Posts Tagged ‘Personal Sketches’

Big Changes in Summer 2006

We finally did it. After nearly 27 years for me and 25 years for Tim, we moved out of New York City. We’d been thinking about it for a while. I was more interested, at first. I spent 13 years of my life in western Pennsylvania as a kid, of course, and until moving to Manhattan, I’d spent a lot of years in small towns or suburbia. Manhattan was wonderful, heady, exciting, thrilling, everything you dream. Then I wanted to move away, but we couldn’t afford it. Then we settled in. In recent years, though, I really started to miss traveling less than a couple of hours to get to real woods. I wanted a house, with a yard. I wanted bird feeders and trees. I wanted to be able to put friends up for the night and maybe have a garden. Worse, I wanted all that for less than a fortune. When he began to look at prices for things like houses and auto insurance, Tim began to see what I meant. He took longer to come around, but every time we returned from trips away, he’d spend a week cursing our New York-sized kitchen, in which it’s impossible for two people to move around. He looked at our bills and our Manhattan stores, and compare them with the ones in upstate New York.


My Mundane Jobs

Behold the latest of my ever-changing addition to a basic biography that doesn’t change much. Call them snippets from my own mental scrapbook:

Babysitter (duh), 1966 – 1972: The first time I babysat an infant boy, I begged my mother to change his diaper. Instead she laughed herself silly and told me to do it. (To her credit, she did talk me through the changing process, which I’d never done before, but she still laughed till she turned purple over me changing a little boy. I’d never seen one before!)

Census Information Taker, 1970: For one week. This is the kind of job that introverts dream they have to do in Hell. My mother had the job, so she handed some off to 16-year-old me.

Recording Circle of Magic Audiobooks with Bruce Coville’s Full Cast Audio

(See Photo Galleries for numerous production stills.)

In 2001 or 2002, I forget which, my friend and fellow writer Bruce Coville approached me about recording my Circle of Magic quartet with his new audio book company, Full Cast Audio. Because of my background in doing radio during the 1980s, I was thrilled to have the chance to get in front of a microphone again and to hear my characters given life by a group of good actors. There is no feeling quite like it. With movies and television, the studio’s choice of actors and visual details never quite matches the way anyone, particularly the author, imagined the story. With audio productions, though, the right actor can give the listener’s imagination an extra hook on which to hang her/his imagination, the extra boost that makes the book live in the listener’s mind.