In Which the Audiobook Was Set Aside

Yeah, yeah, I know. Quitters never win, and winners never quit. Technically, I didn’t really quit. I just pushed the audiobook aside for now. Far, far aside.

I was doing a final listen before I uploaded my audio short story to ACX. I was happy with about 90% of it, but that remaining 10% is a killer. It’s basically all I see.

And I have a lot that I’m working on. I plan to do NanoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) this year, so I’m clearing as much as I can out of the way before November 1st.  I had to evaluate my priorities and decide which things I would finish in the next 2 weeks. That one has chewed up too much of my time as it is.

I am also very tired of reading and listening to that particular story. I like it okay, but it’s definitely not my favorite work. I wrote it a while ago, and my writing is somewhat better now. I could go back and rewrite/rerecord, but it’s not worth all that.

So, I might go back to it sometime next year. I might just start on another recording and chalk that one up as a very long training session. I did learn a lot, after all.

 

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Needless Rambling and a Cat Picture

OMG, I am killing the to-do list this week. I am quite excited about it. I would be even more excited if I could finally wrap up this audio editing business! I have about 10-20 minutes of finished audio left, which should probably equate to at least 6-8 hours of editing work. Yes, it does take that long. I think the worst part about it is that I can’t listen to music while I’m doing it. Music makes everything better.

But it will be done soon. Soon!

I’m lucky that I’ve had time at all. This last month has been bonkers. We got a new roof put on the house due to storm damage, a newish truck because the old one was dying. My daughter moved out. She’s 20, so it’s not like she ran away or anything. I miss her, despite the fact that she’s right down the street. The location makes it better. She took Merlin, though, because he belongs to her. That makes it slightly worse. I miss him, too.

There is a small silver lining. We’re setting up a guest room/office the spare bedroom. Our “office” has always been a corner of the bedroom, so that is pretty cool.

On a somewhat unrelated note, I’ve been reading Locke and Key, which is a comic book series written by Joe Hill, aka son of Stephen King. It’s really good stuff so far. It reminds me a little of The Haunting of Hill House

Also awesome and actually by Stephen King – the new IT movie. I never saw the original or read the book, so I can’t offer a comparison. I thought Bill Skarsgård was amazing. I watched him in Hemlock Grove, which I liked well enough, but I think his performance as Pennywise really showed he well can act.

Now, please enjoy this picture of Bleu. Adorable while asleep. A terror while awake.

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Fear and Dust

I have a tendency to analyze everything when it comes to the way people (including me) act and how they interact. Maybe it’s a writer thing; I don’t know.

I read an article, editorial, opinion piece? I don’t know what it was, exactly. I’m not up on my journalism lingo, but anyway, this author lady was talking about how she has been trying to get one of her books published for the last 10 years.

10. As in a decade. What’s the definition of insanity, again?

So then I started asking myself why anyone would do that. In this day and age, when authors publish their own work every day, why would anyone hold out for that long? Does she have some deep-seated need for validation?

I think the more likely motivation is fear. Even things like rejection can feel like a kind of safe-zone. If no one “accepts” the book, then she doesn’t have to set it loose into the world. She doesn’t have to make it available for the general public to read. She doesn’t have to worry about bad reviews.

I get it; I really do. But life is too short. I couldn’t imagine anyone wanting to spend so many precious moments of their life begging for approval that probably won’t ever come, at least, not the way she wants. Meanwhile, her book hasn’t done anything but gather dust.

I hope she gets past it.

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In Which I Tried Not To Pick The Obvious Thing

I believe that our culture conditions us to have certain expectations when it comes to stories. Movies, books, spoken word, it doesn’t matter. That’s why people get in an uproar when, say, a YA author kills off the main character in the last book of a trilogy (keeping them nameless to avoid spoilers). People weren’t expecting the author to do that. They were expecting the story to end the way they wanted it to, the way so many other books have.

Sometimes when I write, I reach a certain point in a story, and I feel like what I’m about to write, the next part, is too obvious. It’s almost like autopilot writing propelled by my cultural conditioning. So, when I hit that point, I stop.

I take a step back and wonder what else could happen. I actually brainstorm a little bit, and I jot down several possibilities.

Like this:

Let’s say we’re writing a horror. I love love love horror, but a lot of horrors (movies, books, whatever) sometimes have a tendency to follow a formula.

Let’s say, Jimmy is about to open a door. The audience is all like, “No, Jimmy! Don’t open that door!” Why? Because something bad is going to happen to Jimmy. Duh. It’s happened in a thousand stories before this.

So, we have Jimmy standing in front of the door. Since this is an especially cliché situation, we’re going to use 15 possibilities.

Rapid fire. I don’t think; I just write. And I start with the obvious ones so I get them out of the way. 

