I can't believe I haven't blogged for so long! For a while, I guess it felt like very little was happening. Our days just felt like hours and hours of dull moving stuff - unpacking boxes, taking trips to the recycling depot, trying to get the last of the paperwork done. But now a lot has happened, and a lot more is happening in the next few days, so it's time to start writing some of it down.
First, I have my social security card. Yay! Yes, very dull for the rest of America, but very big for me because it means I can finally work here. It also means we can do things like set up a bank account. Our lives as aliens can officially begin! And that's great because...
I got my first paying gig! It came about because of a conversation at the NSAI Christian songwriters meeting. This Sunday, I'll be singing at Calvary Baptist Church. It's not huge pay or even a huge gig, but it means a lot to me. This is exactly what I came here to do: Sing God's word, in different churches, and making a living doing it. Nervous, but excited!
I've also been able to book a few gigs in Toronto for this spring. It will be like a mini tour! (Last week was very exciting with bookings coming in every day!)
I've recently spent time setting up a page on Shoutlife. This is like myspace, but it's all Christians. So far, it's been really great for me. I've met gospel singers in Nashville who've given me info about places to sing and how the large festivals work. I'm also getting some opportunities for airplay, and maybe even some gigs in the future. Feel free to visit: http://shoutlife.com/allisonlynn
This past Sunday, I decided to continue my quest for a home church. I attended Crosspoint Community Church. I'd heard it mentioned by someone, so I thought I'd check it out. The music was really good - praise and worship, but not overly loud and in your face. The preaching was awesome! The people were happy, but not friendly; no one made an effort to talk to me. I filled out a visitor's card, but it's late on Wednesday night, and so far, no one has contacted me. Not a good sign...
Gerald spent the last 3 days at an NSAI songcamp - all day workshops, song critiques, and networking. He just loved it! On Monday, I joined him to watch the faculty concert. It was at the Douglas Corner Cafe, which is a highly renowned songwriting venue. There's not a bad seat in the place. The show was phenomenal! Every song was well-crafted and interesting,and some were very emotional. Such a great night of music!
Last week, the NSAI meeting was a pro-teacher night. Gerald and I weren't able to attend, so we watched it on webcast. It recommended that each and every day, you do one thing to further your songwriting career. It doesn't need to be a huge thing, but just doing one small thing will keep your momentum up, and will encourage you to move further along your career path. And, of course, work begets work, so one thing usually turns into 2 or 3 things. Gerald and I have now started a Sunday night meeting of our own. (We meet on the couch and Sebastian chairs the meeting.) We set out what our one thing will be for each day of that week. We try to find things we can do together, or things we can help each other with. Some things are obvious, like writing or practicing or booking gigs. Other things are less obvious but equally important: building bookcases to house my music books, putting new strings on the guitar, reading a book on songwriting. Many years ago, I got in the habit of doing one thing each day for my artistic career. Now I don't even think about it. But adding one thing specifically for songwriting is new, and I'm already finding it inspiring.
Tonight I decided to go to an Ash Wednesday service at Church of the Redeemer. I really enjoyed their service a few weeks ago, and I'm interested in their Wednesday night Lenten program. The service tonight was wonderful. Very calm and soothing, yet still infused with joy. I also had a very special moment - I saw someone I know! For weeks, I've been visiting churches where I don't know a soul. After having a home church for 17 years, it's very strange to go to church and not know anyone. Seeing a friendly face was such a blessing! This just gives me one more reason to go back...
Finally, I have to say this lovely thing. After church, I came home to the nicest surprise: Gerald set up my writing room for me! I painted it last week and put up the bookcases, but it was still full of boxes and quite unusable. So tonight, while I was at church, Gerald unpacked my essentials and cleared out the unnecessary boxes. It's all ready for me to use in the morning. I'm so excited to get in there and get started! Husband of the Year!