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.





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”

all your reading has been training you for this

The book you drown in, the book you are wrapped in right now. How you lose track of the world, lose track of all the other books, lose track of tomorrow, lose track of yourself, and yet find yourself on every page. In the astonishing book,  A Beautiful Question (the book I am totally submerged in right now, when before that I was totally hypnotised by Patrick Ness’  Chaos Walking trilogy), Frank Wilczek asks:  is God an artist? Was the starting principle an artist who wanted to make something beautiful? The appearance of number everywhere supports him.

Is there another theory? That the starting principle of the universe was a writer? Think not only of all the words in the world, but all the worlds in the words.

Anywhere. Anytime. Anything. With words.

If not, then perhaps it started when someone opened a pretty big, new book, and became immersed. Maybe the book is still being read. Maybe we are the book, we are the story. The universe, God, the big bang, whatever, is a reader.

How else do we explain the effect of not just one book, but every book, on our lives or just our moments, our feelings and imagination, our involvement with the world, our living?

Think about it. We don’t just get tricked once, we get tricked every time, every book. Every book is where we are, when where we were was the last book. Utterly inexplicable. Although there’s probably a book about it.

All your reading has been training you for this, the book you’re reading now, the words you’re reading now.

For your next profound, hypnotising, sick-grinning, value-shredding hundred mile-an-hour experience, may I at least offer you this 2016 ultra-tragedy as your next book?

How To Kill Your Dad – lee goldground