Audiobook in the works

Here is a picture of the woman who will be doing a professional audiobook version of Confessions of a Female Safety Engineer, Kate Brannan.

You might like to know how I chose Kate to do the reading. I’ve met various voice actors and audiobook readers at conventions, and I’ve followed the adventures of friends in the industry–and in the music industry–enough to know that while it’s often customary for the writer of a non-fiction book to do their own reading, you need a good place to read without background noise ruining the recording. I did not have that. And after the reading is done there are all sorts of things needed sound edited in post production. I only knew enough to know that anything I did without professional help would sound amateurish indeed. But professional readers and editing services are pricey. So I asked around, and ended up taking a voice-audition by Kate.

Kate is a friend of someone back in NY that I’ve known since I was 19 years old–Peggy (Lasouska) Mallard. She’s a radio personality and does radio theater. I fell in love with her voice, and I think you will, too. She loves my book, which helps. I’ll post a sample of her reading from Confessions, soon.

The Demise of the Baptist Pears

I am in mourning, for the Baptist pears are no more.

Near our home is a church that used to have two pear trees on its grounds (foreground, left), and every year we’d pick two laundry baskets of pears and can them. Mind you, they were not the sort of pears you’d buy in a supermarket. They were hard and crunchy, and not as sweet: in a word, farm pears, suitable for canning. We’d even bought a quince sapling to graft pear branches onto, to plant in our yard.

But they cut both trees down.

Above is a picture of my Baptist Pear Strudel. We’d also make pear sauce (like applesauce, but with ginger instead of cinnamon), and pear butter.  I just made a pear-raisin crumb pie with some of last year’s haul. We bought some pear trees for the back yard, and they are on the front porch in pots, waiting for fall planting time. But it just won’t be the same.

They trees will both be Presbyterians, like us.

Vacation photos

I’m visiting Long Island, New York this week, spending time with my son and his family.

Here are a couple of photos of them:

10-year-old Garrett and me.

My son Chris had grown a beard; his wife Lia is behind him.

The area is also billed as a vacation paradise, and rightly so if you’re into water sports of any kind since it is and island. So yesterday, I went to a north shore and a south shore beach.

Here’s Wading River Beach, Town of Brookhaven. It looks sandy but that’s just sand thrown down on a very rocky and pebbly beach. I took a long walk and did not so much swim as wade.

Next, I tried to stop at the Tesla Science Center,

But it was closed for renovations.

I did get to see a herd of deer inside the center grounds.

Lunch was at the most excellent J& R Steakhouse, in Calverton, NY, with a view of a golf course.

Then I drove south, past Brookhaven National Laboratory, to the Atlantic Ocean.

Here’s the eastern entrance to Fire Island National Seashore…

…next to which is Smith Haven State Park. It has a sandy beach as opposed to the rocky north shore beaches on the brackish Long Island Sound.

At that point I headed for my son’s house to hang out with my daughter-in-law and grandkids some more. We played games and watched anime.

So Friday was a lovely vacation day. Saturday they’ll all have plans and I will have a work day, after I’ve slept off the sun and sand.