Tuesday, December 28, 2010

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things...

Here are just a few snapshots of some of my favorite things about Christmas 2010~
My sister flew into town a few weeks ago and Dad took us all to see the Dallas Symphony's holiday show.    
We had a fun little holiday party where everyone brought their favorite holiday dishes.  My friend, Rose, made these cute little mice from radishes.  I kept them in my fridge until they finally got wilty. 
My family and I went to eat the most delicious meal at Eclair Bistro.  YUM.
We drove around for hours looking at Christmas lights...
My friend's cat reluctantly tried on his Christmas outfit for me...
Ahhhh!  My favorite gift this year is these UGG shoes.  They look and feel like slippers, but they are SHOES and I'm wearing them everywhere!  
And I went to my first TUBA CHRISTMAS.  I've wanted to go for years, but was always out of town.  But not this year!  It was such fun!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

My New CD is Available Online!

How hilarious that it's taken me this long!  I've got all sorts of fear-based excuses I could dole out, but I won't.  I'll just say, it's available NOW.  And if you order it now, and I've actually set the paypal button up right, you could actually get it before Christmas!  And as you know, CDs are just the right size to make the perfect stocking stuffer! 

You can get it by going to my "Music" page.  (See the bar at the top of this page?  Okay, just click on that word when you're ready to go get it!)  If you want me to sign the CD, just tell me what to write and I'll be sure to do that before I lovingly stick it in the bubble pack mailer.  You can email me with that info!

I don't yet have the sound clips up, but if you hop over to the CDbaby website, you can find them there.  But you'll save a little money ordering it directly from me, and of course, I can sign it, or seal it with a kiss!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Happy Birthday, Mom!

December 16th.  I get a little weepy this time of year, and sometimes it takes me a while to figure out why.  I'll feel the meloncholy creeping in and wonder, "What's up with this?"- and then I realize, not only is it the most wonderful time of the year, but today is Mom's birthday.  And that explains my emotion.

She's been somewhere other than on this earth for over 5 years now.  This is the first Christmas we're not going out of town since she died.  Once she died, Christmas time changed pretty dramatically, and we didn't know what to do with ourselves.  So we would go out of town.  As if going out of town helped us forget that she wasn't around anymore.  It didn't, by the way. 

The thing is, at least for me, I like being at home for Christmas.  Just like Mom did.  Mom was a homebody, and that is a quality I must have picked up from her.  She isn't here anymore, but I definitely feel closer to her when I'm at home.

I try to treat myself kindly on December 16th in honor of Mom.  Sometimes I go to a movie.  Sometimes I just lay around the house all day and let myself be sad if I want to be. 

This year, December 16th just happened to be the day that the purchase of my new car was finalized.  It feels like the perfect coincidence-
Happy Birthday, to my Mom- who would've been 75 years old today, and who would've been the passenger in my sweet ride tonight...

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

I Am Not An Avenger

Since my car has been totaled, I've been driving around in a rented silver sedan.  And I cannot stand it.

First of all, almost any car feels like a boat compared to my little Beetle.  Although I've rented a "mid-size" car, it feels gigantic.  I feel more unsafe driving than I ever have before.  I think I might be having a little post traumatic stress from the wreck and I find myself looking in the rear view mirror an awful lot.

And then there's the confusion of finding my rent car in the parking lot.  I'm currently very well aware of just how many silver sedans are parked in parking lots these days.  It use to be so easy to spot my car:  a convertible, Beetle, mellow yellow in color.  Rarely was there more than one of them in the parking lot at a time, so finding my car was easy, breezy, beautiful.  But now, I have to actually think about where I've parked and try to remember.  I'm just one of many drivers of a silver sedan.

The funny thing is, I didn't even know what kind of car this was until I started writing this blog and took a look at the name on the back bumper.  
Dodge Avenger
When I realized it was called an "Avenger" I thought that seemed an odd name for a car.  To avenge, by dictionary definition means, "inflict harm in return for an injury or wrong done to oneself or another".

I believe in peace, love and forgiveness.  I'm not out to avenge anything.
Doesn't something like this look a bit less vengeful?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Riding Off Into the Sunset

I got the call today.  And was given an answer I was pretty much expecting.
My cute little beetle that I loved so much was deemed a "total loss".
It was really no shock.  While I waited this week to get the final word, I had mixed emotions.  People told me that even if they repaired the damages, my car might never really be the same again.  So, in a way, I thought it would be best if it were totaled.  But then I just hated to lose it and have to try to find another car that even comes close to suiting me as well as my beetle did.

