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Stealing Time for Breakfast

Work threatened to snow me under. Demands crept closer to my little kitchen table. I’d just returned home from a business trip to consult with a new, long-term marketing client. It had gone amazingly well, but they were the 2nd client I had added in two weeks. My mind drowned in possibilities, responsibilities, and writing […]

The Sad Story of the Best Water in Austin

“Can you help us? Can you help us sell our water, Peter?” Thomas and I had been talking for a little bit, catching up with each other’s lives amidst the hordes of people swarming around booths at the Austin non-profit fair. When he heard that I’ve now added “marketing consultant” to my list of titles, […]

Video Killed the Radio Star

We drove in silence, anger draped over us like a heavy cloud. I sat in the cargo area of our little van, dreading the long drive back from Michigan to Texas. All the tension that had built up between my ever-faithful traveling partner and guitar-playing wizard, Paul Finley, and me had erupted in a teeth-bared […]

When Legos Learn to Love: The Story of a Successful Title

“Is this anyone’s?” I asked from onstage as we set up for our little show. The black walls of the fraternity house basement answered me with silence. None of the setup crew said anything either. The little lego astronaut in my hand smiled back with his plastic face. He looked so cool and seemed so […]

When Success Finally Hits

“You’ve got to come to England. There’s nothing like you in the UK!” his British accent said.The clinking of wine glasses and chatter of conversation swirled behind us in a smoky hotel room in October 2004. We’d performed in front of 3,000 people for Youth Specialties, a conference for Christian youth workers, but the the […]

Rock Star Glory at Home

Tires crunch the gravel driveway as our van pulls to a final stop. It’s 3:17am or some other God-awful hour that Paul and I have pulled in from a month-long tour of driving more than 8,000 miles. A layer of dust welcomes us in the door. Everything inside me wants to fall asleep, but my […]

Unicycles on Telephone Wires

“What’s it like, being on the road all the time?” she asked, pretty lips and sparkling eyes making a truthful reply all the more difficult. “You know what it’s like being a counselor at this camp, right?” “Yeah.” “Imagine that 100 campers show up like they usually do, and you have to get to know […]

The Art of Artistic Survival

The Art of Artistic Survival My head sank backstage at Dallas’ Club Galaxy in November, 2003, just before our featured performance. A decent-sized crowd of two hundred, most of whom had never heard of us, awaited the arrival of “Spoken Groove.” None of them dismayed me as much as the $3700 promotional failure that would […]

What Really Opens Doors in a Creative Career

“You’re from where?” I said, trying to put together the sounds I’d heard into some sort of sense. He mumbled the strange syllables again, just as indecipherably as before. “Can you spell it?” “T-A-W-A-S, Tawas, Michigan,” he uttered in a thick, midwestern accent. “Where’s Tawas?” I held up my hand, the universal sign to all […]

Living on Food from Ravens

Vincent the Van purred with excitement, loaded up with a PA, guitars, way too many CDs, clothes, pillows, and the hopes of two troubadouring musicians. We called it, “The Acoustic Spoken Groove Combo Tour” and asked people to bill us as Peter Nevland and Paul Finley. “It’s like Dr. Seuss took a walk through the […]