Thursday, 12 May 2022

A Dark Design and more Riverboats


I have finally finished "The Fabulous Riverboat" by Philip Jose Farmer, and thoroughly enjoyed the 250 pages (I am a slow reader) , and this ends with King John streaming Mark Twain / Sam Clemens riverboat, the "Not For Hire" which King John intends to rename.

"The Dark Design" is book III in the Riverworld series and was originally meant to be the conclusion of this part of the story, however at 400K words, Farmer and his publishers decided that was too much for a single volume, so they split it.

It still clocks in at 450 pages so I am going to be on this for a while, but that isn't a problem, as you meet so many historical characters in these books from most of "civilised" history.

Sam is going to build another riverboat and that made me think of the scene in "Fitzcarraldo"  where they really pulled a riverboat over a steep hill in the jungle.

Below is the Wikipedia entry:

Fitzcarraldo  epic adventure-drama film written and directed by Werner Herzog and starring Klaus Kinski as the title character.

It portrays would-be rubber baron Brian Sweeney Fitzgerald, an Irishman known in Peru as Fitzcarraldo, who is determined to transport a steamship over a steep hill to access a rich rubber territory in the Amazon Basin. The film is derived from the historic events of Peruvian rubber baron Carlos Fitzcarrald and his real-life feat of transporting a disassembled steamboat over the Isthmus of Fitzcarrald.

The film had a troubled production, and the documentary Burden of Dreams chronicled the film's hardships. Herzog had his crew attempt to manually haul the 320-ton steamship up a steep hill, leading to three injuries. The film's original star Jason Robards became sick halfway through filming, so Herzog hired Kinski, with whom he had previously clashed violently during production of Aguirre, the Wrath of GodNosferatu the Vampyre and Woyzeck. Their fourth partnership fared no better. When shooting was nearly complete, the chief of the Machiguenga tribe who were used extensively as extras, asked Herzog if they should kill Kinski for him. Herzog declined.



Today's Music Choice -  Wild River by The Golden Palominos


You can read about the album, "A Dead Horse" Here.

Mike Singleton - Vocal Stories

I am not sure if you are aware of my writing on Vocal but these are a few of my stories if you would like to sample them:

  1. The Never Ending Story - My Directory
  2. The Never Ending Music - My Music Directory
  3. The Never Ending Poetry - My Poetry Directory
  4. An Owl In A Towel - A Beautiful Book by Lesley and Cheryl
  5. Three Reasons Why I Love Settle - Scaleber Force, The Hoffman Kiln and Castlebergh Crag
  6. The Accidental Book - Helping a Great Vocal Friend Resulted In Me Publishing My First Book
  7. Call Me Les - A Great Friend and An Amazing Writer

Tuesday, 19 April 2022

Aboard The Fabulous Riverboat


I have finished the first "Riverworld" book  "To Your Scattered Bodies Go" and started "The Fabulous Riverboat". Grammarly and this blogger are totally useless. I cannot just select a font or size or whatever and if I make a mistake and Grammarly catches it puts the corrected word at a random place in the text, so I have to do everything manually,

"The Concept of "The Fabulous Riverboat is Sam Clemons (Mark Twain) with the aid of Lothar Von Richthofen and some Vikings. Sir Richard Burton (the adventurer not the actor) from the first book has just turned up.

Clemons has a problem as King John wants the Riverboat as well and is less than trustworthy.

I am forty percent through this book and will keep you posted on how it goes.



Today's Music Choice - River - Bishop Briggs

I had never heard of Bishop Briggs until I wrote this piece but her song "River"

Mike Singleton - Vocal Stories

I am not sure if you are aware of my writing on Vocal but these are a few of my stories if you would like to sample them:

  1. The Never Ending Story - My Directory
  2. The Never Ending Music - My Music Directory
  3. The Never Ending Poetry - My Poetry Directory
  4. An Owl In A Towel - A Beautiful Book by Lesley and Cheryl
  5. Three Reasons Why I Love Settle - Scaleber Force, The Hoffman Kiln and Castlebergh Crag
  6. The Accidental Book - Helping a Great Vocal Friend Resulted In Me Publishing My First Book
  7. Call Me Les - A Great Friend and An Amazing Writer

Tuesday, 5 April 2022

To Your Scattered Bodies Go and The Decagon Key


After my operation and stay in hospital I haven't been writing much, so this is just an update on my current reading.

