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The First Anniversary of Where Pianos Roam
Celebrating One Year on Substack
If you are reading these words as a subscriber of WPR, I can only think of one thing to say.
Looking back on this first year of weekly WPR issues, those words do not seem like enough. I am grateful beyond words.
On October 10, 2022, I put everyone on notice that my newsletter was undergoing a significant change. Prior to that date, I created a monthly outpouring of art and highlights of my life, but moving forward, there was a complete renovation to come. I rebranded by reclaiming the name Where Pianos Roam (WPR) and migrated everything, including all of my subscribers, to Substack (leaving Mailchimp after many years).
A new logo was designed, and most significantly, I went to a much more frenzied weekly posting.
You all continued to read along, and some of you have even agreed to be a paid subscriber. This newsletter and my creative work carry on because of you.
You are currently reading the 54th issue of WPR. It feels unbelievable that I have been able to write something new and publish it every week for a year now.
To celebrate, it feels fitting to give you all a tour of what life often looks like before each issue is published.
Before the Curtains Open
The creation of each issue generally begins on Saturdays, which immediately follow the Friday publication days. My brain traipses through what I just published and starts to piece together what needs to come next. In truth, very little, if any, actual writing happens for most of the week.
I eke out little moments during my days to outline and compose in my head what will inevitably be written down. I wish I could say they happened during speedy car chases, decadent and impromptu shopping sprees, or between bouts of lengthy, garishly loud, and steamy love-making, but no, these moments are far more serene and contemplative.
Usually, I assess and compose while I am driving my car to town or sitting at my desk as I enjoy my coffee or a (secret) snack. Before I get up in the morning, I often spend a few minutes lying in bed deep in a WPR reverie. The excavating and curating I do in my Asian brain all week come together on Thursdays when I sit down and start to type an unedited first draft on my computer. More often than not, I finish this draft and tear away at it very early on Friday mornings (I tend to do my best work as the sun slowly rises). The final draft is generally much shorter than it was before.
When I am happy with what I have written, I send a copy over to my husband MaxZine who happens to work professionally as an editor. He checks it all for misspellings, punctuation snafus, and anything mortally egregious and sends it back for me to make the corrections in the final document. (I thank him in return in various garishly loud ways throughout the week, probably.)
I wish I could say I had a calendar with each new issue planned far in advance and several drafts in development for future issues. At this point, each offering of WPR has been more “of the moment” and closely embodies where my mind and heart rest in real time. Creating in this way feels more organic and authentic to me, even if it is not the most efficient. This workflow affords me the chance to be more spontaneous about what I have to give each week. A little spontaneity can go a long way.
Sometime in the morning or midday on Fridays. I take a deep breath and hit “PUBLISH.”
The curtains open. The lights go on. All is revealed.
The Crowd Takes It All In
Readers for WPR are spread across 16 US states, the US territory of American Samoa, and eight countries, including the Philippines, Germany, the UK, China, Canada, France, and Nigeria.
Many folks are friends I made at previous jobs and places where I used to live, but mostly, there are readers who met me at my shows. Each issue is my way to stay linked to the threads of friendship and significant connections I have made throughout my life. WPR is my interior courtyard, a hidden garden if you will, where my esteemed friends and guests have their own comfy seating. They can come and go as they please (being careful not to step on a wandering miniature piano here and there) and enjoy every bloom as they happen.
Highlights in the past year have included:
The Show Carries On
What is in store for this next year at WPR?
I can tell you that it will be quite the balancing act as I take larger leaps back into my life as a performing musician. With plans to perform more regularly in 2024, WPR will further document my life as I combine my skills as a singer, musician, writer, filmmaker, dancer, and visual artist into a variety of creative pieces and performances.
This garden will get more colorful in the next few months. Seeds that I planted long ago are only now starting to sprout. There is a lot I need to express, and there is no better time than each present moment.
As a sign of what I have in store, here is a small preview of my next big creative effort. There will be lots and lots of layers to reveal before year’s end.
Just know that more is coming and will be available everywhere soon . . .
Again, thank you. Thank you. THANK YOU!
I sincerely appreciate all of you who have come along on this journey with me through year one of WPR on Substack.
With love and more gratitude than I could ever express . . .
P.S. For those of you who live in the greater Nashville area, here are my next two shows:
10/28/2023 at Boro Pride (the Murfreesboro LGBTQ Pride Festival) at the Miller Coliseum
12/03/2023 at the French House in Nashville, TN
More details will be announced soon. Please mark your calendars and come out to a show!
A friend of ours visited our house this week. We had lunch and took them on a tour of our garden. It was satisfying and delightful to showcase all that has been grown. My husband MaxZine’s handiwork was gloriously on display.
To listen to my music, watch my films, or see my visual art, please visit:
WPR is my weekly labor of love. Please consider becoming a free or paid subscriber to receive a thoughtful, ad-free, and algorithm-free issue every Friday. Every cent supports all my creative work. Thank you for reading.