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Archive for July, 2011|Monthly archive page

Redacting Rosslyn Redux

In Monologues, Renovation & Rehabilitation, What's Rosslyn?, What's the story? on July 27, 2011 at 2:08 pm
Rosslyn Boathouse in Essex, New York, May 1, 2011

Rosslyn Boathouse in Essex, New York, May 1, 2011

What: Reducting Rosslyn
When: 8:00pm, Wednesday, August 3
Where: The Depot Theatre, Westport, NY

What happens when a storyteller writes a book? When a talker becomes a typer? When the audience’s laughter, sighs, snoring, heckling and applause vanish? When margins and page count provide only the most porous parameters?

I’ll tell you what. Story glut. Plot inflation. Unchecked character sprawl…

For the past year I’ve been writing and revising a memoir about the four years that Susan and I spent renovating the W.D. Ross property in Essex. I’ve discovered that building a book is a bit like rebuilding an old house. No matter how great the bones, how stunning the view, how well preserved the architecture and design, and no matter how clear and enticing the goal, you can’t do it by yourself.

In the case of our home it took the world’s most intelligent, beautiful and stubborn wife plus a vast community of contractors, carpenters, advisors, family and friends to rebuild Rosslyn. In the case of my book it will take your laughter, your sighs, your heckling (and even your prodding and booing and advising) to build Rosslyn Redux.

Please join me at 8:00pm on Wednesday, August 3 at The Depot Theatre in Westport for a solo performance of Redacting Rosslyn, an evening of readings, storytelling and vignettes ranging from a wader-wearing Amazon named Rosslyn to a perennially pickled bathtub yachtsman. I’ll poke fun at the idiosyncrasies (and absurdities) of renovation, marriage and North Country life while plunging you into the creative process. Are you ready to help build a book?

You are invited to a reception in the lobby following the performance. All participants will be entered into a drawing for Essex gift certificates and Rosslyn Redux swag. All proceeds from this performance will be donated to The Depot Theatre. Here’s how to get tickets:

Depot Box Office:
Call: 518-962-4449
Monday, Thursday, and Friday from 10am-10pm
Saturday and Sunday from 12pm-10pm
Tuesday and Wednesday from 10am-5pm

Depot Online Ticket Sales:
http://depottheatre.org/tickets

Thank you. I hope to see you!

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North Country Farm Stands

In Daily Munge, What's the story?, Where's Rosslyn? on July 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm


Farm Stand In Vermont

The good folks at Cooking Up a Story featured this slice of North Country summer living, and I couldn’t resist contacting them to find out where the farm stand is located. They responded quickly:

They are in Alburgh, VT – which is in the northwest corner of the state – nestled against NY and Canada, along Route 2. Drive up and check them out sometime. Really nice people!

Close enough for a visit, but not swing-by-and-grab-some-sweet-corn close. Too bad! Nevertheless, it’s an inspirational story. We used to have a similar farm stand near us in Essex, New York that was run by the Sayward family for many, many years, but it closed up a few summers ago. Still miss it!

We’ve belonged to two CSAs since moving full-time to Essex, Essex Farm and Full and By Farm, and we grow a large vegetable garden and quite a few types of fruit. So I’m not complaining, but I do love the experience of visiting a neighborhood farm stand. It’s nice to meet the growers, hear their stories, learn new ways to prepare the fresh produce.

 

Totally, unabashedly, irreversibly seduced

In Adirondacks, Boathouse, Carriage Barn, Daily Munge, Historic Essex, House, Ice House, Lake Champlain, Renovation & Rehabilitation on July 19, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Today’s question from Al Katkowsky‘s Question of the Day book was the perfect invitation to reflect on Rosslyn Redux, the “big picture”!

What should you definitely not have done that turned out okay anyway?

In the summer of 2006 I definitely should not have purchased a dilapidated, almost two hundred year old house in Essex, New York. Definitely not. Not if I wanted to stay sane, solvent or married. Not if I wanted to do anything else in my life except for renovating, babysitting contractors, and nurturing this handsome old house back to life…

But I was totally, unabashedly, irreversibly seduced by Rosslyn, a sagging-but-still-stately, almost two century year old property on the Adirondack shores of Lake Champlain. My new bride and I swapped Manhattan for North Country bliss.

Our plan? Renovate a home. Grow a garden. Plant an orchard. Raise a dog. Swim, sail, ski, hike, bike and live happily ever after.

Or not…

Over a hundred carpenters, tradesmen and artisans later; over four times our budget and planned timeline later; and over countless marriage-testing misadventures later we finally finished our renovation. In time for the biggest flood in over two centuries to swamp our boathouse and waterfront for two months…

We should definitely not have undertaken this wildly ambitious project. But we did. And it turned out okay anyway. So far!

Check out RosslynRedux.com for a vicarious plunge into the idiosyncrasies (and absurdities) of our renovation, marriage and North Country life.

The Voice of Redacting Rosslyn

In Monologues, What's the story? on July 18, 2011 at 2:20 pm

For the last few weeks I’ve been working on Redacting Rosslyn, a solo performance of vignettes, monologues and storytelling from Rosslyn Redux. Join me on Wednesday, August 3 at The Depot Theatre in Westport, NY. (Did I mention there’s a cocktail reception?)

Lights, stage, audience, action! I’ll morph from storyteller to author right before your eyes. With a little help from the audience…

I love to perform, but I always apologize for my voice.

It’s funny. When I rehearse — aloud or in my head — my voice is Bourbon and caramel. Resonant. Enveloping. It’s the secret weapon of a guerrilla storyteller!

And then I hear a recording of myself or watch a video, and I’m certain the sound isn’t working properly. Bad mic? Is the equalizer busted? Probably the speakers are blown. I don’t have that pre-pubescent, one-dimensional voice that scurries for the rafters every few minutes. Really, I don’t.

Only, I do. It’s me. That voice is my own. And though I’ve come to terms with it, I do have moments when I’m preparing to perform that I daydream… What if I woke up sounding like James Earl Jones?

This video is a response to a question from Al Katkowsky’s Question of the Day (@QOfTheDayBook) book:

What is the most important thing you want, that you didn’t grow up with?

I’ve always longed for a deep, velvety radio announcer voice. A disk jockey voice. An actor voice. But no dice or wrong DNA or something…

After almost four decades of vocal shenanigans I’ve accepted my lot, but if I wake up tomorrow with the voice of Darth Vader instead of Luke Skywalker, well, let’s just say that I’d be okay with that!

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