Interview

It’s #MusicMonday featuring Codie Prevost…

All of my memories are filled with music. It’s like the sound is woven through each of them, holding them together. Without warning a song will come on the radio and I am instantly tearing up thinking of a lost loved one or the night I met my husband. I married a music man who has a song for every one of his memories, a basement full of 45’s, albums, cassettes and cd’s.  He is my own personal DJ.

My #MusicMonday posts will include interviews and music from new and veteran artists from all genres of music as well as the people that bring that music to us. I will also share music that has meant the most to me throughout my life.

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This week I want to introduce you to Canadian country music sensation, Codie Prevost. Codie has been nominated for and has won dozens of awards including the Canadian Country Music Awards. He grew up on a 2000 acre farm in a small (300 people- very small.)

His first band played covers of their favorite punk bands like Goldfinger and Greenday. Codie developed his calloused fingers performing every weekend in bars and entering talent competitions. It was after one of those competitions he met his manager, Al Leblanc.

The two put together a five-year plan and haven’t looked back. Codie headed to Nashville to record an album and the awards continued. He won the award for Best Country Song from the Independent Music Awards and he was also nominated for the Lieutenant Governor’s Arts Award. He’s won awards at the Saskatchewan Country Music Association including Entertainer of the Year and Male Vocalist of the Year.

This past year has been a big one for Codie. He’s opened for Florida Georgia Line, Joe Nichols, Big and Rich. He began a tour with fellow artist Stephen Maguire called “Imagine No Bullying.” Codie, Stephen, and the Canadian Red Cross go from school to school playing music and speaking with kids in an attempt to bring bullying to an end. The proceeds go to the Red Cross.

I predict Codie is about to take the United States, Nashville and Country music by storm. I hope you enjoy this humble farm boy and his music as much as I do.

Interview Questions

DM-Where did you grow up and do you have siblings?

CP-I grew up on a farm just outside of Archerwill, Saskatchewan, Canada. I have two sisters and I’m the middle child.

DM-Did you grow up in a home that promoted reading, writing or music?

CP-My mom and uncle would play acoustic guitar and sing at family events. This inspired me to eventually pick up the guitar and start singing. My mom would always have music playing during the holidays and my sister was a member of Columbia House, which was a music distribution service that allowed her to have new music delivered to the farm every month.

DM-What instruments do you play and when did you start?

CP-I play guitar and harmonica. I started playing Harmonica as a part of art class in High School. It was definitely my favorite part of the art class. I started guitar around 14 and started writing my first songs when I was 16.

Have a Listen: https://youtu.be/f7gjDwNEn8c

DM- At what moment, did you know country music was your future?

CP-I started in a punk rock band in high school. We performed every recess and spare class we got. I had saved up some money from working on road construction with plans of buying a new electric guitar. A close uncle of mine who loved country music passed away suddenly and my family and I travelled to Calgary to attend the funeral. On that trip I went into Music Centre Canada and ended up purchasing my first acoustic guitar instead of an electric. I returned home and learned Folsom Prison Blues and I never looked back.

DM-You have already accomplished so much, such as opening for Florida-Georgia Line, Big and Rich, Emerson Drive, and other big names. If you could choose an ‘old-school’ dream tour, what artist or band would you share the stage with and who would be on your present-day dream tour (any genre)?

CP-I would love to share the stage with Keith Urban. I’ve always said that Keith is one of the best performers/artists all around and a great role model. I would love the opportunity to learn from him. [DMHe is my favorite too and his wife, Nicole Kidman is in my town filming a movie. I’m stalking the restaurants!]

Keith Urban & Nicole Kidman

DM-What is “The Imagine No Bullying Tour?”

CP-It’s a tour in support of the anti-bullying initiative. The main goal is to create awareness in communities and try to minimize the amount of bullying that takes place. The initiative was started by my good friend Stephen Maguire and then expanded on with the help of the Canadian Red Cross. It’s a tour that I’m very proud to be a part of.

DM-Do you write music and lyrics and if so what is your process?

CP-Yes, I write lots of my own songs. Inspiration comes from everywhere. I usually sit down and start by finding a melody. I do a lot of co-writing as well and find it works well to have two minds to feed the song. I’m very strong at coming up with melodies so I love to work with great lyricists to create the best songs possible.

DM- Congratulations on expecting your second child in May. I imagine with having a young family you need to be more creative with your schedule. Does your family travel with you?

CP-From time to time they do travel and come to shows. It is difficult though as when I’m on the road it is to do work and it can be very busy with interviews, shows, setups, and travelling. I have been fortunate to be touring in Australia the past couple years. We are going to work it out so we can also plan a family trip in the near future!

DM- Do you have any plans to perform/tour in America?

