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March 27th, 2014 | Posted by Annette in Perspectives - (0 Comments)

Kent and LyndseyMost peo­ple have been touched by can­cer in one way or another. Whether it’s a rel­a­tive or some­one close to you, I think we all know the ter­ror of that word. At times it seems unspeak­able, and the treat­ment is just as dreaded, not to men­tion expen­sive. My nephew, Kent, recently found out that he has colon can­cer. At 25 years old, it was a shock­ing dis­cov­ery. Instead of wor­ry­ing about school and tuition, his con­cerns turned to things that should be reserved until later in life.

Chemo. That sin­gle word says so much. It’s poi­son aimed at killing the can­cer cells. Unfor­tu­nately, because it is poi­son, the treat­ment affects the entire body. Any­one who has seen chemo up close knows just how bad it can be, espe­cially when a patient is young. The kind of chemo given to the young is almost always more pow­er­ful and aggres­sive, mean­ing that it’s seri­ously toxic stuff, which leads to extreme symp­toms and longterm effects.

I’m not able to explain it myself. It’s too much and I am ill equipped to put such things into words. Thank­fully Kent’s wife, Lyn­d­sey, has taken the time to share a few of the details. If you would like to read about Kent’s jour­ney, click on the link HERE.

I wish we lived in a world where the sick could focus their atten­tion on get­ting well. Instead we live in a world where the sick have to worry about how to pay for treatment.

If you would like to make a dona­tion to help Kent bat­tle can­cer, please click HERE.

Thank you so much!


Sight Singing

March 24th, 2014 | Posted by Annette in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Sight Singing in Solfege

I’m in the process of adding a sight singing unit to my music stu­dio. In the future, these “work­sheets” will be found under my music stu­dio “sight singing” tab.

I use solfege con­stantly when teach­ing voice stu­dents. It’s such a use­ful tool for ear train­ing and can be equally use­ful in teach­ing stu­dents to read music. These work­sheets have been designed as a resource for teach­ers and may be copied for inci­den­tal, non-commercial use.


sltdgabcThe first step to sight singing is to learn to sing a major scale while using the hand signs. Engag­ing the hands while singing will increases your under­stand­ing and reten­tion. After you have mas­tered the scale, try mix­ing up the pitches. After you have the pitches and hand signs down, move on to the worksheets.

Sight Singing 1.0 in the Key of C. Under­stand­ing the rela­tion­ship between Do and So.

Sight Singing 1.1 in the Key of C. Under­stand­ing the rela­tion­ship between Do, Mi, and So.

Sight Singing 1.2 in the Key of C. More prac­tice under­stand­ing the rela­tion­ship between Do, Mi, So.



Key Signatures in Major Keys

March 15th, 2014 | Posted by Annette in Educational | Music - (0 Comments)

To view a PDF work­sheet out­lin­ing key sig­na­ture, click on the link: Major Key Sig­na­tures

All musi­cians must learn to iden­tify key sig­na­tures and play within them. In par­tic­u­lar, sight singing requires a clear under­stand­ing of key sig­na­tures. This is because the solfege scale is move­able and stu­dents must learn to find “do.” This is done by iden­ti­fy­ing the key of the song. If a song is in the Key of C Major (no sharps or flats) then “do” is on “C.”

Keys with Sharps

Mem­o­riz­ing the order of the sharps can eas­ily be done by using the fol­low­ing mnemonic device:

Fat Cats Go Down Allies Eat­ing Bananas. (F#, C#, G#, D#, A#, E#, B#)

The name of the key is 1/2 step higher than the last sharp.

For exam­ple, in major keys, if the last sharp is F#, the name of the key is G Major. That means that “do” is “G.”

If the last sharp is C#, the name of the key is D Major. That means that “do” is on “D.”

If the last sharp is G#, the name of the key is A Major. That means that “do” is on “A.”

If the last sharp is D#, the name of the key is E Major. That means that “do” is on “E.”

Keys with flats

Mem­o­riz­ing the order of the flats may be done by using the fol­low­ing mnemonic device:

But Even A Dumb Goat Can Fly. (B flat, E flat, A flat, D flat, G flat, C flat, and F flat)

The key with 1 flat (B flat) must be mem­o­rized. It is the Key of F Major. In the Key of F Major, “do” is “F.”

Sub­se­quent flat keys may be iden­ti­fied by nam­ing the sec­ond to the last flat.

For exam­ple, if I have a key with 2 flats (B flat & E Flat) the sec­ond to the last flat is “B flat.” The name of the key is B Flat Major. That means that “do” is “B flat.”

If I have a key with 3 flats (B flat, E flat, & A flat) the sec­ond to the last flat is “E flat.” The name of the key is E Flat Major. That means that “do” is “E flat.”

If I have a key with 4 flats (B flat, E flat, A flat, & D flat) the sec­ond to the last flat is “A flat.” The name of the key is A Flat Major. That means that “do” is “A flat.”

