Chasing With Words

As a big fan of Julia Cameron’s “Artist Way” series, I’ve been looking through her books to see what I might have missed. And one book I just noticed is Your Right to Write. In it she tells the story of a boy in the 6th grade and how she’d written numerous short stories, hoping to get his attention. She says she “chased him with pencil and paper.” And in doing so discovered the thrill of chasing with words.

I had to give that some thought. Although I also did a lot of writing in school, music was my first love. And I realized that my 6th grade love life was more about listening to my Elvis records in my garage (door open) with my “boyfriend” rather than any chasing with pencil and paper. Or chasing with words. Okay, so maybe I wrote my first love letter to him, so there were some words involved. 🙂

Since books about art are usually written by writers, the focus is on writing and the life of a writer. And while that is super encouraging to artists of any kind, I’d like to find something written from the point of view of music. It may exist out there – I just haven’t found it. I’d write it if I thought I had something new to offer, but maybe I’m already doing it right here. Sharing other people’s words with my musical experience thrown into the mix. Mix – yeah, that’s my kind of word. lol!

So maybe writing is writing and songwriting is another form of it.

“Songwriting is my way of channeling my feelings and my thoughts. Not just mine, but the things I see, the people I care about. My head would explode if I didn’t get some of that stuff out.” — Dolly Parton

One Night in Vegas, Version 2 (#50/90) Finale #Elvis

Another version of “One Night in Vegas” for 50/90 2022 – this one with spoken alternatives onstage and backstage. This captures one night in Vegas at the last Elvis Festival at the Las Vegas Hilton, which was the original International Hotel.

We got a backstage tour of the stage, dressing room, and the Elvis suite in the Penthouse, along with meeting Memphis Mafia Jerry Schilling and Jose Esposito. The evening was capped off by an Elvis artist performance, complete with the Sweet Inspirations and the Stamps.

This is my tribute to that night.

Top 5 Songs for 50/90 2022 (#FAWM #Music #Songwriting #Challenge)

This weekend marks the last weekend in July, the first month of 50/90 comes to an end (the challenge goes from July 5 to October 1). This year I’m exploring different sounds, genres, etc. just to see what happens. I also added a “DJ” intro to set the stage for each song.

So I thought I’d post a playlist of my top 5 songs, as far as which ones got the most comments so far. Once 50/90 is over, I’ll post my favorites.

50/90 2022 Is On! #FAWM #50/90 #Songwriting #Challenge

Fifty-ninety is on its second week. In case you don’t know, 50/90 is the summer songwriting challenge of FAWM, where you are challenged to write 50 songs in 90 days starting on July 4. Last year, for the first time, I completed the challenge. In fact, I wrote 60 songs. This year we’re in the midst of moving cross-country so I’ll do what I can do. Speaking of which, here is my first song: “Nasty Lies.”

Synthwave Takeover Plus Addicted to the Alexandra Mallory Series (#amreading #amproducing #notwriting)

I’m now on book 10 (The Woman in the Storm) of the Alexandra Mallory series by Cathryn Grant. I’m hooked! Binge reading. This is so unusual for me these days. To find one book, let alone a whole series I can get so immersed in. That’s because Cathryn Grant is a brilliant writer. And it doesn’t hurt that we have such similar backgrounds. I can so “relate” to the character, setting, the writer’s voice, writing trajectory, Silicon Valley career, super strict religious background etc. (see Writing is Murder: Motive, Means, and Opportunity).

Ironically, though, I think that is who I used to be. I’m now immersing myself in electronic music, my passion far stronger than writing, as it turns out. Cathryn inspires me to think about getting back to writing, but as soon as I sit down at my desk, I see my music keyboard and microphone and get totally lost in creating some music. Other than an occasional scene, my wips just can’t get any traction. Music has always been my first love and once I said that out loud, I had to ask myself why I was pursuing a career in fiction instead of music.

Speaking of music, as I prepare for 50/90, I’m also excited by Sonic Academy’s “Synthwave Takeover” going on in the month of June, starting today. Don’t think I’ll be able to participate in the remix contest, though, since we’re getting ready to move cross country. But SynthWave is an interesting, retro genre that I’m more than a bit interested in. Who doesn’t love 80s music? Especially in a new, fresh way.

Memorial Day Elvis #Remix #SiriusXM

So I’m listening to the Elvis station on SiriusXM in the car yesterday and while “Clean Up Your Own Backyard” is playing, I’m thinking how dated the production is and how I’d love to hear it updated. Then, the next track comes on and it’s a remix version of that song by Chromeo for their “Memorial Day Remix” show. It absolutely blew me away! I love remixes!! Not only for listening but for producing.

#AmReading Plus “Does Natural Talent Matter in #Music?”

First off, let me say I’m now on book 6 (The Woman in the Bedroom) of the Alexandra Mallory Psychological Suspense Series by Cathryn Grant. I have mixed feelings about the series. For one thing, the heroine is a serial killer, which is a bit of a turnoff for me. But I am drawn to her because I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area for 23 years and it really takes me back there. As fun as it was in my younger days, I’m so glad to be gone now.

Cathryn really nails much of the Silicon Valley/Bay Area culture, although misses it in subtler ways, maybe because she didn’t live it in the early days like I did. And I’m pretty sure most people there are not serial killers – lol! But now that the character has left the Bay Area, my fascination with the series may have ended… or not. This series is addicting.

Now I’m pursuing music madly in preparation for 50/90, practicing the keys. My first instrument was an electronic keyboard that I got for my 7th birthday. So I guess I’ve been an electronic musician since then. I tried the violin, guitar, and piano but my favorite was the electric keyboard. Decades passed but my love for electronic musicianship has returned, stronger than ever. And with the tools available now, it’s simply incredible.

But with that comes a lot of things to learn, to try and master. It can feel overwhelming as we wonder if we’ll ever get any of it right. I think we often hold back, fearing that we’re not good enough. But it is so important to get your music out there. That’s how you grow. And so I thought I’d post this encouraging video from Studio Live asking the question, “Does Natural Talent Matter in Music?”