Yes, this is filled with whisky

Yes, this is filled with whisky

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Vacation Day #8 What?

I'm on vacation today from a job I love. A job I'd do for free if I had no need of money evermore.

Sometimes though, I think "wow, now that would have been fun!"

Not many times, cause I really love my job, but almost always when I hear great music like Rosanne Cash.

It's not that I want to be Rosanne Cash (maybe Tina Turner, for just about five minutes!) it's that I'd love to sing with her.





Here's the lineup for one of the songs on her recent album The River and The Thread.



Can you imagine how fun it was to record that song that day?


And another album I love beyond measure is Trio (Emmylou Harris, Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstatd) I'd LOVE to have been a backup singer on this one.




The sound quality on this is dreadful, but if you go listen to it on iTunes, you'll see what I mean.


I don't think I could have tolerated the life of a musician, but oh man, I think of it sometimes.

What do you think of sometimes? If you weren't a writer? or what else you are?





72 comments:

KayC said...

I can't count the number of times I've play Trio and Trio 2 - great music.

Angie Brooksby-Arcangioli said...

When I was little I wanted to be a horse. I day-dreamt of metamorphosing, first my head, then my mane all the way to the tail. I saw myself running alongside the car when we drove through the desert. Once at Disneyland in Anaheim while we waited to board a little train, the guide holding a mic asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. A horse. Boy, did that get a laugh.

Later I wanted to be a journalist but that didn't happen. My heart sort of breaks thinking about it. But I love my job and I am writing. Soon I'll finish this WIP.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

I love music. I always wanted to be a wandering minstrel and pirate but was born hundreds of years too late. However, if my writing ever lets me be rid of my day job, that will be heaven. I never had much of a singing voice anyhow but I sure have some yarns to spin.

MB Owen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
nightsmusic said...

I've driven midget race cars (I was 7) and the track at Indy. I've sung professionally, built high performance motors, am a certified clinical medical assistant and patient care tech, COO of a small company, bartender, waitress...now, I'm an admin assistant. I'm sure I'm missing something. Oh! I did a dog and pony act in the rodeo for a few years too. And through it all, I find the time to write. Like I said in another post yesterday, an eclectic life...

Beth said...

For me, the big dream is to be able to write professionally so that I can quit my day job. I also have dreams of owning an antiquarian bookstore, or perhaps a bakery. Sadly, old books and pastry do not mix.

Marc P said...

My biggest dream was to sing with Frank Sinatra - so I did!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpfzRmqF3XU

Probably just as well I took up writing and not singing. :)

I can get you singing with Roseanne sometime too if you like Janet! ;)

Marc P said...

I'll even spell her name right!

Audrey Shaffer said...

Singing was my dream too. I sang with a band when I was a teenager, but then life, work and children got in the way.

I still sing nearly everyday. In my car, in my house...and I can duet with anyone I want! :)

Donnaeve said...

Beth - I disagree! What a great idea that would be! (at least in my head) It's the perfect thing - I mean B&N did it - sort of. Their books are new, but they plunked coffee and pastries into the middle of their stores. One half you could be baking and while customers waited on a warm croissants or doughnuts, they could browse through the old books. I can see it in my head...

What I think is that I am actually doing what I always dreamed of. For decades, I thought, I want to be a writer, I want to be a writer... Day in and out. Working in IT all that time, it was often fast paces and high stress. In the back of my mind it was always what if? What if I could just...write?

2009, little did I know that would be the start of the what if? I went through the daily rituals as usual, proving I was a good employee so I wouldn't be let go before I had things in place (finished book). I withstood, mass layoffs, re-organizations, endless buy-out meetings and conference calls. When it came time for me to acquire my own pink slip after watching the company plunge from 95,000 employees down to 250 in three years time (I was one of the last) that careful planning enabled me to not have to find another job. Think hanging on through Chapter 11, sell offs, system migrations, while steering towards lights out. Think retention bonuses, severance and 401K to pay off all our debt and still have enough left over to help support our household.

It was a risk, and I wasn't sure what I'd put on paper would actually work. I'm still amazed three years later that it has.

I can't think of anything else. Oh, wait. Sort of like Angie's wish to be a horse, I wanted to fly. My brother and I almost killed ourselves trying when we were younger.

Amanda Capper said...

JOHN PRINE! How much fun would that be? Almost heart-stopping fun.

Yup, I'd love to be a back up singer. I back up my husband at bonfires but I rarely hit the mic.

