Friday, February 6, 2009

FAWM: Three new songs written

I've written three songs so far for February Album Writing Month (FAWM). I'm pretty happy with them and have posted them to the music player on this blog.

FAWM is pretty similar to National Novel Writing Month, in which I've participated two years running. The idea behind FAWM is to write (and ideally record) 14 songs in the month of February.

I know this is all crazy-- I try not to be so naive that I think that I'm creating an actual "album", any more than my two "novel" manuscripts are anything more than first drafts.  But there really is something that simply feels nice about having a couple of songs completed, songs that no one else wrote.  And it's a lot more writing than I've done recently-- before last year's FAWM, my last song was one I wrote to get Sonia to marry me (it worked) and before that my heaviest production time was when I was in Peace Corps.  In 1992.  In Seychelles.  That's too far back.

The point of all of this is simple: like most things, the only way to get better at writing is to write.  The evidence is clear.  My second novel manuscript is a hell of a lot better than my first.  And the songs I've written so far this year are just better than the ones I wrote last year.  

Most people have trouble writing because they are so ashamed of their first attempts.  They write something, then the next day they read it and realize that it's not perfect and then they hide the thing and never try to write again.  I have an advantage here because I lack what my wife Sonia calls el sentido del ridículo: the sense of the ridiculous.  This probably would best be translated as "I have no shame".  I don't get embarrassed easily.  Or rather, I do, but somehow I have the ability to swallow hard and press on.   This also made learning Spanish easier.  I'm pretty sure I left a sturdy swatch of laughing Spaniards in my wake when I first moved to Spain (ask me about the cone of chocolate ice cream some time, I'm amazed I ever lived that one down).

As far as the novel, I actually found someone to edit it, a West Point grad (I try not to hold that against my editor).  I'll get a look at it when the editing is over and see if there is anything to be done for it.


  1. Very pleasant! "Los Quatro Hermanos" I mean :) I was listening to your other songs and I noticed that with most of them, there's a kind of "cricketing" noise in the background. I had this exact same sound in some of my recordings made with my laptop and I found out that it was caused by the IR port. I just disabled it whenever I made a recording and it went away. That might be of some interest to you.. or not, it's all good :)

  2. Gamma Goblin, thanks for the feedback! I'll have to try that. I had wondered what that was. My laptop also makes a funny sound when it does a virtual memory swap to disk (Klah-jonk!). A lot of my songs have that sound. I'm so used to it that I don't really notice it, but it definitely is kind of weird to hear coming out of my MP3 player.

    One day I'll have the cash to dedicate to some better recording equipment... and my kid's education... and a pony...


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