New song breathing here. by Melanie Ida Chopko

 photo by Jason Simmons

photo by Jason Simmons

My new single is live and breathing, here. You can download it for free until December 15th. So many thanks to everyone who came to my release show: it meant the world to play for you.

Below the Weather & the Waves is a dialogue between myself and the ocean, her reminding me of a teaching from my favorite Zen-ish teacher: "During difficulty, see the place that has no difficulty."

So many thanks to my collaborators (Rob Reich, Schuyler Karr, Jay Pellicci, Piper Payne) and friends who supported me in the process (Moorea Dickason, Jean Rohe, Austin Willacy & Briget Boyle).

A musical, election-day hug by Melanie Ida Chopko

It's election day here in the US, and I thought you like me might like a big auditory hug before or after you go and VOTE.

One of my favorite artists and humans, Jean Rohe, just released her stunning new album, Sisterly. Her song What Will We Tell Our Children has meant alot to me for these past few weeks.

Did you speak the truth when it mattered most? / Did you mean it, now, tell me did you mean it? / Did you run and hide? / Oh, your palms on your eyes. Yes, did you cry? / Oh, sometimes you cried /Did you love your neighbor, did you love yourself? / Did you give enough? Did you get enough? ...

I'm off to rehearse for my epic music video shoot happening later this week - complete with a church, my first choir arrangement and a small choir. Wowzers!


Ps. Seriously, make the time to VOTE. For CA folks, How Pete's Voting is my most favorite voter guide - extremely well researched, spry and written by a former union organizer. I love it.

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Joni Mitchells' Sh*tty First Draft by Melanie Ida Chopko

Last week my cousin and I gave each other a writing challenge - finish a full draft of our stories/songs by Friday or we would donate $50 to DJT's re-election campaign. Ah, nothing like the negative incentive to get my butt into gear!

I thought you might enjoy this "unfinished draft" played live by Joni Mitchell. It's incredibly inspiring for me as a writer to hear the humble beginnings of one of her most iconic songs, "All I Want." To hear how at one point, it could even be described as sloppy. I think it's so powerful to see early drafts of master writers/filmmakers/performers. To remind all of us it's not about pixie dust,  just persistence.


It reminds me of some of the best writing advice I ever got - from a man who did sand-castle building contests. In the contest, the team has three hours to go from blank beach Alameda Beach to a giant castle sculpture. "What's incredible is after two hours, it's still just a pile of sand." I love that.

What ever you're up to, KEEP GOING!