Did you know?


Today is my nineteenth wedding anniversary. I wrote and sang this song to her for the occasion:

Did you know?

Did you know, when you go,
In my heart you leave a hole?
My life isn’t full without you,
You’re worth more to me than gold.
When you smile, for a while,
I feel like I can fly;
It’s like heaven’s doors are opened,
For you I’d walk a hundred miles.

My heart is ever open
To you, my precious one;
Every time I bring you joy
It is the greatest prize I’ve won.
The day you said you were mine
I truly came alive;
I can’t imagine how to live
Without you by my side.

All the stars, with their cars,
And their hotel rooms and bars,
Are just wandering empty souls,
They don’t have half the joy that’s ours.
I’m so blessed to possess
A companion on our quest
To raise our children strong enough
To cope with every test

My heart is ever open
To you, my precious one;
Every time I bring you joy
It is the greatest prize I’ve won.
The day you said you were mine
I truly came alive;
I can’t imagine how to live
Without you by my side.

Yet here you are, my shining star,
I love you just as you are.

I will make a recording of the song available sometime in the near future.

(I neglected to post the song I wrote for her birthday a few weeks ago, I’ll post that next week).

Warrior: Embraced by David Hallquist



War is spreading across the solar system over the prize that Brandt Wills just found. Could the key to ending this conflict be on blood-soaked Mars?

In a stolen alien ship together with the only other victim of Singularity he’s managed to rescue, Brandt and Psyche journey to war-torn Mars, beckoned there by an ancient alien presence and lured by tales of a massive recently uncovered structure that could be the source of Singularity’s power. Every major navy in the solar system is heading there after them, so things are about get ugly, fast.

The spectacular conclusion to David Hallquist’s epic Singularity War Trilogy is available now from Theogony Books.

My First Online Concert (inc. Without Love, There is No Life)

Two weeks ago, I took part in the fourth Visible Music Weekend at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Prague, in which the topic was live performances and livestreaming music performances, which culminated with a livestreamed music concert featuring songs by all of the participants in the weekend, together with some prerecorded videos, a short sermon and adverts for the two schools involved to give the live participants time to reorganize the stage between performers. The vast majority of the video is in Czech, so might not be of interest to the majority of my readers. (Some technical issues resulted in just under the first 40 seconds of the youtube video being blank). One of the prerecorded videos is a slightly tweaked version of my “Silent Night” video from several years back (21 minutes 23 seconds in), I feature in the backing choir in one song (39 minutes 37 seconds in), and my live section (starting at 56 minutes 26 seconds) is comprised of a bilingual reading of my Bohemian Advent poetry series, followed by the debut performance of a song I first wrote over a decade ago, but whose musical accompaniment was only finalised an hour before the livestream started, then finishing off with A Hope That Burns.

Through a combination of extreme nerves and no chance to rerecord things, I made a number of errors during my live performance, Over the coming weeks I will attempt to record a better quality version of Without Love, There is No Life for you all to enjoy. Here are the lyrics:

Without Love There Is No Life

(spoken)
Love is full of purity,
It shows patience and humility.
Love is not a selfish lust;
Instead, love gives a grounds for trust.
Love gives a child security,
Love gives a thing its beauty;
Because, without love there is no life.
(music begins on life, the rest is sung)

Love is a many-splendoured thing.
Love gives a broken man new wings.
It perseveres, no matter what the cost;
If you have love, you’re never truly lost;
Love, seeing all my flaws,
Love, guided by higher laws;
You know, without love there is no life.

Love simply wants to hear the truth.
Love, it is not eternal youth.
Love is more than soothing noises,
‘Cause love steps up and makes hard choices.
Love lasts through the ages,
It’s written on all life’s pages.
You see, without love there is no life.

It makes the ordinary great,
Won’t mind if you are late,
Won’t leave you to your fate,
This is love.

Love puts you in harm’s way,
Though you try, you can’t always save the day;
Love is there to share your pain,
To weep and help you on your feet again,
Love is a healing flow,
Love gives you room to grow.
You know, without love there is no life.

Love looks you in the face;
Love helps you find your place.
With love, you can forgive the past,
Move on and build a peace to really last.
Love is where you find your worth;
If you’re loved, you’re more precious than the Earth.
You see, without love there is no life.

It shows you you belong,
It admits when it is wrong,
It’s majestic and it’s strong,
This is love.

But love is not every time returned,
Love is not something you have earned,
Sometimes our care isn’t even prized;
Instead our thoughts are utterly despised.
True love goes on caring anyway,
Even when we walk the other way;
It knows that without love there is no life.

Love is how your soul can truly shine,
Through love I am yours and you are mine,
Love expressed is such an open book,
A life of love is worth a closer look,
Can it be, that here is love for me?
Come explore this greatest mystery,
And see that without love there is no life.

Another appearance on Zaklog the Great’s Book Club

Two and a half weeks ago, I appeared on Zaklog the Great’s Book Club again to discuss part of Sir Walter Scott’s poem “The Lay of the Last Minstrel”. Being an ex-pat myself, I thought I might be able to offer some interesting perspectives.

