This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

This blog is part of my life journey. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me and maybe join in the discussion...

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Out of the Box and In Again ( #IWSG & #BOTB Results )

 From a personal perspective, the COVID absurdity came along at the best time in my life--I'm not in school, not working a job, not having to socialize with anyone for any reason.  Being retired, the lockdowns and restrictions haven't mattered to me since I'm mostly doing the same thing now that I've been doing over the past few years.  And so I'll keep telling myself...




The Insecure Writer's Support Group


Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog


The co-hosts for the October 7 posting of the IWSG are Jemima Pett, Beth Camp, Beverly Stowe McClure, and Gwen Gardner!



October 7 question - When you think of the term working writer, what does that look like to you? What do you think it is supposed to look like? Do you see yourself as a working writer or aspiring or hobbyist, and if latter two, what does that look like?

        If I were a working writer then I'd be working at writing and making money at it.  Since I'm doing neither then the term working writer doesn't apply to me.  The most writing work I've been doing of late is writing these blog posts so I don't consider that to be much in the way of work and I'm certainly not making any money writing.  

         So I guess my writing these days would be more as a hobbyist and I'm doing a pretty lousy job at that as well.  One should have some degree of passion in pursuing a hobby.  My passion just ain't there either.  These days when I write I'm more in a mood of just getting it out of the way rather than immersing myself in the joy of the experience of writing.

        Recently I dug my old stamp collection from childhood out of the closet.  Perusing some of the old albums and other items from those days of pursuing my hobby of philately, old memories came back to me of the excitement of the quest to fill blank spaces in my albums and the hours of pleasure derived in organizing and studying my stamp collection.  I was passionate about that hobby in those younger days.  But then, I eventually put my stamps away into a box labeled "Stamp Collection" and it has remained stowed away with my other life stuff until it found its way into the closet where it now resides--next to another box labeled "Writing".  

        That probably pretty well sums up my writing life these days.  Stuff stored away in boxes or recesses of memory.  Hopefully this is a temporary state of affairs.  Just like the COVID restrictions.  I'd like to think that this too shall pass.

          Everything does eventually...



Battle of the Bands Results




    Lithium

      My most recent Battle featured two versions of the Nirvana song "Lithium" and it did not go over too well with my visitors.  Firstly, I was surprised how many of the commenters didn't seem to know the song.   I've heard that song so often even though I was never a big Nirvana fan.  I guess it wasn't as memorable a tune as I thought it was.

      And once again, my eclectic tastes and predilection for the weird was apparently a bit off putting to those who did vote.  Not many cared for the song nor either version that I presented in my Battle.  Maybe I should stick to more known entities, but I like to go off into the woods sometimes--well, maybe a lot of the time.

       I liked both versions a great deal (that's why I used these versions).  Since I was a kid I've liked Middle Eastern music.  My favorite Led Zep song?  "Kashmir" of course.  I've long enjoyed exotic sounds from around the world and when you add the modern touch of rock and pop, for me it can be very engaging.  

        When it comes to jazz music I am especially fond of jazz trios--primarily with instrumentation in the mode of The Bad Plus.  Crazy improvisation with sharp percussion grooves cool with me.  Then with the somewhat psycho sounding vocals added on top of it all I was understanding the crave for lithium.  That version was out of sight and over the moon to use vernacular of another age.

        It was a tough choice for me because I could have gone in either direction (Middle East or Far West?).  In the final analysis I had to go with The Bad Plus.  I have to admit I didn't expect so much dislike or ambivalence to these versions, but in the end whatever preference there was turned out pretty equal.  

       I'll call this Battle a good outcome with an asterisk*


Final Vote Tally

Shefita                       6 votes

The Bad Plus             5 votes


Next Battle of the Bands on Thursday October 15th

           I plan to be here then.  Will you join me?










36 comments:

  1. Writing is difficult to do when you aren't passionate about it.

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    Replies
    1. Alex, 2020 has drained a lot of passion not only from me, but from a lot of others I think. Hopefully 2021 will be a better year, but I'm not going to count on that either.

      Lee

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  2. I thought I would have more time to write when my kids finally graduated high school. Not so. I think the lack of personal time back then fueled my determination to write, but then, having them stop by at random times in the middle of the day now that they aren't in school from 7 till 3 isn't helping. LOL

    Cleaning out my closet is on my to-do-list. I'll be moving in less than a year, so packing is, too. Ugh.

