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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Does An Author Have to Like Their Audience?

A while back, I met a children’s author who said she didn’t like kids. She didn’t just say it once; she kept repeating it to the point that I was envisioning her hunched over a desk, toiling away on her picture book muttering something like, “These little jerks are gonna love this garbage!”

I started to wonder how anyone could write for an audience they really don’t like. When you genuinely like someone or a group of someones, you probably want them to be happy with whatever you produce, so you make the extra effort, right?

I guess you could research what a certain audience likes, but if you can’t empathize with them, do you get it? Like deep-down-in-your-gut get it? I would think probably not, but hey, what do I know?

flying books

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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Toy Collection 3: Christmas/Dark Crystal Edition

Hey-o! Christmas was a good time. I wish I had more time off for the holiday, but that’s the breaks, I guess. I did get some cool stuff for Christmas, including a couple of new additions to the collection.

I’ve loved The Dark Crystal since I was a kid, so I was quite pleased to get these. On the left, we have Ursol the Chanter, and on the right is Aughra! Aughra is the best. She was one of my favorite characters in the movie. Grouchy characters always have the best lines.

I also got the new Dark Crystal book: Shadows of the Dark Crystal # 1. I’ve read a couple of chapters, and I really like it so far.

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It was a very Dark Crystal Christmas.  🙂

Toy Collection 2: Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

I am fully aware that these are not toys, but they are AMONG toys and part of the collection.

This is a set of promotional pins for the DVD/VHS release of Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. They were given to Blockbuster employees in either 2003 or 2004 and then given to me by one of my friends. I don’t remember if he was the one who worked there or if he knew someone who worked there and then he just passed them on to me.

lotr

I like how easily they arrange in this neat, little grid. It appeals to some OCD portion of my brain.

These were actually missing for years. I just found them a few weeks ago in some random box. They don’t have an official spot yet. I thought about mounting them in a frame. For now, they just sit in their neat grid on the counter.