Audible · Emergence Collective · voice acting

Audible update Friday edition

We are getting past the bumps in the road! Last week our area was inundated with forest fire smoke. The combination of unhealthy air to breathe and unhealthy air that damages vocal cords were just another hurdle to jump over. But the wind shifted, and Monday will be a recording day. Barring any more unfortunate events, I have high hopes of sharing the first chapter here for you lucky people! who knows, I might just continue to publish the chapters here for the entire book. I look forward to hearing feedback and opinions. Thanks for visiting!

Emergence Collective · writing · Audible

Audible Update

Here is another Audible update. If you have been keeping score, they are averaging every 2 weeks or so (but don’t put any money on that bet because of the human factor. (me, I’m the human and I am not super consistent) it is every 2 weeks or so because every other friday is D&D session and the DM is the voice actor) I leave him alone and not really discuss the progress much between sessions mostly because If I don’t regulate my excitement I will drive him crazy asking if he has any progress.

So, no progress. Life has a way of mocking me. He is enthusiastic and talented but like most of us has a day job and a private life that takes priority over vanity projects. However as mocking as life is, it is also cruel and indiscriminate in its curve balls that it throws you. This one is that a close friend of his recently passed away, and some health issues are still hanging about. I guess I will keep waiting. But as soon as I got something I will definitely post it! Thanks for visiting!

art · Author · Emergence Collective · writing

Deleted scenes

I enjoyed a long weekend; the “labor day” holiday here in the US, it is a holiday for the workman. Because, well, we all deserve a day off, right? I spent a lot of time making stuff with my laser. Honestly trying to build inventory to sell at craft fairs and such.

MC escher
Book box

LOTR

I should have been writing. I am not sure if I am procrastinating or not. I have reached a part in the story that kind of has me stumped. Trying to weave two parts of the storyline together. This happened once before in Emergence collective. I had written a chapter that sort of painted me into a corner plot-wise. The chapter was That Barney, after discovering he had the power to control some aspects of reality, decided to trim some fat from his entourage (He is a military commander, and he had been in Eastern Washington investigating a strange anomaly with a detachment of troops) So he manifested a gun and killed them all. Needless to say, this sent the direction of the story in an awkward place, I had to go into why he did, and deal with the ramifications of that action. Honestly it changed the tone of the story a created plot problems that I could not resolve. Ultimately, I scrapped about 4 thousand words and re wrote it. (You should check it out if you haven’t read it!)

I am in a similar position now, where the story has taken off in a direction that I need to steer back into the direction I had originally intended. (For me the stories write themselves and I feel like a bystander most of the time) So I have been procrastinating, pretending to think about the story issues, but also enjoying a hobby. I love to make stuff. I know, I know, I should be writing.

Emergence Ascended · writing

Emergence Ascended (chapter preview)

            Rain may be a bit strong of a word. Constant drizzle. That is what it actually is. The light wind blew the rain with just enough force to push it past the eaves and onto Will’s small apartment window. It had been doing this for a week straight and had no signs of letting up. Contrary to popular belief, Seattle, or just north of it where Will lives, did not get a lot of rain. At least in total inches. What it did get was a near-constant mist all winter long.

            The drip, drip, drip of water that leaked from his window pooled at the corner to eventually drip into the Tupperware bowl strategically placed under the window sill, waking him up. As sleep faded and he came to awareness, he groaned, rubbing the sleep from his eyes. He overslept, not that it really mattered. He wasn’t late for work; he still had two hours before his shift at the library started. He sat up and stretched and checked his phone. No new texts, no new emails. Perfect.

            He followed his usual morning routine of shit, shower, shave, get dressed, and raid the fridge for some afternoon snacks for work. Check the weather forecast to see how many layers to put on, and head out the door to his favorite espresso shop.

            He got to the library early, as usual. He hated being late for anything. But starting work early for fear of being late wasn’t the real reason. He just really enjoyed being there. It wasn’t even work, to be honest. He sat at the desk sipping his coffee, contemplating that he had never even approached breaking a sweat at the library. And it is not work if you are not active enough to break a sweat.

            He sat at the desk sipping coffee, staring into space, lost in thought. Another reason why he liked working there. It was quiet, and you could let your mind go where it wanted. A loud thump on his desk made him jump, banging his knees on the desk and shooting a little squirt of coffee out of the little hole in the lid of the coffee cup, landing across his face, just barely missing his eye.

            “Farfegnugen!” He sputtered out. And looked at the stack of books that was just slammed onto his desk. On purpose, of course, his heart stopped, and he felt as if it wasn’t going to start up again. “It’s you.” He blurted. “Gees lady, do you have to keep scaring the crap out of me?” He said while wiping the coffee off his face and shirt.

