Blogmas, Day 4: Interview on The Writer’s Life (#blogmas)

“Everything in Vegas looks better at night.” – Nikki Durrance, Déjà Vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon

If you’re keeping up with the December blog tour for Déjà Vu…, you’ll want to to check out my interview over on The Writer’s Life.

Note: In addition to Kindle, it is also now available in Paperback.

The Imperfections of a Narcissist (#poetry #introtopoetry)

Day 6 prompt is “imperfect” – limerick for bonus points.

“Imperfect” and “Narcissist” cannot be in existence
In an ode so short or very long sentence
By definition a narcissist cannot be imperfect
If you call them out, they will enrage or deflect
No matter how you may wish or provide concrete evidence

The Journey Home (#poetry #introtopoetry)

Day 4 writing prompt is “journey.” Use of simile for bonus points. I’ve been under the weather so I’m not sure how much effort I can put into this.

Searching for that “one wise man”
My journey took me from California to Florida three times back I ran
Like a fish out of water, the Prodigal daughter, I came home again

No father waiting with open arms
His love and attention for me I was starved
Denying the power and lack that brings harm

Embracing me and what I can bring
Writing and music and listening to Thee
Is the greatest gift beyond all belief

 

New Cover for “Real Women Sing the Blues” for New Release of Paperback Version

I’m excited to announce the paperback release of Real Women Sing the Blues, book 2 in the Real Women Wear Red series. With that comes a brand new cover, which I’m really proud of.

Now that Amazon’s Kindle program has widened the publishing options to paperback, I’m releasing new paperbacks for my Kindle books. Because Real Women Wear Red was published before this option was available, I’m looking at republishing it in paperback on Amazon. That will make the pricing much more attractive to readers.

REAL WOMEN SING THE BLUES

RWSB_new_cover_125“In that moment, I knew I could no longer be a Wall Street monkey, and somewhere out there Blue Hawaii was calling my name.” – Robin from Real Women Sing the Blues

When the women of Real Women Wear Red return from their Caribbean cruise, each woman must deal with the consequences of secrets shared onboard ship.

Millie’s secret sends Robin reeling all the way to Blue Hawaii, and she finds herself chasing Moondoggie and singing the Blues. This sets off the “Millie Domino Effect.”

Millie chases after Robin and Monterey Jack chases after Millie.

Cyn joins Robin and Millie on the cruise when her “Cary Grant” gets too serious too fast. And Sandy runs to Cyn for motherly comfort when her shipboard romance blows up.

Four women, four islands, and a seven-night cruise to Paradise. Is there life after they go Hawaiian or will they end up singing the Blues?

AVAILABLE NOW on Amazon.com for Kindle and Paperback.

A Veteran’s Face (#poetry #introtopoetry #VeteransDay)

Intro to Poetry (Day Two) suggests writing a poem about a face of any kind. Alliteration for bonus points.

It came out of nowhere yesterday
Hitting me in the heart
Numbing my identity
As if I were a nameless nobody
Belting me with a break so sharp
A photo of a Navy Veteran’s face
His memory I cannot erase
Questions asked after so many years
A child staring at the bump on her ear
Wondering “who am I” and “why do I fear?’
Looking in the looking glass
I see the answer staring me in the face
Knowledge I no longer need to chase
A photo is a reminder of our resemblance
So I honor the Veterans as a daughter’s remembrance

Wings of an Eagle (#poem #lyrics)

My head silently screams through the night
When the long-awaited answer is nearly in sight
Wings of an eagle flap, ready to take flight

Nowhere to go, I must now stay
Running was the thing of another day
Understanding when absent, intuition leads the way

I must not fear, sleeping under God’s wings
The storyteller prays as the choir now sings
Artists and monks the truth must bring

Wings of an eagle carry the message
Laser-focused eyes encompass the ledge
Save me from falling teetering on the edge

 

Adventure on the High Seas (#poem)

Working on my third novel set aboard a cruise ship, and after tuning into last night’s CruiseTipsTV Live last night, I decided to write a poem about the call of the adventure on the high seas.

Dreaming of cruising on a luxury ship
Running for miles to reduce the hips
Preparing for months with low fat calories
Longing for adventure on the high seas

Shopping for swimsuits, bags, and nice dresses
Romantic strolls on decks, kisses and caresses
Tips, tricks, and vlogging the trip
Reading a novel about a girl who strips

Cocktails, Coppertone, and boys in cabanas
Lovers and places once forbidden like Havana
Snorkeling, parasailing, and boats like bananas
Lift me from despair to cries of Hosanna

Tequila, Take Me Home

I wrote this song when we were living in Florida. We were having lunch at La Fiesta, the most Southern California Mexican restaurant in the New Smyrna Beach/Daytona area and I was soaking up the atmosphere, the Mexican music, and the “Mexican Margarita,” as they called it. It was my favorite, if not a bit strong.

