Creating connections through the arts and across cultures

Sightlines: Audiobook

A Family Love Story in Poetry & Music

sightlines_audio_book

Hey! SF Book Festival just awarded an honorable mention to “Sightlines: A Family Love Story in Poetry & Music” in the audio/spoken word category!

Come snuggle into the comfort of this quilt of poetry and music rooted in the Midwest heartland.

The story-poems stitch together the lives of six generations: The fiddles, mandolin, guitar, and songs weave memories of a bygone time with the crisp realities of modern life. It's a poetic-musical duet capturing the humor, joy, and sorrow that create the weft of any family.

Buy the Sightlines audio book

CALENDAR, TREASURE HUNT CLUES, REVIEWS FOR JANET’S INTERNET TOUR
“Sightlines: A Family Love Story in Poetry and Music”

JUNE

Week One

1 Velda Brotherton on “On Being a Writer" includes Janet Riehl as part of her stories woven in time. Velda and I are both members of Women Writing the West

2 Kendra Bonnett & Matilda Butler welcome Janet to Womens Memoir where everyone has a story to tell. Guest post on the theme of using story poems as an approach to writing your memoir. Kendra and Matilda are both members of Story Circle Network and we all blog on SCN’s Telling Her Stories (storycircle.typepad.com).

4 Susan Tweit interviews Janet on the themes relating to place that reaches out to include the metaphor of quilting and the writing process. Susan’s blog is named after her newly released memoir “Walking Nature Home.” Her blog presents thoughts and conversations on living a green and generous life, rooted in place wherever we find ourselves. Susan and I both belong to Women Writing the West and Story Circle Network. We both blog for the SCN’s Telling Her Stories at storycircle.typepad.com. Susan and I have often carried on what I call “Blog Duets.”

Week Two

9 Claire Applewhite interviews Janet on the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Book Blog where she is a contributing writer. Claire’s most recent and fifth release is The Wrong Side of Memphis, a noir mystery novel. Claire and I are both members of the St. Louis Writers Guild.

11 Kendra Bonnet & Matilda Butler welcome Janet for a conversation on memoir with this special “Memoir Moment” where everyone has a story to tell. Both live and recorded.

Week Three

17 Sharman Apt Russell interviews Janet on the theme of love, place, and meaning at Love of Place, a group blog celebrating place and a greater relationship and intimacy with the natural world. She lives in Silver City, New Mexico.

Mary Ruth Donnely reviews Sharman’s beautiful memoir “Standing in the Light” on www.Riehlife.com the same day. Learn more about Sharman and her work on www.sharmanaptrussell.com

17 Kendra Bonnett and Matilda Butler’s Book Raves, their book reviews for Women’s Memoir discusses "Sightlines: A Family Love Story in Poetry & Music."

18 Isabella Mori hosts Janet’s guest post in Dialogue with Sarah Luczaj: Who Owns the Poem?at change therapy — making lives better, making better lives

Week Four
23 Eden Maxwell interviews Janet. His motto is that "You can't outsource your soul work.” Eden has appeared several times on www.riehlife.com on Dharma and Artful Living (http://is.gd/DxXj) and Rejection for artists of all kinds. His useful and soulful handbook An Artist Empowered: Define and Establish Your Value as an Artist—Now is available on Lulu.

Week Five

June 30 Antona Smith interviews Janet on Pink Latte Publishing…awonderful little space for a writing journey. Pink Latte Publishing is Antona’s creative writing muse. Check out Antona’s main blog The Musings of a Latte Queen: Narratives of Everyday Life.

July 3 Yvonne Perry interviews Janet with a blog post, podcast, and book review at yvonneperry.blogspot.com. Yvonne is a Freelance writer, editor, award-winning author, speaker, and owner of Writers in the Sky Creative Writing Services Nashville, TN. Check her main blog here. Yvonne is a long-time supporter of my work and blogging buddy. Her son-in-law, Scott Kidd was my fabulous audio engineer for “Sightlines: A Family Love Story in Poetry and Music.”

JULY
Week Six

4 Molly Lundquist welcomes Janet for a guest post, review, book club suggestions, and Midwestern recipes at Lit Lovers (http://), a well-read community dedicated to books and book clubs.

