This weekend I’m out at the Jerome Music Boosters Holiday Craft and Gift Fair. Come on out and check out the ACEO I will have on sale out there.
Or get an autographed copy for you or one of your loved ones for Christmas by going to my Zibbet store.
Speaking of my Zibbet store, I want to thank you for being one of my blog readers, so I made a special discount code for you. Now through December 10th, you can get 10% off on your purchase there by using the coupon code 2016SALE. Yes, this includes 10% off For More Mischief, Call Loki, which also has free shipping. What a deal! You better get your copy now.
So I’ve been working on this little story called Fractured Echo which is now released in electronic and audio versions. I won’t be doing a print release yet; I want to be able to compile several stories together for a print version.
While I was writing this, I figured it would be a story I would release (or even – gasp – try to traditionally publish in a magazine) after I released Dragons of Wellsdeep. Instead, it decided it wanted to be the forerunner for the novel, something to prepare readers for what is coming.
Oh, I had better start at the beginning and take a moment to reveal the story behind the story.
I’ve often said that anything and everything that happens in a writer’s life is fodder for a story. Let me share how Fractured Echo begins:
“Hey, that was the car!” The boy riding his bicycle across the street turned to look back at Echo’s white Purreal as she sat at the stop sign. His words along with how he looked at her made fear punch her into the gut. She knew she’d done nothing wrong, but what if she’d missed something?
A smaller, dark haired boy pedaling along shortly behind was now in the middle of the intersection in front of Echo. “Huh?” he said, swerving to miss his friend who had slowed down. He then corrected quickly to avoid hitting the curb.
Echo thought the boys were going to stop. Fairly certain that the intersection was now clear, she stepped on the accelerator and turned right, the opposite direction the boys were heading. What have I done now?
That is exactly what happened. I was on my way to lunch one day and had taken a different route over to where I had been planning on taking a walk that day. Two little boys rode across the intersection and the boy in the lead turned around and said, “Hey! That was the car.” His friend almost crashed into him. I really was afraid they were going to stop.
As I drove off, I started wondering why I had panicked. Why indeed? I hadn’t done anything wrong. Right? What if I’d missed something?
That’s when Echo emerged in my head. I couldn’t get to my destination fast enough at that point. I instantly started writing, trying to hold the birthing story in my head long enough to begin getting it down, first in a voice memo, then on paper.
It took a few days to write and finalize this story. While working on it, it was hard to not become invested in the characters. While I was talking to my youngest son about it one day, I mentioned that I felt I wasn’t done with these characters, and that I had more stories to tell with them. He just grinned at me and said, “Of course.” Maybe that’s why the ending feels so abrupt to me. I will warn you know, the outside influences of the story don’t get finished – they are still going on. Okay, some of the internal issues aren’t fully resolved either, but I get Echo to a place she needs to be. The story told me to end it there. Literally, it screamed at me not to go on. So I didn’t. It leaves it hanging, as I’ve found most short stories do. But, I feel that at some point I will be back with these characters.
And that’s what makes writing such a joy ride!
While out dreaming one day, I hadn’t realized that it had gotten so late. Maybe I had fallen asleep to take a nap. As the sun started to drop in the sky, I realized how late it had gotten and figured I probably best be making my way back. As I rose, I saw a little fairy coming out of the bushes. Quickly, I made a wish.
I’m trying to clear out some older artwork to make room for new art. That means you can get a good discount on some of my older work. Currently on eBay:
Yes, there is a list price of $75-$85 on these if you want to make sure you get your desired piece, but you can also make a lower offer if you wish. I will accept reasonable offers.
Get in there now because if someone comes along with a decent offer, your artwork might vanish.
Trust me, as someone who kicks myself for not buying a college student’s dragon painting I saw several years ago, wishing you owned a piece is nothing but a false dream.
More pieces will be added soon. I am even tempted to auction off some of my larger pieces.
I never imagined myself being able to say the “She sells sea shells down by the sea shore” tongue twister very well. I always preferred “Rubber baby buggie bumpers” myself. I’ve even started to make up a few of my own: “Ghastly green goblins gagging on ghosts,” “Saint Steigan’s sword standing,” and “The only girl in the world for Arlyn.”
So what’s the point of all this?
I’ve been busy recording The Three Books as an audiobook. I’d love to say that I was nearly done, especially since I’ve now recorded the book three times (a prophecy in the title maybe?) and partially gotten through it I don’t know how many times but at least two more. I thought I had a good recording when I was done with it the second time through, then I discovered this wretched hum over the top of the vocals and trying to get rid of it just mangled the audio. I never imagined that I’d learn so much about audio engineering.
It was supposed to be simple: record the audio, edit it to clean out bad phrases to make it follow the book, and upload it.
Now I’ve never been one for perfection, but cleaning up mouth clicks is a booger. Sometimes I think I push it too far. I’m learning to let go. Let’s just say that I’m to a point now that I can step in my booth, say my tongue twisters, and record a chapter without any hesitation. Editing cleanup work later is the part I’m starting to dread. It takes so long.
Okay, enough of my complaining. I really just wanted to let you know that I’m still working on the audiobook and that it is coming along, just not as fast as I would hope. If I could just keep my tongue from getting all twisted and making all sorts of weird sounds. You just don’t notice them until you attune yourself to them. I recently bought some Thayer’s Dry Mouth Spray. I haven’t yet listened to any of the chapters I’ve done with the spray, but I hope it helps. The dry mouth spray came as a recommendation from Eric Stuart at Anime Oasis. I’m so glad he took the time to answer my question as well as to hear about my silly little project. When you’re doing everything right but still having issues, it’s time to get additional help. Now I dread having a recording so good and so clear in those last few chapters that I decide to go re-record the earlier ones before the throat spray. How many times through would that make?
Yeah, recording an audiobook when you’re not a profession is not an easy thing to do. It takes time, patience, research, and perseverance. I feel like the universe keeps asking me, “How badly do you want this?” Badly! I want to be able to do it myself too, because once I have my small backlist done, I want to be able to keep up, preferably on a daily basis. That thought alone probably qualifies me as insane. Here’s to hoping.
If I don’t lose my mind on this first book.