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Making A Children’s Audio Book #1

Children’s Audio Books #1
Having spent a good deal of my life as a singer songwriter and author, I am about to break into the world of Children’s Audio Books.

The problem with music is getting people to listen to it. The problem with e books is getting people to read them. But Audio Books seem like a totally different animal. The quest to find a safe medium in which to placate and safely entertain your child seems like a major issue for some parents. I don’t know – I am not a parent, but my research shows that parents are concerned about their kids in that they want to entertain them and educate them, and audio books fall into both these categories.

Audio Books link here

I began to research what I was getting myself into when it became apparent that my audio version of ‘Barney the Musical’ has the potential of becoming a huge hit with kids. With the help from my producer, Spon, we brought the story alive with some very entertaining sound effects.

As I have mentioned before, I write stories that I think I would have enjoyed reading as a child, and as a kid I loved funny noises. I have an enduring memory from childhood, and that is of myself and my sister sticking a finger in one ear and pretending to be folk singers. We were not immune to the comedy of this lark, and others, that involved silly noises.

Research on the net took me to many sites for parenting. Some were better than others. The best site I found in the limited time I gave myself was mumsnet.com – Sensible parents discussing sensible topics.

I was able to compile a list of recommended audio stories from mumsnet and other sites. Best of all I found conversations which showed how important audio books are for children who are reluctant to read. I also identified the environments that kids like to listen to audio books.

Other research showed me how disappointed customers could be when their CD audio books were poor quality or wrongly packed. I read a lot of criticism; from dislike for the accent of the narrator to the irritation of having to change a CD half way through a story. I also noticed that just about every children’s story ever written had at least one criticism. Not everyone is going to like my story, or my accent.

From this research I am able to get a measure of my own caliber. I am able to see where I may fit into the market and how to manage this product. The research has left me feeling quite confident as I believe that the story is good – it is politically correct (!), it is well paced and entertaining. My English accent is obviously not BBC – I think my slight cockney twang may become my trademark. I think I nailed the voices of the characters and the sound effects have animated the story. In short I think Barney The Musical can stand proudly with other children’s audio book products!

Almost Anglo Saxon Gets Radio Play!

Mick Mercer plays a track from Almost Anglo Saxon -  The Song of Wayland Smithy!

Mick Mercer plays a track from Almost Anglo Saxon – The Song of Wayland Smithy!

Mick Mercer played a track from Almost Anglo Saxon!
Isn’t radio play a great thing!
At the beginning of March Mick Mercer played a track from Almost Anglo-Saxon much to my delight!

Click here for Mick Mercer’s Radio Show for 8th March 2015

It is so gratifying to be recognized as a contributor to the music scene, as diluted as it is now that huge corporations have just about killed it. Mick Mercer truly enjoys discovering new music and plays a real mix of material. It was a pleasure to be included and be part of something so special.

The track was Wayland Smithy – although he was trying to play Eyes of An Eagle – it didn’t matter to me as I thought Wayland Smithy really stands out as different. My only regret was that the listening audience were not told the title of the song, so the lyrics were not put into any context. However, I believe that the sign of a good song is that it means many things to different people. The subject of Wayland Smithy is about loss and imprisonment (as Wayland the Smith was separated from his wife and kept prisoner by a king – to make fine jewellery. Wayland sought revenge by murdering the kings sons and making their skulls into fine cups for the king). I hope the song still entertains without the listener having to know exactly what the song is about!

Mick Mercer is also an author – usually about the Gothic genre!

Just one of Mick Mercer's publications

Just one of Mick Mercer’s publications

Gwubbins the Witch Stories For Children by Ella Jo Street

Aside

Ella Jo talks about her series of Children’s Books, A Witch Called Gwubbins.

“My latest project is writing children’s fiction about a witch called Gwubbins. I wanted to write stories that I would have enjoyed reading as a child, and created a character who makes mistakes and embarks upon adventures!

I have enjoyed writing and honing the story-telling skills that even simple children’s tales require. Four stories are now available, and I am presently working on another.

I am delighted to collaborate with illustrator Mary Lou Springstead who has supplied the artwork for the first three e book covers. A gallery has been set up on line for children to send in their pictures relating to the Gwubbins stories.”

Three stories about Gwubbins the Witch

Three stories about Gwubbins The Witch by Ella Jo Street

Click below for the link to Gwubbins The Witch Website!

