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By Dan L. Hollifield
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Index of My Stories

By Dan L. Hollifield

This will be updated infrequently.
Last update: 10/19/08

This page is still under construction. And it will be for a long, long time. The stories are listed roughly in publication order. Down below the story links are links to MIDI and mp3 music files of my original compositions. This page is becoming the replacement to my old personal homepage VIA mutating from its original form of just a page of annotated links to my fiction. The content will be added to without warning and haphazardly re-edited as my mood strikes.
I was born in 1957- at almost the same moment that Sputnik II was launched by the Russians. My Father has been a machinist since 1955 and can make anything that anyone can draw blueprints of. He was trained my GM, has worked for Union Carbide in the Bull Run Steam Plant near Knoxville, TN. and in the University of Georgia Instrument Shop. He constructed machinery for the experiments of research scientists in the UGA Physics building. At the same time, he was also a farmer for several decades. Presently he is nearing retirement, working in a local machine shop that makes parts for the aerospace industry. My Mother has been an artist since her childhood in the '30s & '40s, is presently retired from working in a bank, starting off as a computer operator & part-time teller and eventually to retire as head of the Mortgage Lending department. She teaches arts and crafts to groups of local ladies as a hobby. My folks grew up during the Depression and I have learned vast amounts of do-it-yourself lore from both sides of the family. I have inherited my creative abilities from both sides of my family and so have at various times been a painter, inventor, musician, writer, farmer, auto mechanic, architect, bricklayer, lumberjack, landscaper, carpenter, roofer, plumber, e-zine Assistant Editor, e-zine Editor, e-zine Publisher, graphic artist, SCA member, book reviewer, music reviewer, film & TV reviewer, mIRC script programmer, photographer, cartoonist, hunter, fisherman, trapper, irate taxpayer, and am politically a Libertarian. This makes me seem rather odd to my neighbors and the people I work with at the factory. I work for Certain-Teed in their Athens, Ga. fiberglass insulation plant, running a machine that squishes down enough fiberglass insulation to fill a whole wall of your house 'til it'll fit into a 12x24x48 inch plastic bag. It pays the bills and gives me four days off each week, so I do get time to write SF stories for the e-zine I run.
I write stories because I have to. That's the same reason I do an oil painting, or design the articulation of the joints of a suit of armor, or compose a piece of music, or draw a cartoon, or lay out a flowerbed bordered by a stone circle aligned with the spring equinox. Stuff comes to me and I make it. I have to, otherwise I'd go nuts. I'm a random concept generator cross-wired with a compulsive/creative disorder. I am also dyslexic- so math and spelling is difficult for me because the numbers or letters I see aren't necessarily the right ones - or in the correct order. I usually carry a calculator as a math co-processor, and even then I have to double-check the numbers I type in. Furthermore, I seem to suffer from some sort of fear of crowds. I dunno. I can't afford to see a Pshrink just to find out the names of stuff I already know I suffer from. (shrug, grin) Who cares? As long as I'm functional no one should notice. I mean, its not like creativity is something that shows up- like a suntan or pimple -I just dream things up. I don't think its very important that I hate to go shopping, or drive during rush hour, or visit big cities, or go to theaters. Its just something I have to cope with.
There are still things that I'd like to learn. I'd like to do some blacksmithing. Specifically, I'd like to do some sword smithing. I already have the obligatory healed-up broken leg. (Anyone who doesn't get that joke should read up on the mythology concerning blacksmiths and the traditional gods of the forge. Only then will that be funny.) There are Blacksmiths in my father's family. Its in the blood, so to speak. (Oh great. Now I've got the vampire crowd drooling. Sorry, simmer down. I didn't mean anything by it.) I'd also like to learn a few new languages, since I only speak American, Southern, Hillbilly, Redneck, and Restaurant Mexican. (Sure, I can order a meal, but I can't ask where the restroom is!) Spanish seem to be becoming necessary in my location. As are more oriental languages than I can count, along with French, German, Italian, and Russian. (And you thought that the southern US was some backward, inbred, seedy Hicksville? Well, just like any other area of the US, it can be in some rural places. I live near Athens, Georgia. One of the hubs of the modern music scene, home of R.E.M. and the B-52s, home of a college almost as old as the US itself: the University of Georgia. Oliver Hardy went to school there. I went to the same grade school that De Forest Kelly attended when he was a child, except that he was there about 20 years earlier than I.)
All the stuff below can be considered annotations of some of my work in writing and music. There are also links at the bottom of this page that will lead you to other things I do for fun.
  • The Writing Process An article on the way I create my fiction, as well as proofread and revise it for publication.