On paper, I am revisiting the first "Riverworld" book by Philip Jose Farmer  "To Your Scattered Bodies Go", which, though it was written in the sixties touches on so much that that is relevant today with religion, resurrection, racism , anti Semitism , and the history of the world in general. I wrote a high level piece on the series here if you want to investigate further, but halfway through this first book, it has me hooked once more.

Digitally I am reading "The Decagon Key" a book of short stories co=authored by my Vocal friend SJ Covey. All the stories so far have featured some kind of key and I will be leaving a review on Amazon when  I have finished, but I am a fairly slow reader, and at the moment, a slow writer, but you can get yourself a copy or sample it via the link below. So far I am really enjoying it.


Today's Music Choice - River of Dreams - Billy Joel

As with my Vocal piece I will share this wonderful Billy Joel song with you.

Mike Singleton - Vocal Stories

I am not sure if you are aware of my writing on Vocal but these are a few of my stories if you would like to sample them:

  1. The Never Ending Story - My Directory
  2. The Never Ending Music - My Music Directory
  3. The Never Ending Poetry - My Poetry Directory
  4. An Owl In A Towel - A Beautiful Book by Lesley and Cheryl
  5. Three Reasons Why I Love Settle - Scaleber Force, The Hoffman Kiln and Castlebergh Crag
  6. The Accidental Book - Helping a Great Vocal Friend Resulted In Me Publishing My First Book
  7. Call Me Les - A Great Friend and An Amazing Writer

Sunday, 6 March 2022

The Creation is Finished, Women's History Month and The Situation in The Ukraine


I only did one post on here in February and we are six days into March already.  I have finished "The Day of Creation" by JG Ballard and it was more difficult than I expected, being a revisit, but still drew me in completely. Not everyone's cup of petrol but an absorbing read for me.

So I need something a little easier for my next read, so I am going to go back to "Riverworld" by Philip Jose Farmer starting with "To Your Scattered Bodies go and you can read more about it by me here.

March is Women's History Month and I think I shall have to write something about some of the incredible women, marginalise by the patriarchy, without whom the world would not be as incredible as it is.

On another note I wonder if Vladimir Putin thought that Ukraine was going to be as simple a pushover as the USA and UK. He installed is puppets in the USA and UK but the USA saw sense and much to the annoyance of the idiot part of their electorate, got rid of Putin's Puppet, while the UK still has his puppet at the help, and if Putin is kicked out Johnson will welcome him with a red carpet and a Lordship.


Today's Music Choice - Batyar (Bigmouth Strikes Again) by The Ukrainians

I just remembered that The Wedding Present morphed into The Ukrainians to cover Smiths songs in a Ukrainian folk style , so "Batyar (Bigmouth Strikes Again)" is a perfect musical response to Putin

Mike Singleton - Vocal Stories

I am not sure if you are aware of my writing on Vocal but these are a few of my stories if you would like to sample them:

  1. The Never Ending Story - My Directory
  2. The Never Ending Music - My Music Directory
  3. The Never Ending Poetry - My Poetry Directory
  4. An Owl In A Towel - A Beautiful Book by Lesley and Cheryl
  5. Three Reasons Why I Love Settle - Scaleber Force, The Hoffman Kiln and Castlebergh Crag
  6. The Accidental Book - Helping a Great Vocal Friend Resulted In Me Publishing My First Book
  7. Call Me Les - A Great Friend and An Amazing Writer

Saturday, 12 February 2022

The Day Of Creation


Jonathan Aycliffe - The Talisman and The Matrix

I have finished "The Talisman" by Jonathan Aycliffe and I now rate it along with "The Matrix" by the same author as one of the most unnerving and frightening books I have read. Both end on cliffhangers, the main characters who have survived are still alive ..... for now. I think a lot of my fiction is heavily influenced by this construct. Jonathan Aycliffe is an amazing writer.

