Eden Casteel Music Studio

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Resolutions

Goals for 2013 I want to learn how to prepare a few more healthy foods. I always think it's going to take too long to make the good stuff, and I'm always surprised at how easy it is. I want to figure out how to make those Thai wrap up roll thingys with julienned carrots and peanut sauce. I always worry I'm going to rip the wrapper and wind up with salad all over the place.

I'd like to add some kind of decor to the white IKEA shelves in my office -- cheaply. I could paint the backs of the cases some hip color. What would Martha do?

Despite my continual reading of Color Me Beautiful in the 1980s, every once in a while I buy an item of clothing in brown. I tell myself that it's an alternative to ubiquitous black. I have loved ones who look great in brown, so I guess I figure that love will make me look good in brown. And so I put it on at home, and I look terrible and pale and sick in it, and I take it off and put it in the donations box. And I always recall this poem. It's time to say goodbye to brown clothing -- forever. Khaki, you're next.

Memorize as much of my Feb. 8 recital as possible. I'm working on this now and it's going pretty well. It really is harder to memorize when you're older!

I love teaching, and I love breaks from teaching just as much. Keep doing this.

Pray more and more and more . . . because prayer works.

Run a half marathon. Run a 10K. Run a 5K. Run. Or just tone up. Or just look like I've lost 10 pounds.

I'm writing a short children's musical about Saint Francis using music from his era. If I include every wonderful thing he ever did, it will be longer than The Ring Cycle. I have to turn in a draft by Ash Wednesday (Feb. 13), and a final by Easter (March 31). I have done a lot of research and collecting, but no writing.

I'm also writing "Quonnie: The Musical 3.0", but I won't even start that until June. That's an eternity away. Right? By then I'll have lost 10 pounds and run a half marathon.

I'd like to procrastinate a little less than my kids.

Restrict Facebook and other cyber time wasters. I turn to social media when I am bored or restless, when I should really be doing something else -- anything else. I use the Self-Control app to force myself to take a break. Occasionally I'll keep electronics off for a period of time. I'm always happier when I do, even if it's only half a day. It gets easier to do the more I do it. So, I'm going to do that more.

Say a long goodbye to my 20 year old cat Rebel, and have him make a peaceful trip over the Rainbow Bridge. He's holding his own now but I know it's coming. I cherish every cuddle.

Paint some landscapes. I aspire to be Winston Churchill. Paint some walls, too. And the garage doors.

Travel more. Last year I enjoyed short trips to New Orleans and Montreal. This year: Colorado? Key West? Graceland? India?

Plant ALL the flower bulbs before the frost. Even the ones you forgot in the garage.

Figure out that contact lens prescription once and for all, and write it down so I can find the right contact for the right eye. I think I keep mixing them up.

Plant a smaller vegetable garden, to make room for more flowers and trees.

Continue to celebrate the end of orthodontia payments, car payments, and house payments (ALMOST!). That process may take a year. I can live with that.

Be at peace.

Write on

I'm back in writing/directing mode after two months of teaching the world to sing. My children's history show, Quonnie: The Musical 2012, opens in less than two weeks! Once again I've written the script and lyrics myself, borrowing melodies from many different musical eras. I like writing lyrics and sometimes I'm really pleased, which makes up for the other times. "The Last Time I Saw Paris" was written by Oscar Hammerstein II and affectionately recalled the City of Light before the Nazi occupation. I used it in Quonnie: The Musical to provide a sentimental look at life in my neck of the woods back in September 1938, when Quonochontaug, RI (and the rest of New England) was devastated by a hurricane.

This year I have a couple of sweet elementary-age girls crooning the lyrics, which describe Quonnie before and after the storm: "The last time I saw Quonnie/the berries tasted sweet/the blush was on the roses red, we complained about the heat." The line I am proudest of incorporates a well known phrase: "The houses floated out to sea, the shoreline narrowed thin/our gardens drowned in ocean salt, a world gone with the wind." I meant it to refer to the song, which came out in 1937, but it could easily bring to mind the movie, which debuted in 1939. (And really, is there any better opening title sequence than this? ;)) To me it's a perfect visual image of how the hurricane affected this area.

I'm also proud of a lyric I dreamed up on the fly, Saturday night around 6pm. I was preparing to sing  "Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better" from Irving Berlin's Annie Get Your Gun. The original lyrics describe Annie's rivalry with Frank Butler, but my duet partner was Ben Hutto, the esteemed director of choirs at the National Cathedral School and St. Alban's School in Washington, DC. So, I started rewriting some lyrics to reflect our roles as music director and vocal coach at the Royal School of Church Music's Newport course. I scribbled out lines and showed them to Ben for approval. Some were clunkers, but some were good: "I sing music that'r make a window shatter," "I can stick my tongue out and sometimes stick my lung out." My very favorite will only be understandable to church musicians, but they'll howl: "I can Phos Hilaron with my underwear on." He delivered it perfectly and brought down the house.

Okay, then. YOU try to rhyme Phos Hilaron, wise guy.

Voice Lessons, Vocal Coaching, Piano Coaching, Performance Coaching, and Musical Production.

Eden Casteel Music Studio, 81 Post Road, Wakefield RI 02879. Phone: 401-932-5589.