This is my hubbie, Frank, raising money for our local hospice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DTKLCtnveo

I'm sorry, Colin. I have the instructions somewhere...

Donnaeve said...

Ha, Marc P - that was pretty good!

Amanda, very talented, he's a natural!

Marc P said...

Thanks Donnaeve he was ok his entourage was a nightmare to work with! ;)

Marc P said...

And yes loved that Amanda!

Colin Smith said...

Time for one of my theories. I think people tend toward one of two types: consumers or creators. One is not better than the other, and both need each other. A creator can be a consumer, and a consumer a creator, but everyone leans more toward one than the other. Consumers might try to create but derive no satisfaction from it--it's just a whim. Most kids, I think, go through a "creator" stage, which is part of play, and discovery. But as they grow, they either develop the creative, or the consumer.

I've always been a creator--and I daresay the same is true for many people here. I can't just listen to music, I have to make music too. I can't just read stories, I have to write them. Even my current work in IT, programming, appeals to me because I'm creating. I'm not fixing PCs or making networks talk to each other. I'm actually composing lines of code that makes software that helps people do their job.

But ideally, I want to write full time. I used to want to be a full-time professional musician, but I don't think I would have enjoyed life on the road. Perhaps a session musician with a studio... but I would eventually want to play my own music, not someone else's. :) And though writers are called upon to travel for signings and book tours, those usually aren't as demanding as for a working musician. After all, writers have to spend time actually writing!

So, yes, creating stories, conjuring images with words, communicating ideas... that appeals to me. A lot. :)

Colin Smith said...

Linkified Links:

Marc's: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpfzRmqF3XU

Amanda's: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6DTKLCtnveo

The Instructions: http://www.colindsmith.com/blog/2015/01/04/how-to-hyperlink/

Kitty said...

When I was a kid, I used to pretend I was a teacher and a nurse. My mother was a high school librarian, so I got to see faculty life up close and personal. But it wasn't until I got to be a teacher for a day during my senior year that I knew that wasn't for me. No way, José.

As for the nursing idea... My daughter switched her careers from research to nursing. For a while, she worked on what was dubbed the pee/poop/puke/pus floor. We're talking projectile. She'd be covered with the stuff every day. Then she transferred to the ER where, almost daily, she encounters uncontrollable druggies strung out on bath salts or some other drug. Her trip to Africa during the Ebola epidemic was not as scary. Okay, nursing's really not for me.

Somewhere between those two eye-openers, I read Nora Ephron's roman à clef HEARTBURN and knew writing was for me. And thanks to Janet's occasional flash fiction contests, I'm seeing progress. So muchas gracias, JR!

Linda Strader said...

My dream career ended tragically, and I still miss it. I wanted to be a Forest Ranger. Still do, but ha! Just try to get a job with the Federal Government...

Kitty said...

Great job, Marc!

Miri Baker said...

I've always wanted to be a writer, but back in middle school or so I picked up sewing as a way to show my love for stories and the characters in them. To date I have made an awful lot more money making costumes for people than I have in writing. And neither of those things is even my "day job." (Programming languages are real languages, and writing in them is writing, and that's how I get through my day.)

french sojourn said...


If I could do it again, or start another carer...I would love to be a Chef. I love the world of anything culinary. But I must say I loved building one of a kind houses back in L.A. , back in the day.

Be well;
Hank

Julie.M.Weathers said...

I won a trip to the CMAs one year. Rather Will did, but he was too young to win the prize so they let me have it. I still owe him a trip to Nashville.

The most fun part was listening to a group of song writers talk about their life. Bob DiPiero talked about writing Blue Clear Sky and trying to pitch the song. I was rolling in the floor. His father-in-law Mel Tillis passed on it, but recommended he try George Strait and George was not thrilled about it, but Bob finally convinced him Blue Clear Sky was a good song in spite of the odd phrase.

That was where Brandon met the record producer while he was hanging out at a local bar and she swooped up the Texas cowboy to take him to all the private record label CMA parties. Too bad the turkey can't sing.

I used to sing. Nothing great, just a few bars and such. I would LOVE to be a musician. I bought a guitar and an autoharp. That's my next project. Learn to play.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdICsUed2wo

Ardenwolfe said...

I tried a few other things, but I always came back to writing. I don't think I could be anything else even if I tried. And yes, I did try.

SiSi said...

