Essay — Garden Pests

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Carpenter Country’s weekly dose-of-nature essays tend to reflect the beauty we see. That preference doesn’t mean we’re oblivious to other aspects of the natural world surrounding us, including those who recently turned the lush stand of four o’clocks into stalky skeletons of their former selves.

 

Image source: HL Carpenter

 

The culprits were not difficult to find.

Among the tattered floral remains we discovered tent caterpillars eager to become moths

Image source: HL Carpenter

 

and eastern lubber grasshoppers dedicated to producing another year’s infestation.

Image source: HL Carpenter

 

Yet even among the destruction, beauty survived, including this wild poinsettia, lover of sunlight and drought.

Image source: HL Carpenter

Do you see the world as it is?

*****

***** ABOUT THE AUTHOR *****

HL Carpenter is a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit Carpenter Country at hlcarpenter.com.

*****

Posted in Essays Tagged with: ,

Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 73

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JACK AND THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
by HL Carpenter
ISBN: 978-0-9884095-1-4
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-9884095-0-7
Copyright (c) 2012 by Top Drawer Ink Corp.

*****

Continued from Audio Installment 72
(New here? Choose an installment or start at the beginning)

 

Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 73

***

Read along with us!
Below is the text version of the audio.
(Show notes are beneath the text.)

 

Nessa ended her conversation and lowered her phone.

“Is everything all right?” Jack asked again.

“Yes, the baby’s doing fine and so is Cori. She wanted me to know Hurricane Lulu is gathering speed and is expected to make landfall in a few hours. Everyoung’s in for a rough time. I need to secure the greenhouse, like Sheriff Garrison said. But it’s too late to have the tree in the driveway taken care of.”

“Is Cori coming home?”

“No. I told her to stay at the hospital with Holly. They’ll be safe there.”

“You are going to be here alone?”

“I’ll be fine.”

Red splotches crept across her cheeks. She’d had the same reaction when he’d first asked her about the identity of Moran Tennies.

“Are you sure?”

“Once I roll down the metal sheeting that covers the glass panels, I’ll get supplies from the house and stay in here with Harey.”

She hadn’t directly answered his question.

“Your aunt is probably worried about you,” she said. “Does she live around here?”

*****

SHOW NOTES

We’re new to the Audacity, the sound program we use for our audio recordings, and to sound effects in general. These are our thoughts on the current episode.

Recording. We recorded this segment in one take, after three practice runs with the microphone off.

Technical. The background noise was higher than usual during this week’s recording. We stood closer to the microphone, and the technical adjustments worked as usual, so the recording is in line with ACX requirements for audio books.

Comments. We listen to audio books in between recordings to learn what works and what doesn’t work (to our ears). We are currently listening to a romance that we’re finding hard listening to because the narrator’s voice does not seem to fit the story. There’s a wide gap between voicing a character and BEING that character. Leaping that chasm is difficult and yet would be simple — if we could only escape the bounds of ingrained inhibition and unleash the actor within.

Story changes. Minor changes to the written version this week. The sentence structure and words mostly worked well in the switch from text to audio.

*****

***** ABOUT THE AUTHOR *****

HL Carpenter is a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit Carpenter Country at hlcarpenter.com.

Fiction by HL Carpenter:

Jack and The Fountain of Youth. Some people say the Fountain of Youth is a myth. Jack Ponsi Dileonardo Thomas knows better.

The SkyHorse. Fourteen year old Tovi thinks finding a flying horse is fabulous luck–until a mysterious stranger says finders aren’t always keepers.

Dream Stealer. Is stealing a dream better than losing your own?

Walled In. When her father is accused of fraud, seventeen year old Vandy Spencer discovers her entire life has been built on a heart-shattering deception.

Pirate Summer. When her brother disappears, Josey is sure she knows where he’s gone. And the only way to bring him home is to travel two hundred years into the past with a boy she can’t trust.

A Cause for Murder. Someone at Happy Haven is a killer. Septuagenarian sleuth Emma Twiggs navigates madcap mayhem, multiple mysteries, and murderous motives to discover who has a cause for murder.

*****

Posted in Fiction, Jack Tagged with: , , , ,

Essay – Clearing the clutter

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Some days the path ahead is cluttered with debris.

