Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Visual poetry

I've been a volunteer reader for LibriVox since 2007 and, although I haven't had as much time to read books for them since I've been narrating-for-pay, I still like to participate in their weekly poem reading.  Every Sunday a different poem (one that's in the Public Domain, of course) is chosen by members of LibriVox.  The poem may be recorded by anyone who chooses to participate.  The collection of readings for that poem is then proof-listened, cataloged and released for listening on the following Sunday.  There is also a bi-weekly poem reading, too.  As with the weekly poem, the bi-weekly poem is listed on Sunday but prospective readers have two weeks to record the poem as this one is released two Sundays after it's posted.  Sometimes I record both the weekly and bi-weekly poems depending on my schedule and, also, if the poem intrigues me.

This is a wonderful way to 'get your feet wet' if you've ever thought about recording for LibriVox.  Everyone there is very helpful and it's such a great way to experience or re-experience the joy of poetry.  I rarely miss a weekly poem recording.  Now, this is where the 'visual' in the title of this post comes in.  Because our recordings are released into the Public Domain, anyone may use the recordings as they please.  We do appreciate it if LibriVox is credited and the reader, too.  I discovered early on that many of the members of LibriVox had found their readings being used for filmmakers who then posted their videos on YouTube.com

It's flattering to have someone use your reading for a video and there are several LibriVox members who have had, literally, dozens of their poetry readings used.  Kristen Hughes is a favorite reader (and with good reason if you've heard her voice) although she has not always been credited by the YouTube user.  The first time I stumbled across a poem I'd read that was now accompanying a video, it was a bit of a shock.  I wasn't credited (although I am now since contacting the filmmaker) and it was so strange to recognize my voice.  Since that first find, I've searched a few times and come across a few other videos that have used my readings but that can be hit-and-miss since, as I've mentioned, LibriVox and/or it's readers are often not credited.

Here's the first one I found.  It's one of my favorite poems by Emily Dickinson -- "I Heard a Fly Buzz -- when I died" -- and the filmmaker entered his video into a one minute film contest in Belgium.  The filmmaker is Jim van Nunen.  Original music by Joris van der Herten.  Reading by moi.  It can be found here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I2HXOoCVKuM  Apparently, the filmmaker does not allow embedding.   A little spooky but fun.  Here's a still pic from it although you have to use the link I gave to watch the film.

I came across another poem in the past couple of weeks.  Once again, this was by accident since, although I was credited, my name is misspelled in the credits.  At least the filmmaker did list me and LibriVox which we really appreciate.  This poem is "All Things Can Tempt Me" by William Butler Yeats.  I really like the Public Domain images that the maker, Othniel Smith, used to illustrate his 'vision' of this poem. 

I've come across a few more listed under the column on the bottom right-hand side of my blog but they basically used photographs and some nature sounds to accompany the poems.  I'm still flattered that they used my readings and I'm glad that the makers of these vidoes are exposing more people to poetry and to LibriVox.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Weekend Art Show

Linda and I went to the Mainsail Art Festival in St. Petersburg on Saturday and it turned out to be perfect weather for it.  It's already gotten pretty warm here but Saturday was overcast and actually cool so it felt great to be outdoors.  This the 38th year of this art show and it's juried with artists from all over the U.S. and Canada participating.  It's held in Vinoy Park across from the Vinoy Hotel and is right on the Gulf.

There were over 200 artists there with every possible type of painting, photographs, ceramics, glass,  and sculpture.  The sculpture was fabulous.  With metal, concrete, ceramic, glass, wire and wood, just to name a few of the materials used.  Deep pockets would have been nice to have while browsing this event.  Linda and I both did buy 2 small items each and we actually bought the same things.  One of the watercolor artists had bookmarks for sale and one of the sculptors who had items made of the most beautiful woods had made some small toothpick holders.  So we didn't leave empty-handed although both of us would have loved to bring home a number of pieces we saw.

There were also many choices of food and drink set up at the show but we decided to walk back down Beach Blvd. and pick out a place to have a leisurely lunch.  We settled on a deli/bakery type shop where they had great sandwiches.  Then we popped into a bakery a little further down and picked up a few items to take home.  Yum.  Since we took a trolley from where we parked to get to the show, we didn't feel too bad about indulging for lunch since we walked back to our car from the show.  I took a few shots of the sailboats and the area near where the street to The Pier is located.  All in all, a really nice way to spend a day.  We wish Duane could have come with us but she had family commitments.  We missed our third! 
Our small purchases.

An overcast day.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Fabulous estate sale with emphasis on Asian items

Linda, Duane and I attended an estate sale yesterday that we were dying to go to after seeing the 300+ photos that had been uploaded by the company holding the sale.  The emphasis was on Asian artwork and carvings, specificially jade and netsuke. I was really hoping to land a piece of art due to all of the paintings on silk, etc.  But the owner of the house had also been a big collector of stone carvings made of jade, wood and other materials.  However, getting anywhere near the tables with the carvings was next to impossible.  Believe me, I tried.  

