Once Upon A Time…

I read something recently that said when someone is changing what they do, they need to tell a story to help their fans understand. It may be too late to explain myself to Gymshoes fans who don’t understand that I’m an author, too, now that I’m back in print in ebook form. So, here’s my story:

Once upon a time there was a wordy girl who had too many words. Some of the words she put into poems, some she put into stories and some she put into songs. One day while making music for some of her words to live in she made some other music. This wasn’t music she could sing to, but as the old saying from American Bandstand went, “you can dance to it”. So she did. This was music she could dance to, daydream to and listen to when she put her words into stories. Most of the time when she made Gymshoes Music the stories she told did not have words. She missed words. She had more words than songs would contain so she wrote more long stories. She still dreams music and writes songs. Some of them even have words. She has always been a writer of stories. Music is but one way of telling them. πŸ˜€

There. Does that help? πŸ˜€ Many (perhaps most) creative people have multiple outlets for their creativity. I’m fortunate in that both books and music are creative outlets which can be made available to the general public. They’re sometimes even complementary to one another. So grab an album and a book, kick back and go elsewhere for a while. Welcome to my imagination! πŸ™‚

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Bad Timing & Far Worse Disasters

I have the worst timing. Last year I released Sand In My Shoes, a sunny, beachy album around the time of the Gulf Oil Spill, when no one was going to the beach! This year I’ve been working on the Rainmaker project again because we’re in a severe drought, but the same anomalous weather conditions that have caused an unprecidented drought here have caused massive flooding elsewhere. While we’re—figurative speaking—“dying” down here, people are literally dying elsewhere. The most recent episode in the rampant freak weather is the tornado that hit Joplin, Missouri. I’ve been to Joplin, went through there on a family vacation when I was a kid. It was sunny, people were friendly. Now there’s a dark could over Joplin and some of the friendly people have been killed, injured, and lost everything.

I can’t stop the disasterous weather. I can’t change it, no matter how many rain tracks I listen to. The storm I was waiting for passed over us dropping only a light rain, not even enough to measure, though parts of Houston got more. I’m giving myself one more week to produce another rain track, then hurricane season will be upon us. I’ll not tempt fate after that. This same “bubble” that’s not allowing rain to reach us will push hurricanes away, too, but with the freakish weather I expect it won’t last and we could go from drought to flood.

I have many times urged you to give to the Red Cross. People need help. You can’t control the weather. Most of you can’t be there, in person, doing disaster relief work in areas which have been hit by floods, tornados (or hurricanes, tsunamis, earthquakes, etc) but you can support the people who do this good work and support the people who have lost their homes—and to a great extent their lives—by giving to the Red Cross. It’s the best organization for providing rapid response with food, water, and shelter when a disaster hits. And lest you fall prey to “disaster fatigue” because it seems like something terrible is always happening somewhere, remember that someday it could be you who’s getting wrapped up in a blanket by a Red Cross worker.

Even if you don’t live in “tornado alley” or near a flood-prone river, or on an earthquake faultline—even if you live in the dullest, safest place on earth—you could still find yourself personally grateful to the Red Cross. A friend of mine, in my hometown, once mentioned that when a neighbor’s house burned down the Red Cross turned up immediately to help them. When you see apartment fires on the evening news do you ever wonder what happens to all those people who are standing there sobbing and shaking in the middle of the night with nothing but the clothes on their backs? The Red Cross—that’s what happens to them. There are other organizations that help, too, many of which are faith-based non-profits, but these vary from community to community (and if it’s a community-wide disaster they’ll be hit as hard as everyone else). The Red Cross is everywhere. They’ve been doing disaster relief longer than anyone else and they’re damn good at it.

(My EP A Tropical Depression still—always— benefits the Red Cross. Available from most online stores. I would urge other artist to do albums and gigs benefitting the Red Cross.)

Home After Ike

We’re home. *Hip-deep* in tree limbs, but the house is OK. We’ve lost the 2 big trees in the front…part of one is on the house, but surprisingly as we remove limbs it doesn’t look like the house is damaged (gutter crushed, but everything looks OK otherwise).Β  We didn’t flood or leak during the storm.

I’m exhausted from dragging tree limbs across the yard. We’ve got phone, net, water, electricity, cable. We’re set OK for food and water. We’ve just got a lot of work to do in the front and back yard to clean it up. Got trees that need to be taken out, hanging limbs, etc.Β  Already getting estimates and doing as much as we can ourselves.

We’re tired and I think we’re gonna be tired for a few more days. πŸ™‚Β  But we’re safe, the house is OK and we’re glad to be home. πŸ™‚

Hurricane Ike

We did evacuate ahead of Hurricane Ike. We’re safe, but not allowed to go back yet.Β  I don’t have internet access where we’re staying, so I’m only online via a hotspot for a very short time and not necessarily every day, though I’m hoping to get online briefly every day.Β  I appreciate all the messages of support. I’ll let everyone know if the house is OK after we go back…no idea when that will be. 97% of Harris County (eg Houston area) is without power. They were saying last night 4.5 million people were without power and today they’re saying 2 million people. There’s a lot of debris in the streets from what I’ve seen on TV, so our return home (assuming home is still there) depends on the streets being cleared, power restored and officials letting us in.

The important thing for you to know is that I’m safe. My family is safe and as far as I know all my friends who live in the area are safe. Nobody who evacuated knows what sort of shape their homes are in, though.:-(

Thank you for all your kind messages. I’m reading them all and will eventually reply, but I’ve got limited time right now.

Please give to the American Red Cross—and if you want to get something for your gift—all proceeds from the sale of the 3 tracks (“Whirlybirds”, “Hotel Me”, and “Katrina-Rita”) on my “A Tropical Depression” EP are donated to the Red Cross.

Gymshoes

Farewell, Technodog, R.I.P

My big dog, who was well-known to all of you as the dog in the “Technodog” artwork (though not the dog on the track), was put to sleep this morning after a brief, but agonizing, illness. We got no sleep last night, but now she is sleeping eternally and I am grieving eternally. She was a wonderful, remarkable dog.

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The Great Midwest Flood of 2008

The flooding in the midwest this summer is being compared to the inundation of Hurricane Katrina. Many people have lost their homes and livihoods, farmers have lost crops, the devastation is widespread and catastrophic. The American Red Cross is on the scene, but doesn’t have the resources to adequately cover something of this magnitude. As with Hurricane Katrina, they desperately need donations. They are facing a short-fall of 35 million dollars. Please give to the American Red Cross, so that they can give to those who need their help so urgently right now. Thanks.

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Happy Holidays!

With the holiday season in full swing, I haven’t had time to post much anywhere. Although this time of year is when traditionally people spend more time with friends and family, it seems like just the opposite happens online. All the real life festivities (and preparations for festivities) means that everyone spends less time online. Ironically, I’ve recently upgraded my connection, but in terms of online interaction, I’m less connected right now. πŸ˜† In a couple of weeks, it will be a new year. I’m looking forward to it….and wishing all my friends out there all the best, now and in the year to come. πŸ˜€

Gymshoes

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