Yes, that’s my voice

From the time I was little I remember singing. It was something on my mother’s side of the family that happened whenever we gathered together.

My grandmother

My grandmother had a beautiful soprano voice, and she loved to sing hymns whether she was cooking or hanging clothes on the line.

My Uncle

My uncle could out-sing a grand piano with his strong, operatic baritone. His brother could hold his own singing as well.

My mother was a fine alto as were her sisters. Most of my cousins all have varying degrees of singing skills. It’s a family thing.

I’ve always had a good voice which led me to performances in choir and musicals. I love to say I got my voice from my grandmother. After all we do have the same first name!

Now I’m using my voice in a different way by attempting to break into voice-over (VO). My speaking voice when I’ve done readings has always received favorable comments on my sound, tempo, and quality. I feel much of it comes from years of stage plays.

Rehearsing The Fantastics with Marty

I liked acting, and did it a lot in school and after in local community productions.

When I was just out of school I started doing commercials for local radio. It was a blast. The funny part was when someone would say they heard a commercial that sounded like me. I would ask what was it for and then confirm “Yes, that was my voice.” After a while family and friend would listen for me then tell me they heard me.

Years ago in the local malls (which hardly anyone wants to go to now) they had these mini studios where you could go and record yourself. I went in, found the background music for Patsy Cline’s “Crazy” and did a recording. I picked it not because I was a big country music fan, but because I knew all the words. I didn’t try to sound like her, or to try to sound country, but just be myself singing a simple song. Well, we were having a party and I played it. My neighbor, Ed, asked me who it was. I told him and he said “That’s you?”

“Yes, that’s my voice.”

VO Sound booth

I’m looking for referrals for VO jobs so let me know if I can bring my voice to your project.

I work in a zero sound floor home studio that I use to record, edit and deliver professional quality Wav or mP3 files. Let’s work together.

Cheers!

-N

 

How much longer?

ATLANTIC COAST

Ever ridden in a car with kids on a road trip? Yes? You’ve heard this question constantly.

Ever been stuck in quarantine with close family? Yes? How many times did you ask yourself this question?

Ever been a caregiver for an aging parent nearing the end of life? Yes? How often did this thought come to you?

 

 

It is in the nature of humans to want to know what is next, what is around that corner, who is coming and when will they be here. Children aren’t the only impatient ones. We all have that thing that we are anticipating and ready to encounter. New job, new relationship, paying off debt, getting accepted to that school – goals and plans require waiting for the next step in the process.

A step that is part of a journey.

For myself this question comes up thanks to my son who regularly asks if the current book I’m writing is finished. I also think this question when I submit voice over auditions, wondering when those paying jobs will start and some cash starts to flow. I wonder this when I am sitting in the hot desert and I think back on my visit to Ogunquit, Maine and long to move away from here and relocate my life to the Maine coast.

LIGHTHOUSE

What is your “how much longer” question?

Cheers!

-N

Blame everything on COVID-19

BRING IT ON

I had one of those “wellness” visits to my primary care person. It’s what used to be called an annual physical. Anyway, she is a wonderful person, and took plenty of time to listen, answer questions, and get the lowdown on all aspects of my health.

HATE COVID

First was the not unexpected “you need to lose weight” statement. This was followed by “blood pressure’s up a bit” that was also not unexpected. These led to a discussion on the way the first comment pretty much was related to most everything else about me.

I blame it on COVID-19. I blame everything on Covid. Why the hell not? If Covid hadn’t crossed the Pacific and landed on the west coast I know I would have not been so depressed, which combined with the extreme heat, made me stay inside, eat too much and blow off exercise. It’s all because of Covid-19.

I’m pretty tired of it, and the way this virus is controlling lives.

COVID SUCKS

Having spent time working in an area of cancer diagnosis testing I can confirm the process from initial development to FDA/ISO approval is not a quick one. The steps are filled with double, triple and quadruple analysis of results, clinical trials, with quality checks throughout, repeatedly, before an actual product is approved and ready for manufacture.

No short-cuts.

NO SHORT CUTS

 

Any vaccine has a similar methodology and the time this takes is not fluid or flexible. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong. The average length of time for the development to production of a viable vaccine is two to five years. Perhaps due to the drama SARS Covid-19 has created in the world there may be enough labs in the development stage that clinical trials, which take the longest, can be pushed for viability and effectiveness into production.

SCIENCE WORKS

So my point – antibody testing should be widespread to determine those who might have had the virus and show some immunity. Simultaneously combined with continued testing on symptomatic humans for the virus.

 

 

Yeah, I blame Covid-19 for everything.

Cheers!

-N

P.S. The above is strictly tongue in cheek, aside from the science information. If you or someone you know is suffering with this virus my heart goes out. 💞

A Keepsake or a dust collector?