GWUBBINS THE WITCH WEB SITE IS HERE!

“The Exploding Birthday Cake” is an introduction to the world where Gwubbins lives and the reader meets her closest friends, the Pirate Twins and the Wonky Wizard. An audio version is planned with accompanying music and songsBirthday Cake link

“Gwubbins Winter Adventure” is for older children – of up to about twelve. I envisage this story as a sparkly Christmas movie and plan a part two where the characters have another adventure in a magical underground ice world.
Characters in this story: Gwubbins, The Wonky Wizard, The Pirate Twins, Mittens the Sheep, The Iceman, The Rover Raven Winter Adventure link

Gwubbins has a Winter Adventure

Gwubbins has a Winter Adventure

“Barney the Musical” was really fun to write – the epitome of Gwubbins magic going awry and the comedy effects this has on the musical. The tale of Gwubbins sister, Alidusta, and her celebrity dog Barney, really comes alive in the audio book version and I am planning another story to feature them in the future.
Characters in this story: Gwubbins, The Wonky Wizard, The Pirate Twins, Mittens the Sheep, Alidusta (Gwubbins’ sister), Barney the celebrity dog, Barney The Musical link

“The Zombie Pirate Children” is for older children. The story features Blackbeard the Pirate and was written to explain where the Pirate Twins came from. It is a fast moving plot through time and space – the fiction is magical, but the truth behind the 16th century slave trade is revealed as Gwubbins must save the Pirate Children from that unforgiving world.
This story will make a fantastic adventure film, as it deals with many different levels. There are issues of trust, bravery, cleverness, cruelty, and friendship, as well as magic. Even though they are provided with clues, the characters have to trust in fate to lead them to their destination.

The settings are clearly identified, and easy to relate to, (Shambala – a utopian world where they go to find wisdom, then Liverpool in the year 1717, followed by a sea voyage and a remote island). Journeys between worlds and through time are provided by the Time Turtle and they witness space through the turtles eyes.

The plot involves other strong characters such as the escaped slave called Nebulous, and figures from history such as Sir Isaac Newton. Interspersed with magical creatures and events, the ending is a literary soup of pirate speak and zombie threats.

Children with fair reading ability will enjoy this edgy story and learn some history from it. The shanties and pirate language are based on authentic material. Also, nobody dies.

Characters in this story include: Gwubbins, Wonky Wizard, Pirate Children, Mittens the Sheep, Professor Rowrick, Nebulous the escaped slave and master mariner, Sir Isaac Newton, Blackbeard and his pirate crew. Magical creatures:- The Hairy Hand, The Rover Raven and Ethel the Dragon.  Zombie Pirate Children link

The Zombie Pirate Children

A Gwubbins the Witch Story called The Zombie Pirate Children

FIND THE ZOMBIE PIRATE CHILDREN E-BOOK HERE!

MORE ABOUT GWUBBINS THE WITCH STORIES BY ELLA JO STREET

The Exploding Birthday Cake – This story can be enjoyed by children as young as four and as old as ten.
This is the first story (and the shortest) about Gwubbins the witch, and her long standing friend the Wonky Wizard. The tale is set in Gwubbins house where she is hosting a Birthday Party for her good friends and neighbours, the Pirate Twins.

The story is related by a little mouse who lives under Gwubbins’ stairs and he tells us what it is like in Gwubbins world. This story illustrates Gwubbins personality, how she means well, but sometimes makes magical mistakes.

At the Birthday Party, Gwubbins’ friends notice that the cake she has baked for the Pirate Twin’s birthday is behaving strangely. There is a huge explosion and the aftermath is messy. Gwubbins must do some magic to clean up, then find out why her cake exploded. The Pirate Twins are very forgiving and all is revealed in the end.

Gwubbins makes a Birthday Cake

Gwubbins makes a Birthday Cake

Find the Exploding Birthday Cake HERE!

Gwubbins Winter Adventure should appeal to children between the ages of 8 and 13 years.
All seems safe as Gwubbins sets off into the wintery forest with her sledge to look for firewood with her friends. But when the weather takes an unexpected turn for the worse a snow storm prevents them from finding their way home.

Gwubbins uses her special intuition, and follows her twitchy witch’s nose through the snowing woods until she makes a stunning discovery. Deep in the ice is a cave where the companions take shelter, but this is the domain of a mysterious being. While the friends sleep they are studied by this being who sails into the cave across an underground lake.

