Thursday, July 23, 2015

Clay Lomakayu, Narrator of the Dream Bucket, Part 2

Even as a young boy with a reel to reel tape recorder I would create stories and sometimes pretend I was a radio broadcaster. I competed in speech competitions and won a trophy for second place. I also competed to give a speech for my graduating class which I won. At a young age, I wanted to be a writer, so words have always spoken to me as a way of translating what is beyond the word. At a young age, I played the guitar and wrote songs. I later studied acting in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. I also taught my own classes for a time.
Later I moved to Arizona and began a new chapter in my life. I discovered I had the ability to actively enter a person's soul history and channel a journey through the spoken word, sounds, and emotions to help liberation them from stories they were stuck in. This probably more than anything gives a subtlety to my spoken word, shifts in tone, volume, and quality. When I narrate, the book itself draws this out of me as I commit myself to the spine of the book, its many thrusts that to me are akin to music.
I have also been an archaeological and sacred places guide on the land that surrounds Sedona, Arizona. Here I bring the land and its ancient people to life vibrantly so that I entertains while educating also. I spent five and a half years as the narrator/entertainer for the Verde Canyon Railroad as a storyteller and singer.
I am now channeling my gifts and skills into the narration of books such as The Dream Bucket, whose message I believe in and where the art of storytelling is a poetry that is the driving voice beneath the words. That's what I grab ahold of when I begin to speak.
I probably have one of the most unique manners of recording. I sit in a half-lotus position with the text 12 feet away on a large flat screen monitor. This gives me the feeling of spaciousness. It broadens the experience, rather than staring at text a few feet from me. It also forces me to sit properly, which encourages speaking correctly. The most important investment for the narrator/producer, other than a good computer, is the mic. I bought one of the best mics around suitable to my voice, an AKG. They have been around for many many years. The other piece of equipment whose quality is important is what is called an interface. This is between your mic and your computer. But finally you must have the right acoustics in the room you are recording in. You can do wonders with the editing software these days, but it's pretty hard to fake good acoustics.

I have completed almost thirty projects this year. You can view my titles by going to Audible and searching for Lomakayu. You will see that the titles and stories are what I consider meaningful and not just pure entertainment. These are the books I enjoy narrating. You will also find there my own recently published book Medicine of One and can see something of the other things I do at

Clay Lomakayu, the Producer of The Dream Bucket

The Dream Bucket, a novel published in December 2014, tells about a young girl, Trudy Cameron, who copes with the loss of most things she held dear. It is also the story of her mother, Zoe. 
Professional actor and narrator Clay Lomakayu has produced The Dream Bucket as an Audible book.
Go to this link to hear a five minute sample: The Dream Bucket, Audible
Clay Lomakayu has an outstanding repertoire of recorded books, including Nelson Mandela: The Life and Legacy of the Father of South Africa and Preface to Lonesome Dove. In his own words, Clay tells about himself and the experience of recording The Dream Bucket:
The poetics and excellence of writing would draw the narration through me so that narrating The Dream Bucket becomes more than reading but a journey. And the content of the journey reveals challenges that we all face in life and that through our faith in something greater than our everyday self we can move through the difficulties with some form of our own Dream Bucket at the end. Mary Lou Cheatham used the dynamics of family and friends and specifically the lives of children to bring these themes to life.
The Dream Bucket is a warm-hearted, superbly written story that anyone who enjoys stories with heart would enjoy. In addition, it reveals a way of life in the South at a time when technology, such as the automobile was just emerging.
Because I narrate in the moment without preconception of what lies ahead, each time I turn the mic on I am stepping into the unknown where I have to surrender to the words. This becomes a tricky balance of spontaneity and staying with the text. I narrate in a way that I am not separate from the book. I am as much a character, even when it’s third person, as the actual characters of the book.

To Be Continued

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

A Few Thoughts about Book Reviews

In our world of instant communication, reviews have become important.  Writers, publishers, producers, agents, and other readers pay careful attention to what reviewers say or don't say.

A review is somewhat like a tip at a restaurant. It isn't necessary. A tip isn't even expected in fast food places. Writers certainly don't expect reviews from all their writers, but a carefully thought-out review is a tip in the sense of a suggestion. It's a chance for the reader to leave a tip about what was good and what could be improved.

A review doesn't need to be long; however, a carefully crafted, accurate review can be a work of literary art within itself.

A review should tell the truth in kind words. It shouldn't contain exaggerations.

