5.27.20 – Progress. New Writing Record Episode.

  • I talked it out at lunchtime and recorded the third episode of The Writing Record! It’s not so much a podcast, but me documenting my writing process to better examine what my approach is. The first project I’m discussing on it is my children’s book named Charlie Bird. I found the theme and it was the best! Subscribe to check out this confessional style writing podcast/journal about the writing process, thoughts on creativity, and other emotional notes. It’s insanely liberating to be open about my writing progress, shortcomings, and victories. Welcome!
  • Finished the Charlie Bird Draft. Left a little in the tank to fix it up tomorrow.
  • The value of the pocket notebook is starting to make its way into the work. The act of gathering is one of my favorites. Do you carry a notebook everywhere you go?

A good day. Hope you had a good day too.

Much love,

j

Two hours.

I put my phone away at 9pm. My loved ones in bed and resting. I roamed my house in darkness and felt the comfort of each floor as the roar of the wind was only heard, like a hum. I cataloged my blank journals, and admired the paper quality, like a nerd. I anticipated what I would write in their pages; a script on the larger notepads, lyrics on the A5 spiral notebooks for accessibility, short stories on the case bound journals, etc. It was wonderful. Then I went to my desk, and made a list of my dream projects I want to complete.

Then I started working on the first one.

I wasn’t distracted. The scant energy in my heart and soul from a long day were just enough for me to write, and make real progress on something.

I went to bed at 11pm. Overjoyed, and renewed, and eager to do the same thing tonight.

Belief and Relief 5.7.20

  • I wrote a monologue today. 3 handwritten pages is enough to boost one’s confidence. If you’re bored, pick a location in your town and set your monologue there. That’s what I did and it worked quite well today.
  • Last night, I watched The Patriot, starring Mel Gibson. It was one of my favorite movies growing up. Probably the best thing Roland Emmerich has done. With that sweeping soundtrack by John Williams, and a lush production design, it captivated me for most of the run time. It gets pretty ham-fisted at times, in particular, when it tries to have a conversation on racism (militia dude not wanting the slave to have guns, etc.). Overall, my nostalgia sent it over the edge and I enjoyed it still. Jason Isaacs is brilliant, and he patches over much of the movie’s flaws with a terrific, cruel performance. Ever since my first watch, I’ve been terrified of him. I love watching movies I loved back in the day, especially if the protagonist is a parent. I mourned their familial grief and it was all the more engrossing. Good stuff.
  • Haikus are back on the menu. I made a pocket journal out of fine resume paper and have been using it to write short poems and ideas in five minute spurts. I kinda of like it even though it all seems disposable.

I’m tired. I’m going to bed. Much love,

j

New OKA Episode + Weekend Thoughts

  • Do yourselves a favor and watch the Alejandro Sanz documentary on Netflix. I was hoping for some background noise while I worked on some projects at home, and that was a horrible mistake: It was wonderful and I got nothing done! Low-key, this man has been a massive influence on my creativity. He was one of the first musicians who made me aware of the power of character and storytelling capable in song. growing up in Mexico in the early 90s, he mainstreamed his way across the world while always maintaining his musical roots. I loved the way the documentary shed light on his beginnings and his father, who was also a musician in Spain. Got really emotional listening to some of those songs. Wonderful to listen to a songwriting master after a long while…
  • I stumbled on a family project that rings so true that I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner. Madd and I are going to start a childhood journal for our son. I have documented some happenings in my own journals and notes, but to have something specifically for his memories and milestones written like journal entries from his mother and father, will make a great gift when he’s older. After a little bit of searching, I found The Lee Valley Everyman’s Journal. It looks sturdy and straightforward and ready for a long run on our shelves after all is said and done. I can’t wait to start working on this!
  • First episode of the new Creative Drive Podcast goes up this weekend! Keep an ear out for some great content!!!
  • For now, check out this week’s episode of Our Kid’s Asleep, where Madd and I delve into Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera and This is Important to Me Podcast!