CP-Yes, it’s been one of my major goals to start touring in the US more. I have made a lot of fans through use of the Internet and want to get there to visit them all very soon.

DM-What was recording your album in Nashville like?

CP-It was a surreal experience. I remember walking into the studio and seeing gold and platinum albums on the wall from Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, and many others. I could not believe I was working in the same studio. The musicians were world class. It was unbelievable and a huge opportunity for me as an artist to know what level of excellence to strive for.

DM-What is your favorite hometown place to eat and what is on the menu?

CP- There was a local restaurant that served Chinese cuisine. I would always order fries, gravy, and cheese and it was the best poutine I’ve ever had. Still miss it to this day. [DM-I had to look up poutine. Its not a Philly thing but I can’t wait to try it!]

DM-What was the last book you read? Last movie you saw?

CP-The last book I read was about trading stocks. I’ve found that I have a passion for this field over the past couple years. Last movie I saw was Masterminds a new comedy movie.

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Please visit Codie’s website to sample some of his music and I hope you will call your local stations and request his songs.

Website- http://www.codieprevost.com

Connect with him on social media:

Facebook Page- https://www.facebook.com/codieprevostmusic

Twitter- https://twitter.com/codieprevost

Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/codieprevostmusic

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Music Monday featuring Blue Nation

MUSIC MONDAY

So many of the happiest memories I have are filled with music. It’s like the sound is woven through each memory, connecting them. My saddest memories have music attached to them too and without warning a song will come on the radio and I am instantly tearing up thinking of a lost loved one. I married a music man who also has songs attached to most memories, a basement full of 45’s and albums and he is now my personal DJ.

My #MusicMonday posts will include interviews and music from new and veteran artists from all genres of music as well as the people that bring that music to us. I will also share music that has meant the most to me throughout my life.

Recently I came across a post on Twitter about a rock band from England. I followed the link and had a listen. I instantly liked the bluesy rock sound and was thrilled when they agreed to an interview! So all the way from the UK, I hope you enjoy meeting the lads from Blue Nation as much I did.

Read the rest of this entry »

Music Monday featuring Marilyn Russell…

MUSIC MONDAY

So many of the happiest memories I have are filled with music. It’s like the sound is woven through each memory, connecting them. My saddest memories have music attached to them too and without warning a song will come on the radio and I am instantly tearing up thinking of a lost loved one. I married a music man who also has songs attached to most memories, a basement full of 45’s and albums and he is now my personal DJ.

Read the rest of this entry »

Meet Adela…

Meet the Author

author-adela-crandel-photo

I met Adela in a Facebook group, The Women of Midlife and finally in person at the BAM conference and she is lovely. I enjoy her blogs and I really enjoyed reading The Ship of Pearl. I highly recommend it and was happy to hear she is donating a portion of proceeds to the homeless and the hungry.

About the book

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Meet Baby Bailino…

I am so excited to introduce you to author, Dina Santorelli. I really enjoyed her first book Baby Grand and cannot wait to read the sequel, Baby Bailino!

author-santarelli

 

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Queens, New York, one of the five boroughs of New York City and about ten minutes from midtown Manhattan—two hours, if there’s traffic. J

Did you grow up in a home that promoted reading or writing?

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Between The Lines; it’s My Turn…

“When I started blogging five-years-ago, one of the first blogs I came across was Katherine’s Corner. We had more than a few things in common and I knew I liked her. When she put the word out that she wanted to do a series on mid-life women bloggers of course I wanted to be part of the fun!”

The series is called between the lines.

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Irish Dance in Bucks County Pa…

With the world-wide success of Riverdance and more recently Lord of the Dance, Irish dancing schools in Ireland and North America are filling up with young students wanting to learn the dancing styles that brought Jean Butler and Michael Flatley international fame.

Brittany Schmid saw Riverdance when she was four-years-old and fell in love. Her mother signed her up for classes, she went on to compete and win and now her dream of opening her own dance school is coming true!

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Library Humor…

I want to introduce you to humor writer and librarian, Roz Warren. We have been Facebook friends for quite a while and to my delight, over the summer we met in real life at a lovely tea house to celebrate the release of mutual friend, Cathy Sikorski’s  book Showering With Nana (good book)

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The Caregiver…

I belong to a writer’s group, Lower Buck’s creative Explorers. It is such an inspiring and talented group. The latest published author in our group is, Maria Casale. I had the privilege of listening to her read excerpts from her new novel The Caregiver as she wrote, rewrote and edited. Maria’s writing is lyrical, just beautiful. I am looking forward to reading the ‘finished’ product.

