A few howling shout-outs to the Best of 2013 … #music #bretingengel

As the year winds down, I’ll also unleash a few howling shout-outs on behalf of some of the more outstanding artistic achievements that caught my eye, captured my attention, grabbed me by the soul and/or shivered my proverbial timbers in 2013. There were precious few musical highlights that I found worthy of embracing over the past twelve months, but of the dozen or so artists that made me stop, drop and (rock &) roll, Breting Engel, a singer-songwriter from Austin, Texas, gets my nod for Album of the Year with his absolutely haunting eponymous debut on Big Bend Records.

engel

Imagine yourself ridin’ shotgun down a lonesome Montana road at midnight in a truck driven by a ghost … a tormented ghost with a voice reminiscent of some whiskey-soaked and unpredictable Lindsay Buckingham–feral and captivatingly dangerous beneath a surface of brilliant melodies. Try to envision that and you’ll soon understand the atmospheric power of Engel’s song-craft. Better yet, throw the need for imagination to the wind and sample the record for yourself. The experience is not to be missed. First single (and accompanying video) Avalon is indicative of the album’s superlative quality, and the surety of the effort heralds a welcome new voice on the horizon, indeed. Engel soars, he shatters, and he scorches the earth with a set of masterful self-penned tunes that ought to turn “Americana music” (or music in general) on its ear. Have a listen and be sure to download the album on iTunes or Amazon.
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Jonathan Kieran’s (as-yet-untitled) new novel is slated for release in late Spring 2014. Look for news about the release here and at Amazon.com in the coming weeks and months.

Jonathan is also the author of the classically appointed Rowan Blaize series of modern fairy-tales and novels. Visit Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a “Like,” if you are so inclined. Meanwhile …

Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads

Swan-dive into the refreshing waters of 2014. Naked, if possible.

Jonathan Kieran: Author, Illustrator, Existential Interrogator

How have we possibly arrived at the very brink of yet another New Year together? Is it just me, or have the mischievous goblins of hyper-informed “modernity” been wreaking havoc with the attention-spans of other fine citizens of this spinning ball of slowly cooling molten rock, whipping us all into a frenzied population of cynical, disconnected automatons as the planet hurtles through space and time towards a perpetually unknown destiny?

Okay, it’s just me. I thought as much.

Anyhow, whether we have come to park our toes at the edge of this beckoning abyss with the comprehensive faculties of fruit-flies or with keen eyes spiritually fixated upon momentous changes desperate for actualization in the coming months, we really are standing here together. It’s probably best to get used to that. If you’re like me and you can’t believe you completed even half of what you set-out to do around this…

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Swan-dive into the refreshing waters of 2014. Naked, if possible.

Time to Take Some WD-40 to the Windmills of Your Mind? Join the Club.

Time to Take Some WD-40 to the Windmills of Your Mind? Join the Club.

How have we possibly arrived at the very brink of yet another New Year together? Is it just me, or have the mischievous goblins of hyper-informed “modernity” been wreaking havoc with the attention-spans of other fine citizens of this spinning ball of slowly cooling molten rock, whipping us all into a frenzied population of cynical, disconnected automatons as the planet hurtles through space and time towards a perpetually unknown destiny?

Okay, it’s just me. I thought as much.

Anyhow, whether we have come to park our toes at the edge of this beckoning abyss with the comprehensive faculties of fruit-flies or with keen eyes spiritually fixated upon momentous changes desperate for actualization in the coming months, we really are standing here together. It’s probably best to get used to that. If you’re like me and you can’t believe you completed even half of what you set-out to do around this time last year, pat yourself on the back, go buy yourself something ephemeral and unhealthy (possibly from the liquor store) or take a well-deserved nap. Congratulations. We’ve worked hard to survive 2013–not to mention all the years that came before that; well, at least the ones in which we were not in prison–and a brand new vista opens-up before us as the Western calendar prepares to make one of its trademark hairpin-turns.

Lots of new developments are on the horizon for Yours Truly. In February I shall have completed two brand new novels that are just snarling to be published, and the audiobook version of Rowan Blaize is slated for release (at last!) before Summer 2014, along with a very special and celebratory promotional giveaway aimed at members of the (dis)Enchanted Community. Naturally, there shall be any number of accompanying resolutions, diminutions, evolutions, retributions and sundry. Bullshit will be kept to a bare minimum, if at all possible. For the most part, however, I am intent upon clearing a year’s worth of collateral garbage out of my poor brain in order to launch the New year in appropriately productive fashion. To that end I have been looking into a number of the new “Personal Soul-Drive Erasers” on the market these days. All are very tempting, but no single brand has “leapt out at me” in terms of eradicating the metaphysical flotsam and jetsam of a year that hovered perilously on the brink of existential anguish time and time again.

