Saturday, January 19, 2019

The News

Be The Light Now Recording 3/3/12

March 3rd I was the special Guest on Be the Light Now! with host Michael Carbone.  Listen on, Download the episode on iTunesor listen to the show right here!  It was a great show, very exciting, this iwas my first time working with Michael and his amazing show.

Family Photos

I'm leaving town for a few days for my Grandmother's 100th birthday.  I've been scanning and going through old family pictures for a slideshow and thought I'd share a few.


My maternal Grandparents, Jo and John Williamson, soon after their wedding.


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Grandma worked for years in the Lamar University Library.  Check it out, Card Catalogue!


My Mother (Janet) and my Aunt Jo.

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My Aunt Jo re-christened her father as Dado when she was a kid.  It stuck, so her is Dado, Grandma Jo, Me (John Michael) and Bitsy (Aunt Jo's dog) It's a waggon we are sitting in, not an over-sized cake pan like I first thought.


Grandma and Mom in Grandma's big old southern kitchen.  I  loved that old house, it was torn down to make a freeway.


Nother picture of the house.


Merry Christmas.

Why I chose Kickstarter

Well, unfortunately the project, Further Up the Stairs, didn't fund.  It really means a lot to me that you pledged and believed in this idea to get involved and even though the project didn't succeed I feel blessed by your support.  Kickstarter is an all or nothing way of fundraising, so no funds will be collected or credit cards charged.
As to where Further Up The Stairs goes now, I'm really not sure.  I will continue to look for ways to move the cd forward and I may even try Kickstarter again in the future, but for now it goes to the back burner.
You can keep up with me, this and other projects at, my newsletter and Facebook

Thank you from the bottom of my heart,
John Michael Thornton

I first read about Kickstarter a little over a year ago on Neil Gaimen's blog.  I didn't really get it then, but he posted a great little introduction, " If you don't know about Kickstarter, it is a wonderful thing that helps people get projects off the ground. If you want to support one of their projects then you pledge money. If the project reaches its funding goals then the money changes hands. If not, it doesn't."

It's that last bit that's kinda scary.  You do all this work and you don't know if it will be rewarded or not, it's an all or nothing venture.

It provides a deadline - March 8th!

I don't know about you, but I am hard pressed to get creative projects off the ground without a deadline.  Heck, it's hard for me to get around to cleaning the kitchen without threat of visitors, and as much as I like writing and recording it is too easy to put off til tomorrow and tomorrow again.  You have this short period of time, they recommend less than 30 days, to get the word out.  Talk endlessly about your project and give all your friends meaningful looks.

There are Fabulous Prizes.

I hate begging for money and Kickstarter is not about begging – it is about providing real, tangible rewards for contributions.  Creative rewards that you might never even think about outside of this framework.  You find yourself sitting in front of the "rewards" form trying to think of creative and interesting stuff you can give away that is different for what you have for sale.  Some people offer crazy stuff like the vegan artist offing to eat a pound of bacon for one reward.  Bizarre, but it gets your attention.  One thing that I am offering (for just $17) is an autographed photo from the cd photoshoot.  It seemed a bit egomaniacal, but last year at ULE this woman asked for a autographed copy of one of my fliers, so what do I know?


While people can just make a donation, for as little as $1, to get the project off the ground, most every donation gets you something worth as much or more than what you donate.  It’s a great deal and gets us creative types to be creative.

It's Venture capital for artists.

What I liked most though is that it is venture capital for artists.  Crowd sourcing small donations to create something bigger than what you were managing to do on your own and getting lots of other people involved in the project.

The world needs more art and beauty and meditation and music and this is a way to make it happen.

That is why I chose Kickstarter and I hope you choose to get involved in my Project – Further Up The Stairs and make it happen.  Without your help and involvement I don't know when or if this cd will ever get made.  Together we can bring it into the world with a really good start.

100 Years

dogwoodNext week I fly to Texas for my maternal Grandmother's 100thbirthday.  It's going to be weird with distant cousins coming in from across Texas and Louisiana – people I knew quite well as a child, but haven't seen in years.  Grandma Jo has had Alzheimer's for years and sleeps most of the time, but the assisted living place she lives in is determined to have a big party and call the local media.  It will be weird.  I will take pictures and report back.

Speaking of names, Grandma Jo married John Williamson, gave birth to Josephine, and Janet who married Jim and gave birth to John – so all you matchmakers out there, I'm guess I'm looking for a J or possibly an E, can't have too much variation in the family tree, might get confusing.

I've been scanning a bunch of old photos, some I'd never seen before, in preparation for Grandma's party.  I think this one is my favorite.weddingphoto

My grandparents Jo and John, younger than I am now. I never knew those people, I only knew who they became, but they were lovely. I have the same half smile as my Grandma, never noticed before.

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19 Jan 2019;
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26 Jan 2019;
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21 Feb 2019;
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Meditation for Beginners- 6 Week Series