goals for the New Year...

Well, somebody was asking, so I made a list.

For 2006 my goals are:
- complete any outstanding collab projects(!);

- organize my house & be ruthless in getting rid of the junk (I'm a collector)... I believe this gets in the way of the creative flow... and it's impossible to find anything(!);

- walk everyday, spend 4 days a week in creative creating... writing music/lyrics, working on producing, or painting, or singing, or playing guitar, etc;

- give myself some time every day when I DON'T have to be doing anything... at least 30 minutes... where I can just sit & be (or lie on my mat doing Alexander Technique);

- make sure to spend time with my Mom and Dad;

- call up my voice coach & get a monthly 'check-up';

- continue to work on completing my 50-songs-in-a-year by Feb 14/06... & start again(!);

- get some reference materials (The Art of Mixing) and really work on understanding how to mix my tracks... might take a couple years practice, but I really want to know how to do my own master quality production;

- I just got Jammer, I need to do the tutorial & play with it to understand it better;

- take some guitar lessons so I can accompany myself better;

- I'm starting a Celtic/folk duo with a friend, so we'll be working on developing repertoire - writing arrangements for covers & for our own originals too, and then look for venues to perform;

- complete working on an EP I'm putting out with my friend & co-writer Michael Kavanagh;

- put out my own new age pop / ambient album;

- make time for a cat nap every afternoon;

- continue to keep up my blogs and postings on songwriting boards - networking & meeting great folks!!

.... sounds like a lot but I have a whole year to do it ... or not do it... or mean to do it... LOL

Have a great New Year, everyone!!!

gettin' in the spirit!

Well, this week I worked on some music, of course; taught some students, of course; did my usual surfing of songwriting boards, etc. But today, I did some simple Christmas shopping, and tonight, I got out my Christmas decorations and put up my tree. So I'm sittin' here listening to music and lookin at my cute little tree. I'm in the spirit!! Tomorrow I'm havin' coffee with whatever of my students show up... getting a hair cut... and then doin' dinner & a movie with a friend. This comin' Thurs, I'll be out of town for a few days - I'm going to see my Dad, who is, very thankfully, doing very well.

For all of those who surprise me by actually reading this - I hope you have a beautiful, musical, and meaningful holiday. Remember the things in the world that are magical... like the little birds fluttering by your window... the moon hanging in drifting clouds speckled with stars... the taste of good wine by a warm fire... yummy dark chocolate... the smiles of friends... the stunning colours of the sunset...

We have been given the gift of music... sounds that carry universal meaning across borders and language barriers, that makes people laugh & dance, or moves them to tears. For that gift, I am profoundly thankful. And for my Dad being here to share the season.

Merry merry, everyone!

striding forward with purpose

Even though I have another cold. Argh! Still managing to sing and sound decent. Hopefully will lift cause I have a musical event I want to attend tomorrow night, a craft fair on Sat, dinner with mom Sat night... have to go downtown tomorrow and hit the bank... oh yeah, clean the house... that sort of thing.

Working away at my 10 projects. I decided to try and see if I could do one per day - many of them already have had some work done, I just need to catch up, remember exactly where I was and what I'm supposed to be doing now.

So far this week -
- worked on ezine for my client, it went out yesterday
- did a reference track for a Kavanagh-Flawith collab, got my friend Vic working on drums & maybe a little piano to help fill the song out;
- did a second draft of the Taylor-Flawith collab, got the paperwork ready, sent it all to Dean;
- did a second draft of the Rulliere-Flawith collab, also got that paperwork ready and sent it all to Diane;
- did a short sample of music for a new collab, with Lloyd Kyrk, he's happy with my ideas & we'll be signing an agreement;
- practiced the guitar;
- tidied the house somewhat;
- taught several students;
- went out to dinner with a friend.

Not bad for 4 days. Goin to bed now. :)

what have I been getting up to?

Well, I have a 'to-do' list as long as my mic chord...

but in the past 3 or 4 days, I've written two new lyrics... just spent a couple hours writing some music for lyrics by Lloyd, also tonight I put together a reference track for a song I'm producing, and sent it off to my drummer... had a nice potluck & song circle on Sat night with my songwriting circle... walked the past two days, got groceries, tidied up the kitchen... worked on a newsletter for one of my clients... surfed the songwriting boards... and just got asked to do another collab by a lyric writer... guess folks like my music... LOL...(but they'll have to wait til I finish my other projects!) ...also I practised the guitar.

Now I'm gonna go to bed... cause at 10 pm I said I was tired... but I had to finish that song, didn't I... so here it is midnight... typical


PS - my Dad was released from the hospital today... 8 days after his collapse, he's doing pretty good, I'm very relieved, I can tell you.

tough week ends with positive news

I was blind-sided a bit this week by the news my Dad was in the hospital... thankfully, resilient man that he is, he bounced back pretty well. He'll need some TLC for awhile, but will be released this weekend.

Needless to say, everything in my life that once seemed so essential became totally unimportant... and I had a hard time focussing on the things I needed to get done.

But news is good now, and I have to get myself back to working steadily to finish the projects I am currently working on.

recommended read

For those of you who want to understand how music is chosen:


what I'm currently procrastinating on....

hey, thanks to everyone who plowed their way through my LA Blog and said they found it interesting. I thought it would make a good read if you were trying to get to sleep, LOL

Where am I now? Well, I've been back from LA for a week, and been playing catch-up on a number of things. Had a couple of newsletters to put out for clients, my students to catch up with, five loads of laundry (who invented laundry, I'd like to have a chat with him), trying to make some jewelry for a craft fair, and getting one of MikeK's & my songs into production. Also had lunch & dinner with my Mom, went out for dinner with songwriting friends yesterday, did the craft fair today. So not much music happened this week!

Projects I'm workin on:
- still working on producing the songs for our CD, Waiting for the Bus. We've been delayed cause we weren't happy with the final masters... we continue to learn what production is about;
- Lyricist Dean Taylor & I are working on a song, I need to do a second draft;
- Lyricist Diane Rulliere & I are working on a song, I need to do the second draft;
- recording vocals for DeanT & Lucian Blaga's song - I got the CD with the tracks, need to lay down a final vocal for approval;
- have a first draft done of a collb with Richard Larablie & Marvin Perkins, need to look at that again;
- also working on a long-term project with Dave Walton to produce 3 songs;
- Erin Simms and I are starting to brainstorm music for some lyrics I wrote;
- James Mitchell & I are working on doing something with one of my lyrics;
- Bob Lazzar-Atwood sent me a draft of a song for possible collab;
- still waiting for Matt Hirt's draft of our lovely song for which I wrote the lyrics in the spring;
- Mike and I are always working on ideas;
- there'll be another project with my internet band, The Collaborators, in the next few days;
- besides that I need to organize my house, practice the guitar, practice my vocal exercises, go for walks, eat more fruit & veg, drink more water, and go to bed earlier. I have another craft fair next Saturday, but I'm pretty much organized for that now. My songwriting circle also meets next Saturday for a potluck supper;
- oh, one more - my freelance client will need some stuff from me in the next week or so. A few hours work.

I'm tired now, LOL I'm going to go to bed.

Diva / Hollywood - Panel Notes

Notes from Kenny K:
"you are the one in charge of your career" - perservere, be focussed, determined, have something to prove, fight hard & strong.
- do what you can to get noticed - let new artists record your material, get your music reviewed, radio play, establish a fan base

Notes re vocal performance (Steve Memel)
1. know the job
- communicate/entertain
- tell/express the story
2. use truth
- we are always communicating something - we must ask if that is what we want to communicate
- lots of things communicate - our image, presentation, order of songs, how we move
3. stay in the story all the time
- anticipate mental & environmental distractions and work to stay focussed.

