Day 360: The Perfect Antidote to the Over Thinker

Creative improv is so fun. I love to improvise and create spontaneously.I am realizing more and more how much I work this way in many ways. I do it when I rap, I do it when I play piano, I do it when I write, and of course, I do it when I improvise comedy scenes. The spirit of spontaneity is so important to my creativity. I remember when I was a kid, I heard about Mozart, who of course impressed me greatly. He could improvise and compose on the…

Day 356: “The Artist’s Way” and Open Creative Valves

Back when I was in high school, a friend of mine interested me to an interesting book called “The Artist’s Way.” In it, author Julia Cameron designed a workshop of sorts–on paper–where one could work through their creative blocks. I was inspired by the book when I heard about it, but was busy with other things, so I didn’t read it at the time. Fast forward a couple years, and I was looking to grow and expand. I became a huge fan of the Self-Help section at the bookstore. Somewhere…

Day 347: What I got from writing “Charlie’s Dog”

Writing the “Charlie’s Dog” short story (read it here) over the last few weeks was completely unique in my experience, at least as far as this blog goes. Prior to that, all my posts had been stand alone posts (notwithstanding multi-part topics such as “Reaching for Satisfaction,” Part 1, 2, etc,” which are actually still stand alone thought pieces that happened to be somewhat linked to others). Moreover, they were all either “nonfiction,” or creative poems or raps based in some situation or mood I was in. This was the…

Day 334: Approaching the 1-year mark, my short story, and seeing Abraham

So I am approaching the 1-year mark of the 365 Day Blogging Project, as you no doubt know if you are looking at the title. It has been a most excellent adventure (!). In fact, I would say it has changed my life for the better. A couple of weeks ago, the blog took a turn, when I started writing a short story, “Charlie’s Dog.” I had no plan for this, except that it was fun to write fiction prose instead of the usual personal reflections or analysis. Also, it…

Day 291: Living la Vida Creative!

It’s funny how inspiration shows up at different times, and in different ways. Yesterday my wife was working on a video showcasing some scarves she designed. She asked me if I could write some music for it. She has asked me for such things before, and often I have obliged. This time was no different. I immediately had an idea for a piece, so I went to the piano and recorded myself playing for about a minute or so. Later, when I was done with my lessons, and had completed…

Day 289: Writing Down the Story of My Life

I just finished playing piano for a grad school musical production of a play called “Junie B. Jones.” The play is based on the kids’ book series of the same name, about a spunky, assertive first grade girl who writes down in her journal the “adventures” of a being a first-grader: things like making new friends on the bus, showing off her new glasses at school, learning to juggle. It’s a well-made musical, with clever lyrics that are appropriate for children but still funny for adults (for example, when she…

Day 280: Capturing an Emotional Snapshot

Yesterday’s original rhyme, which we will call “Angry Toad” (though I printed title as “I’ll be the Prince/Angry Toad”), is fairly unique in these posts because, to be blunt, I was mad. In fact, I was livid. The rhyme is about me being exactly that and wanting to calm down. The mood was basically, “I’m totally pissed off, but I know I need to hold my tongue and not say something stupid, so I’m trying to calm down… but I’m really pissed off right now!” I let the rhyme stay…

Day 270: The Art of Fugue

So for a few weeks now I have been working with a free music notation software called Musescore. Initially, I started using it because some of my students are into it. I am teaching myself how it works so I can better help them. Today I was suddenly inspired, and the next thing you knew, I had started working on a new piece, using Musescore. Well, actually, I started writing a fugue. I say that with some trepidation. Saying “I started writing a fugue” is a little like saying, “I…

Day 203: Onward into the Night!

It’s Friday night. 7:17pm reads my computer. In about 30 minutes, my wife and I are going to head over to the Comedy Spot, where I will be performing with the “You! the Musical” Comedy Troupe: we will be improvising an entire musical for a live audience. FUN! My dinner fresh in my tummy—asparagus, turkey, and cheese slices–I sit down to write this post. Thoughts of tonight’s rehearsal at the high school in Elk Grove are fresh on my mind–I was singing the lead number a few minutes ago as…

Day 200: Description Post #2

I am leaning back against the chair as I stare at the screen, watching each word emerge as I type. There is a light humming sound from the center room of our flat, from the heater that helps keep this place warm in cold months. There is a louder though intermittent sound of passing cars out on the street. Many of them are, no doubt, returning home for the evening. When I take a deep breath, the smell from the oil of cooking home fries is still in my nose.…