Hope the season find you well. Around here, leaves linger on and the trees still have some color, though that’s rapidly fading. On our walks through the woods with our dog, Django, I can see the contour of the land again – the glade of the ferns beneath the towering white pines has browned, then collapsed – green and yellow give way to brown and gray, a palette with its own feeling and flavor. I was lying in bed early the other morning and thousands and thousands of blackbirds flew over the house, settling in the large beech and oak trees where they squawked for half an hour, discussing when they should leave.
In this issue:
Through happenstance and planning, I was home for much of September and October. As it happened, it was a good time to be home. My father-in-law, Willard Block, passed on, and I got to spend time with him towards the end. We’re all very sad, but also aware of the long, wonderful life he had and all the good he has left in his wake. I’m not overly given to magic, but as a storyteller, I’m aware that there are places in the world and times in our lives when the curtain between this world and whatever else is out there is very, very thin, and you might have a toe, foot, leg, or half a body in the other world without realizing it. For us, right now, it’s one of those times and places.
As I think I’ve mentioned, I’m currently in the middle of writing a radio drama for families for BYU productions. I’ll do most of the writing this winter and hopefully it will go into production in the spring. I’m having a blast doing it – it’s hard work (I mean, I don’t really know what’s going to happen any more than you do – but I’m the one to figure it out), but also really enjoyable. I’ll let you know the schedule for release as soon as we figure it out.
The other long-term project, which I mentioned last time, is producing a weekly podcast of songs and stories from families. Song Story Stuff should be available early next year, but by the end of this year, we’re planning a Patreon campaign and a sample episode to let you know what I’m up to. I’m enjoying going through my hours and hours of recorded (and unrecorded) work to figure out how it will all go together.
We will let you know about the project soon, and depend on you, my loyal fans, to help fund this project. If you’re interested in knowing more about it, drop us a line and we’ll let you know what’s happening.
Latest in the world of music for adults
If you’d like to hear my take on the current national situation, please check out my new piece, The Emperor’s New Clothes Talking Blues on Soundcloud or my online store. If you like it, please pass the word, and download it – only a dollar and you support the artist! It’s amazing how a good story still applies hundreds of years later. As I say in the piece, “Just a story, just a story”.
During our wonderful trip to Ireland, storyteller, actor and friend Jack Lynch kept reading us Seamus Heaney’s wonderful poetry, and since then I’ve been living with 100 Poems, a collection of his poems chosen by his family. Also read two really good books by Irish writers, Troubles, by J.G. Farrell, and a new wonderful work by Anne Griffin, When All is Said – highly recommended.
At the end of a trip, after a visit to the National Museum in Dublin, Jack, Debbie and I went to a nice little Italian bistro. While we were sitting there, Jack whispered, “Do you know John Banville?” I told him Banville was one of my favorite writers. Jack replied, “He’s right over there.” So, I screwed up my courage, introduced myself to him and his wife, and we had a nice chat. I tried not to be completely goofy – Banville is a pretty serious writer, and I did not mention my work about fourth grade boys getting stuck in the toilet. He was, I believe, happy to talk with me. Of course, I was smiling, too.