  • Here are all of my stories to appear on the web so far... Some of the links are repeated further down this page when a story chapter has been listed here in a earlier form. I have included some notes on the entries where I could. Think of this webpage as my annotated bibliography, if you would. There are now music and hobby links further down the page as I continue to expand this into more of a Personal Webpage. There are also links to my artwork, both computer generated and by hand.

    • Canned ** A horror story. Appeared first in Dragon's Lair Webzine. This is the first story of mine that was ever published online.

    • An Introduction to Bethdish **For those readers new to my work.

    • At the Spaceport Bar: The Mare Inebrium ** One night at a bar in a Spaceport Town.
      "Time travel makes some people nervous." The D'rrish Ambassador relates a tale and one listener is petrified.
    • The Absent-minded shall inherit... **The second Mare Inebrium story.
      "Just what did Professor Camforrt leave in the Mare Inebrium's lost-and-found?"

    • The Threat of Valleor Part 1 **The first four chapters of one of the oldest novel that I'm working on.
    • The Threat of Valleor Part 2 **The second four chapters of that novel.
    • The Threat of Valleor Part 3 **More chapters of that novel.
    • The Threat of Valleor Part 4 **Another chapter.
    • The Threat of Valleor Part 5 **Another thrilling installment.
    • The Threat of Valleor Part 6 **Yet another thrilling installment.
    • The Threat of Valleor Part 7 **Yet another thrilling installment.
    • The Threat of Valleor **The work in progress as a complete narrative.
      This is the big one! My first attempt at a novel... ever. Story development began during a snowed-in weekend that had started off as a simple one-night party, and ended up with everyone having "cabin fever" four days later. Sometime during the weekend we had watched some TV and I made the mistake of disparaging the writing of some cheap, made for TV, fantasy movie called "Hawk, the Slayer". Oh, I thought the costumes were hokey, the swords looked awkward to use so the fight scenes looked bad, and someone had written Jack Palance some really carpet-chewing, foaming-at-the-mouth dialog as the villain. It was a waste of his talent. So I griped out loud through the whole movie.

      Then one of the other folks got fed up with me. "Let's see you write any better," she said. "Put up or shut up."

      So I began the path you now see me upon- because of a snowstorm, a bad movie, and my big mouth.

      So- Christie? I know I haven't seen you in years now, 'cause that snowstorm was decades ago, but what do you think of the writing so far? I hope I'm headed in the right direction. (grin!)

    • Saucerful of Secrets ** Part 1 of the adventures of Douglas Simon Daily.
    • Saucerful of Secrets ** Part 2 of the adventures of Douglas Simon Daily.
    • Saucerful of Secrets ** Part 3 of the adventures of Douglas Simon Daily.
    • Saucerful of Secrets ** The adventures of Douglas Simon Daily as one file. "Saucerful..." is the first novelette that I wrote, and the first story I offered for sale to the Pro- magazines. It still gets rejection slips from time to time. There are other episodes of this Detective's cases in the works. I figure if I finish the two I'm working on and add a third, the four D-Day stories will make a nice novel. There are roughly ten stories in my outline for this series- One day I'll get them all done. Some of the other titles in the series that I have outlines for are Money, Sunburst Finish, and Shake Some Action
    • Windows Into Hell This is a Flash Fiction story featuring D-Day over in the Aphelion Forums, in the Fun & Games section. However, I've uploaded a plain HTML copy of the story here. If I wanted to be totally accurate, this story would be linked in much further down this page. It was written during November of 2007, while I was recovering from injuries received in an automobile accident the month before.

