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A Writer’s Muse-ic


But your thoughts will soon be wandering
the way they always do
When you’re ridin’ sixteen hours
and there’s nothin’ much to do
Turn the Page ~ Bob Seger

What happened to me? I was cruising along on my creative highway, seeing inspiration through the windshield when the creative world went dark. It wasn’t a road block. The highway just vanished. Darkness closed in and not even the headlights could penetrate. First the frustration, then the fear and finally resignation that it was gone. That was nine months ago.

I had high hopes for creating a series of muses to share each week. It would go in cycles and then the cycles crumbled, not to return. Through all the pressure I tried to put on myself to hit the publishing deadline, I felt I was forcing it. Some of the writings that were published showed the effects and eventually, even the attempts ended with a blank screen. Throwing my figurative hands up, I let days, weeks, and then months pass without attempting to write more than a project plan or email. The creativity had gone into hiding and I let it go. The muse had abandoned me, or had I abandoned the muse.

Last year, I started enjoying audio books on my somewhat long commute to the office. As the year wrapped up, I was deep into many series that I would have never had time to read in the normal sense. The hour long trip to the office or back home was enjoyable. I would avoid phone calls (before you scream at me, I have a hands free system in my car), and just slip away in the fantasy world of Heinlein, Abercrombie, and others. My drive time was filled with enjoyment that only good stories can produce.

A few weeks ago, I was waiting on a business call on my commute and didn’t want to get into a story only to stop in the middle. I turned on the music of my iPod and let my mind drive. The darkness that was encapsulating my creative muse started to fade. I listened to the lyrics and an idea crept to life. I played the song again and built on the idea. By the time I was in the driveway, a story was born. The darkness cleared to a murky shadow and words flowed out of me to the screen once again.

It seems that in my enjoyment of the audio books, I was concentrating on the stories so much that I was not letting my thoughts flow or develop. I was escaping into their stories without working on my own. This isn’t necessarily bad but stifled the creativity that not only helped to produce thoughts like this but also my writing and planning in my job. My muse had now returned.

I will not give up my audio books but I am going to work to temper them with times of creative thoughts and to ration out the stories of others with my own voice and expression. My writing started back up a few years ago from listening to music and pulling thoughts from the lyrics. The first few published posts from over four years ago were based solely on that style of writing. I forgot my muse. I lost my way in the darkness. Let the light shine again and the words flow out.

Until next time…

jb

© 2011

 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 25, 2011 in Music, Writing

 

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Artwork: Soaking Up the Cover Art


soak-lucy-cd-cover

Soak Lucy’s only release on Rachael Records ©1999

In late 1999, the marketing company delved into a new business venture by signing on a band to a distribution deal for their CDs. We had created CD artwork for many releases by this time but none for our own projects. This wasn’t a typical record label deal, but our first outing into creating and producing a new release. The band we started working with was from Tennessee, called Soak Lucy, and had some promise. We did the typical marketing and show promotions as we were putting the release together on our newly created label, Rachael Records.

The first order of business was creation of the logo and cover art for the CD release. With a request for a photo shoot, done by the wife of a band member, and the newly created band mascot, dancing stick man concept of the drummer, we were on our way. After a few designs, the one you see above came to light and was released. The first, and only, run was for a few hundred copies. But, the artwork carried over to many of the show posters and marketing material. Sadly, the band’s many changes in members, along with a change of band name, caused Soak Lucy to slip out of existence and as the client we contracted. The hopes of creating a record label to open doors for new artist went out of existence as well. This was one of the projects I enjoyed as it was building not only graphics, but building a product image and foundation for what we hoped would be a new adventure.

On a personal note, the record label was named after my oldest daughter and I still have a copy of the CD to remember that little dream of creating a venture which, if successful, would be something she could work on with me when she was old enough. There are times that I look back on this and wished that it would have taken off so that I could have shared this with her.

I hope you enjoy a glimpse into my past life as a graphic artist as I revisit the stories behind the art.

Until next time…

© 2010

Related Post: Artwork: A Daughter’s Day; Artwork: The Story of “Night Fears”; The Original Trip;

 
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Posted by on December 9, 2010 in Artwork, General, Music

 

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Life’s Musical Bridge


Day after day I’m more confused
But I look for the light through the pourin’ rain
You know that’s a game that I hate to lose
I’m feelin’ the strain
Ain’t it a shame

Drift Away…Doby Grey

I have been asked why I have song lyrics throughout my pages. That is an easy answer. Music is all around us. In everything we do, see, and hear. The beat of the world has a harmony that some choose to listen to while others block it out like a spoiled toddler, screaming at the restaurant as you attempted to have a peaceful evening. The beat can be strong and the lyrics flows through each of us. How many get in their car and leave the radio off? Ever watch the special features on your favorite DVD where the soundtrack hasn’t been added? Life without a soundtrack would be dark and dreary.

Now, whether your music of choice is country, rock, alternative or classical, it speaks to you. However, do you ever listen beyond the music? The sounds of life itself as you stumble through your day. Everything has a rhythm. The storm is a good foundation of a symphony. It starts with the wind rising and falling, shaking the leaves with gentle waves of sound. In comes the thunder, accenting each pulse of the coming storm, building it until you feel the energy sending pulses of anticipation. Finally, the rain joins. Slow, heavy drops with its irregular beat until the symphony reaches its crescendo as all this is brought together, Nature’s wonderful soundtrack.

Oh, give me the beat boys and free my soul
I want to get lost in your rock and roll and drift away

Drift Away…Doby Grey

We seem to close our minds to the world around us. There tends to be a focus on the issues, injustice, and prejudices of the world.  Fighting for what we “think” the world should be and forgetting that it isn’t our decision. Collectively, we could not agree on a direction to follow. Standing on our pedestals of righteousness, we demand the world be changed to our image of how we think it should look like. We forget that beneath all this desire to control, there is a balance; the harmony and rhythm of life. If you don’t see it then hear it, feel it and find something that speaks to you.

Some find it in books and religion. Some find it in creating something new. I find it in music. It is in the lyrics of the songs that inspire me to look beyond the surface.  The cadence that moves me to believe that in all the ugliness of the world, there is something that brings people together. Words can be transformed into a melody, showing the soul of the person writing them. In turn, the connection is created with a person. This person shares the connection with another. It becomes a living entity that stretches beyond one person and touches many. It crosses over the every line of prejudices: gender, race, and religion.

All that I ask is that you find your song. Find your connection to something greater than you. Embrace it and see how it can inspire beyond your perspective of the world. Listen to the rhythm of the world around you. Most of all…

Mama let that boy, play some rock n’ roll
Jazz is much to crazy
He can play it when he’s old
He’s too young for the blues
He’s still inside his first pair of shoes

Mamma Let Him Play…Jerry Doucette

Until next time…

© 2010

 
1 Comment

Posted by on October 25, 2010 in Life, Music

 

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