Grand Marais today and tomorrow!

I'm heading up North today!

Grand Marais on the Minnesota north shore.

A very fun place called the Wunderbar Eatery and Glampground.

Glamping.

Very funny thing about camping made glamorous.

Glamorous in a fun kitschy way.

Great fun.

I can't wait.

Tomorrow I play live on the WTIP radio station at 4pm and then I play the show from 7-9:30pm.

This is a very good summer.

All of these nice plans came together earlier in the Spring and now I'm just executing the plans, one day at a time.

Soon, the new album will be ready to launch and again I'll just execute each part of my plans, one day at a time.

I see that this is how you don't get overwhelmed.

I see this is how you don't get paralyzed.

Slowly execute each thing as you think of it, as it comes up, and without fear.

Just do it.

It'll work out.

Obey your instincts because your inspirations are divine.

See you soon in the Great North!

each day is a new adventure

I have so many shows that I can't get behind the next one until the last one is over.

And each show deserves full attention.

Luckily I've learned about this kind of one day at a time approach from being on tour.

The six week tour Rob G and I did in early 2018 when we did all of Germany and The Netherlands and Belgium and then still crossed on the Chunnel and did another two weeks in the UK, that tour almost killed us but it taught me how to take each day as it came.

This is so much much much easier than touring because most of the shows are close enough to come back to my own bed at night.

And my little dog and my daughter Nina are here at the house, and Rob is either here or at his studio.

All is right with the world every morning.

I just get my mind around the next show and go play it.

Last night was my first hotel lounge show here in Minneapolis.

I loved it!

I wore my beige suede over the knee boots and my mod print mini dress with the bell sleeves.

I wore big tortoise shell print hoop earrings.

My Guyatone guitar took on a very nice lounge-y vibe with it's pale colors and turquoise suede strap.

I did my own sound set up and I got a good tone going.

People were coming up and talking to me about my guitar a lot, saying it looked and sounded so cool.

Very rewarding evening.

Also some people came up to tell me what a great singing voice I have.

Just saying, I have really improved my performance abilities because people didn't used to come up like that necessarily.

Also, the people hanging out in the downtown hotel lounge were from all over the world, and that was delightful too.

Today my show is at a very progressive coffeehouse that has it's own radio station "Radio Five Watt" at the Five Watt Coffee house on East Hennepin.

Another new experience, another completely different environment.

I'm ready!

Tomorrow I drive due North to Grand Marais, one of the most majestic locales in all the state of Minnesota.

It's on the glorious Lake Superior.

I have a small one room modern gem of a guest house/cabin to myself up in the high rocky hills overlooking the massive lake.

I'll be playing a solo concert at a super duper place called Wunderbar...a fun "glamping" style resort with little campers set up on the wooded property and a big old lodge with a full kitchen and a big stage in one room.

And I'll be playing live on the radio station in studio up there, WTIP.

I drive back Sunday.....I have all of Sunday off so I can get coffee on Lake Superior and walk the beautiful shoreline before I make the five-six hour drive back home.

I'm loving this, people.

I am all gratitude and love right now.

This is what I always wanted.

shows every day this week

I'm playing shows every day.

This started last week and is continuing full force this week.

Every show but one has a guarantee of at least $100 base pay and the highest pay for me solo this week is $350.

The shows are all two to three hours.

Some I have to drive twenty minutes.

The ones this weekend I have to drive four hours but I get to stay in my own beautiful little cabin on Lake Superior as part of the deal.

Next weekend I drive North again, this time to Ely, MN to give a concert at the wilderness center where I am the artist in residence for 2019....that's the award I won on the strength of my first novel and my High Priestess And The Renegade album.

You all know where I want this trail to head....straight to the Newport Folk Festival big stage.

How long will that take?

My feeling is, not long now.

But bragging about nothing is dumb.

I only want to say that this level of career development that I have reached this summer feels very positive.

Last night the show was during a huge, truly huge, thunder storm.

My phone was giving off emergency alerts!

Two girls came running in from the parking lot in the middle of the storm..and my set...completely soaked and laughing but also freaking out because they had driven through what they thought was a "puddle" in the road that had turned out to be so deep that their little old car stalled as the water rose around them...up to the car windows! They couldn't get the doors open and they both escaped by putting the windows down somehow and swam/walked to the brewery for help!

My songs took a backseat to the storm and it was not the most gratifying musical evening.

This is one of the reasons that at this type of show...in a brewery during happy hour...base pay is very important.

There is no guarantee that conditions will be favorable to me making real connections with new fans or current fans.

I did sell a few CDs and a red vinyl record, and a woman came up and told me she had read my novel and loved it.

Okay, so, the other thing to report is that the new cover tunes record has a new fancy eloquent name, and it's nearly finished, and it will have a fancy booklet listing all the lyrics plus a paragraph from me about each of the songs.

Oh damn, I'm so excited for this album to come out.

Prayers of love all around, for the songs and for the brilliant people who wrote them.

I hope this album shines like a beacon of something from the past out into the future.

Let it be a bridge, just one of many we can create, from where we've been to where we want to go.

 

failure brings us together

I see that failure has it's many lessons.

When I fail I am brought closer to the hearts of others.

There's a woman writing a lot about how we should work in the world, her name is Brene Brown, a lot of people follow her work.

She talks about "daring greatly" and she talks about "rising strong".

She says that life is an arena and you are either struggling in the arena of life or your are observing and critiquing from the grandstand.

If you're in the arena and struggling you are sometimes falling on your face in the dirt.

It's when you have to get up, in front of everyone, after you have made your terrible failure, that you really face your fears.

"Rising strong" means you stand back up in the arena with the dirt on your face and you deal with the aftermath of your failure.