The friends are already suspicious as this lake does not reflect peoples noses. But when they wake up a breakfast has been provided, and despite being rather peculiar the friends think this is an act of kindness.

When the mysterious figure appears again from the lake they wonder if the encounter is dangerous. In the depths of the ice all will be revealed.

This story is a fast paced and includes dialogue, allowing the children’s characters to ask questions. Thus the story provides smart explanations interspersed with humour, an entertaining combination for inquisitive children. Find The Winter Adventure Here!

Barney The Musical – for children aged four to eleven
In this humorous story, Gwubbins is invited to see her sister star in a musical with her celebrity dog, Barney. At the theater Gwubbins is seated in the audience with her friends, the Pirate Twins, the Wonky Wizard and Mittens the Sheep.

Gwubbins tries to magically improve the show, with disastrous effects. The singing becomes yodeling, the music becomes jazzy and the dogs all misbehave and forget that they are celebrities for a while. The actors keep dancing, but Barney loses his spots and tries to run away in embarrassment.

Barney The Musical about a celebrity dog who sings at the theatre

Barney The Musical about a celebrity dog who sings at the theater

Find Barney the Musical HERE!

The show becomes a terrible mess, and Gwubbins and the Wonky Wizard need to put things right before the end. The audience is unsure whether it likes the unusual music and peculiar singing – only at the very end will the reader know if the show is a success or a terrible flop.

This story provides an insight into the world of theater, and allows children to grasp the concepts of acting and performing whilst enjoying an entertaining storyline.

The audio book is a delight (1 hour duration).

Find Barney the Musical AUDIO BOOK here
Beware – Barney the Musical contains some growling!

Zombie Pirate Children – For older children – eight to twelve years
Accompanied by the Wonky Wizard, Gwubbins searches for the Pirate Children who are marooned on a remote island.

Gwubbins must learn her destiny and find clues to locate the Pirate Children. She visits a wise Professor in the magical land of Shambala who directs her to planet Earth in the year 1717. The friends arrive in a dangerous world where they meet Nebulous, an escaped slave, who takes them to Liverpool.The Wonky Wizard finds them a boat and they prepare for a sea journey.

Zombie Pirate Children by Ella Jo Street

Zombie Pirate Children by Ella Jo Street

Find the Zombie Pirate Children ebook Here!!!

Once at sea Nebulous discloses the dark truths of slavery in the sixteenth century, and reveals some magic of his own. They encounter a terrifying sea monster but are assisted by magical beings – a strange hand and a special bird.

With the help of these creatures and Nebulous, who is also a master mariner, they find the Pirate Children, but all does not go to plan. There is an out of control dragon on the island and the children’s trust needs to be won over. Then, just as things begin to work out, the pirates appear on the horizon. Blackbeard, the most fearsome pirate of all, is returning to claim the children and his treasure – and he needs to be stopped.

When the pirates land on the island there is much pirate talk and singing of shanties. The Pirate Children bide their time, then give Blackbeard the scariest night of his life. The story reaches a gripping climax as Gwubbins and her friends use all their powers to scare away Blackbeard and set the Pirate Children free, which is no easy task.

The pirates are fearless, but the Wonky Wizard hatches a plan, if they can just pull it off!

This story includes words from original sea shanties and authentic pirate talk. There is a section at the end where the reader can look up the meanings of words spoken by real pirates. Also at the end there is a list of people in this story who really lived – with an explanation of what they did and what happened to them – especially Blackbeard and other pirates that are mentioned in the story.
The illustrations for the first three Gwubbins stories by Mary Lou Springstead are subject to copyright. Please see the Gwubbins website for more information.

The Gwubbins website has a picture gallery enabling children to exhibit their own pictures inspired from the Gwubbins stories.

Zombie Pirate Children – A Gwubbins the Witch story – Now Available!

Zombie Pirate Children by Ella Jo StreetFind this story here

A story with Zombies, Pirates, a witch, a wizard, a dragon and an escaped slave…..

