A Puritan Hero

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susanwbailey:

Here’s one of those fascinating stories about Orchard House to be featured in the upcoming documentary by someone who should know (pssst! 5 days to go on the Kickstarter campaign – help Orchard House meet its goal: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/632439913/orchard-house
Amy’s book, Flight of the Sparrow is wonderful (see previous post); be sure and pick it up on Amazon.com.

Originally posted on Collisions:

Orchard House snowAbout a decade ago, I worked for a few years at the Orchard House Museum in Concord, Massachusetts.  Best known as the home of Louisa May Alcott and the place where she wrote the classic novel, Little Women, the house has an impressive history of its own.  When I was there the 300-year-old building, renovated by Bronson Alcott in the 1850’s, was in the midst of a massive preservation project, so I had the opportunity to see, up-close, some of the details of the colonial construction.  Ever since, I’ve been fascinated not just by how historical houses are decorated, but how they’re constructed.

At that time, I was finishing work on my novel, Mr. Emerson’s Wife, about the Transcendental circle in19th century Concord.  Little did I know that a few years later, I’d encounter the house again, as I researched a 17th-century Concord lawyer for my new novel,

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Part four of 4-part interview: Meet filmmaker and producer Justin King and hear his passion for Orchard House

In part three of this interview about Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, we meet the documentary’s producer and filmmaker, Justin King. Hear his motivation for making this film:

I wish to thank WCOM-FM for granting permission to rebroadcast this interview. It originally aired on October 1st on the “Courage Cocktail” hosted by Lee Anne McClymont.

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Host Lee Ann McClymont wrote a lovely sonnet to Louisa which I will close with. Thank you for your support of the campaign!

Louisa’s Dream

Kindred sister, in thy grace,
Help me birth a gentler race.
Place inside the meaning clear
Through our voice disband the fear.
Ford our way through wide and narrow
Guide our vision through bone and marrow
Still the noise and ply your craft
With sound and vision restore the draft
Till eventide the sea must rush
Let moonbeams sweetly whisper “hush.”
The end is near for family’s lost
In time suspended hope’s only cost
Restore the pledge to live in light
Godspeed your craft
With fortress might!

Sweetwood-Spring 2009
Hillsborough, North Carolina

Remember to #PledgeYourLove at
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/632439913/orchard-house

And please, share these posts with everyone you know who loves Little Women and Louisa May Alcott!

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Part three of 4-part interview: Jan Turnquist recounts a fascinating story of a pilgrimage to Orchard House

little women in koreanIn part three of this interview about Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, Executive Director Jan Turnquist shares a poignant story of a pilgrim visiting Orchard House from the other side of the world and how Little Women impacted this visitor:

I wish to thank WCOM-FM for granting permission to rebroadcast this interview. It originally aired on October 1st on the “Courage Cocktail” hosted by Lee Anne McClymont.

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Remember to #PledgeYourLove at
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/632439913/orchard-house

And please, share these posts with everyone you know who loves Little Women and Louisa May Alcott!

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Subscribe to the email list and never miss a post!
Facebook Louisa May Alcott is My Passion
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Part two of 4-part interview: Jan Turnquist talks about Bronson’s education and the support Louisa received from her parents

" . . . I press thee to my heart, as Duty's faithful child."

” . . . I press thee to my heart, as Duty’s faithful child.”

In part two of this interview about Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, Executive Director Jan Turnquist reveals how Bronson Alcott received his education and how important his love of learning was to Louisa’s development as a writer:

I wish to thank WCOM-FM for granting permission to rebroadcast this interview. It originally aired on October 1st on the Courage Cocktail Radio Show, WCOM LP. 

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Remember to #PledgeYourLove at
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/632439913/orchard-house

And please, share these posts with everyone you know who loves Little Women and Louisa May Alcott!

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Subscribe to the email list and never miss a post!
Facebook Louisa May Alcott is My Passion
More About Louisa on Twitter

Beginning today: 4-part interview with the movers and shakers of the Orchard House documentary and Kickstarter fundraising campaign

As you know, Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House has been promoting a Kickstarter Campaign to raise $150,000 to fund a documentary film on this extraordinary house museum (click on the photo to make your pledge).

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Those of us who have visited Orchard House know that it is far more than a museum; it is a place of pilgrimage. Countless visitors remark on the spiritual aspect of visiting the ancient house, “feeling” the presence of the Alcott family as they see drawings and paintings by artist May on the walls and secretly touch the desk where Louisa penned Little Women.

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Jan Turnquist, Director of Concord's Orchard House, shares the wealth of the historic Alcott home.

Jan Turnquist, Director of Concord’s Orchard House, shares the wealth of the historic Alcott home.

Recently Executive Director Jan Turnquist and film maker and producer Justin King gave a compelling interview on the radio program “Courage Cocktail” hosted by Lee Anne McClymont of WCOM LP 103.5 in Carrboro, North Carolina. The interview was an hour in length; to facilitate easier listening, I have split that interview into four parts to be posted Monday through Thursday of this week. I wish to thank WCOM for permission to rebroadcast this interview.

As you listen to this wonderful, passionate and magical account of Orchard House, please consider joining the hundreds who have already pledged their support at  https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/632439913/orchard-house. With just 17 days left to go, nearly $100,000 still needs to be pledged.

This documentary affords Orchard House the chance to reach a far wider audience than they ever have before. Knowledge of this house is essential to keep it up and running as a museum. Build in the 1600’s, Orchard House is in constant need of repair. Your pledge keeps Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House alive and running!

Here is part one of the interview; it features Jan Turnquist describing the fascinating history of the house:

 

Remember to #PledgeYourLove at
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/632439913/orchard-house

And please, share these posts with everyone you know who loves Little Women and Louisa May Alcott!

