The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #243: Reading from The Thirteenth Hour on Flying Through the Clouds and Like a Hood Ornament 3 – the Rocketeer’s Rocketpack

Episode #243: Reading from The Thirteenth Hour on Flying Through the Clouds and Like a Hood Ornament 3 – the Rocketeer’s Rocketpack

https://archive.org/download/podcast243/Podcast%20243.mp3

This week’s show is all about flying, both in the traditional part of the podcast as well as in the Rocketeer segment.  I’ll always aim for them to be related if possible, since, after all, The Rocketeer was one of the things that influenced the writing and creation of the Thirteenth Hour world.

In the first part of the show, I’m reading from the chapter where the main protagonist, Logan, is gifted a silver hoverboard he calls Lightning that has its own onboard magical “computer” (though that’s never exactly stated), allowing for a kind of magic artificial intelligence, and runs off the power of the sun (again, never exactly stated, at least not in this one).

Just to get us in the mood, I thought I’d include the intro from the 1984 film, The Neverending Story, for the quintessential audiovisual cloudscape experience:

Here is the passage from The Thirteenth Hour:

Lightning beeped cheerfully and drifted slowly forward down the lighted blue pathway that I had walked down earlier.  She really picked up speed in the windy section near the entrance. I crouched down low, white–knuckling the board with both hands.  Maybe I should have practiced a little first, I began thinking to myself.  But Aurora was in trouble, and I needed to concentrate on that.  The flight to Cordel would have to be my practice.  Lightning shot out of the Palace and began to climb steeply.  My heart plummeted into my stomach, and I prayed that we would slow down, eyes shut, knuckles even whiter as I gripped the edges of the board for dear life. 

The board beeped then; I opened my eyes slightly, and by shielding them against the torrential winds, I was able to see a message flash across the complicated, yet impressive looking front of the board. 

“Relax, Logan!  There’s no way you can fall.  Both your feet are now strapped in. You can let go of my sides if you want.  Have fun!”  

I looked down; my right foot was now securely strapped onto the board.  I stayed crouched low, but let go of the edges, first one hand, then another.  As soon as I did, I felt as if I were going to fall backwards and began to flail my arms.  Lightning slowed down a little, allowing me to regain my balance.  But at every dip, my stomach felt like it was shooting up to my throat.  I wanted to grab onto something solid, but I realized that there was nothing but air to hold onto!  In desperation, I gripped the side of the board again, but it didn’t do any good.

“This is harder than I thought!”

Another message flashed across the screen.

“Well, it really isn’t too hard once you get the hang of it.  Just relax and let me do the work.  Now, how about some aerobatics, my favorite?”

“Uh, wait a minute!  Aerobatics?  Is that anything like acrobatics?  I don’t think I’m ready for that!” I yelled.

“Sure you are!  You just don’t know it yet!  All you have to do is hang on!” flashed the screen.

I yelled a succession of curses as my stomach shot up to my throat as Lightning spun around three times in succession.  The screen read, “Barrel roll maneuvers complete.”

Whatever that meant!  She ended up in an inverted position, with me looking at the sea, dizzy.  I had paid so much attention to the insides of my eyelids that I hadn’t looked around to notice how high we were.  We seemed to be traveling at an insane speed.  The waves far below flashed by in a blur.  The wind kept getting caught in my gaping mouth and bellowing out my cheeks while I struggled to close my mouth.  At one point, I felt like I was going to fall out, dangling only by the straps holding my feet onto the board.  Instinctively, I grabbed both sides of the board.  Lightning rolled back over, and I breathed easier. 

“This might help you out.  I am going to deploy an invisible shield that will surround you and myself.  It’s just like a big bubble.  It will cut air resistance and protect you.  And just in case you’re interested, it will prevent you from falling should you manage to slip out of the foot restraints.”

“We couldn’t have done this before?” I croaked, as wind caught in my mouth, hard that time, stunning my vocal chords.

“No, my programming instructs us to be at least fifty miles away from the Palace before I deploy the bubble shield.”

“Why fifty?”

“If I overheat, I could self–destruct.  The explosion would level anything in the surrounding area within a fifty mile radius.”

“Self–destruct?” I repeated, horrified.

“The shield has never been tested before.  There’s a very slight chance that it will overload my systems.”

“Overload?” 

“Is it just me or is there an echo here?  It’s alright.  The shield’s up now. All systems are operating well within normal limits.  However, it’s written in my programming to warn all passengers if they aren’t.”

As if they could do anything about it, except maybe jump off and die hitting the ground instead of in a mid–air explosion.  The wind didn’t seem to be blowing as hard now, though I couldn’t see the shield, nor could I feel it.  But I noticed that it was much quieter, and I could talk without shouting, although there was still a ringing in my ears from the rushing wind.

“It seems to work,” I said, feeling around tentatively.

I looked back; I couldn’t see the Palace.  When I asked how far we were away from it, Lightning flashed across her screen, “About 75 miles right now.” 

Jeez, we were going fast.  We couldn’t have been in the air very long; under an hour, I guessed.  I looked back again and noticed a plume of colored, sparkling mist in our wake.  It looked just like a rainbow.  I looked under the board; the mist was coming out of three separate locations on Lightning’s bottom side. 

“Those are my engines.”

I realized that I had been so caught up in the excitement/horror of my ride with Lightning that I had never even questioned how she generated her power.

As if reading my mind, Lightning flashed, ”I can show you the owner’s manual later that discusses more of the specifics, but for now, all you need to know is that there’s a readout on my display that shows how much power I have left.”

I found the icon on her display, which read 95% power.

“You know, I don’t mean to sound ungrateful or anything, because I really appreciate you going fast since you know I’m in a hurry and all, but do you think you could slow down just a little?  I think I left my stomach somewhere behind the last mountain.”

“No, according to my scanner, you still have it.”

“Oh … it was just a manner of speaking, you know …”

“A joke?”

I laughed.  “Well, almost, I guess.”

“Tell me a joke then.”

“Oh, I don’t know any good ones.  When we find Aurora, we’ll ask her.  She’ll know some.”

“All right.  Nothing like learning how to swim by jumping in the deep end, huh, Logan?”

“Right.  Without a lesson.”

“Well, no one ever did learn to swim in a turtle pool.”

“What’s a turtle pool?”

“You never had one of those?  One of those little plastic kiddie pools about a foot deep that you fill up with a hose?”

“Plastic?  Kiddie pool?  Hose?”

“Ehh, never mind.  Probably just some stuff that hasn’t been invented yet.  One of these days I really have to organize my files.”

“So … how long until we reach Cordel?” I asked.

“About thirty minutes.  How do you like flying around like this so far?”

“I like it, especially with the bubble shield.”

“Good!  We’ll always fly with it on from now on.  I’m glad you like flying!  I knew you were a flyer when I first saw you!” flashed the board, with a few friendly beeps.

“We’re going to take a little detour, and I think I’ll throw in a few tricks, just to keep things interesting.  Wouldn’t want you to fall asleep or anything!”  

