Ready for the update?

Hey gang! Here’s the news – Hubby spent the night on the side of the road, dry camping in our wee trailer, Daisy.

DAISY THE WEE TRAILER

Buddy’s wife brought him back home where buddy grabbed a few hours of sleep, then left before dawn for the two hour trip to the Willcox AZ area. The guys met up, went out to the field and got their limit! I’m quite proud. They were set up to meet at NAPA auto in Willcox to get the truck fixed and are heading home. HALLELUJAH!!

I’m feeling pretty well, not getting quite so tired. No sign of the A-Fib so the medication is working. I’m looking forward to getting out of the house – you know being normal – breathing fresh air, hearing the neighbor’s kids and barking dogs.

My neighbors have been so wonderful, checking on me and reassuring me I can call them “anytime” if I need anything. I am blessed.

So that’s the latest for me. I hope and pray that this sparse Thanksgiving season will be the  end of a spell of disconnection and separation for us humans.

Here is a gift of love to bless you as we enter this holiday season. I grew up singing the soprano and alto parts of this beautiful acappella version of Number 6:24-26

Cheers and enjoy!

-N

Age, Don’t Judge Me

Ok, I am not young, chronologically, I admit it. I don’t want to accept it yet there are things going on that remind me I’m not under warranty anymore. I’m paying out of pocket for repairs, and I’m at the nickel and dime stage.

The things that drive my interest, passions and dreams look different. Creativity weighs heavily on me now. Every day I want to touch that creativity in myself – it’s where I find the youth in my heart. When I think “Ooo, I would love to do that,” then the desire is tempered with “really? at my age?”

I would like nothing better than to sell everything, clear out and get a wonderful fixer-upper Victorian by the ocean or next to a mountain lake and open a B&B. But then I think about my hubby with his bad knees and back. He has no business working on fixing a place. He should be fishing.

How long would I realistically have to do this and make a living? Supplementing my social security income with a successful venture doesn’t happen quickly. This is a goal for a younger couple.

So rather than my sewing be making fabric accents for my dream B&B, or my writing be composing promotional pieces…well you understand.

One of the biggest issues for people my age is finding part time work. It doesn’t matter what “company policy” is, age discrimination is real. The thirty somethings don’t understand or want to fill their companies with people they feel can’t put in the time and effort needed. I’ve been looking, especially work from home opportunities which I’m told there is a glut of them. Uh, nope. But I will keep looking.

I will continue doing my creative thing, not giving in to the worlds attitude. Sure I would love to be thirty again. So I will be thirty in my mind. Still singing, sewing, writing, blogging, voice-over.

Cheers!

-N

Frustration thy name is 2020, except for…

We’ve heard and seen all the reactions to the septic that has been 2020.

Disney is going to crap, small business are losing ground, an election year where many worry if President Trump is re-elected the human opposition to his election will erupt in violent, destructive protest. Well – I have no interest in politics. I look at the candidates and party web sites and decide which one I am most aligned with, no one side fully aligns with my concerns.

We’ve all been told that masks and social distancing will help stall the spread of Covid-19, that Covid is fake, or that masks have no effect, that only the very sick or babies will be at risk of death and the rest of us will get a cold and get over it. If the sign says wear a mask I wear one, I wash my hands a lot, and only hug certain people.

I have to have a serious surgery in a couple of weeks which gives me great concern. Disney layed off my son along with thousands of others, I’m still hunting for clerical/writing work from home opportunities and auditioning for VO jobs, Christmas is coming and the purse is full of moths.

Yet there is this:

Osiris rex made a hugely successful mission to asteroid Bennu, effectively touched down and gathered a more

OSIRIS-REX

than adequate sample of stardust. As a University of Arizona project I was inordinately proud, and as a space geek I actually had the date marked on my phone calendar so I didn’t miss it. Yay NASA.

Another great thing this year is my nephew got married and it was a perfect time with family in the mountains of central Arizona. A destination site where we all stayed in log cabin style lodging, surrounded by tall pines and aspens, next to a lake. Can I just say the little kids had a great time running around, fishing, and eating their fill. The wedding itself was incredibly romantic, the bride beautiful, the groom handsome.

Another nephew’s business is growing, soundly. He has also been able to turn that success into an even better success with three franchises! I’m so proud of how his hard work is paying off for him. He is a good man, and a good husband and father. This immense improvement in his business is due directly to his conscientious and strategic hard work, and the more than fair treatment of his employees and clients.

April Is National Autism Awareness Month | NY State SenateMy grandson is doing well in kindergarten – his autism is now on the academic radar. His teachers are doing wonderfully with developing his learning and classroom skills while helping him make good decisions, his therapies are done at school so the success he has reflects well on his perception of the learning environment.

It also has relieved some of my daughter’s stress, also good for both of them.

I have also made a good friend, something I’ve really wanted. She is a fun person, a cool chick, and we have so much in common. Also our husbands get on well. I’m so glad to have my girl Kathy.

