December 21, 2010Seasons greetings to all!
I've spent much time over the course of this past year, learning about others who have suffered loss in their lives and taken inspiration from how they've managed to overcome it. I'm learning that grief and the suffering of loss, challenges me to be more sensitive and understanding of other's and also more accepting of my own struggles. Challenge reminds me how important it is to let those who love me, care for me when I need it. The support of others has helped me to move forward less fearful of change, allowing me to embrace the beauty of life today and remain more open to whatever it brings tomorrow.
The people who make my life the most joyful are the ones I am able to lean on because of my own humanness. In the last two and a half years of adjusting to life after separation and divorce, I needed to lean on others more often than I was accustomed to. These people have been gifts, and I am fortunate to have so many of these beautiful people - friends, family and beloved fans, who's support I cherish more deeply with each day that passes. Now another year is about to pass, and I would like to thank everyone who helped me believe that new beginnings are possible and that love can be trusted. Thank you!
2010 is leaving me with a renewed faith in love and commitment. I believe in the right to be loved and the blessing of being able to love in return. Talking about love, I am excited to share some personal news with you; I'm in love! Frederic Nicolas Thiebaud has been a true gift to me as a compassionate, understanding friend and over time, an amazing love has blossomed from this precious friendship. Fred and I are happy to announce, our ENGAGEMENT!
Love, peace and happiness is taking me in to 2011 and I'm feeling refreshed and optimistic about the future. I'm looking forward to what the new year has in store and to sharing it with you. So, I'll be in touch with more news and details soon. Until then, have a fantastic holiday season and I wish you love.
April 27th, 2010 - Shania Blogs From LA
February 11th, 2010
I'm writing you from the Caribbean where I'm warming up after a cold stretch in Canada during the holidays. The sunny weather gets me into writing mode. Many of the songs from The Woman In Me and Come On Over were written in the tropics so it's a good place for me to be creative.
I wanted to give you a peak at some of the footage Fred grabbed during my trip to Ontario over Christmas and New Years so I put together a montage of bits and pieces to share with you.
There were many highlights, but the key ones were sitting by the tree singing old songs with family, hanging around in comfy clothes and doing nothing but enjoying a relaxing evening by the fire. It was cold and snowy outside, warm and cozy inside.
My cousin Kenny and I kicked a few songs around as we tried to remember how they went. The jamming is pretty rough, but real, and thought you would appreciate the authenticity of it, even if it is poor, home quality.
The once-in-a-lifetime experience of carrying the Olympic torch along its journey to the final stop in Vancouver, BC for the winter Olympic Games was an energizing opportunity. I was worried about the length of the run as I didn't want to embarrass myself by arriving at the cauldron out of breath. It turned out we were ahead of schedule, and I was asked to take my time and even stop periodically so I didn't get to the cauldron too early. When Eja saw me after the run, he said, "Mom, it is called an Olympic torch run because you are supposed to RUN, not WALK!" The temperatures were pretty low so running the whole way would probably have, ironically, kept me warmer. In any case, it was an awesome 300 meters and I will cherish the honor forever.
Another highlight was hosting a national radio show called "The Current". The focus of the segment was on underprivileged children. I interviewed Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan who shares an interest in helping underprivileged children through education on an international level. Her initiative is called "1Goal". She is doing amazing things in her effort to bring equality in education to all children of the world. I asked her to speak with us on "The Current" to discuss our mutual goals on live radio, in hopes of heightening the awareness to the general public.
I also interviewed Raffi, a world-famous children's songwriter who has created the Centre for Child Honouring on Salt Spring Island, B.C. On the flip side, I had a conversation with rapper Cadence Weapon, who had an interesting perspective on how rap music can affect children in a positive way and talked about his interaction with children through his poetic music.
In a joint effort with the Canadian Red Cross, we were also able to raise over $120,000 for a program they have created to help educate underprivileged families about the prevention of child neglect and abuse.