Like many of us here, my dream job is to be a writer. I also wanted to be a singer/rock star when I was younger. In fact, one of the first books I ever wrote way back when I was in college was about a rock star, as I tried to fuse the two dreams together.

Now I may end up not having the talent and/or perseverance to earn money as a writer, but at least I still see that as a possibility even in the cold hard light of adulthood. And even if I don't, I love the work enough to keep trying and to keep writing even if no one else ever sees the results. Learning and improving writing skills is fun for me.

Despite my dreams, I learned early on I don't have the talent to be a singer/musician. Throughout childhood I tried--at various times I had a drum set, a tambourine, a piano, a guitar, and a clarinet. I tried out for the Glee Club. Didn't make it because I can't carry a tune. And I didn't stick with any of those instruments because it wasn't fun--just hard. And pointless. But I spent years strumming imaginary guitars to records and singing along while alone in my room!

Janet, I also love both of these albums. I also love Emmylou and Linda's Western Wall (with title song written by Rosanne) and tend to play all three of them back to back to back. In fact, that's what I may go do right now. And since I'm here all alone I can sing along and imagine myself in the band!

Dena Pawling said...


When I had my first baby, I wanted to stay home and be a mom. I was able to do that until my fourth baby was 2yo. In 2000, when [despite all the predictions] the entire world did not cease to exist, my computer-programmer husband was laid off, along with about 40,000 other programmers in our area. He tried for two years to get another job, working part-time delivery driver gigs to make some money to buy food, until we decided to switch. He stayed home with the kids and did accounting and programming from his home-office for relatives with their own businesses. I went to work as an attorney.

I enjoy being an attorney, but I think my husband got the better end of that deal. I still wish I was home. My youngest is 16 now, so I missed a lot.

Brian Schwarz said...

My dreams are simple really. I just want to write a book that becomes a movie where I can compose the soundtrack and attain Gershwin style accolades. Is that too much to ask?

;)

I did the touring thing for 8 years, and for a while that was my full time job. I worked more and lived with less in that time than I ever had before or have since. If anyone is interested, here's a link to the last thing we created before moving on -

See Brian Sing Here

Actually our drummer got married last weekend and the wedding band made us reunite for one night only. It was quite fun to do it again! :)

Brenda Buchanan said...

Love Roseanne Cash. Love being a writer (and a lawyer). If I were neither I would love to work on the water. Lobsterwoman? Ferry captain? Marine scientist?

Craig said...

Astrophysicists say they have the Earth's path plotted down to a hair's width. What wild twists can be found in a hair's width.

I spent a lot of years in the environmental business. Even though it was nasty and dangerous work there was something appealing about it when you directly helped someone have a better life.

Then the plumbing accident occurred. Recovering I decided to design a hybrid kayak. When I looked up the environmental business had gone down the tubes but the boat sold and a new career opened up. It can be very frustrating, even worse than working retail, but I love it and all of the weirdness that comes with it.

As many of you know it wasn't really my desire to be a writer. I was asked to immortalize a friend. When I ran into naysayers I got pissed. Now writing serves two things. Immortalizing my friend and my son's name while punching back at those who try so hard to make me fail. I am now hooked and will make it happen.

If I was to be a fly on the wall of something musical I think Prine and DeMent's In Spite of Ourselves would be it. Of course when the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band was in it's prime would have been a cool thing too.

Matt Adams said...

In the words of Peter Gibbons (a young man with upper management written all over him) I dream of doing nothing. No get the kids ready for school mornings, no trees to cut or fences to mend, no having answer for what I do for a living. I'd like to sit on a beach and read until i need a drink, then fix lunch, then read some more, then watch football games on TV. I's like to watch the waves come in and not have to worry I should be doing something else, that someone needs attention, that something is being neglected. I want to take a nap without worrying about what message it sends.

But if I can't do that, and I have to do something, I'd like to run small hotel. 6-10 rooms, a small kitchen, a selective clientele. A little thing on a beach somewhere, or a little fishing resort in the mountains.

Since I can do either of those, though, I'm thinking of buying a newspaper. There's one for sale around here and I can swing it, and as the world has gotten more compact and diverse at the same time, I think there's more a place for community journalism than there's been in 20 years.

But for now there are trees to cut, forestry plans to install and a quarter-mile of fine that needs repair. Not all I dream about, but not bad, either.

Pharosian said...

