Keep on rocking in the Free World

It’s just about the best feeling in the whole world. Being up on a stage, singing back out at folks who know and love what you’re feeling. Banging away at whatever you play, singing alongside other musicians who love what you’re playing and singing. Carry it through to a really long set. Sweating and crying inside because you really don’t want it to end; but, it’s OK when it does because it’s supposed to end at the end.

As a child, I studied classical piano for a decade. Then, moved to one side into jazz on a trombone. Left music for the Movement. Then, found myself in demonstrations where brothers and sisters sang together and the music feeling came back to my heart. Went for strings that next time, played big old honking 12-string guitar. And sang and sang. Did that for next to seventeen years.

Then, it got to where I had to decide if I wanted to try those next few steps up to fulltiming it. And I didn’t. So, I stopped.

Still remember what it felt like. The best part. Just singing up a storm.

Happy Fountain Pen Day!

A day late on my site. Om got it to me at a reasonable time. But, I didn’t wander thoroughly through the day’s email till late, So, here it is at 2AM:

Today is “the first Friday in November,” which is officially Fountain Pen Day. As we fountain pen nerds like to call it, the idea of NPD started in 2012 to celebrate fountain pens. I have often written about the benefits of writing with a pen or a pencil, but for me, nothing beats a fountain pen. If you have never had the pleasure of writing with a fountain pen, then today might be a good day to start your journey into a slow, deliberate, and organic approach to writing.

In a previous post, I explained why:

Computers have a unique way of making us writers a bit mentally lazy — indulging in a stream of consciousness writing. One doesn’t take the extra few minutes to think about what one is going to write or think about the missing pieces and how they all fit together It is, perhaps, because, we can cut, paste and modify with relative ease. We are constantly in “draft” mode and any addition and subtraction of words is nothing more than a mere act of readjustment. In comparison, writing with a fountain pen brings a different kind of rigor — forcing you to slow down, think, visualize and compose the story before committing it to paper.

There are many other benefits of writing with pens on paper. I understand, this is a dying method of writing, what with pencils and iPads. But still, experience the joy of a beautiful nib gliding on amazing quality paper, laying a beautiful blue, purple, or any other shade of fountain pen ink. I am biased towards turquoise and lavender inks. I have a fondness for handcrafted pens from Japan and lately have become a fan of Ranga Pens, an artisanal brand based in India.

Happy Fountain Pen Day!

Happy Fountain Pen Day, Om…