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Creative Thing #4: No Place Like Far Away

Sometimes I think my Muse is testing me. “How badly do you want my gifts?” she’ll ask. So she’ll show up while I’m in the shower, making me remember lyrics and melodies until my brain is full and until I can get to either paper or pocket recorder. (Still thinking about putting a waterproof notepad on the shower wall – they exist.) Or showing up in the middle of the night when I’m trying to sleep.

The latter time is actually not bad for a Muse visit, from the perspective of being open to her whisperings. The conscious brain is mostly shut down, so what comes out is mostly from the creative subconscious.

So, at roughly 4 AM this past Friday, 1/19, my brain started noodling on the chorus for this song. I’d spent some time brainstorming on the drive south to Key West the day before, because there’s nothing like seven hours in my own company on the road to get the mental wheels turning on a whole variety of subjects. But things were still diffuse in my mind, with a couple of new ideas thrown in (notably, “pineapples, mangoes, and rum; oh my”) until 4 AM. At which point the chorus sorted itself out, and I roused myself sufficiently to try capturing it on my pocket recorder. Which chose that moment to die from old batteries.

Shit. Time to rouse myself a little more, turn on the video recorder on the phone (easier to use than the voice memo app, IMO), and quietly (don’t want to wake my hosts) sing the chorus into it. And close my eyes again.

At which time more ideas started pouring in, of course. So I gave up on getting back to sleep, turned on the light, and started writing. And captured an entire song: Two verses, the chorus, and a somewhat unique “spoken word” bridge. And *then* I went back to sleep, because I couldn’t work on music in the middle of the night while staying with friends in a very small house.

And once everyone was up, I got out the guitar and figured out the rest of the song. And recorded a video of it that didn’t turn out too horribly badly – I edited out the worst gaffes, made fun of one mispronunciation, added your part (“Oh my!”), and I was done.

And now you can enjoy it here: https://youtu.be/7CWfrXz8e4o

Yes, it’s a bit first draft-ish. It *is* the first draft. It will be refined and polished, and I may do something a bit different with that bridge. But the bones of the song are there, and good.

And I’ve managed to keep my creative commitment four weeks in a row, two of them with new songs. 🙂

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