Hello 2023 from Ted Harris

Ted Harris here with the warmest greetings for the new year. We made a new story called THE YULETIDE CHERRIES. It’s based on the story of The Tale of Sir Cleges, adapted and written by me and my sister Lindsay. I feel it’s a great story, and I hope to see it as a book one day.

The voice actor is Owen McCuen, who has worked in many different audio drama and fiction podcasts, commercials, and more. Plus, he’s a great guy and a good friend.

Middle Ages painting of a red haired youung woman robed in red and blue against a gold background, holding a writing quill. In calligraphy, the image says The Yuletide Cherries, a Special Episode for the Winter Holidays. 6630productions.com.

The Yuletide Cherries, a Winter's Tale Life In The Ted Lane

The Yuletide Cherries is a special episode to celebrate the winter holiday season. Lady Cleges and her faithful bard, Niko, have nothing to sustain them this Winter's Solstice night except good intentions. When Lady Cleges meditates underneath a tree and looks into the starry sky, wondrous things happen.  This audio fiction story is meant for all ages to enjoy together. Ted is learning audio editing as part of his job skills training with Merakey. When you review, comment, and share his podcast episodes, it encourages him to learn and practice more.  Thank you for listening. Story adapted by Ted Harris and Lindsay Harris Friel from The Tale of Sir Cleges and The Christmas CherriesMusic: Clear Air by Kevin McLeod Wedding in Asgard by Vincent Friel The Yuletide Cherries Theme by Vincent FrielEditing and sound design by Ted Harris with help from Lindsay Harris Friel Episode mastering by Vincent FrielHappy New Year from 6630 Productions! If you enjoyed this episode, please review it at Podchaser or Apple Podcasts. We'd love to know what you think. Learn more about us at 6630Productions.com, or contact us at info@6630Productions.com. Sound effects from Freesound.org include: Fireplace https://freesound.org/people/martats/sounds/138018/Lute music: https://freesound.org/people/f-r-a-g-i-l-e/sounds/506266/Party: https://freesound.org/people/certoipus/sounds/652036/Cork Pop: https://freesound.org/people/jewelconnor/sounds/533740/Cooking: https://freesound.org/people/aesqe/sounds/140453/Walking in snow: https://freesound.org/people/seenms/sounds/421617/Winter forest: https://freesound.org/people/klankbeeld/sounds/616231/Winter solstice night: https://freesound.org/people/daveincamas/sounds/65247/Winter night: https://freesound.org/people/bajko/sounds/378048/Peaceful Drone: https://freesound.org/people/mricken1/sounds/384388/Miracle Fantasy music: https://freesound.org/people/SergeQuadrado/sounds/655399/Snow walking: https://freesound.org/people/IDKAKF/sounds/554258/Gate: https://freesound.org/people/newlocknew/sounds/654525/Footsteps gravel: https://freesound.org/people/InspectorJ/sounds/345560/Creaky door https://freesound.org/people/kyles/sounds/451138/ Water splash https://freesound.org/people/InspectorJ/sounds/421184/ Woman laugh https://freesound.org/people/sagetyrtle/sounds/72353/ Talking people: https://freesound.org/people/szalonegacie/sounds/232174/

We also made our December episode of LIFE IN THE TED LANE, where we talked about winter holiday customs. We talked about Christmas, Hannukah, Kwanzaa, and many more holidays, and how people celebrate them.

(Editor’s note: we also discussed strategies to make the holidays easier for autistic folks. ~Lindsay)

December: Holidays for All, Muppet Christmas Specials, Life In The Ted Lane

Ted wants to talk about Christmas, but his big sister Lindsay made him research and share all of the December holidays and the reason for the season.  Plus, the Muppet Christmas specials that are hard to find, and strategies to help people who have autism cope during this cold, busy time of year. Additional resources: Feeling overwhelmed? Help is available: dial 988 or visit SAMSHA.gov. Winter Solstice – The Long and Short of it at The Franklin InstituteHow To Celebrate The Winter Solstice from MotherMag Hanukkah | Reform JudaismOfficial Kwanzaa WebsiteThe Real Festivus by Dan O'KeefeStolen Lightning: The Social Theory of Magic by Daniel O'KeefeYule History and OriginsIt's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie Is BonkersA Muppet Family ChristmasChristmas tips for autistic people and their familiesHosted, Written, and Edited by Ted HarrisCo-Hosted by Lindsay Harris FrielMusic by Vincent FrielMore info: 6630 Productions Tell us what you think of the show! Write us a review on Podchaser or Apple Podcasts. Transcript available at https://lifeinthetedlane.buzzsprout.com. 

You can listen to more episodes of Life In The Ted Lane wherever you find your podcasts, or on our Buzzsprout page.

