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?