Dolphins for All Seasons

As promised, I did get some writing done at lunch. It wasn’t a lot, but I did get a few paragraphs of “Chesterfield Gray” down.

On the way to Stories for All Seasons, I noticed a wispy cloud being pushed over the jagged edge of a Flatirons peak by the wind. The cloud curled over the edge and followed the face of the rock a short way down before dissipating. I could see the wind swirl in the arch of the cloud, and I imagined the cloud was a dolphin jumping over the waves of rock. God, I love Colorado.

When I got close to the West Side Books Annex, where Stories for All Seasons is held, I had some extra time. I decided to stop off at Guitar Center and browse for a while, which is always a dangerous thing to do. This time was no different. Fortunately, I only left with one item, a book about guitar soloing in different modes and patterns. After hearing my clunky minor key solos against Dante Spumante’s major key music, I decided it was time to arm myself with some tools and do a little studying. I hope to find some time to go over the exercises in the next few days.

Lucy Taylor was the guest at Stories for All Seasons this month. Lucy writes horror and detective fiction, often with an erotic flavor. Lucy also happens to be a very pretty redhead. Both of the pieces she read were a bit erotic, one more so than the other, and I will admit that I felt a little uncomfortable watching and listening to this siren of a woman reading erotic fiction. I wasn’t uncomfortable in a bad way; it was just a turning of the tables that I wasn’t expecting. (I guess that means the erotica in the stories worked!)

Dante Spumante Again

Yes, we went to see Dante Spumante again. This time, John, the bassist from Juan Hit Wanda (aka Flat Rabbit) and Squidlick (aka Better Than Nothing) and his wife were there. Also, Trevor, one of the guitarist/vocalists for Dot Com, and his wife Debra showed up. Brad the Drummer‘s wife Cindy was able to get a babysitter tonight, and showed up as well.

The rest of the crowd was pretty quiet, but those of us at the band table had fun. I must confess that part of me wanted to be at Fiddler’s Green watching Rush on their first tour in six years, but we didn’t have the money for that concert. Dante Spumante was much less expensive, and though they didn’t have lasers and fog machines, they were entertaining in their own right.

At the end of the night, John, Brad and I briefly talked about getting together to jam next week. I hope that comes through; we haven’t played together for at least a month and a half, and probably more. Trevor also expressed interest in playing with us, so maybe we’ll have a miniature party that night. It was good seeing John; I still entertain delusions about being good enough to play in Squidlick with him and his other band members.

Dante Spumante and Soloing Modes

Kim and I went to see Dante Spumante tonight while Keith spent some time with his grandmother. It was fun to see Dante playing cover tunes, along with their handful of originals, but I must admit that it was a little bit disappointing to know that I wasn’t the guitarist. I can understand why, though. Most of what they play is pop in major keys, and the two times I’ve played with them, I’ve taken most of my solos using a minor pentatonic scale. For some songs, that works great. For others, it creates tension that shouldn’t be there.

The guitarist who was playing with them was good, and he played the right scales during his solos. If I want to be able to fit in with bands in the future, I need to learn how to solo over changes and use different scales, like the major pentatonic, mixolydian, and phrygian scales. Looks like it’s time to dig out the old Guitar Player magazines and go through the columns.

It’s a little embarrassing admitting that I’m not versatile enough to solo over lots of different types of music. I used to solo over jazz progressions quite a bit, but I never really got it. I think this is my lack of music theory turning around to bite me in the ass. I should probably just stick to writing; at least I know a little about the theory behind that.

Broaband, Bryant, and Band

I’ve been waiting to hear the words for over three years, now. “Yes sir, broadband Internet is now available in your area. Would you like to place an order?”

I felt like Fred Sanford. “It’s the big one, Elizabeth! I’m comin’ to join you honey!”

