I'm back after being on the road for more than two weeks. May is almost half gone and I still have no idea what to write about in this months column. I thought calling it "Help Wanted."
And, I would like help. I would love to have someone send me interesting columns that I could copy and paste into this column. They'd have to be about music: writing, performing, recording, publicizing, and enjoying. And, I'd prefer them to be upbeat and positive in some sense.
I wish I could blame my traveling on my music career. I can't. I spent a lot of time since October in Phoenix, with my family. My mom is 89 and legally blind. She can no longer live alone. She lived with my sister for six months but that wasn't a good solution for either of them. Now she's in assisted living and enjoying all her new friends.
Recently, I spent time cleaning Mom's house and collecting family photos and documents. I've been scanning these into the computer and organizing them. My nephews would like the information to pass on their children and potential grandchildren.
I found stories Mom wrote about her childhood and family. I typed them into computer documents. I found poems my father wrote while he was in the Army infantry in Europe during WW II. I will be adding them to the online documents. Mom would like me to put everything together and write a book about the family. One nephew would like a book about Dad's part of WW II and the space race. He was an engineer and worked in Aerospace, including some time at NASA.
I started doing this because my family has done a lot for me and I have the time to do it. It was not for me, but for my family.
Somewhere along the line, though, I realized I was doing this for me, too. I'm getting to know my parents. And, I'm getting to relate to my sister in a new way, not just as the baby of the family.
I didn't expect the last eight months to be so rewarding.
One of the rewards is the discovery of Dad's poetry. I have the opportunity to take his poems and turn them into songs. I may even do an entire "folk opera" of his story using his words. At first, I found the idea daunting. I was tempted and afraid at the same time. My relationship with my Dad wasn't good. I wasn't sure what diving into his poetry would do to me.
But, now, I'm looking forward to it.
Meanwhile, many of the things I planned to do have been put on the back burner and postponed. My web clients have been wonderfully understanding. I did what I could for them while I was here. But that meant that my own things got postponed even more. That includes some song co-writing, recording, and CD promoting.
I'd planned to do a lot of song and CD promotion during the quiet time this winter. I hope to get it done as soon as I can now that I have 4 months at home.
However, I did manage to get my CD out to over 30 DJs and seven of the songs are getting airplay! This is the list, as far as I know:
Yampa Valley Boys are working on two of my songs and hope to include at least one of them on their next CD. I got to hear them do "Already Gone" last month. Their arrangement is different and beautiful. I love hearing what other people bring to my songs!
I got four songs to a song promoter in Nashville. Two have potential and he suggested I make some changes. So, I get to revise the songs and re-record them, then send them down to Nashville again. That's exciting. Wish me luck!
And, Jon Chandler , a wonderful singer and award-winning songwriter, indicated he wanted to co-write a song with me. We need to get together to work on that.
To some people, what I'm doing may seem like baby steps. But, they're my baby steps and I'm pretty excited about them. Not bad for an old woman starting a brand-new career.
This last trip was interesting. I took my three geriatric collies with me. It was the first real road trip for all three of them. They were good company. One of them went with me to visit Mom. The folks at the assisted living center loved him. And, he loved the affection from them. I want to an assisted living center near home so we can continue these visits. Dog therapy for all of us.
Speaking of dog therapy, I got to go to a breakfast in Phoenix. It was a celebration of the 10th anniversary of Gabriel's Angels. They send trained dogs and their owner / handlers to work with at-risk children in various agencies in Arizona. It's a marvelous organization. Mom donated her car to them. I encourage you to check them out.
Meanwhile, on the drive down I got an idea for a song. I called my voice mail from my cell phone and captured the lyrics and melody: three verses and a chorus. It needs a bridge. On the way home, I got another song idea and called voice mail to capture a verse and melody. It needs a lot more work.
So, I have been rambling: not just traveling. I've been letting my mind wander, too.
Thanks for visiting AcousticByLines.