Sunday, January 3, 2016

Reflections on a New Year...

Reflections on my year-year two in Los Angeles. This year-new jobs, new home, new relationship, more music, more stress...I am on the final week of a three week vacation. I needed it so bad. The weeks leading up to my vacation had me in panic attacks, physical debilitation, illness, and an overall anxiety and worry. I get that way. I have a history of not being able to handle stress very well, so I’m supposed to do a series of health related practices to keep myself sane. I haven’t been doing a very good job in that department. My first year in L.A. was relatively stress free. Although I was nervous to begin a path of pursuing music full time, I was ready and jumped in; breaking through years and years of stage fright and other issues that caused me to ignore my dream. I had help; a place to live and I got a pretty good job fast. I met some people and started doing my music. This past year I moved out on my own...because of that I had to get a second day job; I currently am working three day jobs; one I pick and choose my own hours, so I don’t have to necessarily take hours, but I have been lately to continue to survive in the city; of which I am not used to. I had a pretty mellow life in Humboldt County in Northern Ca, where my rent was $450 and I had one job and did music more as a hobby, which was not what I wanted, so I moved here, and it is very different for me. It is a lot more stressful, and my stage fright and emotional issues factor into my health and wellbeing; whether or not I’m stable and thriving, or just appearing to be. It’s a lot of ups and downs. I basically take on much more than I can handle; but I’m so excited about music that I obsessively work on it; this is hard to do with a full time job, yet my true happiness lies in full immersion with my music. I waited so long. This year I will be 39. I know what I’m supposed to do to be healthy; in my case, with my history, it’s usually a bit more than the average person has to do; which means more time. I have been working on music instead, and it is starting to seriously jeopardize my health; and I noticed that it is affecting my performances. Because of my issues with depression and anxiety, my stage fright and lack of confidence creeps back, and then it is a downward spiral. I had been feeling this way lately. I talk about this, because I know many performers go through the same thing, and it is always helpful to me to reach out and discuss these things. I didn’t perform for over 10 years because of this, so being here in L.A. with all the love and support, and gigs I have been getting; means a lot to me, and I don’t want to disappoint people. The truth is that sometimes I perform really well, and sometimes I don’t. I’m more consistent when I take care of myself, as I’m more comfortable, confident, and sane. So my New Year’s resolution is to get back on track. Being on vacation has helped so much to reboot, but soon I begin the grind again, along with more music, so I need to step it up. I just wanted to reach out and say to please come to another show, even if you may have seen me and I was just.....alright-I actually have this energy inside of me that comes out on stage that I know is abundant and I want to share-so please keep me in mind and I hope to see you at some future shows.....
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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Rejoicing In Our Fortunes-Appreciation Training for Musicians (and others!)

“...learning to rejoice in our own good fortune, we train in rejoicing in even the smallest blessings our life holds-it is easy to miss our own good fortune; often happiness comes in ways we don’t even notice.”

This excerpt is from one of my favorite authors, Pema Chodron, and is one of many from her that I read from time to time, to bring me back to reality when I get lost in the darkness. To not experience the joy of what life brings to you, whether big or small, is just that-darkness.

Scientifically we retain much more negative feelings than positive ones, because most of the time that is what we focus on. The process of factors such as thoughts, environments and emotions effecting the neural pathways in our brain is called neuroplasticity-you can read more about it here .Negative thinking effects me all too well.....As a musician, I am constantly hustling for opportunities; often stomping out the embers of small accomplishments in a hurry to race to the possibly bigger and better opportunity. I often feel like I  don’t have the patience to lovingly wait while a small step could become a larger one-instead, conjuring up all sorts of negative talk about something that didn’t work out right away; then discovering that down the road-it did; or being really upset about a situation that did not go favorably for me; then getting a surprise second chance to be in that same situation, and finding out that it was not all that I thought it was going to be. Let’s just say that I waste a lot of energy on being negative. I started to notice this in myself as a physical sensation of burnout-it seemed the negativity was weighing me down, so I was often tired and moody. In reading more from Pema Chodron’s book,The Places that Scare You,  on her chapter titled, “Finding the Ability to Rejoice”, I was reminded of something so simple-“the key is to be here-fully connected in the moment.”

