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Thursday, 31 December 2015

Day 22 - Hey Eve

And we're at Day Twenty Two! Today was about using a painfully obvious metaphor. And it is New Years' Eve.... you don't get many people called this these days, but perhaps Evelyn or Eva or Evie. Not much to this one, just a bit of fun. Hope you enjoy :) Lyrics below, video here:

Hey Eve

V1: / I / II / IV // x3 / I / II / IV / V /
Some people have certainly had
Unfortunate names
Yours would seem fine most of the time
But all the same
The night before something important
Suddenly it changes
And you have to wait out
All the jokes again

C: /  I // IV // I / V / IV / V / x3
And so people ask you
Do you want to come round
For Christmas, Eve?
They’ve said the same thing every year
But they still repeat it time after time
Do you want to come round
For New Year’s, Eve?
It gets old after a while
When that’s all you hear
Do you want to come round
For All Hallows', Eve?
You get tired of it pretty quick
But at least it’s only a couple of times a year

I + C

Looking back on 2015....

This year has been very different to last year. Last year was about learning, and understanding; this year has been about doing, and growing. Though there's still been plenty of learning and understanding along the way as well.

It's been the year where I was struggling with finances, but God showed that he could provide for me; both by helping me in those times, and pulling me through to something better.
It's been the year where I got to have heaps of fun working on both Spamalot and A Few Good Men.
It's been the year where I ended up working in a warehouse, the sort of job that I was never interested in; but I know that it's the place I should be.
It's been the year where I've struggled, and sometimes fallen; but God has always been there, and connecting with me in new ways.
It's been the year where I've had great times with friends, old and new. Where I've had the opportunity to be there for others, and where people have really been there for me.
It's been the year where I've been unsure as to my direction; but God has given me focus.
It's been the year where I haven't always known what to do; but that's okay.
It's been the year where I've been hit by lots of surprises; both good and bad, but I've gotten through!
It's been the year where I've had the chance to collaborate and create new and exciting things with great people.

It's been a hard year, and a good year. And I wouldn't have it any other way. Thank you to everyone who has made this year incredible; it's always about the people, more than anything else. You're amazing. And next year is looking very interesting indeed. But I will leave that for my next post ;)

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Day 21 - Chrematophile (Treasure)

And we've reached Day Twenty One! Today, a song about a real idol - money. Money, money, money.... Very much using a couple of Jesus' teachings on the subject, because he did talk about it a bit. Particularly if you look in Matthew, because he was originally a tax collector (also by the name of Levi). Pretty happy with it. Oh, and the title means someone who loves money. Because I'm having fun with my titles. I'll probably never use half of these again, so I can call them what I like! Lyrics below, video here:

Chrematophile (Treasure)

V1: / vi / I / IV / IV ii / x4
You can buy me something if you like
But I’ll always find something better
You know I’m going to follow the latest
Trends to the letter
What’s in, what’s out, what’s new and fresh
Honey, that dress is just divine
You might call me a materialist
But can’t deny I’m looking fine

T: / vi / IV / x2
Where’s your heart
Where’s your heart

I’m making my way in the business world
Doing the corporate climb
You’re going to have to wait if you want to talk to me
You'd better not waste my time
I’m making the big calls, making the big bucks,
And I do it well
You say I care more about my job than people
But I care about them if they know how to sell

C: / vi / V / IV / ii / x4 /
Where your treasure is
There’s your heart
Do you put it into something eternal
Or something that breaks apart
You can’t serve two masters
So is it God or Money?
You might be smiling now
But it ain’t funny
So tell me
Where’s your heart
Where’s your heart

Always living above your means
But that’s the magic of credit
And if you want to spoil yourself
Then you might as well get it
Don’t worry about the price tag
Just living life to the full
But now you’re a slave to the bankers
Why’d you have to be such a fool


B: / vi // ii // x4
Money should never be an end in itself
Just a means to a goal
Because if you’re living for money itself
How much will it damage your soul
Is there really nothing else more important
Than little bits of paper or plastic
Surely your imagination
Can think of something more fantastic


Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Day 20 - SuperFan

Two thirds of the way through! Woo! Twentieth Day, and the challenge was to write about a fictional idol. So, I did something that was quite literally fictional - Marvel! Or, more specifically, the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I'm quite a fan - though not quite a SuperFan....
Lyrics below, video here:


They’ve got more superheroes
Than you could even name
The power of metal, the power of lightning,
The power of strength untamed
All joined together
In the one place
The Marvel Cinematic Universe

Just one more movie
Just one more TV show
I haven’t seen them all yet
So I’ve got to go
Because it’s all part of this
Grand storyline
Don’t want to miss a second
It’s secrets will be mine

Every scrap of video I devour
In a moment
Every bit of material they release
I own it
I know all the theories about
MCU Phase Three
And the new superheroes yet to come
Yes siree


You’d better stay and watch
Til the reel is over
Or you’re not a true Marvel fan
Because you never know
What they’ll put after the credits
A link to the next movie
With a cameo from Mr Stan Lee


Monday, 28 December 2015

Day 19 - Do You Know?

And we're at Day Nineteen - this time, with a pickup. Also known as an anacrusis, it essentially means an extra bit before the first bar. In this one, it's really only a melodic anacrusis, because each time the melody "Do you" is before the bar, and then "know" is on the first beat of the bar. Quite enjoyed this one and the music for it, ended up being a Christian song. Hope you folks like it. Lyrics below, video here:

Do You Know?

V1: / vi / V / II / IV / vi / V / II / III / x2
Do you know how the flowers grow
Do you know what makes the sun rise
Over the valley below
Do you know how the wind it blows
Do you know what makes the earth turn
Or makes the rivers flow
Do you know

Do you know the one who died for you
Do you know he calls your name
Do you know he came into this earth
To bring you home again
Do you know he loves you just so much
He gave his only Son
Do you know his mercy and his grace
That has saved everyone
Do you know

Do you know how to find the truth
Do you know how to get through the pain
Of all that’s hurting you
Do you know how to break through
Through the lies and fear that are coming near
To change what you once knew
Do you know


B: / vi // V // IV // V // x2 / IV // V / III / vi //
He’s the one who really died
He’s the one who gave his life
For you
He’s the one lifted on high
He’s the one called Jesus Christ
It’s true
So call on the name
The name that is calling you

C x2

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Day 18 - This Place

Day Eighteen! Today, the challenge was to use only two chords. No more, no less....quite a challenge indeed. I chose C and Ab/C. The lyrics themselves are somewhat random, more stream of consciousness, as many of these are seeming to be. Quite liked this one. Hope you enjoy. Lyrics below, video here:

This Place

This place
Is made for me
To truly see
Who I am
This night
Is all for you
It turns into
The fall of man

This place
Is not my home
Though I may roam
My heart is with you
This time
All will hear
The final frontier
We’re shown it’s true

This place
That is yours
Your love it pours
Over me
This day
I will know
And let it go
For all to see

Saturday, 26 December 2015

Day 17 - Forgotten

And we're back! Managed to squeeze this one in today. The challenge for Day Seventeen was to write a resentful song. I'm never good at these sort of ones, because I'm not really resentful about anything much. But I thought there might be some people who are around this kind of time, so this song is on behalf of them. For the record, my birthday is late November. Lyrics below, video here:


All the food is leftovers
From the day before
And the birthday cake is Christmas cake
Presents lay shredded open on the floor
Celebrations were all yesterday
Even though today is my birthday
But it’s all overshadowed by Christmas Day
And I’m forgotten

It’s the worst day
For a birthday
On December 26th
Cause everyone is so tired and full
From December 25th
They’ve just no energy
To spend time thinking of me
It’s the worst day
For a birthday
On December 26th

They’re too busy watching yacht races or cricket
To think about me
Or the Doctor Who Christmas special
On the ABC
At 7:30


Sure, everyone’s here
That’s a plus, I guess
But they’re too tired to do anything
At least if they weren’t here on another day
There would have been a Facebook notification


Thursday, 24 December 2015

Day 16 - One Life

And it's Christmas Eve! We're also on Day Sixteen, and the challenge for today was a thank you song. In the spirit of the season, this one is a thank you to God for his gift of Jesus to us. Finally got back on the piano for this one, and as such the chords were a bit tricky for me to just write down in Roman numerals. I had fun. :) Hope you enjoy! Lyrics below, video here:

One Life

V1: / Fm7 / Cm7 / Db Ab / Eb Fm Eb / Db /
We were lost
In the wilderness
Trying to find
Our own way
Through life
Pain and all the strife

We were lost
In the darkness
Without hope
In this place
Praying for
A miracle

PC: / Db / Eb / Ab / Bb /
Then a voice came shining through
I bring with me good news
Jesus, the Saviour, is here!

