Author Archives: trentpmcd

About trentpmcd

Trent P. McDonald Musician, composer, author, photographer, general creative.

If We Were Havign Coffee on the 1st of April, 2023 #weekendcoffeeshare

Hey, what are you doing here! Go away, you’re not wanted!

April Fools! 😁😜

Hello and Welcome! That has been my coffeeshare greeting since 2014!! And since 2014 I have offered you a virtual coffee when you showed up, and that is not changing today! So come on in and I’ll get you that super strong dark roast, a cuppa tea, hot cocoa or other beverage. It is cool and raining out there. It is going to get pretty warm in the afternoon (around 65F/18C), but will stay wet. We had some spring weather this week (Thursday was cold), but, despite the photo at the top, no daffodils yet. Give it a week. Oh, thinking of that photo, some of you may realize that we are in New Hampshire this week.

Work. OK, enough of that subject.

For the most part, the week is a blur. I did the usual walks, dog walks, dog play, cat play, reading, writing and playing around with music. I have two music projects I am working on… I did get a bit of exercise in, but could have done more. I ran three times, so good to be getting in that routine again. We voted for town offices this week. At some point I may bring up the newest school board member, but not now (no, not me, but close).

That’s about it. I was going to complain about time, but understand that some of you out there have even less than me! Maybe next week I will find a way to squeeze in a little more that sounds fun ;)

Anyway, thanks for stopping by! Despite the rain I have a lot to do today. Since there is no “official” coffee share today, I may not visit you if you have a coffee share post this week.

Natalie the Explorer is the host of the weekend coffee share and she is doing a wonderful job. She is takign a well deserved week off of the coffee share, so no links today :)

***

Earlier this week I posted a song I did ages ago on YouTube. So far it has half the views as the next lowest and 1/8 the views of the highest (YouTube will tell you that the video has been up x Days and y Hours and here are how the other videos you recently posted performed in that time…) Anyway, so I am going to post it here ;) This was an experiment, not a full “song”, but I liked it – it has an interesting flavor. (note, it is 5-4, 4-4 and 3-4 times, and there are some simple polyrhythms.)

(Click here if you don’t see the video below)

Own Medicine

PHOTO PROMPT © Amanda Forestwood

Edvard had the sound in his head, but how was he to get it onto parchment?  The Norwegian Hardanger fiddle had five resonant strings that gave a sparkle to every note, picking up the harmonics of the melody and amplifying it in a way to create an ethereal fairytale effect.

To ensure he had the sound just right, he invited a group of folk musicians to an early rehearsal of his incidental music for the folktale inspired play.

At the end, a stony-faced man turned to him and said, “It is pretty good, but perhaps a bit fast.”

Edvard smiled.

***

A few comments – the instrument in the photo is a Norwegian Hardanger fiddle. Besides the inlays in the wood, you can see the difference between a violin with all of those tuning pegs – besides the four violin strings, there are four (as in this case) or five resonant strings.

Edvard Grieg was highly influenced by Norwegian folk music. He tried to recreate the sound of traditional instruments, including the Hardanger fiddle. This can really be seen in the incidental music he wrote for the play “Peer Gynt”.

Liszt was a champion of Grieg. One time when they met, Liszt sight played Grieg’s piano concerto, including an on-the-spot transcription of the full orchestra along with the solo piano part! Hint, no other pianist could sight read an orchestral score, and the piano solo on its own was difficult for most pianists. After the applause of Liszt’s small audience died down, Grieg suggested that he had played the first movement a little faster than it should have been…

OK, it took more words to explain the joke than to tell it ;)

***

word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo by @ © Amanda Forestwood. If you want to join or see other stories, go to the inlinkz linkup.

Chime in Spring with The Dickens Challenge! #Dickenschallenge

Things were better in the past!  It is amazing how far civilization has sunk.  We are so lowly now.  Especially the poor.  The poor just keep getting worse and worse and commit crimes that are so hideous!  They shouldn’t be allowed to marry, for marrying just brings more kids, i.e., more poor people to commit more of the heinous crimes..

At least that was what Toby “Trotty” Veck was beginning to believe. 

And the church chimes, his only true companions through much of his life, seemed to echo those sentiments.

Trotty never dared to think these thoughts out loud, but the rich and powerful did it for him, with the chimes echoing their words. 

Of course Trotty himself was very poor and yet would give his last penny to help a stranger in need.  That did not in any way influence his views on “the poor”.

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If We Were Having Coffee on the 25th of March, 2023 #weekendcoffeeshare

Hello and Welcome! Come on in and I’ll get you a mug of super strong dark roast, a cuppa tea, some cocoa or other beverage. It is gorgeous out there, if not really warm. A few stray clouds, but plenty of sunshine. Oh, where are we? Some of you may recognize the photo at the top as being from Cape Cod.

A quick word about coffee – There still may be one or two of you out there that remember me offering a strong French Roast but now it is a strong dark roast. I mix pretty close to a third each of French Roast, Sumatra and a single origin Medium Roast, usually something named after an island. I still like a bit of the strong, burnt taste of French Roast, but the Sumatra adds a smooth, silky richness, like a strong dark (80% or more) chocolate. The Medium Roast adds that aroma that we all love but the dark roasts lack. I brew it in an old school percolator. Yum! I get spoiled and think most coffee is too weak…

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Sympathy for the Joker

PHOTO PROMPT © Liz Young

Life has always dealt me a strange card.  In fact, Since I was a child, I suspected that the deck was stacked against me.