Ella Jo began publishing a children’s series called ‘Gwubbins the Witch’ in 2013. The stories feature a well meaning witch who’s magic sometimes goes wrong. This is most apparent in the story about an exploding birthday cake, and the root cause of the confusion in the story ‘Barney the Musical’. But these endearing characters also embark upon journeys and adventures, as in the entertaining ‘Gwubbins Winter Adventure’ – and again in this latest work, ‘The Zombie Pirate Children’.
This is Ella Jo’s fourth Gwubbins the Witch story, which sees Gwubbins and her friends embark on an epic journey through space and time.

‘Its been a hell of a start to the year’ Ella Jo says, giving this interview from her home in the English Countryside. ‘In 2014 there was a music album to wrap up and the Zombie Pirate Children to finish. It took a lot of effort but both projects have been completed and they were a lot of fun’

Whilst her latest album, Almost Anglo Saxon was released in January 2015, Ella Jo’s latest Gwubbins the Witch story, ‘The Zombie Pirate Children’ was released at the beginning of February 2015.

Zombie Pirate Children by Ella Jo StreetClick here to purchase from Smashwords

‘I spent all of 2014 writing this Gwubbins story to explain how the Pirate Twins came to live in Gwubbins village’. Ella Jo explains. In a nutshell this is the story:

‘The Twins were abandoned on an island with other Pirate Children by Blackbeard in 1717 and they sent a message in a bottle asking for help. Gwubbins gets the message but needed a mechanism to travel through time and space – and it came in the shape of a Cosmic Time Turtle who swims across universes. Gwubbins visited the mysterious land of Shambala to learn her destiny to help her find the Pirate Children. When she reaches Earth she meets an escaped slave who takes her to Liverpool where they encounter Sir Isaac Newton. By helping him formulate one of his famous theories, Gwubbins and her friends acquire a ship to search for the island where the Pirate Children are marooned.

On the sea journey they encounter a Kraken, a hairy hand and a Lucky Licky Lollipop – all helpful in their own way, but for all the magical assistance – when Gwubbins finds the Pirate Children they find it very hard to trust her. A dangerous dragon must be placated, then, as they make ready to leave, the pirates turn up. Blackbeard has returned for his treasure and to steal the children away.

They need to figure out how to frighten Blackbeard away – I wont spoil the end, but there is plenty of Pirate Speak and Zombie threats as the finale of the book unfolds.’

‘The book was written for older children between 9 – 14 years. This is because the story encompasses the true history of 18th century Liverpool and the slave trade. I wanted to weave real, gritty history into the story and allow a wider view on those times. It was a challenge to tackle such a grave period and make it palatable, but this explains why the Pirate Children were in danger – and Blackbeard was a genuine character in that world.

So despite writing about Zombies and Pirates, the book has to be pitched to older children because of the real history that it contains, which I find quite ironic. The characters experience the delight of Shambala one moment and the stink of Liverpool the next, and out at sea, in un-chartered waters, magic creeps in. But this story has been written for kids in the modern world, and the Time Turtle was bound to influence events…’

Ella Jo goes the extra mile at the end of the book to explain the words used by the pirates.
‘I found the words used in pirate slang, and for the genuine sea shanties they would have sung. I also included a list of all the real people who feature in the story, so at the end the reader can see who they were and what they did – from Sir Isaac Newton to Blackbeard the Pirate’

It is a truly gripping yarn – and an audio book will be produced for The Zombie Pirate Children in the near future.

Zombie Pirate Children by Ella Jo StreetThis ebook can be found here

New Interview with Ella Jo

Almost Anglo Saxon CD front cover1Starting 2015 – An Interview with Ella Jo about her New Album Almost Anglo Saxon

This year Ella Jo finished the long awaited album ‘Almost Anglo Saxon’ – this is what she said to Diamond Seeds:

“It was a very enjoyable project and a fantastic challenge to learn history, write songs relating to that history and produce an album that is musically credible as well as educational. History has never been so much fun and the research turned up some interesting facts. Choosing subjects like King Ethelred the Unready and the folk tale of Wayland Smithy, I wanted to tell the stories as the Anglo Saxons may have told them.

Reflecting on the material I realize that I was trying to stand in the shoes of those who witnessed historical moments in Anglo Saxon History, like a woman watching the ships land when the Vikings invaded in the song ‘Dragon Ships’. There was also moments when I allowed A modern point of view such as ‘The Hidden Hoard’. In ‘The Minstrel’s Song’ I wanted to embrace the place of music in culture and show how highly it was valued in the past.”

Who is this album for?

