#Blogtoberfest Day 23: Why I Won’t Be Doing #NaNoWriMo

As hard as I’ve tried to get back into writing fiction – taking a class from the Las Vegas chapter of RWA and reading No Plot, No Problem – to motivate myself to join NaNoWriMo for the month of November, I just can’t do it. I’m too far gone when it comes to music these days and I’m dreaming of upgrading my studio.


(Photo: iPhone snap from Sweeetwater Ad in Electronic Musician magazine)

#Blogtoberfest Day 18: Writing Lyrics (the Great Juggling Act)

I’m pretty sure I won’t really be doing NaNoWriMo – oh, sure, I’ll continue to write the tome I seem to be working on when the mood strikes, ie, a scene or emotion comes to me that I must write down. Maybe because these days music is my main focus. And that is quite a juggling act.

In Songwriting: Essential Guide to Lyric Form and Structure, published by Berklee Press, it says this about writing lyrics upfront, right in the introduction, the first page of the book:

You will have no trouble learning about lyric structure. It is simple, just like juggling. When a juggler keeps four balls in the air at once it may seem like magic, but there is no magic involved. The juggler learned by throwing one ball up and catching it, throwing and catching, stopping and starting the motion; always gaining greater control over the movement of the ball. Then came two balls, then three, throwing and catching, stopping and starting, with greater and greater control.

As a lyricist, you must learn to juggle four balls.

1. How many phrases does it have?

2. How long is each phrase?

3. What is the rhythm of each phrase?

4. How are rhymes arranged?

And that’s just the lyrics. Then there’s the music, and music production. Each piece requires great skill, learning the craft, and practice. And then they all must work together – prosody, that’s what it’s all about.

#Blogtoberfest Day 13: In My Dream (#poem)

In my dream I saw you smiling
You hadn’t smiled in so long
In my dream I heard you laughing
And then I knew I’d been so wrong

The years had passed and I barely knew who exactly you were
The pain inside, the nights you cried were hidden so well
Then he came along and touched your face and I was so mad for taking his place
From the window of your little beach house I saw everything in the mirror

The troubles we’d had around the fake dad were no more
Could it be I could now see they started when I was just a baby
Writing that letter to my father might have been harder than I knew
You hated yourself more than ever and we took the fall instead of you

In my dream I saw you smiling
You hadn’t smiled in so long
In my dream I heard you laughing
And then I knew I’d been so wrong

Tropes and Other Annoyances (#poem)

Where do you fit in as the years go by
Creating the person you are meant to be
In a world that oppresses you like a swatted fly
Pretending to encourage you with eyes that cannot see

They make up categories, genres, brands, and props
Changing them chasing the thrill of what’s dope
It’s not up, it’s down, it’s not release, it’s drop
And the worse one of all is your favorite trope

They call you out if you resist the latest trend
If you stand up for beliefs, you’re suddenly a hater
And the trends of trends are never your friend
Individuals are suspects, social media is the meter

Everything has changed, your music is dated
When pursuing the arts after a lifetime of work
The stories you write are ignored or hated
When all you have loved has suddenly gone berzerk

When you’re young you feel like you’ve got the world by the tail
Opportunities approach you, tease you, and tempt you
With all that’s ahead of you and with fears you will fail
It’s not youth or age but the boxes that squeeze the shoe

Each age has its challenge whether numbers or years
I’ve seen it come before me, I’m living it now
Those coming after will see it in a mirror so clear
Don’t judge the past by the present values somehow

Social media will be replaced by what’s shiny and new
Those annoying words like trope will be long forgotten
People will adjust and come to their senses, I believe is true
We are the reflection of our Creator and the one who is Begotten

Missing Skipper (#poem)

Oh Skipper, I miss you so much
Your face on my computer screen, I want to reach out and touch
Sitting across from your favorite chair
We grew so close together, moving from here, there, and everywhere

You were so good-natured, your desire a wake-up kiss
Oh and, yeah, your favorite food in your favorite dish
How do I go on without you after 18 years?
How do I go on with a heart full of tears?

We’re on the brink of change with everything exploding
You, my dad, the country and the church, how do we keep from imploding?
Waking up at midnight, my head full of fear
How do I move forward, get past what I see in the mirror?

Gratitude and forgiveness are the secrets they say
Anything less will just get in your way
Thanks for the memories, I hear my heart whisper
Taking one step at a time while missing my Skipper

A Young Girl’s Dreams (#poem)

A young girl dreams at ten or eleven
Of riches and fame, singing on stage
Elvis matinees and Beatlemania she starts writing songs of her own
She can see it now who she wants to be when fully grown

A young girl dreams at sweet sixteen strolling the streets in the city
A storefront window peeks her interest as she catches a glimpse in the mirror
The cradle beckons offering an inkling of what might become her future
Laughter, Love, a handsome man, a happily ever after

Looking back she wonders how she veered off track
Was it a lack of choice, the choices she made, or just circumstance
Whatever it was doesn’t matter now cuz there’s no going back
It wasn’t meant to be anyhow, not the dance she was meant to dance

So she picks up a guitar, a keyboard not far and she starts writing songs
Some dreams disappear and others appear
Revealing which were right and which were wrong
Following her heart all along