My Sacred Space for FAWM Madness

On this Saturday night on the last weekend before the FAWM madness (a challenge to write 14 songs in 28 days) begins, I’m organizing my studio, but especially my sacred space. But I’m *supposed* to be working on my novel.

But it’s only 4 days until February 1st, which is the first day of FAWM, and I can’t wait to get started. The forums are already busy. Some are posting photos of their studios. But instead of doing that, I think I might need to post a photo of the part of my studio that is my sacred space – a tribute to the past that is so important to me.

So I run over to the den in the front of the house where the hubster is working on his novel.

Me: “Can you hear what’s happening in my studio?”

Him: “No.”

Me: “Well, it isn’t writing.”

We laugh hilariously!

So what was I doing instead of writing? On my way to the computer to open my wip, I looked at my vinyl records and pulled out “Spinout” and started playing it. And that led to the other albums, like “The Onstage” album, dated February 1970. Interesting it was February. And 1970 was the year I saw Elvis perform in person. Who knew all these Februarys later I’d be participating in the annual “February Album Writing Month,” writing 14 songs in 28 days.

You see, when I unpacked our stuff after the cross country move last fall, I found several of my vinyl records still intact. They have survived zillions of moves, including a step dad who loved to toss things out, roommates, my tendency to lose things, and an exhusband! It’s a miracle!

2023: The Year of Submissions (Indie Gold Rush Is Over)

I’ve been agonizing over which path to choose to go all in: writing or music. And I haven’t been able to make a decision. I started reading Essentialism about the importance of choosing to do only the things that are the most important. Still trying to figure out which is more essential to me: music or writing.

And then I read an email from Becca Syne called “The Indie Publishing Gold Rush Is Over” and it all clicked. No wonder I’d lost interest in writing. Although I’d started out with an agent and a few publishing contracts, I had become an Indie Author and it was pretty awesome in its heyday. But those times are long over. And I mean long over!

So I turned my attention to music. After all, it was my first love. And I’m madly in love with this journey, but, once again, what future is there in that?

And then Haterade, a music producer from Sonic Academy, put out a tech tip video on YouTube today called “How to Set Up a Release Plan” about the importance of finishing a song and submitting it to a label or some place.

So, that’s my answer. I can work on my stories and music but only for submissions. I already submitted a short story today. No more Indie this or Indie that. Not for me. Not in 23.

Let’s see what this year brings!


Best of 2022 and a January Resolution

The best professional move we made this past year was in selling our home in Las Vegas and building one in Florida, even with all the blips and bumps. The main reason is ever since Covid, hubby has been working at home full-time and the house we built in Vegas pre-Covid did not suit us.

It wasn’t that it was so terribly small (1470 sq ft) by California standards–I would have loved to have had a home like this when we lived in California for over 25 adult years (not counting my childhood)—it was that it was spread out on 2 floors and the downstairs had very little room–not even a dining room or area big enough for a table.

Upstairs was better because we had a nice-sized master and two more bedrooms over the garage–one as office for him, and one as studio for me–right next to each other. So there wasn’t a lot of privacy for his meetings and my recordings. It was just too tight for an introvert like me. No escape. 24/7.

But now he has a really nice-sized office with double windows in the front of the house. I claimed the “flex space” on the other size of the hall next to the garage with a small window, kept all dark and clubby with changing colored lights. And even the cats have a fully-decorated room for their litter, toys, tree, couch, and dresser.

So professionally, and personally, this has been a victory for us. And with Disney and beaches within a short drive. Just like how I grew up in Southern California.

On this last day of 2022, I haven’t really set many goals, mostly to focus on music and to hybernate from social media for the month of January. The intention is to refrain from actively participating on YouTube, Twitter, and maybe not even a blog post. All to prepare for FAWM ’23 (February Album Writing Month), not only musically, but emotionally, psychologically, and all the interaction that FAWM entails.

Happy New Year!!

My “Wilderness in a Corner Office”

My latest Steven Pressfield email has landed in my inbox, spurring a response to his “Wilderness in a Corner Office” blog post.

You can have a great career, a loving spouse and family, the respect and envy of all who know you … and still be in the Wilderness.

You’re in the Wilderness if this career/family/respect is for a calling that is not yours, that doesn’t arise from your truest self.

In a way, this is the most excruciating form of Wilderness because you’re in hell and you know it, yet you get no sympathy for your suffering, even from yourself. In fact, if you dare to express your misery (even to yourself), you are looked at as an ingrate, a cream puff, a weenie.

You’re not. Your wilderness is real. Your suffering is real. And your peril is real. – Steven Pressfield

What hit me is that while technical writing was once my “wilderness in a corner office,” writing fiction has now become my wilderness. It is no longer the dream, if it ever was. I was motivated, for sure, to write every novel, novella, and short story I wrote. And it was a step in the right direction from technical writing. But it wasn’t my final destination.

My desire for writing has been dwindling ever since I came face-to-face with my real desire, which is all about music. My original audience is gone, if *my audience* means the people who propelled me to write those stories in the first place. That need to be heard, especially by those people, was real but is no longer a thing.

So instead of continuing to work the 90 Day Novel exercises, which may be part of what’s killing that desire to write, I need to focus on music. So much to learn. The more I learn, the more I learn that some things can’t be learned. I’m absolutely terrified to keep trying! Who am I to make some noise and call it music? I absolutely do not feel good enough!! Just writing this is scaring me.

But I absolutely love it! And if I must put my ass where my heart wants to be (ala Steven Pressfield), well, music is absolutely it! For more motivation, I can read my novella, She’s Not That Good – lol!

And every time I see this sitting on my desk next to my mic, well, I feel the nudge to press on. Terrified or not. Because the fear tells me how important it is. Like the first time I auditioned for a solo part in my high school choir’s spring program. I was absolutely terrified, but I knew I absolutely had to do it. And I got the part. I’m still that girl.

 The problem is that as soon as I make a pronouncement such as this, my muse starts whispering stories it wants to hear.

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 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?


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 now that She’s Not that Good is finally released 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?