Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Looking Back A Year Ago

I thought I'd take a moment and reflect on what was going on in my life a year ago. It marked a turning point. And I'd like to share it with you.

A year ago, I was heading in a different direction from where I am now. I was pursuing my dream of music - writing.

I was working on a project, (Memoria: Blade Runner ~The Rock Project). It had come a long way. The music itself, written by Marco Spatuzzi, was actually written in 2006. I got involved with the project in 2007 as the lyricist.

A year ago, I was also working on my own music project. My intent was to write and record two CDs of five songs each, (there are a rhyme and reason to it). I managed to write the first five songs for the first set, and a first song for the second. But, then I stopped to work on the lyrics of the first set. I wrote lyrics to the first song, (however, looking back at it now, it requires a re-write), but I could not manage to write lyrics for the others, (that I felt were worthy of the music).

Going back to the Memoria project, I was working with one local studio. (At that point, it was for mixing the song tracks.) After the second song mix, (and a waste of a lot of money which I had little of), I decided to move to another local studio. The new studio, with the engineer Brad Martin, was working out splendidly. We re-did the tracks from the previous session and did another two.

Then there was another problem. Some of the songs needed to have the lead vocals redone because of microphone placement issues. Long story - short, I decided to hire new vocalists to record the leads. This was an opportunity I welcomed with great anticipation. This way, the songs that we had could have their own unique character singing the part, (to understand what I'm talking about, please visit the website to learn more about the project concept linked below). I got two amazingly talented vocalists to start. However, the day before the first session with one of the vocalists, I received a telephone call that the studio was closing.

At the time, I was also working on other ideas with Marco. We wanted to write a musical together. So, it was also around that period that I was trying to develop/write a libretto. After finally deciding on one, I began the writing. Marco had written three beautiful musical pieces awaiting my lyrics. However, I decided to put the musical on hold. It was (and is) a great endeavour to achieve. And there was no way this was going to be completed in the foreseeable future. I feel I let Marco down, and I can't express enough how much that hurt, (and still does).

You see, my goal was to be able to generate an income with writing/producing music. And although the musical we started to work on (I believe) would have been (and will be) awesome, it wasn't going to happen within the next year. And all my creative energy would have to go into it. So, by backing away from this, I at least would free up my time to be available to get involved in other mediums, (writing songs, collaborating with other writers/musicians).

So, I suggested we work on a small scale musical. A children's musical. Last July I started work on writing the story and some lyric outlines for the children's musical. The first story I began I had to stop. After getting into it, I realized that the stage set would be ridiculously complex. So I put that story aside, (That story would become the fifth book in the Gray Locke series).

With the stage set in mind, I started another story. And that story I absolutely fell in love with, (This will be the fourth book of the Gray Locke series, presented as a children's musical). However, finances continued to haunt me. The only way to exorcise those demons would be for me to create something that would be more immediate. A children's book. Which brings us to today's blog.

A year ago today, within a magical two-hour span, I wrote the first book of the Gray Locke series. Gray Locke ~ The Mystery of the Weeping Rocks. I'd spend the next 120 days fine-tuning, editing and illustrating the book before its release.

Since then, I have been working on the second book of the series, (among other things). The second book, Gray Locke ~ The Witch of Clover Hill, is nearing completion. I have started work on the third book. And I do plan on continuing the fourth story, as planned, to be presented as a children's musical. I am very excited about it, however, it must wait until the third book is completed. :(

I'd really like to finish the Memoria CD as well. A lot of work had gone into it. And the music is absolutely brilliant. It deserves to be heard. I cannot say enough about it.

And, as for my own personal songs, I hope to be able to write lyrics worthy the music. That's all I have to say about that.

I continue to struggle, as I had a year ago, (and in previous), and expect I'll continue to struggle in the years to come. And through it all, I have learned some valuable lessons - too many to mention here and now. However, I'll mention one that had dawned on me most recently. And that is to the question of why am I writing. I write for myself.

As for the other lessons, they'll crop up in my writing from time to time. :)

I look forward to discovering and learning all that life has to offer . . . in time and space.


~ Craig

[NOTE: I just want to make it clear that I did not/do not expect that one project, or another, would bring immediate, instant success. That is why I tried/try to get involved with numerous projects and collaborations. I was fortunate in that I was given the time and space to pursue my writing almost exclusively, (via a lengthy severance package). Now, however, the time has come where I need to get back into the workforce once again. I don't look at it as a failure. I look at it as a piece of mind, (the cost of living).

The thought had crossed my mind more than once to not give in, and continue exclusively writing the remainder of my life. Doing so, however, would change my current living standards considerably. Come to think of it - I still think about. We'll see. ;) ]