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It snowed a lot last week here in Loveland. And I came across a photo of my college boyfriend. And I had a very sore throat but I still needed to write a song for the week.

And favorite old quotations from disputed sources make great song bridges.

And I love making music with Nathan Bloom.

Here’s my song for week 5 of Song a Week 2016:

 

Black Dog Road

Once again, Nathan joined in on recording my song for Song a Week 2016, and it was fun! We got our daughter Lu involved in the video-making too. Here’s week 4’s song:

Oh, and as the song suggests, we added a dog to our family. Not something I thought would ever happen (again, after a trial week with a difficult dog a couple years ago), but that’s another story I hope to write about sometime in the near future.

Here’s my song from last week. #Songaweek2016

It was especially fun to work with Nathan on this one – it had been a while since we made a videosong together (except our annual holiday greeting in December).

 

A Song A Week!

I am excited to announce that I have joined the Song a Week 2016 challenge. As you might guess, this means I and a number of other songwriters will attempt to write a new song every week. I’ve never tried something like this before, and I know it’s going to be a good exercise in fighting my perfectionist tendencies – a song a week means I’m sure to put out some stuff I’m less than proud of, some that bores me, some I will probably even regret or look back on in embarrassment at some point!

But I think I can count on doing some good work too, since I’ll be exercising those writing muscles regularly!

Here’s to a year of hard work and a batch of 50-some new songs! (I joined a week late so I’m not sure how many weeks that actually boils down to).

And here’s the first song I submitted:

Another one is already written, recorded and in the midst of editing work for this week! Starting strong :)

Lastly, here are a couple songs I recorded recently but forgot to post on the blog:

 

 

 

Frankenchurch is Loose!

So the poet Rumi, the novelist Mary Shelley, the comedian Bill Maher, and the Apostle Paul all walk into a book . . .

It’s a book for, about, and by members of the Christian church, and it finds some helpful instruction in things each of these people (among others) have said or written.

The book is called Frankenchurch, and I cowrote it with my father Larry Tindall and our friend Matt Bissonette. It’s a unique conversation grown from a reading of Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein and comparisons we three see with the story of the church.

You can buy the book or download samples for iBooks and Kindle; and the book is available in print version at Blurb.

Here’s a little sample quote from the book:

Many new-to-church people are excited about life, like the newly-made Victim [the name we gave to Frankenstein’s nameless monster], and eager to create a strong and healthy church, like the young and brilliant Victor [Frankenstein himself].

And many jaded church people, including former church leaders, cannot stand the sight of the church they had a hand in creating, the church that also had a hand in creating them.

All of us church folks are both Victor and Victim.

It’s been nearly five years since we began working on this book, when I was still living in Owatonna. Matt conceived the idea, and invited my dad and me to help him with the actual writing and publishing of it. The first drafts were drawn up in my parents’ backyard garden and around their kitchen table as we three met to talk through the bones of the book itself.

I have fond memories of reading Frankenstein on my front porch swing and writing much of the content of Frankenchurch in the early morning hours before the rest of my family woke.

My dad, ever the pastor-teacher and life coach, poured his mentoring care of others into the discussion questions and revisions and additions to the text of the book; and his business acumen into learning and entering the world of self-publishing.

It’s been a true team effort, and we’re excited to finally send our monster creation out into the world!

In the news – more mass shootings than calendar days this year. Police brutality, Black Lives Matter protests, Syrian refugees, domestic terrorists, Islamic extremists . . . and my Facebook feed lights up with posturing and politics, fear, reactionism, polarization. So much of it is ugly, irrational, unkind, thoughtless.

I used to have a lot more to say about these things, back when I was smarter and more authoritative on everything, I guess. Now, I just feel softened, tender towards everyone, silent and sorrowful, observing the overwhelming ocean of humans trying to make their way in the world – a few take their pain and anger to destructive extremes, and the Internet ignites over these incidents. Behind our screens, scanning and clicking, we think we know, we’re sure we understand the heart of the matter.

But I for one am safe and comfortable, and it’s possible that until and unless I somehow become otherwise, I simply cannot understand, have very little that’s useful or constructive to tell you from my social media soapbox.

Maybe not every form of silence is violence. Maybe we could all use a silent night or two – shut down the devices and be still. Breathe.

I still identify as a Christian after all these years of living, all the crimes and abuses done in the name of Christ, all my doubts and grievances and downright embarrassment of the church culture I’ve been part of. And the biggest reason I can think of for my tenacity in this faith, is that I have learned I don’t know it all, don’t have it all, can’t get it right – and my faith remains in a God who loves, and loves, and loves us still – all of us, no exceptions – who holds it all together. And I don’t have to be afraid. I too can love unto death, can love my enemy, need not arm myself for battle. God is greater than all. And God is love.

And “there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear.”

 

PS – If you take me up on the suggestion of a silent night, you might also want some cozy-dark holiday music to ease you back out of it. Halo in the Frost fits the bill, and it’s a free download.

One Poet to Another

Grabbing some moments at the coffeeshop and combing through old computer files, felt like it was time to post a little something. So here, a poem about poems:

One Poet to Another
2/18/13 Julia Tindall Bloom

When I remark that my poems are not as good as yours
I am not denying their breathing reality.
They are real-live poems
I know, I was there at the birth of each and every one.
I am only admitting
That I love them too blindly
Keep them too close
To see them straight
And seeing the healthy bodies of yours
Functioning beautifully
Independent of your protection
I recognize my babies still have some growing to do
And so does my love.

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