Friday, June 17, 2016

Fiddling While Books Signed: Tomorrow!

Tomorrow, Saturday, June 18, I will be signing copies of A BUSS FROM LAFAYETTE from 3-5 p.m. at the Manchester Barnes and Noble, 1741 South Willow Street, Manchester, NH 03103. (This is a Book Fair fundraiser for the Manchester Library.) Come buy a book, have it signed, and help support the library! My "Fiddlers Two", Sienna and Sara Larson, will be there with me, playing period tunes from my 1825 story!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Homages to Hamilton the Musical

More Homages to Hamilton!

Here are my latest in my "homages to Hamilton", which I am tweeting one couplet at a time. (These are rough approximations of the rhythm of the verses to "My Shot".)

Young Lafayette had dinner with the Brit King’s Bro
Who told him the Americans were “good to go”.

 When Lafayette learned of our fight for liberty
A flame was set alight inside the young marquis.

Forbidden by the King as well as family
To risk his life and fortune quite so recklessly.

They sent him off to England just to change his mind
He met King George and Clinton and was wined and dined.

But Our Marquis, undaunted, and his mind unchanged
Returned to France and bought a boat as pre-arranged.

And when the King proclaimed him subject to arrest
He sneaked aboard his boat and headed to the west.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Hooking up to HAMILTON 1

I know that many, many kids love "Hamilton the Musical" as much as adults do. That means many, many kids have been introduced to the "Lancelot of the Revolutionary Set", Lafayette. Therefore, I've started writing tweets about A Buss from Lafayette based on the songs from this wonderful, Tony-winning, tremendously original show.

Here are the first two (unfortunately, I can only do two lines per tweet, which is frustrating). Each is posted with a picture of the Buss cover and with the #HamiltonMusical hashtag. : )

I love writing verse (as per my Izzy Elf books), with end and internal rhymes, so I think this endeavor will be lots of fun!

* * *
(Based on "My Shot")

A dusty old's...NOT
Concerning the War's...Lance...LOT

Just wait'll you hear. . .the. . .PLOT
 (A story for teens. . .it's. . .HOT!)

Hope you Hamilton Lovers out there will enjoy these!



Sunday, June 12, 2016

Book Signing Today! (Sunday, June 12)

I'll be at the Barnes and Noble in Nashua, NH today from 3-5 signing copies of A BUSS FROM LAFAYETTE! Come join the fun!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Attacking Vikings in Illinois (Part 2)

Many people probably saw newspaper articles based on the press release I put in my last post about the Viking ship coming down the Illinois River in early September, 1966. They probably thought "Hmm, interesting," and left it at that.

Not my dad.

Instead, Dad set up a line of spies - his patients - quite a few miles up the river to keep him posted on the approach of the marauding Vikings.

It wasn't until mysterious phone calls started coming in that my younger sister,  Carolyn. and I got an inkling of what Dad was up to.

Carolyn was about to start her freshman year of college, and I was about to head off for my senior year, so we were pretty cool.   That coolness was challenged when Dad came into the kitchen that morning.

His spy network had reported that the Dread Vikings had been sighted not far up the river, "They just passed under the bridge at Henry," etc., and would arrive in our waters within a few hours.

It was perfectly obvious to Dad that we needed to dress up like Pirates, climb aboard The Shiloh, and attack the Vikings.

Well, as I mentioned before, Carolyn and I were cool college girls: way too cool for something like that!

Our older brother wasn't home at that time, and our younger sisters had already begun the high school semester so they were exempt from this adventure. Our musician mom had already left for a rehearsal in Peoria, so she was not going to be drafted into the whirlwind, either.

The phone rang again, but this time it was a report that one of Dad’s OB patients was in labor. She was a first time mother, so it appeared that Dad wouldn't be back in time to attack anybody. As he got ready to leave for the hospital in a most disappointed manner, Carolyn and I felt reprieved: surely he would not be back in time to make us do this totally uncool thing!

As he went out the door, however, Dad said , “All right, girls, I expect you to carry on in the Johnson tradition.”

From left to right: my mother and my younger sister, Carolyn!
What could we do? We HAD to attack those Vikings!

We called Jack Weber, the local funeral director and the only guy in  town who knew how to drive Dad’s boat, and whom neither of us had ever met., and called a couple of other women to fill out the pirate crew.

Me and my fierce Pirate Dog, Mogie, ready to attack!
It was only then that we started blacking out our teeth and painting on mustaches etc. to look suitably piratical.

