This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

The Challenge of 2019 was the 10th! Since this was kind of a milestone year for A to Z my theme was a retrospective of sorts, looking at my 10 years as a blogger as well as ruminations about my life as it is and as I hope it yet can be. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me for this part of my journey...

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog.

**

Friday, November 15, 2019

I'd Rather Have the Blues (#BOTB)


Ho, ho, ho and all that nonsensical holiday stuff.   Hard to believe that Thanksgiving 2019 is upon us and soon Christmas 2019 will be just another memory.  Time to be happy everyone!



Blue (or is it "Blah") Christmas

      I'm in no mood for holiday seasons or joyful times of gathering together to celebrate.   It's not that I'm particularly unhappy or sad in any way.  I'm just not in the spirit of things.  Not planning to go anywhere this year and not even interested in doing any festive decorating.  Just have to put it all away again when the new year comes.

      No, I don't have the blues.  I guess it's more like the blahs.  Maybe the blues would be better?  At least it would mean feeling something.

       But feelings be damned!   Give me logic any day.  Feelings just get us in trouble, lead us to do dumb things.   Maybe if we all relied less on feelings and more on logic then maybe the world would make more sense.   Everything seems so crazy and lacking sense these days.

         But blahs don't inspire much.  Maybe I'd rather have the blues...



Battle of the Bands

        Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle excepting over these summer months.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.


I"d Rather Have the Blues

        One of my favorite films is the 1955 noir classic Kiss Me Deadly.   This ominous classic has provided inspiration to many films that came after it including Tarantino's Pulp FictionKiss Me Deadly is a film that I didn't see for the first time until sometime in the 90's (after reading about it in a review of Pulp Fiction).  It's now among the films that I added to my DVD collection and find myself watching periodically.  I would rank this high in my list of favorite movies.

           As the film opens, tough guy L.A. detective Mike Hammer is driving a lonely stretch of road at night when he encounters a barely dressed woman running in the middle of the highway.  He picks her up and the mysteries begin.  As the opening credits roll across dark highway scenes, we hear on the car radio a melancholy song by Nat King Cole which I offer for your listening enjoyment, but please don't vote on this version.  Other artists usually don't do too well when put up against Cole, but you might want to hear this original version before moving on to the Battle...





....and now that we have gotten that out of the way, let's move on to the contestants in this episode of Battle of the Bands...

Please vote for one of the following:

Lauren White   "I'd Rather Have the Blues"   (2016)

      Lauren is a jazz singer and actress who currently lives in Los Angeles.   I wonder if she's got the blahs like I've got of late in my L.A. life?  Nah--I doubt it...






Pat Dinizio   "I'd Rather Have the Blues"   (1997)

        Singer Pat Dinizio was a founding member of The Smithereens.  I used to listen to them back in the nineties I guess.  Dinizio died in 2017.   Maybe right now he'd rather have the blues...










Time to Vote!

    
    Are you as torn between these two versions as I am?  D
o you have a preference between these two choices?   Hopefully you have an opinion of some kind. Which version do you like the best?   You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

        Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.


Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

 ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ 

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

The Doglady's Den 

Angel's Bark  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside 

A I Love Music


Winner of this Battle Announced on Friday November 22nd

         Take some time to savor these luscious recordings and come to a decision on your favorite.  Inquiring minds want to know.  And so do I...

            How's the spirit of the holiday season creeping up on you this year?   Are you ready for some big times?   Would you prefer to be snowed in with complete provisions for comfortable living in a nice cabin in the mountains?















Friday, November 8, 2019

End of the Road Battle ( #BOTB Results )




Not much to say today so I won't say much except who won the Battle of the Bands....





Battle of the Bands Results



         My most recent Battle was between two versions of a song called "Road to Cairo" which was written by David Ackles who was also the first contender.  The second version was by Julie Driscoll backed by Brian Auger and the Trinity. 

         As some of you also said, it was a close choice.  I would have been fine with either as a winner and at first it was a real horse race.  My vote for David Ackles didn't affect the win much as he clearly was the front runner with no help from me...

Final Vote Tally

David Ackles                 13 votes

Brian Auger & Co.           8 votes




Next Battle on Friday November 15th

       I'm not writing any novel, but I've got plenty to keep me busy!  How about you?








Wednesday, November 6, 2019

A Stickler for Detail ( #IWSG )



Have you ever read a story where the author has made some glaring errors that made you lose all credibility in the story being told?  I don't want to be that author...




The Insecure Writer's Support Group

Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog


The co-hosts for the November 6 posting of the IWSG are Sadira Stone, Patricia Josephine, Lisa Buie-Collard, Erika Beebe, and C. Lee McKenzie!




November 6 question - What's the strangest thing you've ever googled in researching a story?

 It's All in the Details
        
         As I had mentioned in my previous post (which is a Battle of the Bands post if you'd be so kind to visit and vote), my last successful attempt at doing NaNoWriMo was in 2010 when I wrote a science fiction novel called Time Light.  Even though the story is science fiction, it takes place in 1965 Chicago.  Written in diary entry form, I was dealing with actual dates and places in history so it was important (to me at least) to be as accurate as I could in every way.

