Happier, Forgotten. A Playlist In Progress for a Work in Progress about a Life in Progress

It’s November, and I’ve decided to dive in and do NaNoWriMo again this year. I failed last year (but that book will still be finished and released – it’s just on hold!). But this month I’m working on a brand new book. It’s called ‘Happier, Forgotten’ and it’s gonna be depressing as hell. Kind of like if Morrissey and The Cure had a baby and that baby was a book. I hinted at it a while back, but never got around to writing it. But it’s been back there in…

Music I’ve Been Writing to Lately

If you’ve been following me on social media, you’ve probably seen me posting a lot of updates recently about all the progress I’m making on my next novel, ‘The Unfortunate Expiration of One Mr. David S. Sparks.’ The goal is to have this first draft done by the end of October, so I’ve been cranking through the rough draft and putting down a lot of words to meet my self-imposed deadline. As I’ve mentioned before, I do a lot of my writing to music. It helps me to set the…

The Excitement of a New Story Idea

As a writer, one of my biggest challenges is keeping my thoughts straight – and determining what story idea works, and which ones don’t. Like most writers, I keep a notebook (or several notebooks) on me, jotting down ideas that come before they have a chance to go. Whether it be in the middle of the night, after a drive (I try not to ever take notes while I’m driving), or smack-dab in the middle of a conversation, putting these thoughts down on paper holds them in permanence so that they…

The Best Album of 2010

2010 was an interesting year for me, music-wise. For the most part, a lot of my favorite albums were things from years past – not anything new.  I dug way into 70’s-era Beach Boys, discovered the beautiful Dennis Wilson solo album, Pacific Ocean Blue, finally realized that The Doors really are as amazing as everyone has said they are for the past few decades and rediscovered the beauty of vinyl records. Throughout the year though, there were also a lot of great new releases. In particular, albums like Sleigh Bells’…

Jaron Lanier’s Right: The Web Needs Some Scarcity

If you’ve been paying any attention to my recent Twitter updates, you can probably tell from my constant updates that I’m really digging reading You Are Not a Gadget, by Jaron Lanier. I’m a little over halfway through, but so far it’s an excellent look at how Web 2.0 and open/free culture are not only damaging our society, but destroying our importance as individual human beings.  It reminds me a bit of Andrew Keen’s Cult of the Amateur, and whether or not you agree with the premise, I strongly recommend…

My New Book: “Starving the Artist” Is Now Available

If you’ve been following my updates here or on Twitter, you are likely aware that over the last nine months or so I’ve been working on a new, nonfiction book, discussing the value of creative works.  The book, Starving the Artist, focuses on how in today’s Internet age where information can be transferred for a negligible amount of money (basically for free), the underlying creation that makes up the music, movies, books, art and other types of media that we enjoy, is being viewed as something that should be free…

People Are Probably Going to Steal Your Stuff Online

If you’re a creator (artist, musician, author, etc.), publisher, copyright holder or anyone else who deals in intellectual property, there’s one basic rule about the Internet that you should pay attention to: People Are Probably Going to Steal Your Stuff Online. It’s been over a decade since Napster first launched, and although there have been steps forward in policing of intellectual property, new distribution deals and other major changes to the Internet, the fact remains that people steal a lot of stuff online.  Some may argue that sharing files or…

Joel Tennenbaum and Jammie Thomas-Rasset Were Not Fined for Downloading Music

With the news about the recent decisions in both the Joel Tennenbaum case and the Jammie Thomas Rasset case, there has been a lot of uninformed complaining going on. The biggest error among the misinformed is this: they think people were fined for downloading music. They weren’t. In most articles you’ll read online, the act of downloading is the focus, like this one over at Gizmodo.  I understand that a lot of people online like to steal music, and that they’re upset that some people got in trouble for it…