“Oh, I really don’t think you’ll have to worry about …” 

Just at that second, I tried to scream as Lightning shot upward suddenly, but my voice was still somewhat hoarse.  All that came out was some kind of croaking sound.  Then she hung a hard right, shot into a loop with a couple of twists thrown in, and straightened out high above the clouds.  My stomach, however, took a little longer.

“Guh … give me a minute to recover,” I panted.

“Okay.  It’s pretty much a straight trip from here, so we’ll take it easy so you can get used to doing turns and things like that. Of course, you can always count on me to fly, but I thought you’d like to give it a shot yourself.”

By shifting my weight left and right, I was able to make turns.  By leaning forwards or backwards, I could either climb or dive.  I even tried a tentative loop with all the grace of a one–legged stork.

“Hey, not bad!” flashed the message board.  “See, it’s not so hard!” 

“I guess …” I said.

“Logan, I know what you need!  A little attitude!  How about some music?  ‘Cause there isn’t much to see up here.  Just clouds, and when you’ve seen one, you’ve pretty much seen them all.  And there’s nothing like music to boost your confidence!” 

“Music?” I asked, a little surprised.

“Yes.  One of my unsung talents.”

“Hey, Lightning, that was a joke!  Well, kind of, anyway.  I think that’s called a pun.”

“Really?  Well, see, things are looking up already!”

I heard a sound suddenly.  Or sounds, rather, but they were like nothing I had ever heard before.  The music sounded slow, at first, then it picked up pace, until the speed of the music matched the speed of our flying.  It was strangely futuristic, but at the same time, it seemed like I had always known the melody. [When I was originally writing this passage, I had the melody from When in Rome’s “The Promise” in mind.]

There were words sung, too, but in a language that I neither understood nor wanted to understand; somehow, the mystery of the words added to the mystique of the music.  In a way, this is in vain, as my description here will do no justice to the melody, because there are some things that are perhaps impossible to describe in words and are better left unspoken.    

I felt, at that moment, an incredible rush of energy and indescribable exhilaration.  I felt ready to take on the world – or, at least, a dragon or two.  All my fears of flying vanished like the mist of the rainbow behind us. The feeling of gliding through the air with the wind rushing through my hair, sleeves and pant legs flapping back and forth, and the music rushing up to meet my ears was indescribable.  But it is perhaps best compared to that day, long ago, when, as I stood at the top of the hill near the castle, looking out at the landscape around – I let the wind take my hand and lead me to dance.

I later wrote a song for Long Ago Not So Far Away about this part of the book that became the song, “I’ll Fly Away.”  It has two versions, both below – with varying levels of synth and tempo depending on your mood!

Today’s Rocketeer segment is also about flying – the Rocketeer’s rocketpack!

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Today marks the third Rocketeer segment as a part of the podcast.  Below are a few previous episodes about the Rocketeer:

Ep 18 on comics (Dave Stevens)

Ep 53 on rewatching the Rocketeer as an adult

Ep 235 on making the resin miniature Rocketeer

This week, we’re discussing three versions of the rocketpack (in descending order below): 1.) the sliver-purple one with fins from the comics, 2.) the finless silver double barrelled Art Deco one from the movie, and 3.) the silver and purple double barrelled one with fins from the cartoon that came out this past fall.

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The Rocketeer - Meet Kit Secord (Promo) - YouTube

Here are a few design ideas on the gloves and rocketpack from the film, showing the original prototype (closer to Dave Steven’s original drawings), then how it evolved into the double silver bullet shape seen in the film (these come from The Rocketeer Official Movie Souvenir Magazine).

Here are some excerpts from the original comic drawn by Dave Stevens about how the rocket pack was controlled and refueled.  (The images below come from The Rocketeer: The Complete Deluxe Edition, which is unfortunately quite difficult to find now – look on Amazon and eBay for used copies at more reasonable prices).

This little animated .gif is, of course, from the point in the movie where the Rocketeer, not above a little self conscious vanity, asks how he looks.  Peevy, not above a little blunt honesty, says “Like a hood ornament!”  The Rocketeer blasts off for the first time, Peevy gets blown backwards into the hangar, and I get a name for this part of the podcast!

Stay tuned for more Rocketeer gear talk next week!  Stay safe!

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay 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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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #242: Reading from The Thirteenth Hour on Reflection in Seclusion and Like a Hood Ornament 2

Episode #242: Reading from The Thirteenth Hour on Reflection in Seclusion and Like a Hood Ornament 2

https://archive.org/download/podcast242_202003/Podcast%20242.mp3

On this week’s show, I thought we’d do a little more quarantine / seclusion real talk – specifically on self reflection when alone with your thoughts, as many people are these days, kind of like Logan in one part of The Thirteenth Hour, which we’ll be reading from shortly.  We may ignore or put off deep thinking in day to day life, either out of discomfort, fear of what we’ll find, or lack of time.  But, on the other hand, sometimes being alone with your thoughts offers the most freedom of expression, since there is no one else to censor your thought process except you (and the voice of society, upbringing, etc – though that’s still you, just your interpretation of those things).

Here are are some of passages from The Thirteenth Hour referenced in the episode:

I don’t know how long I sat there – I was vaguely aware of the sun going down at some point, but my mind wasn’t really on that.  I struggled a lot that day, but not with nausea or sleep.  I had always been a pretty optimistic person – most dreamers are, I think – and liked to think that people were basically good inside.  I wanted to believe that there were happy endings, and that it wasn’t just something people wrote about in books so they could vicariously experience something they never knew in real life.  I basically wanted the world to be a good place, or if not good, at least non–imposing, leaving me free to do what I wanted.  I had always thought if you left people alone, they’d leave you alone.  But that didn’t always happen, did it?   It was like being a grain of sand in a desert where a simple gust of wind or footprint could shift the position of the grains all around you, changing your own position.  Perhaps accepting that was part of something called growing up, but I sure didn’t have to like it.

If it’s just one person, perhaps life is simpler, but when there is another, things get more complicated.  I wanted to believe that love could work out, too, even though I still didn’t really know what it felt like.  But I was an optimist and wanted to believe that I would know what love was like one day.  But if love meant surrendering part of yourself, could you really do that if you felt ashamed of what you had to give? …

… And though I never asked her to, she came each day after that, even if it was just to sit by me and put cold compresses on my body as I drifted in and out of feverish sleep.  Sometimes I wondered why she did, since I had so little to offer in terms of companionship.  But finally, one day, the fever broke, and I awoke to find that the pounding in my head had gone.  I looked out my window – night.  I did not feel like sleeping anymore and began to test my unsteady legs.  As I hobbled in and out of the shadows of my darkened cell, I found my mind wondering when Aurora would stop by.  Of course, not until daylight, many hours from now, a realization that stung a little at first.  But the more I thought about it, the sting became an ache that racked my body painfully until I was forced to sit down on the floor.   There, with labored breaths, I thought back on specific things that had happened over the past few weeks, over the past few years, over the course of my life.  Then there was a spark, a sudden flash of light, and it all became so clear; I marveled how I could have been so blind.

