Peddle Your Style To The World!
Eyes fogged by cataracts of dust and grime
Rusted tears of neglected shame.
Those you’ve sheltered stolen by time
No one left to recall your master’s name.
Those skillful hands that built your shell, now rest beneath the soil.
Yet cursed with an extended life, you’re forced to endure each era alone.
Generations came and went, until the day that final breath came in toil.
The final master was carried away, and hence forth, you’ve been silent as a stone.
They gathered round your flaming hearth, to sing, laugh, and love
Stockings hung on Christmas past, enticing children to behave.
Can you still hear them, ancient one? Into your structure are those memories wove?
What of the one who wore this brace? To its support, was he a slave?
Today I’m privileged to host, once again, nineteen-year-old singer/song writer Thomas Mastin. Some of you may recognize the name from a previous interview we did back in December of 2018. Please click on the link, if you want to read that one. Please note, that some of the links on that post are no longer available or relevant. His current social links and some videos can be found at the end of this short interview.
Thomas and I go a few years back, I remember a time when he needed two hands to swing one drumstick. Ok, maybe not that long, but it’s been a pleasure watching him grow from a young kid playing his heart out at church, into the talented musician he is today.
I’m offering you a brief glimpse into his journey. A tale of struggles, perseverance, Faith, life detours, and lessons. Thomas’s ‘can do’ spirit is an inspiration!
Me: You’re not a shiny penny to the music industry. You’re young, but you’ve already had a significant amount of experiences. Can you share some of those?
Thomas: Two summers ago, I was a drummer in a band called Arbour Season. We played a lot of venues in Florida including Busch Gardens, Splitsville in Disney Springs, and Mother’s Restaurant in Tampa. We’ve also done House Shows, which are exactly what they sound like. The band would do their gig at a residence either indoors or out.
Me: There’s been some ‘bumps in the road’ since those sunny Florida days. Can you share what’s happened and how the course of your career has changed?
Thomas: Well, as things go, we parted ways and I charted a course for a solo career, however, I’m a social guy and decided it wasn’t for me. I met Nathan Hardy, an amazing guitar player and fellow song writer. We formed Hello July. The name came to us one day, when we were in Nashville. I saw a poster for a band called Goodbye June. I jokingly mentioned Hello July. The agency that signed us, Brave Enough Agencies, supported it.
We began singing Blues, but our genre has evolved into a mixed style of rock and pop. It almost sounds a bit like Cold Play, and U2.
Thomas Mastin & Nathan Hardy
I’ve gone through an issue with my voice. As it turns out, I was straining my vocals, making them inflamed and they bled at times. Someone who knows more about singing than me, said to be careful, or there could be permanent damage. I’m taking some lessons and going a bit easier. I’m also learning certain diets that can help or harm your voice.
Me: I hope coffee’s okay!
Thomas: (laughs) “Oh yeah. I couldn’t do without it. I also couldn’t do without the ton of people reaching out to me right now. I didn’t expect that. It’s incredible! People have offered free lessons, I’ll have to choose which offer to take.
Pastor Dusty (Parkway Church, Amherstview, Ontario) has also been a huge inspiration. When I was eight, he told me, “If you can’t sing for five people, you can’t sing for 5,000.”
I’ve never forgotten that saying, even put it in the notebook that I use to write music. Those words remind me to be humble and with the trials of the past year, I’ve lost an arrogance. I’m no longer that high schooler who expects everything to fall into place.
Me: I think people can relate to struggles. We all have them and there’s an appreciation for an artist who is open about their challenges. They realize they’re not alone. Listening to music is often an emotional experience for most people. It can soothe, recall distant memories, and bring joy. You’ve been given a special gift.
Thomas: Yes, and now I’m in a place where people can relate to me better. This past year has taught me who I really am and that I sing, not for fame, but for God and to inspire listeners. It’s been hard for some to wrap their heads around the fact that I’m not pursuing a Christian music career, exclusively. I understand that, really, because when you grow up in the church and you say that you’re pursuing a music career, they expect Christian only. But I want to reach those who are struggling, both Christian and non. The band, NeedToBreathe, does this. They play worship songs on Sunday mornings, but festivals throughout the week.
We are planning a tour of Canada first, before eventually heading to America. We’re hoping to start with a few local House Shows. I’m willing to travel to the Toronto to Ottawa areas, and beyond. We have one booked, a couple from our church, they want to be the first.
Thomas in action!
Me: Does Hello July have any videos?
Thomas: We’ve made four. Speaking of a humbling experience, one day I was in a line-up at the grocery store and a woman behind me recognized me from a video. I asked her how she liked it, expecting a positive answer.
“It’s a good thing you’re pretty!” she said.
(laughs) I was surprised but answered, “Well, I’m glad I’m pretty, at least.”
Me: We all get those. They’re great reminders that not everyone appreciates your work. Most of the time it’s a matter of personal tastes. Personally, I don’t pay much attention unless a particular issue is mentioned by several different people.
Check out Hello July singing Coldplay’s song, Yellow.
My name is Thomas Mastin, I’m a 19 year old singer song-writer from Roblin, Ontario! Here are some links to my social media and one of the videos my bandmate Nathan and I have put out.
Find out more about Thomas and Hello July
The earth is under the threat of a catastrophic political event which could result in international warfare and destroy all life on the planet. In heaven, a divine council decides that extraordinary measures are essential. They call for an intervention that involves two souls returning to earth. The chosen two sign a contract that they will work to avert the disaster.
