FADE AWAY

FADE AWAY

I’ve been teaching myself to play the guitar. Today at lunch and while screwing around and learning a particularly tough set of chords (for me to master – I’ve had my left wrist broken and it makes me slow) I thought about Tom Petty and the lyrics to the following song came to me. I have the basic chord structure, and the progression, and the flourishing but haven’t yet begun to write down the music.

This is only the second song I have ever composed on the guitar. By that I mean I usually songwrite by creating the lyrics first, then compose the music on piano. Because I’m a slow composer.

But in this case I composed the music first, on guitar, which as I said, I’m teaching myself and I’m new to playing it or working off of it.

Nevertheless I hope you like it.

FADE AWAY

Well where you think you go
Or you find you stay
The time will come
When you
Fade away…

For the wind will blow
In the bitter cold, and
Your heart will slow
When you
Finally go…

Well, the years seem deep
And the days are sweet
But the night still comes
When you
Can’t wake up…

Yes the dreams are clear
In the lonely air
When you lay it down
When you
Wander there…

Yet a man is through
And his heart is too
When he’s breathed his last
When he
Can’t undo…

Then his future’s past

See another world
Where your soul’s unfurled
For just another day
What would you like to say?

Doesn’t matter much
What you cannot touch
For the wind will blow
Then can you ever know?

Well, see my friend
First you start, then end,

And if you want to go
Or you wish to stay
Still the time will come
When you
Fade away…

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I GOT SAD TODAY

I GOT SAD TODAY

Rarely do I actually get sad. Well, not about myself anyway. But today I got sad about myself.

Oh, on occasion I become melancholy, but I enjoy being melancholy. But I do that primarily for aesthetic reasons (it helps me with creativity) and for personal enjoyment. But I do that intentionally. That is, I intentionally, from time to time, put myself into an intentional state of melancholy.

But rarely do I get sad and only on very, very, very rare occasions do I ever get sad about myself.

Today, however, I got sad. After taking Dorett to pick up her car I stopped by 2nd and Charles and Mr. K’s.

At Mr. K’s I picked up Les Fleurs Du Mal by Baudelaire in English translation. (The Flowers of Evil.) Perhaps my favorite foreign book of poetry read in college. I tried to get it in French to practice my French (I’ve been getting old texts in Latin and Greek and other foreign languages to work on my language mastery) but no such luck.

At 2nd and Charles however I got four CDs – the 36th and 38th symphonies of Mozart, the 6th symphony of Mahler, the 2nd symphony of Enescu, and four symphonic poems of Bax including Tintagel and the Happy Forest.

I was riding home listening to Tintagel (a favorite symphonic poem) when I suddenly thought of all of the symphonies and tone poems and concerti and operas and far lesser musical compositions I have either already sketched out or are in various states of composition and it made me very sad.

For lately I have felt a really pervasive, almost all-pervasive, desire to compose music. (Maybe because it is springtime, I don’t know, or maybe it is just one of those phases that hit me occasionally.) But I know I have no time. Certainly not the time I would need to do the kind of quality compositions I wish to do. For I am a self-taught and slow composer I have great ideas but am slow in execution.

And between my attempting to become a published fiction author, an established poet, a song-writer, seeking funding for my inventions and start-ups, and helping my wife establish her career and getting my kids through college (or into college) I simply have no time for anything else, and often not enough time for any of the things I am already doing. And that saddened me.

As a matter of fact I have come to the conclusion that I may never have enough time to do all that I wish. For their will always be other things that will also demand my time (children, family, friends, grandchildren, etc. and I am not complaining about those things, as they bring me satisfaction and joy, but I acknowledge the truth that they are a drag on my work efforts) and if I live to be one-hundred or more I may still not do all I have assigned myself to do. Or simply wish to do.

And unfortunately, given my current situation, music and art must take a back-seat or go completely ignored for the sake of my other efforts (which are likely to prove far more profitable and important anyway).

(I often, still to this very day, wonder if I did indeed choose the right careers to pursue, and should or will I ever be able to pursue all of the things I so very much desire to pursue. I guess only God knows, as I suspect I may never know. Not, perhaps, in this world anyway.)

But still, if I had the time then I could spend many a day in composing music and drawing and painting things.

I simply do not have the time.

So I don’t.

But if I had the time it would make me quite happy to do so.

Yet because I don’t have the time it makes me sad that I cannot…

GOOD SOLID ROMAN PROGRESS

I have recently made good, solid progress on The Roman Way, The Christian Wizard, and a few other non-fiction books I am currently writing. My set of novels, The Kithariune, proceed apace as well. That being especially true for the Basilegate.

(a superb drawing of a Roman soldier on march by I know not who – follow the link)

So I am very pleased with my progress on these fronts.

In addition, and recently, I have turned out two new children’s books, such as the Kuddle King (picture book level) and a couple of poems which please me and that may be inserted into my novels.

Now I must secure good agents and editors for my work.

Today my wife is off on an assignment for her company, my oldest daughter is back in college, my youngest child is visiting museums in NC, and so I am here alone at the house and may work entirely undisturbed and uninterrupted. So I am going to make good use of my time.

I have been listening to old rock music and opera this morning and that has also put me in a mood to songwrite/songwright. So if I have time and some good ideas strike me I will be doing that as well.

And the weather terrifically good for both working and for training out of doors. So I will have a heavy and productive but relaxed day of both.

Have a good day yourself folks.

I’LL TAKE A JOB

I’ve either been out of town a lot lately or my back has been really screwed up (due to prior and recent injuries), or both. So either I haven’t been able to sit at my desk a lot recently or I couldn’t stand to for very long due to the pain (and I can take a lot of pain). But pain plus crippling has dissuaded me from blogging much, and has been just a bridge too far, you might say.

Nevertheless I have been writing and songwriting and inventing and so forth. A lot actually. But I’ve done all of that by long-hand, by memory (while clearing land, etc.), in bed, or in my notebooks for my daughter to type out later.

I’ve also downloaded and begun testing some new 3-D printer software for my Ikon™ start-up project.

And despite my back I’ve started preparing for Hell Week (which I had to delay due to my injuries) and started refurbishing my garage to convert it into a gym. Which, just to be honest, has probably not sped up my back recuperation rate any. I guess I should also mention that I’ve been trying to get more than three or four hours of sleep a night. You know, to be better set for Hell Week.

Finally I’ve begun finishing and preparing some new short stories and other materials for the Autumn magazine season.

With all of that in mind here is one of the new songs I’ve written lately. I’m still looking for a good composing partner. So if you’re one and are interested, or know of one that might be interested, then contact me here.

I’LL TAKE A JOB

I’ll take a job for nothing, like everybody else
I’ll do it all for nothing, ask me it’s just as well
One day I’ll leave for elsewhere, cause it’s nowhere that I’ve been
Like to say I’d come back, but I’m looking for the end

I’ll take a job to go there, work my way on through
Once I’m there I’ll leave it, like everything else too
One day I’m gonna up and go, cause there’s too much I ain’t seen
But mainly cause you live out there, I saw it in a dream

I’ll take a job
I’ll take a job
One they’ll rob
Of hope and pay
But I don’t care
Because one day
I’ll make enough
To look for you,
And that ain’t
No real job to me

I’ll take a job for what I want
I’ll take a job because I don’t
Much care the cost
Or time I’ve lost
In getting there to you

I’ll take a job with overtime
I’ll take a job, no loss, it’s fine
The money’s poor
But so am I
When I stare up at the sky
To see the stars
Of where you are
When I am here alone

I’ll take a job for nothing, like all the others do
I’ll use my job for something, and that something is for you
One day I’ll leave for where you are, just watch me here I come
Cause where I am ain’t nowhere when I’m somewhere all alone

I’ll take a job to get there, work my way on through
Once I’m there I’ll leave it, then I’ll start again with you
Soon I’m gonna up and go, cause there’s too much I ain’t done
But mainly cause I’m missing you, my job has just begun…

I FORGOT TO REMEMBER – FIRST VERSE

I started these two things, the first the beginning of a poem, the second part of a set of song lyrics, over the weekend. Don’t know what I’m gonna do with either in the end but since it is Monday this is my post for First Verse.

