My Favorite Words: Not What You’d Expect

I saw this article about favorite words written by one of my favorite writer friends, Lauren Baratz-Logsted, on Twitter this morning. We were in the same Chick Lit writing group back in the day. Anyway, her post sparked this blog post about my favorite words and why.

I first became aware of having favorite words in the first grade. A classmate of mine named Lucy obviously loved the word “Lucy” because she’d write “Lucy Lucy Lucy” all over the place.

But my favorite words were “said” and “David.” This seemed really strange to me. Why “said?” Why “David?” I liked the sound they made. The beat of the “d.” It wasn’t until I met my father’s family, who happen to all be musicians, especially drummers, that I understood first of all, why I loved the drums so much (“All my kids play the drums,” my father said), and why I loved “said” and “David.” (The story of that meeting was published in Myths of the Fatherless.)

If you listen closely you can hear that “said” and “David” sound like drum beats. So my love for words wasn’t really about being a writer and lover of expressing those words. No my love for words was about the sound they made. The drums. Music. And that’s why I switched from pursuing writing fiction solely to broadening out to songwriting and learning all I can about producing modern Electronic music. So many drums. So many sounds.

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

Lyrics vs. Poems

When I submitted my first song for professional feedback, my mentor said the writing was very good but added that it was more poem than lyric. He gave me some suggestions on how to transition it into a song. I took his advice and Does Everybody Lie? became Everybody Lies.

So when I was writing “poems” during the wee hours of the morning trying to cope with our temporary housing, I noticed that they sometimes seemed more lyric than poem. I turned to my Berklee professor Pat Pattison for his words on the difference between a poem and a lyric. Here’s what he had to say on a Writer’s Digest article.

The middle-of-the-night poem/lyric writing was a valuable exercise because I began to think more like a poet/songwriter. I also think I may have now transitioned from novelist to songwriter – that’s certainly where my heart is. I’m also practicing the keys, working on my music production craft, thinking that perhaps 2018 is the year I go “all in” when it comes to music.

 

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