Challenge Day Twenty-Three

Maybe I’m a musician after all?

Getting started on music today took a minute: first I had to hook up a microphone, because I don’t have a pickup on my ukes. We had a mic sitting on the counter, but it didn’t have a clip for the mic stand. So I had to find another mic, but the one I found didn’t have a clip either; apparently the clip for that microphone was on the other mic stand (we have at least two of everything, it seems.) Eventually I located a third microphone, with a clip, and Guy helped me to hook it up to our M-Audio M-Track Quad USB-XLR/quarter-inch jack interface (a hub that allows us to hook up our instruments to our computers instead of to amplifiers) and open Logic Pro X (an audio recording tool that’s a bit fancier than Garage Band) and set the levels somewhere reasonable.

Music production, it seems, is a bit of a production.

I can’t and won’t complain, though. It was exhilarating to come out the end with something that resembles what might eventually become a song!

Daily Challenges

StretchingIn lieu of stretching, I rolled my back and hips out with my therapy balls. It didn’t make me want to cry this morning like it did last night, which I take as a good sign.
Intimate Time
CookingToday’s Menu: I had my breakfast shake before heading to the food bank; I again skipped straight to dinner, which was spaghetti noodles with Alfredo sauce, leftover roasted chicken, and blasted broccoli, alongside a bit of toasted brioche with garlic butter. Yum!
Reading (Poetry)The first time I read through “The Sentence” by Nathan McClain, I enjoyed the wordplay. Then I read about the poem, and I quote, “‘The sentence’ was written on the heels of a longer sequence of poems […] which interrogates facets of our seriously flawed criminal justice system through the lens of criminal trial and jury duty.” Okay? So my second reading was, how shall I say, more critical? Suddenly the wordplay wasn’t very amusing. You should go read it.
Reading (Fiction)I have been saving the bulk of The Poisonwood Bible until after everything else is done (including this blog) so I technically have only read two pages of it (to meet my challenge quota) but I will probably read another 20 pages before I go to bed (yeah, I can see what time it is.)
Reading (Nonfiction)I read a chapter from Maid and then wished I hadn’t. One of the experiences she described with her 3-year-old daughter brought me to tears, thinking about my mom back when she was a single parent. It wasn’t the mood I was looking for today!
MusicIn support of my songwriting challenge, I played a bunch of [baritone] ukulele today. It turns out, I don’t know how to play ukulele; I know how to play songs. I know some of my chord shapes with tenor/soprano/GCEA tuning, but fewer with baritone/DGBE tuning (if you don’t know anything about ukulele, know that the higher-pitched GCEA tuning is typically what you hear, and DGBE are the top four strings of a guitar, so it has a somewhat lower voicing.) This meant a tedious stop-and-go rhythm for a while, as I hunted through my chord chart. All in all, a well-spent afternoon!
Postcard PoemThe back of the postcard has absolutely nothing to do with the poem, except that I found it very darkly funny to put the two together.

I initially started this as a list poem, beginning to describe the steps of getting up and ready for work in the morning, but then decided to remove all articles and pronouns (it was riddled with “yous” and “thes”) and change a few of all the words to make something that feels more like getting up in the morning for work:

clanging bells scream across
vast frozen wasteland outside
bedding still ablaze with
blissful unconsciousness drifting
by moment from reach
see everywhere darkness forever
“Good Morning Corporate America”
– Sarah Reebs, 10/23/2019
Trash PickupI think I am developing a repetitive stress injury from using the grabber. My squeezing hand and extending elbow really didn’t like the trash walk tonight. My conscience did though.

Today’s Challenges

Hurray! I basically wrote a song today! I have to write actual lyrics first, and come up with a melody, and put together some kind of backing or accompaniment or percussion track or something to go along with ukulele and vocals, but I came up with a chord progression! It only took two hours, as I pored over my chord chart and my circle of fifths wheel (see featured image) and got Guy to explain the theory behind chord progressions (thank goodness one of us knows what I’m doing!) I’m still anxious about completing and recording a whole song, but I do feel like it might be feasible. I still have four more days to panic.

Because I apparently bottom-loaded the month, I volunteered at the food bank and spent an hour or so writing for NaNoWriMo in addition to sketching out a song (and doing all the other things). No wonder I am tired!

I am also very proud of myself today.