Just before we left for the boat, however, both Dad and Mom got back to the house and donned pirate garb - Dad painting a really effective scar on his chest, as I remember.  We went down to The Shiloh, hoisted the Jolly Roger, and were off to defend Chillicothe against the Viking menace!

Oops! Wrong Place!

 Oops. I just found out that the June 18th book signing I will do in Manchester, NH will be at the Manchester Barnes and Noble Store, NOT the Manchester Library!

There will be costumes, book "artifacts", fiddling, and more!

Come join the fun!

! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
On Saturday, June 18, I will be signing books at the Manchester Barnes and Noble Store from 3-5 pm, 1741 South Willow Street,  Manchester, NH 03103. (This is a Book Fair fundraiser for the  Manchester Library.) Come buy a book, have it signed, and help support the library! Here’s a link to their website for more information: Manchester Barnes & Noble.

Come join us!



Sunday, June 5, 2016

Attacking Vikings in Illinois (Part I)

I’m taking a little break from writing about writing fiction or poetry, in order to talk about something that actually happened fifty years ago.

First I have to give you some background on my family. My dad was a family doctor in a small Illinois town. Our house was on the Illinois River, and my dad, an avid sailor, had a gaff-rigged 37 foot ketch. Dad had bought it from one of his patients, who had built it.  This sailboat was called the Shiloh because it had been “a hell of a battle to build.”

The Illinois River was not an ideal place to sail such a vessel, and we got stuck in the mud nearly every time we tried.  Dad would then get out of the boat to haul it out of the mud, looking very much like Humphrey Bogart in “The African Queen.”

My father was always coming up with ideas for adventures that we five Johnson kids noticed didn’t seem to occur to other kids’ dads . But the greatest adventure he ever dreamed up involved attacking a Viking ship on the high seas of the Illinois River off the coast of Chillicothe, Illinois.

It was August, 1966, and a department store in St. Louis wanted to promote the fact it was going to start selling Scandinavian products.  As a publicity stunt, they found a half-sized replica of a real Viking boat, and hired a crew of men from Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland. The newspapers told how they were going to sail down from Chicago to St. Louis on the Illinois River. This was so long ago that the press release for this event was not xeroxed.  Not e-mailed. Not scanned. Not posted online.

As an introduction, I am now scanning and posting said press release online. Right here, right now:

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Techie Learning Curve for the Day. Posting Audio on Blogger: Check!

So I've been trying to figure out how to post the actual audio recording of my May 12 interview on Citywide Blackout, WEMF Radio, with Max Bowen and Gina House.

It turns out that all I needed was a "go-between" mechanism. I used the one called SoundCloud, and the rest was easy peasy.

Here it is:

Dorothea Jensen WEMF Citywide Blackout Radio Interview, May 12, 2016

Now on to my next blog post idea: searching through hundreds, maybe thousands, of pictures to find some shots of the time my sister, father, mother, and I dressed up as pirates, boarded a "pirate ship," and attacked some Vikings that were marauding down our river. In 1966. I'm not making this up.

It might take awhile.


(AKA Dorothea Jensen)

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Audio Book in the Works!

After I read the opening of my story on the recent radio broadcast, I realized that I really enjoyed doing this. With the equipment advice of my professional sound and film editor son, "Hawk Jensen", I now have everything I need to do this myself.

I asked my publisher about this, and they gave me a green light! So exciting. The only down side is that in my experience, reading something aloud is the best way to stumble across bits that need to be fixed.  Oh well, I will try to contain my Editing Instinct and focus on my Dramatic Side.

It will probably take me most of the summer to accomplish this, then BQB Publishing will post it for sale on ACX and other audio book websites. I hope that teachers and parents will find this useful in the classroom and at home!

Must go "vocalize!" (How's THAT for pretentious???)



P.S. I have not yet figured out how to upload audio to this blog, but you would like to listen to the WEMF broadcast, it is on the front page of Click here!

June 18 Booksigning in Manchester, NH! Come join the fun

On Saturday, June 18, I will be signing books at the Manchester Barnes and Noble Store from 3-5 pm, 1741 South Willow Street,  Manchester, NH 03103. (This is a Book Fair fundraiser for the  Manchester Library.) Come buy a book, have it signed, and help support the library! Here’s a link to their website for more information: Manchester Barnes & Noble. There will be costumes, book "artifacts", fiddling, and more!

Come join us!