Just a few days before Christmas, our new computer gave us the "File Icon of Death". A short time later when my husband was working online with the Apple techs to fix the problem, he was given some very bad "support". The computer gurus gave him instructions that led to the ultimate demise of our computer's memory. All files were deleted, including the manuscript to my novel. Yep, they all went to live with God and the angels for Christmas. I lost the novel, pictures, files of all kinds and unique clip art. It was not a good day, but I was too embroiled in the holiday planning to dwell on it. When hubby took our Mac to the Apple store for service, one request they refused to fulfill was to set the system back to the way they had initially when we first bought it. What colossal nerve-especially since they determined that the optic drive was bad a few days before the major brain dump even occurred! Well, two can play at that game! Since I included a year of "One to One" service at the time of purchase, we quickly reserved a session for them to help us set it back to the way it used to be. Ha-suckers-you're STILL not getting out of it!
But alas, I still have to begin the novel from memory. I can look at this situation in two ways: I can throw ashes on my head, rend my clothing and rail in despair, "O woe is me!" or I can regard this as an opportunity for a fresh start to my novel. Attitude is everything, right?
In the days before our computer crash, I was introduced online to a singer-songwriter by the name of Ted Vigil. Among other things, Ted is a John Denver tribute artist who hails from my area. The physical resemblance he bears to John in addition to his voice is really eerie. At first, I didn't want anything to do with him because he seemed like a living phantom of the beloved troubadour, and the similarities were just too bizarre for me to handle.
Back in the 1980's, I was a HUGE John Denver fan. In fact, soon after purchasing two of his albums at the time I wrote him a letter, and to my surprise he wrote back! I still have the letter and intend to keep it forever. I remember the day I found out he had died. I was in med tech school waiting for our microbiology lecture to begin, and a classmate mentioned it. Shocked, I shrieked "What????" With a pale countenance and saucer-wide eyes my classmate timidly looked at me and solemnly replied, "Uh oh, I thought you knew-sorry!" I immediately walked out of the classroom and went outside to get some air. The news felt surreal and stung badly.
A couple days after first learning about Ted, I decided to give him a look-see, after all-it wasn't his fault that he looked & sounded the way he did. I watched an online video of him singing, and decided that he was indeed very talented. What struck me most was that he didn't appear to be deliberately "channeling" John or trying to be his clone, but simply a gifted individual trying to honor another artist. I noticed that Ted's voice was a bit lighter and brighter than John's was, and my heart seemed to soar when I listened to him sing. Yes, Ted was still Ted, but honoring John in his own unique way. I immediately became a fan and ordered his cd. It arrived the next day-yay for great merchandising skills! I listened to it twice on the way home from work one day; I say twice because I was caught in the 9th circle of Seattle traffic hell! One of his songs in particular caught my attention and I later learned that Ted had co-written it as well as a few other songs on the cd. I really appreciated that because it confirmed to me that Ted was indeed not trying to be a John Denver clone and was also a gifted songwriter. It would have been a huge deal-breaker for me if Ted had sold his own identity to become exactly like John, thinking that it would be more financially lucrative to do so. I wouldn't want that for anyone. Ted felt like a huge breath of fresh air - another fresh start. I can now listen to the tunes I've always loved without feeling the same old desolate sadness. Ted's artistry provided the sunshine that scattered the darkness of loss for me, and I was so ready for it.
We all love fresh starts, and there is none bigger than the beginning of a new year. We all enter it with a clean slate, with nothing but possibilities before us. Ultimately the series of choices must begin, choices that will take us either toward or away from our goals. I have so many goals for 2011, and quite frankly some of them frighten me. However, when I consider that each goal is actually a collective of individual smaller-scale goals, the big "monsters of achievement" don't seem that scary. I love fresh starts and second chances of all kinds, I believe that we all need them. A "fresh start" even sounds better-more hopeful-don't you think? I imagine the beginning of a journey that takes us to wonderful places, rather than being stuck in a constant state of determination-that sounds too hard! What about you? What are your anticipated fresh starts for 2011? Instead of making resolutions, make a fresh start. Happy New Year everyone!
To check Ted Vigil out for yourself, please go to his website: http://www.tedvigil.com/
On Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ted-Vigil-John-Denver-Tribute-Artist/202897027839
And on MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/tedvigilmusic