Saturday, June 16, 2018

#8sunday Weekend Writing Warriors #amwriting #amjoy

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the website:Wewriwa.com and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.


No one likes it when their family life changes.  This is particularly hard for the Radtke's.  A troublesome girl named Tracey enters their lives and the children are an endless journey to make sure this girl doesn't get into any further trouble or cause their parents to lose their fostering license.  These are snippets from my second novella in the series, "Oh Tracey."


Last week

I wanted to tell her how weird she was and ask her who the ugly women was who slapped her around before we got here but I didn’t want to blow my cover.
“Look, if you want to reorganize the crafts, let me do it,” Tracey said. She put all the wooden crafts back to where they were; just in time too because Connie came back. Dang, Tracey must have a photographic memory.
“Make any money?” Connie asked, hopeful.
“Umm no,” I said.
Her face dropped.
“No worries,” she said. She turned away from us to pull her shirt over her flat bottom.
This week
 She straightened out a craft and then went over to the tin box, unlatched it and flipped it over. Checking to see if it was empty.
Zion walked out of nearby Shinders hobby store. He had on a rubber wolf mask but I could recognize him anywhere. The wolf’s eyes kept lighting up and I noticed he was holding a lever mechanism in his hand.
“Boo,” he said. “You girls having fun?” He asked, more to me than Tracey.
“No, we were not having fun,” I said, crossing my hands over my chest.
“Why not? You got plenty of dolls to keep you company,” he motioned to a nearby china doll table. 
Readers, please comment below.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

@SouthernTheater ‏@arenadances #Wednesdaythoughts #amjoy

Southern Theater in Minneapolis presented Candy Box Dance Festival in May. Dancers, Julie Marie Muskat and Betsy Schaefer Roob join me today for an interview.





Julie Marie Muskat (pictured above)

Betsy and Julie, what was your preparation for the festival?

We have been developing this material since 2016, and performed the first section of it in 2017. We began expanding the work and creating the work you saw (with two sections added) this past January. Part of the work is in the studio working on choreography, and other parts of our work are spent on working with costumers and composers on the other elements of production.

I think if I were an audience member seeing our show, I would want to know exactly how the ‘collaborative’ choreography was created, since it is a more unusual approach to choreography than single-choreographer work. Betsy and I spent a lot of time in the studio experimenting and trying to find a new common vocabulary and voice together. In the process of creating our work, we ‘played’ a lot of games in order to generate phrases, such as the ‘picnic game,’ in which she would improvise a step, then I would repeat it and improvise the next step out of it, and she would add the next step, and we would continue switching off the creation of every step so that we were always pushed out of our personal movement habits and patterns. We are proud to say our work is truly collaborative!


Is there anything you're working on now?


We are currently applying to festivals for teaching and performing, and are hoping to expand and deepen our work in In Time from here. Otherwise, we are each doing some individual projects outside of faux pas. Betsy dances with Mathew Janczewski's ARENA DANCES. Julie Marie dances with Threads Dance Project, and this summer will be performing her solo work and teaching at Southern Vermont Dance Festival in Brattleboro, VT.


Of all the dancing you've done the past, what has been your favorite performance?


Julie Marie: What a hard question! I’ve had a lot of crazy and fun performances…I think some of my favorite performances would be the ones I did as a dancer in Israel. I had the chance to work with some incredible choreographers, and the repertoire was exhilarating, challenging, and very fulfilling. Honestly, though, my favorite performance would be this performance of In Time that Betsy and I just did! It was our first show that we were in charge of hosting as well as performing in, and even if it was an informal showing, it was a big test of vulnerability and bravery in terms of putting new work on stage that I am very passionate about.


Betsy: I agree, this is a tough one! I have loved many performances for very different reasons. In recent history, ARENA DANCES’ 20th Anniversary performance stands out to me; we reset Matador and Not So Good At Standing Still, which were both extremely fulfilling to perform. I loved getting to dance a range from powerful, explosive movement to easeful, released movement in the course of the same show. However I also have to agree with Julie that this performance of In Time was entirely unique, and I feel incredibly proud to have created and performed this duet together. We took risks and it was magical to experience all the elements coming together.


Last question, if you could give advice to a younger dancer, what would it be?