A Native Californian, I was so homesick for the West Coast so I took a drink and said, “Tequila, Take Me Home.” That became a song.

So when Taxi A&R had a listing for “drinking songs,” I submitted it. Well, it was not forwarded. But after last night’s episode where they played many of the submissions and we got to vote +1 or -1 as to whether we thought it should be forwarded, I realized my mistake. It was not a “drinking song” in the real meaning of that. It was more of a homesick song – lol!

I have a couple of other drinking songs that would have been more appropriate but they need some work. But it might be good to do the work now because you never know when they might just have another call for that kind of song.

Dark Night of the Soul (#poem)

If life were a novel, then this is the “all is lost” moment
Feeling helpless, feeling the losses
Looking forward, looking back, all that is seen seems broken
So weary of carrying the crosses

Reaching out to friends is a crap shoot
Strangers in line sharing their stories
Cloaked in pain, seemingly destitute
It’s time to take inventory

What is God trying to teach me?
I’m failing to learn the lesson
Is it physical or things I’ve come to believe
Leaning on the things I’ve found success in

The Dark Night of the Soul is a lonely place
The breakthrough is just around the corner
Waiting, waiting, waiting, feeling disgrace
Compassion for my fellow sojourners

Kristopher (#poem)

Kristopher I call you today
Are you the one or is it Kristy?
Not if the little boy who went away
Sweet, loving, and kissy
Was really you in disguise
Would my love have been a lie?

To heal a broken heart, they say
Is not to bury you, but to give you a name
To keep alive since that day
You were identified by your grave
And so today I call you Kristopher
Until we meet in the ever after

Lent (#poem)

Lent can be the most hellacious time of year
One that started for me on Halloween
Filled with hope and trust soon turned into fear
Like the never ending Groundhog Day on the Silver Screen

I’m somewhat new at this kind of belief
One day was like another when I was a child
Watching the neighbors go to church on their knees
Admiring their place in a world run wild

Stories of Missions and Father Junipero Serra
Catholics, Protestants and even Jewish girls
So common yet part of the forbidden era
Were precious to me like a necklace of pearls

The world throws away its treasures from the past
Putting baby in the corner on a stage so round
Now invited to partake of the bread in the Mass
When once I was lost and now I am found

I’m reminded of a miracle when it’s three days late
The timing is perfect you see looking back
The pain and the suffering in the moment so great
Easter Sunrise conquers the nights so black

 

Worship in the Waiting (#poem)

Worship in the waiting they say
These words I recall lying awake
Writing, singing, working all day
Are distractions I welcome but only delay
The peace to panic transition the nighttime obeys

We’re not alone in our fears
In our struggles and overflowing tears
When our strength seems to disappear
When we’re down on our knees
Begging please please

Like writers writing fiction
Seeking love, loss, and friction
Musicians share their heart and their stories
Waiting forlornly
For answers that give Him the glory

Remember the truth and the blessings
In trials, tribulations, and second guessing
As Mary pondered the love of her life
After Good Friday comes the Easter Sunrise
Worship in the waiting conquers the fear in the lie

Identity (#poem)

IDENTITY

Growing up as Kathy B
Who I was I could not see
Searching for the one who made me
Was all about my identity

When my brother-in-law, who has a close relationship with his adopted daughter, visited us in Florida last fall, we talked about how similar her issues are with mine, as a result of growing up with a step dad instead of my own dad. There’s much confusion out there about our motives to find our bio parents, but, in the end, it’s all about finding out who you are and who you came from.

Red Tiled Roof (poem)

Rat-a-tat-tat Rat-a-tat-tat
Rhythm of the drum of an ally cat
Clippity clop of a horse’s hoof
Rainy night on a red-tiled roof

Drip drip drip sings the rain
So unusual on the desert plain
This time home is more of a stranger
It feels so temporary, so full of danger

Where did it go just last year
It’s gone for good is the deepest fear
Three thousand miles more or less
Hurrying back to cross the abyss

Writing songs up all night
About home and loss and other frights
Night time writing so aloof
Recognizing only the red-tiled roof

When the Muse Calls…

So much for all of that bravado about how music always trumps writing fiction. Ha!

