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Day 169

>> Thursday, February 25, 2010

The writing has been going really well the last couple of days. I was back to work today and even though I had two full days off it kinda' felt like I never did and of course now I'm exhausted again, lol.

As I'm tired, I thought today I would just post some music vids and such that I'm really feelin' right now - enjoy!


Day 167

>> Tuesday, February 23, 2010

So both today today and tomorrow are big "focus on writing days". They're my days off of work this week and I've set out to get a lot of music done in those 48 hours. I did admittedly sleep in today (just 'cause sleeping in is way too much of a temptation not to give in to on your day off) and got off to a slow start, but when I did sit down in front of my piano I was quite productive.

I had a moment of panic though - the chorus to "Never knew me well" has been a work in progress over the last week or so, but today as soon as I started playing the song it finally just came to me. I wrote the lyrics down, and finessed it until I got it just right. Then I got up to make lunch, came back, sat down to keep at it, and . . . could not remember what the melody of the chorus was. Now normally once I get an idea, I record it to my computer strictly 'cause I have a tendancy to forget my ideas (and songs, and lyrics, and melodies), but for some reason today I didn't. I must have sat in front of the piano for about 30 minutes, racking my brain trying to remember what I had come up with. I sang it a bunch of different ways but knew none of them were it. I actually got quite upset at one point, 'cause sometimes an idea will only come to me once and then that's it, and I had really liked this chorus. Finally I just sat there quietly for a minute and then just started the song from the top and by the time I came to the chorus it flowed right out of me again. Whew - huge relief and panic-stricken songwriter's worst nightmare now over.

Now that song is almost done and all I need to do is record a demo/guide version of it on piano and then either find a guitar player or wait until I can play guitar well enough to record it the way I want, which is with guitar as the main instrument.

I also hope to finish writing another song tomorrow - it's a song I started writing awhile ago but never quite finished. It's been stewing in my head and my heart for a long time and I feel it's finally time to get it out and let it see the light of day. So hopefully that'll happen tomorrow and then I'll have two more songs in the can and will just keep writing my little heart out.

So if you happen to be reading this and you're a facebook friend of mine, you may have noticed that I posted that I would be attending the Songwriter's Summit during Canadian Music Week in Toronto in March. I was super stoked to go to the conference and listen to a lot of great songwriter's and people in the business talk and just learn I all could. Well - looks like that's not going to happen for me this year. I for some silly reason forgot to book that day off of work, and when I finally remembered and went to book it off, saw that three other managers had already booked that day off or are on vacation that weekend. As we need four managers to work on Saturdays, I can't have the day off as well. Major, major disappointment for me (albeit totally my fault). I may be able to attend one or two sessions in the late afternoon/evening if I work the early morning shift, but the main sessions I really wanted to go to were right in the middle of the day. :(

However - with every disappointment, a ray of hope usually shines through somewhere - and on the very same day I realized I couldn't go to the Summit, I did learn of an opportunity that made me even more excited than Canadian Music Week . . .

I happened to find out that as a SOCAN member (Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada), I have the ability to go down to Nashville (the songwriting capital of the world) for a period of up to two weeks, and stay (for free!!) at the Nashville House - basically a hotel for SOCAN members who go to Nashville to further their songwriting career. There's a lot of connections down there for Canadian songwriters/musicians and we have a pretty strong presence in Nashville. It's funny 'cause I've had Nashville on the brain for the last little while (probably 'cause so many of the articles I've read and interviews I've watched with songwriters - both Canadian and otherwise - have mentioned that Nashville is the place to be if you want to really make a go of songwriting). I'm not saying I want to move there anytime soon or anything, but just to be able to go there and attend songwriting sessions, meet other writers, and write with other musicians would be truly amazing.

This is definitely an opportunity I won't pass up, but I have a lot of work to do before I start planning my trip down there. Although I have a lot of songs I've written over the years, only a handful have been recorded, and I'd want to go down there with probably at least 15 to 20 songs recorded on a demo CD. I don't know if it's possible, but it would be great if I could make that happen and then make a trip down there in the next year. I'd also want to be a relatively good guitar player at that point, but that's already coming along quite nicely, so hopefully that's a realistic goal.

Anyhoo - I've got to get back to it, but I hope everyone out there is having a good week so far and enjoying the snow we finally got!!

