Wow, yet another amazing year! I travelled from Tokyo to London, from Florida to California, pausing to catch my breath in Nashville once in a while. Taped a BBC Songwriter Special with Neil Finn and Ryan Adams, scratched a gray whale's throat in Baja, toured Japan with Natalia Zukerman, and hosted three snow leopard cubs in a benefit for the Nashville Zoo. Performed with Angela Aki, dueted with Mary Black, and wrote one of the most beautiful songs ever with Sister Miriam Therese Winter. And said a very sad goodbye to my dear friend Anne McCaffrey. One of my fondest memories of Annie is taking her to visit her old friend Andre Norton when she stayed with us in Nashville. RIP, Annie, you are much beloved.
Next year promises to be a little calmer, though I've already accepted dates in Glasgow, Dublin, Belfast, and Tel Aviv!
In the meanwhile, the annual Forum Auction for Pearl will end December 5th. We have a lot of fabulous items this year, including stunning handmade baskets like the one pictured here. 100% of your payment goes to the Pearl Foundation, so get your wallets out and head over there! Yes, you have to join the Message Board/Forum to bid, but it's not that hard - just go here. And joining the Forum doesn't mean we send you emails or bother you in any way. For that, you have to join the email list!
This has been a real year of change and challenge, as I head into my 60's and come to terms with the inevitable. The hard part, I'm finding, is not figuring out what I want to do. It's figuring out how to get there!
I have to say, I had more fun on this last tour of Benelux/UK than I've had in years. I'm not sure why - maybe because the crews were so great, the weather held, the audiences and venues were fantastic and mostly sold out? - or just because I'm starting to realize that touring will be finite - but I had a fantastic time.
In our continuing efforts to hold ticket prices by staying "lean and mean," Lee found a promising bus for next year's touring, and a giant tortoise I could ride if all else failed. We tasted fries with curried mayo dressing in Holland, and rijstaffel with my friends Ineke and Sandra, then discovered what anchovies really look like. (Not pretty, I assure you.)
I arrived home with 48 hours to unpack, answer mail, take care of business and re-pack for our annual vacation with sister-in-law Judy down on the Gulf, in the "forgotten Florida." As you can see, Judy had a terrific birthday!
In honor of the season and the struggling-but-recovering economy, we're holding a small website sale. Check out the lowered prices, which will stay that way until the New Year. Our tiny contribution to your holidays, with thanks from all of us for your continuing support of my work, my music, and the Pearl Foundation.
I think that about wraps it up. Happy holidays all!
What an Anniversary!
50 years since her first album, 40 years since her first Grammy.
$80,500 from Pearl this year!
$80,500. That's how much we just sent to our four current scholarship funds. $909,000. That's how much money the Pearl Foundation has now given to fund our five ongoing scholarships for returning students.
Patience & Sarah wins prestigious Earphones Award!
Patience & Sarah has won a prestigious Earphones Award from AudioFile. Here's some of what they had to say: "Janis Ian and Jean Smart bring exquisite joy, vulnerability, and honesty to their narration of Isabel Miller's 1969 historical fiction novel about the love between a poor farmer's daughter, Sarah, and a folk painter, Patience, in nineteenth-century New England."