Header Image - Getting the words out by any means possible.


by Jonathan 1 Comment

I currently reside under an avalanche of travel, sickness and work. And it’s all good. For this lovely Sunday, I thought I’d share my writing playlist, a list I’ve cultivated and refined over the last two years. Here goes:

Tom Waits – Orphans, Real Gone, Frank’s Wild Years, Alice, Mule Variations and Bone Machine

Bonnie Prince Billy – Master and Everyone

Hans Zimmer – Black Hawk Down, Gladiator and Inception soundtracks

Jeff Beal – Rome (HBO) Soundtrack

Howard Shore – The Fellowship of the Ring Soundtrack

Mark Mothersbaugh – Rushmore

Ali Farka Toure – World

Ernest Ranglin – Below the Bassline

Ibrahim Ferrer – The Buena Vista Social Club Presents Ibrahim Ferrer

John Jorgenson – Franco-American Swing


Leo Kottke – 6- and 12-String Guitar

St. Germain – Tourist

Wes Montgomery – April 2, 1965-Vara Radio Studio 7-Hilversum, Holland

Los Super 7 – Canto

Marc Ribot and Los Cubanos Postizos – The Prosthetic Cubans

Ray LaMontagne – Till the Sun Turns Black

Bill Frisell – The Intercontinentals

Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli – Souvenirs

David Grisman and Tony Rice – Tone Poems

Chris Thile – Not All Who Wander Are Lost

I’ve got these spread over three or four playlists, using them depending on my mood and the mood of the scene I’m writing at the time.

Thank God for music.


This About Sums it Up

by Jonathan 0 Comments

Yes, things are this chaotic. And weird. Or at least they seem to be.

Forgive the terseness of my latest posts. I’m still trying to find balance. The good news is that I’m still writing and revising. And so the social media stuff suffers for it. Could be worse.

Coffee Break No. 25 – Writing, Music and Photography

For the silver anniversary of my Coffee Break series I thought I would share some links that I particularly enjoyed this week. Check ’em out. If they don’t move you, check your pulse, you may be paranormal.

Vivian Maier

At BronxBanterBlog.com is a fantastic post about photography. It’s a baseball blog at heart, but so much more. Host Alex Belth has a keen eye for stuff far outside the lines of the old ball diamond. Like this:

Every once in a while something comes along that is so unbearably tremendous that I can’t help but feel rejuvenated, filled with enthusiasm and faith in the world. Like this story about the guy who found a treasure and is now sharing it with the world.

Bat Segundo interviews Paolo Bacigalupi – I very much enjoyed this podcast. Bacigalupi’s candid answers provided a nice glimpse into his writing process. Here’s a taste:

It’s almost all improvisation, actually. Very little is planned out. There’s a detail that I have in my bank. And I use it. And you’re always acquiring material, whether that’s from visiting your in-laws or whether that’s from reading a novel.

Over at Largehearted Boy, Jeff VanderMeer talks about a music play list that would best accompany his story collection, The Third Bear – There are also links to some free PDF downloads for a story from the book, “The Quickening”,  and reviews of the book.

It’s somewhere between elegy/dirge and celebration, chronicling the strange moments that occur more often than we want to believe. At base, it’s a collection that’s about the search for something beyond what we know…

And finally, over at More Red Ink, editor Marty Halpern discusses many things, but the thing that caught my eye was this post on how flexible e-paper reminded Marty of Paul di Filippo. I include this because I just discovered di Filippo through Jeff and Ann VanderMeer’s Steampunk anthology and just downloaded a StarShipSofa podcast because he was in it.

From Marty’s blog (It’s Marty quoting Harlan Ellison talking about di Filippo):

My wife has instructions that the instant I die, she has to burn all the unfinished stories. And there may be a hundred unfinished stories in this house, maybe more than that. There’s three-quarters of a novel. No, these things are not to be finished by other writers, no matter how good they are. It could be Paul Di Filippo, who is just about the best writer in America, as far as I’m concerned.

See, now you’re smarter.

Everything’s Gonna Be Alright

by Jonathan 0 Comments

Make a little space in your day for old Muddy Waters and a hot cup of coffee. We’ve been on the run this holiday season, hitting Disney World with my 5 year old daughter (Awesome.), the beach, and the movies. My Dad visits today and then we’re off to D.C. to say goodbye to a friend next week. See you when the dust settles.