My tagline was inspired by following a guy on twitter called FrankAdMan from San Francisco. Apparently, he’s some kind of character from 1963, Mad Man-style. And that reminded me of my own San Francisco (M)ad Woman days, albeit a bit after that era, when I worked in the historic James Flood Building on Market and Powell where the cable cars turn around.
I miss those heady, creative days as a freelance production artist working on ad copy, books, brochures, etc, for ad agencies, publishers, and printers (before my high-tech Silicon Valley days). Some of my most well-known projects were for clients such as the Orange Bowl, the Grand Nationals Rodeo at San Francisco’s Cow Palace, and a biographer for The Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia.
I’ve loved all aspects of publishing for as long as I can remember – from the first words I called my own when I penned my first piece of fiction in childhood to the first time I entered a print shop one sunny October day in southern California with my junior high journalism class. To this day, I can’t walk inside a print shop and inhale that scent without flashing back to that day.
So when a writer friend said, “They say that when you move to Paris, you’ve become serious about writing,” I thought something similar about Las Vegas. “When you move to Las Vegas, you’ve become serious about music.” After all, it is the “Entertainment Capital of the World.”
When we moved to Las Vegas, I interviewed with a client for a technical writing project and they asked me to sing in the interview.
I took voice lessons with a Broadway performer from “Mamma Mia!”
My husband bought me a keyboard for Christmas one year, and one of the most exciting experiences was entering the music store to pick out some music – I hadn’t done that since I’d sung in high school.
Watching Nashville, I started doodling with lyrics, thinking about songwriting, my musical family, and my agent’s words about my writing having a “poetic, almost lyrical rhythm.”
The summer of 2014 was the “summer of Elvis.” I stood on the stage where Elvis performed over 800 shows in the former International/Las Vegas Hilton, held a microphone, and felt so comfortable up there. This surprised me because I only felt intimidated when I stood on the stage of the Ryman.
I held the microphone in my hand and felt very comfortable up there and that surprised me because I felt intimidated when I stood on the Ryman stage.
Was I more comfortable because it was Elvis or because I’m now paying attention to my music? Whatever the reason, I’m now inspired to give my music classes all I’ve got. I have a feeling it’ll spill over into my writing, too.
After all, writers must write. And until you do, you’ll sidle up to other writers and writing tools just like I sidled up to the keyboard on the Elvis stage – my inner musician was screaming at me to get busy.
So I enrolled in the “Modern Musician” certificate program with Berklee College of Music, joined NSAI (Nashville Songwriter’s Association International) and became an NSAI-certified songwriter at the end of 2014.
My goal for 2015 is to determine which path I want to follow – that of commercial songwriter or singer/songwriter, performing songs I’ve written just for me. Or something I do while I sit at my desk pondering life and writing.
Whatever happens, I must say, my biggest musical passion is singing. So I’ve been recording some of my rehearsal vocals, as I work on tuning the vocals, practicing the keys, and working on my next song.