I remember so fondly the day I got my car.  It was the week of Thanksgiving in 2004.  My sister was in town from Seattle, and we were all over at Mom and Dad's house.  Fermin asked me to grab him a drink out of the outside fridge.  I told him to get it himself.  ;)  But then Mom said, "Kerri!!  Go and get him his beer!"  And I knew for sure, something was going on.  Fermin never bosses me around, Mom wouldn't have liked it if he did, and he normally would've been drinking wine with her, not beer.  But I looked at Mom and said, "Oh...okay." And I knew right then, there must be something great waiting for me in the garage.

The whole family followed right behind me as I opened the door to the garage.  And I just kept saying, "Oh. My. God."  I said it an embarrassing number of times.

My husband completely surprised me and picked this car out just for me.  I loved everything about it.

The night I had my wreck just about a week ago, that car really took all of the brunt, and I barely suffered any injuries at all!  And that made me love my beetle even more.

So today, when the insurance man told me my beetle was "a total loss" I thought that was the worst and most inaccurate phrasing ever. 

I know that a car is just a car.  That things are just things.  And that what's most important is that I'm okay.  Believe me, I have been counting my lucky stars all week long.  But this is the time of year for me that emotions run high and deep.  I miss my mom.  I want my mom here when I've gone through something scary.  I want my mom here when it's the holidays.  I want my mom here when I get my next car.  I know that Mom would be so grateful to that little Beetle that I am okay after that crazy mishap on the highway.

I drove out to see my car one last time today.  I took some pictures, took a little farewell video, and said my goodbyes.  Tomorrow, the insurance company will pick it up and take it to...I don't know?  Beetle heaven?  I sure hope so.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Uninsured

On my way to a gig Friday night, me and my little Beetle got pretty beat up on the highway.  A car plowed into the back of me and as the airbag was exploding in my face, I hit a big truck in front of me.  My little beetle is most likely totaled, as she took a pretty hard beating from both the back and the front.  I don't yet have the photos of my car, but I do have a photo of the car that caused the whole problem in the first place. 
The driver of this stupid car doesn't have insurance!
It all happened on a congested highway during rush hour traffic.  I've never been in a wreck like this before- nothing beyond a little fender bender many years ago- so this was really scary. 

I really didn't know what was happening, it all happened to fast.  I just felt like I was getting hit from all sides, not just the front and the back. And because the airbag almost immediately popped me in the face as soon as my car was hit, I couldn't see anything.  A few minutes after the wreck, a woman came up to me and my car and asked if I was okay.  I thanked her for stopping and she said, "I'm the one in the truck that you hit."  I didn't even know I had hit a truck until she said that.

I think I was just sort of in shock during the aftermath of it happening and it gets confusing when I try to piece it together.  Later that night, when I went to the wrecker's storage lot to get some stuff out of my car and saw my car, and the car that hit me, I felt so mad. 

I had asked the guy that hit me, "What happened?" and he said, "I don't know.  I was trying to switch lanes and I guess I hit you.  I was on my way to the gym."  It just makes me so mad that he was so wreckless,  and for really no reason.  And to top it all off, he doesn't have insurance.

I used his phone to call my husband and my brother for help.  Later that night, we got a text from him (the uninsured driver) that said, "Whatever you do, DO NOT POST PICTURES OF MY WRECK ON FACEBOOK!"  The all caps seemed so threatening, and I'm not really sure what that was all about, but I wanted to be sure to put a picture of HIS WRECK up on my blog, since he's not "allowing" me to put it on facebook.

The police officers told me that the man had been ticketed and that his car would be impounded until he got some car insurance.  By the looks of his car, I'm not sure he's going to want it back.  And I'm pretty sure that even if he does get insurance, which by the way- is the law!- it's going to be too little, too late to help me out.

