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My new cd, Letting Go is officially being released on August 21, 2014.

Just noticed that the last entry was a year ago. Yikes! And, the new cd project didn't get released when I thought it would. That explains the title of this entry - my life got in the way of my life. Letting Go will be released in February of 2014. It really is happening. Yep. And I can hardly wait to share it with you!

With much hype and fanfare I announce the name of the new CD...Letting Go. Expected release date of late January 2013. I'm excited to get it out into the world!
Hello Blog Readers! Yes, I meant to post this blog last month. Time just got away from me! Anyway, I wanted to let everyone know that the Christmas CD recording in Dallas, TX went really well. It was truly Christmas in July...in the heat...and the humidity. Whew! I am thrilled, thrilled, thrilled with how it turned out thanks to the amazing musicality of my producer, Tom Prasada-Rao. The number of instruments this man can play is just mind-boggling. Truly, I kept saying that I hated to sing over his gorgeous arrangements because they were so beautiful just on their own! Future posts will keep everyone updated and I expect that the cd will be available in mid-October. What I really wanted to write about, though, was how big of a leap of faith this project was and I hope what I share will serve as encouragement to anyone else with dreams they've been putting off. I'll admit right now that I spent a lot of time (an extraordinary ridiculous amount of time) telling people why I couldn't do this project every time it came up in conversation. I had more excuses than even I knew what to do with...all protecting me from actually attempting to create a Christmas CD...all protecting me from moving forward with my music. Excuses are stupid like that. I have an online creativity group and the book The Artists' Way to thank for moving me out of the excuse phase and into the action phase. I literally found myself working on an exercise called Blasting Through The Blocks in April. The point was to name that thing that you've been putting off and then work through an exercise to figure out what the problem is. The author warned that it was a powerful exercise and I guess she was right. I finished the exercise and decided that I could at least call Wildwood Tofu Recording Studios (my first choice) and the producer, Tom, to even see if he was interested (instead of my continued assumption that he wouldn't be interested or available). And, seriously, within 24 hours of making that call I had the studio, airline and rental car booked. WOW! There was a higher power at work, I'm sure of that. And here's the eerie part...the last part of the exercise had required me to write "Okay, Creative Force, you take care of the quality, I'll take care of the quantity" and then I had to sign the piece of paper I wrote that on. I really took that to mean that I had to do something to at least get things started...and then try to get out of the way of the details...and it worked! Yes, there are a zillion decisions left to make in regard to cd graphics, etc. and the cd itself still has to be final mixed and mastered, but I already know in my heart that it's all going to turn out o.k. I have faith. Faith without excuses. In Song, Cheryl
May is generally the month where my regular job winds down a bit and my summer music winds up. I'm really excited to announce that I have some big plans this summer BIG. Here it is...I'm heading into the recording studio to record a Christmas CD. I'm pretty excited about it and I hope you will be, too. The plan is to have it done this season. Keep your fingers crossed! If you have a favorite Christmas song that you want me to consider recording let me know. Other things I'm excited about this month: Fit Flops (for your feet) Yep. FIT Flops. The merchandise tag says that they are supposed to give your legs a workout while you wear them. We'll see. We'll see. Def Leppard (the band). I wore out my cassette tape of Pyromania in high school. I had the chance to hear them at the Spokane Arena a few weeks back and it was like I was 16 again. I do believe that I may have made the "Rock On" symbol with my both of my hands which I raised in the air while screaming like a groupie, but there's no real proof. Once (the movie). If you haven't seen it yet, it's brilliant. My husband and I made a road trip to Missoula, MT to catch the "stars" of the movie in a live performance. It's kind of like life imitating art...or the other way around. The Glass Castle (the book). It's a memoir that left me a bit devastated, but I still loved it. I heard the author speak recently at a luncheon. I met her for two seconds. She signed my book. I loved that, too.
I love full circle moments. The kind of moment when the unexpected happens and you are once again reminded of the connection of kindness and goodness on the planet. Recently I had that moment with a couple I had met through business, Johnie and Cheryl. And this whole story makes more sense if you know that my husband and I organize events for a living. Johnie is a new artist (to us) that did not make it to one of our spring art shows because of bad weather. He was driving up, hit black ice and his truck/camper and trailer went off the road. My husband and I felt horrible as we'd never met he and his wife before, and we felt responsible because they were trying to make it to our event and instead they wind up totaling their vehicles. They called from the side of the road and we instantly offered them a full refund and told them to touch base with us after the show if they wanted to meet up with us in another city for our second art show of the season. I was really disappointed that it hadn't originally worked out because he makes mountain dulcimers...which I was anxious to see and play with! The good news was that they personally were o.k. and had good insurance. The following week they called back and decided to join us at our next show. We then did something we've never done in the 32 plus years of being business (remember, I'm the second generation owner). We decided to give them their booth for free. We just felt it was the least we could do since they had missed out on sales from the first show and were still dealing with insurance issues, etc. So, it was great to finally meet them a few weekends later (the weather over the mountain passes was much improved)! The dulcimers were beautiful and I was able to play with one on Sunday, the last day of the event. Loved it! But I really did have to walk away from them as they were on the pricey side and I had just bought a Ukelele when I was in Hawaii in November. Sunday was also my husband's birthday and the 150 artists at the show made a big deal out of it and we had cake, etc. and balloons before we opened to the public. Clint joked with them about how I wanted him to hurry up and get his birthday over with since mine is just two weeks later. You need to know this little bit of info for what’s going to happen next. Then....wait for it...at the end of the show on Sunday night I was touching base with all of the new artists and Johnie was really excited about how the show wound up for them. They sold 18 dulcimers! 