I was also able to interview two experts, Katreena Scott, a professor in the Department of Human Development and Applied Psychology at the University of Toronto, and Jeanette Lewis, Executive Director of the Ontario Association of Children's Aid Societies, who shared insight relating to their individual experience in their respective fields regarding underprivileged children. They gave engaging input on the various issues surrounding the matter.
You will note on my website information about a program that I'm personally creating to help underprivileged kids through education - Shania Kids Can. You can read more about the program by clicking on the link www.shaniatwain.com/shaniakidscan.html.
Overall, my Christmas holiday trip was fulfilling, inspiring and enlightening in many respects - a wide variety of activity between family time, winter weather pleasures, local culture and sport, charity and music. I hope you enjoy the recap.
I hope your start into 2010 has been a good one, and I will be in touch soon with more news on what's happening on my end.
----------------->see the 2 video's on her official website<----------------
January 02, 2010 - Happy New Year from Shania
Happy New Year everyone!!!
I hope you were able to bring in the new year with joy and peace. I spent my New Year’s Eve with family in Timmins, and there is no better way to bring in the new year than with the people you love.
Yesterday we all enjoyed a nature ride to see some moose close-up. I’ve seen many moose in my life and several of them up close but only because they’d been hunted and of course, already dead. So it was amazing to be able to actually touch one that was still alive.
Moose have a docile nature when it’s not mating season, and it was such a fantastic experience for both Eja and I to stand with this amazing creature. The moose in this picture is a young cow named Savanna. She will get quite a bit taller once fully grown but is already pretty big even at only three years old.
I wish you all lots of love and happiness in 2010, and I look forward to staying in touch over the months to come.
All my love,
December 23th, 2009 - Holiday Wishes from Shania
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all!
I've been in the North Country of Ontario, Canada and, after a crazy drive through a snowstorm to get here, I finally made it North for the holidays to take in the spirit of a great, white Christmas. What would normally be a two-and-a-half hour drive took over seven hours with several accidents along the way. We experienced dead stops of long waits during whiteouts. Miles of vehicles were lined up bumper to bumper, blanketed in snow from hours of sitting and waiting for news of what was happening up ahead. Very scary driving conditions, and I really felt lucky to have made it safely in the end. It was centimeter after centimeter of snow falling for hours on end. Even we Northerners can only cope with so much snow all at once. I have personally never seen such a crisis just over falling snow, but this snowfall was an exception. We normally cope pretty well, and falling snow is just a part of another winter day, but this storm was a doozy!
Many people were running out of gas on the highway. It was a chilly night so it was very uncomfortable and actually dangerous for anyone not prepared to spend the night in their vehicle without heat, which many had to do in the end. I couldn't help thinking of anyone with children onboard and how they must have coped - no washrooms, no emergency vehicle access without painstaking effort, and even when emergency support made it out, it was slow. Not a good night to have an emergency. In fact, during one of our dead stops of four hours, we only saw one tow truck make it through. We were very lucky that we had a full tank of gas, a heavy, sturdy vehicle and some groceries in the back.
I've spent years driving these same roads in bad weather in cars with no front or four-wheel drive, only enough gas to get from A to B and a lot of wishful thinking and luck to get me safely where I was going. Phew, this trip was a reminder of all those years coping with winter drives in the North. For most of the ride this time going North, I was pretty scared since our vehicle was sandwiched between a transport truck in front of and behind us. It's very dangerous to try to pull off an unplowed, unsalted, unsanded, snow-covered road with whiteout conditions unless you are really able to slow down to pullover. With an 18-wheeler not far behind who can barely see you, slowing down is not a good idea. Also, we were reduced to one narrow lane, and all we could see were the taillights of the vehicle in front of us if we stayed right on him. So, too close for comfort yet not able to stay back for risk of losing our visual reference for direction and not being able to pull over. I wasn't driving but was squirming in my seat, anxious and nervous. There was no point saying much and other than keeping my eyes strained on the truck ahead and any other visual reference possible, there was nothing I could do as a passenger. So, I decided to try to keep myself preoccupied and calm by texting Fred and Eja, keeping my thoughts off a situation I couldn't control. I was aware of the probability of our car going out of control and wanted to make sure I touched base in case that actually did happen. I know too well all about the risks on these roads in bad weather so my concerns were warranted. What a hairy night!