Lay of the Last Minstrel, Canto VI, [My Native Land]

Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burn’d,
As home his footsteps he hath turn’d
From wandering on a foreign strand!
If such there breathe, go, mark him well;
For him no Minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim;—
Despite those titles, power, and pelf,
The wretch, concentred all in self,
Living, shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust, from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonour’d, and unsung.

Galaxy Ascendant: A Worthy Sacrifice by Yakov Merkin

Somehow it escaped my attention until now, but the kickstarter for the final book in the 7-book Galaxy Ascendant series has a day and a half to go and is fully funded

It was a fun book to edit with some great moments and makes for a very satisfying conclusion to the epic series.

Perks include getting all 7 books in e-book format for just $14, so take a look and back it if it sounds like something that will interest you.

Warrior:Interface by David Hallquist

Fired towards earth at over five thousand miles per hour and equipped with the latest Lunar technology, Brandt Wills is a warhead targeting the brutal State of Terra.

With the beast partially tamed and his body further augmented by Lunar Special Security, Brandt Wills is heading back home to take on his former employers as war breaks out between Luna and the State of Terra. His only backup on this insane mission are the beast that still tries to take him over and the AI ghost of an old flame. What chance does one man have against the vast resources of earth?

The second installment in David Hallquist’s outstanding Singularity War Trilogy is available now from Theogony books.

    This book was a ton of fun to edit, and is now available on Kindle from its new publisher (it was previously released as State of Terra by Superversive Press). I can’t wait for you all to read this one and the breathtaking culmination of the trilogy, Warrior:Embraced, once it comes out in a couple of months.

Warrior:Integration by David Hallquist

After the closing of Superversive Press, the Singularity Crisis trilogy has found a new home at Theogony Books, with new titles and cover art, and the first installment of the now Singularity War trilogy, Warrior:Integration, is now available for purchase. The old book trailer has been adjusted, tweaked and reuploaded for the occasion.

Injected with an alien monster, left for dead, and now hunted by the most powerful men in the solar system.

Surprised to find himself alive in a freezing medical waste dump on Luna, and with an alien creature trying to devour his body and mind from the inside, Brandt Wills slowly remembers who he was and how he got in this mess. He discovers he is not the only victim of a hellish secret laboratory performing vile experiments on humans. His only way forward is to fight for his life, his sanity, and his soul against the most powerful forces in the solar system.

Enjoy David Hallquist’s thrilling debut novel and book one of the outstanding Singularity War trilogy.

A Hope That Burns (Finally Recorded)

A Hope That Burns

As I indicated back when I first posted this, I hoped to participate in a local training weekend for musicians and sound engineers in collaboration with Visible Music College in Memphis, Tennessee, that included the professional recording and mixing of songs that we the participants wrote (one each), as well as basic instructions on techniques, tricks and resources for mixing and producing music professionally.

That recording went well (though it very nearly didn’t happen at all*) and in due time I received a mixed and raw multitrack version of the song, so I could practise the mixing techniques I’d been taught. I then had some vocal instruction from the amazing Moira Greyland Peat, who’s strength, grace and generosity of spirit despite a truly harrowing childhood is an inspiration to many, and resung an improved version of the vocals at home, then mixed it together to produce this final version that I hope will be enjoyable and uplifting.

For the rest of this month it will be available via the CD Baby store for the princely sum of 99 cents, (all other outlets are the same price, but the CD Baby store link above gives the best royalty per sale). Clicking on the image below shows all the outlets where you can stream or download the song.

A Hope That Burns

Melody and Lyrics by Ben Zwycky, accompaniment by Tomas Pavlicek

Vocals Ben Zwycky, keyboard Tomas Pavlicek, guitar Michal Petras

(*I completely lost my voice a week and a half before the weekend, only heard its musical accompaniment for the first time about an hour before we were supposed to demonstrate our songs to show that they were worth recording, while my voice was still shaky, and a scheduling conflict meant that we ended up doing our full recording half an hour after the window for recordings was supposed to close.)

MaryMae and the Nightmare Man Kickstarter

http://bit.ly/MakeMaryMae

Marymae is just like any little girl, She loves stories about brave princesses and spends a lot of time with her imaginary friend, Waldo. Except to her, he is very real indeed! It’s not a problem until the day her friend goes missing, and no one will take her growing concern seriously. Knowing she can’t leave him in danger – a danger she just KNOWS is there – Marymae sets off to find him. But she finds there are inky shadows slinking through the forest of make believe, and nightmares are threatening to spill past it’s wooded realm and into her world and home. With help from noble pirates wielding chainsaws, armored dinosaurs, and the relentless hope and light of a child’s soul – Marymae and her friends, new and old, will have to face the Nightmare man before it’s too late.

Be part of bringing this wonderful book to life by contributing at its kickstarter page:

http://bit.ly/MakeMaryMae