Writing Songs and Articles

Last night I sent my latest article to ComputorEdge, entitled “Communication at the Speed of Life.” The article is about communications and network advances in the medical field.

Today, I got another assignment from that editor, and Lannette and I will be co-writing an article for a November issue. Looks like the writing gig is starting to show a little action, at least in terms of non-fiction sales.

I’ve also submitted an essay to NPR’s This I Believe series. If my essay is chosen, I will be asked to record a reading of it for the series. Oh, and I’ll get a couple hundred bucks. This writing stuff is taking off at just the right time; I can really use the extra money right now.

Friday, I debuted my latest song, “New Guy Smell” with Steel River Three. I have a recording of “New Guy Smell,” but I’m not happy with the vocals. I need to re-record it. When I do, I’ll post an MP3 on this site.

Logan leaves tomorrow for a month-long stay with his grandparents in Washington state. We won’t see him until just before the wedding. I’m going to miss the kiddo.

In general, there are a lot of things going on in my life right now. At some point, I need to get a storage shed built. There are always bills to catch up on. I have some website updates to perform, both personal and for other people. And oh yeah, there’s this wedding coming up, too.

Sometimes it seems life is a series of “must-dos,” and that there’s not much room for creativity. I’m glad I’m able to keep the creativity going for right now.

It’s a sale!

I’m pleased to announce that I am in the first stages of a non-fiction sale to a small computer magazine. The article is a short feature, and after querying the editor, I received an assignment to write the article!

This is very exciting for me. It’s an appropriate small step toward my goal of being a fiction writer. As Stephen King says in On Writing, it’s important to pay your dues before you really start to climb in the writing field. It gives you perspective and experience.

Of course, this is still in the early stages, and all kinds of things could happen. I could write the piece and the editor could decide that it doesn’t fit the magazine’s style. Or something drastic could come up and I could miss the deadline. Or something really drastic could come up that could force the editor to rethink the entire editorial schedule and my story would no longer fit. As they say, it’s not done until the work is completed, the papers are signed, the publication is in print, and the check is cashed.

But for now, there’s a sale on the horizon, and it doesn’t appear to have a skull and crossbones on it. 🙂

Fogelberg and Inspiration

Gee, where should I start? Today felt very creative, primarily because of the Dan Fogelberg concert that I attended at Red Rocks. The weather was perfect, the seats were great, the talent was mindblowing. (Those sentences were weak.) I took nearly 500 words of Graffiti notes on my Handspring Visor, using the backlight after the sun went down. The lady next to me finally leaned over and asked me what I was doing. I explained that I was taking notes about the concert and the set list so I could post a review on the Living Legacy website. “Good,” she said. “I was hoping that you weren’t trying to conduct business in between songs.” I smiled, and for some reason I felt like a real writer. I hope to have the concert review written by the end of the weekend, and I will probably post a version of it on this site, as well.

I made it a point not to play guitar when I got home from the concert. I have learned something about attending inspirational events; it’s important for me not to go home after a concert or reading and immediately try to write, even though I may feel inspired to. When I do, the stuff I write or play pales in comparison, and I dive from an emotional high to a depressed, inadequate feeling. The poem “Inspirational Inadequacy” came from my experience after attending the 2000 World Horror Convention here in Denver. Rather than trying to capitalize on that inspirational energy right away, I’m working on saving that energy up and drawing upon it later. I think this relates to Wordsworth’s “spontaneous overflow” quote again:

“I have said that poetry is the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings; it takes its origin from emotion recollected in tranquility; the emotion is contemplated till, by a species of re-action, the tranquility gradually disappears, and an emotion, kindred to that which was the subject of contemplation, is gradually produced, and does itself actually exist in the mind.”

— Wordsworth, “Preface to Lyrical Ballads”