 

I FORGOT TO REMEMBER

I forgot to remember when nothing was right
How all that we tendered was twisted and trite
I begot a dismembered, ephemeral sight
When divided in terror, Theatron of Rites

The devices, the chorus, the Odeion of Scene
A tyrant all bloodied his thralldom most keen
Our vices within us a kingdom of dreams
Grown pregnant and studied, still starving and lean

A Opera of Staging, performed and preformed
Dispelled in the aging distempered and worn
Our union engaging our spectacle torn
Redundant, abundant, of meaning all shorn…

JUST A MAN

Gonna ditch my damned phone, then ditch my car
I’m gonna hitch my wagon to the brightest star
I’m gonna find the person that I’m looking for
Just gonna keep on walking til I reach the shore
Of somewhere I’ve never been before,
To see what lies beyond this land
To see what happens when a man
Is just a man…

If You Leave – I’m going to try again and link to the daily post. I have no idea if it will actually work.

I DONE PAID (IN FULL), AND LOOKING FOR A COMPOSER

I wrote an excellent set of lyrics to a Blues song today I’m calling I Done Paid (In Full).

Started a second Blues song (though I may make it a rock or even a pop song) called Stop Dis Missing Me.

Which I’m pleased with thus far but it is far from finished and I got two or three different ways I can go with it, and just haven’t decided yet.

I also have a backlog of about 150 to 200 songs (the lyrics that is) completed now which I have been unable to compose the music for. Unfortunately I have had no time to compose in the past year. Between my wrist surgery and working on my novel, my book of poetry, my start-up, helping my wife with her new career, and my inventions I have had no time to compose music at all. (I’m a slow composer anyway.) All I’ve had time to do is write the lyrics.

So, if you are a composer looking for a lyricist, or even a band looking for a song-writer then I’d like to talk to you. We can enter into a joint songwriting agreement. 

But I’m only looking for serious and ambitious people who want to produce and sell finished, entirely completed songs. I write in a variety of musical styles and genres, everything from Blues to Rock, from Bluegrass to Opera, Pop, and even Religious music. I have a wide range of musical interests, plus I have some unfinished compositions that I’d be willing for others to take a look at right now and finish if they wish. Splitting the Work and the Profits evenly, of course.

I would prefer working with people in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, so that we can meet and even work some in each other’s company but I’m not necessarily limiting myself to those in SC, NC, or GA. With the right composer or people, and if we can establish a good and productive working relationship, then I could work with anyone in the United States, or even in other parts of the world.

I’m not gonna set artificial limits on this, the important thing is that we are good at what we do and can produce excellent Work together.

If you are interested then leave a message here or contact me by email.

See ya,

Jack.

P.S.: you can see some prior examples of my song lyrics in this archive category: My Writings and Work

You’ll have to look for them though. All of my work is listed in that archive, not just my songs.

Or you can also just go to this archive: Songs

 

MY ADVICE TO WRITERS (and Everyone else)

The other day someone asked my advice on how to conduct myself as a writer. Or actually, to be more accurate, my advice on how they might better conduct themselves as a writer based on my prior experiences. Since writing is basically a “lonesome occupation” requiring a great deal of commitment, isolation (to a degree I’ll explain momentarily), focus, determination, self-discipline, and real work. They were having trouble dealing with the “lonesome” part of the occupation.

I repeat my advice to them here in the case this assists anyone else. Of course this advice could just as easily apply to artists, inventors, poets, songwriters, and even (to some extent) entrepreneurs of all kinds (all of which I am) with but a few minor modifications. So this is my Highmoot for this Wednesday.

THIS IS MY ADVICE

This is my advice after having worked for myself for decades. I’m about evenly matched between being an introvert and being an extrovert. I too do my very best work alone. However I prime myself by going out and observing people. Going to places that are active, like labs, industrial complexes, malls, museums, libraries, city streets, performances, college campuses, Vadding, to shops, exploring other towns, theaters, etc.
I do this for a day or two about once every two to three weeks.  Although depending on my work schedule I may not be able to do it but once a month. Nevertheless I do this as much as I can and regularly schedule such things.
(Aside: One place though I never go to is coffee shops. Everyone there is on their computers or cell phones and the interactions are limited and about all you see anyone doing is staring at a screen. Coffee shops are, for the most part, horrible and pretentious work environments, with people tending to merely congregate together in order to appear to be working, when in fact they are not truly working – they are seeking to socially escape real work by the public appearance of a displayed but primarily unreal act of “business.” On this point I entirely agree with Hemingway, coffee shops and cafes are the very worst places to do any actual and real work, though they give the plastic social facade of appearing to be busy.
The very same can be said to be true about coffee shops as “observation posts” on true human behavior. The types of human behavior evidenced in most coffee shops is unnatural, artificial, pretentious, deceptive, and rehearsed. People in coffee shops and cafes are extremely aware that they are being observed, indeed this is one reason so many go there, to observe and be observed (in a sort of pre-approved, socially accepted and promoted play-act), in the place of actually working. I almost never trust the close observations of human behavior I make of people in such environments. Such behaviors tend to be no more “real” than the work supposedly occurring in such places, and just as artificial as the plastic illuminated screens they seem so utterly devoted to, and the technological implements they are eagerly seen to be worshiping. My advice is to skip such places entirely if you can and go rather to where real work can be done and you can make true observations about actual behaviors, be those human or animal. Places like I mentioned above. End Aside.)

Then I come home and my mind and soul are primed with observations and ideas and stories and poetry and songs and invention concepts and business proposals.

When I’m at home and working, and tire, or am bored, then I go outside and clear land, hike in the woods, explore the nearby lands (I live out in the country), go fishing, track and observe animals, climb trees, cut down trees, cut the grass, etc. I said I do my best work alone, but actually I do my best work alone while doing something physical, and then I work in my head as I labor. Both because it is excellent practice to work in your head as you labor (the bodily labor frees the mind to wander and work) and because working while you labor is an excellent Mnemonics Technique. Sometimes I’ll write entire poems, songs, scenes from my novels, sections of business plans, create prototype inventions in my head, etc., then memorize the same and store them in Agapolis, my Memory City as I am physically laboring and only after I quit and go back into the house will I write down what I created.

I know modern people are not big on memory or Mnemonic Techniques (so much the shame for them), but I learned such things from the Ancients and the Medievals and if you ask me a superb memory and good control over your own memory is a far better set of skills and capabilities for a writer (or most anyone) to possess than a thousand cell phones or a hundred laptops or tablets or even a dozen internets. A good memory increases not only your overall intelligence but is fundamental to establishing, developing, and properly employing an excellent vocabulary. So practice writing or creating first in your head (after all you can do such things even when you have no access to even pen and paper), then fully memorize what you do, and only then write it down. Such exercises are not only important to do (because of what I mentioned above), but will pay many dividends in any of your creative endeavours and enterprises. Rely not just upon mere technology for your best creations and for your most important works, but rather upon what you most deeply impress upon your own mind and soul. That is both where creation begins and where it will be properly shaped and forged and worked into worthwhile and well-crafted final products.

I don’t know if this helps you any in your own creative enterprises but my advice is go out at least once a month, or as often as you need it, and do nothing but observe and generate new ideas. Then let them ruminate and percolate through you and within you.

If you thereafter feel all cramped up and unable to work smoothly then do something strenuous and physical outside. The labor will do you good and also set our mind free to wander. Then when you are primed and relaxed go to work.

To simplify to a very basic formula: Prime + Observe + Labor + Work + Memorize = High End and Valuable End Product.
After the necessary revisions for proper refinement, of course.
REWRITE OFTEN.

But just because you work alone doesn’t mean you are a prisoner of your environment and just because you work alone doesn’t mean you always have to be alone.

Go wander, go labor, go explore, go meet new people, go people watch, memorize, and then actually Work. Don’t just wade into crowds and pretend to work.