There has been a lot of inter­est in my scale sheets. As promised, I just added the minor keys. To get to them, sim­ply search under my music stu­dio tab, or you can click HERE

Have a great piano prac­tic­ing day!


Thanksgiving Rolls

November 20th, 2013 | Posted by Annette in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Thanks­giv­ing is almost here. I love this sim­ple roll recipe. It’s a lit­tle softer and sweeter than most and doesn’t take much effort. In other words, yum! (Feel free to cut the recipe in half.)

7 cups flour (may use up to 1/2 cup less if desired)

2 pack­age active dry yeast (If using bulk yeast: use 5 tea­spoons slightly rounded)

2  1/2 cups milk

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup shortening

2 tea­spoon salt

2 eggs

In mix­ing bowl, com­bine 3 cups flour and yeast. Mix. In sauce pan, com­bine milk, sugar, short­en­ing, and salt. Heat over medium heat until short­en­ing almost melts, stir­ring fre­quently to pre­vent scorch­ing. Add milk mix­ture to flour and yeast and mix imme­di­ately. Add eggs. Mix. Grad­u­ally add remain­ing flour and knead into soft ball. I use an elec­tric mixer with a bread hook. No work. So easy. By the way, you can’t really knead dough too much. The more you knead, the softer the bread. After knead­ing is done, place dough in greased/sprayed bowl. Spray top of dough with cook­ing spray. Cover loosely with plas­tic wrap and let rise until dou­ble in size. Punch down. If desired (for softer rolls) let rise again. Punch down and let dough rest 10 min. Roll out as desired. See instruc­tions below for a few ideas. Place pre­pared rolls onto greased/sprayed bak­ing sheet(s) or in greased/sprayed bak­ing pan(s). Spray rolls with cook­ing spray and cover loosely with plas­tic wrap. Let rise 30 min­utes or until dou­ble in size. Care­fully remove wrap. Bake at 350 for 10 — 15 min­utes or until golden brown. Remove from heat. But­ter tops and enjoy. Store left­over rolls in fridge in air­tight container.

Carrot Cake Recipe

October 5th, 2013 | Posted by Annette in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

This is my favorite car­rot cake recipe

In mixer, com­bine wet ingredients:

2 cups gran­u­lated sugar

1 1/2 cup olive oil

4 fresh whole eggs (I pre­fer cage free, partly because my hus­band audited a chicken farm once and he came home with a few hor­ror sto­ries. Ever since, I can’t bring myself to buy reg­u­lar eggs.)

In a sep­a­rate bowl, com­bine dry ingre­di­ents together. (Mix dry ingre­di­ents well)

2 cups pas­try flour (You can actu­ally use reg­u­lar flour, but pas­try flour is better.)

2 tea­spoons bak­ing soda

1 tea­spoon salt

2 tea­spoons cin­na­mon (I tend to use a lit­tle extra.)

Add dry ingre­di­ents to wet ingre­di­ents. Mix well.

Add 3 cups finely ground car­rots. (Use a food proces­sor) Fold car­rots into bat­ter and blend well.

Add 1/2 cup finely chopped wal­nuts. Fold in. Blend well.

Pour into pre­pared 13″ x 9″ pan. Cook 50 — 60 min in pre­heated oven (300  degrees). Check cake to make sure that it is done. Cool com­pletely before frosting.



1 1/2 pounds pow­dered sugar

12 ounces room tem­per­a­ture cream cheese

1 table­spoon REAL vanilla (Use the good stuff)

2 ounces room tem­per­a­ture margarine

Whip ingre­di­ents together until smooth and creamy. (If the frost­ing is too dry, add a lit­tle more vanilla.) Frost cake when cool.



I decided it was time to add a scale unit to my web­site. When I’m teach­ing, I gen­er­ally reach for my tat­tered old scale chart and make a copy of it for my stu­dents. It is dif­fi­cult to read AND it’s get­ting old. That’s why I have decided that it’s time for a new and improved solu­tion. As I add these scale/chord work­sheets, I will make a post so that any­one else in need of this resource will get the notice. :D

Scales, Chords, and Arpeg­gios for all key sig­na­tures, begin­ning through advanced studies.

Each work­sheet con­tains: a five fin­ger pattern, primary chord pro­gres­sion, octave scale, con­trary motion scale, 2 octave scale (the same fin­ger­ing as 3 — 4 octave scale), and tonic chord arpeggio. 

* The fin­ger­ings listed fol­low uni­ver­sity standards.