Much love,

j

Affirmations 4.25.20

  • Two minute journaling is kind of nice when most of your brain cells are shut down. I’m finding hope in it! Trying these three questions to keep it simple:

What am I grateful for today?

What did you accomplish today?

How I can I improve?

  • I wrote poetry this week. It isn’t much during this busy time, but it’s something. I celebrate that. Short journal entries and haiku writing is becoming a good source of motivation for me, as I am able to finish the work in one sitting. Usually that’s about all I get right now to write. Baby steps.
  • There’s so much poetry out there. I’m out of the loop on contemporary poets that I decided to start educating myself and reading what’s current (I’ll give the dead ones a break). So many wonderful practitioners today that I don’t know where to start! Found a good list of poets I want to look into. Saving for later…
  • Speaking of poetry, Guy Garvey of Elbow, is a tremendous poet. I’ve been listening to his lyrics more closely and he never disappoints. Lately, I have been looking out for more Elbow live performances on Youtube, this interview/session is kinda nice as Guy shares some bits about the inspiration behind the album, The Seldom Seen Kid: their friend Bryan Glancy. It reminds me of the album’s strong sense of place, and how powerful a love note to a friend can be. It makes me realize how vital it is to infuse your own community and where you come from to the work you’re creating. All about the specifics. It makes me want to make a pilgrimage to visit some of the places that are mentioned in their music. Maybe after this is all over.
  • The Creative Drive Podcast will keep me active this weekend as I try to record my first submissions! I can’t wait to get this project going to provide a showcase for the folks in the #writingcommunity on Twitter and beyond!
  • Overall, my head is not in the right place. I’m overwhelmed. I’m exhausted. A combination of work stress and lack of time for family and creative life. I need sleep. Anytime I try to stay up to make stuff, it ends up derailing the week. It’s okay to accept there’s only so many hours in the day. There’s only so much that can be done. The paperwork at the office can often wait a just little. Just breathe. The script, with its aggressive, unrealistic deadline, can be postponed a day or so. Go easy on yourself, because after all, we’re in the middle of a pandemic that is indiscriminately upending our society’s norms. Work and life expectations are not the same, and as we are dragged in the riptide of this wave of anxiety and uncertainty, we must believe: We deserve a moment of rest.

Be well and stay safe. Much love,

j

First Thoughts of 4.19.20 (voice over work, date nights, and late nights)

  • Had too much coffee today and it disrupted the sleep cycle. Witching hour is almost here and I am successfully wide awake. I’m dreaming of good music from the early 2000s. I’m realizing Beulah’s The Coast is Never Clear is one of my favorite albums of all time, and it breaks my heart not many people are aware of its existence. It’s a new era, and solid, well written and well crafted pop songs are out of fashion, it seems. It’s a shame. But we still listen, even though it feels like my first summer of college was centuries ago, and the album is a brittle echo of that time. And I cherish it deeply.

  • Madd and I are looking forward to start using the newly established sound booth/walk-in closet for voice over and narration purposes. We’re finally going to put our acting background to good use after all this time and start auditioning for narration work. There will be a period of adapting, for sure, but we are excited to get the ball rolling on it! More to come!

  • Madd and I had an amazing date night and we needed it badly. Working as essential employees for several weeks now, it has taken a toll on us emotionally and we needed a short break. Our kid got a sleepover at Grandma’s and we took an evening to remind ourselves what it’s like to be a couple. Even the strongest relationships need care and nurturing. Yes, it’s weird to have a date night during quarantine, but we tried. An evening chilling on the couch, dinner delivered, making each other laugh, and going out only for a long drive to listen to music… This was beautiful time to breathe. What more could we ask for in the midst this difficult time? Monday will come soon enough, but the value of hitting the pause button on the big stuff is such a relief I could just cry with joy. I hate this situation and I can’t wait for it to get back to a time when people were not dying and folks could go back to their jobs, but somewhere deep in my naivety, I know much of our country and world will not be the same. There are heavy lessons to be taken from this pandemic. Heavy as the burden of it all sits on our minds and hearts, we have to breathe. I hope you all have a moment to breathe too, and I send you good vibes and well wishes.

Much love,

j