When I was a little kid, my mom would take me and my brother to the library. My first career wish was to be a librarian, but later on I realized that aside from all the books in the library, the building itself was a big draw. I wanted to become an architect so I could design beautiful buildings like our library.

By the time I was 9 or 10, I knew I wanted to write books. I was also pretty good at art and wanted to be an artist, but I was advised that making a living that way would be tough, so I entered college to be a civil engineer so I could design skyscrapers and airports. I ended up being an engineer, but not civil. I changed majors and graduated as a metallurgical engineer.

I worked for a company that makes aircraft engines for a while, but then I got into computers and have worked in the software industry since then. But in my alternate history, I attended the Air Force Academy and became a helicopter pilot.

In real life, I did get my private pilots license, and I take scenic helicopter rides on vacations, but actually becoming a helicopter pilot is too expensive to take up as a hobby. Someday soon I'll write about a character who's a pilot and live my dream vicariously.

LynnRodz said...

As far back as I could remember I wanted to be a globetrotter (not the basketball kind), a nomad, a wanderer, and see the world - so I did. It helped going to college and being a musician. I used to be one of those street musicians with my guitar case open, eons ago. My downfall was my singing voice, more like a croaking voice if I'm being honest. I once had a guy pay me for not singing. I told him, "Give me the money and I'll stop singing." He did, so I stopped. (Damn, I haven't told that story to anyone in a long time!)

I met up with a British girl on the road and she had a great voice. We made a killing with the two of us playing and her singing. I even jammed onstage with Rod Stewart at a music festival. (Not singing, of course, I played the tambourine.) I wasn't a groupie by any means, but I hung out with Roger Daltry from The Who and Eric Clapton's band. Those were the days. *sigh*

I love the videos. Amanda, your husband's guitar looks a lot like my dad's old sunburst Gibson 1945 guitar, except dad's was acoustic.

Elissa M said...

I sometimes imagine how my life might have been different had I taken different paths, but imagining different story lines is what writers do, isn't it?

I wanted to ride, train, show, and own horses, so I have. I wanted to play music, so I do. I wanted to be an artist, and I am. I wanted to tell stories, so I write.

It doesn't matter if I don't ever write a best seller, win a Grammy, or have my work in a museum. I'm doing what I love.

nightsmusic said...

@Pharosian

I WANNA FLY A HELICOPTER!! Oh, boy, you are so lucky!

Julie.M.Weathers said...

I dreamed the other night I was in New York City wearing a split skirt and underslung boots. I was going out to lunch with Miss Janet. Why I would be in NYC I have no idea.

I got a job writing for the magazine based on a letter to the editor I wrote to them. It wasn't an easy job, but it was interesting for 23 years. The things you learn about people, horses, and places.

I have always felt I was a woman out of time, so writing and researching about the Civil War satisfies a deep desire. If I weren't a writer or singer, I think I'd love to work with some kind of museum or historical society dealing with the old west or the Civil War.

When I was younger I wanted to be an archaeologist or a geologist.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

At work, same old story, no time to read comments.
I wrote music for a band in the 70s which was a blast. I painted (not houses) canvas, entered art shows, won and got a publishing contact for...never mind old news. And now I write. If I could sing I'd be rich and famous, if I could dance I'd be in better shape. So, I write. I can be anything I want to be when I have a pencil in my hand.

Theresa said...

It would be nice if writing paid what my day job does, but since I'm dreaming here, I share Janet's wish. I've always wanted to be able to sing, but I don't have even a passable voice. (And, oh, to be with Tina Turner on stage!) From time to time I take piano lessons, but that playing causes the pets to run and hide or sit and howl.

Dane Zeller said...

I've always wanted to be a professional basketball player with a 90 million dollar contract. I would play professional football for that contract, too. I think they have some standards, though.

Karen McCoy said...

Improvisational theater. I'd definitely try out for Second City if I could. I also enjoy singing and dancing, so I'd also consider performing in musicals too.

Adele said...

When I started working as a hand bookbinder, I was in Heaven. I loved every thing about it. I had a job bookbinding 40 hours a week, and then I'd stay late and do my own work. That was a dozen years ago. I worked there for more than six years, and I still miss it, even though in the last couple of years the place was near-empty and I was emotionally drained. Today I still bind, out of my apartment, and I still love it, though I miss the equipment - there's only so much binding equipment you can put in a small apartment you also have to live in.

S.D.King said...

