Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

As we celebrate Christmas and close out another year, I'd like to take a moment to thank all the readers of Adele Park's Quirky Audio Books Blog.  I appreciate your kind attention and hope you'll continue reading my blog in the New Year.

Recording for Gadzooks! Another Quirky Audio Book has reached the half-way point.  Look for more information about my fantastic cast of actors and some sneak peeks at the new project.  

Here's hoping 2014 is a fantastic year for you!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Advice for co-writers by Lillian Brummet

This article comes to you courtesy of Lillian Brummet of Brummet's Conscious Blog. I will be a guest on Lillian's radio show, Conscious Discussions Talk Radio on Thursday, January 9, 2014 http://www.blogtalkradio.com/consciousdiscussions

A lot of people ask us how we can work together being that we are married? It is not as hard as it seems from the outside and is much like any other working relationship other then that we see each other at the end of the workday as well. Of course we’ve been working together for more than a dozen years now so we’ve had the time to figure out who is good at what.

The key is really finding out what your co-writer is good at and what he likes to do, along with his favorite hours to work (Is he a morning person?) and how he likes to work (Does the work environment have to be absolutely silent?). And the same goes for you – and then with that information you can figure out if you can work in the same space or whether separate office space is the key for your situation.

For the first 6 years we shared a single computer, in one small office – but that only worked because Lillian is a morning person who burns out by 3 or 4 in the afternoon, and she likes to go to bed between 9-11 PM. Whereas Dave likes to stay up until the wee hours of the morning – this is when he is most productive in the office. So we work with our natural time clocks.

We’ve learned that Dave is very good with face-to-face and group situations, whereas Lillian is a bit shy that way and doesn’t like being the center of attention. Instead she is better at dealing with the media and one-on-one situations. Dave has great skills in editing, proofing, layout, and graphics. He also has talents in website maintenance, handling the tax book entries, book cover design, conception development, and setting up technological upgrades in the office. Whereas Lillian has strong typing, record keeping, organization, manuscript development, and research skills. She enjoys communicating with the media, handles the queries and marketing, hosts the Conscious Discussions Talk Radio show and manages the daily blog: Brummet’s Conscious Blog. So we split off where we can to do our separate things, but then meet up again in the middle.
Quite often we break away from the office and the home, go out for a hike or clear our minds by a river or lake and then come back to the office with a better understanding of where we are at and where we hope to go. Having brainstorming sessions is very important, and just plain talking about what we are doing can reveal things one of us hadn’t considered.

It can also be a challenge to let go of some things, to understand that the other person can’t get to something at the moment, or that they are unable to complete a project right now due to some delay, or that they are having a grumpy moment and need to yell at the walls for a moment. Co-writers have to realize that each person works at their own pace, they have their own strengths and weakness, and their own ideas as to what is a priority. But there are technological challenges and ‘things we’d love to get to but don’t yet have the time for’ that rise up as well. We find the best thing to do is to list these and then in the next meeting have a discussion about them – even if all we do is confirm they are still on the agenda.

The most important aspects to getting along all these 22 years we’ve been together is common courtesy and mutual respect. You see, it doesn’t really matter “why” the other person wants something done a certain way – if they need it to be that way, and we care about them – then, what’s the big deal about making the adjustment for them? Too many of us become hardened and expect more from the other than we are giving of ourselves.
As human beings we can also come to rely on another person, and they perceive this as ingratitude – so we make sure to let the other person know they are appreciated and to give them credit for the things they’ve accomplished or contributed.
There is no doubt that without these collaborative efforts we’d never have accomplished so much in so little a time.

~ Award winning authors Lillian & Dave Brummet produce and host the Conscious Discussions talk radio show where they frequently highlight world of writing genre topics, and manage the Brummet’s Conscious Blog, where they occasionally feature Q&A interviews with other authors about their experiences in the realm of writing. To date they have written 5 published books including the guide for authors: Purple Snowflake Marketing – How To Make Your Book Stand Out In A Crowd. They have another poetry book coming out in late 2013/early 2014, and have 2 more manuscripts in the works. Visit their site to learn more about everything the Brummets do: www.brummet.ca

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Now Recording: Andra Harbold

Andra Harbold returns to Straight to Audio Productions to continue her marvelous rendition of Moon McKenna for the Quirky Audio Book Series. In Gadzooks!, Moon McKenna will take on the nearby polygamists in Zion Flats and stir up a whole lotta trouble.

Andra brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her work as a voice actress, freelance director, Equity actor, dramaturg and teacher. After earning her BA in theatre from Middlebury College in Vermont, Andra went on to earn a Masters Degree from the University of London Goldsmiths College.

Andra is immersed in the theatre community in Salt Lake City where she has been part of numerous productions. Most recently, she directed Deborah Salem Smith's Love Alone at the University of Utah http://www.theatre.utah.edu/event/love-alone/.

