Wednesday, December 21, 2016

My 2nd Album was just released!

I started playing the drums once a week about 3 years ago.  I took a break from singing and playing guitar to focus on playing drums with my friends.  Don't get me wrong, I still love to sing and perform but there is now a special place in my heart for the drum kit.  

This album is a collection of the best songs I helped create with my best friend Ricky T Torrance over the past 2 years.  All music is original and all of it was created through improvisation.  I like writing songs and perfecting them through practice but I also enjoy making up songs in the moment.  I compare it to painting.  I love watercolor painting and I never paint the same picture.  I enjoy creating something new while painting.  It is very relaxing and fulfilling to put on paper what I feel deep down in my soul.  I would go crazy if I had to paint the same picture each time.  Playing music once a week with my friends fulfills me in much the same way.  The main difference is trying to get 3 or 4 people on the same page to create a song worth listening again.  

For people who have visual impairments and have concerns about being around loud music (me!), I can tell you I take keeping my hearing intact very seriously and when I am in the studio rocking out I normally wear double ear plugs (foam earplugs and ear muffs over the plugs).  

If you WANT a free copy of this album, just ask me and I'll set you up.  If you want to support Camp Abilities Olympia, please purchase the album below for $5.  All proceeds go directly to the camp! I hope you can find at least one song you like on this album or even feel inspired to create your own music! 

DOWNLOAD LINK - R T K - SMOOZER

SOUNDCLOUD (IF YOU JUST WANT TO LISTEN)- Listen here!


Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Camp Abilities Olympia Radio Interview

I recently got to experience the camp of a lifetime when I took on hosting Washington State's FIRST EVER Camp Abilities.  It was a free sports camp for visually impaired and blind children that we hosted at Saint Martin's University.  We had (50) volunteers and (9) Athletes for the (2) day sports camp.  It was an event that seemed to effect everyone who participated in a very positive way.   We are hosting the 2017 Camp, the week of August 7-11th @ Saint Martin's University.  

Check out the website for more information in the coming months!


LINK TO RADIO INTERVIEW
Camp Abilities Olympia Interview with Dick Pust @ Mixx 96.1fm


Dick Pust and me!

For more information about Camp Abilities Olympia or to donate to this camp please go to 
CAMP ABILITIES OLYMPIA WEBSITE




2016 Camp Abilities Olympia!!!!!
CAMPP ABILITIES OLYMPIA PHOTO BY OLYVTX PHOTOGRAPHY


My 1st paid writing gig!

Earlier this year I received an opportunity to write an article for Outdoors NW magazine and I am thrilled to share the article I wrote.  I am hopeful this is not my last published story and have so much gratitude for Kris Parfitt, the managing editor for giving me a chance to contribute to the magazine.  I hope you enjoy it!

LINK
Blind Winter Adventures

My buddy Derek DeVries up in the mountains!


Monday, October 10, 2016

Stranger Danger!

It has again been a while since I posted something on my blog.  Life has been full and rich for me of late.  With the encouragement of Lauren Lieberman, the founder of Camp Abilities, I started Washington State's FIRST Camp Abilities.  Its a Sports Camp for visually impaired and blind children! We had (50) Volunteers and (9) Athletes!  It was a weekend to remember!  

More on the camp later but for now please check out my latest story!  I told the story up in Seattle at Fresh Ground Stories on August 25, 2016.  The theme was 'Chance encounters with Strangers'.  Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be a VIP? Well, you should be careful what you wish for!  I hope you like it!!!!

LINK:STRANGER DANGER
Blind Trail in Copenhagen, Denmark


Friday, May 6, 2016

What I Saw Through His Blindness

    It has been a while since I have posted something on my blog but it has been for a great reason.  I have experienced the joy of coaching the 1st Ever High School Girls Lacrosse Team of Thurston County.  It has been an amazing ride with these (26) young women but I have missed other parts of my life too.  I am excited to get back to writing and sharing some of my stories up in Seattle.  

