Nobody Doesn’t Like Art

Sign Me Up To Audition!

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People –

I just heard and loved this song demo by my little sis, Susan Russell (*stage name is Susan Benjey). Afterwards, I turned right around and started lobbying for her to let me throw backing vocals on it once she’s ready to record a studio version.

Check it out:


Andy Griffith & Me

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The fact that I randomly had famed actor Andy Griffith in my thoughts this morning turned out to be a strange coincidence. Right now, I’m remembering the thought process that made him come to mind: I was mentally replaying a recent conversation I had with a couple of lawyer friends, and it somehow brought back the memory of the television show Matlock. I believe it was my mom or grandmama who used to watch it and exposed me to it. Good show.

Naturally, thinking about Andy Griffith’s performance as Ben Matlock led to thoughts of his role as Sheriff Andy Taylor. It is pretty remarkable that Andy Griffith had not one but two television shows that were very big hits. And on top of all that, he was a senior adult in one of the shows but was still the star, playing a role desirable enough to be coveted by an actor much younger. And, of course, he reappeared in recent years to star in a Brad Paisley music video.

Imagine my surprise this morning when I arrived in the office and saw the Andy Griffith news headline after having that whole thought process about him while getting ready to leave for work. I couldn’t believe it. But at this point, I guess I have arrived at a clear conclusion on it all: hopefully, he’s better off now than he ever was – living where I plan to live after this life.


Strings, Woodwinds, Percussion…

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If I ever find myself witnessing a flash mob in person, it should be something like this:

The Worst Songwriting Tip I Know

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I was in high school when I became fascinated with songwriting. It’s funny to think about that, because I was not a natural, and songwriting didn’t come easily for me. Still doesn’t.

Nevertheless, I can’t seem to stop loving it.

When I started reading books about the craft of songwriting, I was amazed. Some of those books have really great content (all kinds of tips, encouragement, and insight for writers). But inevitably, and unfortunately, there are also songwriting books with content that is really…uninspiring.

I still remember the absolute worst writing tip I ever read. I call it the worst not because it was awful but because it was all wrong for me. What was the tip, you ask? Basically, the author recommended a little trick for finding song ideas, and the strategy was simple:

That’s right – eavesdropping on conversations of strangers was recommended as a way to find material or inspiration – a quote, an expression, a story, whatever. So, I tried it at a local coffee shop.

On my very first day of eavesdropping, I found out that listening in on random conversations of random people can lead to regret. I definitely heard some things I didn’t want to hear. And as a result, eavesdropping quickly disappeared from my arsenal of techniques. Thankfully, song ideas spring from a lot of different sources.

Song ideas pop up everywhere – sometimes in the middle of sitting with a buddy for a drink.

Ideas for songs are everywhere. They have a wonderful way of flashing by in the everyday observations and interactions of life. For example, ideas pop up sometimes in the middle of sitting with a buddy for a drink (of Kool-Aid). When something like that happens, a lot of writers reach for a napkin to jot down the idea.

Other times, you simply find yourself getting ready in the morning, singing a phrase that’s stuck in your head, though you have no idea where you got it from.

And of course, there are those turbulent times — moments when it seems the wrong person has walked out of your life, and a song basically pours out of you as soon as you open your mouth to express your feelings.

So, eavesdropping didn’t work for me, but I’m glad life sparks inspiration in plenty of other ways. Weekly Photo Challenge: Sun

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Here’s an image that was captured for one reason – to make use of the effect of the sun on the photo subject.

“Creative Dad Takes Crazy Photos Of Daughters”

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I got a kick out of what this dad did to create some fun with his camera and his daughters:

Creative Dad Takes Crazy Photos Of Daughters | Bored Panda.

It’s Because I’m A Wordsmith

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If you know what a fan I am of handwritten notes and letters, you won’t be surprised that I liked this quote:

“To send a letter is a good way to go somewhere without moving anything but your heart.”

-Phyllis Theroux