Tag Archive | Moonchild

The Twenty-First Anniversary of Euphoria Morning

EMTwenty-one years ago today, the twenty-first of September, Chris Cornell’s first solo album Euphoria Morning came out.

Somehow, I sorta knew it even then, in the early days of getting to know the songs, that this album would change my life. It felt epic in a way that you think, at eighteen, albums might not feel epic anymore.

In many posts, especially in recent goals posts, I’ve talked about a book project I’m working on called Moonchild. It takes its name from a song of the same title, track 8, and takes place the year Euphoria Morning came out.

Euphoria Morning has had far-reaching impacts far beyond just that year, though that’s when everything was set in motion. So many things, and people, in my life wouldn’t be the same without EM.

I always thought I’d dedicate Moonchild, if and when I ever get it published, to Chris Cornell. I thought that for years, and since I started working on this book project in 2003, for most of those years I never imagined that he wouldn’t be alive anymore and that the dedication would be to a dead man.

I still think of Euphoria Morning as the album that had the most profound, and the most tangible, impact on my life. Today, on it’s anniversary, I will listen. It’s been different listening to Chris Cornell after his death. Sometimes that’s all I can think about and sometimes it’s like it never happened.

The original title was Euphoria Mourning, and I think that fits too.

And here’s “Moonchild” the song:

The whole album is worth a listen, in full, because as cliche as it is to say this about Chris, no one sings like him anymore.

If you had to only pick a couple to listen to, I’d personally pick, along with “Moonchild” of course, “Sweet Euphoria,” “When I’m Down,” “Follow My Way,” “Disappearing One,” “Steel Rain,” and you know what, just listen to the whole damn thing.

Oh, and you must, and I mean must, listen to “Sunshower” which isn’t on the album but did come out around the same time on the Great Expectations Soundtrack. And Seasons, which was much earlier, on the Singles Soundtrack.

Happy Euphoria Morning release anniversary day!

-April

Notes:

Creativity Goals Check-In September 20, 2020

notebooksGoals from Last Week – How Did it Go?

Writing

  • work on Moonchild (writing project) all seven days – did six.
  • work on blog at least five days – did four.
  • at least seven sessions of digitizing old writing – DONE.
  • craft and send an important tweet – didn’t even think about it, will have to put this back on for next week.

Music

  • seven guitar practice sessions – did six.
  • get up through song 98 of Book One of my Hal Leonard Guitar Method Complete Edition book – just one new song this week, it has melody, harmony and rhythm parts and it’s long so it’ll be plenty to keep me busy – DONE.
  • seven piano practice sessions – DONE.
  • Continuing on my quest to catch up on Technic and Composition sections previously skipped in Keyboard Musician for the Adult Beginner book, I will do the composing for Unit 2, Technic and Composing for Unit 3, and Technic for Unit 4 – DONE.

Lifestyle

Reflections on the Week

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Creativity Goals Check-In September 13, 2020

window sept 13Goals from Last Week – How Did it Go?

Writing

  • work on Moonchild all seven days – only five
  • work on blog at least five days – DONE.
  • five digitizing sessions – DONE and then some; I did seven – nothing like the threat of wildfires to light a fire under your ass.

Music

  • seven guitar practice sessions – DONE and then some – I did ten to get caught up back on track from previous missed sessions.
  • get up through song 97 of Book One of my Hal Leonard Guitar Method Complete Edition book – the new songs focus on the A7 chord – DONE.
  • seven keyboard practice sessions – DONE.
  • Finish Unit 7 in my Keyboard Musician for the Adult Beginner book, and then go back and do the Technic and Composition part of Unit 1, and the Technic of Unit 2 – DONE.

Lifestyle

  • sleep without the phone (a struggle you can read about here) – this will put me at 175 nights (25 weeks) in a row – DONE, but it was really, really, really hard this week.
  • write Morning Pages every day – yeah no, I did three.
  • don’t pick up the phone until after Morning Pages – of the three pages I did MPs at all, I think I resisted picking up the phone till after on one of them, which was Monday, before the fires.
  • get up through at least page 210 in The Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd (and I wouldn’t be surprised if I get further) – close, I got to page 198.
  • do an Artist Date – DONE. Once again, I took time out and watched a movie.

