Saturday, November 20, 2010

Getting to be a bit creative

From July 20th

Howdy Joel,
I just finished recording the last chapter. That being said, I wanted
to run something by you, and then I'm headed to the post office to
send you the jump drive.

I have been thinking about this book, and how in the world this all
came together. I have written a "note from the audio book presenter",
I am considering including at the beginning of the audio book. Now,
this is certainly not standard practice for the reader to say ANYTHING
about the book-- they are just the voice.

Anyway, read what I have below, and tell me if you think it's
appropriate to include. If you don't believe so, I will certainly not
be hurt... I'll just let my friends read it regardless!

Let me know, and I'll record it if so. If not, I'll just finish the
edits and ship it off to you. 43 Pure Meadows Lane Swoope, VA 24479
is the address I should use, correct?

--end of email--

A personal note from the audio book presenter:

In late 2009, my husband Vince was wandering the aisles at our local
public library, when he saw an audio book titled In Defense of Food,
by Michael Pollan. He picked it up and thought, “I like food.”

Since we both worked mind-numbing jobs at the time, we listened to
that book, then found The Omnivore's Dilemma, also by Michael Pollan.
Through this book, we were astounded at the different types of of food
systems, and became fascinated by Joel Salatin and Polyface Farms.

When I (Theresa), looked into borrowing one of Joel's books as an
audio book from the library, we couldn't find any. So, I chose the
most interesting looking one (as a non-farmer), called Everything I
Want to Do is Illegal.

We read the chapters to each other in the month of March, 2010, and
were simultaneously enraged by the issues presented, and charmed by
the book. One day, I thought, “You know, my degree is in
broadcasting. I wonder if they just need someone to read it into an
audio book. This stuff is pretty important, and should be easily
accessible.” So, I emailed Chelsea Green Publishing, expecting to get
a canned response that they only use “Insert name of large audio book
producer here” to read their books, but thanks for your offer.

Instead, the next day, I received a message that they had forwarded my
email to the author.

Shocked again the day after that, I received an email from Joel
Salatin himself! How in the world did this happen, I thought!

From April through June, we exchanged emails about the possibility of
the audio book being voiced. I've never read an audio book, and
didn't even own a microphone. I bought a wonderful microphone, had it
delivered straight to my door, and started learning the ins and outs
of recording audio books at home.

At the end of June, we took some vacation time to visit Polyface
Farms, and meet the Salatin family.

The first thing I noticed is they laugh, a lot. Their sense of humor
is wonderful, and certainly needed as you'll hear in this book. I also
immediately found out that I had been pronouncing the names of their
towns incorrectly. For example, Staunton is pronounced Staan ton..
Swoope in pronounced Swope.

We attended church with Joel and Teresa. After that, we went to
Chipotle to eat lunch together. I was STARTLED by how different the
meat tasted (they supply the pork for that particular location). I
had stopped eating pork recently because of what I'll call loosely
“the weird taste.”

Later that day, Vince and I went to a local restaurant named Zynadoa,
which also features their food. As foodies, we were shocked by how
good the food was. When we complimented Chef Michael Lund after
dinner about the fact that the peas actually tasted like something, he
said “It helps that they were just picked yesterday.” This restaurant
knows how to DO local!

The next day, we visited the farm. Do you know what fresh air smells
like! This is not your typical farm. This farm takes care of the
animals, and the plants, and the people. I must say that I was
stunned by their hospitality – It really felt like we could sit down
and discuss whatever was on our minds.

This audio book is the result of all those strange events. When we
were sitting at Chipotle, I thought, “How in the world did I get here”
yet again!

One note about your listening experience with this audio book. I read
the book the way that I feel. I sound nothing like Joel. If you want
to hear what he sounds like, you can find quite a few clips of him,
and his distinctive voice, on the internet. But, you should know that
for some chapters here, I am just
downright angry. Sometimes, I'm overwhelmed, sometimes, I don't get
it because I'm not a farmer.

Lastly, I think something should be noted here. As we were sitting in
Joel's office, stacked high with books, we were talking about some of
the big words in the book. At that point, Teresa (his wife), openly
stated that Joel has been known to simply “make up” some of those big
words. You may want to keep that in mind as you are “reading”!

Theresa Lyons, July, 2010

And now... An unabridged production of, Everything I Want to Do is
Illegal, written by Joel Salatin. Read by Theresa Lyons.

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