#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 11: Poetry-Inspired Lyrics

The Flame, Leonard Cohen’s last book of poetry (and more), arrives on Friday. I can’t wait to read it, especially after reading some of the poems in the sample. I got the hard cover because some books should be read in print.

I love that his songs started out as poems. My first song submitted for professional feedback to a NY Broadway composer started out as a poem and he led me down the path to making it a song.

In Nashville, “writing to title” co-write sessions are scheduled – they have nothing to do with poetry but the good news is everybody in the room gets songwriter credit. (Two NSAI mentors loved one of my “hooks” but somehow my story wasn’t the usual Nashville story and it didn’t go anywhere).

In Confessions of a Serial Songwriter by Shelly Peiken, she laments today’s songwriter in L.A. being relegated to “topliner” – the person who is called in to write the melody or lyric or maybe just a hook or phrase. The “producer” provides the “backing track” and gets 50% of writing credit and the rest is divvied up according to some sort of formula.

But you know what? This is what you get when a society decides that humans can be created the same way – sperm donor meets egg donor meets surrogate and somehow the couple who purchases all of this genetic material becomes the “parents” and a “family” is created.

I don’t see much difference in creating a human and in creating a song today. Very sad with many consequences with this type of thinking. But that’s the world people have shouted into being. At least for now. I pray that people will come to their senses some day.

The Long Way (Song of the Day)

Not sure how much more poetry I’ll be writing this month. Even yesterday’s poem was more song lyric than poem. Besides, I’m rushing to get all of my evaluations done from NSAI before this year’s membership expires next month. So I’m pretty much focusing on songs, not poems or novels.

So I’m listening to The Long Way and had to laugh out loud at the line “Your hand-me-down ’99 Impala.” Not only would that be in the category of “who cares” when it comes to classic cars you would mention in a song, but there is no such thing as a ’99 Impala – Chevy took a hiatus from making them from 1997-2000. And notice in the video, they’re driving a ’63 Impala – that’s a classic worth mentioning and I had one.

I’m so annoyed by some people today just making things up. Dude, how hard is it to check your facts on the internet? Facts don’t seem to matter to them.

But I do have hope. The idea behind writing this song was of  “… having a real conversation because we don’t have these anymore…” paraphrasing what Brett Eldridge said when Matt Rogers brought this idea to him in their first songwriting session (Taste of Country). Kudos to them for realizing this and doing their part to, maybe, turn this thing around. (And for those getting wise to Facebook and other social media.)

Technology should be our servant, not our master.

 

April is Writing Month (#NaPoWriMo #CampNaNoWriMo)

I’ve been gearing up for writing 30 poems in 30 days for #NaPoWriMo this April but I’ve just learned of #CampNaNoWriMo (April version of #NaNoWriMo–Novel Writing Month). Something has got to give! After #FAWM (February Album Writing Month), I’ve decided that perhaps I should give my ears a break and write a novel and poetry instead. I can gear back up for 50/90 (50 Songs in 90 Days) from July-October.

I’ve never been a fan of these writing challenges before but, somehow, where I am in life is leading me to loving them.

I’d just joined TAXI, I still have two months of NSAI membership, recently enrolled in a Logic Pro X Music Production class and got some new killer speakers, so I am feeling a bit guilty about putting music aside to focus on other writing. But, I tell myself, it’s only for one month. I still have time for 50/90, and I still have time for the TAXI Road Rally in November.

Let’s see how this year plays out.

3 Drinks Later (Dancing with Travolta) (#FAWM)

My first complete song I posted on FAWM (February Album Writing Month – similar to NaNoWriMo for writers in November), inspired by the opening of the new Edison bar and lounge at Disney Springs.

First the lyrics followed by a work tape on SoundCloud:

3 Drinks Later (Dancing with Travolta)
Copyright 2018, Kathy Holmes

Verse 1

I was starting my winter vacation
Flying to my destination
Then somewhere over Bermuda
Halfway to Antigua and Barbuda
Over that famous Triangle
To a disco in San Francisco

Chorus

3 Drinks later and I’m dancing with Travolta
Another Sunrise, and a classic Rum and Cola… a classic Rum and Cola

Verse 2

I was starting to get my groove on
A mustache was tickling my abdomen
Then somewhere after the Hustle
Travolta turns into Kurt Russell
I’m bumping on the floor with Goldie
A waiter is passing out Stolis

Chorus

3 Drinks later and I’m dancing with Travolta
Another Sunrise, and a classic Rum and Cola… a classic Rum and Cola

Verse 3

The disco ball is spinning on the dance floor
Heading from the front door to the back door
A red Camaro is waiting
Driver is someone I’m dating
Road 24 with Aunt Ola
I think my name is Lola

Chorus

3 Drinks later and I’m dancing like Travolta
Another Sunrise, and a classic Rum and Cola… a classic Rum and Cola

We Used to Be (#FAWM)

FAWM (February Album Writing Month) has begun, at least at 7 am New York time. This is my first time and I think my approach for writing 14 songs in 28 days is to write the lyrics upfront and then go back and write the music. After FAWM is over, I can work on the mix and other production tasks to, hopefully, release my first album.

We Used to Be (copyright 2018 Kathy Holmes)
Songwriting Prompt – Breakups

Verse 1

We used to be so in love
You were everything I’d been dreaming of
You were supposed to be my second chance
I passed men by without a glance
But now you’ve grown cold, and we’re a cliche about to unfold

Chorus

But wait…
I refuse to be
That’s not our fate
Can’t you see
I won’t let us fail statistically
At what we used to be

Verse 2

Words were said what we couldn’t hold back
It was so unlike you to go on the attack
You turned away, pounding those computer keys
I ran out the door, grabbing the Baracuda keys
Pedal to the metal, radio blasting, making my plans, consequences everlasting

Chorus

No wait…
I refuse to be
That’s not our fate
Can’t you see
I won’t let us fail statistically
At what we used to be

Bridge

Running on the beach as fast as I can
Knowing in my heart there’s no better man
Turning back, praying to God

Chorus

Cuz wait…
I refuse to be
That’s not our fate
Can’t you see
I won’t let us fail statistically
At what we used to be

#FAWM and Poems by Maya Angelou

As I sip my morning coffee from my chair in the den overlooking our front porch, I select from a stack of books and open “Poems” by Maya Angelou. Her poetry resonates with me, even though I’m not Black, maybe because we’re both women, but mostly because we’re both artists. I can only aspire to write such fine poetry as she.

When I wrote the 50 poems in 50 days, I was coping with sleepless nights in the in-between place, writing on my iPhone from my bed. No editing, no thinking, just capturing feelings as they swirled through my mind.

But they’re not really poems either – they’re somewhere between poems and lyrics – they’re pre-lyrics, I guess you could say. And from them I can cull material for my songs.

I’m about to embark on FAWM (“February Album Writing Month,” similar to NaNoWriMo, starting February 1st so I’ll be writing something to meet the “14 songs in 28 days” goals and not analyzing whether it’s a lyric or a poem.