Tuesday, December 30, 2014

An interview with me and a drawing to win one of my audiobooks!

Paul Stokes of Audiobook Reviewer interviewed me on his site and is also hosting a drawing for 5 free chances to win one of my audiobooks of your choice. 

If you'd like to know more about how I got started as an audiobook narrator and things like my favorite genres, biggest challenges, etc., check out Paul's site and enter for a chance to win one of my books here

You have 30 days to enter so there's plenty of time.  Happy New Year! 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Making Christmas ornaments and other stocking stuffers...

Made 3 of these.
For the past few years, I've made my three nieces (now ages, 5, 7 and 8) ornaments to go with their Christmas presents.  This year I decided to make them each a snowman.  The pattern wasn't difficult and I made a couple of slight changes but followed it completely for the body, hat and scarf.

Last year I made them each Christmas trees and the year before that I made Santa Claus ornaments.  This snowman is crocheted and the pattern can be found here along with some other ornaments.  I might try the Gingerbread Man next year!

I also found the most adorable pattern for a bookmark.  It's called the Cat in the Hat Inspired bookmark and was very fast to crochet.  The pattern is here.

These will go in the 'stocking stuffer' bag that I always make up for my three nieces.  So cute!

Cat in the Hat bookmarks.

My two nephews are in college now but they never get too old for me to give them 'stocking stuffer' bags, too.  Obviously, the contents are a bit different than the ones for the girls.  I included a  crocheted 'soap sack' in each of their bags.  These make up very fast.  I used 100% cotton worsted weight yarn.  The idea is to use the soap while inside the bag and give yourself a good scrubbing.  When you're finished, you hang the bag with the bar of soap in it on a hook to dry.  You can find the pattern here.  Hope the guys like them.  

Soap sacks for the nephews.

There are a few other items I made that I can't show on this blog but I will say that I've been busy.  Any downtime I've had from recording/research/editing I've used to make gifts.

Oh, I did take time, along with George to decorate our tree.   I took this pic from upstairs looking down on the tree in our family room.  I should probably have asked for photography lessons for Christmas. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

A Cool Friday Estate Sale

We considered today's estate sale that we shopped to be cool for two reasons.  One -- great stuff and two -- cool weather.  The person or people who owned the house had been travelers.  They acquired a beautiful collection of carvings, enamel and art work from around the world but specifically Japan.

The sale began at 8am but we didn't get there until closer to 8:30am.  We missed some really good stuff but none of us left empty-handed.  Some of the items we were interested in were still there, but, alas, had sold signs on them.  The early bird...

This sale was in a small town right next to Tampa called Temple Terrace.  It's actually hard to think of it as being a little town because you cross a road with lots of stores, etc., around and you're no longer in Tampa -- you're in the Temple Terrace city limits.  They have their own mayor, etc.  When my family moved back to Florida after my dad retired from the Air Force, we lived in Temple Terrace for years.  A nice place to call home.  
I ended up buying a vintage camera for George.  I have no idea if he'll like it or not or will think it's worth bothering with but it's a German brand and looked really cool.  I also bought an antique children's book, The History of Tom Thumb and Other Stories published in 1905, along with the coolest set of tiny pictorial paper bookmarks from Japan. 

Linda found a beautiful pitcher for her vintage Japanese Noritake collection and Duane bought a dark blue cordial glass.  After we left this fabulous sale, we passed a sign for a yard sale in the same neighborhood.  Everything was priced at .50.  Duane bought a couple of vintage postcards and 2 DVDs. 

After that it was time to head for coffee and treats and our usual catching up on everyone's week. 

Next Friday we plan to head to Dunedin again to do some last minute Christmas shopping and have lunch with our friend, Danny, who now lives there.  Looking forward to that!

Our purchases.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My latest recording -- a Christmas book for kids!

Peter Rabbit's Christmas written by Duff Graham and narrated by me is now on sale on Audible.

