#BookSignings and #RecordStoreDay Make Me Smile!

Saturday April 22 is Record Store Day!  I know, you’ve been waiting all year for this.

Click the record above to go to their website, where you can view or download a list of the limited edition vinyl that will be available.  Personally, I’m interested in the David Bowie and the Ramones records.  I was quite surprised by the Corey Feldman release and check out the great “Prince before he was Prince” album cover.  Super cute!

What TIme Is It?

I know many of you aren’t into vinyl and don’t own a record player (gasp!), but I encourage you to run down to your favorite record store (or if that’s no more, then any near you) and show them some music love tomorrow!

Book Signings or Author Sightings

I’m doing two (yes you read that right!), two book signing events in the next five weeks.  I’ll be at the UW Mill Creek University Book Store on April 27th from 4-7pm with fourteen fabulous local authors from the Writers Cooperative of the Pacific Northwest.  We’ll have refreshments, tell you a little about our books and do a little Q&A.  Come and join the Book Release Party!  I’d love to see you there!

Also, I’m at The Neverending Bookshop in Bothell on May 20th from noon to 2pm.  This is a fabulous little new and used bookstore that opened almost two years ago.  I love the idea of supporting this independent bookstore and having her be able to have me in to speak about my book.  It’s such a great opportunity.  I hope you’ll stop by and give her some book love!  (I’ll probably even bake you some brownies!)


GoodReads Giveaway winners of Space Tripping with the Shredded Orphans!


Thanks to all 544 people who entered the GoodReads giveaway for Space Tripping with the Shredded Orphans.   I wish I could send you all a copy of the book.  The two lucky giveaway winners are Melissa and Sheri.

Shredded Orphans and the Space Pirates_200

I’m so thrilled with the response to this giveaway.  It’s the first GoodReads giveaway that I’ve done in celebration of the release of The Shredded Orphans and the Space Pirates, book two in the series.  I’ll definitely think about doing another giveaway for book two at some point in the future.

Thanks again to all who entered.  I really appreciate your interest in my books!

Happy Reading!


Happy Record Store Day 2016 #RecordStoreDay


This Saturday, April 16th is Record Store Day.  Just hearing those words gives me a thrill.  It’s no mistake that my Shredded Orphans series books are about a band.  I love music!

I try and do my part by buying CDs when I can and have even been known to buy vinyl.  Yes, I’m old school and I have a turntable or as I like to call it, record player.

Be sure to check out the website for Record Store Day, where you can download a list of special releases and find a participating record store near you.


There are a ton of records I would love to get, so you might consider making a list before you head out to the store.  I’m thinking David Bowie, Monkees picture disc and Tom Petty are at the top of that list.  Who’s on your list?

Support your local record store this Saturday and Happy Shopping!

Record Store Day 2015

Record store day is tomorrow, Saturday, April 18, 2015.  Happy Record Store Day Everyone!


If you haven’t done so already, check out the website to find what gems will be on offer.  I still have vinyl, but for the most part I would rather have my music on CDs.  However, I love the idea of Record Store Day and try to do my part to support the few remaining brick and mortar music stores in the area.


Happy listening on behalf of Lix, the Shredded Orphans and myself!  🙂

KEXP listener Poll top 100

Below are the top 100 artists from the poll.  It was so much fun listening to this all last week.  See if any our your favorites made it to the list.  (For the complete list click here.)

Top arttists of all time!

Top Artists Poll Of 2014!