Notes from Christmas.com
- great strong melody you can remember after 3 or 4 repititions
- a chorus the common person can sing a capella on a porch
- emphasized again, must be singable by most people
- well crafted - verses must mirror each other

Notes from Michael Lloyd
"stupidity is the main building block of the music industry"
"consumer is tired of the average"
- the roadmap to success is always under construction, and there's not just one way to get there - don't wait for the elevator, you gotta be the one to climb
- write everyday, even if just a little
- listen to today's radio, analyze the hits, pull them apart, why do they work?
- understand the business
- be ready for opportunity
- understand genres and submit appropriately
- must have passion & fire
- it's really not about being 'more talented' - it's about being the one who works harder, who lives and breathes it
- write from the HEART
- you will run into road blocks no matter what - make music you believe in, and find ways to get it to people who will care about it.

Notes from DIY
- ask people questions, like, how can I help you
- be creative, think outside the box
- when someone says 'it has to be this way' don't believe it
- check out 'guerrilla PR by Michael Levine
- be unique, brand yourself, be tenacious
- the music industry/radio, distribution, press - is set up for big business - but as an indie, you make your own rules
- creatively zig when everyone else is zagging
- myth - your day job is your enemy - it pays for lots of things
- to be indie means diversify & specialize at the same time, but don't spread yourself too thin
- think long term in your planning
- makes friends, not contacts
- 15 years ago, artist has 1% control, now has 99% control
- your biggest competition is YOU - take action every day
- be as creative in business & marketing as you are with your music
- find people who are really good at what they do and make them part of your team
- being DIY/indie = life long journey
- define success on your own terms and always work with that goal in mind
- take the advice you are given
- dont spend $$ on demos (DIY)
- make music YOU are happy with
- don't chase a trend, BE the trend
- song contests are not really a vehicle for success

Notes from A&R pitch panel
- first track on your CD should jump out and grasb you
- 30 sec intro doesn't fly - keep them short & sweet - max 8 bars
- are the lyrics understandable
- you must edit yourself - step back, look at it objectively, examine what you're going for
- don't be bland
- watch cliches, and watch being too complicated
- always make vocals up on demos, have great vocalist do your demos

Notes from Music Library/film & tv
- not that much difference between the music for radio and that for film & tv in terms of song structure, but licencing is different
- only final product (master) is broadcast quality
- good vocal, short intro
- convince people of your niche
- lyrics are really important in film
- have at least 3 difference sections & definitive ending (no fades)
- music should be authentic - i.e., sound like the genre it's supposed to fit
- be prolific, get a lot of stuff out there working for you
- watch levels of vocals - if they are too far out front, and the song is turned down underneath dialoque, the music will be lost.

Cosmic Diva goes to Hollywood

gawd... what a trip. And I mean that. Here are brief exerpts from my journal:

Oct 30/05 - okay, I confess... "I am the Great Procrastinator" - picture me looking very haggard... at 3 am... still burning demo disks... trying to fit everything I need to take into one small carry-on bag.

3:30 am - press kits done, lyrics printed, copies of contact info, itenerary, demos labbells & ready... pillow stuffed in my guitar case to help me sleep on the train... make-up bagges... music collected into one place. I go to bed, mind racing. Alarm goes off at 6:45. I get up and turn the computer back on - there's one set of lyrics I forgot to print. The computer clock says 5:45 am. I think, 'hey, did something go wrong with the computer?' Then I realize! The time changed, you idiot!!

Well, instead of going back to bed, I decide to print off the music for two more songs - and I forget to get someone's contact info. Check my email - good thing, too, got the name and number of another contact in LA. By the time I finish that, it IS 6:45. Wash hair, do dishes/tidy kitchen, have bath - and cut myself shaving. I stand in the tub with wet hair, red stuff dripping from my ankle into the draining water, try not to panic. Run cold/hot/cold water over it... it slows... get out of tub and dab some kleenex on my ankle.... no, I don't need to go to the emergency, I just scraped the skin off. I put 3 bandaids over it, do my face & hair, see it's now (really) 7:45... I'm heading back to my bedroom to get dressed and the phone rings... my songwriting partner is on the doorstep. "I'll be out in five minutes," I gasp... reluctant to say I'm as bare as.... I throw on clothes, throw out garbage... grab purse, guitar & bag... and we're off!


Sun Oct 30th/05 - 8:12 pm - Hey things worked out pretty good. Arrived Van Bus depot at 11:30 pm, picked up my train ticket, caught a cab & was in my room at 12 noon - they let me check in early! It was pouring with rain - and you'll never guess what was happening (and is still happening) at the hotel when I arrived! Long trucks... tents... lights... cameras... yes - they are filming a movie. When I woke up from my nap, I could hear them calling... "Rolling"......... "Cut"...... - I had to laugh!

Mon Oct 31st/05 - 5:40 am - slept fitfully... the movie folks had lights shining so bright outside the hotel that it gleamed in my window like bright sun. I was afriad to take a shower before bed because they didn't like the fans going in the bathroom. I was too tired to play the guitar as I had planned anyway. Fell asleep around 10 and slept til around 2 am, then dozed on and off until 4:30. Got up and had a shower, dressed, checked with the cab co to be sure they'd be picking me up as ordered at 5:20 am. When I went downstairs, he was there waiting, and when we got to the train station the bus was already there. I pd for the cab with Cdn change so I don't have to cart it around for 2 weeks. The bus driver didn't bat an eye at my guitar and two bags (I had been told very emphatically that you are only allowed 2 pieces of carry on luggage).

Last night I reorganized by stuff and managed to get my press kits into my overnight bag with all my clothes. So my shoulder bag is much lighter and has more room. I was really tired, but it occurred to me that I'd be getting up at 5, getting on a bus at a train station where everything is closed, and there's no coffeemaker in my 2 star hotel room... so the chance of getting something more than water to drink, or getting something to eat... was not going to happen until I got on the train at 10 am in Seattle.

So I ordered some chicken souvlaki for delivery... when it came, it smelled great... but then I realized I had no utensils... and the hotel kitchen was off limits due to filming... so I sat there on my bed eating roast potatoes and chicken and greek salad with my fingers. Very diva. Just part of the adventure.


Oct 31st - 7:10 am - at the border... I don't know why, but I always get nervous dealing with officials. I plunked down my id & form in front of the grim young border guard, and he asked me where I was from (Victoria) and where I was going (Hollywood), who was I visiting (going to a music conference called the Taxi Road Rally)... "and how will you be participating in this conference?" he asked - that was the last question I expected (meanwhile he was looking through the passport of the woman in front of me - who he'd detained)... I stammered... 'going to seminars... on things like marketing your music'... (I searched my mind)...' writing good melodies'...(I felt like that wasn't enough but couldn't think of anything else)... finally I blurted: 'writing good lyrics'.... he never looked at my face once through the whole thing... passed my id back and said, see you.

11 am - on the train! heavy traffic coming into Seattle meant we arrived at 9:45 instead of 9:15... scrambled inside the very dingy looking station, got my 'car assignment' - nice, by a pix window up on the top... but it's gray and rainy

2:05 Portland... I dozed & listened to music and watched scenery and then finally decided I should go to the snack bar and grab a tea or something. When I got to that car (it ajoins the dining car), I decided I would check out the menu for the dining car... I was surprised to find it cheaper than I expected. I sat in the observation car a bit, wanting to get a table by myself so waiting til they were empty. So I go in, and he seats me opposite this obnoxious women... let's see... she's hung over... wants grilled cheese but it's not on the menu... she has panic attacks... her mom passed away earlier this year... her brother-in-law abuses kids - I'm practically upchucking as she describes what her nephew said the dad did... I mean, it is terrible and disgusting and I sympathize but geez .... I'm just there to eat lunch.

Nov 1st - 4 am - I see stars! I think we might be in, or near, California! Can you hear me singing? Of course the wee aisle light falls directly on my chair. My feet hurt for some reason. But I slept pretty well. I'm waiting for dawn. I wonder if I'll be able to read this in daylight.


(Nov 1st - con't) I'm so pleased to see stars because stars = no rain! It's been raining steadily since I left Victoria yesterday. Too bad there's no moon. I remember crossing Canada by train, and the moon was so big and bright you could see the land in its silvery glow.

