Cruznotes by Jaime Alejandro | 9.21 Recap Newsletter
scribblings and audio about the arts, process, and our favorite things.
This is Jaime Alejandro at cruzfolio.com. Welcome to October!
September was a wild ride of creative highs and lows. We’ve had some excellent guests who are indirectly helping me refine my creative pursuit and love the process even more! Let’s recap what happened in September, shall we?
Arts Calling Podcast
Arts Calling Podcast #5 with Daniel Damiano: I had the pleasure of meeting Daniel at the Last Frontier Theater Conference in Alaska about 11 years ago. He is a writer, actor, one of the kindest creatives, and truly exemplary when it comes to making work that rings true and gets done no matter what. We spoke of his latest novel, “The Woman in the Sun Hat,” and his new poetry collection 104 Days of the Pandemic, now available! I’ve learned a lot from him and can’t wait to catch up again! Please visit danieldamiano.com for more information.
Arts Calling Podcast #6 with Madelyn Dorta: I had an awesome time chatting with writer/podcaster Madelyn Dorta about her excellent narrative podcast series, Meteor City, and we took a deep dive into what it takes to create audio narratives, her collaboration process with her super talented siblings, and how a person can foster their own artistic community no matter where they live. I felt so inspired to continue my own narrative work and in the coming weeks, I plan to start producing some of my one act plays, which are currently collecting dust. Thanks for the inspiration, Madelyn! For her latest projects and more info, check out: wrightwoodstudios.com.
On the final Arts Calling of the month, I called up Dane Halvorson, one of my dear friends in this life. We recollect the many lessons of learning our craft together. We also discuss the importance of the sandbox mentality when starting out, his time with Second City, and his creative journey as a performer and composer. Check out his new website with amazing music composition samples: danehalvorsonmusic.com. We mostly laugh, so I apologize for my fits of joy. Hope you enjoy.
Our Kid’s Asleep Podcast
On this episode of OKA, Madd and I inadvertently put together an episode about the things we do for wealth and the effects of that warped pursuit. We didn’t intend to do so, but the lineup offered up the message. We talked about the new LuLaRich documentary, HBO’s disorienting The White Lotus, and Generation Wealth, another excellent documentary as seen by artist Lauren Greenfield.
The Writing Record Podcast
9.3.21: Regarding the passing of Merv, a talented songwriter who left us great music.
9.10.21: Three links to inspire you and how the Matrix inspired me as a young creative.
9.17.21: Norm Macdonald’s passing, and four interesting links to inspire creativity.
9.24.21: Some thoughts on The Tumble, the no budget indie flick I made a few years back with some wonderful friends. A remastered version coming soon!
Creative Drive Podcast
So Creative Drive picks up once again this month with two episodes: The first one being a short reading of one of my poems. This poem can be found in my poetry collection now available on Amazon!
The second episode features a reading of Dr. Thomas Davison’s Prison Poetry 101. Working with creative non-fiction is a bit tricky, but I love the challenge of presenting the work in an engaging way without turning it into a melodrama in audio form. My current challenge to myself is to work on these every weekend, and by keeping the readings short, hopefully I can find my way back to consistency. …And moving forward, the readings will be featuring more original scores!
And check out the new logo!
Getting my act together once again.
As some of you know, I struggle with organization, so I redesigned my planner and instead of working on my rewrites, I wrote this blog post about how I created this new weekly planner template, and what went into it. After two weeks, I can say it’s working okay. Still better than before. No matter what form focus comes in, having a checklist completely makes the difference.
Carboniferous: a poem.
A poem for Zen Monkey.
Here’s this poem inspired by one of my favorite YouTube videos that helps our family find peace throughout the busy week:
As you all know, 2020 sucked. I wrote this song years ago, but recorded this last year. Last summer, the song found the context it needed in order to truly exist. I got to add the arrangement once I began tinkering with Ableton this summer (it’s the lite version and even that is a feast of possibility). I owe my friend Dust a big thanks for fixing my guitar. Strumming some chords helped me through the roughest part of the last year. In the coming months, I’ll be producing more original songs to feature in a one-man audio show that is still in its early stages. This may or may not fit but I figure it’s time to start sharing this stuff with you all!
This month, I sold my Panasonic cameras at a KEH buyback event in town. Ever since we sunset our videography business three years ago, it felt excessive to have so many cameras lying around without use. I was real fond of the work I was able to produce with these cameras. Since the beginning of my freelance videography journey, I had Panasonic camcorders and mirrorless cameras along the way, and I always thought they were a great run and gun system for a one-man band videographer. I used some of the funds for a little Sony ZV-E10, for family photos and home videos, as well as the occasional video post. We’ll see how it goes. Thanks Panasonic, and onward with Sony!
And before I forget, stop by #icprompts on Instagram for #175+ photo and video prompts to help you out of writer’s block! I don’t believe in giving writers a fully conceived premise as inspiration. I think it’s best to share a piece of something, and then you, the intuitive and clever writer, can take over. I think it’s more fun that way. Check #icprompts out if you want a little piece of the puzzle to jumpstart your own questions. Original photos and videos by yours truly!
September is really difficult for me because I am confronted by distance. Yes, it’s Latinx and Hispanic heritage month, we also get Dia de la Raza mid-month, and there is an overall mood of celebration in the air. Once again, my family celebrated Mexico’s independence and I couldn’t go. I miss my Amá and Apá terribly. I miss my sister, my nephew, my grandma, and of course, all of my cousins, aunts and uncles. I talk with Maddie about my severe jealousy of those who can have their loved ones near (I’m working on it and it’s getting better haha). I have my in-laws, I have my wife and son, and certainly the support of friends, and I am incredibly grateful every day that we are building our life here. But it’s difficult to deny the void I feel when I can’t take my Dad to see a movie. My nephew can’t have an impromptu playdate with my son on a Thursday afternoon. Ugh, whatever, it’s fine, I’m not going to worry about it or write about it, (I’ll save my grief for a good poem or script). I don’t mean to make myself out to be a victim, but it’s what I feel right now, it is what it is, and what September reminds me of. Sigh. I guess video-chats are better than it used to be. So let’s look on the bright, yet spooky side of October.
Hope you have a wonderful month, my friends. Go make stuff!
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