Reblog- #Music, My Muse: part 2 by Toi Thomas #OurAuthorGang

Today, I’m hanging out over at A Small Gang of Authors with part 2 (finally, sorry it took so long) of my series on music and writing. I’m starting with the topic of mood music and interpretation. Please check it out.

From Pinterest via PicMonekey
“Today, in part 2 of the Music My Muse series, I’ll be sharing some thoughts on mood music (see part 1here).

I feel like most people have the same general idea of what mood music is. It’s all about setting the tone or atmosphere for something specific, usually romance, but not always.

In terms of romance, people often imagine a fancy restaurant with lit candles and a suited man playing a violin. However, some people will imagine star-lit mountains in the background of a small campfire with someone playing an acoustic guitar. What’s more, some people might actually imagine pink silk sheets, a bottle of champagne, and either a sappy rock ballad or a smooth R&B groove. Not one of these is better than the other, yet they are all setting the same tone of romance, in very different ways…”

Read more at A Small Gang of Authors.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#Question of the Month: a #bloghop to think about. No. 15- What kind of music best speaks to you? #MusicMonday

A little while ago, Michael D’Agostino, of A Life Examined, brought up the idea of a new blog hop called Question of the Month. He thinks blog readers would like to know a little more about us, the bloggers. So we’re all gathering to show you guys who we are by taking part in the Question of the Month blog hop. On the first Monday of each month, we answer the question that gets posted here.

This month’s question is: “What kind of music best speaks to you?”


And now, to the music…

I find it hard to comprehend the notion that some people just don’t like music, but I know it’s a fact. I’ve interviewed a few of those people. I can understand people having musical preferences and not liking certain musical genres, but to simply not like any music baffles my mind.

I can’t imagine living a healthy and satisfying life without music. I even ask authors I interview about their musical inspiration, but I think many of them are turned off by how I phrase the question, “When the soundtrack of your life is playing in your head, what songs express your glee and what songs bring out your rage?” I personally think it’s a good question; that’s probably why I never have and never will change it.

I, for one, use music in all aspects of my life. Music is for praise and worship, celebrating, grieving, relaxing, creating, and everything else. I sometimes think of songs that would be great for the soundtracks of my books (if my books had soundtracks). I created storyboards with song inspiration on Pinterest for both Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel and Eternal Curse: Battleground. I went all out for my one contemporary story, It’s like the Full Moon, and created a playlist assigning a song to every chapter (see Side A here and Side B here).

DSCN1108 (2)
GOAT 1 by Eric Thomas hanging over a custom shelf for storing vinyl records also made by Eric Thomas (my husband). Can you guess who goat 1 is?

But, if you want to know what music really speaks to me, it would all depend on when you’re asking. It changes constantly. Right now, Big Band music is playing in my head. Last night, my husband and I played a few Louis Armstrong records (I feel vinyl is way underrated. Good vinyl has an amazing sound quality people overlook because it’s not digital). Usually, when blogging, I listen to jazz or oldies. When I’m writing, I listen to classical, opera, and very rarely techno, but not that repetitive over-sampled house music you hear in European night clubs. There is a time and place for that, just not when I’m writing.

For daily life, I’m still a sucker for popular music, though as I get older, I find it hard to like a lot of it. Still, I like it more than many of my peers. I’ve always appreciated Hip Hop and R&B, but I’ve been spending a lot of time with the old school chart toppers as of late. Even though I’m not opposed to country music, I find that I just don’t listen to it much. I do however have a few Bluegrass records that I’ll play over and over. Again, this is not the repetitive foot stomp’n, burning fiddle music you mostly thing of (again, a time and place for that), but good Bluegrass is like an orchestra with a southern style and twang, and can be quite inspirational.

I think I’ll stop here. I could go on and on, but there are others to visit in this hop and I want to be sure to see what they all have to say.

Please visit the other participants in this hop and even join in if you’d like. I can’t wait to see what other music and or songs speak to others.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

#Author interview with Karl Ayling @AylingKarl #nonfic

Greetings readers, bloggers, geeks, and authors and welcome to The ToiBox of Words. I’m your host Toi Thomas, author of Eternal Curse, and today I have a treat to share. A while back, I had the pleasure to interview a wonderful author named, Karl Ayling. A good time was truly had by all, and here’s how it went down.

  Toi Thomas: Hi there Karl! It’s so lovely to have you here at the ToiBox Blog. I’m excited to learn more about you and your work.

Karl: Hi Toi. Thanks for having me.

Toi Thomas: So tell me, who is Karl Ayling?

Karl: I’m the author of Massive Power Massive Love. I’m a Christian who found faith later on in life. I’ve written about healing from the activities of paedophile parents and the emotional, physical and spiritual damage that this caused.

Toi Thomas: Well before we dive into your special message today, let’s get to know you, the person inside the author.

