Meandering

Meandering Monday about My Karaoke Junkie Status

William Mangieri is a blogger, karaoke junkie, former theater student, and recovered wargamer, who spends a lot of time wondering ‘what if…’

That’s the start of the sketchy biographical blurb that I insert in various spots related to my writing (author “about” pages, market submissions, book jackets, etc.) It has changed little since I first started submitting stories.

I first encountered karaoke on a Wednesday night at a neighborhood Mr. Gatti’s. I didn’t know that Wednesday was their karaoke night – we were just taking my son up there to meet friends for pizza in the late 90’s. My Significant One and a friend insisted that I get up there and sing something. We looked at the book and picked out Roy Orbison’s “Crying,” and after that night I was hooked. Mr. Gatti’s on Wednesdays became a weekly tradition.

I have a good ear for music. I did some musical theatre in my teens and in my first run at college, although my last show was forty-one years ago. I’ve never stopped singing (even if it is embarrassing my family while shopping for groceries.) I’ve played a number of instruments starting in fourth grade (trumpet, French horn, alto horn, trombone, guitar.) I have a keyboard – which I can’t really play, although I can do some chord work, and can pick out melodies, and that talent carries over into my singing. I can quite often guess the melodies of songs I’ve never heard based on the rhythm and backgrounds (I had to do that at karaoke sessions when I was asked to sing an unfamiliar song), and I can also improvise harmonies if I’m singing with someone else.

I think karaoke gets a bad rap from people who’s only exposure to it has been in movies where it was made a mockery of, or because they encountered it where alcohol was served (Mr. Gatti’s was NOT one of those); drunken karaoke should be banned as a public service – FRIENDS DON’T LET THEIR FRIENDS SING DRUNK.

I can understand why some people would be nervous of singing publicly. I have a good voice (not just on my say-so), but one of my personality traits is that I hate to be seen (or heard) as stupid or inept. When I sing, I try to do my best. Drinking makes people think they sound better than the mess that the sober people are hearing.

One of the things I noticed about myself when doing karaoke is that (assuming I’ve heard the song before) I imitate the original performer’s voice rather than just singing AS MYSELF. This has the odd affect of allowing me more vocal range than I normally have – I don’t know if it’s because I’m holding my mouth, or my tongue differently, loosening my throat, or tilting my head just so to get the voice right, but I can often sing higher notes than my natural voice allows me. I wish I could figure out how to do that and still sound like myself.

I was questioning myself on whether I’m still a karaoke junkie. It’s been years (at least four, back to before our first slab leak) since I even had my karaoke machine set up at home, and even longer since I sang any karaoke OFFICIALLY (that means with the background tracks playing, the lyrics rolling on the screen, and an audience – yes, I believe you have to have an audience for it to be OFFICIAL.) One person does count (sometimes I pity that person 😉.)

I haven’t stopped singing. I sing when I’m in the car, in the store, walking through the office listening to Amazon music on my phone. The main reason that I don’t play music when I’m writing is because I’d never get any writing done – I’d be singing along instead. Even if there are no lyrics, I imitate the instruments vocally (I used to be able to perform the entirety of the Jesus Christ Superstar album by memory without it playing along in the background), or at least drum along.

My Significant One often complains that I sing myself to sleep.

But I haven’t done ANY karaoke in at least five years, and none outside the house in almost twenty (people my age really shouldn’t start counting years – suddenly you realize that you’re talking decades or scores, maybe even half a century, when just a moment before you’re mind had fooled you into thinking you were still in your twenties. And no, I’m not talking dementia – I always feel inside like I’m still in my twenties. Much of AGE is in the mind (although not all of it, sadly).)

Alcoholics are never cured – they are always alcoholics. I know my own personality. If I ever plug my karaoke machine back in, it will be days before I take a break from it, and if I were to start going out where there’s PUBLIC KARAOKE, I might just disappear on the road, like Paul Giamatti in Duets.

Yes, William Mangieri is STILL a karaoke junkie. Just saying…

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CatsOfWar_I_CoverI am participating in Smashwords’ site-wide Authors Give Back promotion, which is being held to show support for people around the world suffering through isolation during the coronavirus pandemic. All of my collections (including my Detective Jimmy Delaney and Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire series) AND Swordsmaster are on sale for 30%-off. The link to my eBooks on Smashwords is here:

https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink

This is the last week – the promotion lasts from now through April 20th. There’s a coupon on the page for each eligible eBook – ENJOY!

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As stated, Swordsmaster – my first novel – is part of the Smashwords Authors Give Back promotion; a fun escape from your quarantine woes.

Fate is neither something to run away from, nor something to run towards.Swordsmaster4

The first bright-eye to be seen on the mountain in living memory, Sandrik didn’t want anyone to think of him as they did the ominous Aurae of legend, so he had worked hard to keep his special abilities hidden. But there was more to Sandrik than even he knew. Now that it was time for him to enter the ancient ruins of Taernfeld and be declared a man, what other changes might he be forced into?

Swordsmaster is available at several online retailers, including, but not limited to:

Smashwords (discount coupon on the page) at: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/954501

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07WNK79FM

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ImperialImperilmentCoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing (including “Imperial Imperilment”, his latest Herc Tom, Champion of the Empire tale) can be found in many places, including, but not limited to:
• Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• His Amazon Author page:  http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri

To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• His site on WordPress:  https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:  http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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