Well hello there, Everybody…
I hope you’ve been enjoying the fall. I’ve been wearing hoodies and sweaters and wool socks and kind of loving it. How do you transition to the cooler weather and to the darkness? I start out fighting it but once I’m in, I’m in all the way. Bring on the apple cider and the big fun Thanksgiving dinner…
And a lot has happened in the last month and a half! I presented at the NEDA conference in Chicago and then attended the FAR-West Folk Alliance conference. At the NEDA conference I met amazing professionals in the Eating Disorder treatment, awareness, activism and advocacy field. At the FAR-West folk alliance conference I surprised myself by getting really into the late night showcases. I met awesome new artists from the US and Canada and reconnected with many friends. Really the best part was the ladies lair….which included Karrie Pavish Anderson and Emily Anderson(no relation, Alaskan beauties!) and Amber Ikeman from Montana. And speaking of Amber… I am putting on the first Poison Apple Medicine presents house concert on November 20th in SLC. Amber will be our featured performer. She has a wonderful spirit and story to tell. The concert will be at my tiny house in Salt Lake City. RSVP to me by clicking here.
So, I had beautiful adventure with my sweetheart up to the top of Mt. Olympus on Saturday. We climbed up there to celebrate several bits of good news! That’s one of the tallest peaks in the Wasatch Mountain range…the mountains I see out the window to the East, everyday that I am home, in Salt Lake City! We could see the whole city sprawled out from our perch almost right at the top. After a fierce scramble up the rocks at the top that left our thighs and calves aching and burning, (Mine in fact, still are…) we lost the trail on the North summit and ended up finding our own version of the top, basking in a very private sunny spot on a comfortable rock couch…
On the way down the sun sank behind the other set of mountains to the West, the Oquirrhs….and it was marvelous! (That’s the picture at the top of this message.) This hike gave me some new perspectives about where I’m at with my music and my creative pursuits – and with life. Sometimes, I’ve been struggling to keep up with it all. I’ve got my Mindy Dillard Music, folk musician/singer-songwriter/musical alchemist; my Princess Fearless act, folk music superheroine for families; and Poison Apple Medicine, new production company that produces music & art events that promote awareness of eating disorders and addictions. I’m headed to the SW (UT, CO and NM) this weekend for two weeks of shows. Plus I’ve got pretty full roster of students here in SLC. It’s a lot to keep track of. I’m close to wanting to hire some help, actually. I am grateful that everything is growing! But the truth is that things are not quite where I want them to be yet.
What I realized though, 9000 ft up there, almost on top of Mt. Olympus, is that there will always be further to go! I want to be happy with where I am every step of the way, even when my thighs and calves are burning. It’s a strange season and I know that you all have your own version of feeling overwhelmed. My wish for all of us is that we can figure out something that is great about where we are now…and why it’s almost better to be looking at the top, than to be standing on it. Maybe where we are now is good enough and it’s ok if things don’t look perfect, ever. And we’ve still got further we want to go! Yes we do! But– that’s a joyful thing because life is for living and songs are for writing and art is for making…and we never ever wanna take the verbs out of our creativity.
PS – And ALSO, please save-the-date for Saturday, December 17th. Otter Creek Duo and I had so much fun joining forces for our Mother’s Day show in May we decided to do it again! We will be collaborating on this Winter Show celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah and the Winter Solstice. Peter and Mary are such fabulous people and musicians both! Please don’t miss this. More details on this event very soon…
‘Looking from Here’ Show with Jen Hajj, July 9th; Surgery; Poison Apple Medicine
On another note: I’m having oral surgery next Tuesday. Then I’m hoping to be able to declare independence from this issue with my teeth. It’s kind of a long story but the short version is that about 12 years ago I had invasive jaw surgery to correct a minor underbite. My reasons for having the surgery were skewed by the eating disorder I had at the time, I wanted to have a perfect body and a perfect face. The surgery messed with some nerve endings and couple of teeth died after the surgery. One of my root canals was done wrong, but not discovered until now through a wicked infection that showed up right after Kerrville. So, it has to be fixed. It’s an involved process that includes multiple visits to the office. That’s why next week I’ll be wincing at the novocaine shots once again and hoping that all goes well. I want this next visit to be the last one. The endodontist seems to know what he’s doing and I’ve calmed down about it significantly, but I’d still appreciate your thoughts and prayers. Please send them over to Salt Lake City next Tuesday at 11:30 am Mountain Time.
