Quick updates, current favorite writing music, and an entry from my dream journal

I have completed recording the kids book I was working on! YAY! I immediately celebrated by dropping a cup of water in my sound booth and on me…as one does.

I have no plans to edit the audio for that one anytime soon, because I am officially burned out on that book. I don’t think I could stand to listen to it or read it without developing some kind of nervous twitch.

Now that the weather is warmer, I’m having trouble getting booth time in which no lawn mowers, etc. are running. I live in a subdivision, so I should expect such things, but I’m still annoyed. I would really love it if they would establish an official mowing day, and everyone does it then. That would be much better than the constant (CONSTANT!!) barrage of motor sounds.

I do have a lot of sound dampening stuff in the booth, but it’s not 100% soundproof, unfortunately.

What else?

Oh, I should finish the last novelette for the first year of my upcoming short fiction series by Monday. Then, only 2 stories left to write! And all of them left to edit. That will be quick, though. I’m going to set an official launch date once I have the first 3 or 4 pieces proofread. If I had to venture a guess right now, I’d say…Julyish? I think I said May before? Sorry. I was not efficient.

Current favorite writing music: Where’s the Drop by DeadMau5

If you don’t know who DeadMau5 is, he’s an EDM guy. BUT this album is a collection of orchestral (?) versions of some of his songs. I love it very much, and I hope he makes more. Here’s a stream of it on youtube if you’d like to give it a listen.

 

 

On to the dream journal! I started keeping one about a month ago. I’ve never done this before, and it’s been an interesting experience. I don’t remember as many of my dreams as I thought I did. Some days I can’t remember them at all. I try, but it’s kind of like having a thought that you can’t quite grab. I’ve found that if I can land on a word that corresponds with something in the dream, I can get a lot of it to come back to me. Today’s word was zombie.

I don’t have zombie dreams very often, but when I do, I always get bitten right before I wake up. ¬† ūüė¶

Here’s today’s entry:

5/9/2019: zombie dream. I was holed up in a hotel with some other people. We made a trap for the zombies that found their way in. It worked for a while, but eventually, we had to leave. I wanted to go to the country. Before I could get out, I was confronted by vampires who wanted to turn me and then force me to attend a vampire wedding as a guest. We only got as far as the car, though, and I remember driving past a couple of tourist attractions that other people in the car seemed pleased to see.

 

Vampire wedding!!! The ridiculousness of that did not hit me until I thought about it while awake. That might end up in one of my short stories in the future. It’s almost too ridiculous not to. Anyone care to analyze?

 

 

 

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Today on As the Writer Turns

I’m aware that I’m neglecting the blog again. As usual, I have many things going on. But I do have time to post a couple of quick updates.

I finished another story for my short fiction series that’s coming out this year. Every time, I tell someone about it, I feel like they might think I’m slacking off because I’m not working on a full length novel.

This series is actually a huge project for me. The first year will consist of 12 short stories and 5 novelettes. I’ve finished rough drafts for all but 2 short stories and the novelette I’m currently working on. So yeah, huge project. Even if it ends up being one big pile of garbage, I’ll still be proud that I finished it.

On the audiobook front, guess what…yet more technical difficulties! This week’s technical difficulty is brought to you by this extremely hazardous laptop charger.

This is from a hand-me-down HP laptop from the boy that I’ve been using because the sound on Dell Windows 10 computers is garbage. If you want to do narration, DO NOT purchase a Dell Windows 10 computer.

Anyway, back to the cord. I noticed electrical tape on it before, but I didn’t think too much about it.

The other day, I turned the computer on, and it proceeded to take a year and a half to update. I got bored and decided to check out the cord situation. We see how that went.

Bad words were muttered.

Inquiries were made.

A new cord was ordered.

It should be here tomorrow.

My son claims that the cord just ‚Äúpulled apart.‚ÄĚ I have my doubts.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Happy New Year!

slothAfter several weeks of doing my best sloth-girl impression, I have resumed working. Well, I’m pretty much always writing, so that much was going on, at least. I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful New Year’s Eve and a good start to this next trip around the sun.

Do you want to know what is not a fun activity? Moving a podcast with 27 episodes.

My account renewal at Podbean for The Authors Read Podcast was due in December. I knew it was coming up, so I needed to decide whether I wanted to keep the party going for another year. I asked myself what I didn’t like about it.