Andra is a co-founder of Salt Lake City's Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory. During this past year, Andra collaborated with Robert Scott Smith to create three original works for Flying Bobcat. These multi-media productions incorporate text, movement, sound and video to create a unique experience for audiences http://flyingbobcat.org/who-we-are/.

In the New Year, Andra and Flying Bobcat will be working with NOW International/Interdisciplinary Dance Company for some performances http://www.now-id.com/new/.

In her personal life, Andra enjoys going on walks with her husband and their dog, movement classes, reading, watching British mysteries, baking and drinking copious mugs of tea. She also has two PencilPALS in Florida as part of the SAG Foundation BookPALS program (Performing Artists for Literacy in Schools) http://bookpals.net/.

Follow Andra on Twitter to keep current with her latest projects https://twitter.com/AndraHarbold.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Now Recording: Abby Elvidge

Straight to Audio Productions is pleased to introduce newcomer Abby Elvidge as part of the cast for Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book. Abby will tackle the role of Nadine, a serial bride who has an kooky habit of prematurely sending her husbands to the Celestial Kingdom.

Abby is a professional voiceover artist who plays characters of all ages, genders and species. Some of her clients include Crossroads Press and Macabre Ink Digital, Hot Lava Games, Animatica Studio and 8Floor Games. Check out Abby's hilarious rendition of Walnelli, the animated walnut

But it's not all video games and cartoons for Abby. Her voice can be heard on several audio books, including Dead Times by Bram Stoker Award winning writer, Yvonne Navarro

Prior to becoming a Woman of a Thousand Voices, Abby worked as a paleobotanist, studying plant macro-fossils. Somewhere along the way, Abby found time to sing in a number of bands, covering genres from punk rock to country-western. Abby is also a painter, using the walls of her home as her canvass.

Outside the studio, you can find Abby gardening, hiking, running and riding bikes. Abby will enter the Half IronMan Competition in St. George this year, joining scores of other super athletes who will swim, bike and run in the splendor of Southern Utah.

As if all of this isn't enough to keep her busy, Abby is a devoted wife and cat enthusiast. To learn more about Abby or listen to some of the characters she plays, visit https://www.voices.com/people/abbynormal.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Now Recording: Faith Sandberg

It's a pleasure to welcome Faith Sandberg back to Straight to Audio Productions in her continuing role as Blue McKenna. Faith has spent the past nine years in New York City enjoying a busy career as an actress. She has appeared in numerous film and TV projects. Most recently, Faith was cast as Amanda Stone on the CBS show, Blue Bloods http://vimeo.com/78508887

Fans of Boardwalk Empire can see Faith in action as the character, Kitty http://vimeo.com/28748166
Other TV shows Faith has appeared in include The Big C on Showtime and ABC's Cupid.

Additionally, Faith has been in several movies. Sundance enthusiasts had the chance to watch Faith in Price Check with Parker Posey http://www.imdb.com/name/nm3417716/videogallery/primary_title-tt1845849.

As a multi-talented actress, Faith has graced many stages, including a recent role as Roxie in Chicago. She also has a successful voice-over business, doing commercials for Audi, Disney, Snickers and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Check out some of Faith's work online www.faithsandberg.com.

Faith Sandberg
Actor / Vocalist / Life Devourer

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Everyday Oracles

A Guest Post from Everyday Oracles by Ann Bolinger

Heidi’s mysterious bear and the crunch of an invisible moving sidewalk

I would like to thank Adele Park for hosting me as a guest blogger, as part of the virtual book tour celebration for my book, EVERYDAY ORACLES – Decoding The Divine Messages That Are All Around Us.

