Friday, February 15, 2013

"The Elephant Diet" Day # 59 The Music BIZ!

I was supposed to meet with the conductor this afternoon, but alas, he is sick again.  Offered to meet with a masked face, but we decided it best to postpone the meeting again.  Not a problem, I have plenty to do!  I suggested an IV with Vitamin C, but he's already taking huge doses.  Blessings on you Dr. Ritz!

I tackled a very big elephant that has been breathing down my neck for weeks.  It was good to have the whole day to devote toward it.  My accounting books are now in order for my tax accountant.  I usually have them done by the 1st week in January but there's been some elephants keeping me from it.  (I don't like to procrastinate but it's been a 'zoo').  

This is the biz side of the music.  Keeping track of all my sales, royalties (yes - I'm getting some royalty money for songs on radio and internet - woo hoo!) advertising, traveling, printing, CD stock re-orders, etc., etc.

Made some phone calls related to upcoming bookings (and the bookings are beginning to stack up again.)  That's a good thing because it will help toward this project.

More behind the scenes communication today about the project, but still can't say!

No word from the producer yet about a price for the CD project.  Bummer.  

Listened to Pandora station while I was doing my books and spreadsheets.  How nice to listen to music all day.  It's a rare chance I get since most of what I do is music and you can't work on music while listening to music.  Pandora is fun because you can create your own stations, select artists and give a thumbs up or down for each song so it will be played later or not at all if you don't like!

By the way, did you know that I have my "Inside Things" project on Pandora and you can create your own Frances Drost station?  This is where some of the royalties come from. 

So off I go to the print shop to get my books ready for 2013.  Then I will spend a night of watching movies with Tom since we didn't get to spend Valentine's Day together yesterday. 

I'm ready for an evening off!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

"The Elephant Diet" Day # 58 Behind the scenes!

Happy Valentine's Day!

Things are happening behind the scenes that I don't feel at liberty to share YET.  (I know, I know...that's not very helpful.  But I don't want to squeal on things I can't squeal about yet).  Since I know that people are reading this, I am using discretion (if that's what it is).  At first I wrote whatever I wanted in this blog thinking no one would read it.  Oh me of little faith.

Suffice it to say that I met with a friend for lunch today who gave me some very good insight and feedback and has some potential connections.

It's amazing what talking to friends can do for a person.  I highly recommend it.  It's not that your friends have to have any great answers or insight.  It seems like it's more a matter of having someone to talk with out loud about things that you ponder in your heart.  As you speak out loud, you clarify your vision and things begin to become more clear, even if it's not until after you've left the restaurant.

**  Want to help someone with their elephant?  Be a listening ear...just let them ramble.
**  Want help with your elephant?  Find a listener who will let you ramble.

Some days I am convinced that there is a big plan at work here and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time.  Of course, there are days when I think absolutely nothing is happening and I question my sanity for doing this.

Today I took a big step and asked the producer who's been working on "Night of Miracles" to give me a price on the whole project.  It means I'm one step closer to my goal.

I also took about 30 minutes tonight to just be quiet and ponder a promise I think that God might have whispered to me.  "On the mountain of the Lord, it will be provided".  I have no idea what that means for me exactly, but something jumped up and down in my 'jump'r up and down spot' when I read the verse weeks ago and I keep going back to it because of how it was quickened to me.  Tonight I asked God what "the mountain of the Lord is" in my life right now.

So much is going on behind the scenes.  I hope I can write more about it soon.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

"The Elephant Diet" Day # 57 Friends

I'm so thankful for honest friends in my life.

Today my one bite was getting honest feedback from a friend I trust. She knows my weaknesses, my fears and yet fully believes in what I'm doing. She's walking the road of a solo artist too so she understands things like no one else can.

I'm getting close to needing to decide on a final producer for this project and I'm afraid. Different producers bring different things to the table. As we near the end of the first song (even though it's a rough mix) I have to make a decision.

Do I like their interpretation of my song?
What is the line between what I want it to be as the artist and what they bring with their expertise?
I'm the one who stands before my audiences and shares my heart.
They are the ones with the bigger music industry picture in mind. Where do the two meet?

This probably doesn't make sense to someone looking in, but it's quite a tension for me. Even after all these years of doing this.

So I turn to my friend who also travels this road. We sat and listened to the song today and talked about many things. The pros and cons of one producer over another. Technical things about the song itself and what she liked and didn't like. My own fears about this project.

It's not that I would ask 100 people their opinions because I'd probably get 100 different answers. That's not helpful. But one honest opinion from someone who knows me and knows the people I'm working with, goes a long way.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

"The Elephant Diet" Day # 56 - Scratch!

Finished my 'scratch' vocal and sent it off to TN.

A 'scratch' vocal is a vocal that is set in the track of the music so that the musicians have a guide to go by as they record their parts.  Once all the instruments are in place (or at least most of them) the singer goes back in and sings it 'for real'.

Scratch is a good term for it tonight.  After a good, but long day, my voice is a bit scratchy.  One of the biggest enemies of a singer (besides a bad cold) is fatigue.

Guess my long weekend is showing up in my voice.  Time to call it quits for the night.

Monday, February 11, 2013

"The Elephant Diet" Day # 55 Back to work!

We arrived back from MI this afternoon.  What a trip!  We had car trouble Friday morning (the muffler had broken in half and fell on the ground when we came out from our hotel).  We got AAA to tow us to a garage and were on our way after about 2 hours.

This morning, when we went to have breakfast at the hotel where we were staying, they told us a tree had fallen and they had no electricity in the kitchen so they couldn't serve us breakfast.  Our room was the only hallway that still had electricity in our rooms.  No storm.  Just a fallen tree on the power lines.

The 6 Drost boys!  (my husband is the baby)
Tonight, when coming back from town (getting supper and groceries) we hit a deer and knocked the headlight out.  I sure hope the deer was ok.  Glad it wasn't an elephant.

In spite of all this, we had a great time with family.

I worked on some lyrics over the weekend, as I had time, and I started recording a new 'scratch' vocal for Night of Miracles tonight so the producer can keep on moving with the song.  It's coming together quite nicely!

Here's a few photos from our trip to say good bye to Ruth Drost.  (Tom's mother).
Tom's Dad telling stories
Snow covered Michigan!
Church where Ruth Drost attended (beautiful pipe organ!)