It was then that I understood why the bards so often sung of love, because for the first time, I actually knew what they were singing about.  Because it was then I knew that it was love that I’d been falling into all along; I just hadn’t known enough about it to realize what it was.  And then, to my surprise, I rolled over onto the floor and began to cry.  Maybe I was happy, maybe I was sad, I didn’t know.  But I hadn’t really cried in such a long time that it was like I was experiencing it for the first time.  The tears that flowed from my eyes pushed away the dirt and sweat and grime, leaving a clean streak behind, fresh and ready for the future. 

(POV change to Aurora) I found him sleeping there on the floor the next morning.  He did not stir when I walked in.  I knelt down and felt his forehead; the fever had passed.  For the first time in many days, he looked like he was at peace.  I did not disturb him.  But after a few minutes, he opened his eyes and saw me next to him.  Then, he sat up slowly, looked at me, and smiled.  There was something different in his smile, but I smiled back all the same.  And then I knew what it was; he understood!  Then we put our arms around each other and stayed that way in that dank, dirty cell for a long, long time.   

I wrote a song for Long Ago Not So Far Away about this part of the book that I talked about a little back in episode 51 (recorded around the time I wrote it).  The lyrics and associated chords are below:

Love, Grey Dresses, and Other Things

Intro

C
There’s this girl that I know
G Am
Actually, I’ve known her all my life,
F
It seems, to me.

C G
And when she found me, as a child
Am F
All alone, without a soul, to call my own.
C
Best friends were we
G Am F
Did I ever say how much that meant … to me?

C
And so … the seasons go
G Am
Promises of childhood seem so bold.
F
Can they grow old?

C G
Now I hold her hand but
Am
As an adult man, and something is …
F G
Different this time.

C
That grey dress she wears
G Am
Seen it a hundred times before
F
But not like tonight, not like tonight. ‘Cause
C
There’s a fire in her eyes
G Am
The wind catches a lock of her hair
F
And my heart lifts in time.
C
There’s a smile on her face
G Am
One I know that time can not erase …
F
But it feels new.

C G
And then all at once, it hits me like a thousand tons
Am F
How I could’ve been so blind?
C G
And that’s when I knew why songs are sung of love
Am
Because, because, because … it was love
F C
I was falling in … this whole time.

Instrumental: C G Am F C

The album version of the song (instrumental version above):

 

When I was producing the song, I added more layers and an electric guitar segment to the latter parts of the song to beef up the song what is essentially a four chord folk ballad to create a dichotomy between the slow, tender, piano part with a louder, more biting, aggressive part reminiscent of an 80s metal ballad.   I wanted it to be that way to capture the balance between Logan’s tender realization in a time of vulnerability contrasted with the flash of insight that he must lift himself up out of a hole in the ground (quite literally – he is a dungeon, after all) with his strength of will.

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Today also marks the second Rocketeer segment as a part of the podcast.  Below are a few episode mentions about the Rocketeer prior to last week’s show on Cliff Secord’s biography:

Ep 18 on comics (Dave Stevens)

Ep 53 on rewatching the Rocketeer as an adult

Ep 235 on making the resin miniature Rocketeer

This week, I’m reading from some of Dave Stevens’ handwritten notes on the backstory he created for Cliff to give depth to the character and explain some of the motivations Cliff had (which, admittedly, were somewhat self serving).   This comes from The Rocketeer: The Complete Deluxe Edition, which is unfortunately quite difficult to find now but has pages and pages of storyboards (like the one below) and notes from Dave Stevens on the characters and story he wanted to create.

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https://imgur.com/gallery/yYmEOnO?s=sms

More coming next week!  Stay safe!

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished one year ago, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay 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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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #225: Musical Interlude – the Making of “The Last Dance” Part 3

Episode #225: Musical Interlude – the Making of “The Last Dance” Part 3 

https://archive.org/download/podcast225_201912/Podcast%20225.mp3

This week, I continue work on a ballad written from the perspective of Aurora from The Thirteenth Hour from a passage in the book where our young protagonists are starting to realize that there might be more to their relationship than just friendship.  I’ve been fiddling with adding a beat to the song and was listening to two examples – one by Debbie Gibson (“Lost in Your Eyes”) which adds a beat after a piano intro riff and another by Alphaville (“Forever Young”) which actually has no backing beat at all in the original version until about 1 and a quarter minutes into the song.

 

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There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished last winter, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay 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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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #224: Musical Interlude – the Making of “The Last Dance” Part 2 / Rocketeer Theme

Episode #224: Musical Interlude – the Making of “The Last Dance” Part 2 / Rocketeer Theme

https://archive.org/download/podcast224_201911/Podcast%20224.mp3

This week, I continue work on a ballad written from the perspective of Aurora from The Thirteenth Hour from a passage in the book where our young protagonists are starting to realize that there might be more to their relationship than just friendship.  Last week I had a rough draft of the lyrics.  This week, I’m singing the second draft and playing the chords on the keyboard.

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While I was practicing the intro riff, I kept wanting to play the theme from the 1991 movie, The Rocketeer, scored by James Horner.  It’s not surprising since it’s one of my favorite soundtracks and one of my most favorite movies of all time, though I’ve never tried figuring out the intro theme, which is played partly on the piano if I’m not mistaken.

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I’m playing it in the key of C, just like “The Last Dance,” which is probably why the two kept getting mixed up in my head, even though they don’t sound much alike.

Speaking of the Rocketeer, if you can find a copy of the Nov 2019 magazine, Fine Scale Modeler, you can find a picture of this most excellent painted Rocketeer figurine!

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9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished last winter, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay 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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The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #223: Musical Interlude – the Making of “The Last Dance” Part 1

Episode #223: Musical Interlude – the Making of “The Last Dance” Part 1

https://archive.org/download/podcast223_201911/Podcast%20223.mp3

This week, I start work on a new ballad written from the perspective of Aurora from The Thirteenth Hour from this passage in the book where our young protagonists are starting to realize that there might be more to their relationship than just friendship (The Thirteenth Hour is occasionally told from multiple perspectives; bolded black portions of the text below indicate a perspective change from Aurora to Logan):

I hadn’t seen much of Logan the whole dance; he’d been whisked away by an overzealous female flamingo as soon as the dance had started. The last I saw, he was listening to the animated hoots and squawks of the backflipping chimpanzee after they’d had a backflip contest which ended in a tie.

The more I looked for him, the harder he was to find. I couldn’t help feeling a twinge of jealousy. After all, we’d come here together. We should have at least once dance. For some reason, that seemed important … I couldn’t explain, but I hoped he would understand.

