YOU ARE THE DIFFERENCE!
I am deeply touched by the personal emails, cards, notes and kind words of praise you have given me for Life Lyrics.When you are a writer, just starting out, you don't have representation and have to do much of the advertising, legwork, etc. yourself. A book will only be stocked on the shelves when it reaches a certain level of sales on-line. This is why things like reviews are so important! You could make the difference for me. Each and every one of you matter. It only takes a couple of minutes and could boost the exposure my book receives. It doesn't matter which site you use, www.barnesandnoble.com; www.chapters.indigo.ca or www.amazon.com (although Amazon limits reviews to people that have purchased from them.)
I say from my heart, without YOU there would be no "Life Lyrics." Thank-YOU! Melody
I've been reading voraciously lately. I cannot seem to get enough of Richard Wagamese. What stunned me with Richard is that despite the fact that he has been making a living as a writer since the late 1970s, and even after he had published numerous books, his life had been filled with some serious darkness. He stumbled many times battling his own personal demons. I admire that he has shared that journey and has not spared us even the ugliest details. He did not make any attempt to pretty it up; and most importantly, he got up and was able to open the door to the rest of his life. He had to journey a long way to find it, but he had found the key.
This afternoon I watched a documentary on the musician Ron Sexmith. Despite being one of Canada's most amazing songwriters he has not achieved commercial success. Huge names in the music biz praise his abilities. He's respected and recognized for his amazing gift and yet at the time of the filming of the documentary he was still doing his laundry at the laundramat. Indeed he was signing autographs and doing his laundry, no doubt confusing the fans. Ron does not have the key - but I hope he finds it.
I really felt Ron's lack of confidence. Producer Bob Rock voiced to Ron that if he didn't get past those feelings he was not going to move forward. How many of us have that struggle? We have all the elements but lack the key to open the door. The key is in all of us.
What is the key? The key is what we believe. You can have all the talent, ambition, support in the world, but if you don't really believe all your work is for not.
Ron and Richard both struggle as artists and human beings like we all do. Their words have touched me deeply. Their struggles have inspired me. I believe they have shone a light for me so that I can see the difference between wanting something and having it. The key is locked inside what we believe.
Many can confuse desire with belief, but it is not the same. I believe Ron knows he was born to be a songwriter - but there is more to it than that...
Richard believed he was a writer. He knew he was writer. What he didn't believe was that he deserved love, happiness and success. When he finally believed that he did deserve those things they were there.
I'm not going say that I don't struggle, I do. Do I believe I'm a writer? This is one of the few things I can say with 100% confidence. I am a writer. Where do I believe that will take me? My answer is that I am in the process of finding that key - I'll keep you posted :)
My words have been to many places in the world that I have yet to see. Since my words are part of me it is satisfying to know that I have, in a sense, travelled to the far reaches of the globe. My words whether on the typed pages of my book or on the internet, have trekked many miles and into many hearts and the journey is just beginning.
Next month my book is going to be at the Book Fair in Earls Court London, April 16th to 19th. It will be displayed at the Foreword Magazine Exhibit. What it means for me is that 24,500 publishing professionals will have access to my book at this global market place. They are there to negotiate for rights, sales and distribution of content. A few months later June 5-7th my book will find itself at the Book Expo in New York City trying to find itself in the hands of 22,000 publishing professionals. This kind of exposure can be a game changer for a writer.
I will let my little book travel on its own this time. My hope is that it charms its way into the right hearts so we can get on the plane together next time around. Bon Voyage Life Lyrics!
February 26, 2012
I am listening to KO’s “Capable.” I am really feeling the groove all through my body. The words that are resonating with me are, “I never had a clue that you were capable of love.” I am thinking about the value of relationships, not just the ones that last, but also the ones that do not stand the test of time. Not all people are meant to be in our life forever. I have had friends and lovers I’ve had to let go, and some that have let me go, no matter what side we are of that equation the experiences are valuable. All those people form this mosaic that decorates our soul, each interaction contributes to our story and who we are and who we are becoming on this journey of life. Recently I had a friendship end and just as I was reading the email ending it, my husband’s mobile rang and it was someone from my past. Was this a coincidence? No, it was definitely life talking to me. I had to ask myself if I had given this person a proper explanation 14 years ago? I would say the phone ringing at that precise moment was telling me I had not… I will not ignore this message. When the opportunity presents itself I will be having a long overdue conversation with this person. Sometimes in life we are the teacher, and others we are the student. It isn’t always obvious in the moment which title we hold in this equation, but eventually the message is revealed to us. Recently I’ve seen other people’s relationships end, some by choice, and some in the death of their loved one. I’ve shared in their heartache and can only offer to be an ear to listen and a hand to hold. As much as I want to help heal their pain, only time can do that for them. We are forever changed by the people that touch our lives, good or bad; as long as we keep that in mind, we will know none of it was a waste of time, it was all a vital part of our growth as part of humanity.
