Archive | April, 2006

Vancouver BC – Songwriters, Musicians, Bands

Just a reminder that John Braheny and I will be visiting the Northwest, offering seminars, consultations and critiques, for songwriters, musicians and bands.

(Yep, musicians and bands don't always think of themselves as songwriters…they just get together and jam and “make stuff up.”)

All the info (and more) is on on his web site, but I'll put the bare bones here for your pleasure.

Hope to see you there!

May 13th, 2006 (Saturday)


• How to market your songs or your band
• How to pitch your songs for film and TV projects
• How music libraries — film/TV song placement co.s work.
• How to market your songs and band online
• The best online resources/services
• How to make the best use of Blogs, Webcasts and Podcasts to promote your band and songs.
• Fresh look at the hows and whys of some powerful writing techniques — a prelude
to: Song critiques – Selected at random — lyric sheets required.

Also — For professional feedback on your songs and career strategy,
schedule a one-on-one session on Sunday May 14.

Time: 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Location: Holiday Inn Express, 2889 East Hastings Street, Vancouver, BC.
(Near the Pacific Nat'l Exhibition – PNE)
Phone hotel for directions: (604) 254-1000

Contact: Event Organizer, Esther Sarlo, in Vancouver.
Email: or phone: 604-253-3039.
Early registration: $65 (CAD).


Shaw Island – Songwriters Workshop Retreat

A reminder:

We (John Braheny and I) will be presenting a 3-day “Goosing Your Song Muse” songwriters workshop retreat on beautiful Shaw Island (Washington – off the coast of Seattle), Friday/Saturday/Sunday, May 5-6-7, 2006.

This particular retreat, due to limited facilities, is for 10 women only … and there are still a few openings if you haven’t already registered. Talk to either Sharon Wooton or Maggie Savage … Their contact info is at

The location (in the San Juan islands) is simply stunning, with all the tranquility you can handle, excellent meals prepared straight from their garden, wide open views of the bay as you play their grand piano in the main room, or enjoy their under-the-stars hot tub, plus opportunities to co-write and learn about how to market your songs on the Web with one of the best songwriting teachers in the business (if I say so myself). Also, a bit of time is devoted to creativity exercises too.
Beginners welcome…

This is our third time there and we hope you can join us!


The Snowflake Method for Writing a Novel

So many of us are not linear thinkers, you know, following step 1, step 2, step 3, etc. We tend to get an abstract picture in our minds that, somehow, makes sense only to us. When it comes to producing the product (i.e., song, book, story), we still have to put it into some kind of pattern for it to communicate to the masses.

To illustrate a completely different way to approach a novel-writing project, here's an article, (found at, by award-winning novelist, fiction teacher and physicist, Randy Ingermanson, The Snowflake Method for Writing a Novel.

The visual concept of building a snowflake shows me how each section of a novel can be 'built' to handle plots twists and yet hang on to an overall pattern.

Several people have divulged their writing processes to me … and one of them that was not at all like a snowflake, was from a woman who writes Harlequin-style love novelettes. Very formula. So much so, that she showed me huge drawn grids on the 4 walls that surround her desk, reading in a circle around the room. The giant square grids denote time-lines or plot shifts, to be filled in, just like a puzzle. In other words, if a certain sub-climax had not been entered into square 3, then the “timing” in her story would be “off.” Hey, whatever works …

More about novel-writing next time…


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