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Subscribe to the email list and never miss a post!
Facebook Louisa May Alcott is My Passion
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Remembering Louisa May Alcott through your pledge #PledgeYourLove

Over the next five days I will be posting video and audio featuring remembrances of Louisa May Alcott and her home, the Orchard House. You may know that Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House is in the middle of a Kickstarter fundraising campaign. The goal is to raise $150,000 to fund a documentary film about the history and legacy of Orchard House.

Any of you who have visited Orchard House know,  it is more than a museum. It is a place of pilgrimage. We can feel the presence of the family from Louisa’s mood pillow in the parlor, to Anna’s grey silk wedding dress on Louisa’s bed. From Bronson’s architectural improvements and the large library in his study, to Marmee’s family china in the dining room and her comb in the master bedroom. We pause looking at Lizzie’s melodeon and marvel at May’s paintings and drawings not only hung on the walls, but painted right on the walls. Most of all, we stop in front of the little half moon desk where a classic was born, a book that has inspired the lives of millions of women from around the world for well over a century.

The posts I will put up Monday through Thursday of this week will feature a 4-part interview with the Executive Director of Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House Jan Turnquist; plus we will hear from the producer and filmmaker Justin King as to what inspired him to make the film.

I am deeply grateful to Lee Anne MyClymont for granting permission to take her interview and present it over these next few days. You can find her podcast here: “Courage Cocktail” hosted by Lee Anne McClymont of WCOM LP 103.5 in Carrboro, North Carolina.

As a warm-up, I wish to present my own remembrance of Louisa May Alcott and her sister Lizzie, just to get you started:

Remember to #PledgeYourLove at
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/632439913/orchard-house

And please, share these posts with everyone you know who loves Little Women and Louisa May Alcott!

To make sure you don’t miss these series of interviews, subscribe to the email list and never miss a post!

With only 17 days left in the campaign, let’s help Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House make their goal!

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Louisa May Alcott loved cats and so do I – Helping out cats, kittens and people with a special book

cover croppedSince Louisa May Alcott loved cats (and I love Louisa), I wanted to share with you a book I recently self-published known as The Critter Room Memory Book Volume One on sale now for $19.95 to raise funds for an extraordinary no-kill cat shelter known as Purrfect Pals. Before encountering Purrfect Pals I would have thought that supporting a cat shelter was a frivolous thing; shouldn’t my efforts go towards helping humans instead?

It turns out Purrfect Pals does help humans, and here’s how.

Two years ago I “met” John Bartlett online. He is a volunteer for Purrfect Pals having fostered 43 litters of kittens. Nearly 200 kittens and mother cats have found permanent homes as a result of his efforts.

A friend alerted me to the live kitten cam John had on Livestream and after my first visit, I was hooked. Over the span of several weeks I could watch newborn babies grow to healthy and beautiful kittens ready to take on the world.

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It was fun watching them grow from squirmy little sausages with pencil point tales to the fur balls of fun. Imagine watching little kittens working their tiny paws back and forth in rapid succession as they nursed from their mother … envision little spitfires “zooming” around the room, leaping, tumbling and snuggling … I couldn’t stop watching.

Offering joy and comfort

I enjoy watching the kitten cam for a good laugh or just to get away for a spell from all the bad news in the world. At first the draw was the kittens but soon it became the community—thousands of people from around the world tuning in to watch kittens, chat together, share their life stories and offer comfort to other members who needed it. Along with the comical remarks about the kittens (kitten lovers have a great sense of humor) were stories of chronic illness, unemployment and other matters that isolate people from their world. Some community members are homebound and the live kitten cam community became a lifeline for them, filling their days with smiles and love.

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Why The Critter Room Memory Book?

Tears are shed on adoption day as the kittens go off to their new homes. We’re all thrilled and yet we miss them. That’s when I came up with the idea of The Critter Room Memory Book Volume One, a scrapbook full of pictures of kittens along with fan fiction, art and commentary on how the Critter Room community is a microcosm for how the world could work when we could but adopt a common cause.

Prison outreach

prison-programFoster Dad John helps kittens find homes and his cam gives joy to people in need. But there’s more. Purrfect Pals has a prison outreach program called Prison-Foster where inmates are given semi-feral kittens to socialize and to love so that they can then be adopted. That’s when I knew I wanted to support this wonderful organization.

I would hope Louisa would be pleased.

In support of Purrfect Pals

If you would like to support Purrfect Pals in their work, you can purchase The Critter Room Memory Book Volume One, and all royalties go to Purrfect Pals. For every $19.95 you spend, Purrfect Pals makes $10.35. Makes a great gift!

How to double your donation

critter room memory book box art2Another great way to help is to “double” your donation by purchasing books for Purrfect Pals to sell during their adoption events. Their address is 230 McRae Rd NE, Arlington, WA 98223 in care of Executive Director Connie Gabelein.

You can find out more about Foster Dad John and The Critter Room by visiting the Facebook page.

Thanks for your support!

Louisa’s poem in tribute to her cat

A Lament For S. B. Pat Paw

We mourn the loss of our little pet,
And sigh o’er her hapless fate,
For never more by the fire she’ll sit,
Nor play by the old green gate.

The little grave where her infant sleeps
Is ‘neath the chestnut tree.
But o’er her grave we may not weep,
We know not where it may be.

Her empty bed, her idle ball,
Will never see her more;
No gentle tap, no loving purr
Is heard at the parlor door.

Another cat comes after her mice,
A cat with a dirty face,
But she does not hunt as our darling did,
Nor play with her airy grace.

Her stealthy paws tread the very hall
Where Snowball used to play,
But she only spits at the dogs our pet
So gallantly drove away.

She is useful and mild, and does her best,
But she is not fair to see,
And we cannot give her your place dear,
Nor worship her as we worship thee.

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