Poems - after a fashion

For Monique's last day hosting #VSS365 today she only had to go and mention poetry. Flip. Not dabbled in that in a long time. It's made me root out a few anyway and post them under the 'Writings' section.

  • Schrodinger's Poem
  • Super Sunday
  • Night Football
  • New Year Audit

None of them involve love or clouds, but there's some beer and football. Of course.

First up is
'Schrodinger's Poem' it could be the best thing ever written. Ever. By anyone. Honest. And second is 'Super Sunday' apt with the Liverpool v Spurs game later. After that is 'Night Football' because it goes well with Super Sunday and finally there is 'New Year Audit' because Sal remembered it and I didn't.

And if you don't like any of them blame Monique for making me unleash them again!



Comments

Reading - One Quarter In

Not been doing too bad with my reading so far this year. Probably one book behind where I should be to get to the forty this year - just finished my ninth. I've been doing particularly well with my non-fiction reads. The ones I aimed to read this year (as per my January blog) were:

Planned 2019 Non-Fiction Reads to include:

A Line in the Sand (James Barr)
In Xanadu (William Dalrymple)
Milk of Paradise (Lucy Inglis)
On Writing (Stephen King)
The Golden Atlas (Edward Brooke-Hitchings)
Homage to Gaia (James Lovelock)

(the ones in blue I've finished and the red ones remain)

The five fiction books I've read, between January and the end of March, have all been SF/F (nothing if not predictable):

Jem (Frederick Pohl)
The Farthest Shore (Ursula Le Guin)
Lies Sleeping (Ben Aaronovitch)
Emphyrio (Jack Vance)
The Sirens of Titan (Kurt Vonnegut)

And my two favourite so far have been
'A Line in the Sand' and 'Emphyrio'. Top reads!

Not sure yet what my next read will be; possibly the planned Philip Pullman or Mervyn Peake.
Comments

Sodajerker.

I used to be a big user of podcasts but haven't been for a while due to technology issues (my iPod not talking with the Ford stereo for some reason). In recent weeks though I have returned to them using my phone (a Redmi6) and the PodBean app which the stereo seems to be happy with.

To that end I've returned to a few of my favourite Podcasts including:

  • 'A Good Read' (BBC4)
  • 'The Book Review' (New York Times)
  • 'Clarkesworld'
  • 'That Peter Crouch Podcast' and
  • Ok, and the Archers Omnibus (BBC4)

It's been great to get back to these, but best of all I've discovered a new one to me called 'Sodajerker... on Song Writing,' which comprises a couple of guys (local lads too - a happy coincidence) in interviews or, what feels more like relaxed conversation, with an enormous range of songwriters about their art and process. I've only listened to two so far - the recent one from Dido and an older one from Elvis Costello. They were both bloody excellent.

If all the others are half as good as these - and I've no reason to think they won't be - then I've found something wonderful and I am sure that anyone who is interested in music will find an episode (or 138) to enjoy. Yes, 138, it's been going since 2011. How the hell have I missed this for all that time? The thing that caught my eye whilst i was looking at Podbean in this instance was the name - as Soda Jerk is a song from one of my fave bands - the wonderful Buffalo Tom. So whilst I've found it by happy accident in some ways (because of the name), equally surely I could have spotted it exactly the same way earlier. Anyhoo, the main thing is I've found it now and I've got 136 episodes to plough through. Happy days!

Sodajerker1

Next up for me will be a couple more locals with the conversations with Paul McCartney and The Coral. There's also Adam Duritz, Mike Scott, Loudon Wainwright III and Paul Simon... like I say a wealth of material to go through.

So in case you haven't found them yet, and you don't know Buffalo Tom so miss my attraction to it, if you've got a musical bone in your body; just get on it, folks. You won't be disappointed. Click on the picture above to go to the website or look them up on iTunes or with your podcast app of choice.
Comments

Love Hurts and Stuff

Set myself a target of 2k words this morning on a horror short and got there easily enough. Hope to get it finished by midweek. Probably be around 5k ultimately.

Next up was some guitar/singing practice. And I ended up recording two songs I've just taken on in the last week including 'Love Hurts' (Gram Parsons and Emmylou Harris) which I sang at the Open Mic on Thursday. If you don't know the original then get on and find it. Not sure if my slightly sore throat helps or hinders.