The animal band suddenly announced that this would the last song, and when the crowd protested, they promised to make it extra–long and slow. Great. These were the kind of songs that required a partner. And if you were a girl and didn’t have one, like me, you either stood marooned on the floor, awkwardly waiting for someone to ask you to dance or retreated to the sidelines. I looked around for awhile but could not find Logan. As I sighed and turned to walk to the side, suddenly he was right there, alone. Among all the faces swimming around my eyes, I saw only his. He didn’t ask if I wanted to dance; he just took my hand, and we joined in the crowd.

“There’s something …” we both said at precisely the same instant. And then we both laughed. “… that I wanted to tell you,” we both finished.

There were a few seconds of silence. I felt like there was an invisible wall that my words had to get over … if I could get them over that barrier, everything would be fine. But I couldn’t do it, at least not yet. Finally I gave a sheepish grin and a sideways nod that said “maybe you better go first.”

“Well, back when I was talking to the unicorn – you know, the Lord of the Earth, he offered to see into my future. And the fortune said in the very near future I’d be married. Can you believe it? Can you imagine me, married?”

I thought for a second. There were a couple of places I could go from there, but I chose the semi–safe route. “I think I can, but … what made you think of that just now?”

“Well, I really wanted to tell you at the baths. But then we got interrupted. And then, at dinner, there was so much going on, and I kinda forgot. And then I saw you just now and, I dunno, that’s what I thought of. I don’t know why, I guess.”

“Did the Lord say to whom?”

“No, he didn’t say.”

“Didn’t or wouldn’t?”

“Wouldn’t. I did try asking.”

“You must have been surprised. You sound surprised.”

“I was. I just never really thought about it before. Maybe it would be nice, if you found the right person, but finding that person … I dunno, I wouldn’t even know where to start.”

He wasn’t taking the bait, and I couldn’t really blame him. It was kind of a long shot. Guys weren’t great with these kinds of things, anyway. Still, it never hurt to try. “You really think it would be so hard to find the right person?”

“Well, how many girls have I really known?” I shrugged and laughed, looking down at Aurora’s feet. “I mean, who would I marry, you?”

Ouch …

I regretted it the moment I said it. I’d been joking, but hadn’t meant it to come out like that. If there was any girl I did have feelings for, Aurora certainly would’ve been the one, but to marry someone, you had to love them, didn’t you? I still didn’t really know what that was. There was an awkward silence. I laughed a little and felt like an idiot. Aurora laughed, too, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that I should have just kept my mouth shut.

It was alright, and I said so. Like I said, it was a long shot, and even I didn’t understand the weird mess of feelings inside. But I was forced at that moment to admit that they were there. Things were changing, and I was falling.

“ … but you said that you had something to say, too?” Logan asked.

I just shook my head and looked down at the spinning dance floor. It made me dizzy, and I looked back up at Logan. He was just tall enough so I had to look up a little to meet his gaze but not so tall that I couldn’t rest my head on his shoulder, if the time were right for that. I didn’t, though. Instead, I looked into his eyes but could not tell what he was thinking. I did my best to smile, and we danced that way until the song ended.

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

 

9c855cfe-2bcf-4f9b-9681-898d80b49e9a

There are now Thirteenth Hour toys!  If you’d like to pick up one of these glow in the dark figures for yourself, feel free to email me or go to the Etsy store I set up (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ThirteenthHourStudio) and get them there.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished last winter, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay 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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #219: A Thirteenth Hour Piano Medley

Episode #219: A Thirteenth Hour Piano Medley

https://archive.org/download/podcast219_201910/Podcast%20219.mp3

This week, I recorded a session after happening on a grand piano at a hotel this past week. I tried to play a bunch of Thirteenth Hour song riffs continuously, kind of like how old musicals used to do a medley as the credits rolled.

I stopped the recording in the middle since a gentleman stopped to ask what the song was and to say he’d liked it (thanks, mystery gentleman, it was The Thirteenth Hour theme!). I’m generally horrendous at self promotion in day to day life.But, I suppose I should probably work on it more consistently. So you’ll notice a few new things this episode – a standardized outro with reminders of social media and other presences as well as a virtual tip jar courtesy of www.ko-fi.com.

The track I started a few weeks ago, “The Skipping Stone” is done and available at https://joshuablum.bandcamp.com/track/the-skipping-stone

Speaking of music, if you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished last winter, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay 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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #218: “The Skipping Stone” and Minifigure Updates

Episode #218: “The Skipping Stone” and Minifigure Updates

https://archive.org/download/podcast218_201910/Podcast%20218.mp3

This week, I’m wrapping up the track from last week, “The Skipping Stone” as well as a few updates on the minifigures that I’ve been working on for the past year or so.  All the nonpainted ones are packed up and ready to go.  Here are a preliminary shots!

I’m still working on the painted ones:

img_8812img_8813

The finalized track for “The Skipping Stone” will be up on bandcamp soon (once I make some cover art).

Speaking of music, if you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished last winter, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay 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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #217: Musical Interlude – Thirteenth Hour Reading Set to “The Skipping Stone”

Episode #217 Musical Interlude – Thirteenth Hour Reading Set to “The Skipping Stone”

https://archive.org/download/podcast217_201910/Podcast%20217.mp3

This week, I’m reading from a short excerpt from The Thirteenth Hour sent to a draft of a music track I just wrote to score this particular passage. It was done on the iOS app, Auxy, and was meant to be an ambient, introspective instrumental piece. Because skipping stones feature in the excerpt a few times, I tried to find synthesizer effects that sounded like splashes of water.

The man from the Army was already waiting at the doorway. The Army man looked a little surprised when he saw me, possibly because of my height. He stood outside in the hallway while I “got my things in order.” But there was really nothing more to do, and I was just stalling for time.

Aurora stood in front of me, waiting as I fumbled with the knot on the bundle that held my belongings: a spare set of underpants, a few pairs of (holey) socks, and my two best skipping stones. They were both smooth and flat, but one was sandy colored and the other dark blue. The sandy one I had found a long time ago on a shallow river bottom. It was just the right size and weight, and despite numerous throws and temporary losses, I had somehow always managed to recover it. The dark blue one had been Aurora’s. She made me take it. Like mine, it was of perfect shape and size except that there was even a little notch on one corner that you could fit your finger in to put more spin on the stone as you threw it. She had been delighted to find it, and we both knew it was special. Special things have a way of falling out of your hands when you least expect it, but she always found it again and said it brought good luck. When said she wanted me to have it, I protested relentlessly, saying that if she gave it away, what would bring her good luck now? She gently but firmly closed my hands over it, and that was the end of that.

When I was younger, one of my favorite storybooks in the orphanage library had a picture in it that I’ll always remember. It was about a little bear leaving home to go to school for the first time. Before the little bear left, the mama bear looked down, held her son’s shoulders with her paws, saying, “Be brave now,” and kissed his forehead. I had never seen a bear, had no idea whether they could talk, if they wore clothes, if went to school, or if they kissed like people did. But that’s what Aurora did just then. After Mrs. Brunscomb, she certainly didn’t need to straighten out my collar or comb my hair, but she did kiss my head, and said, “Well, time to go. You’ll be brave now, I know you will.”

