In addition to journal writing, creative field trips, and artist retreats...another "serious play" activity you can do to keep your writing colorful and have a good time, is write story-songs and character sketches set to music.
Serious song writing is not for lightweights, and it makes great poetry-practice. There's a definite structure to a song: Verse, Chorus, Verse...maybe a bridge...Chorus. There are strategies involved. You want to say something new, line by line, a twist is good, and you need a great hook. Most songs rhyme, and not just at the ends of lines. You want to tell a story, with a strong beginning, middle, and end. There's the whole musical aspect to add to the challenge, including things like meter and rhythm, a catchy (not kitschy, unless you're being kitschy on purpose) melody, and the buildup to a dramatic ending. Arguably, because songs are traditionally "performed" more than poems, feedback is something songwriters seek more, or at least on a broader scale than poets do.
A few weeks ago, I asked readers at my Twitterfeed and here, which song they most wanted me to post, basing votes solely on the list of titles (above-right). I was surprised when two of my favorite and traditionally most-requested songs tied. Suddenly, a third emerged, and that song, also a favorite, soon tied with the other two. In due time, the three-way tie has been solidly broken (yes, that was an oxymoron). So, let me introduce you to a big girl, who's got a hard exterior with a heart of, well, you be the judge. Anyway, she knows what's real and what isn't real about her...even if the one who loves her isn't ready to face it.
FOREVER ONLY LASTS SO LONG
You heard what they said about me...
Well, I want to tell you the truth,
Just as soon as I figure out how.
I sure never needed a lover
The way I could start to need you...
But I'm not about to start right now.
You'll be better off without me, Honey
You will see...
The hurting only lasts so long.
I could try to stay forever
But with women like me...
Forever only lasts
(The proof is in my past)
Forever only lasts so long.
Copyright 2000, DMSolis
(More song titles listed below the fishies...vote for the next one.)