Song List for “Dance of the Electric Hummingbird”

Here are the songs mentioned in DANCE OF THE ELECTRIC HUMMINGBIRD and the links to purchase them:

“Dreams” – Van Halen

“Pages” – 3 Doors Down

“Nothing Else Matters”  – Metallica

“Crush” – Dave Matthews Band

“Love Walks In” – Van Halen

“Can’t Stop Lovin’ You” – Van Halen

“Rock Candy” – Montrose

“Looking For Your Face” – Jared Harris from “A Gift Of Love: Deepak & Friends Present Music Inspired By The Love Poems Of Rumi”

“Imagine” – John Lennon

“Eagles Fly” – Sammy Hagar

“Poundcake” – Van Halen

“Top of the World” – Van Halen

“Live: Right Here, Right Now” – Van Halen

“Open” – Sammy Hagar**



**This song was released only on iTunes as a single. It is no longer available, however, there may still be some videos of it on Youtube.


There’s a Supernatural Force…

Nov. 22, 2009

…that desperately wants me to tell my story, DANCE OF THE ELECTRIC HUMMINGBIRD.

Capoeira in the sunset

I’m absolutely positive about this because my post, “Semantics,” dated Oct. 21, 2009, almost didn’t get published, for the same reason I keep working so hard at DANCE OF THE ELECTRIC HUMMINGBIRD. I’m trying to cross all my “t’s” and dot all my “i’s” and bending over backward to get everyone’s approval every step of the way—I’m so afraid of offending anyone.

But I believe our interpretations of the events in our lives and the meaning of those events is something that is strictly personal and comes to us in a way that’s unique to each person’s way of understanding. What’s right for one isn’t necessarily right for someone else. This goes for tastes in food and living conditions as well as spiritual beliefs.

Just when I’d been hesitating to publish “Semantics,” I received an update from the founder of the Northern Colorado Writer’s Association, of which I am a member. Kerrie Flanagan’s blog featured a gifted writer by the name of Laura Resau, who wrote about how shamanism played a major role in a lot of her books. Laura said shamans believe that their power comes from a divine source and this power translates itself into words or stories, much like what writers have to do. She also provided a link to a talk by Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the immensely successful EAT, PRAY, LOVE.

In Gilbert’s video, she spoke about the insecurity writers have, and the need for us to learn to distance ourselves from the world’s criticism.

She mentioned that in his last interview before his death, the famous author Norman Mailer said: “Every one of my books has killed me a little more.”


Wow, can I relate. Each and every revision of my book has killed me a little more too—how much do I reveal? How much do I leave out because it’s too personal? What are people going to think of me?

One of my favorite songs is “Pages,” by 3 Doors Down. It’s about spilling one’s heart out for the world, bleeding for the eyes of the public and wondering if it’s all really worth it. But as artists, we have no other choice, we can’t not do it, that’s what makes the process so painfully wonderful.

So as I listened to Gilbert talk about creating distance between herself and other people’s reactions to her writing, I was even more surprised when she said that one’s art isn’t the result of the artist at all, but the result of some sort of spiritual “being” speaking through the artist. Now this may sound odd, but it makes perfect sense to me. I too, have felt its presence from the beginning of my writing this book. I’ve called it a supernatural force—and it is. It has directed all of this from the start. Perhaps it even directed me to Gilbert’s video, because it “just happened” to come along when I needed it most.

Gilbert described writing as: “the utter madding capriciousness of the creative process… that does not always behave rationally and in fact can sometimes feel downright paranormal…”

Oh yes.

jukebox on the beach

She said it makes more sense to believe that “the most extraordinary aspects of your being… were on loan to you from some unimaginable source for some exquisite portion of your life to be passed along, when you’re finished, to somebody else…” than to bear the entire egotistical burden that the artist is solely responsible for the end result.

Believing in divine influence was readily accepted in ancient times, so where did we get the notion in these contemporary times, that we are more than mere vessels to deliver the message? How many authors, singers, songwriters, poets, actors have attributed their talent to God or other supernatural forces?


