Narrator Spotlight – Meghan Kelly on Eargasms Audiobook Reviews

“I believe both creating a very intriguing story to listen to AS WELL AS the production being top notch are vitally important! “ – Meghan Kelly

When I met Meghan Kelly through ACX [Aubible], It was love at first listen.

If you are interested in turning your Amazon book into an audiobook, you can post your title on ACX.com. Once it’s live on the site, finding your voice artist is like a virtual dating game…

Voice artists may send authors auditions or authors can scour through voice artist profiles listening to their sample files. When I first set-up my ACX account, I didn’t think that the gender of the artist would matter. Boy was I wrong! (ha ha) After listening to lots of voice samples, I realized that there were HUGE differences…in performance, the overall vibe of the voice and in the recording quality. I had just begun to create a list of artists to contact when Meghan e-mailed her audition file. Was it a fated sign from the cosmos that the best voice I could possibly imagine for Haylee just turned up…or was it just simple luck?

Her professionalism made working long distance seem effortless. The quality of the final product is something we are both proud of.

The day that she sent over chapter proofs is a day that will linger in my memory. Hearing my words…with HER beautiful, sultry, sexy and animated voice….made me laugh (in sheer delight!) until tears were streaming down my face. I felt a little like Cyrano de Bergerac.

Little Flower – A Home with a Heart and a Resource for Parents

According to the Nevada County Economic Resource Council, “Nevada County boasts the greatest number of charter schools per capita in California.” http://ncerc.org/nevada-county-education/

Choices are a good thing…but too many are overwhelming, especially for first-time parents trying to decide where to send their children to school. Preschool is often the place where parents sort that out.

I first met Jessica Geoffroy-Druding in 2005 when our oldest sons were in strollers.  Even then,  she and her husband Pat were in the habit of strengthening community ties by inviting interesting mixes of people to gatherings at their home.Druding Family 2007 WEB

Jessica and I would often discuss the topic of school choices at length as I had many questions. Jessica, on the other hand, was already sure that Yuba River Charter School was where her children would go because she had been educated in the Waldorf system herself. Jessica’s mother, Carolyn Geoffroy, was a Waldorf Early Childhood Educator for 30 + years.

When her second child arrived and the economy put her husband’s job into a tenuous situation, the smart and spunky mother took matters into her own hands by creating a career path out of her loving home environment – Little Flower Preschool. It didn’t  take long for word-of-mouth to spread about the sweet preschool for young children.  In it’s third year of operation, Little Flower is at full enrollment with a healthy sized waiting list.

IMG_3449web“ I finally understood why my mother did what she did,” says Jessica. “Holding a wholesome beginning for the early years is so important. “ At her Waldorf  inspired preschool they don’t rush into academics. “We focus on rhythms and routines,” Jessica comments. She also works to create opportunities for families to connect by organizing parent social evenings and bringing in community child care professionals to provide education on topics such as sleep and health.

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“Just because Little Flower follows much of the Waldorf style, I don’t automatically assume that Yuba River Charter School is the right choice for all of my families. Based on their personalities, I can usually point them to the school that would be a good fit for them,” says Druding.IMG_3445web

Knowing that your child is in a safe, loving environment  while you work makes for a more mentally focused day. But also having a trusted expert that you can talk to about child rearing issues is an invaluable resource for the entire family.

Contact Information:

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Jessica Geoffroy-Druding
littleflowergv@gmail.com
(530) 272-2952, Grass Valley, CA
www.littleflowerpreschool.com

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A Golden Nugget – Penney the Clown

It was an afternoon that I spent running errands with my 8 year old. Little did I expect to find gold. At the Briar Patch we saw a cute face painter working in the outdoor seating area.

In costume, Penney the Clown, breezily transforms a little boy into a lion, while chatting casually with his folks.  Once he is done, he proudly prances around the patio roaring while his brother gets a matching treatment; mom is painted with eye accents that color coordinate with both of her boys. What a fun picture they make together!

Wow…she’s very good!  And fast, I think.  As my son awaits his turn in Penney’s chair, I scan through face painting images on one of my Pintrest Boards.