Julie Marie: Soak in everything you can get your hands on. Your classes in school will inspire your dance education, and your dance classes will teach you valuable life skills that will translate to anything you do in life. But question everything. Question your idols, question the information you are given, do your own research, and be ready to upend the institutions you are raised in if needed. Never stop searching.


Betsy: Bring your entire self to your dancing and work hard while also being open to moments of joy, curiosity, and surprise. Find ways of moving that feel like home to you, and challenge yourself to regularly step outside your comfort zone and try on new ideas. Pay attention and learn from all you can- your teachers, fellow students, and your own instincts. You will likely have times of great inspiration and times of burnout/doubt. Befriend your fellow dancers and lean on your community.

Thanks for joining me.

Thanks for having us.









Saturday, June 9, 2018

Weekend Writing Warriors #8Sunday #amwriting #amjoy

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the website:Wewriwa.com and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.


No one likes it when their family life changes.  This is particularly hard for the Radtke's.  A troublesome girl named Tracey enters their lives and the children are an endless journey to make sure this girl doesn't get into any further trouble or cause their parents to lose their fostering license.  These are snippets from my second novella in the series, "Oh Tracey."


Last week
“Never mind.” I began reorganizing the crafts on the table in a way that seemed to make more sense. Boy wooden dolls went other with boy wooden dolls, girls went with girls. Figures that said, ‘Home sweet home’ didn’t need to go with other ones that resembled homes, so I put them instead next to Halloween cats and scarecrows. The Christmas Santas really had no place next to the candy canes so I put them with the the vegetables, including orange squash and tomatoes. “Eat your heart out,” I said patting Santa’s belly.
“You’re weird, you know that?” said Tracey.
“Am not.”


“Are too.”

This week

I wanted to tell her how weird she was and ask her who the ugly women was who slapped her around before we got here but I didn’t want to blow my cover.
“Look, if you want to reorganize the crafts, let me do it,” Tracey said. She put all the wooden crafts back to where they were; just in time too because Connie came back. Dang, Tracey must have a photographic memory.
“Make any money?” Connie asked, hopeful.
“Umm no,” I said.
Her face dropped.
“No worries,” she said. She turned away from us to pull her shirt over her flat bottom.

Readers, please comment below.

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Valarsard Chronicles Virtual Tour #amreading #amjoy #Saturdaymood


 Author, , is here with me to discuss the Valarsard Chronicles.  Erin is a New Zealand author.  She took up writing seriously two years ago and has now published 3 books, each one very different in style and content.
She's been a teacher all her working life, working in mainstream as well as in Special Needs, specifically with deaf children. She's worked all over New Zealand as well as in Africa.



Erin, what is your writing process, i.e. brainstorming, getting ideas, etc.
  I find ideas can just come out of left field, or else those ideas have been percolating away in my head for some time. Ravening Heart of the Wolf grew out of a dream I had years ago, and just held on to. The sequel, The Wolf in Winter, flowered on the page. I just let the story evolve to see if I could do it. Days of Insult was a kind of mission, because I’m an avid historian and I wanted to pay tribute to the horrific sacrifice made by ordinary Russians in WW2. There are just no fiction books on the topic. I have a huge list of ideas for further books, including some autobiographical stories.



What is the MC of your newest novel like?
   In my most recently published book, The Wolf in Winter, I guess I’d have to say I focused on Conor, who didn’t actually play a major role in the first book in the series, where I focused on Manon. The main character in both books is really Abigail, the mysterious little shapeshifter. She wields the magic, in a good way. Her other manifestations are the wolf and the eagle, which are powerful totems to the Valarsar.

Who are your favorite authors?
   I love all the classics: Austen, the Brontes, Dickens. The Russians: Tolstoy, Turgenev, Solzhenitsyn. Big fan of American authors: Melville, Steinbeck, Hemingway. I enjoy Diana Gabaldon’s writing. I admire Irish writers like Wilde, Joyce, CS Lewis, Frank O’Connor, Sean O’Faolain. I’m part Irish and that’s where my love of writing comes from, I believe. I enjoy history: Antony Beevor, Max Hastings. My favourite writer of all time is Primo Levi.