'till next time . . .


Day 163

>> Friday, February 19, 2010

Oh boy - inventory . . .

It was a loooonnnggg night. I didn't end up leaving the store until 7am - yuk. I totally hit a wall around 4am and was sooo tired and starting to get cranky and just wanted it to be over. Inventory's fun for about half an hour, then it just gets tedious and frustrating. But then of course, by the time I got home I was wired and couldn't fall asleep until about 9am. I slept 'till 1pm, so I'm sure tonight I'll sleep like a baby.

We did end up going out this afternoon to buy some new things for my new little "recording studio". I still have a few things to set-up and reorganize, but it's coming together nicely and it definitely has a much more "inspirational" and cozy vibe now. I was supposed to finish cleaning the room today, but after we got home I got distracted by my guitar and I can't believe it's already 7pm!! Time flies when you're trying to learn songs and new chords on the guitar!

I'm attaching a vid to this post - I love, love, love watching songwriters perform their own songs, and I recently discovered Hillary Lindsey - an amazing, amazing songwriter who has written some big-time songs for some big-time artists. One of the songs she co-wrote was Carrie Underwood's hit "Jesus take the wheel" and it's just worth spending a few minutes watching it, so here 'ya go!


Day 162

>> Thursday, February 18, 2010

So it's 6:13pm, and pretty soon I'll have to start getting ready for work. We're doing a full store inventory tonight (where we physically count every single thing in the store) and I'm working from 8pm until around 6am tomorrow morning (!!) I'm hoping we finish early and get to go home at around 4am, but I'm mentally preparing myself to end at about 6am. I stayed up as late as possible last night and then slept in until around 11:30 this morning, so I have lots of energy now - but we'll see how I feel at 3 o'clock in the morning!!

At least I can look forward to having the rest of tomorrow off though. Even if I come home and sleep until noon, that's at least 5 or 6 hours of sleep and then I have the rest of the day off. Chris is going to take me out to buy a few things to finish turning my office into a proper little recording studio. We're not making a lot of changes, we've just moved some furniture around and stuff to make more room and add some chairs and just make the room more about music, (which I'm super stoked about)!! It's much more conducive to writing music and recording now and has a really great vibe.

Anyhoo - here's to inventory night and hopefully a not-too-late night!!


Day 160

>> Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I came home early from work today as I had a pretty bad migraine - it was actually bad enough this time that it made me throw-up a couple of times . . . gross but true. Chris thankfully picked me up and I came home, took some Tylenol 3's and just laid on the couch with the lights off and the blinds closed. (I wanted to lay on our bed, but we don't have our new blinds yet so the sun was streaming in and that's always bad news when you have a migraine). I couldn't actually sleep, but after a few hours of darkness and quiet it had lessened quite a bit so I curled up and turned the tv on.

I decided to watch some episodes of a show on CMT I had PVR'ed yesterday called "Meet the Wilsons" - so good! It's all about this young Canadian couple (who have three kids) living in Nashville, trying to make it as singer-songwriters. So right up my alley!! I really enjoyed it, and it inspired me to see these two really working to follow their dreams, even when they have three kids and it's an fickle industry that has no guarantees. I kept thinking that if they can find the time to write and focus on their craft, then I really never have an excuse or reason to say "I'm too busy". Not that I've been slacking lately in the writing department, but there are times when I come home from work and I'm too tired to do much of anything, much less sit down at the piano and find the energy or inspiration to be creative and work on songwriting. If they can do it with three kids though (and all really young kids!), than I can do it!!

Speaking of songwriting, I'm really excited about one of the songs I'm working on now - the "country" inspired song. It's called "Never knew me well" and even though it's not about something I'm personally going through (it's a break-up song), I think it's something that anyone will be able to relate to. I don't know if I'll have it recorded properly by the end of the month, but I may just record an acoustic version of it when I'm done so I can share it and then take my time doing the proper recorded version.

I'm also super-excited as I think this will be my first year attending the conferences at Canadian Music Week. I won't be a participant this year, but it'll at least be exciting to go as a viewer to some sessions and hear some really knowledgable people talk about the songwriting and the music biz.

I'm going to try and update more often - I have more to write about these days, so stay tuned!!