One day I needed to pick up a couple of gifts from a shop on the Taos Plaza. Like so many historical plazas this community gathering place is built on a square and features a large gazebo where bands perform, speakers speak and when the stage is empty, children run and play. The square is surrounded by shops on every side so parking is always at a premium. I circled the first time and had no luck so decided to make one more complete trip around, and if no place opened up I would go to the post office and then come back and try again. I remember telling myself, if I’m supposed to find a parking place one will open up…. And it did!
I purchased the gifts and walked back to my car midst a sea of commotion. A man in a car had stopped mid-traffic and was chatting away with friend, both seemed oblivious to the back up of cars, even the car that was blasting it’s horn directly behind them. It looked like I was going nowhere anytime soon, so I loaded the packages in my car and then checked my phone for messages. After a while I turned on the ignition, and glanced in my rear view mirror. The only thing visible was the familiar shape of the spare tire that hangs on the back of my car and the big Taos Chili Line bus sitting patiently behind a car that I thought it was waiting for my parking space. I had a strong feeling someone, maybe a pedestrian, was behind my car so I took another look behind and on either side of my car and when no one was in sight I began to edge out. I did hear a lot of urgent honking but thought it was coming from an impatient driver. That’s when I heard the crunch. My heart sank.
The good news - the crunch was not a pedestrian. The bad news – I had just backed into a beat up car that looked like it was struggling to hang on well beyond its expiration date. The car with a newly crumpled right fender pulled into the alley entrance that was next to my car. Before getting out I riffled through the glove compartment for insurance papers. They were always there, but today they were nowhere to be found. Sheepishly, I leapt out of the car and rushed over to the driver, ready to shower the woman with apologies and was greeted by the kind earnest face of Heidi Svoboda. It felt more like a meeting of kindred spirits than a confrontation, even before she told me she was an energy worker who specialized in dogs. Yes, she did know someone who could repair her fender and guessed they would charge around $150. I had a gut feeling that I was supposed to give her more than that amount so that she could have her car repaired and have money left over. I had just been to the bank and had $500.00 in cash. My gut told me the $$500.00 is Heidi’s.
As I placed the cash in her hand she thanked me saying, ”You’ll never know how much I need this.” Then she pointed to the silver bear pin with the small turquoise stone that I was wearing at the neck of my shirt. Heidi described in striking detail the bear cloud she had seen a few days earlier in the sky above Taos. And that wasn’t all. She went on to tell me about a reading she had before she saw the bear cloud. A psychic told Heidi not to worry, that bear energy would take care of her!
The pieces of an invisible moving sidewalk started to fall into place.
I was the delivery system for Heidi’s invisible moving sidewalk!
It’s interesting to note that I rarely wear that bear pin – yet that morning something drew me to it. Without giving it any special thought, I pinned it on. That was my first step onto this invisible moving sidewalk.
The synchronicities continued to add up.
I had just been to the bank and had cash in hand for Heidi.
After circling the square one more time that particular parking space opened, which put my car at the right place at the right time.
Don’t get me wrong. I take full responsibility for backing into Heidi’s car. But when we look through the paradigm of personal oracles we can see that my bear pin and I were playing a part in Heidi’s invisible moving sidewalk. Heidi needed a helping hand and I became the delivery system for the universe.
If you’re new to the term personal oracles let me explain how they work.
Have you ever felt like you were being helped by hidden hands? Well you were!
It turns out that the universe is designed to respond to our needs and operates within this practical structure.

Need + Delivery System + Message = Personal Oracle
When learning to identify personal oracles I find it helpful to divide them into these five main categories:
  • Conduits
  • Mirrors
  • Synchronicities
  • Signs and Symbols
  • Invisible Moving Sidewalks – a series of synchronicity events that lead to a pre determined destination
When we experience our life through the paradigm of personal oracles we discover guidance and support resonating through every form imaginable. We learn that there is nothing random about those timely synchronicities and mysterious messages of guidance and support that seem to come to us from out of the blue.
It’s comforting to know that the universe has our back – always.

In her bestselling book, Everyday Oracles: Decoding the Divine Messages That Are All Around Us, author Ann Bolinger-McQuade uses memorable stories and photos to introduce the formula for how personal oracles work, then teaches you how to recognize and decode yours. If you have personal oracle experiences to share, please submit them to Ann through her website www.personaloracles.com She will respond personally. And while you’re there, check out the cloud photos in the interactive “What Do You See Section.” Have fun and exercise your psychic muscles. Who knows, you may discover a personal oracle hiding in plain sight, just waiting to deliver a special message to you.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Time Management Tips from Lillian Brummet

Today's Blog Post is a Guest Submission by Lillian Brummet of the Conscious Discussions Blog and Radio Show.

Lillian's article really hits home with me because I am self-employed and facing the same time challenges that she mentions in the article. Lillian offers some great tips for getting things done right, the first time, on time.

I'll have the honor of appearing on Lillian's radio show, Conscious Discussions on January 9, 2014. You can hear the broadcast online www.blogtalkradio.com/ConsciousDiscussions

Time Management 

Time management is a real issue for most self-employed individuals. The first thing is to make sure that you have set aside specific work hours with a start and stop time frame, and focus on following that schedule. For instance you might be able to rise earlier than the family getting to the office by 5 AM until 7:30 AM, pausing to get the kids off to school and then spending 10 AM – 2 PM in the office, allowing you the late afternoon for shopping, cooking, house and lawn or garden chores. Of course, you will find that you will have to extend that time for an interview or something, but generally this set time is for work – not play, or days off, or family or house issues.

Set aside your priorities for the day, and also on a weekly basis listing things that must be done, should be done, and things you want to get done. Give yourself deadlines and stick to them.

Time wasters come in when we have to keep going back to something over and over and over. Do things once, do them well and be done with them. This is the key to doing things efficiently and effectively. Sometimes though you might have to use a timer that tells you your time for social networking, or plugging away at the manuscript is over and it is time to work on that article, or some other agenda that you have planned for the day.
You’ll also have to learn to say ‘no’ – sometimes you just can’t take on another project even if it is an opportunity to earn more money. Be sure that you don’t end up feeling like you are juggling too many things. If you do, perhaps reevaluating your priorities is in order, or maybe you can outsource to friends or family that are willing to help you out. Maybe you can hire a neighbor’s teenager to do some of the work for you. Get creative at this point so that you don’t reach burnout.

