Money – in Exchange for What?

Have you ever started a project and then stalled? Not walked away. Just stalled. That’s where I am with this blog. I did not start it natively. I knew to develop it into more than a journal would take time and effort. I did not realize how much of both. The more I learn the more I realize how much more there is to learn. What I saw as hills in the distance are in fact mountains. I still have the original vision. I see this blog doing online what I do and want to do in my life. I am called a creative catalyst and an inspiration. I want to be that for my blog readers, but I want more. I want to make money for myself and others. Giving away still seems so much nobler than being paid. I want to feel no shame in being paid to help people. See? Even now it is hard for me to unabashedly say I want to make money by sharing.

If you are one of my twenty-three followers, you know I have rambled my way down more than one road. If you know me personally, you know following one straight path is hard for me, but I do want all the side roads and byways to get me to where I want to go. This blog has many side roads and rest stops. I post about having bipolar disorder, being a songwriter, sharing my songs, being a part of the Muscle Shoals Music community, growing flowers, finding four leaf clovers, making photos, quilting, writing a book, writing poetry, sketching, interviewing interesting people, being interviewed. I post randomly about my life and my thoughts, I even blog about blogging. So far it is like a unorganized beginning of a long book with many chapters without a unifying theme. Perhaps it is entertaining and even inspiring, but as of now the plans for making money are just that, plans.

Here I stand at the foot of what I now realize is a mountain, figuratively stomping my foot and saying words I do not want to include in here, asking why this has to be so hard for me. I am not inventing the wheel here. There are tried and true rules and guidelines for building a blog with over a 1,000 followers – which is necessary to make money. Some of them are not so hard singularly. Combining them all is hard, at least for me. I have taken courses and am in groups and see other bloggers doing what I want to do, so I know it can be done.

You may be wondering what I expect to give in exchange for money. Music related webinars, courses, and eBooks and possible eBooks on some of my other interests, my cowriters’ CDs and merch, my own CD if I ever have one, and my book which is part of the plan but not finished. I have music credentials as a publisher, songwriter, and mentor in Nasville and Muscle Shoals. Garth Brooks credits me as being there for him and starting his career. Music is only a part of my life. I have seventy-six years of living to share. Maybe some of it belongs in my life or a tell-all, share-all book instead of this blog.

As a blog reader, what blogs do you love? Who do you follow? What is there about other blogs that you think is worth your time? In all the randomness of my blog, what is most interesting to you? Why do you follow me? If you do not, what would convert you to a follower?

Please, subscribe to my email list. As of now you get posts updates. My plan is a weekly or monthly newsletter. See? More plans and little action.. Be my guide to getting to the other side of the mountain. Journey with me. I have a lot to share and surely something to sell.

Revamping

Over a hundred posts in, I am stepping back to evaluate and improve. Revamping will take time.  I will post sporadically instead of each Wednesday and Saturday. My vision for this blog has not changed.  I have a public life as a Muscle Shoals songwriter,  show organizer, promoter, and mentor. Many creative Muscle Shoals music people do not know how to promote themselves or share their knowledge.  I already help them with that  Now I want us all to have a larger audience.

I also want to share my love and experience as a photographer of birds and flowers, as a flower grower (mostly from seeds), as a quilter, and as writer.  I am writing a book about my long history in music, including why Garth Brooks says I am the person who discovered him and started it all for him.

I have bipolar disorder.  I share my experiences as well as how I cope.

We all leave a legacy.  I want this blog to be part of mine. I want to see how much of what I do in person can be done online. To do that I need to build a strong foundation to support better posts, interviews, shows, courses, and a store. I can do all with time and focus. 

Please subscribe to or follow me. Go to the category list on the side bar to read posts that interest you. I hope you go to the Song page to listen to some of my songs. Part of my process is sharing and getting feedback.  Creating in a vacuum is hard.

You can already find a lot here. There will be more.  Come back.

Blog Post 101

Welcome to my blog’s new look. About time after 100 posts. For now we will laugh at the spacing of my name on the header: Stephani EC. I guess for now Stephanie Easy? I have spent the weekend updating. I am now on the business plan so have access to all the bells and whistles, some I will not need until much later. Eventually I will host Zoom rooms, webinars, online courses, and songwriter events. I will also sell merchandise – my own and my friends’. I am Muscle Shoals! How could I not? My cowriters have music merch you won’t find just anywhere.

I am like the Little Red Hen. I tend to do everything myself – such as developing this blog. I am spending hours knowing someone else could do it quicker, I like being in control too much to hire someone. I have long range plans for this blog. It is the platform for me to reach out, to share with more people. There are a lot of conversations going on in our world, and I want to be a part of some of the conversations. I can see me in ten years still developing this blog. I want to do online what I do in person – which is connect and interact with people. I am enthused thinking of how many connections can be made on this blog. They will be as authentic and honest as we make them. I love making connections for myself and others. Embraces and smiles are basic human needs. Those I can not provide online, but I can connect with you as you can with me and others. The older I get the more I realize how much I have to share. You will find a lot of it here. Browse the blog. You will find 100 more posts, songs, videos, photos, art, and so much more.. Read and listen – get to know me. Link https://stephaniecbrown.com on your social media. If you find something here you like, share on social media or invite others in some way. Help me make Stephaniecbrown.com a great place to be. Interact with me.

