Tag Archives: Black Sabbath

Rob’s Update: Whispers from Forgotten Songs

Week 9 of 2021

Greetings all

It was a much nicer week after last weekend. It was as cold as I’ve ever seen it in KC. We have the occasional day of negative Fahrenheit, but not five days in a row with a several more days from 0-10. It got so bad we started figuring the temp in Kelvins.

But, like usual, Kansas then turned around and gave us days over the norm. I was grilling in sandals on Monday.

I had a good week of writing on The Ravening of Wolves. It won’t show in the word count though, as I pulled a number of chunks to put back in later. If you’ve been reading these for a while, you know this is normal when I get to the 60k mark. I’m in that area, but not exactly sure. Since I anticipate this will be shorter than most of my other novels, probably less than 90k, I’m pleased with where I’m at because I am in the fight scene after fight scene portion of the process.

I also spent time this week working on a newspaper article about the basics of writing as a career. I’ll let you all know when that gets published.

Progress is going on a number of other projects which, while they’ll not come to fruition until the end of the year, really make me excited. I’ll probably have some more conversation on that over the summer.

I am also trying to set up my fall event schedule. It looks like I’ll be on the road quite a bit, as cons and SCA events try to make something work this year. It might be a grind, but it also might be a really efficient set of trips. We’ll see, of course, how things lay out.

What I’m Listening To

Sign of the Southern Cross by Black Sabbath. Heaven and Hell is such a great album.

Quote of the Week

Tomorrow is the 10th year anniversary of Maerwynn and Ashir elevating me to the Order of the Laurel. For those not in the SCA, this is a great honor on par with knighthood, but for endeavors in the arts and sciences.

My first foray into writing was medieval-esque poetry for the SCA, especially with scroll texts. I had the great honor to write the lower-level scroll texts for Maerwynn and Ashir. Since Ashir’s persona is Mongol, all of those texts were in a Mongol style, and this is one of my favorite passages.

This is one of the texts given out to those they elevated as fyrdmen during their reign. I had a lot of fun hearing this one in court.

“You have made Our foemen’s hearts empty.
You have cut out parts of their liver.
You have made their beds become empty.
And you have made an end of their descendants.
For this, We Ashir and Maerwynn, Qan and Qatan
Join your spear to Our ranks of spears”
Rhodri ap Hywel, for Their Majesties Maerwynn and Ashir

New Mythology Works in Progress

Monday, Monday, you’re so good to us.

Why? Because the Watchers at War, book three of the Watchers of Moniah trilogy by Barbara Evers comes out. Here’s the series page: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08TV9L1J5. This is great stuff, with a twist on traditional fantasy tropes.

Here’s the rest of the upcoming schedule:

  • 1 March: The Watchers at War (Book 3 of the Watchers of Moniah Series by Barbara V. Evers)
  • 19 March: Songs of Valor (Book 2 of the Libri Valoris anthologies with Larry Correia, David Weber, Glen Cook, Dave Butler, and Sarah Hoyt)
  • 12 April: Accepted (Book 2 of the Balance of Kerr series by Kevin Steverson.
  • 21 May: Across the Endless Ocean (Book 1 of the Endless Ocean series by G. Scott Huggins)

I’m currently editing the next book, which will come out in May, featuring a new author for us. It’s more military fantasy, which is a subgenre I’ll be encouraging.

Rob’s Works in Progress

  • The Ravening of Wolves (56,812)
  • Rick Blaine (8,845)
  • CB (8,418)
  • Cynewulf (8,642)
  • Gato (2,312)

Upcoming Events

New Releases

As mentioned, the Watchers at War, book three of the Watchers of Moniah trilogy by Barbara Evers comes out. Here’s the series page: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08TV9L1J5.

For another day or two, you can get The Reluctant Druid, the first book of Jon Osborne’s Milesian Accord series is $0.99. This is fun urban fantasy with currently three novels and two short stories with hopefully more to come. You can find it here: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07716V2RN.

