There is no heaven or hell, only the heaven or hell you choose…

625867There is no heaven or hell, only the heaven or hell you choose to create in this life and the karmic debt you will carry into the next life on earth. Your choices and actions in this life will decide what form you will return to this earth in. If you’re a good person and treat others well you might return as a happy-go-lucky person with few worries or cares, or perhaps as an eagle devoted to a life of soaring through the skies. If you’re a bad person and treat others badly, you may return as a cockroach or an “unlucky” person beset with strife.

This is life, this is your life. Are you who you want to be? Now, and the next time around? Life starts now, not tomorrow, not in the “next life,” and not whenever you’re ready. Now means now. Smile and be kind.


The River (A Dirge for Kurt Cobain) by The Julian Day


We can get down sometimes, can’t we? You just have to hope someone’s really there for you when you do.


The River: Words by Philip Scott Wikel, Music by The Julian Day (Video Below)

I am the river
dry as the sun
like Kurt Cobain
without the guts

I am the river
dry as the sun
and for the hundredth time
I’ve gone nuts

I remember the river
when it used to flow
I remember the river
and I thought you should know
that I’ve become the river
and I wish I could row

But my arms are the river
dry as a bone
my arms are the river
and my heart is a stone
you see,
my heart is the river
and it used to flow
but my heart is the river
and it’s as dry as a bone

I even wish I could shiver
because that would show
that I was once like the river
when it used to flow
how I wish I could shiver
because that would at least show
that I was as cold as the river
in the white winter’s snow

I am the river
dry as the sun
and I think of Sylvia
cuz she’d gone nuts

I think she was a river
and like many the same
they’d gone crazy
and they had the guts.

Lorde (excerpt from NPR review) by ANN POWERS

Lorde - Pure Heroine
Lorde – Pure Heroine

I just happen to love her and had to share this:

Lorde is bourgeois, there’s no doubt. Her nonconformist stance is textbook bohemian. She’s a precocious child of middle-class comfort and high education — a “poet’s daughter,” every feature article on her notes. As a marketable countercultural figure, she’s part of a lineage that extends from Kerouac to Dylan to Patti Smith to Michael Stipe to Eddie Vedder, right down to the roots of her wild-child hair.

Musically, though, Lorde is very 21st century, because she doesn’t recognize the difference between an underground and a mainstream. The uniformly excellent songs on her debut album, Pure Heroine, gently skew the mainstream sounds of hip-hop and electronic music, opening up a space around the beats for Lorde’s voice and her words, which question the very seductions most music that sounds like hers embraces. She has a lot in common with Miley in the way her niche isn’t precisely “urban” or “alternative” or “rock”: This music doesn’t reveal roots, it explores extensions.

As Lorde became ubiquitous –- anointed by Bowie, feuding with Miley’s fellow Disney graduate Selena Gomez, dissing and later publicly pow-wowing with Taylor Swift — what she means to the Top 40 became clear. She’s the Nirvana of now. If that statement seems outrageous, consider the parallels.

Like Nirvana in 1991, Lorde brought forth something that had been incubating for a long while on the indie scene. Nirvana broke in the wake of a decade of indie bands blending punk and more melodic rock. Lorde follows edgier artists like Grimes and Merrill Garbus of tUnE-yArDs, young female voices finding themselves within a forest of electronically generated sounds. Her birthplace, New Zealand, is even farther from pop’s centers of power than was the Pacific Northwest; that’s helped her image as a self-generated outsider, though in fact she’s had a development deal with Universal Records since she was 13 and wrote Pure Heroine with an older collaborator, Joel Little, who played a role not unlike the one producer Butch Vig had in Nirvana’s breakthrough. “She’s a child of the cloud,” wrote Jon Dolan in his Rolling Stone review. That’s Lorde’s true regional identity, and it produces a sound evocative of the cyberworld: pulsing ether instead of heavy Northwest rain.

