How to Tell if You’re a Writer or a Musician

So I’m watching Miss Scarlett and the Duke, cheering on this super slow moving attraction between Miss Scarlett and the Duke, thinking, “If I was a real writer, I’d go off and write my own version of Miss Scarlett and the Duke.” Instead, what have I been doing?

Well, let’s say this. I absolutely love the opening song for that show. It is so unique. And thinking I’d love to create my own version of that song, I started playing around with different drum kits. I soon give up because there’s no way I could ever come up with something like that.

And as soon as I give up, the next thing I know, I’m creating a song that sounds so in the style of Miss Scarlett and the Duke, I can’t believe it. It’s my favorite song yet. I’ve yet to finish it but thinking I’ll save it for FAWM (February Album Writing Month) of 2023.

Still, I can’t quite give up on my writing. Wondering what I will work on after She’s Not that Good is released later this month… Maybe I can be a writer *and* a musician.

Here’s a sneak listen at the 8-bar loop I’ve come up with. If you’re familiar with Miss Scarlett and the Duke, do you hear a similar vibe?

Wrapping Up National Novel Writing Month 2022

Click here to listen on Spotify.

I finished writing/editing She’s Not That Good over the Thanksgiving weekend. I’m now going through the final read through (audio) before hitting publish. Finally!

I’ve been working on this story on and on for maybe a decade. It started out as a young adult novel but when a contest judge wrote that it sounded like a 40-year-old, I dropped it. To me it sounded just like me in my teens. But maybe I sounded like a 40-year-old back then. Ha!

I rewrote it as a contemporary romantic comedy, but couldn’t seem to finish it. Then I realized it wasn’t a novel. It was a novella.

I’m so excited to be this far with this story. And now I’m all revved up to work on the next one!

So please stay tuned for other books and music released by Screamie Birds Studios here at screamiebirds.com.

Podcasting with Words and Music: What Not to Do

I’ve done a few Anchor podcasts, where they convert your blog post to a spoken word. But I wanted to try using my voice, both with words and music. Especially since in the last 50/90 challenge (write 50 songs in 90 days), I’d done a couple of Laurie Anderson type spoken word songs. I don’t know, somewhere in my wild imagination, I thought that might make a fun podcast. A little spoken, a little singing, a little music…

So I discovered, after going through the whole WordPress podcasting course, and uploading my first podcast to Spotify, that I can only mix spoken word and music on Spotify if I use select Spotify music – not my own. So this will not be uploaded to Spotify unless I go through the distribution channels for uploading my own music (stay tuned). I’ve done that before through a distribution channel, but I wanted to create a channel where both would be in the same place.

Apparently, according to Spotify’s takedown notice, a song is a song and a podcast is a podcast and the two can only meet if you use *their* select songs. I can hear a song forming in my head right now…

Anyway, here’s the “Candy Apple Red” Introduction to my podcast I’d planned as a “kick off” for “Kickin’ it with DJ Kat.”

Podcasting With DJ Kat

I’ve been sporadically experimenting with podcasting:

  • Using anchor to convert my blog posts to audio – here’s an example that’s found its way onto Spotify.
  • Experimenting with creating my own audio podcasts, combining talk with music.

So please stay tuned for my first attempt at the latter. 🙂

Chasing With Words

As a big fan of Julia Cameron’s “Artist Way” series, I’ve been looking through her books to see what I might have missed. And one book I just noticed is Your Right to Write. In it she tells the story of a boy in the 6th grade and how she’d written numerous short stories, hoping to get his attention. She says she “chased him with pencil and paper.” And in doing so discovered the thrill of chasing with words.

I had to give that some thought. Although I also did a lot of writing in school, music was my first love. And I realized that my 6th grade love life was more about listening to my Elvis records in my garage (door open) with my “boyfriend” rather than any chasing with pencil and paper. Or chasing with words. Okay, so maybe I wrote my first love letter to him, so there were some words involved. 🙂

Since books about art are usually written by writers, the focus is on writing and the life of a writer. And while that is super encouraging to artists of any kind, I’d like to find something written from the point of view of music. It may exist out there – I just haven’t found it. I’d write it if I thought I had something new to offer, but maybe I’m already doing it right here. Sharing other people’s words with my musical experience thrown into the mix. Mix – yeah, that’s my kind of word. lol!

So maybe writing is writing and songwriting is another form of it.

“Songwriting is my way of channeling my feelings and my thoughts. Not just mine, but the things I see, the people I care about. My head would explode if I didn’t get some of that stuff out.” — Dolly Parton

Welcome to Miami, Carnival Celebration!

Carnival Celebration Has made her way from Southhampton to her home port of Miami on her inaugural cruise. We were booked on her first cruise out of Miami (boarding tomorrow), but had to cancel when our new house build was delayed by three months. But no worries. We’re booked for my birthday next year.

The video is a beautiful show of light and music so don’t forget to click on the link to watch.

Lucy By the Sea, Part 3: Truth Discovered

Lucy By the Sea is quite thought-provoking but mostly because it triggers my own experiences. And the most recent part that triggered something is the discovery of William’s half-sister–the one he didn’t know about. And how the first attempt to meet her did not go well. In fact, his sister refused to meet him. But, later, during the lockdown, she sought him out and very much wanted to meet him. And they had a lovely reunion.

So I thought about my own half-siblings–the ones I didn’t know growing up: my father’s younger kids (my two half-brothers and a half-sister). I grew up with my mother’s two other children–a half sister and a half brother, and a step dad. Also, I knew about a son my father had before I was born and a daughter my step dad had before I was born.

But during this time of discovery, I exchanged several emails with my half-sister, my father’s daughter. And things started off rather promising, but, then, it turned ugly. My dad tried to build a relationship with me, I know he did, but he had other family members pressuring him. And I thought about the entire family and their reaction to me and while I was open to a relationship with everyone, my main interest was my father. And nobody, really, was interested in the truth I’d discovered. And that, along with my natural curiosity, was the reason for my search.

People always want to know “why now” did you look for them. Besides my other unsuccessful attempts, I finally had the means to find them. But my main purpose was not to just get to know them, but to get to know them with this new understanding I’d had. This truth, this secret that had come to light which changed everything for me. But nobody wanted to know that and refused to hear it. And so it all came to an end.

I had risked it all and, for a time, it had paid off. But, in the end, I lost both sides of my family, that is, my mother’s kids and my father’s kids. But if you can’t have an honest relationship, is that even a relationship at all?

The good news is that those not so closely involved welcomed me with open arms.