A Q and A with Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews about my new book Permanent Spring Showers (Book Tour Day 7)

The MonkeesIt’s Day 7 of the book tour! Today is it is an interview with Laurie’s Thoughts and Reviews. I really liked this interview. There were some great questions around the creation of the novel (inspiration, characters, etc.), but also some fun ones I could really get behind. Like, for example, do I prefer the Beatles or the Monkees. Here is my response:

The first concert I ever saw was The Monkees. That was during their big reunion tour in the 80s and my parents took me. It was a fun show, but Mike Nelson wasn’t there. I remember being disappointed by that. But The Beatles… Okay, they are one of my obsessions. A few years ago I had my brother (a professional photographer out in Los Angeles-http://www.adamemperorsouthardphotography.com/) create a family picture of my wife, kids and me as the Beatles based on the With The Beatles cover. I think you can see it on his site as an example of what he can do. That photo is one of my favorite things in my house. I got to be Lennon in that, which is awesome. Recently, my Playstation 3 died and I had to get a 4, the biggest disappointment for me is I wouldn’t be able to rock out with The Beatles Rockband anymore. That still makes me sad. I could do a mean “Dear Prudence.” Oh, and I saw Paul in concert twice. Man, he puts on a good show.

You can read the rest of this fun interview here.

This has been a really fun tour for me. This is my second interview (my first one was here). I have also written posts on numerous subjects related to the book. You can check out posts on how it feels to write an anti-romance (here), eccentric characters (here), passion and sex in the book (here), the importance of springtime (here), and some advice for new writers (here).Permanent Spring Showers

Just for the tour, the eBook of Permanent Spring Showers is on sale! Just $1.99, it can’t get cheaper than that! So there is no better time to grab a copy. You can find it on amazon for Kindle here and for the NOOK here.
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New WKAR Book Review: Above Us Only Sky by Michele Young-Stone

Current StateRecently on WKAR’s Current State, I reviewed the new novel by Michele Young-Stone. It is called Above Us Only Sky and is filled with Beatles references. Actually, my review is filled with them too.

You can listen to my review here: http://wkar.org/post/book-review-michele-young-stones-above-us-only-sky

If you would rather read my review, you can do so below.

Hey, did you know Current State has a podcast? If you subscribe, you can download episodes and segments (and you can find me every other Thursday). Here is a link to find it on iTunes- https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/wkar-fm-current-state/id594609653?mt=2

You can find the novel on Amazon.com here. If you want to check out my other book reviews for WKAR’s Current State, you can do so via links on this page. Continue reading

Recently, You and Me: Me, My Wife and Dave Matthews Band

dmbMy wife has this way of internally rolling her eyes, when she doesn’t want me to see she is rolling her eyes…. Yet, I still know she is doing it and she knows I know.

A lot of this eye rolling has been occurring because of another man. Well, technically, a band of them. For the last year I’ve regained my obsession with Dave Matthews Band and their music. The funny thing is this obsession was rekindled after a bad concert.

Yes, Dave Matthews Band is known for their amazing live performances, but my complaint was not with them. This guilt is all on the shoulders of the audience around me. During the show I almost wondered if my annoyance was because I am older and this is not a thing anymore (and really concert going can take a lot of energy). Nah. This ain’t on my shoulders. Honestly, the people around us were dicks.

There, I’ll say it again: “Dicks.”

Someone was selling beaded necklaces, another family was coming and going throughout the show (I think there were some drugs going on there), and a family sitting next to us brought their own bongos. Yes, you read that right- bongos. And of all of the members of Dave Matthews Band, Carter Beauford  doesn’t need any drumming help. The man is freaking amazing.

Yet, ever since that concert I have not been able to stop listening to Dave Matthews Band. I listen to the music while I am getting ready in the morning, having breakfast, when I am driving the kids to school, and going for walks. Dave is there always, and it feel very natural. Like a friend, just hanging out, catching up on memories. Continue reading

Learning to Share Disneyland

Walt at the ParkSo last night I had a dream where I met Paul McCartney at Disneyland.

I was standing in line at the Peter Pan ride with my family, and he was standing behind me with his family and some big bodyguards. I, of course, realized at once who this was, and when a pause happened in his conversation, I politely excused myself and said thanks. Thanks for everything since his music means so much to me.

Paul was very gracious in return and we lightly talked. He asked about me and I told him about my writing and how I listen to his music a lot when I create and how it is a soundtrack around our house. He seemed to really appreciate that, especially the idea of his music inspiring other artists. I even asked him if the rumor that The Beatles were approached to be in The Jungle Book was true (I don’t remember his reply, but in many ways that is only an urban legend at this point).

It was in this moment of the dream that my wife tapped me on the shoulder and asked who I was speaking to. I turned her around, and casually introduced her to Sir Paul.

…And then my wife fainted in a very dramatic fashion.

She even made a “whoosh!” noise as she collapsed, sounding almost like air escaping a tea kettle.

Now, my wife is not the kind of person to faint for any reason (I would faint before she would faint), and it was that realization that woke me up. So I didn’t get to talk to Sir Paul anymore, or even get on the ride.

All that standing in line for nothing. Continue reading

Where My Head Is At

HeadRandomness from the last few days…

Do both Paul and Ringo dye their hair? They are both in their 70s so the answer is probably yes. My wife also believes Ringo dyes his beard. How does one do that?

