Rule #20. Don’t Surprise

Rule #16 explained don’t surprise….It’s my best example of what not to do and why.

I just really want to share a few GOOD surprises I’ve received in 2013.

Surprise #1

Met my first whistle blower!  It was exciting for me to be in the aura of such bravery.  Sometime, when it’s possible, will tell you more, but for now, all I can say is that I love knowing her. Thanks, Lori Capps for introducing us!

Nothing is more dangerous than the TRUTH.


Surprise #2

On the “Country Faith” CD, brain-child of Deborah Evans-Price, I was introduced to artist Jimmy Wayne.  I love, love, love his song, “SHINE”.   It reminds me of dear friend, Debra Brawner – Debra uses the word SHINE regularly — for years I’ve  watched her give others the opportunity to SHINE, me included.  SHINE is Debra’s mantra, and yes, it’s part of why I love his song, AND now, Jimmy Wayne’s music.

 “Country Faith” was my tipping point. 

Remember: It only takes one person to help another SHINE. Who can you help to SHINE today?  tomorrow?  next week?  What will be your tipping point?

Debra Brawner, left with Betty White and ‘friends’ from the Columbus Zoo!Debra and Betty White

Music artist, Jimmy Wayne, sings “SHINE” on the “Country Faith” CD.

Jimmy Wayne

“The Tipping Point”

Tipping Point book

Malcolm Gladwell, author, “The Tipping Point”

Malcolm Gladwell


I don’t miss one. single. episode. of Dr. Phil.  Even watch the reruns on OWN.  This is the first time I can remember being this interested in any television show. I have learned SO MUCH.  His words of wisdom have helped me deal with familial problems since my Mother’s death in 2012.  I understand so much more through his shows about siblings, wills and caregivers.  I am at peace because I know others’  actions have nothing to do with me.  His words, via the shows have given me a peace that only comes with ME doing the gritty work.  I’m on the other side of my hurt now, and joyous with my life.   Surprised at myself, that I’ve actually been able to forgive those who’ve hurt me — and my late Mother — so much.  Blessed.

BUT if I could talk to him, I would ask him to QUIT SAYING  “This is not my first rodeo” over and over and over.  WE KNOW.  WE KNOW.

Dr. Phil

A Night of Honor

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CMA Media Achievement Award

Congratulations to CMA MEDIA ACHIEVEMENT AWARD Winner

Deborah Evans Price!

Deborah EVans Price

NASHVILLE – Freelance journalist and author Deborah Evans Price was presented the 2013 CMA Media Achievement Award in the backstage media center during “The 47th Annual CMA Awards” Wednesday night.

“I’m so honored to win the CMA Media Achievement Award this year, especially when I think of all the wonderful journalists who precede me like Chet Flippo, my beloved former bureau chief at Billboard,” said Price. “The publicists in the Country Music community are the hardest working, most caring people and such a joy to work with. I’m blessed to get up every day and write about music I love and am so touched by this recognition.”

“Deborah is respected within the industry and is highly regarded for her passion for the music, her relationships with our artists, and her creative, collaborative approach to her work,” said CMA Vice President of Corporate Communications Wendy Pearl. “Over the years, Deborah has made great contributions to the development of many artist’s careers as well as championing our legends.”

Her work has helped Country Music stay in the forefront and over the years she has been a strong supporter of CMA’s events including the CMA Music Festival and CMA Awards. Price even wrote a coffee table book on the history of the CMA Awards, which was released in 2010.

Based in Nashville, Evans Price is a frequent contributor to Billboard, Country Weekly, FIRST for Women,, PEOPLE Country, HomeLife, and CMA Close Up, among other publications. A respected music industry analyst, Price has been interviewed by key media outlets, including MSNBC, CNN, the “Today Show,” ABC’s “Prime Time Live,” the Gospel Music Channel, CMT, The Washington Post, The New York Times, among others.

A native of Richlands, Va., Price’s father was in the Air Force, and she grew up on military bases all over the world, from McGuire Air Force Base in New Jersey to Kadena AFB in Okinawa, Japan. She majored in journalism at Louisiana State University in Shreveport and, while in college, worked at KTAL-TV Channel 6. During college, she began working in Country Music as a disc jockey at KRMD-FM for four years while also writing articles on Country Music for the Shreveport Times and Shreveport Journal.

A Nashville resident since 1983, Deborah began her career on Music Row as editorial assistant at Radio & Records magazine before landing the editor-in-chief post at Country News. She has served as associate editor with American Songwriter and Country/Christian editor at Billboard. She has interviewed numerous entertainers, including Ernest Tubb, Sandra Bullock, Amy Grant, Third Day, Don Henley, Jon Bon Jovi, Robert Duvall, Chris Rice, Charlie Daniels, 3 Doors Down, Kirk Franklin, MercyMe, Alan Jackson, Smokey Robinson, Brad Paisley, Taylor Swift, Bret Michaels, Switchfoot, P.O.D., and Steven Curtis Chapman.