It did kind of make me feel like a kid, but then, in many ways, I still was one. I’d even had to promise myself that I wouldn’t cry, that I’d make a good showing at least until I got outside. After that, all bets were off, but as long as I could make it till I was alone, everything would be alright. So over and over, I repeated to myself the line that the orphanage nurse always used when a boy came in with an injury. “Come on now. Be strong. Real men don’t cry.” And I really wanted to be a real man, but I’d had precious few role models to go by.

When I looked up at Aurora, there were big tears rolling down her cheeks. She gave me a sad little smile, and that was it for me; I couldn’t help it. I tried a trick that never really works–I opened my eyes really wide, looking around the room. I tried to smile back, failed, and turned around quickly.

“You all set there?” asked the Army recruiter. “Don’t look back. Say, what kinda place is this anyway? I didn’t pay any attention when I walked in. Seems kinda depressing. Too dark for me.”

“It’s an orphanage,” I said softly.

The man opened his mouth as if he were going to say something, then shut it. He was quiet for a minute, then said, “Then who were those people back there? I thought the old lady was your mom and that gal was your big si …”

“Just a friend,” I cut in quickly.

“Shit, sorry, kid, I didn’t realize. Well, we’ll make a big man outta you, don’t you worry,” he said, slapping my shoulder; I nearly took a tumble onto the stone floor.

We reached a big cart attached to four horses. He opened a door in the back. “Get in, and make yourself comfortable,” he said, shaking his head with a laugh.

I looked in the cart, jammed packed with men on wooden benches. They were all quiet, looking tired and depressed. A few of them waved a little and tried to make some room, but there wasn’t any to spare, so I sat on the dirty floor in between the legs of the men and their bags. The recruiter closed the door, locked it, and disappeared from sight. The cart had no windows except for a small one by the door, letting in a little sunlight.

From my seat on the floor, I could see our window–Aurora’s and mine–on the second floor. I strained to get up to see if she was there but could not move. Suddenly, just when the cart began to move slowly forward, I saw her. She opened the window, leaned her elbows on the sill, and looked out.

My hand closed over the skipping stone she had given me; it felt cool and solid against my hand, as if it would always stay the same. I pulled my knees in, wrapping my arms around, trying to hide my head like I had done on that day, so many years ago, when I’d met Aurora, sitting on my new bed, wondering where I was. But this time, she wasn’t there.

Speaking of music, if you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I finished last winter, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

Stay 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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #213: Musical Interlude – I Try to Finish a Chiptune Track I Started Years Ago!

Episode #211: Musical Interlude – I Try to Finish a Chiptune Track I Started Years Ago!

https://archive.org/download/podcast213_201909/Podcast%20213.mp3

This week, I’m finishing a track I started several years ago.  When a sibling of one of my friends got engaged, I said I’d make a music track for them to commemorate the occasion.  And then … well, fast forward a few years.  Still not done!  All excuses aside, today is the day.  I’m keeping my promise and finishing it.  It’s made with Auxy, like the track I finished last week.  The draft (90-95% done) plays at the end of the episode.

In the meantime, this page formerly had what I affectionately dubbed a “starving artist” section on little side hustles you could do (mostly on the internet, often with a phone) to make a few bucks here and there, often in gift cards.  Well, now you can listen to this show (as well as other podcasts) and get paid to do so!  Check out https://www.podcoin.com/ to listen to the show and start earning points that you can redeem for gift cards (Amazon, Target, Starbucks, etc) or donations to a number of charities.  Use the code “Thirteen” when you sign up to get 300 extra points.  The Thirteen Hour Podcast is now on BONUS this week, so you can earn more than normal (1.5x).

Speaking of music, if you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I have been working on the past year, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

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 2

Stay 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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #212: Musical Interlude – Chiptune Flying Track 2

Episode #211: Musical Interlude – Chiptune Flying Track 1

https://archive.org/download/podcast212_201909/Podcast%20212.mp3

This week, I’m adding to the track I started back in Episode 208.   I think it will eventually be used as accompaniment for flying sequence music videos or a video game with a flying pixelart Logan:

logan lightning animated

For now, though, I’ve made a little pixelart still that I edited in Photoshop that will be the cover art for the track:

sunset chiptune

A game is a long term project.  For now, I’ll probably just be making the musical tracks.  In the episode, I also have a few updates on two other musical pieces I’ve been working on.

In the meantime, this page formerly had what I affectionately dubbed a “starving artist” section on little side hustles you could do (mostly on the internet, often with a phone) to make a few bucks here and there, often in gift cards.  Well, now you can listen to this show (as well as other podcasts) and get paid to do so!  Check out https://www.podcoin.com/ to listen to the show and start earning points that you can redeem for gift cards (Amazon, Target, Starbucks, etc) or donations to a number of charities.  Use the code “Thirteen” when you sign up to get 300 extra points.  The Thirteen Hour Podcast is now on BONUS this week, so you can earn more than normal (1.5x).

Speaking of music, if you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I have been working on the past year, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

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 2

Stay 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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #211: Musical Interlude – Chiptune Flying Track 1

Episode #211: Musical Interlude – Chiptune Flying Track 1

https://archive.org/download/podcast211_201908/Podcast%20211.mp3

This week, I’m using the iOS app Auxy to work on a variation of the synth track I started back in Episode 208.   I think it will eventually be used as accompaniment for flying sequence music videos or a video game with a flying pixelart Logan:

logan lightning animated

That, however, is a long term project.  For now, I’ll probably just be making the musical tracks.  In the meantime, this page formerly had what I affectionately dubbed a “starving artist” section on little side hustles you could do (mostly on the internet, often with a phone) to make a few bucks here and there, often in gift cards.  Well, now you can listen to this show (as well as other podcasts) and get paid to do so!  Check out https://www.podcoin.com/ to listen to the show and start earning points that you can redeem for gift cards (Amazon, Target, Starbucks, etc) or donations to a number of charities.  Use the code “Thirteen” when you sign up to get 300 extra points.  The Thirteen Hour Podcast is now on BONUS this week, so you can earn more than normal (1.5x).

Speaking of music, if you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I have been working on the past year, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

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 2

Stay 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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #208: “Empty Hands” Behind the Scenes Part 4 and Musical Interludes

Episode #208: Empty Hands Behind the Scenes Part 4 and Musical Interludes

https://archive.org/download/podcast208_201908/Podcast%20208.mp3

This week, we’re discussing Empty Hands behind the scenes, specifically the influence of Dungeons and Dragons and the character creation process.  Just like the D and D alignments, the eight Rangers in Empty Hands have their own specific alignment that informs which sidearm they are assigned.  (If the idea of D and D morality alignments are as mysterious to you as they were to me before my brother explained them to me, check out the graphic I found on the internet below).