I am a fan of body painters. This art form, when done well, is spectacular, delicate…and fleeting. I am thrilled to watch this woman work. Her talent is right up there with some of the best that I have seen.

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Penney (or Alison Kenyon as her day-to-day self) begins to change my son from a boy into a goblin. We visit as she sponges and paints. I tell her that I admire the face painting on the technical support team at SmugMug – they appear as comic book characters on their website – she pauses briefly to respond, “Oh I did those!”

I feel as if I have discovered, yet another, gold nugget in my own back yard. This woman is an accomplished fine art body painter. She won the International Face and Body Art competition in San Francisco in 2004. Her work regularly takes her to corporate and theatrical events in the Bay Area.

She is a star – yet she hangs out in front of the Briar Patch – and this award winning artist cheerfully transforms our children into anything that they can imagine.

Next time I plan a party or event, you can bet she’ll be on the top of my list. Nevada County is such a great place to live!

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Frequently asked questions about body painting on Alison’s Body Masterpiece website.

With such a dramatic goblin face, we had to got out and celebrate with a root beer float.

 

Psychic Web Marketing – Katrina Thompson

Born with psychic abilities, Katrina Thompson vividly remembers moments (when she was about nine) laying awake and seeing a series of kind faces…people she didn’t know. They didn’t frighten her; they were just there.  Eventually she would think, that was interesting – then she’d go to sleep.08 kat 3

Years later, as an adult, Katrina had an experience that led her to the realization that mediumship could function as a form of healing. While doing a tarot reading,  she was asked a question that the cards could not possibly answer…yet the answers came quite clearly. Following their direction Katrina, connected with a loving person in spirit who gave personal information and solace to her client.

One bereaved widow comments, “When I first lost my husband, it felt like a physical wound. Katrina helped stop the bleeding.”

Although her life and work were not devoted to using psychic abilities, Katrina always maintained close ties with the Spiritualist Community, participating in training and community giving activities. A pivotal moment in her career came when she attended her first mediumship development workshop in Canada in 2007.

With her abilities fine tuned, her children mostly all grown, and a business concept in place, Katrina set out to market her psychic development workshops and her personal psychic reading services.

Although, her husband and sons helped establish her initial online presence, with Adobe products, Katrina found it challenging to rely on them (with their own busy schedules) to keep her website updated with current information.

She has the skills to learn those programs but her time is a limiting factor. She needed a framework to work within that would allow her to ’hit the ground running’ while cultivating the relationships that would grow her business.

To accomplish this, we set up a WordPress site for Katrina. Using many of the images already created by her son, katrina 1I added artistic treatments, created a color pallet and color palletproduced a series of web videos.

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After only one WordPress training session, Katrina was off and running with her own website and blog.

The fact that I can have this much power over my own website is AWESOME!”  she says  enthusiastically.

The combination of Katrina’s warm personality, good writing skills, an easy-to-use website with quality imagery and cohesive design elements is working; she has quickly gained numerous online followers. Her site has become a powerful ancillary tool in her business development activities where adding posts and information about upcoming events has become second nature. Katrina can now focus on what is really important…connecting with people and facilitating healing.

To learn more about Katrina and her mediumship services, visit her website at http://www.ultravimedium.com/

Developing an Online Brand – Toby Bear the eBook

In the spring of 2012, Lisa Boulton was designing her own line of jewelry, the mother of three grown sons, starting a new career as a health care provider … and a breast cancer survivor. At the end of that same year, she had added another accomplishment: published author.

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“When I first met with Lisa (Redfern), I had written the Toby Bear story and had created a series of pencil sketches. I loved the digital paintings of children that I’d seen in Redfern’s studio, so I thought I would ask if she’d work on the project with me,” says Boulton.

