Thursday, June 5, 2014

Working on a Novel

Yours truly, rocking pink headphones. 
I've come to the conclusion that the computer is a sort of "threshold guardian," standing between where I am and where I will find my finished novel. I have to learn to work with it, to trick it, to get around it, to answer its riddles and resist its temptations. Today I'm inordinately proud of the fact that it is 1 p.m. and I've only just now turned on the computer for the first time. I spent the morning writing notes, reading about the structure of "the Hero's Journey," and brainstorming the shape and meaning of this book.

Before you and I both roll our eyes at this mythic journey business, I'd like to remind us that I am writing a fantasy novel to fulfill my daughter's desire for an adventure/quest story with female characters who kick ass. I'm taking the project very seriously, and I'm using it as an opportunity to explore some of the conventions of storytelling that I've resisted learning about over the years in some (probably misguided) effort to maintain something like artistic integrity.

Anyway, yeah. Hello, Internet. I'm giving myself a fifteen minute reward for those 3.5 hours of focus.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Peter Murphy's New Album

This is a reaction, not a review.

On first listen, Lion is incredible--it feels like the Peter Murphy album his fans have been waiting for twenty years. I gather that others appreciated Ninth a lot more than I, but I feel his last wall-to-wall solid album was 1995's Cascade. Until now, that is.

And, for the record, there are songs I love on Dust, Ninth, and even Unshattered, which I feel rivals Holy Smoke for his weakest record. A lot of devoted fans consider it a duty to revere everything their favorite artists do. I'm not one of those. My standard has always been to stay devoted to my rock gods but realistic about their new music. Is this one good enough to draw skeptical former fans back into the fold? In Lion's case, yes.

Honestly, I do not expect much from Murphy anymore, and last year's legal troubles didn't bode well. I was also a bit concerned that this record was produced by Youth--who failed to rescue Echo & the Bunnymen from old age on their so-so new record, Meteorites.

But Lion rocks the hell out. I don't know which of these songs will take hold and grow on me, but this is the best and wildest album I've encountered since last year's Savages debut. And--though it's too soon to say--I suspect this may wind up in my top three favorite Peter Murphy solo albums. That said, Lions would have to surpass Cascade and/or Should the World Fail to Fall Apart. Deep is untouchable. Come to think of it, I'm not yet convinced this is as good as Love Hysteria, fourth on my list.

What's with this ranking business? Old habits die hard. Or don't die.

Bottom line: so far this lamb loves this Lion.