Archive for the life Category

KIDS CORNER- BookPALS

Posted in booklover, books, life, my little bookpals, news, people, reading, SAG-AFTRA, updates with tags , , , on August 11, 2017 by Robin Eller

I am looking forward to the school year to begin because I truly enjoy being a BookPAL.  BookPALS (Performance Arts for  Literacy in Schools), “provides SAG-AFTRA members gifted in the art of storytelling, the opportunity to give back in their local communities by reading to children.”   One of my 2nd grade classes loved to tell jokes.  I was inspired to start recording each child as they told their jokes. Most of the students bravely walked over to the mic to tell their jokes; however they would run away when it was time to play them back. It was so cute! Eventually they became quite accustomed to hearing their own voices. Time permitting, the jokes became a weekly tradition after reading a story.   As a surprise, I made a compilation of their jokes and played the recording on the last day of our reading time together.  I made a promise to a few of my young internet researchers that they could find some of their jokes on my blog before the summer ended. Summer has flown by, the new school year is around the corner! GULP!  Keeping my word, here are some favorites by Ms Dawson’s All-Star Jokesters (Class of 2017).

8/dawsonallstar_jokesters_blog.mp3″][/audio]

Processed with MOLDIV

 

End Of The Year Round Up

Posted in audiobooks, books, life, people, the biz, updates, working news on December 30, 2016 by Robin Eller

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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



Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Audiobook News: Olympic Reading

Posted in audiobooks, life with tags , , , , on August 16, 2016 by Robin Eller

Recorded Books posted a blog called 14 Gold Medal Audiobooks. I was excited to see on their list, Catch A Star: Shining Through Adversity To Become A Champion by Tamika Catchings. This title took me on a journey of Tamika’s childhood and increased my knowledge of women’s basketball.  Her perseverance is admirable. I especially enjoyed reading about the lessons learned and the player she became under the leadership of legendary coach, Pat Summit.  Named one of the top 15 WNBA players in history, Catchings already has three gold medals and on her quest to a fourth in Rio. GO TEAM USA!  Her  Catch A Star Foundation is creating dreams for other young people. Incredible!  I’m grateful to Christian Audio for this inspiring title written by an inspiring woman.

Check out this list of Gold Medal Books 

Catch a Star

 

R.I.P. GUIDO-PANINI

Posted in death, family, life with tags , , , on March 20, 2016 by Robin Eller

Processed with MOLDIV

“But just for now, I need to mourn,
Our hearts- they need to mend.
Though some may say, “It’s just a pet.”
We know we’ve lost our friend
Companion pal, and confidante
A friend we won’t forget
You’ll live for always in our hearts
Our sweet forever pet.” – Unknown

Thirteen years ago our friend Danny gave us an addition to our family; the sweetest Pug- just 10 weeks old. Admittedly, I wasn’t sure if I wanted the responsibility of a dog and even asked for a day to think about it. A day? I couldn’t stop thinking about that little bundle as soon as he left the house. He had already stolen my heart! A few hours later, I was “all in” – committed to be the mother of a fur baby. I named him Guido-Panini. “GP” (named by Alanna Chasin) was well-known in Italy. Yes, he was! My Italian friends got the biggest kick out of his name. The first vacation to Italy after taking ownership of GP, I left behind a shirt for Guido to wear so he would have my scent close to him. Someone suggested it. Upon returning home, I walked over took Guido out of his crate and his eyes said, “Mom, you’re back!” He crawled into my arms, snuggled in and kissed me. That was the most beautiful feeling in the world! Guido-Panini was such a well behaved dog. On our fall morning walks, I would get the biggest kick out of watching GP pick up the largest pine cone and bring it home. Sometimes it would drop out of his mouth; however he was determined to get it home. It was an accomplishment to get a tennis ball or a pine cone home and drop it on the chair in the patio. Guido never barked unless he was playing with me; however he would bark if he sensed that the character of someone was questionable. He was so smart! A trainer said that GP would never learn the “down” command after turning 5 or 6 years old. It was too submissive. Well, 45 minutes later and the help of zucchini, GP’s Aunt Jillian Boyd trained him. #WonderDog    Friends who said they feared dogs or were “allergic” still had a desire to pet Guido and their fears or allergies disappeared. Yes, he was that irresistible!

The faces of GP

 

 

On March 16, 2016 @1pm, Guido-Panini walked toward the Rainbow Bridge. He had overcome so many adversities in the past few years. We thought we were going to lose “GP” when he was hospitalized for 6 days mid-February. When we visited him in the hospital, he would try to climb into my arms, position himself for me to carry him and then push against me as if saying, “Come on Mom, let’s get out of here.” After careful research and a conversation with our vet, we wanted to give one last gift to Guido: to make the transition at home. I spoke with a loving group of vets who help pets transition at home. An interesting thing happened that morning: GP decided that he could make this transition without assistance. Our #WonderDog started to move toward the Rainbow Bridge on his own.  I was told what signs to look for that would tell me he was ready; however we had scheduled a time with this vet.  GP looked at me and his eyes said, “Don’t worry, I know what to do. We don’t need any drugs. I can go naturally.”  I laid on the floor with GP all morning showering him with love and comfort. Opened the windows so he could see the trees.  In one moment, I couldn’t help but think about the animals who pass alone or live in the wild without a loved one by their side. As the moment came, I was right by his side, telling him how much I loved him as he drew his last breaths. Before the car came to take him, I cleaned him and burned sage around him in preparation for his journey.

