Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Musical Shopping List

As promised, here is the list of Cd's I picked up during my latest shopping spree.

From CD Baby (cdbaby.com):
Chris Poland: Return to Metropolis Live
Elias Viljanen: Leadstar (Guitarist from Sonata Arctica)
Mysteria: Out of the Blue EP
Perpetual Fire: Endless World
Streif: Nordic Winter
Tsuumi Sound System: Hotas


From Amazon:
Sonata Arctica: Takatalvi (Contains interesting version of "Still Loving You" by the Scorpions and Metallica's "Fade to Black")
Korpiklaani: Tervaskanto
Gary Moore: Wild Frontier

It's an interesting list. I enjoy listening to music I might not normally buy. I like the experimentation of diving into a band I may not be completely aware of or have only heard snip its of music. That's how it was with Korpikaani (from Finland). I heard a snip it of music and decided I wanted to check them out more. With Gary Moore, he has such a reputation for his guitar work and of course you all know me. I'm a sucker for guitar players so I had to check this album out.

Speaking of guitar players, I discovered a blues/rocker yesterday by the name of Walter Trout. I had never heard of him before but thanks to Internet radio I heard one of his songs on Planet Rock out of London. They play a really REALLY good mix of classic rock music. Better than any station around here. So I've done a bit of checking around on this Walter Trout guy and will be purchasing a CD of his shortly. I'm not familiar with the blues/rock genre of music very much and even a friend of mine who is, didn't know who Walter Trout was.

That's how I am with music I stumble upon stuff by accident. Some times those accidental discoveries lead to the best musical gems.

Rock On!

Happy Holidays to all my fellow Droogies and Lepp fans out there.

-Maynard

Friday, November 23, 2007

November Update

Hi Everyone,

This month has been a busy one for me.

A friend of mine is getting married this weekend and I designed the place cards for her reception. It took me about three days to make 100 place cards and that includes me writing each name in calligraphy. It was a lot of work but I enjoyed doing it for her as its such a personal touch.

I'm deep into National Novel Writing Month right now. I'm six-thousand words away from 50,000 words and I have a zillion sub-plots I need to tie up but I'm not worried. To all my fellow NaNoWriMo writers out there, keep chugging away we've got one week left!

While my attention has been diverted elsewhere I did manage to read up on Dave Mustaine coming out with his own brand of coffee. All I could think of was the band KISS. For those of you unaware, KISS put their name on just about EVERYTHING! Believe it or not you can actually get a KISS casket. Anyway, I thought it was funny and yet cool for Dave Mustaine to come out with a brand of coffee. The proceeds go to charity and the coffee itself is free trade so it benefits the farmers who harvest the beans. Which I think is a really good thing. Now before one of you asks me, no I will not be purchasing Dave's coffee as I don't drink coffee. I can think of a couple of friends who drink coffee but they have no idea about Megadeth. Then again they make me listen to music that I would use as coasters on my coffee table. (I kid.)

Speaking of music, I haven't been drowning myself in it like I normally do. Yes, I did pick up the greatest hits of Bing Crosby and a Motorhead compliation recently but that's about it. Quite honestly I wish you all had been with me when I bought the CD's because I also happened to have the latest issue of Metal Hammer in my hand as well. The look on the clerks face was priceless. Which reminds me of a time when I was in my twenties and buying music a lot more than I am now. Anyway to make a long story short, the clerk actually asked me if one of the CD's in my pile was a mistake. The pile of CD's contained the following artisits: Harry Connick Jr., Reba McEntire, Shania Twain and Metallica. I kid you not. Part of me gets a good laugh out of watching store clerk's look at my choice of music. Keeps them guessing.

Over the past week I discovered a website that connects me to streaming live radio stations around the world so I've been bouncing back and forth between a metal station in Finland, a classical/pop station in The Netherlands and an all news channel out of Ireland. While that has been keeping me occupied I did manage to go back to my account at Pandora and played around with it. I was able to listen to some new music there and saved a rather long list of bands I want to delve into further. From Pandora I went back to CD Baby where you can find a lot of independent music or artists who distribute music themselves as they're not on a major label. That's how I picked up CD's by Clock and PJ Smith. I managed to find some really cool sounding Finnish, Norwegian and Swedish prog/metal bands plus a rare find - a Chris Poland CD. (For those of you not up on your history of Megadeth, Chris Poland was part of the original line-up.)
I was bad and bought six CD's. I admit it, I'm a whore when it comes to music especially when I tell you I went to Amazon.com and purchased some more.

