A.J. Walker

writerer

New Songs, New People

Open Mic again last night, so of course I was there again. Ollie arrived later so I went up first to be followed by Matt Author.Com. There was another poetry performance, which was funny. And a couple of the excellent regulars as well as a couple of Open Mic virgins.


OpenMicAgain

Started and ended with a few of my usuals, which sandwiched in a few new ones for me from the Waterboys and Green on Red.

Set list:

  • Somewhere Down the Road
  • Heart Breaks Like the Dawn
  • Strange Boat
  • A Man is in Love
  • Shed a Tear (for the Lonesome)
  • Whiskey in my Whiskey

There was a bit of a CAMRA event on in the pub with Karl, the brewer from Liverpool Brewing Company there, so downstairs was busy with some CAMRA bods. I introduced a blue nose from CAMRA to the event and he enjoyed watching one of the newbies and a couple of classics from Dave Glyn Jones.

As I was off on Friday I even went on for a pint with everyone, in The Swan, before getting the last bus home. A predictably good evening.
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Approaching the Door

This week the cover for the upcoming horror anthology 'Don't Open the Door' was released. I love it.

Looking forward to receiving the book and reading all the stories. The book release is going to be soon; I dare say I may mention bits and pieces about it from time to time.

The anthology is edited by Cory Mason and has stories from:

  • Luke Elliot Alphonso Jr.
  • Johvan Calvo
  • Yawatta Hosby
  • Augie Paterson
  • L.M. du Preez
  • J.A. Sullivan
  • A.J. Walker (that'd be me)
  • T.H. Willoughby
  • Kimberly Walkens

I'll put some links through to the authors pages and/or twitter accounts - once I've got my shit together.


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The cover design is by Christine M. Scott - Nice job!

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Strange Love

Made some time to play some guitar this afternoon and went back to some oldies from The Waterboys.

StrangeBoat
Strange Boat

Went for Strange Boat and A Man Is In Love two classics. Next time maybe Fisherman's Blues and A Bang On The Ear. We'll see.

First time up I ended up with lots of background noise before I realised I had on my CD, amp and PS3. Turned these off and the noise disappeared. You live, you learn.

Anyways, now time to write something for the Seedling Challenge.
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Steeling Myself

Going on my second Wirral ale trip tomorrow. Back to the great Yorkshire beer city - Sheffield. Looking forward to it. Know my way around the city's boozers pretty well by now.

Yesterday I played at the Open Mic in the Sanctuary once more. I was back in a checked-shirt (green). As well as being back in a proper garb, we were also back were we were supposed to be upstairs with a microphone and PA. Huzzah! We were down one Bobo though, who was home with Delhi Belly or some such. Shame. Hope the evening's rest did him good.

I was first on (always good for me, as following Dave Jones is a killer!). Played six songs, including an encore (well the next guy had gone for a smoke) and got asked for a request ('Couldn't Get Arrested'), which I played. A request… that's a first!

Yesterday's set;

  • Sweet Carolina (Ryan Adams)
  • Somewhere Down The Road (Chuck Prophet)
  • Take Me Down to The Infirmary (Cracker)
  • Whiskey in My Whiskey (Felice Brothers)
  • Save It For A Rainy Day (Jayhawks)
  • Couldn't Get Arrested (Green on Red)

Couple more newbies turned up later on, who were both great.

Si supplied some nice beer including a new local one from Tyton Brewery and the famous Beartown 'Creme Bearlee'.

A good evening, as ever.
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Getting Close to the Door

Got sight of the cover for an upcoming horror anthology that I will be featured in: 'Don't Open the Door'. I can't wait to see the finished book. The cover looks ace and I am looking forward to getting it out in front of you soon.

I haven't read any of the other stories featured in it. But there are some great guys and gals involved and it will be fab. Really enjoyed writing my story, which has a nice setting and a bit of a folksy background. The brains, brawn and editor behind the anthology is Cory 'Tomo' Mason, who you can find on Twitter @TheBestTomo

Watch this space (and follow Cory) for details - and the cover. I'll no doubt be writing a few bits and bobs about the anthology on this blog and in numerous tweets.

In the meantime, if you're really not sure, well… don't open the door.
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Too Good TV

Part of the time problem lately has been because there has been so much good TV that I've not managed to avoid. Much of it on the BBC, ably supported by Sky Atlantic.

In the last couple of months we've had:

  • Game of Thrones (Atlantic)
  • Fleabag (BBC)
  • Line Of Duty (BBC)
  • Follow the Money (BBC)
  • Cardinal (BBC)
  • Chernobyl (Atlantic)
  • Gentleman Jack (BBC)
  • Inspector Montalbano (BBC)
  • Summer of Rockets (BBC)

and this week we've got the wonderful 'Killing Eve' returning to BBC. Oh, and there's 'Good Omens' too on Amazon Prime.

GoT1 LoD1

Chern1 KE1

SoR1 GJ1

We really are living in a time of some great TV. Whilst it's great to be entertained by such wonderful productions it doesn't half get in the way of your own creativity. It's too easy to get home and stick an episode, or four, on of any of these programmes. Damn you writers and producers! And I haven't even mentioned Blue Planet or Springwatch or any of the great BBC4 docs. Or the wonderful football season.

Whilst I am not suggesting missing any of these programmes, indeed I am suggesting the exact opposite, I think if you are watching anything less good than this lot then perhaps turn it off and do something creative instead. When there's so much good TV about there is no need to waste any time with dross.
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Becoming A Writer

Have just read another book about writing: 'Becoming A Writer' by Dorothea Brande. It's an interesting one. And is not about the rules of writing and there are no plans or plots in there. It is more about the methods of getting into it. Turning off and switching on. Or something like that.

