Mostly the Open House is a celebration of art and rural life. Mary Kellogg, Ed Gulley, Rachel Barlow, Carol Conklin and other popular and talented artists will show and sell their work and there will be an emphasis on the fiber arts.
The Open Houses were begun five years ago as a celebration of Maria's work and also a chance to share our lives with the people who read our work and blogs and books and follow us.
Maria generously wants to call it the "Talking To Animals" Open House, but it is a lot more than that, and usually draws people from all over the country, as well as the area in which we live. We expect Ken Norman to come and trim the donkeys, there will be sheepherding demos with Red and Fate, and tours of the pasture.
(You can follow the details more closely on Maria's website. She is the producer of this pageant.
This is exciting, it didn't even occur to me that the book would be coming out just as the Open House cranks up.
Talking to animals is an urgent subject, especially as animals are in greater danger than ever of being pushed into extinction by some animal rights groups and by climate change and global development. The book is an argument for a new and wiser understanding of animals than we now have.
You can pre-order my book from Battenkill Books as well as Amazon and the first 1,000 people to order them through Battenkill, my wonderful independent local bookstore, will also get a free classy Tote-Bag (see below). There are still several hundred left. Battenkill takes Paypal and credit cards and you can also call the store if you prefer at 518 677-2515. I will also sign and personalize every book purchased there.
Connie typically takes up to 2,000 pre-orders for my books. She can order more tote-bags if we get that far, and I intend to do all I can to see that we do.
We will also have copies of the book available at the farm during the Open House weekend. I hope to get sore signing them. Red and Fate will be hosting as well, along with Lulu and Fanny. Treasure Wilkinson we be here to help show people the animals here, she might drag a baby goat along.
Many people cautioned me against opening up the farm like this, it has been nothing but pure joy. We are proud to share our life with you.
I think this book is readable – many anecdotes and examples from my life – but also timely. More than half of the animal species in the world have disappeared in the last generation, many more are in danger. Our failure to under the true nature of domesticated animals like carriage horses and some Asian elephants has put them in great danger and taken them away from the safest and best opportunities for survival in our greedy world.
Many people mean well, but have no idea of the consequences of their campaigns and ideas. Many animals have nowhere to go but us. They are being driven away from human beings when we need to be more creative and determined than ever to keep them among us.
The book relates my own experiences communicating with animals in detail, how I learned to communicate with animals through body language, emotions, voice, food and visualization. It goes back to my childhood and all through my time with dogs, donkeys, barn cats, sheep, horses and chickens. You can support my work, get a hopefully provocative book about communicating with animals, and support the idea of the independent bookstore.
I will be present throughout the Open House weekend, Maria will be holed up in her Schoolhouse Studio, selling her wonderful art and that of other gifted artists. It's always find for us to meet the people who make us possible. I am inviting the residents of the Mansion to come as guests of honor. They are like family now.
I hope you can come and see us.