I kind of was a singer at one time. Then I taught all my kids to play piano. Then I went to garage sales and filled my basement with every instrument imaginable. Now I have 3 adult kids who are top-notch (2 professional) musicians.

One married a musician and I want to share one of his tunes. He used the text from a letter from Ulysses S. Grant to his then-fiancee Julia. I think you will enjoy the vulnerability revealed in this famous general.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8lVjSvAy0Q

Want to hear some of his original music? This is one of my favorites - since he wrote it for my daughter (and she sings with him).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-X7MpHN4ez0

So I am now surrounded by music and no longer have to sing myself - which I am sure is a blessing to everybody.

Colin Smith said...

More links!

Julie: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdICsUed2wo

and S.D.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J8lVjSvAy0Q and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-X7MpHN4ez0

Kara Ringenbach said...

I'm a part-time veterinarian and mother of one 2-yr-old and two 1-yr-olds. I dream of being a storm chaser but wouldn't ever do that now with little ones.

bjmuntain said...

I've always wanted to be a writer. The only thing else that came close was a singer/musician. I played clarinet all through school and into university - until my elderly clarinet fell apart and I couldn't afford a new one. My chops are completely gone, now. I'm not a terrible singer, but not good enough to make any kind of profession out of it. While I love music, my talent there just isn't enough.

Even so, I, too, often sang with my many favourite songs. Sometimes backup, sometimes lead. I do love singing. I sing in a choir at church. And it looks like, this year, the local corporate choir I sing with whenever possible will be doing their Christmas tour again! (They skipped last year). It's so much fun to sing funny and serious, fast and slow, new and old Christmas (and winter, and Hanukkah) music - especially at the homes for senior citizens. Practice starts in September. I'm ready!

Writing has always been my dream, though. Right from the day a very young BJ (can't remember how old - it was grade school, I was reading one of Marguerite Henry's books) realized that someone actually wrote the books that I was enjoying. I thought, "I can do that. I want to do that." And - after all my detours in life - I still do. I'm just old enough to be serious about it now.

I was discouraged from writing, though, for a very long time. I couldn't make a living at it, I was told, so I had to do something else. I took archaeology in university - even got paid to do it once, though that's hard work to get without a Master's degree these days. And I've only done archaeology in Saskatchewan, which is okay, but limited. I worked in a government library for far too long (my parents liked it: I was making a good wage and it was 'steady work'). I took a leave of absence to take classes I needed to get into an Archival Studies program in another province... then ran out of money, so wound up never taking that program.

I did a lot of volunteering, too. I volunteered with the local archaeological society, sat on the board, worked at several events. I did a lot of genealogy at the time - I don't do as much now, since my parents co-opted all that when they retired, but I'm doing more research on a certain piece of unknown history right now. I learned a lot about the internet and computers in general by volunteering for a short-lived free network back in the 90s and early 2000s. That's what got me going into computer science.

I took computer science for a few years, did some helpdesk-type work as an intern... then took a class on working on a project team. When my project group was putting together our report, everyone else was saying, 'I'll do the charts! I'll do the programming!' When I said I'd do the writing, they all *thanked* me. I realized that there really was room in the technical field for a writer, and so I went on to technical writing. I did a few contracts there, then wound up doing communications (marketing) for a non-profit - which added to my skills... then had to stop work for awhile.

Now, while I get things back in order, I'm writing as much as I can. I'm throwing myself into this thing as hard as I can, in the hope that I might soon write fiction for a living.

I keep coming back to writing. It's been a long, varied trip, for sure, but that's only helped things. I doubt I could write what I do now if I hadn't had such a busy, varied past.

RobCeres said...

Janet, (or anybody really),

Seriously. Life is too short not to do what you love. If you want to sing, then sing. You don't have to do it as a job (because that life is really really hard). But you probably have a serious musician or three on your client list. Start a band. Just do it. Here's why:

Performing music can make us happy. Or sad. Want to be happy? Sing a happy song. Want to be sad? Sing a sad song.

Performing music is one of the very few things that actually makes us smarter. It does not make us know more, but rather improves the way your brain works better. It makes new connections form between your brain cells. It stimulates communication across your corpus callosum, tying the two separate brains in our head together.

Performing music can change the world. Ask Peter, Paul, and Mary, or Bob Dylan, or Ceasar Chaves. Music is a powerful force.

I have been accused of embarrassing my children by singing along while I walk. Guilty as charged.

RobCeres said...

