I have never in my life read a book so slowly for fear of reaching the last page.
Growing up, my dad read to me and my siblings every night. Together, we explored such worlds as Middle Earth, Narnia, Prydain, the Wild Wood, and so many other wonderful places. And I’ve loved them for as long as I can remember.
My sister started writing “King’s Warrior” when I was nine (though it had a different name then), so I’ve known these characters of hers for a long time. Throughout the years, they’ve been good friends of mine. It all started with a summer challenge where my sister was writing ten pages a night for my dad to read aloud to the rest of us. Before a family trip to Minnesota, she wrote many pages ahead so we’d have enough to read every night. Several of those nights, my whole family went down to Trout Lake with a flashlight, and we were all lying on the dock looking up at the stars (in the clearest skies known to man) while my dad read to the very end of Jenelle’s first book.
Fast forward to now...
“Minstrel’s Call” is the culmination of her series The Minstrel’s Song--the culmination of many years and so much work and heart, and the end of this book had me in all-out, ugly-cry tears, my friends. I hated to see this story come to an end, but
what an end.
I’m a mess.
Now that may sound silly to some, but if you know what it is to love a good story, I’m sure you understand.
I’m beyond biased because the author is my wonderful, beautiful, plot-wizard sister, but…
I can’t recommend this series enough. If you are looking for an adventure and new characters to love, pick up “King’s Warrior” and step out onto the road.
Oh, and keep an eye on the Minstrel…
Jenelle, thank you for writing my favorite books.
(I mean it. Thank you.)
There is much to be learned from such tales.
Check out Jenelle's books here!
All the love,
Hello fellow wanderers!
I wanted to let you know about a couple upcoming dates!
September 20: Layla’s Grand Opening in Chelan, WA @ 7 PM
September 22: Wenatchee River Salmon Festival in Leavenworth, WA @ 3 PM
(For more details: bjeanmusic.com/tour)
And then in October it's on to North Carolina and Tennessee for the Ol' Front Porch Festival, a couple house concerts, and... secrets too secret to tell.
In other news, I had so much fun at the Okanogan County Fair a couple weekends ago. This fair's night lights inspired a song of mine a couple years back, and it was wonderful to get closer than Highway 97.
As always, the people I met were lovely, and it was great to see some familiar faces!
Oh, and... I also faced a fear of mine at the fair...
I've always been a bit anxious about the prospect of singing the National Anthem.
I've always had this fear that if I was asked to sing the Star Spangled Banner, it would end up being the kind of wreck that could haunt me forever.
If you mess up the National Anthem... everyone knows. And they will remember. Probably forever. Or at least, if they ever see you again... they will remember you then. For that.
This is what I was thinking when Tracey asked me if I'd be willing to sing the National Anthem before the rodeo on Saturday night. However, I said "yes", nervous as I was.
Because it is an honor to sing the National Anthem.
So Saturday came around, and between singing at the Wenatchee Farmers' Market and singing at the fair, I ran through the anthem over and over in my head, hoping the memory games I often experience with "City of New Orleans" wouldn't play into this important, one-minute-twenty-second song. Oh, and the Canadian anthem as well. That's right. One fear multiplied by two. I was singing not one but two national anthems. Thus increasing the odds of my nightmares coming true.
However, confidence is key, my friends.
So, I told myself I had this, and we went to the fair.
Well, upon arriving, one of the first questions I was asked was if I'd be willing to sing the National Anthem on the back of a 2,400 lb steer.
I was assured that the steer was gentle and sweet and that people did this and sang from their backs all the time--as well as standing on them like platforms.
I have never thought of myself as a "city girl", but... I guess that's what I am.
Because I said no.
Since then, I believe I missed an opportunity to be about as American as a person can possibly be...
Anywho, the time came to sing the anthems, and goodness gracious, it didn't help that the announcer (who was fantastic, by the way) introduced me by telling the crowd to get ready to hear the greatest version of the National Anthem they'd ever heard... No pressure.
After I sang and as Tracey gave me a ride around to the front of the arena, I asked her if I sang all the right words, and I was relieved when she said that I had.
That was truly all I was worried about.
I enjoyed talking to her, her husband, and her daughter--what fantastic people, and they made me feel very welcome at my first rodeo. (Yep, that was my first rodeo.)