Actually Work.

Be extremely good for ya. And it will probably make you a helluvah lot better writer than you’ve ever been before. No matter what you’re writing. And it is awful hard to be lonely, or a slack-ass, when you are actually doing Good Work.

That’s my advice, take it for what it’s worth.

BRAVE ANNA – FIRST VERSE

These are the lyrics of a song I began this past weekend. It is unfinished but I’m pleased with the start I made…

(painting: please see here – http://www.artbyfuentes.com/commissions/)

BRAVE ANNA

Brave Anna was fair
And thrice did she dare
To be with a man like I
I’d warn her away
Come night and come day,
I never asked her to die

Yet oh she would sing
Of all of the things
Our kisses, our embrace
Beloved
Of the sorrow she’d bring
Unless she could cling
To my heart, enlacing
Her love

Yes, Brave Anna was fair
And dark was her hair
It blew in the sea’s song-breeze
She’s laugh and she’d play
She’d lead me astray
So little was I at ease

Though how she would dance
Left nothing to chance
I was the captive
Not her
All the sorrow she’d bring
When the church bells would ring
Her passing to always
Recur

Brave Anna was bright
With her eyes did she spite
The doubts of a man like I
I’d wish her away
Though never she strayed
Thus did she end her life

Oh yes I would say
Both night and in day
I am a man of loss…

ALONE AND WORKING

JUST ALONE. AND WORK.

Now that my wife has her new job and is working out of the house more, and now that the girls are both nearly grown I’m seriously thinking of taking three days, maybe even a whole week, and going up to Devil’s Fork with nothing but a stack of manila note pads, some pens, a sketchbook, my fishing pole and my revolver. Take some groceries too.

But God knows no computer, no cell phone (rarely use it anyway), no tech of any kind. Walking everywhere I go, maybe even into town.

Get in some fishing, kayaking, hiking, exploring, and if they have a range (don’t remember if they do or not) a little shooting.

Mainly though I’d just write and maybe work on one of my start ups. And talk to the tourists and locals and explore the land and write. Write a lot. And draw some. Maybe even write a song or two.

See how far I could get to completing one of my new books.

Just alone. Just me. Like when I was a kid. Before I was married. Just be alone and Work.

Though I might take Sam as well. Boy deserves some time to himself too.

SORROW AND PAIN, SORROW AND SHAME

SORROW AND PAIN, SORROW AND SHAME

I had a weird and kinda sad dream right before waking this morning. In it I was attending a military event in which at the end a group of soldiers were singing as part of the event.

There were two guys standing on a platform above most of the others and these two guys were carrying the song. Suddenly the taller guy stepped down and a much shorter and far younger guy (Audie Murphy type guy but with jet back hair and dark eyes) started singing alone. His voice was, well, let me be honest, incredible. Far deeper than you would expect from such a little guy and clear and resonant and so loud he almost shook the building. It started softly but it became a truly rousing extremely powerful song.

But it was not just how he was singing, but what he sang. He was singing an “autobiographical song” about his short life (he was probably only in his early twenties but had seen a lot, and I mean alot) and the lyrics were astounding. Truly astounding. I have tried to remember them all morning (although I remember the music clearly as will compose it later today), to no avail except for a few snippets. If I could only recall them it would be the best song I’ve ever written.

As he sang by the way you could actually see the scenes he was describing hovering in the air about him. He had truly suffered a lot.

Two lines I do recall clearly, from the chorus, were: Sorrow and Shame, Sorrow and Pain.

He repeated them often.

THE OLD STANDING STONES – FIRST VERSE

THE OLD STANDING STONES (Both Versions)

Last week I sat down and wrote a song that I had originally intended for my Bard (his name is Larmageon and he is Welsh) to sing in one of my novels, the Basilegate. As a sort of a lament, and a dirge. It was supposed to be a rather dark song about a myth of a submerged city off the coast of Ireland that rises every so often at midnight on Samhain and the city is populated by ancient dead warriors. It was a symbolic dirge of a supposedly lost song that the Bard then used to analogously lament what had happened to his friends. That is the first version of the song/poem you see below.

Thereafter I looked at the song and said to myself, “This really is close to an Irish/Welsh real myth and I should rewrite this song as a real world song or poem.” So I did using real Irish/Celt/Welsh place and symbolic names. That version, the second version, came out to be much brighter and more upbeat, but the tempo is changed slightly. By the way after the less well known Gaelic names or terms I included, in parentheses, the more original pronunciations, and their meanings.
I like both versions but the first is a far more generalized version written for an English audience and specifically for my book. The second version is really more of a throwback Irish mythological song.

So that being said, which do you like best?

Or do you think I should keep and use, perhaps for different purposes, both versions? Or does one version strike you as good and the other bad? Let me know what you think and anyone is welcome to comment.
_______________________________

THE OLD STANDING STONES (version 1)

The old standing stones
Where the ghosts all still roam
Below the Seas of Sarsa
Submerged neath the Mere
They all still come here
To haunt the tides of Current
The walls in the waves
The moon long enslaved
Both shine so like the Danaan
The People long passed
The present now past
Upon the Road of Waters
Formorian chants
Who sings of the chance
That tombs are remade Towers?
The barrows below
The streams that bestowed
The last Great Ship of Showern
To the old standing stones
Still guarding the road
Beneath the flood of Faran

Oh can you still hear
The chants and the cheers
When Chulainn took the Island?
And do you still dance
Or sing the Romance
Of the last men still left standing?

Submerged neath the waves
Deep waters their graves
The Green-men go a’feasting
The blue in their blood
The tides and the flood
Their numbers all decreasing
The stars brightly gleam
The moon often seen
To kiss the Ring of Rona
Yet still can you hear
If the night is all clear
The Lost Hope of Ilona
So tell me of old
Of the place far below
Of the dark halls deeply downing
Where the old standing stones
Still guard the last road
To the Hall of Sorrow’s Drowning…

________________________________

THE OLD STANDING STONES (version 2)

The old standing stones
Where the ghosts all still roam
Below the Seas of Saorla (Say-la – the noble queen)
Submerged neath the Mere
They all still come here
To haunt the tides of Cara (meaning, the friend)
The walls in the waves
The moon long enslaved
Both shine so like the Danaan

The People long past
The present now passed
Upon the Road of Una (Oo-nah, or Wony, meaning unity, or lamb)
Formorian chants
Who sings of the chance
That the tombs are to be Towers?

The barrows below
The streams that bestowed
The last Great Ship of Tara (tower, or crag)
To the old standing stones
Still guarding the road
Beneath the flood of Fallan (grandchild, or grandchild of the chieftain)

Oh can you still hear
The chants and the cheers
When Chulainn took the Island?
And do you still dance
Or sing the Romance
Of the last men still left standing?

Submerged neath the seas
Their limbs now at ease
The Gweneth men go feasting (Gweneth – fair or river men)
The blue in their blood
The tides and the flood
Their hall a loudly singing
The stars brightly gleam
The moon often seen
To kiss the Ring of Roise (roh-suh – a rose)
Yet still can you hear
If the night is all clear
The Last Hope of Isleena (Ish-leena – vision, the foretelling)
So tell me of old
Of the place far below
Of the dark halls deeply moaning
Where the old standing stones
Still abide all alone
In the Hall of Sorrow’s Gloaming…

BETWEEN – FIRST VERSE

This is a song (well, the lyrics anyway) I wrote over this past weekend. It includes two neologisms as part of the lyric set.

 

BETWEEN

Between the fire and the flood
Between the mire and the mud
Between the briar and the blood
There is no other one like you

I’ve been a million empty miles
I’ve seen a million other smiles
Still there are no other wiles
That work upon me like you do

I wish that I could get away
I wish that you were here today
What else can I say?
It’s all a lie, and yet all true

Between the fire and the flood
Between the why not and the was
Between the bire and the bud *
A flower grows in barren soil

You know we never were complete
Until we could admit defeat
All that time we let retreat –
The labor and the toil

I wish that I could get away
I wish that you would ever stay
What else is there left to say?
These alibies will never do

Yet still the ember burns
Yet still the pages turn
And yet still the ground is churned
Can that all just be for me?
Or is that all because of you?

