Not knowing where your project is going can be another major worry for any writer. This is why I always find it helpful to write the ending, or at least have an idea of where you want your work to end up in your head. This way you will always have something to work towards, and it won’t just seem to be a project without end, as some of the work I’ve done in the past seems to be.
One thing that I do hold by as an aspiring author is this: just write. By all means, have a plan of your work (I personally choose not to), but always allow for change and diversity in it. Some of the best ideas may simply come when you’re sitting at your laptop, or with a pen and paper in hand, simply scribbling away. I find that if a story is simply allowed to flow from a persons’ mind it can always become better, and normally a lot longer, than if it was done exclusively from a plan.
Keeping a notepad and a pen with you wherever you go is also another piece of advice I would recommend. As I was walking down Buchanan Street in Glasgow last week an idea struck me that I thought would work well in a novel I’m working on at the moment, and I immediately knew I had to write it down. Yes, I may have got a few strange looks from people by sitting on a bollard in a busy city street and jotting things down in a notepad, but I think this small social embarrassment could be worth it in the long run.
This might all make writing any form of literature sound like a trying occupation, but far more overwhelming than the difficulties of it is how much fun it is. The happiness that you feel as you type or write away, and the sense of self-satisfaction when you first read through a finished product you are truly happy with is, in my opinion, one of the most important parts of being a writer. I once heard a friend of mine (who is also an aspiring author) say that if she woke up one morning and didn’t enjoy writing then that was when she would give it up.
And now it comes to the conclusion. And I have the same problem I, and I’m sure many others have when writing pieces: how to end. As the beginning, it has to have meaning, style and be climactic. And, unless you plan on a sequel, it has to round up your work nicely. So ending with a piece of advice I was given by a published author, a Mr Stewart Home, seems apt.
You might take some of these things into consideration. You might find some helpful, even. Or, you may discard them altogether. When it really comes down to it, writing is your own free reign, and your happiness with the piece and your artistic integrity is all that really matters.

~Simon Cree~

Rock This

Rock This

What are we listening to that we think you should be too?


Keaton is pretty much my main source if I ever want to find new music without looking on my own, and I must say, she has good taste. So go and look up all these bands. Simply go to and search their names in the Music Search link. I’d give all the myspaces, but I have a life too you know!

circa survive
envy on the coast
the dear hunter
four year strong
paper rival
dr manhattan
forgive durden
the high court
the maine
the morning of
the morning light
every avenue
portugal the man
the lives of famous men
starting from scratch
the exotic aquatic
the spotlight
treaty of paris
metro station
the weakerthans
a rocket to the moon
the appreciation post
the receiving end of sirens
play radio play
panic! (!!!!) at the disco
the juno soundtrack
jet lag gemini
ima robot
hot hot heat
forever the sickest kids
a cursive memory
lcd soundsystem
boards of canada
the audition
anthony green solo stuff


Unlike Keaton, I decided to go the route of songs that I have listening too and that you should check out!

Are You Happy Now? Renee Cassar

Twilight by Elliott Smith

Epiphany-Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter from the Sweeney Todd Soundtrack

Anyone Else But You by The Moldy Peaches (Juno Soundtrack)

A Day in the Death Of- Beyond the Fall

We Have a Dream

We Have a Dream

In honor of Martin Luther King Day this past Monday, January 21, we asked some of you what your own dream was for the future. The ones we collected are listed below, but as for me, here is my dream: That people will find confidence in themselves. Forget the media. Forget the magazines. Forget all that. Be happy with who you are.

**My dream of the future will be that we will finally realize that we don’t need to keep tearing down trees to put up houses shopping centers and fast food and that we would stop letting everyone into our country!

**My dream for the future is for people to be content with themselves, their surroundings and their lives. There is a certain magical feeling about being content, like if one thing gets really messed up in their lives; they have everything else to fall back on. I also dream that one day people will actually look and see that we are ALL people. And that is all that matters. It doesn't matter if one is black, white, straight, gay, old, young, fat or skinny in the end we are all people.

**My dream is that one day, our country won't be as divided as it is today. Especially in politics. I think it would be a lot better, instead of having Democrats v. Republicans; we join ideas together to get the best of both worlds, to make our country even better. With all the violence, drugs, and regular horrors each day, we shouldn't be talking about minimal things which are not important!
-Morgan O.

