Two weeks seems like such a short time and here I am chatting to you again. One of the things I have done in the last couple of weeks is read a great book called Big Magic by Liz Gilbert, which is a book about creativity. It feels like it came along at exactly the right time. I needed a reminder of what creativity is all about. Do the work and then magic can happen is one of them. As well, Liz had so many interesting ideas about inspiration. Like the idea that inspiration goes around looking for someone who is ready to receive it. That is such a cool notion.
I can say that I have no real idea where melodies come from except that they are comfortable for me to sing and they often seem to match the lyrics. Creative people are often asked about this process. I am realizing more and more how being available to it is huge, ie: making the space and time and letting myself be a channel for what needs to be said. I finished the vocal tracks for one of my songs a couple of weeks ago and said to Brad Prosko (my music producer) and Robyn ( my wife), “I have no idea what that song is about”. It rather wrote itself. Later that night I realized that I was partly telling someone else’s story (I had written it a year ago) but I didn’t know where the lyrics or tune came from. Some would say they were buried in my unconscious or was I available to receive them from the Universe?
All this to say that I believe that Spirit or Universe or what ever you call your higher power is at work through creativity. No wonder it is so important and we are so drawn to it.
So go out and find your way of expressing your gifts and creativity.
Yours in music and creativity,
I spent two fabulous days in the studio with some superb musicians. These guys put the most amazing tracks down for my songs. It was a time of magic, respect, trust and a whole pile of laughs and fun. This is experience is right up there with the top four experiences in my life so far. I won’t say too much more about the details because I would like you to listen to the finished product when it comes out, hopefully, in the fall. P.S. There is some banjo! I’m so excited!
I have been working on a digital business card that has also fueled my creative juices. I was doing a workshop with my on-line business group, Female Music Academy and I found this idea so inspiring. I have gathered together some pictures, brought forward some old memories and contacted a young film school friend to help me with the video ( which will be my digital business card). I have found the whole process to be very inspiring. I am so excited to see what we come up with. This helps feed the ideas of what I might like to do for a video for my CD. Oh man, do I love ideas! So stayed tuned and I will share the link to the digital business card in my next email.
The one thought about creativity that keeps popping around in my head these days is about how when one’s life becomes more creative that drives everything to be more creative. I have found myself taking pictures as I walk around our park and lake. I have been posting them on facebook and many people love them. Creativity sparks creativity. So I encourage you to add more creativity to your life in whatever form. Don’t be afraid. No one is judging. Just have some fun!
In music and creativity,
I am putting my first grant proposal in the mail this morning. I feel like I have joined the land of the musician, asking for money to do music. As I asked colleagues to help me out, I was touched by their willingness to help. They wrote me thoughtful letters of support. And hopefully this grant will help support my upcoming project.
As a part of my upcoming album, I am heading out next week for a 10 day writing retreat. I am looking forward to dedicated time away to write, to improve what I have already written, to finish some incomplete songs and to write totally new ones. I have been planning the outline of this next year for awhile and it is rather amazing as one step leads into another and it looks like this project of mine is a real possiblilty. As well, I will be working on my songs when I return home, until I go into the studio to start recording in May.
When I decided to record my first album I knew absolutely nothing. I had some songs that I had written and had performed a few times. I went to a producer I had met and he helped me with the process. He helped make a beautiful album. This time, three years later, I know a bit more about what I want. Well, all that to say that I can hardly wait to see what this album will be like.
Grab onto what you love, remember that it is one small step after another that leads us to where we want to go.
In creativity and song,
I have some thoughts that I wanted to share as the New Year begins. As the world is talking about how challenging 2016 has been, I keep thinking about the fact that I have had one of my best years ever. My summer was especially good with a songwriting retreat where I co-wrote two songs that I still love. As well the silent retreat I attended this past July that was spent in nature and was both empowering and nourishing. There was a contrast between the songwriting workshop and the silent retreat, but both were so enriching.
I have spent a lot of time in my life thinking about ways of taking care of myself. When I was a young mother, wife and nurse I was often over caring for others to the point where I became an empty shell as other’s needs became more important then my own. I spent my thirties and some of my forties trying to figure out how to take care of myself. The point of this conversation is perhaps that I am now doing something that I love so much . As I have recently said to friends, I would talk nonstop about songwriting and music if I could. It is my passion and one that I have only been partly aware of until these past few years. I feel that I am right in the middle of my life, not off to the side.
So I would encourage you to find some passion that brings you delight. Creativity comes in many forms and I have found that the more I inhabit the Center of my live the more creative my whole life becomes. I hope that 2017 brings you much joy and love and a big dose of hope!!
I am off to get back to my goals for the next ninety days and to keep my core values ever before me, authenticity, vulnerability, wisdom, creativity and compassion.
Yours in music and all things creative,
As I reflect on the summer I don’t think I have ever enjoyed one so much as this past one. It was a season that was full of inspiration, from the hills I got to hike, to the songwriting retreat I took part in and the silent retreat I attended in Moose Jaw. I did some nursing work in there as well, but I’m told that my facebook feed looked like I was spending a lot of time reflecting, resting and rejuvenating, which I was.
