August! I swear yesterday was March. I’ve written ahead a bit and hope to keep these MS sketches updates coming. As it is, what remains of my family is off on another vacation in northern Louisiana so I shall devote my time off to try to complete the raw audio for “Foes and Rivals.” Speaking of which, I got my first customer review of “Friend and Ally.” I was, honestly, expecting at best three stars; after all, I am not a professional voice actor and my audio editing skills are that of a novice. So this was a surprise!
Back to the royals in space: not wanting to give the book an ADULT rating, I gloss over Laszlo’s and Nikita’s “moment.” Of more interest, as Les sees, is that now light-minutes away from Earth, android-Reina breaks contact with her greater self. But, as machines think so much faster than humans, her portable form is already… changing. I really wonder what shall become of her.
The southeast of the US not getting the gas/petrol they need. One of the Interstate bridges over the Mississippi River is fractured and closed… possibly closing shipping traffic on that river… impacting 20% of shipping traffic on one of the most important rivers of the world. Inflation is taking off like a successful SpaceX rocket.
Here, for your edification, is the complete Prologue of “Friend and Ally,” where a couple of Somi Corporation engineers try to figure out just what in the world is going on in the US. If you like this, you’ll like the rest of the audiobook, too.
Haven’t gotten back to recording my next book, “Foes & Rivals,” for two reasons: one, until I get my first completely passed by ACX, I’m a bit reluctant to get too far into another, in case I am doing something egregiously wrong which will force me to start from scratch, and, two, I STILL – after two weeks – have not completely shaken this seasonal flu; I awake each morning with a mild fever and chills and, worse, still have shortness of breath and an occasional cough, something not well suited for voice acting.
In the meantime, I keep working on that new novel about Empress Faustina’s eldest three sons. I was so tickled to meet Prince Edward’s human cousin (no blood relation), Livia Rupert, that I’ve included their meeting in Austin, Republic of Texas, below the fold. What is up with those two! I’ve also seen a little of the “reels” of Robert’s mission to the border marches of Kentuckiana as well as what might be a life-threatening problem for Laszlo. Honestly, I would be surprised if everyone made it out of this book alive.
Considering that this is about the top three heirs to the empress, I considered giving it the working title of “Lioness in Winter.” But that doesn’t work, compared to the movie – the best I’ve ever seen, btw – as there is no ruling monarch playing a central role. I hope to have something by my next update.
Busy last several days. I have completed and uploaded all twenty-two parts of the audiobook version of “Friend & Ally.” Because ACX demands a square image for sales and marketing – of course it has to be different – I had to reach out to my very talented cover artist to try to turn a normal, rectangular book cover into the damned square they want.
In the mean time, I seem to have caught a seasonal flu. No, not the Chicom Lung Rot; calling off from work – my first time ever at this hospital – with seven of eleven “flu-like symptoms” meant I had no choice but to be tested. So: no BatAIDS but just a mild flu. Because I have a million things to get done at DayJob, I went in Friday for a partial day and again today, Sunday.
With shortness of breath and a dry cough, heading to the basement to start reading “Foes & Rivals” was out. Given that I accidentally made a writing exercise into the prologue of another novel, I decided to see where that may lead. For some reason, of Empress Faustina’s three adult sons, it was Edward’s movie which started rolling first. Below the fold is some of what I have learned about him. I’m going to come up with at least a working title for this stuff…
I mentioned this in a previous post, but to reiterate: in less than three hours I shall be live for an interview about my dozen, so far, books of Machine Civilization, on the Star Chamber Show on BlogTalkRadio. If you are not able to listen live, fret not: the shows are recorded and you can get a glimpse into my mind at your leisure. Cheers!
The mnemonic I developed for these is that “libel is literary and slander is spoken.” Neither of which has anything to do with this post.
Point One: the 650 raw minutes of the audio of “Friend and Ally” are complete. The first-pass rough editing is complete. Thanks to a friend’s gifted “how to use Audacity” course, it now is taking me 45 minutes to flog a chapter into shape for ACX rather than three hours. Better: I see how I can improve that for next time. The nagging issue is that I AM EFFING SICK TO DEATH OF HEARING MY OWN VOICE! I didn’t really hear it while acting (and audiobooks is voice-acting, not reading) but having to go through this twice…! Sick of it! And Wednesday is almost upon us!*
Point Two: I’d been sitting on the first three paragraphs of a micro-story for two months now. Again with Chief Daniel Hill, but this is at the other end of the telescope, when he first settled his people as the hundred million dead of the Breakup was happening around them. No such things as coincidences, a stranger wanders through their kononia.
*I shall be appearing as the featured guest on the Star Chamber on Wednesday, March 10th, at 2100 Eastern US time. It’s recorded, so don’t think you have to get up early or stay up late.
Below the fold: an unexpected visitor to the tribe of Sardis Lake.
Twenty chapters plus prologue and epilogue… that’s about 650 minutes. At least when I’m editing all that I don’t have to be in my Fortress of Quietude in the 45F basement. Step one will be removing my screw-ups; those are the spikes on the image below the fold, from a typical file. When I flubbed something, I would cough or yell “pop!” into the mic to give me a visual cue of where I need to fix something. Still, I’ll have to listen to everything in its entirety to make sure.
Once that is complete, then I can turn to the technical bits of Noise Removal, Normalization, Equalization, and so on. My target for commercial release is Easter, so I’ve less than forty days to go. The steepest learning curve will be getting things into a format that will satisfy ACX… I recall problems when I experimented last July. So long as my liver holds out, I’ll make it.
Having begun recording on January 24th, just today, February 4th, I have completed the raws for Part One of Friend & Ally. That’s about 230 minutes of me yammering into my microphone and pausing Audacity whenever the dogs start barking or someone flushes the toilet upstairs.
Part Two will be much rougher on my voice as one of the tertiary characters is General Tessmer. His voice is based upon that of Admiral Halsey’s from the movie Midway (2019). That should have me mute for most of the rest of this month and into March. How will I manage Part Three?
Here’s the last of the prototype chapters. I am much older about peaks (Nichole’s sharp voice, here and there), valleys (Mackenzie’s, everywhere), and RMS (the relationship between those levels). In learning such, I’ve also gotten the volume waaay up from where it was before. Tanjed near burst my eardrums in the headphones…
With this complete, and taking in any constructive criticism y’all might have, I’m going to try making notes and writing some very raw ideas I have about Faustina and her third novel, “Goddess’ Crusade.” It is setting the bar a little high, but I want all three of her books and the complete audiobook of “Friend & Ally” out no later than Christmas. We shall see.