I just recorded Chapters 8 and 9. they were short, so I decided to combine them into one episode. I fixed the technical difficulties that prevented last week’s recording and fiddled with some settings that have improved my overall sound quality. As far as the story goes, things really start picking up speed, and gets pretty crazy from here on out. If you haven’t started listening, you’re missing out. Of course you can read it for yourself (Link embedded on the cover art). Feel free to comment or just say hi! Id love to hear what you think so far!
Character snapshot,Visual edition: Barney Derrick
I really enjoyed writing Barney’s Character. I wanted to make a character that you love to hate. I am sure everyone has met a person like Barney.
The sound of Barney’s boots echoed down the quiet hall with a hypnotic cadence. The overhead fluorescent lights seemed to flicker in time with his footfalls. He arrived at the lab and pushed through the door, causing it to bounce off the wall. Drab faces looked up from computer screens at the abrupt entrance. A soldier rushed over with a handful of disheveled paperwork, trying to organize it into a manila folder before handing it off to his superior. Barney grabbed the folder out of his and studied the file briefly. The soldier watched as he scrutinized the file, flipping pages, eyes scanning. Barney’s nose crinkled against his mustache, causing the soldier to wince. He held the folder out for the soldier to take it, allowing the pages to slip out with a whoosh onto the floor.
“What is this? Is this how I am going to get all of your reports? Is this how you show your respect to your country, to me?”
“Sir! No Sir!”
“This report is not even in order! Do you expect me to finish your work for you?”
“I understand, Sir, no Sir, I apologize, Sir.”
“Well–What are you waiting for?”
“Umm …yes, sir,” the soldier said as he scrambled to collect all of the paperwork and organize it all at once.
“Umm, yes, Sir? That’s how you address a superior officer? An umm? You Sure this is the right career for you, boy? How did you manage to crawl your sorry ass out of basic training?” he scolded, then turned away so that he could smile without being seen. Ah that felt good, better than coffee, and I’ll never get a bad report from that kid again. He took a few steps before turning around to see the soldier standing at attention, holding the folder in his shaky hands.
“Sir, your report is ready for your review Sir.” The Airman forced his words out.
Barney snatched it out of the soldier’s hands. Again, the soldier watched his eyes and fingers do their work. “That’s better, Airman. You’re dismissed.” The young Airman made his way to his desk and sat down, all the while avoiding eye contact.
Chapter 7 is recorded. As a bonus I recorded a sneak peek episode of Emergence Ascended.
Check it out on Spotify!
Character snapshot, Visual edition: Mark and Trina
It’s a character snapshot, but these two characters are equally important
together as they are apart, so I decided to lump the snapshot together. I
really enjoyed writing the relationship between these two. I really wanted to
express the kind of purity of love two people could share if they had the
freedom of innocence….
Mark’s beat-up Honda fishtailed around the corner of the driveway and then
skidded to a stop in a cloud of dust in front of the longhouse. Trina had
a white-knuckle grip on the dashboard as if she was holding on for dear
life. “Why do you have to drive like a crazy person?” she shouted, but the look
on her face was one of excitement rather than terror. “Umm, because
it’s fun?” he said with a chuckle. “Well, here we are. Let’s find the best
cabin before anyone else calls dibs.”
“Yeah, good call,” she said as she got out of the car and stretched her
back. “This is a cool place,” she said as she looked around, taking in the
layout of the place. “But geez, namaste much?” Mark chuckled at that last
remark. “Yeah, he was the poster child for hippies, I guess. That’s
probably why my dad and Grandad pretended he didn’t exist.” “I think
you might be cut from the same cloth, honey, ya know? A long-hair dropout in a
family of lawyers and doctors. You’re not gonna get rich, but I love ya,”
she said softly.
He walked over and put his hands on her tiny waist, and pulled her close to
him. “That’s how I know you love me. You’re not a gold digger. He
whispered in her ear, “That makes me richer than any of ’em.”
“I think this place is making you mushy,” she whispered back. He moved
closer to her ear. “It’s also making me horny.” Then he playfully swatted her
butt. She pretended to be mad and started to push him away but grabbed his
hand and started pulling him to the cabins. “Let’s go find us a cabin, my
‘mushy’ man,” she said and winked at him. He dared not resist as she led
him down a random path. “These cabins are all in good condition. I was
imagining something like sleeping in a dirty barn,” Trina said as she
peered into the window of a pleasant-looking cabin. “I like this one, but I
want something, ya know, a little more private.” “Anything for you,
love,” he said, smiling. “Yeah, I think Uncle Frank had a lot of time on his
hands and kept the place up nicely.”
They reached the end of the path at a cabin that seemed to be the farthest
from all the others. Mark walked up the few steps to the porch and opened
the door. “Should I carry you over the threshold?” Trina pushed past him
with a smirk. “Don’t get ahead of yourself, bucko,” she said
“Well then,” he said with an exaggerated bow, “after you, m’lady,” then
followed her in.
