Sunday, March 31, 2013

National Poetry Writing Month 2013 (and an offer)!

It's just about that time again. For people who've followed this blog (hi!) or drop in occasionally after Twitter or Facebook prompting (hi again!) National Poetry Writing Month (or "NaPoWriMo") begins this Monday, 1 April (no foolin'!).  The idea is that you write a poem every day of April, in an effort to get people writing. I've done it for three consecutive years, picking a theme each year.  In 2010 it was baseball teams, 2011 was chemical elements, 2012 was solar system objects (but not planets). There's a lot to cover in the solar system, of course, and I plan to make 2013 another solar system year, including the planets this time.  I am once again going to try and keep to the ethic I've had for several years of not spending more than 15-20 minutes per poem (I've grinded them out before breakfast several days) and starting exactly one poem a day (I do allow myself to think about ideas ahead of time, though). I know some other folks will be joining me in NaPoWriMo with space themed poetry, most notably Christine Reuter (aka tychogirl) and Amee Hennig (aka astropoetamee), maybe you can too!

It's been a great year for planetary science poems. Not only have planetary scientists like Jennifer Grier and Michele Bannister had their work professionally published, but the tradition of haiku summaries of LPSC talks has received renewed attention, and apparently has spread to archaeologists!

So, I'm going to make an offer to you. Yes, you too. NaPoWriMo is about getting people to write without worrying about having it be perfect, which pre-empts the whole process. I encourage all of you to write something! In previous years I've come up with free verse, sestinas, sonnets, haiku, and a whole heck of a lot of doggerel. It doesn't need to be a poem every day, it doesn't need to be The Rime of the Ancient Mariner or Leaves of Grass. It doesn't have to be anything you share with others, it doesn't have to be about planets or space or science at all. But if you want to try your hand and are willing to share but don't have a venue to post what you want, I'm happy to do so here. I'll post it under your name or anonymously as you wish, with any accompanying text you like. If you can find this blog, you can probably find my contact information either in my profile here, or on Twitter (@ asrivkin) or elsewhere.

Get writing! :)

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Oldie and Oldier

But Of Course
Congress St. Blues

In the rush of everything, I seem to have let a couple of song anniversaries slip past me. A few years ago I commemorated the 20th anniversary of Wrong Place Wrong Time with a post here and some old and new versions of it. Today I'll just put on some new recordings I banged out for fun.  This will likely be the last post before National Poetry Writing Month and the annual conversion into a poetry blog, so be warned!

The first song I'll mention is Congress St. Blues, written back in February of 1993. It name checks various Tucson place names (and the never-quite-finalized lyrics sometimes mention The Chicago Store), and was born after an evening gig with Pez Con Pelo at a bar on Congress Street (but not the Club Congress, the First Avenue Entry of Tucson).  I never recorded it for anything but a friend's mixtape, as it never seemed to rise above other songs from that time period. So after 20 years, here's its moment in the sun (so to speak).

The second one is older still.  But Of Course turned 25 years old this month, which is frankly astonishing to me since I don't feel much older than that myself. It was one of the last songs I wrote on my old keyboard (which I never learned to actually play) before starting to write songs on the 41st West guitar (which I arguably never learned to play). I've recorded older songs "for real" (Some Of The Time is from a few weeks earlier, for instance), but I always had a soft spot for this one (as did my girlfriend at the time).  So it certainly merits a rerecording after this one!