Kenny Rogers and the Writer in Me

I grew up around music. I’d been singing most of my life. As you can see from this picture, my piano lessons (which didn’t quite take…too impatient) started early, too.

But music was the first art I was introduced to, and it’s what soothes my soul.

My passion, however, belongs to the written word. There’s something about telling a story whether by poetry or by prose that has always captivated my attention. It’s a world in which I have the patience and perseverance to study, to practice, to re-write (you know, the dread word–edit) until you have something of worth and beauty.

Although the first album I ever purchased was Michael Jackson’s Thriller (a classic, to be sure), it was Kenny Rogers who left an indelible mark on my life through his amazing voice and incredible skill at story telling.

The first song of Kenny’s that I recall hearing was The Gambler. The tale had intriguing characters, real life lessons, and a story you could actually see come alive if you closed your eyes. I. Was. In. Love.

Kenny spoke to the writer in me. He fired my imagination. He even made me look at music a bit differently. In fact, music actually features prominently in my writing style. While I can’t listen to it while I’m actually writing (I have a tendency to type whatever words I’m hearing), finding the right music before I start to write helps me effectively convey the correct mindset or emotion for my scene or characters.

For example, if I want to portray a heartless villainess? A song like this one (I’m a military brat, so you do a vet dirty, I’m gonna have issues) will put me in the right mindset to create a real bitch.

Or if I want to convey someone who’s had rough breaks in life, but has always done the right thing, but in his current crossroads, he has to play dirty to be the hero, I’d play something like this one, a personal favorite.

Or maybe the lovers are both dumbasses (because let’s be honest, that happens) and we need them to realize they’re about to lose everything, or maybe that they were never right for each other and it’s time to let go… This one fits the bill.

Or when I need to capture the heart of the relentless soul who dreams big and will find a way to make it happen…

And when my hero is headed the wrong direction and about to eff things up with the heroine because he’s so busy with the wrong things he takes her for granted? This song does it for me…

At the end of the day, it’s his poetry and lyricism that engaged the writer in me so strongly. He made you feel his songs, and they were so relatable.

In fact, in my latest release, A Way With Words, I shared several song lyrics I’d created exclusively for this release and can’t help but feel maybe his energy influenced me. Here’s a taste of one of them…

“Did you see me
Through the haze of desire
The passion and fire
That you shared with someone else,
Did you see me?

Was I stupid?
To believe in promises made,
The foundation we laid
When I gave you my ring.
Was I stupid?

Chorus:

Did your words mean so little
You could throw me away
Tell her you love her,
Worship her body
In the bed where we lay?
Was I so easy to betray?
I deserve more than this.

Will you realize
That my heart can be broken
I deserve more than token
Lies to make me stay, I won’t look away.
Will you realize?

Chorus:

Did your words mean so little
You could throw me away
Tell her you love her,
Worship her body
In the bed where we lay?
Was I so easy to betray?

I deserve more than this.
Did you lose me
Or did I find my rebirth?
Discover my self-worth
In walking away, not looking back
Yeah, I found me.

Chorus:

Did your words mean so little
You could throw me away
Tell her you love her,
Worship her body
In the bed where we lay?
Was I so easy to betray?
I deserve more than this.
Yeah, I found me.”

So I owe a huge debt of gratitude for all the joy and inspiration Kenny’s music has brought me “Through the Years.” (See what I did there?) LOL!

Who inspires you? Is it music? Movies? I’d love to know…

And to close out, I think it’s only fitting I share a song he did with one of his oldest, dearest friends… It’s like they knew. And besides, he felt like an old friend to me, too. Rest in Heaven, Kenny.

Honesty Or Disrespect?

I love music. For those of you who’ve been following my blog for a while, this isn’t exactly a shocker. Music often finds the words we, as everyday people, often can’t. But there are times… Moments… Of course, one of the biggest moments when we find we don’t have words are when talking about love.

We’ve all had those moments where we’ve fallen for someone who was already involved, right? Well, two seriously catchy songs came out nearly at the same time, talking about this phenomenon and how they handled it. One of them I loved. The other one? Well… Let me share the songs and see what you think.

Fun, right? 

Here’s the second song.

So the general overarching story is the same… But how each song handled it, to me, was vastly different. 

