My goal for 50/90 (write 50 songs in 90 days) was to experiment with different sounds, genres, but mostly my vocals and what they’re capable of, where they find their home, etc. And 45 songs in, it seems the biggest hit (and my favorite) are the 2 spoken word pop art type songs. So much so, I’m thinking this may have planted the seed for creating a concept album of just that for the next FAWM (February Album Writing Month).
So check this one out and let me know what you think… not surprising it’s a song about red – ala my first published novel Real Women Wear Red. 🙂
”Candy Apple Red” (best with headphones)
When I met my father, I had to reorder everything I thought I knew about myself. About him. About her.
I sat in the back seat of his car, directly behind him as I listened to the timbre of his voice, not the rich baritone I’d become accustomed to growing up with the man I thought was my father, which was just one thing I could barely wrap my head around.
I stared at the back of his curly white hair, noticed the blond, freckled forearms, so unlike the brown skinned other dad, who I could never look like. Or be like.
As the weekend progressed, I saw more and more of myself, not just physically, but in our interests, the jam on our chin at breakfast, and the way we respond to the world, the impulsiveness, the quick but short-lived temper. But mostly the music. The music blasting from his headphones as he sat alone in his recliner, totally immersed in the sounds flooding his ears. Mostly jazz and RnB with an occasional pop song by Bobby Darin.
This week we inch forward to the overwhelming praise and worship of mothers, whose job is very hard, no doubt about that, but, still, things are not always as they should be. Far from it. So, I’ll pay tribute to the romantic, larger than life man who was and is my father who never stopped loving my mother. Who said, “I’ll always have San Francisco.” I believe she still loved him at the end, too, if it is possible for her to love at all.
So here I sit at 5 am, missing my dad, and thinking about these 2 favorite Bobby Darin songs.
Beyond the Sea Live version with a drummer solo
FAWM 2022 is over and I exceeded the 14 songs by 1 – lol!
I’ve compiled them into an album on BandCamp just to show my accomplishment. I wanted to get this done before my new iMac with the M1 chip arrives. Yes!
All of these were created using Logic Pro except for the last one, which was created on my new iPad Pro (M1) after my old iMac pretty much died. It’s a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to genre, but I think it shows my growth. I’m looking forward to pursuing yet another direction in 50/90.
I couldn’t let this year pass by without acknowledging what I’ve accomplished artistically in 2021.
The top 3 accomplishments of 2021 are:
- FAWM (February Album Writing Month) in February – write 14 songs during the month of February. I believe this is the first year I met that goal
- 50/90 (write 50 songs in 90 days – I wrote 60) – meeting that goal was also a first for me – my top 12 (plus a bonus track) were uploaded as an album on Bandcamp.
- NSAI (Nashville Songwriters Association International) – I managed to use all 12 of my membership feedback credits, which is another first for me
The top 3 goals for 2022:
Upgrading my Reverbnation account to Pro for 2022. As for the rest, I haven’t really locked this down yet. Under consideration:
- Ableton Push
As vague as usual when it comes to writing vs music. Some things I will just have to let unfold.
Wishing you all the best in 2022!
I’ve been reading Turning Pro by Steven Pressfield (again), and I had this epiphany. He writes a lot about that moment when you turn pro and I was thinking of when that happened for me. It was that moment on that day on a New Year’s cruise in the middle of the Caribbean when I realized I had to find my father. That was the day I claimed my identity, that was the day I turned pro and not the day I submitted my first novel or song. That all followed in due time.
And part of me heard this speech in my head for those voices that say I’ll never be as good of a musician as my half-siblings and their offspring, those who grew up knowing my father, while I did not.
And then in true Steven Pressfield fashion, this voice in my head said, “I don’t give a sh*t” what any of those people think. After all, I came before them. The only person I respect is my older half-brother Ricky because he came before me.”
It also occurred to me how little respect we give to those older than us. But it’s an ancient practice, one that we should all pay attention to.
The point is, though, that I’m now questioning (again) if music should be the muse I follow first and foremost at this time in my life, or if it’s time to get back to writing fiction. As much as I love music, and I do, I miss writing speeches and making pronouncements in character (instead of here on my blog).
So what does 2022 look like for me? Is it time to return to writing novels? I guess the answer depends on which scares me the most moving forward, and which scares me the most if I don’t move forward at all.
Or maybe being Pro means I do both.
I just returned from 7 nights on the Carnival Panorama still in her inaugural year that was cut short due to, well, you all know. She’s a beautiful ship, the cruise fare was a bargain, and no flights were required. Besides all that, I was hoping that freshly back from a cruise experience, I’d be overflowing with ideas on how to finish She’s Not That Good. I think I’ll have to wait. Why? Too much reality interferes with my imagination – lol!
What I will say is that my favorite part about cruising, besides being at sea, is being able to casually drop in and listen to a live band. Our favorite this cruise? The House Rock Band that played in the Ocean Plaza Bar, the best kept secret onboard the Panorama. We grabbed a couple glasses of wine and sat outside where we could take off our masks and still enjoy the music. I listened to the beats and my muse can’t wait to get back into the studio to write some new music.
But first we kicked off the cruise by indulging in the tasty “Orangesicle” (think “Pina Colada”) at the Tides Bar in the aft pool area.
The other favorite spot was actually the Atrium, a redesigned space on the Panorama that I wasn’t too fond of at first. Until I had a Tequila Sunrise, an old favorite cocktail from my youth, at the base of the Atrium. The atmosphere was much better, to me, lower rather than higher.
And I think that’s another favorite thing I like about cruising, Carnival cruising, in particular. I feel young again. And now I may be inspired to get back to writing.
Aft Pool, Carnival Panorama
Orangesicle, Tides Bar
Prosecco and White Wine, Ocean Plaza Bar
Tequila Sunrise, Bahama Mama, Panorama Atrium Bar