#FAWM, Day 1, Song 1: A Lover’s Lover

Okay, so it’s day 1 of FAWM 23, and I’ve uploaded song #1, A Lover’s Lover.

What else am I doing on day 1 of FAWM 23? Continuing my read of Digital Minimalism. I do like minimalism, don’t I? I’m almost finished reading Essentialism. Similar ideas.

Both validate my whole POV anyway. But it’s always good to be reminded and to realize you’re not alone in thinking these things and in practicing them, too.

What to do about social media is always a struggle, but it’s good to know the best way to deal with technology is to choose the parts you find essential and to toss the rest.

Take FAWM, for example. It is a bit social media-like and can trigger the dopamine rush checking to see how many comments you get and what people are saying about your music, but it’s also the motivation I need to get some music done. So, overall, I find it worth keeping.

Now, on to some more reading and writing and listening. That’s how FAWM works. You listen to others and they listen to you and you often discover some real gems – both people and music – along the way.

My Playlist Muse (#amwriting #amproducing)

Okay, so I’m having an awesome week so far. Getting out there for my morning walk smelling the beautiful Florida morning grass (mostly dirt in Vegas – lol), getting inspired by some awesome music, and then getting to my studio for some productive writing and music production.

My current favorite song is from… who else but Wolf Kier. His song “We Give We Take” from his soon to be released Life of Love album really touches some emotion that compels me to write, when I had almost given up on it. He has this gift of tapping into edginess and vulnerability at the same time.

It pulls out both sides of my artistry of working on both fiction and music. I’m now pumped for FAWM 2023 and working on my novel.

So, buckle up for a real treat:

And while we’re at it, check out this one, too:

Walk for Life, Write for Life #writing #music #inspiration

Tall, dark, and handsome with a laid-back personality and a slight southern drawl, my step dad was liked by pretty much everyone. I didn’t think of him as a step dad back then – he was just dad. So as step dads go, he was pretty easy to get along with. But looking back, I have two insights into our relationship: (1) he respected my boldness and talent (2) he resented my existence. And knowing what I know now, I resented his.

One thing he said to me that I never forgot was “You’re dreaming your life away.” Wondering why he said that, I remembered how I would take solo walks to think about life. I found it quite inspiring and was the way I sorted through things. How I processed the past and dreamed, yes, dreamed of the future. Was this a bad thing? Was I missing out on life because of it? Those words haunted me.

Continuing to read Julia Cameron’s latest book called Write for Life, I noted this:

Inspiration comes to us as we walk. Novelist John Nichols walks daily. So do I (Julia Cameron), and so does Natalie Goldberg who said, “I will tell you what I have learned myself: for me, a long five- or six-mile walk helps. And one must go alone and every day.”

Emma Lively, writer and composer, walks daily. As she walks, she daydreams. She experiences hunches, inklings, and inspiration. coming home, she sets her hand to the page, writing out melodies and scenes for her musicals. Lively believes what Ueland wrote: “Imagination needs noodling: long, inefficient happy idling, dawdling and puttering…”

Aha! I wasn’t “dreaming” my life away, I was getting inspiration for a life as an artist, a writer, a musician, a songwriter. What that also tells me is that no, I don’t have to make a choice between writing and music. There is much writing in music, musical theater, lyrics, story. Who knows where my writing will take me, what shape it will take. It could only be in song or it could be in novel or short story or playbook form.

And walking and dreaming and thinking is vitally important.

I’ve really been expanding my walks in the neighborhood, either staying within walking distance from my home or getting in the car to drive a couple of miles to another part of our “neighborhood,” with lakes and woods and trails, all so beautiful and amazing and inspiring. I’m looking forward to returning and taking photos.

Yesterday, I walked the neighborhood and discovered a path to a golf course. Walking, exploring, daydreaming… and when I returned home, I finished a song that I’d been stuck on. Walking, so inspiring!

Why We Must Go Big or Go Home

Rethinking yesterday’s blog post as I read the next section of Essentialism. In making choices, an essentialist tries out several things before committing to one. One question to ask is, “Do I want to go big with this idea?” If not, move on. You can’t go big with two things. I must choose, writing or music.