Peter Rabbit lives with his mother and three sisters Flopsy, Mopsy, and Cotton-tail down in a sand bank under a big fir tree. One day when Peter is outside exploring, he hears the bells of a beautiful red sleigh. A pretty little girl riding in the sleigh scoops Peter up and takes him for a ride which includes a visit to Santa's workshop. The mischief Peter gets into at Santa's workshop and how he gets home is a true Christmas adventure for the little rabbit.

Nice little classic for young children!  You can listen to an excerpt or purchase here

Monday, December 1, 2014

We 'Shopped Small Saturday'!

Duane, Linda and I participated in the 'Shop Small Business Saturday' that was going on all around the country.  Many small shops hope to make this a tradition for the Saturday after Thanksgiving.  Duane's neighborhood, Seminole Heights, which is a place we love to shop, anyway, had another good event similar to last year's shop hop.

Each store was offering anywhere from 20% to 30% off their merchandise and also offered refreshments (treats and drinks) from 10am to 6pm.  We started early -- just a little after 10am by visiting the Bali Bay Trading Company.  All three of us bought a few things there.  Gifts and a few items for ourselves.  They always have cool jewelry and I bought a tassel necklace and bracelet for myself along with stocking stuffers for my three nieces and a friend.  Duane found a gift for her sister and a bracelet for herself and Linda also found a pretty wood and mother of pearl bowl along with a bracelet.  She wasn't sure what she would give away and what she would keep.  Of course, we had to sample the homemade treats that the ladies of Bali Bay had made.  Terrific chocolate and peanut butter brownies.

Next we hit one of our faves, A Modern Line, owned by our buddy, David.  He had refreshments out, too, so we sampled the punch and cookies.  I bought a little orange enamel tray for my guest bath that I had looked at a couple of times and Linda and I are both still debating on the same mid-century modern chest by Lane.  Hope we both don't decide to pull the trigger at the same time!

A vintage shop called Frolic Exchange is right next door to David's shop.  They have a little bit of everything vintage although the focus is on clothing for gals and guys with a smattering of accessories, home decor and the prettiest garden area just outside the back door of the store.  They had their refreshments in the garden where I had a glass of tasty homemade lemonade.  I also bought a plant that one of the owners promised me is impossible to kill.  I have high hopes for it in my backyard.  Duane bought a pretty vintage English tin with lid. 

We headed down the same street to an old favorite, D & D Antiques and More, where the owner, Debra, seems like an old friend.  She had treats out, too, and Linda purchased a set of Christmas oven mitts there.   I think Debra would rather have been out shopping but she had to mind the store!

Our next stop was the Cleanse Apothecary which carries very nice lines of anything to do with soaps, lotions, cards, etc.  I discovered that they are now carrying Lipstick Queen lipsticks which I love.  I had been ordering them for years from Barney's but now I know where to get them locally.  Linda decided to try a tube and chose the Saint Pink color.  I bought a bottle of Philosophy bath lotion/shampoo in Cinnamon for my mom along with a Lipstick Queen cosmetic bag (her favorite and only lipstick she wears now is LQ's Coral Sinner).  Duane bought several delicious smelling handmade soaps for gifts.  We all left with our purchases in the Shop Small Saturday bags designed by Rebecca Minkoff.

At this point, we had to have lunch before hitting a couple of more shops.  We ate at one of our fave places in Seminole Heights, The Front Porch Grill and Bar.  Normally, we would have had dessert there, too, but we were getting plenty of sugar from our visits to the stores.  It was certainly a nice break to have a leisurely lunch, though.

After fortifying ourselves with a meal, we went to Susan Gott's place, The Phoenix Glass Studio.  Susan was there to greet customers and she was having a glass blowing demonstration along with a chance to make something yourself (with some help, of course).  I bought some more of her adorable little glass kiss designs to give as Christmas ornaments.  I had actually already Christmas shopped at Susan's studio a few weeks back.  She had plenty of treats and drinks (alcoholic and non) so Linda had a nice glass of wine.

