Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Cyber Launch Party Day 17: The Ballad of Greg Logsted

Welcome to Day 17 of the Ballads of Suburbia Cyber Launch Party! For all of the details on the party including guests, the daily contests and the grand prize drawing be sure to read the information at the beginning of Day 1's blog.

GCC and other Interviews:
As I mentioned yesterday, I'm doing my Girlfriends Cyber Circuit tour this week so there are a bunch of interviews with me posting. I'm sharing the links with you if you are interested in checking them out (good questions were asked, it was fun to do) and if you want to spread the word about them, you will earn extra contest entries. So here they are:

Interview with me on Megan Kelley Hall's blog
Interview with me on Diana Rodriguez Wallach's blog

Last but certainly not least, last year I visited the Not Your Mother's Book Club at Books Inc in San Francisco, an amazing indie store. Since I can't make it out to the West Coast at least for awhile, they did a blog interview with me this time, so check that out here and if you haven't bought Ballads yet, please consider going through the link at the bottom of the interview and buying it from an amazing indie bookstore :)

Today's Winner:
Each day I am announcing the winner of the contest that was posted one week earlier. Today's winner gets music and swag from the Aussie band The Model School from Vanessa Barneveld! And that winner is... Annie West from blogger! I will email you for your address shortly! Remember to enter last week's contests! Each contests lasts one week!

Now, today's guest blogger is author Greg Logsted!

Greg Logsted has written two books for teens - Alibi Junior High and Something Happened. He has also co-written a series of kids’ books with his wife Lauren Baratz-Logsted and their daughter Jackie - The Sisters 8 series. You can find out more about Greg on his website, greglogsted.com.

Here's Greg's ballad:


“You work and work for years and years, you're always on the go
You never take a minute off, too busy makin' dough
Someday, you say, you'll have your fun, when you're a millionaire
Imagine all the fun you'll have in your old rockin' chair

Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think
Enjoy yourself, while you're still in the pink
The years go by, as quickly as a wink
Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it's later than you think”

Stephanie, thanks for letting me be part of the Ballads Of Suburbia celebration! This is fantastic. What a great idea. I LOVE music! Rock, jazz, blues, punk, metal, alt country, hip-hop – you name it, I’ll find something I like. So I thought this blog would be simple, a real piece of cake. but it’s not. The choices are way too abundant, so many fantastic songs, so many memories.

It took me a while before I realized what my problem was. I was just getting too bogged down in the past. There are so many periods of my life that are so intertwined with music that I just can’t separate them for the type of retrospective inspection they deserve. So what I decided to do was to set the way-back machine to a time way before mine. I placed the dial to 1950 and a fun little song titled “Enjoy Yourself” by Guy Lumbardo. It’s been a constant on my iPod for years, swimming behind Greenday, Grinderman and Greyboy, and it’s never failed to make me smile.

When I was in high school I was a member of the track team. My event was the 100-yard dash. Looking back there’s a couple things I realize now that I didn’t realize then. The true excitement of the event wasn’t so much crossing the finish line; it was everything that led up to that moment. Finding what track you were going to be on, the nervous energy pulsating through your body, setting your blocks, avoiding eye contact with the other runners, sizing them up, trying to keep calm and focused.

Soon you’d enter into the most exciting few seconds of the run. That’s when someone would stand and bellow the all-familiar shout: Runners, take your mark! I’d plant my toes firmly into the blocks, rising up on my fingers, gazing down at the track. All the outside distractions would begin to fade away. I’d take deep calming breaths.

Get set! Arching my back upward, head up, gazing towards the finish line, every muscle in my body tense in anticipation. Taking one deep final breath like I’m about to plunge into a bottomless pool of water. Waiting for it…waiting…waiting, each half-second stretching outwards to its own separate eternity.

BANG! Exploding forward with force and energy, moving with one goal and nothing more, to be the first one across the finish line. Everything else would disappear. I wouldn’t hear anyone cheering. There were no thoughts in my head except the running of the race, my arms and legs pumping, breathing hard, my eyes and will focused. I would be completely in the moment. The more complete I was able to push myself into the moment the faster I’d run. It wasn’t until I’d cross the finish line that the outside world would come crashing back into my head and I’d hear the cheers and the other runners.