It is from 1934 so one can only wonder at what she would say about TV and Social Media. Basically, I dare say, she would say 'Turn it off and just write, you damn fool!' Then look at that stuff, if you must — once you've hit your goal. It's not exactly mystical: don't read before you write, or else your writing will be affected by it. Ditto listening to radio or films, or even conversations; basically, avoid anything with words in it.

BecomingAWriter
'Becoming A Writer' Dorothea Brande (1934)

A decent read with some nice writing exercise ideas. Strangely she says nothing about word processors or writing software. She does suggest having two typewriters (one desktop and one laptop). ;-)

To save you reading it: make some me time, make it quiet, relax, get into the zone… then get stuck in. Or something like that.

It's a worthwhile read and it's made me think about my writing. This blog is called 'Writerer's Block' but other than some flash and VSS365 related things there hasn't been much about my writing lately. It's largely been music, football and beer.

I am going to replan my writing and attempt to get into a groove or at least try to manufacture better habits. I won't herald what I am doing quite yet. I will give a few things a go and see what works for me in terms of getting things done, including new writing projects and finishing the almost mythical TWO.

#amwriting

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Some Parade!

Well, what a weekend. Had to go to the parade, of course, to soak in some of the colour and noise, but most of all to welcome the boys back. Town was heaving with something like 750,000 people out to see them, so it was a bit of a headache to decide where best to watch them. The last time me and the lads went to greet them was after we beat West Ham in the FA Cup Final in 2006 and I decided (for it was my call) to watch it around the same place again. That time we had quite a long time waiting around, but this time we the advantage of being able to watch the stream of the parade live, so we could watch it to see where they were up to and leave in good time to watch them.

coe6

As it was up behind the Walker Art Gallery it was only up the road from the Sanctuary, so it was a no brainer to get a nice couple of ales in there then walk up when they looked about ready to make it down the road. My only fear (being the one making the call) was there was a delay on the stream and as we walked up past Lime Street Station I did think it seemed remarkably quiet and wondered for a moment. But I needn't have worried. As it happened we walked off the closed fly-over on to the dual carriageway, where there were plenty of people about but lots of room too. We were only there for a couple of minutes before the motorbike police came down to clear the way, followed by police on foot - we could not have timed it better. We were close enough to touch the buses as they went past. Brilliant.

SteandMe

The Liverpool boys were all up for it, swinging their scarves, singing, banging the side of the bus. Milner and Robertson looked particularly energetic. Maybe it's the Ribena (or lime and soda) but I don't know where Milner gets his energy. All the guys were obviously loving it - especially Klopp.

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Bus1

Bus4Klopp

Bus2
Got some fab photos. Shouted and sung a bit. Followed the bus down to the bottom of the road. And basically loved it.

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Then was back in the Sanctuary within about 45 minutes of leaving it! Win-win-win!!
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Number Six - On The Fly

Oh Happy Days! Yep, yesterday Liverpool got to Number 6 with that loverly cup which we have that love affair with. Not the bestest match but who the hell gives a toss about that?

LFCshirt

I've been lucky enough in the past to go the UEFA Cup Final in 2001 in Dortmund, which Liverpool won 5-4 on a Golden Goal against Alaves, and then again in Istanbul for the miracle, 3-3 and then winning on penalties v Milan. In 2007 I went to Athens but didn't get a ticket (or get in) but had a great time with the build up and watched the match in the Craft Beer Bar (where else?). I also went to Paris for the European Cup when Arsenal got beat by Barcelona as I'd booked flights and a hotel 'in case' Liverpool got there, which I had done for Athens.

PreMatch

Anyway, I am not in a situation now where I can currently follow Liverpool like that (money - I'm not banned from travelling or anything) so for the last couple of years I've been following Liverpool in the pubs and bars of Liverpool. Usually this is in the Dispensary or the Fly in the Loaf, and this season it's largely been the latter. For the second leg of the semifinal versus Barcelona there was just me and me mate on a table in the Fly. The pub was not heaving at all. Not enough belief in our brand of European brilliance! But yesterday it was bound to be mad in town, and it was. Needless to say we had to get into town early and grab a spot to watch it, whilst leaving enough time to find somewhere else to go if it was already full. As it happened me and Ste got in the Fly for 4pm and grabbed the last couple of seats. Yes! Other mates risked it getting in an hour or so later and we all managed to watch it together perched on tables or against the walls.

In summary, the atmosphere was great. The beer was great. The result was great. And the Fly was great.

LFC Post Win

Managed a celebratory pint in the Sanctuary after the match and more incredibly got the last bus home!

SanctuaryPost win

Now got to go off into to town for the parade. There will be oceans of beautiful red everywhere. Bring it on.
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YouTube - It's been a while

It's been quite a while since I've put a song up on YouTube (other than the Flushing Song, which I need to update) so before going out in search of a screen, with accompanying decent beer availability (via a hearty breakfast at the Shiraz), I've been strumming a couple of songs.

First up an oldie, which everyone tries early on when trying the guitar - 'The House of the Rising Sun'. It's one we played a bit at the Open Mic the other night.

HotRS2

Apologies if anyone is offended by my choice of top, but it is the Champion's League Final today and I'm off out after this. I've recorded another oldie (which is currently beyond my capability but you've got to push yourself, ain't you?) which will go up tomorrow, as it is currently 'Processing' whilst 'The Rising Sun uploads. Two for the price of one. Been a good morning strumming anyway. Here's hoping for a great evening too!

Come on you Mighty Reds.

YNWA
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