Spring 2015

 

Hello friends

I hope the spring is treating you well. Here it is, the beginning of April and we still have snow in the yard, melting away a little each day. Tonight may be the first night we hear spring peepers – incredibly late. But then, when you’ve had the winter we’ve had, everything is a little late. So I’m right on time.

Just to keep things in perspective, it was 90 degrees when I was out in California in early March.

Escondido, CA

 
   
 
 

The deer say hi.This is just outside our kitchen window in Seekonk, MA at the same time as the above photo. On the plus side the deer stopped by to say hi.

 

Work in UT & CA

 
 

I had a wonderful late winter, spending the month of February away from the snow and ice. I was in Salt Lake City for a week as the resident storyteller for the Salt Lake Acting Company’s first Playwright’s Lab. Organized by my old fried and mentor, David Kranes, I listened to play readings, talked with actors, directors and playwrights about their projects, gave the actors storytelling exercises, and performed a little myself. It was an intense and wonderful experience. Following that I spent two weeks in Escondido, California, doing thirty-six shows in ten different schools. I didn’t know I could still do that. It was a cathartic, exhausting, and fulfilling experience.

 
     
Charlie Bumpers!  
 

Charlie Bumpers vs. the Perfect Little TurkeyRight now, I’m in the middle of another Charlie Bumpers spurt. I’ve just sent the last draft of “Charlie Bumpers vs. the Perfect Little Turkey” off to Peachtree – due out next fall and am writing the first draft of the next installment. We’re all pretty excited around here – Charlie seems to have taken on a life of his own. The first book (“Charlie Bumpers vs. the Teacher of the Year”) is on a number of state award reading lists and we’re beginning to hear from school librarians all over the country about how much kids like it. Some schools are using Charlie as part of their One School One Book programming - I love hearing this!!

 
     

Spring and Summer

 
 

I’m looking forward to trips to Florida, Texas and Nebraska in the next month or so, and then, to summer because, well, because it’s summer. Lots of shows close to home including a book signing in North Darmouth because all middle schoolers in Tiverton will be reading Night of the Spadefoot Toads this summer...if you are close and have some books you'd like signed, please come.

 
     
The latest book reading (listening)    
 

A lot of time on the road means there’s some time for reading. I’ve enjoyed The Cello Suites by Eric Siblin and the latest Jim Harrison compilation, Brown Dog. With all the time in the car, I finally finished listening to The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. There’s a lot to discuss about the book – I had avoided it for a year or so because of the length, and then because of the reviews by many of my trusted literary friends who said it was seriously in need of editing. I think I might have grown exasperated with reading it; there is a great amount of detail  - periods in which there doesn’t appear to be much action  - and by that I mean a moving forward of the characters in their perceptions of the world. But the book plays better on audio, I think. And the depths of depravity of the main character and his partner in crime (literally and figuratively) seem, in the end, required for the resolution of the book. It’s a major work, I think. But like I said, I’m glad I listened to it.

Which does beg the question about the nature of reading versus listening. There’s a lot of room for discussion there, I think. I’m not sure we should see listening to a book as some kind of moral failing. It’s another way of perceiving, equally as valid, and for many people, a richer experience. It does make me wonder about time – how the time spent reading and time spent listening have two different natures. Let us know what you think: do you listen to books?

 
     

Work (Hush hush)

 
 

I’m working on two recording projects this year but I’m not going to discuss them, in case they get waylaid. Again.

 
     

You Can Call Me Doctor

 
 

I was surprised, delighted, and honored to hear from Hamilton College, in Clinton, NY, my alma mater, that I will be awarded an honorary degree in their commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 24. I actually don’t think it makes me a doctor of anything, but I’m truly touched by Hamilton’s recognition of my contribution - spent over here in this little corner of the world filled with gym floors, libraries, and community art. I’ll look forward to seeing some old friends and revisiting the place where I first began to imagine my life’s work.

 
     
     
From the Office

Spring Sale!

 
 

Spring is officially here! (at least according to the calendar) Here are few suggestions to help get you in the mood. (CDs are $10; Full Album Digital Downloads $4.)

The Best Candy in the Whole World "A Walk Around the Block" from Best Candy in the Whole World: Go outside and look around; you'll never know how far you can go until you've been there and back. I Wanna Play
"I Wanna Play" from I Wanna Play: To sing on a sunny day. Or a rainy day hoping that it'll be sunny again real soon.
Big Big World "Keep it Green" from Big Big World: April 22 is Earth Day. Celebrate by cleaning up. (a holiday created by the mom's of the world, obviously) Mistakes Were Made
"Already Someplace Warm" from Mistakes Were Made: Because it looks like Spring won't arrive in New England until Summer.

 

Sale ends May 29.

 
     
Read and Listen  
 

Now on sale: Charlie Bumpers Audio books!

Books 1, 2 and 3 are all available as audio books and all are on sale for $15 each. We're also offering a discount when you buy the paperback version of book 1 or 2 with the audio book.

Charlie Bumpers vs. the Teacher of the Year (Book 1) Audio Book ($15)

Charlie Bumpers vs. the Really Nice Gnome (Book 2) Audio Book ($15)

Charlie Bumpers vs. the Squeaking Skull (Book 3) Audio Book ($15)

Charlie Bumpers vs. the Teacher of the Year (Book 1) Paperback and Audio book ($20)

Charlie Bumpers vs. the Really Nice Gnome (Book 2) Paperback and Audio book ($20)

 
     
Bill Harley Tee Shirts  
 

We are working on a few designs and wanted some feedback from you! Here's what we've got so far....

Grownups Are Strange Tee Yes to Running Tee

Zanzibar Tee

What do you think? Would you buy one of these? Do you have other suggestions? Email Michele@billharley.com with your thoughts and suggestions.

 
   

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