C: / C Ab F / Bb F / x3 / Ab Bb / C /
Thank you God
For bringing hope and joy to this world
Thank you God
For bringing light into this place
Thank you God
For restoring the lives of all that are here
Through just one life
Jesus Christ

Though we were broken
Lost in our all shame
You sent joy
And love to us
Through a simple
Baby boy

I: / C / Bb / F //

C (I) + C

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Day 15 - Zhah (The One)

And we've reached the half-way point! Today, the challenge was to do something with a foreign language. I couldn't resist the opportunity to use my own ;) For those who aren't aware, I've been working on my own language called Aiyæthron for a bit over two years now. Thought this would be a good challenge. If you're wondering how many words I had to make for this song - not that many, actually. Only a few, and a few bits of words and word-changers. I'm not going to include the translation, so good luck figuring out what it means! I've given you the title, and I'll tell you that it's a Christian song, pretty much a worship song. But the rest - I'll leave that to you to wonder about.
Hmmm. I thought I'd put a more recent update to Aiyæthron up since then. Apparently not. Well, that will make it pretty much impossible for people to figure out, then. Oh well. Maybe I'll put an update up at some point. Anyway, lyrics below, video here:

Zhah (The One)

V: / vi / V / iii / IV / x3 / vi / V / IV / V /
Nai jun zhah
Nai gæ mai
Nai jun zhah
Awælisiyi mair
Nai gæ mai

C: / I / IV / vi / V / x3 / IV / V / I //
Dahn nai dt’ahthræ
Mai tuhn yæyu
Dahn nai dt’ahthræ
Mai tuhn zwæyu
Dahn nai dt’ahthræ
Mai tuhn nair
Dahn nai dt’ahthræ
Mai zhah


B: (x4) / IV / I / V / I / IV / I / V //
Yat ai dahn yæ bærnaiah
Jrinihl nair æi

C x2

/ I / IV / vi / V / IV //
Prinai, yat thron mai dt’ahthræ nor shuhng

Monday, 21 December 2015

Day 14 - Just A Minute

And we're on the fourteenth day! Today was a quick one - in two ways; firstly, the song needed to be under a minute, and I also did it as an improv. Picked up the guitar, and just played. Got it second time. Pretty happy with it, just a bit of fun this time. Hope you enjoy :) Lyrics below, video here:

Just A Minute
I’ve only got sixty seconds to do this song
It’s not very long
But I have to use it all
So what can I say
In only sixty seconds?
Well I know it’s not much
But I’ll do what I can
To use this time
Don’t want to waste this time
It goes so quickly now
I’ve only got thirty seconds left
Where’d it go, where’s the rest
I don’t know what happened to this time
It’s just fading away before you know
Only twenty seconds, where’d it go?
It fades just like the snow in summer
It just disappears
Less than ten seconds
Oh no, I don’t know where to go
There’s no time left

Day 13 - Long Way Round

And we've reached Day Thirteen. Unlucky for, the target was to write a song that went for over five minutes. Not too hard for me, you'd think, what with my songs....well, this one only just made it. Bit hard to tell how long it's going to be when you're writing! But I did three verses, chorus after each, plus a bridge and double chorus at the end, and only just pipped five minutes. Sheesh.

Anyway. This one was interesting. When I sat down to write at first, I wasn't feeling particularly inspired. Really wasn't getting anywhere, actually. So I put it aside, thought I'd come back to it later. Later on, remembered what I did when I didn't have inspiration - just start describing. So that's how the song starts off, because it's been a hot day here in Sydney, Australia. I also came up with the chorus pretty quickly. The verses took a little longer; and at one point, I was wondering whether I'd actually put this up - if I'd just say that I'd written it, or if I'd try to write another one. I wasn't going to do the latter, really, it's late already. But then I wrote the third verse, and the bridge. And I knew this one was going up.

It's pretty raw, pretty real, and doesn't necessarily reflect truth particularly well. Just tired old me putting words on a page. Not as funny and strange as some of the others so far, but a lot of heart behind it. Hopefully some people will like that. Lyrics below, video here:

Long Way Round

V1: / IV / I / V / vi / x3 / IV / I / V //
The night is warm
Though not as warm as my face
Whenever you are within fifty metres
Of this place
The breeze is cool
How I wish I could be when I’m with you
But I’m falling over myself

C: / IV / I / V / vi / x3 / IV / V / I / V / vi /
I’m all in,
That’s all I know, that’s who I am
Who I’ve always been
But you’re not me
You have to take the long way round
And it’s hard just taking it day by day
But I’ll be there with you
Every step of the way

This body is tired
Of trying to live a life by myself
Making my strength my wealth
When I’m not strong
The days are long
When I’m spending my time thinking of you
And I’m looking forward
To seeing you soon


I am weak
I have nothing to offer you
That I can give
Only pain and hurt
I am broken
From all that has gone before
And I’ve never managed to close the door
Just hoped that I’d pull through


B: / IV // V // x2 / IV // V / vi / IV // V //
But my Father says
I am more than this
My Father says
I am not my brokenness
My Father says
That He will give what I can't
So I can give all I am to Him
And through Him to you

C x2

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Day 12 - Erythrophobe

And we're on Day Twelve! Today, the challenge was about facing fears. Well, I thought, what sort of fears might one face? What if one were afraid of....a clown? And it kind of went downhill from there. An erythrophobe, by the way, is not someone afraid of clowns but someone afraid of the colour red. The three verses have that point in common, so I thought it was as good a title as any. Hope you enjoy :) Lyrics below, video here:

The Erythrophobe

V1: / ii VI / VI / x4 / ii VI / x8
Red nose
Big feet
White face
Flower hat

C1: / ii / IV / V //
It’s a clown
It’s a clown
The circus is in town
It’s a clown
It’s a clown
Well this one’s going down

Red cape
Blue suit
Laser eyes

Not much of a fan
Put him in the can

Red clothes
Big belly
White beard
Floppy hat

Santa Claus
Santa Claus
He don’t leave room for pause
Santa Claus
Santa Claus
How would he go against Jaws?

C1 + C2 + C3

Friday, 18 December 2015

Day 11 - The Adventure

Took another flex day yesterday because I wan't feeling too great. They're disappearing quickly.... The challenge this time was fairly simple; write a song about an adventure. And, following my trend of giving songs obvious names, I present to you - The Adventure! There's not a lot to it, admittedly, but I'm fairly happy with it. Hope you enjoy :) Lyrics below, video here:

The Adventure

V1: / vi / vi V /
Every adventure
Starts with one step
Don’t know where it leads
Don’t know what it may bring

Every journey
Has its twists and its turns
Don’t know where they will be
Or what we will learn
Cause it’s an adventure

C: / I // II // I // II // vi / vi V / vi / vi V / x2
A breath of mystery
A daring test of bravery
The thrill of discovery
That’s what makes an adventure
To step out into the unknown
Face dangers you cannot fathom
See places you’ve never seen
That’s what makes an adventure

Every trail
Will have its dangers
Have its monsters
And its treasures
Cause its an adventure


Every story
Has its end
But its also the beginning
Of yet another

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Day 10 - The First Time

And we've reached Day Ten! Today is an old songwriting classic: the love song. For this one, I'm going to say the opposite of yesterday - watch the video first! If you haven't seen the video yet, go and do that. Otherwise it'll spoil it. Spoil what? Well, let's just say I took a couple of liberties with it again. Lyrics below, video here:

The First Time

V1: / I // IV V / vi / IV / I / II / V /
I’ve heard so much about you
I just can’t wait to finally see
If you’re as good as people say
Will you be the one for me?
I’ve seen some great photos so far
And the videos you put up online
But will it be different in person -
Would you cross a line?

PC: / IV / V / vi / V /
I’ve got such high hopes and dreams
I hope you’ll be as great as you seem

C: / IV / V / I / vi / {/ IV / V / I / II /} x2 / I / vi / IV V / I /
When I see you for the first time
When I see what you are like
Will you be the best
Or only be alright?
Will it be the greatest day of my life
Or be lost in all the hype?
It’s so hard to be sure
About the new Star Wars

You’ve got six movies to live up to
Or for some, only three
And two more movies yet to come
There’s some pretty big hopes you see
You’ve got a new droid and saber
New heroes and villains too
New duels, new Sith and Jedi
There’s going to be so much to view

PC + C + I + C

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Day 9 - Simple Pleasures (Peace)

Day Nine - and this one, I really like. I mean, a couple of the others have been fairly good, but this one I really like. The challenge today was the opposite of yesterday - so sad melody/music, happy lyrics. Read the lyrics below before you watch the video, because these are joyful lyrics - but the music makes it seem a lot more sad, and contemplative. I pretty much did the chord pattern, and wrote this song as I played. Like it when that happens. Lyrics below, video here:

Simple Pleasures (Peace)

V1: / vi iii / IV / x4
I watch the flowers
They bend and sway in the breeze
The soaring towers
Blown about by the wind through the trees

I watch the sunrise
The light filtering through the clouds
A sudden surprise
Jostling the crowds

C: / ii / IV / x2
The simple pleasures
They bring me life

I watch the waves break
Out on the beach, they’re rolling in
I feel the earth shake
Comes from the pound and the spin

C x2

I: / vi / IV / I / V iii / x4 / IV //

I watch the stars shine
Their beauty so clear from afar
I wish they were mine
Just so I’d know this (peace)