But, having said all of this, I need to also say I am thankful.  I walked away from this with bumps and bruises and whiplash, and I think that's all.  (Although I am going to have everything checked over because my neck is in quite a bit of pain!)  My guitar is fine. All the other drivers are also alive and seemingly okay.  And I did get to hitch a sweet ride to meet up with my rescue squad after the wreck...
Thank you officer, for the nice ride in your car! :)


Monday, November 29, 2010

...And I Love Her

I remember the day I got married.  But not that well.  In fact, even the very day after our ceremony, I had trouble remembering it.  I felt like I was in some kind of altered dream-like state.  When I watched the wedding video after we returned from our honeymoon, it was only then that I remembered that there were in fact, flowers and people there.

My CD release party was a similar experience.  I was such a ball of nervous energy that the day is just sort of a blur.  But again, I have video so I love getting to relive it.  Because although it didn't by any means go off without a hitch, it was a great day.

And also similar to getting hitched, I sort of needed a break afterwards to celebrate with some down time.  So I've been on a honeymoon with my CD the last week or so.  And now, she's officially my "Mrs."  And I'm ready to show her off to the world! 

Within a few weeks, "50 Different Ways" will be available for purchase at CDBaby and other online sources I'll be sure to let you know about.  And I'm hoping to have a Paypal button here on the site so you can opt to get it directly from me.  And of course, if you come to one of my upcoming performances, I'll have them for sale there.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

CD Release Party

This isn't my first CD, but it's the first one I'm having a CD release party for. 

A few months ago, when we were at the final stages of getting all the production stuff done, my friend, Aaron Thomas, who not only plays percussion on my CD, but brilliantly produced half of the songs and worked tirelessly on this project for months, asked me if I was having a CD release party.  I'm not even sure he asked, as much as told me that I was, in fact, having a CD release party.

I hadn't really given it any thought prior to him mentioning it.  To be honest, when I first gave my enthusiastic, "Yes!!" I mainly said it because I felt like I needed to give this CD a good push because of him, and what a great job he had done on everything.

As it turns out, I am so happy I'm doing this for ME.  I don't mean to be an unfair parent to my previous CDs, but I think this new one, "50 Different Ways" is my best, and it's definitely, at least for now, my favorite and it deserves a party.  And for this performance I'm having a whole band.  It makes me completely nervous thinking about it, and I know that's a great thing!

Usually, if I want to change something, like double a chorus, or just go to the wrong part of one of my songs, it really doesn't matter too much.  But since I've got 3 other musicians up there with me, I realize I better play it like they're expecting me to!

I rarely even make a set list.  I just wing it and play it how I want.  But this time, not only do I have a set list- and a well thought-out one at that--- we've rehearsed!!!

I feel such complete gratitude to the people who helped me in the making of the CD, and especially Aaron.  Like I said, he spent endless hours doing all sorts of cool stuff to my songs and definitely bringing things up a notch. A few notches, in fact.

Below is a very short video clip of me lip syncing one of the songs that Aaron produced.  It's called "Flower on the Wall,"  and my husband taped me when I first put the CD in our player the day it arrived via UPS.  I was just giddy with excitement and was dancing around my den being stupid with it- So forgive my indulgence, but I did want you to get to hear a snippet of it, because I'm so proud.  You might want to NOT look at the screen while listening though, as I'm sort of a distraction!  ;)

If you live in the D/FW area, or want to make a trip here, you're invited to my CD party- It's this coming Sunday, November 21st beginning at 1pm at La Grange.  You can get your copy of "50 Different Ways".  If you can't make it, I'll soon have it available on my website. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Remember this?
It's the package I sent off to have my CD duplicated and printed.  And guess what?  I got them today!

I was sure it would be an early delivery.  I stayed home all day waiting.  And waiting.  I could've been productive and gotten a lot of that novel written, but I was way too busy looking at my window.  And opening my front door repeatedly, checking my porch to make sure it hadn't been delivered when I took a break from my command post.  Barely anything got done around here, except I did make a video for you to see the big moment of when the CDs were finally delivered.  Oh, and I did write a little song for the UPS man, which you can see and hear on the video.

 Stay tuned, or rather check back in a couple of days where I'll be airing Part II of the delivery day.  You'll get to see me "perform" a song from the new CD!!  YAY!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The People Spoke!

At the beginning of the week, when I began my- ahem- novel,  I wrote in my blogpost that I was a feeling a little doubtful and unsure of myself.