That’s how it is with so many different things in life. Like skiing, if I’m coming down a difficult run. I’m there; I’m in that moment. I have to be. If I let my thoughts wander I’m tumbling instead of skiing. When I’m writing I’m hunting for that same moment when everything else disappears and I slip into my story completely and become one with it. Think of a really good movie that you’ve seen or a great book you’ve read – part of the enjoyment, the joy of the experience was that you gave yourself up to it and lived in its moment, you merged into it, becoming one.

Life when it’s at its best is when we’re entirely in the present tense, living in the moment; that’s when we’re most alive, that’s when we’re truly free. Yes, we have to plan and work for the future BUT don’t forget to ENJOY YOURSELF. The years go by as quickly as a wink and it’s later than you think.

Today's Contest:
Wow, Greg's ballad rings so true for me. Living in the moment and enjoying myself is certainly advice I need to follow.

For today's contest, Greg is offering up a copy of his book, Alibi Junior High. To enter just leave a comment about Greg's ballad. Maybe tell us about the moment where you felt most alive. And of course you can gain extra entries for this contest (cause I know you want this fabulous book!) by doing the following:

+1 for blogging/tweeting/etc about this blog
+1 for blogging/tweeting about the Ballads related contests I mentioned above.
+1 for comments on the GCC interviews or NYMBC interview
+1 for blogging/tweeting about the GCC interviews or NYMBC interview
And you'll earn additional entries by blogging/tweeting/etc about this blog or the cyber launch party. Just note your additional entries in your comment. Winner will be chosen at random on Tuesday August 11.

Tomorrow's Guest:

Tomorrow, Simone Elkeles, author of PERFECT CHEMISTRY among other fabulous books will be guest-blogging. So please come back to see what she has to say!


Bianca said...

Nice ballad. I loved the part about his experience with track.

I feel most alive whenever I complete a run without stopping or walking.

infinitemusic19 at gmail dot com

Kristen said...

Great ballad and message! Definitely important to enjoy life before it passes you buy! Thanks greg for sharing that story with us.

I tweeted. :)



Diana Dang said...

I feel most alive when I run vigorously. On the treadmill usually because on ground is a little hard for me.

Linked about cyber party on my sidebar. :)

marina said...

i love the exhilaration in the running for you. i only feel that when i'm running if i really wanted to run or if i'm mad and running away from something. except it has to be cold or else i get over heated and uncomfortable. that's usually how i feel when i run stupid and uncomfortable. i was not born a runner.


Punk Rock Girl said...

The Specials' version of "Enjoy Yourself" gave me the courage to do a eulogy at my best friend's funeral eight months ago. I knew everyone would expect me to say something, and although I made some notes I didn't think I could do it. She wouldn't have wanted a solemn, sentimental service. On the way to the funeral home I heard "Enjoy Yourself" on the radio, played by a DJ friend who had no idea where I was going at that moment. And I realized that until the final tragic weeks of her life my friend had always enjoyed herself completely, always lived in the moment, having fun. So I did the eulogy as a stand-up comedy routine about things we'd done together, which described what a fun and loyal friend she had been to all of us better just stating that fact. I now think of that song as hers, and know it's always later than you think.

(This is not a contest entry.)

Llehn said...

No truer words have ever been spoken.


throuthehaze said...

Great ballad! I agree that its important to live in the moment and enjoy it...its when you forget to do that, that you start having regrets

throuthehaze at gmail dot com

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

Great ballad!


WordVore Prod said...

This is so much fun to read!
Int'l entry=don't enter for grand prize.
I tweeted:)

elnice said...

Great ballad, now if we could only add an extra hour a day so we could enjoy ourselves.


Lori T said...

Great ballad. I do think that it is important to enjoy the current moment. Time goes by so quickly and sometimes you do need to just stop and live in that moment.

Breanna said...

Awesome ballad and even better message! It's so important to enjoy life. I learned that really easily. I don't really know what exhilarates me the most. Pretty sad, I know.


Paradox said...

Wow, this ballad was so poetic and expressive!

+1 I tweeted about this ballad: http://twitter.com/ParadoxRevealed/status/3235366067
+1 I tweeted about the release party: http://twitter.com/ParadoxRevealed/status/3235410240

paradoxrevealed (at) aim (dot) com