One day our world will come
One day the depths will plumb
Whatever’s left will sum
So that both of us will see –
Between the fire and the flood
Between the mire and the mud
Between the byer and the blood ^
They’ll be you
And they’ll be me…

* bire – the well-worn path by which one goes to visit the grave of a deceased loved one, or one that one regularly treads in the expectation or hope of seeing something or someone previously lost or disappeared. Similar to a bierbalk but one walks this path with the expectation that one will see the dead one again. Path of Resurrection.

^ byer – one who says goodbye, but only temporarily. Also a seemingly coincidental occurrence but one suggesting a definite but unseen cause, “by the byer.”

Linear Progression or Scene-By-Scene?

So in writing the Old Man for NaNoWriMo this year I had carefully planned how each section (since the novel is divided into four or possible five long short story sections) would go and how each event in each section would proceed. In a linear, chronological progression. That is how I actually intended to write the book. I’m at over 10,000 words so far and have not written anything in linear progression so far, even though that was my original intent.

In truth though I find that most all of the fiction I write – short stories, novellas, novels, etc. always end up being written scene-by-scene, as they occur to me, and then later have to be stitched together in chronological order. The one exception to that being children’s stories (for very young children, not YA – those I also tend to write scene by scene) which, like poems and songs or the music I compose I tend to write in chronological order or by linear progression.

If it’s a longer work however, like those I listed above, then I always end up writing it scene by scene as the scenes occur to me in my imagination. No matter how hard I try or what I plan or how carefully I outline the book in my imagination it always comes out being written scene-by-scene, or in the case of non-fiction, subject by subject.

Apparently this is simply the way my mind works in constructing long, complex stories. It used to bother me, that I found it so difficult to write a novel or long story chronologically, now it doesn’t, but it has always made me wonder, how many other people approach writing novels in this way?

So I ask you. How about you?

Do you tend to write novels and long stories in chronological sequence, or poco-a-poco, and scene-by-scene?

How does your mind work when writing such books?

Do you find any advantages in either method? Do you find either method nearly impossible because of the way your mind or imagination functions?

Or is there some other method or technique of construction you use other than the two I described above that I haven’t thought of?

DARK SONG – FIRST VERSE

These are lyrics from an unfinished song I began last week. It’s my First Verse entry for today.

DARK SONG

There’s a dark song in my soul right now
And I can’t shake it anyway,
Might as well just sing along,
See where it goes

Well, there’s a dark song
I hear it on the wind

There’s a dark song
Where are we going?

Can we ever make amends?

Well, I don’t know this road no more
But I know it’s me

Where are we going anyhow?
What do you want me to see?

There’s a dark song in my soul right now
I can hear it far away
I’ve known, I’ve known it all along
We’re on the same road

But to where?

Just tell me that…

To where?

DON’T DIE

I’ve had a series of serious personal problems to deal with lately (floods and storms in SC that damaged my house, my daughter was struck by a – probably drunk – hit and run driver who totaled her car, etc.) which I’ll explain in detail later on. Everyone is okay but the house is damaged and my daughter’s car was destroyed. Anyway that has prevented me working properly (I’ve been putting out fires and settling insurance claims) and has delayed me blogging.

Night before last however, for the first time in weeks I was able to work uninterrupted and I started three songs and wrote a piece of flash fiction. So here is part of a song I started two nights ago called Don’t Die. It is unfinished but I got pretty far along on it.

 

DON’T DIE

Don’t die in the leaving son
Don’t die at the dawn
Don’t die in the coming home
Don’t die while you’re gone

There’s a long, long way between here and there
There’s a short step between the night and grave
I wish I could tell you differently son
But that’s just the way the world is made

I went out when I was young, so deep into the dark
I saw things there I didn’t want, things so sharp and hard
I wish I could tell ya differently son
But believe me when I tell you now, I got the scars

Careful where you go now son
Careful when you’re coming back
Go there when there’s no one else
Go there when you can’t be tracked

Oh, the things I’d show you if you’d see
How far away from everything
How very close to me

Don’t die in the leaving son
Don’t die in the dusk
Don’t die in your wand’ring round
Just do what you must

And come back
Yeah come back,
Come back to me…

FOREIGN LANDS – FIRST VERSE

FOREIGN LANDS

The old things and the new things
You think they’re not the same
And yet they both are constant
And yet they both remain
A measure of the manner
By which all things are made
When more or less the answer
Is the last place that we laid
Our hearts upon the altar
Our flesh in foreign lands,
Our souls a’drift through nowhere
So we could not understand

Chorus

Oh come and see us stranger
Oh come to see us friends
You’ll find us at the end of things
The place we all begin,

Home is endless miles away
Though always where we are
We started out for paradise
But never got that far…

______________________________________________

This is a new song I began over the weekend. It is not yet completed, I just started on it.

THE DARK ROAD – FIRST VERSE

It has been awhile since I’ve posted a set of my song lyrics. I’ve been so busy with my two start-ups and my novel that I’ve had very little time to write any new songs. But here is part of one I recently started for Halloween and which I like. It is unfinished as at the moment I am pressed for time…

DARK ROAD

There’s a dark road through the old woods
Ain’t never lost a man they say
But if a man can’t find his soul
He’d best just go another way

The witches ride the moon each night
The snakes they slide the mud
What can’t be seen hides in your sight
Like shadows in your blood

A cabin green with moss and things
That no man seems to know
Creeping up the hidden graves
Those dead things from below

Well it’s a Dark Road
A Dark Road that men don’t know
A Dark Road, no road above but down below
There’s a Dark Road,
You can find me there
If you ever dare –
No way back through the poisoned air
Or the black despair
Of the Dark Road,
Oh you just don’t know
Where ya gonna go
On the Dark Road

AFRICAN ANGEL – FIRST VERSE

I wrote this song two weekends ago. I was driving home one evening when the first few lines occurred to me. I worked on it for three days before finishing the lyrics.

This is the first song I’m publishing on my publishing schedule First Verse. Hope you like it.

I dedicate it to my wife, who although she is not African, she’s American, her ancestors were African. If you wish let me know what you think of it.

AFRICAN ANGEL *

Skin so soft, smell so sweet
Hair so dark, eyes so deep
Wish I knew just what you were
I think that once I might have heard

Of African angels

Yes, African angels

I wonder now if you might be…
An African angel

Your lips invite, rich and full
Whisper me a miracle
I want to know just who you are
Are you the same or similar…

To an African angel?

Some African angel?
Where will I go
Having been with you
When will I know
If this is true?
When will you prove
What I think I know
That you heard above
When I prayed below

For an African angel

Yes, an African angel
Oh, where can I go
Once I’ve seen you
When will I know
If this is true?
When will we
Take up your wings
See if we don’t both agree
You’re doing everything

Like an African angel

Well, I dreamt of gold and Zanzibar
Of silver seas and endless stars
The nights were black the moon was bright
You smiled at me, I saw the light

Of an African angel

My African Angel

My African Angel…

 

* Note: the artwork is not mine but by a very talented artist by the name of Kerry Rockwood White

see here: http://fineartamerica.com/art/digital+art/african+american+angels/all

 

IT’S NOT JUST WHAT YOU SAY, IT’S WHAT YOU IMPLY BY OMISSION

This statement is entirely true: “It’s what is left out of the song that keeps us coming back for answers.”

This image, and the accompanying lyrics, are superb examples of this.

Lyric Of The Week: Traditional, “Barbara Allen”

Written by March 9th, 2015 at 8:40 am

Forget_Me_Not_Songster_-_Barbara_Allen_p.1It’s been beguiling audiences for a half-millennium or so, perhaps longer than that. It’s been covered by artists ranging from the sublime (Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, The Everly Brothers) to the slightly ridiculous (John Travolta and, in the 1951 Warner Brothers short “Robin Hood Daffy”, Porky Pig.) So what is it about “Barbara Allen” that makes it so enduring and affecting?

