Hey, ya’ll. I’m part of this seasonal giveaway for book lovers. If you’re interested, take your chance on some cool prizes and meets some awesome authors at the Facebook party next week.
Hey, ya’ll. I’m part of this seasonal giveaway for book lovers. If you’re interested, take your chance on some cool prizes and meets some awesome authors at the Facebook party next week.
It’s just how I feel this week. Work, waiting, receiving rejections. We’re told not to look upon rejections as failure but as a different kind of success. I finished the book, and that’s one goal reached, right? I have the ability to write another one, right? I have had work published, and that’s a victory.
I should be happier, and I’m not. I don’t see myself as successful. I have submitted work for twenty years. Rejection sucks. I don’t like it. I don’t want to shake it off. I don’t want to hear stories about how that lady who wrote The Help was rejected fifty times, or how people rejected the first Harry Potter book. I don’t want to hear successful, money-making authors give rah-rah speeches about how we shouldn’t quit, how we should finish our shit, and how our day will come.
I don’t see it. Days like this happen and all I can think about is giving the hell up, doing something else. Twenty-plus years I’ve done this and I’d hoped to be further along than I am now. People tell me, well, somebody moved your cheese. Go find it.
I’m tired. I wonder if there ever was cheese.
I’m not posting this to fish for sympathy. I just need to rant. Tomorrow I’ll have my outlines out and I’ll be back to work. I guess I’m masochistic in that sense.
No cheese, perhaps, but lots of crumbs.
My husband liked to claim his mother missed her calling as a chef. She wasn’t a gourmet, but more of an Aunt Bee meat and three type of cook. Like her husband, she grew up poor in a rural community where people went to church twice a week and didn’t want for anything more than simple comforts. She cooked amazingly well, too. When the husband was in college and break time came around, the friends with nowhere to go all wanted to ride up with him and sit at the dinner table.
We used to joke about how one day we’d buy out the corner grill in their little town and my MIL could cook the daily specials. Fried chicken, pasta casseroles, stuffed French toast. It won’t happen, sadly.
Though she had various health problems, my MIL had nothing terminal. One night this past July she died in her sleep, quietly and peacefully, and we are much poorer for it. She was the type who never knew a stranger and loved family, especially holiday get-togethers. Thanksgiving and Christmas were events at their home, with the entire house decorated and the table groaning with food.
These next holidays will feel empty, and her shoes are definitely a challenge to fill in this respect. More than likely we’ll go out that day.
In the meantime, my MIL’s death has had quite an effect on me in terms of how we live and eat. For much of our marriage, we’ve gone out or bought heat-up meals. My husband’s work schedule changes constantly due to the nature of his career, and even the addition of a child hasn’t normalized things. I’m in middle age and only learning how to cook with ambition.
Last year I made lasagna for the first time. It tasted rather bland, and I realize now I didn’t season the meat enough. Recently, I took possession of MIL’s casseroles and tried a few recipes. In a way I feel as though we’ve been thrown into the deep end with her gone. My FIL never paid the bills, and she did all the shopping. We’re all learning new things.
The last time I was there, I made fried green tomatoes for the first time. Turned out better than the lasagna did, and it helped to have some comfort food around. I find, too, comfort from being in a kitchen and making it a new room for me.
Maybe that second career as a chef is still doable.
Author Jenny Trout recently posted a list of every concert she’s attended. A few days before that, my daughter and I both fulfilled a bucket list item by seeing Joan Jett live. Luckily for her, she didn’t have to wait as long as I have. This and Jenny’s post got me thinking of the opportunities I had in the past of seeing Joan perform, yet ultimately passing for Reasons.
It may have been bad timing or no money, or a reluctance to drive a certain distance. As artists I’ve enjoyed in my youth begin to drop, though, I’ve decided to take advantage of those who remain and still kick ass. I’m lucky in this respect, because Joan at one point could have decided to stop touring and I’d have to make do with YouTube clips. I almost didn’t get tickets because School Night. I’m glad I did. The daughter wore her Joan Jett shirt to school the next day.
To this day I kick myself for passing on a few acts who are gone forever. The Ramones played my college and I skipped it. The Go-Go’s only recently retired from live performances. Culture Club was just here but we’d returned from a trip and I was too exhausted to leave the house. Who knows if they’ll come back? Right now I’m contemplating a drive into North Carolina to see Stevie Nicks – I had tickets for a local show once but had to give them up for an emergency trip. The concert bucket list is always full.
So, while I’m saving up for the next show and hoping Groupon will give me a hand, I can at least strain to remember the shows I have enjoyed, and consider myself fortunate to have enjoyed all this live music. Maybe you were there, too. These are in sort of order – the memory is fuzzy, and I hope I got everybody.
Hall and Oates with General Public – First ever rock concert, the Big Bam Boom tour of 1984. I was thirteen and my mother took me. Daryl Hall had the mullet to beat all.
I would see Hall and Oates again at a free concert in 1989.
