Sunday, September 7, 2014

"Libri de Atrum Divum"

So my latest story, "Libri de Atrum Divum" has gone live at the Australian-based, speculative fiction magazine SQ Mag. I made the cover! You can read the story here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Outer Banks - North Carolina

OBX - The Outer Banks


When you look at a map of the east coast of the United States, it's tough to not have your eyes drawn to the topography of the Outer Banks, a long thin sliver of barrier islands that guard the coast of North Carolina. I'd always wanted to visit, and my wife planned a trip out there for me for my birthday.

I spent a few days out on Ocracoke, one of the inhabited island far to the south, and it was beautiful and quirky and, to overuse a cliché, magical. It's also infamous as the location where the pirate Blackbeard met his end.
  

And in order to make a big loop, as well as squeeze in a day trip to a northern island, we took three of the ferries that lend access to Ocracoke: we took the Cedar Island Ferry out to Ocracoke, took the Hatteras Island for fun, and returned to the mainland on the Swans Quarter Ferry.


The beaches are gorgeous, though not unlike the pirates that roamed their water, somewhat treacherous with dangerous riptides, which feel as strong as a river's ebb and flow. Growing up on the Atlantic, I'm accustomed to undertows and riptides and perilous currents, and it was enjoyable to be back in the ocean's embrace.
  
beach on Ocracoke
 The sunrises are beautiful.

Ocracoke Sunrise
And the Ocracoke Lighthouse comes complete with cats, satisfying no less than two national fetishes.

Ocracoke Lighthouse & Ocracoke kitty
Visit. The Outer Banks make for a stunning destination.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Radio London - January.31.2014‏

Thank you for tuning in to Radio London!

So here we are standing on the brink of January, February a short step away. I trust that all you listeners out there are enduring this cold and keeping Jack Frost at bay with thick blankets or roaring fires or Jack Daniels.

So normally, I wake up early to do my writing from 5am to 7am. Did you know that you can set the alarm on your iPod or iPhone to ring with specific sounds, or songs? Well, I've been easing into my mornings with music and, being the music nerd that I am, I looked for specific songs to wake me up on specific mornings. There are three or four songs I've chosen for each day, but these are the day-oriented songs that are currently in rotation:

  • Monday - "Manic Monday" by the Bangles - For me this is the perfect pop nostalgia to pull me out of bed on a Monday morning. One could try and drag one's self out of      bed to "Rainy Days and Mondays," but why make Monday harder on yourself? Thanks, Karen, but no thanks.
  • Tuesday - "Super Tuesday" by Vic Chesnutt - Chesnutt lived right down the road from Spartanburg in Athens, GA. Super Tuesday is fun and upbeat. My favorite song of Chesnutt's is another super song, "Supernatural." A beautiful, sad, and quiet song.
  • Wednesday - "Medley: Yell Help, Wednesday Night, Ugly" by Elton John - Sir John needs no intro. As for the tune, it's track one, side one of Rock of the Westies. I feel this must have had some airtime back in the day, because I think I remember hearing it when I was a kid. I can't help but think Elton John regrets this album cover.
  • Thursday - "Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech" by William Faulkner - So this is a bit of a cheater, because though there are Thursday-themed songs out there, I don't own any and the pickings were too slim to purchase. And Faulkner actually accepted his Nobel Prize on a Sunday. Though interestingly enough, it was awarded one year afterward, in 1950, because the Nobel Prize committee couldn't come to a decision in 1949. Because of broadcast quality and his Southern accent, many listeners had trouble understanding Faulkner until they read the speech the next day in the paper. It's a masterpiece and a fantastic way to wake up. A shout out to writer Leslie Pietrzyk for suggesting a listen to this.
  • Friday - "Friday I'm in Love" by The Cure - What better way to jump start your almost weekend than with an emo love song!
  • Saturday - "Acadian Saturday Night" by Stan Rogers - Stan Rogers is one of the giants of Canadian folk music, but in my experience seems little known outside his native land, probably because of his early death (ironically, saving people with his amazing voice). Like folk? Like good music? Do yourself a favor and listen to Stan, specifically "The Mary-Ellen Carter", an amazing ballad about not giving up that has even been credited with saving lives. Mary Ellen Carter live w/ wee story!
  • Sunday - "Any Given Sunday" by Common, Guru and Jamie Foxx - The title track to the movie soundtrack. Though the movie was okay, the song is better, buoyed up by a great hook.
Here, you can listen to the mix, "AMix to the Heart of London" (based on my novel "A Map to the Heart of London) I'd love to hear what you think. Even if you don't adore Elvis Costello like I do, I'd still love to have you drop me a line and tell me your two or three favorites tunes on the mix.

Thanks for listening and stay warm!  If you're interested in getting this quarterly email about music and life, drop me a line.