Day 27: Team

I rather miss being part of a team. I’m not athletically inclined, so with the exception of a couple summers spent playing softball in early elementary school, I was never interested in playing sports. Band, however, is just as much a team event as basketball, baseball, or football, and as I’ve written before, I desperately miss being in band.

In order to succeed in band, you have to listen to the other musicians around you (it’s the same for choir, but I was a band geek and not a choir geek, despite my affinity for singing). I miss having a goal to work toward. Well, that’s not true…

Day 22: Tempo

When you have four kids and a job, life moves at a pretty fast tempo. That tempo usually looks a little something like this:

Picture, if you will, a bumblebee as you’re listening. Or even a hummingbird. Actually, a hummingbird might work better. Especially when I was in college and working and dealing with all the kids’ stuff, I kinda felt like this melody line. Even without the added pressure of college coursework, though, there are times where my life feels like I have to move at warp speed in order to keep up.

Or, you know, at ludicrous speed. Whatever.

But lately…

Day 21: Instrument

I adore the flute. It’s my favorite instrument, and I fell in love with it at an early age. A high school girl who went to my church when I was growing up played a flute solo one Sunday, and that was it – I was hooked. I was determined that I would someday play the flute as well. So when instrument try-outs for the fifth grade band rolled around the spring semester of my fourth grade year and we were asked to list which instruments we wanted to play, I listed flute first. (It was followed by clarinet, which my mom had wanted me to play because she and my aunt had also played the clarinet, and then she wouldn’t have had to buy me an instrument.)

There were four…

Day 20: Music

So I went out to mow the lawn this afternoon, and sweet baby Kahless was it ever windy. I had so much grass and dirt in my eyes that it was absolutely ridiculous. On the bright side, I had some great tunes to keep me company, thanks to Pandora. (Also, I really love my wireless earbuds.)

I’ve been listening to a lot of world music lately; I find it gets my creative juices flowing because it transports me to a completely different world, which helps me get in the proper mindset for writing a completely different world. In no particular order, some of the artists that accompanied me yesterday on my four-hour trip around the yard include:

There is so much amazing music out there that it’s hard for me to choose a favorite artist or song or genre or album without producing a ridiculously extensive list. How about you – what are some of your favorites?

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.

Day 3: Song

I’ve lost count of the number of emails I’ve had from my church today regarding Palm Sunday and Holy Week. When you’re stuck at home, regardless of why, the days tend to run into each other like paint, the colors bleeding and swirling together till you can’t tell one from another and it’s all a big mess. I had forgotten that Palm Sunday was this weekend till I received an email from my church about deliveries of blessed palms.

One of the things that I love most about the Easter season (and the Christmas season, of course) is the music. So as I sat here pondering today’s prompt and the flood of emails that arrived in my inbox this morning, I couldn’t help thinking about some of the hymns we sang in church growing up. Lenten music isn’t exactly upbeat, nor should it be. Lent is a time of penance and self-denial in preparation for the celebration of Easter. But Easter music is triumphant, and there is no better word to describe the songs that popped into my head today as I considered this prompt.

“I Serve a Risen Savior” has a lovely, bouncy rhythm that just makes you feel good as you listen. It’s a song of hope, and I feel like hope is something we all desperately need right now. The other song I thought of was “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today,” which is equally triumphant. If you’ve ever heard the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing this particular hymn, you’ll know what I mean. It’s big, it’s bold, it’s regal…it’s a fanfare fit for a king. In a similar vein, I also found myself humming “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” because no one tugs at emotions in quite the same way as Beethoven. Whether he wanted his listeners to feel soaring joy or abject sorrow, he was a master at using music to evoke those feelings.

And now that I’ve thumbed through half a hymnal, I think I’ll dust off my trusty flute and play a few tunes. What are some of your favorite songs and why?

(c) 2020. All rights reserved.

Time capsule inspiration

The University of California in Santa Barbara has done something wonderful, and I had completely forgotten about it until about a month ago.

I’ve had this short story sitting on my hard drive now for about three years (and yes, short is a relative term), and I finally had both the time and the inclination to get back to working on it. It went through one round of revisions after I’d initially written it, but it’s been so long since I’ve read through it, let alone actually worked on it, that I decided to go back to my standard revision practice of recopying the entire MS and making changes as I went. When I’m done, I’ll type it up and make a few more changes as I type.

But my revision process is beside the point.

Anyway, one of the focal points of the story is…

Things ’90s girls do at slumber parties

After some discussion, we decided we didn’t actually need to complete this task because we were there for most of our childhood funny stories. And oddly enough, Girl Talk played a part in one of them. 🙂

  1. Drink Clearly Canadian and Surge.
  2. Hit the mall.
  3. Blast the Backstreet Boys and the Spice Girls at top volume.
  4. Play Heartthrob and Girl Talk.
  5. Chill out with Little Nicky.

The corollary to all this, of course, is that we felt super, super old. Okay, I felt super, super old. But it was a heck of a lot of fun. 🙂

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Another night, but not another dream

I feel stilted. Stunted. Fried. Exhausted, wired, terrified. I can’t sleep, no matter how much I want to. I can’t wake, no matter how much I need to.

My brain spins right round like a record, baby, right round, round, round. It can’t stop, won’t stop, drags me down a rabbit hole. And I spin round and round and round.

After all, I saw the sign and it opened up my eyes. It’s like a vision of love that seems to be true, and there’s nowhere in the world I’d rather be than here in my room, sleeping in my warm cozy bed.

You were expecting something else?

All right, fine. I’d rather be dreaming, but only because it’d mean I could sleep. That I had slept. That I will sleep, long and hard, maybe for a whole week.

Mmm, sleep…

I feel stilted. Stunted. Exhausted. Fried. Wired, wilted, terrified. I can’t sleep, no matter how much I want to. I can’t wake, no matter how much I need to.

It’s gonna be a long day…

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

The Earworm’s Tune

She could feel it burrowing inside her; the earworm was nothing if not persistent, and it had lodged itself firmly within her brain before cranking up the volume to eleven. Pretty soon, the bright and brassy sound of a new age jazz tune was the only thing she could hear; its rhythm pulsed through her, and she couldn’t stop her toes from tapping along in time. Though she tried – oh, how she tried – to stifle the urge, the day finally came when she could no longer keep from singing; she threw herself up onto the stage and belted out the earworm’s tune, and the thunderous applause made the months of torture worth every minute.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.