Tag Archives: music

Add bling and panache to your writing space

On Friday, August 3, I posted A place for writing inspiration, making note of my poor writing space – it’s blah, completely uninspired, boring.

Do you need some ideas for decorating your writing space?

Here are some of the ideas posted on that blog by commenters DiAnne Ebejer, p.m. terrell, Abyrne Mostyn, Shawn MacKenzie, Jessica Pettengill Messinger, Tonia Marie Harris, Angie Ledbetter, J. J. Brown, Shirani Rajapakse, Susannah Friis, Kathryn Magendie, Elizabeth H. Cottrell, and Denise Hisey.

On or around the desk

Knick knacks (every time I say this, I want to add, “Paddy whack, give the dog a bone”) and mementos from family, friends, and vacations

Desktop image – use a themed picture to inspire you in your current project or change the image every day

A fresh flower or a silk flower in a vase

Seashells in a jar or dish

Print and hang colorful or inspiring images found on the internet

Colorful posters (use poster putty or popular non-marring wall hangers)

Hang a white board – draw new pictures on it every day

Tension rods – position them floor to ceiling, hang fishing line or wire between them, clip artwork, colorful fabric, family photos on the lines/wires

Postcards – buy them yourself or start an exchange program with friends and family

Hand-made objects from your kids

Colorful, lightweight fabric, sheets, or shower curtains tacked onto the molding to cover bland walls and spaces

Photos of family and friends – use ornate frames

Photos from vacations or day trips


Table cloth or colorful placemats on your desk

Decorative mouse pad (did you know you can have them custom made from your own photos at the local office store?)

Throw pillows, in bright colors and varied fabrics and textures

Throws on the couch, ottoman, chairs

Throw rugs

Faux fur – anywhere and everywhere

Unique rocks found on your walks

Plants and potted flowers

Room divider – tack/hang pictures, textiles, scarves, fabric swatches, or ornaments

Consider hanging wind chimes, dream catchers

String lights (no matter that there is no up-coming holiday)

Auditory and olfactory

Music – for background inspiration

Candles or scented-wax burners for olfactory inspiration

Bunches of fresh flowers

At, on, or outside the window

Window décor with suction cups or self-stick decals

Decorate the window sill

Window boxes with flowers

Lawn figurines

More wind chimes!

And, while stepping away from the desk

Take a walk in a garden, along a woodsy path, or in a downtown historic district or museum.

If you have a good view, sit outside with the laptop or with a pad of paper and a pen.

Take a camera for unexpected moments or scenes. Then print and paste the pictures in your personal space.


Karen S. Elliott was raised by a mother who wanted to be an English teacher and who worked for Merriam-Webster as a proofreader and an aunt who could complete the Sunday New York Times crossword in a day. Their favorite expression was, “Look it up!” Karen reads punctuation and grammar manuals for fun.

Karen is an editor and proofreader, blogger, and writer. Her short stories have been featured in The Rose & Thorn Journal, Every Child is Entitled to Innocence anthology, Valley Living Magazine, BewilderingStories.com, and WritingRaw.com.


Filed under Blogging, Editing & Proofreading, Personal Articles, Social Networking

Musicians’ Week, by Janice Kelly

My name is Janice Kelly. I am a pianist, composer, poet, artist, and lover of photography. There is nothing more valuable to me than focusing on the aspects of life which keep people in touch with their heart. My greatest loves are music and art. All the arts are endlessly meaningful, and I feel it is important to keep the arts alive, for our survival.

My love of music began when I was just learning how to say the word. Ever since I heard my first melody on the radio, I began memorizing the notes by ear. Soon I began composing my first songs. It is difficult to put into words, rather simply try to get across the overwhelming feelings which enabled me to put all my energy and focus into my musical compositions.

I never thought of becoming a performer or known artist. Rather, my music became the one place in my life I could spend hours succumbing to the beautiful sounds of the strings of a piano, igniting my creativity…thus, the term “music to my ears.”

About my music

I began composing songs at age four, usually songs that were based on the popular music during the time. As the years moved on and I developed my own style, there were truly no barriers as the type of music I created. I enjoyed melodic music more than anything and also the blues. I’ve enjoyed music from around the world and often stylized a melody to relate to a particular culture.

My favorite music has always been melodic and emotional in style. The type of melodies that often bring tears – not tears of sadness, rather tears that are created from feeling so moved by a beautiful melody.

I have two CDs, “Somewhere In Time” and “Eternal Journey.” “Somewhere In Time” is predominantly melodic piano while “Eternal Journey” focuses more on world music where I experimented more freely creating songs that reflect music from other countries.

Music links and teasers

I have two music links www.deepbluepiano.com and www.pianomusing.com  both of which have music teasers of every song on my CDs. Those interested in downloading songs can do so for free by visiting www.pianomusing.com. That site includes a song entitled “Send Me The Rain” which is not recorded on the CDs.


