THE COWBOYS OF CTHULHU and RIDERS WHERE THERE ARE NO ROADS are the first two installments of my RIDERS OF THE WEIRD WEST series.
These are soon to be followed by
THE ROAD GOES ON FOREVER,
SILVER STALLION and many more.
In this Spodify soundtrack, you'll find some classic cowboy songs, and a few insider references for those already familiar with the book! I'm already planning soundtracks for future volumes.... :-)
My sometime co-author C. Dennis Moore & I have been sharing a song a day on the internet for nearly a decade.
(Hell, maybe it HAS been a decade by now, I dunno!)
Lately, I've taken to Spotify. (He hasn't - still does his via email, which is fine.)
I post my choice every morning on Twitter because - ego! (Dennis doesn't, because, hell, I dunno! Lord knows his ego's FAR bigger than mine!)
Anyway, here - if you want to see what music catches my attention when - are the playlists thus far:
The U2 concert I went to in Chicago last week was one of the best of my life - and I've been to my share of concerts.
As a closer, the band barely sang or played "One", letting the audience carry it. Singing along on that one acapella with 30,000+ other people or, say, the chorus to "Bad" or "Pride (in the Name of Love)" is simply unforgettable. Hard to imagine more positivity in one place, no matter what you think of Bono and his bully pulpit activism. (Personally, I'm all for the guy. You got a platform, go out there and use it and do some good in the world, dammit!)
This is on top of the incredible video and stage setup for this year's Innocence + Experience Tour - I could go into it, but I'm sure you can read about it elsewhere, if you're interested.
I'll buy merch from the indie bands I see didn't buy a $40 U2 shirt, because I figure U2 doesn't exactly need more of my money or my promotion. Then again, concert shirts are a form of connection - I wore one of my Hold Steady shirts and at the end of the concert, after the house lights came on, I was suddenly the lifelong best friend of these drunk fortyish guys who proclaimed The Steady the best band in the world - "even better than U2!" - and were basically inviting me to move into their homes because of mutual admiration of Craig Finn & Co.
Anyway, the picture above is of my only souvenirs of the show, which consist of my ticket and three scraps of confetti dropped on the crowd. Turns out the confetti was chopped up pages of high-falutin' literature! I got Dante's Divine Comedy, Psalm 44, and Alice in Wonderland. Is that awesome or what?
Do you have to be in your office to write? Do you need silence? Do you need noise?
This week I shared the following essay by Megan Stielstra with my students: “Where I Write: A Room of One’s Own in the Middle of Everything” to spark discussion of their own writing processes. If you're interested in the writing process at all, go read it. (I can vouch for Stielstra; she's a graduate of Columbia College Chicago's writing program, where I got my own MFA.)
Like Stielstra, I can, frankly, write anywhere. I was a journalist for ten years, and you learn to write with CNN blaring, editors yelling, the phone ringing and your deadline fifteen minutes past.
Stephen King tells how he wrote the first chapter of The Green Mile longhand in the stands during a Red Sox game delay.
I know a writer who wouldn’t be able to stand even the patter of the rain on the stadium roof. She wears gun range ear muffs to block out all sound while writing.
I would go stir crazy within minutes.
I don’t care where I write, but I like to have background noise. Sometimes it’s a movie I’ve seen a hundred times. But most often, my “room of my own” for writing is music. I have 30,000 or more songs on my laptop. I often have music blaring as I write – headphones only if necessary.
Music is essential to my writing. I associate certain songs with novels I’ve written. There are secret soundtracks. Quite often, I know what music the characters are into, what playlists they are listening to, even if it doesn’t make it into the narrative.
If you want to know what music is currently inspiring me - or at least taking my attention - I post a song on my Twitter feed every morning. (It links to Spotify, where you can listen free if you have a Facebook account.) You can check back daily and I love hearing what readers and other music fans think of my choices!
David Bain - Writer.