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.



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.

Upside Down (Song of the Day)

As I work on a project for one of my clients this morning, I listen to Pandora. One of my favorite stations is Devil Doll. I’ll be forever grateful to Pandora for introducing me to eclectic, fabulously exciting music. Far better than commercial radio.

And while I know I’m not there yet, I’m inspired to keep working on my music until I am.

Today’s song that catches my attention is Upside Down by Paloma Faith.

Here’s another cool song I can’t help posting – If I Could Be Her by ZZ Ward.

And Booty Swing by Parov Stelar:

The Songwriting Journey

I was reading the NSAI Forums this morning and I ran across a thread encouraging us to keep moving forward toward your dreams and celebrating each accomplishment, no matter how small, along the way. That is also a common thread in the fiction writing community, too. Sometimes I’m not sure where I belong – both?

My recent NSAI song feedback was positive overall. In fact, he/she was very excited by the hook but it needed some tweaks. These, of course, are not ones I want to make because it changes the story I’m trying to tell. Still, it’s hard to walk from a great hook. When we return from our cruise, I’ll have to give it some more thought to see what I can do with it. And find the skills to make those tweaks.

One of my fellow NSAI members, April Evans, an awesome singer/songwriter, encouraged the group to keep working toward your dream and she’s proof it can happen. It kinda helps that she’s enormously talented, but we can all work on strengthening our weaknesses.

Here’s a link to a review of her song “The Sound of Boots” on Queens of Country. I’m honored to be a part of this membership.

Check out The Sound of Boots by April Evans:


Wish I Still Smoked Cigarettes

The song that lured me to buy Ronnie Dunn’s latest album was “Wish I Still Smoked Cigarettes,” which is a metaphor for longing for his younger self.

Wish I Still Smoked Cigarettes

Luke Laird, Lori McKenna & Barry Dean (BMI)

I wish I still smoked cigarettes
Light one up and travel time
When a stiff drink and a whispered yes
Was enough to light a fire, to feel alive
Wish I could go back to those nights sometimes

I wish I still drove a muscle car
Horses rumbling under the hood
Flying past the welcome sign under the stars
Wishing I could leave for good, I swore I would,
Every now and then I go back to that neighborhood


Wish I still did a lot of things I don’t do anymore
When I didn’t know what wasn’t good for me
But I knew everything else for sure
I guess what I really miss is the freedom and
The way it felt, the innocence
That’s what I really meant
When I said
I wish I still smoked cigarettes
I felt more grown up then

We were talking about where we gonna go
Instead of talking bout where we’d been
We’d ride around the lake and make those plans
Still had the world in the palm of our hands
We never had a chance, now and then


Wish I still smoked cigarettes
Something to calm my nerves
Wherever you are tonight
You were better than I deserved (I was better than you deserved)
Wish I still smoked cigarettes
So I had something to let go up in smoke

Wish I Still Smoked Cigarettes, Ronnie Dunn