Category Archives: writing

New Show Announced: Rockstar!

New Show Announced: Rockstar! (Working Title!)

I am so excited to be writing my new one-gal show! It’s about me growing up as a rockstar. It’s true. It happened. This is so brand new I will be previewing the first half of it as an opener to the illustrious Stephanie Herrera’s new show Am I Pretty Now? before she takes it to New York City! You should seriously come and check this out! I promise fun! I would love your feedback as I develop this new show! What should I title it? If you come up with a title I can use for the show I will write you your own original song dedicated to whatever you choose!

amipretty

 

Friday November 4 2016
The Harmony Creek Community Centre
15 Harmony Road North, Oshawa

8:00pm
$10 at the door

What a bargain for 2 great gals in 2 great shows! Woop! Hope to see you there!
Love, me.

xoxoxox

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Compelling, poetic, unflinchingly honest snapshots of working class people in Of Being Underground & Moving Backwards

Where do the words Interrupted Of the working class people go? Lost somewhere within their time Interrupted. This is the prologue to Heather Babcock’s chapbook Of Being Underground and Moving Backwards, a collection of short stories published by DevilHousePress. A compelling and vividly detailed collection of works, Of Being Underground and Moving Backwards opens with […]

https://lifewithmorecowbell.wordpress.com/2016/02/11/compelling-poetic-unflinchingly-honest-snapshots-of-working-class-people-in-of-being-underground-moving-backwards/

People Profile: M.K. Wood!

Meet M.K. Wood:
Author, dreamer, light of the world!


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M.K. Wood is an author! It’s official! On this auspicious occasion of her first (but not last) book being published, I hounded her with questions about life and art and she answered! Behold! 🙂

What is your career? My dream career…writing, but I do love my job as a Manager in hospitality. I meet the most incredible people, and from all over the world. (One of the hotels is an older resort, I love it, the people, and the ocean view…there is nothing like it! Quality Resort Bayside Parksville, BC).

What is your passion? To me… passion comes from within, and it can arise from different experiences…it is felt more than anything. Really, it is simple for me! I am passionate for the little things in life; things that make me smile or double over laughing or cry or feel love… you get where I am going. Passion is a beautiful word and it means so many different things to me.

What are some of your challenges and rewards? I think age and wisdom (or lack of) has a lot to do with some of my own challenges. I used to repeat some horrible patterns. Each stage of my life is different and I am constantly learning to grow. It is learning to let go and breathe. The greatest rewards are the lessons I have learnt along the way. The incredible people I have also learnt from. I have met a lot of beautiful souls and for that I am extremely rewarded.

What is your advice to others? If you believe in something badly enough, do it, and believe in yourself. If it is something you cherish, listen to that. And do some research! I was trembling when I brought my manuscript in! But I did it.

How does it feel to be an artist? An artist…I don’t know if I ever thought of myself in that way. Thanks! How I feel? I am really happy and grateful. And, a little nervous!

5 years ago did you expect to be where you are today? 5 years ago? I don’t remember what I had for dinner last night!

Where do you expect to be in 5 years? 5 years from now…well right now I am writing down by the ocean and freezing my buns off, (amongst other parts)! So I am kind of thinking… a trip to the Big Island would be nice right now! 5 years from now…at peace with myself and really happy! With several sequels of Piper’s Pond published and they are made into movies…what? I can’t dream? It is five years from now!

What would you say to your 8-year-old self?  “Believe in yourself, seriously… listen to that inner voice you hear, and it is okay to accept help sometimes…” I continue to say, to my eight years old self.

What would you say to your 80-year-old self? I see my 80 years old self; rocking on the front porch, “Holy crap! We are still alive!”

How lucky are you and why? As sappy as this may sound; I am lucky and grateful, to have a roof over my head, clothes, food, a beautiful family, and loving friends.

What would people be surprised to know about you? I am afraid of whales and clowns…long stories.

