This Week's Tune (2/19)

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

A good evening to all!

With rain replacing snow here in WI, it seems as though winter's finally relaxing its grip--key word, seems. Every year, it feels like the blizzards and wind chill stick around for longer and longer, making the slog to the warmer months all the harder. In that vein--and to celebrate apparently coming closer to the end of said slog--I present for this week's song the gospel blues work Keep Your Lamps! composed by Andre Thomas and sung by the St. Olaf Choir (Usual copyrights apply; I own nothing!)

For pretty much all of my elementary, middle and high school years, I was part of the school choir in some way, with dozens of songs under my belt because of it...including a few I'd rather not recall :). Some, however--especially this one--have stuck with me in the best possible way, to the point where I'm still breaking them out now. Though my section of the choir didn't perform this piece, I vividly remember the concert it was performed in, and still have a tape of it buried somewhere. It took me years to find a digital version that came closest to my memory, but now it holds a special place on my Classical Mix playlist. Based on a work song from slavery days, some believe this tune was sung as a coded way of passing on word of planned escapes on the Underground Railroad. As such, I enjoy it on several levels: historical, musical and creative. Whenever it feels as though my writing, my classwork or life as a whole seems to be at a standstill--or worse, going the wrong way--I've often found myself playing or singing this song, and getting just the right encouragement to keep going.

Like so many other times, this encouragement is paying off right now. Though another rejection letter for Discarded came in not long ago, I'm still sending it out to the next choices on my list, and seeking out the resources provided in the first letter. ATTOH beta reads are still coming in, which means the resumption of edits planned for the start of March is still on. If everything works out, I'll be releasing this work on Kindle by the end of that month...and maybe, just maybe, I'll have a bite for Discarded around that time, too! I'll have more news as it comes in; meantime, keep reviewing, sharing and commenting!

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