End Of The Year Round Up

Wow, 2016 has flown by and not without its peaks and valleys. With the overwhelming state of our country,  I found the need to remind myself of the good things that occurred this year.  Here are some highlights:  It was an honor to be a co-presenter at the Audie Awards in Chicago. I presented with my talented and chivalrous colleague Will Damron. It was a beautiful night at the Adler Planetarium celebrating our colleagues and the audiobook industry.  Admittedly, I felt like Cinderella on the red carpet.

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This fall,  I won an Earphones Award for my narration of  Frientimacy by Shasta Nelson.    There’s something extra special about winning an award for a book about friendship. Check out the review on AudioFile Magazine, AudioFile’s blog entitled  Self Sunday and Sound Reviews.  I am thrilled for author Shasta Nelson’s little gem!

Another favorite part of my year has been reading weekly to 63 first and second graders via SAG Foundation’s  literacy program called BookPALS.  It’s a joy to be surrounded weekly  by these loving children who are reminders of the innocence, love and excitement for life’s experiences.  I am looking forward to another semester of reading and fun.  One of my 2nd grade classes loves to tell jokes.  I wish I could remember jokes the way they do.  I’m going to post their jokes in 2017.  Please come back and have a listen to the students’ unique style of telling jokes. Too Cute!

BookPALS on Halloween

BookPALS on Halloween

BookPALS before holiday break

BookPALS before Holiday Break

By attending Variety’s Power Of Women luncheon I had the opportunity to be inspired by a room full of women and meet some of the honorees: the amazing Dame Helen Mirren and  the unstoppable Ava DuVernay (13th, Queen Sugar, Selma). Helen Mirren helps empower children who stutter via SAY: The Stuttering Association For The Young.  We have a common our love for Italy.  An Italiophile buddy!  Ottimo!  Ava DuVernay supports a young “literary hero” (at least to me) Marley Dias,  Founder of the #1000BlackGirlBooksCampaign;  I had the honor to meet Marley’s amazing mother Dr. Janice Johnson Dias who runs the GrassROOTS Community Foundation.

As I enter 2017 with great uncertainty for my country, I am determined to thrive in spite of it all.  I wish the same for you and your loved ones.  Quoting Nelson Mandela “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears. ”

Variety's Power Of Women Honorees

Variety’s Power Of Women Luncheon



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