Every author has something else going on while they’re writing. Maybe it’s a TV in the other room, maybe it’s the sounds of the coffee shop. For a lot of us, it’s music. I’ve heard authors say that they have everything on from the radio, to specific albums, to specified playlists.
Normally I stick to certain specific music to keep my head where I want it to be for the tone. While there may on occasion be albums played to drown into tunes out white noise, I write mostly while listening to a set playlist.
I had always written short stories, most of which were damned to spend eternity locked inside a hidden away file in my documents section. I didn’t sit down and really start to write Smokepit Fairytales until I was deployed on the USS Bonhomme Richard with the 31stMarine Expeditionary Unit out of Okinawa. I was filling a Psychological warfare billit on a ship that was essentially on a months long training mission.
Gainfully unemployed. I actually wrote Smokepit Fairytales and Sing Goddess the Wrath of the Fonz back to back on my laptop sitting on the floor of the berthing area. I would get up in the morning, go work out, go eat, smoke, write, smoke, write, eat, smoke, write, pound a Red Bull, smoke, write, eat, watch a movie and go to bed. I literally had nothing to do on that deployment. My only real saving grace was my buddy Chuck who I’d spitball ideas off of. That’s where a lot of the dialogue in those first books came from.
I had a certain playlist in my itunes that helped me keep the mood for Smokepit Fairytales when I was writing. It goes as follows.
The Ecstasy of Gold, Ennio Morricone
This song always reminds me of the desert. It’s probably supposed to. But I imagined this being the background music for when Hank got home from Iran and was just driving his jeep around the desert to clear his head in the middle of the book.
Oceanside, The Decemberists
Most of the story takes place in and around San Diego county, specifically Oceanside and Camp Pendleton. I didn’t find this song until after I left the West Coast and the lyric “If I could only get to Oceanside” always stick with me.
Detroit Rock City, KISS
“You gotta lose your life in Iraq Rock City.”
Gates of Babylon, Rainbow
Ancient Babylon was what’s now Iraq. One of the reasons the story took place there was because on top of Smokepit Fairytales being recycled stories of things that I’ve been through in real life, it’s also part of a larger saga that’s first part is a retelling of The Epic of Gilgamesh.
If you haven’t read that, and you’re a fan of my work, go check it out. Some things will make a lot more sense. Particularly the chain of events that start in the cave.
Enter Sandman, Metallica
This is Smokepit Fairytales’ anthem. Throughout the story Hank keeps having nightmares. He particularly had Dreams of war, dreams of liars, dreams of dragon’s fires… and the things that will bite.
Soldier Side, System of a Down
It’s reasonable to assume that Hank and Doc should have died in Iran. In some ways, they did. “Young men standing on top of their own graves.” This song illustrates some of the terrible realities of war.
Call Me Call Me, Steve Conte
From the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack, which is referenced heavily in the last half of the book. Sometimes you just need a call to tell you it’s alright.
Long Haired Redneck, David Allan Coe
The guy Éclair is based on and I sang this song a lot while drinking. We changed the lyrics to reflect our own cowboy ways. “Boot bitch in the corner’s getting to me. Talk’n bout my mustache and my hair. I guess he ain’t read the signs that said I’ve been to Sangin.”
Ain’t it Fun, Guns N’ Roses
A cover of a punk song, this is something I listen to when I’m drunk, ruining my life, and hating myself.
Rain Dogs, Tom Waits
There is too much wine in this book to not have a song about drinking it.
Still of the Night, White Snake
Possibly the best love song ever written.
I Just Dies in your Arms Tonight, Cutting Crew
I thought this was Duran Duran for YEARS. But who doesn’t want to listen to this when you decide to Thelma and Louise it and drive your car off a cliff?
You Can’t Bring Me Down, Suicidal Tendencies
The title’s self explanatory for Hank’s attitude.
Blood, Sweat, Tears, The Marine Rapper
Blood, Sweat, and Tears are how you get through things man. Percistance.
Twilight Zone, Golden Earing
There’s a lot of trippy shit in this book, and maybe it’s all in Hank’s head. Maybe, he’s in the Twilight Zone.
The other books will have their own playlists posted. More to come!
Short answer? These people are assholes.
I voted for Johnson, but I’m not a zealot, and I can appreciate the good things Trump has done while acknowledging the stupid shit he’s pulled.
People used to have religion, and they’d foam at the mouth blindly defending what they wanted to believe while demonizing all other sides and opinions. We’ve for the most part given up God and taken to making whichever political party we identify with our new deity while making the other side Satan. All the idiocy, and uninformed opinions are still there.
Is Trump and angel? Fuck no. But literally everyone who’s come before him is just as guilty of the same kind of shit as he is, and it fucking pisses me off to no end that people ignore what their guy did in office while demonizing Trump for the same things.