Beach Boys with Peter Noone – This was a free show at Metropolitan Park in Jacksonville, sometime in the mid to late 80s. I want to say there was another act; it was part of a festival with “flower power” bands.
Amy Grant – 1985, the Ungarded tour, Jacksonville Coliseum. This was just before she went mainstream. I went with my church group. We were up in the nosebleeds but at one point I went down to the front to the stage when she was shaking hands with the crowd and she took my hand for few seconds.
The Monkees with Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, and Herman’s Hermits – The 20th anniversary tour in 1987 (Peter, Micky, Davy only), the show was in Gainesville, FL at the O’Connell Center. I went with my neighbor/close friend and her older sister. I still can’t believe my mother consented to let us go on an overnight to this show.
I would see The Monkees again (Peter, Micky, and Mike this time, with Micky’s sister Coco singing backup) on a much later tour.
Sweethearts of the Rodeo – Another free show at Metropolitan Park. I went with my dad because he wanted to see them; I wasn’t familiar with them at all. They were part of a country music festival that included the Marshall Tucker Band. The crowd looked like a Sons of Anarchy family reunion. Late 80’s.
Edie Brickell and New Bohemians with Steve Forbert – Florida Theater, senior year of high school, so 1989. The first time I went to a concert alone, drove alone in scary downtown Jacksonville.
Love and Rockets with The Godfathers – Summer of ’89 at the Florida Theater, went alone. Fell in the love with the opening act; I bought their cassette the next day and played it to death. The albums’s out of print now. 🙁
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers with The Replacements – Summer of ’89 at Jax Coliseum, or whatever they call it now. Full Moon Fever had just come out; they called this the “homecoming show” since Tom’s from Gainesville. One of the few festival seating events I attended. I was squished up at the front of the stage for the entire show. At one point the lead singer of the Replacements made eye contact with me and shook my hand. The girl next to me was one of their groupies, and she disappeared after their set.
The Rolling Stones with Living Colour – Steel Wheels tour, Fall of ’89 at the Gator Bowl. Went with one of my best friends and my then boyfriend. To get tickets I camped out part of the morning in front of Turtles Records and Tapes and had to enter a lottery. When it was my turn to buy this strange man grabs me and hands me a hundred bucks and asks me to buy his seats. He almost got us both thrown out because it was against the rules for people to do that. I went to this show thinking it was going to be last Stones tour. Heh.
Alice Cooper – March, 1990, Florida Theater. Trash tour. Went with my boyfriend and his close friend (who used my best friend’s ticket, because she had moved before the show). The opening act was a band with a singer who tried to channel Jim Morrison. The guy in the seat behind me was so wasted he kept falling forward and grabbing me. Finally I elbowed him and he sank to the floor under his seat. People stepped over him to get out after the show.
I would see Alice a second time in Virginia for his Dragontown tour in October, 2002.
B.B. King – Early 90s, Florida Theater. My college sponsored this show and students got in free. I went with another student from the newspaper staff and sat in the front row. B.B. and the band were great and I wish I could have enjoyed this show, but it turned out to be a most unpleasant experience. Several times the crowd rushed the stage and I got caught up in it. One man kept shoving me so his daughter could get one of the pins B.B. handed out – the asshole actually grinned at me while he was doing it.
After the show, my ride got in backstage to interview B.B. and I had to sit in the auditorium and wait. These two wannabe groupies were trying to get backstage and a cop threw them out, then threw me out because he was in a bad mood and didn’t want to deal with anybody. I ended up standing outside the Florida Theater at night, and my ride didn’t know this. You did not want to be a 19-year-old girl standing out in downtown Jacksonville at night in this moment in time, with no phone and no way to contact somebody to get you. Ugh.
The Kinks – Fall of ’89, Florida Theater. UK Jive tour. Went with my boyfriend with discount tickets courtesy of the college. If there was an opener I can’t recall. Toward the end of the show Ray Davies dedicated the last song to the late Graham Chapman, and that’s how I found out he’d died. We didn’t have Twitter back then, you see. You got your news from rock concerts.
David Bowie – Sound + Vision tour, May, 1990, Jax Coliseum. Adrian Belew was part of the band. My then boyfriend was and remains a huge Bowie fan. He was in the Marine Reserves at the time and was scheduled to go on some two-week training in the spring. He said he’d go AWOL if the training fell during the concert. Luckily for him it didn’t. Probably one of the best concerts I’ve attended.
Scorpions, Great White, Trixster – May, 1991, Crazy World tour, Jax Coliseum. The first only time I went to a show where we bought tickets night of, at the box office. My boyfriend showed up at my house for a date and said he wanted to go, so we went. I wasn’t into metal like he was, but I had a good time. I remember they sang “Winds of Change” before it was released as a single.
Taylor Dayne – Another free show at Metropolitan Park. Had to have been the 90s, and Taylor was opening for somebody… I can’t remember the other acts that night.
