I have just had a fantastic experience - writing a novel,(Just like) El Cid's Bloomers' about a fictional
Hull singer/songwriter around the songs of a real one, Joe Solo.
And it could be a global first - the first musical novel to be designed specifically for an e-book format.
It doesn't really matter whether it is or isn't, but it is always fun to be the first to do something.
For Joe, there were some serious potential downsides to the project. He could end up having his private
life associated with that of the rather unfortunate hero Jake Pembleton, plus he could have agreed to give away 19 of his songs to no purpose.
For me, as a big fan of Joe Solo's music (I have all his published work since he stepped out on his
own eight years ago but I never got into his old punk rock band Lithium Joe, though) the biggest risk was that listening to specific tracks many times in order to write the book, I would end up allergic to them and that my eyes would itch wildly and I would start to sneeze heavily at the mere mention of the word 'solo'.
Well, I lucked out. Far from tiring of his music, I am now totally devoted to every note and every word of the tracks I used in the book.
People often say about singer-songwriters 'Their music grows on you' and in Joe's case it is more true than usual.
When I first heard a Joe Solo album I thought 'Don't quite get this, but it does have something'.
Being a persistent sort of guy, I listened to that CD over and over again until certain tracks popped out,
Hemingway in particular, if memory serves, and Parking On The Dead.
A few more listens and I no longer had a favourites list and that is where I still am. Joe's music keeps growing on me.
I think it is something to do with the fact that his arrangements are so spare that there is nothing cloying or
phony about them.
He also writes tremendous lyrics. When you are writing a novel quoting song lyrics extensively, those lyrics
have to have something of a literary quality otherwise they are going to get in the way rather than move things along.
Joe's lyrics tell stories.
Take a single example; St. Martin's Square. It is the story of a couple of school kids who hang out together on a bench well away from the prying eyes of the school bullies. She decides she wants to go away to college. He isn't going anywhere except to a local factory job.
She leaves but wants to keep in touch. He is convinced that he is no longer good enough for her, and that she will find herself surrounded by much more interesting people at college, so he never replies.
Articles - Birth and Death in Ten Minutes: A Miracle in Room 11 By Ruth
'Doctor, they have an emergency in Room 11.'
'Ok, I'm coming.'
I put the phone down and exited the oppressive call room, where as the scheduled 'doc-in-the-box' on duty, I was busy frittering away 24 hours of my life.
My 11-year-old-son had state exams the next day, and I hoped my 17-year-old daughter would make sure he studied. I knew they would probably watch TV and eat microwave food on the sofa instead.
Articles - The Cosmic Mayfly By David Sloan
From deep under the oceans, far from any sunlight, to high up in spewing volcanoes, life forms have been found on our planet. Even deep in the arctic ice, life forms have been found to exist.
For life is tenacious, if it can exist it will exist, this is the way of nature. Soon, yes very soon, I'm sure we will find life forms on other planets in our solar system. Indeed I'd be very surprised if the whole universe were not teaming with some form of primeval life or another.
Articles - You Scare Me By Alex
'You scare me'
Having that said to you, just once, is one time too many. Why? Why was this person scared of me? Drunken rage? Membership in the BNP? A predilection for bumming puppies? Nope, none of those (admittedly scary) things.
I had done nothing but acquire a label; 'Psychotic'.
So what do people understand by that? Usually it's some media inspired portrayal of a reality avoiding, maniac
with a large blade. The reality is both fairer and fouler than the common perception.
No, psychotics are not automatically or overwhelmingly prone to violence or abuse.
Articles - Channel 4 Students and Friday Night Stars By Phil Prethero
2007, The One Stop 24 Hour Shop, High Street, Lincoln
It's Saturday, it's 7 in the morning, and I'm at work, hung over, stood here like a trampled on torn up tampon - of use to absolutely nobody.
Why the fuck I agreed to these shifts is beyond me, normal people at the age of 21 and in their last year of uni are in bed at this time, they'll get up at about 11,
Articles - Can You Help? Hull Clubs in the Sixties Keith Fairhurst
I wonder if you can help me. I am searching for the name of a 1965 Hull beat club.
