voice of a songwriter

Rehearse. Repeat.


You make it look so easy. I’m not too proud to confess that a few years ago, I went to see the One Direction movie, This is Us. At the time, my stepgirl was swept into the boy band craze of her generation. We joined a few dozen other mom-daughter pairs, including a family friend, watching as the clean-cut singing troupe traipsed about the world touring, performing, and wooing crowds.. Read More

Taken Under Wing


Sometimes I feel so discouraged, and I think my life’s in vain, in vain… These are the first words I sang last Sunday, the first words of a song by Unitarian Univeralist (UU) singer-songwriter, Nick Page titled “We Pray.” Let me tell you, I owned those words after a few strange months of personal struggle. I owned those words, not just for my own current state of confusion, but in witness.. Read More

Baby Steps or Art is Grueling and Costly


Finally, I’m back in the studio this week after a LONG hiatus during which I saved up some funds and Luke, my recording engineer – and also half of the duo, Bettman & Halpin – was on tour. We hit it strong this past Monday. Okay – not that strong. We got one song tracked, but it was progress. I realize I have, so far, been going about this whole.. Read More

Working Up a Sweat


In the last few weeks, I have written three new songs, pulled off my first two-set gig, begun some serious voice training, put in a dozen or so volunteer hours, written a whole year’s curriculum for my Forte KiDS GUiTAR program, and started working out at the gym. I’m feeling my inner rock-star, people. Behind the scenes, my personal life of motherhood and wifehood has been, let’s say, colorful. This.. Read More

How Much Suck is Too Much?

Shit Sandwich

This blog is more than just a plug for my next show, promise. But let’s just get it out there. I’m playing at La Dolce Vita Coffee House in Olde Town Arvada, Saturday, August 27, 7:00pm. Free and kid-friendly. Links below. Self-promo out of the way, this blog IS about doing my best to enjoy the best parts of performing and dealing with the parts that suck. This summer, and.. Read More

Songs, Quarks, Anger, and Jim Carey

Quantum Physics

Cynical is in my DNA. Yours too. We are hard-wired to make instantaneous judgments about our surroundings, seeking out any possible threats to our safety. Our brains, advanced as they are, haven’t changed much since the inception of the human race. We’re still working with mostly fight or flight. If you don’t believe me, recall the last time someone cut you off or your teenager ate the last of Auntie.. Read More

Screw Being Positive

Angry Rainbow

I have a questioning mind. It usually kicks in a goodly amount of time after I wholeheartedly sign up for the latest trend, about when my arm gets tired of waving the flag of the day. Case in point: the Law of Attraction. It was so simple. It made so much sense. Be a positive person, and good things will happen to you. Be a grump, and the world’s a.. Read More

Drowning in Overwhelm


At a recent party, I met an oil painter. On the outside, she seemed like any ordinary backyard party-goer; comfy T-shirt, outdoorsy skirt with sandals, no make-up. When we got to the tell-tale “so what do you do?” I was so happy she didn’t come back with the show-stopping “I’m in sales.” Side note: What the heck kind of job is that?  “I’m in sales.” How come people don’t just.. Read More

Money, Money, Money


In fifth grade, I was invited to the home of the prettiest girl in my class. She came from money. Her Sergio Valentes proved it. But stepping into her house was more proof than I could handle. The furniture matched. There were paintings, real paintings, on the walls – walls painted COLORS, not just beige. There were rugs…on TOP of carpets. There was a deck with more than one level… Read More

Writing to the Rhythm


Ever heard of Dalcroze? I’m guessing, no. I went to a Dalcroze workshop a few years ago, knowing just about nothing about it. I attended because some teachers I very much respect are really into it. I found out why. Dalcroze, or Dalcroze Eurhythmics, is an approach to music education founded on rhythmic movement, aural training, and improvisation. As the Dalcroze Society of America elegantly describes it, “based on the philosophy.. Read More