Puttin' One Foot in Front of the Other

"When you know who you truly are, there is an abiding alive sense of peace. You could call it joy because that's what joy is: vibrantly alive peace. It is the joy of knowing yourself as the very life essence before life takes on form. That is the joy of Being -- of being who you truly are."
~ Eckhart Tolle, 'Stillness Speaks'

Dec 2006: "I definitely want to get a new computer - a faster, bigger model with lots of RAM - to run the little orchestra programme I bought myself for Christmas."

I did a big graphic design project which paid me… strangely enough… exactly the amount of money I needed to buy a custom built audio computer. I suppose I should have put that money towards my debts... but I'd been wanting an audio computer for so long! So I got it.

Dec 2006: "I really want to take some of the songs I've written and develop them for a new age/ classical folk a la Enya kind of feel for a mystical, magical, fantasy-based electronic folk album with dreamy, ethereal vocals and great harmonies.. I have so many sketches and drafts of songs, and worktapes of songs, and ideas for songs!!"

I signed up for 'February is Album Writing Month' (FAWM) 2007. The challenge was to draft songs for an album in the month of February – 14 songs in 28 days. I wrote 15! Some songs, some instrumentals. In looking for a theme, I remembered I had already written 4 or 5 pieces inspired by J.R.R. Tolkien's 'The Lord of the Rings'. So I decided to focus on LOTR during FAWM.

Dec 2006: "I also have some instrumentals I've written I'd like to develop further."

With the addition of the orchestra program (and later, an upgrade to a more expanded model), I began producing instrumentals in earnest. With better sounds, I was able to create more acceptable tracks. The first instrumental I created with the new audio system & orchestra program was signed by an LA music library, which proved the investment was worthwhile!

Dec 2006: "I'd like to write a little more... I have a couple of ideas of novels I've been mulling over in my mind, and I also would like to write something on the subject of creativity & healing through the creative process - something very close to my heart."

I started the year aspiring to write 700 words a day on the novel I began during 'November is Novel Writing Month' (NaNoWriMo) in 2004. With the audio computer, my interest turned more to music and I wrote fiction less and less often. I developed some sketchy ideas for the non-fiction book about healing through the creative process, though.

Dec 2006: "I also would like to improve my skills on various instruments - guitar, harmonica, mandolin, pennywhistle."

Again, with the interest in working with midi, recording, working with virtual instruments, and engineering, I spent most of the year working on my composition and production skills. But playing with my trio has certainly strengthed my guitar playing skills, in particular, my ability to keep a steady rythm (at last, lol)!

Dec 2006: "I want to spend more time with my Dad, and my Mom, which isn't as easy as it sounds as they are long divorced and live in different places."

Got to see my Dad several times over the year, in particular, I stayed with him & my step-mom for 5 weeks over the summer, got to have Thanksgiving dinner with them when they were down in my area housesitting, and stayed with them for a week over Christmas, plus a few shorter visits. I have lunch with my mom pretty much every week, and we took our second annual trip to California in November… this year, LA & Santa Barbara.

Dec 2006: "I hope to continue the trend of doing more performing locally & perhaps also spreading that a little, to Seattle and Vancouver."

I definitely performed in Victoria, and on Savary Island. And LA.

Dec 2006: "I want to travel a little more... maybe Nashville, certainly California again... continue to learn all I can about this music industry, the business of songwriting, and indie artistry."

Made it to LA.

Dec 2006: I concluded by saying "I want to pay down debts, eat healthy, exercise daily, write prose more often, play with music a lot, be a good teacher, write a creatively inspired album."

I think I did a little of each of these things.

Dec 2007:

Well, I just bought another upgrade for my orchestra programme - I now literally do have all the bells and whistles. Next I need to upgrade my recording software and get a good percussion program. A lot of the feedback I get says I don't have a good low end, especially drums. At some point I also need to buy a decent vocal mic. I've been renting different ones to try them out. Think I've settled on a Shure SM7b.

I signed up in September 07 for vocal coaching from a very well respected local opera singer. This will continue next semester. In addition, I've scheduled twice-monthly mandolin lessons… and I also met someone who has a mandolin jam every week. I also want to see if I can take a class or get some private lessons in Irish flute & penny whistle. In prep for this I picked up a recorder & have been playing it a little – and a great friend just brought me a collection of penny whistles & recorders.

Financially, I've almost paid off one debt!!! ...and I plan to take the money I was remitting to them & put it towards the next highest interest creditor I have. I would love to be out of debt in a couple years but I don't know if that's possible. I've invested a lot of money in audio equipment & software… I'm hoping I will start to see more results from this in the next 2 to 4 years.

I definitely plan to do FAWM again this February, continuing with the same theme as last year… working towards producing an LOTR-inspired album. Love to be releasing it September 2008, but don't know if I can manage that.

I want to continue to collect notes & ideas for a non-fiction book about what I've learned about life and creativity and healing.

I want to make time to see my Dad often, and hang with my Mom on a weekly basis.

Definitely go to LA again in November 2008. Hopefully with Mom. Every year the music conference is better & better, and I'm meeting lots of really great people. Have plans to collaborate with 2 or 3 of the professional songwriters that I have met through Taxi's Road Rally.

I belong to 5 or 6 songwriting forums, and I've tried to let most of them slide & just pop in now and then… I love being on forums and giving/getting reviews, chatting about the music industry in general, etc… but they can be habit forming. I've cut down a lot. I'll have to continue to do that. And try to write short posts when I am there. Ha!

What else… let's see…. I want to pay down debts, eat healthy, exercise daily, write prose more often, play with music a lot, be a great teacher, be a good friend, finish a creatively inspired album.

Above all, I am grateful for the gift of music, family and friends in my life. Miracles do happen. Treasure every day, and count your blessings.

Best wishes for 2008!!

1 comment:

Sanoittaja/Copywriter/Koivulahti said...

Great blog! I'wish I coud understund more of it ;) Anyhow youre way to think is so much like my own that reading it feels comforting.