Don't worry folks I will share my shopping list with all of you at some point.

Anyway, I best be going. Hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Take care!
-Maynard

Saturday, November 3, 2007

I'm International

Hi Everyone,

I hope all of you are doing well. October Rain is currently spinning around the world. I just recently found my book listed on websites in Canada, Italy, United Kingdom and Norway! I don't know how to read Norwegian but I was able to navigate around the website pretty well. I thought it was pretty cool to see my book being sold in Norway! Norwegian isn't one of the languages I wanted to learn but who knows maybe I should give it a shot!

I used to read and speak Spanish fairly well but I can’t anymore. I suppose if I took a class or listening to those language tapes it might come back. I’d really like to learn Irish or Gaelic. I’ve been at some websites that have word pronunciations. I really enjoy listening to the words. I suppose learning Gaelic or Irish might help me understand the Celtic music CD’s I have. The music is beautiful but I haven’t a clue what they’re singing about.

Speaking of music if one were to venture to my list page, you’ll notice that I listen to an interesting selection of music. Honestly, you’re only seeing a segment of it. I’m listening to music all the time. It’s a constant in my life. I do listening to Celtic music, some classical, classic rock, prog, hard rock, glam, thrash, symphonic/power metal, country, pop, rock. I think it throws people off to know that I listen to thrash. Honestly, I don’t listen to a lot of it right now I’m rediscovering the bands I grew up with at the moment. Some of them don’t exist anymore but I’m glad Megadeth is still kicking around.

I like some of the music I’ve been hearing coming out of Finland and the Netherlands. I’m trying to find some other hard rock/prog/metal bands from that area of the world. I think it’s because there is an appreciation for classical music and then adding those elements into what we know as heavy metal and all of its various genres. There is a definite music appreciation distinction between Europe and the United States. Sometimes I wish I lived in Europe just because the music seems to be better there.

I’m not a fan of Death Metal. I’ve tried to listen to it and some of the music is great but then the lead singer chimes in and ruins it by growling, screeching or screaming. It’s a major musical turn off for me. I didn’t like Death Metal when I was younger either. As I say, the music is good but only if they gag the lead singer! To each his own it’s just not for me.

If any of you have artists that I should give a listen to let me know. My ears are always seeking out new tunes.


-Maynard

Friday, October 12, 2007

Book Update

Hi Everyone!

The book has been out for two weeks and while I didn't plan on some big marketing campaign and settled for word-of-mouth, there seems to be a bit of a buzz.

I keep reading the book and wanting to rewrite sections or wish I had expanded in places for clarity. Then again if I continually re-wrote everything it would never have been published! A constant work in progress! I guess that's why writer's create a book series. Not that I'm planning on one but the thought has crossed my mind.

I did have to remind myself that I do have this blog to share with all of you and I'm sure as you are reading along you have questions. Honestly, drop me a line. I'm sure you won't be the only one thinking the same thing and wanting to know an answer.

If you were to ask me what sections I would like to expand on I would simply say - two. There are two sections that I feel I didn't explain enough. One of the two sections is actually chapter eight. It's not that I think I wrote it bad, I just think I should have explained things a bit more. Really clarified the "reminder about my heritage" part.

As for sections I wish to re-write, bits and pieces here and there. Honestly, I'm happy with the book. I'm happy just to have done something like this. I had a wonderful group of friends support me along the way and the reassurance from a couple of people that this was the right thing to do. It was always the right thing to do for me but sharing it with the world is a different story. My book is out in the universe now and it will fall into the hands of the people who need it. That's how I look at it.

That's it from my end. Hope all of you are doing well. Stay Safe.

-Maynard

Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Book is HERE!

Hi Everyone!