Reflections on the Week

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Creativity Goals Check-In September 6, 2020

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Goals from Last Week – How Did it Go?

Writing

  • work on Moonchild all seven days – DONE.
  • work on blog at least five days – DONE.
  • journal about blog at least once – DONE.
  • five digitizing sessions – DONE.

Music

Lifestyle

  • sleep without the phone (a struggle you can read about here) – this will put me at 168 nights (24 weeks) in a row – DONE.
  • write Morning Pages every day – DONE.
  • don’t pick up the phone until after Morning Pages – I held off on picking up the phone until after MPs on four days, and definitely felt the MPs went smoother and faster on days I didn’t look at my phone first.
  • do an Artist Date – DONE. I took time out and watched a movie.

Reflections on the Week

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(Overdue) Writing Update: Second Place in Kay Snow

KaySnowContestLast month, I posted a much-overdue writing update about being published in Aerial. In continuing that trend, here’s another update that is also long overdue.

Last year, I placed second in the Kay Snow Writing Contest in the category for graduate-level students. I’d previously placed third in Kay Snow nonfiction back in 2013 for an essay. This was the first time I entered since. You do have to wait a couple years to be eligible again (I think two or three) and I gave it six.

The piece I entered was a memoir chapter called “Eclipses of Jupiter” (previously called “Constant Eclipse” on here) a flashback chapter in Moonchild, the memoir project I’m working on (which you can read about in this sketch, and on my Memoir page, and see lots of posts about here).

It was also the chapter I read, so long ago, at the Bowery Poetry Club in NYC as part of The Best Memoirists’ Pageant Ever in 2007, which I apparently never posted about back in the day, though I was sure I had (couldn’t find anything in my drafts either). The picture on my bio page comes from that event.

One of these days, I’d love to get published AND paid for a piece of writing. It’s always been one or the other, never both. This was a cash prize, of $100. Plus a free day at the Willamette Writers conference.

I had plans for that. The timing was perfect for the conference last summer. It fell towards the end of an Enrichment Week at medical school, meaning we had to sign up for activities but most of the week was totally open. Meaning that I could go. Meaning that my writing life and my medical student life were brilliantly coalescing for the second time that year. Back in March, the yearly AWP conference had been here, in Portland, on my bus line, perfectly overlapped with my Spring Break. It was all so charmed.

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Creativity Goals Check-In August 16, 2020

goals4Goals from Last Week – How Did it Go?

Writing

  • journal about Moonchild (writing project) at least once – DONE this morning.
  • collect all relevant old notebooks from storage and bring them up into my apartment – still haven’t done this, so it’ll remain on the list.
  • work on Moonchild all seven days – currently working on Nick timeline (the timeline for a relationship that figures prominently in my memoir project, explained in the reflections section of this previous check-in) – DONE.
  • work on blog at least five days – DONE.
  • journal about blog at least once – DONE.

Music

  • seven guitar practice sessions – yeah, I actually did ten! I wanted to make up for the lost sessions last week.
  • get up through song 86 of book one of my Hal Leonard Guitar Method Complete Edition book and introduction of the D chord – DONE.
  • seven keyboard practice sessions – eleven! Also making up for lost sessions last week.
  • get up through page 55 in my Keyboard Musician for the Adult Beginner book – DONE.

Lifestyle

Reflections on the Week

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Creativity Goals Check-In August 9, 2020

goals3

Goals from Last Week – How Did I Do?

Writing

  • journal about Moonchild (memoir) project at least once – DONE.
  • collect all relevant old notebooks from storage and bring them up into my apartment – nope, didn’t do it, still want to.
  • start constructing Nick timeline (the timeline for a relationship that figures prominently in my memoir project, explained in the reflections section of last week’s check-in) – find all existing references in Moonchild – I did technically start this but barely worked on it, and think I need a more concrete goal for this going forward.
  • work on blog at least 5 days – DONE.
  • journal about blog at least once – DONE.