    • Her Majestys Gift This is a Flash Fiction story over in the Aphelion Forums, in the Fun & Games section. However, I've uploaded a plain HTML copy of the story here. If I wanted to be totally accurate, this story would be linked in much further down this page. It was written as an example story for the June 2009 flash fiction contest. One day I might expand it a little, but only if I can think of some more good scenes.

    • Abducted Part 1 **A close encounter that you won't soon forget!
    • Abducted Part 2 **Another abduction as the adventure continues!
    • Abducted Part 3 **The rescue of Sarah K begins.
    • Abducted Part 4 **The villains are revealed.
    • Abducted Part 5 **Confrontation and counter-plot.
    • Abducted Part 6 **Sarah is rescued and Tom faces a drastic change!
    • Abducted! **The complete story as one file.
      "Abducted!" is one of my favorite stories! It was so much fun to write! This is the first time I deliberately followed the standard adventure-story format. I took a Joe-Average character, made him the narrator, yanked him far away from home, and dropped him into danger, mystery, and adventure. I'm currently adding to this story in hopes of selling it as a novel. Since I wrote it as a serial and had to meet deadlines with each chapter, some neat ideas and scenes never got written as anything but notes and outlines. I want to put those in, to complete the story as I envisioned it. This one has become a chapter in a novel I want to finish. The adventures of Tom Darby just won't leave me alone. I figure that if I write two new tales the same length as this one, then re-write another one that I wrote for Jeff Williams in his "Nightwatch" series, I'll have enough wordage for a novel.

    • Grudge Match ** Appeared in Issue 4 of Titan Webzine. This is a story featuring my android Maxwell and the Bolo Havoc. It's really short, just a scene of the two machines having fun. Sort of fan-fic-ish because the Bolo concept is owned by Keith Laumer's estate.

    • How did I Get Myself Into This? **What happens when you take bad advice from a friend. This one grew out of a nightmare I had back when I spent lots of time playing computer games.

    • Dreamer Part 1 **Daydreams and Magic.
    • Dreamer Part 2 **Joel and Tommy ask Merlin for proof... and get it!
    • Dreamer Part 3 **The boys go hunting... or are they the hunted?
    • Dreamer Part 4 **The boys go to Arcadia.
    • Dreamer Part 5 **The battle for Arcadia and a homecoming for Tommy and Joel.
    • Dreamer **The complete story.
      This is a fantasy story, written as a serial for Dragon's Lair Webzine. Something went way wrong with this one while it was in progress! I started off with an outline- An established beginning, middle, and end plotted out and ready. But I stumbled while writing the parts between the beginning and the middle, and again when I tried for the middle to end section. The characters were taking over the story. They didn't show any interest in following the outline I had laid out for them. In short: I lost it somewhere. I finally decided to end the series before it bled to death all over me. That hurt, I'd never given up on a story as hopeless before. Sure, I've got some in the files that never got very far, but for me, this one will always be "the one that got away". Maybe one day I'll fix it.

    • Stranded! Part 1 **Castaways join forces with natives on Bethdish.
    • Stranded! Part 2 **The arrival of the Reever at the battlefield.
    • Stranded! Part 3 **Confrontation between the Raiders and the Reever.
    • Stranded! Part 4 **A new force enters the situation.
    • Stranded! Part 6 **UPDATED 9/29/98** The latest chapter of the work in progress. I'll update this each time I get more done.

