The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #122: The Making of “Because We May Only Have One Night” (Vocal Version)

Episode #122: The Making of “Because We May Only Have One Night” (Vocal Version)

After finishing the instrumental theme in episode #120, lyrics started coming.  That’s the thing about the muse.  Sometimes, unbeknownst to you, she starts doing her own thing at a time you least expect.  If you recall, this was a little love theme written for a scene in a Thirteenth Hour sequel book when our two main protagonists, Logan and Aurora, are reunited after a long time.  Since the course of true love never runs smoothly, it’s meant to convey a mixture of bittersweet yearning and a desire to push everything else away for just a few moments alone with your heart’s desire.

This song is dedicated to my wife.  When writing the lyrics, I was reminded by the short love songs on the collection 69 Love Songs by the Magnetic Fields (that was a car CD we’d listen to a lot in years past) and some saccharine, mellow, haunting songs from a different time, like “Such a Woman” by Neil Young and “If” by Bread.

Today’s backing track was done on the synthesizer and electric guitar with the vocals done afterwards.  Mixing was done on the synth and in Audacity.  You can hear the final version at the end of the show.  Download this song and the instrumental version on bandcamp.  You can also stream them below.

Here are the lyrics:

Because We May Only Have One Night
If I had one day
Before the world was through
I’d spend it all with you
No looking back

If we had one night
Just one night to hold you tight
And be there close to you
Never let you go

And all those things
That get in the way
Make them disappear
Forever and forever …

Just one day to
See the world in your eyes
Capture all the memories
Never let them fade

Just one night
One night to hold you tight
And be there close to you
Never let you go

And everyone
Who won’t let us be
Make them go away
Forever and forever …

Just one night
To hold each other tight
Maybe just one night
What are we waiting for?

Coming attraction: watch out for Dev9K discussing their 80s anime inspired video game, Nirvana Pilot Yume, which answers the question what happened if the 90s shareware game Skyroads were a visual novel with a synthwave soundtrack?  The game releases on Steam on 12/13, so check it out and find out more next week!


Between Two Worlds, the synth EP follow up to Long Ago Not So Far Away is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

The bonus track, called “Flight of the Cloudrider” has a 80s movie mashup music video (see if you can identify all the movies!) which is available on youtube.   This app was largely created with the iphone app Auxy.

between 2 worlds EP cover 2Stay tuned.  Follow along on Spotify!  There is also a growing extended Thirteenth Hour playlist on Spotify with a growing number of retro 80s songs.

Check it out!

As always, thanks for listening!


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  • Listen to Long Ago Not So Far Away, the Thirteenth Hour soundtrack online at: or Spotify.  Join the mailing list for a digital free copy.  You can also get it on CD or tape.
  • Website:
  • Book trailer:
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #63: Audio Recording and Editing with a Minimum of Gear Part 1

Episode #63: A Behind the Scenes Look at How the Soundtrack Was Created – Recording and Editing Audio Cheaply and Simply (1 of 2)

Today, we’re going to talk about how to audio record music with a minimum of fuss and equipment.  I used these methods to create the audio tracks for The Thirteenth Hour soundtrack, Long Ago Not So Far Away, and I certainly didn’t spend a lot of money (although, if time is money then, well …)

In any event, I used a combination of recording and editing equipment many people have (smartphone and computer – both aging at this point) as well as an old keyboard and 2 guitars.  There are some videos of the keyboard and, I think, the electric guitar on Instagram, and you can see for yourself that they’re nothing fancy.  So I think if this is something you’re interested in, don’t necessarily let the lack of money or equipment scare you off.

In this episode, I’ll talk a little about how all this worked and how you might be able to do something similar if you’re interested, culminating in a digital audio file you can then edit on a computer.  Part 2 (next week) will focus on editing that file to make it sound professional.

Here’s a link to an article I did on podcasting that may be helpful.   There’s a link to the free recording and editing program Audacity there as well as a lot of helpful links to tutorials that discuss audio recording and editing.

As always, thanks for listening!


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  • Free online streaming of the growing Thirteenth Hour soundtrack:  Stay tuned to a full 45+ min album coming 11/13/16.  Join the mailing list for a free copy.
  • Website:
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  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #59: The Thirteenth Hour Soundtrack Preview

Episode #59: Long Ago Not So Far Away: Music from The Thirteenth Hour (Preview)

This week, it’s all about retro 80s, starting with a preview of the upcoming official soundtrack release for The Thirteenth Hour, entitled Long Ago Not So Far Away.

