Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Best Music EVER

This is why they always said I looked like Gregg Allman… and they were all girls. That was back when I was young and ungrizzled by life and years, at least as far back as the 70’s.
Gregg looks sharper, sings and plays better than anyone on this planet. Not I.

Me in the early Seventies before racking up too many hard miles…
1985 Living the outlaw lifestyle

I was hooked on the Allman Brothers Band since the Album Live At Fillmore East. I bought it when I was 15 years-old, in 1971, the year it was released . I wore the grooves in that vinyl out to nothing.
I wasn’t the only one; that album to this day has remained at the top of many official ‘Best of’ lists especially ‘Best Live Rock Album’. My favorite track was an old blues standard ‘Stormy Monday’

I’ve followed Gregg Allman’s solo career from his first album ‘Laid Back’ when my friends thought I was weird since this solo album is a lot like R&B and old gospel spirituals.

I’ve been listening to their music for over 40 (forty) years and it has never grown old. I have changed lifestyles and life-pathways, still they remain as Number One on my list.

In 2011 my wife and I traveled to New York City, I to see the Allman Brothers perform at The Beacon Street Theater, she to see the sights. I confess to liking the sights too.

 

 

At the top of the blog post, I listed Fillmore East as my favorite album. When they released ‘Hittin’ the Note’, their 14th and final studio album in 2003 my favorite was now a toss-up between the two. My favorite track ‘Desdemona’




I don’t know if anybody really cares about this, but I know I will exit this world with their music in my heart.
If you have not enjoyed or even heard of the ABB until now, you can do yourself a huge favor and download some of their music.

If you’d like to leave a comment and find the form tedious you can comment on my twitter feed @mikeyznsacto or Facebook M. Matheson

Amazing Historical Fiction

The HistorianThe Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I listened to this on audio. It was the best audio performance ever. It had sound effects and music fades for scene changes. A whole troop of people, rather than the usual one man, read/acted out the book with great flair. It was better than a movie.
The story alone would be fabulous, and doesn’t reveal that it’s a vampire tale until well into the book. Set amidst some lesser known history with the protagonists and main characters all cast as historians. Woven together with little known facts behind the Dracula myth, the story becomes a beautiful tapestry that begs to be remembered for a lifetime.

View all my reviews on Goodreads

If you’d like to leave a comment and find the form tedious you can comment on my twitter feed @mikeyznsacto or Facebook M. Matheson

Welcome to 2015– But at my age…

At this stage of my life, closing fast on SIXTY, one year’s as good as the next. That’s not to say there are not good years and bad. My faith and trust in God makes room for Him to be who He is and DO what He does.
So, if in my estimation the year has not been so pleasant, it has still been good. This is not some nanny-nanny-wiggle-my-hands-with-my-thumbs-stuck-in-my-ears kind of blindness to the facts. I’m just confident in God’s ability to use it for the best. As the verse says “we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose Romans 8:28.
On that token it’s been a good year and I can’t wait to see what comes next.
2015 are you kidding me? I grew up in my early years reading science fiction that had all the future stuff set in the 1980s. Bizarre.
My little boy is almost four now, and his sense of wonder at the world around him never ceases to increase my own. He has an uncanny fascination with dark holes, drainpipes, caves and the unknown.
2014 will ever be known as the year I published my first novel, No More Mister Nice Guy, which you can find at Smashwords and all the big eBook retailers. It hasn’t been flying off the shelves, but it has received some good honest four and five star reviews.
I’ve also put out five very cool, if I do say so myself, short stories.

There have been 2000+ downloads and counting, and for that I am grateful.
I’m working on my second book, Taking Jericho, an account of how I went from Outlaw Biker to founding an inner city ministry. It is a wild and crazy tale. The tag line for the book is, climbing the odds against your life to finally shout the victory. I hope to have it done before summer so I can work on a book of short stories, Modern Myths from and Urban Mystic.
My biggest wish is that I would have the time to get as much reading and writing done as I would like. The amazing world around us is filled with so many remarkable people, never lack for inspiration. My problem is sorting out what to work on next. It is new stories and ideas that seem to get in the way of that next book.
I hope you get all your dreams this year.
Peace,
M
  

Happy New Year one and all! I wish you all the best in your writing endeavors in 2015.

If you’d like to leave a comment and find the form tedious you can comment on my twitter feed @mikeyznsacto or Facebook M. Matheson

No Longer a New Author

So, I am guilty. I did it. I am no longer a new author. When does that happen? It might be when you forget that you even have a blog, and find that said blog is so lapsed that your profile says “Upcoming book” when the book has been out for a month. I have been so wrapped up in promotion for ‘No More Mister Nice Guy’ that it is no longer new.

I’ve also been writing a long short story, OK possibly a novella, ‘The Eagle Claw Hack’ about an indie author who is so frustrated with his constant readers for ‘their’ lackluster performance he sets out to hack Amazon and make them buy at the point of a gun. Is the fiction truth or at least a reveal on the twisted inner workings of yours truly–Maybe and maybe not. I’ll never tell.
 In the meantime, news from the front:
Lettered– a short story is at 200+ downloads and you can get your own by clicking the title or here.
No More Mister Nice Guy is on all eBook retailers. At SMASHWORDS you can find any filetype you want for your particular reader and here’s a code to get it for free-YD98L.
BUT and that’s big but- If you pay full price I will donate my royalty to The Wounded Warrior Project for the rest of the month of September.
That’s the news for now.
Peace,
Mike

What Inspires You?

