From Washington DC to Nashville: Songwriter, Painter, Author, Poet, and Rock Climbing Enthusiast.
I was a child of the ‘60s, teen of the ‘70s, college student of the '80s. Born in a hospital that no longer exists, only blocks from the White House. In fact, none of the schools I attended (elementary through high school) exist anymore either—except for the universities I hopped around for my undergraduate degree in Psychology.
I’m not sure where you’d go to find legitimate medical or education records from my childhood—if not for my own memories, I’d wonder myself if I were ever a child at all! (wink) Playing in the creeks around our wooded neighborhood covers most of my early memories. Soccer and basketball and church youth group with my brothers dominate my teen-year memories.
I am second-born of four brothers, raised by faithful parents who owned a bookstore in Maryland. Always aloof and indecisive, I had too many interests to narrow into a career goal. Medicine? Marine biology? Teacher? I also wrote some songs to sing at church with my brothers and with youth group friends, so I thought maybe a songwriting career might pan out one day.
At age 23, spinning my wheels and taking a break from college classes, I moved to Music City, USA, a.k.a. Nashville TN, to see if music was an option. I traveled the country playing music for various youth camps and college retreats, which meant lots of beach time and ski trips! It was soon full-time work, if you can even call it ‘work.’ There was way too much fun involved—snorkeling, beach volleyball, skiing, snowboarding, hiking, etc. with a little bit of guitar strumming tossed in.
My then Nashville roommate suggested I record some of my songs for the ‘camp kids.’ He was pursuing a career as a record producer, so his skills and my song hunches turned into my first indie CD that I carried around the country in the trunk of my car to sell to students at camps and retreats.
Somehow, a copy of my CD got into the hands of a brand new record label without an artist (Rocketown Records) who offered me a recording deal to be their first artist. I said yes. 4 studio CDs, a few specialty CDs, numerous tours and radio hits later, I signed with another label (Eb+Flo/Sony) and expanded my reach into other radio formats with a few more CDs and charting radio singles, which kept me touring all over the U.S., in every state except Alaska and Hawaii. (You’re on my radar!)
Needless to say, the songwriting career was the one that caught steam and took wing. But music was only one of my creative interests. Lyric writing morphed to an interest in writing fiction and poetry. Photographer and painter friends captured my interest and invited me to paint and do an art show with them. That success got me into visual art as well as musical and literary arts.
So now I’m currently spinning all those creative plates! Writing music with friends, painting and selling artwork, and recently publishing a poetry book, with much more to come.
Don’t worry, I don’t sit cloistered in my painting studio or writing room being creative all day long. I’m too restless for that! All the woods-exploring and creek-hopping from my childhood are still my biggest interests. I just grew up into some new addictions (hiking, camping, and rock climbing) which get me outside a lot and traveling the country in search of cliffs to fight my way up and hang out on. There’s no better place for a creative person to be inspired!