When I gain acceptance with my music, and an opportunity comes my way; I feel happy for a second, then it quickly dissolves into worry about the future; so the next time I practiced Pema’s suggestion of being in the moment-I got word that my newly recorded jazz cover would be featured on a popular online radio show. Normally I would be briefly happy, but then start getting busy trying to achieve the next thing. This time I sat quietly and let the acceptance seep in, noticing that it felt encouraging and uplifting. When negative feelings tried to penetrate and my mind wanted to move ahead, I returned my attention to what had just happened-someone liked my music, and that felt good-someone acknowledged a recording I had worked hard on… did this really feel? Before I would just glaze over the emotions, but now I noticed that my body felt joyous; the kind of joy that brings a smile to the face; I was even compelled to let out a little sound-a sound of joy. This is a very personal process and not one of ego or gloating-this is an exercise of self awareness of acceptance and positivity, and can be shared with others who are supportive and will appreciate and celebrate your happiness-it is not to brag about ones good fortunes…..Doing the appreciation practice will train your body to recognize positive feelings more, and decrease the moments where you lose this feeling to future worries and desires.

Pursuing music consists of a lot of rejection. It can be very difficult to take because music is often times a strong reflection of the artist and their intimate feelings. I often have to separate the emotion from my work when dealing with the business side of things; but it is still hard. I am a member of one site that keeps track of my rejections and acceptances. Currently I have applied to 98 music opportunities; everything from licensing, performing, contests and more. 96 are rejections, and 2 are acceptances; that is a pretty harsh scale and doesn’t take into consideration the countless other rejections I receive,  so getting fully involved in the rejoicing process is especially important to celebrate the sometimes rare occurrence of gaining traction in a difficult business. Rejection is the nature of the game, so getting accepted for something is a BIG deal, and needs to be celebrated! I am starting to do more for myself when I reach a milestone-dinner and wine, a massage, or going on a little vacation can be a real positive representation for a job well done.

So how to start practicing appreciation? Pema Chodron ends her book with what is called a "The Three-Step Aspiration", which "you can use to awaken compassion, the ability to rejoice, and equanimity. As always, it is fine to use your own words."

May I enjoy happiness and the root of happiness.
May you enjoy happiness and the root of happiness. 
May all beings enjoy happiness and the root of happiness.

Sometimes rejoicing in the good fortunes of others is a wonderful way to share the commonality of each others hard work. As a musician, there can be feelings of competition and jealousy which are hard to work through even though we put on a brave face. Thinking of a fellow musician and wishing them well is a good start to create positive energy in life. 

Meditation is as good practice to develop awareness of our thoughts and emotions.
Yoga is also good at getting us grounded in our bodies. 

Another quote from Pema's book is "everything we see, hear, taste and smell has the power to strengthen and uplift us." This refers to her thoughts on how appreciating what is around us and taking care of our environment, gives us strength and confidence to appreciate ourselves....

My acquaintance and facebook friend Jacqueline Suskin has written a book called, "Go Ahead and Like it" about making lists of things you like, which can be a wonderful appreciation practice. (I'm currently waiting for my copy in the mail!) 

Nature, music phtography and fashion!
I love photography, and it is one of the ways that I develop an awareness to what is around me. I enjoy being in nature and capturing scenes that I find beautiful or interesting...

The new fall leaves....

beautiful rose....
So think about how you can learn to appreciate your success, plain ole' life, or the beauty around you!! I would love to hear your thoughts or practices in the comments sections!


Thursday, August 28, 2014

"It's Just a Number"-The Age of Total Acceptance

I was a late musical bloomer, so to speak. I have been playing music since about 16. I was self taught, and at a relatively older age. I think a lot of kids start out learning an instrument very early, in elementary school, and take private lessons to get very proficient. Needless to say, it took me 21 years of singing and guitar playing to get to the point where I am at now-confident enough in my skills to move to a big city like Los Angeles and pursue music professionally. One thing I am not so confident about-is my age. People say that age is, "just a number"-which is true. At my age I have the experience, skills, and lots of other qualities I lacked in my 20's when I was pretty much an unfocused basket case. Still, I worry about my age in this time of continued beauty obsession, with the added pressure of constant cell phone presence at public and private events, taking photos and videos of every little thing-all in crisp and unrelenting HD quality.

In Los Angeles, I am amongst a large population of beautiful women songwriters.  For some, there are many choices made of strict diets, personal trainers, and botox or cosmetic surgery to feel confident. In my 20's, I looked like a model-long flowing hair, perfect skin, and was almost 20 pounds thinner. Being in the big city has definitely caused some insecurity to creep in.