You apologize, you accept defeat, you continue to try, you interact with those you harmed or hurt or affected by your errors.

You also see the others who have fallen, who have dared greatly, who have hurt and been hurt, and who have stood again and found a way to carry on with their dreams.

My daughter Ava is going through struggles of her own, at twenty-seven, and she's decided that a lot of her problems stem from the way I treated her when she was growing up and I was raising her and my other two children. My kids are all from the same father, and they're all only a few years apart in age. They were all raised in the same way. Ava is the only one who feels so much resentment towards me. 

My own mother wasn't always the best mom, and I've been very hard on her about it for years. 

Now, I feel a complete change of heart about my mom.

She's eighty-four and she's awesome.

I'm super proud of her for all she's done and for all that she is.

And I can only remember the good things now.

Ava has given me the great gift of humility about being a mother.

I wasn't perfect.

My mom wasn't either.

But now I can see my mother with compassion because I know what it feels like to have your daughter tell you you were a lousy mother.

I will never tell my mother anything but good things from now on.

And I will walk in the world humbled that even with parenting, which I thought was the one thing I did really well, I was unable to fully see how my actions might have been hurting those I loved most.

Humble and kind is the only answer.

If you keep it low and small you don't have as far to fall and it's not as hard to stand back up in the arena with the dirt on your face.

And if you fall over and over, and you just keep getting up again and dusting yourself off again, and you support the others in the arena who are giving it the real effort, then all will be well.

One of the reasons I'm playing so many shows right now is that I can't seem to get my fill of trying to perform in a way that is gratifying to myself and others.

My performances have flaws.

I am learning to smooth out some of these flaws so that people can see and hear what my vision is, what I'm trying to do.

But along with the striving to do well comes the inevitable mistakes and failures.

I am aware that as more people take my shows seriously, and as more people come to my shows with the expectation of having a positive experience for themselves, I feel more pressure to do well.

I'm experiencing a fear of success right now.

I catch myself thinking about my high notes, wondering if I'm going to get them right.

I wan't doing that a year ago when no one really knew what the hell I was doing including me.

I was just letting it fly.

Last night at my show I didn't hit my high notes on one song.

I was really shocked. It was like my worst fear came true.

My voice was fine, I wasn't sick, the sound was great, the people were nice.

I had no reason to miss the notes, and in fact, what I did was like an overcorrection problem.

I actually over sang, in a moment of fear, I psyched myself out and over reached and sang the highest note sharp and then warbled to try to get the correct pitch and then sort of laughed it off.

I sang the rest of the song fairly well.

I didn't start crying or run off the stage.

I talked to some fans afterwards about how my mind is starting to worry about consistent excellence, about how I'm afraid that with more attention or more acclaim I might start being too worried and not be able to perform well.

One smart and nice person said, "that's a good problem to have."

I agree, and I will conquer my fear if I just keep going and keep dusting myself off.

Perfection is impossible and unnecessary.

I don't want to sit on the sidelines, I want to stay in the arena and keep trying.

Get out in the world and makes some big messy mistakes today.

I'll be right there with you.

This is how we're going to save the world, one mistake at a time, with small humble efforts, shoulder to shoulder.

This is how we're going to save the world.

bunnies...and lots of shows

There are bunnies now in Rob's big backyard.

Where did they come from?

How did they know?

Nina and I have planted some wonderful things this summer and Rob's city lot fenced in backyard is turning into a pastoral wonderland.

And now there are bunnies.

So far, we've seen a big one with powerful long legs and tall keen ears, earlier on in the Spring.

Then I watched a medium sized round fluff ball with a with cotton tail slowly hop all around the yard, sniffing at Nina's carrot patch, nibbling the raspberries, examining the squash blossoms and the ripening tomatoes.

The medium sized bunny then came and sat right under my chair while I was typing my blog.

He sat right under my chair on the low wooden deck platform.

Why?

Then he slowly hopped off to see the rosemary plants.

Then he came back and sat right under my chair a second time.

Then he left the yard by some mysterious exit, possibly through a hole in the earth near the back fence I think.

Now apparently, there is a very small new bunny as well.

Nina reported last night when I got home that a very small bunny with very small new bunny ears and tiny feet and a tiny white cotton tail, she said no bigger than a chipmunk which is not much larger than a hamster was in the yard yesterday afternoon nibbling the clover in the section of the yard that we have now designated to be natural prarie grass and wildflowers. There's a lot of clover there that's blossoming pink and white and pale lavender.

But how did the bunnies know to come here?

Did the other yards near us have bunnies and they just never came to our yard because we didn't have anything good?

Was it the gourmet lettuce selection we planted earlier this Spring that first lured them?

Could they smell our new garden from far away or did they come through every once in a while all along, just checking to see if we'd gotten up off our lazy asses and planted them anything good to eat?

Also, is it possible that bunnies manifest from Heaven or from the center of the Earth where ever there is a good ecosystem for them?

What if that's how it is?

That bunnies and butterflies and chipmunks just appear where ever there are favorable conditions...like wild mushrooms.

"..for whenever two or more of you are gathered in his name, there is love...."

Well, I just hope they keep coming.

I don't care if they nibble on everything.

I love them.

I'm sitting out at the umbrella table right now so that I can watch in case either the littlest bunny, or the bigger bunny, or the biggest bunny comes to visit.

Also, I have a lot of shows so check my calendar and my social media streams and come say hello!

Have a beautiful summer day for yourself.

I'm going to ride my bicycle around Lake Harriet after I finish my coffee.

Tonight I play at the Finnish Bistro and you should come.

Love and beauty are everywhere.

Find something beautiful that you can love and encourage it to grow.

That's how you and I are going to save the world.

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