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From my newest blog: musicianonamission.blogspot.com

Okay, so I’m sitting at my computer at home at 12:15 a.m., right?  I should be in bed by now!

I’ve been listening to a lot of business audio books for the last week.  Books like The Millionaire Next Door, The Millionaire Mind (both by Thomas Stanley), Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, and I’m trying to get more ready to listen to at work tomorrow.  I’m starting on some books by Steven Covey — most popular for 7 Habits of Highly Effective People — and one of Robert Kiyosaki’s other books entitled Before You Quit Your Job.


On top of all that, I’ve been reading some of these types of books as well.  I’m currently on Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking, and I found a book I just had to have about living out your dream career by Delatorro McNeal II called Caught Between A Dream and A Job. Another book I also just had to have is a more obscure one called Talent to Treasure: Building A Profitable Music Teaching Business by Marcia Washburn.  This last one is a hard one to find anywhere to buy besides her website.

I recently finished a book by Lloyd Steiner called Make A Fortune Teaching Private Music Lessons. You can read my review on amazon.com.

Lastly, I’ve been going to my local Books-A-Million (BAM) store to check out some business/teaching music books and found one of the Idiot’s Guide books by Karen Berger called The Idiot’s Guide to Teaching Music On Your Own. It’s a very extensive book and well worth the $16.95 price tag, but it’s geared more towards those that have some sort of degree in music instead of your basic musician like me.  So I’ve been going there and reading it every time I set foot in the door.  I must have it over half-way read by now!  I’m also following her blog CreateWorkLive right here on Blogspot.

Wish I could say more, but it’s way past my bed time.  I’ve been trying to adjust to an earlier sleep schedule so I can change to day shift and start teaching at night, but no such luck so far on the sleeping end of things.

At least I’m staying quite motivated with all this information rattling around in my head, though.  I realized something today: no matter how much I learn, experience is the best teacher of them all.  So I need to get out there and start teaching!

Thanks for reading.

E

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From my newest blog  http://musicianonamission.blogspot.com/

Have you ever had a dream that you couldn’t let go of in your mind?  Oh sure, you may have let it sit on the back burner for a while, but it eventually gets hot enough to start screaming for your attention.  Something that gnaws away at your sanity until you decide to do something about it?

Well, I have.

For me, my dreams have always revolved around making music.  From the time I was a child I can remember wanting to learn to play an instrument.  I chose guitar.  I had been playing some piano in church but quickly found out that a piano just isn’t as portable as a guitar.  I wanted mainly to be able to sing and play hymns at church because I wanted to be involved in something.

I remember the drive and determination I had to succeed in learning to play.  I’d begged my grandmother (Dad’s side) all year for a 2-part video series on how to play guitar that I’d seen in some catalog.  Christmas arrived and with it my guitar videos.  I was ecstatic.  Now all I needed was — bingo — a guitar!

Not a problem.  My grandmother (Mom’s side) had a junior guitar she’d bought for my younger brother who for some reason at the time wasn’t interested in learning.  It was one of those nylon-stringed guitars with a neck as thick as my thirteen-year-old forearm.

I took it home and began learning from the videos on how to play certain rhythmic chord songs like “Tom Dooley,” “Amazing Grace,” and “House of the Rising Sun.”  I also learned how to use the “relative tuning method” of tuning the guitar.  You musician’s out there know what I’m talking about.  Along with the chords and the tuning instructions, the booklet that came along with the VHS tapes also had a section on learning how to read music.  “I don’t need no stinkin’ music notation,” I thought, “I have my ears!”

Now I regret not learning how to read music at the same time I was learning how to play guitar, and I’m just now trying to learn how to.  But at least I was able to play after a month or two of banging out chords on those old songs.  I was able to see the connection of how chords were used in songs in similar ways (I didn’t know the term “chord progression” until much later).  As a result, I was able to sing and play at church and enjoy being a part of something special.

And so began my love of music and the guitar.  Now, fifteen-plus years later, I have a desire to earn a living sharing this love of music to the people of my community.  Only, I have no clue as to how to start.  Looking back on what I’ve written here, I see the determination to succeed in playing the guitar and I think if I could just muster up that same determination and utter tenacity I know I could experience that same joy and fulfillment again.