         In order to achieve accuracy, I spent hours on Google looking up places, police procedures and equipment, the daily weather conditions, transportation routes (bus and rail, etc), and even what was playing on television on certain specific days.  Anything that begged for a detail in the story that could potentially (though probably not likely) be questioned by a reader in the know was meticulously researched so that any reader could accept what I was saying as possibly real.  

         A reader like I often tend to be needs to be convinced that the story one is investing in has a reasonable degree of credibility.   A single glaring error or inconsistency might put into question other elements of the written work which can detract from reading pleasure.

          Though it would be unlikely that many (if any at all) would question the daily weather in a story that has real dates and times, my researching of the weather conditions was one my stranger Google searches.  Fortunately, I found numerous resources available on line with weather records dating back to further than my interests necessitated in this case.  The weather for the  year 1965 is well documented in numerous sites.

          I realize that this sort of detail might seem rather trivial and nonessential to many, but for me it was important.  As I was conceiving the story I was also living it in my mind so that every detail had to make me feel like I was there.  If it worked for me then hopefully it would work even for the most discerning reader.

           Frequently I've heard writers mention that researching can be fun and I would agree with that.  I love the researching part more than the writing part.  To me, the researching is an essential part of any writing especially when the writer doesn't actually know all the real details or facts.

           What is the strangest thing you've ever googled for a story or some other written work?  Do you strive for the greatest amount of accuracy when you start delving into details?    Why should anyone care about what the weather was in the time period where a story takes place?


Don't forget to vote on my Battle of the Bands!   (click the link to get there)













Friday, November 1, 2019

Road to Cairo ( #Battle of the Bands )



     A fella told me this here road leads to Cairo.  I got to get me a ride.  I got to go back, go back to my children.  I got to see my little bride...


   
       Once again another Halloween is passed as we now approach Christmas with a stopover in Thanksgiving season.  Time is flying, but I'll dispense with that cliche.  Besides I've said it before in blog posts of past years--and you may very well have too.

         However, I will acknowledge this November season when so many of you may be participating (or, like me, in the past have participated) in National Novel Writing Month.  Good luck to all of you who will be making this attempt at writing yet another--or a first--novel.

          I'll be sitting this one out as I have in the past few years.  Writing a novel is currently not at the forefront of my agendas. It's not so much that I've lost interest in writing a novel, but there are other things that I want to focus on for now.

        I finished two NANO novels in the past, one being in 2010 a science fiction story called Time Light.  Most of that story takes place in 1965 Chicago.  At one point the action diverts to a road trip down to Cairo, Illinois.  So, in honor of NANO and one of my own attempts, comes another Battle of the Bands...

       

Battle of the Bands




        Battle of the Bands is the blogging event started by Far Away Series and now hosted by StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands.   This event happens each month on the 15th and on some there is also a Battle on the 1st of the month.  My blog is one of those with a second Battle excepting over these summer months.   The premise is simple:  Listen to the songs presented below and then in the comments vote for your favorite and tell us why you liked it.  Then visit the links listed near the bottom of this post for more Battle action.


David Ackles   "Road to Cairo"  (1968)

         Typically I wouldn't use an original version by an artist, but since David Ackles is probably unknown to many of you, I don't mind starting this Battle off with his original version of "Road to Cairo".  I first discovered Ackles when I picked up his self-titled debut album in the cut-out bins.  What a find!  Great performances of some fantastic songs.  Ackles should have been more acclaimed than he was.  See what you think of his version of this song...






Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & the Trinity  "Road to Cairo"  (1968)

         Who could top the David Ackles version?   Maybe this version.  This was released a few months after David Ackles came out with his version.  I've been a big fan of Brian Auger since 1969 when I saw his group with Julie Driscoll on the Tom Jones television show.  This is a great version of the Ackles song, but is it as good as Ackles himself?   You decide...





Time to Vote!

    
    Are you as torn between these two versions as I am?  D
o you have a preference between these two choices?   Hopefully you have an opinion of some kind. Which version do you like the best?   You don't have to know about music to have an opinion since it all comes down to your own personal taste.

        Please vote on your favorite by letting us know your choice in the comment section and tell us why you prefer the version you chose. Then after you've finished here, please visit the other blogs listed below who may or may not be participating this time around. And if you've put up your own BOTB contest let us know that as well so we can vote on yours.


Here are some other places where you might find BOTB posts:

 StMcC Presents Battle of the Bands

 ‘YOUR DAILY DOSE’ 

  'MIKE'S RAMBLINGS'

'Curious as a Cathy'

Sound of One Hand Typing

The Doglady's Den 

Angel's Bark  

Jingle, Jangle, Jungle 


Cherdo on the Flipside 

A I Love Music


Winner of this Battle Announced on Friday November 8th

         I'll be here, will you?  And I'll also be here on Wednesday the 6th for the Insecure Writer's Support Group.  Now you novelists--get to writing.  And the rest of you do what you need to do.


Are you writing a novel this November?   Are you writing anything this November?   What are you going to do in November if not writing?