The club was at the end of a passageway between two buildings off a one-way street in the centre of the city. It had a small opening/courtyard in front of the main entrance. The passageway was on the right hand side as you travelled down the street.
I believe it was called The Black Cat Club or Kontiki ClubRead more...
Articles - The Interview: The Four Ps - Plan, Prepare, Participate and Be Positive.By Mike Kemp, CV Satisfaction
As individuals who are looking to find employment the interview proves to be the
most daunting task.
But this doesn't have to be the case using the four P's system:
Plan, Prepare, Participate and Be Positive.
This is a system that was devised by CV Satisfaction which covers all areas
of the interview from the beginning to the end. Let's look at each one individually.
Articles - Apple iPod Touch; The iPhone Without the Phone Reviewed by Mo
Ok so first of all I'm over 50, with a pretty crap social life and like most of my generation, mobile phones reside in a blind spot of my brain. The fiddly keys, address books and ridiculous lose-ablity of the device help to keep it there.
Last time I called my (£15 pay as you go from Woolies) mobile in an attempt to find it, it was answered by a lovely police officer lady at the Reading Station's lost and found.
Articles - Jody McKenna and The Secret Millionaire (show to be aired Sunday 26th April 09 Channel 4) By Michelle Dee
Champagne Lifestyle on a Lemonade Budget was the title of singer/songwriters
and Dave Saxby latterly of The Peasants debut album
Jody could be forgiven for thinking those dreams of grandeur and prosperity had
finally been realised when Channel 4's Secret Millionaire presented him with
a cheque for twenty grand.
Articles - I Got Married By Ruth
I got married (my one and only time) in 1981. It was November and I was a college student in West Texas. My husband to be was five years older than I. He was very rugged/handsome, and a former football player in a land where football is king.
In fairness, this tale should be told with a Greek Chorus (you know, those people with white robes that say stuff like, 'Don't eat that, it's poison!' or
Articles - National Recognition for thisisUll.com - Fringe Report Awards 2009 By Cilla Photographs by Carl Schofield and Mo.
Monday 9th February 2009 was a landmark date for thisisUll.com and all
its contributors. On your behalf, I had the honour of accepting the
Fringe Report 2009 award for Best Publication.
Fringe Report, under the guidance and leadership of its editor
John Park is based in London. It reviews and supports fringe theatre,
arts, independent and arthouse film, dance, performance,
Articles - What The Doctor Did Next By James Marsters
So, we all know by now that The Eleventh Doctor will be played by none other than
household name Matt Smith. Okay, okay, so maybe he's not a household name now but
what will the future hold for the 26-year old once he has hung up his sonic
screwdriver and given back the keys to the TARDIS? Judging by the other ten
actors to have played the Time Lord, it's anyone's guess.
Articles - If Hull Were Gaza, 3rd January 2009 By Martin Deane
If Hull were Gaza there would be some 384 casualties of family and friends, with about 64 dead.
These are spread across the city killed or wounded by bombs dropped or missiles fired from state-of-the-art F-16 fighter jets. (These jets, by the way, regularly overfly the city at supersonic speeds making a frightening boom through the sound barrier.
Articles - Dear Diary By Ruth
It is New Years Day 2009. I just left my hospital, the same one I trained in 18 years ago. I've only changed the names of those I like. Everyone else can screw off.
I had a lovely weekend on call. Here's a taste of my time as an intern rotating on general surgery.
The patient was a 14-year-old Hispanic female.
Articles - Last of 2008 - The Story of www.thisisUll.com By Cilla Wykes, Editor
Well it's that time of year again; time to look back, forward and then try to get the present into focus. Instead of writing a review of 2008, I'm publishing my personal history of thisisUll.com, telling my story of the 5 years we've been here ...
Throughout my life the kitchen table has been a place of immense significance.
The hub of what's going on in everybody's life. It's where problems are pondered