Tuesday, March 31, 2015

A fun writing contest, sure, why not?

What a start to the week! I belong to several Home Free fan pages and one of them announced a writing contest a few weeks back. Writers were asked to write a one page Home Free related article, story or poem. A few days before the deadline to submit an idea, I emailed my idea and it was accepted. Now comes the hard part, putting my long winded idea in a one page article. I knew what I wanted to write and just started typing. A page and a half later I knew I was in trouble. I was able to make the edits needed to keep it to one page and submitted it. In all honesty, I didn't think I stood a chance, as many of the writers I'd run across were closer to professionals than I am and very good. But I didn't see the harm in submitting an article. If I'm going to try to get my writings out there, then I need to get my writings out there, right? Admittedly so, I was checking all day the day they were supposed to announce the winner, but nothing. My allergies had me feeling very tired by the end of the day, so I went to bed early. I heard my phone going crazy after I was in bed, but I was too tired to check my phone, it can wait until tomorrow. The next morning I checked my  phone to see what all the noise was about and there it was, they announced the winner of the writing contest. Me. I thought I was seeing things, so I gave myself a couple minutes to wake up. I sat down and read it again and yes, I had won the writing contest. All the beeps on my phone were people congratulating me. I was speechless, but at the same time giddy like a teenage girl! Yes, it's a contest in fan group, not a magazine, but it might as well have been to me! So Home Free has not only inspired me to write again, but they have also helped me pull out a win! I know the people who also entered and I hope we get to read them all, as they are all great writers. So here it is, my first "award" winning article (she says with a silly grin).

How Home Free Inspired Me  written by Michelle Gallardo

How many times have you heard a song that made you cry or saw an elderly couple holding hands that made you smile or a heard a baby cry that made you want to comfort that baby? We all get inspired by the simple things in life that go on around us every day. I started writing at the age of twelve, when I made some great friends from Germany. When they left, I missed them so much that poems and songs were racing through my head so fast, some nights I couldn’t sleep. I stopped writing at some point due to life in general. Recently, while scrolling in Facebook, I came across this video of “Ring of Fire” by Home Free. I became fascinated with these guys and their amazing talent. These five guys can accomplish what other bands, with or without instruments, can’t quite capture. The perfect combination of talent in Home Free is pure magic. After watching every video I could find for about a week, I bought their Crazy Life CD.

When I heard “I’ve Seen,” I stopped what I was doing and listened to that song about five times. Listening to that song took me back to when I wrote and sang my own songs. I heard my friend and me singing, and laughing when we messed up. The words I’d written came into my head, as if I had just written them yesterday. This song, “I’ve Seen,” brought back all the rhythmic, poetic words that used to run free in my crazy brain and I began writing again.

After finding some fellow “Home Fries” online, I slowly became a part of many Home Free fan pages on Twitter and Facebook. Every person I came in contact with, was all too happy to share their Home Free experiences. After Tim Foust favorited a comment of mine in Twitter, I fan-girled for a short time and decided to get tickets to their concert in Nederland, TX.  Nederland has a small town, welcoming atmosphere, like where I grew up. The concert was, needless to say, spellbinding. I played it back in mind, for weeks! On the drive back from Nederland, we took the back roads instead of going through Houston. It was absolutely gorgeous. “Driving the back roads of Texas, trees as far as I can see.” And there it was, my inspiration for song lyrics for “Homeward Bound in Texas”

Another song I just love is “Champagne Taste.” Such a guy song, but very funny! I challenge myself to write things out of my comfort zone as much as I can. This song inspired me to write a silly song from a man’s point of view. So again, with a little Home Free inspiration, I wrote song lyrics about a guy crying in his beer when his girl left him, but what hurt him more, was she took his truck and his tools. The song is called “Mae.” Mae is the truck.

The latest inspiration came from Tim and social media. Home Free had been on “vacation” after Christmas. When the time came, Tim posted a simple “Back to the studio” in Facebook and Twitter. Once again, his words, along with some complaining about the weather, inspired me to write song lyrics. “The Studio” is about an artist going back on the road after a winter break.

Home Free grabbed my heart last summer when I heard them sing “Ring of Fire.” They continue to inspire me with simple posts, making music that can make you laugh and cry and just being themselves. Not to mention the inspiration I get from their equally amazing fans, the Home Fries. I even wrote a poem for the Home Fries and how they make me feel every day. So be sure to look around you, every place you go. There’s something out there that you feel strongly about, that can inspire you, like Home Free inspired me.

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