Monday, March 4, 2013

The last several months I've felt more ill at ease than usual.  It comes down to the fact that, since I retired at the end of 2011, I have largely stopped writing poetry. (Though I do have a fairly large sheaf of uncollected stuff. I sent a couple different manuscripts around in 2012, entered contests even.  No takers.C'est la guerre.)

 For the last 14 or so months I've been working on Appearances: A Novel in 365 Fragments; and for the last few months I've been trying to teach myself to play guitar.

The novel writing thing is going slowly, painfully at times.  I'm over halfway through a first draft, having completed 191 fragments so far, about 76 manuscript pages.  But I'm somewhat stuck and unsure about what should happen next.

The guitar thing is also going slowly.  I've been obsessively working on 3 exercises: a "Three String Blues," a "Guitar Boogie," and a "12 Bar Blues."  Each of the pieces only uses the first three strings.  I'm hoping next week to move onto the 4th string.

Mostly I'm playing notes.  I'm pretty intimidated by chord shapes at the moment.  In my noodling around I've experimented some with bending notes.  On the third string I was able to make some patterns I like by playing the open G and then bending the A.  I alternate between practicing in a disciplined way and then seeing what I can discover by messing around.  The trick is remembering what you did to make that particular pattern that actually worked.

"Everyday I have the blues."

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