Tuesday, 10 October 2017

When authors and editors write music together, Part 2

Birches in Summer, paper collage, by Baye Hunter

It's been two years since my first album release with my long-time editor and wonderful musician, Allister Thompson, but today is the release of album number two! I'm so honoured to share it with you.

Please enjoy Birches at Bandcamp
It's also available free here: Birches, FMA 

You'll find eight instrumental guitar pieces, in the style of Bruce Cockburn or Samuel Beam, inspired by the Canadian forest of Algonquin Park and the Haliburton Highlands.

Here's the title song: Birches 

There's a song for my sailing life, Outer Harbour, and the companion piece, Algonquin. I play both songs with Travis picking, a distinctive style I love. There are a few songs celebrating family life, including Sarah Tiptoes, written for my daughter. And there's even a tip of the hat to Lovecraft, Mountains of Madness, where Allister does some very scary stuff with his voice.

This release also includes my first vocal recording, Moonlight. I have to thank Allister for convincing me to record it, but it's a lovely song about sorrow which is also bound with love and joy. I wrote it for my sister-in-law, who had the most beautiful voice of all.

Many thanks also to Baye Hunter, another musical friend and a terrific artist, whose paper collage work, Birches in Summer, adorns the cover. You'll find more of Baye's collage and watercolour here: www.bayehunter.com

Our first release, Fifth Season (Nov/2015), has had over five thousand listens, and one song, Summer, was the Free Music Archive Song of the Day in May, 2016. Plus, many tunes have been adapted by various folks in artistic videos, you can see them on my Youtube channel (I love the one from the Netherlands the most, I think, it's the windmill).

It's always a joy to create music with my friends. Please enjoy Birches, with our gratitude.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

3D gargoyle AND Ontario Library Association Interview!

I love being a writer. Every once in a while, something really cool happens! How lucky am I?

This month BEHOLD ... my gargoyle puppet and I are immortalized forever in 3D printing!! Thank you so much to the wonderful librarians at the Innisfil IdeaLab and Library, who sent this to me as a thank you gift, after I did the Seepe Walters Kids Writing Contest tour.

I talked to over 4000 kids in 3 days, in every school in Innisfil, Ontario. It was a blast, I loved every minute. Here's an image of this adorable 3D gargoyle from behind (I think it's cuter from behind!)>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

And hard at work in front of a group of kids in Innisfil

In more awesome news, MANY THANKS to the Ontario School Library Association, for interviewing me for their current issue of The Teaching Librarian!

It's a 4-page interview, in which I talk about Charlotte's Web (the book that made me want to become a writer at age 9), my influences (Lord of the Rings and fantasy in general), where I get my ideas (walking around Toronto helps), my process, reading to my kids, the importance of cliffhangers, loving  your monster and more! Pick up a copy to read all you could possibly ever want to know (plus much, much more) about yours truly.

One last picture of me holding my gargoyle puppet, who is holding the 3D statue of me holding my gargoyle puppet (hee hee!):