C Major (No sharps or flats): Scales, Chords, Arpeggio

Sharp Keys

G Major (1 sharp): Scales, Chords, Arpeggio

D Major (2 sharps): Scales, Chords, Arpeggio

A Major (3 sharps): Scales, Chords, Arpeggio

E Major (4 sharps): Scales, Chords, Arpeggio

B Major (5 sharps): Scales, Chords, Arpeggio

F Sharp Major (6 sharps): Scales, Chords, Arpeggio

C Sharp Major (7 sharps): Scales, Chords, Arpeggio

 Flat Keys

F Major (1 flat): Scales, Chords, Arpeggio

B Flat Major (2 flats): Scales, Chords, Arpeggio

E Flat Major (3 flats): Scales, Chords, Arpeggio

A Flat Major (4 flats): Scales, Chords, Arpeggio

D Flat Major (5 flats): Scales, Chords, Arpeggio

G Flat Major (6 flats): Scales, Chords, Arpeggio

(Minor keys will be added soon ~ Annette 9.26.13)

Clean Indie Read

September 22nd, 2013 | Posted by Annette in Books | Marketing | Perspectives | Reviews | Writing Tips - (0 Comments)

Clean Indie Reachs Blog ButtonI have posted about this on face­book but decided to post a fresh link on my blog. The Clean Indie Read blog that started a cou­ple of months ago has got­ten off to a tremen­dous start. It’s a site that lists inex­pen­sive ebooks rated G, PG, or PG-13. As I have watched this blog get started, I’ve been amazed at how fast it has grown. It’s a great resource for both read­ers and authors. If you haven’t taken an oppor­tu­nity to check it out, here’s the link: Clean Indie Reads. The blog is run by the amaz­ing, Lia Lon­don.

Below is a list of gen­res posted on the blog as of 9.22.13.

Have you ever noticed how polar book reviews can be?

I loved it!”

Eh.… it was okay.”

Bleck! Who writes this stuff!”

Clearly, no book is meant for every reader. But as writ­ers, it is imper­a­tive to set our egos aside and deter­mine the valid crit­i­cism from the invalid. For me, a few steps have really helped with this process.

1. Write with a tar­get audi­ence in mind. This is impor­tant for so many rea­sons. Read­ers out­side your tar­get audi­ence will prob­a­bly dis­like (or at the very least, not LOVE) your book. Under­stand­ing this make it much eas­ier when neg­a­tive reviews come in.

2. Crit­i­cism is your friend. Become an ana­lyt­i­cal machine and turn off your ego. Once your pride is set aside, this becomes much eas­ier to do. Look at your work the way a lit­er­ary agent would. They’re crit­i­cal, tough, totally unin­ter­ested in your feel­ings, but very objec­tive. I admit this is dif­fi­cult, but it is not impos­si­ble. Learn­ing to set your ego aside brings a fresh view. You’ll see things you never saw before. An added bonus will be the abil­ity to spot sour­pusses. These are the review­ers with an agenda. Obvi­ously, sour­pusses offer lit­tle con­struc­tive crit­i­cism. And if it’s not con­struc­tive, what good is it? Toss it out.

3. Be objec­tive, even if it’s painful. If more than one reviewer says the same thing, look at the sit­u­a­tion again. Take plenty of time before mak­ing a major deci­sion. Think, think, think.

4. The Aver­age Jane (or Joe) are prob­a­bly the best source for con­struc­tive crit­i­cism. These are the review­ers that don’t have an agenda. They just decided to write a review. Per­son­ally, I think they are AWESOME! (thank you, Thank You, THANK YOU to each and every one of them! Whether it was a review writ­ten for my books or some­one else’s. Review­ers like this are golden! Golden, I say! GOLDEN!)

5. Never allow crit­i­cism to put out your fire. Instead, use it. Dis­sect crit­i­cism. Focus through an ana­lyt­i­cal eye rather than an emo­tional one. (You’re a writer, so you have an amaz­ing imag­i­na­tion. Put your­self in the publisher’s seat. Think like a pub­lisher. Think like an agent.)

6. Most impor­tantly, ignore the mean peo­ple. For some rea­son there are a few out there chas­ing indie authors. (Weird.) Ignore them. Period. They’re just not worth your time. At least, they’re not worth my time. I’ve got books to write. Char­ac­ters to cre­ate. Plots to form and sce­nar­ios to twist. I’m busy!

7. Keep mov­ing ahead. Learn from your mis­takes. Embrace them. They are your teach­ers. Don’t beat your­self with a stick. There are plenty of peo­ple will­ing do that for you. Instead, keep working.

8. Write, write, write, write, write! You know you want to! Speak­ing of which, I’ll see ya later. I’ve got more nov­els in the works. Until next time. :D



The For­got­ten Queen is Annette Mackey’s most recent novel. Avail­able on Amazon.

Readers Favorite

September 2nd, 2013 | Posted by Annette in Books | Perspectives | Reviews - (0 Comments)

The Forgotten Queen

Silver Award for THE FORGOTTEN QUEEN from Readers FavoriteI am so please to announce that my new novel, The For­got­ten Queen, has won the Sil­ver Award from Read­ers Favorite in the Fic­tion — Adven­ture cat­e­gory. I am so grate­ful! And con­grat­u­la­tions to all of the other win­ners too!! So many great reads are listed! If you’re look­ing for some­thing to sink your teeth into, take a moment to check out the list of win­ners: Read­ers Favorite Con­test Win­ners, 2013.