Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Version One Done

During the very early morning hours of December 30th, 2013 I finished the first draft of my story in its current format.  At 2:36am is when I typed my last word and saved my document.  I have been working on this particular story since 2011 but the original version wasn't working the way I wanted it.  I revised it twice in 2012 and then came up with the new version this year. 

The new version worked best to tell the story I needed to tell.  I read through the story yesterday adding new parts and removed a few lines I did not need.  I still have more work to do and could potentially add a couple of chapters.  I know that I could probably add more and that might be the best thing to do.

The tone of the story feels right but as I typically do I will hand my story off to a friend in its current rough draft form for input before I go at it again with a rewrite.  It feels good to have it done in a decent form.

I need to come up with a better title for the story as the original one no longer applies and the temporary one I gave it for the current version doesn't fit either.  I'm sure something will come to me as I keep tinkering away at it.

As the hours of 2013 wind down, I wish all of you all a happy and healthy 2014.

~Maynard

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Finish Line in Sight & The Importance of Music


This week has provided me with the opportunity to work on my story that I put to the side after NaNoWriMo ended.  I have come up with new ideas to include in the story and realize that I should have kept writing instead of taking a break.  The main reason is I forgot where I was going with the story.  I was nearing the end and then forgot what I needed to do with it. OOPS!  HA HA. 

I read the five chapters leading up to where I had stopped to refresh my memory and that was enough to get me going again with some new ideas.  The writing process can be tricky at times but I am happy to have it going again.

I have been horrible in doing my daily journal writing though.  I'm usually very good but have been slack in it for a while now.  Too much going on but that is no excuse.  I should be writing everyday whether it's a paragraph or three pages of wandering thoughts.

I can assure you I have had plenty of wandering thoughts lately and most of them have to do with music and kids. 

Music was a vital part of getting me through my dark days and I can only imagine had I not had access to music what might have happened to me.  There have been numerous studies about the benefits of listening to music and how it impacts how we learn, what it does to our brain, how it helps relieve stress and other benefits.

Imagine a school cutting it's music program and in that school system there is a kid who could be the next Eric Clapton, Miles Davis, Lena Horne, Gene Krupa, etc.  It's a scary thought that there could be a very talented kid who none of us will know just how talented they are because his or her school cut a music program. Not only is the kid denied the chance to learn and explore music or learn a musical instrument but we are denied as well of ever hearing this kid play or sing.

People comment on the state of the music industry and how there aren't any standout musicians or singers like there used to be.  Gee, I wonder why? If we are not encouraging kids to explore music than what do we expect to get?

I think the best any of us can do is to support music programs and kids who want to learn to play an instrument or sing. Music is such a disposable thing these days and people aren't digesting it and really listening to it like they used to. I think we all owe it to each other to share our music collections with the kids.

My parents used to play music all the time when I was a kid.  Funny story, my dad made me a cassette tape when I was a kid.  I must have been 8 or 9 and hadn't really gotten into my own music yet.  He made me a cassette tape of Peter Frampton's - Frampton Comes Alive album the only problem is he also include Billy Thorpe's - Children of the Sun on the same tape.  My dad neglected to label the cassette tape and simply told me it was Peter Frampton.  For years I thought the whole entire cassette tape was Peter Frampton!!  It wasn't until I got into college that I realized that the second part of the tape was NOT Peter Frampton but Billy Thorpe.  Thanks Dad!

My parents used to listen to a lot of stuff.  I think my dad just liked showing off with the stereo to friends. He'd put a record on the turntable and crank it.  I remember this mood music he used to play that had a train, rain drops and a howling dog.  He used to crank that thing and the part where the dog howls used to creep me out.  I also remember him cranking the theme to 2001: A Space Odyssey until the whole house shook.  He had fun with that one.

Most of the vinyl records in our house belonged to my dad.  I've never really gone through his collection and have no idea what's really in it but there are a few things he had which I made sure to get into my own collection when I was able to start buying music for myself.  If you are wondering, yes, Peter Frampton and Billy Thorpe became part of my music collection.

I love exploring music as you never know where it may lead you. I like reading about my favorite artists and who their influences are and then listening to those artists. It really does open up doors a bit and the chance to explore.  Taking risks is fun too.  That's how I learned about Symphonic Metal.

I honestly don't know what the point is of this post.  Would someone care to tell me? HA HA
As I said I haven't been doing my daily journal writes and so I guess this is my download of wandering thoughts and also given the subject matter of the story I'm writing it makes sense. Music is very important part of the story I'm writing.

I will be so happy when I can just plug my brain into the computer and my thoughts just show up on a page.  It will make writing a book so much easier especially when I have really good scenes or dialogue that I always seem to not get right when I finally do write it down.

I guess the point I am trying to make is to share the music you love with others.  Spread it around which is what I try to do by posting the albums I'm currently listening to on my website.  Honestly, the page would have a lot more albums on it but my listening habits are kind of wacky. 

I don't listen to music like most people do and I tend to hear things that others don't. As a matter of fact I was listening to a Joe Bonmassa album and was lost in my writing when the words in the song caught my attention and I thought to myself, "Wow, I really like Paul Rodger's voice on this song."  The only problem was I wasn't listening to Paul Rodgers. I was still listening to the Joe Bonamassa CD. I actually got up and tracked the song backwards to make sure I heard what I did.  Sure enough there was a certain section of the song where Joe sounded like Paul Rodgers.  Paul Rodgers has a distinct voice but it was one of those cool, freaky things that happen. 

Alright, enough rambling from me. Take care and rock on!

~Maynard









Friday, December 27, 2013

Peter Frampton - Lines On My Face

 
I've always enjoyed the music of Peter Frampton and gave one of his CD's a spin today.  I like a lot of his songs but I think my all time favorite is Lines On My Face.  I've heard Peter do variations of this song and each version is just as beautiful as the original version.  He's an amazing player.  I found this version and decided to share.  Enjoy!
 