Keepsake: a small item kept in memory of the person who gave it or originally owned it.

What makes an item a keepsake? Is it necessarily small? When is it bestowed with the emotional attachment of keepsake? I have a quite a few things in cabinets, on shelves and dressers, on nightstands and in drawers that are what I consider keepsakes and cherished mementos. I also have tubs, drawers, and closets full of things that have yet to be given memento/keepsake status.

University of Arizona cabinet

I suppose this requires defining the difference between collecting vs pack-rat/hoarding.

Collector: a person who collects things of a specified type, professionally or as a hobby.

     Pack Rat: a person who saves unnecessary objects or hoards things.

I have my own art collection which is primarily art from individuals I am acquainted with, for example my aunt,

FAMILY ART

my cousin, my nephew’s best friend, the photographer I met in Greer, AZ, the dear friend who passed away. But I do have things that have enormous emotional value like the old radio from hubby’s grandfather,

or the copper plaque presented to my father-in-law by his community when he moved from Kearny AZ to Soda Springs ID. Also the items from my fathers time as a volunteer with the University of Arizona football team.

OLD RADIO

I’m sure most people place emotional value and attachment to photos. We have a cabinet full of photos. I teased my husband that if there was ever a fire threatening our home it would take his truck to get all the pictures and valuables out of our house.

ARIZONA PIN COLLECTION

Some small things that mean a lot to me are in a little jewelry box from my grandmother. An arrowhead my Papaw found and gave me, the broach given to my Nannie by my aunt, and her costume jewelry pieces I remember her wearing. I also have the shell casings from the twenty one gun salute for my father’s military funeral.

These are things I can tell a story about and share with the generations to come. I am fortunate to be part of a family who are close and value family connections, even if we are spread around the country.

THE MUSEUM

We bought a tall cabinet a while back that has a lighted glass case on top and an enclosed bottom. I call it the museum. In the top part are collectible items we’ve obtained from travels, hubby’s camera collection, and sweet things like a hummingbirds nest, and sea shells.

After living in Japan I have this idea of “space is clean” and order gives peace. Clearing clutter feels good. If there is a place to store something then that’s where it goes!

Are you a collector of keepsakes or a pack rat hoarding things that aren’t necessary? What do you do with your collections?

 

 

Cheers!

-N

 

Creative spaces

HUBBYS DESK

Because my home is the place I create my fiction, write my blog, record voice-over, and enjoy my sewing projects, I have tried to find the best use of space. The room that used to serve as my sons bedroom was converted into the all-purpose office/craft room. Suffice it to say it is not very spacious. When hubby and I are both working it is crowded and congested to say the least. Millie, our German Shepherd dog, always seems to want to take up floor space in the middle of the room and is often nearly run over by one of our chairs.

BUSY DESK AREA

In Catalina, Arizona where we make our home, is a wonderful thrift store called The Golden Goose that benefits from its proximity to a well-heeled community called Saddlebrook, and benefits us middle class types with nice stuff we can afford. A couple of weeks ago, while making a quick stop to look for a bike rack for my car hubby spotted a desk.  It was oak, with a hutch and a plethora of storage.

NOT ROOM ENOUGH TO SEW

I will add here the desk I am currently using in the office was not comfortable for him to use. He is 6’3” and he doesn’t fit. With this new desk he was sure he would fit easily.

So after discussing it: replacing two pieces with this one, where it would go, how would it be best used by us, and how the room could be adapted, we agreed that if the desk was still there – on payday – we would get it if we could afford it. The follow-up trip to the Goose showed the desk was still there, was affordable, and the purchase was completed!

Once it came to our home the process of sanding and staining the desk and hutch by hubby began.  For myself, it was a purge of the room, cleaning out drawers, shelves and cabinets.

MESSY SEWING AREA

I like a purge! It is interesting, occasionally disturbing, what you find when you empty out a drawer or file cabinet.

BOOKCASE IS MOVING TO MAKE ROOM FOR THE DESK

I’ve learned after four decades with this man I can never set up his space the way he would. So the old desk and printer cabinet was moved out, and his work station was moved into place, and everything that was on it is stacked on top for his perusal. He can organize it however he wishes.

THE BEAUTIFUL DESK

One thing I will add…pretty sure I burned some calories doing this. Lots of sweatiness. At one point we were working together, lots of sweat, and I got a whiff of BO! I did the stealth sniff and I knew it wasn’t me. I was helping hubby put up the camera we use when the grandson is here and was in hubby armpit range. The man wasn’t just ripe, he was spoiled! I bailed on him.

CUTTING TABLE

So here enjoy the before and after shots.