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    1. Melissa, that's kind of the way it is with me. After I stopped working it often seemed like I had more time on my hands when I had my job. I think the schedule made me more efficient.

      Cleaning closets, etc always seems high on my list. It's a never-ending job I guess. Good luck with your move.

      Lee

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  3. My passions are cyclical. I'll be obsessed with wire working, then sewing, then exercising, then art, then writing... But I do usually come back around to writing and art, so I think I can call myself an actual hobbyist of those. :)

    I hope you find more passion, and glad you're keeping safe during COVID.

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    1. Loni, I can understand the cyclical nature of interests as you describe. I'm the same way. This year has been passion draining though. I'd rather have freedom than safety. I'd probably get more inspired.

      Lee

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  4. My passions for things ebb and flow. I'd really like to get back to my roller coaster passion though. We might need to take a trip to Florida for that.

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    1. L.Diane, ebbs and flows occur naturally in life. No roller coaster urges for me these days, but I'll agree they were fun. These days I just try to put my money toward the necessities and emergencies.

      Lee

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  5. I too have not found my life in the midst of the pandemic much different than my normal life of living in my home in the jungle setting in Mexico. When I need a slap in the face of reality, I turn on the TV...but not for too long. And writing for me is an everyday passion.

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    1. Leigh, I'm not sure how much "reality" we get from television. Good for you for letting your fire of passion continue to burn.

      Lee

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  6. We definitely have stages where we're passionate about some things, then it's done and we move on. It's really good that you still come and post for the IWSG, though - we need you!

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    1. Jemima, so true. I've gone through a lot of fad stages in my life and times when I got intensely caught up in something or other. IWSG has had my loyalty though maybe not my passion.

      Lee

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  7. I've been a philatelist since I was quite young. Though these stamps aren't in my physical custody, my late paternal grandpap saved a bunch of books full of valuable old stamps (many from places that no longer exist, like Prussia and Rhodesia) when he found them in a neighbor's pile of "trash" to be burned. It's common in that neck of the woods to burn garbage, and she said she was burning all of her late husband's things. (That would be a fascinating story in itself!) My grandpap persuaded her to give him the stamps, since he said his granddaughter collected them. I hope they're still at my grandparents' house, where my aunt now lives, and that my aunt didn't sell or trash them.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, I'll bet a fortune in collectibles has been tossed out by uninformed heirs who don't recognize any value to them. I hate hearing stories like that, but it's happened in my own family as well. Hope you can retrieve your collection.

      Sadly stamp collecting seems to becoming a hobby with dying interest. I wonder how many kids still collect stamps. I never see stamp departments in stores like I used to find in my own childhood.

      Lee

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  8. I had an uncle (actually much older cousin) who collected stamps. I have happy memories of pouring over his stamp albums and listening to his stories about the people and places they represented. Thanks for reminding me, Arlee. I'm trying to deal with life stuff too ~ My problem is photographs, thousands and thousand and thousands. Writing is an escape ~ LOL!

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    1. Fundy, a stamp collection can be like an everyman's museum. I used to spend hours studying those little pieces of paper and pondering the places they came from.

      Accumulations are a byproduct of getting older. Especially when the accumulating stated in childhood.

      Lee

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  9. My husband used to collect stamps also, until his collection was stolen! He tried to start again, but the pain was too great, missing what he'd had since childhood.

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    1. Lisa, anything that we treasure getting stolen is rather devastating. I completely understand the pain of trying to rekindle interest in something that has bad memories.

      Lee

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  10. Lee,

    I evaluating the possibilities of rejoining this monthly meme but my insecurities stand in the way. I think because I consider myself not a 'real author' holds me back. Can I relate or even participate with others who have reached a certain degree of success where I have failed? I don't know but I'm willing to give it a stab at a future date. We'll see.

    You pull together your post content beautifully. I sense your genuineness in what you share and that's important to be able to connect to your readers. Perhaps you'll find your mojo back to this passion to share your memoirs. We deal with burn outs with our interests or just with life but we have to find a way to drag ourselves out of those stupors.

    Thanks for sharing the outcome to your last battle. My artist won but I still prefer Nirvana's original. Have a great day!

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    1. Cathy, join in the IWSG fun! You don't have to impress anybody with your writing credentials, but just share your thoughts. Hope you join in next time and don't forget to sign up to the Linky List on Alex's page.

