In Progress on a Busy Day

Check out #icprompts on Instagram. I’m sharing some of my photos as prompts. Coming soon to Idleblog too!

Percussion & Repetition x 11.

The formula to something ritualistic and guttural? I don’t know for sure, but I’ve had these phrases stuck in my head for a while. I used to record and experiment plenty with sound, but I haven’t had the chance recently. I do want to lay some tracks down for a few song ideas which are going to become a narrative. I should add, most of the work I do recording demos revolves around creating a story-based songs. I love that feeling of telling a tale that unfolds like rain drops collecting as a puddle; constant, rhythmic and somewhat unfiltered. This concept I’m tinkering with may be an offshoot of a demo album I recorded long ago, called Headphone Music for Nowhere People. It feels similar, perhaps it’s because I hear electric guitar and noise which feels like it belongs in a post-apocalypse, like in that old album.

The Flood, from Headphone Music for Nowhere People (2009)

I’ve thought about recording it on my lunch hour, since I have to go home and see how the cats are doing. Recording demos is really the last thing I should be doing so it doesn’t help to try to cram it in right now. I should probably reserve my lunch time for self care and time to pause momentarily. I’m troubled by my inability to slow down. I can’t blame the coffee either. The mind just wants to race and commit every spare thought to developing a story. Perhaps I need to convince myself once again, that writing and recording is my therapy, and one that yields continuous joy.

I’ll keep you posted,

j

All

All of these beautiful people

All of these people that walked the earth

And the salt of our tongue, resisted

The hall of demons in afterbirth

All of these people that walked the earth

All of these people that walked the earth

And did the Shaman run to the fire?

All of these people that walked the earth

And did the hollow gram of desire

Find you the consequence of your worth?

All of these people that walked the earth

All of these people that walked the earth

You find me not in the short carousel

You find me spiraling down the well

With all these people that walked the earth

Your dream as common as prairie dirt

And I am certain it’s what we deserve

All of these people that walked the earth

All of these people that walked the earth

All of these people that walked the earth

CD Episode 1.28.19

Long week so far, but we’re getting there! Before I went on a work trip, I whipped out the trusty Zoom H1 to record the latest episode of Creative Drive. I thought it would be a good opportunity to polish the audio and see if it held up to the Audio-Technica we’re using for the other shows. I must say, I’m pretty impressed! In an effort to do these podcasts with the gear I already have, this will be a great tool to start using on the go!

On this episode of Creative Drive, it’s me flying solo as I try to reason with my lack of focus at the office these last few days, the worth of our efforts at work and home, and a big announcement about the new content coming to this site! (Maddie will most likely be joining me with some Book/Media recommendations next time around). Hope you enjoy!

j

Check our podcast page to subscribe on your favorite podcast platform!

To-Do List on a Late Monday Night

  1. Meal prep: Chicken in the slow cooker.
  2. Pack for out of town work trip.
  3. Scoop the catboxes.
  4. Record & upload short Creative Drive episode.
  5. Gratitude Journal/Writing

My son’s about to fall asleep. I’m taking a breather before I get going on the tasks at hand. Not all Mondays are created equal, and this one has been a bear to tackle. So here I am, bruised and slightly mauled by the workday, but I get to come home to a quiet place full of gratitude and comfort. Please make sure you do this: Find your moments of warmth, let go momentarily in the embrace of a loved one, a delicious meal or a dick joke from a dumbass friend. The medicine for the daily bear attack is in the morsels of joy you collect in the forest. So when you nourish yourself and emerge from the wilderness, you’ll find peace in the fact you have survived, and have fought fiercely. You have given it your all, and the wild did not claim you.

In the little moments of clarity before sleep leads me to my pillow, I aim to breathe easy, find gratitude, and complete the items listed above.

Update 1/29: Wasn’t able meal prep, but I’ll do that when I get back.

No matter where you are, no matter what your station is, find the good. Work on your to-dos. Create beautiful art when you can, and go easy on yourself.

Make art, make haste.

j

Hiding from the Bear called Monday.

