Spring 2018

Hi friends

Well, that was a long winter. The last patch of snow melted and driving back from a friend's house last night we heard the spring peepers, who have been waiting themselves to make sure it was safe. Blueberry bushes pruned, raspberry canes trimmed, Debbie's seedlings are growing and I'm waiting for the arrival of a couple packages of bees (mine didn't make it through the winter), so spring must be here.

Our trip to India

Debbie and I had an amazing trip to India, where I really enjoyed working at the American International School of Chennai, meeting librarians from around the globe, and then traveling south through Tamil Nadhu, visiting beach towns, colonial cities, and amazing temples. The people were amazing; the experience was overwhelming. If you're interested in reading some of my notes, you can see them here. And see a slideshow below. Thanks to Kirsten Welbes, Jeremy Willette and everyone else who made us feel so welcome.

Weedpatch update

The other big event was the premier of "Weedpatch" by the North Cambridge Family Opera, the opera I wrote with Paul Phillips. It was a really wonderful production and we feel lucky that we actually completed a theater piece that was performed. Now, our mission is to find other companies that are interested and fine-tune the whole show.

On the Road

I've just finished up a series of shows in Indiana, Ohio and Missouri, including "Father's Daze" the show I do with Bil Lepp and Don White. We'll be getting together in June - Father's Day weekend - for three shows in Massachusetts. Check out my calendar to see everywhere I'll be in May and June. A bunch of fun shows coming up!

Further Adventures of Charlie

I'm putting the finishing touches on the last Charlie Bumpers book, "Charlie Bumpers vs. the Jerzollies of Darkness", which will come out Spring 2019. The Gamm Theater, which adapted the first Charlie book for a family audience, is working on the adaptation of the second book, Charlie Bumpers vs. the Really Nice Gnome, which will premier at The Gamm Theater in October and travel to the Rhode Island Festival of Children's Books and Authors at Lincoln School in Providence. It's all pretty great but also a little sad that Charlie is leaving fourth grade, and my computer, but I'm excited about the new book I'm writing and making good progress on. More on that soon, I hope.

New Video in the Works

Following the making of the great video for "Wash Your Hands/ Lavate Las Manos" by Rhode Island Public Television we'll be working with them in May on another video for my song "Everyone's A Little Bit Different", which should be a hoot. RIPBS is excited about presenting this song and its message of the value of diversity. I'm just happy to be working with them again. Listen to the song here!

Books

I've been reading a bunch of children's literature lately, and have fallen in love with the Amulet series - great story and really wonderfully illustrated, and also Kate DiCamillo's Raymie Nightingale (she did it again!). I'm also just finishing The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas - a really moving and gripping YA story about race and police brutality. It's one of those YA books that really is for everyone - highly recommended. I'm completely entranced with Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing's book The Mushroom at the End of the World about the mysterious and wonderful matsutake mushroom, which seems to have the ability to restore the places we've broken. Of course, the book is about more than mushrooms, but it's got me thinking the earth is doing what it can to clean up the mess we've made. I want to mention that, because of our trip to India, I reread Amitav Ghosh's wonderful Sea of Poppies, and the follow up- River of Smoke - is on my "read soon" list. It's a big, sprawling and beautifully written book about the poppy trade in India and China in the 19th century. Just a great read. What are you reading? Let us know.

I made a kayak!

I also want to mention that I went to Annapolis last week to build a sea kayak at the Chesapeake Light Craft headquarters.

Here I am hard at work-

And here is the finished product-

Hope you all are doing something that feeds your soul.

Fondly,

Round River Productions
301 Jacob St
Seekonk, MA 02771
508-336-9703
www.billharley.com
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