Reading Julia Cameron’s latest “Artist Way” book, Write for Life, I notice she repeatedly says how she “loves to write.” I enjoy it when I’m in the mood. Sometimes I absolutely must write. But I don’t love it! When I first started writing fiction, I would take all day to get around to it. 4 pm, as I recall. Resistance is a thing, sure. But with music, I can get right to it.

She mentions how writing keeps her company. And I recall that when I was home alone, yes, writing did keep me company. I was going through something big back then. Julia has a writer’s dog, I had a writer’s cat. In some ways, he was my emotional support cat during that time. Skipper loved books and sleeping in my comfy office chair as I sat at the computer and wrote. It was quiet. He was quiet. Except when it was time to eat – lol!

He hated it when I started creating music. So noisy! In the 4 1/2 years since he’s been gone (he lived 18 1/2 years), I’ve been focusing mostly on music.

The third thing that happened yesterday that led me to rethinking yesterday’s blog post on my latest idea on how I can juggle writing and music was reading this interview with the composer behind the theme song of Miss Scarlett and the Duke. I want to be him. I would love to watch him work. So inspiring. Makes me wish I’d been more dedicated to my piano lessons.

That song has inspired ideas for my take on a similar song. I shared that in this post, “How to Tell if You’re a Writer or Musician.” I’m so looking forward to fleshing it out during FAWM. Music is what I love! That’s what I want to go big with. I guess there’s a reason for cliches such as “Go big or go home.” There’s truth to them.

Why Sharing a Home is Hard for Introverts

When I saw Why Is It So Hard for Introverts to Share a Home on IntrovertDear, well, just say, it really struck a chord. As regular readers know, I’ve been struggling with this, like many, since Covid because now hubby and I are both working at home instead of just me. And let me say upfront that he is the only person I can stand spending this much time with. Over 26 years now. Longer than any roommate (really didn’t enjoy roommates), longer than my family of origin, longer than my first husband. We are so compatible.

When we first got together, we often stayed in because we didn’t want the wait staff to interrupt the flow of our great conversations. Our 1-week honeymoon in Maui wasn’t enough time together, so we booked a Caribbean cruise 7 months later. And traveled extensively since. Often shorter trips because you can do more of them. Stretch those vacation days with weekends.

We ended up moving cross country several times and one of the things I enjoyed the most was the cross country drive because we got to spend so much time together. Each move was such an adventure!

But having said that, I’ve been struggling since he started working at home full-time during Covid. He’s now got ongoing full-time remote status. I knew retirement was coming one day and I worried how I would handle that. But we’ve had to face this nonstop togetherness before retirement. At least in retirement, he could always go off and walk on the beach, but, then, I’d want to go, too – lol!

The thing is, I didn’t really like being at home alone all day when he worked onsite. It would have been great if he could have come home in the early afternoon after I’d had my alone time. Feast or famine, I guess.

We’re making a conscious effort to do some things differently. He goes off to his home office as if it’s onsite. I try my best not to pop in, but I still do that, so that’s on me.

I’ve been taking my solo walks by just gathering my things and walking out the door. No big announcements, no stopping in his office first – lol! We’ve streamlined our lunches – sometimes together, sometimes apart. I often get up at first light and sit out on the screened Lanai overlooking wide open spaces, sipping my coffee – totally glorious!

I’ve yet to do an artist date (was supposed to go today but didn’t or haven’t… yet). I don’t really want to drive off. I love my studio too much. Will have to work on this. Plus, we need to set aside some alone time on the weekend, which can easily get overlooked.

All in all, it’s been a pretty good week. I haven’t enjoyed my studio as much as I’d like because I was busy rearranging furniture and getting some things set up. I’m looking forward to working on my projects in my studio next week. So much to catch up on.

Until then…

 

Introvert vs Extrovert, East vs West

As an Artist, an introvert, there are 3 things Julia Cameron says are musts:

  1. Morning pages
  2. Walks (alone)
  3. Artist dates (alone)

So not only are we now both working at home together, but we’ve been walking together, too. So lovely to walk and chat together. That’s a nice thing about having him at home. I do so enjoy his companionship.

Monday was not a work day, but we went out for a walk together and crossed paths with one of the neighbors he’s chatted with before. She and her dog were in front of our house just as we were crossing the street to go home. Naturally, we had to greet her and chat. Or, at least, he did. And then there were introductions to be had, because I hadn’t formally met her before.

