Thursday, May 20, 2010

Many More Birthdays-My Relay for Life Song

My sister Barbra, a cancer survivor, asked me to write a song on this year's Relay for Life theme,"Happy Birthday." I was driving to Jackson for state chorus (I had four 5th and 6th grade students in it this year). It was a Thursday. Not having attempted songwriting in years, I had my doubts that I could do this in less than a month. I told her I'd try, but wasn't promising anything. As soon as I got off the phone with her I said something like, "God, if you have a melody for me, let me hear it." I gave it over to God to decide.

I turned on the radio for inspiration, but there was a country song on, not my favorite genre, so I turned it off and started thinking about words. I thought about how cruel cancer is, and how the victims would like to make it to just one more birthday. I thought about the suffering and the wish for a cure; and how Relay for Life is a gathering for family and friends to raise money for that cure. I thought about the remembrances for the victims as well as support for the survivors. I started humming these words and suddenly I had the first 2 verses of "Many More Birthdays." I took out my iPhone and recorded myself singing it.

When I got to the convention it was very hectic. That afternoon I went back to my room to rest, typed the words into the notes of my iPhone and came up with a chorus. Basically done.

When I got home that Sat., I wrote out the melody notes and chords, played around to get an accp., wrote that out. A couple of weeks later I played it on keyboard, taped it onto cassette. But I needed it on a CD. This took a LOT of time and research. I almost gave up, but wound up downloading Audacity to convert it into an mp3, using my webcam built in microphone and made a CD!!! The quality isn't great, but it works! woo hoo!

Now I get to hear Dinah Rebecca Lachney--a great singer who stood in line next to Kelly Pickler while trying out for American Idol--sing it Friday night (May 21st) at Scott County's Relay for Life in Forest, MS. (Pray it doesn't rain us out!) Dedicated to all the cancer survivors and victims! I'm sad to report that Jackie, the sister of one of my best childhood friends passed away a few days ago after a 24 year battle with cancer. She was 57. Pray for a cure!

Dinah Rebecca sang beautifully tonight! The sunset was gorgeous, pink clouds.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Poetry Submissions--Part 3 Getting Organized

You have been writing poems for years--on scrap pieces of papers, in old half-used notebooks, on the back of cash register receipts, or even on bank deposit slips. Gather them and get ready to organize! Type them into a word document titled "My Poems" and follow the advice I posted on wordpress here

Monday, May 10, 2010

Poetry Submissions-Part 2 “Where”

Poetry Submissions Part 2 helps to answer the question of where to submit your poetry/prose/essay/story/chapbook/art work. With so many journals, magazines and anthologies, the perfect place for your particular work seems to hide like a bird in the branches.  Here are some resources that can save you a lot of time and research so you can have more time to write!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Poetry Submissions-Part 1 "How"

my azaleas

How do you make a poetry submission? What are the rules? How do you format your document? Do you need a copyright? These are some questions I asked when I decided to submit my poems to journals and magazines. After many long hours of online research I found several helpful sites and made a list that became my "Bible" for making poetry submissions. I also got some helpful advice from the speakeasy at , joined the Writers Guild and attended workshops.

The first part of my series on Poetry Submissions will be restricted to "how." The next two parts will pertain to "where" and "craft."  Please click here for the rest of this article.

About Me

My photo
Wynne Huddleston is a poet, musician and teacher. Her first book of poetry, From the Depths of Red Bluff, ISBN: 978-0-9840483-2-8, published by the Mississippi Poetry Society, Inc., is now available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Ms. Huddleston is the Mississippi Poetry Society 2014 Poet of the Year. Her poetry has been published in numerous publications including the Birmingham Arts Journal, Camroc Press Review, Stymie Magazine, Danse Macabre, Orange Room Review, New Fairy Tales Anthology, Ink, Sweat & Tears, and Four and Twenty. Her poem, Same Stars, Different Houses received a Pushcart Nomination from Deep South Magazine. Awards include the 2013 MPS Award, and Winner of the Grandmother Earth National Contest 2010 for Environmental Poetry. Ms. Huddleston was born in Lone Star, Texas, but has lived in Mississippi most of her life. She has been an elementary music teacher for 25 years, and has 2 grown sons, and 2 grandchildren.