Well, several sweet people left comments encouraging me to just write, write, and write some more.  To those sweet people:
I completely agree with you, and it's probably the same advice I would've given to you if you had been in a slump and were asking me for help!  Great mind think alike, and we've all got 'em here!  :)

I've written for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours each day, written at least my goal word count each day, and although it still seems like one, long, wordy mess, I just feels good that I've got my little routine down now.  And, I know I'm going to stick with it for the month.

Another tip several people gave me when I asked for advice was to go back and buy the teapot I mentioned I had passed up over the weekend.  Well, I want all of you to know, I listened to what you had to say regarding that as well!  I realized buying that teapot was a symbolic gesture to myself that I'm going to stick with this challenge and write this novel during NaNoWriMo.  
My electric teapot holds up to 1.7 liters of water.  I put it on my writing table in my studio where I'm doing most of my writing.  Now I have one less excuse to leave my room!  Which is great, because usually when I  "get up for a cup of tea", other little tasks like petting my sweet doggies, getting the mail, doing a load of laundry, picking lint of my blow dryer, etc. usually end up distracting me.  Now with this new teapot, I'm jacked up on tea, and more or less content to stay in my room and write.

Lately, I'm drinking Trader Joe's Ruby Red Chai or Republic of Tea's Apple Blossom Green Tea.  Just yesterday I bought a new one:
Bentley's Red Rooibos. Oh. Yum.  But it's caffeine free.  That was an accident.  If you're a tea drinker, what tea do you drink?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sarah McLachlan

While lots of people here in Dallas were watching the Rangers game, which ended sadly- I went to see Sarah McLachlan, which made me very happy!
I've never seen Sarah live before, although I own a couple of her DVDs.  So, I have seen her in concert, but never from anywhere other than the comfort of my own home. 

I wasn't planning to see her last night.  But then I saw her face on the cover of a section of my morning newspaper and realized I really wanted to see her.  I bought a ticket last minute and hitched a ride with some friends.

I loved her Fumbling Towards Ecstasy CD years ago, and have bought everything she's put out since, and before that.  Our relationship was at it's peak years ago, but I will always love and be inspired by her.

It worked out perfectly that this was the concert of hers that I got to attend.  I like things that at least feel intimate.  She was able to make the Nokia Theater (which is actually called something else now, but I refuse to keep with all of those name changes!) feel like a coffee house. A big coffee house.

She didn't have an opening performer, but instead surprised the crowd by coming out just a few minutes after the 8pm start time.  She then said that she would be doing this concert a little differently and hoped we would open our minds and our hearts...

It was the "Sarah and Friends" show.  Like a teeny Lilith Fair.  Two of the girls she had as a part of her band are singer/songwriters themselves and they each performed four of their own songs, and Sarah was part of their back up band.
Butterfly Boucher

Melissa McClelland
I have to admit that for about the first quarter of the show I was thinking maybe I was sort of over Sarah.  I just wasn't blown away as I expected to be.  But, of course, once she sang some of her older songs like "The Path of Thorns" and "Hold On", it was easy to remember why I love the woman and her music so much.

At the beginning of the concert she told people to write down any question they had for her, "nothing is off limits", and she would answer them between songs.  It was a cool way to connect with a big audience. 

Her final song (not including the encore song, "Angel"), was "Possession".  It had such a great build to the final ending of the song where she hit this huge and high note and got a standing ovation.  Granted, it was the last song of the concert, but I think the standing ovation would've happened anyway because it was awe-inspiring.

Sarah Mclachlan has been a huge influence on me over the years that I have been a songwriter.  I am so glad I got to see her last night.  I am re-inspired...

Monday, November 1, 2010

No Plot Might Actually Be a Problem!

I have really been excited for the National Novel Writing Month (which will be referred to from this point on as NaNoWriMo), which begins today-- November 1st.  I almost bought a new teapot yesterday to celebrate the kick off.  But I realized I can just warm up my water in the microwave like I have for years and save myself the $25. 

To make it to the 50,000 word goal by the end of the month, I should write about 1,666 words each day. I never use word count, so that number was completely arbitrary to me.

Until this morning.

I've been sitting at my computer since 9am.  Two hours.  I've already started, and restarted my novel twice.  Putting my thoughts into any kind of reasonable order when dealing with a story this long is hard.  I'm already having serious doubts about where my story is headed. 