    • Stranded! **UPDATED 11/5/99** The complete story to date- a preview of the work in progress. Its more or less the first half of a divided story- Related and contiguous, but with different narrators and themes. I'll update this each time I get more done, though I don't get to work on it often. I have added lots of pics to illustrate it. Some of them are even good. (grin)

      This one was running in "Dragon's Lair" when it shut down. I never thought I'd have an excuse to finish it, but the strangest thing happened... Fan mail. Someone noticed a little detail about one of the minor characters, e-mailed me to confirm it, and asked for more of the story. Simple enough? Sure, but now I get to write more of this story- and add more historical detail to my little planet than I was intending to do when I first outlined the tale. The changes in this minor character are major points in a later story- one that takes place near the end of my timeline for the planet Bethdish.

      Stay tuned!

    • Sins of the Fathers **My third Mare Inebrium story.
      "Nice work, if you can get it." Concerning the ethics of medical intervention by an advanced civilization. (This tale also serves as a set-up for a later story. A murder mystery, set on Bethdish, using the Reever as the detective/hero.)

    • Brother, Can You Spare A Crime? **My fourth Mare Inebrium story.
      "One Rupert P. Coltrane, late of Chicago, USA, Earth, 1935 AD, had expired five times, from five different weapons, on the floorboards of the Mare Inebrium. Perpetrator? Person or persons unknown, as yet. Mr. Coltrane seemed destined to die at the Mare Inebrium- and he was going to get it right if it killed him!"

    • A Study in Alizarin Crimson My fifth Mare Inebrium story. This one has reached 43000 words and features Holmes and Watson.
      "Holmes and Watson investigate the strange behavior of a mysterious researcher in the British Museum only to find themselves pawns in a duel between rival art thieves. Holmes traces the rivals into the Mare Inebrium where the best laid plans of aliens and men often get warped out of recognition."
      I did extensive reading of Holmes stories prior to writing this one, because I new that the characterization had to be right. There are elements borrowed not only from Doyle, but twenty five or more of his "ghostwriters", so to speak. There are also touches of the movie and TV Sherlocks that I've seen over the years. I tried to distill all that down into a Holmes and Watson that were true to the way Doyle wrote them, older, wiser, a bit mellower perhaps... Then I threw them off the deep end. That said, this story also serves to tie my Mare Inebrium stories to my Collector stories-- thus, it is a three-way crossover just in the main plot. The additional references in the Mare scenes would put it over a dozen; stretching from comics, to novels, to TV & movies, to real life. I won't reveal them here-- that's not the reason for this page. I'll make a page of Mare references if necessary, but I hope you don't ask me to 'cause it'd take forever.

    • Came the Dawn My sixth Mare Inebrium story.
      Assassins are at large in City of Lights, a pirate fleet looms on the horizon, and out in the belt 8 stolen space-tugs just might be attempting to make ICBMs out of asteroids. Meanwhile, back at the Mare Inebrium-- The Reever and Tarja have formed an uneasy alliance...
      This is another novella. The first story I finished post-9/11. It was already well underway at the time of the disaster, and became very hard to work on for a long time. I finally ironed everything out and finished it. There is an awful lot of Bethdish history related in this one. I wanted to lay it out for the other Mare Inebrium writers because people were starting to contradict my timeline and series bible just a little. It seemed to be a good idea at the time.