Oh, one more thing...
My mom told me the next day that she filmed me singing the National Anthem, but that when she watched it, she realized she'd been singing along. She told me she was sorry for that (because she thought she'd ruined her recording of the performance), but... I couldn't be happier about it. I'm so glad she sang with me. She had not a thing to be sorry for.
The next time you're asked to stand and join in singing the National Anthem, I encourage you to sing. Sing the anthem out.
Fear: Conquered ✓
All the love,
Yesterday, I promised to tell you about the New York trip... And today seems like a good day!
Probably-too-long post ahead with many a picture.
Looking forward to this for several months, it was surreal to finally see all the city lights as we flew in... The lights were also a reminder of how giant this city is! Growing up near Chicago, I always thought Chicago was a big city, but New York makes it look small!
If I'd been by myself, I would have been overwhelmed by it. Thankfully, I wasn't by myself. My mom and dad were both able to travel with me, and I loved sharing this whole experience with them.
Travel advice from a non-travel-expert:
Travel with someone.
Having people I love with me on such adventures makes me feel like everything's going to be fine. It's easier to brave New York City when someone else is braving it with you. For example, we had a great shuttle driver who picked us up at the airport and took us to our hotel, but my mom and I could not watch as he made his own road out of nothing but a paper clip and a Junior Mint. (Movie reference, anyone?)
If I was on my own, that drive might have given me a heart attack, but instead, my mom and I couldn't help laughing about it together.
I don't usually have time for sightseeing on trips such as this (it just doesn't work out that way), but this time we had a day or so to walk around Lower Manhattan. It was about a thousand degrees, but it was one of the best days.
Wanting to go out and see the Statue of Liberty, we decided to take this boat instead of one of the ferries...
The breeze out on the water was incredibly welcome.
Also, I'd definitely recommend seeing the Statue of Liberty this way.
New York, NY.
Don't judge us... I told you it was a thousand degrees.
Also... they are the greatest.
We also visited the 9/11 Memorial.
Which... words cannot...
This was all on Sunday.
On Monday, my brother Evan flew in to join us, and that was amazing! It meant the world to me that he was there.
If you've been to one of my shows, you might know that I usually introduce "Rise and Fall" by talking about my family and how supportive they are. This is just another perfect example of that.
And then on Monday night, I opened for Three Dog Night at the City Winery in New York City. The show was sold out! There were 320 people in the audience, and it was so... much... fun... singing to a packed room.
They were good sports when I sang "Please Come to Boston", and they were a lovely crowd. I know they were there to see Three Dog Night, but they made me feel only welcome.
I loved every minute.
If you'd like to get a feel for what it was like, check out these videos! Thank you again, Ronny, for posting these!
As for Three Dog Night's show, the highlight for me was when they set their instruments down and sang "Prayer of the Children".
If you've made it all the way to the end, thanks for sticking with me. :)
I'll make sure my next post isn't a book.
All the love,
Thank you for coming to my shows.
I can't say it enough.
This past weekend, I had two wonderful, wonderful nights in a row singing for truly wonderful people.
You have no idea how encouraging you are.
Thank you a thousand times a thousand times to my lovely hosts, and thank you for coming to my shows.
All the love,
Alright, you guys...
I know I've been pretty quiet recently, but that is because I've been traveling and meeting YOU!
I have had so many fun shows this summer already (Bonners Ferry, Kerrville, Leavenworth... to name just a few...), and there are only more to come!
Thank you to the moon and back for coming to my shows.
So that is why I have been quiet on the Email Updates front--
living the life of a traveling minstrel.
But I now have something to share! Are you ready for a huge announcement?
I'll do my best. Okay, here goes...
On August 6th...
At the City Winery...
In New York City...
I will be opening for THREE DOG NIGHT!
I am so incredibly excited.
I've been listening to a lot of Three Dog Night's music the past few days, and this song's my favorite!
(I'm hoping they'll sing it in August... Is it not gorgeous?)
I made a video announcement basically saying all of the above...
If you'd like to watch that and see my awkward-in-front-of-the-camera-ness...
You can check that out here.
I shall keep you posted.
All the love, Brittany
P.S. For more August 6 concert details... You can find those hereabouts.