The people I sat with at dinner were NICE. Thank goodness! A woman and her cute grandson, and a gentleman in his 70s. They were all going to the same place but didn't know each other.

I keep thinking I should write some lyrics but nothing comes to mind. There's already some great train songs out there, LOL. Yesterday afternoon I was listening to my demo and I think I fell asleep just before "Alien" came on - that was kinda spooky.

Hey, I see the Dipper!

Oh, what to sing if I get to sing at the Rally Open Mike. Of course it's such an opportunity you want to do it right.

I hope I can access the internet at my hotel and update my blog. If not, I'll have to find an internet cafe or wait til I get home!

Here's a good lesson for a songwriter: when I phoned Amtrack to buy my ticket, the woman emphatically said I could only bring 2 pieces of carry on luggage a la airline bags, we'd be crossing the border early and something about no baggage handling. So I bought a shoulder bag that could double as a purse (I can stick my purse inside it), and then I have my carry-on bag with my cloths, demos & toiletries, and my guitar.

When I got to the bus at the train station in Vancouver, I noticed there were larger bags being stowed in the bus luggage compartment. I was pleased the driver didn't bat an eye at my '3' pieces of 'carry-on'. Folks got off the bus in Seattle and grabbed their big suitcases and headed into the station. While I was waiting in line, Amtrak made an announcement re only 2 pieces of carry on.

So I finally copped -- you can have luggage -- but what you take upstairs on the train is restricted to 2 pieces. But that's not how it came across. An excellent example of something being very clear to the person who understands it, and not very clear at all to the person they are supposedly communicating it to!

Maybe it's better... I'm travelling light because of it!

8:00 am - beautiful scenery south of Sacramento - watched the sunrise ealier - and saw my first palm tree at 6:30 am PST! Had breakfast - believe it or not - with a WRITER who also seemed to be a knowledgeable tour guide, an ACTOR who works in rep on Oregon doing Shakespeare & other plays, and a 16-year-old who left home at 13 cause of his mom, but thinks his grandmother - who adopted him - is an angel. He also said his grandmother is a saint, she's never done anything wong, never told a lie. I sat there thinking my co-writer Mike K would love to hear this - just proves that our song, 'She Was Always There', can be very meaningful to a lot of people.

9:30 am - Oakland, CA - here's where we transferred to a bus cause they are working on the tracks. I'm on the bus, in the front seat - beautiful day! Feel much better today. I've had some sleep and some food and I'm in California! Mind you, I still fall asleep at the drop of a hat. Hey - everything here is green!

10:30 am - San Jose - how beautiful! I slept all the way here!

10:45 - back on the train - boy is it hot here. I'm glad I brought my shorts! Okay, we're moving - LA here we come!

...just changed out of my West Coast Canada winter wool pants into something lighter - whew! I'm told it's even hotter 'down south'.

12:15 - well, we found our 'way to San Jose' and now we're coming into 'Salinas, Lord' (that's from Me & Bobby McGee), We passed this beautiful long leg of water with flocks of birds and little streams winding thru grass near the shore... I saw what I took to be big birds of some kind... and then I realized they were seals - so it must have been the ocean!

I'm noticing the beautiful Spanish-style architecture around here.

Been thinking a lot about the Rally and I think the best way to go in is to, just like I did with my opera audition, just as me. I ain't what they're looking for. Talk to folks, have fun, play music - just forget about anyone in the industry lookin' for me. Can't wait to practice the guitar. When I get checked in tonight!

old woman reads
fortunes on the street
her pet duck by her side

are things ever
shiny new
down in the junkyard


Nov 1st - 5:30 pm. I hope I wasn't snoring cause I fell asleep for a whole hour... then again, it would be cosmic snoring & suitable for a campy spacey spooky ambient piece - right? LOL I'll call it "Somewhere in California'

It's writing good melody I need help with the most, I've been thinking. My lyrics are much better becuase I understand prosody and I also understand that you have to boil it down to the kernels.

8 pm - somewhere outside of LA. Starting to feel excited (or maybe it's just that I allowed myself dessert - vanilla ice cream). Met a nice couple in their 50s going to Disneyland again (alone, no kids!). That's the spirit!

I keep thinking it's Monday today, but no, it's Tuesday, and I'm 'working' for Taxi tomorrow afternoon at the Rally Hotel. All I plan to do between now and then is... call my Mom, have a long cool bath... and get a good sleep, pick up some groceries.

Thursday I'll do a little exploring before the Rally starts.

9 pm - Simi Valley... as usual a woman on a cell phone just behind me... sigh. Why not go to the club car to do that? Folks are sleepin' and don't want to hear 1/2 of your loud conversation about your friend's relationship with her husband!

9:40 pm - nearly there! Actually took the guitar out and played that riff I've been working on a few times - sounds nice. Apparently we've been thru Burbank, home of movie studios. Just wanna get to my hotel room in one piece! I see the station!

Nov 2nd - Wed - 7 am. Sittin in my hotel room looking out at palm trees and Hollywood hills! I'm here!

I have to admit, when I got here last night, I didn't feel at all like the "cosmic diva". I was hot, tired, a little worn out. I tried to call my Mom but couldn't figure out the phone.... just as well. I unpacked my clothes and hung them up and then just sat on the balcony for awhile in the cool air. I tried the air conditioning - which I don't much like (dries the throat, you know) but it didn't seem to be cooling the room much.

So after a long tepid bath I opened the balcony doors and lay in shorts & t-shirt on top of the huge and comfortable bed - and slept for awhile. My suite is great - king size bed, 2 easy chairs & a beautiful side table, a dresser that holds the TV. In a separate room is the kitchen & dining room. I've got a huge closet for my 3 outfits, and a nice washroom, plus the balcony with garden furniture. It looks over the parking lot, of course, but like I said, I can see palm trees and Hollywood hills. The sun is behind me - at the front of the hotel - so I likely face west.

I forgot to tell you - the train station is fabulous! I know I've seen it in many films! Gotta pick up a disposable camera! I think I'll walk down to the tourist info center that is nearby. I need a local map.

9:45pm - Wed Nov 2nd. What a day! I started by walking around the block and did the Hollywood Boulevard stroll - the Chinese Theatre is not like anything I imagined - and they're having a preview tonight! They were laying out the red carpet and everything - I must admit I'm overwhelmed by the gloriously shabby old buildings.

I walked from Hollywood & Highland to Ralph's grocery store on Sunset Blvd - my gawd the sun was hot and it was nearly noon - the worst time to do that. Spent $24 on groceries and took a cab back to the hotel. Had a quick cool bath and hightailed it over to the Rally hotel, to help the Taxi folks stuff bags for attendees. I was required to walk round and round a line of tables to make-up packages. We started at 1 and by 2:45 I'd had it. I wanted to quit but it looked like it wouldn't be much longer - and we finished by 3:30. Had conversations with 2 or 3 people - I'll have to do better when I meet folks in person at the Rally, cause I stammered over who I am and what I do.

When I got back to the hotel after having some excellent pizza - I was so exhausted I just lay down watching tv and thinking for a couple hours. Then I played guitar for an hour - that felt better (always does). I went over and watched folks arrive for the preview but I couldn't get close enough to see anything much.

My friend & collaborator JamesM called this morning! We'll have to connect tomorrow so I can tell him about registration. Tomorrow I plan to rest, make some phone calls, practice guitar.

11:15 am - Thu Nov 3rd. Sitting in the AMAZING lounge of the Roosevelt Hotel. The ceiling is, I think, art deco, the balconies are like something out of the Arabian nights. Even the furniture - black leather - seems like it is from a different world. There's a definite Moorish feel to this a la Rodolph Valentino in a glitzy Hollywood way. The chantileer is enormous and the light fixtures are flower petals. There's potted palms by the columns and a fountain in the centre.

Had a nice long chat with JamesM this morning, gave me lots of ideas of where to go. I decided though, to spend a fairly leisurely day, so I'm just strolling a little, and have a ticket for a one-hour trolley tour at 12:30. After that I'll go home for lunch & a nap (can't believe I still feel tired) before getting ready to go over to the Rally hotel for registration.

