CD RELEASE CONCERT!

Local CD RELEASE CONCERT Sunday, Nov 5, 2017 3 pm at the Brentwood Library!  FREE event but seating is limited so please REGISTER HERE: http://brentwood-tn.libcal.com/event/3591904

So excited to be sharing my CD release as a part of the Brentwood library’s Arts series. Looking forward to seeing all of you at this long awaited release! Great music & Give aways ! Bring friends!!

A Million Kisses Album cover

A Million Kisses Album cover

 

Failure just another turn in the road to success…..

We’ve all felt like a failure from time to time. I mean life does not always work out the way we thought it would. I have to remind myself in those moments that failure is part of the plan to a better journey. What? Yeah…I just said that. Failure hurts. it feels so frustrating doesn’t it? It feels like a waste of time,effort and frequently resources that were slim to begin with. Interestingly, failure is frequently just a turn in the road to find a better way. A few years ago, I was approached by a management company to help grow my career as an independent artist. I was so excited! Finally, I was going to have someone helping me. Wearing all the hats in any business can be overwhelming. This was such a good thing…or so I thought! After 8 months, things were not working out so well. The booking agent this company had hired was promising tours but not actually booking dates for me and he was building his own company on the side. (can you say conflict of interest?) The photographer hired delivered less than stellar photos and the website designer locked me out of my current web site and never built one for me. Lots of headaches. Then….there was a big announcement that my management company was working with a group to put me on a national tour. These were industry vets who had worked with all the major labels in town. Finally something! So exciting! The big day for the national tour meeting arrived. My husband and I went into the meeting room with the tour company and the spokesperson for the management company said, ” Okay, before we get started, we need to announce that we are no longer going to manage any artists.”  I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. What? I thought we were meeting to discuss a national tour roll out? Then they basically introduced us to each other and said we could work out details of working together for a national tour amongst ourselves. The tour company was just as surprised as I was. We exchanged pleasantries as we all stood reeling from the info-bomb that was dropped into our laps. We moved on to a professional conversation about what a tour might look like and they would email me a calendar roll -out and the fee schedule. Then we left. What a disappointment. I felt like such a failure.  Why hadn’t I seen this coming?  There was lots of frustration but I had been trying to be gracious because they were a start up, independent company just like me. As a solo independent artist, I knew I was not going to be able to afford the fees associated with a National tour company. I quickly had to regroup and had the task of getting back my intellectual property  as well as some other legal matters. What a nightmare.

And yet….

It was in the following weeks and months that I realized how much strength I truly had. I had acquired a lot  of knowledge over the years as an Independent Recording Artist and wearing all the hats! I then hired someone to re-build my artist website and I was up and running again. It wasn’t easy and it took some time. But things that are worthwhile never see to come easily.  I managed to rebuild the momentum I  lost in that year with the management company, write songs for a new album and all while maintaining my roles as wife and mom too. It is through the struggle a butterfly has in leaving the cocoon that it gains strength in its wings to fly. I wrote a song about that. It’s called Fly. You can listen to it here. Now I understand even more fully that lesson. Is there an area of your life or business that you are struggling with or feeling like a failure right now?  What would happen if you viewed it as a turn in your road to success instead of a failure? What have you learned? Comment below. I’d love to encourage you in your journey to Fly……

Beach Vacation and productivity

Recently, I went on a beach trip with some girlfriends. This is NOT the norm for me. I usually only vacation with my husband and children. I travel for business usually alone but seldom do I take the time to decompress from ALL my responsibilities with girl friends. Except for the occasional ladies retreat at church. Still, there is an agenda for me there too-drawing closer to God for the weekend. This, however, was a trip where there were no expectations. No rules except everyone was responsible for themselves. Period. Want to go to the beach? For a walk? to dinner? Be with people or be alone? All OKAY! Everyday, I got up early as usual, made coffee and breathed in the silence as I watched the sun’s reflection rising over the waves. After coffee, I walked by myself for 1 1 /2 hours alone with my ipod along the water’s edge. (oh…mom..FYI…There were other people on the beach…just not walking with me) Some of you are laughing right now but my mom reads my blog and once a mother, always a mother (now that I am one-I get it) and I don’t want her to worry!  After that, I joined my friends who were  already sunbathing! Hours of catching rays, eating frozen grapes, grabbing lunch or just a snack. Reading a book or listening to music uninterrupted. Maybe a nap or another walk later in the day. Then showers, dinner, and a sunset break on the clear evenings….but NO email or work for me. Strange….in fact, my intention was to catch up on some work while there but I just couldn’t focus. My mind needed a break from everything- so I took it. Amazingly…as the week progressed, I found that creative ideas began to flow effortlessly into my head  for things I had been wrestling with for weeks before I left. I wrote them down so I didn’t forget but did not try to expound on anything. Just rest.WOW! What a difference. Now I am back home and my head is clearer, more organized and my productivity is definitely improved for all my work and responsibilities. Things that were stressing me out seem smaller now. So besides getting lots of R&R I decided to reflect on what really made the difference.

#1 First things first-

Everyday instead of hopping on email or FB first thing, I walked. I gave myself something I needed-exercise! (ok and a beautiful view!) Granted, at home I am getting breakfast for the family in the wee hours before school but after that I can delay email and walk first. The world will not fall apart if I don’t respond to email before 8 am!

