Archive for February, 2014

On blogging: how to increase hits by a factor of ten

February 18, 2014 12 comments

Apparently I stumbled across a little known secret for increasing blog traffic. What is it? It seems one just has to tag their post with Adam Lambert 🙂

My last post about Adam Lambert’s song Mad World went ballistic. Unfortunately, I only got a couple of extra comments and no follows. However, considering they were all stopping by to read what some writer guy had to say about one of their favorite artists, that makes sense.

Perhaps I should tag my next post with Stephen King? Naah. Can’t be that easy.


Melancholy Monday: sad songs (Mad World)

February 17, 2014 26 comments

The first time I heard this song was when it was sung by a young man by the name of Adam Lambert on American Idol. He modeled his performance, which was mesmerizing, on a version of the song as done by Gary Jules for the movie Donnie Darko. Both Lambert’s and Jules’ versions of the song, though, differ dramatically from the original, which was written and performed by Tears For Fears. Personally, I dislike the original version because of what I feel is a disconnect between the mood evoked by the lyrics, which is somber, versus how the tune itself was sung and played, the latter being upbeat. I think the jarring nature of that difference was probably intentional, but to me it didn’t work.

Lambert’s (like Jules) version of the song is slow, dark, and moody, and in my opinion the lyrics and the music blend perfectly to create an overwhelming sense of despair and loneliness. How could this not be the case with lyrics such as this:

And I find it kinda funny
I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I’m dying
Are the best I’ve ever had

You can listen to the song here:

To watch the original performance on American Idol, you can watch this video. A testament to how good it was, you’ll see Simon Cowell (my favorite judge) give one of only a few standing ovations he ever felt were deserved. Skip forward 45 seconds to see just the performance.

And finally, if you find yourself with time on your hands and an interest in seeing where this song really came from, here’s the original video as performed by Tears for Fears

Anyone prefer the original version over the new one? If so, why?


On writing: the inevitability of procrastination

February 16, 2014 13 comments

Though the latter part of the article below devolves into a discussion of millennials and so-called Trophy Kids, it is actually a good read on the subject of writers and procrastination and some of the whys behind it all.

We writers procrastinate, don’t we?


Melancholy Monday: sad songs

February 10, 2014 16 comments

When I first heard this song, I wept. Even today as I sat in my office and listened to it once more before pressing “Publish”, my eyes welled up and I found myself holding back the tears.


Ben Folds’ pensive tune, Still Fighting It, is all about a man recognizing what it means and how it feels to be the father of a young boy who will, all too quickly, grow up. As it happens, Ben did, in fact, write this wonderfully reflective song for his son, so the emotions you hear and feel are all real. And though he did write it for his son, I think it applies universally to anyone who is a parent. My favorite line, and the most poignant, is this all to true observation:

And you’re so much like me I’m sorry