Singing and Writing in the Age of Trump

It’s been quite a long time since my last post, as I’ve been doing much more music than writing—finding that playing guitar and singing, especially with others, has helped me fight despair these months since the election of Donald Trump. I have a sticker on my guitar case that proclaims “Music Helps,” and indeed it does—which is the main reason I started a monthly women’s singing circle at my house. I got the idea from an email from some friends a few days after the election, asking folks if they suffered from Post-Election Trauma Syndrome, and, if so, to join them at a local pub to commiserate. I thought the idea was great, but elected to go with music instead of beer. And thus, the singing circle was born. We have several voices, a few ukuleles and guitars, and everyone contributes copies of songs for us to sing together. Some are old protest songs, like “We Shall Not Be Moved” and “We Shall Overcome,” but those aren’t the only kind we sing. We’ve sung songs as varied as “Crazy” by Willie Nelson and (few more examples.)

So, I’ve been practicing guitar regularly, and am feeling pretty good about my playing and singing. I continue to attend the monthly Open Circle at a church in Mt. Airy, and recently sung a song there that I wrote, “Stop This March to War,” getting a great response, which was very encouraging. My next step is to sing during open mic nights at local venues.

Thankfully, my voice is doing okay, despite my asthma. I tried a few months of Alvesco, and while it didn’t affect my voice as badly as other inhaled steroids I’ve tried, it didn’t raise my peak flow levels in the slightest. So I decided to just go back to using albuterol, which doesn’t affect my voice at all. I know I’m at risk for what the doctors call lung “remodeling,” but I’d rather have remodeled lungs and still be able to sing than have old-fashioned, unremodeled ones and not be able to.

Along with my goal of doing open mics this summer, I’m also hoping to get to more writing, including doing blog posts on a more regular basis. But my main writing goal is to finish my novel. Believe it or not, there’s a personal silver lining for me in Donald Trump’s becoming president. When I started my novel, the idea of Trump even running for president had been unimaginable, but his election has played right into my plot. That’s all I’ll say about it at this time. I do hope you’re intrigued. Stay tuned!

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