Queer feminist author Audre Lorde said “You become strong by doing the things you need to be strong for.”
It sucks when some issue from the past comes back to collect like this. But I’ve been trying to turn it around. I feel clearer now about my greater purpose. I want to make a difference not only by writing songs and sharing them, but also by working for eating disorder and addiction recovery, prevention and awareness as an advocate and activist. I am already doing this is some ways. But I want to do it in a bigger way, maybe by starting a non-profit. Though I don’t know exactly how to make that happen, I know what to call it: Poison Apple Medicine. What do you think? I welcome your advice and feedback. I have never done this before. It feels daunting to start something like this, but I think I still want to do it. I’ll be presenting at the NEDA (National Eating Disorders Association ) conference in Chicago in late September. I’ll be teaching a creative writing workshop and facilitating an art installation. So I guess my first event is already booked.
I’ll tell you more about it all in August. Happy 4th of July! I hope you and your family have a joyful and relaxing holiday weekend. I’m heading up to the Cottonwood Canyons, singing for a beautiful spiritual community in Sugarhouse Park, maybe attending a parade, going to a bbq with friends and then watching fireworks. It’s going to be a good weekend.
May you find your strength by doing the things you need to be strong for.
PS – Craig and I went to the Grand Canyon on our way back to Salt Lake City from Flagstaff a couple of weeks ago. There’s not really a better place to remind us of the scale of life. Good call, Divine powers, for making these natural wonders that help us put things in perspective.
PPS – Thanks to Laurie Jan Bray for the cool black and white photo on top.
Sunday, July 3rd
Guest Artist at Unity Salt Lake
Unity Spiritual Community of Salt Lake
1610 East 2100 South Salt Lake City, UT 84105
Saturday, July 9th
Jen Hajj and Mindy Dillard in Concert: ‘Looking From Here’
The Acoustic Space
124 400 W, Salt Lake City, UT 84101
7pm doors; 7:30pm Show
$10 tix online in advance/$15 at door
Groups of 6 or more get $10 tickets at the door
Bring some cash for the bar!
Friday – Sunday, July 15th – 17th
Princess Fearless at The Wallsburg Music Festival
I’ll be doing my kids’ music show from 1 – 2pm on Friday; 2 – 3 pm on Saturday and 1 – 2 pm on Sunday. This sounds like a beautiful spot, 13 miles from Heber City and 23 miles up Provo Canyon. Only $15 per day! Plus opportunities to jam, perform and compete in a songwriting contest. Click here to learn more about the festival.
Wednesday, August 10th – Wednesday, August 31st
Pacific Northwest SummerTour
8/10 – Boise, ID – TBA
8/11 – TBA
8/12 – Portland, OR – West Hills Friends Meetinghouse w/Jim Nail – 7pm
8/13 – Hillsboro, OR – Influence Music Hall *Performance Workshop* 10 – 2pm; $20; E-mail Skip at firstname.lastname@example.org
8/13 – Hillsboro, OR – Influence Music Hall Concert – 7:30 pm
8/14 – White Salmon, WA – Guest Artist at Bethel UCC
8/14 – Hood River, OR – House Concert
8/15 – Portland, OR
8/16 – Portland, OR
8/17 – Hoodsport, WA – Tall Timbers House Concert – 7:30pm
8/18 – Olympia, WA – TBA
8/19 – Conway, WA – The Conway Muse w/Jaspar Lepak
8/21 – 8/28 – Stanley, ID – Songwriting Retreat
Full details on my website under shows.
Oh man, taxes and a crazy glitch with my website have got me in a state! Can anyone relate? When will this abate? ugh…
Oh there’s also moving…did I mention moving…? ugh…
But anyway enough of that.