Monday, 14 December 2015

Day 8 - Smileyface

Now on Day Eight! Today's challenge was to do a happy melody but sad lyrics - and tomorrow is the opposite. I knew that one would end up being silly, and the other serious, and I was hoping that I didn't intrude too much on the territory of my song What I Say/What I Play (which you can hear here). Because that uses a similar idea. So this one ended up being the silly one - bordering on creepy, if you watch the video. It plays on an idea that actually came from a stand-up routine that my friend did at school once for a talent night, talking about how people end texts or messages with a :) that may not necessarily be happy, but it's fine, because :) So that's what the song is about.
Lyrics below, video here:


V1: / IV / I / V // x4
I stubbed my toe the other day 😃
Hurt my back so I can’t play 😃
Found out I didn’t get paid 😃
Got fined by the RTA 😃

C: / IV / I / V / I / IV / I / V // IV / I / V / I / IV / V / I //
We’re all doing fine
It’s all going swell
Just as long as you end with a 😃
You could be dying on the street
You could be going through hell
But it’s all OK if you end with a 😃

Susie got eaten by a shark 😃
Great-Aunt Nellie just died 😃
Met a serial killer in the park 😃
Found out my partner lied 😃


B: / IV / I / V / I / x2
😃 😃 😃 😃
😃 😃 😃 😃

Yes, it’s all OK if you end with a 😃
You can say anything like, just end with a 😃

Day 7 - The Unlikely Duet

Day Seven! I did do this yesterday, but forgot to post up the lyrics. I've also just put together the video, though I did do it yesterday - but the challenge was to do a duet! So I had to put a couple of them side-by-side. Had a bit of fun with it - doing two different voices and personalities singing together a bit. Lyrics below, video here:

The Unlikely Duet

/ I / IV / I / V / x2
I like to sing with a strong, loud voice
I like to sing just like this
I can sing with a soft, sweet noise
To you, this prob'ly sounds like piss

When I sing all of the people come round
While I just push them away
Come one, come all, to this lovely sound
See you some other day

/ IV / I / x3 / V //
I sing grandly
I sing alright
I sing…standly
That word’s not right!
Says the man who just rhymed
‘Alright’ with ‘right'
At least you don’t talk my ear off all night

Well, if you’re so fantastic, then you have a go.
All right then.

/ I / V / x2 / IV / I / V //
Words are an art form, don’t throw them about
Or one day they’ll come round, knock you on your snout
Is that so? Yes it is, it’s not just for show
Words, they can make you feel high or feel low

/ IV / I / x3 / V //
Feel high or feel low?
Yeah, give it a go!
Don’t want to be slow
We’ll to and we’ll fro
You know that we will be better together
We’ll craft a piece that will last through the weather

Done? Yep.

/ IV / I / V / I /
Oom-bup-bup oom-bup-bup etc.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Day 6 - Just Me

Day Six! I was out all day yesterday, so took one of my flex days out from this. I am currently uploading Day Five's video, but Day Six's may be a little while in coming - because the challenge today is a cappella! And, me being me, I did a lot of layers. Which means lots of videos in the one video. Which is rather tricky to do. So that will take some time! But until then, lyrics below :) Well, more or less. This is the main lyric. I made other bits up on the fly. You'll see.

Just Me

It’s just me singing this song
But won’t be just me for very long
Cause when I sing this song
Everyone sings along
And now I won’t get it wrong

It’s no fun if it’s just me
But with company you see
I have fun yeah it’s true
Not just me but you too
‘Me' is better if it’s ‘we'

Now it’s time to have some fun
Come on, join in everyone
When we’re together
You know it’s so much better

We’ll keep going 'til we’re done

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Day 5 - Label Me This

Fifth Day! The challenge today was this: "Day 5: Write a song that involves nicknames". I wasn't sure exactly where the song would go when I started it, but it's ended up being in a similar vein to quite an old one of mine called 'Break Out', which is actually on my first online EP I did way back when. This one is more building on an idea of mine that when we label people, put them into groups, give them names - it's really a way of making them seem less human. Of dehumanising them, forgetting that they're people. Because they're just a label. They're just 'them' now. It's a lot harder to do that when you're face-to-face with someone. The title is a play on the phrase 'riddle me this'. Also, the songs seem to be a bit samey music-wise - I don't know if that's because they're mostly all on guitar (and there's only so much I can do on guitar), or because I'm doing them in a short amount of time, or just because everything gets samey after a while.

Unfortunately, I can't do the video at the moment. People are sleeping at home right now, don't want to wake them up. Think I might have the same problem tomorrow as well, except worse (got a party I'm going to straight after work) so I may be uploading three on Saturday. When I do the video, I will link it here.

Until then, lyrics below!

Label Me This

V1: / E / G / C / A / x4
You haven't seen me before
But you think you know my name
You try to stick it on me, doesn’t work
That’s what you call me all the same
I may not like it but too bad
You do
Ad nauseam you’ll bring it up
Won’t you?

C: / E / G / D / A / x4
Label me this, label me that
Cause you don’t understand me
You call me this, you call me that
Cause you can’t comprehend me
The more groups, the more labels, the more names
The less human I will seem
Just one amongst so many others
That have the same label as me

Well you aren’t aware
Of what you’re even doing
Or maybe you just don’t care
Tired of all the fro-ing and to-ing
This just isn’t the way to play
You know
But you can’t get that into your head
And so

C + I + C x1.5

Wednesday, 9 December 2015

Day 4 - My Secrets

Day Four! Challenge this time was this: "Day 4: Write a song about secrets". Original name again. Had a bit of fun with it though! Each verse has a bit of a story to it, similar in style to my song Once Upon A Time. Ukelele this time :) It also happens to be one of my rare three-minute songs! Lyrics below, video here:

My Secrets

V1: / I / vi / V / IV /
Well, I had this pair of socks I didn't like
Flushed them down the toilet, thought that was goodbye
But it plugged up the drain, the plumber had to come round
My secret came out like stinky socks from the ground

I don't want to be a secret-keeper
They just dig me deeper and deeper

Another time I didn't like my brother cheating at a game
Hid it in my bookcase so he couldn't play it again
But that meant then that neither could I
I'd dug myself into a hole with my secret

I don't want to be a secret-keeper
They just dig me deeper and deeper
I don't want to be plagued by my fear
Hoping you'll never find out my secrets

I wrote a letter that one day I'd give
But until then that letter I hid
Hid it so well, I forgot all about it
Til my Mum brought it in - there goes my secret


B: / vi / IV / I / V /
Secrets always hurt us more than they help us
They keep us living in fear
That they might be discovered - set yourself free
You can share your secrets here

C x2

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Day 3 - Keychange

Third day! Challenge this time was this: "Day 3: Write a song with a key change". I then proceeded to write that into the lyric as well, and ended up calling the song Keychange (think Seachange, but not). It didn't start off that great, but I ended up liking it at the end. I also believe it's my first song with an oh-oh bit! Haha. For bonus points, see if you can find the clever thing I tried to do - to moderate success - with the verse lyric. Lyrics below, video here:


I: / I / IV / vi / V / x4
O-oh o-oh oh
O-oh o-oh oh

V1: / IV / ii / vi / V / x4
The clouds are grey
Scale it back a touch
Stone even, so much
They’re fading away
Time is coming round
About now, listen to
A friend, you
Are making no sound

C: / I / IV / vi / V / x4
If you don’t say a word
How am I supposed to hear
What you’re trying to tell me
O-oh o-oh oh
The air is left unstirred
Please come near
What are you trying to tell me
O-oh o-oh oh

I (fourth up)

I need a change of key
Ring a friend or twenty
One more should be plenty
Much too much for me
Time is coming round
About now, listen to
A friend, you
Are making no sound

C + I + C1 + C2 + I

Monday, 7 December 2015

Day 2 - Your Freak

Second day of the challenge! Hopefully the video will upload before midnight. They always take a while. My computer seems to record video in a way that YouTube doesn't like. Either that or I just have terrible upload speed. Quite possible. Anyway.

The challenge this time was this: "Day 2: Write a song in something besides common time". So I did 5/4, because why the heck not. Found out that it's both hard to play and hard to write in, but I've done it anyway! This one again on guitar - I'm probably going to be doing a lot of them on there, because other people are usually at home which means recording on the piano tricky. Lyrics below. Video here:

Your Freak

V1: / ii / V / x4
Yes it's true
It's your due
Though I'm blue
This is you

This is real
Can't conceal
You reveal
How I feel

PC: / VI / I / VI / I //
I won't break or
Make my escape

C: [/ IV / V / x3 / ii I / ii I /] x2 / ii I / ii I /
I can't breathe
When you're with me
And yet I feel
So free
I can't speak
I feel weak
Guess I'm just
Your freak

I'll give my best
I feel blessed
Not just a guess

C + I(V) + PC + C x2

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Day 1 - I'll Be Here

Decided to start today. A good day to start! This is the song that I ended up writing. Fairly simple, but I like. This was the brief: "Day 1: Write a platonic love song" Find the video here:

I'll Be Here

V1: / I / V / vi / vi V / x4
When you feel like letting go
And the road is long and slow
Well I want to let you know
I'll be right beside you, so

So when the times are tough
And you know you've had enough
When it's hard and it's rough
You're running out of puff

C: / IV // V / V iii / x2 / IV // V //
I'll be here
Standing near
So don't fear

When time is running out
And you can't turn about
When you're plagued by fear and doubt
There's no need to shout


B: x2 / IV / vi / V / iii / x3 / IV / vi / V / V iii /
I'll be here with you
Believe it's true
I'll never leave your side
When you need me, I'll be around


30 Day Songwriting Challenge

I realised when I went to write this post that I didn't have 'Music' as a label yet. My goodness! This situation is now resolved. Anyway.

