Star Belle usually meets for practice at one of our houses once a week or once every two weeks. We work on our songs, manage the kids, have a beer and then dash off to our next thing. Our busy season is usually in the summer during town festivals and fairs, and then we might do a few shows around the holidays. We sing folk and country songs with guitars and ukuleles. A couple of times we went to Denver for a ukulele music festival. It was super cool.

Star Belle has to juggle kids and families and jobs. We sing songs about love and fun and life in Nebraska. We've made local news, local newspapers and the Nebraska Life Magazine. We play almost exclusively in Nebraska and we have lots of fun doing it.

This past weekend the band went on a field trip to Iowa City for Folk Alliance Region Midwest's annual conference. We wanted to dip our toes into that pond, play some private showcases and see if people connected with our work across state lines. We think people connected to the music.

It was awesome. We had so much fun. We played our songs and people liked them. We heard tons of inspiring music and we got excited for the future and where it'll take us. It was exhausting like it always is and uplifting as it always is and we're home now and excited to get to work making plans and making those plans a reality. We always say how much we love band practice. Band field trips are even better!

I went to FARM as a solo performer also (two hats, one conference). A couple of days before the conference I was on a run down a long dirt road and this thought hit me, "I need a champion." I just need one person who believes in my work and has a voice and platform bigger than mine. If I had a champion, then that could help me get somewhere. 

Two days later I'm standing in my driveway with my bags and guitar and conference crap scattered around me and what do you think I get? An unexpected email from someone telling me exactly how they'd like to help me make my music because they believe in the work I'm doing. 

SAY. WHAT??!!That pretty much blew my mind. It still is kinda hard to believe such generosity showed up at my door of its own accord.

At the conference I had two different artists and friends of mine tell me they've been watching my work and following my story. It was a gift to hear their words and receive their encouragement. Over here where I live there are lots of dirt roads, everything's on a grid and, presently, I find myself at a crossroads trying to make the moves I need to make to get a little further down the way. Just when I'm feeling lost and questioning whether or not to turn around, a kind note, a voice from a friend, a surprise pat on the back appears out of nowhere and I find the strength to keep going. Thanks, everybody.

I'm home now. I've got kids and church and band practice and work and bugs by the garage door. I'm meditating on the love of others freely given and praying for wisdom to know how to honor it well. And also find where the bugs are coming from. 

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