THURSDAY-THOUGHTS ON WRITING MY FIRST BOOK

THOUGHTS ON WRITING AND PUBLISHING MY FIRST BOOK

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Hi everyone! I have been very busy editing and formatting my first ever book.  It is a poetry book called ‘CATCH A POEM BY THE TALE”. (Thank you to my friend  Val for thinking up this brilliant title!)

I thought I would share a bit of my process with you and let you know how its been going.

‘I didn’t choose writing. Writing chose me’.

This quote pretty much sums up how I feel about my new found obsession with writing. It started in January of this year after my cat BigBoy died. My pen just would not stop moving. I started with my Memoir. I wrote about 40,000 words towards it but then hit a bit of a block with it. It was advised to me by Memoir writing friends to put it on the back burner for awhile to let it simmer. I did that.

I still felt this need to write (writing is in my blood now!) so I turned my creative writing  energy towards my new poetry book.

Here are a few kind comments so far about my work: 

‘WICKEDLY GOOD!Li Starhill- TV producer, Vancouver, B.C.

‘BRILLLIANT!”Julius Howard, author of  ‘Beasts of Freedom’

“I DON’T NORMALLY READ POETRY BUT WHEN I DO I SHALL READ YOURS!— Marian McGlochlin, FB friend

‘JOY JUST SEEMS TO EXUDE FROM YOU. EVEN WHEN YOU EXPRESS SADNESS, JOY IS ALWAYS JUST AROUND THE CORNER.

A FINE ARTIST. BOTH IN WORD AND PICTURE’.Calvin Smith, Actor. Play director

‘PURE JOY! LOVE YOUR STYLE!’Harlan Wheeler. Author, Poet and Inspirational Troublemaker..

Thank you all so much. The support definitely helps me to keep on keepin on!

Overall,  this whole writing  process has been  fun although tedious.

  • Deciding on  which poems to put in
  • Deciding what order to put them in the book
  • Adding my original artwork to it. (All the art in this blog post are mine)
  • Deciding which of the 7 chapters to put them in. 
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11 x 14 watercolor

 
HERE ARE THE 7 CHAPTERS
1.Thoughts on Writing and Creativity
2.Deep (and lighter) Thoughts
3. Sadness/Grieving
4. Food, People and Places
5. Anger/Art show burnout
6. CapeTown (Leaving music business)
7. Hope and Inspiration

 

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pen n ink drawing

I am also illustrating about 47 poems out of the over 130 poems in the book, which is fun. Combining my visual art with my writing seems to be ideal for my eclectic personality type. I am using my  line drawings, also some of my old watercolor, acrylic and pastel paintings. I will be turning all my colored artwork  black and white for the inside of the book. Some of my poems are on the silly side so I will be using my lighthearted art (like this one here for my poem about Donald Trump and Ted Cruz). Other poems  that are deeper and darker I am using the landscapes.

 

I recently summoned  3 friends (beta readers) to help me with editing and content ideas. I appreciate them so much! Thanks Steph, Calvin and Barb. The interesting thing about this is that they all had different ideas and suggestions. They did agree though on many other points. The overall consensus seems similar  and it has been helpful. Ultimately though I must go with my own gut about the final edit.

 

ORLANDO SHOOTING ( SIGH!)

Then the Orlando shooting happened and it sort of took the wind out of my creative sails. Like all of us I’m sure it is like getting punched in the gut over and over again with these damn shootings! I thought ‘Ahhh why even bother with this silly book? Why does it matter? Its not that important in the scheme of life. Life is too sad right now. blah blah’ ‘Is this book even worth doing?’ “Whats the purpose of it anyway?”..

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11 x 14 pastel painting

They call that the ‘inner critic’. I decided to shut the inner critic up by saying “SHUT UP inner critic !! heh. Pretty simple eh?? I am doing this thing anyway. If everyone in America gets depressed and shuts down then the terrorist wins. We must keep on keepin on! Creativity heals!

Then I read a blog from another writer that I admired. She said she checked  her Amazon stats after publishing her book and had only sold 7 books. 7?? Oh well….( I realize writing is not about the money, should never be about the money. It definitely is not for me.)

So in the midst of some emotional crap I ‘show up’ and I go back to my editing process every day. I review each poem for content, typos and  grammar, I  move poems into the seven categories, read them aloud etc.

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pen n ink line drawing

It is definitely a tedious process and honestly  I’ve grown a wee bit bored with reading them over and over. Someone said ‘Write drunk, edit sober’. I’ve been very very sober lately. LOL. I am the type of person that wants to move on to my next idea and not stew over old stuff. I will be thankful when this book is done and published so I can move on– to book 2 and 3!

