Hello from my living room couch, in front of a lightly rain-spattered picture window, on a late winter afternoon, taking a little break from songwriting to say … hi!
Things are good here. We’ve been creating, mentoring, podcasting, launching new endeavors, looking ahead, and watching things bloom. Juicy details & photos for each of those items below!
Ahhhhh, the many faces of creating. 😂 Some days in the songwriting studio are feel-good, some days are agonizing, and some are totally rockin.
Each year when I sit down to write the year’s album, it’s an opportunity to put into music and lyrics the stuff that the forces of the universe have brought into my life to wrestle with, sit with, work through — and this year is no different. It’s a privilege and a pleasure to get to dig deep and process big ideas and emotions through songwriting, no matter how much it can often feel like childbirth-esque anguish.
And my hope is always to pour enough of myself into the process so that — hopefully — when it finally reaches your ears, it’ll help you make a deeper connection with yourself, and with others, like it has for me in creating it.
This year’s theme is challenging me in new ways. I’ll have more to say about that soon, but in this work there are ideas
- about listening to the small voice inside,
- about taking big journeys one step at a time,
- about learning the courage to flow around obstacles in the path.
I feel like this work is centering me and empowering me, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
The new album will come out June 19, 2020. Stay. Tuned.
Jamie and I hosted a really unique and fun mentorship retreat here at our house a couple weeks ago — a mom + son pair — with a focus on podcast-launching and audio editing / mixing.
I spent two days with Jen, helping her to organize all the behind-the-scenes details for a new podcast she’s starting (it’s called ListenForReal, and you can sign up at Jen’s website to find out when it launches!); while Jamie spent those two days teaching Jen’s 15 year old son the basics of Pro Tools (the program he’ll be using to edit and mix his mom’s podcast!) as well as Logic (the program on which he’ll be continuing to create his own original music).
We loooooove pouring the knowledge we’ve accumulated over the years into other people as they dive into their own creative endeavors — in audio engineering, songwriting, podcasting, artistic mindset, and community building. Lucky us: our next mentorship retreat is happening in just two weeks!
(Ps … if this is piquing your interest and you’d like to learn more about having an experience like this for yourself, message Jamie at email@example.com to start the conversation!)
Here’s a thing I did not expect when starting our Misfit Stars podcast over a year ago: that the commitment Jamie and I made to have a weekly conversation with each other, on microphones, about topics that matter, would turn into a much-needed, regular appointment with myself and with my partner to get really frickin’ real about real stuff. I didn’t realize what a benefit having these weekly check-ins would be to my own emotional and spiritual health, to my marriage, and to my relationship with our community.
In these wild times of late, we’ve been compelled to get especially deep. Here are a couple recent episodes in case you’ve missed them — just click on the players below.
You can say, “Alexa, play the most recent episode of the Misfit Stars podcast,” search “Misfit Stars” wherever you listen to podcasts, or tune in at MisfitStars.com.
Launching New Endeavors.
This one’s a big shout-out for Jamie, who earlier this year completely rebranded his record producing and mixing business — which is now known officially as Department of Energy Management.
(I mean … isn’t that just the greatest play on words to describe someone who manipulates sound with audio engineering techniques to sculpt the energy of a song for maximum emotional impact?! So good!)
And just … today! … he has launched a whole new branch of his work: Activist Mastering. For those of you wondering what mastering is, it’s the final technical process involved in making a recording. And for those of you wondering what “Activist Mastering” is … well, you should read Jamie in his own words at deptofenergymgmt.com/mastering.
There are two specific things we’re looking ahead to, and which we are pretty darn excited about:
#1: 2020 Summer House Concert Tour Planning!
We’re going to start looking for hosts for the 2020 Summer House Concert Tour on March 31st. (Eeeep! This is my favorite time of year!)If you already know you’re interested in hosting a house concert this summer, send me an email now at firstname.lastname@example.org, and I’ll make sure you’re on the list to get our 2020 House Concert Host Guide & Application at the end of the month.
#2: Making an EP with our Pay-It-Forward artist!
Remember last May when you helped us reach our big Pay-It-Forward album fundraiser goal? Well, we are SO PLEASED to tell you that we’ve selected the artist with whom we’ll be making an EP. We’ll be starting the project soon, and we’ll have more details for you then. We are so excited to help this budding artist bring their first collection of professionally produced songs into the world — their music really moves both me and Jamie, and it will be a pleasure to share their work with you. More soon!
Watching Things Bloom.
A friend gave us this orchid as a housewarming gift 2 years ago. This is the second year in a row, in late winter, that its blossoms have come roaring back. It’s like a little plant prophet announcing that spring will be here soon. 🌱
That’s all for today. Happy Sunday. We’ll talk again soon.
Love and good things — shannon