Saturday, December 15, 2012

"The Elephant Diet" Day # 8

How will my Christmas CD project make a difference in the world?

Bob Baker (from quoted Seth Godin on the podcast I listened to today and asked that question of us as artists.

It's been the thrust of my thinking ever since I heard it. It's the only chance I've had today to work toward the CD.

Here's my best try at it for now.....certainly much more to process in the days to come:

"I hope that by creating an authentic, meaningful Christmas CD, I can help people who dread the holidays or struggle to find meaning over this time of year experience encouragement and refreshment as they listen to the songs. As I give voice to my own past struggles with the holidays, maybe it will give others permission to express their feelings and all of us can find a new freedom in walking this journey together."

I was even more determined to find a way to make a difference with my music as I talked with a friend who attended a funeral today of her friend who committed suicide this week: A fifty-six year old woman who became grandma to a little boy born the night before she died.

We need each other to make it through the tough times!

Friday, December 14, 2012

"The Elephant Diet" Day # 7

Today I worked on the song "Ride In The Sleigh". I've been working on a 3rd verse this week and rehearsed it today in preparation for 2 shows I have coming up next week. It will be the first time I've tried this song on an audience.

It's one thing to write lyrics on your iPad, it's another thing to sing them in context with the rest of the song and with an instrument and your voice. Sometimes lyrics flow nicely in printed form, but they don't sing well.

Sometimes I like a song, but it doesn't seem to connect with the audience. I'm finding that I prefer trying things out on my fans before I spend money to record the song.

I also researched video cameras to see what is out there, how much they cost and tried to determine what I need to accomplish my goals.

I also created an electronic newsletter for my fans today. (You can sign up on my website I will be running a photo contest where the winner will receive a free song written for their child. I will create a music video to one of my favorite Christmas songs called MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers) using the photos submitted by my fans of not so silent night preschoolers. It's a funny song contrasting the song, Silent Night.
After all, does a young mother really have a silent night?

Another step completed in the project. Many more to go.

Another terrible school shooting today. CT this time. What was broken in the heart of the man who found it necessary to do this to innocent families? It is not fathomable to me.

I close on a solemn note.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

"The Elephant Diet" Day # 6

I just finished reading a large dose of information about using Kickstarter to fund creative projects. That was the item on my to do list that seemed best suited for my very busy day today.

I can see that Kickstarter is its own elephant! But as I watched videos that other 'creators' have made to share their vision with the world, I was greatly inspired to think even more creatively about my Christmas CD project and how I could come up with inspiring ways to cast my vision to my network of fans and friends. The wheels are turning.

Another fantastic thing took place today.

I attended what has become an annual brunch hosted by a fan of mine who has now become a very dear friend. It was just 3 of us, but it was amazing. Her gift is hospitality and she really pours it on. These 2 ladies have been such a support to me the past couple of years. They are women I can look up to and talk to about so many things.

I decided to be bold and share my vision for a CD and shhhhh........(an annual Christmas show) with them and I was delighted by their response. As I began to open up my heart to them, they began to contribute their ideas and suggestions and were so anxious to hear more about it that we are going to meet again sometime next month and have a listening party. They will get to hear the rough drafts of my songs and are eager to watch the project unfold.

Not only was I encouraged by their excitement and support, but I walked away realizing that I have come a long way as an artist from when I first started. I used to be so shy about my journey and my dreams and only invited folks to see or hear the finished product.

I have become so much more comfortable in my skin and with who I am becoming, that this time around, as I blog each day and share the journey openly, I find it much more exciting to take people with me, than to go alone.

What a day!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

"The Elephant Diet" Day # 5

One bite at a time.  That's how you eat an elephant they say.

Today was a small bite.

I started my day around 6:00 a.m., did vocal warm-ups while driving to church, worked at the church again - longer than I had planned - went to the gym, ran errands, came home to shower, answer e-mails and make supper preparations.

Tonight I head back to the church. It's Christmas time...rehearsals, etc.

My one bite toward the Christmas CD was small, but thanks to my "to do" list that I made last night, I was able to look at it and quickly identify what I could do to work at it, even if it was only for 20 minutes or so.

I started getting my songs moved into one file and getting them typed so I can easily find them and re-write them.

A few minutes with my husband and I'm off to the church again.

Monday, December 10, 2012

"The Elephant Diet" Day # 3

Today was a full day!  I worked at the church where I serve part time so I didn't have much time to eat my elephant.  This was definitely a 'one bite at a time' day for the Christmas project.

However, since my job is music at the church, any practicing I do on the piano or even in singing, means I am contributing to anything else I do musically because it's all working toward being a better musician and each affects the other.

When I got home, I made supper, spent a long time on the phone trying to deal with a credit card machine dispute on my statement (from sales at concerts) and really felt like just collapsing on the couch afterward.

Though I did take a moment to rest, I was interrupted by the phone ringing, so that ended the rest.  That gave me what I needed though to get up and work on my elephant.

This will be the good thing about daily blogging.  It will keep me accountable to stick with it because I need to let you know what I'm doing each day toward the project.

So I spent some time just sitting and praying.  This is no small undertaking in so many ways, so I think that any time I can spend praying over it is time well spent.

Next, I wrote another verse to a song about taking a ride in the sleigh.  I love snow and this will be my second snow song on the project.  It needed another verse so I took my first stab at verse # 3.  I'm sure it will need improvement, but getting something down on paper is another step in the process.  Now I can go back later and re-write it.

So long....on this rainy Monday.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

"The Elephant Diet" Day # 2

Sundays are days that I normally try to keep as a sabbath, so I try not to do anything toward music projects on this day. But I found myself listening to Christmas music on the way home from church and that makes my mind drift toward my own project and what it might sound like.

I was listening to David Spencer's Christmas project.  He's one of the guys I am considering for production of my Christmas CD.  He's very creative in his arrangements, taking old tunes and making them very interesting.  So what might he do with my tunes I wonder?

I am going to try a song with him and see how it goes.  There's no better way to know what it's like to work with someone than to actually work with them on something.

I sent him my "Night of Miracles" song and will look forward to hearing what he does with it.  Ed Cash's company (Chris Tomlin) recommended his name to me and I've liked what I've heard of the music he produces.

Other than that, I've tried to keep my mind off the project today.  It's a good exercise in controlling my thoughts.  That's something God has been working on in me...teaching me to take my thoughts captive and renewing my mind with His thoughts and not letting it roam wherever it wants....which is usually toward worry and fear or in this case, obsession over all the details of a project.  That's a whole different kind of elephant!