Lollapalooza (1st) – 1991, somewhere in Central Florida. Wikipedia says the lineup included Jane’s Addiction, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Living Colour, Nine Inch Nails, Fishbone, Ice T & Body Count, Butthole Surfers, Rollins Band, and EBN. I remember Ice T, and Living Colour on up. My boyfriend and I went and two other people tagged along. Hadn’t met them until that day, and at times I wondered if my boyfriend knew them. Long, strange day.
Siouxsie and the Banshees with My Life with the Thrill Kill Cult – November, 1991, Superstition Tour, Florida Theater. This was kind of awkward. My boyfriend and I bought tickets for this show a few months in advance, then we broke up. Neither one of us wanted to give up our seat, so we ended up going together.
Weird Al Yankovic – June, 1992, Off the Deep End tour, Florida Theater. Marks the first and only time my brother, sister and I attended the same concert. Went with the man I eventually married.
Harry Connick, Jr. – Early 90s, Times-Union Center for the Performing Arts. I want to say this was a winter show. The college sponsored it and there were student discount tickets, but somehow my boyfriend/husband got better seats. My mother used a student ticket; she was up in the balcony surrounded by screaming girls (her words).
Clint Black with Wynonna Judd – 1993-ish, Black and Wy tour. I am not into country, but my brother is. He bought tickets for himself and a date but had to work that night, so he gave them to me and my boyfriend/husband. We enjoyed ourselves, despite not knowing most of the songs.
Frank Sinatra with Shirley MacLaine – 1992-ish, Jax Coliseum. Went with Mom and boyfriend/husband. Maybe my sister, too. Comedian John Pinette opened. Shirley killed; at one point she talked about her brother getting married and she said, “I’m so glad he didn’t marry that bitch Madonna.” Frank was pretty good, too, but you could tell he was ready to retire. He had a great voice, just halting at times.
Robert Plant – 1993-ish, Fate of Nations tour, T-U Center or Florida Theater. Wish I could remember more about this show. Everybody in our row, except for us, was toking.
Pink Floyd – March, 1994, Division Bell tour, Tampa Stadium. Went with fiance and his friend from high school. For several years this was the farthest I’d traveled to see a show, and considering this was it for Floyd we weren’t passing up the tickets.
Ted Nugent – Mid-late 90s, The Tabernacle in Atlanta. The Tabernacle was formerly a church that the House of Blues took over during the Olympics, then it became a small general admission concert venue. We were living in Athens at the time and drove up for the show. Long line of animals rights protesters on the other side of the street.
Beck with The Cardigans – 1996-7-ish, Odelay tour, Classic Center in Athens, GA. This was a great show. They actually played the smaller auditorium in the building which had no seating so we were up close. Really would like to see Beck live again.
Men at Work – Late 90s, Peabody’s, Virginia Beach. This was basically Colin and Greg and supporting band playing in a crowded bar. I had wanted to see Men at Work in their prime when they came to the Jax Coliseum but the parents said no. The later Hall and Oates show, I suspect, was a consolation because Mom could tolerate them more. The Men, of course, fizzled out and it wasn’t until this show I could see them again.
Boney James – Late 90s, early 00s, Town Point Park in Norfolk. Received comped VIP tix for the annual jazz festival.
Steely Dan – 2000-ish, VB Amphitheater. Just a great show. We weren’t able to see them this summer. Will have to try again.
KC and the Sunshine Band – Early 00s, Town Point Park in Norfolk. Free show attached to a summer festival.
Charlie Daniels Band – See above.
Journey – Summer, 2001, Arrival tour, Portsmouth NTelos. The venue hadn’t been open long, and I believe I got the tickets through work. Steve Augeri was the singer then, and he was good.
Hootie and the Blowfish – 2001-2-ish, Virginia Beach Amphitheater. Tickets were comped for this one through work as well. We would see the band again around 2005 during a free show at the Amphib Base.
Paul McCartney – April, 2002, Driving World tour, MCI Center in Washington. We were living in Virginia and I’d just been given notice that I was to be downsized from my job. I figured Macca wasn’t much longer for the concert life so I got a ticket despite our coming poverty. My car seized up on the drive to DC and for one moment I thought I wasn’t going to make it. I about had kittens on I-64 until we managed to get everything straight. My seat was somewhere in Row QQQ near Alpha Centauri but I loved every minute of it.
The Dead with Steve Winwood – 2003-ish, VB Amphitheater. We went mainly for Steve Winwood. He didn’t sing “Arc of a Diver” and husband remains pissed about it to this day.
Ted Nugent, Night Ranger, Quiet Riot – Early 00s, VB Amphitheater. Some kind of Monsters of Dino Rock tour or some such. It had to be before 2007 because Kevin Dubrow was still alive.
ZZ Top, Ted Nugent, Kenny Wayne Shepherd – 2003, Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers tour, VB Amphitheater. Husband mainly wanted to see Kenny Wayne. During Ted’s set he shot an arrow through a target made up to look like Saddam.
Al Jarreau with Melissa Manchester – Early 00s, Ted Constant Center in Norfolk. This was a “Charlie Brown Christmas” tribute concert featuring David Benoit. Great show.
