about me · blogging · writing

Obligatory New Year post!

I’m back! It’s a new year, and I suppose I will jump on the bandwagon for the year-end/new year transitional post. As far as the blog goes, it is less than a year at this point, but it was successful for a lot of personal reasons. Though the daily stats may not look at all successful, for me it’s not about the numbers of anonymous readers, but the few people that I have met through this blog has made it feel quite successful.

Those stats, on the surface, look amazing, but the truth is that I got suckered into one of those click-through sites. So the amazing number are really a verisimilitude of success. As I was saying, numbers are just numbers. I have met some amazing people from all over the world through my blog and WordPress. I have learned a lot this year about the community of creatives and intellectuals alike.

So do I have new years goals for my blog? My only real goal is to keep at it and try to keep a reliable schedule. I am looking forward to adding a lot more short stories and other writing. Hopefully, I will sell a book or two. I also look forward to meeting more people and get to know the ones I have already met, more. I am always happy to have conversations about just about anything, so if you don’t feel like commenting publically, you can send a message to hello@hand-printsofdarkness.com Thanks for stopping by! Happy Newyear!

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about me · Emergence Ascended · Emergence Collective · spiritualism · voice acting · writing

Holiday Cheer

The holiday season has come! It’s the time of year when friends and family gather together, eat, drink and be merry. Celebrations to attend and shopping for gifts of appreciation are preoccupying our time, and that leaves little time for things like watching your favorite television shows. The entertainment industry has recognized this and has started taking breaks and began to replay holiday-themed shows. For the same reason, I am going to take a quick break from blogging, writing, and other of my creative ventures until after the holiday season has passed.

I made an effort to write more of “Emergence Ascended” (which I did accomplish and feel pretty good about it, too), and I tried to record Chapter 4 of “Emergence collective” (which got derailed).  Schedule conflicts and holiday-themed activities prevented that from happening so that led to my decision to put a pause on all creative activities. I figure it’s better to sit back and enjoy the ride than stress over producing content. I hope everyone has a happy and safe holiday filled with love and laughter!

P.s.

If you think you are going to miss my posts, feel free to go back and read some of the earlier ones, there are a few stories and musings you may find amusing 😉

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 · 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!

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.

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?