My mother used to say –

“Life’s too short to be in a bad mood for very long”

and “Speak what you want to come to pass.”

So that is what I will leave with you. I would love to hear the good you’ve had in this year.

Cheers!

-N

 

Me and Dad

Hey World! This month is the birthday of the most amazing human ever!

My dad.

DAD

I loved my dad, I love him still, just as much. I think of him every day and covet those moments when he fills my dreams. I have his photos on my desk where I can see him every time I sit down to work. I have always been daddy’s girl.

ME AND DAD

Finis A. Turner or otherwise fondly known as Jack has an amazing story to tell. It is funny, heartbreaking, adventurous, and loving. No matter where he was headed I wanted to be with him. He was my buddy, my first crush, my first best friend, and the person I wanted to be with. Even when I was a bit older I loved to sit in his lap, the smell of car grease, gasoline and WD40 the familiar scent of my dad.

He was born to an unwed mother in Dallas Texas right before the depression. He was given up for adoption and sent to a Texas children’s home where he was adopted as an infant by Mr. and Mrs. Turner. This unfortunately wasn’t meant to be his forever home or family. After a few years his adopted mother decided life in West Texas as a farmer’s wife wasn’t for her. She wanted more than what her husband was offering and she left them behind. She ended up remarried, living in the big city.

The life dad had as a toddler, young child and early teens was hard, filled with abuse, neglect, and indifference.

JACK

His adopted father took off and left him in the care of an aunt and uncle, where he was essentially free farm labor.

FARM JACK WITH HIS BLUE RIBBON CCOW

I asked him once why he ate so fast and he said it was because when he lived on the farm he was never given much time to eat so if he wanted to get his fill he had to do it fast. This habit was even more ingrained when he was on the USS Enterprise in WWII where meals were quick. There were two times my husband, Chuck, had to do the Heimlich because dad had choked on big pieces he didn’t chew well enough. Chuck was the only one who could do it since he was as big a man as dad. Dad was always reminded by his uncle Bud he was living off the good graces of his adopted family, that he wasn’t blood related. Nothing he had really belonged to him. I always felt this was why he was so possessive of us – my mom, my sisters and I. He didn’t learn to share because he never had anything that was his that he could share. This was why I always told him we were his.

DAD AND HIS THREE GIRLS IN JAPAN

Dad was always a rather free spirit when he was a young man. He ran off his junior year of high school, not letting anyone know, and enlisted in the Navy.

NAVY JACK

When it was discovered he was underage serving in WWII on an aircraft carrier as a sheet metal worker he was discharged as a reservist and went back home to finish high school. He wandered around picking up jobs here and there, until he met and married his first wife. That marriage came to a quick and heartbreaking end for him. Not to say he was faultless in the situation but he was with a woman who wanted more – kind of like his adopted mother. After that relationship ended he wandered more, pretty much all over west Texas and ended up in Colorado City TX where he met my mother. She was a petite little cutie who worked in the drug store behind the soda counter. She told me the first time she saw him she was taken by his gregarious nature, his fun loving personality, and how handsome he was. They had their first date on July 4, 1950

DAD AND MOM FIRST DATE

and were married on July 25, 1950! Yep that’s right three weeks later. They were married until April 2002 when he passed away.

DAD AND MOM WEDDING

Fifty two years.

Dad went into the Air Force after an ultimatum from my mom to get a real job or get lost. He had taken off and she had no idea where he was. She showed up at his aunt’s place and waited for him there. She found out later he had met up with some old friends and the longer he stayed away the guiltier he felt and that kept him from coming back. He was embarrassed to show his face. Like I said he was a bit wild and had no business getting married. He got an earful from both mom and his aunt, and he went home with mom, tail between his legs.

AIR FORCE JACK

He enlisted in the USAF and spent twenty years in the service. He (and the family) was stationed in Harlingen TX, Yuma AZ, Panama City FL, Valdosta GA, Del Rio TX, Tucson AZ, Misawa, Japan, Angeles City, Philippines, and retired back in Tucson in 1971. He also had a solo assignment in Germany.

GERMANY JACK

My dad was a cool guy who rode motorcycles, volunteered with the UA football team, once met Elvis Presley and John Wayne (not together), and was everybody’s friend. He was the guy you wanted to know. Dad and I regularly took off on his bike, leaving my two sisters home with mom. I knew if I was very well behaved he would take me with him and I was always a good little girl for my dad. He wasn’t perfect by any means, but he treated me wonderfully and I could count on him. He loved to work on cars, and nearly burned down our house when he was working on a motorcycle carburetor. That was the last time he owned a bike. Mom put her foot down.

MOTORCYCLE JACK

Several months before my wedding dad was hurt very badly at work and had skin grafts to his right foot as well as three toes amputated from that foot. It was a horrible injury, but he worked so hard to be able to walk me down the aisle, even wearing a walking boot and using a cane, he did it. Like I said, I could always count on him.

