An Invitation to Watch Second Chances & New Beginnings

I hope you can watch the shows! Here are some photos from the one live rehearsal the director and cast were able to have before COVID became a threat and they decided to record via ZOOM for everyone’s health and safety.

Staged Reading for Fertile Ground Festival

Online at https://laurahandke.com/

Jan. 27 – Feb. 6, 2022

Suggested donation: $10

Celebrating MANY VOICES: One World! Purchase How Abella Found her Voice for $4.95 here: https://laurahandke.com/product/how-abella-found-her-voice-e-book/

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Love Your Voice & Voice Your Love,

Laura

Losing Judgement & Finding Curiosity…or Trying to, Anyway!

I’m just going to be brutally honest with you here.

I used to love to sing when I didn’t know what I was doing. Now that I realize all the gaps in my technique, it’s not as much fun anymore. The only true experiences I’ve had of music flowing through me are when no-one else is around (including my husband) and I feel completely un-self-conscious. I did have a moment like that with one song last week, and shared it with a fellow teacher. But it’s not consistent and I have to force myself to practice. And when I have to force myself it doesn’t work. It just feels like a huge chore. And I don’t remember if I told you I shipped my old clarinet back from So. Dak., so I’ve been remembering some of my old clarinet practice, along with playing piano. OMG, playing the clarinet is so hard now later in life, I don’t know how it was so easy in high school. But it’s been fun re-learning, despite how much it physically hurts right under my cheek-bones.

Here you go.

George and I just had a fun session together singing together while he played the guitar. That didn’t feel forced and it was fun. So, that’s something.

I wrote that to my voice teacher.

I’m a voice teacher, and I struggle with my personal vocal practice at times. It happens.

I’ve also been learning how to paint.

Artists Aimee Erickson https://www.aimeeerickson.com/ and Ann Schwartz https://www.annschwartzart.com/ are my inspiration. I love their use of texture and light.  

Then, get this…I got a list of props from the director of Second Chances & New Beginnings. One of the props was a frame to represent the painting Joelle gives to Larae at the end of Second Chances. I checked with the director and decided to create a painting on canvas (the camera won’t see it) instead of an empty frame or canvas.

I started with tracing a photo from one of the actress’ Facebook page. Put purple on one side of the canvas for Larae, and green on the other for Joelle. There was a moment (I’m not kidding) when I looked at the blank, other than color, canvas, and thought I’d put the wrong color on the wrong side. Oh no! Ahem. Then I turned it around.

Part of Larae’s face got destroyed because I used too much Gesso putting the sketch on the canvas. And then I needed to be patient. It needed to dry.

Patience is not one of my strong suits. When my ex-husband and I were once in a long drive-through line on vacation and he asked me to stop being so impatient, my response was, “I’m not impatient. I just hate to wait! “

Yeah. I know.

But back to the painting. I started adding texture and it kept looking worse.

More texture and it looked worse yet.

But I kept at it, adding more color, water and texture, checking some online videos. I had fun with it.

I’m curious about what I can do with painting, even if it’s awful right now. Each effort I added made the painting just a bit better, an improvement.

We can all do this with our voices as well. Just be curious, put in your energy and passion, and see what happens!

Sink into your heart and be curious about what’s yours to creatively express in the new year.

GoFundMe account for 2022 Portland Fertile Ground Festival’s production of Second Chances & New Beginningshttps://gofund.me/072d7484. Thank you, donors!

Celebrating MANY VOICES: One World! Purchase How Abella Found her Voice for $4.95 here: https://laurahandke.com/product/how-abella-found-her-voice-e-book/

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Love Your Voice & Voice Your Love,

Laura

Happy Holidays!

I’m wishing you a beautiful winter solstice and happy holidays!

What does the holiday season mean to you? And how do you express it through your voice (inner and outer)?

Do you look forward to cookie-baking gatherings, holiday parties, or groan inwardly at the hordes of masses in the mall as you shop for that one special thing for that one special person…or pretty much just anything that might work for the people on your gift list?

What was the most important ritual during the holiday season, in the spiritual or cultural tradition you were raised in?

I’d love to hear your responses on the blog, so please indulge me as I share some childhood Christmas memories.

My family went to the First Presbyterian church in Raymond, South Dakota, a town of now 61 people. That’s an increase from the 2017 census, when it was 50! As I recall, it was something like 117 when I was growing up. I was raised on a farm 11 miles from that tiny town.

