Monday, September 30, 2013

Writing To Music?

Music and writing, while they go hand in hand for most people, it rarely did for me. Usually, the only time I would listen to music while writing would be while I was applying a boat load of editing notes to a second draft of a given manuscript. Beyond that, music was a bona fide major league distraction of epic proportions.

But sometimes, certain things do change, and listening to music while writing was one of them.

I've mentioned previously that I was reworking and rewriting a very old (about six years) crime novella/novel, so that it would be more in line with what I was already writing (paranormal). However, I knew I had my work cut out for me, because while I had originally written this thing while I was still able to channel some anger into my writing, I had no such reservoir to help me now.

But... I did have an idea on how to get some of that anger, or rather, that particular mindset back. Some time ago, I remember reading a comment put forth by Charles Gramlich, either on his blog or on mine, on how he would often listen to hard rock/heavy metal in order to write battles scenes for his stories.

I thought if that can work for him maybe it can work for me.

Enter my record collection.

After going on a brief search and destroy, I found some heavy metal/hard rock to listen to. First up were two Metallica LP's: Masters of Puppets and Garage Days Re-Revisited.

That music was just what the doctor ordered as the opening notes of "Battery" instantly got me into the necessary frame of mind to rewrite the story.

Dark violent music equals sometimes dark and seriously violent writing.

It took me almost a half dozen attempts before I was able to listen to each album in its entirety. The end result from those two albums with roughly a quality pages of prose (I had originally started rewriting the lighter music, but switched up when I realized that the rest of the novella/novel required darker and heavier stuff).

As I've mentioned earlier, I started with some Metallica, but soon realized that if I wanted to continue down this vein of darkness I was going to need a larger dose of heavy metal.

A quick search of my memory bank brought up an early eighties compilation entitled The Best Of Metal Blade, Volume 1. So I spent a few weeks frying my brain cells out to early eighties heavy metal (i.e. Fates Warning, Airax, Bitch and Celtic Frost). Did a world of good for pumping up the anger quotient for my writing.

Once I mentioned to finish off that very nice double LP, I quickly search my memory banks and came up with Motorhead.

Gracing my turntable right now is the first of about four Motorhead albums, entitled 1916.

I do have some other heavy metal/hard rock floating around, Judas Priest and Iron Maiden for example, that should keep me occupied for the rest of the novella/novel.

Sometimes, you just have to open your mind to new sources of creativity, inspiration, and a new way of getting things done.

Friday, September 27, 2013

I Irritate My Human Big Time


Allow me to introduce myself: I am Holly, and today we're taking over my human's blog, 'cause you know, nothing irritates our humans more than getting into their business by doing our business, and since my human hates it when I do my business in his business, he's giving me carte blanche in doing my business on his blog in the vain hope that somehow I won't be doing my business in his business for the foreseeable future.

Anywho, let me tell you how I really irritate my human in the morning.

When I wake up, I need to stuff my face with food. I don't really care about what my human wants, 'cause you know, it's all about me. So what I usually do when my stomach is growling is to jump on my human and start purring in his face, 'cause you know, I needs food.

This usually happens around 4:30 in the morning, with repeat performances every fifteen minutes until he finally drags his butt out of bed at 5:30. The second his feet touch the floor, I'm weaving between his legs, 'cause you know, I need to be fed, like now.

So when he stands up, that's my cue to run out of the room and run down the stairs, 'cause you know, I need food. But dang it, he don't follow me, 'cause he has to do his morning toiletries. So I have to run back upstairs to get his attention, 'cause you know, I need my food, like yesterday. And I get his attention by purring loudly and weaving between his legs, which in turn irritates the crap out of him.

Finally, he staggers down the stairs and I race down the stairs and wait for him at the bottom, 'cause you know, I need food and he's the slowest thing on the planet. But when he gets downstairs, I start running all over the place, 'cause you know, I need to be fed, like now. And to make sure he feeds me like now, I'll jump on the windowsill, meow madly and wake everyone up by kicking at the window chimes.

Wouldn't you know it, while I'm starving for my breakfast, he's busy getting all of his precious coffee ready in the microwave. So I jump down from the windowsill and start getting under his feet, so that when he steps away, he'll realize that I'm the most important thing there.

Finally, he walks back to the windowsill and I race ahead and jump on, 'cause you know I need my food, like yesterday. But he only grabs the empty dish and walks back to the kitchen. Infuriated, I run back to the kitchen and start meowing very loudly for my food, 'cause dammit, I'M HUNGRY!!!!

The lazy schmuck finally pours my food into the dish, so I race back to the windowsill, jump up and ring the wind chimes. He puts the dish down, and finally, I GOT FOOD!!!

For the next seven seconds, I stuff my face with glorious crunchies. Afterwards, just because he was being a dope for being so slow, I jump down and regurgitate just for him, which of course makes him yell and wake up the entire house.

