The Harmony Project Singing as One Voice


The Harmony Project.  We are singing Beth Neilson Chapman's "There is no darkness."  Photo by Paul Feeney

The Harmony Project. We are singing Beth Neilson Chapman’s
“There is no darkness.” Photo by Paul Feeney

I’ve been in choirs all my life. I remember how happy I was the first time I officially belonged to a choir. I was in the 5th grade at Rowland Elementary school. I even remember some of the songs we sang for our program.  Miss Titus, our devoted teacher, would probably be thrilled that I remember the words to “The Erie Canal.”

I’ve been in many choirs since then. Singing makes me feel good. I like the social aspects of it too. It’s just plain fun. The Harmony Project, one of the choirs I sing in,  is something special. It’s a philanthropic group that sings and shares. Good works have been done in Columbus, Ohio, under the banner of the “Harmony Project.” We raise money, and get to give concerts too.

Choir Directors always talk about “singing with one voice.”  That is a hard thing to achieve. Sometimes, you have some frustrated singers, with better than average voices, over-singing. At times, what you end up with is  different voices, not blending at all. Sometimes, it reminds me of a competition.  If you have a skillful musical director, they won’t allow this to happen.

Last night at the Harmony Project, everyone was singing enthusiastically while they followed Musical director,  David Brown. In the middle of it all, I said to myself. Wow, this is a once in a lifetime moment. Stay  in the present, listen, to your neighbor, blend in and forget yourself.

It was one of those magical moments. One I’ll always remember. We were all one voice.

Members of The Harmony Project singing with heart and soul!  From the Bill Pearsol album

Members of The Harmony Project singing with heart and soul! From the Bill Pearsol album

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Harmony Project gets loads of bikes to give to kids for Christmas


305432_10151280280413070_1024731632_n305432_10151280280413070_1024731632_nHere’s what can happen if people work together, and do something positive. The Harmony Project, a philanthropic group that sings and shares had a one day drive in Columbus, Ohio, to buy bikes for foster kids.  It worked!  In one day, enough money was raised to buy 155 bikes!

In light of what has happened recently, this is encouraging news. If we put our minds to it, we can do anything.

We just need to believe in ourselves, and what we can accomplish! Picture by David Brown, director of The Harmony Project!

It’s a Nail Biter but Get Off my Telephone (I’ve never been so popular!)


The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads

The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ll be happy when this election is over. It’s not exactly making my life pleasant.

I live in Ohio, and the candidates just won’t stop calling me. First it was Sherrod Brown, and then it was Josh Mandel. Who knew I was going to be so popular?

Not only are people calling me on the phone, they are knocking on my door. They are giving me pamphlets, and telling me how excited they are about their candidates.  I have to admire their tenacity,  but I’m not answering the door until election day is over.

On TV, the talking heads are reduced to talking about the candidates with Body Language experts. Why was Obama’s head tilted to the left? Why did Romney raise his chin?  It’s reminds me of the George Orwell book, 1984. Thought police were going around checking out the population.

Why didn’t “the super pacs”  take all the money they spent on all those annoying advertisements and start reducing the deficit with it.

Do, go out and vote. By now, you ought to know there is a difference between the candidates. Don’t let other people affect your life!

What do you think?

Here are my 10 top reasons for Attending Writer’s conferences


underword: flash fiction

underword: flash fiction (Photo credit: piglicker)

Today I went to a Writer’s Conference in Columbus, Ohio. It was a high quality conference held at Columbus State University.  The price was very reasonable. You wouldn’t believe it if I told you. How about $15.00 for breakfast and lunch? (Someone was very generous.)

There were high quality speakers: a poet laureate ( J. Patrick Lewis),  a Pulitzer Prize winning poet ( Tracy K Smith)  a Memoir writer ( Mary Anne Benedetto) and a writer and  Fulbright professor ( Professor Christine Buuck)  from The Ohio State University (she taught us a little bit about flash fiction.)

I received helpful handouts, recommendations of  good websites, several chances to write after some brief instruction, and an opportunity to buy books at a reasonable price.

1.  I met other people who share my interest.
2. I heard talented people talk about things they’ve done to further their careers
3. I learned some more about what websites are good for exploring the craft of writing.
4. I got the chance to buy some terrific books at very reasonable prices.
5. I learned about how to market from an expert marketer, John Kremer, http://www.bookmarket.com.  He also shared some great tips about exploring the internet.
6. There’s nothing like getting a poetry lesson from a Pulitzer prize winner, Tracy K. Clark. She also did some moving readings from her Pulitzer Prize book.
7. The writer’s answered questions, and were very thoughtful with their answers.
8.  Everybody is willing to network.
9. Attending these type of activities stimulates your mind, challenges and encourages you

10. The food and coffee were terrific, and it was just plain fun!

 

A little humor about being 60+: Wishing I was a Khardashian


Image representing Meetup as depicted in Crunc...

