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No Skill Needed

January 21st, 2016 Posted by Susan's Musings 6 comments

A year ago, I converted to Mac. Even the language of ‘converting’ implies that this type of change involves more angst than switching detergents. Over the course of learning to use my new computer, I spent a fair bit of time at the Apple store as well as exchanging numerous phone calls with Apple support. I must give a shout out to the help at both venues–what a pleasure! During one of my orientations, an enthusiastic employee shared her excitement with the GarageBand app. I assumed that I could ignore this information. Chances of my wanting to record music seemed to be only slightly higher than my suddenly deciding to take up extreme sports.

What did I know? Fast forward to this past Fall, when I met Sarah Mazor in Jerusalem. Sarah had contacted our office, asking if we had ever thought of publishing children’s books and offering to show us some of the ones she authored. Sarah’s letter intrigued my right-hand woman, Crystol, and she  forwarded it to me. It languished in my email pile until, months later, I clicked on the link to one of Sarah’s books and noticed that she knew Hebrew. I contacted Sarah, telling her that we published for adults, but I wanted to speak to her and would be in touch when I was back in the States, as my husband and I were spending the month of holidays in Jerusalem.

 “I’m going to Jerusalem for the holidays too,” she wrote. 

“Maybe we can meet for a quick cup of coffee,” I responded, telling her the neighborhood where we would be. 

“I’m staying right near there,” Sarah replied, and agreed to be in touch once we were both overseas. 

Our ‘quick cup of coffee’ turned into a three hour chat as Sarah’s story captivated me. My husband and I told her the type of book that we thought would benefit our audience and by the end of the morning we signed Sarah on to write our first children’s book. 

I knew that I wanted to share Sarah’s story with you and the amazing surprise we had when we met. Instead of writing it down in a Musing, I thought it would be fun to record an interview with her, which we proceeded to do. Alas, when I listened to the interview, it was unusable. Perhaps I was holding the microphone too far from Sarah or maybe her voice is much quieter than mine, but you could barely hear her. Combine that with the times each of us wanted a “do-over” and said the same idea twice, along with a fair bit of “ums” and pauses, and the interview was long, disjointed and unusable. 

Enter memories of GarageBand and its ability to edit and enhance audio.  A number of video tutorials later as well as an amazingly helpful assistant at the Apple store and I had two interviews ready to upload. They’re not perfect and occasionally I cut off part of a word, but I am pretty impressed with myself. In fact, I’m looking forward to having more audio to play with and trying to add intro music this time. Having gone way out of my comfort zone to learn a new technology, I am once again amazed at what power we have at our fingertips today.

If you’d like to hear the interviews (no coercion!) here are the links:

First interview

Second interview

I hope you enjoy meeting Sarah as much as I did. 

Share the result of our collaboration with a child in your life

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6 comments

James says:

Very cool! A language-learning book for children! It’s impressive how this lady sought to capture her heritage. Remember that many an adult who would penetrate and acquire a new language is best advised to start modestly: with children’s books. I am considering ordering this one!

I’d be delighted if you did!

Nancy says:

Thank you, Susan. It is reassuring to see a great witness that, ‘ulay,’ there is a Planner that is perfectly capable of incorporating our own plans into His. I am greatly encouraged by it. You should (technically the past tense of shall) certainly prosper by this venture.

Lora says:

That is so neat. I really enjoyed seeing such devotion to good literature for children. It’s one of those issues we really wrestled with when the kids were little. In fact, it continues to this day with teens in the house- whether it is their personal reading, or the curriculum in their schools. Good books are so essential.

I have been snowed in with some of my grandchildren and tonight we read Caps for Sale and The Little Engine that Could among other classics. I love that their parents take care as to what they – and their older siblings- read.

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