LOOK AT THAT FABRIC!
HUBBYS NEW SPACE
THE BOOKSHELF MOVED HERE (LEFT SIDE)

It’s wonderful to have useful work space for both of us. Ever in Tucson come on out to Catalina.

Cheers!

-N

Let’s go!

These  efforts toward a VO website and blog website presence are, for the most part, enjoyable. It’s a huge learning curve for me and not having the funds to hire it all done, I must teach myself the skills of the trade. This is not an intuitive process in my mind.

Create

Rather than thinking – dang I gotta blog! What the heck am I gonna write about? When a light bulb moment occurs I can start writing and flesh it out over a few days. This way I am writing whenever I am inspired and then, when scheduling the finished post, I am relieved. New blog DONE!

Sometimes I will open a new blog post page, write a silly question or comment in the title line, and save a draft, just what I did with the above title. Then when next I sit down at the laptop I listen to what my mind thinks this means. Is this the best action? Hmm, perhaps not. So how do I to become a productive blogger? One thing I’ve set up is a weekly appointment on my calendar to remind me to check my blog.

As a blogger what is your preferred method for development of your blog text?

 

Holder of My Flame cover character.

With fiction story writing it is entirely a departure from the process described above. I know the gist of the story and the main characters. Plotting is done with the goal of telling their story authentically and using all the rest of the information to create that narrative. Lots more research into location, problem solving, character building, understanding angst, age appropriate dialogue and responses, and a host of other aspects which are part of the whole as the story develops, and I get to know the people I’m writing about.

With voice-over no writing is involved, rather I am provided with a script or narration, and my job is to interpret it – who, what when, where, why and how of the audience and speaker. My delivery is then based on the voice the client wants; mature, mysterious, friendly, salesman or conversational. I spend hours recording, doing edits, and then submit my audition for consideration. Creative but in a vastly different mode.

Voice over

Create: to produce through imaginative skill.

Cheers!

-N

Working From Home

I’m on a mission to find a way to supplement income by working from home. I have a great set up established with everything I need in my home office. Proofreading, editing, data entry, billing – I’ve got it covered.

OFFICE STYLE

Anyone of you fine readers been successful at something like this? Did you go it on your own or use a company that specializes in helping set you up?

I feel my 30+ years of office/administrative experience in a variety of settings gives me a heads up on what’s involved in that type of work.

 

 

So…

Step one is keep auditioning for VO work, keep blogging, and writing at least 2000 words a day on my current book.

Step two is finding an individual or business who can use my help. Any ideas or referrals?

Step three is stay positive.

 

SoAZ TOO HOT!

Just an aside here: it is the first of September and the high was 106°.

Don’t mention pumpkin spice anything to me. It’s time for the temps to fall along with the season.

A DRY RED NO PUMPKIN SPICE

Cheers!

-N

What’s New?

I don’t know.

While I sit here, thinking, I have a video playing of the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Maine. Ogunquit is my spirit place, the place I dream of living, the desire of my heart locale. I visited it once and it left it’s indelible mark on my psyche.

Marginal Way foliage.

Such beauty, color, texture, vibrancy and history.

Me in Perkins Cove, Maine

For a reluctant desert dweller videos of this kind help my mental and emotional escape.

🌊💚🏊‍♂️🏄‍♂️

We are in the height of heat here. Normally, June tends to be the worst for us heat wise, however this year, 2020 – the year from hell, it hasn’t been that way. Typical weather for summer (laughs at the irony – SoAZ is a place with a nine month summer) June is hot, boiling, melting, followed by July which is hot but has nearly daily monsoon rains, then August which is hot and continues monsoon season rains into September.

But not this year! Yeah June was hot and dry; July was hot and dry; and now August is burning and mercilessly dry.

Anyone need a seaside care taker for their house? Can I bring my books?

Can I get a lobster roll?

Maine Lobstah roll, fresh that morning.

Yes, chips please. The cutest teenage girl served me and told me her dad brought in the lobster that morning. So, so good. Pretty sure I would be completely happy living where I could get fresh sea food daily.

So what’s new? Got a new (to me) desk from our local amazing thrift store The Golden Goose, hubby is refinishing it in a lovely dark chestnut and I am purging the office. I like purging the office😁. This new desk will replace two pieces from the office, with lots more storage, and will be put in my library. The room I’m in now will be just for sewing, crafts, and voice-over work. I’ll post pics once completed.

We will see how desk sharing works for hubby and I, well I hope, since we often aren’t working at the same time. The biggest issue will be keeping the desk clean. I am a clean desk-everything in it’s place person. Years of office admin jobs have made me this way. I like things filed, in folders, organized, labeled, and stored. If I need to find it I want to go directly to where it is. Hubby – not so much. He likes piles and stacks. No clear surface is safe from his stuff.

We’ll work it out.