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What's Your "One Thing"?

Hello, fellow travelers --

What's your "One Thing"?

On January 4th, 2017, that was the question posed to me and the other members of our little neighborhood business book club. We met monthly in the HOA center, where the amazing Ellen Moore led us in a monthly dive into a book. What started as a pretty formal affair quickly got deep and personal as trust in the group and our leader grew.

That month's book was The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth About Extraordinary Results. It was about how to channel your time and passion into the "one thing" you've been dreaming about doing, but just haven't gotten around to doing.

Among the books we reviewed over the years, this one was pretty good.

For me, it was life changing.

One of our habits was to throw questions into a basket and pull them out randomly to guide our discussion. Of course, the question that nearly everyone added was, "What's your 'One Thing'?"

We went around the table and talked about different goals. Some were far-future dreams and others were more basic. When it got to me, I hedged. I didn't want to talk about this one thing that had been in my head, undone, for years. It was too hard. I was too busy. It was too, well, audacious.

They insisted. I relented.

Well, there's this musical I've been thinking about writing since 2008 -- about a wayward, rock-bottom-hitting traveler who comes upon this magical guitar at a train station. The guitar and the music they create together saves him from himself as they ride the rails together.

But there's a much bigger idea behind the show -- I want to create a vehicle for singer-songwriters like me to put their story songs into a larger story arc. Because people don't buy music anymore -- they expect it to be there, but they don't pay for it. But people still go to the theatre and will pay real money for an experience.

As I talked about this One Thing with increasing passion, the other book club members got excited for me too. They said, "You have to do this."

No time.

"Nuh-uh. We know from the book you have to set some goals, take incremental steps, etc."

Well, I did write an early draft of it a few years ago. But do you know how long this will take me to actually create? I've got an incredibly busy job. And once I write it, I have to memorize like 45 minutes of dialogue and perfect a dozen songs! Impossible!

"Great! When will we come see it?"

Huh? No! It will take me at least six months to get a workshop version done!

They get out their date books. "Okay, six months from today will be July 14th, 2017. Does 7pm work for everyone? It's decided then."

Six months later, on July 14th, about a dozen of my book club friends and some other friends came to my house to witness a one-act, workshop version of Miss Isabella Rainsong and Her Traveling Companion: A One-Guitar Show. Imperfect, but magical nonetheless.

I'll be doing the full show - my 20th performance - on June 10th, 2023 in Pittsboro, NC. Part of the proceeds will support Abundance NC. Details at

I hope you can make it.

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