I think I’ll just go for a nice 7-mile run on Wednesday and try to sweat the nonsense out. That typically does the trick. But first I’ll close the windows, turn off the lights, make a pot of spicy spaghetti and screen a cathartic offering from the realm of cinema–something fit to purge any and all demonic entities that may have attached themselves like barnacles to my worldview during the course of this particular yesteryear. I could watch Beverly Hills Chihuahua, for example. Someone gave it to me as a gift six years ago and it’s still in the library. Unwrapped. Mint condition. Begging to be seen. Or perhaps a selection from Lindsay Lohan’s oeuvre? That would indeed require a dive into the labyrinth of Netflix, but when the good of one’s very character is at stake, no exploration is too intrepid. Drastic measures may be required. You know … something powerful and soul-scorching. Eye-burning. Nostril hair-curling.

A guy has gotta do what he’s gotta do. Come what may, I’ll see you on the First. Good luck in your endeavors, beware of stray dogs with purple eyebrows, and above all be mindful of the good things you hope to achieve in 2014 and the fine specimens of humanity you hope to encounter. Good Luck.
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Jonathan Kieran’s (as-yet-untitled) new novel is slated for release in late Spring 2014. Look for news about the release here and at Amazon.com in the coming weeks and months.

Jonathan is also the author of the classically appointed Rowan Blaize series of modern fairy-tales and novels. Visit Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a “Like,” if you are so inclined. Meanwhile …

Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads

Nurse Peggy: not impressed by fancy accents. #BritishLife

"Last week, one of my patients said to me, 'Nurse Peggy, if only I had conducted my life in a respectable and dignified manner, like those classy British people on that Downton Abbey program, I might not be on this waiting list, desperate for a new liver!' "

“Last week, one of my patients said to me, ‘Nurse Peggy, if only I had conducted my life in a respectable and dignified manner, like those classy British people on that Downton Abbey program, I might not be on this waiting list, desperate for a new liver!'”

"I took one look at him and I said, 'Honey, if you think those snaggletoothed people across the sea are all about tea, crumpets, and fancy accents that can make someone like Madonna believe she's a well-bred noblewoman, you need to look at these.' Then I showed him some photos of typical British folk taken by the Daily Mail over the holidays."

“I took one look at him and I said, ‘Honey, if you think those snaggletoothed people across the sea are all about tea, crumpets, and fancy accents that’ll make someone like Madonna believe she’s a well-bred noblewoman, then you need to look at these.’ Then I showed him some photos of typical British folk taken by the Daily Mail over the holidays.”

Bangers & Mash!

Bangers & Mash!

Toad-in-the-Hole!

Toad-in-the-Hole!

Cheerios, [on the pavement] old chap!

Cheerios, [on the pavement] old chap!

"So, whenever Maggie Dench or Judi Smith or whoever the hell they are turn-on that sparkling British charm and make you American slobs feel all coarse & inferior this holiday season, just take a look at the Daily Mail and thank Paul Revere's lathered horse that you are not this very minute passed-out on Carnaby Street in a disgraceful puddle of your own vomit and existential regret. Happy Holidays, everyone! From my ward to yours. Drink responsibly. And stay away from the British."

“So, whenever Maggie Dench or Judi Smith or whomever the hell they are turn-on that British charm and make you American slobs feel all coarse & inferior this holiday season, just take a look at the Daily Mail and thank Paul Revere’s lathered horse that you are not this very minute passed-out on Carnaby Street in a disgraceful puddle of your own vomit and existential regret. Happy Holidays, everyone! From my ward to yours. Drink responsibly. And stay away from the British.”


* * *
"I would like to assert with AWL possible expedience and assorted what-not, that I, as an Englishwoman with significant ties to the 48th Earl of FrothenWhistle and membership in the most Honorable House of Lord SturdyThatches, that the above photo-GRAWWPHS do not represent the rank of file of British society as I have come to know and shamelessly assimilate it. Now, if you'll excuse us, we'll be taking tea with the Queen. Come, darling. We musn't keep Elton waiting."

AHEM! I would like to assert with AWL possible expedience and assorted what-not, that I, as an Englishwoman with significant ties to the 48th Earl of FrothenWhistle, and membership in the most Honorable House of Lord SturdyThatches, believe the above photo-GRAWWPHS do not represent the rank-and-file of British society as I have come to know and shamelessly assimilate it! Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’ll be taking tea with the Queen. Come, darling. We musn’t keep Elton waiting. Tallyme! Er … tallyho!”


