Thursday, February 23, 2017

Flashback: Stepping Back Into MY Day Dream

"Regardless of how you feel inside, always try to look like a winner.
Even if you are behind, a sustained look of control
and confidence can give you a mental edge that results in victory."
Arthur Ashe

I was told to bring dresses, gowns and to look nice. I did not know what to pack, though I knew I would need to look red carpet worthy where it was most important; the most important being at the Tatarstan Filarmonia in Kazan, Russia.

I had waited for that moment for such a long time. I imagined it in my mind, never considering that my dream would come into fruition. And then it did and I had to be my best on the stage, regardless of the cold that the deep freeze of Russia was gripping me with.

I was like a pressure cooker about to explode with excitement at the reality that it was happening for real. The simple idea of it was something worth salivating over and finally, I was at the point where I could tweak the image in my mind like a filmmaker as I literally stumbled into the vivid situation.

I looked like I was serious about what I came to do and confident on the outside, but on the inside, I was hiding my fear of either coughing on the stage in the middle of a song or having a runny nose on the stage, during my performance. But I couldn’t deny the fact that I had finally reached a vision I had only saw in the REM of a daydream. Here are some other photos from that night as well as a piece of a performance that solidified the thought, "Yes, I am here, singing with an orchestra; "At Last!"

With Anatoliy, the condutor of the
Tatarstan Filarmonia Orchestra

With Oklahoman singer and my duet partner
at the Tatarstan Filarmonia in Kazan, Russia,  Tavis Minner

With the Tatarstan Filarmonia Orchestra


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Dust Yourself Off and Enjoy Life

A winner never quits., and a quitter never wins
Napoleon Hill

I had it all mapped out. I was going to venture this new territory and skate my way to challenging my fear of falling flat on my face. Confidently, I perched on a set of wheels beneath my feet thinking, I got this. However, I was so inundated with fear that I hardly wanted to walk with the skates on, though I had to in order to try skating for real.

At first, it was a guided situation. I was being pulled across the rink by the crutches of my friend’s hands, pulling me to skate. I floated right along with him but, every so often, I felt myself losing balance.

I decided that I could not let my entire time be spent that way. I wanted to try it on my own. All the possibilities of me skating on my own, were cooking. I got onto the rink by myself, but if it weren’t for the guard rail, I would not have been able to get on that slippery surface on my own, at all. 

I looked at my friends dancing and skating backwards and me, I was taking baby steps, holding on to the rail, all around. I actually was able to go around the rink three times. I feared falling and thank God I didn’t fall on the rink. Where I did fall was outside of the rink with skates on trying to walk down the little step down they had to get to the locker area. I am not writhing in pain and ironically, it was falling that fine-tuned my thinking and made me dust myself off, no longer fear falling and made me decide to get onto the rink by myself and without another’s assistance realizing that I am a masterpiece in progress.

I can’t believe that the simple act of skating made me pay close attention to my posture when I am walking. It made me feel okay with the speed of going slow so I could actually get comfortable with the motions. I also learned that what we gain is also what we lose. I gained confidence in trying and lost fear of falling and hurting myself. How cool is that?

Are you someone who enjoys the art of roller skating? If it is not the fun or the adventure, it is the music that the deejay is spinning while people roll to his rhythms that drive my interest. My latest video for my song, “Enjoy Life,” a dance tune with lyrics by Stephanie Jeannot and music by Mike LeShore, is definitely, the type of song that fits the mold of a song that you would hear at a skating rink. It is fast paced. It is danceable. It has a lot of energy and it is catchy. 

The video was edited and produced by me, Stephanie Jeannot with the help of my dear friend Stuart Thomas who helped to record many of the scenes featured in this visual slide show of frames. I hope that you will take the time to check out my creative videography project here: 

Thank you for making my life, that much more enjoyable. Have a pleasant week! 

Friday, February 17, 2017

Saying Yes to Your Passions

Today celebrates the birthday of two people that lived very public lives which many saw as heroes. One is the contralto opera singer Marian Anderson who was born February 17, 1902 and the other, basketball star Michael Jordan born February 17, 1963.

Unlimited Possibilities

Though they both had very different types of careers, one making magic with her voice and the other, making hoop tricks on the basketball court, what I think they had in common was purpose, belief and trusting in possibilities of achieving something greater than themselves.

Anderson said, "if you have a purpose in which you can believe, there's no end to the amount of things you can accomplish." How true are her words when you think about life and goals and attaining them?


In short, this post is just to encourage to keep pushing, to keep climbing mountains, to keep pressing forward, and to encourage you to never let go of what is important to you as an individual to accomplish. It is weird but I find inspiration just by doing what I love to do. I finally understand the meaning of encouraging yourself. 

Passion does that. I think it was passion that drove Anderson and Jordan to be who they were destined to become to the world.


