Red Tiled Roof (#poem)

Rat-a-tat-tat Rat-a-tat-tat
Rhythm of the drum of an ally cat
Clippity clop of a horse’s hoof
Rainy night on a red-tiled roof

Drip drip drip sings the rain
So unusual on the desert plain
This time home is more of a stranger
It feels so temporary, so full of danger

Where did it go just last year
It’s gone for good is the deepest fear
Three thousand miles more or less
Hurrying back to cross the abyss

Writing songs up all night
About home and loss and other frights
Night time writing so aloof
Recognizing only the red-tiled roof

When the Muse Calls…

So much for all of that bravado about how music always trumps writing fiction. Ha!

Here’s what happened… I had an amazing songwriting day yesterday. I couldn’t wait to hit the studio this morning and start banging out more songs. I did a little keyboard practice. I did some vocal warmup. And then I listened to yesterday’s song. It sucked! I got scared. I felt so intimidated. The imposter syndrome struck. So what’s a girl to do?

Pull out my favorite manuscript in progress and start writing? That’s what stopped me the day before, when I decided I should focus on music – not writing. So I pulled up a different manuscript. Perhaps the muse wants me to work on that one today.

Okay, so maybe I won’t really know who wins until I’ve done enough work that something crosses the finish line. Maybe that’s how the muse works and I should just obey the muse when it strikes.

How about you?

Music vs. Fiction: Music Always Wins #amwriting #songwriting

January has just begun and already I’m in trouble. Choosing to focus on writing and music, I realize I must designate one as the priority because both of them take enormous skill and time and focus to succeed. Sure, I can pursue both, but I must choose which will be number one in my life. I keep returning to this truth for me.

Music always wins. And now I have a separate designated studio in my home, which is great because then the cats can’t chew the wires. 🙂

But songwriting still counts as writing, right? Will that be enough or will I have to fit in fiction, too? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Besides, I can always write fiction during breaks from music because you always need breaks, right? But there are just so many pieces to a song, including vocal warmups, as Shelly Peiken writes about in her latest blog post here.

 

Save the Cat for Novelists

Kicking my writing intentions into high gear for 2019, I dug out my Save the Cat! Writes a Novel. And what I realized is that I’m living the “Save the Cat” life. Art imitating life or life imitating art? There are two thoughts on that one.

Case in point: If you look closely at the “Save the Cat” beat structure, you would see that this time last year I was living my normal life, the status quo, the Setup. We’d just moved into a brand new Florida beach house, a new kitty had joined our little family, we’d had to trade in our Jeep that kept stalling at inconvenient times for a brand new Dodge Challenger (which I love, btw), new furniture to decorate our new house (especially when the electric recliner couch got permanently stuck in the open position), and life was looking pretty darn good. We were set up to live in our forever home, right?

Then, last summer, out of nowhere, we were blindsided. We didn’t see it coming. First, our beloved 18-year-old cat Skipper died and this may sound minimal to non pet lovers, but this was a huge loss that I’m still suffering through (okay, he was old and we knew he couldn’t live forever, but he’d been doing so well). Then, two weeks later my father died. The next month, hubby was summoned back to headquarters in Las Vegas, where we’d just moved from the year before. We thought we’d left Vegas behind. Ah, yes, we were faced with a Catalyst.

So after returning to Florida, the Debate begins. Should we leave Florida, move back to Vegas? The job situation really looked like it. Personally, it seemed like it, too. I was missing my home back west, and the losses were too much for me being so far from home. But we had a brand new house. The cross-country moving expenses are huge. Was it worth it? Where would we live now that we no longer had our Vegas house? Could we recover?

Then we break into Act 2. As Save the Cat says:

The game is afoot! The challenge is accepted! The adventure is upon us! The new way of life has begun! The Debate is over, our hero knows what they have to do, and now it’s time to do it.

This is where we are now. Unexpected challenges occur, resistance is futile, it’s time to take action and move forward into my pursuit of what I really want, and, hopefully, find what it is I really need.

And now, my friends, it’s time to get to work and structure my wip, “save the cat” style.

You’re Somebody Else (Warming Up for #2019)

We all have goals we set for the new year, and I’m setting goals for both writing and songwriting, I’ve been struggling with how to juggle both but I find that instead of saying I’ll do music in the morning and writing in the afternoon or vice verse, I just have to go where the muse leads me – as long as it leads me somewhere on a daily (M-F) basis.

The best way I know to start warming up with music is to do some rehearsal vocals as a singalong cover song. So as I was rearranging the kitchen cabinets (have I told you how tiny this kitchen is?) in the Vegas house, I heard this song on Spotify and just had to do my thing with it.

So, here it is, warming up with “You’re Somebody Else” (Flora Cash).