Tag Archives: community

Bring on the Wonder

Last evening, I played at the opening show of “Common Ground”. What is Common Ground? Well, to quote their website:

Common Ground Performances provide compelling ways of looking into life and faith by weaving together popular film, images, stories, and narration with live music. The typical program lasts 70-90 minutes, and all you need to do is sit back with friends and take it in. When the lights go down, a collage of popular art, music, and narration will transport you into a new world of possibilities.

One of the media pieces presented was a recording by Susan Enan entitled “Bring on the Wonder”. I had never heard this song before and it captivated me so much that I am featuring a YouTube clip on my blog today.

I could listen to this song over and over, letting it peel away at me layer by layer. Somehow it connects with my journey of rediscovery. It’s a somewhat sad song on the surface, but it’s not that way to me. Rather, it sparks a sense of possibility. Bring on the wonder, indeed.


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Blogging in 2010

Thank you all for 2010!

WordPress.com just sent me an email reviewing my blog stats for 2010, along with an option to post this information to my blog. I decided, “what the heck?”, so the information is shown below. Thank you all for being a part of my blog community. It is because of you that I have these numbers. I plan to be just as busy on my blog in 2011, if not more so.

Have a terrific 2011 and see you soon!!


WordPress Stats

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,900 times in 2010. That’s about 9 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 74 new posts, not bad for the first year! There were 54 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 6mb. That’s about 1 pictures per week.

Featured imageThe busiest day of the year was October 7th with 194 views. The most popular post that day was A dark night… and then a ray of light.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were facebook.com, kellycarpentermusic.com, networkedblogs.com, kelsongs.com, and cyberprmastermind.ning.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for bandcamp vs reverbnation, kelly carpenter blog, reverbnation vs bandcamp, ulnar neuritis, and music success in nine weeks.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


A dark night… and then a ray of light October 2010


Optimize This! – Music Success in Nine Weeks, Week 3 July 2010


About My Music May 2010


About Me January 2010
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Music Success in Nine Weeks? July 2010

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Filed under Life, Music Career

Out On the Limb: Music Success in Nine Weeks – Week 6

For some reason, and I am starting to understand why, this particular week’s assignment has been difficult for me. I was on such a roll for awhile, getting excited about chirping away on the twitterator and engaging with the blogosphere. When it came time to develop a newsletter, I thought, “Hey, this will be a piece of cake. I know how to write. I should be able to crank this out in a day.” I believed it would be no big deal to do this and I would be closer to getting caught up on this blog challenge.

My plan was to crank out the newsletter on Wednesday of last week, blog about it that same day or Thursday, and then move on to the Week 7. Wednesday rolled around and instead of diving into authoring my newsletter content, I got lost in a quagmire of checking out the various providers, rolling my own layout with HTML and CSS, and figuring out which service would best deliver that HTML, and generally doing everything but writing my newsletter.

I did get the thing done and sent out and it looks nice and I am happy with it. Sigh of relief! But boy did I get bogged down doing it!

Reflecting on this process reveals what I have been reluctant to admit: I was scared. I got stuck. I had been stalling on completing this task simply because I was scared to complete it. And this is why: This was truly the first task in this crash course where I had to PUT MYSELF OUT THERE and it scared me to death.

It has been quite fun and rewarding to work on my 15-second pitch, revise my website, get active in tweeting and blogging. But these are all low-risk activities. I get to stick my toes in the water and wade in as far as I want to go but no more. But presenting ME in the form of a newsletter? This is ME? Do you care to read about ME? This is high-risk territory.

Putting out my newsletter–my very first–put me on a head-on collision with my biggest gremlin: Self-doubt. Why would anyone be interested in reading about me? Okay, now that I figured out what the hangup was, I could move on. Get over yourself! Tis’ human to have self-doubt. It’s just a newsletter, after all. But an important lesson was learned: Don’t get stuck by self-doubt. Push through it.

Another lesson I learned was that focusing on content is way more important than presentation. Yes, it is important for things to look nice, professional, and artsy. But more than slick production, people want to connect with your STORY. It is through telling and hearing stories that people connect with each other and experience community.

A third lesson I learned is that I’m cheap in ways that don’t serve me well. I wound up using FanBridge as my platform after trying ReverbNation. I spent hours comparing the services and testing whether handcrafted HTML can get mailed out correctly without getting mangled. FanBridge costs $9/month for managing a small to medium mail list. But how much time did I spend working on the presentation of the newsletter?  What is that time worth? If I had it to do over again, I would have seen the wisdom in choosing a service like Band Letter. Yes it’s comparatively expensive–$99 startup fee and $60 per month–but they do everything for you: design the newsletter, manage the list, send the thing out, and analyze the responses. I think the time I save in having someone else do the heavy lifting is well worth the price. This is no time to be cheap.

So three lessons learned:

  1. Don’t get stuck by self-doubt.
  2. Focus on your story, not the presentation.
  3. Don’t be cheap. Your time is more valuable.


Filed under Life, Music Success in Nine Weeks Blog Challenge, Work


As many know who have been following me on Facebook, my dad has been in the hospital for four weeks. He got very sick. As in septic shock sick. As in almost died sick. He was in ICU for about a week, and he has been in a regular ward for the past two weeks plus.

All this time, my mom has been spending the night at the hospital, camping out at a couch at one waiting room or another. Us three children have been taking turns keeping and eye on mom and dad. Apparently, this sort of family presence and vigilance is not common.

One of dad’s doctors told my mom that, if it wasn’t for the constant presence and attention of our family, dad most likely would not have made it. We were surprised to hear him say it, but we knew it all along in our hearts. Here’s why:

Mom was there when she noticed dad not getting better but worse after his routine surgery the first week. Her insistence got them to figure out what was wrong. His newly reattached colon had burst and his organs were under attack by the infection caused by the bacteria rampaging through his body.

We were all there while dad was in ICU, continually asking questions of the RN’s and the specialists: his neprologist (kidney doctor), cardiologist, and his gastro enterologist.

We have been there mostly 24/7 while he has been up in the main ward on the 4th floor, asking the RN’s for statuses at the end of most shift changes. How is his heart rate? Is he on meds for arrhythmia? How is his BP, his O2, his ostomy? How is the PT/OT going? Is he able to eat on his own? Any pain? Any discomfort? And so on.

And he is getting good care because his family is around and we care. Dad is 86. Mom is 84. Us kids felt it necessary to be here with mom, because the staff most likely would treat an old woman shuffling around with a certain measure of patronage and condescension, assuming she is senile when she expresses worry over dad receiving a transfusion. Instead, she has a squad of kids in their 50’s and 60’s constantly asking the medical staff questions. We are a force to be reckoned with.

The reason dad is improving is because the medical staff knows we care and it is human nature to want to be a part of something positive. So they care because we care. They know we’re not going away. They know we are holding them accountable. They are on board and are doing everything they can to help dad recover.

This is in stark contrast to the majority of patients on the floor, especially the elderly. They spend long hours without people visiting them. They get typical professional yet nominal care. This is not to denegrate the medical staff. They are skilled and compassionate. But they’re most likely thinking this: “These people are old. They’ve lived a long life. Let’s do what we can to make them comfortable.”   

People care when other people care. They care about things that other people care about. That is the wonderful thing about community. To borrow a famous quote from Hilary Clinton, it truly takes a village. Thank you all who have prayed for dad’s recovery. The fact that you have cared touches me deeply and I will always be grateful.

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