I have been writing new songs for a CD which I hope to record some time in the New Year. As well, I have finished a memoir which I also hope to publish in the New Year and present it with my CD. Writing new material is a fun and frustrating process. Sometimes songs seem to come easily but I find that now I want to write more, the process seems slower. Melodies with unfinished lyrics present themselves and won’t go away until I figure out what the song is about and then today two songs found each other and became one. Creativity certainly can’t be put into a box. This summer at the Canadian Songwriting Challenge here in Regina, I was thrilled to spend three days with other great songwriters and co-wrote two pretty cool songs. One of which I hope to put on my new CD. As well, we were able to record a demo of our songs at the Regina CBC Studio One with Jason Plumb. It was a great time.
This past weekend I spent 24 hours with 5 other women songwriters. It was great to share songs, both old and new. We all met last January at a songwriting retreat and I am thrilled to be able to continue these connections. We plan to meet again in January and then present a show together in the spring.
This fall I am participating in the Playing for Change day at the Artful Dodger here in Regina on September 24th. Then I have a show, “An Evening with Wanda” at the Living Sky Retreat Center in Lumsden, Sask., on November 10th. I hope to have a couple of house concerts this fall as well. As well, my CD Awakening can be found as a free download at www.noisetrade.com/wandagronhovd.
I hope everyone’s fall is starting well. I am happy to feel the crisp air and harvest the garden. May everyone be happy and well.
I keep meaning to write updates more often, they are even in my calendar but I see I am managing an update every few months so perhaps four times a year is a more realistic time frame for a blog post… hmmm well that is really not your problem is it.
I have had bursts of activity this spring with more contemplative times in between. I had four shows in March, two out of town with two in Regina. The show in Elkwater, Alberta at the 12-24 Cafe and Pub was a great deal of fun with friends joining me for the show from Medicine Hat. I was fortunate to have friends and fans show up at my show at Roca House as well as at a house concert in Regina. I am grateful and humbled when people come to hear me play. I also had a video taped at the house concert which I was grateful for as anything that can help with promotion is always well appreciated.
I had the opportunity to take a few days away at our cabin which gave me the opportunity to write a couple of new songs. They are not quite ready for performance but hopefully that won’t be too far away.
I had a blast performing at Queen City Pride Gala. I especially appreciated the opportunity to share my coming out song ‘Awakening’ with this group.
So now on to the summer, full of lots of time at the lake and the opportunity to play in Melville at The Living Sky Music and Food Festival August 25-27th. As well, I am fortunate to be booking some fall shows. I look forward to posting those dates when they are firm. Thanks for your interest! Wanda
I seem to be constantly deciding how often I will blog and then it doesn’t happen. I have excuses from not having enough time to needing to find all my fans before I start. A new year has just begun and so I begin.
Last year I had the privilege of doing ten shows, starting with a small house concert in Montreal and ending with a show this past November in Dawson Creek. I started last year by attending a weekend workshop with Tom Jackson which changed everything for me as far as how I had been thinking about live shows. The toughest show of the year was the one that I did in my home town of Shaunavon due to my songs being of a very personal nature. The most relaxed show was the one in Dawson Creek, perhaps because I had a few shows under my belt. Everyone there bought a CD, although it was a small group, I took as a good sign.
Other highlights were attending a songwriting retreat in Saskatoon in July with mentor Jay Semko. As well, I had a couple of songwriting sessions with teacher Debra Alexandra which I found very helpful and which I hope to do again. I started co-chairing a songwriting group here in Regina a year ago which I enjoy and which has helped me a great deal in getting to know other musicians in the city.
As January starts, and I look ahead I hope to book some shows for this spring and summer. I am attending a songwriting retreat with Jason Blume at the end of the month which I think will be great. There are hopes that I might record another CD in the fall, however at this point that is under the hope category.
I hope this finds everyone well and send me a note if you have any feedback or you would like to chat. Have a great day! Wanda (WGG)
I have been planning a trip to Vancouver for awhile as I have a friend there who is keen to have me out to do a house concert. I have tried to book some other shows on the way there or back and that hasn’t worked. Not yet at least. I had an old friend try to hook me up in Canmore but that didn’t work. I am learning that a lot of lead time needs to go into planning shows. People take time to return emails and there isn’t always an easy understanding of what I might want them to do for me. So my plan for future bookings is to plan way ahead. It is so interesting to see what is a challenge on this new journey.
I spent part of this month at the lake and was able to get back to practicing with a little composing on the side. As well I started to incorporate the changes some readers of my memoir ( in draft) gave me. I am restructuring the flow without having to change much in the body of the book. I am excited to be nearly finished this part of writing the memoir but it frightens me as well. I want to share my story and I am terrified to do it. I am sharing many intimate and personal details of my life.
My trip to Vancouver was great. Lots of inspiration on the way and new ideas for creative projects. I also enjoyed the house concert in Vancouver. It is always fun to connect with new people and have those people appreciate my music. As well I took delight in being told, “I can see you are passionate about what you are doing” and ” You are a singer/songwriter, I don’t expect you to play a great guitar. I will be listening to the lyrics” .
Talk to you in a couple of weeks.