I was recently asked on my Goodreads author page: What inspires you?

I’m easily inspired, so I’m afraid I might come off a bit garish to those that struggle with “getting inspired.”
Truthfully, I was inspired by the question because it gave me a moment to think about something I hadn’t given much thought to in a while.

This is my answer to the readers question.

I make myself an observer of life going on around me, from the seemingly mundane to the marvelous, from the dreadfully boring to the amazing. There’s a story hidden behind every person and every act. If I forget that, it’s only because I permitted myself to become weighed down and distracted by the cares and worries of my own life, and even those bear stories worth telling.

Now that brings a more detailed question to my scary little mind:
If I am working on a particular project, story, book, or what-have-you, and I need some inspiration to continue on or fill a certain bill, how do I get it?

My answer for myself and any who would ask is, stop trying so hard. I know, I know, it all sounds very antithetical to what we are trying to accomplish here, but inspiration is not some kind of galley slave you can keep chained to the oars and demand it row when the wind fails your sails. Neither can inspiration be tricked into giving up its treasures at a particular time.
What I do in times like that is work on something else, read a book entirely unrelated to what I am working on or do some research on some aspect of what I am working on. Often inspiration comes walking by whistling a liesurely tune and acting as if he would pass by my house entirely without noticing me sprawled on the porch gasping for breath.
Very seldom does the particular dose of inspiration I need at the time come from the internet, Twitter, Facebook or other social media. Go for a walk instead, no matter where you live. Call a friend and have no agenda. Go play at the park with your child.
Then you just might find that your inspiration had been hanging out with them and waiting for you to join the party.

Origin and history of the word, Inspiration, from dictionary.com:
c.1300, “immediate influence of God or a god,” especially that under which the holy books were written, from O.Fr. inspiration, from L.L. inspirationem (nom. inspiratio), from L. inspiratus, pp. of inspirare “inspire, inflame, blow into,” from in-“in” + spirare “to breathe” (see spirit)

There you have it. Beathe in something fresh. Chill and try not to try to hard.

Whoever Liked Grammar?

Grammar and punctuation were not many peoples favorite subject in their early educations, and in later college educations was only taken seriously since without it you’d fail. Admittedly it wasn’t something I was very interested in either, until I decided to get serious about writing.

If I wanted to improve my craft, I needed to go lower to the roots and not start at the top of the tree. I remember taking a community college class in basic grammar, only because I had procrastinated in signing up, and College Composition was already closed. When I showed up the professor asked, “What are you doing here?” which didn’t do much for my self esteem, but he was wondering why I would take it at all.
But, I learned many things in that basic course that helped to improve my writing. The first two sessions were wholly taken up by the professor, younger than me, lecturing the mostly teens and burgeoning adults on the importance and value of COMPLETING the ENTIRE class, while I sat starving for his knowledge and hoping he would teach me something. I was the old man in the class (my early 50s).
At this point I’m finding it hard to transition into my intended subject so I’ll just leap.
Three books every aspiring writer should read and keep on their shelf:
Strunk and White’s ‘Elements of Style’

If you were stranded on a desert island and needed to improve your writing this would be the book to have. It takes a no nonsense approach to STYLE, not flair but style. Not just die to the rules grammar, but syntax people would like to read,which is not dissimilar to properly penned words. //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ac&ref=qf_sp_asin_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=mmat0c-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=020530902X&asins=020530902X&linkId=XIN42GHK7QSR6MZA&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=trueMy copy of this book is dog-eared, bent, folded and near mutilated.


Next on the list of top hits I would put ‘Eats, Shoots and Leaves’ by Lynne Truss. 
I know reading a book on punctuation sounds like one of the torments from hell, but Lynne makes it worth your while; it’s very humorous style leaves you grinning and learned.

Wikipedia quote-
The title of the book is an amphibology–a verbal fallacy arising from an ambiguous grammatical construction—​and derived from a joke about bad punctuation:
A panda walks into a café. He orders a sandwich, eats it, then draws a gun and proceeds to fire it at the other patrons.
“Why?” asks the confused, surviving waiter amidst the carnage, as the panda makes towards the exit. The panda produces a badly punctuated wildlife manual and tosses it over his shoulder.
“Well, I’m a panda,” he says. “Look it up.”
The waiter turns to the relevant entry in the manual and, sure enough, finds an explanation. “Panda. Large black-and-white bear-like mammal, native to China. Eats, shoots and leaves.
Irrish-American author Frank McCourt, author of Angela’s Ashes, wrote the foreword to the U.S. edition of Eats, Shoots & Leaves. In keeping with the general lighthearted tone of the book, he praises Truss for bringing life back into the art of punctuation, adding, “If Lynne Truss were Roman Catholic I’d nominate her for sainthood.”
I can’t improve on that.
Last but not least is ‘Sin and Syntax’
Now, it has been quite a while since I read this last one, but I remember it being like reading something that suddenly enlightened me on some finer points of deep spiritual life, only this was on crafting prose; the two not too unlike each other.
These three books were important primers on grammar, style, punctuation and prose. I’m sure there are many others. I am also sure not everyone is dying to read a book on any of those subjects.
Do it. You will be glad you did.
Peace,
Mike