Here’s what happened… I had an amazing songwriting day yesterday. I couldn’t wait to hit the studio this morning and start banging out more songs. I did a little keyboard practice. I did some vocal warmup. And then I listened to yesterday’s song. It sucked! I got scared. I felt so intimidated. The imposter syndrome struck. So what’s a girl to do?

Pull out my favorite manuscript in progress and start writing? That’s what stopped me the day before, when I decided I should focus on music – not writing. So I pulled up a different manuscript. Perhaps the muse wants me to work on that one today.

Okay, so maybe I won’t really know who wins until I’ve done enough work that something crosses the finish line. Maybe that’s how the muse works and I should just obey the muse when it strikes.

How about you?

Music vs. Fiction: Music Always Wins #amwriting #songwriting

January has just begun and already I’m in trouble. Choosing to focus on writing and music, I realize I must designate one as the priority because both of them take enormous skill and time and focus to succeed. Sure, I can pursue both, but I must choose which will be number one in my life. I keep returning to this truth for me.

Music always wins. And now I have a separate designated studio in my home, which is great because then the cats can’t chew the wires. 🙂

But songwriting still counts as writing, right? Will that be enough or will I have to fit in fiction, too? Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Besides, I can always write fiction during breaks from music because you always need breaks, right? But there are just so many pieces to a song, including vocal warmups, as Shelly Peiken writes about in her latest blog post here.

 

 

Ode to Cecilia (#poem)

Stories of California Missions and Father Junipero Serra
Disneyland fireworks from our childhood era
Beach Boys and Beatles and Screamie Birds groupies
Cecilia and I sang “Hang on Sloopy”

From “sexy scientist” to Las Vegas beautician
She called herself “CeeCee” following her ambition
Sitting next to Alan at the sixth grade spelling bee
On stage I saw green but he was mine, she reassured me

“Cecilia, you’re breaking my heart”
Paul Simon sang years later and many miles apart
About a Patroness for poets, novelists, and musicians
Discovering decades later, it was a year after my audition

Hiding in plain sight God touched my soul
He sent priests and musicians and witnesses and moles
Pursuing me relentlessly for as long as it took
Saint Cecilia leading me to sing and write the book

#Blogtoberfest Day 31: Happy Halloween

Halloween or All Hollows Eve or All Saints Eve is a remembrance of the dead and celebrated liturgically in some churches such as Roman Catholic, Byzantine Catholic and Eastern Orthodoxy.

Not to take away from any of that (the liturgies are beautiful), but speaking of the dead, I’m reminded of recent discussions I’ve read online where people seem to be competing over who has had the worst loss – the death of a mate, the loss of a pet, or divorce and I’ve said that it all depends on the person and the circumstances. But whatever it is, it’s not a competition. And so when I read this quote from On the Brink of Everything (see yesterday’s post), I had to share it:

“At my age, I know people who have lost the dearest person in their lives.”

That is the key – the “dearest” person in their lives. And for some people, that dearest “person” is a pet.

He goes on to say:

At first, they go into deep grief, certain their lives will never again be worth living. But then they slowly awaken to the fact that–not in spite of their loss but because of it–they’ve become bigger, more compassionate people, with more capacity of heart to take in other people’s sorrows and joys.

Loss is not a competition nor is it a narrowly-defined category. Loss is loss and all must be dealt with in compassion.

Happy Halloween, Happy November! See you in December.

Halloween on Mount Charleston

#Blogtoberfest Day 30: On the Brink of Everything

On the Brink of Everything by Parker J. Palmer caught my attention on my recent visit to Barnes & Noble. He may be on the brink of turning 80, but while I don’t agree with some of his thinking, he does share the things that are true for him about growing older, being mentored when he was younger, and becoming a mentor to younger people now. The point is that people of all ages have something to learn from or share with others.

I totally agree. When I was in my 20s through 40s, I often gravitated toward older women who taught me so much. I even wrote a song called “Wise Woman” about my friend from Montreal who I met in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Then somewhere along the way, I noticed younger women were gravitating toward me, looking at me as a mentor and I love fulfilling that role. Sometimes it’s people I’ve met online or at church or wherever. Sometimes it’s my readers.

They say that when you want to learn something new, you have to be willing to be a beginner. And that’s me with music. I have to be a beginner. And so I’ve met such interesting young people as we travel this road together, whether music or poetry.

November is just a couple of days away and I really do feel like I’m on the brink of everything, experimenting with a bit of unplugging and planning another cross country move. I invite you all to travel that road with me. And while I hope to take a blog hiatus during November, I’ll be back to share any experiences/insights worth sharing and I invite you to do the same.

No matter how young or old we are, we’re all on the brink of everything that’s going to come next.