Rock On!
~Maynard

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Musical Memory Lane

 Hi Everyone,

Hope you are all doing well in your respective places around the world.  I am swamped at my full-time job which puts a slight damper on my writing activities.  I did complete NaNoWriMo 2013 by writing over 51,000 words and haven't finished my story.  I have a few more chapters to write but am near the end of the story I wanted to tell.

Due to the nature of the story I am telling that has given me the opportunity to revisit my past like I do on a regular basis as a way of rediscovering myself and learning about what got me to this point in my life.  Old memories have opened up and the darkness that consumed me when I was a teen and a young adult have come to the forefront.

This has caused me to pull out the old Megadeth album So Far, So Good...So What! from my CD collection. For as painful as my teenage years were listening to this album recently has made feel like I am discovering Megadeth all over again.  My teenage years come flooding back heavily and the memories of how this album helped me survive is with me. A reminder of how far I have come but have not forgotten where I once was.

Music is a wonderful gift.  It is there when we celebrate, it is there when we mourn, it is there when we are lost and it is there when we are found.  Music is a life line to so many things and for those of us who require it daily it is just as important as the air we breath.

Just for kicks I encourage everyone to dig out an album from your past and give it a listen.  How does it make you feel?  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section or drop me a line.  I'm curious!

Take care all and hope the holidays are kind to you.  Don't stress to much and enjoy yourself!

-Maynard



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Random Things

National Novel Writing Month (http://www.nanowrimo.org) is fast approaching and I will be participating in it this year.  I hope some of you give it some thought and take the challenge. Even if you don't write 50,000 words in 30 days it is a fun activity and does take your mind off other things. Let your ideas flow.  Whether you write in silence or crank up the music like I do, give it a shot.

Speaking of music, the folks at Keeping The Blues Alive Foundation could use some help.  They are currently having a fundraiser to help kids across the country have access to music.  All kids should have access to music in one form or another. The foundation is doing a lot of different things:
https://www.causes.com/v2actions/1761101-donate-to-keeping-the-blues-alive-foundation-inc

My current piece of writing is coming along at a steady pace. It's hard to write some days after I have put in a full day of work but I write at least two or three pages a night if I can.

I do encourage all of you to pick up a pencil or a pen and write.  Even if you only write a sentence, a paragraph, a page, give writing a chance.  Writing every day allows new ideas to come forth, solutions to problems and a release of stress.  Writing is good for you. Trust me.

Rock on!
-Maynard

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Special Days

I'll preface this post by saying that autumn-time in Vermont is very beautiful with the changing color of the leaves but it can be a very reflective time of year too.

If you've read my first book October Rain then you understand that the past can call to you as the leaves fall from the trees, the air grows colder for winter will undoubtedly make it's appearance in a short time.

Autumn in Vermont is a time of year when on starts to look back and prepare for what I think is the most peaceful time of year - Winter.  Every fall I always feel reflective, sad, quiet and withdraw very much into myself as if I was preparing for a long nap.

This time of year makes me yearn for days of past to see faces of friends I have not seen in over 20 years, one in particular comes to mind.

To everyone who has stopped in to read, take a moment today, tomorrow, this week, month or sometime in the future and celebrate your life and those that matter to you.  In nine days I will celebrate my 21st anniversary from a life changing event. An event that changed everything and am forever thankful for my friend, Michael, who helped me claim back my life.

The story that I have been stuck on for two years has started to write itself - finally!!  It's coming together nicely and I'm glad that I after two years and six rewrites I have something that is working.
Music is an integral part of my writing as it helps me tap into the deepest parts of myself and bring what lurks down deep to the surface.  Music gives me ideas and keeps me in a creative mind frame when I write or do other things.

So today I am going to share another Joe Bonamassa song with you.  Thankfully, it's not raining outside otherwise I'd be crying while listening to this.

Take care of yourselves and do a random act of kindness!  Someone out there could use a smile or know that someone cares. 

Rock on!
~Maynard




Thursday, August 29, 2013

Writing To Music

I've been writing bits and pieces to a story I started two years ago.  I'm on vacation from my full-time job so that has allowed me some time to do outlines and flesh out characters. 

While writing, I have been listening to Joe Bonamassa's new album (Driving Towards the Daylight)and have put one song in particular on repeat.  It happens to me often where I get a song stuck in my head and thankfully I like Joe's music a lot so I don't feel I'm being tortured. HA!  Thought I would share with you.  Here's the album version of Driving Towards the Daylight.

 
 
As an added bonus I'm including the version found on the An Acoustic Night at the Vienna Opera House CD.  This is the version of the song I heard first and made me love this song.
 

 
I often listen to music while I'm writing. To some, music is a distraction but music is so embedded in my life that I actually write easier and more freely with music in the background.  So for now, Joe Bonamassa is providing a nice music landscape while I write and thought I'd share his music with you.
 
Rock On!
-Maynard
 
 


Thursday, August 15, 2013

Writing Update

Hi Everyone,

The writing process continues on...

I have been working on a particular story for the past two years but it has not been working out as planned.  After several attempts to rewrite it and improve on it I think I have come up with a new idea. Same story but different approach which I think  will make it easier to digest. 

In the past few months I have backed two short film projects. One about suicide and the other about the life of a woman who grew up during The Troubles in Northern Ireland.

When they come out I'll be sure to update everyone about where or how you can catch these short films.

I continue to work on my writing when life allows and am looking forward to National Novel Writing Month coming this November.  I really do encourage everyone to give it a shot if you haven't before. It is quite fun and crazy - the best parts!

Take care and write on!
-Maynard