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May 1, 2016. A day where I had nothing that had to be done. No poem or song challenge. Its spring so the grass is still growing slow, the lawn could wait another week. This weeks song skirmish is done. Sunday is a social media-free day for me so no photo challenges, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter surfing. I slept in, for me anyway, until 9am. That’s compared to the 5 am work/school day wake-up time. 

Debby and I rode our bicycles to the grocery store with the grocery bags in a bicycle cargo trailer. I went to the Americana Community Music Association singer-songwriter circle. Cooked pizza on the firepit. It was a good day. A good start to refilling my creative well.

I feel that I need a creative break or at least to moderate the frenetic pace of the last 89 days. There was February Album Writing Month (FAWM) with the bonus 29th day for leap year. Tara Leaver led an art experiment with a daily art prompt to go deeper into feeling and emotions called Express-it-month 2016 in March. 

In April I willingly signed up for three coinciding challenges. For the third time I took Tara Leaver’s online course Abstractify with several painting/drawing assignments per week. I joined my local region writing friends and made some new friends in Camp NaNoWriMo for National Novel Writing Month. For the third time I participated in National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo).

All five challenges have several things in common. Each has an energy and supportive environment that fosters creativity. All are optional, with no requirements, no judging, no prizes. The reward for all five is personal creative growth and satisfaction, and the comradarie with fellow creative minded souls. 

I successfully completed all five. In FAWM I wrote 52 songs in 29 days, shattering my previous best of 32. In Express-it-Month I did every day’s prompt, did deeper diving into my feelings and out of it came some pieces of art I feel really good about, including one that I entered into a juried show at the Lee County Alliance For The Arts. In NaPoWriMo I wrote a poem for every day’s prompt. Once a week, one of the poems doubled as a song in the weekly Facebook Song Skirmish group. A song skirmish is a challenge in FAWM to write a song in an hour (or so) to a prompt. Some of the songwriters from FAWM started the group as an incentive to continue songwriting between FAWM and related challenges.

The next scheduled challenge is 5090 , to write 50 songs in 90 days starting July 3rd. July will also be the next installment of Camp NaNoWriMo. So what’s on tap for May and June?

Well, I need to clean and purge my creative space. I want to resume recording and posting songs on Bandcamp. The room purge and resuming recording are topics for another blog post or two. 

In the next two months I have music gigs at the Lee County Alliance For The Arts Greenmarket and at an acoustic yoga flow class at Yoga Bird. I also am getting more involved in activities at the ACMA like the concerts and singer-songwriter circle. Song writing and painting will continue. Of course writing more regular blog posts. Why, because I am a creative person, whether there is a challenge or not.


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