No, doctor, I’m not complaining.

It’s just that, every time things start to go my way, I turn over the next card and it is always, ALWAYS, well, you know.  Hint: it is never aces.

Yeah, he caught me again and that is just my luck.  I should have won, but another trick of the cards.

Yes, doctor, I know the routine.  I’ve been here before.

But despite the winged vigilante, I will be free soon…

***

word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo by @ © Liz Young. If you want to join or see other stories, go to the inlinkz linkup.

**

Yes, the title is a play on that Rolling Stones song… And, yes, the MC is a famous cartoon character turned movie star, played by many people from Jack to Heath to Joaquin (another Jack?) (of course, everyone loves Cesar…)

The Weekly Smile for the 20th of March, 2023 #weeklysmile

Hi All! Happy Spring! Yes, despite all of the snow on the ground, today is the first day of spring! The snow is melting fast (well, there was a slowdown yesterday since it never got above freezing…) and I can see the shoots of the flowers coming up were there is no snow. And I do still see some snowdrops (they seemed to have popped through the deep snow right away, and now it is thawed around them). It is easy to tell that this is a mid to late March snow, not a January one!

I did a “signs of spring” post last week. I guess this week will be a “it’s the small things” post.

Despite the snow, I did get a good run in on Saturday (I ran Monday, before the storm as well). I had a few very long walks with Fiyero. He actually likes walking more when it is cooler because he overheats so easily. So some woods, a few big hills, some large fields, etc. And there was music (I wrote a new piece, I just have to find to to record), reading, writing, friends, family, etc. And that bit of spring popping out from under the snow.

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If We Were Having Coffee on the 18th of March, 2023 #weekendcoffeeshare

Hello and Welcome! Come on in and I’ll get you a nice mug of super strong dark roast, a cuppa tea, some hot cocoa or another beverage. A lot of snow still on the ground, but it is melting fast! It was about 50F/10C yesterday and will be pretty close to that again today. That is the thing about a March storm – the snow doesn’t last long. Oh, were are we? Some of you may recognize the photo at the top as being from New Hampshire.

This was a super busy work week with back-to-back meetings all day every day. Next…

We had a little storm that started Monday night and went until the early hours of Wednesday. The official snowfall total for my town was 25″/62.5 cm. The next town up the hill from us had 34″/86.5 cm and there was one town in New Hampshire that had 42″/106.75 cm! That is a lot of snow…

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Chess #writephoto

Photo by KL Caley

Oswald stood at the window, stroking his strawberry blond beard as Eathwing gave the field report.  A casual observer might think he wasn’t paying attention, but Eathwing knew that the king’s mind was taking it all in and planning the next move.  Although known as a hot tempered man, Eathwing knew that this king was perhaps the greatest strategist of his generation.  That was how he, starting as a thane of a small town, now had one of the largest kingdoms on the isles. 

When the report was finished, Oswald swung around, eyes flashing under the flaming red eybrows.

“Gather the knights and let them know we ride at dawn with me at their head.  We will join the siege of Domnall’s sea fortress.  I feel it is about to fall and if I ride there, it will surely topple.  That is the last defence on the sea route, so if it falls, Domnall the White will not be able to withstand our advance.  We will have him yet!”

“A squad of Domnall’s best foot soldiers stand between us and our men on the siege.”

“Those pawns?  My knights will wipe them out!  We will taste victory!”

Eathwing nodded.  “As you wish, sire.”

“Dismissed.”

After talking to general of the king’s knights, Eathwing went down to the deepest dungeon, the one others called “The Wizards Coop”.  Making sure nobody saw, we went into a secret side room.  A giant chessboard was set up, a game in progress.

Eathwing waved his hand.  The red king and one of the red knights lined up against a white castle and three white pawns.

He scanned the board.  Yes, if they took out the pawns and the castle they’d have the white king in check, but could they force a checkmate?

It all depended on how Domnall moved his own men.

Oswald the Red may be on the right track, but this game of chess was not over quite yet.

***

This was written for the writephoto challenge that is hosted by KL Caley. The photo at the top was given by KL, as well as the key word, “Chess”. Hope you enjoyed :)

No Sense of Adventure!

PHOTO PROMPT © Rowena Curtin

The ally called Meg, or at least the shops called.

Greg said he’d sit for a while in the pub he’d noticed by the docks.

The man with the bottle of whiskey, “Bill” (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) was interesting.  In fact, his tale about Singapore was so enthralling Greg barely noticed the knife fight.

Greg waved off the guy with his offers of drugs and the woman who offered more.

When 8 police-members, guns drawn, arrested “Bill”, Greg figured he’d find Meg.

“You should have come,” Meg said as they ate.  “I wonder what happened to your sense of adventure!”

***

word count = 100

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by  Rochelle Wisoff-Fields.  This week’s prompt is here and uses a photo by @ © Rowena Curtin. If you want to join or see other stories, go to the inlinkz linkup.