Monday, March 22, 2010


by Rudyard Kipling


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or, being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breath a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: "Hold on";

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch;
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run -
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

RPM challenge number 4 complete... and next?

Wow. this year just about kicked my butt. I really had to pull it together, dig deep and hope the muse would guide me. With that being said, this year's RPM challenge became the most personal one yet.

At SoulFood this coming Saturday, I will have it available for sale by donation (recommended $5). 10 songs, lots of personal mojo.. if you wanted to know more about me, you will most likely do so by the end of the album.

The tracks and the stories are as follows:

01 True
A common relationship story.. a flame so burns bright, a life in a fairytale; but, winds come in and the flame flickers uncontrollably. Eventually the flame gets snuffed out by another's hands. Several years go by, and the memory returns...

02 Sage
Originally titled, Man on the Bus, this is a part of a journal entry I made over a year ago while on the bus people watching. This man was wonderful. Old, full of wisdom, with eyes of sunset and wind. The recording that I did for RPM vexes me only in the way that I sang too quickly the word Duwamish. I told myself not to labour over it since this will be one that I will likely want to rerecord anyway. So I hope that I do not offend anyone with this.

03 Orion
I started the lyrics for this tune the night of my wedding shower in Tulsa in the last few days of November 2005. I labour over love songs about Adam since I feel I can never communicate the actual grandeur of the love I feel for him.

04 Sunny
written new the last week of February when I had to go into work and I just wanted to be outside, ride a bike, fall into warm grass and watch spring unfold.

05 North
An anthem for the immigrant. Okay, it's really about me and my love of Canada. It is still my home. Yes, I stole a few words from the national anthem but it was necessary to quote it, in my opinion...AND, as my dear Joni once said, "I stole a lot of lines to sing..." (from the song California), I think I can live with it. I recently sent this song, with the encouragement of friends, to CBC radio. *fingers crossed*

06 Someday
A memory came to me about a morning, from several years back, when i had a huge fight with my ex. I knew that I would have to leave him, and I also knew that I would have to leave Victoria too.. forever hopeful, yet tangled in sadness is a common theme in my writing. :)

07 Hope
at 5am on October 23, 2009 I received a text message from a dear friend, "Quick! turn on the TV!! GreenBean on FIRE! Terrible! Burning Through!!!" It was true. The GreenBean and the 3 businesses that were thier neighbours where completely taken by fire. Over 100 firefighters were called in to try to save it. It was one of the saddest days of my life. The GreenBean CoffeHouse had been such a big part of our start in Seattle. Our film festival found its home there, I played a monthly gig in its wonderful acoustic walls, plus, we had so many friends that this place was the catalyst for. We believed in the message that the coffeehouse stood by, "sit long and talk much" The night of the fire, Captain, Doug & I attended a bit of a wake at the offices for the Bean and experienced all the wonderful stories that people shared about what the Bean meant to them... it was filled with love and HOPE. I'll never forget the 40 or so people jammed in this little office talking, crying, sharing, laughing about the feeling that the Bean generated. It was so much more than those 4 walls and coffee.
As we left the meeting, we walked near the Bean and saw that it was still smoking due to hot spots. We could see the night sky though the broken windows, up where the roof should have been, and I saw a star fall. About a week later, I started writing a song but was hung up on so much emotion. I had to shelve it for a few months. I decided that the 23rd of February would be 5 months since the Greenbean was a victim of arson so I unearthed it. It came together and I felt that it deserved to be the title track to the album.
I performed Hope for the first time at Soul Food's open mic on Saturday, March 6, 2010 and was hit with so much emotion sharing it for the first time with the public. I was fighting back tears as I sang it. I have never had that happen to me before. It was a challenging, yet truly a freeing experience to be so truthful on stage.
The GreenBean has reopened due the generosity of another coffeehouse called the Sip & Ship. The Bean moved into one of the two Sip & Ship locations to run the business until the Bean finds another home to call their own in Greenwood. The arsonist was caught after destroying 4 businesses and delivering severe damage to 10 other locations.

08 Grace
2008 was a very hard year for my family and me. My dad was very sick fighting cancer and we were uncertain of the outcome. During one of the many flights back and forth to Tulsa, I wrote this poem about my Dad. I was unable to anything with it due to its level of emotion. On February 12, 2010 my dad celebrated his 69th birthday. I finally find the music to put to this poem that I wrote so long ago. Love you, Daddio!

09 Enough
Oh, self image. Something I have had a terrible relationship with just about all my life. Boys, magazines, movies, diets, eating disorders, new hair styles, bad fashion choices... *sigh* Been through it all!! And eventually one learns the truth.

10 Home
A song about being in love with a place long after the relationship expired. I fell in love with a boy. Made a home. I fell in love with that place. The boy.. well, he didn't treat me so great after awhile. But we stayed together for a long time...
Perhaps I was more in love with my home than him... without him, I never would have known Home.

That's it!