New and Improved

Friends, this is the newer updated blog, different from the old one. The previous blog can be found here:
but I will no longer be posting to it.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Rock and Roll!

November 17, 2016
Hi All!
     I'm not going to be posting every day, but I couldn't resist a quick note this morning.  Last night was a blast!  I'm going to jot a few words about it now, and I'm also going to include a "moral to the story" at the end.
     Last evening, Linda and I met some friends at a new restaurant/music venue called "Bryan's on 4th."  If any of you are going to be visiting this neck of the woods, you really MUST stop by this place. The owner, "Chef Bryan," has an incredible menu, AND almost all of the wait-staff there also sing/play instruments/perform in one way or another as the night goes along.  Chef Bryan is also an accomplished musician himself.  "Bryan's on 4th" also has a special "music room," which is below the main restaurant area, and there are performers there almost every night.  Last night we knew the performers, the "Phil and Travis Combo," (check them out at: so when I felt the time was right, I asked if I could jump in on the bongo drums they had.  So, I did my best version of "Maynard G. Krebs" and "Gene Krupa" with them. For those of you not old enough to know those references, Maynard was a bongo playing beatnik of some national fame, and Krupa was one of the first "solo" drummers who was wildly popular with music lovers everywhere.  Last night I actually played with the band for an hour or so, and I had a blast.  We played everything from the Roy Rodgers "Happy Trails to You" song to Buddy Holly to the Beatles to Carlos Santana.  I'm not sure the bongos went with everything, but I did my best to make it work!  I actually got some applause from people, but I think that happened because I finally *stopped* "slapping the skins" and the people in the audience were glad I was finally done.....
     Now to the "moral" of the story.  In the world of artistic expression, whether it be in areas like painting, drawing, singing/playing instruments, performing on stage, or writing, it isn't so much always the quality of the product that counts.  It is the experience and the joy achieved that is actually most important.  Art is art, and we are all going to be very different in how accomplished we become in the different areas.  Some will be superb at their art; others will be, to put it kindly, "participators" (like I was on the bongos last night) in the art. And, it is the participation that is the key here.  We all don't HAVE to be great, but if we have any desire at all to "participate," we must do it.  Art is good for the soul and gives us an outlet for the expression of what we really love and value in this life.  Consider this:  Steven King, one of my favorite writers of all-time, plays guitar whenever he can.  Is he a great guitarist?  Check out the YouTube videos of him playing and you can be the judge.  I'll only say it is a good thing he has his writing to fall back on!  Still, he is "out there" and is "participating" in an artistic endeavor he truly loves, and that gives him great joy.  Another writer I know, and whose work I adore on so many levels, is Amy Tan (Author of The Joy Luck Club).  She was a singer (and played the "whip") for a group called the "Rock Bottom Remainders" (check them out on YouTube).  I believe her signature song with the band was "These Boots are Made for Walking."  Is she a great singer?  Again, others can judge that, but I so admire the fact she "participates" in multiple art forms FOR HER OWN SATISFACTION. So, here is the bottom line of what I'm trying to say this morning: There is so much to experience in this life, and we can't get bogged down in worrying about how successful we'll become in all areas.  We do the best we can do, and if we really try our best, we can always keep our heads high.  This is especially true when it comes to writing.  My guess is that most of you reading this blog have a great love for literature and writing, and you may be doing some writing yourself.  You may or may not already have some of your writings published.  No matter where you are at this point, keep writing!  Give it everything you've got. Keep at your art.  If you do, the act of writing itself will be rewarding on so many levels.  Follow your art -- and follow your heart.  After all, they really are one in the same, right?
     This is as philosophical as I get.  I'm going to climb down from the soapbox now and get back to my writing. My next book, which I'll write about in an upcoming post, is calling to me.
    I wish you all a wonderful day!

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