Oh, forgot to add that music works to reverse depression. Sing a song!

Kate Larkindale said...

For a long time I wanted to be a figure skater. It was a problematic dream in that a) there are no ice skating rinks where I live and b) I have all the grace and co-ordination of a crippled moose.

Luckily I moved on to more realistic dreams. Like being a writer….

nightsmusic said...

@Kate Larkindale

Probably better that way. My younger daughter was an individual figure skater to the tune of $20K a year...or more...

Colin Smith said...

bj: Interesting. I got into IT via Technical Writing. Being able to string words together into coherent sentences is a valuable skill. From many of the emails I see floating between various IT departments, not many in technology have it. :)

In fact, my only published work to date is a "Getting Started" manual I helped write. I'm not given name credit, and the software is not (as far as I know) broadly available, so I don't mention it in queries. :)

Donnaeve said...

Colin - so odd, that's part of what I did too - i.e. writing "Get Started" manuals for New Product Introduction. I'd create the processes, and enable new "users" to access and get onto new products (internally) which allowed for Alpha, Beta, In production testing, etc before we shipped to customers.

Anyway -CAPTAIN BS!!!!! AMAZING VIDEO!!!! I am now a lifelong fan. If any of you didn't watch Brian's video yet you need to drop what you're doing and go watch it!

I'm super super impressed. You guys are really really good. Can't believe we aren't seeing you at some awards show! Just goes to show how tough it is to catch a break. Btw, I was EXHAUSTED by the end of that song. LOL!

Donnaeve said...

S.D., wow, I loved both, but that second one! It gave me goosebumps...!

Amanda Capper said...

Captain BS and S.D., I totally agree with Donnaeve. Such talent. If we all ever get our shit together and end up at a writing conference we will rock the place, lol.

We might even get some writing done.

Lynn, SHUSH! You can't let Frank know about your Dad's guitar. He'll want it (it's worth a small fortune),and we have enough of the damn things. Frank's is a tobacco sunburst Gibson (I think. I tune out when he goes on and on about them), that he rarely plays out of doors but he busted a string on the Tak so had to use the Gibson.

Colin Smith said...

Amanda: Yup--we could have quite a band if we had a venue. Any drummers in the audience? :)

AJ Blythe said...

bjmuntain - I play clarinet and a couple of years ago started playing in a community band again after many years of no playing. Band is my 'thinking-free time' which my brain badly needs. You can't think about anything else when you are playing and reading music. It's taken me a while to train myself to focus on the music and not let my thoughts affect my playing (my conductor is much happier that I can now count the right number of bars rest and come in on time, lol).

Like many of us I've always wanted to write. But in high school I didn't know it could actually be a career so became an environmental scientist. I went on and studied science journalism as well, but it didn't satisfy my need to write.

I dream of my unpaid writing career one day being a paid career. But even if that dream never eventuates I'll always write. As my family tell me: I'm a much nicer person when I'm writing =)

bjmuntain said...

AJ: I really enjoyed band. I just can't afford another clarinet at this time, and I've been told that it would cost more to repair my old one than it would to buy a new one. But I sing in choirs, which helps. I've never lost the ability to read music.

I used to spend hours practicing when I was in high school. It was great - when I was playing, I would rarely be interrupted for anything but meals. It meant I didn't have to deal with my family for awhile. And because practice was schoolwork, my parents didn't think I was wasting my time (as I was when I was reading or writing). I played in the concert band. I joined the pep band and the jazz band (for which I had to borrow and learn to play a saxophone - not difficult). I think band was the biggest (only?) think I missed from high school as I got older. And it definitely kept me sane through high school.

Julie.M.Weathers said...

Wow, what a talented group we have. I loved all the links. The Dearest Julia surely tugged at my heart, but I have a soft spot for Grant.

Marc, Amanda, Captain BS, S.D., all the rest of you very talented people, well done.

LynnRodz said...

Amanda, my dad's Gibson is worth a small fortune and in mint condition, but he's been gone for many years now, so sentimental-wise it's priceless. I have an all black 1970s Ovation guitar much like the one Paul Simon had, but nowhere near the value his is. (Alas, the group wasn't Simon, Rodriguez & Garfunkel.) Okay, I better stop, you'll think I'm starting to sound like your hubby. Lol.

kdjames.com said...

Wow. What awesome talent in those links. Thank you so much to all who shared them. Very impressive.

