Two for Tuesday: B. J. Thomas

I heard B. J. Thomas’s version of “I’m So Lonesone I Could Cry,” the Hank Williams classic, in a store this afternoon, and decided to feature him today.

Billy Joe Thomas was born in Oklahoma and raised in Houston, Texas. His first hit was the aforementioned “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” (today’s first song) in 1966. He released his next two hits, “Eyes of a New York Woman” and “Hooked on a Feeling” (later popularized by Jonathan King) in 1968, then hit it really big with “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on my Head,” the Bacharach-David hit from the movie Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, in 1969. (It’s today’s second song.) You can check out the full list of his hits here. He and his lovely wife Gloria have been married over forty years, and he still maintains an active touring schedule.

B. J. Thomas: your Two for Tuesday for September 18, 2012.

The Thursday Ten (on Friday): Ten Favorite Things That Start With “D”

I was going to get this out yesterday, and didn’t. I explain why in a little bit. Anyway…

Jess Witkins, over at Jess Witkins’ Happiness project, had a post last week where she listed ten things that she likes (what she called “guilty pleasures”) that start with the letter S. It sounded like fun, and since I’ve been having a lousy time coming up with posts for the Thursday Ten, I asked her to assign me a letter. She gave me “D,” so here we go: Continue reading “The Thursday Ten (on Friday): Ten Favorite Things That Start With “D””

#ROW80 update: Life, writing, and other things

I got a lot of writing done this past week. Unfortunately, it was all in SQL statements and Ruby code. Some work-related things have been driving me crazy, and even though my boss (i.e. my brother) hasn’t been bothered by them, I sure as heck have been. He called today to ask if I could handle a “major” project having to do with file generation. An hour and a half later, I had a test file for him, all of the requested transactions generated and split into files. And I managed to learn how to do a few things with Ruby that I didn’t know how to do. Sometimes it helps to be a techie.


Unfortunately, it didn’t leave much time to get any real writing done. I am in the midst of writing tomorrow’s post, but as far as any other new writing, I can’t say that I’ve done much. It’s been one of those weeks, I guess. Man plans and God laughs.


I did finish Easy Innocence, and found it to be a good read as well as an excellent way to study story structure. I have been reading Squall Lines by Tim Dorsey, one of my favorite writers. In this book, he reprints some of the columns that he wrote early in his career, covering everything from things that he wrote for the Auburn University newspaper to columns that he wrote after Florida Roadkill, his first novel featuring Serge A. Storms, was published. Next on the list: Sheldon Siegel’s The Terrorist Next Door. Sheldon went to school with my brother Kip, who told me that I might like his books. Kip was right.


I realized that I spend waaaaaay too much time on Facebook, so I resolved to visit once a day, just to say “Happy Birthday!” to anyone whose birthday it is. So far, so good. Still didn’t manage to visit any blogs.

And that’s it for this week.

Two for Tuesday: Grand Funk Railroad

The critics hated them. Everybody else loved them. Mark Farner (guitar, vocals), Mel Schacher (bass), and Don Brewer (drums, vocals) formed Grand Funk Railroad in 1969. Farner and Brewer were veterans of Terry Knight and the Pack, Schacher had been the bassist with Question Mark and the Mysterians. Based in Flint, Michigan, their name was a play on Michigan’s Grand Trunk Railroad. Their first two albums, Grand Funk Railroad and Grand Funk (“The Red Album”) were both certified gold in 1970. Thanks to an aggressive marketing campaign by manager Terry Knight, their next album, Closer to Home, went multi-platinum and was a critical success. Naturally, they fired Knight and ended up in nasty legal battles with him. Adding Keyboardist Craig Frost to the mix, their sound changed from power trio to more commercial in nature. The band went their separate ways in 1976, reuniting in 1982 and 1996. Frost left in 1976, and Farner, who underwent a religious conversion at some point, left in 1998. Brewer and Schacher have kept the band going since then.

“I’m Your Captain (Closer To Home)” is the first song here. From their album of the same name, it was a more mellow tune than most of the rest of their work up to that point. The full song is almost ten minutes long, and was shortened to under four minutes for radio airplay. (It’s an easy song to play, with two chords, D and C.) The second song, “(We’re An) American Band,” was released in 1973 and became their first Number One hit.

More music from my high school days… And that is your Two for Tuesday.

(Thanks, as always, to Wikipedia for their assistance.)

#ROW80 Round 3 update: A week of lassitude

I had heard the word lassitude years ago, and I more or less understood it then. When I started writing this update, I finally decided to look it up, and learned that it was “a state of physical or mental weariness; lack of energy.” The perfect description of my most recent writing week. I did get some work stuff done: I run some reports for my brother every morning, and one of them is taking forever to finish, so I spent a couple of afternoons trying to figure out why, and discovered that it’s doing a sequential search in one of the queries. MySQL tends not to like those very well. Anyway, on to the update….


– The NaNo novel ended at 14,147 words. Somewhat less than the 20,000 words that I had hoped for (and far short of the 50,000 that makes me a winner). So I don’t get to proudly display the “Camp NaNoWriMo 2012 WINNER!” sticker on this page. My heart is appropriately broken.

– As for revising either the material I wrote for Fast Draft or for Camp NaNo, there is a lot of good stuff there, and I will likely be salvaging and recycling what I can and revising that. I’ll save the rest for possible inclusion in future stories. Kind of like a friend of mine did in high school: He bought several MGB’s from a scrap dealer, took them home and built a car using parts from each one. If something needed replacing, he’d take it from one of the other cars. (This is a process known as cannibalization. It works well when writing code, too.)

The MGB, in case you’ve never seen one. My friend’s was red. (Wikimedia Commons.)

– I really need to stop reviving old crap from ten or fifteen years ago and start writing new stuff. So my goal for the rest of this round is to spend no less than half an hour a day writing new material, and to come up with at least three new ideas for stories a week. And to toss all of the stuff I’ve been saving all this time and start fresh. (When I say “toss,” I mean zip it up and put it on the cloud.)

– Blog-wise, I accomplished what I hoped to. Yay me.


– Finished Taken and What Are You Laughing At?

– Read Lee Child’s short story, Deep Down, and DB Gilles’ You’re Funny: Turn Your Sense of Humor into a Lucrative New Career. Enjoyed the short story, not so much the book on writing funny. I’ve decided that it’s not really something you can get from a book.


Still being my usual antisocial self. Sorry. I did read the ROW80 posts from those of you who posted your updates before me, and will do so again today.

And that’s it fort this week. We’ve got what, two more weeks for this round? Have a good week!