I had an opportunity to collaborate on a tune with a very talented rapper that goes by the name Keez Hip Hop and a great male singer, Melly G. Please check out our song together entitled Passion which features an excerpt from my original tune Fresh 16. It is one of the many tunes on my Soundcloud page. Here is the link:

The Year to Yes

Do you watch Grey's Anatomy or Scandal or How to Get Away With Murder? All three shows makeup what is considered Thank God it's Thursday and all shows are amazing works of Shonda Rhimes.

Rhimes wrote an incredible book entitled  Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person,  and if you have not read it, I encourage you to check it out. What a great book in which she discusses the road that lead to her success. She followed her passion to become the individual who holds Thursday nights on ABC down.

This book is a quick read featuring just over 300 pages. I love the way she writes, adding all of herself into it. And as I flipped through the pages, I found many of the characters found in her popular series embedded in her personality.  Check it out for yourself!

Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and if you click on the link to the Shonda Rhimes book and purchase it, I will be compensated through the affiliate program. 

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Wherever You Are

It was once seen as a motivational state for me when my guy would come over and we would get into the midst of creating music.

I had built a little studio in my basement and in the midst of my reality., it was one of the hottest creation stations in Brooklyn, NY. We would come together and in the nuance of emotion, conceive new music that would someday develop into a song worth sharing.

When lyrics storm, the droplets of words add a measure of fun into my world. If you do not know what I am talking about, during the spring, go outside in the rains of April without an umbrella and dance in it.

I liked him because he was a pretty, honest individual. We vibed together intellectually deep and it always added color to my dullness. We could spend hours together writing, playing the piano, grabbing the guitar and strumming in a new track to the bundle under the scaffold that would soon be built into a song. And then he’d leave. And as soon as he left my foyer area and I shut the door behind him, I started to miss him.

There are some things and people that I give narrow attention but he had all my focus. I would experience enflamed anxiety as if I had not seen him in months, though he was just with me 30 seconds ago.

If music is a compilation of human tears, then my song “Wherever You Are” is the pool that I was wading in for a minute and then drowned me into a new melody to sing. For it was on one of those occasions where he left and I started missing him that this song was written. 


The words illustrate the feeling which I experienced at that single moment. You can only imagine how good it felt to let my thoughts out with piano splashes on a blank track. The lyrics which focus on the basis of love came directly after.

If you liked the little performance clip captured in Novorossiysk, Russia of me singing my song with the Sergey Koronev Project, which was a moment of pure pleasure I must say, please add the full length tune to your Apple Music playlist here:

Love Story

The dew from the morning’s womb indicates that Valentine’s Day his over. It was during the workweek though and I think that there will be people still feeling high and in a celebratory state. Perhaps you are interested in floating around the fringes of that one day and continue to smile openly with that special love in your life as the week continues.

Don’t let the mood slip you by. Maybe you can just spend a few hours getting lost in the scenes of a romantic film. Here are just a few that I love that you might find interest in engaging in together.  

1. Shakespeare in Love

I have been the biggest Shakespeare fan ever since high school when my English teacher made us memorize a passage from the Shakespearean play Hamlet, so that we could recite it in class. This movie which is a romantic comedy is about the writing of Romeo & Juliet featuring Gwyneth Paltrow and Joseph Fiennes and it is a movie that I just love. 

2. The Sound of Music
Most people would remember this musical as a movie that teaches about music. But the romance portion of it between Maria and Mister Von Trapp is also a beautiful story of love that since I first saw it, has been a favorite of mine. Great movie and awesome storyline.

3. Aladdin
I know, you are thinking, a cartoon movie. But, this is one of the best ones to ever come from Disney. Beautiful love story that still makes me smile every time I see it. Even til this day, this movie is one of my favorites; brings out the infant eyes in me.

4. Love and Basketball
I love this story about love being sparked at a young age that lasts forever because of the one thing that makes them human; basketball. Such a beautiful story.

5. Silver Streak
I know you will think that this is more of a comedy than a love story, but there is a love story embedded in it beyond all the fun and laughs that you will experience while watching Gene Harris walk across the screen. And what a great story it really is.

These are just a few of the movies that I have grown to love and enjoy over the years. Have you ever heard of these films? What is your favorite romantic film?

Disclosure: This is not a paid post though, I am an Amazon Associate and if you click on any of these links and purchase the items indicated, I will be compensated. 

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Knock! Knock! Let Love In! It's Valentine's Day

When expectations of love slip, some people tend to proceed life swept up in fear of what might not go right if letting someone new into their lives.  

Some find it hard to nod with approval when love comes knocking at their doors because past loves failed to deliver as they were intended to. Even though those hurtful memories that were experienced over the course of their lives might be a decade out of fashion, letting new love in has simply,  not been laid out in their agendas.  If this applies to you, perhaps you need a bit of clarity to change your mind. 

You are enough! You are strong enough to sustain in a relationship! You are lovable; flaws and all! You are worthy of being more than just an option! You are a quality individual who deserves to experience the force of the natural elements of love! You are strong enough to let go of the sugar that left you feeling tart. 