Image result for superhero d and d alignment

The rest of the episode focuses on two new synth tracks.  I add a second track to finish up “A Place of our Own” (see episodes 202 – 204 and the pixelart animation below).

View this post on Instagram

Pixel art animation to accompany “A Place of Our Own” from one of the upcoming Thirteenth Hour sequels. I think the track is just about done. There’s a little scene at the end of the first book where the main characters, Logan and Aurora, look up into the night sky overlooking the house they’ve built and seen an aurora (the southern lights, in their case). In future books, we find out how they created their home – an island refuge against the pulls and demands of the world. Of course, that doesn’t last forever, but then there wouldn’t be much of a story, then. . . . . #creativeprocess #synth #newwave #wip #auroraborealis #auroraaustralis #indie #keyboard #songwriting #songwriting #soundtrack #songwriterslife #songwritingprocess #musicproduction #songwritersofinstagram #atmospheric #chillwave #musiciansofinstagram #keyboard #authorsofinstagram #author #synthesizer #musicproduction #musicproducer #soundtrack #pixelart #8bit #animation 🎹

A post shared by 🌄 Joshua Blum 🌌 (@the13thhr.ost) on

I also start a new track that IG musician @nikeboyocta approached me about inspired by Van Halen’s “Dreams” (video above).  Look for more on IG and in coming weeks!

—————–

In the meantime, this page formerly had what I affectionately dubbed a “starving artist” section on little side hustles you could do (mostly on the internet, often with a phone) to make a few bucks here and there, often in gift cards.  Well, now you can listen to this show (as well as other podcasts) and get paid to do so!  Check out https://www.podcoin.com/ to listen to the show and start earning points that you can redeem for gift cards (Amazon, Target, Starbucks, etc) or donations to a number of charities.  Use the code “Thirteen” when you sign up to get 300 extra points.  The Thirteen Hour Podcast is now on BONUS this week, so you can earn more than normal (1.5x).

 

 

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #205: “Empty Hands” Behind the Scenes Part 1

Episode #205: “Empty Hands” Behind the Scenes Part 1

https://archive.org/download/podcast205_201907/Podcast%20205.mp3

This week, we’re discussing “Empty Hands” behind the scenes, specifically the idea of creating an audio-visual experience for the reader to mimic what you might find in a movie.  One of these days, I’ll have to just do a plain vanilla book with no illustrations or music (it sure would be easier to market and print), but, for the foreseeable future, most of the projects I have on the back burner (sequels to The Thirteenth Hour, hand- casted resin figures from the books, comic book that will probably become a visual novel, a Thirteenth Hour game, etc) straddle multiple genres or disciplines.
But I suppose a book with a soundtrack is about as close as to how I originally envisioned these stories (interactive books more akin to the experience of video games in the form of a physical book). At least, it’s the best I can do for now. I’ve written about the dilemma of envisioning something that doesn’t exist yet in researching flexible material that could hold data to trying to create a pixel art adventure game / interactive story form of The Thirteenth Hour.
So, yes, for now, a short fantasy novel with mostly pixel art illustrations and an associated synth soundtrack that you can read on your phone might be as close as one can get … but I bet, one day, there might be something akin to what I’m thinking of.  I’d buy it!
If you like thinking about the creative process, I’d highly recommend checking out the interview with game designers Lori and Corey Cole on the Classic Gamers Guild podcast (e.g. listen here on Podcoin – https://podcoin.app.link/4YzrseqhhY).  The show’s awesome to check out anyway, though this one goes into game making and story telling in a level of detail that fascinating for anyone who does something creative.

—————–

In the meantime, this page formerly had what I affectionately dubbed a “starving artist” section on little side hustles you could do (mostly on the internet, often with a phone) to make a few bucks here and there, often in gift cards.  Well, now you can listen to this show (as well as other podcasts) and get paid to do so!  Check out https://www.podcoin.com/ to listen to the show and start earning points that you can redeem for gift cards (Amazon, Target, Starbucks, etc) or donations to a number of charities.  Use the code “Thirteen” when you sign up to get 300 extra points.  The Thirteen Hour Podcast is now on BONUS this week, so you can earn more than normal (1.5x).

 

Empty Hands, the synth EP soundtrack to the novella, Empty Hands, is now out for streaming on Bandcamp.  

empty hands ep cover_edited-2.jpg

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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #204: Musical Interlude – “A Place of Our Own” Part 3

Episode #204: Musical Interlude – “A Place of Our Own” Part 3

https://archive.org/download/podcast204_201907/Podcast%20204.mp3

This week, I finished “A Place of Our Own” and experiment with distilling it down to a few key notes to make a theme for Aurora, one of the main protagonists for The Thirteenth Hour books.

In other news, Empty Hands has an official launch date – 7/13/19!  I’ll probably be doing a little pixel art music video to go along with the launch of the album as well.

In the meantime, this page formerly had what I affectionately dubbed a “starving artist” section on little side hustles you could do (mostly on the internet, often with a phone) to make a few bucks here and there, often in gift cards.  Well, now you can listen to this show (as well as other podcasts) and get paid to do so!  Check out https://www.podcoin.com/ to listen to the show and start earning points that you can redeem for gift cards (Amazon, Target, Starbucks, etc) or donations to a number of charities.  Use the code “Thirteen” when you sign up to get 300 extra points.  The Thirteen Hour Podcast is now on BONUS this week, so you can earn more than normal (1.5x).

Speaking of music, if you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I have been working on the past year, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

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 2

Stay 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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #203: Musical Interlude – “A Place of Our Own” Part 2

Episode #203: Musical Interlude – “A Place of Our Own” Part 2

https://archive.org/download/podcast203_201906/Podcast%20203.mp3

This week, I’m working on the musical piece I started last week, “A Place of Our Own.”  I’m just playing through it, working out the kinks, mistakes and all.  Typically, it takes many, many takes and a fair amount of practice to get a piece to a point where I can record it without mistakes (or, at least, minimal ones that I can adjust to or work around).  So this week’s episode is a mostly unedited window into a little of that process.   Stay tuned over the next few weeks for additional progress.

In other news, Empty Hands has an official launch date – 7/13/19!  I’ll probably be doing a little pixel art music video to go along with the launch of the album as well.

In the meantime, this page formerly had what I affectionately dubbed a “starving artist” section on little side hustles you could do (mostly on the internet, often with a phone) to make a few bucks here and there, often in gift cards.  Well, now you can listen to this show (as well as other podcasts) and get paid to do so!  Check out https://www.podcoin.com/ to listen to the show and start earning points that you can redeem for gift cards (Amazon, Target, Starbucks, etc) or donations to a number of charities.  Use the code “Thirteen” when you sign up to get 300 extra points.  The Thirteen Hour Podcast is now on BONUS this week, so you can earn more than normal (1.5x).

