I would learn later that I could get a lot louder. I would learn later that there was deep meaning behind my choice of song. I was motherless, and fatherless, and it was a time that I began to learn the importance of parenting myself. I would learn later that there was deep meaning behind the pilgrimage I had taken that late afternoon. I needed music in my life, and thankfully some part of me knew that and compelled me to take that trip. I would learn later that this group of people were my angels, that they would change my life, bring me back to music, and be my family and friends. The group was called Songmakers, and they had been around as an organization since their founding by the legendary folk songwriter Pete Seeger in the 1950s. I stumbled upon them, and owe them an immeasurable debt of gratitude for re-uniting me with music.

Ten years after finding Songmakers in the mountains of Santa Barbara, I began a Master’s Degree program in writing at Antioch University. Since 1989, I had been employed in the pioneering field of New Media – creating commercial projects in this new form – for advertising agencies, law firms and corporate businesses.  During these years I dreamed of one day creating original - literary and artful - New Media “books.” I wanted to express myself with New Media, not sell someone’s products or services. Enrolling in a Masters writing program seemed the best way to set aside the time to explore what a new media book might be. The faculty and staff at Antioch agreed to let me make this exploration.

As I considered what content I should work with, it seemed logical that I would write about women in music. Music had become a constant in my life since that magical musical night in the mountains. I’d bought a better guitar (a Martin), practiced frequently, written songs, learned to play jazz (my favorite being Bossa Nova), started to perform professionally again, and made a CD with a remarkable guitarist from the Phillipines, Ric Ickard. I had also become a dedicated member of the Songmakers organization, attending their hoots regularly, camping with them, partying with them, mourning lost members with them and celebrating weddings and birthdays and holidays with them. Today I count many Songmakers as among my best friends in the world, and as my family. continued page 4

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