The other day I attended an event, and was looking good-hair done, fabulous dress, and I had been making more of an effort to go to the gym to feel more energy and focus on my health. I found myself in a room with lots of beautiful women, and I felt a bit insecure.....but then I realized that they were mostly in their 20's, and younger than I. Emotionally, I felt equally sad about youth gone by, and at the same time I felt a big acceptance-because it dawned on me that I was simply older, and was not going to look like I was in my 20's anymore. When I went home that evening, I realized that instead of comparing myself, I needed to celebrate my age, because honestly, my 20's sucked, and now I am having the time of my life, so why do I care?

People tell me all of the time that age does not matter in the music industry-especially in my genre of singer-songwriter. I do indeed have many role models who did not find lasting success until their 30's or 40's-Sharon Jones, Leonard Cohen, Lucinda Williams, Gillian Welch, Neko Case....but just when I started to look at this situation in a positive light, I saw some news about the VMA's-the Video Music Awards.

One of my idols-Gwen Stefani, was presenting this year, and on a television commentary show, two people were discussing her-It went along the lines about how great Gwen looked "for her age" (she is 44). Yes, I agree; she looks good for ANY age. Then the talk went on about her outfit choice, and that although she didn't show as much skin as her 20 something counterparts, that no one would "likely mistake her for anyone's mother". I was appalled. Why is this great artists age even a topic of conversation? I know that many artists are really criticized for having face or body work, and I have been guilty of judgement, but now I understand why-watching the VMA's and some of the performers-I can understand why an "older" artist might feel great pressure to look younger.

Here is a blurb about Gwen's "appearance" at the VMA's. VMA Red Carpet

What strikes me in the linked article is the word, "flawless".-Yes, I guess that is a wonderful compliment, but it seems like a lot of pressure-to be "always just perfection". What if she's not always flawless and perfect? How about less over dramatic statements about beauty, such as, gorgeous, stylish or radiant? Why must these ideals be projected?

Another article states, "the blonde beauty hasn't aged a day". Is she not supposed to? Am I not supposed to?
Gwen Stefani-VMA's 2014
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Although I sometimes succumb to growing pains, for the most part, I feel good about myself-some people are naturally that way-I have reasons and experiences that haven't always made me feel the most confident, but I appreciate the acute awareness of realizing that-and the desire for TOTAL ACCEPTANCE. This doesn't mean that I can now let myself go-there are certain things that I want to do that are right for me to feel good about myself-and not just physically-for my mind and spirit also, which can give great confidence, but I simply am never going to look like I am in my 20's-and that is o.k. I want to feel comfortable for my age and live fully in this present time of my life.
What people do with their bodies and appearances are personal choices for everyone, and don't need to be analyzed by society. For me personally, to feel that I MUST turn back the hands of time to fit into the music industry is very confining-my wish is to
roam freely in the wide open expanse of ACCEPTANCE.

late 30's.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Shattering My Extrovert Fantasy-Celebrating the Introvert Within Me

My first adult experience of being called out about my personality was in drama class-I took the craft of acting very seriously, and had even gone to a special school at 16 to study with the great Comedia Del Arte founder, Michael Fields. There, everyone had the same precocious and serious spirit toward their passion, and it was an extremely rich environment for me, having grown up fairly isolated and unexposed to the world. We all supported each other, and I grew as a young creative person. I still had no idea who I was though, so innocent still, and simply carried by the energy of my environment, rather than having any knowledge of harnessing that energy within me. I was naive, but with this complexity that I was wiser beyond my years with the way I held myself. It was more of an act, but I didn't really know anything at the time. Years later I attributed it to false confidence, because in retrospect, I was an extremely sensitive person who was easily crushed by negative energies or words from others, but at that point, I was riding high on my experience of theater school, with all the praise and encouragement to continue to be who I was. It wasn't until I entered college that I had a different experience.

I took all of the acting classes and threw myself into the exercises with an amazing acting teacher. I took it very seriously, wanting to uphold the integrity of these specific exercises geared toward human exploration and understanding. I really wanted to understand myself and others, and I thought acting was a marvelous journey to explore in. One day, a fellow student informed me that everyone thought I was a snob. I was shocked at this. I had no idea-I was so engrossed in the class that I wasn't thinking about any social aspect. It brought back other painful memories of a similar sort, and from that point, I became extremely self conscious. My acting skills declined and I abandoned theater.

