Nighttime thoughts

When I transitioned from being angry to just being myself again tonight – yes, something quite annoying happened today that left my mother angry and crushed and borderline crying, and it annoyed me greatly – I found myself considering the descriptive phrase of someone who “crosses her t’s and dots her i’s”. That means someone who puts everything in its proper place and pays attention to details. An organized and detail-oriented individual, that is.

I literally cross all of my t’s and dot all of my i’s. Does that mean that I am someone befitting that description?

I even sometimes cross some of my l’s, and also occasionally dot some of my e’s and u’s. What does that then say about me? 😂

Fun thinking for me, anyway… 😂

Post-a-day 2020

“I Trust In You”

I was at an artist retreat this weekend with my mom, out in the forest North of Houston. I wasn’t in the sessions themselves (my mom was), but was still part of the activities for the families who accompanied the artists on this Catholic outdoor camping and hiking adventure. I listened to what was said, my conscious and sub-conscious absorbed the words and the themes that surrounded us all throughout this retreat, and, yesterday afternoon, I produced this song while sitting on a yoga mat in the grass after a rough and glorious hike. It wasn’t intentional to have such obvious connections – that’s the sub-conscious managing things here – but the irony of it all is that I wrote a song based unintentionally around the phrase “I trust in you”, while at The Divine Mercy Retreat Center. (If you don’t get the irony, look up The Divine Mercy painting images.)

Whatever your beliefs and followings, I hope you find love and joy in this song. 😉 ✨💗🎨⚡️🕉🌏💫📿🧘🏻‍♀️❤🤗🙏🐪 🤸🌸🌻

🌑🌒🌓🌔🌕🌖🌗🌘🌑

💪👊🏻👍

P.S. To hear the song, it seems you have to go to the Instagram post, since I can only attach photos in here.

Campfire Music

Tonight, around a campfire, a semi-eclectic crowd of Catholic artists listened as I and a lovely younger girl Claudette performed on our ukuleles together. We had never met before this night, and only met because I agreed to bring out my ukulele to ‘give an alternate perspective’ for the typical campfire Christian guitar songs (and we had three guitars working together already), and, as I went up to play, someone mentioned having seen a ukulele with someone else a while ago. The guitar guys convinced her to pull out hers with me, and come play. No one had any idea I was about to play a German song that none of them were likely to know, but I figured we could roll with it – if the girl pulled out her uke so easily (though it wasn’t out of the case yet, and she was carrying a binder, too, so she had some hesitation hat likely was nerves), she must be able to play at least the basic chords, if not a great amount.

So, I showed her the song and we tuned her up and went through it quickly together quietly, and then someone actually made an announcement for everyone to listen to us play. I pointed out that Claudette was reading a language she didn’t understand for this, so please be very proud of how well she plays along, because that is not an easy thing to do…, and then we played. We made mistakes, and it still sounded awesome.

Then, because people just seem to do this, the guitar guys requested Iz’s “Over the Rainbow”, which both of us have but never play. It’s kind of a hassle simply due to the range going so low for the singing…, which we both proved to everyone while we fumbled through it together, laughing kind of often as we went. Afterward, we actually played a couple other songs well, and enjoyed them greatly. The other folks enjoyed them, too.

One of them was the first song in her notebook, “La Vie en Rose”, and, since her version was in English, we had her sing in through once off the paper, and then I sang it through once in French… which totally shocked the listeners, and was a way fun surprise. (By the way, I feel like I am sharing as though I am a middle or high schooler or something… :P) What was extra fun was the part where I suddenly realized that I genuinely have no idea what the very last line is, and so I simply shrugged just before it, and then sang, “Je ne sais pas les mots, mais c’est bon,” which translates to, “I do not know the words, but it’s okay.” Obviously, no one had any idea that I had made up that line. 😛

And we finished off with two collaborations with the guitar guys. The first was a semi-four chord song, so, since I couldn’t see the paper (remember, there are here guitar guys and then two of us), I just watched Claudette’s fingers to know which of the four chords was happening when out of sequence. It went surprisingly well for me… it was really cool. On the second song, the paper was on our side of the notebook, so I could see it for myself. And it was one of my favorite old songs from Church, about Samuel, who was Hannah’s child. But I liked the song long before I ever learned that connection… like a solid decade beforehand. Anyway, two guys claimed the first two versus, and said we all would sing the bird verse together (and choruses, of course). But, during the second round of the chorus, I was told/offered to sing the third verse myself. So, I did. And, halfway through, because the versus were rather long, I told Claudette to sing with me. And she did.

