Secrets and Songs

Hi it’s me.

(this is not the song the post is about)

I wrote a song once years ago for that song contest I have historically done (Song Fight!) called Colorblind. So not recently. Recently-now I am thinking to finish a song called ‘This is Fine.’ At the moment, I don’t know that they’d have a title like “colorblind or Only I think it is meant to be spelled in the overseas sort of way with what I think of as ‘vacation vowels’—so with the ‘U.’ Like in the improv game Be More British.

Anyway, I did this long ago. Because it was the given title and we were told to. This had to have been sometimes between 2009-2011. I think I was supposed to not have a chorus and sort of meander along or maybe tell a story or I don’t remember. Typically for me at that time, I wrote it about a super secret almost-relationship I had had which was frustrating to me. I wanted to write about this thing that had happened so briefly that nobody in the entire universe even knew about so much so that I often forget it was there. Now, this is decades ago and I was so different.

In songwriting, not even five-ish years ago, I used to be vague but also forthcoming. I wrote in metaphors. But always, I look for signs. Maybe I’ll do this #songcontest I used to do again and maybe I will not. It seems to be a deadline my songwriter clock respects for some reason. The only other way I hustle is for an opening day or money.

I found these old lyrics, looking for paper. These were not the ones I used. These were full of flowery metaphors and obfuscations about what I was going through then. And my songwriter muscles are a bit out of whack after the switching gears into improvising and not sitting and crafting scenes and moods and a musical agenda. But there has to be a balance, right?

Na, Na-Na-Na, No, NaNoWri…Mo!

1. I’m writing the novel in one month thing. I tried to do it before, but in reality, I didn’t. I’m doing it this time. Yep.

2. My characters already want to take over and drive the story. It’s going to be hard to steer this ship. I don’t know what will happen.

3. I started a bit late because of stuff and things and so I decided to put Ketchup on the problem and do 6000 words today. I realized at 4000 that 3000 words is actually quite a lot and that 6000 was going to be a whole bunch of book and at least 2-5 scenes, perhaps more. It kept me busy most of the day because I’m not “just write”-ing. If I let myself just write my story will just write itself and I don’t know what I will end up with because when I just write something else comes out of my fingers that I didn’t decide on.

4. I know that’s weird. Also, it’s ALWAYS autobiographical.

5. I can’t recall whether or not I’ve eaten today. Never a good sign. If I’m going to do this, I have to do it right or not at all. I’m done for now and also not doing it tomorrow if I can’t behave myself. Then I’ll have to get to 10,000 and that’s a whole lot of words!

borrrrrrrrrrring.

1. Something good happened: Blogathon.
2. Something bad happened: I wrote something and it basically got rejected. Oh whale. 😦
3. My back hurts. Wah. There will be no sympathy for this I’m afraid.
4. I have a doctor appointment today.
5. I’m afraid this blog is boring.
6. It’s because I’m sad today. I’m sad because it’s Monday and mosquitoes ate my leg.
7. I think coffee will fix that problem a bit (the sad, not the leg).
8. my computer is ready.
9. Paint is drying on a wall somewhere.
10. no one was aroused by my blogging in any time zone to-day. Not anywhere. In any universe. Not even the snails, or really easy to please fish.

Frog and Toad make Lists

1. I like to make lists. I’ve been doing them since I was tiny, apparently.
2. Apparently also, my skills at plot development and dialogue haven’t improved any from my youth. Not sure how old I am here.
3. My teacher thinks I’m excellent.
4. Blogathon Saturday. I’m off my game this year because of Things and Stuff; but I’m going to hang back and Learn and keep motivated. Kinda like a wordSpy. We’ll get there. Right now I’m pushing the bike up the hill. But I’m still smiling. Because I’m brave.
5. I’m nobody’s lunch. 😉
6. This is what the Story says:

Frog and toad together Chapter 1 a list
One morn – ing toad made a list that said: wake up put on close eat Brekfast. That’s funny. I don’t have wilgle my ears toad said then he spit at his list.
chapter 2 I’m not afraid.
One day Frog Went to toad’s house. He said let’s go out to see if we are brave let’s go out. I don’t want to go out Frog said toad. Please let’s go siad Frog. Ok but_I don’t want to be scard. So on they went. But they saw an eagel and ran. Later they saw a scary cave And a snake came out. He said hello lunch! They ran home ————> They got in to bed. ——–> Frog said / We are brave ———> Toad said ——> You are / right

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validation

when a person/peoples believe in you, it can be pretty powerful.

