practice.. 2023 Jun 30 Fri.. renewal day!

all day!
This is another area which really got overlooked when I was writing 1000 words a day without exception.. though I did allow myself the occasional copy and paste entry.. still.. I felt guilty every time. Today I have been reconnecting with music I really love. I'm listening to the Lone Ranger theme by Hans Zimmer from the movie a while back while I write here tonight. It's great! I've found some ideas for songs I'd like to play along with. I have this idea around playing and singing my own melodies related to maybe a Yanni piece, them never actually use the backing track. I would just record more layers on the first one that I got from listening to the track by Yanni or whoever. Anyway.. I didn't realize I needed this time to just chill with my thoughts and hide from the loud busy world for a day. I'm inspired for more music tomorrow at the Lander jam session.

The next song is a favorite.. Actions Speak Louder from the musical Tick Tick BOOM! This has the feeling I've had about only writing as my practice each day.. a line repeats.. Actions Speak Louder Than Words.. and these last 10 days of this experiment with a new daily practice has helped me see and feel free to do so many other things each day. I still consider what to do each day as the practice mission each day. It's good. It's a progression that was ready to jump into.

practice.. 2023 Jun 29 Thu.. Hoichi!

 11am.. harmonica practice?

11pm.. try Hoichi on video.. still too long.. hmm..

practice.. 2023 Jun 28 Wed.. homework and jam session

11am.. breakfast
noon.. homework
I started out looking into the different ways I could record more than one track on the computer and the phone. I got out my headphones and then people started moving around and the air conditioner kept going on and off, as it does, so here in my bedroom it didn't really work like I thought. I turned instead to other homework. I discovered a new harmonica player.. Indiara Sfair.. a woman who speaks Portuguese and is from Brazil. I'm listening to her again now, as I write. I like it. I have discovered a lot of new skills. I feel like I haven't even been trying.. haha!

6pm.. dinner then jam session
I have been working, however, and my skills are growing. I was just thinking how the daily writing practice didn't consider the work I did at open mics and now at jam sessions as anything constructive. It was, I'm just saying I would only feel accomplished if I wrote 1000 words each day. They often did exactly what I'm doing here.. pulling together all the stuff I'm thinking about and working on generally. In the end, though, the writing wasn't what built the skill, it was showing up at the practice sessions. I'm not saying I wasted my time or anything like that. I loved that practice and it helped me pull myself out of lots of different thought patterns that had been holding me back. I'm still here tonight writing long form with some of the thinking that I still need to get out. Anyway.. that was the day. I'm not actually writing as much as I did then. I'm heading to bed feeling accomplished for showing up again at the jam session. It is helping and that's my main point. haha!

Another way it helps is just in the relationships and conversations I get into. My friend Tim and I are thinking about a lapel mic clipped to the harmonica frame I wear around my neck. I saw more expensive solutions and I think this might just be a good starting point. If Tim doesn't have one, it will be pretty cheap to get myself set up. yup! yay!

practice.. 2023 Jun 27 Tue.. Literary Rug.. with poems!

11am.. practice harmonica
1pm.. work on bath chair crate thing
4pm.. drive to Lander.. work out at gym
7pm.. Literary Rug at Lander Art Center

Audio converted to video of my jokes and poems from the Literary Rug.

practice.. 2023 Jun 26 Mon.. poems!

my turn?

When do I get to be angry?
There! I said it, almost already livid.
I don't know why anger appeals to me like that.
For one thing I'm bad at it. I'm pitifully weak.
When I do boil over, I feel really sad,
or in the middle of it I laugh at myself.

Why am I yelling? What will that do?
But it's truly not fair I can't tie my own shoe!
Still, there are layers on layers on layers here
He's funny! He's eloquent! He's talented, too!
Some are envious I can walk or talk or play a tune
They all seem surprised I do anything at all!

See? Right there! It drives me insane!
The bar of expectation is incredibly low,
so just by trying anything at all I'm a hit!

Amazing! Inspiring! I could never imagine!
It's not so bad, I think with chagrin,
Even when I'm coasting along, they'll call it a win.

Then who am I mad at? I'm really not sure.
I've been there. I did it. I screamed and cried!

Why me? Who am I to be afflicted like this?
I shouted and ranted but no one replied.
The pain and anguish built up and.. well.. got boring!
So I went outside and found something to try.

I think that's my answer, then, about my turn.
I did get angry and threw it all in to burn.
Then it was gone. I dove right into it, pushing until
I heard that voice talking.. I hear it still..

It's all good my friend, there's no need to cry!
Let's just all go outside and find something to try!

nothing seems right

and then there are days when nothing seems right.
I try not to panic and wait for the night.
I can't pick just one, all these choices appear.
I don't know what to say.
I just wait out the day.
It's finally dark, only one option here..
I'll just go to bed and it soon will be light.

practice.. 2023 Jun 25 Sun.. homework mostly

8am.. breakfast
noon.. homework
I had breakfast at McD's! I also caught myself up on my Words With Friends and started thinking about what I would work on today. I'm looking for an app that will help keep the separate tracks organized. The experiment the other day where I tried recording music and then singing along didn't have enough control over the mix of the sound and I ended up blasting whatever I recorded the latest over everything else. I've settled on the app called Bandcamp. The rest of the day was homework and playing around with the app. I also played a lot of Mastermine, a game of minefield but on the outside of a 3D block. It was a so so day. I'm sad I didn't get anything created to show off today. Still, learning takes its own time.

practice.. 2023 Jun 24 Sat.. jam session

 10am.. jam session

I tried the new notes chart reminders that I created earlier. They work pretty good. As always, I see another little gap in my skills that I can fill.. I got some nice sounding chords in when I was playing along in the 3rd position to get some minor sounding notes in. It turns out the solo isn't so easy with the minor key. I didn't know what all to jump around with and yeah.. a gap I can fill. It's similar to remembering to play in second position, as well. I don't feel confident playing solos there, either. It's all good. I'm thinking also that notes are not exactly where I need to be focusing. I hear chords being called out all the time and the work on the chart this week will be about finding which chords I can play on the various keyed harmonicas I have. 

practice.. 2023 Jun 23 Fri.. ode-ious vampire..

around noon..

