A while back I suggested a nutty idea to my brother, YA author James Klise, and my illustrator sister, Sarah. "Let's hire a vocal coach to teach us to sing a karaoke version of 'Whenever I Call You Friend.' We could perform it sometime at a publishing conference.
Sarah's response: "Whaaaa?" My brother's response: "Are you insane?"
Okay, maybe a little. But it's such a fun song. It always makes me happy. Too bad I can't carry a tune in a bucket.
But just now I heard an interview on NPR with Melissa Manchester, whose pal, Kenny Loggins, wrote the song with some help from Melissa. She took a demo tape of the song to Clive Davis, who was then head of Capitol Records. "You've gotta hear this," she told Clive Davis. "It's fantastic! It's a sure-fire hit. I've got to record it with Kenny." According to Manchester, Davis listened to the song and said, "Eh, it's okay." He passed on it, so Kenny Loggins took the song to Stevie Nicks and together, they made a hit out of it.
There's a lesson in here somewhere, though I'm not sure what it is. Trust your artistic instincts? Self publish? Or maybe it's just don't let the grumps get you down. If you love a project, maybe a song you've written, or a book, a drawing, a poem, support it. Be its advocate and friend. And remember, every moment there's a reason to carry on . . .