Al Jarreau, Yolanda Adams, Najee – 2003-ish, VB Amphitheater. Najee opened by playing his saxophone and walking around the venue.
Rush – So….if you know me you’re probably wondering when I was going to get here.
I have seen Rush a total of ten times over five tours. Every Rush show ever done is listed on this site.
It would be twelve, but I had to pass on a S&A show in Columbus due to scheduling. Emergency gallbladder surgery forced me to sit out a CA show. Yeah, I know, a true fan would have slapped on a Band-Aid and went. My family said no.
Chicago with Earth, Wind and Fire – Early 00s, VB Amphitheater. Not sure when this happened, since Chicago and EWF tend to come every year. I was working for a company that offered comped tix, so it was before 2005.
Linkin Park with Snoop Dogg – Summer of 2004, VB Amphitheater. Tickets comped through work. I was heavily pregnant.
Clutch – 2008, Portland, OR. I was attending a writers conference and I had friends in the area. The invited me to come along and I went, even though I wasn’t familiar with their music. I left the conference banquet early and I’m there in this sweaty club wearing heels, a dress, and pearls.
Heart with Jason Bonham – Summer, 2013, VB Amphitheater. Amazing show. The Zeppelin encore set was one of the best live performances I’ve seen.
Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Cheap Trick – September, 2016, VB Amphitheater. First time seeing Cheap Trick and Joan. Great night.
There may be a few shows I’ve missed, and I’ll add to this list if I remember. I’m happy, though, to remember some details going back to the mid-80s. I still hope to see certain performers before they call it quits. I’d like to see a KISS show for the experience, and Billy Joel and Jimmy Buffett and Ringo’s All-Starr Band. Every time the B-52’s have come to town I’ve been away, so one day our paths will cross. They better.
One day my daughter will want to see whatever act attracts her, though she mainly listens to the First Wave channel on Sirius. I suspect she will want to see Annie Lennox and The Pet Shop Boys live, and I won’t object.
One thing I learned while trying to listen to the 500 albums listed by Rolling Stone as the greatest of all time: sure are a lot of men on that list. As such, it occurs to me I tend to listen more to male artists and male-dominant groups. I see it right now in the vinyl collection we keep at home – we have few albums by female solo artists, and typically when I do listen to a female singer it’s on the radio. With a new season coming, I decided it’s something I should amend.
I don’t spend money on music anymore, unless you count satellite radio and online channel subscriptions, and I love Spotify. Since I have this wide access, it’s a good opportunity to listen and show support of women in the industry. It’s interesting, too, to see how these lists are compiled.
Of the 500 albums on the RS list, 60 come from solo female artists and groups with multiple women (e.g. The B-52’s, Fleetwood Mac) or one woman who was in the forefront/lead vocalist (e.g. No Doubt, Jefferson Airplane, Velvet Underground & Nico). I want to compile a list of 500 albums, so I took the 60 from the RS list. Next, I went to the Rolling Stone list of Top 50 Albums by women artists and removed the overlap.
Nowhere close to 500. So, I made a list of Grammy nominees and winners in the Album of the Year, Rock Album, Country Album, R&B Album, and Rap Album categories – removed the overlap. This got me to 246 albums, which are listed below in alphabetical order according to album title.
Halfway there. These albums represent women in popular music from about 1960 to 2015. For the remaining 254 albums need to fill out a list of 500 I’m asking you…what would you add? Pop, rock, country and country rock, rap, hip-hop, R&B, cis and transgender artists… what do I add to my queue? Is their world music to add, something I overlooked? Feel free to comment on the blog.
In the meantime, I have to find my earbuds.
