The Sea Level Singer/Songwriter Festival

Just finished sketching out Day 11 of my protagonist’s battle against the scourge of the parallel universe (those would be the bad attitude wannabe vampires) and decided to post today about a different style of writing: lyrics and songwriting. Not my thing, really, but I do appreciate the complexity and challenge of writing lyrics that work well with music. It’s the old “if songwriting was easy, everyone would have a hit…” I have no hits, so you can see why I stick with short stories and novellas.

Anyhow, how did I end up on this subject? Thanks to our local National Public Radio affiliate, WHRV, I heard an excellent show called “Out of the Box.” This program features new music – literally stuff that has just been released, thus coming right ‘out of the box’ and into the studio for play. Anyhow, last night, host Paul Shugrue had a songwriter in the studio, performing  original music. The guy was really a kid, only 17 years old, but what talent! The lad was musically astute, skilled on the acoustic guitar, and a fine lyricist.

The point is, in writing there are many genres: mystery, romance, sci-fi, YA, poetry and yes – even songwriting. If you want a different perspective on your art, check out areas outside of your own genre. Songwriting – it’s worth a listen, especially the stuff from musicians who are not selling their souls trying to become the next whatever. They are not “in it to win it,” they are just trying to communicate a story to the listener. Isn’t that what are all trying to do?

Here’s a link to a festival coming up in the Southeastern Virginia area – specifically Hampton Roads. It’s called the Sea Level Singer/Songwriter Festival and it should be a good one. If you can get there, you should. You can always link to WHRV on you computer, if only to listen to “Out of the Box.” I will have to check to see if there will be a simulcast or podcast after the fact.

Who knows, maybe your next novel will involve modern day traveling minstrels? My curent WIP, Blood Lust, now has a jazz trio that will eventually become an integral part of the novel’s ending. It’s Day 11, I think they may make another appearance on Day 12…

Stay tuned!




2 thoughts on “The Sea Level Singer/Songwriter Festival

  1. It’s a love/hate thing for me, when my characters break into song. On one hand, as you said, it requires that I put on a different sort of writer hat; lyrics tend to be much more exacting than prose. But on the other hand, who doesn’t like good music? And my own minstrels have yet to steer me wrong. (:

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