All we have is this moment

I am often alarmed at the violent nature of enmity with which people respond to other beings. I recently posted a photograph of an enormous spider, which had bitten me when I had put my arm into my jacket sleeve, where it had been quietly minding its own business. At shaken as I was by…

Remember Rose

It has been bitterly cold in Brussels. Having lived in Alaska and New England, I know how to endure winter. Inclement weather does not typically keep me indoors. However, when my husband and I moved to Belgium, I left behind my lined winter boots. Along with most of my other belongings, they are packed snuggly…

Writing Alfredo’s song: Part I

The Spoken Story In May 2016, I interviewed a friend of my mom’s who has been living with AIDS for over 30 years. I am always searching for a person who might be interested in sharing their story with me, and my mom told me that her friend was over the moon when she mentioned…

Carte Postale no. 1: The West Awaits

I know that Malcolm was a member of a band for a period of his life because he told me once not to worry about people not liking me as a performer. Did anyone throw rocks at you? he asked me. No, I responded. Then you’re fine, he said. Rocks? Seriously? I asked. And there…

Demonstrating Story-to-Song

This third video in the “What is Story-to-Song” series is a live demonstration of the songwriting process. I share an original story and create a song on the spot. Join me in writing a song and then try your hand at writing your own! I hope you will share your thoughts, feedback, and songs with…

Make the audience your friend

In my experience performing with ukulele in hand, I have found that befriending the audience helps alleviate much of the stress from being vulnerable on the stage. When I befriend the audience, I am no longer standing up there in front of a bunch of strangers. I can create a temporary community with everyone in…

Hooked on Story-to-Song

The stories people share seem to take hold of me. They haunt me as I begin the process of creating a song. Just a few days ago, I asked a coworker if she would share a story about Lowell. She shared a fairly dark story of going into an abandoned building that was slated to…

A difficult song to write

How do you write a song about the Holocaust? This is a question I asked myself when I was approached by a woman who wanted to give her mother, a Holocaust survivor, the gift of a song. My response was to welcome to the opportunity, but inside the seeds of doubt began to take root….