Music Monday: “Highway Girl (Live)” By The Tragically Hip

I was kind of surprised how heavily news of Gord Downie’s cancer hit me. I’d mostly moved on from The Hip. I still listened to old favourites from time to time, but I haven’t bought an album since Day for Night.

But The Hip were a huge part of my youth. And I remember the moment I first heard “Highway Girl”. I was in high school, it was late at night during summer vacation and I was listening to the radio, and this song came on. And I immediately wanted to listen to it again. But it was ages before I tracked down a bootleg copy.

It was in the middle of Gord’s double suicide rant that I realized that The Hip were storytellers as well as musicians. I’m still drawn to songs and artists that tell stories. Folks like Corb Lund, Murder By Death. Folks who give me something beyond “verse, chorus, verse.” This realization hit home even further when I recognized lyrics from the live version of Highway Girl in “Locked in the Trunk of a Car.”

I’m still not sure I’ll check out their final tour, but I’m so thankful I have got to see them live.

Don’t you think, babe, you push a bit too fast?
I said slowing down don’t make it last
Yeah, she said a memory will never set you free
Go out and see that world and bring it home to me

Write on.

Music Monday: Six Days On The Road By Steve Earle And The Dukes

I was ten days on the road, not six, and flying a lot more than driving, but it’s still good to be home. I’ve loved this song since I was a kid (I still own my great-great uncle’s copy of All Time Great Trucking Songs on vinyl), but I’ve never heard Steve Earle’s version until now.

Well my rig’s a little low, but that don’t mean she’s slow
Got the stacks blowin’ fire and the smoke’s blowing black as coal
My hometown’s coming in sight
If you think I’m happy, you’re right
Six days on the road and now I’m gonna make it home tonight

Write on!

May Goals

How’d I do in April?

  • Keep my short stories on submission
  • Finish my taxes.
  • Revise and submit another short story
  • Prepare a presentation for a teen writing workshop (the same one I used to facilitate!)
  • Prepare for a reading and a school presentation in Morden and Winkler
  • Attend Ad Astra.
  • Write my next chapter in An Excuse for Whiskey.
  • Work on my the new novel project, and hit 30000 words so I’m on target to have first draft done by end of May.

Not too shabby. I knew I’d put a lot on my plate for April–several events, and a conference at the end, so I’m pleased for the most part. The only “free” weekend I had, also included my appointment with my accountant.

It was fun talking to the teen writers again. Big thanks to instructor, Katherena Vermette for inviting me. My reading in Morden was lots of fun. Thank you Gallery Wealth Management for hosting. It’s great to see businesses supporting the arts. To the best of my knowledge, I managed not to get my teacher friend fired when I spoke to her English classes in Winkler, so I’m calling that a huge win.

Ad Astra was a blast, as it has been the previous two years. It’s reaching the point of When Words Collide for me now where the con has so many great folks that I want to see, but not nearly enough time to catch everybody. I’ll talk more about Ad Astra later, but the roundup might be a two-fer with Creative Ink Festival after I’m home.

I did get all available stories back out on submission, but once again short story revision got the shaft. I did managed to do one pass through the story, and make some notes, but while I know what I want to fix to get this one polished for submission, I think actually undertaking those revisions will require more time than I was willing to give.

I really should’ve just started the month with my chapter for An Excuse for Whiskey, but I knew that my co-writer would be too busy getting her festival going this month to return me a chapter, and so it just slipped down the to-do list. Sorry, Sandra!

Most of my writing energy went into the new novel. And I made that goal! Ended up with almost 37000 words by month’s end, and while I wasn’t quite on NaNoWriMo pace, this was my most productive month for word count since January 2015. I’ll definitely take that.

And what’s on deck for May?

  • Keep my short stories on submission
  • Finish first draft on my new novel project
  • Have a blast reading at the Ottawa ChiSeries (that’s Tonight, May 3rd, folks!)
  • Attend Creative Ink Festival
  • Finish my next chapter of An Excuse for Whiskey
  • Apply for a travel grant
  • Apply for a creative writing grant
  • Maybe see the sun? If it happens to shine on Winnipeg? ::VIOLENT SHRUGGING::

That seems like plenty to me! What are your goals for May?

Write on!