For me, it all comes down to trusting in that force to take me where I’m supposed to go. If I can keep believing in that, and according to Elizabeth Gilbert, the notion that it is responsible for what comes out of my pen or my keyboard, if something wonderful is gained by others because of my effort, that’s the greatest possible accomplishment! And if not, I can always blame the outcome on that force: “Damn! You really messed up this time, didn’t you dude?”

I like this idea! It takes the pressure off of me to try and please everyone. 🙂

Even Thoreau said: “Say what you have to say, not what you ought!”


(In case you’re interested, here’s a link to hear “Pages”)


July 28, 2010




It’s what makes music so intoxicating…

And I’m convinced that when we are in the throes of being intoxicated with music and emotion, that’s when we open the door to the world of spirit and endless possibilities. (Many who experience Nirvana do so through music—there was even a band by that name.)

I’ve been to more than a few live concerts where the performers seemed merely to be going through the motions, as if they couldn’t wait to finish the job and get off the stage. That made me feel cheated because they weren’t giving it their all, especially since I’d spent my hard-earned dollars to see the show.

This goes for writing as well.

Over the course of working on DANCE OF THE ELECTRIC HUMMINGBIRD, I struggled with how much to reveal in my book. How did I maintain my privacy and still get my message across? I’m just an average person—this book is my soul—did I really want to let the whole world into my soul?

To say this is frightening would be a gross understatement.

The song “Pages,” by 3 Doors Down, explains it perfectly. What a great song.

My solution was simply to be vague about the things that were too personal or painful to talk about.

But my editor said, “Uh uh, sorry, you have to spill.”

Oh man, okay. Reluctantly, I added a little detail.

To this, she said, “Nope—take us there with you—give us all of it!”

I didn’t want to. Speaking out is an enormous responsibility. Once my words are out there, there’ll be no changing them—they’ll be public property forever.


As I fought my internal demons, I came across an article that dealt with this very thing. An author who wrote about her relationship with her daughter, also struggled with how much to say in her book—would she be betraying her daughter by telling the truth? After a lot of deliberation, she decided to be honest. The publication of her book was met with mixed reviews. Some criticized her for exposing her daughter’s personal information, but many more went to great lengths to thank her, saying that her story helped them improve their relationships with their own daughters.

It made sense to me that this was what I should do too, because the purpose of my book is also to help others improve their lives—but even reading about that woman didn’t completely convince me.

I trusted my editor’s professional opinion though, and worked diligently at dredging up horribly emotional and personal subjects like the deaths of my parents whom I adored, and the physical and sexual abuse I endured at the hands of a young man I married when I was no more than a kid myself. It was like pulling pure bile from my liver and splashing it on the page because I had to relive every detail all over again and analyze each one.

There’s also a candid sex scene in my book, and many instances where I question religion, the existence of God, supernatural phenomena, aliens, angels and the power of the mind and spirit. I know that some will criticize me—I may even lose a few friends over what I’ve said—but I just might gain a few too. In any case, I didn’t want to offend anyone.

Then I heard the song “Hooker with a Penis,” by Tool (warning—explicit content on this website). The song is about a fan who tells his idol that he thinks he’s selling out. But the idol says that he sold his soul long ago—just to make his music…

That truth sunk into me like rain into parched earth. Tool was right—it is about selling one’s soul. And my book is all about finding and living one’s truth. How could I sufficiently convey that message if I was too afraid to speak my truth—and yes, sell my soul in the process?

Because if artists don’t sell their souls, no one will be able to relate. It’s a tremendous price to pay—look at what happened to Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and Jim Morrison to name a few—but it’s also an area where there can be no compromise. The audience knows instantly when the artist is withholding something.

Soul is the difference between “outstanding” and “mediocre.” And in this instance, if one wants to make an impact, there’s no room for mediocre, because in the end, the audience will either feel inspired or cheated.

Depends on how much guts the artist has.