**I guess to hopefully have less unneeded drama in the world. Not meaning to sound like a pageant girl or anything....

**My dream for the future is for people (especially women) to make peace with themselves and their bodies.For each one of us to realize were are perfect just as we are.I wish everyone peace of mind, peace of body, peace of soul, and peace of heart.If we all made peace with ourselves, we would experience:less anger and more joyless hate and more loveless instant gratification and more gratitudeless discontent and more satisfaction.Maybe even less cancer and war.

Peace, health, and wellness,~Lisa
Experience peace with my book, Peaceful Mind, Thinner Body: A Woman's Week-by-Week Guide to Emotional Weight Loss...available on

New and Cool

New and Cool

You turn on the TV and you see previews for shows coming out and new episodes coming up. You go to the movies and see previews for new movies that will be out in the future. Now, we have previews for something new! Books! Yes, you read that right. Don’t go back and double check. I’ll even repeat myself. Books.
Authors are making them. Fans are making them. Now where to find them? Two places I have found: authors’ Myspaces and the trusty video site, Youtube! To help you along, I included a couple book trailers that were made for books already released or just about to be released. Below, a few people commented on this new idea!

I Heart You. You Haunt Me.

Project 17

*I think it’s great

*Actually really funny that you asked that. I've never seen an online trailer for a book (where would I find those?), but in my English class we have to write a two minute presentation of a movie trailer for a book. I'm writing it for "Jamaica Inn" by Daphne DuMarier (author of Rebecca).

*Hmm, well online trailers are never as good of quality as the tv/ movie trailers. So I'm not a big fan, though I've never seen quite a difference. For books though I like it because good books never get enough publicity

*I think it's really fun how some authors and fans are making trailers. I've seen some good Twilight series ones. The Harry Potter ones are always nice too.'s a good one.
-Morgan O.

I think authors making trailers for books is actually pretty tight, I’ve never seen one, but I’m sure if I had I would like it, because it gives you a view and idea on what’s to come from that book. Reading's something I enjoy so that'd be awesome.

Can I Do That?

Can I Do That?

This is a new section that we hope to keep up with in the future, and the point of it is to recognize those who are involved with something interesting. Whether that’s a job, or just something that you do, we want to know! Meghan Coglio, our first Can I Do That?, interviewee is a volunteer at a hospital.

1. How did you get involved with volunteering at the hospital?

I’ve got a few medical issues and I’ve been in and through the hospital a good number of times. The nurses were really wonderful and the closest thing at my age I could get to a nurse is a volunteer. And what got me all the way into was watching so many medical shows. I got hooked on them when I was about 10. My parents thought I was nuts, but I was a very mature 10 year old with a very strong stomach :)

2. You normally work in the ER, but you also help in the OR every now and then. What are the differences between the two?

The ER can be a very chaotic place. But in the same way it’s always under control. If that makes any sense. During the holidays especially. I’ve seen everything from a kid getting a popcorn kernel stuck in his ear to a guy in full cardiac arrest.
The OR is a similar atmosphere, but with less chaos. It’s much more predicable. There isn't that element of just what might be rushing into the door, and you are in the presence of very very very skilled people, there are some surgeons that have been there for 15+ years. Not to say the ER doctors aren’t skilled or anything, it’s just a different type of skill.

3. What and how many surgeries have you seen up close?

I have seen one abdominal surgery, and that was way awesome because the surgeon let me come up to the table, and he showed me the different parts and what he was doing. The other was a knee surgery.

4. Are you planning on doing something in the medical field as a career?

Oh definitely. I am going more towards nursing, but I’m also considering a surgical technician, which is someone to hands the surgeon the tools and does some other things. Ultimately I would like to be a PEDS nurse.

5. If not, what do you plan or hope to do in the future?

Well, if that doesn't work out, I would like to do some sort of journalism. Or maybe photography.

