Further Updates & Some under-developed thoughts on songwriting.

Okay, so first things first: an update on the progress of the blog transition.


  1. I changed my username from Shelby Stronger to Grrl in Progress. Rest assured, you can go right ahead and keep calling me Shelby. I was debating between two potential new blog names, and realized one of them would actually make a pretty fun nom de plume. And, it lets me keep the ‘grrl’ from grrl + guitar, without having to spell my website at people, so it’s a win-win for me.
  2. To match, I changed the subdomain to szmarsh.wordpress.com.  grrlplusguitar.com still works, and likely will until the summer. However, grrlplusguitar.wordpress.com does not, and will direct you to an empty page. I have (for now) kept that subdomain, but removed it from public view. There’s no longer anything there anyway, so there’s nothing to see.
  3. I have renamed the blog, after much deliberation which I hope I don’t end up regretting: Sound Waves & Spray Paint. I think it sounds a bit more ecclectic, which I guess is more me, anyway.  The new domain is soundwavesandspraypaint.com. It appears to be functional at this time, but I read that it may be unreliable for the first 72 hours, so the subdomain may be the way to go until Monday or Tuesday if you’re accessing my blog directly rather than through the wordpress reader.
  4. I attempted to rename the facebook page, but due to my phone being a bitch that autocorrects real words to make believe words, it’s misspelled. I’m trying to get that rectified, but I won’t be able to change it manually for probably at least a week (for which time I will be forced to look like an illiterate asshole), unless Facebook actually responds to my mayday and fixes it for me.  It’s been at least 12 hours, so I’m not holding my breath.
  5. I’ve changed the blog theme based entirely on what looks best cross-platform.  There were several options that were really cool on a desktop, but looked cumbersome or just plain dumb on a cell phone, so – while I haven’t committed to the current theme just yet, I’m going to wear it around the house for a while and see if I grow to love it.  I have not checked the menus or redirects to check that all the links are working, but will soon.

So, what’s left:

  1. I need to make a new banner (for the social media sites, primarily)
  2. I need to see if I can rename youtube, or if I have to start from scratch (if I do, big deal.)
  3. I need to check overall functionality of the blog and make sure all menus are accounted for and where they ought to be.

It’s coming together pretty quickly overall.




Now, let’s talk about something that’s NOT boring merger updates! Tonight was my monthly open mic, and I decided to do the newest song (It’s a Good thing I’m a Gamer…) because it’s the one I’ve got most fresh in mind, and because it’s easy to tell how the funny songs are going – people laugh.  I still have no idea how to gauge otherwise.

After the event, I was talking to one of the guys that put it together a bit, and he said that it was great, so that was a nice ego boost. It’s one thing when you’re friends tell you something is good; they’re your friends, so unless you have really shitty friends, they’re going to be nice to you regardless; it’s a bit different when someone who’s really more of an acquaintance compliments you, because they have no motive to do so unless they really mean it.

He mentioned that we need to get me mic’d properly, though, that my songs are funny, and he wants to make sure even the people in the back can hear them. I guess I don’t know where to stand to get the vocals right. I’ll have to figure that out at some point. To date, I’ve just sort of been trusting that they put the mics where they need to be so I can be heard and that all I had to do was basically stand in the general vicinity of one of them to make it work, but I guess I haven’t been quite close enough.

That did make me realize though that I’ve mostly done the funny songs at the mic. I did 365 last month, and this month It’s a Good thing I’m a Gamer. They’re both sort of humorous. Not every song I’ve written is,  but him mentioning it made me realize that if I’m not careful I’ll develop a rep as the funny song girl. Not that that would be a bad rep to have, but I don’t want to have to preface more serious songs by warning people not to wait for the joke that isn’t there.

He seemed to find it funny that I have this weirdly recent relationship with the uke, and just sort of decided ‘I’ll just start writing songs’. Roomie was in on the convo and mentioned that the breakup song took me about 4 days (though it was longer than that if you count the little tweaks I made to it after doing the first rough recording), and I know I mentioned that I wrote 365 in one night (and then edited and nitpicked for the next 2 weeks).  He seemed to think this was unusual, was like ‘you just sort of decided ‘I’ll just start writing songs. And, they’re great!’ As if he was both impressed and annoyed at the same time.  I guess I never put any sort of active thought into it. I’m a creature of whim, and I’ve been writing poetry and stories since I was six. Writing is the easy part. And sure, music and poetry are not the same. The approach to them is quite different, but it’s not like I picked up the uke and just suddenly started pulling songs out of my ass. I had to learn some chords first, and get passably good at a strum pattern or two, and get myself to a point where I was able to sing and play at the same time before I could even consider playing in front of people.  As for writing lyrics, well…sure, being a lyricist and being a poet aren’t the same, but I think if you start off as a poet you’re definitely at a marked advantage when switching gears. I guess it just doesn’t seem strange to me that I jumped into writing songs (when I really should be learning cover songs to learn different techniques and…things it hasn’t even dawned on me yet that I might want/need to know), because I’ve always been writing verses; now I’m just writing a different kind.


Poetry plays with silence. Music plays with sound. But, words never stop being words.

It was interesting, and flattering, to sort of be approached as if I’d done something unusual. I actually thought it was probably the opposite, that it took me so long to learn to sing and play (and I can still only do it with uke. Don’t expect me to be able to play guitar and sing any time soon, there’s still too much brain activity going into just fingering the chords remembering which strings not to play for which chord), that I probably should have started writing songs sooner than I did.  Though, really, I think if writing them as being an ‘easy way out’.  Composing is simple, because I can fuck up however much I want when I perform, and as long as I don’t hit any truly abysmally sour chords, I can fix it and no one will know I wandered off track but me; try pulling that off on an 80s power ballad sometime, see how many people catch your mistakes! haha.

I really do need to get back to actual lessons though, and learning some of the long list of cover songs I’ve been considering. Covers are actually harder, I think, since there’s something you’re trying to replicate that people are going to recognize. But, there are some really valuable lessons in playing other people’s stuff, there’s a lot to learn there. I just need to get myself to focus long enough to learn some of it.

It was a good and kind of insightful night in the end, really.


(And as an aside, my car is going back into the shop tomorrow, after an expense I don’t even want to say out loud as if not saying it can make the financial blow easier to bear. Sufficed to say, the car has a new radiator, water pump, timing belt, and rear brakes. BUT…the darn engine light is on, the brakes still squeak, and it feels like it has less pick up than it had before it went into the shop! Fricking cars… Just do me a favor and cross your collective fingers that no additional car expenses will be incurred on this trip, and that it’s some dumbass shit like some code the mechanic forgot to clear, or some such. I’m taking it all with a grain of salt. There’s really nothing I can do to change the situation, so there’s no point in working myself up into a huge fuss over it.)

Until Next Time, lots of things are changing, but the dust should settle relatively soon.

2 thoughts on “Further Updates & Some under-developed thoughts on songwriting.

    1. Thanks! I realized this morning I actually did sort of keep something from both of the old ones. The ‘grrl’ in my new sn from grrl + guitar. and the initials of the new domain are actually also the initials of the old poetry blog, so I inadvertently gave a head nod to both.

      Today I’m trying to get most of the social media crap updated. …though the FB page is going to be fucked over for at least another 6 days, since Facebook apparently doesn’t respond to customer support inquiries. At all. :/


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