A review should reflect good etiquette in the sense that the reviewer is tactful. Maybe some writer has worked for years on a book. An inconsiderate reviewer, who ignores all the good in a book, can virtually shred it with unkind remarks.

A review should not be placed after a work for the purpose of destroying the author.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

A letter about you from Amazon! Re: The Dream Bucket

Free Copy of the Audible Book
Hours of every day lately I've spent corresponding with Amazon dot com.
I am so excited about a letter Amazon sent me today at 2 am! This was a letter about you, not me.

ACX (Amazon Audible Creations) liked The Dream Bucket.  They set the price--I have no control over that. It's about $17.50 or $14.00, depending on which method of purchase you use.

But you can get it free! If you hurry.

ACX sent me a letter with some codes for free complimentary copies of The Dream Bucket. 

They instructed me how to use the codes. "We want some reviews," they said. They told me exactly what to do with the codes. "Give one away on your blog in a raffle." I'm departing from their orders and giving away five on the Collard Patch blog.

Not exactly a raffle, but here's the plan:

If you are one of the first five people to promise me you'll review the The Dream Bucket, Audible Version, Amazon will give you a free copy!

You may be asking:

  1. How do I get the free audio-book?
  2. How do I get the code?
  3. How do I use the code?

Answer--be one of the first five people to send me a private message on Facebook. Here's the path:

  1. Go to my Timeline page. You'll know you're at the right place if you see The Dream Bucket as my cover picture.
  2. Then click on message and send me a private message.
  3. I'll contact you with the code and the directions to use it.

What next?

  1. Download The Dream Bucket on your Kindle, computer, I-pad, telephone, or whatever electronic device you use. 
  2. Listen to it.
  3. Go to Amazon and write a review. 
I can't think of enough good words to tell you how much your review will bless my life and make ACX happy.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Dream Bucket Audible Audio Edition

The Dream Bucket, which has received 40 reviews, with an average of 4.5 stars is now available as an audible book.

It can be played on many types of electronic devices.

The dramatic reading by talented actor Clay Lomakayu is 8 hours and 13 minutes long. 

Clay brings out the emotions in this story of a young girl named Trudy, who along with her mother and brother, lost everything.  A fire burned their elaborate country home and took the life of Trudy's father. As a result they moved into a shack rejected by sharecroppers. Here they found a richness in life new to them. Even though they began working before the sun rose most days and finished their chores as the sun set in order to have food on the table and patched clothing to wear, they enjoyed the summer of 1909, a time which they would always remember. 

Here's the link to the audible version:


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Listen to a sample of the new Audible version of The Dream Bucket.

Amazon has released The Dream Bucket as an Audible Book Click on the link below to hear a sample:

Friday, July 10, 2015

Exciting News about The Courtship of Miss Loretta Larson

The Courtship of Miss Loretta Larson  has begun the process today of becoming an Audible book. Rosie Buhrer, who designed the cover for the Kindle version, will redesign the cover to meet the specifications for a recorded book. This time we're replacing Loretta's beautiful face with a vase of roses.

A note about Rosie: She is a graphic artist, editor, seasoned authority about writing skills, published author, dear friend, and mentor of successful writers.

EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT: Jodi Hockinson has agreed to narrate The Courtship of Miss Loretta Larson. She will begin recording this week. Did I say I'm excited? Jodi brings what Loretta needs to jump off the page and into the listeners' ears. She is reading this story in the tone of a charming Southern woman of a hundred years ago. We'll enjoy her interpretation. It's like going to a play. I love recorded books!

Jodi's Credentials: She does voice overs, tells stories, produces informative and motivational books, as well as romance and video.

If you don't have this second book in the Covington Chronicles a series including Secret Promise and The Dream Bucket, click on this picture to get a copy of the book:

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Seven Fashion Trends for Women of the Early 1900’s

The women in The Covington Chronicles dressed in the fashion of the day. Researching the clothing of the first decade of the twentieth century, I discovered these style elements:

Broad-Brimmed Hats. In the early part of the decade, ladies wore hats with pheasant feathers and bird’s nests. The most expensive hats had stuffed male hummingbirds included in the decorations. Toward the end of the decade, hat brims became narrow and droopy.

Women’s Flashy Shoes. Women wore narrow shoes with pointed toes and medium high heels. Patent leather shoes with laces, straps, or pearl buttons were in vogue.