What motivates you to get out of bed everyday?
   The cat needs feeding, and if I don’t oblige, I get a right hook to the jaw from a hairy paw that bristles with lethal weaponry. No, seriously, the only thing making me linger in bed is the book I’m currently engrossed in. I get straight into writing as soon as I’m up. I’m very driven.
What do your fans mean to you?
    Well, I hope I have some fans. To those who enjoy my books and give me lovely reviews, I say thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
What are your favorite works of fiction?
  So many, but here are a few: Wuthering Heights, Moby Dick, If This is a Man, The Grapes of Wrath, The Old Man and the Sea.

Find out more about Erin Eldridge and her works at the links below:

https://www.amazon.com/Erin-Eldridge/e/B00MSKP12M/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1527947228&sr=1-1

http://ravenswoodpublishing.com/bookpages/TheWolfInWinter.html

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Weekend Writing Warrios #wewriwa #amwriting #amjoy

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the website:Wewriwa.com and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.


No one likes it when their family life changes.  This is particularly hard for the Radtke's.  A troublesome girl named Tracey enters their lives and the children are an endless journey to make sure this girl doesn't get into any further trouble or cause their parents to lose their fostering license.  These are snippets from my second novella in the series, "Oh Tracey."


Last week
Every time I visited their house, it was dark with the soft hue of a single light in one corner of the room. One could easily assume they had no children; or if they did, they’d have to live in dark shadows of the place.
Arriving at the craft fair, I was surprised to find Tracey there. She looked calm despite what had happened earlier. Forty or so crafters had set up their own tables in a strip almost the length of the strip mall's hallway. Connie gave me a clipboard and a job.“I want you to man the station."
“Okay, Connie,” I said. She showed me a tin box where the money went and then took her Diet Coke with her to the bathroom.
Tracey was sitting at the end of a card table filing her nails.
“You going to help?” I asked.

“Do what?”

This week
“Never mind.” I began reorganizing the crafts on the table in a way that seemed to make more sense. Boy wooden dolls went other with boy wooden dolls, girls went with girls. Figures that said, ‘Home sweet home’ didn’t need to go with other ones that resembled homes, so I put them instead next to Halloween cats and scarecrows. The Christmas Santas really had no place next to the candy canes so I put them with the the vegetables, including orange squash and tomatoes. “Eat your heart out,” I said patting Santa’s belly.
“You’re weird, you know that?” said Tracey.
“Am not.”
“Are too.”
Readers, please comment below.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

@CaffeinatedbookReviewer, #amreading, #sunday



The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted  @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things  received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

 MAY


This has been a fun but also challenging week.  Zahdi tore his ACL and looks like he'll be out of commission for a while.  Kayaking on hold?  We're also have car problems with our Hyundai Accent.  Lastly, I took my son to, two different rec centers this week for Tot Time .   

I listened to the parents talk about:
  • Fireworks
  • Their vacations (Ours being a trip to Wisconsin Dells)
  • How much they spend on fireworks
  • National night out.
  • How their kids love to talk
  • The things their kids love to do.



Thanks for stopping by, please be sure to check out what I'm reading and maybe even leave a comment.

CURRENTLY

Reading:  Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson, Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli, Bombay Blues by Tunuja Desai Hider, Wanderlust by Elisabeth Eaves


Listening: Shopaholic and Baby by Sophie Kinsella, read by Katherine Kellgren
Watching Barry (on Cable) and Michael Jackson Documentary (Wow, he spent 2.3 Million a month)


ON THE BLOG


What Happened
:

Friday:Pictues from my trip to the Arboretum Garden in Minnesota

Saturday:Weekend Warriors post


Up Coming:
Saturday:Weekend Warriors 
Sunday:Sunday Post






Readers if you want to comment, please do so below.

#Interview with Jason Culp #voiceacting #amjoy @kakuralasombey

Actor and audiobook narrator, Jason Culp, is with us today. Jason was born in LA and played the original Julian Jerome on General Hospital. He's been an actor since he was 10 and narrator since he was 35.

Onto the interivew...



Jason, you have been in a few soap operas prior to your voice acting career, can you tell us a little about that?

I have been an actor since I was 10 years old -- I played a small part in a film my father, the actor Robert Culp, directed, entitled "Hickey and Boggs", and I never stopped acting after that. I did a slew of plays at school and then trained for the stage at the American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco and then studied at HB Studios in New York and with John Lehne, an admired acting teacher in Los Angeles, in the 80s. A couple of my early jobs were the soap operas you mentioned, "General Hospital", in which I created the role of Julian Jerome (a role which has now been revived and being played by another actor), and then did about six months on "Days Of Our Lives". Soaps are pretty hard work -- there are a great deal of lines to learn on a daily basis and you get very little time to prepare -- you really have to trust what you are doing and keep it simple and not get too attached to the way you think the storyline should go because it can be changed at a moment's notice!

