May 23, 2012

:: happy anniversary ::

11 years ago i graduated from college and started working full-time at mountain entertainment. i'd been working toward my career for four years before that - talent buying, stage managing, promoting artists and shows.

...back when "cutting and pasting" really meant "cutting and taping" (and xeroxing) to make event calendars. which i distributed via CPO boxes.
...back when band newsletters were postcards that came via snail mail. there were no eBlasts.
...back when radio would play (even break!) local & regional bands. and i was one station's Gig Gal.

i had heard scary things about the music business - about backstabbing and underhandedness. but i didn't see those things. or chose not to focus on them, perhaps. instead, i saw people taking me under their wings. sharing experiences, advice, wisdom. giving me opportunities. i was like the little sister of the industry and through all the ups and downs, it's been a true blessing to grow up in this crazy, dysfunctional, yet wonderfully passionate family.

it hasn't always been an easy road (not even close, at times!) but it's certainly been a blessed one. immensely grateful for the relationships, art, experiences and lessons God has given me throughout this career.

May 16, 2012

:: new media marketing thoughts ::

i don't really like to complain without having some sort of helpful feedback or solution for the issue i'm complaining about.  a few minutes ago, i was about to gripe about something on facebook and it occurred to me i could, instead, post some suggestions that might actually help some of the culprits who were inspiring the gripe.  

figured i'd post the update here, too, in case someone comes across this who's not a friend on fb.  feel free to leave a comment with feedback, questions, or..well...even complaints! 
some thoughts on new media marketing: not a fan of shortened links from twitter on my newsfeed. especially from a business and when linking to images/videos. you lose the visual of the image/video that you get when you post directly to facebook (plus, the shortened urls look spammy).

if you're a business that links twitter to facebook, be more selective with which tweets automatically update to fb. push copy-only tweets to fb but manually enter any posts containing images/videos/links. there is an app called "selective tweets" than can make this easier for you.

and never ever tweet something and then post it as a status (too) if you have your twitter/fb accounts linked. redundant back-to-back posts are a quick way to be hidden.

May 11, 2012

:: a children's story ::

a few years ago, i answered a call to teach in Children's Ministry on saturday nights.  i was placed in the Clown Fish class (2-3 year olds).  there were nights of utter chaos.  nights of being late to Big Group because of dirty diapers and potty training.  nights of a teacher learning about balance.  learning patience.  there were nights when i left feeling like i was nothing more than a babysitter with a well-thought-out lesson plan.  nights i questioned whether anything i read, anything i said, any craft i glued/stapled/stickered was sinking in. 

i doubted, I questioned, i worried. 
but i loved, laughed, danced, sang, and hugged, too.  a lot. 

so at the end of the year, i asked to be promoted with that crazy crew.  we moved on to Sea Turtles.  and then on to Kiwis. 

at times it felt those years were much of the same – only we were all just a year or two older and wiser.  but there was much, much more going on:  i watched the kids learn to write their names, to use scissors and the stapler, to peel and stick their own stickers.  (oh, the joy!)  i watched them come to know one another by name and to learn my name.  i found myself partnering with their parents in various areas.  community was forming right before our eyes. 

and now we are Blue Jays. 

now they can write more than just their names.  they can read.  they enthusiastically volunteer to read or recite the memory verse each week.   and they actually remember the passages now.  they ask questions.  they want to understand and want know more.  i am seeing them wrestle with and come to love the Word of God. 

admittedly, sometimes we're still late to Big Group, but not because of dirty diapers or potty training, like the old days.  now it's because the students themselves are reading the Bible story (which takes a little bit longer than when I do.)  or because we are wrapped up in a prayer circle, thanking God for the blessings in our lives or confessing our sins.  Children talking to God.  a good reason to be late.     
this past November, we were teaching a unit about the prophets.  one Saturday night, my group of five and six year olds were listening to me tell the story of Isaiah.  they heard me read,  

Then God said from heaven, “Who will take a message to the people?” And Isaiah, who had seen that God was the greatest Holy King said, “Here I am. Send me." It’s like he raised his hand and said, “God, please pick me.” [Isaiah 6:8]

i stopped speaking.  i silently re-read those words.  i've seen them many times before, but this time, there was a weight to them i'd never felt before. 

we've all been asked the same question.  we've all been called to take a message to the people.  and those of us in Grace’s Children’s Ministry have all raised our hands and said, "here i am.  send me." and have committed to taking The Message to the youngest of His people. 

and we can rest assured that it is, indeed, sinking in.

May 07, 2012

:: a fine line ::

banff mountain film festival magazine [2011-2012]

"the line between badass and dumbass is not only fine, it is a grey, wavy line, and in a different place for each individual.  it's hard to recognise, easy to miss, and painfully clear when overstepped.  it's the concept of pushing hard and not giving up, balanced against blind ambition and getting in too deep.  basically, when you start to get really scared, you are probably approaching your line."

adventurer, climber, BASE-jumper and para-alpinist Leo Houlding, in response to being asked how he knows when he is approaching the "fine line between badass and dumbass." 

:: reminder ::