Finding a Voice

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

I am a ...

This is me ...
You Should Be a Poet

You have a way with words... and a talent for drawing the pure emotions out of experiences.
Your poetry has the potential to make people laugh and cry at the same time. You just need to write it!

This is my mother, who says this makes complete sense. She daydreams about painting, she's good with color and textture, and when we kids were little she even took an oil painting course with artist Michael Lonechild ...

You Should Be a Painter

You have the vision, patience, and skill to bring your unique visions to canvas.
And you're even tempered enough not to cut your ear off in the process!

What about you?
What Sort of Artist Should You Be?


posted by Colleen McCubbin at 2:08 PM 5 comments

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

restore my soul ...

A few weeks ago my friend Ephie Risho wrote this: "I have always thought you would eventually move into some sort of full time creativity." Ephie and I used to do a lot of music together at Regent College, culminating with my arts thesis,* for which I wrote songs and poems and presented them in a concert. Ephie played guitar in the arts thesis band.

Funny -- even after my arts thesis at Regent I didn't imagine myself as a serious artist. Even after all those Paul Stevens classes, I didn't conceive of arts (music, writing) as a vocation, i.e., a defining centre for my life. Rather it was a sideline, a hobby, an add-value extra. But tracking a career in higher education was slowly killing me. I loved my work, I knew it was important, yet my body was gradually becoming less healthy. Even though I wasn't listening to my spirit, it was sending messages through my body that I could no longer ignore.

My initial blog post about this transition ("a new season") doesn't mention physical health, but it's a huge factor that must be acknowledged. I was dealing with an ongoing health issue, and after six weeks finally said, "Okay, God, what is this?" He replied, "You need to take care of yourself." Fair enough. That was Monday, July 3rd. I knew the typical lifestyle changes to make: diet, exercise, rest. Little did I know the lifestyle change around the corner.

The following Thursday, July 6th, I was talking with my mom about the health issue and she said, "Colleen, you need to take care of yourself!" Whoa. It was like hearing the voice of God from Monday. So we started talking about what it should look like to take care of myself, and what would happen if I quit my job. The moment I hung up the phone, the realization crystallized: It's time to go. So I resigned the next day.

A former roommate, Juliet Henderson, used to say, "Colleen, you don't trust yourself enough." In that light, this decision is a big deal.

Initially, resigning was an intuitive decision. The impetus was the need to get healthy. The depth of my need for healing is only now being uncovered.

I want to be whole and integrated, not fragmented and overextended. The things that were "sidelines" before are now front and center. Ignoring interests that are actually needs drains my vitality. It's time to pour in -- or better, to receive living water from the Fountain of Life.

*"The arts thesis project provides an opportunity for students who have experience in the arts to create and present an original work of art (e.g., a novel, paintings, the writing and performance of music or a play) and to reflect on it theologically. ... The project will be accompanied by a critical essay of 20 to 30 pages engaging in theological and aesthetic reflection on the medium and tradition in which the arts thesis project is done." (
posted by Colleen McCubbin at 12:13 AM 2 comments

Sunday, September 03, 2006

heritage treasures

Last week I sorted the last drawers in Grandma and Grandpa's now-empty dresser, discovering many treasures in the process, such as jewelery (including old wedding rings and a bracelet everyone thought had been stolen), photographs, letters, and even licence plates!

I have posted some of these treasures on a Bowes family blog established after Grandpa died in May of this year:

Wedding Dress

Truck Plates
posted by Colleen McCubbin at 6:25 PM 1 comments

Friday, September 01, 2006

arrived in Spiritwood

Drove all the way to Moose Jaw yesterday evening and stayed the night with my 84 year old aunt.

Drove to Spiritwood today. Was terribly antsy after only 2.5 hours, so spent a couple of hours in Saskatoon. I think the antsy-ness was divine discontent, because my second stop was McNalley Robinson. Ended up buying *Making a Living in Your Local Music Market*. Conversation at check-out:

Cashier: Are you a musician?
Me: Yes. I just quit my job to do this (pointing at the book).
Cashier: Have you ever sung here?
Me: No.
Cashier: It's only $50, but it's exposure.
Me: It would pay for my book and my gas money! Who would I talk to about that?
Cashier: Ian ____ (writing his name on a bookmark).
Me: Great! Thanks.
Cashier: Do you have a CD?
Me: Yes.
Cashier: Well, we sell CDs by local artists on consignment. That's the guy to talk to about it (motioning to his right to a guy sitting at a small desk in the middle of the CD section)

(I walk over to the guy at the small desk, about 10 steps.)
Me: I hear you're the guy to talk to about selling CDs on consignment.
Him: Yes.
Me: How does it work?
(He explains ... 40% to them, 60% to artist, paid on every 2 units sold, etc., etc.)
Me: Can you write that down?
Him: I can photocopy it for you. (He goes away. I look through the local CDs. Theresa Sokyrka's first album is highly visible. He returns.) Do you have any CDs with you?
Me: Yes, I do.
Him: Do you want to leave some today?
Me: Oh! Sure!
Him: I'll just go get the form.
Me: And I'll go get some CDs.
(We both depart and return.)
Me: (extending my hand) My name is Colleen. What's you're name?
Him: Jamie.
Me: Hi Jamie. How about I give you 5 CDs for now? And I brought one for Ian. Is he in?
Jamie: I think so. (picks up the phone receiver: Ian call ###. The phone beeps immediately.) There's a woman here who would like to leave a CD with you.

(Ian comes down right away. Ian is a fairly large and very witty man. Jamie is a fairly small man and somewhat witty. Ian clearly enjoys ribbing him. I tell them I'm going to live in a former convent. Ian decides he's going to start telling people that his home was built by nuns! Ian takes my CD, says the Friday/Saturday gigs are booked to the end of the year, but maybe they could book me for January. He suggests a CD release party sometime in November.
Me: (pointing to the back of the CD) But I made it in 2000!
Ian: Never too late to have a release party!
(Ian leaves. Jamie shakes his head after Ian, takes 5 CDs and my signature. I walk out of the store on sunshine.)

A few minutes later I'm at Scott's Parable Christan bookstore. The cashier recognizes me as her prof from about 6 years ago. Her name is Chelsea.
Chelsea: Are you still teaching?
Me: No, I resigned to pursue music and writing.
Chelsea: That's great!
(I relate the McNalley Robinson encounter.)
Chelsea: People do concerts here, too.
Me: When?
Chelsea: On Saturday afternoons usually. And you could sell your CD on the side.
Me: Who would I talk to about that?
Chelsea: My boyfriend, actually. (She writes his name on a store business card. We continue to have a really great chat.)

No kidding. Twice in one day. TWICE in one day!

I also have a potential deal for promotion and distribution with a new company in Calgary: MicroSTAR. ( See also They want 20 CDs to start.

Now the hard work begins. What used to be sideline and hobby is now front and centre. Making melody in my heart is not enough anymore. It's time to sing to the world! (Or at least to my cats for now.)

Got to Spiritwood in time to catch a phone call with my aunt and uncle from Australia. That was a treat.

Feels good and right to be here ...
posted by Colleen McCubbin at 1:28 AM 5 comments