6. Why would you recommend for people to volunteer, either at the hospital or anywhere else in their community?

It is really an eye-opening experience. In the ER you see some rough stuff. It’s good experience for the future because you are in an environment with adults, you take orders, and you learn many things. It looks really good on a collage application. And last but not least, it’s least good karma :)

Looking Back-Concert Reviews

Looking Back

Now that’s what I Call a Winter Break!
By: Keaton

For most people, the winter holidays mean staying at home, relaxing with family, or playing with the new sidekick lx that was waiting for them underneath their Christmas tree. I, instead, spent my winter holidays at four holiday tours.

My first was the kick off of The Receiving End of Sirens and As Tall As Lions' holiday tour on December 16th in Providence, RI. Originally, the first date was at Toad's Place in CT, but due to some lovely winter weather- aka 10+inches of snow- the first day was cancelled. Though it was unbearably cold outside, the ambiance in The Living Room was warm like some fresh baked holiday treats. The local opener was notable, though a bit poppy for the other bands playing. Therefore I Am, and TREOS's performances reminded me what being at a show, in a crowd, with people that listen to music, not 12 year olds that stare at Gabe Saporta's crotch, is like. There was a cloud of adrenaline surrounding the pit that I haven’t been a part of in so long I almost forgot what it was like. As for As Tall As Lions; I had previously heard their live set on the AP tour and was utterly disgusted by a noise filled, music less set. One of my friends with me was a huge ATAL fan, and she kept insisting that I give them another chance, and actually watch, not just listen to them play. They all pick up their instruments and play, and it is pure hilarity. Musically, they were actually musical, and presence wise, I was folded in half with laughter. The bassist plays like a raptor and Kuzco from the emperor's new groove fused. The keyboardist is one of those people that just look so into the music and passionate about it, like a 3 year old is for the first five minutes of playing with a happy meal toy. The drummer looked like a geek squad technician. The singer looked like he fell asleep on the floor of a bar. Only the guitarist looked somewhat normal, which just added to it all. To say the least, I was pleased and amused.

My next show on the holiday extravaganza was the opening date for the Anthony Green, Envy on the Coast, The Dear Hunter, Days Away tour, at Harper's Ferry in Allston MA. Days Away opened acoustically with a 12 string and a 6 string guitar, and occasionally this random guy who drummed for someone on the tour would make an appearance. Next came The Dear Hunter who was just Casey playing acoustic. His voice was so powerful that it felt like he was digging back into his past, bringing back every emotion he felt during the creation of every song, and shared it with everyone in the audience. Next was Envy on the Coast, the only band to play an electric set. After 5 songs or so, Ryan looks at the clock, turns to Brian, then to the crowd and says "We have 2 songs left, and 38 minutes until our set is over...". They ended up playing a 13 song set, including the first electric show performance of Lapse. Finally, the man of the night, Anthony Green strolled out onto a stool in the middle of the stage with an acoustic guitar. Before playing, he put down his guitar, and went and shook all the hands he could reach in the front of the crowd, thanking everyone for coming, for caring, and for staying in after Envy. Then he perched himself back on the stool, and proceeded to just be amazing. His voice is soothing and mesmerizing, live, recorded, when he is talking, when he is yelling, even when he is staring at someone, and letting his eyes do the talking. I honestly, 100%believe, in his musical genius.

The following day, December 27th, I set out to Jersey to visit my dear friend Bex, and catch some more shows, the first being another date of the Anthony Tour. The second night was good, but nothing could top the 26th.

On the 29th was Patent Pending's annual holiday show at the Backdoor in Nyack, NY with Jet Lag Gemini, and Sexy Heroes in Tranist. When SHIT (lawl), and Patent Pending played, it was like 2003 pop punk city all over again, complete with jumps, and the cheerful anthem 'Cheer Up Emo Kid'. Mainly, I was there to see Jet Lag Gemini, whose debut album Fire the Cannons came out on January 22nd. They were great, though I wish they had played Doctor,Please.

The 30th was the fifth and final show of my holiday tour extravaganza, at Tink's in the Electric City, Scranton PA to see Valencia, Four Year Strong, and The High Court on the Festivus for the Rest of Us tour. Tink's was an adorable venue, though it was obviously more of a bar than a place for live music. JB from the High Court struggled through Alien but the band still sounded one million times better than the local opener, Motionless in White. Four Year Strong brought a dimension to their music that isn’t possible on their album, really proving that they have found the perfect mix of hardcore and pop/punk/rock. Valencia, since the last time I saw them in august, have just kept on getting better and better, and really captivated my attention; really exciting me for their future as a band.

