Spring/Summer 2017 for stories, humor and day-to-day updates click here

(continued from Home page) It took a while before I was ready to write new songs after House of Sky. Itís that way when you put so much of your heart and mind into the creation of an album ó or any great endeavor. I loved the process of recording that album more than any other record Iíve ever released. So for a time I didnít allow myself to write new songs. I just wanted to hang on a little while longer to the feeling of releasing the songs Iíd carried in my life and loved so much these last few years.

Finally though, I have started to write again and I just love the songs that have come and that are starting to show up in bits of melodies. A few weeks ago when I went to bed, I grabbed my little hand held recorder and some headphones and just laid there in the dark and went back over melody and song ideas Iíd recorded over the last year. Some were such a surprise. I was astonished at how many of them I really loved. It made me excited to see where they will go and how theyíll evolve.

As you probably know about musicians and our music, this is a strange time to try to make a living. Partly because our music is so often downloaded or streamed for free ó or for a small fee. I have never received a check from Pandora or Spotify, so I have not sent them my new music. Eventually I will, but I needed to try to sell all I can first before I give it away for free.

This new reality requires nimble thinking and open mindedness as to what to do next and how to do things related to music that can help me to make a living and still be able to continue writing and singing songs. In this coming year Iím going to create several new projects. Iím working on a series of short guided meditations, where, over a soft bed of music, I vocally guide the listener to a calmer place where thoughts do not run wild and a sense of peace pervades. Iíve been doing these over the last year and many people have let me know that they are a big help in getting started meditating.

Also, some of you may remember my compilation album, ďFriendship and Goodwill.Ē That album came to exist because I was asked to sing for a Fifth grade class by a teacher who wanted to share with the children the value of real Friendship. Most schools have an anti-bullying program. She took a different approach in teaching the children about the many forms and aspects of friendship. To my great honor and surprise, she told the kids, ďI asked Michael to come and sing for you because many of his songs are about friendship, and because he is someone who really lives that, he is a very good friend.Ē I may have cried a little.

Knowing I was going to be singing for the kids, I had created ahead of time a special compilation CD of my songs, and on the back of the booklet, dedicated it to them all by name. They loved it. The reaction and interest by teachers and principals and parents and grandparents in that album really surprised me. So I plan to do a new one, more fully realized and involving some of the kidsí feelings about friendship in the accompanying booklet. It will be a compilation of some old and new and never before released songs, all intended to foster friendship and integrity and kindness in children. I will probably do a small crowd funding campaign, something like Go Fund Me, in order to have a way to bring it to life. If this calls to you, I would really appreciate your support.
Also, Iím going to soon do two workshops in Seattle. One is a Writerís Workshop. I did one here a couple of years ago and it was such an enjoyable experience ó and by the responses of those who came ó it was inspiring to them and left them feeling excited to write. The gathering will be mostly talking, with some actual writing time. Itís meant for all ages and for all types and levels of writing. Maybe you want to write more personally in letters, or for your work you need some help with writing with clarity. Or you wish to employ more imagination in your writing. I can help you with those things. I write every day of my life and I love it. It is a part of my well being and even my spirituality, that I focus, come into the present moment, and then do my writing.

I am also thinking itís time for another Songwriterís Workshop, focusing on both music and lyrics, but primarily on the inspiration behind writing and the openness of imagination and the motivation that we must have to write at all, but certainly to write good songs. Iíve done a few of these over the years and am excited to try some new ideas.

If you are on Facebook, then you may know that I write something almost every day; some story or humorous piece, or I play with photo changing and write essays and sometimes writings of spiritual insight. Whatever comes up for me is what I write. Whatever it is, I always hope to fill what I write with love. Why else even write?

Iím always happy to hear from you. And if you have changed email addresses, please, please send me your new one or sign up on my mail list again. That is the life blood of a musical artist. Having a way to write you directly is so important. I just found that Iím playing San Diego on June 30, for the first time in over 20 years. Also, Iíll have a show this fall in Indianapolis Iím really excited about and hope to put it together with something in Ohio and up the east coast into New England. If youíre on my mail list, youíll get early notice every time Iím near you.

Whatever you are doing this spring time, I hope you have some moments of gratitude. I hope that you see the blossoms and the blush of springtime bursting forth and feel grateful that you get to see another one. I think that every year. ďWow! Thank you for letting me live to see another spring!Ē

Donít forget to take some deep breaths and be kind to yourself, my friend.

Your friend in breezy Seattle,

PS, Feel free to email me any olí time. mt@michaeltomlinson.com