Learning to edit audio files in Logic Pro

When we worked on The Yuletide Cherries, we learned about editing audio, we learned that editing audio is different from video audio, it takes great concentration, we learned how to pan audio so it goes from left to right and about Dolby stereo and how to equalize sound, I showed Lindsay how I show the sound of someone walking in the snow how to go from left to right by mouth, a skill I learned from acting classes. It is like you put your teeth together, put your tounge on the upper teeth and make short little blows with your breath, but you start quiet at first and then start getting louder, then get quiet again. Lindsay had been trying to figure it out for herself, but when she heard me do it, she was amazed. It’s a difficult skill, but one I had acquired after years of study.

Ted’s Hopes for 2023

This year I hope to do a second season of LIFE IN THE TED LANE, and maybe some more puppet videos, and hopefully do a audio play of my sourdough starter story or my Brigantine Castle story, and maybe do my first art show in one of the Philadelphia galleries, and maybe introduce some new puppets to Roxborough.

Marooned Tunes Goes Skylarking

Your four second-favorite castaways have managed to find a wi-fi connection and send you another episode. This time, they’ll frolic in the meadows with XTC’s 1986 concept album, Skylarking. This Todd Rundgren production inspired music journalist Michael Azerrad to say the band had become “deans of a group of artists who make what can only be described as unpopular pop music, placing a high premium on melody and solid if idiosyncratic songcraft.”

BRIAN WILSON PRESENTS SMILE Marooned Tunes

It’s the 2000’s, and Brian Wilson is having a bit of a renaissance. With so much attention to Pet Sounds and the lives shows surrounding them, he decided to revisit the nadir of his career.  In 1966 “Smile” was to be to The Beach Boys what “Sgt. Pepper “was to the Beatles, an artistic statement and triumph, but it never happened. Due to drug use, mental collapse, and pushback from the record company and certain band members, Brian went into a tailspin that he could never pull out of.  In 2004 Brian Wilson, with the help of Van Dyke Parks and members of The Wondermints Wilson returned to Smile and completed it. Was it worth the wait? Listen and hear what we think.   The Writer: Lindsay Harris-Friel The Classical Musician: Ruth Dubb The Rock Guitarist: Vincent Friel The Pun Addict: Ian Williams And special guest star Symone the Wonderpup. Concept created by Vincent Friel and Brendan Carr.  Sound design, title music, and engineering by Vincent Friel. For more information, visit our website at https://6630productions.com/marooned-tunes Don't forget to use our Libsyn code M-A-R-O-O-N-E-D to get up to two months of free podcasting services, excellent audio, and unlimited bandwidth.https://libsyn.com/   If you enjoyed this show, write a review so we'll know what you think, and others will, too: RateThisPodcast.com/maroonedtunes. Copyright 2021-2022 6630 Productions https://signup.libsyn.com/?promo_code=MAROONED
  1. BRIAN WILSON PRESENTS SMILE
  2. KASENETZ-KATZ SINGING ORCHESTRAL CIRCUS & THE TURTLES PRESENT THE BATTLE OF THE BANDS

Later, singer, songwriter and Lennon-glasses-wearer Andy Partridge wrote, on the record, “Musician and producer Todd Rundgren squeezed the XTC clay into its most complete/connected/cyclical record ever. Not an easy album to make for various ego reasons but time has humbled me into admitting that Todd conjured up some of the most magical production and arranging conceivable. A summer’s day cooked into one cake.”

And yes, this is the album that promoted the earthshaking pop hit, “Dear God,” a favorite quote for high school yearbook scribbles for the next decade. Enjoy!

New Paintings from Ted Harris

Ted has some new paintings for October 2022. He’s been thinking about social justice, the climate crisis, and corporate greed. Of course, as is par for the course for October, he’s thinking about Halloween.

A Toxic Environment
Global Crisis
Quoth The Raven Nevermore
Quoth The Raven, Nevermore
The Evils Of Disney
The Evils Of Disney
This is a very peaceful picture, a perfect spiritual picture, it was inspired by the hippie movement and has a little 1980s vibe. There is a teal-green background with a girl dressed in a white gown with blond hair with a crown of pink flowers her eyes are closed because she is meditating
This is a very peaceful picture, a perfect spiritual picture, it was inspired by the hippie movement and has a little 1980s vibe. There is a teal-green background with a girl dressed in a white gown with blond hair with a crown of pink flowers her eyes are closed because she is meditating

Ted is working hard on puppets and new art. He is also planning Uncle Scary’s Halloween Show, and maybe hopes to do some Christmas videos. New episodes of LIFE IN THE TED LANE and additional puppet videos are coming soon. He is also planning new paintings for The Merakey Gala.