Some poems in this book I really do like a lot. Some I am super proud of. Some just ‘wrote themselves’ in one take like being taken over by a higher force. Some I woke up at 4 am to scribble down in a half awake stupor. Some I wrote from  my journal entries when I was grieving my beloved cats death. In my opinion some  are ‘eh’, B plus, maybe C——but others are quite good. A plus!  Overall I like the book. It is a bit of a mini Memoir because within the seven chapters is my life story (told through these poems). It is a bit of a prelude to the Memoir. Two of my friends who read it said ‘Wow this could be a memoir. It definitely has elements of that and my goal is that it spurs people to want to read my next books.

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acrylic on wood

In the midst of editing I keep coming up with new ideas for new poems (which  I am happy about) . This proves that I definitely love poetry and writing. I do think book 2  and book 3 are now bubbling up out of me.

ONE FINAL FUNNY SNAG (RE -INSPIRATION)

Recently right when I was feeling that I was getting close to being done with the editing process I discovered a wonderful new poet online named Magenta Wise. I read her book titled  “Messages are dancing in the rain’. I loved it so much and I got totally re inspired! ( GO GET IT ON AMAZON if you love poetry!!)  It was crazy.  I had been writing mostly simple poems (Dr. Suess-ish rhyme schemes mainly) but after finishing her book I started writing in an all new more interesting style. I was immersed with a whole new way of writing!! Thanks to her I have a new love and zest for poetry. 

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pen n ink

I wrote her and said ‘DAMN YOU!! Now what do I do with this almost finished book??’ She said ‘Just finish the one you are working on’, so I am. ‘They say imitation is the best form of flattery. Another quote is ‘Good artists copy. Great artists steal’ and I have been immersed in reading other poetry books from classic poets to the past to contemporary poets. It is a wonderful thing. I have been waking up in the middle of the night sometimes to ‘catch’ a new poetry idea, which I am thankful for. I really do love the act of writing. I know that  writing should never be a money making goal. Its a hard and tedious life. I am not not doing this for money or accolades but for the creative expression of it. It is definitely a new calling that I am listening to in spite of any outside influence.

SO, I am off to my next edit and this book should soon be done and a reality! WOOOHOO.

If you’d like more information on this upcoming book please join my mailing list. Sign up here! The book will be available on Amazon kindle and also a real live book!


Here are just a few poems from my upcoming book:

LONG TIME COMING

6 am.. stepped outside
I must confess— now must confide
for many days I haven’t cried
 
It’s been a long time coming.
 
Just wanted meaning from a life
no pulling backwards from the knife
it seems I mingled with the rife
 
It’s been a long time coming.
 
Held it closely to my chest
new frontiers I must confess
like an old gold treasure chest
 
Smelled the darkness of the world
all the madness now unfurled
untangled hair in fingers twirled
 
It’s been a long time coming.
 
Now there is no turning back
the white is here replacing black
with no yearning and no lack.
 
It’s been a long time coming
 
There was no sun for 40 days
frozen soul steeped in malaise
many thought that I was crazed..
 
Its been a long time coming
 
No more use for constant chatter
no more need for maudlin banter
now accept the tenors cantor  

It’s been a long time coming.


 
THE ONLY JEW IN SEVIER COUNTY?
 
The only Jew in Sevier County? Yep. Sevierville Tennesseeeeee
There’s Dollywood and Moonshine shops  (Do I live in Mayberry?)
 Gomer? Goober? Clyde? Aunt Bee? and here I am a Jew!
No kosher delis, bagels, lox But Bobbie Joes and Emmy Lous!
 
No synagogues, no kosher foods the only Jew for miles?
‘Jesus loves you!! they yell with toothless grins
wearing down home hillbilly smiles.
 
Came to open my studio here where I sold my fun art work
my customers were all tourists who seemed to love my quirk.
 but then my art sales floundered the year 2008
I closed my doors went back out to shows it seemed that was my fate!
 
But now I’m back again  hearin ‘howdy there yaaaaaawllll!’
whats a jewish girl doing in this right wing town
with Bubbas in overalls?
 
I know I must accept this life
‘Bloom where youre planted’!’ they say
It’s just a fact I live here now Sevierville, Tennessee
 

OY VEY!!?


 

 

BLOG- Working on my new Musical show idea.