My book officially comes out on Monday but there are a few around me who just couldn't wait. So I have made the book available to purchase two days ahead of schedule. Aren't I nice?

I welcome your comments and questions about the book. Is there something in the book you want to know more about or like clarification, just send me your question and I'll try to answer it here or respond by email. This is a very personal book and I don't expect all of you to like it but I do hope you walk away with something from it.

Be good to each other out there and remember to take care of yourself. It's okay to say "no" to going out with friends if it means taking care of yourself. You matter. Don't forget that.

Safe Journeys
- Maynard

Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Countdown is On!

Hello All.

My book will be released in nine days and I'm a nervous wreck. I'm excited that it is finally happening but at the same time very nervous. This is my first published book and as most writers will tell you, we're our own worst critic. My mind is still writing this book.

A few people have asked if my book will be available through Amazon.com. The answer is yes but not until 2008. The wonderful folks at Lulu.com will have the book available to order starting October 1st. I'll have a link and full details posted on how to purchase the book in a few days.

I have been busily working on the final details so I apologize for not having more updates. If you have any questions or just general comments, drop me a line. I would love to hear from you.

- Maynard

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Reflections

It is that reflective time of year for me. A time when I feel like I'm getting ready to hibernate for the winter. During the fall I take time to acknowledge those who mean so much to me. I light a candle in their honor. A celebration of past friends, current ones and ones I have yet to meet.
In some aspects, I mourn in the fall. Mourning the loss of my good friend Michael (more is said about him in my book) which is actually more of a celebration. I miss him but I also celebrate his life. I celebrate my own as well. I am ever thankful for the people who helped keep me alive, whether they are aware of helping me or not.

This is where my deep appreciation for the late Steve Clark (Def Leppard) comes to full life. My appreciation comes alive for Dave Mustaine (Megadeth) too. My connection to Steve Clark and Dave Mustaine is livelier; it's heightened to an extent during the fall. While I may be in a reflective mind frame, mourning a life I no longer lead, I find a way to celebrate the one I have now. Perhaps, like everything else I am mourning them in a way. I am mourning something in myself really. They are reflections and reminders of a life I care not to live again but fully accept will always be a part of me. Their hardships and vulnerabilities gave me strength to fight for my life. A life I sometimes didn't think I deserved to have. I realize that what I am saying may make no sense to you.

I'll try however to explain a bit more of what I mean. I believe that we are drawn to people for a reason. Not just people we know but strangers too. There is something in them that speaks to us. Something we recognize. Sometimes what we recognize is ourselves in them. This is why Steve Clark and Dave Mustaine speak to me. When I hear either one play their guitar, I acknowledge something in myself. Both men have a gift for making their guitar "sing" which speaks to me on a much deeper level. Looking at pictures of them reminds me of where I am now and how much their own troubled journeys have given me strength. The music that each has created speaks to me in ways that words cannot. That is the beauty of music. We all understand it in some form. A lot of what I'm saying will make more sense when my book comes out October 1st.

Before I go, I hope all of you take the time to light a candle of thanks for everyone that is special to you.

- Maynard

P.S. - The countdown is on! Only 24 days until my book is out.

Friday, August 31, 2007

E-Mail Notification & NaNoWriMo

I told all of you I would set up an e-mail notification box and so I have. It's a bit caveman like but it's there and working. I will admit that I am clueless when it comes to designing a website. Don't expect bells and whistles on this website folks. :-)

I am enjoying my first day of vacation off from my daytime job. Free of the daily grind of sitting behind a computer screen. This free time will allow me to get my thoughts together on upcoming ideas for possible future books. I am gearing up for National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org) which takes place in November. I recommend everyone try it at least once. It's challenging to write 50,000 words in thirty days but it is fun to get your brain working that way. Just letting things spill out onto a page or in some cases a computer screen. October Rain was actually born from last year's NaNoWriMo challenge. It begins November 1st so there is plenty of time to think about it.

Hope all of you are enjoying your day.
- Maynard

Thursday, August 30, 2007

October Rain Release Date

Hi Everyone!

It's official everyone, the release date for my book is October 1, 2007.

