Thursday, March 31, 2016

National Poetry Writing Month 2016 Incoming!

April is National Poetry Writing Month, aka NaPoWriMo. As part of it, people are encouraged to write a poem every day. If you do that, you "win". While there's no requirement to do anything with these poems, every April since 2010 I've turned this site, nominally my music blog, into a poetry blog where I post that day's poem. And every year I've written a version of this post explaining what I'm doing...

For a variety of reasons that I won't get into here (but might leak into this year's poems) I've had a difficult March and may have a difficult April. I'd considered not writing at all this year, but it is something I always look forward to and get a lot of enjoyment from, so I think I'll give it a shot. :)

In 2010 I wrote about a different baseball team every day.  In 2011 I switched to chemical elements. Since 2012 I've been writing space poetry, beginning with writing about specific objects but of late wandering off into more expansive concepts. I expect to write more space poems this year, though I'm going to give myself slack to write about whatever I feel like.

I do hope you'll join us in writing something every day, or even a few days, this April. If you'd like to post something but don't have a space, I'd be happy to post it here under your name or anonymously.

A few of my favorites from previous years:
The Eighth Wonder, In Repose (2010)
Fourteen Atoms, Twenty Seconds (2011)
Am I Not A Planet? (2012)
science is a sometimes friend (2013)
The Summer Cottage (2014)
The Sea Haunts The Camp (2015)

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Song for Sandra, Sort of

I have been feeling physically terrible for a few weeks. Today is the first day I felt like picking up my guitar, and I thought I'd make the best of it.  While I've been thinking about REM and the 25th anniversary of the release of Out of Time, I decided in the end to do an original of very recent vintage.

I started working on "Song for Sandra, Sort of" while driving across Arizona and California in January. I was thinking about some colleagues and the crazy things we put ourselves through to stay afloat and try to make things better in the field of research science. Most of the words came to me on that drive, though some of them were written along with the music in mid-February. The bridge isn't quite settled in my mind, though perhaps the act of recording will make this the final version. I'm not sure if this song has a future beyond this blog post, but I guess we'll see.  The name "Sandra" was picked to go along with the consonance of the other title words, and because I don't know anyone named Sandra (at least not well)--not unlike the decision to name the love interest in OBAFGKM "Suzanne".

In case it wasn't obvious, it was recorded live in glorious mono all at once. I tend to use Audacity when I record like that.

Song for Sandra, Sort of