I got into music and went out on my own-as a solo artist I didn't have to be around other people; I could just do my own art and my own thing. I played gigs and enjoyed writing songs, but the seed of negativity seemed to be inside of me-not just from one comment-but from an accumulation of a challenging childhood of ridicule from classmates-(I was "different-weird").  I felt extremely lonely at 18 and living on my own. I started to slowly retreat from the world, and by 24-I considered trying to do music publicly to be competitive and dark-and besides that-I just wasn't good enough-I didn't have the same spark I did as a wondrous young adult with the world in her hands-I became disillusioned and negative, and didn't really share my craft of music for over 10 years publicly-except for some rare times where I had horrible stage fright and felt publicly humiliated. I never had stage fright when I was starting out with music, but it developed into the point of complete debilitation. I continued my passion for music and writing in private-mostly to my bathroom- which had the best acoustics.

Years went by and I grew tired of isolation and how ugly I felt inside. So much had happened to me, that I was simply never going to be the person of my fantasies-this outgoing extrovert-doing her art with lots of friends, etc., etc......but who was I then? Did I have any of those outgoing qualities, or was I simply just a hidden shell? I really had no idea.

I wanted to feel the movement inside again that acting exercises created-a movement of unconscious and magical energy that seemed pure and real; and I wanted to carry that feeling around with me. I wanted to get serious and get deep with my music, and actually feel sound reverberating harmonically within me, instead of simply going through motions to gain some sort of perverse perfection. So I started to explore myself more, slowly and painfully, and after years of isolation, started to go out in the world again, as an available creative spirit. It was a difficult time, realizing just how sensitive I really was.

I recently discovered that I was an introvert-my false fantasies always convinced me that I was an extrovert at heart, but a much needed reality check revealed that I was an introvert-an INFP one to be exact.

The Myers-Briggs test is based on studies by CG Jung, who I was always drawn to. It is based on personality types, and can reveal much about a person and how they are in the world. The test consists of many questions, and I took the test several times from different websites. Each revealed by four letters, with percentages-the letters representing a type, that I was indeed an introvert, with a slight variant on one letter by a small percentage, between "diplomat" and "explorer".

I liked this site in particular, and learned more about my INFP personality. The INFP personality 
I go between the INFP, which came out on two of the tests, and this one-which I scored on one test-the ISFP personality. The ISFP personality

This knowledge and embrace of it, has allowed me to open up to my true self, and get out there to share my art, knowing that it might be more difficult, but still possible-that I can be an introvert, but still show an outgoing side, knowing that I may be a little more worn out than the naturally extroverted person, but that it is still possible; that it is all possible, with the right knowledge, attitude and openness.
Performing at 18-painfully.
Performing at 37-still painful but with lots of joy!

Expanding my universe. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Vacation from Music? Sort of....

After 6 months in L.A., of pounding the song writing pavement, I needed a vacation! In the time I had been here so far, I had accomplished quite a bit; not with any major outcome, but little steps here and there. I had gotten some day jobs, recorded two songs in a studio, submitted my music to countless contests and opportunities, and performed a little at various venues. Did I mention I had MOVED from my home of 8 years?! That was more than a little stressful. I decided to take two weeks and decompress and have a good time. I started my journey slowly driving up the beautiful coastline past Malibu, Santa Barbara, a stop in Avila beach, and then ended up in Oakland. There I got news about 5 of my songs I had submitted for industry feedback. They had an intricate scoring system and I scored above 5 on everything from lyrics, melody, etc. and I scored a 10 in the category of "how the music fits with the lyrics", on every song. (Wouldn't that be the MAIN thing one would be looking for in a song?!) Regardless, the good news is that no one said I should give up songwriting, but clearly the consensus with my music after 6 months of pursuit, is that my writing is not "literal" enough. Can you imagine saying that to a Jim Morrison? "Hey Jim, your songs are too deep"... Anyway, I have been getting this feedback a lot, so I have to take it pretty seriously since I just moved my entire existence to try and be a songwriter. Unfortunately, I have never been a "story songwriter". I write in a poetic style and don't really care much about character development. I care about the emotions. I don't dislike story songs, I just simply don't write that way....for the most part. I do have some songs that I think fit the mold a little more, and I am going to record that material and present it for the next round of madness, but it was definitely hard to hear. Too bad I had not been born in the 60's. Apparently the attention span of people these days cannot handle anything that is not obvious and not quickly so. (not my words, but word from the industry). I feel that there are plenty of songs out there though, that are not totally literal, so perhaps I just have not found my avenue yet.