#2 Less technology!

Yes, I listened to music and posted a few pics of the beach to face book but I did not feel the need to read email and stay current on everyone’s FB posts. My brain needed a break from constant contact and constant information! This alone cleared my mind! Technology is wonderful but it can put us on overload if we are not careful!

#3 Learning to take time every day to appreciate the beauty around you.

Each night at the beach when the sky was clear-no matter what we were doing- we took a sunset break. A few minutes to view the gorgeous color in the sky over the water. Something about that awe inspired view was stress relieving. I actually do that at home sometimes…but most days I am too busy and I forget. Appreciating the beauty around you even for just a few minutes can renew your senses.

#4 Find people in your age and stage to do life with and laugh often!

The fact that most of us were the same”age and stage” of life meant we had a lot in common. It seemed there was always something funny happening or being said and we would erupt into a chorus of laughter together! I LOVED that! It was fun to just chat about our lives, get to know each other better etc. Did I mention that these women were not my best friends….some were strangers and others were acquaintances I have known for years through church but truly did not “Know” much at all except their stats-husband ,3 kids and grandma to be, for example. Everything wasn’t all rosy in our lives either….we had all experienced or were experiencing trials or grief through unexpected circumstances and we were still able to find laughter and joy in the moments.

Through this trip, I was reminded once again how important it is to take care of ourselves ladies!  You know when the flight attendant comes over the intercom to say, “Please secure your own oxygen mask before you try to help someone else.” Well, it is that way in life. We must take care of ourselves if we want to be able to care for others. Let’s face it, as women, we have a lot going on! Most of us have spouses, families, jobs and houses to take care of….then there is extended family, friends, charities or PTO’s and committees….etc. It’s a never ending list. We must pick and choose what rises to the top of those lists and we need to keep ourselves from staying at the bottom or we will never be as productive as we would like to be!

All this from a beach trip…….I’d say that was productive! 🙂

 

A little bird out of the nest…..

 

I delivered my oldest child to college this month.  What a life changing experience as our young adult children leave the nest! Sad, but mostly sweet. It’s a huge accomplishment in my life as a parent and I’m excited to see where her hopes and dreams will take her…that a bit of hard work!  Here we are on her 18th birthday this summer. My how times flies!

I also gave  an interview  recently  with Neal Heart. He was curious about my life as an independent artist and some of the obstacles I’ve overcome in the process. Here’s the link….Enjoy!

http://nealheart.com/magazine/dcj.html

See you in September!!

-Debbie

New Beginnings….

My youngest child started high school today and my oldest child leaves for college in a week. Hmm…change seems to be a theme in my life right now. Change can be wonderful or it can be frightening, depending on your perspective. Some see an ending of an era when their kids grow up. I see that, but simultaneously, it is a new beginning for all of us. I now have 2 freshmen  getting ready to have lots of new experiences and beginning to grow wings for their hopes and dreams in a fresh way. My husband and I have a new state of being as well. With 2 independent kids…our son is active in marching band and show choir and will be seldom home this fall except for evenings and Sundays. (seriously) Our daughter will be away at school. We certainly will be involved in their lives but also be courting a Pseudo-empty nest. At least our son will sleep here! Strange after having kids in tow for 18 years. I am finishing my next album..er..CD and working on a book and all that needs my attention. My dear husband has a corporate job that occupies lots of his waking hours but he will have a bit more time for his own creative endeavors, which have been on the back burner for a while. We might just have a little more time to spend together too. Which in a marriage is so important and takes a lot of intention in our busy society. Although I expect a few tears and have already shed some in this process of letting go, I am excited about the prospect of New Beginnings for all of us! What change is happening in your world and how do you feel about it? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you. 🙂

Follow your dream…

Don’t we all long to follow our dreams and make them come true? That’s what I was thinking about when I wrote this song for my kids. Follow your dreams, work hard, be persistent and even when you fall…get back up and something wonderful will happen! You will learn to FLY….

Thoughts on being an independent artist

Times are certainly changing in the music industry. Things are changing in EVERY industry, really. What we do and how we respond to those changes are what is significant. For the independent artist, there has never been a better time to be “Indie.” The Internet has made the marketplace global, even for the budding entrepreneur.  I’ll never forget the first time I sold a CD in Japan or Hungary. I’ve never been to those countries, yet, their music community has found me thanks to the Internet and great on-line CD stores like CDBaby. That is one of the many places my first CD, The Rest of Your Life, is currently sold. We no longer drive to the mall or local record shop. We press a button on our computer and instantaneously we have the music in our hands…well …ears! The biggest hurdle for the independent artist is national exposure that the major labels do so well. However, the Internet IS our international audience now and there is so much opportunity to spread the word about your brand of music, via social networks, on-line radio stations, magazines and music streaming. The list goes on and on. As an indie artist, I’ve been in National print magazines like MORE and have been in my first movie (SWAY the movie) as myself- a Nashville Jazz Recording Artist. Recently, I became a spokesperson for Darci by DiCaprio cosmetics. The Internet was invaluable as my connecting point in all of those. Not to mention, I stay busy with my jazz quartet performing at corporate, private and charity events! There is so much opportunity out there. It just takes work and consistency but after all, this is my job!  🙂