I haven't been writing a lot of songs for a while. And that's not necessarily a bad thing - it's meant that the ones that I have written have been of a higher quality, had more thought behind them, been more important to write. Or that's the idea, anyway.

But I've got a bit more time on my hands at the moment, and I wanted to get back into the swing of this creative stuff. So I'm setting myself a 30 day songwriting challenge. Someone smart would probably start this at the beginning of the month - but I only found it yesterday, and I can't start it at the beginning of next month, because I'll be away in India for part of it. So going to be starting in the middle instead!

I don't know if I'll be starting bang on today, but I'll be starting soon. I have 37 days, including today, and then on the 38th day I'm leaving for India. So that only gives me seven days leeway to play with - and bear in mind, we've got Christmas and New Years' in there. So I rather think I might need it.

Now, hopefully, each day I'll be not only writing the song, but also posting the lyrics up here and the video up on YouTube. However, going from my experience of the last songwriting challenge I did, I may be a bit slower on the latter. Hopefully I can improve on last time, though!

You can see what I'll be doing for the challenge below. I found this list here. Letting you folks know now that I'm expecting to have to take a break from this on Christmas Day, and either New Years' Eve or New Years' Day. And then I've got five other days as leeway if I need them. Hopefully I won't.

Day 1: Write a platonic love song
Day 2: Write a song in something besides common time
Day 3: Write a song with a key change
Day 4: Write a song about secrets
Day 5: Write a song that involves nicknames
Day 6: Write an a cappella song
Day 7: Write a duet
Day 8: Write a song with a happy melody and sad lyrics
Day 9: Write a song with a sad melody and happy lyrics
Day 10: Write a love song
Day 11: Write a song about an adventure
Day 12: Write a song about fighting fears
Day 13: Write a song longer than 5 minutes long
Day 14: Write a song shorter than 1 minute
Day 15: Write a song involving a foreign language
Day 16: Write a thank you song
Day 17: Write a resentful song
Day 18: Write a song using 2 chords
Day 19: Write a song with a pickup
Day 20: Write a song about a fictional idol
Day 21: Write a song about a "real" idol
Day 22: Write a song using a painfully obvious metaphor
Day 23: Write a song with partially alliterative lyrics
Day 24: Write a song about something viseral
Day 25: Write a thoughtful song
Day 26: Write a dance song
Day 27: Write a song about anxiety
Day 28: Write a song about a stupid royalty
Day 29: Write a story that plays out over 3 songs. Yeah it's 3 songs in one day, but it's one story. Call it a three-fer.

Day 30: Write a song about writers block. Wonderfully, you can't get writers block on this prompt

Friday, 13 November 2015

The 20/20 Vision Of Hindsight.

Well, it gets closer to 20/20 the further you go, at least. Because it's weird like that.

At the beginning of last year, I did this post. Go and read it, because without it this one isn't going to make much sense. Done? Good.

There was a couple of times later in that year that I had similar panic attacks, or whatever they were, but not as bad, and in different situations. One time it was in a young adults social skills group. The other when I was doing some research participation. At the time, I related each of them back to what was happening right there - each different fears that I struggled with.

But looking back, I think I can see an answer that's a bit more clear, and makes a bit more sense.
I'm the sort of person that naturally retreats from situations, when I feel unsafe. I remove myself, often physically, and go to where I do feel safe. Now, over time, I've expanded what that idea of 'safe' includes, and been able to be more comfortable in places where I previously would really not have been. But there are still things which feel unsafe, or uncomfortable for me.

In each of these three times when I had this panic attack, the commonality was this: I felt unsafe, and I couldn't retreat. I couldn't remove myself from the situation. In the one I talked about in that post, I was quite literally under fire (admittedly, from paintball guns, but still). In the second, I was in a closed room. There wasn't anywhere to go - I probably would have felt embarrassed if I just left. The third time, similarly, I was in an enclosed space. That time, thankfully, I was able to sidestep it and come up with a different solution. I might have posted about it at some point, can't remember.

But yeah. I've realised that this is something that I'm going to need to do some work on. Not exactly sure what that's going to look like - and it's probably going to be really really hard and not fun - but I know God's going to help me with it. Because he's awesome like that.

Friday, 6 November 2015

On Being Busy.

Well, it's been a while. Apparently I haven't posted for a couple of months or so. My goodness. In my defence, I've had a lot happening. Like, a lot a lot.

So, for starters, I'm working three jobs. Woo! Never particularly wanted that, but there you go. So I'm doing the warehouse job at Koorong, then found an extras role for a movie (yep, proper Hollywood movie and all) through Facebook (as you do), and I've been working on a website/online store for a company I worked for a couple of years back (which you can check out here, as we went live just this Tuesday!). So that's been taking up most, if not all, of my week for the past while.

As well as that, I've been involved in doing Sound for A Few Good Men (which was fantastic) at the Campbelltown Theatre Group, Shalom is getting ready to do a few concerts and also gearing up for our India tour at the beginning of next year (not too long now....a little bit scary, actually), I've got Life Group (like Bible study, but the idea is that you're doing life together as well, not just studying a book) on Thursday nights, then usually involved in church on Sundays. And that's not including this album that I'm still trying to make happen, or this book that I'm wanting to write! Crazy, crazy stuff.

So that has been taking up, as you can imagine, a lot of my time. Which means that the very rare time that I don't have one of these things happening - I basically just want to crash. Relax. Do nothing. Play games. Watch an episode of something online I've missed. YouTube. But then there's friends that I want to interact with; family I want to interact with; and responsibilities I have around the house (which I have been kinda terrible at, being busy and such).

But because I've been so busy, that means that these have fallen by the wayside. I'm not maintaining my relationships with my friends, or with my family. And those are things that I think are super-duper important. Particularly because I know that, especially with my family, time with them is just going to decrease - as I look towards moving out, and all that sort of thing (hopefully early next year!). And I also know that once you start to set a trend, it can get quite difficult to change once it gets going. So that's why I'm changing it now.

I've finished up with theatre for the moment; I've let the movie know that I'm doing my last day in a couple of weeks; and now that the site has launched, there's less of a rush to get things happening there. There's still a bit happening - but less. Less enough to give me some breathing room. And that's all I need, really. I like having things to do, and not sitting around and doing nothing. But if that is encroaching on my time, and effecting my relationships with my family and friends - then there's a problem. And that's not even going into how it effects my relationship with God.

So yeah. That's been my headspace - well, part of it - for the last little while. The other part has been very much about next year - but I might save that for the next post. Doing a workshop, a concert and two talks in the next forty hours. So need some sleep! Night folks.

Monday, 31 August 2015

A radical thought.

This is going to be a bit left of field and far-fetched. But bear with me.

People, generally speaking (you get some exceptions in pockets here and there) want a peaceful world. They often think that it's an ideal that will never happen, but that's what they want, and dream about, and strive for. And you frequently hear of the idea of armies and soldiers being to fight for peace - to put themselves out of a job, if you will.

But armies, soldiers, guns, bombs, nukes - these only have a place if there are others of them in the world. They were created to combat an opposing force, an opposing weapon or strategy.

So, here's a radical idea.

Why don't we just get rid of the lot? No more guns. No more nukes. No more bombs. No more bullets. No more places to make guns, or nukes, or bombs, or bullets. Or tanks. Or fighter airplanes and subs. (That one might be a bit harder, considering we've got regular planes and subs that aren't that much different.) No more stealth jets.

At the moment, that probably sounds ridiculously ludicrous. And understandably so. How on earth would you go about it? How would you get everybody to comply? I don't rightly know, to be honest. To be sure, you'd get some people that wouldn't be too happy about it - and not just terrorists and the like, but also people that are just generally quite attached to their guns (not looking at you at all, America....). And people will say, "but if we have no guns, and they have guns....then we're sitting ducks!" Then make armour, silly-billies. Work at defensive measures, rather than offensive measures.

Yes, it's probably just another blue sky dream from this head in the clouds. But it seems to be something that people don't ever really think of. Or just dismiss too quickly. *shrugs*

Sunday, 2 August 2015

Scorpions and Cyclones.

For the last couple of months or so, I've been watching through the TV show Scorpion with my brother. For those who aren't familiar with the show's basic premise, it's fairly simple - this guy called Walter has a ridiculously high IQ, and gathers around him a team of like-minded people, and together they solve problems that other people can't. Slyvester is the maths whiz; Happy is the engineer; Toby is the shrink. Then you've also got Paige, who you could basically call their PR person; she's not high-IQ, but she's the one who makes sure that they don't annoy everyone else too much, basically. Cabe is the guy who oversees it all from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Oh, and Paige's son Ralph, who happens to also be a genius.