Do you have a favorite genre that you like recording?

I started recording audiobooks in 1996 -- my very first one was a Danielle Steel, and I'll confess I went to my first audiobook session without having prepared too much because I had a lot of confidence in my ability to read aloud -- I'd been recording myself reading aloud literally since I was 10 years old and had recorded several of my favorite books (by the likes of Charles Dickens, J.D. Salinger, James Thurber) just to amuse myself. But I soon realized, after starting to read that Danielle Steel title, what hard work it was and how much I had to be conscious of to make a program dynamic and consistent, and I really started to sweat! For books after that one I started to prepare very carefully and did my best to teach myself (and to learn from the wise and experienced directors I worked with) the craft of audiobook narrating.

I have narrated virtually every genre I can think of (Thriller, Horror, Mystery, Crime Noir, Young Adult, and all kinds of non-fiction), but I have a very soft spot for doing Westerns, particularly those written by Louis L'Amour, of which I have done a few dozen over the last 20 years. I love old westerns and love inhabiting those characters (the voices inspired by the western character actors I love) and relish the descriptions of the old west and of man pitted against bad guys and the elements. I tend to like doing character voices and using accents and so enjoy doing titles which are set in periods of antiquity, which require a little extra theatricality, because at heart I am a stage actor -- in other words, "an old ham"!

Have you built a relationship with any of the writers of the books you’ve recorded for?

I have gotten friendly with a couple writers of non-fiction I have done books for -- Bryan Denson, who wrote a wonderful book called "The Spy's Son", a true story about a father-and-son who sold American secrets to the Russian government, and David Priess, who wrote a fascinating book about the history of the PDB (The President's Daily Briefing), called "The President's Book of Secrets". The fact is, really famous authors are usually "buffered" from the narrator and don't get too involved with the audiobooks of their work. But there are exceptions.



You have also recorded for David Baldacci and Clive Cussler, do you remember having to do research for any of their novels?


There is always research involved in almost any book -- in the case of Baldacci and Cussler, who write Thrillers which are either political or involve espionage, there are often characters of other nationalities (British, Italian, French, Russian), and it's important to know how to pronounce names of places and people authentically, and if an accent is required, to bring it off successfully without drawing too much attention to it. There is generally nearly as much time spent at home preparing to record a book as there is actually recording it.


Are you working on anything now?


I have been pleased to be working with my old friends at Penguin Random House again, now that I have relocated to Los Angeles from New York less than a year ago. I've just completed a political thriller entitled "The Washington Decree", written by Danish writer Jussi Adler-Olsen, and an interesting non-fiction for Brilliance Audio called "Dark Star Rising", which examines the possible influence of the occult on politics!

In addition to doing audiobooks, I am "full steam ahead" in restarting my acting career, after a pause of about 15 years. To that end, I have made a web series for myself called "Actors In Cars Rehearsing Classics" (which is a very transparent nod to Jerry Seinfeld's wonderful show "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee") and you can find the pilot episode here: https://vimeo.com/259039576
The second episode is scheduled to appear in a couple weeks.
I also have a soundcloud page with a variety of tracks on it, featuring my poetry, some narration, and songs (I am a cabaret singer, from time to time).

And my Facebook page for my professional work is here: https://www.facebook.com/JasonCulpActorNarrator/

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Sunday Post @CaffeinatedBookReviewer #amreading #amjoy #bestoftheday #love


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted  @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things  received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

 MAY


On Wednesday of this week I found myself busier than usual.  We went to Dick's Sporting Goods to buy an inflatable kayak.  Yes, Kayaking is in our future when we buy paddles, an air pump and safety gear.  Ever since we went kayaking in San Diego, we've had kayaking on the brain and I'm so glad we finally bought one.  
I also had a sit down with the Early Child Education committee and I felt like I was having a meeting with the United Nations.  Burmese, Somali, and Mexican immigrants were represented along with their translators in order to discuss child welfare.  It was fantastic!  I speak a bit of Somali and Arabic, so listening to the translation was quite fun for me.