Validation goes a long way. Especially in these days of instant social gratification (“look at me! I have posted a photo of Gandalf saying something droll! And someone from the cast of Full House ‘liked’ it!!” (this never happened to me)).. you can grow rather lonely waiting for a project or idea to percolate without an “atta boy/girl/naked squirrel” applied at the right place/time.

This can cause havoc with your discipline. But you get to a point where it’s just not PROFESSIONAL anymore to need constant love and coddling from the folks who surround you in order to work. It is this that has finally made me realize The Thing. The Answer to The Big Question.

When is one a professional?

I used to think “when one gets paid.” After a while, this didn’t make a lot of sense to me. It didn’t make sense to me because people are constantly getting paid to do sub-par work. I have done some of my most ridiculous, unrecognized and informal sit-ins with names that would look nice on my résumé, and I didn’t stick around to pursue further work and schmooze time on further opportunities in some of those directions. I seriously don’t talk about the time I played once at a little show with such-and-such because they’d be all “who the hell is she?” And usually at the time I was being professional in other capacities that look spotty and ridiculous now; mostly getting poorly paid at gigs which don’t matter. But I learned a lot at every gig that didn’t matter – sometimes picking up really important skills that translated well. Usually learning something like “don’t do ThIs or That, it doesn’t work.”

I haven’t been consistently paid in a long time. When those days do come, I bet the source/s of income will look very different than I ever imagined they might. I’m going to have to get creative to succeed at being me, and make up being profitable at it; simply because I don’t think that way. I haven’t even gotten the foot out the door of “make really bad ass content available.” Moving out of Thinking time into Doing is scary, particularly when you shut the door because it’s time for your Validating Individuals who Love and Care to do Their Own Things and Not Your Drama. Then it is All You and Oh My God I need cake right now.

And so, what do I think, of Work?

I think I am producing content. I think that I’m busy. Perhaps I am working, even. But I don’t know if I’m getting the job done. I may have to write another job description, and fire my ass. Perhaps I will hire another Me.

I certainly feel like I work all the time. At the moment, most of the things that I do I think of as practice, to justify the unpaid nature of it all. But I have withdrawn a bit because I have things on the back burner that are not items for practice. I “haven’t had time” to do them. I’ve been distracted.

I think it might have something to do with validation, with belief. When I started doing these contests, for instance, they were a mixed blessing. They came with communities. And the communities both held you up and back. When you’re in a group of people, you start feeling like you should do things to fit the mold, even if it hasn’t been communicated that you should. That’s just crowd ethic, perhaps. It’s not law though.

Joining communities that do things recreationally that I’m trying to break into professionally, even if the lines are really blurry, is going to continue to confuse me. It’s silly not to keep it up since I think I’ve made some lifelong relationships; but it’s also dumb to let my whole life continue to be swallowed up by it all.

I played some songs I wrote in the early 2000s. Some even earlier. I was already doing well. I was writing with confidence. I had a style I owned. Lately, I write songs as though I listened to song reviews, tried to insert several other people’s concepts of how to write hooks, and then lost how I put stories down into words to sing against verses. And I need to take what I have been given and remember how I used to flow with it.

I love my work and lately, I haven’t as much. But I think it’s slowly starting to change back.

I keep Almost finding an audience, a niche. Then I pull back, last second, and settle into the warm womb of relationships. Collaboration. I don’t trust my own gut. I don’t sit in my own silence. I’ve always trusted what I had to say before. This fear is a new thing, brought on by too many surrounding voices. Too much need for approval and too much stimuli.

It’s been both good and bad. Mostly good.

I think it’s about balance. And the things that stick, you keep. Hopefully, the rest shakes off okay.

