Do you have a death-list, a playlist of music or songs to listen to while you die?

I think my choice would be mostly classical for one big reason – to help me stay in the moment, to be in the last moments of life, and to feel dying approach and take me. If I chose my favourite songs, I’m pretty sure I’d be nostalgic, leave the moment and go back to the points of my life where the songs first took root and became so important.

I’m not talking about planning my death or ending my life early. If you are, please please stop now and get help. You don’t need to, and probably shouldn’t. Honestly.

I’m talking about the vague hope that I live to be an old man, and die in bed with some sort of knowledge or warning of it.

My first choice is a bit of a trick – Max Richter’s ‘Sleep’.  Apart from its beauty, it lasts for 8-hours, so hopefully, I’ll encourage myself to live for a bit longer to listen to it right through! It’s slow, repetitive, full of space, and a reflective, emotional sledge-hammer. Listen and breathe here.

I bought the entire download after listening to its broadcast overnight on Radio 3 a couple of years back. I listen to it weekly. It doesn’t remind me of anything, but it does somehow open up the full feeling power of a moment of life. Do you agree or disagree?

Maybe I like the fact it takes so long to make its point. It took me 10 years to write this debut novel a hyperactive, father & son ultra tragedy for lovers of Irvine Welsh, John Niven, Hamlet and Lord of the Flies.  So perhaps I feel an affinity for that reason.

Get in touch and let me know the last music you’d like to listen to.  A strange request, perhaps, but it came out of my journalling, so I’m trying to get into the habit of sharing thoughts and ideas as they come.

Again, please stay alive, live long, read lots and write even more. Nice talking to you, thanks for listening.





Brand new book description

Daily threats from voices in his head are getting worse, and seem to have a family resemblance. Maxi hates the hole he lives in and who he lives with. But then comes the motivational CD, found inside a stolen car.  Unable to make sense of the relentless positivity, his horizon-less plan to get out of town swells into an ambition-fuelled quest to achieve the worst No.1 Goal in the Universe.

What happens when a boy who doesn’t know right from wrong is accidentally programmed for Absolute Success?

Can the self-help guru resist the thistle of self-hate? Can a boy and his dad learn love before hands that heal unleash a hell on Earth?

naked writing & Vitamin-Read: I dare you to write a something-stream without editing?

Sunday morning and this fell out my head and is copied and pasted below as it fell  – are there thoughts in here that help or chime or grate you? tweet me with your something-stream, a facebook challenge with words instead of video. Please RT and FB

“a new name to lie behind which will allow me to tell the truth, but that chance has already gone. For i hold in each step responsibility towards the nexties, and so how can i fall apart on the camera of the page, the page like a camera watching every word i think, revealing everything i am, how can i say what cannot be said when each sentence is an arrow accusing me, saying he wrote this, she wrote this, they together think this, don’t let them off or out of your sight. We trusted them with our lives, we allowed them to be part of a generation, and they have left nothing except stains and remains of trusted thoughts gone wrong, slipped the noose. These sentences slipped the noose, how can there be an amnesty for dangerous words, words are worse than a nuclear war, if everything is flattened then all we have is nothing, but words, they change the thinker, words infect reach reader with visions and desires and regrets and promises and change the fabric of the universe with each phrase, each gathered flock, each gathered harem, each gathered round of words making each reader drunk with a new version of reality, making each reader hallucinate ideas and feelings and values which each reader did not have until they swallowed and chewed and bit into the word clusters hanging like dangerous grapes. The killer nutrient is vitamin – Read. Anyone ingesting vitamin read is changed forever and there is nothing we can do to make them as they were, no antidote, no reversal of fate for the reader of words for the reader of words becomes fate itself, shatters stars in their arrogant constellations and replaces them with pole-star showers, sentences send up a thousand new guides to ten thousand new futures suspended in the conductive liquid space-fluid of the present moment, new universes made possible, new universes of the possible i am no different, this morning I opened pages and am gone”

bloggy pages: before blogcess comes foreplay

A big and slightly nervous, spotty, teenage handshake to you, Scotblogger reader. Two lies straight away that come with the turf:

  1. I don’t know you and you don’t know me, so we have to pretend we’re saying hello for real. I hope you’re good at it, it’s all we’ve got.
  2. The big and slightly nervous, spotty, teenage handshake is metaphor – I was born in the 70s.

You might remember it, you might be in the middle of it, you might be terrified of it, but it’s there as the only universal truth Buddha left out: foreplay.

