A Young Girl’s Dreams (#poem)

A young girl dreams at ten or eleven
Of riches and fame, singing on stage
Elvis matinees and Beatlemania she starts writing songs of her own
She can see it now who she wants to be when fully grown

A young girl dreams at sweet sixteen strolling the streets in the city
A storefront window peeks her interest as she catches a glimpse in the mirror
The cradle beckons offering an inkling of what might become her future
Laughter, Love, a handsome man, a happily ever after

Looking back she wonders how she veered off track
Was it a lack of choice, the choices she made, or just circumstance
Whatever it was doesn’t matter now cuz there’s no going back
It wasn’t meant to be anyhow, not the dance she was meant to dance

So she picks up a guitar, a keyboard not far and she starts writing songs
Some dreams disappear and others appear
Revealing which were right and which were wrong
Following her heart all along

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Can’t Stop the Music

While we’re living in temporary housing during the house building process, I made a deal with myself that I’d put music on hold and focus on writing my novel-in-progress. That music is too challenging for me right now and writing a novel is therapeutic.

The problem with that is I love music too much, and I find myself sneaking in a few sessions in the studio, playing with some lyrics, piano chords, or some loops on my DAW (digital audio workstation).

One of my music groups asked if we were holding ourselves back because of fear. They were talking about live performances. Of course, I said yes. I’m sticking to working on music in my studio. Not going to do anything live. Not at my age. Not good enough for that.

I don’t know if life is going to challenge me and put me in a position where I have to face that fear, but that plays nicely into the novel I’m working on.

So here, once again, one art feeds the other. As they say in theological circles, it’s not either/or. It’s both/and.

 

Sublime Morning Reading “Penny Poet of Portsmouth” and Practicing the Keys

As I mentioned yesterday, I’m reading the delightful Penny Poet of Portsmouth: A Memoir of Place, Solitude, and Friendship by Katherine Towler. This morning I picked up where I left off but not before I played the opening chord progression of “Sign of the Times” after watching Mark Isaiah perform this on “The Voice” last night. Really cool sound.

Away from my home studio, I played and recorded it using GarageBand on my iPhone.

 

New Book Release: Raining Men, Version 2.0

One of the benefits of being an Indie author is that you can edit or change a book up after it’s published. And that’s exactly what I did with Raining Men. I’d published it right before I switched gears to songwriting and thought I hadn’t given it the attention it deserved. I hadn’t promoted it or solicited reviews. But I believed in this book and wanted to give it a wider audience. (It managed to get a 5.0 star review during its brief first release.)

I unpublished it and took it back into the writing studio. I read through it, made some edits, added about ten thousand more words and even tweaked the ending. My editor gave it an edit. I then submitted it and a publisher offered me a contract. I was hoping they could give it more exposure than I could.

Well, as it turns out, they decided they didn’t want to publish a book that had already been published. This seems to be one of the challenges of self-publishing – some publishers are for publishing previously published books, some aren’t, and some are vague about it.

So I’m happy to announce, I’ve released Raining Men, Version 2.0.

Raining Men

When California girl Brooke Slade, looking for love in all the wrong places, is presented with an opportunity to move to the Pacific Northwest, she turns it down, refusing to leave her life in Sunny California. But when she loses her job, she decides to give the Northwest a chance for thirty days and discovers it’s raining more than the wet stuff – it’s raining men. Wading through so many Mr. Wrongs, can she find Mr. Right?

BUY NOW on Amazon.com for Kindle.

Time to Retreat

This has been a hellish day and I was already feeling under the weather before I got the email that blindsided me. It reminded me of all that I disliked about publishing and why I walked away from it to pursue music.

So when I gathered the troops by listening to “Stronger,” I was longing to write a song, sing, record, mix, and produce music again. It’s something I can do in my studio that brings immense joy with just me, myself, and I. I mean, how can you look at the mixing board and not want to jump right in – lol! After all, my uncle is a bass player and sound engineer – it definitely runs in the family.

And that microphone – be still my heart. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do – practically everyone on my dad’s side of the family plays something. So off to the studio I go.

I’m working on learning this song on the piano, tuning my vocals, and coming up with my own mix. If I end up with anything halfway presentable, I’ll post it.

I also think I need a break from sharing while we’re in the middle of so much.

If you see a privacy sign on this blog, don’t panic – I just need to close the doors for a bit.

Social Media for Introverts

I saw this posted by @StrongIntrovert on Twitter.

Do you ever go out, and while you’re out, you think, “This is exactly why I don’t go out”?

After working at home for several years, I sometimes miss rubbing shoulders with other people. It sometimes feels lonely working at home with my cats all day. But when I worked onsite, I tried my best to avoid other people. So I think I sometimes need to see people just to remind myself that I enjoy being alone. I’ll have to imagine passing annoying co-workers on my way to my solitary office upstairs to really appreciate the setup I have in my writing and music studio.