Because of the Disney film Tarzan, my kids like to run around in their underwear. I’m still working on my counter-argument to this practice because it is kind of hilarious.

I’ve locked down the Table of Contents for my new nonfiction book Me Stuff. Started with two hundred posts (I’ve done over 520 on this site total), then cut it down to 70. Now I’m ending at 30 or so.

I think Georgia font is pretty friendly. I want a friendly font for Me Stuff, one that says, “Sit down, I have a story to tell.” Continue reading

Five Things I Am Into Right Now, October 2013

HalloweenEvery year around this time I always wish I had musical talent. Why? Because Halloween is a surefire money opportunity for a creative songwriter.

See, across this country, from kids to adults, people have Halloween parties, but there is no real Halloween music to play. Oh, there is “Thriller” by Michael Jackson and the awful “Monster Mash,” but what is there after that? Dance remixes of famous horror movie themes?… That’s not good enough!

And that is when an enterprising music genius steps in.

You make a CD that is family friendly, has some fun danceable tracks (maybe comes with its own dance move), add enough references to Halloween memories to stir a heartfelt response (think any classic Christmas song, most are built around memories) and you will be cashing a big check once a year for decades to come.

Sadly, I don’t have music talent and the extent of my songwriting skills only brings up corny titles like “I Want My Mummy” and “Do the Frankenstein Shuffle.” That is just embarrassing. It is even more embarrassing because I am literary enough to know Frankenstein is the doctor not the monster.

Sigh.

Here are the five things I am into this month… Continue reading

Movie Review: Good Ol’ Freda

Good Ol' FredaI’m a Beatles nut.

It’s one of my things. Nearby me as I write this is the bootleg complete recordings of The Beatles BBC sessions (9 discs full), on the wall is a collection of rare photographs of The Beatles performing in Detroit, and then there are my instruments for Beatles Rock Band in the corner (doing all of Abbey Road is wonderful). And then there are my shelves and shelves with books on them, and the mountain of DVDs… Oh, and the boxset of their complete CDs. I, of course, have the music.

So whenever a new documentary or book on The Beatles comes out, I know all about it; definitely before some friend on Facebook or Twitter sends me a message saying “Did you know about this?”

“Yes… Yes. I did.” I always reply. Sometimes I pretend to be ignorant, but I never am.

And if one of these books or documentaries reaches a certain level of expertise it will probably join my “resource library.” I like to think of it as an honor. For example, the insightful Geoff Emerick’s book made it; the bad book by Bob Spitz (and it’s pile of errors) did not.

I’ve written on my love of The Beatles a few times on this site (like here and here). They are part of my makeup, what makes me “me.” And, I’m sure, that if a doctor was to check my pulse my beats would be perfectly in sync with the “Na’s” in Hey Jude.

Oh, and I have a Beatles tie. Did I mention The Beatles tie? Continue reading

Neil Diamond’s “A Cherry Cherry Christmas” is the Worst Christmas Song Ever! A Holiday Musical Rant.

It Even he doesn't look happy with the result...takes a lot to write a worse song than “Christmas Shoes.”

You could almost see a contest being created around the Herculean task. The title of the contest could relate to old, smelly sneakers or something.

Yet, in 2009 Neil Diamond would have won the coveted holey shoe without any trouble at all with his “A Cherry Cherry Christmas.” (You see how I did that? Because we are talking about the holidays and I said “holey” instead of holy?… Oh, nevermind.)

How did I escape this atrocity to the holidays for the last few years?

It might be my first proof of Christmas angels. (And not the little ones who are all alone with no toys to play with except a shoebox… Wow, I hate that children’s book; most depressing vision of the afterlife ever.) See, I love the holiday season and one of my little embarrassing quirks is each year I give the local radio stations a chance to prove to me that there is still the possibility of good Christmas music being made. Usually, they don’t succeed…

Actually, sadly, I can’t think of the last time they have convinced me that anyone should consider making a holiday CD at all again! Continue reading

Which Beatle am I? I have no idea anymore

I have always identified myself with The Beatles.  There was something about their energy, their creativity, and their artistic exploration that called to me.

I know this is not a unique thing.

Almost everyone feels some kind of connection to the fab four, but for me, I would mark my time based on theirs or I would relate myself to at least one of them from time to time, thinking something like “Wow that is just like John,” even though I knew it was never really the case… but it just made everything feel a little more important.

When I was a young struggling writer, I saw myself as a young John Lennon. I wore a sailor cap like he did all the time and wrote comic short stories. Yes, I connected to this early John in a major way.   I even dressed as him for Halloween once with the sailor cap just so over my bangs… strangely (thanks probably to my blonde hair) most thought I was the Dutch Boy from the paint cans as compared to the young rock god. Continue reading

John, Paul, George, Ringo, and Your Children

While it is not surprising I have written an editorial on The Beatles and parenting for Green Spot Blue, it IS surprising that it took me a year to get around to doing it.

Here is the beginning of my article:

John, Paul, George, Ringo, and Your Children

When you think of The Beatles today, it’s hard not to get lost in the image of the innocent and sweetly sarcastic four moptops running around while “Can’t Buy Me Love” plays loudly.  Yet, The Beatles were more than that; they probably were the most important artists to come out of the last century.  In only ten years, they created a wealth of music and cultural influence that is still impacting and inspiring people today… Basically, I am not saying anything here we haven’t read or heard before since their break up almost forty years ago. Continue reading