This month — February sneaked up on us — I plan to get back to writing.
I’ve got two books done, just needing rewrites. They are Books 1 and 2 of The Black Orchid Chronicles. One of them should publish this year.
I have two more manuscripts half-written, Book 3 of The Black Orchid Chronicles and a thoughtful and somewhat scary first contact sci-fi novel, PSNGR.
And I’m planning another memoir, totally humorous, about some of the old folks I knew as a kid. It’s tentatively called She Asked for Green Salad.
Of late, however — since Thanksgiving really — I’ve been plugging my Viet Nam memoir.
A Reader Reward
You’ve been patient, and I have a gift for you. The best kind of gift I can think of: Music.
While looking for a link to the Ken Burns-Lynn Novick Viet Nam documentary, I stumbled upon the soundtrack. It’s wonderful. A cascade of songs across genres from the Viet Nam years.
Folk. Rock. Soul. Blues. Country.
Dylan. Hendricks. Janis. Simon and Garfunkel.
Magic Carpet Ride. Bad Moon Rising. Ohio. Whiter Shade of Pale. Eve of Destruction. Waist Deep in the Big Muddy. Turn! Turn! Turn! The music is so good and was so influential in the culture of the time that they have Wikipedia entries.
I know I sound like a K-tel commercial.
Unlike with the documentary, I did not get depressed listening to the music. Sure, it make me think back. But the music carried good memories, too.
It’s a bargain. A steal, almost.
Thirty-eight of the more than 100 songs used in the documentary.
PBS sells it the two-CD set for $19.99, but Amazon has it for $13.99. Even if you pay the higher price, you’re only spending 52 cents, which is about what we would have paid for a 45 back in the sixties and seventies.
Apple sells it as well, but I can never tell what they are pricing things at.
If you really love the music and want to know where each song fit into the documentary, PBS created a page with the playlists for each of the 10 episodes.
Finally, if you are YouTube fanatic, someone or something called Music for Memory posted an hour and two minutes of similar music. I don’t know whether they are paying royalties.
Really finally, Esquire did a piece explaining how Burns and Novick compiled the music. Buy the album — it’s not that expensive — and enjoy it while you read the piece.
Or, here’s an idea. Download the album, sit back and imagine you’re a young twenty-something, alone in Southeast Asia, trying to make sense of the wartime chaos around you. There’s a thought.