Thursday, January 9, 2014

Belated Tidings, BOTB Results, IWSG Distractions, and Groove-Floatin'

"I Was Tardy" by Alan Foster -- Saturday Evening Post cover (9/27/1930)

Allow me to wish you a belated "Happy New Year!"

I apologize for the fact that it's belated -- I'd planned on posting the results from my Jan 1st BOTB on Monday, posting the first Tuesday Newsday 200 (TN200) post of 2014 on Tuesday, and then taking part in the January IWSG yesterday, and I ended up being woefully tardy on all of them.  You'd think that after having two weeks off for the holiday and then getting an extra two days snowed in would have given me plenty of free time to get those posts written and ready to go, but...

I don't have a good excuse -- I took some time away from the blogosphere, and like my Holiday, it ended up being unexpectedly extended.  Maybe I can blame the Polar Vortex

Well, at least let me try and offer penance:

I was tardy. I was tardy. I was tardy. I was tar--

No, that's no good.  Who wants to read that 500 times???

So perhaps I can try to catch up a little -- belated tidings are better than none, right?  I'll save the TN200 until next week, but here are abbreviated versions of the other two topics:

1/1/2014 Battle of the Bands Results

I have to tell you that the voting on the three versions of Auld Lang Syne surprised me a little.  I thought David Grisman's bluegrass rendition would have received a few more votes. True, the holidays and my own blogging absence probably helped to lower the number of votes, but it still ended up not being much of a contest, and Grisman was left in the dust.

I was familiar with Grisman's version of this tune before posting and discovered the others on YouTube when I was searching for a version to match against Grisman's.  I've been a fan of Grisman's since hearing his Mondo Mando album back in the early 1980's -- the tune "Dawg Funk" from it is a particular favorite of mine.  And being a Deahhead, the collaborations between Grisman and Jerry Garcia are fun to me, too.

I do think all the BOTB versions are very good, and there wasn't a wrong vote -- it's just interesting to see how the votes turned out.  The Viva Girls version is extremely cool.  The mix of the beat and the Chinese instruments is great, and the playing is fabulous.  Plus, as a guitarist, I can't help but admire the playing on the Hero for the World metal version (and I suspect it would have gotten an extra vote if Ninja Captain Alex had been around). Still, I personally would vote for Grisman, although it doesn't change the results at all -- the Viva Girls won this one going away:

Viva Girls 4.5, Grisman 1.5, Hero for the World 1.0

January 2014 Insecure Writers Support Group -- "Distractions"

This (belated and very shortened) edition of the IWSG blog event relates closely to my IWSG post from last month where I shared my concerns over not writing enough:

"How can I stay focused on writing when there are so many distractions?"

I have a job, a house, a family, and many other things I spend time on -- and right now I have to confess that playing my guitar is a big one.  I love writing, although it can be a slow and painful process at times.  I have many story ideas I want to get down, and am growing more and more excited about a new novel that has been taking over my thoughts with demands to be written. But how can I stay focused on just writing on a consistent and regular basis when there are so many other things in my life tugging on my sleeve for attention?

How can I shut out the distractions and turn the stories I want to write into stories I've written?

I'm open to any feedback and pointers as to what works for you.

Floatin' in the Groove

  Finally, as my final act of contrition for my belatedness, let me try to appease you with music.

HERE's one of the pieces I put together over the Christmas holiday. A bit of a spacey jam with several guitars on top of a wikiloops drum and bass track. I call it "Floatin' in the Groove" and it's on the wikiloops shared jam site.

I found the drum and bass groove (drums by user "Gibson" and bass by user "bendeg") and just kind of started jamming against it -- I ended up actually looping the original bass and drums track twice to make it longer. :)

My playing on this piece is kind of all over the map -- the effect I was going for was kind of trippy and spacey with at least a defined bridge, and I think it succeeded at that, but overall I'm not sure if it is what I would consider a very coherent tune.

Still -- it was fun to do and I hope you enjoy it.  Thanks for listening!


  1. That was a jamming good piece!
    I guess with distractions you either learn to tune them out or just take the slots of time you get. For both writing and playing, I schedule a time in the evening to do both and my wife knows that's my time to do them. I've also found playing music really loud drown out about anything!

    1. Thanks Alex! I appreciate it!

      Having a scheduled time to write might help, but truthfully it's not that I don't have enough free time, it's that I tend to get distracted by all the things I want to do during that free time besides write (make music and practice my guitar, read, work on an idea I have for a PC game, play PC games, watch TV shows or movies in my "to-be-seen" list, play with my grad-daughter, spend time with my family, or maybe even work on something from my bottomless honey-do list).

  2. 'How can I shut out the distractions and turn the stories I want to write into stories I've written?'

    I have found that those stories which speak to me the most are the easiest ones to commit to. There are projects that feel like a grind, and those that feel like a joy. It's a bit like the difference between meeting up with a lab partner and meeting up with a lover. Of course it's sauciest when they're one and the same. Wait? Where was I going with this ... ?

    1. I'm not sure, but suddenly I'm interested in visiting the lab...

      But you're right -- Even though I 'm not writing as much as I would like because I'm busy doing other things, there are still several story ideas that aren't taking "no" for an answer. I know these will be the ones that will be the ones easiest to stick with...

  3. This BoTB feature looks like fun! I, too, am still scratching my head over how to fit everything into my days that I wish to fit in. Perhaps the fear that I won't get it "just right" is keeping me from getting "it" anywhere at all...

    1. Yes, perfectionism can be debilitating. I know it can also keep me from starting or finishing things.

      But I do have so many things to spend time on, that I'm at least always working on 'something' even if it isn't writing.

  4. Never apologize for not posting. No one's here to judge or feel superior, and we're definitely not the blog police. (Google has their own squad of those.) It's your life -- live it and own it! :)

    1. You're right. This is my blog to do as much or as little with as I'd like to do, so I really don't need to apologize. I apologize for apologizing....


  5. I have a tendency to procrastinate also. On the bright side, at least with so many "distractions" you're never bored :)


    1. Me, too in both cases -- a combination of a wide interest of things I like to do and procrastination.

      But I am NEVER bored! :)

  6. One of my favorite things about finally finding the time to go back through my blog feed (mine's a bit strange and so is my time these days) is coming to your page and finding something strat-tastic.

    I swear, one day when I have more time (when I quit my day (night) job), I'm joining wikiloops and will dedicate time weekly to get funky with the rest of youse.

    1. Thank you, David! I hear you about more time -- I have been VERY absent from blogging lately! I need to visit so many other bloggers, including you to see how Silexare is coming along!


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