8 Janet Muirhead Hill interviews her sister-Janet (there is a club of us Janets!). Janet Muirhead Hill is the author of the Miranda and Starlight series of books for children as well as the founder of Raven Publishing.

Check out her two websites: Janet Muirhead Hill & Raven Publishing. Janet and I are both members of Women Writing the West. Janet has written several guest posts for Riehlife on critiquing and rejection.

10 Susan Gallacher-Turner interviews Janet on Susan's Art & Word, where Susan shares insights on living the creative life with essays, interviews, book reviews and articles. Her main website is http://www.susangt.com where you’ll see images of her beautiful work.

Week Seven

14 Janet Elaine Smith hosts Janet Riehl on her internet radio show “Marketing for Fun and Profit” on PIVT (Passionate Internet Voices). See her main website where you can learn more about her fun faith-based fiction for the whole family. Janet and I met through the Independent Authors Guild.

15 Mary Cunningham WOOF! (Women Only Over 50) hosts Janet’s guest post on achieving your dream after 50 through collaboration. Simultaneously, Mary will feature the audio book on Bookland Heights, reaching new heights in the land of books.

Mary is the author of a fantasy/time-travel series, co-author of the soon-to-be-released book, WOOF: Women Only Over 50, an uplifting collection of personal anecdotes and poems about how it feels and what it means to be a woman in her fifties. She lives in the beautiful mountains of West Georgia and is a member of The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. She is a frequent commenter on www.riehlife.com.

17 Janet Elaine Smith interviews Janet Riehl on her her blog. See her main website where you can learn more about her fun faith-based fiction for the whole family. Janet and I met through the Independent Authors Guild. She refers to herself as "Janet, the original." I refer to myself as "The Other Janet."

Week Eight

21 Damaria Senne (pronounced Da-maria Sen-nay) interviews Janet on “Story Pot: A Writer’s Online Journal". Story Pot cooks the complexities of modern African life with traditional spice.
Damaria is an award-winning writer based in Johannesburg where I visited her in August 2008. She kindly arranged for me to visit her family in her home village. We are long-time blogging buddies, exchanging posts.

Damaria’s current focus includes relationships, HIV and AIDS, and career development. Damaria's first children’s book The Doll That Grew was published by Macmillan SA in 1993. Her second reader, Boitshoko ("perseverance" in Setswana) was listed by Heinemann SA in 1996 and translated into 4 languages.

22 Hal Manogue interviews Janet Hal shares insightful thoughts for the 21st century and considers that the now is waiting. Hal’s main website invites us to live an ordinary life in a non-ordinary way. Hal is a poet and essayist who authored the books: Short Sleeves Insights, Short Sleeves Spirit Songs, and Short Sleeves: A Book for Friends.

Hal is a long-time blogging buddy. He read the introduction to Janet’s audio book. He lunched with Janet and Yvonne at the Yellow Porch on her first trip to Nashville when she recorded the studio portion of Sightlines and met Scott Kidd, her audio engineer. He met with Janet again when Janet returned to Nashville this year for her celebration launch dinner with the team that made the project possible.

Week Nine

27 Irene Watson hosts Janet’s guest post on “How to Make and Produce an Audio Book” on Blogging Authors,a gathering place for writers and readers. This site is a brain-child of Reader Views, which Irene founded. Book reviews and interviews of “Sightlines: A Poet’s Diary” plus my father novel “Cattle Country and Back Trails: Two Tales from the Thompson Western Series” are located here. Irene is author of The Sitting Swing. She is the Manging Editor for Reader Views and lives with her husband in Austin, Texas. Irene earned her MS in Psychology, with honors, from Regis University in Denver.

30 Carol Cole Lewis hosts Janet on the final stop of the internet tour as they chat about the tour as a case study in internet marketing. Carol provides authentic, sustainable Internet and media marketing for small business as she considers the question: So, you gotta have a website…now what?

TREASURE HUNT CONTEST

You'll find a Treasure Hunt clue at each stop. You'll find out where to go to find the answer to the question. When you discover the answer, contact Janet here at www.Riehlife.com by clicking on the CONTACT tab and the top of the homepage. The first person to contact her with the correct answer will receive a free copy of "Sightlines: A Family Love Story in Poetry and Music.”

