Tuesday, January 29, 2013

True Self: "This Head I Hold" by Electric Guest

The past few weeks have been quite stressful...quite...stressful.  It's that time of the year where my day job requires tons of planning, reporting, and explanations for the downward trends that gripped our economy last year.  I had two big presentations to give to our senior leadership team.  The icing on the cake was receiving my first rejection for my current novel manuscript.  Yup - it was a week of many firsts.

Well - at least it's over - it truly is like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.  Now is the time to roll up my sleeves and dive into new adventures both personally and professionally.  I feel great.  I head to London in a few weeks.  And I've even managed to dust off my paint brushes and pulled out my art supplies.  In short, my newly discovered freedom has put me an extremely liberating creative space.

I'm excited to see the works I'll produce....trust me, I'll let you sneak a peek.  :D

"This Head I Hold" by Electric Guest

OK, this is the second song I've added to my mix tape that some could associate with depression and / or addiction.  (See Friendship: "No Rain" by Blind Melon.)  For the record, I am suffering from neither the later nor the former condition.  Now before you roll your eyes and think, "She's obviously in denial," I really am doing FANTASTIC.  In fact, I am perhaps in the best place I have ever been both mentally and physically.

Anyhow, I've heard this song playing on the radio, on television, and in a number of stores.  Each time this song plays, I pause listen and start dancing.  (Yes, I am THAT girl...the one dancing in the aisle at the grocery store while she ponders the merits of oatmeal versus kasha.)  It's rare that a song grabs me this way.  So I had to sit down and research the track.

I was glad to learn that I'm not completely behind the times...Electric Guest's Mondo is their debut album released in April 2012 and This Head I Hold was the first single.

For me, this song conjures up some classic Motown rhythms - especially the drums and vocals.  And the lyrics reflect a deep wisdom that comes from an old soul.  To be honest, I would have bet money that this song was a new release from Raphael Saadiq. (Check out Love That Girl and tell me what you think.)  I was pleasantly surprised to discover it's the work of a new band!

The lyrics can be taken literally to mean escape your troubles by listening to that dark voice that says 'Get high, Take drink.'  Or you can interpret it the way I do.... encouragement to do the introspective work needed to rise above life's challenges (and societal norms) and live life as your TRUE self.

"If I wanna be free, I gotta stop playin' round and runnin' from me..."

One of my many pairs of dancing shoes!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Happy New Year: "Cheers (Drink to That) by Rihanna

Let me just say, for the record, that I have some of the most amazing and coolest friends on the planet.  No, really, I do.  The best part is that we simply crack each other up!  As a mechanical engineer, I've spent most of my adult life surrounded by men.  (No offense, guys, but the testosterone can get kinda thick in corporate enclaves.  The competition is intense and you guys can be rather disgusting - pass the Lysol wipes, please! - I still loves ya, tho!)

So, when I moved to Portland and joined The Rose City Romance Writers (the local Romance Writers of America chapter), I found myself in an unusual spot - surrounded by women.  And not just any group of women.... an incredibly smart, gleefully raucous, somewhat naughty, empowered, business savvy group of women (with a handful of guys, too.) <Yes - men write romance!>  And, most importantly, we are all going after our dream of being successful authors.

Aaaaahhhh, the estrogen!

Now I know some of you are thinking, "There has to be some cattiness."  Well, not as much as you might think.  Good energy has a way of dispelling bad.  They have all been very generous with their time and expertise.  I feel like I have really found my clique.

Our next meeting is this weekend and I'm excited to see my chapter mates.  Some of us 'wrote in' the new year together at a local cafe.  This celebration through writing was the second year we've done it.  (Thanks Jessie for coordinating it!)  It sets a nice tone for the year ahead.  Sadly, no alcohol was involved.

As a writer, it is so easy to just sit in a corner and create your own worlds on a page.  I am blessed to have such great folks in my life.  One of my goals for this year is to spend more time with my friends.  You have to live life to write about it.

"Cheers (Drink to That)" by Rihanna

Though I have featured two of Rihanna's songs on my mix tape, I don't necessarily consider myself to be a Rihanna fan.  I think she is talented and beautiful, but violence against women....well - let me stop myself from commenting any further.

Anyhow - I love the spirit of the song.  Especially the line: "Don't let the bastards get you down..."  Given my background, that phrase should be emblazoned on a banner and hung in my office.  Ha!  I also enjoy the expression of warm friendships, the trials of life on the road, and a need to unwind / cut loose so adequately depicted in the video.  (If you haven't seen it, click on the video link above.  I'm sure you'll enjoy it.)

Once again, Ms. Rihanna is sporting some heels that I would break my neck in, if I even attempted to wear them!

"Cheers to the freakin' weekend, I drink to that...."

My crazy, dear, sweet friends: Delilah Marvelle 'helping' Jessa Slade with her latest manuscript.