Lightbulb!

This past weekend I had the opportunity to go to Utah for the annual Jenny Phillips/Tyler Castleton songwriting workshops. I went last year and all of the classes taught me so much and helped get me more motivated in my music, and this year did even more than that. I was able to showcase some of my musical ability and receive critique and feedback, and I got several e-mail addresses for people who want to co-write in various ways. What a great network we have in the church!

I also got a feel for what I’m supposed to do. I guess I’ve been wondering if my upbeat, poppy, girly music had no place with the LDS market, but after seeing the response I got, it made me realize that the church needs a little of that! So thanks to that lightbulb moment, my goal is to write contemporary music that’s addicting and catchy, but uplifting and positive, without being an “efy” album. Music that relates to every day life, that has undertones of overcoming depression, and choosing to be happy.

I thought i’d share a few key thoughts/quotes I wrote down throughout the workshop:

“If you keep score in marriage, you both lose.” (In reference to the newly produced song, “Who Loves Who More.”

“Map out your future, but do it in pencil.” – Bon Jovi

“When the horse is dead, get off.”

“The steps on a ladder are not meant or built to be rested upon, but only to support you as you climb to higher ground.”

“Getting to where you want to be in the music world is like a little kid approaching a revolving door for the first time–it’s confusing and tricky, but exciting, and possible.”

“Motherhood is the most important calling there is. If you put God’s desires first, which is for you to have a family, then He will bless you in your music career (if that is His will).”

“A lot of the time, your music will help inspire YOU more than other listeners.”

“Not sharing your talents because you’re afraid there might be someone better than you out there is a form of pride.”

“Bloom where you’re planted.”

“The spirit can only work with what it’s given.”

“Write your truth.”

This workshop was just packed full of gems like those. I’m so excited to start taking the next steps to get my music out there! I feel like i finally know where i’m supposed to take it, and I can’t wait to get started.

Also, here are a few fun things to check out, met these great people this weekend:

www.myspace.com/paula.eden.music

www.jeannigould.com

www.saralynbaril.com

Stay tuned, folks!

Good Intentions

So, I’ve had many people ask me if/when I would start a blog of my own, particularly relating to my music and such. So, here it goes! 

I’m in a somewhat awkward position regarding getting my music out there, since:

a. I don’t have a piano here in Oregon. Well, that’s a lie. I do have access to one, but it sounds like a xylophone, so no thanks. 

b. I don’t have thousands of dollars to put towards professional recording studios. At least not yet. 

c. I still haven’t gotten around to copyrighting my music. Cause i’m just… lazy. 

However, i’ll try and post some older stuff, and as I get the access I need to a piano, i’ll try to get some videos up of some newer material i’ve got up my sleeve. 

And despite all the progress i’m not making this summer, I plan on releasing my first album within the next year or so. So stay tuned, and tell all your friends! 

And since this is a blog, i’ll share a cute little story that made my day (a couple days ago). 

So, i’ve been apartment hunting like crazy lately to be sure me and my new husband have the perfect place to live come september. I was looking at a certain apartment, but couldn’t find any pictures of inside it. I googled the apartment complex, and the first link was some girls’ blog about it. But it turned out to be just a page of numbers and letters and spam… but in the midst of all the chaos, i saw an e-mail address that ended with byui.edu. I took my chances, being the creep that I am, and copied the address. I sent the anonymous address an e-mail asking if they knew anything about the apartments I was interested in. 

I received a rather lengthy e-mail back from a sweet girl who had lived there before. She sent me pictures and gave me paragraphs of details about the place (mostly about how much it sucked to live there). Then, she ended with this paragraph: 

“…I looked you up on facebook cause I was curious who you were….you’re that girl who plays the piano at music outlet!!  I remember you!  I went up to you once after you performed and told you how I really liked it and you asked my name.   Anyways, you are seriously amazing on the piano and you have a beautiful voice.  Usually I don’t like when people play the piano at outlet because they’re not very good and you can tell they’ve never had lessons.  But you were different. I enjoyed every song you played…”

Needless to say, she made my day, and reminded me of why I even bother making music. It’s for people like her, people that care, people that remember. 

So to all those who feel like nobody notices your special talents or gifts, that nobody appreciates them or even cares, I guarantee, there’s at least one person who does. Even if you don’t even know their name. 

Changes.

It’s been a good while since I’ve “blogged.” as April pointed out. So uh… here’s an update on my life.

Pretty much, my life has been turned around completely the last few months. It’s looking like i probably won’t be going on that mission anymore… cause it’s looking like i’m gonna be married this year.

Speaking of that, Mark McCann has pretty much turned my life upside down the past few months. He’s everything i’ve ever wanted/needed in a guy and more. He’s perfect for me. It’s an awesome thing. I love it. I love him.

Recorded on another Jenny Phillips cd, this time the primary one. “I will follow God’s plan for me”. Jennyphillips.com :)

Off track right now. For my first job as something other than food service… a call center. Oh well, it’s a job. I start fer real next week.

Night classes SUCK.

I don’t wanna be allergic to cats anymore.

I can’t stop eating these rainbow colored goldfish.

Happy 2011?

Pessimist.

Bout 10 days till i go back to Idaho land. Not sure how i feel about it.

More nervous for this semester than any other for some reason. Maybe it’s just having new room mates. Maybe it’s new classes. or the fact that i absolutely hate the wind in rexburg and snow and stuff.
Also, everyone always talks around me like “Oh em gee, that was the hardest semester i’ve faced. Wow. Crying every night out of stress. No friends. Boys spitting on me. Blah blah” and i’m just sorta… expecting a bad semester. SImply because everyone else has bad semesters here and there, so it’s my.. turn? Which isn’t logical– i know whether i’m happy or not depends solely on my attitude. And i have a pretty good one. Just nervous.

