Meddling Kids

Hey-o! I listened to an interesting audiobook about a week ago. It was Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero. I’ve loved Scooby Doo pretty much always, so the title and the cover got my attention.

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Here’s a snippet from the audiobook description: “With raucous humor and brilliantly orchestrated mayhem, Meddling Kids subverts teen detective archetypes like the Hardy Boys, the Famous Five, and Scooby-Doo, and delivers an exuberant and wickedly entertaining celebration of horror, love, friendship, and many-tentacled, interdimensional demon spawn.”

I will admit that I’m not overly familiar with the Hardy Boys (read a book or two) or the Famous Five (who?), but all I saw in this was Scooby Doo. It was like someone took the character traits from the original show, dropped them in a blender, and then combined them with a few new bits in a cast of character collage. It felt like fan fiction more than an original.

I did like the writing. It was campy like a Scooby Doo episode. The story was good. It actually would’ve been just fine without leaning so hard into the Scooby Doo knockoff gimmick.

I feel I should also add that the lady that narrated the audiobook did an excellent job.

 

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New Toy

Guess what. I have a thing! I’m super excited because I am 99.9% sure this is going to fix the issues I’ve been having with the audiobook recording. I gave it a test run earlier, and so far, there is much magnificence. AND it’s pink!

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I’ve been fighting with Audacity for quite some time. I’ve cruised forums, watched youtube videos, downloaded like 10 plug-ins, learned how to use Nyquist code, etc. It turns out that I had a hardware issue the whole time. I’m still pretty new to the audio game, so I’m still feeling my way around. Learning is always good!

I’m on a bit of a writing break at the moment. I might do a short story here and there, but I need to step back, disengage, regroup. I haven’t done that in quite some time. My writing might be suffering because of it.

I have been reading, though! If you have anxiety and/or your brain won’t shut up (like mine), this book might help. It’s about inner peace and meditation and dealing with the stress that comes from fixating on problems. I’m a bit over halfway through, and it has already helped me a lot. I will say that it can be repetitive at times, but the read is definitely worth it.

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Moving and/or Shaking

Alright. I was mostly absent from the blog last week because I was CRAZY busy. Did I even post? I don’t remember.

So, I’ve got a few things going on. First, I got the proof for Wild Spirits of the Hollow.  Wheee! Here’s a picture.

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I couldn’t get a clear picture with my phone because it’s being annoying. It probably wants more light or something.

Anyway, I was super happy that the cover art looked okay. You never know what might happen with photos. I was worried it would turn out too dark or too blurry, but it did not. As of right now, this is the only print copy, unless someone at Createspace took liberties.

What else. Oh, I did release a new thing that is not really a new thing. The prequel to Pestilence Rising received a fresh round of editing, a new cover, and a slightly altered title. Llewyn’s Faith is now Llewyn and is free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers and $1.99 if you’re not.

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Link to the story on Amazon

I’ve been poking around my backlist to see if there was anything short I could line up for audiobook narration. I decided to do this one, so that was the reason for the fresh round of editing, etc. As I was in the process of giving it a makeover, I noticed that I really half-assed it the first time around: the editing, the cover art, the description. It was just kind of a mess.

The story was a promotional thing for the novel that goes with it, so I didn’t value it like I should have. I was also impatient.

I should add that in the back of the story is a link to subscribe to my email list and get a free download copy of Pestilence Rising.  So basically, you could get the story and the book for $1.99 instead of dropping $4.99 on the ebook. But don’t tell anybody.

In August, the book below is coming out, and I have a story in it! The story is called Carnival and is creepy, I hope.

Indianas Emerging Authors

I’ll post a link once the book is available.

Minor less exciting updates.

Beneath Oceans of Sky audiobook: Editing bits have been patched in, and I’m about to start my final round of listening. Next step, uploading files and dancing with ACX quality control people. Gosh, I’m looking forward to that.

Echoes (abbreviated title because the real title is so cool that someone might actually steal it) – This is my scifi/fantasy/horror novel that has a tentative release day in November. I finished the first read-through/rewrite today! Quite exciting. Hopefully, the next round of edits will be easier.

I think that’s all for now. Time to go work.

 

 

Getting It Completed and Other Plans

So last weekend, the husband was occupied, and I decided to have an audio editing extravaganza. It was magnificent! I edited 7 chapters over the course of 3 days, which was about 40-45 finished minutes, which a TON of work. Audiobook production is not for the lazy, that is FOR SURE! I took yoga breaks. I took Skyrim breaks and Dead Space 2 breaks. Caffeinated beverages and wine were consumed but not at the same time.

I have 4 chapters left to edit, and I have to record the closing credits. Then I’ll have to go back through what I recorded and read along to make sure all the words are there and correct. I made some changes as I was recording, too, adding a couple of speech tags, etc, so I need to update the print editions to make sure they match those parts.

Damn, my life is glamorous.