New Podcast Episodes: Selling Out, Space Adventures

Not only is Marooned Tunes back for another season, but also, Life In The Ted Lane is rolling along.

Marooned Tunes: Sci-Fi, Swinging London and Commerce

Episode 3 of Season 2 came out this week, and our castaways discussed The Who’s album The Who Sell Out. Before that, in Episode 2, we explore Joe Meek’s instrumental space adventure, I Hear a New World. Our Season 2 launch is a clear* favorite, with Edgar Winter’s paean to Scientology, Mission Earth.

BRIAN WILSON PRESENTS SMILE Marooned Tunes

It’s the 2000’s, and Brian Wilson is having a bit of a renaissance. With so much attention to Pet Sounds and the lives shows surrounding them, he decided to revisit the nadir of his career.  In 1966 “Smile” was to be to The Beach Boys what “Sgt. Pepper “was to the Beatles, an artistic statement and triumph, but it never happened. Due to drug use, mental collapse, and pushback from the record company and certain band members, Brian went into a tailspin that he could never pull out of.  In 2004 Brian Wilson, with the help of Van Dyke Parks and members of The Wondermints Wilson returned to Smile and completed it. Was it worth the wait? Listen and hear what we think.   The Writer: Lindsay Harris-Friel The Classical Musician: Ruth Dubb The Rock Guitarist: Vincent Friel The Pun Addict: Ian Williams And special guest star Symone the Wonderpup. Concept created by Vincent Friel and Brendan Carr.  Sound design, title music, and engineering by Vincent Friel. For more information, visit our website at https://6630productions.com/marooned-tunes Don't forget to use our Libsyn code M-A-R-O-O-N-E-D to get up to two months of free podcasting services, excellent audio, and unlimited bandwidth.https://libsyn.com/   If you enjoyed this show, write a review so we'll know what you think, and others will, too: RateThisPodcast.com/maroonedtunes. Copyright 2021-2022 6630 Productions https://signup.libsyn.com/?promo_code=MAROONED
  1. BRIAN WILSON PRESENTS SMILE
  2. KASENETZ-KATZ SINGING ORCHESTRAL CIRCUS & THE TURTLES PRESENT THE BATTLE OF THE BANDS
  3. Donald Fagen / The Nightfly
  4. XTC / SKYLARKING
  5. THE WHO – SELL OUT
  6. JOE MEEK – I HEAR A NEW WORLD
  7. Edgar Winter / MISSION EARTH
  8. Marvin Gaye / Here My dear
  9. The Rascals / Freedom Suite

*Clear, get it? You see what I did there. Ahem. You can experience Marooned Tunes in the player above, or in your favorite podcast app.

Life In The Ted Lane: Ted’s building new skills.

Not only is Ted having adventures (the zoo! Cape May! and more!) and bringing you the most important news about The Muppets, Broadway, Hollywood, and autism, but also his podcasting toolbox expands rapidly. In addition to learning to edit transcripts with Descript, he’s also learning to edit audio in Garageband and how to make a podcast from start to finish with Alitu.

The Yuletide Cherries, a Winter's Tale Life In The Ted Lane

The Yuletide Cherries is a special episode to celebrate the winter holiday season. Lady Cleges and her faithful bard, Niko, have nothing to sustain them this Winter's Solstice night except good intentions. When Lady Cleges meditates underneath a tree and looks into the starry sky, wondrous things happen.  This audio fiction story is meant for all ages to enjoy together. Ted is learning audio editing as part of his job skills training with Merakey. When you review, comment, and share his podcast episodes, it encourages him to learn and practice more.  Thank you for listening. Story adapted by Ted Harris and Lindsay Harris Friel from The Tale of Sir Cleges and The Christmas CherriesMusic: Clear Air by Kevin McLeod Wedding in Asgard by Vincent Friel The Yuletide Cherries Theme by Vincent FrielEditing and sound design by Ted Harris with help from Lindsay Harris Friel Episode mastering by Vincent FrielHappy New Year from 6630 Productions! If you enjoyed this episode, please review it at Podchaser or Apple Podcasts. We'd love to know what you think. Learn more about us at 6630Productions.com, or contact us at info@6630Productions.com. Sound effects from Freesound.org include: Fireplace https://freesound.org/people/martats/sounds/138018/Lute music: https://freesound.org/people/f-r-a-g-i-l-e/sounds/506266/Party: https://freesound.org/people/certoipus/sounds/652036/Cork Pop: https://freesound.org/people/jewelconnor/sounds/533740/Cooking: https://freesound.org/people/aesqe/sounds/140453/Walking in snow: https://freesound.org/people/seenms/sounds/421617/Winter forest: https://freesound.org/people/klankbeeld/sounds/616231/Winter solstice night: https://freesound.org/people/daveincamas/sounds/65247/Winter night: https://freesound.org/people/bajko/sounds/378048/Peaceful Drone: https://freesound.org/people/mricken1/sounds/384388/Miracle Fantasy music: https://freesound.org/people/SergeQuadrado/sounds/655399/Snow walking: https://freesound.org/people/IDKAKF/sounds/554258/Gate: https://freesound.org/people/newlocknew/sounds/654525/Footsteps gravel: https://freesound.org/people/InspectorJ/sounds/345560/Creaky door https://freesound.org/people/kyles/sounds/451138/ Water splash https://freesound.org/people/InspectorJ/sounds/421184/ Woman laugh https://freesound.org/people/sagetyrtle/sounds/72353/ Talking people: https://freesound.org/people/szalonegacie/sounds/232174/
  1. The Yuletide Cherries, a Winter's Tale
  2. December: Holidays for All, Muppet Christmas Specials,
  3. Uncle Scary Ate October, November Still Has A Chance: Linvilla, Autism Masking and Jellybean
  4. Cape May, Mt Airy Art Garage, Larry West, Armani Williams, Missing Muppet Shows
  5. Philadelphia Zoo, Muppets past and present, Temple Grandin
  6. Mini Episode: Where have Ted and Lindsay been all this time?
  7. Episode Three: Disney and a new family member
  8. Episode One: Fonthill Castle, Henson Documentary, Autism and Community
  9. Episode Two: Roxborough, Muppet LEGO Figures, Ukraine Help

