Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Review of The Law of Attraction, Plain and Simple by Sonia Ricotti

The Law of Attraction, Plain and Simple: Create the Extraordinary Life That You Deserve by Sonia Ricotti came to me a at a time when I needed a good but simple self-empowerment message. At the bottom of everything, our thoughts and our attitude determine our destiny. The great news is, we have precise control over these two things. I've believed this for many years now, but still benefit from hearing it again. What I like about Ricotti's version of the Law of Attraction is that it's short!

Lots of people have read The Secret or watched the movie created by Rhonda Byrne http://thesecret.tv/
It's easy to misinterpret the message of The Secret as a form of wishful thinking. But my understanding of The Secret is that it is a call to action. Just thinking about something isn't enough – those ideas have to be acted upon. What Ricotti does so well in The Law of Attraction, Plain and Simple: Create the Extraordinary Life That You Deserve is underscore this point, even going so far as to have short exercises at the end of each chapter.

Ricotti outlines eleven action steps for mastering the Law of Attraction. Some of the steps surprised me, but made perfect sense when I looked at the overall importance they play in the manifestation of dreams. For Example, Step Five is “Let Go.” Ricotti believes when we resist things we don't like about ourselves, we get more of the same. By simply allowing ourselves to “be,” we change the energy behind those emotions, making room for more positive ones to flow in.

One of the other things I liked about Ricotti's book was the artwork, though it would have been more spectacular had the illustrations between chapters been in color. The Law of Attraction, Plain and Simple: Create the Extraordinary Life That You Deserve by Sonia Ricotti is a book I intend to read more than once. And that's really saying something when I consider how many other wonderful books await me on my reading shelf. Visit Ricotti's website to learn more about her books and work at Lead Out Loud http://www.leadoutloud.ca/index-1.html

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Video Shoot Photos from Kent Hayes

Some of my favorite work days are the ones where I get to be involved in the shoot to promote one of my audio books.  Recently, we shot the promo for Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book.  Kent Hayes, an actor in the audio book, also served as an assistant to Garry Morris, Director of the video shoot.  Here are some photos Kent took during the outing.


Sunday, April 13, 2014

FEAST: Saltair Re-Visited

Check out what Gadzooks! Actress Andra Harbold is working on now:

When: 7:30 pm, May 24, 2014
Where: The Great Saltair, Utah
Founded in 2013 by Choreographer Charlotte Boye-Christensen and Architect Nathan Webster, NOW-ID is a performing arts and design company based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Both internationally positioned and reflecting the unique beauty and culture of its western base, the name/logo/brand NOW functions as mission statement and mantra that reflects the company’s commitment to constant renewal and the space of engagement when creating or viewing art. The company is a framework for collaboration between local, national and international artists, designers and thinkers.
Following the highly acclaimed first performance The Wedding, NOW continues its exploration of place and turns its gaze toward the surreal and salty remains of prehistoric Lake Bonneville and the Great Saltair. FEAST will be an immersive experience for the audience, layering dance, theater, live music and design.

Once again, NOW-ID is gathering a collaborative force of local and international creative artists.  Returning collaborators include Salt Lake dancer Jo Blake and Chicago’s Joffery Ballet’s Yumelia Garcia. New collaborators include actors Alexandra Harbold and Robert Scott Smith, co-founders of Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory; New York dancer, teacher, and choreographer Jenn Freeman; and Danish composer and musician Jesper Egelund Pedersen.
With FEAST, NOW-ID renews its commitment to the exploration of place by turning its focus to Utah's austere, unique, and iconic landscape. 
FEAST will be a celebration of the place and time in which we live, and the stories that reside here, ultimately on the bed of an ancient, former inland sea.  We see the ancient lake bed as our table, and are setting it with performers and audience, for one evening... one moment in an ongoing story. FEAST speaks to palates and appetites, hunger and satiation, tradition and experimentation, shared customs and the private experience. FEAST will be a celebration of the senses, of thresholds and of human gathering.
Through dance, theater, music and installation, we will explore together the possibility of clean slate and pause amongst history and decadence. In body and sense, we will offer a haunting and primal human beauty.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Video Shoot for Gadzooks!

I'll never forget the day Rich Gardner donned a wedding dress and rode his skimboard off the lip of the confluence of the Santa Clara and Virgin Rivers.” You can count on me to tell that story well into my old age. If I were to describe Rich's performance to promote Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book, I could sum it up in two words: NAILED IT. But why stop there? Rich is a remarkably agile and talented athlete who is apparently up for anything! If anyone ever needs a great stuntman who is easy and fun to work with, hire Rich!

Rich was just one of 10 amazing people who worked on the video for Gadzooks! As is custom with my promos, the delightful Steve Campbell served as the spokesman. Steve is nothing short of charming, both on camera and off. I was especially grateful to Steve this time around because he was in the emergency room until late the night before the shoot, arriving on time the next morning sporting a badly injured leg. Apparently, Steve is takes the notion of “the show must go on,” quite seriously.

Accompanying Steve on camera were three “Sister Wives” played by Kristin Hunt, Melanie Camire and Heather Oram. These gals were good natured enough to tone down their obvious beauty in lieu of bad hairstyles and dresses purchased as “Fuglies Are Us.” The water in the Virgin River on the day of the shoot is hardly what I would call warm, but there was nary a complaint when our Sister Wives took the plunge in leaky rafts!

