Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Lyric Break

This is going to be a short post today because I wanted to do something simple. Song lyrics you might have missed. This is a song from Brian Setzer's first solo album that has all-but-faded from public memory called "Breath of Life" which is, well, great. It really is a shame that the album is out of print, because songs like this, "Three Guys", "Barbed Wire Fence", and "Radiation Ranch" feature some really good lyrics.

These are a bit different from his usual songs about rockin', cars, and being cool (always fun topics), and is about something a bit more. So, I decided to post them for, hopefully, greater appreciation.

I'm not going to force my interpretation of it, I think it's fairly obvious what it's about, but they are well written lyrics and will probably leave you smiling for a while. Hopefully, long after you first read them. Next time, I'll try for a longer post but I think its nice to take a break like this every now and then.

So without further delay, here they are.

Monday, July 28, 2014

This Week

Boy, that was a quick weekend, huh?

As July comes to an end and kids have to endure those painful back to school ads popping up everywhere, I think I'll center my posts around more juvenile/young adult material this month. If only to show my support for the poor children.

Won't somebody think of the poor children, they say? Well, I'll try!

Friday, July 25, 2014

While You Were Dancing - The Placement & The Meaning

*Sorry for the lateness of this post, I've had a rather complicated day*

This is it, the final entry in my series. This week I'll be focusing on the overall direction of my stories and how it relates to what I was trying to do with this novella. Feel free to skip this one if you aren't interested in the extraneous details and only want to know about the novella. If you do, simply read the other posts in the series. If not, read on!

"While You Were Dancing" is, in essence, the beginning of an ongoing story. It's not the first story chronologically,  nor does everything that happen here directly relate with others, but it still is part of a series. If you're confused about what I mean, then I'll try and explain it a bit better.

First, this is not a situation where I'm setting up a prologue for a trilogy or a series of standalone adventures like you see so much these days. It's not the elaborate. What I'm attempting is much simpler than that.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"Songs From Lonely Avenue" by The Brian Setzer Orchestra

  1. "Trouble Train"
  2. "Dead Man Incorporated"
  3. "Kiss Me Deadly"
  4. "Gimme Some Rhythm Daddy"
  5. "Lonely Avenue"
  6. "King of the Whole Damn World"
  7. "Mr. Jazzer Goes Surfin'"
  8. "Mr. Surfer Goes Jazzin'"
  9. "My Baby Don't Love Me Blues"
  10. "Love Partners in Crime"
  11. "Passion of the Night"
  12. "Dimes in the Jar"
  13. "Elena"

Now, it's no secret to anyone who knows me, but Brian Setzer is probably one of my favorite musicians. Early rock n roll music is my preferred style of music from rockabilly to blues, and Brian Setzer has pretty much covered the gamut.

And the album I want to talk about is one of the best, not only one of the best albums, but uses of storytelling in music I've heard in quite some time.

The man is known to span the genres. Rockabilly, swing, jazz, blues, instrumentals, even mainstream rock, he has even done a big band album full of classical music entitled "Wolfgang's Night Out" which is quite as strange as the album I'm about to tell you about. The point is, the man has tremendous respect for the roots of music and is an excellent songwriter to boot.

Monday, July 21, 2014

This Week

I'm currently in a bit of weird place right now regarding real life and waiting for specific phone calls and e-mails, so I haven't had much time to think of a topic for the blog this week outside of my Friday post. Weekend was kind of hectic so I didn't get much of a chance to think of anything, but I'm sure I'll be able to post something. I just have no idea what it'll be.

See you on Wednesday!

Friday, July 18, 2014

While You Were Dancing - The Sight & The Sound

I have so far explained the influence that went into much of its construction, but I have yet to explain the images and sounds in my head that helped get it all into shape. Yes, that's a bit of a trickier explanation to get across, I admit, but I'm still going to give it a shot.

You see, I was born in 1984, and as such, there are certain stories that have influenced me more than others, just as there are for those born in the 1970s or 1990s. The difference is that the images put in my head when a story starts to bubble up there is much different than one born in another era might expect. I grew up on "Unsolved Mysteries" and not "CSI", on "Rocko's Modern Life" and not "Spongebob Squarepants", on S.E. Hinton and not Stephanie Meyer, and on "Akira" and not "Avatar" like the current generation.

When a story comes to my head, it tends to be filtered quite a bit differently than several stories of similar styles. I simply don't come from that place. You won't find the common element in suspense stories nowadays by lingering on a build up for a dozen pages in my stories, you'll find action sequences that slide out of the background and into the forefront that might catch you out of nowhere and end as quickly as they began.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ten Rules For Authors

*I got the idea for this post from author Declan Finn's "A Pius Man" blog and the entry "Ten Rules I want Writers to follow" which can be found here. Be sure to check his blog out and read his books if you're interested in fun thrillers that Dan Brown wishes he could write.*

We all have certain storytelling niggles that send us into a black rage with constant use. There are some rules that make for good storytelling that some authors just can't seem to follow and that others outright reject either purposely (the more annoying) or ignorantly. I had recently come across writer Declan Finn's list of his own rules that I basically agree with, but wanted to expand on some more of my own.