What makes you laugh? People with a great senses of humor, the movie Holy Grail, my kids, and I laugh at myself a lot…I find humor in life’s simplest idiosyncrasies.

What is fun for you? I try to see and find the fun in everything…I try.

What makes you question humanity? Unfortunately I am one of those “thinned skinned” people. I can usually sense evil and negativity. I call it toxins or toxic! There is way too much evil in this world right now. But light is stronger, so I try to stay focused on the good. (Too strange of an answer?)

What is your favourite quote?  I am going with my Grade 12 high school yearbook: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” Helen Keller There are some incredible quotes out there and I could go on forever!

What is something you are proud to be involved in? Look for the Sequel to Piper’s Pond: Piper’s Pond The Unwritten Fairytale. I love volunteering for the Gleaners Organization, but sadly I missed going this year. I usually try to go twice a year into Oliver, B.C., The people there are incredible and have their own amazing stories to tell. The Gleaners can be found throughout the world and with volunteers of all ages working to help feed the hungry. The volunteers I have worked with over the years at the Gleaners are my extended family. My parents, my children, and I have volunteered in Oliver for years! www.okanagangleaners.com

I have a huge amount of respect for a woman named Judy Bergen. I had volunteered to go to Guatemala, and I had only briefly met Judy and her husband, Phillip, who run a project called Love Guatemala. I had no idea what I was getting myself into…it was a leap of faith. I wrote an article for the Oliver Chronicle about it (www.oliverchronicle.com/gleaners-to-guatemala-the-long-road-travelled). Phillip is now Judy’s guardian angel from above; it was an honor to have met and worked with them. Judy is an inspiring woman, loving, strong faith, and an extremely hard worker.

I could go way back and list a lot of really inspiring people that I have met throughout my life! Starting with my grandmother and parents!

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Inspired by M.K.’s real-life children, Skyler and Brody, Piper’s Pond reads just like your ma is nestled in with you whispering tales of ecstatic adventure straight from her heart-triggered imagination. I downloaded the e-version as soon as it was available so I could sink into it right away. Accompanied by a juniper wooden-wick crackling candle and a box of bonbons, I enjoyed following this tale and really felt like the author herself was there regaling me with the magical life of another world and the endless possibilities for this one. And I love the cover illustration too.
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“Piper’s Pond: With high school looming at the end of the newly beginning summer vacation, thirteen-year-old Skyler Wolfe is already starting to stress. So when she notices a piece of shining purple foil flickering in an air vent in her bedroom, the last thing she expects is to be plucked from her stressful, if commonplace, everyday life and invited on an adventure that she will never forget. With a brightly polished entry ticket to a mysterious destination, and an excited mother who seems to know far more than she is letting on, Skyler can only imagine what wonders await her at Piper’s Pond.” -cover sleeve description
Getcher copy in hard, soft or electronic version at FriesenPress here!
Enjoy, everybuddy!
🙂 Love Kat

People Profile: Signe Miranda

Meet Signe Miranda: singer, songwriter, coach, author!

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Signe Miranda is many things, and just one of them is being a pretty swell lady to know; sweet and kind and also a creative supportive force on the music scene! She is lead singer of Signe Miranda’s Veranda, an alternative roots-rock band, and she also teaches The Song Creation Formula process and literally wrote the book on it! Here I am reading it! Those are smudges of milk chocolate on my brow. That’s how I Rolo.

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I posed the People Profile questions to Signe and this is what she said:

What is your career? Is it the same as your passion? What is your passion?

My career is songwriter, musician/performer, live sound tech, author and songwriting coach. My passion is having fun sharing the joy of music with people and inspiring people to embrace their creativity, passion and purpose. Often when people ask that question, they mean “what do you do for a living.” I see a career as something that I’m continually working at to expand my experience of mastering it. I do other things for fun and to support my career – working in an office, concert production work and other fun stuff that comes up.

What are the greatest challenges and greatest rewards of your career?

