Sunday, September 14, 2014

Wait on the Lord


Last week after church our pastor asked if Becca and I would like to do special music during offering each week. We would do it occasionally, usually per request of Pastor Daniel a few days in advance, so it's nice now we can just add preparing for that into our schedule for the week.

The song we picked was from a Patch the Pirate songbook (anyone one familiar with him?). We grew up singing Patch the Pirate songs in Sunday School, and while most of them can be a little on the silly side, (example: Temper Tantrum Tilly, Poochie Lip Disease, etc) there are some more serious ones that have really beautiful melodies.

So, with no consultation with Pastor about what he was going to preach on, we chose a song called "Wait on the Lord".



Pastor Daniel began the service by reading James 4:1-10, where one of the verses says, "You do not have because you do not ask."

The sermon was on the importance of prayer in spiritual warfare, and how we need prayer to put on the armor of God; Ephesians 6:10-20.
We need to ask God for help in putting on these essential things to protect us from the devil's schemes. In part of his closing, he read Matthew 7:7-8.

"Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.

Isn't it awesome how God orchestrates things?
We had no idea that Pastor Daniel would use those verses, and yet the song we chose was based on them!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

What Thou Need'st || Adventures in (not) making a Music Video


Well, I have no update on how publishing is going, as Snippets hasn't given me one yet.
What's it been, two weeks or so now?

This is what their website says:
14. How long does it take for my Snippet to go live after publishing?
Every Snippet goes through a short review process by the Snippet Team and by Apple after being published and before going in the store. Typically this takes 7-10 days. We notify you throughout the review process with status updates. Here is the typical review process and statuses:
  • Pending Review (1-2 days)
  • In Snippet Review (1-2 days)
  • In Apple Review (5-7 days)
  • Approved and in the Snippet Store!   Snippets then go live in the Snippet Store the Thursday following approval before 10AM.



So...what could be happening?
Are they overrun with people submitting books to be reviewed?
Did they lose my story?
Do they not like my story?

To try and answer these questions for my impatient little self, I emailed Snippets at the beginning of the week, but have heard nothing in return.

So, I'm still waiting, but I guess this gives me time to do another behind the scenes post.

For this story, I, with assistance from Becca, wrote a song that plays a major part in the plot. What drew me to Snippets, with it's multimedia format, was that I could have a recording of the song in the book!

But just a recording?
Snippets could take video too...why not make a music video?

After getting a musical arrangement we liked, Becca and I had several recording sessions (in our lovely recording studio/kitchen) to get a recording we were satisfied with. With two voices and two instruments, figuring out how many separate tracks we needed, keeping tempo, and hitting the right notes on the recorder, it took a bit longer then we thought. 
Finally we were finished.

Becca: "You can tell we recorded it in our kitchen."

Well, aside from calling our friend Jon over and setting up our jury-rigged padded recording studio in the basement (see here), it was the best we could do.

But hey, at least it's better then some of our really early recordings (way before we started blogging), where you can hear our budgies hollering in the background.

Buddy and Alice, budgies: "We can sing louder then you!"
Us: "SHHHHH!"
Buddy and Alice: "Burble, chirp, screech!"

We had a music track, we had medieval costumes, and during the weekend we scouted out a scenic area to film.

So, early one morning we packed up our camera and instruments, got into our costumes, and headed on the road. 
Our destination was a little a little town not far from us, that has these really pretty walking trails and a stream, and hopefully not too many people. :)

The property where the walking trails are is owned by a little resort. They have campgrounds, a hotel, and a resteraunt, and the buildings there used to be an old school for the blind. It's a really a neat place, but our mom thought, just to be polite, we should ask permission to film along the walking trail.

So, here I am in my medieval costume, walking into the hotel lobby to ask if it would be all right to film there.
There were people in the lobby getting breakfast, and I'm sure I got a few strange looks, but the lady at the front desk smiled and said it would be perfectly all right.

Phew!

Now to figure out what we wanted to film.

Music videos, or at least Becca's and my favorite music videos, portray the story the song is telling. If they don't, they seem a bit pointless don't they? 

My song tells a story, but it could only be told well with the characters from the book, not two girls running around the woods with a guitar and a recorder. So, if the music video can't tell the story, what do we do?

We started by just taking some scenery shots; one of us walking along the path, us playing our instruments.

After finishing one of these shots, we heard a rustle in the woods.

Three minks trotted onto the path right in front of us. The one in the lead actually stopped and looked at us for a minute, then continued on its way with it's friends. Becca wasn't able to catch them on film until after they left the path again, so mostly you see our surprised reactions. :)




A moment later, a forth mink came by. This one was agitated, making little angry sounds as he stalked by us. He was quite disgruntled at being left behind.
Becca was able to catch him on film, but it is rather blurry.



After another hour or so of walking around and filming, we decided this wasn't really going anywhere. The scenery was pretty, but we didn't think it would make the most interesting music video.

Bethany: "So, are we done?"
Becca: "Yeah..."

Then we had the idea to at least take a picture of us in out costumes, to use as a album cover or something.

We took our inspiration from a Simon and Garfunkel album cover we remembered, where they are walking down a path and looking back over their shoulders at the camera. Wasn't Garfunkel holding his guitar too?


Oops, we didn't look in time.


There we go!

Now for a little of Becca's fancy editing.


Funny to find out, when we got home and looked up that Simon and Garfunkel album cover, our memories proved to be a bit faulty.


Garfunkel is holding... a plaid shirt? Oh well. 

So, we ended up not making a music video, but we had a fun adventure together.

Hopefully I'll be hearing from Snippets soon, and have some good news to share!


(We're thinking of making this our signature ending gif. What do'ya think?)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

So long, Khan!


Today is Khan's 6 week birthday, and tonight his new family came and picked him up.
 It's been strange having only one baby rabbit, but we've enjoyed our time with him and will be a bit sad to see him go. 

He had a fun afternoon with mama, Sarah Jane, doing binkys in the rabbit run together. They are such a cute pair, but they don't hold still for long.

Khan chasing Mama
Sarah Jane
Did you know black rabbits fade in sunlight? During the summer months, Sarah Jane's midnight black coat turns a dark chocolate color. I guess it's like getting a tan. :)

She's going to miss her little buddy, but hopefully we'll have one more litter before winter.

Khan's a spunky little chap, friendly, but strong-willed.  He can be a sweetie though, and I'm sure his new family will enjoy him.

His new name is going to be Pitch, as in, pitch-black. Isn't that just darling for a black rabbit?



So long, Khan!


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