I hope to have an e-mail reminder box up soon so that you can enter your e-mail address and be notified when the book is available. Until that happens, you can e-mail me directly that you want a reminder notification e-mail.

I am nervous and excited. A writer is their own worst critic and I have definitely made myself go crazy about this book. There are pages where I feel I could have explained more or didn't do someone enough justice in explaining a relationship to them. Thankfully, I have this blog to explain such things when the book comes out!

I have a good group of friends who are lending me support as the release date looms closer. Someone asked me if I hope to make a lot of money with my book. I chuckled. The purpose of the book was to (1) see if I could write a book and (2) tell my story. I think there is a lot of good in my story and I know that it is a story that needs to be told. If reading my book helps someone out, then I know I did my job right. I just want people to read my book and walk away with something. Anything. Whether it's sadness, joy, understanding, enlightenment, whatever it may be. If my book can resonate with someone, than I know that this project was well worth the hard work I put into it.

Safe journeys to you all.
-Maynard

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Good Vibes

Greetings All,

The proof copy is in my hands and I'm diligently looking over everything before giving the okay to publish. The book will be ready in September but won't be released until October to time with a very special anniversary. (It's all in the book!)

I would like to extend a 'hello' to a few folks at the Def Leppard forums for their excitement and encouraging words regarding my book. I was such a bad person revealing my book has a chapter about Steve Clark but I couldn't help myself. Steve Clark was an amazing guitar player. It's so nice to speak to others who have been touched by him in some way. However, I shall remain quiet about what else is in my book so as not to spoil anything.

I'd also like to say 'hello' to a couple of "Droogies" from the Megadeth forums for their words as well. Not to mention their offbeat sense of humor. You guys are awesome.

I bid you all a good night and safe journeys.

-Maynard

Friday, August 17, 2007

Getting Closer!

The proof copy of my book will be in my hands sometime next week. I can't wait. Things are moving nicely at this point and everything is on track for my October release. I am really looking forward to having the proof copy in my hands and going through it. This is my first book and I'm nervous and excited all at the same time. Eleven months of work will finally pay off.

Ideas for books two and three are in my head and on paper. Part of me is leaning towards one more than the other but I'll write both and see where things lead. One may inspire me more than the other one. I also have an idea floating around having to do with my love of music but I'll keep that to myself for the time being.

Take care everyone.

-Maynard

Friday, August 10, 2007

Book Update

Surprises do arrive when you least expect them. I am happy to say that the format and layout of the book and my covers are. . .DONE!

Now I just have to get my ISBN number and look over a proof copy before making the book available. I can't wait. I'm really excited about this. When the book is released it will be just shy of a year of when I began writing it.

I started writing my book in November 2006 as part of National Novel Writing Month (www.nanowrimo.org). If you are unfamiliar with NaNoWriMo, please check them out. It's demanding and yet fun to try and write 50,000 words in 30 days. I've done it two years in a row and have the best time. I normally get stuck around the 30,000 mark and then the creativity just starts to flow again.

What I worked so hard on is about to be published. I will finally be able to say I published a book. This is just the beginning and more books are on the way. I'm actually gathering information and outlining book two as I write this.

Once again, if you have questions for me, drop me a line.

Night.

Friday, August 3, 2007

Progress On The Book

Hit a bit of a snag with the book. Sadly, there is a three week delay in getting the format done. Thankfully, I had put enough extra time into my schedule that I should still be able to meet the October 14th release date. Keep your fingers crossed.

I recently saw a movie that I absolutely loved - The Curse of the Golden Flower. The cinematography was incredible. The colors so vivid. The Chinese really know how to make a movie. I wish American film companies would do such things. The movie had lots of plot twists and even til the very end the twists were going on. I highly recommend this movie. Speaking of movies to see, I also recommend the James Dean classic - Rebel Without A Cause. It is a timeless classic. I've watched it numerous times and never tire of it.

Once again, if you have questions for me or just wish to drop me a line, click the Contact Me link.

- Maynard

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Welcome!

Hi Everyone.

Welcome to my website and blog. Things are still under a bit of construction but I'm looking forward to the release of my first book. If you have any questions, feel free to drop me a line.

Love to hear from all of you.