     I'm jumping back in the saddle by having a guest blogger!  Acadia is my oldest daughter (16) and she is allowing me to share a recent story she wrote for school that was about a person of influence.  She is a wonderful person in so many ways and I am now learning that she is a very gifted writer.  I am so honored and touched that I have impacted her life in this way.  This story and impact on her puts another check in the column of the greatness that has come from my loss of vision.   I care deeply about being a great Dad to Acadia and Sierra and have worked very hard to be a person who can contribute positively to their lives in a meaningful way.  I was so happy to read this story.  I share this story not as 'look at me' but rather showing the world that what we deem as a disability or tragedy can actually be viewed as a gift.  

Thanks for writing and sharing this Acadia.  I Love You to Infinity times 2!

What I Saw Through His Blindness
            
“As a single dad, it must be hard juggling you two girls and a full time job.” Sarah Bear tells me in a calming voice. He is never late to pick me and my sister up from after school care, so I was concerned. Sarah has just received a phone call. I’m not sure who it’s from, even though my persistent little 7 year old self has asked her plenty of times.
            I later found out that my father, Keith, was late because he had been T-boned by a car on his bicycle. This was the first time his vision wasn’t the only problem. At the time, my parents had recently been divorced, so he moved into town and now bikes everywhere. Ew, biking everywhere. Who would do that to themselves? About a year ago, he had taken his annual trip up to the ophthalmologist and he was told that his vision decrease had become too severe, and it was no longer safe for him to be driving. As a kid, he was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, a genetic disorder that causes you to slowly lose your peripheral vision.
As a kid, he would have me cup my hands around my eyes. “This is how dad sees,” he would explain. “With my eyesight, if you stand anywhere but right in front of me, I can’t see you.” Maybe it is because I have gotten used to my father’s condition, because I have known about it for so long, but I find myself not taking it as seriously as I think I should.
With this “road block” put in his life, he has done a fantastic job of finding ways to ride around it. When I was 14, my dad and step-mother blessed me and my two siblings with a wonderful trip to 4 European countries; England, France, Germany, and Denmark. The time spent exploring and gaining culture and knowledge of the area through hands on experience was unforgettable.  When in Germany, we found it suiting to take a tour of the city to learn more about its rich history. With his vision, my dad uses a cane to navigate and let people know that he may not see them. I was tired from waking up early and walking all day, but I could still see my dad struggling. We were walking on cobblestone, which my dad’s cane got stuck in every other step. The graphite would bend so far back it was strained worse than a college kids paycheck.  This had been happening the whole trip, and he finally lost it. It was hard for me to see him break down because he is generally very good at having a positive outlook on anything that comes at him.

One of the many attributes I have always valued in my father is his ability to recognize his own faults, and never stop working on changing himself so he can become the best father he can be to his daughters. Through the many ways he has had to change his life due to his vision, he has always made the best of the new situations. Although simple daily activities, like getting from work to practice are not thought of twice to most people, he is constantly finding new and creative ways to get places. The day I realized that my father’s vision loss was more of a blessing than a curse, because of how he reacted to it, was the day I realized the way my father has raised me.  He has shown me that I can be anything I set my mind to. What I saw through his blindness was hope. Hope to push through my darkest times, and hope to always strive to be a better person. 
Acadia an I at her 16th Bday Party!

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Fresh Ground Stories- A Change of Heart

I was lucky enough recently to tell another story on stage in Seattle.  I have learned so much from hearing people's true personal stories and have immensely enjoyed sharing some of my own.  

I hope you can relate to this story.   It's about keeping a secret.  

LINK:
Keith Edgerton, Fresh Ground Stories- A Change of Heart


My TEDx Talk

I feel so grateful to have been a part of this event!  I hope you enjoy it!  

LINK: 
Keith Edgerton, TEDx Olympia