To give you a bit of an idea, the series starts off with them trying to land planes that have had a bug in the software, and now have no way to communicate with the ground. It ends with one plane flying over a car going at high speed, and a cable going from one to the other. Yep. It's pretty big. The mid-season finale ends with them in Bosnia. (Unfortunately, that's all that we've got so far down here in Auz.) In-between, we have biohacking, bombing, assassination, nuclear power plants, and a prison break. It's pretty action-packed, for those that are really into that.

The characters each fall into nice roles pretty early on. Happy is quite stoic, keeps herself to herself, and can be quite short with people at times; Toby is the wisecracking one, who ends up having some romantic interest in Happy; Sylvester feels a bit more immediately relatable, but has a lot of fears, and classic OCD; Paige is the touchy-feely one/mum; Cabe is the hardass fed/dad to Walter when things get rough; and Walter - he's the one who looks after the team, but rubs up the wrong way with most people, and has a bit of an ego problem.

With the whole idea being that these folks are über-smart, it would be easy for a lot of concepts to fly above people's heads. Thankfully, that doesn't happen (though, admittedly, speaking as a fairly smart person myself, but anyway), thanks to Cabe and Paige, who the other characters tend to explain things to nicely for us.

There's a lot that I'm loving about this series. It's got some great people on board; it looks at some really interesting ideas; it has a great mix of action and story; but probably what I love most is the way that it weaves together the genius and the human elements. You see Toby struggling with his feelings for Happy; Happy's reluctance to talk about her father, whom she eventually meets again; Sylvester's former battle with depression; Cabe and Walter's complex relationship, and the passing of a mantle, in a way; Paige's difficulties in raising a genius son, while not being a genius herself, and then having his dad step into the picture; and Walter's struggle with believing that emotions are weakness, while clearly feeling for his team, and for Paige and Ralph. And that's what I really love about this series, and also why I decided to watch it with my brother.

This is one that I've really loved so far, and I'm really looking forward to the second half of season one - I hope it gets over to Australia soon!

Friday, 17 July 2015

Hearing God.

I've had a bit of a journey when it comes to hearing God, since I was quite young to now. It's something that I've reflected on before - I particularly did so when I did my story for my church's 'Real Stories, Real Faith' series - but things have changed a bit since then.

So, when I was younger, I didn't hear God. Praying felt like talking to God, not talking with him. And I wanted the latter, but I didn't really know how to get there. It didn't ever make me think that he wasn't there; because he'd communicate with me in other ways, which were much less direct. And I'd see him working in my life. But I wouldn't hear him at all. I remember once having a diary where you were there was a space to write down answers you heard to prayers. Those sections were always empty. I never heard God.

Things changed around the time of uni. I can't remember exactly when it happened, but at some point, I was just having quite casual interactions with God. It's not that I was hearing him, persay - more feeling him, sensing some of his emotions. One of the main ones I'd feel was laughter. He joked a lot with me, and I with him. That's partly where I got the idea that God is the ultimate troll from. But I think I talked about that in another post.

At some point - I can't remember quite when - I started going on walks with God. And he would show bits and pieces to me. I'd see something, and knew that it meant this or that - it was God's way of speaking to me. So I try to go for walks pretty regularly, even if it's just short.

Since then, I'd also had a few times when my mentor had asked me to go to a specific time and invite God or Jesus into that place, and we'd have a bit of a conversation there. Some of those were fairly short and simple - some had a bit more to them. But all really impacted me.

Last Sunday, I heard Bill Hybels' talk on time, and how we use it. And one of the big points he talked about was spending 15 minutes every day in a chair, listening to God and reading his Word. So I thought I'd give it a go. Our church is starting The Story this coming Sunday (if you haven't heard of it, it's the Bible written like a novel, in chronological order - it goes for 30-something weeks) so I thought I'd read that. So I spent some time reading that, then some time in prayer. I finished and I still had a few minutes left. So I thought, what the heck, let's try and have a conversation with God, like I did sometimes back with my mentor. And yeah. That happened. It was really simple. And really awesome. :) So I've been having some pretty awesome chats with God each day in that time, which has been really great.

I think part of the thing that held me back before was self-doubt - the thought of, "but no, that's just my own mind talking there," and that sort of thing. But I've since found that things like worry, doubt, fear - these things are always going to get between you and God, rather than connect you to him. (Yes, the Bible says to fear God. That's a different sort of fear, and not what I'm talking about here.) So yeah.

I'm still learning, but I thought that was a pretty cool thing that I'd like to reflect on :) As an aside, I definitely recommend taking the 15 minute Chair Challenge. And do it in an actual chair, and the same chair each time. It's a psychological thing, with the same environment and such. Even better if you can do it at the same time each day. Give it a go for a week, and see what happens :)

Friday, 3 July 2015

Real Hope.

This last weekend, I got the opportunity to help out Hope 103.2 with their annual June Appeal. For those who aren't aware, Hope is a community listener-funded Christian radio station. It doesn't get government or commercial support - it has a limited amount of air time that it can give to sponsors for commercials, and some sponsors are on the website, but the rest of their money they get from people who donate. So every year they have a big effort leading up to the end of the financial year in June. (I think they might also have another one in November. Not sure.)

This year, their target was $850,000. Just from donations. I was there on Friday, Saturday and Monday for a fair bit of time, and got to see a reasonable amount of what was happening. I'd been part of it last year as well, but I don't think I was there for as long.

Now, that my seem like a pretty hefty target for some of you folks - particularly if you've ever tried raising money yourself! But they actually ended up raising over $1.1 million. Which is pretty darn awesome.

So, I was on the phones, and people would ring in and say they wanted to give a particular amount, and sometimes they would share a bit of a story with you. You had people ringing in to give anything from ten dollars to ten thousand dollars, and everything in between. Kids donating pocket money and birthday money, people out of work donating money, single parents, pensioners, businesses, uni students - people from just about everywhere. We actually had someone from America who works on the plane trip from somewhere in America to Sydney calling in to give! (She was in Sydney at the time, thankfully.)

As you can imagine, you got some incredible stories. Stories of people who had lost so much, and then found Hope; people who just happened upon the station at just the right time; people who had been listening to the station since it started 36 years ago (though it wasn't called Hope back then); I even had one guy call in who wasn't a Christian, but still wanted to donate because he listened so much! It was pretty awesome.

My story with Hope, for a long time, wasn't really my story at all. I grew up with my parents having 103.2 on in the car whenever we were driving around, so it was the main radio station that I knew (though Dad would often put on the sport AM station). So many of the other stations were talking about things or playing music that I wasn't comfortable with playing, so when it came to the point where I had my own car and chose what I played myself, Hope was my first choice. But most of the time, I just played CDs, and didn't listen to the radio. I just wanted music! Radio had too many ads and talking for me.

This year, though, that changed a bit. I've talked in one of the other posts about how I've been struggling this year, particularly with my point of trying to do it alone (not healthy). Hope has really helped me through that, I think. More and more this year, I've found that I've been listening to Hope, and leaving the CDs out. Not all the time, but now most of the time, I'm listening to the radio rather than my collection (and I've got quite a collection!) - though this may also be something to do with the fact that I now have work in the morning, and Dan and Dwayne are on :D (The same Dan from Saturday Disney, 90s kids. Yep. He's pretty great :) )

So yeah. That's my Hope story, I guess. But what I've realised, looking back, is that Hope is really two big things.
Firstly, it brings joy. The amount of laughter and joy and fun in that radio station is fantastic. And I particularly felt that being there, and talking to the people and interacting with them myself.
Secondly, it shows you that God is working, here and now. Because you hear these stories of Hope, so often, when people ring in and talk about the impact that Hope has had on their lives; and you realise that God is still there, and still working, and still being awesome. (Because that's just what he does, yo.)
And through that, there is real hope. Not a kind of nice idea or philosophy or airy-fairy thing, but real. Working. Living. Moving. Today.

And that's pretty cool ;)

Sunday, 28 June 2015

God's Plans vs My Plans

Well. Today has been interesting.

I've done a couple of posts recently about some of my projects, and ideas for the future, and where I thought God was leading me and such.

God just came in from left field and hit it out of the park, like he does.

Let me explain.

Today at my church, we had a pastor come in from Thailand, because we're supporting the people from a particular area there, and particularly this pastor's ministry (he oversees a few different churches, I believe). For those who aren't aware, I went on a Thailand Outreach Trip in 2008 with my school to Varee Chiangmai School, along with a group from Pacific Academy in Canada. Cause we be cool like that. Mainly teaching kids English, Bible, maths, science, etc. So I know a bit about Thailand and that sort of thing, but it's been a while. My vocabulary of Thai is "hello" and "thank you".

