Yes, it was fun flying by the seat of my pants - working here, playing there - since my Gamma Knife radiation session in January. But since my recovery from the Gamma surgery is complete and with spring upon us (I think), I believe it's the right time to put my head down, lock myself in my basement office and get back to re-establishing my new business.
Needless to say, it's been a hell of a year. March 7 represented the anniversary of a seizure that began the path towards the diagnosis of an atypical meningioma last spring. The time to move forward in full-force has long past. There will still be MRIs and doctor appointments to make sure my condition is improving, but they are months in the making. For now, my priorities are to regain the great momentum I seemed to acquire immediately after opening my freelance writing/music business in April, 2013.
Therefore, work has restarted on the second draft of my debut novel "Paco." I have found an editor and a potential cover artist for the book through a writer's group in Yorkton. I hope to have the draft ready for review by the end of April with an expected release date of mid-July.
Should you have any ties to Whitewood whatsoever, you may find the novel entertaining. The book is basically the fictionalized biography of a man who used to live and work in the town's old hotel and bar. I should note that the entire story is made up and no character is based on real people or situations, outside of my basic use of this old fellow as the face of a protagonist. The story comes purely from my imagination.
Meanwhile, I am open again for freelance journalistic work. I have written for publications in Esterhazy, Moosomin and Whitewood in the past, but have taken a particular interest in magazine work. This includes assignments from The Session, a trade publication produced by SaskMusic.
I am also available for contract work outside of the journalistic field. My background includes copywriting for advertising; the production of brochures and pamphlets; and editorial services for other writers wanting to have their work polished to a high sheen.
Then there's the music. After thoroughly enjoying performing at a house concert in Esterhazy, SK on Feb. 26, we hit The Windsor Hotel in Fleming, SK this Saturday, March 29. Showtime is 9 p.m.
Meanwhile, with the construction of our studio and the purchase of key recording equipment, Lorne Frape and I will begin preliminary tracking for an EP in April or May. The recording will include seven or eight of our favorite orginal numbers alongside a couple of brand new songs written in the past few weeks. We hope to have rough-cuts available for our June 14 show at The Lancaster Taphouse in Regina; if not, sometime this summer.
Until then, further shows are in development for Wawota, Round Lake, another Regina venue, Esterhazy and - although very early to say so - Yorkton. Follow along with us at www.reverbnation.com/theold21 and watch out for our new CD.
Last weekend, Saskatchewan's rising jazz and roots artist Belle Plain played a spectacular show in Regina. The concert was one of many hosted by Regina songwriter and The Old 21 contributor Trevor Doroshenko, who has brought the production of such an event to a high art.
The Old 21 also plays house concerts; the newest, most comfortable way to enjoy live music in Saskatchewan. The idea is simple: Invite a couple of dozen friends and family members; prepare some appetizers and refreshments (or make it BYOB); and set up some chairs theatre-style in your living room (or don't; it's really all up to you).
Lorne and I show up with instruments - and, if necessary, a sound system - and give you two hours of roots/folk/country music to clap your hands, stamp a toe or snap your fingers to. It's intimate, fun and gives everyone in attendance the impression that the artist is there to play solely for them. Should you want the party to continue after the show, we are happy to contribute even more music.
Among the many advantages are no lineups to the washroom, beer cooler or coffee pot.
Feel free to commentbelow should you be interested in being a trend setter in the province and hosting a night ike this. We are fully committed to help make each show a success and will provide further details on how to put it together.
Otherwise, please continue to support local art.