I love to sing (more along the lines of Bonnie Raitt, though) but never wanted to do that for a living. I just enjoy it. Some great times singing in the car with my daughter, harmonizing, on our way to and from her college campus.

When I was in elementary school I wanted to be a pilot. I thought that would be the best thing, ever. Then someone told me you had to have perfect 20/20 vision for that, and I didn't. Looking back, I'm not sure whether it was even true. Not like I could google it. But I was crushed.

I can't remember ever wanting to be a writer. I've just always been one. No matter what else I've done, or might do, I'm a writer.


Gail said...

Ironically, being a literary agent! I wish I would have known at 18 what I know now at 33. The world of publishing to this little naive Midwesterner was so foreign, and NYC felt so impossible. All these years later, having traveled the world over, as content as I am, I always wish I could have had that kind of career experience, book lover that I am. I also would have LOVED to be an actor (I acted in stage shows in high school). My dream while IN college was to be a long-form feature writer for a major newspaper or magazine.

Curtis Moser said...

Definitely a musician, and I'd play just like The Black Keys. Or a guitarist, like, say Gary Clark Jr.

Wow that guy can play.

kdjames.com said...

Off topic (sort of): Speaking of careers and what might have been, has anyone heard from Julie H lately? I meant to friend/follow/stalk her on FB, but I suck at FB and didn't get around to it. She's been in my thoughts.

Her Grace, the Duchess of Kneale said...

If I wasn't a writer, I definitely would have been a composer. (Okay, I am a composer, but only as a hobby. I'm an author by career.)

Twenty years ago, that would have been a dead-end, career wise. However, there has been a recent upsurge in job opportunities for composers, thanks to the film and computer game industries. A few of my fellow composers from music school have gone on to careers writing sound tracks for computer games.

While the 19th Century was known for Classical and Romance, and the 20th Century for Jazz and Rock'n'Roll, I believe the 21st Century will be marked by the Soundtrack.

Joseph Snoe said...

I love music; and collect CDs of live shows. I have seen all of the Master’s Choir singers (except Amy Helm but including Rosanne Cash) in concert at one time or other. Of all of them (not counting John Prine who is too special to be in this contest), Rodney Crowell put on the best show.

In this genre, my favorite concert of all time was called Old Friends, a fundraiser in the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee. Five singer-songwriters, no backup band, just the five singing together or backing up one or more of the others. The five: Guy Clark, Nanci Griffith, Rodney Crowell, Vince Gill and Emmylou Harris. It was professionally filmed. I keep trying to find a video of the show without luck.

Her Grace, the Duchess of Kneale said...

Guess I ought to put a link to some of the pieces I have composed:

Fluff Theme (Variation 0) It's only 0:30 long.

I've easter-egged all twelve variations on my webpage.

And here's the theme music I wrote for the World Horror Convention 2008.

Jennifer R. Donohue said...

Two things I could've been, I think, had certain things converged properly: a musician, and/or a doctor.

To explain the musician thing: my grandparents had a piano in the living room as I grew up, and I taught myself to pick out melodies by ear (to date, I can't read music; tablature for guitar, and I can sight read if given a starting note to sing, but not genuine music reading). For years, I asked for piano lessons, or violin (yes, I was the nerd who ASKED for violin lessons), but got neither. I picked up guitar in high school, mostly because I had a job to pay for my own lessons, and had a stray guitar an aunt never used. While I've never been a composer, the songs I knew how to play I played fairly well. I was also never much interested in learning the scales; I wanted to learn Led Zeppelin's "Over the Hills and Far Away" right off. Now, given the space/cash/opportunity, I'd love to take cello lessons, even if the only things I ever actually learn how to play are the Bach cello suites. One could spend a lifetime on those. (and Mark Summers' "Julie-o" for fun. That song is amazing).

The doctor thing: also as I was growing up, my grandmother was a secretary in the Pathology department of our local hospital. I occasionally got to visit her at work and was fascinated by the charts and x-rays and things. I was also interested in the medical talk which would occur around the house, pore over the household Physician's Desk Reference, etc. As an adult, I've developed an interest in forensic pathology (the first book I read was mostly due to character research, but damn, is it an interesting field with a lot of material out there to peruse).


