art · Audible · Author · Emergence Collective · writing

In retrospect…

If you are an artist, you must know the urge to “fix” your work from the past. As your skills progress, you start to see the things that would have made your art just a little better. I mentioned in a previous post that I am particularly afflicted with this disease, so my solution is simply to avoid my past projects, instituting the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ law. Another one of my issues is that I have ADHD and was never diagnosed as a child and therefore had never been taught coping mechanisms (never got the drugs either that might have prevented many gray hairs on my mom) to mitigate it. I developed my own strategies simply to survive in a world where people thought an acted differently than me.

I mention that because those two things became apparent when I started recording Emergence collective. One, my ADHD-frazzled brain hastily finished the book and only gave it a glancing review (Admittedly, I never actually read the book from start to finish after its completion). The first chapter has always bothered me. I knew the story I wanted to tell, but I did not know how or where to start, so I jumped in.

As I started to narrate for the audible recording, I realized how horrible that first chapter is (I know I am not really selling you on the book, it actually gets better, it just started rough) and now that I need to rewrite is eating me up.

What is your opinion on rewrites? Should I pull the trigger on rewriting the first chapter and a few other tiny things here and there and release a “second edition”? Or should I just try not to cringe too much and let it go?

Audible · Author · Emergence Collective · voice acting

Audible update: Always somethin’

One of my favorite sayings, “No plan survives contact with the enemy.” is true too many times. Maybe that’s why I like it. It’s a reliable saying. After the Thanksgiving holiday here in the US, I had eager plans to do some good writing on Saturday and record on Sunday. Saturday came along, and to be honest, my hangover put a damper on the writing thing. I will not apologize for enjoying friends and family with libations, and I feel I paid enough penance for apologies.Sunday however, my day of recording (mostly because of the silence in the house on Sunday mornings) was derailed due to a windstorm. After reviewing my recording I heard an echo, in the recording that bothered me. The area I record at is just too open and the microphone is too sensitive. I bought some acoustic panels and built a little whisper booth to deaden the echo. However the wind outside blowing everything around and nearly tearing my canopy off the porch, I couldn’t get enough quiet to even start. So Thank you nature, I hate you too. So that’s that. update null. Stayed tuned as Chapter 2 will get recorded!

art · Author · Emergence Ascended · writing

Challenge accepted!

In addition to my current work in progress, Emergence Ascended, I am always thinking about other stories. Just like when I was drawing a lot (I don’t do it enough these days), I would think about it, imagining the next part of the drawing, the lines I would use, or how I would shade something. Doing this when I wasn’t actually drawing was a mental exercise that kept my drawing skills fresh, and I was prepared for the next drawing session. So thinking about other stories while working on a particular one works for me in the same way, keeps my imagination working, and helps with my WIP (Work In Progress) even though it’s not the same story.

I have been trying to work out the details of a particularly complicated storyline. There is a point in the story that must be done right, or the whole thing won’t make sense. It’s one of the “reveal” moments that I (hope) intend to be the jaw-dropping revelation that makes the entire story interesting. I am being vague about it because I don’t want to spoil it for you. And I plan on blogging about it after the WIP is done. (By the way, if you know of or are a Paranormal investigator, please email me as I have some questions…..) wink wink…. 

Anyway, there is a brain-bending element that is integral to the entire plot of the story that my ADD/Dyslexic brain keeps going in circles about. It actually reminds me of these critical thinking games my friends, and I would play. These conundrums were fun and sometimes took days to sus out. For example …

“Its 3am, the doorbell rings and you wake up. Unexpected visitors! It’s your parents, and they are here for breakfast. You have strawberry jam, honey, wine, bread and cheese. What is the first thing you open?” 

This is a pretty simple one (to some, not all, don’t feel bad if you didn’t figure it out, it’s not an IQ test.)

The first thing you open is the door to let them in. But the point of these riddles was to make our brains bleed and think about unique or unexpected solutions; it was fun to do; the challenge was the point. Even more of a challenge is to think up the conundrum. Another thought exercise for me is to make a Haiku that is a palindrome. To be fair, I haven’t done it to my satisfaction yet. So challenge accepted, work out the conundrum of my plot, and make it bulletproof in its logic. Right now, I am close; I am on the cusp of getting it. There is that sensation that the answer is just out of reach but I can get there. MMm, my brain hurts so good.

Audible · Author · Emergence Collective

Audible update. Fate loves irony 

So as life goes, irony seems to pop up when least expected. I did manage to get my microphone. I had planned on using Saturday morning to play around and get the microphone set up. Give her a test drive and practice some reading. However, we had unexpected company, so my Saturday morning, the time I usually dedicate to writing, because everyone in the house is usually still sleeping. I tend to get up before everyone because I am used to getting up at 3:30 am, so when I sleep in, it’s usually till about 6 in the morning. Sunday also is a quiet time, but as I said, fate loves irony; this morning, I woke to my phone ringing, and I got the news that a close family friend had passed away overnight. We had recently had a windstorm, and She (at the age of 88) slipped on storm debris and broke her hip. Surgery was scheduled for some time today; however, during the night, there were some complications, and she did not make it.  

One day this project will happen. Anyway, I did get a few minutes to play with the recording. Getting sound levels set up and read most of the first chapter until my son decided to play call of duty zombies and volume. Such as life, right?

about me · Audible · Author · Emergence Collective · voice acting

Audible update: The sound of silence.

