Crazy Life

Well, since I’ve been back to work, my free time has been very limited, and I haven’t had a whole lot of energy to make the most of the time I do have. I joke that my days consist of work, the gym, dinner, lots of peeing (drinking lots of water and protein shakes), and sleep. Every now and again I practice the piano. Sounds exciting, right? Yeah…

I never realized the energy or the protein required to start building muscle. I’ve been lifting at the gym, trying to bulk up. My goal isn’t body builder, vein popping size, but I want muscles and definition. It has certainly been a challenge, considering I’m a vegetarian. 

Sadly, I haven’t been writing. Although, I am still reading. Right now I’m working on Dark Soul Vol. 5 by Aleksandr Voinov and Biting Bad (Chicagoland Vampires #8) by Chloe Neill. I’m really sad that this is the last book in the Dark Soul series. I’ve come to love Silvio Spadaro and will definitely miss him! 

This morning was a biking morning. Nicole and I hit the rail trail shortly after 9 am. Yep, no sleeping in for me today! We rode 26.3 miles and treated ourselves to apple pie a la mode and coffee afterward. Yum! It was a gorgeous day, and the start wasn’t as cool as we anticipated. Nothing like trying to rush fall into getting here!

We played around with taking photos at the one sunny spot on the trail. I think my self-portrait turned out pretty well! Lol

The ride kicked my butt so I’ve spent the remainder of the day reading and playing the piano. I’ve definitely enjoyed relaxing! I’m looking forward to getting back in the gym on Monday as I’m starting a new workout. Time to throw my body a curve! I think it was getting used to the old workout. Not good!

Now it is time for a protein milkshake and a movie…of maybe just some more Teen Wolf! I’m so addicted to that show!

Hope everyone has a safe Saturday night!

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Touring the Ivories

Last night Susan and I had the best seats in the house for Michele McLaughlin and Scott D. Davis‘s piano concert at The Piano Company in Leesburg. Leesburg was their 17th concert of 30 – wow!! The pair are traveling cross country in Scott’s car – he gets to do all the driving, too. LOL

This was not your typical piano concert. Both Michele and Scott shared stories and inspirations. They took questions, posed for pictures, and signed copies of their CDs. It was so much fun to be a part of the event!

Fazioli_10ft_Grand1_webThe concert itself was played on a 10’2″ Fazioli grand piano. Oh, I could have melted at the sound from that piano. It was freaking incredible!! Michele said that Fazioli is the Lamborghini of pianos. She wasn’t joking!

Susan and I were the first ones to arrive. I was happy we were early – we got to chatMichele_Me1_web with Michele, and we had our pick of the seats. Whoo hoo! I asked Michele if she took requests. She hesitated but asked me what I wanted to hear. I told her Misty Fjords since it is a piece I am working on. She cringed and said that she hasn’t been playing it for concerts. But, she did say she would give it a shot; it would be the last piece she played.

And play it she did! Yay! Thank you, Michele 🙂 It is from her Waking the Muse CD. I tried to get her to play Radiance, but she declined on that one. LOL I did really like Spiritual Awakening. I’m going to have to buy the sheet music for that one.

Scott played some cool pieces, too. He composed a classical-style piece titled Scherzo. That one was fast and fun!! I really enjoyed the pieces he played from his Tahoma CD. In fact, I’m listening to that CD as I write this post.

If you get the opportunity to see these fabulous musicians in concert, I highly, highly recommend it! Bravo!

Author Extra: Mountain Memories

mountainmemories3_webAs part of my release day with Torquere, I wrote a blurb about how Mountain Memories came to life – where I got some of my ideas. I wanted to share it with you as it gives insight into me and my characters. Hope you enjoy it!

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This story is near and dear to my heart. During a couple of my summers in college, I spent time working in Rocky Mountain National Park while living in the town of Estes Park, Colorado. The Fern Lake trail was one of my favorite hikes. Given the beauty at the end of the hike – the lake, mountains and pine trees – I daydreamed about being the damsel in distress, who is rescued by a sexy ranger staffing the nearby cabin. Although, I must confess, the cabin in this story is a bit upgraded from the one found in the park! Wild animals were always a concern when hiking, and on my last trip to the park, there were several notices about mountain lion attacks. With all this information, I felt the beginnings of a story, fighting to get out of my head.

