Wow! The day before I headed down to Santa Ana my mailbox was jammed with good wishes! My heart is still overflowing with all your love and encouragement! I printed out every note and am making a good luck chain to hang in my songwriting room. May inspiration keep flowing. The news: Well, I didn't win, but it was a lot of fun! As I gain distance from the inevitable disappointment of not hearing my name called I'm back to appreciating how amazing it was to even be in the finals. Janis Ian won 3rd place, Rachel Sage was the winner in my category. When I went to introduce myself the guy who ran the whole awards process - from listening to 350, 000 entries to organizing an amazing evening of music to announcing the whole thing and presenting every award - he remembered my category, my song by its title and commented how much he liked it! Wow! And, Monday night when I was back at home, in the jammies, watching the CMA Awards I spotted another JPF singer-songwriter who had ended up in the top 5 playing guitar onstage while Faith Hill sang the song this fellow finalist had written. All this to say - I feel very proud to have been in such talented company. Now for all you detail-lovers - All the FUN! It started the week before, dealing with too much excitement by running around trying to fit back in the dress I bought. There are hilarious stories - you'll have to catch them at the next show - let's just say my song "Juicy Lucy Gal" will be coming back on the set list (I can hear some of you cheering)! Saturday morning I flew down with my good friend LynnEl. We got to our room, stepped out on the balcony to check out the pool, and two women poolside drinking champagne invited us down! Soon we were swapping stories with Francie Dillon - nominated (and winning 3rd place!) for children's storytelling album, just in from Sacramento with her friend! The whole place was filled with musicians running around. What excitement! About 4PM we all head over to the Galaxy Music Theatre - it's kind of a cross between Great American Music Hall and Bimbo's (for you SF folks) - big arcing tiers of tables with old fashioned lamps, dark and velvety, carved wood, a big stage, grand piano, ahhhhhhh! And what a night - amazing music beyond what I dreamed, hybrids of world/folk sounds with original lyrics, modern twists, many languages, bagpipes, rap stylings from the Netherlands, gospel choirs, avant garde opera and my absolute favorite to dance to - "The Hoohaw Conspiracy." More champagne, good food and more champagne. A country song by Melody Guy that made us all cry. An English broadside that made us all laugh. Five and a half hours, 81 awards and it all ran on time. At the end all the nominees took the stage to sing a final song en masse. And then the after party started . . . Congratulations to fellow San Franciscan Ericka Luckett who won Album of the Year! I was lucky enough to sit with Larry Wines who is a LA folk scene writer and radio personality. He gave me the scoop on many local nominees and introduced me to some great folks! Larry now has a copy of my CD so email him requesting "Grandma's Piano" or "Tipjar" for his Americana show "Tied to the Tracks" at KCSN 88.5 FM (worldwide at every Saturday morning from 6-10AM. One more shout out to Christopher K ( for arranging and producing Post Mortem! Gotta get out to his new spot in the redwoods of West Marin, Seven Generations Studios. For all the winners check And now it's back to regular life; school teachering, writing songs, the local shows! Hope to catch up with you soon! Thanks one more time for all your encouragement! Love, LisaM