    • Redshift Sue Sings the Blues My seventh Mare Inebrium story.
      I liked this title so much I had to write a story to go with it. I had created the title a long while ago and posted it on the Mare Inebrium Starter Kit page. After a couple of years, I found a story coming together from an old poem I had written while in college, the title that had been gathering dust, and a daydream I recently had about a woman singing on a stage.
      The poem was inspired by both the novel "Phantom of the Opera" and the movie "Phantom of the Paradise" back when I was a college freshman at UGA, 1976 to '78. I spent a lot of my college days in the Library, reading everything I could. Meanwhile, at home I was still doing farm work, and the endless boredom of driving a tractor around in a field gave me plenty of time to indulge in musical daydreaming. I wrote it down and stashed it. Later on I had to re-write the poem from scratch, not once, but several times over the last couple of decades. I kept wanting to use it as a song lyric, and hoped that one day I'd be musician enough to write the song the way I heard it in my imagination. In this story, I've given the best verbal description of what the song sounds like in my mind that one could hope for. I still hope to produce the song itself in the future.
      The title demanded a story be written around it, so I started plotting a Mare Inebrium story. Memory of the song lyric surfaced, and I recreated the poem once again. Which prompted the daydream about the woman singing, which wound up being used to fit the song into the story. The only thing I needed now was a plot. I asked a friend to read the rough draft and suggest which of the three different directions I had plotted would make the best story. He suggested the same one I happened to like best, unknown to him, so that's the way the plot went. This is the first story that I felt it necessary to not give a happy ending.
      Now I can get started on "Immortality Factor" since I've been wanting to get to that one for years now. Its the Reever story that was set up in my third Mare Inebrium story. The Reever tracks a serial killer in City of Lights. A killer that preys upon the Immortals of Bethdish.

    • Nightwatch: The Orion Affair My first Nightwatch story to appear. Actually the second that I started, but the first one finished and uploaded to Aphelion. Nightwatch belongs to Jeff Williams. I'm just guest-writing a couple of the stories. My next one was put online in the Summer/Fall of '05.

    • Nightwatch: Fly By Wire My second Nightwatch story to appear. Actually the first that I started, but the second one finished and uploaded to Aphelion. Nightwatch belongs to Jeff Williams. I'm just guest-writing a couple of the stories. My next one could happen in the summer of '06.

    • Mare Inebrium A filksong.

    • Louwe Louwe A filksong based on Larry Niven's "Ringworld" series.

    • The Immigrant **A newcomer to New York looks for a job.
      This one was written expressly for The Writer's Club website and IRC chatroom. I had promised Jillian a story, and after a long while I delivered it. It's short, humorous, and fun- I enjoyed myself a lot while writing this one.

    • How can you help a Little Blue Man? Jim Parnell and I join forces on a poem.

    • Star Sailor A lyric for one of Jim's songs, by he and I.

    • One World, One People An anti-war song.

    The Bethdish stories to date, in objective chronological order are:

    • Stranded!
    • Abducted!
    • The Threat of Valleor
    • Grudge Match
    • The Mare Inebrium - Spaceport Bar stories.

    Some future Bethdish stories that I already have outlined will be called:

    • Sidestep
      is the first John Stewart Sebastian-narrated Mare Inebrium story. A proposed collaboration between myself and another frequent Mare writer.
    • The Return of Tom Darby That's only the working title.
      is the sequel to Abducted and features Tom's eventual return to the Collector's museum.
    • The Relics of Cerach-Nerlin
      is a Collector story featuring Kitty West, an archeology dig on an alien planet, and a crew of tomb-raiding privateers.
    • Strike from Space
      is the tale of the coming of the Scourge and the destruction of the Altiplano Spaceport.
    • The Siege of Elko Daf
      is the story of the last days of the giant battle suits.
    • The Long Swim
      is the story of the prison of Membeth.
    • The Dust of Ages Past
      Is the tale of how the city of Nesastor was cursed to become the Great Blight.
    • Betrayal by Night -Alternate title: "Whispers in the Night"
      tells how Valleor regained some of his former powers.
    • The Floating City and the Home of the Gods
      Is basically just archeology and history. I'm not going to write this one until I get a secondary plot line that makes it worth reading.
    • The Flight of the "Lucky Leonard"
      is a Collector story wherein the Collector is attacked by Valleor.
    • Immortality Factor
      Alternate title: "The Blood is the Life" This is a Reever story, a mystery of sorts that was set up in my third Mare Inebrium story. The Reever tracks a serial killer in City of Lights. A killer that preys upon the Immortals of Bethdish.
    • Journey to the Center of the World
      is a Collector story near the end of my Bethdish histories.
    • Her Majesty's Secret Service
      is a Mare Inebrium story centering on Blanche, Hnarcor, and John Stewart Sebastian.
    • Live Free or Die!
      is the story of one small Duchy on Bethdish- the first to adopt a representative form of government.
    • From the Depths of History
      is the return of the Planet Killer, the machine that destroyed the Altiplano Spaceport in early Bethdish.
    • The Last War
      is the final tale of the Black Snake and Valleor in their attempt to conquer Bethdish and enslave the natives.
    • Last Call
      is the final tale of the Mare Inebrium. The universe ends after this one.