“Everyone. The idea was to create a collection of modern day folk songs, but I am from a pop influenced background so the songs strode off into their own directions. We experimented all the way through this project wanting to create something new, but recognizable. I suppose Pink Floyd worked in a similar way when they experimented with the technology of their time. The challenge was to write good authentic songs. One way of keeping true to the idea was to turn things around. If I travelled back in time would the Anglo Saxons approve of my material? Or if I could bring Anglo Saxon musicians into a modern day recording studio would they have performed songs like mine? These ideas set the standards – and on a spiritual level there was an underlying will to please the ancestors.
So I suppose I wrote this album for the Anglo Saxons and all of their descendents and for anyone curious to know about them. All cultures could gain some insight from this album. As a songwriter I looked at the history and added human elements such as irony or joy.”

How did you write the songs?

“I really don’t know. A silent room will eventually allow words or a tune to develop. Some of this album was easy to write once I tapped into the zone – I had ‘The Anglo Saxon Chronicles’ nearby and looked up stories on the net. I didn’t try too hard to make sophisticated songs – I was concerned with telling the stories – in my view that is what folk is.

Mel on Whistle!

Mel on Whistle!

Fiddlin Flick

Fiddlin Flick on ‘Ethelred The Unready Blues’

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was supported by some wonderful musicians who helped on various songs – it was a joy to record with Mel from Tarantism on Flute, Steve Kerr on Guitar, Ed Branch from UK Decay on Bass and Fiddlin Flick on violin. There was a lot of improvisation which was awesome – I loved giving the musicians freedom to interpret the songs, and as we were recording they could do as many takes as they liked. Working with Spon I knew that he would work this way and we would pick through takes and get the best out of everyone.”

Tell us about Steve Spon

Spon recording01

Steve Spon at the controls

“Well we made three albums already, and by the second one I had grown pretty comfortable with working with him as sound engineer. Almost Anglo Saxon was brand new work for both of us and we jumped on it. Spon is senior producer, so I got to work closely with him on the production. To be honest it was stress free – he has so much experience and understood what I was trying to do. He is also interested in Anglo Saxon history so he brought ideas and creative strengths to the project.”

Almost Anglo Saxon Available NowClick Here to purchase Almost Anglo Saxon, the CD Album by Ella Jo

What is different about Almost Anglo Saxon?
“Well technically it is a concept album. Only a few bars of music survive from those times a thousand years ago, but there is evidence of the instruments that they used. We have come so far with today’s technology that once I began to imagine sounds and atmospheres Spon was able to make up versions of my ideas. We twiddled and tweaked and allowed the feelings of the songs to transpire. So while I was tapping into ideas for mead hall songs, Spon would be out trying to record our local owl. I mean this album really is a testament to the saying that your world is as big as your imagination: for example, we made sounds by throwing cutlery around the kitchen and I clog danced on a wooden staircase in my heels…

I want everybody to relate to the subjects covered in this album, its not all heavy, although I couldn’t escape the fact that there was a lot of war and invasion going on. But there is ample opportunity to dance, and sing along. There is even a love song (‘Through the Eyes of an Eagle’). I tried to keep the lyrics historically correct on this album – I think people are sick of listening to bullshit pop. So it should appeal to anyone with some musical sophistication – and I have no doubt there are many out there who love history and music. So I think the album has a broad appeal.

I enjoyed the challenge of singing what I had created. There were moments when I had to trust to improvisation during the recording process, which is how I came up with the coda of ‘Ethelred The Unready Blues’. I was immersed in a song I had not written an ending for, and just found it – some things I will never understand. So Almost Anglo Saxon is a concept album, but is not contrived like commercial pop.”

Gig-wise?

“I thought I was a bit shaky this year – finding it hot when I performed in the summer, I was very out of practice. I think my best performance was on Xmas Eve – I filled in one song when Garry and Jenny had a break at their gig at the Bedford Arms in Souldrop. I hadn’t prepared anything, so I got the audience to clap along and sung ‘The Raggle-Taggle Gypsies’ which is an old favourite. It was a jam really, but I know all the words so I trusted the flavour of the occasion and went for it! It was a lot of fun entertaining the folks in my local pub!”

Trying to remember how to play on a stage again!

Trying to remember how to play on a stage again!

