I think I've mentioned recently that we've all had a little crush on Lisa Loeb around here lately. One of her videos is played often on "Jack's Big Music Show" on Noggin, and we found some others online that are really cute, while I won't say I was a huge fan of hers when she hit the music scene in the 90's, I always did like "Stay" and "I Do." Well, tonight she did a free concert in Lake Forest, which is just up the road from us, so we went and it was so cool! It was one of these outdoor concert series installments, where everyone brings picnic dinners and blankets and the city brings in a few food vendors and have contests for the kids before the show starts. It's been Africa-hot here lately, so even though it was at 5:30, we were worried it would be way too hot to actually stay, but the park where they host the shows had this great hill in the shade, so we got great seats and didn't melt at all.
Abby was a little upset at how loud the pre-show music was--frankly, I was too, it was way too loud, and not just because I'm a party-pooper adult. She spent the first fifteen minutes in Dan's arms, eyes intent on the stage where all the pre-show antics were going on, but once Lisa got up she mellowed and was eventually just hangin' with us like she'd been looking forward to the concert all day, too.
The music was really great, I have to say. It was just her and her acoustic, and she seems very down-to-earth and friendly. She did a couple of her kids songs, and while I only knew those and the two radio hits I already mentioned, I have to say I really enjoyed the other music. I wish I had more time to just listen to albums anymore, because I'd love to get some of hers, but I honestly don't listen to anything anymore unless I'm in the car by myself, and you can just guess how often that happens. Makes me kind of sad, really; music has always been such a big part of who I am, and now it's just...not.
In other news...I have been working a little bit on my manuscript, and I found a great new research resource: Craigslist.com! I needed a visual to work with for my character's new apartment, so I went to craigslist.com and did a search for cheap apartments in Chicago near a university campus, and lo and behold I found exactly what I needed, including pictures, which really helps. And Google Maps, being so freaking cool, allowed me to search for coffeeshops in the neighborhood of this apartment, thus providing me with a place of employment for this character, and eventually I'll look up things like grocery stores and Target and other random stuff like that. Depending on the tone of the story, I really like to be able to place my characters in real settings and not just make everything up. Not only does it come across as more realistic to me, it also keeps me consistent and stops me from taking too many creative liberties. That being said, the next book will not be like that, because the tone of it will be vastly different from what I've done so far, and the themes of the story are the most important elements; when that's the case, I feel like the real-life connections can detract from the story, because readers can potentially get caught up in the "Hey, I've been there before/know where that is!" type thing, and that's not where I want their focus.
I'm bound and determined to write at least three days this week. I'll be sure to check in and let you know how I do...