There were so many people gathered around the cases that you couldn't even tell what they were looking at.  By the time I finally made my way through, most of the pieces were gone.  There were 2 glass cases that the woman handling this part of the sale kept refilling as pieces sold.  I know that the dealer was willing to barter on prices because Linda and I both received discounts off the paintings we bought without even asking.  I'm not sure how much they were willing to bargain on the jade, etc., though, due to Thursday being the first day of a three day sale.  The pieces that I liked that were left were either too expensive to even barter or (if they were in my price range) they didn't appeal to me.  Oh well, I still ended up with a very pretty painted silk wall hanging.  I plan to put it in our guest room and may hang it as is and then eventually frame it.  Linda's find is the framed one in beautiful shades of green.  She's hoping to find the right spot in her living room.  Duane found a cute plate for her kitchen which she's in the process of remodeling.  So, none of us left empty-handed. 

I overheard a woman asking about the two lions shown above that marked the front walkway to the house.  Apparently, the next-of-kin planned on keeping those.  Never hurts to ask but I don't know where I would put something like that.  There was security on the grounds for parking purposes and also to check our purchases as we left.  Our buys are pictured below.  Still bummed I didn't get a real chance at any of the stuff in the glass cases.  I forgot to sharpen my elbows before leaving my house.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

New book released on Audible today!

The science fiction book I recorded was released for sale on Audible today.  Exponential Apocalypse by Eirik Gumeny follows the exploits of Thor (yes, THAT Thor), the genetic descendents of two U.S. presidents and one English queen, an alcoholic Aztec god, a slacker cult and various zombies, robots and even some humans after a series of apocalypses bring the word to an end.  Sort of.  Except that Thor is now working in housekeeping at a Holiday Inn in Secaucus, New Jersey.  That should give you an idea of how things are working out.  

Hope you'll like this group of characters.  I certainly did.  I love Eirik Gumeny's sense of humor and hope I did justice to them.  You can listen to a sample and (yes, please) purchase the book here.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

A Visit to a TINY Flea Market

I set out this morning with Duane and Linda to check out a small flea/farmer's market that we had noticed a sign for a number of times.  It's not in the usual place where you would expect to find a flea market.  In fact, it's located behind a building that houses the local American Legion Hall.  This is on a side street just off a busy road that has lots of car repair businesses, a record store, several thrift stores and the like.  Apparently, the local American Legion group must rent out spaces in their parking lot and in the Legion hall itself.  They actually serve a full hot breakfast.  There were also several food trucks parked in the 'flea market' area that specialized in Mexican food.  This little market certainly smells good.

Many of the vendors appeared to be of Latino origin and everyone was very nice.  We were sure that they had grown the vegetables and fruit them- selves.  It looked great -- particularly the watermelons.  I was tempted but as Linda and I admitted, we were both too lazy to drag one of those big boys home and cut it up.  I'm not sure George and I could have eaten one quickly enough before it began to lose it's flavor. 

All three of us ended up buying DVDs.  There was a woman vendor who had a ton of decent movies for $1 each.  All were used but in good condition.  The market only had about 4 to 5 rows of vendors selling everything from food to video games, music CDs, and collectibles.  There was also an area inside the American Legion building where (along with buying breakfast or pastries) there were books for sale (.25 each) and booths with items for sale.  However, the booths were all locked up and I should have asked when they were normally open.  The items were definitely of the collectible variety although some of the spaces were obviously used for storage, too.  Guess we may have to check this one out again to see how often the merchandise changes. 

This would definitely qualify as the smallest flea market any of us could ever remember seeing.  But, at least, unlike some of the larger ones nearby, there wasn't as much of the dollar store/imported stuff for sale.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Audiobooks: Upcoming, in the works, and in the queue

I've been very busy with my audiobook narration projects and decided I would post a status update.  Coming soon to Audible is a science fiction/humor book called Exponential Apocalypse by Eirik Gumeny.  This was a lot of fun to record.  Great characters including
Thor (yes, the former God), the genetic descendents of two American presidents and one English queen, along with various humans, scientists, zombies and more.  Eirik Gumeny has one of those imaginations that causes me to wonder if he was anything like Calvin of the Calvin & Hobbes comic strip when he was a kid.  (I still really miss that strip.)

This book is currently in post-production and should be out in a couple of weeks.  I'll post here when it's for sale on Audible.

I'm currently working on a 'fish-out-of-water' book called Yankee, Go Home! by Sharon Delarose.  Although it's presented as fiction, the stories in the book are true and actually happened to Ms. Delarose when she moved as a very young woman (late teens) to live in the deep south in the early 1970's.  As a native New Yorker living on her own in various small towns in Alabama and Georgia, she experienced culture shock that would have sent many people heading back home.  Some memorable characters in this book, too.

The next book I'll be recording after Yankee, Go Home! is nonfiction on a serious note.  Ted and Ann: The Mystery of  a Missing Child and her Neighbor Ted Bundy by Rebecca Morris investigates the disappearance of an 8-year-old girl who vanished from her Tacoma, Wash. neighborhood and might have been Bundy's first victim.  True crime is one of my favorite genres and I look forward to getting started on this book.

After Ted and Ann..., I'll be narrating my second book by the writer Kathleen Walls.  (I previously recorded her mystery Kudzu.)  Last Step is set in the seedy drug world in Jacksonville, Florida.  A woman who loses her daughter to death via drug overdose sets out to discover if it was an accidental overdose or murder.  Her search leads her into dangerous territory as she immerses herself in the world her daughter had entered.

So, I'm staying busy for now but will post here as these books are finished and up for sale.  Many thanks to Linda for being my proof-listener!