Finally, the second Hit World novel, A Bullet for the Shooter, by Larry Hoy and William Alan Webb comes out tomorrow. This is action-heavy genre gumbo. Good stuff.

Today’s Weight: 337.8

Updated Word Count: 8,624

Eldros Legacy Wiki: 725 entries

Let me know if you have any suggestions on the website, this email, or cool story ideas at rob@robhowell.org. Especially let me know of suggestions you have for the Spotlight section.

Have a great week, everyone.

Rob Howell

Currently Available Works
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Random Music Thoughts

As I travel around, my mind contemplates a variety of things. Often, this helps my writing, and I will use the voice recorder on my phone.

One thing that’s become abundantly clear is that I’m getting my money’s worth from my subscription to Sirius XM. I got nearly all the NFL games I wanted to listen to last year, along with Rangers baseball and plenty of Premier League football. And the fantasy sports channel actually has some people who look at real numbers. Good stuff.

Of course, many of them are music. Most are rock, including several metal channels. In general, I’m listening to a broader range of music than ever before. The bad news is that my CD buying list is getting larger.

There is an oddball channel, oddball at least in terms of every other music channel. There’s a channel that plays 1930s and 40s big band stuff. Glen Miller, Glen Gray, Andrews Sisters, Duke Ellington, that sort of stuff.

And now what I desperately want is for Mike Portnoy to gather a bunch of musicians do an album of hard rock / metal covers of big band songs.

Part of this stems from Sam Nunn’s Evolution of Metal documentary where he looked at the roots of metal. One of the people he talked to was Bill Ward, drummer for Black Sabbath, who pointed out how the power of big band songs was taken by Black Sabbath and their successors. Look at “In the Mood,” for example, and think of its up-tempo beat. Now imagine metal guitars hammering that rhythm, maybe alongside trumpets, maybe not, but I hear something that could be really awesome.

Why Mike Portnoy? I can’t think of anyone who has collaborated with more hard rock and heavy metal musicians right now, plus he has a broad, jazzy, progressive rock background that could translate well.

Who are some of the others I’d like to see? Well, I’d love to hear Jonathan Davis and Maynard James Keenan. Bruce Dickinson would be awesome. And, of course, my favorite voice right now, Serj Tankian. I don’t like Lady Gaga’s music, but I don’t know too many with better voices. Put her with Lizzie Hale and one of the Nightwish singers and you could do some amazing Andrews Sisters number.

Oddly, I’d like Ty Tabor and Jerry Gaskill simply for their voices, despite the fact one’s a drummer and the other’s a guitarist, because King’s X has some of the best harmonies of any hard rock band ever.

On guitar, I want to hear what Zakk Wylde would do. Scott Ian, with his hip-hop metal collaborations, would add an interesting feel. Given Ward’s comments, I’d want Tony Iommi. Joe Satriani and John Petrucci would add a diverse feel, though I don’t know if Petrucci would be willing to work with Portnoy given their past. All these would be good, but the two I most want are Richie Blackmore, with his interest in translating medieval music to modern guitar, and Alex Lifeson. It’s not like Alex is working on any thing else right now.

Same would be said for Geddy Lee. He’d be my first choice. Gotta include Dug Pinnock, and the thought of Lee and Pinnock having a bass off just gives me chills. I also think Steve Harris would have a blast.

On drums, this might be the one project Neil Peart might join, if he got a chance to do some of Buddy Rich’s music. Mike would of course be the primary drummer, but I’d also want Bill Ward and I’d bet Ginger Baker would jump at the chance, assuming he can still play.

These are the names that come to mind quickly, but I’m sure there’s more.

As for songs, I’d want a mix of the big ones like “In the Mood,” but it’d be neat for them to pick some of their personal favorites.

So. Who do I know can tell Mike Portnoy to make this happen?