There is always so much to do – a new banner ad to design, another radio show needs a promo ad, there’s guests to book on the radio show or blog and outlines for their interviews to create. Emails are popping up every few minutes with a request to provide articles, or someone offering a new interview or networking opportunity. Keeping records of all of this and making sure that everyone has been followed up on, while finding new contacts, new opportunities – this can eat up a lot of time.

Effective record keeping is the best thing in the world. Whenever you query a media contact, for instance, head over to the Excel file and record brief information on the media, the contact, the email/web address and then brief notes to yourself – such as how you connected and what was said. The use of color-coding makes for easy referral so that you can see at a glance whether a project is completed but not yet published, and who needs a follow-up. It is a good idea to go through your files every 3-4 months and eliminate all the rows that have not responded, or declined your query because you no longer have a need to keep a record of those contacts. At the same time, look for any opportunity to do follow-ups.

~ Award winning authors Lillian & Dave Brummet produce and host the Conscious Discussions talk radio show where they frequently highlight world of writing genre topics, and manage the Brummet’s Conscious Blog, where they occasionally feature Q&A interviews with other authors about their experiences in the realm of writing. To date they have written 5 published books including the guide for authors: Purple Snowflake Marketing – How To Make Your Book Stand Out In A Crowd. They have another poetry book coming out in late 2013/early 2014, and have 2 more manuscripts in the works. Visit their site to learn more about everything the Brummets do: www.brummet.ca

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Now Recording: Rhett Guter

Rhett Guter returns to Straight to Audio Productions for his continuing role as Steven Finch in Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book. This character was first introduced in Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book. Steven Finch is an adorable stoner with a major fixation on a band called the Rectal Surgeons. Rhett did such a comical portrayal of this character in Yikes!, we couldn't wait to have him come back! http://www.yikesaudiobook.com/index.html

Rhett has just wrapped up another season with the Utah Shakespeare Festival. Rhett played the lead in a fabulous rendition of Peter and the Starcatcher. He was also part of the cast for Richard II as well as Anything Goes. http://www.bard.org/about/actors/guter.html#.UknPTxxSxIg.

In addition to working seven seasons for USF, Rhett's talents have been showcased abroad. Rhett was in Germany and France earlier this year as part of the International Tour of West Side Story.

Anyone who has seen Rhett perform knows he is an amazing dancer and choreographer. Ironically, Rhett had little interest in dancing when he first became involved in theater while attending Tuacahn High School. Luckily, Rhett discovered this hidden talent which he now shares with audiences all over he world. See for yourself as Rhett performs “Easy Street” from the play, Annie

After Rhett completes his role as Steven Finch for Gadzooks!, he'll head to Salt Lake City to perform in Elf at the Pioneer Theatre. After that, Rhett's off to the Windy City to play the role of Tulsa in Gypsy at the Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Find out when Rhett is coming to a theater near you! http://www.rhettguter.com./

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Now Recording: Lesley Mendenhall

Straight to Audio Productions welcomes Lesley Mendenhall back to the studio. Lesley played the role of Suki in Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book. Lesley will now tackle the role of Nancy Neptune in Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book.

In real life, Lesley works as a professional voice actress for film, video games, animation, industrial and commercial projects. When she's not in the studio, Lesley serves on the Ivins City Council. Her contributions to the community include co-founding a No-Kill Animal Shelter in Ivins. Putting her passion for animal welfare into practice, Lesley is a caretaker to nine rescue kitties. 

Lesley with Tiger Lily, Studio Kitty Extraordinaire

Lesley's background includes a BA in Music from Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri where her studies focused on Voice and Opera Performance. Somewhere along the way, Lesley also learned to play the harp!

In her personal life, Lesley is an avid reader, enjoying the works of Mercedes Lackey, Marion Zimmer Bradley and Andre Norton. She's also a big fan of of the popular PBS show, “Downton Abbey.” Additionally, Lesley enjoys collecting antique Shelley and Wileman English Fine Bone China.

Check out some of Lesley's work:
Narration Demo
Commercial Demo
Lesley's Website: http://www.voicz.com

Lesley is represented by TGMD in Los Angeles, STARS in San Francisco, and Talent Management Group in Salt Lake City.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book

Production is underway for Adele Park's new work titled WHEN ASSISTED SUICIDE AND COSMETICS COLLIDE . . . Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book. Social taboos are cast asunder as listeners are treated to a lighter look at end-of-life situations.