It ended up being about 47 minutes long with a combination of synth instrumental tracks and songs with lyrics played on the guitar, piano, or a both.  Some were songs that I came up with originally when I wrote the book, others were ones that I wrote a few years later but had not fully completed (i.e. had the lyrics and chords for the guitar, making for a skeleton of a song … but all the little riffs and fills that make a song a song, especially a retro style 80s song, weren’t there).  There were two I kept more bare bones (mostly just acoustic guitar with a minimum of electric effects or synthesizers) because I wanted them to sound like folk songs out of the pseud0-medieval world the novel is set in.

It really ended up being a lot of fun.  In contrast to the tortuous process I had creating the cover for the book version of The Thirteenth Hour, making the cover for Long Ago Not So Far Away felt like a breeze, since I decided that the best course of action was to make it look like something out of the 80s.  I have a healthy collection of 80s CDs, tapes, and movies that helped provide entertaining inspiration.  There were also tons of synthwave (neo 80s synth music) covers on the internet (some of which looked more 80s than actual 80s album covers!). I also found this great Instagram page by @synthenebrism which links to a Spotify page with hours upon hours of synthwave music for your listening enjoyment.

In terms of making the cover itself, I found this great step by step tutorial that captured the look I was going for almost perfectly.  It walks you through using Photoshop to create your own retro synth cover.  I wanted an aurora for the cover to fit with the content of the book, so after a bit of searching, found this free stock image (click on the image to go to the page):


Thanks to Blackmoons32 on deviantart for making a great free lightning bolt stock image already with an alpha channel (meaning the background is already transparent), making it easy to paste into your picture.  I thought about adding a rainbow or a unicorn to really round out the 80s fantasy images but thought that might be laying it on a little thick.  Instead, I just added the pixelart Logan on Lightning I made for the vaporware Thirteenth Hour game I started years ago.  In the end, it ended up looking like this:

cover 80s style_edited-33.jpg

It should be out later this fall.  But if you’d like a free advance preview, there are a few ways to do it.  Check out the bandcamp page, which has many of the tracks already uploaded, though not the fully remastered ones.  You can also look for former entries of this podcast or the Instagram page for some live versions or early drafts of songs.  Lastly, if you haven’t already, sign up for the mailing list if you’d like a free digital copy of the album to download with album artwork and all.  Stay tuned!

As always, thanks for listening!


  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast and a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour!
  • Follow The Thirteenth Hour’s instagram pages: @the13thhr and@the13thhr.ost for your daily weekday dose of ninjas, martial arts bits, archery, flips, breakdancing action figures, fantasy art, 80s music, movies, and occasional pictures or songs from The Thirteenth Hour books.
  • Free online streaming of the growing Thirteenth Hour soundtrack:  Stay tuned to a full 45+ min album coming in the next few weeks!
  • Website:
  • Book trailer:
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at for more details!

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast Musical Interlude – “Song of an Unsung Hero”

Song of an Unsung Hero: an 80s New Wave Inspired Song

In The Thirteenth Hour, “Song of an Unsung Hero” is the name of the second half of the book. The name comes from a poem featured in the story about a person who has returned from a long and dangerous quest, successful, but battered and weary, and narrates his inner thoughts while he’s being honored for his success. However, he doesn’t really want accolades. He’s lost something precious in the interim, and no honors or medals will exactly fill the void. He also finds himself thinking that people at the celebration ironically seem more excited than he does – they’re at the party to eat, drink, and be merry – but the real reason for the gala seems lost on them. He feels a bit bitter, self-absorbed, and self-righteous, thinking that, but can’t entirely help it and leaves the celebration alone.

Both the poem and song get at the separation that people sometimes feel after they’ve done something difficult (e.g. returning home from war or some other traumatic situation) and are dealing with the culture shock of not entirely knowing how to relate to the world they once knew in the same way they did before.

The book touches on this theme tangentially, since the main character, Logan, chooses to deal with these feelings in his own lighthearted way, but writing the music to the song allowed me to delve into it further. I thought the somber, introspective nature of the song would fit an 80s new wave emo-style song, like the kinds done by bands like New Order, Fiction Factory, Anything Box, and Tears for Fears.

Though I originally wrote the song with the chords below, I played in the key of C on the track, so if you’d like to play along on the guitar, capo up 1 to transpose these chords up 1/2 step.

B                      A

I saw the world today.

B                                       Esus2

A thousand faces laughing through me.

B                               A

The celebration planned for me,

B                        Esus2

All forgotten instantly.



After all I did and gave

B                                    A

I’m still outside in the rain.


B                     A

Outside, looking in.