She said, “Oh, you like to walk?” as if that was an odd thing to do. As if walking was something you did for your dog.

A wave would have been enough for me. We could have kept walking on our side of the street and turned around to cross over to our house later. There was no rush to go home.

Then there’s that other neighbor, the one I call Nancy, although her name is not Nancy. Everybody knows Nancy. As soon as somebody moves in, boom, she pounces on them. She must watch from her front window.

“What’s your name? What’s your last name? Where are you from? What are you going to do with your backyard?” Everybody’s trying to avoid Nancy – lol!

So now, not only do I have to be strategic inside the house, but I need to plot and plan my steps outside the house. Not what an introvert wants to do. It doesn’t work well with the whole automatic thing to avoid decision fatigue.

Walking alone should help. Nobody really approaches me when I’m walking alone. If I cross paths with someone, we smile, say, “Good morning” and keep moving. That’s my style. That’s energizing.

The challenge for my husband is that he needs interaction and that’s probably been difficult for him working at home. Not having those work encounters. I love how friendly he is. That people like him. So personable. His great sense of humor. Dry wit. How he comes alive joking around with people. That’s what drew me to him when we met at work in Silicon Valley.

That’s why we gave him the front bedroom for his office. He can see what’s going on outside, he can pop out and chat with someone when they’re outside. In fact, he’s gotten to know several neighbors, all bonding together in a brand new community, exchanging builder stories and what’s going on with their house. They all seem to be from up north (as is he), as is so often the case in Florida. They bond over that, too. They’re chatty people. That’s what they do out here.

The West is more independent. Even if you do chat briefly with a neighbor, there’s no fear that it’s going to become a problem. There’s no feeling of claustrophobia. There’s no need for strategy. You know you’ll part and carry on with your independent life.

Nobody asks if you like to walk. Of course, we like to walk. That’s what we do there. Nobody asks what your plans are for your backyard. Nobody even asks your name or certainly not your last name or where you’re from. That may sound cold, but that’s what I’m used to. That’s what works for an introvert.

This house gives us all the space we need, but now I feel claustrophobic outside the house and when I come inside, I feel claustrophobic inside the house. As if all of that togetherness outside has barged its way inside, too.

There’s always the nocturnal life, popular with introverts. So here I am, up at 4 am, writing this blog post. I usually wait until first light to get up. But if I get up now, do a few things, starting with morning pages, I can sneak out and go for a walk once the sun comes up.

So that takes care of morning pages and solo walks. I haven’t mentioned solo artist dates, though. That’s because I haven’t been doing them. My excuse is that I don’t really know my way around here–we’re still exploring together. But he’s encouraging me to get started with my artist dates. He thinks they will really help me feel like I do know my way around here.

I’ll let you know how it’s all working for me.

 

 

First Blog Post for 2023: Decision Fatigue

Okay, so making a resolution to stay off YouTube, Twitter, and my blog was totally impractical. I think I should be making a reverse resolution: to connect more on YouTube, Twitter, and through my blog, because these are the 3 ways I connect with people online.

So I’m browsing my Twitter feed and I see this video from Producer Dojo on “Decision Fatigue” and I’m thinking, “Bingo!” Hubby and I have just been discussing how I can automate my day more like how I used to when I had the house to myself. Working with another person around changes everything. And I’m the root cause of a lot of it. I can be quite chatty, in spite of being an introvert. We’re close and we can both be chatty.

And I’ve gotten into the habit of cooking our lunches. Ack! This must come to a stop. I must get back to automation, doing my own thing during the work hours as if his office is offsite. I also need to get out of the house and explore this new town of ours. But what I miss the most is having the house to myself. As an introvert, if I have to leave to have some alone time, I’m not really alone “out there,” am I? lol!

This is definitely one of the challenges of our Covid era world. Covid may be over in some people’s minds, but its effects are quite lingering and some changes are here to stay. Some things are not going back to how they used to be.

But as Producer Dojo says, eating the same thing every day, wearing the same thing every day frees your mind up to be creative. And now that the holidays are almost over (when will they end?), I need to finally get a routine going.