And I think I'm going to finish it in much less than 50,000 words. I think I might be done with it by the end of the week.  And instead of it being a novel, it might just be a short story.  I may not be drinking loads of tea like I thought I would. One thing I'm feeling good about is the fact that I did not buy the teapot I had nearly convinced myself yesterday that I needed.

I have no idea what I'm doing.  And it's not one of those times where I'm on a big learning curve that feels challenging, but good.  No, this doesn't feel good at all.

This whole idea of "No Plot, No Problem"? Well, I'm re-thinking that now.  It may actually a pretty big problem after all.

Writers, any tips?  Suggestions?

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Up To My Eyeballs

I was so proud of the candy I planned to give out to the Halloweenies this year.  Chocolate eyeballs with assorted inside goo of peanut butter, caramel, or fudge.

The Trick or Treaters that showed up loved them~ "Ewwww!!! Eyeballs!"

But due to the 7:00pm Texas Rangers game, and not realizing at first that I had a burned out porch light, we didn't have a whole lot of traffic this year.  We had a few Batmans, a Spiderman, a Ladybug, a Ghost Bride and a few assorted monsters stop in for a treat, but that was about it.

It's been well over an hour since anyone has rang our doorbell.  And anybody in the age-range that I want to see out trick or treating is most likely in bed by now.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Signed, Sealed, and Being Delivered

I was so happy today as I drove my CD to the UPS store to have it sent to Oasis where all the printing and duplication will be done. 
When it comes back to me in couple of weeks (please keep your fingers crossed that it all runs smoothly and does, in fact, make it back within that time), this little package will have multiplied in size and will be in a big box.  Or maybe even a few boxes. 

This one CD is going to become 1,000 CDs.  Magic.  And I love magic!
one of the magician's assistance, who was a little camera shy
My CD release party is going to be on November 21st!  Yep, that's a Sunday.  Noon- 2pm-ish.
Much more information to come soon...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why You Gotta Be So Mean?

I love Taylor Swift. 

I get tired of people saying she can't sing.  First of all, I can't imagine being her age and performing in front of the audiences she has.  Who's voice wouldn't get a little jumpy under those circumstances?  And even if I didn't like her voice, she's got a true talent for writing pop/country songs like nobody's business.  And she writes them by herself, without any co-writers.  The girl has got serious talent.

When Kanye West got up and tried to rain on her parade during the VMAs last year, she never said anything mean about him in retaliation.  She held her tongue, or maybe she was never mad about it in the first place.

As she writes in the prologue of her CD, Speak Now, her latest batch of songs are, "...made up of words I didn't say when the moment was right in front of me. These songs are open letters.  Each is written to a very specific person in mind, telling them what I meant to tell them in person.  To the beautiful boy whose heart I broke in December.  To my first love who I never thought would be my first heartbreak. To my band. To a mean man I used to be afraid of. To someone who made my world very dark for a while.  To a girl who stole something of mine.  To someone I forgive for what he said in front of the whole world."

Clearly, Taylor Swift has found her beautiful way of getting her emotions out.  Maybe she's able to handle tense situations by thinking to herself, "I canNOT wait to get  home and write a song about this!"

The CD is in my car, stuck on track #6, "Mean."  Of course we don't know exactly who she's singing about, but clearly it's some naysayer who has criticized her, perhaps telling her she has a bad voice. 

Taylor is 20.  I'm hoping to grow up and be just like her.
you, with your words like knives and swords and weapons that you use against me
you have knocked me off my feet again, got me feeling like nothing
you, with your voice like nails on a chalkboard calling me out when i'm wounded
you, picking on the weaker man

well you can take me down with just one single blow
but you don't know what you know

someday i'll be living in a big ole city
and all you're ever gonna be is mean
someday i'll be big enough so you can't hit me
and all you've ever be is mean
why you gotta be so mean?

you, with your with you're switching sides and your wildfire lies and your humiliation
 you have pointed out my flaws again, as if I don't already see them
i walk with my head down trying to block you out cause I'll never impress you
i just wanna feel okay again

i bet you got pushed around, somebody made you cold
but the cycle ends right here cuz i'm not walking down that road
and you don't know know what you don't know


and i can see you years from now in a bar
talking over a football game with that same big loud opinion 
but nobody's listening
washed up and ranting about the same old bitter things
drunk and grumbling on about how i can't sing
but all you are is mean

all you are is mean, and a liar and pathetic and alone in life
and mean and mean and mean!