B                                      Esus2

Don’t want to leave, can’t bear to stay.

B                         A

Who am I?  Who can I be?

B                              Esus2

I don’t know; no one to blame.



So I turned, looked at the ground,

B                              A

Walking away, without a sound.


C#m                        A

And the way isn’t lighted, nor are the stars

C#m                                  F#m     B   A   B   A

All alone here, here in the dark.


B                A

No, I’m not sad.

B                                    Esus2

I realize this was meant to be.


But where can I go?

And what do I say

B                                   Esus2

To those that helped along the way?



And I’m turning, looking at the ground,

B                                A

Walking away, without a sound.

Esus2                      C#m

After all I did and gave

B                                 A

I’m still outside in the rain.

Esus2                                        C#m

And I’m turning, looking at the ground,

B                               A

Walking away, without a sound.

Esus2                        C#m                B

Who will speak my name, sing for me?

A                   A

My song to sing, sing for me,

E        A       E

My song to sing.


2016-04-28 20.28.44


You can find this song as well as other songs written and recorded for The Thirteenth Hour soundtrack in high fidelity here.

Thanks for listening!



  • QR code email signup Signup for the mailing list for a free special edition podcast and a demo copy of The Thirteenth Hour!
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  • Website:
  • Book trailer:
  • Interested in reading and reviewing The Thirteenth Hour for a free book?  Just email me at for more details!


The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #33: Archery and PVC Bows

Episode #33: Archery

This episode focuses on archery, which I’ve featured a few times on this blog (see links below) and on Instagram, since it features in The Thirteenth Hour, though it will play a bigger role in the yet-unnamed sequel.

If you’re interested in making your own bows and arrows, here are some posts and links to get you started.  Using PVC, you can make a cheap, durable, and powerful bow in an afternoon.  There’s still a learning curve, but it’s not nearly as steep as it would be to make a bow the traditional way.

Here’s how to make this takedown bow:


Clicking on the picture will take you to an accompanying youtube video.

The blue bow below is a variation of the model above:


I’m working on a small how-to guide that goes into more depth on the making of the bows above as well as a crash course on archery – watch for more updates in the coming months.

The bows below as also takedowns of different designs:



Clicking on the picture above will take you to a video on youtube.

The bow below is a little different.  It’s a children’s bow made of bamboo, though repurposed from a Halloween costume prop.

2015-10-31 12.17.23

This is the hunter’s bow from A Shadow in the Moonlight:

bow hunter

If you’re interested in learning more about this particular model, signing up for the mailing list will give you access to a special podcast that talks more about it.

I highly recommend you check out videos on youtube such as the Backyard Bowyer channel by Nicholas Tomihama as well as the Google plus community for PVC bowmaking, a great resource!

Next week, archery in the media!


In other news, the 80s style ending song that I previewed last week is done.  As I mentioned before, I decided to write a song to accompany The Thirteenth Hour, a novel I wrote influenced by the 1980s films I loved as a child.  Those movies often had theme songs that played in the opening or ending credits referencing the story, title, or themes involved.  Sometimes, the lyrics were largely unintelligible but relied on a catchy riff or beat to carry the song.

“Searching for Forever,” with its synthesizer backing track, electric guitars, and lyrics that allude to various 80s songs and the plot of the book is my attempt to pay homage to this aspect of 1980s cinema.

You can hear it at  

As always, thanks for listening!


The Thirteenth Hour Podcast Musical Interlude – “Ending Credits” Song – “Searching for Forever”

Searching For Forever:

Since The Thirteenth Hour was a book inspired by 80s fantasy movies, I thought it needed its own ending theme to pay homage to the kinds of songs that always tended to play over the ending credits, often done by bands like Survivor and such.  You can check out the soundtrack page on instagram, this post, or the accompanying podcast on musical influences for the book (mostly new wave 80s synth stuff), but I was going for a song that had vague references to lyrics I recalled from songs from this genre plus the requisite synthesizers and electric guitars.

There are some references to the storyline itself (e.g. “searching for forever,” referring to Logan’s quest to find the secret to eternal life; “riding on a rainbow,” referring to Lightning’s trail of rainbow colored exhaust; and “aurora borealis,” a reference to the aurora Logan and Aurora see at the end of the book – which is an aurora australis, technically, but I took some artistic liberties with the lyrics since the syllables of borealis fit better in the song.)

I also wanted to make it a happy song, so the rhythm is fairly quick (about 125 beats/min).  You can listen to it above on on the main soundtrack page on bandcamp, where you can download a high quality mp3 for the backing track and the full version with vocals.