Without it, nothing comes. I’ve spent 9 years writing the debut – can you call a 9 year novel a debut? Sounds a bit artsy. A bit of me just calls it a miracle. It’s a miracle the bloody thing got finished with the rips life decided to spring along the way. Maybe, when we know each other better, I’ll fill you in on the rips. But not yet. I don’t trust you. No hard feelings.

But blogging. It’s the most exciting, fumbling, bound-to-get-it-wrong-I’ve-gone-in-too-quick-I-think-it’s-over pulse-quaking terrorbuzz there is, but we have no choice – unless we try, we’re never going to learn what each other likes. Maybe even loves.

It’s my first ‘guestblog’ since completing the fiction. It’s a weird name, guestblog; far too formal for what is, in reality, an up-close, knuckly-gut, skin on skin first snog-with-words experience. I like it so far. But I have no idea what to do. I’m doing what I do when I write – one word at a time, feel the feelings, go with it, hoping you’re enjoying it and loving every minute.

It’s a faith-fumble.

Making a mess in the knowledge we’re both going to get a lot better.

We all want great cess.  Success for our lives, blogcess for our blogs,  whether we’re reading or writing them.We’ll get there. We’re getting there. Many of you already are there, I’m sure. It’s about not being scared to come away with a few bloggy pages in your hand now and then.

Writing’s weird, eh? And reading? Don’t get me started. I don’t think any writer wants a ‘reader, or a reader a ‘writer’. At least, I don’t think I do. We want people, you, me, contact, a banter, the mini-contract of two ‘Alright?’s in the staff-room or pub or cafe or bus stop or tube. The introducey stuff. Then, when we’re ready, the meaningful mindy stuff that never leaves your head, that burns and concerns and inspires and confuses and incites and falls away and grows again.

Do you think we should stop? Before the hear us in the next room?  I was supposed to be writing a couple of sentences to lead into the blog, but it turns out the first sentences, the first faith-fumbles, are the complete experience. And what’s the rush? The book can wait – maybe next time. As we said, the truth – foreplay – has to be conquered first. So you might not want to click on this yet. I don’t blame you, take your time. Don’t give your clicks out to just anyone. how-to-kill-your-dad

Did music write the novel? What soundtrack was there when you wrote?

In the last post were two links to music that inspired the 9-yr debut novel

How To Kill Your Dad: 

Basinski – disintegration loop1

Basinski – Cascade

I don’t think I’ve written much without music playing. youtube has given me more gifts than I can count; I crave new music, unearthing at least one or two pieces a week by composers or songwriters I’ve never heard of, and they really have made all the difference. The characters absorb the energy of the music, weave through traffic to violin picks, take drugs to acid house, torture themselves or others coolly to minimalism’s coolness, or the rain pours down to eno’s electronic heartbeats. It’s a constant co-writer of books, blogs, emails and journals.

What about you? Who are the composers, the singers, the song-writers, the players, that bring you to your optimal feeling and imagining moments as your pen bridges the gap between one real mind and a million invented unreal realities? Come on, you don’t do it on your own do you?

What about reading? Do you take books with silence or sound?

Could one piece of music move someone the same way? At primary school, they do Big Writes, when children together in one class write individual stories while listening to the same piece of music. Sometimes music moves us the same, but the words we respond with are rarely the same.

Here are 3 more pieces I used and used and used. Some of the tempo and flavour of h8r, Joy and Chib all come from two underworld albums: second toughest in the infants

I owned this on cassette when i was in a band going crazy around Hamburg. i remember talking to a loaf of bread while listening to this on a walkman. Years later, it’s energy and poise have infected each main character’s character.

Album number 2 : barking

Later edits, and the very strange, terse love or feeling between two of the characters – you’ll guess which ones as you read – were inspired by the happiness and bubbling just out of control that I feel when listening to this album. Will it do the same for your writing?

Piece 3: teenage scum by the goldsharks


This track was on when Chib was going mental about the Kilmarnock Knife. (Please, you have to read the book to understand it.) The sheer mentalness of it all is in this track. The band went through three names, goldsharks, videofan, carbon plan and agent x.

i see bars big fat judges born to be delinquent it seems

drugs and stealing cars and girls what a way to wake up to the world

Next post, I’ll share the painful aching tracks that underpin the horror and tragedy of a couple of key tragic, heart-breaking moments in How To Kill Your Dad

Please tweet @leegoldground and share what you got from this post, or to share your own influences.