Janice Kelly

About Janice 

I was born in Alhambra, California, but raised in the Chicago area. There were many days I spent playing the piano being snowed in, and I never minded that one bit! Often the weather would affect my creativity, motivating my imagination and putting my thoughts into a much deeper level of contemplating life.

At age two, I got my very first toy piano. One day my mother noticed I was playing songs using a few fingers, and from that moment on my fingers never left the keyboard. I did not begin recording any songs until many years later, when meeting a friend who heard me play. He volunteered to be my producer, and he is the reason my music is being heard today. After recording two CDs, I performed at local music events, wine and harvest festivals, school programs, weddings, and street fairs around the bay area. Also, I was selling my CDs at local music stores in the bay area. I majored in art in college, focusing on drawing and figure drawing, but I also enjoy oil painting and watercolors.

I am divorced with two grown children. My daughter is a published author, and my son is attending college majoring in zoology. I live in Henderson, Nevada, having moved here from Emerald Hills, California. I enjoy the dry climate and the beautiful sunsets and most of all my swimming pool and jacuzzi!


See Janice on her Facebook, and see her poetry blog at Echo Wood.

Find her music and more poetry at Deep Blue Piano and Piano Musing.

Contact her at jkjk28@aol.com.


Filed under Guest Writers & Bloggers, Special Events

Musicians’ Week, by Laura LME

Laura LME  is a poet, published author, radio host/producer of VIM show at GetYourz Radio, spoken word recording artist (PoeticBeatz & VersesInMusic) and founder of ≈Verses In Motion≈ .
Laura’s most recent work is an EP (extended play) of poetry in music Absolute ° Gravityout now on all major digital stores. She is working on her new book of poetry and images, which will be published in the summer. She is also the Italian Leader of Zen Army and a Peaceful Warrior!

LauraLME and ≈ VersesInMusic ≈

VersesInMusic is the wonderful result of the unique, spiritual and artistic collaboration between LauraLME and Cass Ferre.

Cass is a talented composer, singer, songwriter, who has always fascinated her audience with a crystal clear voice and a fantastic, eclectic musical talent. Cass is a true musician, with a classical background; she wonderfully plays the piano and communicates incredible vibes and innovative rhythms through her creations.

Laura is a sophisticated poet, spoken word recording artist, radio host and founder of Verses In Motion and the creator of a few online groups (FB, LinkedIn) of Artists.

Laura has always pushed the boundaries of poetry, pioneering the depth of a new poetic style, melting musical vibes and inspirational universal messages.

When Cass Ferre’s music meets Laura’s “Verses In Motion ©”, incredible waves of sounds, beats and words explode in wonderful creations and blossom into the first VersesInMusic Album, “A b s o l u t e ° G r a v i t y” a collaboration between Cass, Laura, with the stunning photo for the album cover by Anna Simi, EP produced by Tom Cloverfield and released by Ultrasonic Music Germany, out now on all major digital stores like iTunes (click the link to listen).

Here you can listen to one of the tracks from this EP, “Whispers”, poem by Laura≈LME, Music and Vocals by Cass Ferre: Listen here.

“A b s o l u t e ° G r a v i t y” is a musical journey that will take you from the conscious parts of your being, passing through the parallel lines of your soul, leading you to the unconscious maze of dreams and to the waves “beyond” where “the invisible becomes essential”.

LauraLME and PoeticBeatz

PoeticBeatz is a studio project founded by Laura≈LME and Tom Cloverfield on the waves of inspirational music and verses between Germany, Italy and the UK.

Tom is an engineer, producer, composer of House Electro and Chill Out Music and CEO/Founder of Ultrasonic Music Germany.

Laura’s poetry and vocals meet Tom’s beats and incredible sound in a smooth combination of words and notes, creating a completely new sound that goes deeper into ears and hearts.  Soul words and “verses in motion” meet Ultrasonic Music, Words In Motion meet Notes, Poetry meets House Beats: > PoeticBeatz < 

A b s o l u t e ° G r a v i t y is also the single which gives the title to the Album, with the suggestive music by Tom Cloverfield, poetry and vocals by LauraLME.

Listen to the teaser on YouTube.

Listen to “Riflessi” Music by Tom Cloverfield, poem and vocals by Laura≈LME.

Listen on YouTube.

PoeticBeatz tracks are out on all major digital stores like Junodownload.