The Future
“I have a lot of catching up to do on guitar. I felt so much better just singing, perhaps I will find a guitarist who can accompany me to take Almost Anglo Saxon live into the pubs and clubs – I would love to take people on a trip into history!”

Click Here to purchase Almost Anglo Saxon only £10 plus p&p – straight from the manufacturers

Click here to learn more about Anglo Saxon history and it’s music

Almost Anglo Saxon by Ella Jo

 This is a concept album as I wanted to start a brand new project with completely new ideas. It is very satisfying to research a subject, write about it as poetry and then find a tune and craft a song. This is what ‘Almost Anglo Saxon’ has mainly been about.

I wanted to write some songs about Anglo Saxon life as I am interested in the history. Also I wanted to explore a more historical approach to making the music. Nothing remains of Anglo Saxon music. They had certain instruments that we can be sure of, but no one knows what type of music they were playing, and so this gave me the freedom to just write songs as I like to and not look to any particular influence. If a tune moved me and sat with me, I would use it if I was sure it was ‘original’ enough. I don’t listen to any folk music really so just followed what I thought sounded authentic and pretty simple. 

I like to think each song tells a story and gives some insight into the human condition all those years ago. Included on the album are tracks called: The Song of Wayland Smithy, The Hidden Hoard, Dragon Ships, Wassail The Night, Feel Love, Ethelred – The Unready Blues, The Ballard Of St Margaret, The Minstrel’s Song and Vortigern’s Surprise.

In an attempt to deconstruct what we understand as ‘music’ we have used our imagination to visualize what Anglo Saxon musicians may have been inspired by, with modern day recording techniques. Thus we have sampled wolves, owls and other birds. The wind, the sea, bells, anything that we feel is appropriate to the song. Yet I have also included things that please me – we are not Anglo Saxons – the ‘Almost’ in the title gave me permission to sense the songs from a modern perspective.

The aim of this project is to entertain and educate. This project is also a testament to the skill of the sound engineer, Steve Spon, and proof that a simple concept can be such a lot of fun and be well received by music lovers of all types.

Find out more about the Anglo Saxons, their music and instruments in the following link:

Click here to learn more about the subjects tackled in the songs:

This album is available straight from the suppliers – TEN Awe-inspiring  tracks price £10 plus postage and packing!

Click HERE to BUY ALMOST ANGLO SAXON

 Track List:

Swirling and Whirling – A song about women’s magic!

The Hidden Hoard – The story behind buried treasure

Ethelred The Unready Blues – The ruler who consistently got things wrong!

Minstrel’s Song – reflecting on the life of the entertainers in Anglo Saxon Times and their value to society

Wassail The Night With Mead – A joyous adventure into the folk life of long ago

Ballard Of St Margaret – the story of a real Anglo Saxon Princess

Vortigern’s Surprise – A song about the invasions of the Anglo Saxons

Through the Eyes of An Eagle – A simple love song, based on characters from far off days.

The Song of Wayland Smithy – About the ancient folk story of an imprisoned smith

Dragon Ships – A woman sings a song about the Viking invasion of the Anglo Saxons

Tea on the Lawn, Umbrella Fair, Northampton

From folk to funk – its all here!

Well a busy time altogether means no time for blogging, but at last I got around to it. The last year has been all about writing and I have produced some children’s stories. I invented a witch called Gwubbins and sent her on adventures with her friends, many characters or figures based on folk I have known, with lots of fiction thrown in. Getting peoples kids to read the material and provide feedback has been an uphill struggle and I have to rely on my own judgement a lot.http://gwubbins.recklessrelic.co.uk/

I don’t engage with children very much, so these stories have been written for my own inner child to enjoy. I feel that I have discovered another facet for artistic expression.
Inventing playful characters and scenarios and honing it into a readable, engaging piece of work has been truly rewarding. The art of storytelling is no mean feat! I am shocked that I have spent so much time and effort on this project, and am totally immersed in the process. Hence, music practice was neglected, although we worked on my latest album in fits and starts, and I am sure it will be finished soon.

DancingSo I got offered a half hour slot at a little gathering called Tea on the Lawn and realized that I needed to practice like mad because my finger tips had gone soft and I had forgotten the chords. I was getting over a dislocated thumb (!) and had to fit practice times around the neighbours and wait for some space to bash the hell out of a guitar. Then, because I had practiced the songs at a fast tempo, the songs were too fast when I played them at the gig.

