The Other Joel Canfield

Joel D CanfieldOnce upon a time I thought my name was unique.

I was playing bass in a few bands and thought I’d see if anyone had ever posted anything about me online. Googled my name and “bass” and lo and behold, there’s some guy named Joel Canfield, a bass player somewhere in Michigan.

That’s the day I started using my middle initial D. (It’s for David, and no, I have no idea why my parents gave me two Hebrew Bible names, especially considering my siblings each have two Celtic names.) My introduction at business mixers was “If it doesn’t have the D it isn’t really me.” So, it’s Joel D Canfield, because I need the D but didn’t want the period because I’m an artist and I have my affectations and it’s my name fer cryin’ out loud.

But only with the D in it.

Continue reading “The Other Joel Canfield”

Into the Fog – Book Excerpt

Through The FogThe following is an excerpt from my Irish mystery novel, Into the Fog, a sequel to Through the Fog.

“Niall; Fearghal. Step in side and have a whiskey.” The look on their faces was almost worth the days that came after.

“Told you he was here.”

“You also said he wasn’t a fool. You’re one for two, Niall.”

Niall glared at his older, larger (but, shall we say, less intellectual?) brother and moved toward the front step. “I’ve given up whiskey entirely, Martin, but a cup of something hot wouldn’t go amiss.” I had to step back inside to make room in the doorway for them to come in.

Fearghal O’ Quinn wasn’t quite tall enough to duck as he came through, but he filled a normal sized room well enough. Niall, not as tall and not as broad, always seemed restless, as if he were anticipating a surprise he wasn’t going to like.

Niall jostled Fearghal. “Get in, get in; my backside’s hanging out the door.” Stepping around his brother, he stopped cold.

Continue reading “Into the Fog – Book Excerpt”

The Village Id – Excerpt from an Unpublished Work

Below is an excerpt from one of my unpublished works, The Village Id — my homage to P. G. Wodehouse.

Every village has a character. I don’t mean the village idiot. I mean a personality, a feel that’s obvious to visitors, yet invisible to residents.

Come to think of it, every village has a character in the other sense. Not necessarily an idiot. That would hardly be polite, and rarely truthful.

No, a character: the odd man out, the one whose character isn’t totally aligned with the village’s.

In Iddington village that would be me: I’m the only sane person there.

The Village

Continue reading “The Village Id – Excerpt from an Unpublished Work”

Book Excerpt from “Through the Fog: An Irish Adventure”

Through The Fog frontIt was good to be back in Ireland. My annual trips to Sligo had not only helped my understanding of the ancient language of the land, but given me an almost native comprehension of the modern as well.

It was a warm morning for Sligo; the sea breeze was usually cooler this time of year. Doesn’t matter; I’ll just lay here a bit longer; eyes closed, pondering the first cup of tea like you can’t get anywhere else in the world. Milk, not cream; no sugar, please.

The pain in my temple made me shoot upright in bed, which not only made the pain worse, but confused me immensely—there was no reason I should be in Sligo right now; the first glimpse of the room confirmed that, indeed, I was not.

I should, in fact, have been on the floor of the shed outside this house, not lying in my underwear in a feather bed in an upstairs bedroom.

Memory; that’s it, I’ve been having trouble with my memory.

An excerpt from my book, “Through the Fog: An Irish Advenure”. It is available at Amazon.

Book Excerpt from Getting Your Book Out of the Someday Box

Wednesdays we’ll be posting excerpts of Joel’s writings. Today’s excerpt is from Getting Your Book Out of the Someday Box.

Connect with an accountability mentor. You have friends and professional acquaintances who’d be delighted if you asked them to help you get your book done. A couple points on choosing them:

1. They need to believe. Somebody once started the lie that having someone tell you you’ll never succeed would inspire you to prove them wrong. Wrong. You do not need a troll, you need a rabid cheerleader who’ll make you believe when you forget to.

2. They need to not believe. Continue reading “Book Excerpt from Getting Your Book Out of the Someday Box”

300 in 10

[l1]X[/l1] is one of the few letters which has never started one of these posts—until now.

X always stands for mystery; the unknown. On pirate maps, X marks the spot not because it’s so obvious, but because it is a mystery, an unknown, a private stash you weren’t supposed to find.

So, for this 300th post on the 10th anniversary, instead of writing about what I’ve done, I’m going to write about what I haven’t. Continue reading “300 in 10”

Just a Couple of Kids

[l1]T[/l1]he youngest smallest smartest kid in my High School classes was tough. In the middle of 1st grade, they moved me to 2nd grade in the little 2-room country school I attended.

Volga and Range both had 2-room school houses, with 1st through 3rd in one room, 4th through 6th in the other. About 10 kids in each grade; 60 total in the school. We moved in after the school year started so I had the last seat in the 1st graders. When I was promoted, I didn’t even have to move my desk, I was just the first seat in the 2nd graders.

Bullying was a big part of my life when I was younger. Continue reading “Just a Couple of Kids”

beautiful carelessly sultry

[l1]S[/l1]ongwriter friend Charlie Cheney keeps telling me that song lyrics should lean heavily on nouns. Show, don’t tell. Pack the song with people doing things in places with stuff, instead of talking about feelings and interior monologues and all those abstracts.

A handful of years ago, Charlie and a group of friends wrote a song which was nothing but nouns. It didn’t make much sense, but it sure had nouns.

Continue reading “beautiful carelessly sultry”

What if the Light at the End of the Tunnel is Just the Headlamp of an Oncoming Train?

[l1]A[/l1]fter repeated listenings to Cream’s Born Under a Bad Sign a few years ago I went to my music room to play around on my bass. Rather than trying to copy Jack Bruce’s bass line, I played what it made me feel like.

Speeding it up a little and moving down and back up a few times, all I needed was a brief refrain at the end, a turnaround between verses, and it felt complete.

What if the Light at the End of the Tunnel is Just the Headlamp of an Oncoming Train?

A rockabilly shuffle on the drums is loads of fun, but it’s hard to keep up if you’re not practicing regularly. The drums seem to have survived most of this trip.

When you commit to writing 14 songs in 28 days there’s a bit of a time constraint. When I started recording the springy lead guitar I realised that, though it was recording, it wasn’t coming out of the amp, and it wasn’t coming through the computer to my headphones. I could hear a tinny little noise straight off the strings on my Stratocaster, but even that was muffled by the headphones.

Knowing I could do it over, I soldiered on.

I didn’t do it over. This is what I sound like playing lead guitar when I can’t hear myself. Maybe I should try it more often.

Blues without harmonica seemed wrong. Then the piano started complaining about being left out.

I’ve written a handful of short verses which I might record some day, but if Hoagy Carmichael’s Stardust can survive as an instrumental for more than a decade, this one will be okay.