JG Ballard - The Day of Creation

This is the first time in 2500 blog posts that I have used headings, I don't know if that will pick up any more reads but we shall see. I am now revisiting "The Day of Creation" by JG Ballard. As expected this starts out fairly normally with a doctor in Africa trying to discover underground water sources to stave off the encroaching desert, while being attacked by guerrillas, abused by failed TV presenters and policemen with political ambitions, but I know something will happen out of this.

Today's Music Choice - Painter Man by The Creation

For obvious reasons, just amazed that the CD, which is part of my collection is going for £75 on Amazon but the MP3 download is far moree reasonable.

Mike Singleton - Vocal Stories

I am not sure if you are aware of my writing on Vocal but these are a few of my stories if you would like to sample them:

  1. The Never Ending Story - My Directory
  2. The Never Ending Music - My Music Directory
  3. The Never Ending Poetry - My Poetry Directory
  4. An Owl In A Towel - A Beautiful Book by Lesley and Cheryl
  5. Three Reasons Why I Love Settle - Scaleber Force, The Hoffman Kiln and Castlebergh Crag
  6. The Accidental Book Helping a Great Vocal Friend Resulted In Me Publishing My First Book
  7. Call Me Les - A Great Friend and An Amazing Writer

Sunday, 30 January 2022

The Talisman


I am halfway through "The Talisman"  by Jonathan Aycliffe and I thought it wasn't one of his best but I am coming to think it may be close to "The Matrix"  one of his most frightening novels.

It is almost a drip, drip, drip of a slowly tightening screw of supernatural threat and horror.

Lots of unexplained deaths that point to a pre-Babylonian statue which may be of the Devil, a "Rosemary's Baby scenario, and a lot more.

Innocents are targets and with a blind wife in an old house, the possibility of malevolent ghosts I am enjoying this excellent tome.

I have just noticed a book of his that I was unaware of "The Silence of Ghosts" which I will have to get a copy of as he has not written a book that I didn't enjoy reading.

For some reason, Kate Bush's "Hammer Horror" comes to mind although that is far lighter in mood than this extremely scary book.,

I am not sure if you are aware of my writing on Vocal but these are a few of my stories if you would like to sample them:

  1. The Never Ending Story - My Directory
  2. The Never Ending Music - My Music Directory
  3. The Never Ending Poetry - My Poetry Directory
  4. An Owl In A Towel - A Beautiful Book by Lesley and Cheryl
  5. Three Reasons Why I Love Settle - Scaleber Force, The Hoffman Kiln and Castlebergh Crag
  6. The Accidental Book Helping a Great Vocal Friend Resulted In Me Publishing My First Book
  7. Call Me Les - A Great Friend and An Amazing Writer

Friday, 21 January 2022

The Stone Has Rolled


Suprisingly I got through "Like A Rolling Stone" by Greil Marcus as it was a bit like reading Dylan and jumped around timewise, but was almost stream of consciousness like say Dylan's "Tarantula" . Incidentally I started a book called "MiTarantula" based on Dylan's style but it is currently lying in my writing wreckage but maybe I need to revisit and revise and revive it as I now know how to publish a book on th eAmazon Kindle Publishing Platform.

I am still reading "The Touch" by F Paul Wilson on KIndle and that will probably be a week or two before I complete that and then pick up on "SignalZ" the seventh book in "The Adversary" series.

