But Not Faded

you might think it’s in pretty rough shape
it’s wrinkled and tattered and torn
it’s patched up in places with old yellow tape
it’s folded and creased and well-worn

our love makes quite a picture
of the beautiful life that we share
like an old photograph, right here in my heart
but not faded; it’s just seen some wear

yeah, it’s folded in half, down the middle
stuck with tape so it don’t come apart
two smiling faces together
the two of us, joined at the heart

our love makes quite a picture
of the beautiful life that we share
like an old photograph, right here in my heart
but not faded; it’s just seen some wear

it’s with me wherever I go
though the edges are ragged and frayed
’cause it keeps getting clearer as time passes by
and I know that it won’t ever fade

our love makes quite a picture
of the beautiful life that we share
like an old photograph, right here in my heart
but not faded; it’s just seen some wear


beautiful carelessly sultry

chorus
Hey beautiful carelessly sultry
lazily bright above
enthusiastically tightly warmly dizzy madly of

anxiously silly beside
awkwardly even between
boldly moving to measure up beyond reluctantly seen

chorus

silently tender despite
carefully crazy about
seldom recklessly foolish though
truthfully empty without

chorus

eventually happy within
perfectly better at
briefly bravely brightly blindly joyously wonderful that

chorus


The Hillside

I remember a hillside
Watching white clouds rolling by
As I lay on the hillside
I was dreaming of you and I

(chorus 1)
All of my mem’ries surround you
As I lay on the ground you were always there
Mem’ries flow all around you
I’m so glad I found you and the life we share

Summer days in the country
Glimpsing wonder now and then
Let’s go back to the country
And fall under its spell again

(chorus 2)
All of my mem’ries surround you
As I lay on the ground you were always there
Mem’ries flow all around you
I’m so glad I found you and the love we share

Breezes blow through my mem’ry
With a fragrance of the past
Mem’ries of those afternoons
Dreaming of you as I lay in the grass

I remember a hillside
Watching white clouds rolling by
As I lay on the hillside
I was dreaming of you and I

(chorus 1)


Like the Sea

Em
we’ll be together
D
now and forever
Em D
like the sea and the earth and the sky
Em
yes we’ll live forever
D
always together
Em D Em
my golden-haired lady and I
Em D Em

gulls cry above us
here on the hillside
smell the sea spray in the air
we walk hand in hand
through gentle green grasses
the sun glinting gold in your hair

and we’ll be together
now and forever
like the sea and the earth and the sky
yes we’ll live forever
always together
my golden-haired lady and I

like waves of the sea
that will never give over
their flowing forever to shore
there’s room in two hearts
who’ve found one another
for loving to flow evermore

and we’ll be together
now and forever
like the sea and the earth and the sky
yes we’ll live forever
always together
my golden-haired lady and I

we’ve nowhere to go
our whole lives to get there
and never to walk alone
fill me with joy
and I’ll fill you with laughter,
golden-haired lady, my own

and we’ll be together
now and forever
like the sea and the earth and the sky
yes we’ll live forever
always together
my golden-haired lady and I


More Than Love

I’m going to start posting older songs so I have all my music in one place.

This demo was recorded at Ray’s Barn, a studio owned by a marvelous musician named Ray Brown. My first time in a studio, I was so nervous my throat practically closed and I found myself muscling my way through every song.

I learned all about words when I was just a lad
Reading piles of books like my mom and my dad
Merriam Webster was a good friend to me
Shakespeare and Seuss suited me to a tee
There must be a word I’ll find so apropos
I don’t know it yet but here’s one thing I know

It’s more than love
There must be a name
It’s more than love
That fires the flame
I look into your eyes
And I find myself there
Look into your heart
And I’m walking on air
I don’t know what it is
But it’s more than love

I know so many words about living and life
So many words about husband and wife
Words like forever and words like forgive
Words like together as long as we live
But I can’t seem to find the right word for the way
I keep feeling inside, so here’s all I can say

It’s more than love
There must be a name
It’s more than love
That fires the flame
I look into your eyes
And I find myself there
Look into your heart
And I’m walking on air
I don’t know what it is
But it’s more than love

Words might never say
The way you make me feel
But I’ll keep trying
Until I find
The one word that’s ideal

I’ve read millions of words in those books on the shelf
And there’s ten thousand more that I’ve written myself
You’d think one of these would say just what I mean
But they all seem to fall below or between
I know so many word that say just what it’s no
But I’ll try to describe it with words that I’ve got

It’s more than love
There must be a name
It’s more than love
That fires the flame
I look into your eyes
And I find myself there
Look into your heart
And I’m walking on air
I don’t know what it is
But it’s more than love
I don’t know what it is
But it’s more than love


And the Winner Is . . . (What I’m Writing Next)

ocean-fenceIn my latest newsletter I asked for input about which of these works in progress should get my attention after I finish A Still, Small Voice and Jake Calcutta and the Temporal Lisle. (If you want in on stuff like this, sign up for my newsletter.)