The first known reference to this mysteriously captivating folk ballad dates back to 1666, in an entry by the famed English diarist Samuel Pepys. Pepys called it a “Scotch song”, and it flourished throughout the United Kingdom in that era until it was brought to the U.S. by immigrants. As the population of the America slowly spread westward, the song went with it, as noted by famed musicologist Alan Lomax in his book The Folk Songs Of North America. “This ballad, if no other, travelled west with every wagon,” Lomax wrote. “As someone remarked, they sang ‘Barbara Allen’ in Texas ‘before the pale faces were thick enough to make the Indians consider a massacre worthwhile.”

What transpires in “Barbara Allen” is simple enough on the surface. Yet since the lyrics provide little exposition or back story, the reasons for the behavior of the main participants are enigmatic. The song tells the story of young William who, as he lies on his deathbed, calls out for Barbara. She takes her time getting to his side, only to treat him coldly due to a social foul he committed against her at a tavern. On her journey home, she hears the “death bell knellin” and, knowing it tolls for William’s death, suddenly regrets her hardness and knows she will soon die of grief for him.

Harsh stuff, right? Maybe too harsh, even for audiences who were used to Shakespeare’s plays and their numerous deaths. As such, a variant on the song quickly arose that included a leavening epilogue whereby the lovers are buried side-by-side. From William’s grave grows a rose, from Barbara’s a briar, and the two flowers eventually intertwine, providing the deceased pair eternal unison.

It’s whats left out of the song that keeps us coming back for answers. If all William did was drink a toast to the wrong ladies, surely he didn’t deserve treatment so nasty from a girl he truly loved. Or was this single incident indicative of his wayward behavior as a whole? And what changed in Barbara’s mind and heart from the time she left him to when she heard that bell? In that short journey, she transformed from hard-hearted to sympathetic without any middle ground spent in consideration of all that had transpired.

This sort of unexplainable behavior from characters was also emblematic of Shakespeare (think King Lear or Hamlet), so maybe the original writer had that kind of strangeness in mind. It makes the song more psychologically realistic, since we all tend to do things when guided by passion or spite that defy logic and reason.

The murkiness of the motives and the beauty of the melody is an irresistible combination. As such, many legendary contemporary artists have found the song irresistible. Dylan, for one, not only covered “Barbara Allen” at various times in his career, but he also used Barbara’s home base of “Scarlet Town” as a jumping-off point for an equally mysterious song on 2012’s Tempest.

While there have been many powerful and moving renditions of “Barbara Allen”, Art Garfunkel may have given the definitive modern reading on his 1973 solo album Angel Clare.  Whatever lesson you take from the song, whether it’s that even a moment of taking the one you love for granted can come back to haunt you, or that life is too short for petty grievances, you’ll likely be mesmerized by the mercy Garfunkel’s ethereal vocal grants these two lovers. It’s just too bad they didn’t show each other that same kind of mercy until it was far too late.

GUILD OF THE GOLDEN DOOR

GUILD OF THE GOLDEN DOOR

I searched for the Guild of the Golden Door
Across the Fields of Filidhic Lore
To the House of the Wights who shielded the Scop
Neath the blouse of the night through the tales that crop

When grown under moon, and groaned under woe
Sprout slew from the Earth, as above, so below
Then the Master’s Apprentice to servitude bent
Broke under sentence, in fervor all spent

(Chorus)

Guild of the Golden Door
Gild yourself in guilt
All the wrongs adorned
All the harm you’ve built

Guild of the Golden Door
Gate of the ruined hoard
Facade of the secret morn
That dawns on the desperate horde

Golden Door, Golden Door
Hide and then reveal
Guilded Door, Gilded Door
Open wide, conceal

I sought for the Guild of the Golden Door
In the high merchant hills and the long shipping shores
I went to the banks that circled the world
Found all was lank loss, not a swine for a pearl
All the gain hidden, and all the made-men
Chains long forbidden, the same once again

Golden Door, Golden Door
Open, hide, conceal
Guilty Door, Giltied Door
Despised in your appeal

I watched for the Guild of the Golden Door
In the streets of the cities, in the eyes of the poor
It would not appear, was disguised far too well
The shrewd financiers were as crafty as hell

Guild of the Golden Door
Gate of the wasted hoard
Arch of what comes before
The birth of the desolate horde

I tried for the Guild of the Golden Door
Heard they governed the Halls of the Temple Floor
Found them buying and selling dressed in their rags
Pretending to credit; deceit, theft, and swag
All the pain ridden, your principles thrown
You claim to be bidden, you’ve purchased your thrones
Disguised by your voices, a’swim in your vice
Covet your choices, then play them like dice

Guild of the Golden Door
What is it that you’ve built?
All the wrongs so long adorned
All the blood you’ve spilt

Guild of the Golden Door
Won’t you share your guilt?
Yes drink of the cup of your own reward
For all the blood you’ve spilt

You should drink of the cup of your own reward
By the door of the world you’ve built

 

 

THE CORRUPTION OF THE GUILD OF THE GOLDEN DOOR

This is my next song for FAWM.

I worked on this until about 3:00 one morning. Then went to bed and got up around 9:00 or so and worked it again. Finished it that day.

I’m pleased with the final product, though I may change it around a little more before I eventually post it to my blog and use it on my new album, Locus Eater. It came out to be a lot longer and far more complicated song than I had anticipated. (I had expected it to be a small song and the short tie in to the Myrddin’s Tower poem.)

Originally it was a song about government claims to be assisting the poor and they are really just disguised profiteers seeking to use government as their “Golden Door” for personal advancement. Using government tyranny to line their own pockets by deceiving the ignorant and the naive.

But eventually the song became about financial and monetary corruption in general (such as crony or socialistic-capitalism), and in all fields, but especially by those who openly pretend to be working on behalf of the poor but are actually using them (and everyone else around them, including their partners) for their own grasping, covetousness, and greed. Hence the corrupting aspect of the Golden Door , and the corruption of the song itself from my original intent.

I didn’t plan on the song going that way, it just did. It became much bigger than I had expected.

I still, at this point, plan to use it as the sister-song for Myrddin’s Tower but it may have grown far too big for that. It may have to stand entirely alone.

THE CAVE OF THE UNKNOWN PROPHET

This is my second song (the lyrics) for my FAWM project and my new album, Locus Eater. I finished this three days or so ago but didn’t have time to write it up on finalize it.

I’ve been behind because I started late (only recently heard of FAWM – though I was already gonna write a new album), because of power outages, and because of repair issues, and family health problems. But I’m still working it. So here ya go, The Cave of the Unknown Prophet.

THE CAVE OF THE UNKNOWN PROPHET

The Cave of the Unknown Prophet
Glittering and bold
The dust of ancient ages
Relics all foretold

The throne of sceptered tyrants
Cast down with a curse
A man to grind down mountains
Cut valleys in the Earth

I saw the prophet wander
Across the broken skies
The future all in labor
While ruined kingdoms died;
His cave the great circumference
Round which the world did turn
His name is now forgotten
Yet still his omens burn

Cave of the Unknown Prophet
Well of the Wasted Past
Womb of the Coming Ages
Born in the world at last

He spoke of Countless Wonders
If only we would heed
The things he heard in thunder
When the dawn was but a dream

I saw the prophet’s anger
When we ignored his voice
The present much endangered
By our reckless, selfish choice;
The wind it moaned at midnight
The seas they rolled in fear
Time shook like an earthquake
Ruptures soon appeared

He asked of man a miracle
That love might guide his hand
Not hatred, blood, and murder
To soil and taint the land, but

The cave of the unknown prophet
Was buried with the man
Whatever he had foreseen
Written in the sand

I’ve looked a thousand ages
To find it all within
There are no maps or pages
To lead me back again

I saw the prophet Wizened
With the burden of his Sight
He sought to warn of darkness
We never saw the light

The Cave of the Unknown Prophet
Does he sit there waiting still
For us to finally answer, and
His words to be fulfilled?