C Am F G



Verse 1


Look into my eyes


Can’t believe I found you


We’ll find our way together

             F          G

In this crazy world


Verse 2

Fly into tomorrow

Riding on a rainbow

The future is ours

So hold on tight



F                        G

Searching for forever

C                             Am

Who could have known 

F                          G

Searching for forever

C                      Am  F   G

I’d find it with you …


Verse 3

Look how far we’ve come now

Shoreline under night skies

Aurora borealis

Will guide us home


Verse 4

We’ll find our place yet

Dreaming is believing

We only need each other

So don’t let go



Instrumental solo

Chorus x 2

 © 2016 Joshua Blum

I just finished this accompanying image to go with the song – watch it being created here!

Logan & Aurora Searching For Forever Final Big.jpg

As always, thanks for listening!


The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #22: 80s Music! (Alphaville, When in Rome, Van Halen)

Episode #22: Musical Influences from the 80s

This week, I experimented with playing music in the background while recording this episode in music that influenced the writing of The Thirteenth Hour.  The sound quality leaves something to be desired, but I only played a few short clips anyway.  I may experiment with ways to make the sound quality better in the future but clearly opted for the low-tech option today 🙂

So … here’s youtube links to the full songs discussed so you can hear (and see) them in all their 80s big hair glory:

(Alphaville) Forever Young (courtesy of Atlantic Records at the time)

(When in Rome) The Promise (courtesy of EMI Records).  This is the song I pictured as Logan flew on Lightning:

I'll Fly Away Flying IG_1

(Van Halen) When it’s Love (courtesy of Warner Bros at the time).  This is song I had in mind for these scenes in the book:

marriage b and wWM

island in dreamRM

The theme song to The Thirteenth Hour, heard in the intro and outro of the podcast and influenced by these kinds of 80s songs, is found on the audio page, as is “I’ll Fly Away”.

More details on these and other musical influences come from this original post:

As always, thanks for listening!


thunderclap 13th hr picture_edited-1


Influences Behind “The Thirteenth Hour” Part 4: Music

A few months back, I wrote posts about influences from movies, books, and games that went into creating The Thirteenth Hour.  This is the last in that series and focuses on the music that went into writing the book.  It’s mostly 80s material, which is probably why the theme music I wrote for the book trailer sounded like something out of an 80s movie.

I dunno, there’s something about the lonely wail of an electric guitar and the soft, swirling moan of a synthesizer that gets the creative juices flowing – at least for me 😉

I’ve linked the music below to videos and when I could.

-Alphaville – “Forever Young” (amazon link)

When I first heard this song, I thought, “Man, this is a great song.  I totally don’t understand the lyrics, but … who cares?”  I also immediately thought it was from an 80s fantasy movie.  It wasn’t (at least not to my knowledge) but has been used and sampled in countless movies, commercials, and other songs since.

In the original draft of The Thirteenth Hour, I added a quote from the lyrics at the end of the book.  Since both the book and song touched on mortality and getting older, I thought I’d include a little homage to the song as a way to end the book:

So many adventures couldn’t happen today
So many songs we forgot to play
So many dreams swinging out of the blue
We let them come true

Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever, forever and ever?
Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever, forever and ever?

When I decided to publish the book, I actually contacted the band and asked about permission to reprint those lyrics.  They routed me to the Hal Leonard Corp. in the USA, which publishes sheet music (and apparently also handles rights to song lyrics, which I didn’t know).  I obtained the rights to reprint the lyrics in the US easily enough, but since Hal Leonard is a US only company, they had no jurisdiction outside the country.  I tried one more lead but eventually shelved trying to obtain worldwide permission for another day (when I’ll hopefully have the help of someone who better knows how to do these kinds of things).

So, at this point, no copies of The Thirteenth Hour have these lyrics, but … there are always future editions.  Until then, there’s this backstory and a link to the video.

-When in Rome – “The Promise” (amazon link)

Songs like “Forever Young” and “The Promise” by When in Rome were examples of the New Wave music that was popular in the 80s.  By the time I finally became interested in music and could afford to buy tapes and, later, CDs, the genre was already out of date and the albums were getting hard to find in most stores.  It was before the internet made it easy to obtain whatever music you wanted, so you had to go to a music store, like Sam Goody, and hope for the best.  Sometimes the people working there could order the CD for you, but once I figured out that you could buy things on the internet, that became obsolete.  But before giving up and going the online route, I’d usually try a used record store in the town where I went to college that had tons of used CDs and a dwindling collection of tapes.  There was always a hopeful, though remote possibility they might have it and then there would be no need to wait for it to be shipped.  (But it was hard to find what you wanted there unless you were able to commit to a few hours of hunting through the racks, CD by CD, fingers crossed, hoping you’d find what you were looking for.  Most of the time, I didn’t, though I did find other albums I ended up liking.)