One of my greatest challenges with my career is creating the time and space to focus on being in a creative place, when there are a lot of administrative entrepreneurial activities that go along with being my own record label, my own booking agent, manager, web designer and marketing manager, while having a part time day job and multiple facets to my career.

The rewards are boundless – being in creative flow is one of the most amazing feelings – writing songs & sharing them with an audience, rehearsing, recording and playing shows with my band (Signe Miranda’s Veranda), creating and leading programs that assist people in writing their first song when they never thought they could write a song.

What is your advice to others embarking on similar career?

Follow your intuition. It will always guide you to the place where you belong. You’ll always be where you’re meant to be in a greater sense – although the journey flows if you’re in line with your intuition, while if you continually resist what is, the journey becomes a chore; and it’s all about the journey. Most artists create and share their art because they find joy in it and sometimes we think we need to do certain things because that’s what’s necessary to accomplish certain things. The path is different for each of us, so be your own guide and don’t get too frustrated allowing the “paperwork” to take over the creative work. Remember why you love it and keep that love alive.

What does it mean to be an artist?

To be an artist is to be free to create and experience the flow of life, transforming it into something through which the feeling or emotion can be shared with others to create an experience that transcends the one who created it.

5 years ago, did you expect to be where you are today? Why, why not?

Five years ago I certainly didn’t expect to be where I am today. The thought never entered my mind at that time, that I would write a book and become a best-selling author and interview some of my favourite songwriters, do seven solo tours, driving across the country alone and having the most amazing time, traveling all over the place volunteering at personal development events, taking courses, working with a coach to expand my career and my awareness, creating and leading songwriting workshops, while still in the same day-job which allows me the freedom to travel, and playing in a band with such amazing musicians.

Where will you be in 5 years?

That’s a fantastic surprise and gift. I could guess; I could plan and everything gets turned upside down and shaken up. I will be wherever I lead myself to, one moment at a time. That’s not the answer I would have given six months ago. It would be really fun to be touring with my band, playing shows (band and solo) across Canada and the US, in Europe (especially Norway), Australia, New Zealand, anywhere the music leads me. I would love to travel to so many places – hiking mountains, visiting archaeological sites (particularly Egyptian, Roman and Mayan), playing sports and enjoying this amazing thing we call life.

I love recording albums, touring, creating and leading workshops and always learning – so I see that continuing to be a huge part of my life.

What would you say to your 8-year-old self?

Remember to play. It doesn’t matter what your age is, adults get to play too. Always remember that.

What would you say to your 80-year-old self?

Remember to play. Life is to be enjoyed. “Life is for laughing, loving and living.” (Ed Foreman)

How lucky are you and why?

I am so lucky, if you define lucky as amazement of how spectacular life can be, where things unfold in a surprisingly interwoven way, like we’re living a story that we wrote and forgot what the plot was going to be. Sometimes I forget how movies end and can enjoy them with fresh perspective. Life is kind of like that. Nothing is random.

What would people be surprised to know about you?

If I give away all my secrets, then nobody will be surprised anymore. 😉 I teach tennis and one summer it was one of my tour-funding vehicles. I’m a certified NLP practitioner.

What makes you laugh? What is fun for you?

Really funny movies make me laugh – they have to be really really funny, ridiculous conversations – usually brought on by lack of sleep, and sincere joyful abandon (being in the moment and allowing the joy of the moment to overwhelm the senses – usually involving outdoor activities and/or silliness.

What I find to be the most fun is playing music, road trips, personal development courses, watching movies, hiking mountains and taking pictures of scenery, experiencing new places – particularly involving mountains and water – driving through the Rockies, overcoming fears – i.e. bungee jumping, starting conversations with people who I’m nervous to talk to, going to amazing concerts, doing live sound for concerts, dancing to joyful music, playing sports (especially badminton, tennis, table tennis, basketball and whirly ball – look it up – it’s the awesome-est sport that no-one’s heard of).

