Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Royals Music 2014

I love music and I think if I have another hobby, it's music. I don't play an instrument and I sing a little. But I love music. I love listening to music. When it's got a beat I love dancing to it.  iTunes and other sources--well I can spend hours listening for songs that I think will fit into a playlist perfectly. Baseball music especially these days.

The Royals' exciting postseason in 2014 did more than just launch the team into national recognition, it awakened fan passion in Kansas City and all over the world. 
One of the local radio stations held a rally and recorded a song, a parody of "All About That Bass," called "All About That Blue."

Local musicians of all kinds added to the mix. "Royals Be Ready," a deep and danceable rap/hip-hop
song by B Double E:

My family and I loved this one by Dan and Sam Billens: "I'm Royally Happy!"

I would be remiss if I did not mention at least two parodies of Lorde's "Royals."
This one is by Matthew West:

And then there's this one by John Long:

 I thought it was hilarious that a San Francisco pop radio station would not play the original. But after the series ended, I know I can never listen to Journey's "Don't Stop Believing." And I'm not linking to it here.  Never. No way.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

My Newest Hobby is Baseball

Chatting with a friend this morning and we were talking about the difference between a hobby and a vocation.

I used to put Writing as an interest, as a hobby in online profiles. Also gardening. And singing.

The thing is, I don't really garden or sing. But I do write and it's not a hobby. It's a calling and whether I earn any money or not from it, it's what I love to do.

Singing and gardening are things that I like doing, but I don't really invest time and effort into them.

But I do have a hobby. It developed in 2014 as the the Kansas City Royals swept the competition to take the American League Championship.  First of all, my son got to go to a few games and then he watched on TV. So I got drawn into this as well. So did my husband.

I am not sportsball person. Well, I wasn't. The loss of the World Series made us grieve, but not give up. And when the season was over, I read everything I could to try to catch myself up to baseball and the Royals especially.

For my birthday this year, I received a t-shirt with Lorenzo Cain's player number (6, in case you wondered), a couple of baseball books. One is the excellent 101 Baseball Places to See Before You Strike Out, by Josh Pahigian. The other is 100 Years of Who's Who in Baseball. created to celebrate the 100th issue of the iconic magazine.

Thank goodness my family asked before they bought them, but I already had Legacy of Blue and 100 Things Royals Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die.

I also joined a fan group on Facebook. And then a secret fan group.  I use Twitter more, thanks to the Royals. And Instagram, because my favorite Royal--along with Lorenzo Cain is Salvador Perez.

My family wants a beach vacation near San Diego. I think...maybe we can take in a Padres game? Wonder who they might be playing--oh heck. It's the All-Star Break!!!

My love of baseball is ingrained, though and thanks to the Royals, it's become an active, rather than passive part of my life.

For your enjoyment, here is a video that begins with the 1985 World Series and continues through the amazing Playoffs in 2014:

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Brush Strokes

I realize how much in awe I am of artists like Monet, Van Gogh and Seurat.  Imagine painting a subject--and you are close enough to your canvas to use small brush strokes, and yet your subject comes alive with light and dark and shape and line, and we see it as a complete work.

That's what it's like sometimes to write a long work--or even a short one. You concentrate on the small brush strokes that you hope lead to the big story, the big picture.

That's all I'll say about that.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Synchronicity, Part 1

Caryn Mirriam-Goldberg, a former Poet Laureate of the great state of Kansas led a workshop a couple of days ago. It was at the Writers Place in Kansas City and was called "Write Livelihood," basically an introduction to making one's life writing with heart and integrity, and living the life you were meant to.

This was like the repeated mantra of the past few days: a friend said she was tired of being a shill for corporations, for making money for them and not for herself or the company. Non-profit corporations might be better, but--you have to truly love the cause.

Also, I recently bought this book "I Always Want To Be Where I'm Not: Successful Living with ADD & ADHD," by Wes Crenshaw. I had just finished the chapter on doing what's right, not what's easy (Chapter 3, "A Right Path").

And so going to this workshop seemed like a bit of synchronicity.

Because a lot of what I learned there was not some magical answer: do this correctly and you too will be a famous and well-paid author. It was more like: do the right thing and that's the way to live.

Part 2 will explore more of what I mean by this...

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

The Wall of No

I worked with Valerie Liberty briefly on some issues that I felt I needed to work on.  One of the things we identified and named was something called "The Wall of No."
To me, it was like an impassable obstacle made up of the echoes of people who never expressed confidence in me: family, teachers, lovers.  Voices I'd internalize that seemed to rule--and fuck with my decision-making process. 

Envisioning a Wall of No was helpful. I could climb over it, go around it or blast a hole through it (my favorite) and watch it crumble. Amazing how it rebuilds itself!

So I am dealing with the inevitable: rejection. Yes, my wonderful work has been rejected by a wonderful journal.  I'm letting myself indulge in a tiny moment of doubt, but after that, get back to work as if I was the most brash and confident poet in the world!

My schedule has me blogging tonight and here I am.

Here's Montana Skies, fantastic cello and guitar duo with Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall."

Sunday, March 02, 2014

The Writing Life: What do I do?

Just some things I have been thinking about: If you are not a decently paid writer, how do you pay the bills? With a "day job" of course. So, when people you meet for the first time ask you what you do, what do you say?
     I suppose that depends. Are you just starting out thinking of being a writer? Are you in a writing program in school? Are you a journalist?  And you've seen that "What I think I do/What others think I do meme, right? The one which has pictures of a Writer?
     People who know me, know I left a job to write. But I also had a bunch of other things to do, and much crap to go through before I actually tasked myself to write and identify myself as a writer. Often when I thought of "what do I do?" the end-product would be the answer, but it's more complicated than that. It's a process.
    I am practicing saying, "I'm a writer," whenever anyone asks me what I do. If they further ask me about the end-product, say "what have you written/published?," I can answer, "I write poetry and novels and I have a blog. One of my poems is going to be published..."
    It's amazing how visible the disconnect is, when I respond, "I am a writer," and how defensive I feel. 
   Do we ask accountants, say, "Wow, that's cool! How much money did you account for today?"
   Most people-in-occupations never have to justify or account for their work. Ask a receptionist, "Cool! What exactly do you do for the X Company?" and see what kind of answer you get!
   I write. I put words on paper, or virtual paper. I play with words. I arrange words in order to make sense and to tell a story, to tell the reader something about my feelings--maybe they are your feelings too.
   That's what I do. I think I'll try that response next time I hear, "What do you do?"

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Dusting off those cobwebs, again!

Since it has been so long, too long really, since I've posted here, I will not do a Facebook "lookback" at all the highlights of the nearly-two years during which I've not blogged. Suffice it to say there were highlights, but it was the lowlights that kept me away.

I will just say that I'm working hard at writing, taking a poetry workshop with Denise Low-Weso, for one thing. Starting to submit my work for another.

And with that comes exciting news. The I-70 Review is publishing one of my poems, publication date will be this coming fall, with a Release Party and Reading on September 26th at The Writers Place.

It will be the first poem I've published in an actual ink-on-paper magazine since...maybe high school. Of course I've published some poetry here, and I'm hoping that I can work on some of them, revise them and see what happens.