Will this video shatter you, too?


You may have seen this video, since it released in 2014, but I only ran across it a couple of days ago. I love its visuals, the music, the concept…

Lindsey Stirling is an amazing violinist, composer and dancer, and performance artist. So creative!

Combined with Lzzy Hale’s powerful vocals—best known in her lead singing/rhythm guitar role for the hard rock band Halestorm—’tis, well… shattering!

Can you suggest another cool video to share with us?


Book or movie? Choose your poison – ALWAYS.

Videan's Party Tree hug
The party tree—where Bilbo celebrated his eleventieth birthday—on the Alexander Farm film set in New Zealand. Is the tree described better by Tolkien, or more poignant in the screenplay/on screen in the Lord of the Rings movies? Come share your opinion. And, bring your own favorite adaptions to discuss. Hobbiton photo: ©2008 ANVidean.
Lord of the Rings: Tolkein vs. Jackson, which do you prefer?
Twilight saga: Book series or film adaptations?
Bridges of Madison County: Read or watch?

For something a bit different to discuss at our June meeting, let’s compare the writing and stories in book(s) versus movie(s).
Should there even be a debate? Join us for the roundtable discussion in our June 2018 gathering in Gilbert, AZ.

Here’s the usual agenda:
11:30 introductions with writing tips
11:50 order lunch
11:55 writing discussion/sharing
1 p.m. pay individual bills and adjourn (to go write!)

Next gathering:
Thursday, June 14, 2018
11:30 a.m.–1 p.m.
(ALWAYS typically meets on the second Thursday of the month.)

Romeo’s Euro Cafe
207 N Gilbert Rd.
Gilbert, AZ 85234
(480) 962-4224

A writing tip, and your own lunch.

PLEASE show the consideration of reserving your spot at the table by:
• RSVPing through the “Going” link on our Facebook Event page
• Contacting Ann Videan, ann@annvidean.com

If you’ve RSVP’d, please SHOW UP. If you run into a conflict, please let me know BEFORE the event so I can make the necessary adjustments for the group meeting. Cheers!


Are you an established writer who:
• Needs contacts to help your writing?
• Wants advice about your writing?
• Likes to hang with other cool writers?

If so, our tribe – the Alliance for Literary Writers, Authors & Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS) – is the place for you. We’re an informal group of established writers looking for camaraderie, ideas, enlightenment and connection with writers, especially in the Phoenix metro area, to talk about our craft and businesses.

Any established writer can connect with us online through our ALWAYS Facebook page, get listed in our directory of writers on our ALWAYS LinkedIn page, or you can meet with us in person at a lunch meeting. We’d love to have any experienced writer join us at our next meeting … anyone who spends a significant part of his/her week writing, and wants to rub elbows with other writers.

Cryptid, heartfelt music debuts from The Darling Sounds

The Darling Sounds "Haunt"
The Darling Sounds’ “Haunt” debuts Nov. 11, 2016.
The content may deal with creatures of dubious existence,
but the band’s video gets real with a sense of humor about it.


Tomorrow is the day! The Darling Sounds release their album “Haunt,” an indie pop rock collection of nine songs, on Bandcamp and Spotify. Woot!

Grace, Zach, and Cutter put their hearts and souls into these casually spooky, yet playful, tunes. Each track investigates cryptids—yeah, I had to look it up, too: aliens, werewolves, The Invisible Man, and lots of ghosts.

Don’t be scared, you’re gonna love it… not to mention these liner notes!

Liner notes may also give you a giggle.



Coffee CommuniTea: Lo Fi Coffee Roastery – Mesa, AZ

Today’s Cup o’ Tea

Lo Fi Coffee Roastery

Downtown Mesa hot spot:  coffee at a music club, what's not to love!  Photo: ©2013 ANVidean ©2013
Downtown Mesa hot spot: coffee at a music club, what’s not to love!
Photo: ©2014 ANVidean ©2013

Perks (what I really like!)

  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Friendly baristas
  • Spacious environment graced with art featuring musicians
  • Comfy seating

    Picture yourself here, relaxing and enjoying a conversation, or some fine local music. Ahh! Photo: ©2014 ANVidean
    Picture yourself here, relaxing and enjoying a conversation, or some fine local music. Ahh!
    Photo: ©2014 ANVidean
  • Quiet atmosphere
  • All baked goods made in-house
  • This quote from their marketing: “No business is perfect and we don’t want to be perfect! We just want to be a coffee shop that is always striving for excellence while maintaining a degree of uniqueness!”

Share a cuppa (the stories about the owner, building, history, name)

Co-owners Sam Clark and Randy Denton formed the idea for Lo Fi in December 2010 when they discussed opening up a coffee cart inside of the “front room” of The Nile Theater, an all-age rock club in downtown Mesa, AZ. The coffee cart concept eventually evolved into a coffee shop and, thus, they turned a dark lonely storefront on Main St. into a coffee shop. They first flipped on the open sign on June 14, 2011.

“Lo Fi” Coffee comes from the term low fidelity. Low Fidelity is often a term related to vinyl records, describing the scratched and flawed sound one often associates with them. The idea is engrained in the coffee shop decor and environment.