Last Sunday of January, sad jazz and tears are on the menu. I let myself wallow in it,
I encourage it. I make sure I pull every heartstring I have, because I know my best writing is rarely from happy moments. Anger, pain, sadness, passion, where it gets raw and real; when I write from that deepest part of me, that’s when I am able to touch you. You feel with me. Today is a perfect day for writing.
I am listening to my favorite spoken word pieces and my eyes well up and I let the pain of those artists flow into my own. Writing about sunshine and rainbows just isn’t going to happen today. The real things, the stuff that scars us and scares us, these things let us know we’re still alive and keep my fingers moving across the keyboard.
2012 is upon us, a new year, a chance to begin again with a clean slate. Somehow when January arrives everyone has the burning urge to make changes, everything from health to finances, and I am part of the everyone. I prefer to look at these changes as goals rather than resolutions. Unfortunately that takes the pressure off. If I am being real about my "goals," it gives me a way out. The time has come, I don't want a way out. Do or die. I have found that if I make a list of things I wish to accomplish I have a much better shot and getting at least some of them done. The commitment on paper, it binds us somehow. However, for the last handful of years I have set out to complete my novel, and before I knew it the year was up and once again "complete novel" arrived on my goal list for the following year. Why does this cycle keep repeating? It isn't because I don't know where to go with the story, or that I'm too busy, or I'm uninspired... it is because I am not showing up. If you don't show up every day and put the time in it isn't going to happen. I refuse to cheat myself or anyone this year. This year's goal list will be honoured like my marriage certificate, both pieces of paper symbolic of commitment. I am putting a little ADDED pressure on myself committing to everyone reading this in cyber-space. I have an Author's page on Amazon.com and on there is reads "novel to be released 2013." Show up. Make it happen. I am a person of my word and I am giving you my word. I encourage all of you to make that list yourself, and if you feel brave enough comment on here with something you want to make part of 2012. Let's show up and make it happen.
I received my first royalty cheque (that's check for the Americans!) I was met with a mixture of emotion: a) delight and b) disappointment. Initially I thought it was for "my" first quarter (June - August) but in fact because the book was released June 15th it fell into the previous period (April - June), so the cheque was only for 2 weeks. The disappointment turned into relief, but the reality is poetry royalties are pretty small. The great thing about that is, I didn't do it for the money. We all have a destiny. We all hope to leave our mark on the world. Some people do that as volunteers, philanthropists, doctors, researchers, parents - everyone has a calling. I realize mine is writing. It doesn't matter if it is poetry, fiction, non-fiction, I must write. Writing is as essential to me as breathing, I must do it to live. My words are meant to reach inside of you and make a connection. When you "feel" something from my words, I've done what I born to do. When you "feel" it means your heart understands. I have this whole week to "write!" I look forward to making more connections, the only kind that matter - heart to heart!
Another rainy Saturday in JULY... although I long for warm summer nights laughing with friends OUTSIDE, today's conditions were optimal for brainstorming. If the rain won't go away - you may as well work with it! After brunch at my favourite local pub( the Jolly Coachman) and book shopping at Tomes & Tales (favourite book store conveniently located across the street from favourite pub), my life coach settled in with me at Chez Fowler. I read her a few chapters and vented the frustration of feeling so close to a finished project, and yet so far... Did I lose you at life coach? It is an affectionate title for a dear friend who has the ability to light a fire under me when things need to get moving. As per usual, she delivered. I'm officially back to working on my novel. I'm feeling fired up - or maybe that's Sue lighting a match on my behind!
I welcome you to Life Lyrics. It is a sampling of the many experiences and people that have touched my life. My father named me Melody likely hoping that I would follow in his footsteps and become a musician. However, fate delivered a different outcome, and alas my pen is my instrument. Enjoy the music.