I put my phone away at 9pm. My loved ones in bed and resting. I roamed my house in darkness and felt the comfort of each floor as the roar of the wind was only heard, like a hum. I cataloged my blank journals, and admired the paper quality, like a nerd. I anticipated what I would write in their pages; a script on the larger notepads, lyrics on the A5 spiral notebooks for accessibility, short stories on the case bound journals, etc. It was wonderful. Then I went to my desk, and made a list of my dream projects I want to complete.
Then I started working on the first one.
I wasn’t distracted. The scant energy in my heart and soul from a long day were just enough for me to write, and make real progress on something.
I went to bed at 11pm. Overjoyed, and renewed, and eager to do the same thing tonight.
Creative Drive: A Podcast to Showcase Indie Storytellers + Creatives
Today we feature the work of Zach Murphy!
Zach Murphy is a Hawaii-born writer with a background in film. His stories have appeared in Peculiars Magazine, Ellipsis Zine, Emerge Literary Journal, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Ghost City Review, Lotus-eater, WINK, Drunk Monkeys, and Fat Cat Magazine. He lives with his wonderful wife Kelly in St. Paul, Minnesota.
I wrote a monologue today. 3 handwritten pages is enough to boost one’s confidence. If you’re bored, pick a location in your town and set your monologue there. That’s what I did and it worked quite well today.
Last night, I watched The Patriot, starring Mel Gibson. It was one of my favorite movies growing up. Probably the best thing Roland Emmerich has done. With that sweeping soundtrack by John Williams, and a lush production design, it captivated me for most of the run time. It gets pretty ham-fisted at times, in particular, when it tries to have a conversation on racism (militia dude not wanting the slave to have guns, etc.). Overall, my nostalgia sent it over the edge and I enjoyed it still. Jason Isaacs is brilliant, and he patches over much of the movie’s flaws with a terrific, cruel performance. Ever since my first watch, I’ve been terrified of him. I love watching movies I loved back in the day, especially if the protagonist is a parent. I mourned their familial grief and it was all the more engrossing. Good stuff.
Haikus are back on the menu. I made a pocket journal out of fine resume paper and have been using it to write short poems and ideas in five minute spurts. I kinda of like it even though it all seems disposable.
Do yourselves a favor and watch the Alejandro Sanz documentary on Netflix. I was hoping for some background noise while I worked on some projects at home, and that was a horrible mistake: It was wonderful and I got nothing done! Low-key, this man has been a massive influence on my creativity. He was one of the first musicians who made me aware of the power of character and storytelling capable in song. growing up in Mexico in the early 90s, he mainstreamed his way across the world while always maintaining his musical roots. I loved the way the documentary shed light on his beginnings and his father, who was also a musician in Spain. Got really emotional listening to some of those songs. Wonderful to listen to a songwriting master after a long while…
I stumbled on a family project that rings so true that I can’t believe I didn’t do it sooner. Madd and I are going to start a childhood journal for our son. I have documented some happenings in my own journals and notes, but to have something specifically for his memories and milestones written like journal entries from his mother and father, will make a great gift when he’s older. After a little bit of searching, I found The Lee Valley Everyman’s Journal. It looks sturdy and straightforward and ready for a long run on our shelves after all is said and done. I can’t wait to start working on this!
First episode of the new Creative Drive Podcast goes up this weekend! Keep an ear out for some great content!!!
For now, check out this week’s episode of Our Kid’s Asleep, where Madd and I delve into Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera and This is Important to Me Podcast!
Two minute journaling is kind of nice when most of your brain cells are shut down. I’m finding hope in it! Trying these three questions to keep it simple:
What am I grateful for today?
What did you accomplish today?
How I can I improve?
I wrote poetry this week. It isn’t much during this busy time, but it’s something. I celebrate that. Short journal entries and haiku writing is becoming a good source of motivation for me, as I am able to finish the work in one sitting. Usually that’s about all I get right now to write. Baby steps.
