Not that the Phoenix valley has much of a winter, but this year was more wintery than the past two; December’s highest temp was 73º but the previous two years it was in the low 80s.
For the first time in 15 years, I’m not knee-deep in songwriting. I’ve participated in February Album-Writing Month since 2006, some years writing as many as 32 songs in a single month. I want to write at least one to celebrate my 15th FAWM, but I’m having a hard time dredging up the feeling.
I’m also 6 months or so behind on delivering the third Jake Calcutta story. And don’t get me started on the third Irish Adventure; poor Web Martin ended his second adventure on a low note and I’ve been meaning for years to lift his spirits with another chapter in his life.
The family band used to practice music 5 days a week. We’ve been up in the music room twice in five months. I’ve barely strummed my brand new 3/4-size Orangewood guitar. It’s beautiful, easy to play, great-sounding, and parked beside my desk. But, parked. In the same stand as my Blueridge tenor, the most wonderful musical instrument I’ve ever owned.
Moving my mother into assisted living absolutely trashed me physically and emotionally. Getting herself evicted in under 90 days because she’s so uncooperative was a gut-kick to Best Beloved and I after all the time, energy, and money we spent making it happen.
I usually ignore my age; I don’t celebrate birthdays, and the only reason I know my age most of the time is that it ends with the same number as the year. I haven’t been conscious of anything special about turning 60 the end of last month, but I have been feeling old, slow, a bit bleak.
I’ve written another handful:
but the real treat is that my two girls collaborated on one, and we can actually hear the Little One singing: Sister.
Tomorrow begins a month-long exercise in artistic immersion.
I’ve been participating in February Album Writing Month (FAWM) since 2006, making this my 13th year. (I missed the first year it went public, but I’m still one of the Old Folks in the forums.) Nearly every song I’ve ever written has been born in February. For a while I wrote throughout the year, partly because I couldn’t afford to shut down all my other activities during February.
It wasn’t the same, though. Writing three songs in a week isn’t the same depth of immersion as writing 14 (or 30, like last year) in 28 days. Now that my schedule allows it (thanks to Best Beloved who loves my art) I’m back to diving in unrestrained.
Except tomorrow, when we’ll be taking the Little One to Tucson to spend a few days with her sister. But I’ll bet I can write a song on the drive. Maybe she’ll even play the ukulele while I record it.
Every February since 2006 I’ve participated in February Album Writing Month. (I joined up during FAWM’s 3rd year.) While I do sometimes write songs during other months, the bulk of my nearly 200 songs have been written during these episodes of shared mania.
Hundreds of participants commit to writing a full album, 14 songs, of new material during the 28 days of the month. Sort of a NaNoWriMo for songwriters, though with less emphasis on embracing low quality; it’s more like accepting it without actively chasing it.
Some of my very favorite music has been written by my fellow FAWMers during this month of madness. Here are four examples:
Whether or not the styles are your cup of tea, the songwriting is as good as most of what you hear on the radio or elsewhere. Better, I think.
I’m still working on making better recordings, which these chaps have mastered. But I’m proud of my lyrics, confident in my songwriting.
And ready for February.
After more than a decade writing music, I’m slowly putting all my demos online. There are more than 2 dozen already live at http://tunehenge.com (that’s out of 30 I wrote in February of this year, 2017.)
Eventually I plan to have all the demos worth listening to at tunehenge. Some of my demos are purely experimental or for my own fun. Trust me, you’re missing nothing. There are still more than 100 songs I’ve written and recorded rough demos for that’ll end up at tunehenge.
Continue reading “My Music Website”
Though I was sick the whole month I wrote 30 new songs in February. I’ll be posting the lyrics and demos first, then working my way back through the last 12 years of songwriting.
Every year I spend some time in February mixing with the folks over at February Album Writing Month.
Every year, I notice that stretching to do more creative work makes me even more creative. It fires up things in my brain I forgot were there. It dredges up old feelings and new thoughts.
What it doesn’t do is use itself up or run itself out.
If you’d like to hear what I’m doing musically, head on over. While you’re there, look through the songs and see what others are writing. The library grows by about 500 songs most days during February, and most have demos you can listen to and even download. I’ve discovered some of my favorite artists on FAWM; regular folks who love making music as much as I do.
P.S. Ginger is off to the editor tomorrow and will be ready for y’all to buy before month end.
For 7 years I participated in February Album Writing Month. Short version: a bunch of loonies (over 10,000 last year) get together online and write a whole album of music.
That’s 14 songs in 28 days. It’s crazy.
So crazy that the forums are filled with thousands of songwriters talking about it. As if writing 14 songs in 28 days wasn’t busy enough.
Eventually the FAWMku tradition arose. (February Album Writing Month = FAWM = the prefix for everything about the event.) Someone always started a forum thread with haiku about songwriting.
And every year, Continue reading “Meta-Limerick”
Like Hemingway said, just sit at your typewriter and bleed.
I’ve written 5 songs in the past couple weeks, as part of two songwriting challenges.
I’m emotionally exhausted. Even the fun songs are emotional effort, but the ones that dredge up the past or make me look inside my dead father’s brain are like digging a grave with your own bones.
I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
- Into Town — A desperately lonely song; nothing at all like my father would have been if he were the one alive and alone instead of my mother.
- I ♥ You — A totally silly diatribe, to balance it.
- Good Pair of Jeans — Another fun one, because Poppies refused to come out.
- Upside Down Smile — A jazzy number for my Best Beloved, which also helped Poppies ruminate in my unconscious.
- Poppies — Finally, Poppies, which just might be my father talking to me again.
[l1]A[/l1]ccording to the little sidebar tool I built I’ve got 31 days until this blog is 10 years old. In order to have 300 posts by then, I still have 20 posts to write. Continue reading “Home Stretch to 300 in 10”