The last place we hit (we were getting pretty tired by then) was a store that opened recently.  It's a design studio and it's called Christopher Wayne Home.  The store in Tampa is actually a sister store to one they have in Nashville.  Although the shop does mostly interior design, they have some lovely items to purchase.  I bought the coolest wine bottle picture holder and Duane purchased a book that was written and illustrated by a local writer.  Wonderful treats and drink were also on hand and we finished off our sugar buzz for the day.

We headed back to Duane's house and took the picture below before Linda and I both left for our respective homes.  We all agreed that it was a great shopping day -- lots of fun and we actually accomplished something, too!

Our purchases.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Friday estate sales -- We all got lucky!

Stuff all over the walls.
Friday was a good day for estate sales last week and all three of us found items this time around.  We started with one in Duane's neighborhood.  They had a ton of stuff in a house on the Hillsborough River.  This house seemed to ramble on and on with lots of rooms filled with furniture and a ton of small items.  This  was where I found my treasure of the day -- a Jonathan Adler ceramic fish.  Love it!  Duane found a pretty striped cotton scarf.  A good start. 

Cubbies in the walls filled with stuff.

Lots of small items at the second sale, too.

The second estate sale was in the south part of town and was on it's second day but still had lots of stuff.  They were also willing to deal.  The people who lived there must have liked to entertain because there was a lot of glassware and bar items.  The woman had a large amount of formal dresses and shoes along with a very nice selection of jewelry -- costume and real.  Duane bought a beautiful sterling silver ring.  For anyone interested in sports memorabilia, there was plenty of that, too.  Although the three of us were able to pass on those items.

Sports memorabilia.
After the two big estate sales we hit a front porch sale and a few yard sales in Duane's neighborhood on our way back from the south side of town.  Linda got lucky at these sales.  The front porch sale yielded two cool wood cigar boxes and one of the yard sales had a 'still sealed in plastic' DVD of 3 Ozzie and Harriet shows.  A trip back to childhood for Linda!

Of course, we hit the coffee shop for treats and to talk about what we had all been up to during the week.  Next Saturday is the Shop Small Business Saturday and we're really looking forward to that!

Our purchases.

Duane's new sterling silver ring.

Monday, November 17, 2014

My newest recording -- a horror story -- now on sale at Audible!

My latest recording just hit Audible today.  The Novel of the White Powder by Arthur Machen is a classic short story in the horror genre.

A young woman, Helen Leicester, becomes concerned about her brother Francis when he begins spending all of his time locked in his room studying. At first Francis insists that he is fine, but eventually admits that he is not feeling well and agrees to see the family physician. The doctor prescribes a medication - a white powder which is mixed with water - and Francis begins to feel better. However, this "cure" doesn't last very long and Francis begins exhibiting peculiar and disturbing behavior. The horror of the white powder has just begun. Arthur Machen originally wrote this story as part of a series in a book called The Three Imposters. The story stands on its own as one of Machen's classic tales of terror.

To listen to a sample or purchase, click here

I'm also gifting the story to anyone willing to listen to it (free) in exchange for an honest review.  You can check out my giveaway on Goodreads or Facebook (under FREE Audibooks group).

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Thrift Store Parking Lot Sale, A Modern Line warehouse sale and yard sales

Saturday morning had a lot going on in Duane's neighborhood.  A terrific thrift shop that I've mentioned numerous times on this blog, Sherry's Yesterdaze, had their fall parking lot sale.  Not only did Sherry have a sale on her items but she also had other people in her parking lot selling their stuff.  She does this twice a year and we rarely miss it.  Duane found a pretty creamer to add to her blue and white Delft collection along with the DVD of the definitive version of Pride and Prejudice AND a decorative box with Frida Kahlo on the front.  Linda snagged a cool and kitschy Florida souvenir tray that it's in mint condition.

Lots of vendors at Sherry' store.


Then we headed to the the warehouse clearance sale being held by Sherry's husband David, owner of one of our fave shops, A Modern Line.  David decided to let some of the furniture in his warehouse go for great prices because there's just no way he can get to all of it (restoring, etc.) to sell it in his store.  He had already sold quite a bit when we got there but still had some nice pieces.  There were also a few small items.  Linda scored a great pair of signed French prints.  There was some damage from a fire that destroyed David's previous store but, luckily, not on the actual prints themselves so Linda got a bargain.  All she needs to do is re-frame them.  If I didn't already have a couple of signed prints that my parents bought when we lived in France, Linda and I would have been 'negotiating' over them.