So, after the service, I thought I'd go and say hello. In Thai. Because why not? He's surprised, obviously, and asks me if I speak Thai. I say only a little, and tell him about the mission trip I went on. He then asks me a bit more about myself, and I tell him that I did music at uni and did a year of Bible college. He then excitedly says, "You should come do a mission with us!" And proceeds to talk about me teaching English at the school there, teaching music at the church on the weekends, having a place to stay in, being over there for six months or even a was a little bit much for me, particularly for this guy who finds this idea of doing anything for a long time quite strange! It was pretty overwhelming, needless to say.

And, being me, I was thinking that would be fun, and nice, and great, but surely I wouldn't be able to. I just wouldn't have the money, or the time, and I just have so many other things to do here. But the more that I thought about it - I guess the more I realised that those were more excuses than anything else. I had always wanted to go back to Thailand at some point, but I never thought it would be anything like this. I never saw myself as being a missionary - or a teacher! Oh, I'm a terrible teacher. I just move way too fast.... but yeah. I saw that these were more excuses that I was throwing up, more than anything else. And that actually, the only reason I wouldn't be able to go was my own unwillingness. As the Thai pastor had said this very morning - with God, anything is possible.

Right now - I don't know what God is wanting me to do. I thought I had a good idea about where God was leading me (well, sort of). But this kinda blows that all out of the water. So it's something that I'm going to need to take some time to think and pray about - but it's certainly challenged me, and my ideas about what God's got in store. Challenged me to think a bit further beyond myself. (Nice one, CCOC people, right? Right? ;) ) Anyway. We'll see, I guess. Knowing God, this is probably going to be another one of those I'm-going-to-leave-it-up-to-you kind of ones. But yeah. Will let you know if anything further develops along this line!

Well, a thing happened....

So, if you're on Facebook (as the vast majority of people are), you may have experienced something like this over the past couple of days.

If you're not aware of why this has happened, reading this might help.

Before we go any further, a quick disclaimer. My comments and opinions here are exactly that - comments and opinions. Please don't take them as representing any particular group, affiliation, movement, denomination, church, company, etc. etc. Also, don't take them as necessarily being right. I'm human and all.


So I have a lot of friends who support this cause pretty heavily, as well as various LGBTQI (apologies if I'm missing a letter or two, it seems to be getting longer all the time) issues around the place. I also have a fair few friends who are against it pretty heavily. And probably a fair few in between, being the way of things. But don't worry, Tim Minchin made a song for you guys! And me....well, yeah. I'm still trying to figure that out, in some ways. So. Let's start with the easy ones.

1. God loves all people. Easy one. God made everyone - God loves everyone, regardless of gender, race, sexuality, marriage or relationship status, and no matter what you've said or done. That's a constant. The Bible's pretty clear on that one, I reckon.

2. Adultery is a sin. Bible is pretty clear on that one. Doesn't matter who it's with, guys, girls - if you're not married and you're having sex, God calls that not good.

Now, opinion.

3. I don't think that your sexual preference, in and of itself, is a sin. This is more my opinion. But I don't think that the way you're sexually inclined - nature vs. nurture debate aside - is a sin in itself.

4. I think that having a mum and a dad is super-duper important. Not because two mums or two dads can't raise kids, or can't love their kids, because that's just a bit silly. But because it's part of learning your identity as a man or woman - and having the male and female role model there for that is so important. However. This, in itself, should not be an argument against gay marriage. Why? Single parents. Exactly the same problem, but I don't see people saying, "Oy, you need to get a partner now, so that you can raise your kids right!" Because it's insensitive, and wrong. That's not how it works. I do think, though, that having a father figure, or a mother figure, if one or the other isn't there, is so vitally important to a child's development and understanding of who they are as a man or woman. (Yes, people will probably respond to that saying, well, what about other genders? I'm sorry, I just don't know the issue well enough to speak to that.)

5. The Bible says that God made us with free will. And quite intentionally made us that way, so that we could freely choose right or wrong in our lives. That was so, so important to him in making us, that he limited himself in doing so. (Because if he wants to preserve our own free will, that means there are some things that he can't do. Even though he could, he restricts himself.) I think that preserving that free will is so important - whether we agree with the choices being made or not. Now, that doesn't mean that those choices won't have consequences - and, sometimes, those choices will have consequences that have a legal nature, such as fines and prison and such. That's a whole different issue, which is fun itself to talk about. But I don't think that preventing people from being able to make a decision is ever helpful - particularly not when we're talking about adults. If you're talking about kids, to a degree, I'll get you - though I won't always agree - but we're not.

That's all I've got. And, drawing from these that I am pretty sure of - I'm pretty happy with what's happened in America. Don't I think that it redefines and endangers the sacred idea of marriage as defined by the Bible? Sure, it probably does. And if that's a view of marriage that you hold as your ideal - then fantastic, treasure that for yourself. But perhaps let others make their own choice, and have their own definition of marriage? I've heard plenty of arguments from both sides, and plenty to make me think in both camps. (One I'd be interested to get peoples thoughts on is this one, that I found quite interesting. I do realise it's using the Slippery Slope fallacy.) And, to be honest, I'm not exactly sure where I fit. It's changed a fair bit over the years. But I do think that people should be allowed to make their own choices - and if they're bad choices or wrong choices, then sure, help them with the consequences of that. And every choice does have consequences, good and bad. But you shouldn't be prevented from making that choice.

And, just because you're nice and you've gotten through the whole post, rainbow pigs!

Doing The Unimaginable.

So, in my recent post, I talked a bit about The Imitation Game. Essentially, it was pretty awesome. And it centred around this guy called Alan Turing, who was very much presented as being Aspie, on the Autism Spectrum. (Though those words were never used.) As such, I suppose there was very much a connection point for me there, with a lot of what he was struggling with - because in some aspects, I've struggled with similar things in my past. And some now, as well. However, there are some things that I think are quite different between us, which I'm quite thankful of. I like people, firstly. People are good.

One of the quotes that I loved from the film was this one: "Sometimes it's the very people who no-one imagines anything of who do the things no-one can imagine." And that made me wonder a bit, I must say. Because I think for me, my growing up has been very different; people have often imagined much of me. I'm often expected to do well, seen as the person to go to (even from people who don't know me well!). And I wonder sometimes if I've lost a bit of that 'unimaginable' element there; if I've become too predictable, too standardised and normal (there's some people probably shaking their heads a lot here) and understandable, and whether through that I've really lost something.

It's a hard thing to figure out. And I think there is some truth to that; because the more you are with particular people, the more you will become like them. That's just how we work as people, in general. But that means a compromise - losing some of yourself. So I suppose you have to make that choice - firstly, how much you want to connect with people; and secondly, which people you connect with. Because that can very much define who you are, I think. But yeah. Just something that got me wondering.

The Incredible Imitation Game.

Okay. This is number two of three posts. It became three, because it was going to be too long to do a review and reflection in the one post. So.

The Imitation Game.

I watched this - now over a week ago - with some pretty high expectations, I must admit. I am a bit of a Cumberbatch fan, and I also love the story of Alan Turing and the Enigma machine (which, if you didn't know, is what the movie is about). So again, somewhat biased. My expectations were surpassed, regardless.

For those who haven't seen the movie, I will quickly summarise. Alan Turing is a maths whiz, who approaches the army with the idea of trying to solve Enigma - because it's the greatest puzzle, and he loves puzzles. He gets put on as part of a team, but really works by himself on his own idea instead; the others are working to try and decode the bits that they intercept, while he's working on a machine to translate everything. He goes to the head of the unit, saying that he needs 100,000 pounds to build his machine. He says no, so Alan sends a letter to Churchill; who gives him the money, and puts him in charge of the unit. He puts out a test to get new people in, and hires Joan, who is a graduate from Cambridge. They put in a lot of work, and make the machine happen, through a bunch of things working out nicely, essentially. With the help of the machine and MI6, they provide certain pieces of information to the Allies to help them win the war, but not let the Germans know they've cracked Enigma. Following this, all the records are destroyed, they go their separate ways, and told never to speak of this again. Many years later, a police investigation into Alan reveals that he is paying men to have sex with him. He is convicted of indecency, and chooses to undergo chemical castration instead of going to prison. He commits suicide.

There's a lot of subtlety in this movie. The basic idea - that Turing builds a machine to crack Enigma - is very simple. But this movie isn't about the machine; it's about Alan Turing. And as such, it follows his story, and how he develops and changes over time - and jumps into his backstory at points, going back to his time at school. In effect, the whole story is being told during an interrogation of Turing by a policeman much later in his life; so it has particular elements peculiar to that style. But the story is done very well. The historical nuances are done very well; talking about issues of homosexuality, gender bias, politics, social issues and the like - this movie is quite a complex tapestry that is woven through Alan's life. Alan Turing is certainly portrayed as being on the Autism Spectrum, which you will pick up if you're familiar with Asperger's or Autism. This, along with some other aspects of the film, have been criticised by some; (look here for a good example) and, not having read the proper biography myself, I can't comment on this. However, it's not surprising that Hollywood will dramatise the story a bit, and accentuate the Aspie-ness a little; it is a Spectrum, so it's quite possible that he could have been not as pronounced as the movie suggests, yet still on the Spectrum.

