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I must have a thousand or more books in my collection.  You will see me getting rid of other valuables before I will part with a book.  Not only do I love to read, but I consider the physical book itself something very near and dear to my heart.  If a book gets worn out from being read, I will alter it and make art from it…but I won’t get rid of it.

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I consider books to be my friends, in a way.  The same holds true for guitars.  I just like having them around….whether I am playing them, looking at them, or making art from them.  I alter them.  I make paintings of them.  I sketch them.  I love their sexy lines. I love the beautiful wood from which they are made.  I love them.

I now own 6 guitars.  One is in the shop for a neck repair…a nice Alvarez acoustic that I’ve had for about 20 years.  My favorite, my beloved Takamine,  is right here beside me, where, when I am between writing assignments, I pick her up and strum her. This guitar has a lot of wear, but she just keeps getting better with time.  Rich.  Deep.  Tones.  Beautiful instrument!

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One guitar is covered with mosaics and sitting in front of my fireplace….and another is awaiting a mosaic treatment.  Blah…blah…blah….I’ll probably own more before the year is over.  This past week, a close friend from Texas sent me a new strat….and a friend from here in Portland gave me another with an amp….so I have guitars running out of the wazoo….both for playing and for making visual art.

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I am starting all over with my guitar lessons, because I learned a lot of chord fingering incorrectly. I tried this one other time, but got distracted with school and work.  Now, I’m taking guitar lessons again.  My calluses are gone and the metal strings hurt my fingers….but I’m playing every single day. They will come back…and when they do, playing will be much easier.

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I did not ever play guitar in a band.  I played keyboards and sang vocals…and I even played cowbell from time to time….but I’ve never been very good on the guitar.  I plan to change that.  I mean…I’m not starting a band.  I sit in with one occasionally….but I’m way too old to start anew.  What I AM going to do, however, is learn something new about the guitar, practice every day….and if I get better than I am today….right now…I will be happy.

Over the last week, I have practiced an hour each morning, and an hour each evening…and today, I had sort of a breakthrough. I love blues music, and I knew Stevie Ray Vaughan (a little) from two jobs that I had in Houston….so I’ve been practicing the 12 bar blues in anticipation of adding the lyrics to a couple of the songs that I wrote over the last year….one is “Call Me When the Coast is Clear” and the other…. “Two Story House” ….both country songs, but I’m trying to make them into blues songs now.  It’s fun.

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Anyway…that’s all I have to say….   Off I go to practice my guitar.