After David's sale, we hit a few neighborhood yard sales.  Duane and Linda both scored books from these sales.  I can't believe that I didn't buy anything.  That's unusual for me even if my purchase(s) are for very small items.  All three of us love the thrill of the hunt, though.

Afterwards, we hit the coffee shop for our usual treats and gabbing.  A fun day.

Linda and Duane's purchases.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Saturday community yard sale

Typical bungalow found here.
As I've mentioned numerous times on this blog, my friend Duane lives in one of the coolest parts of town.  Old bungalows and small businesses.  Great places to eat and shop.  On Saturday, the neighborhood had a community yard sale.  There was a map online that could be printed with the addresses of the people participating.  Of course, there were many people who didn't bother to pay to be on the map, they just put their signs out and joined in the fun.

We hit a number of houses on different streets and there was a pretty big variety of items available for sale.  A large church centrally located in Seminole Heights was having it's Fall Festival on the same day as the community yard sale.  Awesome baked goods.  I bought two homemade devil's food whoopie pies (one for me and one for George) and Linda bought a loaf of something called Hobo Cake.  They had samples to try and whatever is in that Hobo cake, it's really good.

We all ended up buying some things.  I think Duane found the
Mid-Century Modern here, too.
largest number of items.  Besides the food, I found a cool wood ruler listing all of the English 'rulers' up to Queen Elizabeth II.  It's all metric which will come in handy with some of the knitting/crochet patterns I come across.  Duane came across a really neat looking pitcher in the blue and white common to Delft.  We think the markings say 'Delft' but they're hard to read.  Definitely from across the pond, though.  Duane is going to research it.  She also bought a church cookbook, some mugs that match ones she already has and a really pretty bangle bracelet featuring different types of wood.  Linda bought food and a CD.

As usual, when we were finished we hit the coffee shop for coffee/tea, a treat and a long gab.  We're looking forward to the next few weeks because there's going to be a sale in the parking lot of a great thrift store in Duane's neighborhood.  Then, the Saturday after Thanksgiving, there's the annual shop small business Saturday.  The local businesses have great deals that day along with holiday refreshments for shoppers.  Really looking forward to it!  

Our purchases.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

New children's book for sale on Audible!

I have another recording for sale for very young children and those just learning to read.

Pumpkin Pie ABC Book by McLoughlin Bros. is a delightful children’s classic consisting of 26 short rhymes all relating to the temptingly delicious pumpkin pie waiting to be eaten at the Thanksgiving table. Each letter of the alphabet is used to describe the actions – naughty and nice – of those waiting for their slice. A wonderful holiday listen for young children.

To listen to a sample or purchase, check it out on Audible here.  

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Granny's got a gun(s) -- Friday Estate Sales

"Granny's got a gun,
Her whole world's come undone..."

My take on Aerosmith's "Janie's Got a Gun."

Some of Granny's other things.
Well, as usual, yesterday morning was estate sale time.  Duane has a horrendous cold and wasn't able to go so it was just Linda and me.  We decided to hit a sale that was literally called 'Granny's Guns' in one part of town and then head to two other sales in the south part of town.  Apparently, Granny had once had an antique and collectibles shop and now everything was being sold off from her home. Home turned out to be a mobile home in a mobile home park.  

One of Granny's guns.
We got there before the 9am starting time and joined a few other people under the carport.  You had to take a number from a roll of tickets in order to get inside when the sale began.  Bummer.  The company holding the sale is known for this.  They're more freaked about theft than any other estate sale company around.  Some people get really ticked off and leave because this company only allows 10 people in the house at a time.  When someone leaves, the next person with a ticket is allowed to go in.  This wouldn't be so bad except there was plenty of room for more than 10 people in that house.  When I went in, there were no other shoppers in 2 of the bedrooms I looked through.  Plus, you have people who either forget or don't care that there are people waiting to get in and start talking and just hanging around.  Sheesh.  This sale turned out to be a big time suck. Because of the amount of time Linda and I spent waiting to get in, we had a lot less time to make it to the next sale when it began at 10am.

