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Birth, Snow & Gratefulness 

Last week as I celebrated the long-awaited release of my CD with a concert and party and with so many friends and supporters in the room, I was filled with gratefulness. It was a night to remember, a night of goodness, a night to treasure. I wore a party dress – it was a coming out party of sorts, with both my album and me coming out artistically. A project was born. Sea of Tears was officially released with my first music video! We had done it. The band was kickin’, the room was bulgin’ and these songs that have meant so much to me over the years were now becoming songs for others to share.

Like most births, there was a certain chaos to the night (all the event planning and last minute details) and definitely much travail in the prelude, but in spite of that, there was a profound sacredness. As I played, I felt the fruition of all of the struggle and doubts of the last year, and I felt it – I felt His pleasure. And the words of The Artist's Way came back to me, "Creativity is God's gift to me. Using my creativity is my gift back to God." As an artist, there is a language of symbols and metaphors that I understand perhaps more than your average accountant – and one that has been consistent over the last couple of years has been snow. It has spoken to me of uniqueness, newness, being, becoming, playfulness, and pleasure. And when it was all over and the last chairs had been put away, the car loaded up with antipasto, and tired teenagers, we headed towards home. And as we did, within just about a half-mile radius of our home, we entered a winter wonderland. And as we pulled up to the house, the beauty and serenity of the snow covered scene spoke to me, tears came, and I knew it was a gift. And it was almost like the sappy hallmark movie that I sometimes just can’t resist much to the chagrin of my family. The scene changed dramatically and even the cosmos confirmed that this was indeed a special night – full of wonder and newness. And I was truly surrounded in peace, joy and love – and gratefulness. So much gratefulness.

And so this week has been one of reflection, thanksgiving, and rest, soaking in the goodness of this milestone. Too many times I have failed to breathe in the intoxicating joy all around me in order to continue to move onward and upward at a pace that doesn’t allow for exhale. My reflection seems quite fitting as we enter the holiday season. It is not so much about presents but presence. Not about overload but about simplicity. Midst the hustle and the bustle, there is wonder, birth, presence, delight, hope, peace, and love – the themes of advent, of sacred waiting, and of joy.




A Birthday To Remember 

So this year was one of those birthdays that was supposed to be a momentous event, a turning of a decade or some such rhetoric like that. But it was far more than rhetoric this year. It really was set apart from every other birthday to date. Because this year, I made a music video. That's right, a real music video. Sure it is spontaneous and unpolished, a bonified indie project, but as you will see, a mighty fine project indeed! Thanks to my good friends who flew out the talented Craig Spinks of Quadrid Productions to spend a full 24 hours shooting footage for a video. We started on my birthday at The Triple Door with a gig at the Musicquarium Lounge. And it was such a great night celebrating with friends and playing a fun night of music. Saturday, we continued all day capturing some iconic Seattle scenes - The Sculpture Park, South Lake Union, and Edmonds Beach, finally ending the day with some much deserved Thai food. It was more demanding and more fun than I had imagined. And what a gift! So amazing to have an actual music video. Craig truly did a brilliant job and was so fun to work with. And he worked some serious hours in editing to deliver the video - JUST IN TIME FOR THE CD RELEASE!!! Now you have something to share with all your friends! Let's go viral.

Buy CD Release Concert Tickets Here



CD Release & Concert!!! 


It's here and it's beautiful and it's coming to a mailbox near you!


Thank you again for making this a reality.

Enjoy and SHARE like you learned in kindergarten!





Join us for a CD Release Concert November 18th!

To celebrate and as a way of saying thank you, we will be playing a very special show at the beautiful historic Fremont Abbey. Join us for a wonderful night of art, music and celebration. Jessica and band will be performing the music from her brand new album, and friend and talent Kelly Carpenter will join her for a double CD release party you won't want to miss!

You can get your tickets and all the deets at
http://fremontabbey.ticketbud.com/cd-release-concert.