Kinda feel like i don’t belong in one place anymore. Guess i’ve been feeling like that for a while though. It’s just starting to hit me harder. People are becoming home to me- wherever they are. Wherever cody is, or melissa is, or my sister is, or jamie is, or my parents are, or amy or marky or a few choice other people…. but places don’t really mean much to me anymore. I’d love to just travel. Go on a huge awesome road trip to alaska or go to china and teach english or just serve my mission wherever they send me. I don’t feel grounded anywhere anymore.

It’s weird being grown up. I still feel like i’m a little 14 year old girl sometimes. But i’m almost 20. Big difference. I know people my age and younger that are MARRIED. My sister was married at my age. I’m not quite there yet, haha.

Got some awesome stuff coming up though. Recording with Jenny Phillips. Going back to Idaho. Meeting new people. Got no real reason to complain.

And the winner is… Drum roll please…

SO HOLY FREAKING HECK CRAP.

Remember like. Two blogs ago when i mentioned that Jenny Phillips contest thing? That i was like “Psh, i’m not gonna win.”

Well. Your girl won. 1st freaking place.

Let’s have a moment of silence.

So this is what happened.
I was in a horrible mood cause i was trying to hurry and buy a braves game ticket online but it wouldn’t let me, and i was SO sad cause i really wanted to see this guy i thought was gonna go (he didn’t show, btw). So i’m trying to figure this out, and i get a phone call from some number.
“Hello?” i muttered in the most depressed, pitiful tone.
“Hey, is this Erica Verner’s number?” my guardian angel responded.
“Yeah?” i muttered, still depressed.
“Well, this is Jenny Phillips. And i’m calling with some exciting news…”

Needless to say, i perked up quite a bit.
What does that mean, you might ask? Well, folks, that means that on September 1st i am going to record a song that will be on the next Young Women’s theme cd that goes out to all the YW and stuff. And i’m pretty sure it will be sold in deseret stores and such.
I know it doesn’t sound like that big a deal, and to people who aren’t mormon it’s definitely lame sounding, but I’M FREAKING HONORED. This is like, the coolest, best thing that has ever happened to me.

I’m still just…. in shock. This is insane. Stuff like this doesn’t happen to me.

Maybe this will be like the movie Inception. Maybe Jenny Phillips is a projection from my subconscious, and this is all a dream.
I feel like it would be appropriate for me to end this blog with a little black thing spinning, then cutting it off to leave the suspense of if it’s really a dream or not.

But i’m not gonna do that.

Spastic.

So i haven’t exactly been an avid blogger since i started with my… one glorious post, a good few months ago. I feel like that whole last sentence/fragment had horrible punctuation… but whate’er. I haven’t taken a real english class since AP lang. my junior year of high school. Which was a good 9 years ago. Minus like… 7 years. But still. I’m aloud to be rusty. Just not rusty like metal gets. Moving on.
I’m back in Georgia-land, which isn’t as glorious as i was expecting. I walked off the plane and breathed myself a nice glass of water. Everything is…. Lush and green and huge and buggy and hot and humid and hot and there’s trees everywhere- NOTHING like the west. I’d forgotten what the south was like in the summer and…. although it has its beauty too, i miss Idaho. I never thought i’d say the words, and somewhere a girl named Jamie Wadsworth just felt the power of those words and is rejoicing. But Idaho is awesome when it’s not raining and windy and miserable. I miss it. I miss the spiritual bubble.
But, i have to say, i love being around… let’s say all sorts of ethnicities. I love love love it. I love being the minority. There’s so many… white people in Idaho. Too many.
Nonetheless, here I am in the real world again for 7 weeks. Maybe shorter if i won the Jenny Phillips vocal competition and need to fly back out to Salt Lake City for recording a song on the next youth cd. Woot! I’m not expecting to win though. There’s lots of amazingly talented people out there, and although i believe i’ve got some talent, i’m not breath takingly spectacular. But if i’m meant to get my shot, i will. I find out August 7th.
Otherwise, i’m just chillin here till i go back to Idaho to be an I-Team leader. I’m super duper excited to do that. I’m figuring they’ll fix me up with my future husband or something, and we’ll go around together and help the freshies get established at BYUI and help them make friends and achieve all their hopes and dreams… maybe not that last part. But it’ll be a blast. i loved get connected as a freshman, and i hope to make it a good experience for those coming in.
I’m still a little shaky with my schedule, still hoping some classes will open up (i hate having low priority for registering..), but i’ve got some good ones. I’m taking mission prep with my bestie melissa. What are the odds of that! I took an amazing Missionary Book of Mormon Class this past semester too. Amazing teacher, Bro. Christensen (the older one). Made me super excited to serve a mission. That is….sigh… if i don’t get married. I’ve decided to stop being so stubborn about it. If the opportunity arrises and i pray about it and God’s like, “get married.” then i’ll…..sigh….probably do that. But if i pray and God’s like “What were you thinking? Those people in Chile need you Sister Verner!” (not that i’d go to Chile… i just heard that if i get called anywhere in South America i have to die my hair darker… lame…) then i’ll be like “Will you wait for me ____?” and he’ll probably be like “Eh, i’ll pass.” and i’ll just move on to someone far superior to him. Like Edward Cullen. (Just kidding… i’m really not that lame…)
This is way too long for a blog post. So i’ll wrap it up. Life’s awesome. I’m a happy person. I ate like 4000 calories today…