I woke up thinking about Turkish drummers.

It didn’t take longI don’t know much about Turkish drummers.

—Bruce Cockburn

Music has always been a big part of my life. Maybe not everyone who reads this blog knows that, but anyone who knows me does. From the time I was a child, I listened to the radio, to records, and to tapes I’d made. As soon as I was old enough, I started going to shows. I did that for over 40 years, until hearing damage from an acoustic trauma made me realize my concert days were probably over and my protecting-my-ears days had come unannounced to replace them.

So it’s no surprise if I wake up thinking about music on any given day. But today was different. Today I woke up thinking in a logical, almost strategic way about my history with music, from pop to jazz. Almost as if I were going to write a book about it.

I’m not.


Music, Music, Music

Before I looked it up today, I didn’t know Teresa Brewer had a hit in 1949 with (Put Another Nickel In) Music! Music! Music! Somehow that song is ingrained in my head, and it’s not even my style. Maybe I got it from a kids’ show or a TV commercial.

My early leanings were as much about Jim Croce and Jim Stafford as Elton John. Pop ruled the airways, but much of it was also rock. This teen got into Kiss (my first concert at 13), Aerosmith, and Van Halen in the late 70s, an era when Van Halen actually came across the FM dial on pop stations. Hard to fathom today.

Women began to dominate the scene almost as much as men, at least in my mind. Blondie was punk, then cool new wave, then pop, and Pat Benatar rocked the Billboard Top 40. Joan Jett loved rock ‘n’ roll, and we loved her. Those women were sexier than all get-out. To a teenage boy, they were Amazons, larger than life.


I Could Write a Book

The other half of today’s title, “I could write a book,” comes from conversations I’ve had over the last year. This past weekend, I explained to a friend of mine how annoying it is for professional writers when non-writers (a.k.a., civilians) say, “I’m going to write a book someday.”

In fact, virtually every variation on that is like the proverbial fingernails on a blackboard to a working writer.

Other examples:

  1. “I think I’d like to write a book.”
  2. “You know, I could write a book.”
  3. “People always tell me, Your life would make a good book.”

Okay, you get the idea. If you’re not a writer, but you’ve said this crap to a writer, here’s what they thought.

  1. “No, you wouldn’t.”
  2. “If you could, you would have done it by now.”
  3. Everyone thinks their life would make a good book.”

We’re just too polite to say it.

For years my mother told me she was going to write a memoir. She also said she was going to start walking when it got warm enough…or cool enough…or…. Both were equally annoying to hear.

What’s funny is that when I told my friend how annoying it is, he immediately said, “I’ve had people tell me my life would make a good book.”

In my head, I went, “What did I just say?”

Out of my mouth came the usual: “Uh huh.”


Who Are You? And What Do You Want?

Readers of this blog who are also movie buffs may be able to help me out today: tell me where I got that title about identity! I’m fairly certain there was an old movie or TV show where a character said, “Who are you? And what do you want?” But for the life of me, I...

“When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around”

Like most Americans who grew up in the 70s and 80s, I've got a fair amount of song lyrics floating around my head. Today's post is entitled "When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around" after the Police song of that name. And I'll admit, I...
launch team

Turning a Street Team Into a Launch Team

If you're reading this blog post in April or May of 2019, you probably already know that my fourth novel, Whizzers, will come out later this year. I'm working on launch ideas of all sorts, and the launch itself is likely going to be late July. For the uninitiated,...

New “Writer Problems” Series, Topic #10: Maintaining Some Semblance of Sanity

I’m going off the rails on a crazy train. —Ozzy Osbourne, "Crazy Train"   Last October, I posted an article on pandemic fatigue, about how 2020 had been exhausting. Ha ha ha! The pandemic was only seven or eight months old by then! Who’da thunk it? I must be some...

Books: Great Holiday Gifts, or The Greatest Holiday Gifts?

I saw a cartoon the other day that features a character who's starting to sing, "It's beginning to look a lot like..." A second character quickly and quietly puts the first character down, saying, "Shh. Sleep now." Dark stuff, right? But hey, these are dark times—in...

“Shoemaker, Stick to Thy Last!”

I always try to help my fellow indie authors by passing on my experiences. Among the most important, in my mind, is don’t be a jack of all trades, master of none. Find your niche, and stick with it. This might not be the greatest advice if you’re already a...

How Hard Is Software Supposed to Be?

So last week I took the Memorial Day holiday off from everything: no blog, no book project...nothing. Just me and my wife enjoying the day off from work. We don't get that many of those together, so it was nice to just hang out, sleep late, and watch mindless TV shows...
kicking that can

Kicking That Can Down the Road

When I started writing my upcoming novel, I didn't have an agenda or even a plan. The story of Whizzers came about very organically, though it has roots in my own life from many years ago. To understand how I evolved as a writer, you almost have to understand how I...

“I Want to Bang on the Drum All Day”

Ever have an old song pop into your head and then it’s just there all day?  For those of you reading this who are old enough to get the reference, today’s blog post title comes from a Todd Rundgren song from the early 80s, “Bang the Drum All Day.” Todd Rundgren was...

New “Writer Problems” Series, Topic #4: Isolation vs. Solitude

I’m a loner With a loner’s point of view —Bruce Cockburn, “Loner”   Writing a novel is a solitary activity. We all know this. And while there are some exceptions to the rule—screenwriters who work on a team in a “writer’s room,” partners who write a book...