I accept rejection as graciously as I can, but it is still difficult, for anyone I think, so I try and vacate. After Oakland for a day, I head up to a retreat center in Leggett, Ca, where I have rented a cabin for a few days, and will see no one, and have no technology. I had a few books, and I really enjoyed playing and composing new material on the kalimba; my african thumb piano. On the day I left, I snapped a few photos, and I also wrote a piece about the experience. And guess what?! It is a SHORT piece! But feel free to text or instagram in between lines...:) I just got my new iphone 5s, so....yea.


                                Three Days at Rangjung Yeshe Gomde

I meander my way from Los Angeles up the coast of California. My destination: Rangjung Yeshe Gomde, a Tibetan Buddhist Retreat center in Leggett, Ca. It will be the first part of my long overdue vacation from a very stressful, life-changing year of moving and career changes. Although I do not practice in the vein of Tibetan Buddhism, I was familiar with the center from living in Northern California for 8 years. I had gone a couple of times to listen to talks by renowned teachers, which were held in their beautiful Buddhist Shrine Room. I knew it was also a place I could go for a personal retreat, to practice my own Vipassana meditation. For three days, I would be surrounded by 250 acres of lush forest along the Eel River, to practice meditation and to walk and relax amongst the grounds.  I rented a self-contained room right next to the rushing water, where I would be free of my phone, computer, and other distractions of modern daily life.

Day One: I arrive at my new digs with a pervasive tiredness that I didn’t know could exist. My excitement is shrouded in a drowsiness that immediately makes me want to sleep. When I wake up two hours later,  I’m still exhausted. I slowly move from my bed to the chair and cry about my existence, which has become a broken record. “What am I doing with my life?” “Why haven’t I made anything out of myself yet, I’m almost 40!” I sit paralyzed in a darkness that mimics the chilly overcast mountains for another couple of hours, then try to do some yoga, which is excruciatingly painful as I gently move my body around on the floor. On my evening walk, repeating thoughts pervade-most notably artist Pharell’s song, “Happy”, which I like well enough, but certainly not on repeat in my head to the point of madness. I realized it is probably because I heard that song about 20 times on various stations on the long drive up. The lyrics are surprisingly apropos though, for what one would hope would be an uplifting spiritual retreat.

“Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do.”

I really did not feel happy, amused, or in a clapping hands kind of mood, so I cursed at myself as I stumbled along steep paths, also realizing that I was very out of shape.

Day Two: Still tired. I meditate, putter around, and then take a long nap in the afternoon. Yoga is still relatively painful. After an evening walk with Pharell’s song still in my head, I try and read to block it out, but fall asleep early with Thich Nhat Hahn’s book, “Anger” folded over my head.

Day Three: The sun is attempting to break through the dreariness, and I wake up feeling surprisingly refreshed and peacefully happy. Yoga is no longer painful, and I stretch my body luxuriously on the floor. Thoughts are passing freely and appear to seem more humorous then before.
On my walk-a bouquet of yellow Spanish peas for the Green Tara, the Tibetan Buddhist Goddess of activity, who sits in a frame on a bureau in my room. Carrots for my new friends, three donkey stall mates. I gleefully watch them interact very much like dysfunctional roommates and gently lecture them on loving-kindness. Walking meditation through the wet meadow; poppies, grasshoppers and butterflies. A bright green frog hopping through the pennyroyal. The warm sun makes its’ first appearance as I lounge by the river watching passing cloud formations. Picking fresh thyme for dinner and peppermint and lemon balm for tea from the garden. Finding a fox jawbone and leg bone and using it as a musical instrument.  Getting caught in an unexpected cold rain and feeling alive and exhilarated. Noticing that months of accumulated stress is dissolving as I sit concentrating on being fully present in the moment. Then, on my last evening as I sit in front of Green Tara, came to my consciousness from an unknown source-a perfect celestial heart, dark and radiant, which made me weep, but this time they were tears of joy.
Bring me down
Can’t nothing
bring me down
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing
bring me down
I said
(let me tell you now)
Bring me down
Can’t nothing
bring me down
My level’s too high
Bring me down
Can’t nothing
bring me down
I said
Because I’m happy.”