  1. The 3rd Irish adventure — From the Fog (follows Through the Fog and Into the Fog)
  2. A 3rd Phil Brennan mystery — A Short, Sharp Shock (follows A Long, Hard Look and A Still, Small Voice [not yet published])
  3. More scifi/adventure — another Jake Calcutta (follows Jake Calcutta and the Temporal Lisle [not yet published])
  4. More Jesse Donovan (follows That She Is Made of Truth)
  5. The Village Id — a witty cozy mystery set in a small English village filled with quirky characters; very P. G. Wodehouse. Check out the 1st chapter.
  6. Coming of age story — a young teen’s life is disrupted when his family has to move in with relatives; he turns to music for comfort
  7. Anacrusis (a mystery with a female lead) — A woman dumps her unfaithful fiancee and moves to a small town where two men amorously pursue her, while one of them awaits the life insurance payoff from the first wife he murdered.

Continue reading “And the Winner Is . . . (What I’m Writing Next)”


By the Time You Read This Anodyne Will Be Done

Anodyne-cover-2015Best Beloved has been patiently listening as I rummage through piles of notes, paper and digital, to list every single task left to get Anodyne ready for my editor. Once that’s done, I estimate the level of time and effort for each, we lay out a work plan for all the tasks, and I go to work.

Continue reading “By the Time You Read This Anodyne Will Be Done”


My Biggest Fan

BestBeloved01Some days, I just need a cheerleader to tell me I can do anything.

Some days, I need to be told I’m heading the wrong direction.

Some days, I need someone to let me cry over nothing.

Some days, I need to know that my failure wasn’t so bad.

Some days, I need someone to laugh at my jokes.

Some days, I need someone to laugh at me, so I don’t take myself too seriously.

Most days, I need ’em all.

And every day, I get exactly what I need.

December 26th was our 10th anniversary. Here’s to 10 million more.

BestBeloved03BestBeloved02

Upside Down Smile

I played the chords for Best Beloved and she said “It sounds like an invitation.”

I’ve had my eye on you for a while
just thinking of you makes me smile
I wonder if you’d like to go for a walk
or maybe just sit here and talk

you seem sort of quiet or maybe you’re shy
your secretive upside down smile caught my eye
let’s go for some coffee or chocolate or tea
or maybe you don’t notice me

maybe you’re thinking of somebody who
means more than a little to you
maybe the smile is a memory
that has nothing to do with me

the voices around us mean nothing to me
as long as the crowd lets me see
that quizzical smile and faraway eyes
that fill me with mad butterflies

maybe you keep all your secrets inside
with no one for you to confide
maybe the smile is hiding the fears
you’ve hidden from all of these years

the mad butterflies bring you over my way
the secretive smile makes you say
“I wonder if you’d like to go for a walk
or maybe just sit here and talk”


With the Radio On (the original)

From 2006, one of the first songs I ever wrote. I still perform it, though quite differently from this version. Like, I change chords and stuff.

Back in 2003, Best Beloved and I left Phoenix at 4 in the morning after being awake since 6 the previous day. We drove to San Francisco. By the time we got there we’d been awake 44 hours.

Parts of the trip were fantastic. Though I’d owned Michael Nesmith’s Tropical Campfires for a few years, this was the first time I ever paid attention to it.

Three years later a single moment of joy on that road trip turned into this song.

Lyrics

Flyin’ down the highway with the radio on
Singin’ just as loud as I can to my favorite song
Well it might be Nez or Bob or Van
But I always try to sing it just as loud as I can
Flyin’ down the highway with the radio on

You pull out the map every once in a while
And I glance at you and you glance and we share a smile
And the sun glints through your golden hair
And I can’t believe my luck that we’re there
Flyin’ down the highway with the radio on

You feed me a fast food fish sandwich, it drips on my shirt
I slurp green circle logo iced mocha, try to stay alert
Like Newtonian bodies in motion we stay
Cause we hate to slow down ‘less there’s no other way
Flyin’ down the highway with the radio oh

Big fast car and a snappy tune And you right by my side
Cup o’ joe and a bite to eat Man, what a ride!

Finally stop for some greasy home cookin’ in a roadside cafe
Settle up and head for the door glad to be on our way
Drive into a sunset we wish we could frame
Settle in for a night that’s just more of the same
Flyin’ down the highway with the radio on
Flyin’ down the highway with the radio on
Flyin’ down the highway with the radio on