Today was a fun one.. I tried to layer recordings on top of each other. It didn't come out well, but I learned some and got some ideas for next time. Here's the final audio only version:

lyrics: Mitch Nelson
music: Beethoven

ode-ious vampire

Long ago and far away
Down in the land of Idaho
A boy was born in perfect form
With legs and arms and face and nose.
He was boring! No story had he!
Nobody cares what paths he chose.
Then one day this all would change
Hear now this counting of his woes!

All alone he stole away
Beleaguered by the stress of life.
Wilderness and forest called him.
Fresh air made him almost high.
Evening fell and in a valley
He set up a camp to sleep.
Then he rested there alone and
Watched the shadows shift and creep.

Way up on the mount above him
Through the darkening hazy air
Near the top he spied a cave and
Wondered what was living there.
Now intrigued he picked a path and
Planned to see the cave at dawn.
Little did he know his plan would
Never happen as it was drawn.

In the night he woke up startled
Vampire fangs had pierced his thumbs
Hands and arms were shrinking and he
Felt immobilized and numb.
Then somehow he broke the trance and
Knew this was his only chance.
But when he went to punch the vampire,
His fiercest blow was just a glance.

Just a Mitch slap to his nose the
Vampire barely felt a breeze.
Then the vampire's body straightened
Building an enormous sneeze!
Weight now shifted! Mitch was free!
He tried crawling out of the tent.
Arms now shrunken, nothing working,
Hopes were dashed and down he went!

Strange and terrible was this moment!
I could never make this up!
Sneezing vampire couldn't stop it.
Mitch was down, but his butt faced up.
So the fangs landed in soft flesh,
Sneezing all that blood back in.
Mitch's life now changed forever,
He really thought this was the end!

Suddenly he realizes
He was in the tent alone!
Wretching at how dinner tasted
Out the flap a bat had flown.
That left Mitch alone to ponder
What am I supposed to do?
Tiny hands and giant yonder!
Aren't you glad it was him, not you!

practice.. 2023 Jun 22 Thu.. harmonica notes

 11am.. done around 2pm..

Okay.. today is a weird day where I'm really happy with the change to a daily creative practice of any kind where before I was only writing 1000 words in a journal. I've been working on this today..

They're little hints I've been thinking of working on for some time now. I'm happy that I didn't have to write 1000 words today because I had the time and energy to finally build these little notes to myself. I'll have them on hand when I'm jamming and I'm thinking it might make life a little easier when I need to pick the right harmonica key.

practice.. 2023 Jun 21 Wed

Today I have a couple things going and they're mostly musical.

3pm.. practice harmonica
In the car after running around with the guys. I recorded a couple harmonica songs and then played them back and played along with myself, basically. It went well. Here's that video..

6pm.. jam session
I found a weekly jam session here in Riverton Wyoming every Wednesday.

practice.. 2023 Jun 20 Tue

around noon

I'm starting today as my first new practice session. For the last four years, almost, I've been writing 1000 words a day in the style of Julia Cameron's morning pages concept. It was definitely modified as I allowed typing and all sorts of other little adjustments. These were not always or even often finished in the morning and yeah.. it was a good time and the daily practice got me through some really tough times. I even credit the practice for my finding myself again after my divorce and the practice helped me pull myself out of a self banishment situation where I was just hiding from the world.

A couple things have come up recently.. The writing has sometimes become just about meeting that very specific goal.. 1000 word entries. I have been on the road and found little time to write, so I just pasted in blah blah blah for most of the words one day. On another day, I was the featured teller at the regular monthly Story Swap event put on by the South Sound Story Guild and used the cleaned up transcript of my stories that night as my entry for that day. It made me realize I don't need to keep converting everything to text. I am also playing harmonica, creating posters and banners for the Story Guild events, and the stories I like to practice and tell are oral. The cleaning up of the transcript changed the wording because speaking has a lot of clutter that looks ridiculous as printed material.

All that said, I'm writing this first entry today in the Blogger system and the practice! blog is going to start growing.. daily, like the journal did.. with all sorts of projects. Even if I just play the harmonica for a half hour or create the banner for a Facebook event like today, I'll post something fun and new here.

Today, it's just me updating the Stories in the Park event poster to resize it for the matching Facebook event. Here's what I came up with..

Cool! right?

7pm.. Literary Rug

I'm adding on! I told stories tonight!

YouTube.. 2023 Jun 20 Mitch @ Literary Rug in Lander WY

8pm.. writing prompt after Literary Rug

We're writing at this moment about the art displayed here at the Lander Art Center by a man named Gregory Duncan. He paint abstract expression works.. mostly landscapes. I really enjoy his work. It reminds me of my first impressions many years ago when I first was exploring this area. It really reminds me, the way he is so chaotic in places, of the great forces that brought sea level land over two miles into the sky. It wasn't over, even then. Over the years, snow has come and melted and seeped into cracks where it froze and broke the rock down. Now there are places where it looks like the mountains are just massive piles of giant gravel.

 Here are two of his paintings, one with a famous Thoreau quote..

"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them." A little research showed me that's more than he actually said.. haha!