Walk the atmosphere knowing that. Also, be aware that you are not your past. Don’t live your life emotionally damaged because you let the wrong person in who did not realize the true value of the royalty that you are. You are more than that. And remember, to have a happily ever after, it must start with a hello and then a meeting of the minds in a harmonious state to flow blindly into love. I wrote a song entitled "Blindly Into Love" on the basis of allowing love to flow naturally into love from the minute it becomes a thought phase unto the happily ever after. The lyrics came to me while driving and so at every traffic light, my pen was to the pad and a song was spilling out onto its pages. The music was written by Mike LeShore. Check it out here:

This post was just a way to encourage you to not be afraid to allow someone to come into your world and to treat you the way you deserve to be treated. When I see couples like my parents who have been together for nearly half a century, it makes me know that love can be real if first you love yourself enough to believe that you are lovable. 

If this does not apply to you, I apologize. I however know some people who do live their lives grieving over relationships that haven't been a part of their worlds for eons and they are still brokenhearted and afraid to move on and to love again; sadly. 

What a great day like Valentines Day AKA Singles Awareness Day to makes sure that we are giving the fullness of our own hearts to our own selves. Love yourself without limitations. And make sure that everyday, you find a real reason to smile. You are definitely worth that self-love.

For those who are experiencing a fine romance and a beautiful life as a team, may your love forever move mountains, conquer worlds and continue to grow. You are inspiring to the world.

Happy and blessed Valentines Day!  

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The Here! The Now! The Present!

Receive today’s gift gratefully, 
unwrapping it tenderly and delving into its depths. 
As you savor this gift, you find God” 
Sarah Young

Every day of the year has its well-known holiday and then also, a wacky holiday attached to it. Today we are going to focus on the latter which to me is a great idea considering that today is Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day.

 Think about it, on any given day, we can either cry over the milk that has spilled that we no longer can drink, or we can mop it up and humbly pour ourselves another glass. There is nothing you can do to change the wasted liquid. You must keep on moving. The way we deal with it depends on our disposition. But I didn’t invent this idea though it is National Inventors Day. I am just stating an obvious fact to describe in a great deal, ways to deal with one crisis after another when discord creeps in.   

So here is a thought, maybe we can deal with spilled milk by getting into the grip of music; especially since today is Get Out Your Guitar day. Even better, take a picture of yourself strumming it since it is Selfie Saturday. Looking back at the memories pictures hold, always seems to make me feel good and bring a sense of calm to my world.

So, while trying to keep our moods up and not cry over things we can no longer change, it brings us to an awareness of where we are and how we think. Today is a great day to pay attention to our thoughts since it is Stress Awareness Day.

What drives the flow of ideas within your mind? What adds up the geometry of the landscape of your emotions? Are you someone who is at ease with forgiving yourself, without reservation, for your falls when you slip? Do you make babbling excuses to reasons why you cannot enjoy the joys in life?

Today is a great day to let relief wash over. Don’t wade in the deep end of sorrows on your own, even if you live alone, feel that you are alone in your stance or are single. They say that Valentine’s Day Weekend, is a time when it brings awareness to being single with February 14th also being known as Single Awareness Day. Today, however, is Satisfied Staying Single Day.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating who you are and treating yourself to a hot stone massage, a sugar scrub spa treatment or a mani/pedi. Who said it was a crime to sit in a movie theatre or at a restaurant without an entourage? Go out there and enjoy and love yourself. If you don’t appreciate your own electricity, who else will? Today is a great day for it; especially since it is Be Electrified Day.

No need to feel sad about not getting the roses that your ex might have given you, might you have been together or feeling miserable because you see all those love commercials and you are not in a love situation. Be careful not to make your own self sick over overthinking on a day like today known as World Day of the Sick. But if you are feeling that way, hey, not a bad day to invite over your other single friends and celebrate being single. I mean, it is National Shut-in Visitation Day, so why not. Or you could visit someone who actually is shut-in for real and draw a smile on that person’s face. You could enjoy in peels of laughter as you celebrate the joys of life together while having meaningful conversations about all the idiot guys who thought they were Greek heroes of some sort, who did not make it into your here and now. No reason to feel vulnerable and alone when you are aware of the individual masterpiece that you are.

And as I conclude on this small measure of fun I was happy to experience with all you reading my post today, I also wanted to acknowledge that it is Songwriter Saturday and what better a day during this Valentine’s Day Weekend, then to share with you a song about a relationship that started in fun, had its strength and then ended with an awareness of who I am not and what I do not deserve, being the industrious soul I am. The song is entitled, “You Got to Go” which is the seventh track on my album, Finally JNote. Here is the link to check it out:

Thankful that you decided to join me in my Saturday Kitchen as I cooked up a new and meaningful post. Only, my kitchen is a notebook and my utensils used were a pen and then the keyboard to type. Hope that you enjoyed my meal of words. Please come back again. This one was baked but the next one will be slow-cooked.