Since I finally arrived North, I've enjoyed some exciting, local hockey games (which made my voice raspy from all the yelling and cheering for our team), some fun in the snow with the kids, more dangerous driving on snowy, windy, winter roads with deer popping up all over the place, lots of seasonal music (Michael Buble's "Let it Snow" is this year's favorite), family and friends around the bonfire, being at the rinks drinking hot chocolate, and then more fun in the snow. We got lots of the white stuff early this year so have been taking advantage of it. It's a pain to shovel but great news for the Olympic games to have such a good base for the outdoor sports and, just for recreational time, makes for great tobogganing, snow fights and amazing scenery.
Enjoy the holidays wherever you are, and I look forward to touching base again with you all in the New Year! Lots of exciting things to report and share with you in early 2010 so I will be in touch with more news soon.
Lots of peace and love to you ‘til then,
November 06th, 2009 - Shania on NYC trip
Here are some pics (below) with friends backstage at Madison Square Garden in NYC during last week’s 25th Anniversary Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame concerts. I'm also sharing my favorite moments of the whole event.
I was moved to tears by Bonnie Raitt's performance of "Love Has No Pride". I was sobbing in the audience (which isn't like me as I'm usually able to choke visible tears back when in public), as this is a song from my early childhood and it ripped at my heart to hear her soulful voice cry it out so painfully. I am a HUGE fan of Bonnie and have spent many hours listening to her CDs over the years. She is one of my absolute fave's and so is that song. I hadn't heard it in over 20 years so it caught me by surprise all around. I wasn't expecting her to do it and certainly wasn't ready for it to hit me so emotionally. Not sure if I have more to cry about now or if I'm just becoming more of a sap these days! Probably a bit of both. It was a highlight meeting her backstage for the first time. She was humble and kind.
Simon and Garfunkel blended like I'd hoped they would and were a team I never thought I'd get the chance to see live. It was an honor to witness these two geniuses together on the same stage.
Other highlights from the performances of those two nights for me personally were Stevie Wonder's segment as he sang like an absolute angel. He glides in, out and around every note like he's on a honey roller coaster. He never ceases to amaze me after all the years I've been admiring his voice. It's incredibly moving to watch him perform and hear him sing. A duet between "The Boss" and John Fogerty doing a rendition of Roy Orbison's “Oh, Pretty Woman” made me jump up out of my seat. Their voices blended so amazingly well together - a must with Orbison songs, and they nailed it. Fantastic! I wanted to hear it again.
Another biggie for me was Metallica. Saying they are a powerful wall of sound is an understatement. There are only four of them in the band but sound like double. Their guitars ripped, the drums kicked and punched holes in our chests and the bass pounded equal punches, vibrating the whole place. We loved it! Especially when they brought out Ozzy. They were perfect together. Watching Ozzy from start to finish was like being in a time warp. How could he look so much the same after all these years and still even sound exactly the same? He delivered in classic Ozzy style, only without the gore. Talk about "taking me back!"
Both nights were amazing and as my friend put it, was like “the Olympics of Rock 'n Roll”, but nothing could have been better than seeing the master of showmanship himself, Mick Jagger, walk out on the stage to cap off the whole experience. He strutted out at the end of U2's segment with his giant presence commanding every single ear and eye in the house. I thought, “Phew, there is a BIG man in that little body!” He can't weigh any more than I do. I had never seen him live, and it was a serious treat for me. He just simply "rocked".