Laura LME

Laura≈LME (links)


Verses In Motion FB page

Facebook Group page

Twitter – Laura

Twitter – Verses In Motion


Filed under Guest Writers & Bloggers, Special Events

Musicians’ Week, by Stephen Jerome Ferguson

The Music of Stephen Jerome Ferguson from SJF Music

“Relaxing,” “Smooth,” “Mellow,” and “Peaceful” are just some of the terms used to describe Stephen’s music. He combines the smooth sounds of Jazz, R&B and Neo Soul music to create a sound that touches your heart, mind and soul. He uses multi layered rhythms and bass lines to form a foundation for his smooth grooves that are powerful and subtle at the same time. Each instrument serves as an actor in a play. Each one has its own role and they all seem to work as one to bring his music to life.

About Stephen Jerome Ferguson – CEO and Owner of SJF Music LLC

Stephen was born in Washington D.C. on May 23rd and has been involved with music since the age of 12. His interest started when he sat down at an old Fender Rhodes Electric piano. He taught himself music scales and basic chords. He began to learn to play along with music that was being played in his home. Gospel music, soul and jazz were his first loves. He worked part time after school to save money to purchase his first electric guitar. He applied the lessons he learned on the keyboard and soon was able to play the guitar portions of the same songs he learned on the keyboard. Later, he picked up what was to become his favorite instrument, the bass guitar.

His first experience playing live music came as the bass guitar player for the Gospel group The True Voices of Christ, a group that he cofounded. The group played for three years, playing all along the east coast.

Stephen then enlisted in the US Army and was assigned to Europe for his first tour. In Europe, he met fellow soldier/musicians Paul Ferguson and Mike Burrell. Together, they founded the R&B/Jazz group FFB (Ferguson, Ferguson and Burrell). The group played all over Europe for three years. They played cover songs as well as their own original compositions. One of these original songs titled “I Miss You” was featured on the Armed Forces Radio Network.

After leaving FFB, Stephen studied music. He studied the administrative side and stayed abreast of the new technologies that began to develop. Using these new technologies, he released his first solo CD, “Peace of the Heart.” Stephen dedicated this project to his mother that was taken by cancer in 1996, and he donated the sales of this CD to cancer research. His next releases were “It’s Just Me,” “Afterglow,” “We Are One” and “Windows to the Soul.” His current project titled “Between Dusk and Dawn” is his first CD under his new production company, SJF Music.

Stephen founded SJF Music in July of 2011. SJF Music is dedicated to producing music for independent artists. SJF Music has a very simple goal. The goal of producing music: that listeners will be proud to own and to share.

Listen to some samples of his music at his website.

Visit Stephen’s Music Store, Reverbnation.

Visit Stephen on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter. Check him out on Google+.

Check out the videos on YouTube.


Filed under Guest Writers & Bloggers, Special Events

International Music Camp

Along the North Dakota/Manitoba border, a very large group of musicians and artists gather every summer. This isn’t your typical band camp.

Since 1956, when they started with just 113 students, the International Music Camp has been providing instruction in music, art, writing, and other related fine arts. From mid-June through the end of July you can hear band music, orchestra music, and familiar strains of barbershop and choral music whispering through the International Peace Garden property.

The Music Camp was set up in the former Civilian Conservation Corps camp. The CCC camp was abandoned after construction was completed on the International Peace Garden. Former CCC barracks, used as housing for construction workers, was later turned into housing for the Music Camp.

Since then, a 2,200 seat Masonic Memorial Auditorium, new dormitories, remodeled and expanded dining hall, nurse’s station, laundry, rehearsal halls, dance studios, and more have been added. The camp now has 80 buildings including 38 practice huts.

Camp Director and his staff

Tim Wollenzien, camp director since 2006, was a music educator for 22 years prior to IMC: Lake of the Woods School in Baudette, MN for 12 years, Coon Rapids and Osseo Senior High Schools, MN for a total of three years, U of MN teaching assistantship for three years, and St. Cloud State University, MN for four years.

Tim plays the euphonium, also known as the baritone horn, a small relative of the tuba. Tim plays with the International Tuba Quartet at IMC each summer and conducts the Minot Community Concert Band during the school year.

Throughout the year, the International Music Camp is administered by Tim Wollenzien and Amy Hall, full-time administrative assistant. Amy is in her tenth season with the IMC. Along with the Minot Symphony, she also plays flute and piccolo with the Minot Community Band.

Laurie Wollenzien, Tim’s wife, is an assistant to the Camp Director and has many roles. She supervises most of the administrative staff at the camp in the summer, coordinates health care and staff nurses at the camp, coordinates standards and accreditation, administers human resources, among other things. She is an RN with the Trinity Cancer Care Center. Laurie plays the French horn in the Minot Symphony Orchestra and the Minot Community Concert Band.

Former Camp Directors 

The International Music Camp was founded by Dr. Merton Utgaard in 1956. From the Music Camp’s 50th Anniversary book, about Utgaard: “He conceived the idea, he tailored the concept, and he formulated and developed what was to become North America’s premier Summer School of Fine Arts.” Dr. Utgaard received numerous awards throughout his career, including the Citation of Excellence from the National Band Association, the Governor’s Award for contributions to enrichment of the arts in North Dakota, and the prestigious A. Austin Harding Award from the American School Band Directors Association.