So next time you decide to take your sweet time in feeding the animal that happens to reside in your home, be prepared for an unwanted present in an unwanted place, 'cause you know, they come first, and don't you dare forget that fact.

Now if you'll excuse, I have to mosey upstairs and irritate my human's spouse, 'cause you know, I'm the queen of all I survey and no one can sleep on my side of the bed with out my permission.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Christmas In October

We interrupt this blog with a late breaking but completely pertinent book promo of ginormous proportions!

The holidays will be here before we know it!  If you’re like me, you have at least one person who already has EVERYTHING!  Not to mention your sons, daughters, or nieces and nephews – who have so many computer games and toys, you trip over them when you walk into their bedrooms?

Instead of one more toy that will be forgotten by January, or spending money on a gift someone MIGHT like, why not go for something different. A gift that sparks a child’s imagination or allows your friends to relax and lose themselves in a world of humor, romance, mystery or fantasy – a book!

We just might have the solution and the good news is you just might get them for free!

During the month of October we have over 45 authors (including myself, who will be appearing on October 7th) to showcase their book covers, a tagline, AND a giveaway.  Every Monday and Thursday, for the entire month, different authors will show you what they have to offer! 

How does this help you?  Simple.  All you need to do is stop by Penny’s Tales, on Mondays and Thursdays and add a comment.  The more you comment, the more chances to win.  On November 1, you might get an email stating you are the lucky winner of the big jackpot! 

Keep watching – more info will be coming!

We now return you to the rest of this blog's unscheduled post. Blogging on the fly, here goes nothin'.

Folks, are you looking for a good read of three short stories from Newington's semi-premier writer/blogger who is independently owned and operated by his wife, two children and pet cat Holly, then feast (or cast, whichever is easier for you to do) on this fantastic short story trilogy called:

Available at Smashwords
Three tantalizing short stories from the creative mind that has brought you mirth, fun, jocularity and this blog for the past five and a half years. Check it out today, you'll be glad that you did.

Or, if you're looking for a little sizzle, a little sensual, and whole lot of personal revelation without being preachy, check out my paranormal erotic fantasy:

Available at Amazon and Books by G.B. Miller
Simply a steal as an e-book or in print, Line 21 will make you think twice about an individual's moral compass and their sense of purpose. Check out the book that has forced this author to cut short a book signing, be turned down for two town fairs and be banned from a Facebook video trailer event. And check out what others have to say about the book by clicking on this review link.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Music? What's Dat?

When I was growing up in the 70's (born in '65 thus childhood was in the 70's), I had a major problem about listening to music. While I knew it was out there, I rarely listened to any of it. In fact, as a matter of record, the only time that I listened to any music for any length of time, was if I was traveling with my mother. As far as I could tell, my dad didn't listen to music while us kids were in the car, as he listen to mostly AM (I think until he passed away).

At home, I quickly grew to hate listening to music. As a kid, a good chunk of your down time (for me at leat) revolved around two distinct entities: reading and television. So whenever my dad had papers/quizzes/tests to grade, more often than not he would slap on an album of folk music or (real) country music, which in turn would require me to become bored out of my mind because I couldn't watch television in the living room.

If I wanted to watch television during those times, I had to watch it on a crappy B&W in the kitchen. But, I digress.

Having said that, I did learn to appreciate the music I did listen to, like the classical incidental music for WB Cartoons. And teeny bopper music (i.e. The Brady Bunch & Jimmy Osmond). And, as I got older, the pop music that is currently being murdered on radio, I listened o when it was FRESH AND NEW.

However, because I didn't know up from down when it came to music, I would do stupid things like request an Eddie Rabbit song on a rock station.

As I got older my exposure to other genres came along in fits and starts. For example, I didn't really get into Motorhead like normal people my age, which was exploring a particular sub-genre of music. Instead, I got interested in Motorhead by watching television.

Back in the early days of MTV ('83-'88), they would show the occasional comedy show from the U.K. Like a really warped show called "The Young Ones". Anyways, on one particular episode, they had the band Motorhead playing at a protest rally in their apartment. The song in question was The Ace of Spades, which completely blew me away.

Unfortunately, those exploratory moments were few and very far between, as I basically stumbled through my 20's and early 30's totally clueless about music beyond my parents era (notable exceptions were discovering the Sex Pistols and Dead Kennedys via non-music sources).

It wasn't until 1996 that I started discovering other types of music. The reason for that watershed moment had a lot to do with starting a brand new job with the state of CT prepping newspapers (see this tag) and in order to keep myself awake, I began listening to the radio.

However, it wasn't until a particular co-worker was added to my department a couple of years later that my musical education began in earnest. How so? He introduced me to college radio, and from that moment on, I started a musical exploration that some seventeen years later is still surprising me with all of the various exits, highways, byways and rural roads that I've grown to love.

