Topic: Audio

Author Reading: A Moment of Pure Truth 1

I took inspiration for A Moment of Pure Truth from a story in Smithsonian about an albino redwood found deep in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park in California. It seemed like a gift from God; an expression of nature pure and good.

I spent a week in the redwoods around Crescent City, Calif. as a teen. I never saw an albino redwood, yet it never mattered because the tall trees filled me with awe and inspiration. I suppose if I came upon an albino tree I never would have left the forest.

I tried to capture that feeling in my story about a settlement conference referee who finds his job a bit underwhelming. He seeks reverence and meaning. I tried to capture his joy at seeing the albino redwood.

Here is my author reading of my short story A Moment of Pure Truth.

Audio Recording of the Gift of the Magi 0

Audio Recording of the Gift of the MagiThis audio recording of the Gift of the Magi relates a timeless short story of a young married couple and how they learn the true meaning of Christmas. In the story, a delightful surprise awaits them when they face the challenge of buying secret Christmas gifts for each other with very little money.

Some people call the Gift of the Magi corny. I think it is sentimental and shows the true meaning of the Christmas season. Besides, this audio recording of the Gift of the Magi is for kids.

I performed this at the West Texas Opry along with my rendition of Stubby Pringle’s Christmas. I enjoy performing the rhythm of a good story in front of an audience and it has helped in my writing.

I’m selling this audio recording of the Gift of the Magi and a portion of my sales goes to the Las Vegas Academy of the Arts. I have had the pleasure of visiting this campus and seeing all of the wonderful things they do for music and performance arts. The Academy is a 12-time Grammy winning public performing arts high school in Downtown Las Vegas. The funds from this sale will go to things like theater upgrades, a new recording studio, a new piano lab, new dance floors, equipment for the Academy print shop, new instruments, and upgrades to the library.

This is one of those short stories I’m sure O’Henry (William Sydney Porter’s pen name) wrote in a quick moment when he was writing for The New York Sunday World newspaper. Sometimes the best stories are the ones we rattle off quick.

Like most of O’Henry’s works, this story contains a simple parable, which is why most people find it quaint and corny. No matter. It’s a great story.

I tried to capture in this audio recording of the Gift of the Magi the same warmth as I’m sure Mr. Porter felt as he was writing it. The story is a nice way to kick off a holiday party or put others in the spirit of the season.

You can see my auction on Ebay here.

Into Hagerman 0

Water leaked out of the cliff forming a irrigation waterfall from the alfalfa, potato, and corn fields north of Hagerman. The photographers pushed off from the shore in a long boat headed toward the island in the middle of the Snake River.

The mayflies rose up in the spring sun darting around the passengers. A single fly landed on Tom’s cheek. He brushed it away in a casual sweep. He pulled his green hat down as the boat skied across the water.

A few yards from the island the boat slowed. On its starboard, a group of nesting grebes rested in the water lilies. The birds dipped below the water in an uncomfortable dance of avoiding the boat and protecting their nests. Tom lined up the birds taking closeups of the water nests with his Nikon. The boat slid across the water with the current. Soon, it reached the island and the passengers climbed onto the shore.

The island covered in cottonwoods seemed primordial. Wisps of grass hung from the bottom of the trees. The air carried a distinctive muddy smell. And then the prize; hidden among the trees hundreds of Great Blue Herons made their nests.

Each bird stood stoic among the lower branches hidden as sticks. Their eyes bubbled out from their beaks. But otherwise, they stood still.

The photographers took time to capture each bird. They stood silent too. Tom framed up the hidden bird until the light lit up only its face between the limbs. He slowly squeezed down on the shutter. The film advanced through the camera and the bird shuddered. Tom felt the shudder and let out his breath. Then the melancholy of the birds became too great. Tom gathered up his camera and walked to the boat. He took a last look back at the island, then the boat slid back across the water toward the far shore.