JUNE

Week One

1 Velda Brotherton on “On Being a Writer"

First, go to video page under the Riehlife BOOKSTORE tab: http://www.riehlife.com/bookstore/sightlines-audiobook/eight-sightlines-audio-book-video-links. View: VIDEO 1.
Second, view: Sightlines blog tour video #1: Getting Ready to Go–Nashville Launch Dinner
Third, answer this question: What anniversary does this video mark? Why is Janet so happy?
WINNER

2 Kendra Bonnett & Matilda Butler's Womens Memoir where everyone has a story to tell.

First, read review of “Sightlines: A Family Love Story in Poetry and Music” here [http://www.storycirclebookreviews.org/reviews/sightlines.shtml].
Second: Answer today's question: Who wrote the review?
Third: Contact Janet.
WINNER

4 Susan Tweit's Walking Nature Home.

Week Two

First, watch Sightlines blog tour video #1: Getting Ready to Go–Nashville Launch Dinner here on the Riehlife site http://is.gd/IwR1.
Second: Answer today's question: Why is Janet looking forward to meeting her special guest at the Launch Dinner?
Third: Contact Janet
WINNER

9 Claire Applewhite on St. Louis Post-Dispatch Book Blog

First, Watch VIDEO 2: Sightlines Blog Tour Video #2: Studio Tour & Working Process
Second, answer this question: How does the music business in Nashville work?
Third: Contact Janet.
WINNER

11 Kendra Bonnet & Matilda Butler welcome Janet for a conversation on memoir with this special “Memoir Moment” where everyone has a story to tell.

First, Watch VIDEO 2: Sightlines Blog Tour Video #2: Studio Tour & Working Process
Second, answer this question: Why did Janet include music in her poetry talks and in the audio book?
Third: Contact Janet.
WINNER

Week Three

17 Sharman Apt Russell's Love of Place, a group blog celebrating place and a greater relationship and intimacy with the natural world.

First, watch VIDEO 3: Sightlines Blog Tour Video #3: Stage 1–Recording
Second, answer today's question: How did Scott ease Janet's initial terror in reading to record?
Third, contact Janet
WINNER

18 Isabella Mori

First, watch VIDEO 3: Sightlines Blog Tour Video #3: Stage 1–Recording
Second, answer today's question: How did Janet find her voice in recording her poems during the 8 hour session?
Third, contact Janet
WINNER

Week Four

23 Eden Maxwell

First, watch Sightlines Blog Tour Video #4: Stage 2 (editing) & Stage 3 (technical)
Second, answer this question: How did Scott, Janet, and Pop decide which music clip to share between her poems?
Third, contact Janet.
WINNER

Week Five

June 30 Antona Smith's Pink Latte Publishing…a wonderful little space for a writing journey.

First, watch VIDEO 5, Sightlines Blog Tour Video #5: Stage 4 (legal) & Stage 5 (production)
Second, answer this question: What does Janet consider to be the most interesting part of the production process?
Third, contact Janet.
WINNER

July 3 Yvonne Perry's blog yvonneperry.blogspot.com.

First, watch VIDEO 5, Sightlines Blog Tour Video #5: Stage 4 (legal) & Stage 5 (production)
Second, answer this question: Why did Janet decide to make 1,000 copies?
Third, contact Janet
WINNER

JULY
Week Six

4 Molly Lundquist's Lit Lovers , a well-read community dedicated to books and book clubs.

First, watch VIDEO 6: Production and Marketing.
Second, answer this question: Did Janet have a marketing plan when she started the project and why did she approach it as she did?
Third, contact Janet
WINNER

8 Janet Muirhead Hill

First, watch VIDEO 6: Production and Marketing
Second, answer this question: What restaurant was the launch dinner held?
Third, contact Janet.
WINNER

10 Susan Gallacher-Turner's Susan's Art & Words

First, watch VIDEO 6: Production and Marketing
Second, answer this question: How did Janet find out the location of the restaurant where the launch dinner was held?
Third: Contact Janet.
WINNER