Without college radio, I probably wouldn't gotten exposed to and learn to appreciate the following genres:

1} Folk
2} True country aka Americana
3} True alternative rock
4} True R&B
5} Soul
6} Heavy Metal in all of its glorious sub-genres
7} Hard Rock
8} Funk
9} Punk and its various sub-genres
10) Techno
11} Reggae
12} Bluegrass

And without exposure to those and many others, life would be pretty much a dull journey of ginormous proportions.

Don't you think?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

What Happens On Hiatus Doesn't Stay On Hiatus

Day one featured random thoughts of abandonment zipping through my brain at breakneck speed as I couldn't stop thinking about how my loyal readers would vacate the premises once my blog settled into hiatus mode.

Day two featured a calmer mood and greater appreciation for all things that surround me. Day two also featured an internal slap across the face for thinking such a pedestrian thought.

Day three through nine featured all kinds of interesting things, including rediscovering my warped sense of humor (FB), pushing various people's buttons (FB), non-hysterical discussions on certain hot topic issues (FB), writing with music and music.

Re: Music.

I spent an ungodly amount of my hiatus listening to music and/or getting lost within myself. I rediscovered a few parts of myself that were long thought buried, and after doing some writing to music, rediscovered my passion for blogging.

I actually came up with a few music related posts while I was getting lost within myself and during the past weekend (14th & 15th), felt relaxed enough to sit outdoors within the shade of Cedar Mountain and start fleshing them out. I have one post already written and a partial one in my folder of fun, and as I go about my day-to-day activities, will probably jot down a few ideas that I have percolating on the back burner

As for this blog, while I have rediscovered my passion for blogging, I am still very leery of going back to a schedule. So to avoid putting undue stress on myself, especially since I've decide to slightly refocus my efforts with my writing (more on that much later in the program), I decided to borrow a page from everyone else out there who blogs and (sort of) blog on the fly.

If I got something that is ready to post, I'll post. If I don't, I won't stress about it.

I'm not quite sure what other changes I might make to this blog, content-wise, but you can be sure that I'll clue everyone in before I do it.

To liven up your Prince Spaghetti day, I leave you with a song that has been humming in the background of my mind while I was writing this post.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Is This The End?

A fourth of a score and some change ago, I started this little blog that you happen to be perusing today. Called Cedar's Mountain, it basically contained my witty and sometime acerbic observations about life, the real world and the cyber world.

For 1,047 posts, I managed to keep not only my readers, but myself entertained as well. Through the various peaks and valleys, and yes, even through the cyclical nature of people's tastes, attitudes and their lives, I tried to be that anchor of calm in an ocean of chaos.

This past week, after posting two throwaways (1048 & 1049) on my bog, I've come to the bitter realization that maybe it's time to ride off into the sunset.

I came to this realization not gradually, but rather suddenly, in that while I was supposedly procrastinating about writing a post about turntables & music, I was really procrastinating about having to write something for the blog.

Sometimes, after we do something that we love for an extended period of time, we wake up one day with a case of "WTF am I doing this for?"

In other words, we are nauseated by what we love to do.

My friends, after five and a quarter years of blogging, I am suddenly overwhelmed with a bad case of nausea. I look at my blog and say to myself, "What am I doing here?"

Previously, the answer would be, "You're here to write a blog post, so get to it."

Now, the answer is, "Damned if I know."

Granted, it's a bad answer to give yourself. It's also a bad answer to give everyone else who depends on you to fulfill their weekly dose of you.

But, as I'm want to say from time to time, there is more to this than meets the eye.

Burnout coupled with disillusionment can often cause people to make snap decisions that they later regret (guilty as charged). So my friends, I need to think long and hard about what I want to do versus what I need to do with this blog.

And because I need to think long and hard about my blogging future, I'm going on hiatus for short spell. You'll still be able to peruse my blogs, as not only do I detest closing a blog for any kind of reason (FSG notwithstanding), but I still intend to be a presence in the cyber world.

I'll still read and comment on your blogs, because quite frankly it's the perfect mental break for the day and/or evening.

Piltdown Man, Lovecraft and Tequila Sunrises for all.

I remain yours in perpetuity,


Friday, September 6, 2013

Ouchies 2!

Okay, so I'm a blithering idiot, which isn't too hard to understand or deal with on a regular basis. I still don't have anything written for my topic of choice (turntables/music) as I'm in my den with the door shut, with a lazy family member blasting the t.v. that is ultimately preventing me from stringing enough words together to form an interesting post.

I would say that you can still drive on by, 'cause you know, I don't have anything of substance (or subsistence for that matter) to give to you.

But....being that I got you here, how 'bout another video? This time, a Rube Goldberg style video.

