PAST RAMBLING - 2017
(collection of past Homepage greetings and stories)

Winter 2016-2017

Howdy my friends, at this time last year I was deep into the creation of my new album, House of Sky. I enjoyed that recording and the writing and playing and production that went with it, more than any recording project I’ve ever done. Much of that was because so many of you reached out to support me through my Kickstarter campaign, that you gave me the time and money to take as long as I needed to finish it. That album has been out since last summer and I have had such wonderful and passionate response to every song on it. It was my dream to make a record that would make you want to listen like we did in our youth, where we’d give an album our full attention and get lost in it over and over again. I wanted every song to matter, to give you something that would better your life, lift your mood and give you hope and help you feel that the creativity I expressed in writing and recording it came from the same well of love that you too have the ability to drink from.

In all my years of recording I have never seen so many people buy a new album over and over again to give it away. One person bought 50 copies, another 30. And so many folks have come back to my website again and again to buy more for friends they felt would love the album. I’m hoping that many of you will do that for gift giving this Holiday Season. I honestly cannot think of another gift you could give which someone might love for years and years. Think back to the songs and the albums that have meant a lot to you in your life. And how you can still listen and feel good about life when you hear those songs today. That is what I envisioned and what I know is happening for those who have this new album.

Holiday Gifts ~ I’ve set up a couple of options for you this season. If you buy 3 or more CDs, you may choose another CD for free. You can see the instructions on my Special Holiday Offers link. Also, I’ve been creating short 10-minute guided meditation recordings that are receiving such good feedback and response. Several people have written me to let me know that my Restful Sleep meditation has truly helped them to fall asleep easier and sleep more soundly. And others have let me know that my Peaceful Breaths meditation has relieved stress and anxiety in their lives and helped them to feel more centered and well. If you purchase a CD on my website, you may ask for either one of these meditations and I’ll email it to you right away.

Meditation ~ Next week will be my two year anniversary of beginning to meditate regularly and consistently. My life has been so much richer and more peaceful since — and it began almost immediately after starting to meditate. I do hour long guided meditations and I know that when you are just getting started that may seem like an impossible amount of time. That’s why I’ve created these shorter ones to help you get started and to stay with it long enough so that you feel the gifts start to come.

Someone wrote me last night and said she’d been encouraged to begin because of my frequent writing about meditation. For five months she has meditated and I loved the simple way she described her results; “What you say is so true — it will change your thought patterns.” That may not seem particularly profound to you until you start to realize that our days are filled with negative thoughts; What is wrong? What might be wrong later? Did someone criticize me? Am I not good enough? I wish I wasn’t fat. I’m frightened by what is going on in the world. ~ It goes on and on. And I will not tell you that I never have those thoughts, but almost immediately after starting to meditate they began to recede. And when you start to notice yourself waking up happier and more peaceful in your heart, you will know that it was the communion with your own soul — which is what meditation is — that did it. If you wish to pray, you will never in your life pray more beautifully and gratefully than after clearing your heart and mind through meditation and coming to prayer as a very natural expression of your gratitude.

Concerts ~ I just played a really enjoyable concert in Seattle last month and the week before last, I played two concerts in Southern California. One was a private concert. Private concerts are a big part of how I am able to survive with music as my livelihood. All my concerts are a joy and all of them are uplifting and filled with good will, but these private concerts are particularly special. People in all parts of the US have bring me in to sing in their home or some venue they have arranged, and I sing and tell stories to their family and their closest friends. I feel like I have walked into a rare and sacred space every time. If you are ever interested in my Private Concerts, check the link under my Concerts menu.

I would love to do performances in many regions of the US in this next year. I need help doing that though. I’m a one man operation and while I can rent halls and put on my own shows in some cities, generally, I need someone else to do that for me. Some existing venue or concert series or promoter. It is most helpful to me if you actually have an inside-track to one of these. If you are a part of creating shows or want to do so, or you know someone who does that and may really listen to you when you suggest that they bring me in for a concert, that is the most helpful thing for me. On occasion, I’ve had people get in touch and say that they want to produce a show in their community themselves. I’m thrilled for that to happen and will do my best to offer you some guidance if that interests you.

How can I reach you? It is SO very important to me to be able to send you an email for concerts and events and new music. Facebook is not enough. My mail list is large, several thousand names and addresses, but probably a third of those bounce back. So if you did not receive an E-letter from me this last week of November, that means I DO NOT have your current email address. I really do need that, so please email me at mt@michaeltomlinson.com or click on my mail list link and sign up again. I never share your information.

Our country, our people, our healing. For me, this election was extremely painful. I say that with respect for you if it was not so for you. If we are not honest and forthright, we do not as likely come together in a loving and kind and intelligent way. I believe in humanity and I know that I play a part, as you do, in all that comes to this world. What I wish for us all is a softer way with each other. I wish for us to breathe and pause now and again before we speak, even if we are being yelled at. Especially if we are being yelled at. Because we are not here to test each other, to challenge each other, to criticize and judge each other. We are here to accept each other and to come to kindness and compassion again and again and again and to love each other, no matter how many times in our life we have failed. So I wish for us as a nation and for all humans and living things to inhale and exhale and remember kindness. It is worth holding in your intention, no matter how opposite it may seem that the world actually is. We just keep loving and forgiving and holding a vision for the unlimited expression of creativity and kindness and love everywhere. There is no better way.

I hope you have a loving Holiday Season and coming winter. If you have not yet listened to House of Sky, I truly believe it is a wonderful gift awaiting your attention. One of my closest friends said to me about it, “I realized the other day that when ever I listen to the songs on House of Sky, I love myself more.” That is where it all starts, my friends. Take good care of yourselves and don’t forget to take some deep breaths.

Your friend in breezy Seattle,
 
 ~Michael
Spring/Summer 2017 for stories, humor and day-to-day updates click here

Howdy my friends, as I’m writing a new website rambling for you, it seems strange that a year ago I was just about now sending out the first copies of my House of Sky cd to all my crowdfunding backers. It was a joy even signing and packaging each one, knowing that the reason it existed is because so many people had believed in me and wanted to help me bring some new songs to life in the world.

 It took a while before I was ready to write new songs after House of Sky. It’s that way when you put so much of your heart and mind into the creation of an album — or any great endeavor. I loved the process of recording that album more than any other record I’ve ever released. So for a time I didn’t allow myself to write new songs. I just wanted to hang on a little while longer to the feeling of releasing the songs I’d 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 I’d 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 they’ll 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 — 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 I’m going to create several new projects. I’m 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. I’ve 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, “Friendship and Goodwill.” 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, “I 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.” 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 kids’ 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, I’m going to soon do two workshops in Seattle. One is a Writer’s Workshop. I did one here a couple of years ago and it was such an enjoyable experience — and by the responses of those who came — it was inspiring to them and left them feeling excited to write. The gathering will be mostly talking, with some actual writing time. It’s 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 it’s time for another Songwriter’s 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. I’ve 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?

I’m 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 I’m playing San Diego on June 30, for the first time in over 20 years. Also, I’ll have a show this fall in Indianapolis I’m really excited about and hope to put it together with something in Ohio and up the east coast into New England. If you’re on my mail list, you’ll get early notice every time I’m 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. “Wow! Thank you for letting me live to see another spring!”

Don’t forget to take some deep breaths and be kind to yourself, my friend.

Your friend in breezy Seattle,
   
~Michael

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

 

 

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