“She’s Not That Good” on YouTube

Okay, so I had to do it, right? I made a little YouTube video of an excerpt from She’s Not That Good, my latest release, a romantic comedy novella set on a cruise ship. Created/produced the music, too, originally for FAWM 23. I may develop it further for the songwriting challenge.

In the meantime, check it out – lol!

Novels, Novellas, and Short Stories for #Cruisers

One of my favorite settings for writing is a cruise ship. Ever since my first cruise, I was drawn into an isolated environment like a ship or plane or train, etc. Maybe because of my own experiences.

I remember so clearly that first day on my first cruise on Carnival Cruise Line’s first ship, the original Mardi Gras (in service from 1972-1993). Ships were tiny back then compared to today (see orig. and new Mardi Gras comparison in photo below).

There I was on my first cruise and the free rum drinks (yes, back then the welcome aboard drink was free) were flowing. So this woman sat next to me on a chaise out by the pool. And proceeded to tell me about how the woman she was sailing with had no idea she was having a romantic fling with her brother. She avoided me for the rest of the cruise, which wasn’t easy since back then you saw the same people over and over again.

Anyway, that scene inspired Real Women Wear Red, which led to the sequel Real Women Sing the Blues, which led to the short story Cougars in Cabo leading up to my latest release, She’s Not That Good, a novella.

These are all available for the Kindle with the links to amazon below.

Real Women Wear Red (novel)

Real Women Sing the Blues (novel)

She’s Not That Good (novella)

Cougars in Cabo (part of short story anthology)

Blogmas, Day 31: Unplug, Cut the Cord (Resolutions for #2020 #blogmas)

Today is finally the end of Blogmas (for those of us who kept blogging past Christmas), and the last day of 2019. It’s been a lot of fun discovering new bloggers who are also doing Blogmas. Which brings me to today’s post and unplugging and cutting the cord.

We already cut the cord when we dumped our cable TV for streaming services. First we tried HuluTV, which really sucked. We also tried DisneyPlus, which was fun for a few weeks until we caught up with all the new shows. And then we switched HuluTV to YouTubeTV, which is really cool, which is so funny, because as a content provider, I so dislike how YouTube works. But as a TV and music consumer, I’m really loving it.

I already unplugged from most social media (Facebook, Instagram, etc) but was still pretty active on Twitter. But it’s becoming so dissatisfying. So I’ve decided for my 2020 resolution to unplug from Twitter – at least take a break. I’ll keep the account (many of my Reverb contacts are on Twitter), but maybe not post or hang out there much. I prefer hanging out with other bloggers or even vloggers, for that matter, for those moments when, as an artist, you feel the need to connect with the world in an interesting but introverted way.

For example, while I’m writing this, I’m watching the latest vid from Best Life and Beyond on YouTube, giving me a peek into Disneyland, the next best thing to actually being there, while working on a song and some writing. Social media is mostly a time waster.


Blogmas, Day 30: End-of-Year Ableton Live Progress (#blogmas)

Many of you blogging this blogmas have mentioned the books you’ve enjoyed reading over the holidays. And in the past, that might have been me, too, especially if you mean fiction. But this year I’ve been cramming learning Ableton Live, taking tutorials and reading non fiction books. Gearing up for FAWM (“February Album Writing Month”), I guess

Logic Pro X is my DAW of choice but as an EDM producer, I wanted to learn Ableton Live. It seems so suited to the music genre. But it’s been quite a struggle in some ways, in others it’s been a breeze. I think that’s because each DAW specializes in different areas. I can sit down and start creating a song right away in Logic Pro, in Ableton, it seems the simplest things are the most difficult. But when it comes to mastering more of the advanced features in music production, Ableton seems to do it much more easily.

And while I’ve been madly applying myself to music tutorials for Ableton, I stumbled upon some really cool ones for Logic Pro, too, and have learned some interesting things I’m quite excited about. What to do, what to do? Ableton Live or Logic Pro? Well, I suppose I really don’t have to choose because I imagine it’s good for a producer to know more than one DAW. The real choice is which one do I use in the moment? lol!

There are a lot of tutorials out there, but it can be challenging following along. Sometimes they use third party plug-ins that you don’t have or their techniques zip past you so fast, you can’t possibly keep up. I’ve probably tried dozens just on one site. Anyway, here’s a sample song I managed to figure out in Ableton Live (via Groove3) from programming drums and synths to mixing and adding special effects such as EQ, reverb, and automation.

Blogmas, Day 29: Best Elvis Tribute Artist (#blogmas)

So I guess I’m going to do this thing until the end of the year – lol!

Today’s Review Journal was a reminder of those we’ve lost this year and the photo of Trent Carlini, my favorite Elvis Tribute Artist, caught my attention. I saw him years ago in the “Legends in Concert” show. Afterward, he hung out with everybody, and I thought that was pretty cool.

Blogmas, Day 28: Winter Wonderland in Las Vegas (#blogmas)

When it snows in the surrounding mountains, the Las Vegas Valley takes on a beautiful hue. The only downside is that it can make  travel to/from Vegas a a bit of a challenge, often resulting in being stuck due to road closures. We usually don’t make travel plans this time of year or book a flight if need be.

From today’s Las Vegas Review Journal:

Blogmas, Day 27: Make Mine a Hemingway (#blogmas)

I’m a bit late with today’s blogmas post, but we were having such fun out, I just now got around to posting.

I think this is one of the best parts about the Holidays – that time after Christmas before New Year’s when we often take a day off and hang out at a favorite restaurant.

Today’s choice was Tommy Bahama’s Cafe in Las Vegas Town Square, one of our favorite hangouts where tourists meet locals. It’s extra fun at Christmas with the decorations and holiday events. Happy Hour is daily and the bar lounge is cozy and offers live entertainment.

But we were there for lunch. And what a lunch it was! Delicious, amazing food, great service, the kind of tropical atmosphere where you think you’re on a Caribbean cruise (or back living in Florida).

I’d totally planned on having a glass of wine with lunch but when I saw the Hemingway (rum martini), I had to have it. Scallops and shrimp with lemongrass and curry sauce over almond rice – divine! Rich had the classic Mai Tai with ribs, mashes potatoes with cauliflower mix, and a slaw with cilantro!

The shops are always fun, and we picked up a couple of trinkets before discovering there’s an Ethel M’s outpost right next door! So we had to purchase a box made up the latest favorite booze candy flavor – the dark chocolate with tequila – and the dark chocolate salted caramel – making friends after spreading the word.