Preorder is Up

Hey, hey! The ebook for my upcoming middle-grade fantasy, Desmond Winters in the Realms of the Caged Sun, is now up for preorder on Amazon at this link. The preorder is up a tad later than I wanted it to be but that’s okay. The book officially comes out on 2/28. The paperback should be out on the same day, but there’s no preorder for it. There will also be a hardcover, but I’m not sure if that will be out the same day.

This project has been a huge deal for me, and I’m really excited about it! I’ll have a lot more info in the next couple of weeks, so be sure to stay tuned.

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Clicky McClickerson

I’ve been working on recording an audiobook version of Love and the Dark. Holy crap that book had some editing issues. I do have someone edit for me but I have a tendency to monkey around with the book once I get it back, so you know, my inability to leave things alone is one hundred percent of the problem. The issues will be fixed shortly.

Anyway, recording the audiobook has been an interesting experience so far. I had to figure out which software to use and then how to use it. I now know things about sound that I didn’t know before. I also learned that once I get past the weirdness of hearing a recording of myself, my voice is actually kind of soothing.

The worst issue I’ve had is my mouth drying out. After about 10 minutes of recording, my mouth gets dry and starts making these little click sounds that are undesirable in the audiobook world. Not only do they sound bad, they distract me. In fact, the whole dry mouth thing is so aggravating that more often than not, I end up quitting for the evening before I intended to.

And the audiobook I’m recording has an estimated finished recording time of 7 hours. It’s a lot more than 7 hours of labor once you factor in all the retakes and editing, etc. At this rate, I’m gonna be fifty years old by the time I finish.

I looked up the clicking (mouth noise) and apparently, this is a common audio recording problem. I’ve seen the following suggested solutions.

  1. Get a better microphone to filter it out. That’s fine and dandy but if the mouth noise is distracting me as I’m reading, then the fanciest microphone in the world isn’t going to help.
  1. Water – This was the first thing I tried. Do you know what water does? It rinses the saliva out of your mouth. I drink so much water as it is that it’s probably causing the problem in the first place.
  1. Vaseline – ew
  1. Lemon – Wouldn’t this be drying?
  1. Talking while holding a pencil in your teeth – What?
  1. Get someone else (a professional someone else) to record it – Like I’d give up that easily. Do you even know me, bro? The clicks aren’t stopping me, not yet, anyway.

I did try keeping a glass of milk next to me. That helped a little, but it definitely wasn’t a cure. It was skim milk, though, so maybe milk with fat in it would do a better job.

This evening, I bought some mouth moisturizing gel. Sounds pretty gross, right? It’s clear and sort of minty-ish, not as minty as toothpaste. I’ll give that a go later. I also considered coconut oil. I may still try that if the gel doesn’t work.

Oh, the glamorous life I live! 
Here’s a picture of Bleuberry (aka Bleu, aka Mr. Baby, aka Jerkface).

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Rapid-Fire Randomness

Hey, what’s up! I’ve been sick for about the last week because my husband decided to bring home the plague. I haven’t had much energy for blogging, but apparently, that won’t stop me from posting words on the internet.Today, I have some random bits and bobs about what’s been going on.

Current writing project: Desmond Winters and the Ghosts of Arbolettis (middle-grade book), word count – 24231, a little over a third of the way complete if I hit my 60,000-word goal.

Most recent books read:
Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger – meh
The Bell Jar by Syvlia Plath – slightly better
Magruder’s Curiosity Cabinet – pretty good

Currently reading:
Shadows of the Dark Crystal #1 by JM Lee and Brian Froud

Also about to start:
Splintered by AG Howard

Most recent movies watched:
The Magnificent Seven (2016) – very good
Don’t Breathe – not bad
Star Trek Beyond – decent

And here’s a picture of my son’s new snail. Its name is Larry and it is slightly larger than a quarter. Every time someone sees this picture, they ask me how big it is.

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Writing Updates

Despite the fact that the cold is making me want to hide in bed until spring, the writing is going pretty well. There are times that I feel like I’m just spinning my wheels, but I am making progress. I’m working more consistently than usual, which is good.

The current project is a rough draft for the sequel to the middle-grade book that’s coming out near the end of February. The first book in the series is currently in the hands of final proofreaders. I have vowed to touch it no further, except for book formatting, etc.

I’m actually launching 2 series next year: one for kids and one for adults. Did I mention that before? I can’t remember. The series for adults is going to have Gaiman-level weirdness and Evanovich-level attitude, both things that I love, so I’m really excited about it.

I also found a book that I forgot I wrote last spring. That’s normal, right? To forget you wrote a book?  That one is a kids’ book but not part of the series. I think it needs some intensive rewriting, so I might put that release off until I get both the series rocking and rolling.

And now, here is a selfie I took with Bleu. He tried to eat a cookie through a ziploc bag the other day. That incident is not pictured.

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Toy Collection 1 – The Simpsons

Oh my gosh. It is like WAY too cold outside. 10 degrees as I type this. It was 5 this morning when I got up. Earlier, I was thinking about how frivolous things like towel heaters and heated floors seem in the summer. In this weather, they look more like genius!

Anyway, I’m going to do a series of posts with the toy collection. My first idea was to just slap a bunch of pictures up all at once but that didn’t feel like enough. It felt cheap, somehow, not that my stuff is exceptionally fancy. It’s not fancy, but it does mean something to me, because I am a dork.

First up is a set of Burger King toys from when the Simpsons Movie came out in 2007. Wait, that was almost 10 years ago! Omg, I can’t believe it has been that long. How crazy is that?

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Yes, I remove most of my collectibles from packages because I don’t buy stuff for potential future nerds; I buy stuff for present nerd, which is me.

This is the first hardcore collection I assembled as an adult. I went to at least 3 Burger Kings on several occasions to get this collection together. My favorite helpful Burger King associates were the ones who let me dig through the boxes. That’s how I got the “rare” golden Homer in the back.

The Duff can is just an energy drink I bought within the last year or so from Five Below.

That’s it for this one. Smell ya later!