More episodes are coming, so follow these shows on your favorite podcast app.

Also, Is Symone The Wonder Pup still cute?

A very cute and excited Siberian Husky with wide eyes and open mouth.

Yup. Still cute.

Ted’s new paintings for July 2022

Hello, everyone, This is your pal Ted Harris and I have some new paintings I did. When I was in Cape May New Jersey I saw the beach and I was inspired to do these paintings when I came home.

Cape May beach, it has a blue sky and two dunes on both sides and a view of the ocean and there are clouds and the sun and a few seagulls flying
The beach at Cape May New Jersey
some dunes at Cape May, there are some beach plants and the sandy dunes and you see the ocean and there is a blue sky and clouds and the sun and a few seagulls
The dunes at Cape May

What I was up to this past July

I worked on a new episode of LIFE IN THE TED LANE and it is amazing, I also went to The Swarthmore 4th of July celebration and I enjoyed it and we saw fireworks, we also went to Cape May New Jersey and we went to the beach,

The next episode of LIFE IN THE TED LANE is coming soon and we hope you enjoy it, In the meantime, you can catch up on our adventures on the podcast app of your choice, or click the player below.

The Yuletide Cherries, a Winter's Tale Life In The Ted Lane

The Yuletide Cherries is a special episode to celebrate the winter holiday season. Lady Cleges and her faithful bard, Niko, have nothing to sustain them this Winter's Solstice night except good intentions. When Lady Cleges meditates underneath a tree and looks into the starry sky, wondrous things happen.  This audio fiction story is meant for all ages to enjoy together. Ted is learning audio editing as part of his job skills training with Merakey. When you review, comment, and share his podcast episodes, it encourages him to learn and practice more.  Thank you for listening. Story adapted by Ted Harris and Lindsay Harris Friel from The Tale of Sir Cleges and The Christmas CherriesMusic: Clear Air by Kevin McLeod Wedding in Asgard by Vincent Friel The Yuletide Cherries Theme by Vincent FrielEditing and sound design by Ted Harris with help from Lindsay Harris Friel Episode mastering by Vincent FrielHappy New Year from 6630 Productions! If you enjoyed this episode, please review it at Podchaser or Apple Podcasts. We'd love to know what you think. Learn more about us at 6630Productions.com, or contact us at info@6630Productions.com. Sound effects from Freesound.org include: Fireplace https://freesound.org/people/martats/sounds/138018/Lute music: https://freesound.org/people/f-r-a-g-i-l-e/sounds/506266/Party: https://freesound.org/people/certoipus/sounds/652036/Cork Pop: https://freesound.org/people/jewelconnor/sounds/533740/Cooking: https://freesound.org/people/aesqe/sounds/140453/Walking in snow: https://freesound.org/people/seenms/sounds/421617/Winter forest: https://freesound.org/people/klankbeeld/sounds/616231/Winter solstice night: https://freesound.org/people/daveincamas/sounds/65247/Winter night: https://freesound.org/people/bajko/sounds/378048/Peaceful Drone: https://freesound.org/people/mricken1/sounds/384388/Miracle Fantasy music: https://freesound.org/people/SergeQuadrado/sounds/655399/Snow walking: https://freesound.org/people/IDKAKF/sounds/554258/Gate: https://freesound.org/people/newlocknew/sounds/654525/Footsteps gravel: https://freesound.org/people/InspectorJ/sounds/345560/Creaky door https://freesound.org/people/kyles/sounds/451138/ Water splash https://freesound.org/people/InspectorJ/sounds/421184/ Woman laugh https://freesound.org/people/sagetyrtle/sounds/72353/ Talking people: https://freesound.org/people/szalonegacie/sounds/232174/
  1. The Yuletide Cherries, a Winter's Tale
  2. December: Holidays for All, Muppet Christmas Specials,
  3. Uncle Scary Ate October, November Still Has A Chance: Linvilla, Autism Masking and Jellybean
  4. Cape May, Mt Airy Art Garage, Larry West, Armani Williams, Missing Muppet Shows
  5. Philadelphia Zoo, Muppets past and present, Temple Grandin
  6. Mini Episode: Where have Ted and Lindsay been all this time?
  7. Episode Three: Disney and a new family member
  8. Episode One: Fonthill Castle, Henson Documentary, Autism and Community
  9. Episode Two: Roxborough, Muppet LEGO Figures, Ukraine Help

