Bluegrass Starter Kit

billI love listening to music while I write. It sets the stage for me. Today I’m working on a children’s book about the state of Kentucky, so naturally I rolled out my bluegrass playlist. Right now I’m listening to the sweet music of Bill Monroe, the father of bluegrass. If you want to sample the toe-tapping sounds of The Blue Grass Boys, check out “16 Gems” for his early work with banjo virtuoso Earl Scruggs, or “Anthology,” which is packed with 50 of Monroe’s later compositions. If you’re feeling down, this music will pick you right back up!

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Happy Birthday, Beethoven!

karajanHappy 245th birthday, Ludwid Van! I discovered that on iTunes I have two version of the 9th Symphony (my very favorite–we played it in orchestra one year, in my cello-playing days, back when the world was young). One recording is by Tosconini, the other is Herbert Von Karajan’s 1962-63 seminal recording of the Berlin Philharmonic. So I play them back-to-back, to see if I can discern the difference. Holy cow! Toss out the Toscanini (even though I love saying that word–“Toscanini”). The Karajan-led piece is so rich, so gripping. It is a marvel.

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My Spirit is a Roaring Sea

My spirit is a roaring seaThis is a wonderful little story by ZenPencils, with a great message. It’s also a good reminder for storytellers: let your hero figure out how to beat the bad guy alone, without outside help. It’s ever so much more satisfying.

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The Unchartable Truth

moby-dick-rockwell-kent-illusCall me John. Some years ago–164 years on this date precisely –Herman Melville together with his British publisher released Moby-Dick. Having nothing particular to interest me on shore today, I think I will take my copy off the bookshelf and sail about a little in my mind and imagine the watery part of the world.

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Supermoon

Super Blood Moon 2015Supermoon lunar eclipse. Not quite at totality, just a sliver showing in the lower right. Pretty cool. Our ancient ancestors would have totally freaked out.

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Lewis & Clark Proceed On!

Lewis & Clark ebook cover 150x225Wow! The ebook version of my Lewis & Clark book has now had a six-month run in the top 10 of the Amazon children’s book charts, far exceeding my expectations. Best part: this time around, I don’t have to worry about selling all those boxes of hardcovers in my basement!

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Ghost Marshal Review

GM-Paperback(LyingDown01)-square-9-25-14A nice 5-star review for Ghost Marshal today. Thank you, kind reader!

“The feisty heroine and her unusual ally uncover more than they bargained for in this fast-paced, vivid adventure. I was drawn in by the historical aspect of the story, but the intriguing characters and dramatic story kept me wanting to read more!”

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Amadou & Mariam

Dimanche_à_Bamako_album_coverListening to the sweet Afro-Blues sound of Amadou & Mariam this morning, the best blind musicians to ever come out of Mali. Check ’em out. If you just listen to the song “M bife” you’ll be hooked.

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