After the show backstage, as Mick was walking by in the hall, a friend said to me, "Shania, aren't you going to stop him and say hi?" I said, "No, I don't need to meet him to admire him. I don't want to bother him, besides, I'm happy just having seen him perform. My friend replied, "Ya, but this is Mick." I chuckled and told him he was such a groupie. He smiled admittingly and before we knew it, Mick was gone anyway.
Pic below, I'm with my tour manager and good friend from the "COME ON OVER" tour, George Travis. He's Bruce Springsteen's long-time tour manager and was there with him that night. It was great catching up and reminiscing about our time on the road together.
The whole night I was on the "other side" of the fence, so to speak, taking in the music and the backstage experience like a true fan would. It's nice to step outside of my "artist" self and just enjoy and admire what everyone else is doing for a change. I love being an artist, but it's also great to have the pressure off and allow myself to be the observer instead of the observed. Knowing so many of the people backstage from crew to performers, agents, security, etc., I felt at home, but nothing was expected of me other than to be myself, hang, catch-up with friends and have a laugh. Very good for the soul and super motivation to go home and keep writing music.
October 01st, 2009
Letter from Shania about carring the Olypmic Torch Bearer
It's an immense honour for me to have been given the opportunity to be an Olypmic Torch bearer of the 2010 winter Olympics being held in my birth country of Canada in Vancouver, as it takes its journey through my home town of Timmins. It is certain to be one of the most memorable experiences of my life.
I am proud to have been presented this unique opportunity and privilege and look forward to sharing the pride with my hometown and fellow Canadians as we are all proud of our country's chance to host the upcoming winter games. I have a tremendous respect for the hard work, dedication and talent of the world's greatest athletes and will humbly carry and pass on the Olympic torch with a special pride for my country's Olympians.
I am grateful for this special gift of participation in carrying the flame that represents such an incredible spirit of sportsmanship and excellence and wish ALL the athletes of the 2010 Winter Olympics courage, strength and triumph during the games.
I'm sending my sincerest, best wishes to each and every one of you as you take this remarkable Olympic journey.
September 08th, 2009 - Shania blogs on American Idol
First off, thank you for all the kind birthday wishes. I had a fabulous day with my family in Canada, ending with a surprise fireworks display.
I hope you enjoyed my “recovery and discovery” travel montage from the last several months. I took great pleasure in sharing it with all of you as a “thank you” for your support.
Now it’s onto more excitement over the next few months, leading up to the New Year. I’ll continue to keep you posted periodically on what’s going on, as I continue to live and love each day, indulge in the joy of being a mom, continue writing, traveling, and keeping myself inspired.
The pic is from my recent trip to Chicago sitting in as a guest judge for American Idol. I had a blast and was touched by the warm welcome that Simon, Kara, Randy and Ryan extended to me. I can’t wait for you to see it. I loved Chicago! So many fantastic buildings, it’s super clean, has an interesting history, and the overall beauty of the place makes it very special. I also discovered “Frango” mint chocolates. Yum!
Again, sorry for the bad quality of the photo. I’ve gotta get Fred a better camera!
August 28th, 2009
Thought I would drop a line to catch you up on things in my life and what better time than on my birthday.
I feel very much alive and well, ready to take on the gift of another year. I've been on a few interesting trips, reading some helpful and motivating books, meeting fascinating people and getting the most out of life that I possibly can. Living, loving, laughing and dreaming have become highest on my list of priorities. I'm looking for places to be and things to do that inspire me to write and be creative, concentrating on moving on and forward.
When I wake up each day I remind myself how lucky I am to have all the beautiful things I do in my life and allow that gratitude to fuel me for the day, taking one day at a time. I try not to worry about tomorrow since I realize I can't control what it will bring or whether tomorrow will even come. So, I focus on today and treat every minute with the respect it deserves and not take it for granted. I steer my energies toward being productive and finding motivation from every person, place and thing I encounter.
Traveling has helped a great deal. I consider myself on a journey of discovery and recovery. I don't accept to be held down by the past, nor do I expect too much of the future. This allows me to dream freely with no strings attached.