I like helping my fellow authors. Getting book publicity is a rough game sometimes. One of the reasons I started the podcast was because I wanted to be one of the people who could open a door instead one of the legions who prefer to slam it or, you know, just ignore the knock.

My only real issue with it was the expense. My account at Podbean was $100 for the year. For something that doesn’t make any money, it wasn’t an expense that I could really justify to myself. Luckily, I found a place to host it for free! The website doesn’t have as many features, but if it keeps me in the game, I’m good.

I had another issue. I thought I had saved all my complete episode mp3 files. HAHA no. Alas, I did not. I have no idea where they went or how they got there, but I was missing episodes 16-19 and 21-26. I did have most of the pieces: the readings, the intros, the outros. All in all, between piecing the episodes back together, uploading them to Castbox.FM and updating all the links on the wordpress site, etc, it was about 10 hours of work.

I do really like podcasting, though, so it’s worth the effort to me.

I did get to see how much my voicework improved over the course of last year. Around episode 19 or 20, it really started to sound better.

If you’d like to follow Authors Read on Castbox, here is a link for you.¬†¬†It has zero followers on Castbox so far because it’s been on there for all of five seconds, so any follows would be much appreciated!

I have a lot of exciting stuff planned for this year, including finishing one or more audiobooks. I know, I know, I said I wanted one out last year. I didn’t make it, okay? I was tired and lazy. I’m better now. I promise.

Back on the Audio Horse

Okay. I started recording a new audiobook today. I made it down to my chilly, makeshift sound studio and got the thing done. I still have to edit it, of course. That’s always the far bigger thing.

I think I lost my narrator that signed on for Destined for Darkness. The book was supposed to be finished by the end of October, and she has vanished into thin air. That’s the 2nd audiobook narrator I’ve lost.

Look, cats and kittens, if you want to get into audiobook narration, that’s fine and dandy. There isn’t much of a barrier to entry for auditioning. Know what you’re getting into so you don’t waste someone’s time getting involved in a¬†contract that someone will later have to beg ACX to cancel. That’s not fun. It causes delays and is, in fact, quite annoying.

shame

Given that I don’t have thousands of dollars to drop into audiobook production (it typically runs about $200 per finished hour), this is going to come down to me, myself, and I getting ‘er done.

So I’m working on Beneath Oceans of Sky right now. Then when/if…no when (it must be when) that’s done, I’m going to work on Love and the Dark and/or The Blood of Guardians.

I figure one chapter at a time probably won’t be too bad. I just need to make sure that I edit each chapter before I start the next one so I don’t have 1000 hours of editing ahead of me at the end of recording.¬† *shudders to think*

 

 

The Audio Struggle Nears an End

I see why audiobooks cost so much to produce. I listen to audiobooks all of the time, and I don’t think I ever fully appreciated how much work goes into them. I mean, of course, I appreciated the fact that they exist. They’ve made many a commute more tolerable for me. My love for them is actually one reason I wanted to start making them.

But holy cow. Recording is grueling. Editing is even more grueling. The first night I worked on editing, it took me 2 hours to edit 6 minutes of audio. I’m not kidding. There was a bit of a learning curve with the software. I had to look a few things up, but most of that time was editing.

I’m still new at all of this, including reading my stuff out loud, so there was a lot of stopping and starting again. If I stumbled over words, I read them again. Apparently, sometimes I write in tongue-twister form. Who knew?

I edited out some breathing and some throat clearing noises, etc, maybe a drink or two of water. It was a lot. By the end of it, I will say that my reading was better and required less editing.

I need to work on opening my mouth a little wider when I speak, and I need to work on making the different characters’ voices more distinct. I learned that when I rerecord¬†a certain part, not to start in the middle of a¬†sentence. Duh.

I also feel that I sound a little more country than I’d like. The husband says I don’t, but I hear it in certain words.

The length of audio before editing was an hour and 48 minutes. It is now an hour and 4 minutes, which is a little less than ACX’s length estimate calculator. If I remember correctly, it said the estimate was 75 minutes.

I still have¬†some sentences that I need to rerecord and splice in. That shouldn’t take too long, I hope. Then I’ll have to clean the whole thing up in Audacity and make sure the file meets ACX requirements. Then, if all goes well, we’ll be off to the races, kids.

off to the races.jpg