      These days I've been so distracted by what's been going on in the country (and the world) that it's been difficult for me to focus. But then I start wondering the point of any of it. I hope to get more back into writing soon. Maybe with cooler weather.

      I guess my artist choices were a bit outré for most music fans, but I was trying to connect to a theme while sharing musical styles that I enjoy hearing.

      Lee

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  11. Lost hobbies make me sad. I have big dreams of fancy hobbies, and have even tried to narrow them to just a few so I could be really good at them and conserve space, but alas, my woodcarving tools have never been used...someday...

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    1. Steph, woodcarving is an art that I can appreciate, but have never attempted. I'm not all that good with visual arts like that, but I've not really been spurred enough to try.

      Some of the best hobbies are the simple ones that don't require much space, investment, or exceptional talent. The diversion from daily concerns is perhaps the best part of a hobby.

      Lee

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  12. A close result Lee.
    I won't be on line on Thursday 15th......not a good day for me as it will be the second anniversary of my son John's passing.

    Take care.
    Yvonne.

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    Replies
    1. Yvonne, you have a peaceful day that renews your spirit. It's good to treasure every moment in life and find joy in every memory.

      Lee

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  13. Many years ago I was a working writer. Writing was my life and I was getting paid for it on many fronts. Truthfully, if I'd been making at least half of what I made as a consultant, I might have stuck with it longer. The problem... pop culture, along with fast changing technology I couldn't keep up with anymore because I didn't care enough about it.

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    1. Mitch, pop culture has deteriorated in my opinion. Maybe the fault of the technology in part? I can't get excited about most of modern pop culture.

      Lee

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    2. Although in a way I agree, I remember when I was a teen and my dad said the exact same thing about my musical choices, except for classical music. lol

      Delete
    3. Yeah, that's true, but this time I think we're right about the new stuff. I mean like Cardi B? Seems so decrepit to me. The worst stuff I listened to back in my young days was mild compared to some of the new stuff.

      Lee

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  14. I like the paragraph about covid at the beginning of your post. True for me, too. the only thing that really changed was not seeing the grandkids. Since their dads were both working in the public, it was feared they might carry the virus. As cautious as that the thought was, it was hard. That' eased up some but not enough. Take care. Stay safe. Get back to what you love doing--stamp collecting or writing.

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    1. Diane, I'm sad about not seeing my kids and grandkids this past year since they live on the other side of the country from me. I'm just not about to travel in these weird uncertain times. Maybe after the election I'll think about going there if things get mostly back to normal--if this is anything we can expect to see at all.

      Lee

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  15. Lee,

    I try to not to focus on the distractions in this life. That will always be a problem. Do what you can, ask God to take care of it, and enjoy the now. Perhaps if you engulf yourself in something that brings you joy then the negative stuff won't weigh on your mind so much. I may join the ISWG next month if I don't forget and feeling energized. We'll see. Thanks for the encouragement, my friend.

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    1. Cathy, distractions are the points where we lose sight of where we were going. Sometimes it's a good thing. Other times it's just the thing. I'm just letting God take the wheel and thank Him for every blessing that comes my way.

      Lee

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  16. BOIDMAN ~

    I'm only just now - finally - finding the time to get to visitin' other BOTBers and blog buddies.

    This was an excellent Battle. The song and the performances may not have been overly popular, but a ONE-VOTE MARGIN OF VICTORY? That's a "perfect BOTB outcome" in my own book.

    As long as you're still BOTBing, you can bank on my two cents for the kitty. See ya again in the next round!

    ~ D-FensDogG
    STMcC Presents BATTLE OF THE BANDS

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  17. STMcC, it weren't a bad outcome at that other than the smaller turnout.

    I'll appreciate the support on future Battles.

    Lee

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Go ahead and say something. Don't be afraid to speak your mind.
I normally try to respond to all comments in the comment section so please remember to check the "Email follow-up comments" box if you want to participate in the comment conversation.

For Battle of the Bands voting the "Anonymous" commenting option has been made available though this version is the least preferred. If voting using "anonymous" please include in your comment your name (first only is okay) and city you are voting from and the reason you chose the artist you did.

If you know me and want to comment but don't want to do it here, then you can send me an email @ jacksonlee51 at aol dot com.

Lee