Celebrate Good Times, Come On! 

Dreams do come true. Of course my “dream” was what others might see as a given. Most artists do record CDs (everyone but me, that is). My whole life I’ve heard, “Jessica, you really should make an album. We want your music.” But it has taken me almost 40 years of circling round the sun or the desert or what have you, like a Moses or perhaps someone who didn’t know herself very well or more compassionately, a perfectly timed late bloomer – to be here now – seeing my first album completed. And happy does not even begin to describe it.

And while the timing couldn’t be more predictably fated, just days away from my 40th birthday, I remain undaunted in my enthusiasm. I’m a big fan of extracting meaning out of both the significant and the mundane so all this makes perfect sense to me. The cliché may be inescapable, but Lordy, if it doesn’t feel AMAZING to be here! We did it people!

One thing is for sure – there is no way I could ever have accomplished this on my own. Today as I was recounting all the people who have made this possible, I was overcome with gratefulness for the kindnesses of both friends and strangers alike. Thanks to you, Sea of Tears is now being sent to mastering and then duplication and we will have a finished product soon and very soon.

Bottom line, we have so much to celebrate! This Friday night, I will turn 40 while I belt it out at the Triple Door Musicquarium Lounge. Yes, again destiny has a way of playing out. And as if the day was lacking commensurate fanfare, my friends are flying out a videographer to capture the night and create a music video! While I am not exactly thrilled to be entering a new decade, I am ecstatic to find myself living into my desire and doing the things that I once only dreamed about. So here’s to you! Here’s to me. Here’s to a finished album, turning 40 and the launch of a career!

Come join us if you can!
Triple Door Lounge, Sep 9th 5:30-8 pm





Last Chance-Happy Dance 




Kickstarter Campaign: Just 36 hours left to reserve your copy of debut album!

Well, we are stoked to let you know that this campaign is funded! And yes, we are doing the happy dance! Perhaps not quite as good as Elaine, but we are gettin' down! 

THANK YOU!!! 
We are grateful and humbled by the generosity of so many to help make this dream a reality.

But it's not over til the phat (meaning superb) lady sings and there is no doubt I will be singing when this is all said and done! The kickstarter goal is lower than our actual costs and all proceeds over goal will go towards the release and marketing of this album. So we have 36 hours left to make one final push and get as much support for the album as we can!


You can forward the link to friends via email, facebook, and twitter and keep this project rolling! Just copy and paste this link into your status updates or emails:
http://kck.st/quFJoQ

Thank you for being a part -- let's do this!

How Dare You? 

You should be ashamed of yourself.

We all have to face our nemesis - which is often our own negative critique.

Seth Godin had an excellent blog titled
The Heckler that I thought I would repost here.

Beautiful Things Take Time 



That’s what I keep telling myself. Rome wasn’t built in a day. This project has taken much longer than I anticipated; however, my producer assures me that this album, which has had ample time to breathe and to grow, will be well worth the wait. And now we are approaching the finish line. We only need $500 more to get the project mixed and mastered! And then we will go into the final fundraising phases of duplication and marketing of the album.

And momentum is growing. I will be at the Triple Door’s Musicquarium Lounge this Friday from 5:30 to 8 pm with a great little trio I pulled together. I am very excited for the chance to share my music with all of you Seattleites, and I am hoping that we can rally around this next final step and get the album finished up! So bring your friends and your neighbors and join me for Happy Hour this week! It should be a great time.

Beautiful things take time. And though this project may seem insignificant midst the sea of works out there, it is significant to me. It is my sweat and tears, my joy and my sorrow. And to me, the process alone has been poignantly beautiful.