Mary Jane Shoes. Centuries ago men wore buckled shoes similar to the ones we now call Mary Janes. Buster Brown, a comic strip first published in 1902, popularized a character named Mary Jane, who wore strap-and-buckle shoes. Mary Janes became popular among young girls. Some adult shoes followed the same style.

Lingerie Dresses. “Adorned with embroidery, lace, pin tucks, ruffles and ribbons,” * ‘ lingerie dresses appeared on fashionable women at parties, horse races, and other socials.

White Blouses. Women loved blouses with lace and tucks. The style was fullness over the bust. One style with fullness over the bust and a slim waist was called a pigeon blouse

Trumpet Skirts. In the first decade of the twentieth century, skirts that were tight across the hips and flared toward the hem dominated women’s fashions. Skirts similar to these are still popular.

Paul Poiret Fashions. Paul Poiret, the King of Fashions, lived in Paris. In the early 1900’s up until World War I, he dominated the fashion industry. He designed dresses that were the forerunners of modern styles. His dresses were simple, steam lined, and bright colored.

Wikipedia, 1900’s in Fashion

Wikipedia, Mary Jane (shoes)

Fashion Source Book

*On Pins and Needles

My three novels set in this time period:

Friday, July 03, 2015

Mississippi 1900-1910

20th Century Mississippi History Timeline

Here are a few background facts which I used in writing Secret Promise, The Courtship of Miss Loretta Larson, and The Dream Bucket.

1903 - A new capitol building, constructed at a cost of $1 million, is dedicated in Jackson.
1907 -The boll weevil arrives in Mississippi, destroying most of the state's cotton crop.
1908 - Mississippi adopts statewide prohibition.
1909 - Dr. Laurence C. Jones founds the Piney Woods Country Life School for the vocational and secondary education of black students.
1910 - Mississippi Normal College, now the University of Southern Mississippi,is organized.

This information is obtained from the following source:

Interesting Historical Events of the First Decade of the Twentieth Century

1900—The United States acquired its first submarine.
1900—The Galveston Hurricane killed over 6,000 people.
1900—Carrie Nation smashed a bar in Kansas in her fight against alcohol.
1901—The Ladies Home Journal was first published.
1902—Free rural delivery of mail became part of the United States postal system.
1903—The first Model A was produced.
1903—The Wright brothers flew the first plane.
1904—Ice cream cones were introduced at the St. Louis World’s Fair.
1904—The National Child Labor Committee initiated a campaign against oppressive child labor.
1905—The first Nickelodeon opened in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Here People could view a short movie for a nickel.
1906—An earthquake and a fire destroyed most of San Francisco.
1906—The Federal Food and Drug Act made it illegal to sell foods inappropriately labeled.
1907—Immigration peaked to 1907. Most of these immigrants came from eastern and southern Europe.
1908—The first Model T was produced.
1909—Instant coffee was introduced.
1910—The world population reached 1.5 billion people.
The events on the above list were selected to show what life was like back then.

My three novels set in this time period:

10 Reasons Why I Love the Early 1900’s

1. I simply love to study and write about the first decade of the twentieth century with its intriguing fashions and customs.
2. My father, born in 1898, and my mother, born in 1907, loved telling my siblings and me stories about this time.
3. It was a simple time, still old fashioned.
4. Modern inventions were changing the world at a break-neck rate.
5. It was a time of peace before a major war rearranged the Western World.
6. When people made deals, their spoken word with a handshake was as good as a signed contract.
7. Family members were close.
8. Families shared their joys and sorrows around the fireplace and dinner table.
9. People worked hard for a living, and work made a difference.
10. The government wasn’t complicated.

So far I've written three novels in a series, The Covington Chronicles, about this time: Secret Promise, The Courtship of Miss Loretta Larson, and The Dream Bucket.

Thursday, July 02, 2015


In the #freebies, The Dream Bucket reached #1 Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Religious & Inspirational Fiction > Christian > Romance > Historical

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #284 Free in Kindle Store.

To celebrate, I'm extending the free download three more days.

Go here.

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Jameson Gregg is Georgia's Author of the Year in the Humor Category.

A Letter from My Nephew, Jameson Gregg
 I'm thrilled to have won 2014 Georgia Author of the Year.

          Finalists and winners were announced last weekend at the 51st annual award banquet of the Georgia Writers Association. This is the oldest literary award in the southeast.

          The Award was open to Georgia residents who published a book in 2014. There were 116 nominees in 17 fiction and nonfiction categories. Luck Be A Chicken won the humor category.