Thanks for stopping by, please be sure to check out what I'm reading and maybe even leave a comment.

CURRENTLY

Reading:  Sweet Bitter By Sephanie Danler, The Cafe by the Sea by Jenny Colgan, They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera, Almost French by Sarah Turnbull, The Assistant by Camille Perri, The Children by Ann Leary, Her Every Fear by Peter Swanson, The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis, The Butterfly Project by Emma Scott.


Listening: Warcross by Marie Lu, Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, 

Watching Silicon Valley and Barry (on Cable)

I decided to list some of my favorite books of 2017 if you're interested.

  1. All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doer
  2. Home Fire by Kamila Shamsie
  3. Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
  4. History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund
  5. Elmet by Fiona Mozley
  6. Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
  7. The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Alberatalli  
  8. Hanya Yanagihara's 'A Little Life' 
  9. Eileen by Otessa Moshfegh
  10. Tampa by Alissa Nutting


ON THE BLOG

What Happened:

Saturday:Weekend Warriors post


Up Coming:
Saturday:Weekend Warriors 
Sunday:Sunday Post




Readers if you want to comment, please do so below.


Weekend Writing Warriors #amwriting #amjoy

Weekend Writing Warriors #amwriting #wewriwa

Welcome to Weekend Writing Warriors, the weekly hop for everyone who loves to write!  Sign up on the website:Wewriwa.com and share an 8 to 10 sentence snippet of your writing on Sunday.


No one likes it when their family life changes.  This is particularly hard for the Radtke's.  A troublesome girl named Tracey enters their lives and the children are an endless journey to make sure this girl doesn't get into any further trouble or cause their parents to lose their fostering license.  These are snippets from my second novella in the series, "Oh Tracey."


Last week
She often had us take lawn ornaments that she that leaned on the side of her house and load them up into her truck. The ornaments were so huge that they often scared squirrels away. Big eyed elves and round frogs that had no reason to be in any front yard in the first place, alive or dead. I didn’t talk to Connie much but Bob, her husband, was absolutely hilarious. He used to be a comedic actor and always had good stories to tell. Mom had set the two of them up two years ago and it was a match made in heaven. The two smoked like a chimney: Bob was 6’8, Connie was 5’10. Mom said Bob weighed about three hundred pounds but said most of his weight was in his gut. He had a huge antique toy collection.

This week

Every time I visited their house, it was dark with the soft hue of a single light in one corner of the room. One could easily assume they had no children; or if they did, they’d have to live in dark shadows of the place.
Arriving at the craft fair, I was surprised to find Tracey there. She looked calm despite what had happened earlier. Forty or so crafters had set up their own tables in a strip almost the length of the strip mall's hallway. Connie gave me a clipboard and a job.“I want you to man the station."
“Okay, Connie,” I said. She showed me a tin box where the money went and then took her Diet Coke with her to the bathroom.
Tracey was sitting at the end of a card table filing her nails.
“You going to help?” I asked.

“Do what?”

Readers, please comment below.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Sunday Post #amreading #amjoy



The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted  @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things  received. Share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead. See rules here: Sunday Post Meme

LOOKING FORWARD TO May


This week I saw Faux Pas perform at Southern Theater for their Festival Happy Hour Showing. It was a Modern Dance and the theme of the dance was TIME.
There was a Q and A after in which the dancers talked about how time affects our lives and we talked what work we do and whether we found ourselves busier than we've ever been before.  Nah, I'm not busy, I thought.  I just read books and take author/narrator interviews.  I also go to writers groups and read other people's work.  I try to promote independent authors and constantly tweet and post on Facebook.  I'm writing a novel and work full time in nursing.  So yeah, I'm not busy, lol.  Readers, are you busy?




Thanks for stopping by, please be sure to check out what I'm reading and maybe even leave a comment.

CURRENTLY

Reading:  Sweet Bitter By Sephanie Danler,  Remember Me? (contemporary)  By Sophie Kinsella, Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulhurst (fantasy). 


Listening: Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella

Watching:  Silicon Valley and New Girl

ON THE BLOG

What Happened:

Saturday:Weekend Warriors post


Up Coming:
Saturday:Weekend Warriors 
Sunday:Sunday Post




Readers if you want to comment, please do so below.


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