Flying Makes People Look Even Smaller Than Ants

Flying to New York

http://megawatson.tumblr.com/post/152061834516/flying-to-new-york-june-2016-give-me-a-window

I really can’t help looking out the window….

—–David

P.S. At least I’m not pretending to be Superman while I’m up there. Great, now the theme song is in my head.

Flying Makes People Look Even Smaller Than Ants was originally published on Creative Uploads

Pool Your Resources

 Photo: Summer’s End.

Was writing a little about My HAMILTON experience the other day and how creativity could be like putting a giant jigsaw puzzle together, but an invisible one made of glass. Rather like a mosaic that doesn’t get its color until it’s complete. (Mosaic also is  name of this Prisma style .)

And today while contemplating expensive but necessary pool repairs, the perpetual dance between available funds and places to send it, or try to save it, has me thinking about balance and leverage.

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to save money while still doing creative projects, and saving money taking time finding alternate methods, and mental energy working around limitations. I’m okay with that, spending six months researching things on and off before deciding to buy or not. Got some real quality stuff by being patient. 

But I’ve also embraced faster purchases on occasion, times I have done the math and realized that amortizing something over time pays other dividends once I already own it and can use it to do things easily and quickly.

It’s tricky. I don’t want to get good at buying new toys that I want and don’t use right away so I start chasing toys for the thrill of buying, but rather that I already have or create a need that lets me immediately put a new toy to use, justifying the purchase and rewarding me with a chance at producing something; to me that’s more rewarding than the temporary thrill of shopping. 

So balancing time (being money) and money (taking time to get) and leveraging opportunities to use these things to your advantage. For the artistic side it is to create, but it may be to obtain, or experience, or even avoid. We all have different pieces that make up our mosaic, close for the details and farther back for the big picture.

And then there are the times when you just have to repair something you already have. Good thing I save some money when I can. Like having dragged out this repair from last year. 

—–David

P.S. Now if you need something useful you could visit my Amazon Affiliate page

P.P.S. Not a single pool pun or metaphor. Not even when I could have related tile with the mosaic reference. So proud of myself. Oh crap, I started with that title. Well after that….gotta go.

Pool Your Resources was originally published on Creative Uploads

Glass Jigsaw Puzzles and Hamilton

My daughter and I were lucky enough to catch “Hamilton” on Broadway during our recent trip (with the original cast save the first king and one fantastic understudy!), and I will talk about that more in another post. This is a nice HDR picture of the set (stage left) from my Note 4. Amazed that they let you take pictures, even if it is before the show starts. 

But what I want to talk about is creation: writing and editing. Obviously in a play, unlike a movie, there is no editing of the performance; it’s all done in a rush, without a net. But it doesn’t arrive fully formed. It comes in starts and fits, and requires consistent if not constant pressure to move it forward. 

Now I’ve written a lot, including hundreds of songs over the years, and some of them rush out fairly complete, and occasionally that shape feels complete and final and fantastic at once. But there are others, many still unfinished, that are a line or rhyme, or sometimes a few chords or notes, awaiting the next step. That step can come from more random inspiration, or the hard work of thinking and trying, and both methods work. Funny enough, each can take the same period of time to work. I’m talking about music today, but all art can be like this.

One feels harder and the other looks like wasted time. 

Being patient and letting your mind and activities go elsewhere takes time and can mean you lose the thread at times, and risk the possibility of losing it completely. But in your head, it’s sometimes a stressful, persistent juggling. Oh, there are breaks, and then it returns. Juggle me!

The other method, which is not my favorite but I embrace it once it starts (like falling down a hill!), is like doing a giant jigsaw puzzle made of glass. It’s intimidating before you begin and often painful to do.

It’s invisible, and you can’t see it or tell how big it is. Sometimes you get cut picking up the pieces and trying to find where they fit. You can shatter the whole thing just trying to put it together. Even when you feel that it’s done, it’s only a reflection to you, therefore you are never sure.

So you edit and tidy and clean up the edges and hope others can see it the way you want them to, or not see through it, or just understand it. Maybe any one person grasping even a piece of it would be enough, a sliver of appreciation cast over your shadow of doubt. Damn the layers, does anybody at least care that I made it?

“Hamilton” took Lin-Manuel Miranda seven years to write. Seven hard years of looking at shapes and threads and materials, mixing them together and throwing them away, and throwing them together, and carving out a form from a giant mass that looked nothing like the finished product. Sometimes creation is pleasant; one of the earliest songs was written on his honeymoon, a simple joyous discovery from inspiration and sudden understanding. Sometimes it’s a migraine-inducing search for a needle in a haystack that’s all needles except only one is the right one. Mixed media, indeed.

Why do it? Once you start you want to quit and you can’t. Or, you don’t want to quit and can’t get started. 

Once you think you’re finished, you have to go back and go through it again in case you missed something, or are driven to fine-tune it because it deserves to be better; if not perfect, almost perfect. If not almost-perfect, tolerable. Why do it at all?

Why? For me, the joy of discovery. The soft ego of being the conduit. The collector’s thrill of being the first one to find something that may be valuable and no one else knows it yet.

This journey of creation, art or otherwise*, it’s what I’ve written about before: persistence and patience, a dance of contrasting approaches that meet in the middle of art, and commerce, and love, and family…. Oh, it’s life.

Enjoy the now, whichever one you are in, or change it as needed, whether they be big or small changes in the end.