Lisa Boulton says that the Toby Bear project is her “passion” and the culmination of her life experiences: An opportunity to comfort and care for children and to help them build a strong sense of self-awareness with positive thinking techniques. Redfern too thought that the project would be a excellent vehicle to express her own amalgamation of professional skills and that it could add a new dimension (ePublishing) to her business.2013 TO Do graphic

Throughout the summer, the women worked together to execute their production schedule that involved finding models, scheduling photo shoots, creating art pieces, manuscript editing, shooting and editing their first Toby Bear web video. They also gathered data to set-up the TobyBearStories.com website and Facebook page that include resources for childrens yoga, healthy eating, meditation, care tips for cancer patients, a media kit and About the Author information.

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By June, the Toby Bear website and Facebook page had launched. The eBook, Toby Bear and the Healing Light, was published and available for sale on Amazon, Kobo, Barnes & Noble, Soney & Diesel in September.

Although Redfern was reluctant to enter the print book market, Boulton convinced her that a continued need for physical product-in-hand existed. So they developed the manuscript into a format for print-on-demand (also available through Amazon).

Lisa Boulton had her books in hand by Christmas time.

“I was exuberant when I received my first shipment of books.” said Boulton, “The clerk at the Nevada City Post Office saw my excitement and asked me to open the box so she could see them too (there wasn’t a line behind me). It was a fabulous moment! We were both so excited to see the whole community beautifully represented in the book,” comments the author.

To learn more about Lisa Boulton and Toby Bear and the Healing Light, visit TobyBearStories.com

Toby, Lisa & Lisa

Vintage Pet Beds – Hand Crafted in Nevada City

The Cattani’s background in gift item design, pet products, building and furniture crafting make Pet Beds a natural outgrowth of their style and ingenuity.  They have amassed a stock of headboards and chair backs that they design into special and unique pet beds. They also offer a specialty service where they craft a custom Pet Bed made out of your own furniture.

“The Pet Beds we design are about love and comfort for our pets,” says Becky Cattani.

In her career, Becky traveled extensively in the orient and designing highly successful gift items for an import company. She also spent most of a decade researching the history of a 1900’s fishing lodge in Oregon and restoring it to it’s historical splendor. Prior to 2006, the Cattani’s lived in Santa Cruz County where Becky owned a pet deli & boutique in the little village.

These experiences began her love of period furniture, antique restoration and product design.

Matt enjoys working with all kinds of people. He has a quick smile and is perpetually cheerful – even when he faces challenges. His skills in building maintenance have carried him far in life. He’s managed and maintained apartment complexes, vacation rentals and a historic hotel. His workshop would make any woodworker envious. It is a gabled building painted cheery bright red and replete with a lighthouse style light at the top that shines brightly every evening.

In 2011 the Cattanis hired me to create professional product images for brochures, upcoming festivals and for a website. During the course of our photo session, we discussed their business goals, objectives, target market issues, and technical skills. We concluded that a website, that they maintain themselves, is not practical for the Cattanis at this time. Their goal is to work with pet suppliers, interior decorators, catalog companies and to connect with people one-on-one at craft fairs to generate custom orders.

For the immediate short term, they plan to list their contact information in key online locations so that they have a web presence and focus their business building efforts through connections that  they develop at festivals. To this end, they work cooperatively with artist Monique Hanson, who specializes in animal painting, to share booth space at artisans festivals throughout northern California and Nevada.

Comments they always hear when people see their Pet Beds, “Oh! Those are so darling!”

“When we first started showing the beds, people would ask if their dogs could sit on them. We thought that would be alright…until we realized that the dogs wanted to mark their territory!”  laughs Matt.

Matt and Becky are enjoying life in Nevada County,  their continual quest for unique furniture and always, always the joy and exuberance of their furry companions.

Moondoggies / Luna Kitties
(530) 470-0347
Moon Doggies Motel
13050 Discovery Way
Nevada City, CA 95959

Small Women Owned Businesses on the Rise in Nevada County

In spite of the challenging economic environment that Nevada County has been experiencing for the last several years, I have been a witness to and a cheerleader for a number of small, women owned businesses who have been steadily developing their roots in the soil of local commerce.  My next blog posts will be profiles of their emerging businesses; their goals, marketing strategies and plans of action.

It has been energizing to work with these women and to watch their growth. I am excited to tell their stories!