That’s all for tonight. Hopefully I will get back on schedule with Wednesday and Saturday posts. In the meantime, I will continue tweaking. How do you like what you see. I do not yet. Give me some feedback.

Speeding the Tempo Up

I do not always write up-tempo songs, but when I do they are good ones. At least I think so. Today I am sharing seven with you. You decide.

All are published by River and Stones Music (ASCAP) and cowriters’ publishing companies.

I Call It Love – writtten by Mitch Mann, Mark Narmore, and Stephanie C Brown
Mercy Mae – written by Sandty Carroll, CoCo O’Conner, and Stephanie C Brown
Me or the Dress -written by Will McFarlane and Stephanie C Brown
Inside Your Crazy – written by Mitch Mann, Mark Narmore, and Stephanie C Brown
Heartbreak Speed – written by Jami Grooms, Mark Narmore, and Stephanie C Brown
Surprise Me – written by Mark Narmore and Stephanie C Brown
Lumber of the Beast – written by Mitch Mann, Mark Narmore, and Stephanie C Brown

And now – one bonus to slow the tempo down a bit

Betty Jean – written by Michael A. Curtis and Stephanie C Brown

A Ballad Kind of Day

Seven ballads for you. All songs written by me with cowriters in various combinations and published by each writer’s publishing company. River and Stones Music has all of my publishing except Love is Everything which is in Golden Ladder publishing company.

Betty Jean – cowriters Michael A. Curtis and Stephanie C Brown
Love Is Everything – this one goes back to my Nashville days. Written with Marc Rossi (Marc My Words – Ascap)
One Moment All Time – written by Mark Narmore and Stephanie C Brown
What About My Heart – written by Will McFarlane and Stephanie C Brown
I Know Where It Ends – written by Sandy Carroll and Stephanie C Brown
This Is My Brave – written by Mark Narmore and Stephanie C Brown (There is a wrong pronoun shift. All choruses should be My Brave not Your Brave)
You’re Breaking My Broken – written by Mark Narmore, Cindy Richardson Walker, and Stephanie C Brown

Blue Ocean Glass

I am sole owner and founder of Blue Ocean Glass which handles publishing, management, and promotion for songwriters and artists who need my help. The company will also do event planning for others. I needed a business structure around what I do anyway. I have a Nashville history as a publisher, a manager, and an advisor and early supporter. Garth Brooks credits me. When he came to Nashville, I believed in him and did everything I could to help him. I introduced him to his manager Bob Doyle. I read his first contracts. I told people he would be bigger than Elvis. I was laughed at, but no one is laughing now. I do not think I have found another Garth, but I am finding songwriters and artists who need guidance from someone who has their best interests at heart. Through the years, I have helped others. Blue Ocean Glass will do what I already do.

So far Taylor Grace Longcrier and Jeff Broadfoot are under Blue Ocean Glass’ wings. When it is safe to be out again, Blue Ocean Glass will host a live showcase or two. The first one will probably be a Soup and Song event at my house. The next will be in a listening room situation. First, I will introduce them with a online showcase hosted on stephaniecbrown.com.

This is Wednesday’s scheduled blog post, but Blue Ocean Glass deserves a well thought out and well written post with links to Taylor and Jeff. Stay tuned. Check back in. I will add to this post.

Life well-lived Update

Have you been following my blog long enough to remember I am writing a book? The original concept was to pull from my and six Muscle Shoals seasoned cowriters experiences to support the title, A Life Well-lived Is Better Than a Song Well-written. I completed an outline. I did the first taped interview of four of the six other songwriters. I started writing. I decided to start with what I thought would be easiest or at least necessary. Since I am one of the seven and the author, my songwriting background needs to be included, right? I thought maybe 1,000 words would be a sufficient summary. Not so.

Recounting my story as a songwriter for forty plus years has taken on a life of its own. I started the saga in 1975 after a few words about before then. I am remembering names, places, and details of experiences I had not thought of in years. Some I do not think I would have ever remembered, at least not in detail. Some I am having to research. I am just now to the moving to Nashville part.

I plan to go with my flow and publish my story as an ebook available on this blog. It will have links to song downloads, interviews, and lyric pages. Who knows? Maybe it will have a link to a free webinar or live Zoom or two?? Then I will write the book I started writing.

Stay tuned. You will be the first to know.

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 McGee and Mickey Buckins hosted a weekly writers night at the local Holiday Inn in Sheffield. I am realizing that Muscle Shoals songwriting history is not as well known as the recording history. Also, as good of friends as we are, I did not know her life story before we met. These chats are unearthing some unexpected treasures.

I hope you enjoy the video as much as we enjoyed talking. You may want to fast forward past that first minute or so – unless you want to hear two friends randomly talking.

Sandy Carroll and Stephanie C Brown chat about life, songwriting, and Muscle Shoals

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.)