Two Fun Things

Sometimes I have a hard time not crying every day with all the murders, racism and injustice in the world. I make a point of not watching the news because it so brings me down, but there’s no way to block out what is happening in our country right now, nor would I want to.

So, here are two fun things to hopefully bring a smile to your face as they have to mine.  

Fun Thing One: A new kitten. You may recall, readers, that my precious 17-year-old cat, Lady Jane, passed away mid-May. George and I were lonely without her, our house felt empty, and I asked Lady’s spirit to send the right next cat our direction. I swear I heard her say, “I’m on it, Mama!” George had the feeling that our next cat would also be black, but smaller, a kitten.

On Sunday, July 5th, we adopted Linn (she was found in West Linn, after being born to a semi-feral mother cat) from Hazel’s House (, a home-based shelter in Newberg, Oregon.

We are crazy in love, and Linn (Linn-Linn, Crazy Legged Kitten, Litter Kicker, Linn Laroo, etc.) is a perfect fit for our family and home. We have no question Lady Jane was helping guide the process and we so appreciate Brittany and Kendall Hazel for the work they are doing to help stray and misplaced cats find safe, loving, forever homes. Our home is alive with kitten energy now and filled with love and joy.

Fun Thing Two: Fluvial Groove. I met my friend, singer/songwriter/keynote speaker Jamie Wyman, through an on-line coaching program. She lives in Montana; I’m in Oregon, and we met in person when Jamie was traveling through Oregon en-route to California. We had a long walk and talk together, a brief voice lesson, a glass of wine, then Jamie joined George and I for dinner. We had salads, meatloaf, fancy roasted potatoes and – hmmm, broccoli – if I remember correctly.

The vegetable doesn’t matter, though, because my memory is now challenged by something else – Jamie’s newest song! I love this song!

The fluvial grooving started when Jamie asked people on Facebook to give her words of inspiration for a new song. My contribution was “cirrus,” because I’d been out walking earlier that day and had seen a bunch of cirrus clouds. My word was probably one of the least challenging in comparison to “onomatopoeia,” “kaleidoscope,” and “kerfuffle,” but in the end Jamie decided to incorporate all of the words into Fluvial Groove.

So, George has learned the guitar part, I’m learning the vocals, and sometimes George and I sing together and harmonize. I performed the song for the first time Saturday night at the last online karaoke party with George accompanying me on guitar! Fun! Kitten Linn has attended most of our rehearsals, and she seems to love music already. And…oddly enough…Jamie’s middle name is Linn. Spelled just like that.


Have fun today!

COMING SOON!!! E-book: ‘How Abella Found Her Voice’, On-line Class Opportunity, and ongoing Drop-In Zoom Voice Lab!!!

Your voice lessons are making a difference in my poetry readings and public speaking, my teacher. Lots of luv for ya! – Emmett

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

Love Your Voice and Voice Your Love,


Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

Interview with Ashley-Ann Pereira

Comfort Food from the Heartland

The lovely Ashley-Ann Pereira  invited me to be an author-panelist for her Author’s Circle. What is it like publishing multiple books of different genres? What are the biggest challenges and joys of being a book writer? This video of Ashley-Ann’s 43-minute interview with me helps answer these questions and explains how writing a book can help speakers and entrepreneurs bring their message out into the world.

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

Love Your Voice and Voice Your Love,


Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

Getting Enthused and Organized

When creativity begins to crumble

I don’t know about you, but I went through a creative dry spell during much of the initial COVID-19 lockdown, and this was before the horror of racial injustice hit the news. I can’t even talk about that in this post. Just check out this guy, my dear friend: he’s helping tip the scales in the right direction.

I did write a new speech and got great feedback on it. Taught my voice students via Zoom and walked outside. Other than that, I spent a lot more time in the kitchen cooking and baking than I normally do.

Then, suddenly, my spirit and mind got tired of stagnating, and all these new ideas started coming to me. On my Godwalks. In the shower. One in particular after I met Ashley-Ann Pereira through Kwesi Millington’s Spectacular Speakers group.

I’ve written three books:

but not yet a book about vocal technique! Ashley-Ann totally inspired me to start it. The book will accompany an online and/or virtual class, PS (for public speaking), Your Voice Could Be Better!, for those who want it – and a weekly drop-in Zoom Voice Lab. 

This is the process I’m using to start my new book, and my tips to you for getting enthused and organized when your creative longings start demanding attention. Note my suggestions are tactical and use actual paper, but I’m sure you can do it digitally as well. I, personally, need to get away from electronic screens during the initial stages of a creative process. And, I always take a Godwalk outside in nature first!

Write down every single idea, as it comes to you, on an individual sticky note. Use large sticky notes of different colors. The ideas will start to show you themes, and each color can be dedicated to one of the themes. When you’re ready to organize, discard the ideas that no longer work and organize the ones that do. Stick one large easel-sized paper piece for each theme on the wall and put each related sticky note on that large paper piece for the corresponding theme.