There’s so much poetry out there. I’m out of the loop on contemporary poets that I decided to start educating myself and reading what’s current (I’ll give the dead ones a break). So many wonderful practitioners today that I don’t know where to start! Found a good list of poets I want to look into. Saving for later…
The Creative Drive Podcast will keep me active this weekend as I try to record my first submissions! I can’t wait to get this project going to provide a showcase for the folks in the #writingcommunity on Twitter and beyond!
Overall, my head is not in the right place. I’m overwhelmed. I’m exhausted. A combination of work stress and lack of time for family and creative life. I need sleep. Anytime I try to stay up to make stuff, it ends up derailing the week. It’s okay to accept there’s only so many hours in the day. There’s only so much that can be done. The paperwork at the office can often wait a just little. Just breathe. The script, with its aggressive, unrealistic deadline, can be postponed a day or so. Go easy on yourself, because after all, we’re in the middle of a pandemic that is indiscriminately upending our society’s norms. Work and life expectations are not the same, and as we are dragged in the riptide of this wave of anxiety and uncertainty, we must believe: We deserve a moment of rest.
Had too much coffee today and it disrupted the sleep cycle. Witching hour is almost here and I am successfully wide awake. I’m dreaming of good music from the early 2000s. I’m realizing Beulah’s The Coast is Never Clear is one of my favorite albums of all time, and it breaks my heart not many people are aware of its existence. It’s a new era, and solid, well written and well crafted pop songs are out of fashion, it seems. It’s a shame. But we still listen, even though it feels like my first summer of college was centuries ago, and the album is a brittle echo of that time. And I cherish it deeply.
Madd and I are looking forward to start using the newly established sound booth/walk-in closet for voice over and narration purposes. We’re finally going to put our acting background to good use after all this time and start auditioning for narration work. There will be a period of adapting, for sure, but we are excited to get the ball rolling on it! More to come!
Madd and I had an amazing date night and we needed it badly. Working as essential employees for several weeks now, it has taken a toll on us emotionally and we needed a short break. Our kid got a sleepover at Grandma’s and we took an evening to remind ourselves what it’s like to be a couple. Even the strongest relationships need care and nurturing. Yes, it’s weird to have a date night during quarantine, but we tried. An evening chilling on the couch, dinner delivered, making each other laugh, and going out only for a long drive to listen to music… This was beautiful time to breathe. What more could we ask for in the midst this difficult time? Monday will come soon enough, but the value of hitting the pause button on the big stuff is such a relief I could just cry with joy. I hate this situation and I can’t wait for it to get back to a time when people were not dying and folks could go back to their jobs, but somewhere deep in my naivety, I know much of our country and world will not be the same. There are heavy lessons to be taken from this pandemic. Heavy as the burden of it all sits on our minds and hearts, we have to breathe. I hope you all have a moment to breathe too, and I send you good vibes and well wishes.
I need to hear poetry in my life again, and be a part of it. I want to recite it and make it a part of my daily life. I’m longing to perform and use my voice and have fun! I’m firing up a new phase of the Creative Drive Podcast to offer a new space for collaboration: Let me recite and narrate your short works! I will be offering poetry, flash fiction, and monologue readings on the pod, I just need your help! This is an affirmation of my soul. A labor of love. A chance to get to know you and your work, one short piece at a time. Send me your work!
No matter how tired I am, I am pushing myself to write again. I finished my lyrics this week, and this weekend, my writing project is to hash out the second half of my mockumentary script. I just need ten more pages. It’s doable. It just got scarier in my head because of how long it’s been since I scribbled on a page. Writing gets scary when you get away from it for a while. For me, writing has always been a cocktail of fear, laziness and distraction. I am tackling laziness by doing. I am tackling distractions by making a list and checking it twice. I am tackling fear by taking baby steps into the dark. I will fight this. I will get it done. I will overcome. It’s no big deal. It’s getting to be fun, and less of a chore. You can do it too!
Adjust as much as possible. The scales have balanced this week from a busy workload to copious servings of creativity. I’ve gotten a lot done, but now feel as if I could be there for my family more. Even in quarantine, there is emotional distance to overcome. I will try to make my way back to a healthy balance, thinking of new activities and fun things to do as a family.
Music that heals and inspires. On my way home to listen to the new Fiona Apple album. Looking forward to this.