 I promise that tomorrow, come hell or high water, you will have a post of substance to read that will feature a seldom talked about slice of myself: my taste in music.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Feel free to drive on by this post today, 'cause I have nothing written to share with you. Yesterday was a bit crazy so by the time I was able to sit down at my computer to write what my intended topic (turntable/LP's) of choice was, I couldn't come up with a single thought.

So that your visit isn't a total loss for today, how 'bout some good old fashioned funk to brighten your day?

Monday, September 2, 2013

Processing Random Thoughts


Got a few random thoughts that I would like to process today and what better way to waste several non-precious minutes of my life and yours by inflicting said random thoughts on the millions of brain cells that make up the gray matter that's situated in that bony case called a cranium that most of us, save the 700 odd people that make up the three branches of the federal guv't, possess.

Up last, we have the Facebook thought.

As most of you know, I can be found either privately or publicly on Facebook. In regards to the private, you can either friend me or follow me. As of late, I much prefer that people follow me. I don't really mind friend requests, but unless I personally know you (like current co-worker or former co-worker), chances are that you're better off following me. Why? For starters, I dig controlling my info and to a certain extent, you really can't do six degrees of G.B. Miller when you're a follower, as opposed to a friend. And for finishers, you can comment on what I post for status updates 'cause everything I post is for public consumption, and since everything is for public consumption, why gum everything up by becoming a friend?

Up second to last, we have the personal health thought.

As most of you know, I suffer from CMT (no, not Country Music Television, although I think a good chunk of "country" music fans do indeed suffer from that) and from time to time, it rears its ugly head and proceeds to make my life miserable. The past few weeks, it has indeed made my life miserable, mostly in a bum shoulder (again, although this is a preexisting condition) and the increasingly inability of me to either grab things on the fly, grab things in general and simply hold onto the things I grab.

By all means I am not looking for sympathy or a shoulder to cry on, but simply venting my frustration over my increasing inability to make my body do what my brain says it should do on the first try. I will say that most people do not offer their assistance when they see me having problems, which believe it or not, is refreshing. Strange I know, but as I've gotten older, I've grown to really hate the fact that certain people in my immediate circle want to treat me as an invalid.

Basically, to those people who probably don't read this blog, I would like to say this: If I need help, I will ask for it. Otherwise, don't treat me as a cripple.

Up third to last, we have the author thought.

Over the weekend, I decided to take advantage of a new thing that Smashwords had added to one's author profile: the author interview. The interview itself is a mixture of pre-asked questions and questions that I created myself, so let me know what you think of it and if you have any suggestions on what I can add to it, by all means let me know.

Up fourth to last, we have the book thought.

In regards to my free e-book promo for "Line 21" that was done the weekend of the August 25th & 26th, I gave away 170 copies. While that is considered to be in some circles a rousing success (a writer friend gave away 850 of her four books), I'm hoping in the coming weeks to capitalize on that by making my other writings known and/or available. Speaking of other writings, apparently my short story trilogy "Broken Promises" has 19 likes on Facebook, so that means I must be doing something right, eh?

Up fifth to last, we have the work thought.

Work is about the same. I put my eight hours in, I occasionally apply for other jobs, occasionally get an interview before continuing on my merry way. There are the occasional change, like co-workers leaving, but overall it's been pretty much the same old same old. However, I am getting a raise for the first time in three years, but that is already partially disappearing due to the concessions package that people were bullied into voting for in 2011. My raise is 3% but .5% is disappearing this fiscal year so that I can have health insurance when I retire (goes up to 2% in FY '14/'15 and 3% for FY '15/16 thru FY '22/'23) and .72% is permanently vanishing until I retire so that I can retire under the normal rules. And on a sadder note, a valued co-worker is leaving (I wrote about it here) Thursday, and she will be greatly missed.

Up six to last, we have the writing update thought.

I've been making very slow and incremental progress on my latest project, with the main reason being is that finding both the time and the peace & quiet that I need in order to write is becoming increasingly difficult. While I've been able to find the time, I can't find the peace & quiet, which is due to certain pain in the ass family member who shall remain nameless. So I've been forced to actually change a bit of my writing routine, which is listen to music while writing.

However, because of the genre in question I'm working on (crime), I can only listen to certain types of music. Through quick trial and error, ragtime, classic country and 60's folk are not allowed. Neither is soul, true r&b, flamenco, funk, classic pop and regular rock allowed as well.

Which narrows my choice down to the following: heavy metal/hard rock, true alternative rock and punk.

At the moment, on my turntable, which believe it or not is putting me into the proper frame of mind for writing, is the album which features this kick ass song.

I thank you.

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All the content that you see here, except for the posting of links that refer to other off-blog stories, is (c) 2008-17 by G.B. Miller. Nothing in whole or in part may be used without the express written permission of myself. If you wish to use any part of what you see here, please contact me at