Today I got a cortizone shot, because as the doctor put it, my face and neck were, "screaming, ALLERGIC REACTION!"  To exactly what, I'm not sure.  I just know it started about a week ago as an innocent little itch on my neck.  But a day or two later, bumps appeared.  And then each day, hour, and minute after that, itchy bumps popped up in mass all over my face, neck, and chest.

Last week, I didn't even appreciate my clear, non-itchy skin.  I just walked around, taking it for granted. 

Prior to my visit to the doctor, I did a dangerous amount of internet research to try and figure out what these itchy bumps where trying to tell me.  There were moments I felt sure I had shingles, then measles, along with some other diagnosis I couldn't pronounce.  I also knew plain old allergic reaction was a possibility.  But what could have caused the retaliation going on  all over my neck and face? 

Sadly, the only conclusion I can come up with is maybe it's the new perfume I bought about 3 weeks ago, and although it didn't cause an immediate reaction, maybe over time, my body just said, "Enough!"  I loved the smell of that perfume, and splurged on a $100 bottle of it.  And now that I've bought all the OTC medications, gone to my doctor and filled my prescription, it's probably more than doubled the cost of that little bottle of perfume.

So in just a bit, I'm heading up to the mall to return my beloved (and now hated) perfume.  I don't have my receipt, or the box it came in.  But I do still have this rash, so really, how can they deny me the return?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Ready For Work

This may look like a briefcase...
But it isn't.
It's the typewriter and carrying case I found yesterday at an estate sale for $20!
It's so cute and little, it's actually quite portable and doesn't even need to be plugged in.

What would the patrons of Starbucks think if I walked in one day to work on my novel with this thing? Would they be react like Scout did when she saw it?
I'm not really planning to use this for serious novel writing, but I do think it's a funny thought.  I would love to one day walk into Starbucks with this typewriter and a big stack of blank white paper and put it out on a table next to everyone with their quiet laptops and start pecking away just to see how people would react.

I've been wanting an older typewriter just to look cute in my office/studio space.  This one pretty much works, except the letter R gets stuck.  But maybe once I clean it up, it will be fully functioning.  Either way, I love it.

I did a little internet research on my Smith-Corona Skywriter, and I found it on a site called myTypewriter.com that sells vintage typewriters.  I found mine, and it says it's from the 1950s and they sell it for $395.  Even if I can't get that R to work, I still think $20 is a fabulous deal for my cute little Skywriter!

I bet when it came out in the 50s, it was considered an uber compact and sleek new gadget.   Actually, it's still pretty sleek, don't you think?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

No Plot? No Problem!

Well, as I've mentioned (as mentioned, and mentioned-- I know!) I recently completed the challenge of writing "50 Songs in 90 Days" for my 3rd year in a row.  I was really happy during those 3 months of concentrated creativity.  I was ready for it to be over after 90 days though.  But now, almost a month later, I think I'm up for a new creative challenge.  Something I've never done before. Something that scares the poo out of me!

So I've been kicking around the idea of participating in NaNoWriMo, a.k.a. National Novel Writing Month.  And the chosen month just happens to be November, which is less than 2 weeks from today! 

I'm an avid reader, and I've read a lot of novels, but I've never written one, or even thought of an idea for one. 

Which is why I checked out the book (written by the founder of NaNoWriMo, Chris Baty) No Plot, No Problem. I've just started reading it, trying to get my mind wrapped around the idea of writing a 50,000 word novel next month.

I'm comfortable writing songs.  And short little blog posts.  But something as long as 50,000 words sounds impossible to me.  Which is probably why I should give this thing a shot.  At this point, I'm a "Someday Novelist".  As in, "Someday, I just might write a novel."  Well, I know from experience, there's nothing like a deadline to get yourself moving, or in this case, writing.

I like the fact that the expectations of writing anything good in such a short time are extremely low.  Ernest Hemingway said, "The first draft of anything is shit."  Well, if that was Mr. Hemingway's experience, than I will be in good company!

If I don't make it to the 50,000 word count, I won't necessarily feel like a failure.  Even if I just get to a fraction of that number, it will be a longer story of fiction than I've written since I was in school. Which sometimes feels like a hundred years ago.