BABA YAGA STANZAS

Some of the experimental stanzas for my song Baba Yaga on my new album Locus Eater.

…Bind me in a chain of gold
With silver teeth to chew your babes
Fires, wolves, and howling ghosts
I bred (or bled) the Witches Crone and Queen
Baba Yaga, yarn and thatch
A trap of thorns, a bowl of blood
Baba Yaga, dark and dread
I’ll stitch (or break) your bones inside my hutch…

BABA YAGA and THE CAVE OF THE UNKNOWN PROPHET

Well, I got registered with FAWM (which I only became aware of on Monday) and started work on my first two songs: Baba Yaga, and The Cave of the Unknown Prophet.

It’s not really so much of a songwriting contest as a songwriting/album creation version of NaNoWriMo.

Both songs will be for my new album Locus Eater.

LOTUS EATER

LOCUS EATER

Edit: I have changed the name of the album from Lotus Eater to Locus Eater.

Baba Yaga (The Dead Witch)

Barden and the Serpent (The Viking Ship)

Cave of the Unknown Prophet

Cumhaill’s Causeway (Clochán an Aifir)

Fall of Sisyphus

Gram’s Glass

Hephaestus and Prometheus (The Tyrant’s Overthrow)

Isle of the Invisible Darkness

Myrddin’s Castle – longest song

Myrddin’s Tower – spoken poem with musical background

The Four Rivers of Paradise

The Rape of Medusa

The Spider and the Bones – short instrumental

The Storm of Tiamat – long multi-instrument instrumental

Vadd’s Desperation

Wendel’s Curse

White Stag – medium length guitar instrumental

I’ve bene thinking about doing this for awhile and last week, while out and driving around I began sketching out the titles and notes for a new album of songs I’m going to write.

Last year I finished writing my first album of songs, a country album I call “Going South.”

This year I’ve decided to do something I’ve been meaning to do for a long time but never got around to. Writing an album of rock, art rock, and hard rocks songs in the style of music from the 1970’s (if you ask me the most productive and artistic era of American music in history).

This will be my homage and tribute album to the best rock music of the 70s (and 60’s – Tales of the Brave Ulysses, etc.) although there will also be ballads and instrumental pieces and some experimental and even some Prog Rock pieces (Emerson, Lake, and Palmer).

It will be called “Locus Eater.”

I have listed the songs in alphabetical order as I haven’t yet decided on any kind of arrangement. These are the songs I have decided to include at the moment. It may change as I develop the album. It will be a double album of course, and loosely, even a concept album.

Many of the songs will be in written in these general types of styles, though the lyrics will be considerably different:

BOOKS ON THE MARKETS

Just finished ordering the latest copies of the Writer’s Market and the Songwriter’s Market.

Only cost me seven bucks. Because I had Christmas cards I had never used.

Now all I have to do is order the Agent’s Market and I’m set for the year.

MAN WORKING

For the rest of this week I will not be posting any original content to this blog or any of my blogs. Recently, due to my work schedule and other obligations, I have had very little time to work on the overall construction and the technical aspects of my blog(s). I had planned to complete those aspects of my blogs long ago but other things kept interfering.

So this week I have decided to spend the entire week finishing my originally planned construction-plans of my blogs to make it easier for agents, editors, publishers, and other songwriters and writers to find me and to communicate and work with me.

To that end I will spend the rest of the week finishing my original plans and retooling this site.

As I said, as it stands now I plan to add no more original content this week so as to finally finish my original designs without interruption or any more delays.

However you can still find a great deal of useful content in the various Categories already present on this blog, and on the Categories of all of my other blogs. Just pick the categories that interest you and browse at will. Uncategorized will allow you to find everything.

I will also be sharing useful articles, content, and posts I find on other sites as I run across them and time allows. But most of my time this week will be spent on blog development.

Thank you for being a Reader and Follower of my blogs, I appreciate your patronage and hope you find my blogs enjoyable, entertaining, and most especially, useful.

WATCH AND SEE

These are the lyrics to a new Blues song I wrote this past weekend. Actually I wrote this song, and two new poems (When Night is No More, and First the Enemy, Then The Fool) on the same day, but I only finished the song that day. The poems I didn’t finish until Sunday night.

Then last night I rewrote and edited the song and put it into its final form. I’m really pleased with the way it turned out.

WATCH AND SEE

Well you ain’t got nothin in you
And you ain’t left nothin out
I’m telling you now baby
Even if you scream and shout
That I won’t just come a runnin
Cause you make a fuss
You don’t do nothin baby
But a’ mess around with us

So throw your temper tantrums
Or curse us both by name
Don’t make no difference to me
It all comes out the same

But if you want me round ya
Then you better tighten up
I’m telling you now baby
Your time with me is up

Well you play the fool in public
You act the witch at home
You feed me all your poison
Then you won’t leave me alone
You ask me where I’m going
When I try to get away
I’ll tell ya, “not your business
Just sit right there and stay!”

You tell me that you’re coming
But I tell you not with me
I’mma headed somewhere diff’rent
Ain’t you smart enough to see?

Cause if you stay around me
Then you better loosen up
I’m telling you now baby
That your time is almost up

Yeah, you tell me that you’re coming
But I tell ya not with me
I’mma heading somewhere diff’rent
That’s the way it’s gonna be!
Yeah I’m heading somewhere diff’rent woman
Just you watch and see…

LIVING THE BLUES – a song

LIVING THE BLUES

Ain’t got no future
Ain’t got no past
You’re through with me
I’m through with you
Ain’t got no reason
But I got proof
I’m livin the blues
Cause baby, come high or low
I’m livin, oh must be dying
Living with you
But,
Still, ain’t got no future
Ain’t got no past
Done thought about it
Can’t make it last
Now, ain’t that a shame
Don’t know what to make
Of this…
This mess o’ ours
Now, this ain’t good
This sho ain’t right
But I ain’t gonna fight
No mo about it
Cause baby, I’m living the blues
You know it’s true
Now woman
You bringin the blues
Ain’t got no reason
But I got proof
Don’t matter the season
Cause you tha proof
I’m living the blues
Woman, don’t you know
I’m livin, ought not be trying
To live with you…

Living Proof (by Buddy Guy) inspired me to write a new Blues Song of my own, Living the Blues (even though they’re on completely different subjects), which I did while I waited on the girls. Or I wrote 90% of it anyway. I’m going to edit, rewrite, and finish it today. Everyone who has read it so far really seems to like it.

Over the weekend after listening to the whole Guy CD I also began to write four inter-related songs which I call the “Bad Road” songs. I was going to call the first song, Hot Sun on a Bad Road. But then as I started writing lyrics I got the idea for a set of four related “bad road” songs, each dealing with a different point on the compass. All will deal with a similar theme, a bad woman who leads a man in the wrong direction.

So now I intend to call the songs: Bad Road Down South, Cold Road North, East Road to Nowhere, and Hard Road West.

The South song will be about a Black woman, the North song about a blue-eyed blonde, the East road about a green-eyed brunette (jet black hair, a Witchy woman) or possibly a red-head, and the West road about (possibly) an Hispanic woman, though I’m still thinking on that one.

I’ve got about two thirds of Bad Road Down South written, and sketch notes for the other songs already developed.

HARD LOVE (a song)

Woman you got hard love
The kind that cuts and bleeds
Woman you got hard love
The kind I’m gonna need
Woman you got hard love
Make it sting and burn
Woman you got hard love
Make me twist and turn

Woman want your love
Woman want it now
Woman you ain’t near as tough
As you pretend no how,
Yes you’re mean and angry
But you’re lonely too
I’m the man with love so strong
I’ll fix what’s wrong with you

Woman I got hard love
Love so hard it breaks
Whatever’s down inside of you
Let’s see what you can take
Woman I got hard love
You ain’t seen nothing yet
I’ll get so deep inside of you
Be begging me to quit…

A FAR BETTER LAND… a New Song

A song I wrote this morning. The blower motor in our main air unit has failed and we’ve been without heat for two days waiting on the replacement motor to be delivered and installed. During the day, and to keep warm, I’ve been going outside to lie in the grass in the sunshine. (It is actually much warmer outside than inside the house at this point, especially around daybreak).