 

Image source: HL Carpenter

 

And some days the debris is bagged and ready for disposal.

 

Image source: HL Carpenter

 

Are you clearing the clutter from your life?

 

*****

***** ABOUT THE AUTHOR *****

HL Carpenter is a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit Carpenter Country at hlcarpenter.com.

*****

Posted in Essays Tagged with: ,

Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 72

Thanks for sharing this!

JACK AND THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
by HL Carpenter
ISBN: 978-0-9884095-1-4
Ebook ISBN: 978-0-9884095-0-7
Copyright (c) 2012 by Top Drawer Ink Corp.

*****

Continued from Audio Installment 71
(New here? Choose an installment or start at the beginning)

 

Jack and The Fountain of Youth — Audio Installment 72

***

Read along with us!
Below is the text version of the audio.
(Show notes are beneath the text.)

 

What had Bradley done anyway? Nessa would tell him if he asked, but he’d rather she brought it up herself. He didn’t want her to think he intended to write the story for the Pryer.

And there was still the question of whether Bradley’s upcoming release was tied to the tip the Pryer had received. Who was the source anyway?

He set the jar on the desk, took out his phone and called Tia Bella. She didn’t answer, but her voice mail picked up. Once he started talking, he couldn’t stop. He left a long rambling message, telling her everything, including his fears about dying as soon as they reversed the spell. He had to call three times, because the service kept cutting him off.

After he disconnected the last time, he stood for a moment. The low battery light on his phone glowed softly. He needed his aunt to call him back, and quickly. But the phone was silent. He put it in his pocket and went to the office doorway.

*****

SHOW NOTES

We’re new to the Audacity, the sound program we use for our audio recordings, and to sound effects in general. These are our thoughts on the current episode.

Recording. We recorded this segment in two takes, after three practice runs with the microphone off.

Technical. We’ve been experimenting with recording at different times of the day. Mornings are usually quietest at our studio.

Comments. We’ve been listening to audio books and notice that some narrators use breath inhalations to enhance the recording. We tend to have excess mouth noise, and the inhalations get edited out along with the noises.

Story changes. No changes to the written version this week. The sentence structure and words worked well in the switch from text to audio.

*****

***** ABOUT THE AUTHOR *****

HL Carpenter is a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit Carpenter Country at hlcarpenter.com.

Fiction by HL Carpenter:

Jack and The Fountain of Youth. Some people say the Fountain of Youth is a myth. Jack Ponsi Dileonardo Thomas knows better.

The SkyHorse. Fourteen year old Tovi thinks finding a flying horse is fabulous luck–until a mysterious stranger says finders aren’t always keepers.

Dream Stealer. Is stealing a dream better than losing your own?

Walled In. When her father is accused of fraud, seventeen year old Vandy Spencer discovers her entire life has been built on a heart-shattering deception.

Pirate Summer. When her brother disappears, Josey is sure she knows where he’s gone. And the only way to bring him home is to travel two hundred years into the past with a boy she can’t trust.

A Cause for Murder. Someone at Happy Haven is a killer. Septuagenarian sleuth Emma Twiggs navigates madcap mayhem, multiple mysteries, and murderous motives to discover who has a cause for murder.

*****

Posted in Fiction, Jack Tagged with: , , , ,

Essay — Storming our way

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We wrote a book about a hurricane, and now, like our fictional hero in Jack and The Fountain of Youth, we are waiting to learn in what direction a potentially devastating storm will turn.

And yet … here’s the view in Carpenter Country as of Friday afternoon. The sky is blue.

Image source: HL Carpenter

 

The Spanish moss hangs motionless.

Image source: HL Carpenter

 

The hummingbird moth flits through the plumbago.

Image source: HL Carpenter

 

Surrounded by such peace, we might be tempted to believe the danger does not exist … but we are not.

 

Because we have been forewarned, this is the view of the window of the Carpenter Country studio as of Friday afternoon.

Image source: HL Carpenter

 

Have you prepared for what tomorrow may bring?

 

*****

***** ABOUT THE AUTHOR *****

HL Carpenter is a Florida-based mother/daughter duo who writes family-friendly fiction from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, the Carpenters enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit Carpenter Country at hlcarpenter.com.

*****

Posted in Essays