I tried to draw a pix of the Roosevelt lobby, continued my Hollywood stroll. Elvis Presley shook my hand, he wanted to take a photo with me, but I said I didn't have a camera with me - I should have said 'I charge for that' LOL.

Nov 4-05 - well, what did I learn today? How CONFUSING the music industry is. In one room, they said 'be unique'. My mentor seemed totally lost when he heard my Alien piece. He was complimentary of the production but didn't see how I would market it. He said, in order for 'Alien' to work I need to have a rythm track that builds & drives, and a melody that pulls you through so the creative stuff accents. To give him his due, he's a pop/rock management person. I don't know if he knows much about electronica. I feel I made the wrong choice of song to play him. He also listened to 'Send Me a Man', and didn't like it much either. He liked the chorus, but thought it was long/wordy. Verses 'too safe' need to 'play more'. I think he thought I was creative, but I didn't really learn anything, nor did he look at the press kit I so carefully created. Bummer.

I listened to another speaker for awhile, then went back to my room & played guitar for awhile. Later I had a nice dinner with James at Hamburger Hamlet, and then we jammed for awhile in the hotel hallway, workin on a piece of mine and a piece of his. That was fun. I got some nice compliments, so that makes me feel better. Today was up and down for me.

~Nov 5th-05 - DIY panel (do it yourself) was very inspiring - I'm doing a lot of that already.

I had a GREAT 'mentor on the go' session with Pat Pattison - he gave 'Waiting for the Bus' a wonderful review, verses have great imagery, he said, he thought I could simplify the chorus, he liked the Ab9 riff but thought it would work better as a prechorus. That made the whole trip worthwhile!

I also found the A&R panel interesting - production on the songs played was often great, but songs didn't make it due to problems with structure & form. Maybe only about 5 good ones, which surprised me a lot. A&R shooting gallery was interesting too.

After that James took me up to Universal Citywalk, which was like nothing I expected. I was thinking, like Gastown in Vancouver (heritage buildings with shops & cafes)... instead it's like an all neon food fair with a few souvenir shops. I did sing at the Karaoke booth, though - 'My Heart will Go On' - to enthusiastic applause.

Nov 6th - today we have Music Library panel, hit songwriters, & then music publishers. Tonight I'm recording with James.

Had a GREAT 'mentor on the go' session with Randy Sills! He listened to 'Alien', thought it was neat, said it was definitely ambient electronica & gave me a huge amount of marketing advice. I hope I can remember half of what he said!!

~Nov 7th - feeling lonely today, after all the companionship & busy-ness of the weekend. On Fri I wasn't sure if the trip was worth it, now I have to say it was. I talked one on one with 3 mentors, all of whom listened to my music and gave me feedback, I met a music publisher, chatted with many folks, had a great time with JamesM, had a session in a LA recording studio (and the engineer asked for my card when I was leaving!) - a lot happened in three days.


heading for Hollywood, CA!

got my press kits & demo CDs and my little Martin guitar, some new clothes & a lot of chutspa... I will be challenged to step up to the plate, meet & greet people, make chit chat, and present myself as an artist who has something to say and a voice to say it with. This will be, for me, a test of how far I've come in believing in myself and what I do. I'll try to blog my journey if I can - I am keeping a sketch journal so either way you'll be treated to the fascinating tale: "The Cosmic Diva goes to Hollywood"

ya'll take care til I get back!

taking stock...

Someone on JPF just asked 'making progress'? That's a good question. I started thinking about it, and I realized -- I've come a loooooooong way in the past year.

I've gone from having little knowledge about recording to being able to create a reasonally good rough cut back-up for my music with a mix of live & electronic instruments. I went from using free recording software with a $20 computer mic to having Shure mics, Tracktion 2, Band in a Box and Jammer.

I went from playing the keyboard badly to buying a 6-string acoustic guitar - a Martin from Mexico, which will be accompanying me on my live gigs around town. I'm taking guitar lessons (voice coaching too).

I have my first EP (pop/country) coming out this week, and plans for a full-length ambient album by the new year.

I'm going to Hollywood in November to attend the Taxi Road Rally. I've been invited to 'jam' with my internet band live in person in Tucson in March... and Nashville has been on my mind!

I'm singing better than ever, writing more than ever -- and even writing better than ever, I'm told.

Plus, I've collaborated with some really great folks this year on a number of tunes.

On top of that, I just got my own domain - http://www.vikkiflawith.com

All of these things were totally unexpected, and I'm immensely grateful for the support and encouragement that I've received from friends & fans around the globe!!

back at it (to some degree)

Well, I'm a little better today tho my voice is still husky sounding. I have several projects on the go:

Scent of Your Betrayal (Dale Peaden) - music done, needs vocals
Sunset...Starshine (Diane Rulliere) - music done, needs vocals
Back to the Gravity (Dean Taylor) - music done, needs vocals
I Could Dream (Dean Taylor, Lucien Blaga) - awaiting vocals
Song by Robert Thompson - awaiting vocals
collab project with Dave Walton - brainstorming
collab with Erin Simms - awaiting ideas
possible collab with Volder Zdunnek
'the casket' by Richard & Marvin - I'm providing vocals
The Collaborators are working on my new song, "motorcycle momma"

And several songs of my own - Wilted Heart, Out on the Margin, Lilac, and a couple of lyrics I need to get music going on.

I'm also prepping 7 songs for a "sampler" EP to be released at the end of the month (country & pop), designing the CD cover & label, etc.

My trip to LA is slowly coming together... need to get travel insurance, buy some clothes... get myself a good carry-on bag & a garment bag.

Played guitar with a bluegrass jam last night, it's good practice of the Nashville numbering system!


getting back up to speed at last...

hey, getting back some energy, even if the voice isn't all there, it's sounding more like me than it did a couple days ago! Had to cancel my teaching for 3 days :( - but, on the other hand, I spent a lot of time working on two new pieces:

- Sunset, Starshine, a collab with lyricist Diane Rulliere - it's gonna be a ambient world pop song

- Back to the Gravity, a collab with lyricist Dean Taylor - it's ambient euro-tek pop

I have instrumental versions of both... just waiting for the voice to come back so I can really get them going!!

Many thanks to all those who sent me get well messages - I appreciate it a lot (and am surprised to find that folks are actually reading this LOL)!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all the Canadians out there!!


ack... got slowed down on projects since I discovered I have strep throat!!! The first symptom was singing flat all over the place while having this very strange feeling in my throat. Then I got lung congestion... and the wierd fur ball wrapped tightly around my vocals chords grew to the size of a large cat. I cancelled my students Tuesday and Wednesday -- and didn't speak one word on Wednesday.

I did work on mixing a new song yesterday, at least I could do that! Did some admin work too - counted at least 38 songs I have written or co-written this year, that doesn't include the collabs where I helped out with vocals. So I'm doing well on my goal to write 52 songs by Feb 14 /06!

NEWS: I started a new 'advice' column... I get a fair number of messages, posts & emails asking me for advice on the music industry... so I decided to blog the info!!

Check it out ---
Hummingbird's UnCommon Sense

voice is slowly creeping back

ack, many projects were put on hold this past week... cause I couldn't sing at all, at all... well, I could, but it was all FLAT - ack!! Couldn't bear it!! Everytime I get sick, I worry that my voice will be like that forever... that would be so awful... in the meantime though, I worked on getting that new website up, and also wrote a couple of new lyrics.

Today I have a demo singer coming in to record a spacey Celtic fantasy of mine (aren't they all LOL)... besides that...

Current to-dos:

- prep Blue Collar Man & Send Me a Man for mastering

- complete revamping of Scent of Your Betrayal

- final vocals for I Could Dream - when the voice is trully back

- work on arrangement for new MJK/VLF collab

- rework/revise Wilted Heart - have a bass & piano track coming, I've been working on the guitar part.