But this album by When in Rome I think I did find in a store.  I forget where, but I must have been in high school since I know I had it when I was writing The Thirteenth Hour ; it was the music I imagined playing in the background when Logan was flying on Lightning for the first time, going to find Aurora.  The lyrics didn’t quite fit the situation, but the general message of the song seemed appropriate at the time.  In my early drafts, the romantic relationship between Logan and Aurora developed a lot quicker than it did in the final version, so the song fit better.  I ended up changing the pacing of the romance to be slower and what I thought would be more realistic for two young people new to navigating the complicated, confusing game that love creates.  However, whenever I hear this song, I still picture a pink-hued setting sun reflecting off snow-capped mountains and Logan, wind whistling through his hair, shooting past on Lightning, intent on finding his Aurora.

Maybe I’ll make a video or picture of that in the future, but until then, here’s the music video of the actual song.

-Tangerine Dream – “The Unicorn Theme” from Legend (amazon link)

I actually wrote about the music from the movie Legend before.  The totally 80s sounding unicorn theme was, not surprisingly, my favorite track from the album and dare I say, my favorite part of the whole movie.  But it wasn’t actually 100% complete on the album – they truncated it for some reason.  I distinctly remember wishing they had included the whole thing, but I think later editions did, since you can hear it here.

The Jerry Goldsmith score used for European versions of the film, is more lyrical and doesn’t use synthesizers.  It fits the movie in a way that makes it more timeless, while the synth Tangerine Dream version plants it firmly in the 80s, which, arguably, is not necessarily a bad thing 🙂  To me, it meant that fantasy could co-exist side-by-side with futuristic synthesizer sounds, which, though some may disagree, adds a bit of flair to the movie.

There’s an interesting retrospective look at the film, its version, and its score here.

-The Neverending Story OST (amazon link)

The NeverEnding Story [Complete Score]

Like Legend above, while I touched on music from The Neverending Story before, it deserves special mention again since it’s clearly a soundtrack that fits well into the decade (came out in 1984).  If it were made today, it would probably sound much different, but I would argue that there was something about the synthesized score and the upbeat Europop sounding theme song that fit the movie well.  The score is as much a part of the character of the film as the visuals.  Indiana Jones wouldn’t be Indiana Jones without his theme.  Rocky wouldn’t be Rocky without a power ballad by Survivor.  Jean Claude Van Damme jump hook kicking Bolo Yeung in Bloodpsort just wouldn’t be the same without the synthesized backing track.  And The Neverending Story without its unique soundtrack would be, well, like The Neverending Story part 2.

Anyway, here’s the swirling cloud intro with the theme song.  The hard-to-find soundtrack (some of which you can listen to here) deserves a listen as a whole if you like the film.  Not surprisingly, when making the trailer for The Thirteenth Hour, I added some swirling cloud scenes as a homage to the film.

-The Prince Valiant cartoon OST (amazon link)

Prince Valiant was, in my opinion, an underrated cartoon that ran in the early 90s on the Family Channel.  I remember it being on Sunday mornings and tried to watch it whenever I could, through I never caught all of the episodes (there were 65 total).  The characters were likable, and there was an epic intro theme song, which was pretty kickass for a cartoon intro.  It was, after all, about King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, so maybe was all fitting.  A soft rock ballad with a slightly more new-agey feel, the song also fit the time (early 90s).

A few years later, I found the soundtrack in the bargin bin of a local bookstore since it had a damaged case.  Intrigued, I bought it.  The theme song was as kickass as I remembered.   This was before I knew much about mp3s or any other digital music, so it kind of sucked to buy an album and find you only liked one song.  But I surprised myself by liking the rest of the CD, too.  Like The Neverending Story OST, this one had a largely synthesized/electronic soundtrack that was probably largely a product of the time.  Like the other music here, it provided inspiration for the theme I wrote for The Thirteenth Hour.

-Van Halen – “When It’s Love” (amazon link)


Unlike the others on this list, this Van Halen power ballad isn’t New Wave, but it has this synthesized intro (full song here) that I’ve always liked and is the music I pictured playing in the background as Logan and Aurora get married at the end of the book.

As the song comes to a close, there’s one last synthesized break, and I always pictured them flying away into the setting sun on Lightning, off to find a better life of their own making on their island of purple mountains and wild horses.