Brad Channing, a Navy SEAL, and Sarah O’Brien, a teacher, become heaven’s representatives on earth. The story follows them as they individually and then together face overwhelming obstacles and eventually end up on a strategic Air Force base in California. It is there that they discover a conspiracy to assassinate the President of the United States. The terrorists have a plan for global dominance, and they are determined to complete their mission. Although military leadership appears to have the President’s best interests at heart, it is not clear who can be trusted and who should be feared. The action is rough and tumble as Brad and Sarah try to figure out the culprits of the plot that will turn into a worldwide conflagration unless stopped.
If you enjoy thrillers, this is one with enough twists and adventure to keep you riveted and guessing. If you like your thriller along with a good romance, Brad and Sarah’s initial attraction and eventual love will sustain you as they live out their heavenly and earthly desires.
A story thick with layers, both in plot and characters, the turn of almost every page is a revelation of another clue, not only for the reader, but for the main characters themselves.
After entering their hosts, they must re-discover each other and their inexplicable feelings of romantic love, as they work to unhinge a terrorist plan to destroy a world leader.
To be honest, I am not an avid reader of romance, and if it were not for the backstory, I would have declared the relationship between the main characters unrealistic and a bit ‘over-the-top.’ However, in similar fashion to the rest of the novel, the reason for their behavior grows abundantly clear and I found myself nodding, ‘yes, this makes perfect sense.’
The attention to detail and logical flow of events is amazing. There are no gaps in the sequence, and never once did I find myself questioning how a certain fact or situation came to pass. Everything is explained and that is no small feat, especially since the book was co-authored.
If you enjoy the comfort of a predictable plot, look elsewhere. If you want to figure out the ‘who-dunnit’ in five minutes, I wish you the best of luck. There are so many twists and turns that I’m almost given to recommend the print format be made into the shape of a corkscrew.
To John W. Howell and Gwen M. Powell, I offer a hearty round of applause. You both certainly pulled it off and your talent shows. Well done!
Five well-deserved stars!
About the Authors:
John lives in Lakeway, Texas with his wife and their spoiled rescue pets.
Gwen M. Plano, aka Gwendolyn M. Plano, grew up in Southern California and spent most of her professional life in higher education. She taught and served as an administrator in colleges in Japan, New York, Connecticut, and California. Gwen’s academic background is in theology and counseling. Recently retired, she now lives in the Midwest with her husband and enjoys writing and travel.
Gwen’s first book is an acclaimed memoir, Letting Go into Perfect Love. Her second book, The Contract between heaven and earth, is a thriller fiction novel, co-authored by John W. Howell. It is available now for pre-order. Author Jan Sikes read the manuscript and wrote that “The Contract is the perfect blending between the physical and unseen world with unbreakable bonds between human and spirit.”
If you wish to purchase this novel, or another written by Gwen, you can do so by following this link: Gwen Plano on Amazon
Not too long ago, I had the privilege of being hosted by talented blogger, DA-AL, on her wonderful blogsite Happiness Between The Tails. I encourage everyone to visit her site, there is a variety of topics, it’s well crafted and there’s something for all! Thank you again, DA-AL for this opportunity.
Thrills — and reading and writing — have always been important to Ontario blogger/author Mark Bierman. Here he describes his favorite sorts of adventures!…
A special award from Grandma to commemorate Mike Bierman’s bike ride with his daughters from their home to the city of Kingston, a distance of about forty kilometers.
* * “Bonding with my kids is what I love to do!” by Mark Bierman * *
Time has a way of slipping by way too quickly. It seems that only yesterday I held my oldest daughter, Amanda, in my arms when she was a seven-pound, ten-ounce newborn. I was both overwhelmed and overjoyed at the same time. That was back in February of 2007! Two years later, our second, Isabel, was born. Today they are a pair of beautiful, smart, and fun-loving girls with whom I’ve had many adventures. This fits well with both my lifestyle and writing style. I love to write action/adventure, and you can go to my website to find out more about it.
I won’t take up too much of your time here. I know we all have busy lives, so I’ve compiled three of my favorite photos that show the type of activities we do to bond. Thanks for reading! Thank you, Da-Al for opening up your blog today and allowing me the privilege of being a guest!
We were at a waterfall, and the rocks were slippery. I “wisely” cautioned the kids about the slippery algae, but then decided to jump a small puddle, yup, I slipped. Amanda must have been feeling empathetic because she slipped soon after.
In this photo, we are proudly displaying our slimed pants.
On a recent trip, the writer in me was annoyed by this sign. Rather than spray paint “for” between the words, I had Isabel pretend to be a ‘Watch Child.’
She watches and reports ALL to Mom!
I think most parents will agree that spending time with your kids is worth more than anything you can give them.
What’s your favorite way to spend time?…
I write poetry that is unexpected, raw, from the heart & mind, I don’t shy away from being emotional, & real in my writing.
Se non combatti per costruire la tua vita non ti rimarrà niente
I found my words more beautiful than myself, so thought of flaunting them!
Indie Author & Singer-Songwriter from Cebu, Philippines. Let's collaborate!
Life After Retirement
Witness What Happens When A Ghalib Loving Psychologist Who Doubles As A Hindi Kaviyatri And Raconteur Sits Down Over A Cup Of Coffee And Coelho By Her Side To Converse About Art, Love, Faith, Philosophy And The Journey Called Life! You're Invited!
AN INVESTMENT IN KNOWLEDGE PAYS THE BEST INTEREST
Our minds are inebriated on thought.