Metallica – Live S**t: Binge & Purge

[Post #543 | Daybook #13]

It’s been a long, long time since I’ve listened to METALLICA’S 3-disc live set Live S**tBinge and Purge, recorded and released in 1993 (the Mexico City portion of the box set). Tonight I was bopping around Spotify looking to cue up Metallica’s instrumental songs (“Anesthesia – Pulling Teeth”, “The Call of Ktulu”, “Orion”, “To Live is to Die” and “Suicide and Redemption”) to use as a soundtrack for a brief stint of writing when I scrolled to this particular live concert recording I’d been shunning for so many years. I jumped right to “Creeping Death” in the track listing and what I immediately noticed was how much better the live songs sounded twenty-five years ago compared to modern times. Not because of the band’s performance or anything like that. No, it’s because back then their guitars were tuned to E-Standard tuning (A440) rather than the E-Flat tuning they’ve been using the last fifteen years or so (I believe since the St. Anger “Madly in Anger” tour in 2003, at least). These days when I hear modern live versions of their songs it’s a bit of a bummer because the majority of the songs sound off — because they are off, by a half-step, or semitone in musicology terms. I’ve been listening to Metallica for thirty-plus years, so it seems only natural that when a fella puts on the music of the soundtrack of his formative years that he’d want it to sound like it’s supposed to sound at least in terms of the original tuning, even when it’s via a concert, live or otherwise. [End old man rant].

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The Drive

[Post #542 | Daybook #12]

Driving. Something I’ve been doing a lot lately just to get to a place of solace where I can get out of my head (or more accurately, get into my head so I can un-clutter it). When I need to do that I tend to drive out into the country (I live in the suburbs, sandwiched perfectly between the urban and the rural) and I’ll usually play music of a deep or moody nature to soundtrack my travels and hopefully inspire my contemplativeness while also prompting me to sing. Is there a greater joy, really, than singing? I mean aside from playing guitar or drums? No, I can’t think of much.

At any rate, below is a picture I snapped last week of one of my driving excursions. The sky may or may not have matched my inner mood.

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Station Identification – Testing, Testing!

[Post #541]

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Is this thing still on? If you’re able to read this then it means I have survived my recent untold misadventures into the unknown!

I haven’t made one of these station idents in nearly two years, so here we go . . .

Hello and welcome.

Thank you for visiting and taking the time to read anything I post here. I think all writers write with the hope — hell, the dire need for a reading audience and I am no exception, despite the recent dearth of postings here of late.

Obviously this is my little humble corner of the Interwebs and blogosphere where I’ll pretty much muse and rave about the creative things I’m doing or consuming, which is predominantly reading, writing and rocking out to the music I love, and everything in between. My posting activities here have been very sporadic the last year or so, but I intend to use this space more regularly starting this week.

Curious newbies can learn more about me here.

This blog contains a number of running journals: Daybook, Lifebook, Journal Juice,  Notebook, Thinkbook, The Evening Muse, The Morning Muse and Workbook, which can all be more directly accessed via the menu above. I will continue to add to them periodically as the need arises.

As for social media follows, they are as follows:

And if you have a comic book fetish you can join me there where I occasionally share my graphical fiction indulgences.


iWrite

PROJECT MISERY (codename for a developing serial)


iRead

SOUTHERN BASTARDS: Vol. 4 – Gut Check by Jason Aaron & Jason Latour


iRock

APOSTLE OF SOLITUDE – From Gold to Ash (CD)

 

“The One Habit Every Writer Needs. Right now.”

Post #540

Guest Blog | The following quotes are from the Medium blog post ‘The One Habit Every Writer Needs. Right now.‘ by @shauntagrimes

Here are the steps:

Choose a goal.

When I say teeny, tiny, I’m not kidding.

You want a goal so small that it would actually be more difficult, psychologically, to skip it than it would be to just sit down and do the damn thing.

My go to teeny, tiny writing goal is ten minutes. No matter what, even on my worst day, even when I’m sick, even when I’m travelling, even when I have a million other things to wedge into 24 hours, I write for ten minutes.

