Showcasing my music

So here I am in a new town, eager to get started.  I once played at Stompin Grounds Coffee Co and with the Stompin Hoolie of Cabot, but those have been left behind in my move from Cabot to Rogers AR.  What to do, what to do?

The first thing I did was look for an Irish music session to play with and happily located the Northwest Arkansas Celtic Society (check) in Fayetteville.  They are holding sessions on the first Saturday of the month at Jammin’ Java, a lovely coffeehouse right on the square.  I went there early in September and had a great time with a wonderful bunch of musicians.  Now I’m counting the days till our next get together.

That takes care of my social musical needs but I like to play solo too.  It’s easy to play along with a group, but doing it yourself requires real proficiency.  I have to practice hard and be able to offer finished pieces.   Playing solo once a month at Stompin’ Grounds in Cabot was a  growing experience particularly at the open mics, where I was not only playing but often singing as well.  This is something I would like to do again in the future.

I looked around Rogers for such opportunities and discovered they have an Art Walk the third Friday of each month throughout the summer.  After a few inquiries, I found myself on September 17th playing my harp in the display window of the Trolley Lane Bookshop.  It was great fun plucking and smiling at all the people passing by.  Many of them paused to watch, then came inside to listen and browse   It turned out to be a happy arrangement for all.

Unfortunately, summer is coming to an end and the twilight art walks are over until next year.  I shall have to look for another place to play.  Happily, the Yuletide season is on the way and I have been asked to return to the bookstore.  There may be other opportunities during the holiday season, so I am practicing my Christmas music early to be ready for them.  In the meantime, I have recorded two music videos and am preparing  to make a third one soon.  That should keep me busy.

Here’s hoping the autumn season finds you happily productive as well.



I recently relocated from central to North West Arkansas.  Cabot, AR was a wonderful place to grow as a harpist, entertainer, and wannabe athlete, but I missed the Ozarks in many ways.

As a Navy brat I grew up moving around from place to place and learned to make new friends and bloom wherever I was planted.  Missouri was my home for nine years, though.  It wasn’t as easy to adjust to a move two years ago as it had been in the past.

I adapted though. The swamps of the south and the funny accents of the locals have provided much entertainment for me over the past few years.   I found places to twist balloons and clown, to develop my harp skills, and plenty of solitude in which to write.  At the end of my stay there, it was a little sad leaving the area in which I had accumulated so many memories in such a short time.

As I approached Rogers, Arkansas, though,  the sight of the Ozark hills really touched my heart.  There was something about the smell of cedar and the sight of those familiar chicory flowers (like little blue daisies on the roadsides) that made me feel right at home.  Although autumn is beginning drop hints of it’s presence and I know this will be a far more snowy winter than the mild ones we had in the south, I’m happy to be in more familiar territory.  Rogers, AR isn’t Springfield, MO, but it holds many parallels in flora, fauna, and climate.  I feel very much at home here.

For that matter, I feel far less concerned that a walk through the woods will land me in quicksand.  Chiggers and ticks, most definitely, snakes, skunks, and spiders quite possibly.  Ah, but these are known quantities and don’t worry me excessively.  I accepted their threat a long time ago.

Despite the scale being packed for nearly a month and the stress of moving disrupting my efforts to track my food intake (thus limiting it) I weighed one pound less when I was finally able to check it.  Now if I can just keep it off and lose some more, my goal will be that much nearer. Hmmm, which box is my initiative packed in?  Got to find some motivation.

I’m hoping to get better motivated with my training too.  My body weight workouts have gone well.  Despite some loss of tone from taking time off to pack, I appear to be regaining my strength steadily and expect to be taking some of my exercises to the next level in the coming weeks.

The running isn’t going as well as I had hoped.  I slacked off big time in the heat of summer and am having to work hard to get in shape for my next 5k.  I have one picked out for the beginning of October but may reschedule myself for a different one, depending on how things go over the next few days. It seems like the whole world has conspired to keep me from training.  It’s discouraging.

Have you ever set out to do something and fallen short of your goals?  I have and could use some encouraging words.  Anyone inspired to send me a pep talk is cordially invited to do so.

Best Wishes,

Liz Toll, Harpwriter