The first song, while catchy, bothered me. To me, it felt a bit disrespectful of the woman, her relationship, and lacking completely in boundaries. Don’t get me wrong. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with telling someone how you feel about then. At. All. My issue comes when you go past telling the object of your affections about how you feel and disrespect her relationship, try to cajole and manipulate her into ending things. You also assume she feels the same way, and you don’t even have the guts to call her without a little liquid courage…which means she probably should take absolutely nothing you say seriously.

The other one? He notices things about the girl. He respects their friendship. He tells her all the awesome things he admires about her. He worries she’s not being treated right…and then he lays his heart on the line and basically says that if he’s stupid enough to let you go, he’ll be there waiting and hoping for his chance. 

Is it just me? Am I overreacting or overthinking? Because I know I’ve always been turned off by people who’ve had no respect for my choices and my relationships, but I’ve been honored and flattered by people who’ve just wanted to express their admiration and caring. To me, there’s a huge difference.

What are your thoughts? Any songs hit you kind of funny recently? I’d love to hear about it. 

Dang! It’s been a while since I’ve gotten a chance to blog and I’ve missed it!

#FreeThinkers Music and a Shout Out to @LostInVegas83

If you’ve been a regular reader here, you know I’m passionate about my music. It goes soul deep for me. What can I say? It’s what happens when you’ve been singing almost longer than you’ve been walking.

Because of that, YouTube has become a fixture in my life. I love to check out the recommendations. So when this video crossed my iPad, I had to check it out.

So these guys, George and Ryan, are definitely outside of their preferred genre on this song. I mean, it’s in my wheelhouse, and I adore Chris Stapleton’s music. How could I resist? But for these guys? They, by their own admission, don’t know much about country, which makes it awesome the whole thing about their channel is this: Opening Minds & Broadening Horizons! Hence ‘Free Thinkers.’ And they lead by example!

I hadn’t realized there were review channels out there like this…and since watching them, I’ve checked out a few others, but these guys, by far, are the best. And even better, their introducing themselves, me, and others to all sorts of other eclectic music types.

And they’ve introduced amazing bands I’ve never heard of… Like this one! It’s kind of classical meets metal? The violinist was Lindsey Sterling-esque. And it’s got a sick beat! Pretty badass, right? Still trying to figure out how Ne Obliviscaris is pronounced.

They’ve opened my eyes to new artists like this badass British female rapper, Lady Leshurr. I mean, seriously. I have tons of respect for a woman who can go hard like she does…taking no prisoners. Poetry to a rhythm the way she throws it is pure art!

As for this one, I’m not so sure how to qualify this particular genre. Progressive rock? I truly loved this one. It reminded me of some of my favorite music back in the nineties. The lead singer of the Deftones sort of reminded me of Morrissey. Very velvety smooth with it’s seductive appeal. Loved it!

This is the last I’ll share right now… This guy? Impressed the heck out of me. With his intelligent verse and slick beats, it’s no surprise that Lute wowed me. He keeps things down to earth and does it with style.

Yup! Lots of new music and styles, and I LOVE that these guys brought them to me. I’m eternally grateful for George and Ryan aka Lost In Vegas. Thanks for feeding my music passions!

As for you guys, what new music has inspired you? Do you watch music reviews on YouTube? Any other kind of reviews? Feel free to share links in the comments.

Hey, Stranger! Let Me Introduce Myself… #Hello2016

Hello

Bonjour! I hope everyone’s having a stellar new year so far.

When Anna over at Herding Cats & Burning Soup came up with this idea for a blog hop, I was pretty stoked! Basically, here’s how this one goes. In this hop, we’re to introduce you to fun, quirky things about ourselves and/or our blogs. Not the boring, obvious stuff like I’m an erotica writer who can turn practically anything into innuendo….but more random, surprising, or maybe disturbing things. PLUS, we give stuff away AND a lot of cool authors and bloggers are involved.

Is there anything better than FUN & FREE?

So here goes….

Image courtesy of Karen Shaw at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Karen Shaw at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My biggest fear is not blood or guts or gore…. If you want to see me get all weak, girly, and scream like someone murdered me (aka not in the good, orgasmic way)… watch me when I see a frog. I completely lose my dignity. Don’t believe? Read about it….HERE.

I don’t care what anyone thinks. They. Are. NOT. Cute!

Hospital

In a past life I worked for a hospital for several years. The tales I tell are both comical and a bit disconcerting with the strange things people have done…Check it OUT!

