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 · Emergence Collective · writing

Audible Update: A little less sucky.

So I managed to get chapter 2 recorded. I feel that my narration was a tad bit smoother, but I still need to work on the editing and cuts. I still have a constant cringe listening to it, and there are some pretty terrible cuts/edits in there. SO chapter 2 has no usable material for audible yet. I think there is a section that was muted part way through I am not sure what happened there. Its a journey. I feel confident that eventually, I might get the rhythm of it and actually produce something worth keeping. As far as the sound quality goes, I think some of it sounds better, but I am in the dark as to make it work better, I have ZERO experience with the software and pretty much anything that has to do with sound production, design, editing etc… so there is that.

As far as writing is concerned, as much as I wanted to, I didn’t get the opportunity to work on it. Sometimes you have to choose a battle or pick that hill to die on and my choice was recording. It pains me to keep this story in my head and not get any progress down on paper. I feel that there is always a lesson to learn and mine seems to be a re-occurring lesson of patience. Thanks for stopping by!

OOOPs In retrospect I realized I did not put the link. Be sure to follow my spotify page!

Audible · Emergence Collective · writing

Audible update: Progress!

I had a successful weekend of writing and recording. I got my recording settings and volume levels sorted out, and I managed to record the first chapter of Emergence collective. I will re-record it because it’s kinda crap. The narration is a little clunky, and my editing skills are still below the knee of the learning curve, but progress is progress. There is a phenomenon with artists, no matter what the art is that one chooses, be it music, visual arts, dance, or whatever, that when you look back on previous works, you cringe at the level you once were. I noticed this same thing about my writing. I have definitely improved. I think narrating my story will also help improve my future writing skills. As far as my narration is concerned, there is a lot to be worked on, and as I get more practice reading aloud, I think I will find my “voice,” as it were. I also got a crash course in editing. I was editing on the fly, as in fixing flubs as they happen and other intrusive things, like my cat wanting to purr near the microphone.

So if you are interested in listening to Chapter one of Emergence collective on Spotify click the link below.

Thanks for reading!

Emergence Ascended · spiritualism · voice acting · writing

Audible update: Phase 2 engaged.

Just a quick update on the Audible front. As I mentioned in the previous Audible update, fate does love irony. The same sort of life issues that bogged down the voice actor from getting any recordings done has befallen me. Cold and flu are taking turns in my house, making everyone generally uncomfortable, and of course, the loss of a family friend is kind of an emotional speed bump. Last weekend was a complete loss (for writing and recording) as I maybe tried to pack in as much as I could, but somehow there wasn’t any room left for my creative inclinations. Sigh.

On Saturday, I went to a vending show to sell some of my laser cutting and engravings. I didn’t do too bad selling a few things, but more importantly, I met some great artists and very cool people. SIDE NOTE! To the person who was sharing with me, the video of the UFO that was seen over Everett, Please contact me, as I very much want to talk to you again! (Seriously, those videos were cool). Yeah, it was a great day, and I was in public, too (I am not sure if I should be allowed to interact with other humans, but hey I had fun….)

Lucky for me, these events don’t happen very often, so the time suck that vending is won’t be interfering with my future writing and recording. I did take some time during the workweek to youtube some tips and tricks of the trade of Audiobook narration. I learned the settings for my mic and got a rudimentary understanding of basic editing with Audacity. I am more prepared to record than I was before. Oddly I don’t feel as self-conscious as I thought, so the nerves should not be overwhelming and come out in my voice. I look forward to sharing my next recording with you if the gods allow it. As far as writing goes, my work in progress is inching along (Literally as it can be measured in inches on the page) I won’t reveal the embarrassing word count, but progress is progress.

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.

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.

Alone · Horror · writing

“Alone” Part 1 of 4

In the spirit of Spooky season Please enjoy…..

Here ya go! I decided to release the entire short story “Alone”, just for you! This was my first real attempt at writing a complete story. I got the idea from a weird hypnogogic dream. The image of Luis and Randolph kinda popped in my head. I had to write the narrative. The original story is lost to the ether, what is here is a second version of it that I trimmed from the original to meet the requirements of a short story contest. The first version was probably around 10k words, but the requirements were less than 7k (if I recall correct). Anyway I trimmed it down , cutting away some of what, at the time, seemed like fluff., but in retrospect, that “fluff” tightened the narrative. I won first place in the contest, despite the trimming down so I suppose I left enough meat on the bones to make it work.

Caution, graphic violence ahead. if you are squeamish you might want to pass on this one.

Alone part 1 of 4

He stopped working just for a moment, straining to hear the unnatural sound which only offered itself when his pitchfork was doing its duty. Momma?  The sound was familiar. Again the sound pushed forward to the edges of his hearing, “Momma!” The screams sent shocking waves of fire through his veins, forcing adrenaline-laced blood to his legs. His sprint slowed to a jog as blood in the dooryard caught his attention, and the screams grew louder, more frantic. His eyes traced the thick sticky trail of blood from the garden to the front door of the colonial-style farmhouse.  

“Jimmy! Get in here and fetch me some linens! Then go run to the Doc! Hurry!” His father yelled.  

The twelve-year-old boy bolted through the half-open door, sidestepping the pools of blood that were large enough to catch full reflections of his father. He raced to the linen closet; his throat nearly closed as the painful screams echoed through the hall. He grabbed a stack of linens with shaky hands and brought them to his father.   