Atropos Remembers Her Lover

all of a sudden
I saw my hands were old.

they’d aged three decades in as many months

i know how much a ferryman should cost.
(enough to know how much, he still expected…

lots)

a universe of starry skin cells
all interconnected
time stretched out like a stranger …

all of a sudden
my soul felt cold.

I’d forgotten that I had a soul.
They told me such was not
my right to stretch and hold

my hands lacked lines once, for a while
the body underneath them
honey over polished stone

time stopped!
…all a sudden
and it was as if your arms
were made of gold.

******************
ps. THIS is a good old entry and another fitting poem for now. 🙂

Two for the price of One Plus a Dollar…

These are the kitties of Randall, “Couch Kitty” and “Window Kitty” .. also known as Alex and Max.
These are the photos we took before they left. It’s been weird. I didn’t want to blog about them, because I don’t know how they are – but I haven’t been blogging a lot and yesterday I went out and read some of my writing to some people and there was mirth and fun and enjoyment and I realize how much I edit and hold back and am careful and it does me no good because bad things continue to happen anyway regardless of what I do. So I may as well just continue on as I am, writing as I like and trying my hardest to be the best that I can be. What can one do about such things? We are moving, and it’s a billiondy million degrees, and and I have been a worrier of Epic Porpoises since I was a podling. Everything will work out fine. I continue to stare suspiciously at the piano and wish things would pack up themselves and magically sort-out-in-all-easy-ways.
1. Pianoteq problem again while trying to save some old data. Well, my pianos have been saved. This is very important because they are like my babies and represent times and places in my development and they remind me of people and places and conversations and stuff I was going through. Sometimes I would just make a piano to FEEL better.

2. I am going to have a graham crackers shaped like tiny rabbits. Because I can.
3. I’m out at my Tuesday night writers group again. I’m proud of this, because this is something that I I’ve been doing that is consistent and that is special and tasty. I don’t know if “tasty” applies here; but we’re going to go with it.
4. Have you ever reached an impasse with a friend? Well, I have reached an impasse with this particular friend so many times that the restaurant that we used to meet at when we were younger with firmer complexions has turned into a hipster space station and moved down the road. I’d go in there, but I am afraid that the smell of TIGI and pretention would choke every shred of energy I have regained from me. Yes, every precious SHRED of energy that I have refound and will clutch to my bosom before my doctor has figured out that I have ripped myself off cholesterol medicine and thrust its evil presence from my wrecked body.
5. I’m a tad drama today. Expect more typing.
6. I think I’m slowly finding my fan base. I’ve been hunting them down. I have, of course, been saying this for years of beers, and the 6-8 people who have OPT-ed-ed-IN are tired of my megalomaniacal claims I am sure. They are people like me. But the regular channels of the Getting of the Attention … it doesn’t WORK that way. I can’t be all MERCHY with these people. I can’t jump up and down with pom-poms and clever hooks and drag them out to gigs and send them to my bandcamp.
7. My husband, who apparently although he has a job cannot be bothered to actually code or anything (#pokeymirthlystuff) has figured out that Vinny the Geriatric Kitteh is between 84 and 90ish years of age in human years. Before we dragged him back inside, he was having a vigorous, non-consensual “dating” life with Domina – who I am assuming is between 50 and 60. I am thinking that perhaps a crotchety (yes, I am aware that I have enjoyed typing that word before) .. old man cat could have been rather useful last night as Get-the-Hell-Off-My-Porching those Raccoons last night. More likely he would have just sat there allowing the powers that flea to take his love and take his land. Animals are jerks.
8. Anyway, about my fanz-with-a-Lolcat-inspired-“z” … they are people of the night. Unless they aren’t; and they feel more jaunty during the afternoon or for breakfast or elevenzees. Sometimes they are practical people who like to make crafty items with funny ears. Sometimes they aren’t weird for the sake of being weird. Actually, they never are. They’re just themselves. They just move around, heads cocked to the sides- funny half smiles at the ready. They don’t have the squinky look on their face that I imagine the majority of people make when they are reading my blog. Or perhaps I am giving myself too much credit and I think it is terribly Roman Tick to imagine myself velvet caped in my dungeon of delights playing my creepy basement organ.
9. that is not what she said.
10. I’ve missed blogging. I promise I will not get all creepy.
11. We are inDEED moving to a new location and it does not have a creepy basement for a creepy organ. There are probably about 3-4 basements in the whole city of Austin because of all the limestone. It’s really too bad because I bet it would be nice and cool and cavey down there.
12. OOOOO! I forgot all about CAVES!
12.5 -> I haven’t been myself lately. I’ve lacked confidence. I’ve need LOTS of reassurance. I USED to be like that, but I trained out of it. I think that this is because I got sick, and being sick is scary and hurty and vulnerable.