It’s been a wild time, packing up all CJ and I’s things into a shipping container and then driving across Nevada, and then unloading them in Utah and then, driving back across Nevada. You know, I’ve never stopped at the rest stop on the north side of I-80 on the Bonneville salt flats? I can’t believe that. It was amazing. And wow, Nevada is off-the-hook beautiful after it rains. It was as green as Ireland out there on our return trip to California.
Why did we come back to Cali you ask? Well, loose ends… finishing up some work, and some SHOWS!
This Saturday, April 16th, I’m playing the Lighted Window Concert Series in Campbell. Artists like Steve Seskin and Cris Williamson have played this series. I am very flattered to be included indeed.
On April 22nd (a week from Friday), I’m playing the inaugural concert at Glen Canyon Folk, a new house concert series in San Francisco. This is sure to be a fantastic evening!! I hope you can come. This will be my last show in the Bay for awhile. There is limited seating and we’d love to see you there! Please RSVP now to hold your space and receive the address: email@example.com
AND I’m really looking forward to a special May 7th, Mother’s Day concert with Mary and Peter Danzig of Otter Creek Duo at Holladay United Church of Christ. Mary and Peter’s daughters, The Three Muses, will also perform! And my mom (Marilyn Dillard) local chair of the Salt Lake City Old Time Fiddlers will add tasty fiddle to couple of my tunes.
*PLUS* I’m doing creative coaching, songwriting and performance sessions over Skype. It works quite well. I’d love to help get to know your muse. Please e-mail me to discuss: firstname.lastname@example.org
Yours in song,
Hello Adventurers and Storytellers,
Thanks to everyone I got hang with on my successful Pacific Northwest winter tour. I met so many wonderful people along the way from Hillsboro (Influence Music Hall!!Thank you Skip) to Coyle, WA. (Concerts in the Woods!! Thank you Norm) And we had an amazing turnout at Artichoke Music in Portland with a SOLD OUT show!! I’m filled to the brim with gratitude. (I’m also so sorry if you got turned away at the door.) I’m planning my next visit to the Pacific NW in August. More on that soon… Wow, it was gorgeous up there…here’s a view from Pt. Townsend…
On Wednesday, I’m playing at The Lost Church with Amy Obenski and Aireene Espiritu in San Francisco. It’s a show we’ve been planning for awhile and I can’t wait to hear what two of my favorite songwriters have been working on. You can save $5 on the ticket price by getting tickets here.
I’m writing you from rainy Berkeley, where I’ve been staying in a tiny cobb hovel. It’s like a fairy-gnome-hobbit house in a lush green backyard garden. I get to sleep in a sweet little loft. It’s fun to plan my year from such a green spot. It’s pretty magical especially when I don’t hit my head on the ceiling. 🙂
And at the end of the week I’m heading to one of my homes, Bishop, CA. There’s something magical about that place. The crazy, craggy Sierra Nevada mountains rise to the east making me feel protected and inspired at the same time. I’ll play at one of my favorite spots, the Mountain Rambler Brewery at 7pm on Saturday, March 12th. Then I’m headed to see the wildflower super bloom in Death Valley… and I’m bringin’ my banjo…
So I’m booking a tour through Colorado and New Mexico down to Kerrville in May. I’m also booking dates in Utah and Colorado and the surrounding states in June and July. I’m heading back to the Portland and Seattle areas during the 2nd and 3rd weeks of August. I’ll also drive to the Chicago area in late September for the NEDAconference.This booking thing a full time job. I’m getting deep in it and I sure do appreciate any tips you might have for me.
Also: Dinner House Concerts Yesss! We’re booking them. Check it out. I made an informational pdf…
Hope to see you out there…happy adventuring.
Yours in song,
PS: …and just booked! I’m going to do a special May 7th, Mother’s Day concert with Mary and Peter Danzig of Otter Creek Duo at Holladay United Church of Christ. (And their daughters, The Three Muses, will also sing and play.) Plus, I hope to have a certain guest fiddler during , my mom, the amazing Marilyn Dillard.
PPS: I found that meme that I used as my header on the Recovery Warriors FB page. They’re doing great work in the eating disorders treatment and recovery community. I was honored to be interviewed by the amazing Jessica Raymond, here.