Exploring Other Passions

Wow.  It’s been a long time since I’ve posted here.  Since my last post, I’ve returned to work (teaching), my youngest started school, and life became much busier than it had been before.  And, unfortunately, as things got busier my writing was shoved aside to make room for other things that were work-related or family-related.  But here I am now.  And that’s thanks to Eli Pacheco, one of my blogger friends.  Eli (Coach Daddy) has been a constant support throughout the last few years that we’ve known each other through social media, and an inspiration for many of my posts.  I still love reading every one of his blog posts, and every time I do I think, If only I could have that much creativity running through my veins to be able to write not only so often but so poignantly.  Recently Eli emailed to ask if I would participate in his latest 6 Words post.  I always feel honoured when he asks me to participate because he’s giving his platform to other bloggers so that we can generate interest in our own blogs, which is a pretty generous thing for him to do.  And his 6 Words posts are always thought-provoking for me and fun.  But because I haven’t written a post on my own blog since August of 2015 (I returned to work in September of 2015), I wasn’t sure how to respond.  I didn’t want to say no.  That email from Eli was a kick in the pants to take some time, sit down, and just write.  So here we are.

I have mentioned several times in previous blogs that one of my passions is singing.  I grew up singing all of the time.  I would sing in church, I would sing to my dog, and I would sing in my room, pretending I was on a stage entertaining tens of thousands of people.  In high school I sang in a school play, and after high school I sang with my friends’ band and in multiple weddings.  I was pretty good.  But I never pursued it further because…well…life gets busy.  That seems to be my excuse for giving up my passions.  A number of years ago I set a goal to start singing again, but that idea was quickly shelved and I busied myself with another passion:  writing.  However, at the end of this summer I thought, This is it.  Just do it.  I enlisted a good friend of mine – who happens to be a musician when he has spare time – to play guitar and sing some songs with me.  We did that and decided to record them.  Then, maybe against my better judgement (!), I decided to post them on YouTube.  I’m attaching them here, just for fun.

This is the latest – a “True Colors” cover – which we recorded last week.

This is the second – a “One Day” cover – which we recorded last month.

This is the first one – a “Wheat Kings” cover – which we recorded in September.

Although I feel vulnerable posting these, I’m doing it anyway.  I hadn’t sung publicly since 1999, so doing this first one was pretty scary.  But I honestly feel like that’s part of what life is about:  feeling vulnerable and scared so that we push ourselves to do things that challenge us and enable us to grow and be better.  I will continue to do that with singing…and hopefully that kick in the pants to start writing again will stick so I can continue to do that with writing too.


Zoey and the birds

Some days I catch a little bit of my kids being silly, on my phone. Tonight my phone was recharging when the kids were cracking each other up with their songs about “birdies”, and so I couldn’t record it. One sang something funny about the birds, making the other laugh, and then it was the other’s turn. It was adorable and hilarious. Lately Zoey, my 3 year old, has had an obsession with birds. She chases them in the park, and she talks to them through her bedroom window. It’s usually when she’s supposed to be napping in the afternoon. One day about a week ago I caught some of this…

Translation: “I’m just talking a birdies a second.”




Lights! Camera! Action! (for Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop)

Writing Prompt: Something that made you smile this week.

My seven year old son Zander is an active boy.  He’s not active in the way many of his classmates are, playing hockey several times a week.  He’s got an active imagination.  And his imagination has been working overtime since he recently discovered a series of videos on YouTube that he now loves watching.  They involve Luigi and Mario, the Mario Brothers, and they are created by some kids (or perhaps young”ish” teenagers).  The kids use stuffed toys for the action, and there’s no fancy animation or high tech effects to them.  However, they have millions of hits.  And they entertain my son.

Several days ago Zander decided that he wanted to make a video like the ones he watches of the Mario Brothers.  He asked me to be his cameraperson.  Of course I obliged.  I was actually thrilled that he wanted to make a video. Perhaps I should include, right now, that I went to school (university) for media studies – long ago – and as part of the program I made many videos.  Of course I had professional cameras, editing suites, access to sound effects, video effects, music, and a team of peers to help out.  Our little project at home was quite different.  I “filmed” the scenes on my iPhone, and then “edited” the video together on Windows Movie Maker.  Not quite high tech.  But I have to say, the whole experience was a fun one.  Zander was so excited to do it, and despite not having a script or storyboard (he is only 7 and doesn’t know about this stuff), he did have the shots organized in his head, complete with several different shots from different angles for each.  I thought that was pretty darn advanced, given the fact that he’s never made a movie or talked to anyone about how to do it.  I guess he learned that from watching all those other videos.  And watching.  And watching.

His hope was to get 100 views and some “likes”.  And not wanting him to be disappointed, and being a mommy who would do anything for her kids, I took to my blog, my Facebook account, and my Twitter account, and asked – okay, I begged, to be honest – my followers and friends to please go to my YouTube channel and have a look. (ShanAdamsCKNX is my channel, in case you’d like to check it out. Wink!)  Through the power of social media, and thanks to some really fantastic people, Zander got a wonderful surprise today, when he walked in the door from school.

“Hey, buddy!  Take a look at this.”  I showed him the views of his Luigi movie on my YouTube channel.   There were 301, after less than 24 hours.

His reaction was, “Wha?  Whoa!  Yahoo!”  He was absolutely ecstatic.

How could that not put a smile on a proud mommy’s face?

The video is included here…and it will only take you 42 seconds to watch…pretty please…It’s called “Luigi and the Strange Noise”.  Thanks! 🙂