Monthly Archives: November 2010

A Song in the Dark

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“Any man can sing in the day.  When the cup is full, man draws inspiration from it.  When wealth rolls in abundance around him, any man can praise the God who gives a plenteous harvest… The difficulty is for music to swell forth when no wind is stirring.  It is easy to sing when we can read the notes by daylight; but he is skillful who sings when there is not a ray of light to read by — who sings from the heart… Lay me upon the bed of languishing, and how shall I then chant God’s high praises, unless He Himself give me the song?  No, it is not in man’s power to sing when all is adverse, unless an altar-coal shall touch his lip… Then, since our Maker gives ‘songs in the night’ (Job 35:10), let us wait upon Him for the music.”  ~Charles Spurgeon

I read this this morning and my heart was so moved, I had to share.   I am so grateful for the song in my heart!   It isn’t meant  for me alone and thankfully  it comes along with the desire to share.   I guess it really is the gift that keeps on giving.   I am really feeling overwhelmed with gratitude these days.   I suppose that is the way you  are supposed to feel during this season but it still feels quite profound.   There are no words but THANK YOU!

Leaving on a Jet Plane

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Well it’s true….All my bags are packed, I’m ready to go.

We are off to Chicago today for a Thanksgiving with the Ryan clan.   Excitement and traveling anxiety have taken hold of the whole family.   It is really hard to fly with your kids for a myriad of reasons and there just isn’t anything to do but take a deep breath and get going.

It is hard to pass through this month without thinking of all of the things that I am grateful for, all of the things that are the most important to me.   Of course my family, both immediate and extended, are at the top of that list, just behind the Lord.  Don’t worry about that,  they would all put Him first as well.  There are a few things beyond that that fill my heart with gratitude and not necessarily in any order

Music, laughter,children singing,cold and gray weather, warm and sunny weather, my sight and hearing,taste and touch.   I am grateful,  so so grateful, for the roof over my head and the love of my life that has been by my side when we technically did not have one.   I am grateful for a room at the inn (my sister knows what that means.)   I am grateful for my children’s health and my little angel Dot in heaven.  My thoughts turn to her every year around this time.  She is the Ryan who watches over us in heaven.   I am grateful beyond words for my parents and the gifts they gave and the sacrifices they made that I didn’t even understand until I became a parent myself.   I am grateful for my talents and the things that I am not so good at because they make me stronger and keep me humble.   The list could go on for days and I will stop here but……I am grateful to anyone who reads this blog.   It makes me happy to see the numbers and even more happy when you take the time to comment.   You are a blessing to me.   Happy Thanksgiving!

Calling all Muses

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I just got home from the studio and had to sit down and capture my thoughts.   It was interesting to  say the least.   I really just went in and recorded vocal and guitar live (both at the same time)   We did two takes each of three songs.   Usually the second take was better than the first and so we kept that.

It was just me and the  engineer, who by the way, was very quiet.   I heard “cool” come out of his mouth a few times but not much else.   It really was just me and my voice.    It was a different experience for me than the other times I have been in the studio.   Usually I was there to work on a song with someone I was writing with.   There was lots of talk about where to put in harmony and where to sit out.   We would really listen to the lyric and let it dictate what was happening with the production.   We would listen, sometimes, just to the melody and music and write the lyric based on the rhythms and musical phrases we heard.   We called upon the muse to tell us what the song was about.   This time the songs were done and there wasn’t really anyone there to bounce ideas off of  and we weren’t really producing anything ……yet.

For now I can sit with the CD and listen over and over, and call upon the “muses” to tell me where to go with it next.   I will think about backing vocals and instrumentation and mostly about where I will get the money for my next trip to the studio.   That might take some time but I am working on it.   Once again let me point out the link on my blog roll.  Scroll down and on the right hand side and click on Pre-order CD.   It will take you to a page where you can pre order your CD and when I raise enough money they will send me a check.    If that doesn’t work I will think of something else.  I feel confident tonight that it will happen.

Stay tuned….I am going to try and get a clip of what I have done thus far and my blog.   Don’t know how yet but if it is possible I will figure it out.   Blessings!

AAARRRGGGHHH!

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How do you make time for yourself when you have four kids and they are all sick?   I am supposed to go into the studio tonight, something I have been dreaming of and working for for sometime, and my husband and children are sick.   I am, by the way, trying to prepare all for our Thanksgiving trip to Chicago.   My poor Southern California body is living in the stress of “how do you dress for 4o degree weather?”   I have been spending the last week sleeping  on the couch so I can breath (what I think is) cleaner air.   I was so afraid I would get sick and not be able to sing tonight.   I am afraid this morning, that it may be catching up with me and now I just may be one of those people everyone hates because I will be flying on a plane with a bad cold.

On top of all of that I am responsible for the kids book club today, an after school art class on Thursday and am chairing the Family Game night in December.    I finished the second of two original songs I wrote for their holiday program in between wiping my 4 year old’s nose for the thousanth time.    We had a dance recital yesterday and a counseling appointment on Wednesday  blah blah blah blah blah!

I’m not trying to complain but I guess I really am.   I am going to the studio tonight, taking the first step to realizing a dream I have had for some time and I don’t know how to even get excited about that.   All this stress has given way to fear and feelings of inadequacy.   Who am I kidding?   I can’t get all this done and do any of it well.   I will of course plow on and apologize to everyone I think I am letting down.   The box top lady (another of my school jobs) is out of the office until January.    Why do I volunteer for so much.  What am I trying to prove.   I am just a mom and a wife and musician  but somehow I became responsible for more than I can handle…….or can I?   I guess only time will tell.