Physically I have picked up on "The Talisman" by Jonathan Aycliffe a master ghost story teller who also frequents the Oxfam shop that I volunteered at for a few months. This is a reread but Aycliffe is one of my favourite authors in both his guises, the other being Daniel Easterman which is generally more polictical / religion based, but I am shocked none of his work has made it to the big screen.

I am not sure if you are aware of my writing on Vocal but these are a few of my stories if you would like to sample them:

  1. The Never Ending Story - My Directory
  2. The Never Ending Music - My Music Directory
  3. The Never Ending Poetry - My Poetry Directory
  4. An Owl In A Towel - A Beautiful Book by Lesley and Cheryl
  5. Three Reasons Why I Love Settle - Scaleber Force, The Hoffman Kiln and Castlebergh Crag
  6. The Accidental Book Helping a Great Vocal Friend Resulted In Me Publishing My First Book
  7. Call Me Les - A Great Friend and An Amzing Writer

Monday, 10 January 2022

The Stone Still Rolls


For my reading, I have now picked up "The Touch" by F Paul Wilson roughly the third book in the excellent "Adversary" series of six books but just found a seventh was added last year called "Signalz". I thought I had "The Touch" so to speak but I must have lent it to someone or borrowed it when I first read it. Again F Paul Wilson's writing is excellent although the technology in the books definitely dates them that is definitely no bad thing.

Physically while "Like A Rolling Stone" by Greil Marcus is still difficult going it is also engrossing and the ways it flits all over the place time-wise is disconcerting but entertaining, Lots of references to the film "Masked and Anonymous" in which Bob Dylan effectively plays himself under the name Jack Fate, then there is the story of the Winchester Mansion built by Sarah Winchester widow of firearms magnate William Winchester, which she believed as long as she kept building it, she would never die. She did, but you can find out more about it here.

One other thing that Greil Marcus touched on was Jimi Hendrix's cover of Bob Dylan's  "Like A Rolling Stone" which reminded me it was actually a simple barre chord progression with majors and minors (well it is the way I play it) so if I can remember the words I may try to do a YouTube version of it, just me my voice and electric guitar for six minutes or so,.

I am not sure if you are aware of my writing on Vocal but these are a few of my stories if you would like to sample them:

  1. The Never Ending Story - My Directory
  2. The Never Ending Music - My Music Directory
  3. The Never Ending Poetry - My Poetry Directory
  4. An Owl In A Towel - A Beautiful Book by Lesley and Cheryl
  5. Three Reasons Why I Love Settle - Scaleber Force, The Hoffman Kiln and Castlebergh Crag
  6. The Accidental Book Helping a Great Vocal Friend Resulted In Me Publishing My First Book

Sunday, 9 January 2022

Becoming Infinite Like A Rolling Stone


I usually post on New Years Day and New Year's Eve but due to my writing being more diverted to Vocal this has become generally a commentary on the books I read. I have just finished  Fiona MacDonald's "Vampires, A Very Peculiar History" and it was thoroughly entertaining, far more engrossing than I expected, and also great fun.

I picked up an ebook from a Vocal friend Soleira Green called "Becoming Infinite" and although short, I loved the format and got a lot out of it, and would recommend it to anyone who wants to expand their vision of the Universe. The link is below.

Paper wise I picked up Greil Marcus' "Like A Rolling Stone" which I am finding difficult. It is written in an almost Dylanesque fashion and jumps back and forth in time and I am not sure what the final destination is, but it is not so bad that I won't finish it, but maybe one for the Charity Shop.

I am not sure if you are aware of my writing on Vocal but these are a few of my stories if you would like to sample them:

  1. The Never Ending Story - My Directory
  2. The Never Ending Music - My Music Directory
  3. The Never Ending Poetry - My Poetry Directory
  4. An Owl In A Towel - A Beautiful Book by Lesley and Cheryl
  5. Three Reasons Why I Love Settle - Scaleber Force, The Hoffman Kiln and Castlebergh Crag
  6. The Accidental Book Helping a Great Vocal Friend Resulted In Me Publishing My First Book