I recently read something very encouraging to someone like myself, who lives and loves to dream: "PLANS HAVE TO BE REALISTIC, DREAMS DON'T." Of course, I love this notion and allow myself to dream positive things and plan to live them out.
I make a point of surrounding myself with fun, positive, compassionate, loving people. Loved ones I can trust. After all, good company brings good feelings and feeling good just makes life more pleasant. The love and understanding of my friends and family have pulled me through the recent difficult time. It's as if several hands grabbed me by the scruff of the neck during my lowest moment and promised not to let go till I was safe. They kept their promise, and I want to thank them, my lifesavers.
So, thank you my dear friends and family. Thank you to the fans as well for your words of comfort and encouragement.
All this has given me enormous strength.
A dear friend and true gentleman by the name of Fred, has been the most constant companion of support for both Eja and me, and having gone through the suffering of his family splitting apart at the same time under the same extreme circumstances, he understood me better than anyone. We leaned on one another through the ups and downs, taking turns holding each other up. We've become stronger and closer through it all, as have our children Eja and Johanna (Fred's 8 year old daughter).
"The kids" came along on several of the trips you'll see in the montage. My mother often called me her little Gypsy so it's no surprise that travel is working for me in finding inspiration through seeing new and fascinating things. I'm putting that inspiration in to writing and more dreaming.
The best part about my dreams lately, is that not only am I allowing myself to dream, I set those dreams into action and live them out.
Fred filmed and snapped away during the travel adventures of the last six months, capturing the dreams becoming reality. The home footage is full of happy faces, beautiful, interesting places and lots of horses. Yeah!
When I reflect on it all, it's clear how remarkably active my life has been since last December - a time in the life of someone working hard to "move on" and succeeding. Life has been gracious to me and the images show that very clearly.
Why I decided to share this personal side of my life with you at this point is to answer the questions I get asked so often lately: "how are you, where have you been and what have you been doing?"
A big part of the answer is in the montage. I'm "okay" - yes, I hit a very big bump in the road, but Eja and I are doing well and with all the concern you, my fans, have shown over this difficult period, I want you to see for yourself that we are doing fine, by sharing these personal images with you. Sorry about the poor quality of the footage but almost all of what you will see, both photos and video, were shot on Fred's cell phone with the exception of the skydive filmed from a tiny, wrist camera worn by the guide. Although the images weren't originally filmed with the intention of sharing them publicly, in the end I decided it was more fun to share them. We weren't paying attention to quality, all of it being done on the fly, so I've included text in various places to help explain and make things easier to follow. Once again, it's all very candid footage so be ready to see a lot of me without makeup, no touch ups, some bad hair and looking pretty goofy. There is no glamour but plenty of genuine smiles.
Fred and I have certainly had a lot of laughs through the months and while sharing these images with a good friend of mine after each trip, she now affectionately refers to us as, "Lucy and Ricky Ricardo".
Hope you enjoy!
----------------> at her offical website<-------------------
June 12th, 2009
I am so excited to be writing to you personally again after so long.
First I want to apologize for the delay in releasing new music. Music is the basis of our relationship, after all, and I realize I'm not holding up very well on my end of the relationship! But music has a mind of it's own, and is ruled by a writer's emotions and state of mind, not by a time frame or wishful thinking. I wish like crazy that
I had new music by now since I dream of how fun it would be to see you all again out on tour with new songs to sing, but as most of you know, I have been side-tracked slightly over this past year.
The personal issues that took place just over a year ago have been well documented, and there’s no need to go into more detail here. Since then, I've been inspired by my pain to write and use writing as a therapy through the suffering. I truly wouldn't wish this on anybody as a means to get inspired, but it's been a productive period with so much emotion trying to find it's way out. However, there is no telling how long it will take me to actually finish these songs and record them so they can get out to you.
As many things as there have been to write about through this difficult time in my life, healing is serious business and has taken a lot of the wind out of my sails, slowing me down at times. As you know, I am a mom and all my energy goes to making sure my little man is healthy and happy in every way. This is a full time job, as any
parent understands, but especially difficult when you are battling your own personal crisis at the same time while trying to spare your child of being affected by your own suffering.
