May 2012

Hello friends,

Spring has sprung! A month ahead of time!... Yesterday I watched one of my hives swarm and fly away – a month earlier than bees usually swarm. There’s not much you can do, but watch it happen. Still, I yelled up at them as they disappeared over the trees, "That’s not fair!"

Yelling at nature – always a productive thing to do.

This spring has been wild, and April in particular. In addition to writing a number of songs for different projects, I gave a TEDx talk in Providence, released a video (more below), and premiered a new family piece for orchestra, "Jack and the Beanstalk", written with my friend Paul Phillips, with the Allentown (PA) Symphony.


Bill with the Allentown Symphony Orchestra


I’m headed to California now for the Ojai Storytelling Festival and shows in Long Beach and San Diego – hope to see some of you out there!

Keith Munslow and I keep working on our recording – our schedules are so busy we’re having to pick away at it, but we should have a single out soon – "It’s Not Fair to Me", the winning title of our song title contest. We hope to finish the recording this summer.

Projects in June A

Summer is usually a half step slower, but I wanted to let you know about a couple of things in the early summer.

First, if you’re in the Providence area, mark your calendars for a Community Sing on Sunday June 3 at 3 pm at the Music School in East Providence. We had almost two hundred people show up for the last one and it was really a blast. It’s one of the things I love to do, and I’m hoping some of my music buddies will show up to help me.

Later that week, I’ll be heading to Utah to be a workshop leader for the Writers @ Work conference in Alta. I’ll be doing a workshop on storytelling as a spur to writing, and there are a fine group of writers and teachers that will be there in a drop-dead beautiful setting organized by my old friend and mentor, David Kranes, who used to run the Sundance Playwrights Lab. If you’re a writer and need some encouragement, this will be a great time. Visit for more info. I will also be doing a concert in Salt Lake City just before the conference if you want to come to that!

I’ll be at the Swag, the beautiful mountain inn in Waynesville, NC, hiking and telling stories for guests there June 20 -23.

And then, leading into July, I’ll be headed to the National Storytelling Conference in Cincinnati June 28 – July 1 and giving the keynote there on July 1 (my birthday, y’all!)

Wash Your Hands: The Video  

If you haven't seen it yet, check it out:



I just finished Scenes From Village Life, a wonderful book of intertwined stories by Israeli writer Amos Oz. I also enjoyed (at Debbie’s insistence) Sarah’s Key by Tatiana De Rosnay (now I can watch the movie). Other fiction I’ve enjoyed includes two short, quirky novels by the Argentinian novelist César Aira, Varamo and An Episode in the Life of a Painter. I happened to come across his books and am really enchanted by them. Non-fiction wise, I loved Jorge Luis Borges lectures This Craft of Verse, and The End of Education by Neil Postman. I’m sorry Postman is no longer with us – I think he’s one of the best social critics I’ve ever read - he’s always challenging and gives me a lot to think about.

Let us know what you’ve been reading.

From the Office
  $10 Sale!  

It's May and the school year is wrapping up. That means gifts for teachers and road trips for summer vacation. Here are a few Bill Harley titles that make great gifts for teachers and may allow you to keep your sense of humor (and sanity) on those long drives to the beach, the mountains, the amusement park, educational historical sites and/or the community pool.



Sale ends June 1, 2012

 & Round River Productions
301 Jacob St
Seekonk, Massachusetts 02771