In the eyes of Nadine, a polygamist and serial bride, nudging her husbands into heaven is a testament to her undying love. Even Nancy Neptune, a notorious shock jock, is gobsmacked by Nadine's so-called “Celestial Send-Offs.” Things go to hell in a hand basket when Nadine offs the wrong guy and is charged with assisted suicide.

Meanwhile, Blue McKenna has problems of her own. A power outage has leveled Blue's medical marijuana dispensary. Scottie Sphincter, lead singer of a band called The Rectal Surgeons, is fingered as a suspect. Blue attempts to unmask the inscrutable Sphincter only to develop an annoying crush on him.

Using witty narratives, a cast of nine characters transport listeners to Navel, Utah, a place where voyages to the afterlife are done with Godspeed. Cosmic mirth and hilarity abound in Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book. Stay tuned for details about the upcoming release.

The production of Gadzooks! A Comically Quirky Audio Book is being dedicated to the late Ellie Perelli – the Coco Chanel of Southern Utah.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

"Priceless Personalities" by January Jones

January Jones is a radio host, author, mother, grandmother avid golfer and No Whining Advocate.  Check out January's latest project, "Priceless Personalities."

Priceless Personalities by January Jones
Have you ever met someone who was unforgettable?
Someone who touched your heart and soul?
People who have faced difficult problems?
People who have struggled to find solutions?
People who fearlessly shared their stories?
People who have informed and inspired you?
People who have Priceless Personalities?
I have been fortunate to host an Internet radio talk show called ”January Jones sharing Success Stories” and it has been my privilege to interviews hundreds of guests. My guests have shared their stories, their struggles, their secrets and their triumphs in their own words.
In this book, we’re talking about guests with problems such as incest, molestation, runaway kids, child abuse, drug abuse, prostitution, unemployment, scandal, starting over, self-confidence, self-esteem and workplace issues. Then there are my guests dealing witth difficult physical struggles such as blindness, cancer and birth defects that are beyond traumatic.
My guests have all been exciting, eclectic, and energizing. They have amazed, amused and sometimes even astonished me. I have adored getting to meet them and share them with my listeners.
However, some of my special guests have reminded me of the American Express commercials. You know the ones that stop you in your tracks and make you feel warm and fuzzy all over. They have been positively PRICELESS! These are the kinds of the interviews that I will be sharing with you today.
Let me give you a peek at what’s inside this book.
There’s Jeannie Kerrigan and Susanna Barlow, who have both been sexually and mentally abused as children, but have written books that you can’t put down. They have brought me to tears and then made me laugh with them. You just want to hug them both.
Jeannie, who was an incest victim, spent many years out on the streets so she knows what it’s like out there. She is now working to create her own non-profit called Ricky’s Revolution by reaching out to kids who are on the streets with her book, Layla.
Susanna has chosen to bravely speak the unspeakable reaching out to others who are in polygamist families. She herself has found What Peace There May Be by helping others. Neither of these young women is bitter but rather they have learned how to forgive and go forward. Both these women are now working to help other children learn how to survive and thrive.
For them, it’s all about helping other kids who are being abused.
Then we have Tawana Williams and Konnie Ellis who were both born with what I consider physical handicaps but they don’t think of it that way. They are the most positive and life affirming women that I have ever met. Nothing is impossible for them. They just think it and then they do it!
Tawana was a Thalidomide baby born without arms. Her Mother bravely wrote to President Kennedy requesting help for Tawana and JFK came to her rescue. Her life has been difficult dealing with addictions and physical challenges. She can type and change diapers with her feet. Beware though, because Tawana is Unarmed but Dangerous. She is an original, delightful and adorable character.
Konnie, along with her four siblings, was born blind. Now she has written a loving book about her talented musician bother Rory Hoffman. Rory’s Story is fascinating but the real story here is Konnie and how her family dealt with four children being blind. She is a wonderful wife, mother and a devoted sister promoting her sibling Rory rather than herself.
For them, it’s all about making the best of what they have, rather than what they don’t have.
Then there are two brother-in-laws, Stephen Simon and James Mapes, who share their success stories and struggles in the entertainment world. Stephen is the producer of the classic movie “Somewhere In Time” and he shares what it was like growing up in Hollywood, both the good, the bad and the ugly with Bringing Back The Old Hollywood. His tales are so, so delicious!
His dear friend, James Mapes is a brilliant working actor who has done everything you can imagine and is still doing more and more new things each day. He has boundless energy and enthusiasm for living life to it’s fullest. Right now he is busy helping people to make Quantum Leap Thinking and producing his first movie.
For them, it’s all about helping others to discover their own spirituality and then embracing big changes in their lives.
Then there are two women, Sydney Biddle Barrows and Anita Mafferty, who are survivors in the truest sense of the word. They both are fearless about sharing their experiences and overcoming great obstacles.
Sydney was the notorious, The Mayflower Madame, experiencing a scandal that changed her life forever. After dealing with publicity and legalities, she picked herself up and recreated herself as a business coach working within the system to help others with Uncensored Sales Strategies.
Anita Mafferty has had cancer three times and lost an eye. On her road to recovery, she has become a CEO of a successful company called COOL-JAMS that sells fabulous pajamas that are made to keep you cool or warm depending on the season. Also she keeps her one eye on her kids.
For them, it’s all about forgetting their set backs and jumping feet first into new ventures and creating new careers.
Lastly there is Hugh Aaron and Daniel Blanchard who are both educators in the truest sense of the word. These are two men who are sharing great information, inspiration and then some really great advice for the younger generation.
Hugh is a representative of the greatest generation and he makes us all proud to be Americans. After an amazing career as a CEO, he has retired to become a prolific writer. Now well into his 80s, sharing My Life in Words with advice that isn’t sugar coated.
Daniel Blanchard is an inspired high school teacher working in the inner city with teenagers. Daniel is also a prolific writer helping kids to start Feeling Lucky about themselves. He is lovingly sharing all of his Granddaddy’s Secrets with them. Daniel is the real deal.
For them, it’s all about, teaching, sharing and inspiring others to reach their full potential.
Now here you have 10 interviews from guests who were the most unforgettable and Priceless Personalities that I have been fortunate enough to host on my show. It’s my hope that you will sit back, relax and take the time to get to know them too.
January Jones