Image via CrunchBase

September 14, 2012
I
s there a country where it’s cool to be older. If there is, I think I would like to move there. The only thing getting older gets you in Columbus, Ohio, is 10% off Tim Hortons and White Castle.  I have to admit .90 is better than $1.10 for coffee. What’s even more insulting is that I don’t even have to show them my “Golden Buckeye” card. They literally take me at face value.

I met with a Meetup Group called “Senior Women”. It was not a happy experience. First of all, they looked older than me, and were trying to find exciting things to do together. They thought going to an outlet mall together would be a rip-roaring time. They glared at me when I told them I still had a husband. “What do you want one of those for?” asked one woman.

Another one said, “You talk really loud.” Then she kept pointing out I wasn’t smiling. Would she be smiling if someone was insulting her. I chalk it up to some kind of disorder. I think it’s called being rude.  They all were older than me, but not by much. Yikes!

Believe it or not, I watched the Khardashian reality show today,  and actually felt jealous of the head mama. Not only does she keep her kids around her, but she’s made them all millionaires. And what do they do? Nothing much. They stand around and look great, take expensive vacations, and constantly eat fancy food. They also look good in their clothes. Wouldn’t that be a great life? Maybe that’s why their show about absolutely nothing is popular.  I am not completely ignorant.  I know they have to come up with scripts about doing nothing every week.

Me? My wardrobe consists of workout clothes, and not much else. The last classy vacation I took was to Myrtle Beach. I was happy to take it too. Even though it was August, and during the biggest drought in the summer. There was a drunk couple in the pool who were loudly throwing each other around in the pool. It wasn’t like Tahiti or wherever the rich people go these days.

And I am getting older. Like it or not. And this society does not celebrate bags and wrinkles, but things could be a lot worse.

I guess I better try looking at the bright side of life.

I have a nice husband, and great children. I own a computer, and have a blog where I can write my deepest darkest secrets.  I have a house to live in, and great friends. And I can save 10% at Tim Hortons, and White Castle.

So I’m not rich and famous. I would probably hate the paparazzi anyway. Look at Princess Kate. The poor girl can’t even bathe topless on her terrace without somebody taking her picture with a camera that can see miles away.

At least I don’t have to worry about that! Life is good!

Guys and Dolls: The 1955 Movie: They don’t make em like that anymore!


Guys and Dolls (film)

Guys and Dolls (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Columbus, Ohio, the Ohio Theater ―a palatial old refurbished theater—plays old movies in the summer. Sometimes, it is fun to watch the old movies in a big beautiful theater with a big screen. It’s usually fun to watch them with other people too.  Chances are, they’ll be your age. In this particular theater there is a fine musician playing the organ before the show and during intermission

I had seen the musical, Guys and Dolls,  in various school productions, and even in a semi-professional theater when I was a teenager.  I knew all the words to all the songs, and I don’t even recall consciously learning them.

I enjoyed this movie. First of all, there was a young Frank Sinatra, Marlon Brando, and Jeanne Simmons. They all had chemistry and stage presence that popped out from the screen. It also starred Vivian Blaine, Stubby Kaye, and Sheldon Leonard.

The choreography, scenery, costumes and acting were good enough to make me forget it was 2012.

It really brought back the old days. Another time with old over-sized cars, men wearing actual hats, and women wearing dresses.

The main characters even took a trip to Havana, Cuba, to have a romantic interlude. There were no bedroom scenes, only a kiss.

It  portrayed Jean Simmon’s character as being very naive. Luckily, women’s roles have changed in 45 years.  Her character didn’t know that milk laced with alcohol would get her drunk. Maybe there are still naive women like that out there, but I doubt it.

There was also nothing but white actors in the movie. Back in those days, the races didn’t mix. In that respect, times are better.

it proved to be a very sentimental escape from me. It brought back memories of my childhood and family. It brought back the days when my life was ahead of me, and I could fantasize about what would happen to me when I grew up.  It was fun to connect with my true inner child.

If you get a chance to rent this movie, turn off the lights, and maybe you’ll go back in time too.  Sometimes, it’s fun to revisit the past. You never know what memories might surface.

Saw some dolphins!


English: three dolphins at pacific ocean

English: three dolphins at pacific ocean (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I love, love the ocean. I wonder if I’d get used to it if I lived by it.  Probably not. I guess it’s never too late.

When I was on Vacation,  I saw some jumping dolphins! How excited we were! I guess when you’re older, witnessing nature gives you joy.  I was just happy that they weren’t at Sea World and were free on their own. But, I was afraid they’d get beached because they were so close. I was cool how many there were, and in those big black pods underwater. So cool!

At first, my husband said, “this is why I tell you not to go out in the ocean. There are sharks out there.” He just likes drama, and being the big protector.

After a few minutes, everyone got used to the whole thing, and started grumbling about not going into the water.

Do you have a good fish or mammal story to tell?

Please share!