At this point, I have no ideas for characters, setting, plot-- anything.  But that's okay! Because as Chris Baty says, "No plot, no problem!"

Monday, October 18, 2010

A New Kind of Hoarding

My new journal cover

My friend just gave me this little journal last night.  Isn't it so funny?  I love it.

And that might be a problem.

Lots of times, when I get something I love, I love it so much that I don't use it.  I'll buy a 99-cent ugly notebook at Target and have no problem filling it with words.  But when I get something that looks like this, that I'm just in love with, I want to save it.  I keep it out for days, look at it lovingly, show it to people and say, "Look at this!".  But eventually I put it away.  Saving it for some special day.

I do the same thing with clothes.  I wear my old worn in stuff all the time, but when I buy something that looks great, I put it in my closet and just admire it on it's hanger.  I'm saving it.  For some special day.

I even occasionally do this when I'm writing a song.  I'll come up with a line I think is really great.  So great, that the rest of the song doesn't seem worthy of it.  So I'll write it down but put it away, thinking I'll save it.  I'll save it for later, when the right song comes along. 

I recently read something that said this is actually a form of hoarding. I don't consider myself a hoarder, like those I've seen on the tv show, "Hoarders: Buried Alive", but maybe I am this other type of hoarder. 

Today, while shopping at Whole Foods Market, I smelled some candles that were scented "Mediterranean Fig".  I loved them, so I bought two.  I loved them so much I considered putting them away and saving them for the perfect evening when I'm feeling a little figgy.  But, knowing I really don't want to be a hoarder, and I really want to make right now feel special, I lit both of them!  And you know what, I'm starting to feel pretty figgy! 

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Autumn Vacation

Well, I took a little hiatus, as you may have noticed.  I think it's the longest I've ever gone in between blog posts.

Right after the end of my husband's (sales!) quarter , and the completion of my 50 songs in 90 days, as well as sending off  my upcoming CD to be mastered (yahooooo!)- we got the heck out of Dodge (a.k.a. Dallas) and went to the New England area to check out the fall foliage.

It was our first time to go there, aside from a one day stop in Boston one summer.  For years I've wanted to take a fall trip to the northeast, but I've only thought about planning it once it's already autumn way down here in Dallas, and by then, it's obviously too late!  Somehow, this year, I was a little more on the ball and we planned it far enough in advance to go.  Yay!  :)

Fall is my favorite time of the year.  And although it doesn't feel like fall yet in Dallas, I definitely got a good fix of it up in the northeast.  It was gorgeous.

We flew into Boston, and then immediately drove up to Vermont and spent a few days there.  Then we went over to New Hampshire for a few days.  Then up to Maine.  And then drove back down to Boston and flew back home.

Vermont (especially), New Hampshire, and Maine were all  breathtakingly beautiful.   Every drive we took pretty much looked like this.  Actually, in real life, it was more stunning-- my pictures don't do it justice.  At all.

 We saw lots of covered bridges, which I just adore.

There were lots of churches and cemetaries that have such a
majestic quality against such a beautiful backdrop.

 And of course, there was cheese, maple syrup, and lots of great stops for food along the way.

Although I know I couldn't endure the very long winters in that area, I would LOVE to live there in the fall!!!  I am so glad I got to go this year. 

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Finish Line

Take a look at my computer screen:

And now, look at little closer:
I'm a winner!!!

I've written 50 new songs in 90 days.  Whew. (It says 52, but one was accidentally duplicated, and the other was just something else.  So really, I wrote just the 50 and am stopping there.)

My 50th songs this year is called Pages and Pages.  
i'm gonna make it to the bitter end without becoming bitter
i'll make it to the finish mark and declare that i'm a winner
i've crossed so many milestones
i've risen from the dead
the only bags i packed were full of words inside my head

i've filled pages and pages to get to the truth
dug up memories hoping they would give me a clue
sordid little details
of unimportant things
forgive me for i've included everything

i'm run down to the ground
and i'm on my last leg
i will crawl in if i have to cuz i've got something to say
but it's a fight down to the finish
and there are ink stains on my hands
i've been alone with all these words about as long as i can stand

i've filled pages and pages to get to the truth
dug up memories hoping they would give me a clue
sordid little details
of unimportant things
forgive me for i've included everything