Ted’s new podcast, Vince’s musical adventure, and our new family member

It’s been a minute, hasn’t it? I need to get better about updates. What’s new at 6630 Productions? In no particular order…

Ted’s Podcast: Life in The Ted Lane

Ted’s new podcast, Life In The Ted Lane, is a hit! The show has over 111 downloads in the first month. Plus, listeners wrote some great reviews on Podchaser.

Five Stars! Excellent job by ted with his sister Lindsay. I live in the area of the Mercer Museum and Fonthill castle, and have never been to either. After listening to ted's podcast, I am very interested in checking out these places of history right in my neighborhood. I look forward to hearing many more of Ted's adventures.

As of today, Life In The Ted Lane has been downloaded in ten countries, including Luxembourg and Iceland!

You can listen to Ted’s show at the Buzzsprout website, on Ted Harris’ Art Page, or wherever you find your podcasts.

Vince’s Musical Adventure: Marooned Tunes

Vince has started recording new episodes for Season 2 of Marooned Tunes. The new season has some science fiction adventures that could really anger a large religious institution, so maybe our castaways will get rescued after all (so they can bet tossed in Brain Prison?). Now’s a good time to catch up on any episodes you may have missed.

Listen to Marooned Tunes on Libsyn, or the podcast dispenser of your choice. Thanks to the new analytics features at Apple Podcasts Connect, we know that one person listened to Episode 5 thirty-four times. I’m not going to shame anyone with the screenshots. And no, Apple doesn’t have location data for that listener. We’re all going to have to live with the mystery. Unless, of course, they contact us at info@6630Productions and let us know.

I hope it’s a graduate student writing a thesis on The Pretty Things so someday I can read it.

Thirty-four times. If you’re going to do that, why not thirty-five?

Meet The Newest Partner of 6630 Productions

Symone is a four-legged antidepressant.

Yes, she’s a Siberian Husky, she’s four years old, and the vet wants her to put on ten pounds. She has a lifetime of experience running, snuggling, changing directions, tugging on toys, shedding, sniffing out treasures, and snoozing. Favorite hobbies include being a picky eater and chasing the cats. We were very fortunate that Vince walked into the Montgomery County SPCA on the right day at the right time. ADOPT, DON’T SHOP. Thousands of dogs and cats need you.

What’s Next for 6630?

We’re going to keep churning out delicious podcast content for you, as well as:

  • Building puppets
  • Writing puppet shows
  • Planning Uncle Scary’s Halloween Special
  • Training Symone to ride a unicycle!
  • And so much more!

Stay tuned, folks.

What’s new at 6630? Part X of N

It’s been a minute, hasn’t it? 6630 Productions has new podcasts, new visual art, and we’re trying to get new attitudes. Here are some of our latest projects.

Marooned Tunes

Vince Friel was checking out the garage sale section of REI. While trying on a pair of those nifty hiking slacks with zippers on the legs in the fitting room, he accidentally fell through a dimensional gateway. He woke up on a deserted island, somewhere in the South Pacific (maybe). Fortunately, not only does the island have a full podcast recording studio, an extensive library of vinyl record albums, and an unpredictable wi-fi connection, it also has his friends, Jennifer Carbin, Ruth Dubb, and Ian Williams. As we all know, when you’re stuck on a deserted tropical island with recording equipment and a lot of time on your hands, there’s only one thing to do. You make a podcast.

