August 2016 - Onward, Forward and a Quick Glance Back

August 31: And so my birthday month ends. It ends on a high note and leaves me with so much to be grateful for. Film work, auditions that will hopefully lead to more work, new songs written for the album and sessions booked with my fellow guitarists. So with that I say, onward, forward and a quick glance back for an amazing month.

August 21: We are temporary in this world. Our time is indeed limited. No matter how invincible we think our heroes are, they too have the same clock ticking in their pockets. Some of us make the most of it, working to ignore the nay-sayers and forging ahead regardless of whatever struggle or illness. Others deal with what is on their plate. Some follow like sheeple. Whichever path we decide to take, it is our decision but what we do not have control over is our end. When, unbeknownst to us, a person moves us beyond our parameters because of their ambitions and wishes. When, for a moment in time, we walk beside a person who opens the door to other opportunities or to our hidden talents - no matter how much we refute them. When a stranger touches our lives so deeply we cannot help but cry. When we take a moment to stop and take a glance behind to see how far we have come. I hope to have a moment to thank them. I hope that one day, I too can scream a scream of release, no matter how painful. Thank you, Gord Downie for all you've said, sung and shared.  Your courage inspires, your will strengthens, your passion lives >> CBC Clip

August 16:
What a great feeling it is to experience road tripping with fellow singers and musicians from Kamloops, BC to Montreal, Qc with the Etta James Tribute - and this, on my birthday month! Click on the photos from the >> Etta James Tribute Road Trip

Leaving the corporate world as an HR specialist 5 years ago meant that I was going to leave security and stability. Although there were times when I was so tempted to go back, I do not regret it one bit. I've met so many wonderful folks and am now collaborating with all sorts of talented artists and musicians. One life, one love and I am so grateful to have made the decision to go ahead with my artistic endeavors.

I feel so blessed with the people, places and opportunities that have crossed my path - some folks have moved on, some folks still walk with me. New opportunities such as the radio show that I will be hosting as of next month is a thrill! I never thought I would be doing that. Then the completion of a cycle - 4 years ago, I took a chance at a Toronto Blues Gig. I hopped on stage with 7 men at a Muddy Waters & Howlin' Wolf Tribute show at Hugh's Room; since then I've taken part in The Etta James Tribute, The Bluesy Christmas and The Hot Stoves and Fruit Baskets productions of Bluesin' Toronto. In October, I will be coming back on stage with hopefully the same 7 guys that got me started in Toronto - at the same Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf Tribute show >> at Hugh's Room!

This is the best Birthday Month ever and it's not over yet!

August 8:  It’s been 7 days since my birthday and I am still on Cloud 9 as gifts keep coming in! I had my birthday bash at the House of Jazz on the 4th Annual International Blues Music Day (August 6th). It’s getting to be a tradition that I play House of Jazz on my birthday. I like really like it. I have an affinity with the staff and I love sharing my special days with them.

My stage hubbies and I have definitely gelled! I’ve been very careful about “beginner’s luck syndrome” where the chemistry is there only for the first time. I now see that it’s not the case, not only is there confirmed chemistry but they’ve owned the repertoire. They are now "playing" and even improvising on the tunes onstage, thus giving the songs a new breath, a new vibe and feel. I am in heaven!

My belated birthday bash was an amazing night! I was presented with a huge balloon and flowers from fans, a huge cake from the staff at the House of Jazz and then a most humbling from Oshawa, Ontario drove all the way to Montreal just to come see us play; right after the show, they drove right back home!! That's at least a 5-hour drive, one way.

Another gift was the opportunity to work with film director >> Darren Aronofsky! Yep, THAT Darren (Pi, Requiem for a Dream, The Fountain, Noah, Black Swan) Aronofsky! I can't tell you more but what I can tell you is that I have a small speaking role and I had the opportunity to be directed by him and I mean, his attention exclusively to me! The film is supposed to be released in 2017.

...and the gifts keep coming! At the end of the month, I will be back on the movie set with another esteemed film director! Stay tuned. In the meantime, I hope to see some of you at the Etta James Tribute this week in Ontario.

August 1:
  Last night, I posted a >> FB status for my birthday. It says, "55. That's 25 with 30 years of experience." That is exactly how I feel. I have gratefully earned every strand of white hair on my head, every wrinkle on my face. I am old, not outdated. I may not be as fast; there's no need for me to run. I don't scream or whine to be heard, the low timbre of my voice says it all. I look forward to every smile, giggle, tear and moment I share with you as we continue to celebrate life's wonders. I am honored that you are my friend.

I have been fighting a summer cold and as usual afraid to lose my voice as this month is fully loaded with film shoots and a mini tour to >> Ontario with the Etta James Tribute. This cold knocked me out for a good 5 days so all I had was movies on TV, social media and lots of love & attention from hubby with the promise of lobster and sea food (I like that part, every year Hubby celebrates my birthday MONTH with lobster, sea food and my newest cravings of watermelon). My hubby, the love of my life, looking at me and I know he is savoring every minute of this day. As I do the same looking at him, looking at me.

Being a type A personality, illness is pure torture as it plays a nasty set of mind games that could lead me to the whirlpool of depression. So when I woke up to literally hundreds of social media well wishes and greetings, emails, texts, phone messages (and it's still going on), the cabin fever disappeared.

A friend posted a greeting that hit the spot, "This has not been the easiest year for you by any stretch. But you faced each challenge like the true resilient champion you are and came out of the pit a winner in every sense." Indeed, it has not been easy at all. It felt like I was bulldozing against a 10 ft wall of solid chromium trying to punch a hole through, to make way to see the light and breathe easy again. It tired me out, but I kept chipping away all the while making new friends and contacts until eventually the universe seemed to have given way...

I met my new stage hubbies and we've popped our cherries - so to say - with a couple of shows where the chemistry was definitely there, I rediscovered the urgency to read-create-write, I rediscovered and connected with an old friend from my dancing days of over 30 years ago. He now lives in Roumania where he continues to make music. This re-connection, this new exchange of emails have ignited the curiosity that has faded ever so slight. I have had reunions before and it felt like the excitement of youth springing up with high pitched voices. But this re-connection at this age is different. Our lives were paralleled. There are no high pitched squeals or the uncontrolled jumping around with hands clapping. There is, however, a poised and measured reaching out with knowing eyes glancing back at those moments in the past and feeling as if they were only yesterday. The pains, the triumphs, the creations, the loss, the rebirth...

He is my birthday gift for this year and once again, I am inspired.