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Storytellers

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Every time I listen to the pile of music stuffed onto my hard drive, I am constantly reminded of the difficulty of good storytelling. In music, as in writing, it’s not only the story, but how the story is told. Below I’ve posted a few videos of those artists I hold in high esteem and that color my world.

James McMurtry

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7gteFbbARg]

Bruce Springsteen

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wuMqkzHql0E]

Townes Van Zandt

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BtExSE2oOZs]

Gillian Welch

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nugXkgd_-84]

Tom Waits

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFxGM-semhQ]

Enjoy! If you’ve got any faves that inspire your writing or just make your jaw drop, include ’em in the comments.

Writing Crossroads

by Jonathan 6 Comments
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I went down to the crossroad, fell down on my knees
I went down to the crossroad, fell down on my knees
Asked the lord above “Have mercy now save poor Bob if you please”

Robert Johnson – Cross Road Blues

Devil Tarot Card

Stay clear of this fellow.

Do I forge ahead with the final 30k of my second draft or do I rework what I’ve got into a fully realized outline and begin draft 3. I’m thinking of doing the former, if for no other reason than to flesh some things out more.

Then I’ll write and tweak my outline for the final draft so I can solidify the story once and for all. I’m tired of surprises.

It would seem that I am still developing my writing process. Not so much the words on paper, but the preparation. I cling to the idea that I’ll be a better writer for it.

Have a great weekend and enjoy a little Robert Johnson. You wouldn’t sell you soul to the devil to be a great writer, would you?

The Value of Other Creative Outlets

by Jonathan 13 Comments

Blackmore_Vale_boiler_backplate

Release Pressure Whenever You Can - photo by Les Chatfield - Brighton, England

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Balancing creative outlets is not something I’ve done very well over the last nine months. Writing has taken the lion’s share of my creative time. I don’t think that’s a bad thing, but there are days when I miss my other main creative outlet — playing music.

Music is usually a way for me to connect with other people (my brother in particular) and take a social moment as well. Mainly I bang on my guitar and sing loudly, but there is an element of catharsis there as well, a way of letting of steam that writing just cannot do.

Every time I pick up my guitar and play awhile, I wonder why I don’t do it more.

But I know why.

It’s because this novel has superseded my need to play music because I channel most of my creative energy there. But it is important to remember that sometimes it pays to take a little break and explore other media of creativity.

If you’re extra lucky, your foray into music or painting or drawing or woodworking or whatever it is may just inspire your writing.

No matter the outlet, I am glad to have the choice. It’s the good life.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdmFEZJZUPY]

Enjoy It While You Can

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[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytVww5r4Nk0&feature=related]
Just cruising through some blues on YouTube and came across Skip James playing Crow Jane.

Someday baby you know you got to die

…so enjoy all the things about your life, good and bad as they happen. And it doesn’t hurt to carry a large satchel of humility. Because when you’re gone, you’re gone.

How's It Going To End?

by Jonathan 6 Comments

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HB0EYZooakU]

The barn leaned over
The vultures dried their wings
The moon climbed up an empty sky
The sun sank down behind the tree
On the hill
There’s a killer and he’s coming
Through the rye
But maybe he’s the Father
Of that lost little girl
It’s hard to tell in this light

And I want to know
The same thing
Everyone wants to know
How’s it going to end?

From “How’s It Gonna End” by Tom Waits

And that, my friends, is why we write. Isn’t it? I’m dialing back my social media ramblings for Dec. so that I can find out the answer. Enjoy!