    I can't give you any sort of date to expect these to be ready. Some of them are already in progress, some are fully outlined and ready to begin, and some are mere footnotes waiting for more work. Its likely that I'll come up with even more ideas that will need to be written before these ever see publication. I write what comes to me and bounce around from story to story however the mood takes me.

    • A Timeline of Bethdish, home of the Collector's Museum, the Reever, and the Mare Inebrium bar. This started off as a strip of graph paper almost twelve feet long, studded with post-it notepaper. Each post-it note had a story idea or historical footnote that I wanted to remember. The graph paper was numbered along the top edge with the calendar that I had decided on for the planet. The dates run from Pre-historical myths and legends, to the start of the newest calendar, to eleven thousand years later. In the first rush of my post-Tandy computing, I copied it all into this file- which kept being added to and updated whenever I came up with a new idea. Last time I changed it, I wound up moving some of the Mare Inebrium stories further down the timeline. I may have to move a couple of them back. The timeline will always be a work in progress.

    • A large map of Bethdish Yet another work in progress. 1270 x 980 pixels. Not all the place name labels are finished.

    • Leaping in on a Bad Day A Quantum Leap Fanfic story- from the leapee's POV. Yes, I stoop to Fanfic when I have a good enough idea. I wrote this when I wondered what Sam's leaps looked like to the person who's life is about to get fixed back up. What did they do to screw it up in the first place?

    • Beloq and the Trespassers **Chapter 2 of Threat of Valleor -More of this novel is linked to above. This is the first part I salvaged from a mass of printouts left over from the days when a Tandy Color Computer III was the state of the art in modern computing.
    • Intervention **Chapter 17 of Threat of Valleor -More of this novel is linked to above. This chapter is the first part of 'Threat..." that I ever let anyone read as a printout. These are really old formats for web pages... You were warned!

    Sounds for you

    Unless I tell you the truth, if you listen to these MIDI compositions you may wind up thinking I'm a better musician than I really am. I didn't play these into the computer, they weren't performed. Neither did I hunt and peck them into a simple repeating sequencer loop. No, I did it the old fashioned way of writing it down as sheet music note by note (with a mouse, true) and making corrections the same way. I heard the music in my head and did the best I could to reproduce it. I never thought I would retain so much of school music lessons. Most of the MIDI music I've written sounds vaguely classical, probably because of my school lessons. MusicTime is a great program if you are more comfortable with sheet music format. I do (and did at the time) have a MIDI keyboard hooked up, I just chose not to use it in order to learn the program better. Besides, I'm a lousy keyboard player.
    Now the MP3 files are a different story. They are indeed live performances of some very talented, but raw young musicians. Recorded in the late '70s and the early '80s, they were originally on reel-to-reel tape and endless stacks of cassette tapes. They sound OK if you take into account how long ago they were recorded and the antique equipment we used.
    Let's see, time for a quick musical bio: 9 years public school band lessons starting in the 4th grade. 9 on Trumpet and 3 doubling on French Horn. 7 years in various garage bands playing Bass, Pitiful Rhythm Guitar, Digital and Analog Synths,tape loops, distortion boxes, I also ran the 12 channel mixing board and the different tape recorders while playing at the same time. Then 12 years (as of 2007) messing around with music programs on my computer. Enough about me though, by now you want to hear something.