When someone says “What about when Obama did it” what people SHOULD say is “Yeah, and he was wrong for it,” but people like to shrug it off because his reasons were “justified.”
Justified by who? And How?
It’s not okay for Trump to blows up the guy who ringleaded the insurgency in Iraq while he was actively commanding an attack on an American embassy but when Droney McPeaceprize blows up a hospital in Pakistan that killed a couple dozen women and children just to take out maybe one bad guy people accepted “my bad, I’ll try not to do it again?”
I didn’t hear these fucks complaining then.
Having the IRS target political enemies didn’t violate an oath of office? How about having the CIA arm ISIS and Mexican cartels? Destroying Libya and Syria to further destabilize the region, ignoring bombing attempts by the Iranian government on US soil (Yeah, look that one up), repealing the Smith-Mundt act thereby making it legal to push propaganda on US citizens, upholding all of Bush’s illegal and unconstitutional policies?
Where were these people then?
What about when Bush gutted the constitution with the patriot act, then shuffled all the prominent Sauids out of the country quietly after 9/11 then continued to accept Saudi checks?
Clinton’s money laundering schemes, and failure to be tough on terrorism that led to 9/11? How about how many women he’s assaulted? Or that he started building a fucking wall on the Mexican border in 1994? Everyone’s mad at Trump for it, but no one wants to charge Clinton with a damn thing.
The list goes on, don’t even get me started on how much of a piece of shit Reagan was.
We hail our guys’ exploits as testament and refuse to acknowledge when they do wrong. If people were as genuine as they say they are, they wouldn’t have tolerated when their person violated the law, and they’d be pushing to hold them accountable.
But president’s aside, the real problem is congress. Almost everything the presidents have done have either been approved by, or simply not stopped by congress, and we let them off the hook like they had nothing to do with it.
If these assholes in this video really wanted to support and defend the constitution, they’d go after the federal government as a whole for violating literally every single amendment, instead of allowing themselves to be used as political talking points.
There’s a lot more that goes into your oath than just that, the other big one is securing American interests. In other words, it states in your contract that you’re fighting for the economy, and by that right, no one could complain about Iraq, because Iraq was about the economy. It’s in your fucking contract to do that kind of thing. It is just, fair, or the right thing to do? Probably not, but that’s how the world works. You’re welcome for food being affordable right now by the way.
The people in this video are not critical thinkers, and what even funnier is that none of them held jobs that had anything to do with combat. So, we have a bunch of uniformed office workers telling us that we need to fight for something? They’re not “Fighting” for anything. If they were, they’d be getting guns and putting together an actual resistance instead of this stupid ass, twitter like generating “Look at me because I’m special” bullshit. They’re just trying to get their side back in office so they can continue doing the exact same thing that’s been going on since 1801 when Jefferson decided we needed to be constantly at war overseas, while fucking all of our citizens and stripping our rights. You job in the military is to do what the fuck your told to do and accomplish the mission. Then when you’re out, you’re out. Veterans are just Joe fucking Schmo. And I hate, HATE hearing someone say “Well, as a veteran I…” Stop. No one gives a shit that you’re a veteran. Not the government, no the military you were in, not the people with “Support the Troops” bumper sticker on their car. If they did wars would be fought in a manner where lives weren’t pointlessly thrown away, the VA wouldn’t be a shit show, and businesses would actively hire people with PTSD. Fuck, I spent twelve years in the Marine Corps and did two tours in Afghanistan and I don’t give half a fuck if you’re a veteran. We don’t have foreign policy or political expertise. We know about as much as anyone else our age. The only thing different is if someone deployed, they should a little bit more about how things worked wherever they deployed to. Knowing what the Taliban fights and how to circumvent their tactics will certainly give you a few lessons on human nature, but it doesn’t prevent anyone from being blind to the fact the DNC and GOP are heads of the same snake that don’t give a flying fuck about the American people, and only care about furthering their own interest. If that wasn’t true, the GOP would be trying to shrink the government and the DNC would be trying to stop us from staying at war. Both sides want to give you less and tax you more, both sides are after your guns, both sides are illegally spying on you, both sides are sending everyone they can to prison, both sides are profiting off your loss and despair, both sides are silencing you, and both sides are using their respective propaganda machines to brainwash you into thinking they’re just in their actions while demonizing the other side for doing the exact same shit.
The assholes in this video, for some fucking reason think they’re special because they served. Service is doing your fucking job. It’s VERY do or die and don’t ask why. And all most self-respecting veterans want is to be treated like everyone else and not be turned into a fucking political talking point, which is exactly what the fucking dickless cock holes are doing.