Shakin’ it at the Tiki Bar (#Youtube #Shorts)

Besides writing fiction, and producing dance music, I’ve been known to travel. The farthest trip was to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Bangkok from San Francisco. These days it’s mostly hanging out at Disney, on cruise ships, and Florida Tiki bars. But my travel adventures have influenced my writing and music.

So, in the spirit of fun, here’s a clip from the first tiki bar we stopped in after our recent move back to Florida.

Shakin’ it at the Tiki Bar

She’s Not That Good is Live!

I did it! I finally finished She’s Not That Good by the end of NaNoWriMo 2022, and it’s live in Kindle format on Amazon.com. This book has had many lives, from a YA novel to a short-lived Kindle Vella to Contemporary Novella, which is what it is now. I hope you enjoy it!

Failing to launch an adult career, haunted by thoughts of never being good enough, Brandi Redwine searches for something she is good at. After chasing music and the exboyfriend in Nashville, she returns to San Francisco feeling like a loser.

Her best friend steps in and recommends her for an opportunity to compete for a job onboard a cruise ship. Her high school sweetheart is also on board, and his girlfriend is competing for the same job.

Will her entire future rest on a final performance, or will she finally realize she is good enough when she pursues what’s really in her heart?

AVAILABLE NOW!

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