After I finish this project, I’m revamping the soundbooth a bit. Moving blankets might dampen the sound more effectively than the foam setup I have now. The foam is…decent, but the moving blankets are heavier and more solid. There’s still a tiny bit of an echo in there that I’d like to get rid of. I might use the foam and the blankets together if I’m not happy with just the blankets. The blankets will look better as well, perhaps less like a serial killer’s lair, not that the appearance really bothers me.

I would also like a light because the big light in the room is somewhat blocked. I’m thinking one of those battery-operated nightlights that stick to the wall.

Another thing I plan to work on after Oceans is done is the Iyrico audio. That was the short story audio project that I rage-quit a while back, before I started recording Oceans. It was a lot of work, and I’m starting to feel ridiculous for abandoning it. If I can shape it up without having to rerecord the whole thing, I might go on and do that.

I also came up with a brilliant idea for editing my print books that is somewhat related to the audiobook thing. One’s eyes have a tendency to correct mistakes as one reads. That’s not very convenient for me when I’m looking for typos. One of my rounds of editing is now going to involve having an app read the text to me. I’m hoping that my ears might catch a few issues that my eyes do not.

Now, please enjoy this picture of Bleu’s ginormous kitten eyes.

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An Audio Update and Yard Shenanigans

Monday! Oh, how I have not missed you all that much.

I have a goal to finish all primary recording sessions for Beneath Oceans of Sky this very week! I actually recorded 3 chapters today: a retake of chapter 20 and then chapters 24 and 25. I usually only record one at a time, but I’m trying to get faster at the whole audiobook production process, hence the longer session.

I’m not worrying about keeping up with editing this week. It’s an all-out recording run! I have a three-day weekend and the husband will be occupied for some of it, so I can have an audio editing extravaganza. If I really buckle down, I could actually finish this thing in the next 1-2 weeks. I’m super excited.

A thing that I am not excited about is the spiders I keep finding in my basement. This one was hanging out over my sound booth the other day.

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They gotta go, for real! I like spiders but not when one could potentially sneak out from behind my sound dampening foam and steal a snack while I am otherwise distracted.

In the yard, we’ve had much cuter intruders. Baby robins and baby cardinals! The top picture is one the husband took of the cardinals before they grew up extremely quickly and flew away. Picture number 2 is one I took last weekend. The robins are also growing extremely quickly. They took up residence in a preexisting nest.

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That’s all for now. I should have a post about antique spirit communication devices at some point this week.

 

 

 

 

 

Various Updates

OMG, today is a great day. I recorded Chapter 20 of the Beneath Oceans of Sky audiobook! 20!!! I usually record one chapter at a time, but today I was so close to number 20 that I just pushed on ahead.

Only ten chapters left! Can you believe it?

I really like recording, and editing is starting to grow on me, maybe because I’m better at it and the process is now less tedious. I think running the Authors Read podcast has really done wonders for my confidence level and skill level.

I’ve found a few parts to fix in the book, too. They’re not a big deal, but they do need a fixin’ and a fixin’ they shall have. So if you plan to read the book and haven’t yet, you might want to hold off for a smidge longer. Once I finish recording, I’m updating the ebook version and then creating the print version. There isn’t one yet.

I’d like to get at least 2 audiobooks out this year. The one I’m working on now and then one for Love and the Dark.

If I still have time after that, I might do one for a novella that isn’t out yet. A novella that is about to ship off to Lady Editor. That might be out around Julyish.

And then, my scifi/fantasy/horror thing that I’m working on right now, that should be out by the end of the year. I’m currently wading through that rough draft, and holy fishsticks, that is a ROUGH draft.

It was last year’s NaNoWriMo project. That’s probably what I get for trying to crank those words out so fast.

Current Favorite Distraction: Dead Space 2

I have to go edit audio now.

BeeLoo

Roboreading

Greetings and salutations! Another week, another round of book-related shenanigans. Audiobook production update: 16 chapters recorded, 10 chapters edited. Yes, I’m behind on editing. I’m working on it!

Today I was listening to a podcast that mentioned using text to speech to create audiobooks. They were excited because someone managed to get the computer to use some inflection. They played a sample. It was…okay.

I’ve used text to speech before because I have more time to listen than to read. While it is functional, after a while, the robo voice becomes abrasive. It’s stiff and unnatural like trying to cover up with a cardboard blanket.

An audiobook is a performance. Good or bad, that’s what it is. I’d rather hear a human read.

The worse part is that I’m sure the robo reader will eventually get to the point that it will be indistinguishable from a human performer. That makes me sad, not just because I’m working on creating an audiobook.

It’s sad because it seems like no industry is safe from automation. These fantastic strides in technology are going to put people out of work. They already have put people out of work. At what point does it stop? When no one has a job anymore? That’ll be fun.

And does no one remember the Terminator? That was a cautionary tale, people!!

Our robot overlords will not be benevolent.

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