            “Farfegnugen,” Chemy replied flatly. “It was ‘bejesus’ the first time,” she said with a mischievous smirk. “Are you okay? Every time I see you, you are well, like a zombie.” She said, sounding concerned.

            Finishing the reboot cycle, his heart thumped hard in his chest.

            “Uhhh…” That was all he could get out.

            She tilted her head, looking at him quizzically. “You are a strange one.” She said amused

He suddenly felt self-conscious and a little embarrassed. His face started heating up, and he could tell it was turning red. “Uhhh…” He stammered with a blank look. His eyes flitted from her face to his coffee, then back to her eyes. “Umm, you want to get some coffee or something?” he blurted out as if it was one word. Then he turned pale, shocked at himself.

Her eyes glanced at the coffee cup in his hand. “Nice recovery.” She said, as if it was a question but had no hint of malice behind it. He followed her eyes to his coffee.

            “Um, I mean. Uh, like you know. Sometime? In the near future, I’m at work and all.” He continued, feeling like he was digging a hole he couldn’t get out of.

            “Well, when you put it that way, how could I resist.” She said, amusement still on her face.

He looked forlorn, like someone had just kicked his puppy, and sighed. She looked at him curiously. “You do know I said yes? Right? She asked, starting to look like she regretted it.

He snapped out of his haze and shook his head. He had mentally prepared for rejection and was astonished that he was successful. “Um, Yes! Awesome!” He exclaimed cheerily, a broad smile on his face. Chemy subtly nudged the stack of books towards Will, hinting that there was an actual reason she was standing there. Will looked at the books taking the hint, and started scanning. Chemy reached into a little box that had a handful of three-inch-long pencils and a stack of notepaper that was on the desk. She took one of each and began writing as he scanned the next tower of mind-numbing philosophy books.

“Dostoyevsky, Kierkakgard, more light reading, I see,” Will said with a matter-of-fact tone. “At least it’s not as bleak as nihilism.” He continued as she finished scribbling on the paper and looked up at him. Her fiery hazel eyes locked him in place for a brief instant as she handed the paper to him and smiled.

            “Here is my number; gimme a text sometime.” She said with a genuine smile. “You know, in the ‘near’ future.” She went on, this time a little more wryly, and winked. Will’s cheeks flushed at that a little, but his nerves were calming down now that the awkwardness had passed. The last book he scanned was  “Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir.” He glanced at her suspiciously. she noticed the look and defended herself. “Hey! I can read for fun too.”

            Will lifted his hands as if Chemy was pointing a gun at him. “I’m not judging!” he retorted. “It just looks like there isn’t enough time in the day to read all of this, let alone for fun.” He said, smiling as he gestured toward the tower of books she checked out. She smiled back at him, obviously not offended.

            “That’s a good one, though. I read it last week.” He continued

            “Did you?” she asked, but it sounded like an accusation and glanced at the Necronomicon tablet case.

            “Okay, okay, I listened to it, same difference.” He said with a shrug

She gave him a reassuring smile, saying, “I’m just messing with you.”

            There was a soft tapping on the well-worn carpet behind Chemy. They hadn’t noticed a line of people stacking up behind her, and the guy directly behind her was looking impatient. In a soft but stern tone, he said, “If you two love birds are done flirting, I really would like to get out of here before my lunch hour is over.” They both blushed deeply. Not that will could tell if she was. Her smooth skin was so black, but the sheepish look on her face was enough to know. She gave the man behind her an awkward, polite smile, slid the stack of books into her bag, and turned to leave. The man moved up and put a couple of paperbacks on the counter and his library card. Will watched as Chemy made for the exit. Just before she pushed the door open, she looked back at Will, pantomimed texting on her phone, and pointed to herself with a wink.

            The rest of his day went by in a hazy blur. It had been a few weeks since their first encounter, just long enough for Will to resign himself to the idea that he would ever see her again and had essentially given up. He grabbed his backpack and headed out toward home. His stomach rumbled, right on cue. Noodles, it is Will thought. Maybe there is some kind of magic or Something spiritual that he didn’t understand going on, and he should have noodles again, the same thing he ate the day he met Chemy. In the back of his mind, Will knew that he wasn’t kidding about there being Something magical happening. His parents would know if he asked them. But he wasn’t in the mood to go down the spiritual path they would drag him down. He got his noodles and began the short walk home, eating the noodles as he went. Will liked where he lived. Everything he needed was only a few blocks away from his apartment.

Audible · Author · Emergence Collective

Audible project update

I as a kid I remember reading Aesop’s fables book. Aesop was a slave storyteller in ancient Greece, and he bestowed stories that taught moral ideas and virtues. I took many of those stories to heart and tried to live those lessons in my daily life (I try). Patience was one of those lessons. One of the hardest to adhere to, but life is about practicing the hard stuff until it’s easy, so I will still try.  There is more that is bundled into it as well. Flexibility, understanding, and selflessness must be satisfied to be patient in my situation at least.