18! That's just unbelievable. Can you see where this novel is heading? As I'm thanking him for joining us and he's thanking me for a great show he says, so, I hear you have a birthday coming up, too. I misunderstood him and said, no, it's Clint's birthday today and he said, I know, but I hear yours is coming up to which I said, oh, it is...in two weeks. At which point he turned around, looked over the remaining dulcimers, chose one, turned back to me, handed it to me and said, Happy Birthday. Get out! I started crying. I threw all professionalism out the window (though I did manage to say I really couldn't accept it which fell on deaf ears). Something amazing happened out of something that was at first horrible (their accident). And I loved how it shows that when you treat people the way you would want to be treated it all comes full circle. I'm in love with the instrument and can already play two songs ;-). And I love even more that none of that interaction would have ever happened if I hadn't made the decision to learn to play the guitar six years ago and enter the world of fret instruments. Talk about playing it forward!
Well, that's because it's not a guitar, silly. I'm the proud new owner of a sweet little Ukelele that I brought home with me from Hawaii during the Thanksgiving holiday. I'm in love with it because it's just so darn cute (not to mention a dream to carry around). You'd swear the case is empty. In fact, I couldn't help but feel a bit cheated about playing the guitar - which is so much heavier - AND has two more strings. It's kind of like when I decided to play the flute in elementary school because it would be the easiest to carry and then discovered (too late) that the piccolo is half again the size of a flute. Dang. Anyway, I bought the Uke within about 20 minutes after stepping off the airplane (the music store was on the way to where we were staying). And I was determined not to change my mind about wanting one (which is what happened three years ago when I was in Hawaii and which I really regretted)! Have I mentioned how cute it is? My little Uke is all wired up to be plugged into my sound sytem and now it's just a matter of learning a few new songs...bring on the tropics I say. I'm looking forward to it's big debut in the next few months!
I love fall! I love everything about it. The brilliant red hues of the cranberry bushes along my faded wood fence, the fire gold of the maple tree outside my bedroom window, the first gentle frost on my deck that my dog and cats leave paw prints in, the sweet fragrance of hot apple cider simmering on the stove....ahhhhhhh. Fall makes me want to slow my life down. And last night I did just that by attending a poetry reading by the poet Jane Hirshfield held at Gonzaga University. Jane's book, "Given Sugar, Given Salt" was the first book of poetry I ever bought. I had read a review of the book and one of the poems from it in Oprah's magazine a few years back and I was completely overwhelmed with the beauty of her words. I have to tell you that last night was one of the most inspiring nights of my life to hear those same words on her voice. She read from her older works and from her new book, "After", which I highly recommend. And what I loved most of all was that she offered to not only sign the books, but she took a moment to visit with each person waiting in line. I didn't read what she wrote in my book until I stepped outside...and it moved me to tears. It was just so simply beautiful and so fitting for the change of seasons. She wrote, "May every flavor of earth fill your tongue." Ahhhhhhhhh. I love fall.
Whew...I am finally coming up for air after a rather intense August! Thanks to everyone who made it out to the cd release party. I had a blast giving out "Cheryl's Favorite Things" between the songs. Really, what is a party without presents? Now I know why Oprah gets such a kick out of this kind of thing! I was overwhelmed by everyone's enthusiasm and support. What a great night! August also found me attending the Song School in Lyons, CO. This year I camped out in a tent...a really small tent...for seven nights. And it turns out that I could actually live that way. Who knew? I was turning into a real hippie girl by the end of the week...practicaly unrecognizable...loved it! Had some great feedback from a really famous Nashville session player on my newest song Renaissance...and now I can't wait to get back into a studio to record it. See how this goes? It never stops!
Thank you to all of the guestbook signers! Thank you! Thank you! Seriously, I'm overwhelmed. I told my husband that I have no excuse now for ever feeling depressed about anything ever again with such kind words to keep coming back to. So much for all of the angst ridden songs I was planning on writing. I'm definitely more in a Carpenter's frame of mind, "I'm on the top of the world..." THANKS!
Drumroll please...my cd reprints are scheduled to arrive this afternoon, hopefully with better results than last time! I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'm really looking forward to selling and shipping them all over the place! As it turns out, I already know that two of my cd's will be heading out of the country...one to India...and one to Africa. How about that? International already! Ha. Ha.
Oh, did the last entry wind up being foreshadowing or what? I said I couldn't imagine what it would be like to open the boxes...and what I really couldn't imagine was that my cover photo was going to be so different from the art proof that I was originally sent. There was some drama. My big moment was, quite frankly, a big disappointment with me worrying the rest of the afternoon and night how this was possibly going to get fixed (the company I used was back East and already closed when they were delivered). It was pretty unbelievable. Thankfully, yesterday they agreed to a reprint. They're going to pick them all back up and I now expect to have the fixed version around August 1st! Let's hear it for Take Two! In the meantime, I did get to keep a few aside to take with me to share with friends at the guild this coming week.
This is it...the cd is being pressed as I write this. I really can't imagine what that moment is going to be like when the shipment is finally delivered. Thanks everyone for being so patient with the process. Check out the calendar page for more details on the cd release party August 12th!

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