Happy month of June! Time flies, and it’s almost July. Next month at around this time, I will be moving to Bloomington, IN to attend Indiana University, so these next few weeks will be busy for me! I hope you’re all doing well. Here are a few updates you may be interested in:

Books

            I’ve had some time to read in the past month, and I’ve made it through the Maze Runner series by James Dashner as well as Opening Moves by Steven James. I have seen the first two MR movies, so I wanted to read the books and compare. Predictably, the books are much different than the movies, but somewhat to my surprise, I enjoy the movies MORE than the books. After reading them, I think they’re probably just for a younger audience. Oh well.

            On the other hand, Opening Moves was incredible (as I suspected it would be). For those of you who have not experienced Steven James’ books, you should look into them. I can definitely say that he is my favorite author (sorry, Brad Thor). His Patrick Bowers crime/thrillers are so intelligently written and manage to transport you into the story. If you’re new to James, start with Opening Moves (a prequel) or The Pawn.

Composition

            I’m hip-deep in the editing process of Defiance Duo’s first work, Songs of the Earth. Not to give away too much, but I can say that Africa and Antarctica will undergo major changes! I’m also making progress in a duet for violin and marimba, written for my two friends, Kelsey and Ben. The piece is called With Flowers, We Gather, and each movement will be a different kind of flower. So far, my process has been to come up with the theme of each movement and then expand/modify it from there.

Recording

            Exciting news! Duo partner Kia Frank & I just received some new recording equipment, and it is AWESOME. I ordered the Behringer FCA1616, a pair of Rode pencil condenser microphones, and a Blue Spark microphone. The quality of the Blue mic with Kia’s voice astounded me, and having the Rode mics means I can finally record the marimba without an irritating, metallic buzz! Hopefully, this means I can get recordings up on this and the Defiance Duo websites soon and start putting together a demo CD for distribution.

Climbing

            In climbing news, I’m catching up on my Bouldering World Cups. I missed the Vail competition, and unfortunately I know who wins, but I’ll still enjoy watching the finals. As a bit of advice to novice or beginner climbers, try to use a straight-arm technique whenever possible. It conserves energy for bigger moves or when you’re in an awkward position.

Moving Sale!

            July 8-9 from 8AM-5PM at 17 N Rocky River Dr. Berea, OH 44017! Kia and I are cleaning out before moving to Indiana. Come by and chat with us! We listed our sale on gsalr.com. To search sales or list your own, check out http://gsalr.com/list-garage-sale.