Another gun.

Neither of us found anything to buy at Granny's and when we  finally left (we weren't allowed into the house at the same time - ack!), it was already 10am.  We could have been in and out of Granny's in less than half an hour if we hadn't had to wait.  There were a number of men there strictly to see/purchase the guns.  Most of them were, um, rather portly which didn't help when you wanted to get into a small area of tables and they were standing and talking to each other.  An abrupt 'excuse me' got me into an area with tables when one of them moved.  However, I had to 'excuse me' again in order to get back out. 

And one last gun.
Bet the people waiting outside would have been livid to see this behavior.  We've decided that we will be very picky when deciding whether to attend any more sales by this company.  The sale would have to be HUGE with nothing else going on.  Double sheesh.

We were late getting to the 10am sale.  We pulled up around 10:30 and it was packed.  Very large house with lots of nice things, though.  Neither of us bought but it was definitely worth the look.  Wonder what we missed by being so late.  Grrrr...

A room from the second sale.
We finally hit the last sale which was in a house directly across from the bay.  This was the second day of the sale at this house and they still had a lot of great stuff despite having unloaded so much.  The woman who lived there had been an artist and not only were there framed pieces of her art around (along with a table full of water colors and sketches that she either hadn't gotten around to framing or hadn't finished) but also very nice pieces from other artists.  Lots of gorgeous furniture, too.  

Luckily, she turned out to be a crafty person who knitted and crocheted.  I bought 3 sets of plastic knitting needles (I love working with plastic and don't care for metal very much) along with
Sale no.3.  Signed Escher print.
a beautiful all wood abacus.  When I paid, the women in charge of the sale told us to let people know that they had a lot of furniture they still needed to sell.  Nice stuff, too, but neither of us was in the market for furniture.   The pic I've included from this sale is one of the original ones from the ad.  Wish we'd made it there when they had more of these types of items available.

By the time we left the last sale, it wasn't our usual 'let's get coffee/tea and a snack' time -- it was lunch time.  Linda and I had a nice leisurely lunch at Panera's.  I was the only one who got lucky and purchased anything but we always enjoy the hunt.  EXCEPT when we lose precious time due to a poorly executed sale.  Grrr...  

Hopefully, Duane will be well enough to go with us next time.  We missed her.  

My purchases.

Monday, October 27, 2014

My latest recording now available on Audible!

My recording of the book Dust by Emanuel Haldeman-Julius and Anna Marcet Haldeman-Julius is for sale on Audible.

This book is truly a little gem.  A classic American story set in the pioneering era in Kansas.

In the 1870’s, Jacob and Sarah Wade travel with their three children in a covered wagon to lay claim to land in Kansas to call their own and scratch out a living. The book follows three generations of the Wade family although it concentrates mostly on the relationship between Martin Wade, the oldest son of Jacob and Sarah, and the woman he chooses to marry, Rose. The hard existence of farm life takes a toll on all involved and affects each person differently. This novel was a best seller when it was published in 1921 by the husband and wife writing team of Emanuel Haldeman-Julius and Anna Marcet Haldeman-Julius. It was considered an example of the new writing of naturalism and realism being published at the time. “Painfully gloomy as it is,” the New York Times noted, “Dust must be classed among the 'big' novels of the year.”

This was a pleasure to narrate.  If you are interested in listening to a sample or purchasing the book, you can check it out here

If you like to go back and forth between listening and reading, Dust will be part of Amazon's Whispersync program very soon.  The Kindle version of Dust is here.  Once you see this message on the Kindle page or the Audible page for this book -- Whispersync for Voice-ready --  you can purchase the Kindle version and get a deep discount on the audio. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Friday Estate Sales and Halloween Hairbands

Yesterday morning, Duane and I headed to two estate sales that were in her neighborhood.  Linda had a doctor's appt. so she caught up with us a bit later.  The main sale we were interested in was another one of those experiences where you find yourself walking into the past.  In this case, the house hadn't changed since the '70's and these people had really taken decorating from that era to the max.  The carpet was all sculpted shag and the living room was sunken.  I remember some builders in the '70's referring to those rooms as 'conversation pits.'