The first two episodes are available now, you can find them on Spotify and other podcast listening apps, or you can listen here:

BRIAN WILSON PRESENTS SMILE Marooned Tunes

It’s the 2000’s, and Brian Wilson is having a bit of a renaissance. With so much attention to Pet Sounds and the lives shows surrounding them, he decided to revisit the nadir of his career.  In 1966 “Smile” was to be to The Beach Boys what “Sgt. Pepper “was to the Beatles, an artistic statement and triumph, but it never happened. Due to drug use, mental collapse, and pushback from the record company and certain band members, Brian went into a tailspin that he could never pull out of.  In 2004 Brian Wilson, with the help of Van Dyke Parks and members of The Wondermints Wilson returned to Smile and completed it. Was it worth the wait? Listen and hear what we think.   The Writer: Lindsay Harris-Friel The Classical Musician: Ruth Dubb The Rock Guitarist: Vincent Friel The Pun Addict: Ian Williams And special guest star Symone the Wonderpup. Concept created by Vincent Friel and Brendan Carr.  Sound design, title music, and engineering by Vincent Friel. For more information, visit our website at https://6630productions.com/marooned-tunes Don't forget to use our Libsyn code M-A-R-O-O-N-E-D to get up to two months of free podcasting services, excellent audio, and unlimited bandwidth.https://libsyn.com/   If you enjoyed this show, write a review so we'll know what you think, and others will, too: RateThisPodcast.com/maroonedtunes. Copyright 2021-2022 6630 Productions https://signup.libsyn.com/?promo_code=MAROONED
  1. BRIAN WILSON PRESENTS SMILE
  2. KASENETZ-KATZ SINGING ORCHESTRAL CIRCUS & THE TURTLES PRESENT THE BATTLE OF THE BANDS
  3. Donald Fagen / The Nightfly
  4. XTC / SKYLARKING
  5. THE WHO – SELL OUT

I really hope he gets home soon.

Ted’s Art: Horror Business, Seasons of Gratitude, and more

Ted’s been a very busy bee this fall. His painting, “Jekyll and Hyde,” was part of the Horror Business show at Mt. Airy Art Garage.

Ted Harris and his painting, "Jekyll & Hyde," in the juried exhibition Horror Business at Mt. Airy Art Garage, Philadelphia, PA.
Ted Harris and his painting, “Jekyll & Hyde,” in the juried exhibition Horror Business at Mt. Airy Art Garage, Philadelphia, PA.

He donated some paintings to the silent auction for Merakey’s 18th annual “Leading The Way” awards gala. The theme was Seasons of Gratitude.

Ted and one of the paintings he donated for Merakey's 18th annual gala and silent auction.
Ted and one of the paintings he donated for Merakey’s 18th annual gala and silent auction.

Right now, he’s working on some paintings for a private commission. You can still buy his art on t-shirts, mugs, and more at our Teepublic store.

What’s Lindsay been up to?

I just seem okay. I’ve got as much pandemic trauma as the rest of us. I’ve been coping with a lot of audio books, learning Norwegian on Duolingo, and learning to knit socks. I’m slowly and carefully working on the second season of ADWIT, The Audio Drama Writers’ Toolkit. Really. I promise I am.

In fact, I might have a little bit of a book problem. I went completely nuts and joined Literati over the summer. I’m in Austin Kleon’s “Read Like An Artist” book club, and honestly can’t keep up with the pace. Not only do I like between two libraries, I also live within walking distance of Ivy Ridge Books, a lovingly curated used and vintage book store with a generous take-a-book-leave-a-book selection on its front porch. Plus, there are more little free libraries around here than I can shake a stick at. I might have to start posting book reviews so I can make my habit have use for others, instead of just piles around my house.

I knit a lot of hats and scarves, but I wanted to develop the skills to knit something that’s useful for more of the year and doesn’t take up much room. Plus, if you make a pair of socks for someone, and they appreciate the thought, even if it’s not perfect, they can still wear them without embarrassing themselves in public. Crazy Sock Lady is the only person who has been able to explain sock knitting to me in a way that made sense.

I started with DK weight sock yarn and size 4 needles. This is bigger than recommended, but easier for me to see the stitches. Result: one giant prototype sock that could probably fit a T-Rex. That’s okay, though. Mission somewhat accomplished. Then I tried again, with a couple of balls of Knit Picks’ Felici and a nickel plated fixed circular needle. Voilá:

My first pair of hand-knit socks, in Knit Picks’ Felicia. The color way is called Vampire Vibes.

Socks! They’re big and flawed and beautiful and I love them, and I learned a lot and now I can make more.

So, now I have a sock problem and a book problem. My grandmother could read and knit at the same time, holding a paperback open on her lap while knitting. I have to figure out how to do that.

Or, maybe I should get back to writing another audio drama podcast?

if you’ve made it all the way to the end, thank you. Listen to Marooned Tunes, and let us know what you think.