I did that again after lunch just now and these song lyrics came to me as I was soaking up the sunshine. Actually I’ve been thinking lately on events in America and in the world and have sort of reached my bellyful of all the recent bullshit. So yeah, the cold and the sun sparked the lyrics, but they’ve been weighing on my mind for a while now anyhow.

After I went inside and wrote them down, I put them aside for a bit and had a cup of coffee. Then I went back to the lyrics and did some editing and a bit of finagling to develop a final draft.

It’s sort of a hippie song, I’m the first to admit it, but nevertheless I like it.

A lot. I mean it too. Both for myself and this nation, and even for the world.

 

A FAR BETTER LAND

Gonna hop me a train to somewhere
Somewhere I’ve never yet been
A place that’s full of better ways
A place I can start again

Gonna fly me a plane to Shangri-La
A land that will never end
With star-bright nights and golden days
Where the dawn of my heart begins

Gonna sail me a ship to Paradise
Find me the coast of the moon
Where the mountains are high, and
The water is wide, and the grass
Is as deep as the sky

Come with me People
Let’s go somewhere else
Leave all your troubles and cares

Just think of the World
We could make for ourselves
If only we ever would dare

Gonna build me a starship
Gonna build her real soon
Rig her with sails made of light
Gonna crew her at sunrise, launch her at noon
God! What a beautiful sight!

Come with me People
There are new worlds to roam
Gonna leave all our hatreds and wares

There’s a place that is waiting
We could build a New Home
If only we ever would dare

Gonna fill up my heart-chest
Gonna pack up my soul
Gonna leave just as soon as I can

Come with me People
Come young and old
Gonna look for a far better land

Yeah…

Gonna go to a far better land

Yeah,

A new, and a far better land…

EXPERIENCE IT FIRST – LIVING OUT YOUR STORY

I have, over time, developed a new technique for writing Fictional Stories. I’ve been doing this for a couple of years now but have recently gotten to be very good at it.

At night, right after I cut out the light and am laying in the dark, I turn to some novel or story I’m writing. I then visualize part of the story or a scene from the story in my mind as if I’m one of the characters. Then try to see it in my head as if it were an actual experience that I am part of.

At first I did this as if I were seeing a film or movie or play (from a third person point of view). But then I decided that I would do away with that step entirely and simply insert myself into the scene and have the scene unfold as if it were a real (and not recorded) experience. Instead of thinking in terms of words and pictures and stories and characters now I’m “experiencing fictional reality” in my head as if these experiences are real and occurring to me. In that way it’s not hard to transform these scenes into artificial (or maybe a better term would be parallel, or virtual) memories and then when I take to writing again it’s much more like remembering something you’ve already experienced than making it up. First I experience the scene, from beginning to end, and only then write it, but not just from imagination, from memory. This seems to have two effects: it makes writing fiction much more fun, because even though it’s fiction it is like it is real, and secondly it seems to have improved the overall literary quality of my fiction. Especially from the point of view of characterization and dialogue. In other words the story becomes “hot” in your own mind and a “personal experience” rather than just the imagined experiences of your characters.

I’ve gotten pretty good at it with much practice. The other night I saw a ship in a fictional story which was unlike any ship design I’ve ever seen before, complete with a different type of mast and rigging system (it was a sailing ship in a fantasy story) and overall design that I didn’t think I would have ever considered or considered writing about had it not been for the “experience it first technique.”

But because I experienced it first the ship was, well, it was like I was both the ship designer (shipwright) and the boat master of the voyage. I think I may have developed something very useful here, because doing it this way it’s less like writing than it is experiential, and my mind doesn’t get divided into “writer” or “inventor” but different aspects of my mind all seem to work in synthesis.

I am calling the Technique, “Experiential Fiction,” or “Remembered/Memory Fiction.”

By the way, this is much more like writing fiction as if you were writing a song or a poem, by experience and memory, rather than entirely through imagination and invention. Although in your own mind you must first imagine and invent the story.

But this is far easier to do by taking your own prior experiences and memories and simply rearranging them in a newly imagined fashion through your mental and psychological storyline rather than trying to imagine your story “cold.”

I also think this would be an excellent technique for both game design, and for invention, and recently I have been experimenting with using the technique to do both.

BROKE AGAINST EACH OTHER

Speaking of songs, here is one I wrote about a year back or so.

 

BROKE AGAINST EACH OTHER

The part without the whole
One day we both will know
How that works, and why it never does

The night without the day
Sometimes we both will say
That such a thing can never be, yet is

The man who lost his heart
How do I even start
To tell you when it went, and never did

The woman lost her soul
One long night and all is told
To everyone who saw her eyes, and yet

the solitary part without the hole
is the only one of us still looking
for all the pieces we left behind
that day we fell between ourselves
and broke against each other.

THE ENGINE OF EVERYTHING

Had a superb idea for a science fiction short story today.

The Engine of Everything.

It’s not what it sounds like. It was an interesting idea to me. It will be part of my God-Technology series.

Of course I’ve still gotta finish The Vengeance of Tôl Karuţha and Scarecrow. A lot of things have been vying for my time lately and slowing me down.

Also last night I began writing a new song, Until She Is No More.

I think it will be a good song.

THE LONELY SIDE OF TOWN – completed lyrics

Last night I was able to finish the lyrics to, The Lonely Side of Town.

My wife and daughters read the original draft (once I had finished it) but kept telling me it wasn’t as good as it could be and that two lines especially were weak.

So I kept working it and kept working it and kept working it until I got the whole thing the way I wanted but those two lines kept bothering them (and me) so I spent the weekend trying different rewrites.

Finally I got it and was able to complete the lyrics.

As for the melody and music it will be a slow, sad, moody rock ballad.

_____________________________________________________

 

THE LONELY SIDE OF TOWN

There’s a lonely side of town
Where I still see your ghost
Looking out the windows
Walking down the street

Your voice still haunts the cafes
The boardwalk by the bay
I just can’t see past you
No matter who I meet

Baby it’s been lonely
Don’t know where you’ve gone
Can’t say that I blame you
Knew it all along
But when the night surrounds me
And you’re not around
Everywhere I go becomes
The lonely side of town

Your perfume drifts like memories
Your voice floats everywhere
These city-lights are empty eyes
Just staring back at me

You drove into tomorrow
Down streets that go nowhere
I followed when I found out
What could never be

This city is for no-one
I’m the man who knows
The higher up the ladder
The farther down you go

Baby it’s so lonely
Don’t know why you’ve gone
Didn’t wanna blame you
Suspected all along
Cause when the night surrounds me
Still you’re not around
Everywhere I go becomes
The lonely side of town…

THE LONELY SIDE OF TOWN – or, Blood Moons Must Be Good For Me

One last one for the night. I just took Sam for a walk under the rising Blood Moon (out of the East, you know, the old “There’s a Blood Moon on the rise…”) when I started writing a song in my head. Just kinda spontaneously. Guess the moon triggered it, or at least spurred it on.

By the time we got back to the house I had already written one stanza and committed the chorus to memory.

So, it ain’t finished yet but I’m very pleased with the start. Again, don’t known what genre it will be, I’m thinking slow, moody, soft-rock piece, lonesome with a little blues and a slow, dark guitar run around the middle. Yeah, I could live with that. Already got a few ideas for a tune.

Like I said, it’s far from finished but as far as my overall work-load goes, not bad for one day: a full song, a half-song, more on my Conan short story, progress on my novel, some fine advances on an invention, a separate new invention idea, a good work-out, and a few decent blog posts.

Blood-Moons must be good for me.

