Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Reverend Wills

I have a friend named Reverend Livingston Wills. I met him when I was a little girl, maybe 4 or 5 years old. He was a strong, handsome man and liked to hum a song and whistle a tune as he would walk briskly down my street, balancing a dozen brooms over his shoulder with one hand and bouncing a white walking stick with the other. I had never seen anyone like him before. He'd stop at every house knocking at the doors, selling his wares. Like most of the neighbors, my mom would buy her brooms from Reverend Wills, and would always get a "little girl's broom" that was just my size, for me.

Most people knew him as "the Broom Man" and it was a usual and welcomed sight to see Reverend Wills walking around town with his brooms.

A few years later, we moved to a different neighborhood, and I didn't see Reverend Wills again 'til I was a teenager. I heard a knock at the door and there he was ready to sell me a broom. It was hot out, so I asked him in for iced tea. We talked, and as our iced tea turned into a meal of tuna fish sandwiches and cookies, he shared about his life and his faith. A truly remarkable and inspiring man.

Our friendship has continued over the years. He taught me the song, "What a Friend We Have in Jesus" which I later recorded on our "Sunday" CD and in the liner notes, I wrote a special dedication to Reverend Wills. Once I brought him to one of my performances as my special guest, where I witnessed just a tiny fraction of how many lives he had touched - when I said his name and asked him to stand, I could hear the awesome hush fill the air and the entire auditorium gave him a rousing applause and a standing ovation! We went out to lunch several times, and I was honored to have Reverend Wills say a special blessing at my wedding. That was 11 years ago.

I spent the afternoon with Reverend Wills today. He is in his 90's now, and the years are beginning to take their toll. He's forgetful and was having a hard time remembering my name, but I didn't mind. Just to spend time with him, singing songs while he played the organ, then sitting together on the couch, listening to him recite his favorite poems or tell his favorite jokes as I held his hand, was enough for me.

I thank God for putting Reverend Wills in my life. He is a reminder to me of all that is good here on this earth.

God bless you, Reverend Wills, and thank you for being my friend.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

We have a Bloggy Giveaway Carnival Winner!

Okey Dokey - the winner has been drawn for our Bloggy Giveaway... my son, the official MC of the Giveaway Headquarters, drew the lucky winner's name from our Stardust Giveaway locale - his clubhouse :)

Congratulations to... Jennifer Bogart!

Thanks to all who entered! Want to try again at winning a free Stardust CD? Each month through the end of 2008, we are holding a special giveaway - but you must be entered to win! Sign up on our mailing list for your chance to win your very own copy of Stardust!

Don't want to wait? We are holding a special Mother's Day Sale through the end May! Visit

April 26, 2008 1:30 PM

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bloggy Giveaway Carnival!!

Happy Earth Day week and welcome to my Bloggy Giveaway Carnival Post!!

My name is Cher Klosner Lane - I'm a Mom and a...musician, producer, arranger, composer, recording artist, Mompreneur (TM) and Co-founder of Audible Chocolate Productions. I'm married to my super- cool hubby, Ben, who is an Emmy award-winning animator and assistant director for "The Simpsons." We have one great, loveable, extremely right-brained kid who keeps us on our toes. :)

My blog, "Stardust Lullaby" is all about the roller coaster ride of my entrepreneurial journey juggling music and family - and following what goes on behind the scenes of creating an award winning lullaby CD.

Our giveaway: One lucky winner will win ....(drumroll please!!!!) ...1 brand new shiney copy of
Stardust, a 2-disc lullaby collection for all ages, featuring rich lilting vocals and authentic instrumentation performed by symphony, conservatory and jazz musicians (none of that annoying synthesizer stuff you find on so many kids cds!) Stardust is an "iParenting Media Award Winner - 2008 Best Products -Audio," is up for several more parent and music awards, and is getting fantastic reviews!

Visit Stardust Lullaby to hear soundclips, read reviews, download free Stardust bookmarks and play some super fun games like Stardust Swap... but I'll warn you - they are addictive! :) . And, while you're there, check out our new animated video, "Seepy Sams" produced by Animation Lane and animated by Pascal Campion, who has done several animation projects for They Might Be Giants.