I was always an angel in the Christmas Eve pageant, and loved the role, ouchy wings and itchy halo and all. I sang, and loved the traditional holiday carols. We had our rehearsal the same day “Santa” came to town on the one main road, tossing out – from the back of a pickup truck – bags of candy and fruit for we children. Then, we went caroling, and the “town ladies” passed out their homemade candy, like Mrs. Herther’s divinity.

The Christmas Eve service was, to me, heartfully reverent, especially at the end when the lights were dimmed, and the candles were passed out, being lit from one person in a pew to the next. A hush fell over the church, and I felt the peaceful presence of God, just like I did walking through the hills close to our house with Lucy the dog, or riding on the back of my horse, Princess.

My mother came from a family of nine children, and Christmas Day was always at our house. Mom decorated, and we always had a Christmas tree, with presents either under the tree or on the fireplace hearth. Before long, the grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins started showing up. All the women in my family are great cooks, so the food was always delicious and plentiful. We cousins would sled and toboggan on the hill beyond the shelterbelt, and come in to Dad’s home-churned vanilla ice cream and Mom’s homemade hot fudge sauce. Then we’d play ping pong on the table in the basement. Later, I would often knock out a few tunes on the piano, and some of the relatives would come in to sing with me.

The whole experience, year after year, was Normal Rockwell-esque. And then…I was consistently sad when everyone left…and the day was over.

My childhood holiday memories are precious, and worth reliving, even with the melancholy at the end of the day.

Yet I know it’s not that way for everyone. Some people had lousy holidays if they celebrated holidays at all.

I hope you have fond holiday memories from your youth, and wish you a very Merry Christmas on that holiday, if you celebrate it, and a blessed, fun-filled Saturday either way.

GoFundMe account for 2022 Portland Fertile Ground Festival’s production of Second Chances & New Beginningshttps://gofund.me/072d7484. Thank you, donors!

Celebrating MANY VOICES: One World! Purchase How Abella Found her Voice for $4.95 here: https://laurahandke.com/product/how-abella-found-her-voice-e-book/

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Love Your Voice & Voice Your Love,

Laura

Everything Starts With S#*T

I hope you and yours were blessed with a fun and gratitude-filled, tasty Thanksgiving holiday.

George and I enjoyed a wonderful afternoon with our friends Lorinda and Richard. The food was delicious, environment cozy, and conversations interesting.

Richard, born and raised in Scotland, asked me about the Second Chances & New Beginnings plays and my co-writing process with Jen. I learned that Richard had some modest success writing radio plays on spec in his youth.

He asked me a question that I had an answer to before the words were even out of his mouth. Did you ever wonder if it was…”shit?” I said, as he said, “bollocks and crap?”

Of course!!!

I don’t know of any other way to do it. Everything starts with S#*T.

See How It Transpires.

The Beatles were once marketed as a flawless band because the public only experienced the finished product. Years later, thanks to documentaries and biopics, we can now see the S#*T process of John, Paul, George and Ringo.

They didn’t always sing on pitch. The Beatles had struggles during the creative process.

We know Harrison started to write “Something” during the sessions that yielded 1968’s “The Beatles”, aka “The White Album.” George didn’t finish “Something” in time to make the album, so The Beatles released it on their 1969 album “Abbey Road”. While the song’s second line of “attracts me like no other lover” sounds natural 45 years later, George struggled to come up with the lyric. Both “Attracts me like a cauliflower” and “Attracts me like a pomegranate” were used as placeholders until Harrison settled on “attracts me like no other lover.” https://www.jambase.com/article/audio-george-harrison-writes-something-with-john-paul

When I had my first piano lesson at age 7, I didn’t know the difference between a black key and a white. I’ve been singing my whole life, but didn’t start understanding how the body creates sound until my 40’s. I was always a good grammar student, but learning how to really write? I wouldn’t share some of my first short stories with my cat!

It all starts with S#*T.

Take one step, and See How It Transpires.

Keep me posted on your process.

GoFundMe account for 2022 Portland Fertile Ground Festival’s production of Second Chances & New Beginningshttps://gofund.me/072d7484. Thank you, donors!