Joe Alme served as Camp Director from 1983-2006. Among his prestigious awards: Distinguished Service Award from the North Dakota Band Directors Association and the Leadership Award from the North Dakota Association of Non-Profit Organizations. Alme was also inducted into the ND Music Educators Hall of Fame in 1995.

Interesting stats


Last years’ staff was about 200.


In 2011, over 2,100 students from 5th grade through H.S. age and adults.

The majority of attendees are H.S. students.

Countries represented

75% of students are from North Dakota and Manitoba.

South America, Europe, and countries A to New Z.

2011 – 12 countries were represented.

Classes include

Music classes: chamber music, percussion, garage band, piping and drumming, piano, organ, guitar, jazz band, fiddle, hand bells, choir, a cappella pop choir, vocal jazz, barbershop chorus.

Other: basic and advanced digital photography, sound technology, musical theatre, dance, composition, art, and creative writing.

Flag array at IMC, 2011

Enrollment and recruiting

Though the Camp has an established enrollment – attendees come year after year in many cases – Tim recruits by corresponding with last year’s members and attendees and visits local schools and organizations. Posters and brochures are sent throughout North Dakota and surrounding states and throughout Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Direct mail is sent to former students, schools, universities, and colleges.

Other activities

In addition to instruction, there is a Friday night concert series, Saturday concerts open to the public; the students enjoy breaks and evening activities like group dances, movies, talent shows and a teachers’ concert. There is also a gift shop and concession on site.

More info

There is more information available on the website www.internationalmusiccamp.com

Sign up for the newsletter here. Check out the Facebook page and Twitter.


Address – 111 11th Ave., SW, Minot, ND  58701-4693

U.S. Phone – 701-838-8472

Email – info@internationalmusiccamp.com


Euphonium photo – Ronand7, Photobucket.com

Flag photo by Karen S. Elliott


Filed under Guest Writers & Bloggers, Special Events

Musicians’ Week – Tom Cloverfield

Tom Cloverfield is a musician, composer, DJ and producer who became an important figure in the world of house and chillout music on the German electronic music scene. Meanwhile, his songs are played by radio stations and famous clubs all over the world. He releases his work through his own label, Ultrasonic Music Germany.

After a handful of well-received singles, his full length debut album E-Talk was released in 2009. The next albums Universe and Sunny followed 2010; Jewels For Ibiza was released 2011. His tracks Acqua Azurra, in the electro genre, and Karboon, in the techhouse genre, were recommended by Juno Download, London, UK. Tom prefers to have richness and emotional texture in his tunes, thus creating hypnotic and sexy electronic music.

Cloverfield was born in Nürnberg, Germany, in 1966, and began studying the piano when he was four. From this moment on it was clear: Music will be his passion number one forever. Tom says “I don’t create music to be recognized – I do it because it’s necessary for me.” The latest album LOVE has been released in January 2012 – presenting nice chillout, techhouse and deephouse tracks.

Latest Album: cLOVErfield’s LOVE – Release 2012, January



Latest Compilation: Club & Lounge Guide, Release 2011, December



New Co-Creations with LauraLME is called POETICBEATZ

PoeticBeatz is a studio project founded 2011 by LauraLME and Tom Cloverfield on the waves of inspirational music and verses, between Germany, Italy and the UK.
LauraLME is a published author, poet, host and producer of Verses In Motion show on GetYourz World Radio, and Tom engineer, producer and composer of House, Electro and Chillout.
Laura’s poetry and vocals meet Tom’s beats and incredible sound in a smooth combination of words and notes, creating a completely new sound that goes deeper into ears and hearts: VersesInMotion meet Ultrasonic Music, Poetry meets House Beats, Words in Motion meet Notes…

We have released 7 Tracks until 2011, December










Official Site LauraLME


New Co-Creations with Kim Siren: SIRENHOUSE

Sirenhouse is a studio project founded 2011 in Germany by Kim Siren and Tom Cloverfield.
Both artists are well known for their solo works: Kim as harp player and singer songwriter with her SirenSongs and Tom as engineer, producer and composer of House, Electro and Chillout.
Sirenhouse provides with its charming mix of Kim´s amazing vocals and the electronic beats and cutting edge synthesizer sounds by Tom a completely new sound experience:
Worldmusic Meets House.




Official Site Kim Siren:



Podcast Link for my DJ-Mixes on iTunes:


Main Links:

Official Site:


Facebook Cloverfield Fan Page:














The brand new single CITY LIFE: CLOVERFIELD featuring Slimmie






The biggest news is that all of my music is now available at PACHA download.



Filed under Guest Writers & Bloggers, Special Events