Lonely Great (62818)

The great lonely is a place you rarely hear about
It is the emptiness between your heart and ribcage
The stale breath of an aging room
humming about someone else’s grief
just to feel it on its lips
The great lonely is a great plain for sage and horses
with no one round for miles
A place that does not claim you
that doesn’t know your name
or knows enough to mispronounce it
The great lonely is walking barefoot on a cool night
and they’ll never make more shoes.
A splinter borne of old words
and hardened skin
piercing at itself to no end
Voids in thought
and forgetting why you’re mad
The great lonely has a firm grasp
and remembers your name with ease
The great lonely is waking
The great lonely is sleeping
The great lonely is driving
The great lonely is productive
The great lonely is cooking lasagna
The great lonely is filing with dependents
The great lonely is a giraffe too tall for selfies with friends
The great lonely is the greasy spoon, delicious masked in hideous
The great lonely is a combat soldier captured in a traffic jam
The great lonely is a feral cat
supplanting expensive children
The great lonely is a lager wasted on the lips of youth dying to impress
The great lonely is a cloud over the Pacific
The great lonely is a fish tank
The great lonely is a whipping belt
The great lonely is teeth mocking the one with a cavity
The great lonely weep later
The great lonely are the dead at the wake.

j

When I would walk everywhere with a disposable camera, a long time ago.

The open cave welcomes joy and everything else.

On a Friday

full of freedom

I sang behind the wheel

The black days now behind me

I look forward to the miles ahead

And as the chorus left my lips

and I waved at the sorrowful faces of my neighbors

I rolled down the window to bathe

in the careless dance of the wind

I held the comforting song

in the cavern of my mouth

This cave soaring

above the speed limit

that held the wonder of my tone

The tune and wind and sunshine were a veil

and it made me feel an endless bliss

Just as the wasp slipped in at fifty miles an hour and into my mouth

and I rolled down

toward the black.

-Jaime Alejandro

My short podcast reaching its final form!

Hello Creatives,

My schedule is still busy but I’m starting to find my groove. I started recording this version of my short podcast a few weeks ago but I figured it’s time I get it on the blog! It’s taken some time to find what works, but this will be a great experiment to pursue. the ingredients were there: My desire to document and share my creative mistakes, the travails of a working class person, the time management or lack-there-of, the search for creative discipline. It sounds awesome but it’s not quite there yet. I am incredibly hopeful I can continue to learn and grow thanks to this creative exercise.

The show is CREATIVE DRIVE, a short pod recorded in my car during my commute to and from work. It’s brief, lo-fi, and an honest commentary about how to stay creatively fulfilled. We working class creatives find time, no matter what. So here we go!

Make art, make haste.

-Jaime Alejandro

Listen to Creative Drive on Anchor!

creativedrivetrack (2)
Temporary artwork until I can polish the perfect design!

91718: to the time I held the guitar for three days when you departed.

I wanted to know why the hands

stopped

yearning

for the strings

they were caked

bumps and callous patterns

not the right

kind of progressions

not the desired ones

yet underneath

the stuttering grip

and the delicate-less

fumble of the fretless

here I set beyond the waking hours

with the deepest of needs

before sunrise

why the strumming

why the strumming

why the strumming had to stop.

-j

Trying to do better.

82118
I have been working on my photography, lugging my GH4 around, trying to work with the tools I already have. This was from a walk we took on 8/21/18, I’m so grateful for my family as they put up with me and the damn camera. More to come.

Hi all,

I am consolidating the content, so you’ll be seeing more of the stuff from Instagram making its way over here, like the photo featured above. I’m still wrapping up some videography and currently refining the Idlewind gameplan on my breaks at work. This has been a long transition. Most of this summer was a daily battle against routine problems, and because I didn’t want my posts to become redundant, I stopped writing. I focused on the writing prompts and ignored the other impulses to keep the blog and podcast going. I blamed lack of time and blamed my other responsibilities. As the summer winds down, I have come to realize that there is no excuse for lack of discipline. If you want to reach your goals, you must be disciplined. This is my downfall: I am not disciplined. At all.