- mail off a submission to music publisher

- mail off a submission to a local talent contest

- mail off a submission to project on teen violence

in the wings:
- collab with lyricist Diane Rulliere

- collab with lyricist Dean Taylor

- collab with singer/songwriter Erin Simms

- collab with musician Volker Zdunnek

new site is LIVE!!

after two days of work... my eyes are bugging out, but it's up and running... check it out


sign my guestbook, hang out & listen to music... there's much more to come, so visit often!!

oh, I forgot

also created "Cold Slade" a kinda spacey film noir instrumental

check it out at

time is MUSIC

Let's see, what did I accomplish this weekend...

- have the final masters of two songs ready to submit to a indie record label

- mailed off the master of a song that will be incliuded on a complilation CD - subject - World Peace, release date: November 20th

- wrote the lyrics for a new song Friday, wrote the music Saturday, recorded it and posted a worktape on line - "Illuminating Me" -- http://www.soundclick.com/vikkiflawith

- worked slavishly on a MJ Kavanagh/ VL Flawith collaboration to get it to the studio for mastering... just got it back today and it's not working like I thought... so I have to rethink

- worked on the lyrics for a RD Pearden/VL Flawith collaboration... I have to revamp the music now

- worked on a song by Cliff Hitchcock (from The Bullets), adding back-up vocals (a project by The Collaborators)

- worked on a keyboard part & guitar fills for a song by Jared Starr

- went for a walk & had lunch with my big sister!

Current Projects (in no particular order):

- complete submission to indie record label!

- complete my entry for a local talent contest

- rework music for MJ Kavanagh/VL Flawith collab - need to redo the mix or maybe rethink the whole thing

- work on 'owning' "I Could Dream' by Dean Taylor & Lucian Blaga so I can lay down an awesome final vocal

- work on music for 'The Scent of Your Betrayal', a collab with RD Pearden, then lay down vocal

- harmony vocals for "Crazy for Life" by Jared Starr

- harmony vocals for 'Blue Collar Man", a collab with MJ Kavanagh

- re-record my lead & back-up vocals on "Send Me a Man"

- work on producing my song 'Wilted Heart'

- work on producing a Celtic song I've written

- design an ezine for my freelance client

- pick up tickets & out-of-country medical insurance for my LA trip!!

- walk everyday, eat healthy, teach my students well!!

try to get over this wierd bug I got that's stopping me from SINGING... all congested!!!

hope this makes interesting reading... I'm really focussed on completing these obligations so putting them down in writing helps me a lot!!


took a break from the pressures


- completed a second draft of lead vocals 'the house up the road'
- recorded back-up vocals for Cliff (The Bullets) Hitchcock's song
- completed final mix for Stonehenge Madrigal
- taught a couple students
- worked on lyric rewrite with Dale Pearden
- sang thru 'I Could Dream', practiced changes in first verse
- played & sang thru 'Wilted Heart' a few times
- began working on a new electronic piece


- taught a couple of students
- went for a walk, went to bank & picked up groceries
- new collab for The Collaborators - I fooled with a lead guitar riff!
- burned master CD of a song, I gotta mail it to the studio for mastering tomorrow

- got into the new electronic piece, spent the evening working on that, and just posted it on Mixposure

gonna go to bed now :)

working away at the 'to-do' list

spent most of today working on my to-do list posted on the weekend. I actually forgot one - doing back-up vocals for Cliff Hitchcock's song, What She Knows, which is being produced by The Collaborators. So I had to take a look at that today. Plus I like to keep up with the songwriting forums I'm on, I try to check them about twice a day and give some feedback or information if I can.

Also since Sunday.... I found out that a song I submitted for consideration for a 'world peace CD' to be sold to raise funds for handicapped kids... has been picked for inclusion!!! My producer is mixing me down a master and I'll get it from him tomorrow & have to mail it off. More news as I get it!!!

Also, I did send a post via email to this Blog on Mon or Tues - obviously that doesn't work, cause I don't see it.

Later! :-)

great day!! new toy!!!

hey spent the last couple of days just organizing a schedule and arranging for some help in completing the masters of several songs. Spent this evening laying down a scratch vocal for a songwriter. I have a list of musical projects to work on, each one has slightly different requirements. I plan to do a lot of recording tomorrow and get some of this work done.

Current projects:
Vocals for 'I Could Dream' by Dean Taylor & Lucian Blaga
Vocal for 'The House up the Road' by James Mitchell
Music for 'The Scent of Your Betrayal' - lyrics by R Dale Pearden
Music, Arrangement & Vocals for new pop song - lyrics by Michael Kavanagh
Music, Arrangement & Vocals for new uptempo ctry song - lyrics by Michael Kavanagh
Working on final cut of Stonehenge Madrigal - drums, vocals & master
Working on final cut of Still I Dream - add guitar, redo vocals, master
Blue Collar Man - redo back-up vocals & master
Send me a Man - make chorus more kick-ass & record lead & back-up vocals, master
Wilted Heart - prep for the guitarist to come in and lay down track(s)
Celtic song of mine - prep for vocalist to come in

In the Wings:
- potential collab with Erin Simms
- another collab with Volker Zdunnek
- poem by Diane - to be set to music

BIG NEWS - I bought a new guitar!! I LOVE it. It's small, almost 1/2 the size of a regular guitar, but it has an AWESOME sound. I even fiddled with recording it a bit tonite! It was funny, in the store, I was sitting playing this $200 guitar which fit my budget & sounded okay... and then I saw this little guitar on the wall so I asked about it, but it was way over my budget. I said I'd take the one I was playing. While she was organizing a gig bag & that, I took down the little guitar and began to play it -- from the FIRST STROKE I could just hear the difference. But it was nearly $400!!! But I bought it because my instincts said to. I'm glad I did and I'll work out the money part somehow. It occured to me later that I've been craving a smaller guitar so it's easier to play. And I've been looking for a warmer, richer sound than my beautiful Eko has with its nylon strings. YEAH!

I'll have to take a picture and post it so you can see!

new collab up

Towards the end of last week I was starting to feel like I'd never come up with anything new -- I think I feel that at the beginning of every project. Rebecca Dale Pearden had sent me some lyrics and I was struggling to come up with a setting I felt works. Well, here I am a couple of days later with a rough cut :-) Actually sequenced my own drum track, such as it is, it sounds pretty clean. I've created the rest of the backing with synth and midi, I think it sounds pretty cool. I know the 'producers' among us who have a listen may disagree.
It's posted on: http://www.soundclick.com/vikkiflawith

Thank you God & the Universe for continually sending me inspiration. Also just hooked up with Gary Yeomans, we're chatting about a collab; have a meeting today with my co-writer, Michael, and just joined the community at SongRamp - looks like a good place to be!

getting things done... at a slow pace :-)

Had a crazy and exciting weekend of live music, which included Mitch Hitchcock & the Rockin' 88's, Daniel Lapp, Soul Station, and, best of all - BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO (what that man can do with an accordian is amazing - and what a beautiful spirit shines from him ).

Watching these great artists and listening to how tight their bands play, I was just droolin' over the idea of having a 5 piece band - with that level of talent & professionalism - to back me up. What I could do!!

It stated me thinking about my own abilities to musically contribute to a band (other than singing & playing the tamborine). My once adequate guitar playing is non-existant now due to the prolonged unhealthy use of my hands in day jobs in unergonomic situations - meaning carpel tunnel now precludes chording with the left and picking with the right. Piano has the same kind of issue, altho it's a bit easier. But I remembered - I used to play the trumpet, the flute and the piccolo in high school. I'm gonna investigate that further, starting with the flute, since I don't want to overwhelm my neighbours with the blast of a trumpet.

Just finished creating a new soundscape I've called "Stonehenge Madrigal". It still needs a little tweaking & mixing, but I posted it on Mixposure & Soundclick to see what folks think of it.

My co-writer Michael JK and I worked Tuesday on our new pop song - we've got the form pretty much set, and I've got the melody & chord progression, so it's just a matter of putting it all together. That's my next job. I fooled around with music for that yesterday but I'm not happy with it, even if it is just a work-tape. Can't rush it. We had a meeting today and discussed ideas for another song Mike's working on - great concepts that man has!!