Tell me if you’ve heard this one.

A large headed man with a halo, The Apostle Paul by Aidan Hart
The Apostle Paul by Aidan Hart

There’s a joke that’s been coming back in my mind for a while, now. I can’t remember the details, and it makes me crazy. I don’t know if it’s a joke, or one of those academic urban legends, or both. Here’s what I can remember.

Students in a theology course at a prestigious university spread a rumor amongst themselves. The rumor was that the class was very difficult, requiring a lot of reading and study, but the final exam was easy, provided you had some inside information. It was rumored that the exam was only one question, a long essay, and the question was, “describe and explain the life and times of the Apostle Paul.” This was a lot of information, true. But if you were ready for it, you could narrow down a ton of your studying, and sail through the course.

finalsSo far, the rumor had turned out to be true. For many years, the students came in, sat down, and were presented with the final exam question: describe the life and times of the Apostle Paul. Students told their friends, “dude, you gotta take this class, it’s not totally easy but you really only have to know this one concept for the final, you can sleep through all the lectures on whatever else.”

Finally, one year, the professor who taught the course got wind of the rumor. When the students came in for the exam, they were provided one essay question.

“Explain the existence of God. Cite examples. Use both sides of the paper if necessary.”

The students stared in disbelief. They hadn’t prepared for anything resembling this. Some of the students walked out immediately. A few tried to scribble out a haphazard answer, before shuffling up to the front of the room and sheepishly putting their papers on the professor’s desk. One student, however, did something different. The student started at the question for a long time, then started writing. The scratching of the student’s pencil was slow at first, but gradually it gained speed, in the way that comes from confidence. The student carefully filled both sides of the paper in small, neat handwriting, using proper paragraph and essay structure.

When the exam time was almost finished, the student brought the paper up to the front desk. By now the room was almost empty. No one was left but the professor and the lone student. The kid’s pencil was chewed down to a nub. The professor had stopped doing other work and had just watched the kid scribbling away, with a bit of amazement. No one else had even hung in there and tried to complete the exam.

“Listen,” said the prof, “You’re the only one who hung in there and took this exam seriously. I mean, there are a few half-hearted tries that were handed in, but nothing even came close to a reasonable exam answer. I’m giving you an A+ for the entire course.”

The student said, “You sure you don’t even want to read it?”

“I don’t have to,” said the professor. “Students like you are the reason I teach. Have a great summer.”

“Are you positive?”

“I’ve got my grade book right here. Look. A Plus. That’s ink. It’s done. Now go on, get out of here, so I can go home. Go play frisbee on the quad or something, you’ve earned it.”

(I heard this story in the 80s.)

The kid said, “Okay,” and skedaddled out of the room as quickly as possible.

The professor looked down at the paper, thinking about how he’d happily put an end to the rumor about his easy exam, and thought maybe this would mean he’d get good students next semester. Good students, like this kid. Right?

“Explain the existence of God. Cite examples. Use both sides of the paper if necessary.”

The kid ‘s opening paragraph read as follows.

“Who are we, as mere mortals, to explain the existence of God? Such hubris goes against everything we have learned this semester. Therefore, I will take this time to describe and explain the life and times of the Apostle Paul.”

It bugs me that I might not be telling this joke correctly. Maybe the message I’m taking away from this story is something I’ve mis-remembered and made up, not the real intention of the story. I’ve tried looking for it in theological humor message boards, academic humor message boards, so on and so forth. The punchline has been popping up in my head a lot lately. My friend Nick  and I were discussing this joke recently. I said I couldn’t figure out why it kept sticking to me. He suggested, “Write what you prepared, not what they demand. ”

Mme of Gloria Anzaldua that says, 'you should be writing."There’s more to it than that, but Nick summed it up pretty well. Lately I’ve been not writing as much. I worked on writing and rewriting Season 2 of Jarnsaxa Rising for about a year,  and now we’re in the editing and production stage. I’m feeling a little bit guilty right now for taking time away from doing dialogue assembly. The itch to write gets answered by the demon of doubt, saying, “who would want what you write?” And I worry a lot about writing what people want, as any playwright will tell you. After three or five or seven full-length plays, there’s only so much looking within you can do, without looking outside. With a social media infested world, by the time you get together enough information for a reasonable play idea, it’s become last year’s meme.

But, honestly, if you want to write about The Orville or incentives to recruit volunteer firefighters or Westworld or kitten season, it doesn’t really matter if someone else wrote about it first. As Kerouac said, “it ain’t what you write, it’s the way atcha write it.” Actually, I don’t know if he said that, but a friend of mine had a coffee cup with that quote on it attributed to him, and we both worked at Borders at the time, so it’s not too far-fetched.