What makes you question humanity?

Philosophy encourages me to ponder purpose. It puzzles me that sometimes people get so caught up in being right that they lose perspective on their purpose.

What is your favourite quote?

I don’t have one favourite quote. It’s always changing. The one I mentioned earlier seems appropriate at the moment, “Life is for laughing, loving and living.” (Ed Foreman)

Is there anything else you’re involved in that you’d like to plug or point our attention to?

I’ve recently launched a crowdfunding campaign for the new album I’m recording with my band, Signe Miranda’s Veranda. It’s called “Heart Wave” and I’m really excited to be recording with these awesome musicians that I started working with over the last year and a half (Shamakah Ali & Rob Brown), as well as Brian Allossery, who has an awesome sense of how to arrange my songs in a way that really inspires me. I’m excited to have guest musicians on the album too – Peter Nunn and Bob Egan. We just started recording the first four songs at Rouge Valley Studio with Jeremy Trites and we’re releasing one single at a time every couple of months, starting next month. My purpose is to share the joy of music with as many people as I can and people can get involved by donating and/or sharing our crowdfunding page – http://smarturl.it/fundheartwave

I’m about to head out on my fifth west coast tour in September, playing shows and leading songwriting workshops (The Song Creation Workshop/Experience) from Vancouver to Edmonton – to share my book “The Song Creation Formula” and to launch the first single from “Heart Wave.” – http://www.signemiranda.com/

I attended the Coalition Music/Canada’s Music Incubator Artist Entrepreneur Program last year and it was an absolutely amazing experience – helping me grow as an artist, focus and expand – http://www.canadasmusicincubator.com/

Brian Allossery (singer, songwriter, musician, producer) has this awesome social networking site for artists to connect with eachother and share their art – musicians, poets, painters, writers… from all around the world – http://lazypoets.com/

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See? Look how helpful and inspiring she is!
For more on Signe and all her projects, check out her links!
New courses for the fall are available with the Song Creation Workshop! Check it!
Have a glorious day!
🙂
Love Kat

Heather Babcock: On Writing!

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Heather Babcock is “writing to exhale,” and her new chapbook Of Being Underground and Moving Backwards has been published by DevilHousePress. You should really check it out!

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I asked Heather some questions on writing and she answered. Watch her lips move and her eyes sparkle here! Heather Babcock: On Writing!

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For more on Heather Babcock please visit her website www.HeatherRoseBabcock.tumblr.com!

Carry on, everybuddy! Have a glorious day!
Love Kat! 🙂

About | Up The Creek: Dawsons Creek Revisited

You know how some things you found so awesome as a youngin’ seem kinda less so when you’re an oldin’? The snow hill that was so high? The Disney movie that was full of horror? The Wagon Wheel that was enough for a snack?

What happens when Jen and Jenn go back up Dawson’s Creek? Punchy prose, that’s what! 🙂

This: About | Up The Creek: Dawsons Creek Revisited.

Resting On A Memory

For now this memory would hold her, for now this memory was enough.  She sat for a moment in bliss, resting and recalling the sensation of the serene thrill that came before.

Within this memory, she could still dance to the music of her own giggles and sighs as they mixed with the hum of her companion speeding freely underneath her.  She pulsed with the memory of the motion, each wave of movement a crest toward forthcoming promise and destiny. A magical breeze whispered encouragement, and the generous torque lifting her spirit let her know that she was well on her way.  She was on top of the world as her oyster, and as it spun it did swirl into a silken pearl of fortune and gratitude.

This memory she savoured was a token of her good luck and a reminder to cherish each moment.  For now this memory would hold her, for now this memory was enough.  But as soon as the power came back on, she would jump back aboard for another sweet ride.

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Photo by Michelle Weber
*This blog was inspired by Michelle Weber’s call to action on The DailyPost wherein the challenge was to write a post inspired by this photo.