Once you have everything organized into groups, you can transfer notes in the separate categories to one sheet for an ongoing plan, taking off notes as you complete each task. I like to put 3 (up to 5) weekly goals on my calendar each week. Make sure to include time to yourself and nurturing your inner and outer voice on your calendar as well.

What would you like most to hear about in the online/virtual classes? Would Saturdays from 10:00 am — Noon ST or Noon – 2:00 pm PST be good for the drop-in Voice Lab? Let me know! I’m enthused, excited, getting organized, and wishing you the same.  

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

Love Your Voice and Voice Your Love,


Announcing Contest Winner!

From the bottom of my heart, thank you to everyone who contributed entries for a new title/catch phrase for the “Dreams Come True” speech.

Several entries were inspiring, yet the one which most struck our hearts in resonance with the meaning of the speech was from…drum roll please…Shannon Milliman! Thank you, Shannon!

Shannon shared ideas like: Seeking Light with a Car, Cat and $23. Unnamed Angels Ahead. “Shhhh, I hear something …”is it bells?” “is it car brakes?” “is it the neighbor yelling?” and answer with “is that my ‘inner voice’ whispering sweet somethings?” Let the audience know the weight of what your inner voice/intuition illuminates. Red light now inevitably means green light next! Awful moment means light ahead! Listen and let light lead.

Two Honorable Mentions go to:

Beth Nelson for If you look UP, Your dreams will come DOWN.

Lorinda Scott for This is how I learned…to trust my journey will lead me where I need to be.

The working speech title now includes an acronym based on three dates in the speech, each with a different message:

Your Dreams Come True When You APL (sounds like apple):

A: Ask for Help

P: Pay Attention to Signs

L: Listen to Your Inner Voice

Thank you, again, readers. I so appreciate you! I’ll let you know when the next version of the speech is ready. In the meantime, love yourself, people of all colors, and *those you disagree with or don’t care for* as much as possible right now. The world needs lots and lots and lots of love. 

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

Love Your Voice and Voice Your Love,


Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

Please Help Me With My Speech!

I work with public speakers, singers and performers every day in my vocal training practice, yet many people who want to more effectively use their voices have never given a speech or presentation. Whether you speak publicly often or never have, there’s something both exciting and scary about giving a new speech for the first time. Especially if it’s a particularly vulnerable and/or personal story, and you’re sharing it for the first time with people you don’t know.

That was my experience last Wednesday speaking to Kwesi Millington’s Spectacular Speakers mastermind group. Here’s Kwesi’s YouTube Video of the meeting. My maiden voyage of this speech (about 10 minutes) starts at 13:32.  

And here’s where you come in, friend! Kwesi gave me several wonderful suggestions for perfecting the speech (which I’ve summarized below, both for my own benefit and to hopefully help you with your next speech) but so far I’m stumped on changing up the catch phrase, Why I Know Dreams Come True.

Please listen to my whole speech first. Then think something along the lines of:

Dreams come true when…

If you ____, your dreams will _____.

Doing ____ will _____ your dreams.


You get the idea. Something catchier, a bit more specific to my personal circumstances, and memorable. Please, no clichés like “dreams come true when you follow your heart” – something more unique and original.

The person with the winning speech title and catch phrase to use throughout the speech receives a $65 gift certificate for an hour of vocal training with yours truly (for you or someone you care about) OR a $25 gift card to your favorite takeout/delivery restaurant or coffee shop. The judges will be me, my husband, and Kwesi – although I haven’t actually asked either of them yet.

Yay, this is fun – it’s a contest! Let me know your thoughts, please – there are no bad ideas!

To register for Kwesi’s next meeting, email

Regarding the video: please disregard the poor sound and light quality and my gestures. Focus instead on the content, the stories, and what the ideal title and/or repeated catch phrase might be.  

Thanks so much – I can’t wait to read your suggestions!

Evaluation Notes:

-Consider three dates for structure. Keep people curious right at the beginning.

-Preface with the three dates or points.

-For example, the dates of running into Paul, starting with TVI, and the “grandma.”

-Describe her more clearly – “grandma” can put different images into people’s heads.

-Keep the cat consistent throughout and drop the car, food, etc.

-Bring more essence into the feeling at the beginning, why you couldn’t just quit the lousy job.

-As much as we love Ricky, we don’t need him in this speech. Come up with the catch phrase to repeat and keep in only what pertains to that.

-Devil Wears Prada movie will be obsolete, find other ways to describe the manager. Smashing under thumb image, etc.

-People will remember the phrases and the stories.

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

Love Your Voice and Voice Your Love,


Lake Oswego’s Transformational Voice® Teacher (Transformational Voice® is a registered trademark of Transformational Voice® Training Institute, LLC, and Linda Brice.)