Trying to remember how to play on a stage again!

Ella Jo – I was trying to remember how to play on a stage again!

On a positive note I didn’t mess up and I remembered all the words. I had forgotten how it felt to perform, but the audience were generous and kind and it was not a disaster!

Engaging performance - strong songwriting!

Corinne Lucy – Engaging performance – strong songwriting!

There were other people doing their spots at Tea on the Lawn and I was blown away by the talent and enthusiasm. The goodness of the crowd, the punters and the organizers, was truly heartening. Check out – CorinneLucy.com

www.jimtom.org

www.jimtom.org

 

Mel on Whistle!

Mel on Whistle!

So I am going back for another crack at the open mike because I felt encouraged and supported, and who knows, it may be better this time?

It is fantastic to be given the opportunity to practice performance at this little gathering!

Tea on the Lawn Northampton 2014Look up and go!   www.umbrellafair.org.uk

How to Read Tarot With Confidence – A Free Guide

This book has now been removed

Check out other books here : Journey of A Tarot Reader and Is Tarot From India?

With over 500 likes on Facebook and approaching 2000 downloads, I am very pleased that my book ‘How To Read Tarot With Confidence’ has been embraced by those who take tarot reading seriously.

As a troubled young woman I remember feeling the need for some self-evaluation, yet I was aware of my vulnerability and the despair that I harbored. I found it difficult to share my thoughts and feelings, let alone work out what the hell my life was all about. I could trust nobody, but had the opportunity to have a tarot reading at the Glastonbury Festival with a lady on her bus.

I made her work very hard as I could not communicate properly. I was a mess, but the attention that this stranger gave to me, just sitting reading my cards, trying to gain a

How to Read Tarot With Confidence

An e book to light up your understanding of Tarot Reading. A Free Guide by Ella Jo Street

perspective on my crazy life – well it was therapeutic. Even though I could not tell straight away that healing had begun, it certainly had.

I was in the very first stages of maturity, needing to develop my self-awareness. I had a lot going on. Things were so chaotic that I could only focus on a few aspects of my life and decide how to deal with them. At this stage I think only three suggestions/observations came through to me from that reading. But that was the start,  they were embraced by my consciousness. Three little things – and one of those was the attitude of the reader herself – not what she actually said.

I would never see this lady again, and I was so wrapped up with my issues I probably didn’t even thank her properly. But I have faith that as a wise woman she was happy to give me the strength I needed to work the next part of myself out, at my own pace, building on the little I had been able to take in.

Everyone is different – some people make great leaps forward with big realizations. I think I am more typical though. I have trudged, and dodged and misunderstood, been selfish, then too eager to please. It seems that every lesson was learned the hard way and I have to accept my failures as well as my successes.

I still feel as if my journey is incomplete, but I like to think that I can pass on the attitude that the wise lady gave to me. I studied the tarot and was unafraid to live my life with its ups and downs, the only way to gain genuine realizations.

I think the book harnesses the confidence I eventually won for myself and I hope that it has a positive influence on those who read it.

I made the book a free download in recognition that shared positive energy will multiply. All I can hope for is that it will do some good in the world.

Available ebook reading formats


This book has now been removed. If you wish to own a copy please contact Ella Jo via the contact page.

 How to download ebooks to e-reading devices and apps.

Format Full book
Online Reading (HTML, good for sampling in web browser) View
Epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others) Download
Kindle (.mobi for Kindle devices and Kindle apps) Download
PDF (good for reading on PC, or for home printing) Download
RTF (readable on most word processors) Download
LRF (Use only for older model Sony Readers that don’t support .epub) Download
Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm reading devices) Download
Plain Text (download) (flexible, but lacks much formatting) Download
Plain Text (view) (viewable as web page) View

Links to other books about Tarot by Ella Jo Street:

Journey of a Tarot Reader

This story is a travel diary, but the author is overtaken by events. Changed plans reveal her true destiny – and the summer of 2006 becomes a time for research.  Her desire to find the origins of the Tarot take her to Turkey to look for evidence, and she discovers the influence of the Mother Goddess Religion. A biographical travel story, with Tarot overtones enhancing an understanding of the principles of Tarot.

Is Tarot From India?                              