Another person on Twitter posted this:

“I get melancholy if I don’t [write]. I need the company of people who don’t exist.” William Trevor

This is the best part of social media for introverts – the quotes and the people who quote them. You feel connected with like-minded people.

The truth is, I do enjoy being around people but on my terms and in low doses. This week I get to work with my publisher’s cover artist. Next I’ll be working with my publisher’s editor. This is what I’ve missed about writing, and I’m very happy to be back. I’ve got 3 or 4 wips started. Plus I still need to pay attention to my music. Exciting times!

White Room, Laith Al-Saadi, Voice Finale

My top choices on The Voice changed over the the last few weeks. At first, Alison was my #1 pick and then she dropped below my top two choices: Adam Wakefield and Laith Al-Saadi.

But after Laith opened up the finale with his version of White Room – WOW! He moved to #1. In fact, all of his performances last night were stellar. I downloaded his song on iTunes because not only was his performance amazing, but he brought me back to my youth and the original version of the song by Cream.

Reading the lyrics, I was reminded that it’s really a poem written by Pete Brown, a performance poet.

The first song I submitted for professional feedback had started off as a poem and the mentor praised the writing but then asked, “Do you know the difference between a poem and a song?”

There was a time when it didn’t really matter. Songs were made from poems, as in the case of White Room. I should have started writing songs back when the world understood that.

I’m inspired to get back to writing poetry – my lyrics were stronger for starting off as poems. My paternal grandmother wrote poetry. My paternal grandfather sang and played the keyboard in a band (his father made instruments). Uncles, cousins, nephews, etc. – all musicians. Yes, I come from a musical family and it’s time to embrace that side of me totally.

“White Room”

In the white room with black curtains near the station.
Black-roof country, no gold pavements, tired starlings.
Silver horses run down moonbeams in your dark eyes.
Dawn-light smiles on you leaving, my contentment.

I’ll wait in this place where the sun never shines;
Wait in this place where the shadows run from themselves.

You said no strings could secure you at the station.
Platform ticket, restless diesels, goodbye windows.
I walked into such a sad time at the station.
As I walked out, felt my own need just beginning.

I’ll wait in the queue when the trains come back;
Lie with you where the shadows run from themselves.

At the party she was kindness in the hard crowd.
Consolation for the old wound now forgotten.
Yellow tigers crouched in jungles in her dark eyes.
She’s just dressing, goodbye windows, tired starlings.

I’ll sleep in this place with the lonely crowd;
Lie in the dark where the shadows run from themselves.

White Room (Eric Clapton on guitar)

Summer of 2016: Reflections

In Chapter 4 of It’s Never Too Late to Begin Again, Julia Cameron says:

When we retire (or no longer work onsite), we lose our familiar daily touchstones, the crossing guard we waved hello to, the man at the security desk who knew our name, the cashier in the cafeteria, the midmorning coffee break routine we looked forward to. We were accustomed to friendly faces and kindly greetings. Retired (or whatever), we need to generate new touchstones. I ask newly retired people to make a list of twenty-five things they love. This list, deceptively simple, often becomes a source of new and old touchstones.

Exactly! I’ve been having these feelings and at first I couldn’t pinpoint why. Of course, it makes so much sense. And this is why Facebook just didn’t work for me. It was fun to post an update or a photo and have people come by and hit “like” but it wasn’t the same as somebody stopping by your cube to chat or to wave as they went by or invite you out for coffee or lunch. This is what I’ve been missing. I enjoyed that interaction with my peers.

While I’m no longer surrounded by peers, I get a similar feeling when I’m out walking the neighborhood. For example, one guy is out jogging and waves or says, “Two miles if you follow the sidewalk.” Or the neighbor across the street waves when I’m sitting on the porch and he pulls into his driveway. Or I’m wearing my Disney visor, and the neighbor kids smile and say “hi” to me as I walk by. These moments are priceless.

Just like the “Summer of 2015,” one of the main purposes of blogging the “Summer of 2016,” is to remember those times in my life when I was very independent and satisfied with that. I worked swing shift at a major printing company in San Francisco designing and writing copy so I had the days free to explore, walk, sunbathe by the pool, watch soap operas (before TiVo or even VCRs), or make travel plans. I was content doing that without the internet, without email, without social media.

Thankfully, we do have the internet and I can blog about it. 🙂

Ironically, one of my clients is a San Francisco company and I’m designing and writing copy for them on a freelance basis in my home office in Las Vegas. (You might have noticed I change my blog design quite frequently – that’s the designer in me.) So it brings back those memories of living that lifestyle when I was in my 20s, and I can kinda re-create it here this summer like I did last summer.