Week Seven

14 Janet Elaine Smith's internet radio show “Marketing for Fun and Profit” on PIVT (Passionate Internet Voices).
First, watch Sightlines Blog Tour Video #7: Interview with Suzy Bogguss at Launch Dinner
Second, answer this question: What relative in a past generation links Suzy Boggus and Janet?
Third: Contact Janet.
WINNER

15 Mary Cunningham's WOOF! (Women Only Over 50)

First, watch Sightlines Blog Tour Video #7: Interview with Suzy Bogguss at Launch Dinner.
Second, answer this question: What year did Janet's father Erwin A. Thompson meet Suzy's mother Barbara? What did they do together?
Third: contact Janet.
WINNER

17 Janet Elaine Smith

First, watch Sightlines Blog Tour Video #7: Interview with Suzy Bogguss at Launch Dinner.
Second, answer this question: Suzy said that the material in the Sightlines audio book can extend to a wider audience. What suggestion did she make to Janet?
Third: Contact Janet.
WINNER

Week Eight

21 Damaria Senne (pronounced Da-maria Sen-nay) “Story Pot: A Writer’s Online Journal". Story Pot cooks the complexities of modern African life with traditional spice.

First, watch Sightlines Blog Tour Video #8: Interviews with Greg McNey (stage 4, legal) & Yvonne Perry
Second, answer this question: Why is mechanical licensing important?
Third: Contact Janet.
WINNER

22 Hal Manogue

First, watch Sightlines Blog Tour Video #8: Interviews with Greg McNey (stage 4, legal) & Yvonne Perry
Second, answer this question: How did Janet and Yvonne meet?
Third: Contact Janet.
WINNER

Week Nine

27 Irene Watson's Blogging Authors, a gathering place for writers and readers.

First, read the two reviews for Sightlines audio book on the CD Baby product page here: http://cdbaby.com/cd/janetgraceriehl.
Second, answer this question: What, in the review titled "Poems of Love and Loss," does the reviewer consider to be the qualities present in Sightlines audio book that the best memoirs do?
Third: Contact Janet.
WINNER

30 Carol Cole Lewis
BLOG TOUR ENDS.

First, read the two reviews for Sightlines audio book on the CD Baby product page here: http://cdbaby.com/cd/janetgraceriehl
Second, answer this question: Why, in Sarah Moore's review "Wonderful Collection That Honors Family and History" does she say she can relate even more strongly with Sightlines audio book?
Third: contact Janet.
WINNER

SIGHTLINES AUDIO BOOK REVIEWS

Wonderful Collection That Honors Family and History
By Sarah Moore "Sarah" (Nashville, TN)

When we diligently read our history books as part of our school's curriculum, we learn about the famous men and women who earned their spot in print as world leaders, great businessmen, explorers, military heroes, or even criminals. While all aspects of history fascinate me, I must confess that my interest has always been more with the everyday folks who loved their families, took pride in their work, and, although they may never be studied in a classroom, made a lasting impact on the people who knew them. My ninety-eight-year-old grandmother has an amazing memory and can recount in detail an incident that happened with a playmate in 1917. She is also a musician who shares songs and piano melodies that remind her of being a teenager or raising her children during a war. I know from her that the retelling of family history and traditions is the best way to capture a picture of a bygone era. I have discovered a treasure that beautifully captures this appreciation for the warmth of family and home. The new audio book Sightlines: A Family Love Story in Poetry & Music by Janet Riehl is a compilation of very personal music and poetry that is not to be missed.

Riehl's audio book developed from her written text, Sightlines: A Poet's Diary, which was published in 2006. With the new release, Riehl adds the elements of down-home music and her own voice bringing life to the poems she created. The musical component features her father's singing and fiddle playing as he is joined by other musicians for recordings that took place in his living room. The fact that the music was not performed in a high-tech professional studio makes its inclusion even more appealing and appropriate. As you listen to old friends gather to play music, you feel so fortunate to be let into the intimate gathering. I felt that I should be sitting in a rocking chair with my eyes closed as I let the simple beauty fill my soul. Each piece provides a seamless transition for the subjects of the poems it connects.