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Ups and Downs in La La Land

It is funny looking at my last post, because within days of writing it, I was informed that I got an honorable mention for the second year in a row in the country category in SongDoor's International Songwriting Contest......I was hoping that I would actually place in a category, but I am indeed honored to have my song, "Driven By Angels" looked at a little more closely and to be appreciated for my writing. Perhaps one day, I will place in a category and get, A FABULOUS PRIZE!! One of the cool things about the contest is that they give you a free trial of a service that has a lot of online classes in songwriting, and also opportunities to pitch music to the industry. For whatever reason last year, I did not take advantage of this. It is a 45 day trial, which is a good amount of time to do some pitching and check it out-because it is fairly expensive, so I did, and actually ended up pitching 3 songs.......

In the last few weeks I have learned a lot and have had some ups and downs. In this field, one day you think you are on to something and am making a break through-and then the next day, you feel defeated. I have been getting so much work done. A new milestone for me, was getting a small album into online retail stores. It is music that I'm very proud of; I took a risk and went outside of my comfort zone to make some music that is a bit more modern sounding for me, all with the help of Chad Johnson in Arcata, Ca. He took my music to a level I had not experienced, and because of that, I felt it was good enough to put out there, so you can now purchase a copy of "To the Bone" direct from itunes, cd baby, and amazon. I do hope you will check it out, and if so inclined, leave a review. They are really helpful. This was an "up".

not the best pic, but one from the evening.
While I was getting the album project together, I got a call to play another spot at the House of Blues. I had a great time when I played there before, in the Voodoo Lounge. This time I would be playing in the Foundation Room, which I had never been. I had a funny dream the night before. I went to the venue and walked in thinking I was in the right room. It was really happening with lots of people. Someone came over and said, "Oh, there has been a mix up and you are playing in another room", so I followed up some stairs and when I went in, there was just an old grisled looking man-and no-it was NOT Tom Waits! Well, when I had my actual gig at the house of blues, the opposite sort of happened. I thought I was in the right room and it was not really happening at all. They said I was upstairs-when I went upstairs there was a BEAUTIFUL room with nag champa and bohemian furniture with lots of turned out to be a really great show. (Also an "up" day)

The next day I got a call from a radio promoter who was interested in promoting my music. He was really nice and was up front that it was a service that you have to pay for, but they had reasonable rates and successes. I researched them and found out they were a really great company-I found lots of feedback from artists who used their services with great success, so I was all excited. An intern had given him a copy of "To the Bone" and he really liked it. But then I was thinking about all the things I had to do with my music-like the recordings I'm working on and have to pay for, and some other online things that cost money, and I also read that ideally you want to be touring or playing out when you are doing a radio promotion, and I'm really not there yet, so I had to explain my made me really down, but maybe I can look at it again in the future....

I got my spirits lifted though, when I went to Santa Monica for work and play, and got to hang out at my friend's amazing photography studio and take some new shots of me in this new place in life. I needed some updated photos for my website and some press kits, and everything I had was from humboldt with some nature theme in the background, which is great-but doesn't really represent me presently living in the big city, so we had great success taking some cool photos. Check out JaneVictoriaPhotography for our shoot. With those photos I was able to update my website with something a little different, so I created this banner:
I've always been really into hearts, so I also created this logo for myself from a free online vector, and "bohemianized" it to make it different and unique to my personality. I don't really have photo software, so it was through like 5 different sites that I created this. I also got to wear my heart necklace for the shoot.....I think it looks awesome on my website.

One of the things that gets me down, is I often get unsolicited offers from people who want to help me, but I don't know if they are just flaky, crazy, or busy or something, but it happens where they really like my music and reach out and want to offer some (free) help, and they say they have contacts and I check them out and they are being truthful, and it never happens. They just sort of disappear. I never know what to do in those situations. I think some people would probably get on them, but I don't want to be a pest. It's hard, but I am also busy and don't have time to chase after people. One of the things that I'm excited about though, is that I am learning a lot on my own, and feel more capable everyday. I am really starting to utilize some skills that I have been developing that are coming along, like being able to create this banner, to make myself look and feel more professional, so that when something comes up-I can have the confidence to show people what I have out there.

Tomorrow I start a class that I'm super excited about-it is through the prestigious Berklee School of Music! It is an intro to the music business class, and because I have sort of reached a brain drain on various legal issues that have plagued me, gotten me into messes, and the fact that I find out daily how naive I am about issues that could greatly effect me, I am glad that I am taking this to hopefully make allies and learn in a more formatted way. So wish me luck! Can't believe I am putting more on my plate, but, you only live once.......stay tuned for some projects coming up that I'm working on!