Character snapshot, Visual edition: Frank
I’ve been playing with Artificial “Art” generators. Honestly, I am on the fence about how I feel about artificial content creation. While I am diametrically opposed to using AI to generate content on my blog or ANYTHING that I would put my name on as my own. But I do see value in using it as a tool to spark my own imagination. I feel AI art or other content can be used in the same way as writing prompts or thumbnail sketches to fine-tune an idea.
AI is a new and fun (sometimes frightening) technology that I am willing to explore. I wanted to know what it could do, so I decided to see how close it could get to my own internal visualization of my characters. I am also curious if you had a similar image in mind of my characters as you read my story.
The first thing I learned is AI art is NOT human art. (a relief, as a human, I don’t want to be deposed as an artist). There are things that it (in my experience) just can’t get right. Faces are number one. They are always a little “off,” a tad skewed, and more disproportionate than reality has to offer. And some of my descriptions go completely ignored no matter how I word them. (Again, proving that only a fool would rely on AI to make content that you would claim to be yours)
The image I described for Frank came out pretty close (but since Frank’s appearance and a few character traits are based on someone I actually know, it’s not perfect, of course, but it’s close enough).
An expert from “Emergence Collective.”
Still lost in his thoughts and even a little excited, he must have been
driving faster than he realized since he got to the hardware store in
quick time. It was good, though; the evening was going by fast, and the
store was about to close up for the night. He got out of his Volkswagen van
and pushed open the old door of the storefront. He only got a few steps
into the store when the cashier gave him an odd look. The young kid had spiky
black hair and a ring in his nose.
“Mister… you can’t come in here like that, sorry.” The young kid sounded
apologetic and amused at the same time.
“Like what?” Frank was oblivious to any reason why he should not be
“Your feet, bro. You have to have shoes to come in; it’s a safety thing.
Might step on a nail and sue us or something.” A smile indicating laughter
was soon to follow was on the boy’s face by now.
Frank looked down at his feet and realized that he wasn’t wearing shoes. The
thick calluses on his perpetually dirty feet did not feel shoes in the
summer most of the time. He was an old hippy and stuck in a time warp.
Shoes were for winter when it was too cold to go without. He chuckled at
himself and smiled back at the cashier.
“Sorry,” Frank said with a bit of a giggle. He was not embarrassed by his
attire. Look at that kid; why should I be embarrassed by the way I dress?
he thought to himself, almost laughing out loud. Nonchalantly turning
around, he gave the cashier a nod goodbye and headed for the exit. He
only felt a little disgruntled by the situation since it was a wasted
trip. He did not have anything much to do anyway, but wasted gasoline was
Audible update: Chapter 4 in the can!
I recorded Chapter 4 of Emergence collective. Every episode I record sounds a little better, I think. The Audio quality has improved, and my edits are less clunky. At least, that’s how I feel about it. My reading skills are also getting better too. I still have a long way to go before I feel that it meets my personal standards and that of Audible.
Chapter 4 is where the story really starts to gain momentum. You can check it out by clicking the link below! If you enjoy it, be sure to subscribe to my Spotify channel to get updates on episode releases! Thanks for reading!
Audible Update: New year’s edition
Audible Update: New year’s edition
Now that the holiday distractions are over my project to record “Emergence collective,” for Audible is back on track. Hopefully you have been following along. My project has not been a smooth ride. In summary, I decided to record my book for audible, but hiring voice actors/narrators is cost prohibitive, and since my writing is a passion project (and that I am poor) its hard to justify that expense, especially since I have already spent easily two thousand dollars just to publish and haphazardly promote it.
That being said, I spent more money on recording equipment and asked my friend who is an aspiring voice actor to record for me. After about 2 months of waiting (too many things derailed that, personal family crises, nerves, bad recording environment) I decided to just give it a go myself.
Its harder than it sounds. If you are not used to reading aloud, it’s a skill that you probably never thought about. And of course, I also had to get used to hearing my voice recorded. There are a lot of things that go into recording audio books, timing, sound quality (My main struggle as you can hear in the first couple of recording) editing etc.
Well I pushed through and gained some confidence, my sound quality is improving and I am excited to get chapter 4 recorded on Sunday (No promises, sometimes what I want to do and what actually get accomplished are two different things). Hopefully you are excited to hear it.
you can check out these first 3 (cringy) chapters on Spotify by clicking the links below. If you want to be notified about new episodes be sure to subscribe to my channel.
Emergence collective Chapter 1
Emergence collective Chapter 2
Saturday quick post
I’m feeling great today. All the holiday stuff is past us, and I get to get back into writing. Unfortunately, I won’t get a chance to do any recording tomorrow, but I’m not abandoning that project. I finished a chapter and a half today, so at least there is that. I really wanted to keep going, but Adulting takes precedence ya know? I am excited about this part of the book, and it’s hard to tear myself away. The second act of the story is my favorite part to write. I’ve established all the setup stuff, all the important characters are doing their thing, and the plot is plotting. now I get to play with the pieces of the story. I’m already excited for people to read it!
Thanks for stopping by!
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!
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 😉
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.