So the inevitable conversation happened. the short of it was despite not having a deadline, I do indeed want progress, and if this is not the right timing to dedicate and commit to it, I don’t want to be kept hanging on to the next empty promise of recordings to come. I do have projects in the future that he (the voice actor) can do, especially once I work out the kinks and figure out how to actually do this Audible thing. I can pass on the knowledge to him, and he can benefit from my experiences, making him better before he even starts. ( I am an eternal optimist btw).

So now its up to me. Im going to have to get used to hearing my recorded voice, but I got to take one for the team, right? I do have a short story collection I am working on in the sidelines and I think that will be much more digestible for him to take on in the future anyway. The speed that I write, he will have plenty of time to narrate the stories as I write them. 😉

What’s next? Well, I will pick up the recording equipment when I see him on Friday (D&D night), and hoping that won’t be awkward at all. then I will set up and give it a go Saturday or Sunday morning. As soon as I do get the chapter recorded, I shall post it here for you all to scrutinize and critique my performance! Thanks for reading!

Audible · Author · Emergence Collective · voice acting

Audible update: the saga

Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow, creeps in its petty pace from day to day…. Ok, So I’m not Shakespeare, but Macbeth had it right. In my case, it’s “Monday, Monday, Monday.” If you’ve been following along, I have been waiting on my narrator to (actually) narrate “Emergence Collective” for Audible. This project started about 2 months ago (or earlier, but I was waiting for the recording equipment to arrive.) Despite the enthusiasm of the voice actor, getting his break into the industry, I literally have zero seconds recorded. And me, well, I guess I am just a softy. I haven’t had the heart to fire him yet, He has had some life issues that popped up, illness in the family, and we just got some rain (Thank your chosen deity) that has quelled the forest-fire smoke (which is a pretty legitimate reason).

Monday hath come and gone. Monday is/was his chosen “Day to record.” I say was because now it’s Friday, or so is his promise to get “a Full knuckle down recording session.” I sincerely do hope that it is. I am torn between impatience and empathy since this project isn’t really important in the scheme of things. The world isn’t going to change one way or another if this gets recorded or not. I didn’t say so much in words that this is his last chance at it. but I hope he got the message from my frustration.

Emergence collective will get recorded one way or another. I can’t wait to share some audio with you all. Thanks for stopping by!

about me · Author · Emergence Ascended · Emergence Collective · writing

Quantum Mechanics… If you’re not confused by it, you don’t understand it.

A deep goal of theoretical physics is to unify the fundamental forces of nature, gravity, electromagnetism, and the strong and weak nuclear forces into the theory of everything (TOE).

The Theory of Everything, namely M-theory, string theory, and quantum field theory (and interactions with geometry and topology) is a tasty cosmic stew that to me are topics that are too tempting to not be used as a backbone or structure in the subtext of my story.  String theory specifically has been calling my name for a number of years now, and despite the controversial nature of the theory I am on “Team String”. Lucky for me I don’t have to back anything up that is to say with a “Ph.D.” or citations to peer-reviewed articles, because, hey I write Fiction! One of the issues I have with science fiction (more to the point the uber-nerd readers) is a suspension of disbelief gets lost in the mire of “I know more than the author of the story I am picking apart” (Come on I am not writing a dissertation, just a fun story, just go with it). That little thing has cautioned me to do my research, lest I get flamed somewhere on the internet. But it also gets in the way of artistic license…. Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah String theory.  Essentially it is the idea of vibrational frequencies (the strings) that make up all matter and energy in the universe. Man, that is good stuff. How could one not use that in a science fiction book? It’s the ultimate tool to describe why the magic in my stories has a connection to reality.

I know that this may not entice anyone to read my next book, but hopefully, if you read “Emergence Collective” with this in the back of your mind it might make it a little more interesting. (and not to mention prepare you for the next one) I have written in previous blog posts that I create a rule set for each story, that helps maintain the continuity, of a concept or even the behavior of the characters. The theory of everything, M theory, quantum field theory, and String theory is my basic rule sets for my WIP. Don’t worry, you really do not have to understand any of it to enjoy my stories which are pure and utter fantasy. If you are the uber-nerd, I will go toe to toe about why my rule sets do or don’t work. I would enjoy that conversation.

Audible · Author · Emergence Ascended · Emergence Collective · writing

Stumbling off the starting line

(An audible update)

Audible news… is no new news. As things seemed to go with my projects, there was yet another snag in the recording process. I am trying not to be cynical but to err is human. So last week’s promise of getting anything recorded got railroaded by life. As I mentioned that “Mondays” are for recording as the narrator has the time to do it (theoretically). Anyway, we will see if there is any progress after today. I suspect that the delays have a lot to do with nerves and stage fright. Of that, I completely understand. But I am starting to consider getting my equipment and do it myself, even though I hate the sound of my own voice.

On another topic, I did get some writing done on Emergence Ascended, and I am feeling good about it. I spent some time re-evaluating what I have so far, rewrote some things added a dash here and a pinch there of breadcrumbs. I like to sneak in clues to the story that the reader can participate in, trying to figure out some of the underlying storylines. I love the feeling of figuring out part of the mystery before the reveal. it makes me feel smart, and I feel like I am more a part of the story than just a bystander. Probably stems from the old choose your own adventure stories. I am happy with what I have got now and am getting to a scene that I have been looking forward to writing.

I love to hear your thoughts and answer questions, so feel free to leave a comment or just a like! Thanks for reading!

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.

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.