If for some reason ten minutes became something I could skip — if it lost it’s status as the goal that’s so small I’d rather do it than skip it — I’d shrink it.

Five minutes.

One minute.

One page.

One paragraph.

Hell, one word. Seriously. If that’s what it takes, set a goal of writing one new word on your manuscript everyday.

The secret of the teeny, tiny goal is that it’s not the finish of it that matters. It’s the start. The magic is in the way that little bitty goal gets you from NOT writing to writing.

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Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi

Post #539

So the graphic above of ROTTEN TOMATOES’ STAR WARS movie ratings — as well as some fellow geek-culture friends and beyond — has inspired me to defend my beloved RETURN OF THE JEDI once again. So . . . Ewoks aside (because they’re everyone’s whipping teddies), what the hell is so wrong about EPISODE VI? Granted I was only 9 when I first saw the movie in the theater, but all the Darth Vader (his eternal inner conflict with his better self, which he finally bested) and Emperor Palpatine (such pure diabolical evil, and the Dark Force lightning!!!) stuff left such an indelible mark on my young psyche. And then there’s the Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa twin sibling reveal, Yoda’s cryptic message and (un)timely death. The excellent opening scenes and set pieces at Jaba’s palace — and Jaba himself for fuck’s sake, that fat slab of gangster kingpin, and of course Salacious Crumb, the Sarlac pit, the green light saber, Leia and Lando in spy/infiltration and rescue mode, Leia and Han’s romance, C-3P0 as a golden god, a spectacular space battle with X-Wings (fighter jets in space were my favorite as a child — see: OG BATTLESTAR GALACTICA, BUCK ROGERS), the speedster bike chase in the forest, good triumphing over evil and yes, some medium-sized woodland creatures-turned badass to help save the day! What am I missing here?

“Create something today even if it sucks”

Guest Blog | The following quotes are from the Medium blog post ‘Create something today even if it sucks’ by @emilywarna. Click the title for the full article.

We all have those days. The days of writer’s block; the days of beating ourselves into the ground over not being able to produce. When we think every piece of content we create is terrible. When we think our mind is letting us down.

We often forget that being good takes practice. Consistency requires dedication. Dedication to the craft, and dedication to yourself.

So ask yourself:

‘Who am I creating for?’

Reassess who you’re trying to impress. Remember, you’re writing for yourself just as much as for your audience.

By producing piece after piece, you’re setting yourself up for future victories. You’re identifying your strengths and weaknesses, how you function best, what circumstances you thrive under. You’re identifying your creative hours.

Credit: Unsplash.com

 

Love Is a Racket – Finally, Formally on My Shelf!

So yesterday I finally acquired the hardcover edition of one of my all-time favorite crime novels, Love Is a Racket (1998) by novelist/graphic novelist, showrunner and Academy Award-winning screenwriter John Ridley (you probably know of him or his work — Google him). I originally discovered and read this book in the Summer of 1999 and was addicted to it from the first page. I had checked it out in hardcover form from my public library. Already over a year past its initial release by the time I came to know it, the chances of acquiring it in hardcover at Barnes and Noble or Borders were slim-to-none, and used booksellers like Half-Price Books were an unlikely longshot (I’d never seen it on used shelves). So I just kept checking the damn thing out at various library branches every few years when I had the itch to read it (and wanted to recharge my own crime-noir prose batteries). I practically took ownership of this precious tome, hoarding it to myself for the full checkout duration multiple times and, yes, paying who knows how much in late fees on the thing per occasion. Eventually I came around to stalking Amazon, only finding a couple of different paperback versions and maybe one of those listings for the hardcover that had some astronomical price tag due to the scarcity of the edition or some such. Well, upon chance a week ago I found that rare “Only 1 left in stock – order soon.” offering from an Amazon third-party bookseller for a very low price ($4.99) and I eagerly pulled the trigger. And so now, at long last, after nearly two decades of our first acquaintance, this book and I are now together forever! #BookwormRuckus #MyPrecious

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