Monday, August 6, 2012

Attention all writers, songwriters, and poets

This Wednesday is my next songwriting class and I've decided to tweak the direction of my teaching. I'd like to focus on the part of songwriting that I'm passionate about: the lyrics and ideas that we're trying to express musically. I want to help people dig down to discover the well of their own authentic self-expression, their own unique voice.

At the same time, I recognize that this focus of topic broadens the audience of people who might benefit from the discussion. Writers, poets, and people who just wish to better explore their own lives through journaling will find these ideas and the sharing of others' journeys useful. To that end, my goal is to open this group to these other writers (aspiring or otherwise). We'll explore free-writing and other exercises to prime the pump and I'll introduce you to things that I've found very inspiring. Think of it less as a class and more of a workshop/support group meant to inspire your creativity.

That said, next Wednesday, August 8 at 7:00 pm, I'll be sharing a movie that greatly inspired me. It's a documentary called "Finding Joe." It is an exploration of Joseph Campbell's study of the hero's journey. I know, you're thinking, "what on earth does that have to do with songwriting?" More than you know, especially if you write songs that tell stories. Even if you're writing about one moment in a story - falling in love, for example - understanding where that moment fits in the context of the subject's journey will help you bring it to life with more depth. Also, we are all living our own hero's journey, and this film will help you become more aware of your own story (or stories) and might inspire you to live a more fully realized life by "following your bliss."

Space is limited so if you're interested in joining us, please email me at to RSVP.  We meet at a private residence in Westminster so if you haven't been to a class before, I'll email you directions.  The cost of the class/group will be a suggested $10 donation and it will meet on the second Wednesday of the month (unless otherwise noted on my website).  I will still facilitate the critique group on the fourth Wednesday of the month.  There is no cost for the critique group and it is open to any songwriter who wants feedback on their songs whether they take the class or not.

If you're a poet, songwriter, or writer and need a little inspiration, direction, or just want to be among a tribe of like-minded creatives, I hope you'll join us sometime.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lughnasadh: Let the harvest begin

Today, August 1, is Lughnasadh, the first of three Celtic autumn harvest festivals.  With the heat and drought much of the US has experienced this summer, it is perhaps a time to more finely focus our gratitude on what we have.  In my case, hay for my horse will be hard to come by so I'm already planning to stock up for winter.  Feed prices for grain have also increased.  However, my small pasture has been resurrected by recent rains (little rain thought it was), so Tori has been able to graze for a while each day, therefore allowing me to feed her less.  That little patch of green has been a welcome blessing!

As I reflect on what I've sown this season, I realize I've cultivated gratitude for my home, my friends, and my abilities (both creative and mundane).  I have also returned to a much closer relationship with nature than I've enjoyed in years, spending more time with Tori and other critters that cross my path, and taking time being observant, still, and open with the natural world.  I've had the wondrous pleasure of walking amongst literally dozens of large dragonflies, I've taken walks in the rain, I've watched some amazing and colorful cloud formations, and I've experienced kayaking on a lake at sunset.  (I love Colorado!  Can I get an "amen," brothers and sisters?!) 

In the next couple months, I hope to start some new projects and I'm a little apprehensive about taking these next steps.  But when I reflect on all that has come to me this summer, both externally and internally, and when I realize how inspired and excited I am at the prospect of these new doors opening, I feel confident that I'll be reaping a soul-sustaining harvest that I can share with others who hunger as well.

What seeds have you sown this year?  What is coming to fruition for you to harvest this fall?  As we begin the autumn months and prepare for the introspection of winter, what will you gather now to sustain you through the darkness?