The Audible project is having some speed bumps that we are working out. Some usual Life crap that takes precedence over vanity projects and some technical issues that must be dealt with.  There were some medical things Zack and his family (The narrator) had to get past, but those things are smoothing out, and the technical issues are being brainstormed. The biggest technical hurdle is noise pollution.   I am a stickler for producing the highest quality I can achieve in anything I do. The Audible format has very strict guidelines about the audio quality for the recording as that represents their brand. Of course, they want the highest fidelity.

I bought the best recording equipment I could afford, and ironically enough, that equipment quickly pointed out how noisy his apartment is. The audio samples I heard, although decent, picked up every sound that our human ears has learned to drown out. The motor on the refrigerator, the fan in another room, and cars driving by outside, were accentuated by the microphone. Sadly, the audio is useless for Audible ACX guidelines.

Back to the drawing board, or to my amazon, actually. The solution is to get acoustic panels to soundproof the environment (which for now is more than likely his bathroom. I plan on making some modular panels (portable partitions) that can be set up and removed easily when it’s time to record. So, when you are listening to my book in the bathroom, getting ready for work, just realize that it was also recorded in one! Funny how life can come full circle huh?

More patience, waiting for my Amazon delivery, building the partitions, and then getting the recordings is in my future. Thank you Aesop for your philosophical teachings that I can now put into practice.

Audible · Author · Emergence Collective · spiritualism · writing

Where ever you go, there you are…

I am back from another camping trip. Did ya miss me? I’ve actually been back for awhile. However getting back into technology takes a bit of motivation. Dont get me wrong I am not one of those burn your TV kind of people. I think that whatever you choose to entertain yourself is the right thing to do. To me the concept of wasting time scrolling through Instagram or playing video games, or, watching tv is not a waste of time. And there does not always need to be “value added” or gain some positive benefit from that time “wasted”. After all, isn’t that why we work so hard, provide for family, get all the adulting stuff out of the way, so that we can have some downtime and relax or play. Anyway I’m rambling. My point is, I am not against technology at all, but my brain has a difficulty switching tasks from being in a natural environment to a technological one.

I can find Zen in technology. Stacking the virtual stones to make something beautiful from the chaos of the digital world, but it takes a little intention. Breathe in, breathe out… type some words. Ok.

Tomorrow I should have an update on the Audible project. The narrator is still getting familiar with the process and equipment so I have left him alone (My urge to request constant updates on his progress is an exercise in patience). I hope to have a snippet of Audio to add the blog but we shall see. once I do start to get audio chapters I look forward to sharing!

about me · Author · Emergence Ascended · writing

Being of two minds…

I managed to scratch out another chapter, but I can’t help but feel that I am dragging things out or procrastinating the decisions I need to make. Don’t get me wrong, I really like the last chapter so far. I think it is an important chapter and provides some needed elements for the story progression. This conundrum brings to mind something I read in the book “The man who mistook his wife for a hat” By Oliver Sacks (It’s a great read I suggest you try it). It is about various neurological disorders. One of them was about split-brain disorder where both hemispheres of the brain had been disconnected. The result was that each hemisphere was competing for dominance, Making decision-making impossible. Sort of an immovable object/unstoppable force situation since neither hemisphere was dominant, there was an impasse or stalemate in the decision. Like being stuck in the cereal aisle, there are too many choices to make an overall decision since each individual choice has equal merit and weight. That being said, I have a couple paths to take in the storyline and am having difficulty deciding which one would work better to get me to a satisfying conclusion. Ah, the struggles of an artist Thanks for visiting! If you thought this was interesting, please don’t hesitate to comment!

about me · Author · Emergence Ascended · writing

Choose your own adventure!

Yes, I was a book nerd growing up. One of the most influential books/series was the “Choose your own adventure!” books (Until I discovered H.P. Lovecraft in the 3rd grade). If you are not familiar, each book has multiple story paths and ends depending on how you make choices at key parts of the story. When the characters reach a point where a decision is made, you get a few to choose from, and your choice directs you to a new page that continues that storyline. It’s a great concept, and you can re-read the book for different outcomes. Very economical writing structure.

Now here I am, the master of the story choosing my own adventure to write. Its very exciting, but I am tasked with coming up with the paths and endings for myself. And that is the crux of it. Emergence Ascended has reached the point where I have to make some decisions and some of those decisions just might change the outcome of the story (of which I have already plotted in my head) There are character interactions that I have multiple situations to consider and that is proving to make things difficult to “get it right”. That being said, I have not been writing much on it (well on ‘paper’) but thinking very hard about how I want the rest of the story to progress. At least I am not one to back away from a challenge. Once I break free from this little speedbump, I am sure that the book will finish fast and be something I can be proud of. Thanks for taking the time to visit!