12 Stories BRANDY CLARK
1989 TAYLOR SWIFT
A Rose is Still a Rose ARETHA FRANKLIN
Acoustic Soul INDIA.ARIE
All-Time Greatest Hits LORETTA LYNN
Anthology DIANA ROSS AND THE SUPREMES
As I Am ALICIA KEYS
At Last! ETTA JAMES
Back to Black AMY WINEHOUSE
Back to ME FANTASIA
Bad Girls DONNA SUMMER
Bad Reputation JOAN JETT
Baduizm ERYKAH BADU
Beautiful Surprise TAMIA
Beautifully Human: Words and Sounds Vol. 2 JILL SCOTT
Beauty and the Beat THE GO-GO’s
Best of DOLLY PARTON
Better CHRISETTE MICHELE
Between the Lines JANIS IAN
Bittersweet BLU CANTRELL
Blue JONI MITCHELL
Born This Way LADY GAGA
Breakdown MELISSA ETHERIDGE
Breathe FAITH HILL
Call Me Crazy LEE ANN WOMACK
Car Wheels on a Gravel Road LUCINDA WILLIAMS
Carpenters THE CARPENTERS
Celebrity Skin HOLE
Cheap Thrills BIG BROTHER & HOLDING COMPANY
Cheers to the Fall ANDRA DAY
Close to You THE CARPENTERS
C’mon C’mon SHERYL CROW
Coat of Many Colors DOLLY PARTON
Color Me Barbra BARBRA STREISAND
Come Away With Me NORAH JONES
Come On Over SHANIA TWAIN
Come On Over SHANIA TWAIN
Control JANET JACKSON
Court and Spark JONI MITCHELL
Court and Spark JONI MITCHELL
Cry FAITH HILL
Da Real World MISSY ELLIOTT
Daydream MARIAH CAREY
Daydream Nation SONIC YOUTH
Diva ANNIE LENNOX
Double Fantasy JOHN LENNON & YOKO ONO
Dusty in Memphis DUSTY SPRINGFIELD
Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Irving Berlin Songbook ELLA FITZGERALD
Everybody Knows TRISHA YEARWOOD
Exile in Guyville LIZ PHAIR
Extraordinary Machine FIONA APPLE
Faith FAITH HILL
Falling Into You CELINE DION
Fearless TAYLOR SWIFT
Flame PATTI LABELLE
Fleetwood Mac FLEETWOOD MAC
Fly DIXIE CHICKS
For the Record MIRANDA LAMBERT
Forget About It ALISON KRAUSS
Free Yourself FANTASIA
Funk This CHAKA KHAN
Germ Free Adolescents X-RAY SPEX
Girl on Fire ALICIA KEYS
Give It Up BONNIE RAITT
Give the People What They Want SHARON JONES & THE DAP-KINGS
Guilty BARBRA STREISAND
Halos & Horns DOLLY PARTON
Heart in Motion AMY GRANT
Heart Like a Wheel LINDA RONSTADT
Heaven, Heartache and the Power of Love TRISHA YEARWOOD
Here for the Party GRETCHEN WILSON
Home DIXIE CHICKS
Horses PATTI SMITH
Hot, Cool and Vicious SALT N PEPA
I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got SINEAD O’CONNOR
I Hope You Dance LEE ANN WOMACK
I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You ARETHA FRANKLIN
I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight RICHARD AND LINDA THOMPSON
If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears THE MAMAS AND THE PAPAS
Ingenue KD LANG
Inside Out TRISHA YEARWOOD
It Must Be Him VICKI CARR
It’s Blitz! YEAH YEAH YEAHS
Jagged Little Pill ALANIS MORISSETTE
Jennifer Hudson JENNIFER HUDSON
Judy at Carnegie Hall JUDY GARLAND
Just For You GLADYS KNIGHT
Kelly KELLY PRICE
Killing Me Softly ROBERTA FLACK
Lady Soul ARETHA FRANKLIN
Last Splash THE BREEDERS
Like a Prayer MADONNA
Little Queen HEART
Live ERYKAH BADU
Live Through This HOLE
Lonely Runs Both Ways ALISON KRAUSS AND UNION STATION
Long Stretch of Lonesome PATTY LOVELESS
Longing in Their Hearts BONNIE RAITT
Lost & Found LEDISI
Love, Marriage & Divorce TONI BRAXTON
Love. Angel. Music. Baby GWEN STEFANI
Luck of the Draw BONNIE RAITT
Mariah Carey MARIAH CAREY
Mary MARY J. BLIGE
Mistaken Identity KIM CARNES
Moving On OLETA ADAMS
My Everything ANITA BAKER
My Life MARY J. BLIGE
My Love is Your Love WHITNEY HOUSTON
My Name is Barbra BARBRA STREISAND
Need You Now LADY ANTEBELLUM
Never Say Never BRANDY
Nick of Time BONNIE RAITT
No More Drama MARY J. BLIGE
Ode to Billie Joe BOBBIE GENTRY
Once Upon a Time SIOUXSIE AND THE BANSHEES
Own the Night LADY ANTEBELLUM
Pageant Material KACEY MUSGRAVES
Parallel Lines BLONDIE
Peace Beyond Passion ME’SHELL NDEGEOCELLO
Pearl JANIS JOPLIN
People BARBRA STREISAND
Pieces of Me LEDISI
Pink Friday NICKI MINAJ
Plantation Lullabies ME’SHELL NDEGEOCELLO
Platinum MIRANDA LAMBERT
Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes THE RONETTES
Presenting… DIONNE WARWICK
Pretenders THE PRETENDERS
Private Dancer TINA TURNER
Proud Mary: The Best of IKE and TINA TURNER
R&B Divas FAITH EVANS
Raising Sand ROBERT PLANT & ALISON KRAUSS
Ray of Light MADONNA
Read My Mind REBA MCENTIRE
Real Live Women TRISHA YEARWOOD
Reality Show JAZMINE SULLIVAN
Red TAYLOR SWIFT
Relish JOAN OSBORNE
Return of Saturn NO DOUBT
Revolution MIRANDA LAMBERT
Rhythm Nation 1814 JANET JACKSON