So this is my story.  A continuing saga (if you will) of how I will make every effort to move forward and chase my dreams until they become a reality.  No more day job, being my own boss, working less & making more, working with people, teaching (another passion of mine, though I don’t know how to even start teaching guitar; I’m more of a Bible teacher), and the many other benefits that come with being an entrepreneur.

There are many things that scare me in starting up my own business, though.  But that’s for another time.  For now, will you walk with me as I journey onward; trying not to look back?

E

Outside my window the snow falls lightly.  Puffs of powdered confectioner’s sugar sprinkle down, covering the holly-green hedges like cupcakes.  A giant bakery stands before me.


The bright red berries on the hedges entice me, looking good enough to eat and, though Christmas has ended, decorate the hedges as ornaments do a Christmas tree.


The world outside is a life-size slow globe. Though it is warm inside, I feel the chill of the wind and the soft speckling of flakes swirling ’round and ’round like tiny flocks of birds changing their course of flight in unison.


On the ground the snow is blown by the wind and makes wispy tracks, as though an invisible winter snake were crawling through the cold powder.


Winter has begun; its whiteness the testimony.  Little stick-shaped bird tracks are scattered on the lightly dusted ground.  Perhaps they have come to taste the sweet treats that nature has become and, disappointed by the facade, have flown away again.


There is glitter on the ground now, shimmering in the moonlight like crystal; sparkling subtly as the dim glow of the moon gently bounces from flake to flake.


I look up and see leafless trees; a forest of bare, nimble limbs stretching outward, entwining like one big tree with many trunks.  The thin lines of snow painted on each limb create an uncanny yet intriguing illusion:  White on black; snow on limbs as prickly as a porcupine; light and dark combine together, forming a spray of entangled tumbleweeds.


The beauty of it all contains more than hundreds — no, thousands — of pages could convey.  And yet, an attempt has now been made.


If only the snow fell like this every time; if only we could see it like this always.


©2009 by Eric Beaty


(Written while watching the snow fall outside on my break at work.  This was an attempt at description.)

It seems extremely hard after all the holidays (namely Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years) to get back in to the swing of writing more on my NaNoWriMo 2009 story. I’m feeling a little bit lost in this world I’ve created over the past couple of months, and I’m finding I have more questions than answers. This is very discouraging. The holidays may be over, but life is still happening all around me and I’m trying my best to cope with it all and still have time for myself and my story. I’ve invested a lot of time into this project and don’t intend to quit.  I just hope my muse gets back from his extended vacation soon or who knows what’s liable to happen?

My goodreads Bookshelf

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Eric Beaty's  book recommendations, reviews, favorite quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists

Is It Over Yet?

I don’t know about you, but this hasn’t been a very good year for me.  Lots of personal issues — health, marriage, family — have nearly gotten the best of me this year.  I’m ready to start over fresh.  I just want this year to be over already.


I keep hoping that somehow a new year will automatically erase the slate clean and I can begin again anew with hope for a brighter tomorrow.  Every year around this time I have these same feelings.  Feelings of opportunity, redemption for past broken resolutions, and those of hope.  Hope that everything will be better this coming year; that everything will somehow correct themselves naturally, aligning themselves in just the right order so that I can have a better, more enduring chance at a life without so much stress, failure, drama (lots of drama this year for some reason), and the like.


My main thought for the new year has been progress. I don’t know why, but that word has been on the tip of my mental tongue for weeks now, and I can’t help but go back to it when life slows down enough for me to get a glimpse of it again. Progress. Not necessarily prosperity, although that has its own measure of progress, I suppose; but progress. Forward movement; the idea that you’ve actually completed a task, gotten it done, and can claim it accomplished.  That’s what I’d like to work toward in 2010.  I’d like to see some good old-fashioned progress in my life.


A goal other than this I’ve decided I’d like to try to keep next year is to be more active.  For the past several years I’ve wanted to get my hunting license and go deer hunting; something I hated when I was younger.  It seems I have so much adrenaline pumping through me at all times that I have to channel it — vent it — somewhere, somehow, some way.  But once again I’ve not been able to afford it.  Well, I won’t stand for it again come next year.  In February, when the licenses go on sale again, I’ll buy a fishing/hunting license if I have to use my tax money to do it!  I plan on hunting small game at first (getting some brisk walking and hiking in) and fishing every chance I get.  This will save on groceries if I can bring enough meat home.  It will also be healthier than all those processed meats at the grocery store that are loaded with hormones and high sodium brine preservatives.