Toi Thomas: Who is so you and why?

Karl: I relate to The Who’s song Love Reign O’er Me from Quadrophenia. I have been listening to this track for many years and one day bopping along with my i-pod, I heard it differently. Something snapped and it hit me right in the heart. Transformation in music.

Toi Thomas: What’s your ideal reading spot for your next highly anticipated read?

Karl: I am currently reading David Finklehor and his research around the sociological background and effects of childhood sexual abuse. It’s an American book and based on US statistics which mirror those in my home country – the UK. I hope that this research will help me in my own writings.


Toi Thomas: What was your favorite book or story, pre-teen years?

Karl: Pre-teen I was into Spiderman and Superman comics. It was a cool way to follow the crowd whilst also hiding (and not dealing) with family issues.

Toi Thomas: In terms of interviews, whose brain are you just itching to scratch?

Karl: I would like to interview Jesus at anytime from his birth to age 30.

Toi Thomas: Now that we know a little more about you, the person, let’s learn about you, the author, and dive into your special message.

Toi Thomas: So what are you sharing with me today?

Karl: Shocking… heart- rending… inspiring… compulsive reading.

My book is a paperback published by Apolostolos Publishing. Its called, Massive Power Massive Love. It tells of my overcoming addiction and sexual abuse. Visit this link to learn more.

Toi Thomas: So where’s the motivation behind Massive Power Massive Love?

Karl: Both of my natural parents were abusive paedophiles; surviving childhood, OCD, and PTSD left me wanting to share. It has been a journey, which continues and the more I share about male abuse survivors perhaps, the more will be inspired to seek help.

Toi Thomas: What’s so special about this story that’s going to reel in the readers?

Karl: Not many male survivors write about childhood sexual abuse and overcoming addiction.

Toi Thomas: Past, present, future, is there a rhyme or reason to your writing?

Karl: I’m currently researching my next book. Reading around the topics and statistics of child sexual abuse along with client centred counselling. So far, I have chapter headings and some titles for poems. For me, this pre-writing process lets me see and find the edges of my topics before actually sitting down to write.

Toi Thomas: What author(s) has most influenced your writing? Why or how?

Karl: Coming out the other side of therapy and thinking about what I had to say, I developed my own unique style not based on anything other than an open and honest reflection of events.

Toi Thomas: Now this is where the questions get a little kooky; are you ready?

Karl: OK!

Toi Thomas: If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Karl: Lord of the Rings trilogy. This was literally the last book I read before finding my faith. And, I thought it was a secular work too!

Toi Thomas: When the soundtrack of your life is playing in your head, what songs express your glee and what songs bring out your rage?

Karl: Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky – 1812 Overture brings joyful glee whenever I listen to it.

Monster by Skillet brings up rage and anger.

Toi Thomas: Let’s play zombie urban survivor. What 3 things do you need to survive a black-out in Central Park the day zombies attack?

Karl: My bible. My family. My wits.

Toi Thomas: What’s the most fun experience you’ve ever had, to date?

Karl: Racing my motorbike around Bruntingthorpe Proving Ground at 166mph and popping an unintentional wheelie at 147mph.

Toi Thomas: Last question of the day; here we go.

Toi Thomas: Not that you can see into the future, but in your opinion, what does the future hold?

Karl: As I mentioned earlier, I’m reading research around my core subjects and this may lead to starting up a counselling service in my area of the UK. There are woefully few male counsellors doing this work with my kind of background. There is a charity in a local city that specialises training counsellors and I am booked onto an introductory course later in the year.

Toi Thomas: Thank you so much, Karl for spending time with me today.

Karl: Thanks again, Toi, for having me.

Okay readers, bloggers, geeks, and authors, that’s all for today. Be sure to follow this blog to see who will be visiting next time. For more from Karl Ayling, check out these great links:


Twitter: @AylingKarl

Purchase links for Massive Power Massive Love: Amazon | Book Depository

This has been a

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

Books & Looks seeking followers. #giveaway #fashion #books

So I decided to add my new Books & Looks blog to Bloglovin since it seems to be ‘fashion central’ online for stylish bloggers, but guess what. Apparently there are no other blogs out there that are similar to mine.



I don’t believe that for a minute, but perhaps they are having the some trouble finding followers as I am. Please help me grow so I may find others like me. See my post below and share, share, share. 😀

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords

When #fashion and #fiction marry you get Books & Looks… At least I hope. Come join me on an adventure of bookish #style.

So now I’m traveling into the world of fashion, but my security blankets of books and geekdom are coming with me.

By all means, join me on my journey. Share pictures of people reading, post your own bookish styles, or even get creative with a bit of polish. Who knows, it could be good publicity. 😉

Follow along at Tumblr or through Bloglovin.

Thank you for taking the time to read this post. If you like it let me know and share it with others. See you next time, Toi Thomas. #thetoiboxofwords