voice of a songwriter

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I write songs. And I write a blog. That’s a lot of writing, but it’s okay. I have a busy mind. Did you stop by to hear my music? To read my musings about music? To learn about songwriting? To book a house concert? To be inspired in your own creative work? Whatever the reason, let’s get started! First, I’d be oh so delighted if you’d join my fan list, found in.. Read More

Vocal Olympics

I’m not one of those die-hards who plans their lives around watching the Olympics, wrapped in nationalistic fervor, but I’m always glad to catch glimpses of the events. Last night, in a restaurant, I was mesmerized by men’s figure skater, Adam Rippon. Pure strength and pure beauty. He won the bronze. Then I think, “How many hours, days, months, years has that man spent on the ice?” Every Olympian has.. Read More


Plans are overrated, but I know what I’m making for dinner. ~ Melissa Monforti As a recovering perfectionist, I’m very excited to announce my Word of the Year for 2018. It’s a departure from my recent, more overtly deep words of the year: Stay, Give, and Open. It may not seem like much, but it’s a word that, when I hear it, I get that mixed and twisted pleasure of.. Read More

Project Status: STALLED

You know that amazing feeling when you get to finally cross something off the list? When, after long hours on the road, you at last get where you were going? When Siri announces “Arrived!”? I swear, I thought I’d be exhilarated right about now. I would have arrived at that elusive moment. I would have released my first complete CD. All ten songs, artfully produced. The slip cover, gorgeously designed,.. Read More

A Year of Stay

At the beginning of this year, I was about to give up on a dream that has since come true. The same miracle happened at the end of the summer. Two miracles in one year. I am a lucky star. Readers and fans, you may recall that I downsized my businesses in mid-2016 to open time to explore a deep passion of mine – music ministry. After six or seven.. Read More

Songs as Poetry

Bob Dylan, albeit dramatically and reluctantly, accepted the Nobel Prize in literature this year. He received a gold medal on the back of which is the image of a young man resting under a laurel tree, listening for the inspiration of the Muse. The inscription, translated from Latin, reads: “And they who bettered life on Earth by their newly found mastery.” The immense compendium of Dylan’s lyrics have indeed greatly.. Read More

All Or Nothing

One of the risks of all-or-nothing thinking is that sometimes, you end up with nothing. I spent a portion of the last hour trying to find an old journal. In a past life, I used to journal religiously, and by that I mean, as though my life depended on it. At some level, my life did depend on it. Journaling became an obsessive habit that validated my existence. I couldn’t.. Read More

How to Write a Song

#1 question at any house concert: So, what’s your writing process? Like, how do you do it? The short answer is, it’s a mystery. But here’s my process, in no particular order. Get an idea. Or receive an idea. Or be open to an idea. A song says something, so figure out what you want to say. More directly, what is your song about? Is there a moment you want.. Read More

Soft Spot For Angry Songs

We, as a culture, have a schizophrenic relationship with anger. On the one hand, we are a nation quite comfortable with anger. Observe a youth soccer match, for example. Ask anyone who’s ever worked in customer service. Try going the speed limit. In the fast lane. On the other hand, there is an underlying judgment around anger. We shun those who can’t control their anger. There is a general disgust.. Read More

When Songs Won’t Come

Ugh. What a heart-wrenching time it’s been. Yes, I’m talking about Charlottesville and the aftermath. Often, at times like this, I’m drawn to my guitar, pulled by my hook book to sit down and write. Writing songs is one of the ways I process the baffling world around me. But sometimes, songs won’t come. My heart is broken, my tears are flowing, but the creative way is blocked with too.. Read More

This is Not an Improvement Plan

You are going to be so happy you found this blog post. I’m sharing a very cool practice that has allowed me to truly incorporate life lessons. You can try it too, and tell me what you think. It’s adapted from a Benedictine tradition of reading scripture very intently, with pause to allow words to sink in, stir and move. The traditional practice is called Lectio Divina. It does not.. Read More