In a nutshell:
Weekly Writing Challenge: 1,000 Words
The challenge is called “1,000 Words” after the famous phrase, but don’t feel that you need to write that much (or that little) — however many words your story requires is the right number of words.

Thanks for the challenge, Daily Press! That was fun!
🙂 Love Kat

www.KatLeonard.com
@katbandoo

 

I See The Light! I Smell Cake!

(SAC Songwriting Challenge-Week 6-FINAL!)

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I see the light!

I made it! I submitted my final peer evaluations for Pat Pattison’s course this morn! This songwriting course has introduced me to a whole world of what I don’t know. But now I actually know what I don’t know, and what I should know. And knowing is half the knowing! Now when I discuss songwriting, I have new musical vocabulary as well as deeper definitions for common vocabulary like stable and unstable. I’m able to absorb song execution tactics with more profound saturation. I see a door to a valuable toolshed, a door beckoning me like freshly baked cake to a whole new world of songwriting. Knowing that door to the toolshed is there, and that I have access to it whenever I find the initiative to flick the latch, is as comforting as eating half that freshly baked cake and knowing the second half of the cake is there for dessert!

Thank you to SAC for instigating yet another great blogging challenge, and thank you thank you thank you to Berklee College and Pat Pattison! An unstable hero is just what I needed!

unstablePat Pattison-a sung hero!
(Get it? He’s not unsung? ‘Cause he sings and stuff? Get it?)

Resistance is Fertile

(SAC Songwriting challenge-Week 5)

Resistance is fertile and insidious and endemic. During this week’s songwriting assignment, I found myself quivering with defiance.  Every moment was a battle of the nitwits (myself, me and I). Even my shoulder devil and shoulder angel were harmonizing, “I don’t wanna do it!” I managed to cough up an assignment submission, but resistance has now crept into my will to finish this blog entry.

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I don’t wanna do it!

To Stress or Not to Stress…

SAC songwriting challenge-Week 4

Oh man, during this week’s Pat Pattison songwriting lesson, I got lost by “industrial strength magnets” when a squirrel hopped upon my windowsill… or rather I was drawn vegetatively to the windowsill in hopes of luring a squirrel to hop on by and entertain me. This week’s lesson felt like someone forced me to go camping against my will. And camping is ALWAYS against my will. Ugh. Perhaps I’m over-exhausted from Canadian Music Week shenanigans.

cmwnap2Me saying goodnight to CMW 2013 and dreaming of CMW 2014!

To stress or not to stress… within music, means to analyze the syllables and whether they’re nouns or articles or verbs or squirrels. I tried sooooo hard to pay attention. Okay, to be honest, I can’t precisely qualify how deep my effort to pay attention was, for I kept winding up unconscious. I felt a tangible resistance to attention paying. It felt like the times I’d feigned attention while being scolded for something I planned to do again anyway. The stress was definitely ON.

I didn’t like it.  So I shifted my attention to something else important to me: my next live show, for which I plan to perform new songs that are in various stages of incompletion.  The most amazing thing happened! I was working with lyrics and– guess what! I found myself employing the tactics of syllable stress in my writing– and– I altered the chorus of one of the songs so that the chorus’s title was more defined! I couldn’t believe it! It worked! Pat Pattison’s songwriting tools had hoed their way into my songwriting process and it wasn’t painful or numbing! Weehaaaaahoooooooey! I believe there’s hope for me yet! I CAN use tools outside of myself! Needless to blog, I am thrilled with the prospect, and recharged with vigor! I feel like I’ve benefited from a long-needed nap! Yowza! Yowza!

And on the songwriting note– ha! Get it?! If you’d like to be among the first to hear these new songs, you should come out to Smiling Buddha Bar next week! There’s even some open mic slots, so you could play a song new or old as well! I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be a smack-on good time! Come if you can!

The Four Winds Collective smiles at Buddha Thursday April 4th 9pm!

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