The Author:

Author Maria Casale

The Book:

Author book Caregiver

When Lillian Thomas is hired to care for cantankerous, bedridden Ellen Wilmot, it is Ellen’s beautiful, strangely familiar old house that immediately claims her devotion. But when Ellen’s daughter and granddaughter come to stay, Lillian finds herself drawn into the family’s loves, lies and resentments. And she faces a terrible choice…. The Caregiver is a story of mothers and daughters, the perils of obsession and what it means to be “the help.”

The Interview:

Where did you grow up?

I was born in Oklahoma, so when I was little I said “Hey!” instead of “Hi,” but I mostly grew up in Trenton, New Jersey.

Did you grow up in a home that promoted reading or writing?

Yes, my parents both loved to read.  My mother always had a book in her hand—even when she shouldn’t have had a hand free for it.  She had an elaborate system for reading while washing dishes.  She really fostered my love of reading and always gave me books—when I grew up and had to choose my own books I found it kind of overwhelming at first.  My parents were also very conscious of writing and very tough critics: when I had to write my first book report in fourth grade my father told me that the correct way to learn to do this was to read the New York Times Book Review section.  He was serious!

New York Times Book Review

Have you always wanted to write a book?

Maybe, in a vague kind of way.  I have always loved books.  If I had to choose between being a reader and being a writer, reader would definitely win.

For a long time I didn’t really think of myself as someone who could write a book.  When I was younger I wrote poetry.  I came in second in a school poetry contest and decided that was it.  I figured even someone who came in first had very little chance of making a life as a poet.  The person who came in second better just give up!  I really stopped writing then other than for school or work.  When I started writing a lot again in my thirties, I wrote a bunch of interconnected short stories, and then I got the idea for The Caregiver, and finished the first draft in ninety days.

Do you have any pre-writing rituals?

I can write anywhere, any time.  I just need a really nice pen and a spiral notebook (I’m a lefty so I need to write on something that lays flat in the middle).  When I don’t feel like writing I buy new pens and notebooks to coax myself.

sword pen

Did you map your story before writing or did you just let it flow?

The Caregiver was a let it flow project—I definitely found out what was going to happen as I went along.  I’ve written other projects with a little more mapping out ahead of time—just loose outlines, basically.  I don’t think I’m ever going to be one of those writers with story boards and reverse outlining and so forth.  That isn’t fun for me, and I know if I’m not having fun I won’t do it.  So I stick with a level of (dis)organization that lets me feel like writing is an adventure.

Do you have a dedicated writing space?

No.  I’ve made a pretty conscious choice to make writing portable.  Coffee shops, libraries, my dining room table, my bed—as long as I have a notebook, pen and sometimes my laptop, I’m good to go.

Do you have a day job?

Yes, and it requires me to write horrible, passive-voice bureaucratese!  I sometimes think this is some kind of special torture designed for novelists, or maybe just lovers of strong verbs.  I have great coworkers, though.

What are you writing now?

I’m working on a couple of projects at once, which happens fairly often (see disorganization, above).  My primary project is a novel called Snow Angel, about three cousins whose mothers are three sisters.  I’m interested in how patterns repeat and change down the generations.  And there are some family secrets, and a dead body.

What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?

Irish Breakfast tea.

Tea 2

Your guilty TV pleasure?

X-Files reruns and Downton Abbey.

The Caregiver is available in paperback or Kindle format from Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Caregiver-Maria-Theresa-Casale/dp/1502420953/ref=sr_1_29_twi_2_pap?ie=UTF8&qid=1427819023&sr=8-29&keywords=caregiver

Maria blogs about reading and writing at http://bookwormrrriot.com/

Thank you Maria and thank you for reading,

Doreen

 

 

Meet the lovely Ruth Curran…

 

I’m so happy to introduce you to Ruth Curran. Of the bloggers I look forward to meeting in real life she is definitely in my top five. Ruth and I have a few things in common, one of which is we both shared a traumatic brain injury in an automobile accident.

Wait till you see the view from her writing space…

Please join me in congratulating Ruth on the release of her book, Being Brain Healthy.

Author Ruth Curran COVER

 

The Author:

 Ruth drew on her experience successfully overcoming a traumatic brain injury suffered in an automobile accident to become an expert on maximizing brain health and function through lifestyle modification and “turning up the noise on life.” Curran is passionate about the connection between the brain and daily functioning and believes everyone—regardless of age or stage of life—has the ability to use neuroplasticity to live a richer, deeper, more fully engaged life. She has created a series of photo-based thinking puzzles, games, and apps that help players work on cognitive abilities such as attention, memory, and executive functioning. Curran has a master’s degree in cognitive psychology as well as more than 28 years of experience as a strategist, business development executive, and organizational behaviorist.