So, why can’t I toss out a bunch of pop-culture observations, like R. Eric Thomas, and still write good plays, like R. Eric Thomas? Actually, these days I’m writing audio drama, but the reason for switching is a thorny one, and I’ll save that for another time.

So, anyway. My point is, does anyone remember this joke? Does anyone know anything about it? Am I getting the message correctly, or is the story something else? Am I mis-remembering The Three Little Pigs and thinking, “wow, the pig that built the house out of sticks was a genius?”

My other point is, I disagree with Joanna Robinson, I don’t think Terminator Dolores and Evil Young William are all that bad, because characters have to start out horrible for their eventual redemption to mean anything. But I like listening to Joanna Robinson.

Really, my point is, we should all be writing with fearlessness, and reading with fearlessness. Tennessee Williams used to write “Avanti!” at the top of the page when he started writing for the day.  Onward and upward.

 

 

 

 

 

Want to help us make a story?

Lathgertha_by_Morris_Meredith_WilliamsIn six days, Vince and I are going to take A Big Risk. We’re going to get on a plane (Vince hates flying) and go to Minneapolis, Minnesota. There we’re going to hand a script to a room full of people, most of whom I haven’t met (first-draft readings take a pint of my blood), and we’re going to read it, rehearse it, record it, and make a serial podcast out of it.

This is Jarnsaxa Rising.  Ancient Norse Gods use humans as pawns to battle each other. When an ancient giantess takes human form to engage in eco-terrorism, a corporate team tries to stop her, and learns who the real enemy is.

Vince testing our portable recording setup.
Vince testing our portable recording setup.

The script is stylistically different for me, in narrative and in craft. I’ve never written science fiction or fantasy before. Adjusting to audio drama is also new for me. Vince has done a lot of sound engineering and still experiments with it for fun. He’ll be performing all of the sound engineering and writing all of the music. We made a sketch comedy podcast episode to prove to ourselves we could do it. Now we’re getting involved with other people and going on a journey.

Carin Bratlie believed in me enough to produce Traveling Light years ago, and now we’re going to go take a leap of faith together again. She’s assembled a solid, smart cast, and she’ll be directing.

Now’s your chance to be part of our trip.

We are 14% funded on the Indiegogo campaign that will fund this project. The podcast will be produced and be available online for your listening pleasure this autumn, whether we reach our funding goal or not. As I write this, twenty-one people have said, “Hell, yes, I want to support this story.” You can join us.  

They say life is a bowl of cherries in Minneapolis.
They say life is a bowl of cherries in Minneapolis.

Right now I feel like my viscera is all clenched up in the center of my chest from excitement and anxiety. I’m rewriting the big final battle of the story, and I want to make everyone proud.

Things are looking up!

Georgia O'Keeffe, photographed by Alfred Steiglitz. Good things are happening.

I’m pleased to announce that Wide Open Spaces will be read as part of the Philadelphia Women’s Theatre Festival this summer!

Wide Open Spaces is the play that I wrote about Georgia O’Keeffe, and her personal changes that made her the painter we know today. It has forty-some odd characters played by eight performers, and takes place in one room and all across America over three years, so this is going to be a good experience. I’m really excited about this, and grateful that the festival coordinators see what I’ve seen in this story.

Philadelphia’s never had a theatre festival specializing in work created by women, before this year. Ms Fest at Plays & Players was a huge success, so the energy of supply and demand is high for a women’s theatre festival.  Currently, the PWTF is raising funds to make the festival happen, and you can support this project.  They have four days left to meet their fundraising goal, and donations are tax-deductible. 

I know so many people who complain at being left out of opportunities. There’s so much “they don’t want me because I’m too (x, y, z) for them” that I hear, and I want to be in a culture of saying “yes, and.”   This is one of those times where we can step up and build the sandbox in which we want to play.

Speaking of building your own sandbox, progress on Jarnsaxa Rising continues. In addition to the script, I’m working on “meet the artist” posts for the podcast’s blog. Every time I open up my e-mail, see the performers’ headshots and read their bios, I get all warm and giggly inside. This project is going to be Really Good.

And, of course, if science-fiction-fantasy podcasts are your thing, you can join us on the journey.

IMG_3686 And last night it rained, finally, so the garden is getting wild again. The red lilies are blooming and doubling and trebling, and the morning glory vine has started to fight with the lavender, but they’re no match for the mint, so I have to get in there and break up some of this battle.

 

 

Mint vs. Lavender vs. Morning Glories. QUIEN ES MAS MACHO?
Mint vs. Lavender vs. Morning Glories. QUIEN ES MAS MACHO?

 

 

 

Website Powered by WordPress.com.

Up ↑