The poems by Janet Riehl are divided into five groupings that are spread over four CDs. The first section is devoted to her sister Julia (also known as Skeeter), who was tragically killed in a car crash several years ago. The emotional images Riehl creates through her words examine Julia's work, her love of life, the moment of her death, and the longing of those she left behind. Riehl goes on to share equally captivating poetry about her father, her mother, and two places that have special meaning to her-- the family home in Evergreen Heights and her later residence of Clear Lake in Northern California. In addition to the poems themselves, Riehl provides emotional commentary that fills in the missing pieces and develops a more complete memory for the listeners to enjoy. Her words are straightforward, beautifully crafted, and offer a wonderful piece of storytelling.

From beginning to end, the new audio book Sightlines: A Family Love Story in Poetry & Music is a delight for its listeners. The passion that Janet Riehl has for her family, her history, and the beauty that surrounds her is obvious. Even if you already read the printed version of Sightlines: A Poet's Diary when it was released several years ago, you will want to enjoy the extra features and meaning that are offered through this listening experience as well. The audio segments have been expertly compiled and edited to create the comfortable atmosphere of someone's home while also displaying professional detail to recording quality and content progression. Each moment of the CDs is filled with warmth, humor, and a deep connection to those who have come before us. Sightlines is a must-have audio book for anyone who appreciates a good love story with the perfect musical accompaniment!

******** ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******* ******

Poems of Love and Sorrow
by Edith O'Nuallain
for Story Circle Book Reviews
reviewing books by, for, and about women
(www.storycirclebookreviews.org)

Sightlines: A Family Love Story in Poetry and Music by Janet Grace Riehl consists of 4 audio CDs, which combine the poems previously published in Riehl's book of the same title. This recorded version of Sightlines: A Poet's Diary (2006) expands on the original 90 poems by including brief clips of 40 songs played by her 93-year-old father and his Sunday Afternoon music group. The poems are further set in a wider context with her father's stories, and he reads the poems he wrote that open Sightlines, along with the lines of dialogue that appear in poems sprinkled throughout. In this unique offering, we glimpse the lives, past and present, of the poet and her family.

Together words and songs weave a magical tapestry of myriad threads, recounting family folklore in the warm timbres of Riehl's quiet-spoken voice, each story-poem set in the lively rhythms of fiddles, guitars and mandolins, music reminiscent of a bygone era. The sometimes slightly discordant notes of the violin merely add to the beauty of the tales told.

This series of poems and songs is a memoir. It is also a series of love poems, composed in memory and celebration of three people and two places Riehl loves. She traces the treasured reminiscences of a childhood shared with her two older siblings--her sister, Julia Ann, and her brother, Gary, tenderly watched over by loving parents. Her attentiveness to detail is evident in the images and words which reflect her considered awareness of who she is and where she comes from. Here is where Riehl composes the haunting and lyrical songs to her sister, tragically killed in an automobile accident, an experience so devastating that almost every succeeding poem is written in reference, either directly or obliquely, to it. The mother and father captured on her pages are our mothers and fathers, the love she expresses for them is the love we feel for our own.

One striking feature of Riehl's poetry is the unmistakeable sense of presence that the author brings to her subject matter. Pick any poem from the book, and almost immediately the reader comes face to face, as it were, with the poet. She recounts, sometimes in devastating and searingly honest detail, her mother's progressive dance towards death. She is not afraid to open herself to the suffering of returning and re-living the death of her sister, a tragedy that changed everything. Riehl is a woman who has seen a lot, more in fact than many of us would wish to encounter. Yet her presence assures us that we too can survive the unthinkable; that we can live to tell the tale. And what is more, that in telling our stories we become more of who we are destined to be.

If we can locate the bravery within ourselves that Riehl points us towards, then we too may become in time as compassionate, caring, understanding and yes, even forgiving, as she. For indeed is this not what the best memoirs do? They do not point the finger of blame, but rather paint a picture of a wholly believable individual, someone who might have been our sister or brother or mother or father.

In the end it is the universality of her subject matter that renders her poetry so accessible. We read her poems not just to peep through a window into her life, but to lift the veil a little on our own, so that we may perhaps learn something about ourselves and our loved ones, even while we swim in the subterranean waters of her words.

Be Sociable, Share!

Leave a Response