A Special Tribute: Lady Jane – The Cat of a Thousand Names

Lady Jane Handke Meredith

The Cat of a Thousand Names

3/1/2003 – 5/13/2020

Our love story began in September of 2007, when I visited Salem Friends of Felines with my friend Katherine. We visited several cats, then Katherine noticed one snoozing in a bed at the top of a cat condo towards the back of the room. I hadn’t seen that black cat, because she was higher up and hadn’t uttered a sound. (I later saw the irony in this.) I eased over, reached up, and rubbed the cat’s head and scratched behind her ears. She rolled over to expose her belly, not an easy thing for cats to do since historically predators will attack them there. I casually stroked her belly a few times, spent some more time with other cats, and Katherine and I left the room.

Out of curiosity, I asked the volunteer how long the average cat stay was at the shelter. She said the kittens are all typically gone within about three weeks, but with adults it depends on the cat.  She said, “For example…Lady is such an awesome cat, but she doesn’t put herself out there, so people don’t pay any attention to her. She’s been here for a year and a half.”

I looked at the photos of all the cats on the wall behind the volunteer. Lady was the black cat in the condo at the back of the room. The one who had rolled over and invited me to stroke her tummy. “Just a minute,” I told Katherine, before walking back into the room. I leaned close to Lady’s head, petted her again, and asked if she’d like to come home with me. She didn’t say anything, but a “yes” feeling came over me.

I was staying in Salem that night, not returning home to Lake Oswego until the following day. The shelter wasn’t open Sundays, but the volunteer assured me there would be people there cleaning and giving vaccinations, and they would find a way to let me finalize the adoption paperwork and take Lady home with me.

I went to the shelter Sunday morning stocked from a trip to a pet supply store. The one item I’d forgotten was a proper cat carrier, so the shelter provided a cardboard one with big holes at the top. I eased the cardboard cat carrier with Lady in it into the passenger seat, buckled my seatbelt and headed north on I-5.

Once we hit the freeway, this cat couldn’t stop talking. I responded to all of her vocalizations – sometimes in what I could gather of cat-speak, and other times in human English, saying things like, “Yep, you’re going to your new forever home. It’s in Lake Oswego. My place isn’t fancy, but you’ll like it. I promise I’ll take good care of you.” Every time she spoke, I responded. I frequently took my right hand off the steering wheel to poke a finger through the holes in the cardboard crate so she could smell and feel me. It went this way for the entire 45-minute drive.

Upon reaching the cabin-like apartment at Neff Park Lane, I quickly put up the scratching post, litter box, and food and water bowls, before I released Lady from the crate. She quickly looked around and found a place to hide, under my bed in the bedroom. I checked in, let her know I was around. I put some music on the stereo, lit a candle, sang, cooked, offered words of comfort.

Within 45 minutes, she came out from the bedroom, had a drink of water, ate some food, used the litter box, the scratching post, and made herself at home. That very first night she curled up next to me in bed and we slept and purred together all night long.

I gave her a middle name, “Jane,” the same as my mother’s. Lady became Lady Jane.

She moved with me twice before I fell in love with George Meredith in 2012 and we became engaged and moved into this home together on Lake Forest Blvd. in 2014. We’ve been a family of three since then. George and I married September 14, 2019.

Some of our favorite rituals have been Friday movie nights on the living room sofa, with my legs over George’s and Lady on the afghan over us. George loved his time with Lady in the kitchen in the morning while I was still sleeping, how she loved the warm melted ice cream from the bottom of his bowl. I loved how when I said, “Come to bed and read!” she would snuggle next to me while I sipped tea and enjoyed my latest book.

We have learned so much about unconditional love and how to embrace life from this loving and loveable, sassy, bright, warm, and extremely talkative cat. (Video:

After several weeks of steady and gentle physical decline, Lady Jane spent her last night snuggled in bed between her Mama and Papa. By 6:40 am, her breathing had become shallow and we laid her on towels in front of the antique dresser where she had recently been most comfortable. She passed at approximately 8:00 am.

We will love and miss you forever, Lady Jane. Sweets Burrine. Snuggle Toe. Crazy Legged Cat. Punkin’. Squawk Box. Sweetheart. Little Miss Cat. Baby Kitten. Twitchy Tail. Sweetie Pie. Silly Girl. Scarfer. Snuggle Butt. Cuddles. Monkey. Flazzle Foot. Litter Kicker. Wild-Eyed Boogie Wooger. Lady Lou. Queen of the Crunch Machine. Boogie Butt. Lean Mean Kitty Machine. Skidget. Cat With the Honky Tonk Walk. Grunky. Feather Foot. Miss January. Diamond Girl. Tickey, Tickey, Tickey Toe. Baby Cool Juice. Swagger Tail. Chatter Head. Fur Bane Puppy Monkey. Kipsie. Baby Cuteness. Boogie Tron. Sugar Nose. Honey Ears. Plenty of Kitten. Honey Heart. Lady Belle. Angel of the Angel Cats. Our dear, dear, beloved Lady Jane.