So, had I been encouraged on either of those paths, I'd...perhaps have a medical doctorate now? Or maybe would've been one of those child instrumental prodigies? I got kicked out of ballet at the age of 5, so dance wasn't going to happen, anyway. And while I love horses and am good with animals, I never was a very accomplished rider (though specifically the "problem" horses were angels for me)

Maybe that's why I like tabletop roleplaying games so much, you make effort to entirely inhabit the headspace of a person who is not yourself, in a real-time context. It's definitely why I like writing so much.

french sojourn said...


Colin, fuuny idea for a band...."sheet music?"

I played bass back in Boston in the mid-80's. I had a Ibanez "lawsuit era" knockoff of the Les Paul Custom. It was at best a punk bank. I won't even tell you the name of the band...so innapropriate, even now. One evening after a few beers I got out my router and installed an "F" hole to give it a Country squire aesthetic...I turned a $1,200 dollar solid body into a semi-ruined $200 dollar piece of...artwork. Always regretted it, but it sounded better.

live and learn.

John Frain said...

Third year of college I earned my way into the Broadcast Journalism school. Lifelong dream to become a broadcaster. Paid for the semester, bought my books, had about a buck eighty left for Ramen noodles.

First day of class, instructor tells us we need a mini recorder. I price them. No way to swing it. Day Two, I change my major. Just like that, dream gone. Today, I can look back and know there were other ways to play it, but back then I didn't. Still remember talking to my advisor, Mackie Morris. He was like a literary agent, looking for a reason to say No. I told him my predicament, he wished me luck.

Think about it a lot. But if you change something from your past, a lot of other things that came after change too. (Butterfly flaps its wings in North Dakota and a tsunami hits South Africa.) So I try not to regret it. I love my life now. I've been very fortunate. But every town I drive in, when I tune the radio to a ball game, I wonder...

Marc P said...

@bj Just been looking at the costs of clarinets and it looks like for a pro one you are talking about at around the thousand of our english pounds or so.. so quite a bit more than I thought they would cost! I feel guilty really as I have a number of instruments in the house I can't really play but unfortunately not a clarinet. Why don' you start a little eBay project and sell some things off to put toward a clarinet fund. I did that last year to buy an electric bike and it took me a couple of months or so. It was a bit more than that and to be honest I speculated somewhat on the Derby and the Grand National over here to help it along. Let us know if you put anything up :)

Meanwhile here is a link to another song - sorry. One I wrote for an episode of a TV medical show about a stand up comic who loses his sense of humour and his love life suffers too. It was called Stand Up and I shall say no more about that. The receptionist enters a local talent contest and I had her in full cowgirl outfit singing this song. The lyrics were toned down a little lol - the director and I were going to do a full musical episode but we weren't allowed and she went off to the USA to become little known working on shows like Orange is the New Black. Whatever that might be! I only put it here as it is a 'country song' sort of..!

http://www.MyWebSite.com”>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CEHdemnGD0

I suspect that may not work so in case:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CEHdemnGD0

D. B. Bates said...

Rock star, of the humorless, pretentious Rush/Joe Satriani/Yngwie Malmsteen variety, also known as "the Steve Vai-riety."

bjmuntain said...

Thanks for the suggestion, Marc. :) But the clarinet is not a priority for me anymore. I do have a piano in the house, if I really want to play, but for the most part, I'm concentrating on the writing. Although I will be singing whenever I can. Both choirs I sing with start up again in September, and I'm so looking forward to it!

Poof! said...

I've already had a dream job - producing and co-hosting 2 weekly radio shows on an NPR affiliate. One was a business/financial show, the other an omnibus show. We interviewed best-selling authors such as Sebastian Junger and Charles Mann (and we interviewed one of Janet's authors!). We interviewed NY Times columnists, senators, actors, singers, senators. I loved my work! Why did I quit? My writing kept calling to me!

Joseph Snoe said...

Poof!
I'm struggling with that choice now. I have a great job but it takes up so much time and energy (I'm at work on a Saturday night!); and I feel I may not be as good as I once was since I'm thinking about writing. It's so important to me to do a quality job on anything I do, even if that means doing fewer things.

Poof! said...

Joseph Snoe -

What's wonderful about being a writer is it's about the way you look at the world, not whether you are at the moment writing about it. If you look at the world with the viewpoints - the first being in the here and now of you existing, and the second being the extra set of eyes noting, "Gee! This is interesting. Maybe it's something I can use later in a story" -- then you are a writer indeed. Your current work may provide fodder for later.

Of course, you can always ask yourself the question, "Where can I do the most good?" Just asking the question opens the door. It may be to write. It may be something else. Be open.