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  • The first song I ever wrote was called "I Went Spaz." I wrote it when I was in 6th grade and still remember all the words to this day. It was about going to a pizza parlor with a juke box and being so overtaken by the music that I went "Spaz." It tells the story of people, who I initially assumed were staring at me like I was nuts, surprising me by joining in. Here's a line:

    "...I thought that they'd think I was crazy, and that my mind was kind of hazy. But you should've seen the expression on my face when I saw people going spaz all over the place..."

    My songwriting really exploded when I was given my first guitar the summer before 9th grade. It was an Alvarez acoustic and anyone who knows anything about guitars will tell you that I was a very lucky girl. Having just moved from Michigan to Florida, and knowing absolutely no one, I spent that summer building the calluses on my fingers and teaching myself how to play.

    In those days my mom used to parade me out in front of her various boyfriends and ask me to perform as if I were some kind of circus act. I always hated that. It was bad enough that I was being forced to play on demand, but what was worse was having to reveal the very personal feelings that were starting to emerge in my songs in front of my mom and some guy who was probably only trying to get in her pants. I probably would have been less mortified if she had told me to stand in the front yard naked.

    Throughout the years I developed quite a stack of notebooks filled with lyrics of love and loss. Those were my themes of choice and I was known as the "Sad Singer" by my friends. In fact, the happiest song I had was a little sarcastic "diddy" called "I Ain't Got No Happy Songs." Here's a line:

    "...So if we're going out and I write a song about you, you know your days are numbered and our moments are precious and few..."

    Songwriting was a form of therapy, I guess. Cathartic is the word that comes to mind. Having not married until I was 40, there were a lot of years of romantic angst reflected in my ever-growing stacks of songs, many of which I no longer remember how to play. But as I sit here and read through their yellowed pages, I do remember how I felt at the time I wrote them. These songs were me at the various stages of my life, starting from the teenager forced to perform for her mom's boyfriends, through the young woman who had the courage to perform on the streets of Amsterdam in order to impress her friends with her sheer audacity.

    So where did the Sad Singer go? Well, she's married now to someone she's sure of. Someone who has freed her from the heartbreak and confusion that goes hand-in-hand with the search for "THE one." Someone who always tells her..."Be more you." But part of who I am is reflected in these songs...songs I want to FINALLY record...songs that I want to put out into the world...songs that I'm pretty sure he really doesn't want to hear me sing.

    (What to do...what to do...?)
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