Month: September 2020

Discovery and Recovery

Has your past ever blindsighted you? Memories you had buried or pushed aside appear front and center. That happened to me this week while working on my book that is not all my story but parts of my story. To determine what I want to include and what I do not, I have revisited my past more than I intended. The section I am working on is Claiming the Past. I intended general advice from the other six songwriters and me. Since I am the author, more of what I have claimed from my past needs to be included than from the other six. Claiming involves an honest inventory of any memory that makes you uncomfortable. I am not advising on how to deal with that discomfort beyond acknowledging it. Some memories touched sorrow I did realize I was holding on to. I do not want to erase those memories or deny the sorrow; I want to see them for what were and are. In a first draft, an author writes quickly knowing she will …

My Words

Words – Like the air I breath There as long as I have life Even if I couldn’t say them Write them or even hear them They’d be inside of me And I would know them lyrically yours – stephanie c brown Imagine a world with no words spoken or unspoken. Of course, you can not because even in imagining there are words. Every image, every emotion, your brain is naming or trying to. Words are so important that we have words to describe our relationship with words. We are at a loss for them; we are moved by them; we are hurt by them; we are healed by them; we search for them; we borrow them; we steal them; we use them; we wish we had them; we remember them; we forget them; we go places and have experiences without our bodies with them. We use words for all of these. What a mystery words are. I am writer and have been as long as I can remember and before, but I do not know …

INERTIA AND MOMENTUM

We have all been there. We have found the initiative and motivation to begin something. We are excited; we have energy. Then we lose that momentum. What then? I once heard Rick Hall, father of Muscle Shoals music, talk about a time when his professional life as a producer and studio owner had come to halt. I wish I remembered the details of this story, but I do not. As I remember it, he said he was off the wave of his first successes as a producer. He was in a slump. Phones weren’t ringing. He had no production deals. One day he picked up a rubber ball which was on his desk. He threw it against the wall; it bounced back. That was a light bulb moment for him. He knew to get moving he had to do something. He picked up the phone and called people he had worked with in the past and reached out to others. His phones started ringing again. He was back in the game. He quit waiting for …

Video Chat with Sandy Carroll

The book I am writing has a core cast of seven, six of my cowriters and me. I am in the process of Zooming short video chats with each to make my job easier. I can refer back to them when I am writing. This morning’s with Sandy was great – once we got past the first five minutes. We are so relaxed that seconds after telling her I was going to begin the recording, I drifted off into definitely woman to woman “girl” talk. Her feedback helped me, but it is not something I want to share with the world. I did trim those first four minutes. The next minute I have wandered off and am talking to Sandy off-camera. I left it because I laughed and hope someone else does. We can all always use a laugh. The chats are more about Muscle Shoals than I expected. Sandy has memories of Muscle Shoals in the years I was teaching and out of music that I do not have. From 1997 to 2001, Jerry …

Beautiful Alabama Fall Day

65 degrees Fehrenheit at 10:00 this morning. Light breeze. 73 degrees high today. I love Alabama in the fall. Years ago someone from Florida came to visity my family in November. They had heard me go on and on about trees, especially in the fall in with the gold, orange, red, and so many shades of green leaves. They were disappointed since almost all of the leaves were brown. We do not have those gorgeous fall colors yet, and they will be gone by November. Maybe that is why I love them so; they are here for a short time. Butterflies are still on my summer flowers, but fall iis in the air. In the meantime, here is a gallery of today’s flowers.

Mark Narmore and Stephanie C Brown on life, Songwriting, and Muscle Shoals

Mark Narmore and I chatted this morning since he is one of the seven characters in the book I am writing. Mark is one of my cowriters, but I did not know some of what he shared. (I was not in a rocking chair though it looks as if I were. Learning curve. I knew I would talk with my hands.)

Seasoned Songwriters’ Advice

Covid has changed my life. If not for Zoom, my calendar would be blank. The number of songwriting sessions is about the same as pre-Covid though now they are all Zoom and shorter with no soup and moving around in the house and yard. Song demos have definitely changed with musicians, songwriters, engineers, and invited guests no longer at the same studio creating music. Live songwriting and demos are what I miss most – other than being with family. I do not have as much feeding my energy, and I have more “free” time. I have found two new things to occupy my time and feed my enregy – working on this blog and writing a book. I like changes and challenges . The learning curves on both have certainly given me those. I am settling into this blog. I like the look so see no need to keep changing that, and posts are easier to write now. The book? That is my big challenge. Structure is hard for me, but a book demands it. …