This book provides lovers of Tarot with interesting insights into some symbolism contained within the Tarot cards and explores ideas about the origins of Tarot.  The story relates Ella Jo’s trip to India in 2005 especially to seek out an ancient art that survives in Bengal. Her quest to research the origins of Tarot raises some interesting questions about the Tarot and may provide a glimpse into it’s history.

Spring Equinox Blog 2013

The long winter of 2012 has dug in its heels and is still with us this March 2013.
In the week between Christmas and New Year we produced a one off original Diamond Seeds podcast. Ella Jo as ‘EJ the DJ’ charted the music made in her home town of Luton, a place renowned for terrible architecture but which actually has a pedigree stock of music which flourished in the post punk era. Airspace was provided for an archive of this music and a little history given about the bands and their stories. In years to come we expect this Diamond Seed Podcast No 5 to become a valuable resource regarding the social history and musical legacy of an English town in the early 1980s. Great bands from the present also feature, showing how the music scene has remained an important and innovative aspect of the town, even if the authorities and wider population mostly ignore it!

Since the beginning of Winter, Diamond Seeds has supported Ella Jo’s decision to release some of her writing work in ebook format, due to hefty publishing costs. Thus ‘Journey of A Tarot Reader’ can now be found on Smashwords  as well as a book explaining how a trip to India cast light on an aspect of the origins of Tarot itself.

To create awareness of her work and introduce her books, Ella Jo released a free ebook  about her experiences of reading Tarot. Using autobiographical material and containing suggestions for a Code of Practice in Tarot Reading, she issued the ebook ‘How to Read Tarot with Confidence’ two weeks before Christmas 2012. By the end of March the downloads had reached over one thousand and was being read across the world. All this before the official release by the publishers! (No longer Available)

Staying with the writing bug, Ella Jo began 2013 with a brand new project, branching out into children’s fiction with ideas for a series of friendly bedtime stories about a witch and her adventures (First story due for release in April 2013).

Music-wise, Ella Jo’s new album, Almost Anglo Saxon is progressing slowly as and when time will permit. In March, as the weather took a turn for the worst and the temperature dipped horribly, Fliddling Flick came to stay and laid down some beautiful violin tracks for some songs on this album.

Fiddlin Flick

Laying down the violin tracks for ‘Ethelread The Unready Blues’

Spon has been involved with creating UK Decay’s new website – designed to provide updates for the adventures of the band since it reformed. The old site is still available for memorabilia from the bands early days. The new website is dedicated to providing current information for those supporting this incredible resurrection. UK Decay were in the studio recording new material in 2012 and April 2013 sees the release of their album ‘New Hope For The Dead’ containing brand new UK Decay tracks.
Visit the UK Decay site  for latest feedback and gigs to be announced for UK Decay.
The single Killer and B side, Heavy Metal Jews, is available April 2013 in white vinyl no less!

We have scattered dreams with Diamond Seeds – watch as those seeds live and grow!

Journey of a Tarot Reader – now an e book!

Here is a new review of Journey of A Tarot Reader to coincide with its release as an e book!
It is by Ella Jo Street and it was good to read through it again!

Click here to buy Journey of A Tarot Reader

 No great heavy tome of a book is this – it is light to carry and light to read. However, when I picked it up to review it, I found it hard to put down.

This is a book about a journey, a girl who reads tarot takes herself away from her life for a summer to discover what she thinks will be a Bohemian beach life in Greece. Based on her journals she gives a true account of her experiences and her inner world. Her travelling continues as she decides to go further than she had planned and she keeps a diary from the perspective of a Tarot Reader.

The journey reveals people and places as she explores Turkey and leaves her asking questions about the emergence of Tarot in the West. She shares her story with wit and energy helping to reveal the nature of the places she visits.

The book’s strength is its readability and the driving pace that it takes as a travel story  unfolds. It reflects the summer of 2012 in Greece, Turkey, and later Hungary and Czech Republic, on a mission to gain an understanding of the foundations of these cultures.

The clues collected in her travels cause serious research on the author’s return and the book ends with some information that lovers of the Tarot may appreciate.

So, all in all, Journey of A Tarot Reader is a biographical travel story, with tarot overtones, which can enhance an understanding of tarot in today’s world.

This is the first book by Ella Jo Street that sees her finding her feet as a writer. Her other tarot publications attend to each major arcana card in a series of volumes called Edictum of Tarot. (1st Volume out soon)

Some sections of her work about the first four major arcana cards will be made available soon on e books.