Rhythm of Love ANITA BAKER
Rid of Me PJ HARVEY
Road Tested BONNIE RAITT
Rock Steady NO DOUBT
Rumours FLEETWOOD MAC
Same Trailer Different Park KACEY MUSGRAVES
Share My World MARY J. BLIGE
Sheryl Crow SHERYL CROW
She’s So Unusual CYNDI LAUPER
Shoot Out the Lights RICHARD AND LINDA THOMPSON
Sleepless Night PATTY LOVELESS
So Damn Happy ARETHA FRANKLIN
Songs in a Mirror ALICIA KEYS
Soul Queen of New Orleans IRMA THOMAS
Sound & Color ALABAMA SHAKES
Speak Now TAYLOR SWIFT
Still Standing MONICA
Stones in the Road MARY CHAPIN CARPENTER
Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea PJ HARVEY
Supa Dupa Fly MISSY ELLIOTT
Surrealistic Pillow JEFFERSON AIRPLANE
Survivor DESTINY’S CHILD
Taking the Long Way DIXIE CHICKS
Tapestry CAROLE KING
Teenage Dream KATY PERRY
Testimony: Vol. 1 Life & Relationship INDIA.ARIE
Testimony: Vol. 2 Love & Politics INDIA.ARIE
The B-52’s THE B-52’S
The Barbra Streisand Album BARBRA STREISAND
The Best of the Girl Groups Vol. 1 & 2 VARIOUS ARTISTS
The Best of the Ronettes THE RONETTES
The Blade ASHLEY MONROE
The Blessed Unrest SARA BAREILLES
The Bodyguard WHITNEY HOUSTON
The Breakthrough MARY J. BLIGE
The Broadway Album BARBRA STREISAND
The Cookbook MISSY ELLIOTT
The Definitive Collection ABBA
The Diary of ALICIA KEYS
The Divine Miss M BETTE MIDLER
The Emancipation of Mimi MARIAH CAREY
The Fame Monster LADY GAGA
The Globe Sessions SHERYL CROW
The Heat TONI BRAXTON
The Hot Rock SLEATER-KINNEY
The Immaculate Collection MADONNA
The Miseducation of LAURYN HILL
The New Classic IGGY AZALEA
The Pinkprint NICKI MINAJ
The Preacher’s Wife WHITNEY HOUSTON
The Real Thing: Words and Sounds Vol. 3 JILL SCOTT
The Score THE FUGEES
The Singing Nun THE SINGING NUN
The Singles BIKINI KILL
The Song Remembers When TRISHA YEARWOOD
The Suburbs ARCADE FIRE
The Trouble With the Truth PATTY LOVELESS
The Ultimate Collection PATSY CLINE
The Velvet Rope JANET JACKSON
The Velvet Underground THE VELVET UNDERGROUND & NICO
The Very Best of LINDA RONSTADT
The Way I’m Livin’ LEE ANN WOMACK
The Woman in Me SHANIA TWAIN
Thinkin’ About You TRISHA YEARWOOD
This Fire PAULA COLE
To Bring You My Love PJ HARVEY
Tracy Chapman TRACY CHAPMAN
Tragic Kingdom NO DOUBT
Trio DOLLY PARTON, LINDA RONSTADT, & EMMYLOU HARRIS
Trio II DOLLY PARTON, LINDA RONSTADT, & EMMYLOU HARRIS
Turn Me Loose LEDISI
Under Construction MISSY ELLIOTT
Under Construction MISSY ELLIOTT
Unforgettable…With Love NATALIE COLE
Unplugged ALICIA KEYS
Up! SHANIA TWAIN
Van Lear Rose LORETTA LYNN
Version 2.0 GARBAGE
Volunteers JEFFERSON AIRPLANE
Voyage To India INDIA.ARIE
Walking on Thin Ice YOKO ONO
When I Look in Your Eyes DIANA KRALL
Where Your Road Leads TRISHA YEARWOOD
Whitney Houston WHITNEY HOUSTON
Whitney WHITNEY HOUSTON
Who Is Jill Scott? Words and Sounds Vol. 1 JILL SCOTT
Wide Open Spaces DIXIE CHICKS
Wilson Phillips WILSON PHILLIPS
Worldwide Underground ERYKAH BADU
So this is September, and though it feels like I’ve been spinning my wheels I achieved more than I anticipated. We had a death in the immediately family which put us in a combination tailspin / holding pattern. It’s kept us away from home off and on, more than we’re used to, and I fear when school starts my brain will be too scrambled to return to normal. My day job, which I do remotely, has helped maintain my sanity and I’m grateful for it.
There are other things I need to fix to feel a hundred percent, namely writing. I haven’t written anything original since finishing my recent WIP, and though I’ve taken breaks before I worry about slipping my 1K goal back into routine. I need my personal space to work again and I long to be there. I’ve been circling Point A since July and I worry fuel is low.
I started a bullet journal in June, one thing I hope to use to get back to where I once belonged, to steal from Paul. The Bullet Journal site does a better job of explaining it that I could, and as I Google images of other people’s journal I realize mine is rather primitive. Eh, it’s early in the game and I’m learning. I don’t feel as though there’s a wrong way to do this, but I’d hope by 2017 mine will pretty up nicely. Anyway…
In my journal set up a monthly grid of daily goals for each month. In August I set the goal to post one Snapchat selfie, which I would then share on Instagram and Pinterest. I’d take the picture, and mark off the goal on my grid.
