(As opposed to "thinking out loud.")
Adelaide, Illinois (15-song album, 2003): Though I prefer playing and recording with a band, I do think that Adelaide is the best album I have ever recorded. The songwriting (particularly the lyrics) and singing on Adelaide are far superior to those on NBC's On the Dance Floor or Three Hit Combo's of Pop and Science. I am also very fond of the arrangements, the mix, and the sound quality. Of course, this project took nearly two years to complete and only involved two persons (myself and Zach Collier). Zach was very accomodating; the project took so long because I worked on it only sporadically and sometimes went months without recording. I performed and arranged all of the music, and the only instruments used were a piano and an electronic keyboard. Production-wise it was very simple.
I'm pretty good at coming up with ideas; I'm also good about initiating projects based on these ideas. Seeing these projects through to completion, unfortunately, is something I rarely do. The following are the major non-school, non-work projects I have completed in the past five years:
Josh Tinley.com (website, 2000): This blog is an extension of a project that began as "Adelaide, Illinois: The Electronic Home of Josh Tinley," located at www.anderson.wilson.org. (The current homepage is found at www.joshtinley.com.) In the past 4 1/2 years I have redesigned the site three times (though much of the current site still uses an old design) and have posted several short stories and simple non-fiction pieces, most of which has been poorly edited. For much of the site's history it was updated only occasionally, though for the past six months I have been adding content at least every few days.
On the Dance Floor (novella, 2001): I wrote On the Dance Floor chapter by chapter on anderson.wilson.org in 2000-01. (Between 1997 and 1999 I had attempted writing the story on four occasions, three times as a screenplay and once as a stage play. I completed a short version of the screenplay in the summer of 1999, but didn't know what to do with it.) Like many of my web writings it was poorly edited. When the internet version of the book reached completion, I edited the entire piece (again, poorly) and self-published the print version of the book with the help of Office Max. (A couple of the pages ended up being out of order.) My story of a dorky college student who finds that he has an alter-ego and an uncanny knack for dancing while trying to impress a girl and who ends up in a heated turf battle with the girl's boyfriend, renowned dancer Johnny Smooth, failed to attract the interest of publishers. I did, however, narrowly avoid being scammed by a literary agent.
I suppose I could also count the handful of short stories, church songs, and Nashville Scene articles; but I wouldn't consider any of these "major projects." (Some of the Scene pieces were quite involved and required a great deal of research, but I had well-defined parameters to work within and some assurance of payment going into them, so I count them as work-related.)
I'm going to take a break now. Then I'll tell you about everything I started and didn't finish.
To be continued