I thought that this was an incredible movie, and all of the aspects were done very well. One thing that I particularly loved was the ending. Because it didn't end with his suicide; in fact, his suicide is not shown on-screen. Instead, it ends with the group of them celebrating the end of the war, around a fire, throwing all their documents in. It finishes on joy and celebration of Alan's life, not mourning his death. And I think that was a good choice, and very well done. Definitely recommend this movie to anyone - but be aware that it is very much a feelings movie. So not if you're wanting a fun movie to just laugh and such. But very good.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Don't Do It Yourself.

Sorry about the lack of posts of late. I'm currently writing two (now three), that I'm hoping I'll have finished at some point this week (and, that was last week). Time doesn't like me.

I've been struggling - particularly over the last few weeks. And it's not so much the busyness, actually, I'm pretty used to that. What's been hard has been trying to do it by myself. 

Last year - I had so much support, from so many people. Individuals, groups - everyone, it was really awesome. But a lot of that finished up near the end of last year or the beginning of this year. I finished up with Impart; I finished up with Youth Group; I finished up with my life group (bible study); and because I seemed to be doing fairly well, I wasn't keeping up as often with people who had been checking in with me before.

And I think it's really just slowly piled up to the point where I'm really feeling it, and it's really taking a toll. I think that in many ways, I got so hyped up after last year, and I was ready to just charge out and go. But I think I did a lot of that in my own power, and in my own strength. Which isn't all that much. So no surprise that now, it's running rather short.

I'm not trying to do an "oh, woe is me" post here. What I am trying to get at is this - don't try and go it alone. Never underestimate the value and power of support, encouragement, love, time and fun from the people around you. And from God, very, very importantly. People are there to help - but they can only help most of the time if they know that there's something wrong, and that you want help. :) And hang in there! Seasons change, and you can get through a lot with the right support. Speaking from experience. ;)

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Too many ideas.... + Patreon

I've mentioned many times that I tend to have a lot of ideas. In this post, I'm going to give you a bit of an idea of at least some of the different project ideas that I've started on at some level.

This one I've actually posted on here about; you can see my two posts on it here and here. Since then, I've come pretty darn far. I've got some of the rules of how the language works; things like verbs, plurals, proper nouns, possessives, genders, tense, and a couple of numbers. I've got a couple of sentences happening, and some words are really long. That's because each word is describing what it is, not just being a bunch of sounds that I'm clumping together. (Unless it's one of those words that I'm using to describe it. You can only build down so far.) One simple example is Father. The word for this in the language is Dt'ungoyoaidwur, which translates to "life that is the guardian of the family". A more complex example is Amen. The words I have this translating to is, "Please, may the words I have said be true." As such, it translates to: Prinai, yat thron mai dt’ahthræ nor shuhng. Yep. Eventually, I'm going to make a whole script for this as well. But I need to make the language first. I'm having a lot of fun with it.

Living album
So, last year I released a proper CD album called About You, and had an album launch and everything. That was actually almost exactly a year ago that I did the album launch, as an aside. And the songs were great - but the album was very rough. And that was part of the idea, but it has meant that I am a bit loath these days to give out any of the CDs that I still have sitting around in my room. But. Last year I also intentionally didn't write heaps of songs - instead, just writing them as I felt a particularly strong idea come along. And out of that, I got an album - that I've called Living, which is the name of the second last track. It's nine songs, and three spoken word tracks. It's all written, but none of it is recorded yet - that's what I have to try and find the time for! At the moment, I have scratch tracks for six of the audio tracks. Still a long way to go.

Munchkin versions
This is a bit of a fun thing. I quite enjoy the game Munchkin. If you haven't heard of it - think of nerds making a card game for nerds, and that's pretty much it. It's pretty awesome. And there's all these different versions - like ninjas, pirates, apocalypse, zombies, and a good few more. But there was a few that I thought could be pretty cool - like Doctor Who, or Harry Potter, or Mass Effect. At the moment, I've got ideas for the last one, but I've been focussing mainly on the first - so I've got a whole list of cards to make, and a good bunch I've already done. It takes Pages ages to load up when I open it, because there's so many pictures :P At the moment, I have 47 done, including Class and Race cards. I also have ideas for an expansion, because there are too many cards....

So, I've frequently been told when I'm performing that my songs very much have the feeling of musical theatre. As such, I've always wanted to write a musical - and I've had ideas before, but never really gotten very far with them. This time, though, I've actually sat down and gotten a (very very loose) idea, and have a list of some of my songs that work in well for it. At the moment, that is pretty much it, unfortunately! I'm still debating as to whether the main characters are kids, teenagers, or adults, and what I'm going to have as a bit of a driving force in there. Perhaps a hint of tragedy....

Son, Brother, Bride
This is one I've been working on since early-ish last year, and is very much borne out of everything that I learned in Impart (just as the Living album is, really). Essentially, it's a book for guys, talking about how we're the sons of the Father, the brothers of Jesus, and the bride of Christ. It's giving a better idea of who we are as guys, as well as a better idea of who God is. It's a pretty massive idea, and I'm really only just started - I have about five and a half thousand words written; which is not much, in terms of a book. And I haven't done much on it in quite a while.

Actually, I haven't done much on any of these in quite a while. Because I've had no time. My time has been swallowed up by a combination of work and other people's projects that I'm involved in - and those projects are great, but it's meant that I really haven't been able to do any of this at all. And these are just some of the main ones - it's not counting the different ideas I'm working on musically, or the ridiculous number of stories and things I've started and never gone back to.

And, of course, as I've mentioned in a previous post, money is a bit of an essential thing these days. I'm not a fan of it, but it's becoming darn hard to manage without. Hence, work. Which isn't ideal, because these are the things that I'd really love to be spending my time on, and really like to be able to show you guys more of.

As such, I'm trying a thing. I've started up a Patreon account, which is essentially a platform where people can support me as a creator. It's done according to the amount of stuff I do, rather than being one-off donations; and it has cool rewards and thingos as well. I'm expecting it to go nowhere, because you really need a decent crowd behind you to make these sorts of things work - but I'm hoping that it might be able to help a bit, at least. You can find it here:
I'm still building the page (and probably will be over the next little while), so you might not be able to follow that link quite yet. But hopefully, soon, I'll have it up and running. And I'm hoping that this might be able to help me put a little bit more into these projects that I really want to be able to do more of :)

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

I'm Not A Pecker.

This one's a bit of an update on a post a couple of times back. If you missed it, this one.
So I took a bit of time to think about what I actually want to be doing with my life and such. And actually came up with some thoughts. Nothing particularly definite and concrete, I'll admit, but a bit more than I had before.

My two big passions are my 'creative' stuff (which encompasses quite a bit), and people. And essentially, what I figured out was just that I don't want those to be only 'spare time' things. I don't want them to be given just whatever I have leftover - I want these to be my focus, what I'm really putting my time and energy into. And with the way the world works, that means getting paid for that in some fashion, or for part/s of that. Which is tricky! But that's the idea.

And in some senses, I think I always knew that. Because I'm not a 9 to 5 worker. I currently work three days a week - when I tell some people that, they ask me why I don't work full-time. I said that that was all that I asked for - and often they look at me like I'm crazy. But I couldn't do full-time work. I really couldn't. I need variety, I need to be doing different things, not just the one thing. And particularly because the jobs I've done have been quite physically demanding - when I'm not exactly built for that - it means that I don't have nearly as much energy or headspace for other things when I'm done. I have no interest in doing a trade, or working in an office, or working as a dishie, or in a warehouse, or basically any standard job, for the rest of my life. That's not me. I'm not a pecker. (My own term. Just go with it.)

So yeah. That's where my thoughtspace is right now. I don't know exactly what that looks like going forward - kinda just praying that God will lead me the right way, open up opportunities for me. Because I can have a million dreams, and thoughts, and ideas (and I often do, being a 4), but I can't do them all; and particularly not if I'm having to do a job at the same time to support myself, let alone a family (hopefully!) at some point.

Think that's about it :)

Saturday, 16 May 2015

On Trusting Yourself.

So, tonight I was part of this event called Beauties At The Movies. It's essentially a woman's movie night our church does for the women in the community (not just us churchies), and we use it as a bit of a fundraiser for The Hub (which is our community pantry). It's a bit of a night to make the ladies feel special. So I'm there in my top hat, bow tie, suit jacket, vest and suspenders (though you can't see them because of the jacket and vest), and escort the ladies up the stairs as they come in. I also make all the sound and tech stuff work, but that's the important part :)

The movie that we watched tonight was called Mom's Night Out. It was a Christian movie, and one of the things that it really dwelled on was being enough, just in yourself. That as a mum, so often you can try to live up to some perfect standard that you think you have to reach, to try and be "good enough" - but the point of it was, God loves you, just as you are. And God made you, just as you are. So be you. Stop trying to be something more than you. Because you are enough.

I think that's an awesome message. But it actually got me thinking about quite a different idea, as my brain tends to do, in its own weird way. And maybe this is the guy equivalent, I don't know. Though being enough can certainly be a message for guys as well.

