Writing Samples

Freelance Musician & Video Review for music marketing website.

Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, Musician, Summoner of the Wind

As someone who is also “getting tired of the city”, there is an instantaneous and ineffable charm to the music of Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, a singer-songwriter out of Calgary who summons the very wind with his infinitely listenable folk music. He brings a unique sound that at times tips its hat to the great folksters who came before, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell and José González. With a demeanor that is instantly welcoming and soft-spoken, he works his unassuming folk tunes into the scenery around him. This presents an effortlessly authentic style that folds the sound of the wind, coyotes, and seagulls into songs like his endearingly intimate, “I Love That Sound”.  In the SCENES Live session on September 27, 2020, he speaks to us from his ongoing Farm Tents Tour, where he is performing in an open-air tent. Here, he reveals that he aims to write songs with “simple details”. In this, his aim is true. His fingers cleanly pick along the backbone of the guitar neck, dancing and landing, playfully. His lyrics are pulled from the natural world, from small towns, and from invoked musical influences. In his song “Our River” he asks, “what if we bought ourselves a farmhouse, with a kitchen FM radio, and we keep our seeders off the backdoor? When the wind picks up they’ll wave to and fro.” But the magic of this performance is that the wind does pick up, and Fitzgerald remains steadfast in the gentle rocking. On his Facebook, he tells us he is “a dog man with a good plan and two hands”. He paints a picture of striving for simplicity, while simultaneously giving subtle musical clues that, underneath that persona, he has a remarkable capacity to take in the world around him and transform it with his music. With the complexity of this juxtaposition, any listener may find a reason to be enraptured, and carried by the river that Michael Bernard Fitzgerald presents.


Freelance article written for a law website.

Agricultural Law Can Affect You

A wide variety of rules and regulations can apply under landscaping and agricultural laws. You should know how to stay protected and know when expert assistance may be required. Agricultural laws can affect many types of industries and individuals, such as:

  • Large and small companies engaged in landscape design and architecture.
  • Tree, Shrub and Lawn Planting Services.
  • Soil Preparation and Grading Services.
  • Irrigation Architects and Installers.
  • Arborist, or tree-cutting services, and property line management services.
  • Independent workers, and youth workers which contract with these services.
  • Consumers who utilize these services.
  • Homeowners with agricultural features such as trees, retaining walls and lawns.
  • Hardscape construction services such as the use of stonecutters, or splitters while constructing retaining walls, pathways or patios.

Know Your Rights

If you are an employee in the landscaping services industry, you should know your employer is required to provide training [[secure link to research source]] in a language you can understand. Proper training can help to avoid many on-the-job hazards in the Agricultural Industry. However, your employer should also provide an actionable system for the prevention of injury and illness. Even with these precautions, many on-the-job hazards can occur [[secure link to research source (Osha)]]. You have options if you have experienced minor or major injuries caused by or related to any of the following:

  • repetitive stress or motion
  • cuts or amputations
  • slips or falls
  • head injury or trauma
  • back injury due to lifting
  • weather-related stressors such as heatstroke or cold intolerance
  • exposure to construction or lawn-maintenance chemicals such as pesticides
  • backhoe, tractor, or wood-chipper related injuries
  • electrocution due to damaged receptacles and connectors
  • full or partial hearing loss due to repeated high-decibel, sound trauma
  • eye injury or vision-impairment
  • vehicle accidents

Making sense of confusing industry codes and law procedures may be difficult under the above circumstances. This might mean going without necessary care, or the financial support you need. With [[LAW GROUP]], you can receive experienced and professional law advice that will help you stay prepared and safe. [[CONTACT LINK]]


Sample social media content created for Leonardo: the international society for the arts, sciences, and technology.

Tweet:

Explore the tendrils between Louis Vuitton and the Wizard of Oz in this communiqué from Djerassi Ranch artist resident, Vidhu Aggarwal.

Hashtags string example: (hastag)DjerassiRanchArtistResidency Leonardo ISAST artist writing VidhuAggarwal SciArt ArtTech #Art #science lasertalks LeonardoISASTblog

[[link to related article]]

[Related photograph from blog.]

Facebook:

What can the loose weave of a braid tell us about the movement of time? Drift through fluid observations in Max Herman’s “The Mindful Mona Lisa: Expert Evidence”.

[[link to related article]]

#Art #Science Leonardo LeonardoISAST SciArt ArtTech lasertalks

[Related photograph from blog.]

Instagram:

Stitching Dreams: Anthropologist Lydia Nakashima Degarrod relates the experience of mapping the urban dreamscape from the countryside of Djerassi Ranch.

[[link to related article]]

#Art #Science Leonardo LeonardoISAST #SciArt #ArtTech lasertalks #Anthropology #dreams #shakespeare LydiaNakashima

oceanquotation

[Original photograph & content processed / created by me.]


