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Navigating the New Normal: The Trials and Tribulations of Making Music in 2023

Whenever I do a "year in review" blog, you can begin to yawn and I won't take offense. Seriously, why would you care about 2023, or anything having to do with it?


This was an insane year. Two of my step brothers passed away. Two of my close friends died, too. I took on a whole new job in a completely new place near our nation's capitol. Moved to a whole new place. I'm doing stuff they never taught me in college, like how to manage people, places and things I don't know much about. And now, I've officially worked for all 3 branches of the defense department. These things showed me how vulnerable I can feel.


Plus, carrying two mortgages while doing all of this traveling, moving, working, buying new furnishings and playing out has been very taxing on our finances. Still, aren't we lucky to even have these problems. There are a lot of people who out there who don't even have that much.


So, we continue to give to the homeless. During my time in Alaska, I was practically on the street. So, I know what it feels like to go hungry and have to hustle to keep the lights on.



Dominick, Susan and me, Christmas 2022.

On the upshot, Dominick graduated from college with a Master's in Business Administration. I dropped about 45 pounds. I met a group of guys I love making music with. I'll officially have two gigs under my belt by year's end. The people I work with mostly think I'm okay to work for. My wife's survived her second year cancer free. My cat still likes to hang out with me. The future's looking brighter every day.



Shadow always lays on my clothes first thing in the morning. Always has.

And I completed 50% of "Hook, Line & Sinker", which you can either get a physical copy of the CD, or download from Spotify. I wrote 13 songs this year in all this chaos. And most of them don't suck.


I read three whole books: one on leadership, and two on starting a new business. My wife will start her YOUTUBE channel this year. Dominick will find work and start a new life for the first time in 20 years not being strapped to some academic institution.


This year, I plan to finish Hook, Line & Sinker. I have 5 new songs in the can. I am also opening my home up the second Saturday of every month to do recording here at the house. I want to start my own recording company. Not sure how to do it. But, I thought I'd start at least sharing this new house with people who want to make music. See where it goes. Try not to let the bastards get me down.


In 2024, there's nothing but good things in front of us. Very grateful we got through this year. You?


Have a wonderful Christmas.


As always...


Love & Rockets,

Russ



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