A WordPress writing prompt

Write about your strongest memory of heart-pounding belly-twisting nervousness: what caused the adrenaline? Was it justified? How did you respond?

…Way to make me remember certain things, WordPress…

Honestly, I’ve had many such moments, and they all had to do with one thing in common: risk. Each time, I was taking a risk, and each time, I had to make a choice: would I step forward and throw caution to the wind, or step back?

It’s a bit embarrassing for me to say it, but I’ve stepped back far more than taken the leap of faith at times like these, and usually, I regretted stepping back. Usually, it had to do with someone, rather than something. The one time I did decide to jump in with both feet and did not follow through, turned out that not following through was the best choice. It’s a bit of a pattern for me, unfortunately: when I feel an adrenaline rush, my immediate impulse is to take stock of all variable and possible outcomes, instantly, and decide on the safest course.

I tend to err on the side of caution, and sometimes, it’s to my detriment.

But the most recent moment of such nervousness came aboard the Capital Jazz Supercruise. Stanley Clarke Q&A. And Stanley Clarke in the world of music, especially among bassists, is kind of sort of synonymous with the Holy Grail. This was the man who played on Charles Mingus’s bass. Legend is a bit of an understatement for him.

And when the Q&A came around, I wanted to ask him something. He’s been around the world many times over, and looks it; his eyes speak volumes about what he’s seen, and me being a perpetual student, I wanted to learn something about his perspective.

You know how for some people, public speaking is a challenge? Their mouths dry up, they forget what they want to say, they stammer? I’ve not been one of those people…until that moment. All I knew was, when Angela Stribling handed me that mic, that here I was, a whippersnapper girl of 27, who’s got a knack with a DSLR camera…and I was standing across from a jazz legend who’s seen it all and I had no idea what to say. The noise of my blood in my brain was helping me very, very little. All I could think was, even though I want to know what I want to know, how in the universe can I possibly ask it of someone who has traveled the world over in such a way that my own mind can’t wrap around? It was, for the lack of words, a student-meet-teacher moment, but such was the school and such was the teacher that, for the first time since I had gotten entrenched in music, I truly felt how new I was in all of this. For the first time, I truly felt like a student getting schooled in perspective.

Later on in the cruise, though, at lunch, when I had another brief chance to converse with Mr. Clarke, I did not feel as nervous as before. But that original adrenaline rush, that feeling of absolute newness in all of it – and I’ve done a lot of traveling for the sake of jazz and music so far – that will stay with me for a while.


Attempting to toy with WordPress upload for a mo’

Okay. First things first, I should really drink some damn coffee before I write here. Sleep-typing is a bad idea, unless I wish to unintentionally amuse my readers by typo. Well, it works! :)

So I still have a bunch of photos, not just from concerts. I also have a ton of storage space from WordPress that I can very easily use to store my best photos. So I’m playing around with it now. Apologies to my Facebook/Twitter people who may get a bit of a whacked-out image there…

This is a photo that surprised me. Boney James, taken at Berks Jazz Fest Finale, by yours truly. And yes, I know it wasn’t allowed…apologies to the lovely people of Berks… but from middle right orchestra, on flashless ISO setting, this is pretty rocking. Copyrighted by me, taken with a Kodak M381. Also, a scene from my favorite places: Long Beach, Long Island, NY. Taken last year with a Nikon Coolpix 7600, 7mp resolution, regular setting.

Boney James at Berks Jazz Fest 2010
Sunset on the boardwalk of Long Beach, NY. 2009

New Theme

Just trying out a fresh look. I poked around and settled on a darker one for the time being; I’ll keep poking for the one that feels best. My CSS skills are lacking, and MistyLook (the theme I used to have till a few minutes ago) was getting a bit old.

There’s a slight lack of pertinent updates, mostly on the account that I’ve not been doing very much insofar as book work – because of my day job. The busy season has been keeping me, well, busy. Very much so. It’s 8 days until deadline, so I’m going to be in a major, major bind… Then, cleaning and editing!

My job’s cut out for me (and how!), but for now…sleep. What little of it I can get…



So I get a little bit of rest tonight…not so tomorrow. Egad. LOTS of spring cleaning to do; since NY is finally approaching the above-70 weather marker soon (ohpleaseohplease be a hot, non-humid summer!), I figure I better clean up a lot of what I got, pack away what I’ll need in the winter, and donate everything else. The Housing Works Thrift Shop will love me this year.

And it gives me a chance to seriously think about what to input for Book 3. Its subtitle is Lineage and I will be exploring a lot of things there, again mostly related to loyalty and friendships, and also seeding out the plotline that carried through the rest of the series.I have a few ideas about what I’m carrying through insofar as the subtitle: I intro’ed a character in Book 2 that – not to spoilerize much – gets some unusual abilities and, considering his very humble origins, has to dogfight to be taken seriously, despite the easygoing tack he takes to his new duties. Similarly but not quite, a relative of my main character wants to effectively usurp the highest position open to her…regardless of the fact that she effectively has no competition, the current heir apparent wants little to nothing to do with it.

(BTW, Gayle, yes I know that Book 4 sits incomplete, but them’s the breaks. It’ll finish out, somehow, after I’m done working the amount of overtime hours I’ve been working.)

All of that has to be written in. And you know, it’s easier on once-over, because by Book 3, I grasped the writing mechanics well enough to know how to go about it all.

In music-related meanderings, I will hope to see Gentlemen of the Night – the sax trio of Marion Meadows, Paul Taylor and Michael Lington – in NJ with a friend. After that…really, until the Spirit Cruises series returns, I haven’t the foggiest of what I have coming up music-wise. Also, since things are hinky with the job market at this point, I’m trying not to commit to either Jamaica or the Smooth Cruise 2012 until I see what’s in store for the lineup. One thing I do know is that Boney James will be on that cruise. And believe you me, if not for Gerald Albright at Jammin’ in Jamaica this year, that would sway me in moments.

Still. My focus is 1. survive the rest of tax season, 2. get some spring cleaning done, even if what I really mean is “attack my living space with Lysol” and 3. see what’s going on after season. GotN is going to happen. Not sure about the series…but I’ll do my damndest.


ETA – I neglected to mention. You can purchase Book 1 via Barnes & Noble online!! In-paper stock in progress, I assure you, but I need reviews for it. Lots of reviews. If you read it, review it on Amazon. If you didn’t – do!

ETA #2: I am also in the works of updating my author page on Amazon.com. They do have an excellent Author Central service, so in I go. Also, this blog is now linked into my FB account, as well as Twitter.

I might change up the layout, if I find anything that I like. WordPress is coming out with new things frequently.

ETA #3: Writing services are available – both via here and via Lisa Basile’s Writing Saloon. See link to the right. :)