—-David

* Many things can be art, be artistic, or be done with artistic finesse. It counts if it’s important to you, even just in the moment of action. Don’t be condescending about it, or conversely, put yourself down for working within your skills or situation. Parenthood, cooking dinner, having a conversation, cleaning house … Do you know why the fancy and mundane are explored in art? Because whether being honored or vilified, the trappings of life are the raw material from whence all things spring. Spring forth!

P.S. WE ARE ALL STAR STUFF (Carl Sagan).

Glass Jigsaw Puzzles and Hamilton was originally published on Creative Uploads

Westward Ho, Phoenix

I love this building, once the tallest, fanciest hotel in Phoenix (ooh and air-conditioned!), favorite stop of movie stars, politicians and celebrities. It’s not the one from Psycho, but it was in a few movies, and that tower on top was erected in 1949 to broadcast the first television station in the Valley Of The Sun. Given from 1928 to 1960 it was the tallest building in the city, it was a good choice. And the tower is taller than the building!

Before my time, but still standing. It became a home for low-income seniors, and I just loved the idea that there might have been people that always wanted the chance to stay there when they were young who got to live there. I’m also hoping that’s sweet and not ironic, but the owners have done well keeping it up.

An HDR taken with my Samsung Galaxy Note  4 and filtered via the Google Photos Assistant.*

—–David

* I’ve taken higher resolution pictures of this building with a “real” camera, but viewed on the web those higher pixels don’t matter much, and since I don’t have to crop this for a digital zoom, you just can’t tell. Now if you wanted a poster, that could get ugly.

P.S. Classy old lobby

Some cool history and photos 

P.P.S. Wikipedia of course

Westward Ho, Phoenix was originally published on Creative Uploads

Quite A “Rush”

So I just watched “August Rush” which I got from Netflix months ago and somehow didn’t get to. I really enjoyed it, and if you want to write music, like music, or are interested in the different ways it comes into form, you might appreciate this story. It’s not about every way art happens, but it’s got enough art to it that it might inspire you to make some of your own.

That said, it has all the ingredients for a terrible cliched romance, but for me, it floats right by them. Now, I write and plot stories and scripts on occasion so when I see something coming a mile away, I don’t know if whether it’s  so obvious to the general audience, but here, the foreshadows and dovetailing puzzle pieces were welcome because the characters are so likable that you wants things to go their way.

It doesn’t hurt that Freddy Highmore, Keri Russell and Jonathon Rhys Meyers play lead roles, with a spirited performance from Robin Williams as an NYC Fagin-type, gathering orphans and homeless kids for his personal ensemble. And the score by Mark Mancini just keeps pushing the music-focused plot forward, even though it’s not a musical. But as the kid is a musical savant whose origin comes in a backstory that eventually comes together in the present, you can imagine the soundtrack is fully a character throughout.

I’ve probably already said too much about it and spoiled the innocent surprise that I came to it with knowing nothing, but if you want to see another one of those sweet movies that explores how artists are inspired by the world around them with a driving force that compels them to create and share, this is a good one.

—– David

P.S. Also filmed on location in New York City, so the city is a character. And the music comes in  a bit more organically than “Fame” and those kind of musicals (except maybe Lunch Time Jam) so it’s not just wedged in.

Quite A “Rush” was originally published on Creative Uploads

Leaving NYC

From our summer visit, wishing it wasn’t time to leave. Such a photogenic city.

Another dive into a Google Photos Assistant video with a bit of customization. Just discovered they killed off the Themes, which I didn’t always love but did like having available.

https://vimeo.com/185766150
—–David

Leaving NYC was originally published on Creative Uploads

Musing Is Its Own Muse

I haven’t written a poem in quite a while. Decided to take a nap today and while pondering a great many things, one started to come to me, and I decided to fight to a draw and write down a couple of lines then sleep while I had time, and the poem won.

Here it is. Still working on the title though, so a victory for procrastination!



When wearily I lay down to rest


When wearily I lay down to rest

The answers to the universe come to me

The secret of life just about to be revealed

A peaceful moment brings a sense of clarity 

History dwelled upon uncovers hidden truths

Like a dream everything is in my power, possible,

Has been unknowingly under my control for ages

And the instructions for the machinery are all clear

It isn’t just imagination but understanding, for I am awake

Foolish insecurities vanish into confidence

And everything is so pleasantly obvious

And comfortable 

And comforting 

And peaceful

That just as 

I am ready

To wake up,

I sleep.

—David

P.S. The spark not just of inspiration but of action here was a realization that almost the only thing that ever pulled me out of bed when I have ideas at these moments is music. I can and have written notes to myself on paper or my phone or my pad over the years, though not often enough, but when a song comes to me * and grows beyond a verse into a chorus, I’d feel like I needed to rescue that moment from oblivion; so I would arise and go to a piano or guitar or just my songbook and often end up sketching out an entire song in fifteen minutes to an hour, usually with chords included. “Who needs sleep?” but also “who can sleep?” with a song stuck on your head.

Still, why music? A simple matter of two against one (words and music vs. sleepy/lazy me). Plus I always love music, but don’t always love having songs stuck in my head.

* “A song comes to me.” What an arrogant, incomplete and inaccurate description of a multi-faceted process with its myriad of possible avenues of inspiration. Sometimes it’s a flash, from stray thought or deliberate one, and sometimes it takes years, literally, for the shape to  even start resembling a song. Yeah, but songs come to me. And being able to recognize them in all their forms is pretty great.

Also this gives me the idea for a song….

Musing Is Its Own Muse was originally published on Creative Uploads