I've finished the final work-tape of a song I'm submitting for consideration for a CD project. Whew. I got a fair bit of positive feedback on it so I just edited it a little and it's done, and submitted!

Collabs going on right now (besides the ongoing ones with Michael), one with Rebecca Dale (music), and one with The Collaborators (back-up vocals); I'm waiting to hear back from Dean Taylor / Lucien Blaga on the rough cut first draft I did of their song (vocals); and Matt Hirt emailed me today to say the song we're collabing on is in the works (lyricist).

I'm in the Compo-10 alternative contest this week (my electronica piece called 'Alien'), I listened to all the pieces and sent in my rankings yesterday.

Tonight I can't wrap my brain around music so I think I'll just watch a little of something on TV & hit the sack :-D

...ummm.... where did I put that brain of mine?

After a crazy and exciting weekend of live music, which included Mitch Hitchcock & the Rockin' 88's, Daniel Lapp, Soul Station, and, best of all - BUCKWHEAT ZYDECO (what that man can do with an accordian is amazing - and what a beautiful spirit shines from him ) after all of that I'm sitting here drinking cold water and trying to wrap my brain around working on my own music.

Watching these great artists and listening to how tight their bands play, I was just droolin' over the idea of having a 5 piece band - with that level of talent & professionalism - to back me up. What I could do!!

It stated me thinking about my own abilities to musically contribute to a band (other than singing & playing the tamborine). My once adequate guitar playing is non-existant now due to the prolonged unhealthy use of my hands in day jobs in unergonomic situations - meaning carpel tunnel now precludes chording with the left and picking with the right. Piano has the same kind of issue, altho it's a bit easier. But I remembered - I used to play the trumpet, the flute and the piccolo in high school. I'm gonna investigate that further, starting with the flute, since I don't want to overwhelm my neighbours with the blast of a trumpet.

But for the rest of today, I think I will just chill... and brainstorm some lyrical phrases for a song I'm working on.

great day & night!

Mitch Woods & His Rocket 88's played the Victoria Blues Bash tonight - just great, great Creole style blues, swing, jump. Wonderful.

I'm currently working on recording a cover of an original song by Dean Taylor & Lucian Biaga of Colorado.

Have also been asked to write & submit a song for consideration for a CD project.

My vocal electronia piece, 'Alien', is in this weeks Compo 10 competition - have a look at this (scroll down)

My vocal electronia piece 'Saturn's Air' is being featured in a genre spotlight on Mixposure - check it out -

I'm also doing back-up vocals on a new collaboration by The Collaborators - http://www.soundclick.com/thecollaborators

I'm working with my steady co-writer, lyricist Michael Kavanagh, on a cool pop piece.
That's it for now!

musical Sunday + rough count

howdy, spent today....

doing some market research;

working on: - the production of my uptempo country dance song - 'Suzy's Gettin Down' - http://www.soundclick.com/vikkiflawith

working on: - the production of the MJK/VLF collab that is just about complete now... have a listen - '(Real True) Blue Collar Man' - http://www.soundclick.com/thecollaborators

It's been just over 6 months, I figure I've written at least 15 complete songs myself since Feb14-05 (maybe more), and I have about 6-8 lyrics lying around, plus ideas. And I also have my vocal tapestries & instrumentals. I've been writing with MJK, too, haven't counted those either.

I'm going to bed now. Haveta work tomorrow!

been busy!

... spent most of today writing the music for a lyric I wrote awhile back, recording some instrumental & vocal tracks & producing a worktape/rough cut;
... also tried to organize some paperwork;
... watched a couple movies;
... did a little scheduling of lessons;
... did a few minutes work for one of my clients;
... started writing a marketing plan for my music. I've been gathering some information and making notes of resources... much, much to do in that area.

Time for some zzzzzz's :D

another Friday nite

let's see, what I have been up to the last couple of days...
- writing some music for a new country rock (or maybe just rock) tune of mine;
- writing the music for a terrific new lyric by my co-writer MJK;
- mixing the tracks coming in on a collaboration;
- making plans for the songwriting demo I need to have ready for my November trip to LA;
- signing up for Muse's Muse, heard a lot of good things about that site as a resource for songwriters;
- had three songs added to the CMT Canada Message Board 24HR Internet Dance Party -- a station that came out of the 'upcoming artists' forum on CMT Canada. Check it out at
- sent a rough cut off to John Braheny for critique,
- teaching.

workin away

yeah, got a couple of new electronica / instrumental pieces going; helping someone out with a lyric rewrite (I said I might help with the music if I was satisfied with the lyric); mixin' a song that's being produced over the internet; just generally dabbling in music everyday in some way. Been playing around with some musical ideas for a couple of lyrics I've written, but a little held back by the fact my hands are aching... carpal tunnel still haunts me & I have to rest. Got a few new students coming in for the fall as well. Keeping me busy!

Burned my Dad a 'world premiere' CD of my electronica & vocal tapestries for his 80th birthday present... don't know what he'll think when he hears my wierd stuff... :D :D

hey, achieved some music today

Today I wrote and produced an electronica intrumental, my second one (the first, Midnight Called, I posted yesterday on my music pages. I started that one on Sunday)... this one I called Coffee Grind... it probably needs some tweaking in the mix, but I've posted it. Took me most of the day to get it done. I also spent some time working on a remix of 'Still I Dream of You' but I didn't feel it was any better than what I already have... in fact maybe I'm trying too hard so I just stopped. Then I was just gonna head off to bed and I came up with a new lyric... I just started jotting down the first verse idea, and before you knew it, I had the whole thing.

Lest you be dismayed, though, I did actually get out for a walk around dinner time. Always got to get those steps (I have a pedometer) happenin'

Hey got lots of listens yesterday, Still I Dream popped up from 52 to 18 on Soundclick's major pop charts. Thanks to all who listen!!

what have I been up to....


- posting on the usual songwriting boards :D
- working on a VLF/MJK collaboration with The Collaborators
- working on a spooky electronica instrumental piece
- exercising
- making arrangments for my trip to LA
- teaching
- working on a collab with KH, my vocals for his song
- playing the electric guitar - not well :(
- talking about organizing my bedroom closet
- working on a a VLF/MJK rewrite or two
- helping my old vocal coach with a website
- generally trying to keep up with the housework
- organizing my passport application... where did I put that birth certificate???!!!
- procrastinating
- mulling over ideas for a couple of songs a la Gretchen Wilson
- trying to figure out where I put my guitar music... I had a whole pile I played at gigs, can't find it!
- staying up too late working on music
2 am --- :D :D
9 am -- :( :(
- where's the coffee?

gotta go finish this instrumental piece...

couple of songs on the go

Hey, spent last night getting a MJK-VLF co-write ready for possible collab with other musicians, tidying up the lyrics and doing a scratch vocal;
today I worked on developing a piece of electronica - not too happy with the result after several hours work;
did a little work about the house, chatted with my sis, got my files ready for tomorrow. Still feel like I'm behind on everything. I think I must like that feeling because I sooooo like to procrastinate!!

mixin music

Let's see, what did I get up to today... uploaded a web page for my friend and vocal coach in Vancouver, taught several lessons, chatted to my mom & my neighbour, surfed my usual songwriting boards, and spent the evening developing some MIDI files for one of our MJK/VLF co-writes... pop/rock, it will be. The lyrics need work but the music is pretty good. Also had a few listens to a very neat rock song from a UK band who is looking for lyrics for their tune. If inspiration strikes I'll give it a go.

Chow for now :-)

oh dear, it's been waaaayyyy too long

hey.... well... here I am.... Not that I expect very many folks are actually reading this, but I did intend to keep it up. I was out of town from June 30th until the August civic holiday, so I think I had some excuse! Plus I had so much to do before I left I was totally overwhelmed.