When reading books I have strange tastes, but I still wanted to give making this list a chance.

Now, these might seem either strange or pedantic, I can be that way, or straight up odd depending on who you are, but I'm going to try to be specific.

So, enjoy.

Monday, July 14, 2014

This Week

Not much to report after a boring weekend, except that a new week has begun!

Friday will be my next post on my novella, but as for Wednesday . . . well, I'm not sure. Unfortunately there are so many choices to go through and I'm just not sure what to go with yet. Still, I'll most likely have something up on Wednesday. We'll see.

Have a good week out there!

Friday, July 11, 2014

While You Were Dancing - The Who & What

John Henry "Two Tone" Fisher is the main character in "While You Were Dancing" and, despite his name, is not based after me. I'm neither of average height, nor do I have naturally white hair, and his name actually comes from two important Catholic figures in Blessed John Henry Newman and St. John Fisher. I wanted to give him an important name that actually has meaning to which he has no inkling of, which goes with much the rest of the story.

If you know much about this story, then you probably have noticed something very apparent with the names. That being, what is with the names?

I find we have a big problem in this society with calling something what it is. We make up stupid slang all the time, we deal with political correctness on a daily basis, and we change terms to match whatever we want at any given moment. If words are ultimately meaningless to these people, then why wouldn't names be, too? After all, that can be changed, too.

But life is about more than just what we make of it. There's plenty out there we don't think about, see, or hear on a daily basis.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

"Monster" by Naoki Urasawa

"When you're in the darkness, you only sink deeper into it. Keep the light shining." ~ Dr. Kenzo Tenma

Oh boy.

This is probably going to sound biased, but "Monster" is of my all-time favorite stories and a modern classic of the genre. I'm going to be upfront and say that this is probably my favorite work to come out of the manga (Japanese comic) genre and one of the best works to come out of Japan. If you want a fast-paced tale of good vs. evil on both an external and internal plain, and a plot that twists itself into probably the greatest ending of any Japanese work short of "Silence", then this is for you. No lies, it's excellent.

I told you, I'm biased.

Naoki Urasawa has established himself as one of the best modern storytellers in Japan, and it's a shame his work isn't more well known worldwide. His characters are frequently engaging as his good guys struggle to the right thing in an upside-down world, while his bad guys tend to choose the wrong thing and it ends up destroying themselves along the way. He tends to tackle evil in a more classic way—that is, its a choice and a temptation. It grips you and squeezes the life out of you until there's nothing left but a shell of who you once were. It's not a psychological defect, or a misunderstood personality trait, but an active and consuming force that can only be fought with the force of good.

Good, he portrays, is a lot more complicated and difficult than just being nice. There are hard choices to make and, by story's end the characters will end up having to deal with all of them.

This story is one of his earliest Seinin (adult) works and, in my opinion, remains his best.

Why? Well . . .

Monday, July 7, 2014

This Week

I'm still not quite sure what to write about on Wednesday, but there are plenty of choices. Since I chose some movies and a book, maybe I'll choose a TV show.

We'll see.

On Friday, I'm going to do another post on "While You Were Dancing", my first novella. Last week was about how it came to be, and I think this week some character descriptions would be fun. There aren't that many, since it's a short novella and all, but since I enjoyed writing them all, I want to give them all a chance to speak for themselves.

Should be a fun week! Have a good one!

Friday, July 4, 2014

While You Were Dancing - The Why & How

*NOTE* In celebration of the start of this series, the novella will be free on July 5th, should amazon decide not to randomly mess me up with delays again. I originally wanted to do it for today, but, again, it just didn't work out that way.

Today, as promised, will be the first in a series of posts about my first published novella, "While You Were Dancing". Today I will discuss the "Whys" and "Hows" of the story and why it even exists at all. More after the jump!

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

"From The Corner Of His Eye" by Dean Koontz

"He had lost a part of his own physical being: He was hollow inside, as though the very meat and bone at the core of him had been torn out and replaced by a void, black and cold. Horror and despair racked him, and he was tormented by thoughts of self-destruction.

But then he felt better.

Not good, but definitely better."

I can already hear the mutterings from here. Dean Koontz? Really? There's probably a group thinking things like, "What, the horror guy?" and another wondering why the title doesn't read "Odd Thomas". From my experience, Dean Koontz gets a variety of reactions when he's brought up in conversation. But I'm going to try to ignore all of this and focus on a certain novel that is frequently overlooked both by Koontz fans and his detractors as quite possibly his best book. That would be the simply grand "From The Corner Of His Eye" released in the year 2000.

It was the novel that changed his career and lead him through much more well-known works down the road like "One Door Away From Heaven", "Life Expectancy", the "Frankenstein" series, and "The Face", not to mention his aforementioned "Odd Thomas" series. Because this is the book where he went from primarily a thriller writer to a storyteller of a different sort where characters are after more than getting through a single tight situation. This is the book that even the author admits is the one that really pushed him forward to new ground. Yet, it's not very well known despite it. 

So, you might be wondering, what exactly is it about? The answer is a bit hard to go into in a single post, but I'll try. There's something strange about the way this book was received and it has to do with the way it was advertised and presented.