Sunday, September 24, 2006

Miscellaneous thoughts

It's a beautiful day today, so I spent some time bringing my plants indoors. Every fall, my house gets a little smaller, despite the extreme haircuts the plants get. I've got thirteen plants in my office, soon to be fourteen when I find the courage and strength to bring the China Doll in off the screened porch. I was given this plant in a three-inch pot in 1995 or so. It's now over six feet tall--it would have been taller, but I snapped off the top as I wrestled it in the porch door. A few years ago, I thought it was dead, so I whacked it way down. I figured I'd use the pot for something else. Ha! It flourished!

I couldn't bring this tree into the office yet earlier this afternoon, because of the 1000+ DVDs in front of my desk. I got out the stepladder and put 900 of these in the storage space above the puppet closet (yes, the puppets have their own habitat). That's all well and good, but tomorrow 1000 CDs will be delivered from OasisCD, and I'll have to figure out where to put them. I've still got some kitchen cabinets available.

In heaving the DVDs up into the storage space, I had to take stock of what was there. Do people still listen to cassettes? I sold a few at libraries this summer, to my surprise. I've got plenty left, but not so many that it feels oppressive.

Work has started up again. Yesterday I told stories at Cornstock, the Anderson County Corn festival in Garnett, KS. Though it was windy and cold in the morning, windy and sunny in the afternoon, the audiences were great. They sat on the tennis court and listened to my stories and to Alan Cunningham's music. It was fun to perform with Alan, who does some wonderful original songs.

Tuesday will be my first performance of a series at Wonderscope Children's Museum. This is an experiment: I'll be performing on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at 9:30 a.m. through May (with a couple of breaks in December and February). I'm looking forward to having a regular gig!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Advance notice of CD and DVD

Last week I finally sent off all the info and discs for my new CD and DVD to Oasis CD Manufacturing. Whew! It has been a long process, starting in April with the live recording at Sunset Hill Elementary School. I also did bonus tracks at the Lawrence Arts Center and at the Fort Scott Public Library. I'm completely thrilled with the graphic design by Annie Tichenor, who pulled everything together wonderfully. This is the third time I've worked with the folks at Oasis--they're really easy to work with.

The next step in the process is to okay the proofs when they come in. In a couple more weeks, 1000 CDs and 1000 DVDs will be delivered on my porch. Storage? Some of you have seen my very tall kitchen cabinets, all the way to the 12' ceiling. Now you know what goes in the top cupboards. And yes, I do have to stand on the counter or a stepladder to reach them.

The CD is called The Best (And Worst) of Beasts. The DVD is The Bully Billy Goat And Other Stories. Some of the same stories are on both, but there are differences. The DVD has intermediary stuff with my puppet Trixie and a bonus track of The Ghost with the One Black Eye. The CD has some stories not on the DVD, and a bonus track of The Kansas Three Little Pigs.

One of the things I like the best is the shots of the kids on the DVD. These younger elementary school children react as most do, with enthusiasm and attention.

I expect to sell these at my library and festival performances, on and on In case you're wondering, the DVD will be the same price as all my CDs. I like to keep things simple.

On November 12, I've scheduled a release performance at The Raven bookstore in Lawrence, KS. Stop by for a few stories--and if you're too far away, you'll be able to listen to at least one story from the new releases on my website,