Follow along as we count down the top artists of all time as selected by KEXP listeners! Donations this week during the Fall Drive help you discover and share great music every day of the year! Power KEXP with a donation Today.
Rank Artist
1 The Beatles
2 Radiohead
3 Led Zeppelin
4 The Clash Buy!
5 Nirvana Buy!
6 Pixies Buy!
7 David Bowie Buy!
8 Bob Dylan
9 The Rolling Stones
10 Neil Young
11 R.E.M.
12 Pink Floyd
13 Johnny Cash
14 The Smiths
15 Talking Heads
16 The Cure
17 Arcade Fire
18 Beastie Boys
19 Jimi Hendrix
20 Pearl Jam
21 U2
22 Wilco
23 Joy Division
24 Modest Mouse
25 Lcd Soundsystem
26 Prince
27 New Order
28 Elliott Smith
29 Beck
30 The Velvet Underground
31 The National
32 Bob Marley & The Wailers
33 The Replacements
34 Built To Spill
35 Tom Waits
36 Ramones
37 Jack White
38 The Who
39 Depeche Mode
40 Queen
41 Sonic Youth
42 The White Stripes
43 Bruce Springsteen
44 Neko Case
45 Sigur Ros
46 Elvis Costello
47 Death Cab For Cutie
48 Miles Davis
49 Bjork
50 Michael Jackson
51 The Kinks
52 James Brown
53 Grateful Dead
54 Pavement
55 Stevie Wonder
56 PJ Harvey
57 Smashing Pumpkins
58 Van Morrison
59 Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
60 Spoon
61 Fugazi
62 Nine Inch Nails
63 Aretha Franklin
64 Nina Simone
65 The Doors
66 The Flaming Lips
67 Patti Smith
68 Leonard Cohen
69 Soundgarden
70 Public Enemy
71 Belle & Sebastian
72 Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
73 Fleetwood Mac
74 Queens Of The Stone Age
75 Lou Reed
76 Paul Simon
77 Otis Redding
78 Alt-J
79 The Shins
80 Tool
81 Black Sabbath
82 Jane’s Addiction
83 The Decemberists
84 Ryan Adams
85 X
86 Yo La Tengo
87 Kate Bush
88 My Morning Jacket
89 Sufjan Stevens
90 Willie Nelson
91 Elvis Presley
92 Outkast
93 The Beach Boys
94 Neutral Milk Hotel
95 Guided By Voices
96 Massive Attack
97 The Black Keys
98 The Mountain Goats
99 Nick Drake
100 The Police

KEXP 12 Top Artists of All Time | What does your list look like?

Vote for your favorite 12 Top Artists of All Time. Join KEXP and cast your vote by Friday, September 19th. While

they mostly play alternative music and indie rock, they have everything on their list from Beethoven to Zola Jesus.


My list looks like a soundtrack to an 80’s high school movie, combined with a few new artists.  There were so many that I couldn’t put on the list.  Remember this is not what artists you think are most successful or talented, but simply your favorite.  I realize this may even change from day to day.  It’s hard to pick.  What does your list look like?


Thank You For Voting!

Dear Sonya,

Thank you for voting in the KEXP Top 12 Artist Poll. Below are your recorded selections!

  1. Cyndi Lauper
  2. Broken Bells
  3. Elvis Costello
  4. Joe Jackson
  5. Elvis Presley
  6. Kate Bush
  7. Ramones
  8. Blondie
  9. X
  10. Daft Punk
  11. David Bowie
  12. Tom Petty

Be sure to listen to KEXP starting Sept 27th to hear the results!

Best Regards
KEXP 90.3

Donate to KEXP at http://kexp.org/donate

“Waltzing Matilda” is not a Waltz – National Poetry Month day 6 with Sonya Rhen


Welcome to National Poetry Month day six.  It is the start of week two and we have the following poets this week; Sonya Rhen, J.D. Brink, Jakub Sofranko, Roderick Hart, Casi Thomason, and P.F. Chan.

Today is Waltzing Matilda Day, the anniversary of its first performance.  Happy Waltzing Matilda Day!  Today’s poet is ME!  Hello all!

I originally had planned this as a regular blog post.  I particularly wanted to post it on this day.  I have included one of my poems from “Requite Me: Poems of Love, Jelousy and Angst”.  I’m sure this poem was inspired by the song “Silhouettes on the Shade” by The Rays.  Following the poem are my blogging thoughts on rhythm and waltzing as most of my blogs have something to do with music.  Enjoy!


Requite Me Front green

Last Dance
I looked at him from across the room
As a smile began to capture me.
I slowly turned my eyes away
Remembering what we used to be.

I don’t know if he saw me then.
It didn’t look that way,
But if he did it might just be
He couldn’t find the words to say.

I looked again and our eyes met.
We couldn’t look away.
He got up and asked me to dance
As the music began to play.

The days go on and we’re dancing still.
The music never fades.
To everyone who passes by
We’re just shadows on the shades.

By Sonya Rhen



I have been thinking a lot about music, rhythms and melodies. What makes one piece of music enjoyable to an individual over another piece of music? Why don’t all people like the same thing? My husband and I like many similar bands and types of music, but not all. Things he loves, I sometimes don’t. My tastes run more eclectic than most, so he often doesn’t like things that I enjoy. The way we listen is different as well. I can listen to the same song over and over again until it sinks into my pores. He prefers to listen once and move on to another song or cd.


I wonder if there is something innate in all of us that makes us like the things we do, or is it experience, possibly a combination of both? Can we learn to like something? Certainly, I think there is an element of conditioning. Sometimes I will hear a piece of music or song that doesn’t move me at any level. However, after repeated exposure, I may find that I love that song. It can go the other way as well, where you hear something too often and grow tired of it. Sometimes you hear something you love and you simply can’t get enough of it. It is love at first listen. This music seems to fill your heart and soul every time you hear it.