:) Suz

P.S. I've been practicing the guitar like crazy . . . I seriously can't feel my fingertips on my left hand I've been practicing so much. I'm pretty proud of myself 'cause it's starting to actually sound like music!! ;)


Day 154 - Randomness!!

>> Wednesday, February 10, 2010

* I've had a lot of early mornings lately, and every single morning I feel soooo tired, and every single morning I say to myself - "Self - you are definitely going to bed early tonight 'cause you're gonna' be so tired when you come home tonight!" So how come even though I do end up super tired and ready for bed at 9pm, I somehow end up puttering around the house until midnight??!!

* My obsession with homemade oatmeal chocolate chip muffins has returned. In full force. Not good considering I'm trying to get in shape and get bikini body ready for Mexico in April!

* I use a lot of exclamation points - really, I think it's somewhat distracting but I can't stop myself . . . (!!!!)

* I love my guitar - like really love it. I want to get really good at it and have people say "wow - I can't believe you've only been playing for six months and you're soooo good!!" Just 'cause I think that'd be cool.

* I've decided to go back to blonde. I think having brown hair doesn't suit me and makes me act a lot more serious than I actually am.

* I wish another Harry Potter book was coming out.

* I wish I was going to the grand opening of "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter" at Universal Studios this summer.

* But it's okay - I get to go back to Africa instead.

* I miss my niece . . .

* I've rediscovered Michelle Branch and have watched pretty much every single live acoustic perforance of hers that I can find on youtube - wish her new album was coming out sooner rather than later! (Sorry - I really can't stop it with the exclamation points)

* I bought the new issue of Marie Claire magazine today with Jennifer Garner and Jessica Biel on the cover. It made me happy.

* I bought (and ate) an apple tart today for my after-work treat. That also made me happy.

* I sometimes find myself singing out loud at work when I don't mean too (and when it's probably not the most appropriate time).

* I discovered a new joy this past week - it's a little thing I like to call . . . Rock Band 2. I started a band. Just me singing. I already have over 80,000 fans, a manager, intern, and a tour bus. Too bad it's just a video game . . . :(

* I also discovered this past week that I have the weird ability to roll my eyes in opposite directions at the same time. I have no idea how or why I discovered this, but Chris says it's creepy.

* I dreamt about work last night - my dream was pretty much me working a whole shift. I woke up and my first thought was "oh man - really??!!

* I booked off the weekend and am spending it with my hubby (and will be cooking him a Valentine's Day meal). Will also be attempting snowboarding this weekend. Should be interesting . . .

Have a great long weekend everyone!!!!



Day 149 - Hello Africa!

>> Friday, February 5, 2010

It's official - we're going back to Africa! Chris and I will be taking a group of young adults from the church to Uganda for two weeks this August! We just announced it officially yesterday, and hope to have the team assembled as quickly as the end of next week. As it's only about 6 months away, we have less than half the time we had last trip to organize everything and get all the fundraising we need together. We're super stoked, as we've wanted to go back since we got back from our first trip there last March, and it'll be amazing this time around to go back and already have friends and connections on the ground and be familiar with the area and the work we'll be doing.

I'm especially excited as I'll get to see my friends Betty and Lilian again (my Ugandan sisters!) and we'll get a chance to really help out at our friend Damali's new baby orphanage (called Sonrise). She's been doing some amazing and life-saving work there, so I can't wait for us to get there and help so she can maybe get some much needed rest!

I'm already counting down the days, and have already started brushing up on the Swahili I had learned ahead of time last trip, and have started searching for a good Luganda website so I can learn more Lugandan ('cause last time we quickly found out that way more people in Uganda speak Lugandan rather than Swahili - although knowing some key Swahili phrases is definitley useful).

Here's to Africa!

189 days to go!!


Day 146 - oh Brendan . . .

>> Tuesday, February 2, 2010

If anyone else saw Brendan Fraser's creative little clap during the Golden Globes, you may find this clip someone posted rather amusing (it's on youtube and everywhere else). I love Brendan Fraser, and it's all in good fun, but dude - this is funny (especially at the 27 second mark) . . .


Day 145 - I'm goin' country

>> Monday, February 1, 2010

I started writing a new song.

On my guitar.

I really like it.

Then I realized I think it's a country song.

It's okay.

I still like it.


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