Since I got back I have:
- discussed with MJK, my songwriting partner, what songs to prepare for our songwriter's demo CD;

- did a back-up vocal on a Collaborator's project -- check them out at http://www.soundclick.com/thecollaborators;

- worked on a new demo of my song, 'Wilted Heart', which was number one in the country-pop genre for many weeks last spring... I've got a friend laying down a live guitar track, and I've revised the lyric a little and improved the melody... we had a practice session Saturday, and will try to do a couple of takes later this week;

- did a mix of "Still I Dream of You". Once of my new internet collaborator friends did a live drum track for this demo in June, and I have another friend who is doing a bass track and a guitar track. I downloaded his tracks & did a mix with the live drums and bass -- it's posted on Soundclick right now. We're working on the guitar part, that will probably be added in a week or two... you can check out the current version at http://www.soundclick.com/vikkiflawith ;

- put together an application package for 'The Opportunity of a Lifetime', which I was fortunate enough to hear about and be able to enter since I had the demo of "Still I Dream of You" together already, plus I'd had my professional photo taken in June, and also have one-sheets ready to go in my marketing file. What it is a search for a British Columbia (Canada) singer... you send in one song (doesn't have to be original), etc., and if they like you, you audition in person in Vancouver later this month... and if you make it, you'd be one of 3 people who'd go to California to audition for David Foster in person. The winner of the contest gets to perform live with Josh Groban & other singers at a big concert in Vancouver on the Labour Day weekend. Don't think I have much of a chance, but, you know me, I like to put it out there and see what happens;

- went to a potluck meeting of my songwriter's circle last night, very enjoyable evening, shared a couple of my newer lyrics with them as I haven't done much writing this summer;

- worked on an internet collab today... did an arrangement, lead & harmony vocals for a couple of writers I met on Irene's songwriting board;

- also had a listen to Volker Zdunnek's music to see if there's another song of his I feel inspired to collaborate on sometime in the next few weeks;

- started to think about and do some research into travel options re going to LA / Hollywood in November for the Taxi Road Rally; I need to get my passport renewed too, just in case I have to go to California to meet David Foster... hee hee;

- have several new prospective students making enquiries about taking lessons this Fall.

Among all this I met with my coaching client, taught my students, had lunch & dinner with my mom, touched base with my friends by email and phone.... and I'm afraid to say I haven't unpacked too much yet!!!

That's it for now!!! Look, it's not even 10 pm! ~ V

I'm shimmering with energy

I've just spent my week working on several exciting and time-consuming music projects....
- completed the final mix of Dreaming Love - a Tapestry; we've had some nice feedback so far;
- wrote & produced a piece of electronica I called Trippin in C - used electric guitar & keyboard + a little midi;
- sketched out the background for Lilac & Lavender, recorded the demo, now working on mixing & fleshing out;
- volunteered to produce the current project for The Collaborators, mixing the tracks, adding some background vocals & a bit of a bass piano line - took me most of Sat night & today;
- made a songlink submission;
- made 2 industry resource submissions;
- taught my students;
- took my mom out for her birthday;
- went shopping with my sister for art supplies, etc, for our month away running our little summer studio/gallery;
- met with one of the artists providing some work for the gallery;
- even did a tiny wee bit of housework.

Work up (after staying up half the night to work on The Collaborators project) to find out my song, Still I Dream of You, has made #1 on the Soundclick 'subgenre' pop/AAA charts -- and is #6 in pop overall! I'm very proud - I produced it myself using Tracktion2, some midi, some eyboard, electric guitar, etc. As I said to a few folks, I know that doesn't mean much in the grand scheme of things, but this song is very meaningful to me & I really feel honoured that other folks like it too.

Got a big week ahead, gotta get to bed early!
Later.... :-)

feelin very proud

Been a busy few days, I made several sets of jewelry to sell in my summer gallery (chokers & matching earrings), and I worked on getting my folk CD organized, designed an ezine for my producer, jammed with the guitarist who's gonna be laying down some live tracks for a remix of Wilted Heart - and he lent me an electric guitar, so I've been sitting around playing scales & songs on that, and I also had to lay down my part in a duet I participated in creating for 'the collaborators'. 'Time Machine will be posted on Soundclick soon, I think.

After listening to the folk-pop songs I planned to put in my little home-made CD, I felt that Still I Dream of You needed some work. So I made a MIDI file, created some piano fillers, worked on it all in Tracktion2, laid down the lead vocals, mixed it... gosh I think it sounds great!! Slowly I am getting the hang of this MiDi/filter thing. I'm uploading it to Soundclick right now. I'm not sure if it needs any vocal harmony... they say just lead vocals & reasonably good instruments is enough for a demo. I'll ask and see what folks say. I'm going to make it my main page song.

Next I need to work on a new song I'm recording with another singer this Friday. She's got that clear Celtic purity that I think would fit the song. I need to get the backup instruments working well so she can sing over them. Besides that, I've been penning lyrics as they come to me... teaching... doing my usual web activities. what's that? housework? me?

I have two weekends left before I go to Savary, so I have a lot to do. But this Thursday night I'm gonna see Tom Jones, live!!! Yeah!!

whew!! is it Thursday already???

Wow, was I feeling stressed this morning thinking about everything I had on my plate - especially pushing myself to finish this set of recorded vocal exercises & tips prior to the workshop I was to teach tonight. But I said to myself 'you know what, I'm not going to get it finished on time, not the way I want. And all these hand-outs you plan to do are going to take time & paper & toner'. So I set up a page on my site specifically for the folks at the workshop, where they can order the exercise tape, or look at the hand-outs as .pdf's, or link to my website & see my info on voice lessons. Wasn't that intelligent of me?

I was nervous about the workshop (kept thinking all day 'why did I say I would do this') -- but it was okay. I did about 1/2 of warm-ups (breathing, humming, sighing, scales... legato, thinking opposite, a bit about shaping), gave a few pointers & ideas on preparation & performance.

Anyway, I am nearly finished the tape, if anyone orders it, I'll have it done in the next day or two and can run off copies. I'm also feeling scattered in terms of what I need to do next... so here's a list:

- art cards (buy a couple more packs tomorrow)
- bank, pay bills
- design, edit & send proof to DS for his ezine
- Dreaming Love - final mix, post on Mixposure
- the collaborators - lay down female vocals, waiting for the word
- jewelry (make 10 chokers & earrings by end mo)
- mix down LT's song for her
- paperwork, record label & Socan
- folk CD - start completing final mixes
- set up links to my Blog & my ordering page on my website
- write the next article for my ezine
- update manual, client records, back-ups for client
- update schedule & send out weekly email to students
- organize house / grocery shopping / chores
- go over music listings & submit songs
- Sat - jam with guitarist helping me record a song
- work on back-ground for another song I've got a demo singer workin' on
- catch up on calls & emails to friends/family

That's all I can think of for now... have 3 weekends left before I leave for a month, got a lot to do before then!!!! :)

P.S. - I posted a new piece of 'sonic art' / soundscape/ vocal motif, if you care to listen it's at www.artistlaunch.com/vikkiflawith - "Spell of the Witch", got some nice feedback on it so far!

so far so good

Well, slowly getting through my to-do list

- I now have 5 or 6 tracks recorded for my 'exercises for beginning singers' CD, sounds pretty good. All it is is me talking as though I'm in the room giving a lesson, demonstrating, explaining, and then asking the listener to sing with me.
- mailed the letter to Philos
- taught all my students
- went for a walk
- got the agreement finalized for another co-write
- talked to my producer, DS, about my proposed CD

Been going to bed by 11/11:30, getting up 3 hours before I have to work, and using that time to write lyrics, do chores, eat breakfast, be, etc. I'm trying to catch a 15 to 20 min cat-nap in the afternoon. I think the new routine is working cause I feel more energized, finished writing one lyric - and posted it for review - and have another one started. I haven't been writing much music cause I need to concentrate on the voice CD for now.