LoveHurts1

Then I went on and played a more recent song from the wonderful Decemberists, 'Down By the Water' which I'd love to play along with 'This Is Why We Fight' ideally.

Anyways, all practice is useful.
Comments

Heart Breaks and Blondes in the Sanctuary

Had an enjoyable night at the Sanctuary Open Mic last night. Much better to get on before Dave Jones rather than after the blues master. After only playing three songs last week I played five this time to get the average back up to four. As I've been playing more I've added a few more strings to my bow, even if they are all slightly wonky.

Heart Breaks G

In the end the songs I went for were:

  • Somewhere Down the Road (which seems to be my go to for getting me going at the mo)
  • Heart is Living in the Sixties Still (following Paddy's Day last week)
  • Take Me Down to the Infirmary
  • Love Hurts (an ambitious duet for one)
  • Heart Breaks Like the Dawn

It was good to see both Bobo and John, the Open Mic organisers, play this week - it's been a while.

A couple of regulars didn't turn up, which meant that the chilled night was even more chilled (and gave me time to not worry about playing five songs either). There were I think six singers and a poet and short story teller. Just need to cram in 10,000 hours of practice before the next one.

YorkshireBlonde

The Ossett 'Yorkshire Blonde' was bloody lovely last night too and I didn't even try anything else.

Comments

Livin' in the Sixties

After writing the two pieces last week for NFFD writing has taken a bit of a backward step. I aim to get something done for the Seedling Challenge tomorrow morning. Had a late finish yesterday and will do again tomorrow - so hoping to do it in the morning.

At least I've managed to do some guitar practice. Played for over two hours on Saturday, which is the most in one go for years I reckon. Recorded a Saw Doctors number 'Heart is Livin' in the Sixties Still' on St Patrick's Day (Sunday).

Heart Is
Heart Is Living' in the Sixties Still

Actually did that on the first take. Okay, you could argue I should have tried a few more takes but I had the Fulham v Liverpool game to get out to watch, didn't I?

It's Open Mic this week and maybe this one will get a try out alongside my usual slow Americana.

Not sure what songs to go for, but probably four from:

  • Heart is Livin' in the Sixties Still
  • Heart Breaks Like the Dawn
  • Somewhere Down the Road
  • Couldn't Get Arrested
  • Sweet Carolina
  • Splendid Isolation

There's a couple of other possibilities, but we will see.

I've still got to get to grips with my TWO WIP. Especially if I'm to submit the first chapter for Pulp Idol. Arghhh! Not enough hours in the day or days in the week.
Comments

NFFD 2019

NFFD19

Submitted two flash stories today for the National Flash Fiction Day anthology competition (theme: Doors).

Closing date is... today. I mean, of course it was. Why is it people like me always but always leave it until the last day to submit?

Anyway at least I didn't have any I.T. issues this week, which meant I didn't to suffer a last minute panic.

Enjoyed writing them. One of them more than the other.

Good luck to all those that entered or (there are a few hours left) are going to enter. Tick tock.

Comments

DeFlickring

Decluttering Flickr last night took a lot of time. It turned out in the end I had over 4900 photos in my Flickr account, which by today needed to be knocked down to teeny 1000 permitted for a free account.

Flickr2

It was a brutal exercise.

Needless to say the Flickr account now contains a lot fewer photos of Liverpool, pubs and North Wales. Although there are still a fair few of them.

Of course now all the albums are worthless with many of them now containing as many as one photo in them. So after all those deletions I will still need to go and edit/delete all the albums.

In future I'll have to be careful about what photos I put in the account. It'll have to be some sort of one in one out effort. Ultimately I suppose it'll end up being a bit of effort if more curated.

If you fancy seeing photos of beer, pubs, Liverpool, north Wales and some travels then check out my new leaner Flickr.
Comments

ARGH!: IT Issue Two: Flickr

Read a shocking email the other day saying Flickr was limiting the free account to 1000 photographs. Then my computer went down. So I hadn't been able to see how many photos to see if I need to do anything (ie if I had more than 1000 photos).

