If you’re doing it right, anyway.

I was just reading this article, one of those listicles about kicking butt at life. I have to be in the right mood to swallow these but I enjoyed this one. I especially liked this point:

Don’t compete with others. Make them compete with you.

Most people are competing with other people. They continuously check-in to see what others in their space (their “competition”) are doing. As a result, they mimic and copy what’s “working.” Conversely, you’ve left all competition behind. Competing with others makes absolutely zero sense to you. It pulls you from your authentic zone. So you zone out all the external noise and instead zone in to your internal pressure to produce.

I think that’s what slows a lot of us down, myself included. Comparison to other people and their progress and path just slows a person down. Sitting at the “cool kids’ table” means that your mind is off the purpose, you’re looking around, trying to chart a path based on outside input. That all takes away from your time to make and create for yourself.

Granted, I always thinks it’s good to take note of what is going on around you, because operating in a vacuum is its own kind of mistake sometimes but…overall, get up from the table and do something.

Pie (Nov Blog 23/30)

23 Nov

There is only one best way. Happy Thanksgiving!



I always have the best of intentions on planes, and I do get good writing done. I also listen to whole complete albums on planes and I find that works wonderfully. I once wrote the best bridge I have ever written on a plane back from Washington, D.C.

Other times, like this trip to Albuquerque…I just sleep. The exhaustion sets in and nothing can stop me, not even the turbulence.

You can put chile, red or green, on anything. I have put it in oatmeal, on pizza, on hotdogs, on desserts. If they made red chile Oreos the world would be a better place.


What an incredible show by @shawn_colvin tonight! And getting to see @meadowsdrums do his thang was a joy. Thanks for coming home to Austin and playing for us. ❤️

I had the pleasure of witnessing Shawn Colvin play through her entire “A Few Small Repairs” album on Monday night. It’s the 20th anniversary of the album coming out, and also the first time she’s toured with a band in 20 years. It all came together incredibly at The Paramount in Austin, on the last night of her tour. Every song on that album is gold, it is perfectly sequenced, it takes you on a journey. It still sounds fresh after 20 years, the hallmark of a great record. Not all of them manage to do that…most don’t.

I highly recommend a re-listen if you haven’t in a while (or a listen if you never have)…

I call it pumpkin cake. Several of my family members call them “pumpkin bars.” I disagree even though the recipe, passed on from my Grandma herself, says “bars.” I contend that a bar is a denser, more compact type of dessert. A cake is fluffier, with a more crumby texture. I even have Google on my side, but my mom and sisters still maintain bar status with these.

WHATEVER IT IS (cake), it is delicious. Cream cheese frosting. The perfect density for a fluffiness but not dry, ever. I think the skill for baking has skipped me, but my mom and sister have the gift thank goodness.

Mom brought pumpkin cake! #cake #pumpkin


I thought I’d try to chart the comings and goings of the various guitars in my life…I have bought and sold many an instrument.

The top of the heap is still my trusty Martin OM-15. It sounds amazing and looks like a fudgsicle. What more does one need?

Martin guitar: check. Little Martin guitar: check. Lady Gaga saint candle: check. How can I lose at this gig? @lemon_atx 8 PM!

Note: I included basses in this list (because, the term is “bass guitar”) but not other stringed things like mandolins, which I only play in the dark, alone, with no one around anyway.


I have been a huge Tori Amos fan since 2003 in college, when my friend Laura got upgraded to front row seats and took me along and I got to witness the Scarlet’s Walk album tour RIGHT UP FRONT. It was incredible. I have since seen Tori in several formats…solo at SXSW, with a string quartet at Bass Hall…and every time she is a consummate pro.

This time it was at the ACL Moody Theater, and Tori was solo with her grand piano and keyboards, entertaining us with song after song of awesomeness. Today’s blog is just a group of colors that pop up in my brain when I listen. Her music is a lovely mixture of ethereal floating fairy and grounded, organic, earth. I know, I sound like a weirdo. I’m just a big Tori fan.

As always, @toriamos was incredible. Every time I see her...incredible.


My new age as of yesterday, 35 (!), is mentioned in this fabulous Mary Chapin Carpenter song…listen.

The line…”35 makes us pause but we’re still undeterred.” That seems pretty true.

Everyone I ran into this week said, “Yay 30’s! Wait until your 40’s, they get better!” Same for the 50-somethings. I hope that’s accurate. I joke that I am the oldest 35-year-old you know because I am proud of my crotchety streak (only applied in useful applications like going to bed at a decent hour, cussing at rude drivers under my breath, and griping about music that is too loud in restaurants).

The crotchety, however, balances out with my 30-somethingness, so I think it all works out. It results in things like making a folk-rap track and listening to Taylor Swift on repeat, and coloring for my blog. I’ll keep at it all, undeterred.

Hey hey, it’s my birthday! Seemed like a good excuse to launch a big ol’ piece of art…so here it is…the new single called Money & Heart.

I played a gig out at Tips Concert Series earlier this year, with Susan Gibson and Kelley Mickwee. Mark Addison, producer extraordinaire, co-hosts these shows with Wendy Colonna on the property where his studio is located, in extreme South Austin. (How many names did I just drop good grief).

I played the folk/rap like I always do, and afterwards Mark comes up and says, “Have you recorded this yet?” I replied I had not because it’s kind of a different beast. He said, “Come over, we’ll do it.”

WE DID IT. Working with Mark has been an adventure and a joy. We had Susan come in and play banjo (punk banjo comes in at the end if you listen closely) and then we put a bouzouki in her hands and she made that sing, too (the chimey thing in the chorus? Part bouzouki).

Then, a few weeks ago, I had coffee with my friend Chris Taylor, an amazing singer-songwriter and also a stunning visual artist. He said, “Hey yell if you need anything,” and I said “I NEED ART FOR THIS SONG.” That’s why this looks so cool, because Chris is cool.

Once again it takes a village, and I am excited to get this song out into the world. It’s a little about my journey through music, but it’s a lot about the people who support artists and creativity and music every day. It’s essential, and necessary, and we need to spread the word that every share, every word-of-mouth recommendation, and every sale is keeping something good in our world.

Thank you everyone for coming along.