I’ve been trying to get DSL or some kind of broadband service since I before I moved into this town home. Unfortunately, I’m too far away from the closest CO (22,000 + feet) to get anything but IDSL, and with the vaporization of the DSL providers, no one will bring IDSL to a residence without charging double what ISDN would cost for nearly the same bandwidth.

But AT&T Broadband has come to my rescue. The cable upgrade in my neighborhood is finally complete, and I will be getting my cable modem Tuesday. It’s not the best alternative; I would much rather have DSL with a static IP, but I’ll take what I can get. I hesitate to leave my excellent ISP, id Communications, but there’s no way they can get me broadband at this time. At least I will lose some spam when I change e-mail addresses, though.

Ed Bryant’s birthday celebration at Stories for All Seasons was wonderful. A spate of writers showed up, including Connie Willis, Steve and Melanie Tem, Wil McCarthy, Terry Wright and Gary Jonas, to name a few. Connie introduced Ed using a “retro Powerpoint demonstration” (Ed’s words) that consisted of hand decorated poster boards, held up to spoof the milestones in Ed’s career.

Ed’s gift to the guests consisted of a raffle. The winner was awarded the dubious honor of having a character named after him or her in a future story by Ed. No one responded to the first number drawn, but we’re not sure if that was an act of self-censorship, wisdom, or if the person had actually left. At any rate, the second number called was my son’s, and I don’t think there could have been a more enthusiastic winner. He respects and likes Ed very much, and is excited that he will be appearing in one of Ed’s stories. Here’s a picture of the odd couple.

Brad the Drummer is playing with Dante Spumante again Friday and Saturday. His regular band is off this weekend, so he can make a little extra scratch. We will probably go to see them play Friday.

I revamped this Creativity Journal, in case you haven’t noticed. I hope the new format will be less daunting and have more of a journal feel. E-mail me with comments if you wish; any feedback is welcome.

Blogs, Bryant and Bands

I’ve been reading bluejack’s blog daily since I first heard about it. The more I read it, the more impressed I am by his page design. I’m considering altering this journal to a format more like his, with one daily entry per page and a link to recent entries. I’ll contact him today to see if he is okay with that. I’ll probably make some changes anyway, so if you see any links that aren’t working, please consider them to be works in progress.

Today is the Stories for All Seasons celebration of Ed Bryant’s 50-mumbleth birthday. Keith and I will be going there tonight to listen to him read stories from his (still) forthcoming collection, Flirting With Death, and he’s hinted in his Mathom newsletter that he will read a new science fiction story. That’s a treat, because he has been writing primarily horror for quite some time now.

I also heard from Brad the Drummer today that Dante Spumante may have gotten a Friday gig at Cricket on the Hill based on their (our?) performance on the 13th. I hope they call me to fill in again; I enjoyed playing that gig very much. I don’t know if this will be an original set or a cover set, but I’m hoping for an original set or a mix. That will increase my chances of getting a phone call from John.

John and Theresa from Dante Spumante will be playing at the Singer/Songwriter showcase at this year’s Taste of Colorado, on Sunday, September 1 at 2:00 PM. Go see them if you get the chance.

I also found out that Willy Porter, one of the most talented singer/songwriter/guitarists I’ve ever seen, will be playing in Ft. Collins and Denver on September 20th and 21st. Check his website for details. The Denver show will be at the Soiled Dove, downtown, which should be a great intimate venue for his music. I’m there. I hope I get to meet him.

This morning, I actually got up and exercised, then did some work on the computer for a little while. I’m trying to get into the routine that I told myself I would get into when I got the office set up. With my son starting school again next week, I have even more incentive, because we have to arrange our showering schedules. (That’s probably more information than any of you wanted to know!) The point is, I’m getting closer to writing in the mornings, like I wanted to do. I may make these entries part of that morning ritual, too.

At lunch today, I read some more of Sophie’s World, and passed a critical juncture in the story. The plot has thickened, as the saying goes. It’s pretty cool when I can say anything about plot in a novel that’s primarily a survey course in philosophy.