    MIDI files:

    • Road Trip Original composition. Written as sheet music. It sounds to me like the soundtrack for driving down from the mountains on an open freeway, and then into the city where you have to slow down.
    • Lisbet Original composition. Written as sheet music. This one always reminded me of the SCA persona of an old friend of mine, so I named it after her.
    • Tubular Stars Original composition. Written as sheet music. This one was a study in how to integrate two vastly different synth voices on one piece of sheet music.
    • Harpsichord Original composition. Written as sheet music. Lurch Jams Out!
    • Etheria Original composition. Written as sheet music. This one was supposed to evoke a sense of the mysterious and the winds of probability blowing across the astral plane.
    • Spring Dawn Original composition. Written as sheet music. Good morning to you!
    • Only A Violet Arrangement of classic 1880's Music Hall music for the Casebook: Jack the Ripper website. Written from existing period sheet music.
    • Who Killed Cock Robin Arrangement of classic 1880's Music Hall music for the Casebook: JTR website. Written from existing period sheet music.

    MP3s: Live music on real instruments. WARNING: These are really big files.

    • Winter Solstice Okay, this one is actually me using a step-mode sequencer to take advantage of having a two-instrument voice programed into the synth. I tweaked all the voices in the synth as soon as I got it home from the store. Sometimes I made new voices, too.
    • Highland Lament Me playing keyboards-- live and alone. I'm so glad there was a tape recorder running when this song happened! Part of the distortion you hear in the recording is the snare drum rattling in the background.
    • An accidentally Hawkwind-sounding jam built from a mutated bass line for one of my own songs. The final effort sounded like the Hawkwind song "Silver Machine" although we weren't trying to make it do that. This is from the Sweet Revenge break-up phase, when I was still working with their bassist/guitarist for a while. Myself on Bass, David Hale on Guitar this time out. The drums are a Korg drum machine made in the early 1980s. There are no amplifiers or speakers being used in this recording. The instruments were plugged into different effects boxes, and straight into a mixing board and from there to a tape deck. We were wearing headphones, to keep the neighbors from complaining about the noise. We had done an earlier take, which was much shorter, and I asked David to crank up the swoopy effect of his fingers sliding across the strings. It was just accident that we got this track sounding the way it does. Luck is wonderful!
    • The Theme composed by Jim Parnell. Jim on guitar, myself on bass. This was one of my favorite pieces of Jim's early work. Even before I began to learn bass, I heard Jim composing this one. When we first began to play together, this is one of the pieces that Jim taught to me. This recording is a rare copy of one of our later (years later) jam sessions that still included the Theme. In case you wondered, I named it that because of it sounded like it should be the theme to something. If Jim ever decides on a name for it, I'll update the title.
    • Kenny's Song -- by Sweet Revenge -- composed by Kenny Stinchcomb. Kenny on guitar, David Hale on bass, Roy Whitehead on drums, myself on keyboards. Kenny wanted to do something with a riff that he'd made up. We worked at it for about half an hour, then tried it out. This is what the song sounded like on the second take. The first take was only a few seconds long and ended abruptly. (Sweet Revenge is a bittersweet memory for me. On the one hand, we made lots of great music, on the other hand, being young and stupid caused us to argue with each other a lot. We wound up fragmenting, breaking up. I worked with one or two of the guys again, but that finally died off as well.) This song shows off just how bad a keyboard player I really was/am. I had only owned the synth for about three months at this point.
    • David's Song -- by Sweet Revenge -- composed by David Hale. Kenny Stinchcomb on guitar, David Hale on bass, Roy Whitehead on drums, myself on keyboards again. David wanted to do something with an old riff that he'd made up, too. He, Kenny, and Roy had played this song once or twice before, but this was the first time that I'd ever heard it. David and Roy were arguing about how to start off and when David should signal that the intro was over, when I started the tape rolling. The rest is history. This was the first and only take of this song. We went really weird in the middle of the jam and recovered it with difficulty. We called it a" bridge" later, when we listened to the tape, but "we were really drunk at the time." This is improvised music, in the extreme in my case. This is another song that shows off just how bad a keyboard player I really was/am.
    • Lay it on the Line -- Solo Version-- composed by Jim Parnell and myself. This version features myself as the only musician. I programmed the drum machine track, played bass, rhythm, and lead guitars. This track is a composite of several overdubs. Myself on bass & the drum machine, myself on rhythm guitar, and finally myself on lead guitar. What sounds like synth effects is actually the different distortion boxes used on each guitar part. Jim and I do a much better version of this song, but this is the result of me exploring it on my own. Jim had moved away by this time and I had not yet met the guys from "Sweet Revenge"-- who would take my musical education in an entirely new direction.
    • Lets Get Acquainted Jam This is from a jam session that happened one night at my apartment. Jim asked a semi-pro local drummer to sit in with he and I for an evening's jam session (June 22nd, 1983). The drummer's name is Richard, though I never caught his last name. He's awfully good. He set up his drum kit and started warming up. After a few minutes, I joined in on bass, then a minute or so later, Jim comes in on lead guitar. It was a musician's sort of "getting to know you" moment. There are five or so other tracks in the vaults from that night. I'd have to call the evening a much-needed learning experience. Jim and I had not been using drummers or even a drum machine at that time. Jim's songs often contain complex time changes that are difficult for anyone to precog while jamming on them for the first time. Richard showed exceptional ability to adapt on the fly, as it were.
    • The Eye in the Pyramid This is from that same June 22nd, 1983 jam. This song was an odd one. One of Jim's compositions wound up finally inspiring a set of lyrics by me. The result was a more formalized jam, it's limits set by the lyrics. Once more, Richard rises to the occasion on drums. Jim Parnell on guitar, myself on bass. I don't think that the lyrics have been HTMLed and posted in Aphelion in the Poetry section. I'll try and dig them out and post them sometime.