So as you read this on that now month old LX, make a note with some New Years’ resolutions, one of which being to see more live music, because there is just talent everywhere....except maybe in the Whorror*.

*Motionless in White's album.



We’ve had some awful losses in the entertainment business recently. One person was in a band. Two were actors. But the thing they all three had in common? How young they all were.

The first person who passed away was Casey Calvert of the band Hawthorne Heights, on November 23, 2007. He was 26 years old. We asked some fans of the band and Casey to give us their thoughts on his passing. Sadly, we never got around to posting those until now.

Casey Calvert

Casey was a great part of Hawthorne Heights. His talent was amazing in every way. He will be greatly missed... i don’t think Hawthorne Heights will be the same without him. I guess God needed an amazing musician up there!

He was the best screamer and guitarist in any band I've ever heard. He will be deeply remembered and Hawthorne Heights will never be the same without him. We Love YOU Casey!

Casey was an amazing person. I never got to meet him, and now I really wish I had. He impacted my life in so many ways, and I wish I could show him how grateful I am.r.i.p. baby- Rachel

You will be very missed…you were my favorite vocalist and guitarist in the world…and now it just won't be the same with out you.Hawthorne Heights will never be the same without you.I hate that this had to happen to you. I cried for so long and am so depressed. I know you would probably not want that and even though I never met nor did I talk to you…I still feel as if I knew you.And I will MISS you so much. I love you I always will. And will never stop listening to your music, nor will I ever take down your poster.Please everyone show respect for Casey
-Brittany Valente.


Well I met Casey way back when no one knew who HH were. All of the guys where pretty cool and laid back, but Casey: he was funny. I mean wicked funny, there was no way the guy couldn't get a smile out of you. I have seen HH 4 times live (well more but I wasn't paying attention). I remember seeing him again at warped tour in MA he was just walking around. I stopped to talk to him. So we were talking and he was asking us how we were and if we had liked the bands that where playing? He had asked us how we managed to get were talking to him about music saves lives and how we donated blood and he was like wow that’s really awesome, but sadly it was time to part with him cause he had to get ready for the show. He said good bye and gave us hugs too. He told us if we saw him after wards to come up and say hi. So after the last set who was UnderOath we walk back stag trying to find are way to the bbq we kinda got lost and amazingly we saw Casey and some others we asked if he could tell us where it was he just told us to flow them. So we walked and talked and him and the guys where talking about what they did on the bus , like playing there video games. I don't remember what game it was Casey was talking about but he was getting way to into it was pretty funny seeing him trying to explain it to us…after we ended up leaving and Casey told us that they would be back son and they where on Nov. 2nd with the red jumpsuit apparatus. It was an awesome show. I Saw Casey after wards for like 5mins but still he was all hyper and happy to talk to me. That sadly was the last time I saw him and will ever see him even though i didn't know him well he was an awesome, sweet and amazingly talented person and it’s sad of if passing. I will always remember Casey Calvert!

Brad Renfro

Brad Renfro passed away on January 15, 2008 at the age of 25. Some of the movies he starred in through the years were The Cure, Tom and Huck, Bully, and The Car Kid. Author Shawn Decker posted a blog on his myspace titled Remembering Renfro in memory of Brad. Check that out here:

Heath Ledger

Actor Heath Ledger passed away most recently on January 22, 2008 at the age of 28. Heath’s past work includes A Knight’s Tale, The Brothers Grimm, Candy, and Brokeback Mountain. Also, he stars as The Joker in The Dark Knight due out later this year. In memory of him, To Write Love on Her Arms posted a blog titled In Loving Memory: Heath Ledger on their myspace. It is a sweet, thoughtful article that you can find here:

Maybe you were a fan of one or more of these men. Maybe you weren’t. Either way, I think it all comes down to the fact that their lives ended way too soon. My thoughts go out to their family and friends: I wish you all the strength in the world.

R.I.P. Casey
R.I.P. Brad
R.I.P. Heath