A Woman in Bloom 

This is what Dick Rossetti called me on The Marty Riemer Show last Friday as I laughed and sang my way through the podcast (see below). A Woman in Bloom. He mentioned it several times and it was funny to both Marty and I though we didn’t really know what it meant. So the next day I googled the term. And what was first up was www.womenbloom.com, inspiring and supporting women to make the most of mid life. My first thought was MID LIFE…the nerve! I’m not even out of my thirties yet (yes, I’m holding onto every minute!) But once I let go of the mock offense, I resonated with the term. I am in a season of reinvention, fresh ideas and energy, creativity, new starts, and growth, coming out of a long winter season with great darkness, introspection, silence, and waiting. I have a desire to explore and engage in life differently, making the most of opportunities and allowing myself to pursue my passions. This is the season for letting some things that have been underground and dormant for such a long time finally see the light of day. Yes, I’m blooming. Ever so slowly and hesitantly, but I have a feeling that if I can let go of my resistance and the let the icy edge of winter melt away, bloom I will. And while in the midst of my ever so deep contemplation and pensive reflection, my husband also had to insert that my new iphone cover design featured blooming flowers. That sealed the deal; the debate was over. Neither hip nor glamorous, prestigious or flashy, but as my daughter is fond of saying, “let’s be real.” I’m a woman in bloom.


One Brave Thing A Day 

One brave thing a day. One of my good friends and mentors, Linda Keeney, taught me that. She is currently writing a memoir titled One Brave Thing a Day (be sure to check out her site) that tells her story of living with the uncertainty of a medically fragile daughter by finding hope and strength in training for triathlons (and training over 200 other women, too). I was of those women. I ran in 3 half-marathons last year, and I am lucky enough to still have the opportunity to run alongside her. And as we run, we share our hearts and our lives, and the topic always ends up around…(can you guess?) the one, or two, or three brave things we’ve done or will do.

I’ve always been brave. I may not have known that about myself early in life, but as the years have rolled on bringing with them the crushing and the enlarging, the moments of glory and the moments of absolute devastation, I know this to be true about me. I’m brave. And recently, that has meant doing things that I never dreamed I would do. Regular. And often.

Big or small, it doesn’t matter. Brave moments are sometimes as subtle as making a phone call when you’re in need, extending kindness to a stranger, signing up for a class or lesson that you’ve always wanted to take, or going for a walk instead of sinking into despair. Sometimes they are bigger and more profound. Like choosing to volunteer at your favorite nonprofit, walking into your first 12-step meeting, signing up for a run or triathlon, owning your part in a failing marriage, deciding to obtain a showcase for your art, going back to school, or getting a referral for a therapist. Brave moments are about living, I mean really living. Brave moments are about continual growth. Learning, sprouting, stretching, expanding, soaring, failing, pruning, dying, just to do it all over again. Which takes courage. I have been brave this week. And what I have learned is that those things that we think might kill us, we end up surviving. One Brave Thing A Day. It’s a way of life.



onebravethingaday.com

facebook.com/pages/One-Brave-Thing-a-Day

turningpointseattle.org

seattle.gov/parks

scn.org/crisis/12step.html

washington-hiking-advisor.com/seattle-hikes.html

counselingseattle.com












The Gift of Music 

After silence that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music. ~Aldous Huxley

Music is a gift. Expressing the inexpressible. Giving language to the mysteries of the heart. In difficult times, it is such a relief to sit down at my piano and play, create, and emote. It is one of the ways that I connect, with myself, and with my soul. And there is something felt that is not felt any other way, than when a melody washes over you and strikes a chord deep within. It moves you.

For me, I am grateful. Grateful for a means of expression, creativity, and healing when I am worn down from the struggle of life. For all of us, it would do our souls well to take some time and give ourselves this gift. Listen to something that speaks to you, that awakens you, that calls to you.

Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.  ~Red Auerbach    

Words make you think a thought. Music makes you feel a feeling. A song makes you feel a thought. ~E.Y. Harburg
 


Music takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startle our wonder as to who we are, and for what, whence, and whereto. ~Ralph Waldo Emerson