As soon as we walked into the front door, we were met with a very strange floor plan.  Just ahead, and I really mean right in front of us, was a small recessed area with all of these funky light fixtures hanging from the ceiling.They were made of a lot of plastic and beads.  This wasn't just funky.  It was 'funk-ay.' The statuary pictured in the first photo was in various places throughout the house.  The second photo shows part of a wall mural in the dining room.  These people obviously liked to entertain because they had a large built-in bar with a number of sets of liquor glasses and decanters.  They also had a lot of serve ware.

The bedrooms were '60's and '70's matching bedroom sets that were more plastic than wood.  In fact, the French Provincial style in one of the bedrooms was a dead ringer for the Sears furniture that my sister Pam and I had in the room we shared together during that time.  (And thought was ever so cool.)

Once again, the master bath was the highlight of the sale.  That's actually happened several times but this time I didn't feel comfortable taking photos because the room wasn't that big and there were a lot of people in and out.  The house had one of those step-up half-round soaking tubs and, yes, the bathroom had the same sculptured shag carpet found in the rest of the house.  The carpet was cut away from the bottom of the toilet though.  The floor was simply cement around it.  Probably helpful in case of leaks or (no, please!) overflows.  The jewel of this bathroom was what I first thought was a set of glass sliding doors flush up to the tub and covering the wall on that part side of the bathroom.  It was what was behind the glass that brings back that word 'funk-ay.'  The rectangular 'room' behind the glass was decorated like a tropical jungle.  Lots of plastic flowers and greenery and even plastic animals.  Drat!  I wish I had gotten a photo.  We might not see one of those again.

Duane got lucky at this sale and found a really pretty piece of Delft porcelain.  Unusual, too, because it's not the blue and white or any of the other types she's come across before.   The third pic showing the contents of a china cabinet shows the Delft pieces on the third shelf down.  The porcelain area is a mixture of green and tan and the metal is either brass or gold plated.  Duane bought one of the smaller vases.  Very striking.  She also found a nice large divided glass serving platter.

The second and last sale we went to was at the house of an elderly lady who continuously has 'estate' sales and also has the house up for sale.  She seems to bring her prices down a little each time she has a sale.  We're not sure she actually lives in the house because you never see a car or anyone there unless she's having one of her sales.  Judging from the variety of items she has, I'm pretty sure she was a dealer -- either with her own shop or at a flea market.  Duane did find a really pretty framed fashion print this time.  Linda and I went home empty-handed but Duane had a pretty good day.

We went for coffee and treats as usual and discussed events coming up in the next few weeks that we want to check out.  Lots going on with the holidays coming up.

Duane's finds.

The Delft vase.

Speaking of holidays, Halloween is next Friday and I made my usual little gifts for my three nieces for the occasion.  This year I used a really soft, fine black yarn with gold thread running through it to make the girls hairbands.  I crocheted the hairbands and then found these large jack-o-lantern buttons at Jo-Ann's.  I sent them to the girls ahead of time since these are definitely seasonal.  Naturally, I included Halloween M&Ms with the little gift.  Now I have to get back to working on Christmas items...