 

 

 

 

Speaking of music, if you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I have been working on the past year, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

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 2

Stay 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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #202: Musical Interlude – “A Place of Our Own” Part 1

Episode #202: Musical Interlude – “A Place of Our Own” Part 1

https://archive.org/download/Podcast202_201906/Podcast%20202.mp3

Ideas for songs sometimes come at the most random times and places.  I think the idea for this little instrumental track came when I was cooking dinner or putting my kids to bed.  I remember humming a voice recording to myself since I didn’t have time to work on it at the time and didn’t want to forget it (my phone is full of similar such recordings; I used to use a tape recorder but this is one area where modern tech has made life a lot easier).  I’m tentatively calling it “A Place of Our Own.”  It will go to the next Thirteenth Hour book where the main protagonists, Logan and Aurora, will be building a house for themselves on an island – a kind of sanctuary for themselves away from the turmoil of the world (at least temporarily).  The essence of it will probably also form a theme for Aurora (like in Peter and the Wolf, how each character has a musical theme).   Stay tuned over the next few weeks for additional progress.

In the meantime, this page formerly had what I affectionately dubbed a “starving artist” section on little side hustles you could do (mostly on the internet, often with a phone) to make a few bucks here and there, often in gift cards.  Well, now you can listen to this show (as well as other podcasts) and get paid to do so!  Check out https://www.podcoin.com/ to listen to the show and start earning points that you can redeem for gift cards (Amazon, Target, Starbucks, etc) or donations to a number of charities.  Use the code “Thirteen” when you sign up to get 300 extra points.  The Thirteen Hour Podcast is now on BONUS this week, so you can earn more than normal (1.5x).

 

 

Speaking of music, if you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I have been working on the past year, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

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 2

Stay 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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #201: Musical Interlude – “And Now, We Are One” Part 3

Episode #201: Musical Interlude – “And Now, We Are One” Part 3

https://archive.org/download/Podcast201_201906/Podcast%20201.mp3

This week, I add the guitar, synth, and vocals to “And Now, We Are One,” the last track on the last Empty Hands track, which is an ode to the ending themes of 80s action movies as well as the intros (and sometimes closings) of 80s Saturday morning / after school cartoon shows.  I don’t really possess the Sammy Hagar / Freddy Mercury / Stan Bush type pipes to do the vocals the way I envisioned them, so I just recorded myself several times singing the same vocals so it sounds like a chorus of men singing, which a lot of old cartoons (esp 70s and 80s anime) tends to do in their intros anyway.  Aside from a few electric guitar bits and the solo, the track is basically done.  That plus final Empty Hands edits mean that it should be out in a few weeks (hopefully)!  The pixelart coverart for the song is below – 8 bit figures (I used the guys from the NES game Kung Fu as a sort of template), Tron grid, and pastel colors in all their 80s glory:

754314c7-595a-46af-81c7-f81bfc9fa668

In the meantime, this page formerly had what I affectionately dubbed a “starving artist” section on little side hustles you could do (mostly on the internet, often with a phone) to make a few bucks here and there, often in gift cards.  Well, now you can listen to this show (as well as other podcasts) and get paid to do so!  Check out https://www.podcoin.com/ to listen to the show and start earning points that you can redeem for gift cards (Amazon, Target, Starbucks, etc) or donations to a number of charities.  Use the code “Thirteen” when you sign up to get 300 extra points.  The Thirteen Hour Podcast is now on BONUS this week, so you can earn more than normal (1.5x).

 

Speaking of music, if you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I have been working on the past year, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

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 2

Stay 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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #200: The Blade Runner Show

Episode #200: The Blade Runner Show

https://archive.org/download/Podcast200_201906/Podcast%20200.mp3

My brother (last on the show on episodes 179 and 180) joins me today for episode 200 as we discuss the Blade Runner movies.  I missed it when it originally came out and didn’t watch it until I was in high school.  Jeremy gave his reflections on watching the film as an elementary school aged child (probably too early to watch the film, honestly).  Humanity, slavery, indentured servitude, the role of AI / can it be self aware, cyperpunk trappings rooted in urbanism and Asian stereotypes, etc – we do some #realtalk on the show.

Even though I have my issues with the movie, the ending scene of the original film is still a great piece of cinema:

The sequel pays homage to the above scene in an equally touching and visually moving sequence:

 

Click on the pictures below to find a copy of your own on Amazon.

img_7418img_7417

By the way, if you enjoyed parts of the films where there were little shops with slices of analog life in a digital future, you should definitely check out the channel Strange Parts on Youtube for more footage (mostly Shenzen, China) of aspects of a Blade Runner-esque cityscape in real life.

For more aspects of the first movie in other forms, check out the soundtrack by Vangelis as well as a synthpop song by Gunship with an accompanying video done by Jason Tammemagi.

 

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I have been working on the past year, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

Also check out a preview of a new album from Starfarer, who was on the show back in episode 143.  Stay tuned for an upcoming t-shirt contest!

Lastly, the podcast is now on Spotify!  Check it out.

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

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 2

Stay 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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #199: Musical Interlude – “And Now, We Are One” Part 2 and Many Miles Update

Episode #199: Musical Interlude – “And Now, We Are One” Part 2 and Many Miles Update

https://archive.org/download/Podcast199_201906/Podcast%20199.mp3

This week, I continue working on the last track on the last Empty Hands track, which is an ode to the ending themes of 80s action movies as well as the intros (and sometimes closings) of 80s Saturday morning / after school cartoon shows.

Next week, stay tuned for episode 200!

In the meantime, this page formerly had what I affectionately dubbed a “starving artist” section on little side hustles you could do (mostly on the internet, often with a phone) to make a few bucks here and there, often in gift cards.  Well, now you can listen to this show (as well as other podcasts) and get paid to do so!  Check out https://www.podcoin.com/ to listen to the show and start earning points that you can redeem for gift cards (Amazon, Target, Starbucks, etc) or donations to a number of charities.  Use the code “Thirteen” when you sign up to get 300 extra points.  The Thirteen Hour Podcast is now on BONUS this week, so you can earn more than normal (1.5x).

Speaking of music, if you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I have been working on the past year, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

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 2

Stay 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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #198: Musical Interlude – Starting on “And Now, We Are One”

Episode #198: Musical Interlude – Starting on “And Now, We Are One”

https://archive.org/download/Podcast198_201905/Podcast%20198.mp3

This week, instead of focusing on “Many Miles,” which I’m still working on, I thought I’d do a little intro to the last Empty Hands track, which is an ode to the ending themes of 80s action movies as well as the intros (and sometimes closings) of 80s Saturday morning / after school cartoon shows.  In other words, its cheesy as hell, but in the right spirit, hopefully it will be fun.  The lyrics hark back to the elemental philosophy discussed in the book (earth, wind, water, fire, and void), itself taking inspiration from Japanese esoteric Buddhism.