You can see the entire month on my Pinterest board, but more likely you’re probably asking, “Why?”
Well, I hadn’t gone into August with the purpose of doing this. I had intended to start doing more with social media, but the idea of selfies happened after a somewhat sad discovery.
That death in the immediate family I mentioned earlier? My mother in law passed unexpectedly in mid-July. That first week, we helped my father-in-law make arrangements and settle affairs, and one thing we had to do was find a recent photo of my MIL for the funeral home. We searched the whole house and found hardly any suitable pictures to send.
My MIL didn’t like having her photo taken, and while there are pictures of her with us, and my daughter, the most recent are 10-15 years old. They are good pictures and we’ll have them, but my FIL seemed rather sad that he had nothing from their last year together.
I have never liked having my picture taken. I never like the way I look in photos, yet family and friends bug me to pose with them. It’s likely my family won’t have much in the way of pictures when I die, unless I change that. Social media makes self-portraits too easy, and I know the more popular users may spend hours and lots of money to stage one shot. Me, I’m cheap.
Snapchat, at least, has filters that put makeup on you and make you look like an alien. So for August I made it a daily goal to step outside my comfort zone and take a picture using a different filter. Not all these pictures look like me, but I see it as a good start…and an indication to my future grandchildren that Nana had a sense of humor. Taking pictures isn’t easy for some people, I would know, and who knows what fall will bring?
I’ve decided September will bring book videos for Snapchat and Instagram, as well as boring shots of the weather and gardens. If you want to follow along, hook up with kat-reads on SC and kat2112 on Instagram and let’s trade goofy smiles.
These exercises may seem silly and pointless, but for an introverted person who erases more tweets than she posts, I think it’s a step forward. Some people may tend to overshare, but after recent events I want to step out of my comfort zone a bit and at least bluff bravery. I still want to write, too. Somebody add two more hours to the day, I need them.
I don’t worry about birthdays anymore, particularly the inevitability that I have less to look forward to in the future than what I’ve previously enjoyed. I don’t worry about calorie intake or mourn lost opportunities, or ask for a lot of frivolous things I don’t need. Last night I dreamed of walking through a giant hotel with vendors set up everywhere, selling jewelry and collectibles. I have a few twenties clutched in hand and no clue as to what to buy. I’m like that when I’m given money to spend on myself. Ultimately it goes to books or the bank.
Typically around birthday time I survey what’s done and what’s left. As far as years go, this could have been a better one. Professionally, one or two mishaps aside, I did well. One book and one story in a box set, two books to re-release, a draft of one finished. Personally, it’s been rather sad. A death in the immediate family, the girl’s grades slipped in the last quarter of the school year, and I have more gray.
I got new hiking shoes in the spring, but I haven’t had the chance to use them yet. I’m nowhere close to completing this year’s reading challenge. I haven’t written anything, this excluded, in over two weeks. Then I open up the news and see what’s happening to other people and realize I have it good.
I had my chocolate cake last night and I’ll walk my two miles today like I do every day to balance it. I’ll use the time I’m not writing to read, since I’ve left that slip in the last week. Above all else, I won’t worry. It won’t reverse the gray, but maybe it will hold off more.
So this is middle age. Doesn’t look so tough.
I often see these survey thingies around Facebook, where you post something and tag twenty people who may later unfriend you for the intrusion. One seemed like a good one to post here, since I’m due for a blog. Enjoy the TMI.
1.) What is your Author name? Kathryn Lively
2.) What is the first book you ever published? Little Flowers
3.) What is your publiversary? (The day you released your first book) I don’t recall the exact date, but the book came out originally in the Spring of 2000. I remember because the book puttered along slowly and when 9/11 happened the publisher basically gave up, thinking nobody wanted to read after that. (Serious.)
4.) What is your favorite book you’ve written thus far? I don’t like questions like this. I don’t typically favor one book over the over, but if I have to say something, the favorite book is the current one. 🙂
5.) What book took you the longest to write? I don’t keep track of writing time; I just write until it’s done. If I had to guess, I’d say Geek Meets Girl took the longest since it’s gone through a few rewrites before publication. In fact, it’s getting another quick update before it comes out again.
6.) How long did it take you? Off and on, nearly a year. Or shorter. Who knows?
7.) What kind of music (if any) do you listen to while you write? I mainly listen to classic rock – Rush, The Who, etc. Every time I sit down to a night of writing, though, I put on “Back in the Saddle” by Aerosmith. Call it superstition, but I get work done.
8.) What are you currently working on? I just completed a book to be called If You Want It. I’m letting it sit a few days before I revise. Before that, though, I need to get Geek Meets Girl back in circulation.
9.) Do you have anything you snack on while you write? As a rule, no. I do keep a tin of almonds close when I work on the computer, but when I’m in the zone I just write.
