1.29.2015

My First Official Band Music Video EVER!

Last night, my punk rock band EDDIE ATE DYNAMITE shot a music video in about 90 minutes, for our 12 second song "I Like Your Hat."

Here it is.



Perhaps the fastest production of any music video EVER.

1.28.2015

Writing Class Assignment #3 (Fiction) - Rough Draft

The third assignment for Week 1 of my writing class is to write a fictional piece about myself. Specifically, to create a fictional person and describe their fictional encounter with me. Challenging. I decided to go for broke and create a female character speaking in first person POV and present tense. The character is based on a woman I went on a date with a week ago and never heard from again (although I thought it went swimmingly). The setting is a youth hockey fundraiser at the Capitol Ice Arena in Middleton WI that my band GUPPY EFFECT is performing at on February 7th - in the future, so technically fictional. I want to thank Melanie Kennedy and Sherry Misener for editorial input, especially on the feminine angle.

REKINDLED

by Joe Leonard

© 2015 Joseph S. Leonard

I arrive at the ice hockey arena and take the stairs up to the mezzanine level cautiously since I'm in heels. There's a women's restroom in the hallway at the top of the stairs and I go in to check my mascara. My eyes are still watering from the February wind that blasted me in the parking lot.

I take a deep breath, exit the bathroom, and walk down the hall to the mezzanine entrance.

There are perhaps two dozen people inside. On instinct, I beeline for the bar and relax a little bit in the vicinity of the familiar liquid tonics. I look across the long room to the far end where the band is setting up. I am not sure if Joe sees me, bundled up as I still am in my coat and scarf. He is busy setting up music equipment with his band.

I take off my scarf as the bartender, a petite brunette girl who looks barely old enough to serve alcohol, comes over.

She doesn’t say anything, just raises her eyebrows as if to say, “You know the drill.”

“Do you have red wine?” I ask.

“Um…I think so,” she says, looking around behind the counter. “Hang on. Hey, Mary…?”

She's addressing a middle aged woman who is struggling to carry a case of Bud Light behind the bar. The discussion between the bartender and Mary as to the whereabouts of the elusive red wine fades as I turn back to the band.

I’m startled to see Joe about 10 feet away, coming toward me.

“Hey, stranger,” he says, smiling and opening his arms in what I interpret as an invitation for a hug. “Fancy seeing you here.”

We embrace quickly and awkwardly, but not unpleasantly.

“Can I get you a drink?” he asks.

“I may already have one coming,” I reply. “But thanks.”

Do I apologize for not replying to his Tinder message after our date last week? Maybe best to let that slide since he seems happy to see me and unperturbed. But wait…is it good that he’s unperturbed? Shouldn’t he be a little perturbed that I blew him off?

“I wasn’t sure if you'd come,” he says, forcing my hand. I feel awkward again.

I try to sound sympathetic. “I am sorry I didn’t text you back. When you have a three year old son, it’s hard. But I'm here...at your show.”

“Here’s your wine,” the bartender says behind me, offering a welcome distraction. I turn toward her and reach into my purse for money.

“Put that on my tab,” Joe says to the girl. “And anything else she wants, too.”

I can't repress a small smile. I am glad I came after all. Maybe I will go on another date with him, if he asks. He may be a writer and a musician. But he’s a gentleman.

1.27.2015

Writing Class Assignment #2 (Creative Non-Fiction) - Rough Draft

I started taking a six week writing class online, via the Waukesha WI based All Writers' Workshop. One of the assignments for the first week is to write a creative non-fiction piece explaining my writing goals and what kinds of writing I have done in the past, as well as how I found out about the class.

Here is my first draft. I am sure what I submit will be different, but I would love your feedback. I am limited to 500 words and I am a little over that now, so subtraction would be more helpful than addition.

Id
By Joe Leonard
© 2015 Joseph S. Leonard

Hi. Joe’s alter ego here. Call me Id. How cool is it that Joe asked me to help him write one of the assignments for his writing class? Normally he only lets me take the helm of our shared corporeal being on occasional nights and weekends, when our band plays a show or we have a hot date.

He’s even letting me write this at his work computer, when he should be working on those IT compliance documents. But…boring!

I have been persuading Joe to take his creative writing more seriously the past few years, the way he prioritizes playing music. He's been resistant.

“I am so used to writing for other people that it's hard to write for my own enjoyment,” he told me once while we were in the shower.

Joe has a Masters in science journalism and writes professionally for The Man. He’s published a few news and trade articles, and even co-authored a peer-reviewed study in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine in 2004 when he worked at the vitamin company.

About four years ago, I convinced Joe to do 10 minutes of creative free writing a day. He started a blog and has been writing almost every day. His writing has definitely improved a lot as a result. Now I want him to try to get his creative writing published.

He wrote some great travelogs during his family’s Australia trip last fall. “If you had money,” I told him. “You should totally just go places and be a travel writer.”

“Money’s always the issue, isn't it?” he replied wistfully. “I will be lucky if I can save enough for the bike trip to Ireland in August.”

Just before the Australia trip, I was chilling out on the periphery of Joe’s subconscious. Through the sliding door I could hear the audio files he was archiving for the Radio Literature show on Madison’s WORT FM, where he volunteers. The guest was Kathie Giorgio, talking with the host about the online writing classes offered through her All Writer’s Workshop in Waukesha WI. Joe was too engrossed in his task, but I was paying attention. I leapt from my hammock between the palm trees in Joe’s happy place and burst into his conscious mind.

“Dude! You totally have to get ahold of that chick and find out about those classes,” I bellowed. “This is opportunity knocking.”

“OK, OK,” he gave in. “I will email her. But I can’t commit to any classes until this Australia trip is behind me.”

“Excuses, excuses,” I muttered, wandering back out into the sublime wilds of Joe’s brainstem. I could tell from the sunshine and sea breeze that he was checked out on Australia wanderlust. But there was an excitement in the air that wasn’t there before.