Monday, September 21, 2015

"I Can't Feel My Face"

Whenever I'm in the car and turn on the radio, it seems pop stations are playing the same five songs over and over again. One of the tunes that's stuck on REPLAY is The Weeknd's "I Can't Feel My Face." It's a weird thing to say: Hey, I can't feel my face when am with you. And I love it.

So is this guy just so nervous about some girl who might hurt him, he goes numb? Is it cold outside? Why can't he feel his face? I was in the car with my teenager, and he decided to look it up. He started laughing and told me that this song is about...



This got me thinking about a bunch of songs that have similar hidden or ambiguous meanings. Here's a few of my favorites:

Harder to Breathe, by Maroon 5. This song just kicks ass. The lyrics just drip with anger and betrayal. To me, it was obvious that this song was about a girl totally breaking some guy's heart, and he's pissed. But later, I found out Adam Levine indeed did write this song out of pure hatred, but his angst wasn't directed at a woman. It was directed at the music industry. The record label kept pushing the band to add one more track at the last minute, and so the pressure got to him. And their breakaway hit was the result of that anger.

Closing Time, by Semisonic. This song became a huge hit when my wife was pregnant with baby number one. And for some reason, it resonated with me on a subconscious level. To me, the song's meaning was fairly simple. These guys are at the bar, and it's time to shut it down and either go home or go elsewhere. I was watching a Semisonic live show on YouTube, and the band's leader, Dan Wilson, confessed that "Closing Time" is a song from a baby's perspective of having to leave the comfort of Mommy's womb and be born. Ha!

Just a draw-ring!
Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, by John Lennon-The Beatles. We all thought this song was about
LSD. I mean, they took it and loved it during 1967. So duh. The song's initials even spell out L-S-D. But John Lennon swears it's not. He said that the song was inspired by a drawing his son Julian had made in school of his friend...Lucy.

Take Me Home, by Phil Collins. I am a big Phil Collins fan. And I did a report on his song "Take Me Home" for music class in 7th grade. The lyrics seemed to be about a guy who's homesick and just wants to home. Right? But years later, I was at his concert, and he said that the song was inspired by the movie "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." It's about a guy in a mental institution who wants out!

Love Shack, by the B-52s. Okay, this song's meaning is pretty obvious. But there's one line in the song that became practically iconic. Which line? You KNOW which line. Tin roof, rusted. What the hell does that mean? I was a sophomore in high school when this song became a hit, and I was told that this infamous line was some sort of hidden message about being pregnant. That made no sense, but hey, most music from 1989-1995 made no sense anyway. I saw in an interview where one of the band members admitted that one of the singers just blurted it out during an outtake, and they loved it. So they kept it.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Imaginarium 2015

Last weekend, I attended the Imaginarium Convention in Louisville, Kentucky. Last year was this creative writing convention's inaugural year, and the event continues to evolve in its second year. It's an amazing experience being surrounded by writers of all genres and mediums, although I'm pretty sure most of us were novelists.

Imaginarium included: panels from morning until night, a live rock concert on Friday night, a vendors hall, indie film festival, awards banquet, masquerade and costume contest, a gaming tournament, and all other kinds of fun stuff creative people love.

I had a table in the vendor hall, and I spent most of my time socializing with other authors. People came from all over to be at this event. A couple of authors were from New York, one from North Carolina, and several were from Virginia. I didn't sell a ton of books, but I did better than last year. What hurt sales was the fact that Half Price Books was holding a huge event at the Expo Center just across the street from us. Ouch!

What was really cool was getting to meet two blogging buddies: Julie Flanders and Tara Tyler! I bought a couple of their books, and we got to spend some time getting know each other face-to-face. As in real life interaction.

For the costume ball, I dressed up as Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). I decided to go all out and even get a fake mustache and beard, stuck to my face with "theatrical glue."

As I sat there during the costume judging portion of Saturday night, I started to get lightheaded. The glue was making me SO HIGH. Finally, I got up, tore the beard and mustache from my face, walked out of the room into the large convention hallway, and threw the damn thing away...

or so I thought.

Apparently, my sticky mustache didn't make it to the trash receptacle. It had landed smack dab in the
middle of the carpeted hallway. The event staffers came upon my mustache after I had left, and one of them started kicking at it with his foot, thinking it was one of those poisonous, huge caterpillars.

When they realized what it was, they picked it up and stuck it to a small glass table in the hall. When all of us costumers walked out of the room, they asked if anyone had lost a mustache. I couldn't believe it, and after telling them my harrowing tale, we all had a great laugh.

And I think my mustache is still stuck to that table...

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

IWSG for September20115

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It's a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!

It has now been a solid seven months since I've written anything new. This has to be my biggest dry spell EVER. Many of you know that I've been through a lot of personal (real life) stuff, so it's no surprise to me that my creative well is pretty empty.

Recently, I have felt the urge to get back to it, but I still lack the mental energy. This scares me. It's been so long, I'm wondering if any progress as a writer I've made the last five years will have gone down the drain after such a long absence.

Having finished a trilogy, I also have to admit part of this is a bit of a end-of-project-letdown. You finish a huge project you've been working on for years, and you're left wondering "now what?"

So as I head into September, and the seasons begin to change, my hope is that I overcome this massive writer's block.