When I pictured Jax’s character, I wanted someone more artsy than outdoorsy, someone with a big heart. Given my love for playing the piano, I decided to make Jax a pianist and composer. Sadly, Jax is a better musician than I am, and I wish I could have his confidence when playing in front of a crowd!

Mason’s character came together easily as well. I’ve always had a thing for Dominic Purcell after watching Prison Break. I wanted Mason’s character to be like Dominic’s – tough, strong, and savvy. I also envisioned Mason as fiercely independent and putting his job at the forefront. At least until he meets Jax.

Link to the excerpt on Torquere’s site: https://www.torquerepress.com/fiction/mountainmemories.html

Buy Link: http://www.torquerebooks.com/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=78_91&products_id=3891

(Links for Amazon and Smashwords coming soon!)

Another Weekend Gone

Another weekend is coming to a close…I’m pleasantly distracted by the aroma of grilled food drifting in through my sliding glass door. I am presently scrunched on my couch as my cat has decided to join me.

As I look back on the weekend, I wonder where it went and what I got accomplished, if anything! So, here goes a recap (which instead of actually being a recap may be more of a ramble):

Friday night – piano lesson. I decided Gershwin wasn’t for me. I’m still working on Clair de Lune, which is coming along rather nicely. I also added Massenet’s (hope I spelled it right) Meditation from Thais (hope I spelled that right, too!). My teacher is convinced I have a thing for Romantic music (and composers who lived from the mid 1800s to the early 1900s). If you have any suggestions of music for me, please let me know! Sometimes it is frustrating trying to find a piece I like well enough to spend hours upon hours practicing. ‘Cause, yeah, if I don’t like it, I won’t practice it.

Saturday – started with coffee and muffins with my author friend, Sue Lyndon. It was great to catch-up and chat. We both managed to get sunburned from sitting outside. The weather was gorgeous so you won’t hear me complaining! After that, I managed to go for a run/ walk. I was so excited that my knee didn’t complain at all. Has to be a first!! Upon my return, I visited with my neighbors. By the time I got home, I was beat!! Instead of writing, I tackled editing on two of my pieces. I think I made a good bit of progress.

Sunday – began with church and was followed by grocery shopping (oh, my most favorite activity. COUGH!). Then, I wanted to take a nap – my allergies have been killing me and I haven’t been able to sleep in. No such luck. Enter practicing the piano and art. I finished a page in my journal that is pretty cool, I think. I really need to get over my fear of watercolors – just need to dive in and see what happens!! Then, I ended the night with more practice. Well, before my blog post!

I suppose you notice that the one thing which is missing is . . . Reading! Yikes!! I need to get back into it. I think part of my problem is that I need to read on my Kindle at night (poor vision, one of the joys of getting older), and the other issue is that I’m squeezing so much into my awake time that when I go to bed, there is no need to read. I’m out for the count! However, I have noticed a correlation between lack of reading and struggling to write. I think reading helps my grammar and inspiration. Maybe it is just a matter of finding the right book that I can’t bear to put down… wish me luck on that one!

 

Nerves…not made of steel

I just don’t get it. I can play the piano at home with just Willow listening and not have a care in the world. Put me in front of people, and it’s a completely different story. Yes, I’ve tried imagining folks in their underwear, and I’ve told myself that I have a special talent and they aren’t the ones up there playing. However, nothing seems to work. This Sunday I will be accompanying a bass soloist. I’m telling myself that it is all about him, and nobody will be paying attention to me. Yeah. As good as it sounds, I doubt that it is going to work. I’ve decided I’m going to have positive mental images of me playing the piece in a relaxed manner, swaying to the rhythm, and hitting all the right notes. It certainly can’t hurt, right?

Confession time: My 10K training program started this week and already I’m off schedule. Yesterday was supposed to be a rest day. Instead, I was motivated and went to the gym. I did 4 miles on the elliptical and lifted weights for my upper body. Nope, you didn’t miss it – no running in there. Today was supposed to be a run day. Yeah. No running today, either. Some manual labor, but I’m not sure that counts. Tomorrow, I must run. My mantra has to be get your butt out of bed and run!  We shall see…