    I have six music CDs worth of the old garage band stuff. It spans five different groupings of local musicians and myself, as well as several "special" one of a kind jam sessions. I'm going to include as much of the best stuff here as I can, but web space is expensive. I'd like to add more mp3s, but as small as they are, they're still huge. Maybe later I can add more.
    In case you wondered, the MTSQ in the MIDI filenames stands for MusicTime SeQuencer 'cause it was easier to number than to name them. I felt quite like a classical composer, but wasn't about to call a learning exercise an "Opus".
    And JTR stands for Jack the Ripper. The Ripper Mystery is one of those haunting real-life cases that draw inquisitive minds like moths to the flame. I've been lucky enough to have been of some assistance to the Casebook: Jack the Ripper website off and on since the mid '90s. I scanned and sized dozens of JTR related photos for the website, moderated the chatroom, and did MIDI arrangements of Victorian Music Hall songs having to do with the Ripper case. Casebook: Jack the Ripper is the URL for that website. As it happens, I wound up meeting my wife Lindsey in the JTR Chatroom. We wound up having been friends in the chatroom for over five years before we developed a romantic interest in one another.

    Old pages that aren't updated often.

  • Casa Vila My house and yard.
  • My Toys My different vehicles.
  • Keith Laumer's Bolo A webpage dedicated to the works of Keith Laumer.
  • Wallpaper Artwork A page of my cut & paste artwork.
  • My Paintings A page of my oil paintings, watercolors, pencil drawings, fabric paintings, etc.
  • Excentrivial Musings:My original Cartoon Page. Not updated in a long time.

  • Pages that have yet to go online.

  • My weapons collections: The Casa Vila Armory
  • Links to websites I frequent. Different from the Aphelion links page.
    E-mail me at vila@america.net