Hi there! Sorry to miss you last week – Mrs Stroke Bloke and I had just spent the weekend in Skye. I’ve been particularly keen to get there since I read Virginia Woolf’s To The Lighthouse during my creative writing degree.
That linked recording of The Skye Boat Song is bonkers. The production, for a start. Then there’s the incredible whistling of Roger Whitaker – you’ve never heard anything like it. Take that, Otis Redding. And I’ve not even mentioned that someone thought it would be a good idea to get Des O’Connor in to sing it?!
Well, if there’s one thing that this week’s news has encouraged me to do, it’s go off and listen to some good music. With a hat-tip to Longsufferingreaderoftheblogpaul for sharing it aaaaages ago, here’s Reggie Watts’ cover of Van Halen’s Panama:
Where the original is – I’m told – about a race car, Reggie’s version is about the country. What do you think about, when you think about Panama?
Mrs Stroke Bloke and I spent this past weekend in the Highlands. More precisely, we were visiting family in Strontian, on the banks of Loch Sunart. One of my cousins asked if I would be writing about our trip in the blog this week. And since she took me to see David Bowie’s Sound and Vision tour stop in Ingliston in 1990, I could hardly say “No.”
I’ve put Broken Mirror – The Collected Bird’s Fate Postsback up on the site. These posts have been absent from the site for a while, as they’ve been presented in other forums. But now the true story of how I met Susanne Whyte from Bird’s Fate, and found out heroes are just people like you and me, is back in one piece.
Doing that was inspired by the posting of The Prof’s liner notes to an awesome cover of Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You over at nerdbaitband.com.
Meanwhile, my short story Phoenix Park went live over at The Dublin Inquirer. It’s part of their Christmas special fiction issue, which collects stories about superheroes set in Dublin. Pop over and have a look. And if you like it, please do leave a comment.
Of course, if you’re on the distribution list for the Apoplexy Newsletter, you’ll be aware of all of this.
Interested in Nerd Bait? Before digging into this week’s post, find out how The Wee Mermannie got the girl – deleted scenes from our Book Festival Gig are part of the bonus materials included in the first issue of the fabulous FREAK Circus!
The beautiful paperback artefact is here. The electronic version that includes the unexpurgated prose version of The Tail of The Wee Mermannie is here.
Right. Now. Back to the blog.
Last Monday, I noted neuroscientist David Eagleman’s remark that the idea that we are unitary people over time is merely an illusion of continuity.
The people each of us individually are at 10, 30, 40, “share the same name and some of the same memories, but we are quite different as a person.”
During the intervening week, I wrote a short story about a man who may – or may not – have lived a succession of quite different lives. Yet there are common themes in those lives. For example, in each case, the character’s father disappears from the scene in his early years.
It wasn’t until I was reading a passage in Robert Penn Warren’s Pulitzer-prize winning novel All the King’s Men last night that I realised that my fiction had been taking a sideways look at Eagleman’s theme…. Continue reading To a Tee→
Later this week, Phonefinderoftheblogbeth and I will be taking a trip to Inverness. The capital of the Highlands is an interesting place for all sorts of reasons – I’d recommend taking a look at what Ian Wiki has to say about it here.
16 April was the deadline for turning in my Spring semester portfolio. And of course Illicit Ink’s Apollo 21, co-starring Stroke Bloke, premièred the prior night at Edinburgh’s Royal Observatory on Blackford Hill. I’d like to think that Apollo 21 wouldn’t have been possible in its final, polished form without – in addition to great performances and writing by the whole team – the contributions of my super-talented Nerd Bait bandmates Steph the Brain and Professor Paul, who soundtracked the whole thing.
When I say it’s difficult to listen to this without crying, that’s a good thing. But don’t just take my word for it – thanks to 1 Proton 1 Electron for this lovely review.
When I was a teen bandaged heads scared me I read a lot of crime fiction. I wrote a book report on the granpaw of Scottish Noir, William McIlvanney’s Laidlaw. I read a bunch of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser novels. And I got into Parker because he was asked to finish the Marlowe novel, Poodle Springs. And I loved Chandler.