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Rockstar MomentSeptember 8, 2009

We are back from camping at Strawberry Music Festival. It was the best year ever, for several reasons:

It wasn't too hot or too cold. The sun was just the right temperature to heat you up enough to plunge into the cold lake and the air was just right for sitting under the redwoods and pines, just right for reading, spinning, knitting, or talking. Or drinking. There might have been a little of that. (Although we brought back both booze and money. We must have done something wrong.)

The music was good. Not great, but good. The Avett Brothers were sublime, as always, and Dave Alvin and the Guilty Women were great, as were a couple of other bands, but by and large the music was a big miss, which was surprising for Strawberry.

However, the music at our camp? Camp Hehu? Kicked ass. At any time we had a stand-up bass, banjo, a couple of ukes, guitars, mandola, washboard, mandolin, possibly a fiddle, and lots of voices keeping the tunes going. Saturday night we never made it up to main stage at all. Even though I kept saying I was going, I never stood up, just kept singing and strumming.

There was this great moment when the song was American Pie (it has to be sung at some point during a music festival -- it's the law). We were sitting in a circle, maybe ten of us, playing and singing. Then someone else shined a flashlight over my shoulder. I looked behind me and there were at least twenty people there, all grinning in the dark, singing along. I hadn't heard them filter in behind us, and they looked like a wall of humanity, a sea of faces, all singing at once, a total surprise to me. It was awesome.

The other best part, and this takes some backstory, was my Rockstar Moment. Okay, so Book One is called HOW TO KNIT A LOVE SONG. You know that already. What you might not have known is A) I didn't write the title (although I love it) and B) there is no love song in the book. So hey. That's easy. I just wrote a love song. And I called it "How to Knit a Love Song." And because the book is set on a sheep ranch, I made it a good ole country song, and while I was at Strawberry I taught it to a couple of friends with the intention of performing it at an afternoon show called Chickwagon (which we did, which went great). So we'd been practicing my song around camp, and people had heard it while walking past. That's the backstory.

Rockstar Moment: While jamming that Saturday night, from behind me, a stranger's voice in the dark, someone I DID NOT KNOW said, "Can you play that knit and purl song you were playing yesterday?" I about like to died, people. Seriously. Hopefully, in the future, people will tell me they like my writing. That's my goal. But Lala is the rockstar of the family. I'm the writer. Someone liking a song I wrote? I never saw that coming AND IT WAS SO FUN. (Eventually I will get the MP3 up here and a video and you can hear it, too.)

In the meantime, I'm also blogging over at PensFatales today. Come say hi?


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So when are we going to hear it???

That's so awesome!!!

I want to go to Strawberry!! I used to go when it was on Hiway 108 at Leland Meadow. I seriously need a van conversion. Hurry and get your love song mp3 up so we can hear it, Rock Star.

Well, how freakin' cool is THAT, I ask you?!?!??!

So you're a REAL WRITER, and that means you write songs, too!!

Heh, you've ALWAYS been a rockstar. just ask Lala..! What a wonderful moment, chica.

ooooh....never thought "American Pie" could give me shivers, ever. But wow.

When you described that moment, realizing that a multitude (after all, 20 is a multiple) had gathered and joined, drawn in by the music and joy... I got shivers.
I LOVE what singing and playing music together can do!

Can't wait to hear it!!

That was me calling out from my tent next to you all from my cozy sleeping bag asking you to play "a knit and a pearl"! I love that song and can't get it out of my head! Anway, very sweet, looking forward to reading the book when it comes out.
P.S. Do you know how George is?

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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