This has always made my life difficult. I know some of you out there may feel this way and feel like the world doesn’t understand us. Why am I always running out of time? Why am I not learning fast enough? Why does this happen to me? Let’s face it: That problem is an internal one, not external. It’s taken me way too long to come to terms with this. My lack of organization, lack of discipline, lack of commitment has left me in a stagnant state. And I have brought this upon myself. Luckily, I am a human being, and I can choose to learn from my mistakes. Over time, I feel I have matured enough that I’ve cleaned up my act in my adult life. I try my best to maintain a schedule, to be reliable and stay disciplined in my daily life. Now, the only area lacking discipline is of course, the writing. When I was younger I would rely on the jolt of creative energy to strike me and guide me to the end of the writing process. I would ride the lightning bolt. This is all well and good until you run out of lightning bolts. You can’t live on that shit. You have to create lightning storms.

In college, we had a guest artist visit our school and we had the opportunity to work with said professional. This individual brought that east coast attitude, a straightforwardness that I wasn’t used to. I was raised in a small town in Wyoming, I didn’t know how to deal with that level of directness. Don’t get me wrong, his criticisms in acting class were not out of line. This professor was not a villain, but I saw him as one, because when I was a kid, I thought anyone asking me to change was asking me to compromise who I was. So I didn’t listen when I should have been. As you can guess, I didn’t do very well in his class. I went to see him at his office and long-story short, he asked me what I wanted to do with my writing, he wanted to know the end goal. I told him I wanted to write movies. That’s when he said “I don’t think that’s going to work out for you. Movies and TV, with all their deadlines, that’s not what you’re cut out for. You need time, you need to keep writing plays.”

I didn’t know how to deal with that honesty, so I took it as an attack. Clenching my teeth I left his office and bitched for hours in my head. How dare he pigeonhole me? How dare he know what I can and can’t do? Fuck that guy. I got so offended I forgot to listen to what he was telling me: All those hours in class for an entire semester, and I never showed him what I could do. He could see I was a talented guy. In class he would compliment my performances and my directing instincts, but I was always unprepared, half-assing my assignments, jumping from one distraction to the next. In that office, he wasn’t limiting my prospects or pigeonholing me: He was daring me to do better. To take it to the next level. He saw talent without discipline.

Any writer worth a damn knows discipline lies at the core of a solid, fulfilling writing life. I’ve never had that because I relied so heavily on my talent that I didn’t develop the other half of the equation. And now I am playing catch-up. Instead of developing good writing habits and focusing on those I distracted myself for most of the summer. I told myself my video work was getting in the way, or that work was rough or (insert dad responsibility here_____________________). That’s no way to live.

So I say enough with the distractions and excuses: I got so hung up on generating content and how to distribute it that I stopped writing for me. I’m putting the phone down for a minute because I have a problem wasting time online (am I alone on this one?) I’m planning to set a time to write daily, even if it’s just a few minutes. My wife bought me a new notebook and I am grateful for that. I’m all out of excuses, friends. I stopped thinking about the things I care about and want to say. Please don’t make the same mistake. Focus, be an adult about what you have to do. Write for yourself first. Write honestly and from your gut. Share it with those you love and those you don’t know. Let it out. This is what I want to do as well.

As the night came to a close, and I finished the last of this rant, the internet led me to Todd Solondz. I was reminded of an artist whose art consistently divides but reminds us that there should always be a place for the kind of work that man is creating. And there is room in the world for your work too. And mine as well.

I leave you with this brief interview with Todd about his work. Enjoy! 10 questions for Todd Solondz

It’s a little after midnight as I write this. It’s already Monday. But I’m ready to do better.

Make art, make haste.

-Jaime Alejandro

Back from hiatus: New Addendum Episode!

Dear WordPressers,

Wow, it’s been months since I’ve been here. I missed it. I started a new job, so it turned the routine upside down for a short while. This whole staying creative while having a full time job and a small business is kinda difficult, but alas, the content is back! I’m so thrilled to start recording again, and equally stoked to share with you the new episode format, as well as musings on how to keep making art as a working class person.

Also, what are you all working on lately? Send me a comment and I’d love to give shout-outs on the podcast!

Make art, make haste.

-Jaime Alejandro

Listen here or check out the Addendum home page for other options (Itunes, etc!)