From observing some of the pieces from my colleagues. I was able to create a notation that would help inform the player of the feeling that I was aiming for. In the section below I indicate that the feeling (mood) should be pensive. This word alone would not be sufficient. So, I removed barlines and meter so that the player, feels a since of freedom and improvisation; almost as if discovering the notes for the first time. The texture thickens as I add in new elements such as the improvised portion at measure 6 and an introduction of d flat later.
Precomposition was crucial in developing the flow and addition to sections. If you look at my sketches above, you will be able to see the process I went through in order to develop a notation that aids the player, rather than hindering.
At rehearsal letter B I am hinting at a way of playing behind the beat without actually writing it. Instead, I used a hint of swagger. These words alone do not convey the feeling I want, but the rhythmic grouping helps to convey this feeling. In the video below, Eric Harland will explain the difference in playing behind/on/ahead of the beat (in jazz performance practice). I observed that his rhythmic groupings are different with each example and they help to express these different feelings.
One of the biggest lessons I have learned in composing both of these pieces is that simplicity is your best friend. I believe that as a composer, that I must always search for the most simple way of creating the most nuanced and complex type of music. Too often, I think that we take delight in creating something that seems "brainy" so that we are viewed as serious or intellectual. However, this music hardly ever gets played if there is not a serious consideration of making sure that it is playable.