I was listening to music on my iPod this morning while also doing chores and housecleaning, and I found myself following many different streams of thought triggered by the different songs one after the other (I had the iPod set to shuffle). It occurred to me that doing this intentionally from time to time while also writing about whatever came to mind triggered by the music might be an entertaining experiment.
I was toying with the idea when the song, Lou Reed – Satellite Of Love, came on. And what was triggered in my mind was a memory, not related to this particular song, but related to another song by Lou Reed. I remembered stopping by the place where my friend Finley worked years ago in Warrenton. I forget exactly what the place was called, but the gist of it was that it was a convenience store that you drove up to and the cashier came to the door and took your order and then got what you wanted. You didn’t have to get out of the car, although you could walk up too.
Anyway, in my memory I was just hanging out there and drinking a soda and the song, Lou Reed – Walk On The Wild Side, came on. I don’t have any idea why this memory sticks in my head. It wasn’t the first time I ever heard that song, but for whatever reason I just remember being in that place and hearing that song on the radio.
So there I was this morning, listening to Satellite of Love and thinking about Walk on the Wild Side and recalling that memory, when what should come on next but Walk on the Wild Side. Now, I don’t know what the odds are of that—I’ve got over 600 songs on my ipod at this moment, so I guess the odds are somewhere in the range of 1 in 600 when the iPod is set on shuffle, which it was.
I’ve decided to take this as a sign that I should do what I was thinking about and write and let the music lead the flow. Right now this isn’t a true example of it, but I thought I’d recount the origins of the idea, and I expect I’ll try and do a true instance of it in the very near future.
But right now I’m going to watch some more of this football game. Panthers are up 14 to 3 over Green Bay at the moment.
Damn, Rickrolled by the Thanksgiving Day Parade!
Sometimes you forget just how bizarre the Thanksgiving Day Parade can be.
We’ve been watching it some this morning. I don’t think I’ve paid much attention to it the past few years, but it is kind of fascinating me today.
Fragile Things, by Neil Gaiman, recreated for me the spirit of enjoyment I used to get years ago when I was growing up and reading the short story collections of Ray Bradbury. I don’t think it is quite as consistent as the Bradbury collections were, but there was still a sense of excitement at the end of every story as I wondered what the next one might bring.
Not everything in the book is actually a short story. Some of the entries are poems, and some are random paragraphs that without reading the introduction you might wonder what was going on. But even those have an entertaining and imaginative quality. One of the entries is actually a supplement for a musical album by Tori Amos where each section corresponds to a song on the album, and another is a companion piece for one of her tours.
I mentioned the introduction above. I think one of the cool things about the book is that for each story or entry he has included a little commentary within his introduction explaining the circumstances by which he came to write that particular piece. Whether it was by invitation from a publisher or fellow writer, or something from his personal history, or to accompany a piece of music. But the added information was enlightening and in some cases cast one of the entries in a new light. I took the approach of reading the stories first, and as I would finish one I would jump back to the introduction and find the page discussing it.
I think my favorites from the collection are October in the Chair, The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch, Goliath, and A Study in Emerald. The first one is kind of a traditional spooky story. The second and third both begin with what seems like a real and normal world, but then events occur to reveal something else going on; either an entirely different reality, or a glimpse into another unexpected reality. The last one is a re-imagining of a Sherlock Holmes like story with a twist.
All in all, not a perfect collection, but still very entertaining for me personally, especially in the way that it recaptured memories of reading from my youth. Also, it is the kind of collection that inspires me, makes me want to keep trying to write creatively myself.
You may remember from previous posts that by a preponderance of votes it was decided that I would read a book entitled Fragile Things, which is a collection of short fiction. Well, I have successfully completed the entire book with the exception of the final story, which isn’t exactly a short story; in fact it is a novella set in the universe of one of the author’s other books—a novel called American Gods. This leaves me in a bit of a quandary as I’m a little bit uncomfortable at the idea of reading the novella before reading the novel.
So, I’ve decided to set aside Fragile Things for the time being until I have read American Gods. But first, I have to read Into the Wild. I promised to read that after Fragile Things. In short, it’s looking like I’m going to have a couple books up in the air. Nothing wrong with that.
Also, I said recently that I would be removing my Library page on the blog since I shifted over to Goodreads; I may have to rethink that removal. I hadn’t really thought through some of the links already in place in prior posts that I might break if I remove the Now Reading plugin altogether. I’ve got something to think about there; either I just accept some broken links, or I’ve got to go back and find and redirect them. That could be tedious. I don’t know just yet, but I think it means the Library will stay where it is for a while longer yet.
I’m back from my Sunday morning bicycle ride. I did 24 miles this morning, with an average speed not worth mentioning. But that’s what happens, I guess, when you haven’t been on the bike for 3 weeks.
Also, it was really quite windy, and I find that usually, even though I have a tailwind for part of the ride, I can’t make up the speed during the tailwind portion that I lose during the headwind.
Still, it was a pretty morning; crisp and clear, chilly but not icy. There was no frost on the ground, but I was definitely glad for my gloves and jacket.
I can’t think of anything of particular note from this ride, other than the amusement I always feel when riding past a field of cows or horses and they stop eating and watch me ride past. Yes, that does happen. I usually try to to greet them when they do this, “Morning, Cow! Morning, Horse!” And then I just keep going.