Celebrating MANY VOICES: One World! Purchase How Abella Found her Voice for $4.95 here: https://laurahandke.com/product/how-abella-found-her-voice-e-book/

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Love Your Voice & Voice Your Love,

Laura

Design Your Destiny: Create Your Ideal Day

Fall leaves in my neighborhood.

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’d love to hear how you United Staters are celebrating the holiday this year. I try and make a point of finding gratitude in every day…yet this year the holiday earmarked for giving thanks does seem to have a deeper meaning after the trauma surrounding the 2020 holiday season. I so look forward to hosting friends for a non-traditional Italian-themed meal here at home.

The plays Jen and I wrote are in the capable hands of our director, Meghan Daaboul. Above is a photo from the live Zoom read-through with the whole cast – so exciting!

In January, I’ll be heading to Arizona, my old stomping grounds, for an intensive three-day Upside Summit with Lisa Marie Platske. https://www.upsidesummit.com/action-taker?fbclid=IwAR3fq6Nuvno4YiRLXsVowQzCmPtAP-h3CR9yLKLZDW3YjqG3PXbHQPcWkZE

I have a feeling this experience will help me gain even more clarity on where it is my Divine Purpose wants to guide me from here. So…it’s a perfect time to pull out the trusty Ideal Day exercise from Barbara Sher’s amazing book, Wishcraft: How to Get What You Really Want.

Have you ever done this exercise? Ohmigosh, it’s so much fun! And really helps you zone in on where you want to go from here. I just updated mine and have created a simple version you can do on your own. Just go here https://laurahandke.com/free-stuff/ and download the PDF of the Me Now Exercise.

It’s far too easy to slide into inertia and/or holiday/shopping frenzy this time of year. I suggest instead plenty of rest and nurturing of our inner souls. Creating whatever holiday festivities and gift-giving brings us pleasure and joy. And taking everything moment by moment.

GoFundMe account for 2022 Portland Fertile Ground Festival’s production of Second Chances & New Beginningshttps://gofund.me/072d7484. $1045 of $1800 raised so far! Thank you, donors!

Celebrating MANY VOICES: One World! Purchase How Abella Found her Voice for $4.95 here: https://laurahandke.com/product/how-abella-found-her-voice-e-book/

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Love Your Voice & Voice Your Love,

Laura

Great Aunt Martha’s Lasagna and Mom’s English Toffee

Are you having as hard a time as I am believing the holiday season is upon us again already? Where has 2021 gone?

The first read-through of Second Chances & New Beginnings is Sunday via Zoom and I am so excited to see the dialog Jen and I wrote come to life with our talented cast!

I’m also so grateful we can congregate with other fully COVID-vaccinated people this holiday season. Loving to cook as I do, I already have the menu planned for our Thanksgiving dinner here with friends Lorinda and Richard. Let me know in the comments if you will be feasting on something other than the traditional turkey dinner!

I’ll be tossing a salad, steaming some broccoli, and baking lasagna. Great Aunt Martha’s lasagna recipe is here. https://laurahandke.com/simply-authentic-your-soul-voice-is-calling-lasanga-recipe/ Photos are here. https://laurahandke.com/simply-authentic-your-soul-voice-is-calling-lasagna-dinner/

And here’s my mom’s English toffee recipe.

-1 C butter

-1 C packed brown sugar

-Slivered or diced almonds (or other nut of your choice), approximately ¼ C

-Milk chocolate bars (approximately 6 regular size, around 8 oz) broken into pieces

Grease cookie sheet and sprinkle nuts in an oval shape.

Melt butter and brown sugar on medium low and heat to 290 on candy thermometer, stirring constantly to keep from scorching.

Pour hot mixture over nuts on cookie sheet. Top with chocolate pieces and spread around as chocolate melts. Sprinkle with more nuts on top.

Cool. Put in frig to further cool, until the batch will easily break apart in pieces with the tip of a sturdy knife. Store in frig. Also freezes beautifully! Enjoy.

GoFundMe account for 2022 Portland Fertile Ground Festival’s production of Second Chances & New Beginningshttps://gofund.me/072d7484. $1045 of $1800 raised so far! Thank you, donors!

Celebrating MANY VOICES: One World! Purchase How Abella Found her Voice for $4.95 here: https://laurahandke.com/product/how-abella-found-her-voice-e-book/

Please spread the love and pass this along to a friend!

Love Your Voice & Voice Your Love,

Laura