Music of the Soul, Part 1

I love music, so I want to share some of the songs I adore with all of you.

Cold and Broken

I first heard this song as a closing number of “Criminal Minds” and one other TV show (I forget which), and the two verses played were so different from each other that I had to get the song to see. Where the song starts and where it ends are radically different. Written by Leonard Cohen, I like the Jeff Buckley version, although I’ve heard many renditions and liked them all. Also, I found that the “official” lyrics are not the same as what Cohen performed in concert (

As has happened many times over the years, with one song or another, this song inspired some of the magic and sexual interactions in The Dreaming King Saga.  You’ve probably heard it, but listen again:

Never Retreat

Here’s another one that inspired the Dreaming King Saga.  In this case, it was the impetus of Kala Klasdotter. It’s rather amazing journey from where she starts to where she ends up. In a very real sense, Kala becomes a superhero by the end. She does things I could not conceive of at the beginning, especially all that happened after she became a holy warrior.

So here is the Boss, live, since he’s so amazing in concert.

The Brass Ring

This another old one–then again most of what I listen to is old.  That’s what comes from being an old fart. This one started with misinterpreting the lyrics. “I’ll be wrapped around your finger” could be “I’ll be brass around your finger.” Although, to be fair, there is a ring in the song.

In this instance, I envisioned a story based on the brass ring. Then I had a dream, a really strange one, which became another story about a boy and a girl, both wizards, who are kept apart. Then I thought of a third story about a wizard who could not do the one thing he want to do: die. Later, it occurred to me that these were episodes–volumes, really–in the same story. In the working out of the story, the magic changed.  Now it’s what I call scientific magic. Every action has a reaction. You put energy into a spell and get energy out. What you put in affects what you can get out.

Don’t you wish you could go buy this series? Unfortunately, I’ve only written half of the first book. Oh, well.  I guess you’ll have to wait.

My Favorite Christmas Songs

The The Conventional

In many ways, good story telling is more about how than what. My brothers tells the story of an anime series where the first episode is arriving at a new dorm or some such and choosing a room. The second episode, they go into to town and go shopping–and it’s riveting.  This song adds a humanity that resonates.

The Unconventional

Then there’s this Christmas song that I listen to all year long. It’s heartbreaking and bleak. The pathos is almost unbearable, especially if you are a parent. Again, the storytelling is riveting. You have never heard a Christmas song like this before.  (By the way, I rather despise the graphics they put with this.)

Another song…