As for the studio…..keep a good thought tonight if you can.   Say a little prayer that these first steps on this journey come to fruit at some point.   I will keep that in my heart and you will all be a part of this because you have supported me thus far.  Thank you.

I Want My Mama

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Forgive me while a travel, yet again, down my little path of nostalgia.   I don’t know about you but I seem to be led down these tiny, unbeaten, paths from time to time.   It’s like the muses are calling me and I have but to answer.  I find myself standing in a place that wraps me up in an emotional quilt….bits and pieces of joy and sorrow.   I refuse to be shamed into thinking that these songs are just fluff or pop or anything less than what they were.  In some cases the best of our humanity.

Well, after years of not hearing one of my favorite childhood songs, I have been bombarded by Cass Elliot’s Make Your Own Kind of Music.   In less then 2 weeks, I have heard it, from many different sources, no less then 3 times.    Once, o.k. twice, sort of interesting but 3 times speaks to me in a whole new way.   Someone is trying to tell me something.   What a loss!    I found myself on a You Tube journey.   One song leads to another and you find yourself an hour later still on the mad search for more and more and more.     I sat here this morning listening to Cass and John Denver singing Leaving on a Jet Plane.   It’s almost more than I can stand.   Two beautiful souls making beautiful music.   There is a God!   Two people from my childhood that always made me feel like there was a place for me in the world.

I know that I only knew them through their music but in that world they were as close to perfection as one can get.   I still weep over the loss of people like them who really touched my heart even at the tender age of 4 and 5.    They are the sound track of my life and I am eternally grateful.    Is it crazy to think I could be that for someone else?   Ultimately, I have learned, from them, to try and be that for myself.    That is why I sing when no one else is listening.   In some small way it makes me feel connected to others who get it.   I know you’re out there.   “Make Your Own Kind of Music.”

Only Time Will Tell

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It finally feels like fall!  After a week of daunting heat it is cooling down and the clouds are rolling in.   I have to say that I have mixed emotions.    While the heat has been making things a we bit harder around here, the cool gray weather makes me want to cocoon myself and thus….not get anything done.   I have been spending too much time on my computer and stressing over things I have no control over and not doing the things I should.    Time for rebooting my motivation and getting back on track.

It isn’t that I am lacking in the things to do department, it is quite the opposite.    I have been waiting, however, for some magic email or notice that my future looks brighter and there for I don’t have to do anything.   I don’t think I am going to win the lottery or anything like that but perhaps my wishes are somewhat in the same category.   I keep thinking that maybe someone will hear one of my songs out in cyber space one day and say “hey that would be perfect for our commercial or film” and then the checks will just start rolling in.   Most of the time it really is about the money because that would allow me to spend sometime in recording studio with out having to way how badly I might need a hair cut or a new pair of shoes.   Sometimes (and not so infrequent) it is about someone saying “this music is really great”  “who is that singer song writer and where can I find her”   I have this dream of playing some where and some total stranger wanting to talk about my music.   I love to talk about music!  It doesn’t even have to be mine  I just like to dwell in that realm from time to time.

I do have a few irons in the fire and now have a new obsession.  I keep checking The Point (see previous post) to see if anyone has taken me up on my offer.   I have changed my bio a bit and the suggested price.   Now, here on my blog you will see (scroll down on the right hand side) that is says “Pre Order a CD” which is more of what I wanted to say anyway.   I also changed the suggested price.   I think I was a little full of myself the first time through and dropped the price by quite a bit.   There is an underlying reason for my doing this at all.   The first and most obvious reason was to raise some funds to actually get this CD made.   But to speak for the a fore mentioned reason…….if you preorder I have to finish right?  There will be no backing out….if you can commit than I must as well.    So once again I must force myself into it.     I have to create a plan with no safety net, no  way out , no emergency exit.   I do feel a bit like I am sky diving without a parachute but I am flapping my wings as fast as I can.    We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

I Get By with a Little Help

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Well we are officially in talks with the studio and could actually be in it on the 16th of this month.   I have to admit that it is a bit scary.   I have always had trouble when I get this close to something I want really badly.   Why does success scare me so?

Well……here’s the really scary part.   I signed myself up on something called The Point last night.   It is a mechanism by which you can ask for donations for anything.   People can log on and read your brief bio and donate if they choose.   You set an amount that you think you need to accomplish a task and if you receive enough donations (meet your goal) the company will then charge the credit card company of the donor and send a check to the donatee.   It all sounds fairly innocent except that some of the causes are very rewarding….world peace, help the homeless etc.  and I am selfishly asking for help in making my own dream come true.   While I do believe that music makes a difference it does seem to pale in comparison to these other worthy causes.   I tried to make myself feel better by posting (here on my blog) that if you donate the price of a CD ($18) I will give you one when it is all finished.   Maybe giving you something will ease my somewhat guilty conscience.   I am telling myself that you are investing in something you would purchase (I hope) later anyway.

Check out The Point.   If you see something of value there that you think you should donate to then maybe I did something for someone any way.    I have a link to my personal page here on my blog.   Just scroll down and  look on the right hand side.   It says “donate and get a free CD”   The choice is yours and thanks for you consideration and help.