*Afterthought #84 – More Spoken Word

headphonesFollowing my interview with Violet Phillips, about narrating my memoir, Hiking Naked: A Quaker Woman’s Search for Balance, a reader asked a question I hadn’t thought to ask. Here’s what Violet told me about how long it took her to record the manuscript.

As with so many creative efforts, it depends: on deadlines, schedules, and studio and engineer availability. For this book, which has a playing time of just over six-and-a-half hours, Violet described the following steps to record it.

I read for at least two hours each day. At that pace, it took a week altogether—to just do the recording.

The next steps are all the audio engineering: 1) editing the files and 2) doing the post-production. This all took about another week and a half. So, it basically took about two weeks.

I find what people don’t really know about narration is that there are steps involved. The reading is one component. The audio engineering is another—usually much longer—part of the process. It’s all about hitting the deadline and planning out the recording/editing time needed to get the book done.

Thanks again to Violet for her skill and passion for speaking the words writers like me have written. And thanks as well to Homebound Publications for making my memoir available in paper, e-book, and audiobook.  I hope you’ll consider listening to Violet’s beautiful voice. You can order the audio version here:  Hiking Naked – audiobook.

 

*Afterthoughts are my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning’s worship. I’ve adopted the form here for last-day-of-the-month brief reflections on headlines, quotes, books, previous posts, maybe even bumper stickers and refrigerator magnets.

Photo above courtesy time.com.

 

 

 

*Afterthought #83 – A Virtual Twist

christmas branch at nightOn this last day of December, and of 2018, our Christmas branch still twinkles as I continue to reflect on Christmas 1994 in Stehekin. Here’s a short excerpt from Hiking Naked about that celebration with Jerry’s family.

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We filled the next few days with cross-country skiing, baking, and Hearts, the card game we always played at family gatherings. On Christmas Eve night, we all gathered at our house to read the story of Christ’s birth, share blessings, and sing songs by candlelight. While logs crackled in the woodstove and snow again started to fall, we concluded the evening with another tradition instituted years earlier by Donna and Dale. One by one, each family member dumped little wrapped packages out of hand-made stockings; the rule was every item had to cost less than a dollar and had to fit in the sock. As always, laughter filled the room as everyone discovered miniature bottles of shampoo and French soaps lifted from hotel rooms, pens and note pads from pharmaceutical companies our pediatrician cousin picked up at medical conferences, individually-wrapped fruit leathers and chocolates, and an assortment of kitchen gadgets including a wide variety of closures for snack bags.

 Matt, Rachel, and [cousin] Leslie were well past the age of believing in Santa Claus, but waking to eighteen inches of fresh snow on Christmas morning was just as magical. Its powdery whiteness brightened the pre-sunrise hours as we opened more gifts, sipped lattés and hot chocolate, and ate orange twists and an egg-and-sausage casserole.

christmas breakfast
Yep, that’s beardless Jerry holding scones, and me with orange twists (wearing a pin hand-carved by Matthew)

~   ~   ~   ~   ~

Ah, those orange twists. They appear frequently in my memoir, as they were the pastry I most enjoyed making (and eating) when I worked as a baker at Stehekin Pastry Company. Still think they’re one of the best treats, and it’s been fun to share them at various author events for Hiking Naked.

On Christmas Eve this year, I rose early to make a few batches (including a gluten-free version) to gift the crew of the M.V. Tillikum, the interisland ferry where I serve as Writer-in-Residence.

I knew they’d be working on Christmas Day while I spent time with family, so orange twists seemed fitting to express my appreciation (this is the same Kitchen Aid mixer we barged to Stehekin; it’s a character in the memoir, too).

IMG_2772And yes, I did save a few for our own breakfast the next day.

A couple crewmembers couldn’t wait until Christmas, so I was able to hear their appreciative comments before I returned home. But sorry, the recipe isn’t available for sharing. You’ll just have to try them for yourself at Stehekin Pastry Company—or one of my author events.

Here’s hoping all the twists of 2019 are sweet.

 

 

 

*Afterthoughts are my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning’s worship. I’ve adopted the form here for last-day-of-the-month brief reflections on headlines, quotes, books, previous posts, maybe even bumper stickers and refrigerator magnets.

*Afterthought #82 – Souvenirs

This month’s afterthought has me still reflecting on my latest visit to Chicago’s American Writers Museum (read more at “Insider Information”). Since I live a couple thousand miles away from this treasure, I brought a bit of it home. I’ll share a few of these souvenirs with friends and will keep a couple for myself until I return to the museum again. There’s much more for me to discover there.

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magnets (1)

*Afterthoughts are my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning’s worship. I’ve adopted the form here for last-day-of-the-month brief reflections on headlines, quotes, books, previous posts, maybe even bumper stickers and refrigerator magnets.

*Afterthought #81 – Midterms

On this last day of October, I’m aware we’re just six days from the midterm elections. As always, there’s a great deal at stake, and this election feels even more urgent; health care, immigration, the environment, choice, and many other issues will be impacted by its outcome. In these divided and divisive times, there likely won’t be any landslides. Every. Single. Vote. Counts.

mailWashington State, where I live, does all voting by mail. Thanks to Washington Governor Jay Inslee, this year the state is picking up the tab for ballot postage. I’ve already inked in the circles on my ballot, put it in its protective sleeve and envelope, and slid it in the mail slot at the post office.

This election, though, casting my vote doesn’t seem like enough.

volunteer

vote forwardA couple of weeks ago, I joined about ten friends who signed up with Vote Forward to “adopt voters” to urge them to go to the polls. Vote Forward provided names, addresses, and a template for letters that we personalized with our reasons for pledging to vote in every election. My reasons: It’s my right, my responsibility, and it’s a way I can make a difference. The letters I wrote, along with about 300 more from our group, went in the mail yesterday to Democrats who haven’t voted in recent elections. I hope my note will encourage them to vote this time.

letters

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On Saturday, I’ll join Swing Left to participate in a virtual phone bank in support of Kim Schrier for Congress. From the comfort of my own home, I’ll be able to call voters in the 8th district to urge them to vote for her. Schrier’s in a very close race there, and I believe we need her voice in the House.

Tuesday night, I’ll gather with friends to watch election returns. Hopefully, these midterms will result in the election of people and issues I voted for. Regardless of the outcome, though, I hope we’ll be celebrating a record-breaking voter turnout. That’s what democracy is about.

vote

 

*Afterthoughts are my blog version of a practice followed in some Quaker meetings. After meeting for worship ends, people continue in silence for a few more minutes during which they’re invited to share thoughts or reflect on the morning’s worship. I’ve adopted the form here for last-day-of-the-month brief reflections on headlines, quotes, books, previous posts, maybe even bumper stickers.