“Tuning My Guitar”

Following on from yesterday’s Post, there was a young lady who felt inspired to write about her frustrations with the music industry, and one song in particular (“What have they done to my song, Ma?”) would seem to be a parallel story to Gordon Giltrap’s experience.¬† i.e. What he wrote and how he visualized it being performed, was rather different from how it was ultimately published.

Melanie Safka was, to me, the ideal “poster girl” for flower power! She seemed to represent all that was good in those “peace and love” times, and one of her initial impacts on me was her recording of “Alexander Beetle”! I have no idea whether she was really “pushing” the industry by writing a song about a beetle … but it seemed to work for her and, when my daughter was born, she was given the name Melanie. It just seemed so appropriate.

The song in the video would seem to be a very open and honest show of dismay with the industry, and also a show of strength that she is not going to give up her music. “I used to do it just for fun” (a line from the song) is a statement which I can imagine many musicians would relate to as they reminisced to when playing was fun .. before the music industry captured them and used their creativity and music skills to make huge amounts of money. Enjoy Melanie!

Music … free spirit or in chains?

The arts, in the broadest use of the term, is an interesting contradiction in perceptions. I see any creative process as free from all expectations and pre-conceived notions, and yet that can be far from the truth. Can (or should) a free creative spirit be steered down a conforming road? How do we see creative freedom in comparison to conformity (to expectations)? Continue reading

Blog Changes!

My Blog was giving me problems in a number of areas.

The contrast between the background and the text was fairly good, but italics lost some of that contrast. I heard from a few people that their handheld device had real problems in that area. A stronger contrast was therefore desired.

I also felt it was time to change the Blog header. Ray was certainly the reason the Blog was started, but topics now are much broader, and I wanted to include “Who Said I was up for Adoption?” and “The Odessa Chronicles” in the header area.

Finally, through my own inconsistencies, my Posts that related to my “Just Thinking” book were in various Categories! It was my desire to have each of my books dedicated to their own Category, making it so much easier for an interested reader to find out more about the book, and read excerpts, without hunting through unrelated Posts.

The end result is the following Categories:

My books “Just Thinking”, “The Odessa Chronicles” and “Who Said I was up for Adoption?” each have their own Category. The Category will only contain Posts directly related to the specific book.

Dear Diary – will contain Posts that are based on me! They may be addressing my history; my thoughts about different things; my plans for the future … in fact¬† anything that involves my beliefs/my perceptions/my understandings of life and our world.

Just Ray – will contain Posts just about him, and that do not directly relate to my book about him “Who Said I was up for Adoption?”. This will be of interest to people who just want to see pics of Ray and/or read about our adventures with him.

Food for Thought Рwill contain Posts that are planned to stimulate thought on a broad range of life topics.  This is currently my favorite Category (a result of me having to go through many Posts in order to get them organized). I had forgotten how many thought provoking Posts were filed away here!

Dog Writings General – will contain Posts that are dog related, but not necessarily focused on Ray.

Note: The existing¬† Dog Writings General Category contains many Posts that focus on Ray. I am slowly going through them in order to make this (and the Just Ray Category) more effective, but there are over 500 Posts to go through. It is going to take some time before this Category is “clean”!

Music – will usually contain selections of music (with a YouTube link), that make an impact on me for whatever reasons. While most Posts will contain a music link, there will be some that just discuss specific perspectives of music.

Uncategorized – This Category no longer exists.


Home Isolation Time!

With so much¬† time being spent at home, what a golden opportunity is being provided to¬† catch up on some thought provoking (or just plain fun!) reading and (bonus) … all three books are now on sale (details below)!

The links below go to the FriesenPress Bookstore, but the books are also available world-wide from all the usual on-line book retailers.

“Who Said I was up for Adoption?”

A true story about a man (me!) who had never really liked dogs since being bitten by one when in his teens, and yet he was adopted by almost 80lbs of¬† German Shepherd/Rottweiler with just a bit of an “attitude”.¬† The first eighteen months (the basis for the book) was an emotional¬† roller coaster ride for so many reasons and, unlike so many other dog stories, the hero (our beloved Ray) is still alive and well!


*Note: “Who Said I was up for Adoption?” is now available direct from the FriesenPress Bookstore at discounted prices of $11.99 for the paper-back, and $19.99 for the hard-cover formats.


“The Odessa Chronicles”

If you would prefer something lighter, how about a book of short stories suitable for children ages 4 to 104!¬† If you want to amuse that inner child, or perhaps a young friend or relative …….


*Note: “The Odessa Chronicles” is now available direct from the FriesenPress Bookstore at discounted prices of $10.99 for the paper-back, and $17.99 for the hard-cover formats.


“Just Thinking”

Finally, if you want something that will encourage some introspective thinking, but in a poetic verse format …..


*Note: “Just Thinking” is now available direct from the FriesenPress Bookstore at discounted prices of $6.99 for the paper-back, and $15.99 for the hard-cover formats.

We keep hearing about people who are getting bored with staying at home, but that’s probably because they have yet to purchase one¬† or two or¬† three of these books! You won’t know what you have been missing until you get at least one!¬† The question is “Do you like dog stories books, or pure fiction fun stories, or some thought provoking verse?” Given that they are all currently on sale if purchased direct from the FriesenPress Bookstore … why not get all three?