I have one of my students preparing to demo one of my songs in a couple weeks, another is coming this Sat to jam on a song, he's going to lay down some guitar tracks for it. I'm also working with 'the collaborators' on a song by Morris Rainville -- and in return for my work on the song I'll be able to submit a song for joint production. With that, and the discussion with DS re my CD, I feel encouraged by the possibilities of getting songwriting demos done & putting together a 5 or 6 song CD to market.

After I get the voice CD done, I need to work on my little folk-song CD that I plan to sell at my gallery in the summer. Have to also work on jewelry & art cards, get supplies, sort out what I'm taking.

In any case, it is now my bedtime, so I will write again tomorrow. Don't know if anyone is reading this... if you are I hope it's somewhat interesting :)

first day of the rest of my life

hey well, do you notice the time? That's right, 8:30 A.M. I'm serious about trying to change my habits, get off this computer sooner at night, and go to bed no later than 11, get up around 7:30 or 8. There's nothing on line that can't be done in the morning instead of the evening (mind you, right now the sun shines right in on my monitor). Solution - move it.

I do like recording at night because it tends to be pretty quiet around here, less traffic, no float planes taking off, etc. But still, gotta hit the hay earlier.

How did I do on my To-Do? Pretty good actually. I had to push myself 'through the middle' - like they say when you're writing a book.

- work for my coaching client - DONE
- work for my 'redesign'/interior design client - DONE
- update my teaching schedule & send out my weekly email - DONE
- prep a contract/letter to Philos re our collaboration - DONE
- lay down scratch F vocals for a duo collaboration - DONE
- begin recording my 'practice CD' for singers - BEGUN
- begin set-up/run off my art cards - BEGUN (look great)
- contact Sunshine Coast arts re advertisting - DONE

Mon To-Do's:
- mail the letter to Philos (don't carry it around for a week)
- do another segment on the 'practice CD' for singers
- fix necklace & earrings
- go for a walk
- tidy up the kitchen
- teach 5 students
- jam with E on the electric guitar, maybe lay down some tracks for the new version of 'Wilted Heart'

General To-Do's
- call my co-writer & pro producer, DS
- do a final mix of the song I recorded for one of my students by Tue aft
- need to complete the 'practice CD' for singers by Wed & run off some copies with labels
- do a final mix of 'Dreaming Love: a Tapestry' and post it on-line
- also need to do some paperwork for Socan & my record label
- get a few groceries & pay the rest of the bills
- shop for supplies for the summer, and household storage cabinet
- download some software & try it out
- start writing my next newsletter

Where I say 'final mix', that's just me going in and feeling that everything balances well, and then rendering it to wav. I'm a songwriter, not a producer, just do the best I can. But I've been told that it's okay if your demo is 'home mastered'.

Before I begin teaching today I need to finish tidying the house, have breakfast, pop to the shop for milk & to mail that letter, and go for a walk. I said to myself yesterday, 'Who is Vikki Flawith?' Answer: Vikki Flawith goes for a walk everyday, takes her vitamins, eats healthy. Vikki Flawith goes to bed at a reasonable time, gets up early & writes. She sits on the balcony with tea, just being - because she's created the time for that. Vikki Flawith eats salad for breakfast and breakfast for supper (and sometimes even eats dessert first). Vikki Flawith completes her obligations in a timely and professional manner -- and then jumps in the deep end of the 'creating and being and singing music' pool. The time she spends 'walking and being' supports the creative flow & energy she puts into her music. Vikki Flawith is a indie musician whose work is being noticed. And all Vikki Flawith really wants to be able to share her perspective of the world through the art form known as music... and have it be positively received.

tough week

Hi... you know how it is, you go away for a few days... and then spend the next week working overtime to catch up... that's what the last week has felt like. I have tomorrow 'off' teaching, but now have to catch up on other work that needs doing. No rest for the weary.

Only songwriting news I have today is that I got two more 'returns' from Taxi (this listing was for female vocalist - go figure); I'm gonna be doing a duet with Morris Rainville on a song the Collaborators are doing - very pleased about that, cool song too; sang a couple of songs last night for the Songwriter's Circle, both well-received (I'm Gonna Survive - a co-write with MK, and the new Wilted Heart [not posted yet, recording next week]. Also have one of my students working on learning one of my songs... she's got one of those beautiful clear Celtic voices, I think it would suit the song well so I've asked her to record it for me.

This weekend (comprising Fri - Sun) I have to:
- complete work for my coaching client
- complete editing & meet with another client
- update my teaching schedule & send out my weekly update
- have tea with my Mom Fri aft
- have coffee with friends Sat am
- work on a practice CD for next week's workhop participants (I've been asked to lead a vocal w/s for participants in a charity event, who will be singing karaoke style over music & dressing up like the star whose music they are singing)
- complete mixing of Dreaming Love - A Tapestry, a collab & mail him a letter
- complete mixing of a song I recorded for one of my students
- do some shopping for supplies (maybe next weekend instead)
- fix a choker & necklace one of my students is buying, maybe make a few more
- call my friend in Vanc & my friend in Ucluelet to catch up
- talk to my sis about our travel/gallery plans
- clean up the house (always last on the list)

There's probably a few other things but that's all I can think of right now. Better get to bed now, I gotta get up early and get started.


where was I?

Sorry, a bit lax in keeping up with this. I did lay down that new song & posted it on Soundclick, it made #16 on the alternative country charts on its first day. A lot of controversy over the lyrics, some say they are too literary & some say they are too cliche... but everyone seems to dig the tune. At least I got part of it right.

Feel rather scattered right now. I do have another lyric I am working to set to music but the chorus has not arrived in my brain yet.

I completed my collab with Philos to his satisfaction, I still need to work on mixing it I think. I'm not too good with that. I did spend this evening just fooling around with a new vocal tapestry in Tracktion, experimenting with different effects; plus I recorded one of my students earlier today and hope that I can at least make it sound somewhat good.

Also still working on revising lyrics for a collab with an LA musican.

Watched Dr Phil earlier this week and am determined to keep going with my new life style... and hopefully lose a couple of dress sizes before going to Hollywood in November.

Have some catch up work to do tomorrow, organize my desk, get some groceries & things like that in prep for the week. Also need to pay rent & bills!

Been very hot here, still feel hot now at 12:30 am !!

a few days off...

Hey, I was up at my Dad's for a few days... but no worries, I wrote some new lyrics while I was gone, so have two new songs to dream up music for!

Spent tonight recording the music for an uptempo country song, I'm uploading a rough sample to Soundclick now. Check it out if you like... http://www.soundclick.com/vikkiflawith - newest is 'who will you be', last week I recorded 'dance away my sorrow'.

Got another new one coming... I have the verse melody but the chorus hasn't flown into my brain yet :-) don't worry, I'll let you know when it does!

I gotta go to bed now. More later!!

hey, got thru another day...

let's see, what did I get up to today? Taught several students, voted (it was a provincial election), picked up a few groceries & did my walk at the same time, went to the bank to get some cash for the upcoming trip, did about 3 remixes of my new song, decided to go for #2. It's generated some interest - got quite a few listens today, people seem to like it.

Started work on another one.... but just realized I've called it 'Believe' - and Cher has a song with that title. Sigh. Now I will have to rethink.

Got to organize taking my music with me for the weekend... have some rewrites / projects to work on and I'll have all day on the bus & ferry both there and back to do some work on that.

Best go to bed or I will be dragging my tail tomorrow!!

well, it's not too bad

Just finished a full production of my new uptempo pop/dance song... harmony & all, and am uploading it to Soundclick right now. I think it's pretty good, just gonna get some feedback on it. Have a couple listings I want to submit it to so need to get it tweaked for submission soon. It's a bit of a departure for me from my usual melancholy ballads :-).

Let see, today I had a brief tel meeting with a client, taught 4 students, produced this dance song with lead & harmony vocals... ran an errand downtown to get blank art cards & some signs laminated for my summer gallery... cooked dinner... talked to my girlfriend, who just came home from Denmark. Got the colour digital photos from the photographer... looks like I'll get the black & whites next week. Need to go to bed soon, of course.