Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: singer

Can An Author Learn About Writing From A Singer?


Writers often learn lessons for their craft in unusual places. writing and singing

Most songs are story-like; and, since using words to create new realities is, in all but the most tedious editing, much like performing a song, singers might be good writing instructors

I recently learned, and expect to continue to learn, some subtle aspects of writing from the singer, Annie Lennox.

I’ve listened to Annie a lot but never before heard her teaching me about writing; though, it has been said, “When the student is ready, the teacher appears.”

She has a song called, Why?, which I’ve listened to countless times; yet, the other day, while listening to two different performances, I learned a few things.

First came the awareness that the lyrics could not only be applied to a romantic relationship but also to the relationship between a writer and their Muse

Next, comparing the two performances became like looking at two different revisions of a piece of writing.

The words of the song don’t change but each word is capable of being expressed with more than one tone, which shifts the meaning a bit. Of course, in writing, a word can be attended by “tone words” that shift meaning

There are more subtle lessons I haven’t yet been able to put in words

Perhaps you’ll watch the two performances and leave your thoughts in the comments?

The first offering is a music video of the song, carefully staged and full of evocative imagery.

The second is a live performance.

What lessons do the two “revisions” reveal to you?

Which do you think express the meaning of the words best?

Why?



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Getting Up Close And Personal…


Our last post had me interviewing Simone Benedict. I’m in the process of lining up a number of other writers, some published, some aspiring, and bringing them here to talk about the strange craft they pursue.

Today is me interviewing myself…

I’m a writer but I used to be a singer.

What motivates me in music is the very same mojo that writing gives me.

My soon-to-be-published book carries the same thumping heartache as the Blues, the same impetuous triumph as Jazz.

I was raised by two ministers, Mom and Dad, and my two older sisters also became ministers.

I tried for six decades to fit into our corporate-controlled world and failed miserably.

My book, Notes from An Alien, explores fundamentalistic religion and fundamentalistic corporatism. It also portrays possible solutions to both.

The whole struggle of my life is woven into the book. The whole song of my existence is sung by the book.

Yet, I’m just a writer who used to be a singer…

Maybe you’ll understand my motto, “I’m a writer with roaring flames in my heart”, if you hear one of my favorite singers.


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