A series of Social Media Posts for a (fishing) netting company. These ran in late 2019.

A Rich and Long-Standing Tradition in [[Company Name]] Fishing Nets

Continue a rich and long-standing tradition of [[company name]] fishing with [[company name]] Fishing Nets. To learn about our many customizable netting options, contact us today (link).

[[Company name]] Fyke Nets include conduit frames, galvanized hoops, a black net coat treatment, as well as polypropylene and lead core rope. With customizable netting and rigging options, you will find our quality is beyond compare.

Learn more about fishing in [[Region / City Name]] by navigating to [[city website]] where you can charter your fishing excursion, or learn more about what the [[city]] area has to offer. And afterwards, navigate over to [[web link /company name]] for more information about the premier destination for your fishing net needs.

Did you know: In the 1890’s, Lake Superior provided 78 % [link to secure research source]] of the herring caught in the United States. We are pleased to be a part of the long-standing fishing tradition for the [[city]] area and beyond.

[[Company name]] Fishing Nets is the premier destination for all your netting needs. Our standard Gill Net configuration includes foam core rope, and 30 lb. lead core rope, as well as a variety of additional customizable options.

You will need tough nets for the coming season. With our selection of customizable nets, you will find the exact support you need for all your netting needs. Our Mesh Nylon netting is available in sizes ranging from small insect netting up to 1 in. squares with variable strengths.

Experience a netting variety you can trust with [[company name]] Fish Nets. Our Fyke Nets can be customized to include size variation, custom frames, zippers, guards, treatments, and differing throat sizes. Contact us for more options. [[link]]

In 1915, 20 million pounds of fish [[link to secure research source]] were caught in the [[city]] area. Imagine what can be done with our fine [[company name]] Fishing Nets, today.

Experience a Gill Net variety you can trust with [[company name]] Fishing Nets. We offer monofilament, multifilament, multi-strand monofilament, micro-mesh, vertical, and experimental gill nets. Contact us [[link]] for custom rigging options.


Book Review for poetry book for a political website. Appeared in Headline Poetry and Press on December 8, 2019.

Forging through the Flame: A Review of Bola Opaleke’s “Skeleton of a Ruined Song”

There is no way to best prepare for the creation of the world. And yet, here is a recommendation to do exactly this. Bola Opaleke’s Skeleton of a Ruined Song is another flame in the recreation of what poetry now has to offer.

In Skeleton of a Ruined Song, we are dropped into the action with the title of the first poem, “In This Kingdom of Ash”. Here, we are in the fire and rubble of what has been and what is to come. We are immediately greeted with a loss of self, or the gaining of self, depending on where we fall within the assertion that “[t]here is a name for everything, / but not everything has a name”. In most creation tales, the gods determine the signaling system of language creation, and identity creation. But our gods are absent until several stanzas later, “[s]hall we play this game where darkness kisses the gods in your eyes”? The gods appear after the ghosts of trauma, the abducted groom, wars past and present and future, time, birth, and violence. These gods are late. What is essential in the process of naming? Who gets to bestow a name if not the gods? Who gets to bear a name? The big bang exploding through an ambiguous timeline is a deft and confident stroke which occurs merely in this first page, and then recapitulates throughout. From the onset of this book, Opaleke demands the reader be not just a spectator, but a present element in the process of creation.

In “The Skin is An Island” “[y]ou will find out too late / that words come before language”. The naming we have just experienced is a stepping-stone to the processing of the hierarchical patterns that give organization to the birth of thought. But, in a sudden torrent, the fire and ash are quelled, “[w]ater was the first belief your ancestors embraced.” This elemental obfuscation offers a new bearing in time, and a new marker for creation and subsequently language creation. The “you” of this poem is operating under a different system of communication.

While each piece builds on what appears before it to construct this world, the stand-out to me was “Ghazal for the Undead” which asks “[w]ho will inherit our bones?”

I took out a pen to underline and was too astonished by the stunning imagery to extricate any part from another. This tightly woven plea, in its looping form, reinforces the complicity in creating language when war and famine and migration are an everyday horror. Essentially, you can feel that if there is escape, you must to survive, but you will carry this burden of knowledge deep in the roots and minerals of the self, even as you construct the act of being in another place, another time, another world. But this is all surface work of the complex and direct interrogations that live throughout the book.

This writing slices to the deep-rooted heart within seconds to reveal, in gorgeous but essential ways, how trauma can bore down inside and live in the viscera of the self, but how despite the changing of our very vital elements, we can still find the way to our named self. It is at once a call to action, and a soothing maneuver that questions how kingdoms can be named or created. Now go read. [[linked book information]]