Priceless Personalities by January Jones
Now Available at amazon.com
Priceless Personalities shared by January Jones

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Don't Surrender the Fate of Your Novel to Publishing Executives

Have you unconsciously surrendered the fate of your novel to the whimsical tastes of publishing executives? Do you think your book can't move forward without the financial blessing of others? Agents and publishers can certainly boost our careers, but I'm not sure they can break them. In all likelihood, our destiny lies in our own hands. It took several years worth of groveling at the heels of those in the publishing industry for me to comprehend this.

Even though you've probably spent years visualizing the success of your book, how much time have you devoted to thinking about the specific things you want to achieve? Perhaps you have a vague fantasy involving money and fame. These things are definitely desirable, but chances are there's more to it than that. The act of creation ignites something within us, even if we can't put our finger on it. There's a lot to be said for fully experiencing the moment we are in.

Many of us hold our own dreams hostage by assuming things have to play out in a specific manner. In my case, I wrongly believed the only way to turn my manuscript into an audio book was to first have it published in hard back. Under this scenario, I would have had to sell a barn full of books before anyone would ever consider producing it in audio form.

Once I understood I had control over my own dreams, I formed an LLC called Straight to Audio Productions and produced my first audio book. I recorded and edited an 8.5 hour project using nothing but a mic, a mixer and a laptop. Miraculously, I was able to get my project listed for sale as an mp3 download on Audible.com. After that, I built an actual studio and went to work recording Jitters-A Quirky Little Audio Book. That project went on to win a 2011 Audie from the Audio Publishers Association in the multi-voiced category.
If you are having trouble getting through to the top brass in the publishing industry, try to find the courage to publish your book anyway. E-books and desktop publishing companies make this process inexpensive and easy to do. Don't miss the chance to live your art just because things aren't happening exactly the way you had envisioned. Outcomes are over-rated anyway. The biggest thrills come from fully experiencing the projects you're passionate about. Completing something you've been working on for a long time can be anti-climactic, so the trick is to enjoy the process. Whatever you do, try not to get attached to the outcome.

When you run out of ideas, wing it. I've met very few people who work in the audio book industry, so in my business I make everything up as I go. Sure, I've taken a few wrong turns, but it's definitely been an interesting journey. This lack of an industry blueprint has left me free to dabble with different ways to tell a story. Unlike most audio books which have one person doing the voices for all the characters, my audio books feature full cast of actors who tell their stories directly to the listener. I've also taken the liberty of experimenting with different forms of narration. Since the lead character in Jitters is a radio shock jock, I thought it would be interesting to narrate the story through a series of newscasts. With Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book, I used a series of narration pieces called “Examine Our Navel.” Like it or not, I probably couldn't float this idea to any traditionalists in the audio book industry.

It might seem risky, but there are advantages to “going rogue.” For one thing, you don't have to follow any rules. Don't be afraid to explore the unknown. Some of the best stuff comes from impromptu moments.

I'm sure we would all love to spend a few days in the Gucci shoes of the publishing industry elite, but let's not assume this group has it better than we do. Along with the perks comes more pressure. Rather than focusing on what our project lacks, perhaps our energy would best be spent being grateful for what we already have. Besides, there's no telling where our books will end up – not knowing is half the fun!

Adele Park's Website: www.yikesaudiobook.com
YouTube Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PPotQyyPsuo&feature=g-upl

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Reincarnation Through Common Sense

Doug “Ten”Rose, an author and modern day philosopher, has a new book out. Doug participated in the Book Blogger Fair this summer and continues to crank out fine reading for all!