NEW!  This page formerly had what I affectionately dubbed a “starving artist” section on little side hustles you could do (mostly on the internet, often with a phone) to make a few bucks here and there, often in gift cards.  Well, now you can listen to this show (as well as other podcasts) and get paid to do so!  Check out https://www.podcoin.com/ to listen to the show and start earning points that you can redeem for gift cards (Amazon, Target, Starbucks, etc) or donations to a number of charities.

If you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I have been working on the past year, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

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 2

Stay 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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #197: Musical Interlude – Reworking “Many Miles” Part 8 + “Dragons’ Eyes Instrumental” Part 3

Episode #197: Musical Interlude – Reworking “Many Miles” Part 8 + “Dragons’ Eyes Instrumental” Part 3

https://archive.org/download/Podcast197_201905/Podcast%20197.mp3

This week, I’m adding a synthesized accented track to the vocals and backing track of “Many Miles.”  Inching closer towards completion!

I’m also basically done the instrumental melody of  “Dragons’ Eyes” as a short (~2 min) fill for Empty Hands, which has a little scene referencing the song.  There’s only one more track to be done for the soundtrack to be done.

Speaking of which, for those of you on the mailing list, check your inboxes for a message asking for volunteers to help with the finishing touches of the upcoming martial arts fantasy novella, Empty Hands.  Your suggestions and critiques are most welcome, and not only will you get a free copy of the book and soundtrack, your name will be in the acknowledgements section of the book.  If you’re not on the mailing list but are interested in joining and/or helping out, here’s a link or just email me directly, and I’ll be in touch with further instructions.  Thank you!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

Speaking of music, if you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I have been working on the past year, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

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 2

Stay 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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #196: Musical Interlude – Reworking “Many Miles” Part 7 + “Dragons’ Eyes Instrumental” Part 2

Episode #196: Musical Interlude – Reworking “Many Miles” Part 7 + “Dragons’ Eyes Instrumental” Part 2

https://archive.org/download/Podcast196_201905/Podcast%20196.mp3

This week, I’ve finally come to the point of having a rough initial draft of “Many Miles” that I started a long time ago.  It will play at the end of the episode.  While still a work in progress, it’s definitely farther along than last week.  It’s been a tedious process indeed to get it to this point.

I’ve also included the second part of working on a long lost instrumental melody that would later become the folk ballad “Dragons’ Eyes” in The Thirteenth Hour.  This is a tune that I would mess around with as a kid and in college, where there were pianos all over.  I never had a name for it but wrote the first few verses of the song in the novel to its melody.  I figured reworking to make a short fill for Empty Hands, which has a little scene referencing the song, would be a nice way to come full circle.  This week, I’m doing it to a slow (~70 bpm) beat.

Speaking of which, for those of you on the mailing list, check your inboxes for a message asking for volunteers to help with the finishing touches of the upcoming martial arts fantasy novella, Empty Hands.  Your suggestions and critiques are most welcome, and not only will you get a free copy of the book and soundtrack, your name will be in the acknowledgements section of the book.  If you’re not on the mailing list but are interested in joining and/or helping out, here’s a link or just email me directly, and I’ll be in touch with further instructions.  Thank you!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

Speaking of music, if you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I have been working on the past year, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

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 2

Stay 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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #195: Musical Interlude – Reworking “Many Miles” Part 6 + Starting “Dragons’ Eyes Instrumental”

Episode #195: Musical Interlude – Making Interlude – Reworking “Many Miles” Part 6 + Starting “Dragons’ Eyes Instrumental”

https://archive.org/download/Podcast195_201905/Podcast%20195.mp3

This week, I’m continuing to work on the vocal part of a track called “Many Miles” that I started a long time ago … I’m a little farther along than last week, but it’s still slow going.  Here’s the first part.  There’s still some parts in the middle that don’t quite sound right with the timing, so I’ll keep working …

However, I’m starting to experiment with a long lost instrumental melody that would later become the folk ballad “Dragons’ Eyes” in The Thirteenth Hour.  This is a tune that I would mess around with as a kid and in college, where there were pianos all over.  I never had a name for it but wrote the first few verses of the song in the novel to its melody.  I figured reworking to make a short fill for Empty Hands, which has a little scene referencing the song, would be a nice way to come full circle.

Speaking of which, for those of you on the mailing list, check your inboxes for a message asking for volunteers to help with the finishing touches of the upcoming martial arts fantasy novella, Empty Hands.  Your suggestions and critiques are most welcome, and not only will you get a free copy of the book and soundtrack, your name will be in the acknowledgements section of the book.  If you’re not on the mailing list but are interested in joining and/or helping out, here’s a link or just email me directly, and I’ll be in touch with further instructions.  Thank you!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

Speaking of music, if you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I have been working on the past year, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

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 2

Stay 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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #194: Musical Interlude – Reworking “Many Miles” Part 5

Episode #194: Musical Interlude – Making Interlude – Reworking “Many Miles” Part 5

https://archive.org/download/Podcast194_201904/Podcast%20194.mp3

This week, I’m continuing to work on the vocal part of a track called “Many Miles” that I started a long time ago … and this week, I’m in the process of editing the vocals that I’ve recorded so far, trying to figure out if I can salvage them or just keep practicing them until they are require less work!  It’s the timing that I need work on, though that can be fixed with some surgery.  It’s just tedious, and what I’ll be working on over the next week.

In other news, for those of you on the mailing list, check your inboxes for a message asking for volunteers to help with the finishing touches of the upcoming martial arts fantasy novella, Empty Hands.  Your suggestions and critiques are most welcome, and not only will you get a free copy of the book and soundtrack, your name will be in the acknowledgements section of the book.  If you’re not on the mailing list but are interested in joining and/or helping out, here’s a link or just email me directly, and I’ll be in touch with further instructions.  Thank you!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

Speaking of music, if you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I have been working on the past year, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

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 2

Stay 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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

The Thirteenth Hour Podcast #193: Musical Interlude – Reworking “Many Miles” Part 4

Episode #193: Musical Interlude – Making Interlude – Reworking “Many Miles” Part 4

https://archive.org/download/Podcast193_201904/Podcast%20193.mp3

This week, I’m continuing to work on the vocal part of a track called “Many Miles” that I started a long time ago … and this week, I’m singing along with the backing arpeggiated chords.  This will be a vocal template for when I record the real vocals (this upcoming week).

In other news, for those of you on the mailing list, check your inboxes for a message asking for volunteers to help with the finishing touches of the upcoming martial arts fantasy novella, Empty Hands.  Your suggestions and critiques are most welcome, and not only will you get a free copy of the book and soundtrack, your name will be in the acknowledgements section of the book.  If you’re not on the mailing list but are interested in joining and/or helping out, here’s a link or just email me directly, and I’ll be in touch with further instructions.  Thank you!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞

Speaking of music, if you haven’t checked out “Arcade Days,” the song and video Jeff Finley, Brent Simon, and I have been working on the past year, click on the link below to do so!

You can find more pictures and preview clips of “Arcade Days” on IG as well as this podcast’s FB page.

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 2

Stay 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!

∞∞∞∞∞∞∞∞