We are eternally grateful to have been the chosen parents for this special fur baby. We have experienced profound happiness and now we must experience profound sadness. Arrivederci carissimo Guido-Panini. Our hearts will always wear the paw prints left by you.♥

One Last Note:

In the mornings, I had this ritual of petting Guido all over this body; giving him a belly rub and touching his heart. I wanted him to know how much he was loved every day.  He would place his paw in my hand and press against it. It was his way of telling me that he loved me too. One morning I snapped this photo which represents our ever-present connection. ♥ 

FullSizeRender

International Women’s Day – La Festa Delle Donne

Posted in friends, life with tags , , , on March 8, 2016 by Robin Eller

 

Mimosas

In Italy, it is customary to give yellow mimosas to women on International Women’s Day (La Festa Delle Donne).  I have been sending virtual mimosas to the circle of strong, inspiring, thoughtful, beautiful and loving women in my  world. How lucky am I to have this phenomenal group that extends around the globe!  I am eternally grateful for the joy that each unique woman brings to my life by just being herself.

To Every Wonderful Woman Around The World:  I SALUTE YOU TOO!

Happy International Women’s Day to All = Buona Feste Delle Donne Delle Donne a tutte!

In honor of another inspiring woman, I leave this quote to encourage all women to continue to just… BE!

“I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.”  Maya Angelou

 

 

CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY

Posted in audiobooks, books, life, news, people, updates, working news with tags , , , , , , on February 24, 2016 by Robin Eller

 

Event pic

On February 15th, I had the honor of being a keynote speaker at a Black History Month Celebration -hosted by The Ebony Ladies Of Distinction of the Pasadena Senior Center.  I read excerpts from Our Auntie Rosa: The Family Of Rosa Parks Remembers Her Life and Lessons.  For the first time, the seniors heard the facts told by Rosa Parks’s family about exactly what transpired on that bus in Montgomery, Alabama on December 1st. 1955.  The refusal to give up her seat was just one moment in the life of Rosa Parks. Well into her senior years, Rosa Parks began practicing yoga. She even answered her door wearing yoga pants.  I mentioned in a previous post that my first day of recording this title fell on the 60th Anniversary of that historical day.

Another keynote speaker at the Black History Celebration was (LAFD) Battalion Chief David L. Spence.  Chief Spence is also Interim President of The African American Firefighter Museum.   He read from the book of “The Old Stentorians” and shared with the seniors about the experiences of black firemen during  segregation.  Undoubtedly, the preservation of stories, artifacts and other memorabilia demonstrate the importance of the African American Firefighter Museum.

If you haven’t visited the African American Firefighter Museum, I encourage you to check it out as well.  Tell people who travel to Los Angeles, to put this museum on their list and visit an essential part of the history in Los Angeles. Look for the AAFFM to reinvigorate how it shares these historical moments in time; which will include an audio tour. It is my privilege to be the voice that shares these indelible memories.

Hose04_1921-000c_AFmuseum_HoseCo4_502

Source: The African American Firefighter Museum

There are many who aren’t educated in the history of African American firefighters.  My Italian friend visiting from Rome had only learned a “brushstroke” of Black American History during early schooling in Italy.  I told her that she wasn’t alone and we had the same problem with limited information taught in American schools.  I found myself repeating these words  “Black History is American History.  It’s much more than a month celebration.”  My intelligent friend understood quickly after showing her the video about the integration of firemen in San Diego (1951).  She also had a quick visit to the AAFFM.  I encourage you to view this informative video and educate others about  The Men Of Station 19.   A powerful statement from one of the pioneers in the video: “When you are fighting a fire and trying to save a life, color means nothing.”  Ben detto! Well said!  To all of the men who rush into burning buildings and save lives, I have the utmost respect for what you do.  Thank you!

Lastly, check out the video that has gone viral and understandably so. The Obamas Dancing With Their 106 Year Old Guest, Virginia McLaurin.  How can one not be touched by the joy and excitement of this woman?!  This is tangible truth that Black History should never die after a month.  It should be celebrated every day along with all history in America.  It hurts to imagine what this woman endured over decades.  At 106 years old, her attitude is heartening: she smiles, laughs, dances and her dream has come true. She said in an interview after her visit to the White House, “I can die smiling now.”  Bless her!! Click on the quote and read her story. It’s worth a full read.

Just as Virginia McLaurin danced so happily with appreciation, I was reminded that on the same date: The Ebony Ladies of Distinction danced so proudly and gracefully; celebrating life, education and culture.  Of course I joined them on the dance floor doing the electric slide! 🙂 I love dancing with people who choose to celebrate life with an open heart and mind. Will you dance with me?

Open mind

2016 AUDIOBOOK NEWS

Posted in audiobooks, life, news, the biz, updates on January 26, 2016 by Robin Eller

 

Our Auntie Rosa_

Wow, January has come and it’s almost gone. What are the goals this year? Are they huge or are they simple as the question: Will I be better at blogging this year? Vedremo = We’ll see.

I am always excited about recording titles; however two recent titles are relevant to Black History month. Scheduled to be released any day: Our Auntie Rosa: The Family Of Rosa Parks Remembers Her Life and Lessons by Sheila McCauley Keys and Eddie B. Allen Jr.  A noteworthy moment: My very first day recording this title was on the 60th Anniversary of the Montgomery Alabama Act Of Civil Disobedience.  Talk about serendipity!  There are interesting facts written about Rosa Parks that many do not know about. Did you know she was already a member of the NAACP before the historical boycott? Did you know she took up yoga later in life? How cool is that!

Already released: A Night On Fire by Ronald Kidd. (grades 4-12) The author was inspired by his research on the Freedom Riders and the act of kindness by a 12 year old girl, Janie Forsythe during the firebombing of a bus in Anniston, AL.

A Night On Fire Image

A Night On Fire