Here’s another band we like:

Here We Are Now, Chapter Two

Here We Are Now

(the sequel to Ticket to Ride)

A Novel of the Grunge Generation

by philip scott wikel

Chapter Two

He imagined a gathering of women with one thing in common. They’d all been Dylan’s girlfriends at one time. They appeared as gargoyles set free from their perches atop gothic cathedrals with their focus on the one who appeared as the leader.

The room was dark with only the light of a candle emanating from a makeshift altar. On the altar there were herbs and charms and a likeness of “the goddess” holding a snake in either hand. Medea began the incantations as the rest joined hands. Their faces becoming hollow like so many skeletons.

“… from the mouths of children, fools, and the weak-minded, we will surround him with false witness, lies, and confusion… RUMORS GIRLS!, will be our best form of black magic,” Medea continued, her voice strained with hatred, “to the end that he capitulate and we gain our vengeance.”

Capitulate, he thought? What is it they want? Me dead?

Continue reading “Here We Are Now, Chapter Two”

Livy Tinsley: My Perfect Woman in Ticket To Ride

About Livy: Turning Tin[sley] to Silver

My Perfect Woman: Livy Tinsley is actually an amalgamation of 4 or 5 women. The development of her character began with my using the name of a famous singer/songwriter from the 70s for whom I had intense crush. The next woman whom I used as a model was a former English friend (for my purposes here I’ll call her Julia) of mine who was born and raised in East Finchley, London. I knew her for quite a while before I started work on Just Another Day. My infatuation with her first showed itself in a poem (“What Captain’s Verses,” {see below}) named for a collection of love poems by Pablo Neruda. The poem appears midway through Ticket to Ride just after Morgan finishes with his therapist. Soon after writing that poem I re-wrote the female lead in my novella Tradewinds with Julia in mind. It also helped that I’d dated an English woman from Blackpool, England as well for 2 years. The patterns of speech, figures of speech, mannerisms, colloquialisms, etc., etc., come primarily from Joanne Nelson and her lovely family.

A few months later, after having decided to write a new novella based on Morgan Blake’s girlfriend and, after a fifteen minute meeting with “Julia”, I went home and wrote most of the first 4 chapters of JAD. I somehow finally connected with her in the way I believe I was meant to and the words just came pouring out. She had a playful spirit which made it easy to imagine her as a precocious child. Hence, the opening of the book begins on her 10th birthday. Apart from being physically beautiful, Julia was also a well-educated woman whom I suspect has a high IQ. She was a bit of a loner as well, and I, having been quite enamored of Paul McCartney’s song Another Day, imagined Julia to be my living example of the subject of that fantastic song.

In the same way, several of my former girlfriends in the following year or so, inspired the ensuing chapters. It will suffice to say that I appreciated every one of them for what they gave me in the way of inspiration. While I was with each one of them I expected that the relationship would develop in the usual way that relationships do. Looking back now I can see that each one came into my life at just the right moment; helping me to work out the details of quite a few chapters.

A friend of mine once went so far as to say that I was working like Picasso; gaining whatever inspiration I could from each woman, then moving on when the inspiration went dry. For better or for worse, this patchwork of mannerisms, sensibilities and actions became Livy Tinsley. As wonderful as she is to me, it might be said that, at the end of Ticket to Ride, a more fitting last name for her might be Sterling; having earned through her transformation a lofty position in my heart, second only to gold.

What Captain’s Verses?

by philip scott wikel

What grown love
will come and
color the things
I do
and have done?

having no one,
excepting my son,
who rushes to me only sometimes,
grown love lies languorous.

I love the ocean’s
salt smell and
am opened by it,
but I am as changeable and
inconsistent as
it is
and gather my strength
as she does
from everywhere and
nowhere at all.

What then can
I love that
doesn’t run fleeting,
or is fleeting me,
and therefore,

I cast a daydreaming eye to a made up North Sea horizon
she stretches as a sunset,
golden-tinged autumn dirty-blonde curls draped
over an expanse of swirling curves that
wend their discursive way to my feet
head to toe
she’s ocean
even though I’ve already said sea