Wrapped and ready to go.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Friday church sale, yard sales and a visit to an artist's studio/shop

Yesterday morning, Duane, Linda and I decided to hit some 'lower-down-the-scale' sales since, lately, we had been hitting estate sales almost exclusively.  The first sale was being held at a gay church near where Duane lives.  We went to this sale last year but hit it on the second day so this year we got in earlier.  Everyone at this church is really nice and they have a big book selection.  Linda and Duane both bought books.  I bought a never used rain gauge for my backyard and a vintage celluloid hair receiver.  I've looked at these a number of times and I've always been intrigued by them.  For 10 cents, I couldn't pass this one up.  It has a few dark stains on the lid which I discovered were usually caused by contact with perfume and/or body oils from the hands of the lady using it.  Otherwise, it's in great shape -- no chips, cracks, etc.  The bottom has the words 'French Ivory' embossed into it.  That's what celluloid was called when it was invented because it was made to resemble ivory.  When I went to pay, the guy who took my money told me it had belonged to his grandmother.  He was surprised (and pleased, I think) to discover that I knew what it was. 

Between the church sale and a couple of yard sales, Duane also bought a number of other items.  A wicker tee-pee/bed for her cat, Jasmine, a mint condition set of matching bathroom items (soap dish, lotion dispenser, toothbrush holder, etc.) and a pair of nice wood shelves complete with plate grooves that she plans to paint comprised the rest of Duane's finds.

We finished hitting the church and yard sales early enough that we decided to stop in at Susan Gott's studio Phoenix Glass.  We've shopped there before and Susan was having a 'make your own glass item' day along with refreshments and a little Halloween decor.  Check out her website if you've never seen her work before.  Beautiful things.  She does have some items available for purchase there, too.  We all bought gift items so, sadly, we can't show them in the picture.  That shopping bag you see that says 'American Craft Council Show' was one of our bags from her shop/studio.  Susan is a very nice and warm person and welcomes you as you come into her shop.  She's going to be participating in the 'Shop Small' business Saturday after Thanksgiving with some great deals so we plan to go back then.

After our haul from Phoenix Glass, we hit the coffee shop for our usual treats and had a nice long gab.  It's always fun to see what we end up with on these outings. 

Our purchases.

Closer look at smaller items.

Some of the beautiful paperweights available from Susan Gott's Phoenix Glass Studio.

Courtesy of Susan Gott's website.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Recording update

I have two books in post-production that should be available for sale on Audible within the next few weeks.  One is literary fiction --  Dust by Emanuel Haldeman-Julius and Anna Marcet Haldeman-Julius.  I'm very happy that I narrated this book and hope more book-lovers will become aware of it due to my recording.  It's in the vein of American classics such as John Steinbeck's Grapes of Wrath.

The second book is another classic short children's book. This one is a good one for the holidays for very young readers.  It's called Pumpkin Pie ABC Book and was produced by the McLoughlin Bros. publishing company.  Written in short rhymes, it takes the reader through the alphabet as everyone gathers around the holiday table before being allowed to have a slice of pumpkin pie.  A good one not only for beginning readers but also for listening for children who haven't quite begun to master the printed word.

Next up is a classic short story in the horror vein by Arthur Machen.  The Novel of the White Powder was suggested by my publisher and I'm glad I decided to record it.  Although I had heard of him, I wasn't familiar with Machen's work until now.  He's another writer who wrote stories and novellas considered to be 'weird' fiction along with Algernon Blackwood.  (I recorded Blackwood's story The Woman's Ghost Story available here.)  I'll post more here when the Machen story is closer to publication.

On a very different note, I plan to record a classic children's Christmas story which I'll post more about later, too.  It will be out in plenty of time for Christmas.  This brings me to my news that two of my closest friends, Duane and Linda, will be collaborating with me on a project that will eventually end up as a book narration.  Linda has been my official proof-listener for some time now but Duane (other than listening to and/or reading books I've narrated) will be joining us for an upcoming project.  I've chosen a children's book that I plan to publish myself.  The book is in the public domain so I will be making some slight revisions and Duane will be providing new illustrations for our new edition.  After we have the Kindle version up, I plan to record the book and have it linked from Audible to Amazon in their Whispersync program.  Duane has been busy with preliminary sketches and I'm looking at what I'd like to do in terms of character voices, etc.

We're all excited about this project since Duane is an artist and it will be nice to have some of her work out there for children to enjoy along with a great story.  Here's a peek at two paintings that I own that Duane gave me as gifts.  The first is painted on wood and the second is on canvas.  Enjoy!