 

THE LONELY SIDE OF TOWN

There’s a lonely side of town
Where I still see your ghost
Looking out the windows
Walking down the street

Your voice still haunts the cafes
The boardwalk by the bay
I just can’t see past you
No matter who I meet

Baby it’s been lonely
Don’t know where you’ve gone
Can’t say that I blame you
Knew it all along
But when the night surrounds me
And you’re not around
Everywhere I go becomes
The lonely side of town…

WHERE WOULD I GO – a song

I thought that I would be alone
Then found myself with you
My heart was just a helpless thing
That passed away like dew
Beneath the sunrise of your love
Yes, you know it’s true
Beneath the sunrise of your love
What did you do?
I need you too

I thought that I would find myself
Without a child or wife
Sure that nothing but myself
Would ever be my life, but
Then you took me in your hand, and
Took me as I am
You made me better than I was
Made me a better man
Than long ago
So long ago

Help me now to understand
Help me now to live
Help me now to take these things
And grow them as you give
Yourself to me
Yourself to me

I’ve always been a lonely man
That never bothered me
You never know how far to go
If you have never been
My soul was just a wanderer
That never had a home
Until you took me in my dear, and
Now I never roam
Where would I go?
Where would I go?

I’ve always said and it’s still true
That somehow this would work
That sometimes it would be a breeze, and
Sometimes it would hurt, but
Either way, just name the day,
I won’t be going far away
From you
I’m not alone
Alone with you
No, not alone
When I’m with you

So help me now to understand
Help me now to live
Help me now to take these things
And grow them as you give
Yourself to me
You’re all I need

Yes, all I need

THE WRATH OF WROTHCHOLIRE

Two nights ago I wrote a poem (As We Age) and then started working on the fragments for The Wrath of Wrothcholire. Wrothcholire is an indestructible sword that appears in my high fantasy writings comparable to Gram and Durandal and Caliburn (Excalibur) in myth and legend.

It was forged of dark red (blood red) meteoritic rock but when finished the blade came out to be black and scored with an odd pattern and design. As far as is known the blade cannot be broken but will bend and flex. It is easy to sharpen and will hold an edge for many combats. Wrothcholire goes all the way back to my teenage years and was my imagined embodiment of the “perfect sword” and “ideal personal weapon.”

Wrothcholire is said (by those who have wielded him, and many famous heroes over several ages have wielded him) to possess a will or intelligence of his own, not that it can speak but rather that it will impel it’s bearer to great anger and fury if it desires the destruction of an enemy.

Wrothcholire (and this is the English name for the Sword, it has many different Eldeven names and names in other tongues) means wroth, or wrath, and choleric, and iresome. It also means, from the root terms, twisted (because of the pattern in the metal), to writhe (because of it’s seeming to writhe like a serpent when angered), and riven.

Wrothcholire is never said to be owned, but rather borne or that it’s user “bears the wrath of Wrothcholire upon and within himself.”

This goes back to when I was a young man and would become intensely angry and dangerous and do things I later deeply regretted. So also is Wrothcholire. Wrothcholire often pushes its bearer to fearsome and even horrible deeds, and sometimes even close to murderous deeds. Wrothcholire is really my own personified Fury, both a source of great strength for me, and probably my greatest lifelong vice. It took me a long time to conquer my own Wrothcholire, and a few bearers over time do tame the blade and they become lifelong friends. Many others Wrothcholire uses as much as they use him.

I have over time written many shorts stories involving Wrothcholire, in which the weapon appears either overtly as itself, or covertly and in disguise, but recently the idea has occurred to me to write some poetic fragments about the blade that I will eventually combine into either recited Skaldic verse or a Bardic song, maybe both. In either case his Lay shall be called, “The Wrath of Wrothcholire.”

So last night I began that. Here is what I first devised:

No voice of life could he (Wrothcholire) engender
Yet Fury burned, a shining beacon
Within his wrath, a terror vengeanced
Yearned to make of his foe’s ending…”

Another stanza,

He writhed, he bled, the foeman fled
An ancient anger soon caught flame
The Whore of Heaven made a bed (or dug a grave)
Of endless night, and brutal shame…

Another set of verses

He brake the Drake
Did slay the Würm
An endless wound that would not heal
Far better had they perished both
Than in such anger ruthless killed…”

The last I composed,

The End of All Illness comes to he
Who in such fury burns so bright
This blade of death, so distant sent
Has pierced my heart, and now I’m spent (or, variantly, my soul is rent)

Wrothcholire is said to be the Blade of Nine Names.

As far as those who know of him he has had Nine Names over time, and I have translated them all into English.

The Nine Names of Wrothcholire:

Wrothcholire (Eternal Fury or Writhing Fury)

The Fell-Black Sword (from its color and twisted pattern)

The Sword of Starless Night (because when it kills it is said to “blanket the foe in a starless night.”)

The Blade of Fury (self-explanatory)

The Brand of Vengeance (also self-explanatory)

Battle’s Beacon (said because it forewarns the bearer that another soon intends to attack, even if the other pretends peace)

The Wound Eternal (said because it typically leaves a wound that will not heal in the foe, or it leaves a wound of anger in the bearer that will not pass)

The Serpent’s Snare (because it is a Würm-killer, or dragon and monster-slayer)

The Whore of Heaven (this is actually an English mistranslation of a Sidhelic name – the Sidhels call Wrothcholire the “Blood-Ore of Heaven” because of the meteoritic fragment from which it was forged, but this was later mistranslated into English as the Whore of Heaven, sometimes the Whorl of Heaven, because of its writhing, and the name stuck by repetition)

The Sword will figure prominently in some of my fictional works, such as my High Fantasy novels and myths.

I TOOK MY GUNS

My latest song. It will have a decidedly Western flavor. It’s a vengeance song – avenging a set of murders.

It’s unfinished but I plan to finish it tonight.

I TOOK MY GUNS

I took my guns to town with me
Riding rough like the wind
I came home too late to help
My neighbors were all dead by then

The night was cold the wind was hard
The fires burned, the coyotes roamed
My horse was spent but I was not
Murder and mayhem I won’t condone

Take your guns wherever you go
Take your guns so they will know
Take your guns whenever you ride
So you don’t have to abide
No more a this…

My gut was empty, my heart was stone
You don’t kill men in their own homes
Their ghosts still whispering in my ear
“Find them, get them, be what they fear”

Well the streets were barren, empty, dark
Everything stabled, doors all locked
Except for the Dead Pony
My revolvers both cocked

Take your guns wherever you go
Take your guns so that they know
Take your guns wherever you ride
So you can set right
The wrong that they did…

I swung down from the saddle
The streets were all mud
My horse stood his own ground
We both wanted blood

I kicked in the door, there he sat cold
Smiling and toothless, nursing his drink
I shot off his mouth
Cause whiskey ain’t cheap

THE RIVER

Because it’s Pink Floyd. Actually, I hope it is closer to their earlier work than their later work.

Pink Floyd Roll Out Plans For ‘The Endless River,’ First LP in 20 Years

“‘The Endless River’ is a tribute to Rick Wright,” says Nick Mason. “His playing was at the heart of the Pink Floyd sound”

Pink Floyd
Courtesy Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd, ‘The Endless River.’
By | September 22, 2014

After months of rumors, Pink Floyd have finally announced the details of their new album The Endless River, which hits shelves on November 10th. It’s the group’s first new release since 1994’s The Division Bell. According to a press release, The Endless River is a “four-sided instrumental album,” though one track, “Louder Than Words,” has lyrics by David Gilmour’s wife Polly Samson. It was produced by Gilmour, Phil Manzanera, Youth and Andy Jackson and is available for pre-order right now.

Related Pink Floyd

Readers’ Poll: Your 10 Favorite Pink Floyd Albums

The project began with Gilmour and Floyd drummer Nick Mason sorting through music they recorded with keyboardist Rick Wright (who died in 2008) during the Division Bell sessions. “We listened to over 20 hours of the three of us playing together and selected the music we wanted to work on for the new album,” Gilmour said in a statement. “Over the last year we’ve added new parts, re-recorded others and generally harnessed studio technology to make a 21st century Pink Floyd album. With Rick gone, and with him the chance of ever doing it again, it feels right that these revisited and reworked tracks should be made available as part of our repertoire.”