Singing with her reminds me of elementary school, when I was told that this one girl, Katie C—, and I sounded really great together on a certain song (“The White Cliffs of Dover”). I didn’t entirely understand at the time how anyone would know that, or how someone would sound better singing with one person than with another, except for the fact that he one person must just be a better singer than the other. I have since learned. And I was almost shocked tonight when I heard us singing together. Our voices and styles are quite different from one another, and yet they complement each other beautifully. It made me want to sing and play more with her. I hope I get the opportunity tomorrow and often in the future.

As we were closing up the campfire, it came out that this was my first public “performance” of my ukulele and singing skills, so to speak, and no one could seem to believe it. I guess because I wasn’t shaky, and was able to talk and play and sing like what seemed to them like any other normal day. But that’s training in presenting and self-comfort, not in performing music. In response to their claims of disbelief at this, I ended up sharing how I only just starting playing more and writing songs earlier this summer, so it is still a kind of new idea for me to be playing for other people in the first place. And so, now, they clamoured to hear one of my songs.

So, I accepted the anointed guitar the priest had been playing – because that’s just baller, y’all – and told a quick background to one of my songs, and then played it for everyone. And I think the back story really put a context to the song that kind of blew everyone away just a little bit. It actually made me tear up a bit during the song, as is common for me with this particular song… it’s just really good, and the meaning is spectacular when one knows the context of its writing. Anyway, so, that was a really, really cool mini-adventure tonight. And I am very grateful for it, on many accounts. Now, however, I must sleep.

Goodnight! 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Tonight

I’m not sure what to share tonight.  I’m sitting in bed, propped up poorly by a couple – actually, it’s three – pillows, my lower back aching something wicked for the third or fifth day in a row.  I mean, it’s loads better than it was a couple days ago, but it is still very uncomfortable, and I’m concerned I’ll have trouble sleeping again.  It’s kind of funny, the irony of physical aches and pains.  Oftentimes, what we need most in such situations, is rest.  Yet, the pain is such that we have a hard time resting or sleeping.  So, we don’t really end up recuperating very well or very quickly.

I started working on a song just a bit ago, because a friend asked  – well, not technically, but I know he intended to make the request – me to create something I found beautiful.  He said that there doesn’t seem to be enough of that in the world right now.  So, I’m working on a song of things I find beautiful in life.  I kind of hated it for a while, but I evaluated why I kind of hated it, saw that it was because I was trying to make it something that wasn’t true to who I really am and how I really feel about the matter, and switched into the proper gear for myself.  I think it is going to turn out spectacular now.  I’m even excited about it for myself, and not just for the friend to enjoy it.  😀

Anyway, I’m wiped, so I’m going to aim for intense, helpful, healing, deep, long sleep tonight, with a wake-up that is completely ready to take on the stormy day tomorrow.  😀

Post-a-day 2020

Capisco

Sometimes, I feel it is the people who have known me the least in person who know me the most. I was thinking about how, today, I was messaging with my buddy in Italy. We haven’t been in much contact the past month or two, mostly because he has been in a big planting season – I think it was planting… oops – and has been working really long, rough hours, and sleeping when he can. But he let me know this would be the case, so I haven’t worried much about it. Anyway, we were messaging today – it has been a more frequent thing the past week or two – and I found myself just suddenly sharing with him about some of my book-writing concerns.

You see, I know I can tell stories, and I know I can write. Yet, I keep not writing for a book. Not officially or directly, anyway. And I was suddenly blurting out the concerns I have around that today. Why? Because it seemed like he was the person who could hear me the best. Despite ay risks of its being lost in translation, of course. 😛 But seriously, it felt like he could respond in a way that wouldn’t give me the excuses that other people in my life might give me. Nothing about why I probably haven’t done it or about how life has gotten in the way or anything like that. He couldn’t feed me any of my own excuses. And that might be because he has been around me the least. He knows the daily me the least, if that makes sense. Because we have had such a low-risk friendship, we have been open in ways that have kept our personal excuses out of the mix, and almost entirely so.

And so, I shared my concerns and how I’m not writing yet, and he asked a couple questions or so, which I answered. And then he just told me to do it. If I want to do it for myself, then do it. If it isn’t for myself, then don’t do it. But, if it is for myself, then go for it, and get started – do what I need to do to make the beginning happen, and now. Just as we say here, he reminded me of the ideas that 1) life is short, and 2) it is better to have regrets for things we’ve done than remorse for those we never attempted. I do not want to live a life unexamined – I want to live a life well-lived, and true to myself.

And part of that is writing books. So, novels, here we come.