You know you want a home-made bagel and a fresh-roasted cuppa to improve your day. Photo: ©2014 ANVidean
You know you want a home-made bagel and a fresh-roasted cuppa to improve your day.
Photo: ©2014 ANVidean

What’s Brewing (coffee, tea, food)

  • Bagel sandwiches
  • Nice loose tea assortment
  • Specialty coffees made with hand-roasted beans from Randy’s Xanadu Coffee Co., located behind the Phoenix Farmers Market in downtown Phoenix, AZ. As its owner operator he has roasted coffee since approximately 2009.

The Grind (what I would change)

Nothin’! It may be called Lo Fi, but a more appropriate name might be “Hi Fi,” because this place certainly serves up a high fidelity experience.

Percolation Factor (the activity/environment/energy/service)

  • Start with its affiliation with the Nile Theatre. Cool.
  • They offer extended hours.
  • They host concerts for touring artists, as well as singer/songwriter nights for local and aspiring musicians. (Lo Fi Coffee allows only original music to play live on the premises.)

The Grounds (location)

105 W. Main St.
Mesa, AZ 85201
(SW corner of MacDonald and Main, inside the Nile Theatre)

Tea Times (hours)

M.–W. 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Th.–Sa. 8 a.m.–9 p.m.
Su. 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

Yelp rating:

4 stars from 25 reviews

Music connects leaders to success

I just ran across a New York Times Sunday Review article asking, “Is Music the Key to Success?” It inspired me in this time of decline in music education in the United States.

My daughter Codi singing in the Arizona Regional choir last year. Photo: ©2013 ANVidean
My daughter Codi singing in the Arizona Regional choir last year. Can’t wait to see how she succeeds. 🙂  Photo: ©2013 ANVidean

The Oct. 12, 2013, article by Joanne Lipman, interviewed a number of highly successful people, who all made a connection between their music training and their professional achievements beyond the math-music association.

Like whom? How about:

  • Paul Allen (billionaire co-founder of Microsoft), guitar
  • Woody Allen, clarinet
  • Alan Greenspan (former Federal Reserve chairman), clarinet and saxophone
  • Bruce Kovner (hedge fund billionaire), piano
  • Andrea Mitchell (NBC), violinist
  • Larry Page, (co-founder of Google), saxophone
  • Condoleeza Rice, piano
  • Chuck Todd  (NBC chief White House correspondent), French horn
  • Paula Zahn, cello

“Many high achievers told me music opened up the pathways to creative thinking. And their experiences suggest that music training sharpens other qualities: Collaboration. The ability to listen. A way of thinking that weaves together disparate ideas. The power to focus on the present and the future simultaneously,” the article said.

The article included a funny quote or two from Woody Allen, and some very cool connections between music and real life. If is definitely worth a read.

What other information have you run across that proves the importance of music in our country’s educational programs?


Play on!
Ann Narcisian Videan
Write • Edit • Self-publish • Word-of-mouth

Our Words, Music, and Village community

The Latest…
[updated 11/11/18]

Looking for details on faerie portals and Faeries’ Tales?
Visit our Absolutely Wild! web page.

You may benefit from this writing event…

Alliance for Literary Writers, Authors, and Yabbering Scribes (ALWAYS).
Meet in-person with the ALWAYS writers’ tribe of established authors to discuss writing and support one another. (We meet the second Thursday of each month in Gilbert, except for the first Thursday of each quarter when we meet in Phoenix.)
See you at:
Romeo’s Euro Cafe, downtown Gilbert
11:30 a.m., Thurs., Dec. 13, 2018

Come on in!

See this grin? That’s me, sharing creative works and ideas with you, and a cup of tea.
 See this grin? That’s me, sharing creative works and ideas with you, along with a cup of tea.

I’m so glad you’ve found our little online community! Here, we share ideas to create and market better writing, music, and “village.”

Throw in a few “Coffee CommuniTea” coffee and tea-shop reviews, and we’re golden, right? What better places for writing, enjoying music, and creating village?

Our goal is to generate success together, using fresh tactics to get the ‘verse buzzing about our—and others’—cool creative endeavors. Come in and join us…


Write on!
Ann Narcisian Videan, Book Shepherd
Write • Edit • Publish • Word-of-mouth strategy

P.S. Learn more about my novels on Google+.

Peter Gabriel, even more “spacey” than usual

Three people living somewhere up there, higher than the blue, spoke with Peter Gabriel this month.  "Howard, CO sky" ©2008 ANVidean
Three people living somewhere up there, higher than the blue, overcame the limitations of space with Peter Gabriel.          “Sky in Howard, CO” ©2008 ANVidean

I just could not resist sharing this video of three astronauts on the space station quite literally “hanging” around, talking and sharing music with Peter Gabriel and his family at NASA.

The English singer, musician, and songwriter (Genesis), remains one of my all-time favorite lyricists, creative thinkers and humanitarians.

A YouTube video gem. You’re welcome. 😀

P.S. Share a link to a unique video about your favorite musician.

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