Monday, April 19, 2010

This is What's Wrong with the World

So of course last week I posted a link to so that folks might vote for  my blog and perhaps draw more readers.

Since then, my simple little blog has been bombarded by spam comments.  This irks me to no end.  It's amazing to me how opportunistic punks will do their best to penetrate the smallest chink to try to get you to buy their service, their crap, their whatever.  I know it's just the way of things and I'm used to this kind of bullshit, but the fact that it exists just sometimes makes me want to scream.

I'm not trying to make any money off anything.  If I do anything, I'll monetize for a few cents to keep my bank account for getting overdrawn.  I have no dream that blogging could make me rich.  I don't even want to be rich.  I just want to be comfortable and have some fun sometimes. 

It just hurts me very deeply that my silly little ramblings have been thus polluted just when it starts to get a small following.  It makes the satisfaction less enjoyable. 

So, thanks to the bots and spammers, I've changed my comment settings.  You'll have to punch in the code and I have to approve them all.  I hope this doesn't deter anyone (a REAL person who might actually want to read my blog) from commenting.  I do enjoy comments. 

Much luck in your own blogging endeavors.  Maybe together somehow we can fight these blood-sucking leeches who prowl the blogsphere.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

I Feel So Very Special

One of my wonderful readers apparently recommended my blog to bloginterviewer and the interview is now up on the site.  I am truly flattered that someone thinks my babbling is interesting enough for such a recommendation.

If you like what I do here, please vote for my blog.  I like prizes.  :^)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

One of the Good Ones

As I may have mentioned before, I'm a gigantic music nerd.  I have entire novels I've revamped because of one or two songs. 

This is one of them:
"Danko/Manuel" - The Drive By Truckers (or in this case, Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit).

Which brings us to my subject today. 

Jason Isbell is in my top five favorite musicians.  Why?  Because he's close to home.  He's from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, and he's got the accent and the history to prove it.  He's well-educated too.  A fellow English major.

But above all, the man has a poet's soul.  A poet's soul and a Southern accent are enough to make me a fan for life, but on top of this, he's got that power of observation that is so rare in musicians these days, but should be a requirement for them.  Just like writers, musicians have to know the pulse of the world.  Have to see the problems and savor the perfections.  Isbell is one of the few. 

He used to be in a band called the Drive-By Truckers.  I was already a gigantic fan of theirs because they tell the truth - the gritty, dirty truth.  But they tell it with reverence.  There's an air of veneration in even the darkest of their songs.  Veneration for the South, for past generations, and for the truth.  It's downright unbelievable. 

Perfect example:  "Outfit" (one of Isbell's from his Truckers period.)

Isbell left the Truckers a couple years ago, but neither he nor the Truckers have lost any of their edge or appeal.  Although granted, I do miss Isbell's influence on the rest of the Truckers and vice versa.

To the point, I love Isbell because he's the perfect representative for folks like me and my friends and my family.  Folks in this area have precious little to represent us, and to have a gift like Isbell pop up out of the blue maybe eight years ago is a downright blessing.  He takes the stereotype of a hillbilly/redneck and both destroys and explains it in his music, his lyrics, and even interviews. 

Like this one - I just saw this interview today when I was bored at work and surfing youtube.  Tell me you don't love a phrase like "blatent escapism" delivered in a North Alabama accent:
(sorry about the ad at the beginning)

Besides that, though, the man has a soul.  He's one of the most personable people I've ever seen on a stage, and you know he's got a story to tell.

He's one of those people who you just want to talk to.  If I ever meet him (after I get over the daze of actually meeting him), I won't gush and tell him how great he is.  I want to ask him where he came up with his outright dark, sinister story songs like "Decoration Day."

And how in the world the same mind (along with his brain trust, the 400 Unit) came up with something as personal and real as "Streetlights."

So just a suggestion.  If you're bored with the music you're hearing and wanting to try something new; if you're from the rural South and wonder why nobody has the balls to tell its story; or if you want to know what it's like to be from the rural South, download some Drive-By Truckers (I recommend The Dirty South or Decoration Day to start) or some Jason Isbell (all of his - download it now). 

Sorry to regale my loyal readers with so much fangirl geekery, but sometimes, it's just got to be done. 

Monday, April 12, 2010

I Wrote this little bit Saturday night

I think/hope the person it's about (the last part anyway) reads this blog.  If you still do, you know who you are.  :^)

She and this girl had come to the same conclusion at the same time.  I'm better than this...but I won't pretend I'm not going to visit from time to time. 

It wasn't about where she lived anymore, but where she was.  And this young girl knew it too.  But at least she has time to enjoy and hate the lessons learned.  Time to allow it to mold who she really is. 

I've already been there.

Done that.

Time to take her place where she belonged.  With someone who already knew and cared what she wanted and what she was.  The throwback.  Throwback being such a harsh term, she didn't like it.  Because he was better than a throwback.

Four years and two miserable wake-up calls later, maybe they were both ready to grow up.  Together this time.  They would never allow each other to sell out in the process of grabbing hold of their lives.  They'll pick out the most colorful pieces and weave them together with their baby blankets and prom pieces.  That vital self-knowledge that comes with age will serve them as long as they pay it heed.

Why stay so young when you know you'll never allow yourself to fade away?

So she said goodbye and I'll see you sincerely.  But she carried away a much lighter heart.

(copyright 2010)

What do y'all think?

Friday, April 2, 2010

My Writing Journal's Dust Layer Shall Be No More

I was outside smoking a cigarette this afternoon watching the tiny blossoms fall from the Bradford pears flanking the parking lot of my office building. I love things like that. Nature at its most graceful. I wanted to write down the description, but I stopped bringing my writing journal with me everywhere.

I figured out why as I enjoyed the cool breeze on this gorgeous spring day, feeling the writer in me come back to life. I don't know if it was the season, the house I was living in (I moved last weekend - YAY!), or just my general state of mind; but none of these things was right. None of them made me content. As a matter of fact, I've been in a darkness for quite some time, and I'm just coming out of it.

I'm not going to go all emo on you and say I was in the depths of despair because I simply wasn't. My mind was dusty. It needed the spit and shine of a new house, a new season, and a new view of the world. These things are so important for a person's sanity. Things come in stages and every time one of these things changes, a new stage starts. When they change all at the same time, it could be a life-altering one. I think that's where I am.

I unpacked the journal last night, but it didn't occur to me that I need to start toting it again until today. So welcome back you wonderful little Classic size "Cafe Terrace at Night" covered wonder. I missed you. I think you missed me too.

Happy Spring kids.

What would you most like to see on my new website for unpublished writers?