P.S. They might be more like novellas, or novelettes, just FYI… I’m not sure they’ll be long Twilights or Harry Potters. ;P

Post-a-day 2020

Gratitude

I shared the song specifically with a sixth person today. She is the one who helped me when I was ready to be helped out of the abuse situation, when my eyes finally could see just enough clear light to be able to take a much- and long-desired step forward, out of the gray cast of clouds that had taken over my space for so many months. And she loved me freely the whole way through the end, which made all the difference in the world. I still remember how, when I opened the front door to her, close to midnight that night, I had been terrified…, but, when I saw her face, that she was smiling with true love, I felt everything melt away – it was going to be okay. I was going to be okay.

And it all was. And I was and am.

She and I laughed so much that night. I also cried a whole bunch, both from sorrow and annoyance and from laughter. I remember how she took a photo of me at one point, my eyes swollen and red and puffy, yet so full of light, you could see how free and full of life I felt myself being again. I think she took the photo to document that light having returned to me. I suppose, in many ways, that is an extremely beautiful photo.

🙂

So, she helped me through such a hard time of moving away from, essentially, evil. And then, years down the road, we don’t even communicate with one another anymore. I guess her having gotten a boyfriend turned fiancé turned husband played a rather large role in that. I’ve been okay without her in my daily life these past several years. However, I have always valued her love and her role in my life during that time of true need – I think I always will be grateful to her for that.

And so, when I wrote this song yesterday, she was someone who didn’t even have to come to mind – she was already there. I contemplated whether I actually wanted to share the song with her or not, and, after sleeping on it, I knew it was okay to do. (I had sent her a message yesterday to see if I still had her correct number. When she replied today, I took it as a sign to send her the song.)

I thanked her for her love and help in my time of need, and said how it was invaluable to have someone care for me and be with me after my having been alone in abuse for so long. And I sent the song. I’m not even sure I said that I wrote it, actually… but she understood that I had written it, I think.

Okay, I just checked. I did tell her that I wrote it and that I wanted to share it with her.

Anyway, after I’d sent it all to her, it occurred to me how unreal such messages must be to the average person – I mean, who sends messages like that and so totally out of the blue and short and direct like I did? I don’t know many people who do anything of the sort. I know honest people, open people, but that directness and the unexpectedness of the message, with no real lead-in… no, I don’t know those people.

Haha

Just myself. 😀

Anyway, I’m glad I sent it to her and expressed gratitude to her. And I think she appreciated it, too. 🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Música

I started watching the recordings for another five-day songwriting workshop that a family friend is doing this week. I watched the first video at 11:00 this morning, and glanced st the homework front he next two days before joining the noon live video for today. I’ve done one of these workshops before – that’s what got me those first several songs earlier this summer – so I wasn’t too worried about participating today without having finished the other videos yet. I just followed the guidelines from Monday’s video, and from the snippets I’d watched of Tuesday and Wednesday for the homework for each, and I was ready for today.

While the basic process is rather the same, the approach and specifics were different this time around, so I embraced the opportunity for something new. We were told to find a specific song for inspiration, after doing some topic-finding and lyric-writing work; a song that held a comparable space to the one we wanted our own song to hold.

My song? “When There Was Me And You”, as sung by Vanessa Hudgens in High School Musical. And the topic I had chosen and the lyrics I was writing that had this song somehow be appropriate for portraying the write musical feeling? Overcoming emotional and sexual abuse. Kind of an odd combination, don’tchya say?

Nonetheless, it all turned out beautifully. Hours later, after many, many breaks to go do other things and to allow stuff to sit or to mull, I had a completed song, recorded and shared with the world of my social media friends. And, what’s more, I went back to the piano just about ten minutes ago, and I played through the song again – and I remembered how it all went, and I loved the sang (two very good and rather important signs of song completion).

I sent off the audio recording to my small list of private listeners – you could call them the in club of my music-writing – got a bit of feedback (positive – woohoo!), and then shared the video recording of my playing and singing online. We only were supposed to select five people to hear our songs so far as part of our homework tonight… I had forgotten about that until just now… guess I did much more than five… haha… that’s silly.

Anyway, I shared it with four people privately, and I am planning to play it live for a student of mine tomorrow morning, so I guess that handles the five intentional shares, as well as an open share with my somewhat large but private world on social media.

Well… this has felt really, really good today. I even screamed just before showering a bit ago, I was so filled with excitement and energy that I needed to release in order to begin to relax for the night. It was a very, very good and satisfying scream. Man… these songs just feel right. I’ve been wanting to write novels, yet, when I set myself to work for only a few hours on a song, one just kind of evolves like the chia seeds in the chia pet commercials (“Ch-ch-ch-chia!”). Perhaps today was an opportunity for me to see how ideas that get in the way of a different story I want to use for writing my novel, those ideas can go into a song – they can be heard that way. Then, I can go back to writing my novel’s story, no longer with the former distraction of a different story asking to be told. Today’s song topic was definitely one of those ideas…

Hmm… interesting.

