For song #4 of the 50/90 Challenge (2020), I chose to do a Classic House track, and I must say it’s my favorite. Or maybe each current song is my favorite, right? And after I received some invaluable feedback from a professional DJ, I made a couple of edits and reposted it on SoundCloud. I may continue to work on it as I gain more skills or just might start with something new. Anyway, here is where I am on the producer track:
One of the members of our 50/90 community hosts an internet radio show podcast on Spanish Rock Shot Radio. And he’s including some music from some of our 50/90 creations, including Space Disco Party, a Screamie Birds track.
You can play it here. Note: Screamie Birds is track #22:
My approach for 50/90 this year isn’t to see how many songs I can bang out in 90 days. Instead, I’m trying to see how many different styles of “House” music I can “master” and, therefore, focus on the genre and the quality of my productions in Ableton Live and Logic Pro X.
So far, here are the 3 songs I’ve written/produced/posted on 50/90 via SoundCloud:
Keep It Movin’ (Classic House)
Space Disco Party (Space Disco)
Catch the Moment (Deep House)
Yes, it’s the 4th of July, Independence Day for the U.S. but also the first day of 50/90 (the write 50 songs in 90 days challenge). And so a poem came to mind during the night, raw, for sure, but, inspired by “The Making of Frozen II” on Disney Plus, I post it as part of the process of 50/90.
Surrender the old
Trust in the beginning
Embracing the new
In spite of the blues
These words to the wise
My fears not disguised
This time feels different
Body older and fragile
Relying on me no longer
My spirit is stronger
The old self-reliance
Becomes a castle of silence
My heart beats a longing
For what I know not
Showing up and suited
Desire deeply rooted
Stories and sounds on keyboards I write
What the muse whispers to me in the night
Fifty-ninety begins July 4th and lasts through September 30. The challenge is to create 50 songs in 90 days. I think it will be an awesome way to focus.
Yesterday, I posted on my travel blog some thoughts about my childhood and how when we visited my step dad’s family in California’s Central Valley, I would leave the women behind in the living room talking about babies to sit with the men on the front porch talking trash about drinking, the neighbors, and other stuff I can’t remember while making home-made ice cream.
Anyway, that got me to thinking about how hanging out with musicians in places like FAWM and 50/90 and Sonic Academy is like hanging out with the guys on the front porch. While there are women there, the majority are men. And that’s more than okay.
I also notice that when I’m involved in podcasts and live videos in these communities, we focus on the music. Nothing else exists other than a passing comment about having more time to create music. There’s no politics. And it’s so refreshing.
So I’m thinking that maybe if I focus on the next 90 days, that when it’s over, all of this might be over. Or in a better place than where we are now. And if not, October brings Rocktober and November brings National Solo Album Month (NaSoAlMo), the music version of NaNoWriMo (instead of writing a novel in a month, you write an album). Maybe *then* it will be over. If not, then there’s Christmas and New Year’s and then maybe it will be over or mostly over in 2021.
Okay, so my latest toy is Kick 2 by Sonic Academy. Paired with Logic Pro X 10.5, well, I’m in beat heaven!
I used to joke that I was a Disco Queen, fell madly in love with disco the first time I walked into Earthquake Ethel’s and the pulsating beat led me to one of the three dance floors. (We didn’t take many photos back then, so this is the closest pic I can find from that era.)
So, it comes as no surprise, really, to find myself into EDM (Electronic Dance Music), especially because I’ve been involved professionally with electronic production since those early disco days. First in publishing, now in music.
Funny how people were determined to kill disco. Funny also how romance writers were determined to kill chick lit. Both my favorite genres. Well, I guess it’s true. I do seem to march to a different drummer, which means:
To act independently, differ in conduct or ideas from most others.
As Henry David Thoreau said in Walden (1854): “If a man(woman) does not keep pace with his(her) companions, perhaps it is because he(she) hears a different drummer.”
(This may be repetitive for those who have read this blog for some time, but in a nutshell, this is the background to my music journey.)
I’ve always loved singing – even from a young age. My mother tells the story of me, smudge on cheek, sitting on the front porch singing with my step dad while he played guitar – me having no idea what the lyrics were to the song. Later, I performed in the school choir and sang as a soloist. I played an electric organ I got for my 7th birthday. Later, I moved on to piano and when groups like the Beatles were all the rage, I even played a few chords on the guitar.
I was stumped by three things.
- You have a great ear for music
- Your writing is poetic, almost lyrical in rhythm
The first one was said by my school music teacher and later, my vocal coach in Las Vegas (he appeared in Mamma Mia), and the second was my literary agent when she signed me for Real Women Wear Red.
- My favorite words in 1st Grade were “said” and “David”
- My favorite songs had stripper-like drums
Later, when I met my father, he said “All my kids play the drums” and then it all fell into place. That explained some of my favorite songs, and, of course, the “d” in those words sounded like a drum – lol!
I also discovered my grandmother wrote poetry. Ah… I started putting it all together, pursuing songwriting and got a new music keyboard. But something wasn’t quite coming together. Then, as I started studying music production, first GarageBand, then LogicPro, and now Ableton Live, I realized how much I loved “sound” – it’s something more than just music.
