4 March 2011

Reading to Frieda: “Meet The Dogs Of Bedlam Farm”

Frieda the "scary dog." "Meet The Dogs of Bedlam Farm"

Today, a step forward for me personally and for my understanding of the fusion between writing and new technology, especially social media – Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The meeting of the old and the new. My first children's book "Meet The Dogs of Bedlam Farm" is coming out in April. School Library Journal has called it "gorgeous and heartwarming" and I like that description, for sure. Another fusion – my writing and my photography, the first.

Last week, I read Lenore the chapter introducing her. This morning, I read Frieda the chapter describing her, and her response was touching and surprising, as was the last minute entrance into the video by Lenore herself, the star of the story. Poignantly, the chapter I was reading was partly about how Lenore helped introduce Frieda to the farm and make her welcome. They adore one another and Frieda isn't great at making friends.

Maria shot this video and it is the first one in which my face appears. Not easy for me, but it's time.

I like this use of video. It is touching, speaks for itself and clearly is a powerful new way to introduce the ideas behind a book, and even to sell some. Let's not forget that. Somebody has to pay for all this stuff. That would be me.

Anyway, this is a milestone for me, and I like. I want to move forward, rationally and creatively. I had 20,000 views of my videos last week on You Tube, my first week. The dogs sure helped. Lenore is a rock star.

And  am humbled by the fact that this video captures the willing heart of Frieda more effectively than I have in my words. Something to work on. I am writing a book about Frieda. I will have to figure out how to get some video into it. And thanks to the people at Henry Holt for their enthusiasm and to Maria for her generous spirit and creative eye. Sometimes, it's liberating to be the subject. And thanks to Frieda, a wonderful dog with a great and forgiving heart.

And to Lenore, whose love just infuses the world around her. She is the star of this book and the reason, I think, that people are loving it.