Tales of 14-Songs-in-14-Days: What? Again?

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by Jan Seides
Thursday 30th August, 2012, 9:28pm

The title of this post was my response when I realized that what we were talking about was doing another 14-day challenge.  I thought we’d proven our point already, and that was more than enough stress for one year.  But, no. Apparently, it wasn’t.

(Pat Pattison actually suggested in one of the workshops that we should do the two weeks, take two weeks to rest after, and then rinse and repeat. This was met with a change of subject by our class.)

Even though I thought I’d already learned everything that was to be learned from this ICU for songwriting, I have to admit that I thought saying no would be a mistake.  What if there was a really good song (I mean, a REALLY good song) lurking somewhere in those next two weeks, just waiting for me to get there.  I could see it now, dressed to the nines, checking its watch, tapping its tiny glass-enclosed tootsies.  Well, maybe not quite. But the truth is, I was afraid to say no and miss it, regardless of what it was wearing. So I said yes.

You may or may not remember, but in one of my earlier posts (Health Issues), I mentioned that I’d been taken to the emergency room for the second time within a short number of years. Like two. The issues weren’t the same, and though the first one turned out not to be very traumatic, the second trip was pretty upsetting and had long-lasting consequences. I suddenly found myself with a giant blood clot in one leg, and for the first time, had to spend several days in the hospital, had surgery, and dealt with my life being totally out of my control. That had happened just before the first 14-day challenge. And by the time this second challenge rolled around, I thought it would be over, but it turned out that it wasn’t. I just wanted to get off the medication and go back to my “real” life, but there were still some mountains to climb.

As a result, there were some fairly whine-y songs in this batch.  I’ll do you a favor and fail to burden you with those.  The one acceptable one was a gospel-ish song about trying to be grateful to be alive to receive, even if what I received wasn’t what I asked for.  It was based on the grace that was said at my sister-in-law’s table in Dimmitt, TX when we went for a visit in the middle of the challenge.

Which brings me to the point of this ramble: In this batch too, the best songs were written while I was traveling.  There were a couple that I really liked at the beginning of the 14 days. One, “The Hands of my Clock”, was about my broken Kit-Kat clock, and another was about the people who were trying to tell me to “slow down”. I have very strong opinions about that whole concept, and I stuck them all in a song called “No Need to Hurry” as in, I’ll be dead for a long time someday. Why start now?

As I mentioned in an earlier post, I no longer believe in “writer’s block”, but it does seem like being out of my familiar environment fires up my creative machinery. Sometimes you just have to slap the contraption up side o’the head to make it work.

But the one I’ve chosen for you to hear on this post is a little ditty I wrote sitting in a chair facing the wall in the home of a different sister-in-law in Abilene, TX.  We had stayed in her home overnight, and I’d had a nightmare. I got up to dissipate it, or think about it, whichever one actually happened, and my husband came out awhile later. There I was scribbling down the lyrics to that day’s song, about my nightmare.  It’s called “Goblins in my Head”, and it was recorded on my little home set up, as soon as I got back. (This is by way of being an apology if the quality of the recording isn’t all it could be.) I used it as a Hallowe’en song that year.

Goblins in my Head



Category: Music, This ‘n’ That, Uncategorized

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