There is something about waltzes that I simply love. When I hear a waltz, I want to get up and dance. Something in the 3/4 rhythm, the “boom, chink, chink,” makes me feel happy. I wonder if there is a physical reason why this pattern resonates so strongly with me. But it’s not just me. Apparently, Everybody Loves a Waltz.



I went to the internet to look up Waltzing Matilda and thought I would waltz with my daughter. Imagine my surprise to find that Waltzing Matilda is not in fact an actual waltz. The rhythm is in 4/4 and it has a meaning of walking around with a bag slung over your back rather than of dancing. While Waltzing Matilda is a fine folk song, this was not what I was looking for.


To many of you waltzing may conjure up images of old fashioned ballroom dancing, you may be surprised to find that a lot of modern day pop/rock songs are waltzes. Here are some examples of waltzes that I have in my music collection. I can recommend all these albums and if you love Christmas music the Cyndi Lauper is a must have! You may recognize some of these.


Vince Guaraldi Trio – Great Pumpkin Waltz (From the Charlie Brown’s Holiday Hits)

Aimee Mann – Nothing is Good Enough (From Bachelor No. 2)

Elliot Smith – Waltz #2 (XO) and Waltz #1 (From XO)

Stars – What the Snowman Learned about Love (From Heart)

Cyndi Lauper – Minnie and Santa and New Year’s Baby (From Merry Christmas… Have a Nice Life!)

While I don’t have this CD – Midsomer Murders theme song may be the only waltz played on the Theremin.


So as I waltz off into the sunset, I leave you with this question. Do you have a favorite waltz?


Keeping Time with Music

You know the old saying, “I am a product of my times”?  I have never felt this more acutely than when I listen to music.  A friend once told me how she had explained to a younger colleague that when you get to a certain point in your life you no longer listen to “new” music and only like the music of your past.  She was clearly exaggerating, because I know she listens to at least some new music.  However, I get her point.

My formative years were the 70’s and 80’s.  I love the music of that time period, not all of it, but what I liked then, I still like now.  Case in point, when I listen to KEXP and hear a song that I like (this is usually when I am running errands in the car) I try and remember the time of day and look it up on their playlist.  I get excited that there is a new song out that I really like.  I immediately click their link to buy on Amazon and put it on my wish list.  If it’s already on my wish list, then I set the priority to “High”.  (Yes, I have a very long wish list.)  Often I find that the “new” music that I am grooving to (highly technical 70’s term to mean “like”) is a song from the 80s or late 70s.  It is most likely that I had heard the song before, but forgotten it.  Sad that I had forgotten something that I had probably heard many times before and also that my heart seems to be pointing in the past and not the future.  Another sign of aging, I suppose.  (Sigh!)

I sometimes wonder if it is just me, or if everyone does this?  I do know of people that discard all things old and only try to live in the moment.  Is this something people do to help move things in a forward or new direction?  I can’t help thinking that possibly those people fear death.  To keep moving forward with newer and better things to try and outrun the inevitable.  (See the movie Moonstruck for more on this topic.)  That’s just my thoughts on the matter.

It’s not just the 70’s and 80’s, though, music of my peers.  I also have a fondness for music that my parent’s loved.  We drove everywhere in our old station wagon and my parents listened to classical music and music of the 40’s and 50’s.  The oldies station would occasionally throw in some 60’s music.  The span of music from my formative years is larger than the actual “formative years” were.  I know this is not just me, since I find that some music of today has a feel of a time past.  Those musicians must have their heart set to that time, at least for the moment of creating that piece music.

In 2004, I purchased the CD Brian Wilson Presents Smile.  When I first listened to it, I was disappointed to find that it sounded like an old Beach Boys record.  After more listens, I find that the beauty of it lies in the fact that it sounds like an old Beach Boys record.  I am drawn to music that sounds like it belongs to another age.  I love the band Tennis and the album Cape Dory.  The feel is very 60s.

There seems to be a 60s music revival going on.  Another favorite of mine is Best Coast’s “When I’m With You”.

There are many more 60s sounding new bands in my CD collection, not to mention the rest of the world of music.

I am eagerly awaiting the release of the CD from Broken Bells.  It has a quality that I thought was long past.  Can you guess?  The CD is called After the Disco and possibly no surprise now is the song I like sounds like a 70’s Bee Gees song.  Looking up the CD online brought me to this interview with them on NPR and you can hear this awesome (here I’ve mixed times with a 80’s/90’s term meaning really cool) song, “Holding On For Life.”

Broken Bells

The CD is due out on February 4, 2014.  I’m ready, are you?  I can hardly wait!

New music or old music, what is the flavor your heart desires?  What time is it for you?