Sunday, October 16, 2011

I am, however, an artist.

An indie artist. As soon as I figure out what to call myself, I'll start producing cds.

I really have always wanted to be in a band, but there have been two major setbacks which have kept me from achieving this dream: stage fright and very limited musical talent. My friend and I accidentally tried out for a garage band once. I was handed a bass guitar -- which I had never touched before -- and was told to improvise. Um...what just happened?

This same friend and I have been preparing for the elusive day by trading band name ideas back and forth. She always hated mine. Optik Slander?! It's cool, right?

We played once as Smitten Kitten (her idea) at her golden birthday party. We were a one night wonder.
Some of our other ideas have been: New Normal, Amazing Bacon, and Atomic Orange. Forboden was an option if we were going to do a techno, happy remake of Du Hast.

I'm reminiscing about this because another friend of mine is getting married Saturday and she asked me to put together a cd of loooooove songs for the wedding favor. For some charitable reason I don't fully understand, I decided it would be fun to record a song for it with her brother who plays the piano and sings like a sexy, sexy man. So we did. I present to you our remake of Can't Help Falling in Love:

I had so much fun with the microphone I borrowed that I recorded another song of my own. Careful by Guster:

In your face, chimera, I'm going solo! (...want to be in my band, Stef?)

Monday, October 10, 2011


I am not a writer by nature.

Now, now, pick your jaw up off the floor, what I am saying is true. I never liked English. Well, I never liked writing. It wasn't something that was inside of me...except, maybe, when I was 16 and hormonal and wanted to be unhappy. So I wrote poetry. Bad poetry. 16-year old sad girl poetry. And I took honors English classes.

Later - much later - I met some friends who showed me how to read books for more than just the story. They taught me to enjoy the storytelling. They saw artistry in a sentence -- not just in what was conveyed but how it was written. When I saw how masterfully people put words together, I realized I wanted to write like that. I wanted to express ideas deliciously. I wanted to stir up emotions merely by word choice. And a well-placed period...and lots and lots of ellipses.

So I practiced. Thank you, my dear compassionate readers. I found inspiration and I mimicked it. Don't misunderstand me, I still don't claim to be a "writer". Writing, for me, is not a rush of eloquent statements -- a hurried purge. Nor is it constant brilliance. It's much more methodical. I put down some thoughts. I put down some more. I reorder them, piece them together, go over it and over it and over it, change something here, add something there. I come back day after day until my battered Scrabble board is an accurate rendering of what's jumbled in my head-heart -- the form of which is unclear until I give it shape outside my insides.

The reason I still write, despite my concentrated efforts, is because I've come to appreciate writing as an exploratory catharsis. I've produced maybe 3 worthwhile pieces in all my years of writing...and one of those was a vocabulary exercise in 2nd grade...but they are my Frankenstein thoughts and my deliberate words.

What I write may not be much but it's mine.