I’m just give out.  It’s been a tough year.  Some people in our church died this year and that was hard.  Now the church is dwindling down to around 8 or 10 people every Sunday … if we’re lucky.  No one seems interested in their souls anymore.  Life’s been tough, yeah, but that only makes me want to draw closer to my Father in Heaven; my Creator.  He’s the one who has all the answers anyway!


Which reminds me.  I did get an uplift this week.  It happened in Sunday School (which I teach).  We’re going through the Psalms, and we were in Psalm 17 this week.  Well, when I teach, I learn a lot more than I do when I just study in my own time at home.  Things just occur to me when I step back and try to teach; new ideas come along and sometimes blow me away.  Something like that happened this week.


I read down the Psalm and started to read it over again one verse at a time to go over it verse by verse.  When I got down to around verse 12, I realized that David was fighting an enemy that fought dirty.  This was an enemy whose next move David couldn’t predict.  He described his enemies as lions lurking about secretly. They were compassing (surrounding) him and his army and he couldn’t see where they were coming from.  So he did the best thing he could have done.  He called on God.  David, a king, a man of war and a general of his own army, humbled himself and basically said, “I’ve seen everything, every tactic, every maneuver, every strategy, but how can I predict something that’s ever-changing and too secretive to predict?”  He was facing an unseen enemy lurking in the shadows, waiting to strike.


Only God knows what we face each and every day.  This past Sunday, I realized that though Paul the apostle said that he wasn’t ignorant of Satan’s devices, sometimes he fights dirty and calls an “audible” on the play.  And if we’re not prepared, we’ll certainly be caught off guard and, ultimately, defeated.


So, I guess what I’m trying to convey is that I want to go forward this next year with God leading the way.  Even though I know things may happen to try to ruin 2010 for me, I also know that God knows what tactics the enemy will use and what dirty schemes he’s up to.  I know that he knows how to deal with it.  The only thing I have to do in those situations is wait.  And that takes patience, something which I’m not very good at.  But that’s a whole other blog.


Good luck to everyone out there hoping to move forward in this next year.  May 2010 be a changing point in your lives for the good.  And as I learned in high school Spanish I class: Vaya con Dios!

Here’s a little video I made of Christmas songs for my YouTube page.  Enjoy!

Well, after being sick yet again (a nasty stomach virus this time), and Christmas nearly over, I think it’s time I got on my duff and let the creative juices begin to flow again.  And since I’m going to resume my novel-writing efforts in January after all the chaos of the holiday season is over, I figure creating my first blog post will do just fine.


I have one more Christmas event to attend on my Dad’s side of the family before my Christmas celebrations are ended, so I’m about to try and catch up on watching all my favorite Christmas films: The many versions of “A Christmas Carol”, animated Christmas movies and shows (“Garfield’s Christmas Special” and “A Claymation Christmas” are my two favorites), and the ever popular Grinch movie with Jim Carrey, just to name a few.


These shows all inspire me to write better because not only do they all have great story lines — take Charles Dickens for instance; can’t go wrong with him — but they all have stories that seem almost effortless in terms of how well they’re put together and how it seems as if it were nothing for the author to just flick his/her wrist and write the perfect tale.  These are the truly great stories.  They are the ones that make you forget you’re even watching/reading a story at all.  Reality seamlessly blends with fiction in that you don’t even notice you’re leaving your world for a few precious moments’ stay in a new one.


I can only hope that will be said of my writing.


Hard work, perseverance, intense will, and the determination to succeed is what it will take.  I think I’m ready.  I hope so, anyway.  Winning NaNoWriMo 2009 is definitely a confidence booster, I can vouch for that.  But that’s done and over now, and all I’m left with is me, my characters, and the story itself — their story.  When I consider this, I have to say I’m not in such bad company.

Testing…

No blogs yet; spent all my blogging time tonight on my About Me page.  Check it out.