Well, no more! When you realize that you are in the bottom of a dank, dank, stinky hole then you have to look up and see the gleaming taco stand at the top and crawl back out. I have stuff to do. I’m not even going to link it. I’m not even going to BLOG RESPONSIBLY. You’ll all just have to wait because

HERE IS A DEN LIST:
A. I have either TWO or THREE songs to write. I’m hedging about the third because I am not sure if it is needed, wanted, or necessary. It’s become almost a philisophical connundrum at this point.

B. I SHOULD start with the song that I know I have, but for some reason doing the most difficult thing is what I crave, because if I can do it; that means that I have my stuff under control
C. There is not any more. For that is all.

hay-hay.

ps. sorry for mistigacakes. We have to go someplace and I don’t have the time to spell-chalk this up properliciously.

hard to kill

the two women laughed
at muddy shoes
repeatedly
clomp-clomping
on a tiny sodden shoot
that had poked through the
Most Important Sidewalk
in the city.

It was a sidewalk
that their husbands walked
a place where everybody
paid their dues
and everybody talked
and made transactions…
this cafe
in the city

“they cannot keep those weeds from growing in!”
remarked the banker’s wife,
as though she found it funny…
and yes, she was quite right
for green would fall to grey
but in time – soon enough! –
another shoot would crack the slab
meant to thwart the grasses’
tiny might

– its little right
of nothing more to grow
toward the light
to freely reach toward the sun
and stretch out
just where it liked.

useful words I made for a slow day

1. fl’anger: little tiny flurffs of passive aggressive steam let off online; to take the pressure off (not to be confused with a FLANG{ER}, which I think is a sound effect used by the combination of infinitesimal delay and chorus-type things to vary the tops and bottoms of your envelope, I think… it can go WHRONNNNG if you like.)
2. flurff: a unit of emotion
3. sklorg: the sense of nauseating unfairness that crushes your soul when someone has metaphorically eaten your adorable chocolate bunny; and the entire World is cheering them on Whilst it is being Done to you.
4. zwip: a philosophy of happy calm realism that allows one to roll with all Punches.
(husband wants to know if there shall be a book called ‘Zwip and the Art of Motorcycle Repair’)
5. shoggs: shoes that have suffered a Dastardly Puddle Invasion
6. blurgged: you sat in a puddle. In jeans. So this describes you now.
(I didn’t though. I just thought I’d clarify! Nor did I step in a puddle)
5. stoozered: “Jay said ‘Den go to bed’ and she was right ‘cuz I’m *stoozered*…but I finished my work anyway…” (jay did not say that in this Particular Instance but would have had she thought to Do So)
this means too tired to work but Pressing on to the Finish.

those are some words. there will be more later. I am sleepy now.
Here is a medium -sized photo of a little Lego farmer being abducted by aliens for your Viewing Pleasure…

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swim

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maybe it’s time to rise
time to open eyes
time to unshutter windows
a time for seconds, thirds, and infinitely more’th-tries.

i am suspicious of recurrences
of suddenness
(of absences)
of just enoughs
surrounded by too muchness-es
(and dour, coldemptypromises)
so when the tide is finally drenched with smiles
i think perhaps my scars will heal
(heart, hips, hands, fingers, thighs…)
i wish to ride my fear into my sea
and yes, my friend
i’d say this salty honest-ness;
this tricky-fun wordspun homecoming mist
is a happy new taste for me.