She was a contributor to the Billboard Encyclopedia of Record Producers, profiling such music industry legends as Sam Phillips, Billy Sherrill, and Ken Nelson. She was a contributing author to The World’s Best Songwriters on Creating the Music That Moves Us.

The CMA Media Achievement Award was established to recognize outstanding achievements in the media as they relate to Country Music. Print and Internet journalists, columnists, authors, and editors; television writers, producers and bookers; and syndicated radio reporters are eligible to win this award.

CMA member publicists nominate media candidates for consideration. The top five nominees are collected and sent to the publicist panel for a second round of voting. The overall winner is presented to the Awards and Recognition Committee and then approved by the CMA Board of Directors.

Previous Winners of the Media Achievement Award:

1982 Jack Hurst

1983 Neil Hickey

1984 Dolly Carlisle

1985 Red O’Donnell

1986 No Recipient

1987 David Zimmerman

1988 Robert K. Oermann

1989 Bob Claypool

1990 Dick Heard

1991 No Recipient

1992 Mark McEwen

1993 Lynn Lester

1994 Judy Massa

1995 Clay Smith

1996 Tisi Aylward

1997 Jay Orr

1998 Chet Flippo

1999 Hazel Smith

2000 Neil Pond

2001 Harry Chapman

2002 Jim Patterson

2003 Denise Quan

2004 Alanna Nash

2005 Mark Bracco

2006 Donna Hughes

2007 Storme Warren

2008 Monica Escobedo

2009 Cynthia Sanz

2010 Beville Darden

2011 Ashley Dvorkin

2012 Jennifer Meyer and Ray Sells

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Rule #17 Never Believe Your Own Press


Film Producer Robert Evans says in the December Vanity Fair his most treasured possession is his PRIDE.  Really?  REALLY

Robert Evans twoRobert Evans, today.

Evans has been married seven times but none of his marriages have lasted more than three years and his last project was “Kid Notorious” in 2003. Seems like at 83 he might have learned something?  Guess not.

Robert Evans with Ali McGraw Robert Evans with Ali McGraw, one of his seven wives….

Living in Nashville there was one bank branch I frequented.  When the branch manager left, two employees were vying for the position.  The assistant manager/ applicant said she would leave if not chosen, saying to me  “if you don’t have your pride what do you have?”

She didn’t get the job, and the last time I saw her, she was a cashier at a gas station. (No, I am NOT putting down gas station cashiers…)

Wonder how that pride thing’s workin’ now?

Being prideful is not the same as being proud. We can be proud of someone, something, and we can have pride in same.  Being PRIDEFUL is completely different.  To actually say PRIDE is a most treasured possession? Really pitiful.

I think Robert Evans believed his own press one too many times.  Fame, success are much of the time hard work.  Rewarding, as with achieving anything we set our minds to, but usually difficult.

A client was getting his watch serviced in his hometown jewelry store when a significant watch brand salesman approached him, pulling out a top-of-the-line watch.  He handed to my client and said it was his if he’d wear it.  OF COURSE he would wear it.

Publicists also receive lots of perks, we learn it’s not necessary to always wait in line,  we are usually given great parking places and good seats in restaurants.  Trust me, when I tell you any transition from this life is extremely difficult to adjust, but adjust we must, if we intend to be the most Authentic version of ourselves.

There are few — if speaking honestly — who can say they’ve accomplished everything on their own. It DOES take a village. Parents, doctors, nurses, teachers, friends — we all need support.  If we hold pride as our most valuable possession, then we keep a wall between us and everyone else.  We are not living authentically.  We are believing our own press.   It’s one thing to work our brand, it’s another to live and breathe our brand as if we are nothing without it….we are and we can be.

Many have achieved a balance, Mark Lowry is one of the best examples of Authentic Self.  There were times when I wanted to kill him, we could argue to the moon and back….yes, I argued with the author of Mary, Did You Know.


Another is Deborah Evans Price, she is the same all the time.  SUCH a joy to have as a friend.  Deborah’s latest work is Country Faith.

Country Faith

Deborah, her son, Trey and friend, Brad Paisley.

Deborah Country Weekly What Deborah says about this photo: I just want to say a big “Thank You” to  for running a story on my new book Country Faith. Check out page 49 in the Nov. 4 issue with Brad  Paisley and Carrie Underwood on the cover. I was so excited when I saw this. I was jumping up and down in the check out line at Publix. The full page story includes photos of me and some of the artists in the book, including Carrie and Charlie Daniels. I especially love that they used this shot of my son Trey and I with Brad. Trey’s friends think it’s so cool he’s in CW. I agree!

And Nina Baker, artist of profound work NEVER talks about all her awards, but I want to show her latest award-winning piece of work, Provence Dandelions.

better provence by Nina Come by and see this fabulous work, or visit

See?  Working together gives everyone more opportunity to learn and engage, to win and to be part of another’s journey.   Loving our accomplishments, compliments, kudos is one thing, LIVING in a press release is not authentic.  Let’s don’t be afraid to step out of the image to who we really are, who we can be.  Nothing is more rewarding.
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