Reincarnation Through Common Sense by Doug “Ten” Rose has been released in print as well as online. Rose’s previous work includes the cult classic Fearless Puppy on American Road. All author profits from sales of these books will be donated to sponsor Buddhist Nuns and Monks. Mr. Rose has previously invented and directed charitable projects involving rock stars, pro sports teams, a governor, and many more. He has been recognized in the Congressional Record, by The Giraffe Society, and has traveled over a hundred thousand miles without ever driving a car, owning a phone, or having a bank account. Project info, bio, sample chapters, TV/radio/newspaper interviews and articles, and much more at www.fearlesspuppy.org
Once you accept the universe as being something expanding into an infinite nothing which is something,
wearing stripes with plaid is easy.” Albert Einstein

Reincarnation Through Common Sense is a book of stripes and plaid in the most entertaining sense of Einstein’s words. Westerners have written many books about living in Asian temples. None are like this true story.
The rural Buddhist Monks and Nuns of a forest temple in Asia adopt a very troubled traveler from Brooklyn, New York. He can’t speak the language. No one there speaks English. He is penniless with no ticket home. He is also very hung over, slightly suicidal, amusingly psychotic, and has no intention of studying spiritual discipline. This author is not a theology student! He is nonetheless given access to the ancient roots and spiritual wings of the Wisdom Professionals who rescue him. He redefines life and reports the details to us in a manner so intimate and natural that you’ll think you are having coffee on a barstool in the temple with him. You may laugh a lot on your way to Nirvana! You may say “Ouch!” a few times, too.

Magic is redefined as objective reality and common sense. Spirit is presented as a functional friend, without the fairy dust. Moods run from adventurous psychosis to enlightened bliss. Writing styles flow from ancient prose through razor sharp modern internal rhyme as the main character’s life runs through death and into reincarnation without ever leaving his body. He describes this process to us in vivid terms and living color.

This down to earth treatment gives a clear view in simple terms of truths we more often see fossilized within rusting symbols beneath stagnant metaphor. Buy and read a copy of Reincarnation Through Common Sense for an experience unique in comedic drama, spirituality, adventure, and sheer creativity.  

It also makes a great multiple-benefit gift! You help sponsor world wisdom with every purchase!

There are direct links from our website to print and e-book purchase of Reincarnation Through Common Sense and Fearless Puppy on American Road--or ask your local bookstore 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Review of Peter and the Starcatcher

Did you ever wonder how Peter Pan came to inhabit Never Never Land? Or, for that matter, how an orphaned boy earned such a curious name? The Utah Shakespeare Festival answers these questions and more in a hilarious play called Peter and the Starcatcher http://www.bard.org/plays/peter2013.html

Peter and the Starcatcher is based on a novel by Dave Berry and Ridley Pearson. USF does an outstanding job of bringing this delightful story to audiences in Southern Utah. Peter Pan, known only as “Boy,” is played by Rhett Guter, a talented actor/singer/dancer who also choreographed this enchanting production http://www.rhettguter.com/.

The USF production of Peter and the Starcatcher is populated with an amazing cast, including Quinn Mattfeld who does a rollicking portrayal of The Black Stache, aka Captain Hook http://www.bard.org/about/actors/mattfeld.html#.UkX0ZhxSxIg.
Mattfeld keeps the audience in stitches with outrageous antics and snarky commentary.

Betsy Mugavero is the lone female in a cast of scurvy pirates and politicians, playing the role of Molly Aster, a Starcatcher Apprentice http://betsymugavero-com.webs.com/. Through Betsy's efforts, Boy, later known as Peter Pan, is allowed to do the one thing that had thus far eluded him: enjoy the simple pleasure of just being a boy.

While Peter and the Starcatcher delivers ample laughs, it is speckled with moments that are genuinely poignant. Guter does and excellent job of portraying the pain of being alienated, enslaved and nameless. Without touching off a Spoiler Alert, suffice to say audiences will be cheering before the final curtain drops.

Peter and the Starcatcher is being performed in the Randall L. Jones Theatre until October 18, 2013. For ticket information, contact the Utah Shakespeare Festival http://www.bard.org/index.html.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Write a Book in Record Time

Do you have a great idea for a novel but can't seem to get it written? Sure, there are some people who say their stories “just flow out of them.” This enviable lot seems to have little trouble cranking out one manuscript after another, but for the rest of us, it's a lot of hard work. Here are some tips I recently used to get a big project done in record time.

The Cloister
Cloistering isn't just for monks! You can create your own special place of seclusion to help you shut out the distractions that keep you from your work. When I first explored this idea, I spent some time looking at pictures of cloistered structures to give myself a visual image of this idea.

There are lots of stories about writers who cloister themselves in exotic locations while they hammer out their next bestseller. Oftentimes, they conveniently solve a mystery or fall in love during this process. Here in the real world, most writers don't have that opportunity, but they can still create the feeling of engaging in a short period of isolation while they work.