This morning I check. Oh dear, 4761. This is going to take some serious editing.

Flickr 1

And I've two days to do it.

Oh dear.

Flickr 2
Flickr 3
Comments

Yay! Zevi's MacBook Lives!!

Well it's cost me £75 but my MacBook Pro is working again: mother board issues. At least it didn't need to be replaced wholesale (would have been more costly) or even worse be unsaveable. The main thing is the MacBook is going again. It's old in computer years but it has been very good to me. Other than this the only thing I've had to do is to replace the charger - standard cable issues for all electronic items let's face it.

It was amazing when I suddenly didn't have a computer I realised how much I rely on it. On the day it died I was intending to; write circa two thousand words on my WIP, write a blog, issue my weekly invoice and do something on online banking. Of that the only thing I ended up doing after rushing my laptop up to A&E was issue my invoice which was very fiddly on the phone (requiring me to download two apps I didn't already have on the phone). If I'd had to buy a new (second hand computer) I'd have had to go for a mac again and it no doubt would have taken me some time to get everything back to how it is on this one - which would have put the kibosh on my website blog for a while and of course the Seedling Challenge; which I've only recently started so that would have been a real shame.

MacBookPro.jpg-large

At least I do back up the whole thing every now and again (I'll definitely be doing that again today!). I think I'd 'only' have lost about a month of writing (and of course all my website updates; though I could have downloaded them back of the server) so it wouldn't have been disastrous, just a wee bit painful.

Anyways, I'm hoping I'll get a few more years out of my old reliable. And I'll be backing up at least once a week from now on.

Lastly, thanks to the guys at FixIt on County Road FixIt - Liverpool, who sorted it for me. Great, quick and efficient service. Thanks boys!

And thanks to anyone who crossed your fingers for me or prayed for Zevi's MacBook. ;-)
Comments

Seedling Challenge Seven

Tomorrow will be Week Seven of the Seedling Challenge. There's only one word left to be revealed for this week from the new prompter on the block: Monique (aka Starfish 72 on that there Twitter).

Many thanks to the Unkmaster for February's words and good luck to Monique for the month ahead. Keep writing folks and maybe see you over the weekend on the Seedling Challenge.

Not sure which VSS365 I'll be using from my week's VSSs, think I've missed a couple and will only have four or five to chose from:


Yesterday:

Between the major and the minor I picked the minor yesterday fitting my mood like a handmade suit. But today the sun and the light touch from a minor god gave me a spring in my step and led me away from the blue notes - for one short day.

Epiphany:

It came like an epiphany to Trumpette Bambini; the daily prompt was supposed to be incorporated into the teeny weeny VSS365 Her next mission was to discover what that toaster was for.

Celebration:

The council in their wisdom set up a 'festival of celebration' to highlight all that was good in the town. They'd come up with the idea over a coffee in Costa- and that was the extent of the planning. Four people turned up, said it was shite and went home. It rained too.

Escape:

Getting in the lift with smelly Sutton was a great mistake. When it broke down there was an air of inevitability and an air that stank like death. There was no escape until the fire brigade arrived swinging axes and air fresheners.


Keep an eye on here for when I update the Seedling Challenge page. And to keep bang up to the minute with this month's prompts follow Monique:
@starfish_72


Comments

We Are Liverpool

On Wednesday I had to put the van in for servicing. Was a little painful in terms of waiting and finding it wasn't done on the day. In the end I walked bloody miles all the way from Stanley Dock to the Baltic Triangle and back then back again. A lot of walking. Still, it was a beautiful day and I had my camera with me so took a few nice shots around the city. Including talking the opportunity to get the Klopp mural and angel wings in the Baltic Triangle. With beautiful architecture throughout and public art around it's a very photogenic city at any time - but on a blue sky day it's even better. And the start of the this week, including Wednesday, was an absolute belter.

This Means More
Klopp, our wonderful manager.

Liverpool Walk 1
Liverpool Walk 2
Liverpool Walk 3

I put quite a few on Instagram the other day (as you can see above). I also put photos up there from my travels around the north west and Wales - as well as Liverpool. Click on the photos and take a look.

Adelphi Bank
Former Adelphi Bank Building, Castle Street, Liverpool.
Comments