So here are the rules:

- If you want to win, leave me a comment on this post. Please write something beyond I want your CD... just cuz I want to know something about you... and it's good manners ...
- Don't enter more than once because duplicate entries will be deleted, along with it's original...soooo...follow the rules :)
- No anonymous comments - ummm... I can't contact you if you're anonymous...
- This giveaway is open to everyone, and you don't have to be a blogger to play along.
- Winner will be chosen on Friday and I'll contact you then via e-mail.
- You'll have til the following Monday eve, 10pm to respond.
- If I don't hear from you by then, sorry... we'll need to redraw.
- Be sure to check your spam folder.

Thats it! Good luck, and have fun!

Cher & Gene Klosner
Stardust Lullaby..Audible Chocolate for Sweet Dreams!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Spring is here!

My blog is about my journey with Stardust, being a Mom, being a songwriter and being an entrepreneur. As I have said before, every day is different.

What would you guess is the most time consuming part of being an Mom musician entrepreneur? Cuddling with my boy? Writing a song? Nope. Those are the easy parts. Recording? Naaa... once it is done, it is done. Performing? uh-uh. Wrong again. Give up? It is the marketing of your product. Unless you have the luxury of a massive advertising and marketing budget that you can pay someone to introduce your music to the world, you are in for a very fun, interesting and never ending journey - reviews. The not so good news is there is definitely a waiting game involved - once you submit your product for a review, you'll hurry up and... wait. Up to many, many months for larger publications. But the great news is, once those seeds begin to sprout, it is like SPRINGTIME - beautiful bouquets of wonderful thoughts, insights and opinions about your "child." It's like going to a PTA meeting, and your kid is having a really goodschool year, and you just hope and pray that the teacher "gets it" about your baby.

Been a busy few months submitting Stardust for reviews. But Spring has finally arrived, as reviews are popping up all over the place, and the sun is starting to appear. I think starting on my next post, I'll post any links at the end, that way I can talk about other stuff :)

Quickly though, just tonight we received our first review from a Product Review site, Boutique Flair, . Boutique Flair is owned by Krista Peck, who is a wonderfully warm and lovely person, and also a Simpsons fan so I immediately liked her :) Thank you Krista, for the beautiful review!!!

We also received a surprise write-up from the founder of Rhonda Dunaway. We had no idea we were going to be featured on the site and Rhonda shared how Stardust has worked like a charm in getting her son to sleep. We have included portions of Rhonda's write up in our upcoming Press Release, "Mothers Now Have Instant Relaxation Option to Help with Stressful Parenting Moments." Rhonda has a super cool site for Moms living in the Omaha metro area - she's a great gal and Rhonda's musings are witty and lots of fun. Thanks Rhonda, for the great write-up!!!

Stardust was also written up in the Lowcountry Parent - a great parenting publication in Charleston South Carolina, and thank you Leslie from Grill Charms for surprising us with a copy of the magazine in the mail! That was fantastic!

Stardust is now in 13 stores - we just added another Borders to the list - in Papillion NE. YAAAAYYY!!

I have to get some sleep - I babysat two girls ages 5 and 6 over the weekend - put them together with a 7 year old boy with no sisters and you have a very interesting, enlightening and exhausting weekend!

Life is good.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Stardust got another beautiful review!

"Stardust" got another beautiful review - this is by Stephanie Mondrut at I gotta tell you, this was so beautiful it made me cry :)

Stephanie is a well respected children's music reviewer, and we are honored that she took the time to really do a thorough - and glowing -review

Thank you Stephanie!!!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

My hubby and I celebrated our 11th anniversary today. We slept in, then went to a Dan Zane's concert - with our son and my brother! I know, doesn't sound like a typical thing to do for an Anniversary - we usually like to slip away for a nice romantic dinner at The Melting Pot but - I REALLY wanted to see Dan Zanes. The only day he was hewre though, just happened to be on our anniversary. I love my husband - he'll do anything to make me happy.

So why a Dan Zanes concert? With our Stardust CD, Dan Zanes and I are kind of in the same target market. Plus, I used to see videos of Dan Zanes when my son was little - I think they were on Noggin - and I thought he was just - well,... cool. Unlike so much junk music that is dummied down and spoon fed to kids on certain kids' stations that just make my stomach turn, Dan Zanes is simply refreshing.

The musicianship was remarkable - he played guitar, (acoustic and electric), mandolin, banjo, and harmonica, - and his band was a wonderful mix mega-talented women and men, who played stand up bass, acoustic guitar, accordian and one of the coolest drum kit combinations where a set of bongos subbed nicely for additional toms (I was pretty far back, so forgive me if I didn't see any extra toms :) Every person in the band was engaging right from the start.