Ive been rehearsing every day coming up with an inspiring new Musical show based on my life. Each song in this show will be taking the audience through my life’ beginning with my early days as a guitarist and songwriter through my first completely nervous audition  in Las Vegas at the Imperial Palace Hotel etc.

I will be singing many songs that Ive never sung or recorded before that are FUN for me to sing along with some of my original songs. Ive also arranged many fun medleys (tributes to some of my favorite composers like Stephen Sondheim, James Taylor, Burt Bacarac, Michel LeGrand).

I will also be putting up links to some of my rehearsals and also some songs you can download.
To be continued..

BLOG 3 songs a day

January 12,2016

I decided for my new Years goal I would just try to record and upload 3 songs a day. ANY 3 songs.

Because I am a ‘recovering perfectionist’ it will help me to just crank out the songs and not stop for my perfectionism to kick in.YAY!

I realize (now that Im 54 years old) that I wasted far too much time reworking,  editing, reviewing,analyzing and retaking a song which sometimes hindered me from finishing anything. Can you relate to this? Im sure many do this which leads to procrastination. SOOO I figured by making the decision to just record these songs (as quickly as I can) it will also help cure my procrastination issues.

SO perfectionsim and procrastination,will both be dealt with at one time!

Starting this week. 3 songs a day! Woohoo. Imperfection is my goal now, NOT perfection.

Here are the 3 song combinations that are my first project. These are all songs that I have been rehearsing over the years and that Ive never recorded.

OK HERE GOES!

30s, 40s STANDARDS (Guitar only)
These 3 songs are all just beautiful old standards that are normally done with piano or string arrangements. These songs are so purely great on their own so I figured my guitar and simple vocal might be enough to convey the beauty of these songs.
 1. MY FOOLISH HEART
2. HOW DEEP IS THE OCEAN
3. IM GLAD THERE IS YOU
STREISAND SONGS IVE NEVER RECORDED 
These are 3 Streisand songs that Ive never recorded. The frist two i sang maybe thousands of times each over the years in various production shows while impersonationg Streisand. the 3rd song is a current bStreisand song that I just found and thought was quite pretty.
 1. DONT RAIN ON MY PARADE
2.HAPPY DAYS
3. UNUSUAL WAY
ORIGINALS IVE NEVER RECORDED (Guitar only)
These are 3 songs I wrote with my songwriting partner Archie Evans Jr. back in my 20s! (GOD I was young!). he and I worte over 60 songs together. he passed away a few years ago so these are a bit sentimental and a tribute to him.
 1.YESTERDAY HAS COME AGAIN
2. I SAID, HE SAID
3. THOUSAnD REASONS WHY
 60s STANDARDS (Guitar only)
These are 3 gorgeous well written songs from the 1960s. Normally these are highly produced arrangements but the simplicity of just my guitar and vocal I thought was enough to highlight the beauty of these songs.
 1. SHADOW OF YOUR SMILE
2.WHO CAN I TURN TO?’
3. MOON RIVER
CIVIL WARS FAVORITES
I just love the duo “Civil Wars’. Hussband and wife team. I love the simplicity of their songs but the harmonies are what makes them spectacular.I attempted to record these songs with my own back up harmony tracks. These are fun to sing.
1. THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
2.DANCE ME TO THE END OF LOVE
3. FALLING
 70s FAVORITES
I was in high school when these songs were famous. They were like the background track of my teen years.
 1. THATS THE WAY I ALWAYS HEARD IT SHOULD BE
2. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO LIVE/WITHOUT YOU
3. ALMOST OVER YOU
MARVIN HAMLISCH (Guitar only)
These 3 songs were all written by the popular , late composer Marvin hamlisch. The first two are relatively obscure and the last one Im sure you all know.
 1.NIAGRA
2. THE LAST TIME I FELT LIKE THIS
3. THE WAY WE WERE
 FAVORITE MEDLEYS
 1. DYSFUNCTIONAL LOVE RELATIONSHIP MEDLEY
2.SONDHEIM
3. BARBRA EARLY YEARS
 MICHEL LEGRAND
 1. WHERE IS IT WRITTEN?
2. WHAT ARE YOU DONG THE REST?
3. GUITAR MELDEY
 LINDA EDER
 1. ITS TIME
2. BIG TIME
3. THIS TIME AROUND
 LARA FABIAN
 1. BA BIMBA
2. LA LETTER
3. JE TAIME

 

 

MIXED MEDIA ART

DOUBLE CLICK ON PHOTO TO SEE DETAILS

Most of these are sold but I can make you anything similiar. (Most are 11 x 14 or 8 x 10. Some framed, Some unframed).