Bar Scott

An Artist's Life and Why it's Important to Keep in Touch

One of the things artists like me deal with on a daily basis is the question of what am I doing, and why am I doing it. Add to that the need to do whatever it is we can do to make a buck, get noticed, or be heard. I’m so used to it that although it wears me out, I don’t question whether it could be any other way. I know it could be if only I got a regular job that involved a time clock, a job description, and a hierarchy within which to 

For Longing

Every week my friends Nicole and Doris and I meet by phone or in person to do some writing together. This week all three of us are physically here, and we have time to meet each morning for 90 minutes. Lucky, lucky us! This morning was our third in a row and tomorrow will be our fourth. 

We meet at 8:00, pour tea, then one of us offers a prompt to which we each respond in writing for 20 minutes (timed). Quick writing without an agenda, or time to think too much, can access different ideas and perspectives – often the writing sparkles because we haven't tried too hard. 

I'm in Love

Eight days ago I sent vocal tracks via the internet to a guy named Paul Opalach in Connecticut. He and my drummer friend Mike Marble were setting up to re-record four of my songs that I wanted to hear differently just for the fun of it. I sent them the exact same vocals I used for "I'm in Love," a song I released 18 months ago on an album called Journey. This afternoon I am smiling all kinds of joy because of what Paul sent back. He had a free night in his studio, he says, so he had fun with my song, and wow, is it great. Enjoy it! He's playing everything. I'm just the singer. VERY fun. 

I'm in Love featuring Paul Opalach.mp3


Below is a piece I recently wrote that describes "Grace", a song I wrote in the late '80s and which has had many incarnations. I've been writing about some of my songs over the last six months and submitted this story last week to a publisher who is putting together a book of stories about music. Many of you know this song so I thought you might enjoy reading it. A copy of one of many recorded versions is attached. This one was recorded in Woodstock, New York in June, 2002. Grace, from Sweets for the Soul mp3(Just click on the link. This is from the album called Sweets for the Soul)

To Friend or Not to Friend

We talk about Facebook a lot: whether to be on it or not, what to post, and what not to post. A friend of mine gets herself in trouble by posting political comments that are offensive to the people she loves most – like her children and siblings, many of which are on the other side of the political fence.

            What I worry about is the demise of the word ‘friend.’ To friend or not to friend, as though ‘friend’ were a verb rather than a person you know, love, and trust with secrets and intimate conversation. And the new word ‘unfriend': another verb that removes the possibility of reconciliation, resolution, and forgiveness between two people. You say something I don’t agree with – as though that’s a measure of friendship – and, click, you’re not my friend anymore.

Going Inward or Reaching Outward?

I read one and a half books this past weekend. The first was Lynda Barry’s What It Is; the one I haven’t finished yet is David Brooks’s The Road to Character.

            My sister introduced me to Lynda. Amazing that I hadn’t heard about her before. She’s a cartoonist/illustrator/writer who does what I like to do: everything. She’s learned a lot about creativity by living, by creating, and by teaching, observing, and caring about her students. She knows that if a person learns how to write (or draw, or grow a garden) 

Two Dogs

We live in the high desert valley between the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the west, and the Wet Mountains to the east. The distance between them is about 12 miles. The Sangres rise to 14, 000 feet, The Wets to about 12,000. We’re at 8,000. What that means is we live in a wind tunnel.


It’s not always windy, but this morning the wind is blowing hard. Trees are bending, and our dog, Tasha, is lying as close to me as she ever has. Her big brother Wally, a wolf-mix 


Philadelphia airport is quiet today. There are plenty of people around but no noise. Odd.


I’m on my way back to my new home, which is worlds away from my original home in suburban Philadelphia. My parents are still here – healthy and well, playing tennis, climbing ladders (although if you’re reading this, ma, I hope you’ll stop RIGHT NOW!) and living in the same place I grew up in. I told a friend of mine once that my parents were coming to visit and she said you mean, you like your parents?! Her question confused me. Of course I do, I thought. Apparently she didn’t like her's so much.


The annual Woodstock Writers Festival ended yesterday. The last panel on Sunday is always Memoir a Go-Go moderated by Martha Frankel, executive producer of the festival. Martha’s a writer herself. She wrote a memoir about her gambling addiction a few years back that I liked a lot. It’s called Hats & Eyeglasses.

            The memoirists on her panel included a psychic, a harem wife turned New York City mom with a rock star husband and an adopted son from Ethiopia, and a screen actress who loved and was loved by John Kennedy Jr. during college.

Experiment Failed (or better: "Experiment Abandoned")

I woke up groggy this morning. The time change always does that to me. We went to bed at 9:30, but my body thought it was 8:30, so within 20 minutes I was back upstairs listening to music. Thankfully, the dogs woke up at what they thought was the normal time this morning, which meant I got to sleep-in a bit.

         We always take a long walk first thing. Today was like most days this time of year: sunny, dry, 22 degrees. That sounds cold but it doesn’t feel cold. There’s very little moisture and the sun is so hot that I only 

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