Anyway, I’m off to read some young adult fun and then pass out hardcore (Please…).

P.S. My song doesn’t sound almost anything like Vanessa Hudgens’ song, by the way – it started with the same foundation of chords, but quickly developed into a very different song. If I hadn’t told you they were connected, you likely never would have noticed. 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Poetry for novels?

Is it weird that I am reading a poetry book as part of my novel-writing homework and training for myself?  Or that I can’t even quite remember where I got the recommendation to read this particular book, but that I am still sticking with it, years after the fact?  I’m not one to take recommendations and follow through with them, unless they come from specific individuals or have an extremely powerful and supported argument behind them.  I think this recommendation came from someone I do not know personally, so the argument must have been amazing for the recommendation.  I just remember that whoever it was said that this poetry book was a must-read for writers, because, though it was focused on poetry, it was 100% applicable and important for writers and novelists as a whole, and was even one of the most important of all reads for them.

So, I’m reading it.  I actually started while up at my brother’s in Wisconsin, and pulled out the highlighters and everything with it, treating it as a textbook of information I likely will want to reference in the future.  (I’m not one for writing or highlighting in books, so it really takes good convincing for me to believe it a good and even viable option as my own practice.  Aka it’s a huge deal that I am doing the highlighting, and it shows how seriously I am taking the idea of this book’s being a valuable and important asset in my writing, one I will benefit greatly from referencing further in the future, as well as reading now.)  So far, it has been kind of amazing.  I am extremely grateful for the recommendation, and grateful that I followed through with it.  (I mean, I even went out and found the book and bought it immediately after receiving the recommendation, that’s how powerful a recommendation it was.)  It has already been well worth it, and I can tell that so much more is to come, it will blow this beginning stuff out of the water.

And I am very much looking forward to that.

It has been not so easy to produce a story yet, but I have finally begun the beginning steps in a way that now can lead somewhere rather easily.  Moving forward, I will need to set myself down at table, and actively pursue certain thought processes and brainstorming and writing, in order to start getting into the real stories of it all.  I am afraid of dong that, but I trust that I want to do it… so, I am slowly but finally getting myself there, little by little, baby steps… baby steps…baby steps write a few words…baby steps write a few more… I can do anything!*

*Get that movie reference, and you have a special piece of love from me and my childhood.  😉

Post-a-day 2020

Gratitude in Turmoil

I have begun sorting things out for my first series of books.  And I am thoroughly enjoying it.  I imagine that the assignments will change somehow after tomorrow, seeing as how it was only a three-day assignment.  However, I have so enjoyed doing this assignment, I can tell that it is on the right path, at last for myself with this whole book prospect.  I am grateful for the opportunity to work with this coach, and I fully feel how blessed I am to have the opportunity, especially right now in my life.  It has been an extremely rough few weeks for me – kind of an extra-raw subject right now, after such an amazing high from all the hiking and road tripping from last month – and this is helping me to chug through the low at which I have recently found myself to be.

It really sucks when the body doesn’t do properly what it’s intended to do, but I guess it wasn’t made to live the life I live, anyway, so it kind of makes sense in a way… hmm… I hadn’t ever thought of it that way… I’m going to pursue that casually, now…

Anyway, life has been rough, and this coaching has been a well-timed blessing for me.  Thank you, Life, World, and God for such blessings.

Gratitude here.  🙂

Post-a-day 2020

So, it begins…

Today was the first day of writing for me.

I got myself signed up officially with a coach of sorts, and we began working together on Sunday.

By last night, I was ready to go for today with my first writing assignment on the topic that most called me.

Suffice it to say, I was surprised by what topic and book style called most to me.

See, it’s been really cool working with this coach, because she all sorts of coaching, including art coaching.

(Art coaching uses art to help sort out things in one’s life.)

Sunday, through the coaching, I got to write out a whole list of book style possibilities, and then I did an art coaching assignment with them all, in order to find which type of book most called to me… and I was blown away with how low on the list a novel was, and with what was way up at the top.

But, today and tomorrow and the next day, I have a specific writing task to go with this topic, and I will get to re-evaluate after the three-day assignment…, but I’m not sure I’ll want to change the selection – from the assignment today alone, I saw not only how much I have to say for this particular topic, but also how easily it all flows out of me… and almost in a flood of words being released, with style dropped out the window, and the information itself reaching for the page in front of me with an intensity I hadn’t realized was really there, waiting to come forth…

Anyway…, I’m enjoying it so far, and I am excited for the next to days especially, and the next few months as a whole. 🙂

Yay!, for getting things handled that matter to ourselves, right??

Right! 😀

Post-a-day 2020