Summer 2012


Friends of various ages,

I know it’s hot. I know it’s dry. I know that the ice caps are melting. And you do, too.

I hope you’re managing to stay cool and find some water that you can soak in as we go through the summer months. Debbie and I have decided to stick around Seekonk for most of the summer – I’ve been on my bike every morning and been sailing with friends and the performance schedule is pulled way back. Bad for the cash flow and good for the soul. Hmmmm…


Bill Harley kayaking

I had a productive spring – a new orchestra piece, a TEDx talk, and a lot of shows and teaching. It all finished with a keynote for the National Storytelling Network conference on the future of storytelling and a joyous concert for the Friends General Conference annual gathering, with Kim and Reggie Harris, Sally Rogers, Howie Bursen and Kim Trusty. It was one of those nights that makes you happy just to be on the planet. What’s better than singing with others?

And now, I’m trying to catch my breath. I’ve been noodling around with some new performance pieces for the fall and in discussion with a number of people about different projects, but I seem to be in a limbo kind of place. I’ve always believed that creativity requires some extra space – a kind of fallow period, and while things are brewing, mostly I’m waiting to see what happens next. Keith Munslow and I are chipping away at our recording, but other than that, it’s wait and see.



About High Dive - a couple of stories A

If you’ve heard "High Dive", either in performance or on the recording, you know it’s a tragic tale of a boy (me) who really has to go the bathroom, and is really in love with a lifeguard – an older woman. It doesn’t end well. You know a story works when people come up and tell you their own.

A little while ago, a woman came up and said, "My name is Kristi, and I was a lifeguard, and that happened to me – how did you know?" She couldn’t stop laughing.

Several weeks later a boy at an elementary school came up to me and said, "That happened to me. Except it wasn’t the lifeguard, it was a girl in this school. She’s here right now. Don’t tell anyone."

I can't remember what town or school I was in when he told me, nor his name, so in a weird way, I think his secret is safe. Since I suspect we’ve all done something like it.

Lost and Found - out soon  

Lost and Found Cover


This fall, Peachtree releases my new picture book, Lost and Found. Adam Gustavson did an incredible job with the illustrations, and we’re really excited about its release. We’re planning a contest where we'll give out autographed copies of the book. Look for the official notice at the end of August, beginning of September.


I finally got around to reading Jonathan Franzen's The Corrections and enjoyed it – great writer with so many gifts. And I’m still fascinate by the Chilean author Cesar Aria – bizarre and fantastical books – just finished The Literary Conference which features, among other things, a cloned Carlos Fuentes, a bizarre contraption called an Exoscope, and gigantic silk worms. But I like it. And I have really enjoyed reading Liz Lerman’s book on being an artist and choreographer Hiking the Horizontal. Liz is a really brilliant person who sees things in unique ways. It’s given me a lot to think about in my work.

As always, drop us a note and let us know what you're reading.

From the Office
  Featured Recording - on Sale!  

From now until Sunday August 26 we are featuring Bill's song and story recording "The Town Around the Bend". The CD is available for $10 and the digital download of the album for $4.

"The Town Around the Bend" is a collection of stories and songs about a place known as... The Town Around the Bend! Perfect for bedtime (or anytime you need things to calm down), it'll entertain every member of the family. Visit our online store to listen to clips and then get your copy!

 & Round River Productions
301 Jacob St
Seekonk, Massachusetts 02771