Monterey Pops honors vets on Memorial Day

Old friend Dr. Carl Christensen is conductor of the Monterey County Pops. The orchestra is comprised of professionals, but their concerts are free. I was honored to play a small part in their Memorial Day concert on the lawn of the Colton House (City Hall) in Monterey.

Featured artists included Blue Grass fiddler, Laura Burian; the young musicians of Orchestra in the Schools conducted by Jim Paoletti; youth vocalist, Mia Pak; and the Monterey County Pops!/Palenke Arts Youth Chorus conducted by Juan Sánchez and me.

Musical highlights were the traditional Battle Hymn of the Republic, American Salute (based on When Johnny Comes Marching Home) by Morton Gould, and Salute to American Jazz arranged by Sammy Nestico. This medley included A Night in Tunisia, St. Louis Blues, It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing), and Birdland.

Further patriotic selections were “God Bless America”, “The National Anthem”, “The Armed Forces Salute”, “The Navy Hymn”, “Taps”, and Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address is central to my life, to all Americans’ lives. It is somber, sad, cautionary – though filled with our shared aspirations – and true. Reading it aloud – especially when its timeless words are illuminated by great music played by great musicians – can only help heal our nation’s present divisions.

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Vienna Station is up again!

Vienna Station won the Galaxy Prize in 2011 and was subsequently published by Rosetta Bo0ks. Rosetta recently shortened its e-pub list and most graciously gave me the files and rights. I’ve just brought the novella back to life on KDP. Please take a peek!  https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07D6CXBGZ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1526865295&sr=1-1&keywords=Vienna+Station

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I get to read Lincoln’s words on Memorial Day!

Here’s the announcement from the Monterey Pops website:

The Monterey City Hall Lawn performance(2 p.m.) will present a program of pops, patriotic, and Americana favorites.  

Featured soloists include Blue Grass fiddler, Laura Burian; the young musicians of Orchestra in the Schools; youth vocalist, Mia Pak; narrator, Robert Walton;and the Monterey County Pops!/Palenke Arts Youth Chorus conducted by Juan Sánchez.

Musical highlights will include the traditional Battle Hymn of the Republic, American Salute (based on When Johnny Comes Marching Home) by Morton Gould, and Salute to American Jazz arranged by Sammy Nestico. This medley includes A Night in Tunisia, St. Louis Blues, It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing), and Birdland.

Further patriotic selections include “God Bless America”, “The National Anthem”, “The Armed Forces Salute”, “The Navy Hymn”, “Taps”, and Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

https://montereycountypops.org/events/memorial-day-2018/

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Chalone Peaks Middle School 2018 Civil War Reenactment

Students and teachers of Chalone Peaks Middle School once again created a great event yesterday. Helped by parents and loyal reenactors, everyone worked together to make the 2018 Civil War reenactment a learning experience without equal. History came alive before young people’s eyes and will live in their minds always.


Author at work  (Photo by Vibeke Hanneman)

Lincoln sharing his thoughts  (Photo by Vibeke Hanneman)

Harriet Tubman revealing the evils of slavery.  (Photo by Vibeke Hanneman)

Confederates advance  (Photo by Vibeke Hanneman)

Union soldiers defend.  (Photo by Vibeke Hanneman)

BOOM!  (Photo by Vibeke Hanneman)

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Minecraft Stemlab is here!

Happy to announce that Chris Scott and I have written a second Unofficial Minecraft Lab book and it is now available through most of the usual booksellers. This book emphasizes STEM applications and follows the same pattern as our previous book —> 24 Minecraft activities + 24 out of game activities. We also wanted parents to see how enriching and valuable having a “Minecraft Skillset” can be, so we interviewed several amazingly talented folks about how they incorporate these skills into their lives and occupations. It includes interviews with Stephen Reid, Garrett Zimmer, Johan Kruger, Adam Clarke, and Sqaishey.

Finally, we introduce the idea of sketchnoting by asking kids to create a visual lab journal of sorts as they proceed through the activities.

For locals, I will be doing a book signing at WhizKids in SLO on Sunday, May 6th. Come on by between 11:30 and 2 and say hi!

This is what friend and colleague John Miller had to say about his new book. Here’s the Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Unofficial-Minecraft-STEM-Kids-Family-Friendly/dp/1631594834/

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Seven Deadly Sins, a YA Anthology: Avarice

I belong to Scribophile, a writers’ group dedicated to raising the quality of members’ writing and sharing useful information. Members gently (but incisively!) critique each other’s writing and sometimes pool their efforts in publications. I’m greatly honored that editor K.T. Stephens included a story of mine in the latest Seven Deadly Sins Anthology: Avarice. The book was published today and is available on Amazon as both a paperback and a Kindle book. Here are the links:

https://www.amazon.com/Seven-Deadly-Sins-Anthology-Avarice/dp/1986315843/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1521134488&sr=1-1

 

https://www.amazon.com/Seven-Deadly-Sins-YA-Anthology-ebook/dp/B07BH2Y1CQ/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1521134488&sr=1-1

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Esmeralda’s Interstellar Hot Tub Cafe is here!

My SF story “Esmeralda’s interstellar Hot Tub Cafe” was published today by Aurora Wolf. Editor Michael Pennington included it in this issue and I thank him for doing so! It’s not Shakespeare, but I had a lot of fun writing it. If you liked the bar scene in Star Wars, you’ll like Esmeralda’s place. Here’s the link:  https://aurorawolf.com/2018/04/esmeraldas-interstellar-hot-tub-cafe/

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