Stuck in the Middle With You (#stayhome #OpenAmerica #BlackLivesMatter #protests)

Clowns to the Left of Me, Jokers to the Right

One day social media-ites are shouting #Stayhome on Twitter, outraged on YouTube if anybody even thinks about going out as we begin to #OpenAmerica. And then, the next minute, just as theme parks, Las Vegas, and churches are allowed to crack open a door, going through triple flips to adhere to strict precautions, swarms of people standing shoulder to shoulder (with/without masks) are protesting not only all over America, but in several parts of the world, too. Yes, it’s horrendous in the middle of this bizarre time of our lives. But really? This boggles my mind. No wonder the lyrics “clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right” from “Stuck in the Middle with You” by Stealers Wheel, 1972 come to mind. (Yep, that’s me, circa early 70s, in my redhead phase).

[No intended meaning about this song beyond a 1970s teen-ager’s interpretation of the lyrics “clowns to the left of me, jokers to the right.”]

Wake Me Up When It’s Over

After way too much “exposure” to “The Bob” as my writer friend Pat Bertram calls this current situation, I’ve decided to take a break from social media (for me, that means Twitter and LinkedIn) for the rest of the month. Or longer. Okay, then, just wake me up when it’s over – lol!

I’ll be writing, producing music, and blogging. I’ll be far happier and productive. I just can’t stand the many layers of stupidity and politics everywhere I turn.

“Miss You” by the Rolling Stones has been playing in the jukebox in my head for several days now. Maybe because I do “miss you,” meaning I miss the world doing so many interesting things, I can’t even begin to know about them all. Because it’s obvious too many are doing nothing. Hiding under their bed. Counting meaningless numbers. All to prove something I don’t need proven in order to live my best life. It’s serving somebody else. Not me.

Listening to and creating music, reading and writing stories, and visiting places – that’s what home is to me, that’s what family is to me. And I miss them all.

Or maybe this song is apropros today.

Adding Music to Las Vegas Strip Video

Las Vegas seems to be getting busier (certainly the traffic is picking up), and there’s some conversation about opening in mid- to late-May. So maybe there are people out there working on preparations. It’s hard to say, but I certainly hope so. Let’s learn to live with this, taking precautions but taking steps toward opening up.

Anyway, I chose to upload some video I’d taken of the Las Vegas Strip before Covid-19, and I added some Screamie Birds music to it as an experiment (the music is added sporadically throughout). It was a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to making more music to video.

Juggling the Arts During #Covid-19 #AtHome

Before Covid-19, I pretty much spent most of my time in my home studio/office, so staying at home isn’t that new to me. But I felt like I had to make a choice between pursuing music and writing fiction. They seemed to use different parts of my brain, and I felt like I couldn’t juggle them all that well. That I *must* choose one in order to be successful.

Now I’ve realized during this time that it’s too difficult to focus on just one. My brain is more scattered right now. So how do I turn this into something good? Well, I’m not only pursuing both writing (brain) and music (ears), but also creating videos (visual), embracing three of my senses, instead of just one. Besides, how do I know which one might take off more than the other? Diversification seems wise to me now.

So, how do I determine which one to work on when? I suit up and show up. I let the muse decide.

What projects am I working on in particular?

  • Editing my manuscript in progress
  • Gaining skills in music production through classes
  • Producing my FAWM album and writing music for TAXI listings
  • Creating videos from a variety of trips to Disneyland, Disney World, and Cruises

The latter idea was spurned on when I noticed our 22-second video of Oasis of the Seas started getting crazy views (at least for us with a brand new channel).

At last count, it’s over 15K. You can check it out here. While you’re there, please subscribe. 🙂

Also, check out our Travel Adventures blog, including our adventures in moving/house building.

Anyway, just uploading that one video started me thinking about creating/uploading more videos and I’ve discovered I really enjoy it because I’m also a visual artist, not just audio and cerebral.

What have you discovered about yourself and what you enjoy that took you by surprise?

 

Staying Upbeat in the Writing, Travel, Disney, and Cruise Community

During this difficult time, I noticed that writers are actively seeking out other writer’s books, asking where to buy them, and cruise/Disney vloggers are actively uploading vids that are uplifting. I love this.

One of the cruise vloggers (Scott Singer Cruises) I subscribe to uploaded a vlog from his 2019 Alaska cruise this morning. I noticed it really picked people up. For me, too. So I started sorting through some of my travel and cruise videos and uploading them.

And why not combine both – my love for travel, cruising, and writing books set on cruise ships and other touristy locales. Here are some links you night be interested in:

Travel Blog (Two4Disney) – Covers Disney, Cruising, Las Vegas, and other Travels with a link to my novels, too.

Two4Disney on YouTube – A few of our travel adventures uploaded in small bites. More to come. Not much of a channel yet, but why not subscribe and let’s build this thing together.

Screamie Birds Studios – My writing/music web site where I keep you up-to-date on my latest music and fiction creations.

 

Deja Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon, the Book, the Poem, the Tour, and Now the Song (#FAWM)

You may recall that I’d just finished a publicity tour for my psychological suspense novel, Deja Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon at the end of 2019 before starting FAWM on February 1st. Well, during the tour, I’d written a poem about the book here.

So, naturally, I turned that into a song for FAWM 2020. Check it out. I hope you like it – the song, poem, the tour, and the book. 🙂

FAWM 2020 (#FAWM) Playlist

FAWM 2020, my third FAWM (February Album Writing Month), is over and I survived – lol! From various EDM subgenres to Rock to Blues to Disco, I managed to create 16 songs, including 1 collab, and a poem that was completely rewritten by the time it made it to the finals with some music.

Here’s a playlist of my 10 favorite songs for FAWM 2020.

One Chapter and Half a Song a Day (#FAWM)

In my last post, I was debating whether to FAWM (February Album Writing Month – write 14 songs in 28 days) or not. After all, I really need to finish editing draft two of my wip. But today is the last day of January. Tomorrow is February 1st. What will I do?

The first thing I’m going to do is “suit up and show up.” The other thing I’ve come up with for a little more direction than just showing up (which can be powerful) is to edit one chapter a day (seems doable) and write half a song a day. The latter is where I must trust that by showing up, the half song will come to me.

The real trick is not to over think. “Analysis is paralysis” as they say.

 

#1 EDM Artist in Las Vegas on Reverbnation

Wow! The thing I thought would never happen happened! Screamie Birds is now the #1 EDM artist in Las Vegas on Reverbnation.

I’ve bounced around between #2 and #10, but mostly keeping steady at #2. Last week I went from #2 to #3. But now, for the first time I’m the #1 EDM artist in Las Vegas on Reverbnation. I thought it would never happen! So stoked! Time to create some music!

Book in One Hand, Transistor Radio in the Other

This is how I’ve been describing myself since I first started writing and publishing on my web site. The funny thing is, later in life I met my father and discovered this whole musical family of mine. In fact, several family members are friends with Metal Christian group Stryper and Michael’s mother told me that the first time she saw my grandfather, he had Uncle Steven in one hand, and a transistor radio in the other. Talk about coming full circle.

Anyway, I found this 50th birthday video with his parents, and I can see why they would be friends with my grandparents and family. Each discovery helps me piece together my identity and the connection I have with my musical family, taking it all in, looking for the path to my future.