His father took the linens with confused and frustrated movements. Worry lines etched his pale, nearly white face as the man struggled with his inability to provide the smallest amount of relief for his wife’s agonizing labor. His voice cracked and broken, barked a frantic reminder,  
“Run, boy! Go!”  
  Jimmy sprinted headlong into the cornfield. Flowing tears carved muddy lines across his dusty cheeks. His feet kept the hurried pace long after he was out of earshot of his mother’s screams, those awful heartrending screams.  
  

A shiny new Plymouth coupe barreled up the long drive with Dr. Hathaway at the wheel, Mrs. Ingram, the town’s midwife, next to him and Jimmy in the dickie seat.  Jimmy did not wait for the car to come to a complete stop and jumped out of the dickie. Dr. Hathaway and Mrs. Ingram soon followed him into the house.   

The midwife cleared away the blood-drenched linens while Doc assessed Jimmy’s mother. Dr. Hathaway looked at Jimmy’s father, his face wrinkled with tension and sorrow. “I’m sorry, George, she’s not doing so well. Her breathing is very shallow, and the baby is in distress.”  
 ”Oh, Momma!” Jimmy sobbed.  
 Doc opened his medical bag and began pulling out his tools. He probed the woman’s chest with the stethoscope, then his face went sullen, “You should take Jimmy out. This… this is going to be….” He took a deep breath. “Um, he shouldn’t see this.”   

Dr. Hathaway’s grim face told George the rest of the story. George took Jimmy by the arm and gently led him to the porch. The boy sniffed and wiped his nose with his sleeve, smearing snot across his face.  
 ”Poppa? Momma’s gonna be okay, ain’t she?” Then another sniffle and wipe before slumping down against the side of the house. He was losing his battle with his own emotions; George’s voice croaked, “I don’t know, son, I just don’t know.” He sat down next to Jimmy, put his arm around him, and they both cried quietly for some time.   

Through the solid door to the farmhouse, they heard Dr. Hathaway urge Mrs. Ingram to help. ”Come here! Give me a hand. I can’t do this alone.” Both of his arms were elbow deep into the cesarean slit that opened a hole in the womb. He gently pulled out most of a tiny little body, but it looked as it was snagged, and he could not finish the extraction. “Reach in, quickly! Get the other one.” He whispered a gruff order of urgency.   

The midwife reached to the gaping split, looking away from the visceral and writhing form. She felt the familiar shape of arms, legs, and a torso, then drew out the other infant. She gasped as they awkwardly dealt with the twins. “Oh my God,” she blurted and then tried to retract her astonishment by turning her head away.  
 Alarmed by the sudden whispering and gasping, George and Jimmy jumped to their feet. George put his hand on Jimmy’s shoulder to hold him back. “No! You stay here. I’ll check and see what’s goin’ on!”  
 ”But Poppa!”  
 ”No boy, ain’t no place fer ya. I’ll come and git ya when it’s time. Just sit here fer now.”  
 George took a few steps avoiding the dried brown stains on the porch, and opened the door. Doc and Mrs. Ingram looked surprised when he walked in. They looked guilty as if they were the ones responsible for the state of the twins. His jaw dropped, and he moved a few cautious steps forward. Horrified, he looked at the infants. Confusion chiseled into his features as he shook his head, defiant that this was really happening.  
 The twins writhed and gurgled as they were cleaned. Individually they were normal, though one twin was larger than the other, and both were fine. Fingers and toes in the right places. Arms and legs are suitable sizes. All was correct, except for their heads. Their faces were normal, or at least not deformed. They were attached just above the ears; the skulls collided together in a mishap of nature that marked them permanently as freaks. The shape was all wrong, too, as if their heads were welded together then pulled slightly apart like taffy, each face looking forward.  

  
 They were wrapped now, looking like a mummified wishbone, cooing as infants do, natural, soothing. George now understood the reaction of the midwife. He felt it too but choked down his aversion to not alarm his son standing behind him, despite his father’s stern words. Satisfied with the swaddling, the midwife looked to the father with misty eyes, full of shame and sorrow for the man.  
 ”Do you have names for these the boys?” she asked while adjusting the awkward bundle. George’s eyes widened as if he was reacting to a cruel joke. “No. No names.” He turned to look at his son. Jimmy, so strong and handsome, reliable… normal. His son… His only son. His face hardened as he clenched his fists.  

“Take them. Adoption, whatever.” He glanced at his wife’s lifeless body, covered in a shroud of bloodstained linens. “Take them! Those things, take them away from me!” He turned his back, not wanting to look at the abominations any longer. Jimmy looked on and then took his father’s hand in agreement.  
 ”But George, there is nowhere to take them. They’re alone and helpless. They need you.” Mrs. Ingram pleaded with him.   

“No. They need a mother, who they killed. They need someone that will be able to deal with them.”  
   

In the months following their birth, Mrs. Ingram did what she could for them. Did what she had to do. Kept them alive. She tried to care and feel the maternal impulse that she would have felt for any other child and had felt for others. All she could feel was shameful revulsion. She knew what she should feel; she knew that it was not their fault. That was the root of her shame, and that also brought on its own indignant self-loathing.  
 She noticed the handbills during her daily trip to the market. At first, one or two, here and there, and the closer she got to town, they seemed to be everywhere. Bright red and yellow bill posters of “The Great Cirque De Lune Rouge” plastered on makeshift billboards, announcing its arrival in two weeks. It didn’t take a thought. Her decision was made at the first glimpse of the advertisement. Only two weeks, and she would be rid of them.  

Continue to part 2

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!

Audible · Emergence Collective · writing

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.