The concert was only an hour - one lively hour- perfect for the munchkin age - and his songs were an interesting mix of original and covers. My favorites are his originals, but the covers he did were Dan Zane-ized, and he pulled them off well and made them fun. He encouraged the audience to get up and have a party from the get go, so the kids and parents were dancing in the aisles. He did a tune from an upcoming album that was wonderful, and had the audience singing along on that and a couple other tunes.

A toddler managed to climb up on the stage and "rush" the band - instead of security hauling off the crazed fan, the band all bent in to the sweet parent position and waved to her saying "Hi!!" - it was simply precious.

At the end of the show, the band walked through the audience playing their instruments singing goodbye... I actually got a little teary.

It was a fun afternoon for all of us - even my 7 year old who is going through the nothing-kiddie-is-cool gave his Mom a twirl on the last song.

That being said, someday I would LOVE to hear Dan Zanes at a House Concert, or in a setting where the kids are down for night and the adults in all of us parents can come out to play. Dan and his band would rock the house!

And by the way, the night is still young, so I'm off to celebrate the remainder of my anniversary! ;)

Friday, April 4, 2008

Stardust's "Seepy Sams" Video on YouTube!

I feel like a rock star - we have our first very own video on YouTube !! LOL!! Actually, we just put up a video of "Seepy Sams" from our Stardust lullaby CD. The animated videos are all in the hands of my incredibly talented, Emmy Award -winning husband, Ben Lane, who has put together a team of equally talented animators for the DVD project. This is the first finished piece, by Pascal Campion, who has done many projects for "They Might Be Giants" and is an all around wonderful guy. Thank you Pascal, and to all the artists who are going to be working on this project! On YouTube, files have to be compressed to the max, so the quality on YouTube is...well, YouTube quality. :) But you'll get a peek into what will be coming soon on DVD!!


Thursday, April 3, 2008

College World Series!!!

Holy smokes!!! We just got a letter from the College World Series that we are singing the National Anthem OPENING DAY, 6 pm!!! This is one of the highest attended games of the season, averaging about 26,000 fans!!! Woo-HOOOOOO!!!! My hands are already sweating!!! :)

On the subject of music, I have to tell you about a great music program for kids, called "Kindermusik" . My son went through the program, and it was wonderful. When I first started checking around for music programs for kids, I couldn't find the right balance of fun and educational - either too dopey silly, or jusat too plain rigid for a 4 year old. I can't stand the music on most kids CDs - I threw away countless discs, because the music (if you can call it that) on so many CDs for children was unbearable and "dummied down." Kids aren't stupid. Music isn't complicated. So I was delighted after hearing the Kindermusik CD's, and I was hooked. Real, authentic instrumentation, fun AND educational.

The programs are all over the US, and I highly recommend them to any parent wanting to introduce their children to a solid foundation of music. The curriculum includes teaching notes, and the kids are exposed to an array of musical genres - age appropriate but without dummying down the music. I give Kindermusik 5 stars out of 5 stars!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Setting Goals on a Dry Erase Board

Ten or so years ago, I purchased a huge dry-erase board. It has been the center focus of my office, in the last 3 places I have lived. I started it in a January, and wrote all of my short term (1 year) and long term (2-5 year) goals and things that I need/hope to accomplish on the board . As the year progresses, I refer to the board regularly, not always consciously, but it's always there. At the beginning of the new year, my brother and I visit the board, check off all the things we accomplished, re-assess what wasn't, and set new goals for the year. Then we high five all that was accomplished and wipe the board clean and start anew. (This year, cuz we've been so dang busy, we weren't able to get to this til yesterday, but I'm glad it was somewhere in the first quarter).

WOW!! We accomplished over 95% of the things we set out to do last year!!! What an amazing feeling!!! As we wiped clean each goal met, I felt amazingly proud! I had to pull my hubby and son in the room just to show them how empty the board was!!!

2007 was a great year (and a quarter!) And 2008, even with the Writer's strike, we are kickin' butt in the goals department. By the way, "finding other Moms online that are in business" was one of my goals - and it was one of the happiest goals I've met this year! I've met so many new friends - it is wonderful! The other on the top of my list - win a Grammy for 2009 - I am now an official voting member for the Academy, as of yesterday!! "Stardust" will be submitted for Grammy consideration at the latter half of the year.

And, yes, I am already practicing my acceptance speech - but, as the old saying goes, I'll be happy just to be nominated!! ;)