Hi from Halifax. Snowy, windy, beautful Halifax. The news of a foiled massacre at a local mall hangs heavy in the air. What a weird story. Then last night, said mall was surrounded by a heavy police presence. Turns out some kids were having 'fun' with slingshots and hit a bus or something... I think I'll stay home and write songs. I have taken up the Songwriting Challenge launched by the wonderful Songwriters Association of Canada. At the end of the first of six weeks, I am already having a blast! The main reason I took up the challenge was to get myself back into the songwriting zone. I tend to have creative spurts for a few days or weeks, then often nothing for what can be a lengthy stretch of time. I am happy to say I'm back in the zone! Our first assignment is to get to work on a song that could potentially be pitched to Matt Dusk.That's a great way to get things going. A week ago, after reading about what Matt is looking for, I began exploring some melodic ideas and chord progressions on the piano, opting for the John Legend vibe. As is fairly typical, I didn't feel I was getting anywhere for several days, then, bam! A melody I really liked emerged. Then another. So I am bouncing between two options at the moment, and really loving sinking into this challenge. Typically I come up with the music first, usually the chorus, perhaps with a line or two of lyrics, then I work on the verses, and the lyrics almost always come last for me. That is the most laborious part for me, though I usually end up with at least one or two killer lines... which I sing REALLY LOUD, while muttering the rest. Just kidding. I don't often deliberately write for another artist, so this is a yummy exercise. I guess my only real concern is recording and producing my songs. I do have a lovely 'Nessie' mic (it had to be the Nessie for me), and Audacity, but beyond that I am up Schitt's Creek, to reference a new CBC show. So I may seek some help with that side of things. Anyhow, enough blogging. Back to the songwriting. Bye for now from Nessie and me.