Once when dad was working with the Arizona Wildcats football team as a volunteer during Coach Larry Smith’s time I sent in a letter to a local TV station doing features on ‘people who care’ in the Tucson area. They set it up and came to interview dad at practice. He was also interviewed when the football coaches changed from Coach Smith to Coach Dick Tomey. I have those interviews recorded on VHS and finally have a player so I can watch them. I will admit when I view them my heart aches for him. I cry, sob sometimes, with missing him. I’m feeling a bit teary right now as I write this.

ME AND DAD 1 YEAR BEFORE HE PASSED

Dad had a really bad stroke that left him completely paralyzed on the right side. He couldn’t walk or speak. A terrible situation for this larger than life, handsome, gregarious, friendly, outgoing man. The stroke was in 1998, and he passed away in 2002. I miss my dad, Sarge I called him, and treasure memories of his laugh, his love for us, the way he smelled of gasoline and WD 40, and him calling me “sugarbabe”.

Thanks for indulging me with this bit of my dad. His birthday is the 28th of this month and he will be in the forefront of my thoughts.

Cheers!

-N

Bigger might be better

My current sound booth is fine, perfectly functional, does everything I need, and had a zero sound floor. I can do what I need.

I would like it to be a bit larger.

I found when I am recording I tend to use my arms – alot! This creates an issue in my space. I find I have to pay attention to what my arms are doing when I work, and this can take away from the spontaneity of my performance.

Once I have done my script analysis, made my notes and practiced to find the voice and tone I’m looking for the last thing I need to worry about it hitting my mic with my hand. Sheesh that is a pain.

Right now I have a laptop dedicated to recording. It is hooked up to my interface with the recording software, Audacity, loaded. It’s an easy one touch process. I take the files and move them to a thumb drive and take it to my laptop I use for editing. This one is bigger, more memory and can do everything I need. It’s the one I email the finished audition file to the client with.

Art bit more space would also make it easier to integrate the devices and have an actual sound engineer area. So I guess I need to make some VO money so I can expand. Pass on my contact info to anyone you know who needs a professional voice for their project.

Cheers!

-N

What’s Next?

ZOOM work, school, social distancing tool, even funerals and memorials.

What kind of world is all this quarantine creating? Is this the thing that initiates a new electronic age of intimacy in relationships?

A movie that spoke to me in a profound way was “A.I Artificial Intelligence” by Stephen Spielberg. It frightened me but also made me curious about the future of technology.

AI Artificial Intelligence

I really liked it so many of it’s robotic aspects, yet I was so moved by the boy robot played by Haley Joel Osment. The warning was strong to the parents about activating the “imprinting protocol” which would cause him to have an eternal love for them . When the unthinkable happens and the robot is cast out, this love sent him on a journey to find himself. I understood the mothers desire for her child’s love, but I also felt the emotions of the robot when he is abandoned.

Will our future be like this? Already technology has become so prominent in all our lives we can’t think of existing without it. August 21st I stopped using Facebook. I am amazed at how much more I get done every day without the FB leash. I still have Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn but these don’t paralyze my brain with nonstop scrolling the way FB did. One of the last days I was on FB I did a three hour scroll! I missed a VO web meeting.  I disgusted myself.

My five year old grandson blows my mind with his technology abilities. He has no fear of jumping onto a program. He is a Minecraft fiend.

MINECRAFT

Kids who are doing ZOOM school don’t think twice about using laptops or tablets to listen to their teachers, interact with learning programs and doing their attendance and homework online. They are not, however, interacting face to face socially with their classmates. This worries me. If these socially distant situations go on until the beginning of 2021 as I have last heard, will they adapt or will they withdraw?

How will advancing tech in our everyday affect who we are? There is a huge push in artificial intelligence for self driving cars to the possibility of autonomous weapons. I am concerned about this desire of technological progression that the human side becomes flattered to see it successfully implemented.

Could ego incorporate programming that devastates? Think hackers.

What if the programmers think they are putting in place an AI designed to help, but it ends up interpreting it with a destructive methodology? Think HAL.

As I said in the beginning I am fascinated with it, and cautious as well. What do you think about technology in the future?

Cheers!

-N

Getting my VO groove on!

I just finished a weekly webinar series by SOVAS called #thestateofVO and it gets me so pumped up.

SOVAS

Listening to the guest speaker who could be a renowned voice over artist, a VO director, a talent agent, or any number of professionals in the voice over business is so great! The people who host are in the foremost of the industry. I’m starting to recognize regulars like me.

VO

So much of what they share is spot on, with information that only comes from first hand – hands on – real time experience that I can’t help but feel I’m getting first class tools to expand what I can offer a client’s job.

The person tonight, JB Blanc, has been the voice for several game characters, and just like that he dropped into character and shared his development process. What a great voice.

DAUGHTERS OF DC

He also shared the trailer for a podcast he is directing, “Daughters of DC”. It is so on trend right now.

The hosts and guest speaker also take the time to answer some of our questions during the session and this is where you find out how common your personal thoughts and travails are within the VO community.

Us newbies can use this info to really build on our experiences.

Cheers!

-N

 

 

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