On a personal level?

Yup! I AM that girl that pretty much turns everything into a song. This was a little snippet from my wedding day. My sister gave me a hug, and someone said something like…”Awww, look at the sisters…” Which caused me to break into this song, and my sister to chime in. Yes, it’s a family thing. I come by it naturally.

The strange? Cause, ya know…. There had to be the strange, right?

My favorite flip flops and toe rings

My biggest insecurity body image insecurity came from my feet. I hated them with a passion. Felt they were ugly….until I met a foot fetishist who helped me view my feet in a different way. Here’s THAT story.

As for what most consider my most contradictory characteristic? I guess it’s the fact that despite writing ménage erotica, I don’t consider my very outspoken, focused belief in the Freak Flag, letting it fly to contradict my very passionate belief in Christianity and my faith. In fact, I wrote about that, too. It even got me on GirlBoner radio with August McLaughlin.

Anyway…. that’s a bit about me. Now, to tell you what I’m giving away and how to qualify.

I’m feeling generous. I’m giving away 3 books. Two are mine. (Three For All & Four One Night) The third? It’s a project I was honored enough to participate in… all about empowering female sexuality. This is a subject near and dear to my heart. The book? Embraceable: Empowering Facts and True Stories About Women’s Sexuality. They are all in ebook format.

To win, I want you to share something unique and personal about yourself with me. Something that might surprise people, or maybe what you’re passionate about, or which body issues you’ve overcome. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s in the spirit of getting to know each other.

And if you want a chance at more prizes? Check out the link below and visit the other participants!

And So, It Begins….

December is officially here! The holiday season is upon us. It’s now okay for folks to pull out their colorful decorations, wreaths, and bows to decorate their homes in brightly lit welcome.

Yes, I love this time of year, and as is my tradition on this blog… The daily sharing of holiday music begins.

Do you love or hate this time of year? What drives your feelings? I know this time of year isn’t easy for many, and that’s okay… I’m sending virtual hugs to all of you who struggle. Heck, I’ve got hugs for everyone.

Today I’m also thankful that hubby is okay after getting in a car accident on his way home from work yesterday. Some might focus on the accident, but I’m choosing to focus on the guardian angel that made sure he and the person who hit him were okay.

Tomato Power

If you thought I’d be talking about the health benefits of the tomato, you’ve come to the wrong place. Instead, I’m going to be showing a little love to the badass women of country music. Why? Because a few days ago an industry “expert” basically said that the way to have a successful country radio station was to play less music by female artists. In fact, he referred to them as the tomatoes in the salad, and males as the lettuce.

Not gonna lie, I almost threw down a Cheeseburger in Paradise reference (you know, I like mine with lettuce and tomato), but instead I thought I’d share some responses from some kickass female artists. Here’s Miranda Lambert, taking to Twitter and posting Keith Hill up on his BS:

 And if you don’t know what makes Miranda awesome, how about a bit of the power and emotion she brings into her songs… Tell me this song doesn’t tug at the heartstrings and nostalgic memories.
Yup. Tomatoes. For sure.
And then there’s one of my all time favorites, Martina McBride (Click her name to get to her FB page and see the rest of her statement.):

Wow…..just wow. Just read this from a major country radio publication. How do you feel about this statement? I…

Posted by Martina McBride on Tuesday, May 26, 2015

This one’s a Tomato for sure. I mean, who can relate to a message of love from parent to child? Who on EARTH would want to hear THAT?

Here are a few more Tomatoes….

Trisha Yearwood, who wraps her voice around your heart and squeezes

The double tomato of Reba McEntire and Linda Davis (Hillary Scott from Lady Antebellum’s mom) from back in the day.

Or this old school/new school Tomato combo of Dolly and Carrie Underwood.

I’m also pretty sure the legendary Patsy Cline would be shocked to hear her music has been relegated to “Tomatoes.”

I’m not gonna lie, ya’ll know I have a quirky sense of humor. I almost made a Cheeseburger in Paradise reference (you know, “I like mine with lettuce and tomato”), but decided instead to focus on my love of tomatoes. To be honest, I can’t eat lettuce as a standalone, but tomatoes? Love ’em!

So what I’d really like you guys to do is to share your love of country tomatoes by leaving a Twitter link to some of your favorite “Tomatoes” songs and/or artists. I’d also love to hear why you love the artist or song you share….