Who ate the first clam?

I often wonder about the origin of human interests. Who was the first scientist?

Usually, I find that it begins with Og, the caveman. Og is a hapless protagonist who makes a lot of mistakes.

In this story, Og stumbles on the secret to a happy marriage, and finds a new source of protein. Feel free to share the story and link!

And, if you’d like to buy more like it, this story and others are available on my TRANSMIT JOY! Audio Storybook – https://lightpublications.com/books/transmit_joy/

QUESTION: What else do you think Og stumbled across?

Gala Audie Awards 2019

Audio book narrators really know how to throw a party. Yesterday’s Audie Awards was a glitzy snazzy gala held in New York City at Gustavino’s expansive hall underneath the 59th Street Bridge.

It was very purple!

The weather, traffic and parking gods all aligned to make this trip as smooth as it could be. Even though I awoke to a foot of snow (and an hour and a half of shoveling) by the time I hit the highway the road was clear and sped down to New York in just over three hours. Finding free on-street parking a block from the venue was the next big win! Walked off to have dinner with an old friend. 

 I’d never been to a gala event like this, and a month ago when I tried on my tuxedo I found I’d shrunk out of it. So I went to Franklin Rogers, an old-school men’s store in downtown Providence and got kitted out with a shiny chianti-colored suit and my first pair of pointy-toed shoes. 

After dinner I still had an hour to kill, so I went into a nearby Bistro and ordered an espresso. (My fifth of the day!) Drinking espresso never takes me as long as it does Europeans or Italians. Fortunately, the bistro had a big restroom and I hogged it for ten minutes to change  out of my driving/schlepwear into my new shiny suit.

Outside Gustavino’s there were sparkles and spotlights. Inside, a line of servants (ahem) waited attentively to collect coats and bags. Despite my dawdling, I literally was the first one there to pick up the heavy silver medal that signified LOKI RAGNAROK (and me) as an Audie Finalist.

Me on the red carpet!
Yes! Red Carpet

Then it was off to the red carpet. The photo here was taken with my camera and blurrs the medal, so when the “official” one comes through I’ll repost it.

More servants (waitstaff, actors with day jobs) waited with glasses of wine or champagne. I stuck to the water, knowing there was a long drive home. 

Then I mingled, introducing myself to anyone who was standing alone. In short order I met a literary agent who was accompanying a client’s spouse, a young fellow who said he wanted to direct movies but was there with his boss who was a “paymaster” for audio book narrators, and Kate Reading, who was lovely to talk with. (I actually had listened to and enjoyed a number of her books, but didn’t realize it until this morning.)

Me, Kennedy Phillips and Levar Burton
With Kennedy Phillips and Levar Burton

It also seemed that the “Original Works” folk attracted each other. Kennedy Philips of the Magus Elgar book and I went over and asked Levar Burton for a selfie. Bonus factoid: The last time I went to New York for a big award — the World Ebook Award for Cinderella Spinderella, Levar Burton was also there and presenting. (He didn’t remember 😉

Eventually we all went upstairs, where I was seated at the table farthest to the back of the room with some of the other peons. 

Award ceremonies are weird. They hired a celebrity (Tan France from the Netflix reboot of Queer Eye) as the host. He spoke for a few minutes and then introduced the people who were going to announce the awards. Unlike the Oscars and Grammies, the presenters didn’t read the winners, instead it was pre-recorded narration, so it sped by like a freight train. 

Meanwhile, I poked at the chocolates and fruit “desserts” which were tasty but not truly delicious.

Time passed quickly with award after award zipping by with applause. Why do they say, “And the award for Most Words in An Audiobook goes to…” and then the name of the publisher? 

Finally, it was our turn. Drumroll. The announcement of the title. There’s my name on the screen! The moment of suspense and…

The winner was… Spin, the audiobook that had a full cast of Broadway stars. Sigh. 

LOKI RAGNAROK - Audie Finalist (and Silver Medal) Winner for Original Work!

I’m sure they deserved it, but dang, I wanted it. Oh well. At least they gave me a medal!

The ceremonies finished, I got my coat and bags. Grabbed another selfie on the Red Carpet. Quick walk to the car. On the road by 10 and in bed by 1am.

All in all not a bad day.

Award News! LOKI RAGNAROK Nominated for 2019 Audie Award

February 4, 2019. New York
LOKI RAGNAROK, written and narrated by Mark Binder has been nominated for a 2019 Audie Award for Original Work! The audiobook was published by Light Publications, and is available on Audible, GooglePlayAudioBooks, Scribd, and many other platforms.

Considered the audiobook Oscars, the Audie Award ceremony is presented by the Audio Publishers Association, and will be held on March 4, in New York City.

They broke into his home. They kidnapped his children. Left his wife bound and gagged on the floor, where she choked and died. He had once helped them, been their friend and blood brother.

A well-told tale of the Norse gods… told not from the point of view of the heroic Thor or Odin, but through the eyes of Loki, the trickster… As Binder says in his introduction, this is not for children. But the stories are well-told, both in their writing — Binder adapted them from the Norse poetic and prose sagas called the Edda — and in their performance. Binder’s voice swoops and soars, now angry, now gleeful and now mocking, as Loki tells these stories of the gods run amok.

—Providence Journal

Originally conceived as a spoken-word performance, LOKI RAGNAROK is a darkly humorous revision of Norse mythology. This is not a child-friendly Marvel Universe story.

The story of Loki echoes the cycles of violence and revenge playing out across our world. Told with a blend of poetry and prose, humor and horror, it offers no solution — but a glimmer, perhaps of understanding and compassion.

Mark Binder is the author of 16 books and audio books for adults, families and children. At Columbia University, he studied mythology with T.E. Gaster and David Damrosch, and storytelling with Spalding Gray. He tours the world as a performance storyteller, sharing traditional and original tales with listeners of all ages.

Life in Chelm (live at Limmud)

“The Challah that Ate Chelm” is one of my oldest and most favorite stories…

Life in Chelm - (Live at Limmud) - audio book coverFriday is #challahday — and I’ve been baking for years. But when I started, it was a disaster. “The Challah that Ate Chelm” is a story that grew from an early baking disaster.

Last Sunday, I had the honor of being part of the Jewish Storytelling Coalition’s performance at Limmud Boston. We recorded the live show, and this is an energetic (and brief) version of the tale.

It’s up on many audio services — links below with more coming.

In the mean time, if you’re in Rhode Island, come by my studio/ office/ bookshop during the Farmer’s Market at Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket. I’m on the second floor in suite 1212.

Or support the work by purchasing some of my books and audio, like A Hanukkah Present* There are twelve stories, enough for every night of Chanukah and then some. It’s also on Amazon, iBooks, and Google Play Books, or you can the whole “Life in Chelm ebundle

And finally, if you’d like to become a patron — and get early notification and exclusive stories — and support the arts, become a patron!

Happy Holidays!
—Mark Binder


Become my patron-logo Purchase on amazon-logo   Check it out on googleplay-logo      Listen on spotify-logo Listen on itunes-logo    Listen on Deezer-logo Listen on Tidal-logo Listen on Napster-logo get it from Follett-logo