One time when I was having a weak moment listening to some sad music and sobbing and slobbering over my computer’s keyboard, Eja walked up behind me and asked me why I was crying. He wasn't sad at first--just totally surprised to see his mom crying (he is seven and never saw me cry before), and didn't know what to make of it. During this intense period, I was managing to hide my devastation from Eja and cried only when I was alone; but this one time was just too hard for me to control and I broke down. I was quick on my feet to answer him though and told Eja that music was very powerful and can make people quite emotional. It can make you want to dance, feel angry, happy or sad and that THIS song was sad and made me cry. He accepted this, hugged me and went back to what he was doing. Phew, that was tough!
The energy it has taken me to deal with my personal life and managing to still be a responsible parent has been challenging, and while I have been putting what energy I have left at the end of each day into my writing, it's been hard to put it all together into song format.
Please be patient and I will do my best to continue working on a finished album!
Each morning I put my son on the school bus, feed our two dogs Sony and Dolly, drink my orange juice and sit down at the computer to write. I spend most of my time working with lyrics right now, sorting thoughts, expressions and concepts. It often comes out in the form of poetry, diary notes or e-mails to friends. My friends are great listeners and are very patient and generous about it. I often go back to my e-mails for song ideas. When I write in letter form, I don't hold back. I just write it as it comes without considering format, topic, manners, etc. Some of my best songwriting ideas are coming this way.
Time has a way of making everything right, and it is my hope that good music will eventually come out of it. I say "good music” since I don't want to just throw anything at you, just for the sake of hurrying up to get it out. I want my new music to be something I'm personally satisfied with and proud to share with you.
I have friends and family around constantly coaxing me to focus on my music. "Your fans miss you. They want new music. It's been too long." They're all dying for something new too, so they are pretty relentless about it! I know you certainly all do deserve new music and tour dates; not only because it's been so long, but also because of the HUGE support you've all given me during this period. The many blogs and e-mails have warmed my heart, strengthened my confidence, given me courage, and have often even made me laugh out loud…in a good way! I know I am not alone and realize through your support that you are all routing for Eja and I, and our well-being. Thank you!
The other day I started writing a few pages about being hungry as a kid. Some of it was painful to think about but it also made me laugh at the funny times. Reflecting on that period of my life, I realize how true it really is to learn to take the good with the bad. To appreciate that you can't have one without the other. The trick is to give the "good" at least as much of your energy as the "bad" and not to get stuck focussing more on the "bad". I decided to start writing about other stages of my life to help take my focus off the current phase I'm going through. When I'm feeling down, I figured changing my focus to write about other periods of my PAST would help pull me out of the sadness and on to new chapters in my life. It works.
I will sign off now but I look forward to my next letter/blog to you. I just wanted to fill you in a bit on what's going on with me and music, as well as extend my thanks for all of the support that you have given me over this last year and for all these years; and to assure you that I'm fine and managing very well, in fact. I'm enjoying my child, friends and family like I haven't in years, and it's great. I've been experiencing and seeing new things every day, living life with a different and more optimistic attitude. I've jumped out of an airplane at
Till next time, my friends. Be well, and peace and happiness to all of you.
June 05th, 2008
To my beloved fans:
As I am sure you have seen or heard; I am going through a rough time personally in my life. I wanted you all to know that I could not be getting through this without you. Your letters, emails and words of encouragement give me strength. Your overwhelming support reminds me to smile, no matter how deep the pain and to always be grateful for all the beautiful blessings in my life.
I have so much to say but I know the best way for me to speak is through my music. This is my therapy, my passion, and my love. I look forward to sharing it with all of you as I begin this new journey.
I need some time to heal this broken heart but make no mistake; I will be back and hopefully stronger than ever.
Thank you my friends, from the bottom of my heart.