Showing posts from September, 2018

Bill Tells A Story: In-Progress Tales That Never Find a Home

As someone who writes both fiction and nonfiction everyday, I often discover snippets of writing in notebooks or in long forgotten files on my hard drive. Generally, I know what they are. At least, I have some idea of why I wrote them. If they are nonfiction, I sometimes revise them for blog posts. The fiction snippets are more difficult to use. I always tell myself that I will finish the story or find a place to use it in my ever-expanding novel that I secretly contend is narratively daring.

This snippet is amusing, if nothing else, so I am sharing it. Perhaps, I want to remind myself at some future date that I will eventually finish each of these brief pieces. Another thing, why did I think I could use goosebump as a verb? For this story, I wonder what was coming next: a scary ghost story, a humorous tale, a novel about Bill and his madcap crew of camp rangers, or the secret life of William Jefferson Clinton. One thing I do know is that I am now hungry for s'mores.

Take it away,…

120 Minutes: How I Wasted My Sunday Nights in the 1990s

Some of my fondest memories from high school include tuning into 120 Minutes every Sunday night on MTV. I discovered many bands, and in the process, developed my musical identity. I still have about fifty tapes of videos and interviews from the show, mostly from the 1990s. Watching them now is like a time capsule of how my musical taste changed. I wore those tapes out by watching my favorite episodes and videos over and over.

One of my favorite episodes featured Matt Pinfield interviewing Rancid, mostly because the videos they picked and bands they recommended were so varied, including oi taste makers like the Business, shoutouts to the Swingin' Utters, and discussions of Operation Ivy and reggae as rebel music. My taped copy of this show is unwatchable because it goes back and forth between speeds, so I am glad Eyesore Video Channel posted it on YouTube.

Another favorite episode was when Henry Rollins and Jerry Lee Lewis co-hosted the show. This odd juxtaposition was even strange…

"When I Write the Book": My Favorite Songs About School and Writing

Since school has begun, I compiled a list of songs about teaching and writing. There are far more about teaching and teachers than writers, but I want to highlight a few of my favorites without picking the most obvious. For example, you will not find Van Halen's "Hot for Teacher" here. I think it is a tad overplayed and does not capture the feeling I am looking for in songs about teaching or attending school. Plus, you all know it. You also know The Ramones' "Rock 'n' Roll High School, but I cannot help myself in including that awesome track, especially paired with the MC5. I'm in search of more songs about writing, so if you have any suggestions let me know. I'm missing so many good ones. Any teaching/student songs would also be cool, especially if they extol the virtues of school. Many of these songwriters are fed up and frustrated with their school experience. That said, here are ten of my favorite in no particular order.

1. John K. Samson-&qu…