10.) What is your favorite quote or line from one of your books? Again, difficult to pick one thing, one book. Since I already have the promo graphic, though, I’ll direct you to this gem from “Waking Up,” in Curved Lines.
11.) Are you a self published or traditional published author? I’m a hybrid. I have titles with publishers, and self-pubbed works. I intend to seek out publishers for future projects.
12.) What is your writing inspiration? I like history, I like the news, conspiracy theories, scandals, situations that motivate otherwise good people to take desperate measures. Some ideas I’ve had for twenty years, and I can’t tell you why I haven’t written them yet. I scare myself, sometimes, with the thoughts in my head.
13.) What genre do you write? I have written inspirational fiction, mystery, and romance. Also dark comedy and some spec fic. Historical alternative is next.
14.) Do you have any writing rituals? No. I sit my ass down and write.
15.) Do you have a specific place you write or time? I write better at night, when the day job is done and people have left me alone. I work in a home office, but I write better in the recliner.
16.) Do you have any advice for inspiring writers? Lord. I don’t know why anybody would want my advice, but I’ll say this: if you want to write, write. If you want to draw, draw. Sit down, turn on, write.
17.) What are your writing goals? I would like to see my books in physical bookstores, while bookstores still exist.
18.) What authors inspire you and your writing? I’ve read and enjoyed Carrie Fisher and Carl Hiaasen for their humor, Dick Francis for his characters, and numerous romance authors for their ability bring emotion to life.
19.) What will be your next release? After Geek Meets Girl, hopefully If You Want It. Also, I need to finish Drive My Car, the book that follows Finish What You Started.
Coming Soon: Where I buy my coffee and feminine hygiene products. 😉
If you’ve read one of my books, or have read a book by somebody else and want to talk about it, feel free to free hit me up online. I tend to find recommendations via Twitter, but of course I follow a lot of bookish people there. Lately, though, I’m using other platforms and enjoying them. I’m short on friends at those places, and would like to build my numbers.
I don’t drive-by promo, either. Repetitive “buy my book” posts turn me off, and I like to think if you find me interesting you’ll at least click on my profile to my book link. So you’re safe in that respect. If you’d like to compare books, beer, and other things, connect with me here:
Duolingo – I am Kat826432 there, and working on four languages so far. I thought initially I could work on my languages and eventually translate my books, because I can’t afford to hire out, but I’m mainly having fun. It’s a goal to be able to ask for the bathroom in multiple languages.
Snapchat – Look up kat-reads on Snapchat to follow me. I don’t do a whole lot right now, but I’ve made a goal to do a short Snap story daily on a book I’ve read and, if I travel, stuff I’ve seen.
Untappd – I am Kat2112 there. With all the breweries open around town I’ve developed a taste for it, though don’t expect me to update daily. I’d say about once every ten days on average I have a drink.
So if you want to talk books, Doctor Who, beer, other things…let’s dish.
I love making lists. I’ll make lists of books I want to read, movies I want to see, food I want to eat. I’ll make lists of lists. I have lists on this site, on my book review blog, lists on receipts I tuck into books. Recently I started a bullet journal because it looked like something made for me, and after a month of working in it I am H – double-O hooked.
This Buzzfeed article is a good intro on how to start a Bullet Journal.
Unlike people who are really into the “BuJo” culture, I keep it simple, mainly because I get discouraged easily. Google for bullet journal hacks and you’ll find scores of elaborately designed journals, stickers and calligraphy and multi-colored pencils. It’s enough for me to look at my pathetic attempt and pitch it in the trash.
Eh. I persevere. Gradually I’ll go all Martha Stewart on this thing, but for now the journal suits my needs. As some sites suggest, I got a dot-grid Moleskine journal and set up some of the core pages: year at a glance, long-term goals, daily to-dos. Found a nice pink one on Amazon.
For my daily goals, I set up a grid for the calendar and keep track of all the achievements. Right now I’m tracking the following:
Duolingo lessons: I’m working on German, Spanish, Italian, and French. The goal is to be able to order a beer and find a restroom anywhere in the world. I have checkboxes for one lesson each daily, and two.
Walking: I have a three-tiered goal for walking – 5,000 steps, 7500, and 10,000. I had a nice 7500 run for a while, but summertime here involves the day job and going to movies, so I have to work on making more time for it.
Writing: My goal is a thousand words daily, and I have a bonus checkbox for 2,500 words. I haven’t made it, yet, but I’m rather proud of getting at least 13,000 words written in June.
No phone at dinner: Self-explanatory. It takes 21 days to form a habit, and that’s a good one to have.
Another thing I like about this journal is that I can use it for other things. The other weekend I visited DC for half a day and I collected a few stamps:
I do have one of those official National Parks passport somewhere, too, but I kind of liked how I could whip this out and stamp away. I’m thinking about getting back into letterboxing, too, and this would be great for that.
I find, too, messing around with my journal gets me away from the computer once in a while, and the family seems to like that. It’s nice to unplug once in a while. Of course, by August this thing could frustrate the hell out of me, but we’ll see.