One thing I've always struggled with is trusting myself. I do not trust myself with much at all - and even that which I do trust myself with, I almost expect that I'm going to muck it up before long. And, to be honest, that's something that I still struggle with, even now. Even after Impart, after I've revolutionised my ideas of who I am, and who God is. I still find it hard to trust myself.

But here's the crazy thing, right. God does. He seems to trust me. A lot more than I do, pretty much all of the time. He trusts me with situations, people, things - that I probably never would. I might wish for them, hope for them - but I wouldn't trust myself with them. Particularly people. That's kind of a big one. Him trusting me with one of his sons or daughters. Especially the latter, being a guy and all. But he does trust me. And other people seem to as well, more and more. Which is kinda scary sometimes.

Because these are big, important, precious things. And when you see that, part of you says that you want it - but the other part says that you don't want to mess it up. You don't want to break it. And you don't want to risk it. You don't trust yourself. That's been me. But he is trusting me, with the big, important, precious things. And I get the feeling that's not going to change too soon.

And perhaps, if other people are saying they can trust me, and God is saying he can trust me - then maybe I can trust myself, too. And then - God only knows.

Monday, 11 May 2015

On the Power of Stories and Memory.

I've touched on this a fair few times before, yes. Hopefully this isn't just a re-hash of what I've said before. I don't really know, I don't go back and read my old posts much. But anyway.

One of the ways you know that you've made a good story is if people remember it; and not just that they remember it, but also how they remember it - if they remember it with fondness, joy, excitement, expectation. That's certainly one of the reasons I've always loved writing, and reading - but also what I've often tried to do in songwriting. And it's also, incidentally, what I enjoy the most about gaming. My favourite games are ones that have a great story, that I can really get into. That take time, and develop their characters, and explore and challenge. That's the sort of story I love.

But there's a little advantage, I've discovered, that books, and movies, and TV shows, and games, have over songs in this aspect. You can come back to the same story - the same people, the same situations, and develop that even more. See familiar faces again, familiar places, hear the old voices. And that can be so powerful. (Unfortunately, media companies often know that and milk it for all it's worth, which isn't so great.) And that's not really possible with song - and yet, in a way, it is.

When you write a story in song, you are writing your story. And each time you write another song, you write a different part of that story. They won't always fit together as nicely - but they are still all part of your story that you're telling. And that's pretty cool, I think. :)

As an aside, I decided to do this post because I found out that one of my favourite stories/games is continuing - Mass Effect. That's probably old news now, but I'm pretty excited :) I may just play through it again....

Thursday, 7 May 2015

On Busyness and Planning.

Hey folks, sorry I haven't been posting much for a while! I've had a few ideas for posts (so hopefully you'll see a couple more in the not-too-distant future, otherwise I'll just have more piling up), but I've had no time - because I've gotten a job! :D

So I now work three days a week as a Casual Warehouse Assistant for Koorong at their warehouse in Erskine Park. For those who don't know, Koorong is a Christian bookstore (in Australia, for overseas readers [which seems to be a lot of you, interestingly!]), and they have about fifteen stores over the country, but just the one main warehouse. I believe they have a smaller one at Ryde/Sydney, but ours is the big one that essentially sends out to all of the stores. So I'm working there 8 - 4, three days a week, and that's kept me pretty busy.

"But Brendan," you say. "That still gives you two other days that you're doing nothing with! Why aren't you working four or five days a week?" Au contraire, my friend. So. Two nights a week, I'm rehearsing for Spamalot with the Campbelltown Theatre Group. (Spam, spam, spam, spam, spam, spam....) I'm Sir Bedevere :) Which is a lot of fun. One night a week, I'm practicing with the Campbelltown Catholic Club Choir (C4). Then I'm also helping out a charity put on another musical in July, and leading the Songwriting Ministry at my church. And part of a band/ministry called Shalom that practices one afternoon a week. So yeah, pretty busy. And then I'm trying to record an album this year as well :P

It's all awesome and great stuff, but it's also a lot of stuff to be happening all at once! It means that I really don't have a lot of time to be working on my own bits and pieces like the album and my music, or do gigs. But I am really enjoying everything that I'm doing :) Which is good.

The thing is, though, I've never really been much of a planner. The most I can think ahead is a few months, maybe. Anything ahead of that is just me dreaming - and I've got too many dreams for that to be any help. Which means it's really hard for me to understand things that are on a bigger scale - things that I might be doing for a year, or two years, or more. My mindset has really just been, "this is what I'm doing for now," but I almost expect it to change. So it's a surprise when it does last for a long time.

But that means that I've never really thought about where I want my life to be going. I've had dreams, like I said. But never any solid or definite ideas, nothing concrete. Some abstract concepts and ideas I want to stick by, but no real direction or focus. And I think that's something that needs to change, particularly because there are so many different things I could do or enjoy. But that doesn't mean that just because I can do it, or do it well, or enjoy it, that I should be doing it. So that's something that I'm going to be trying to figure out, probably for the next while. But we'll see. Hopefully God can help me out a fair bit on this one, because I don't really have any bright ideas.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Avengers 2: Re-Avenging!

Firstly, yes, there will be spoilers. I'll try not to have big ones, but there will be.

Sorry about the lack of posting. Been busy lately with a new job. Now working at Koorong's warehouse three days a week! Is cool. But, for now, Avengers!

So, I went to watch the second Avengers movie last night. And yes.

It. Was. Awesome.

As I think I have mentioned before, I am very much a Marvel fan, so I am quite biased. So keep this in mind.

The film launches straight into what we saw at the end of Captain America: Winter Soldier - with the twins and the sceptre. The Avengers launch an assault on the Hydra base holding the sceptre, and manage to recover it, though are a bit shaken up after encountering the twins. (For those who don't know, the twins were basically raised by Hydra, hate Stark, one can go really really fast, the other can do telekinesis and mind games.) They celebrate finally recovering the sceptre; but Banner and Stark happen to find something in the gem of the sceptre - what seems to be the key to unlocking AI. They debate, but decide to go ahead, the idea being that it will protect the world for them. But the simulations keep failing - until they don't, right in the middle of the party. The new AI, Ultron, hears that he has come to bring 'peace' - and sees the Avengers as bringing war, so they must be destroyed. So he crashes the party, with some drone friends - though first killing JARVIS. Avengers are caught by surprise, but they manage to get the upper hand. Only thing is, Ultron is an AI, not a body - and now he's on the Net. They track him down to another spot, where they find he's recruited the twins - to quite disastrous effect. Scarlet Witch basically makes a mess of almost all of the team, and leaves them pretty bad, so they take some rest time, where Thor gets a dream telling them what to do. (Okay, that is pretty bad.) Nick Fury also comes in and gives them a pep talk. Meanwhile, Ultron is trying to get a real body, and when Cap, Barton and Romanoff steal it back, the latter gets taken by Ultron. But in getting a body, Scarlet Witch is able to read his thoughts and see what he's actually up to (destroying the world). So they're now on the Avengers side. They come back with Barton, but that doesn't make people so happy, so everyone starts shouting at each other, particularly when it comes up that Stark is trying to finish what Ultron started with the body, except putting in JARVIS, who has miraculously reappeared! Thor comes back and with his dream, jump-starting JARVIS into the body, creating Vision. Yay, more superheroes! The Avengers then find out where Ultron is keeping Romanoff, and head over there to find out he's lifting up the whole city. Fury arrives in time to get everyone out, and they manage to save the day, of course. The movie ends by showing Cap and Romanoff looking at a bunch of new Avengers - Vision, Scarlet Witch, War Machine, and Falcon.

Phew. Okay.

What I loved about this movie was the character development, and the little stories. I loved Natasha's lullaby for Bruce, and the little play that they had happening. You also really see Barton develop a lot more - we meet his family! - and the interaction between Stark and Bruce was good. You also had a lot more tension happening within the team coming out. One thing that was also great was having characters from the individual franchises come in - first seeing them at the party, but then War Machine hanging around for a bit, and Fury/SHIELD dropping by was cool. Also liked the creation of Vision from JARVIS :D That was quite nicely done.

Admittedly, Thor's dream was a bit of a cheat there. So not entirely happy with that. Also, the Avengers seem to suddenly be traffic controllers, directing dozens and dozens of people out of the way and such. They had a bit of that before, particularly with Cap - but there seems to be more of an emphasis on that, especially at the end of the movie. Cap also now has a thing on his arm specifically to bring the shield back, just like it already magically did before! Doesn't stop him from losing it once, though.

Ultron is also portrayed very well - and quite interestingly, actually. If you've watched a lot of the trailers, he's a lot less serious in the movies, and there's a bit of Stark's humour in there (funnily enough, since he was made by Stark). Which was a bit surprising, but it's a welcome change to have something a bit different.

The next movies coming up are Ant-Man and Civil War - there wasn't any set-up for the former, but there was a bit of tension between Cap and Stark happening to foreshadow the latter. The mid-credits scene also points again towards Avengers 3, like Thor's dream and a whole bunch from Guardians Of The Galaxy.

All up, I really enjoyed this movie - but that's coming from an avid Marvel fan. If you have a different opinion (as I know many do), comment below!