Behind every great video performance is a whole crew of people working to make the magic happen. In this case, it started with Garry Morris, Director for the shoot, and Kent Hayes, who assisted with every aspect of the production including putting together the costumes and wigs for the actors. Honestly, I couldn't have pulled this off without Garry and Kent. Both guys have played key roles in all of my audio books and the videos to promote them.

Our Video Crew was top notch as well. Lead by Billy Wilkin of Silly Billy Media, the filming went off without a hitch. Billy's assistants, Sheldon Demke and and Sam Perez, were not only totally cool to work with, but had loads of great ideas as well. This group proved they were willing to go to any lengths to get the perfect shot, including Billy's 8-foot jump into the confluence of the rivers to get the perfect image of Rich sailing overhead on his skimboard.

Billy, Sheldon and Sam are all set to graduate from Dixie State University in May. Billy has already been tapped to head up a shoot for a major film and will use Sheldon and Sam as his assistants. Look for these three to go a long way with their film careers!

Thanks again to my fabulous Cast and Crew for a spectacular day on the Virgin and Santa Clara Rivers. I'm looking forward to launching our video along with Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book on September 22, 2014. 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Going Gray Podcast with Christy Potter

I recently had a wonderful opportunity to be a guest on the Going Gray Podcast with Christy Potter. During the interview, Christy and I talked about the popularity of audio books and our ideas to help writers market their work http://goinggray.podomatic.com/

As the author of the award-winning The World Was my Oyster But I Didn't Know How to Cook and The Shiksa's Guide to Yiddish, Christy knows a thing or two about being a successful writer. Her debut novel, Oh Brother, is available at Barnes & Noble as well as Amazon http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=oh+brother+by+christy+potter.

Christy began her writing career as a staff writer for the McPherson Sentinel in McPherson, Kansas. During that time, Christy earned several state and local journalism awards. In addition to her regular assignments with the paper, Christy also penned a weekly humor column titled “Out of My Mind.”

These days, Christy lives in Pennsylvania where she is continuing in her writing career as a novelist and radio hostess, and she also writes regularly for her blog http://christythewriter.com/.

The Going Gray Podcast is dedicated to reading, writing, relationships and the arts. Tune in to hear the discussion I had with Christy regarding how to turn your next novel into an audio book http://goinggray.podomatic.com/entry/2014-04-06T09_44_02-07_00.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

It Matters Radio

If entertainment news and information is your thing, then It Matters Radio is your station. This is an online production dedicated to music, laughter and open conversation. Hosted by Monica Brinkman, Kenneth Weene, Kerry Hall and Brenda, “Queen B,” artists, writers and musicians have found a welcome home at It Matters Radio http://www.itmattersradio.com/.

As a writer, I was thrilled that not only did I get the chance to tell the listeners of It Matters Radio about my audio books, but Kenneth Weene also reviewed my work and wrote a piece about it for his blog

If you would like the chance to learn about other artistic folks, or simply join in the conversation, tune in to It Matters Radio http://www.itmattersradio.com/#!it-matters-radio-fun-promos/c5ed.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Now Video Taping: Skimboard Stunt Man Rich Gardner

And so it came to pass that I found myself in need of an athlete to appear in the new video to promote Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book. Fortunately for all, I was able to hire Rich Gardner, a top notch skimboarder whose sense of humor matches his sense of adventure.

Local skimboarders are well acquainted with the Gardner Brothers who are credited with popularizing the sport in St. George. I met Mike Gardner a few years ago when he filmed and edited the promo for Jitters-A Quirky Little Audio Book https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JGGbatmaDeM and Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPotQyyPsuo&feature=g-upl.
I was more than happy to hire Mike's brother, Rich, to do skimboard stunts for my new production.

Rich makes skim boarding look easy, but believe me, this sport takes a lot of athleticism and finesse to pull off. Everyone is excited that Rich is the one photo bombing the camera for this shoot!

Today, the key players for the new project assembled to scout out the location for our upcoming shoot. New to the line up is Billy W. Wilkin of Silly Billy Media http://www.sillybillymedia.com.
Billy has lots of innovative and interesting ideas for putting together the new promo. Follow Billy on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SillyBillyMedia.

Steve Campbell will return as the main character for the shoot. In addition to being the on-camera spokesman for the videos to promote the Quirky Audio Book Series, Steve also served as the narrator for Yikes! and is currently recording the role of Old Doc Pinkerton for Gadzooks!

Garry Morris is directing the new video. Garry has played an integral role in all my productions, voicing the character of Jackie Wu in Jitters, Chet Waterhouse in Yikes! and Joseph Stratton in Gadzooks! Garry also directed the video for Yikes! and helped out with the costumes and wigs.

Last but certainly not least, Kent Hayes is on the scene, organizing costumes, make-up and hair. This is a role he took on during the video shoot for Yikes!  Over the years, Kent has wracked up quite a few hours recording in my studio. Kent voiced the character of Randall Smoot in Yikes! and is now recording the role of Scottie Sphincter in Gadzooks!

It's days like today when I feel like I have the best job in the world. I'm so honored to have such a great team of people to work with!