Author Ruth Curran Photo

 

Back of the book:

 The journey to wellness when coming back from a brain injury can be a long one. It is one author Ruth Curran knows well. Faced with myriad cognitive challenges after her own traumatic brain injury resulting from an automobile accident, Curran decided to “turn up the volume” on the things that she loved in order to expedite the healing of her brain. She found ways to work through the discomfort and discouragement that can plague those suffering from traumatic brain injury as well as other conditions, chronic illnesses, and age-related changes that affect cognition and brain health.

In Being Brain Healthy, Curran shares her 18-month path to recovery along with the techniques she used—and continues to use—to amplify her everyday experiences with the goal of maximizing brain health and function. Her book is one of hope, not only for those whose brains have been compromised through injury or illness, but also for anyone who wants to think better and improve their cognitive abilities.

Curran has the unique ability to share her insights on brain health and healing in a manner that makes complex neuroscience matters make sense to even those taking their first frustrating steps toward recovery. Convinced that everyone can build better thinking skills and work their way out of what she calls “the fog” regardless of its cause, Curran shares how she did exactly that and made her entire life more fulfilling.

Being Brain Healthy combines the most cutting-edge research with what works in practice and fits in daily life. Curran helps readers understand how the brain and body work together and how the partnership between the two can be utilized to create a more healthy brain. Curran outlines how the newest science, activities, and exercises can help those with thinking challenges make the most of every day. Her “being” brain healthy methods—and book sections—include Be Active, Be Social, Be Engaged, Be Purposeful, and Be Complicated.

Also included in the book are personal stories from individuals on their process recovering from brain challenges. Their accounts along with insight and information from Curran will inspire readers to amplify their experiences and take their own brain functionality to the next level.

The Interview:

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Hammond, IN, one block away from the IN / IL state line – a short train ride from Downtown Chicago.

Did you grow up in a home that promoted reading or writing?

My mom was a teacher and preached the value of books, good grammar, and an ample vocabulary. She shared her love of reading with my brother (a recently retired English teacher) and me. It seemed as if my mom always had at least three books on her night stand, a newspaper in her lap, and a stack of New Yorkers waiting for her. As I got older, books were my escape. When I was a teenager my aunt got me into reading mysteries. We picked authors (and their detectives) and followed them from start to finish. I waded my way through bogs, pubs and smoke filled interrogation rooms, and strolled along the streets of so many foreign cities courtesy of amazing mystery writers – ones that took me somewhere I had never been and seamlessly planted me right in the middle of daily life. I am always reading something, listening to at least one audio book, and have a stack of publications calling me.

Do you have a dedicated writing space?

Author Ruth Curran write space

Have you always wanted to write a book or were you compelled to write this one for personal reasons?

I remember the day that my freshman English teacher, Mrs. Chang, told me I was good writer. I was shocked. My handwriting and spelling were (and still are) horrendous so I was used to pages filled with red marks and comments about the benefits of taking my time and neatness – nothing beyond the surface and certainly nothing about the quality of my writing. Enter Watergate and Woodward and Bernstein and my passion for writing took another turn. I was going to be a great investigative reporter. Life, as it does, eventually led me in a different direction but every job I had involved some kind of writing.  I don’t think I ever saw myself writing a book until recently. This book got in my head a couple years ago and it was not letting go. I started out writing a much expanded version of my blog on brain health, brain healthy lifestyles, and that connection between how we act and how we think. It was good information with great practical, everyday application but it was not relevant. With great prompting from a dear friend, I saw that I had to tell the story of how I got here and to own the fact that the value of my journey was being lost – especially if I just kept it locked up in a safe in my head.

Other than physical damage to the brain due to injury or illness, what psychological or sociological factors might affect one’s brain health?

The two biggest issues are stress and social isolation. Prolonged stress or periods of isolation – physical, psychological, or sociological –can change how your brain works and how well you adapt to future situations. Both of these conditions can re-wire your brain in the long run.

What is the number one thing people should do daily to boost their brain health?

Smile. Your brain and your body are programmed to reward those things that make you feel good. Smiling is the fastest route to feeling good.

What are some common misconceptions people have about brain health?

There are two misconceptions about the brain that make me absolutely crazy. First, we are born with a certain number of brain cells and there is nothing we can do to make more. That is so wrong. We can absolutely encourage our bodies to grow new neurons and, beyond that, we can encourage our neurons to form new connections. Second, older brains don’t perform as well as younger brains. That too is untrue. Older brains may perform differently but definitely not worse.

The Links:

 The website/blog

 Ruth shares her insights and proven techniques for amplifying everyday experiences at

http://www.craniumcrunches.com

To buy the book:

 http://www.amazon.com/Being-Brain-Healthy-Ruth-Curran/dp/069239995X

 Twitter:

 http://www.twitter.com/@CaptCruncher

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