________
Jonathan Kieran’s (as-yet-untitled) new novel is slated for release in late Spring 2014. Look for news about the release here and at Amazon.com in the coming weeks and months.

Jonathan is also the author of the classically appointed Rowan Blaize series of modern fairy-tales and novels. Visit Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a “Like,” if you are so inclined. Meanwhile …

Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads

“J” is NOT for Junk (in the trunk) #ChristmasCheer

Jesus is the "Reason for the Squeezin'."

In Mexico at Christmastime, Jesus is the “Reason for the Squeezin’.”


_______
Jonathan Kieran’s (as-yet-untitled) new novel is slated for release in late Spring 2014. Look for news about the release here and at Amazon.com in the coming weeks and months.

Jonathan is also the author of the classically appointed Rowan Blaize series of modern fairy-tales and novels. Visit Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a “Like,” if you are so inclined. Meanwhile …

Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads

Don’t let the crocodile tears fool you. Little Karen plotted Frosty’s demise. #holidaycheer

I confess to undergoing a somewhat disturbing phase in my youth–one in which I imagined utterly cheerless “alternative plots” and dark, warped endings to various beloved Christmas cartoons (particularly ones featuring cherubic little girls who were really snow-murderesses in disguise). I’m getting the help I need, but admit to being thrilled when Frosty first met his Rankin & Bass doom. Frosty was such a putz. Below is a G-Rated excerpt from a poem I wrote to illustrate my preferred version of the so-called “Professor Hinkle Incident.” Thumpity-thump-thump.

Frosty the Snowman was a jolly happy soul ... but little Karen was a girl whose heart was black as coal. She lured him to a greenhouse with her dimpled, precious smile ... ... then watched with glee as Frosty turned into a slushy pile.

Frosty the Snowman was a jolly happy soul …
but little Karen was a girl whose heart was black as coal.
She lured him to a greenhouse with her dimpled, precious smile …
… then watched with glee as Frosty turned into a slushy pile.


___________

Jonathan Kieran’s (as-yet-untitled) new novel, an epic supernatural thriller, is now finished and slated for release in late Spring 2014. Look for news about the release here and at Amazon.com in the coming weeks and months.

Jonathan is also the author of the classically appointed Rowan Blaize series of modern fairy-tales and novels. Visit Jonathan Kieran’s Official Facebook Page and give it a “Like,” if you are so inclined. Meanwhile …

Escape the Imminent Collapse of Civilization, if only for a few hours. A sweeping modern fairy-tale is born with the Rowan Blaize series of books. Click on the book covers to the right or have a look below …

Watch the Rowan Blaize Book Trailer HERE.

Book One = The magical cornerstone – a lavishly illustrated epic narrative poem … a genuine “spell” for the young and young-at-heart to treasure for a lifetime, telling the story of sorcerer Rowan Blaize’s battle to regain his magic powers. (Think Beowulf-meets-Dr.Seuss or an epic story-in-verse of a scope similar to Tolkien’s soon-to-be-released The Fall of Arthur, only contemporary.)

Book Two = The rip-roaring novel that continues the adventures of Rowan Blaize and introduces the three hilarious witches of the Ancient City, along with its dysfunctional werewolves, wraiths, ghosts, vampires, dryads, banshees and a beauty pageant brat that just might destroy the world.

Book Three = The next novel that finds Rowan trapped by a spell in another world, caught between a faery-squashing sorceress who’ll stop at nothing to conquer the kingdom … and a feisty teenage prince who’s determined to get it back.

Click here to purchase the Kindle e-books and watch a video of Jonathan discussing his work.
__________________________________________
Barnes and Noble
IndieBound
Books-A-Million
Rowan Blaize Official Website
Goodreads

Memories: My 11th Grade Psych Teacher. #theyputheraway

"Look, you don't want to be here, I don't want to be here, and in thirty years the people foolish enough to marry any of you are going to regret being wherever they are. In light of this, I am going to sit at the desk and sip quietly from a silver flask for the remainder of the day. Let this be a lesson to everyone about the proper way to handle an existential crisis. Class dismissed."

“Look, you don’t want to be here, I don’t want to be here, and in twenty years the people foolish enough to marry any of you morons are going to regret being wherever they are. In light of this, I am going to sit at the desk and sip quietly from a silver flask for the remainder of the day. Let this be a lesson to everyone about the proper way to handle a lifelong existential crisis. Class dismissed.”