My advice is to start with the simple things: turn off the phone. Shut down your e-mail and instant messaging. If possible, close the door to your workspace. The more distractions you can eliminate, the better!

The Dreaded Outline
Odd as this may sound, I wrote three books without the guidance of an outline. There were times when I found it necessary to create one mid-way through, but I never had an actual road map to begin with. It comes as no surprise that I floundered throughout the entire process, perpetually asking myself, “What happens next?”

I've wasted enough time now to realize that writing outlines saves time. It doesn't hinder the creative process as I once suspected. If an idea comes to me that wasn't part of the original outline, I just add it in.

Reward Yourself
I've talked about this before, but it is worth mentioning again. Rather than scold myself for not working on my manuscript, I reward myself for the days I do write. This shifts my thinking from a negative position to a positive one. On my latest project, I pasted a gold star on each calendar day that I wrote. I found those little aluminum stickers became an incentive for me to show up every day.

One miraculous thing I discovered was that it was easier to get my manuscript done when I worked on it every day. I started my latest project more than a year ago, but got the bulk of it done in about four months time. Back in the days when I wrote sporadically, I wasted a lot of time refreshing my memory on what I had previously written. By working on my manuscript every day, I was able to eliminate the review process.

Anyone who dedicates time and effort in creating a story for others to enjoy should be commended. Writing is lonely business, so my hope for the authors of the world is that they enjoy the journey!   

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Yikes! Wins Readers Choice Award

Thanks to everyone who voted for Yikes! Another Quirky Audio Book in the Reader's Choice sponsored by the Book Blogger Fair. It's always nice to be recognized, especially in the humor/satire category, but this contest featured more than just “atta boys.” Winners from the Reader's Choice Awards each receive a “badge” with their Amazon link posted to the website for the Book Blogger Fair http://bloggerbookfair.wordpress.com/blogger-book-fair/bbf-readers-choice-awards/winners-july-2013/

This year's Book Blogger Fair brought 150 writers together to promote more than 400 books. I had the opportunity to share content with several interesting people including Doug Ten Rose, author of Fearless Puppy http://www.fearlesspuppy.org, and Tom Lucas, author of Leather to the Corinthians http://readtomlucas.com/about-tom/about-leather-to-the-corinthians/.

The Book Blogger Fair was coordinated by an exceptionally organized writer named Kayla Curry. Check out Kayla's Mystic Stone Series http://www.mysticstonesseries.blogspot.com/

Book Blogger Fair will be expanding in 2014. A Writing and Marketing Workshop is slated for next February. Thirty authors have already signed up to host live and pre-recorded video presentations. To learn more, visit http://bloggerbookfair.wordpress.com/.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Leveraging the Universe and Engaging the Magic

Have you ever contemplated why things seem to come so easily to certain people? Would you like to become one of those people? Mike Dooley, creator of Notes from the Universe, explains how you can do that in his audio book, Leveraging the Universe and Engaging the Magic http://www.tut.com/about/mikedooley/.

Dooley is fond of saying, “thoughts become things.” In Leveraging the Universe and Engaging the Magic, Dooley goes into detail about how it all works. Boiled down to it's basic message, Dooley says if we think and speak in positive terms, we'll get positive results. Conversely, negative thinking will net negative outcomes. Sounds simple, right? Yet it's so easy to slip into “stinkin' thinkin'.” That's because it takes more energy to think positive thoughts than negative ones. The irony is, when we think on a positive level, we actually have more energy!

I became acquainted with Dooley's work though his internet service called Notes from the Universe
http://www.tut.com/ This is a free service which sends a note of encouragement to my e-mail box every weekday. I've been so inspired by the Notes from the Universe, I actually look forward to checking my e-mail at the start of the work day. Here's the message I received this morning:
Adele Park, when it comes to pursing the life of your dreams, you can look at it like this: Best case scenario . . . the sun, the moon and the stars. Worst case scenario . . . the sun, the moon and the stars. Tallyho, The Universe. P.S. Adele Park, it is written. You will prevail, thrive and arrive.

I listen to a lot of audio books from life coaches and wellness advocates, but the main thing I've found lacking in these productions is humor. Mike Dooley's got that covered in Leveraging the Universe and Engaging the Magic. This audio book appears to be a taping of a lecture that Dooley did at a church. Dooley has such an engaging, funny personality, I can only hope he'll some day lecture in a venue near where I live. In the meantime, I'm planning to order more of Dooley's products http://www.audible.com/search?searchNarrator=Mike+Dooley&bp_ua=yes&mkwid=IDBJvGBZ&pmt=b&pkw=_inurl:searchNarrator&source_code=GO1GB907KSH060513&gclid=COWjyvO9vrkCFY9xQgodnkIA8g