  1. Ghost grabs Jimmy and pulls him into the room.
  2. Nothing is there. Empty room.
  3. See something terrifying but doesn’t affect him, like he witnesses a murder that happened a long time ago.
  4. Sees a mirror image of the room behind him, as well as a reflection of himself.
  5. Brick wall like in cartoons.  🙂 
  6. Portal to another dimension.
  7. Ghost inviting him to dinner.
  8. Jimmy doesn’t open the door and walks away. Creepy thing reaches for him.
  9. Door opens to outside of the building. Long way down. More cartoons!
  10. Swirling fog monster.
  11. Opens to his bedroom in his childhood home (or so it would appear)
  12. Dead friend is there, trying to lure him inside.
  13. Soul eating machine.
  14. Opens to a hospital room where he sees himself in a coma and something tries to convince him the haunted house is a dream.
  15. Doesn’t open the door at all, but when he turns, he’s surrounded by a ring of duplicate doors, so he has no choice but to open one.

Okay, some of these are still kind of cliché, but you get the idea.

And now, because I don’t know how to conclude this post in an eloquent manner and because every blog post needs a picture, here are some terrifying bunnies I saw in an antique store.

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Audio Schmaudio

I am such a wimp when it comes to audio recording. My makeshift sound booth is HOT and I stand too long and my feet hurt. Both my mouth and my eyes do their best to dry up. Nevertheless, I finished rerecording Iyrico, so yay! This last round was the longest. It was about 45 minutes. The recorded file was only about 36 minutes. All that will probably boil down to about 20 minutes of edited audio, maybe slightly less.

In other audio news, I’m putting up the AnnaBeth trilogy on ACX to take auditions for an audiobook narrator. I do plan to work my way up to recording full-length audiobooks eventually, but I won’t record that particular trilogy myself.

The first couple of those books, especially the first one, came about really early in my writing career. I imagine putting myself through reading every word and then listening to/editing every word would be a bit like staring at my junior high school yearbook photo for hours on end. I’d see nothing but awkwardness and flaws.

So, if someone takes that business on, there will be AnnaBeth audiobooks!

The next book I plan to record myself is one that’s in final edit right now. It’s a kids’ book that’s about 30,000 words. The print version of the book should be finished very soon. I have no idea when the audio version will be out, but I’ll keep y’all posted.

Now, please enjoy these pictures of Bleu in a fashionable tote bag.

 

 

 

 

 

A Couple of Updates, No Stuffed Bee Butts

My son and I were talking about the lootcrate we received today. We weren’t big fans of it, so he started suggesting other subscription boxes. One was foreign foods. He informed me that it was just snack food and there was nothing weird like “stuffed bee butts”.

Stuffed. Bee. Butts. That kid cracks me up. He turned 14 a few days ago, and he’s thisclose to being taller than I am.

I’ve been very bad at blogging lately. I wish I could say it was because I’ve been working diligently 100% of the time, but alas, that is not the case. Work is done on a daily basis, yes, but the pace always feels leisurely to me. I read about other authors’ writing habits, and I feel like a giant slacker.

But today, I did finish a thing. It will be a while before that thing is out. I can’t even tell you where it will land in the editing schedule because I have 2 kids’ books in front of it. I will tell you a couple of things. It takes place in a valley in the Appalachian Mountains. Strange events occur. The book is very short, only about 40,000 words, so it’s more of a novella, I guess.

I plan to offer it free 30 days before the release to the hapless victims who sign up for my email list. Form is below.

Subscribe to my mailing list to receive book release updates and possibly other written shenanigans.

I hear all the cool kids are doing this email thing.

What else is going on? Ah yes. The audiobook. I decided to rerecord the entire thing because I’m a looney bird who can’t let things go in a timely manner. I’ve got the recording part about 2/3 of the way done. I’ve been using my makeshift sound studio, which gets rather warm.

Okay, I need to go edit something. And now, because every blog post needs a picture, please enjoy the fortune from my fortune cookie.
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Bleu Moon

Furbaby pictures. Let’s see, what is his most recent antic? Oh yes. I made the mistake of leaving some semi-pricey chocolate peanut butter ball things from Fresh Thyme on the kitchen counter overnight. There were 2 left in the bag when I went to bed. When I got up, one was on the floor with tooth marks in it. The other one was nowhere to be found. I still don’t know where it is.

I am pleased to report that when my daughter’s aquarium frog got out, he didn’t murder or maim it. I actually found the frog because of him. It was sitting on my sandal and Bleu was looming over it. Otherwise, I probably wouldn’t have noticed it was there. The frog is not really supposed to be out of the water, so I’m not quite sure how he made it so far away from his tank. Now, every time I walk through the house at night, I’m afraid I’m going to step on the frog.

Anyway, here are some pictures of buttface.

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