Music

  • seven guitar practice sessions – yeah no, I did four – I’ve been practicing every day, with very few exceptions, since early mid-April, so this drop-off is out of character for recent months
  • get up through song 83 of book one of my Hal Leonard Guitar Method Complete Edition book – DONE – even though I didn’t do the amount of practice sessions I thought I would, I still did go forward since the previous lesson was the Em chord, which I was very familiar with already.
  • seven keyboard practice sessions – yeah even more of a no here, I only did three (and two of those were today) – like with guitar I’ve been doing keyboard pretty much every day for months, so this does have a falling off the wagon type feeling.
  • get up through page 52 in my Keyboard Musician for the Adult Beginner book – also no, I’m up to page 50 and have some catching up to do.

Lifestyle

  • sleep without the phone (a struggle you can read about here) – this will put me at 140 nights, aka 20 weeks, in a row – DONE – 20 weeks, baby!
  • read through page 226 in All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr – DONE – this book is sooooo good; not easy but good.
  • write Morning Pages every day – I wrote them 6 of the 7 days – I couldn’t exactly write a big post about them, and then not write them.

Reflections on the Week

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Creativity Goals Check-In August 2, 2020

goals2

Goals from Last Week – How Did I Do?

Writing

  • read and take notes on the final chapter of my old version of Moonchild – DONE – this was a pretty easy, one-time thing that I did Monday morning.
  • journal every morning, contemplate what I want to do with Moonchild and where I want to go writing-wise, from here – Did 6 mornings (all except Monday, when I did the first goal) and it was more fruitful than I thought it might be. More below.
  • work on blog at least five days – this doesn’t mean I’m going to post five times, more just wanting to find chunks of time to work on this site – DONE

Music

  • practice guitar every day – DONE
  • get up through song 78 of book one of my guitar book – DONE but struggled with the new material a lot (alternate strumming)
  • practice piano every day – sorta done? I skipped one day but made up for it the next
  • get up through page 47 in my piano book – DONE

Lifestyle

  • sleep without my phone (this will put me at 133 nights in a row) – DONE but it was a struggle
  • read parts One and Two in All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, which I’m reading for the NOAH (National Organization for Albinism and Hypopigmentation)’s PWA Book Club – DONE and I’m really loving the book!
  • write Morning Pages every day – yeah no. I only wrote them 4 days, and two of those were were “evening pages” where I wrote something at night to say I’d written something, so technically only 2 days of true Morning Pages

Reflections on the Week

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Creativity Goals Check-In July 26, 2020

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This is a column I’m going to start doing weekly on Sunday nights (or thereabouts depending on circumstances). I’m going to check in on how I did that past week, and post what my creativity goals are for the coming week.

I wrote about this a bit in my recent re-entry post “Jumping Back into the Blogging Ring” – I’m really motivated by goals and plans, and I’ve found myself relying on that more and more in our corona times. I spend a lot of time thinking about goals and planning, and figured I’d share.

With today being the first one, I thought it made sense to start out by talking about what I’m working on. I really struggled to come up with a cohesive goal list or plan for the year even before everything went upside-down and I still feel like week to week and sometimes day by day is how I’m taking things. I’ll try to write something for August that’s a more overarching plan for the month, so hopefully I’ll come up with that in the next couple of days.

But for now here are the main things I’m working on:

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Moonchild Manuscript Soundtrack a.k.a. Table of Contents

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 8.47.17 PMMusic permeates just about everything I write, and I often think of my writing in terms of music. So naturally, a full-length book manuscript is like a full-length album. A concept album, perhaps.

This is especially true for MOONCHILD, the memoir manuscript I’m revising (as in completely re-envisioning, you can read about this writerly overhaul and the revision process here and here). There is so much music in the text of the book. Always music. And discussions about the meanings of the songs that are incorporated into the story, an exploration of where music and life and self intersect.

Pretty early on, I knew I wanted to start each chapter out with a lyric. In fact, I wrote the first words (longhand, in a notebook) of this manuscript in 2003, and I think even then, I knew each chapter would somehow feature a lyric, a song. It’s not the first time I thought that way about a long-form piece of writing.

So, yes, each chapter starts off with a lyric from a song. I did up a little CD label thing (which proves why I’m a writer and NOT a graphic designer) that lists the songs that are quoted at the beginning of each chapter. Here it is:

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