As much as I think I’m going to focus mainly on writing fiction for next year, music keeps calling me. So, like it or not, I’m going to have to find a way to seriously do both. But I’m going to have to do it my way. I’ve tried the Nashville way but I can only write music or stories, for that matter, if it comes from my heart.

The problem with Nashville is that their culture is different than mine. I’m a California girl and have lived up and down the West Coast.

For example, when I submitted my song “Fishing Shack” to a Nashville mentor, they didn’t think that tossing a cigarette in the creek was a big deal. Well, in the Pacific Northwest, it’s a very big deal. You will be fined because the creek is where the salmon spawn and it is protected property. My parents live on one of those creeks and it was made very clear the seriousness of either polluting that creek or interfering with those salmon in any way. But Nashville doesn’t know that.

And then there’s “3 Drinks Later.” They loved the hook, but the first mentor said, “Nobody will record that song” because “3 drinks later, I grabbed my keys, and drove past your house.”

Okay, so maybe they don’t do that in Nashville (although, I rather doubt that), but back where I come from, PC or unPC, it’s been known to happen. You’re sitting at a bar, the guy stands you up, you’re wondering what he’s up to, and 3 drinks later, you’re driving past his house. Been there, right?

I tried rewriting that song to suit them, but it just didn’t work for me. I did change the idea of driving past somebody’s house to driving on the beach, although I’m not sure that’s any safer – lol!

The second mentor didn’t like verse 2 because it took place 3 days later. But that was the point of the song. As exciting it is to chase the commercial songwriting dream, I must be true to myself. I just can’t churn out songs like it’s some kind of product. I’m telling a story from where I sit – not from where they sit.