I recently purchased Kick2 and Ana2 from Sonic Academy, learning deeper levels of sound design. And I absolutely love it! This is so bringing me out of the doldrums this weird time in our world has brought to us.
This also brings up questions, such as:
- Should I do 50/90 this year?
- Will I renew my TAXI A&R membership?
Neither seem all that focused on the kind of music and/or sounds I’m creating. Perhaps it’s time to reassess my goals.
You will go nuts if you spend too much time on social media, or media, in general, especially in times like these. So what’s an artist to do? Create. Write. Paint, Sing. Cook. Produce Music. That’s where sanity lies.
So I thought I’d share a couple of my recent projects. Although I am not a painter or that kind of artist, I am a bit of a visual artist. My background is in book layout and production. Therefore, I’ve been dabbling a bit with videos on YouTube. Mostly posting some of our cruise and Disney videos, our time in Florida, Las Vegas, and some even feature my novels. That was so fun.
I’d created a book trailer when my first book was published but later when Google bought YouTube, they messed it all up. So I reimagined it with real video but kept the same tune. Makes me smile, taking me back to those heady days of getting an agent and publishing for the first time when we first moved to Florida. Check it out:
One time in Florida was not enough so we moved back not twice but three times in all. Here’s the video of our last time when we had the great privilege of building a new house in a Central Florida beach town.
And here’s a link to a video that seems to be growing in views every day. Unlike most of my videos that may get a dozen views, this incredibly short video of Oasis of the Seas has climbed to almost 65,000. Go figure! Now if those viewers would buy my cruise books – lol!
To find out more about my novels, click here.
If you’d just like to subscribe to my Travel Channel on YouTube, click on this link.
Thanks for stopping by. Happy creating!
I love to travel through reading and that seems even more important during this lockdown. And I know that the cruise community is anxious to get back to cruising. So until we can, why not check out novels where you can travel vicariously (location/setting is listed in parens) and even cruise:
REAL WOMEN WEAR RED (Caribbean Cruise)
“I may dye my hair blonde, I may drink pink drinks, but I am not doing pink toe polish. Red, that’s my color. After all, real women wear red.” – Cyn
When 40-something Kate “Cyn” Francis changes her name, her hair color, and her age in order to snag a younger man on a Caribbean cruise, the last thing she expects is to fall overboard for a Cary Grant look-alike. But this is not your ordinary cruise.
REAL WOMEN SING THE BLUES (Hawaii Cruise)
“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?
THE TOM JONES CLUB (Las Vegas, Nevada)
“I can tell what kind of man he is by the wine he drinks.” – Lucky
International wine director Lucky Stryker, the “Lucky Lady,” is lucky in the boardroom, but unlucky in love. But when Lady Luck throws the red hot dice, Lucky cashes in on a red hot sizzling romance. But when her past catches up with her, she is forced to answer these questions, “Can her heart keep the promises her body has been making?” and “Will she finally get lucky in love?”
LETTERS ON BALBOA ISLAND (Balboa Island, California)
“When I was seventeen, I knew two things that were true: (1) You couldn’t help but meet a man in a military uniform in southern California in the 1950s, and (2) Sooner or later, men would leave. ” – Rosalie
When Rosalie Martin chooses to spend her life with a military man in the post Korean War era of the 1950s, she can’t forget another she met during the war. And when letters surface on Balboa Island years later, she realizes she may have chosen the wrong man. So when fate offers her the chance to make a different choice, will she? Or has she lived a life of lies for too long?
FRENCH MARTINI (Las Vegas, San Francisco, Mexico Cruise)
Nikki Durrance escaped the worst nightmare of her life when she fled Las Vegas for San Francisco, leaving her husband behind at the Blue Diamond Saloon to build a new life. So when the perfect Dr. Mike Fischer proposes, she accepts. But when her new Mr. Right begins to transform into a guy just like her ex-husband, she begins to question everything, including her sanity.
Nikki longs to trust Mike, but with an overwhelming feeling of déjà vu, Nikki’s fear propels her into discoveries of betrayals and underworld connections that will send her running for her life again.
BUY NOW on Amazon.com in Kindle.
RAINING MEN (Pacific Northwest)
When California girl Brooke Slade, looking for love in all the wrong places, is presented with an opportunity to move to the Pacific Northwest, she turns it down, refusing to leave her life in Sunny California. But when she loses her job, she decides to give the Northwest a chance for thirty days and discovers it’s raining more than the wet stuff – it’s raining men. Wading through so many Mr. Wrongs, can she find Mr. Right?
BUY NOW on Amazon.com for Kindle.
Nikki Durrance escaped the worst nightmare of her life when she fled Las Vegas for San Francisco, leaving her husband and French Martinis behind. So when the perfect Dr. Mike Fischer proposes, she accepts. But when her new Mr. Right begins to transform into her ex-husband, including his love for French Martinis, she begins to question her sanity.
Nikki longs to trust Mike, but with an overwhelming feeling of déjà vu, Nikki’s fear propels into discoveries of betrayals, questioning her ability to ever trust love again.
BUY NOW on Amazon.com in Kindle.
French Martini recipe available here.
Adventures through travel and cocktails video on YouTube..
(*Originally released as Déjà vu at the Blue Diamond Saloon).